2012: Death, Destruction, Economic Ruin and Sandy

So 2012 is officially over, and I think it’s safe to say that we can all breathe a sigh of relief.  Because that shit was actually very scary.  The latter days of 2012 witnessed the wrath of both nature and fellow man.   I mean, really, there was a hurricane and a massacre.  Here are some of my thoughts on an assortment of end-of-year/world topics:

Sandy Hook

Instead of hypothesizing on the motive behind this tragedy, let’s remember the teachers who threw themselves in the line of fire to protect their students.  Because before they were one in an appalling casualty count, they were people who had siblings and children and dinner plans that night.  I challenge anyone to read the following article with a dry eye:

 >> Newtown Boy’s Favorite Teacher Died Cradling Him in Her Arms <<

So now what?

>> Obama’s Speech at Sandy Hook Interfaith Prayer Vigil <<

‘Surely, we can do better than this. If there is even one step we can take to save another child, or another parent, or another town, from the grief that has visited Tucson, and Aurora, and Oak Creek, and Newtown, and communities from Columbine to Blacksburg before that — then surely we have an obligation to try.’ – President Obama

>> The Speculation About Adam Lanza Must Stop <<

It’s gun control (or lack thereof):

>> Obama Takes A First Step on Gun Control After Sandy Hook <<

And mental illness awareness:

>> I Am Adam Lanza’s Mother << 

The Fiscal Cliff

We put aside our differences in the government and narrowly avoided the fiscal cliff, but we’re still going to experience a 2% increase in payroll tax.  Apparently, the 4.2% tax rate for 2011 was a temporary measure that expired on Monday.  Great.  Read more on this here:

>> Why Your Paycheck Is Getting Smaller <<

Also, the wealthiest Americans (individuals making 400k/year, couples making 450k/year) are facing tax increases to balance the budget.  This is a modification on Obama’s earlier campaign promise to increase taxes for America’s top 2% (which would include individuals making 200k/year and couples making 250k/year).

>> House Staves Off Fiscal Cliff << 

And it’s not over.  Congress still needs to resolve the debt ceiling issue as well as the government spending cuts:

>> 3 More Fiscal Cliffs Loom <<

The Mayan Apocalypse

But the good news is, we’ve still got time, since the world didn’t end.

Near Earth Objects

And it’s unlikely that an asteroid will collide with the Earth.

>> Rogue Asteroid Caught on  Film <<

Time Magazine’s Best Music Videos

We still have digital media to take our mind off of the ever-impending doom facing society.

>> 9 Best Music Videos of 2012 <<

And just because these are really cool:

Miss Universe 2012 Pageant National Costumes

>> 2012 Miss Universe National Costume Show <<

– Sandra