2008/10/10

My 2nd Thousand Miles

UPDATE: It turns out the rally won't be coming through Kashima this year and I won't get to see it after all. As they say in Hawaii - "humbug, dat's why!" Oh well. I am happy I got to see it last year.

I'm looking forward to seeing the classic cars of La Festa Mille Miglia roll through Kashima again next Tuesday morning. The post about my first "La Festa Mille Miglia" (Italian for 1000 mile festival) can be viewed here: "BLAST FROM THE PAST"
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Last year, Pandabonium was caught (far left) in this official photo of a 1927 Bugatti T37C


But before that, my next post here will be about our August trip to Hiroshima and Miyajima...

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K (with parasol) walks back from a close up look at the famous torii of Itsukushima Shrine at low tide.
(click image to enlarge)

2008/10/02

Interesting Times

When George Bush took office, the total national debt of the USA was 5.37 Trillion Dollars. It is now 10 Trillion Dollars. The government is soon to write a check for $700 Billion (a number which the Treasury Department picked out of thin air - "It's not based on any particular data point," a Treasury spokeswoman told Forbes.com. "We just wanted to choose a really large number.") and a similar sized check for the Department of "Defense", with many more to follow.

Graphically, the increasing debt looks like this:

Big tip of the hat to Dr. Chris Martenson who created this graph with Treasury Department Statistics. The above graph shows other obligations besides the national debt, but is useful none the less so showing the exponential debt curve we are on. For a graph of just the national debt visit Chris's website.

There was (at least) one President who saw the dangers of this course of events. His words seem prescient today, though they were penned 192 years ago.

"To preserve [the] independence [of the people,] we must not let our rulers load us with perpetual debt. We must make our election between economy and liberty, or profusion and servitude. If we run into such debts as that we must be taxed in our meat and in our drink, in our necessaries and our comforts, in our labors and our amusements, for our callings and our creeds, as the people of England are, our people, like them, must come to labor sixteen hours in the twenty-four, give the earnings of fifteen of these to the government for their debts and daily expenses, and the sixteenth being insufficient to afford us bread, we must live, as they now do, on oatmeal and potatoes, have no time to think, no means of calling the mismanagers to account, but be glad to obtain subsistence by hiring ourselves to rivet their chains on the necks of our fellow-sufferers."

Thomas Jefferson to Samuel Kercheval, 1816

"No earthly consideration could induce my consent to contract such a debt as England has by her wars for commerce, to reduce our citizens by taxes to such wretchedness, as that laboring sixteen of the twenty-four hours, they are still unable to afford themselves bread, or barely to earn as much oatmeal or potatoes as will keep soul and body together. And all this to feed the avidity of a few millionary merchants and to keep up one thousand ships of war for the protection of their commercial speculations."

Thomas Jefferson to William H. Crawford, 1816

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We now return to our normal, cheerful posting on Pacific Islander...have a nice day.