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It's Your Super Duper Mega-Nice 2016 Ultimate Nice Time Compendium!
In which we love and tolerate the SHIT outta 2016
We can all list the many, many things that sucked about 2016. We have spent much of our Wonkette Year In Review Spectacular whistling past them. So here is your ultimate smile-time feel-good (or mostly good) collection of the finest Nice Time Stories of this annus horribilis (Latin for "horrible ass-end of a year"), just to remind you that there really are some silver linings out there -- and some of them are even largely cloud-free. May 2017 bring us a higher proportion of these!
Now, this being Wonkette, the definition of "nice" may sometimes be a tad mixed, sometimes because the good stuff comes in the aftermath of some horror, like the announcement by Orlando area hospitals that they would waive medical bills for victims and survivors of the Pulse nightclub massacre. We need our affirmations of normality and decency in the face of tragedy, because they remind us of Mr. Rogers' wisdom to always look for the helpers. His advice was for parents explaining tragedies to children, but it applies to adults, too. Orlando needed a lot of helpers, and yes, the helpers were there. Including, of course, Imam Azhar Subedar, whose reaction to the shootings was to remind us what America is about:
‘Cause I said this before and I’ll say it again to you all, the only thing the world envies America … they don’t envy us for our technology, iPhone is made in China. They don’t envy us for our roads. There are roads in Europe and South America that are better than our roads. They don’t envy us for our water system . I’m not even gonna GO there. [...]
You know what they envy us for? That we’re so different. We’re so diverse. We have so much baggage of our own individual self, but we live together. We go to school together. We live in neighborhoods with each other. We go to the same grocery stores, we eat at the same restaurants, and yes, times like this we can come together.
This is what they envy! This is what they can’t fathom. How can humanity that’s so different be so united? That’s why we are the United States of America. We are the united humans of America and we want to be the united humans of the world.
To which we say a big secular "Amen."
A few other Nice Time silver linings that had hella big clouds to shine out from:
The Feds finally desegregated schools in a Mississippi town that had been fighting real desegregation for decades.
Ellen DeGeneres told Mississippi exactly where it could put its anti-gay law.
Homelessness sucks, but the city of Aurora, Colorado, voted to take $1.5 million in tax revenue from the sale of legalized pot to help the city's homeless.
Barack Obama increased his own record number of commutations of sentences for nonviolent federal prisoners convicted under old drug laws that had mush harsher minimum sentences than those convicts would face if convicted since sentencing reforms. A mixed blessing, since there are still far too many people in prison under those old laws.
Electoral Nice Time, Hillary Clinton Edition
Hillary Clinton is a genuinely good person, and if you need evidence, look not only at that photo from a couple years back (we firmly believe that while bad people can fool little girls, they cannot make them beam like that ), but also at these Wonket stories: Hillary Clinton wrote an excellent letter to a young woman who'd written about the need to destigmatize sexually transmitted infections, and when she was herself but a young lass, Hillary Clinton punched a mean old boy right in the nose for failing to protect a nest of baby bunnies.
Electoral Nice Time, Everyone Edition
Not enough Americans vote. Too many Americans voted badly this year. Too many places make it hard for too many Americans to vote at all. But you know what? Americans nonetheless get pretty damned excited about voting, and that's an unalloyed Good Thing.
Barack Obama Made Some Monumental Decisions
Barack Sexxytime Nature and History Lover Obama protected America's historical and natural heritage this year, designating the Stonewall Inn a national monument, proclaiming it the gay Mount Rushmore -- without even stealing any Indian land to do so. (OK, fine, there's the whole thing with Manhattan and the $24 in beads, but that was farther back than the big presidential heads). And speaking of Native People, just this week Obama did it again, protecting sacred, historical, archaeological, and just plain beautiful sites by designating two new national monuments in Nevada and Utah. Friends of the extraction industries howled, but did so in corporate and legislative offices. Out in the wild, it was a great opportunity to Enjoy the Silence.
In Spite Of Everything, People Insisted On Being Good At Heart
Anti-refugee hatred is entirely too common, and now it'll be official U.S. policy under the New Cruelty. But plenty of Americans insisted on bucking the trend:
There was the Maryland Jewish congregation who sponsored a Syrian refugee family -- and in the same post, we also looked at the letter sent to President Obama by six-year-old Alex from New York, who asked if his family could adopt Omran Daqneesh, the little boy dug out of the rubble of his home in Aleppo (fortunately, Omran is not an orphan -- his parents survived the bombing, although his older brother did not).
So say we all.
In Tucson, Arizona, a bake sale by Syrian refugee women was too blasted successful -- it sold out in an hour. So the pro-refugee group that sponsored the bake sale went and held a second one a week later, with an even bigger turnout.
And in Boise, yes, the one in Idaho, a gay Syrian refugee named Shadi Ismail couldn't believe how lucky he was to find a home in a smallish city where he also found love and a new family of choice. You may want to have a hanky ready while you reread this one. We misted up just typing this two-sentence summary.
We're not crying, YOU'RE crying.
Civil Rights Hero John Lewis Crowd Surfing. That is All.
John Lewis went on the Stephen Colbert Show. And he crowd-surfed.
He also received a National Book Award for the third and final volume of his epic graphic memoir, March. If you haven't read March, you need to, and that linky there gives Yr Wonkette a nice kickback. In fact, Yr Dok Zoom has only read the first two volumes, so we believe we'll treat ourselves to the set as a late year-end bonus.
Share YOUR happy news in the comments, which, as an extra-nice service to our readers, we don't allow.