Thursday, 19 September 2019

Five Examples of Doomsday Predictions (That Never Happened)

One of my five off-off-the-top discussion topics (besides phobias, political corruption, Andy Griffith show characters, bad hotels, drunken behavior, and German customs) doomsday predictions that simply were great to hear, and never occurred.

I think people in general....want to badly believe in something, even if it is bad news, a hoax, or just crazy. 

So onto the first example.  Way back....roughly 2,050 years the 'Holyland'....there was this group of characters who lived in solitude.  Their lead character...a guy by the name of Simon ben Giora, came up with this great doomsday prediction for the group.  He said that this great battle was going to occur in Judea....with the Romans being wiped out.  Shortly after that....the Messah would arrive.  Naturally, to celebrate this upcoming doomsday, he had the group stamp coins to commemorate the upcoming battle and victory.  For the record, the people of Judea, did end up with two campaigns against the people of Rome, and Rome won both of them.   The coins?  No one ever brings up this topic.

Second, Hans Hut.  Hans grew up in Germany in the late 1400s, and became this traveling book-dealer of sorts.  At some point around 1526 (36 years old)....Hans got extremely active  in ministering to people. In southern Germany, he made a name for himself....mostly for hard doses of Christianity.  In the early part of 1527, he predicted the end of the world would occur on 28 May 1528.  Naturally, this got around, and triggered a lot of aggravation and anxiety among the public.  Toward the fall of 1527, Hans got picked up by some folks and accused of various crimes....which led to interrogations and torture.  He would die on 7 December 1527.  As you might imagine, the 28th of May came the next year, without much of a problem.

Third, in the early 1960s.....Jim Jones told his folks of a nuclear war coming in 1967.  In preparation for it.....he moved the family to Brazil (based on a news article that said it'd be a safe place in a nuke war).  At some point, he dropped the nuke war prediction, and moved the family to California.  This was the same Jim Jones who moved the family out of California, and helped to kill every member of his sect.

Fourth, Charles Manson...upon hearing the Beatles record.....spoke of a great race war coming in 1969.  It never came.

Finally, you come to Stephen Nelson.  who works in the science department of Tulane University....officially a fairly smart guy.  He's come out with his own prediction, with some factual background.  He points out that roughly every 100 million years....a significant 'rock' (asteroid) hits the Earth of a noticeable size.  The last event?  Around 66-million years ago, so by his about 34-million years....the next asteroid of significant size ought to hit. 

On four of these predictions, it was simply a hoax.  But with Nelson....he has a doomsday prediction with some slight evidence. 

The Jimmy Carter Presidential Age Limits Idea

Why he brought this a big unknown.  But former President Jimmy Carter made public news by suggesting that you need a age limit rule established for Presidents.  He kinda suggested '80' ought to be the limit.

It's one of those thought-provoking things. 

If '80' is good enough for Presidential limits....why not the same for Senators and House members?  Oh....well....that might be interesting to watch.  Presently, five US Senators are over the age of eighty.

But why limit this to eighty?  Why not seventy? 

Are there differing factors for folks, where age and mental-thinking are shot by age sixty?  I've worked with some folks who were already showing age problems at sixty, and couldn't handle complicated matters or stressful moments. 

I'll admit that health concerns for political folks over the age of sixty ought to be a big factor in electing them.  I saw John McCain being in that way, and he should have been retired a full decade before his death.  The former Mississippi Senator, Thad Cochran, was in very fragile shape for the final five years in the Senate, with his chief of staff working hard to hide that issue. 

Maybe this will provoke some thought and trigger something in DC....but I doubt it. 

The Bernie Plan

This morning, I picked up the Bernie Sanders plan on housing.

The basic idea?  $2.5 trillion would be spent along two paths.  One path would be around $400 billion....which would involve two-million mixed-income social housing units.  He doesn't say the time period, but it's probably over ten years.

The second path?  $1.5-trillion (yes, with a T), over ten years, to build 7.4 million houses that he says in some way....will eliminate the gap in affordable housing for low-income folks.

So then he said the magic words....that Americans ought to have the fundamental right to "safe, decent, accessible, and affordable homes".

How this would be paid?  A new tax.....called the 'wealth tax'.  After looking at'd likely only affect billionaires in the US....aiming at the top one-tenth of one-percent of folks. 

The problems with this idea?  I is a noble idea, and would appeal to low-wage people in a big way.  But lets be honest to ourselves in analyzing this.

First, this fundamental right for housing doesn't exist.  If you deem that it does exist, then why doesn't a fundamental right for affordable, safe, and nice cars exist?  Or how about a fundamental right to cheap and well-packaged cable TV?  Or how about a fundamental right for reasonably priced groceries?  Some druggies would say that meth ought to be a fundamental right, and it should be priced cheaper. 

Second, state by state, the landscape differs on low-wage people and their housing issues.  If you live in a highly urbanized area like Dallas or Portland, it's likely that you'd have these 'Bernie-units' built.  If you lived in Pulaski, Tennessee?  You probably don't have a need for the units.  So this would be a urban plan for the most part, and miss around 70-percent of the rest of the nation.

Third, if you built all of these, and within five years....then you had drug or crime elements in these Bernie-neighborhoods, so they were unsafe.....would you dump them and go build more elsewhere?  It's not really explained how you would make them 'safe'. 

Fourth, would some cities put up a fight and demand certain characteristics of the Bernie-housing, inflating the price by 30-to-50 percent?  This might be a federal program pushed 'downward', but one could see states and counties making rules which push the unit price upward in the end.

Fifth, on this wealth tax.....what if Congress 'accidentally' created little ripple-credits which brought some billionaires chances to save $20 million here and there, and suddenly it wasn't the ultra-wealthy paying for this, but the secondary group which weren't originally affected?  How would they react, and would they go to Congress and arrange tax rules to be altered for them as well?  It's been done in the there's no reason to think it wouldn't be done now.

Sixth....why the round number cited by Bernie in the speech of $2.5 trillion total?  It would be curious how he arrived at the numbers, and if it relates to something. 

Seventh and final....if you lived in Omaha, Nebraska and word came out that forty acres next to your house was going to be a Bernie-neighborhood.....would your attitude be positive or negative?  Would you assume it was a potential slum-neighborhood? 

I could see something like this working on a much smaller scale, and relating more to tax credits for low-income earners.  It does bother me that some people are designing their lives that at age eighteen....they are flipping burgers and making minimum wage.....while at age thirty, they are still in the burger flipping business, and around age forty-eight, they are still flipping burgers.  This attitude now is something that didn't exist in the 1960s and 1970s.....that you could be minimum wage for your entire life, and never progress beyond that point. 

Maybe Bernie ought to be packaging up one year of free community college, and jump-start people to improve their lives and avoid the low-income route for the bulk of their lives.