We all just wrapped up one year and are embarking anew with a fresh calendar so here are the thoughts from the past and ones for the conjectures of the future.
Sure be glad when the Iowa caucuses are done. Enjoy staying up with the political arena but it has gone on long enough. Besides my memory is that the winner of the Iowa votes have had very mixed results down the road in other primaries. It is no better predictor of future nominees than general public speculation.
It always seems like a lot more work taking down all those Christmas decorations than it does when you are putting them up around the house.
It took the European Union about 10 years to put together the Euro and have it finally launch as a real world currency. One wonders if it will take them that long to undo that currency agreement?
Interesting that concern and worry over a renewed and powerful Germany in Europe gave rise to NATO , the very idea of the European Union and so many other agreements over the decades since the end of WWII. The French in particular have been very wary of a revitalized Germany. But here we are and Germany is the dominant player in the European Union. Sacre Bleu!
With Iran stepping up its military presence in the Straits of Hormuz you have to wonder how bad things would be if there was another accident like 20 something years ago when we shot down that airliner by accident thinking it was taking hostile action against our fleet. Such an incident right now would really ratchet up the tensions which are already high enough. Here’s hoping all those Bluejackets are staying alert and that gunnery officers are on their toes.
In the old west during the days of the cattle drives the cook was far more than the guy who did the cooking. He was the doctor more often than not and he was also the blacksmith to mend tools and equipment and he was the farrier for the horses. Next to the boss he was the number two man and brooked no disagreement with anyone.
In case you have forgotten don’t forget the tax increases due next year. One I guess should assume that the FICA taxes will be reduced again this year by 2% but then go back up next year. I mean they can’t keep the “holiday” going very long or Social Security will be an even more endangered species of entitlement. On top of that don’t forget the 3.2% increase on most dividends, capital gains etc. and there is the surcharge for high earners on Medicare withholding. All in all a pretty steep increase in taxes for one year. Of course there is the concern like always that tax increases of any sort will produce the inevitable drag on the economy. As the date looms closer next fall it will receive more attention or at least one would think so.
As always it is amazing and amusing how easily people can get misled on topics broached by politicians. Gringrich’s thoughts about reining in the judiciary have been denounced by some as radical or unconstitutional. I only offer the thought that you read the Constitution for yourself. The idea of eliminating certain courts is not revolutionary because it is an idea embedded in the Constitution itself. Article Three has from day one provided that Congress can create “such inferior courts” blah blah blah. Other than the Supreme Court all other courts exist at the pleasure of Congress and always have. Thomas Jefferson for one had tremendous fights with the judiciary and considered eliminating District Courts and the removal of some US Marshalls considered too political and/or corrupt.
How many moms gave a big sigh of relief this morning? Much as they love their little munchkins they all started back to school today for the spring semester and mom will have a few hours to herself for the first time since they got out of school for Christmas.
At the same time that Europe has been touting its “union” it is interesting to note that there has also been a serious move for regionalism or separatism in their bailiwick. Belgium is a good example. Since European Union got up an on-going those Belgians have been quite busy splitting up the power and authority of central government. Flanders has it own parliament as does Wallonia and then there are special assemblies for linguistics groups along the lines of the Dutch speaking and the French speaking. Even their executive functions in Brussels require two each of Dutch speakers and French speakers. And for good measure they even have local self government for the handful of German speakers along the eastern border of Wallonia. They love the welfare state but just don’t trust the central authority as much as advertised if you only followed the headline news. Of course all those separate entities also have their own administrative personnel, bureaucrats. Similar events have occurred in Spain (Catalonia, Basques country) , in the Tyrol region, northern Italy and of course we all know that Czechoslovakia is now two countries. There are more examples. Read and research yourself. Always look a little beyond just the title of the Chapter when reading the book.
No man is an island unless he is asking for a loan from you. www.olcranky.wordpress.com