As long as the politicians keep moving their lips we’ll have something to discuss besides the weather….
The recent lively discussions regarding renewed efforts for more gun control mostly avoid or completely avoid the elephant in the room. Cuomo talks about his restrictions complying with the 2nd Amendment rights of hunters as though hunting was what those folks had in mind with the Amendment was approved. Not true. Also so many proponent talk about the abuse of that Amendment or that it leads to abuse. True that does occur but, my Lord, how many abuses of the 1st Amendment right of freedom of the Press do we have to endure every day? Some severely challenge our trust in that Amendment right but we stick by it. Those who use and abuse the 1st Amendment don’t have to explain or justify their use of that right and that is as it should be. Same should be true for the 2nd Amendment. I don’t need to justify to anyone for any reason why I wish to exercise my right to own a gun or guns. Fact is that the most important reason for the citizens to have guns is to let the Government know we do have them and can use them if the Government over reaches or tries to rule in a tyrannical manner. Yes, the Government should always take pause that a free people can only be pushed so far. That is the unspoken raison d’etre behind the 2nd Amendment.
The Germans in the last week or so have announced their intention to repatriate over 374 tons of their gold held and the New York Federal Reserve and the central bank in Paris. I have no special insight into the future price of gold; you can make your own assessment but it is clearly highly valued by even the socialist leaning egg-heads who run the monetary and financial affairs of the Germans. If gold doesn’t really have any intrinsic value and isn’t a hedge against inflation then what difference could it possibly make where it is stored? Indeed ask yourself why the Germans have any gold at all if it is of no consequence. As an aside it is interesting that the New York Fed still stores the physical gold for some many nations around the world. It is stored in secured bins in the bowels of the building and they literally move the ingots from one cage to another when nation pays nation and such instructions are received.
Japan and China continue their games in the East China sea over those small islands. Small places can have enormous effects on world affairs. Look how WWI started in an obscure Balkan nation with the assassination of an obscure prince or archduke. Most around the world would not have been able to get within a few hundred miles of locating that place or knowing who the archduke was but they certainly learned of the consequences a few months later as the war settled into the trenches from Switzerland to the North Sea. Japan and China will not go to all out war over those islands but there might well be some shots fired and deaths between the two before all is resolved. It will be big headlines sometime in the next few years for a while.
Many hate globalization for ideological and social reasons. They argue that it is capitalism’s way to thwart the ambitions and hopes of the middle class and third world nations. You have seen their protests in Seattle and other locations over the last decade or so. Of course some of the greatest beneficiaries and participants in the globalization movement are those paragons of capitalism China and Russia, to say nothing of the socialist European Union. One factor cannot be denied and that is that globalization whatever its faults, if any, it dramatically reduces the likelihood of another great world war or a war between major powers. The interconnectedness of globalization makes it very difficult for those large powers to contemplate a major armed conflict. It could happen of course but the odds have been reduced because regardless of outcome of any future major war even the “winning” side would suffer huge economic loss and its own people would have a much lower standard of living for decades because of the cost and disruption of any such war.
The guy in the White House is either historically challenged or so filled with hubris as to boggle the mind. That line about “peace in our time” echos such sad mistakes and missteps of the last century. You recall that Hitler had already invaded the Rhineland and absorbed some of the Czechs and Austria when Neville Chamberlain went to confer with him in Munich. He negotiated with Hitler without pre condition (like some have proposed with Iran) and even brought back a deal. That famous quote comes from his remarks after he got off the plane returning to Britain as he waved a piece of paper in his hand saying we have “peace in our time” because of his negotiating skills. Of course what he and the world got was WWII 18 months later. He had claimed he could bargain with Herr Hitler. He showed him respect. He didn’t say bad things about him. Chamberlain did all the touchy-feely things some in the Democratic party claim we should be doing with the Muslim world today. Appeasement is not a winning strategy; it is simply surrender to an opponent just on a more gradual time reference.
The Democrats and press keep harping on the alleged “default” if the debt ceiling isn’t raised. Well, there wouldn’t need to be a default at all. The Federal Reserve could simply buy all the Treasury bills and notes as they mature. The Fed regrettably can print money for any reason it deems appropriate. Hell, they have bought over 2 trillion dollars worth of mortgages and Treasuries since the guy in the White House took office to fund the deficits of the Federal government. What’s a few hundred billion more? Last year the Fed bought 75% of ALL Treasuries issued. While this would be perfectly legal it is probably more transparency than the Democrats would want; some might start to think long and hard about what the dollar is really worth when they see fake money printed to buy debt to support programs that can’t otherwise be paid for.
Social and economic advice from a strange source–“Call it what you will, incentives are what get people to work harder.” N. Khrushchev. Soviet leader of the ‘5o’s and early 60’s. http://www.olcranky.wordpress.com