Archive for February, 2010

Personal – 10 Feb 2010

Tuesday, February 9th, 2010

– For those of you following my personal life, you should probably just tune back to Oprah for another few weeks.   This post isn’t that kind of post.  Things are still churning but nothing’s been decided and until it all is, I’m going to be quiet about it. My wife told me once that she really hates to get up in the morning and have to read my Blog to find out what’s happening between us.

– Point well taken.

– This post is for the purpose of putting up some digital photos I want to share with various folks here and there.   A few weeks ago, I went up to Golden Bay to visit with my friends, Robert and Cynthia and their two beautiful little girls.   Here’s are a few photos from my time with them:

Bob, Cynthia and the girls

Cruise Ship at Pohara

Sampsons at Pohara

Bob and I at Pohara

When I was with Robert and Cynthia, we attended the fair being held in Takaka and at the fair, there was a great collection of old time cars that folks had restored.   Some of my Starbucks buddies in Monroe Washington are into things like this so I thought I’d put these photos up here for them to see:


Thursday, February 4th, 2010

– From over on The Archdruid Report comes this.  Another report of the impending changes to the U.S.’s lifestyle and economy.   Things are gathering steam.

= = = = = = = = = = = = = * * * = = = = = = = = = = = = =

I’ve mentioned more than once in these essays the foreshortening effect that textbook history can have on our understanding of the historical events going on around us. The stark chronologies most of us get fed in school can make it hard to remember that even the most drastic social changes happen over time, amid the fabric of everyday life and a flurry of events that can seem more important at the time.

This becomes especially problematic in times like the present, when apocalyptic prophecy is a central trope in the popular culture that frames a people’s hopes and fears for the future. When the collective imagination becomes obsessed with the dream of a sudden cataclysm that sweeps away the old world overnight and ushers in the new, even relatively rapid social changes can pass by unnoticed. The twilight years of Rome offer a good object lesson; so many people were convinced that the Second Coming might occur at any moment that the collapse of classical civilization went almost unnoticed; only a tiny handful of writers from those years show any recognition that something out of the ordinary was happening at all.

Reflections of this sort have been much on my mind lately, and there’s a reason for that. Scattered among the statistical noise that makes up most of today’s news are data points that suggest to me that business as usual is quietly coming to an end around us, launching us into a new world for which very few of us have made any preparations at all.


We’re having the wrong conversations

Wednesday, February 3rd, 2010

– I’m not the only one who’s on about Corporations and their power over American politics.  This is from over on The Automatic Earth Blog.

– – – – – – – – – – * * * – – – – – – – – – – –

I’ve said it before and I know I’ll have to say it a million more times, and you still won’t get it, because you just don’t want it to be true. But it’s time.

We’re having the wrong conversations.

We speak the language of the world of finance, a language that doesn’t contain any words or expressions to describe the final stages of the world of finance itself. And I’m not saying that world is about to end, just that it lacks the terms to tell of its own demise. Modeled after other holy writings.

And it’s not all that farfetched either. If we, the taxpayer, hadn’t bought off their debts, none or close to none of the major financial institutions in America would still be alive. That includes Goldman Sachs, Bank of America, and all the rest too busy with paying bonuses to answer our phone calls. Still, despicable as all that may seem to you, they’re not really the masterminds or main culprits, are they, the bankers?

They operate in an environment allowed and legislated for them by the very same people that you all voted for, from the President to your local Congressman. Anger directed at bankers is anger misdirected and misunderstood. How about you? Bankers can only act within the law. And who makes the laws?

Obama could have come in on January 21, 2009 with a proposal to kill any and all bankers’ influence in American politics. He did not do that. He did a 180 and chose to invite Wall Street to run American finance policy.

That’s a choice, it’s not some sort of accident, as some prefer to believe. Thinking anything else equals selling Obama short as some sort of douche. And then the president has left all these people in place one year later.So here we are. And that’s no accident either.

Tall tales keep on emerging on Obama’s confidantes, and even if every single one were a lie, he couldn’t keep all of them at a safe distance from the presidency, neither the stories nor the people. Geithner, Summers, Rubin, Romer, Goolsbee and Volcker, by now they’re all entangled in the same web, as is the nation. And there’s no way out using the same kind of thinking, nor the same people. Some may be helpful in defining new laws, new measures, new ways to limit Wall Street influence in Washington. But those limits will necessarily be limited. That’s how Washington works. Got a newborn? Lemme break its shinbones, just in case.

If the US ever wishes to get out of its present predicament, it needs to force its representatives to do two things. Which they will never do, because having that as a platform will be so sure of a losing bet that no bookie will take your spread. Here goes, and no, I can’t believe either I’m posting this for free:

First thing that has to happen on Capitol Hill if we want to prevent the US as a country, a society, and an idea for that matter, to live on and G-d help us prosper, is this:

  1. Get business out of politics
    Joe Blow you and me will never have any say, or regain it, as long as Goldman, Cargill and GE can buy theirs. That is really all that needs to be said. The Supreme Court decision to increase corporate influence just was the icing on the cake that makes one think, in the words of Bugs: “Each people gets what they desoive”. It’s a death blow to anyone not in the inner circle having even a faint and remote say in where we’re heading, though, and that’s not what the Constitution meant to convey. But then again , once you get away with re-interpreting both Darwin and the Bible, what does the Constitution have on you?

    Humbug! Politics! Let’s get to number 2, something strangely missing from all Obama, his elves and his reindeer have said so far.

  2. Come up with a plan B
    It’s not just us having the wrong conversations either, it’s all over the planet, where people who have nice jobs, especially the government ones, refuse to take a pay cut and insist they have a right to what’s theirs even if that means others will lose their jobs. Smart. Not.


Humor – The Stimulus Payment

Wednesday, February 3rd, 2010

Q.  What is an Economic Stimulus payment?

A.  It is money that the federal government will send to taxpayers.

Q.  Where will the government get this money?

A.  From taxpayers.

Q.  So the government is giving me back my own money?

A.  Only a smidgen.

Q.  What is the purpose of this payment?

A.  The plan is for you to use the money to purchase a high-definition TV set, thus stimulating the economy.

Q.  But isn’t that stimulating the economy of Asia ?

A.  Shut up – or you don’t get your check.

Below is some helpful advice on how to best help the US economy by spending your stimulus check wisely:

1.  If you spend the stimulus money at Wal-Mart, your money will go to China.

2.  If you spend it on gasoline, your money will go to Saudi Arabia.

3.  If you purchase a computer, it will go to India.

4.  If you purchase fruit and vegetables, it will go to Mexico, Honduras or Guatemala.

5.  If you buy a car, it will go to Korea or Japan.

6.  If you purchase useless plastic stuff, it will go to Taiwan.

7.  If you use it to pay off your credit cards, or buy stock, it will go to pay management bonuses and be hidden in offshore accounts.

Or, you can keep the money in America by:

1.   Spending it at yard sales or flea markets, or

2.   Going to baseball or football games, or

3.   Hiring prostitutes, or

4.   Buying cheap beer or

5.   Getting tattoos.

These are the only wholly-American- owned businesses still operating in the US .

The best way to stimulate the economy is to go to a ball game with a prostitute that you met at a yard sale and drink beer all day until you’re drunk enough to go get tattooed.

– Research thanks to Charles P.

The Supreme Court and Corporations

Wednesday, February 3rd, 2010

– Recently, the Supreme Court expanded the impact that corporations can have on American elections.   Now, more than ever, and more than before, big money can buy the political decisions it wants and needs to enhance its profits.

– In honor of this new relationship, we have here an updated photo of our Supreme Court Justices:

Those are 'our' boys

True Colors

– Research thanks to Van who knows a twisted thing when he see it.

There’s something to look forward to…

Monday, February 1st, 2010

From this morning’s Council on Foreign Relations Daily Brief:

The budget will be accompanied by a congressionally mandated Quadrennial Defense review, which asks the Pentagon to focus more on wars in which enemy forces hide among the populace, predicting a future dominated by “hybrid” wars where traditional states fight more like guerrillas.

Damn, now there’s a happy future that I hadn’t realized I should be looking forward to yet.