’Tis the time of year to not only reflect on what transpired these last 12 months of 2022 but to also look forward to what may occur in 2023. And really, is there anything more fun than prognosticating? It’s almost like being a meteorologist. You don’t have to be right, all you have to do is robustly state your case. Now, granted, predicting the weather is more sophisticated (and accurate) these days than prophesying what might happen in one of the world’s hotspots, but the bottom line remains the same. It’s not an exact science.

Same with the following divinations coming directly out of my head. (I’d take their veracity with a grain of salt.) For example, I’m thinking sometime in the next year Vlad “the Mad” Putin will have to figure out a way to falsely declare victory and pull out of Ukraine. If the increasing sanctions being put on his country by the rest of the world don’t bring him to his knees, then surely the Russian people will finally get tired of sending their progeny to fight (and die) for no really good reason and revolt. Also, those billionaire oligarchs in Moscow are not going to take kindly to seeing their bank accounts dwindle precipitously.

Putin purportedly likes history. Perhaps he should read an account or two about a place called Vietnam and America’s participation there. The Ukraine/Russian battle isn’t quite the same, but the descriptor “quagmire” does seem to fit both skirmishes.

Speaking of bad actors on the world stage, if the Rocket Man in North Korea continues to fire off his missiles, it seems he’s destined for big time trouble. Most importantly, the more he spends on big bangs, the less the country can spend on food for its people. There are continuous reports that North Koreans don’t get enough rice now. How long until enough is enough over there? And speaking of enough is enough, how long does the world (especially South Korea) allow Kim Jong-un to play his war games without retaliation? He has to know that no battle will end well for him.

That is, unless China’s on board with Kim’s foolhardiness. But who knows what China really wants. Except for world domination. There are some indications, though, that companies and countries are awakening to the fact that Chinese control of supplies and products perhaps isn’t the best idea. And now it seems there’s another huge outbreak of the Wuhan Wahoo plaguing the population. Hopefully, lessons were learned three years back and any additional uptick in the spread of Covid will result in isolation for the host country and protective innovation from everyone else.

Here’s an easy bit of soothsaying. Virtually nothing will get done in Washington, D.C., this coming year (nor the next). With the Senate and House being controlled by different parties and the White House not exactly enjoying overwhelming support from We the People, I predict much rhetoric but very little action. One note of interest that just might happen after the Speakership’s gavel is passed from D to R is that it won’t be too surprising if Nancy Pelosi decides to take her leave and spend her time tending to grapes on her California vineyard instead of trying to shepherd The Squad and other seemingly unherdable factions within her political camp.

Here’s a no-brainer prophecy: Tom Brady will probably retire. Of course, he may come back, but that’s beside the point. In other sports news, it’s a virtual guarantee that at least one (if not many more) over-paid, under-achieving professional athlete will do something incredibly stupid. And it’s also a guarantee that fans will continue to pay exorbitant amounts of money for tickets to watch all those aforementioned professional athletes in action.

There are happy things to prognosticate about too, of course. One of my wonderful nieces is planning an April wedding. I can predict with great certainty that she will look beautiful in her gown, and there’ll be a joyous celebration afterwards. (The ceremony is at the beach. You can’t beat that.)

Also, 2023 is not a major election year. (Hurrah!) Oh, sure, there will be noises made by those looking for 2024 votes, but I anticipate our ears and eyes enjoying the fact that most of the commercials on TV will be for just routine things such as pillows, insurance, and dandruff shampoo instead of candidate maligning.

Whatever is predicted, though, the new year is sure to bring with it all manner of interesting people and events. Let’s just hope that most, if not all, of those people and events are things to commend and not condemn.

Happy New Year!

©MMXXII. William J. Lewis, III – Freelance Writer