I don't necessarily want to come across as the wild-eyed madman, raving about the end of the world, but an ever-increasing number of developments indicate that something BigTM is afoot.
Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson hasn't even finished doling out the $700 billion to the various collapsing financial institutions, and it is already becoming apparent that the much-touted bailout that was going to save us from a new Great Depression isn't going to work. This morning the Dow Jones Industrial Average has fallen below the 10000 mark for the first time in 4 years. The crisis is global. The Russian and Brazilian markets halted trading today to stave off a panic among traders in those countries. The Euro is collapsing. The states of California and Massachusetts have both applied to the US Treasury for emergency loans to allow their governments to continue to function.
That's just a far-from-exhaustive sketch of the global financial situation.
There is also the ominous news that the US military's Northern Command is being deployed within the United States, ostensibly to deal with catastrophes, terrorist attacks, and natural disasters. (I'm no lawyer, but this would seem to be a violation of the Posse Comitatus Act, no?)
There's a gas panic occurring in the southeastern US, just as the northern hemisphere descends into winter. Although there has been a lull recently, simmering worries about the availability of fuel and food remain a concern on a global level.
Tense international hot-spots threaten to erupt at any time, whether it is the continuing conflict between Russia and Georgia, the simmering problems in Iraq, the incredibly dangerous situation in Pakistan, or the old stand-by crisis of Israel and Palestine.
American political leadership, whether the administration or the Congress, seems woefully inadequate for any kind of meaningful action, even if there was someone that had a clear idea of what to do.
Well, if you're not nervous, good for you. Me? I'm scared as hell. I haven't had the courage or desire to even glimpse at my 401K plan for over a month, and, I kid you not, dear reader, I was just thankful that my last paycheck cleared so Maty and I could fill up the refrigerator.
The dire predictions that Jim Kunstler of Clusterf**k Nation has been making for the last year are all coming true. But even he doesn't know what is coming next. Although I'm still ardently supporting Barack Obama, this year's presidential race could very well prove to be irrelevant: regardless of who wins, the pace of events may dictate the course of action for either candidate, never mind what was said during the campaign.
We're in uncharted waters, folks. It's going to get more than a little choppy.