Sunday, January 01, 2006

2006 Predictions

True to her 4-year-old form, my daughter made certain that this New Years' Day wasn't going to be a "sleep in" morning for her parents, so I'm up and (kinda) running. I'm assuming the coffee will start kicking in halfway through my second cup - or is that just a hope and a prayer on my part? - so you'll pardon the occasional wandering moment as I write this morning.

Many more well-connected people than I have put their 2005 year-end reviews up and posted their 2006 predictions but I figure the blogosphere's big enough for everyone to play the game. Therefore, I'm putting up my 2006 predictions in the hope that I'll do well enough that someone flipping a coin won't best my performance. Unlike certain members of the NY Times, the Washington Post, or the German Der Spiegel, I have accessed no classified documents to arrive at these predictions and I have no anonymous governmental source to guide me. We're workin' without a net, people. We'll start with some fun ones and go from there. So, here goes...

  1. After a most impressive season (for them, anyway) the Cincinnati Bengals will choke in the playoffs and will not make it to the Super Bowl. Getting that close after nearly a decade of pure crap seasonal play will energize the fans enough to give them a real shot in 2007.

  2. Paris Hilton will show up at a star-studded event in New York wearing nothing but 6-inch stilleto heels and some cunningly arranged dental floss. Having "been there, done that," no one notices.

  3. Someone will release a new razor containing not 5 but 6 blades. Marketing managers will announce it was an attempt to get a jump on the competition's next suspected move.

  4. Readers will discover that 1 of the preceding predictions was serious.

  5. Now, let's get to my more serious ones.


  6. Iraq's parliament will create a government coalition comprised primarily of Kurdish and Shiite groups with some Sunni representation. While the world (particularly some in the US) shouts out doomsday consequences, people will slowly realize that this is what's called a democratic process.

  7. Al Qaeda and other terror groups will retreat from Iraq and attempt to set up operations in Gaza while seeking more open operations in "Old Europe."

  8. US Troop levels in Iraq will drop under 100,000 by year's end.

  9. A motion will be presented in Congress to withdraw all troops from Germany immediately and relocate them to Poland.

  10. The investigations into who is leaking classified data to the NY Times and Washington Post will result in reporters from both organizations going to jail for contempt. After a few weeks, one of them will give up the source which will turn out to be a mid-level analyst in the CIA. The charge of treason will be leveled for the first time in decades and this one will stick.

  11. In campaigns reminiscent of 2004, Democrats will launch anti-Bush, anti-Republican ads and rhetoric, completely missing what caused them to lose big that year: that people want to know what they stand for, not that they're just against anything spoken by a member of the party of Bush. While some Republicans will lose their re-election bids and others will consider switching parties, the Democrats will again fail to take either chamber of Congress resulting in another 2 years of increasingly shrill language on Democratic Underground and Daily Kos.

  12. General

  13. The "housing bubble" will not burst so much as deflate a little and then only in markets kept artifically high by so-called "smart growth" policies.

  14. The economy will end 2006 improved from the end of 2005 but the news will be spun by the media such that people will believe it's doing worse.

  15. Pressure from aging Boomers who had been taking Celebrex and Vioxx will result in a new set of anti-inflammatory drugs making it to the market in record time.

  16. Work on the Cancer Genome Project will offer enough insights to suggest a genetic enhancement/alteration therapy effective against most forms of cancer. Socio-political ramifications will result in calls for such a regimen to be banned in the United States.

  17. Technology

  18. Somewhere in the world someone will have a true cybernetic sensory-enhancement device implanted that will augment their sight or hearing beyond human norm.

  19. A major Internet backbone provider will finally implement IPv6 allowing all hosts connected to that segment to see any other host securely. Cell phone makers will merge wireless network tech to their existing phones to allow cell phones to make VoIP calls where such network access is available. This is the beginning of the end of the concept of long-distance calling.

Man, that's addicting once you get started. Enough from me, tho. If you've got some of your own, let 'er rip in the comments or post a link to your own list and I'll get it put up.