Sunday, December 27, 2020

The Mist and More


Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.”  Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.

-James 4: 13-14

Each year in December, I make predictions about the coming year.  I also go back and grade the predictions I made the previous December as the year comes to an end.  The grade for 2020 has been in for months now and, of course, it’s an F.  Even if I had made new predictions in the Spring, it would still be an F.  2020 has been a year like no other in my lifetime.  Only the World Wars have been worse and the 1918-19 flu pandemic comparable.  Covid-19 changed 2020 and will certainly change the future.


So it is with some trepidation and considerable humility that I make these predictions for 2021.


_1 In Georgia, the Republican candidates win narrow victories.  (And the Democrats will no doubt challenge the results. It’s what we do in America these days.)


_2 January will be the worst month yet for Covid-19.  It’s going to be ugly.


_3 Covid-19 related restrictions will ease up a bit by mid-year, but are not going away in 2021.  If you are expecting “normal” to return sometime in 2021, you will be disappointed.


_4 70% of Americans will have been vaccinated by the end of the year, but there will still be a good deal of uncertainty.  Some will still get sick and some will die.  The fear and the testing will not go away.  Wearing masks and maintaining social distance will be with us at least through the winter of 2021-22.


_5 I’ll make no predictions regarding who will win our major sporting events. It will be another Covid impacted year.  I think it’s unlikely that college basketball will have a normal season.  There will be some sort of reduced and restricted “March Madness”; and there will be a National Champ.  Baseball and football will continue testing players and limiting attendance.  But there will be more fans in the stands and fewer players in quarantine.  Golf will go on with only a select few spectators around greens and tee boxes. I suppose the Olympics will go forward in some fashion, but it will no doubt be muted and disappointing.


_6 GDP will grow and some sectors of the economy will do very well.  Travel, entertainment, restaurants and hotels will do better than they did in 2020, but that’s not saying much.  It may be 2022 before there is much recovery in those sectors.  E-commerce will continue its rapid growth.  Retail survivors will continue to adjust and re-invent themselves.


_7 Public schools will continue to struggle with Covid through the Spring. The education and skills gap continues to widen with underperforming school districts falling further behind.


_8 Crime increases as law enforcement agencies struggle with budget cuts and more scrutiny.  Increasingly police officers will avoid involvement with citizens unless absolutely necessary.


_9 The Retreat to Remote will be in full swing as those who are able to leave crowded urban areas move to small towns and outlying areas.  Affordability, safety and space become more important than the availability of shopping, services, restaurants, arts & entertainment.


_10  Social Justice Warriors will resume their demands and pressure the Democratic administration to respond to their agenda.

The good news is that by this time next year we’ll be in a better place relative to the pandemic than we are today.  The bad news is that we are running out of time and money to fix the real problems in this country, much less around the world.

Sunday, December 13, 2020

The Great Reset...Act 1

Donald Trump lost and Joe Biden is going to be the President of The United States of America.  Trump lost because Biden got more votes.  Biden got more votes because the Democrats did a better job of getting their voters out this time than they did in 2016.  Mail-in ballots made a big difference.  In some states the process might have been highly questionable but was indeed legal according to the state.  And now the highest court in the land has said let it be.


So Biden won.  In some places, Democrats probably cheated a bit more than the Republicans did in order to “save the nation from four more years of Trump”.  Any means to an end, that sort of thing.  But “cheating” or doing whatever you can get away with in order to win an election is as American as apple pie.   It’s been going on forever and will continue to go on in the future.  We can put up all sorts of barriers, but when it comes down to it…a lot of votes are bought and sold in marketplace.  Always have been, always will be.


Besides, what is a “fair” election anyway?  Misinformation and money spent in the right places tend to determine the outcome of most elections.  Occasionally, the candidate who should win takes it for granted and the upset occurs (2016).  Sometimes things are so bad that the party in power has no chance of winning (2008).   But, increasingly big money and big media and big tech pick the winner in the election of a President.   


Make no mistake, big money was tired of Trump.  I’m not talking about the average business or even big business.  I’m talking about the really big money, global money.  And the “Globalists Cartel” was done with Trumpism.  Nationalism and America First doesn’t work well for the Globalists.  And for those who have spent decades learning to navigate “The Swamp” to their advantage, there is no upside in seeing it drained. 


Collectively big money, big media and big tech have a different vision for the future of America and for The World.   Trump and his supporters are seen as the crazy old aunts and uncles who clutch their purses and rattle the change in their pockets while talking about the way things used to be and all that’s wrong these days.  Furthermore, they represent a roadblock to The Great Reset.  For Globalists, The Great Reset means rebooting the world in order to address the existential threat of climate change while also creating more fair and equitable social and economic systems.   Welcome to Postmodernism 2.0.  It is no longer a matter of ideas and beliefs, it’s about action. 


The real question becomes, who’s in charge?  Who will decide what needs to be done to “save the planet” from the pending climate catastrophe?  Who gets to decide what is fair and equitable and how those outcomes are achieved?  Who decides how we pay for The Great Reset?  And The Great Reset will require power and control.  Who decides how much freedom and privacy is allowable?  


Freedom isn’t perfect either.  But history would tell us that it beats the alternative.  Beware The Great Reset.


For the Left, tolerance does not mean tolerance.  It means first, acceptance.  And second, celebration. That is totalitarianism: You not only have to live with what you may differ with, dear citizen, you have to celebrate it or pay a steep price”. – Dennis Prager