2012: A year in review

As we start the New Year, it is important that we look back on the year of 2012 and examine the mistakes and the achievements made.  Whether the year was good or bad, it is irrational to say that 2012 was uneventful.

In 2012, we were forced to bid farewell to many beloved stars, including the first man to walk on the moon, Neil Armstrong and the first American woman to go into space, Sally Ride. We lost writers such as Ray Bradbury, Maeve Binchy, Maurice Sendak and Nora Ephron. We said farewell to musicians and singers who left an ineffaceable mark on the soundtrack of history, such as Whitney Houston, Davy Jones, Donna Summer, Etta James, Robin Gibb, Kitty Wells, Adam Yauch and Ravi Shankar. We also lost amazing actors such as Ernest Borgnine, Larry Hagman, Michael Clarke Duncan, Jack Klugman and Sherman Hemsley, as well as TV personalities Andy Griffith, Phyllis Diller, Dick Clark and Don Cornelius.  We lost a legendary journalist, Richard Ben Cramer, and the U.S. ambassador to Libya, John Christopher Stevens.

Syria began to burn down in flames as a full-scale game of King of the Hill began. Militants launched a large-scale attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya.  A rebellious Russian band was arrested for “hooliganism” after doing a guerilla performance at a Catholic church to show their dissatisfaction with Vladimir Putin and how the church supported him.

Palestine and Israel butted heads once again, showing the world that peace in the Middle East is a path fraught with bloodshed.  Barack Obama was re elected to a second term of Presidency, and the Democratic Party remained the majority in the Senate.  The London Olympics left the watching world speechless and satisfied, knowing that the greatest commercialized sporting event will roll along again in another four years.

In Aurora, Colorado, moviegoers were shot down; in Newtown, Connecticut it was children.  America witnessed the trillion dollar drug war implode, and the marijuana market subsequently explode.  Maine, Maryland and Washington became the first states to legalize same-sex marriage based on popular vote, indicating a strong change in general consensus.

The future of the Internet was debated, as the issue of piracy and the issue of privacy clashed.  Israel pushed America to launch a pre-emptive strike against Iran in a fear that they had nuclear weapons, and we refused said strike.  A hurricane devastated an entire region of the country, leaving hundreds dead, and thousands without power.

And at the end of the year, all eyes were on Congress and its partisan tug-of-war to help us avoid the “fiscal cliff.”  Congress responded by coming to a pseudo-decision to extend tax cuts for people with an income under $450,000.  It was a decision that appealed to both sides of the Political spectrum, yet it was only accomplished with Joe Biden, a former senator, stepping in to broker a deal between lawmakers.  However, the more alarming part of the fiscal cliff ordeal, sequestration, was simply kicked down the road to deal with later.

Time to move on to 2013…

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official position of the Parkway School District.