Foreign Policy: The Top Ten Stories You Missed in 2006 lists a lot of evidence that things are much worse than you know. Only two of the items are positive (#7: decreasing gender gap, and #6: secret talks between Israel and Iran). In the long term, the most dangerous to Americans may be
* The decision by petroleum producing nations to switch from the dollar to the euro. This is one more piece of evidence that the U.S. is losing its dominance as the world's leading economic power. For several years the EU has had a stronger currency and a larger market than the U.S. As we continue to lose our manufacturing sector, I expect the dominant economic power to be the EU.
* The domestic power grab by the Bush administration. In the 2006 Defense Authorization Act, the president was giving sweeping new powers to send in Federal troops for domestic reasons, thereby greatly increasing the possibility of martial law in the future. The article quotes Democratic Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont, one of the few to raise the issue in congress, saying that “Using the military for law enforcement goes against one of the founding tenets of our democracy.”
But don't feel bad that you never heard about these things - after all, there were those panty-less photos of Brittney Spears that needed news time...