Trickles and hints?
-- In California, the cash-strapped government has raided a fund initially envisioned as a way to "channel patriotic fervor and use it to help victims' families and law enforcement" in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001, 'terrorist' attacks in the United States. After 9/11, for a price, California license plates could be emblazoned with the words, "We Will Never Forget." The 2001 attacks all but created the amorphous use of the word "terrorism," spawned the multi-million-dollar Department of Homeland Security and the Transportation Security Administration, and acted as host to a hundred small and large incursions into the world of individual rights. But now, perhaps, the word "terrorism" is losing its savor as the reality of pot holes and schools and unemployment gain traction. Terrifying the public is a tried and true political tool, but it's tiring to live in unsubstantiated fear that costs so much money. Sure, the government will start another war (it's easier than thinking), but in the meantime it would be nice to eat.
-- Wary Japanese investors, who once stood tall and displayed a strong certainty about the sanctity of the homeland and its often-successful traditions, are starting to hedge their bets. Not many, but some, have begun putting their money into Malaysia, Singapore and New Zealand, places where, if the roof falls in at home, if "doomsday" arrives, there may be a more assured, and less expensive, place in which to hang their hats. Seppuku is no longer the only option.