The good, bad and oh-so ugly of 2011

The good:

A new U.S. House: The swearing in of a Republican House — especially conservatives like Allen West — brought President Obama’s radical programs to a screeching halt and forced the nation to reassess the direction in which it was heading.

No hurricanes: 2011 was another year that left residents of southeast Florida hurricane-free. Who can forget 2005, which brought us Katrina, Tammy and especially Wilma? Speaking personally, I live on the 22nd floor of a high-rise building. Trudging up and down the steps the 10 days when we had no power will forever be etched in my memory.

Killing Osama bin Laden: Not only did this eliminate a very real evil in the world, but it also vindicated President Bush’s enhanced interrogation policy. Despite his critics, he proved that waterboarding does indeed work.

The inauguration of BizPac Review: The truth can only be obtained through the free and open exchange of ideas and opinion, and BPR filled a conservative vacuum that has existed in our region far too long.

End of the Iraq war: I put this in both the good and the bad categories. It’s good news because it marks the return of our troops from Iraq. Families long torn apart can now be reunited, and “Meals Ready to Eat” can now be replaced with the aroma of good home cooking.

The bad:

End of the Iraq war: Again, I’m happy for our troops’ return. But we don’t show them honor by eliminating the gains we’ve made in Iraq. We show honor instead by maintaining our presence there, and peace in that part of the world.

Our spiraling national debt: Congress’ addiction to profligate spending was only partially cured with the election of a Republican House of Representatives. The Democratic Senate and White House have now placed us in a stalemate, which ultimately resulted in a credit downgrade.

Solyndra/SunPower scandals: They showed us how blind adherence to a bankrupt energy policy can only yield bad results.

Anthony Weiner scandal: The Weiner affair was proof that power can indeed corrupt, and it further demonstrated the need for congressional term limits.

Obama’s disengagement: Since he was sworn in as our president, Obama has only submitted one budget to Congress, and that was the one provided to him by outgoing President Bush. Instead of immersing himself in the budgetary process, he chose to appoint committees and play golf. Then he wonders why we have budgetary problems.

The truly ugly:

Insider trading by congressional members: This was an example of the entitlement attitude of Congress taken to its limits. The French have a phrase, noblesse oblige, meaning, “Whoever claims to be noble must conduct himself nobly.” Americans simply say, “Those who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw parties.” I like the imagery of ours better.

Bill Maher’s rants against conservatives: Maher has equated the Palin girls to hookers and sluts, and said that Downs sufferer Trig Palin should have been aborted. At a later date, he opined that Lara Logan, the “hottie” (his word) who was brutally raped by an Egyptian mob, should have been replaced by conservative talk show panelist Elisabeth Hasselbeck. Uglier still, every time he’s criticized for his attacks, he hides behind the veil of “I’m a comedian.” We’re not laughing.

National Labor Relations Board vs. Boeing: The NLRB’s cowardly, reprehensible suit against Boeing Corp. for opening a new plant in South Carolina, a right-to-work state, hammers home the statement by William Pitt, the Elder, that “absolute power corrupts absolutely.” When employees of the South Carolina plant asked to intervene as a possible aggrieved party, the NLRB refused.

Arab Spring movement: Although heralded by former Vice President and global warming guru Al Gore, Arab Spring demonstrated to the world the ugliness of mob rule, replete with beatings, arson, vandalism, looting, murder and the brutal rape of at least one young woman. This is the very thing Ann Coulter described in her book, “Demonic,” written long before this movement started.

Occupy Wall Street movement: See “Arab Spring movement” above.

These are my picks for the year. What are yours?

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