Apr 10 2011

Interesting Times Indeed

Published by at 8:48 pm under Debt and Credit,Political Economy

“It was in the reign of George III that the aforesaid personages lived and quarreled; good or bad, handsome or ugly, rich or poor they are all equal now.” – William Makepeace Thackeray


For those who thought I gave up on the blog, I can understand why – but rest assured I have not.  It has been a terribly busy period in my life and something just had to give for a while.  Even now there are quite a few things that I need to get started on but I feel compelled to capture my thoughts before the moment slips by completely.


It would be an understatement to suggest that 2011 has brought great turmoil and change so far.  Going back a few months we saw regimes in Tunisia and Egypt fall in a matter of days or weeks.  Many other governments in the Middle East and North Africa are quite unstable and leaders are concerned they will encounter mass demonstrations or worse.  At this moment it seems the US, Britain and France are trying to help a ragtag group of rebels overthrow Muammar Gaddafi and his government – for what legitimate reason I have no idea.  I suppose it is remotely possible that prudent leadership will gain power in these countries and bring a better future for the people, but I am far too cynical to believe it is likely.  In this region of the world, I think all we can honestly hope for is a reasonable level of stability under strong and often militant leadership.  Western democracy just doesn’t work very well as there are too many radical groups that will challenge power at any cost.


As if this isn’t enough to deal with, the Earth has been delivering some deadly natural distasters of late.  Haiti, Chile, China, New Zealand and most recently Japan, have all been rocked by terrible earthquakes.  Japan’s 9.0 earthquake was the worst in over 100 years and the subsequent tsunami wiped many coastal towns off the map and started a nuclear disaster that is still unfolding.  It is as if Pandora’s atomic box has been opened and no matter how hard the humans try, we can’t contain the deadly, seeping force from within.  Tens of thousands died from the earthquake and tsunami and more will die from radiation sickness at some point in the future.  I have many friends and colleagues in Japan, so this has been very difficult for me.  Japan is an amazing country and I have the utmost respect and appreciation for the Japanese culture.  If there is any good news from this disaster, it is that it happened in Japan where people will work day and night to fix the problems and rebuild what has been destroyed.  I know this doesn’t erase the death and destruction but it is my best attempt to consider a brighter side (as dim as it might be).


Finally we have the quagmire that is the United States right now.  The once powerful nation that is so divided and buried in debt that we can’t seem to figure out what to do – except start wars in the Middle East and North Africa.  I only hope that God hasn’t given up on us yet because it seems he is the only one that can save us from ourselves.  Time will tell and so we will just wait and see.  In the meantime we would all be wise to pray for a brighter tomorrow.


As I watch Charl Swartzel slip on the Green Jacket at Augusta National, I can’t help but wonder what the World’s Greatest Golfer, Bobby Jones, would think about the 21st Century.  Like me, he probably wouldn’t know what to think.

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