"Crash" doesn’t quite suffice

While many are starting to believe that the worst is past, I wouldn’t put any stock in all the prognostications of recovery later in the year. I recently met a European executive and we spent some time talking economics over several espressos. He told me that steel shipments have come to an almost complete halt around the world. In Germany, for example, the export market has collapsed so completely that not only have orders dropped to 10 percent of previous levels, but their inventories haven’t changed much since January.

And this is subsequent to the previous reports of huge declines: “In the European Union, there were production drops of 31.6 percent in Germany, 35.7 percent in France, 35.7 percent in Spain and 39.9 percent in Italy. Brazilian steel production decreased by 39 percent last month from February 2008 totals, and both Russia and Ukraine saw steel output fall by 32.1 percent and 33.6 percent respectively.”

Since steel is a leading economic indicator, this bodes very, very poorly indeed for the world economy.

How could this go wrong?

I can’t imagine how issuing legal dictates to doctors ordering them to kill people could possibly go awry:

Physicians in Montana could be facing “kill-on-demand” orders from patients who want to commit suicide if a district court judge’s opinion pending before the state Supreme Court is affirmed. The case has attracted nominal attention nationwide, but lawyers with the Christian Legal Service have filed a friend-of-the-court brief in the pending case because of what it would mean to doctors within the state, as well as the precedent it would set. The concern is over the attack on doctors’ ethics and religious beliefs – as well as the Hippocratic oath – that may be violated by a demand that they prescribe deadly chemicals or in some other way assist in a person’s death.

Enough with the preludes already! Really, government can be such an infuriating tease at times. I’m sure everyone is wondering when Obama and the courts are going to stop faffing around with unborn children and the useless elderly and get on with the important business of the American Endlösung.