21st Century Wire says…
Looking forward in the New Year, here are some predictions, and some trends to look out for in 2015.
2015 is already shaping-up to be the year that Alvin Toffler’s, Future Shock, lives up to its name, as humanity barrels down to the highway of history, towards Huxley’s Brave New World. Other tectonic shifts are taking place in the geopolitical and economic arenas too. All together, these should make for one very interesting year…
As so much of geopolitics is based on the underlying economic moves and tectonic shifts, readers can more or less fuse these two categories together when analyzing what’s coming over the horizon…
New Cold War Goes Hot – Under the cover of the White House’s many political smokescreens this year – from ISIS, to Ferguson, to New York – US lawmakers slid through a pre-declaration of war against Russia. The US resolution is a defacto preliminary declaration of war, but it’s more likely that Washington will continue waging Wiemar-style undeclared wars, bypassing domestic checks-and-balances by waging new wars through NATO. It’s the latest phase in a road map laid out in 1997 entitled, Project for a New American Century, and it’s designed to isolate Russia politically and economically – with the long-term plan of regime change in Moscow. Many are questioning Washington central planners’ sanity, however, as it involves both political and military support for a fascist and NeoNazi-sympathizing regime in the Ukraine. No matter how unethical or suicidal Washington’s approach might appear, there is no sign that it will turn back on the risky bets it has placed in 2014.
Africa is the New Middle East – Since the formation of US AFRICOM command-and-control in 2007, based out of Stuttgart, Germany, Washington has been gradually planting it military seeds all over the Dark Continent. US military brass will claim they only have a ‘small footprint’ in Africa. Currently, the US has troops, mercenaries and ‘military advisors’ stationed in Djibouti, Morocco, Uganda, Egypt, Mali, Libya, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Algeria, Angola, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, the Cape Verde Islands, Congo, Senegal, Togo and Tunisia. A recent investigation by TomDispatch found US military involvement with no fewer than 49 African nations. Looking ahead, if the Civil War in Libya continues to intensify, then central Africa may see the same spill-over it did after NATO’s raid on Libya in 2011 – which pushed arms and AQIM (Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb) fighters into neighboring Algeria, Niger and Mali. Somalia is also a favorite stomping ground for Washington, and just before New Year’s Eve, the Pentagon launched fresh airstrikes against what it claims was “Al Shabaab” terrorists in Somalia. Expect some serious sparks to fly this year in Africa.
New War in Libya – If Washington’s limp-wristed attempt at intervention by aerial bombardment in Iraq and Syria proved anything, it’s that unilateral actions and coalitions will not fly in the court of public opinion any more. Enter stage right: NATO. Of all the emerging potential conflict fronts for central planning at NATO, this one looks by far the most promising. In classic Hegelian fashion, the Libyan disaster which NATO created back in 2011 is now ripe for a second clean-up round. Like Iraq, the country has been effectively split into 3 separate regions. Warlords and terrorist gangs have seized the power vacuum left by NATO’s sloppy decapitation of the Gaddafi regime in 2011, and already NATO’s puppet government has run for the hills, using what’s left of their airforce to bomb their own cities, while dutifully checking their Swiss bank accounts already filled with ‘reconstruction’ millions. The slam dunk here is that the Big Media have already begun to leak reports that ‘ISIS is now operational’ in Libya. What better stage could be set?
Syria – As predicted earlier in 2014, if it’s to regain control of the mess it’s created and get back on schedule for regime change in Syria, the US will have to pursue their plan to establish a No-Fly-Zone in Northern Syria and they will need Turkey’s help to make that happen. On Syria’s southern border, Israel remains busy, quietly playing its own covert roll in support of Islamic terrorist fighters (‘rebels’) in Syria, by helping them with weapons, medical aid and air cover. 2015 will be the year that the US, Turkey and Israel make their move to cut-off the head of the government in Damascus, and to hell with any collateral damage (just look at how Libya turned out). No matter what Washington says, it has always been about regime change and removing Bashar al Assad from power in Syria. They will need a gimmick to pull-off the final act though – maybe another chemical weapons incident, or a downed Airliner. Whatever it is, you can be sure that it will feature some deception on Washington’s part. Watch this space.
A New Brand of Terror – First they gave us the al Qaeda brand which lasted for over a decade and sold many newspapers, and helped to sell even more military contracts. In 2014, the al Qaeda brand was retired by the media in favor of a new product called ISIS. Already, ISIS looks like it will struggle to maintain its stronghold in the Iraqi city of Mosul, which is not good if ISIS hopes to dominate this year’s headlines. Such is the nature of the new hyper media that politicians and news consumers are constantly requiring new brands in order to bury to old ones. Only three months into the ISIS marketing drive, and Ivy League creative writing graduates on Pennsylvania Ave invented a new ficticious terror brand named the ‘Khorasan Group’. It did not sell, so the brand was quickly canned. The Nigeria-based Boko Haram terrorist brand showed a lot of promise in 2014, especially after Michelle Obama joined the #BringBackOurGirls hashtag campaign, but the Boko Boys eventually flopped after the headlines disappeared and Washington lost interest. Unfortunately, none of ‘our girls’ were ever brought home, but the crisis gave the White House yet another opportunity to plant more US troops and military personnel on African soil. Like with Washington’s previous KONY campaigns, African terror brands just haven’t taken off for Washington, as focus groups are said to be not as afraid of them as they are with Arab-based, al Qaeda legacy brands (maybe the Pentagon and Hollywood need to get together and make more films about African terrorists). In 2015, the stage is set for a new-improved Islamic terrorist brand, most preferable an “off-shoot” or “affiliate franchise” of ISIS, if not a complete overhaul of the ISIS brand itself by Washington and Langley’s terror marketeers.
Occupy 2.0 – America got a taste of the next Occupy wave in Ferguson in 2014. As demonstrations spread, activists were visibly more aggressive, with looting, anti-police street actions and even burning buildings – all featuring heavily in this latest ‘social justice movement’. Add to this an overall contracting economy and lower standards of living and higher unemployment (yes, that’s right, the White House ‘job creation’ mythology hasn’t yet trickled down into the real world), street mobs are hungry for change – but mostly spare change. This is where the White House-inspired Race War of 2014 will feed nicely into the class war of 2015. Harmless “Die-In’s”, selfies and #hashtags will be cast aside in favor of more confrontational, and even violent methods, and more burning American flags – all courtesy of Occupy 2.0. It will also be much more ubiquitous than in 2011 (if that’s even possible), a kind of ‘Ferguson meets Russell Brand’ – as ‘Occupy Wall Street’ is repackaged into a more streamlined “Occupy +” (fill in the blank), as ever more irritated activists are led into a city square near you, with the usual vague agenda based around collectivism and a George Soros funded, Marxist-dominate conversation about a ‘redistribution of wealth’ (communism). Like street demonstrations before it, this one will deliver all the usual excitement, plus some new surprises. To add fuel to this fire, the epicenter of this year’s Occupy will be in New York City, as flash mobs fresh off an exciting Michael Brown-Eric Garner duel zeitgeist – are pitted against a restless NYPD whose resolve against race mobs has been solidified following the double cop killing by #ICantBreathe vigilante Ismail Brindsley just before Christmas. Add to this the likelihood that the current NYC collectivist Mayor Bill DeBlasio may be forced from office by spring – and the stage is set for more #hashtag hell, and an ideological conflict on America’s streets: Communist Street Mobs vs the Police State (how glorious). Just in time to register more Democrat Party voters in the run-up to the 2016 Presidential primaries.
Palestine Rising – Already, 2015 is shaping up to be the ‘Year of Palestine’. In the last 12 months alone, we’ve seen a geometric shrinking of the once dominant Israeli-Zionist narrative – as Israeli advocates in the US and Tel Aviv watch their hard-fought memes slip away. Israel has itself to blame, especially after the world watched its ritual slaughter of Palestinians in Gaza this past summer. Still, hardline Israelis and their supporters are still lost as to why they are shedding so many hearts and minds. Even mainstream media outlets (except for FOX) are abandoning some of the favorite mythological AIPAC talking points like, “Palestinians are occupying Israeli land”, “Israel is merely defending itself”, and so forth. While US Christian Zionists who follow FOX News and the Tea Party get older and grayer, more millennials globally are siding with the Palestinian cause, as the same liberal value set behind the Ferguson and NYC anti-police protests becomes interchangeable with similar international issues seen to represent old world oppression. This trend will only increase. Palestine’s bid for statehood in late 2014 was derailed by two countries firmly in the pocket of the Zionist lobby; the Security Council motion received eight “yes” votes, including Russia and France, and two “no” votes – from the United States and Australia. The Israeli lobby might consider this a victory, but in reality it will only hasten Israel’s PR demise, as the world now sees just how small Israel’s support base really is. More than any other issue, this one will put the nearly defunct UN to the test this year, as more people begin to realize the abject failure of Washington’s Tammany Hall-style Security Council vote-rigging and heavy-handed management of what was meant to be a place for genuine international arbitration. In addition to this, Palestine has just petitioned to join the ICC. Israel is pulling their hair as to how best to stop Palestinian self-determination. Indeed, 2015 will be a rough year for Tel Aviv.
Iran – Israel’s usual internal pre-election domestic political mess, combined with Palestine’s ascendency, and Israel’s obvious failure at anything related to the “peace process” – can mean only one thing: Tel Aviv needs an external enemy. It’s time to spool-up the Iranian threat once again, “they want to wipe us off the map…” etc, etc. Look to Israel to do whatever it possibly can to derail US-Iranian nuclear talks this year, and hype-up the Iranian threat in order to distract from its many woes at home.
The Vatican – Without a doubt, Rome’s new Pontif (translated, it means ‘bridge-builder’), Pope Francis, has already registered on the geopolitical Richter scale by helping to broker an end to Washington’s 50 year strangulation of Cuba. Whether or not your are a Catholic, or even a Christian, it will be hard to ignore this Pope going into 2015. He’s been tasked with cleaning up some of the epic disasters left behind by his holier-than-thou predecessors (child abuse), and his immense popularity out of the gates is simply unprecedented. Judging by his humble trappings, and his affinity with the world’s poor, he is also a true socialist Pope – and that translates into real political power on the Christian Street. Be warned: this Pope could actually sway major geopolitical events. This already looks like it will be the Vatican’s comeback year.
Maidan Redux – Washington and Brussels promises of milk and honey for the Ukraine faded faster than they were conjured. While the US State Department’s Team Genius, led by Victoria Nuland and Samantha Power, thought it would be as simple as passing out milk and cookies to chain-wielding NeoNazi mobs in Kiev’s Maidan Square- thinking that this (along with 500 cases of duty free Smirnoff vodka) would be enough to win hearts and minds, the economic realities haven’t changed – Ukraine is still a basket case economy falling further into debt. As predicted, Kiev had to sign a last-minute gas deal with Moscow in order to stay warm this winter, meaning that Russia and Ukraine have resumed trading while Washington pushed to cut trade-off between Europe and Russia. Also, Washington’s brilliant idea to egg-on Kiev to sustain its bloody civil war and brutal ethnic cleansing campaign in eastern Ukraine, has also run out of gas. The end result will be that Swastika wearing thugs and Fascist militants in western Ukraine temporarily allied with Washington – will become impatient with false promises of prosperity and an EU membership-ticket out of Ukraine’s economic hell-hole, opting instead to burn tires and set their government building alight once again in 2015.
Rise of Right-Wing Fascism in Europe – For decades, NATO intelligence had been grooming former Hitler supporters and Banderite Nazis in the West of the Ukraine, waiting for that precise moment to really unleash them in opposition to Moscow. While the Ukrainian Fascist Revival of 2014 was a direct result of US and EU co-opting existing fascist elements in that country to topple an elected government in Kiev, Europe’s right-wing trend is less course, but is heading in the same direction. One of the problems with Europe’s permanent recession and growing jobless culture, it that it fuels right-wing fascist movements. The European Union’s ‘multi-cultural’ forced immigration, social engineering experiment has collided with Brussels’ own neofeudal financial experiment, which ultimately takes the form of a Molotov cocktail exploding on the street. Indigenous Europeans are now rediscovering neotraditionalism, conservatism, and are pushing back – in Sweden, in France, and in Germany too, as the right moves in to occupy the center. This trend will dominate headlines in Europe this year.
Obama Lifts His Pivot Foot in Asia – 2015 will be the year that Washington pretends to intensify its ‘pivot towards Asia‘. Look for some serious tough talk and a major “crisis”, be it a murky ‘cyber threat’ from China or North Korea, or a military confrontation involving Washington’s client states in Asia (Japan, South Korea, Philippines or Taiwan) – pitted against ‘the big bad bully’ in Beijing. By rebooting the North Korean threat before Christmas, Washington has the basis it needs to do what it does best – sell more weapons and arms contracts. Already, Obama has doubled down on the fictional claim that North Korea hacked Sony pictures, by announcing a new round of high-flying, but ultimately meaningless, sanctions against Pyongyang. The reality behind any pivot by Washington is that China has already surpassed the US as the world’s top economy, and therefore, is really wearing the trousers in that relationship. US media-driven ‘Asian scares’ will only benefit one group of men: US defense contractors and their shareholders.
Western Talking Shop Fail – This year’s APEC Summit in Beijing, China, saw the biggest deals being done – while nothing of consequence happened (other than photo shoots) at the competing western-oriented G20 junket in Australia. As world leaders gathered to discuss the nuts and bolts of ‘Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation’ and hammer-out Asia’s biggest deals, a new global pecking order became visible. Up front were Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russia’s Vladimir Putin, and bringing up the rear… was a weakened President Obama. As Washington remained hell-bent on backing its NeoNazi junta regime in Kiev, and front-running economic sanctions that have ended up damaging the economy of Europe as much as it has Russia, Chinese and Russian and Indian leaders signed one of the biggest energy deals in history – a $400 billion gas contract that gives both Russia and China long-term stability required for consistent growth – and more importantly, mutual interests. This deal alone puts APEC well ahead of other international talking shops like the G20, G8, Davos and Bilderberg – all of whom have nothing left to offer the west other than dreaming up ways to repackage junk debt, and how better steal from and feed off of North America and Europe’s already shrinking middle classes – and also best how to drag the west further into a technocratic Orwellian police state.
The Real Arab Spring – The last ‘Arab Spring’ touted by western democracy advocates was mostly an artificial movement and faux ‘color revolutions’, funded and organized from outside of the Middle East, thanks to the collective billions from the US State Department and George Soros. This year we are already seeing the pangs of the real Arab Spring – the one boiling over in US-favored Oil Kingdoms like Bahrain and possibly Saudi Arabia. Most of this strife is an outgrowth of minority Wahabist Sunni monarchs lording over majority Shia. In Bahrain, where police conduct drive-by shootings and activists get tortured and jailed for Tweets, protests are threatening to break through the Mainstream Media information firewall – a media barrier put in place by the US State Department to protect its Oil Dictators (and only true ‘friends’) in the Middle East. The domino potential is huge here.
Oil and the Dollar – In 2014, US Oligarchs and their Saudi Arabian partners hatched a master plan to bankrupt Washington’s ideological and economic rivals in Russia and Venezuela, while simultaneously wiping-out any remaining small players in the global energy trade (and then buying their businesses up for pennies on the dollar). This effort is set to sustain into 2015 and 2016, which means more low oil prices – and a stronger dollar. You can apply that equation to whatever other geopolitical and economic equation you like…
FINANCE AND MONEY
Nothing drives world events and trends like money. Here are some things to look out for in the realm of economics and finance…
Global Contraction – While the US main street and Small-Medium Size Businesses get a little bump and US consumers benefiting from slowing inflation helped by the drop in fuel prices, the euro zone economic outlook looks poor. Western debts have continued to grow and savings have continued to shrink, so despite any of the rosy claims by US and UK politicians keen to take credit for an imaginary ‘economic upturn’, all the fundamental indicators show an overall global contraction in 2015.
Bitcoin’s Block Chain – As banks continue to hike up fees, and transfer fees and other old protocols and regulations continue to hamper commerce globally, the robust nature of Bitcoin and other block chain crypto-currencies are being touted by a growing number of voices – as the future of money itself. No middle man or bank is required which means that a third party cannot delay, or charge a fee for a transaction. This makes banks and credit card companies very unhappy. With the speculators hype calming down and the real fundamentals of Bitcoin are now being universally acknowledged by top advocates, look for 2015 to be the year that Bitcoin establish a firm mainstream foothold.
Crowd-Funding – This trend is threatening to turn democracy on its head, and potentially the most revolutionary hack into the political establishment. What started as a revolution for creative projects on platforms like Kickstarter and Indiegogo, it took on a new dimension in 2014 with Podemos (translated, “We Can”), crowd-funding’s first ever political party debuting in Europe – a new Spanish party established in March 2014 and completely financed by crowd-funding. In just 100 days, it gained five seats out of 54, and 1.2 million votes (8% of the total) in the European elections in May, and has more online fans than any other Spanish political party. Expect more of these to manifest in 2015.
Chinese Dragon – 2014 was the year that China overtook the US as the world’s greatest economy. The global contraction has meant that China’s manufacturing sector has slowed down some, but China’s service economy is in the process of exploding on to the Asian scene. In 2015, China will make the transition from an export driven industrial country to a services economy – and all the cultural and luxury retail kudos that come with that. In addition, Washington’s nutty sanctions against Russia are actually benefiting the Chinese, as Asia’s dragon moves in to fulfill the demand left by Russia’s exclusion from markets. Already, the buzz is at meetings like APEC, Shanghai Cooperation Organization and the BRICS summits – as globalist junkets like the G20 and Davos fade further into the background.
Russia Bear Rules Eurasia – This year will be a tough one for the Russian Bear. In 2014, Russia sustained an economic attack by the US and EU, and coupled with a dive in oil prices and a devalued Rubble, all these factors pushed Russia into a recession. Moscow has even instituted temporary capital controls to halt the Rubble’s slide. But even as oil prices tumble, Russia is still collecting dollars for its oil, and those dollars are converted to even more Rubbles at home, so the domestic balance of payments is very good. Russia also has a trade surplus, and carries much less debt than other major global players. In 2014, Russia completed two mega energy deals that were ten years in the making – giant deals, proving that US-led sanctions and sabre rattling to isolate and hurt Russia has only strengthened Moscow’s long-term inroads into Asia – making the US and its EU lap-dog the real long-term loser in this story. The secret to Russia’s increasing fortunes in Asia is due to a thing called ‘Pipelineistan’ – an energy super-highway which effectively guarantees Russia’s long-term dominance over the Eurasian heartland for decades to come.
Euro Fail – Washington’s crack-pot Dr Strangelove scheme to impose sanctions on Russia for a “stealth invasion” of Ukraine which never actually happened – ended up back-firing on countries like Germany, France, Spain, Italy and others, after Russia reciprocated – further accelerating a Eurozone economic meltdown. Low oil prices may also mean a weaker Euro, and while American consumers enjoy a respite due to fuel savings – greedy misers in Europe continue to do what they have always done – that is gouge consumers to death, in rip-off Britain, rip-off France and other rip-off zones throughout feudal Europe. The EU has suffered an unprecedented amount of political turbulence already. Britain’s Tory Party, led by David Cameron will continue to be anti-Brussels up until May at least, in their bid to stop hemorrhaging voters over to upstart challenger UKIP. Other countries are railing against EU’s multicultural, mass immigration social engineering project. Add this to the economic woes and you have a lethal cocktail. With its 28% youth unemployment rate and tragic housing and debt bubbles, Spain looks to be the most likely candidate to put the Eurozone’s usefulness to the test in 2015. If that domino falls, then so could Greece, Portugal and maybe Italy too. 2015 will see the first real cracks in the EU.
Low Fuel Prices and the US Mini-boom – As the predatory financial vultures on Wall Street, Brussels and the City of London continued to feed on the carcass of western economies, the little man has been given some breathing room from a substantial drop in fuel prices, especially in the US. Still, the dollar remains king, for now. This means a bounce in domestic demand, consumer spending and will add a few jobs – taking some of the pressure off of America’s growing entitlement state. With US gas prices dipping below $2.00 a gallon this week, many pundits expect this to drop even more into the spring. Americans can expect a drop in food prices, delivery prices, heating bills and all-round consumer savings. Although this will bring some short-term benefits to the US economy, it will not necessarily alter long-term fundamental problems created by psychotic cleptocrats still operating in Wall Street, as they continue to rape of the underlying fundamentals of the US and global economies – giving us a macro recession, punctuated by micro, main street rebounds – allowing the fast-disappearing middle class to hold on just a little while longer…
Amazon’s ‘Retail River’ widens – Pure and simple: the future of retail is Amazon. As costs mount and sales dip for brick-and-mortar retailers on the high street, more and more commerce is flowing down the Amazon’s river of online retail. As sane Americans shy away from the horrors of Black Friday in favor of a more relaxing Cyber Monday, Amazon’s profile keeps rising, while Walmar’ts drops. Add to this, new rave reviews of Amazon’s new same-day delivery service – and it’s a trend which cannot be bucked.
Japan is Back. – After dominating the global manufacturing scene in the 1970’s and 1980’s, Japan got suckered into a spirally debt addiction which ended up destroying their economy in the early 1990’s. Subsequent and reckless efforts to revitalize their system only made things worse. They tried it all: quantitative easing, deflating their currency, and buying up their own debt, but still could not pull themselves out of the global cellar. 2015 looks to be the year Japan rebounds back into positive digits.
Gold and Silver – Gold: is it going to break the $2K glass ceiling in 2015? Not likely. Although it won’t stay low forever, gold will not rise in the short-term so long as the dollar is high – and oil is low. Silver has better breakout potential, but sadly it will remain where has been – so long as the Wall Street price fixers and the Precious Metal Market Suppression Squad (PMMSS) at Goldman Sachs continue to their efforts to soften what would otherwise be hard money.
US, UK Housing Bubbles – The US Federal Reserve, Bank of England, and Bank of Canada – are all scheduled to begin hiking interest rates in 2015—in June, August, and October, respectively – which means that any short-term housing bubbles inflated by low interest rates – will pop. In other words, anyone suckered into the housing market post 2008 with the promise of cheap money in the form of ridiculously low interest rates – could receive a severe shock. That means that this summer, everyone will be wanting to sell, and no one will be wanting to buy. Translated = housing crash.
Air Travel Prices – Although fuel prices have dropped significantly, air travel prices are increasing overall. In many cases for Americans, it’s now cheaper to drive than fly. Another contributor to rising air faresl is rising fear over terrorism and Ebola – and that fear means more security and that costs money. There are some routes which will see a drop in price, including deals on Transatlantic flights to and from big markets like New York, LA, and Miami.
Legalized Dope – 2014 was a breakout year for marijuana legalization and even played a pivotal role in the US midterm elections. This shows the power of pot, with Colorado leading the way, touting the economic benefits said to be documented in the upcoming film, “Marijuana Country: The Cannabis Boom”. Other US states like Washington are in the process of legalizing cannabis as well, so expect to see more joints, e-cig inhalers and white people with dread locks hanging around your local skate parks and permaculture urban farms. 2015 is also the year that George Soros and Monsanto unleash their GMO cannabis crops on the world starting in Uruguay, all because clueless hippies sprung that trap last year – already set for them by Soros and his fellow shareholders at Monsanto. Stoners.
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
2014 was the year of the emerging shocks, and this year we’ll see some of last year’s sprites make a real impact – this will be the year of the future shock, and in real-time…
Robot Revolution – 2015 will unveil some incredible strides in automation, as robots and computers continue to graduate from factories into service positions. On CNN’s NYE special, the program opened with a news feature about a new ‘automatic cocktail barman’ – a robotic arm which mixed and poured complex drink recipes – with the orders taken by your smartphone. This is not necessarily good news for entry-level jobs in the service sector however. Another feature of our brave new world.
Global Warming Turns to Global Cooling – 2015 will be the warmest year before global cooling sets in. The coming mini cooling cycle is set to begin in late 2015 and will last approximately 13 years. Despite the known effects of both solar and lunar cycles, grant-hungry scientists at the UN’s IPCC and Al Gore’s Church of Climatology will still milk every last ounce of political and financial capital out of the global warming mythology, and when that’s fully defunct, they will then claim that global cooling was a result of CO2 emissions and flatulent cows.
Biohazard – Encouraged by their success with Ebola, the Establishment will be keen to launch another scare campaign in order to further consolidate control and make a ton of money in the process. The Ebola Airline Frenzy hit fever pitch in the US and for the first time ever, establishment conspiracy theorists were actually out-doing the blogasphere when dreaming up improbable doomsday scenarios. One thing is certain – Americans will go for just about anything the media serves up, with politicians usually following (hazmat) suit. If anything, Ebola may have been too exotic for the average American who would struggle to find Liberia on a map, so we could see a reboot of the Killer Flu – similar to the H1N1 scare in 2009. Until then, stock up on surgical masks.
3-D Printing Goes Mainstream – Like Bitcoin, the open source 3-D Printing wave is unstoppable. Its libertarian attributes mean that it’s a true 21st century system crasher and paradigm shifter. According to consultancy Wohlers Associates, the 3-D printing market was worth $2.2 billion worldwide in 2012, and that number is expected to triple this year. The technology is getting better, cheaper and faster, and with more capital and more companies coming into the space, expect even bigger ideas to follow this truly exciting curve.
Drones – Undoubtedly, the military or ‘Terminator’ aspects of this technology are absolutely depressing, but 2014 was a breakout year for personal user drones, and 2015 will almost certainly be the ‘Year of the Drone’. Drones are getting smarter – and smaller, like the new Hexo+, the Zano and the Pocket Drone.
GoPro Video Revolution – This one was pretty inevitable. In late 2014, Chinese manufacturing giant behind Apple’s iPhone, Foxconn, paid $200 million for a 9% stake in micro camera sensation GoPro. This should tell you how hot this technology is going into 2015. New 360-degree and ‘immersive’ video camera applications will also make an impact this year, further fueling the GoPro revolution.
More Selfies – One of the more dire predictions for this year is that we’ll see even more ‘selfies’, thanks to a host of clever new ‘hands free’ selfie apps. “If smartphones were ponds, a large portion of our population would have already drowned.” Wiser words could not be spoken. No one is immune. Even celebrities who you’d think are already getting enough face time are still drawn to the cheap narcissistic release provided by the selfie. Expect more sufferers of this 21st century mental disorder in 2015.
2015 is a year of the bubbles – with new one inflating, while some old ones pop. Here are a few set to blow this year…
MSM Bubble – A combination of shrinking audiences, advertizing revenues and the Mainstream Media’s ever-growing detachment from reality means that the MSM bubble has finally popped. But like a cornered rat, the MSM cartel is determined to delay its funeral by using its lobbying power in government to push users back into the stone ages of monolithic media by attacking independent media whenever and wherever it can – through repressive bills like SOPA, CISPA, as well as other attacks on downloading and file sharing sites and their founders. Rather than embracing the future, the dinosaur industry is predictably doing what monopolists have done throughout history – continue to game the political and judicial systems in their bid to “lock it down”. The MSM have tried to either buy out or emulate the new media, but its a fool’s errand. In the US, millions are already ‘cutting their cables’ – dumping their over-priced home subscription services. Viewers are fleeing in droves to online digital-on-demand services like Amazon Prime, Netflix and HBO GO. The writing is already on the wall.
The Hollywood Bubble – What the ‘Sony Hack’ hoax demonstrated more than any thing was how Hollywood Svengalis are being forced to resort to ever-more desperate measures in order to create artificial demands for their increasingly shallow and mediocre productions. Traditional audiences are shrinking quickly, and so are profits. There is still money to be made, but not with the old 20th century pyramid set-up. Today’s emerging audiences are not only content consumers, but they are also content producers too. Hence, they are much more politically and socially engaged, and Hollywood’s overpriced propaganda films and ‘prestige’ historical biopics are just not cutting it in the post-2012 awakening.
The Obama Bubble – After the Democrat Party’s midterm defeat in November, it’s been all quiet on the western front in the Capital. But all that is set to change in January as the new Republican Senate is sworn in, giving the GOP opposition full control the the bicameral Congress until 2016. 2015 will be open season on what is left of Barack Obama’s sinking domestic social agenda. Everything will be targeted: Obamacare, immigration, Iran and GOP energy hawks will try to ram through the much maligned Keystone pipeline project as well. On top of this, all the scandals which were brewing before – the IRS, Benghazi, possibly even Obama’s missing birth certificate, and one other new scandal which will arise later this year – will ‘fair game’ in a drive to push the President towards impeachment, or even resignation footing in 2015, mirroring the timing of Bill Clinton’s take-down in 1998, which weakened the Democratic Party just enough to give George W. Bush the less than thin margin he required to slide into home plate in 2000.
Data Bubble – Recently, RT host Max Keiser coined the term ‘Data Pollution’ when describing the coming Big Data Bubble. Big Data is taking new forms which are distorting and polluting a number of areas of society and the economy. There’s “junk data”, “data waste”, and also “toxic data” – all of which comes together to form the data bubble. IT guru ‘Doc’ Searls explains how business bought into the mythology of big data and pervasive “surveillance-based marketing and advertising”, and how its time is coming to an end. Add to this the anti-survelliance backlash started by Ed Snowden in 2013 and an anti-Google backlash in the works, and you have a perfect storm forming against ‘Big Data’. Watch this one start to pop in 2015.
Student Loan Bubble – Is a $120,000 bachelor’s degree really worth it? Where are the jobs for graduates? Those are questions more and more Americans are asking themselves in 2015. As America’s higher education prices itself out of the market, and more graduates get tired of writing out checks to the government until they turn 50, the writing on the wall – about the student loan trap. Some of the smarter youngsters may be fleeing to more sensible options, as they come to realize that cheap and easy to get government student loans are what has actually been pushing up the price of university tuition and student rents. Meanwhile Washington is raking in the profit on the interest. It’s another bubble, that’s all.
Reverse Brain-Drain’ Bubble – As Banksters continue to destroy ‘developed’ economies in Europe and North America, skilled labor and other recent migrants have turned towards the developing world for opportunity – namely Africa, South America and Asia. 2015 is the year of the ‘Reverse Brain Drain’ – even in the United States which used to be a magnet for people from all over the world. A new silicon valley has even sprung up in India as a result and US talent are flocking there in search of better opportunities. For the first time since the Great Depression more Mexicans are returning to Mexico than coming to the US. In the UK, factors like crippling housing prices, stagnant wages and a ridiculous cost of living in London are also driving the best and brightest away to greener pastures abroad.
Fracking Bubble – Of all the bubbles, the Shale Gas, or “Fracking” bubble is perhaps the most insidious of all. Due to a child-like understanding and denial by US and British politicians of the fatally flawed technology and economics behind the so-called “Shale Revolution”, this bubble was allowed to inflate to Babylonian proportions. The fundamentals were never there, despite what industry shills on FOX News claimed. Early investors and their political cronies went into over-drive hyping share prices, with early entrants cashing out already. All that was left was the hype, which hit a brick wall of reality this year. America’s shale gas resources were grossly exaggerated and the plunge in oil prices provided the double whammy to an industry hell-bent on drilling anywhere and everywhere, regardless of the environmental destruction it left in its wake. Fracking’s recent defeat in New York was a harbinger, and now Pennsylvania is set to follow suit. Like all bubbles, this one is set to pop, but sooner rather than later.
Westminster’s ‘Paedophile Bubble’ – Unpleasant as it may be, pederasty has long been an institutional problem throughout Britain’s corridors of power, particularly in Westminster, with the Tory Party partaking in more than its lowly share. Sadly, it’s been allowed to fester over the years, and with each successive cover-up designed to protect those in positions of politics and power, while the elite paedophile bubble continues to inflate. The problem is now so big that the system cannot handle the volume of historical child sex abuse allegations claims one British MP, as he warns that victim total could be in the ‘many tens of thousands’. While knighted monsters like Sir Jimmy Savile and Sir Cyril Smith were exposed after their deaths, no major living political figure has been allowed to be exposed, yet. The current paedophile “inquiry” has all but collapsed as the establishment run out of excuses why they shouldn’t skewer their own. A culture of impunity seems to exist which ties together the police, the judiciary and the government. Part of this is through secret societies, and part of it through organized crime. 2015 may be the year it finally pops, as a tidal wave of new evidence is finally being brought to the attention of the authorities, and more witnesses continue to come forward. The dam of denial is about to break.
That’s it for now, but stay tuned here at 21WIRE for the very best in alternative media and news reporting in 2015.
(If we missed any predictions or trends, please list them below in the comment thread)