What Is Not Inflated? He Is No Different Than The Worst Of The Worst. It Is Not Just Florida. Don’t Get Your Panties In A Wad.
- The coronavirus and the pandemic. The serious supply chain issues reducing the amount of available goods. Stimulus checks being pocketed by millions. The sanctions and other economic responses to Russia invading Ukraine. All of these socio-economic and geopolitical events have resulted in the fastest rate of inflation in forty years. Compared to 2021, gas at our favorite convenience store is up 38%, used cars 41%, and food prices at the grocery store up as much as 9%. By economic definition, the continued rising prices across the board define inflation, a general increase in prices and fall in the purchasing value of money. The sector of the population most affected by inflation are people living on fixed incomes or lower-wage workers. The problem is systemic and will hopefully resolve itself by solving the supply chain dilemma and the Federal Reserve slowly raising interest rates.
Established in 1913, The Federal Reserve System (“the Fed”) is the central banking system of the United States. It was formed in response to a series of financial panics with the goal of controlling the monetary system to help alleviate issues with financial and banking systems. It is interesting how things have not changed over the last one hundred and nine years, as there is no more important time than now for the Federal Reserve to step in to mitigate inflation not seen in more than 40 years. One way the Fed can help with slowing down the economy is to change (raise) interest rates. It does this by raising the short-term borrowing rate for commercial banks, who in turn pass on the higher rates to their consumer and business customers. It is sort of like a gas and brake pedal for the economy, raising rates to slow down the economy as higher rates usually correlate to a slowdown in spending, or lower the rates to stimulate the economy. For now, the Fed will try to make borrowing more expensive so consumers and businesses hold off on making purchases or investments, which will in turn cool off demand and bring prices for fuel and food back in check. With all that said, no one knows the full effect of Russia invading Ukraine, and what the subsequent sanctions, will do to our economy.
- Josef Mengele. Adolf Eichmann. Saddam Hussein. Ratko Mladic. Pol Pot. Omar Al-Bashir. Muammar Qaddafi. Augusto Pinochet. Slobodan Milosevic. Idi Amin.
These are a random sample of so-called leaders accused of war crimes. As a level-set, here is the definition of a war crime, outlined by The International Criminal Court, an intergovernmental organization and international tribunal that sits in The Hague, Netherlands: A war crime is a violation of the laws of war that gives rise to individual criminal responsibility for actions by the combatants, such as intentionally killing civilians or intentionally killing prisoners of war, torture, taking hostages, unnecessarily destroying civilian property, deception by perfidy, wartime sexual violence, pillaging, the conscription of children in the military, committing genocide or ethnic cleansing, the granting of no quarter despite surrender, and flouting the legal distinctions of proportionality and military necessity.
There has been continued discussion regarding Vladimir Putin and his egregious behavior. Russia is bombing Ukraine’s civilian population, including apartment buildings and a maternity hospital. Civilian property is destroyed, and many civilians have been killed – in a sovereign country now devastated by Putin and his armed forces. These events in Ukraine are no different than Putin’s actions with Chechnya in 1999, Georgia in 2008, and Ukraine in 2014, which led to an illegal occupation and annexation of Crimea. Then there’s Syria. For a decade, Putin has propped up Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad despite evidence of atrocities that war crimes investigators believe is the “strongest since the Nuremberg trials”. By definition, Putin is a war criminal and must be treated as one. I understand the thirty-member NATO alliance, and their hesitancy to send troops to non-NATO Ukraine. What I do not understand is why a clandestine operative has not sent this narcissistic megalomaniac to a place called Hell.
- I often run across some interesting (or puzzling) headlines:
- India accidentally fires missile into Pakistan – how does India actually make this happen? Did they aim incorrectly?
- Florida man arrested after stealing a crossbow by stuffing it down his trousers – yes, this happened in FLORIDA. Anyone surprised?
- New Jersey animal control officer called to capture fake parrot – okay, so maybe Florida is not so bad after all?
- Box of human heads stolen from Denver truck – Weed is legal in Colorado, right?
- Unusual, submarine-shaped vehicle spotted on Florida road – okay, I take back what I said about Florida. It was obviously a slow news day in Punta Gorda.
We can lighten up the tone of this post with someone’s interesting definition of friends. I do not disagree with this take: