Let’s do politics, money matters, memories and other random thoughts of vital importance…..after all isn’t everything of vital importance these days according to the talking heads. So here we go.
The debt ceiling increase is merely the teaser to pull us into the real debate. The problem is a growing Federal budget beyond the reasonable collections of the Feds. We have to reduce seriously the Federal budget of the real disaster will be coming anyway regardless of the debt ceiling increase. We have had the tsunami warning and it has been confirmed by other measurements and now we either get prepared and just allow it to engulf our country and bring us to ruin.
The suggestion that the President or any President could use the 14th amendment to unilaterally increase the debt ceiling is ridiculous. Some of the reasons: 1) that amendment was intended to assure the US creditors they would be paid after the War Between the States 2) Constitutionally only the Congress can initiate the expenditure of money, not the Executive 3) The provision is question says the debt that can’t be questioned must be “authorized by law”; well, Congress passed a Debt limit statute decades ago and any increase outside that law would not be “authorized by law” 4) Because there at a minimum would be serious questions about the actions of the President and litigation for sure, the global markets would not buy these bonds issued only under the authority of the President, the risk factor would be too high; if the bonds were found by a court to be invalid then how would those bond holders get paid? 5) the public relations aspect of using the 14th amendment would be horrendous, it would put the US truly on the level of a Banana Republic being ruled by a tin pot dictator by decree. It would never work.
The Chinese are finishing up work on their new aircraft carrier purchased from the Ukraine. Two more are getting ready. Those carriers will be able to roam the vast Pacific at will in only a matter of a few years. What you have you will use sooner or later. Where will they decide to use their carriers in ten years? Off the coast of South America to support some new Hugo Chavez? Maybe they will use them to “protect” the ethnic Chinese in Singapore? That tension has been there for decades. It is a real matter of concern for those who occasionally look up beyond what they can see right at their feet.
What is the positive side of the Arab Spring so far? In Egypt the Muslim Brotherhood is set to be the dominant party in power come the fall elections. How can that be good. In Yemen–well, we don’t even have a program to tell the teams and players. You tell me if you know who the good guys are there. In Libya the lead rebelmilitary leader was mysteriously killed. A tribal conflict? The prediction of our fearless leader that this would last days or weeks seems to have faded into a vague blur. And then we see the Lockerbie bomber in the crowd cheering on the Quaddafi supporters. In Syria the news is spotty at best and the Baath Party for all we can discern is still firmly in control. You remember the Baath Party–those wonderful people who brought us Saddam. Those are only some of the high points in the region and yet the State Department is throwing a fit saying we can’t cut back on aid to the tune of billions to the region. exactly what are we getting or going to get for our money.
Geography and Mother Nature always throw us a few surprises. The Equator is generally a very hot place. We all know that. Glaciers are in cold weather locations. Yet some of the largest mountain glaciers are within shouting distance of the Equator. Not exactly where you would expect any to be. But look at a detailed topographic map of New Guinea. You will notice a chain of very high mountains that run down the middle of the island. Most of the island and certainly most of those pictures from National geographic so the very hot jungle areas of the island. But on those mountain tops are a series of large glacier that have been there for millenia. You might not believe it but you can have a snow ball fight on New Guinea. Ok, now you owe me for winning your next bar bet.
Another soldier has been arrested for planning an attack on Ft. Hood. You’ve seen it in the news. But you have to really read lots of the articles and read through the lower paragraphs before they (the media) ever get around to telling you he is Muslim, surprise, surprise and that he had been on Jihadist websites and was bent on killing Infidels to avenge the Muslim psychiatrist who killed over a dozen folks there over a year ago.
In spite of all the hyperbole about the debt ceiling debate and the imminent crash of our economy and the immediate rise in all interest rates, it is interesting to note that the Treasury held two auctions for Treasury bills this week and there were buyers. The 10 year T-bill in fact is a bit lower now than a couple of weeks ago. People only yesterday were willing to buy them for only 2.95% return on their money. Amazing. Some one with real money at stake doesn’t seem to be too worried about any default.
The original lease for oil exploration in Saudi Arabia by Aramco was paid with gold coins. Roosevelt’s restriction on gold made in impossible to make the payment. But gold is what the Saudi King wanted and nothing else. So Morgan Guaranty used its London office to buy gold sovereigns and delivered them by ship to Saudi Arabia where they were counted out in front of the King. Restrictions on capital and money always are counter productive, people around the world will find a way to move the money were needed and where it provides the best return. www.olcranky.wordpress.com