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..There's a little Samuel Pepys in all of us..

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

It's been quite a couple of days..
The economy is following the path it chose when it lead those who could least afford credit the ability to accrue massive debt.. When a trillion or so has been literally thrown away in the disposable elements of foreign conflicts.. When we chose to put the fuel of our economy.. no pun intended.. in the hands of those who are not fond of our society, and who are doubtless smiling as they watch us wander in a sea of conflicting, and equally useless short-term solutions, which themselves must be amortized to rest on the projected production of our grandchildren..
George has finally taken a thoroughly unpopular, but absolutely necessary step in allowing offshore rigs in what were considered 'sacrosanct' environments.
Ecologically, a potential nightmare, but without that domestic production getting into the development and operational stages, the US might well find itself unable to afford to supply itself with any oil going for more than $150 a barrel.. with some true optimists placing the new benchmark at closer to $200..
A tad high perhaps, that..
But what the US is going to need in it's next leader, is a man who can call on the best minds to find a path through this terrible legacy..
Who can deal with the extrication of the US military from the Middle East without leaving what will certainly turn into an utter shambles if premature..
Who can turn American consumers into American customers.. increasing the demand for domestic products by the loosening of credit, to viable venture capital ventures..
Who can turn this housing downturn around, by offering those who lost their homes and still watch them sitting empty, the chance to re-finance, with proviso's allowing for either further downturns, or eventual recoveries.
Always better to have a property occupied, and if it could be by their former owners, the equity would be protected..
Not feasible in many cases, perhaps.. But to some it could be what they need.. to develop the attitude America's going to need..
Hard to inspire someone to work, when they've lost what they've worked for..

Problems here as well..
Inflation hit an 11 year high at 3.8%.. up a half..
The housing market has seen prices falling for the third consecutive month.. and new housing starts are at levels not seen since the early 90's..
Even the Bank of England.. usually one institution that holds to the maxim' if you've nothing good to say, say nothing..' has somewhat gloomily extrapolated we'll hit 4% this year.
Now. What that means for us, is higher food prices.. higher petrol prices.. higher gas prices.. higher electricity charges..
And we've already been warned.. British/Scottish Gas has, albeit in the friendliest manner possible.. told us to expect an average 11% rise in our heating costs next winter.. Food costs are expected to rise with the cost of diesel and rising prices from producers..

And while this is happening to us.. to the US.. keep an eye on what's happening in Russia.. China.. India..
Vast populations.. economies which are just barrelling along.. but facing the same problems..
They have the cash, but lack the infrastructure..
We abound in infrastructure.. and have priced ourselves out of the workplace..
A slight digression there..
Food. That's what we're all going to be short of..
Hard to imagine, when you think of the endless flat plane that is Saskatchewan, with wheat from horizon to horizon.. that there would be a shortage..
Imagine it was hard, when they planted this years rice crops in the Irrawaddy Delta, with plans to feed a quarter of South East Asia.. that it would all be gone.. utterly lost..
That the price of rice in China's rising at a rate that the government's seriously concerned..
And no help from India.. their major rice fields, in the West of that country, were destroyed by the same typhoon's which took out the rest of the Far East's 'breadbasket'..

"I will end the war in Iraq."
Barak Obama pledged that on his first substantial speech on foreign policy.. even though it was confined to Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan..
Now, let's look at that statement.

'I'.. a power word, deliberately used to assure, and ensure, that this is his doing..

'..will end..' A declaration of definite intent, or purpose, of commitment. No room for misunderstanding here..

'..the war in Iraq..' Words the American people have been waiting.. expecting to hear.. for five years.

Barak went on to say, the last troops will be out of the country by the summer of 2010.. while intimating very forcefully, that this withdrawal was not a retreat, but the completion of a job. What could be inferred was 'whether than job is done to completion, or not..'
Barak left a number of loopholes in this statement on withdrawals.. saying 'a force will always been present in one form or another.. to protect American Embassies and Consulates.. and interests..' No number was set on those to be left to safeguard American interests.. but according to Barak, they would still have a military mandate, to search and destroy Al Q'aeda or any terrorist threat, when they could be located..
So whether the bulk of American troops will indeed be home in 2010.. is contingent of the expedience of withdrawals, at that time..
It was eloquent bumf..
John McCain.. upon reacting to Barak's statement.. could only hold his head, and turn slowly in a circle.
Oddly, there was sympathy with the man..

Now.. a brief thought here..
At what price 'security'..? And what need is there for the government to have a National Database which includes all the life details, medical history,you name it, of everybody?
One can see those who've run afoul of the Law being kept track of.. but why each and every one of us?
It may well be a government project to toss about a couple of hundred million for the Civil Service to play with, but it has sinister possibilities, and no obvious benefits..
One must question what path we're being allowed to be led down.. It will affect our grandchildren..

A final note here..
Anyone remember Tony.. Tony Blair..?
This poor man has been given a task so far fetched.. so impossible.. that it's perhaps going to win him the Nobel Peace Prize eventually.. but will certainly kill him in the process..
Take a look at Tony.. eleven years ago when he swept to power..
Take a look at him now..

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