Aardvark Daily

New Zealand's longest-running online daily news and commentary publication, now in its 25th year. The opinion pieces presented here are not purported to be fact but reasonable effort is made to ensure accuracy.

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Some final thoughts for 2012

21 December 2012

Ah here we go, another year done and dusted.

Here at Aardvark, 2012 started out with a hint of rebellion -- and that's the way the year continued, at least for me.

I've never been one to yield gracefully to the self-serving push of bureaucrats and those who would exercise power unfairly or for selfish ends -- and that became obvious a little later in the year when the grumpy old men (GOM) had a go.

It has been a year of battles for the old sheila and I. We've battled with ACC (and eventually prevaile) albeit producing a somewhat hollow victory, since it is now far too late to get her the treatment that might have made such a difference if delivered within 12 months of her accident.

I've battled armies of GOM and learned an awful lot about people in the process.

Some folk, who I thought I could rely on and who I've worked very hard to help for many years, have disappointed me immensely, others (most of who I've never met) have been unbelievably great and shown a commitment that is very humbling.

I've been surprised as hell to discover how petty and childish the GOM can be in their attempts to achieve their goals, and how mean and vindictive they become when thwarted in such activities.

Fortunately, throughout all this, there has been the internet and the massive communities it has made possible.

Whether researching information to support our claim with ACC or acting as a vehicle for delivering information and inspiration to others, this has surely been the year that I have found the Net to be a most excellent tool and it is now very difficult to imagine life without it.

Fortunately, attempts by governments to reign in the power of the Net have largely been ineffective. Even the "three strikes/SkyNet" legislation here in NZ seems to have fallen at the final hurdle, with no prosecutions yet being brought against those who have used up all their chances.

SOPA is pretty much a dead duck but the TPP remains a worrying possibility. We've already seen that governments are more than happy to sell the rights of citizens down the river if they think they'll be able to claim some kind of victory for the economic future of the nation. They forget that a nation is more than a balance sheet, more than a ledger of money in versus money out. They need to remember that we are a sovereign nation and that's something which needs protecting, not trading away for a few promises of trade access.

I'd like to give a special "Merry Christmas" shout-out to Kim Dotcom. Although I've never met him and don't watch TV so have seen very little of him, I do think he's gotten a very raw deal this year. Shame on those who (like the GOM) will stop at nothing (including breaking the law) to achieve their shady ends. Let's hope that those who would corrupt our principles to serve a foreign master will wake up to their folly eventually.

Most of all, it's been an other year of Aardvark Daily. I'd like to give a *huge* thanks to all the regular readers and also the much smaller numbers who take the time to do battle with the forum software and leave their comments.

The Aardvark community is not a big one (by today's standards) but it is one of incredible diversity and intelligence. While so many other online forums are beset with trolling, bickering, arguments, insult-slinging, etc., the lack of such things on the Aardvark forums is a sure sign that those who engage each other here are definitely "a cut above" the average. I love it when very clever people debate very important issues in a reasoned, rational, courteous and respectful manner.

Parliament could learn a thing or two from the crowd that frequents Aardvark Daily!

This is my final column for the year -- I've got a tonne of stuff to finish before 2013 rolls around and I'm looking forward to taking Christmas Day off. All I have to do now is re-introduce myself to the Old Sheila, who sees me around the house but doesn't always get the attention she deserves from me.

A very Merry Christmas to you all!

Oh, and if you can't read this -- it's probably because the Mayans were right and the world has already ended :-)

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