Question Of The Month

January 01, 2003

Q: Beat the psychics. Give us your top three predictions for 2003. Will the new year be naughty or nice?

Thanks for the opportunity to wing it in the forecasting game. And being an inveterate optimist, I welcome the chance to expound.

Osama bin Laden will be captured and executed and his terrorist empire dismantled.

Saddam Hussein will be overthrown in a revolution by his own people and hung in the public square in Baghdad.

The stock market will rebound on the news of improvements in the Middle East. Yasser Arafat's portfolio will reach new highs, and he'll join with the Israelis to renounce war.

And one more prediction: The Good Fairy will announce perpetual peace and prosperity, and declare that George W. Bush was responsible for all this good stuff.

Frank Littleton


The year 2003 doesn't look very promising. Here are three possible developments for which the groundwork has been laid in 2002 and before:

Our pre-emptive strike against Iraq, which is now a dead certainty, will be seen by many other nations as an unprovoked invasion. Banding together, these nations will stage massive retaliatory strikes against the United States, triggering a global war of unprecedented scope.

The Catholic Church will attempt to install as pope an individual who is so unsatisfactory to some leaders that the church's hierarchy will be thrown into administrative disarray and the membership will divide into less-than-cordial factions.

With increased power and attendant arrogance, religious zealots of both Christian and Muslim creeds will enjoy unprecedented success in their efforts to enforce their religious codes as civil law.

Thus the Orwellian police state will be in universal operation by the start of 2004, just 20 years later than the author predicted.

Let us pray that I'm wrong on all counts.

Thaddeus Paulhamus


The Republicans will blame the Democrats.

The Democrats will blame the Republicans.

In December 2003, we'll be looking at each other and wonder why we are no better off than in December 2002.

Ed Whitesell


Vice President Dick Cheney will resign in late 2003 and either Secretary of State Colin Powell or National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice will be asked to replace him.

Mr. Cheney will cite his health, but President Bush's need to improve his image with black voters and continued problems with the economy will cause the move.

The U.S. economy will continue in recession and stagnation, and unemployment will be above 7 percent at year's end.

In the Holy Land, Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon will either die or be ousted from office by an event that offends the world. Palestinians will then select a Christian, who will become popular with Americans, to lead them.

David Osmundson


All levels of government will continue to make promises that cannot be kept.

All levels of government will continue to spend money they do not have to buy votes, then send voters the bill.

Education will continue to be politicized, causing further decline.

Georgia B. Benson


My top three predictions for 2003? That's easy. It will be the same as every other year.

The rich will get richer.

The poor will get poorer.

The poor will be sent to kill and die in wars to ensure that the rich stay rich.

Carl Aron


After a short-lived rally, the stock market will tank.

The economy will tank.

The housing-price bubble will burst.

Barbara Gilmour


Regardless of the results of the weapons inspections in Iraq and any decision by the United Nations or the tenor of world opinion, President Bush will declare his personal enemy, Saddam Hussein, in "material breach" of U.N. resolutions, and launch a unilateral U.S. invasion.

The brainwashed Iraqi populace will consider us invaders rather than liberators. U.S. forces will be bogged down in months or years of house-to-house street-fighting.

This country will fall deeper into economic depression as the stock market collapses, unemployment skyrockets and the social safety net is utterly decimated.

Harry E. Bennett Jr.


Gov Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. will extend invitations to Democrats to help achieve goals that benefit all of Maryland's electorate.

Slot machines at both Laurel Race Course and Pimlico Race Course will be approved by the Maryland General Assembly.

Mr. Ehrlich will authorize former Gov. William Donald Schaefer's State House fountain to flow again.

Bill Arwady


Despite the Orioles' two new general managers, the team's record in 2003 will be no better than it was in 2002.

Johns Hopkins Hospital will discover a cure for a major illness or disease that has been plaguing society for years.

We will have the biggest snowstorm in Maryland that we have had in many years.

Murphy Edward Smith


The United States and some reluctant allies will enter a military confrontation with Iraq, plunging a shaky Middle East into instability and further alienating the United States from the rest of the world.

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