Random thoughts at year’s end

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Random thoughts at year's end

It’s the sea­son of lis­ti­cles, which tend to drive me to dis­trac­tion, which in turn explains this post.

Abroad, 2015 may mark a trend in Latin Amer­ica away from the per­ni­cious “21st Cen­tury Social­ism” of Hugo Chavez and his Foro de Sao Paulo bud­dies. After the defeat of Cristina Kirchner’s hand-​picked can­di­date in Argentina, the new National Assem­bly in Venezuela, and the pos­si­ble impeach­ment of Dilma Rouss­eff in Brazil, the three coun­tries could improve.

I am skep­ti­cal, how­ever, since I don’t see a great pop­u­lar groundswell towards rule of law, mar­ket poli­cies, small gov­ern­ment, account­abil­ity, or business-​friendly envi­ron­ments. Argentina’s new pres­i­dent, Mauri­cio Macri, seems to be mov­ing towards that direc­tion; he has his work cut out for him.

Let’s hope the trend continues.

Here in the U.S. I expect a tumul­tuous 2016. Obama is not yet done in his goal of fun­da­men­tally trans­form­ing the great­est nation in the his­tory of mankind, mostly because he prob­a­bly does not hold our coun­try in such regard. In an elec­tion year, the Wash­ing­ton Car­tel may grow des­per­ate as non-​insiders keep rising.

For the econ­omy, Tyler Dur­den pre­dicts that 2016 will be no fun.

As mankind is wont to do, we live in uncer­tain times.

Men can gird their loins, but what’s a woman to do, then? (WARN­ING: The next two para­graphs are on self-​advice.)

For starters, do the most relax­ing thing every day. The most relax­ing thing was taught to me by my tai-​chi instruc­tor: Stand in the Vit­ru­vian Man stance, focus on your breath­ing, and take s-​l-​o-​w deep breaths where you raise and lower your abdomen mus­cles. For quicker results, if you are at home, do this lying down on the floor (no, not on the floor of pub­lic spaces, ugh!). You can do it for a few sec­onds, for one minute, or for as long as you want. Works for me.

Now that you did that, learn to say no: A Pol­icy of Say­ing ‘No’ Can Save You Time and Guilt. If you are work­ing your­self dur­ing the hol­i­day sea­son into a frenzy such that you are this­close to burnout, you are doing it wrong. Years ago, I decided I wasn’t going out on New Year’s Eve because of the drunks, and have enjoyed New Year’s Eve much more ever since.

(End of self-​advice section.)

Regard­less of what we pre­dict for 2016, may Our Lord bring us and our coun­try a joy­ful, pros­per­ous and blessed year.

Fausta Rodriguez Wertz writes on U.S. and Latin Amer­i­can pol­i­tics, news and cul­ture at Fausta’s Blog. She does not make New Year’s resolutions.

It’s the season of listicles, which tend to drive me to distraction, which in turn explains this post.

Abroad, 2015 may mark a trend in Latin America away from the pernicious “21st Century Socialism” of Hugo Chavez and his Foro de Sao Paulo buddies. After the defeat of Cristina Kirchner’s hand-picked candidate in Argentina,  the new National Assembly in Venezuela, and the possible impeachment of Dilma Rousseff in Brazil, the three countries could improve.

I am skeptical, however, since I don’t see a great popular groundswell towards rule of law, market policies, small government, accountability, or business-friendly environments. Argentina’s new president, Mauricio Macri, seems to be moving towards that direction; he has his work cut out for him.

Let’s hope the trend continues.

Here in the U.S. I expect a tumultuous 2016. Obama is not yet done in his goal of fundamentally transforming the greatest nation in the history of mankind, mostly because he probably does not hold our country in such regard. In an election year, the Washington Cartel may grow desperate as non-insiders keep rising.

For the economy, Tyler Durden predicts that 2016 will be no fun.

As mankind is wont to do, we live in uncertain times.

Men can gird their loins, but what’s a woman to do, then? (WARNING: The next two paragraphs are on self-advice.)

For starters, do the most relaxing thing every day. The most relaxing thing was taught to me by my tai-chi instructor: Stand in the Vitruvian Man stance, focus on your breathing, and take s-l-o-w deep breaths where  you raise and lower your abdomen muscles. For quicker results, if you are at home, do this lying down on the floor (no, not on the floor of public spaces, ugh!). You can do it for a few seconds, for one minute, or for as long as you want. Works for me.

Now that you did that, learn to say no: A Policy of Saying ‘No’ Can Save You Time and Guilt. If you are working yourself during the holiday season into a frenzy such that you are thisclose to burnout, you are doing it wrong. Years ago, I decided I wasn’t going out on New Year’s Eve because of the drunks, and have enjoyed New Year’s Eve much more ever since.

(End of self-advice section.)

Regardless of what we predict for 2016, may Our Lord bring us and our country a joyful, prosperous and blessed year.

Fausta Rodriguez Wertz writes on U.S. and Latin American politics, news and culture at Fausta’s Blog. She does not make New Year’s resolutions.