Fake? Maybe. Fattening, Yes.

As a decade of Barataria approaches, the stories from 10 years ago have a strange relevance.  This piece is dated for two reasons – there are still local newspapers of interest and there is yet to be a staggering facebook phenom.  But the principle is the same.  It’s not that the news is fake as much as it is largely irrelevant.  It might as well be fake.  The devolution over the last decade is staggering – yet it could have been predicted.  I didn’t.  But the point still stands.

How many times have we read the really big story on the front of the newspaper with great interest? How often have we talked about it with our friends and colleagues the next day?

Continue reading

Good Season(al Adjustment)

By the time you read this, the big news is likely to be jobs. It hasn’t been a hot topic since the election, and most of what was said during that strange period wasn’t exactly true. The big job gains for February, along with a large round-up for January, make it impossible to ignore.

The economy has definitely turned around.

It’s all over but the shouting, of which there will be a lot. There is little doubt that Republicans will claim credit for a big turnaround in 2017, which will be utter crap. This has been a long time in the making and things have not been actually bad for a long time. Nevermind. Positive news will feed on itself and everyone will be happier.

But there is one final twist to the very good news – it’s really in the adjustment.

Continue reading

Yes, Anything is Possible

As we revisit Barataria’s history approaching the Tenth Anniversary next month, this piece from nine years ago stands out.  You can see that nothing happening now really surprises me, but it certainly does disappoint.  

When I was young, I lived in a time and place where just about anything was possible. It’s amazing just how terrifying that prospect was.

Continue reading

Ready for the Main Event?

Before the circus came to town, it was Barataria’s position that we’d all be wise to ignore it as much as we possibly can. Obviously, we don’t heed our own advice.

Then again, things are happening which may point right at the heart of the problem – the flurry of Washingtoonia that actually winds up making a difference. In the great three ring circus of government it’s time to keep your eyes firmly on the center ring – and whether the supposedly tamed bear eats the Ringmaster.

Continue reading

Do We Have an Actual President?

Extraordinary times call for extraordinary measures. I have said many times that the best thing to do with President Trump is to ignore his antics. His address to Congress is the chance to redeem it all and make something happen.

In keeping with what passes for press today, here is my live commentary.

Continue reading

Syria: The Next Phase

The war in Syria and Iraq continues. Our press continues to report it very badly, never providing any context whatsoever. How can anyone make sense of what’s going on or the likely conquest of Da’esh/ISIS which is in the works?

This is a brief update on the situation which is strangely not provided in any other outlet. Keep in mind, however, the essential truths about the ongoing battle with Da’esh:

  1. They pose no significant threat to the United States.
  2. In fact, the entire region is largely irrelevant to the US.
  3. The lack of relevance is not going to stop us from blundering remarkably close to a global conflict.

With all of this in mind, let’s look at the reality of this situation which is generally ignored.

Continue reading

Cyprus

Genuine leadership doesn’t seek out headlines – in fact, it sometimes deliberately avoids them in order to get things done. The best example of this comes from a close contender for the Leader of the Free World now that the United States has largely abandoned the role in practical terms.

The leader in question is not Angela Merkel, although she is indeed the most important leader of a democracy today. This comes from the more junior Theresa May, Prime Minister of the UK, who has taken to solving the most important conflict left over from a by-gone era – Cyprus. Stepping into the British role as sometime creator of order she pushed a lot of heft behind the re-started talks which may, just yet, create a bridge between Europe and the Middle East.

The critical point is Turkey, as always, and the relative isolation this critical nation has been saddled with.

Continue reading