Congratulations. You've made it - 5 years after Y2K and that freeze dried food is still good. Both containers. Remember - you gotta dust out the underground shelter every year, and January is a good time to do that. Oh, and let the generator run for a while after you change the oil. While you're draining the reserve water tank maybe you'll be thinking of what to expect this year. Here's some possibilities.
Four More Years
We'll see the start of a second term - will it be marked by a no risk, legacy shaping approach? I don't really think so. My take is that this term will be marked by more accomplishment and less compromise. The President now has the mandate, and he's going to spend that political 'capital'. Watch for a year of judicial battles - but in the end I think if a nomination will be filibustered, they'll have to actually...filibuster. Who woulda thought that? And I wouldn't be surprised if sometime this year someone from somewhere starts the impeachment bandwagon. And I wouldn't be surprised if somehow that brilliant move ends up as a net gain for the administration.
This Time It Counts
This year will also see an Iraqi election. A real one. You know, when more then one person is on the ballot. And where the ballot is just a ballot, not a ballot/death certificate - depending on who you vote for. No doubt after the election there will be cries of fraud, confusion, and general unrest, mostly emanating from the pillar of moral clarity that is the UN, from those truly interested in the freedom of the Iraqi people - France and Germany, from the expert in untarnished democracy - Russia, and noble peace prize whiner - Jimmy Carter. But other than that, I think it'll be fine. And really, if we don't hear from the aforementioned - that's when I'd be concerned.
It's Dead Jim
Perhaps we'll see the final nail in the coffin of arguably the most miserable failure of an international organization. Ever. The UN resolutions are meaningless, its security council is for sale, and its 'humanitarian' programs are nothing more than a front to keep a ruthless dictator powerful and career diplomats wealthy. The oil for food scandal makes the abusers of capitalism - Kenron and the like - seem like angels. The UN and Kofi Annan are to the world what the Mob and Al Capone were to Chicago. So where's Eliot Ness? Maybe he's on the way.
Red State Blue State
Some would say the country's divided - but then when exactly hasn't it been? I think we'll see more of a swing towards red state ideals over the next year. I think we'll start reaping some of the benefit and success of conservative thought - and I think people will actually realize what works. Although I don't think Mikhail Morbachev can become any more irrelevant, I think he will become less tolerated. Or unchallenged. Or what ever you call it when people actually compare his propaganda to facts. Maybe it's time to move to Canada Mike. Maybe you can't get the blue states to secede - but at least you could.
The Power Of The Press
Blogs will continue to infringe on the power of the legacy media. New media will continue to grow. And the broadcast news still won't have a clue why people - both liberal and conservative - watch Fox news. People will continue to realize that getting an 'opinion' from a source that is open about its own bias is better then getting the 'news' from one that isn't. It's the blurry beginning of a new concept in information - where you can get directly to the source, where the monopoly of media is over. Hey, don't blame us - blame Al Gore.
A New Generation
More and more of those in high school, college, and those just starting off in 'life' are becoming conservative. Is it rebellion against the teachers, professors, employers that are liberal? Or is it that it's becoming apparent that liberal ideas just don't work out that well? Maybe a little of both. There really is no new thing under the sun and things like these go in cycles. It's important to realize that a culture that is generally conservative in its ideals isn't necessarily a culture that is founded on correct absolutes. The foundation must be laid no matter what the political and cultural consensus is. Use what opportunities are given, don't take them for granted.
Finally, at the beginning of this new year - remember that the events that will effect you the most are likely to be those in your life, not the things you find in the papers, on the news, or coming out of your radio. Don't let the trials and perhaps failures of the last year keep you from pressing on this year. But perhaps a more dangerous possibility - don't let the achievements and perhaps successes of the last year lull you away from what is possible this year.
Happy New Year