With the coming end to the year, I think we must look back at what happened to know where we need to go next year. It was a mixed year, with both high and low points. There were many events, both around the world and here locally. Many things happened this year that we will have to handle next year. We’ll have our hands full.

On the economic front, over the last year, the administration has often released figures that show improvement. The unemployment rate has gone down, they claim. The way they get those numbers is by designating more Americans as being “out of the workforce”, therefore not included in the calculations. According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, we started the year with a 6.6 unemployment rate and ended 2014 with a 5.8, while increasing the number of Americans out of the workforce by well over 1,000,000. Over the course of 2014, the National Debt went from $16.8T to $18.0T, an increase of $1,200,000,000,000. Of course, that’s rounded DOWN to the nearest 100 billion. This means each taxpayer’s share of the debt is now $153,724. Wall Street, however, has done great over the last 12 months, mostly due to the Federal Reserve’s continuation of their pumping manufactured dollars into the stock market. Every time they hint at stopping the Quantitative Easing, the market whines and cries, much like the spoiled baby used to getting what it wants. The Fed says they’ll do it later and the market increases again. This year, the Dow reached record highs over 50 times, breaking the preceding record set in 1929 of 49 record highs. Need I remind everyone that there were NO record highs after 28 October, 1929. For those younger that 35, google that date.

On the positive economic side, gas prices have gone down. Keystone XL is still being held up by this administration, but between fracking and oil production in North Dakota, Oklahoma and Texas, the United States has taken its place as a major oil producer. All of this is on private land, as the government won’t allow any of its lands to be used for this purpose. When you add in OPEC’s attempt at forcing Russia out of the oil business, our gas prices are down. It’s been quite a while since gas prices were around $2/gallon and this has eased pressure on consumers’ wallets substantially.

Did I mention something about government land? Well, it was discovered in April that the Bureau of Land Management was attempting a land grab out west of around 10 million acres. When the government grabs land, that also includes the water rights, thus making it difficult to ranch or farm. California was under a severe drought, made worse by the government’s refusal to release “their” water for use. And, then, Utah had water problems with the NSA facility, which came on line, requiring so much water. April was also the month that the BLM tried to evict Cliven Bundy from his ranch in a dispute that has lasted 20 years or more. When huge groups of people showed up to stop the massively armed federal agents, they backed down. Somewhat. Later in the year, millions of acres were added to the National Park system.

There was a  lot of turmoil around the world in 2014. The Ukraine was interested in joining the European Union and this concerned Russia. Russia decided to handle things by invading Crimea, on the pretext that the Black Sea Fleet was based there and there were a large number of Pro-Russian Ukrainians living there needing protection. What followed was US foreign policy best compared to the submission of Neville Chamberlain’s talks with Adolph Hitler. Russia claimed Crimea basically uncontested, then went on the invade eastern Ukraine under the same pretext. Putin’s land grab was met with sanctions from the EU and the US, mostly laughed at by the top Russians. John Kerry got the opportunity to look tough, which I laugh at!

In the Middle East, we first saw the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), a group which has been around for four years and our intelligence service had been following for two years, but Barack Obama discovered in April of 2014 when he read about them in a newspaper somewhere. They took  a lot of Iraqi land after this administration abandoned the Iraqi military and people. Obama left the country unprotected so he could use it as a campaign slogan for his re-election in 2012. In April, through present, ISIS slaughtered people and beheaded many. Obama noticed only after two journalists were beheaded. Then, he launched strikes laying down huge amounts of munitions, destroying a truck or two, a few ISIS terrorists and some goats. Well, there might have been a bit more damage than that. The Kurds wanted to fight ISIS, but didn’t have much in weaponry. We offered them weapons, but only through the Iraqi military. Big surprise that the Kurds never got the weapons. The Iraqis needed the weapons to replace the guns and vehicles they surrendered to ISIS as they broke and ran.

Meanwhile, in July, Hamas of Gaza brutally killed four Israeli teens, then started launching rockets into Israel. Israel launched an offensive against Hamas, using airstrikes against Hamas locations. Hamas, being Hamas, did what they usually do, and went to ground, hiding behind the Gazan citizens. The media, the UN and this administration blamed Israel for the deaths that resulted, while saying they have a right to defend themselves. The UN proved its duplicity as rockets were discovered in a UN run school. Twice! In the same school! After 50 days, there was a ceasefire that will probably last until the destroyed tunnels are rebuilt and more rockets are brought in.

In America, we faced Ebola and won, an assault on the border which continues, and protests marginally about race are pushed by the Profiteers of Racism. It was an election year and Republicans increased their lead in the House, took control of the Senate and even won the Governorships in Illinois, Massachusetts and Maryland. Even before the elections, there was talk of who would run in 2016. After the election, the GOP continued acting as if they were in a minority and voted for an omnibus bill that funds Obamacare and Obama’s executive actions on amnesty.Veterans were put on waiting lists for care at the VA and one VA hospital’s lack of care resulted in the deaths of 40 veterans. Very little accountability has taken place, but, of course, that’s the Big Government way.

So, that’s what happened in 2014. There’s a lot to pay attention to in the coming year. Hopefully, our elected officials will do something that helps Americans regain the American Dream this administration is trying to destroy! Hopefully, but I doubt it.

 

Erich Dunkelberger

Marjarhead1.com