We know that the world we live in isn’t perfect, but it seems that 2011 has had more than its’ fair share of bad news around the world.  There has been so much unrest in parts of the world because people had been persecuted for years; thanks to the internet, Facebook, and Twitter, they were able to bring attention to their dilemma to the rest of the world, which brought about much change. 

“Protests” seemed to be a popular word in 2011, and almost everyone was protesting something.  In the Middle East, there were revolutions against leaders, which resulted in the resignation of Hosni Mubarak in Egypt.  Other leaders were either killed or ousted by those who had been oppressed by their governments for years.  The Arab Spring wave of popular uprisings in the Middle East also caused Moammar Gadhafi, brutal leader of Libya, to meet his demise.  Citizens of these countries hope to see an establishment of greater democracy. The United States Navy Seals were successful in taking out Osama bin Laden, who had boasted that he masterminded the destruction of the World Trade Center September 11, 2001.  The new World Trade Center Memorial opened in September, to honor thousands who lost their lives that tragic day, and reports are that more than 10,000 people visit the memorial daily.

Natural disasters also prevailed throughout the world.  Tornadoes happening at unusual seasons of the year, volcanic eruptions, and devastation brought about either by too much water, (flooding), or not nearly enough (drought).  Along with the drought came horrific wildfires, costing the lives and property of countless citizens and wildlife.  

In Japan, a 9.0 earthquake, resulted in a tsunami, killing 15,843 persons.  Their nuclear plants were badly damaged, which caused fallout of a different type, in addition to the destruction of homes and businesses.  Turf battles still go on in Mexico, with the powerful cartels shipping drugs to the United States.  Many innocent Mexican citizens and Americans have lost their lives to these cartels.    North Korea lost their leader, Kim Jong-il just recently; his third son, Kim Jong-un will replace him.  South Korea and the world are anxious to see how the new North Korean leader will act toward South Korea. 

On our home front, there was the Casey Anthony trial, which kept persons tuned to their televisions to listen to the allegations made that she took the life of her beautiful daughter, Caylee, age 2.  Anthony was found not guilty; however, many felt that justice was not served for the child.  Recently, the Penn State scandal brought to the forefront the abuse that young boys suffer at the hands of someone they trust, such as a coach.  That accused coach is Jerry Sandusky.   He has not come to trial yet, but hopefully justice will be served for the many young men that allege they suffered assault by him. 

In Tuscon, Arizona, we learned that our representatives in Congress may not even be safe in their own backyard, so to speak.  U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords was shot at a “Congress on the Corner” meeting in front of a grocery store.  The perpetrator was a mentally unstable young man.   Six people died and fourteen others were wounded.  Representative Giffords is making a remarkable recovery, but still has a long way to go.  It is hoped by all that she can return to Congress. 

Good news for the U.S. and allies this month was that the Iraq war was officially over, and troops got to come home!  We honor our faithful men and women who served in Iraq and continue to do so in other countries, fighting for freedom from oppression of their citizens.  

Of course, the economy was one of the biggest stories of the year.  This included many countries, not just the United States.  One thing for sure:  we need to get back to the basics of balancing our budgets, and operating openly and honestly.  People need to trust financial institutions, and political leaders.  This will be a big year of campaigning for the U.S. Presidency and other offices; most of us are prepared to hear the things we want to believe will be done.  Sadly, that’s usually not the way it turns out.  Our representatives and President are there to serve the citizens of our country and do what is best for the country.  It is sad that it takes millions of dollars of campaign money to get a job.  There should be a limit to what is spent on campaigns, so the battlefield is even.   It seems obscene that so many people can’t find a job – any job, during this time of their lives,  yet all that money is being spent to become their leaders. 

There are so many persons who try to keep us safer, that we owe a debt of gratitude, such as firemen, law enforcement, rescuers and first responders, physicians, nurses, and healthcare providers.  Let’s hope that 2012 will bring a more peaceful world.  Maybe there won’t be as much “bad” news, but instead, some “good” news.  Somehow, the good news makes the back page.  Let’s all try to change that by being good citizens and helping others to focus on the positive.

 Please drive safely this New Year’s week-end and celebrate the end of 2011.  It is the wish of Blog4Safety and parent company, Texas America Safety Company that you will have good health, a job, peace, prosperity, and happiness in 2012.