Saturday, September 29, 2007

Future generations are saddled with our debts

With the U.S. government fast approaching its current $8.965 trillion credit limit, the Senate on Thursday gave final congressional approval of an $850 billion increase in U.S. borrowing authority.
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This money doesn't come out of thin air. It's borrowed. With interest due. We're saddling the next generation with a huge debt because of our fiscal irresponsibility. The one trillion dollars (let alone all the deaths and destroyed lives)thrown into Iraq isn't helping either.
Perhaps we need economists in Congress rather than lawyers.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

How you treat prisoners matters,,2174648,00.html

...Foley used his official position as passport control officer in the embassy to save thousands of Jews from the death camps. He helped Paul Rosbaud send his Jewish wife, Hilde, and their only daughter, Angela, to the safety of the UK. But Rosbaud, who worked as a scientific journalist, insisted on remaining in Germany to fight Hitler's regime from within.

Born in Graz in 1896, he served in the Austrian army during the first world war. Rosbaud's experience of being captured by British forces, and his appreciation of their civility, created an enduring impression.

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The UK got one of their best secret agents in World War II because they treated him fairly when he was a prisoner of theirs. Think about that. How many sworn enemies are we creating by how we treat prisoners in Iraq and Afghanistan, when we could be making a good impression instead.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

oil production to peak in 2010, while demand increases

If you have rising demand for oil from India, China, and elsewhere, at the same time that supply will start to dwindle, that is a problem.
A smart society would wean itself from oil in favor or renewable, less polluting energy resources. Is the US preparing for this change? Not fast enough, I don't think.

Friday, September 14, 2007

dollar collapse in sight?

The world is getting tired of financing our overspending. I never hear investment advisers and other experts comment on this. If no one buys our bonds, we'll have to make a very sudden belt-tightening maneuver that will be very painful. Or, we can raise our own interest rates, which will slow the economy. Thanks Bush for such wonderful choices!

Sunday, September 9, 2007

LA Times says; prepare for change! US is slipping

Like all empires before it, the U.S. will slip from the top of the heap. Let's start getting ready.
By David Rieff
September 9, 2007
In Washington these days, people talk a lot about the collapse of the bipartisan foreign policy consensus that existed during the Cold War. But however bitter today's disputes are about Iraq or the prosecution of the so-called global war on terrorism, there is one bedrock assumption about foreign policy that remains truly bipartisan: The United States will remain the sole superpower, and the guarantor of international security and global trade, for the foreseeable future. In other words, whatever else may change in the decades to come, the 21st century will be every bit as much of an American century as the 20th.

This assumption rests, in turn, on two interrelated beliefs.

The first is that because no country or alliance of states has shown any great desire to challenge U.S. preeminence -- or demonstrated the means of doing so -- no country is going to. China's interests are regional at most, the argument goes, and the European Union is too divided, too unwilling or too weak to rebuild its once-formidable military machine. As for Russia, believers in the durability of a world order anchored in Washington insist that its declining population and excessive reliance on its energy wealth will in the long run preclude it from playing a central role in global affairs.

The second is that the world needs the U.S. and appreciates the role it plays. (In some versions of this argument, the world needs the U.S. far more than the U.S. needs the world.) If there have been no serious challenges to American hegemony to date, it is asserted, it is because the U.S. provides what are referred to by foreign policy analysts as "global goods": It maintains political and economic stability around the world, it guarantees a democratic capitalist world order and, by virtue of its unparalleled military strength, it acts as a world policeman of last resort.
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Read the entire article...,0,7088267.story?track=mostviewed-storylevel

some useful links

Back Home Magazine

Back To Basics web site

Back Woods Home Magazine

Guide to Homeless Living













Saturday, September 8, 2007

New windpower system for your home?

Government subsidies would be nice.
There are solutions to what's wrong now. It takes interest, investigation, and implementation.

Monday, September 3, 2007

US not even in the top 10 of world democracies?

1. Sweden
2. Iceland
3. Netherlands
4. Norway
5. Denmark
6. Finland
7. Luxembourg
8. Australia
9. Canada
10. Switzerland

So... where is the US? Number 17.
The details of how this list was created are important, but for an influencial paper to leave out the US even from the top 15 is very telling that something is wrong here. shows their methodology.

Who is the prophet?

On This Week yesterday morning, George Will and Robert Reich gave completely different views of the future US economy:

Will: “I think we’re now in the 69th consecutive month of recovery, despite of the doom-sayers, one of which is sitting to my right. Uh - I think the economy will not be an issue because the economy is in terrific shape.”
Reich: “A recession is coming - and you can count on my words. Unfortunately.”

Which view is correct? I go with Reich.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Di Caprio's film "The 11th Hour"

I just saw Leonardo Di Caprio's film "the 11th Hour." I was actually disappointed in it, even though it had a lot of information. Maybe I just didn't like the style; talking heads of some kind of organization you've never heard of mixed in with 5 second blasts of interesting but disjointed videos of environmental stuff. Al Gore's "An Inconvenient Truth" was mostly just Al standing there talking with some powerpoint thrown in, but I think it provided more useful information. "The 11th Hour" attempted to smash too much unsubstantiated (I don't think talking heads = proof) information into too little time and thus actually gave less.
Nevertheless, I think someone on the fence about the environment would have been swayed to see that something not only needs to be done, but can be done.
If I had made the movie, I'd have just had the biggest experts in simple terms explain the problem and how definitive it is (15 minutes) , then cover things that can be done (an hour), and then HOW we can get there from here (15 minutes).