Wednesday, December 23, 2015

2015 in Review - More Delusion and a Dose of Reality

Two Thousand and Fifteen has been an interesting year.

Internationally, we've seen a shattering of some myths - the most striking example being that terrorist incidents perpetrated by people shouting Allahu Akbar are 'nothing to do with Islam'. This has been asserted ad nauseum by so-called world leaders such as Obama, Cameron and Hollande after every attack by Islamic terrorists in recent years, including following the murders of those who worked for the French magazine, Charlie Hebdo, and the patrons of a Jewish supermarket in Paris. But by the end of the year the body count from the Islamic terrorist attacks at a Paris sports stadium, a concert venue and several caf├ęs was so large that these dishonest deflections were wearing a little thin even amongst those for whom 'diversity' triumphs any concept of objective morality. France's Socialist president, Francois Hollande, grew a backbone and launched airstrikes on ISIS strongholds in Syria, whereas Barack Obama did a Neville Chamberlain, achieving 'peace in our time' with the evil Islamic regime in Iran.

The only world leader who consistently showed backbone was Vladimir Putin, shrugging off criticism of his support for Ukrainian separatists to take charge in Syria by supporting President al-Assad's fight against ISIS. A bomb that brought down a Russian airliner was ISIS's retaliation and Turkey and Russia nearly came to serious blows after Turkey shot down a Russian fighter jet in November.

Socialism seemed to be on the rise again around the world. The Greeks voted in a Socialist government led by Alexis Tsipras and subsequently voted 'no' in a referendum on whether they should pay back their debts. Reality dawned later in the year when Tsipras went to the polls again to gain a mandate for his newly-negotiated debt repayment plan. 

Meanwhile in Britain, Jeremy Corbyn, the Marxist MP who had never held any office in his party, was elected leader of the UK Labour Party, and in the United States, the only credible alternative candidate to Hillary Clinton for the Democratic Party nomination for the 2016 US presidential race is the former Socialist Party stalwart, Bernie Sanders. The Australian Liberal Government defenestrated Tony Abbott in favour of the oleaginous Malcolm Turnball and Canadian voters followed suit by ousting their sound but uncharismatic prime minister Stephen Harper in favour of the impeccably bien-pensant Justin Trudeau and his left-wing Liberals.  On the other hand, the awful Chauvistas of Venezuela and Kirchner of Argentina were defeated.

Scientifically, we saw some significant advances including liquid water found on Mars and the fly past of Pluto by the New Horizons spacecraft with its stunning images of that most remote world. There were signs of yet another mysterious particle from the Large Hadron Collider and the human epigenome (the molecular switches that can turn on or off individual genes in DNA) was mapped. But we also saw the triumph of pseudo-science in the signing of a global agreement to limit global temperatures to 2℃. Two hundred King Canutes and tens of thousands of their fellow travellers flew into shell-shocked Paris to delude themselves into thinking they can control the the world's climate. Good luck with that, fools!

I don't follow New Zealand news very much because most of it is of the 'village pump' variety - quaint and unimportant - but the biggest stories here were the Rugby World Cup win by the All Blacks and John Key's quixotic referendum to change the flag. More important in terms of New Zealand's future was our signing of the TPP free trade agreement involving 12 countries including the United States. 

In the blogosphere, while I wasn't personally as regular with my posts as I would have liked to have been, my favourite bloggers were as prolific as usual. I particularly enjoyed Lindsay MitchellPeter CresswellMark Steyn, James Delingpole and Thomas Sowell this year. I was sad to see Mark Hubbard signing off this week - I trust this does not mean he has surrendered to the forces of darkness in the Fortress of Legislation. To all of you on the rational side of the debate, keep up the good work.

All that remains is to thank those who read my occasional posts, the few who commented, and those generous folk that linked to me from their blogs. Merry Christmas (in the most secular sense of that phrase) and a very prosperous 2016 to you!

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