(Well, as part of the bailout bill, AMT was "addressed" at the last minute but it remains to be seen how the math works out on that.)
Half of my writing during that period was an assault on the MSM framing of the issues. It was seemingly impossible to escape someone else, 1000s of corporate and government backed someone elses babbling down from On High, saying: you must choose A or B, A or B, A or B, A or B - when obviously both A and B sucked and some other idea(s) would have been useful to push back into the discussion.
I took a lot of heart in the coherent thinking - AND the vitrol and venom expended - on the comments sections of all the newspapers and newssites that allowed open comments. I hope that some of that shouting was heard. I listened to my fellow man and stopped reading all the publications that filtered their comments sections.
Over the past year I grew more concerned about the crumbling infrastructure and centralization of control in America, and at the same time, more apathetic. I don't live there anymore, anyway, I thought. America's not my problem. I should keep thinking and writing about science and engineering, about AGW and asteroids, about search engines, sexy women and surfing...
I read a whole heck of a lot of economics texts, everything from Marx to Mises, in the hope that I'd get a grip on what was really going on.
I was doing well on ignoring the looting of our future until last month... then the weather changed and I got locked inside with the prolefeed... and the looting went global.
I just gained ten pounds and 20 pts of blood pressure. I'm just sick of it all now and just want to turn it off and run as far away as possible, someplace safe, where I can get back to work on something that nobody can rob from me.
It was an easy decision this year, in the end, on how to vote. I'm voting against incompetence and ignorance, against all the idiots, and against incumbents and ideologists. I'm voting for a reduction in federal and corporate power, and in favor of sane long term policies.
Not that that will do any good, all by itself, because, so far as I can tell, no American party is truthfully against much of what I'm against, or for much of what I'm for.
If there was a party of scientists and engineers, I'd vote for that. Perhaps one exists, elsewhere on the planet. I'd join that party, in whatever country it existed, and live there and do my best in word and deed, to create a future worth living in.
I still think that my now 2 year old decision to leave the country, live somewhere cheap, and sell my services on the global market were the right ones. There's no point in competing with the H1B program anymore, from the inside, although I'm told wages are rising rapidly in my field, now, in the States.
My one regret was that when I left I was pretty burnt out. If I hadn't been so burned out I would have tried to remain in Australia, an option that remains attractive.
Australia's fundamentals are good, although they are somewhat overexposed in the housing market, and taking risks on the world markets that I'd prefer they didn't.
I prefer Nicaragua, still, because it's closer to my family, and it - so far - is performing a balancing act between America and Russia, and between Japan and Taiwan. The links to Canada are strong, as well. I only need - thanks to that global market - to get work 3 months out of the year - and Nicaragua can feed itself, theoretically, if the crap really hits the fan. Civilization, here, has the least far to fall.
It was of harmless size (2 meters) but big by meteor standards. Spaceguard is getting gooood.
I sure hope some good pictures come from it. Will post as they come in....
Here's a simulated view from the last moments of 2008 TC3:
Update: I had kind of hoped for a picture by now from somewhere, as enough people were alerted... but it's late and I'm tired and going to bed shortly. The key piece of good news in all this was that spaceguard detected and plotted an asteroid on an intercept course for earth for the first time ever. I am really impressed.
The bad news is it was detected only a few hours before projected impact.