Today’s Bottom Stories

Fake news is often more real that news itself.  It’s a time made for blogging.

Media boost image by reporting obvious

Washingtoon (Dissociated Press) – In a move to boost their sagging reputation, news outlets across the nation have turned to reporting only things that are so amazingly obvious that no one will doubt them.

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Faith in … Us?

It’s easy to make too much of any poll.  At best a poll is only a snapshot of the ebb and flow of opinion – and that’s assuming the polltakers called more than a few people and did the math right.  A good poll usually does little more than take what people know in their guts and move it into a kind of intellectual argument with real numbers.  The use of that is for you to judge.

But there is one poll that appears to be worth contemplating.  According to a CNN poll of 1,010 people who bothered to answer their phone, 15% of Americans now think that the Federal government will “do what’s right just about always or most of the time.”  This is a new low since the question was first asked in 1958 (pdf).

This naturally begs the question, “15%?  Really?  That high?”  But there’s a lot more to it than that.

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Just Try Something

What will it take to get the economy moving again?  If you don’t know, relax – no one does, even at the highest levels of power and policy making.  Wait … that’s more of a reason to panic than to relax, isn’t it?

That’s not to say that the Federal Reserve isn’t trying, and their heroic efforts deserve praise.  But if you want to know how strange everything has gotten look no further than the simple fact that the Fed is far more interested in deficit spending and “stimulus” than the government itself.  That’s completely backwards from what we have seen historically.  Here’s a quick guide to the problem and what the Fed is trying to do to fix it.

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A Realistic Generation

The bundles of anxiety that used to be our kids bubbled through the high school parking lot towards parents long used to waiting.  A normal day would never end with something as uncool as a ride from Dad – that’s what Metro Transit buses are for.  But this day they were coming back from a camping trip and had bundles of stuff under tired arms.  The milling crowd was my chance to meet some of my daughter’s friends.

The joys of high school – so much to worry about, so few cares in the world.

It’s taken a week of conversation to decipher who was who that day, creating a small window on the teen world.  So much has changed, so little is different.  But one thing that should frighten everyone is how few of the kids, especially the smart ones, believe that they are preparing for a “career”.  Community college and trade schools, with lower cost than a four year college, are the next destination for many of them.  That’s not laziness, but its exact opposite in energy and realism talking.

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Idiot’s Diet

People diet for a lot of reasons.  Some want to lose weight and others just want to be healthier.  Many of the big fads seem to be more of a social thing, something people do with friends when there isn’t anything good on teevee.

It’s hard to call yourself a real blogger if you don’t write about a diet at some point, so it’s high time for the Barataria approach to better living.  It’s called the “Idiot’s Diet”, and it’s very simple – never eat anything you don’t understand.

This can cause a lot of trouble if you know something about food already, since a little knowledge is often a dangerous thing.  But with time the harmony of mind and body will set you free with a developing sense of smugness that makes a good stand-in for health in a pinch.

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Come the Dawn

You wake up in the middle of the night for no apparent reason.  There are simply too many things going through your mind to be able to sleep through the quiet hours of the night.  A trip to the kitchen and a few moments staring out the window at a dark and peaceful world aren’t quite enough.  The stillness envelopes you and your world as a threat, not a moment of peace warm in bed.

Nothing really changes at that time of night – it’s always up to the next morning to make something happen.  Welcome to a new kind of Morning in America, the day after a sleepless night.

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The Next Economy

The economy is in transition.  Many of you think we’re headed straight downward, but there’s always a chance that better times lie ahead.  But what will the next economy look like?  Barataria has always taken a punt on this, stating that no one can possibly know what the Free Market™ will do.  But over time a few trends have become clear and we can be sure that a few changes are coming.

Why does this matter?  Because the sooner we can prepare for the next economy the sooner we can master it – and make the next business cycle one of prosperity for everyone.  There is work to do, but we have only started to do it.

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