Here are several things I learned this year.
Identity politics determined the election. Pres. Barack Obama was re-elected by a coalition of non-whites, non-Christians, and unmarrieds. What they had in common was a celebration of the decline of WASPs and traditional American values. Hardly any of those voters can explain what good came from ObamaCare or the Afghan war or all the bailouts or any other Obama policy.
No presumption of innocence. Jerry Sandusky was convicted based entirely on recovered memories of people who are suing Penn State for millions of dollars. There was no hard evidence or contemporaneous complaint. I never heard anyone even consider the possibility that the accusers could be lying. Likewise, George Zimmermann and Lance Armstrong have been railroaded on accusations that would never hold up in a fair court. I said I learned this in 2011, but the 2012 examples are more extreme.
Decline of marriage and family. Marriage has been declining for a long time, but three stories convinced me that it has reached a tipping point. One was the year-long attempt by San Francisco officials to bust up Sheriff Mirkarimi’s marriage, even tho there was no harm or complaint. Second was a California law to give family court judges the discretion to name three or more legal parents, based on the so-called best interest of the child. While the governor did veto the law, no one pointed out how damaging such a law is, and a couple of other states adopted similar laws without much controversy. The law will be back. Third, the courts ruled that it is unconstitutional for California voters to give same-sex couples all the privileges of marriage without calling it marriage. While the case is under US Supreme Court review, public opinion has shifted, and it is no longer a case of LGBT rights. Marriage and family as we know them must be destroyed.
Corruption of the hard sciences. The soft sciences have been corrupt for a long time, but now physics, the greatest of the hard sciences, is also. The story is too long to describe here, and I explain on the Dark Buzz blog. The big physics story of the year was the discovery of the Higgs boson, and the big non-story was the failure to find supersymmetry, strings, extra dimensions, parallel universes, entropic gravity, black hole firewalls, or any of the other wild concepts being promoted by today's theoretical physicists.
Scientists confused about free will. Neuroscientists, evolutionists, atheists, and others are frequently telling us that experiments prove that we have no free will. Furthermore, they say that their view is a consequence of their materialist world view that all scientists must have. The argument is fallacious. I agree with John Horgan who has resolved to believe in free will.
Hostility towards group evolution. The case can be made that group selection has allowed the social animals (ants, termites, bees, and humans) to conquer the Earth, as argued by E.O. Wilson. And yet mainstream evolutionists adamantly deny that there is any such thing. A big cause of this hostility is the example of Judaism being viewed as a group evolutionary strategy. On that subject I learned that Jews are vastly overrepresented at elite universities, with quotas being used against white Christians and Orientals.
Nuclear power is safe. The final reports are in on the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster, and it was a worst-case scenario. It had the most unsafe plants, the worst earthquake, and the worst tsunami. Many thousands were killed, but none from the nukes. Most leftist environmentalists tend to be alarmists about global warming and also strongly opposed to nuclear power. But nuclear power is the only large-scale carbon-free source of energy.
Left-right political divide. People have political differences for many reasons, but it was recently demonstrated that liberals do not understand conservatives. That is why conservatives are able to address what liberals have to say, but liberals usually completely miss the point. Also I learned about the origin of the nuclear family in NW Europe, the American nuclear family and how that shapes political opinions.
Update: There is some research saying that people who believe in free will do a better job of keeping their new year's resolutions. Eg, see here.