Predictions 2011

Kind of fun. CNN has some predictions made by experts in various fields to the New York Times in 1931– check out the hits and misses…

I thought the net would abound with provocative and edgy predictions, but most psychics favor the vague. I’m posting these predictions by Tremcrst who’s not afraid to say in plain English that Toronto will be over-run by bats. Other predictions here.

I think our readers are likely to get at least a few hits. How about it? What’s your predictions for 2011? Let’s not wimp out, like some, and predict that ‘a natural disaster will occur in China’. Look at China on a map. It’s big. Also, ‘celebrity overdose’, sadly, is just about inevitable.

Here’s some predictions for the first six months…

January 2011– cyberattack on banks make debit cards useless for a day.
February 2011– Dow Jones hits 12,000
March 2011– Roots Cafe opens on Westminster Street, becomes a happening place.
April 2011– Heat wave in Northeast spurs fears of global warming.
May 2011– Rabid coyote terrorizes South Kingston
June 2011–Mass wedding on the State House lawn, in rainbow colors.

So, I’ve put it in writing, let’s see if my random guesses psychic predictions come true.

Mr. Green, who is sometimes scary with his prescience, is on the fence. He says that 2011 will either be a very good year, or a very bad one. Not a dull year, such as 1987, which you cannot off the top of your head recall anything about. Jessica McClure falling down a well and ‘Hustler v. Falwell’ making the Supreme Court is all that rings a bell with me.

So far we have–

North Korea heats up and sparks conflict.
Elderly Fidel Castro passes.

Central Falls drags the rest of the state down with its financial crisis.

as above
Central Falls, with its unique topography, its narrow, walkable streets, it’s many boarded up triple-deckers and vacant storefronts, becomes Greenwich Village North. Latte-drinkers might be annoying, but it beats having a disgraced prison-for-profit in the heart of town.

Ten points for being specific–Allison Warden predicts that the Rapture will come May 21, 2011. She’s driving around in a sporty Rapturemobile to get the message out. I’m not sure why, though. She believes in Predestination, so what’s the point?

Chinese New Year is February 3rd. It’s the Year of the Rabbit. The Yin Metal Rabbit to be specific. That would make a great comic book character. Predictions for your animal sign here. We have two more months of the Year of the Tiger, so maybe by Spring we will be in a less fierce and more cuddly space.

So this political forecast says. Bad time to buy defense industry stocks, good time to buy real estate. But you might not want to make any long-term investments, or bother paying off your credit card. The world is going to end in 2011. If, however, the colliding asteroid scenario doesn’t play out, and we get the Rapture instead, the Republican Party is history in 2012.

And what list of predictions would be complete without questionable translations of the word salad composed in Medieval French by Nostrodamus? Keith Tax studies the ancient mystic, and the writings of Edgar Cayce, concluding that the economy will improve. Unfortunately the East Coast will disappear under the Atlantic, which makes me think twice about taking out a loan for a new roof this year.

CBS News predicts that the US will begin to pull out of Afghanistan and that Congress will come together over the national debt. Of which a large expense is war, but will anyone in Congress be brave enough to say it? Austerity for the workers, tax cuts for the rich should be a tough sell, but it works in the short term– gets you influential friends. I predict that the Tea drinkers will be trying simultaneously to look like mavericks and march in step.

The Farmer’s Almanac predicts a frigid winter– not good news with the price of oil going up. Snow’s blowing sideways now and I’m predicting I’ll be late for work tomorrow.

Sophia Angelique has some pragmatic analysis of the difficulty of predicting the future before it happens, but has a link to the year of the rabbit. She says the arts will be big this year, backing up my prediction that the Roots Cafe will flourish and blossom this spring.

Pope Benedict’s Confession

So 2012 is in its last hours, and my prediction that the Pope would get a visitation from the spirit of John the XXIII did not come to pass. But I offer this dream, dedicated to Catholic
Workers and child soldiers the world over.

New York Times Book Review, June 24, 2012
My Life in Hitler Youth by Pope Benedict XVI
Translated from the German by Sophia Magdalena Scholl and Hans Scholl
With commentary by Steve Biko, Rabbi Hillel, Badshah Khan, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, and the Ven. Mahaghosananda
Forward by Archbishop Oscar Romero

While confessional literature has won an enduring readership, it is unusual to find a religious or political leader who is willing to attempt it. Most are less given to autobiography than to self-promotion.

It is all the more surprising that Pope Benedict XVI, whose tenure had been characterized by autocracy, even, some would say, arrogance; has humbly and honestly laid bare his experience as a teenage German boy caught up in the Nazi war machine.

In today’s world child soldiers are cannon fodder in countless civil conflicts. Teenagers are recruited to sign ten, or even twenty-year contracts with the privatized militias favored by the developed nations. The desperately poor allow their children to be implanted with RFID chips and fed psychotropic drugs to increase their value on the mercenary market.

Pope Benedict’s book stands as a powerful challenge to our 21st century way of war.

The catalyst for this amazing book was a 2010 meeting in Rome with survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic clergy.
“I prayed with them, I assured them that never again would such violation of innocence be tolerated. Committees would be formed, the guilty would be routed out. I thought I was doing all that I could, but there was no mistaking the disappointment in their eyes. They wanted to hear something more from me.”

From that day, Benedict began to suffer from insomnia. He was tormented by nightmares in which he was visited by the ghosts of his Jewish playmates who disappeared in the Nazi violence. A letter from ‘Konrad’, a boyhood friend and fellow Hitler Youth, triggered a spiritual crisis. Benedict flew to Germany, secretly and under high security, to hear his friend’s confession and to give last rites.

“Konrad needed to unburden his soul to someone who knew what we did, and what was done to us. Our souls were violated, we were seduced by hate. Only to each other could we admit that we sometimes enjoyed the seduction. We were robbed of our innocence, and the loss did not diminish with time. It was not for me, his fellow sinner and fellow victim, to grant absolution. We prayed together for God’s forgiving grace. We wept together. Then we forgave those who had done this to us. They themselves were seduced.”

The Pope returned to Rome with a new resolve to address the needs of the world’s children. His Encyclical, ‘The Sin of Obedience’, shocked many in the Catholic hierarchy, but did much to mend relations with parishes torn by the sexual abuse scandals. His eloquent stand against war, previously muted by his close relationships with the world’s aggressors, was broadcast worldwide. Benedict’s frank conversations with Rabbi Hillel concerning the abuses that occur when religion becomes handmaiden to politics led to a change in direction that some call ‘radical’. His account of that conversation is not only a heartfelt apology for the failure of the Catholic Church to effectively oppose the Nazis, but an admission that political expediency corrupted the Church’s response to the atrocious acts of that regime.

“Christians had forgotten that the greatest Rabbi, Our Lord and Savior, spoke truth to power, even at the cost of his life. Being truly Man, as well as truly God, he suffered as we all do.”

The Pope’s incognito visit to Brazil, where he met some of the poorest of his flock in the favelas (slums), celebrating Mass in a tin shanty, washing the feet of meninos da rua (street children) will go down in history as an act of saintliness.

Since then, the Pope has led his flock in a direction that is changing the global Church. The Pope’s recent encyclicals have drawn criticism as well as praise.
‘A Little Child Shall Lead Them’ prompted one conservative commentator to remark that the Pope, who was formerly known as a crusader against abortion “now expects us to waste our tax dollars on snot-nosed welfare brats.”

But despite accusations of betrayal from many of his former allies on the American religious right, this pope is enjoying a surge of popularity not seen since the reign of Pope John the XXIII. The attrition of the past few decades is reversing as the Church gains more new converts and lapsed Catholics return to the faith.

The rumor that the Vatican will soon make priestly celibacy optional has sparked a renewed interest that promises to alleviate the dire shortage of priests in the developed nations; and if implemented would legitimize the de-facto priestly marriages that are common in Africa.

Meanwhile, in Central America, the revival movement known as ‘Caridad’, endorsed by the Church despite its strong resemblance to the ‘Liberation Theology’ that was dismantled by Benedict just a few years ago; promises to take the wind out of the sails of the Protestant Evangelical revival as former Catholics return to the faith of their childhood.

Here in the US, it is interesting to see some of the same politicians who enjoyed support from the pulpits of their local Catholic churches now invoking the principle of separation of Church and State.

Worldwide, the Catholic church has undergone a profound shift in emphasis. New orders of nuns and other religious operate with a freedom and authority unimaginable just a few years ago. With the goal of protecting children, nuns have organized on behalf of women in practical ways–health care, literacy, employment, respect.

‘Space Your Children’ a family planning pamphlet by Liberian nun and midwife Sr.Grace Wah, has been tacitly approved by papal authorities despite its frank endorsement of birth control. Sr.Wah would have been facing censorship, if not excommunication, for such views prior to Benedict’s change of heart.

Pope Benedict continues to reach out to those who have suffered the most from global war. His conversation with Hussam Abdo, a teenage would-be suicide bomber disarmed by Israeli police, and Zawadi Mongane, a rape survivor from the war in Congo, is still being parsed by theologians for its affirmation of living a whole and healed life in the wake of unbearable wrong. Truly, Pope Benedict has become a voice of conscience for the Christian world and extended the hand of friendship to other faiths.

This Pope, who began his reign determined to roll back the changes of Vatican II, now stands in the shoes of John XXIII, and promises to take his legacy farther than any thought possible.

Moon– Me Vida Local Video

Being married to a space cadet who has scores of books about the Apollo mission, I wanted to see the movie, Moon. It played briefly in Providence and I didn’t get out to see it, but it finally came to Acme Video on DVD.

It’s pretty good, minimal explosions and some smart ideas. Sam Rockwell basically does a solo performance playing himselves (there’s a whole warehouse full of hims). Kevin Spacey is GERTY, a cousin of HAL from 2001-A Space Odyssey, but with a smiley face. He’s really sinister.

Anyone seen it? I liked it. I’m kind of cranky about recent sci-fi movies where the aliens either act just like people or look like runway models painted blue. Here there’s no space aliens, just an alienated human being who ends up as an illegal alien.

And let me add Acme Video to the list of unique, friendly Rhode Island businesses.

Me Vida Local List–
Acme Video
Silver Star Bakery
United BBQ
Stamp Egg Farms
East Side Prescription Center
Yacht Club Soda
Mangiarelli’s Fruitlands
Four Mile River Farm