For the Week of August 14, 2006
Atlanta got off easy this summer.
Sure, we had our share of 95 degree days. But few went much higher. And air conditioning is a basic element in the South's infrastructure. The Southern Company overbuilt its generating capacity for years, and it kept regulators in its pocket to build some of the dirtiest power plants in the universe, so we've been comfortable, with no brownouts.
Of course, agriculture is flat on its back. But generally the mood here is sanguine.
That's because no state is as tied to the Bush economy as Georgia. We have a huge military-industrial complex, so we're getting a lot more money from Washington than we're sending there. Sprawl is immensely popular, which spreads money up to the Carolina border, down to the far reaches of the coast, and west along I-20 nearly to the state line.
The only "off" note, for Republicans, is that social conservatives and long-time activists are suddenly less popular than business conservatives and other arrivistes. Ralph Reed lost, but so did other social conservatives with no ties to Jack Abramoff.
Instead business conservatives are building their own K Street Project. Glenn Richardson, the Republican House speaker with no opposition, has raised a half-million dollars (so far), mostly in big chunks from lobbyists and businesses. Pawnbroker Rod Aycox showed em how it's done – he maxed out for himself, several family members, and various business names with the leadership – and now these boys want everyone to do it. It's Shakedown Street on Peachtree, and no one seems to be complaining.
What will change that is a real estate crash. Forget California, no state is as ready for a crash as this one.
One-third of our current home loans are interest-only. Foreclosure rates are high and rising.
See-through office towers are scaring away the smart money.
This city may have a higher percentage of its people locked-into real estate than any other. Brokers, Realtors, investors, mortgage bankers – all these jobs are under imminent threat.
When they're gone it's possible someone here will notice global warming.
That's the way it always is. Few react to crises until they're right on top of them. Pundits almost never predict doom, because doom is rare, so they would rarely be right.
But sometimes a collapse is imminent. Sometimes the doomsayers aren't wrong. And when the crunch does come, people tend to look around and see what else is wrong, like awakening from a dream.
Right now, America and the world are at the start of a crisis that will change everything you think you know, about just about everything. It's still the dream time here, the mood sour and not yet boiling. But the stove is turned up high and it will boil over.
Hot enough for ya?
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Best of the Week
Gimme that ol' subpoena power
While the Lebanon war rages on the political victor appears to be President Bush.
PR and advertising will fix anything.
When a political excess crests, when a political crisis approaches, everything is always political.
the idiots at the U.S. Patent Office have actually granted a patent covering all course management, to an outfit called Blackboard.
The greatest hindrance toward improving education today is that we've made the Internet illegal in schools.
Mother Earth is suffering a mild fever in order to rid itself of an infection created by us.
Traffic and even links are not the be-all and end-all of Internet influence.
There comes a point in the arc of every Poliltical Thesis where its adherents start to see its end.
The classic case of Moore's Law – you can double the volume of circuits on a chip every 18 months or so – has reached a limit. Heat.
My 18-year old daughter says this is insulting to hippies. She prefers the term "haties." Maybe she's right.
Does anyone miss Comdex? I don't. Will anyone miss E3? I won't.
What is happening right now happens whenever a generation's political myth reaches its sell-by date. The ship becomes rudderless because the captain's compass is broken.
What's interesting is how the shoe is on the other foot. And how it gets there.
The Vietnam Syndrome is the belief that we won. Or we shoulda won. Or we woulda won, if not for them. And it is the dominant element of the Nixon Political Myth.
ZDNet Open Source
Clued-in is Apple's license of its iPod technology to major carmakers. (Whether it's smart for you to buy such a car is another thing.)
Clueless is assuming Cuba will change immediately once Fidel Castro is dead.
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