There is something about a tyrant or the smell of blood that brings out the whiskers.
Scoff if you like, but there isn’t anybody alive since 1940 who doesn’t know that ‘stache.
There is something about a tyrant or the smell of blood that brings out the whiskers.
Scoff if you like, but there isn’t anybody alive since 1940 who doesn’t know that ‘stache.
The Atlantic, the magazine that thinks well of itself, wants to create a new holiday, the old ones having grown stale.
With that in mind: We’re in search of a new holiday. And we’re hoping for your help in creating it. Maybe, for example, there should be, sometime in the dark days of winter, a National Stress-Bake Day. Or maybe February would be a little more festive were Galentine’s Day to be converted from a sitcomic treasure into a more broadly celebrated holiday. A beloved local tradition that deserves more widespread recognition? Weird Family Stories Day? Get Back in Touch Day? Resolution Revision Day? Turn Off the Internet Day?
They’re taking suggestions, which can be entered at this link. Here’s my entry (which I made using my real name and address, typos and all): The Feast of Baal.
All entries must be completed by today, the 11th, so hurry and get yours in.
How’d we do? Let me put it this way: the Magic 8 Ball is in no danger of losing its position as top soothsayer.
We were game, but overall there was a pervading sense of gloom, doom, pessimism. All entirely understandable. So unspecific were we, and inaccurate, that there is no award this year.
It wasn’t entirely bad. Here’s how it went. Oh, and be sure to enter your predictions for 2019!
Briggs blew it. China still hasn’t unleashed its dukes at any neighbors. Locked up and disappeared many Christians, Muslims, and “celebrities”, though.
I thought Bill Nye would announce his favorite non-procreative sexual-like activity. He didn’t.
I predicted SCOTUS would waffle on simulated marriage cakes. Didn’t quite happen, but then they didn’t really tackle any cases in that direction that could have led to them making a decision.
I thought gender dysphoria would go the way of homosexual and no longer be called an official mental malady. Didn’t quite happen. But I still predict it. What we did see was anybody who did science in this area head underground.
I projected Poland and Hungary would leave their cultural masters behind, as Britain attempted. Wrong. I also got Sweden wrong, but I less-than-half jokingly said they’d declare at least one area exclusively Islamic. They did retreat on Christian culture, though.
Lastly, some wishcasting on my part. I said Pope Francis would exit. He famously did not. Alas.
Sander van der Wal thought populism in the Netherlands would increase, and if I read the news right, this was true.
He foresaw correctly that Poland and Hungary would not bolt from the EU, but there were good noises coming from that direction.
McChuck made a bold prediction: ‘Several thousand more pedophiles will be arrested, but this year, it will finally get reported in the news.” True! Not national news, but many arrests were reported this year. The Twitter account @AnOpenSecret is doing an excellent documenting these. Follow them. Here is one headline among many, the world over: “Massive online pedophile ring busted by cops.” Do your own search for “pedophile gang arrested” for many more.
It was good he was wrong that the Republicans would lose the US Senate in the fall midterm elections. The House, yes. It’s not clear if he was right about the Navy implementing reforms, but 2nd fleet was resurrected this year.
And he scores a definite maybe for “The Secretary of Defense will note the wording of the idiotic and unlawful court orders regarding transgender troops, and will order the cancellation of the policies implemented by his predecessor without an executive order,” as summarized by this headline “Ban Was Lifted, but Transgender Recruits Still Can’t Join Up“. Fear and cowardice are the rule of the day for our leaders, who tremble when made to think about acknowledging Reality.
Larry Geiger scored the easiest hit saying “One of the most immutable forces on earth will continue entirely unabated. Human nature.”
Cees laid it out: “direct armed confrontation between Iran and Israel.” Not direct, but indirect. But there was this enticing (for war lovers) headline from just two weeks back: “Netanyahu says Israel would hit Iran to ensure its own survival.”
Jim Fedako thought a third of Trump’s cabinet would resign? Was it that many? Close, anyway. He was unfortunately wrong that “A hacker (individual or organization) will expose the details of the congressional slush fund to payoff assault victims, leading to at least ten resignations.”
He thought Bitcoin would fall below USD$100. Didn’t happen: it’s still some 40 times that. He also forecasted the “IRS will begin earnestly auditing bitcoin transactions.” This scores as a partial. The IRS is cracking down on Snapchat e-thots, though.
Jim said “2018 Academy award winner for male best actor will be caught up in a harassment scandal and be forced to return his Oscar.” What kind of scandal, Jim? Coming out as a faithful Christian?
Another Iran prediction, that the US would foment a revolution, didn’t happen. Not yet, anyway.
He nails a qualified hit with “The Church of England, followed by other European state churches, will declare the Bible no longer culturally or spiritually significant.” They haven’t said it out loud directly, but as regular readers of our weekly Doom series can attest, they regularly murmur it.
He said “Steelers will win the Super Bowl.” I did not watch even one game all year, so I don’t know.
His two parter: “Trump will start a trade war with China, impoverishing both countries in the name of MAGA.” The trade “war” is only in the skirmish stage, and the ongoing impoverishment caused by other factors.
His last was too easy: “Cultural nonsense will intensify at top-ranked universities.” Every single day.
Kent Clizbe starts with a softball: “The neocon conspirators in the US establishment will continue to instigate wars, large and small, for their foreign sponsor in the Middle East”. They lost Weekly Standard, so now they’re doing it at a slower rate.
He thought the establishment’s “The PC-Progressives/neocon ‘Russia collusion’ accusations will come back to bite them.” Not yet, or not fully. It’s true this was the dumbest conspiracy of the decade—even Bigfoot is easier to believe in—but the media can’t let go.
Kent thought the stock market would “crash”. Well, not exactly, no.
His biggest hit: “Trump will continue to talk tough on immigration, but the wall will not be built.” But then, many of us never really believed the wall would appear.
Another hit: “Fake ‘conservative’ media will continue to ignore the beheadings, rapes, murders, drug-running, and worse committed by Hispanic gangs in the USA…” Yep. Only racists like us notice these things.
One more easy one: “The long, slow slide into an ice age will continue. Global-warming scare-mongers will continue spouting off end-of-the-world nonsense…” They just will not give up, and are not trying gaslighting us over the pause, which they say should not now be believed. Science is politics.
A last, sort of non-prediction, but a truth anyway (a lesson we learned in part from Kent) “Some Christians will continue to obsess over Islam’s rise in Europe, while at the same time their own sects descend into perverse rejection of the tenets of their religion…”
Nate saw Korean War part 2. The opposite occurred. But he was right that ” Republicans keep the Senate, maybe even gain a seat or two.” He see-sawed back into error with “I’ll also go out on a limb and say that they keep the house as well.” Nope.
He predicted two famous deaths: George H.W. Bus and Sean Connery. Batting .500 in baseball would make you millions, Nate. But that’s before we consider your “S&P ends the year up 5% from the start of 2018”, which didn’t happen. What did happen was the unemployment rate dropped before 4%. The lowest was (I think) 3.7%.
Another Steelers prediction. And a Dodgers World Series guess. I don’t know either.
Shaun thought Maduro would be overthrown. Or maybe thrown out a helicopter, Shaun? Neither, unfortunately, happened. He said there would be two Supreme Court openings, neither of which would be filled. Uh-unh. And maybe the one that got filled shouldn’t have.
Shaun also foresaw the Fed cutting rates at least once. I don’t think they did, though they did raise them.
Ye Olde Scribe agreed with my Pope Francis exits. Well, wishcasting for both of us.
Plantagenet was right when he predicted the Trump administration would see plenty of comings and goings, and he was right about losing the House. He was very right that “The Anglican Church will drift closer to schism.” Their latest idea of blessing tranny conversions will only hasten this event.
He said “Theresa May survives until Brexit is finalized in 2019.” So far, so right; no small thing, either, as many keep predicting her demise.
In sports, he said “Marc Bergevin will be fired as Montreal Canadiens” general manager, and Tampa Bay wins the Stanley Cup, and New England wins superbowl, and Cleveland wins baseball’s best, and Russsia wins Olympic hockey gold, and Germany wins World Cup. I don’t know. I gave up on sportsball this year.
Two events that he predicted that didn’t happen but should have: (1) “Edward Feser and David Bentley Hart are on the same panel discussion somewhere and the police are called to separate them”, and (2) “Briggs is hired by Columbia University and asked to draft the ‘Safe Zone’ policy”.
Feser’s got the reach, but Hart has the weight. It would be a close match. But if Hart hit Feser with his thesaurus, it would be all over.
Yawrate thought the Patriots would win and the Fed would raise rates. The Fed did raise rates. The other one, I don’t know.
He also said “Briggs get sent for re-education to Brown U.” I didn’t, but I can feel the hot breath of my enemies on my neck.
Micheal Matt said the Vatican would green “gay unions.” That didn’t happen, but boy, did they come close. Many parishes had sodomy appreciation masses, or the equivalent.
Rexx Shelton thought wrongly that the Democrats would not take the House. He was right about Republicans picking up Senators, though. He said “The US GDP will be 4%+.” I believe this is correct, or was for certain quarters.
Like Kent, he was wrong about the wall funding. De nada.
He was right electric car sales would be slow, but way off on gas prices, which he thought would drop below $2.
He thought “Railguns and lasers weapons will become operational on Navy ships.” Yep, though still somewhat experimental.
In another possible wishcast (it was for me) he conjectured “Nationwide conceal carry reciprocal will become law.”
His crystal ball was working fine when he saw the SCOTUS pick and that Trump would avoid impeachment.
Rexx said coal would be up and out that door 50% more. I don’t think this happened, but I’m having trouble verifying this one. Anybody else have it?
“Global Warming will become a non-issue as it continues to get colder because of the dearth of sunspots.” Wrong, Rexx, dammit. Wrong.
John Moore said the US would strike North Korea preemptively. If you count the Trump missile, then yes; otherwise, no. He said “The market will suffer a major correction.” Well, yes and no: depends on major.
An easy one: “Some new PC sexual craziness will erupt with virtually no warning.” This happens daily, so no points.
HGS was gloomy about the economy overall, but, I believe, without warrant. He said “More Republicans continue to gather around the Trump agenda”. Well…no.
He had dark thoughts about the EU’s economy, too, but I think they’re up.
He got Brexit right: “GB leaves EU with deadlock in the negotiating process.” Just go already!
I was with him on this one: “China wins the ‘Bulling’ war in the South China Sea against small countries, but finds a comprise with Japan, which will be nuclear by year end. Trump intervenes and wins a diplomatic laurel.” Not quite, not publicly, but the region was not quiet.
“Egypt gets closer to Israel and Iran smashes their revolution”. Uhh…
He nailed an easy one: “Pope Francis goes totalitarian and fires all conservative high flyers.” Yes. He did. And continues to do so.
“The Anglican Church bans the Bible”, he guessed. Close, HGS, close.
Rhetocrates thought that ISIS would not be “eradicated nor is it pushed out of Iraq.” In a technical sense, we suppose this is true. Truer was his guess that “Iran and Iraq come to a back-door diplomatic agreement”. Thankfully this did not happen: “The US launches cruise missiles into some dump in the Middle East. Russia shoots them down semi-successfully as a demonstration of power.”
This didn’t either: “The Ukraine comes firmly under Russian control.” The State Department maybe.
Rhetocrates predicted a slow start for Trump, but that he’d gear up and end “culminating in some high-level rapid-fire hiring-and-firing.” Bye bye General Mattis.
He must have been in a gloomy mood when gazing at his chicken entrails. “There is a semi-successful bomb attack on either the White House or Congress.” Nope. “Duterte nearly dies due to mysterious circumstances”. Nuh-uh.
“Switzerland makes noises about leaving the Schengen Agreement.” I don’t think anybody heard Switzerland make any kind of noise.
I liked this one, failing though it did: “A small but serious right-wing coup fails in Japan.”
Erica was pessimistic about Bitcoin, too, citing a “crash.” Will big fall do? How about this one? “There will be another summer’s worth of riots in major US cities, touched off by Trump policy declarations.” Now that’s class-A pessimism.
She was right that Sweden would continue on its suicidal path. She also nailed the Republicans losing the House. But not so right, or not yet, with “The US government will be forced to address mounting debt by some major event”. She guessed the “sexual misconduct scandals” would fade and instead the opioid crisis would become prominent. Only half right.
In what must have been a partial joke, she said “At least 1 state will decriminalize consensual incest.” Don’t count this one out yet.
She also picked New England for the Superbowl.
Gary in Erko said that “A Christian baker, to demonstrate their lack of bigoted prejudice will offer free cakes for same sex marriage divorce celebrations.” I’m not sure if this happened. Sounds plausible, and maybe did but went unreported.
Gary was also gray about Sweden, thinking the military would have to calm one its Muslim no-go areas. What didn’t happen was “A Central European state (eg. Hungary or Czech Republic) will hold a Brexit type vote”.
This one needs interpreation: “Putin will join Trump in a campaign to reduce Iran’s influence.” Given Trump’s Syrian exit, we can call this a hit.
He lastly thought “Israel will annex parts of Judea & Samaria”. That I don’t think happened.
Phil nailed Italy’s “electoral upset”, the only one to have done so. His wisdom was in full display here, too: “The Irish repeal the 8th amendment and decriminalize abortion without fully understanding the ramifications of their vote.”
He can’t be said to have been right about Brexit turning boring. And we didn’t quite stop talking about Bitcoin. Also wrong: “London housing market melts down, possibly taking the British economy down with it.” He was right that Canadian pretty boy PM would lose popularity.
Bob Kurland went with the Eagles in the Superbowl.
GamecockJerry said Bitcoin over $20K (no), and Ethereum over $2k (also no). But wrong by an order of magnitude.
Another miss: “Bill Clinton beats HWB to the grave.” Perhaps a wishcast? Jerry was another Steelers fan.
A hit: “There will be a 10% correction from 2017 year end but no stock market crash.”
Uncle Mike gave more credence to swap draining than was warranted. He almost nailed to top of the Dow with a 27,000 pick (500 short of that). Hillary was not indicted, though.
“Dems will be crushed in the mid-term elections, but so will be the Republican incumbents”. The second part yes, the first part, no. Neither did California elect a Republican governor.
“The Wall will be built.” Not yet! And he guessed “ObamaCare will finally kick the bucket.” In a very big way, yes. But don’t count out the Swamp yet.
BrianH, certainly with a wistful tear in eye, wrote “California citizens will successfully petition a referendum to secede.” But that the petition would when non-citizens illegally voted no.
Glenn Dixon smacked this one: “North Korea will open border to South similar to Berlin wall except it will be limited at first, existing government will persist”. Glenn was bully on the economy, getting the numbers right, and sort of right about Iranian unrest.
He thought “Saudi Arabia will open borders to” tourism. Yep. Then “Palestine will be forced to sue for peace and will come to an agreement that will eventually be broken”. He also said this is continuous, which appears true.
He guessed some states like California would have crashing debt, but there were no defaults. He was wrong about the House, but right about the Senate.
DAV made one sober prediction, happily most true: Trump will not be impeached.”
As has been our tradition these many years, it’s time to register our predictions for the coming year. We look at how well we did last year tomorrow.
My attempts last year stank. But error does not slow me down. Here are my forecasts, numbered using numbers, and using numbers less than 6. I may add to these throughout the week as my intelligence and perspicacity grows.
Hurry! Hurry! Hurry! Enter your sagacious foresights now! Send this post to friends who are always bragging about how great they are at knowing what is to come. Time to put up or keep quiet.