Bald tires

For anyone who has been locked away in a cave and want proof of the recession, here is one pointer… Bald Tires. Yes, car tires, still on cars. Buying new tires isn’t a priority when affording food and shelter is problematic.

So if you want to know if that guy who flaunted his ‘wealth’ is in trouble or not, his tires might indicate thus. The problem is that bald tires increases the risk of an accident (mayhem on I-95) not only for the driver but for others around. Adding that to mix of people who drive our roads and highways using cell phones and eating while driving (what they call multi-tasking, I call multi-moronism), makes me very nervous ‘out there’.

But there are millions of ‘bald tires’ out there, little subtle signs of suffering economic malaise. That guy with the dark apartment isn’t enjoying the spirit of darkness and silence… his lights cut off. The family who don’t want the long drive to see the family for holidays… can’t afford it. Same with the guy who mysteriously leaves just before it’s his turn to buy the round of drinks.

Those ‘oh so cute lovers sharing the meal’?… broke-ass. The bredrin who dismisses buying a big screen tv when all year he said he would get ‘the big one’ for Xmas… credit card maxed out. Isn’t that the second time you are seeing that lady in the same cocktail dress this month?… yep, card shredded. Haven’t rented a video in months?… Blockbuster membership terminated.

The economic meltdown is creating new levels of astonishment, “What do you mean you don’t know ANYBODY who is going through foreclosure?”
One of the mistakes people are making is judging the workers on the basis of the management. One reader demanded why I was defending several bailouts including one for the automakers whose top management flew leased corporate jets to Washington with begging bowls in hand.

I had to point out that they made the bad decisions, yes, but in a fall-out they won’t be suffering… their beds are already well made. It will be the floor workers who have no escape clause, who will be jobless, savings-less and very likely homeless. The social cost of that will be almost impossible for this society to bear.

I’ve read comments from who appears to be literate people only to confirm there is a difference between literacy and common sense. But then again, there is also the sense of vengeance. People want someone, almost anyone to pay for this downturn and threat to their living. But as usual, they are conditioned to point fingers in the wrong direction… at those like themselves.

Isn’t it big-time irony that George Bush claimed that the ‘terrorists’ wanted to destroy our way of living… when all the while it was just him?

Another irony? How about all these white people putting so much trust in Barack Obama. The last time that happened was when OJ was playing and all his fans shouted, “Give OJ the ball.’ See how well that turned out.
The attack in Mumbai, India, by teams of gunmen, illustrate not only that the world is a dangerous place, but the futility of dealing with so-called ‘terrorists’ with armed warfare.

The problem is that people just don’t get up one morning and say “Let’s all go kill some people.” More often than not, there is a long history of seething resentment birthed by some social, political or religious malfeasance.

Bob Marley, quoting Haile Selassie, “Until there’s no longer first class and second class citizens of any nation… until the basic human rights are equally guaranteed to all, without regard to race… it will be war.

I can’t claim to know exactly what triggered those attacks, but this isn’t the first incident of this kind in recent Indian history. With apparent targets being British and Americans, and the attackers suspected Muslims, it’s not hard to extrapolate that this has something with these two countries recent and historical aggression against Muslim states… recent examples being Iraq and Afghanistan.

Now both the United States and the United Kingdom like to react by pointing fingers away from themselves and they get away with it with their own citizens. Citizens of the world often know better.

One can only hope that Barack Obama understands the roots of the resentment, and fashions a foreign policy that disarms such animosity, as opposed to America’s long history of trying to subdue such anger by bombs.

One of the things that many American policy makers have failed to understand in the mid-east, is that hurt feelings last a long time, and is passed from generation to generation. It’s difficult to defeat such a movement, because their children automatically become a new generation of recruits.

Malcolm X made a statement in relation to the assassination of JFK that ‘the chickens have come home to roost.’ What he was saying that the treacherous seeds planted by previous American administrations, are now returning as payback. Certainly 9-11 is the most illustrative example of what X said.

One of the United States foreign policy weaknesses is Israel, which has now turned into a case of the tail wagging the dog. The US has not only lost control over Israel, Israel has taken control of the US foreign policy, especially in the mid-east.

I am currently reading “Palestine: Peace not Apartheid” by former American president Jimmy Carter, and it is disturbing to see how the American people continues to be duped by consecutive American administration on the Israel issue. Carter squarely lays the blame time and time again for most of the failures to find peace in that region on Israel.

Although a strong supporter of Israel and its right to exist, he outlines how various Israeli administrations have undermined practically every peace initiative. Yet, the American citizens have been told that the fault lies with the Arabs and Palestinians.

Coming from anyone else, this book could be regarded as anti-semitic, the usual charge brought on any who dares to criticise Israel. But it was Carter who had the most successful initiatives at forming peace in the region.

Barack Obama will find it difficult to make peace in the middle east one of his legacies. The very fact of his ‘Muslim’ background counts against what must be done… bringing Israel to heel.

Israel is America’s largest foreign aid recipient, currently to the tune of approximately $3b a year, most of it in military aid. This does not include grants, soft loans, guaranteed loans and forgiven loans. The lopsided relationship obviously drives a wedge between the US and any attempts it has tried to broker peace.

Israel’s, and the American-Jewish lobby, have several ‘bought’ members of Congress and the Senate who protect Israel’s interests. Often, it is the defense of these interests which leads to the continuation of wars in the region.

It must be assumed that Obama couldn’t have been elected without some assurances given to the Jewish lobby and he most likely will never be able to launch any initiative to bring some form of parity to the mid-east.

I urge readers to find a copy of Carter’s book, even a used copy.
‘Black Friday’ is an important indicator of the economy particularly for retailers holiday season. If sales are low on Black Friday, then the Xmas season is likely to crash. That crash leads to other things like layoffs and store closures.

In fact, there are already many national stores who have closed, downsized, or filed fro bankruptcy. I have not been able to verify the list, but already know that some on the list are in trouble. Because of this lack of verification, I cannot list them on this blog but can do so on request.

It is important to know which stores are going under, especially if you are one to buy gift cards. The big screen tv you buy on Xmas eve, might be unreturnable the next day.