Sunday, November 30, 2008
Saturday, November 29, 2008
I think most of it started with Reagan's escalation of the Drug War, and the incredible stupidity of mandatory sentencing for non-violent crimes and RICO statutes. He also ushered in this holier-than-thou self-righteous BS we see so much of these days. The pastors who bitch about someone else visiting a prostitute when they often do the same, or worse, molest a child often do more harm than their "sinner" targets. The Eliot Spitzers and Jimmy Swaggarts of the world. Funny how RICO became law under Nixon, Mr. Paranoid.
The people who've wreaked the most havoc in my life are considered absolutely law-abiding by local police or the cops themselves, even as examples to follow. Like the cops who lie their asses off in courts, knowing the judges go right along with it, or the ones who discharge their weapons accidentally or use excessive force and hardly even get a slap on the wrist.
Any reporter listing her home address is liable for any harm or property damage that comes to her or her family, as far as I'm concerned. What the is it with people who delight in the destruction of a person? It's these "normal" people that terrify me the most.
Friday, November 28, 2008
Thursday, November 27, 2008
Another point that makes my head spin on my spine is this idea of just getting everyone out there to by some big screen TVs this Christmas and it will all be OK. Hello! Hello?? Hey!!! Is anyone getting the message? The music has stopped playing, game over.
The USA, and other countries need real economies, based on more than selling video games and TV sets, and to live within the means of those economies. We need to educate citizens and allow them the means to provide for themselves...and not centralize the food supply and everything else just so a few fats cats can own it all. I've got news for the fat cats. There won't be a spot on earth to hide if this whole thing goes bad, so I hope the Mars settlement is ready for you by then. The "let them eat cake" attitude is getting damned old. 300 million starving and pissed-off citizens with pitchforks is something worth worrying about.
I know it'll be rough for the super rich to just have 3 mansions instead of 8-10 or 20 all over the world, but looting the system is killing the world. Does anyone other than Merkel get this? It has to stop or nobody gets anything, game over, society breakdown across the globe...war, crime and death. Is any of this reality seeping into the heads of any of the fat cats, or do they truly believe looting the world citizens of resources that belong to everyone is sustainable long-term, with predictable results. It's never occurred on this scale before, so the fat cats are lying if they say they know the effects of what they are doing.
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Can the US survive another 2 months of the looting of the US Treasury? I'm not so sure. I go back to a reliable method of discerning truth. Are there any consistent results of Bush's actions? Yes, the rich get more rich and those who must work daily to survive are pushed to the breaking point. That's a reality you won't read in the Wall Street Journal. The American citizenry is being crushed by greed. One can't believe a word a guy like Bush says about freedom. His every action contradicts every speech or statement about how he wants the American citizenry to be prosperous and safe.
I see where Obama is being criticized for being so active, but he has no choice. America has never been more close to massive poverty and starvation, while Bush plans his next bike ride and how to loot the few solvent pension funds and savings accounts in his last 2 months.
That wasn't enough for some folks and their own personal investments weren't enough either. They devised schemes to charge current prices for future equity. In other words, sellers began stealing buyer equity from many years in the future.
The only solution is massive bankruptcies for those who can not afford their homes. Where will they live? I don't know. What do you do when millions are no longer willing or able to take care of themselves? However, it's insanity to try to prop up inflated home prices that reflect inflated projections so much more than reality. Where are the jobs that can pay $1100/month mortgages and rent? Instead of focusing so hard on inflated prices, our government needs to focus on sustainable economic policy. That means looking ahead more than 3 months. Priorities need to be shifted and the practice of depending upon profit from systemic inefficiencies must end.
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Monday, November 24, 2008
An earlier post of mine on the same matter of conflicting conservation messages.
Sunday, November 23, 2008
I think the problem with American politics is with the Americans. The lesson of the "lesser evil" goes forward.
Saturday, November 22, 2008
Funny thing, not once have I ever had an "outlaw" biker threaten me, my loved ones or my future. The US Congress, lawyers and cops are the guys who refuse to leave anyone alone. Who should we be more afraid of and concerned about? My money's on guys like this...Rusty Keeble and Mark Bridgeman.
Friday, November 21, 2008
Thursday, November 20, 2008
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
More CNBC bottom-fishers.
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Or, if they are performing one service and decide to take it further, who has any right to interfere? If it's about preventing disease, bust anyone having sex with someone other than a spouse. That'd be cute. What this is really about is enforcing one's religious beliefs upon others via government, taxes and middlemen skimming the women's take.
In Ratigan's theory, the short sellers should have corrected the situation long ago. Steve Eisman and others were very aware of this situations years ago. I know government regulation meets a great deal of resistance, but I don't see any way around it.
My post here refers to an article and people who knew what was happening long ago. In fact, many people got rich off of this credit disaster. When that much money changes hands, it is rarely an accident. I like one of Ratigan's earlier solutions, about arrests. Laws were broken and arrests need to be made. I think that will have far more impact than short-selling the firms of corrupt executives. Why would they care? Did Richard Fuld or Erin Callahan lose anything? They all had their golden parachutes at the ready, didn't they?
There's a real problem with the GOP version of privatization, which most democrats seem to have eagerly adopted. Privatization efforts have zero recognition of the humanity of the citizenry. In other words, the truck of free trade would run down an occupied baby carriage if that carriage interfered with maximum profit and getting goods to a market on time. Privatization would refuse to take a dying patient to the hospital if transport was not a profit. The term used in an explanation would be "regrettable" or a similar adjective.
One can't make government policy decisions based on short term monetary gain, ie. turn over government decision-making to a corporate mindset. The very justification for taxation is to do what would not be done otherwise, serve the public good first. If our government is no longer concerned with the public good, hasn't it then just become another commercial enterprise, losing it's legitimacy to govern and tax? If that were the case, an historical revolution not seen since 1776 should be the result. If citizens are on their own and paying taxes, then they might as well be own their own and not paying taxes or tribute.
The US would reap immense benefit in 50-100 years if it were to lead the research into "green" living. The waste of water and power in the US is criminal. The fact that homes are about the same as they were in the 1800's in absurd. Where are domes, underground structures, gray water use, solar and other point-of-use efforts? People are still squirting chemicals into the ground to prevent termites? Dark age stuff, but still profitable.
The crazed moneychangers scoff in their rants of greed and ask who's going to pay for it all. I scoff right back and ask who's going to pay when we run out of clean water. The closest response to an answer I've seen so far is that they think the wealthy will be colonized safely on Mars by then.
Monday, November 17, 2008
To make his point, Murdoch criticized the media reaction after bloggers debunked a "60 Minutes" report by former CBS anchor, Dan Rather, that President Bush had evaded service during his days in the National Guard.
"Far from celebrating this citizen journalism, the establishment media reacted defensively. During an appearance on Fox News, a CBS executive attacked the bloggers in a statement that will go down in the annals of arrogance. '60 Minutes,' he said, was a professional organization with 'multiple layers of checks and balances.' By contrast, he dismissed the blogger as 'a guy sitting in his living room in his pajamas writing.' But eventually it was the guys sitting in their pajamas who forced Mr. Rather and his producer to resign.
For those who think a new and better day will emerge after a total collapse, don't be so sure. World history is full of extinct civilizations which once ruled the world. Americans are not exempt from reality.
Sunday, November 16, 2008
"I have learned a long time ago. When they come up and say this has to be done and has to be done immediately, there is no other way of doing it, you have to sit back and take a deep breath and nine times out of 10 they are not telling the truth,'' he said.Every congressman who voted for this debacle should be investigated for corruption and the missing $290 billion.
"And this is one of those nine times.''
Senator Inhofe, do me a favor and tell Senator Webb to resign. He can't seem to understand that part about people lying when they force laws through in a hurry like that.
Posted by Winelover:
November 15th, 2008 11:31 am ET
With a little research, in 2005 they served the Queen "1994 Hillside Select", excellent age. Now in 2008 their serving "2003″, too young. My question, there seems to be some vintages missing, like six years of, wheres it at. Maybe a ranch in Texas?
Saturday, November 15, 2008
"I think it's fairly obvious that Congress would have never passed the [rescue plan] had it known how Treasury would marshal the resources it was given," Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D., Ohio) chairman of the subcommittee, said during his opening remarks.I think it's fairly obvious Kucinich is either being dishonest or has no business in a leadership position, if he didn't see this trainwreck coming. That statement just doesn't represent what went down. I know Congress tried to put in a trap door if the deal went bad and are now trying to use that emergency exit. The public isn't that stupid. I don't know why Kucinich is trying to give cover to those who completely ignored the outcries from their constituents on this, but I don't like it.
What in earth about the Bush adminsistration's past history indicated they could be trusted? What? That's what I was saying then and what I'm saying now. If Pelosi and others voted for it just to try and hang another failure on Bush and the GOP, she's as guilty as Bush and his GOP hacks in this.
I don't think that is an unfair question. Most of those GOP guys and gals were vicious in their support for Bush policies which have turned into total failures. There weren't just a couple of failures. The entire 8 years is rife with failure and excuses about it being someone else's fault. They supported government databases and warrantless wiretaps on all US citizens, torture, strike-first war(which means attack without just cause), no-bid contracts for war, Gitmo, and a bevy of insane positions. Let's not forget about the bailout and the insanity that wrecked the world economy, all on the GOP's watch. And, now, they are going to make it all better? How?
Now, these same people are going to pretend someone else did all of that and they are the answer for recovery? I want to hear what the plan is. If the GOP has the answers and expects my support, the least they can do is let me know what their plan is.
Friday, November 14, 2008
Whether that's the way it is or not, the public starts getting the idea that those guys at CNBC and other places are trying to trick them into making the opposite trade that should be made. That's what can cause a huge run on brokerages. If these guys don't stop trying to call magic bottoms and telling people it's going to be an up day when everything indicates a down day, Wall Street and the US government is going to have a problem it can't handle...if it's not that way already.
The post is below, to go see what my experiment was...CNBC; Another Stock Market Bottom.
The biggest problem is that there isn't enough money in the world to reprice the end result of what was an uncontrolled frenzy of real estate speculation without a lot of bankruptcies, foreclosures and forced evictions. There's a lot of ugly to go before this is over.
The painting of 11/14/08 is Garden in Flower at Sainte-Addresse. 1866 I've gotten different translations of the title and year, but think this one may be more common.
In other news...Dow down 157 points as traders sell into yesterday's "bottom" rally. Let me get into some of this action and say how I see the Dow down at least 300 points at the close, probably by 2:00 PM. I hate talking about market psychology, but it just isn't right. Everyone is fishing the bottom, amateurs and all and I don't see how a bottom ever sets in like that. Just thinking out loud, I wouldn't be shocked at a 700-728 S&P before the year-end. Two things are happening. Funds are selling due to redemptions, which will only increase as the stock market tumbles and funds are making money by shorting to help clean their numbers up for year-end. Nothing says anyone has to go long in order to get their returns looking better for the year. They can do that by shorting the market.
Update: Whiskey Mind story hits the streets, Dow down 212....Just kidding. It's down that much, but I didn't do it.
3:19 PM Update: I wanted to get this in. I dunno. I still think it'll be down, big, at the end of the day...around 3%. It's been cracking a little. We hit the 300 Dow points down, but I'd still be surprised if it didn't close down close to that low. I don't like predictions, but I thought I'd put one out there with all of these guesses about a "bottom." I thought I'd start guessing some too. 275 down points to go.
4:30 PM Update: 338 down. More details in post above. There's a hell of a lot of selling pressure still out there. It just amazes me that "professionals" keep trying to nail a bottom. I thought bottom-fishing was excluded in the first year of business school, on the first day.
Thursday, November 13, 2008
Governor Palin is the only one who seems to have the guts to actually answer questions in an honest way. The GOP boys club might as well get used to the fact that she's an interesting personality and people want to talk to her.
This sort of stuff should be punishable with a stiff FCC fine or something. It's a very serious issue to have this level of failure. They didn't even check for a bio on the source, just ran with it.
Excuse me for saying, "no sh**!!" That's some concept there, any details for that first suggestion? I would add: 1) make it all better. I wonder if Pasani paraphrased too much or if community colleges are an even better choice than I believed.
Well, here's some of that brilliance. Part of that business model appears to be betting against products that other Goldman Sachs employees are selling. The firm did the same thing with home mortgage securities. That way they play both ends. Goldman sells junk for big money, shorts what they know will quickly fail and makes a profits at both ends. Let us not forget, that is the company where treasury Secretary Henry Paulson made his $700 million. How is that less criminal than a Nigerian email scam?
A nice article that touches on this "Goldman as a god" fantasy floating around. Seems like Paulson's boy wonder isn't getting such grand reviews. The article also tends to support the talent versus salary post I have up. What talent do these Wall Street guys really have? They are supposed to be the best in the financial business, but they just seem like a bunch of cowboy speculators to me. They don't actually seem to understand the fundamentals of banking or of managing people. When nothing makes any sense, I consider the possibility of criminal activity.
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
By the way, Mr. Pasani, it was your brand of cowboy "capitalism" that got us in this mess to begin with.
For those of you not familiar with the product, tempeh is a fermented bean cake, usually prepared wiyh soybeans. I've just tried it recently, but like it plain or quick fried. I probably shouldn't say, but I bet it's great deep-fried in thick batter.
Hell, the jobs are almost gone, might as well get something out of globalism and GOP-style "free trade."
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
I've never understood the compulsion of those who identify with progressive politics to constantly strike out against perfectly innocent people for crimes they had nothing to do with, other than by sharing race or gender characteristics (ie. white males). I thought such bigotry was supposed to be wrong. No wonder American youth are so damned confused these days. When there's too much to be gained financially and politically by those who claim to be civil rights activists, the situation only gets worst. Many progressives are so deeply invested in the racial problems of this nation, that any resolution would be devastating to their personal incomes, and the future of the income of their immediate family and associates. Most people consider that a conflict of interest which breeds a lack of credibility. I know I do.
In the spirit of truth and rebellion against injustices, and to push back against "progressive" misfits, I have promptly installed a link to the Drudge Report and removed any links associated with progressive movements. As the power shifts, Drudge has now again assumed the role of revealing the secrets of those vested in America's failures. His guys are out, so Drudge has nothing to lose and everything to gain by printing unsavory facts about the DC political establishment. The game is always on, it's the roles that change.
My role won't change. I'm interested is truth and credible information to base decisions and beliefs upon, and I don't care where it comes from. Anyone who breeches the trust gets dropped like a hot potato. I'm sick of being vilified because I was born male and am of Scots-Irish decent. I'm doomed to a lifetime of attacks on my well-being and dignity because of how I was born, by people who say it doesn't matter how we were born...that we're all human? It's time to label them as the unstable and dangerous quacks that they are.
Monday, November 10, 2008
Sunday, November 9, 2008
Sure, it looks like some pension funds might collapse and the US is in for a rough ride, but most of our grandparents went through as bad or worse. Even if they didn't many of our recent immigrants have. If I could be half the person most of my Scots-Irish ancestors were, with the exception of a rogue and malevolent father, I'd be honored. It's not the genes as much as the behavior. I think we forget that we all make current decisions, regardless of our pasts. That's my Sunday morning message, load the backup drive, build on the good foundations that remain and get on with it.
To this day, Larry Kudlow and Jerry Boyer will proudly glare into the camera, with those famous smirks of a child remarkably proud of his obstinacy, as they baffle most audiences with countless contradictions and economic "expertise" contrary to economic reality. This is the same pair who mocked Peter Schiff, Gary Shilling, Joe Battipaglia and others who dared to contradict the wild claims of Ben Bernanke and Henry Paulson that all was well with the Bush economy, until the facts became so obvious that hey had to change that story. Each Kudlow episode is the same. There's the reality even the viewer can understand, represented by people labeled as "gloomy" bears, tempered by the practiced smirks of Kudlow and Boyer and the masters of fantasy Kudlow has installed on his panel. Here's a link to Charlie Gasparino calling Donald Luskin a jerk. Luskin, like any good jerk, seems proud. I've never seen a blog where a guy proudly displays remarks from professionals who know what they are talking about how he's a person nobody should try to emulate. Talk about self-hate. Congratulations to Gasparino for finally addressing the competence and intentions of those who spew out such nonsense. They are, indeed, jerks.
This is the legacy of Bush, at least some of it. I won't take any more space to provide evidence of the obvious. President G.W. Bush failed the American people. There is not one part of most of American lives which isn't spinning widely out of control. We are being prepared for the reality that not only will Social Security be gone, but some rich guy has looted the pension funds too. It's all crumbling downward, but Dick Cheney seems fine. I wouldn't want anyone to worry.
It's my prediction that millions of personal journals will firmly contradict any historical magic applied to a miserable eight years of President Bush and his compliant band of accomplices in the US Congress and the media. The fact that this man hasn't been impeached and jailed speaks volumes about justice in America. There are plenty of impeachable offenses, no need to pretend they aren't there.
Saturday, November 8, 2008
I think Nader made a crucial mistake in saying that white men owe women and non-whites 300 years of servitude. That divisive rhetoric that panders to hate-filled motivations. Mocking a white man and telling him to sit in the back of the bus is not more moral than doing the same to anyone else because of gender and skin color. It's still wrong. More evil doesn't reduce an evil influence. An interesting Nader article from Deroy Murdock of the National Review Online (NRO).
I've also recently reinstalled Ubuntu Linux 8.04 on a VMWare Fusion 1.1 virtual machine, along with the dreaded and essential Windows XP. With that XP virtual machine, I have Zone Alarm. I do what I have to online, then I lock it down. XP does not have access to my Macintosh home files and it's read only, so it's locked down pretty tight. I needed the MS to run a certain program I use, and for MS Office Excel and Word. It's hard to use computers and not use and be able to read those programs. I refuse to pollute my Mac OSX with a Windows program for Mac. Anything Microsoft is in isolation, where it creates less mischief.
Update: Thought I'd mention that a DoD 7 free space wipe took about 9 hours on a 100 GB of space. All told the reload and wipe, and downloading all of the Mac updates took the best part of 24 hours, and that's not counting favorite programs to load. If I had a faster connection, the time would be a fraction of that, but there's no fast way to secure-wipe 100 GB, not that I know of.
The months of September through December have always been among my favorites. There's just something fundamentally sound, unlike the US economy, about that time of year. This year will be better than many, as I've removed myself from a bizarre family dynamic. Their main contribution to my life was polluting my holiday cheer and creating as much doubt and despair in my mind as they could possibly manage. Perhaps they are harmless, but I wouldn't bet on it.
Wal Mart has Christmas music playing, so it should be timely to wish everyone a peaceful and safe Thanksgiving and Christmas. Think freely.
Thursday, November 6, 2008
All I had to show when I voted was my voter registration card. There is nothing on there that describes me. What is to prevent ACORN or some similar group from registering people who have no intention of voting, then have people voting in more than one district? In theory, nothing stops me from voting in my own district, then taking a voter card from someone I paid to register and also vote in that district. It's not asking too much to have to confirm with a photo ID. It's a crime that the US does not have a more secure voting system. The government can develop remote planes that drop bombs, but it refuses to establish a reliable national standard of voting.
It's ridiculous to hear shrieks of panic from election officials because turnout is high and they may not be able to handle it. They now, once again, have 4 years to come up with more efficient and secure methods of voting that allow prompt access to the polls for 100% of the eligible voting public. If they don't have enough funds, send them to Wall Street. House Representative Eric Cantor and US Senator Jim Webb wrote them a blank check not long ago.
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
As as side note, I was personally impressed as PUMA and some more conservative independents joined forces in a rare effort to create synergy based on agreement. That's a good start for the next elections.
Massive deficits and fiscal insanity, torture of innocent civilians in Iraq, abuse of power, and perhaps even sheer stupidity seem to have been with President Bush all along. Still, the national infrastructure crumbles away and far more troubles were created than solved. Bush's definition of success is that we are not all dead or in prison.
I will never forget when Vice President Dick Cheney refused take his seat on Bush's cue during the Rumsfeld departure ceremony. Bush began to take his seat, but the crowd took their cues from Cheney and Bush had to rise again until Cheney was ready to end the applause for Rumsfeld and sit. The video is clear and I am still amazed that not a single mainstream journalist, the ones who consider themselves stewards of the preservation of truth, mentioned the least concern about that episode. Let us hope, if Senator Barack Obama wins, that Senator Joe Biden is not the one really in charge.
The only question now is how much other damage can Bush and Cheney do until January 20. It still may be a good idea to get that chimp on the job, now.
Saturday, November 1, 2008
“Obama wants to enlarge the armed services by 92,000. He pledges to escalate the US war in Afghanistan; to attack Pakistan’s sovereign territory if it obstructs any unilateral US mission to kill Osama bin Laden; and to wage a war against terror in a hundred countries, creating for this purpose a new international intelligence and law enforcement “infrastructure” to take down terrorist networks. A fresh start? Where does this differ from Bush’s commitment to Congress on September 20, 2001, to an ongoing “war on terror” against “every terrorist group of global reach” and “any nation that continues to harbor or support terrorism”?Regarding Obama's backpedaling from pre-nomination positions, Cockburn writes:
“In February, seeking a liberal profile in the primaries, Obama stood against warrantless wiretapping. His support for liberty did not survive its second trimester; he aborted it with a vote for warrantless wiretapping. The man who voted to reaffirm the awful Patriot Act declared that ‘the ability to monitor and track individuals who want to attack the United States is a vital counterterrorism tool.’
“As a political organizer of his own advancement, Obama is a wonder. But I have yet to identify a single uplifting intention to which he has remained constant if it has presented the slightest risk to his advancement. Summoning all the optimism at my disposal, I suppose we could say he has not yet had occasion to offend two important constituencies and adjust his relatively decent stances on immigration and labor-law reform. Public funding of his campaign? A commitment made becomes a commitment betrayed, just as on warrantless eavesdropping. His campaign treasury is now a vast hogswallow that, if it had been amassed by a Republican, would be the topic of thunderous liberal complaint.
I didn't see where Cockburn mentioned Obama's praise of Bush's "surge" results in Iraq. When the reversals are that frequent, it's difficult to keep track of them all. This isn't supposition or political rhetoric. Obama has flatly reversed himself on every key position he had in the primaries, something his supporters have ignored. Those who say they want Obama's "change" are probably too busy focusing on Palin's hair and clothes or her legs to notice or care that Obama's not the same candidate who won the democratic primaries.
A neighbor just dropped by, after a quick call to me from the wife, with some gifts he thought I'd like: a couple of car magazines, some organic fruit and a few other goodies. It reminded me of one of those community college instructors I was thinking about recently. One of them mentioned in an economics class that there was no substitute for a kind gesture, no value could ever be assigned to taking a break from life to think about someone else. In other words, his message was that humanity and being humane was priceless.
My respect for that message grows with each day and each experience, as time passes. In all of the turmoil and disagreement and passion of life, I hope I do not forget about the value of those good neighbors and the value of my own role in nurturing that tradition as a member of a community, not just functioning as some pirate of life grabbing more loot than anyone else.