Now that we’re finally into April Showers we can catch our breath and look back, up, and out at goings on:
US Politics: Hillary is not going to do it. Read the entrails all you want, but Obama has the momentum to take the Democratic nomination. This will split the Democrats into two camps that will fight like wet cats in a backpack. Everyone involved will be scratched to ribbons. In a moment of exceptional stupidity, Obama will choose an Eagleton-like running mate and watch his campaign implode. McCain will run up the middle and take the Big Chair.
China: My bet is that China will let the Olympics and Tibet play out, taking their hits with a grim face, but as soon as the Games are over, be assured that the tolerance and benign behaviour we see now, will come to a screeching halt. Western companies have been greed-handing their way into business with China since Nixon opened the doors and China has welcomed their dealing. Now China has them by the attachments. Imagine if the Central Planning Council of China decided not to work with Wal-Mart any more: The stores would be empty in a month and about 11 percent of the US would be out of a job.
Economy: Everything we eat, wear, live in, watch, drink or roll on top of uses oil. China and India are paying top dollar for oil. Oil companies sell oil where they get top dollar. Get used to very expensive gasoline as it isn’t going to get better. Meanwhile, the CEO’s make record levels of compensation and bonuses while their companies post record losses. This is entirely upside down, much like the first dot.com bust, where people were getting millions in venture capital because they could register a domain name that sounded cool.
In some towns the biggest employer is Wal-Mart. This means you have a bunch of people working in the service industry whose sole contribution to the economy is to go to Pizza Hut once a week. Nobody actually makes anything, they just service sector each other, the server at Pizza Hut saving their tips to go to Wal-Mart to buy something once a week, to be served by the same people who gave them the tips that allows them to buy a clock radio that was made by someone in Taiwan. This is not a viable economic model.
Society: We’re so accustomed to having no power that the surveillance society is only going to become more pervasive in the name of ‘security’. This might let off a bit when President Jo-Jo The Idiot Boy leaves office, but big business knows that government paranoia is a great source of revenue. You could almost predict that Homeland Security would be privatized to KBR: Most of the Iraq war support functions already are.
The police using military surveillance drones to keep tabs on us is already underway in Miami with other cities looking longingly at the remote sensing capabilities the military uses, but turned domestically. Mikey Chertoff is leading that one. After all, you’re not a terrorist are you?
However, despite it all, people still go about their lives, occasionally doing nice things for each other. Bits and pieces of common sense sneak under the radar of the lawmakers. For example, the landlord posse has permitted a conglomerate of food banks to canvass their high rise buildings for donations. They generated something near two truck loads for local food banks, which is good for the food banks.
Despite all the mean and greedy behaviours out there, people are still being somewhat civil to each other and the general society we live in. We might not be able to control much, but we can steer how we interact with others.
At least until the authorities make it illegal.