Some random observations then:
- I am reading a book called Sidetracked by Henning Mankell, the 4th Kurt Wallander mystery. I am more sensitive than usual to the descriptions of deaths, perhaps because of their extreme nature. So far, one person has died by setting fire to herself and 2 have been axed to death and scalped. Yuch.
- I read a few articles in the NYT business section this morning about China. One was about a person who believes China's economy is about to collapse, like Dubai's, because there is too much credit and too much production based on loans that are likely not to be collected. The other was about China raising an important interest rate to stave off borrowing and inflation. Some editor at the NYT has a sense of humor.
- Unemployment is still at 10% which is, of course, bad for Obama and the mid term elections. Worse, in my mind, is the unemployment rate among 18-24 year olds which is over 16%. These were the voters who embraced Obama's message of hope and now are awakened to harsh reality that rhetoric does not equal outcomes. Welcome to adulthood my young friends.
- Expectations of Obama have been too high in any event. He cannot work miracles in what is essentially a conservative society. We still are better off than we were a year ago under the Bushies. We will soon have a health care bill and the EPA is finally stepping up again to protect the environment. Sales were up over Christmas and the stock market is up so hopefully people will start spending again to shore up our consumer economy. But not us. We owe the government too much.
- One of my FB friends wondered why certain Catholic countries, like Portugal, Spain and Mexico, could accept gay marriage and the non-Catholic US states of NY, NJ, Maine and California do not. He asked, "Don't they read the same bible?" The answer is "no". Reading the bible literally is reserved to the United States with other countries (except perhaps Uganda) not adopting that evangelical view. Other countries see the bible, like Karen Armstrong describes, as stories and myths to guide behavior and morality, not to be taken literally. Another wonderful contribution of our "religion free" state.
- I have started watching TV again and realize how much I hate watching the same commercials over and over. I watched an episode of Modern Family (my new fave) on Hulu yesterday and fully understand why all the young people I know now watch TV that way. Only 1 minute of commercials instead of 9 or 10. Soon I will have a whole new set up in the bedroom for TV-- 40 inch high def TV and Verizon Fios TV with a new DVR so I can watch HBO (hello Big Love) and movies from bed.