Sunday, December 21, 2008

Gentle Reader, Al Franken looks like he will win the recount of the votes for the seat of Senator from Minnesota.

This will be because, Albert Gore take note, he did not give in and concede the election to look like a statesman to the opposition party, which does not give a damn about such things.

And, this is the most important thing: the votes were on paper. Paper can be reexamined. Computers produce whatever they are told to produce by a programmer.

A recount of paper votes, a candidate who learned the lessons of e-voting in 2000 along with the rest of the sane, and a media that did not give Coleman the win no matter how much he whined, all these factors gave the real winner the office.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Well, Children, it looks like OPEC is getting its act together and will cut oil production to raise prices.

This is the final hammer, the trigger of Depression II. If inflation kicks back on, and no reason why not, that's the Reagonomic apocalypse. Credit collapse combined with rising prices. Damn.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Shoe throwing Iraqi jounalist Muntathar is being tortured

According to this Iraqi's blog, shoe-hurling journalist Muntathar is being beaten, and his colleagues were arrested and stripped. American media not covering the story, as far as I can see.

read more | digg story

Non-union Toyota factory cuts production, says sales down

Toyota has announced that it has halted the start of construction of Priuses in their new, non-union 300 million dollar factory in Blue Springs, Mississippi. No word if their low, non-union labor costs have crippled their efforts to compete in the world market. Should we let them go bankrupt to eliminate their expensive non-union labor force?

read more | digg story

Muntadhar al-Zaidi, thrower of the shoe, was tortured. Digg it here.

Damn, it's hard to learn HTML and blogging on the fly.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Originally posted on on Wednesday, November 26, 2008.

Why CNN Struggles to Cover The Economic Panic

November 26, 2008 8:06am

I feel like a man who has spent seven years in a bomb shelter, who is now opening the hatch into a new, strange world.

I haven't watched TV or flown on a plane since the year 2000. I stopped listening to radio in 2001 when a favorite Sunday morning radio piece on NPR was shrilly, angrily calling anyone who questioned Bush's war on Iraq a traitor. And that was the LIBERAL. I knew my country had gone insane.

Point: I am in a world of people who can't process data.

At least America, some of them, are figuring out that there is no "terrorist" threat that requires our complete and utter devotion and treasury.

While America was looking for box cutters like a vampire counting beans, I watched the debt climb into Death's country. I watched the tax cuts and the insane military spending drive us into China's newly moneyed arms. I watched a Forever War making many rich and bankrupting the nation.

I watched the housing bubble and cried havoc. I warned people that it would burst and take out all the "wealth" that we thought we had made since 2000.

I saw the derivative market grow; I heard Buffet warn us that it would destroy us. Where were my people? Watching Iraq being destroyed in yet another Friedmanite takeover of a foreign market.

I didn't know about the re-re-re-leveraged mortgage debt, but I should have guessed, watching my mortgage change hands so many times.

This wasn't a surprise, this depression. Not only have we made our castle of money on a hill of derivatives sand, but we happily sent our industry overseas while giving the finger to the unions. Pension funds were outright stolen to fund corporations to overwhelming approval. Bankruptcy was made almost impossible for a normal human to use. All it took was a match. And the oil companies and the traders that finance them lit the match.

We watched in puzzlement as oil and commodity prices, set by casinos, when into the danger range. We watched jobs disappear, and almost no one connected the next dot, which was a wave of default and foreclosure. The match lit the can of gasoline.

Financial engineers had packaged mortgage debt and sold it as AAA rated investments to the entire world, and everyone made out like bandits. But the insurance company, AIG, which was Too Big To Fail, was unregulated and did not have to actually have the ability to cover losses if a wave of foreclosures hit. The gasoline can started the neighborhood on fire.

Everyone assumed bubbles go on forever. For the Smartest Men in the Room, who got out early and are now posed to buy our country for pennies on the dollar, this has been a raging success. You all are not processing this: this is Disaster Capitalism. They made a fortune, and now the disaster they made is the opportunity to buy us cheaply. And here's what is making people so surprised and puzzled: they are being gifted with 8 trillion of our money,with no strings, to buy us up with. Truly, it is good to be Milton Friedman's Chicago Boys. After Bolivia, Brazil, Venezuela, Indonesia, Poland, China and Russia, the United States of America is now similarly poised in shock, waiting for the Brick, the book the free-marketers used so many times in other countries, to be opened and used against us. We're about to be Russianized, kids. Shock them until they're dazed and uncomprehending, then hit them with "reforms" too fast to follow until that perfect market is achieved, and half the country - actually, more - is made destitute and invisible.

At least, that's how it usually went. Here's hoping Obama doesn't listen to the Chicago School Boys, as so many did before.

Originally posted on, Tuesday, November 25, 2008.

Hey. Sorry, but this IS all about political bullshit, as one of you put it.

This is not a random crisis which no one could foretell. We have numbers and we have causes, and they do correlate.

The root cause is ideological. After the financial collapses of 1871 and 1929, it became apparent that the financial markets could not be allowed to do whatever they liked, devil take the hindmost. Regulations were passed. The usual suspects screamed communism, and spent a dreary half century demonizing those who created the regulated market.

Milton Friedman, creator Chicago School of economics, created the era of super-capitalism, the unregulated (as much as they could) bubble economies.

His boy, one Ronald Reagan, cut taxes, killed social spending, deregulated the markets as much as possible, increased military spending, and ran up the debt like a drunken sailor. Good times for those who made out like bandits. Savings and Loans companies were the first explosion of the unregulated market. Taxpayers bailed them out.

Clinton came in, cut spending, increased the taxes back to saner levels, pulled the economy out of the tailspin, and actually started to pay down the debt. Largest expansion of an economy in world history. Also, he was a free-marketer, and started deregulating trade, tho not so much the financial markets.

Bush enters, and out-Reagans Reagan by simply installing the foxes in all the regulatory henhouses. The actual laws passed under Clinton and Bush are irrelevant, as they were not enforced, so not pertinent to the discussion of blame. The financial markets learned to leverage debt with unsecured insurance, and became rich. The "money" made was leveraged and re-leveraged in a dizzying spiral; derivatives went from a seven trillion dollar pile in 1999 to over seventy trillion in 2008. This money was all bits and bytes, cross-hatched financial cats-cradles made of imagined wealth based on the housing bubble.

All bubbles end. But the Fed, under Ayn Rand boy, kept lowering the rates to keep a hot housing market that should have cooled in 2003 going until 2006. The economy had no growth in the uh-ohs but for the money "made" in rising home values. A guinea pig that could read the newpaper on the bottom of his cage could predict what would happen next.

The price of oil spiked, because of the wonderful new game that commodity players learned through the example of Enron; choke supply, don't build refineries, and prices go up.

The economy constricted, and home prices finally slowed and then started to collapse. No money, no purchases, supply and demand. SOMEthing had to burst the bubble.

Big bit: 2005, Congress makes it all but impossible for consumers to go bankrupt. Uh-ohhhh....

So, the poorest or more unlucky - usually health care costs cause bankruptcy - started to default. This was inevitable, and NOT the product of laziness or greed or stupidity. In a gas leak, the weakest respiratory systems die first. That's all. When the bubble breaks, the weak go first.

The collapse that we are gloriously observing had to happen at some time. The house of cards, the vaporous pile of "cash" that was leveraged into every aspect of out lives, did not really exist except on the books of con men.

Those con men, having merged their businesses without government constraint for decades, were so large that their falls would collapse the world's economy. So we are now pledged to pay them - directly! - with no strings - almost eight thousand billion dollars right now, more than all the wars, land purchases, foreign aid and NASA budgets combined in all our history. And that's just the start. The businessmen who ruthlessly gamed an unregulated market are now literally being handed the keys to our treasury and all our future wealth as a token to assuage their failure. And still no regulation.

And key: the supply-side tax cuts were supposed to enable those who had wealth to create industry and jobs for all. This did not happen. They exported jobs to countries employing, practically, slave labor, killed retail by consolidating into superstores, stole the pension funds, killed the unions, slashed wages and health care, and told those who gave warning to grow up and learn a new trade. The money made in the economy was not invested in jobs, but in new forms of wealth. Our standard of living drops.

This was all ideology and politics. The neo-cons, the deregulators, the tax cutters, those who demanded that the government spend itself to literal death are winning. Our country will be sold, is being sold, for pennies on the dollar. We've been conned.

You are not witnessing a failure of ideology, but a triumph of planning. They are charging us top dollar to execute ourselves.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Market. That would be my phrase: just getting that point out there. Crain's Chicago Business, a Chicago paper, claims in a front page story that the Chicago School of economics is now in the doghouse due to the ongoing rain of financial wreckage falling around our ears. Damn it, Obama, you'd better not bring in some of that dross when you bring in the Hyde Park brain trust to DC.
Well, that election went well. Yes, I wasn't there, but damn, didn't Lieberman pull the same damned stunt again? He's now, or may be, the 60th vote to kill a fillibuster, so they are letting him sit on his chairmanship where he will no doubt still block all investigations into the Bush administration, while exercising "bipartisanship" by letting a thousand Whitewaters bloom against Obama.

Al Franken is closing the gap in the recount for the Minnesota Senator race. If the trend continues, Al may just win.

Friday, October 03, 2008

ALL RIGHT! I tend to not post for a while.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

For the record, today I coined the neologism "hippyphone" on Slashdot. Just to let y'all know, that was mine.

A hippyphone is a wifi, meshed, encrypted, free phone system, distributed against the collective cell phone (read: government's) companies most strenuous objections. Should run on open bands, but no doubt would be crushed under boots wielding a battering ram almost immediately.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

On today (Moses was high on drugs, Israeli researcher says), someone posted about Mohamed the prophet:

He didn't need drugs he had pre-pubescent girls and boys for pleasure instead.

I posted:

Unlike the Bible?

For each sequential near-genocidal attack on peaceful Semitic city-states, God commands the Israelis to kill all the men but keep the hot women and young girls for slavery (wink-wink) so as to bear strong Israeli children through rape.

Um, Lot has guests at his home who he knows to be angels, tho he pretends not to know this. A crowd shows up, demanding he toss the strangers to them for fun and death. Lot, no fool he, curries favor with the LORD and the angels by offering up his weeping virginal girl children to the crowd for mass rape and probably death. As a reward, the LORD lets him get out of town before the LORD murders everyone in a firestorm. Stupid woman looks back, of course, and gets what's coming to her -- horrifying unworldly death. Lot, you see, is a Godly man.

Um, for disobeying the LORD, Eve and every woman who will ever live must give birth in pain, IE her easy-exit vagina became one inch in diameter, incapable of passing the melon-sized baby head. God doesn't like women much. I assume Caesarean sections are an afront to the LORD.

Lemme see, how many rapes and tricks to get women into his bed did King David pull? I recall him sending his son off to die to nail his daughter-in-law. And do you think all of Solomon's wives were 21 and over? Sleeping with prepubescents was common up until VERY recently.

Lemme see, didn't Noah's or Abraham's daughters get him drunk to knock themselves up with him while he was passed out? Bible stories are fun.

Lemme see more: Jesus the God or Prophet at the end of days will send every non-believer into the fiery pit to burn forever and ever time without end - Revelations. I assume all the Muslims, including little boys and girls, will be burning there too, which will probably hurt more than sex.

And this you believe is superior to Islam? BOTH BOOKS are rife with rape, child sex and horror. All you really need to take away from both books is: don't hurt people. don't murder. don't steal. don't lie. And you don't need a book or a fiery pit to believe that.

All the rest is just priests, prophets and kings demanding money, power, and tail, all pretending to be the voice of the LORD.

Friday, February 29, 2008

Yahweh of the Old Testament runs his human gerbils in a giant Stanford/Milgram experiment. ALL arguments are from authority and cannot be denied. Abraham sacrificing his son with blade and fire - a test of how far the "teacher" (of Abraham's son) will go if ordered to do so. (This story is basic and older than the Hebrews, having shown up in tablets from Ebla that predate Israel by a thousand years). Morality is obedience, obedience is morality.

Yahweh orders his people to kill for him, rape for him, dash the heads of little children for him -- love is earned through complete and utter obedience to the words of the priests as the voice of Yahweh, and the result of refusing his orders is conflagration, flood, torture, mass death, on and on. As time went on, the commandments became more detailed and sillier, far more than the original 10/12/18. There are volumes devoted to how much detailed obedience is expected from the gerbils, down to shaving and no doubt toenail maintenance. The Lord thy God is an anal God.

Yahweh is also only concerned with Abraham's selected descendants. Everyone else in the world is a gerbil pellet, suitable for consumption or mulching, depending on Yahweh's current mood. (The LORD is [cranky] today).
If you really want to make an atheistic movie, make the Bible. No interpretations, just what's in the Bible. The god-mandated rapes and child killing, the incest and wars for property, the abject lack of any moral vision other than obedience to the authority of the priests and prophets and occasionally a king or two, all informing us as to what god wants. And we can leave Jesua bin Josef out of it; he barely exists as a voice. And he believed wholeheartedly in the complete canon of his holy books, blood-soaked genocidal god and all, so he doesn't get a pass from me. And of course, never leave out Revelations, where Jesua the Demigod tosses people who don't believe in him into a blast furnace of eternal torture for ever and ever. There are army torture manuals with kinder instructions than that hellish book.
Don't have a pony to back in the Obama/Clinton match-up. In my thoughts, I'd imagined them agreeing that the runner-up would be asked to be Vice-President.

That was before it turned out that the Clintons were members of the Klan all along. Imagine my surprise, as Bill had lost the governorship of Arkansas once to the white supremacist backlash to his civil rights beliefs as governor. And Richard Mellon Scaife used Arkansas as a fertile cesspool to drag up all sorts of liars to smear the President for eight long years, all based on the state's inhabitants' seething hatred for the "nigger-lover" Clinton.

But Obama is now up by 7 points because Bill Clinton posited that blacks would tend to vote for Obama. He and his wife were smeared as racists by Clinton-hating Demos -- lookin' at you, Buzzflash and Huffingtonpost -- and Hillary lost her lead decisively.

Fun fact for today: Obama lectured African Americans to turn off their TV, take care of their kids and raise their grades by, among other things, not feeding them Popeye's Chicken for breakfast. Okay, the last bit was about feeding them right, but it sounded cooler to conflate getting fat to getting good grades.

I'm waiting for Buzzflash and Huffingtonpost to call out Obama for his blatant stereotyping of African-Americans and his secret racism that caused him to make such vile comments. Can you IMAGINE the cable networks and Huffingtonpost .com reacting to Senator or President Clinton if either had said anything remotely like that to a predominately black audience? Holy Mother of Chuthulu!

BTW: Buzzflash dude? You invited us to get lost if we thought your Clinton hatred was distorting your reporting. I have taken you up on your offer. I'd like that donation back, as well. I don't donate to political hitmen. I'd like news, please.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Someone is making a shitload of money shorting Apple stock today. Stock has gone down about 20 percent in a few hours -- this is intentional. Brokers will make piles shorting, then buying the stock at bargain prices. They are having a party. Meanwhile, old fashioned conservative investors are being wrecked. And this for a company making records sales...