Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Predictions for 2010- Remember. When.

It was not the year we hoped for.

2010 Part A-
The Cliff Notes version suitable for Twitter:

“We just keep thinking we can do it all —
be focused, frightened and frivolous.
We can’t. We don’t have the money.
We don’t have the time.”

-Thomas Friedman,
NYT, Jan. 16, 2010

2010 Part B-
Kyle's 18- The All-Star Line-Up. Play Ball:

JANUARY 1- The world imposes sanctions on Iran.

- Poor January US sales reported.

FEBRUARY 28- Many see the last unemployment check.

MARCH 7- Iraqi election results in— Civil War wins.

APRIL- Eh, sooner. US Commercial Loan crash.

APRIL- Adjustable mortgage consumers get wiped out.

MAY- Upswing in “Small-American” localized violence.

MAY- Elections in Afghanistan…hahahahaha. No, really.

LATE SPRING- Pakistani coup makes truce with Taliban.

JUNE- NYS & NYC collapse, bankrupt beyond belief.

JUNE- Maybe sooner. Oil Tanker sunk near Hormuz.

JULY- US troops exit Pakistan. Let’s just be friends.

JULY- Mexico surrenders to drug cartels. Shots for all!

JULY- Khalid trial in NYC triggers attacks on aircraft.

AUGUST- A hot summer, bruised America on the ropes.

SEPTEMBER- Arrival of a Great American Conservative.

NOVEMBER- Republicans sweep the mid-term elections.

NOVEMBER- Israel attacks an Iranian nuclear facility.

DECEMBER- Congratulations! You’ve made it. Now what?

2010 Part C-
Where I've gone wrong, Why I'll be right:

I have had many failures with my past predictions.
There were two problems and I have fixed them both.
This analysis of 2010 is one you can truly bet on.
And the thing we must ALL pray for is that my FIXES are UTTER failures. God, how I hope I am more wrong than ever in my final attempt at star-gazing.

What you will see here, if you’re fool enough to read on,
you will see a year of failure, collapse, and suffering.

For your personal comfort, far better to simply read
the quote above from Thomas Friedman. It says enough. He makes his point. And it just so happens that he wrote it on the day I started writing this lonnnnng rant.

My tragic flaws of the past are DATES, my friends.
They have caused my great failings in all past efforts at predicting the future. My FACTS are still unchanged, absolutely sound and sane. Or not.

But in my youth, I failed to understand the dissimilar role
of DATES in the Muslim tradition AND the American tradition. A brief look at the folly of my youth.

Dates…and the passage of time… mean virtually NOTHING to the Muslims I study so passionately. My error has been to think like an American, like a pragmatic Yankee—

“Don’t just sit there, DO something!”

It’s why Yanks were bombing Afghanistan barely a month after 9/11. Like most Americans, I live totally connected to the 24/7 power grid with hi-speed internet & hot/cold running water & paved streets & Fast Food & music downloads & City Council meetings every other week. And I know everything about Tiger and Haiti, LIVE as it HAPPENS.

The Muslims we are fighting don’t live like we do. If they are very VERY fortunate, they have instant access to breathable air. They live in a world of tribal loyalties, long traditions, immense faith, and the poor bastards have never heard of Balloon Boy.

Their timeless traditions include hatreds that are measured in centuries, searing incompatibilities that cannot be cooled even by a good long soaking in a high mountain stream of blood.

Fool that I am, I expected them to come out swinging like a Personal Injury Lawyer for an All-American Worker who pinched a finger while changing the toner cartridge of the office copier. The Horror.

In every theater of conflict and in every Muslim nation covered by the umbrella of American Apaches, A-10s, and Predators… they have waited. Or they’ve walked to the next valley. Or poppy field. Or they’ve set down their AK-47 in a safe place and went to the unpoliceable cities and waved to the passing American convoys.

But 2010 is the year they stand and fight.
They’ll fight with a fury and on every front because suddenly we have SPECIFIC DATES that will trigger the fight. The dates are NOT on their calendar nor were they established by Osama Bin Laden from his cave/villa/spiderhole/mobilehome/grave.

With that behind us, let’s see what the Village Idiot sees ahead for us.

2010 Part D-
How many mistakes are in this picture?:

Because DATES make all the difference, I can approach this in “chronological” order. But as always, there could be a bit of a time lag. Like the time it takes a fuse to burn after it’s lit. Like the time it takes for hot water to get to your showerhead. Like the time it takes for a newscaster to actually GET to the story he/she promised was “just ahead” at the beginning of the dang broadcast.

Iran fails to meet Obama’s deadline for cooperation.
Israel now has “The Green Light” to attack Iran.

Israel will not tolerate a nuclear Iran. Period. The Mossad sees an Iran with weapon capability in 2011, no concern for other opinions. But the global PR vice is tough, especially after the bloody 2009 Gaza incursion. Thanks to Obama, the world will now try Iran sanctions with absolutely zero impact. Summer will pass, then the cold thick air of November or December will allow the heavily-laden IAF jets to strike Natanz. The attack earns global public condemnation. But through political back channels, there is an international champagne toast.

Government reports poor post-holiday January sales.
Could trigger The Great Stock Collapse of 2010.

The stock market at 10,000 is all hype. Hype by self-serving analysts, hype by government officials… worst of all is the flood of TV spots for the damn “home stock trade” companies. They play to every cheap human emotion, primarily greed and somethin’-for-nothin’. But those greedy bastards make THEIR money whether you buy or sell, win or lose. There are plenty of possible triggers for the crash that will bottom out at around 5000-6000. The month will also deliver some bad earnings results for big banks and corporations.

Extended unemployment cash ends for millions.
The dawn of civil unrest from penniless hopeless masses.

Congress has continued to extend unemployment benefits to put off the inevitable. By the end of February over three million people see their last check. When it’s about food, that’s as serious as it gets. Watch for a spike in “easy” crime- Hit Pizza delivery kids, Cab drivers, the Teens on the convenience store night shift. It gets worse when “normal” folks at the supermarket simply leave without paying. It’ll start in the inner cities and quickly spread to the “underwater” suburbs. It could even degrade into Food Riots by year's end, smashed store windows and all.

Elections in Iraq… the next step for the US August exit.
All-out Civil War. Suicide bombings everywhere. US flees.

The majority Shi'a have played the US like a chump. They promised to share with Saddam’s Sunni, they even promised to make nice with the Kurds. So we kept the “Nation” together for them. Now they take all the marbles. The minority Sunni played the US like a chump. The “Surge” was never anything more than bribery- We paid each Sunni $100 a month to NOT kill Americans. Oh, you think they helped us to eradicate Al Queda? No, Al Queda simply walked away and laid low. And my beloved Kurds have NEVER been part of “Iraq.” Although they own the north, Civil War will rage in Mosul and Kirkuk. As the election ignites this ferocious Civil War, retreating Americans will turn to the Kurds to provide the fastest/safest land route out. Then we have to convince Turkey to allow us passage to get to the Mediterranean ships. So THEN… we are EVERYBODY’s chump—The Kurds will ask us to support their efforts to absorb the Kurd population and "their" Turkish lands… and the Turks will insist we guarantee that them pesky Iraqi Kurds stay out of Turkey.

...or sooner. Collapse of the Commercial Loan market.
Financial hell USA. Stocks tumble. MORE lay-offs.

This ticking financial bomb makes the sub-prime crisis of 2009 look like an episode of “Happy Days.” Individuals weren’t the only happy-go-lucky big spenders since 2000. Companies borrowed to expand their capacity. Firms paid lots of money to create lucrative mega-mergers. Shipping lines invested in new container ships for the booming global economy. These were all BIG loans… the kind that make an entire Las Vegas subdivision look like pocket change.

As is always the case Commercial loans, or “Commercial Paper,” it lags behind consumer loans because the term of the loan is longer. Well, America has a staggering amount of commercial loans that will begin coming due in the Spring. The problem is that the companies are not making much money in this recession… hotel chains, strip malls, ad agencies, office parks… their total assets aren’t able to cover the debt. Like the home mortgage that is “under water,” it’s wiser to tell the bank to take it. Walk away.

Not good news for a struggling shop-owner if he’s told his mall is closing and he needs to move. Not good news for the merged engineering firms when the bank takes the company and tries to find a way to make up some of their loss. Knocking back the payroll is Job #1. The start-up solar panel firm outside of Phoenix? Falling gas prices hurt their business model, so today the production facility is an echoing home to a few research engineers. When the bankers come tomorrow, the owners hand them the keys and walk away in the Arizona sunlight.

Adjustable mortgages (ARMs) force more bankruptcies.
Family financial hells afire. MANY more foreclosures.

This “second wave” is no surprise, not to bankers. The impact will be amplified as any kind of mild “recovery” of home prices hits the wall as asking prices are driven down by the glut of more homes at “must sell” prices.

Upswing in deadly “Small-American” localized shootings.
Desperation and weapons mean that America bleeds.

We’ve already seen this upward trend. The small-town shootings that seem senseless and tragic…and always great for “breaking news.” But we are a nation armed to the teeth- more guns out there than ever and ammo sales soaring with no end in sight. As millions of jobless men see the last of their unemployment checks, the job hunt becomes urgent. And then agonizing. And then utterly maddening. The gun is loaded and someone will pay—The ex-employer's office. The Unemployment Center. The bank that foreclosed on the house. The wife and children that “will be better off dead” before he turns the gun on himself.

Elections in Afghanistan…hahahahahahahah. No, really.
The nation disintegrates, the Taliban sweep the villages.

Our puppet Karzai has continued to appoint crooks and warlords. The election scam seals our “New Vietnam.” The recent insane insertion of 30,000 Americans was madness. In NO WAY is it like “The Iraqi Surge” because we are not bribing anyone to not kill our forces. Like Vietnam, we have troops that need an infrastructure to survive. So we will build and patrol roads. And we will create remote FOBs, Forward Operating Bases, for patrols to come and go. So, like Vietnam, we are forced to hold the “Nation” together, by force, in order to SUPPLY the troops we PUT there. But the nation is so corrupt that we will attempt to install newer and better puppets… exactly like Vietnam. We stay in this Kill Zone until some politician gets the nerve to pull us out…no easy task when that politician will be forever labeled as “the one who gave Afghanistan to the Terrorists!!!” But the truth is THE TERRORISTS ALREADY OWN AFGHANISTAN. Venture beyond the American-like “city” of Kabul and you'll see a nation of tiny remote Tribal villages in that final moment before you are kidnapped or killed.

It is a bloody trap and a fool’s errand. We will leave when Americans can no longer stand the dead and the dismembered. And when we leave, Afghanistan returns to what it always was before the British were defeated in 1919- It is a land of many small independent groups…“tribes” isn’t the right word but it’ll have to do. Each tribe is represented by the Village Elders. To keep civil organization, there is the occasional call for a meeting of the independent Elders, called a “loya jirga.” They make agreements… like in the old days.

Here’s where it gets really sticky, ethnically, historically and in 2010—Militarily. There is a HUGE chunk of land that makes up the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan. It is, in fact ONE people- The Pashtun.

From here, I cut-and-paste from a military analysis—

“The Pakistani Taliban and the Afghan Taliban are separate, though linked, insurgent movements. The Afghan Taliban are focused on ridding Afghanistan of Western troops and toppling the U.S.-backed government in Kabul, while the Pakistani Taliban are primarily determined to overthrow the U.S.-allied government in Islamabad. Both militant movements are largely driven by Pashtuns, an ethnic group that straddles both sides of the Afghan-Pakistan border and whose members easily slip back and forth between the countries.”

So as our young patriots die in the corrupt non-democracy called “Afghanistan”… WHAT will be going on in the PAKISTAN of York’s 2010? This is pretty much guesswork of someone who has entirely too much free time.

Pakistan’s General Kayani stages a “gentle” coup.
US military is restricted. The Taliban are safe.

Kayani, a gentle affable guy, tosses out Zardari
. Might even kill him. Hey, Zardari is terminally corrupt and has no real support in the public. The Military has always ruled this nuclear-armed country. And they live and die by ONE rule—“Hate India and be ready for war with India.”
To make that war happen, it will start where it always starts, the shared disputed border in the Kashmir. Stay with me here. THIS area is Northeast Pakistan, the brutal mountainous region where the Pakistani people are Pashtun. It is the region where the Pakistan’s Taliban avoid American forces by crossing over into Pashtun villages in Afghanistan. So Pakistani Generals want these Pashtun folks to stay alive and stay friendly, always ready to fight India.

The PROBLEM IN 2010 is that Pakistan’s Generals are getting REALLY pissed that America keeps launching drones to KILL the PAKISTANI PASHTUNS hiding out in AFGHANISTAN. And the Generals most assuredly do not want to sweep the Pakistani land clean of Pashtun Taliban. So our fighting Patriots are left to do the bleeding.

PAKISTAN would rather NOT kill any Taliban fighter who the Generals will need to fight INDIA. And yet AMERICA wants to kill the Taliban anywhere and everywhere. That’s why Zardari keeps making “Formal Diplomatic Complaints” after every attack by an American drone. But we won’t stop. And that’s why General Kayani will take over. He will gain the loyalty of the all-important Pakistan Military by forcing America to stop the drone attacks. All of Zardari’s deals of the past will be declared NULL and VOID.

Our drone attacks are creating enemies among the Pakistani civilians. Nothing good can come of our effort to have it both ways. So with IRAQ in a Civil War and with AFGHANISTAN collapsed and over-run by the Taliban and our drones angering Pakistani Generals and civilians…see July.

NYS & NYC collapse financially, bankrupt beyond belief.
I’ll probably be cleaning and policing my own streets.

This time Wall Street falls and it can’t get up. The tumbling Dow has no hedge fund to soften the shattering impact. The financial implosion of commercial real estate brings new meaning to “the canyons of Manhattan.” But far worse is the loss of revenue as the Real Estate Empires based in the city go the way of Detroit. Life beyond the island of Manhattan is no better, here under the guidance of the single most dysfunctional corrupt incompetent debilitated and inept government of ANY state in this Great Union.

We exit Pakistan to keep a nuclear-armed friend.
Pakistan makes peace with Taliban-ruled Afghanistan.

Pakistani leadership will not allow us to go after the Taliban in the aggressive deadly-serious manner we intend. If we continue with our aggressive attacks, we will alienate the public and the government. They’ve got nukes, we’ve been “friends,” and so rather than creating an enemy, we part as friends and we bring our troops home. Our veterans’ desert-fighting skills will be put to good use at home.

Mexico now a failed state as cartels kill elected leaders.
American military enforces GENUINE border security.

YES, I know such use of the military is forbidden by the Constitution. But Congress will do a LOT of legal work to put our troops to good use. Night vision from soldiers and drones seal off Mexico. Heck, Mexico is only years away from collapse as their Gulf Oil runs out and the end of PEMEX money means the end of Mexico. But as I was saying, US naval forces put an end to a century of drug-running in Florida. Thousands of trained military eyes bring their hi-tech gear to America’s ports.

Because yes, the terrorists are coming.

Khalid Mohammed trial in NYC…who knows when.
Al Queda operations kill us here at home.

The odds-on betting favorite is a small nuclear weapon or a “dirty nuke”… certainly not impossible. The problem is the massive megatonnage of Soviet-era nuclear weapons that were in the surrounding states outside of Russia, all now independent nations. A lot of explosive “stuff” is unaccounted for. And there ARE arms merchants out there who’d be only-too-happy to accept Bin Laden’s money or Afghan Al Queda money from the opium crop.

But my bet is the nuke nightmare will fizzle. First off, our detection ability is much MUCH better than the public knows. Myriad portable detection devices are all over this country…and nuclear material does a nice job of broadcasting its whereabouts. Like a car alarm on the stage of Carnegie Hall. And Homeland Security has many ears.

Much more important is the good news that nuclear devices do not age well. When Atomic Alzheimer’s sets in, you get a dud. A detonation requires immensely sophisticated electronic triggers. IFFF they work, their job is to detonate a conventional explosive, stuff like TNT on steroids… stuff that doesn’t age well. Every OUNCE must go BOOM…ALL of it…and it has to all happen with split-nanosecond precision.

My prediction is that WHENEVER the trial is…and JULY is a total guess, we will enter the Danger Zone. The timing of the attack will be dictated by some specific and significant phase of the legal process…an EARLY phase.

The attackers will avoid the problems dating back to 9/11. When the four planes took off with all-too-typical delays, it exposed the weakness of timing, a weakness which allowed the alerted passengers of Flight 93 to minimize the death toll. The recent problems of exploding shoes and shampoos and underwear… airport security is a problem. Inside the airport.

So the attack will come from outside the airport. Inexpensive, easy, very well-timed, and very deadly. Maybe twenty terrorists near ten major airports. Not anywhere near a perimeter fence, but in a park or a boat or a rooftop or a shopping mall parking lot… a location directly under the flight path of jets taking off. The area is well-studied so that every runway is covered for the prevailing winds of the day. At a pre-determined split-second time, each terrorist team of two will set up— The “Shooter” will have a modern shoulder-launched anti-aircraft heat-seeking missile, purchased for about $50,000. The “Enforcer” will have a light automatic weapon to defend the Shooter. When “the time” comes, the Shooter launches at the next commercial aircraft departing over the community. The massive heat of a turbojet engine at full take-off power makes an easy target at any altitude below 10,000 feet. The shattered aircraft and the downpour of flaming jet fuel… in ten different major American communities… it’s the kind of highly-visual and very public horror that is the trademark of Al Queda. If you want to fly safe, Israel’s El Al is the only airline that has made the huge investment to equip all of their jets with missile-defeating technology.

The Summer of our Discontent. America on the ropes.
A deep malaise of worry, dread, and fear border on panic.

The rose-colored glasses come off as a nation begins to see things clearly in the rearview mirror— Wall Street collapsed, taking the last of our precious savings, because it is a house of cards built by cheerleading analysts and Lobbyists who literally bought their invincibility from politicians of both parties. Crime hits home because a new breed of criminal sees your wallet/purse as a bank on two feet…so more Americans wisely arm themselves with personal Tasers in states where ownership is legal (really, already in designer colors). Unemployment proves far worse than the statistics ever suggested, when the officials said “Ten” the truth was “Seventeen.” Worst of all is how we allowed the Feds to bribe us into complacency… in this case the bribes were the endless extension of unemployment benefits that ran out before any miraculous “recovery” could appear.
Operation Iraqi Freedom was an unforgivable lie from the first moment of shock and awe, a bipartisan con job where “The Surge” was proven to be nothing more than a bribe paid in cash to the Sunni minority. The troops returning home in August are survivors of our own “Dunkirk,” exhausted refugees of a Civil War that was kept bottled up by the sheer brutality of the regime we bombed, hunted, and hung… leaving a vacuum that sucks only human life, blood, and hope. Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan is a failed and aborted mission…if we’re lucky. If we are not lucky, the American forces are chewed up in our hi-tech Vietnam nightmare. Expensive Oil has us on our knees in summer, all because it all got too hot along the Straits of Hormuz. It might be a Somali Pirate or it might be a Yemeni Rebel…but someone sends an Oil Tanker to the bottom of the Red Sea. The result is skyrocketing insurance rates and Captains Cautious. We as a nation look back at the gas embargo of 1973, and the bi-partisan response as Congress passed the forward-looking Energy Policy and Conservation Act (EPCA) of 1975… a REAL LAW that ordered auto manufacturers to achieve a fleet average of 27.5 mpg by 1985. In stunned disbelief, we look back at the 2009 folly of “Cash for Clunkers”… yet another Federal scheme to bribe Americans to buy foreign cars… where the results showed it cost the US treasury $24,000 to subsidize each purchase of a car achieving 22 mpg. Taxpayers spent 3 billion dollars on that bribe. So whatever happened to EPCA and the 27.5 mpg mandated for 1985? Answers anybody?

Probably sooner. Arrival of “The Great Right Hope.”
Desperate America flocks to a charismatic leader…
but this time it’s a Conservative.

This is no time to look ahead to the November elections. A nation in shock and on the verge of panic needs an icon for 2012. And as the great American pendulum repeats its arc, the rightist philosophy seizes the day. It’s a time when we will need to be told how proud we are, how rich our heritage is, how we can restore our national destiny of global leadership, respect and honor. We can and will be a nation where the trains will run on time.

My friends—
That scares the hell out of me.
That’s all.

Conservative Republicans sweep the elections.
“The Great Right Hope” gets a lot of photo ops.

REPUBLICANS CHEER as Evil Pelosi hands over all the POWER!!! And THEN…absolutely…nothing…changes. WHATEVER you believe the United States can be, this nation will never be what it was. We are long overdue for a day of reckoning, a recognition of reality. You will not be driving your hydrogen-powered car. You will not be trading up to ever-bigger ever-flatter TV screens. You will not solve the energy crisis refitting your home with compact fluorescent lighting. Within five years, commercial air travel will be a golden memory, your local airport will be a quiet museum until scrap aluminum and insulated wire becomes more precious than platinum. In the most shocking transformation, this nation won’t have the slightest interest in the progress of Tiger’s treatment for his sex addiction.

An Israeli strike force of 50 aircraft attack Natanz in Iran.
The UN denounces Israel and imposes severe sanctions.

And Tel Aviv is literally awash in all the bottles of champagne sent from anonymous nations, along with “Thank You” cards postmarked from every capital city on this volatile wobbling globe.

HOW this wild vision of an eccentric chrome-bald mind will end is all up to you. We can learn to live with less, make the effort to strengthen our communities, and put our hands to honest and productive work.

Plant a Victory garden and tend it well.

***UPDATE 1, JAN. 25***

ALL content here was begun on Jan. 16 and finished election night Jan. 19. In the SIX DAYS it took me to de-bug this monster post, very REAL events have leapt from my musings onto RealWorld Headlines. I am not gloating or bragging, merely suggesting that I read HISTORY... not Tea Leaves or Tarot Cards. Google these news items--

* Pakistan announced no more attacks
on the Taliban in 2010.

* Afghanistan wants Taliban talks,
offers $100 incentive per insurgent.

* NYC Mayor Bloomberg warns of
immense budget shortfalls.

* Obama promised "New Tough Regulations"
on the Banking industry.

* The Stock market entered a continuous,
worrisome unforseen slide. Not THE slide.

* NYC residents have demanded new location
for the Terrorist Trial.

* UK is on Terror Alert BECAUSE OF
specific DATE for global meeting.

* Headline Item: Brad & Angela may split...
Just a mention: 3 Americans die in Afghanistan.

* January US Afghan deaths reach 25,
exceeding January 2009 total of 19.

* Ninth US bank is closed in 2010,
adding to the 140 closed in 2009.

* Obama's Address to Nation
will focus on creating JOBS.

2010 Part E-
The Stories missed, the Three who Rule:

Nobody wants any of this to be correct. Then again, I bet nobody out there can tell me the #1 rule about politics and leadership, a gem attributed to Chicago’s legendary Mayor Daley—

“Don’t tell nobody nuthin’ they don’t want to hear.”

Take this past week. TV news, FOX to MSNBC has been Haiti 24/7… broken only by the STUNNING political landscape-changing election of a Republican senator in Massachusetts.

But did you hear about the stunning analysis of the millions of dollars wasted in Afghanistan, the bribes demanded by the US-backed government? Then did you hear the outraged response from US-backed president Karzai? It is All LIES. Karzai says so.

Or did you hear about the US drone attacks in US-backed Pakistan? Then did you hear the anti-US anger from the innocent villagers? Or how about the angry anti-US statements from the US-backed government saying they did not give permission for the killings?

Or did you hear the Congressional testimony of the Big Bankers as they made lame “apologies” for the financial crisis? The Committee promises to have their “final report on the financial failures” finished… in December. Men who should be facing criminal trials speak like little kids caught with their hands in the cookie jar.

Or did you hear the analysts surprise at the unexpectedly low sales figures from December? Oh, when the equally “surprising” low numbers come for January sales, the analysts will blame the “unusually bad weather that gripped the country.”

But you CERTAINLY have heard that the Massachusetts election means the resurgence of the Republican party and the End of Obama… and most assuredly, it is the END of Healthcare Reform. The Bay State election is the beginning of a MASSIVE change for America.

But in fact, NOTHING is going to change. Yes, Republican candidates are going to enjoy sweeping victories in November. And the future of the Great Healthcare Battle on Capitol Hill? It is utterly irrelevant and meaningless.

The BAILOUT given to Wall Street would have been enough to provide Healthcare for every American. ONE MONTH of Iraq war funding would get Katrina-ravaged New Orleans back to 100% pre-hurricane condition. ONE MONTH of Afghan war funding would ensure GENUINE anti-terrorist security at all of our major seaports. Airports too.

But the Republican resurgence will change nothing. Because this nation is now and has always been controlled by three “parties.” While the nation reeled in 2009, the three parties enjoyed nothing but record-setting success. You can’t lose in the company of the companies of the Big Three. In alphabetical order—

The Banking lobbyists
The Military/Industrial lobbyists
The Wall Street Investment Firm lobbyists

They will never fail because lawmakers never refuse their cash donations. Do the math. We have not seen bankers testifying under oath, nor will we see bank reform legislation. We have not seen anyone except Madoff trade Wall Street for a cellblock, nor will we see vigorous oversight of tighter restrictions on investment firms. We have not seen one General speak to the cultural obstacles in the Mideast, nor will we demand more local support in blood from the governments we subsidize. Every time the Genie of reality appears in the swirling sands… SURPRISE! The election must be postponed until a future date!

***UPDATE 1, JAN. 25***

I am simply horrified to be proven so right so soon.
Do you detect subtle sarcasm in my last white sentences?

* Afghanistan has postponed the May election.
President Karzai has been so brazen in his corruption
that he angered his own Parliament AND the US and UK...
ALL parties agreed to postpone the May 22 election
until September 18, 2010.

Watch the planned elections for IRAQ (March) and AFGHANISTAN (May). If Iraq votes, we won’t be looking at pictures of smiling faces showing thumbs of purple. Even in a democracy-loving Muslim, blood is red.

2010 Part F-
How to restore Democracy:

Here in America, We The People could re-take control.
We could…but we won’t. My bleak forecast and discouraging foreboding would mean nothing if I did not at least offer something better. So here it is--

The Yorstrodamus Doctrine

Capitalism at Work- No firm is too big to fail. Period. No bail-outs.

Term Limits- Elected officials limited to two terms. Career politicians were not part of the vision of the Founding Fathers. It’s also well-proven that an incumbent has a fund-raising advantage over a challenger, an advantage that only grows the longer an official has been in office. The cost to mount a challenge grows exponentially with every passing year. And finally, there is little incentive for a lobbyist to “invest” in someone when “loyalty” is limited to two terms.

Finance Reform- Total individual limit = (HH x V) % C.
HH is the average Household income for the district, state, or nation.
V is the number of registered voters in the district, state, or nation,
C is a pre-determined constant, my unworthy gut feel is 100.
As you can quickly see, the result is X dollars per registered voter. So a congressional candidate in rural Georgia spends/raises less than a congressional candidate for the affluent districts of Manhattan.

Political Action Committees
- I confess- I’m stuck. Free speech should not be limited, my vocal support of a candidate is my right. But you can easily see how PAC money can “get around” the limit on how much a candidate can spend, especially on TV advertising.

***UPDATE 1, JAN. 25***

As you've just seen above, I am troubled by PAC "committee" money. But it NEVER even entered my MIND that Companies would get a blank check. Since 1907, Congress has banned companies from contributing to federal political campaigns —
a ban the Supreme Court has repeatedly upheld...
Until the absolutely earth-shattering news on January 21st--

* Supreme Court ruling kills Democracy.
Corporate lobbyists own DC, now they own
the AdWorld to shape Public Opinion.

After slogging through the messy quagmire of campaign ca$h, you’re $ure to enjoy my last suggestion for America, the absolute BESTEST! And therefore…it ain’t never gonna’ happen.

Mandatory Voting- Australia has it and it works. When you meet the basic voting criteria, you get registered and you have to show up on election day.
If you DON’T show up, you get a letter requesting your explanation. People do get sick, they do get stuck out of town, they do gather for family funerals and delivery-room celebrations. And in fact, most no-shows have legitimate reasons, all easily documented. BUT…when you fail to serve your country, you face a fine of $55 in the most expensive Aussie state. Here in the US, every state would establish the fine with a national minimum of…oh, $100.

2010 Part G-
York's a Genius.
York's an Idiot.
York's an All-American:

Of course, my suggestions go nowhere.
Like Term Limits. Half of you agree. Half of you disagree.
I’m as American as apple pie.
So we all starve.

There’s a term used in sailing, to be “In Irons.”
A sailing vessel is in a bad place when it is “In Irons.”
A ship under sail, large or small, can make ZERO progress when pointed directly into the wind. So you zig-zag to move “upwind,” maybe zigging 20 degrees to the left of the wind and then zagging 20 degrees to the right. But in the middle of that maneuver you are pointed directly into the wind, a moment when the sail would simply flutter like a flag. It’s the momentum of the boat that usually keeps you turning until the “zag” kicks in and the sail fills.

IFFFF you somehow stop the boat at the middle point, heading directly into the wind, the sail flapping and snapping like a flag… you are in trouble. You will be blown backwards. You try a lot of tricks to get to that 20 degree angle where the sail would stop snapping and you’d get moving again. But if you are stuck with the wind in your face, your boat moving backward… you are “In Irons.”

You are like a prisoner with the old-fashioned handcuffs…called “Irons.” So, much like the poor crook in jail and in handcuffs, sailors will not experience anything good when they are “In Irons.”

America today is a Nation In Irons.

If you’re reading this,
you have entirely too much free time.
Everybody ELSE quit HOURS ago.

But IFFFF you’re reading, you voted for McCain… along with 50% of the rare and few friends I’ve been lucky to keep over the years. And the other 50% of you, every bit as intelligent, you voted for Obama. But our nation’s crisis goes far deeper than a 50/50 election. The truth is, there are myriad issues we take extremely seriously, even to the point of rage and anger. And we, as a nation, are split 50/50 on far FAR too many issues.

Take this little test. Circle one…or leave blank (in your imagination, idiot)-

Democrat -or- Republican
Gun Control -or- Right to Arms
Life Sentences -or- Death Penalty
Palin a Joke -or- Palin a Star
Pelosi a Star -or- Pelosi a Joke
Healthcare’s broke -or- Healthcare’s fine
Flee Iraq -or- Free Iraq
Stewart/Colbert -or- O’Reilly/Hannity
Engage Cubans -or- Embargo Cuba
Public Assistance -or- Trickle-Down
Pro-Choice -or- Pro-Life
Obama a Visionary -or- Obama the Socialist
Affirmative Action -or- Only Merit Matters
Miranda rights matter -or- Too soft on criminals
Pro Gay Marriage -or- No Gay Marriage
Privacy over Nat’l Security -or- Nat’l Security over Privacy
Man is warming globe -or- Climate a cycle swing
Environment #1 -or- Use all US fuels

Enough of this nonsense.
My bet is that very few of you left any pairing blank.
My bet is that as a group, you split 26-26 on each pairing.
My bet is that of all 52, only a few share perfect matches
My bet is that there will be two general groups of 26 each...
fairly consistent in picking the left or the right column.
My bet is that nobody thought any differently in 2003.

My POINT is that we are perfectly divided.
Our feelings are deeply-held, reinforced by daily emails--
"FORWARD THIS because we MUST spread the TRUTH…
Before it is TOO LATE!"

I find only two similar precedents in American History-
1765- Join the Revolution versus God Save the Queen…
1860- States’ Right to Secede versus Union Forever.

If 2010 unfolds as I envision,
perhaps we might find more common ground.

God forbid,

2010 Part H-

“The mystic chords of memory, stretching from every battle-field, and patriot grave, to every living heart and hearth-stone, all over this broad land, will yet swell the chorus of the Union, when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature.”