Now, take a look at these pictures. Here are the CEOs of Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, AIG and the Lehman Brothers. I know the first thing that jumps out about these faces is that they all happen to be white, and they all happen to be responsible for stealing. But what you have to understand is that these whites are a product of a society that made them that way. It was the neighborhoods and the schools they went to: Harvard, Yale, the Wharton School of Business. They never learned the value of doing real, actual work and the first step to fixing that is better role models, so kids growing up white today don't think the only way out of Westchester is corporate crime. Or a government handout or sailing. So I get it, the temptation is to look at McCain and vote against him because you don't see an individual, you just see another typical welfare whitey.
And it's true, he's spent his entire life shuffling from one low-paying government job to another. Well, except those years he spent in prison. Typical! And between you and me, he's not very articulate. Oh, he may have some street smarts, but he's not what you call an educated man. He freely admits he's ignorant about the economy. And apparently the only thing his white running mate knows how to do is crank out one baby after another. And now of course, her teenage daughter is pregnant out of wedlock. Because she learns it at home! But that doesn't mean we should assume all white people are like that, just because so many of them are.
"Would it have Taikonauts space-walking overhead while the chairman of the Federal Reserve is on his knees?"
Put yourself in the shoes of an SF author trying to construct an accurate (or at least believable) scenario for the USA in 2019. Imagine you are constructing your future-USA in 2006, then again in 2007, and finally now, with talk of $700Bn bailouts and nationalization of banks in the background. Each of those projections is going to come out looking different. Back in 2006 the sub-prime crisis wasn't even on the horizon but the big scandal was FEMA's response (or lack thereof) to Hurricane Katrina. In 2007, the sub-prime ARM bubble began to burst and the markets were beginning to turn bearish. (Oh, and it looked as if the 2008 presidential election would probably be down to a fight between Hilary Clinton and Rudy Giuliani.) Now, in late 2008 the fiscal sky is falling; things may not end as badly as they did for the USSR, but it's definitely an epochal, historic crisis.
Now extend the thought-experiment back to 1996 and 1986. Your future-USA in the 1986 scenario almost certainly faced a strong USSR in 2019, because the idea that a 70 year old Adversary could fall apart in a matter of months, like a paper tiger left out in a rain storm, simply boggles the mind. It's preposterous; it doesn't fit with our outlook on the way history works.
"The Society for the Presentation of Inefficient Mechanical Devices Presents The Totally Unnecessary Overly Redundant & Mechanically Superfluous Light Switch Complicator
"Obsolete Construction Methods, Substandard Materials, Inefficient Wooden Mechanism, Difficult to Install Properly, May Not Fit Your Lifestyle Or Match Your Drapes
"In Box: This is exactly the same device Leonardo DaVinci might have used had electric lighting been invented in his time.
"Hand Made in the USA by Ernie Fosselius. One Of A Kind Sculpture, Numbered, Dated, and Signed By The Artist."
On Thursday, pirates seized the Ukrainian ship Faina en route to Kenya with 33 Russian-built T-72 tanks and a substantial quantity of ammunition and spare parts. Russia's navy said Friday it had dispatched a warship to the area, and the United States said American naval ships were tracking the Ukrainian ship with special concern because of the weaponry on board.
The hijackings were the latest in a series of audacious maritime attacks off the coast of Somalia, a war-torn country that has been without a functioning government since 1991.