REMEMBER my predictions made Jan 16, 2010?
Far too many have proven far too accurate.
PLEASE UNDERSTAND that I take no pleasure, no pride, and I am not gloating. NEITHER am I a gifted soothsayer. I am only shocked that experts on politics cannot put my amateur musings to shame.
MY ONLY “SOURCES” are History, Ethnology, and Technology. And they can be applied all too simply.
My words are too many and too useless. So I’ll repeat each prediction and then offer the thoughts of experts… in their own words with links… with my BRIEF intro. You can grade it hit or miss or wasted time. But please DO take the time to read one or two experts a day.
After all, we're in this thing together.
JANUARY 1- The world imposes sanctions on Iran.
The timeline graphic in the link below shows a year of ever-escalating pressure… and no results. But “results” were never expected as the “Developed” nations set the stage for the military strike by ISRAEL—
Iran Sanctions, A Timeline
On Jan. 28, 2010, the US Senate passed the Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability and Divestment Act (S.2799).
FEBRUARY 14- Poor January US sales reported.
What was "poor"
back in January has
gotten far worse than
one lou$y month--
When the Fed Speaks
August 11, 2010, NYT- It is increasingly plain to see that the Fed has all but played its hand, and the economy is still in deep trouble. The central problem is not lack of money to hire workers or make loans or rates that are too high. It is lack of hiring and lack of lending. As long as the economy is weak and getting weaker, employers will be reluctant to hire new workers and banks will be reluctant to lend to small businesses. As long as hiring and lending are constrained, consumers will be reluctant to spend, and the economy will be weak.
FEBRUARY 1- Many see the last unemployment check.
Congress balked… not ONCE but TWICE. Jim Bunning (remember him?) was the one vote to keep writing checks in May. In July, the vote to keep writing checks passed by a single vote, after waiting for the successor to Robert Byrd of W Va. Next vote is in November—
Unemployment benefits: Bunning relents, Senate passes extension
March 3, 2010- In a sprint on Tuesday night, the US Senate passed an extension of federal unemployment insurance benefits, then raced it to the White House for President Obama’s signature. The battle over how or whether to pay for it became a focal point in the Senate – especially for Sen. Jim Bunning (R) of Ky. who held up consideration of the legislation unless it found a way to pay for it. Congress has already passed legislation requiring it to pay for any new spending, but it waived that requirement for the unemployment legislation.
Congress approves unemployment extension
July 22, USA TODAY- A day after the Senate advanced the measure, the House voted 272-152 to send the benefits extension to the White House for President Obama's signature. But the debate over the cost the legislation continues to dominate House and Senate races across the country. The legislation extends benefits for those who have already used up their standard 26 weeks of unemployment, which Democrats said is necessary to help millions of out-of-work Americans. Republicans say they also support extending the benefits but argue the government should not borrow the $34 billion needed to pay for it.
MARCH 7- Iraqi election results in— Civil War wins.
The voting was disputed, the “elected” Parliament is split. BOTH parties are BigTime Shi’a, but one wants to give a teeny bit of power to the Sunnis. Although the two parties have not made ANY progress, hard-line Shi’a are protecting their turf by killing the few Sunni leaders. Of course, we’ve left the country and The Civil War has begun… but we’ll just blame “insurgents” for the first few months. May God help our last 50,000 soldiers to get out safely—
Sunnis Killed in Iraq Suicide Attacks
July 18, 2010- The bomber struck early Sunday in Radwaniya, a largely Sunni neighborhood southwest of central Baghdad. An official at the Ministry of the Interior said at least 43 people were killed and 40 were wounded. The dead were mainly members of the Awakening movement, the organization composed mostly of Sunni former insurgents. Hours later, another attack aimed at Awakening members killed four of them in Al Qaim, a city in Anbar Province in western Iraq.
The violence follows a series of assassinations and attacks in recent months against the former insurgents, adding new urgency to questions about how long they will remain loyal to a government they blame for not protecting them. The concern, and an apparent goal of the attackers, is that nearly 90,000 armed former militants could hit the street again as the United States is sharply reducing the number of troops in Iraq.
Coordinated Attacks Strike 13 Towns and Cities in Iraq
August 25, 2010, BAGHDAD — In one of the broadest assaults on Iraq’s security forces, insurgents unleashed a wave of roadside mines and a more than a dozen car bombings across Iraq on Wednesday, killing dozens, toppling a police station in the capital and sowing chaos and confusion among the soldiers and police officers who responded.
“A bloody day,” Khalil Ahmed, a 30-year-old engineer, said simply. “From the day of the fall of Saddam until now, this is what we have — explosions, killing and looting,” he said. “This is our destiny. It’s already written for us.”
“The beginning of the storm,” said Saleh Khamis, a 38-year-old teacher in Buhriz.
June 29, 2010- Tomorrow, June 30, has was named "Sovereignty Day" because on June 30, 2009, the American forces were no longer in control of security in Iraqi cities – they had handed over the security to the Iraqi government, according to the security agreement signed between the two "sovereign" countries. After that date U.S. military convoys were not to enter Iraqi cities unescorted by Iraqi forces or to undertake any military action without the prior approval of the Iraqi authorities, including raids and detentions.
Last year Sovereignty Day was celebrated by the Iraqi government and by the Iraqi people who wanted so very badly to believe that this was the end of the occupation and the beginning of a return to normal life. The celebration was held in Zawraa Park, with music, singing and dancing that continued late into the evening. Hundreds of young people participated.
This year, however, we heard no announcements of activities.
I called the defence ministry media office, and they had nothing scheduled. I called our source within the interior ministry – Maybe he had an idea.
"Sovereignty Day?? What sovereignty?? And who is to hold the celebration?? The government? What government??"
Indeed – What sovereignty? And what government?
This occupation opened the door for powerful winds – and they entered and are blowing, still.
Iraq has become a plain on which international and regional forces are struggling for supremacy. A tug of war between the Shiites in Iran and the Wahabis in Saudi – between the Kurds, whether in Iraq, Turkey or Iran, and the Arabs – between forces that want to keep the country together and forces that want to rip it apart.
APRIL- Eh, sooner. US Commercial Loan crash.
US ECONOMY “DEBT CANCER”
July 11, 2010- Erskine Bowles said that unlike the current economic crisis, which was largely unforeseen before it hit in fall 2008, the coming fiscal calamity is staring the country in the face. "This one is as clear as a bell," he said. "This debt is like a cancer."
APRIL- Adjustable mortgage consumers get wiped out.
Uncle Sam has stepped in planning to save FOUR MILLION mortgages… only 800,000 rescued so far. But with or without help, far too many homeowners are falling behind, values are “underwater”… and we’re gonna’ be DEEP in it—
Mortgage Payments One Month Overdue Increase as U.S. Economic Growth Slows
August 26, 2010- Home loans overdue by a month rose to 3.51 percent according to a report today. The gain suggests a slowing economy may increase foreclosures as mortgage holders lose their jobs. The Obama administration’s Home Affordable Modification Program resulted in 340,459 modifications by the end of May. In addition, 467,672 trial modifications were under way. The Obama administration set a goal of up to 4 million modifications by December 2012 when the program was announced last year.
Plunging home sales could sink recovery
August 24, 2010: NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- With home sales plunging to their lowest level in 15 years, economists warn that a double-dip in housing prices is just around the corner, threatening to further slow the overall recovery.
"Home sales were eye-wateringly weak in July," said economist Paul Dales of Capital Economics. "It is becoming abundantly clear that the housing market is undermining the already faltering wider economic recovery. With an increasingly inevitable double-dip in housing prices yet to come, things could get a lot worse."
Thousands seeking mortgage help line up at Palm Beach County Convention Center this morning (8/27)
August 27, WEST PALM BEACH — Thousands of people are lined up this morning outside the Palm Beach County Convention Center hoping the Neighborhood Assistance Corp. of America will help them save their homes. They are here from throughout the country, including Detroit and California. The non-profit group opened the doors at 9 a.m. to begin a five-day marathon of around-the-clock loan modifications. The event, which is free, aims to get homeowners cheaper monthly mortgage payments through interest rate reductions, extending the life of the loan and a reduction in loan amount.
MAY- Upswing in “Small-American” localized violence.
The “Unemployment Extensions” have kept the lid on this deadly pressure cooker. But the evidence of Civil Unrest and “senseless” violence aren’t hard to find. Far too many stories… this one should suffice—
MURDER-SUICIDES: Economic worries taking toll in recent deaths
Victims' families blame financial stress
August 30, 2010- Donald and Barbara Romano had been residents of Las Vegas for more than 50 years. On Aug. 20, a Friday, the couple was found dead in the bedroom of their million-dollar home, Las Vegas police said. A gun was found in Donald's hand and a note was left near the bed. Both were 74. Their deaths are the latest in a wave of murder-suicides in the Las Vegas Valley this month.
From Aug. 7 to Aug. 20 there were five murder-suicides, 10 deaths total, Las Vegas police said. A gun was used in each case. Homicide Lt. Lew Roberts, speaking in general terms, said several of the recent cases can be traced to the same cause. "At this point it appears that maybe the economy is starting to take effect, which is something we haven't seen before," he said.
MAY- Elections in Afghanistan…hahahahaha. No, really.
Afghan vote runs up against fear, disenchantment
August 24, AP-- After a fraud-ridden presidential election last year that threatened to undermine President Hamid Karzai's legitimacy and international support, the Sept. 18 parliamentary ballot is being watched closely as a test of whether the Afghan government is serious about reform.
A second flawed ballot would devastate Karzai's reputation abroad and threaten U.S. congressional support for the government at a decisive phase in the nearly 9-year war.
The Afghan constitution required a parliamentary election by May 22, but the balloting was postponed by four months because of security concerns and lack of funds from international donors, which were withheld until Karzai replaced top election officials who ran the presidential vote.
With fighting escalating in much of the country and bitter memories of the presidential vote fraud, many Afghans wonder what's the point.
"We don't know if we will be alive tomorrow and you are talking about the election?" said Abdul Jabbar Aghnozada, a farmer.
Unrest Is Undermining Hopes for Afghan Vote
August 12, KABUL, Afghanistan — Worsening insurgent violence in many parts of the country is raising concern about Afghanistan’s ability to hold a fair parliamentary election in little more than a month. Security has worsened, making it harder to get election observers to polling centers. Candidates have complained that they cannot reach districts where they need to campaign because it is too dangerous. Already Western diplomats and observers are lowering expectations for the election, while Afghans are increasingly disillusioned and fatalistic about the prospects for democracy.
LATE SPRING- Pakistani coup, truce with Taliban.
MY BAD. No coup…not necessary. We keep using drones without telling them... because they'll warn their tribal brethren. SO the Pakistanis ARE making their peace with the Taliban, born, bred and beloved in Pakistan’s Pashtun regions—
Afghanistan war logs: whose side is Pakistan on?
The storm of controversy raised by the accounts of alleged collusion between Pakistani intelligence and the Taliban in the Wikileaks logs has resurrected one of the most vexed questions of the nine-year Afghan war: whose side is Pakistan on? The reports have galvanised the opinions of some Americans who view the Pakistani military, which runs the Inter-Services Intelligence agency, as a double-dealing entity that accepts $1bn a year in US funding while quietly helping Afghan insurgents.
JUNE- NYS & NYC collapse, bankrupt beyond belief.
MY BAD. The disastrous NY STATE Budget just recently got passed… overdue since April 1. The sickly statewide damage will need some time to trickle down to downtown Manhattan. Soon, it will be a test for all Noo Yawkas. But for now, it is almost comical—
Local pain from state's sickness
August 8, ALBANY -- The pain of the state's money woes will hit home in coming months, as local governments cope with aid cutbacks, retailers see spending reductions and landlords lose state tenants as offices are consolidated.
Sliced Bagels, Taxes on Top
AUGUST 24, 2010- State tax officials, under orders from cash-strapped Albany, have begun to enforce one of the more obscure distinctions within the state's sales tax law. The extra charge, about eight cents a bagel, depending on the local rate, has filled customers with boiling rage.
In New York, the sale of whole bagels isn't subject to sales tax. But the tax does apply to "sliced or prepared bagels (with cream cheese or other toppings)," according to the state Department of Taxation and Finance. And if the bagel is eaten in the store, even if it's never been touched by a knife, it's also taxed.
JUNE- Maybe sooner. Oil Tanker sunk near Hormuz.
MY BAD. The Bad Guys in Yemen were moving slower than I expected. As always, THEY are on Muslim Time while I race on Noo-Yawka’ Pragmatic-Yankee time. But the sinkings will come from NEW shore-based insurgents—
Gunmen attack Yemen security offices, al Qaeda blamed
July 14, Reuters- "A large number of gunmen attacked the Political Security and the General Security (police) offices at the beginning of the workday, a police source said. "It is believed that the attackers were members of al Qaeda," he added. The assault was the second by suspected al Qaeda gunmen on Yemen security offices in less than a month. In June, al Qaeda attackers raided the regional headquarters of the political security office in the southern port city of Aden, killing 11.
"We're witnessing a major shift in al Qaeda's policy," Mustafa Alani, of the Gulf Research Center in Dubai, said. "We're entering a stage where there is a real, face to face confrontation between the security community and al Qaeda."
JULY- US troops exit Pakistan. Let’s just be friends.
We are WAY overdue for getting out. The catastrophic floods have turned attention from cooperation to cholera. The government may simply collapse in this damn crisis… Lord knows Pakistan sure as hell can’t, or won’t, fight—
Pakistan's leader says world losing Afghan war
Aug 3, LONDON – The U.S.-led coalition's battle against the Taliban has already been lost because of its failure to win over the Afghan people, Pakistan's president warned Britain’s Prime Minister David Cameron, who has accused the country of exporting terrorism. U.S. and NATO commanders have repeatedly said the war cannot be won unless Islamabad does more to tackle extremists on its side of the border.
Pakistan’s Double Game
NYT: July 26, 2010- If Mr. Obama cannot persuade Islamabad to cut its ties to, and then aggressively fight, the extremists in Pakistan, there is no hope of defeating the Taliban in Afghanistan.
JULY- Mexico surrenders to drug cartels. Shots for all!
Few are watching this mess. Dealers have moved from killing foes to eliminating the real problem- The Government. With the cops dead or bought-off, our borders are little more than lines on paper. Lines that will be re-written in blood. Oh, Mexico is dependent on their Gulf Oil-sucking PEMEX… and their oil reserves are near depletion—
Rising death toll in Ciudad Juarez
06/28/2010- Look at these numbers for the death toll for Ciudad Juarez, the northern border city across from El Paso. It is a comparison of the first six months of this year with the past two years. The source is the Diario newspaper in Juarez.
2008--Jan-June: 520 homicides
2010--Jan-June 27: 1,363
Two Mexican-Americans were shot and killed in a bar in Juarez on Saturday. The trend is obvious.
JULY- Khalid trial in NYC triggers attacks on aircraft.
Damned if I know what happened to Khalid. His heinous crimes now take back seat to the sick vitriol of a nation lashing out at mosques that are NOT MOSQUES, attacking Muslims who are AMERICANS, and declaring that religious freedoms do NOT apply to all religions. Oh, did you know WTC was built on a community, a neighborhood established in 1847? To the NY/NJ political machine, it was “urban blight.” So they obliterated 325 stores and the livelihood of 30,000 owners, employees and their families. It was a pocket of immigrants… from the MidEast. Not so well-known as “Little Italy” or “Chinatown”… but it was “Little Syria.” And they had mosques long before slavery was made illegal. I shared that in my walking tours of WTC, the weekend tours I lead with great joy for 12 years. Today’s rampant ignorance makes me sick. New York is better than that. America is better than that. And gosh darn it, one legendary leading Republican agrees with me—
Hatch backs 'Ground Zero Mosque’
August 31, 2010 (CNN)- In an interview on Monday with Fox13now in Salt Lake City, Utah Senator Orrin Hatch said he would be “the first to stand up” for the rights of Muslims to build an Islamic community center and mosque near ground zero. Well, he’s not exactly the first, but I’ll take it.
AUGUST- A hot summer, bruised America on the ropes.
It has been bad… but worse if congress had not buried this DEPRESSION under buckets of money. First TARP at $700 BILLION, then DETROIT at $34 BILLION, then HOUSING at $275 BILLION, then CAR CREDITS of $5G each, then HOME LOAN CREDITS of $8G per house… and the endless shower of generous UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS. That DEBT has caught our attention... and trouble when the FREE MONEY ends—
U.S. Is Bankrupt and We Don't Even Know It
By Laurence Kotlikoff, August 10, 2010 - Let’s get real. The U.S. is bankrupt. Neither spending more nor taxing less will help the country pay its bills. Our country is broke and can no longer afford no-pain, all-gain “solutions.”
SEPT- Arrival of a Great American Conservative.
Glenn Beck got his start as a reasonable “everyman” when he had his first TV program on HNN. Now at FOX, he has a blackboard, long crying jags, and he's the “Great American Conservative” prophet. He scares the Hell out of me—
Beck Says US Has 'Wandered in Darkness' Too Long
Glenn Beck: the pudgy, buzz-cut, weeping phenomenon of radio, TV and books. Our hot summer of political combat is turning toward an autumn of showdowns over some of the biggest public-policy initiatives in decades. The old American mind-set called "the paranoid style" — the sense that Masons or the railroads or the Pope or the guys in black helicopters are in league to destroy the country — is aflame again, fanned from both right and left.
It is Beck — nervous, beset, desperate — who now channels the mood of many on the right. "I'm afraid," he has said more than once in recent months. "You should be afraid too." His fears are many — which is lucky for him, because Beck is responsible for filling multiple hours each day on radio and TV and webcast, plus hundreds of pages each year in his books, his online magazine and his newsletter.
One of his Fox News Channel colleagues, Shepard Smith, has jokingly called Beck's studio the "fear chamber." Beck countered that he preferred "doom room."
NOVEMBER- Republicans sweep the mid-term elections.
I don’t have any reason to doubt it. But with the environment they’ll inherit, I have reason to fear it. No matter who wins, I fear the harsh intrusion of ONE reality- There IS no “Recovery.” There WILL BE no “Double-Dip Recession.” There will be ONLY the REALITY predicted so long ago by my Dad-the-Retired-Brilliant-Bank-President— We are DEEPLY immersed in what ARRIVED in late 2007, and that REALITY is a 100% DEPRESSION—
This Is Not a Recovery
August 26, NYT- What will Ben Bernanke say in his big speech Friday? We can predict what he will say about where we are now: that the economy is continuing to recover, albeit more slowly than they would like. Unfortunately, that’s not true: this isn’t a recovery.
Policy makers are in denial. After its last monetary policy meeting, the Fed released a statement declaring that it “anticipates a gradual return to higher levels of employment.” Meanwhile, Tim Geithner says that “we’re on the road to recovery.” No, we aren’t.
Why are people who know better sugar-coating economic reality? The answer, I’m sorry to say, is that it’s all about evading responsibility. It’s time to admit that what we have now isn’t a recovery, and do whatever we can to change that situation.
NOVEMBER- Israel attacks an Iranian nuclear facility.
YES, I’ve been REPEATING this for years. Israel KNOWS Iran has the stuff of TWO nukes.So THIS is the YEAR. I’m even predicting the moonless night of December 5… while the much wiser experts say “Next Spring”—
US shares Medvedev worries on Iran
July 12, 2010, WASHINGTON — The United States saluted Russian President Dmitry Medvedev's criticism of Iran and said it shared concerns that the Islamic republic could reach a "tipping point" in its nuclear drive.
The Gulf heats up
July 25, 2010- Concerns about Iran’s nuclear weapons program and negative involvement in the region are heard these days more in Arabic than any other language, including Hebrew. There is a worry that an Iranian bomb will enable it to set the future strategic agenda in the region.
The Point of No Return
September 2010, ATLANTIC magazine- Based on months of interviews, it is a near-certainty that Israel will act against Iran soon if nothing or no one else stops the nuclear program. One day next spring, Israeli advisers will telephone the White House and the Pentagon, to inform them that Israel has just ordered roughly 100 aircraft to fly toward Iran. The Obama administration knows it is a near-certainty that Israel will act against Iran soon.
DECEMBER- Congrats! You’ve made it. Now what?
In my interminably detailed predictions I warned that the Dow (now at 10,000) would dive THIS YEAR… landing at 5,000 to 6,000. It seems I may not be alone in my madness—
Dow Faces Bouncy Ride to 5,000: Strategist
AUGUST 24- The Dow Jones Average will lose about half of its value over the next couple of years as it follows a Nikkei-like pattern of several sharp rallies in an overall decline, according to Charles Nenner, founder and president of Charles Nenner research. Stocks are currently in a bear-market rally, and looking at charts and past trends, unemployment and leading indicators suggest the Dow will drop to 5,000 in the next two to two-and-a-half years, Nenner told CNBC in an e-mail.
My urgent warnings about social unrest have also lacked any vocal support. But some now dare to speak the unspeakable—
Defining Prosperity Down
August 2, NYT-- Not long ago, anyone predicting that one in six Americans would be unemployed or underemployed, and that the average unemployed worker would have been jobless for 35 weeks, would have been dismissed as outlandishly pessimistic. But what’s worse is the growing evidence that our governing elite just doesn’t care — that a once-unthinkable level of economic distress is in the process of becoming the new normal.
And I worry that those in power, rather than taking responsibility for job creation, will soon declare that high unemployment is “structural,” a permanent part of the economic landscape — and that by condemning large numbers of Americans to long-term joblessness, they’ll turn that excuse into dismal reality.
Here’s what I consider all too likely: Two years from now unemployment will still be extremely high, quite possibly higher than it is now. As the long-term unemployed lose their skills and their connections with the work force, and become unemployable.
While Americans are indeed angry, their anger is unfocused.
I will be blunt— My rage and my fury have absolute ZERO tolerance of forgiveness for LYING officials who send our SOLDIERS off to DIE. For GOD’s sake, was ANYBODY else ALIVE during VIETNAM? Did ANYBODY else learn the folly of NOT UNDERSTANDING the CULTURE/HISTORY/RELIGION of your ENEMY? Did ANYBODY else learn the STRAIN on SOLDIERS sent to fight insurgents who BLEND INTO the community? But ONCE AGAIN, voices are now slowly rising in retrospective WISDOM—
The Lunatic’s Manual
August 2, 2010 (NYT)- War is a meat grinder for service members and their families. It grinds people up without mercy, killing them and inflicting the worst kinds of wounds imaginable, physical and psychological. The G.I.’s have fought valiantly in Iraq and Afghanistan. Thousands have died and many, many more have suffered. But the wars have been conducted as if their leaders had been reading from a lunatic’s manual.
This is not Germany or Japan or the old Soviet Union that we’re fighting. But after nearly a decade, neither war has been won and there is no prospect of winning. It’s time to bring the curtain down for good on these tragic, farcical wars. The fantasy of democracy blossoming at the point of a gun in Iraq and spreading blithely throughout the Middle East has been obliterated.
And it’s hard to believe that anyone buys the notion that the U.S. can install a successful society in the medieval madness of Afghanistan.
In my relentless tirades against the war and the bogus WMD garbage, the usual response was “SO…what would YOU do?” I would have improved communities in the lands of our enemies… improvements AS DEFINED by the locals. And author Greg Mortenson literally “wrote the book”—
1 Soldier or 20 Schools
July 29, NYT- The latest uproar over Pakistani hand-holding with the Afghan Taliban underscores that billions of dollars in U.S. military aid just doesn’t buy the loyalty it used to. In contrast, education can actually transform a nation. For the cost of just one soldier in Afghanistan for one year, we could start about 20 schools there. Hawks retort that it’s impossible to run schools in Afghanistan unless there are American troops to protect them. But that’s incorrect.
CARE operates 300 schools in Afghanistan, and not one has been burned by the Taliban. Greg Mortenson, author of “Three Cups of Tea”, has overseen the building of 145 schools in Afghanistan and Pakistan and operates dozens more in tents or rented buildings — and he says that not one has been destroyed by the Taliban either.
Aid groups show that it is quite possible to run schools so long as there is respectful consultation with tribal elders and buy-in from them. What’s more, an unbalanced focus on weapons alone is often counterproductive, creating a nationalist backlash against foreign “invaders.”
I’m disappointed in my predictions made Jan 16, 2010—
Far too many are far too accurate.
And all of them were far too easy to make.
And the road to 2011 will be far too difficult for many.
But what do I know?