Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Sobering up.

I don't feel like organizing my thoughts today. Just rambling. The past three or four days have seen the most welcome inauguration diversions and the much anticipated departure of the Bush crime syndicate.

I don't know whether it was Obama, myself or someone somewhere else who first emerged from all of yesterday's noise and euphoric distractions, but by late morning (Mountain Standard Time), I felt sobriety overtaking me. It was accompanied by metaphorical news of Senator Kennedy's luncheon seizure a mere two or three hours after I'd posed the question to Sam, "I wonder who of the three - Cheney, Kennedy, or McCain - will still be with us this time next year?"

And then it was time for lunch. Mrs. Dada, due to a prior commitment, was unable to join our small triumvirate of folks on a short jaunt into New Mexico; to a local Mexican restaurant with a legendary reputation for its food. A reputation that has survived its founder. A reputation Dada finds doesn't die easily, although it probably should. It was a luncheon trip I had suggested the prior evening during an intimate End-of-Bush get together with friends.

The tone over lunch was set by the recent news from a U.S. Joint Forces Command report that Mexico is on the verge of collapse. One of our meal's members, "Peter" (aka "the Unabomber - sans the violence"), is a resident of lawless Juarez. He shared with us his observations on the extreme loss of commerce to Mexican's from an almost total boycott of tourists from El Paso's sister city.

Peter explained how once busy street vendors, and stores and bars have been deserted by tourists. I'm "the last gringo in Juarez," he remarked. Thinking that had the ring of a good book title, I told him so. Peter agreed, but said so far it would be but a short story. I suspected, however, if U.S. visions for Mexico's future are right, it will become a book.

The tenor of the meal had been set. Dismal economics would dominate, so I further dowsed the flavor of our repast with news of the latest derivative funds manager who mysteriously vanished a couple days ago after missing a $50 million payout to his investors. (His abandoned car was located in a Sarasota airport parking lot, but he and the $50 missing million have not.)

I followed that with a little seasoning from China where I'd read the industrial base is so miserable, some displaced factory workers there were being retrained in the skills of raising rabbits!

One in our party who had lost an enormous amount in the stock market over the past year sighed, saying, "There's no use selling now." She may be right - selling low is never a good thing - but I flashed a devilish grin and assured, "But you could lose much more this year." I don't know why we couldn't talk of fluffy stuff like the movie "Bride Wars," who will win the Super Bowl, or those cute Obama daughters during yesterday's pomp and circumstance.

Most likely I won't be invited to lunch again for a long time.

Dada file photo: The City Market of San Miguel, New Mexico (in
purple). A bright spot 'neath an economy of gathering storm clouds?

If there was one positive, it was the short jaunt we took after lunch up the road to the City Market in San Miguel, NM for a brief visit with its owner, Estella. Having previously blogged her difficulty in maintaining a small town grocery store against the onslaught of Wal-Marts, etc., I was pleased to learn Estella's determination to keep the store alive is even more resolute than last time. "I'm now accepting food stamps. This has helped. Especially with more and more people on them." she said matter of factly.

I added, "And with the price of gas destined to rise again, this makes shopping locally cheaper!" Estella agreed. Once in awhile, in darkening times, it is possible to find a little light.

Returning home I opened an e-mail from a bank where I have a CD. It had the assuring subject line that my money was safe with them. They were soliciting more deposits by advertising CD rates that had fallen 1.33% for the same amount/time period as a CD I'd renewed with them just over two months ago (which had renewed then at a rate 1% lower than the CD it was replacing)!

But it was late afternoon when I heard a remarkable thing: Over the airwaves came the "D" word used for the first time as in, 'we may actually be approaching, or in, a Depression'* because, despite the best monetary efforts of the government, the economy no longer reacts with any positive response.

And I wondered how soon the banks will be charging us to hold our money for us? How much longer the Dada's have to enjoy the shelter and warmth of a house? Or, who the hell would want to go out for a *pleasant lunch* with Dada.

But most puzzling of all? Who the hell in their right mind would want to be president of this humongous mess?

* Depression is capitalized here and the rest of forever because Dada feels it's going to be a Great One. (The Greatest One perhaps.)

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