I’m not sure if I actually have any of what you would call ‘regular readers’…but if you are, you will see that I’ve been away for a while. That is fine…in all honesty, I hadn’t been focusing my attention here and it was in part because the news wasn’t that remarkable save us whacking Bin Laden. As a way to swing back into things, I wanted to make an omnibus posting of what is going on in the world that is wrong – what I call ‘taking stock of the sinking ship’. I plan on getting back to more frequent and shorter posts.
First let me reiterate that I believe this country and generally the world, has passed the Rubicon on getting its financial house in order before a depression level crisis happens way back in January when Congress and the President agreed to extend the Bush Era Tax cuts while also extending the unemployment benefits…both of which they shouldn’t have done and goes against their rhetoric of fiscal responsibility.
With that said, lets take stock of the world today and see if its past the tipping point of sanity:
Libya – Its a stalemate. The resistance fighters don’t have the means, training, or power to uproot Khadafi. The international community isn’t sending in ground troops. So, they do airstrikes, but never in the history of Air Power have you won a war with it alone. YOU ALWAYS HAVE TO HAVE BOOTS ON THE GROUND – and the boots on the ground in this case sucks.
Arab Spring – This is actually of nice historical significance. All the down-trodden people in N. Africa and the Middle East are tired of getting screwed. The discontent has now spread to Yemen and Syria and even Saudi Arabia some. These places recognize that they either don’t care about the international community because it’s not on friendly terms (Syria), they have us where they want us (Saudi with all the oil we need from them), or they are the best bet to help us keep the worst terrorists at bay (Yemen). Idealism meets realism in these places and its a shame that these are the results.
Israel-Palestinian Peace Talks – 1967 borders? Are you kidding me? How many times have the Israelis offered some concrete concessions for emphemeral promises. The leaders of the Palestinians don’t want peace, they want to erradicate Israel. That is their stance. 1967 borders doesn’t solve any problems while only actually making things worse. The political impasse is not about a stateless nation of Palestinians, its about a fundamental belief among Palestinian leadership that Israel does not have a right to exist…and the common Palestinian suffers because of it. Obama was a fool for that one. He only strengthened the hard-liners in Israel while also weakening our ability to influence them. Just like Syria, the Palestinians won’t listen to us…so all we have is soft power via Israel. That’s it.
Osama Bin Laden – He’s Dead. I should have written a piece about this. This was a good move on the President’s part, so don’t politicize it. Bad for Clinton letting him get away and turn Afghanistan into a terrorist haven. Good on Bush for the ground work his team laid. Without it, Obama wouldn’t have been able to get the bastard. This is a team effort and kudos to everyone for getting the son of a bitch. I personally belive they made the right call to do the quick burial at sea for all the reasons they posited, but I do think that they should have released the pictures of his dead body however…that and I believe that the Pakistani government is just incompetent, not complicit. Osama was disciplined, connected, and a master-mind. It makes sense for him to hide in plain sight in relative luxury in the last place that anyone would look, especially when everyone thought he was hiding in some caves. Bravo to him…but bravo that he is dead. May he have ‘fun’ hanging out with Hitler, Stalin, and Pol Pot in Hell.
Europe – Just like I’ve said, the EuroZone and the IMF did NOT solve Greece’s problems. Throwing money at the problem won’t do it. The country is still insolvent and will only require more money to go down the rat-hole until they finally give up on it. The only reason these international economic and finance people are doing what they are doing is to give Spain enough time to prop itself up and get out from under the shadow of the PIIG (Portugal, Iceland, Ireland, Greece). If Greece defaults now, the German banks take it in the shorts, and Greece leaves the EuroZone, it drags Spain down with it, which drags down Europe, which eventually drags down the U.S. THAT my friends is why they haven’t stopped the insanity in Greece. Great, huh?
– Tornadoes. They suck and I think there is something to climate change involved here…but what? That is the question that no one can definitively answer. Should we shut down our coal factories because of it? No. Should we actually put public monies towards developing cleaner technology (like Fusion – see previous articles) yes.
– Debt Ceiling/National Debt/Political Theatre. Where was all this talk of debt when Congress piled it on when it passed the Rubicon (see above). It didn’t exist. Why? Because it wasn’t politically expedient and not the hot topic. So, it takes literally multiple acts of Congress to fund the government until the end of the year, with the political theatre and last minute antics…and we don’t think its going to be the same for this? You’re kidding me. While I am sympathetic to the Republicans and laud what they are trying to do, both them and the Democrats know that they will cave in the end (even if it’s no concessions I believe) to raise the debt ceiling. To do otherwise would be disastrous for the Global Economy, put us into recession (if we’re not there already) and possibly put us into Depression. That is a bad thing…but it would finally force the chickens to come home and roost and make the folks in Washington address some of this country’s problems. But for that exact reason that they would be blamed for cutting people’s social security, medicare, Medicaid, and raising taxes, the politicians won’t let things get that bad – they want to get back into office because their personal power is more important than what is good for this nation. Few are willing to fall on a sword for this nation, much less the majority needed to actually affect painful change.
And that is the crux of the matter. Notice I didn’t talk about the Healthcare debate…there isn’t one. It all goes back to the same problem of we as a nation want all the goodies the politicians hand out, but we collectively put our head in the sand and don’t want to pay for it. Hence the debt. Hence not wanting to raise taxes. Hence being implicitly okay with passing the debt burden to the young and the unborn.
We as a society have abdicated the governance of our country and it should be a ‘shame on us’ moment. Instead, these guys are controlled by their own ambitions and fueled by special interests and their money. If we keep voting the same people in, why are we continually disappointed in the same poor results? The politicians won’t tell you the hard truth because they know they can tap dance around the issues because you are too busy casting votes for American Idol and not enough at the ballot box. They have no need to tell you the real truth that they know and piss you off because they know you’re asleep at the wheel. While you borrow to keep your standard of living the same, they live their lives as the political elite and go to a cushy lobbyist job once they get out of the public lime-light. Why would they want to rock the boat? Well, I will. You guys need to wake up. ALL OF YOU. Even the tea partiers who I loosely affiliate myself with. Even you have to rise above the hypocrisy. The same elderly tea partiers who hate big government don’t want to see their social security or medicare get reduced.
You can’t throw these kind of stones if you live in a glass house. If I actually thought that government could fix itself, I would welcome a raise in my taxes. I would welcome a raise in age for my Social Security. I would welcome changes to Medicare. The thing is, I know it’ll just be another form of generational theft…and that is why while I don’t want a crash, I somewhat support it because it is better to have it happen sooner rather later. Despite all the ideas I’ve thrown out here before, from revolutionizing the health care industry to energy security and true investments in America I think it is too late.
The signs are in the tea leaves. My ducks are in a row for the coming economic collapse, are yours?