Monday, April 12, 2010

Job Situation Looks Grim, the Kyrgs, the Repubs, the al-Awlakis

Paul Krugman
Robert Reich
Marc Thiessen
"The United States have developed a new weapon that destroys people but it leaves buildings standing. It's called the stock market." — Jay Leno

"Things do not look good. The economy's gone south, we're at war, people are out of work. In fact, George Bush Sr. picked up the newspaper and thought, 'Hey, I must still be president.'" — Jay Leno
"How much do you think Senators make? They now make $154,700 a year. But they say it will stimulate the economy because eventually that money will trickle down to the liquor stores, the hookers, the brothels ... then it will get back in the community." — Jay Leno

Both Paul Krugman's and Robert Reich's articles deal with our economy. Reich says what I've been thinking lately, and does a better job of articulating and pulling out statistics like a rabbit out of a hat. The success or failure of the stock market may be a false indicator of how well our economy is. It's nice that it is trading at a good pace, just that the money being generated hasn't seemed to trickle down into the local economy, it seems to be going into the outrageous salaries and bonuses that the CEO's are pocketing.

In the last several years, 80% of jobs created were from small businesses. Large corporations and the federal government didn't create many at all. Now that many of those small businesses are gone, the feds are trying to plug the gap with temporary jobs, which Robert Reich explains very well. As a rule of thumb, it takes a small business about five years to establish itself. During this five year period is when most businesses fail. The owners need capitol for at least those five years, and even now the banks won't loan it to them. The SBA had a limit of $35,000 for loans they made, which would pay for a year's salary for one person, much less keep a company afloat. Until there is a way to help establish small businesses, our job market will remain depressed, and the unhappiness with the government will continue to grow, along with rising violence, both on the personal and social level. Enjoy your summer...

the kyrgs...
It's turning out that the dirty little secret behind the Kyrgystan revolution is oil profits for Vladimeer Putin. The NY Times is reporting that all of the contracts to sell airplane fuel to Manas airforce base were controlled by the son and relatives of the ousted Prime Minister, who is whimpering and playing the victim in the southern part of the country. The oil is produced in Siberia by Gazeprom, the Russian government-run company that has Mr Putin as its major shareholder. Russia was supporting the opposition, and now that they have won and taken over the country, the oil contracts can be re-negotiated, with a larger profit margin for the Russians, and another few mansions and estates bought around the world for Mr Putin...

the repubs...
While John Boehner and other Repubs will be using the "repeal health care"  as a rallying cry for the upcoming midterm elections, it will probably end up a failed strategy and they will have to move on to Plan B. A writer in the NY Times Magazine said that while most people polled about the health care reform bill liked different parts in the package, they were reluctant to accept it as a whole. We don't like sudden, big change in our lives, we prefer our changes in small, incremental ways. I'd rather be gradually phased out of a job to give me time to plan for an alternative, than to be laid off tomorrow. We are such creatures of habit and repetition that big legislation makes us unhappy until a few years down the road, when we have gotten used to it and tweaked out the bugs, just like each new version of Windows...

The Republican strategy should not be depending on Mr Boehner or Mitch McConnell, who came up with the lame strategy of "Just Say No" and Just Say Hell No!" Dump all those who worked on John McCain's failed campaign, put to rest the dumb ideas of the evils of socialism and the government, stop riling up the hicks, and come up with a better, more modern, inclusive version of the Republican ideals. We have countless web sites where the authors feel that they are the only true patriots and everyone else who disagrees with them are treasonous bastards. I have just as much love for my country, but I will not wrap myself up in the flag for homopatriotic fantasies. I prefer to practice what the poet Richard Hugo wrote, when he titled a book of poems What Thou Lovest Well, Remains American in response to this canto of Ezra Pound's:

What thou lovest well remains,
the rest is dross
What thou lov'st well shall not be reft from thee
What thou lov'st well is thy true heritage...

Ezra Pound, Canto LXXXI

the al-awlakis...
The Yemeni cleric who went to college here in Colorado and lived in Denver before moving back to Yemen, where he made the CIA's assassination list, is in hiding. His father has reached out to the US, publicly saying that his son would stop any inflammatory speech: "The father of Anwar al-Awlaki, a Yemeni religious scholar who has reportedly been added to a US hit list, says his son will halt his anti-US messages if Washington removes him from the list.

Al-Awlaki, accused by the US of having links to al-Qaeda's Yemeni offshoot, was added to the CIA's list of targets to be killed or captured for directly plotting against the US, a US intelligence official said last week.

His father, Nasser al-Awlaki, a former minister of agriculture and rector at the University of Sanaa, called on the US on Sunday to end the hunt for his son."If Washington stops targeting [him] by threatening to abduct, capture, or kill him, Anwar will cease his statements and speeches against it."

The official Yemeni government's position is that the US has not furnished them with any proof that al-Awlaki has any ties to al-Qaeda or has ever tried to recruit for them: "Anwar al-Awlaki has always been looked at as a preacher rather than a terrorist and shouldn't be considered as a terrorist unless the Americans have evidence that he has been involved in terrorism," Abu Bakr al-Qirbi, the Yemeni foreign minister, said. Of course, the al-Awlaki tribe in Yemen is not too happy and would plan on defending him, creating another headache for the government.

Al-Awlaki rose to prominence last year after it emerged he had had prolonged communications with Major Nidal Hasan, a US army psychiatrist accused of opening fire on colleagues at Fort Hood, Texas, killing 13 people.

He is also accused of having had ties to the September 11, 2001, hijackers, and to Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the Nigerian student accused of trying to blow up a Detroit-bound flight with explosives on December 25.

Personally, this is one of those incidents where I am disappointed with the Obama administration, the very fact that there is still a kill list sucks from any humanitarian point of view. It's like the US's no-fly list, there are so many mistakes on it and innocent people are being inconvenienced all the time. If the same diligence is used to create a kill list, there must be just as many mistakes made. I write this thinking, oh dear God, a CIA hit team will show up at my door any day now, or worse, it could be some Christian Crusaders from Blackwater - I know they will show no mercy...


  1. naveed ahmad khanApril 13, 2010 at 1:05 AM

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  2. Thanks for the compliment, though it feels more like I just got spammed to include a link for a part-time job. I cannot verify if this is real or an Internet form of a virus...

  3. thanks Mr. Williams,I got variety of important news around the world in your site.


  4. keep it up christopher,

    like your style.

    most sites these days "explain" the news by making popular references that fail as analogies.


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