Sunday, May 18, 2008

Loose Ends

Armed Forces Day, '08

A four year old girl peeked out of an M-88A1 military recovery vehicle
Saturday during Armed Forces Day at Fort Bliss. ~El Paso Times photo.

Hope everyone had another wonderful Armed Forces Day just like last year. Locally, it was a beautiful day to get out with the kids, to let them explore the insides of armored personnel carriers, tanks, and see rocket and missile bearing helicopters up close and imagine their thrilling capabilities, unlike unfortunate Iraqi families who only see them from a distance but get to experience their capabilities, often close-up or first hand! A great chance to see the means by which America spreads "democracy" around the world.

GE quits!

On a sadder note, I noticed in yesterday's paper General Electric is getting out of the appliance business. For more than a century American homes have harbored appliances manufactured by the company that "brings good things to life."

It's part of G.E.'s strategy to "exit slower growth and more volatile businesses." I suppose microwaves, ranges and refrigerators are subject to slow downs in public demand and, like now, can be downright sluggish in the depressed economy most Americans are currently experiencing. (Expect similar quality Chinese replacements in the near future to fill the void, I suppose.)

Maybe G.E. has discovered that much of its defense related industries are far more profitable in a nation waging "perpetual war for perpetual peace."

A nation engaged in eternal conflict will have endless needs for the manufacture of equipment and ordnance that either blows things up (continual replacement) or equipment that gets blown up (continual replacement), unlike the civilian population that may experience recessions and/or depressions from the stress and strain of having to pay for its government's militancy -- in lieu of refrigerators, of course.

The Check's in the Mail

If I'm to believe a recent table I saw showing when we can expect our one-time rebate to save the economy, we may actually experience a direct deposit into our checking account very, very soon!

I've already decided how I'm going to spend it. For a few weeks it will make up the shadowy difference between prices past and prices present on such things as gas, eggs, milk -- you know, those skyrocketing energy and food costs that aren't part of the Consumer Price Index, the latest figures of which reassure us all that inflation is tamed and contained.

So we won't be purchasing more (to stimulate Bush's tanking economy). We'll just be paying more.

Latest Dope on the Local Drug War

Rereading this so far, I realize what a downer today's blog has been. So I'd like to end on a more positive note which comes in the form of good news!

This morning's El Paso Times headlines about the ongoing drug war just across the border in Juarez are encouraging. In the slayings and ambushes that have been averaging 3.5 killings per day (25 for this past week), it is reported that yesterday only 3 were murdered! Hopefully, the beginning of a positive trend?



D.K. Raed said...

Boy, the military sure knows how to reel 'em in, putting a cute little redhead up in a big tank like that! Hope she was wearing lots of sunscreen. If only there was a strong-enough sunscreen to repell all those bullets & bombs.

Re: tax rebate ... I've personally already stimulated the economy and will be using my stimulus to pay for my stimulation (which is to say, I frivolously pre-spent that stimulus and am now left unstimulated).

Good job on reducing the broder drug war deaths by 1/2 a person. When the other 1/2 of that person is found, I hope s/he is ready for service in iran. Soon our prisons will be empty due to all the extra bodies needed by the military. Guess that will make more room for us!

Fran said...

Off topic-- there is a fun thread going on about the tourism potential of the Texas sinkhole.....

Fran said...

On topic: I am mortified when I see pictures of children in the vehicles of death & destruction.
They probably take license plate info to recruit those kids the moment they turn 15. That's when my sone began geting recruitment solicitations- even though we filled out do not recruit paperwork @ the high school. That's a part of the no child left behind/Patriot act kicks in-- in order to get federal funding, schools have to give up students info.
Needless to say, I was mortified when that
and all the dozens of recruiting materials came to solicit my son to be a pawn for the government.

As for GE- I bet you are right... they have war
profiteering that makes refrigerators & washing machines small potatoes.

Drug war deaths - wow none of that innocent till prven guilty stuff.... deliver justice from the barrel of a gun. Mortified.

PeaceLuis said...

Bob, I will try again. First time I didn't have a google account, so was erased. I like your descriptions "perpetual war for Perpetual peace" "we won't be purchasing more, we'll just be paying more". As for my "rebate to save the economy" I find I didn't get a direct deposit, and by my social security no. I won't be getting a paper check until July 11! Will that be too late?

eProf2 said...

I've been paying more attention to headlines lately (see my blog today). Your headline, "Latest Dope on the Local Drug War," is loaded with double meanings. Loved it!

I don't get our check until sometime in late June. Like others I'll be all out of stimulation by then and will simply have to pay more at the gas pump, the grocery store, and for utilities. God help those who aren't getting a stimulus check to help them just keep up. I thought at first the money would end up in China, first as a debt to the US government to be paid for by our grandchildren and second on consumer goods. Now, I just think we'll all be a little more in debt even with a stimulus paying to live -- period.

We went to a honor assembly for our grandsons last week and there on the stage was a Marine and a Sailor giving out sign-up bonuses to those seniors who joined the military. The bonuses, in some cases, were greater than the scholarship money being given to the best and brightest. The socialization starts early and often, kind of like Chicago voting.

I'm glad you were able to set down some loose ends today. You don't want to know how many loose ends I could add to the discussion. Let me see, where shall I start?

Cart said...

Re GE, they have shifted into the more lucrative market of preying on poverty. I just checked for a friend who deals with GE Finance here and needs some quick cash.
The terms are simple for a low income person; we'll give you the money at 20% for purchases, cash is up to 35%.
You or I wouldn't bother to lend to someone we know is likely to default, especially under those rates.
GE must figure there is more money in shuffling paper than in actually making stuff.

dada said...

A few short responses to all the nice comments:

D.K. When choosing which photo to use here, I opted for the little redhead with you in mind, of course. Every damn year the newspaper coverage of this *special day* is the same: kids barely out of diapers climbing over tanks, helicopters and armored personnel vehicles! Worse, was a recent field trip taking elementary kids out to a desert field training center and giving rides in these death traps!

(And, BTW, "Whoopy-dipshit! We're getting 27,000 (!!) more soldiers plus their family members here in the next 5 years. I don't know how long Mrs. Dada and I will be able to stay on here.)

Fran, off-topic re Texas sinkhole. I've made a note of this newest attraction. Will definitely have to check it out if we ever take a trip to Texas.

Fran, on-topic re recruitment of kids not yet potty trained. (See above) It's been Mrs. Dada's experience while trying to get "fair and balanced" counter recruitment materials into local high schools that there is much resistance to presenting teenagers with alternatives to the military. But it's a long story which has made a very long year.

peaceluis: "perpetual war for perpetual peace" is Gore Vidal's, I believe, but I'll take responsibility for everything else, I guess. As for your rebate not arriving until July (is that July *08*?), I think there'll still be time to try to SAVE the economy by SPENDING it back to health. But that's only because from all reading I've encountered, the crash doesn't arrive until later this fall.

eprof: Wow, would love to hear some of your loose ends some time. Maybe you could blog a few (at a time) over a eProf's?

And regarding your awards assembly, I only hope that Fran doesn't check back here in this comments section. It would send her ballistic (rightfully so). Those recruiters handing out awards larger than some scholarships sends such a nice, subtle message to any underclassmen in the audience. I found myself swelling with envy thinking, "Gee, why didn't I think of that?" until I realized I'm not a government with tons and tons of other people's money to throw around to support my (often ugly and dangerous) whims.

cart: I know GE is a mega-corp with its business model widely diversified. I appreciate your highlighting one of those areas that I'd forgotten. An area of usury rates richly rewarding and reinforcing for me that GE does still, indeed, "bring good things to life" for many people unable to afford it (depsite having dropped that motto many years ago).

horsedooty said...

late into this discussion about war.
My late Dad used to work for the railroad and knew a lot of railroad history. He told me that when Pancho Villa was fighting the Mexican Army, some very bright business guy hired one of the railroads to bring some flat cars out into the desert and then he proceeded to sell tickets for seats on said RR flat cars. The purpose was to watch the war from the other side of the border. ie., from the Texas side. I don't recall if he said anyone was ever hurt but I would think it a possibility.

¡yo soy Horsedooty!

D.K. Raed said...

HDooty, I think I saw a movie about that once. Antonio Banderas & Matt Daman? There was a scene of gawkers on RR cars watching the war, and something about Pancho Villa making sure he looked good for the camera angles. Didn't much the same thing happen at Bull Run (Civil War)? Picnickers out for an afternoon of potato salad & shoot-em-up.

Dada, EK & I are still laughing about "Whoopy-Dipshit"!!! Always love to hear a new expression, or even an old expression that we've never heard. Listen, if you're getting 27K new residents (soldiers), it should help the EP housing market, right? They can't ALL live on base, can they? just looking for something positive ...