Punchinello’s Chronicles

March 16, 2009

March Madness

Filed under: View from the Bottom — Punchinello @ 11:54 pm
Tags: , ,

I’m fascinated by the news today. Last week the DOW rallied by more than 350 points, while journalists and politicians were telling us that we were on the verge of a major economic depression. This week, everyone seems to think we’re done with that. Everything’s fixed! We’re good to go!

At the same time, we’re hearing numbers that American productivity is the lowest it’s ever been. China wonders just how safe is their investment in American dollars and the economy. Since China owns about $1-trillion (and more) of US debt, you have to wonder if that’s a good thing.

Meanwhile, the new administration has decided we don’t want to use words like “enemy combatant” anymore. Why? Because the only way to detain terrorists has been under an Executive Order. A “combatant” has a very specific, defined, legal meaning. It refers to people fighting in a war. The war must be declared by a nation, and that nation must have a leadership capable of diplomatic relations.

Terrorists aren’t part of a nation. Yes, they each live somewhere, but there isn’t a Terror Nation somewhere. It’s a loose confederacy of like-minded people who believe similar things. They use war-like tools and tactics for the purpose of violence. But there isn’t any diplomatic “body” that can speak for all terrorists.

We consider 12-yearold children to be minors. They’re not the same as adults in the eyes of the law. That’s because we’ve believed that kids can’t possibly be as violent and murderous as adults. Nor do we believe that kids can gain access to adult weapons. And yet, we have 12-yearold gangbangers using semiautomatic weapons to wipe out whomever they want. Should they be tried as minors or adults?

Same with terrorists: Should we consider terrorism to be a legal problem, or a military problem? George Bush decided it was a military problem when the World Trade Center was blown up. Apparently, Mr. Obama considers it to be a legal problem. That’s why we’re hearing about things like trials, rights, and habeus corpus.

We’re hearing that the war in Iraq is over, and most people believe we shouldn’t have gotten involved at all. The military is likely going to be cut back, and the CIA (and other intelligence operations) brought into strict political compliance.

Everyone seems to believe that the federal government should dictate salaries, particularly to high-level executives. It doesn’t matter that those executives are highly skilled, rare individuals. If they can’t run a company correctly, they shouldn’t be paid a lot of money.

What with nationalization of the banking system, nationalization of large “too big to fail” corporations, and federal wage guidelines, where will that help the economy? Doesn’t matter, apparently, because with a 3-day rally on Wall Street, the economy is FIXED! All done. Good to go. We’re fine now, thanks.

I’m wondering what happens when America gets hit with another terrorist attack? Will the people who believe it’s all done, all fixed, all gone, good to go…will they be upset? Hopefully not, since it’ll be their decisions that brought it all into effect.

How about the news that the federal government has no intention of bailing out bankrupt states? The only way those state governments can get more money is to raise more taxes. Does ANYone even think about cutting back spending? Not a chance!

The Food & Drug Administration (FDA) wants to make mandatory inspections of all food, no matter what. That means if you grow vegetables in your own back yard, you can’t eat them without FDA approval. They also want to take control of tobacco in order to regulate cigarettes. We have fewer and fewer people spending money, but more and more rules telling us we can’t spend money.

Savings has been so low for so long in America, that we have no actual cash on hand. The only reason anyone’s been spending anything at all has been credit cards. That’s why everyone is freaked about the shutting down of new credit. But with the amazing and miraculous rally last week, the government tells us we shouldn’t save money. We should go out and spend it on a car.

What money?

The first signs of a diminishing life style are that prices keep going up, but inflation keeps wages going up. So we make more and more money, but can buy the same amount of “stuff” as our parents did. The second sign is when there isn’t enough money, and we can’t buy as much stuff. The third sign is when there isn’t any more stuff.

America’s life style has been declining since the 1970s. Do you feel that’s true? Are you surrounded by less stuff? Have you had problems buying whatever you want? Nope. Of course not! Ergo, our life style can’t possibly be declining.

Okay…so how come nobody’s spending any money these days?

Only a fool would look at end-stage cancer and pronounce the person healthy! And yet, that’s what we’re hearing everywhere in the news. It’s all fixed, we’re all good! The stimulus packages have worked! We’re good to go, there’s no more economic problem, and we’ve thankfully avoided The Big One.



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