Last year’s predictions & contest results

A New Year’s custom on this blog is to have readers predict what will happen in the year ahead.  That’s not particularly unique.  But what is unique is our other custom:  To review those predictions at the end of the year and actually check how everyone did.  Whoever has the most impressive prediction wins universal acclaim and bragging rights for the whole year.

I urge you all to read Your predictions for 2011 | Cranach: The Blog of Veith.  You will get a kick out of it, and you will be encouraged that the year was not quite as bad as many of us thought it was going to be.

Most notable is that Webmonk and Kerner actually made a bet over the number of troops that would be in Iraq and Afghanistan.  Kerner said that we would have fewer than 155,000 troops still fighting in those wars, and Webmonk said that we would have more than that.  Webmonk said that if Kerner is right he would write on this blog an ode “to the greatness of Kerner and all things Lutheran (LCMS).”  Kerner called the bet, agreeing to write an ode to Webmonk and to the religion of his choice.   Well, combat troops have withdrawn from Iraq, though 91,000 remain in Afghanistan.  So Kerner wins!

Webmonk, we await your ode. Not a limerick or a sonnet.  An actual ode.

Special Loser Awards for the predictions that most spectacularly did NOT come to pass go to:

 (1) The Jones, for predicting that Mitch Daniels would be the Republican presidential front-runner, with Tim Pawlenty “right at his heels.”  (We wish!)

(2) WeCanKnow, a follower of Harold Camping, who insisted that the world would end on May 21.

Honorable mention goes to someone who has placed in this contest I believe each year that we’ve done this:  Cindy Ramos.  She predicted that the Green Bay Packers would win their division this year with a record of 13-3.  She didn’t nail the record exactly–it will be either 15-1 or 14-2 (if, as if likely, the Packers rest their starters against Detroit, the perfect season being gone and the team already with a bye and home field advantage throughout the playoffs).  Still, few people expected the Packers to have the kind of season that they did.  Cindy’s prediction I still consider remarkable, and more remarkable still is her record of at least three years making remarkable predictions in this contest.  (She is one of my former students.  I taught her all about how to do effective analysis and interpretation.  Wait a minute.  The Jones is also one of my former students.)

This year’s winner started off making some generalized predictions, then realizing that no one could agree on whether they happened or not, he took a different tactic:

The only way to surefire Prediction Glory is to make a rather unforeseen, falsifiable claim and manage to get it right. So I’ll shoot for the moon and say that some event (death or general incapacity) will cause Kim Jong-Un to succeed his father as leader of North Korea.

Kim Jong-Un!  Who even knew who Kim Jong-Un was this time last year?  But sure enough, with just a couple of weeks left in 2011, he became North Korea’s new dictator.  So all Prediction Glory goes to:  tODD!

 

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • Mary

    Way to go tODD!

  • Mary

    Way to go tODD!

  • John

    Congratulations, you old contrarian!

  • John

    Congratulations, you old contrarian!

  • Kirk

    Hail tODD!

  • Kirk

    Hail tODD!

  • Joe

    Don’t feed the beast :)

  • Joe

    Don’t feed the beast :)

  • Dan Kempin

    tODD,

    Sure, you will get the glory for the moment, but before long there will be charges of “insider information” and deep, sinister political connections. I mean, hey, I believe you. I do. But how long before the other commenters here learn of your connections to the Korean mafia and black market Kimchi? (By the way, please send your guy over with another case of the really hot stuff. I’m almost out.)

    Way to dominate the future, though. Your secondary prediction about the republican majority would still have won, at least in my book, without the over-the-top nailing of Kim Jong-Un. PLUS you smacked down the Harold Camping prediction. Come on, let someone else play!

    So, what do you think of the housing market? . . . precious metals? . . . Dow Chemical stock? . . . If I have a chance for a career change next year, should I take it?

    Ha ha! Just kidding. I know you can’t really see the future!

    (Seriously, though . . . just give me a hint.)

  • Dan Kempin

    tODD,

    Sure, you will get the glory for the moment, but before long there will be charges of “insider information” and deep, sinister political connections. I mean, hey, I believe you. I do. But how long before the other commenters here learn of your connections to the Korean mafia and black market Kimchi? (By the way, please send your guy over with another case of the really hot stuff. I’m almost out.)

    Way to dominate the future, though. Your secondary prediction about the republican majority would still have won, at least in my book, without the over-the-top nailing of Kim Jong-Un. PLUS you smacked down the Harold Camping prediction. Come on, let someone else play!

    So, what do you think of the housing market? . . . precious metals? . . . Dow Chemical stock? . . . If I have a chance for a career change next year, should I take it?

    Ha ha! Just kidding. I know you can’t really see the future!

    (Seriously, though . . . just give me a hint.)

  • palauer

    This is really and enjoyable feature of this blog. Thank you all for playing! Does anybody do this with the political pundits; e.g., The McLaughlin Group?

  • palauer

    This is really and enjoyable feature of this blog. Thank you all for playing! Does anybody do this with the political pundits; e.g., The McLaughlin Group?

  • Dennis Peskey

    Kerner (#5) Kimchi??? Seriously!!! An abominable waste of good sauerkraut (and smelly as old boots).
    Pax,
    Dennis

  • Dennis Peskey

    Kerner (#5) Kimchi??? Seriously!!! An abominable waste of good sauerkraut (and smelly as old boots).
    Pax,
    Dennis

  • http://www.lambertsonline.net Dave Lambert

    Congratulations to tODD!

  • http://www.lambertsonline.net Dave Lambert

    Congratulations to tODD!

  • The Jones

    Thank you, thank you!

    It feels great to be recognized in such a way this New Year’s Eve. It was a tough position to take, but I’m glad that I managed to beat out a follower of Harold Camping for the coveted first spot of being “the most wrong.” I’d like to thank everybody who made this possible for me… and gosh… I don’t know what to say at a time like this!

    No, seriously. I don’t know what to say.

  • The Jones

    Thank you, thank you!

    It feels great to be recognized in such a way this New Year’s Eve. It was a tough position to take, but I’m glad that I managed to beat out a follower of Harold Camping for the coveted first spot of being “the most wrong.” I’d like to thank everybody who made this possible for me… and gosh… I don’t know what to say at a time like this!

    No, seriously. I don’t know what to say.

  • kerner

    Kudos tODD! Way to back a longshot and win!

    Jones, amigo, how I wish you had been correct.

  • kerner

    Kudos tODD! Way to back a longshot and win!

    Jones, amigo, how I wish you had been correct.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Thank you, thank you. Well, I’m as shocked as you were — no, really, I didn’t remember making that prediction, nor can I even guess now what it was based on. (Except, of course, sheer prognosticative skill.)

    Dan (@5), great now I’m hungry for kimchi. At 10:30am, no less. And I reject any insinuations that I’m trying to foment a raucous debate over the best way to eat cabbage in a vain attempt to derail any discussion about my trip to the Korean Peninsula a few weeks ago — it certainly wasn’t to ensure that my prediction came true, thus earning me untold glory, if that’s what you mean. Why are people insinuating that? Let’s move on. This comment is over!

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Thank you, thank you. Well, I’m as shocked as you were — no, really, I didn’t remember making that prediction, nor can I even guess now what it was based on. (Except, of course, sheer prognosticative skill.)

    Dan (@5), great now I’m hungry for kimchi. At 10:30am, no less. And I reject any insinuations that I’m trying to foment a raucous debate over the best way to eat cabbage in a vain attempt to derail any discussion about my trip to the Korean Peninsula a few weeks ago — it certainly wasn’t to ensure that my prediction came true, thus earning me untold glory, if that’s what you mean. Why are people insinuating that? Let’s move on. This comment is over!

  • WebMonk

    kerner, I am most pleased to give this to you. All the way up through October I was pretty confident I was going to win, but then things finally started changing at the very end. I even did a bit of wiggle-checking, trying to see if I could count all the peace-keeping contractors, but even with them I couldn’t quite get up to 150,000.

    Kerner, your optimism, or perhaps it was your incisive understanding of the world, was proven out over my own gloomy and misbegotten predictions.

    Ahem. An Ode to Kerner and All Things LCMS

    A mighty fortress is his God
    A great and mighty wonder is Kerner’s wisdom.
    The soldiers sing Through the Day Thy Love hath Spared Us
    Indeed, through the night of doubt and sorrow
    His hope was built on nothing less
    Than that now are the soldiers days fulfilled.

    When all the world was cursed
    Webmonk declared “Of all soldiers that on Iraq do dwell
    Iraqis will say ‘Abide with us the day is waning’
    and soldiers will say ‘I walk in danger all the way’”

    But Kerner bravely replied “In the hour of trial,
    arm these thy soldiers, mighty Lord,
    and bring them back to a blessed home where man and wife
    may say the strife is o’er, the battle done.”

    And now, ye watchers and ye holy ones
    can see the soldiers shout ‘Tis good, Lord, to be here’

    Congrats kerner! And yes, that is an ode to Lutherans as well, every line!

  • WebMonk

    kerner, I am most pleased to give this to you. All the way up through October I was pretty confident I was going to win, but then things finally started changing at the very end. I even did a bit of wiggle-checking, trying to see if I could count all the peace-keeping contractors, but even with them I couldn’t quite get up to 150,000.

    Kerner, your optimism, or perhaps it was your incisive understanding of the world, was proven out over my own gloomy and misbegotten predictions.

    Ahem. An Ode to Kerner and All Things LCMS

    A mighty fortress is his God
    A great and mighty wonder is Kerner’s wisdom.
    The soldiers sing Through the Day Thy Love hath Spared Us
    Indeed, through the night of doubt and sorrow
    His hope was built on nothing less
    Than that now are the soldiers days fulfilled.

    When all the world was cursed
    Webmonk declared “Of all soldiers that on Iraq do dwell
    Iraqis will say ‘Abide with us the day is waning’
    and soldiers will say ‘I walk in danger all the way’”

    But Kerner bravely replied “In the hour of trial,
    arm these thy soldiers, mighty Lord,
    and bring them back to a blessed home where man and wife
    may say the strife is o’er, the battle done.”

    And now, ye watchers and ye holy ones
    can see the soldiers shout ‘Tis good, Lord, to be here’

    Congrats kerner! And yes, that is an ode to Lutherans as well, every line!

  • WebMonk

    And never fear, I’m not quitting my day job to write songs. :-D

  • WebMonk

    And never fear, I’m not quitting my day job to write songs. :-D

  • SKPeterson

    Let me be the first to say that WM has completely botched Lutheranism in his ode. Let everyone pile upon him forthwith. :D

  • SKPeterson

    Let me be the first to say that WM has completely botched Lutheranism in his ode. Let everyone pile upon him forthwith. :D

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Kudos to WebMonk (@12) for fulfilling his part of the bet. But … well, I’m confused. Are those supposed to be Lutheran hymns? I think they are, for the most part, but they’re not uniquely so, are they? Maybe a few. Am I missing something?

    Whatever, looks like an ode to me. Good job.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Kudos to WebMonk (@12) for fulfilling his part of the bet. But … well, I’m confused. Are those supposed to be Lutheran hymns? I think they are, for the most part, but they’re not uniquely so, are they? Maybe a few. Am I missing something?

    Whatever, looks like an ode to me. Good job.

  • kerner

    Webmonk:

    Thanks for the ode, but sk is right. It may be an ode to me, but all things Lutheran needs an additional limerick or something. But I appreciate the thought, and like you I am glad I won for the sake of the 64,000 military personnel who aren’t deployed, not for my own. Thanks, amigo. :)

  • kerner

    Webmonk:

    Thanks for the ode, but sk is right. It may be an ode to me, but all things Lutheran needs an additional limerick or something. But I appreciate the thought, and like you I am glad I won for the sake of the 64,000 military personnel who aren’t deployed, not for my own. Thanks, amigo. :)

  • WebMonk

    I pulled them all from a Lutheran hymnal. I actually tried to put in a limerick into the ode, but I couldn’t make it fit with the hymn titles.

    Here’s my attempt at a Lutheran limerick:

    There once was a Lutheran named Bright,
    Whose faith was imputed on Baptism night.
    He set out one day
    In an atheist way
    But returned when Grace cleared his sight.

  • WebMonk

    I pulled them all from a Lutheran hymnal. I actually tried to put in a limerick into the ode, but I couldn’t make it fit with the hymn titles.

    Here’s my attempt at a Lutheran limerick:

    There once was a Lutheran named Bright,
    Whose faith was imputed on Baptism night.
    He set out one day
    In an atheist way
    But returned when Grace cleared his sight.

  • Tom Hering

    Has anyone else seen this photo of a crowd in North Korea mourning the passing of their Dear Leader?

    https://docs.google.com/open?id=0B0LY_IA6TPrINmFkODBhOTktOGY5MC00MjcwLTgzNmMtODBiZWJjNjBjODY4

  • Tom Hering

    Has anyone else seen this photo of a crowd in North Korea mourning the passing of their Dear Leader?

    https://docs.google.com/open?id=0B0LY_IA6TPrINmFkODBhOTktOGY5MC00MjcwLTgzNmMtODBiZWJjNjBjODY4

  • SKPeterson

    Tom @ 18 – Mystery solved? Or evidence of a conspiracy in the works? Both?

  • SKPeterson

    Tom @ 18 – Mystery solved? Or evidence of a conspiracy in the works? Both?

  • Dan Kempin

    Webmonk,
    I loved the ode, especially the homage to “I walk in danger all the way.” The limerick was ok, but you inspired me to this humble offering:

    ‘Twas once a monk who was reputed
    To have seen the light, so he hooted:
    “All my works are a bust,
    Yet still I will trust,
    For it turns out that grace is imputed.”

    Tom, #18,

    Lol! And then lol again!

  • Dan Kempin

    Webmonk,
    I loved the ode, especially the homage to “I walk in danger all the way.” The limerick was ok, but you inspired me to this humble offering:

    ‘Twas once a monk who was reputed
    To have seen the light, so he hooted:
    “All my works are a bust,
    Yet still I will trust,
    For it turns out that grace is imputed.”

    Tom, #18,

    Lol! And then lol again!

  • kerner

    Tom @18:

    rofl. :D But isn’t it racist to suggest that all those Koreans are shorter than you know who?

  • kerner

    Tom @18:

    rofl. :D But isn’t it racist to suggest that all those Koreans are shorter than you know who?

  • Tom Hering

    No, it’s sexist. They’re women. And maybe you-know-who’s “comrades” (wink wink).

  • Tom Hering

    No, it’s sexist. They’re women. And maybe you-know-who’s “comrades” (wink wink).

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Hold on you guys. Photoshopped photographs of Kim Jong-Il’s funeral? Where have I heard that story before? I do believe we’ve found us a mole from the North Korean Central News Agency! I’m not the one you want — it’s Tom! Get him!

    Also, I’m 6’2″. The average height for a male over 20 years old in North Korea is 5’4.5″. So, you know.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Hold on you guys. Photoshopped photographs of Kim Jong-Il’s funeral? Where have I heard that story before? I do believe we’ve found us a mole from the North Korean Central News Agency! I’m not the one you want — it’s Tom! Get him!

    Also, I’m 6’2″. The average height for a male over 20 years old in North Korea is 5’4.5″. So, you know.

  • helen

    tODD,
    Kim Jong Un was reported as the third son of his father. If that’s true, and if you know, why not Son #1?
    (Or #2?)

    Thanks in advance!

  • helen

    tODD,
    Kim Jong Un was reported as the third son of his father. If that’s true, and if you know, why not Son #1?
    (Or #2?)

    Thanks in advance!

  • SKPeterson

    Helen – the eldest was a little too liberal for Il’s taste (he wanted to go to Disneyland) and has left the country (he now resides in Macau and said he had no interest in leading North Korea) and the second was “too effeminate” and also a little too “Western.” Un was the last hope, literally.

  • SKPeterson

    Helen – the eldest was a little too liberal for Il’s taste (he wanted to go to Disneyland) and has left the country (he now resides in Macau and said he had no interest in leading North Korea) and the second was “too effeminate” and also a little too “Western.” Un was the last hope, literally.

  • Tom Hering

    Disneyland? Too Western? Dear Leader’s body was paraded around in a Lincoln Continental Town Car, after leading a decadent lifestyle, and watching his huge collection of movies from the West. Which probably included Snow White and Pinocchio. :-D

  • Tom Hering

    Disneyland? Too Western? Dear Leader’s body was paraded around in a Lincoln Continental Town Car, after leading a decadent lifestyle, and watching his huge collection of movies from the West. Which probably included Snow White and Pinocchio. :-D


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