Closing Thought–20Feb23

Inflation has been kicking the crap out of the American consumer….and it just keeps getting worse….

People are using the credit cards to help get by….

U.S. consumer credit card debt has jumped to nearly $1 trillion, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York said on Thursday.

Credit card balances increased more than $60 billion over the three months ending in December, lifting the total amount of U.S. credit card debt to an all-time high of $986 billion, the report found.

The skyrocketing credit card balance has coincided with an increase in the interest rates paid on such debt, crunching household budgets as high inflation eats away at the savings that many amassed during the pandemic.

The average credit card interest rate offered in the U.S. over the last three months of 2022 stood at 21.6%, according to WalletHub, a jump from about 18% a year prior. An aggressive series of interest rate hikes imposed by the Federal Reserve has caused the jump in credit card rates.

A trillion dollars that is about the amount the War Department’s recent budget….

Eventually all this debt will be called in and thus an economic collapse will be in our future.

I am fortunate for I have no credit debt…but that is just me.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”




Those Beautiful Balloons

Well the country and world has lost its collective mind over balloons.

The US has shot down several in the last week….the big one was the Chinese model and now we know(?) what it was all about….

The US has finished its efforts to recover the remnants of the large balloon that was shot down off the coast of South Carolina, and analysis of the debris so far reinforces conclusions that it was a Chinese spy balloon, US officials said Friday. Officials said Navy, Coast Guard, and FBI personnel collected all of the balloon debris off the ocean floor, which included equipment from the payload that could reveal what information it collected. White House national security spokesman John Kirby said that a significant amount of debris was recovered and that it included “electronics and optics” from the payload, the AP reports. He declined to say what, if anything, the US has learned from the wreckage so far.

That is what is great about this country…the transparency….

Then there are the few other balloons that were shot down….

President Biden on Thursday acknowledged that the three unidentified objects he ordered the US military to shoot down were likely harmless weather balloons.

“The intelligence community’s current assessment is that these three objects were most likely balloons tied to private companies, recreation, or research institutions studying weather or conducting other scientific research,” Biden said.

Following the panic caused by the Chinese balloon that floated over the United States, US fighter jets shot down unidentified objects on February 10, 11, and 12 using heat-seeking AIM-9X Sidewinder missiles, which are worth over $400,000 apiece.

Biden said the military was still working to collect the debris. “Our military and the Canadian military are seeking to recover the debris so we can learn more about these three objects,” he said.

According to a report from Aviation Week, at least one of the objects may have been a hobby balloon reported missing by a club in Illinois that launches small balloons with tracking devices that are capable of traveling the globe at high altitudes.

The club, the Northern Illinois Bottlecap Balloon Brigade (NIBBB), said its balloon was last reported off the coast of Alaska on February 10, and tracking data projected that it would be floating over Canada’s Yukon Territory on February 11, the same day a US F-22 shot down an object in the area.

The balloon they launched is known as a “pico balloon,” a small silver-coated party-style balloon that carries a transmitter. A Pentagon memo described the object that was shot down over Canada as a “small, metallic balloon with a tethered payload below it.”

Rocky Mountain Ham Radio, another group that launches hobby balloons, describes the pico balloons as “a 3-foot mylar foil party balloon, filled partially with ultra-pure helium, and carrying a 13-gram solar-powered APRS transmitter. The balloon is intended to travel for long distances (not to achieve heights) and is not intended to be recovered. These balloons have literally circumnavigated the globe — even multiple times — before finally descending.”

News that Ukraine has shot down some balloons….jumping on the media bandwagon.

Hopefully this bit of paranoia will subside…..but not to worry we will find another.

I am sure there is another diversion waiting on the horizon to drive the imagination of the media and the public.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”