Just a few things, actually. But, first, my apologies for reducing the amount of original content here over these past few months, often deferring to worthy off-site content if/when I didn’t have anything useful to add.
As some might know, I’d really much rather be adding useful DIY content regarding the completion of my greenhouse, chicken coop, or latest shop project than to ever write another article on geopolitics or the floundering economy. That’s what the past (is it really now) five years has been like, though. It’s just a bit more difficult to maintain one’s composure and find safe harbour all the while baring your teeth to the storm.
So, on to the business of the day:
- Not to say, “I told you so”, but “I told you so”. The Arab Spring is now being revealed for what its always been…part and parcel of Osama bin Laden’s (and every other truly devout Muslim’s) duty to engage in jihad. As bin Laden clearly notes, “Every Muslim, from the moment they realize the distinction in their hearts, hates Americans, hates Jews and hates Christians.” This is a war, whether we like it or not and regardless of how we choose to respond to it. The current developing phase of this war, however, had better get our minds focussed, and “right quick”. Our (US) apparent determination (or merely inept blundering) to agitate the growing Shia-Sunni rift will have drastic consequences, and not just for Israel. And, on that topic, its becomes rather impossible to ignore the likely outcome of both inept appeasement and neglecting true allies. Sadly, there will be more to come.
- On the Economic Front: The only real surprise is the slo-mo nature of the continuing crisis. There is no growth. Let’s say that one more time: There Is No Growth. Merely deduct from nominal GDP each and every dollar that is being spent after borrowing it from the Fed’s magic “printing press” and you get much smaller numbers….the kind of numbers that actually explain the unemployment problem, for one. We’ll try to take the time to actually review this fairly simple math in the near future. This is War #2, after all, ala Jim Rickards, and we are still losing. The outcome of this war, in my humble opinion, isn’t even a question. We are not as wealthy as we once were because: a) we make very little, b) we consume very much, c) we save nothing, and d) we pay for all of it with the promised and presumed future productivity of our children. (Have you looked at them lately?) We ate the seed corn and it can take generations to overcome that sort of problem.
- Politics (As Usual): Frankly, I don’t even really want to argue about politics (as usual). You can’t solve a problem unless and until it is (more-or-less) universally acknowledged. And, I’m afraid that things will have to get quite a bit worse before that happens….and, even that is no guarantee. This nation has been given over to a great delusion, that we are rich and powerful and destined to greatness. I’m reminded once again of all those kids on their X-Boxes that seem to think they can actually drive racecars, play guitars, play NBA-class basketball, and, of course, shoot their enemies with impunity. Pride is a great thing, when coupled with humility and at least a little experience.
So, having gotten that – the usual bugaboos – off my chest, I’ll try to close on an uplifting note. So, how about this tired cliche’:
If If you can keep your head when all about you Are losing theirs and blaming it on you; If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you, But make allowance for their doubting too: If you can wait and not be tired by waiting, Or, being lied about, don’t deal in lies, Or being hated don’t give way to hating, And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise; If you can dream—and not make dreams your master; If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim, If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster And treat those two impostors just the same:. If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools, Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken, And stoop and build’em up with worn-out tools; If you can make one heap of all your winnings And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss, And lose, and start again at your beginnings, And never breathe a word about your loss: If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew To serve your turn long after they are gone, And so hold on when there is nothing in you Except the Will which says to them: “Hold on!” If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue, Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch, If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you, If all men count with you, but none too much: If you can fill the unforgiving minute With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run, Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it, And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son! Rudyard Kipling