Dec 30, 2009

Voting for Person of the Decade

Haaretz is running a contest (with a prize!) asking you to vote for who you think the most influential person of the decade has been. They offer a large selection of public figures, and ask you to choose 5.

I don't understand why some of them are included in the list - a basketball player, for example. It was great that he made it to the NBA this year, but what does that have to do with being influential, let alone influential throughout the decade? there were also some other choices just as questionable for their inclusion...

The vote is for most influential people. Not most positive, most popular, etc.

Anyway, here are the 5 people I selected, and why I chose them:
  1. Ahmadinejad - he has held the headlines now for 5 years running, with his nuclear project, and the post-election recent turmoil.
  2. Ariel Sharon - despite his 4 years of coma, the first half of the decade was commanded mostly by Sharon. Taking the premiership, the disengagement, his leadership, his revamping his image, etc. His influence and his actions have extended well to the end of the decade despite his having been in a coma the past 4 years.
  3. Jon Stewart - the funny man probably shouldn't be in the list, but he has gone from being simply a comedian with a fake news show to being an extremely influential anchor. He hosts and interviews world leaders and puts their opinions to the test.
  4. Stanley Fischer - he has calmly navigated Israel through one of the worst global depressions ever, and has successfully minimized the depressions effects on Israel's economy.
  5. Bernie Madoff - A choice I was unsure of, but chose him over Nasrallah. His Ponzi scheme scandal and 150 year conviction have had and will continue to have ramifications and influence on the financial markets for a long time.
Those are my choices. Go check out the Haaretz site and submit your choices... Just don't take my prize.


  1. I agreed with you on Ahmadinajad and Fischer (and Kasspi). But not the others.

    How could you have kept Bin Laden off your list? Every move that's been made in the global security world has been with an eye towards him (or not, since they don't know where he is) since 9/11/01. I also chose Bush, and yes, Nasrallah.

  2. I considered Bin laden, but I didnt want to vote for so many terrorists. And I almost voted for Nasrallah, so that would have been 3 out of 5. And if Osama is in, Saddam also would have deserved it. I made do with Ahmadinejad for all of them.

    I considered Bush, but I dont think he was so influential. He would qualify just by being president of the US, but he was not a particularly dominant leader.

    My choices were clearly centered around the influence surrounding Israel and less on the global level. Otherwise some of those other terrorists and arab leaders would have also made the cut.

  3. My vote is for Dick Cheney. He defined Am.'s foreign policy for a decade; he orchestrated the stealing of an election thru his protege and staff after stacking the Sup. Ct. He remained throughout and to this day, tough, no holds barred, true to his philosophy to the point of stone cold. Yet he loves his gay daughter and respects her. He has kept the Rep party alive and threatening to win the House in the next election thru by keeping his hands around the necks of Rep policymakers and spokepeople. Tho he lined the pockets of his friends and former co-workers thru companies getting no-bid contracts in Iraq and Afg. he has managed to stay above the scandals. He's a one man Spike Jones!

  4. I can remember exactly where I was when this awful decade came into being. Believe it or not, when I rang in the new year on January 1, 2000, not only was I stone-cold sober - I was at church! My then-girlfriend and I attended a special midnight mass at the local Catholic church to welcome in, not only a new decade, but a new century and a new millennium. I remember feeling filled with optimism. By entering this new era, I felt, we could wipe the slate clean. Maybe this would be a new age of peace, love, brother and sisterhood. EVERYBODY SING!

    This is the dawning of the age of Aquarius!
    Age of Aquarius!

    How utterly naive on my part, huh? By year's end, all of that hope was out the window and into the toilet. In December of 2000, an ideologically perverted Supreme Court would assist in a stolen election by stopping the vote count in the state of Florida, installing a corrupt little frat boy with the I.Q. of a half-eaten box of Milk Duds as president of the United States. It was all downhill from that moment on. From the birth of "Reality Television" to the worst attack on American soil since the Civil War, it was quite a strange ten years to say the least. Thankfully this awful decade is a mere three days away from being forever consigned to history's scrap heap. Hallelujah.

    Tom Degan


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