2016: The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Year

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“What’s past is prologue.” William Shakespeare, The Tempest

What a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad year this has been.

Endless wars. Toxic politics. Violence. Hunger. Police shootings. Mass shootings. Economic downturns. Political circuses. Senseless tragedies. Loss. Heartache. Intolerance. Prejudice. Hatred. Apathy. Meanness. Cruelty. Poverty. Inhumanity. Greed.

Here’s just a small sampling of what we’ve suffered through in 2016.

After three years of increasingly toxic politics, the ruling oligarchy won and “we the people” lost. The FBI’s investigation of Hillary’s emails ended with a whimper, rather than a bang. FBI director James Comey declared Clinton’s use of a private email server to be careless rather than criminal. Bernie Sanders sparked a movement only to turn into a cheerleader for Hillary Clinton. Clinton won the popular vote but lost the election. Donald Trump won the White House while the American people lost any hope of ending the corporate elite’s grip on the government.

The government declared war on so-called “fake news” while continuing to peddle its own brand of propaganda. President Obama quietly re-upped the National Defense Authorization Act, including a provision that establishes a government agency to purportedly counter propaganda and disinformation.

More people died at the hands of the police. Shootings of unarmed citizens (especially African-Americans) by police claimed more lives than previously estimated, reinforcing concerns about police misconduct and the use of excessive force. Police in Baton Rouge shot Alton Sterling. Police in St. Paul shot Philando Castile during a traffic stop. Ohio police shot 13-year-old Tyre King after the boy pulls out a BB gun. Wisconsin was locked down after protests erupt over a police shooting of a fleeing man. Oklahoma police shot and killed Terence Crutcher during a traffic stop while the man’s hands were raised in the air. North Carolina police killed Keith Lamont Scott, spurring two nights of violent protests. San Diego police killed Alfred Olango after he removed a vape smoking device from his pocket. Los Angeles police shot Carnell Snell Jr. after he fled a vehicle with a paper license plate.

We lost some bright stars this year. Supreme Court justice Antonin Scalia’s death left the court deadlocked and his successor up for grabs. Joining the ranks of the notable deceased were Muhammad Ali, David Bowie, Fidel Castro, Leonard Cohen, Carrie Fisher, John Glenn, Merle Haggard, Harper Lee, George Michael, Prince, Nancy Reagan, Janet Reno, Elie Wiesel, and Gene Wilder.

Diseases claimed more lives. The deadly Zika virus spread outwards from Latin America and into the U.S.

The rich got richer. The Panama Papers leak pulled back the curtain on schemes by the wealthy to hide their funds in shell companies.

Free speech was dealt one knock-out punch after another. First Amendment activities were pummeled, punched, kicked, choked, chained and generally gagged all across the country. The reasons for such censorship varied widely from political correctness, safety concerns and bullying to national security and hate crimes but the end result remained the same: the complete eradication of what Benjamin Franklin referred to as the “principal pillar of a free government.”

The debate over equality took many forms. African-Americans boycotted the Oscars over the absence of nominations for people of color, while the Treasury Department announced its decision to replace Andrew Jackson with Harriet Tubman on the $20 bill. North Carolina’s debate over transgender bathrooms ignited a nationwide fury. Meanwhile, the U.S. military opened its doors to transgender individuals. A unanimous Supreme Court affirmed a Texas law that counts everyone, not just eligible voters, in determining legislative districts. The nation’s highest court also upheld affirmative action, while declaring a Texas law on abortion clinics to be an unnecessary burden on women.

Environmental concerns were downplayed in favor of corporate interests. Flint, Michigan’s contaminated water was declared a state and federal emergency, while thousands protested the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline and its impact on water sources.

Technology rendered Americans vulnerable to threats from government spies, police, hackers and power failures. The Justice Department battled Apple in court over access to its customers’ locked, encrypted iPhones. Microsoft sued the U.S. government over its access to customers’ emails and files without their knowledge. Yahoo confirmed that over half a billion user accounts had been hacked. Police departments across the country continued to use Stingray devices to collect cellphone data in real time, often without a warrant. A six-hour system shutdown resulted in hundreds of Delta flights being cancelled and thousands of people stranded.

Police became even more militarized and weaponized. Despite concerns about the government’s steady transformation of local police into a standing military army, local police agencies continued to acquire weaponry, training and equipment suited for the battlefield. In North Dakota, for instance, police were authorized to acquire and use armed drones. Likewise, the use of SWAT teams for routine policing tasks has increased the danger for police and citizens alike.

Children were hurt. A 17-year-old endangered silverback gorilla was shot preemptively after a 3-year-old child climbed into its zoo enclosure. In Disney World, an alligator snatched a 2-year-old boy off one of the resort’s man-made beaches. A school bus crash in Tennessee killed five children. And police resource officers made schools less safe, with students being arrested, tasered and severely disciplined for minor infractions.

Computers asserted their superiority over their human counterparts, who were easily controlled by bread and circuses. Google’s artificial intelligence program, AlphaGo, defeated its human opponent in a DeepMind Challenge Match. Pokemon Go took the world by storm and turned users into mindless entertainment zombies.

Terrorism took many forms. Brussels was locked down in the wake of terrorist attacks that killed dozens and wounded hundreds. A shootout between a gunman and police wrought havoc on a gay nightclub in Orlando. Terrorists armed with explosives and guns opened fire in Istanbul Airport. A trucker drives into a crowd of revelers on Bastille Day in France. Acts of suspected terrorism take place throughout Germany, including attacks using axes, knives and machetes. Japan undergoes a mass killing when a man armed with a knife targets disabled patients at a care facility. Syria continued to be ravaged by bomb strikes, terrorism and international conflict.

Science crossed into new frontiers. Doctors announced the birth of the first healthy three-parent baby created with DNA from three separate people. Elon Musk outlined his plan to populate Mars.

Tragedies abounded. An Amtrak train derailed outside of Philadelphia. A commuter train crashed through a barrier in New Jersey. Floods in Texas killed nine soldiers stationed at Fort Hood. Heatwaves swept the southwest, fueling wildfires. Flash floods and heavy rain devastated parts of Maryland and Louisiana.

The nanny state went into overdrive. Philadelphia gave the green light to a tax on sugary drinks. The FDA issued guidelines to urge food manufacturers and chain restaurants to reduce salt use.

The government waged a war on cash. Not content to swindle, cheat, scam, and generally defraud Americans by way of wasteful pork barrel legislation, asset forfeiture schemes, and costly stimulus packages, the government and its corporate partners in crime came up with a new scheme to not only scam taxpayers out of what’s left of their paychecks but also make us foot the bill. The government’s war on cash is a concerted campaign to do away with large bills such as $20s, $50s, $100s and shift consumers towards a digital mode of commerce that can easily be monitored, tracked, tabulated, mined for data, hacked, hijacked and confiscated when convenient.

The Deep State reared its ugly head. Comprised of unelected government bureaucrats, corporations, contractors, paper-pushers, and button-pushers who are actually calling the shots behind the scenes, this government within a government is the real reason “we the people” have no real control over our so-called representatives. It’s every facet of a government that is no longer friendly to freedom and is working overtime to trample the Constitution underfoot and render the citizenry powerless in the face of the government’s power grabs, corruption and abusive tactics. These are the key players that drive the shadow government. They are the hidden face of the American police state that has continued past Election Day.

The U.S. military industrial complex—aided by the Obama administration—armed the world while padding its own pockets. According to the Center for International Policy, President Obama has brokered more arms deals than any administration since World War II. For instance, the U.S. agreed to provide Israel with $38 billion in military aid over the next ten years, in exchange for Israel committing to buy U.S. weapons.

Now that’s not to say that 2016 didn’t have its high points, as well, but it’s awfully hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel right now.

Frequently, I receive emails from people urging me to leave the country before the “hammer falls.” However, as I make clear in my book Battlefield America: The War on the American People, there is nowhere in the world to escape from the injustice of tyrants, bullies and petty dictators. As Ronald Reagan recognized back in 1964, “If we lose freedom here, there is no place to escape to. This is the last stand on Earth.”

Let’s not take the mistakes of 2016 into a new year with us. The election is over. The oligarchs remain in power. The police state is marching forward, more powerful than ever. All signs point to business as usual. The game continues to be rigged.

The lesson for those of us in the American police state is simply this: if there is to be any hope for freedom in 2017, it rests with “we the people” engaging in local, grassroots activism that transforms our communities and our government from the ground up.

Let’s get started.

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Contributed by John W. Whitehead of The Rutherford Institute.

Since 1996, John W. Whitehead has taken on everything from human rights abuses in Saudi Arabia, protection of religious freedom, and child pornography, to family autonomy issues, cross burning, the sanctity of human life, and the war on terrorism in his weekly opinion column. A self-proclaimed civil libertarian, Whitehead is considered by many to be a legal, political and cultural watchdog—sounding the call for integrity, accountability and an adherence to the democratic principles on which this country was founded.

Time and again, Whitehead hits the bull’s eye with commentaries that are insightful, relevant and provocative. And all too often, he finds himself under fire for his frank and unadulterated viewpoint. But as he frequently remarks, “Anytime people find themselves under fire from both the liberal left and the conservative right, it means that that person is probably right on target.”

Mr. Whitehead’s commentaries have appeared in the Los Angeles Times, New York Times, Washington Post, Washington Times and USA Today.

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  • Razedbywolvs

    I would call that a good start. What do you think a good year looks like John W. Whitehead?
    The Ruling Oligarchy has been around for centenary, but only now can you utter the words without being put in a straight jacket.
    “Fake news” is a big omission from the establishment that 1984 was 32 years ago.
    I don’t think more people died at the hands of the police. I think more police got caught offing people than in the past.
    The citizens have also become more militarized and weaponized.
    The 2nt amendment has now been irretrievably linked to the 1st amendment.
    The deep state has always been there, and for the first time it’s exposed.
    It really look like to me that the things that make a bad year for you are the
    all examples of what it looks like when you win.

    • Gil G

      I imagine he longs for the days of around 1830 – 1850 America.

      • MagaMan

        I do.

      • gabe

        No, just an America without the treason of the liberal agenda.

    • Eudoxia

      Brilliantly said. And as Ghandi once said: First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win.

      It is always darkest before the dawn Happy New Year my friend!

  • NonYo Business

    This has been going downhill – EVERY year since Before the first Bush ass. Democrats and Republicans are both greedy and in it for themselves. Like they give a shit about any of you.

    • gabe

      it goes back much further. I am guessing you were not around during the Carter years when people had to be on line for 3 – 8 hours to get 5 gallons of gas for 400% actual cost due to the incompetence of the Carter admin… That time was really bad and only 30 years ago. The real problem was when we unplugged the dollar from the gold standard in the early 70s. Now we are ruled by debt & not reason.

      • ReverendDraco✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ ᵃᶜᶜᵒᵘᶰᵗ

        Yeah – that fake oil shortage sucked.

        Wasn’t caused by Carter.

  • MagaMan

    “What a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad year this has been.”
    Not really, what if Hillary had won?

  • Screw this guy.

    Reasons this year was great:

    ● We can say Merry Christmas again!
    ● White people are starting to stand up for themselves… finally!
    ● The holohoax, the cornerstone lie of this era, is being exposed more than
    ever before which will bring the castle of cards tumbling down!
    ● All fake conservatives are now accurately labeled cuckservatives!
    ● Hillary’s lying, cheating, wrinkly ass got BTFO in the election!
    ● The DNC was exposed for the cheating, lying scum they are!
    ● The NY Times lost all credibility just like the rest of the lügenpresse so they created a “fake news” meme in desperation in order to protect themselves!
    ● Liberal freaks are on the retreat!
    ● Anti-white companies are now the ones getting boycotted!
    ● Feminism is on the decline and thus blue hair dye which can’t be good for you!
    ● Putin got blamed for so much it made people laugh and laughter is the best medicine!
    ● Obama and his transvestite wookie partner have finally been outed as anti-american communists!
    ● Liberals have been accurately labeled communists and many actually wear red now!
    ● They needed a “nation-wide violence by trump supporters” meme so bad that they made them up… and got caught!
    ● Youtube had to invent a “youtube heros” campaign so they could give the power of deleting videos to SJWs because they were losing so bad in the comments!
    ● Twitter did a massive purge of accounts that didn’t agree with their liberal/communist point of view and because they were losing all arguments to them right out in the open for everyone to see!
    ● Snopes “fact checkers” for “fake news” turned out to literally be internet whores!
    ● Facebook is now censoring news in a desperate move they are losing the narrative so bad!
    ● Gab.ai has been launched and is the new twitter that doesn’t censor!
    ● Jack Dorsi can’t even sell twitter he screwed it up so bad with censorship and is now trying to withstand a fake black twitter account troll campaign which will kill its revenue and brand even more, lol!
    ● All gun grabbing schemes have failed and only minor advances in disarmament have been made in the most cucked states but the people have spoken loud and clear that they aren’t disarming without a fight to the death!
    ● The left has been forced to choose to support either gays or moslems because they can’t support both!

    …and much, much more!

    • Eudoxia

      HIGH FIVE!

    • Gary

      You made me laugh. Some real wins there for the year. Thanks. 🙂

  • Dave Mende

    Get off the pipe John.
    Trump won. Gas at $2.00. Obama spit on Natanyahut. Syria has won its Color War. 2016 no new wars. Dems are not child molesters. Putin is President of the free world. And grown men can use the girls bathroom. (Oops that last one ain’t good).
    So all in all a good year.