America’s Fiscal Crisis, Men as Losers, Grapeshot, China Poor Big, Greater Fool Theory, Parag Khanna’s World, Still Having Fun?
Over the weekend the risk of a 1995-style shutdown of the US federal government became more real.
At that time it was a game saver for President Bill Clinton, will history repeat itself?
Thinking about history, regimes that can use a little grapeshot to keep the hordes at bay survive but have a distinctly authoritarian edge to them, articles on Iran, Libya and China.
Also how to avoid being the Greater Fool, a new book about our multipolar world, and Michael Ignatieff's limping leadership, the man who would be Prime Minister and missed his chance.
Paul Ryan on why the American public will support his anti-entitlement crusade. The question is do they know what they are against.
WSJ -- Ryan's Charge Up Entitlement Hill
Paul Ryan doesn't look like the menacing sort.
Quote worth quoting.
“Politically, I also believe it's going to be the right thing to do. People want conviction politicians. People want the problem solved. People turn on their TV, they see the European debt crisis. They see California, New York, Illinois. They understand there is a sovereign debt crisis popping all over the place." -- Paul Ryan
Leadership on fiscal responsibility is coming at the state level because the crisis has arrived.
FT -- All in a flap about America’s deficit
Washington is quarrelling its way to a government shutdown, but not to a remedy for its fiscal problems.
Yahoo News -- Memories of 1995 haunt GOP as shutdown talk grows
Few memories haunt Republicans more deeply than the 1995-96 partial shutdown of the federal government, which helped President Bill Clinton reverse his falling fortunes and recast House Republicans as stubborn partisans, not savvy insurgents.
On many measures of national excellence the United States is exceptional only in its failure to create world class education, health, community, and economic outcomes on average for its citizens. Thanks to William of Whistler for sending this in.
Charles Blow explains.
NYT -- Empire at the End of Decadence
It’s time for us to stop lying to ourselves about this country.
In the really stupid category a 6 minute video discusses how the increase of women in the work force has changed the role of men and created a real dialogue about ‘why men aren’t needed’ in families’ (ed’s note – sperm only please).
Right, most single parent homes are headed by women and most of those live in poverty. Girls and boys that grow up without fathers are on average more likely to have below average education, health, community and economic outcomes.
The real question is how to adjust our 19th century planting-harvesting based education system to one that makes sense in a 21st century global economy that in many developed countries happily includes economic leadership roles for women.
WSJ -- Why Are Men Today Such Losers?
Between his lack of responsibilities and an entertainment media devoted to his every pleasure, today's young man has no reason to grow up, says author Kay Hymowitz. She discusses her book, "Manning Up: How the Rise of Women Has Turned Men Into Boys."
In Paul Johnson’s wonderfully brief but to the point biography of the malevolent dictator Napoleon (2002), that I bought at all places at the bookstore on top of the Arc de Triomphe, he argues that the French government was saved from popular revolt in October 1795 when Napoleon used artillery in the tightly packed streets of Paris against a mob of about 30,000.
As Johnson puts its, ‘Bonaparte preferred musket balls encased in tins … known as grapeshot. The advantage of grapeshot was that it scattered over a wide area, tending to produce a lot of blood, and often maiming its victims … [By using grapeshot] the Revolution was over and the era of the mob entered the era of fear. (p. 28)
Iran, Libya, and China come to mind.
NYT -- Iran Squelches Protest Attempt in Capital
Antigovernment protesters gathered throughout parts of Iran on Sunday, most concentrated in the capital Tehran, to mark the deaths of two men killed during demonstrations last Monday.
NYT -- Qaddafi’s Son Warns of Civil War as Libyan Protests Widen
A five-day-old uprising in Libya took control of its second-largest city of Benghazi and spread for the first time to the capital of Tripoli late on Sunday as the heir-apparent son of its strongman, Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi, warned Libyans in a televised speech that their oil-rich country would fall into civil war and even renewed Western “colonization” if they threw off his father’s 40-year-long rule.
NYT -- Chinese Government Responds to Call for Protests
Skittish domestic security officials responded with a mass show of force across China on Sunday after anonymous calls for protesters to stage a Chinese “Jasmine Revolution” went out over social media and micro blogging outlets.
A reminder that while the economy is big China is poor.
Fortune -- China is richer, but most Chinese are still poor
Now that China has surpassed Japan to become the world's second-largest economy, economists predict it's on track to replace the US as the world's biggest by 2025. But what does the higher rank really mean for the average Chinese citizen?
Charlie Fell reminds us that mean reversion in a bear market rally is proof of the greater fool theory. Tread carefully.
Irish Times -- History tells us that the secular bear is not over yet
THE ALMOST relentless advance in stock prices off the lows of spring 2009 continues to frustrate the bears.
Related. (ed’s note – anyone who has been investing according to David Rosenberg’s warnings about how the Fed has primed the markets will have learned an important, expensive, and painful lesson about investing, you can be right about the coming apocalypse but be so early as to severely hurt yourself financially.
As we argued at the Victoria FSA forecast dinner in January 2010, complete with a year end TSX target of 13,500, until the Fed and the Chinese authorities clearly reverse their market friendly monetary policy stay invested but beware the rise of the US 10-year long term bond yield toward 5%.)
NYT -- Writing ‘Danger’ in Ever-Larger Letters
THE stock market has been thrilling lately.
And Parag Khanna on his new book, How to Run the World: Charting a Course to the Next Renaissance.
PBS – We’re Living in a Modern Version of the Middle Ages
Bestselling author Parag Khanna is hard to pin down.
Still having fun?
vocm.com -- Federal Liberal Leader Visits NL
Michael Ignatieff will visit the province today as part of his Working with Families Tour.
Globe and Mail -- Tory attack ads pack a punch that leaves Liberals reeling
This just in: attack ads work. I mean really work. Stephen Harper’s Conservatives have the support of 39.7 per cent of Canadians, while Michael Ignatieff’s Liberals have dropped to 26.6 per cent, a 13-percentage-point gap, according to a new poll conducted for the Globe and Mail and CTV by Nanos Research.
Related. (ed’s note: go to 1.10, “I could have been standing here as Prime Minister of Canada but I turned it down.” ed's note #2 -- why anne why?)
Note to Michael. This is the way Canadian Parliamentary democracy works. The person who can get a majority of sitting MPs to vote in support of money bills gets to be Prime Minister. Did you miss your chance?
Related. (ed’s warning – hard to watch).
Related. (ed’s note – from 3.35)
Richard III gives Anne the chance to kill him, and she declines.
Later he murders her.
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