A Crisis of Confidence in Our Leaders

This entry is part 2 of 2 in the seriesCrisis of Confidence

This is part 2 of a series (introduced in part 1) where we look at the crisis of confidence that is all around us in American society today. Let’s start this off by looking at three of our top national leaders.

President of the United States, Joe Biden

Let’s take a look at the post that Joe Biden’s team put up on Twitter a few days ago.

So, Trump turned in a miserable performance in the economic leadership of this country.  Fortunately for us, we were saved by Biden’s great leadership.  In fact, he is orders of magnitude higher that any president on this list…oh more than that, he’s by far the greatest job creating president in American history!

Well, there’s one little, itty-bitty, tiny catch.

I don’t know if you know.  Heck, maybe you’ve been so busy that you forgot.  In the last year of Trump’s presidency this strange world-wide pandemic started.  They’re calling it Covid-19.  You might have heard of it.

If you weren’t born yesterday, you probably remember that in almost all of the United States workers who weren’t deemed absolutely essential were temporarily (in some cases) laid off from their jobs.  Here is what that looked like, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.  You know, the same one Biden based his chart on.


In April of 2020, US unemployment reached a crazy rate of 14.7%. But just 2 months prior, in February, it was only 3.5%. 

When Trump was inaugurated, unemployment was at 4.7%. This means that the unemployment rate had decreased 1.2% prior to the great Covid spike.

To be fair, the unemployment rate had been going down steadily since the storm of 2018’s financial crisis. 

But, it isn’t as if Trump was driving up unemployment. It was on a steady march downhill.

Here’s where Biden took over.

As you can see, the great spike of unemployment during the Covid lockdown was on its way out.  Unemployment had settled back down to 6.4%.

Now, the unemployment rate is not the same as the “jobs created” data.  That’s a bit harder to show a quick snapshot of data on.  But that proves my point even more. 

See, in order to muck with the numbers and make the government look better than they are, they have a very specific definition of unemployed. According the same US Bureau of Labor Statistics, “People are classified as unemployed if they do not have a job, have actively looked for work in the prior 4 weeks, and are currently available for work.”

So, if they have left the labor market intentionally, or have just given up in looking for work, they are magically no longer unemployed.  So, a different way of looking at employment is using the Labor Participation Rate, or the percentage of Americans who are working, or actively looking for work.  Here is that chart.

The current rate of 61.9% is nothing to brag about at all.  A lot of people have talked about the great resignation. That has been happening and this chart confirms that.

I know we are all in danger of getting lost in the data on this one, but the point is that Biden’s tweeted chart is not only silly given the Covid situation, but I cannot possibly see how it is true at all even if you squint your eyes and stand on your head. 

Joe shouldn’t get credit for people coming back to work after the pandemic, and he certainly didn’t create these new jobs.  More than all of that, he should at least get some of the credit for people not coming back to work at all.

Even further, he’s created a crisis in employment that is getting worse, and everyone knows it.  Trump was mercilessly berated for bragging about things that weren’t really true.  In some cases that it was a fair criticism, but Biden is taking this to a whole new level.  So, it’s all opposite-land. 

We have a crisis of confidence at the highest level of our country’s leadership.

Vice President of the United States, Kamala Harris

Here is an interview Kamala gave on NPR, just days ago.  You don’t need to watch the whole thing.  It’s a bit tedious.  Just watch for about a minute and a half, starting at 8:32

Did you catch what she said?  Maybe you missed it.  If you aren’t into American politics and history, you might have.

Fortunately for me, this one is pretty easy.  Kamala Harris has got to be one of the worst politicians in America, actually.  Almost weekly, Conservative media is ablaze with something she’s said or done.  She did drop out of the presidential primary before her own state voted, because she was about to come in almost last in her own state in a primary…of other Democrats.  But I’ve chosen this one clip simply because it is the most recent, as I write this.

I don’t want to point out her style, the way she talks in a style that drips with disingenuousness, using sound bites that seem to have spent weeks in focus-groups.

Actually, in this case it’s kind of the opposite.

You see, anyone in American politics, and any citizen over 40, or a fan of American history, knows that there is one word that you cannot use as a national politician.

Yes, yes…ok, there are expletives, racial terms, and words that the woke mob will try and get you cancelled for…but I’m not talking about those words.  I mean one, standard English word that is so loaded with political meaning, so packed with career-ending dynamite, that no national politician would dare utter it.

That word is “malaise.”

Remember in part 1 of this series we read the words of Jimmy Carter’s Crisis of Confidence speech.  That address is however, forever known as his “malaise” speech.  In that talk, Carter never used the word “malaise” at all, but it was later attached to it in the collective consciousness.  This is an example of what people call the Mandela effect, an event people “remember” but that didn’t actually happen at all. Many people claim to “remember” him saying in that speech that America was “suffering from a deep malaise,” even though he never actually used that word or phrase even once. 

While many of the words of his address ring pretty true and at the time it was actually well-liked by the majority of the public, it didn’t age well.  Due to Carters previous and future mis-steps it was interpreted as Carter blaming the American people for their situation.  It sounded as if he was saying that rampant inflation, joblessness, and unobtainable gasoline weren’t the real problems, Americans focusing on those things were the problem.  Carter wouldn’t have agreed as to that being his point at all, but he wasn’t the best communicator, and he wasn’t a good President.

In the past year, Biden/Harris has increasingly been compared to the Carter administration.  There are many of the same social problems, and the administration is seen as feckless but good at assigning blame.  Biden does seem feckless.  Harris is always great at telling people they are the ones responsible.  The two of them combine to do a great Jimmy Carter impression.

So, Kamala appears on the interview and uses the one word, the word no politician in America has uttered since 1979, the word that could be avoided by using any one of numerous synonyms, and just charges through with her battle cry of malaise.

It’s artless, and gutsy, incompetent, and gauche.  It’s all Kamala, and it’s a perfect example of why we are in a crisis of confidence in our national leaders.

Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi

Here’s a recent moment from the floor of the House of Representatives.

Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi was giving her speech in preparation for the commemoration of January 6th . It’s easy to think of her as being some buffoon, who provides comic relief to our overly-serious Congress.  I have been quite sure that she’s suffering from some sort of dementia for years. 

But let’s not forget that she is 3rd in the line of succession to become President.  If something should happen to our dear leader and his hand picked political genius sidekick, then she’s behind the presidential podium clacking her dentures at us all.  We’ve already talked about Kamala Harris and Joe Biden.  Well, following in succession, Nancy Pelosi is next in line.

Her moment of silence to honor our “fallen heroes” from January 6th mentions the following men:

– Brian Sicknick
– Howard Liebengood
– Jeffrey Smith
– Billy Evans

So, let’s look into what happened to these heroes that died in what our Vice President added to Pearl Harbor and 9/11, dates which are indelibly etched in the American psyche, dates which will live in infamy.

Brian Sicknick – He was a US Capitol Police officer who did respond to the events of January 6th.  He did enter the fray and was assaulted by two people.  That much is true.  However, he did not die that day.  He was not injured that day.  He died the next day of “multiple strokes.” And the medical examiner cited his death as “natural causes,” and said that the stress of the previous day could have played a part.  However, he had no internal injuries or allergic reaction from the bear spray that was being used at the time against the police.  Was he heroically protecting against people trying to do something wrong and stupid?  Yes.  Was he killed by the events of January 6th?  No.

Howard Liebengood – He was also at the Capitol on Jan 6th.  He took his own life on Jan 9th.

Jeffrey Smith – He was hit in the head during the riot of January 6th.  While it was a terrible thing, it didn’t keep him from working.  He shot himself in the head while going to work 9 days after the incident.

Billy Evans – This one is quite interesting.  William “Billy” Evans was a capitol police officer.  He was killed in the line of duty…but not at all on January 6th.  You see, in April 2021 a black nationalist named Noah Green ran him over with his car.  Noah Green was a member of the Nation of Islam, and was a proponent of a racist ideology that advocated hurting white people.  It might be easy to think that his name was just one of a number of people Nancy Pelosi thoughtlessly mentioned.  But she had honored him publicly in April after he died, and arranged for him to lie in state at the Capitol Rotunda, during which he posthumously received two Congressional Gold Medals.

In all of this, Nancy Pelosi wasn’t lying, exactly.  She was playing word games, in the same way that Bill Clinton did when he questioned the meaning of the word “is” while under oath.

In her speech on January 6th 2022, as she memorialized the events a year earier she said, “I want to acknowledge our fallen heroes of that day.”  These men are fallen heroes, and were present at the capitol on January 6th 2021.

She didn’t say that she was commemorating “our fallen heroes, who died on that day.”  But that is what you are supposed to think.  You are supposed to lay blame for the death of Billy Evans not on the Nation of Islam for vile racism, you are supposed to believe that he was murdered by Trump supporters in January, five months earlier. 

Nancy isn’t ignorant of that fact, she is very aware of her deceit (assuming she is still self-aware of anything). 

There is no way for a person to believe that she thinks that those men died in the attack on the
Capitol.  She wants to craft a narrative.  She is trying to be deceptive. 

You can play what-about-ism regarding other politicians trying to carefully craft a reality.  But you also can’t deny that anyone, from any party, who does likewise is…well…a liar.  She gets forgiven for that by fellow Democrats because she’s a Democrat.  We deserve leaders who are better than that.

By the way, there is one person who did die in the events surrounding 1/6/21.  But that person won’t be mentioned by Pelosi or any Democrat at all.  The only death that happened that day was a Trump Supporter and military veteran named Ashli Babbitt.  She was shot by a Capitol policeman as she was trying to go through a barricade.  She was also unarmed.

Was she doing something stupid and dangerous?  Probably.  I, just like every major Republican, am not advocating anything that happened on that day.  I’m not an apologist for anyone who was there, although at the time I said that something about the story didn’t seem to quite add up, and I’m often right about such things.  But, if the truth is what we all seem to know about January 6th, then those people deserve to be condemned, totally. 

But, I am pointing out the utter hypocrisy of leaders that lie about who died that day, and never mention the riots around the country that happened in the months before, riots that did end in the murder of police officers, destroyed businesses, and created billions of dollars in damage.

It is just more hypocrisy from our top leaders. It isn’t that they occasionally are guilty of the sins that they call out in others. Instead it is far deeper than that. It is that they actively are doing something that is wrong, and cover it up by loudly accusing the other side of being guilty of that thing.

I’ve paid close attention to politics for many years now, and I have always been clearly on one side of the isle, but I have noticed that in recent years whatever the Left is screaming about Republicans for doing, you can be absolutely sure that in every case, it is exactly what they themselves are doing.

All of this together shows that we clearly have a crisis of confidence in our leaders.

Crisis of Confidence

This entry is part of 2 in the seriesCrisis of Confidence
crisis of confidence header

I recently heard an interview with a top US politician (more on that later), although it wasn’t likely intentional, her words alluded to a crisis of confidence that we are dealing with as a nation.  In the coming days, you might hear more about her inartful and poorly chosen words.  Of course, knowing the media these days, there might not be much about it at all.  But there certainly should be.

That got me watching another speech from another American politician.  Below are some excerpts.  Read them, and ponder them as you read.  They affected me.  The words seemed to directly apply to America now, maybe even more than they did when they were spoken.  As I listened, I longed for them to be spoken to our country and our people.

My notes on how I’ve represented the text are here

The politician’s speech

…[Recent events] confirmed my belief in the decency and the strength and the wisdom of the American people, but it also bore out some of my longstanding concerns about our nation’s underlying problems…

… But after listening to the American people, I have been reminded again that all the legislation in the world can’t fix what’s wrong with America. So, I want to speak to you first tonight about a subject even more serious than [policy]. I want to talk to you right now about a fundamental threat to American democracy.

I do not mean our political and civil liberties. They will endure. And I do not refer to the outward strength of America, a nation that is at peace tonight everywhere in the world, with unmatched economic power and military might.

The threat is nearly invisible in ordinary ways.

It is a crisis of confidence.

It is a crisis that strikes at the very heart and soul and spirit of our national will. We can see this crisis in the growing doubt about the meaning of our own lives and in the loss of a unity of purpose for our nation.

The erosion of our confidence in the future is threatening to destroy the social and the political fabric of America.

The confidence that we have always had as a people is not simply some romantic dream or a proverb in a dusty book that we read just on the Fourth of July. It is the idea which founded our nation and has guided our development as a people. Confidence in the future has supported everything else — public institutions and private enterprise, our own families, and the very Constitution of the United States. Confidence has defined our course and has served as a link between generations. We’ve always believed in something called progress. We’ve always had a faith that the days of our children would be better than our own.

Our people are losing that faith, not only in government itself but in the ability as citizens to serve as the ultimate rulers and shapers of our democracy. As a people we know our past and we are proud of it. Our progress has been part of the living history of America, even the world. We always believed that we were part of a great movement of humanity itself called democracy, involved in the search for freedom; and that belief has always strengthened us in our purpose. But just as we are losing our confidence in the future, we are also beginning to close the door on our past.

In a nation that was proud of hard work, strong families, close-knit communities, and our faith in God, too many of us now tend to worship self-indulgence and consumption. Human identity is no longer defined by what one does, but by what one owns. But we’ve discovered that owning things and consuming things does not satisfy our longing for meaning. We’ve learned that piling up material goods cannot fill the emptiness of lives which have no confidence or purpose.

The symptoms of this crisis of the American spirit are all around us. For the first time in the history of our country a majority of our people believe that the next five years will be worse than the past five years. Two-thirds of our people do not even vote. The productivity of American workers is actually dropping, and the willingness of Americans to save for the future has fallen below that of all other people in the Western world.

As you know, there is a growing disrespect for government and for churches and for schools, the news media, and other institutions. This is not a message of happiness or reassurance, but it is the truth and it is a warning.

These changes did not happen overnight. They’ve come upon us gradually over the last generation, years that were filled with shocks and tragedy…

…Looking for a way out of this crisis, our people have turned to the Federal Government and found it isolated from the mainstream of our nation’s life. Washington, D.C., has become an island. The gap between our citizens and our government has never been so wide. The people are looking for honest answers, not easy answers; clear leadership, not false claims and evasiveness and politics as usual.

What you see too often in Washington and elsewhere around the country is a system of government that seems incapable of action. You see a Congress twisted and pulled in every direction by hundreds of well-financed and powerful special interests.

You see every extreme position defended to the last vote, almost to the last breath by one unyielding group or another. You often see a balanced and a fair approach that demands sacrifice, a little sacrifice from everyone, abandoned like an orphan without support and without friends.

Often you see paralysis and stagnation and drift. You don’t like it, and neither do I. What can we do?

First of all, we must face the truth, and then we can change our course. We simply must have faith in each other, faith in our ability to govern ourselves, and faith in the future of this nation. Restoring that faith and that confidence to America is now the most important task we face. It is a true challenge of this generation of Americans.

One of the [people that I recently spoke to put it this way], “We’ve got to stop crying and start sweating, stop talking and start walking, stop cursing and start praying. The strength we need will not come from the White House, but from every house in America.”

We know the strength of America. We are strong. We can regain our unity. We can regain our confidence. We are the heirs of generations who survived threats much more powerful and awesome than those that challenge us now. Our [ancestors] were strong men and women who shaped a new society during the Great Depression, who fought world wars and who carved out a new charter of peace for the world.

We ourselves are the same Americans who…put a man on the moon. We are the generation that dedicated our society to the pursuit of human rights and equality. And we are the generation that will…rebuild the unity and confidence of America.

We are at a turning point in our history. There are two paths to choose. One is a path I’ve warned about tonight, the path that leads to fragmentation and self-interest. Down that road lies a mistaken idea of freedom, the right to grasp for ourselves some advantage over others. That path would be one of constant conflict between narrow interests ending in chaos and immobility. It is a certain route to failure.

All the traditions of our past, all the lessons of our heritage, all the promises of our future point to another path — the path of common purpose and the restoration of American values. That path leads to true freedom for our nation and ourselves. We can take the first steps down that path as we begin to solve our energy problem…

…Little by little we can and we must rebuild our confidence. We can spend until we empty our treasuries, and we may summon all the wonders of science. But we can succeed only if we tap our greatest resources — America’s people, America’s values, and America’s confidence.

I have seen the strength of America in the inexhaustible resources of our people. In the days to come, let us renew that strength in the struggle for an energy-secure nation.

In closing, let me say this: I will do my best, but I will not do it alone. Let your voice be heard. Whenever you have a chance, say something good about our country. With God’s help and for the sake of our nation, it is time for us to join hands in America. Let us commit ourselves together to a rebirth of the American spirit. Working together with our common faith we cannot fail.

Thank you and good night.

This forms the bulks of a very famous speech given by an American President, although not for the reasons you might think.  You’ve likely never really heard this speech in its entirety, just as I hadn’t.  I have seen small excerpts.  You likely have too, or at least possibly heard this speech referenced.

OK, OK…I’ll tell you who gave it and when.  Scroll down for the reveal.









The speech was given by former President Jimmy Carter on July 15th, 1979.  He gave it live on American TV from the oval office.  It’s formal name is “A Crisis of Confidence,” but you might know it by its better-known nickname.  It’s commonly called “the malaise speech.”  You can watch the whole, 33 minute address here. Oddly enough, Carter did not use the word “malaise” anywhere in the speech at all.  Not one time.

But the reality was that Carter was just not a strong president, and he was dealing with bigger crises than many presidents could successfully face.  In the election of 1980 (a year and 9+ months later) he was destroyed by Reagan’s landslide victory.  He should have been.

In the biggest section that I cut out, Carter talks about some policy decisions for cutting our dependance on foreign oil quite decisively, growing our own energy production, and developing solar energy capabilities.  All of this seems to make a lot of sense for the times.  He also talks about turning the thermostat down at home and patriotically parking your car an extra day of the week.  That doesn’t sound like a strong leader at all.

But, the bulk of the speech was what Americans needed to hear, and I think it’s what we need to hear now.

At the climax, he says,

“Little by little we can and we must rebuild our confidence. We can spend until we empty our treasuries, and we may summon all the wonders of science. But we can succeed only if we tap our greatest resources — America’s people, America’s values, and America’s confidence.”

I wanted to stand up and applaud.  These days we won’t spend our way out of the Covid crisis, rampant inflation (that’s a big part of how we got here anyway), racial strife, huge percentages of Americans who just don’t want to go to work anymore, or any of our other giant problems.

Modern science has given us things like Covid vaccines, fleets of electric cars and trucks, and private space ships.  But our problem isn’t really energy, inflation, climate change, or a world-wide pandemic.  Yes, those are problems for sure, and they aren’t small ones at that.

But the real problems we face are 3-fold, as I see it. 

1- A Crisis of Confidence in Our Leaders

We have a country that many of our people no longer even really like, and leaders that are not representative of the best among us at all.  Most Americans see our main institutions as both dishonest and not respectable.  And we have a political system that seems to not be able to even recognize that it is severely out-of-step with most Americans.

2- A Crisis of Confidence in Our Faith

We have a crisis of faith, whereby we have turned our collective backs on the spiritual foundations that led to us being a great people. 

3- A Crisis of Confidence in Our History

We have forgotten and rewritten our history as a nation.  Turning our backs on the principles, people, and structures that created the societal glue that held us together, and teaching our children lessons that are not honest about our collective history has turned us into a collection of tribes.  These tribes don’t even see themselves as one nation, they see their tribes as a nation, and others outside of their group as hostile foreigners.

I’ve written recently about how I expect this year to be a challenging one for people all over the world, and Americans particularly. I believe strongly that solving these three challenges facing our country will be key to us overcoming a difficult time.

Over the next few posts, I’ll deal with these three points directly.  We’ll see how these areas need to be changed in order for us to return to a healthy country.  Unfortunately, if we do not set about fixing these 3 things, there are two directions that are possible for our nation, and I see these as a complete inevitability.  We will either break up into smaller nations or worse, we will redefine America into something that is very different and opposite in many ways from what made us a successful country.

But, there is also great hope.  If we, in the words of Carter, start walking, sweating, and praying, then we can tackle these problems.  We can emerge triumphant, and return to that place as a great, shining city on a hill that the nations of the world saw as a beacon of freedom.

For the quoted section

I have removed parts that applied specifically to the situation of that day, and some that alluded to current events of that time, as well as sections in the beginning that don’t flow as well to the reader.  I’ve also removed anything that indicates who is directly giving the speech.   I don’t want the reader to get any preconception of what to think based on a sense of who is speaking.  I’ve added or replaced words at times where it wouldn’t make sense otherwise. 

I have always put those inside brackets [].  I’ve put ellipses … in places where I’ve removed something. 

There is one main section I’ve deleted that talks specifically about proposed policy, and I’ve talked about that after the quoted section.  Other than that, I’ve tried to copy and paste with no other editing.

Here’s the full text of the address.

2022 Predictions

I don’t need credit for anything that isn’t official, but just so the reader knows, I wrote the majority of this in the two weeks before New Years.

I’m sorry to say, those that are waiting for 2021 to end in the hopes that next year couldn’t possibly be any worse are in for a rude awakening.  Remember 2020, when this whole COVID thing just got going?  It was a year of political turmoil, the sheer terror of the nightly news telling us we’re all going to die, everything was being locked-down, and there was no end in sight.  We all looked to 2021 in the hope that it would all get better when the calendar turned to January. 

But it didn’t.  2021 turned out to be worse.  There was the complete failure of the US in Afghanistan.  The news is not talking about it much, but a famine has now rushed through that country endangering much of the population.  In fact, the number of those starving to death might make this the largest world crisis in the world right now, but you haven’t heard about it on CNN. More than 20 million people are on the edge of starvation. The Taliban are fully in control and they are just as bad as they always were.

The border with Mexico turned into a horrible mess.  The numbers of people rushing into the country are without comparison.  This year is the highest on record for illegal alien apprehensions at the southern border.  Also, there are more people being caught from countries other than Mexico that people from Mexico, almost twice as many.  Yes, that means people from Ecuador, Honduras, and El Salvador, but it also means people from Yemen and Somalia, and other countries where some people really want to hurt America.

With vaccines and therapeutics for COVID out and accessible (or going in that direction).  It is easy to forget that there were actually more COVID-related deaths in the US in 2021 than in 2020.  On the final day of 2020, the US had reported over 350,000 deaths in total.  Right now, there are almost 900,000 reported deaths.  This means that in 2021 there were far more deaths than in the previous year. I’m trying to stay out of the politics of this, but I keep hearing Biden, during the Presidential Debates saying, “Anyone who is responsible for that many deaths [220,000] should not remain as President of the United States of America.”

As much as people were clamoring for a better year in ’21 than ’20, there is almost no way that we can say it has been.  The economy is worse, the geopolitical situation is more tenuous, COVID has been more deadly.  Maybe US societal strife can be seen as the one outlier, but that is mostly due to the media (and related) establishment not having vitriol for the current president, and Joe Biden not using Twitter.

Before you read this, you might be interested to see last year’s predictions.

I’m sure that many people are hoping and praying for a better new year.  But, I just don’t see it in the proverbial cards.  Here are my guesses as to what 2022 might have in store for us.

# 1 – Russia invades Ukraine

This won’t be a surprise to anyone.  Russia has been massing large amounts of troops on the border.  Yes, if you get your news primarily from Facebook you likely missed this one entirely, but it’s no secret. 

Biden had a video-call summit with Putin about this.  He threatened that the US would “make it very difficult for Russia to do this.”  This obviously means that the US would try to levy economic sanctions.  This isn’t even conjecture.  The administration clarified this the week after Biden made the statement.

If this threat were a deterrence to Russia’s plans they would have responded in a way that gives the US government a way to diffuse this situation.  But that isn’t what they did at all.  Instead, they gave a list of demands which included that NATO interests leave the Eastern Block of former Soviet influence. 

This is not doable for a US administration, unless they publicly give in the Russia which makes the US look very weak.  Certainly, the administration is trying to back-channel their way out of this.  I can’t see this possibly working.  There are a whole host of reasons that Russia cannot back down.

There are two options here.  It is possible that Russia is doing this as a test of a weak US administration…a bluff.  The other option is that Russia sees the opportunity to act, and they have long viewed Ukraine as a prize for a host of reasons.  It doesn’t make any sense for this to be a bluff, and if it is a bluff then Russia has already won.  The US has already committed to act only in response to Russia invading.

So, why are they waiting?  Well, it’s all about oil…clearly.  The Nordstream II pipeline into Germany and the rest of continental Europe is still uncertified by the EU.  It cannot legally deliver the oil that it’s built for.  But, Europe is over a barrel (pun intended) on this one, and they are in a situation that they created.  EU environmental regulations don’t allow them to produce the quantity of oil that they desperately need, and so they have to rely on importing that fuel.

Incidentally, I can’t quite understand how countries (including ours now) won’t drill for oil because they are ostensibly trying to save the planet, and so we ask other countries to do it for us? It isn’t like those countries inhabit some other planet. But these contradictions are normative now, and this is a topic for a different post, I guess.

This all means that Europe will have a difficult time making it through the winter, and especially a very cold winter, without this needed oil.  Once the pipeline is certified and functioning, it will be very difficult indeed for them to shut it down.  The Trump administration was able to apply very strong economic pressure to prevent companies from building this pipeline, but the Biden administration didn’t follow suit.

The US Senate will debate possible advance sanctions related to Nordstream II companies in mid to late January, or at least some elements will push for that.  If that passes, it is likely too little, too late.  But a strong Congressional stance is the only thing that could prevent a conflict here.

I suppose that the US could give in to Russia’s demands and avert a war.  The problem is that those demands are really demands on NATO, not on the US directly.  Giving in would also be such a great sign of weakness for the US and NATO, that the implications are worse than a Russian invasion.

So, after all this exposition, I’m saying that Russia will invade Ukraine.  The trigger will be the certification of the Nordstream II pipeline.  The buildup will get very tense in maybe January or February, and will result in a false-flag type of event similar to the German invasion of Poland or the Gulf of Tonkin incident.  A full-scale invasion will follow.

#2 A domino effect in geopolitics might result from Russia’s actions

  I’m not sure what all will be involved, but look for China attacking Taiwan, Iran becoming aggressive, or North Korea doing something…well, North Korea-like.  Depending on the situation, this might result in surprisingly little reaction from Washington, or a major response.  I can’t be sure now.

#3 If China does act on Taiwan, it will also be under the guise of responding to a great perceived slight against China

  That’s how China does things. Also, China losing face (or at least thinking their losing face) from the Covid pandemic will motivate them to show strength internationally.

#4 Iran will announce to the world that they have nuclear weapons, barring preventative action from America or Israel stopping them

This will be a huge thing.  I don’t know if Israel or the US will do something to prevent this.  They probably should.  If they do, then this might avoid Iran getting nuclear weapons this year. 

#5 The American economy will be in bad shape, for sure

The stock market cannot continue it’s nearly eternal growth.  Interest rates will increase, likely several times.  I think that inflation will continue, and I’m not sure what unemployment will do.  Many things in the economy now just don’t make sense.  If there isn’t some collapse or near collapse, then economic theory makes no sense anymore.

#6 Joe Biden won’t be President

I’ve long said that Joe Biden will announce that he cannot continue as President before Q2 of 2022.  With the unpopularity of Kamala Harris, I no longer know how palatable that will be.  If it will happen next year, I would think that Q1 would be when it is best politically done.  Either way, for sure we won’t end 2022 with Joe Biden still as President.

By the way, lest you think this is wishful thinking, I prefer Joe Biden to those down-steam in presidential succession. In my view, this will be tragic.

#7 The GOP will take control of both Houses of Congress in the November elections

#8 Democrats will make a big deal of this January 6th

This isn’t a bold prediction.  It is only a day away as I write this, and they’ve already announced it. But look for some pretty crazy over-the-top stuff.

#9 Trump will be active in advocating for candidates in the run up to the election

He will might not just be out there in the general, but also in the run-up prior to the primaries.  Whether or not he will be trying to stay the political disruptor, or will be together with the main part of the party will be telling, for sure. It will be really telling if he is more active during the Primary season, or in the General afterwards.

If he actively challenges Republican candidates in the Primary it will be bad for his future in his plan to inevitably run in 2024. If he has seen by the party as supporting Republican efforts, then he’ll get large Republican support. If however, he goes after established Republicans in the primary it will both be seen as a vindictive effort against those who didn’t support him enough, and it will be seen as endangering the party’s chances of taking back power. Either way it breaks Reagan’s 11th Commandment of Politics.

#10 North Korea will be a big story in 2022

There is a good chance that North Korea won’t end the year with Kim Jung Un as their leader.  If that happens there are two directions that things could go in there.  Either, there will be consolidation around a new leader, and the current frontrunner is his sister.  The other option is for great internal strife.  If that happens, look for a Chinese-brokered solution.  The Chinese will not allow a re-unified Korea under a Democratic-style government on their border. 

In either event, look for North Korea to be pretty large in the news in 2022.  Possible belligerent acts are used within the North Korean power structure to cement leadership there.  An “us versus them” outlook is often used to build unity in many countries, and North Korea is a classic example of this repeatedly. 

#11 There will be a political revolution in at least one major country this year

The forced Covid lockdowns in both Western-type Democratic countries, as well as the extreme draconian Chinese lockdowns are creating powder-kegs that are ripe for explosions. 
I’ve heard former journalist Dan Carlin’s theory about societies needing pressure-release valves for the people to keep their internal pressures from building up too much.  When that is not allowed or available is when the people lose their self-control.  I think he’s completely right in this regard.

We’re seeing some big protests in some locked-down countries.  If the governments won’t listen and respond, it’ll boil over.  Some governments won’t.  Things could get messy.  We’ll have to see.


I’m not sure that Biden will do this, but I think if the former Vice-President officially  changed his first name legally to Brandon, it would be cool.

2021 Predictions (Review)

Every year around New Years’ I do my predictions for the year ahead.  This is an important part of my year, and I pay attention to the news as the year plays itself out.  I can’t say that I’m rooting for my predictions to come true, especially when I’ve predicted something disastrous.  But at the same time, I do enjoy being right. 

Some years I am more right than wrong, and other years I don’t nail it as accurately.  I don’t have the pressure of a psychic or astrologer.  I’m just making educated guesses, so I don’t have to vague and cryptic.  No, there’s no, “this will be a year of greatness,” here. 

This means picking things that are pretty specific and really putting myself out there. 

Every year before I do my predictions, I score my predictions for the previous year, and I try my best to be brutally honest.  Since this is mostly an exercise within myself (it’s not like I have a ton of readers anyway), I can be very free to be as critical as possible.

This year, I’m champing at the bit to put in my 2022 predictions, but I cannot…will not…put those out the until I’ve scored my predictions for 2021.

If you are keeping score, I got 2 wrong. Four were a mixed result, kind of half right and half wrong. I scored 5 of them right. So, if 0 points are for a wrong, 1 for mixed, and 2 points for right-on-the-money, that means that I got a total of 14 out of 22. I can’t say that I’m happy with a 64% win rate. I’ve done better in past years. I do take a little comfort in having more right than wrong, or even half-right. But still, let’s hope I do better next year.

So, without further adieu…

  1. The stock market will have a losing year. On the first day of trading for 2021 (Jan 4th) the Dow Jones high was 30,674.  The S&P was at 3,768.  The NASDAQ was 12,698.  On the last day of trading for 2021, all three will be lower than those values.  I suspect that the Dow will have lost the most value, possibly even below 27,000.  The NASDAQ will be below 10k.

I got this one way wrong. 

Since I’m not doing this after Dec 31, I can only provide almost end of year numbers.  On 12/17, the Dow closed just over 35,000 and the NASDAQ was above 15,000.

I can’t say that I’m really happy about it, though.  My 401k is happy, and so is yours.  But if the stock market stays at record highs while the fundamentals of our economy are as weak as they are, then that means one of two things.  Either the free market speculative economics that have run the stock market since America’s inception are no longer in place, or the forces that are propping up the market higher and higher will eventually fail. 

If the first option is correct, then no one has any real way of understanding economics anymore.  Yes, you can have very low job participation rates, rampant inflation, and many companies facing crises that seem to be existential, and all the while stock prices do nothing but increase.

If the second option is correct, then a crash will be harder every month it’s delayed.  That will be worse for everyone, and no one should look forward to that at this point.

I did talk a lot about the market decreasing in November.  It had a winning November too, but so far it has had a losing December, with a few hard-hitting days. 

2. Oil prices will increase–and gas will too. The price of a barrel of oil as reported on the NASDAQ listing (CL:NMX), on the first day of trading was $47.62.  The prices in Q4 will be around $70.  These prices haven’t been seen since 2014.

Right – I got this one very right.  The oil price listed on the NASDAQ (CL:NMX) was $70.86.  Furthermore, the oil price was above $80 in November, before President Brandon released oil from the strategic oil reserves. 

We all know that gas prices have been outrageously high. 

3. The economy will be worse. The US economy will take a major hit, but that won’t be seen until at least later Q3.  I am guessing that when it hits, it will hit hard.  However, the media and politicians will say this is from both “the Trump economy” and “economic effects from COVID.”

Right – I got this one very right too.  The story of the back half of 2021 wasn’t just the economy not doing well, but it was even more that the economy was performing worse that the experts were predicting.  This sent the Democrats in control of the government trying to explain that things like low job participation rates and rampant employment were actually good things.

They have tried to blame Trump and COVID, but people aren’t believing it.  This has caused the administration to reach out to the media and ask them to only talk glowingly about the economic numbers.  Parts of the media have obliged, of course.  But it doesn’t matter.  Most American’s don’t believe the media anyway, and when you can’t eat at your favorite restaurant because it can’t find workers or gas up your truck without having a coronary, then it doesn’t matter what the media tries to tell you.

4. Houses will be worth less. Median house prices in Los Angeles county are currently at $720,604 (according to http://laalmanac.com/economy/ec37.php).  A big bubble will burst in the California housing market.  I am not sure if this will happen in 2021 or 2022, but when it does, it will be worse than 2008 for them.  Look for the median price to shrink to near $500k at least.  This will be even more striking if you look at the average house value.  Prices of real estate at the upper end of the market will see the biggest contractions. There will also be a decline in housing values in other places (maybe most places), but California will be worst.

Mixed – I was very wrong on this one too.  House prices have gone up almost everywhere.  I did say that this might start is 2022.  I do still think that this will happen.  The Federal Reserve has announced that they will be increasing interest rates up to 3 times next year.  That might start the decrease in demand and lead to a housing market crash. 

5. There will be bankruptcies. 

Mixed – I talked about Sears, and while they aren’t completely gone, there are now only 21 stores left operating the United States.  So, basically they are gone.  Belk also filed for Chapter 11.

However, the bankruptcies largely decreased from 2020.  It might pick back up in 2022 after Christmas sales and in the absence of government stimulus money.  We’ll have to see.

6. Big political struggles will increase, and changes will happen. 

Mixed – The political struggles are always there, and so this seems like a bit of something that will always be true.

Except… partisanship in America and in Washington in specific are beyond anything I’ve ever experienced.  People I know that are in Congress have told me the same thing from their perspective.  This isn’t really a new thing either.

It seems like a lifetime ago, but people were screaming about how evil they thought George W. Bush was.  I remember seeing protest signs with the words “Bush = Hitler” and seeing shirts and bumper stickers with Bush morphed into a monkey or with a Hitler mustache.

They day that Trump was sworn in to office there was a protest where the same types of signs and rhetoric was bantered about.  Trump was accused of being a racist, a fascist, a nazi, and all of the other things they’ve been accusing Republican presidents of for eons. 

I sometimes wonder if Lincoln (the first Republican president) was called a racist too.

But what is different is that people on the other side have become true fascists.  It is funny that Antifa (which stands for Antifaschista Aktion – a German pro-communist group that was vying for power in the leadup to Hitler’s takeover of Germany) goes around in all-black threating violence against people who believe different things than they do. 

Incidentally, the first fascist, Benito Musolini who coined the very term “fascist,” was supported by thugs wearing all black who threatened violence against people who believed different things that they do.  In America, we used to allow that.  It was inherent in the whole freedom of speech and press thing. 

But now anything one side doesn’t want allowed is labeled “hate speech” and is removed from the public discourse, even violently if they deem it necessary.

No, I was so far not correct about attempts to remove the filibuster rule, pack the court, or outlaw firearms.  But, that mostly means that the Democrats haven’t really felt they needed this tactic yet, but I wouldn’t ever put it past them.

7. Censorship is only beginning. 

Right – This one is a clear winner in my predictions.  The bans issued by social media have increased.  One might have thought that this would all wane after the social media channels were able to steer last year’s presidential election the way they wanted.

If you don’t believe me, in the weeks leading up to the election, a laptop that Hunter Biden had basically abandoned at a computer repair shop surfaced.  National intelligence services have verified its veracity.  It implicated Joe Biden in several scandals, mostly involving Ukraine.  If you haven’t heard much about it, I’m not surprised.  Twitter and other socials banned the mention of that story completely, and even removed posts about it. 

An MRC poll https://www.newsbusters.org/blogs/nb/rich-noyes/2020/11/24/special-report-stealing-presidency-20209 recently showed that when told about the story, 9.4% of self-identifying Biden voters report that they would have changed their votes.

If you still haven’t heard of this story in the months since the election, I’m still not surprised.  A google search of “Hunter Biden’s laptop” nets mostly New York Times, Politico, etc. stories that present the story from the pro-Democrat perspective.  For stories such as the MRC poll linked above, I had to use DuckDuckGo.

There have recently surfaced some reports that are even scarier of Gmail censoring emails https://www.c-span.org/video/?c4896227/user-clip-gmail-censoring-republican-campaign-emails , which only add to the growing stories of people losing their jobs for liking the wrong thing on Facebook, or calling someone by a now abandoned pronoun.

8. Many companies will tire of the strife.

Mixed – There were both signs that this is happening, while most companies are still going with the woke agenda.

However, the companies that have rejected a call to bow to the fake progressive mob.  Companies like Goya Foods, Trader Joe’s and Hyatt have in the last year dismissed the cancel culture mob.

9. Racial hysteria will lessen. 

Right –  There are definitely not people rioting in the streets and looting.  There are no “autonomous zones.”  The racial animosity against white people and Asians is seething under the surface, but there are currently no Republicans to pin the label of “racist” on that warrants people in the streets to advance the narrative.

Notice that I didn’t say animosity or division. I said that the hysteria, people on the streets, riots, etc. will mostly bubble under the surface. We haven’t seen the last of this, definitely, but it doesn’t suit the media and Democrat parties agendas at the moment.

10. Sports will start to return.

Right – All sports are back in full swing, although they have settled into a “new normal” where players out for a week or two due to covid is a regular part of life.  Baseball was the first major sport in the United States to have no restrictions on fan attendance.

11. International relations will become very heated. 

Wrong – While I think this will be the big story of 2022 and 2023, this cannot be said as a big story this year.  I’ll take the loss on this one, but comfort myself with feelings of being ahead of my time.