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Belmont Club

Context Change

February 16th, 2011 - 11:12 am

Carol Hanisch’s dictum that the “personal is political” got it wrong. In reality, when something becomes personal it stops being political. A Guantanamo detainee living in America is political. The same detainee living next door is personal. The masses taking their revenge on the imperialist West is political; Lara Logan being raped is personal. When somebody else is being beheaded one can examine which political attitude to take. When it happens to you, then you just want it to stop.

January 2009 Today % chg Source
Avg. retail price/gallon gas in U.S. $1.83 $3.104 69.6% 1
Crude oil, European Brent (barrel) $43.48 $99.02 127.7% 2
Crude oil, West TX Inter. (barrel) $38.74 $91.38 135.9% 2
Gold: London (per troy oz.) $853.25 $1,369.50 60.5% 2
Corn, No.2 yellow, Central IL $3.56 $6.33 78.1% 2
Soybeans, No. 1 yellow, IL $9.66 $13.75 42.3% 2
Sugar, cane, raw, world, lb. fob $13.37 $35.39 164.7% 2
Unemployment rate, non-farm, overall 7.6% 9.4% 23.7% 3
Unemployment rate, blacks 12.6% 15.8% 25.4% 3
Number of unemployed 11,616,000 14,485,000 24.7% 3
Number of fed. employees, ex. military (curr = 12/10 prelim) 2,779,000 2,840,000 2.2% 3
Real median household income (2008 v 2009) $50,112 $49,777 -0.7% 4
Number of food stamp recipients (curr = 10/10) 31,983,716 43,200,878 35.1% 5
Number of unemployment benefit recipients (curr = 12/10) 7,526,598 9,193,838 22.2% 6
Number of long-term unemployed 2,600,000 6,400,000 146.2% 3
Poverty rate, individuals (2008 v 2009) 13.2% 14.3% 8.3% 4
People in poverty in U.S. (2008 v 2009) 39,800,000 43,600,000 9.5% 4
U.S. rank in Economic Freedom World Rankings 5 9 n/a 10
Present Situation Index (curr = 12/10) 29.9 23.5 -21.4% 11
Failed banks (curr = 2010 + 2011 to date) 140 164 17.1% 12
U.S. dollar versus Japanese yen exchange rate 89.76 82.03 -8.6% 2
U.S. money supply, M1, in billions (curr = 12/10 prelim) 1,575.1 1,865.7 18.4% 13
U.S. money supply, M2, in billions (curr = 12/10 prelim) 8,310.9 8,852.3 6.5% 13
National debt, in trillions $10.627 $14.052 32.2% 14

That’s why the Berkeley City Council voted against inviting detainees; and that is why, whatever one’s politics, most will agree that Nir Rosen deserved to be fired. Moments of historical crisis are clarifying periods because they reduce everyone to the least common denominator: the human race. The “design margin” that used to make petty politics possible has now evaporated.  Those who still haven’t caught on, soon will.

No man is an island,
Entire of itself.
Each is a piece of the continent,
A part of the main.
If a clod be washed away by the sea,
Europe is the less.
As well as if a promontory were.
As well as if a manor of thine own
Or of thine friend’s were.
Each man’s death diminishes me,
For I am involved in mankind.
Therefore, send not to know
For whom the bell tolls,
It tolls for thee.

John Donne

Tell me what’s the difference between us and them!!?
Because…we live here!

Red Dawn


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