Thomas Friedman brings news from Asia that pretty much the whole world is now looking to the USA to pull their collective fat out of the economic fire. While there is recognition that we caused this, there is also recognition that only we are in a position to lead the recovery. Key quotes:
All eyes are on Washington to pull the world out of its economic tailspin. At no time in the last 50 years have we ever felt weaker, and at no time in the last 50 years has the world ever seen us as more important.
Yes, many Asians resent the fact that Americans scolded them about their banking crisis in the 1990s, and now we’ve made many of the same mistakes. But that schadenfreude doesn’t last long. In random conversations here in Seoul with Korean and Asian thinkers, journalists and business executives, I found people really worried: Could it be, they ask, that the Americans don’t know what they are doing, or, worse, that they know what they are doing but the problem is just so much bigger than anything we’ve ever seen?
Ironically, Bush may have actually succeeded at getting the USA recognized and respected (well, at least recognized) as the world power again. Frank Herbert was right. “The power to destroy a thing is the power to control a thing.” By bringing the US to the brink of economic collapse, Bush has forced the world to reckon with the fact that we still control the world economy. I suppose he’s further intimidated them by showing that not only are we willing to shoot ourselves in the foot to make a point, we’re willing to endure a sucking chest wound.
Way to go George! After all, those crazy-assed terrorist types are never going to respect a country who’s not as suicidal as they are. We showed them! Take that Al-Qaeda. Now… could we borrow a band-aid? And maybe a couple trillion dollars?
On Tuesday, I was in Washington D.C. in the company of five lawyers, any one of whom bills out hourly at far more than I make in a day. So I was not one to put up a fuss when they offered to buy dinner. Although, they are probably billing us for that time as well. Anyway, we were sitting in a trendy Chinese fusion restaurant on Pennsylvania Ave. when police shut down the road so a long black motorcade could head up to the Capitol building for the Obama speech.
Now as I understand these things, there are often decoy convoys, and the straight line being the obvious route means that this was likely a decoy. Unless that’s what they wanted the terrorists to think, in which case maybe it was the real deal. Unless they were counting on the terrorists thinking that they would think that, in which case this was a decoy.
Oh hell, who knows? The upshot is that there is a reasonable probability that I glanced a look at the outside of a vehicle that the President may have been in. I was in the proximity of hope. Ironically, I was likely the only one at the table who makes less than Obama, so perhaps I was hoping a little harder than the rest of them.
Have you ever wondered how a television worked? Well, despite being the topic of this video, this isn’t really going to clear things up much. Do pay special attention to all the wires there that take care care of all the electrons and get them through all the way to here. I suspect that’s important. And, never ever let Icelandic poets lie to you. Solid advice there.