Friday, July 19, 2013
Get a big bag of popcorn and pull up a seat
Where to begin? How about Detroit? The largest municipal bankruptcy in history. Nothing highlights the decline of American manufacturing like the demise of Detroit. It used to be a rich city, where hard working blue collar people made good wages. Now large parts of the city look like a zombie apocalypse movie.
The robbery of the little people is ongoing. Detroit has some large pension liabilities that most likely won't get paid. The city acts like those pensions are a surprise, like they weren't at the negotiation table all those years. Those workers were part of a give and take process that took benefits in the form of pensions rather than some other form of compensation. It's not their fault that the politicians and bureaucrats of the city mismanaged things. No doubt the city was overtaken by forces beyond its borders and control, but even a blind man could have seen trouble coming. Problems can be kicked down the road only soon long. For Detroit, the time of reckoning is here.
I think Jimmy Carter is my my favorite ex-president. He says the US “has no functioning democracy.” Don't look for the article in any American Media. After all, he's only a former President.
Snowden really got the ball rolling by revealing the extent of spying going on, both foreign and domestic. The revelations keep on coming. Here's one of my favorites: The NSA admits to two or three “hops” from the initial suspect. They look at their friends, and their friends friends.
Anyone else play the game: Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon? The theory is that there is only about 6 degrees of separation from any two people on the planet. The NSA is already up to 3. Knowing how mission creep works its way into bureaucracies, before long they'll be up to 6. By then everyone in the whole world will be a terror suspect. No wonder they are afraid.
A system that catches everybody, catches nobody.
What do countries in trouble do? Go to war, of course. Nothing like a great big war to distract everyone. Oh look, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Martin Dempsey, says the US is considering using military force in Syria. Bingo! Right on schedule.
Let's tally up the score. Politicians who can't manage government, a spy program that would make the Stasi blush, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stasi a non functioning democracy, and the generals beating war drums.
I'm willing to accept the surrender of all these folks. The war is over and they've lost. Unfortunately, they just don't know it yet. When individuals and institutions have zero legitimacy, their power teeters on brute force alone. Look guys, we've been really really patient so far. Nobody has to get hurt. Kindly disable the police state and we'll all live like humans.