Friday, October 24, 2008

Last Comment Before the VOTE

Date Line October 24, 2008

The bailout was needed to provide "confidence" ... but it is short term ... the money will need to be paid via the future. Ideally, inflation will give it less value. But the whole thing was a reward to scam artists who made the NINJA loans which had no honest expectation of being repaid and were unsecured.
On the good side ... the market has reached a support I called for, two years ago, in my newspaper column. The bottom is holding solid (as of noon Friday 24 October) if it breaks, the next support is a DOW 4000 and all the horrors that accompany such a further decline.
We are less than two weeks from ... our children and grandchildren have been saddled with a debt (their futures mortgaged) by poilicies which Greenspan now admits were wrong ... but which known wrong when he proclaimed reduced deficits and debt to be bad.
Greenspan now claims he thought banks would work in their self-interest. They did ... banks are people and people make money independent of the corporate employer ... GOLDEN PARACHUTE and retirement building were the order of the day for aging baby-boom chief executives. They functioned in their own self-interest withing the full knowledge that the corporate entity was expendable.

We have a warped and unrealistic mind-set which grants intellect to entities and ignores the people. IE – Government does not do anything ... the people in Government do the stuff ... they make the decisions and impose the constraints on freedoms, education and health. People, not entities, work in their own interest. Just as Nazi soldiers did what they were told because it meant their promotion, our Government employees and elected leaders do what is in their interest.

Note that the GOP pundits who challenged investigations into rising energy costs are now, like Rush Limbaugh on his radio show, loudly bemoaning the lack of investigation into falling costs. If they really understood economics – or were not really people who understood and lie about things – Limbaugh would be pointing out market forces at work and cheering the propriety of the GOP free market.

But the GOP Right-wing does not believe in market forces – at least not those forces which it can’t manipulate to defraud the public.

We are days from electing a new set of people. Or days from declaring we like people who have taken a growing economy with a budget surplus and reducing national debt and turning it into a society deep in debt. The GOP has built its whole policy structure on BORROW & SPEND ... BORROW & SPEND ... that’s a short term ripoff of people who must pay to fix – replace – that which was ripped off.

We need to reduce debt – if that means (as people understand it, “working more” and government sees as) increasing taxes, we need to do so. The only place to increase taxes is where the money is, and that means tax the wealthiest – those making four times the average family wage. Gee. Is it really that much of a hardship to make only three times the average wage and have a strong nation to protect your assets?

We need to rethink our past. We need to vote for the deeds and not the words. Granted, that is a very “Christian” viewpoint – for it was Christ himself who warned you would know them by their deeds. It is also a worldly realistic viewpoint. Words are meaningless unless backed by actions. The GOP has claimed fiscal responsibility with words, and spendthrift polices with actions.

If your labor is sick, hungry, or homeless, they leave for places where they can improve their lives. Note that immigrants come here from poorer nations – but also that they are choosing, in greater numbers, Europe over America. If you really want to do the lowest of basic jobs, keep attacking, as the GOP would have you attack, immigrants. Become a third world nation. Be worthy of naught but sending your children to die in foreign lands so the Sheiks and despots can live securely in their palaces.

We need to keep our children home and in school. We need to pay them to become the best of the brightest. We cannot keep turning to other nations for our doctors and engineers.

We need to pay for universal healthcare – we need healthy workers to pay the debts the GOP has amassed. To do less is to kill the goose which lays the golden eggs. Labor is, after all, the foundation upon which profits and wealth are built.
Of course, the majority might decide race and gender trump the survival of America. In that case, let them have that which they wish for themselves and their posterity – they can begin by converting to Islam and then move on to learning to speak Chinese.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Windows VISTA

To digress ... just bought a new laptop ... with VISTA ... because they discontinued XP ... now I understand the negatives I've read for the past two years.

One would think a billion dollar company could overcome stupidity within its work force ... incompetence shall we call it? But that has been a hallmark of Microsoft from the start. They are noted for sloppy programming -- always have been. If they did tight programs, their software would use less memory. sigh ... but wealth gravitates to idiots ... if not so, Bush would not be President and McCain wouldn't even be deemed a competitor for the office.

Still ... VISTA is the subject.

Granted, it has some good features. But mostly overly complex navigational tools ... where is the old windows explorer? And what is this outdated BRIEFCASE garbage?

More interesting is the need to have the USB port in service when using Corel Quatropro ... why set the system to abuse standard software? Why weirdness?

Oh well the last thing I intend is to write an essay on programming. It's about time Gates learned how to do it right ... or, at the very least, how to supervise programmers.

You were warned

A very comments from the news

1. “The United States is failing to develop the math skills of both girls and boys, especially among those who could excel at the highest levels, a new study asserts, and girls who do succeed in the field are almost all immigrants or the daughters of immigrants from countries where mathematics is more highly valued.”

2. "We’re in the middle of a financial crisis, but most economists say there is a broader economic crisis still to come. The unemployment rate will shoot upward. Companies will go bankrupt. Commercial real estate values will decline. Credit card defaults will rise. The nonprofit sector will be hammered.

"By the time the recession is in full force, Democrats will probably be running the government. Barack Obama will probably be in the White House. Democrats will have a comfortable majority in the House and will control between 56 and 60 seats in the Senate."

3. "For six years, Vice President Dick Cheney and other hard-liners managed to block any serious talks with North Korea. In that time, North Korea’s scientists produced enough plutonium for at least four more weapons — in addition to the one or two already believed to be in its arsenal — and tested a nuclear weapon. There is no way that strategy can be considered a success."


The above are associated with the New York Times of 14 October 2008.

Readers of my Downeast (Machias Valley News Observer) Column -- or this and related blogs -- know that I warned about Bush before his first election ... but wanted him elected so I could see if I was correct about the harm his administration would bring down upon us. I obviously was correct.

Readers are also aware that -- as the Dow Industrials passed 12000 and moved toward 14000 I warned that we needed to correct immediately ... or face a fall to 8000. Well, the markets continued up, reached their artificial peak and have been headed down ever since. The DOW bounced at 8300. Unless we get the game together, unless Obama wins a clear and decisive victory, expect the dow to see 4500 before it sees a new record high.

NATIONALIZATION ... SOCIALIZATION ... Bush, following the Reagan agenda, has said Social Security should be privatized -- your money should have been in the failed stock markets and not guaranteed by the Federal Government ... which now has the problem of guaranteeing the whole American Banking System -- and thus ensuring the soundness of the WORLD BANKING SYSTEM! Yep ... the system which could not be trusted to ensure your retirement is not ensuring the economy of the industrialized world.

We can socialize banks, but not medical care? We can reward those who lent money to those who had no jobs, income or assets -- the NINJA loan system. We can reward them by bailing them out without them feeling any of the pain they have caused us. That is, after all, the Republican way. It is the Fundamentalist Christian way ... no law, no regulation, just faith that the supreme powers which control all market forces, and all forces which affect our daily lives, will turn a blind eye to those who didn't care about their neighbor ... and ultimately punish those who obey the rules, place rules (build a wall around Torah) to ensure the rules are obeyed, and work to help their neighbors.

REALITY CHECK. We are withing weeks of the election and the decision as to the survival of the American Experiment. How will we vote? For or against our basic survival?

The clock is ticking.

Monday, October 6, 2008


TOTAL NATION DEBT, as of 6 October: $10.2 Trillion and growing at $3.2 Billion a day. FOUR BILLION due to Bush Administration which had entered office with a surplus budget which was reducing the debt. The estimated population of the United States is 305 million so each citizen's share of this debt is $33 thousand. Of that, $13.5 thousand is due to Bush/GOP economic policies. Note that this amount does not include the nearly three-quarters of a Trillion Dollars enacted on October 4th – about $2,300 more per-person debt (future tax) liability.

Jimmy Carter was the last post-war president to reduce debt accrued in World War II. While Clinton was saddled with paying off debt accrued by Reagan-Bush borrow and spend policies.

In the space of a mere twelve years, the Reagan-Bush VooDoo economic policies managed to fully reverse both the policy and rate of Federal Debt Reduction which had been in place for over thirty-five years (from Truman to Carter). For average Americans, those debt reduction policies defined created the most prosperous period in their history. Note that, for all the social turmoil a Nixon GOP administration produced, the Kennedy-Johnson Vietnam War era produced the steepest drops in National Debt and the greatest expansion of freedoms and personal security.

Let’s put that in perspective: In FY 2009, SSA will pay $683 billion in Federal benefits to nearly 56 million people. The fiscal meltdown resulting from GOP deregulation practices, begun by Reagan and promoted by both Bush presidents, last wee, cost more than the total projected Social Security payments for FY 2009.

Social Security payments, when represented as a percentage of National Debt, are six point three percent (6.3) – or roughly the debt service interest on the National Debt. Put another way, rather than debt interest, if we paid the Social Security, all funds received from payroll taxes could go to expanding the social safety net – without any effect on the economy or current tax structure. We could actually lower taxes for the average person without any detrimental effect on national security or government programs.

If we recall that Bush insisted the Social Security was going broke, and that your social security funds should go into the stock market – you realize that this Harvard and Yale traded executive, who made his millions by having his businesses go broke, who knew full well what was going to happen, wanted you to be in poverty. The GOP has been, since Reagan, seeking to bankrupt the average person – all the better to create a slave population.

In a few weeks you will have the opportunity to, and will, decide if you want more of these GOP policies. You will decide if you want a strong America, or a broken and destroyed one.

Remember, eight years ago you were warned what a Bush victory would bring. Now, based on all the (oft ignored) evidence out there, you are warned what a McCain-Palin, and general GOP, victory will ensure. This time around, the victory of any Republican, anywhere, will cast the seeds of national turmoil and destruction.

The famous sign carried by a street corner evangelical nutcase: “THE END IS NEAR!”

This is the year when we either endorse, or bring to an end, a twenty years pattern of borrow and spend Republican policies. This is when a GOP voter majority surrenders all hope of salvation for the generations to come. This is when voters decide they like impoverishing their child, and their children’s children by empowering McCain and, via mid-term succession, then Palin to take away their freedom, their liberty, and their wealth. “THE END IS NEAR” or not – voter choice.