Context Change

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 2009Today% chgSource

Avg. retail price/gallon gas in U.S.$1.83$3.10469.6%1
Crude oil, European Brent (barrel)$43.48$99.02127.7%2
Crude oil, West TX Inter. (barrel)$38.74$91.38135.9%2
Gold: London (per troy oz.)$853.25$1,369.5060.5%2
Corn, No.2 yellow, Central IL$3.56$6.3378.1%2
Soybeans, No. 1 yellow, IL$9.66$13.7542.3%2
Sugar, cane, raw, world, lb. fob$13.37$35.39164.7%2
Unemployment rate, non-farm, overall7.6%9.4%23.7%3
Unemployment rate, blacks12.6%15.8%25.4%3
Number of unemployed11,616,00014,485,00024.7%3
Number of fed. employees, ex. military (curr = 12/10 prelim)2,779,0002,840,0002.2%3
Real median household income (2008 v 2009)$50,112$49,777-0.7%4
Number of food stamp recipients (curr = 10/10)31,983,71643,200,87835.1%5
Number of unemployment benefit recipients (curr = 12/10)7,526,5989,193,83822.2%6
Number of long-term unemployed2,600,0006,400,000146.2%3
Poverty rate, individuals (2008 v 2009)13.2%14.3%8.3%4
People in poverty in U.S. (2008 v 2009)39,800,00043,600,0009.5%4
U.S. rank in Economic Freedom World Rankings59n/a10
Present Situation Index (curr = 12/10)29.923.5-21.4%11
Failed banks (curr = 2010 + 2011 to date)14016417.1%12
U.S. dollar versus Japanese yen exchange rate89.7682.03-8.6%2
U.S. money supply, M1, in billions (curr = 12/10 prelim)1,575.11,865.718.4%13
U.S. money supply, M2, in billions (curr = 12/10 prelim)8,310.98,852.36.5%13
National debt, in trillions$10.627$14.05232.2%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

"No Way In" print edition at Amazon

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