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Posted: Sep. 8, 2002
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Question of the Week: 92 - 12/29/2002
What Do You See in 2003?
Even though many Pagans celebrate the New Year at Samhain, Solstice or Yule, the new calendar year is upon us. Do you have a resolution to make for 2003?
What do you hope changes? What do you hope stays the same? What do you think the world will be like at the end of 2003?
What national and/or world events will be played out? Will things be better or worse? Got any predictions to declare?
| Reponses: There are 47 responses posted to this question.
|| Reverse Sort
| I See In 2003 ||Jan 2nd. at 2:10:46 pm EST|
|Artor Dreadstalker (Maine, USA) ||Age: 44 - Email |
I fear for the future,we are beset by evil from within as well as from without. Our children embrace materialism, without considering the costs, and men of questionable sanity rule the planet.
I pray for us all.
| Here Is A Realistic, If Somewhat Pessimistic, Scenario ||Jan 2nd. at 4:52:24 pm EST|
|Yet Another Prognostocator (New Richmond, WI) ||Age: 37 - Email |
Ok, I can't be sure that everything I predict will happen in the order and at the times I predict them, but I suspect that is pretty close to a realistic assessment of the next year:
February, 2003: The United States invades Iraq from bases in Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. At the same times, about 10,000 American peace activists are detained, as well as at least 10,000 Middle Eastern immigrants. The stock market shows an immediate 10% drop. There is surprisingly little protest at this in America, mostly because, for the first time, both the American media and the average American start to be really afraid. On the other hand, the Middle East goes berserk. Huge rallies turn violent in a number of countries, and the U.S. has to close several embassies, which are burned by enraged crowds. american relations with Europe enter deep chill. While it still exists on paper, NATO is now effectively dead. U.S. forces do well at first. Within 10 days of the start of the Operation (let's call it Operation Hammer ), American forces are on the outskirts of Baghdad. Then things start to go wrong. It takes an additional two weeks for the Americans to take Baghdad, and costs them 1000 men. When they do take the city, they find that Saddam has left. A number of eyes hotile to America watch this, and begin to draw up plans............
March, 2003: Saddam Hussein is captured, in Northern Iraq, by Kurds. Bush announces plans to try him, which triggers fresh outrage in the Middle East. Large contingents of U.S. forces are stationed in Iraq. The stock market begins to rally, and makes up its February losses, but the economy is still not good. A number of attacks in Afghanistan show that the war there is not yet over.
May, 2003: More detentions in America, this time gay activists and general leftist types. Bush begins to push exclusion of Pagans from the military. Paksitani voters elect a radical Islamic party to control of Parliament. Mussharaf tries to dissolve parliament, but is unable to get the military behind him, is ousted, and flees the country. The new Pakistani government orders American troops to leave. Bush considers military action, but is forced to face the fact that he has too many troops already committed to Iraq, the Balkans, and Afghanistan. More riots in the Middle East. American business people begin leaving Middle Eastern countries in large numbers.
June, 2003: American troops leave Pakistan. This emboldens the Saudis, who are now more afraid of Islamists at home than of the Americans. They also order U.S. troops out. An attempted Islamic revolution breaks out in Egypt, but is put down with great bloodshed. The stock market falls at least 20%. The United States has now entered real deflation for the first time since the Great Depression. With unemployment high, and several international embarassments, Bush begins to suffer real losses in his poll numbers. Pagans excluded from the military.
July, 2003: More detentions, this time including Pagans and more general leftists. These are not a lot of people, just a few thousand in all, but include many community leaders. Even with detentions, there is large scale dissent in America for the first time since the Vietnam War. The stock market keeps falling. Sensing American weakness, North Korea demands a number of concessions which amount to blackmail. The United States refuses. Negotiations go on through August.
September, 2003: Bush shelves plans for mass-roundups of Pagans, atheists, gays, and Democrats, after being warned by the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The trial of Saddam Hussein begins, in New York. Mass-scale riots across Middle East, and in Indonesia. The demonstrations in Indonesia get out of control, and the country begins to fall apart. The Indonesian government requests American aid, but the overextended Americans cannot give any. Negotiations with North Korea break down. Iranian-sponsored, Shiite terrorists begin attacking American troops and civilians in southern Iraq.
October, 2003: Indonesia collapses. Several "Islamic Republics" spring up in the former Indonesia and are soon at war with each other, and well as hostile to the West. Other, non-Moslem islands establish governments of their own, which fight against the Islamic states. Millions of refugees flood neighboring countries. North Korea invades the South. Seoul destroyed by NK artiallary, tens of thousands killed. American and ROK forces retreat, but soon stabilize a front just north of Seoul. Frantic NK attacks fail to break the front, but do inflict massive casualties on both sides. Dow Jones average now below 5000, and falling. Unemployment above 10%, and that's just the official figure.
November, 2003: South Korean and American forces attack the North Koreans, and break through. The North Korean army falls back in disarray. Facing huge shortages of troops for Americans many, expanded military obligatons, Bush attampts to re-institute draft. Result is mass-scale protest, as millions of young people take to the streets. Several protests turn violent, and riots break out in American cities. Local declarations of martial law follow in several cities, and some thousands of protestors are detained. The North Koreans attampt to use a nuclear weapon, but give up on the idea when they are unable to get their bomb into working order. They choose chemical attacks instead, and large amounts of Sarin nerve gas are used on both soldiers and civilians. The United States responds by using a nuclear weapon to destroy the city of Pyongyang. AT LEAST 10 million die, and the North Korean government collapses. Germany and France break off relations with the United States, as a cold war begins between America and Europe. Mass-protests in Japan against the use of nuclear weapons turn violent. The Japanese government, however, is more afraid of North Korea than of America, and so stays loyal to Washington. The use of nuclear weapons produces panic on Wall Street, and the Dow falls to about 2500.
December, 2003: Now supplied by Pakistan with cheap, Chinese military hardware, guerillas in Afghanistan begin expanded attacks against American forces. These attacks gain little, but show that the war against Al-Qaeda continues. American and Souht Korean forces advance deep into North Korea, revealing that the North Korean government kept virtually its entire population in a sort of giant gulag system. The revelation of massive suffering, starvation, rampant torture and brainwashing, and so on, by the North Koreans, defuses some hostility against the United States abroad, but only some. The bitterness between the United States and Europe is now taking on a life of its own, and there is little that can be done to stop it. The Dow rises to something like 3000, but unemployment is now about 20%.
At the beginning of 2004, George W. Bush, in early 2003 with poplularity levels in the 60-70% range, is regarded by most Americans as somewhere between Herbert Hoover and Adolf Hitler. The use of nuclear weapons has won the war against North Korea, but has actually managed to make Kim Jong Il a popular hero among European intellectuals, a feat comparable to making spam popular among internet users. The wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Korea are still ongoing, though the one in Korea is almost over. Indonesia is a mess comparable to ex-Yugoslavia five years ago. Not-quite 100,000 Americans are in detention camps, and many of those have been abused and tortured. Most ominously for Dubya, the American military, which rather liked him in early 2003, is now seriously thinking of removing him from power by force, in order to save the country.
The events of 2004 will probably include the first successful military coup in American history, one ironically intended to restore democracy and end a group of draining wars. This will bring about what amounts to the Fall of the American Empire, as the United States turns its energy away from foreign adventures to affairs at home. The military may or may not release the detainees, but there will be no more detentions after the coup. Even the coup can do little to save the economy, however, or to mend fences with Europe. Whoever wins the election of 2004, you can be sure the coup leaders will insist on free elections, will face the worst crisis in American history since the Great Depression, or maybe the Civil War.
On the bright side, the departure of Dubya will kill the Religious Right as a political force, for good and all...................
| Yet Another Prognostocator, You Are Not A Pessimist ||Jan 2nd. at 8:05:50 pm EST|
|lilith (lost angeles) ||Age: 33 - Email |
you are a wild optimist. especially if you think sadaam hussein would EVER see trial in new york, much less within a few months of being captured. :)
the idea that the enemy of freedom and free expression and liberty and liberalism would show his hand blatantly enough to cause the complacent american public to do ANYTHING, much less riot, is also a tad on the up side...
i thought about this question again after my first post, and i have this one furthur thing to add. my four month-old neice came over for new years eve. the day before that my sister and her four year old daughter and four month-old son came over. i went out with my other neice-- she is ten. and i was thinking about all of these small children and what we owe them, and i took my neice to see the guy who is sitting in an oak tree in the santa clarita valley trying to save it from developers who could just go AROUND it if they werent so destructive and lazy, and the reason i took her there, beside the fact she wanted to see it, is that after my first post to this question and the thought of all of these little kids that i personally know, i thought it would be good for her to see someone DOING something. she cant always see what i do, and what i do is not always the kind of thing you want a young kid to be exposed to. but the guy in the tree was just exactly the thing both she and i needed to see right before the new year. and she's thinking of ways to plant an oak. so as little a thing as that seems to be when im feeling very bleak and posting grim things, i just want it here for the record that i DO try to find something to balance all of my doom and gloom.
but yr still a wild optimist, prognostocator.
| Odd To Be Called An Optimist....... ||Jan 2nd. at 8:53:15 pm EST|
|Yet Another Prognosticator (New Richmond, WI) ||Age: 37 - Email |
when my scenario includes a small-scale nuclear war, and 10 million dead. Those are Holocaust-level casualties, for all that the North Koreans "started it". Just wait for my predictions for 2004..........
| Yet Another Prognostocator... ||Jan 2nd. at 9:17:26 pm EST|
|MoonOwl (Egypt Lake, USA) ||Age: 39 - Email |
My Goddess, I hope you are wrong! Way wrong. You make me feel like an optimist! I guess that's a good thing:}
I think this will be my New Year's Resolution. Be more optimistic even if it kills me.
Thanks for the sobering thoughts.
Ra Ra Ree, it's 2003!! Make love not war in 2004!!!
| Ok, On To 2004 ||Jan 2nd. at 10:03:08 pm EST|
|Yet Another Prognosticator (New Richmond, WI) ||Age: 37 - Email |
The further out I get, the less accurate these are going to be, and the sketchier, but here goes:
January, 2004: The last, starving North Korean troops surrender. Large numbers of American troops are quietly arriving home from European countries that no longer want them.
February, 2004: By this time, the situation in Egypt has become like that in Algeria -- the government and the Islamists have turned the country into a bloody mess where unveiled women might get tortured to death by paramilitaries, but dissidents are also tortured to death by the government. More attacks in Iraq and Afghanistan. Attempts to deal with attacks in Afghanistan lead to clashes between American and Pakistani forces.
March, 2004: Attacks on Hindus in Bali cause India to become embroiled in the Indonesian mess. India's one and only carrier task force inflicts a drubbing on Indonesian Islamists, saving a fair number of Bali Hindus from being massacred. China begins quietly giving aid to Indonesian Islamic forces. Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam and other SE Asian nations in turn begin making overtures to India, hoping to avoid Chinese domination. Thinking that India is overextended, Pakistan steps up terrorist activity in Kashmir. Saddam Hussein is executed. More riots in the Middle East.
April, 2004: More terrorism in Kashmir. India responds by shelling across the border, but Pakistan does not back down. The Selective Service Bill passes Congress. Riots break out on campuses across the nation. Still more students and activists are detained. The Dow is still around 3000, with unemplyment hovering around 20%. The crime rate doesn't even bear thinking about. Most urban gangs have enjoyed a considerable resurgence since early 2003, and are being to feel genuinely powerful. They are.
May, 2004: India invades Pakistan. Pakistan immediately "goes nuclear", destroying one major Indian city. India responds by destroying every major urban center in Pakistan. At least 30 million people die in minutes. The Indian economy collapses, but Pakistan looks like "Mad Max", except in areas occupied by the Indian army. The BJP falls in the Indian parliament, and is replaced by a revitalized Congress Party. Religious nationalism will be out of fashion in India for decades, assuming India survives.
June, 2004: More riots as the draft is organized. This time the students are joined by the unemployed, and by gangs from the inner cities. Imagine the LA riots of 1992. Now, multiply them by about two, and imagine them in every major city in the country. Police forces are just swept away, completely unable to control the situation. Martial law is declared in every major city in the United States. Troops begin fighting the protestors, who shoot back, this time. Casualties mount.
July, 2004: More offensives in Iraq and Afghanistan. This time, the Afghani guerrillas, without their Pakistani patrons, are badly beaten. The last Pakistani forces surrender to India. Casualties in the Indian War are approaching 50 million. Pakistan looks like Somalia, only radioactive. Most major American cities have been pacified. Casualties on both sides in the Draft Riots are in the thousands. Bush pushes a plan to declare national martial law, and to detain millions of Pagans, gays, leftists, and others, and attampts to force the military to do his will when they demure. After conferring, the Joint Chiefs act. Elements of the 101st Airborne occupy the White House, Congress, and the Supreme Court. It is a remarkably bloodless and civil coup. The coup leaders appear on television and declare that they have taken their actions to safeguard the Constitution, and outline what Bush had proposed. They do not depose the President, but "request" that Congress take up the matter of his impeachment at once. Congressional leaders agree. The coup leaders are much more ruthless with John Ashcroft, and with the leaders of the FBI, CIA, NCS, Bureau of Homeland Security, and other "intelligence community" organizations. All such people are arrested and imprisoned.
August, 2004: The 2004 Presidential campaign begins to heat up. The military leadership announces that it will not interefere in the campaign except to enforce a free and fair election. It quickly becomes apparent that Americans are becoming increasingly radicalized by recent events. Unfortunately, they are becoming radicalized in several different directions. The impeachment trial of George W. Bush gets underway.
September, 2004: Polls and primary elections reveal an electorate more split than any since the Civil War. The Republicans remain popular only among the Religious Right, a group shrinking with remarkable speed. The Democrats, however, do not have the confidence of the public, either. The Green Party is polling very well in the northernmost states, while the Independence Party does well in the middle and the far west, and various White Supremist factions have a disturbing popularity in the South and Midwest. The American people are all very angry, but they can't agree on what to do about it. The economy still is at a Great Depression level.
October: George W. Bush is impeached, and removed from office. He is succeeded by Vice-President Tom Ridge, Cheney having died earlier in the year.
November, 2004: The election of 2004 is the most confusing since, well, 2000. The Democrats, Republicans, Libertarians, Greens, and Independence Party all take a few states. The neo-Nazi vote is divided among a number of splinter groups, so they don't do well, but it is still a very disturbing sign. Even the Natural Law Party and the Socialist Workers do well enough to get matching Federal funds, and a few Representatives. The election goes to the House, because no one is anywhere near a victory, with so many parties competing. The coup leaders quietly inform the House that they will _not_ pick the Republican candidate, who came in third, behind the Greens. This hands the election to the Democrats, whose candidate did best, and who are the only other party the Republican Representatives can stomach.
So, we end our scenario here. The new President, a Democratic Dark Horse from the South, will face a Congress with no party even close to a majority, an economy still in roughly the same condition in was in in 1932, two medium-sized wars still going on in the Middle East, a world out for American blood, and an American population in semi-revolt, but with nothing like a majority of the people supporting the same philosophy.
On the bright side, he is virtually certain to end detention without trial, and to restore lots of civil rights. And, despite, or maybe because of, Dubya's persecution, there are more Pagans than ever. Pagans are the main force in the Green Party, for example, and have influence in many other areas. Of course, the Pagans of 2005, having faced three years of persecution, have been radicalized to an extent unimaginable at the end of 2002. Paganism is now a fierce, well-armed religion, with some major payback to deliver to certain Christians..........
| Political Predictions ||Jan 3rd. at 1:18:05 pm EST|
|G.C. (Seattle, Wa.) ||Age: 29 - Email |
These days are like the relative calm before the storm. The Right-wing government will have near absolute rule in the coming years. This is quite unfortunate for this nation and the world, for the policies and practices will have an overwhelming effect on the world's economy and international relations. The damage done to our Republic will be staggering; virtually all liberties will be destroyed, and the entire world's population will/have lost confidence in us.
However, the political cycles will continue to turn. Every 30 - 40 years the dominant political force switches from left to right, back to left, ect. The 30's through the 60'/early 70's were decidedly liberal/left. The mid 70's to current was and is very much to the right. Within 10 years the prevaling political movement will be moving leftward. Part of this is due to reactions of those negatively affected by the dominant forces.
Given all of this, I predict these days to be quite dark, with opposition mounting and tempers flying. I think the terrorists will strike again, knowing the more they attack, the more power Bush gets, and thus their aims are fulfilled--that of taking our liberties from us. I bekieve there will not be war with Iraq, Bush needs "the bad guys" for his political fortunes. I think the economy will get worse, with a growing debt, and right-wingers will flood the Judiciary--gutting our rights for the next 30 years.
All of this sounds horrible, but there is a very bright light at the end of this tunnel; when the cycle comes our way, we shall make extensive, permanent changes, and shall have as close to total freedoms as is possible, and thus the next generations will benefit tremendously. Indeed, I believe the medium range future is quite glorious!
| Going To Be A Rough Year ||Jan 3rd. at 1:43:34 pm EST|
|DolphinSmile (Austin, TX) ||Age: 21 - Email |
I'm not sure if it will go as far as Prognosticator's predictions, but part of me almost hopes it does. It seems that that may be the only way to wake us Americans, and all of us human beings up to the horrible state we're in. I guess we'll just have to see. Bush getting impeached does sound awful good, although I'm sure I will be among the detainees.
Anyway, my plans for 2003 will first be to lose 10 pounds and get in shape by taking an exercise class. I will also be looking for a part time job somewhere, which may be quite difficult. I also need to apply for reasearch internships for summer, to get experience for graduate school. Oh yeah, and I also really should start researching graduate schools, and find out about the GRE.
So summer of 2003 I will hopefully be off somewhere doing research, then for the fall semester I will move into my own apartment at last, and ditch the dorms! I will then live as a starving student, hopefully having enough money for both food and textbooks while this war rages on and the economy continues to worsen. While my fellow natural science students in fields useful to developing technology for making weapons, or genetically engineering goats with antibiotics in their milk, will be getting lots of nice scholarships, I will be getting nada for studying the effects of global warming on migrant butterflies, or how much polar bears like oil pipelines, or whatever I end up studying.
I will also continue to fight this war, by going to anti-war rallies. I already went to one, and I am sure there will be many more in 2003. I hope I don't get arrested or something (and I REALLY hope they don't go Kent State on us!). Since I am a liberal, Pagan, anti-war, ecology major, if I'm not on somebody's list yet, I predict I will be put on one sometime in 2003.
| I Am Looking Forward To The New Year ||Jan 3rd. at 1:52:08 pm EST|
|Stella (Pasadena, CA) ||Age: 24 - Email |
I am not going to make any world predictions or even personal predictions, but I have a good feeling about the new years, personally. I feel like I am finally moving into the next phase of my life, and putting the appropriate things behind me. I am finally over being freaked out that I will turn 25 this year (I know, it is a totally silly thing to be freaked out by, but I was). If I can keep my momentum going I will be doing really well.
As far as the world goes, I am not really into predictions or doom and gloom scenarios. Many of my New Years resolutions involve doing my part to make the world a little better. I have started a recylcling program at my job and I am trying to start a volunteering program at work as well. I think our focus for 2003 is going to be helping animals and shut-ins.
| Prognostocator ||Jan 3rd. at 8:09:42 pm EST|
|Avian (Canada) ||Age: 22 - Email |
Holy gloom and doom -
Though, I personally have not been terribly optomistic on what I see in the coming year, I don't think it will be as bad as all that. The reason, the government NEVER moves that fast. I don't think that Bush will actually even launch an assault (if he is still foolish enough to do so) until the summer. I personally don't really think he will do it at all this year, and then next year is a campagning year, so that is what I think they will be spending most of this year worrying about.
They know how many citizens disagree with what he is doing and if he alienates so many voters, then he can kiss another term in office goodbye. He's got to be thinking about bolstering his image at home this year, as well as not looking like a wimp over seas - the pressures of poor, poor Dubya.
| My Coming Year ||Jan 3rd. at 9:12:46 pm EST|
|ShadowSong, a.k.a. Nick Pearson (Stuart, FL) ||Age: 17 - Email |
I personally am anticipating a year in which I can further the public understanding of Wicca. I want to expand my knowledge and to continue helping others, especially through this site. I expect that our community of Pagans, Witches, and other magickal persons will heal the Earth and make the world a better place. Everyone should make a personal committment to continue doing so. I am heartliy discouraged with such negative and pessimistic views concerning the coming calendar year. Each and every one of the peaople that reads my message will see that all it takes is focus and iintent to effect change. This, in fact, is half of magick. All of the Pagans that read this should come to realize that we, as the keepers of the Earth's sacred mysteries, can heal the Earth. And why shouldn't we? We heal ourselves and others at their request, so we should, in turn, heal the Earth from which we all came. Please, I ask you to try something: once in a moon cycle, or once a month, sit quietly in meditation in order to send healing energies to the Earth. However, don't simplly heal the planet; instead it is imperative that we also heal everyone on the Earth. If the entire Pagan community pulls together for a common purpose, no group could stop us. We have diplomacy, love, wisdom, experience, brotherhood, and, best of all, magick to help us reach our goals. Help the Earth-Mother and you help everyone. With that said, I wish all to have a joyful, prosperous, and purely magickal new year! Blessed Be!
| What We Make Of It........ ||Jan 4th. at 8:22:45 am EST|
|Phoenix Flower (Georgia) ||Age: 36 - Email |
The current turn of events is scary, but predictable.As long as Christians are allowed to assume that they are the National Religion we will face bigotry, abuse and real danger.And it isn't only Pagans.Many groups of citizens are damaged by their celebration of ignorance , medioctrity and intolerance.As soon as Bush came into office the Fundies hit the media like a tsunami, pouring the crud they push into every crevase of the airwaves, books and even in the streets.Our local military chapel commandeered a fire truck with loud speakers, and people were handing out icecream and candy to children with sunday school papers.Complete with sirens and free rides on the firetruck.Before this administration, they would not have been bold enough.We were there, pagan moms in the streets, telling them to go home and stop abusing power.To us it was an invasion.
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