Monday, January 13, 2014

Syria Conflict at Stalemate

As the world's attention shifts to the Olympics, and to other troubled spots around the globe, the problem in Syria continues to degrade. The Americans are clearly in the camp of the opposition, although to what extent the US is willing to help rebels is unclear, especially given the regime is backed by Russia. New players are also entering the game, some reported to be even more ruthless than al-queda. Proponents of war suggest this is a prime example where letting the parties fight it out rather than trying to pull back with ceasefires would prevent the conflict from prolonging, and minimize civilian suffering. A clear winner in either way would in the least add some clarity to the situation. But that's not what's happening and it's over simplistic to watch the two-sides 'fight it out'. As the conflict prolongs factions will become more pronounced furthering the complexity. But at the end of the day the average Syrian, the future, the children, are the true victims, and there's no apparent end in sight.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Is the American economy really improving?

As the sun sets on another year there are signs that the American economy is strengthening. Job data continues to improve, exports are rising, and the housing market in some areas is picking up. OF course, with all of the good data there's equally bad, stagnant housing markets in most areas outside of city centres (if you don't count the likes of Detroit and other cities facing bankruptcy). Bankruptcies have peaked, but that may be because there's nobody left to declare. The debt continues to rise and is perhaps the greatest achilles heel to the entire economic operation. With the mounting debt, and the inevitable need to raise the magic ceiling number again, America is still stuck in a fundamental economic climate that sees money creation (lending) as the primary means to generate consumption (get the economy moving). Flooding the market with dollars and keeping the interest rate low will continue to spur development, but without a worldwide uptick in consumption (Europe buying more, and emerging markets), it may be all for not. It's also crucially important to balance fiscal spending with unnecessary spending. Where can we cut? Services seems to be the place where msot are seeing the pinch, but what about the golden egg called the military? Are there dollars there ot be had and is there enough cuts and income for America to actually run a surplus. Funny how we never hear discussion about that word--surplus....

Monday, December 16, 2013

Affluenza Deffence

Classic. A Texas judge gave a young teen 10 years probation instead of jail time because his defence lawyers were able to effectively argue the brand new 'sickness' called 'affluenza'. The idea goes like this, if a kid has too much money (or rather his parents) then he can't know right from wrong, or it's really hard to learn because everything is handed to you from day one. I do'nt get it either. But in Texas stupid things happen all the time. Such as teens killing whole families while drunk driving and not getting jail time. What's even more peculiar from a legal stand point is how a psychological disorder that's never been tested and has no empirical evidence to even exist, held up in court. As for the teen boy who got away free, he gets to spend his probation in a resort facility because his wealthy parents can afford it. Luckily there will be a civil suit. Funny how affluenza doesn't affect black people in Texas.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Syria timetable

Off to Syria we go? Obama hasn't started a war yet, well, I guess Libya counts. But should we head into Syria. Frankly, as war hungry as many people may be in the US of A, this is one we can't afford. The threat to America is low, and frankly, the opportunity to rebuild syria (and make money) is low as well. This one doesn't make sense. Stay the heck out, we're in enough money problems as it is.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Remember the Fiscal Cliff?

We're falling! Although some accuse Republicans of handcuffing the economy (holding it hostage) by preventing changes that would see tax increase for some large corporations, the reality is still holding--we're in a debt crises as a nation. Funny how nobody seems to be talking about the impending doom. i guess it's summer.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Shootings and shooting.

Guns to kill people.... well you know the rest. More and more mass shootings are sadly occurring in our country. The debate is becoming increasingly polarised at a time when we need a NEW conversation about guns in this country. Staying on opposite ends of the spectrum and beating drums until one gets enough support to prevent or enact change doesn't seem to help. Taking guns away isn't the solution, albeit making it harder for military style weapons to stay out of the hands of regular Joes, well I'm for that (although would stand outside of the Conservative camp on this one). Reality is we have a culture of guns and it's the culture that needs to change if we're going to stop killing each other. Forget the fact inner city violence is happening all around us (not getting national media attention), let's just talk about the overall reality Americans kill each other more than any other. There's no civil war here, it's just plain cultural to tote guns and use them as means to carry out violent messages (or crazy ones more often than not). We have to change, perhaps legislation will help, but ultimately no law will fix the root problem.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Employment Rate Creeps Up

This is somewhat unlike other election years. You do'nt typically see bad economic numbers on the way to November. But July saw a slight uptick in unemployment in the country. 2012 8.3 8.3 8.2 8.1 8.2 8.2 8.3 OVerall the economy is supposed to look better wit hthe President rolling out all sort of goodies as election day approaches. Mind you that didn't happen in 2008. Things got progressively worse for Bush and the Republicans (and has moderately improved since). Of course we all know why that happened (market CRASH). So will the unemployment rate trickle downwards come November? I think we can expect a down turn, perhaps even below 8. It's not out of the question to see a temporary drop if there's enough positive sentiment in the economy. But then again, .4 drop in unemployment translates into millions of jobs.....Those don't crop up overnight.