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To the Manor Born

My dearest reader,

This letter hopes to find you and your family well and that the fortunes of employment bestowed upon you are sufficient so as to alleviate your most strenuous anxiety that frequently attends the lack of an income.  The news daily importunes a great degree of future distress and depression on that front but I beg you leave off such ruminations.  For it is a truth universally acknowledged that bailout recipients of great fortune are surely in want of retainers.

Gentle reader, take heart.  We shall all be wanted to serve our masters most diligently.  There shall be need of cooks, chaffeurs and gardeners and we will simplify the need of our betters to have to remember our names.  So shall we be called “Cook”, “Foote” and “my own Gardener”.  We shall see the world too as we will be required to set up the many houses upon which our masters will depend for their amusement.  Verily, our cares will be few as we will be relieved of even the details of our costume with the new livery we shall be required to wear.  Musicians and cookery artists may gain full employment now by attaching themselves to one houshold or another, thereby ensuring a modest steady income that will make tolerable the lack of taste that is the failure of good understanding in the ruthlessly fittest.  Is there a felicity in the world superior to this?

Indeed, such a change is already taking place and it will not be long before we entertain ourselves with the arrangements of the nuptials of the gentility.  How much merry  we will make over the sport of alliances between houses of many billions and poor connexions indeed will the girl have who will settle for less than $5 million a year.  Of those of us who cannot go into service but will be left among the professional class, it is true that we cannot all benefit half so well,  But those among us with a natural inclination for the sciences will by necessity attach ourselves to the billionaire biologists who live on their interest and can dabble at leisure on the cure for cancer.  Meanwhile, there will be no further need of scientific inquiry that does not directly benefit our betters and what financial interest they have in the area of innovation will find it thought of by those few remaining who can afford it and carried out in the Indies by those whose lives depend upon it.

Be of good cheer.  Your degrees will not be for naught as diligence in improving ones mind must always find employment in entertaining the spirit during a lifetime of artless routine.  There will always be an opportunity to move up in the world for your daughters, so take care to educate them as well as you can and guard their excesses lest they be thought below the station of the company they intend to keep. As for your sons, the militia is an honorable profession.

I beg to take leave of you now but I hope this missive has had the effect of good persuasion and that you will in every way endeavor to exert yourself to optimism and hope.  It can not be long now before we shall be required to adjust to our reduced circumstances, which will affect in us a discipline to such an extent that will in time reduce the surplus population.   To be sure,  pliancy and resiliance of spirit will serve ourselves and our future masters well.

Your most humble and obediant servant, etc.,

Riverdaughter


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World in Chaos Open Thread

Brain fog

Brain fog

My brain isn’t working too well this morning, thanks to a nasty head cold. Still I got up as usual and surfed around to see what’s going on in the world. Is it just me, or are things even more chaotic out there than usual? Let’s see…

Robert M. Morgenthau, district attorney of Manhattan has indicted Li Fang Wei, a Chinese businessman, for selling nuclear raw materials to Iran and using U.S. banks such as Bank of America, Citibank and J.P. Morgan Chase to launder the financial transactions. Supposedly the banks were unwitting accessories. Hmmm… why don’t I buy that excuse?

Chinese and Russian “cyberspies” have infiltrated the U.S. electric grid.

Authorities investigating the intrusions have found software tools left behind that could be used to destroy infrastructure components, the senior intelligence official said. He added, “If we go to war with them, they will try to turn them on.”

Officials said water, sewage and other infrastructure systems also were at risk.

Now isn’t that special?

Pirates have captured a U.S. flagged ship and taken 20 American crewmembers hostage off the coast of Somalia.

The container ship, the Maersk Alabama, was carrying thousands of tons of relief aid to the Kenyan port of Mombasa, the company that owns the ship said.

The ship was taken by pirates at about 7:30 a.m. local time, 280 miles southeast of the Somali city of Eyl, a known haven for pirates, a spokesman for the United States Navy said. It is owned and operated by Maersk Line Limited, a United States subsidiary of A.P. Moller – Maersk Group, the Danish shipping giant.

The Maersk Alabama was at least the sixth commercial ship commandeered by pirates this week off the Horn of Africa, one of the most notoriously lawless zones on the high seas, where pirates have been operating with near impunity despite efforts by many nations, including the United States, to intimidate them with naval warship patrols.

The death toll continues to rise after the earthquake in Italy.

At least seven strong shocks hit the region during the night, killing one person and waking people from their sleep in the tent shelters.

The tremors brought down masonry from already damaged buildings and one tremor was felt as far away as Rome.

President Obama has finally returned to Washington, D.C. after his triumphant global tour. Will that help or hurt our economic situation? Will he finally wake up and realize that Geithner and Summers are wrecking our economic system in order to save their rich friends? Or does he already know that and think it’s a good idea? Will Obama’s wooing of Muslims in Turkey make a difference or is it “just words?”

A “turning point,” a “fresh breeze” — even a “light in the darkness.” Arabs and Muslims have been charmed by President Barack Obama’s first venture into the Islamic world.

Obama’s visit to Turkey this week was full of gestures calculated at showing he is a friend to Muslims, like his headliner sound bite that the U.S will never be “at war with Islam” and his mention of the Muslims in his family. Even throwaway lines like a comment that he had to wrap up a town-hall meeting with Turkish students “before the call to prayer” showed he was no stranger to Muslims’ way of life.

To many, the town-hall format for a meeting with students in Istanbul on Tuesday sent a significant message. The sight of a U.S. president being questioned by Muslims was dramatically different from the perception many had of Obama’s predecessor, George W. Bush.

What do you think? And what are you reading/hearing/watching this morning?