November 7 2012

Our cable service is out right now, so no Internet, no tv. I’ve had to rely on the radio for reports: NPR! This won’t get posted until I can reconnect. At this time, the reports are that President Obama has been re-elected. Some initial thoughts:
1. God is sovereign. Christians are citizens of different nations, but subjects of God’s Kingdom. If four more years like the last four years are ahead of us, we need to gear ourselves up to care for others. We will be needed. (We already know, or should know, that FEMA is not going to rescue us. They failed after Katrina and they failed after Sandy.)
2. If I were Netanyahu, I would be seriously considering taking out Iran’s nuclear program in the next few days. Perhaps weeks. Certainly not months. America has already distanced herself from Israel. That distance will only grow under a second Obama administration. So there is little downside to Israel acting to defend herself. She has already lost America as a reliable ally for the next four years, and she cannot give Iran four years.
3. The economy will suffer. Higher taxes will to us back into a recession, especially if those higher taxes are accompanied by the lower spending forced by sequestration. Maybe, just maybe, the recession will serve to stifle the inflation which must follow the Fed’s “quantitative easing” programs, which are in effect vast increases in the money supply. But that is a rosy scenario. The other, I fear more likely, scenario is that we have high inflation and high unemployment.
4. It appears that the Republicans have retained control of the House of Representatives. If that is the case, then “gridlock” is the best case scenario. More likely is “trench warfare”, with the House vigorously investigating what happened at Benghazi, and Operation Fast & Furious.
5. That said, we ought to respect the voice of the people as expressed in the election. (I assume here that there was not massive voter fraud.) What is the electorate telling itself, especially when they vote for what is in essence the status quo ante. Honestly, after the last four, and especially the last two, years, are Americans really saying that we are happy with government that cannot, will not, act? Maybe so. Maybe, if we keep the politicians sniping at each other, they will be too busy to interfere with us as we go about our business.
6. When has so much money been spent to do little effect? Nearly $2B on the Presidential race alone, and after it’s all over, we have pretty much the same situation as before.
7. See 1.

More later.

“The cake is a lie”

I double-checked, and this phrase does seem to have originated in the excellent videogame “Portal”. Basically, it means that the reward that has been dangled in front of you was never going to be there for you when you reached the “goal”.

I saw the phrase this morning in this excellent post by Sarah Hoyt. It is as fine a summation of our current situation as I have seen. Read the whole thing.

When I clicked over to her post, I was thinking of something a colleague of mine told me a few weeks ago. There used to be a “cupcake index”: the manufacturers of cupcake paper could identify economic downturns by an uptick in the use of their product. People were baking cupcakes in lieu of… cakes. It was a kind of a belt-tightening measure. This is consistent with economics: when income goes down, demand for “inferior” goods goes up. If you can’t afford cake, but you still want to celebrate something, you substitute cupcakes for the cake.

Which, by the way, explains why the prices for used clothing at Good Will have gone up.