some absolutely historic things have transpired in the last week. some are likely to be felt for years to come, while others will prove merely notable. in no particular order:
- CIA recordings: the CIA was apparently caught red-handed destroying evidence. it may become the agency's worst PR disaster ever.
- Iran nukes: after persecuting Iran and badmounthing them for years, we admit they're not all that dangerous after all.
- A federal sentencing body reduced sentences for almost 20k imprisioned crack offenders. it makes one ask whether the political arena will look to ending the moronic persecution of non-violent criminals. this is positive and could help dismantle the dominance of the old stodgy white-guy cultural norms.
- other notable events: Led Zeppelin performs with Jason Bonham on drums and may return as a band.
- the Fed seems to be in disarray: badly divided and incapable of expressing intentions.
- finally, Russia may have moved into the huey long phase, where putin runs things from afar through his lackey.
the first 3 events are the most important. all of them will hurt one man. he is white, american, middle-class and educated. he believes in fighting for america, fighting crime, fighting drugs, etc. he fits in with rush limbaugh and is generally patriotic. he is rudy guiliani, george bush, pat robertson, dick cheney... he is your typical CIA agent or police officer.
this character -- the stodgy, uptight white guy -- is loosing power in society. now he's been caught destroying evidence and misreading what was happening in Iran. some panel smacked him down by validating the arguments of black activists who have long complained about the sentencing laws. I have little sympathy for this obnoxious, self-serving white guy. he's the one who was ok with busting kids for drug offences, forcing them to be in prisons for years, virtually guaranteeing lives of crime and misery. he was the one who was happy to collect the pension and enjoy the benefits as a corrections officer, cop, or DEA agent etc.
he is also the one who drives massive SUVs and doesn;t give a sh1t about the environment. he's the one who sells corn-syrup laden factory-food to obese children and thinks it's just a job. he enjoys freedom only because better men came before him and cares little for justice or truth.
this kind of mediocre character has long existed, but only recently has he taken over the entire system. even under nixon, there was an attitude of trying to make the world a better place. nixon did, for example, affirmative action and a lot of environmental stuff. while I don't agree with these actions, they do reflect that the mechanism of government was at least looking to help ordinary people.
that was in the wake of LBJ and FDR. now, the intellectual legacy is a few reaganistic things like tax cuts, deregulation and patriotic references. the swagger worked in the 1980s; Russia was broke and needed to talk to the US. reagan knew he could force change on them, so was tough with them. on the other hand, bush picks fights with countries like Iran on false pretenses, only to back down... does Bush have any idea how bad that makes him and the US look?
what will the people of Africa and South America think of us?
do we appear sane and rational?
can they trust us? -- already we have betrayed Latin American countries in negotiations.
what happens when they don't need us? more importantly, will it make them seek to do business elsewhere?
will we drive latin america and parts of africa to china, russia, india and the arab world?
will the world continue to trust their financial security in our currency?
no matter which way we go, some very difficult times could lay ahead. the US is going to have to learn it's messed up and start trying to fix it. that will probably take 1-2 decades...