Saturday, March 21, 2009

Things are bad, but we dodged this bullet...

From September 10, 2008, a look into 2009. And God Spoke...

A Russian Major takes a drink from a bottle of vodka and passes it to his Lieutenant; drinking on missile patrol is forbidden but he has just become a father and this is a gift from his men. He will share it with them while his unit watches the unusually vivid display of northern lights on this dark clear evening.

They are camped in a clearing in the forest, forty miles from their home base and they are waiting for dawn before moving again. They've been on alert patrol with their mobile missile launcher for several weeks and are looking forward to leave with their families.

The evening darkness is suddenly replaced by a flash of light in the far distance and a deep rumbling follows. The Major grabs his secure phone but it depends on a relay station next to a large chemical plant that has just exploded. The plant was in between the Russian soldiers and their base but they don't realize this. He tries his long range radio but the solar flares have knocked it out; he tries his new satellite phone but he has forgotten that the satellite is below the horizon for another 2 minutes.

He hesitates, but thinks about his family back at the base and gives the order. An aging diesel engine struggles to life, hydraulic motors whine, huge steel jacks press into the ground and the missile cradle lifts skyward. The Major and his lieutenant turn their keys; an alarm sounds and they turn and run for cover.

On the other side of the world; a class of third graders are reading to the American President while the bored press takes pictures. The chief of staff bursts in and whispers in the President's ear, NORAD is tracking a single Russian missile headed for the ABM site in Alaska. The Russians are on the Red Phone, should he patch them through?

Some of the children have noticed the fear on the faces of the adults and are becoming frightened themselves, but the President smiles and indicates no to the call; the children are reassured and go back to reading. President Palin is smiling because God has spoken to her.

Friday, March 20, 2009

No History Before Jan. 20th, a plan of action

New unemployment claims for last week were down slightly which surprised economists but there was a substantial increase in workers who continued on benefits, that was also a surprise. In other words, employers are eliminating jobs at a faster rate than before. This will likely mean an even bigger job loss for March than the previous devastating losses. Out sourcing by US Companies continues to pick up speed with banks even using bailout money to fund new overseas operations. More than a third of manufacturing jobs have been lost since the recession officially began and thousands more lose their jobs each day.

Congress continues to do nothing to protect American jobs. Republicans are certain that they can if they can obstruct enough action that by next year things will be so bad that voters will abandon the Democrats and elect a wave of neofacists. New estimates from the Congressional Budget Office predicting much larger deficits over the next ten years than the WH numbers has given Republicans a cause to rally around. But to predict the future six months from now requires a crystal ball and ten years from now is meaningless speculation.

Now that 45% of Americans believe a Depression is inevitable, all Republicans have to do is convince enough voters that anything that happened before Jan 20th is to paraphrase Bush, "history is so long ago that it doesn’t matter, heh-heh".