It is plain to see that we are increasingly living in a world that seems to defy patterns on a regular basis, whether it be the weather, politics, the economy, public projects, housing prices, sports, or even the internet. Nothing, it seems, stays put long enough to make an intelligent guess as to where it is heading. There is just too great an unknown in the calculus that goes with the affairs of humankind. I follow the news on three different fronts using five different sources to check and countercheck the facts. On the international stage, Brexit, the Trump-Russian connection, and the NAFTA talks have my undivided attention. Any story from either the BBC, Politico, Private Eye, the Boston Globe, the Brookings Foundation, Foreign Affairs and an assortment of liberal and conservative bloggers gives me all I can handle. On all three developments, the pall of uncertainty hangs heavy as to which way the future will break. When it comes to discerning the truth from lies, alternate facts, and fake news, a growing sense of cognitive dissonance seems to dominate the picture: everyone talking over and around each others, with their own select set of facts, so that nothing seems to get articulated very quickly except chaos. On the Left there remains that stubborn belief that if we could only come together as reasonable human beings, we should be able to right all that is wrong in society, poverty included; while on the Right there remains a native desire to consolidate, retain, and parlay all that has been won by hard work or special advantage over the years. For example, those in Britain who currently want a hard Brexit are generally the older generation who, in their advancing years and overweening sense of entitlement, have no desire to share their future with foreigners who they see as only a burden on the public purse. On the other side, a soft Brexit, or partial divorce between the UK and the EU, has the resounding support of younger Brits who want a greater freedom of mobility to be able to work on the continent and like the idea of liberalized trade. The fact that they weren’t there in sufficient numbers to win the referendum for the Yes side matters little now. The reality is that they are very prominent forces in both the governing Tories and Labor parties, and, in an environment of very tenuous political margins, could easily change the course of this story if they topple the May government in Parliament. As for Trump’s continuing woes with the Mueller investigation into possible Russian ties to the 2016 election, I continue to remain unimpressed with the president’s handling of what looks like yet another Watergate scandal in the making, perhaps on a larger scale. While I don’t follow his inane use of tweets to define his position, I am very aware of his narcissistic tendencies to lie and invent whenever it suits him, which seems to speak volumes about his inability to lead responsibly. After all, who wants a president to lead them who lacks a grasp of reality when it comes to making critical choices? Strangely enough, the answer to this question is not as clear as one might think. As the American Right, as represented by a somewhat confused and divided GOP, reconstitutes itself around tax reform and less government, Trump could ultimately become that liability that needs to be expunged in a hurry before it damages the cause. The best scenario for that happening is what might come out of the Mueller probe. As for NAFTA, the fact that the talks to extend the trilateral treaty are in the fifth round only says, at best, that things aren’t going well at all, opening up the possibilities that the treaty could be revoked within the next couple of years that could lead Canada to seek new trade relations with nations in Asia like India and China. As I contemplate that likelihood and others, I am reminded of that old saying that nothing ever remains the same, especially change itself. Just too many dynamic factors at work in the world-at-large to be able to tell where these and other big stories are going, so I might just stop trying my feeble hand at forecasting and just allow events to take their course.