Map of life expectancy at birth from Global Education Project.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Prediction for 2008: Excrement to hit ventilator

The frog boiling thing turns out to be a myth. As the temperature rises, the frog feels it and pretty quickly tries to escape. But apparently it's possible to slowly raise the temperature on the Murkan People and it takes them a long time to recognize that they are getting poached.

They're going to figure it out pretty soon. Jean Dixon is never accountable for her predictions but I will be. We'll check back this time next year and see how I did.

1) There will be a nasty recession. One way you can tell is that most of the financial commentators are busy telling us that there won't be, in spite of everything -- hundreds of billions of dollars evaporating in the mortgage mess, home values tanking, consumers tapped out to the max with no place left to borrow more, oil prices still high (and see below), food prices screaming upward, foreign investors getting wary of U.S. bonds and equities. And more. Big ouch. Unemployment. Personal bankruptcy. As a consequence . . .

2) State and local governments are really going to hurt. They are already facing serious backlogs in infrastructure maintenance and unfunded pension liabilities. In other words they have major structural deficits that they have swept under the rug. When tax revenues shrink, it's going to get ugly.

3) Iraq will turn out to be a bigger disaster than you think it is already. The recent lull in violence is not nearly what it has been made out to be by the corporate media. Check Iraq Today if you don't believe me. For example, there was a very successful attack on U.S. and Iraq security forces today that killed one U.S. soldier and injured a dozen or so, and killed a bunch of Iraqis. So far, none of the major U.S. networks -- CNN etc. -- are even mentioning it. That's what they do. They don't report the violence in order to wish it away, because that's the CentCom line right now. But with the political situation going backwards -- what reduction in violence has been achieved comes from balkanizing the country so that the central government is increasingly irrelevant -- the instability will just increase.

4) CentCom already admits that Afghanistan is heading downhill and has begged NATO for more help. They aren't going to get it.

5) Oil prices will be higher one year from now than they are today, in spite of the recession. (That's a tough call, by the way. I'm out on a limb on this one.)

6) Climate-related catastrophes will continue to increase. Keep an eye on the drought in the southeast, among other problems.

7) The Democrats in Congress will cave in every time the Occupant threatens to call them names.

8) The New England Patriots will win the Super Bowl. (That's the easy one.)

There's a lot of other stuff that might happen, but these are the ones I'm going to predict. Uh oh.

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