Friday, January 11, 2008

Happy 2008

And another New Year greets us. I've always appreciated the New Year for allowing the possibility of reflection and a clean slate to begin again. But before one ponders what is to come, it's always best to review where one has been.

And, so, 2007. As I posted a year ago, major events were foretold to happen by one of my favorite pompous gasbags, the Reverend Pat Robertson. His forecasts for 2007 (an annual tradition for him) included massive terrorist and nuclear attacks on multiple US cities with a corresponding death toll in the millions. Clearly that did not come to pass. Also not coming to pass - the return of Jesus Christ, which 1 out of every 4 Americans believed would happen in 2007, according to a poll taken back then. I have searched thus far in vain for a similar poll for 2008, as it would be interesting to see what people have learned from their poor prognosticating abilities.

Other things that Americans believed were to happen in 2007, based on a poll taken at the beginning of the year:

Gas Prices will go up: 93% believed it very likely
The US Congress will raise the minimum wage: 81%
Global Warming will get worse: 74%
The U.S. will be hit with a major natural disaster: 70%
Terrorists will attack somewhere in the world with biological or nuclear weapons: 64%
The U.S. will be hit with a terrorist attack: 61%
A U.S. state will legalize gay marriage: 57%
Bird Flu will arrive in the U.S.: 50%
The U.S. will go to war with Iran: 40%
A cure for cancer will be found: 35%
The military draft will be reintroduced: 35%
The U.S. will withdraw its troops from Iraq: 29%
The U.S. will go to war with North Korea: 26%
Jesus Christ will return to Earth: 25%
Scientists will find evidence of extraterrestrial life: 19%

So aside from being lousy at prediction, Americans are also horribly pessimistic. If I run into any prediction polls for 2008, I'll pass them along.

But what of 2008? Pat Robertson is not deterred, but has learned a lesson and is scaling back his thoughts. Or, rather, as I mentioned last year, God is, for Pat Robertson is merely the vessel to receive the prognostications of God, according to the Reverend. So if it didn't happen, it's not Reverend Robertson's fault, but God's. (Though what he doesn't mention is the chance that God didn't get anything wrong, it's just that Pat Robertson can't hear him so well and misunderstood what was said).

This year, oil will reach $150 a barrel, The stock market will crash (though maybe not this year, but by 2010), and "the Lord was saying there's going to be violence and chaos in the world." So God's not exactly going out on a limb here. Though perhaps God needs to take a break from his schizophrenic self:

Robertson said he received no divine information about the war in Iraq. In past years, he said, "the Lord told me it would be a disaster; well, it has been a disaster."

This doesn't bode well since our President apparently talks with God about Iraq. And God seems to be telling him different things than the Reverend Robertson.

A schizophrenic God could explain a lot of things.