Yeah, yeah…so I know that we are already nearing the end of the first quarter of 2009. I am very late with my predictions this year. Better late than never, right? Well, frankly I have just been really busy with all of the stuff I’ve got to do, and this just fell to the back burner. Having said that, I don’t actually usually do these until the end of January to mid-February. I promise not to evaluate myself positively at the end of the year based on anything that has already happened as of this writing. Well, here goes.
As always, this is not prophecy. This is not really “predicting.” This is just about analyzing trends and gut hunches.
1. 2009 is going to be a difficult year.
I just have a hard time predicting a bad year. Some bad stuff is going to happen, though. I know that isn’t very concrete. But I will say that at the end of this year, many people are going to say, “Whew, we are glad 2009 is done!”
I also do not want to predict terrorism (my 2001 episode outstanding). However, this year looks ripe for it in the US. All of the green light signals for jihadists are there. First, there is a new president. They want to test him, remind us that a change in presidents won’t make us safe, and they feel that he is weak on terror. Second, because there is a new president, it could mean a changing of the guard, if you will. Just like the prisoners in the jailbreak movies always wait until the time when the guards change to make their move, this could work the same way, at least in theory. Thirdly, there is instability all over the world this year. They feed on this kinda stuff. It is like pouring sugar in the petri dish. Of course, I hope and pray that America stays safe. I don’t want terrorism. This has all gotten more difficult to understand since 9-11. You don’t hear the traditional reports of chatter like you used to. The reasons for this are more for Stratfor than me. But I find it interesting.
I usually don’t give my reasons for the predictions. I just find terrorism such a dark and emotional subject. When it might happen, I have no idea, but I would guess late Summer to early Fall. This could be a year that sees terror methods we haven’t seen before, too.
I see China and Russia working together in new ways this year. Much of this won’t be too overt, but I think it will happen. Just look for them standing together on global issues.
4. Domestic issues
I think crime will be out of control this year, and probably for the next 2-3 years to come. All of the signs are there. I think some of it will be things you didn’t expect. Kidnappings, for instance might be a high profile thing this year. Much of the crime stats won’t actually appear this year, so this year might not show this happening in the news.
I am not going to guess about the stock market and economy. It could go two ways, as I see it: 1- the economy could heal, or at least slowly fester 2- things could go from bad to really really bad. Now that doesn’t seem like much of a prediction. But I think if things get worse, they could go really downhill and fast. Things could happen domestically, and in our Union, that we never could have thought would happen in 2008. I don’t know if they will. I hope for option 1.
Wide spread demonstrating, and possibly rioting in several major European countries. I would guess summer—maybe early summer. I don’t think that the countries of Europe will do anything drastic regarding this. This year would be a good one for the EU to lay low. I don’t know if it will. Europe doesn’t like to feel unimportant in world affairs, despite their having been so for the last 50 years
6. Cental/South America
Growing Socialist states. I’m not talking just our friend Chavez. I think old Central American countries will see resurgences. South America will be a growing hotbed of news.
Russia and Turkey are on the rise. Turkey? Yeah, I know. But it is/will be happening. This will lead to conflict. Will it happen this year? I don’t know. I do think that there will be major news in that region. The question is really if Turkey will play its cards much now, or maybe wait until the time is better. Largely this will seem to depend on the United States and Nato. The continuing questions in Eastern Europe, forgotten South West Asia (the countries that end in -stan mostly), and Russian Asia will loom even larger than last year.
8. Celebrity Death Watch
I don’t usually do this, it is too random and seemingly wrong: but I have had a growing guess that a has-been celebrity with the last name starting with “O” is going to pass this year. It will only make major news on the Hollywood gossip shows.
9. The Stock Market
The stock market will reach 5,000 at some point before the end of the year.
October 1st will be declared a national holiday, during which all people will be required to bake Ryan sugar cookies