Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Shrapnel's Man of the Year 2010--By now even the average American should have concluded that Time Man of The Year is just another media farce; it is designed mainly to promote a desperately failing Time Magazine. The whole selection process is a study in hubris; how a burnt out editorial staff in a declining news journal could provide serious judgements is a stroke of audacity that by all standards should fizzle faster than it is ignited.

FACE BOOK founder Mort Zukerman was anointed as TIME 2110 hero of the year, according to it, because he changed so many lives with his social net work. Zukerman is a creative, financial success who was clever enough to link technology with man's preening lust for vanity, self importance and social status, but by those standards so was 65 billion dollar swindler Bernie Madoff . TIME simply tried to hook itself to Zukerman's star to help itself soar from the depths of mediocrity

TIME mentioned also-rans in its contest: The Tea Party; Hamid Karzai: Julian Assange and the Chilean Miners. I am uncertain why these runners failed to cross TIME finish line or why most were even considered, but here is my take on them.

The Tea Party is just a rehash of the religious right who votes for Jesus, no taxes, no government, and permanent war rather than in the interests of the country. It now has a few more sensible libertarians in its ranks than in the GWBush era, but with weird sisters Palin, Angels, O'Donnell and Backmann in its vanguard ,it is doomed for quick flame out as the American people wake up to the fact that it is as as foolish Obama, , especially now as the ladies try to climb the flag pole higher.

Afghan leader Karzai is a bigger crook than Bernie Madoff; his stunning talent is that he overtly steals from under President Obama's and General Petraeus's noses and gets away with it...he could win the Thief-of-Year award hands down. Obama and Petraeus appear to ignor the thievery--after all it is the US tax payers' money not theirs. Petraeus may tell you that the key to his failing counter insurgency is population protection; it is not. Try bribery.

Chilean Miners are brave souls who withstood disaster with fortitude and courage --that they had no choice other than self-destructive panic. Forms of survival under adverse death-dealing circumstances are not uncommon, deserve recognition, but to be held in perspective.

About the only one in the TIME pack that has any world or global heft to pull his weight in whatever-man-of the year competition is WikiLeaks Julius Assange. His information leaked is sensational, has not been disputed, but the process certainly has. Assange, an Australian, is tangled up in some legal sexual issues in Sweden and is the target of a fuming US Government over his massive leaks of US national security information.

Assange's information over the year makes the US media total production look like a high school year book in comparison'.

The US Government is hinting to charge him with espionage, despite the fact he had no US security clearances; he is part of the public release of data involving US and world newspapers and journals. Should the USG proceed with espionage, the finding will involve a long court battle. The USG should also focus on the criminal negligence involved in the recent development of a STATE/DOD computer that was so easily hacked. Where was the USG supervision during the theft?

Extremism from the Right and Left has already joined the fray. Right wing wants him killed without due process. VEEP Biden has called him a technical terrorist.{IF YOU DO NOT KNOW WHAT THAT IS, ASK JOE}

The Left wing is making the issue a cause celebre. It has foolishly trotted out Pentagon Papers leaker Daniel Ellsburg who escaped espionage conviction, because Nixon Administration bungled the case. Ellsberg, now a fund raiser, believes leaking is good for the nation's soul. Progressive media hostess Amy Goodwin, DEMOCRACY NOW, has even linked the plight of Assange the tribulations of executed spies Julius and Ethel Rosenberg--with such pals Assange has increased his chances for a long sojourn in Guantanamo.

Unable to resist the temptation to nominate Shrapnel's loser of year, I hereby nominate PLAYBOY's own 85-year old Hugh Hefner on his third marriage, to a 24-year PLAYBOY bunny. Ask how he can keep it up, he replied "with God's little helper VIAGRA twice a week". Good bye 2010 and Hello 2011- Colonel Robert E Bartos USA Ret.


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