Saturday, January 02, 2010

Y2K + X

Heckuva decade. It began with a nervous expectation of a worldwide computer collapse. Y2K -- The Fall of the Machines. But, despite a buildup of angst in the last years of the 1990s, the appearance of thousands of articles, hundreds of books and the media appearances of pundits from every field who predicted catastrophe -- Nothing Happened.

We had been advised to store food and water. To buy generators for electricity. To prepare to defend ourselves against roving bands of desperate people searching for supplies. To buy gold. To sell our homes. To take our money out of banks that would erase the records of our deposits after the computers failed. We were warned to hope for the best and prepare for the worst.

The clocked ticked. New Year's Day 2000 began. It began like virtually every other day that had preceded it for 10,000 years. The Sun came up and the people of the world went about their daily business without a worry in the world. Planes flew, traffic lights changed, ships sailed, elevators went up and down, and computers computed. It was just another day on Planet Earth.

However, unknown to a nation focused on the preposterous non-event of Y2K, trouble was on the way. The DotCom Bubble was inflating to epic proportions. Housing prices were climbing and lending standards were dropping.

The presidential election of 2000 was probably the most controversial election of the preceding century. By the time Gore conceded and Bush was named the winner, the country had divided itself over the outcome, proving that most Americans were intensely and deeply concerned with the election of their president. Claims that Americans were apathetic about politics did not square with the reality of the 2000 election. It was the new Civil War. Brother against brother, family against family.

Then we were hit with a true tragedy, and the madness of Islam was magnified by the madness of some people pointing the fingers of blame.

Shortly after 9/11 the nation was dealing with the appeance of conspiracy theories. The White House Let It Happen. The White House Made It Happen. Vocal nitwits claiming Bush and Cheney and their associates were responsible for 9/11 got attention. Lots of it. The 9/11 Conspiracy Theorists said the attack was perpetrated by Bush and Cheney because they were able to profit from it. They were said to have made money from the collapse of the World Trade Center and from the impact of the attack on world oil prices.

Every event, every transaction following 9/11 was said to have been a source of personal profit for Bush and Cheney and their army of traitors.

To the Conspiracy Theorists, it was irrelevant that Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda had claimed responsibility for the 9/11 attack. It was irrelevant that all 19 hijackers who commandeered the four planes that were converted into weapons of mass destruction were identified. The information was said to be false. Planted by the nefarious agents operating on behalf of Bush and Cheney.

US troops went hunting for offending members of al-Qaeda, They went to Afghanistan where many of the top 50 al-Qaeda leaders were killed. Then our troops went to Iraq to remove a dictator and plant Democracy in the middle of the middle east. Why? To change the culture of the region. Shake it free of its devotion to backwardness and turn it into a forward-looking place where peace are prosperity were given a chance.

Our forces went in and the military and government of Saddam Hussein was smashed in a few weeks during 2003. Since then it has been tought, but the new Iraq is getting closer to the ideal of a muslim democracy. Bush stands a chance of becoming the president who started the process of turning around the middle east.

But domestic problems surfaced. As a result of federal laws relaxing credit standards, real estate prices and home buying went into overdrive. It became possible for almost anyone to buy $500,000 with no money down, no job and no proof of assets. What a country! Who would dare predict that issuing lottery tickets in the form of houses would nearly bankrupt the country?

All a buyer had to do was promise to maintain his loan payments and he could move into the house of his dreams, just like a hermit crab. But for those who made no downpayment, had no skin in the game, what might happen if that owner chose to stop sending in his monthly payments to the bank? The answer -- NOTHING. Okay. Maybe he would lose his house and find himself evicted. But so what?

The owner who made a string of monthly payments was merely paying rent -- with an option to profit if the price of his house were to rise.

When housing prices began to drop, buyers began to get the feeling they had overpaid for their dream homes. If prices were falling, they reasoned, why continue to pay the mortgage? After all, what good is a house worth less than the mortgage behind it? Underwater is no place to be when you own a home.

Despite knowing that high water is a threat, most people in New Orleans decided to stay home when Hurricane Katrina hit. Little did we know how the image of the Lower Ninth Ward -- partially submerged -- was foreshadowing the mortgage crisis threatening the most populated states in the country. When the Credit Crisis hit, suddenly homeowners in the desert of Nevada were financially underwater, with debt far greater than the market value of their houses.

General Motors became Government Motors. When car-buyers spending home-equity money stopped shopping for cars Detroit became the Automakers Graveyard. Taxpayers were tapped to replace car-buyers. Taxpayers were handed the bills for the pensions and medical coverage of GM employees and GM retirees.

But the most striking development of the decade occurred in 2008. After eight years of an administration that aimed to wipe out muslim terrorism -- a huge job -- the nation acknowledged it was weary of this strategy.

Instead, voters chose a former muslim to lead the country, believing the promises of the former muslim who said he knew how to talk to the muslims of the middle east and he assured us they would respect his leadership and the goals he represented. He promised to appease muslim terrorists, and he has been true to his word.

As someone asked, "would anyone in 1999 have believed that by the end of 2009 no one running Iraq would have the name of Hussein, but the man in the White House would"?

Unfortunately for us, the former muslim in the White House is showing the usual signs of muslim incompetence. Someone might believe he has accomplished something with Healthcare Legislation. However, it is already painfully obvious that healthcare legislation will create big cost increases in our national healthcare. Big cost increases. No cost savings, and NO improvement in health.

Moreover, when it comes to managing Homeland Security, the administration of the former muslim has proven it is inept. When Homeland Security cannot respond to a 911 call from the father of a terrorist who has a bomb in his pants and is ready to board a plane heading for the US, the department is guilty of depraved incompetence.

Fortunately, given the low base from which the former muslim's administration has started, there is lots of room for improvement. On the other hand, the administration and the country are also positioned for another devastating drop. Which way will things go? No one knows. But based on the accuracy of predictions ahead of Y2K, it is hard to imagine anyone in the government getting it right.

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Anonymous Eloise said...

You are awful no_slappz. Our President is not a muslim.

10:43 PM  
Blogger SNAKE HUNTERS said...

No, Eloise. Sir No Slappz isn't awful; he has eloquently given us an accurate summary of what has happened to us in this decade. How it happened, and precisely why it happened!

Whatever Barry Obama is, he has no handle on what our country is about, or what this nation must do from this day forward. A sad but much wiser...disallusioned people will make that decision next November.


11:24 PM  
Blogger no_slappz said...


Facts are facts. Before Obama was a Christian, he was a muslim.

His sympathy for muslims is apparent in his refusal to call muslim terrorism exactly what it is -- murder and chaos committed by muslims who, like virtually all muslims, want Islam to reach the commanding heights of power in the world.

Obama has yet to appear in a meeting with a muslim leader who will state that Israel has a right to exist. Why? Because there are no muslim leaders who will make this announcement to the world -- specifically to the muslim world.

Obama gave GM the cash to float along a while longer. It was hoped that GM would find a buyer for it Hummer, Saab and Saturn divisions.

What happened? In this supposedly new world of "green" consumers who love the Earth more than each other, GM was able to find a buyer for its Hummer division. But even though Saturn produces low-priced cars that get more than 30 miles per gallon, no buyers have been willing to step up and buy the company.

As for Saab, it looks like GM may simply shut it down. How much will that cost American taxpayers?

Now Obama wants to bring the same magic touch to healthcare.

But, as a former muslim who still possesses the muslim talent for failure, he might cause massive economic problems if the healthcare bill is finally passed.

2:55 PM  

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