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...I just wish we had something to party about. The Obama foreign policy disaster--with which we are stuck for another two years--has continued to rocket down the rails towards a twenty foot thick concrete barrier. The economy--holy shit. And there's so much other stuff wrong right now that--well, let us count the ways, shall we?
1) Russia. Why sanctions against Russia? MH17, Ukraine? What? Why? (And what happened to the "reset" button?) The only result we're getting from this is escalating tensions with someone that we have historically tried not to antagonize.
2) ISIS. Northern Syria, the middle of Iraq, an entire region under their control. Christians targeted for execution or subjugation. How long until they take Baghdad? These are serious hardcore islamists, and they won't be interested in peaceful coexistence.
3) Palestine. Israel is finally doing something about Hamas, but now there's a bunch of insanity coming from Jerusalem. John F'in Kerry is making things worse rather than better because he's just as incompetent as his boss. This has the potential to blow up into a huge mess that could leave Israel fighting for its existence against an entire region.
4) Ebola. This is the worst outbreak in history of a very scary disease. (Stop eating fruit bats for crying out loud! They make you die! Or at least cook the damned things.) This could kill half the population of the world if it's allowed to get out of hand.
5) Open borders. This whole "unaccompanied children" thing has to be stopped, and we have got to stop coddling big business by allowing them to get away with employing illegal aliens, which depresses wage growth. We further have to make it cost more to outsource than insource Americans by American companies, which leads us to
6) Unemployment. By gaming the numbers the BLS makes it look as if we have nice low unemployment, but we do not, and anyone who believes we do is clearly incapable of exercising enough judgement to be allowed to vote. By paying illegals "under the table" businesses pay a lot less in wages and don't have to mess around with doing reams of government paperwork...but it also means that legal residents don't get jobs, and when they do, they don't get paid much.
7) Runaway government deficits. Obama's policies have increased the national debt by $7,000 billion since he took office in 2009. He has had help, though, because the GOP has not exactly stood in his way. No one in the federal government has any real interest in reining in the profligate overspending which has been a hallmark of our government since 1986 at least.
8) Massive debt. Not just government debt but personal debt, because unless you're independently wealthy you can't buy anything without borrowing the money to do it. House, car, boat, motorcycle--it used to be you could save up to buy these things, but that's pretty much no longer the case and hasn't been for a rather long time. There is a vast amount of bad debt in the system which was not allowed to clear in the 2007 crash (because it would have put a lot of very large financial institutions on Wall Street out of business, and a lot of politicians would have had to start earning an honest living) and by continuing to keep that crap afloat we are making the eventual collapse much worse. The longer we do it, the more dire it will be when it happens.
9) The breakdown of "rule of law". Right now large corporations and well-connected people can get away with crimes that would put the ordinary person in jail for a very long time. Jon Corzine essentially stole hundreds of millions of dollars of investor money--losing it while using it for his own purposes--and he wasn't even charged with a crime. (Meanwhile if you get caught stealing a pack of ramen from the supermarket because you're starving, you'll go to jail.)
10) Militarized police forces. The increasing prevalence of no-knock raids and asset forfeiture cases demonstrates that the police have begun to lose sight of their traditional "serve and protect" mission, or have willingly abandoned it in favor of "respect my authoritah!" Instead of the helpful public servant we now have to fear jackbooted thugs who will brook no disrespect. If you make the mistake of thinking you're being attacked by thugs (and who could blame you?) and defend yourself, you'll be shot dead and the shooter will suffer no repercussions. In fact, even if you're bound and prone, the cops can execute you as they see fit if they decide you're too much trouble. It wasn't this bad even seven years ago; what happened?
Any two of these together makes for a bad combination, but a manageable one. All ten--and these are just the ten worst issues we have right now--well, it's a lot of plates to keep spinning. And this list doesn't even include anything about China and Japan and the rest of southeast Asia, which is its own hot mess.
So here we go with my Mom's template for Democrat presidencies: "He's going to ruin the economy and get us into a war." (I actually have to wonder if that was original to her, or if it came from her father. Either way, Obama's doing it.)
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Damn, I'm just a ray of sunshine today, ain't I?
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...we could use a real one. It's a gloomy day. If it were less humid it might be pleasant out there, but instead it's just sticky.
Last night I broke down and ordered a chain for the motorcycle. I'd been pricing them on Ebay and looking at advertisements and catalogs, and finally I realized that if I bought one from Dennis Kirk (the big thick catalog in my bathroom) it would not cost me a lot more than getting one of dubious provenance from Ebay, so I went ahead and did it.
Should be here Thursday. Whee!