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Where’s Rico?

     It’s interesting and instructive to read The New York Times‘ lead story this morning, Top Goldman Leaders Said to Have Overseen Mortgage Unit. While it pretends to report all the particulars of the huge scandal growing out of Friday’s SEC action against Goldman Sachs, the story really comes off as an attempt to create an alibi for the so-called “bank.” It pretends that some kind of an intellectual struggle was going on among GS executives as to whether the housing market was doing just fine or poised to tank — therefore muddling the company’s intent in setting up investment deals based on sketchy mortgages designed to blow up so that a favored big customer, John Paulson, could collect on the deal insurance known as credit default swaps.
     The truth is that anyone with half a brain could see the securitized mortgage fiasco coming from ten-thousand miles away. I said as much in Chapter Six (“Running on Fumes: the Hallucinated Economy”) of my book The Long Emergency, which was published in 2005 but written well before that in 2002-4. And I had had no work experience whatsoever in banking generally or Wall Street investment banking in particular.
     One week before the SEC action against GS, the Pro Publica website published a story about virtually the same kind of mischief being run out of the Chicago-based hedge fund Magnetar led by a clever young fellow named Alec Litowitz. Like Goldman Sachs, Magnetar deliberately constructed investments (bundles of bundled mortgage-backed securities called collateralized debt obligations) that were certain to fail so that Magnetar could collect on credit default swaps that amounted to a bet against products they themselves had participated in creating. There was no question that Litowitz and his employees did this absolutely on purpose. Nor is there any question that they aggressively sold positions in these CDOs to credulous investors like Thrivent Financial for Lutherans and others.
     The question that now begs to be answered is: why is this activity not being investigated and prosecuted under the federal RICO statutes against racketeering? The Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act was designed to punish exactly this kind of behavior, whether the defendant’s name ended in a vowel or not. How is it not a racket to deliberately and systematically construct investments designed to fail so you can collect what amounts to insurance against them — and then to sell those financial instruments to customers without telling them that these investments were engineered to blow up? At the very least it amounts to a failure to disclose material information, which is the basis for distinguishing illegality. More to the point, it almost certainly amounts to prosecutable criminal fraud and insider trading.
     Dylan Ratigan at MSNBC asked pretty much this question on Friday when interviewing Connecticut attorney general Richard Blumenthal (because the AIG company, headquartered in his state, sold gobs of credit default swaps to Goldman Sachs for dodgy CDOs, leading to a giant government bailout and incidental huge payoffs to Goldman Sachs). Blumenthal’s answer was lame, to put it mildly — that recent federal rules tied his hands, he claimed. He could have at least publicly protested his hand-tying and applied pressure to the US Department of Justice to enforce the anti-racketeering law.
     So where is the DOJ’s criminal division in all this?  The Goldman Sachs racket has been publicly known, in one form or another, for several years. I wrote in this space several times at least as far back as 2007 that Goldman was essentially shorting it’s own issued securities, and I’m neither a lawyer or a finance professional. Anyone could see this from just reading the news. Magnetar’s activity was so notorious that the very business of engineering dodgy CDO investments to collect insurance on their failure became known throughout the industry as “the Magnetar Play.”
     The feigned cluelessness among some the highest-profile figures in these rackets is something to behold. For instance Citibank was among the companies that helped Magnetar put together their CDOs-designed-to-fail. Citi’s chairman at the time, former US Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin, testifying before the new Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission said, “Almost all of us, including me, who were involved in the financial system — that is to say financial firms, regulators, rating agencies, analysts and commentators — missed the powerful combination of factors that led to this crisis and the serious possibility of a massive crisis.” Bank of America’s CEO, Brian Moynihan, told a congressional hearing, “No one involved in the housing system — lenders, rating agencies, investors, insurers, consumers, regulators, and policy-makers — foresaw a dramatic and rapid depreciation in home prices” [and therefore in investment instruments based on mortgages].
     Either they lie or they are profoundly stupid and incompetent. If the former, then they might be induced to spend some time talking to federal prosecutors; if the latter then the US financial system is too hopeless to survive and we will all soon be bartering hand tools and designer shoes for food. Evidence of the latter is ample, for instance, in Citigroup’s loss of 70 percent share value during Robert Rubin’s chairmanship — for which, in the crash year of 2008 alone, he was paid $17 million plus $33 million in stock options.
     The Goldman Sachs SEC action and the related Magnetar story seems to be a pretty big deal and appear to be dragging public opinion to a crossroads where we acknowledge the deep structural corruption of the financial system or watch the legitimacy of both banking and government dissolve. At least, it throws gouts of gasoline on the political fires lit by Tea Partiers and even more extreme political factions. I don’t see how President Obama can keep Robert Rubin at his elbow or the hosts of other Goldman Sachs alumni in their federal jobs. The whole episode is disgusting in the purest sense of the word. If Obama doesn’t shake these people loose, and if he doesn’t pick up the phone and direct his attorney general to execute the laws — including the RICO law — then all the moonbeams issuing from his renowned smile will not avail to keep him in office, or keep the financial underpinning of the USA from collapse.

A sequel to my 2008 novel of post-oil America, World Made By Hand, will be published in September 2010 by The Atlantic Monthly Press. The title is The Witch of Hebron.

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About James Howard Kunstler

View all posts by James Howard Kunstler
James Howard Kunstler is the author of many books including (non-fiction) The Geography of Nowhere, The City in Mind: Notes on the Urban Condition, Home from Nowhere, The Long Emergency and the four-book series of World Made By Hand novels, set in a post economic crash American future. His most recent book is Living in the Long Emergency; Global Crisis, the Failure of the Futurists, and the Early Adapters Who Are Showing Us the Way Forward. Jim lives on a homestead in Washington County, New. York, where he tends his garden and communes with his chickens.

405 Responses to “Where’s Rico?”

  1. GoldSubject April 19, 2010 at 8:33 am #

    We live in a world in which bankers deliberately destroyed their clients’ wealth. For the few who understand what is happening, the cognitive changes are permanent; it is nothing less than a loss of innocence.

  2. aka April 19, 2010 at 8:49 am #

    “…The question that now begs to be answered is: why is this activity not being investigated and prosecuted under the federal RICO statutes against racketeering? ”
    In a ‘free country’ one could name the problem,however in this country you would be painted as a ‘anti-semitic’ ,which ,in the land of the free,it is better to have a dead page in your bed video posted on you-tube..
    oh well…
    “Nationalism remains after two centuries the most vital political emotion in the world – far more vital than social ideologies such a communism or fascism or even democracy. … Within nation-states, nationalism takes the form of ethnicity or tribalism.”

  3. constitutionorslavery April 19, 2010 at 8:55 am #

    Goldman Sachs should just be abolished already, and not be allowed to operate as a company. So much fraud has happened is the last decade they could spend years prosecuting people.

  4. The Mook April 19, 2010 at 8:56 am #

    Why isn’t someone making a list? You know, like the one in the bank at Christmas time with kid’s names on them. Ones that need to be “taken care of?” A pair of boots come to mind, as JHK infers “vowel on the end of their name or not.”

  5. Fouad Khan April 19, 2010 at 9:05 am #

    The diminishing returns of increasing complexity… these financial games are the mayan death rituals of our civilization… hocus pocus that nobody really understands, but somehow construes to be productive activity.
    One of either two things are coming, the great simplification, or…
    … the end of civilization, this time, on a planetary scale.
    It’s all there in…

  6. Fouad Khan April 19, 2010 at 9:07 am #


  7. budizwiser April 19, 2010 at 9:08 am #

    AH yes, the folly of finance. No jail time for the muckety-mucks and fines that total a fraction of their profits.
    As they say:”It takes money to make money.” And if you win often it enough it becomes impossible to “lose.”

  8. Andrew MacDonald April 19, 2010 at 9:09 am #

    More folks can now read the writing on the wall . . . though it was always there in plain sight. What are we going to do when it actually does come crashing down around our ears? I imagine we’ll be about doing our best to create resilience local economy.
    I guess the choice is between looking back to the past – or planting the seeds of what will work: local, on-the-ground food, community and economy. “You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete,” said Bucky Fuller. I’m not expecting government or the system to reform and make it all better; no time for that left anyway. No, better to start thinking of a local future that will work. I don’t have “the answer” just a few ideas here, at http://www.RadicalRelocalization.com/

  9. catman306 April 19, 2010 at 9:10 am #

    They should investigate JP Morgan Chase while they are at it.
    Financiers of mountain top removal coal mining. And then there’s that Washington Mutual ‘by-out’.

  10. Downsider April 19, 2010 at 9:14 am #

    A person would be better off giving his money directly to the mob.
    At least that way you’d be getting fucked by studs rather than by wieners.

  11. Solar Guy April 19, 2010 at 9:16 am #

    GREED – a desire to possess more than one needs or deserves
    but why so much of it?

  12. Fissile April 19, 2010 at 9:23 am #

    “Magnetar deliberately constructed investments (bundles of bundled mortgage-backed securities called collateralized debt obligations) that were certain to fail so that Magnetar could collect on credit default swaps that amounted to a bet against products they themselves had participated in creating.” It’s like a scheme out of a Mel Brooks movie, except that this version of Spring Time for Hitler isn’t funny.

  13. Consultant April 19, 2010 at 9:25 am #

    Paul Krugman thinks fraud played a significant role in the financial crisis.
    YOU THINK!!!!
    Goldman, however, is just the absolute tip of the iceberg. Let’s face it, most of our financial system is one giant criminal enterprise. Bits and pieces of it stayed clean, but most of the bankers would put the Mafia and the triads to shame.
    The financial system is connected to the big corporations, and the big corporations are connected to the political system, and the political system is connected to the..you get the point.
    This will take a multi-year, mult-President, multi-Congress effort to clean up the corruption in our culture.
    America, are we finally up to that task?

  14. Jim from Watkins Glen April 19, 2010 at 9:29 am #

    I agree that the most unsettling aspect of these crimes is their predictability. Alan Greenspan so much as admitted that he foolishly put the fox in charge of the hen house. Anyone now surprised that the chickens are all dead needs a dose of reality.
    Maybe there is some deep drive to accumulate as much as one can, like a genetic imperative to increase one’s chances of reproducing. More likely it’s as simple as greedy assholes take more than their share.

  15. welles April 19, 2010 at 9:30 am #

    I’m really surprised no one’s gotten hurt, i.e. shot. Hope it stays that way.

  16. Smokyjoe April 19, 2010 at 9:32 am #

    If the shit ever really hits the fan, the bankers won’t jump from the windows of their high-rises in downtown Atlanta, Charlotte, and New York.
    The mobs will be pushing them.
    Sad thing: the mob bought into this cupidity. Millions of us thought we could live beyond our means.
    Time for Plan B.

  17. Prelapsarian Press April 19, 2010 at 9:35 am #

    In his latest book, The Big Short, Michael Lewis attributes a bit more of the fiasco than Jim to simple brain-dead incompetence. The book helped me finally to understand what a credit default swap is: If you have half a brain you get to make a billion dollar bet that obviously garbage bonds will fail, whether or not you have an interest in those bonds. When you win, the casino just sends the bill to the U.S. government, which fires up the printing presses.
    Will be interesting to see if Obama actually does go after his patrons in Government-Sachs. I’m betting it’s nothing but a token slap-on-the-wrist.
    For a free download of Kunstlerian-style invective — Words that Draw Blood — go to http://www.lost-vocabulary.com.

  18. Unconventional Ideas April 19, 2010 at 9:44 am #

    There won’t be any reform.
    I agree with the posters that too much anger wasted on this is futile.
    The best revenge is to educate those we can about what happened, and get busy creating a different reality for ourselves in our local worlds.

  19. Laibach April 19, 2010 at 9:54 am #

    These guys made a fortune and I am pretty sure they are in the position to buy them selfs out of it…!

  20. paskit April 19, 2010 at 9:59 am #

    Dear AKA,
    Sorry, you haven’t veiled your anti-semitism well enough to avoid the charge. I wonder why you don’t come right out and say It’s A Conspiracy Of The Jews. Shame on you.

  21. Nicho April 19, 2010 at 10:12 am #

    Let’s not discount the possibility that rather than not seeing this coming, Goldmine Sacks saw it clearly and put Obama in office precisely to provide the cover they’re getting from him. Why else would he have surrounded himself with GS operatives even before being elected? He’s one of them.

  22. Al Klein April 19, 2010 at 10:14 am #

    It’s really very simple. How does one make loads of money? One way is to identify a market, develop a real product to serve that market, put together a manufacturing organization to make the product, and then market it, all the while keeping in mind that the competition is doing the same. Gosh, that’s lots of work! And risk! There’s no guarantee that any of this effort will net me big! Alternative: dream up a scam. Important design point of said scam: the “pigeons” (i.e. the people who will actually be separated from their money) need to believe they will be winners too. That’s an essential element of a first-class racket. Get the targets to be complicit in their own downfall. JHK refers to the allure of “unearned riches” being a major constituent of a good racket. Gambling is a great example. So what’s new with the Wall Street racket, then? Nothing! The big difference is that we – the American public – expected better behavior from these scammers. If these characters all had names ending in vowels, came from Brooklyn or South Philly and wore sharkskin suits, I doubt they would have had much success. But hey, they’re Harvard B-school grads and the like, look well-scrubbed, well-fed, and speak with hi-falutin language so we can trust them, right? What does this all prove? That it is not hard to fool people who want to believe.
    All this reminds me of the Dire Straits song “Money for Nothing.” That ain’t workin’, sellin’ CDOs on the Wall Street.

  23. ozone April 19, 2010 at 10:19 am #

    JHK sez:
    “The Goldman Sachs SEC action and the related Magnetar story seems to be a pretty big deal and appear to be dragging public opinion to a crossroads where we acknowledge the deep structural corruption of the financial system or watch the legitimacy of both banking and government dissolve.”
    I agree 100%. Here is what I see as NOT happening: “acknowledge[ing] the deep structural corruption of the financial system…”
    So the “full faith and credit” of the house of cards is about to be blown to smithereens. I don’t see the present “government” doing anything but minor dog-and-pony shows to cover the continuing mega-fraud. Lots of innocent folks are going to get hurt in the ensuing collapse.
    Strange; it seems as though humans aren’t at all forward-looking anymore. (“Take” and “use”, ’til it’s gone and done with.) Is there some sort of perpetual malaise resulting from all the cognitive dissonance? Is the “3rd eye” beholding a bent toward suicide?

  24. bridges April 19, 2010 at 10:25 am #

    1. Former GS “operatives” (sheesh) also head various Fed around the country. GS, long held to be the pinnacle of finance world, naturally attracts the “best of the best”
    2. Rewriting history now? Obama was the long shot, remember? Leading up to and well into the election cycle, most muckety-mucks were all about Hillary, Remember the crowing about how invincible she was, having 100s of millions of $ to spend on her campaign? Even now, the media can’t get over the fact they were napping when Iowa chose Obama over Hillary. In other words, you’re being paranoid.
    3. “He’s one of them” – I agree the bankster class and the upper reaches of power are, as ever, enmeshed. It’s never been different. Period. Not during the oil boom, the railroad land grabs, Tea Pot Dome, or any chicanery, both in the US and elsewhere. That effective reforms were pushed through despite that relationship puts the onus back on us, you and me, to put pressure on our “representatives” to stop acting like ‘ho’s for the banksters and focus on the public good.

  25. The Mook April 19, 2010 at 10:29 am #

    The saddest part of no prosecution is the fact that if it were a litte guy….. Joey Coyle is “lucky” enough to be driving behind a armored car. The boneheads driving it fail to secure the door properly and the money pops out. The first thing that pops in his mind is the kindergarten saying “finders keepers”. He does. Next thing you know you he’s in jail. What about all the shorts on Palm in March two days before they release their horrible forecast. Even the cheerleaders on CNBC laughed about it but just went right on like it was, and is, business as usual.

  26. Gregg April 19, 2010 at 10:33 am #

    Kids, it’s pretty simple. The only way to have a leveraged economy is to allow banks to create credit out of thin air and call it money! Have you read the print on your dollar bills? It says “Federal Reserve Note” on it. What does it represent? Federal Reserve Credit, nothing more. Where did it come from? A consortium of private banks operating for private profit. Ever notice how that same note says legal tender for all debts public and private? That’s because the tender laws require that debts be discharged when redeemed in Federal Reserve Currency. The government is in bed with the banks at the fundamental level of what it is we call money. Is this a rigged town or what?

  27. curmedgeon April 19, 2010 at 10:41 am #

    As to aka’s comment, it is sort of interesting that so many of the prime perps are Jewish, but that’s all I have to say about that…
    While calls for prosecution may be appropriate, I believe that what we had/have going on here is a systemic thing in which all levels of govt. and “high finance” are complicit. When we have what Greer refers to as a “tribute economy”, we have to have a gimmick to provide a mechanism whereby we exchange piles of worthless paper for raw materials and manufactured goods. With the country as a whole living completely beyond its means investment swindles are really the only way to fund this sort of thing and govt. has been actively complicit in furthering “creativity” in the world of finance. Of course it’s been couched in terms of “deregulation” to encourage “innovation”, but it’s really been a “nudge, nudge, wink wink” sort of thing at its heart. For heaven’s sake, we have the same people shuttling back and forth from Wall St. to the Fed, Treasury, SEC… So what do you think is going on?
    Over the weekend, my son and I drove over to look at a nearby house that’s going to foreclosure auction in a few days. The people were given 2 acres by their parents in the late nineties and built a house for an initial $225K. Now going forward they have $500K mortgage debt. on a property assessed by the county at $420K, down from $540K 4 years ago. The auction is scheduled for Wednesday and the folks were obviously busy moving out. The yard was littered with goodies…a nice boat on a trailer, several quads, a jacked up new looking truck, you get the picture. So, sure they “lose the house”, but hell, they already sold it at an inflated price to someone out there. That’s the way the whole country is complicit in the “Business of America”, fraud….

  28. Cash April 19, 2010 at 10:42 am #

    I agree, the financial system is as corrupt as Indonesia. A couple decades ago when my wife and I had finally accumulated enough cash to think about investing we did some research, went to talk to various “investment advisors”.
    I came to the conclusion that 90% of what I was told and what I read made no logical or business sense. Stock markets are and were so obviously a ponzi scheme it was impossible to miss. So as a consequence we kept our money away and dumped it into plain vanilla term deposits and the Canadian counterpart of IRAs.
    I trust our banks as far as I can throw them. You should look at any major Canadian bank balance sheet over the last ten years. It’s hair raising. There is no fucking way ANYBODY outside the banks understands what’s in those balance sheets. I’m sure even bank brass have no idea. The Canuck govt and our banking sector brag that none of our banks went tits up. So what, they did get massive govt (ie taxpayer) aid.
    But for now, given that bank deposits (to a certain max) are govt insured that’s where our money stays. If we’re lucky we’ll croak before this howling pile of shit all goes over a cliff once and for all.

  29. okie April 19, 2010 at 10:54 am #

    I like JHK’s observation that he saw the financial meltdown coming without any fancy degrees, pertinent work experience, talking heads telling him to worry, etc. I saw it too, and I imagine quite a few of the rest of you did as well. I saw it coming in 2004, though most of us living-on-the-crumbly-edge-of-financial-doom single parents here in fly-over USA have zero connection to financial markets. What I did have, though, was a recognition that my wage was barely enough to maintain me+kids consistently, increases in said wage were not enough to improve my standard of living, just keep me out of worse trouble. But where wages were lacking, credit was easy – it could not go on forever, and I am sure that if I could see it coming, those rolling-in-money-guys saw it coming even further out and were completely prepared to survive and prosper from it, as the vast majority of them have. But, the point here being, I encourage you to trust your intuition, not me, not JHK, not the experts, not the Masters-of-the-Universe-doing-God’s-work, but trust what you experience in your own life and prepare for the future you Feel coming.

  30. J Lee April 19, 2010 at 10:57 am #

    Some people “hope that no one gets hurt”. Could we be anymore bland about the whole thing. Heads do need to roll – as in guillotine style – and blood needs to run in the streets and limbs do need to be severed from bodies. That’s how the Romans finally did it, that’s how the Celts did it, that’s how the Vikings did it, that’s how the CIA did it. But why don’t we. Cause we are too scared for our own little white picket fences. So just bend over and enjoy it while it lasts. Then someone else will come and take their turn. All we hope is that our new masters are kindly in their way for a few days.

  31. Vlad Krandz April 19, 2010 at 10:58 am #

    What do Pagan Sages, Eastern Holy Men, Catholic Saints, Puritan Divines, and the Founding Fathers all have in common? Well, besides a general belief in God, they all believed in the fallen nature of Man. And one of the characteristics of the fallen humanity is that He cannot be expected to police himself. This has been shown again and again with police departments, priests, politicians, etc. How could anyone have ever trusted these guys to regulate themselves – especially when their stated aim is nothing but the maximization of profit? Unlike the other groups, they aren’t even breaking any oaths.
    Such a foolish act of trust came from that nether area within the human psyche that is equal parts ideology, naivete, and self interest. Checks and Balances were the glory of Old America – plus the discipline of community. Such foolish trust has nothing to do with these but is in fact, the cynically created counterfeit that replaces the lost community. And it is foolishly believed by people who were to selfish and indulgent to maintain the real thing.

  32. Agriburbia April 19, 2010 at 10:59 am #

    “Alec Litowitz”
    Uh oh…another member of ‘The Tribe’ busted for wanton financial criminality?
    There have been so many American Jews busted and convicted for economic crimes in the last couple of years, a hugely disproportionate amount…are Jews particularly prone to white-collar criminality?
    “The Jewish community better get serious about the cancer that’s growing inside it. The devastation on Wall Street carries a lot of Jewish names, from firms like Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers to individuals such as Bernard Madoff, whose $50 billion Ponzi scheme collapsed over the weekend, and lawyer Marc Dreier, arrested last week for defrauding investors of hundreds of millions of dollars. On the Internet more and more people who don’t like us are beginning to connect the dots, pointing out that there are an awful lot of Jews who bear responsibility for Wall Street’s fall.” – http://www.jpost.com/Opinion/Op-EdContributors/Article.aspx?id=124632
    “Johann von Leers, a trained jurist holding a professor­ship in history at Jena University, did publish a booklet, “The Criminality of the Jews,” in which he presented statistics showing a disproportionately high Jewish participation in white-collar crime. Jews were 12 times more likely than non-Jews to be involved in usury; 11 times more likely to engage in the theft of intellectual property; 8–9 times as likely to declare fraudulent bankruptcy. Between 1903 and 1936, Leers noted, the frequency of Jewish participation in usury was 29 times that of non-Jews.” – http://www.theoccidentalobserver.net/authors/Michaels-Steinweis.html

  33. Vlad Krandz April 19, 2010 at 11:01 am #

    Shame on him but not shame on them? Shame on you.

  34. trippticket April 19, 2010 at 11:02 am #

    Hey Dovey, Cash, et al, in scanning over the last couple of weeks I saw that there were a couple of questions regarding my whereabouts and well-being.
    We’re exhausted! Been running like madmen since 18March, living in an extended stay hotel here in Macon for 3 weeks now while working on our house. It was a bombed out shell of a place when we got here, but what do you expect for $3000?? The bones are excellent though, and 15 years of vacancy has done wonders for soil fertility. In three weeks we’ve become a lot more comfortable with the “hood”, made some new friends, started our garden, including my first 3 olive trees!, learned how to run plumbing (a pex manifold system with 1/2″ lines, instead of 3/4, to each point-of-use, delivering almost instant hot water and greatly reducing waste – remember that cross-sectional area varies by the SQUARE of the radius), run the bulk of the electric and have some power, set exterior doors and locks, and I am working on my passive AC system. I think it will work.
    This week we’re finishing the electric, lathing walls for cob (earth plaster), setting some hand-me-down cabinets and sinks, and prepping new ground for figs, grapes, mulberry, and a 50′ timber bamboo with 5″ culms! Hoping to move in this week too. We’ve all had enough of the hard little beds at the hotel, and are aching (literally) for our big soft king. Baby boy, Oliver, is due on the summer solstice, and there will be tons to do before that.
    On the permaculture tip (sorry, Q, there’s that word again), we have a mature pecan tree EXACTLY where I would have placed it in my design – how fortunate! I’ve begun digging the graywater pond and marsh system, and will modify the plumbing drainage as soon as I can. On Saturday we went to a permaculture gathering out near Milledgeville, northeast of Macon, and met some truly amazing people doing truly amazing things. We all fell in love with each other before the night was over, and promised to meet again soon. We have laying hens ready as soon as I can get a new chicken tractor built, and a nanny goat on order to help us clean up our vinca infestation.
    Anybody know a good use for sugarberry (Celtis laevigata)? I know the leaf fall is allelopathic, so I want to get rid of them, but they are 50-footers, so…
    Great hanging out with Mean Dovey Cooledge at her farm in the mountains! See you again soon, my dear. Maybe we’ll do a little trout fishing next time.
    I’ll get photos of our project up on my blog, smallbatchgarden.blogspot.com, as soon as I can. Computer access still sporadic, so don’t get offended if I don’t reply right away!
    Tripp out.

  35. DeeJones April 19, 2010 at 11:14 am #

    I gotta agree with Bridges.
    There won’t be any prosecutions, the foxes are still running the show. All the profits were privatized, all the losses have been dumped onto the public.
    Why do you think we had this long, distracting thing about health care the past year or so? Its a distraction. Plus, if they drag it out long enough, certain statues of limitations will run out anyway. So, again, there won’t be any prosecutions.
    The Fix is IN Big Time.
    Now Move On, Nothing to see here, just keep moving…

  36. Vlad Krandz April 19, 2010 at 11:20 am #

    What to do about the National Debt that we owe to the “Federal Reserve” – Rothschild and Co? Write them a check and let them find someone to cash it. It is the Goverment’s job as defined in the Constitution to mint our own money or print our own dollars – backed by gold and/or silver. Thus the Federal Reserve Act was illegal and we owe these people nothing. But we wont get away from them easily – it may well take a Revolution. In thinking! Sure just thinking. It’s been the most profitable scam in human history and I’m sure they will just let us walk away when we explain our postion.

  37. CowboyJack April 19, 2010 at 11:22 am #

    Lest we forget, this whole thing started during the Bill Clinton administration. Bawney Fwank and Chris Dodd, among others, told Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to start putting everyone in houses by “making housing affordable”. They accomplished that by starting the ever increasing value of homes and making loans to folks who obviously could not afford to make payments. But house prices went up and the “economy” was great and Alan Greenspan made sure it all could continue by keeping interest rates low.
    Of course Bush didn’t see what was happening either so he made no effort to stop it.
    Then in 2008, the spike of oil prices to close to $150 a barrel was the trigger mechanism that started the crash. People could not afford to pay their mortgages and buy fuel.
    In my feeble opinion, another spike in oil prices will likely be edge of the cliff for most of us.
    Also, important for us not to forget that it was Bill Clinton who sold out most of our manufacturing jobs to China through “Charlie” Yah Lin Trie to get himself elected. That is why we do not have many manufacturing jobs left in this country and a major reason our unemployment rate is, in reality, currently near 20%.
    JHK wrote: “I don’t see how President Obama can keep Robert Rubin at his elbow or the hosts of other Goldman Sachs alumni in their federal jobs. The whole episode is disgusting in the purest sense of the word.”
    I agree. It is sickeningly disgusting.
    But, Hussein Obama put those GS guys in their current positions for a simple reason. He owes them.
    And my money is on Obama’s devout loyalty to his fellow criminals. So I agree with the previous posters who believe that a slap on the wrist will most likely be deemed adequate to teach them their lesson.
    Which is also sickeningly disgusting.

  38. Qshtik April 19, 2010 at 11:23 am #

    I’m waiting patiently this morning for EIGHTM to give us a post saying the answer to:
    Golden Sacks
    Govt corruption
    Volcanic Ash
    Pedophilic Priests
    Illegal Immigration
    and Halitosis

  39. Puzzler April 19, 2010 at 11:25 am #

    Nice hear from you Tripp. You’ve accomplished a lot in 4 weeks. Check in when you can.

  40. Puzzler April 19, 2010 at 11:28 am #

    Yes, put them all on BUSSES and play Demolition Derby in the Coliseum. Oh, and don’t forget some bread to go with the circus.

  41. Cash April 19, 2010 at 11:31 am #

    Totally agree. The investment community and its collaborators and enablers over the years acquired a surface shine of legitimacy and legality.
    You’re right, world class con men: well presented, well dressed, well educated, personable, articulate.
    They have the whole package: besides what you mentioned (plausible sounding jargon and university academies) they have “regulation” by institutions like the SEC, credible sounding frontmen from the Fed and Treasury like Greenspan, Bernanke and Timmy, legal systems built, sustained and backed by the force and might of national and subnational govts. What’s not to trust?
    No way boccie playing goombahs could have come up with all this. Hats off, all in all an amazingly elaborate and successful ripoff.

  42. bailey April 19, 2010 at 11:36 am #

    Reading The Economist you’d think Berlusconi was the most corrupt of them all, but this simply distracts from the fact no one has the debt or a ‘system’ quite like the English. No one.
    Dove Rico? No lo so Signor Kunstlerino, but does put things into perspective, dunnit.
    Great post per usual, bravissimo.

  43. Shambles April 19, 2010 at 11:36 am #

    Clearly, Obama isn’t going to actually change anything. That much we know already.
    I think many people had too high hopes for him. He’s just the other side of the coin.
    Anyway, Obama needs the finance centres more than they need him. In all liklihood oil is going to be getting more expensive, considering the increasing demand from Asia. He needs to get the economy burning brighter than ever, to build things up before the next slump, and he’s going to use any means available. This isn’t the time to get picky about the hows and whys of it all.
    I see Obama as the guy holding onto a rising balloon. What’s he to do, admit the economy is a fraudulent sham, kept in place by people bankrupting themselves to buy what are essentially toys?

  44. trav777 April 19, 2010 at 11:38 am #

    NOBODY saw the financial meltdown coming, NOBODY saw 9/11, NOBODY saw NOTHING.
    What does this sound like the claims of? A bunch of CRIMINAL ACCESSORIES and witnesses. It’s amazing how much shit goes down in this country that NOBODY in power expected and for which there were NO witnesses.
    As for ‘Bama…Jim, seriously. GS was his NUMBER ONE contributor. This is what you get when you vote hope and change and WILFULLY IGNORE reality JUST AS SURELY as GS does.
    Every week you berate people for strenuous wishing…wtf was your Obama vote? He has had a silver spoon up his ass for 2 decades, with the biggest monied interests shepherding his career. AND YOU FELL FOR IT.
    Why were you surprised when he put GS alums in every significant position of power he could? You’re surprised by the lack of change and growing COMPLETE lack of hope just as surely as Rubin and his cronies were surprised by the mortgage meltdown.
    Only intentional and voluntary blindness to the truth can create this.

  45. Vlad Krandz April 19, 2010 at 11:41 am #

    Quite so, Dee. Let’s not forget how much Goldman Sachs contributed to the Obama election fund. If he wants a second term – and oh he does, they all do – he will do absolutely and precisely nothing to really reign in Goldman Sachs.
    If Mr Kunstler knew so much years ago, why then did he support a man supported by these pirates? The rest of you have no excuse either: Obama was funded by many of the same people who funded Bush. When Obama reversed his position about taking private contributions, everyone’s red lights should have gone on. And then you should have taken note of who were his main contributors. But you couldn’t resist the Liberal Kool Aid of having a Black President. So the fuck what. A lackey is a lackey no matter what his shade.

  46. Qshtik April 19, 2010 at 11:46 am #

    “certain statues of limitations”
    Let’s see, what might be a nice statue of limitation? How about a slender athlete carved in stone putting a 50 lb shot.

  47. Cash April 19, 2010 at 11:47 am #

    Hey Tripp, Sounds like you’ve made real progress. Good for you. Good to hear from you. Congrats on the coming little one. And olive trees!

  48. Puzzler April 19, 2010 at 11:51 am #

    It was such a relief to be done with eight years of idiotboy (no disrepect to idiots), but when Obama brought into his administration the same scuzzballs that caused the problem I knew we were screwed, blued and tattooed.
    We’ll have a series of Show Trials to make the general public think we’re cracking down on the bad guys. We’ll pass legislation supposedly regulating the financial markets, but actually just providing jobs for more bureaucrats and creating more opportunities for con jobs.
    You know, if you can set aside the fact that we’re circling the drain, the sheer arrogance is entertaining.

  49. Vlad Krandz April 19, 2010 at 12:03 pm #

    I wish I had some golden sacks – I’d fill them with non copper pennies. Then no one would be tempted to steal them like they did the wheelbarrow filled with worthless marks. Even better would be golden slacks – to wear to the Queen’s Coronation. Then I’d get Goldilocks to to weave them into a wig – to become a Viking. When it hits 3500 hundred I’d bring the wig to the shop and cash it in and buy Macon.

  50. ALLDERBLOB April 19, 2010 at 12:09 pm #

    Story on the US military acknowledging peak oil, with serious shortages by 2012 and depletion by 2015: http://green.autoblog.com/2010/04/15/u-s-military-warns-of-oil-production-shortage-by-2015/

  51. ELI316 April 19, 2010 at 12:11 pm #

    Nothing is going to be done against Goldman Sachs they will get a small slap on the wrist fine and Obama will defend them and nothing will change. The apathy in this country is sickening.
    Look at today’s headlines “Citigroup Posts Suprise Profit” Stock Jumps” What a country!

  52. Qshtik April 19, 2010 at 12:21 pm #

    “Citigroup Posts Suprise Profit”
    Is Sup-rise the opposite of Dine-fall?

  53. wardoc April 19, 2010 at 12:30 pm #

    All but the most fuzzy headed and pitiful apologist for the system (both “leftist” and “rightest” morons) KNOW that the banking system is run by international criminals. The bankers are not stupid; they are criminal, and their schemes blew up on them from their excessive extraction of money from the schemes. Kind of like the criminal that keeps stealing and getting caught. He does that because he is obsessed with stealing. The banker criminals are obsessed with stealing, and will not stop until the system no longer has funds or resources for them to steal. When that happens then? They will move on to greener pastures; just as it happened in France, then Holland, then England and now the US; where do they go next? Doesn’t matter, as they will leave our country a tattled 3rd world shamble where our children will have to steal and beg to eat. But, we’ll still have dancing with the stars and monday night football; what else matters?

  54. Vlad Krandz April 19, 2010 at 12:37 pm #

    And from gold forge steel. Beat thy ploughs into swords and pruning hooks into spears.

  55. lsjogren April 19, 2010 at 12:40 pm #

    One of the few glimmers of positive news regarding the banking system is that the delusion that the large banks are financially sound is so pervasive that they have been able to raise tens of billions of dollars of new capital from idiot investors, which reduces how much the govt needs to extort from the taxpayers to bail out the crooks.

  56. Jim from Watkins Glen April 19, 2010 at 12:41 pm #

    Those of us looking for retribution may not have to wait long. Instead of learning how to live on the earth, these crooks have devoted themselves to making big piles of paper represented by numbers in spreadsheets. We may get to watch as they try to figure out recipies for currency and precious metals. Pretty to look at, but it makes for thin soup.

  57. lsjogren April 19, 2010 at 12:43 pm #

    There is a school of thought that one of the primary purposes of the Federal Reserve System is the systematic looting of the public.

  58. welles April 19, 2010 at 12:46 pm #

    It must be radically ENTERTAINING to be one of the puppetmasters…
    The guy who accidentally flew into an IRS building remains my Man of the Year. Oh, to see the blackish swarm of a thousand such kamikazes aimed at GS/D.C.! Glory days!

  59. Cash April 19, 2010 at 1:01 pm #

    I think a few show trials will happen to satisfy the mob.
    J Lee is right. I too think that too many people have money invested in the various scams and schemes with Wall Street and they want to get made whole and make a profit. So they have to keep the ponzi schemes going, they can’t rock the boat too much by taking down too many big players. To the average joe with money in a mutual fund getting the bad guys comes second to his own bottom line.
    This wide eyed “gee I didn’t know” act from the big players is side splitting. They knew in their bones this thing would blow but they wanted to make the big score first. After that the financial system and the world could go to hell, they’d have their stash of bullion, their walled compound with armed guards in some sheikh-dom and they wouldn’t give a shit. But it looks to me the thing blew apart before a bunch of them could cash out. Gee too bad so sad.
    The river of cash the Fed printed is just too tempting to Wall Street. They want to steal it and all the laws in the world won’t stop them.

  60. sfnate April 19, 2010 at 1:10 pm #

    All this hand-wringing over behavior that is as old as the genetic code in our marrow! It’s almost funny–but not really–to observe these pious denunciations and moral declarations, as if the crooks and thugs running the show are somehow the most obvious examples of how our species fails, when clearly they demonstrate the success of the alpha primate, the pinnacle of monkey achievement in a world that is dominated by apes in suits. It’s time, I think, to break the news to everyone: no matter how this situation is resolved, by catastrophic implosion, or strategic retreat, or radical devolution, or some miraculous avoidance of the inevitable, for now anyway–no matter how they shake this ancient tree, what will fall out will be the same bunch of monkeys that got us into this mess, except now they’ll go running back to the main street, where they’ll band together and conspire to rip-off the local rubes, while smiling and hooting and high-fiving and generally persuading everyone that the age of the alpha primate is a golden age of competition, unending, until the last banana is peeled and the fat jerk stuffing it into his mouth expires alone at the top of the bone pile.
    Unless someone can clearly demonstrate that whatever genetic material promotes the ongoing success of muscular thieves to steal our future; unless some brainiac can show that the end of the monkey mafioso is at an end, because the genes are mutating into a new soft-focus reality of kindness and cooperation; until the empire of the savage primate gene ends, it will be as it ever was, with toughs and punks in silk ties always managing to win the fight over soft feminine values, simply because they have sharper teeth and aren’t afraid to use them. In fact, they like to use them very much, as we will soon discover in the monkey riots to come.

  61. Cash April 19, 2010 at 1:13 pm #

    Only when the last tree has died and the last river been poisoned and the last fish been caught will we realise we cannot eat money. ~Cree Indian Proverb

  62. nothing April 19, 2010 at 1:16 pm #

    WOW! Even Jim now realizes that the government is printing Funny Money. Print some for yourself, in any denomination, at http://www.thenothingstore.com

  63. nina April 19, 2010 at 1:18 pm #

    …Either they lie or they are profoundly stupid and incompetent. If the former, then they might be induced to spend some time talking to federal prosecutors…
    That will never happen. Recall a very talented former prosecutor and now former governor was in the process of outing the issue sky high and look what happened to him. Oops! Gangsters are brilliantly stupid when they intend to stay in business together and out of the clinker.
    Its a death match. No one is going to come clean just as no one is going to come clean about 911.
    You see the problem? I know you don’t want to get into this, but what has happened cannot be rationalized because it isn’t rational.

  64. sfnate April 19, 2010 at 1:22 pm #

    Only when the last tree has died and the last river been poisoned and the last fish been caught will we realise we cannot eat money. ~Cree Indian Proverb
    No, we’ll eat that, too. Isn’t it the fate of every world to eat itself into extinction? Or die trying?
    Sometimes it seems inevitable like some kind of unavoidable truth, that suffering is the door through which we must depart, even as we came in through a similar door, when we took our first agonized breath.
    No one wants it, but here it remains. Why is that?

  65. Mr. Purple April 19, 2010 at 1:29 pm #

    “whether the defendant’s name ended in a vowel or not”
    Ah, that is a good one!

  66. Mr. Purple April 19, 2010 at 1:34 pm #

    A brief browsing of Wikipedia suggests that the wood of the sugarberry is useful for making furniture. You are right about the allelopathic properties: I wouldn’t want that anywhere near my productive land.

  67. Mr. Purple April 19, 2010 at 1:36 pm #

    Post-apocalyptic BBQ: it’s made of people!
    Speaking of the (hypothetical) cannibalism: I would think that white collar workers would be more tender than blue collar workers, and in greater supply here in the U.S.

  68. Puzzler April 19, 2010 at 1:42 pm #

    You’d need to stew blue collar. White collar would be tender — think tenderloin, not to mention lard for candles and soap. Bio-diesel takes on a whole new meaning! “I get 300 miles per lardass.”

  69. sfnate April 19, 2010 at 1:45 pm #

    You see the problem? I know you don’t want to get into this, but what has happened cannot be rationalized because it isn’t rational.
    What is reason except the logic of desire, or the algebra of need? These men acted according to the careful planning of their ambition. Whether this nightmare they created is the inspiration of the devil or the spreadsheet is irrelevant. These are careful practitioners of a diabolical science, sometimes incorrect in their calculations, but they do nothing without first consulting the maths. In their documents we occupy the empty spaces between the sums, nothing to them and invisible. But their equations are eminently reasonable, built on a foundation of precise mathematical scheming.
    To say they aren’t rational men would be tantamount to opening a door to freedom for them: not guilty by reason of insanity. The ultimate Twinkie defense for anyone acquainted with the legal precedent. Don’t let them wriggle away by giving them the excuse that the Devil made them do it.

  70. Michael Dawson April 19, 2010 at 1:47 pm #

    Not sure how you sustain your faith in Obama, Jim. This guy is pure corporate figurehead. He simply out-marketed Hillary at the old Clinton Game. Big business owns the Democratic Party, lock, stock, and barrel.
    And the law simply doesn’t apply to the elite, except in trivial individual cases.

  71. Vlad Krandz April 19, 2010 at 1:50 pm #

    And they’re all Socialists too. You see, in American Socialism, the rich get to keep their money and their houses. Do you think John and Yoko would have put up with an immigrant family of 12 moving in with them? The Russian Nobility were treated even worse – outright expulsion. Having people “move in” was foisted on the urban middle class such as it was. Take Babs, another millionaire socialist: do you think she believes in equal wages for everybody? Or just for other people?
    So what’s the difference? Well the Russians were of the wrong ethnicity and religion. Under American Socialism, White Millionaires are welcome as long as they’re traitors to their own heritage. Robert Redford, Bill Gates, Warren Buffet are all more than fine as long as they don’t talk any shit about Patriotism or the Bill of Rights. Mel Gibson is making a comeback since he left his wife for a yonger woman. It will take a long time until he’s forgiven for making “The Passion” however.
    American Socialism is a system that stops upward mobility. The erstwhile middle class supports both the rich and the poor – thus becoming poor themselves. With things frozen, the Elite are secure in their position at the top.
    To be fair, Buffet has talked about the vicious class warfare against the middle class. But he donates his billions to Africa along with Gates. So his compassion is empty. By giving to foreigners, he has betrayed his first allegiance -his own people.

  72. sfnate April 19, 2010 at 1:52 pm #

    Not sure how you sustain your faith in Obama, Jim.
    Oh, he’s losing his religion alright. The tent is emptying fast. Obama sees the people leaving the sermon, and is prepared to unleash the fire and brimstone of his most inspirational rhetoric. But whether this will heal the sick or cure the blind remains to be seen. But I’m pretty sure I saw Jim moving to the back of the tent a couple of posts ago…

  73. ian807 April 19, 2010 at 2:02 pm #

    Cowboy Jack,
    You obviously have a short view of history. This particular scam has been going on for hundreds of years. All you’re complaining about are the latest players. Rebublicrat, Demican, liberative. It’s all hooey. I suggest you find a copy of “The Ascent of Money” at Amazon and give it a nice long read.

  74. bridges April 19, 2010 at 2:22 pm #

    I think we’d be lucky indeed to develop along the lines of Italy, where corruption and cynicism toward government are the rule. Why? Because people generally make arrangements among themselves, are blase toward government edicts, particularly with regard to taxes, and, despite regular wildcat strikes, life, broadly speaking, rattles on rather well. The US will be blessed if that is the outcome, rather than a South American style collapse…
    OT, I think it’s great SEC finally brought suit against Goldman. SEC is not empowered to file criminal charges. That doesn’t mean they will not be forthcoming. Less than 2 years since Oct 08 and already a lawsuit against GS? That’s lightning fast by government standards. I like Jim’s column, but find the paranoid style of many commenters perplexing. As for anti-Semitism, I fail to see how the Jews have cornered the market on what Buddhism calls the three poisons – greed, anger and stupidity -Sorry folks, that’s called “human nature.”

  75. k-dog April 19, 2010 at 2:24 pm #

    FYI : RICO defined(from Wikipedia):
    “Under RICO, a person who is a member of an enterprise that has committed any two of 35 crimes—27 federal crimes and 8 state crimes—within a 10-year period can be charged with racketeering. Those found guilty of racketeering can be fined up to $25,000 and sentenced to 20 years in prison per racketeering count. In addition, the racketeer must forfeit all ill-gotten gains and interest in any business gained through a pattern of “racketeering activity.” RICO also permits a private individual harmed by the actions of such an enterprise to file a civil suit; if successful, the individual can collect treble damages”
    What next corporate dissolution perhaps? Seems to me RICO can’t punish a corporation only individuals. We need more than a few fall guys to bite the dust and enrich the soil.
    At least somebody has finally brought RICO up.

  76. Regina Urbis April 19, 2010 at 2:51 pm #

    Bridges said:
    I fail to see how the Jews have cornered the market on what Buddhism calls the three poisons – greed, anger and stupidity -Sorry folks, that’s called “human nature.”
    Indeed. Since most of America’s courts and jails are filled with people who are not Jewish (or Muslim, Buddhist, atheist, etc.), why does no one speculate about the dark criminal heart of Christianity?

  77. sfnate April 19, 2010 at 3:02 pm #

    You obviously have a short view of history. This particular scam has been going on for hundreds of years.
    I agree, I think what’s missing from this is a historical awareness that extends beyond the horizon of one’s own lifespan. Many people are raging as if these crimes are new violations, the evil inventions of men with fast computers, when in fact they are the simple mischief of the alpha primate. And folks, that kind of mischief is here to stay, regardless of what happens to this particular troop of monkeys rampaging in the marble-columned cages on Wall Street. What we have here is the encoded destiny of a peculiar organism, gifted in the manipulation of tools and phonemes and adept at using both to dominate the natural world. The race we run is against an impulse to bash the world into our own monkey image, but we can’t outrun ourselves, and that is the predicament of the doomed, who fear standing still but find no solace in the competition to survive either. A few wise men have helpfully suggested ways to change our attitudes about this nasty koan called life, but the fact remains that the problem is not going to go away, in small towns or large cities or wherever monkeys gather to sort and swap the petty trinkets of their monkey culture.

  78. welles April 19, 2010 at 3:20 pm #

    Okay enough with the monkey shit. It’s hardcoded in the genes we get it. I’m looking for a tax-free/low-tax country to move to, anyone here have any experience with that? I’m through bein’ a slave, I ain’t payin’ for this shit anymore, why would you wanna stick around & be gang raped like this ad infinitum? Cheers.

  79. sfnate April 19, 2010 at 3:24 pm #

    Okay enough with the monkey shit.
    Have you ever seen what bored monkeys do at the zoo?
    Good luck finding your paradise. I think Gilligan’s Island has been vacant for awhile now.

  80. Gregg April 19, 2010 at 3:36 pm #

    File this under, “Well, Duh!”

  81. PirateLaddie April 19, 2010 at 3:56 pm #

    “I had had no work experience whatsoever in banking generally or Wall Street investment banking in particular.”
    Well, shit, man — you’re not qualifed. Since you haven’t been a man of the roman cloth, you better keep your nose (or other appendages) out of the homosexuality/pedophilia imbroglio as well.

  82. Lex April 19, 2010 at 4:10 pm #

    Continuing. Criminal. Enterprise.
    Goldman Sachs.
    The Roman Catholic Church (pandemic pedophilia, protecting/sheltering offenders, obstructing investigations, intimidating witnesses).
    Shut ’em both down.

  83. SNAFU April 19, 2010 at 4:13 pm #

    “But you couldn’t resist the Liberal Kool Aid of having a Black President. So the fuck what. A lackey is a lackey no matter what his shade.”
    So Vlad you would have preferred a President McCain who would have been 74 senile years old upon taking office with a 45 year old Vice President Palin (with an IQ lower than whale shit and we know how important IQ is to you Vlad). Ah but in addition to being senile McCain has many other redeeming attributes such as an inflated ego (I read his first book), an alcoholic past, and an in into the Naval Academy courtesy of his father and grandfather who just happened to be Navy Admirals where he graduated 894th out of 899 in his class; no wonder he picked Palin as his VP she was the only one he could feel smarter than. He tossed aside his disfigured (car accident) wife when he returned from his stint as a guest of the North Vietnamese 1973 after being shot down in a Navy A-4 in 1967 near Hanoi to eventually take up with his current wife whom he met in 1979; conveniently for John she was a multimillionaire courtesy of her fathers beer distribution empire. Ah but the piece de resistance for me was when I learned that with all of his lets bury the hatchet talk about Viet Nam; when he visited the region where he was shot down the Vietnamese man who literally saved McCain’s life by stopping the enraged group who were intent upon doing him grievous harm was still alive and offered to meet with McCain. McCain’s response in a word “NO”.
    Oh yea things would be much much better here in the USA with John and Sarah in the White House.

  84. piltdownman April 19, 2010 at 4:18 pm #

    Where are the Attorneys General? They’re off trying to stop the health care bill, or, more accurately, they’re stand-standing so they can get re-elected. No help there.
    And no, the “big hopes” for Obama were over before he ever got started, much to the dismay of thought otherwise.
    The gutting of the health care bill, and the removal of the part (single-payer) which might have actually changed something (and not just further funded the health insurers) is the most obvious example. But so is his back sliding on Gitmo, his unclear foreign policy agenda, his back-sliding on the current financial reform bill and, as noted elsewhere here, his continued employment of the the same “playerz” (TOTH to JHK) who are vested in this massive Wall Street scam.
    If Obama was a different sort of man, he would stand up tomorrow and say, “I have asked for, and received, the resignations of the following people. Lawrence Summers, Timothy Geithner……” It would be a world-rocking statement that would shake Wall Street to its roots and it might restore a modicum of hope that Obama is “the man” and not afraid to do what has to be done.
    Will it happen? Never.

  85. welles April 19, 2010 at 4:23 pm #

    “The rest of you have no excuse either: Obama was funded by many of the same people who funded Bush. When Obama reversed his position about taking private contributions, everyone’s red lights should have gone on.”
    Vlad didn’t say anything about McCain??? Read the comments before you start foaming…plus Vlad said “…the same people who funded Bush.”, a clear statement indicting both parties.
    As always, I reserve the right to be wrong. Sounds like you, SNAFU, are doused with a liberal dose of the kool aid to which you apparently take umbrage.
    Peace to you SNAFU & Vlad the Bad Russian

  86. empirestatebuilding April 19, 2010 at 4:34 pm #

    Of course only the small fries will go to jail. The big guys will use our bailout money to pay for theit lawyers.
    My question is why did AIG sell the insurance on these bags of shit? The ratings agencies were complicit and ought to be investigated. Even so, it is not like no one saw this coming.
    The guys at AIG must have known they were going to get crushed. But they didn’t care because their bonus checks were cashed. With all the money they “made” they did not care a hoot about the long term health of their business.
    There are many many crimes in this crash and they all should be investigated and prosecuted.
    Aimlow Joe

  87. Qshtik April 19, 2010 at 4:53 pm #

    OK, prediction time …
    Every commenter (so far) is outraged and has Golden Sacks guilty until proven innocent so I’ll play the contrarian and predict GS “walks,” their stock gains back all of Friday’s loss (and then some) by year’s end and the “fabulous Fabrice” resigns “to pursue other interests” … which, before sweeps week, is revealed to be a gig on Jersey Shore or Dancing With The Stars.
    America … wadda country!

  88. Hugh Culliton April 19, 2010 at 4:59 pm #

    Jim, I love your blog & podcast. From up here North of the border, I’ve been watching America’s financial debacle, and it looks like a train wreck in not so slow motion. Trust me, nobody up here is gloating: we’re as sick over this as you are. Frankly, I’m impressed with the patience of you folks! If this happened in small-town Canada, there would be business-suited corpses hanging from most Maple trees. I agree with you about Obama and RICO. I sincerely hope the O-man gets this shit straightened out before it’s too late for both our countries.

  89. Puzzler April 19, 2010 at 5:18 pm #

    Where’s Rico?
    He’s Rico Suave, the song or the wrestler.

  90. asia April 19, 2010 at 5:34 pm #

    Jim K:
    didnt you see the Newsweek [or should i say news weak] cover: AMERICAS BACK?
    know yr history..munger took women by bus to mexico for abortions…
    ‘But he donates his billions to Africa ‘
    no he donates to abortion.

  91. asia April 19, 2010 at 5:40 pm #

    how did his son get into the naval academy?
    and in Hs palin was known as ‘ barracuda’..
    was she brought in for the evangelical vote?

  92. welles April 19, 2010 at 5:42 pm #

    asia: You forgot the rainbow-depicting cover of
    The Economist: “Hope At Last – A Special Report on Rebalancing the American Economy”
    These media punks know how to coordinate Newspeak don’t they?

  93. asia April 19, 2010 at 5:46 pm #

    Why do so many Asoka-style liberals come off
    as Orwellian slogan-spouters who create “truth”
    by just uttering pleasant-sounding cliches whose
    “truth” is based upon its prettyness?? So,
    Asoka … “immigrants” made America great, eh??
    WHICH immigrants??????? Sorry dude, they
    actually are NOT all alike nor have they
    made the same contributions to American
    Asoka-like liberals hate when FACT interrupts
    their self-congratulatory reveries. And I’m
    not just talking about his mythos about the
    “repression” of Blacks in 2010. Such myths
    exist about places and cultures like MEXICO,
    too. The Mexicans are such a BANKRUPT CULTURE
    that even their PRIMARY FORM OF MUSIC IS FROM

  94. asia April 19, 2010 at 5:55 pm #

    did you mean yr comment for AKA or the one above his post?..with the link?
    if its the latter shame on you!

  95. Carolinem April 19, 2010 at 6:53 pm #

    “Now Move On, Nothing to see here, just keep moving…”
    No-one in the machine knows what, exactly, they are looking at, let alone how to fix it so the approach is ‘Don’t Frighten the Horses.’
    The role of the global media, politicans’ interactions with it and our consumption of the resulting pap – is significant.
    Our leaders are squabbling over hyped up issues and the masses are conveniently paying the media to be distracted by them – either by the squabbling or the minutea of various celebrity cults.
    Another great scam – modelled on the drug trade.

  96. mika. April 19, 2010 at 6:56 pm #

    “Shame on him but not shame on them? Shame on you.”
    No, Vlad, Shame on you. What you are is a racist bigot.
    What ever someone’s ethnic background is, it is IRRELEVANT! If I held the same standard of judgement as you, I assure that all blue eye devils, brown skin serpents, black skin monkeys, and slanty eye dragons, just to name a few, would now be extinct.

  97. bproman April 19, 2010 at 7:49 pm #

    Could they be wearing cement shoes and watching the dirty rats at the bottom of the River?

  98. James Crow April 19, 2010 at 8:26 pm #

    “This will take a multi-year, multi-President, multi-Congress effort to clean up the corruption in our culture.”
    Gosh, yes, that’ll happen. Because our federal government isn’t part of the problem nor are any of our “political representatives” in any way corrupt. Plus your vote counts! Really it does!

  99. Donny-Don April 19, 2010 at 8:41 pm #

    I applaud JHK for another fine essay … except for the part where he pats himself on the back for forecasting the housing debacle back in 2003.
    For anyone who has been paying attention, JHK has indeed correctly forecast 17 of the last 3 economic meltdowns.

  100. James Crow April 19, 2010 at 8:59 pm #

    “I wonder why you don’t come right out and say It’s A Conspiracy Of The Jews.”
    Then what is it exactly…if all the players are Jewish or Jewish-owned: bought and paid for? Tell me who is behind the cabal? The US fedgov major players are puppets also bought and paid for by who exactly? Which non-Jewish-controlled banks are too big too fail again? Check the boards of directors and most major of stockholders while you’re at it…all just a coinkydink is it? What is wrong with this picture of our society?

  101. James Crow April 19, 2010 at 9:07 pm #

    “Cause we are too scared for our own little white picket fences. So just bend over and enjoy it while it lasts.”
    You first; you with all the ideas of how to lead the populace into revolution…idiot.

  102. John66 April 19, 2010 at 9:10 pm #

    People of the Jewish faith are disproportionately in our financial system, so it shouldn’t come as no surprise that when a scandal occurs, that it involves Jewish people.
    Where my beef against the Jews is that they don’t let anyone in their world. I have an advanced degree in accounting, but I can’t get a job because there’s some Jew hogging up all the opportunities. First, they say, “get a degree.” Then, they say “get experience.” If you can’t get experience, then it’s “get some networking.”
    It’s all one big fucking lie!!!
    They just don’t want to admit that everyone cannot be a doctor, a lawyer or even an accountant. To be that, you simply need to have a fucking Jewish name!
    The pigs aren’t letting anyone in unless they “feel good” about them.

  103. John66 April 19, 2010 at 9:12 pm #

    Bottom line, unless you’re a fucking Jew, the American Dream is a fucking lie!!

  104. Semper Infidel April 19, 2010 at 9:13 pm #

    ” ‘…It’s A Conspiracy Of The Jews…’
    Then what is it exactly…if all the players are Jewish or Jewish-owned: bought and paid for?…”
    Yeah! And did you also notice that they are all MEN?! So it follows that they must have done this BECAUSE they’re men.

  105. jerry April 19, 2010 at 9:34 pm #

    I have been asking for RICO since this entire bailout began!!! What exists is a financial crime syndicate operation with Geithner, and Bernanke as their crime syndicate field marshals. This has been a rigged game.
    Obama is deep within the muck if he continues to hold onto these crime syndicate stooges working for the financial crime mobsters.
    I have been calling it out for a very long time. Now the likes of Dylan Ratigan and others must stand in front of the camera and force the change we were told to believe in.

  106. Qshtik April 19, 2010 at 9:46 pm #

    “First, they say, “get a degree.” Then, they say “get experience” … then it’s “get some networking.”
    Next thing you know the Jew bastards will start telling us we can’t use double negatives like “it shouldn’t come as no surprise” because that makes us sound too stooopid to hire.

  107. Dark Fired Tobacco April 19, 2010 at 9:47 pm #

    Jim, very good job with a difficult topic. For a moment I thought I had clicked on Karl Denninger by mistake!
    George Wallace famously declared that “there is not a dime’s worth of difference between the two plitical parties.” That may have been overstated back in 1972, but in terms of financial interests it is all too true today. From Clinton to Bush to Obama the same hands have steered the boat closer to the falls.
    One theory is that this is generational. That is, the silent generation maintained traditional financing until they retired in the early 1990s. The boomer managers who followed had no moral compass and demanded only performance by whatever means was necessary. Up and coming Gen X whiz kids in finance then produced the exotic and toxic financial instruments that their boomer managers neither understood nor questioned. This particular incident does fit the pattern.
    Meanwhile, a significant number of Americans remain in houses where the mortgage has gone unpaid for months, even a year or more. That spare income, if it still exists in the form of a paycheck, goes for shopping, dining out, liquor, and anything else to keep the party and the pretense going. That translates into “slowly improving retail sales” on CNBC. The banks balk on foreclosure for the practical reason that the sale of the property will expose their own bankruptcy. Thus, everyone extends and pretends.
    All this ought to come to a head about the time oil reaches $150 a barrel.

  108. mika. April 19, 2010 at 9:56 pm #

    “I have an advanced degree in accounting, but I can’t get a job because there’s some Jew hogging up all the opportunities.”
    Wow. What a disgusting piece of shit you are. That no one would want to have you around them, is not the least surprising.

  109. John66 April 19, 2010 at 11:18 pm #

    Qshtik and Mika are probably Jews. Jews get awful touchy when someone points out their disproportionate population in the world of finance, don’t they?
    How’s this for a double negative, bitch:
    I’m not anti-Semitic. I’m anti-Jew.

  110. John66 April 19, 2010 at 11:21 pm #

    Well, it’s true.
    Every time someone even barely mentions the fact that Jews hold a disproportionate representation in the world of finance, they get accused of being anti-Jewish.
    If that’s the case, then I’m anti-Jewish and proud to be so too!

  111. DeeJones April 19, 2010 at 11:39 pm #

    Ooh great, here we are Jew bashing.
    But CowboyJOe, this started long before Buffalow wings Bill became prez, howz about with Ronnie Raygin?
    But anyway, Puzzler, there wont even be any show trials. The Fix is way too In.
    I bet that there will soon be some other distraction, and while the rubes are looking at, lest say ‘shrooms over Iran, the Banksters sneak away with all the gold. Man, what a deal.
    Rob a whole country blind, and walk away whistling.

  112. Qshtik April 20, 2010 at 12:02 am #

    “Jews hold a disproportionate representation in the world of finance”
    Yeah, we need more Jews playing pro basketball. And maybe we pull Allen Iverson over to replace Geitner at Treasury.

  113. mika. April 20, 2010 at 12:12 am #

    Actually, I’m Israeli. And very proud of it. What I get “touchy” about is the hatemongering and racist scapegoating by genocidal blood vultures like yourself. So until I get my checks from the banksters, you can go fsck yourself.

  114. wagelaborer April 20, 2010 at 12:28 am #

    It’s true that it was obvious that housing prices would not rise forever. Especially since we just did this back in the 80s.
    If we’re handing out points for prescience, though, let’s hear from the greatest Jew of all time, explaining what happens when capital can’t make enough profits from investment in productive enterprises-
    “If..new accumulation meets with difficulties in its employment, through a lack of spheres for investment, i.e., due to a surplus in the branches of production and an over-supply of loan capital, this plethora of loanable money-capital merely shows the limitations of capitalist production.
    The subsequent credit swindle proves that no real obstacle stands in the way of the employment of this surplus-capital.”
    Let me repeat that for the ones who believe that this can all be solved if we return to Glass-Stegall.
    This bickering over which President or investment firm, (or even funnier, which low wage home-owner), is responsible for this particular credit swindle shows why they can get away with it again and again.
    This is how capitalism works.
    The difference is that, traditionally, when the credit swindle collapses, fortunes are lost and a depression results.
    Alternatively, or sometimes following, a war ensues, which increases spending and destroys productive capacity, so that it may be rebuilt at profit afterwards.
    We may still see a war. I saw no one predicting this, although we live in frigging America, the land of the WMDs and the home of the aggressive.

  115. wagelaborer April 20, 2010 at 12:39 am #

    Oh, and I also disagree with those who are unable to see anything but their fellow Americans, and so conclude that people are natural assholes.
    People have lived together cooperatively for most of human existence and still do in isolated hunter gatherer communities (now being flooded and burned out of existence).
    Monkeys don’t actually wear suits or accumulate capital.

  116. asoka April 20, 2010 at 12:52 am #

    CW on CFN: Republicrats i.e., when it comes to Democrats and Republicans, there is no difference between them; they’re all greedy politicians.
    So why is it that the three votes to go after Goldman Sachs were all Democrats? The two votes against suing Goldman Sachs were Republicans?
    Why is it that the independent SEC Chairman Obama has appointed is overseeing going after Bank of America and Goldman Sachs? Why did Bush’s appointee do nothing except weaken enforcement?
    No difference? The facts say otherwise.
    Unless, of course, you want to invoke Kabuki Theatre, Black Swans or Jew-bashing. Yawn.

    April 19 (Bloomberg) — The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission split 3-2 along party lines to approve an enforcement case against Goldman Sachs Group Inc., according to two people with knowledge of the vote. ….. [SEC Chair] Schapiro, an independent appointed by Democratic President Barack Obama, cast the deciding vote in a high-profile case for the second time this year. In February, she sided with Democrats in a $150 million settlement with Bank of America Corp. tied to its takeover of Merrill Lynch & Co.

  117. wagelaborer April 20, 2010 at 12:54 am #

    I think that the reason we had the long drawn-out thing about health care last year because they wanted to force Americans to directly pay tribute to the FIRE section, as well as through retirement funds, taxes, bonds (future taxes), credit cards, student loans, banking fees and mortgages.
    Some people have actually avoided paying some of these tributes.
    This could not stand!
    Now every American must pay the insurance companies directly or pay the consequences. (And Obama says that jail is a possibility.)

  118. Vlad Krandz April 20, 2010 at 1:23 am #

    The Jews have been thrown out of virtually every European Country at one time or another. Sometimes more than once. But now if you are to move in polite society, you have to pretend that the Jews never did anything to merit these expulsions – that it was hideous, evil prejudice against them. In other words, you have to believe or at least pretend, that our ancestors were monsters and that the Jews are all saints. Such is their power – even at a mere 3% of the population. And then posters ask what does their dominance matter!
    Say what you will about the Muslims, but they would never be stupid enough or traitorous enough to turn their financial systems over to the Jews. Use them for administration and the professions at which they excel yes, but the financial system? Turn your financial sytem over to a group who clearly hold you in contempt? We were sold into slavery, nothing less.
    Sure the Jews have been wronged – just like everyone else has. And the Jews have wronged others as well. But we have done just about all the apologizing we can do – to everyone. Now it’s other people’s turn to start apologizing to us. Relationships are about balance after all. If Blacks and Jews want us to keep apologizing then they clearly don’t want a relationship, but in fact, some quite different.

  119. asoka April 20, 2010 at 1:26 am #

    Wagelaborer says: “(And Obama says that jail is a possibility.)”
    Shame on you, Wagelaborer!
    There is no mention of “jail” in the legislation. There is no provision for any kind of imprisonment. You are repeating right-wing, paranoid, anti-government talking points.
    There is a penalty, and there are provisions for exemptions from the penalty. But no jail. No possibility of jail. If you don’t pay, the worst that can happen is your IRS refund can be docked. That is all.
    Stop fear mongering, Wagelaborer. This crowd is already paranoid and anti-government and cynical. You are throwing gasoline on the fire.
    The legislation says:

    ‘‘(b) SHARED RESPONSIBILITY PAYMENT.— ‘‘(1) IN GENERAL.—If an applicable individual fails to meet the requirement of subsection (a) for 1 or more months during any calendar year beginning after 2013, then, except as provided
    in subsection (d), there is hereby imposed a penalty with respect to the individual

    SOURCE: ‘‘Patient Protection
    and Affordable Care Act’’. HR 3590 Final Version Enrolled Bill Sec. 1501. Requirement to maintain minimum essential coverage.

  120. asoka April 20, 2010 at 1:46 am #

    There is no penalty if you qualify for one of the exemption categories, for example:
    (e) Exemptions- No penalty shall be imposed under subsection (a) with respect to–

  121. mika. April 20, 2010 at 1:47 am #

    Vlad, who are these “Jews” you speak of? How does a handful of “Jews” represent anything but a handful of Jews? Btw, you don’t sound Russian to me. Russians hate Muslims with a vengeance. To my ears you sound more like a Muhammed. I bet I’m not far off the mark. Same applies to “John66”. I bet there’s some Islamo-nazi taqqiyya going on here.

  122. wagelaborer April 20, 2010 at 1:57 am #

    I didn’t say it was in the legislation, Asoka.
    I saw him on a Youtube clip, hemming and hawing, but definitely leaving all things on the table, as they say about nuking Iran.
    This bill was a handout to insurance companies, Asoka. And a massive step toward total corporate enslavement. This is the first time that every American has been forced to buy a private product.
    How can you defend it?

  123. Eleuthero April 20, 2010 at 2:08 am #

    You have to understand that the “prime
    mover” of Asoka is “Obama as saviour”
    … primarily because he’s the same
    race as Asoka.
    Yes, the healthcare bill will be the
    beginning of a process where you will
    be taxed for BREATHING. Watch these
    guys pass a VAT TAX and then wriggle
    out of it by declaring some combo of
    “well, it isn’t an income tax”, “well,
    you can buy less stuff”, and “well,
    we’re desperate for revenue”.
    Asoka is DESPERATE for Obama to succeed
    but not for PURE motives but mostly
    because he’s black. Therefore, Asoka
    will tell a litany of half-truths and
    plausible deniabilities to make it
    appear that Obama walks on water along
    with his corrupt handmaidens like Larry
    Summers and execreble Tim Geithner.
    When one fights Asoka with FACTS, one is
    likely to get very pretty Orwellian slogans
    in return … which are lies or half truths
    … or one will simply be labelled a “racist”
    (they ALL play THAT card) if one has developed
    antipathies NOT based on prejudice but on
    The word “prejudice” means “pre-judging”.
    There’s no “pre” when one’s antipathies
    are based upon fifty years of demographic
    data AND direct life experience. “Post
    judging” is NOT PREjudice.

  124. mika. April 20, 2010 at 2:21 am #

    Fascism/corporatism/communism/socialism it’s all the same game. It’s the elite and the government mafia against the rest.

  125. observer April 20, 2010 at 2:26 am #

    I’m reviving the Fairness Doctrine right here and now:
    Obama Will Triumph — So Will America
    By Frank Schaeffer
    Before he’d been in office one year President Obama lost the support
    of the easily distracted left and engendered the white hot rage of
    the hate-filled right. But some of us, from all walks of life and
    ideological backgrounds — including this white, straight, 57-year-
    old, former religious right wing agitator, now progressive writer
    and (given my background as the son of a famous evangelical leader)
    this unlikely Obama supporter — are sticking with our President.
    Why? Because he’s shown he will succeed by slow, calm and steady…staying the course.
    We faithful Obama supporters still trust our initial impression of
    him as a great, good and uniquely qualified leader.
    Obama’s loyal supporters will be proven right. Obama’s critics
    will be remembered as easily panicked and prematurely discouraged
    at best and shriveled hate mongers at worst.
    The Context of the Obama Presidency:
    Not since the rise of fascism in Europe , the Second
    World War and the Depression has any president faced more
    adversity. Not since the Civil War has any president led a more
    bitterly divided country. Not since the introduction of racial
    integration has any president faced a more consistently short-
    sighted and willfully ignorant opposition — from both the right
    and left.
    As the President’s poll numbers have fallen so has his support from
    some on the left who hailed him as a Messiah not long ago;
    those lefty web sites and commentators that were falling over
    themselves on behalf of our first black president during the
    2008 election.
    The left’s lack of faith has become a self-fulfilling “prophecy”–
    snipe at the President and then watch the poll numbers fall and
    then pretend you didn’t have anything to do with it!
    Here is what Obama faced when he took office– none of which was
    his fault:
    # An ideologically divided country, to the point America is really two countries
    # Two wars; one mishandled from the start, the other unnecessary and immoral
    # The worst economic crisis since the depression
    # America ‘s standing in the world at its lowest point in history
    # A country misled into accepting the use of torture on prisoners of war
    # A health care system in free fall
    # An educational system in free fall
    # A global environmental crisis of history-altering proportions
    (about which the Bush/Cheney administration and Republicans had done
    # An impasse between culture warriors from the right and left
    # A huge financial deficit inherited from the terminally
    irresponsible Bush administration.
    And these were just some of the problems left for Obama to deal with
    when he came into office!
    “Help” from the Right?
    What did Republicans and the religious right, libertarians and
    half-baked conspiracy theorists (what Republicans
    were reduced to by the time Obama took office) do to “help” our
    new president (and our country) succeed? They claimed he
    wasn’t a real American, didn’t have an American birth certificate,
    wasn’t born here, was secretly a Muslim, was white-hating “racist”,
    was a secret communist, was the Anti-Christ, was the reincarnation
    of Hitler and wanted “death panels” to kill the elderly!
    They called for his assassination through the not-so-
    subtle use of signs held up at rallies and even a bumper
    sticker quoting Psalm 109:8. They organized “tea parties” to sound
    off against imagined insults and government in general. They
    gathered to howl at the moon. They were led by insurance industry
    lobbyists and deranged (but well-financed) “commentators” from
    Glenn Beck to Rush Limbaugh.
    Utterly discredited Roman Catholic bishops teamed up with
    utterly discredited evangelical leaders to denounce a president who
    was trying to improve conditions for the poor, the environment, to
    diminish the number of abortions through compassionate programs
    to help women and to care for the sick! But in Congress the Republican leadership knew only one word: “No!”
    In other words the reactionary white, uneducated, crazy far
    right, combined with educated neoconservative war mongers, religious
    right big business shills, libertarian Fed Reserve-hating gold bugs,
    gun-toting crazies, child-molesting acquiescent “bishops”, frontier loons
    and evangelical gay-hating flakes…they all found one thing to agree on
    and rally around: their desire to stop a Black man from succeeding
    at all costs!
    “Help” from the Left?
    What did the left do to help their newly elected president? Some of
    them blasted the President because they disagreed with the bad
    choices he was being forced to make regarding a war in Afghanistan .
    Choices he’d inherited from the worst president in U.S. history!
    Others stood up to proclaim the President’s economic policies
    “failed” before the President even instituted them! Others said
    since not all gay rights battles had not been won, they’d been
    “betrayed”! (Never mind Obama’s support of the gay community is
    stronger than any American President in history.
    Never mind that he signed new laws against hate crimes!)
    Those who stood weeping with beatific emotion on election night 2008
    turned into an angry mob, declaring their “disappointment” the world
    didn’t change the moment Obama took the oath of office!
    And the legion of young new voters was too busy texting to pay
    attention to how the media was making President Obama look like
    Hitler or Evil incarnate.
    The President’s critics, left and right, had one thing in common:
    impatience laced with no sense of history (let alone reality).
    Then of course there were the snide, white, know-it-all commentators
    and talking heads who just can’t imagine that maybe, just maybe they
    aren’t as smart as they thought they were and certainly not as smart
    as a Black President. He hadn’t consulted them so he must be wrong!
    The ideological ideas of Obama critics’ defined their idea of reality
    rather than reality defining their ideas. Meanwhile back in the reality-
    based community – in just 12 short months — President Obama scored
    victories that went unreported on the evening news:
    #Continued to wind down the misbegotten war in Iraq (But that wasn’t good enough for his critics)
    #Thoughtfully and decisively picked the best of several bad choices
    regarding the war in Afghanistan (But that wasn’t good enough for his critics)
    #Gave a major precedent-setting speech supporting gay rights
    (But that wasn’t good enough for his critics)
    #Restored America ‘s image around the globe (But that wasn’t good enough for his critics)
    #Banned torture of American prisoners (But that wasn’t good enough for his critics)
    #Stopped the free fall of the American economy (But that wasn’t good enough for his critics)
    #Put the USA squarely back in the bilateral international community
    (But that wasn’t good enough for his critics)
    #Put the USA squarely into the middle of the international effort
    to halt global warming (But that wasn’t good enough for his critics)
    #Stood up for educational reform (No, that wasn’t good enough for his critics)
    #Won a Nobel Peace Prize (Not even that was good enough for his critics, who lambasted him for the honor)
    #Moved the trial of terrorists back into the American judicial
    system of checks and balances (But that wasn’t good enough for his critics)
    #Did what he’d promised to do to start the slow, torturous and almost
    impossible process of health care reform that 7 presidents had
    failed to even touch (But that wasn’t good enough for his critics)
    #Responded to hatred from the right and left with measured good
    humor and patience (not good enough for his critics)
    #Stopped the free fall of job losses (Not even that was good enough for his critics)
    #Showed immense personal courage in the face of an armed,
    dangerous far right opposition that included people who showed up at
    public meetings carrying loaded weapons and carrying Timothy McVeigh-inspired signs about the “blood of tyrants” needing to “water the tree of liberty”. (That got no praise from his critics)
    #Showed that he could not only make tough military choices but
    explain and defend them brilliantly (Not even that was good enough for his critics)
    Are these what you would call “disappointing” accomplishments — IN ONE YEAR! I think not.
    Who has actually failed are Americans who can’t see the beginning of a miracle, right under their noses. Who failed are the ideologues of the
    left and right who began hoping this President would fail so they could be proven correct in their dire and morbid predictions.
    Who failed are the movers and shakers behind our obscenely dumb news cycles who have turned “news” into more stupid entertainment for an entertainment-besotted, gossip crazed society.
    But here’s the good news: President Obama is succeeding without the
    help of his “supporters” on the left and despite his hate-filled Republican detractors on the right!
    The Future Looks Good
    After Obama has served two full terms (and he will), after his
    wisdom in moving deliberately and cautiously with great subtlety on
    all fronts — with a uncanny and calculating eye to achieving success (and he will), after the economy is booming and new industries
    are burgeoning (and they will), after the naysayers are proved
    wrong: let the record show that not all Americans panicked and jumped
    ship at the first sign of a storm.
    Just because we didn’t get everything we wanted in the health care
    bill, and his first year in office…not all of us are giving up! Some of
    us are staying the course. And we will be proved right.

  126. Patrizia April 20, 2010 at 2:58 am #

    It’s interesting and instructive to read The New York Times’ lead story this morning, Top Goldman Leaders Said to Have Overseen Mortgage Unit.
    I bet they did, and I am not an economist.
    Why would have they bet on it?
    Usually when you bet on a horse you think it will win.
    It is the Mafia that KNOWS it will win.

  127. Jim from Watkins Glen April 20, 2010 at 6:57 am #

    Thanks for that one. The poets say it so much better.
    “He came dancing across the water
    with his galleons and guns
    looking for a new world
    and his palace in the sun”
    –Neil Young, Cortez the Killer

  128. Martin Hayes April 20, 2010 at 7:01 am #

    The historical record is full of atrocities committed by genocidal blood vultures. The Gulag system is a good example.
    Here is a partial list of genocidal blood vultures who helped set up and maintain the Gulag archipelago:
    Aron Solts
    Yakov Rappoport
    Lazar Kogan
    Matvei Berman
    Genrikh Yagoda
    Naftaly Frenkel

  129. SNAFU April 20, 2010 at 7:26 am #

    Well stated Observer

  130. mika. April 20, 2010 at 8:32 am #

    Right, the gulag archipelago. So you managed to fish out 6 names of supposedly “Jewish” persons that were members of the communist party. Good for you. And that for every “Jewish” name that you fished out, there were thousands and tens of thousand commui apparatchiks involved that did not have a “Jewish” name and that were not of Jewish decent, that doesn’t enter your equation. And that for every “Jewish” name you fished out, there were thousands and tens of thousands persons of Jewish decent that were victimized by the commi apparatchiks and were sent to the gulags or killed outright, that never bothers your selective racist bigoted mind.
    So whatever, Martin. Persons like yourself and your fellow nazi travelers are not human beings anymore, the only thing you are is just a disease.

  131. Martin Hayes April 20, 2010 at 8:42 am #

    Ha, ha, you took the bait. May I refer you to the comments of sfnate above? He expresses rather eloquently exactly how I feel about the failed species that is humanity. It’s all primate politics. Yours is no exception.

  132. mika. April 20, 2010 at 8:45 am #

    No, Martin. To you it’s all primate politics, to me it’s personal.

  133. Martin Hayes April 20, 2010 at 8:50 am #

    Well, get over your psychosis. It’s boring.

  134. mika. April 20, 2010 at 8:50 am #

    Fsck you, asswipe.

  135. Martin Hayes April 20, 2010 at 8:53 am #

    You lose.

  136. mika. April 20, 2010 at 9:12 am #

    Right. Coming from a Jew obsessed jihadi-nazi racist telling me to get over MY psychosis.

  137. Martin Hayes April 20, 2010 at 9:39 am #

    Heh, I’m sure you’re a nice guy, Mika, if I got to know you. I don’t care about the issue. Really. It’s all there, embedded in the historical record, if you care to look. There are no innocents. Stop being a big baby. Stop being a professional victim. Much as you would like gullible people who listen to you (are there any?) to believe your tiresome tribal tropes, there are fewer and fewer takers with every passing year. Surely it is obvious that Jews were at their best when they were surrounded by other Europeans, but now that they’re in Israel they have reverted to type and taken on all the characteristics of desert-roaming Muslim fanatics? What’s to choose between you and Hizbollah? Even your flag is an imposture: David didn’t use the sign, if David actually existed. Shlomo Sand, in his The Invention of the Jewish People uses archaeological evidence to show that, in David’s time, Jerusalem was little more than a hilltop fort. No empire here! And Solomon. Don’t get me started. And as for Jews in Israel actually being descended from the ancient peoples that once inhabited the land, oh please.
    I love how you put Jewish in quote marks when the Jewish identity of those doing the persecuting should be disguised, but you neglect to put Jewish in quotes when Jews are the supposed victims. I’d admire your chutzpah, if I admired chutzpah, which I don’t.

  138. mika. April 20, 2010 at 10:14 am #

    Your scheming lies, ignorant racist rants, and the casual way with which you regard ethnic genocide, really tells me all that I know. You’re a jihadi-nazi racist, shameless propagandist, and a psychopath. So trust me, if we ever met in person, Muhmud, I wouldn’t be much of a nice guy. Not towards you.

  139. Martin Hayes April 20, 2010 at 10:16 am #

    Oh relax, Mika. I’m just an ordinary schmuck. I grew up in Johannesburg, and I like Jews a lot. I think I would have died of intellectual starvation had it not been for the kind Jews who came to my rescue. Good in bed, too!

  140. The Mook April 20, 2010 at 10:28 am #

    “There’s a bailout coming but it’s not for me, it’s for all those creeps watching tickers on TV
    There’s a bailout coming but it’s not for you,
    it’s for all those creeps hiding what they do”
    Neil Young, “Fork in the Road” (2009)

  141. dale April 20, 2010 at 10:46 am #

    One thing you might want to consider….what does someone consumed with irrational hatred want? Perhaps, influencing others to hate like they do?
    It really doesn’t matter, to the likes of Vlad, if it’s him you hate…he figures he wins the more hatred there is out there. I know that is distorted way of thinking, but it shouldn’t be any surprise to you that anyone that fucked up thinks that way.
    The racists here deserve compassion, sympathy, pity….if that’s the best you can do…..but to take them seriously and respond in kind?…..that’s just playing their game. Silence is better.

  142. ozone April 20, 2010 at 10:59 am #

    Hey now!
    Subtitle of Joe Bageant’s latest screed: “You cannot man the barricades with a mouth full of Cheetos”.
    Check it out… screwed, blued, and tattooed, as well! Somebody pass the cheese-flavored, re-constituted, artificially-formed corn products, please.
    Perfect pitch.

  143. mika. April 20, 2010 at 11:27 am #

    Dale, on a theoretical level I would’ve agreed with you. Except that on a practical level, silence led to the holocaust. These blood vultures, these psychopaths and their genocidal imperialistic ideologies, need to be called out for their repulsive and repugnant nature. Silence is complicity. Especially with these characters.

  144. Qshtik April 20, 2010 at 11:33 am #

    “tiresome tribal tropes”
    Nice alliteration …
    If you (or others here) would like to know a lot about the history of Jerusalem may I recommend “Jerusalem, the Contested City” by F.E. Peters. It is a wonderful set of audio lectures.
    I developed a brief e-mail correspondence with Dr. Peters which began when I questioned him about his pronunciation of a particular word. My first sentence began “Pardon the pedantry” … and his responce began “I’m a professor, pedantry is my middle name.” I knew I was going to love this guy.

  145. Cash April 20, 2010 at 11:39 am #

    Or the Christian idea of original sin ie it’s in our nature to be shitty and it was there from the beginning. It takes a herculean effort at self control to not be an asshole but no one can do it. And we never learn.

  146. Cash April 20, 2010 at 11:46 am #

    Are you living in Israel?

  147. Cash April 20, 2010 at 12:04 pm #

    But we have done just about all the apologizing we can do – to everyone. – Vlad
    I agree that all the apologizing after a while is tiresome and annoying. I don’t think things should be swept under the rug but it’s not like there’s any nationality or ethnicity that hasn’t committed a share of atrocities. Sometimes I think if someone feels that bad do something to make amends even if it’s symbolic because you cannot rewrite history and then be a good fellow and STFU. The sooner people stop picking at a wound the sooner it heals.

  148. sfnate April 20, 2010 at 12:33 pm #

    It takes a herculean effort at self control to not be an asshole but no one can do it. And we never learn.
    I sometimes wonder whether these bothersome human behaviors, you know, like knocking people down and taking their bread and coins, are precisely the behaviors that have enabled us to build this towering inferno of a teetering high-rise culture. We’re all screaming from the windows, but we climbed those stairs ourselves, so what are we complaining about exactly? The architects of our mess were carefully selected through a process so precise that we’re still trying to figure out what it means, that these crooks and thieves always win, even after losing, because they come back like reincarnated zombies, souless but eternal, a plague of evil so advanced there is no cure except the dubious mental condition of the zen priest. Although I may seem absolutely abject with surrender, this is not really the case; I can see a solution, so simple it makes you want to weep for the beauty of it. Respect, compassion, common decency, even if you can’t manage to love your neighbor, just keep your ambition within the modest boundaries of your neatly tended yard and garden. That’s it. But there is always this urge to conquer the mediocrity of mere ordinariness, and the most ambitious among us take no pleasure in the taste of their food, or the feel of moist soil between their fingers, or the gentle warmth of the sun–they have left that all behind in favor of a Manifest Destiny of unending duration. All worlds are ours, all things belong to us. That is the engine of our evolution, and until an act of God or random accident changes us, the good and honest and decent will be pushed down and annihilated in the ongoing race to nowhere, for no reason, with no heart or compassion.

  149. DeeJones April 20, 2010 at 12:50 pm #

    Wage, lets agree that the so-called “health care” legislation was both: A very long distraction to keep the rubes eyes off of the privatization of the profits, and publicizing of the losses by Wall ST, and a huge gift to the Insurance companies, by forcing everyone to BUY thier policies.
    Two rip-offs in one! Such a deal!
    As an expat tho, I will not be forced to buy those polices. So nayh-nayh=nayh! Asoka

  150. asia April 20, 2010 at 1:40 pm #

    ‘but to take them seriously and respond in kind?…..that’s just playing their game. Silence is better. ‘
    i dont know where in the Bible its said ‘ like attracts like’
    now you and mika can have ‘ pity’ on yr imagined inferiors.
    ive never been to israel but an educated middle eastern [muslim?] woman i know says its [ her words] the most racist country on earth.
    having read ‘ the other side of israel’ i dont doubt the possiblity!

  151. welles April 20, 2010 at 1:45 pm #

    Make that two expats. I’m voting with my feet, I’ve already found my shangri-la & am kissing milquetoast nation goodbye. Enjoy the insanity.

  152. Qshtik April 20, 2010 at 1:51 pm #

    I’ve already found my shangri-la
    To what country are you moving?

  153. welles April 20, 2010 at 2:00 pm #

    It’s warm, inexpensive, has beautiful, incredibly friendly people, is at peace with the world, is wholly self-sufficient, has a phenomenal economy driven by savings (real wealth)…and the people aren’t FAT, BLOATED IGNORAMUSES who dress as if they’re modelling for a BUM catalogue.

  154. mika. April 20, 2010 at 2:03 pm #

    Really? The most racist country on earth? Even more racist than Saudia, Jordan, Egypt, Hammastan, Pakistan, Iraq, Sudan, etc, etc? And it never occurred to you that that Muslim woman might have an agenda? Cause it certainly occurred to me that you might have an agenda.

  155. diogen April 20, 2010 at 2:33 pm #

    Oh, no, so soon after NotMommy leaves, Mika walks in. Mika, if my only encounter with Jews was with the likes of you, I’d be with Vlad. You’re pathetic (and I almost never judge people harshly). Your derogatory allusions to Muslims clearly indicate you’re a bigot no different from the biggots who lump all jews in the same pot. Other than being a bigot, you’re also vapid and insipid (that means you’re boring and have nothing interesting to say). You’re a disgrace to your people, and you’re totally irritating, so please do us a favor and go away.

  156. Qshtik April 20, 2010 at 3:03 pm #

    It’s warm
    Obviously you have no intention of revealing the name of this country but that’s OK … the first two words of your description killed it for me. I hate warm. I can’t even tolerate NJ in the summer.

  157. diogen April 20, 2010 at 3:05 pm #

    Cash said “it’s in our nature to be shitty and it was there from the beginning.”
    No kidding. I’m reading “Genghis: Birth of an Empire” by Conn Iggulden, you can see Human Nature in all its naked depravity… every man for himself (and probably God against all as the old movie by that title said it).
    This isn’t surprising though, what’s surprising is that despite of it all and thru all the evolutionary advantages that being shitty gave individuals and their progeny, there also things in Human Nature such as generosity, kindness, love, trustworthiness, etc. These things didn’t give us a leg up on the competition, and yet they didn’t get bred out of the gene pool…

  158. mika. April 20, 2010 at 3:25 pm #

    Well,”diogen” aka “asia” aka “John66” aka “Martin Hayes”, if my only encounter with ungracious racist bigoted Americans was my encounter with jihadi-nazi shills like yourself, then I’d still mark it down as my encounter with individual jihadi-nazi shills. So you can take your “disgrace to your people” racist crap, and shove it back where the sun don’t shine. I have the day off today, so I’ll be here all day to shove your racist bigoted jihadi propagandized face into the dirt, where it belongs.

  159. lane April 20, 2010 at 4:16 pm #

    Garret Hardin said it well – To survive indefinitely in good shape a nation must take as its advisers people who can see farther than investment bankers.
    I think we are at the point where the “commons” are noticably being destroyed by the ones (greedy investment bankers, for example) who enabled, directly or indirectly, the excellerated exploitation of our worldwide resources. There is no self regulation by morality anymore. One rotten apple can ruin the whole barrel but when there’s a multitude of rotten apples (most of Wall Street and Washington, D.C.) well, not much of a future is left for anyone. The investment banker, through “legal loopholes” has nearly managed to crash the world economy this time. In my opinion, maybe it’d be good for us all if he’d had manged to crash it completely. We then could get on with learning how to survive through the darker days of the “Long Emergency” to come…Ultimately, if no person ever took more than what he or she needs (no more than what one can sustainably carry on his or her own back) AND didn’t reproduce more than replacing themselves or less, we’d have a sustainable earth to leave our grandchildren. The attrition rate that will be caused by peak oil will be our school of hard “knocks” and, unfortunately, bring world population under control (either that or we’ll find another planet in our galaxy to migrate our excess populations, not likely). Hopefully, our species will survive beyond it all and our current high consumptive, unsustainable lifestyles which are, like it or not, based strongly on the investment banker mentality will be commonly understood as a moral “no no” in the future. Kind of like stealing is now…oh wait, let me rephrase that…

  160. Vlad Krandz April 20, 2010 at 4:36 pm #

    Cash, they aren’t going to stop – any of them. Not the Blacks, not the Hispanics, and not the Jews. The Gypsies do it too – they have a whole corpus of songs about how they have been rejected by all Peoples and perhaps even God. Don’t you see? It’s their myth and it empowers them – and keeps them separate and hence a people. This is very important if you are wanderers like the Jews and the Gypsies. The Gypsies are usually nominal Christians and could have settled down centuries ago – they didn’t want too. A point for me against you.
    The Jews tutored both the Blacks and the Hispanics in grievance politics. In this, they have both proved apt pupils.
    I know that many Jews are assimilating, and that the inner core of Judaism, both Secular and Orthodox, are utterly freaked out by this. They are resisting and remember, just as many are moving out of Judaism, many are moving back into it. Why would it matter? Because many hate us as Mika clearly shows. And the old hatreds enshrined in the Talmud have transfered over to the Secular Elite. And example: Ariel Sharon said, a Jew can judge any man but no man can judge a Jew. This is pure Talmud: only the Jews are really human and thus an animal can judge a man ie a Jew. Now was Ariel Sharon Orthodox or even Conservative? No he was a Socialist Atheist or Agnostic. The old prejudices made the jump into the secular for a certain class of “Westernized” Jews.
    Some Jews really are Westernized – they don’t believe we are animals. But they have a big ego too – typically they believe themselves to be the most enlightened group on Earth and see their mission as leading humanity into a New Age. Yet at the same time they refuse to even slightly criticize their backwards Tribesmen. As the old saying goes, blood is thicker than water.
    The Gypsies have settled down now for the most part – welfare beats caravans. They are breeding like Muslims and are a severe strain on certain Eastern European Countries. Add to that their high level of scams and crimes and you have a nightmare situation that cannot continue indefinitely.

  161. Vlad Krandz April 20, 2010 at 4:37 pm #

    Easily the worst “poem” I have ever seen. If I didn’t know Observer, I’d think this was some kind of joke by someone who hated Obama.

  162. Vlad Krandz April 20, 2010 at 4:47 pm #

    The Jews were prominent in the Movement to destroy South Africa. After they suceeded, the bulk of them left – another White Country destoyed. They knew enough not to stick around to experience Black Gratitude. They have equal loyalty to America and will have their bags packed ahead of time. A few will stay out of weakness or sentimentality. And a few really love our Country though I’m sure their conception of it is very alien to me.

  163. Qshtik April 20, 2010 at 4:48 pm #

    if he’d had manged
    In my role as unofficial nit-picker here at CFN I hereby advise you that not only are double negatives frowned upon (reference, for example, my note to John66 at 9:46PM yesterday) but so too is the double had. And BTW, one does not mang; they manage.

  164. Qshtik April 20, 2010 at 5:15 pm #

    the worst “poem” I have ever seen
    Vlad, I don’t think Observer’s post was intended as poetry but rather as peak electrons. Lord knows after that dirigible of verbiage was submitted the universe was left with less than half its electrons for use by future commenters.

  165. mika. April 20, 2010 at 5:32 pm #

    Question for you, Vladik: Why are you not in Chechnya helping your white Russian kin there?
    You speak of poetry, are you a poet? Your hands too delicate to get dirty? Are you afraid of the Chechenskiye musulmani? Jews don’t blow up subway stations and kindergartens/schools, so it doesn’t take much to muster up courage in bad mouthing them. Is that it?
    Or maybe, Vladik, as I strongly suspect, you’re really a Muslim jihadi-nazi propagandist, trying to pass yourself as a Russ. Gavori bravdu, sinok. Ya fso znayu e fso panimayu.

  166. mika. April 20, 2010 at 5:39 pm #

    Btw, Vladik, it’s not “the Jews”, it’s da Jooooowz. All ten or twenty of them.

  167. Hancock1863 April 20, 2010 at 5:49 pm #

    That was extremely well said, sfnate. All of it.
    What is the answer? That there is no answer.
    I am a longtime reader of CFN, but seldom post. So many here are looking at the edges of the problem, like the old fable about ants looking at different parts of the elephant and each getting it’s own vision:
    “The elephant is long and thin, like a snake,” says the ant standing on the trunk.
    “No, and elephant is round and armored at the bottom with giant plates,” said the ant walking across the elephant’s foot.
    And so forth.
    But ultimately, the biggest of the big pictures of human truth is, as you say, the unending and constantly recurring battle of the sociopaths (and the many weak-minded followers they drag along with their certainty, charisma, simpleminded ideas, and occasionally a multi-trillion bought-and-paid-for Corporate Media or two) to dominate, control, loot and own the other 99% of us.
    As you say, they can’t be kept down – they even win even when they lose and now technology has magnified their power on so many levels, they literally CAN create their own realities, using the principles of PR, marketing and propaganda (thanks, Ed Bernays) combined with the nuclear bomb of delivery systems, a nation so fully media-saturated that it can generate a seamless hologram of self-referential bullsh&t that is almost impossible to resist.
    I stand in awe of it even as I watch it grow in power, snowballing viciously of late.
    In the end it comes down to this: half of humaniy’s sociopaths are in prison, because they weren’t born into money or never learned to control their impulses.
    The other half run large portions of, if not all, the world. All races, colors and creed live under this system, which has yielded only briefly and bitterly the very least it could while prepping itself for the next go-round. Yep, that’s our monkey politics for the last 8000 years, with some noticeable and VERY brief (relative to history) exceptions.

  168. welles April 20, 2010 at 6:22 pm #

    Everyone please stop bashing monkeys.

  169. mika. April 20, 2010 at 6:26 pm #

    Excellent post, Hancock1863.
    If you’re not familiar with Catherine Austin Fitts, you should be. Catherine has some very sensible and practical solutions to our problem(s). She understands the problem very well — she understands economics, politics, geopolitics, and how it all intertwines. (It’s unfortunate I got sidetracked by some of the psychopaths on this board. I think they’re gone now. I hope).

  170. asia April 20, 2010 at 8:18 pm #

    Meanwhile Obama trys to shore up the dems…but boxers shelf life has expired.
    heckled by the left, no less!!!
    “Obama then sought to return to the event’s main theme: Boxer’s re-election. Sen. Boxer “didn’t even vote for ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ in the first place,” the president noted. “So you know she’s going to be in favor of repealing ‘don’t ask, don’t tell.’ ”
    Boxer’s re-election? unlikely.
    anyone have any insights into the volcano?

  171. asia April 20, 2010 at 8:21 pm #

    ‘why does no one speculate about the dark criminal heart of Christianity’
    HUH? the neocons? Once someone told me that 666 in bk of revelations was the catholic church!
    guess she was speculating.

  172. asia April 20, 2010 at 8:24 pm #

    equal loyalty to America and will have their bags packed ahead of time,,
    where the f are they gonna go? the middle east is 200? million muslims breeding like rats and jews outnumbered in israel…yes.
    where they gonna go?
    china? red chinese killed 70? million of their own. they have their own holocaust to haunt them.

  173. asia April 20, 2010 at 8:26 pm #

    hes yet to reveal much about himself….js/vlad..
    whats yr facebook?
    if you dont have get one and let us see yr graven image.

  174. asia April 20, 2010 at 8:27 pm #

    The Jews have been thrown out of virtually every European Country at one time or another
    ireland? iceland? the vatican?

  175. asia April 20, 2010 at 8:29 pm #

    Stopped the free fall of the American economy ..
    o please…you sound like last weeks edition of NEWSWEEK…’ AMERICAS BACK’

  176. asia April 20, 2010 at 8:30 pm #

    sorry we sidetracked you o wise one..were still here o mika the wise

  177. asia April 20, 2010 at 8:32 pm #

    How dry is yr part of georgia? do any of the colleges have classes in organic agriculture?

  178. asia April 20, 2010 at 8:34 pm #

    ok thats 3 things
    4..get a ‘certificate [30k in some places]…then
    [get this]
    say in autocad…work for free but have a tech skill to offer yr ’employer’.

  179. asia April 20, 2010 at 8:37 pm #

    what were you writing last week about Asoka? why do you think he has ‘ advanced degrees’ and ‘superior intelligence’?

  180. asia April 20, 2010 at 8:39 pm #

    so I’ll be here all day to shove your racist bigoted jihadi propagandized face into the dirt, where it belongs.
    o please…what did i say that inflamed you so?

  181. diogen April 20, 2010 at 9:11 pm #

    >what did i say that inflamed you so?
    It makes no difference what you say. Mika is clearly a little crazy, don’t take him seriously. Maybe he was bitten by a rabid animal… but more likely he’s just a racist and a bigot and a raving maniac who imagines himself an intellectual.

  182. asoka April 20, 2010 at 9:13 pm #

    asia said: “what were you writing last week about Asoka? why do you think he has ‘ advanced degrees’ and ‘superior intelligence’?”
    asia, I have advanced degrees, but please do not confuse years of “education” with “superior intelligence”. My people may not have advanced degrees, but they are by nature intelligent people.

  183. mika. April 20, 2010 at 9:53 pm #

    Your sense of humor is that of a prepubescent child, Muhmud. Playing whac-a-mole with your multiple avatar personalities is not much of an intellectual challenge, nor is it really that amusing. The game is up, Muhmud.
    So,”diogen” aka “asia” aka “John66” aka “Martin Hayes”, you can take your jihadi-nazi shilling multi-personality freak show elsewhere. You’re not fooling anyone here but yourself.

  184. welles April 20, 2010 at 9:57 pm #

    Flash from http://www.goldseek.com “…the American Association for Petroleum Geologists estimate a total resource of 510 trillion cubic feet (enough to power 27 European countries for over 30 years) of unconventional gas [shale gas] for Western Europe…” …ALL of it untapped at present.
    Let’s see…Brazil just discovered 50 billion barrels of oil, about 12 years’ use in the Untied States…the US doubles its usable natural gas reserves in five years…now Europe has enough natural gas to power itself for more than 3 decades…
    Think JHK needs to reset his Peak Oil Doomsday Clock, anyway wake me up when “Apocalypse Never” arrives, looks like it’ll pull into town just after the Rapture.

  185. sfnate April 20, 2010 at 9:59 pm #

    What is the answer? That there is no answer.
    ‘Nothing new under the sun’ was a tired expression even before it appeared in Ecclesiastes.
    Terence McKenna (rest his soul) noticed while in the grip of an obsessive interest in the I Ching, that recorded history seems to resemble a fractal-like repetition of patterns, if you plot the vagaries of our cultural development that is, so that certain epochs appear to have deep resonance with each other, suggesting, to McKenna, that whatever churns the miasmic soup of our evolution, it is so deeply synchronistic that it acts like some kind of strange attractor pulling us into the same fates and outcomes that the many billions before us had to endure.
    So now we must inherit the fate of Rome, it seems, but not as an aging empire of several hundred years, but one barely in its infancy. Which makes sense, I suppose, because everything is faster these days, even catastrophic failures.
    Maybe if you unspooled our DNA and played it like a cassette tape, the music you would hear would reveal or suggest these repeating motifs.
    And why not? Something is leading us forward like the Pied Piper–maybe it’s the pulsing rhythm in our sclerotic veins.
    Whatever it is, it motivates and sustains this Danse Macabre, the choreographed funeral procession to the boneyard at the very edge of this and every other era.
    I know that there’s a real seduction in the daily news: anything naked and more of it seems to be the working man’s flaccid response to his own impotence. But there is nothing that will arouse the interest of a dying man like the rumors of his own death; suddenly he will find a religion he can believe in, which is the everlasting cult of morbid self-interest, with the sweet promise of a hundred virgins leading him to the suicide destination called Hope. But hope for what? A better fate than those we helped abuse while dispassionately clicking through the gruesome details of their alien apocalypse? Why should we expect a hospice filled with light and love and companionship? We shouldn’t, but we can hope. And hope is what we have been offered, tossed off the back of a large white truck, the last possible rations at the end of this fevered dream.
    Wherever we wake up, it will all begin again in the gentle amnesiac rocking of our cultural crib.

  186. mika. April 20, 2010 at 10:25 pm #

    “So now we must inherit the fate of Rome, it seems..”
    Psychologically all empires are a symptom of death. It’s just a question of going thru the motions before the final moment. Only the nation state survives. If you didn’t model yourselves after an empire, perhaps you’d have a chance to survive. Perhaps that is why the Jihadi imperialists and imperialists generally throughout history have had this Israel hating psychosis. They all knew and sensed that they were already dead and it was just envy and malice playing itself out.

  187. CaptSpaulding April 20, 2010 at 11:02 pm #

    Pretty weird comments this week. Can we please pick on somebody besides the Jews? That’s been done so often it’s getting old, and besides how are you gonna improve on the Germans? They were so organized and efficient. Whatever stereotype we pick on this time, it’s gonna take some real imagination to fuck ’em better than Hitler did the Jews. God only knows that we have to pin this on some group (might I suggest the Mexicans?), it’s just a thought. What I’d really like to know is what color are the shirts gonna be this time? I know some Jews in the clothing business & I’m betting I could clean up big time if I stocked up on the right uniforms. Maybe even start hanging out with the big guys up in DC.

  188. SNAFU April 21, 2010 at 12:10 am #

    “Brazil just discovered 50 billion barrels of oil, about 12 years’ use in the Untied States”
    WOW the USA just reduced it’s daily oil consumption by more than half (50*10^9/365/12=11.42*10^6 barrels/day) and no great ballyhoo has been made of it? How could this astounding event have been glossed over by the media?

  189. asia April 21, 2010 at 12:16 am #

    remember friend its a MOVING TARGET…ie..every 12 years theres a BILLION MORE PEOPLE needing goods.
    even at china/indias lowest class level of need.
    and the biosphere is in deep trouble. look at iceland..now seismologists[?] are concerned of a bigger volcanic eruption.
    and what about snafus post above this one?

  190. asia April 21, 2010 at 12:18 am #

    ‘You’re not fooling anyone here but yourself.
    jihadi-nazi shilling multi-personality freak show elsewhere……………..’
    its also been noted the mentally ill project alot!
    sorry folks i had to re commit that to print here!

  191. asia April 21, 2010 at 12:22 am #

    ‘So whatever, Martin. Persons like yourself and your fellow nazi travelers are not human beings anymore’
    this too i think is classic

  192. asoka April 21, 2010 at 12:42 am #

    The USA uses about 21 million barrels a day.
    12 billion divided by 21 million would last the USA for 547 days… right about the time the Mayan calendar says it’s all over.
    We are in the end days… so choose carefully what you want to be doing this coming two years or so.
    Complete economic collapse, civil war, no internet, and mass extinction in the USA is inevitable… in about four Friedman units… or maybe not.

  193. asoka April 21, 2010 at 1:05 am #


    SEATTLE (AP) — Blockbuster iPhone sales helped Apple Inc. blow past Wall Street’s expectations with a 90 percent leap in net income for the most recent quarter. Shares of the company skyrocketed to an all-time high in extended trading Tuesday. Apple said it sold a record 8.8 million of its popular iPhone smart phones in the three months that ended March 27, more than double the number sold a year ago.

  194. Vlad Krandz April 21, 2010 at 2:28 am #

    Ethnicity is irrelevant? That’s funny given what we got out of you later! If it’s irrelevant, why do you people persecute the Falashas, the Black Jews? Their Judaism is pure, right from King Solomon himself. And luckily for them, they were never exposed to the later, poisonous teachings the Talmud. You should sit at their Black feet and learn something about your own heritage.

  195. Vlad Krandz April 21, 2010 at 2:42 am #

    You are what’s wrong with this country Dale – you and people like you. Do you know why Angels can fly? Because they don’t take themselves seriously. But you Dale, do. So seriously that you will not only not fly but rather sink like stone in the Ocean of Existence. Self Righteousness, arrogance, vanity, and ignorance all vie within you each moment for preeminence.
    It happens too quickly for you to catch: you’ll have a perfectly fine thought and/or feeling, and immediately one of the above four will attach itself thus ruining it. You do it constantly, virtually every mind moment. But it happens to quickly and subtley for you to notice. Your only hope is full time monastic retreat for at least five years. Yet like most American Buddhists, you think that Monasticism is just one option, and not the best. But this is just more of your poor judgement. Monasticism is at the core of Buddhist Practice. Yes there have been enlightened laymen – typically they have spent alot of time meditating with the monks and have had a teacher who was a monk.

  196. Vlad Krandz April 21, 2010 at 2:50 am #

    Peak electrons. Ah – Ha! You’re right – no poem, just bad margins. But couldn’t that be the definition of much bad poetry? Often its just the lawnmower approach but in this case, more of a diahrea type run on.
    I am feeling kind of peaked. She did take alot out of the atmosphere. I’m going to sit under my ion generator now.

  197. lane April 21, 2010 at 3:08 am #

    Cool! Thanks for the editing! I was in a hurry this morning. Composting my own feces sometimes adds to the daily chores. 😉
    Thanks again!

  198. Martin Hayes April 21, 2010 at 6:40 am #

    Everyone please stop bashing monkeys.
    One more time, but no more. I promise. sfnate mentioned Terence McKenna. McKenna related that the mushroom told him: “This planet was a great place until the monkeys got out of control.”
    I got the same message from the mushroom, and was also granted a vision of the many eyed, many tentacled octopus that rules and devours this world.

  199. Martin Hayes April 21, 2010 at 6:49 am #

    Quite so, Asoka. Human beings are by definition intelligent.

  200. Martin Hayes April 21, 2010 at 6:54 am #

    Vlad, a small correction. The “bulk” of Jews have not left South Africa. An estimated one-third has left. Recently there has been a noticeable uptick in Jews applying to emigrate, but that is true across the board, including educated blacks and Indians.

  201. John H April 21, 2010 at 7:53 am #

    Absolutely, Jim. A has-been thespian (with all due respect) saw this coming in 2002 or so. And yet most financiers and politicians give us the “no-one saw this coming” line. Give us a break!

  202. diogen April 21, 2010 at 8:45 am #

    >Ethnicity is irrelevant?
    Vlad, could it be that your obsession with ethnicity and racial allegiance is an unusually strong atavistic form of tribal consciousness? It’s in all of us to some degree, the tribal period of history was much longer than the brief nation-state period, and the fear of being outside of a tribe is deep within our psyche, being expelled from a tribe meant not only losing the protection of the tribe, it also meant losing one’s identity. Among Mongol/Tartar tribes killing people who had no tribal affiliation was not even considered murder, perhaps they were not even viewed as fully human.
    One idea for you to ponder: it seems that the tribes that were more likely to prosper and prevail over other tribes in non-stop tribal warfare were multy-ethnic tribes who forged alliances with others. Like it or not, we’re a multi-ethnic tribe now in modern United States. Could you see your fellow Americans of other ethnicities and races who share most of your cultural customs and aspirations as your tribal brothers and sisters? Yes, some of our fellow Americans don’t share our mainstream American culture, but I see that across racial and ethnic lines. Anyway, just a thought for you. I think it bodes ill for us that there’s so much polarization, suspicion, resentment, mistrust among us. Face it Vlad: Dale, Asoka, Tripp, Wage, Laura, me and others are your tribal brothers and sisters, and you’re weakening the tribe by wanting to expell us from the tribe 🙂

  203. diogen April 21, 2010 at 9:20 am #

    >Can we please pick on somebody besides the Jews?
    We’re not picking on the Jews, we’re picking on Mika because he’s a bigot and a racist. And he has no sense of humor.

  204. diogen April 21, 2010 at 9:42 am #

    >Quite so, Asoka. Human beings are by definition >intelligent.
    Martin, Mika is lurking out there as a living rebuttal of your assessment. He reminds me of NotMommy…

  205. dale April 21, 2010 at 9:45 am #

    In the days when they had a national party and were marching around with torches, then was the time to take them seriously. Now?….they are a handful of anachronistic cranks polluting the blogosphere.
    No one knows better than they, that they are the last of their kind, at least in any meaningful numbers. Racism is dead and the losers that promote it as an excuse for their own shortcomings have become as transparent as they deserve. Hiding behind false names on the internet in the only place left where they are anything more than a bad joke. The more you feed them hate the stronger they will be.

  206. trippticket April 21, 2010 at 9:46 am #

    That was a wonderful McKenna-esque rant! But if I could tweak its fractal spiraling just a bit I might suggest that, following global energy peak, the repeating patterns will most likely get longer again. The exact pattern is of course hard to predict – whether it’ll be like a reset to the beginning, as many here imagine, followed by shorter and shorter cannons as we “progress” once again toward some brutal reality check in the distant future. Or whether the cycles will slowly lengthen as we return to our appropriate place in our ecosystem once again.
    But I think longer, slower cycles of one form or another are definitely the order of business for coming generations. And good riddance to the breakneck pace…

  207. trippticket April 21, 2010 at 10:00 am #

    A good place to read about more possibilities for the future is in permaculture co-originator, David Holmgren’s, book “Future Scenarios”. The guy’s an absolute genius.

  208. dale April 21, 2010 at 10:02 am #

    A LOT of people “saw it coming”, and with a lot more precision than JHK. With Jim, it was all about oil, (or Y2K, remember that one?) and the decline was suppose to happen much more precipitously and some time (many times) over the last 10 years or so. JHK is more like the clock that is right twice a day, economic declines do happen afterall, so as long as he kept making the same prediction he had to be right, at least partially, at some point in time.
    Every trade has two sides, and no matter what possible outcome you can dream up, someone is betting money on it. Unfortunately, most of these longshots are oneoff affairs and the soosayers who predicted them are no more likely to be right on the next turn than anyone else.
    All empires fall, all economic powers decline, predicting that will happen “some day” is not predicting anything, it’s restating a law of nature.

  209. trippticket April 21, 2010 at 10:06 am #

    Not at all dry in my part of Georgia – long, hot, humid growing season. It will be a challenge to adapt quickly from the short, dry summers with cool nights in eastern Washington. Not sure how my olives will do. Or my grapes. But I’m just not a big muscadine fan…
    Organic agriculture is taught in most of the universities in Georgia. Believe it or not I have a new friend here who is also named Tripp who took some courses along those lines at Georgia Southern in his Masters program. He was the one to invite us to the permaculture gathering last weekend.

  210. diogen April 21, 2010 at 10:07 am #

    Trip, saw your blog, love the photos of the gardens. The Dream is taking shape, eh? We’re expanding our garden this year, got a community garden plot for our tuber patch (potatoes and yams). Good luck with the new life in the new place.

  211. diogen April 21, 2010 at 10:16 am #

    >anachronistic cranks polluting the blogosphere
    Dale, Mika and his kind are the same “anachronistic cranks polluting the blogosphere”. Have you noticed how he uses the name “Muhmud” as a pejorative term? Although I’m not a Muslim, I’m offended by his bigotry…

  212. SNAFU April 21, 2010 at 11:16 am #

    “12 billion divided by 21 million would last the USA for 547 days…”
    Asoka, Welles stated that a 50*10^9 barrel of oil find in Brazil would last the US 12 years no mention of 12*10^9 barrels of oil. You might wish to check the batteries in your calculator as my handy dandy cheep sun powered Casio tells me that 12*10^9/21*10^6=571 days not 547 days. My initial calculation (50*10^9/365/12=11.42*10^6 barrels/day) was to demonstrate the US would have to cut it’s oil consumption to about 11.4 million barrels/day for 50 billion barrels to last it 12 years.

  213. Cash April 21, 2010 at 11:57 am #

    Could you see your fellow Americans of other ethnicities and races who share most of your cultural customs and aspirations as your tribal brothers and sisters? – Dio
    Man oh man, you’re onto something, tribalism deeply ingrained in our DNA and neurology. When Vlad rants about race and I rant about culture it’s the age old instinct to form a group that’s manifesting itself.
    We know in our bones that our odds of survival are better as a team than as individuals. That’s why I can’t abide multiculturalism. To me it corrodes the unity of the national “tribe” by fostering the formation of contending/competing subnational “tribes” within it.
    I don’t want to speak for Vlad but I think he sees racial mixing as the acid that corrodes the unity of the tribe that he sees ie the “white” tribe, not to mention it’s biological vitality.
    What about it Vlad? What about Dio’s idea of a tribe of customs and aspirations. If racial “unmixing” is not a viable option in N. America wouldn’t that be a great second option? A tribe based on the customs/ideas/traditions/heritage/religion of the West?
    The only thing though is this business of “multi-ethnic”. I think that as long as people within a national “tribe” see multiple ethnicities there is the very great risk of inter-ethnic conflict. I think to succeed long term, this tribe of customs and aspirations have to see each other as kin, the rationale being that people don’t usually kill their own kin. Intermarriage is the key I think. I know Vlad wouldn’t agree with that part.
    What about it Vlad, is Dio onto something or what?

  214. Qshtik April 21, 2010 at 12:13 pm #

    Here’s a juicy hunk of raw meat for ya’ll to chew on re the Nov ’08 presidential election.
    Professor Joseph Olson of Hamline University School of Law, St. Paul, Minnesota, points out some interesting facts concerning the November 2008 Presidential election:
    • Number of States won by: Obama: 19 McCain: 29
    • Square miles of land won by: Obama: 580,000 McCain: 2,427,000
    Population of counties won by: Obama: 127 million McCain: 143 million
    Murder rate per 100,000 residents in counties won by: Obama: 13.2 McCain: 2.1
    Professor Olson adds: “In aggregate, the map of the territory McCain won was mostly the land owned by the taxpaying citizens of the country.
    Obama territory mostly encompassed those citizens living in low income tenements and living off various forms of government welfare…”
    Olson believes the United States is now somewhere between the “complacency and apathy” phase of Professor Tyler’s definition of democracy, with some forty percent of the nation’s population already having reached the “governmental dependency” phase.
    If Congress grants amnesty and citizenship to twenty million criminal invaders called illegals and they vote, then we can say goodbye to the USA in fewer than five years.

  215. diogen April 21, 2010 at 12:25 pm #

    >there is the very great risk of inter-ethnic >conflict.
    Yes, this is true, but there’s also a risk of class conflict, regional conflict (water rights for example), urban/rural conflict, etc. If one is inclined to focus on what divides us, there’s no end: from family dynamics, neighbor grievances, religion, education, class, regionalism (damn Yankees :), ideology, politics, to race and ethnicity. But I know a lot of white people who feel more comfortable with those of the same class/values even if they are black, than with their white bretherns from, for example, the hollows of Kentucky or W. Virginia or the woods of Arkansas (don’t get me wrong — I have nothing but respect, as appropriate, for all these folks, no judgement intended here). Vlad calls such folks “race traitors”, but I see great value for us as a society to seek out and focus on what’s our shared values and goals, especially in view of the upcoming harder and harsher times.
    Multiculturalism was a flawed idea from the start, just another way to divide us. Assimilation is much wiser for the harmony and strength of our society (Vlad, before you get upset — I mean for the newcomers to be assimilated into our N. American traditions).

  216. welles April 21, 2010 at 12:36 pm #

    Geez, lay off on the math corrections willzya? So we only got 50 billion more barrels, plus doubled natural gas reserves, PLUS Europe now has enough untapped natural gas to power itself for 30+ years…the monkeys are doing *something* right.
    Peace to all who correct my math, next time I’ll actually do the calculations beforehand (must’ve been those pesky Jeeewwwws).

  217. sfnate April 21, 2010 at 12:40 pm #

    Here’s a juicy hunk of raw meat for ya’ll to chew on re the Nov ’08 presidential election.
    Of course, what’s missing from this analysis is the fact that even in counties where Obama lost, there were, it’s obvious to see, people who voted for him. In fact, most counties, if you represented the data visually as a spectrum from blue to red, with varying shades of purple in between to indicate anything less than a 100% result for the victor, most counties would appear as a shade of deep purple.
    This isn’t a red or blue country, it’s purple, but I concede that there are little cultural fortresses all over the place, of strong red or blue tendencies, where the local rulers are able to keep the serfs in line with a strong xenophobic message, or promises they seldom deliver on.

  218. Cash April 21, 2010 at 12:52 pm #

    I always saw the election as a really skinny win for Obama ie popular vote: 53% to 46%. No landslide. I know it’s not strictly one man one vote but rather on the electoral college. But still.
    Can you imagine the results if the economy hadn’t gone in the crapper when it did ie if it went in the crapper a year later? What’s the take on it, would it have been a McCain/Palin regime? I have no skin in the game, I’m asking as a foreign observer.

  219. joomlabliss April 21, 2010 at 12:57 pm #

    You can tell JHK has finished working on his book, eh? The posts are getting more interesting.
    I am quite surprised people are cranky at JHK for voting for Obama. Who would you vote for at the time? It is natural to select the lesser evil… However, we might have gotten fooled. Obama’s coming to power fooled a lot of people and gave false hopes, thus delaying the much needed social unrest.
    btw, halitosis is caused by persistent high acidity in the system. Get your diet to be composed of 3/4 alkaline foods and your halitosis will go away within a couple of weeks.

  220. diogen April 21, 2010 at 1:00 pm #

    For a lot of people, Obama was a protest vote against Palin, and for other McCain/Palin was a protest vote against Obama.

  221. sfnate April 21, 2010 at 1:02 pm #

    If Congress grants amnesty and citizenship to twenty million criminal invaders called illegals and they vote, then we can say goodbye to the USA in fewer than five years.
    Every established ethnic group makes this claim, whenever they begin to feel threatened by the encroachment of cultures or values or ideas that are alien to their own. Sometimes it’s simple prejudice of course. But if you were to read the papers from a hundred or so years ago, similar angry assertions would have been made against the Italians, or Irish, or whomever was coming down the plank looking for a better life.

  222. diogen April 21, 2010 at 1:19 pm #

    >Obama’s coming to power fooled a lot of people >and gave false hopes
    I voted for Obama because the choice of Palin was a slap on the face and an insult. I would’ve gladly voted for McCaine or any Republicrat who 1. Promised to quickly end both wasteful dead-end wars, and 2. Chose anyone BUT Palin. Palin was the deal-breaker for me. What a mis-calculation, Mr. McCaine.

  223. Qshtik April 21, 2010 at 1:20 pm #

    Get your diet to be composed of 3/4 alkaline foods and your halitosis will go away within a couple of weeks.
    EIGHTM has been lying low the past several days but I’m certain when he reappears he’ll tell us halitosis and all the other ills of the world can be cured by SIMPLE BUSSES.
    If I had known about your cure for halitosis I would have left an anonymous message on the desk of a woman I used to work with … her breath could knock a buzzard off a shit pile.

  224. Qshtik April 21, 2010 at 1:37 pm #

    Palin was the deal-breaker for me.
    As pretty as she is, I could NEVER vote for someone who can’t string together a coherent sentence.

  225. Qshtik April 21, 2010 at 1:43 pm #

    Every established ethnic group makes this claim
    I think it is the massive numbers and the illegality of their presence that makes the current wave of immigration so galling.

  226. Martin Hayes April 21, 2010 at 1:51 pm #

    Holy moly, those are some statistics, Qshtik. Good job the US is a republic and not a democracy.

  227. diogen April 21, 2010 at 1:54 pm #

    >massive numbers and the illegality
    That, plus the fact that most of them have very little interest/intent in assimilation. Yes, I know the argument is the next generation will assimilate, but the massive numbers have created a parallel culture here in which future generations can flourish without assimilating into the “anglo” culture. At the risk of sounding like Vlad, I’m very concerned about the Hispanic culture, including political culture of Latin America, overwhelimng quintessentially “American” culture…

  228. sfnate April 21, 2010 at 1:54 pm #

    I am quite surprised people are cranky at JHK for voting for Obama. Who would you vote for at the time?
    I’m not surprised that people are cranky. Just in general. JHK is taking some heat, but so is everybody else, at work, in the boardroom, at school–it’s a rising tide of irritability, and pretty soon our noses will be inhaling a suffocating mixture of acid scorn and bilious hate.
    Back before the election, I fired off a couple of emails to Jim complaining about Obama, he’s the same old story, he’ll let us down, blah blah blah, and Jim very rightly replied that we all need to calm down and give the guy a chance, he hasn’t even warmed the White House bed yet, relax and let’s see where this ride will take us.
    Well, I take absolutely no pleasure in saying Told you so, because the ending is still in doubt, although the every indicator in the narrative seems to point to the usual suspects doing what the usual suspects generally do in these stories: they behave badly for awhile, then get themselves contorted into all kinds of bizarre shapes explaining their incompetence or greed as a misunderstanding compounded by mis-placed values confused by mistaken identify. Then the limo door slams shut and they drive away to the next gig, where the sequel begins.
    Jim is certainly not naive–I think his early optimism had more to do with pragmatism than anything else. In other words, if this is what we have to work with, let’s try to do as good a job as we can, without complaining that the boots pinch our ankles, or the ditches are full of dirt, or the hammer bit our thumbs. At some point you just have to set your idealism in an easy chair near the window, where it can patiently wait for its master to come home after a day in the mines.
    Obama is many things to many people, but Jim can hardly be blamed for that.

  229. Qshtik April 21, 2010 at 2:24 pm #

    Holy moly, those are some statistics
    The stat I find the most “interesting” is the murder rate.

  230. asia April 21, 2010 at 2:59 pm #

    i believe his first post ever here was yday,,,,he became a bore on day one!

  231. asia April 21, 2010 at 3:02 pm #

    when i saw JK title this week i thought he was referring to the deceased Johnny R!!!
    a friend went into a store in commerce? [LA]..none of the workers , he claimed, spoke english!
    If Congress grants amnesty and citizenship to twenty million criminal invaders called illegals and they vote, then we can say goodbye to the USA in fewer than five years.
    If Congress
    NOT IF BUT WHEN…..and remember anchor baby law and ‘ family reunification’

  232. asia April 21, 2010 at 3:04 pm #

    you could start by watching ‘ west side story’…the part were the PR girls sing ‘ always the population growing’!!!
    far as i can tell immigrants are encouraged to hate work ethic and are rewarded to not assimilate.
    remember the 5 million illegals that got hud low income loans to buy homes?
    read pat buchanon..anyhting post 1990 of his..or even the reviews at amazon.

  233. asia April 21, 2010 at 3:06 pm #

    were all full up here. read frosty wooldridge.
    immigants built US…its a built country.
    you are a fool.

  234. sfnate April 21, 2010 at 3:06 pm #

    I think it is the massive numbers and the illegality of their presence that makes the current wave of immigration so galling.
    Mass migrations of people are nothing new. The Romans solved the problem of illegal immigration through mass slaughter and slavery. I assume you would reject slaughter as a solution; let’s talk about slavery.
    Cheap labor is the solution for many business’ profit problems. These enterprising companies look to find a reliable source of cheap labor, and frequently pressure their legislators to make sure that a reliable flow of uneducated, unorganized workers is readily and constantly available. In California, where I live, big agriculture has benefited tremendously from the hundreds of thousands of so-called illegals who have come to work in the fields. As these agricultural operations are mostly located in the fertile valley of this state, which votes consistently and reliably for conservative candidates, one might assume that there is at least some connection between a strong capitalist free market philosophy and the presence of a very cheap labor force. Whatever the competitive pressures may be that cause these companies to favor cheap labor, it is clear that they benefit from a situation that, strictly speaking, is outside the law but enormously helpful to their bottom line. So–that loud sucking sound you hear is large companies in the US drawing in thousands of laborers who will enable them to avoid many of the labor regulations and other obligations provided to the more expensive option of hiring local, “pampered”, citizens. It’s called exploitation, and in many respects it resembles slavery, or is its modern equivalent.
    So the point is that until these companies agree to follow the law and provide a wage commensurate with a modest standard of living, there will be people desperate enough to risk everything to make the illegal rush across the border.
    Probably, when things get as bad as most everyone seems to think they will, unemployed Americans will make a reverse movement into Mexico, or some other place further away, where the spectacularly rich and powerful will gladly open the factory doors to these refugees from the newest Third World nation, the USA.
    But it won’t be because our leaders and business leaders treated people well and offered them a fair percentage of the gain; it will be because they conspired to create conditions that would enhance their own wealth and make everyone else indentured servants, of varying levels of relative status, just like in Rome, where some slaves worked in the Senate, or on the Palatine hill.

  235. asia April 21, 2010 at 3:07 pm #

    illegals flying the US flag upside down in LA and then burning it!
    again read PB and see what his says govt of M is doing to forment revolution here.
    the good old days are over.

  236. asia April 21, 2010 at 3:08 pm #

    ‘Every established ethnic group makes this claim’
    actually im a US citizen. facts r facts.

  237. sfnate April 21, 2010 at 3:21 pm #

    were all full up here. read frosty wooldridge.
    immigants built US…its a built country.
    you are a fool.

    Full? In what sense? Full of people you don’t like, I bet. That’s okay, we can’t like everyone I guess. But to say the country is literally full, that’s a stretch, particularly when you read the conservative critique of the zero growth movement, which seems to say that there’s plenty of room for everyone, especially in places far away from here, where they’ll build iPads for pennies/hr.
    I think when you say that immigrants built this country, you are very correct, in a way the helps to undermine your outrage. Lots of jobs are done here by people who work in the very uncrowded agricultural expanses that produce the food you put in your mouth. That’s probably a big plus for us, that there are actually people who will roll up their sleeves and do that for us.
    While we nod off in front of our computer screens put into a coma by spreadsheets and the latest tweet from some vacuous celebrity, real people are doing real work for US. Whatever their immigration status, they are doing the work that some find too far beneath them to even acknowledge, except indirectly when they sit down to eat each night.

  238. sfnate April 21, 2010 at 3:24 pm #

    the good old days are over
    They never existed, except on black and white television.

  239. Bill Simpson April 21, 2010 at 3:49 pm #

    These Wall Street fellows started buying the Government way back in 1980. They now own it.

  240. Qshtik April 21, 2010 at 4:11 pm #

    again read PB and see what his says govt of M is doing to forment revolution here.
    Asia, first off I want to thank you for publically recognizing my true nature – viz Devine … however, I must beg you once again to please write complete sentences, use uppercase letters where appropriate and fewer hard-to-decipher abbreviations. Put some pride into your expression. I can be thick sometimes. It took longer than I’d like to admit to realize you were referring to Pat Buchanan and Mexico in the excerpt above.
    All that said, I know the onslaught of Mexicans is one of your biggest beefs and slowly but surely I am coming around to that viewpoint too. I want you and Vlad to know you are making some headway.
    BTW, it’s he and foment.
    P.S. When I saw JHK’s title I too thought of “little Jennie Rico.”

  241. Gus44 April 21, 2010 at 4:58 pm #

    That’s one piece of rancid red meat, QSHTIK. A 15 second Google search will show that the alleged analysis of Professor Olson is bullshit.

  242. Qshtik April 21, 2010 at 6:16 pm #

    Cheap labor is the solution for many business’ profit problems.
    San Fran, we are all familiar with the argument that the Mexicans are the only ones willing to do our dirty work and to do it for peanuts … and that big business encourages illegal immigration in the interest of profits. Despite these truths it is intuitively insane that we can have politicians at high levels openly espousing that which is illegal.
    Five months ago I spent 2 weeks in Dubai and observed first hand how they (the legal Arab citizens and their govt) handle the need for cheap labor without entirely losing control of their country. The workers come in under contract for (usually) 3 years and they can’t bring families unless they meet certain income requirements. They don’t pay into a social security system and, except in rare instances, they must retire and go home at age 60. Thus Dubai is not burdened with huge social liabilities when workers reach retirement age. When the 3 year contract period runs out they MUST return to their homelands and, if both they and their Dubai employer are in agreement, renew their work visa to return for another stint. (My host in Dubai has been there since 1981.) Nine out of 10 people in Dubai are non-citizens who are there on work visas. As you might expect, this massive imbalance of non-indigenous people vs locals is causing the Sheiks to lose grip on their culture – religion, dress, alcohol, etc.
    A similar system of tight control might work in the US if the numbers involved are not so overwhelming. The argument that Dubai is effectively employing slave labor just doesn’t hold water. (Be prepared to hear an opposing view on this from Asoka and other commenters of a socialist bent.) They work under contract in Dubai because they can’t do as well in their own countries.

  243. Qshtik April 21, 2010 at 6:19 pm #

    I have simply repeated something I received by email from a friend. If you have different info please provide a link. I’m all ears.

  244. asoka April 21, 2010 at 6:28 pm #

    Qshtik’s chain e-mail is a hoax. The “statistics” are grossly incorrect, and Prof. Olson says he didn’t write it.
    First, Joseph Olson is a professor at Hamline University School of Law in St. Paul, Minn. None of what appears in this e-mail was written by him. He has been denying authorship of this old hoax since earlier versions first cropped up after the 2000 election.
    Most recently he posted a disclaimer about the 2008 version on his university profile page:
    Olson: There is an e-mail floating around the internet dealing with the 2008 Obama/McCain election and the 2000 Bush/Gore election, remarks of a Scottish philosopher named Alexander Tyler, etc. Part of it is attributed to me. It is entirely BOGUS as to my authorship. I’ve been trying to kill it since December 2000. For details see: http://www.snopes.com/politics/ballot/athenian.asp.
    More important, the “unreported stats” listed in this e-mail are all wrong:
    President-elect Barack Obama actually carried 28 states (and the District of Columbia), not 20 as claimed in the message. Sen. John McCain carried only 22 states, not 30.
    The total area of states won by Obama is actually 1,483,702 square miles, significantly more than the 580,000 stated by the e-mail. McCain’s states have an area of 2,310,315 square miles, not the 2,427,000 claimed.
    The population of counties carried by Obama is just under 183 million, not the 127 million claimed. McCain carried counties with a total population of just under 119 million, far fewer than claimed in this message.
    The murder rate for counties carried by Obama was 6.56 per 100,000 inhabitants, less than half the rate claimed in the message. The rate for counties carried by McCain was 3.60 per 100,000, much higher than claimed in the message.
    Our Calculations
    We calculated county populations and murder rates using official data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s “USA County Data Files.” We obtained nearly complete county-by-county election results from the Web site of University of Michigan professor Mark Newman, who extracted them from USA Today’s election Web site as of Nov. 16. We adjusted these figures only to resolve ties in three counties (more recent figures show two of these counties going for Obama, one for McCain). It is possible that a few counties will change hands when all official results are reported.Population figures are Census estimates for 2007. Murder rates are calculated from the number of murders and non-negligent homicides by county for 2005, the most recent figures Census provides, and population estimates for 2005.
    Origins of a Hoax
    This hoax goes back eight years, when an earlier version began to circulate following the bitterly disputed 2000 presidential election. Snopes.com, a site devoted to debunking urban myths, took that one apart at the time, noting that Prof. Olson denied authorship and that some factual claims didn’t check out. A new version went around for a time after the 2004 election, and whoever wrote the 2008 version of the e-mail didn’t even bother to make up new “stats,” but simply substituted the words “Democrats” and “Republicans” where the names “Gore” and “Bush” had appeared. The origin of the population and square-mile figures used in the 2008 version, in fact, is this USA Today map of the 2000 election results. It shows 143 million people in counties won by George W. Bush and 127 million in counties won by Al Gore, for example. Of course elections are won by electoral votes not counties won. And the fact is that in 2008 the counties carried by Obama were far more populous than those carried by McCain. The crime figures, however, were no more accurate in the original than in the 2008 version. They were debunked by Snopes which put the actual county-by-county murder rate at 6.5 for counties supporting Gore, in 2000, and 4.1 for counties supporting Bush. Each of those figures is a far cry from the 13.2 and 2.1 figures used in the original 2000 e-mail, and they’re simply repeated in the most recent version and attributed to Obama and McCain counties.One original note in the 2008 version of the e-mail is the line added at the end: “Notice that only in the states of Alaska and Oklahoma: All counties were won by McCain/Palin.” But even that is a bit misleading. McCain and his vice presidential running mate, Gov. Sarah Palin, did win all counties in Oklahoma and did carry the state of Alaska, but Alaska doesn’t tally votes by county.
    Where Did It Come From?
    References to the original e-mail were spotted as far back as November 2000. Terry Krepel, writing for ConWebWatch, a Web site “dedicated to analysis and critique of conservative ‘new media’,” mentioned two articles that appeared on the news site NewsMax.com in 2000 citing information from the e-mail.
    Dave Hamrick, in his article for Georgia’s Fayette Citizen, offers an explanation of how Prof. Olson’s name came to be tied to the bogus murder rate figures. He asked Olson about them and discovered that the e-mail wasn’t Olson’s work:
    Hamrick, Jan. 17, 2001: But in response to my e-mail, Olson said the “research” was attributed to him erroneously. He said it came from a Sheriff Jay Printz in Montana. I e-mailed Sheriff Printz, and guess what? He didn’t do the research either, and didn’t remember who had e-mailed it to him. In other words, he got the same legend e-mailed to him and passed it on to Olson without checking it out, and when Olson passed it on, someone thought it sounded better if a law professor had done the research, and so it grew.
    Who knows where it originally came from, but it’s just not true. We can’t be certain with whom, or precisely when, the message originated, but Hamrick’s observation, that Olson forwarded a version of the e-mail he had received, may explain how Olson’s name became attached to it.

  245. asoka April 21, 2010 at 6:34 pm #

    Check out Joseph Olson’s faculty web page, where he denies authoring the Qshtik so-called “statistics”
    Or check out the history of the hoax at http://www.snopes.com/politics/ballot/athenian.asp
    Qshtik is spreading false anti-Obama propaganda.

  246. SNAFU April 21, 2010 at 8:01 pm #

    “Qshtik is spreading false anti-Obama propaganda.”
    Excellent reply Asoka wholeheartedly agree with your assessment of Qshtik’s intentions.
    Qshtik as one who professes to have spent a working career utilizing numbers your failure to investigate even one of the bogus claims for veracity prior to attempting to use such to increase the heat of the anti Obama crowd draws suspect to your integrity. But of course your response of “I was just passing on what was sent to me in an email” (paraphrased) was classic. If the friend sent you a jar of shit and told you it was apple butter would you spread it on your morning toast prior to smelling it?

  247. SNAFU April 21, 2010 at 8:12 pm #

    “Geez, lay off on the math corrections willzya?”
    If are going to attempt to utilize bogus statistics to buoy your ridiculous points of view at least do your bullshit math correctly.

  248. Hancock1863 April 21, 2010 at 8:20 pm #

    Asoka takes a lot of grief around here, but agree or not, he/she consistently comes through with facts to back him/herself up.
    When I first read that trope of Qshtik’s “Olson email”, it immediately reminded me of the Right Wing’s “Lying Blast E-mail” campaign, as I call it.
    It has been dreadfully effective at getting pople to shut off their brains for more than a decade now. Some odious, creepy Goebellsian Right Wing Marketing Whiz like Frank Luntz must have long ago figured out that people are more likely to unquestioningly swallow unsourced, unfounded lies when they are emailed by friends.
    There are literally hundreds, perhaps thousands of these lies floating around, a vast self-referential Right Wing Liefest. Snopes is a very good nonpartisan site to quickly debunk them without wasting a lot of time on trying to explain to the “willfully ignorant”.
    For myself, without going to the great lengths asoka did to debunk it, the simple fact is that the USA is more than 3.6 million square miles in size. I’ve known that since grade school and so should you, Qshtik.
    Qshtik’s bogus “Olson email” only adds up to about 3 million square miles of voters. Red Flag! BUSTED!
    QShtik, I’d say you should be ashamed of yourself for falling for such nonsensical propaganda, but maybe it’s just part of your “shtik” that you’re just ACTING like you’re a gullible fool.
    If you’re not acting, and you CAN be fooled so easily by such nonsense, suspected by anyone with some simple elementary school knowledge (such as the size of the USA), then you are indeed a good candidate for Vlad to “make some headway” on.
    You’ve got nothing to say, Qshtik… NOTHING! You were COMPLETELY fooled/hoodwinked/made-to-look-like-an-idiot by grade-school Hannity-Beck bullsh&t and you swallowed it hook, line and sinker.
    With such a nonfunctional bullsh&t detector as you appear to have, I wonder how many other Right Wing lies you’ve swallowed, and other lies in general?
    I wish I was a con man coming to your house to sell you a “prize from Nigeria” that all you had to do was give me all your bank and credit info for me to unlock it.
    I’d ask if you learned anything from the fact that this RW Lying Blast E-mail fooled you so thoroughly, but it seems you are too busy chasing after Vlad’s lunacy, which indicates your mind is even weaker than it seems.
    Finally, if I have any grammar or spelling errors in this post, please spare me your blathering corrections. Anyone as gullible as you has no right to be correcting anyone about ANYTHING. Now go suck down some more juvenile Glenn Beck nonsense. “Hitler was a Liberal! Mussolini was a Left Winger! Thomas Jefferson was a Marxist! Obama is Hitler the Liberal Fascist Communist! Jesus said blessed are the warmakers and that poor people should just let their lazy asses dieeeeee!”

  249. Gus44 April 21, 2010 at 8:56 pm #

    Holy shit, that’s your reply? You correct people’s grammar and spelling but take your facts from a chain email a friend sent you that could be debunked with a quick Google search? Thanks, that is the funniest thing I’ve read all day. A word to the wise, the email you got from the former Nigerian foreign minister who is offering to move millions of dollars into your bank account is a hoax. There, I just saved you thousands of dollars.

  250. welles April 21, 2010 at 9:07 pm #

    Listen up genius, can’t you recognize a tongue-in-cheek comment when you see one? You think anyone seriously goes around saying ‘willzya’?
    Secondly, how does stating verifiable facts — about the amount of petroleum/natural gas reserves which have been discovered — qualify as a ‘ridiculous’ point of view? How ’bout you look up the term ‘non sequitur’, which is what your feeble retort amounts to.

  251. Gus44 April 21, 2010 at 9:10 pm #

    On the other hand, QSHTIK, if you’re spoofing my hat is off to you.

  252. SNAFU April 21, 2010 at 9:12 pm #

    What is tongue-in-cheek about stating that 50 billion barrels of oil will last the US 12 years?

  253. Hancock1863 April 21, 2010 at 9:13 pm #

    Hey Gus!
    Great minds think alike. LOL
    Qshtik is certainly ripe for a good con job.
    Upon further refelection, though, and given Qshtik’s distaste for other races, if we pull the con on him, we’d better tell him the prize to be unlocked is from Sweden, not Nigeria.
    Those lily-white Swedes would never lie to old Qshtik, ya?

  254. Qshtik April 21, 2010 at 9:19 pm #

    After 40+ years in the numbers-crunching business you would think I’d learned not to report numbers that I had not myself compiled or at a minimum audited … but I did.
    Some further commentary:
    Regarding states won:
    Surely this data would be easy to confirm but I am not the least bit disposed to do it. In any case the number of states won is virtually meaningless due to the weighting of states in the Electoral College (e.g. NJ is worth 13 Alaskas).
    Regarding land area won:
    I note that the total land area of the US per my post, per the US Census Bureau, per Wikipedia and per Asoka all differ. But that is neither here nor there. Area is a totally misleading and meaningless stat. Consider that Alaska, won by the Repubs, has an area = to 21% of the contiguous 48 states yet carries next to no weight in the Elec College.
    Regarding murder rates by counties won:
    As I indicated in a post, I found the murder rates “interesting.” At 13.2 (Obama) vs 2.1 (McCain) I might have described it as “astonishing.” If Asoka’s numbers, 6.56 Obama and 3.60 McCain are correct I think that’s pretty astonishing too, especially when you consider the law of large numbers in statistical sampling.
    A final remark:
    If you compare the words used by Asoka to describe Prof Olson’s disclaimer on the Hamline Univ website you will see that Asoka has paraphrased the professor but makes it sound like a direct quote. The changes are subtile and show the prof in a better light. Why not the usual Asoka copy and paste?

  255. SNAFU April 21, 2010 at 9:42 pm #

    You disappoint me not Qshtik I fully expected that you would be incapable of admitting forthrightly that Asoka had exposed your ulterior intents.

  256. Hancock1863 April 21, 2010 at 10:08 pm #

    Just digging yourself deeper, eh?
    Just like a Hannidiot or Dittohead. Never let up, never admit you scroooooowed up or that you are gullible as a 3rd grader.
    40 years crunching numbers? No wonder you failed to bone up on the Humanities, stuff like critical thinking, how to construct logical arguments, using your bullsh&t detector, etc.
    Why am I pissed? Not so much at your ignorance, but that overall mean, foolish bullheadedness that, while not entirely restricted to the Beck-Limbaugh Crowd of nasty morons, certainly has risen to a new prominence not seen since in a major world power since the KKK-Old Confederacy (the center of it’s revitalization lately – no coincidence there), the Soviet Union, or Nazi Germany.
    I feel rather gullible, myself. For quite some time I have read your comments and accorded them a modicum of respect. Gawd, do I feel stupid!
    You’re just another gullible Hannidiot who can’t admit you’ve been cold busted and can’t help but try to bull your way through it, up to and including the old Authoritarian “smear the messenger technique” on asoka to try to deflect from the fact that you are 100% completely COLD BUSTED.
    Go peddle that sh&t somewhere that people are weak-minded enough to buy it. Hannity.com or Lucianne.com seems about right for you.

  257. Qshtik April 21, 2010 at 10:08 pm #

    Well if I’ve done nothing else today I’ve certainly stirred up a shit storm. But whether Asoka has exposed my ulterior motives matters not because I know that even if I murdered 13.2 people out of every 100,000 in the US Asoka would still “like me as a person.”

  258. asia April 21, 2010 at 10:19 pm #

    ha got ya!!!!!!!!!!
    publicly – Definition of publicly at YourDictionary.com adverb. in a public or open manner; by, or by consent or agency of, the public. Browse dictionary definitions near publicly

  259. asia April 21, 2010 at 10:24 pm #

    ‘When I saw JHK’s title I too thought of “little Jennie Rico.”‘
    Probably because JKH should have written RICO, not Rico?
    why should i write like everyone else???????

  260. Qshtik April 21, 2010 at 10:33 pm #

    For the record HanJob1863, I am the most apolitical person you are ever likely to find and I have never once in my life watched Rush, Beck or Hannity. What little I know of them or politics in general comes from reading CFN since last summer and comparing it with the template of common sense that exists in my mind.

  261. jim e April 21, 2010 at 10:34 pm #

    Double entendre?

  262. Qshtik April 21, 2010 at 10:45 pm #

    ha got ya!!!!!!!!!!
    Here is what my Dictionary.com says:
    in a manner accessible to or observable by the public;

  263. Ang April 21, 2010 at 10:55 pm #

    Seriously, Jim…Goldman Sachs at a time like this?
    I would have thought for sure that you would have written about the volcano in Iceland being the final nail in the coffin of the airline industry and one of the final steps toward the Long Emergency.
    What happened?

  264. Qshtik April 21, 2010 at 10:55 pm #

    Probably because JKH should have written RICO, not Rico?
    Good point. Very observant.
    why should i write like everyone else???????

    To be better understood. To show respect for your readers. Why should they have to struggle to understand?

  265. Qshtik April 21, 2010 at 11:21 pm #

    A word to the wise, the email you got from the former Nigerian foreign minister who is offering to move millions of dollars into your bank account is a hoax.
    Gus you poor chump. My check for $1,543,000 from the former Nigerian foreign minister (black as the Ace of Spades but a really swell guy) just cleared my acct a week from yesterday 😉

  266. jim e April 21, 2010 at 11:28 pm #

    “Probably because JKH should have written RICO”
    He is a great writer.

  267. jim e April 21, 2010 at 11:37 pm #

    JHK and Rico

  268. Qshtik April 21, 2010 at 11:40 pm #

    the USA is more than 3.6 million square miles in size. I’ve known that since grade school and so should you, Qshtik
    That’s a good one HanJob … you’ve remembered the area of the US in square miles since grade school. Unusual hobby, no? Just off-hand – no googling allowed – what’s the area of Alsace-Lorraine?

  269. wagelaborer April 21, 2010 at 11:56 pm #

    Oh, snap!!
    How does it go? “Pride goeth before the fall”
    The champion nit-picker passes a nit-full piece of nonsense off without fact checking and Asoka nails him!

  270. lane April 22, 2010 at 3:17 am #

    Yes, kharma AND natural selection working hand in hand is a very nice thing to witness!

  271. Martin Hayes April 22, 2010 at 5:24 am #

    Qshtik, we’ve clashed over Dubai before, and I can assure you I haven’t changed my stance in the interim.
    The fact that what are effectively indentured laborers are willing to work in Dubai because their prospects at home are bleaker is a piss-poor argument.
    Well, maybe I’m of a socialist bent, and I’m not apologizing for it, if the alternative is to be a heartless bastard who looks the other way when the lives of real people, whose only fault is that they don’t have the power or the means to prevent their enslavement, are at stake.
    Try to imagine what their lives are like. Try to imagine being separated from your family for years. Have you ever conducted a long-distance relationship? I have, and I can assure you that it’s hell. These people work in the blazing heat of day, and have nothing to look forward to when they get home, which, more likely than not, is a breeze-block dwelling that is sans air conditioning and stinks of despair and cheap takeaways. And that’s if they actually GET PAID.

  272. Martin Hayes April 22, 2010 at 6:17 am #

    There is no self regulation by morality anymore.
    There never was! Morality is for the slow-witted and the lame.

  273. diogen April 22, 2010 at 8:11 am #

    Most of us are exploiters, directly or indirectly. My shoes are made by someone working for pennies, perhaps even by kids who should be in schools, not factories. I recently had several bids on a large drywall job, I accepted the lowest one and guess what? Three teams of Mexicans showed up, about 15 guys, they did the whole house in a single day. Only 2-3 of them spoke English. The cost was about $2,300 less than a local Amish guy bid, and it would’ve taken him considerably longer. Do I feel badly about it? Not sure, those Mexican guys are trying to survive, some of them were in their 30’s and 40’s probably with kids to support back home. If I (and others) didn’t “exploit” them it would’ve been an economic hardship to them. We’re also exploiting another “slave” — fossil energy, which is a substitute for what otherwise would’ve been some kind of slave labor (I always thought it was interesting that anti-slave movement in the U.S. gained momentum at the same time as coal-fueled machinery was replacing human labor… coincidence?)
    p.s. OK, Qshtick had a momentarily lapse of good judgement, would only the saints among you please continue throwing rocks at him?

  274. Martin Hayes April 22, 2010 at 9:47 am #

    Heh. Okay, Diogen. I’m just as bad as anyone. When I lived in Dubai I exploited a nice Sri Lankan woman, and as a white South African I can only hang my head in shame.
    Still, sometimes I don’t have the heart to be a total shit. Can you dig it?

  275. budizwiser April 22, 2010 at 11:26 am #

    Not that anybody gives a fat flying fuck – but I’m about ready to quit scanning this BLOG. To much high-brow philobull-shitophy.
    On the other hand, if some of you bright people would discuss whether or not the GS fraud suit will eventually set some sort of legal precedent that results in some real blood letting; I’d like to read what you have to post.
    I mean where’s the Clusterfuck train, is it on track? Has it left the station. So far we print money to hide the effect of petroleum costs. What and when will scan go sour?
    Where’s the news, is there something of the third page of the business section I missed?

  276. Hancock1863 April 22, 2010 at 12:00 pm #

    Ha ha – that’s some pretty funny stuff, Qshtik. You really are a first-rate third-grade mind.
    I have a lot of facts stored in my head, as do all people who have a strong desire to keep learning throughout their lives. You wouldn’t understand that, though I think most CFNers would.
    You may not have personally watched Hannity et al (or you may be full of sh&t), and yet, there it is. It just sort of seeped in, didn’t it? That’s how propaganda works – worming it’s way into your subconscious, polluting your thought processes, often indirectly. No one is fully immune, even those who actively try to defend against it.
    Ha ha ha – I will allow you the last word, if you wish. I’m done with you. Let’s see what other brilliant gems you come up with.

  277. Qshtik April 22, 2010 at 12:04 pm #

    I exploited a nice Sri Lankan woman, and as a white South African I can only hang my head in shame.
    Yes Martin, what you did was despicable. You provided employment via an indenture agreement to someone glad for the opportunity. Tsk tsk.
    I’m sure the Sri Lankan woman would have been greatly pleased if you had terminated her contract and sent her home with the explanation that your morality did not permit her further “exploitation.”
    In the face of a world which has never (since the big bang, to my knowledge) had a level playing field, this is the solution of bleeding hearts everywhere … lots of verbal empathy rather than – God forbid – a low paying job.

  278. Hancock1863 April 22, 2010 at 12:19 pm #

    Excellent point about all of us being exploiters of some kind. Living within the current global economic system makes it a certainty. This is the story of all of human history everywhere, repeating over and over again, mostly without much changing but the window-dressing.
    It may well be that, in the Big Picture, the only reason slavery was gotten rid of, more or less (it still goes on in some parts of the world as well as the “virtual slavery” of much of the global sex trade) is that fossil fuels came along and now the Global Aristocracy doesn’t need us to carry their sedan-chairs…for NOW.
    It wouldn’t surprise me if, a couple centuries from now, slavery makes a BIG comeback if per capita energy use levels fall and the Global Aristocracy reverts to it’s old patterns and mores only reluctantly given up when a suitable substitute for human slavery, fossil fuels, became available.
    The state of our global financial system shows they didn’t really move very far from their old ways, anyhow.
    P.S. No saint here, that’s for sure. I have been reading this blog for years now and remained silent. It’s not just the ignorance of Qshtik’s “lapse in judgement”, but the hypocrisy of a nitpicker who doesn’t bother to pick his own nits when a grotesquely obvious tissue of lies comes across his screen that fits his predetermined belief. It happens to all of us, yes, but most of us don’t spend most of our blog posts piously picking the nits of others.

  279. Qshtik April 22, 2010 at 12:20 pm #

    I’m done with you.
    Thank goodness! Buh bye.

  280. Cash April 22, 2010 at 12:32 pm #

    No IMO there won’t be any real bloodletting. Too many people have bought into the Wall Street lies. Too many people, especially big moneyed interests, have bet the farm on smoke and air. That’s why Wall Street and its dirty dogs gets propped up by taxpayer $.
    The biggest lie? IMO by far the notion that shareholders are owners of corporations. To me ownership is defined as right of use and possession. So what assets or pieces of corporations do shareholders really use and possess?
    None. Nada.
    What share ownership accomplishes is the right to have the company managed with a view to making a profit, give the shareholder the right to his fractional share of dividends, a fractional share of any distribution on liquidation of the company but only after everybody else ie taxes, creditors etc are paid off and votes to elect a board of directors.
    But when it comes to cash money or other assets the shareholder is absolute dead last in line. To me these rights do not remotely resemble anything like actual “ownership” of a company.
    So who owns a company? Nobody. Nobody “owns” a company any more than anybody owns you. Your boss can tell you what to do within certain limits. That’s it. Same with a shareholders. They can have the actions of the company or the employees of the company directed but that falls far short of actual ownership of anything.
    There is a list of big lies but to me this is by far the biggest. It has huge implications as to how stocks are priced and as to how company cash is used.
    But the biggest implication is that corporate entities have basically had free cash from shareholders since the 1950s. That was the last decade that investors seriously based investment decisions on dividends a company paid.
    This alleviated pressure on the managerial class to actually pay returns to shareholders in the form of cash from company coffers instead of the illusory “returns” that investors have become accustomed to.
    I could go on but the post would get too long.
    So there it is. Too boring? Or enough to keep you reading the Blog for a while?
    BTW if anyone differs with this view I’d be interested to know.
    Qshtik, I think I said something similar to this rant a while back and I think it was you that said I was full of shit. What’s your opinion on this?

  281. Hancock1863 April 22, 2010 at 12:54 pm #

    Quite true, budizwizer.
    Looking at the Big Picture, the question is: Is the system even capable anymore of policing the Aristocracy on behalf of the bottom 99% of us, anymore?
    It has never been perfect at doing so or even close, but it seems that the progress made during the post-WWII era in the USA was at least going in the right direction until 1980 when the Aristocracy began tearing it all apart and taking it all back to the 1920s and the Corporate Personhood of the Robber Baron Era.
    Bush, Cheney, and their courtiers committed multiple war crimes by the Nuremburg standards – so did the Stalin-Khruschev-Brezhnev Soviets, yet no one prosecuted them for it.
    Alberto Gonzales definitvely perjured himself on videotape dozens of times and was even exposed by the testimony of the Director of the FBI himself, yet he walks free as a bird and obviously always will.
    Law itself is nothing without people willing to enforce it, even against fellow members of the Aristocracy, which is the one of basis’ of the Founding Fathers’ vision of the USA, where no person is above the law.
    Is the Goldman Sachs prosecution more kabuki theater? Are Obama and the Democrats “in on it” or have 30 years of the “Republican” MIC, their secret proprietary code voting machines, their massive propaganda machine, and their Intelligence Pals so perverted the mechanisms of the United States’ democratic-republic that it has a case of metaphorical AIDS and can no longer defend itself against Aristocratic depredations, even if it wanted to?
    Nobody really knows the answers to these questions, and does it matter WHY things are, after a certain “tipping point”, only that things are.
    Which is a long-winded way of saying that, for whatever combination of reasons and whatever the actual law says, I don’t believe that Gold Sacks will endure any serious bloodletting nor any serious abatement of it’s massive Ponzi scheme nor any significant legal action against any of it’s executives and chief criminal organizers.
    Maybe one or two thrown out as a hollow gesture to the angry Peasantry, but I don’t expect Gold Sacks or any of the other criminals to experience more than a minor inconvenience and get right back to bleeding the rest of us dry – business as usual.
    I’d be more than happy to be proven wrong by future events.

  282. Qshtik April 22, 2010 at 1:06 pm #

    I will know when the hyperventilation has subsided and the shit storm has passed after Abbey checks in with gleeful nastiness and somehow or another manages to work in an admonition that we all “study” Foucault. Its a virtual certainty.

  283. asia April 22, 2010 at 1:14 pm #

    I was listening [briefly] to Mark Levine yday. He ranted on and on about how Goldman wasnt bleeding us dry!needless to say I turned him off fast.
    he kept saying govt is the thief/enemy.I dont disagree but i see a not small link between the govtand GS.

  284. Funzel April 22, 2010 at 1:26 pm #

    There is one thing the stock sucker of a corporation owns,its debt.

  285. Hancock1863 April 22, 2010 at 1:55 pm #

    Gold Sacks and the FIRE sector IS the government, now, a substantial part of it at least along with the MIC and Corporate Media. Geithner and the rest of the revolving door criminals show that quite clearly.
    Who can guess the minutiae of all the connections and how government has been parasitized, as well as by who exactly? Democrats, Republicans? Republicans leading Democrats? Both in an incestuous tango and both dancing happily, playing their parts? Some combination of all of it?
    I am very torn on my feelings towards the government, as historically government and law has often been the only nonviolent redress for the bottom 99% against the rapaciousness of the top 1%.
    As an “FDR Democrat”, I have always believed in capitalism, but that it must be regulated for the same reason that NFL games need referees. I also believe that government can sometimes be a force to create a better, more egalitarian and free society, just like that same salary-capped socialist NFL 😉
    I don’t begrudge the wealthy for their wealth, what I do begrudge them is the age-old desire of the Aristocracy to rig things so they “win all the time” and take MUCH more than is warranted, so that the bottom 99% lose ground with each passing year.
    But what happens when, as it was in Medieval Europe and elsewhere, when the Aristocracy IS the entirety of the government, when the people’s voices are stilled, even if the empty window-dressing of our democratic-republic puts on a dumbshow to convince us they aren’t?
    This is the situation we find ourselves, and sfnate described it very accurately and well. Looking at it like that, taking the long view, we were very lucky to be alive during the briefest exception to the historical rule, now fading fast in the USA and possibly all the world as part of The Long Emergency when it finally deepens and starts to really bite hard.
    Thomas Jefferson said he didn’t believe that most of humanity were born to be ridden while a much smaller portion were “booted and spurred”, but that appears to be the endless cycle in which humanity is locked, and nothing seems to be able to keep it from resurfacing for very long.
    Happy Earth Day to you, too.

  286. Hancock1863 April 22, 2010 at 2:03 pm #

    Thanks for that unique perspective on the “lie of the shareholder”.
    I never considered it from that angle.
    The amazing thing about this time period, the beginning of The Long Emergency is our ability to contemplate the downward slope ahead from near the peak and with all the benefits of what has come before, but probably won’t be around for much longer, in a human-historic time frame (and a blink in the geological time-frame).
    Like having first-row balcony seats for The Greatest Show on Earth.
    I have stopped trying to guess, unlike JHK, when exactly it will happen because the ability of TPTB to keep the Ponzi schemes that are bringing us to Peak Everything going is far more than I ever could have imagined, so I suspect it will still be at least a decade or two before The Long Emergency really starts to bite, at least in the “developed world”.
    Years of silence, now I can’t be shut up. LOL

  287. Qshtik April 22, 2010 at 2:28 pm #

    Q … I think it was you that said I was full of shit. What’s your opinion on this?
    Well, if I did say you were full of shit I’m sure it was meant figuratively.
    No doubt I’ll catch hell for saying this but I sometimes feel I’ve come much farther along the road toward wisdom (enlightenment?) than a lot of others here at CFN. Maybe its age or maybe I’m a self-taught buddhist and don’t know it … able to chill in the face of conditions that others are frothing at the mouth about (Note: preposition at end of sentence – such as this one – deemed OK per Wm Safire).
    As to corporate ownership, when I was young and naive I used to receive thick packages in the mail containing annual reports, notices of annual meetings, materials for voting on directors, who was going to be the company’s CPA firm, etc etc. I would actually pour through this stuff, mark my ballot, enclose it in the postage paid envelope, seal it and drop it off at the P.O. I don’t do any of that shit anymore. It became clear to me that my vote was like the proverbial drop in the ocean and didn’t make a shit’s worth of difference. So, Cash, putting it another way, we stockholders are not owners in any way resembling my brother-in-law’s ownership of his small business that sells and installs metal racks in warehouses where he takes all the risks and he reaps all the bennies. We “common” stockholders, as you described, are essentially last on the shitlist for everything. The difference between you and me is that I’m not outraged over it. I am literally more outraged at automated phone answering systems that tell me how important my call is than I am about the entire sub-prime debacle. I have come to see that it is what it is. Given all that, my job is to assess every factor that might move the stock price. Dividends or the lack thereof are part of the equation. Period. Over. That’s it. Trying to change the world is a waste of time.
    I doubt anyone important at GS will do time.

  288. wagelaborer April 22, 2010 at 5:13 pm #

    We’re back to the question we started with – will the government do anything to prosecute the Wall Street criminals who sold trillions of dollars of CDOs based on a few billion of mortgage papers.
    I quoted Karl Marx from 160 years ago, speaking THEN of the history of capitalism, which showed THEN that a surplus of loan capital would lead to “credit swindles”, as he called it.
    Apparently, no one read it, so I’m copying and pasting until you do. Or is it because we call it “bubbles” now, instead of “credit swindles”, as we call “crashes” “recessions” now, that confused everyone and made them think that this was something new and totally different? –
    It’s true that it was obvious that housing prices would not rise forever. Especially since we just did this back in the 80s.
    If we’re handing out points for prescience, though, let’s hear from the greatest Jew of all time, explaining what happens when capital can’t make enough profits from investment in productive enterprises-
    “If..new accumulation meets with difficulties in its employment, through a lack of spheres for investment, i.e., due to a surplus in the branches of production and an over-supply of loan capital, this plethora of loanable money-capital merely shows the limitations of capitalist production.
    The subsequent credit swindle proves that no real obstacle stands in the way of the employment of this surplus-capital.”
    Let me repeat that for the ones who believe that this can all be solved if we return to Glass-Stegall.
    This bickering over which President or investment firm, (or even funnier, which low wage home-owner), is responsible for this particular credit swindle shows why they can get away with it again and again.
    This is how capitalism works.
    The difference is that, traditionally, when the credit swindle collapses, fortunes are lost and a depression results.
    Alternatively, or sometimes following, a war ensues, which increases spending and destroys productive capacity, so that it may be rebuilt at profit afterwards.
    We may still see a war. I saw no one predicting this, although we live in frigging America, the land of the WMDs and the home of the aggressive.

  289. Qshtik April 22, 2010 at 5:27 pm #

    I exploited a nice Sri Lankan woman
    Oh my God, I can be so naive at times. This woman was your house maid/cook/girl friday and you were fucking her under the threat of firing and expulsion. Is that it? If so I agree, that would be “exploitation.”

  290. Qshtik April 22, 2010 at 6:23 pm #

    Apparently, no one read it, so I’m copying and pasting until you do.
    I swear to God Wage, I read your Marx blurb both this time and the first time. No need for further iterations. Your point has been duly noted: there have been swindling pricks in the field of money and finance since mankind left the garden. (Ref: The Ascent of Money by Niall Ferguson)
    Now, I have a question. Is it Marx you see as the greatest Jew of all time? I don’t know, he’s got some stiff competition.
    And oh BTW, I just love how it was obvious to you all along that house prices “would not rise forever” so I assume you were short Hovnanian, Pulte Home and basically the entire stock market worldwide when the shit hit the fan … or would that be immoral speculation against the principles of socialism?

  291. Cash April 22, 2010 at 8:03 pm #

    I have to say I don’t know what bugs me more, the lie itself or it’s endless parrotting by people that you’d think would know better ie highly educated, financially literate (supposedly).
    What doesn’t bug me is the fact that common stock holders (or stock suckers as Funzel calls them) are last in line. To me, the concept of the limited liability corporation was brilliant and I see the quid pro quo for limited liability is being last in line.
    The other thing that bugs me is the unquestioning acceptance by stockholders of the idea that a corporation’s cash is stockholders’ cash. What a brilliant bit of bullshit that is. If you’re dumb enough to fall for that then you’re dumb enough to not demand that a company pay dividends as compensation the use of your money. After all if the company’s money is your money then it’s just left pocket vs right pocket isn’t it? And the company is reinvesting your money for you right?
    It is bloody amazing the nonsense that people fall for.

  292. Cash April 22, 2010 at 8:12 pm #

    I majored in economics in university many many years ago. We studied Marx as part of a course in the history of economic thought. At the time I thought he was a really great student of capitalism.
    BTW I don’t think that there will be a war, at least one that is costly in casualties to the US or any other western nation.
    Just consider this. The US has been at “war” in Iraq since 2003 and has had less than 5,000 deaths. This is a country of > 300 million with a military of > 1.5 million people. These casualties are by comparison to other wars in history a fleabite to a country the size of the US with such a huge military. Yet the US is “exhausted” at least according to accounts that I’ve read.
    The US is in no way shape or form exhausted by these casualties (or this war). The American people are unwilling to bear them which is a very different thing. I’m not criticizing, I’m just making an observation. No other western country is willing to bear casualties either.

  293. Qshtik April 22, 2010 at 8:31 pm #

    OK, Qshtick had a momentarily lapse of good judgement
    Dio, I commend you for tossing water rather than gasoline on a raging fire but I don’t see my original post as a lapse of good judgement. If you care to know why, let me know.
    P.S. It’s momemtary😉

  294. diogen April 22, 2010 at 9:11 pm #

    Qshtik said “P.S. It’s momemtary;-)”
    Hmm, “momeMtary”? Another momentary lapse, this one of spelling/keyboarding?
    Sure, tell me why it wasn’t a lapse of judgement to enrage the Kunstler-reading world with patently suspect numbers, and in one fell swoop to discredit your acumen for the ways of the world.

  295. diogen April 22, 2010 at 9:16 pm #

    >admonition that we all “study” Foucault.
    Actually, I think the best defense against deceptive internet information is SIMPLE BUSSES.

  296. diogen April 22, 2010 at 9:35 pm #

    >greatest Jew of all time
    Marx a jew? OK, I just searched the web, and I’m finding that “His father, Heinrich Marx, was born a Jew but converted to Lutheranism prior to Karl’s birth”, “Karl’s mother, born Henrietta Pressburg, was from the Netherlands, and Jewish at the time of Karl’s birth, although she converted upon the death of her parents”. “Karl was baptized when he was six years old”.
    Once baptized, doesn’t this make him a Christian?
    Anyway, apparently Jonas Salk and Albert Sabin, inventors of the Polio vaccine, were Jews, I’d say they rank a lot higher than Marx, don’t you think?
    Personally, I think Mel Brooks outranks them all.

  297. Vlad Krandz April 23, 2010 at 12:23 am #

    Nowadays Judaism is primarily an Ethnicity. Any Jew can become a resident of Israel – and in fact a large number of Israelis are atheists or agnostics. Likewise, most Jews want their children to marry other Jews – even if the person in question is a Buddhist or an Atheist. The Orthodox Jews would find this very objectionable but still preferable to marrying a non Jew. Christianity is a special case – conversion to Christianity isn’t like becoming a Buddhist but rather is seen a betrayal and a repudiation of identity by most Jews.
    The question becomes, can Jews maintian their physical or ethnic identity, if their culture ceases to be different than everyone else’s? Probably not – they are becoming like a body without a soul. The real identity is now shifted to just having lots of money, being very liberal about social issues, and being pro-Israel. And thus, they have skewed the Gentile Elite Culture in towards all these as well. The two groups of Billionaires have inter-married and are well along towards becoming indistinguishable for the most part.

  298. Vlad Krandz April 23, 2010 at 12:39 am #

    You weren’t exploiting the Mexican, but by denying an American the job you were doing your little part to end America as a Nation. I know, I know – everyone’s doing it. That’s the problem. What the great do, the ordinary people emulate. And it gets to the point that even people that don’t want to do it, have to. Not you, you had a choice, but White contractors can’t compete if they use White workers. Whites can’t compete with coolie labor without becoming coolies themselves – 12 or more to a house, supplementing their income with social services, etc. This is what you supported by hiring Mexicans, legal or not.
    In a real functioning culture, people who hired Mexicans would be shunned and treated as pariahs. There is no real culure without self denial and the discipline of community that enforces it. You don’t have to do the right thing but it will be noticed if you don’t. And monkeyshines like hiring aliens would be verboten even if technically legal and subject to the harshest of penalties – shunning. And at a higher culture level, the problem wouldn’t exist because the aliens would have been deported.

  299. Vlad Krandz April 23, 2010 at 1:24 am #

    Culture? What Culture? You think America is a Culture? A Culture in an integrated whole – like the human body in which all parts work together for the good of the whole. Do you see that in America? That would mean that we were for the most part all on the same page. But you see, that requires that there is a “we” to begin with and there isn’t. There may be a few isolated integrated wholes out there, like the Amish perhaps, or on a large scale, the Mexicans because they are mostly all on the same page. But they aren’t Americans – and they are proud to admit it. Their overt, conscous intent is to take over America.
    What you and Cash want is the European Model – which ended decades ago. And need I mention it, (yes) they were Europeans adapting to a Western Culture, and they were expected to conform. None of these conditions now apply and they will not conform. No one expects them to, they don’t wish to, and there is little left to conform to. Not that there isn’t acculturation going on – look at the White Kids going Black. And sure some Mexican kids will leave the fold and join the de-racinated mass culture of hedonism that the Establishment is trying to create. But is that what you are upholding? Poor you if so. Because that is alot of shit and only attracts degenerates. Lots of those around especially White ones. These metro sexualized emasculated drones are going to preseve our Culture against Black and Brown barbarians? Dream on god man.
    I don’t want you guys off the site. It’s just a blog after all. But you all aren’t my tribe either. My tribe is just coming into being -the White Tribe. An Old Idea that hasn’t been applied in over a thousand years or so. It wasn’t neccesary when we had our own Countries, but now that we don’t, it is. The Founding Fathers believed it implicitly, they would have been flabergasted at what has resulted from their failure to be more explicit. So our Institutions have failed us and now we have to get back to nature, the law of kith and kin, and tooth and fang. And of course, the valuing of good blood. The antithesis of this is a brilliant, beautiful career woman who never has any children – who doesn’t pass on her genetic riches. As if it was her’s. As if she didn’t have a debt to pay to our godlike ancestors who formed her, who toiled and died that she might live in selfish luxury. They would not have begrudged her the luxury nor do I. But such a one, and her male counterparts, stand condemned by their sins of omission. Worse yet, are the White Women who breed with Aliens and raise up Enemies. Their genetic riches serve our Enemies and not us.
    My premises: IQ is over 50% genetic. And the races differ in IQ. And that IQ measures intelligence. And that intelligence is important- at least to Western Culture. None of what I say is comprehensible without understanding these.

  300. Qshtik April 23, 2010 at 1:29 am #

    Sure, tell me why it wasn’t a lapse of judgement
    The post I wrote yesterday that caused a firestorm of outrage was composed of one short sentence as follows:
    “Here’s a juicy hunk of raw meat for ya’ll to chew on re the Nov ’08 presidential election.”
    It was followed by an obvious copy and paste – purportedly the handiwork of a Prof Olson. There is not a word from me as to the veracity of the contents. Nothing such as “OK Asoka, whataya think about your brown messiah NOW.” Nor do I say “What an obvious crock of shit.” I make no attempt to lead the discussion in either direction. No, what I do is something I did 4 or 5 months ago in a similar prod to discussion. Paraphrasing myself I said in effect:
    “Hey all you ravenous starving wolves in that cage … the blog has gotten a little quiet of late … here’s a nice bloody chunk of raw meat for ya.” (Here’s some juicy incendiary data … discuss amongst yourselves, as Mike Myers would say.) And then I stand back to observe the ensuing mahem. BTW, in case you haven’t noticed, I spend a lot of time here saying things purely for the sake of amusement (like my riff on EIGHTM and his obsession with SIMPLE BUSSES). Little did I suspect that my having posted the piece would be taken as my own endorsement (or not) of the content one way or the other. Then I was hasty in expressing half assed regrets for not having fact checked the contents. Those regrets were misplaced and I withdraw them. I regret the regrets. In hindsight the only data worth checking was the “interesting” murder stats and to do this by county in 50 states would have been beyond the pale. Besides, If I learned just how bogus the data was how could I then have tossed the raw meat into the cage. There goes my prod to discussion. I did what I did and a bunch of people went apeshit. Sorry, I don’t see this as a lapse of judgement. This is more like a Leno monologue that got scant laughs.
    I’ve been posting at CFN for 9 months and I doubt you could find a half dozen times I’ve expressed a political view strenuously. My thing is debunking other people’s bullshit and putting down (hopefully with humor) any erronious minutia in their writing (at the danger of my own failings being spotted). I find politics, politicians and especially political junkyism revolting. Vlad has frequently expressed his exasperation with me for not expressing a strongly held opinion. That’s because I don’t have one. What is it about “I don’t know” that you don’t understand Vlad? I have often said.
    Another thing … I have been on Asoka’s case relentlessly for inconsistency and spin. These are attributes of his I genuinely detest. He was among the trio of my “must be destroyed” (Delendus est) list for months along with Rico and Zzz. (Whether I had any hand in it or not I view the current score as “two down and one to go.”) Unfortunately, my post yesterday gave Asoka an opening he could drive an 18-wheeler through. The others who piled on I believe were similarly like pressure cookers ready to explode because I ignore their precious political and economic obsessions and focus on the irrelevant – spelling and grammar. Naturally, they pounced on this opportunity that arrived like a gift from the gods.

  301. Vlad Krandz April 23, 2010 at 2:15 am #

    The rise of Limited Liability may be connected to the rise of fiat currency. If the money is just paper unbacked by anything, why shouldn’t they lend it out generously? With this fake currency, they could get back real goods. And if the venture failed, why the borrower still has to pay back, so they win again. It would be a very different story if the bankers actually invested something real and would really lose if the venture failed. Actually, that might be Limited Liability – maybe the rise of fiat currency ended it. Help me out if any of this makes any sense to you.
    Our Culture trashes biology (unborn babies are merely fetuses – bio trash, but worships money. Our money is alive and gives birth to more money – interest. And ever notice the reverent hush in the big banks? They are Temples. Needless to say, this whole system had to fail sooner or later. Money cannot give birth to more money in reality. It’s a fraud and a sin that used to be called usury. In a sane economy, money is kept very close to the physical world, to actual goods and services. It’s not allowed to “reproduce itself”. That’s nothing but complete idolatry. Or a scam if you aren’t a praying man.
    What percentage of stocks still pay dividends?

  302. Martin Hayes April 23, 2010 at 9:27 am #

    Geez, don’t get carried away, Qhstik. Ultimately, in the real world, as opposed to the world of your liberal imagining, the ability to do a good job is about personal integrity and true grit, because sure as shit most people are moralizing tosspots who can’t deliver and their sisters make buses look handsome. I liked the Sri Lankan woman and I indulged her. She was a real person. I made her tea and I listened to her complaints, but when I found out she was sweeping the dust under the rug I gave her notice. Clear to you?

  303. diogen April 23, 2010 at 9:33 am #

    >Not you, you had a choice, but White contractors >can’t compete if they use White workers.
    Actually, I gave the business to a White contractor, it didn’t occur to me that he only hires Mexican subs. After the fact I checked with a few others, and they all hire Mexican subs, except for Amish guys who use Amish labor.
    I agree with you completely that this is a downspiral for us, but a few quixotic individuals who’d choose to pay $2-3K more for the local labor won’t make a difference, because MOST folks would make the economically rational/efficient choice to hire the lower bidder. Plus, there are other complexities involved. We mostly buy locally produced foods thru farmer’s markets, co-ops and a CSA (community-supported agriculture), paying considerably more for our food, so you could say that the drywall savings will be invested in local agriculture (depriving other Mexican workers in California and Florida 🙂 For example, we paid about $75 for our small Thxgiving turkey (organic and freerange) last year, bought from our farmer friend instead of grocery-store turkey raised in an illegal-staffed factory… I am a part of the problem, of course, but it’s a long blame-chain: the impotent Gov’t who lets them across the border, the clever WHITE contractors who hire them, the WHITE landlords who allow 20 people to live in a 3-bdrm house and the local WHITE zoning czars who also allow it, etc.
    It’s sad because there was a simple way to prevent all that: all the jobs that went to China should’ve gone to Mexico if they couldn’t be kept here. This would’ve kept our neighbors employed in their own country, and kept China from the path toward super-power status. All it required was a few far-sighted Gov’t and business policies. But it was our White brothers business and gov’t leaders who sold our children’s future. So much for your racial allegiance, Vlad.

  304. Martin Hayes April 23, 2010 at 9:43 am #

    But when I gave her notice, she was very indignant, and told me how hard she was working for me, which was probably true, because I’m a slob. I still feel bad about it.

  305. diogen April 23, 2010 at 9:55 am #

    Martin, I don’t get it. If you were so nice to her, and didn’t use her for sex, why do you feel you exploited her? Perhaps I’m missing something between the lines… If you did seduce her and she enjoyed it, was it exploitation? 🙂 🙂 🙂
    I know I’ll get some arrows in my hide for this from the good women on this blog 🙂

  306. Cash April 23, 2010 at 11:00 am #

    My understanding is that the idea of limited liability in business enterprises took hundreds of years to form and really took off as a form of business organization in the last couple of hundred years. The oldest corporations are really old ie Hudson’s Bay Company was established in 1670 and still exists in Canada as a chain of retail department stores.
    The idea of money goes back thousands of years and probably has multiple roots. I read that one root was in mesopotamia where public granaries would issue tokens to farmers storing their grain as a record of how much and what type of grain they brought in. The tokens became a medium of exchange.
    I suppose that the rise of fiat money and the limited liability corporation didn’t happen independently of one another but I’m not sure that there is a direct cause-effect connection between the two.
    I think the system you’re talking about where interest is forbidden and instead the banker takes an equity stake in an enterprise and takes a proportionate share of profits sounds more to me like Islamic sharia based banking than the system we have now where, as you say, if the enterprise fails the banker has a contract stipulating repayment terms with interest regardless.
    This secures the banker interest in the proceeds of liquidation of the business and the banker’s interest takes precedence over common shareholders simply because he has a contract that says so and our legal system recognises the banker’s priority claim.
    You’re right, the system we have now where money is unconnected to something real ie gold leaves huge openings for massive government abuse ie debasing the value of the currency by creating way too much of it. They do this to finance govt overspending, inflating their way out of govt debt ie screwing govt bondholders and everyone else that tries to save a bit.
    IMO when Nixon and other leaders broke the link with gold it was the first step in the speculative debauchery we have now. The financial mess we’re in is a result of players like Goldman Sachs doing whatever it takes, legal, ethical or not to get a piece of the river of cash central banks have been creating. This isn’t to say that speculative messes are anything new. They’re not. But I think every new cycle of speculation and bust has different roots.
    All this stuff I’m saying is simplistic but we’re not doing a post graduate seminar either.
    Sorry about the long post.

  307. dale April 23, 2010 at 11:11 am #

    “We’re back to the question we started with – will the government do anything to prosecute the Wall Street criminals who sold trillions of dollars of CDOs based on a few billion of mortgage papers.”
    Actually, when you use the term CDO, or collateralized debt obligation, those numbers were not in the “trillions”. To the best of my knowledge they may have approached a trillion or slightly exceeded that total. CDO’s were basically tranches of mortgage debt packaged and sold to investors in the manner of securities. The “trillions” you are referring to are derivatives, which were a form of credit enhancement or hedge for highly leveraged issuances, like CDO’s SIV’s etc. This allowed the issuers of the debt instruments to pretend they were hedged against losses, which led to extremely high leveraged positions. Since derivatives were issued in a “shadow market” without regulation or transparency, the issuers were free to sell such “protection” while exceeding their capital base dozens of times over. They (the derivative issuers) in turn also often bought derivatives to protect their own highly leveraged positions, in webs of cross collateralization covering several firms…..think house of cards here. When a small percentage of an issuers derivative gets “called” the whole system is, or would be, threatened with collapse due to the very thin capitalization underwriting the whole structure.
    It’s rediculous to assume the issurers of this crap paper didn’t foresee the risks involved from such absurd leverage. Hence, they basically were holding a gun to their own heads and assuming the government wouldn’t let them collapse. They were right, and you are right, a number of them should be in court for their actions.

  308. Qshtik April 23, 2010 at 11:22 am #

    Clear to you?
    No, not really Martin. My comments/questions are the same as Diogen’s. You had an employee whose work was unsatisfactory. You fired her (always a difficult situation for both parties … I have been fired and can attest to the unpleasantness and I’m certain my boss took no pleasure in it). But how was this exploitation? Where is the crime so heinous that you literally hung your head in shame … assuming there was no coerced sex involved? And why did you see yourself as even more despicable because you were/are a white South African? Did you carry some baggage of Apartheid with you to Dubai where having a hand in unpleasantness for a swarthy complected person is gounds for a guilt trip?
    What bothers me about your tale is that you have used it to support a general indictment of the system of foreign contract labor used in Dubai.

  309. Qshtik April 23, 2010 at 11:39 am #

    Could it be Martin, that that your shame is really grief for mankind … that life is “unfair” as well as brutal, nasty and short.

  310. Qshtik April 23, 2010 at 11:43 am #

    that that your shame

  311. Cash April 23, 2010 at 12:04 pm #

    I get a kick out of credit default swaps.
    The hell of it is that you didn’t need to own the debt you were getting insurance for (ie buying the CDS) so you could still get paid out in the event of default. This is tantamount to me taking out an insurance policy on a car I don’t own. If the car crashes I get paid out. Crazy or what? Why this insanity is allowed I don’t know. Actually I do know, Wall Street bought and paid for Congress, that’s why.
    My buying a credit default swap to insure debt I don’t own has all the economic import of me placing a bet with my bookie (not that I have one) on a baseball game. Why govt would bail out the bookies is beyond me.
    AIG went belly up because it was selling massive amounts of credit default swaps. When the debt AIG was insuring started to go sour AIG was on the hook for bazillions. Uncle Sam backstopped AIG and coughed it up.
    BTW my understanding is that when AIG went bust Goldman was one of the grateful recipients of Uncle Sam’s generosity.
    This is all so fucked that you have to marvel. And I’m sure at the end of the day it will all be perfectly legal.

  312. Qshtik April 23, 2010 at 12:19 pm #

    What percentage of stocks still pay dividends?
    Among the 500 large companies that make up the S&P 500 index 367 (73.4%) were paying dividends as of 3/18/2010. That number remains fairly constant … it was 368 in 2008. Note: the source I googled for this data appears reliable 😉
    If you looked at the entire universe of stocks – thousands of them – you would find the percentage of dividend payers to be much much lower. This makes perfect sense since if they paid out divs to stockholders these smaller younger companies would not have the capital on hand to fund further growth and would have to borrow it. Borrowing is a more expensive way to obtain capital than the withholding of dividend payouts.

  313. budizwiser April 23, 2010 at 12:25 pm #

    Hey JK,
    I think you’ll get a kick out of this one.
    Why not take your bike into NYC to see the prez?
    Looky here – the madness has begun….

  314. Martin Hayes April 23, 2010 at 12:45 pm #

    Sex? What is it with you guys? There was no sex. I’ve heard that this happens a lot in Dubai, but it’s wasted on me. I’ve turned down more sex than you can shake a stick at. I really don’t like it. Go find some other guy to tease.

  315. Qshtik April 23, 2010 at 12:52 pm #

    This is all so fucked that you have to marvel.
    Cash, I share your dismay but to a lesser degree. The world of finance is filled with people who are merely informed or somewhat informed speculators – myself included. Take commodities: Off the top of my head I’d bet that of all the people who have ever bought a contract for pork bellies, cotton, sugar, oil, gold, orange juice, etc only a rare few have seen these commodities (other than in their household form) much less taken delivery of the goods. But they serve a wonderful purpose of providing liquidity and price discovery without which the system could not operate efficiently. This goes for options as well. As we all now know, this paper world can get totally out of hand so that even math whizzes (e.g. Black/Scholes) get duped (or dupe themselves) and become unaware of the actual level of risk in their activities. Taleb goes into all of this in his book The Black Swan (which, BTW, I found very unsatisfying since I came away with no epiphany that might make me some money).

  316. Cash April 23, 2010 at 12:54 pm #

    Borrowing is a more expensive way to obtain capital than the withholding of dividend payouts. – Qshtik.
    It’s a funny thing. I know what you’re saying and my comment is somewhat roundabout but what the hell.
    Financing through equity should be more expensive than debt financing. Debt holders are secured by a contract that stipulates interest and repayment dates. Equity financing ie common shares has no such security, plus secured creditors like a debt holder take priority to equity holders in the case of a restructuring or a liquidation.
    So what I’m saying is that it should be more expensive for a business to finance itself via equity than via debt becuase of the additional risk that equity holders bear ie it should cost the business more in terms of dividend payouts than interest payments.
    So it should be, in the end, more expensive to the business to withhold dividends especially if shareholders were expecting a payment.
    But, I agree, in reality that’s not the case. Borrowing in the real world is more expensive. So much for the rational investor.

  317. Qshtik April 23, 2010 at 1:07 pm #

    Go find some other guy to tease.
    Martin, I am quite capable of dreaming up ways to tease people but I assure you my sudden realization that your “exploitation” might involve sex was no tease. Since you have ruled that out I must return to the original question: where is the heinous exploitation?

  318. Martin Hayes April 23, 2010 at 1:26 pm #

    Well, I think the fact that she was in Dubai and not Sri Lanka picking up the discards of pasty-faced expats like myself and my wife who, if anything, is even more of a slob than I am, is exploitation. She said to me when I was firing her: “I’m working harder for you than anyone.”
    How do you think that made me feel? She was so offended that she left her slip-slops behind. I feel really bad because she was a nicer person than I could ever hope to be.

  319. Cash April 23, 2010 at 1:28 pm #

    But they serve a wonderful purpose of providing liquidity and price discovery without which the system could not operate efficiently. – Qshtik
    I know what you’re saying, there’s a ready market out there if you’re a bona fide businessman in the business of buying or selling commodities and you need to hedge.
    But when you look at the massive price swings in commodities we’ve seen in the past couple of years I have to think there has to be a better way. For one thing this isn’t just a financial market thing, when speculators go into a frenzy people go hungry.
    About two years ago there were problems in the Philipines over rice because of massive price increases and supply problems. People here were clearing out grocery stores and shipping rice to the Philipines to feed starving relatives. Shit like that cannot happen. The traders’ bonuses at Goldman have to take a back seat to people being able to eat. Do I have an answer? No, I know only generalities about such matters.
    What freaked me out not long ago was the reaction of bureaucrats from the Commodities Futures Trading Commission when they were asked about speculators in commodities and their reaction was speculators? what speculators? Later some diligent people found that only a few financial firms held a huge proportion of contracts (my memory is weak on specifics here) they said oh those speculators! Geez we didn’t notice them. This can’t happen either. The CFTC’s main priority cannot be traders’ take home pay.
    I don’t want to come across as moralistic, my main priority is my own bottom line not the calorie intake of filipino slum dwellers. Filipinos are adults just like us and if they can’t run their own country that’s their problem.

  320. diogen April 23, 2010 at 2:05 pm #

    Martin, your story still makes no sense. You and your wife are (self-described) slobs, and you fired an otherwise hard-working employee you liked for just “sweeping the dust under the rug”??
    Unless it’s a metaphor that I’m missing, why would you fire her for THAT rather then asking her to not do that anymore? And how much dust can you put under a rug anyway, couldn’t have been much. Come on, tell us the real story, what was it that she was hiding under the rug? 🙂
    >I’ve turned down more sex than you can shake a >stick at. I really don’t like it.
    As Vlad says, it’s your fault that White people aren’t pro-creating enough 🙂

  321. asia April 23, 2010 at 2:12 pm #

    in the immortal words of libertarian/ best seeling author HARRY BROWNE:
    yr vote doesnt count!
    [indeed a risky attitude considering he later went into politics]

  322. asia April 23, 2010 at 2:16 pm #

    O Divine One, Wily Coyote, Trotsky Catboy….
    you are indeed an iconoclastic and politically incorrect old grump.

  323. Qshtik April 23, 2010 at 2:20 pm #

    She was so offended that she left her slip-slops behind. Note: over here we call them “flip flops.”
    Slowly but surely I am understanding what happened. There was a bad ending to an interpersonal relationship with someone that, in general, you liked, comiserated with over tea and in many respects treated as a family member. Such things happen daily all over the globe. The upshot is that it had nothing to do with Dubai’s labor policies nor your white South African heritage. What you are is – ashamed that “you’re a slob.”
    BTW, your earlier post contained this wonderful line:
    because sure as shit most people are moralizing tosspots who can’t deliver and their sisters make buses look handsome.
    It sounds like something “out of Africa.” I had to look up “tosspots” and I have never heard the ad hominem about the looks of a drunkard’s sister being compared unfavorably with a bus. Anyway, I enjoy your writing.
    By what happenstance did you wind up in Dubai? doing what kind of work? and how long were you there?

  324. asia April 23, 2010 at 2:24 pm #

    ‘the impotent Gov’t who lets them across the border’
    wuz at the dentist today so i was stuck infront of CNN…pretty blonde soldier girl in afgahanistan….’ diversity in afghan war 17 nations fight’ or some such stuff.
    then the BIG story…Obamanation against azizona plan.TO ME THAT IS BIG NEWS.
    the big ? is ‘why doesnt govt guard our border’ or
    ‘ why are our troops in 100+ countries while terrorists and thugs break into this country’???

  325. asia April 23, 2010 at 2:26 pm #

    ‘It’s rediculous to assume the issurers ‘
    …………………………….go to it QSHTIK

  326. asia April 23, 2010 at 2:29 pm #

    ‘Filipinos are adults just like us and if they can’t run their own country that’s their problem.’
    not necessarily! USA now is a ‘dump’ for unwanted turd worlders.
    In words of a UCLA nurse…’ theres a filipino [in usa] nurses association. THEY HAVE RUINED THE PROFESSION, SOME CANT EVEN INSERT A FEEDING TUBE’.

  327. asia April 23, 2010 at 2:30 pm #

    As Vlad says, it’s your fault that White people aren’t pro-creating enough 🙂

  328. Martin Hayes April 23, 2010 at 5:42 pm #

    Qshtik, will you leave it alone? This is a bone no one with any taste or sense would want to gnaw. There was no bloody interpersonal relationship. Because she was from Sri Lanka I expected she was a Buddhist but she told me she was a Christian. When she told me that I made sure to leave well alone.

  329. Martin Hayes April 23, 2010 at 5:51 pm #

    But at one point she asked me if I believed as she did, and I said yes, because I’m a lying, two-faced shitbag.

  330. wagelaborer April 23, 2010 at 6:48 pm #

    Thanks for reading it both times, QSHTIK, but you still missed my point.
    My point is not that just that some pricks are swindlers, but that this system rewards those sociopaths who have no morals and choose to go into Wall Street instead of street crime.
    I think that it is possible to design a system that provides a decent standard of living for all, without the extremes that this system rewards.
    Whether we will is a much more dicey problem.
    And when you sneer about MY morals, I have to say, no, I don’t gamble in the stock market, even though I know that housing prices cannot rise forever.
    Don’t you learn from experience? Even if I didn’t realize that capitalism has booms and busts, I lived through the 80s housing bubble, and I know that sooner or later, house prices drop when they are rising in such fashion that no one can afford to pay the mortgage. Duh.
    I didn’t speculate, but, on the other hand, I disregarded the signs in my bank that entreated me to take out a second mortgage to go to the Bahamas, or add on to my house. I don’t put 10% of my salary into a 401K, so that I can make a million dollars and retire, as the personnel people assure me is likely.
    Diogen, I didn’t know that Marx was a Christian. I guess I’ve heard him called a Jew so many times that it never occurred to me to double check. Thanks.
    And Dale, thank you for the clarification on CDOs. All I really know is that the boys on Wall Street have promised more returns on their offerings than the entire GDP of the world. And that when it all went bad, they blamed the people who fell for the entreaties and bought houses that they wouldn’t be able to afford when the rates reset. What kind of idiots would just assume that their income would keep rising and that they would be able to afford the new rates? Boy, were they ever irresponsible to believe such nonsense. Hey, want to buy some CDOs?

  331. Eleuthero April 23, 2010 at 8:05 pm #

    Good post, Wagelaborer. Corporations
    were originally created as a PUBLIC
    TRUST in the USA … not as a “person”.
    They are supposed to be our “bitches”
    and not the reverse.
    The way the venal Republicans on talk
    radio screech, you’d think that private
    citizens should all study to be Ph.D.’s
    in Econometrics just to buy a financial
    Our country has become so corrupt that
    even the duped identify more with their
    dupers than with their fellow duped
    colleagues. “Oh, they all do it so it
    must be legal”. Like shorting securities
    you’re selling as AAA to your clients.
    If that’s not a self-evident WRONG and
    a legal TORT then the USA is heading for
    the scrap heap of history far, far faster
    than even JHK imagines.
    The line of thinking of EVERY single
    investment bank is that if a subject is
    full of obfuscation then there is
    plausible deniability. It’s their
    every day modus operandi.
    and you’ll see what America has become.
    They try to promote pure BETTING as
    “investment”. It’s just like the
    subtle transformation since the 1970s
    when gambling went from a sin (or at
    least imprudence for low-lifes) to
    Thus, our rank-and-file citizens think
    of everything from the craps table to
    the stock market as a chance to get
    something for nothing and whoever
    SUCCEEDS in getting something for nothing
    gets lionized as a veritable hero.
    It’s not just our critical thinking skills
    that are in the crapper, it’s our moral
    compass. No wonder Jean Twenge in the
    book “Generation Me” calls the young
    “Generation Crude”. These kids ARE
    the “canaries in the coal mine” telling
    us that because our own superegos are
    vastly diminished, we’ve passed it on
    to our kids.
    I advise people over 40 to go out sometimes
    to local pubs and just observe the young.
    Listen to the conversations where both
    males and females are talking at the
    top of their lungs with an “f” bomb every
    fifth word. See if you hear conversations
    which have any substance. Do NOT hold your
    It’s far too late for America to save itself.
    The panglosses like Asoka only provide a bit
    of comedy to my mind. If Moses were running
    the country it’d be too late to turn it around.
    There’s not ONE aspect of life that is as it
    should be in the USA … sexually, ethically,
    financially, intellectually, etc..
    It’s the postmodern world here now. And it
    is in the process of throwing out truths
    that have been hard-earned over 5000 years.
    Greed vs. charity, slutiness vs. chastity,
    braggadocio vs. humility … are no longer
    considered “good vs. bad”. Even Oprah is
    promoting the tattooed slut as just a sort
    of “lifestyle choice” and we should all
    respect each other’s “lifestyle choice” [sic].
    You don’t have to be a Christian to see
    that this is, indeed, an “endtimes”
    scenario. At least for the United States.

  332. Qshtik April 24, 2010 at 12:42 am #

    Qshtik, will you leave it alone?
    Yes. I’m growing tired of all the pussy-footing around the saga of the exploited Sri Lankan woman. Case closed.

  333. asoka April 24, 2010 at 5:10 am #


    NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) — New home sales improved in March at the fastest single-month rate in 47 years … New-home sales rose 26.9% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 411,000 last month, compared to an upwardly revised annual rate of 324,000 in February, the Census Bureau said. The gain snapped a four-month streak of declines. … The percentage gain was the biggest on a month-over-month basis since a 31% gain in March 1963. New-home sales spiked in every region of the United States.

    Doesn’t sound like a cash-strapped economy. People are going back to work. Companies are hiring again.

    US: March leading economic indicators index gains 1.4% . The index of leading indicators rose in March by the most in 10 months, a sign that the economy will keep growing into the second half of the year. The 1.4% increase in the New York-based Conference Board’s measure of the outlook for three to six months was more than anticipated and followed a revised 0.4% gain in February. Manufacturers are ramping up production and factory workers are putting in longer hours as companies rebuild inventories and ship more goods overseas. Further improvement in the job market is needed to help sustain the economy’s recovery from the worst recession since the 1930s.

    U.S. employers created 162,000 jobs in March, the fastest rate in three years and widely seen as another sign the recovery from deep recession was moving onto solid footing. The dollar is also expected to rise in the week ahead.
    Consumer spending accounts for about 70 percent of U.S. economic activity.
    And the good news is: CONSUMER CONFIDENCE IS UP. The Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Index rose to 52.5 in March (predictions were 50, so 52.5 exceeded expectations, in a good way, in a positive direction).
    52.5 is quite a turnaround, thanks to Obama, from the historic low of 25.3 in February 2009, the legacy of eight years of Bush’s economic disaster (deregulation, union busting, tax cuts for the rich that increases deficits by trillions, preemptive illegal wars of aggression that cost more trillions, etc.)
    Although JHK and the CFN naysayers and pessimists will not admit acknowledge the data and will not admit Obama was right in his policies, OBAMA’S RECOVERY IS WORKING.
    Obama is even likely to win over Republicans to pass a bipartisan financial reform bill. Then an energy bill. Then an immigration bill. And on and on… Republicans and Democrats working together for the betterment of the whole country.

  334. asoka April 24, 2010 at 5:19 am #

    Quite a few of you are still stuck, psychologically, in that Feb. 2009 time period, when the economy hit bottom.
    Since then you have refused to see the positive change Obama has brought, through the RECOVERY ACT OF 2009, to restart private sector employment (through temporary public sector stimulus spending).
    The manufacturing jobs now being created are not government sector spending, they are private sector. The data have spoken, and you have to believe.
    Give Obama some credit for that CHANGE YOU CAN BELIEVE IN.

  335. Qshtik April 24, 2010 at 11:20 am #

    *** READERS BEWARE ***

    In the first of two copy and paste articles presented here by Asoka the following paragraphs were edited out in order to portray a totally one-sided (optimistic) slant on the recently released housing sales numbers.
    “It’s obvious that homebuyers are rushing in to take advantage of the tax credit that’s set to expire,” said Robert Dye, senior economist for PNC Financial Services.
    In November, the government extended and expanded an $8,000 tax credit, which also allows some repeat buyers to qualify for a $6,500 credit. Buyers have until April 30 to qualify.
    Dye expects to see continued strength in April’s data before “tailing off” through the summer as the group of buyers who rushed in are “all spent out.”
    Although new-home sales in March exceeded analyst expectations, sales are still trending near record lows, and prices are still under pressure due to oversupply.

    I have some personal knowledge of how these credits are spurring demand. My own son and his wife are closing on a house in Maryland on Monday, 4/26. He works at Fort Monmouth (NJ) which is being shut down and the entire operation moved to the Aberdeen Proving Grounds in MD. It’s a several year process. A lot of people from the NJ base will relocate – some earlier some later – as facilities are made ready to accomodate them. Suddenly about 5 weeks ago my son got word that he would be transferred effective Aug 1st. Prior to this sudden announcement the belief was that it wouldn’t be until Spring 2011. This started a mad scramble to find a house in time to capture the $8,000 first time homebuyers credit. This is a microcosm of what is driving these recent favorable housing numbers.
    Think about it … you as a taxpayer are helping my son and thousands like him to get “free money” for buying a house … spurring overall demand and driving house prices higher than they would otherwise be … the same kind of thing that got us in this mess in the first place … absurdly rising house prices caused by absurdly easy credit arrangements.

  336. asoka April 24, 2010 at 11:41 am #

    Qshtik: “you as a taxpayer are helping my son and thousands like him to get “free money” for buying a house”
    Anyone who has ever bought a house knows the expenses don’t stop at closing… buying a house is just the beginning of dozens of expenditures in the private sector to move and get settled into the new house.
    Unlike drone bombs guided by gyroscopes (it explodes, end of economic story), home buying has an economic multiplier effect.

  337. Qshtik April 24, 2010 at 1:24 pm #

    buying a house is just the beginning of dozens of expenditures
    … so when the temporary demand fostered by the housing credits peters out so will its ripple effect.
    But the purpose of my earlier post is not to debate housing economics but to make it clear to other readers – for the umpteenth time – that your posts are not to be trusted. You are an incorrigible spinner and this last post of yours is yet another example: ignore what I wrote and move on to some other bright side. Really, you should run for some office. You fit the mold of a politician perfectly.

  338. asoka April 24, 2010 at 1:45 pm #

    Qshtik: “your posts are not to be trusted. You are an incorrigible spinner”
    You can’t refute the data, so you try to smear the messenger. You cannot deny the data, so you try to spin it away with your interpretations of why the data is happening.
    Qshtik: “… so when the temporary demand fostered by the housing credits peters out so will its ripple effect. ”
    No that is what happens with defense spending. Look up the meaning of “multiplier effect”

  339. Cash April 24, 2010 at 1:57 pm #

    the big ? is ‘why doesnt govt guard our border’ or
    ‘ why are our troops in 100+ countries while terrorists and thugs break into this country’??? -Asia
    Excellent question. A country that can’t control and enforce its own borders is not long for this world. Some people would cheer, they devoutly wish this would happen, especially Americans and Canucks of the liberal stripe because they detest their own country. But I would say to them beware the answered prayer.
    I ask all the time why the fuck are Canuck troops in Afghanistan, a no hope, no point craphole if there ever was one, where we’ve pissed away hundreds of dead, wounded and maimed plus billions of dollars while at the same time we can’t control our own borders and the inflow of “refugees”.
    I think that what’s happening to the US is what happened to the Roman Empire. The Empire was relentlessly infiltrated by barbarians who saw no point in listening to Rome, forcibly retired the last boy emperor and carved up territory for themselves.
    The US is not able to assimilate these newcomers who do not see themselves as American. When Sotomayor was nominated for the Supremes I only ever heard of her referred to as a Latina and not once ever as an American.
    Somehow, and I really marvelled at this, she was able to spin her upbringing, as a “Latina”, in a slum, where you dodge bullets on the way to a grocery store, as giving her superior qualifications to prospective judges who, as white men, were raised in middle class neighbourhoods. So enfeebled are powers of reason nowadays that this story actually seemed to make sense which is mind effing boggling.
    Unless you guys can put a lid on the southern border you’re screwed. You’ve defacto given millions of foreigners squatters rights/citizenship rights when you declined to guard the Rio Grande or enforce immigration laws. You’re turning large swathes of your territory into Mexico. Why was this done? Business wants dirt cheap labour, that’s why.
    Don’t worry, you’ll have company. We’re just as deficient in the cojones department as you guys are and we’ll swirl down the toilet together.

  340. asia April 24, 2010 at 2:01 pm #

    r u going to destroy his credibility here, finally ONCE AND FOR ALL ETERNITY? o wise one please do.

  341. asia April 24, 2010 at 2:07 pm #

    ASSIMILATE you write?
    the US is being assimilated/ destroyed by a 3rd world crap-OLE. [ pun intended…not hole but ole].
    someone working for the police dept said she resented my calling a thief a ‘ wetback’ ‘..THE TERM IS LATINO I RESENT THAT’ said she. if i had her name id print it. i can assure you its a spanish last name.
    ‘The US is not able to assimilate these newcomers who do not see themselves as American. When Sotomayor was nominated for the Supremes I only ever heard of her referred to as a Latina and not once ever as an American.
    Somehow, and I really marvelled at this, she was able to spin her upbringing, as a “Latina”, in a slum, where you dodge bullets on the way to a grocery ……..listen to Stellydans THE ROYAL SCAM…they left their island for manhattan….blame ny mayor jon lindsay.
    see ydays news or todays…barak doesnt like whats goin on in arizona…..presumably because its bad for the destroy america agenda hes on.

  342. asia April 24, 2010 at 2:08 pm #

    GAWD! :
    “Olé!” : An expression of excitement. From the Spanish “olé”, derived from the Arabic oath ????? (w-állah), “by Allah!”

  343. Cash April 24, 2010 at 2:15 pm #

    “Olé!” : An expression of excitement. From the Spanish “olé”, derived from the Arabic oath ????? (w-állah), “by Allah!” -asia
    Fascinating. I had no idea.
    Here’s one more: origin of the word Canada:
    Ca Nada: medieval Spanish for “here nothing”

  344. Qshtik April 24, 2010 at 2:22 pm #

    Unlike drone bombs guided by gyroscopes
    Speaking of bombs, I note that you’ve been uncharacteristically silent about the administration giving consideration to an old Bush era idea:
    i.e. Building massive non-nuclear bombs of near-nuke explosive power that can be delivered with pin-point accuracy (it’s always called “pin-point” until the first civilian wedding party is blown away into their next reincarnation) to any place on the globe in less than one hour. I think the plan is to build one of these super-bombs for each nuke that they retire under the disarmament agreement. This way we can still kill and destroy on a massive scale but without those worrisome radioactive halflifes (or is it halflives? Where the hell is Abbey when I need her?). Sounds like the dems have found a way to live up to a couple of seemingly conflicting campaign promises in “one swell foop”: 1) nuclear disarmament and 2) maintain a strong military. Ya gotta love the logic. It reminds me of the orthodox jews in my town who pre-rip lengths of toilet paper on Thursday for use on Friday (the Sabbath) because your not allowed to work on the Sabbath and flipping a light switch or tearing toilet paper is considered work. (No offense to Mika or any of my other jewish friends here at CFN.)
    If any such bomb is ever built and used during the current administration I’m sure you (Asoka) will continue to like Obama “as a person.”

  345. routersurfer April 24, 2010 at 2:47 pm #

    Great call in 2002 Jim. First,they put us to sleep with a Health Care Bill, that is NOT a Health Care Bill. Next they are starting on a Financial Reform Bill, that will NOT reform anything. Anyone else noticed an up tick in “GUNS ARE BAD” on MSNBC’s ? I’m to the left of Nader and find it funny that President Obama is called a communist! Seems to me President Obama is to the right of President Nixon. Once again Jim gives us look into the future and we get lost in politics. We are crazy. Game Over. Are you ready for the new one? It’s called survival. Look forward to Jim’s next book. Keep them coming!!!

  346. asoka April 24, 2010 at 2:50 pm #

    Qshtik: “I’m sure you (Asoka) will continue to like Obama “as a person.”
    Qshtik, I have no enemies. I am happy and I like everybody… as persons.
    I will continue to support a reduction in “defense” spending, and will continue to call Obama a war criminal as long as he, as commander in chief of the armed forces, does not order immediately withdrawal from the illegal and immoral occupations/wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    “The problem with the tea party movement, besides their almost universal rejection of dentistry, is that they want money for nothing and chicks for free. They want a deregulated free market and their jobs to stay here in the US; they want guaranteed health coverage regardless of preexisting conditions without a big government mandate; they want to call themselves teabaggers and people to keep a straight face. And of course they want big tax cuts along with deficit reduction. I can’t even think of a suitable analogy for that disconnect–it’s like thinking getting a handjob will clean your garage.”

    Despite a $12.8 trillion national debt, America does not want to cut back on entitlement programs, defense spending, or even space travel, Maher observed during his “new rule” monologue on “Real Time.”
    He challenged the tea partiers to take on defense spending saying:

    Everything that goes into defense costs us about a trillion dollars a year, most of which goes into fighting the Russians in 1978. Fighter planes for all those dog fights we get into with the Taliban, submarines to foil their evil plot to blow up our ships with car bombs, and space lasers to shoot down their exploding underpants…scream about handouts, this is what they should be protesting.

  347. edpell April 24, 2010 at 2:51 pm #

    Money and power trumps rule of law. This is the way it has always been in the U.S.

  348. Cash April 24, 2010 at 2:53 pm #

    I think that it is possible to design a system that provides a decent standard of living for all, without the extremes that this system rewards. – Wage
    You’re absolutely correct. It was done in fact from about 1945 to about 1975. But it all fell apart since then.
    My father and many male relatives came to N. America, with no money, no skills, no education, illiterate or semi literate, no English, essentially nothing except the will to work.
    They did OK, all were able to achieve a middle class standard of living in a variety of occupations working mostly in factories.
    In the old country they were tenant farmers, the poorest of the poor. Trust me, if they can make it here, coming from such deprived half starved backgrounds, anyone could. I’m not denigrating them, I’m just saying that back then there was room at the table for everyone, even people as poor and as disadvantaged as my parents and relatives.
    I don’t know how old you are but back then the system was like this: dad had a job, mom stayed home and took care of us. There really were white picket fences and most of us really did grow up like Wally and the Beav at least where I grew up.
    Not like today where too many fathers can’t support their families and are disdained because of it, so divorce rates are through the roof, families are messed up and kids have 2.8 parents somewhere or other.
    IMO the root cause is shaky family finances because men cannot find stable or decent paying work. Maybe I’m overgeneralizing and maybe it’s politically incorrect to say it but women want a hubby that can provide. If he’s unable it’s hasta la vista. No romance without finance. It seems to me that having to support a Mr Mom is repellent to most women. If memory serves, you are a woman, right? Feel free to tell me I’m full of it. Or is there something to this?

  349. Qshtik April 24, 2010 at 2:54 pm #

    You should have replied: Yeah, but the crime happened a hundred yards from the Rio Grande and the Latino thief was soaking wet from head to foot.”

  350. asoka April 24, 2010 at 3:31 pm #

    “…women want a hubby that can provide.”
    Men want a sex object.
    Women want a success object.

  351. ak April 24, 2010 at 3:51 pm #

    Asia: getting the number of comment-lines by each doesn’t really work. I can try to get the number of words, but that’s quite more involved – I may get the time for it sometime in the future…
    351 Comments total as of 2010-04-24 12:31 (Pacific)
    More than 1 comment by:

    46 &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp Qshtik
    37 &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp asia
    20 &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp Cash
    19 &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp diogen
    19 &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp Martin Hayes
    18 &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp mika.
    18 &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp Vlad Krandz
    14 &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp asoka
    14 &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp sfnate
    11 &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp welles
    9 &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp Hancock1863
    8 &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp SNAFU
    7 &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp wagelaborer
    5 &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp Puzzler
    4 &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp dale
    4 &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp John66
    4 &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp trippticket
    3 &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp budizwiser
    3 &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp DeeJones
    3 &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp Gus44
    3 &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp James Crow
    3 &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp jim e
    3 &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp Jim from Watkins Glen
    3 &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp lane
    3 &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp Mr. Purple
    3 &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp The Mook
    2 &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp bridges
    2 &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp Eleuthero
    2 &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp Fouad Khan
    2 &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp Gregg
    2 &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp lsjogren
    2 &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp ozone

  352. asoka April 24, 2010 at 4:35 pm #

    Thanks, AK, but so demoralizing. I post so infrequently I am not even in the top five posters.
    Qshtik delendus est, sententia sit personable

  353. Qshtik April 24, 2010 at 4:53 pm #

    r u going to destroy his credibility here, finally ONCE AND FOR ALL ETERNITY?
    Not too likely Asia … too many socialists around here who don’t know spin from shinola.

  354. asoka April 24, 2010 at 6:29 pm #

    Qshtik said:

    too many socialists around here who don’t know spin from shinola.

    Socialists maintain capitalism unfairly concentrates power and wealth among a small segment of society [duh!] that controls capital and derives its wealth through a [bust all the unions!] system of exploitation. [think Wall Street, Goldman Sachs, Peabody Energy, Massey Energy, etc.]
    This in turn creates an unequal society, [ya think?] that fails to provide equal opportunities for everyone [no shit, Sherlock] to maximize their potential [for capitalists it’s the bottom line that counts, not human peon potential], and does not utilize technology and resources to their maximum potential [oh, they utilize technology well for exploitation] nor in the interests of the public. [there you go again, worrying about people, instead of the bottom line]
    What we have are libertarians, capitalists, and black swan cargo cultists … skeptical, jaded, cynical narcissistic pessimists who think the USA worked in the 1950s because their skin is not black.
    Would that there were more communists here and anarchists, too.

  355. asoka April 24, 2010 at 6:59 pm #


    On any military base, daily life is surprisingly socialistic. On your way to work, you stop at a government-run convenience store to buy your morning coffee. On the weekend, you do your grocery shopping at a government-run supermarket where you have a choice of all sorts of government-produced food products: government-produced cereal, government-produced milk, government-produced eggs, etc. Right next to the government-run supermarket is the Base Exchange (Postal Exchange in the Army), which is a government-run Wal-Mart. When you have finished your shopping at these socialist stores, you can go and get your hair cut at the government-run barber shop before going to catch a movie at the government-run movie theatre. At the end of your day, you can fill up your car at the government-run gas station.

    Most importantly, when you get sick, you have access to the finest example of socialized medicine there is: Free health care at (you guessed it) a government-run hospital staffed by government-employed doctors.

    Military installations are so socialistic that they make Marx and Lenin look like capitalists. And the best part: It works. And it works because not only is it very effectively administered by the government, it’s also funded by your tax dollars.

    Now, wouldn’t it be nice if you could have access to all that socialist medicine and other conveniences that you pay for?

  356. Qshtik April 24, 2010 at 8:09 pm #

    To Asoka, Wagelaborer, Eleuthero, Martin Hayes and other like minded CFNers:
    There’s this famous line about Socialism:
    When you implement “from each according to his ability, to each according to his need,” magically, everyone starts having quite a lot of need and very little ability.
    Every now and then Asoka shows his true colors as in the following:
    Would that there were more communists here and anarchists, too.
    Wage, Eleuth, Martin et al .. let’s hear it for Asoka .. let’s put those hands together.

  357. Qshtik April 24, 2010 at 8:39 pm #

    On any military base, … etc etc etc … Now, wouldn’t it be nice if you could have access to all that socialist medicine and other conveniences that you pay for? (All having to be subsidized because they do not run at break-even much less at a profit.)
    So JOIN UP! All that’s required is that you’re prepared to drop bombs, kick in doors, shoot people and possibly die at an early age thousands of miles from home on behalf of your capitalist civilian countrymen.
    I wonder why, with all these good socialist bennies, they have such a hard time filling the ranks even in peace-time (except during recessions) hmmmm?
    I served 3 years Asoka … you didn’t. Please cut the BS and the SPIN.

  358. Qshtik April 24, 2010 at 9:00 pm #

    Asoka, lets play pretend.
    Let’s say John Harwood, CNBC’s political analyst does a one-on-one TV interview with Obama. He tells him about the CFN blog and that some guy posting under the handle Asoka is his greatest champion, apologist and optimistic defender of administration programs and policies. He mentions the socialist charge laid on you by another commenter and reads verbatim to Obama your last two posts, asking for his reaction. What would Obama say?

  359. asoka April 24, 2010 at 9:05 pm #

    Qshtik: “I served 3 years Asoka … you didn’t. Please cut the BS and the SPIN.”
    I beg your pardon. The United States of America ordered me to serve and I served two years. It was officially called “Alternative Service” and I did it in a hospital. And on $400 a month I paid for my own food, my own housing, my own clothing, etc. while you were on the government dole.

  360. asoka April 24, 2010 at 9:08 pm #

    Qshtik: “Every now and then Asoka shows his true colors as in the following:
    Would that there were more communists here and anarchists, too.”
    I just want CFN to be fair and balanced. We have a goodly share of Conservatives and Free Marketers. It would be nice to have other perspectives.

  361. Qshtik April 24, 2010 at 9:47 pm #

    while you were on the government dole.
    So now all of a sudden all those wonderful socialist bennies one enjoys by being in the military, that you listed two hours ago, you now contemptuously and derogatorily refer to as the government dole.
    One moment Mr Inconsistent is for the government dole and the next moment against.
    Does he contradict himself? Well then he contradicts himself. He is large. He contains multitudes — Walt Whitman
    Does he hate the corporation. No. He only hates what the corporation does. Other than that he likes the corporation “as a person.”
    I think Asoka is getting all tangled up in his underwear this evening.

  362. asoka April 24, 2010 at 10:08 pm #

    Qshtik: “One moment Mr Inconsistent is for the government dole and the next moment against.”
    In successful socialist flavored countries where people pay high tax rates (like certain Scandnavian countries), I have no problem with socialism. People are paying their way (food, clothing, bedding, etc.)
    You were not paying your way. Food, clothing, bedding, etc. was paid for you. You were receiving government dole for three years from Mommy Government.

  363. Qshtik April 24, 2010 at 10:28 pm #

    Trotsky Catboy
    I googled this term but it was no help. Please define it.

  364. Qshtik April 25, 2010 at 12:12 am #

    You were not paying your way. Food, clothing, bedding, etc. was paid for you.
    You are full of shit. Strike that. What nonsense!You need to read up on military pay and allowances. It’s based on rank, years of service and numerous other factors. Story short: the sum of all pay and allowances for military personnel is considerably less than what that individual would be paid for the same position in civilian life not to mention various hardships and potential threats to life and limb.
    I lived on base for one year in a BOQ (Bachelor Officer Quarters) and paid for my meals at the Officer Mess (albiet meals were cheap). Then I moved off base and rented a tiny house with 2 other lieutenants.
    What’s the story with “alternative service?” Are you considered a member of the military service? Do you wear a uniform? Do you live amongst regular service members? Was the hospital on a military base? Was there any sense of being a pariah or being kept separate so you wouldn’t contaminate the regular troops with your pacifist ideology? When your 2 years were up do you get an “honorable discharge?”
    I note in this latest post you talk about socialist flavored Scandnavian economies about which you say “I have no problem with socialism.” This is a far less ringing endorsement than “Now, wouldn’t it be nice if you could have access to all that socialist medicine and other conveniences that you pay for?” i.e. you would love the US to adopt an economic system modeled on what you consider to be US military type socialism.
    Make up your mind, is it “I would love socialism?” or “I have no problem with socialism?” It sounds like you’re saying “I would love it if you did NOT beat your wife but I have no problem if you do so long as it does not result in compound fractures.”
    Really Asoka, you’re a pisser.

  365. asoka April 25, 2010 at 1:25 am #

    Qshtik: “Then I moved off base and rented a tiny house with 2 other lieutenants.”
    Did you get BAH subsidies?
    I got no assistance for housing, no discounts for food, no nothing. You were on the government dole.
    In fact, I was paying taxes on my income to pay for your cheap meals.
    There is no comparison when it comes to the pay and benefits (many for life) and service recognition military receive compared to the ostracism conscientious objectors receive… with zero post-service benefits for their alternative service.

  366. Eleuthero April 25, 2010 at 1:29 am #

    I think it’s hilarious that Asoka has
    given various odes to Socialism at the
    precise moment when the whole thing is
    going to come crashing down.
    The problem with “free” things is that
    people like DOCTORS and other would-be
    government employees actually like to
    be PAID.
    So why has it worked so well in the post
    war period?? Because the entitlement
    programs in Socialist countries had about
    18 workers for every retiree in 1950. It
    only works when that ratio is very high and
    birthrates are very high to keep adding
    new recruits into the workforce.
    Personally, I have no IDEOLOGICAL objections
    to Socialism. I’m a pragmatist. Most of
    these utopian social programs are just
    Ponzi schemes. When the people paying
    into the system decline due to low birth
    rates and the number of retirees SWELLS
    due to much greater longevity, it stops
    Why do you think Putin is PAYING Russian
    women to get pregnant?? Putin is a smart
    guy!! He knows that there’s LOTS of land
    in Russia to occupy more people and that
    a new baby boom will keep social programs
    functioning. Mainland Europe is hosed.
    To believe that a system like Europe’s
    will continue to function is like believing
    in Tooth Fairy arithmetic. Let’s see …
    lower birthrates, swelling rolls of retirees,
    and they already have enormous payroll taxes
    … yet the list of in-trouble countries is
    almost everybody BUT Germany, France, and
    the Scandinavian countries.
    The Scandinavian countries are mainly blessed
    by small populations and the lack of Muslim
    influx afflicting mainland Europe. Also,
    they’ve been a prime beneficiary of North
    Sea oil … which is in SEVERE depletion.
    No, I have no ideological objection to
    Socialism. However, arithmetically, it is
    like one giant DEFINED BENEFIT plan like
    our Social Security system that only works
    when births and workers increase and the
    number of retirees stays at a manageable level.
    If only there was a Tooth Fairy who could make
    the arithmetic work. It doesn’t.

  367. wagelaborer April 25, 2010 at 1:50 am #

    I agree with some of what you say, Cash.
    I actually made one of your points to a tram driver at the State Fair, who I got into an argument with between the parking lot and the front gate. He was against abortion, and thought that kids should be forced to marry, like in the old days.
    I pointed out that in the old days, the two of them could drop out of high school and the boy could get a job to support them both (eventually all 3. And then more). This is now impossible, and families respond (logically) by dropping the whole shotgun marriage ideal. I said that if he wanted fewer abortions, he should support a rise in the minimum wage.
    Here’s the problem. How well off could this man be, to have a temporary job driving a tram for 2 weeks? Didn’t matter. He was opposed to raising the minimum wage. He had internalized the ideas of the ruling class.
    I don’t agree that the 50s achieved the goal of equality, especially for minorities in the US. However, it was more equal than now. The CEOs made 30x more than the lowest paid employee. Now they make 411x more. The wealth of the US is now in fewer hands.
    In the 50s, capitalists gave some concessions to workers.
    But, look at the US in the 50s. Europe and Japan were in ruins. The US was an oil exporter until 1970. Unions were strong and workers were fairly class conscious.
    In the 70s, the US hit peak oil. Europe and Japan had rebuilt and were strong contenders.
    All of a sudden, we started hearing about women’s liberation, defined as the right of a woman to be a wage laborer as well as a man. All of a sudden, mothering was a pain, to be foisted off onto minimum wage workers. All of a sudden, a woman would find self fulfillment in working for wages her entire life.
    Really? Who pushed this? Why was the corporate media full of this meme?
    Could it be that the capitalists realized what a waste it was for the female half of the workforce to take time out to nurture their young?
    Could it be that they realized that they could get 2 workers for the price of 1.57, if they convinced the women to drop their infants off for others to raise?
    Why the propaganda push for women to stay in the workforce?
    The ideas of the society are ever the ideas of the ruling class, says the renowned Lutheran, Karl Marx.
    Katha Pollit pointed out in the Sarah Palin paradox that in the old days, having 5 children would have disqualified a woman from running for office. Now, in a bizarre twist, having 5 children is seen as enough qualification for the office that no other attributes (like intelligence) are needed. She’s a mom! She knows how to juggle things.
    Although the Republicans were the ones opposing the shift to the 2 worker household in the 70s, now the Republicans are the most enthusiastic supporters of women working, ironically. The Republicans I work with brag about how they worked until the day they went into labor, and then showed back up at work less than their allotted six weeks later. By god, they didn’t let a little thing like childbirth interfere with their work duties!! Their macho posturing seems incongruent for women. And their newborns aren’t part of the picture.
    I disagree about the “woman want strong man” part of your argument. (And Asoka? WTF? What’s with the anti-woman joke?)
    Most of the women I work with ARE supporting their men. Even if the men work, they make less than the women. That’s how it is.
    I believe that nurturing a newborn is work, and should be valued and paid for by society, as it is in Europe.
    The total lack of support for mothers (and fathers) in this country puts the lie to the oft repeated meme that Americans value their children.
    Yeah, right. Only before they’re born.

  368. asoka April 25, 2010 at 2:00 am #

    Eleuthero, comparing apples and oranges:

    our Social Security system that only works
    when births and workers increase and the
    number of retirees stays at a manageable level.
    If only there was a Tooth Fairy who could make
    the arithmetic work. It doesn’t.

    Do this math, Eleuthero:
    SWEDEN: Statutory Swedish payroll tax is 32% for the majority of employees. (BTW, since the early 1980s, Sweden has received a large number of refugees from the Balkans, the Middle East, Africa and Latin America, which has ended the country’s homogeneity. Today, about one-seventh of the working-age population is foreign born.)
    USA: 6% of an employee’s wages in social security taxes until the employee reaches the wage base for the year.
    Can you see how it might work? You pay five times more into the system in Sweden and you don’t worry about DEFINED BENEFITS like health, education, child care, pension, etc.
    The ode I gave to socialism in the USA is the United States military… is that “falling apart”?

  369. asoka April 25, 2010 at 3:33 am #

    Qshtik said:

    You are full of shit. Strike that. What nonsense! You need to read up on military pay and allowances.

    LEGAL: As a U.S. military “servicemember” or veteran, you have many legal rights, entitlements, and benefits. These include financial and legal protection and assistance with personal legal matters. If you need to write your will, are considering signing a lease, or need a power of attorney or notarized signature. Then you need legal assistance, and best of all, military “servicemembers” and their families have access to legal assistance, absolutely free!
    EDUCATION: Education is one of the greatest benefits of serving in the Armed Forces. As a “servicemember”, veteran, or family member, you have special opportunities that can help provide money for school and support. In July of 2008 the Post-9/11 GI Bill was signed into law, creating a new robust education benefits program rivaling the WWII Era GI Bill of Rights.
    INSURANCE: On July 1, 2008, the premiums for basic SGLI will be 6.5 cents per month for $1,000 of coverage, down from 7 cents per month for $1,000.  This translates into a 7 percent savings. “Servicemembers” with the maximum $400,000 of coverage will see their monthly premium reduced from $28 to $26. 
    MILITARY PAY: With basic pay and 70 types of special pays and allowances, military pay is customized to your situation.
    TRAVEL: Space A or military hops, is a unique privilege provided to “servicemembers”, retirees and their families. Military life has special privileges! When you travel, you can take advantage of many convenient and inexpensive lodging options available around the world from each branch of the military. There are thousands of rooms available at temporary housing facilities, hotels, resorts, and guesthouses around the world.
    MEDICAL: As a member of the military community, one of the most important benefits you’ve earned is comprehensive health care coverage. TRICARE is the Department of Defense’s health care program for members of the uniformed services and their families. The Medical Benefits Package emphasizes preventive and primary care, offering a full range of outpatient and inpatient services.
    HOME LOANS: Veterans, active duty, guard or reserve, and military spouses potentially qualify for VA Home Loans.

  370. asoka April 25, 2010 at 5:40 am #


  371. Eleuthero April 25, 2010 at 5:48 am #

    Your out-of-the-blue income tax rate
    of 32% for Sweden is complete horseshit
    but par for the course for yourself.
    A review of OECD income tax data reveals
    that Sweden has the fifth highest income
    taxes in the world at 48%. Denmark is
    the most taxed country at 59%.
    The other bit of dissembling you do is
    in claiming that one-seventh of the
    “working age population” is foreign
    born. First, Sweden has only 9 million
    people. Second, you cherrypicked via
    the “working age” euphemism. In fact,
    if you were more honest you would report
    that only ONE-ELEVENTH of the Swedish
    population is non-Scandinavian.
    And even THIS doesn’t go nearly far enough
    in exposing your horseshit. In fact, only
    3.28% of total current Swedish population
    is Middle Eastern. This is a PITTANCE
    compared to Germany, France. Add them up:
    Syrians are 0.88% and the rest of the Muslim
    percentages are 0.5% of the population each
    for Iranians, Bosnians, Iraqis, Lebanese,
    and Turks.
    Three percent of nine million people is a
    whopping 270,000 people yet you make Sweden
    seem like a veritable melting pot. Your
    seven percent figure is horseshit because
    you are counting people like Norwegians,
    Finns, and Danes as if they were of the
    same degree of difference from the Swedish
    population as a Somalian or an Iraqi.
    Qshtik has your number. You are a sophist,
    a dissembler, a statistical cherrypicker,
    a shallow reasoner, a racist, an Orwellian
    sloganeer, and a mathematical swindler.
    I think you should move to TORONTO to live
    around all those immigrated JAMAICANS so that
    you can feel home in a melting pot. While
    you’re there, perhaps you can talk to long
    time Torontans and see what they think of
    these relocations of these barbarians.
    Finally, I suspect that the Swedes are not
    too bent out of shape by a few hundred
    thousand Middle Easterners. Berlin alone
    has five times that number. The
    Scandinavians can afford to appear like
    egalitarians because those icebergs are
    NEVER going to be home to large numbers
    of Arabs, Persians, Somalis, and so forth.
    Remember, it’s always easy to be an
    egalitarian when you can distance yourself
    from barbarians while lauding them from a
    safe place.

  372. Funzel April 25, 2010 at 11:20 am #

    Passing off Sotomayr as a Latino is also a joke.
    She belongs to the Portuguese branch of the Bedouin tribe that has been practising hidden genocide of the white people for a long time.(Export jobs,disown,Usury,no income no clout,eventual starvation).Check out the graves of our casualties of the last few wars,our sons and daughters have no jobs and eventually end up in the Military because of preferential treatment of “their tribe” members,not the qualifications of applicants.
    Check out the unskilled labor in congress,count the shysters,that belong to the tribe.
    Check out finance and commerce,check out the judiciary,get the picture??

  373. Qshtik April 25, 2010 at 12:13 pm #

    USA: 6% of an employee’s wages in social security taxes until the employee reaches the wage base for the year.
    Uh..not quite Asoka
    The Social Security tax withheld from employees during the year 2010 will be 6.2% of the first $106,800 of each employee’s taxable earnings. The employee’s earnings in excess of $106,800 are not subject to the Social Security tax. In addition to the Social Security tax, the entire amount of each employees’ taxable earnings is subject to the Medicare tax of 1.45%.
    Both the Social Security tax and the Medicare tax must be matched by the employer. This means the employer must remit to the federal government 12.4% of each employee’s first $106,800 of taxable earnings plus 2.9% of each employee’s earnings regardless of amount.
    Self-employed individuals are responsible for paying both the employee and the employer portions of the Social Security tax and the Medicare tax.

  374. Qshtik April 25, 2010 at 12:21 pm #

    Qshtik has your number. You are a sophist,
    a dissembler, a statistical cherrypicker,
    a shallow reasoner, a racist, an Orwellian
    sloganeer, and a mathematical swindler.

    Well said and thanks for the assistance Eleuthero. Its’s not easy keeping up with the tsunami of bullshit that rolls in endlessly from the keyboard of Asoka.

  375. Qshtik April 25, 2010 at 12:34 pm #

    As this CFN week approaches its close the takeaway is this:
    Asoka is a lover of the government dole despite the occasional contempt for it he trots out when it serves his purpose. Asoka thinks we all can and should bury our faces into an enormous set of warm government double Dees.

  376. Qshtik April 25, 2010 at 1:08 pm #

    he should support a rise in the minimum wage.
    If you press your finger into the side of an inflated balloon the entire contents and surface of the balloon are affected … every molecule of it. So too when you put into effect (or increase) a minimum wage. Ultimately you are pushing jobs to other places where labor can be had more cheaply. Neither threats nor walls nor any tariff scheme can stop this. It is as relentless as water seeking its lowest possible level. It resembles a law of physics. The problem with China and other countries “stealing” our jobs will never go away until slowly but surely our wages come into alignment with theirs. (Their’s rise, ours fall.) There will be pain all along this road of adjustment for the US and all high wage countries. The net impact of a higher minimum wage will be negative in the long run.

  377. asoka April 25, 2010 at 2:30 pm #


    Your out-of-the-blue income tax rate of 32% for Sweden is complete horseshit but par for the course for yourself.

    Not horseshit. Sweden has a tax category called a public pension fee (7% on gross income), and 30% of a tax category called employer fees on salaries (which is 33% on a netted income). Since January 2001 the 18.5% is divided in two parts, 16% goes to current payments. And 2.5% goes into individual retirement accounts, which was introduced in 2001. Money saved and invested in government funds and IRAs for future pension costs are roughly 5 times annual government pension expenses. SOURCE: http://reference.findtarget.com/search/welfare/
    So, you are the one spinning horseshit when you say the funds are running out because people are getting older. Sweden has five times more pension funds than pension expenses. It is a democratic socialist system that works. PEOPLE THERE PAY TAXES TO MAKE IT WORK. No Tooth Fairy needed.
    You are actually doing a funny thing by insisting the percentage paid into Swedish social security is higher than the figure I gave: you are supporting my argument that the system pays for itself, explaining how Sweden has a socialism that works. It is because of the high percentages you quote that the system works.

    The other bit of dissembling you do is in claiming that one-seventh of the “working age population” is foreign born. First, Sweden has only 9 million people. Second, you cherrypicked via the “working age” euphemism. In fact, if you were more honest you would report that only ONE-ELEVENTH of the Swedish population is non-Scandinavian.

    What I said, and stand by, is: one-seventh of the working age population is foreign born. You can grab a calculator and do the math. (BTW, I cannot “dissemble” the results on YOUR calculator. Nor can I make the Tooth Fairy intervene.)
    Do this math: 1 divided by 7. It comes out to 14.2857% of the working population (defined as ages 15 to 64). Seems you have a problem with math and don’t trust my number of about 14.3%. So I looked up the OECD statistics.
    Table 5.1 Sweden: All Foreign-Born % of total working-age population: 14.5% (2003)
    SOURCE: Jobs for immigrants, Volume 2 By Georges Lemaître, Thomas Liebig, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, page 261. http://bit.ly/9KgHCk
    Your cherry-picking, Tooth Fairy, and dissembling accusations are thereby proven false.

    Qshtik has your number. You are a sophist, a dissembler, a statistical cherrypicker, a shallow reasoner, a racist, an Orwellian sloganeer, and a mathematical swindler.

    In grade school, when faced with similar juvenile ad hominem taunts, we had a saying: “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” Save your electrons.
    You want to come at me, come with data and cite your sources. Name-calling doesn’t cut it. I don’t respond in kind to personal attack. I actually like you, Eleuthero, as a person.

  378. Qshtik April 25, 2010 at 3:05 pm #

    … but words will never hurt me.”
    Pardon my pedantry … it’s “names will never hurt me.”

  379. Cash April 25, 2010 at 3:12 pm #

    Doesn’t sound like a cash-strapped economy. – asoka
    You’re right, it’s not a cash strapped economy.
    I have a bachelors degree in economics from a large respected university and do know what I learned after four years of misery and expense? It’s this:
    – there is no such thing as a free lunch
    You know what came out of the field after I graduated? This:
    – if something can’t go on forever it won’t.
    These are the only remotely useful ideas that have ever come out of economics. Why are they relevant? Because I think they apply to what you said in this post.
    You’re right, the economy is not cash strapped. Quite the opposite, it is absolutely swimming in cash.
    The problem is the source ie so much of the cash is printed and/or borrowed courtesy of Mr Bernanke and Mr Greenspan at the Fed and your country’s paymasters in Beijing.
    We’ve already seen the effects of essentially free money from the Fed. You’ve had a series of bubbles and busts – tech, telecom, real estate, derivatives each more disastrous than the last, each fueled by absurd levels of debt enabled by Fed monetary policy.
    What I’m saying is that the Fed is continuing the same catastrophic free money/artificially low interest rate policy of the past 10-15 years. We’ve already seen where this leads. Sure as we’re sitting here you will get more financial debauchery and more economic destruction. You have recent history as your guide. There really is no such thing as a free lunch.
    And disregard the so called “financial reforms” coming out of Washington. Your capital is bought and paid for by Wall Street. Let health care reform be your guide. What we learned in the most explicit way possible was about the power of money and lobbying. But I digress.
    The second idea relates to money that is borrowed, particularly that coming from China. Right now the US economy is floating on a huge pile of dough lent by the Chinese. The Chinese will continue to lend for a while to avoid economic catastrophe in China. But they cannot/will not do it forever. I cannot imagine that Chinese leaders feel any particular obligation to fund American entitlement programs or the Pentagon’s expenditures for that matter.
    What then? Your country already offshored its manufacturing and now much white collar work is on its way to India. What are you going to live on? You can’t go on forever borrowing and printing money to fund consumption ie Chinese exports. You can’t do it on an individual basis and you can’t do it on an economy wide basis.

  380. asoka April 25, 2010 at 3:26 pm #

    Eleuthero said:

    Second, you cherrypicked via the “working age” euphemism. In fact, if you were more honest you would report
    that only ONE-ELEVENTH of the Swedish
    population is non-Scandinavian.

    [capitalization is Eleuthero’s]
    Where are you getting your numbers, Eleuthero, to be calling me dishonest?
    Sweden’s foreign-born population has increased by more than one million people in the last 50 years and numbered about 1.2 million people in 2007 out of Sweden’s total population of just under 9.2 million.
    If you do the math (and use any calculator of your choice), 1.2 divided by 9.2 is 13%.
    You misleadingly stated the percentage of foreign-born in Sweden is ONE-ELEVENTH of the population, or 9%, quite a significantly large underestimation.
    SOURCE: Statistics Sweden, as reported in The Local: Sweden’s News in English, Nov. 3, 2008 http://www.thelocal.se/15408/20081103/
    BTW, to counter some of the racist patter about “foreign-born” I have heard, the report also notes: “childbearing patterns for foreign-born women are demonstrating a convergence with those of women born in Sweden.” Funny how that happens when a socialist country is able to provide economic security to women.

  381. asoka April 25, 2010 at 3:33 pm #

    Qshtik pedantically said:

    Sticks and stones may break my bones (but words will never hurt me).

    Qshtik, you can’t even get your pedantry right. You may have said “names” in New Jersey, but the dictionary says it the way I learned it:
    Sticks and stones may break my bones (but words will never hurt me).

  382. Cash April 25, 2010 at 4:17 pm #

    You make some good points. The world never will be the way it was back then.
    I’ve heard many women at work say that they would give anything to be able to stay home with the kids. Knowing what I know about modern workplaces I can’t say that I blame them.
    I’ve seen up close the lives of modern women. It seems to me a nightmare of stress, having to deal with psychopaths at work plus worry about the kids plus household matters (which men generally leave to women to deal with) plus aging parents plus stuff like bailing her deadbeat brother out of jail. Come quitting time they’re out of the office like a rocket.
    For divorced women its worse. They can’t even get support payments from the ex half the time. They’re embroiled in money disputes, custody disputes, fights with the ex in laws etc etc. It never ends.
    I think the worst thing for women is when they get involved in a second relationship. It seems like a law of nature that the second guy has a drinking problem, debt problems, a criminal record, kids that hate him, an ex wife that’s stalking them plus another ex that somehow he neglected to mention ie it was a long time ago, he was young etc. Plus he can’t decide whether or not he’s gay.
    I’m not mocking. After thirty years of working closely with women I think I’ve seen and heard it all. From guys you hear nothing, just talk about last night’s game. Very tranqil.
    I don’t know that after a half century of supposed progress that women’s lives are one iota better than those of my mother’s generation. Every man that I knew of my father’s generation went to work, came back, mowed the lawn, washed the car, painted the fence, tended the garden, shovelled the snow, watched the hockey game, all this, day after day, year after year, then he died. Not like guys of my generation.
    I’m wondering what you think about this.

  383. Qshtik April 25, 2010 at 4:18 pm #

    SOCIALISM (aka “the government dole”) vs CAPITALISM
    At Dictionary.com the 3rd definition given for “entropy” is:
    (in cosmology) a hypothetical tendency for the universe to attain a state of maximum homogeneity in which all matter is at a uniform temperature (heat death).
    Similarly, in the heart of a socialism purist lies a desire for the maximum financial homogeneity of all people. This goal of bleeding hearts – people overwhelmed with empathy for the world’s less fortunate – can never and will never be reached because of the relentless opposing force of human nature. The seeming success of Scandanavian socialism is an illusion. Opposing natural forces were at work even as the schemes were being drafted. Give it fifty, a hundred, two hundred years (a mere blink in the grand scheme) and human nature will grind away just as Mother Nature does in reclaiming the infrastructure of a failed Detroit. The smart, the energetic, the ambitious, the Alphas will never allow themselves to be reduced to a common denominator. This gravity-like pull of human nature is called capitalism. And the net financial well-being of the world under capitalism will always exceed that under socialism. For all intents and purposes it is a law of physics.

  384. asia April 25, 2010 at 4:46 pm #

    not according to a swedish by birth half turk by bloodline friend. lots of muslims there working the welfare state. read P Buchanons books of last 10 or 20 years.he says rotterdam is REALLY a muslim mess as well as many other cities.

  385. asia April 25, 2010 at 4:48 pm #

    ‘drone bombs’… he does drone on with his bombs.
    trotsky catbox was someone here asoka accused of bieng you under another name.
    i prefer cat boy to catbox.

  386. asia April 25, 2010 at 4:54 pm #

    great riposte!
    but never say never!
    and ‘cherrypick’…thats a spin drs middle name!

  387. asia April 25, 2010 at 4:55 pm #

    the number of words, but that’s quite more involved – I may get the time for it sometime in the future…
    Ok..id like to see…i say its Asoka and Q by word as top 2.

  388. Qshtik April 25, 2010 at 5:04 pm #

    Sticks and stones
    My google turned up both versions. What one hears on the street must be a regional thing.

  389. asoka April 25, 2010 at 5:27 pm #

    Qshtik said:

    Give it fifty, a hundred, two hundred years (a mere blink in the grand scheme) and human nature will grind away just as Mother Nature does in reclaiming the infrastructure of a failed Detroit.

    First they said “socialism can’t work”.
    Then, when they saw it working, they said: “Give it fifty blah blah blah… an admission of defeat.
    Qshtik said:

    And the net financial well-being of the world under capitalism will always exceed that under socialism. For all intents and purposes it is a law of physics.

    False appeal of science… “law of physics” blah blah blah
    Let’s look at what the data say:
    Here is a comparison of 25 Key Indicators of Social Development comparing Sweden and United States
    The yellow boxes indicate which country has the best indicator.
    Capitalist USA is defeated by blended democratic capitalist/socialist Sweden in most indicators.
    I hope Obama is able to bring more “socialism” to the United States. People need it.

  390. dale April 25, 2010 at 5:33 pm #

    “prepare for the future you Feel coming.”
    If what you “feel” works for you, so be it. In the real world however, what we feel is so often nothing more than that. In my humble opinion, I wouldn’t bet too much on any catastrophic outcomes, not in your or my lifetimes anyway.

  391. Qshtik April 25, 2010 at 5:50 pm #

    I’m wondering what you think about this.
    I know your question is directed to Wage but let me chime in. I think your posts are always well-written and show you to be very observant and reasonable. Your description of how men are is accurate and funny. Of course, it doesn’t apply to gays.
    As to women, I have often told my wife how thankful I am to have been born a male. I could never handle the female role … and you didn’t even get into the whole thing of maintaining appearance. My 88 year-old mother-in-law who lives with us is still extremely concerned with clothes, shoes, handbags, jewelry, hair color etc etc. It would exhaust me. You know those flip-down mirrors in car sunvisors? If a study was done I’d bet the use of those mirrors by women exceeds men 50 to 1.

  392. Qshtik April 25, 2010 at 6:06 pm #

    Let’s look at what the data say:
    Socialism/communism lasted about 72 years in the USSR and then fell into utter collapse.
    China under Mao and communism was a mess. In the past 20-30 years they have become raging capitalists (though not officially acknowledging it) and have made fantastic strides economically.
    My post was written entirely as an opinion … no research of data. I don’t need to. For this issue I only need common sense.

  393. asoka April 25, 2010 at 6:32 pm #

    “In the past 20-30 years they have become raging capitalists (though not officially acknowledging it)” … “For this issue I only need common sense.”
    China is ruled by the Chinese Communist Party and the Chinese communist leaders are cleverly exploiting the Western capitalist countries, outsmarting them, and taking advantage of their greed and willingness to exploit cheap labor, to the end of building a stronger communist China.

    Chinese annual growth has soared to its fastest pace for three years, official figures showed today. The world’s third-biggest economy grew 11.9 per cent in the first quarter, beating forecasts as its strongest performance since 2007.

    You can continue with your “common sense” illusion that China is capitalist… while they eat your lunch. The reality is China is run by the CCP. When you realize what has happened it will be too late. Communism will have triumphed over capitalist America.

  394. SNAFU April 25, 2010 at 7:05 pm #

    “the Alphas will never allow themselves to be reduced to a common denominator. This gravity-like pull of human nature is called capitalism. And the net financial well-being of the world under capitalism will always exceed that under socialism. For all intents and purposes it is a law of physics.”
    Spoken as a true believer Qshtik. I doubt that you eschew your social largess as a citizen of the US. Did you say no thanks to Medicare, Social Security payments, build your own roads, hire your own police security, on and on ……..?
    I doubt that you have ever had occasion to take notice that words such as “never” and “always” are not the typical words used to describe physical laws.
    As to the gravity-like pull of human nature I am not confident that you realize that the Newtonian concept of a force of attraction betwixt masses was superseded by Einstein’s General Relativity which proposes the observed gravitational attraction between masses results from their warping of space and time.
    Just as the scientists of Newton’s time were convinced that his physical theories and new mathematics (the calculus) would allow them to solve all of the existing unknowns they quickly discovered that the more they were convinced they knew absolutely the more they found they knew not. I think time will prove your conviction of a correlation between human nature and “capitalism” to be illusory. Unless; on the offhand chance you want to define capitalism as “human greed” then I agree that you may well find a correlation between it and the well oiled capitalistic system of theft currently in vogue throughout the Earth’s human societies.
    I am sure the downtrodden of China, India, Bangladesh,….. who live short shitty lives, manufacturing the baubles American’s desperately need to acquire, appreciate the fiction of “net financial well-being of the world under capitalism”. Perhaps you really meant to state the well-being of the 1% of the human population who live insanely luxurious lives because the vast majority of them do not.
    BY the way Qshtik do you know what happened to the fish the Somali fishermen turned pirates used to catch? Capitalism at it’s finest http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1892376,00.html
    Me thinks you have hoisted the flags of your true colors this week.

  395. Qshtik April 25, 2010 at 8:34 pm #

    …i say its Asoka and Q by word as top 2.
    For whatever the reason (Asoka getting under my skin?) I’ve been more chatty than normal this week. I think if AK looked at the past 6 months the title would go to Vlad and Asoka. You’d have to adjust for the time during which Vlad was banned and somehow you’d have to account for the fact that most of what Asoka posts is a download copy and paste. Whatever … I expect that this week just ended will prove to be Peak QSHTIK.

  396. Qshtik April 25, 2010 at 9:49 pm #

    Perhaps you really meant to state the well-being of the 1% of the human population who live insanely luxurious lives because the vast majority of them do not.
    No SNAFU, I did not mean that at all. I had intended to clarify the issue you raise before hitting the submit button but forgot. I believe that the percentage of individuals in the world experiencing improved economic lives will advance under capitalism (more so than socialism which, in fact, in time would produce a net decline) even if the super-rich continue to get richer. Possibly even because the rich continue to get richer. (I know this concept is infuriating to socialists who are more interested in bringing the rich down than in raising the poor up.) The worse thing we could do would be to create a perfectly level playing field. It would be soul-deadening for everyone to the Nth degree.
    I hope I haven’t given you the impression that I am wealthy and surrounded by luxury. Nothing could be farther from the truth. I am as average as my perfectly average 112 IQ would suggest. I disdain “stuff.” I am sitting at this moment in a 20-year old paint stained work shirt with tears and missing buttons. I plan to be buried in this shirt one day. I feel sorry in a sense for those among the super-rich who cannot achieve a sense of self-worth without an outward display of “stuff.” But the wealth of the world is not a zero sum game. If Gates and Buffett gain $10B it does not mean everybody else, in total, lost $10B. Most of the fresh new additional wealth of the super-rich does not wind up as 5 more yachts in the harbor or ten more Rolex watches on their arm. It winds up as yet more invested money that is the capital required by business.
    If the ambitions of the rich were somehow stifled so that they were living in a little bungalow down the block and riding in an old Ford Focus to some 9 to 5 shit-ass job like the rest of us we would all actually be the worse for it.
    BTW, I can get away with using words like “always” and “never” because I won’t have to answer for them till the end of eternity. Nevertheless, I would not use such words if I didn’t believe them.

  397. wagelaborer April 26, 2010 at 1:19 am #

    Well, qstick, make up your mind. When I talked about the importance of raising the minimum wage to help the working poor, you were against it, because it would just put too much money into the system.
    But when you talk about the rich piling up money from the system, it’s suddenly not a zero sum game.
    Really? How is that? The rich can take as much as they want and nobody loses, but if the poor were to take more, we all lose.
    I don’t buy it.

  398. wagelaborer April 26, 2010 at 1:32 am #

    I had to laugh at your description of women you knew. Hey! I know those same women.
    No, I don’t think women are better off now. That’s what I was trying to say.
    We’re just told that we have progressed. It’s propaganda. Like we’re told that the Health Insurance Bill was to help our health, the No Child Left Behind Act was to improve our schools and the Patriot Act was to keep us safe.
    This is all bullshit. I don’t believe it.
    My Dad is like the men you mentioned. Steady, reliable, hard-working and honest.
    Maybe because post war America was so much better than the Depression coal mining camps he grew up in.
    Neither of my parents had indoor plumbing until after WWll. Both grew up hungry and ill-clothed.
    Maybe the sheer luxury of indoor plumbing, hot and cold running water and a steady supply of food was enough to keep them content.
    I try to hold onto that thought, because I believe, like JHK, that it will come to an end someday, and I should appreciate a full belly, electricity, hot and cold running water while I have it.
    Look at the people of Iraq, who had all that, and now live in deprivation and oppression. The ruling class is ruthless and immoral and to think that they won’t turn on us is immeasurably stupid.

  399. Qshtik April 26, 2010 at 10:40 am #

    Well, qstick, make up your mind.
    Wage, your reply to me is a mish-mash of misunderstanding. (nice alliteration huh?)
    I didn’t say that raising the minimum wage would “put too much money into the system.” Initially it just shifts money from one pocket to another. I said that, in time, it would drive jobs overseas to low cost labor countries. After the initial sugar high of a minimum wage increase (where the new paycheck buys them half a carton of Marlboros) the business owners start to give some serious thought to automating or outsourcing these jobs away. This concept is not new and profound … it’s been around awhile.
    it’s suddenly not a zero sum game.
    Forget “suddenly” … the economy is NEVER a zero sum game.
    The rich can take as much as they want and nobody loses, but if the poor were to take more,
    Setting aside criminal activity, the rich don’t “take” and the poor don’t “take.” They create and/or earn what they get. Your mind is trapped in this zero sum idea that there is a set pile of money and the rich get together and agree that this year they are going to up their “take” from 90% to 91% and lower the workers “take” from 10% to 9%.

  400. Cash April 26, 2010 at 11:49 am #

    Thanks, I’m glad you like my posts. I think your posts are great also, particularly your fights with Asoka. Go Q!
    You know those flip-down mirrors in car sunvisors? If a study was done I’d bet the use of those mirrors by women exceeds men 50 to 1. – Q
    Shit yes, at least. I’ve never seen a guy use one and I don’t think I’ve ever used one of those even once.

  401. Cash April 26, 2010 at 12:21 pm #

    …because I believe, like JHK, that it will come to an end someday, and I should appreciate a full belly, electricity, hot and cold running water while I have it. – Wage
    I now exactly how you feel. Today I’m going to buy pork loin roast on special for 99 cents/lb. Every week some grocery store has meat really cheap though usually not this cheap. I’m enjoying this while it lasts also. Even when I was a kid I never took it for granted that there always would be enough. Maybe it’s an inborn anxiety/pessimism gene. Beats me.
    I don’t know how old you are but I have clear memories of the 1960s when people of my generation scorned the values of my parents’ generation. This was a worldwide phenom, a huge culture war for lack of a better term. I can’t help thinking that if we’d grown up stunted and starved like our parents we would not have been so harshly critical.

  402. Qshtik April 26, 2010 at 3:30 pm #

    I’ve never seen a guy use one
    I used one once. As I was getting into the car I felt something hit me on the head and thought it might be bird shit.

  403. ak April 27, 2010 at 4:57 am #

    403 Comments total as of 2010-04-26 12:30 (Pacific)
    More than 1 comment by:

    66 &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp Qshtik
    41 &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp asia
    29 &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp asoka
    24 &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp Cash
    19 &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp diogen
    19 &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp Martin Hayes
    18 &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp mika.
    18 &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp Vlad Krandz
    14 &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp sfnate
    11 &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp welles
    10 &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp wagelaborer
    9 &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp Hancock1863
    9 &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp SNAFU
    5 &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp dale
    5 &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp Puzzler
    4 &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp Eleuthero
    4 &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp John66
    4 &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp trippticket
    3 &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp budizwiser
    3 &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp DeeJones
    3 &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp Gus44
    3 &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp James Crow
    3 &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp jim e
    3 &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp Jim from Watkins Glen
    3 &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp lane
    3 &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp Mr. Purple
    3 &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp The Mook
    2 &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp bridges
    2 &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp Fouad Khan
    2 &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp Funzel
    2 &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp Gregg
    2 &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp lsjogren
    2 &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp ozone

  404. asia April 29, 2010 at 1:38 pm #