Thursday, July 27, 2006

It's A Mess

The country and the world, I mean. Here's a rundown:

Heavy fighting in Southern Lebanon, Israel suffers highest casualties of the war.

Israel is now adjusting their war expectations as military, political leaders have come to realize Hezbollah is putting up a fiercer-than-expected resistance: war could go for weeks or months.

Coordinated car bombs, rocket attacks kill at least 31 in upscale Shiite neighborhood in Baghdad today.

The Iraq war is eroding troop morale as many soldiers express dissatisafaction with the war and their mission: "It's like we're driving around waiting to get blown up," says one.

Al Qaeda # 2 Zawahri issued a world-wide call for Muslims to rise up in a holy war against Israel and join the fighting in Gaza and Lebanon until Islam reigns from "Spain to Iraq."

A helicopter carrying Afghans and foreigners crashed in Eastern Afghanistan, killing all 16 on board, including 2 Americans. The Taliban claims to have shot down the helicopter but investigators said there is no evidence to support those claims.

Bipartisan Congressional report finds significant overcharges, wasteful spending and widespread mismanagement in the Department of Homeland Security's contract allocation process.

Exxon profits up 40%, Shell profits up 36%, Hess profits up 89%, gas prices over $3.00 a gallon nationwide (even in places like Detroit, Michigan and Wichita, Kansas.)

No wonder according to the latest WSJ/NBC News poll 65% of the nation feel less confident that life for their children's generation will be better than it was for them and only 27% of the country think the nation is heading in the right direction.

Things are bad here at home and around the world - really, really bad. I remember growing up in the mid to late 70s when the Middle East seemed to be constantly at war, gas prices were horrendously expensive, inflation and unemployment were always rising right along with the crime rate and the future seemed like it was going to be worse than the present and a lot worse than the past.

I think the Sex Pistols summed it up pretty succinctly in God Save The Queen: "No future for you!"

Well, things are a bit different 30 years later, but the feeling is the same: "No future for you!" If the terrorists don't get us, global warming will. If the Iraq war ever ends, we'll be onto the Iran war (or the Syrian war...or the North Korean war...or the Oceania war...) If the housing market doesn't completely tank, the job market will. If I get a modest wage increase, it will quickly be eaten away by higher gas prices, rent, food, and health care costs. I may want to retire by age 65, but there's no guarantee that either Social Security, my pension, or for that matter, the world, will be there for me when I do.

Am I being too pessimistic? Should I be looking at the Bushworld glass as half-full rather than half-empty? Or are things really as fucked up as they seem to me and about 65%-70% of the nation?

My princess was blasting the place with Johhny Rotten the other day. If I could understand him I would probably agree :)

You paint an awsome list, and save others the work, ty.
But I'm really becoming more convincved that political drift isn't about moral uncertainties, but econoimic wellbeing.
I guess the disasdters might help, but they also help distract from the real domestic problems.
The war could go on for weeks or months.... or years?

Remeber when Rumsfeld doubted 6 months. Hey, where is that sneaky little rat anyway? Has anyone seen him lately? No, it is all Condi now. That is all they got.

You bring up a good point on the 70s. We thought it was the end of the world. We couldn't water our lawn. The water bill was $40. The house was worth about $50,000.

Well, it all worked out o.k. We went on a Reagan party and haven't looked back since. All those problems we chose to ignore for the last 25 years are coming to call.

Partys over kids. Sorry. Hope you enjoyed it.

Or maybe not.....
Thanks for the nice comments, cartledge. You didn't have to convince me that economic well-being is behind much of the anxiety people are feeling these days, but your posts on how economic liberalism has shifted to feudalism has educated me on HOW and WHY things feel so bad economically.

praguetwin, I forgot about the water shortages!! That's right - we couldn't gas up the car and we couldn't water the lawn or drink a glass in a restaurant! Ahh, those were good times. Your point about uncertainty in the future is taken. Who knows, things could turn around? But it sure feels bad right now...and just wait until all those baby boomers retire...
Yes, I'm shifting to my dark persona. The prince has been decapitated!
Feudalism? Sometimes I wonder what is going on in the deep recesses of my mind.
I expect it is following some sore of thought progression, and hope it is a logical one.
When you move back beyond librealism there isn’t much apart from feudalism or total chaos.
Yea, remember the kids selling cokes to people waiting in line for gas? Odd days and even days? Funny how now that the problems are even greater it seems to have less day-to-day effect. It is as if all the suffering is on our credit cards and we open the mail box everyday with a wince.
If it's feudalism all over again, and it sure does feel like that's where it's heading, the lord of the manor is Chase Manhattan and Citibank this time around. And Sallie Mae, and the mortgage companies, and Capital One and MBNA and Wachovia. Just keep working, keep spending, and keep making minimum payments and it's all good.

praguetwin, I think debt and the real estate market have changed how people deal with the economic downturn. Remember how difficult it was for people to get credit in the 70's? For the most part, you actually had to prove that you deserved credit before a company would give it to you. Now they give credit to anybody and the majority of Americans are in debt up to their eyeballs. We've dealt w/ it by taking money out of our houses, but how much longer can that go on before the House of Cards crashes? Eventually people will be tapped out credit-wise, house-wise and wage-wise - and then what?
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