Monday, November 27, 2006

News from Around the World

Normally there is little news to report and that is probably a good thing as most of it is far too serious to review in detail but conditions in the world are such that we need to touch on them to warn you if nothing else.

Black Friday & Cyber Monday

If you followed the news you would think Americans blew their budgets on these two high volume holiday sales days. Black Friday saw about $15 billion spent at retail and online while Cyber Monday recorded $600-625 million in all probability. Expect online sales to peak about December 12 at about $685-700 million and the total holiday spending online to be about $27 billion. All holiday spending this year is expected to be about $457 billion.

For comparison purposes, in four years the US government has spent a total of about $350 billion for the war in Iraq. In other words, if everyone would give up their holiday spending for one year and give it to the Defense Department, we could finance the Iraq war tax free for the next five years. All we are asking is you give up your holiday gifts for one year to help balance the federal budget.

The Middle East Revisited
In earlier stories I mentioned the biggest loser of the elections may be Israel if the Democrats didn’t lie and actually pull our troops out of Iraq regardless of the consequences. Three civil wars are ready to explode in Iraq, Lebanon and Palestine and it may not matter what the USA does in Iraq.

If the Democrats do bring home the troops, for sure the bloodshed will intensify and in the end the fundamental Muslims will probably win since death and human sacrifice is acceptable to them. Hard line Muslims in Iran, Syria, Pakistan, Afghanistan and other Middle East nations will be aligned with the civil wars and will embrace the winners and then all of them will most likely turn their attention to the underlying cause affecting everything they do in the Middle East, the destruction of Israel.

Oh yes, the Democrats may very well pull us out of Iraq, but before the blood has finished flowing we may find ourselves in a far more dangerous quagmire of being the last line of defense for Israel against all of the Arab world with no support from our long standing world allies. We shall see.

Our current Administration has misjudged the situation just as practically every Administration has. There is nothing current about the tragic events in the Middle East wars as religious warfare and persecution have been an integral part of Middle East history since the beginning of recorded time.

I suppose the lines are rather blurred between religious versus cultural wars but the result is the same. In the name of God, Allah, Yahweh, Jehovah or Mohammad prejudice thrives, hatred dominates, tolerance is non-existent and fear is instilled by all sides. Short of civil war, continued genocide and the ever-present prospect of World War III, some form of Divine intervention may be the only thing left between self-destruction and salvation.

Campaign Reform in America

A second issue of note is campaign reform and ethics in government as they have been promised by both parties during the last election. The true test of the effectiveness of elected officials and their representation of the people is the progress being made toward meaningful campaign reform. Make no mistake, lies dominate this issue from the mouths of Republicans, Democrats, House members, Senators, presidents, governors and a host of state and local elected officials.

The record, individually and collectively, is the most pitiful example of political double talk and double crossing in our history. Joe Six Pack, the average American citizen, has been sold a bill of goods and conditioned to accept those tarnished goods by the politicians, the media, special interests, corporations, unions and everyone else who benefits from maintaining the status quo.

Greed rules the financial world of Wall Street, the political world of our nation’s capital, the advertising world of Madison Avenue, the entertainment world of Hollywood, and just about every place of consequence in between. So what are we to do? Sit back and watch? Act as if nothing is wrong? Pray? I say information is knowledge, knowledge can lead to wisdom, and wisdom can give us the creative energy needed to survive in spite of the system.

In the days ahead I will give you information to illustrate the flaws with our so called reform efforts and point out very practical ways to give us meaningful reform. What you do with the information is up to you.

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