2-0-1-4, what is it that you have in store?

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On the international scene, my crystal ball is very cloudy indeed. In 1999 I wrote that Saddam Hussein had just thrown out weapons inspectors and would likely allow them back in when international pressure grew too great. Look what that led to. The world is unsettled. Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Iran and many countries in sub-Saharan Africa are in transit. One can only hope that our foreign affairs experts have more of a clue than the average citizen. Will North Korea become the No. 1 critical hot spot? I don’t think it’s a particularly good sign that Kim Jong Un executed his uncle over a business disagreement. Maybe Dennis Rodman can figure it out; I don’t know. We have Al Shabab and Al Qaeda and various other death-to-American-devils terrorist groups fomenting unrest. It’s likely that we’ll hear from them in the coming year.

Will our own government take a step back from information gathering in the new year, or will we continue to feel as if Big Brother is listening and watching and taking notes? I realize that I’m putting forth more questions than prognostications, but it’s a confusing world at the moment.

I do firmly predict that the stock market will have a major correction. Has to happen. I believe that great numbers of businesses, some new, some old, will continue delivering merchandise purchased online in ever tighter windows of time. Feel hungry? Order a hot dog. Answer your door.

I predict that marijuana will become legal for medicinal purposes in many states, and for recreational purposes in several states besides the usual high-minded principalities west of the Mississippi.

I believe New York City’s new leader, Bill de Blasio, will get his mayoral legs, do a good job and quickly dispel fears that the squeegee men are regrouping.

Congress, I say as I inch out onto a limb, will do better this year. Somehow, some way, the Democrats will exhibit less hubris, the Tea Party will feel less outrage and the women and men in the middle will find a way to pass some good legislation on immigration and gun control and the budget. As the Yiddish expression goes, Two mountains can’t come together, but two people can.
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