Wednesday, February 01, 2006

“What hath God wrought?”

“What hath God wrought?” were the words transmitted by Samuel Morse on May 24th 1844 – on January 27th the symbol of the telegraph age, and forerunner of the internet communication came to an end; Western Union officially ceased handling telegrams. We are truly in a new age: What will God wrought upon the forge of history?

A new year has been added to the 4703 year old Chinese calendar; the leader of the worlds most wasteful energy consumer has formally acknowledged his nation’s addiction to oil; but has yet to refute Reagan, and return solar collectors to the White House roof. It is the Year of the Dog.

Well, at least I’m not perfect. Can’t be, if I were, I’d have to apply for the job as prophet or even
Meshiekh; or maybe president. Being a poor scribe is safer and offers greater long-term security.

Ah to be perfect. There are, in life, only two positions of significance – to be either number one, or number two. When he was small, I told my oldest to shoot for number two, because everyone else will be shooting at number one. Of course, given the choice between one and three, I settled for the third slot – something my kids can’t grasp now, but will understand in forty years or so.

Shall we echo Leibniz (1646-1716)? Declare this the best of all possible worlds, affirm existence of pre-established harmony; satirize the concept with the words Voltaire placed in the mouth of Pangloss, "there is no effect without a cause"? But those words are the Panglossian Paradigm of Bush and Creationists, who, lacking intelligence, search for an Intelligent Agent.

For me, my imperfection, is one of timing. I am forever missing the day and hour, as I did when, on January 26th, I predicted the Dow – then at 10,500 – would test 9,000 (a 15 percent decline).

Quite naturally, the market immediately ran upward to test 11,000; retreated only 10 percent, did a dance around 10,500, once again tested 11,000, and seems to be struck between the two. It is clearly a stubborn market, which I had forgotten, traditionally, climbs a wall of worry – and over the past year, Bush has given it much to worry about. As it struggles, think Humpty Dumpty.

With Republicans in charge, tax cuts for those enjoying the greatest increase in income – and the new proposal to grant more through health care savings deductions – we can await the inevitable.
The Dow now resembles period between 1967 and 1983 – military death, disdain for civil rights, oil conservation, record deficits. Where is Maynard G Krebs? The rebellious beatnik image that became hippies, yippies, yuppies, the establishment, soon to be retirees, and the names which now appear in obituaries. Where is the generation that will finally say enough! Ah to be wrong because I am wrong, and not just off on the timing.

OH! Here’s something that is always right – invest in our kids: Sue Albee at Machias Memorial is soliciting contributions for the “Close up Foundation”, which is sending students to workshops in Washington DC, where they will meet our political leaders. Be it ten dollars or, if you can use a good deduction, a thousand, call her at 207-255-3812 and arrange to send a check. ______________________________________________________________________________

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