Welcome back to the rear end of my “Out with the old, in with the new” 2-parter to kick-off the new year. While last week was focused on looking back at 2011, here’s some things I will be looking for in 2012. Again, this is not all-inclusive … just random thoughts about what I expect in the coming year. So here goes …
-State of the Union Address.
This year, both Groundhog Day and the State of the Union Address will occur on the same day. This is an ironic juxtaposition of events. One involves a meaningless ritual in which we look to an insignificant creature of little intelligence for prognostication. The other involves a groundhog. (I wish I could claim authorship of this jibe, but I stole it from an anon blogger. Still, I couldn’t help but share it)!
-Presidential Election Year.
Get ready for another onslaught on your senses as President Obama stands-off against the Republican Nominee (it appears to be either Gingrich, Paul or Romney … I think it will be Romney … but who knows?). We saw the brutal take-down of challenger Herman Cain already, reminding us of how nasty politics can be. As Winston Churchill once said, “Democracy is the worst form of government available to man … unless you count all the rest!”
-Afghanistan and the War on Terror.
The books closed on Iraq in 2011 and the winds of change are in the air in Afghanistan for 2012. My friend, fraternity brother and classmate from NGCSU, LTG James Terry, takes over there this month. While the US policy is to begin troop withdrawal and initiate shifting more combat responsibility to the Afghan military this year, the future of the US in the region is still very unclear. President Obama pledged (in 2008) to win this war. The problem will be defining victory and who will make that call! I have long stated publicly that we MUST stay the course in Afghanistan for many years, even after overt hostilities cease. This year will go a long way in determining what our national strategy here will be.
-World Problems and Crises.
The Iranian nuclear issue, Palestine/Israel violence, Saudi terrorism, the threat of a post-Kim North Korea to China and the US, and the ongoing US economic crisis will continue to haunt our world in 2012. Not to mention the inevitable earthquakes, floods, fires and storms that will impact the lives of countless millions. And there is always SOMETHING no one saw coming!
You all know how much I love the iconic super-hero, Captain America! The famous super-soldier continues his movie mayhem with the much-anticipated summer blockbuster, The Avengers! It’s a dream cast and project for a guy like me. I can’t wait!
Other movies I’m looking forward to in 2012 include:
Amazing Spider-Man, Battleground, Battleship, Bullet to the Head, Dark Knight Rises, Dark Shadows, Expendables 2, G.I. Joe: Retaliation, The Hobbit, Last Stand, Prometheus, Universal Soldier 3D, and many more!
-21 December 2012. The End of the World?
Here we go again … another “End of the World” conspiracy! This one deals with the Mayans and how their calendar ends on December 21, 2012. Hey, if the Presidential Election does not end up like you planned, at least you won’t have to deal with it for long!
-Andrew Luck and the NFL Draft!
Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck is the consensus #1 overall pick coming in the NFL draft in April. My Minnesota Vikings are in the running to grab him after their dismal season (worst in their 50+ year history). What’s the future of Colts QB Peyton Manning? And for the first time in years, we’ll begin Monday Night Football without Hank Williams, Jr!
-The Dove of War!
My sixth book and second fictional novel (the art above is your first look at the cover, created by my friend, Steve Purtill), will see print in the “Bill Cain Universe.” It will stand alone but is intended to be the 2nd of four tales in my “Age of Chaos” Quadrilogy. It WILL be controversial but I hope readers will find it to be the uplifting tale of tragedy and redemption I intend it to be. And of course, my online comic, VOID, will continue to act as the “bridge” between Dove of War and my 2009 thriller, I Know Why the Dogwoods Blush!
Beyond that? Who knows? It’s a fruitless exercise to try to predict the future. Besides, I’m pretty busy with the present to dwell on it too much! But whatever comes, I am proud to know that I’ll be facing it with my family, my friends, and readers like you who follow this blog and keep giving me hope in my lifelong pursuit of writing. Regardless of what tomorrow may bring, may it be happy for you and yours.
Let me leave you with this excerpt to digest from The Butterfly Effect by Andy Andrews:
There are generations yet unborn whose very lives will be shifted and shaped by the moves you make and the actions you take today. And tomorrow. And the next day. And the next.
Every single thing you do matters.
You have been created as one of a kind.
On the planet Earth, there has never been one like you …and there will never be again.
Your spirit, your thoughts and feelings, your ability to reason and act all exist in no one else.
The rarities that make you special are no mere accident or quirk of fate.
You have been created in order that you might make a difference. You have within you the power to change the world.
Know that your actions cannot be hoarded, saved for later, or used selectively.
By your hand, millions—billions—of lives will be altered, caught up in a chain of events begun by you this day.
The very beating of your heart has meaning and purpose.
Your actions have value far greater than silver or gold.
Your life… And what you do with it today … matters forever.