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spike bullet January 2005 - Forecast for the Year

Themes and trends for 2005
Suggestions and Tips for 2005
Disclaimer
Resources (Internet resources and articles, books, movies and music, International Happy New Year)

spike bulletThemes and Trends for 2005

General Themes

  • Productive / Moving Ahead
  • Realistic, Pragmatic Perception
  • Accepting / Not Accepting What is Real
  • Paying Attention to Individual Values and Beliefs
  • Continued Polarization

2005 is a year of moving forward in the United States at least.  We've been mired in election politics for the past year and many people are simply tired of it all and want to pay more attention to their own lives and individual priorities.  In 2005, we can move forward knowing that we have a new President elected, whether we agree with that choice or not.

A sidebar discussion on Democracy at work:

Here in Washington state, we've been engaged in a very public display of Democracy at its best.  After the November election, the first results were counted and showed the Republican candidate for Governor, Dino Rossi, ahead by 261.  As law provided, a computer recount was required if the result was closer than 280 votes, which means the vote is accurate at 99.99%.  A lead by either candidate of 280 votes or less (.001% difference), requires a recount in this state of 2.8 million voters.

The computer recount showed Mr. Rossi's lead was 42 votes.  Following a computer count as provided by our existing state laws the Democratic candidate, Christine Gregoire, had the right to request a manual recount.  According to existing state laws, whoever asks for a manual recount has to put up the money to pay for that recount, which will be refunded if the results of the recount change the outcome.  

The Democratic Party was able to raise $730,000 within a very short amount of time and the manual recount was completed and certified by the last county on December 23, 2004.  Hundreds of citizens were also able to observe the manual recount all across the state.  

During the manual recount, the Democratic Party went to the state Supreme Court to ask that a group of previously rejected votes to be re-evaluated by the King County canvassing board.  The Supreme Court denied that request.  

A week later, the Republican Party obtained a temporary restraining order in another county to stop King County (the largest in the state and the final county to finish their recount) from completing its manual recount.  The King County elections department, the Democratic Party and the Secretary of State (a Republican) joined together to ask for review of that order by our state Supreme Court.  The state Supreme Court removed the lower court's restraining order and allowed King County to continue its manual recount according to existing state laws and guidelines.  

The final results of the manual recount showed that Gregoire was the winner by 129 votes, reversing the results of the first 2 counts.  The Secretary of State certified those results on December 30, 2004.  The legislature will convene on January 10, 2005; the newly elected governor is due to be inaugurated on January 12, 2005.  

Our state law also provides that if the manual recount changes the winner of the election, the state must absorb the cost of the manual recount and refund the money paid.  The state taxpayers are now responsible for the payment of the election recount costs. 

Like our national election, this state election was very close and people are almost evenly divided. 

In 2004, our forecast talked about truth and Truth.  In 2005, we will continue to see people's viewpoints slanted by their version of the truth (their own personal truth), which could well be different from THE TRUTH (the ultimate Truth).  As human beings, we are often not able to see the Truth because we have so many of our own biases, beliefs, viewpoints and prejudices (called "filters") that skew our perception of reality.

In 2005, we expect to see more people taking a practical/pragmatic view.  That means, observing what is happening, trying to understand what is right for them, taking action and moving forward based on that personal understanding of reality.  

Part of that practical/pragmatic view is accepting what is.  Some people will greatly resist accepting what is because it does not fit with their personal world view.  People may agonize over changing their beliefs, a very rigorous personal growth process, and find based on new information that they define a new reality for themselves.  Or, they may completely resist and carry heavy grudges or anger over what they see as an unfair world.

We expect this aspect to help perpetuate the continued polarization that we have seen in recent years.  It has certainly shown up around the elections in this country, as well as in the perception of the United States by other countries of the world.  Our discussion of the Washington state governor's election earlier is an example this polarization between 2 differing viewpoints.  

What makes this time so interesting and exciting to be part of, is that as a country, the US is exploring and revisiting many of our most closely held values. 

This phase of our history could be considered similar to the battle teenagers have with their parents as they seek to find their own way in the world.  The US is a fairly young country and in many ways, less mature that some other countries of the world, especially many European countries.  Since so many of the original founders of the US came from Europe, we could say that Europe represents our parent in many ways. 

Many countries that the US sees as immature, such as those in the Middle East, will continue to feel like the younger children in the family fighting among themselves and feeling greatly outraged at what they perceive to be unfair treatment by their older siblings.  

We also expect in 2005 to see more people paying attention to what is right for them, noticing their own perception of reality, noticing how they feel about local, national and international events.  They will then take action and more ahead based on their individual decisions about what is real for them.  

We expect that individual choices will be greatly tempered by spiritual beliefs, whether or not people consider themselves religious.  This is a continuing trend that has been going on for several years.  

Please note this does not mean that everyone will agree with each other.  In fact, we expect that people's individual realities and perceptions will clash greatly with the realities and perceptions of many others. 

The next decade will see this drama played out until we come to a different and more mature way of defining who we are as a country.  If we look at dysfunctional family dynamics, it all looks very much like a family battling over their various needs in immature ways.  After all, we are all part of the family of the Earth. 

Business growth and economic expansion this year may be slower than some would like.  It will be somewhat steady although still not stable for everyone.  

There are too many still undiscovered unhealthy corporations that will find their inner core is rotten.  Those will present opportunities for very public scandals and great opportunities to learn what is real, what should be done and  how to make things better for the long term.

The travel industry definitely made a comeback in 2004.  The end-of-year travel season is predicted to be back to the year 2000 levels, a good economic situation for an industry that has struggled mightily for several years.   

Technology continues its growth and expansion this year as new ways of communicating come to market.  The stress of dealing with spam, adware and spyware is forcing Microsoft as well as many other companies to deal with an almost out-of-control situation that could jeopardize this entire industry.   Security issues with Microsoft products continue to dominate the technology news as they scramble to retain their customer base. 

Cell phone and other wireless gadgets continue to improve and get smaller.  The market of potential new cell phone customers is almost saturated and manufacturers are seeking new avenues to make money.  We hope the US cell phone industries will eventually make their services as good as they are in Europe, where you can get a signal far out in the country.  As long as cell phone and wireless coverage service is only clear along major corridors and in  major cities, people will refuse to invest in it.  We believe that quality does matter and when manufacturers offer true quality and universally wide coverage, the market is ready to buy.  

People continue to demand truth in advertising consumers expect realistic product descriptions and warranties. 

As in previous years, privacy and individual rights continue to be a subject of great interest by the public, forcing governments to try to deal with growing identify theft and misuse of personal, private information.  The European community has been much farther ahead of the US in this regard.  We still expect to see more serious consideration in the US for adopting the European guidelines for data privacy and protection, over the strident protests of US companies who have greatly abused the information available to them.

The way people related to debt and their personal finances is changing.  JP Van Hulle called the 20th century, the "century of debt."  She calls the 21st century, the "century of choice."  In the past 100 years, we took debt to the highest possible limits and learned all about its positive and negative aspects.  In this century, we have the opportunity to make a personal choice about what debts we want to incur and what debts we want to avoid.  We no longer need to have a "tit for tat."  Many people are choosing to cut up their credit cards, which means the credit card companies are trying harder and harder to woo us back into their influence.  Notice how many people you interact with have changed their attitude toward debt in the past few years. 

In health care, people are taking more responsibility for their own health.  Alternative health practices and practitioners are becoming more mainstream.  More people are choosing not to take drugs just because everyone else is doing it.  Even many seemingly "safe" drugs have come under increased scrutiny this year.  We expect to see more of this trend over the next few years.  When people feel responsible for their health and well-being, they are more likely to take care of their bodies and their environment.  Notice how many people you interact with have changed their attitude toward their own health care in the past few years. This has lead to the raging popularity of the Atkins diet, the South Beach diet and similar programs that help us maintain healthy nutrition.  We are seeing schools paying more attention to the lunch menus, offering more healthy well-balanced choices and becoming concerned about growing obesity problems. 

Overall, be believe 2005 will feel like things are moving forward.  People will feel a sense of accomplishment in their personal lives even if they don't see much hope for their country or the world at large.  

We wish you joy, prosperity, good health, good friends and good times in 2005.  

ps: As we finish this newsletter, we hope everyone will join us in acknowledging the terrible disaster of the 9.0 earthquake and tsunami in Asia last week.  Please say a prayer or do whatever feels right to you for all of those who have passed on or offer help in some way to the families who remain and everyone who is trying to help.  In hard times like this, we can deeply feel the connectedness of all the people of the family of the Earth. 

Our Suggestions for 2005

  1. Be honest - with yourself and with others.
  2. Be flexible.
  3. Be realistic.
  4. Seek to understand rather than criticize or follow blindly. 
  5. Search for your own truth - learn what is true for you. 
  6. Look at your values and beliefs.  Change what is no longer appropriate, then act from your own set of ethics and values, regardless of what others may believe.
  7. Take appropriate risks.
  8. Find ways to have fun every day.
  9. Find ways to have adventure in your life travel, try new things or do what gets you excited.
  10. Be careful about going too far too fast.
  11. Pay attention to your own intuition and learn to trust it.
  12. Be grateful for what you have already every day.
  13. Seek to explore, expand and learn more about yourself.
  14. Connect with friends,  family, co-workers, neighbors and associates.
  15. Seek to understand others other religions, other cultures,  other life styles, other ways of being.
  16. Listen for truth in the media, in politics, in the business world and in your religion.
  17. Notice when someone is lying or covering up the truth.  
  18. Be willing to demand truth from others.
  19. Watch for excesses - in your own life and in public ways.
  20. Take time to be with people you care about.  If you can't be with them physically, stay in touch by phone, e-mail or letter. 
  21. Be grateful for the wonderful people in your life.  Let them know that you appreciate them whenever you can.  Appreciate other people for who they are and learn from them even if you don't agree with everything they believe. 
  22. Be grateful for the many blessings in your life.  Focus your attention on the positive aspects of your life rather than stressing over what you don't have. 
  23. Be grateful for everything you are and everything you have every day.  
  24. Acknowledge the strength you have gained so far and the progress you make every day, whether grand or slight.
  25. Take time to reward yourself for being alive and coping with the physical experience as well for making progress toward your goals..  
  26. Follow your own path, not depend on others or external events to guide you. 
  27. Do something good for yourself every day.  
  28. Do something good for someone else every day. 

Here's an exercise that you might try:

  1. Find a quiet place and meditate about what you want to release from last year.
  2. When you are ready, write down what you want to release on a piece of paper.
  3. Burn the paper, consciously releasing whatever is written there and knowing that it is also gone from your consciousness.   If you are not in a safe place for burning, you can tear it up into little pieces and throw it away.
  4. Meditate on what you want for yourself in 2005.
  5. Allow yourself to be open to receiving a word, name or short phrase describing who you are and what is true for you in 2005.
  6. Write down whatever comes to you.
  7. Spend some time understanding the meaning of that word, name or phrase and allow it to assist you this year.  Find ways to use that word,  name or phrase all year.  Each time you use it, reaffirm what it means for you.

Disclaimer

This forecast represents our views and opinions.  Please, don't just take our word (or anyone else's) for what will or will not happen.  Use whatever methods work for you in planning for the future.  Wise people will use all the forecasts they can find, then see what feels right for them rather than letting any one dictate their activities.

No guarantees about the future are implied or given - use our views as you would anyone's opinions.

Last year's forecast: January, 2004

spike bullet If you have comments about this month's topic, please let us know or take our newsletter survey.  If you would like to receive free notices of the new monthly topic, please sign up for our mailing list.  See our Privacy Policy

World Wide Web graphic  Internet Resources and Articles 

Some of the products we recommend to protect your computer: 
  • Mozilla Firefox browser, Thunderbird e-mail, Mozilla suite (all free) http://www.mozilla.org 
  • Trend Micro's PCcillin includes computer virus protection plus built-in firewall and spyware prevention www.pccillin.com (has a 30-day free trial version)
  • Mailwasher (screens for spam) www.mailwasher.net (available as a free trial version or a paid version)
  • Zone Alarm Pro professional strength firewall www.zonelabs.com 

book graphic  Books

  • The DaVinci Code, Dan Brown.  Doubleday, 2003.  ISBN: 0385504209 [A best selling novel that takes a dramatically different look at Christian religion.]
  • The Five People You Meet in Heaven. Mitch Albom. Hyperion, 2003. ISBN: 0786868716 [Another best selling novel that takes a different look at life.]

  Movies and Music

smiley graphic  Happy New Year!!

Happy New Year in many languages around the world:

Arabic: Kul 'aam u antum salimoun
Chinese: Chu Shen Tan
Slovakia and Czech republic:Scastny Novy Rok
Dutch: Gelukkig Nieuw Jaar
English: Happy New Year
Finnish: Onnellista Uutta Vuotta
French: Bonne Annee
German: Prosit Neujahr
Greek: Eftecheezmaenos o Kaenooryos hronos
Hebrew: L'Shannah Tovah Tikatevu
Hindi: Niya Saa Moobaarak
Irish (Gaelic): Bliain nua fe mhaise dhuit
Italian: Buon Capodanno
Khmer: Sua Sdei tfnam tmei
Laotian: Sabai dee pee mai
Polish: Szczesliwego Nowego Roku
Portuguese: Feliz Ano Novo
Russian: S Novim Godom
Serbo-Croatian: Scecna nova godina
Spanish: Feliz Ano Neuvo
Prospero Ano Nuevo
Turkish: Yeni Yiliniz Kutlu Olsun
Vietnamese: Cung-Chuc Tan-Xuan
Welch: Blwyddyn Newydd Dda!

About our resource links:  We do not endorse or agree with all the beliefs in these links.  We do keep an open mind about different viewpoints and respect the ability of our readers to decide for themselves what is useful.

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