"He who laughs has not yet been told the terrible news." -- Bertolt Brecht.
"Brecht was an optimist." -- A friend of mine, yesterday.
Below are two opinion pieces that reflect a conversation I had yesterday about Obama, where we are as a country and who Saint Barry truly serves. Was he merely blundering or was this really part of somebody's plan?
I pointed out that The Lightworker's policies and actions could hardly be worse for the country if he had planned it that way. These are not the actions of someone who wants a second term. The passions he is playing with here can easily explode. Remember that revolutions happen not when a population is downtrodden and oppressed, but rather when rising expectations are disapppointed. No one has raised expectations more than Obama. Unfortunately, the folks whose expectations have been irrationally and cruelly raised -- "Barack's going to make my house payment!" -- are precisely the folks whose disappointment can most easily be turned violent.
I have been trying to get my daughters to understand how fragile the rule of law really is. To this end, I have been letting them see youtube images of the LA riots of 1992. For example,
The strength of the social contract in this country has only deteriorated since 1992. The criminal gangs and the "gangsta" culture have grown like Topsy in the past two decades. The lumpenproletariat of our cities is more violent and far better armed than in 1992. And Katrina demonstrated that in a real emergency, half of the LEO "Only Ones" will head to the hills with Momma and the other half will either be looting themselves or divesting honest citizens of the means of self-defense.
Yet Obama is laying the groundwork for a systemic failure of the rule of law. We Three Percenters are going to discover that, for us anyway, we are ALL Korean grocers.
We are left with the old crime-solving detective's question, "Qui bono?" "Who benefits?"
In the end, I think, historians will be astounded at how fast the United States of America collapsed. We should not be. The collectivist termites have been at the foundations of our Republic for most of a century now. The wonder is not that it will collapse. The wonder is that it has stood this long.
Yet, how to account for Obama? Everything he has done has served to discredit him, even with his own base. Anger builds everywhere over just about everything. Take the AIG bonuses. The Obamanoids knew about them before they even took office. They had to have known how intensely angering they would be. Yet they did nothing to stop them.
Take as well Obama's refusal to produce his birth certificate. I have not weighed in on this before, but even a self-obsessed narcissist could not fail to understand how such a refusal to prove his citizenship must strike at the heart of his legitimacy. Even a clever forgery would be better than a refusal. Yet refusal, and corrosive doubt, is what he has given us.
The removal of the United States from the world equation will only serve the interests of America's traditional enemies. "Who benefits?" Perhaps we should rather ask, "Who does he serve?"
This will not end well.
From Peggy Noonan at the Wall street Journal we have this:
Wall Street Journal
MARCH 13, 2009
There's No Pill for This Kind of Depression
by Peggy Noonan
Six months after the collapse, a "pandemic of fear."
It is six months since Lehman fell and the crash (or the great recession, or the collapse—it's time it got its name) began. An aspect of the story given less attention than it is due, perhaps because it doesn't lend itself to statistics, is the psychic woe beneath the economic blow. There are two parts to this. One is that we have arrived at the first fatigue. The heart-pumping drama of last September is gone, replaced by the drip-drip-drip of pink slips, foreclosures and closed stores. We are tired. It doesn't feel like 1929, but 1930. People are in a kind of suspended alarm, waiting for the future to unspool and not expecting it to unspool happily.
Two, the economy isn't the only reason for our unease. There's more to it. People sense something slipping away, a world receding, not only an economic one but a world of old structures, old ways and assumptions. People don't talk about this much because it's too big, but I suspect more than a few see themselves, deep down, as "the designated mourner," from the title of the Wallace Shawn play.
I asked a friend, a perceptive writer, if he is seeing what I'm seeing. Yes, he said, there is "a pervasive sense of anxiety, as though everyone feels they're on thin ice." He wonders if it's "maybe a sense that we've had it too easy in the years since 9/11 and that the bad guys are about to appear on the horizon." An attorney in a Park Avenue firm said, "Things look like they have changed and may not come back." He contrasted the feeling now on the streets with 2001. "Things are subdued. . . . Nine-eleven was brutal and graphic. Yet because there was real death and loss of life folks could grieve and then move on." But today, "the dread is chronic. . . . Tom Wolfe's Masters of the Universe were supposed to be invincible. The pillars of media were supposed to be there forever. The lawyers were supposed to feed through thick and thin. Not anymore." He quoted Ecclesiastes: "The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning; but the heart of fools is in the house of mirth." We are worried, he said, "about a way of life, about the loss of upward trajectory."
The sale of antidepressants and antianxiety drugs is widespread. In New York their use became common after 9/11. It continued through and, I hypothesize, may have contributed to, the high-flying, wildly imprudent Wall Street of the '00s. We look for reasons for the crash and there are many, but I wonder if Xanax, Zoloft and Klonopin, when taken by investment bankers, lessened what might have been normal, prudent anxiety, or helped confuse prudent anxiety with baseless, free-floating fear. Maybe Wall Street was high as a kite and didn't notice. Maybe that would explain Bear Stearns, and Merrill, and Citi.
Gun sales continue up. The FBI's criminal background check system showed a 23% increase in February over the previous year, a 29% increase in January, a 24% increase in December and a 42% increase in November, when a record 1.5 million background checks were performed. Yes, people fear President Obama will take away the guns he thinks they cling to, but a likely equal contributor to what The Wall Street Journal's MarketWatch called a "gun-buying binge" is captured in the slogan on one firearms maker's Web site: "Smith & Wesson stands for protection." People are scared.
They are taking cash out of the bank in preparation for a long-haul bad time. A friend in Florida told me the local bank was out of hundred-dollar bills on Wednesday because a man had come in the day before and withdrawn $90,000. Five weeks ago, when I asked a Wall Street titan what one should do to be safe in the future, he took me aback with the concreteness of his advice, and its bottom-line nature. Everyone should try to own a house, he said, no matter how big or small, but it has to have some land, on which you should learn how to grow things. He also recommended gold coins, such as American Eagles. I went to the U.S. Mint Web site the next day, but there was a six-week wait due to high demand. (I just went on the Web site again: Production of gold Eagle coins "has been temporarily suspended because of unprecedented demand" for bullion.)
In Manhattan, Catholic church attendance appears to be up. Everyone seems to agree that this is so, though the archdiocese says it won't have numbers until next fall. But yes, said Joseph Zwilling, the director of communications, "from what I've heard anecdotally from various priests," the pews have been fuller. The rector at St. Patrick's told him Ash Wednesday was "the busiest yet," with 60,000 people coming for ashes. At my local church at noon mass one day this week, there were 40 people when normally there are roughly a dozen, and the communion line stretched to the back of the church. Something is happening. Yesterday a friend sent the warning of the Evangelical pastor David Wilkerson, of Times Square Church, that a new catastrophe is imminent. This is causing a small sensation in evangelical circles.
To me, one of the signal signs of the times is the number of people surfing the Internet looking for . . . something. One friend looks for small farms in distressed rural areas. Another logs on late at night looking for a house to buy in a small town out West, or down South, or in the Deep South. She is moving all around America in her imagination. I asked if she had a picture in her head of what she was looking for, and she joked that she wanted to go where Atticus Finch made his summation to the jury. I don't think it was really a joke. She's not looking for a new place, she's looking for the old days.
I spoke to a Manhattan-based psychiatrist who said there is an uptick in the number of his patients reporting depression and anxiety. He believes part of the reason is that we're in a new place, that "When people move into a new home they increasingly recognize the importance of their previous environment." Our new home is postprosperity America; the old one was the abundance; we miss it. But he also detected a political dimension to his patients' anguish. He felt that many see our leaders as "selfish and dishonest," that "our institutions have been revealed as incompetent and undependable." People feel "unled, overwhelmed," the situation "seemingly unsalvageable." The net result? He thinks what he is seeing, within and without his practice, is a "psychological pandemic of fear" as to the future of things—of our country, and even of mankind.
So where does that leave us? The writer and philosopher Laurens van der Post, in his memoir of his friendship with Carl Jung, said, "We live not only our own lives but, whether we know it or not, also the life of our time." We are actors in a moment of history, taking part in it, moving it this way or that as we move forward or back. The moment we are living now is a strange one, a disquieting one, a time that seems full of endings.
Too bad there's no pill for that.
From Financial Sense comes this:
Chaos, Confusion, and Civil War
by J. R. Nyquist
Weekly Column Published: 03.13.2009
On 29 December 2008 the Wall Street Journal ran a piece about Igor Panarin, dean of the Russian Foreign Ministry’s diplomatic academy.
A former KGB officer, Panarin made a splash by predicting that America will probably come under martial law by the end of 2009, and may fracture into several states by 2011. When this happens, says Panarin, Russia and China will become the mainstays of a new global order.
Americans are naturally skeptical of Panarin’s analysis. But his conclusions are quite pedestrian. If North America sank beneath the ocean like the fabled continent of Atlantis, the world would belong to Russia and China. No significant obstacle would stand in their way. The proof of this is found in the history of all empires, in the character of the leaders in Beijing and Moscow, and in the appalling weakness of Europe and Japan. Unthinking people are sometimes heard to say that Russia and China aren’t expansionist powers. It is laughable to think this, because you don’t become the largest country or the most populous unless you’ve conquered a considerable territory inhabited by many millions of people.
Without the United States in the picture, Russia and China would be the dominant powers. They would dictate terms to the world. No country or group of countries could possibly stand against them. This is because Russia and China possess thousands of nuclear weapons. The small nuclear arsenals of France, Britain, Israel and India do not pose a serious threat to large countries with large arsenals like Russia and China. Psychologically speaking, these small powers are helpless against great powers.
If Panarin is right about the breakup of the United States, then he is also right about the coming of a new global order under Moscow and Beijing. But is he right about the breakup of the United States? It was an anonymous Russian diplomat quoted in Pravda last July, who first intimated that the United States was about to suffer a profound crisis – a crisis of existence. How did the Russian diplomat know that the United States was headed for a financial crash? He knew because Russia has the best information service in the world, formerly known as the KGB. Russian spies have penetrated everywhere, and provide high quality information to people like Panarin – who is a “former” KGB analyst.
The Russian intelligence services have long tracked economic, financial and demographic changes in the United States. Russian analysts know that certain trends lead to political crisis. Such trends include ethnic balkanization, an ideological split in the ruling class, rising indebtedness, economic collapse, and declining moral standards. A country like the United States is ripe for civil war. If this should happen, foreign powers would intervene and the country would be split along geographical lines: California and the West would fall under Chinese control, Texas and the south would go to Mexico, and Russia would lay claim to Alaska. “It would be reasonable for Russia to lay claim to Alaska,” says Panarin. “It was part of the Russian empire for a long time.”
Panarin is saying, basically, that the present economic crisis signals a political crisis. The divisions within American society, and the narcissistic pathologies of consumer society, will cause an implosion. The people of America will turn against one another. The protective nuclear umbrella provided by the United States will cease to function. Europe and Asia will fall to Russia and China. From that point forward, the outcome of every political conflict on the planet will be determined in Moscow or Beijing. This would include, of course, the conflict within America itself.
Could America turn against itself in a matter of months? There are already inklings of a fissure. Sen. Robert Byrd (D-W.Va) wrote a letter to President Barack Obama warning the administration to desist from bypassing the Senate’s authority over Executive Branch appointments. According to Senator Byrd, the new administration is creating new agencies out of the White House that “can threaten the Constitutional system of checks and balances.” In effect, Byrd explained, the White House is taking “direction and control of programmatic areas that are the statutory responsibility of Senate-confirmed officials.”
The new administration sees the economic crisis as an opportunity to create a new bureaucracy, less accountable and more powerful than ever. This new bureaucracy is preparing to take charge in the areas of health care reform, urban affairs, energy policy and the fight against climate change. Each new government office signifies a massive claim against the well-being of every American. The fight against global climate change will put the country in an environmental stranglehold. Health care reform signifies the nationalization of 14 percent of the U.S. economy. And what is meant by “urban affairs”? It is a wealth transference program bound to demoralize the suburbs. Administration energy policy promises expensive, unworkable energy alternatives while ignoring enormous oil deposits recently discovered under Montana and the Dakotas.
The Obama administration is headed for failure on every front. The economic healing process is being interfered with by a government that doesn’t know what it’s doing. The country is bound to suffer grievously, and lose patience. We already catch a glimpse of the future from Alan Keyes, who recently said that the country was headed for “chaos, confusion and civil war.” According to Keyes, “Obama is a radical communist, and I think it is becoming clear. That is what I told people in Illinois and now everybody realizes it’s true. He is going to destroy this country, and we are either going to stop him or the United States of America is going to cease to exist.”
The sentiments expressed by Mr. Keyes are those attending civil war. But matters have already taken a turn for the worse. There is a rumor in Washington that is making the rounds. It is alleged that the president has fended off dozens of law suits regarding his citizenship status, without producing a birth certificate to prove that he is a natural born citizen. In fact, Keyes will not acknowledge that Obama is actually the president. According to Keyes, “[Obama] has refused to provide proof that he is in fact a natural born citizen, and his Kenyan relations say he was born in Nairobi at a time when his mother was too young to transmit U.S. citizenship.”
The lines are being drawn, and we are headed for national tragedy. Panarin’s analysis isn’t farfetched at all. The country needs to wake up. Danger approaches, and it is coming on fast.