"The question in Britain is no longer when the economy will enter a recession, but when it will enter a depression, with many bracing for a slump that could rival the 1930s in severity. GDP fell 1.5 percent in the fourth quarter of 2008, and the European Union estimates it will contract another 2.8 percent in 2009. Unemployment is projected to balloon to more than 8 percent by year's end, and an estimated 23 percent of adult Britons currently consider their debt level 'unmanageable.'"Also up for nomination as "Country Most Likely To Go Up In Flames" are Latvia and Greece - both scenes of recent rioting - the Ukraine (which is having gas pains, thanks to the Russians), and Nicaragua - have they ever really recovered from the US' illegal war against the Sandanistas. No wonder current president - and former Sandanista leader - Daniel Ortega has said that the financial meltdown is a sign that "God is punishing the United States". Not an unreasonable suggestion but I think it more accurate to say that greedy, asshole capitalists are the real source of America's (and our) problems.
The US Army would like to add to that list Mexico, which has been engaged in an increasingly violent and destabilizing war against "narco-gangsters." The Mexicans ought to hope that they don't get the same medicine as the Pakistanis, who are also on the "nearing collapse" list of the US Army. Their prescription involves repeated military incursions by the US military and CIA, firing missiles at local leaders who the US doesn't like.
Even Israel, which the Christian Fundamentalists would have you believe is watched over by God himself as his plan for the Second Coming unfolds, has just taken a kicking at the World Economic Forum in Davos. In case you don't know, the WEF is a big capitalist jaw wag where they politely discuss how they will carve up the planet. Well, this year the Prime Minister of Turkey, Israel's closest ally, told Israeli president Shimon Peres "When it comes to killing, you know well how to kill” before storming out of a panel discussion of the Gaza crisis.
But the greatest pleasure must be the massive general strike that swept over France today. It was something of a love letter to that country's president, Nikolas Sarkozy. As I understand it the first sentence went as follows: "Dear Sarko: Get your fucking act together and do something about the collapse of capitalism. Asshole." Of course, it sounds much more romantic in French. Anyway, 70% of the population supported the general strike and something like 300,000 demonstrated in Paris so that they could blow Sarkozy a kiss live and in person.
Meanwhile, here in exciting Canada, our government managed the biggest horseshit recession budget ever - look for the neo-liberal measures to have zero impact on the recession. Not to worry about any more crises or opposition coalitions - head Opposition Knob, Michael "I love torture as long as it doesn't hurt too much" Ignatieff, has told Harper he can do what he wants as long as he sends him a memo every so often telling him what he is doing. For a guy who thinks torture's OK as a policy tool, he sure is a wimp. Well, I guess that's what you get when the most defining feature of Canadian culture, besides hockey and constitutional crises, is just how darn polite we are. Seriously people, are we really gonna let France show us up while Harper can't work up a fart to save us from our imminent doom?