GBA – Your News, From Government Apathy to WikiLeaks
The Good: We’ll go ahead and start with the good news. Here are the weekend highlights.
U.S. Gas Prices: For those of us with vehicles, traveling for the holidays is turning into a debate of “drive or fly?” A couple years ago, flying would have won that battle if you cared about your wallet. This year, gas prices are dropping so fast it seems smarter to take the extra time to pack the car and get the holidays moving on the ground. Gas prices have dropped from numbers that would make your mother proud in school (3.80-4.0+) to something that would garner a tutor. Of course, environmentalists and economists are up in arms about dropping gas prices, but for those of us on a budget, it’s nice to see that $10 go farthe
Holiday Week: The holidays are finally upon us. Hanukkah began last week, Christmas is upon us, and Kwanzaa begins the 26th. While the weather in some places may be frightful, and holiday shopping is worse than a bikini wax, the feeling of togetherness, family, and giving is inescapable. Bah Humbug all you want, ugly sweater parties are pretty fun, regardless of which holiday you celebrate.
Final Week of 2014: This week marks the final full week of 2014. Sure, the year isn’t technically over until next Thursday, but that means half of next week is taken by 2015. Take some time to reflect on the past year. What have you accomplished? Where have you gone? Who have you met? What do you still need to keep on the list for next year? Each year we learn and grow, no matter our age. New Year’s Resolutions are silly, but reflection is healthy any time of the year.
The Bad: Sometimes we forget how fragile our everyday lives can be. Here is what’s going on elsewhere.
Sony Hack: Information, movie scripts, unreleased films, emails, and other information was leaked to the internet following a hack on Sony Pictures last week. The hack caused a serious delay in the release of their latest highly anticipated film, The Interview starring James Franco and Seth Rogen, and the film’s release will now only be in select cities on its original release date of Christmas Day. The U.S. government has penned North Korea as the site of the hack, based on some very telling evidence. Also, The Interview’s plot is a fictional assassination on the nation’s leader. Some are still skeptical of the culprit of the hack, but North Korea is “ready to attack” at any time even though they deny any involvement.
Police Killings: As numerous stories of police brutality come from the woodwork, a violence is brewing. Multiple protests have begun, and police officers are becoming targets. Three officers around the country have been attacked. In Washington DC, a dispatch message was circulated, warning officers that attacks can come at any time. Basically, some officers are considering themselves sitting ducks against attacks, stagnant in their cars with big uniform targets. Adding violence to violence isn’t going to solve anything, and possibly perpetuate the issues we’ve been having even farther. Hopefully the violence can stop on both ends, but for now we urge everyone to stay safe.
Gov’t Doesn’t Care: In a recent poll of 33 developing or emerging countries, 31 unanimously agreed that they believe that their government either doesn’t care or doesn’t pay attention to their needs or wants. This is disturbing. If a government doesn’t care, then what’s the point? I’m curious to see what the poll would say if it was taken worldwide, but I have a feeling that the results would be similar. How can we take our government back? Only time and collective agreement could tell.
And The Awkward: Take it as good news, take it as bad news, but uh… here ya go.
Holiday Pet Gifts: As thousands of people crowd together in malls and stores, waiting in line to buy their loved ones their favorite things, some people don’t have children to buy for. They have pets. In countries like Japan, where the number of pets in households outnumbers the number of children, the people buying special presents for their pets is growing. As if the salon quality pet shampoo wasn’t enough, basically anything you can imagine down to heated paw warmers are now available. Makes one think of Best In Show and that damn bumble bee…
Year End Lists: As mentioned earlier, it’s always healthy to reflect on the past year as 2014 winds down. However, few things are more annoying than all those stupid year end lists that people feel the need to come up with to fill their TV Show/Radio Show/Podcast/Website/Twitter/Facebook etc. as they run out of ideas. Some lists are absolutely ridiculous, mostly just reminding us of all the things we got sick of hearing about at one point in time.
WikiLeaks CIA Tips: WikiLeaks has done it again, this time to the benefit of anyone who wants to be a spy. Just the other day, they released two CIA documents which give numerous tips on how to be a successful spy, including ways to avoid secondary screening at airports and border crossings. If you need to get somewhere on false papers, this is the jackpot. WikiLeaks founder says that the documents focus on European Union policy, suggesting that the CIA is carrying out spy activity in Europe. Good Luck out there, spies.