A Year On a Bench

Personally, wer had a pretty good year here at VFLOAB. Better than 2005.

But I think the USA on the hold had another pretty crummy year. We're still fighting in Iraq and things have only gotten worse; the torture and imprissonment of those both guilty and innocent continues. bin Laden still has yet to be caught and brought to some sort of justice. The US economy started to hit the skids with the housing bubble letting out a lot of steam and the dollar falling sharply (and not to mention that we fully expect the US to have a negative savings rate for the second year in a row). Dick Chaney shot a man. We saw the continued break down of checks and balances ... even though Congress started to stand up to Bush only after his approval rating hit 35%. The Dems won control of both the House and Senate (well for the time being), but odds are that's just going to lead to two years of nothingness. Donald Rumsfeld finally lost his job. And when I say finally, I mean like two and a half years too late. And then there was that Mark Foley stuff. And you can't help but ask yourself if getting Saddam was worth it.

Things reamained much the same in Europe.

Most of Africa is still a mess thanks to colonization, though the world is trying to help the contient.

I guess things are looking up in Asia, but it still raises more questions than anwsers when you look at the eastern and souther Asia, and we have to ignore the fact that North Korea tested the bomb. (How does that egg taste President Bush? You attack Iraq for the WMDs, they don't gots 'em, and a few years later North Korea completely spits in your face by showing you that they've got the WMDs... and you can't do anything about it because you called 'em out without China's backing... seriously, can W just leave now? What a disaster he's been. In fact, I'm not going to use the worlds 'Disaster' or 'Fucked' next year. It's gonna be: "that's Bushed up" or "Wow, that was a complete Bush" Or "Bush you, you motherBusher").

Things in the Middle East seem to only get murkier and dirtier... Hamas is elected to power Palestine (yay Democracy!) and eventually lead to a deadlock in their government. Hezbollah kidnaps two Isreali soldiers, and Isreal completely over reacts by blasting the shit out of innocent Lebonese cilvians. Iran continues to try and make the bomb and openly defining the US. Of course we're still in bed with repressive regimes and supply the terrorists who attack this country like Saudi Arabia because they've got a lot of oil. Meanwhile, we get pissy with Hugo Chavez because he claims that he wants to try and help poor people and talks some harmless trash about the US to get himself elected. Little does the US know that the Torries could rap up the House of Commons in London if they began blasting the US and playing up the anti-Americaism card. They won't, but that's how disliked the US is right now.

But speaking of Latin America... that might be the one region of the world were things seemed to pick up a bit. It seemed as if every Latin American country had an election this year, and it seems like most of those elections were free and had limited corruption. Funny how democray works isn't it? This country begins to cultivate it after the Cold War with encouragement and free trade deals, and then lets it grow on it's own. Of course, populists like Chavez and socialists like Evo Morales piss off Washington to the point where we're going to start training militants again... even though both were democratically elected.

Basically the US Forgein Policy Slogan should read something like "We want everyone to be democratic unless you elect the people we want you to elect."

Then again, I guess that's how most of the world views the US... "We want you to be democratic but why do you keep electing a President we would never elect?"

All's fair in that case, eh? Everyone's a hypocritic.

But I can't help but feel that we're a little bit further from the goal of peace and justice. And I don't say those words as some Christmas/Happy New Year card greeting... we should all, as humans, be striving for peace and justice in the world. And we need to realize that to achieve these goals - war is not the anwser. It rarely is. And in order to achieve these goals of peace, of justice, of freedom... we need to put aside our own greed and ambitions at times. We need to look out for others. We need to stop acting like rational economic beings and start acting like compassionate and loving beings. We need to question our leaders, look for progress, do the right thing... even if it's a pain in the ass from time to time. We all want freedom, peace, justice and love... we humans have come a long way from 2,000 or 1,000 or 500 years ago. We've done so much good, we have taken steps neccessary to create more freedom and justice and peace. And we need to keep working at it. We can't revert to our old ways just because someone else doesn't like it or because someone else wants to go back to the way things where. Most of the time the way things were sucked.

As Clarence Darrow said:

You can only protect your liberties in this world by protecing the other man's freedom. You can only be free if I am free... I know that the nation that is not watchful of its liberty will lose it. I know that the individual that will not stand for his rights will have no rights.

And I leave you with those words going into 2007. Not about radical change. But a message of remembering to never compromise your freedom, even if someone asks you, even if that someone is your lover or country. I think if we do this; peace, justice, and love will follow.


The year in sports was, in the end, pretty uninteresting. At least in the US.

We saw the two worst champions of all time in the Pittsburgh Steelers winning the Super Bowl and the St. Louis Cardinals winning the World Series. Both the Series and Super Bowl were bores to watch. Both the Seahawks and Tigers gave the rings away. And in the NBA, the Miami Heat have to be one of the five to ten worst championship team of all time. I think some team south of the Mason Dixon line won the Stanley Cup.

College football had a down year over all in 2006... but we did get to see one of the greatest games of all time: Texas and Vince Young beating USC in the Rose Bowl for the National Title. An amazing game in every sense of the world.

The 2006 NFL season was one of the better seasons in recent memory... but we'll have to see how the playoffs shake out... in 2007.

I almost forgot the Winter Olympics... oh wait, I just did. ZING!

The World Baseball Classic came and went... and it wasn't half bad. Even if we never in a million years thought Japan would play Cuba for the title.

George Mason made the Final Four. Isn't it weird how we just sort of forget about the Tourney expect for like ONE THING every year? Like in 2005 the only thing anyone remembers is the Final between the Illini and Tar Heels (though once in a while someone will bring up the 'Zona/Illini game). Weird how the Tourney works... espically since we all love it.

Remember, if you do 'roids, make sure you're an NFL player since no one in the media cares.

In Chicago, it was a hang over year. The White Sox winning in 2005 took a lot out of the city... 2006 feature a bland but team orinated Bulls team that made the playoffs but lost in the first round. The Cubs sucked. No one noticed the Blackhawks. The Fire opened a new stadium, but didn't inspire anyone to get too excited. The Sox, ultimatly, never got hot and their golden ticket in 2005, pitching, ended up costing them a post season birth in 2006.

That leaves the Bears and the most interesting and fun season that Bears fans have enjoyed since the late 80s. Sure 2001 was fun, but it was unbelieavable. The team couldn't run the ball, throw the ball, and seemed to be more lucky than good. But this team is something special. Of course the down side to any team that's supposed to be very good is that they create more anexity than joy at times. That's how most Bear fans feel... okay we've got a great defense and special teams, but what about the quaterback? Can Rex win it? Oh, no, now the D is falling apart...

We'll have to wait and see in 2007.

So what will we remember about 2006 as far as sports? Watford made the jump to the Big Time. The World Cup, the Headbutt, and Clint Dempsey's goal against Ghana. Of course getting a point off of Italy, the only team to do so in Germany, was a highlight too. That US/Italy game was one of the most emotional sporting events I've ever watched.


As far as pop clulture... I'm sure there were a 100 things that went down. I guess we finally say Tom and Katie's baby... I got sick of Jen... and frankly others could sum it up better than me. So I'll leave that to them. But don't fret. The 30 Best Songs of 2006 are here and The Nine Best Things of 2006 are still to come. Feel the joy!

No comments: