Monthly Archives: September 2008

Me Thinks He Doesn’t Like Her Much

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I like what she’s saying

Fighting the Housing Bailout Bill

If you feel like being involved in protesting the housing bill bailout I’ve created the letter at the bottom of this post and I am attaching the relevant fax numbers if you want to fax these Senators.  It takes about 5 minutes tops.


Additionally, you can e-mail them by going to their web form and sending them an e-mail.  You may want to search out your Senators as well and contact them even if they are not on this list.  Fax and phone calls work better than e-mail.

Pass it around to anyone you want.  I’ve called, faxed and e-mailed all of these Senators, my Senators and my House reps too.  At first I figured it was futile, but it seems like Congress is fighting now so maybe it is working.

Mish has been running point for internet people on gathering information and keeping up to date on what’s happening.

Shelby, Richard C.- (R – AL)
110 HART SENATE OFFICE BUILDING WASHINGTON DC 20510
(202) 224-5744
E-mail: senator@shelby.senate.gov

Bunning, Jim- (R – KY)
316 HART SENATE OFFICE BUILDING WASHINGTON DC 20510
(202) 224-4343
Web Form: http://bunning.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=Contact.ContactForm

Grassley, Chuck- (R – IA)
135 HART SENATE OFFICE BUILDING WASHINGTON DC 20510
(202) 224-3744
Web Form: grassley.senate.gov/contact.cfm#emailform

Kyl, Jon- (R – AZ)
730 HART SENATE OFFICE BUILDING WASHINGTON DC 20510
(202) 224-4521
Web Form: kyl.senate.gov/contact.cfm

Ensign, John- (R – NV)
Washington D.C. Office
119 Russell Senate Building
Washington, D.C. 20510
Phone: (202) 224-6244
Fax: (202) 228-2193
Web Form: ensign.senate.gov/forms/email_form.cfm

Congressman Mike Pence (R – IN)
Washington DC
1317 Longworth HOB
Washington, DC 20515
(202) 225-3021 office
(202) 225-3382 fax
Web Form: https://forms.house.gov/pence/IMA/contact_form.htm

Please change this however you want.  One time I pleaded with them not to saddle my children and grandchildren.  I told them it’s time to get a handle on spending more than they take in.

Dear Senator–

For the good of the United States of America, I am asking the Senate to stand up to justice and protect the taxpayer. Instead, please consider solid alternatives offered by Hussman and Mish to recapitalize banks in a way that protects the taxpayer.

Mish Letter
http://globaleconomicanalysis.blogspot.com/2008/09/open-letter-to-congress-on-700-billion.html

Hussman Letter
http://www.hussmanfunds.com/wmc/wmc080922.htm

Summary points of the Hussman letter:
In summary, the Treasury proposal to address current financial difficulties places corporate bondholders ahead of the public, rewards irresponsible risk-taking, and sets a precedent for future bailouts. Moreover, we know from a long history of economic experience across countries that a major expansion of government liabilities is invariably followed by multi-year periods of extremely high inflation, particularly when it is not matched by a similar expansion of economic production. Such inflation would initially be modest because of the current weakness in the economy, but could pose unusual challenges to the United States in the coming years.

Congress can benefit the American public by maintaining a focus on responsibly assisting homeowners in distress rather than defending the stockholders and bondholders of overleveraged financial companies. It is essential to recognize that the failure of these companies need not result in “financial meltdown” provided that the “good bank” representing the vast majority of assets and liabilities is cut away, protecting customers and counterparties, so that the losses are properly borne out of the capital base of the companies that incurred them.

Again, everyone knows that a policy of bailouts will increase their number. By choosing who bears the losses for irresponsible decisions at these companies, Congress will also choose the scope of the bailouts that follow.

Sincerely,

Your Name
Your Address
Your Phone Number
Your E-mail

Canning, Books and A Government Takeover

***Attention: Potential rant alert below. First there is some nice general things, and then I get a little nasty.***

I’ve been so busy canning apples and pears (and tomatoes) that it’s been hard to get anything else done. Rachael has been helping a lot which really makes it go quickly. And Ethan (4) likes to turn the crank on the sauce machine to make tomato sauce and apple and pear sauce. Tonight I took a turn using a peeler/slicer/corer gadget to slice up apples to can and also to make pie filling for yummy pies this winter. This is the first canning season that I’ve gotten beyond the standard canning of items in their natural state. I’ve made tomato sauce and pizza sauce, pie filling is in the works and I’ve done pickles, which is new for me. I’m growing and expanding my horizons!

Since the garden is slowing down I’ve started to get more time for reading. I recently finished a David Balducci book. I mentioned this because even as an untrained writing person I noticed a huge difference in his writing skill and someone like Stephen King, and even further up the writing skill chain are some of the Literature books I’ve been reading. I hadn’t noticed the huge difference in writing before, but for some reason did this time. It’s a telling example of the different qualities of writers and why some are considered masterpieces and some aren’t. I still enjoyed the book, but I could tell it wasn’t up to the same level as the Stephen King book I had finished just a few days before.

Fun times with financial markets isn’t it? Uncle Sam is busy giving away $1.8 Trillion of our children’s future to try to save some economic pain today. Not to pick on your boomers, but it seems a fitting tribute to the way things have been run while you’ve been in charge to have our country’s worst Depression happen at the tail end of your time running our country. Granted, Uncle Sam says we aren’t in a Depression, but if I could manipulate the measurement of statistics I could make them say all kinds of great things about me too. 6% unemployment my ass.

There are liars, damn liars, and statistics.

One thing to remember about the financial markets is that the stock market tanking isn’t the cause of economic troubles, it’s the visible sign. Stocks tank when the underlying companies tank. Not the other way around. Granted, this time things are a little different because the sudden contraction of credit can lead to difficulties with companies who may need financing (although if you rely on financing to that great of an extent to fund your business how much of a success are you anyway??), but AIG and Lehman, et al are not going out of business because their stocks tank. They are going out of business because they made bad business decisions, and then when they needed to raise capital the market was shut down for them because they made bad business decisions. This is a combination of poor decisions on the business side, and the decision to play it too tight with their leverage. Just like the homeowner who borrows the maximum eligible amount to buy a house and then falters when something unexpected happens. These “experts” have done the same thing.

Good thing the Dems won the battle to privatize Social Security huh? I can’t imagine the mess we’d be in right now with that. I’m sure that would have to be bailed out too.

My opinion, but I don’t think it will be too much longer before some serious tax increases are put in place. Our foreign friends are going to shut off the spigot soon, unless we show we are willing to get serious about these deficits. Since Jimmy Carter left office, adjusted for inflation, the national debt has risen from just over $2 Trillion to about $10.5 Trillion. So it went up 5x in 28 years. Amazing. That figure doesn’t include any of the cash that’s been handed out with this crisis, or any money that will soon be lavished on the automobile companies (to support a car based future that doesn’t exist thanks to Peak Oil) or airlines (same Peak Oil problem) or any other companies that may slap on some lipstick and come to the trough. The wheels are coming off economies all over the world, and soon enough they will keep their money in their country to pay for their needs. Then what will we do?

Imagine if all the sudden the yearly deficit couldn’t be funded? I read recently that is was expected to be around $460 billion in 2008. What would be cut if that suddenly had to be made up here in America because no foreign government would buy our bonds? Or where would taxes go? Maybe we would start taxing companies more?

The part of this whole thing that pisses me off the most is how badly they are raping the future of my children and grandchildren.

Want more to read? Follow the links below. If you want to get good analysis you have to turn off the CNN or Fox news and turn on the blogs. If we had some of the bloggers I read running things we’d be in much better shape. Well, unless we were part of the elite that wants things like they are now.

Mish talks about the Housing Bailout
The Debt Rattle
MEOW gives some opinions on the situation

What a Man

These videos are quite humorous.  They do have some profanity so don’t watch them at work, or if you aren’t OK with that kind of thing.

Click here to go to the site.

I’ve had discussions with roommates just like these.  I lived with one guy who would never wash his dishes.  Finally I got fed up with him and dumped them on his bed; moldy dishes, stanky rinse water, everything.  He just moved to his couch and finally cleaned it up after a couple days.

Flood 2008 update

I haven’t updated you all in a while on the flood situation here so I thought I would link to two videos you may want to watch.

Video 1

Video 2

I don’t have a lot more information.  Things have really settled down.  The people and groups that have volunteer labor available are rebuillding very quickly.  Unfortunately a lot of people don’t have access to this source.  Local companies are stepping up big time.  A couple companies have made multi-million dollar donations to flood relief.  My company has provided facilities to cook mealfor the feed the needy programs, city council meetings and a large amount of IT and disaster recovery support have been relocated to our offices.  They also allow each employee one day a month off to work on flood relief.  Last I heard they have had over 4000 hours donated, which is amazing.  Other companies are doing similar things.  It’s an amazing effort to put things back together, and an amazing response from the citizens here.

There has been a fair amount of complaining about how slow the government is responding, but I think that’s because the people are ready to get to work faster than the government is ready to assist them.  I know of very few people at this point who haven’t at least had their entire building gutted so it can begin drying.  I would say that most have been gutted for a while and the owners are just trying to line up all the money to get them rebuilt.  There are plenty of houses that are just waiting for the wrecking ball, and plenty of eager sellers, but overall most people are trying to put things back together.

The city is talking about tearing down a wide swath of houses and building parks in their place.  I’m keeping my ears on this so that when the parks are built perhaps we can get some community garden space in them.  Same goes for blocks that have had houses here and there torn down.  Those would make very valuable garden areas, I just have to get through the huge time demand on our council members and help them to see this.

Another thing, Hurrican Ike.  If you’ve been reading this blog for a while you know that my family and I went to Galveston, TX in 2006 for a vacation.  Watching the pictures of the destruction from the Hurricane it was a surreal experience to see places I had visited blown apart and destroyed.  The condo we stayed in was even shown on CNN taking wave upon wave of water as the Hurricane blew water over the seawall, across the 4 lane strip and into and against the condo buildings.  I imagine they have been flooded.  As devastating as our flood was here, they had flooding, winds, storms and total power outages.  Unbelieveable destruction.

Wake up America!

A new documentary is coming out that details with our country’s grave problem of overspending.

The fiscal irresponsibility by our government officials is staggering. Of course, the fact that the voters let them do it is also an embarrassment. We can’t let this go on any longer. As voters we must demand a balanced budget…nah…surpluses, true surpluses, and they must be used to pay down this monstrous debt that our country has incurred. Already interest is the 3rd highest yearly expense in the yearly budget. Soon it will be #2. I doubt it will ever pass the military budget, although that budget needs some serious cuts, but it might get close if we don’t get our heads out of our asses.

You need only look to Wall Street to see how dangerous this debt game is. Bear Stearns, Lehman, Merrill, Fannie, Freddie and AIG area all dying because they over leveraged themselves (as well as made some poor investments) and they are getting killed. Eventually America’s over leverage will be an issue. Will it be in the next 5 years? Who knows. Maybe.

HT: MEOW Blog