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Jules Predicts

2008

It’s easy to predict the past; we’re all expert at that.

And it’s not that hard to predict the distant future: events intervene, nature interrupts, people forget.

Ah, but predicting the near future — that’s where the game gets rough. And that’s why so few experts risk it.

I’m no expert. I’m gonna risk it. Starting Monday, I’m going to make five predictions, one per day. All will come true or not within the next twelve months, most of them considerably sooner.

Most of my predictions go against the experts you see on the national news. They’re experts; I’m not. They’ve got credentials; I don’t. You’ll know soon which of us is right and which got it wrong, wrong, wrong.

Stay tuned.

jules

DAY 1

John McCain’s running mate I. They’ve been traveling together, hanging together, finishing each other’s sentences. Yet I predict that John McCain’s running mate will not be the Senator from Connecticut, Joe Lieberman.

  • jules

DAY 2

The Great Texas Polygamy Bust. Every expert on every news channel is talking about how the women in the Dorado polygamist compound are brainwashed, victimized, abused and little more than psychic prisoners. Yet I predict that these ‘pathetic victims’ will demonstrate enormous resilience when standing up to… the law enforcement teams that swooped in to save them and their kids. I further predict that this will prove to be a Texas-size legal disaster. New phrase: busters’ remorse.

— jules

DAY 3

John McCain’s running mate II. Everybody’s talking about what a dream team they’d make. Male and female, black and white, old and young. Yet I predict that John McCain’s running mate will not be the Secretary of State, Dr. Condoleezza Rice.

— jules

DAY 4

The Great California Taqueria Bust. Despite the enormous cost in tax dollars of the simultaneous raids carried out by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement against 11 Bay Area El Balazo restaurants, I predict that in the end, it will all come to naught. A few women will be — again, at considerable cost — separated from their families and returned to Mexico, but they will be replaced by other taco-wielding mamas in short order. Justice will not be served; only burritos. Except in rending families and spending money, the raids will have near-zero effect.

THIS JUST IN: Sadly, my DAY 2 prediction, The Great Texas Polygamy Bust, is already coming true. To see for yourself, logon

http://melissarogers.typepad.com/melissa_rogers/2008/05/some-disturbing.html

Thanks to Tom Carter in Washington, DC for alerting me to it.

— jules

For the details of the Taqueria bust, logon

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2008/05/03/BA3610G940.DTL

DAY 5

The Crash is coming. Despite the current soaring, record-setting stock prices, I predict a major — and I mean major — stock market crash in less than 12 months. To be clear, I’m not talking slips and blips; I’m predicting a run-for-the-hills c-r-a-s-h.

— jules

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Jules Older is a San Francisco writer and editor.

May 26: ONE RIGHT, FOUR TO GO

During the week of May 12, 2008, I made five predictions, one per day.

Day Two’s prediction was this:

The Great Texas Polygamy Bust. Every expert on every news channel is talking about how the women in the Dorado polygamist compound are brainwashed, victimized, abused and little more than psychic prisoners. Yet I predict that these ‘pathetic victims’ will demonstrate enormous resilience when standing up to… the law enforcement teams that swooped in to save them and their kids. I further predict that this will prove to be a Texas-size legal disaster. New phrase: busters’ remorse.

Here we are, still in May, and that one has already come true. As almost everyone by now knows, a Texas appeals court ruled that the state took the children illegally. And while the government is appealing that decision, as I predicted, the women of the compound are united… against their ‘rescuers.’

As for the 31 pregnant or mothering ‘minors,’ it turns out one of them is 27, and the overall number may actually be between one and five.

And check this out:

Despite the judge who ordered the removals asking the state to do everything possible to keep children from the same families together in foster care, many parents say their children are scattered across the state. Several are spending hundreds of dollars, driving thousands of miles each week to visit children that are up to 900 miles apart.

Also, many parents are complaining that their children have had religious texts taken from them, specifically, The Book Of Mormon.

That’s from NBC, and I thank Shannon Walton for bringing it to my attention. Here’s the link:

http://fieldnotes.msnbc.msn.com/archive/2008/05/21/1049578.aspx

Further prediction: Expect lawsuits against the State of Texas to bloom like prairie flowers.

—jules

August 28: THREE RIGHT, TWO TO GO

This morning John McCain announced his choice for Vice President, and as predicted, it was neither Condoleezza Rice nor Joe Lieberman.

These were my most misunderstood predictions… except by ethnic (read Blacks and Jews) Jokers. They got what I got — that enough of his core base would not be pleased if either ethnicity were next-in-line for President that nominating Joe or Condie would further alienate his right wing.

So, despite all the press speculation about those ‘Dream Teams,’ I figured it just wasn’t gonna happen.

But while I got that right, my unmade prediction was wrong. I would have bet that McCain’s running mate would be one Mitt Romney, accompanied by much patriotic fervor and a major infusion of cash. What I may have missed was that had Mitt become VP, President McCain might feel the need to hire a personal food taster.

— jules

All this can be found at http://julespredicts.blogspot.com

September 17: FOUR RIGHT, ONE TO GO

This from just in the BBC:

Investors edgy as US stocks fall

US stock markets sank on fears the bailout of insurance giant AIG would not be enough to dispel the gloom engulfing the financial world.

Finance firms slumped with Goldman Sachs 24% lower while Morgan Stanley saw shares 32% down in afternoon trade.

Investors were unnerved by recent dramatic events, including Lehman Brothers’ demise, leading European indexes to end down.

And this:

Trading in Russian shares halted

Trading on Russia’s main stock exchanges has been suspended following steep falls in shares prices this week.

The shock developments on Wall Street this week spurred a sell-off in Russian shares.

Following a plunge of 6%, the dollar-denominated RTS index halted trading on Wednesday until further notice. It is down almost 60% since its May peak.

Today, CNN reported:

Defense stocks slide with rattled market

September 17, 2008: 11:34 AM EST

NY (Associated Press) – Defense stocks led by Boeing Co. tumbled Wednesday afternoon as anxieties over the financial sector rippled through the U.S. market even after the government agreed to bail out insurer American International Group. Broader stock indicators also fell.

And finally:

Dow slips 450 as Wall Street turmoil deepens

 Yes — alas — my fourth prediction has proved all-too-true. You’ll recall that during the week of May 12, 2008, I made five public predictions, one per day.

Here was the fourth:

The Crash is coming. Despite the current soaring, record-setting stock prices, I predict a major — and I mean major — stock market crash in less than 12 months. To be clear, I’m not talking slips and blips; I’m predicting a run-for-the-hills c-r-a-s-h.

Great. So I was right. The question is: How come a financial ignoramus such as I got it right, and so very many highly qualified pundits, politicians and experts got it wrong, wrong, wrong?

Here’s my theory. They feel a pressure — inner and/or outer — not to upset things, not to cause panic, not to, well, tell the truth. So they selectively perceive, selectively report, keep their jobs and pray for sunshine.

Me, I’m just a guy with no clients, no followers and who’s never taken an economics course. I feel no such restraints. And thus, I allow myself to see what’s there to be seen: great swaths of foreclosed houses, massive layoffs, failing banks, government rescues. Didn’t take genius; just open eyes.

If I’d believed the experts instead of my eyes, I’d be a wee bit peeved today. In their caution and ‘responsibility,’ they’ve not told us the truth. Believing them has proved costly, often disastrously so.

This is one of those times I wish I weren’t right. But in my book, open eyes are preferable to following the crowd. Just because you’re marching in step doesn’t mean you’re heading in the right direction.

Peace.

jules

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IF YOU GO-OH TO SANTA CRUZ …

“How will you make history?”

In the heart of Santa Cruz, I’ve found a museum I’m crazy about. Let me count the ways …

  • It’s compact enough to absorb without suddenly feeling, “If I don’t sit down and stop looking at art in the next 30 seconds, I’m gonna go blind.”
  • It approaches history without preaching or airbrushing, in a way that impacts the soul as well as the brain.
  • It balances the serious/weighty with the amusing/light.
  • It serves good food at affordable prices.
  • And it comes with outdoor spaces to sit and schmooze, contemplate and consider.

The name of the place? MAH, the Santa Cruz Museum of Art and History. MAH is as inviting, family-friendly, hands-on and impactful a museum as I’ve seen anywhere. The message on the doorsill of the history exhibit asks: “How will you make history?”

I like it like that.

 

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What’s seven years old, sits under a bridge and is missed by most San Francisco visitors?

Pier 24 Photography.

On a pier off San Francisco’s Embarcadero, Pier 24 Photography “provides a quiet, contemplative environment for viewing photographic works.” Entry is free (though only by appointment), Monday through Friday.

The current exhibit, The Grain of the Present, runs through January 31. Photographers include Robert Adams, Diane Arbus, Lewis Baltz, Bernd and Hilla Becher, Lee Friedlander, Nicholas Nixon, Stephen Shore, Henry Wessel, and Garry Winogrand.

The images often focus on the bleak and gritty, the poor and mundane; they show more stares than smiles. In short, it’s like most contemporary art photography, only by those considered masters of the trade. The exception is Irish photographer Eamonn Doyle. In this, his first American exhibit, his images capture humor, irony, life. Mr. Doyle is rather tall, and he holds the camera high; this gives his photos a unique perspective on the pensioners walking the streets at dawn.

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When a restaurateur opens a second restaurant, I get worried. Although San Francisco is awash in folks who own two or more eateries and run them all with success, I always think, Who’s watching the store? Then, It’s hard enough to run one good shop; why spread yourself thin?

So, when Laurent Legendre, owner of the beloved Le P’tit Laurent in Glen Park, opened Chez Marius in the space that had housed Le Zinc bistro in Noe Valley, I had my usual concerns.

I needn’t have worried. Legendre has worked at leading Parisian restaurants including La Tour d’Argent, Elysée Lenôtre and L’Arpège, and he sent Chris Camp, a seasoned Le P’tit Laurent staffer to manage Chez Marius. LikecLe P’tit Laurent, it’s a delight.

The restaurant has two smallish dining rooms and an even smaller, sunny, dog-friendly dining garden. French posters line the interior walls; potted plants, the walls of the garden. On the single screen above the bar, the namesake French film, Marius, is likely to be silently running. It’s about life in a Marseilles bar, c. 1931. Unlike that bar, service at Chez Marius is prompt, informed, pleasant and mostly female.

The food is distinctly French without feeling too rich and heavy. A tasty good starter is Tarte à la fourne d’ambert et poire fraiche, warm blue cheese tart with fresh pears and balsamic reduction ($11). Another, Escargots de Bourgogne, six escargots from Burgundy with garlic parsley butter ($9). Two delicious mains are Osso-Bucco de Veau et puree de pommes de terree, sauce aux champignons, braised veal Osso-Bucco served with mashed potatoes and oyster mushroom sauce ($28), and Bouillabaisse de poissons, croutons et rouille, fish bouillabaisse served with rouille sauce and croutons ($31). For a light and satisfying dessert, order Pan Perdu, caramelized French toast with caramel ice cream ($8).

Chez Marius: 4063 24th Street, between Castro and Noe. Dinner served Tuesday through Saturday; lunch, Wednesday through Friday. And brunch on Saturday and Sunday. www.chezmarius.com. (415) 757 0947.

Le P’tit Laurent: 699 Chenery Street. http://www.leptitlaurent.net. 415-334-3235.

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