The news and thoughts of the day are so plentiful, its like being a kid in the candy store. But these are the choices of the moment.
We started off frankly pretty indifferent to the whole Birther thing with the guy in the White House. For one thing, we assumed that there was someone who would check it out formally or at least the press would dig deep. Don’t particularly care for Trump for a variety of reasons but he is right about a certificate of live birth proving nothing. Even a foreign diplomat residing in the US who gave birth to a child would have one of those produced by the hospital. Such a child would clearly not be a US citizen but would have that piece of paper. He is also right that it is not only the hospital but anyone could report a live birth and it would be recorded. If you watched the opening episode of the Borgias on TV recently you saw how the Church examined him to assure themselves that the person elected Pope was indeed a man. The Church would not want the embarrassment of electing a Joan of Arc as Pope. I don’t know the details of how they did that in the 114th century. Sometimes for important offices it is important to determine the eligibility of the candidate. Whatever opponents may say about Birthers they can’t argue it is unreasonable to be assured of the qualifications of Presidential candidates. Oh, the newspaper announcements obviously could have been mailed or called in from anywhere. Whatever the outcome, it is a sure bet that this isn’t the end of this tale. At least not till Trump quits talking about it.
If the Federal government does shut down it might be a good time to consider which of the zillion departments, agencies and bureaus we really need. Who would actually miss anything if the Dept of Education never re-opened or the Commerce Department or the Labor Department? Education is not a federal matter under the Constitution, the Interior Department could handle the census and the labor laws already exist and the courts are available to those with labor complaints. Those are literally the tip of the proverbial iceberg.
If we don’t quickly come to grips with our fiscal and balance sheet issues the shutdown will be of little significance anyway. Math is still math. We spend way more than we take in and our debts are huge. The debts can be handled over the long-term but only if we make adjustments soon in the spending curve. Otherwise all other problems are of no matter. On a balance sheet basis we are broke; our profit and loss statement is badly out of whack and has been for years. Very soon the buyers of our Treasuries will start demanding more interest and the interest payments alone could hit 400 billion a year. That assumes we can find any buyers. About the only buyer at the moment is the Federal Reserve and that is merely printing phoney money that does not represent any economic or verifiable value. China has already cut back substantially and Japan won’t be buying nearly as much for the foreseeable future. With inflation growing you and me sure won’t be buying any T-bills at 3.5% interest for ten years.
Why do we have our foot in the mess in Libya? Our we protecting our friends? It would be nice to think so but there isn’t any evidence the folks fighting Qaddafi are modern and moderate in their beliefs. We already see the encroachment of the Muslim Brotherhood into the politics of Egypt. Maybe we went there to eliminate one the most prominent “birthers” there is in Qaddafi. You have read that Qaddafi thinks the guy in the White House is a Muslim and a son of Africa. Just read those crazy letters he sent to the Pres. That whole “son” thing is definitely a Muslim phrase. We can’t see that we have a “dog in this fight” and don’t understand the need to intervene. “Humanitarian” aid and assistance is such a vague concept as to be worthless and certainly not the basis to risk our blood and treasure.
The rebels in Libya have shipped their first oil export and will use the money to fund their revolt. At least that is the report. Who is buying this oil? Who are they making the check payable to? That is really an inquiry worth pursuing. When the money is in a bank at least nominally controlled by the Rebels then who has signatory powers on the account? Lastly, if they have access to the money how do the buy the things they need and want and get them shipped to the eastern half of the country? Can you imagine the insurance rates that would be charged on those ships delivering 100 million worth of goods to Benghazi?
A real blast from the past this week with news about another looming danger from the ozone hole in the Arctic this time. You may recall that we were warned that we would all be dead by now anyway from the ozone holes over the Antarctic about 20 years ago. We didn’t die, they took away some of our cooling fluids and allegedly that helped. But the ozone is a naturally occurring substance and yes it is necessary but Mother Nature controls that more than we do. It went away but now we are told that it is still the lingering bad chemicals we used long ago that are causing the new outbreak. Please, one giant solar flare would blow away huge chunks of the ozone cover in the blink of an eye and we have those on a regular basis. The wonder of it all is that old Mother Earth has endured so much worse over the eons and yet here we are.
“The surest cure for vanity is loneliness”. Thomas Wolfe. www.olcranky.wordpress.com