JUDGING MY 2017 PREDICTIONS

‘Those who have knowledge, don’t predict. Those who predict, don’t have knowledge. ‘ – Lao Tzu
‘Prediction is very difficult, especially if it’s about the future.’ – Nils Bohr
Last year about this time I did a two part forecast for 2017: A BIASED 2017 FORECAST (PART ONE) and A BIASED 2017 FORECAST (PART TWO). I hadn’t re-read them until today. They were written just after the biggest presidential upset in modern history. Liberal tears were flowing freely and the accusations of Putin throwing the election to Trump had just begun. Two quotes from Part One are as pertinent today as they were then.
‘A reliable way to make people believe in falsehoods is frequent repetition, because familiarity is not easily distinguished from truth. Authoritarian institutions and marketers have always known this fact.’ – Daniel Kahneman, Thinking, Fast and Slow
‘It’s frightening to think that you might not know something, but more frightening to think that, by and large, the world is run by people who have faith that they know exactly what is going on.’ – Amos Tversky

This post was published at The Burning Platform on Dec 27, 2019.

Reflections on 2017 – A Personal Journey

2017 was a tumultuous and extremely binary year for a considerable number of Americans. For those who thought everything was going swimmingly during the Obama years, Trump’s election wasn’t simply a shock to the system, but an extinction level event for civilization that handed the U. S. government to bunch of Putin-controlled fascists. In stark contrast, Trump’s election was seen as divine deliverance by his devoted cheerleaders and red hat wearing obsessives. Finally, someone from outside the swamp had successfully trash-talked their way into the Presidency. As such, an imminent restoration of American greatness is all but assured.
Naturally, neither one of these perspectives is remotely accurate. They’re just distinct fairytales that quarreling groups of Americans have enthusiastically embraced within an increasingly insane and divided political environment. The societal pressure to self-segregate into either passionate support for ‘The Resistance’ or ‘Trumpism’ was overwhelming all year and has continued to this day. I recognized this early on, and wrote about it back in February.
Here’s an excerpt from that piece, Lost in the Political Wilderness:
I think the U. S. citizenry is being afflicted by a sort of mass insanity at the moment. There are no good outcomes if this continues. As a result, I feel compelled to provide a voice for those of us lost in the political wilderness. We must persevere and not be manipulated into the obvious and nefarious divide and conquer tactics being aggressively unleashed across the societal spectrum. If we lose our grounding and our fortitude, who will be left to speak for those of us who simply don’t fit into any of the currently ascendant political ideologies?

This post was published at Liberty Blitzkrieg on Dec 27, 2017.

Russia Establishes Two Permanent Bases In Syria To Host Nuclear Warships And Warplanes

Russia’s defense ministry has announced it is now in the process of establishing two permanent military bases in war-torn Syria after President Putin authorized prior deals with the Syrian government to move forward. Though Russia maintains merely up to ten military bases on foreign soil, the installations in Tartus and Khmeimim will be the most strategically located, allowing for a growing and permanent Russian presence on the Mediterranean, something which has already raised eyebrows in the West.
Though Putin formally announced the planned withdrawal of Russian forces from active operations in Syria in early December, there were parallel plans going back to at least early summer to maintain a smaller permanent presence based on an agreement with the Damascus government to host Russian forces for at least 49 more years, which includes the option of being prolonged further. Personnel and military hardware will be stationed at permanent Russian bases in Tartus and Khmeimim – both of which are on or near the Mediterranean.
According to Russian media reports, Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu stated at a ministry meeting on Tuesday, ‘We have started the process of formation of our permanent forces [in Syria].” Though Tartus has operated as a Russian naval port since 1971 (referred to as a Material-Technical Support Point and not a “base”) and was until recently minimally staffed mostly by civilian contractors, it will reportedly undergo a massive transformation and expansion, which is to include the capability of hosting nuclear-powered ships.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 27, 2017.

10 Injured After Explosion In St.Petersburg Shopping Mall “Mass Homicide Attempt”

A week after Russian President Putin thanked US President Trump and the CIA for their warnings about a possible terror attack in St. Petersburg, TASS reports that an explosion in a storage locker in a busy supermarket in St. Petersburg has left 10 injured and dozens more evacuated.
Officials are treating the investigation as a potential mass homicide attempt.
Sources told local media that the explosion was equivalent to 200g of TNT.
The explosion occurred on Wednesday evening in the Perekrestok store in the shopping center on Kondratyevsky Avenue in the northern part of St. Petersburg. As reported by TASS in the main department of the Ministry for Emergency Situations in St. Petersburg and the Leningrad region, the place is pulled by the operational forces, the evacuation of the building has already been carried out.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 27, 2017.