Sunday, September 28, 2008

PLAY MONEY




The American government's $700 billion bailout of Wall Street is a fraud because there is no money to buy the debt associated with the rescue. The United States government has a debt, with the bailout, of more than $11 trillion. As I have stated before, the government is buying debt with debt like the credit default swaps that created the crisis in the first place.

Some definitions are in order. Essentially, a credit default swap is insuring the owner of a debt that the debt will be paid. If the debt is not paid or bought, then the insurer is stuck with the bad debt. Many of the banks and securities with trouble now had insured or bought credit default debt. What the United States government plans to do is to buy the companies' bad debts and assets and hold them until the toxic financial products can either be sold as debt or wait until the magic moment until the economy supposedly recovers to sell off the real assets at a better price. The American government plans to purchase this all with the non-existent money in the United States Treasury.

The bailout is down a rabbit hole but not through a looking glass in terms of sense and rational thought. The problem could have been contained with legislation that mirrored the Glass/Stegall Act which forbade banks from offering investment, commercial banking services , and insurance services in the same corporate entity. Banks that offer all three endanger citizens' money through speculation not saving. The Republican Party, led by Phil Gramm, destroyed the barriers to prudent banking. However, a Glass/Stegall provision is not a part of the current bailout scheme. Serious bank reforms that will prevent imprudent corporate investments are necessary before a true bailout of the American economy can occur.

UPDATE: In the middle of this financial scandal, the National Republican Congressional Committee has one of its own. Wachovia, a bank Wells Fargo has now bought, was in serious trouble and on the brink of bankruptcy. Despite its financial woes where the managers froze credit to institutions and other ordinary lenders, the bank loaned $8 million to the NRCC to continue its political campaigns. The full story is at Daily Kos.
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Saturday, September 27, 2008

A SAD GOODBYE TO BLUE EYES

Radio Free Canada mourns the death of actor Paul Newman at eighty-three from cancer. He was a great star not only as an actor but in the lives of very ill children with his The Hole in The Wall Gang foundation. His presence will be more missed as a human being than on the silver screen.


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Saturday, September 20, 2008

GOODNESS GRACIOUS!

Where have I been? I haven't give a presidential endorsement yet. Well, let's see.... I could come out for the McCain and Palin ticket but I would be condoning a candidate who had ties to criminal lobbying or who hired a religious wingnut for a VP pick. I could pick Obama who is a straight (but not narrow) arrow and his VP pick who has tons of foreign policy experience.

Hmm...I guess I will go for the Obama/Biden ticket. I think that Obama and Biden together have the intelligence, political savvy, experience, and humanity that is necessary to lead America . They are prudent in their beliefs, conservative in their finances, moderate in their personal behaviour, considerate to others (especially their spouses, unlike McCain who dumped his first marriage for a trophy wife), and responsible for their actions. Obama and Biden are the leaders that the United States needs to make the country once again respected in the world.
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GO FIGURE

The current troubles on Wall Street might seem arcane and esoteric but the story is very simple. Pull up a chair and let me tell you.

I attempted last night to explain the current financial crisis to my youngest child during supper. I was talking with my husband about the situation in our dinnertime wrap up of the day's events.She was becoming bored with the adult recitation. I decided to interpret the grownup conversation in words that she could understand.

First, I defined some of the terms. I asked her if she knew the meaning of assets. She, naturally, was not familiar with this word. I told her that assets are what you own like her clothes, furniture, and stuffies. This was sensible to the child. I then told her about the banks that were having difficulty because they claimed assets (money) that they do not have. An example of this was Citigroup whose managers asserted they had enough cash on hand to be solvent until the necessity of Abu Dhabi Investment Authority buying up their losses. I explained that the organization (Abu Dubai) bought the bank's (Citigroup's) pretend money, what adults call 'debt', with real money. My daughter thought to buy something imaginary with cash was nutters.

She was restless at that point. It was time for her to take a bath and get ready for bed so I did not have the opportunity to give the child a more broad picture of why the United States government bailout of Wall Street is crazily dangerous. The boil-down of the problem is that the Bush administration is buying debt (pretend money) with debt (more pretend money). This debt will go on sale to the world market which, if countries are pragmatic, won't either take the bag and buy the feigned assets or purchase the fakery with more leveraged commodities. The bailout is a sham, a political expediency from the Bush administration that deliberately overlooks the fact that the American government does not have the funds to buy out trillions of dollars worth of subprime mortgages, hedge funds, and jiggered accounting books that show a profit where there is none. The entire capitalistic system has failed.

My eight-year-old can understand the insanity of the Bush administration's non-funded buy-up of Wall Street. Why can't the grownups?

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Wednesday, September 17, 2008

DING, DONG

Dear Goddess, I am not having a flight of fancy or rubbing on the datura (used in medieval flying ointments) about the next news item. There have been reports that a witch hunter from Africa blessed Sarah Palin before her ascent to the governorship. The news accounts state that Pastor Muthee of Kenya blessed Mayor Palin so that she would become the chief executive of Alaska. This same minister led a pogram against a woman fortune teller named Mama Jane. The pastor accused her of causing traffic accidents near her house. The innocent, for no rational person believes someone can cause accidents through fortune-telling and other magicks, woman lost her house because the pastor led an angry mob against her.

Now, let's consider this in practical terms. Did the mob driving away the supposed witch fix the road near the house? No. Does killing an unarmed snake with a gun fix the roads or alleviate the poverty that causes the unsafe roads? No. Does building churches and saying prayers stop people from drinking alcohol and doing illicit drugs because they are in poverty's despair? In Kiambu District Province of Kenya where Pastor Muthee got rid of an alleged witch, the trauma of being poor continues. According to the administration police, "common crimes in the area are carjacking, robbery,house breaking, drug trafficking & illicit brews, rape amongothers." in the district.

Sarah Palin's Jesus did not help Kiambu recover from its woes. Her god will not be able to fix the train wreck that is the American economy.

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Monday, September 15, 2008

CONGRATULATIONS! LOVE WON OUT!

Radio Free Canada is over the moon and somewhere out of the galaxy about the pictures of George Takai's and Brad Altman's wedding. Takai, who was the character Sulu in the television series Star Trek, married his long-time partner on Sunday, September 14, 2008 at the National Center for the Preservation of Democracy in Los Angeles. Best wishes to Takai and his husband! Live long and prosper!

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A DANGEROUS CULT

Keith Olbermann on Sarah Palin's witch-hunting pastor.




WARNING: THIS VIDEO SHOULD NOT BE SHOWN TO CHILDREN OR THOSE WITH TRAUMA ISSUES.



Sarah Palin's Churches and The Third Wave from Bruce Wilson on Vimeo.

Gov. Sarah Palin is part of a dangerous religious cult that believes demons are trying to control the world. Specifically, the presence of demons and territorial spirits, witches, and generational curses cause social and ecological problems in society. The religious movement, called the Third Wave, believes in taking dominion over the world through prayer and violence. I know that this sounds even more off left field that my usual writing but there is sufficient video and other documented evidence about the Third Wave movement to give any intelligent person, those of us who are voting for mainstream Christians like Obama and Biden the heebie-jeebies. Please watch and decide for yourselves.

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Sunday, September 14, 2008

PASS THE POPCORN

Save the date. October 2 , 2008 is the vice presidential debate from St. Louis Missouri.

In the right corner is Gov. Sarah Palin, a one time second rate beauty queen with an out of wedlock knocked-up daughter. In the left corner is Sen. Joe Biden with years of political and foreign issues experience. Place your bets now. I think Palin won't last two rounds before Biden cleans her clock and sends her packing back to Wasilla. Does the term bitch slap mean anything? Palin is going to be an unhappy camper after October 2. While my sentiments might seem a bit harsh, Palin is the best gladiator show in many political years. There are a lot of people, especially women, who can't wait to see her hogtied and heaved out of the rink.

To up the ante for us north of the border, the Canadian prime ministerial debates are going on at the same time. It's sort of like trying to watch a hockey puck at a Canucks game with Pamela Anderson sitting behind the team goal.

Yeah, sometimes you have got to love politics as a blood sport. See ya 'round.

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HAPPY BIRTHDAY

Friday was the 50th birthday of the integrated circuit. The circuit was jointly discovered by Jack Kilby and Robert Noyce. If it were not for this small bit of technology, you would not be able to read this or any other blog. So, hooray and happy birthday to the integrated circuit!

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Saturday, September 13, 2008

THOSE PALIN WOMEN

This is not an attack on anyone in Palin's family. Goddess knows she has enough trouble there to keep her up to her knickers in diapers and Jamie Lynn Spears' burp cloths. No, this is about the women who support Sarah Palin.

I have been on forums with Palin supporters and read letters to the editor from such women. The general impression that I have when I read their opinions is that pro-Palin women aren't well-educated.

I belong to a forum called Women Against Palin. On the forum, a person who called herself thinkingwoman described Obama as a Muslim. Sen. Obama belongs to the United Church of Christ. I corrected her and she hasn't returned to the forum. It is typical in my experience when having a dialouge with very conservative women that they do not research their beliefs and often write in misspelled ALL CAPITAL LETTERS as if this would hide their ignorance. And yes, I am spelling 'dialouge' correctly, as someone who lives in Canada.

Furthermore, women who write letter to the editor in support of Palin have the tendency to cling to the emotional religious issues of abortion, stem cells, and homosexuality. They do not go for the red meat of domestic financial policy, education, infrastructure, and science. Foreign policy and economy is too far beyond their limited world view. Palin women are lost in a good little girl role of dress-up and baby dolls. Confronting real issues like the Russian invasion of Georgia would tax their brains like the question strained Palin's. No, a pissing match with Putin et al is not a good idea. Us and what army that is bogged down in Iraq?

However, conservative women's reluctance to dig into the hard matters of international politics and money is not surprising. Foreign relations and international economy do not affect, at least in their small-minded beliefs, their domestic status. Being "pro-life" and bashing gays protects the conservative woman's existence. Abortion takes away a conservative woman's reason to live which is basically to be a tube for procreation. Homosexuality threatens them because there are a lot of transvestites that look better in dresses than church ladies in polyester. For conservative women to create their politics on the soft feminine issues of babies and sexuality is only to save their minimal qualifications for being alive.

I intend to vote for Obama and Biden. I think that Obama's pick of someone who is on the foreign relations committee in the Senate and who has written at least seventy white papers on foreign and domestic issues (which are sold on Amazon.com and elsewhere) will be more effective than an ignorant war-mongering shrew like Palin who will involve the United States in disastrous wars that would cost more American lives and money.


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Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Sunday, September 07, 2008

SARAH PALIN IS A WIMP

The Republican Party has decided that Sarah Palin will not be able to meet with the press until the party operatives "...think it's time and when she feels comfortable doing it."

Well, obviously, her daughter is comfortable doing it but that shouldn't stop the mother from talking with the press. However, Sarah Palin will not withstand scrutiny "until the point in time when she'll be treated with respect and deference."

Hello? What does the Republican Party want? Mrs. Palin carried to the press area on a silk litter carried by Nubian slaves? Does the GOP think that they can make the American and international press wait for her beck and shrill? No, journalists are not going to tolerate this arrogant behaviour. If Palin wants to be known as someone who is competent enough to fill the secondary executive slot in the White House, she damn well better toches ahfen tish ( put her butt on the table) just like any other candidate.


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Thursday, September 04, 2008

GO BACK TO YOUR KITCHEN












Sarah Palin's rude comment of "I guess a small-town mayor is sort of like a community organizer,except that you have actual responsibilities." was a slap in the face of every woman who has used her precious and not too ample time to organize and volunteer to better her community.

Women these days do not have a lot of time. We have jobs or are looking for jobs in an economy that a Republican administration has destroyed for a trumped up war. At the same time, we care for children or elderly parents or both. Some of us are single mothers who struggle to meet ends financially yet still show up to lead Brownie troops or coach soccer. Some of us are women who have special needs children but find the spare moment every day to make the phone calls or to bake the cookies for the school fund raiser. We may not have much in terms of time and possessions but we give ourselves because we believe and have faith that society, through our efforts, will be stronger and safer for our families and for those families in our communities.

Sarah Palin, in her arrogant convention speech, has broken affinity and trust with these hardworking and compassionate Americans who volunteer their existence for the well-being of the country. She should be ashamed to run for office.It is essential for the good of the nation that voters return her to private life.


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Monday, September 01, 2008

SMELL THE COFFEE

Governor Sarah Palin is the wrong person for the job of United States VP. Note that I didn't say "woman" in the previous sentence. Palin, whatsoever, John McCain may think is not a fill for a gender gap. Ms. Palin is incompetent for the office of Vice-President regardless of her chromosomal attributes because of the many scandals that already plague her nomination. Thus far, she has been indicated in the nepotistic removal of dismissed Public Safety Commissioner Walt Monegan after he refused to fire a state trooper who had divorced Palin's sister. Her boyfriend,now her husband, was pulled over for driving under the influence several years ago. The current news about her seventeen-year-old daughter being preggers and unwed does not help the governor's belief that abstinence-based sex education works.

Governor Palin's role as a parent who should have had concern for her children and failed that destroys her credibility as someone who is a heartbeat away from the presidency. She should get her own home in order before she considers a run at being the top aide in the White House.

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