An Alaskan journalist's perspective on local and national issues

Archive for July, 2011

Glenn Beck Comes Back to Bash Oslo Tragedy Victims

One would think that after his fall from Fox News, nobody would be hearing this man coming back onto the airways and doing more of what he does best – demagoging for his old white audience.  Really, the fact that his audience has to go to be bed 7:00 pm doesn’t alarm anybody?  Although, it was Keith Olbermann who has coined the greatest moniker for Glenn Beck – Lonesome Rhodes Beck.  If only there was a clip from the movie where Olbermann got this nickname from.  Alas, the only thing that one could find was Olbermann explaining his position in a vlog he had before his return to television.  Here is what Walter Matthau’s character said to Lonesome Rhodes in the film –

Suppose I tell you exactly what’s going to happen to you?  You’ll be back on television, only it won’t be quite the same anymore.  After a cooling off period someone will say ‘why don’t we try him again, in an inexpensive format.  People’s memories aren’t too long.’  And in a way he’d be right.  Some people will forget, some won’t.  You’ll have a show.  Maybe not the best hour, the top ten, maybe not even in the top fifty.  You’ll have a show, it just won’t be quite the same as it was before.  Then a couple of new fellas will come along, and a lot of your fans will be flocking around them.  Then someone will ask, ‘whatever happened to, what’s his name?  The one who was so big, the number one fella a couple years ago.  He was famous!  How could we forget a name like that?”

It is almost prophetic, but low and behold, apparently Glenn Beck actually did get his 24-hour network.  It’s only on the radio, so nobody cares, but hey, it exists.  So it was kind of prophetic.  And after his descent into the relative obscurity, you would think he would go away, but lo’ and behold, Glenn Beck is back doing what he does best – making a tragedy all about him.

The tragedy that is being referenced here is the terrorist attacks in Oslo, Norway.  In this attack, a man named Anders Breivik used a car-bomb, killing seven people, and then subsequently did an attack on a youth camp for the local Labor Party, killing 85 people.  He was arrested and looks to face a very long time in prison, and rightfully so.  He deserves to be put in a place where he will never see the light of day again.

But when this issue came to Glenn Beck’s attention, his response was a little bit different than one might expect.  A person would naturally expect somebody to be remorseful, sad, or even at least a little bit phased by the events that took place and all the lives that were lost by a maniac who believes that he was doing the right thing.  Instead, his response was heartless, horrid, and not worthy of even the slightest bit of respect.

I don’t think we made a comment on it because we didn’t know other than there was a bombing that happened.  And as the thing started to unfold, and there was a shooting at a political camp, which sounds a little like the Hitler youth, or whatever.  I mean, who does a camp for kids that’s all about politics?”

That’s right, Glenn Beck has actually made a point to call out the kids who were killed in this attack and make a reference to them being the “Hitler youth.”  This is sick in a way that is not deserving of any respect, or even for people to talk about it respectfully.  This is sick.  And what’s more, the fact that when people rightfully jumped on the bandwagon of this man, he decided to talk about who the real victim of this tragedy in norway was – him.

They’ve been taking something that I’ve said completely out of context, and they’re trying again to destroy me.  Give it your best shot, gang!  You tried to get me out of the mainstream media.  Be careful what you wish for, because now I’ve got a 24-hour a day, seven days a week network!  Oh wait, in a year from now you’ll pray for me to be part of the mainstream media.  You’ll pray…”

People won’t be praying for you to be part of the mainstream media, Lonesome Rhodes, they will be praying for you to shut and leave the rest of us alone.  Glenn Beck’s 24-hour network is nothing but an internet pay-per-view network.  How many people will want to hork out their cash for this man to spew his vitrial for very long?  Economic situations are pretty bad.  If the Tea Party Republicans decide, as they said they would do in an article in the Anchorage Daily News, to prolong this battle past the August 2nd deadline in order to make the House Republicans more compliant with their demands (there are signs they won’t take that route, or that at least a few are deciding not to), nobody will care about Beck’s network.

And nobody already does.  It has been on for over a month, and nobody cares.  Nobody cares at all about this man.  Like Lonesome Rhodes, someday people will ask what happened to him, but nobody will know, and nobody will care.  But back to the matter at hand, comparing the victims of a tragedy to the Hitler youth is absolutely unacceptable.  It is unconscienable.  There is absolutely no reason or excuse.  He can claim to be taken out of context all that he wants.  The fact is that Glenn Beck has said something, finally, that all the anger that people have is justified.  Of course, the right-wing blogosphere came out in support of Beck, talking about how he was right to compare kids to the Hitler youth, that a political camp is a bad thing.

But wait, does anybody remember that 9/12 campaign that Beck had run?  He had a camp for kids in that package where he talked about his political views.  The only thing worse than being a bleeding hypocrit is trying to get on the cross for something that you know you are guilty of too.

Peace out,

Eli

Obama’s Debt Ceiling Address Stresses Compromise. Is He Serious or Not?

So, tonight was Obama’s address to the nation regarding the debt ceiling debate.  I will say that it was well-timed, since things are getting crunched now and it is looking bleak.  Everything is on the line now, and we can’t afford to let this issue not get talked about.  Of course, since the typical American doesn’t care about the political future of this country (even though this is infinitely more than that), this is an issue that is only talked about in political circles when the fact is that this is a lot bigger than politics.

For those of you who don’t know, it is pretty simple.  Raising the debt ceiling isn’t saying we can spend more.  It is allowing us to pay the bill this government has already spent.  A common piece of rhetoric around right-wing bloggers and political commentators is that the debt ceiling doesn’t exist.  For real, there are those in the conservative base who believe the debt ceiling is an imaginary creature that is like the boogie man.  But it is real, and it is here.

So, here is the real danger – America’s credit rating.  Our AAA credit score is the best thing that this country has going now.  If we get downgraded, it could mean some real trouble in America’s future.  Given how the world economy is looking right now, this nation needs as little trouble as possible.  And for a long time, this debt ceiling issue wasn’t an issue.

For a long time, it used to be pretty routine that the debt ceiling would get raised and nobody talked about it.  It is only recently given the pointless indignation that the new conservative party has in this country that they have decided to make this a huge issue.  Of course, this is just another issue that they hold the American taxpayer hostage so they can get their way.  Cheap, tasteless, and leading this country in a very bad direction.  Of course, since they represent the rich, they don’t care.

But back to the President’s address, he was actually pretty clear.

In the year 2000, the government had a budget surplus.  But instead of using it to pay off our debt, the money was spent on trillions of dollars in new tax cuts while two wars and an expensive prescription drug program were simply added to our nation’s credit card.

Now, Obama did talk about the fact that this nation does have a debt problem.  It isn’t a mystery that it does.  When you have a massively bloated military budget which is being funneled into two wars, the recession did real damage to this problem, it is a problem.  But the big thing the conservatives aren’t getting is that their attention is being directed toward the wrong things.

Now, I am with the YouTuber, The Skeptical Heretic.  He says that looking at entitlement programs isn’t the worst idea.  They are going to be a problem in the future.  It can’t be helped.  The fact is that Obama is right that the only way to make things work is to meet in the middle.  It has to be a mix of cutting spending and raising taxes.  Not for the debt ceiling, but to fix the economy in general.  Of course, investment into infrastructure must also happen, to attract new businesses.

But back to the address, his thought was about compromise.  Now, the big thing here is that his version of compromise sounds great.  But the reality is that the Republicans don’t want his version of compromise.  They want total an utter surrender.  It is interesting that that Boehner was given the shaft by a Tea Party group who rejected his plan for raising the debt ceiling.

The first approach says let’s live within our means by making serious, historic cuts in government spending.  Let’s cut domestic spending to the lowest level it’s been Dwight Eisenhower was President.  Let’s cut defense spending at the Pentagon by hundreds of billions of dollars (I like that one!).  Let’s cut out waste and fraud in healthcare programs like Medicare, and at the same time let’s make modest adjustments so that Medicare is there for future generations.  Finally, let’s ask the wealthiest Americans and biggest corporations to give up some of their breaks in the tax code and special deducations.”

Well, there you have it.  On paper, that option sounds pretty good.  If both sides came at this level-headed and were looking to do the right thing, this would be a very good option.  The problem is that both sides don’t come at this level-headed.  Both sides don’t approach this option equally.  Both sides don’t look at it from a calm perspective.  Both sides are not willing to budge on either side.  The Democrats and the Republicans have to be willing to feel the pain.  Granted, taxing the rich is a great thing to do (something which Republicans will burn the ship before letting happen), but the Democrats do have to look at entitlement programs eventually because the fact is that there are problems with them.

But the fact that Republicans are not willing to let the talk of increasing taxes come up at all says something.  They are not willing to even bring it to the table and to realize that the rich are just fine.  They don’t have to worry about being in financial trouble.  Taxing the poor is where that comes from.  But they are being the party who is not budging on this.  Democrats are actually looking at this in a lot of respect from an openness to talking things out, but the Republicans are digging their heels and not even letting the notion come to the table.

The fact is that to fix our debt problem, it has to be a mix between cutting spending and generation revenue.  Asking the rich to pay is the right thing to do.  We will eventually have to look at entitlement programs.  We might as well look at it now.  But the fact is that Obam himself gave the greatest reason we are still having this debate, and why we can’t afford to have it.

The only reason this balanced approach isn’t on it’s way to becoming law right now, is because a significant number of Republican in Congress are insisting on a different approach, a cuts-only approach.

There’s the problem.  Your move, Republicans.

Peace out,

Eli

Oslo Tragedy Shows Different Side of Terrorism

There was an attack in Oslo, Norway, yesterday.  It was a tragedy, and the death toll right now is over 90 people.  Seven were killed in the car bombing, and 85 people were killed in the subsequent shooting at a camp for the local labor party that was 25 miles away from the car bombing.  Now, the moment that this happened, the media instantly started to wonder who it was, and the problem here is that they all wondered the same thing – was it a Muslim terrorist?  Well, it wasn’t an Islamic terrorist group, it was a lone man with some pretty hardcore beliefs.

The perpetrator of this heinous crime was a man by the named of Anders Behring Breivik.  He is 32 years old, and not a Muslim at all.  He is a Christian fundamentalist white nationalist.  When the media first reported this attack, some of the more level-headed mindset thought that this didn’t fit the MO of an Islamic terrorist group.  It targeted a government building, which doesn’t fit the pattern.  Usually, Islamic terrorists do their crimes in an area where they can maximize the casualties, kill as many people as possible.  Of course, several Muslim groups did come out after this event and take credit, but that is what they do.  They want the world to fear them as much as possible.

But the fact is that the media all jumped on the same bandwagon – that this had to be a Muslim group, that this had to be Al Qaeda or something like that.  On Facebook there were posts where people said that even if it wasn’t any of them, it was still them because they had inspired this kind of thing.  Well, that is an interesting perspective, because the fact is that white nationalist terrorism isn’t a new thing in this world at all.

One parallel that was made about this was comparing this event to the Oklahoma City bombing by Timothy McVeigh.  That’s a very good comparison.  It shares a lot of the same themes.  White nationalist, Christian fundamentalist, attacking a government building in order to deal a blow to a system they are radically against.  It is very similar in all of the ways that it can be.  But really, it is just the fact that people jumped on a bandwagon so quickly that says something pretty unpleasant about society that we have today.

The fact is that terrorism comes in all shapes an sizes.  From the shooting of Gabrielle Giffords to the Oklahoma City Bombing, people need to be aware that domestic terrorism is real, and it is often something that people don’t take seriously, but really should.  Because a common bit of vernacular that comes up is that “it is only Muslim terrorists who blow people up.”  No, wrong!  The fact is that domestic terrorism is infinitely more dangerous because it can’t be defended against.  Nobody could have predicted that this lone guy was going to do this.  Nobody could have foreseen him just deciding to kill people, including a bunch of kids, who didn’t agree with him.

There was a quote by somebody or other,

One person with a belief is equal to the force of 100,000 people who have only interests.”

And what’s more, Rupert Murdoch’s groups, Fox News, and The Sun newspaper, didn’t report on the fact he was a Christian at all.  Not one report mentions that the god this guy worships is the same one that Fox News claims that all of America is based on.  I wonder how many conservative groups posted after the Oklahoma City Bombing that Timothy McVeigh was a Christian.  The fact is that people will all go crazy and will paint a button to put on a group of people, but they close their minds to that other group, to the other, more dangerous half of America.

This brings it to the part about Fox News.  Back when Glenn Beck was on their network, whenever one of their viewers would decide to follow his insane rhetoric and go out and do something, he would scream, and cry for non-violence.  Well, this is what happens.  When you write books and go on the news and tell people that killing other people who don’t agree with you is a perfectly acceptable way to handle things, stuff like this happens.

And where are those who believe that it is all Muslims now?  They aren’t anywhere.  They aren’t talking.  Or there are those who make posts on Facebook or other blogs about how it is Al Qaeda who inspired this kind of action.  And there are those who claim this was one guy.  Yeah, not true.  Take a look at Northern Ireland right now, where this kind of violence is flaring up right now.

And what’s more, the media doesn’t think critically.  Fox News and all of the conservative groups instantly jump on the bandwagon of an Islamic terrorist group, not even bothering to think that it might be somebody else.  It was ironic to listen to Keith Olbermann talk last night and have to make it very clear that it wasn’t an Islamic terrorist.  He shouldn’t have to be that clear, because the media shouldn’t be painting pictures already.

This is where Jon Stewart was right about the modern 24-hour news networks.  They are becoming sensationalist and lazy, not doing the very hardcore and very diligent reporting that groups like NPR, PBS, and BBC are famous for.  The thing that makes it worse is that people aren’t demanding something better from the news they watch.  They aren’t demanding a better coverage and being more level-headed.  They jumped on a bandwagon because it was easy, and rode that (Fox News is still riding it) until it became apparent that their preconceived notion was wrong.

The public has to start demanding something better of their news.  Fox viewers will never demand anything better.  They don’t have the integrity to demand something better.  But for all the rest of you who watch CNN and MSNBC, you have to start demanding something better.  Because reporting like this, is a shame upon the entire field of journalism

Peace out,

Eli

Japan Beats US at World Cup. Good For Them!

As an American, and somebody who hates sports with a vigorous passion, this kind of post will make not a whole lot of sense.  However, there is a greater national theme to it that perhaps should be addressed by the modern culture at large.  It is a topic that people in countries like this aren’t aware of enough, and perhaps should be more considerate of when they go about their daily lives.  It is kind of ironic that this is happening and they say Sunday night.  Here in Alaska, Sunday is far from over.  In any case, what has happened Sunday night (where this took place) is that Japan creamed the US at the World Cup after a tie sends them into penalty kicks.

For those who are unaware, Japan has been through a nightmare recently, and the hardest thing about it is that the nightmare isn’t over.  It is still going on.  The devastation continues, and the effects will continue for many months and probably years to come.  It is such a tragic situation that this team had to fight through in order to get to the Finals at the World Cup.  And they did get through it.  They got through the pain and tragedy and pulled a victory off.  It is a good thing that this country, and indeed this world, needs.

Hope is something that all people need to keep close to their hearts.  After the tornado in Joplin, after people had finished grieving, you could see them getting back to it.  They were picking up their lives, trying to rebuild them.  The smell of fresh timber and of new dedication was in the air.  Hope is something that we all need to keep with us, because it is one of the reasons that people continue to work through the tragedy.

And that is exactly what was seen at the World Cup today.  The Japanese team played a fierce game.  It eventually came down to a 2-2 tie at the end of the game, so it went into penalty

“Not one of the players gave up,” said coach Norio Sasaki.  A good thing.  Really, as an American, a lot of people are going to get on the case of this reporter that he is so happy another team won.  Especially when America delivered such a brutal defeat to Brazil just a little bit earlier.  People can get pretty into their sports, can get really hardcore.

The big skit among comedians about the World Cup was those weird horns that people would play.  But the fact is that of any nation that deserves to have something good happen to it right now, really nobody else could say that any country other than Japan deserves.

For full disclosure – this reporter hates sports.  Sports, or rather how much atheletes in this country are paid (It is most assuredly different in other places, but this is talking about America) in this country is obscene.  They are paid a king’s ransom to play a kid’s game, while our teachers are being paid next to nothing.  It is a hopelessly crooked system that is nothing but pathetic.  When people are paid fortunes to hit a ball, while those who are charged with educating future generations are paid next to nothing, there is something wrong with society.

But this is a good day.  It is a good day for a nation that needs a good day to come to it.  Hopefully, it will stick around for a while.  Japan deserves it.  It is one of the few nations that does.  Americans will be sad, but in the end, this nation needs to grow up.  Sometimes, somebody else just needs it more.

Peace out,

Eli

Partisanship has Always Been Around

So, I got the most recent edition of the paper when I returned to UAA to resign my contract for the next year.  Annoying, but whatever.  I got to read an article written by a very articulate and very passionate writer at The Northern Light named Brett Frazer.  He wrote a very good article, but I will admit that I do disagee with parts of what he says.

His article talks about partisanship in this country, and how it is a very big problem that people are not devoting enough time to thinking about and not realizing what a dangerous issue it actually is.  I don’t disagree with his conclusion, just some main points.  And since I’m always looking for a new concept for my professional blog, I thought I would address that.  Here is giving a shout out to Brett Frazer, for giving me today’s blog idea.

In any case, partisan warfare has always been around, in my opinion.  The only real difference between then and now is that back in the day, they didn’t have the platform that we have in this country today.  A YouTuber by the name of Pat Condell made an assertion that the “9/11 Mosque” (the worst moniker that I have heard in a long time) divided America like nothing ever has.  But he missed it too.

The fact is that partisan battles have been going on in this country since we have had a country.  We call it partisanship, but truly it’s just different ways of thinking.  Even back when America had only one partly, the liberal and conservative way of thinking often clashed.  They clash because it is in their nature.

Frazer quoted Jon Stewart in his article, and rightly so, but there is another quote by Stewart that I think works much better to describe the modern atmosphere of politics in this country.

The embarassment is that I’m given credibility in this world because of the disappointment the public has in what the news media does.”

Stewart argued on Chris Wallace’s show on Fox Sunday that the “liberal media” that Fox so unabashedly attacks is not some huge liberal counterweight to their massively overwhelming conservative and Republican bias.  They are more sensationalistic and somewhat lazy.  He also pointed out when Wallace said that Fox viewers are happy to be getting “the other side of the story” that studies consistently show that Fox viewers are consistently misinformed.

But he is right, none of the 24-hour news networks are innocent in it all.  Personally, I get my straight news from PBS and BBC.  But I like the political commentary of Rachell Maddow, Lawrence O’Donnell, and Keith Olbermann.  I don’t like Ed Schultz all that much.  His mannerisms are way too much like a liberal Rush Limbaugh.

However, partisanship in this country is definitely not a new thing.  Back in the days before the Civil War the partisan lines were pretty clear.  Frazer quotes George W. Bush from 1992 for bringing about the huge partisan movement in this country on the premise of a kind of holy war.  While he did start something pretty major, the fact is that part of what we are seeing today is brilliant political manuevering by the conservative elements in this country.

My good friend, John Aronno, had a thought about modern politics.  It used to be in the 90’s that the Democrats and liberal and progressive elements of this country could talk about the real issues, like legalizing pot, gay marriage, getting rid of DADT (we finally got to that, but there was a gap), all sorts of things, and it was accepted.  There was real debate.  However, the modern political landscape has been for at least the last nine or ten years that the conservatives go further and further to the right and get increasingly more crazy with their ideas, keeping the liberal and progressive and even the moderate elements from not even bringing anything to the debate table.  They are kept too busy trying to stop the insanity that they can’t do anything for the issues that actually matter.

I don’t think some of what has happened with modern politics is all partisanship in the way Frazer does.  I think that partisanship has evolved into a game of chess.  I am absolutely with Frazer when I say that it shouldn’t be a chess board with pieces on one side and the other, but the fact is that this is what it has become.

But more than that, the entire system is crooked, from top to bottom.  One of the key things that Obama said during the campaign was how the problems that sunk our economy couldn’t be fixed by keeping things the same.  And now he has two of the guys who got us into this mess in the first place as his chief economic advisors.  Economic Reform was a joke.  Elizabeth Warren was put (sort of) in charge of yet another toothless government agency.

The partisanship in this country is a problem, but it is a problem that has always been around, and will continue to be around.  The biggest problem, in my opinion, is that the entire system is built around this government really working for the lobby groups, and the American people not choosing to stand up and get involved because they are so apathetic because of seeing how unpleasant modern politics is.

Another good quote from John –

The reason voting doesn’t work is because nobody does it.”

Peace out,

Eli

America’s Economic Troubles Are Only Just Beginning

A lot of people have had complaints about the way that President Barack Obama has handled things.  There are the far-right complaints that are unintelligible, like he’s a socialist, Hitler, un-American, communist, and stuff like that.  Then there are those who aren’t along those lines who have much better forms of criticism, like this reporter.  Some believe that Obama has failed, in some pretty serious ways.  And there is a lot of evidence to support that theory.  The problem with this President and his time in office seems to be – he doesn’t seem to take the problems that are already happening very seriously.  What’s more, these are real problems that really affect this world right now.

Here’s a nifty little story that was in The Wall Street Journal on June 9.  It talks about how China’s housing bubble is also about to burst.  People in this country should be scared of this concept, very scared.  The problem is that most people don’t know, and most people don’t care.  This reporter is scared, scared to death.  After seeing how close things got to collapse in this country, people should be incredibly afraid.

For those of you who may not know what the “Housing Bubble” is, it was the chief cause of the destruction of the United States’ economy at the end of 2007.  It was caused by Over-the-Counter Derivatives, along with other things.  But when the housing bubble burst, that sent things crashing down very quickly.  There was a rather engaging episode of Frontline which talked about this in detail.  It told the story of Brooksley Born and her efforts to warn people, while going up against Alan Greenspan.  She saw what was coming from the sale of over-the-counter derivatives, and nobody would listen to her.

We didn’t truly know the dangers of the market, because it was a dark market.”

That was a quote from Born, and a very good one.  The average person doesn’t understand the inner workings of the market.  On the episode mentioned above “The Warning,” several sources commented that you couldn’t understand what Greenspan was talking about, but you wanted to believe he knew what he was doing because he sounded smart.  This was a dangerous thought process, and only too late did we find out that it was wrong.

Ronald Reagan had won.  Government was seen as the problem.  And even though Bill Clinton was someone who believed in government and wanted to use it, he was kind of forced into that Reagan-esque ideology because that was what people wanted to hear.”

That was from Joseph Stiglitz, who had worked as Clinton’s economic advisor.  The fact is that for so long, things in this country were going so well that people just didn’t want to hear that there would be problems.  Honestly, who would want to hear that?  Who would want to hear that the system that is giving them so much money might be flawed?  Born saw things for what they were, but, like so many other things in this country, people just didn’t listen.  People don’t want to listen now, either.  They really don’t.  People don’t want to hear that they need to be taxed more.  People don’t want to hear that regulation is a good thing.  Nobody wants to hear these things, but they need to, because right now we are at an interesting time for things.

It was all bad timing, really.  It was just the timing of things was so unable to be planned for.  Here is what is happening right now that could shape the future of our economy and destroy the only hope we have left.  The Butterfly Effect couldn’t be understood more if it was viewed at any other time than right now.

1. The tsunami in Japan, and the subsequent chaos with the reactor in Fukushima.
This was just bad timing.  Of course, it is a terrible tragedy that will continue to effect Japan for years to come.  But the worst part of all, aside from the horrible death toll and property destruction, was the fact that their economy has been torn to shreds.  Until this moment, Japan was the third largest economy in the world.  It used to be that Japan was the second largest, but China overtook them in 2010.  The likelihood that Japan will fully recover from this within my lifetime is almost non-existent.  For as well as they weathered this tragedy, they have been torn apart.  It is an awful event, but not only for their country, but it could affect the entire world.

2. The US economy is slumping again
This year, early this year, the economy of this country has hit the brakes.  A lot of things went really wrong.  The housing market hasn’t bounced back.  Consumer spending is going way down.  Prices were surging.  A lot of things have gone wrong.  Some economists think that this will bounce back, and that it was just a bad first quarter.  This doesn’t mean was are declining, but the growth has slowed to a crawl.

3. Democracy in the Middle East
As peaceful revolutions hit nations like Egypt, Tunisia, Syria (it didn’t work for them, but they tried), gas prices started to soar.  As a result, people started driving less and less.  There is a sad irony about this country that our economy is contingent on oil.  Were it not for gas, this nation’s economy would be destroyed.  Same as military spending, which is even more depressing.  If somebody were to come out tomorrow and say that they have found a cheap reliable fuel that can power everything, our country’s economy would die that same day.  So, the massive rise in gas prices decreased sales.

4. No significant regulations have been placed on Wall Street
The average American thought that after the meltdown in 2007, this country would buckle down and get ahold of the corporations that had done this to us.  Ironic that none of the criminals who had done this to us are in jail, except for Bernie Madoff.  Obama passed Wall Street Reform, but that was nothing more than a watered-down piece of legislation that really did more harm than good.  It was a lot like the Healthcare Reform bill in that regard.  The fact is that business-as-usual in this country has been institutionalized.  Obama promised that he would be putting the screws on Wall Street and cleaning house, and instead the only thing that he delivered was putting the screws to the credit card companies.

5. China’s housing bubble is about to burst
This is the most dangerous part of it all.  China has a much higher inflated housing bubble than America.  It is looking to burst in the very near future.  The reason that Japan was brought up is because of what is happening in China, and the situation of not only the Asian economy but also the global economy.  China is part of a group of four nations that dominate the Asian economy – China, Japan, Taiwan, and South Korea.  They are known in economic vernacular as “The Four Dragons.”

If China and Japan collapse, this won’t just affect their countries.  We have made this world so interconnected that the domino effect is genuinely terrifying for everybody.  True isolationism is impossible anymore.  If China and Japan collapse, Asia collapses, if Asia collapses, the world collapses.  The United States is in a very dangerous place right now with out economy.  What scares me, and what should scare other people a great deal more than it does, is the fact that the rest of the world doesn’t notice.  Most people are happy enough to be ignorant.  These are huge issues, and most people are content to just keep to their own world.

But what will Obama do?  He seems to be nothing more than a career politician, and that is sad.  It is sad because he has capitulated on everything so as not to have a battle and to avoid confrontation so he can get the moderate voters to look at him and say, “he’s not like the others, he tries to talk.”  While admirable at heart, this kind of thing doesn’t work, has never worked.

Will America find out too late?  Will another Brooksley Born come and tell us that things are getting awful, and nobody will listen?  Alan Greenspan shut her down.  It was poetic to watch him do the walk of shame after the Congressional committee roasted him for his view on the market taking care of itself after the meltdown.  Will anybody learn?  Will anybody care?

Peace out,

Eli

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