Obama, Afghanistan, falling stocks, Hamas bomb disposal efforts, Star Trek, and other stimulating subjects
It’s been a busy week, and I’ve been unable to write as much as I would like. Of course I’m never able to write as much as I like. C’est la vie. I am working on a post about CEOs and psychopathy as promised in last Friday’s post. I’ll probably get around to most or all of my suggested posts. Still, we live in interesting times indeed, and there’s always something new to give thought too.
The latest stimulus for example. Obama has signed a $750 billion stimulus bill. It is the most ambitious spending program since Roosevelt I understand. I haven’t really paid attention to the details, because I can’t see that it will do much. Borrowing and spending money is the problem, not the solution. Sadly in some ways the Democrats are the smarter party … so they try to do things bigger and smarter than the Republicans. Doing the same thing bigger and smarter only works if what you were doing made sense in the first place.
And speaking of doing things bigger and smarter, Obama is sending more troops to Afghanistan. Yeah, 30,000 more American troops are going to turn Afghanistan into a beacon of peace, prosperity, and secular western humanism. To justify this, I saw Ms Clinton on the news, talking about what a “threat” to the USA the Taliban was. Um, we attacked the Taliban, not vice versa. Osama bin Ladin and the 9/11 attackers were from Saudi Arabia, not Afghanistan. History rewritten before our eyes.
How did the stock market react to this great news about the economy and Afghanistan? It fell, world wide. I’ve never seen every stock market fall on the same day, though granted I’m not much of a stock market watcher. I think there are signs that more and more people are beginning to wake up to just how bad the world’s economy is, and just how little power governments really have to fix it. Two governments have been toppled by the economic meltdown already, the rest of them must be concerned, if not running scared, at this point.
And in a final story that straddles the bounds of irony, insanity, and everything else … Israeli munitions apparently have been “stolen” by Hamas. These would be bombs that Israel dropped in Gaza that didn’t explode. I loved what a UN spokesman had to say on the manner: “It’s clearly extremely dangerous and needs to be disposed of in a safe manner, … ” Let me see, the UN stood by and did nothing while Israel was dropping these bombs and blowing people up, but now they are concerned that they be disposed of safely? How about if Hamas disposes of them the way Israel disposed of them, would that be safe enough? Sigh. I have been meaning to write more about the whole Palestine mess, but it’s pretty depressing. My thinking is that Israel has painted itself into a corner with with endless militarism and drive for infinite security, and that ultimately it will go the way of previous crusader states. This fellow has made the argument for me very nicely though, I highly recommend “Israel is Trapped.”
So putting it all together, my current thinking is beware the Ides of March. For the less literary, that means I expect the world’s economic collapse to start really hitting its stride by March 15th. Yes, as Scotty would say “She won’t take much more of this.” If the world makes it through March without another major downwards turn in the economy, I’ll be thrilled. I think by then though the idea that this is some sort of recession that’s going to be fixed in a year of two will seem as unlikely as the Austro-Hungarian Empire being revived. The world’s economy is in much worse shape than the Enterprise, Obama is no Scotty, and this is real life. In real life when things are going really really badly, they usually end badly.
Moving right along, due to popular demand, I am going to tell the mutant chicken story soon. This story has never been in print before. It involves a flock of mutant chickens, a hastily evacuated insane asylum, hired mercenaries, and volleys of gunfire. It ends with cruel biological experiments and a pressure cooker. Best of all, it’s all true. Stay tuned.
(The above image is from a painting created in 1872, Pollice Verrso, by Jean-Léon Gérôme. I was looking for a neat picture to illustrate the Ides of March, the assasination of Caesar. I couldn’t find one I liked, but I found this neat 19th century painting of Roman gladiators instead. The whole picture can be viewed here. This painting was the origin of the modern idea that the Romans used a thumbs up and thumbs down gesture, they didn’t. In fact much of what people commonly “know” about history is actually 19th century literary invention. Who knew?)