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Friday, December 30, 2016

2016 year end round up!

By សតិវ​អតុ

Once again it is time for a review of the important stories that that shaped our lives, or should I say; made us queasy. So here the events and stories that made 2016 the year that was:


The Flint Michigan water scandal broke. We saw that government turned its head while poor people had to suffer through an antiquated system of a sub-standard water system.

The Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) led by Bikram Chand formed a government in Bajhang. This may not seem like much but it was the most ground taken by  a Maoist group in the last 10 years.


This was the month a great friend of mine and Kansas writer Tim Pouncey died. He was well known here in Kansas.


The US rejected North (Democratic Peoples Republic of) Korean peace talks. For the rest of President Barack Obama's term the US has had nothing but belligerence for that country. The DPRK has developed a nuclear bomb arsenal to protect themselves.

There was a major terror attack on Brussels, in an airport, by ISIS (Islamic State). It was a tragedy, but NATO countries should expect this from a Middle east group they are at war with.


In the Philippines we saw the election victory of President Rodrigo Duterte. He is a populist much like Donald Trump. His solution to the drug problem is to assassinate those who sell and use drugs. On the other hand he made overtures to the Communist Party of the Philippines and their armed wing the New People's army for meaningful peace talks.

Peace talks had begun between the Columbian Government and the Armed Revolutionary Forces for Colombia (FARC) to end their civil war. Since the guerrillas were only fighting for reforms they got what they wanted. The war ended and the can now be a political party.


England voted to exit the European Union. They wanted more autonomy and not to be under the thumb of Europe. There was also a lot of right-wing people who saw it as a way to oppose immigrants.

The Democratic Party cheated to stop the supporters of Bernie Sanders- Many young people across the country were disappointed to find out that the Democratic National  Committee intentionally tried to stop Sanders in favor of Hillary Clinton.

The  Orlando Gay Club Shooting was probably the worst terrorist shooting this country has ever seen. Almost 50 people were shot in a gay club in Florida. The shooter decided he was inspired by ISIS.

There was massive flooding in Texas. This was one more example of the affects of global warming. Conservatives try to ignore this. But it can't be ignored.


In July Islamic extremist attacked a restaurant in Bangladesh and shot and killed about 20 people.


An Earth-like planet was discovered around Proxima Centauri, which is the closest star to earth.

The Olympics took place and local people in Brazil protested that they were not allowed to take part in the events. The political left protested.


There was a Syrian ceasefire. It went no where. The cease fire didn't hold. The fighting was completely unnecessary and all it did was cause human suffering.

A new abortion clinic opened in Oklahoma City, owned by South Wind Women's Service. The South Wind organization has fought to bring legal abortion services to the women of Kansas and opening in Oklahoma was a major step against the anti-abortion crowd and their religious-right backers. 


The US invaded Mosul to dislodge ISIS. This was obviously a stunt to help Clinton win the election. Prez. Obama thought he could win her some support since people like to support the president in time of war.

Vengeful Colombia politicians on the right monkey wrenched the peace process by organizing opposition to the election to approve the peace process. They killed it. They nearly derailed a peace agreement to end 50 years of fighting for their own personal grudges. Luckily the president of Colombia, Juan Manuel Santos, did not allow these people to derail the peace agreement over their own petty grudges.


Fidel Castro died, bringing an end to more than half a century of standing up to the US imperialism.

The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe has stood up to the US government and corporations that wanted to destroy their sacred grounds and poison their water with an oil pipeline. This pretest has gone on all year and a lot of white activist have joined in to stop this. The US Government and US corporations just never tire of desecrating the rights of Native American Indians.

So Donald Trump won the election, with less that 50 percent of the vote, but he manipulated the electoral collage. A lot of people I know have said "let's just wait and see what Trump actually does." Well, he has already picked some of the worst right-wing scum bags for his cabinet. We can tell what he plans to do and it is NOT good.


In Turkey there was a failed coup against the government of Tayyip Erdogan. So now he has grabbed power in what can only be described as a fascist take-over. He is slowly taking away the people's democratic rights.

The Koch Brothers, David and Charles are in the process of taking full control of a Kansas university known today as Wichita State University. The brothers have given lots of money to the school and have demanded a lot of control over it, by them. They have created a "culture of fear."


Trump has appointed an ambassador to Israel, David M. Friedman, who is nothing but trouble. He is farther to the right than their present leader Benjamin Netanyahu. He plans to move the US Embassy to Jerusalem and he plans to support the Israeli settlements on the West Bank which will pretty much kill any chance of a peace agreement.

The Los Angeles Red Guards and other groups across the country have decided to put together an anti-fascist coalition of groups. This may be a good move to try and stop some extreme right-wing groups in this country.

Who knows what this new year will bring. But we will get to see soon enough. So hello 2017. Let the new year begin.
Pix by National Geographic News, Chinese PostersPinterest.

[1] Janus was the ancient god who saw both the past and the future.

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