Sunday, December 28, 2008
Ah…2009! A new year! A new round of potential pitfalls, atrocities, threats, and disasters to anticipate and rail against. In view of all the catastrophes forecast on some of the sites that we frequent, I’m just glad that we are all still here.
Perhaps a review of 2008’s predicted calamities or fortuitous events (depending on how you look at them) that did not come to pass is in order.
First, of course, is the perennial favorite: the Second Coming of Christ. It didn’t happen again. Hasn’t happened any year since he died, but that does not stop the annual anticipation of The Rapture. Actually, the Essenes were looking forward to the Apocalypse even before Christ appeared in the first place, but, then, who’s keeping track? The concept continues to sell a lot of books, packs ‘em into the pews, and brings mucho money into the collection plates, so it will not end anytime soon.
Then there is the New Age updated version, Maitreya, the messiah that Benjamin Creme has been prophesying to the world since the 70’s and 80’s. I attended an enthusiastic presentation by Mr. Creme in Portland, Oregon back in the day, and was impressed with his sweet old Englishman affect and his twinkling blue eyes. But, despite his charm – no modern messiah has strolled up the street so far. Rats.
And, all the dire symptoms not withstanding, the presidential election was pulled off without Bush and Chaney declaring martial law and suspending the election.
Oh, and those secret Ninjas that Benjamin Fulford disclosed did not jump out of the woodwork and assassinate any miscreant government, corporate or financial leaders of the world, either.
It also seems that President-elect Obama is neither a Muslim, a Jew, a communist, nor the anti-Christ. Hell, he’s not even a Jehovah’s Witness! He may be a corporate toady, but that has yet to be determined. The only sure exotic thing about him is that he was raised in Hawaii, which I consider a plus. He still seems to be a viable human being to me, despite the company that he keeps. We will have to stay tuned, I guess.
Despite supposed messages from the Pleiades, black ops whistle blowers, psychic intuitives, planetary and galactic alignments, or even web bot analysts, we did not experience major earthquakes, a tsunami in the Northwest, Bird Flu, war with Iran, a major false flag event, or transformative cosmic rays. I am still keeping a watchful eye out for those, though.
And, that two-mile long Mother Ship that was supposed to show up over Alabama in October did not appear, either. Damnit!
Yeah, and on top of that, all those claims (“as appearing on Oprah”) that drinking green tea will make you lose a bunch of weight didn’t work as promised. And, I’m out forty bucks.
Now, I know that an earthquake could hit tomorrow or I could be diagnosed with Mad Cow any day, and I would just look like even more of a moron. But, for now, I am just pausing to take a breath, calm down, and vow to be less of a chucklehead next year.
I’m sick of sending stuff to my sister-in-law, who then informs me that Snopes just discredited my information.
This is not to say that there are no real threats. “Just because you are paranoid, it doesn’t mean that no one is out to get you,” as has been said. There are real threats. The global financial construct is tanking, and I no longer think that it is a coincidence that it dovetails with the Baby Boomers reaching the age to retire. People are being thrown out of their homes and losing their jobs, and it is going to get even tougher next year. The electrical grid is very vulnerable and a lot of people could get very cold and die this winter if there is a widespread disruption of heating their homes. A lot of pensions and 401Ks may be lost next year and dreams of a comfortable retirement for a lot of people will be gone. Criminals in high places abound. So, many of the agencies and departments and companies that we rely on for our health and safety betray the people they are supposed to protect, and so we sicken and die. That’s a flat fact. Resource depletion is real. Climate change is real (whether it’s because of CO2 or the influence of the Sun). The oceans are dying. Monsanto is taking over the food supply with genetically altered Franken Food. Famine and food shortages are realities now. Israel has become some sort of Old Testament horror story. Warfare is escalating all over the globe, and may even go nuclear.
We seem to have invented a system that insures that we pay incredible sums of money to elect representatives to our government who become corrupt, self-absorbed, greedy, perverse criminals. Or, they are lazy, spoiled, self-indulgent dullards; or, privileged, insulated, power mad elitists; or good, hard-working idealists who are marginalized and ineffectual… or, combinations of the above.
Anyway, for the most part, we are on our own, and we do need to prepare and take care of ourselves and each other. Actually, I am looking forward to turning my energy away from the Wall Street hucksters and the Beltway numb nuts and Their Contrived Bullshit (TCB) to more and more localized endeavors: like seed catalogs, gardening, preserving, and simplifying, joining the Grange, organizing a farmer’s market and trading post. I plan to reach out to more and more neighbors and sharing practical responses to actual problems in real time.
I don’t pretend to know what will happen next year. All kinds of dramatic disaster movie scenarios come to mind – War of the Worlds, Grapes of Wrath, Red Dawn, Andromeda Strain, Soylent Green, The Postman, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, Children of Men. But, on the other hand, my experience has been much more benign. I have found most of my neighbors to be interesting and cooperative, helpful, intelligent, and fun to be around. The weird stuff out there that captures my attention, raises my blood pressure and my fear levels, is mostly far away and speculative. They have to come up with things that are entertaining and provocative, or they are out of business.
I wonder what outfits like “Moveon.org” are going to do once Bush is out of office? Since many of their plans to influence the powers that be include sending them a check, I doubt that they will disband. Oh, and thank you so much, moveon, common cause, etc. I’m so impressed with the results you got with all those petitions. Come to think of it, did ANY of the petitions I signed and forwarded, do any good? NO? Does that mean I should sign even more petitions? See what I mean with the “chuckle head” thing?
But, I am grateful to those who have really given us a heads up warning as to what is really going on and what to prepare for. I am happy that we have taken tangible steps to creating a better future for ourselves because it has also enabled us to create a life that is more enjoyable in the here-and-now as well. And, without them, the Trout Clan would not have come to be. So, I am grateful to all those linked on our blog.
Anyway, I hope that all that should end, does end in 2009. I pray for the relief of suffering and some happy surprises. With some luck, it will be both the Beginning of the End, and the Beginning of the Beginning. So, have a Happy New Year and remember that…
WE WERE BORN FOR THIS!!
Sunday, December 21, 2008
“Deep in the dark of the darkest night/We keep our vigil by candlelight/Waiting to sing to the newborn sun/The universe will birth when the night is done
Happy Solstice all!"
December 20, 2008 4:46 AM
and from Rockpicker...
“Blessings to all who attend this sacred fire. We have made it, collectively, to this longest night.
Snuggle in and dream deeply the future you wish to see. Know, you are powerful beyond your dreams….”
These have been the latest sentiments from the campfire…and so, in keeping with the Winter Solstice, why not let ourselves dream of what may be.
I recently finished James Howard Kunstler’s book, “The Long Emergency.” He is a compelling writer, and paints a vivid picture of the consequences of our collective decisions that have been made on the basis of resources that we thought were infinite – but, are not. He leads the reader through history, as civilizations rise and fall and transform themselves based most often on the resources available. He shows how the huge spike in population was due to petroleum based fertilizers and pesticides allowing the increase of the food supply/market. And, how the world now looks to endless growth to enrich them and fulfill their dreams of stuff and more stuff…so many people with so many dreams.
Since we had a seemingly endless supply of oil, corporations were able to outsource production of goods and then services to the cheapest sources of labor. The goods could easily be shipped to those designated as “consumers” to complete the production/marketing/supply loop. He relentlessly illustrates the devastating deterioration that has resulted to our farmland, the infrastructure of our cities and towns, and the redundancy and inanity of the populace.
It’s hard to argue with his vision of the future. After all, he wrote the book in 2006 and several of the events that he predicts, like reaching the peak of oil production, continuing resource wars, financial collapse, famine, and so forth are happening all around us now.
“The Long Emergency” explores the alternatives to oil, like wind and solar and hydrogen power, and leaves little with which to comfort ourselves. Perhaps if we had started earlier, before we were so close to peak everything and before the infrastructure of our cities and towns was so destroyed by urban sprawl and paved over by highways, and water and soil so depleted… and, before the population grew to over six billion, going on nine billion soon.
So, now we need to make “other arrangements.” Not just trading in that Taurus for a Prius, or changing to a goofy looking lightbulb. This is not new to us at the campfire. We’ve been thinking on these things for years now. We know at least enough to know that we don’t have all the answers. We know we have a lot of problems. One problem, it seems to me, is that the corporations and banks seem to be more powerful than governments and nation states. Just who is running who here? Will Obama, et al, we able to rein in the high and mighty Rich and Powerful bankers and fraudsters and their minions? After all, they have the money. We have to have our own American currency LENT to us with compound interest, just for openers! And, the last President who was attempting to change that situation was John Kennedy, and look what happened to him… And, now we just doubled our national debt in the last three months! Doesn’t that put us into debt servitude to the so-called “Federal” Reserve, which is just a consortium of un-identified global banks and not part of the federal government at all? Well, I think so! And, that’s just for starters.
We’ve got tundra that is melting and releasing methane into the air. We’ve got oceans that have already lost 90 percent of their largest fish and is becoming so acidic that the coral and the phytoplankton is dying. Mutant seeds, Franken Food, commercial lockdown of food supply, global economic collapse, and resource wars.
As our lately silent, but still dear Elder has lamented on more than one occasion, “What’s a motherf**ker to do?”
It sure looks to me like we need to localize food production and manufacturing and radically conserve how much of everything we use. It sure looks to me like we have to create economies that are not based on relentless “growth” of capital and goods. I’d say we need to kick those to the curb who want to live by using their money to just make more money, whether it supports producing anything useful or not. I think we are going to have to deal with serious challenges that will most probably involve more deaths than is even thinkable right now. Whether it’s due to wars, famine, sickness, freezing, insurrection, lack of medicine and services to care for the elderly and infirm, or a combination of all of the above. Times are probably going to be really tough until we reach a sustainable level of people that our societies and our planet can support.
But, maybe not - or maybe that, but maybe more. Like the fabled valley of Shangra La that sheltered an enlightened tribe of people kept distant from the rest of the world, maybe there will be surprising exceptions to this dismal scenario of loss and lack. Maybe adversity really does bring out the best in us.
Perhaps thought really does create form, and what we imagine eventually becomes real for us. Perhaps we simply need to come to terms with new and expanded paradigms for Who We Are and What is Possible.
What if there is nothing to fear? What if death is just an illusion, and if we need more time to finish a project, we can have it in another life and another body? What if there are those OUT THERE who are looking out for us? What if we are surrounded by unlimited power that we could use to lighten the load of so many people who need it? What if there are wonders yet to be confirmed that seem so much better than we can accept that they seem like magic and miracles?
What do you think? Since this is a time for dreaming. We are starting with a “new” sun for the year. . . what are some of the scenarios that are in our collective imaginations?
Sunday, December 14, 2008
I have written multiple times in the past concerning our constitution. One of the things I have emphasized is that it is a flawed document from several perspectives but nevertheless, was a contract between the citizens and the government concerning how the government was to conduct itself, particularly, in regards to its citizenry. As far as I know, every elected official in this country is required to take an oath to uphold the constitution. Many non elected positions are required to do the same; military and law enforcement come to mind. Despite the fights over the interpretations of what the document says, it should be rather obvious that the document has little teeth and ability to sustain even the most basic concepts that it contains concerning the well being and freedoms of its citizens. For all practical purposes, we no longer have a constitution that is enforceable, at any practical level. What parts are enforced are for show alone, to convince the sheeple that we are truly a nation with laws and principles.
Take a look at the two amendments below. Think they are being adhered to?
Article 9. The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.
Article 10. The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.
As I again read through the constitution, it appears to me that most of it has been violated, at least as I read it. Of course, I am not a constitutional lawyer with a couple of degrees to back up that statement. At least we now have a president (hopefully, maybe) that is a constitutional lawyer. It will be interesting to see how he handles a lot of these issues.
So, in effect we have, as a practical matter, a rogue government, with no limits concerning what it can do. Notice how our rights to redress have been ignored, right to assemble, right to protest, rights of free speech have all been seriously eroded, or the gun rights issue, or freedom from unreasonable search and seizure and confiscation of property, and of course the contentious abortion issue, and holding government officials responsible for murder and illegal wars. Keep in mind that violations of the constitution have been committed almost from the beginning. In comparison, they were minor to what has transpired in the last 20 years, and most distinctly in the last 8 years. If we had a government truly adhering to the constitution our situation would be considerably different than it currently is. Good god, since when does the supreme court have the constitutional right to determine an election?
The ideology around the new administration compared to Bush and crew doesn’t appear on the surface to be significantly different to me. There will be some differences of course, but I expect a further repudiation of our social contract with the government. I hope to be pleasantly surprised but I’ll not hold my breath in anticipation. Just too many of the old guard being appointed to positions of power and influence, that is, those with contempt and disdain for the populace. I doubt that keeping the old guard in positions of power that have created the problems, will solve the problems. They are stuck in a paradigm that is not going to be changed.
Quite a number of the financial people that write on the web are saying that we are now in a depression. George Ure is one of my favorites. I like his style of writing and how he analyzes current events. Even if we technically cannot substantiate that we are in an economic depression, it sure appears we are headed for one at break neck speed. This is going to put tremendous pressure on the incoming administration to “do something”, anything, to keep us afloat and progressing down the road to capitalistic paradise. So far, in the last 8 years, that has consisted in advancing toward a capitalistic dictatorship by the executive branch. I honestly do not expect that to change significantly. I know that Obama has stated that he wants to get rid of all the excessive oppressive bureaucracy that Bush has put in place. Consider how many more unemployed that will create. Currently, the federal government is the single largest employer in this country, and that doesn’t include state government employment. Currently, state, municipalities and county governments are shedding personal at a terrific rate. If the feds start shedding personnel, then unemployment figures will go up dramatically. I simply cannot believe this is going to happen, politically unacceptable. Consider poor Obama’s position. No matter how benign he intends to be, no matter what decisions he makes, he is going to be hated. If he starts pissing on the powerful moneyed people, he is going to be in real danger of being assassinated at its worst, and opposed by very powerful interests at best. If he pisses any more on the populace, he faces rebellion. I really think this is going to be his choices. We are sure going to get to see just what he is made of in a very few months now. In any case, further abridgment of civilian rights and freedoms are ahead of us. For all practical purposes, we will not be operating under any type of final arbitration in the form of a constitution. Undoubtedly, there will be a flurry of court show cases over these issues but the real hard issues will not be addressed because it sure appears to me that the moneyed and influential top of the heap would not benefit. The minute there is talk about limiting severely the elite’s privilege and benefits; there will be hell to pay. The minute Obama starts to talk about a more egalitarian distribution he will have vast and very powerful forces opposing him. Historically, the only means that have been effective has been open rebellion and revolution by the masses, and that has always resulted in more and different bums governing the population.
If we truly want something different, we have got to get away from elitist hierarchy control. I figure that one is going to be a tough one to implement.
Considering how fractionated and divisive our population is, no matter what is done or proposed, it will be opposed. How much divisiveness can be tolerated in a society until it falls apart? It is possible, even in this country, to have a strong push toward race wars of various magnitudes. We already have had two of them; the first was the whites against the Indians, and later the whites against the blacks. Wonder who is going to align against the Spanish speaking people, and/or the Muslims.
For those that still advocate a strong central government with some kind of constitution, just what would you put on paper that would stop cold the abrogation of that constitution? Bush was correct, “It’s just a damned piece of paper”. Only the people can stop that abrogation. We sure can see how well that works in today’s world. I have no idea to the extent or how long it will last, but we are surely heading toward some kind of very oppressive government in this country, hah! More than we have now for sure. Would you believe that just recently an Oregon court classified a car as a 'public place'? How nuts is that? I figure as the TPTB become more scared and desperate to retain control you will see more of this kind of insanity. You can also figure that as federal, state and municipal budgets are slashed that enforcement of these kinds of laws will become a bunch more difficult. Just another method of keeping the population in a state of fear whilst our enslavement and impoverishment continues. Oh well, as long as the population goes along with it all, it will continue.
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
AAAARG, No Don’t ask me to give up ANYTHING. What are you some damned communist? GOOD MORNING AMERICA!!
Geez!, Ok, got that off my chest.
Again I have the quandary about what to talk about today. I read a vast amount of information every week on the web and in books and publications and find it interesting and sometimes instructive in the analysis of what is happening to all of us. I don’t have the specialized economic information to offer more than generalized assessments and wonder just how much I really understand of what I do read. However, I can drag out one bit of conclusion about it all; we are now going to pay the price for our extravagances. Nothing new about that statement, we have all been saying the same thing in different ways for a long time now. We have been warned over and over again since the 1970’s that a time of reckoning was coming. The Old Testament was full of warnings about excessive living. Interestingly, few of the warnings seemed to apply to the elites of the time, but we may now be coming into the time where even they will have to pay a penalty for their excesses. Whether the very top of the heap end up paying a significant price remains yet to be seen.
That our government has been lying to us about what it was doing, the state of the country economically and other assorted pieces of information, is now blatantly obvious. But don’t just blame our favorite scapegoat, the Bush administration. This has been going on since before the civil war. It has just been raised to a fine art by the Rove/Cheney partnership. Never underestimate the gullibility of the general population (that’s all of us) to lies and broken promises.
At this time, the nation appears to be in the grip of Obamaism, the great hope for making things ‘right’ again, of course let’s not get too specific about just what is ‘right’ anyway. So far, the statements about economic strategy for the next administration appear cloudy and do not seem to address the basics of our rather dire economic problems, namely, what to do about a society that has been run on excessive credit and the manipulation to transfer more wealth into fewer hands and impoverishing greater and greater numbers of people at an accelerating rate. At least Obama has the guts to say that things are going to get worse before they get better. But just what is the strategy to take us back to some shadow of affluence and ‘good living’? Considering the energy levels needed to do this, it sure appears unlikely to me. Obama is proposing a giant government works project, reminiscent of the CCC of the depression years of the 30’s. To what end? If we don’t have the cheap energy to run our society available any longer, just what is the advantage to repairing roads and bridges and tunnels? That massive a project alone will mean that the government will have to go even deeper in debt. To just pay the interest for that amount of borrowing, taxes will have to go up dramatically, and guess who will be hit the hardest by that. It all has to be paid for somewhere down the line and I doubt that Obama’s charm is going to convince the mega wealthy to pony up for it. Already the screaming has started about the tax and spend liberal administration coming to town.
Presently, the news about the overseas shipping being virtually shut down because of lack of lines of credit bodes very badly for us peons. Packing of food for sale to the public appears to be heavily threatened. Where are all the cans made for food packing made anyway? It appears from some articles it is overseas. Where will the financing come from to go to alternative food packing? So, unless that problem is solved, that means that grocery stores aren’t going to have much in canned food. Although considering the quality of canned food, maybe a good thing.
Due to the economic globalization, every single system for sustaining a population everywhere is entwined with every other country. That makes the whole system very sensitive to disruptions in just about any commodity anywhere. Add in the “just in time delivery of money and commodities” and we have a recipe for economic and food disaster. If Obama and his crew have any real solution for all of this will be interesting to see. I doubt it though. I think we have now come to more unsolvable problems than can be adjusted for at any level on a global or even national scale. Obama is at least openly admitting that the problem is far greater and with far greater impact than anything the Bush administration has come out with. I would however fault him for also hinting that some miraculous policy will pull us out and be back to our posh lifestyles sometime in the future. The population needs to be told that going back to our extravagant lifestyle is not physically possible, the resources are simply not there. We are going to have to change the way we live big time.
Where we live, there is a pretty substantial proportion of retirees. I haven’t heard much talk about an optimistic near future. And yet, few are downsizing, getting rid of the gas guzzlers and lowering their comfort levels and preparing to furnish much of their basic necessities themselves. A few are. Every person and family is going to have to take a serious look at what seems to be going on around them and decide on just how much preparation they are willing to make based on the information they can find. In our area, just providing a basic diet is a challenge, and takes time to learn. If you ain't doing it now, it may be too damned late. Success and failure are determined by persistence and a learning curve that takes time. Considering that the depression era of soup lines is substituted today by food stamps, (nearly 10% of the American population now) a strong push for victory gardens may be an absolute necessity for a very large amount of our population. Of course, with 2/3 of our population living in coastal cities, this is going to be a stretch for most people. Hah! Who says we’re not in a depression right now? Geez! They finally came out and admitted that we have been in a recession for a year now. In another year maybe they can admit we are in a depression.
Our involvement in the local politics and our fight with the county has elevated considerably my observation that the cards are stacked very high against citizens. We are constantly trying to decipher and understand the stacks of legal documents pertaining to just one issue. I know damned well that is primarily to cloud the issue and not make it easily understood. It is only that we are not working a steady job that we can even attempt to understand the documents and their ramifications. The multiple layers of bureaucracy, laws, legal opinions and general bull shit is phenomenal. It also takes considerable amount of money to fight unjust laws. So, in our case, we have to engage in constant fund raising for attorney fees. It took us a full year for 3 of us trying to understand a 2 inch thick USGS study to understand how much wool the county pulled over our collective eyes and the consequent lies that they came out with. During the last election cycle, we at least got rid of one of the county commissioners running for reelection. What the new one will be like is open for observation. At least one more to go. A real arrogant bastard is next and Freeacre declares she will spend the rest of her life getting him out of office.
Oh yes, a price must be paid on so many fronts. I would imagine that the people reading this in their many scattered communities would be amazed at the roadblocks put up by officialdom to citizen participation in the government. I have come to the conclusion that the only thing they really understand is the same tactics they use against us, brute force. Well, when their bill comes due, it may be a whole bunch more violent than they planned on.
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
The news of the dramatic attacks in Mumbai was disturbing last week. Seeming like an action movie, the story of ten armed men breaking up into teams and terrorizing Mumbai in several locations at once was shocking. The Taj Mahal hotel up in flames for days. Tourists and Jewish people executed in a city that avoids killing cows!
But that, it seems, is not the half of it. It might have been a sucker punch to the gut of financial globalism itself. I think, as usual, Mike Ruppert nailed it. He wrote on Thanksgiving evening,
“I do not know how many other corporations are affected; but they will be many, if not most of the Dow 30 and the Fortune 500. And I can tell you that on Friday morning, any customer or client of Citigroup, Symantec or Hewlett-Packard will be unable to get customer assistance over the phone. Warranty service for these corporations will stop. I know that because I have been through that horrible grind with all of them in the last year or so. All of their calls are taken in Mumbai, by Indians. Nothing is working in Mumbai and there can be no certainty when anything will be working. Because the attacks included the premier hotels in the financial district, no multi-national will ever trust the city again. The risk is too great. I can almost bet that the multinationals are all well prepared for attacks on their own facilities, but were totally unprepared for an attack that pulled the city out from under them.
I think many corporations also have data processing and IT centers there as well.
The Achilles tendon of globalization has just been severed.”
Since then, Matt Savinar on Life After the Oil Crash continues the analysis this week:
“…This is why, as Mike Ruppert wrote last week, every world leader with an IQ over 70 is shaking in their boots right now. Reason being the effects of the attacks on the Fortune 500 and Dow 30 will be, at the very least, as follows:
A) the cost of insuring their outsourced operations goes through the ceiling
B) the cost of providing security goes through the ceiling
C) the cost of capital (interest rate) for any projects outsourced to
With so many companies as highly leveraged as they are, it doesn't take much to push them over the edge. Jack up their interest rates, jack up their insurance premiums while drastically escalating the amount of money they need to spend on security and a whole bunch of them will be plunged right into insolvency.
Point #2: "But won't they just move their operations back
Again, this would only serve to raise their operating costs and therefore raise their interest rates. In a different era, where things weren't so mind-bogglingly leveraged, a company might be able to absorb these increased costs. But modern Fortune 500 companies rely on "Just in Time" (JIT) financing the same way Safeway and Shell rely on JIT delivery food and fuel. As you already know, it only takes a brief (2-5 day) or small (1-3%) disruption in the JIT delivery of food and fuel to totally shoot the whole system to hell. It's the same with the JIT delivery of money. The companies most affected by these attacks have structured their operations for maximum financial "efficiency".* Maximum efficiency is great for a company's bottom line when times are good and the flow of capital is reliable. But when things get dicey, maximum efficiency means just a small increase in costs, be it in labor, in capital, in insurance rates, in the cost of security, etc. can blow your entire balance sheet to hell.
Key point: the big banks have loaned money to the Fortune 500 under the assumption that the project of globalization will continue, more or less, unfettered. An attack like this therefore detonates one of the basic assumptions under girding the finances of pretty much every multinational corporation on the planet.
So the answer to the question of "will they be moving their operations back to
You wonder why the stock market plunged on Monday? Naturally, there will be dead cat bounces and fluctuations. But, the one-two punches of resource depletion and increased costs of production and insurance, just may have knocked out this globalization beast!
What?? Give me another cigarette… I think I need to smoke two at once while this is sinking in… humm…
Somehow the global financial brain trust has managed to set everything up so that it could not be more vulnerable to the slightest vagary. Running so close to the bone in terms of relying on “just in time” deliveries of both goods and monies, the very cheapest labor costs, cheap oil for production as well as distribution, and low rates of insurance, the geniuses of greed have orchestrated their own demise. Plaxico Burress seems not to have been the only one who shot himself in the foot last week.
Meanwhile, as though oblivious to the Dead Men Walking scenario that is the corporate reality in
Then, we would be liberated to make other arrangements as the world as we know it deteriorates beyond recognition.
We really can not afford to be this stupid. Because in addition to the corporate meltdown, we are facing a disaster with our food production next year as well. In the last post, ras directed our attention to a Daily Koz article (11/27). Here’s an excerpt:
“ … I wrote earlier about the famine potential we face due to the under fertilization of the wheat crop. Wheat that gets enough ammonia is 14% protein, if it is unfertilized closer to 8%, and that 43% reduction in total plant protein is going to cause unimaginable suffering in places like
The fall nitrogen fertilizer application has been 10% of the norm. A typical year would see 50% put on in the fall and 50% in the spring. During fertilizer application season the 3,100 mile national ammonia pipeline network runs flat out and the far points on the network experience low flow both fall and spring. If they try to jam 90% of the fertilization into a period of time when the system can only flow a little more than half of the need much of our cropland will go without in the spring of 2009.
Finances as much as weather are the issue with regards to fertilization this fall. Crop prices have fallen to half of what they were, ammonia prices have dropped but ammonia suppliers here, receiving 75% of their supply from overseas, still have product in their storage tanks purchase at the historical highs last spring and summer.
When farmers plant they record the acreage and they purchase crop insurance - $20 to $40 an acre depending on the crop. If they have a failure they file a claim, an adjustor contacts them, and they get a check to cover the deficit. Some of this runs through the U.S. Department of Agriculture and some of it is through private insurers.
My conversations with farmers earlier this week lead me to believe that the largest private insurer,
Additionally, there is a propane shortage in the
So… the banks are blowing up, the jobs are disappearing, the homes are being lost, the commercial loans are still frozen, the government is giving away all our money, and now to top it off, we are looking at severe food production failure.
Is it raining frogs yet?
In spite of all this bad news, I think the most horrifying thing to me last week was that a 34 year old employee of a
Good by and good riddance to all of it.
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Mankind has always tried to figure out what was going to happen next. We have an abundance of folk tales that talk about the success or failure of individuals making the claim they could accurately predict the future. We also have the non folk tales concerning this; Nostradamus, and a whole variety of channelers and those with some variation of the crystal ball. We have the very modern technological future prediction people also, in the form of statistical analysis and data collection like the time monks. My observations are that while some of the predictions appear to be true, most are not, and a very high percentage of the ones that turn out accurate are put into terminology that could fit a lot of events. Then we have the very few predictions that are specific and become a reality. There is always the question in my mind whether these predictions are the result of lucky guesses, or, from some form of knowledge most of us don’t seem to have, or, maybe they are just a whole lot smarter than the average bear, connecting the dots and coming to a conclusion that has only one outcome.
I have often commented that mankind throughout history has a very poor record of predicting the future; we seem to be thwarted in this endeavor by the caprice of the universe. There are far more surprises in store than accurately predicted outcomes.
John Michael Greer recently made an interesting comment on his site that has bearing on this. “Planning for the future becomes risky when, rather than starting from present realities and trying to figure out what can be done, it starts from a vision of a desirable future and tries to figure out how to get there”. Neither of these approaches has much to do with the actual predicting of a future event and then planning a response to it. However, upon examination of much of the written work around the future, I think that his statement has a lot of bearing on how we conduct ourselves in the present. Most of the doom and gloom stuff available to scare the pants off of us is an attempt to peer into the future. I talk to very few people that are enthusiastic about the current events shaping up around us, and view the future with some trepidation. Greer’s statement has more application than just attempting to side step the appearance of future events that are considered to be highly negative in nature.
My observations concerning most human activities seem to want to “start from a vision –and then figure out how to get there”. I think that all business models are of this kind. The problem with this model is unforeseen consequences. Despite all the planning and anticipation of variations of consequences of actions, there are always surprises. Then you are reduced to fighting fires of an immediate nature and are unable to proceed to the planned future goal. This I see is what has happened in our present situation, from the auto industries to the financial woes consuming the world. I suspect this is the result of not peering far enough into the future, but rather a very short sighted viewing, focused on the quarterly report rather than years into the future.
If we attempt to plan for the future by “starting from present realities and –figuring out what can be done”, we run into the problem of perceptions of just what the present realities really are. If your perceptions are not an accurate reflection of reality, you are going to make bad decision of what can be done. And boy, do the perceptions of the current ‘realities’ vary all over the place. The problem here is that only in hindsight can we with any reasonable accuracy say that we had the dots connected. An example is the resource depletion, particularly oil. If your perception is that we have another 100 yrs of plentiful oil, you are not likely to support any austerity and life style changes in its use advocated by those that perceive that we have reached Hubbert’s peak. Even those that advocate Hubbert’s peak admit that we can only see it in hind site because we do not have truly accurate information about the subject, that is, there is great question concerning the accuracy of the data on reserves and quantities of the stuff in the ground, and we also have the Russians declaring that there is a never ending supply because oil is not dependent on geological time.
I am currently going through Greer’s book, “The Long Descent” in which he has a substantial section he calls, ”The Stories We Tell Ourselves”. While the main thrust of this section is concerning modern civilizations penchant for looking at growth as good, it has much broader implications. We are constantly telling ourselves stories about who we are which of course influences what we decide to do. When we start examining these stories, we find that there is a large variance between different group’s stories. The stories about who we are from the Christian fundamentalists differs from the humanists stories, which differ from the scientific communities which differ from the political stories, right down to the individual perceptions and the stories that come out of that. If we ever had consensus about the stories, we sure seem to not have a consensus anymore, except perhaps on a very broad and generalized perception. As a culture, we simply cannot agree on a story. It then appears to me that we are not going to be able to agree on what to do as a culture. Thus we are experiencing a wide variety of solutions to problems and disagreeing on those solutions, often violently. We can’t even agree or obtain a consensus on the nature or significance of the problems. We do seem to have a fairly high amount of the population that agrees that we have an economic problem, but, we disagree on the nature of the problem, what caused it, and the solutions. Thus, “starting from present realities and trying to figure out what can be done” is nearly impossible.
No matter how honest, benign and dedicated to dealing with “the present realities” the political leadership is committed to, can a consensus ever be formed on the plan of action? Is there any action that does not contain the elements of oppression of dissent? What would it take to have a unanimous decision for action or even a 90% or even a 70% agreement? This is why fear is such a useful tool for politicians. Enough fear and you can get a super majority to go along with whatever you want. Will this new administration find it necessary to do what Bush and crew have done; use fear to get a direction for an agenda? Will the new administration have anywhere near an accurate appraisal of “the present realities” on which to base proposals for actions? And, if they have an accurate appraisal of present realities, will they be able to convince a vast majority of its accuracy and the subsequent action? No matter what is decided, someone is going to get hurt by it, and if enough get hurt, there will be violent opposition. I suspect it is an impossible situation with no real and satisfactory solution.
As a personal experiment, sit down and catalogue the stories you are exposed to and the ones you hold dear and believe in. Then do a critique of them, a devils advocate sort of thing. Anything change? Have a few doubts about those you hold close? How do the stories you don’t believe contradict the ones you believe in? What holds a grain of truth as you see it and what appears as total fabrication? Are your perceptions skewed by the stories? I find most people latch onto a story and defend it come hell or high water, regardless of the other stories circulating in their heads. I think it is a good idea to periodically sit down and examine our most cherished beliefs and try to objectively examine if they appear to be consistent with reality. Changing a stance on anything is not a sin. What is questionable is a lack of integrity, honesty and a good hard reality check.
How many people have you come across that will voluntarily give up much of what they have to better the situation of a larger group? On a population level, it is a very small minority, very idealistic and committed. I do see this happening in very small groups, like religious orders, but the general attitude of the general population have harsh restrictions on what they are willing to give up for the perceived common good. I have yet to hear about a billionaire impoverishing themselves for the general good. Even in the upper middle class, charitable donations have fallen off drastically in order to preserve a life style. And this is done at the recognition that the
I think that the problems that we are experiencing presently have no viable solutions. We have allowed the present situation to develop over a long period of time and it sure appears to me that a whole different way of organizing how groups of people are going to live together has to be changed, that is, the crash of western civilization. But, then again, that is my perception of “the present realities”. I often agonize over whether my perceptions are of reality or just another story I am operating under.
I do think it is important for individuals to be aware of the stories they are buying into and realize that they may have absolutely no bearing or relationship to reality. This is a real problem for people living in complex societies. We simply cannot in a lifetime absorb and integrate all or even enough information to accurately assess reality. We may very well understand small pieces, but the big picture is always going to be cloudy. I think it is helpful and instructive to listen to those that claim an understanding of some piece, but still realizing it is a story that may or may not be true. I rather suspect that the future of the human race may very well rest on how well we determine the relationship of the stories to reality.
Friday, November 21, 2008
Looking back over the last week, one can not help but notice that despite frantic efforts to shore up the economy by political leaders, bankers and pundits, the economy continues to take on water like a super-tanker stuck on a reef spilling its toxic load and poisoning all that it touches. As the world continues to deteriorate, the words of the Deteriorata come to mind from National Lampoon’s musical “metaphysical” counsel from years ago:
“You are a fluke
Of the universe.
You have no right to be here.....
Amid the noise and waste.
And remember what comfort there may be
In owning a piece thereof.
Avoid quiet and passive persons
Unless you are in need of sleep.
Ro-tate your tires.
Speak glowingly of those greater than yourself
And heed well their advice,
Even though they be turkeys.
Know what to kiss.....and when!
Consider that two wrongs never make a right
But that THREE.........do.
Wherever possible, put people on hold.
Be comforted that in the face of all aridity and disillusionment
And despite the changing fortunes of time,
There is always a big future in computer main-te-nance.
You are a fluke
Of the universe.
You have no right to be here.
And whether you can hear it or not
The universe is laughing behind your back.
Strive at all times to bend, fold, spindle and mu-ti-late.
If you need help, call the FBI.
Exercise caution in your daily affairs,
Especially with those persons closest to you.
That lemon on your left, for instance.
Be assured that a walk through the ocean of most souls
Would scarcely get your feet wet.
Fall not in love therefore;
It will stick to your face.
Gracefully surrender the things of youth:
The birds, clean air, tuna,
And let not the sands of time
Get in your lunch.
Hire people with hooks.
For a good time call 606-4311;
Ask for "Ken."
Take heart amid the deepening gloom
That your dog is finally getting enough cheese.
And reflect that whatever misfortune may be your lot
It could only be worse in
You are a fluke
Of the universe.
You have no right to be here.
And whether you can hear it or not
The universe is laughing behind your back.
Therefore, make peace with your god
Whatever you conceive him to be---
Hairy thunderer, or cosmic muffin.
With all its hopes, dreams, promises and urban renewal
The world continues to deteriorate.
You are a fluke
Of the universe.
You have no right to be here.
And whether you can hear it or not
The universe is laughing behind your back.”
There you go, Mr. Paulson, Mr. Bernanke, Mr. Bush, et al, feel better? The stock markets are crashing all over the world, central banks are printing money like mad, retailers are freaking because consumers are not planning to buy much for Christmas. It seems the story being told is not “The Night Before Christmas,” but the one about killing the goose that laid the golden egg. “Heck of a job, Wallstreet!” You have left no dollars on the table. You sucked every dime out of every person and source possible, then leveraged it a bunch of times, re-sold it over and over, and now this monstrous financial creature awakens … to attack the whole world. The mortgage and credit card holders do not have any more money to spend. The Asian markets and the Western Markets look like Mothra vs Godzilla. Men in suits are looking up in horror at the electric ticker tape and running down the street in droves. I can hardly wait for the “End the Fed” demonstrations tomorrow. I don’t know whether to break out the popcorn or the ammo.
Congress just authorized the national debt to go from one trillion to two trillion in a matter of weeks. Militia men speaking before congress in C-SPAN and U-Tube told our dear leaders that debt servitude, rendition, torture, and the erosion of our inalienable rights are not acceptable. It looked like all the blood drained out of the face of Sen. Thompson in the background as he sat there looking incredibly grim.
Nine huge ships filled with hundreds of millions of dollars worth of oil and grain were hijacked and ransomed by pirates. What? PIRATES? Raggedy, half-starved looking Somalian pirates off the coast of
How about that clip on Huffington Post and several other sites showing the G20 leaders all shaking hands with everyone except George Bush? Whoa! There’s a national humiliation.
Meanwhile, poor President-elect Barack Obama is steadfastly going ahead and putting together his new cabinet that supposedly will be up to dealing with this complete clusterfuck. All I can say is “good luck.”
Oh, and “Happy Thanksgiving!”
Thursday, November 13, 2008
“Some things are worth believing in whether they are true or not.” So said Robert Duvall in “Second Hand Lions” regarding a speech he gives to young men about How to be a
I’m waxing philosophical right now because a lot of things are coming together at once for me. For openers, I am reading both James Howard Kunstler’s “The Long Emergency” and John Michael Greer’s “The Druidry Handbook.” Both of these books with the backdrop of LATOC’s daily Breaking News financial and resource depletion horror stories and Survival Acres lamenting the demise of the planet and the ability of much of the populace to respond. (Their thought processes apparently restricted by the tightness of the anal sphincters around their necks.) He concludes that it doesn’t matter anyway because the climate change tipping points have already been reached, there is nothing we can do, and we, the fish in the ocean, and all but maybe sea slime are going to die off.
I quote him from one of his recent missives:
“A divided and bankrupt nation. A world running out of energy and food resources. A depleted environment. Oceans heating up and aquifers collapsing. Icecaps and glaciers melting rapidly. Energy demands skyrocketing. Massive ignorance and denial. Fascist and socialist policies and practices to herd the population. Resource wars and jockeying for energy around the world. Political and ignorant leadership still calling for failed policies and practices, including bio-fuels and dangerous technologies. Scientific reticence from experts who know better. Promises of a technofix solution with technologies that don’t even exist or are entirely unproven. Business as usual models in finance, industry, agriculture, mining, deforestation, shipping and on and on.
I could go on, but I don’t feel like it. In fact, I don’t really know why I’m bothering at all anymore, because I realize the futility of trying to change anything (and I’m not the Messiah). Nobody is going to change anything, and I mean nobody. We’re on this headlong train that already plunged off this very, very high cliff and we are going to crash with a sickening thud. Period.”
Admin has his dark days, as we all do. But, I am not so sure that things are set in stone. I distinctly remember when I lived in Tahoe and the area suffered a five year drought. The experts all reported glumly that it would take a minimum of five years of sustained higher than average rainfall if
But, for the sake of argument, let’s say that it is so.
We recently watched the movie “
Hence, my search for a new religion, or philosophy if you will, to help me to deal with all this apparent chaos and collapse. For some reason I seem to have always been one to explore differing religions and philosophies. I was born to parents one of whom was a former Catholic and the other a Lutheran. I was raised Lutheran, but the entire time I attended Lutheran confirmation classes, I wanted to be a Jew. To this day, I feel sorrow for the young assistant pastor who had to deal with my unending challenges to everything he was trying to teach me. About a month after I was confirmed, I wrote a letter to the Church announcing that I would never darken the door of another Lutheran church due to them refusing to allow a black family to enter for Sunday services. It was at the height of the Civil Rights movement, and it was a great failure of my church at that time to adhere to what I considered to be Christian principles.
After that, I came across a Theosophy book at the library called “Some Glimpses of Occultism” by C.W. Ledbetter that got me rolling on metaphysics. I was fifteen. My parents, as well, began their own search and settled on a challenging form of Hindu thought called Radha Saomi, and became devotees of the Maharisha Saran Sing Ji. We became vegetarians and meditators in the
After several years, I pretty much gave up on the Hindu practice, and went on to study existentialism and the Buddhism of Alan Watts and the Beat Generation. Then, on to the Dali Lama and Tibetan Buddhism. But, in
So, with this ridiculously diverse spiritual background, why in the world would I be looking for yet another religion? Because I think we need one. We need to synthesize the best teachings of the others and root them in a planetary base. We need to cultivate a reverence for Gaia, Our Great Mother, The Earth. It’s going to take more than Al Gore and T. Boone Pickens or British Petroleum or wind mills to give people the strength and the motivation that will sustain us through the coming end times of financial and planetary systems collapse.
I want to be inspired. I want to see the sacred in all natural beauty. I want to be devoted. I want art and music and rituals that give me goose bumps. I want to crawl into the lap of the Great Mother and be comforted. When I die or when my loved ones die, I want to believe that they are welcomed into the loving embrace of our Mother, the Earth. Well, actually, I already do believe that. Is it true? I don’t know. But, for me, it is worth believing in. If something else works for you, believe in that. But, if we are to change the paradigm, our belief system must exhort us to live in harmony with nature. Of course, the Wiccan and American Indian traditions are centered in the sacred fabric of nature as well. If this line of thought catches on, it might pull some of the American (or Islamic) fundamentalist recruits from the line-up for Armageddon. That would be a plus.
So, when some pundit predicts in dire tones that our income might be reduced by twenty five percent, I’d like people to not panic. After all, I am living on about half of what I used to, and I am feeling pretty good. And, the more I get right with the natural world, the better I feel. So the next generation might be “reduced” to living in tents and dancing around campfires. It sounds good to me.
Trying to maintain this moribund culture is like fishing in the same spot just because somebody caught a fish there a hundred or a thousand years ago. Somebody needs to tell you, “Look, Dumbass, you have to move to where the fish are now, or you are going starve.”
I’m only a few pages into the book on Druidry. But what appeals to me is that it seems to be in the process of creation. While it honors many traditions from the past, it looks toward the future with eyes wide open exploring our contemporary relationship with the life forces of this wondrous planetary system in which we live. We are not cast out of the garden. We are a part of the garden. And, it’s our sacred duty to figure out how to be in harmony and nurture it. In Druidry, one is encouraged to plant trees, learn traditional skills, study ecological systems, make medicine, write poems, and play music as part of one’s spiritual practice. I am not trying to jam it down your throat, but I think it is a healthy response to the situation we are in. Worth looking into at any rate.
We have been out of touch with the earth for so long that we don’t have any idea what is possible. A friend of mine recently told me about black earth that has been discovered in traditional Mayan lands that was created thousands of years ago by pre-history people that is capable of growing incredible food crops. Who knows what secrets may be revealed if we start looking to the natural world instead of the man-made one for our salvation. Maybe there are ways to heal the mess we have made.
I look at Paulson and Bernanke and Wall Street and the G7, and the whole sink hole of our culture of debt and decline and all I see are dead men walking. This truly may be The End of the World As We Know It. Maybe it is time it was kicked to the curb.
Perhaps it is time to honor the North. Time of winter. Time to contract, evaluate, for some to die, for others to ponder what to keep and what to throw away. Time to make wise decisions for the Spring that will follow. For a lot of us, this may, indeed, be the last of our seasons. For others, it may be a beginning. Either way, these days are important.
How do you want to spend them?
Sunday, November 9, 2008
WATCH FOR THE SHIT COMING AT YOU
This morning I got in my email such a stupid piece of shit I couldn’t believe it. I’m in a bit of a rage over it. This complete fabrication of reality comes from rather obviously a rabid, crazy, stupid, extremist, right wing influence peddling group ;
AmeriPAC email@example.com and is reprinted below.
Democrats Wreck Bull Market
Biden Refuses To Answer Wealth Redistribution-Marxist Questions
"When I think about things when the lights are out and I'm tossing and turning in bed, it's how do we make sure we fulfill the commitments to the American people that we've made throughout this campaign." – President Elec. Barrack Obama
At the end of 2002, shareholder wealth stood at $10.075 trillion. After cutting the capital gains tax from 20% to 15% and the dividends tax from 38.1% to 15%, shareholder wealth grew all the way to a peak of $17.294 trillion in 2007. Estimates now put shareholder wealth at about $12 trillion.
OK, assuming the figures are correct, all of the attributes for the fall of this market was in place before the Dems took control of the congress. And, they voted with the white house demands almost completely. Plus, Obama is not yet president. He can’t control anything yet.
So, when the Republican Congress cut investor tax rates, $7 trillion of shareholder wealth was created—a gain of 70 percent. When Pelosi, Reid, and Obama took over, $5 trillion of shareholder wealth was lost—a decline of 30%.
It is questionable that the tax cut created the $7 trillion in wealth for shareholders. What did happen is that due to the 25-40 asset multiplier factor in banking, debt was increased by $7 trillion which through creative accounting was shown as assets.
If you want your 401(k) or other retirement plans to grow, your best bet is a Republican Congress that will cut nest egg tax rates and keep them low. When Democrats are in charge, markets price in expected tax increases.
What are they talking about? The cuts in retirement vehicles has taken place by robbing these vehicles to gain liquidity. Has nothing to do with the Dems other than they voted for all the Bush policies. Maybe indeed the dems will raise taxes. Now let’s see, just who will that effect? Sure not the lower 50% in incomes. Ahhh, those poor people with the $200+ K income per year. I’m sure they will become destitute.
Obama needs to redistribute YOUR wealth to honor his Campaign Promises
Just whose wealth is going to get redistributed? It sure as hell isn’t mine and the large majority of the lower 50% of the economic part of the population.
The public outcry of real Americans like you and Joe the Plumber is finally getting some light shed on Mr. Obama's wealth redistribution agenda supported by Socialist Democrats in Congress. The corrupt media can't hide it any longer. The plan is to bring an end to the
Socialist Democrats? Bull shit. You might want to call it egalitarianism but socialism, again bull shit. Hell, the biggest surge in socialism has taken place under Bush and policies and every since Reagan. Capitalize profit earnings, socialize loses, that is, the state puts the loses onto the general population. Government ownership in private corporations? That is called Socialism and what the current administration is doing with a vengeance.
They want total control of what you see, hear, think, and do. They will stop at nothing. NOW, they are aiming at your 401k and other retirement plans and they are going for the kill.
And just what in hell has the Repugs been doing? Control of the media is their expertise a-la Karl Rove.
Democrats Target Your 401k Retirement Plan with Taxes
Yes that's right, Liberals in government want to seize these assets for their own. Can you hear them laughing. Just look at what James Pethokoukis, the money and politics blogger for U.S. News & World Report has said:
In place of 401(k) plans, she would have workers transfer their dough into government-created "guaranteed retirement accounts" for every worker. The government would deposit $600 (inflation indexed) every year into the GRAs. Each worker would also have to save 5 percent of pay into the accounts, to which the government would pay a measly 3 percent return. Rep. Jim McDermott, a Democrat from Washington and chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee's Subcommittee on Income Security and Family Support, said that since "the savings rate isn't going up for the investment of $80 billion [in 401(k) tax breaks], we have to start to think about whether or not we want to continue to invest that $80 billion for a policy that's not generating what we now say it should."
And just what has the Repugs suggested for Social Security. Privatization, because the government has spent all of social security on wars and pork and substituted IOU’s. So let’s give control of your taxes in SS to the stock market. And take a look at what those investment vehicles for retirement consist of primarily. Notice how the majority is invested in a workers company stock, and the bubble economy that took a nose dive. Those accounts have been only numbers on a spread sheet for a long time and do not represent real wealth at all. Remember the Enron and World Com bubbles and the people burned by having company stock in their 401K’s? So indeed lets just all jump into the stock market in one form or another and see how much money is left over for retirement. All of the figures I have seen concerning the long term stock market gains for individual investors has been below inflation rate. Yes, some do gain handsomely. Most lose their asses. But talk to a few people that were depending on those investments for retirement. If you retired in a down market, you are screwed.
The Democratic plan is to SIEZE your 401k and take $80 billion that is currently the property of American citizens. Effectively, this plan will end all of the incentives that the majority of Americans not only enjoy but rely on. I am sure you or someone you know takes advantage of their employer matching their 401k contribution. Under the iron fist of the Democratic empire your employer would no longer receive a tax benefit for matching your contribution, so they won't do it. And you will lose half of your retirement contributions. And don't forget, that you will lose your tax breaks from the 401k plan also, so you'd be paying the government to let you retire. Sounds like fun?
Hell, we already pay the government to retire. I sure had to pay taxes on my 401K and that was during Bushes administration. And, notice that they don’t mention vestment. At the rate jobs are moved around, it’s amazing that anyone get 100% vestment. In today’s economy, the $80 billion they mention is a drop in the bucket compared to the $50 trillion in debt we have. Corporations have been cutting employee benefits as fast as they can, increases the bottom line you know. And notice that as unemployment figures have gone up in the last 30 years or so, stocks go up. Hey, anything here that looks funny to you? One thing for sure, the right wing does not advocate for full employment. In fact, back in the day of Greenspan, he publicly said that a rate of 4 ½% unemployment was necessary for a healthy economy. Now why would that be?
Don't let the tyrannical rule of socialists take hold, put a stop to the unholy trinity of the Democrat controlled Senate and House and potential president Obama. Do not let Barrack Obama bring an end to this great country!
And just how in hell would this be stopped? By donating money to this bunch of sleazy ass holes as is below. Now there is a real solution.
We need your help and your donations to win the fight for truth. Send this email to everyone you know and have this video viewed.
Mr. Obama has always been against an individuals' right to control and spend their own savings. He has a narrow, selfish and myopic view of the world we live in and the idea that he can tax whatever he wants to whenever he wants to.
And of course narrow, selfish and myopic views of the world is a characteristic only of the Dems. Sheeesh!
In 1981, President Reagan, a GOP Senate, and a working majority in the House pushed through cuts in the capital gains, dividends, and corporate tax rates. Shareholder wealth grew from $1.3 trillion at the beginning of 1981 to $3.4 trillion at the end of 1989.
And again, who controlled most of the shareholder wealth, just once more let me know.
In 1994, Republicans took over both Houses of Congress. Government spending restraint and a capital gains tax cut followed. Shareholder wealth grew from $5.7 trillion at the end of 1994 to $15.4 trillion at the end of 2000.
Spending restraint? What the hell are they talking about? They evidently took out the
In 2001, Democrats took the Senate when Jim Jeffords switched parties. Shareholder wealth fell from $15.4 trillion at the end of 2000 to $10 trillion at the end of 2002—a nosedive of 50%.
Now just how in hell did a majority of one in the Senate accomplish that? Please tell me how. Especially when both the house and senate were rubber stamping everything the white house asked for with almost no opposition. And of course 9-11 had absolutely nothing to do with this. No explanation of why this is a world wide problem either, not just
In the 2002 elections, Republicans won back control of the Senate. In 2003, the capital gains tax was cut from 20% to 15%, and the dividends tax was cut from 38.1% to 15%. In 2004, they expanded their majorities in the House and Senate. Shareholder wealth grew from $10 trillion at the end of 2002 to $17 trillion at the end of 2006.
Again, just who was it that controlled all this paper wealth? I think this was called an economic bubble for which we are paying today.
In the 2006 elections, Democrats took control of both sides of Capitol Hill. Shareholder wealth fell from $17 trillion to about $12 trillion today. Markets have priced in an anticipated capital gains and dividends tax hike.
Oh really? Anticipation indeed. Notice that the tax hike did not take place and the market is still in free fall. I also notice that nothing was said about during the 50’s when corporate taxes were much higher and the stock market was going up. Of course, back then stocks were mostly valued in real wealth of the company, not shyster accounting schemes as is today. And, still no explanation of why this economic slide down is world wide, not just in
The lesson is clear—Republican majorities in Congress create new tax cuts on shareholder wealth, and prevent tax hikes on shareholder wealth. This creates an environment where shareholder wealth goes up over time. Democrat majorities threaten shareholder wealth, and markets price in anticipated tax hikes.
The Obama-Biden campaign refused to answer real questions about the economy, tax increases and where the money would come to spend. They are unqualified and worried they cannot deliver on economic promises with their views and policies, and avoiding the real truth.
The media will continue to follow Obama the prince of spin down the economic road of ruin. We need you to see and hear the truth about an Obama economy. We need your help to keep the Democrats out of your 401K's and other assets and mindlessly print, collect and spend your tax dollars.
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Those of you who have been coming to this site for any length of time know that I am radically opposed to both the corporatist parties; I couldn’t be paid to support either one. Both are headed up by a plethora of liars, thieves and power hungry assholes. I do hope when you all read this article you are able to pick out the utter bull shit it contains. To blame the Dems for the Bear market is one of the most absurd things I have seen so far. Freeacre and I had commented to each other just after the election that now the blame game begins and the Repugs are going to heap on the Dems great finger pointing and name calling and blame everything negative on them. They flat out are NOT going to take ANY responsibility for their part of the mess. The fact that I know with absolute certainty that this kind of propaganda is going to sit very well with a large amount of the population, can only reinforce the view that the general population is made up of idiots. I’d sure like to see a plan to keep that kind of idiocy completely away from the voting booths. I sure would be surprised to see that the general population rejected this bull shit.
Evidently the authors of this bit of trash also feel it is just dandy for the economy to completely focus the country’s wealth into the least hands that it can. The article doesn’t bother to point out just who had all of this wealth that they are so proud of, nor how it was generated, nor in what form it was (all paper assets), nor that the Dems gave Bush everything that he wanted during the downslide. They also haven’t explained the Obama appointments to various posts that are the old guard that the Repugs have used for years.
I expect to see the right wing ideologs putting more and more of this kind of crap out into the population. I would even suppose that there are those putting it out that actually believe it. Talk about creating division in the population. Yeh right, lets all pull together now, cross ideological lines and sing Kum-By-Ah, in 5 part harmony of course.
By the way, inserting that article seemed to completely tear up the formatting of this post. Please excuse as all my efforts to straighten it out fell short.