James Call: Expert here. Just wanted to update on a couple issues I mentioned earlier.
First off, the debate results are in from rasmussen, and it looks to confirm what the "insta-polls" night of said - basically no minds were changed by the debate. Further, rating were unexpected low. Lower even than Bush-Kerry! That, I personally did not see coming.
Next: I dismissed out of hand a reader's allegory about the road to National Socialism the other day, and while I still doubt we're headed down that path, let's just say that with the federal debt likely to top $11 trillion by 2010... well, debt repayments - to FOREIGNERS - was by and large what drove Germany to Nazism. There were many other factors, but that was an important one.
Now let's be fair about our federal debt situation - most of the debt is held by US Gov't agencies themselves - a little over half the total debt. Of the remaining approx. half of the debt, only 25% is actually held by foreigners. And just who are those foreigners? Are they the evil Chinese and oil-exporting terrorist Islamofascist nations we keep hearing about? While those players are involved, the largest foreign holder of our debt is Japan, then China, yes, then Britain, and then a variety of evil Mecca-facing freedom-hating terrorist regimes.
So really - foreigners control only about 12.5% of our debt - one eighth. Not that big a deal, and one might thank them for helping keep our debt-driven economy aloft!
oh - also - re: Pakistan... is Zardari with us, or with the Taleban? The War Nerd has a great article up today about the recent bombing of the Marriot in Islamabad which touches on these issues. Please read: http://exiledonline.com/war-nerd-islamablog-day-3/
RECOMMENDED READING: I think everyone owes it to themselves, at some point in their lives, to read William Shirer's The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich. It's a mind-blowing story, and the ultimate lesson is, "Yes, it CAN happen here." We tend to segregate our view of nazi history, in our modern culture, into "the holocaust just sort of happened and it was terrible" and "you have to be strong and not appease dictators". Understanding HOW the Nazis came to power, how the holocaust really came to occur, the importance of debt forgiveness, and so many other lessons that can be derived from this stunning and appaling history is crucial, in my view, to understanding the course of human affairs. It's also just a mind-blowing story.