COLUMN: 16 Predictions for 2016

Harry Caines contributes a weekly column to His column is a work of opinion, and does not reflect the views of Cache Valley Daily, the Cache Valley Media Group, or its employees.

<em>“Hold on to sixteen as long as you can.”</em>

—From the song “Jack and Diane”, by John Cougar.

2015 has, mercifully, died. The worst year of my life—and one not so wonderful for the world at large—will be spoken about only in hushed somber tones in future years. Could 2016 be worse? Things can always be worse.

Ever the optimist (SARCASM ALERT!), I offer up 16 predictions of things I believe will happen in what will be the Year of the Monkey for those who adhere to the Chinese lunar calendar.

Please remember that I do not possess the gift of clairvoyance. This is just another maladroit attempt at scathing ridicule for everything within my muddled mind.

1. The Republican nominee for president will beat Hillary Clinton on November 8th handily…even if it is Donald Trump.

Hillary Clinton walks into every conversation with 100% name recognition and 50% disapproval. She admitting lying about the nature of the Benghazi attack. She and her husband Bill have a lust for power which is some form of aphrodisiac for the both of them. She is disliked more than a Comcast customer service call. Her resume pretty much consists of her being a woman.

None of you who are supporting Hillary are doing so because you believe she has a sincere passion for public service. You want her to win because you have a blind, corrosive hatred for Republicans.

Hillary isn’t The One. She’s a loser-in-waiting.

2. I predict that the medium of television will have a major shake-up regarding the deluge of streaming services and the rights to popular programming. The how, who and why I cannot predict at this time.

There are just too many options for television viewing at this moment. Netflix is thriving with its original programming. But, can that be sustained if nearly every entertainment corporation pulls its films from this behemoth? Do you think Hulu will meekly accept being 2nd place?

And since Mark Zuckerberg pretty much owns you, your life and your life story, I wonder when he will decide to wave his hand from his billion dollar perch and command you to watch what he wants you to watch.

You did not think I was going to go this whole column without a shot at social media, did you? Don’t worry, another one is down below.

3. Locally, three businesses that are currently open for business in the Cache Valley Mall will have closed before 2017 shows its face. They will join a multitude of other Cache Valley businesses–many of them locally owned—in shutting their doors throughout the year.

4. Gary Herbert will be re-elected governor and Mike Lee will be sent back to the U.S Senate to further embarrass the Beehive State. Both men will tally at least 67% of the vote.

Right now is the time to stop this from coming to pass. I doubt anyone in this state will do anything but complain about the inevitable.

5. A baseball team that had a losing record last year will win the 2016 World Series.

The rules have changed in Major League Baseball. Analytics along with revolutionary methods in scouting and evaluating talent have made it so the smartest teams can not only upend the richest teams, but also stay good for more than one season. Teams from small markets can turn around their fortunes with one good off-season. And that will happen in ‘16.

Now, if we can just find a way to play a baseball game in under three hours.

6. On “Game of Thrones” Jon Snow is alive and well and will marry Lady Mary in the final episode of “Downton Abbey.”

7. Back to Logan, a protest will be held outside of both Logan City Hall and the Cache County Courthouse by workers demanding better jobs and better pay.

The good news is they will get an audience with elected officials. The bad news is they will all be fired from their jobs for taking the day off.

8. In movies, “Suicide Squad” will make more money than “Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice”.

The only losers will be our senses, which will once again be assaulted by interminably aggressive comic book films. I stopped trying to remember who is who. Pass the earplugs.

9. With way more competitive seats to defend in the U.S. Senate than the Democrats, the Republicans will lose up to three seats in November, barely holding on to their majority. They will gain about five to 10 seats in the U.S. House.

One caveat to this prediction: if the Democrats run a national campaign emphasising Climate Change, Planned Parenthood and Black Lives Matter, then the GOP will gain up to five seats in the Senate and 20 to 25 seats in the House.

10. Germany will win the 2016 Euro Cup. That’s a soccer tournament. They are just too damn good right now.

11. Courtney Love, or someone close to her, will be indicted for the murder of her husband Kurt Cobain.

From the day he was pronounced dead by suicide back in 1994, I simply refused to believe it was that cut and dry. For 22 years I have steadfastly believed he was murdered by one of the gold-digging junkies that made up his wife’s inner-circle.

With or without Love’s knowledge and/or encouragement, someone killed him on her behest. Recent documentaries, essays and books on the this tragic incident have brought new attention to what happened all those years ago. I hope it brings this long dead genius the justice he deserves.

12. At the end of the year, many organizations will award their “Woman of the Year” to an actual woman.

Caitlin Jenner is nothing more than a money grab. For the umpteenth time, anything with the taint of the Kardashian-Jenner brood on it is insincere and meant to lull the uneducated masses into perpetual cretinism.

For liberal advocacy groups to have endowed Jenner with “Woman of the Year” and “Profiles In Courage” accolades in 2015 shows the gullibility and desperation of these groups.

They were all hoodwinked.

13. A handful of Twitter activists—which pretty much consists of people who tweet cancerous bile, but take no physical action to make the world a better place—will be the victims of violent crime when they are foolish enough to take Syrian and other Middle Eastern refugees into their homes.

Such cases are already being reported in Germany and the Scandinavian countries. What’s that you say? All lies from Fox News?

My sources are the New York Times, CNN International and The Huffington Post. Not exactly the Unholy Trinity of the Koch Brothers.

I cannot think of a more asinine idea than bringing poor people into countries and not expecting massive problems due to culture shock, poverty and ignorance of social mores.

14. Brazil, the host country for the 2016 Summer Olympics, will shock the U.S., Russia and China by winning the most medals at the Games.

And, for the fifth straight Olympiad, I will watch a handball game and try to stay awake for more than five minutes. Until the players are allowed to punch the guy with the ball in the face, handball will remain the dumbest team sport on the planet.

15. In large cities and poor rural areas, young black men will continue to die by gunfire in tragic numbers. But, if they are not killed by a police officer or some illiterate redneck, the mainstream media will remain mostly silent.

Do you know who is shooting and killing black kids? Black kids. It is a horrific pandemic that the media does not cover because it does not fit into the narrative they wish to push—that being, Blacks in America are being hunted with extreme prejudice by law enforcement and a secret society of angry White guys.

Few things are more disgraceful than the willful ignorance of journalists and politicians who lasciviously cry foul at every police shooting, regardless of the facts involved in each incident; and yet, the larger issue of crime in impoverished areas goes unspoken, untold and practically unchallenged.

Shame on us all.

16. Finally, I think I will forgo a copiously detailed prediction about my own fate. I did that last year and was humiliated by how short I fell with my goals and personal expectations.

I can only hope that when the final seconds of 2016 tick away that I am much more happier then than I was when the ball dropped on 2015. I predict that this will happen. With that stated, if I was a betting man, I would think it a more prudent wager that Jon Snow will marry Lady Mary.

Let us see what this year brings.

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