I'm not really into numerology. I placed no special significance on the event when we marked the change from the 1900s into the 2000s. But, I find it kind of neat when a date is the same whether viewed backwards, forwards or upside down. I'm using it herein as a premise for a flashback comparison that could be titled “that was then, and this is now”.
So, here we are at 11/11/11. Nothing special. Neither was 8/8/88, which comes to mind for me because back then I was fully engaged in writing my Namekagon Notebook column when I was editor of the Four Seasons News.
Let's compare what things were like in 1988 with how they are today, in the year 2011.
After 9 years of occupation, the Soviet Union begins to withdraw troops from Afghanistan, where they had fought against the proxy army set up by the United States known as the mujaheddin
In order to use Islamic ideology against the Soviets, the Koran and other religious material becomes compulsory reading in army training courses run by the U.S.
George Bush beats Michael Dukakis for the U.S. Presidency
Iran and Iraq accept a U.N. peace plan after an eight year war during which the U.S. armed and backed Iraq
The world had just exceeded 5 billion occupants
The savings and loan scandal bailout was delayed until after the elections, bringing the cost up from $20 billion to $1.5 trillion. At the time, it was the largest theft in the history of the world. Neil Bush, Jeb Bush and their father, George Sr., are heavily implicated in the scandal.
George Bush Sr. is elected president, while the S&L scandal is not part of the debate. (It would have implicated the Reagan administration for easing oversight of the financial institutions as part of its deregulating of the S&Ls.)
Two hundred and eighty people die when Pan Am Flight 103 is blown from the sky over Lockerby, Scotland, by a bomb later traced to Libya. The event is one in a series of terrorist actions by Libya, part of an exchange of violence with the U.S. that included the 1986 bombing of Tripoli in which Ghadaffi's daughter Hanna is allegedly killed along with 60 others.
Poison gas attacks on Kurdish villagers kill 2,500 in Iraq.
Wisconsin becomes a hotbed of political unrest and is labeled the “Tunisia of the U.S.” in reaction to Governor Scott Walker's plan to cut the bargaining rights of public sector workers. “Longer term, the Republican strategy is to split the vast middle and working class — pitting unionized workers against non-unionized, public-sector workers against non-public, and the poor against the working middle class” writes former Labor Secretary Robert Reich in the Huffington Post.
Also in Wisconsin, special elections to recall Republican state legislators occur in the summer, resulting in two losses for the G.O.P.
A campaign gets underway to recall Governor walker with a petition drive that needs over 500,000 signatures to succeed in triggering the recall election in 2012.
An earthquake measuring 6.3 in magnitude strikes Christchurch, New Zealand, killing 181 people
An 8.9 magnitude earthquake and 30-foot tsunami strike Japan, triggering the largest nuclear power plant crisis since Chernobyl.
A string of unusual earthquakes and unexplained mass animal deaths occurs in Arkansas that are attributed to hydraulic fracking used in natural gas extraction. The similar quakes later strike Oklahoma, also due to fracking.
A 5.8 magnitude earthquake hits Washington, D.C.
A 5.8 earthquake occurs in Mineral, Virginia felt as far north as Ontario and as far south as Atlanta, Georgia.
Osama bin is Laden killed by U.S. Seal Team 6
“Arab awakening” occurs with revolutions in Egypt, Tunisia and Libya. Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak is overthrown. U.S. precipitates a Libyan revolution with massive military intervention. Syrian unrest grows.
“Occupy Wall Street” begins in New York and spreads across America and throughout the world. Egyptians protest in sympathy with badly injured Occupy Oakland protester Iraq war veteran Scott Olsen.
Ten thousand people surround the White House to protest a proposed tar sands pipeline from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico in an effort to curtail carbon emissions into Earth's atmosphere.
Hurricane Irene strikes East Coast, millions left without power.
The U.S. space shuttle program ends.
Human population approaches 7 billion.
The U.S. war with Afghanistan becomes the longest in America's history. Troop withdrawals from Iraq are in the planning stage.
Fidel Castro resigns from the Communist Party of Cuba's central committee after 45 years of holding the title.
Over 300 people die in a super outbreak of tornadoes in the southern U.S., the deadliest in the country's history.
A month later, an EF5 Tornado strikes the US city of Joplin, Missouri killing at least 158 people, the single deadliest US tornado since modern record keeping began in 1950.
The global economic and financial crisis gets to the point where the default of Greece could trigger major problems in all of Europe as well as in the rest of the world. Italy threatens to follow suit.
Texas experiences a drought, the worst on record, that surpasses anything from the dust bowl days. Subsequent wildfires kill four and destroy over 1,000 homes.
An ice-free patch of Arctic ocean about a mile wide has opened at the very top of the world. The northern passage from west to east is open, something that has presumably never before been seen by humans and is more evidence that global warming may be real and already affecting climate.
Natural disasters across the globe make 2011 the costliest year in history.
The end of the age of America is pronounced by the International Monetary Fund as China's gross national product is projected to exceed that of the United States by 2016.
A Halloween snowstorm on the East Coast left 15 dead and over one million people without electricity.
On November 9 a hurricane with snow, called by meteorologists a “snowicane”, struck Alaska with 90 mph winds caused by the low pressure equivalent of a category 4 hurricane. A seven foot storm surge hits Nome, where roofs are ripped off of buildings. Elsewhere in the state ice accumulation is measured at 23.5 inches in one hour.
And 2011 isn't even over yet! I am not gleeful over these past and present events. There is no “I told you so” here. Others have told us so, but with life's hectic pace, things tend to slip down the memory hole over time. When that occurs, reminders assist us in the recognition of patterns. The weather events we are experiencing are beyond the pale of normal variability. Ditto for societal events. We are slipping into uncharted territory.
My only admonitions are:
Monitor patterns as you see them develop. It's a matter of ballistics. If you know where something was, what direction it is going, how quickly it is moving/accelerating, and the conditions through which it travels, you can reasonably predict where it will go.
Follow the Boy Scout Motto “Be Prepared”.
This is from my weekly blog at Edit [Moderator]: Link removed