2013 Year End Review
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2013 was a transformative year in the news. Events happened that will forever alter our collective destinies, some for the better, some for the worse. Though I cannot tell what late breaking stories the future might bring, I do believe a short review is necessary for proper perspective on where we are as we head into 2014. I will do my best not to ramble as I briefly surmise some of the most important topics to grace the pages of PowerFist.US. If you didn’t get a chance to read those articles or listen to those podcasts, this piece is for you. As always I encourage our readers to think of our articles as only a starting point to valuable topics, which is why we link to our info section and then to other sources to add factual substance to the articles we publish. At PowerFist.US we hope to be that helping hand in your righteous quest for knowledge. This year I have personally written on topics ranging from racial tensions to low flying helicopters, North Korea, Egypt, and Syria, and names like Edward Snowden, Trayvon Martin, and Nelson Mandela. And while there were many more issues covered by the entire team including issues spanning from sexism to plagiarism to Israel and Palestine, and Harvey Milk to name a few, those pieces first named, I believe have had the greatest overall impact to the world. The other contributors whose pieces were mentioned (who include our talented art editor Calamity Cole and our correspondent Kyle Katz) have not been consulted in their opinions for this piece, and as always my opinions are my own. That being said, we have dedicated the most time and resources to covering certain stories, while we would like to cover every topic we try to focus on what’s important to you, our readers.
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Some issues we touched in the form of articles are not time sensitive in the same respects that most late breaking news stories are. Seeing Trayvon Martin’s name in the headlines like Oscar Grant and Rodney King before him is indeed tragic, but when these events do occur it forces us to take a look at our nation’s current race relations in a deeper more introspective way. Make no mistake, I do not delight in the tragedy of these people’s deaths. I do however believe it a helpful catalyst to bringing about social change so far as it serves to spark conversation. Unfortunately issues like racism and sexism, and a whole host of other important social topics are too often pushed aside in the search to present the biggest story rather than the whole story. It is my goal and our entire team’s goal to keep focus on all these issues, and dedicate equal time to stories from all genres. It is sometimes impossible not to cover an issue that presents itself in the form of flashy late breaking news.
Headline grabbing names like Edward Snowden make people pay attention for a reason. His revelations about the N.S.A.’s over-reaching intelligence gathering apparatus have dropped all of our collective jaws in sheer awe of their scope and intrusiveness. We have learned that the N.S.A. can track all of our daily movements and determine whether or not we are in love at the click of the keyboard. Our allies’ phones are tapped, and most likely so are our own. We have more recently learned that the N.S.A. is trying to build a quantum supercomputer to do these things even better than they were previously able to do. Due to Mr. Snowden’s whistle now heard round the world, he is forced to remain in Russia, his passport having been revoked by our government. He had little option but to take Putin’s offer for one year of political amnesty. Now two prominent newspapers including the New York Times and the Guardian have published articles stating their cases for clemency for Edward Snowden. I second that opinion and will soon be penning my own letter to Barack Obama asking him to order a presidential pardon for the aforementioned whistleblower. As for the other pieces about places like North Korea, Egypt and Syria, those too are ongoing issues and will present themselves as stories from these countries unfold.
In case you neglected to read some of the more epic headlines coming from places like North Korea, a fledgling young tyrant has taken the opportunity to grandstand on the world stage; directing threats of nuclear obliteration toward the U.S and Japan as well as atrocities against his own people. That tyrant is Kim Jong Un and he is bolstered by access to his inherited atomic arsenal. His current nuclear capabilities are the result of his father Kim Jong Il, having crossed George W. Bush’s red line and testing an atomic weapon. This year’s headlines were clogged with the aforementioned “red line” metaphor. This was due to last summer when President Bashar Al Assad of Syria used chemical weapons on his own people in Aleppo. One year before this President Barack Obama had stated that doing this would cross his own personal “red line”. As a result, while the world did seem to teeter on the edge of World War III for about a week, little has changed for the people of Syria. Their president has switched from chemical weapons to barrel bombs as a slightly more socially acceptable form of murder to silence his citizens. And while these happenings and the other squawking from your newsbox of geographical locations far and wide can make the world seem like a chaos infused place being unraveled by violence on a daily basis, there are signs that logic is on the horizon. As we asked for in earlier articles, aid was pulled from a tumultuous Egypt military which now controls the nation they once swore to protect. After a coup that saw their democratically elected president imprisoned only one year after taking office, the military began to use force to quell largely peaceful Muslim protests resulting in the deaths of many presumed innocent human beings. It is never logical to financially fund a government that rejects the ideals your own nation is thought to be founded upon, and I personally am glad that aid was rescinded. Perhaps it’s just one sign of logic finally prevailing?
Speaking of logic, you might have noticed my personal sign off. In the course of my published articles, sometimes it seems the only appropriate ending. Logic is sometimes the strongest linking chain to that of the human condition. It is when a situation defies logic that it becomes a story. Either by rarity or audacity, an illogical situation becomes a call to action to activists the world over. It was the illogical situation of apartheid that led to the making of the recently departed freedom fighter Nelson Mandela, a man that not only freed himself but his people, his nation, then in a little way the whole world. It was Edward Snowden’s personal belief that the N.S.A.’s intelligence apparatus was not only illogical but also unconstitutional that led him to become perhaps the loudest whistle blower in history, revealing a massive amount about previously only speculated systems. True, the world can sometimes be a tumultuous and angry place but with people and activists like those mentioned here, there is at least hope that good things may one day come. There are many other transformative news events from the past year I neglected to mention, such as gay marriage, drones, the filibuster fiascoes and so on. We will cover those issues and a whole host of others in the coming year of 2014. I want to thank you for reading, and keeping up with the stories from this last year. Remember, knowledge is power. I invite you to become an active participant in our experiment here at PowerFist.US in honest news making. Join us, and help to ensure that one day hopefully, Logic will prevail.