Saturday, February 7, 2009

Money Matters!

Size does matter when it comes to MY bank account. When my retirement funds disappeared, when everything else these guys at the banks told me seems to be crumbling away and there seems NO WAY to get through the last bailout package without turning over a new set of government money that seems like throwing good money after bad, then, I am just as worried as the next guy. Over the years I have learned that there are very few people who can actually predict what is going to happen with the stock market. So, this is what I have always figured. The stock market is a crap shoot (a gamble) now matter how you slice it. What the hell is wrong with us today? I just read something on Motley Fool, who I never got a bad report from yet. They say that the investment banks (investment banks means they gamble with out money to increase capital rather than wait to earn interest the way we do) have had some rough times. The report is: *"House of cards
And I really mean collapse. Of the big five investment banks, only Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS) and Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS) are still standing, with Lehman, Bear Stearns, and Merrill Lynch all either bankrupt or sold."

Same with the biggest retail banks. Citigroup (NYSE: C) fell from over $50 per share to under $5 per share despite huge cash infusions, and Bank of America (NYSE: BAC) looks to be getting there. Wachovia, the fourth-biggest bank, was acquired. Washington Mutual, the sixth-biggest, became the biggest failure in U.S. banking history.

Without government assistance, it seems likely that most of the top-tier banks would have collapsed. As if that weren't enough, the Bank Insurance Fund (BIF) -- which provides deposit insurance -- has less than $100 billion, enough to cover only 1.01% of outstanding deposits. Citigroup alone has over $600 billion in deposits. By itself, Washington Mutual would have drained the BIF if the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. hadn't used sleight of hand to transfer WaMu's operations to JPMorgan (NYSE: JPM).

With widespread bank failures, deposit insurance would falter, and the taxpayers would be footing the bill regardless. That's why we see all these acquisitions -- because the banking system can't handle the failures. It's cheaper for the country to just save the banks.

The domino effect
If we do let the banks go under, there will be huge problems, because our whole economic system runs on credit. How many small companies use lines of credits to handle seasonality in their businesses? How many large companies rely on sales of commercial paper? If that money is unavailable, many completely viable businesses will go under because of liquidity issues.

Any company that uses debt is vulnerable. Procter & Gamble (NYSE: PG) is practically invincible in any normal situation. But it has $35 billion in net debt. What happens when its lenders ask for some of that money back, and it has to borrow at 15% to get the cash? Wal-Mart (NYSE: WMT) has $41 billion in net debt. When nobody wants to lend, how do you borrow $41 billion?

What happens when the farmers, truckers, and other businesses making up the backbone of our infrastructure, fail? Will there still be food on the supermarket shelves? I don't know, but I'm not eager to find out."

I follow the blogs and it doesn't seem to matter to some people whether our economy as a nation dissolves. I guess they don't realise that the day that happens is when we will have to resort to something, then, and only then will we end up having to resort to the exact same things that Republicans say they are afraid of. They don't seem to realise that they are leading to the road of all of their greatest fears. I never agreed that we should live on Credit instead of a Gold Reserve, Richard Millhouse Nixon (that's right, the same guy who helped give us the Watergate scandal) did that for us. So, at that point we live on credit (money lent to us by foreign banks) right now China is our biggest lender. I notice when the news stations talk about us borrowing money from China now they never use the word 'red' in front of it like they used to in order to remind us they were communists. You see, if we get too far into debt instead of working on fixing the national debt and we already owe most of our money to a communist country, what do you think is going to happen when they see us depending on them? What happens when they pull the plug? I am sure they are going to help us one more time as long as we let them dictate to us what kind of economic system we will set up to get enough money to survive. No, but the same people who are screaming about this becoming a socialist/communist society already are going to make that happen.

I just found an article which resoundingly cries the problems we have are deficits of the Clinton administration's insistance that the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac lend money to people who couldn't afford to pay back the loans. And so, as usual, they are trying to make excuses for the people who are called (please pay attention to this first word) predatory lenders. Compass Bank and Bank of America actually had commercials in Arizona stating that they were giving home loans and that I.D. and background checks weren't necessary. Who were they telling that? I dare you to tell me that you don't think that was aimed at illegal aliens. Here is how that works. You sell them a house. they make the down payment, the first years monthly payments, then, you see that they have plenty of warning that the A.R.M. is getting ready to become unaffordable. their usual M.O. is to change fake I.D., become someone else, and disappear. You, as the lender, pretend they were renting the house while it was on the market, clean and do the repair work and NOW you resell the house as new again. The banks got in over their heads. Fannie and Freddie were but a portion of the housing crisis. And you people who don't live in places like this don't understand what kind of prices they were charging here for living space. 1.5 million for a condominium with one bedroom and 2.5 million for one with two bedrooms. I was working for the company who was donit the scaffolding for the job. They told us on the first day to be careful not to lean on the wall. It would knock a hole in it, because the wall was mostly styrofoam and really cheap plywood about a half inch too thin.

They built the places really fast, but they didn't worry about how well they did them and as usual, they built them like they were expecting more growth than we have seen here since the auto plants closed down in '81.

I was in Iowa recently and they look at you as if you have genitals growing from your forehead if you mention trying to sell a house for over 150,000 dollars. So, imagine what they would think about farm workers buying a house in Scottsdale. That is a good part of what happened to the housing market. I am a construction worker, so I saw it first hand.

And now there are those of us who were paying on time, had our house or condo/townhouse paid for, and then all of a sudden trying to get a credit card or loan became like asking to be the victim of a loan shark. The only thing I find ironic is that those were the first banks to fail. They invested their money in houses no one wanted. The housing market does this every so often, especially during an election year. No one figured Wall Street to start all these problems that they did. Also, anyone who thinks this was an economic cycle and isn't normal better ask yourself how much money the Arabs had invested here. The Chinese almost own us now, literally. So, keep making waves and insisting to your congressmen that the stimulus isn't a good idea and you have sold us to them completely.

OK, now, let's talk about the "Federal Reserve Banking System". I found a video explaining the problems we always have with them. Please excuse the fact that the guy who is speaking is not Robert Redford. Federal Reserve.

* Motley Fool "" >

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Use Logic for God's Sake

OK, here we are. Completely honest. What is the problem with arguing over what politician is wrong? The fact is that most of them at least Lie By Omission. That means they rarely tell the whole truth. The reason is they are usually lawyers to begin with. Let me explain, Lawyer Honesty: Two people check into a motel room. The clerk asks, "Are you two married?" They answer, "Yes." Although what he meant was to each other, although he didn't ask. So, both of them are cheating on their spouse, but... they are married. Alright, the stupid thing is, arguing about the virtue of any specific politician is usually fruitless because they all lie. They have to. NO HUMAN BEING CAN STAND UP TO THE SCRUTINY OF THE MEDIA AND LIVE UP TO THE PERFECT IDEAL WE HAVE SET FOR PEOPLE IN PUBLIC OFFICE. Do I need to repeat that for it to sink in? NO ONE. So, attacking a politician because he lied is like getting mad at ice for being cold or water for being wet. It is in their nature. We the public and the ENTIRE media have created that pedestal they have to stand on and it is impossible for them to rise above the rank of human being. We might as well admit that to ourselves and quit trying to canonize our candidates. But we know the history of George W. Bush, we got to know him somewhat over eight years.

OK, George Bush at least seemed like, a bumbler. He acted like he was suffering from early onset dementia, although people like Tony Blair vouch for him and say, "He isn't stupid. He knows what he wants. He just doesn't know how to express himself well about what he wants." I don't know for myself. All I know is what I see on TV and I can tell you that the comedians are sorry to see him go because of the amount of material he supplied them with. His quotes will always be famous. He was the king of bloopers. He himself said once, “They know my blunt ways of speaking. I get that from Mom. They know I sometimes mangle the English language. I get that from Dad”. Sometimes I think he was putting on an well rehearsed act that his dad taught him in order to keep up the facade of being too stupid to lie. He comes off like a moron. But, then that makes sense. You couldn't sell that many people on something evil and unconstitutional like the patriot act and not be a gifted flake-pretender. It was so long and Congress was so scared and in a tizzy that they hurried up and passed it and didn't bother to read it until afterwards. The House of Representitives gets so many bills that they kind of skim read a few of them and pass almost everything on to the Senate to approve or deny. I guess they figure between the senate and the president, someone will catch any mistakes. Well, what if the president is part of the crew who wrote it? Only a few in the Senate read it, because they were in a state of panic after the 9/11 attack, just like the rest of the country. OK, more logic, think about this. The same people who sold us the Patriot Act are the same ones who told us that Saddam Hussein attacked us on 9/11. Dick Cheney kept saying that Hussein attacked us, despite all the evidence, right up until John Kerry made him correct the statement during a debate. Just think, if someone who looked like Donald Rumsfeld or Dick Cheney (Or can you imagine Dick Nixon in his hayday?) had tried to sell the package it never would have happened. George was their front man. As evil as Dick Cheney looks, standing on the steps of Senate, trying to relate this bill. Well, you know how that worked before, with him ending up telling them, "You know what, f**k you guys!" They never bought his bull***t after that, either. But, someone with an accent like Andy Griffith, and who fumbled around like Jethro Clampett talking to Miss Jane, and who looked kind of like a Texas version of Alfred E. Newman could pull it off. I really don't know if he is aware of how many people that he made mad at him. But, after his speech in Crawford, on returning to his Ranch after losing the election he spoke to the press and told them, "I don't feel like I did anything wrong and can hold my head up high." So, personally, I don't think he ever cared who he hurt. You can tell that his wife and everyone else around him have to give him support, they have to tell him 'he is doing the right thing', and "don't pay any attention to what people say" (which I must say is one of his biggest failings). He seems to think being in public ridicule is part of the job.

Barrack Obama is made fun of. He makes fun of himself. His ears, his slender physique, his middle name even, and he takes it in stride. Bush sure had a campaign of misinformation going constantly the whole time Karl Rove worked for him, earning Rove the nickname "Turd Blossom", a Texas prairie flower that thrives in bullsh*t. People who are trying to limit of discredit Obama's credentials are the same type said that the movie "Farenheit 9/11" was full of lies didn't realise it was a documentary full of film footage because they were told not to even watch it. And they didn't. Who can believe that Bush, Cheney, and Rumsfeld didn't have attacking Iraq on the agenda long before 9/11? I think by now most of us know better. So, if they were so adamantly trying to deceive us to permit themselve the lattitude to institute covert ops that they knew the average American wouldn't approve of, then, that is WHY they lied. We know they all do it, we just don't know to what extent each of them does and his bunch were robust with Blue Sky (the initials are the same) speeches. I have no anger for these men now. I just wish they should be indicted like the law states. Guantanamo Bay was controversial back when the movie "A Few Good Men" came out and little did we know it was going to be a warning of what was to come. How prophetic that movie was, and the attitude is still the same, "You can't handle the truth!" As of the Freedom Of Information act it is stated that by law we can handle the truth and we better get it. But, we had people in our government who thought they could get away with covering up and hiding the fact that they were questioning people who weren't charged with a crime and were using torture techniques to "ask" a question. The fact remains that these people didn't do anything wrong, but, so SOMEONE would serve as an example, they were dragged off to prison in front of their neighbors. When Rumsfeld was interrogated by the nine eleven comission and stated that they were not soldiers, freedom fighters, or terrorists but they were in the area when something happened so they wanted to know if they has seen something, they were due to be released in 4 or 5 days, I realised we had finally gotten to the point where we were dealing with people as spooky, crazy, and evil as "Colonel Flagg" from the "M.A.S.H." series. It takes extreme paranoia to act that nuts. Unfortunately they carried it out to a science and it became like mass hysteria with a certain percent of our country who are paranoid anyway. I serf the web in the blogs and I can tell you, there is a lot of misguided people out there and they are fed misinformation on top of just being self-deluded. It is hard for me to understand but, I have to remember at one time I had no more reason or logic than these people but I was institutionalized 30 years ago for only talking half as crazy as what is now common. It just isn't logical or true. You can't run a country based on information given you by Political Pundits. Especially the right wing crackpots. Even Bill O'Reilly got disillusioned with the Bush administration eventually. But you won't hear him admit that now. And if anyone thinks Shawn Hannity interviewing Rush Limbaugh is fair and balanced and wasn't a staged act then you are more delusional than they are.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

What Religious Beliefs Are Sacred?

I find this topic interesting. The same people who believe in the creation theory and Noah's Ark somehow belong to the same group of humans who believe in Republican values? Is that correct? I see some people who state that the world was created in seven days and believe it as if they were there at the time. I think I just want to say, "What about fossils? They were here for thousands of years before man. We only have a record about what happened that is a somewhat interpreted description from ancient (a couple thousand years) old scrolls. And the age of the earth, as far as we can tell, the generally accepted age for the Earth and the rest of the solar system is about 4.55 billion years (plus or minus about 1%). This value is derived from several different lines of evidence.
The oldest rocks which have been found so far (on the Earth) date to about 3.8 to 3.9 billion years ago (by several radiometric dating methods). Some of these rocks are sedimentary, and include minerals which are themselves as old as 4.1 to 4.2 billion years. Rocks of this age are relatively rare, however rocks that are at least 3.5 billion years in age have been found on North America, Greenland, Australia, Africa, and Asia.
While these values do not compute an age for the Earth, they do establish a lower limit (the Earth must be at least as old as any formation on it). This lower limit is at least concordant with the independently derived figure of 4.55 billion years for the Earth's actual age.
As far as animals go, The oldest rocks which have been found so far (on the Earth) date to about 3.8 to 3.9 billion years ago (by several radiometric dating methods). Some of these rocks are sedimentary, and include minerals which are themselves as old as 4.1 to 4.2 billion years. Rocks of this age are relatively rare, however rocks that are at least 3.5 billion years in age have been found on North America, Greenland, Australia, Africa, and Asia.
While these values do not compute an age for the Earth, they do establish a lower limit (the Earth must be at least as old as any formation on it). This lower limit is at least concordant with the independently derived figure of 4.55 billion years for the Earth's actual age.
Last night on television some guy who want his wife to dress almost as if she were amish and said his (three girls) children were rased to act the same way their mother did. They called it returning to good American family values. He stated once that a woman wearing pants was against his religious convictions. You tell me, what religion says women can't wear pants since it is unlady like? Actually, here is the history according to paleontology. "The oldest human fossil found (named Lucy and found in Ethiopia) has been back dated to between 3 and 3.6 million years ago. Lucy was not a Homo Sapien, but we do know that she was a hominid, she walked upright. Chances are our species are direct desendants of Lucy's species.

If you want to get specific, the first Homo Sapien walked the Earth around 200,000 years ago, but no one is really quite sure about that. The reason being that it is difficult to find fossils. The earliest Homo Sapien found to date is 200,000 years old but that's not to say a Homo Sapien could be found that dates back 400,000 years or longer!

Some will even claim that Homo Sapiens have only been on the Earth for about 100,000 years. If that's the case it is trtuly remarkable how far we have come in such a short time, well I guess if we've been here 200,000 years that's remarkable too. After all Dinosaurs were on the Earth for 250 million years, and what did they get done?"
So when you see a diarama of a man hiding from a dinosaur, remember that people who believe that must think the Flintstones is a documentary. Dinosaurs were extinct well before man. So, if the book says that God created all the animals and man in seven days, that is impossible. These aren't theories, we know this. So, the creation story can't be true. I don't know of hearing of anyone who was there, so, it was one of those wise old men stories that someone from Europe could call an "old wive's tale" because they didn't know so they made something up that sounded good.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

The Majority is Wrong, This Time?

When George Bush was elected (?) kind of, we had to live with the fact that the majority had spoken. But now that someone NOT REPUBLICAN has won, the idea that the majority is wrong should have occurred last time. How do you know that Obama is wrong about anything? None of these people have given him a chance. Also, George Bush has led us into a failing economy and these same people are not willing to admit he failed. It reminds me of someone who paid for a ticket to go to an expensive show that sucked. Afterwards when someone says it sucked, they always say, "No, I enjoyed it. I thought it was great." They say that rather than admit they were wrong. ALL EVIDENCE of supply side economics has been that it doesn't work including our economy now. And the dumbasses are still marching to the tune of the rich dumbasses who want the economy to go belly up because they aren't effected by it. The only people who make money in a supply side economy are rich people. Not small business owners, not just regular executives, especially not construction workers or people who make less than tradesmen. The unions came out and told the tradespeople to vote for Bush at first. They apologised to all of us later. George Bush liked how they had "control" of their people. As he said, he doesn't see anything wrong with a dictatorship, as long as he is the dictator. Trying to excuse all of the war crimes, lies, and deceit from his administration won't be set right until he, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, and Henry Paulson are indicted and convicted. They have to be proven wrong in the court before the less intelligent of our society can be convinced. We are in a recession because rich people have the media to use to coerce the less intelligent of our society that they are right. They get richer with each of the people who voted for them's money. They get rich from everyone else's money. They price gouge, they profit off of wars, they get rich off of the beer drinking, cigarette smoking, junk food eating, stuporous Americans who are so full of polutants that they are dying early. Let's talk a bit about how the Christian church helps innitiate the problem. Why would they support these rich collegues that who they vote for? Non-taxable income. Pure and simple. And I can tell you right now, if that status was no longer legal those same people would tell you anything they were told to by the government to continue. That is why the religious right always start the rumor that their rights will be taken away if this or that politician gets elected. HE WANTS TO TAKE AWAY OUR RIGHTS. First, the rights they are talking about are priveleges, not rights. They are a matter of law, not a matter of morality. If you were convinced that the churches were lying, then, you might stop tithing. If that happened they would no longer be rich, as well. but they are, that is why they are religious. Some of them start out idealistically spiritual but after awhile the fear that the government instills in them makes them comply and tell their flock anything they want. How did Conservatives buy the Christian Churches? I don't have to go somewhere or 'to' someone to find out what to believe. I can see right from wrong and I know that it would be God's will for me to help other people not be a greedy ass. Conservatives can show me the day they see Shawn Hannity, Rush Limbaugh, or Bill O'Reilly doing anything philanthropic. I am sure they have some principles to explain the rationalization for that lack of spiritual content.