Since 1969, "Virginia Is for Lovers" has been the tourism and travel slogan of the Commonwealth of Virginia. Advertising Age called it "one of the most iconic ad campaigns in the past 50 years."

But the Virginia of 2020 seems to be another country than the friendly commonwealth to which this writer moved four decades ago.

Charlottesville, home to Thomas Jefferson's University of Virginia, has become famous as the site of a 2017 Klan-Nazi clash with antifa over the removal of a statue of Robert E. Lee from a municipal park. During the clash, protester Heather Heyer was run over and killed.

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If Western elites were asked to name the greatest crisis facing mankind, climate change would win in a walk.

Thus did Time magazine pass over every world leader to name a Swedish teenage climate activist, Greta Thunberg, its person of the year.

On New Year's Day, the headline over yet another story in The Washington Post admonished us anew: "A Lost Decade for Climate Action: We Can't Afford A Repeat, Scientists Warn."

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"It's tough to make predictions, especially about the future," Yogi Berra reminded us.

But on "The McLaughlin Group," the TV talk show on which this writer has appeared for four decades, predictions are as mandated as was taking Latin in Jesuit high schools in the 1950s.

Looking to 2020, this writer predicted that Donald Trump's great domestic challenge would be to keep the economy firing on all cylinders. His great foreign policy challenge? Avoiding war.

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As of Dec. 26, Kim Jong Un's "Christmas gift" to President Donald Trump had not arrived. Most foreign policy analysts predict it will be a missile test more impressive than any Pyongyang has yet carried off.

What is Kim's game? What does Kim want?

He cannot want war with the United States, as this could result in the annihilation of the Kim family dynasty that has ruled North Korea since World War II. Kim is all about self-preservation.

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As that rail and subway strike continued to paralyze travel in Paris and across France into the third week, President Emmanuel Macron made a Christmas appeal to his dissatisfied countrymen:

"Strike action is justifiable and protected by the constitution, but I think there are moments in a nation's life when it is good to observe a truce out of respect for families and family life."

Macron's appeal has gone largely unheeded.

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Mike Scruggs