Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Fall in Tucson

Fall in Tucson A few sorority girls are in denial, but the abundance of jackets and sweaters on this bright October morning tell me that fall has finally arrived in the Old Pueblo. The temperature, as of 9am local time, registers a cool, 66 degrees - which is actually supposed to be the high for all of tomorrow. It's a funny thing how a new season can bring a sense of a fresh start - particularly when there's so much turmoil in the world...

Here at home, American political activists seem, well, confused. Protestors across the country are clamoring for an occupation of Wall Street - which of itself is a fine, highly symbolic target - albeit a highly impractical once. Still, the glaring problem with the protests is that it has no actual purpose. Not one. Not even list of demands. Naturally, this leaves one to assume that the sole goal of the protest is to literally occupy Wall Street. Capturing the sentiments of bankers everywhere, I believe it was Ben Franklin who observed, "fish and visitors stink after three days."

Turning our gaze abroad, the world is no less turbulent. Greece, for example, may be one of the few countries in the world whose finances are in worse shape than our own, and that's no small feat. After teetering on the brink of default (sound familiar?), Greece's budgetary austerity measures have proven insufficient to reign in their deficit, despite scores of layoffs of public sector workers. These workers, now miffed at losing their jobs, have curiously opted to walk off the job they don't want to lose in protest. The whole matter is disturbingly cyclical. Apparently, after inventing democracy, Greece decided it could coast by on the kindness of strangers.

And, in truth, this plan has worked to a point. But the problem with accepting billions in loans from foreign governments, is that at some point they become due. And unlike Bank of America, you can't just blow off a government. Maybe it's time for a world-wide year of jubilee? I'd move student loans to the front of the line, but that's just me being selfish.

On the political front, things sure aren't looking up for President Obama - not that I care. Still, it's odd that the only thing Democrats and Republicans seem to agree on these days is their opposition to the President. You know things are bad when not even Rick Perry's racist hunting camp has helped the Presidents ailing poll numbers.

Speaking of Rick Perry, the Texas Governor earned a new nickname this morning. Though "Jim Crow" has long been taken, Gov. Perry can yet take heart knowing that the moniker "$17 Million Dollar Man" is available. The Governor's fundraising amount was impressive by all accounts, except the ledger of his main rival. Gov. Perry's fundraising fell roughly $1 million shy of the mark hit by former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney over the same period. Mittmentum anyone?

Despite the chaos in the world, it is a great time to be in Tucson, AZ. The weather over the next few days is supposed to be absolutely perfect. Oklahoma plays Texas this weekend, and Sam Adams Octoberfest just hit the shelves.

Even the world needs a break from its own chaos, and that annual break is the fall.

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