We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
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Thursday, December 29. 2011
As we approach the new year, a common theme of many sites is to review the previous year's events, while casting an eye to the future. Part of my job is to create business models for various lengths of time, so the idea of 'predicting' the future is something I have a level of comfort with. However, the art of prediction is art only. In making any kind of prediction, I've found it is useless to suggest that something will happen with a level of assuredness that exceeds even odds. In fact, my models typically have a High, Medium and Low outlook, with High having about the same likelihood as Low, and Medium being most likely. But Medium is couched as a 50/50 possibility.
Another problem with predicting things is that you can go overboard. Making absolutely outrageous predictions may garner headlines and attract attention, but unless you get extremely lucky, you only wind up looking foolish. I don't need to make myself look any more foolish than I already am. Unless I'm going to make a reasonable prediction, I'd prefer to not make any at all.
It's far too difficult to make assumptions about the behaviors of others, the outcomes of their actions, and the potential ripple effects to make a prediction that is completely assured. That is, unless you rig the system. I don't have the power to do this, so rather than discuss how I'll rig things to make sure I'm right, I'll just link to some predictions from others, make several of my own, and let Maggie's commenters have some fun thinking about how the new year will unfold.
1. Occupy Wall Street will continue to make waves, but we've become bored with them, so as a 'movement' its time has passed.
2. Ron Paul will win in Iowa, but the win will be minimized, delegitimized and anyone who likes him will continue to face media criticism from the likes of Chris Matthews as being 'nuts'. Of course, Chris Matthews is not a bot even though Obama continues to give him a "shiver down his leg." Perhaps he should hit the restroom.
3. Whoever we think will win the Republican nomination today because they lead the polls, will stick around longer than the previous leaders, primarily because the voting will start. But in the end, somebody else will win out.
4. Chris Christie or Nikki Haley will be the Republican VP nominee. I'll go with Christie, though I don't want to see my state lose him. If it's Haley, does the mainstream media still have enough venom left over from Palin to make an intelligent, photogenic woman appear outlandish and despicable? Will the mainstream media go after Christie on his weight issues, even though the MSM is fond of telling us to not judge people by their appearance?
5. The Euro will continue to sink as the mess over there spreads. There is no easy answer, though everyone wants one. Once you've spent more money than you have available, and you have no means of making up the difference quickly or easily, you have to face tough times. The Eurozone is printing money faster than the Fed right now, if that's at all possible.
6. Gold, resting now after shooting up considerably in 2011, will pass $2,000/oz. Whether it continues to climb, and how far, will depend on what happens with Congress, the Presidency, and whether a budget that faces reality is passed. Unlike many other assets, physical gold has no counterparty risk. On the other hand, there are issues of rehypothecation (banks can and have rehypothecated and then it's up to a judge who really owns it....). This should push gold up considerably.
7. I'll get a new roof and the house painted. I'll also lose the 15 pounds I've been trying to lose for the last 3 years, simply because my back is telling me I MUST. This is the only prediction I am 100% sure will happen.
8. The Mayans will be wrong. Well, the people who say the Mayans predicted the end of the world will be wrong. I have no idea what the Mayans really said, and neither do the people who think they predicted anything.
9. By the end of the year, Google will have its first 'bad' quarter and barely meet earnings, but revenues will disappoint. Apple will continue to soar for another year, and Facebook will go public and have a 30%+ return for its initial investors as it plays a major role in the 2012 election cycle.
Got any of your own? Take a crack, let's see what people come up with.
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California will start issuing I.O.U.s instead of checks to its public employee retirees, not just its vendors at the next money crunch.
I predict that Maggie's Farm will have a 30% + increase in readership (and a 100% increase in revenue).
Oh cool!! Does that mean pay and an end of the year bonus check?
1 - You're wrong on Haley - nope ain't gonna happen. She'd be in the same boat as Palin was when she bailed on Alaska for the campaign. She already has the hounds on her tail for favoring the Savannah Port expansion over the Charleston port expansion and her disastrous handling of the Occupy Columbia protesters.
2 - Ron Paul delegitimizes himself quite nicely and doesn't really need any help from the Legacy Media. Now that he's finally been exposed as a total fraud, he might not even get past Iowa no matter how many college Paul supporters he gets to invade. Plus he probably doesn't want to harm the career of Rand who is reasonable and not totally insane like his Dad.
3 - I predict that Facebook will collapse under it's own weight after a major hacking disaster from both Anonymous and political hackers. This will be the direct result of competing political campaigns along with other national and state political races.
4 - I will, at some point in 2012, break 94 in my golf game.
5 - Jeb Bush will become a power broker at the Republican Convention being proxy for his brother George.
6 - The Republican convention will be brokered.
7 - The Warp Drive will be discovered 51 years before it was supposed to be discovered due to Higgs Bosun interference.
8 - California will sink into the Pacific Ocean never to be seen or heard from again. Denver will be the new San Diego.
9 - The gold bubble will collapse when economists and traders finally figure out that Gold is worthless in terms of fiat money and has about as much intrinsic value as last nights supper.
10 - I will become KING OF THE WORLD!!!
In South Carolina and other states with recently challenged voter i.d. laws, Obama will make an extremely strong showing in the major cities, with over 110% of registered voters casting their ballots to tip the scales in his favor. AG Eric Holder will declare this a victory for minority voting rights.
1. Just DO the Ten Commandments.
Have a magnificent new year.
By the way, can we safely assume that the swami in the turban caressing the crystal ball is a reasonable approximation of your graduation picture from Yogi Guru University? :>)
1. The OWS crowd, in an unwanted encore to their farce/protests, will appear at both party conventions. The Republicans will benefit hugely, a la Wellstone funeral in 2002. Huge backslash vote for GOP. HUGE.
2. Due to (1) above, the gopher from Caddyshack, were he nominated by the GOP, could beat Obama in the general election, though not Ron Paul. RP is just too far out there, but no the gopher.
3. For all the talk of Colorado Strategy, and the Emerging Democratic Majority, the dominant political/demographic factor that absolutely is, and will continue for generations to dominate our national electoral results is The Roe Effect. As Professor Reynolds is wont to say, the future belongs to those who show up.
Your predictions are silly. Discounting #7 (who cares?), and #8, which is stupid, you are 180% wrong on each of the other eight.
OWS isn't going away. Paul will not win Iowa. Romney will be the nominee. Neither Christie nor Haley will be the VP nominee. The Euro will not continue to sink, and gold is going to $1000, maybe lower. And Google? (you don't know much about Google, do you?), will prosper as never before.
Actually, I do know Google pretty well since I have worked with them many times. And I may wind up being wrong, which merely says you didn't read the post. However, I can tell you that Google has run into some revenue roadblocks of late - which isn't really all that surprising, when you think about how large they are. So a 'bad' quarter for Google would be merely meeting analyst expectations (which, it's worth noting, has happened before).
I can't be more than 100% wrong, as any more than that is superfluous.
I can see someone is taking all this a wee bit TOO seriously.
Yes, you're correct. "180% wrong" should have been phrased "180 degrees wrong." But I think you know that.
You're also right that I'm taking this post TOO seriously. After all, it wasn't very funny, or ironic, or even clever.
I should have ignored it.
It’s an honor to have been linked from Maggie’s. But the link is malformed…I want a Maggielanch, dammit. :-)
I’m in #2, about Paulbots being delegitimized.
Not sure what the problem is with the trackback.
The apostrophes seem to be creating some kind of problem. I just linked to the site...the post itself should be easy to find for those seeking it.
I was fortunate to have so much paying work over the past year that I had little time left for the blog. Now that I have at least one prospective reader (Thanks, Tom) I hope to resume a 4-5 posts per week pace in 2012.
I just added you to my favorites under the Blog category. One more visit a day can't hurt right?
RE: Rep. Ron Paul. Paul is crazy - I don't think there is any question about it. But that doesn't necessarily mean that he's insane - two different things.
1 - You can't logically deconstruct crazy. The best cons are the ones that include some element of truth and Paul is a master at that.
2 - You cannot deny that Rep. Paul is in with the Truthers, Birthers, Alien/Bildeberger - Illuminati/Rockafeller Family One World Currency conspiracy. You cannot deny that he is not Israel's favorite son in terms of support and in some ways has expressed anti-Semitic remarks. He claims that he wasn't aware of these racist/anti-Semitic remarks in his newsletter written in his name under his signature which absolutely defies common sense. I've been saying this for years - this isn't the first time.
3 - Alex Jones - I don't think we need to go any further on that one.
4 - He hasn't had any legislation that he has authored passed that I am aware of and in fact, or so I've been told, his signing on to a bill in support is considered the kiss of death by some of his colleagues. He also rails against Federal spending and the size of the deficit, but he isn't exactly shy about spending tons of Federal dollars in his districts via the use of earmarks.
If you want to support Ron Paul - hey, it's a free country and the fact that you at least support somebody is the important bit and that you vote is even more important. Just don't try to blame the media for Paul's problems that he brings onto himself. You can ignore all this and still believe in the guy - that's fine. My candidate has a lot of flaws too. The difference is that my candidate isn't crazy - just a politician. Then again, that statement is kind of an oxymoron huh? :>)
Like your blog by the way - tre' cool. I'll be passing through on a daily basis.
Actually, it's pretty easy to say Ron is none of those things and prove it if the other side is open to discussion. But it's not worth it if you simply lump him in the "crazy" camp. You can't prove a negative.
Thus, any discussion winds up being wasted words for both you and me. So I've found that it's easier to just accept that people are different.
The only candidate I consider "crazy" is Bachmann. She is, simply and completely, nuts.
Paul’s reminder about the Oath shook me past the simple “crazy” accusations. As people are so find of pointing out as they consign themselves to Romney, nobody is perfect. But in testing out Paul’s policy ideas, they’re great for a Constitutional constructionist like me.
I’m not sure I count as a Paul supporter yet. I haven’t sent any $$. But when I attempt a somewhat logical argument about one of his ideas and I get attacked as a Paulbot instead of the idea itself being attacked, it proves Bulldog’s point about wasted words.
I enjoy Bachmann. I hope she survives a while longer. I want to argue her ideas and have people call me different names.
I've enjoyed Negative Railroad for a while, though I noticed you had stopped posting for a period of time. Wasn't sure why.
Bachmann has some ideas that are worth paying attention to, but on social issues she is a disaster. Politics and economics shouldn't be driven by a social agenda, as she insists. And none of her ideas are really unusual or original, anyway.
Paul is legitimately different than all the others (for better or worse). And as I've stated before, he has added to the conversation with his discussions on foreign policy, SocSec, and the Fed. Each one of his stances has been engaged by other candidates to some degree or another, simply because they make sense. Part of the reason I'd vote for Romney if he is the candidate is because Paul's presence has encouraged Perry, Cain, and Gingrich to embrace positions which have actually helped Romney improve his own.
None of the candidates is perfect. None will alter things radically (even if Paul says he would, his ability to do so would be severely limited), and all I hope for is a return to a level of normalcy regarding budgeting, foreign aid, taxes and civil freedoms.
I don't see any of them 'fixing' our economic mess, nor would I expect them to. Though the one who may come closest is the one (and there are several) who will repeal Obamacare, stop handing out bailouts like candy, audit the Fed, and let the economic process take place as it should.
Two prognostications from yours truly...
1. Someone currently disregarded by pundits, experts, and authorities will win the Republican nominaton.
2. Pundits, experts, and authorities will be dismayed and surprised and waste gallons of ink bloviating about getting it so wrong.
Re the weight: Read Gary Taubes. Going low carb will change your life and weight will go.
Tried that with mixed results. It's a good way to lose weight fast, but has limited impact for me over the long haul.
I've found different people's bodies react differently to diets. Several friends of mine on low-carb diets developed kidney difficulties like infections and stones. Stones are common in my family, and I've avoided them. I don't want to tempt fate.
I typically approach from the concept that "calories are calories and if you burn more than you take in, then you'll lose weight".
I also know not every calorie is equal. Depending on the delivery vehicle (high fiber vs. low fiber, fat vs. lean, etc.), the rapidity of its burn is different.
I can lose weight quickly when I want to. I just exercise regularly, cut out the ice cream and reduce the bacon and beer. Seems like that's what I'll be focusing on. And stretching. Lots of stretching, which helps improve the exercise burn. I saw that working lower body and core tends to have longer lasting burn effect, too. Since the core is my problem area, it'll get some focus.