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A look at the year’s various bests

WITH the end of the year, various news organizations and others are compiling their lists of "things of the year."

Some of them promote ideals. Some of them are silly. And some of them are controversial.

For some reason, the wire services made Fred Shapiro, an associate librarian at Yale, the judge, jury and prosecutor for the quote of the year.

"We are the 99 percent" was his choice.

Baloney.

The quote of the year came from the commander-in-chief, President Obama, when he announced on May 1: "Tonight I can report to the American people and to the world that the United States conducted an operation that killed Osama bin Laden."

But I also liked Herman Cain's assessment of Washington: "Stupid people are ruining America."

Various news agencies tally up the deaths of celebrities, as if for some reason celebrities should be immortal.

Rare are the celebrities whose deaths are worth noting.

Elizabeth Taylor's death was noteworthy. She went to work at 10 and gained international celebrity at 12. Her personal life played out on the world stage.

She also was a sharp cookie who amassed a fortune estimated at a billion dollars.

As they auction her jewelry, remember: Most of that money and her fortune are going to charity.

Even Debbie Reynolds has to admit that's a good thing.

Many deaths are wonderful. Osama bin Laden's demise has to be the death of the year, followed quickly by Kim Jong-Il and Muammar Gadhafi.

The Simon Wiesenthal Center awarded the anti-Semitic Slur of the Year of 2011 to Mahmoud Abbas, president of the Palestinian National Authority.

Now there is a surprise.

This Week named the eight craziest lawsuits. A couple suing an airline over a cockroach was the lawsuit of the year, but the runner-up was better.

Sarah Deming of Michigan sued because the movie, "Drive," didn't have enough driving in it.

If she wins, there goes the "Mission Impossible" series, because every mission becomes possible thanks to Tom Cruise.

Some of the awards are silly. PolitiFact has a lie of the year.

PolitiFact is a Pulitzer Prize-winning team that checks politicians' statements for lies.

I guess the people at Politifact, tired of shooting fish in barrels,  went on to something easier.

This year's lie of the year was a claim by Democrats that Republicans voted to kill Medicare.

Haven't Democrats said that every year since the program began in 1966?

The real lie of the year came from whoever assured the Japanese people that those nuclear reactors in Fukushima could withstand any natural disaster.

A harder task for PolitiFact would be political true statement of the year.

There's your mission impossible.

Who wins is not always as important as who loses.

Even though he broke Eddie Robinson's record for wins this year, Joe Paterno is not going to win coach of the year, any more than Rod Blagojevich or John Edwards are going to win hair of the year.

Time magazine named the Protester the newsmaker of the year.

Yuck.

Given how lefty groups planned the Occupy Wall Street rallies, Daniel Flynn of Human Events declared it the Year of the Fauxtester.

Let's make Fauxtester the pun of the year.

For what it's worth, on my blog I named Navy SEAL Team 6 as the man of the year.

On that, we should all agree.

Surber may be reached at donsurber@dailymail.com. His blog is at http://blogs.

dailymail.com/donsurber.


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