Yesterday, I went to the mall. This is not a new occurrence. I go to the mall almost every day. It is where the grocery store and the office supply store are, as well as the Starbucks and many, many restaurants. To get to the mall, I ride for about 10 minutes on a mini-bus, filled with people heading in my direction. Yesterday, the driver stopped on the way to fill up his tires. The compressor was owned by a guy who had set up a little business for himself on the side of the road. That’s also no big deal.
It’s an election year. That must mean it’s time for Congressional representatives to announce support for ridiculous Constitutional amendments and for state leaders to instill fear in the population by creating all sorts of boogeymen, like (imaginary) undocumented Mexicans running roughshod in the Arizona desert, beheading (imaginary) poor, unsuspecting, hardworking, freedom-loving, salt of the earth Americans.
Which has me wondering: why is discussing problems and solutions like grown ups so unpalatable in America?
I should make clear from the outset that I am not an economist. So this post is more of a question for those of you out there who actually know something about the way economies, and more specifically financial investments, work.
When I want to learn about something, I generally start with my good friend, the Google. Depending on how much I want to know, it can stop there, or lead me to the local public library. Sometimes, when I want to know a lot about one particular thing, I even head for one of the university libraries in town.
They get six years of free reign during which they drive the country into a ditch. Not just any ditch, either--a snow-filled ditch with a pond of thin ice at the bottom, far, far away from the nearest gas station.
Then, they start losing. So, instead of asking themselves why they are losing, they double down, and lose some more.
Right after the election was over, I started a series of posts called Stuff I Learned, about the history of American presidents, as I read a book called The American Presidency. I didn't get very far into the book, and now I can't find it. I'm not all that worried about finishing, not being a fan of non-fiction.
So, at least for now, I won't be sharing with you the stuff I learned about American history. Instead, I'm hoping you'll share with me stuff you already know, because I'm confused.
Credit where credit is due: drones are pretty good at journalism. The video above was shot by an unmanned drone carrying a video camera, and presents a unique perspective on the scale of the protests taking place in Hong Kong....
By Arron Reza Merat,"Iran Pulse" @ Al-Monitor, Sept. 30, 2014
Iran’s judiciary this month sentenced former First Vice President Mohammad Reza Rahimi to jail time for undisclosed corruption charges [....] His conviction was in part made necessary because of the narrative woven by Hassan Rouhani's new administration that the economic ills it inherited (5.4% growth and 44% year-on-year inflation) were due to unprecedented corruption under Ahmadinejad.
By Loveday Morris, Washington Post, Sept. 28, 2014
[....] a new weapon has been unleashed in this country devastated by Islamist militant violence — comedy. A new 30-part satirical series, “State of Myths,” which started airing on Iraqi state television Saturday, aims to expose the true nature of the Islamic State extremist organization — through slapstick and puns [....]
[....] While all eyes are on Syria and Iraq, another intervention is taking place in Yemen. The coalition involved here is more of an understanding than a military pact, but it is proving to be just as effective. That Iran should be backing a small Shi'a tribe in the north of Yemen called the Houthis comes as little surprise. The lightning takeover by the Houthis of the capital Sana'a has been applauded by Iranian politicians. [....]
By Stephanie Ennis, BBC Monitoring, 25 Sept., 2014
Russia is the target of a global plot orchestrated by the United States and involving fighters from the self-styled Islamic State (IS) and nationalist Ukrainian troops - that is the latest conspiracy theory broadcast on Russian state TV. "America is everywhere, the West is everywhere, Nato is everywhere. Everything is organised against Russia," the veteran Russian nationalist MP Vladimir Zhirinovsky railed during a talk show on Channel One, Russia's most popular TV station.
There was a "certain link", he hinted, between Ukrainian troops "raiding our western regions" and IS, which he said was being armed by the US.