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Words from Winterbilt

A New Year, news and predictions

Shannon Bohrer

(1/2015) Every New Year we make New Yearís resolutions, we review the news from the past year and we hear predictions for the coming year. As one gets older you often look forward to this, at least some of it. When I was young, I did not think about getting old, I thought more about the present and future. As one gets older, you reflect more on your past. Each New Yearís day, the reflections seem more significant. Why the significance? Maybe, just because of the time that I have lived. Then, maybe itís just because as one gets older, the more reflection of onesí life? Another possibility is that with each New Yearís resolutions we make, you have the opportunity to make new resolutions. Why do we make these resolutions is another question? One can only surmise about how the practice started, but we all seem to know the purpose. The consensus is that the purpose of a new yearís resolution is to be a better person. So we resolve to correct behavior in ourselves that we think needs correcting. After all, we never make a resolution to correct or change the behavior of others, althoughÖ..maybe not.

Of course I canít remember most of the New Yearís resolutions that I made, but I can remember a few. I have made so many, you would think I could remember more, but I canít. A few that I can recall would include: I will strive to be a better person, I will treat everyone with respect, even those I disagree with, I will take more time for my family and friends, I will accept what I cannot control, I will eat better, exercise more, and read more. Actually, that sounds like an extensive list. I probably made the same ones, or similar ones, over and over and over again. So in that light, my resolutions would not really be new - New Yearís resolutions, as much as repeat year resolutions. In a positive way, it shows that I have been trying to improve my behavior. It has been my observation that we really donít change that much, even though we know sometimes we should, which is maybe why we keep making the resolutions in the first place.

Another New Yearís event is that the newspapers, magazines, and television report the news from the previous year, as if we did not see or hear it. They all review what they believe were the top news events for the year that just ended. Who was elected, who was arrested, who was born and who died. They also like to report what movies were the top box office successes, who won awards, and what stars were married and or divorced. Entertainment news does seem to be important to the news reporters.

When reporting the news from the year that just ended, it would seem logical to report what happened in the world and in some ways they do, but only if the United States was involved in the event in some way. The exception is a disaster. If the press reported the disaster during the year, there is a high probably it will be included with "What happened last year." If there is a war or conflict that we are not involved in, we donít need to know about it.

Another New Yearís tradition is the predictions that will be made, about what will happen in the coming year. This tradition is often segmented with politics, economics, and world affairs. The experts making predictions will be news reporters, politicians and economists which is why so much of the predicting is related to what they normally talk about.

The politicians will tell us what they accomplished last year, but more importantly what they will be doing for us in the coming year. They will do this while reducing spending and at the same time not cutting anything and not raising taxes. They will also tell us why the other side hates us and will do nothing for us in the coming year. The economist will spend a lot of time explaining why and what happened last year with the stock market and why that was so important for this year. They will then continue with what will happen with the stock market this year, how much it will go up. They never predict it will go down for the coming year. They will also add a prediction on GDP growth this year, housing prices and mortgage rates, just what most people canít wait to hear, especially the GDP.

Since everyone can celebrate the New Year, make a new yearsí resolution, tell you what happened last year and make predictions for the coming year, I think that makes me qualified to add to the confusion and misinformation.

I will make a new yearsí resolution and it will be to be a better person and to tolerate those with whom I disagree. That is contingent upon those that disagree with me not annoying me. If they annoy or displease me, then the resolution can be suspended. I think thatís fair.

As to what happened last year, there was more reporting on the Malaysian airline that went missing than the invasion of Ukraine. That was until another Malaysian airline was shot down - over Ukraine. There was also the continuation of the civil war in Syria that has been anything but civil. The civil unrest in the Middle East has not been civil either. The evolution of a new and improved terrorist organization occurred, probably while we were looking for the Malaysian airliner.

My predictions for the New Year include: the stock market will go up and sometimes it will go down. If the experts really knew what they were talking about, they could tell us before the stock market goes up, why it will go up, instead of always telling us after the fact. The politicians will agree to work together Ė but they will not. People will buy houses and people will be employed. There will be conflicts and wars in parts of the world, and the United States will be involved in some of them Ė maybe they should not be. There are currently over 50 million refugees around the world, and I predict this will not be a major news story. If, by chance it would be, it would be short in duration. If another airline disappears and we cannot find it, it will be a long story. Also, there will be more complaints from victims about Bill Cosby. That may continue into 2016.

I also predict that the news reporters will not go back to the predictions the experts made in January 2013 and report how right, or wrong they were. However, when questioning the experts for their prediction for 2015, the news reporters will question all of these predictions - as if they have some expertise or knowledge about what the experts are talking about, which they donít. You see, reporting can be the entertainment.

Happy New Year

Read other articles by Shannon Bohrer