The Last Gleaming: America Enters The Twilight Zone
March 21st, 2011
By Barry Secrest
The headline read "European Governments Completely Puzzled About US Position On Libya." To which we could only note, at this point within our Nation, many Americans can only sympathize with the puzzled Europeans. The wide if not dizzying array of bizarre policy positions that Obama and the Democrats have consistently taken could make even a mute Shaolin Monk shriek in terrified dismay.
Even Secretary Of State Hillary Clinton has also had enough, apparently, when she intimated via the media that she would be hanging up her Department Of State riding gear and quitting public life in 2012 regardless of the President's plans, such was her seeming and utter disgust with the ongoing and beyond weird processes of concentrated Statism on parade. We truly didn't know that she had it in her, quite frankly, speaking of situational logic, but this does speak to something much larger at play than simply being perplexed at the current unseemly management.
In truth, it now seems that our Globe, along with our our Government, has traveled beyond the daunting realm of the bizarre in 2011 and this, it should be noted, is not the occasionally favored brand of bizarre either. While America finds itself at a conjunction of crises involving virtually every subject one can cough up, it becomes evident that our leadership has decided to go absolutely nuclear and tackle only the surplus supplies of their anti-depressant stash. Stubbornly insisting on evading any if not all of the difficult problems which our nation faces, by the artifice of either worsening those same problem, within a cloud of procrastination or contriving fixes that actually complicate those same problems even further.
How About A Moratorium On Contemptuous Stupidity?
Even better than that, most of our elected officials, both Republican and Democrat, have seemingly now chosen to bravely face and ill-intrepidly deal with the vacuous, easily solvable, non-problems of the day as if they are life and death issues, in abeyance to the real and growing crises that flash on and off and move mysteriously about like fireflies on the darkest of nights.
For instance, what better way to deal with growing energy problems and costs can there be than to either halt or dramatically slow down current efforts to extract the Nation's required energy? While energy costs continue to soar, the White House has pulled out every trick in the book in order to either halt or limit the nation's efforts at becoming more energy independent. All of this even while ironically talking up the need to become more energy independent in a shell game if disingenuity.
For example, the Administration actually declared a moratorium on oil drilling in 2010 only to be overridden by a Federal Judge. Having failed at that moratorium, the White House then chose a go-around in the form of severely curtailing the issuing of permits for the resumption of oil drilling in the gulf and other areas. Now, does this sound as if the White House is truly serious about the Nation's energy woes?
The Federal Government was actually held in contempt of court in that particular case, by the way, but that doesn't really matter at this point, as the White House has become so used to being held in contempt by a mass of over 200 million citizens that what's one opinion more going to matter?
But even while curtailing the nation's energy policy, the Administration then predictably issued a go ahead last week for a non-domestic Brazilian oil company to utilize a floating underwater oil storage facility in the gulf which is capable of holding up to 80,000 barrels of oil. Not only would this be an underwater navigation hazard, but also one which is suffused with prodigious amounts of leakable oil from the environ-"mental" President, no less.
The Bully Puppet
Indeed, would be our only and now painfully expectant answer to these ironies of which we have become expectant, as the "International US President" continues to sew his seeds of foreign glee at American stupidity. This, even to the point of some time ago having authorized loans to a George Soro investment plan for "foreign" oil exploration to the tune of over $ 10 Billion dollars. So, no help on energy from the Chief Executive, very well then, how about our...oh... education system?
Ah yes, are there problems in education? Absolutely, in fact, a whole host of them, but what better way to tenaciously defeat this particular wide-ranging problem than to go after the chief culprit itself that being "bullying." Bullying you might ask quizzically? Yes, of course silly, bullying, it would appear, is one of the main problems in education according to the Obamas; I mean it can't be the education bureaucracy, the ones in charge, of course, so it must be the students.
But here it gets even better, even to the point of centralizing the issue by getting the Department of Justice involved. Yes indeed it's true, getting the DOJ involved in our public education would be akin to having the Department of Defense riding shotgun on the school lunch program.
But here it gets even better, you see, because the DOJ has made it clear that the scope of their efforts will be limited to protections only involving the Civil Rights act of 1964. In a nutshell of collective comeuppance, this then would mean that only minorities will be protected from the act of school bullying, which seems to go against a rather common contraindicating student experience. Um, but doesn't this-- then-- give extra sway to bullying by members of minorities against non-minorities by a sort of vague estoppel? Well....you're catching on, would be the answer, but justice redistributed is still justice, apparently, or at least to the Obamaphibians. So...what other problems are skulking around like rib-boned wolves just outside of the firelight? Well, how about spending?
The Twilight Zone (of Spending)
One of the ridiculous questions as it regards US frugality appears to be "do we actually have a growing set of problems with a $14 trillion dollar deficit?" Well, the left, a large number of liberals, and a meaningful number of Democrats would say "No, it's our new Keynesian economic system at work, and it's going to work, just give it time." However, most Americans, along with the Tea Party, would loudly exclaim "Time is a luxury that we simply do not have."
I can presciently even hear cries of "Amen" ringing out all over the fruited plane to that statement. But the Federal Government, in answer, has heard your cries of angst, as well. In fact, the administration's answer to this vexatious problem was to withdraw from passing any spending bill in 2010 only to then submit a mammoth$ 3.7 trillion spending bill for 2011.
That should do the trick--in the Twilight Zone. While US revenues or income are expect to be in the $2.17 trillion range, the spending for 2011 is expected to be in the 3.8 trillion range, which will be almost double our Federal income. Oh, that should work just perfectly, you might sarcastically intone, and you would be correct, but this is exactly how the Cloward-Piven Budget act supposedly works...ironically enough, in case any hadn't noticed.
The point here being, that except for the Krugman's of the world and the intellectuals of the left, it is the only way to achieve "their" goals or perhaps that's Gola's in our new age of fancy. Unfortunately though, for those of us who have imperiously chosen not to scarf down voluminous amounts of either hallucinogens or anti-depressants in deference to the Conservatively inspired red pill, this current scheme does not appear to be a winning formula, especially for most "logically thinking" economists and business types. The essential truth to these problems, however, gets lost in all sorts of warp drive money supply theories that defy plausibility when the left conjures up their hypothesized answers.
A Dead Reckoning of Upheaval
The best answer to this quandary, according to the Federal Bankers who have done just a 'swimmingly job thus far, is rather than to cut spending across the board, it's better to print more money via quantitative easing to their way of thinking. In simple explanation to the ongoing QE problem, the government has figured out that it must buy up its own treasury bonds--which is about the same as "We the People" using our Visa cards to pay our monthly Mastercard bills-- it might work for awhile, but...at some point there will be a dead reckoning of upheaval.
Well, this upheaval of which we speak was then highlighted in a recent story concerning the Treasury Chief, being little Timmy Giethner, and his "sure, why not?" answer to the world with regard to a new world reserve currency to replace the US dollar. (This story received very little play in the US mainstream media, by the way). You see, one of the ways the US has been able to finance both the world and the US economy's boom cycles for these many years has been linked inextricably to the fact that the US dollar is the primary exchange currency of the world's trading partners. The reasons for this are myriad but several of the primary reasons would include both the power and the stability of the US economy and government, in addition to America's being the largest and most productive of all the economies on the planet--despite comprising only about 4% of the world's population.
One of the reasons that the US dollar has remained fairly strong, despite the outrageous over-spending by Obama and the Democrats, has been because of the US dollar's being the world's reserve currency. The demand for the dollar, as a result, has remained fairly strong simply because the world continues to utilize America's currency as a stable and widespread trading unit of value. However, because of the size of US debt and spending practices, among other issues, many up-and-comers, such as China and Russia for example, would love to knock the dollar off of its perch.
This possibility has even raised dire predictions from a number of experts and groups who stipulate that if the world were to establish some other world currency or financial vehicle to effect the dollar's replacement, the US would see its financial standing in the world alter precipitously even to the point of severely curtailing US economic expansion, if not far, far worse.
So, when we see that the US Treasury Secretary openly avows the possibility of replacing the Dollar at severe risk of even more economic upheaval, we automatically then wonder a few things along with the rest of a yet again "puzzled" world, those things being:
A) Is the guy just stupid?
B) Or is he bending over backwards to allow the deadly foreign snake a more comfortable venue to deliver its venomous strike? Or...
C) Is it simply a lack of disciplined economic fighting strategy, if not even worse?
As a result of Giethner's "we're open" response to the floated idea of changing the world's currency, the globe's stock markets predictably plunged the value of the dollar, with most of the analysts using words like "stunned" or "shocked" and even our own personal favorite "puzzled" (yet again).
The Specter Of Godzilla
But the possibility of future upheaval in America yet remains belied by certain upheaval in other areas. Even while the Arab world continues its drastic upheaval, the midwest of America, meanwhile, has also erupted into upheaval pitting the Forces of Unionization and the extreme left against State Governmental Authorities and the political Right for an ironic change. That not being quite enough, apparently, we now have the upheaval in Japan of the earth itself as a devastating earthquake has stricken a huge swath of northern Japan.
Earthquake not enough? fine. We'll raise you one more with a tsunami that ravished the entire pacific realm paying special attention to, you guessed it, Japan again. So, what's next? How about a nuclear reactor breach, containment housing explosion and even a couple of impending nuclear meltdowns in Mother Nature's now current and favorite whipping boy, being Japan yet even again.
Looked at on a larger scale, it has now become rather painfully obvious that we might all need to dig out and take another look at our Mayan calendars. Granted, both natural and man-made disasters occur somewhere in the world on a fairly consistent basis, and yet, am I the only one feeling that these events seem to be occurring with unusual rapidity if not consistency? Even more bizarrely, it does indeed seem that the Earth's geological unrest has somehow become interrelated with the current extremities of human unrest on some deep and unfathomable level--or might that be vice-versa? The American Indians, it should be pointed out, have actually forgotten far more about this special inter-relationship, than most of us will ever know.
But, in another yet interrelated way, it also seems that the harsh realities, which we are collectively seeing on a weekly if not daily basis, have pushed many of us into the realm of dreamy unreality in an oblique effort to avoid facing the increasingly depressing but obvious facts. Those facts, even now, seem to drearily follow us around, pausing not even while we slumber.
Shadows Of The Empire
For example, the harsh realities that the world will be required to face in a Japan that had already been pushed against the economic wall of despair just got doubled down. When we look at a graphic of the island that is Japan and superimpose the areas of both moderate and severe damage, it becomes obvious that the Japanese will have an overwhelming amount of devastation and mayhem to overcome which engulfed fully 1/3 rd of the entire island. The tally of the dead, in our own brand of predictive analytics (fuzzy math), might approach 20,000 or more based upon past events and current tallies, and that's before the aged effects of the radioactive fallout.
The total damage tally figuring everything in play? Easily approaching $ 400 Billion is the figure that we would approximate based upon, once again, fuzzy demographic and property and trade analytics--nevermind the USGS' ridiculous estimate totaling in the tens of billions that wouldn't even cover the transportation losses (must be Obama appointees). The thing to remember with regard to the damage is that if we look at the number and population of the prefectures of the most affected regions in Japan, both the moderately and excessively "afflicted" population would account for approximately 10 million people.
This will mean that the actual number of homeless might approach 1.25 million people if not more. This, in fact, would make the housing and relocation problems associated with hurricane Katrina look like a girlscout troop camping outing, and never mind the impending specter of disease which always accompanies natural disasters of this magnitude. Remember also that Japan is fully one third the size of the US in population at about 124 million people and is geographically only slightly less than the size of California.
An equally disturbing fact is the amount of damage that is most likely uninsured. Some insurance experts have estimated the "insured damage" at $ 35 Billion, but one must remember that this particular number speaks to "insured losses." This would leave as uninsured from the recent effects of surface waters and earthquakes over $365 Billion at best, by our estimate, and remember you probably heard that figure here first and we haven't even figured in the nuclear crisis effects which are always excluded from insurance.
The Last Gleaming?
Now, meandering back up to the US economic Twilight Zone that we find ourselves in, there is one very massive, but simple point that the Media, The White House, the Liberals and the Krugman's of the world simply wish us all to blithely ignore. The Japan that was in the throes of a roiling economic disaster, even before these crippling events, was suffering from a series of Keynesian economic "fixes" that had been exercised repeatedly and in vain from the period of 1992 to the year 2000. This Keynesianism is the same over-deficit spending and repeated stimulus planning that the Fed and Obama continually insists will work for the United States.
Japan now has very little, if any, financial capacity to utilize for rebuilding as a direct result of their continually trying to dig their way out of a series of financial messes by their over-utilization of Keynesian Government spending programs in the first place. Now they intend to raise taxes.
The thing to remember is simply this:
The blueprint for financial disaster and upheaval lays spread before our very eyes in Japan, and the US appears to be dogmatically following that same blueprint by not seriously tackling our massive deficit spending meaningfully and decisively now while there is yet time.
The next natural disaster could, indeed, be ours and we have little if any room to financially maneuver ourselves.