Friday, November 27, 2009

Big Christmas Sales

From listening to what people are saying and looking at the ads, it seems like the two big Christmas items this year are small laptop or notebook computers and HDTVs. Small portable computers are really coming into their own. They can do most everything you need a computer to do, you can take it anywhere. If you have a few peripherals at home, external hard drive for storage, CD/DVD drive and burner and maybe a printer, you don't need another computer at all. They're dirt cheap now.

HDTVs were a big item last year. It's not hard to see why they are again. The prices are a lot cheaper and the picture quality is a lot better. The Chinese are getting more efficient all the time.

I could use an HDTV. The cable service I have is going to quit transmitting the old VHF format soon and I'd have to get a converter box. Too much trouble. I think I'll bet that it won't be a very good Christmas season for retailers and wait until the clearance sales next Spring. I think I'll pass on a laptop, too. I like old towers for now, you can take them apart and replace stuff. If you have a good source of used parts, it's dirt cheap and you can keep an old, used computer running as long as you want it to.

No Tree. Nothing Under It.

There are two reasons that people give Christmas gifts. The first is to make other people happy. The second is to make other people like them. It doesn't achieve either purpose.

When I was young I gave Christmas gifts. I picked them out very carefully and spent a lot of time doing it. I spent way too much money on them. I was always proud of the fact that I gave way more than I got. It wore off, I don't give Christmas gifts any more. I don't get many. Maybe I'm just imagining it but I think people like me better now. They certainly don't like me any worse.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

An Inflated Economy?

Some people think that gold is a good long term investment. I think that it is. Many governments are running large deficits and increasing their monetary base. Gold should be the logical hedge against the inevitable resulting inflation. So far, government economists are not too worried about it. They point to the fact that there is little or no inflation, so far. They say that there is not likely to be increased inflation in the future do to continuing high unemployment and low wages and assert that governments are going to have the capacity to pull back the increased liquidity they have added when the time comes and largely repair any temporary imbalances in the monetary base before inflation becomes a problem. They insist that deflation is the real problem in a contracting economy and that adding liquidity through deficit spending is necessary to keep the wheels turning on a flagging economy until it can gain enough momentum to take off on its own.

This may seem foolish but so far they have been right. No matter how much gold rises in relation to various World currencies, especially the dollar, the change is never going to be regarded as permanent unless the dollar begins to substantially lose its purchasing power and that hasn't happened yet.

Until inflation becomes real to everyday people with food, rent, and other necessities of life rising, increased gold prices are just a blip. Right now it can be argued that the cost of living is in fact, decreasing.

Other arguments against the rise in the price of gold being permanent, are that the increase in price of the other historic monetary metal, silver, is lagging far behind that of gold and that mining companies, with relatively fixed costs of production and skyrocketing profit margins, should be outperforming precious metal itself. If investors believed that the increase in the price of gold was permanent these things would not be happening.

I'm not saying these things won't happen eventually. I'm not saying gold is a bad investment. I'm saying it is a long road ahead. I think it is likely that gold will continue to have strong fluctuations in price as the economy struggles, fluctuations that will see the value of gold much higher and much lower.

Buy low. Sell high.

Monday, November 23, 2009

The Battle Lines Are Forming.

I honestly thought Sarah Palin was washed up in serious politics. I was wrong. Her book tour has brought her back onto the scene in Spades. Glenn Beck says he wants to assume a leadership role in the political movement he claims to have given birth to. Lou Dobbs has been making the conservative radio and cable talk show rounds and says he is considering a run for the Senate in New Jersey or maybe even President.

I love this. It just keeps getting better and better.

Uniting Peoples of Faith Throughout The World

Here's a big, doughfaced Catholic Cardinal who says that the real enemies of Christendom are not other faiths but the forces of Godlessness and secularism. As a man who likes to think of himself as among the vanguard of Godlessness and secularism I take pride in my part in the achievement of bringing religious of all stripes together.

This redhat guy didn't mention that he wanted to be friends with Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists or any of the various flavors of shamanistic animists, so I feel I still have plenty of hard work ahead of me. I feel like I'm up to the task.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Wither Christianity?

The religious infrastructure in society spends a lot of time railing against the increasing acceptance and legality of abortion, euthanasia and the homosexual lifestyle. In fact, they have conspicuously failed to maintain a culture that does anything to encourage the growth of an exclusively heterosexual culture of life anchored by the institution of traditional marriage between one man and one woman with the express purpose of nurturing observant Christian culture and family life. Every year church attendance dwindles along with financial support for the Christian church and membership in it's ancillary organizations. More and more leaders within the Christian community are exposed as hypocrites who don't themselves believe in the tenets of their professed faith or attempt to live within it's bounds.

The Christian community increasingly turns to civil authority to enforce it's moral codes rather than trying to build a community that voluntarily adheres to them. Church members are instructed to vote for civil restrictions on non Christian approved lifestyle choices. It is unlikely to work and in the end will undermine the authority of Christianity in society.

is a good example of the failure of modern Christianity to maintain relevance, influence and authority.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Are you taking profits?

Some people are selling off their investments right now, taking profits. Investment touts point to the fact that the recent stock market run up has taken place independently of any fundamental underpinnings. Neither sales nor profit margins are rising. Markets are not expanding. There is no shortage of energy, raw materials or labor. Real Estate is in chaos. The conventional wisdom is that markets were oversold and since the rebound last Spring, now swing the other way. If you believe this you are likely to be taking profits now too.

Nobody is sure what is happening. My own personal explanation is that we are experiencing asset inflation relative to the huge amount of liquidity at negative real interest rates, that central banks have pumped into financial institutions all over the World. A lot of this money has found it's way into equities and commodities, diluting the price. This inflation is not necessarily accompanied by consumer inflation, at least not yet. The thing to remember about this asset inflation is that it is more likely to be permanent than not. The central banks cannot easily afford to pull the rug out from under all the liquidity that they have injected. It's not clear they could do it even if they wanted to. The second thing to remember about this asset inflation is that it is by no means over, will likely continue and may accelerate. If markets fall and I'm not saying they won't, it will be for a different reason. I'm not sure what it would be. Do you have any ideas? I'd like to hear them.

I'm not taking profits yet. Don't take that as any kind of sage advice. It's coming from a guy who lives in a shack and never made a dime that didn't involve a shitty, non union job with no benefits and a paltry hourly wage.

I'm not getting out of the market because I think it's inflated, not oversold. Oversold conditions lead to sell offs. Inflation leads to more inflation. If the market was going to sell off, it would have by now.

A Chance For A New Life In A New Land

You want a solution to our economic woes? Stop subsidizing failure and unemployment. Cut off entitlement benefits to the poor. Let people start to sink or swim.

When people start to starve, when they start to freeze in the winter, when the children cry out from hunger in the night, start offering cheap, subsidized transport to places where there is employment. Brazil, China, Nigeria, India, it doesn't matter where or what the standard of living is in these places. It doesn't matter what the pay there is. It doesn't even matter if there are really jobs there. People will embrace hope. It's a chance for a new start. Besides, what choice will they really have? Kind of like those nice relocation camps in Poland for the Jews and Gypsies.

How the fuck do you think people got to America in the first place? The movers and shakers of Europe needed to get rid of useless, excess population that were a drag on their economy. The dregs, the scum, the malcontent, the troublemakers, the diseased, the uneducated, the religious fanatics.

It's been a nice respite for these people and their descendants here in America but it's time for them to move on. No hard feelings. You never know, things might work out great in your new homes.

More Banks Failing

As of yesterday, so far this year, one hundred twenty four banks in this country have failed and their assets taken over and sold off by the FDIC. It will probably get to one hundred and fifty by the end of the year. The rate at which banks fail has been increasing. Sometimes it's as many as four or five a week. Several of the banks that I do business with have gone under this year. It's becoming quite a consolidation.

It's not good.

Milk Money

When I was a kid, the schools that I went to had hot lunch programs. They started out at a quarter and eventually went up to thirty five cents or maybe a little more by the time I was in junior high. I never got the hot lunch. It cost too much. I just brought a sandwich, an apple and maybe a couple of cookies in a paper bag. When I was done I'd fold the bag up and put it in my back pocket for the next day.

I always got a carton of milk. You'd bring a quarter to school on Monday morning and get a carton of milk at lunch each day of the week. Nobody ever checked whether or not you had paid, you just took the carton of milk from the box as you filed into the cafeteria.

I realize I could have just taken the milk and never given them my quarter on Monday. Never even occurred to me at the time and a quarter was big money.

Senor Wheezer becomes senior wheezer

One of my cats is twelve years old now. When we got him, we took him to a vet and had some parts of him cut off. It didn't really help him at all. It was entirely for our benefit. Still, he was about a day away from the decompression chamber, so it turned out to be a pretty good deal for him, I think. The vet we went to was highly recommended, nationally known and has a cats only practice. She did a good job. The cat healed up fine and didn't experience much pain. He's been a pretty happy cat. I don't take cats to the vet as a general rule. A couple times a year I put flea medicine on them. Every couple of years I pick up the standard feline triple vaccine and give them a jab. They don't smoke or drink and get plenty of sleep. They do all right.

The vet sent us a letter the other day, reminding us that Wheezer is an older cat now, needs a "senior plan" and we should bring him in. You know, cats don't live as long as people and it's sad. I really get attached to my cats. I'd be happy if they could be around forever but it's not happening. If he gets diabetes or kitty cancer, we'll make sure he doesn't suffer but he's not going to get diabetic management or kitty chemo. He's a cat. It would be cruel. It would be expensive. It would make everybody sad and that is not the purpose of a kitty. Hopefully he'll live many more years, get arthritic and senile and die in his sleep.

I know this veterinarian is just providing the services that a lot of her clientele want but it's stupid.

Washington Times Faces

The Washington Times, a conservative newspaper owned by the Reverend Sun Myung Moon, widely believed to be the second coming of Christ, by the members of his World Unification Church, is probably going under soon. It's always been subsidized. No newspaper makes a profit anymore, this one even less than most. Reverend Moon is extremely old and losing control of his fortune to members of his family, many of whom do not believe he is the Christ and object to the huge expense of maintaining his religious and political empire.

I'll miss the Times when it's gone. If you really want to know what the wing nuts are thinking, it's the paper to read. We have Rupert Murdoch's Wall Street Journal now. It's a pretty good replacement. Except he doesn't want free access to it on the Internet.

Friday, November 20, 2009

White Flight Of Fancy

It isn't just Sarah Palin. The Republican base continues to follow the directions of and personally lionize a collection of leaders that most of America will never take seriously. Michelle Bachman, Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, Tim Pawlenty, Rick Perry are all members of this group. There have always been people like this out there, on both sides of the political fence but I don't remember when they were so at the forefront of a major party, even one as far out of power as the Republicans are now.

Though the Republican spinners would portray it otherwise, the Obama administration and the Democratic Congress are straddling the middle of the road and even making deep concessions to conservatives on issues as diverse as health care and the Middle Eastern wars. Republicans are too blind to see but their opponents are spending a lot of time cultivating the middle.

I have said before that I think the Democrats are riding a demographic wave that should see them in the majority for a couple decades to come, unless a new party, even more progressive and hopefully less corrupt, rises to oppose them but demographics change slowly. The tables haven't turned so much that the Republicans can't take back control of Congress and the Presidency if they play it smart.

I don't think that pandering to the farthest reaches of the social conservative Right is playing it smart. The more they talk about conspiracy theories as if they are not only true but being played out by the party currently in power, the more securely they seal their doom. It's as if a death panel has judged them, found them undeserving and decreed a potassium bolus.

Republicans respond that what they are doing is no different than what the Democrats did during the Presidency of George W Bush. Do you think that's true? I don't.

I think the Republicans are guaranteeing democratic control of the federal government for years to come.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Dick Hearts Kay

Dick Cheney has endorsed Kay Bailey in the hotly contested primary election for the Governorship of Texas over incumbent Rick Perry. Cheney is a neocon who doesn't flinch at big government spending and in the context of his leadership position within the Republican Party incrowd, could even be characterized, these days, as a social liberal. Perry is a nakedly ambitious dickhead, who's proven he will say or do whatever it takes to get ahead.

What surprises me is that Cheney would endorse anybody, especially against an incumbent who is riding high in the polls, even if it's someone like Perry. It's going to set him against Dick Armey, Sarah Palin and the social conservative block. He's no Texan. He could have stayed out of it and nobody would have thought worse of him. He must really like Kay.

I'm no big fan of Hutchison but she's a pretty cool head as far as conservative Republicans go and more of a fiscal conservative and old fashioned, Texas libertarian than anything else, although she isn't against plenty of good, honest, federal pork for the Texican table. Makes me wonder, why exactly, Dick is endorsing her. Another issue is that the Governor of Texas is a pretty toothless office, more a beauty contest than anything else. Kay is a strong, respected and influential Republican presence in the Senate. Her absence will be a big loss to her party while sitting in the governor's mansion. If she were to be replaced in the Senate by another hysterical, socon carpet chewer, it would be a shame. It really makes me wonder why she wants to be governor so damn bad. What the Hell is going on in Texas? Somebody enlighten me. Maybe she's just old, tired and wants to do a victory lap before she settles into the rocking chair with a lap robe but she never impressed me as that kind. Who knows, maybe she wants to be President and thinks a turn in the State House will round out her resume. She's a little long in the tooth for that but she could be just what the doctor ordered for the Republicans in 2012. Maybe that's what Dick has in mind.

I guess this is just another example of the current disarray and lack of cohesiveness in the hierarchy of the National Republican Party organization. Free for all.


Do you think this photo is inappropriate? I think she looks pretty good. I'm not a big fan of the panty hose with shorts look but that's just me or maybe she doesn't have panty hose on, in which case she has great legs. Judging from the lede, I think the article was likely a smear job on Sarah but that's another story and Sarah really has no defense against smear jobs. It's pretty much all she ever does.

If the outfit was skimpy or spandex, with a lot of nip and camel toe, that would be a different matter.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

News From Around The World


Assault with intent to grill-

Punishment: 15 years in prison.

Pope Believes In Space Men

The Catholic Church is covering its bases as far as alien life forms are concerned. I hope this works out for them. I have my doubts.

What if the Aliens land and it turns out that they're all big homos?

Happy Days Are Here Again

Good news, folks, that turkey dinner with all the trimmings is a couple bucks cheaper this year and just when I thought everything was looking so bleak. I'm starting to feel better already.

Things aren't so bad after all. There's still enough in my 401K to put a down payment on a little single wide Fleetwood in Yuma. It may not be the retirement home we've always wanted but what the fuck. You gotta look on the bright side. It's closer to the beach than Las Cruces. I hear the WalMart Super Center there is a Duesey. They got work there too. Fetching carts in from the parking lot. Says so right on this flyer I got. We're in Hog Heaven.

Get Rose o' Sharon and the boys together Ma! We're a gonna load up the truck and head out East on 66 for that Promised Land. If only they'd let Tom out'a prison. Then all us Joads could be together again.

It May Not Be The Time

I had been wondering who would have to start the third party, the social conservatives or the fiscal conservatives. I think the verdict is in. The fiscal conservatives will have to leave the Republicans and either modify the current Libertarian Party to suit their needs or start a new one. The social conservatives are now firmly in control of the Republican Party. After next years elections, I think there will be no doubt.

The success of a third party will depend on their ability to pick up substantial support from Democrats and Democrat leaning independents. The question is, how do they do that? There are several scenarios but none seem very realistic to me.

Where do they come down on abortion, Gay rights, the wars, immigration? These things will make a huge difference in how much support they get and where it comes from. Should they unearth and shine up a hot potato that is currently quiescent, like the legalization of marijuana? That would be fun but dangerous. One of the places that they could pick up a lot of support would be in the Hispanic community. Hispanics are natural fiscal conservatives. In the countries they come from, the governments don't do shit for people. They just want to work hard and be left alone. They want good public education though and probably would like better public health care. That's a problem. They also favor a pathway to citizenship for illegals. How do they deal with that?

If they really slap the fundies down hard and are serious about fiscal austerity I would join up but I'm an aberrant character. Most people shy away at the shriveling of the governmental tit.

I don't see how they can pull it off. They may just have to bite the bullet and ride along in the back of the pick up, next to the little boy with the banjo, until they reach a more hospitable place and time. Man up, it ain't so bad. I'm ridin' in the back of the bus over here. I get a hit of that good malt liquor when the 40 passes around and I kinda like Hip Hop.

Even If There Is No Move On Health Care, The Dems Can Still Stick A Knife in The Republicans And Give It A Twist

The Republican members of Congress have made it clear that they aren't going to vote for a national health bill no matter what form it takes but were eager to insert an amendment into it that would ban any provision for coverage of elective abortion.

I think the Democrats should go ahead and pass a Senate bill that retains the abortion exclusion and send it back to the House. If it fails, so be it but it will be very clear that the failure of the bill was not about abortion.

In this way, the Democrats remain a big tent party, not strictly for or against abortion. Democrats will never be the party of hard line pro lifers but they will garner significant support from those who believe that the emphasis should be in placing further limits on abortion and decreasing it's frequency.

The Republicans will be the Party that supports criminalization of abortion in all circumstances. That will be their litmus test of acceptability for party members and office holders alike. I doubt they will ever garner many votes from pro choicers.

It's the smart move for the Democrats. It's in keeping with the way the party has been moving. I think the liberal wing will go along. They won't be sorry in the long run or maybe they will but if you're out there on the fringes, you have to learn to live with disappointment. I know I have.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Good Night Mrs Calabash, Where Ever You Are

Talk Radio is one of the primary piling posts of conservative politics in America today. 90% of it's listeners are White and over 35. Two thirds of the listeners are over 50. Almost half of the listeners are over sixty five years of age. These numbers are for all of talk radio, sports, love lines and cooking included. Rush Limbaugh's listener demographics are probably even whiter and older.

You have to ask yourself two things. Where is this audience headed? What does the rest of America think about the opinions expressed on talk radio? Rush is my age. In ten years he could still be talking. Probably will be. Who's going to be listening?

Friday, November 13, 2009

An Informed Electorate

Take your pick of big urban States, California, New York, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania or any other. People there want budget cuts and tax relief. The problem is that in States like this about 40% of people are government employees. Another 20-30% receive extensive entitlement benefits of some kind. Most of the others depend on the cash flow these people provide. Nobody wants the tap turned down, most want it turned up.

How can you reconcile this? Easy. The people are dumb as fuckin' doorknobs.

Do You Use Your Land Line?

When I was young, you could still send a telegram. I don't think you can anymore. I'm sure nobody does. Western Union exists for the sole purpose of draining money out of the United States by illegal immigrants, who send it to their families in Bug Fuck, Egypt or where ever else they come from and need a reliable transfer.

Phone companies are going the same way as Western Union. They have peripheral businesses that may keep them around forever but I don't know anybody under forty that still has a land line or anybody under sixty that still uses one. My parents are in their eighties and are considering getting rid of their phone. Face it. You really don't want or need to talk to anybody you don't trust with your cell number. You never answer that land line. You don't even listen to the messages on it anymore. Get rid of it.

I'm fifty eight, I don't have any kind of phone. I talk to people over the interwebs, they never know the difference.

Don't buy phone company stock.

New Day Commin'

Michael Steele, the chairman of the Republican National Committee says that secular, moderate Republicans and religious, social conservatives within the Party are united now. He says that the Republicans will sweep to victory in the 2010 election, with large numbers of new supporters, including women, racial and cultural minorities, young people and those possessing higher education. He is confident that the GOP's platform of homophobia, foreign military adventurism, xenophobia both domestically and abroad, coupled with a deep distrust of science, disregard for ecological concerns and dependence on a near moronic brand of fundamentalist Christianity are an unbeatable combination for the revitalization of the Republican Party.

Jesus is Lord! Praise his Name! Glory! Glory!

Burma Road

I got a hit from Bagan, Myanmar yesterday. Never had a hit from Myanmar before. I don't think they have too much Interwebs there. There's tourist hotels in Bagan. Probably came from one of them. Maybe one of my regular readers, doing a little travel. They are an affluent and adventurous lot.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Fellow Travelers Find Smaller Tent Uncomfortable

Have you heard that abortion is a paid benefit on the RNC's employee health insurance plan? It's true. They're fixing it now so that the benefit is removed.

Cracks me up.

Next, they're going to make all RNC staffers attend church every week, home school their kids and donate money to Operation Rescue.

This is the Party that's going to sweep the elections next year. Yowza!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Veterans Day 2009

What is a veteran? People have certain expectations of veterans. They expect them to have a certain set of experiences, a certain set of beliefs. They expect them to react in certain ways to certain prompts.

Veterans come from all over. They are all kinds of people. They join the Armed forces for all kinds of reasons and do all kinds of different things while they are serving, under different circumstances. They leave the service after different amounts of time and for different reasons. Some veterans have been in combat, some have not. Even a lot of veterans don't agree with each other, about what combat is or who is a veteran of it. Some veterans consider themselves to be elite. Some take pride in being a regular old dog face or deck ape.

I think many, maybe even most veterans feel a bond with those they served with. Those they didn't serve with are another matter, especially if there is a big enough age difference to be generational or if there is an officer/enlisted divide. Not all veterans are disposed to like or trust each other.

I'm a veteran but when I think of veterans, I think of the World War II and Korea guys who were adults around town, when I was a little kid. Most of them were great guys, some not. The ones that went to meetings and wore the funny hats, not so much but that's just my opinion. A lot of people seemed to like them fine. I don't think of myself as being like them. To be honest, I don't think they, what few of them are left, see guys of my generation as being like them either. I guess that's the way it always is.

Recent vets, the ones I've met, seem mostly OK to me. I hope now that they are out of the service, they can have good lives. Like I've had. Like a lot of vets have had. I hope nobody puts a lot of expectations on them that don't need to be there. They've already done their part and met the expectations. Wherever it was, whatever they did. That should be enough. They've been who the country needed them to be. Now they can just be themselves.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Maybe Someday, Orrin Hatch Can Come Out Of The Closet

The Mormon Church in Utah has moved to support State legislation that would ban discrimination against homosexuals and bring Gay rights in the State up to the same anything but marriage standard that exists in most other States.

Mormons know what it's like to be an oppressed and hated minority. Just because others believe you are the demonic spawn of Satan, doesn't necessarily mean you get no protection under the law or the right to live your life, out in the open, in the light of day.

Maybe that foully diseased Whore of Rome should take a lesson here. The Pope will never come out of the closet. He likes it in there.

Feel My Gom Jabbar

They executed John Muhammad, the DC sniper, tonight. No problem here. It won't bring his victims back but he deserved it. I hope it brings their families some measure of peace.

I just wish the law treated everyone equal in this country. This guy will never sip the potassium cocktail through a 16 gauge Jelco venous catheter. He'll get a deal for Life. Even if he doesn't, his homeboy, Catlicker buddies on the Supreme Court will see him clear. They are all members of the Culture of Life. They stick together.

Screw Murdoch

I always used to love reading the Wall Street Journal. It was one of America's great newspapers. It was conservative, didn't matter. Rupert Murdoch owns it now. It's a piece of shit.

Rupert wants to block Goggle's news aggregater from the Wall Street Journal. I think that's great. Google should stay away. They shouldn't collect anything from Fox news either.

Stuff from Fox News is fun to read but a person can always go to The Onion site for that kind of thing.

New Penises for old

I'm sure you've seen this article or one like it. Soon, if you can pay the freight, a skilled physician will be able to grow you the penis of your dreams. Whoopee!

I don't think it will help me. My problem has always been how to get women to be more friendly and accepting of the perfectly good, if somewhat economically sized, penis I already have. For the last forty five years or so, I have suspected that it doesn't have anything at all to do with the penis but the unsavory nebbish it's attached to. The same problem extends to most of my other peripherals, jobs, schools, friends, even this blog.

Do you think a smiley face tattoo would help? The penis, I mean.

Maybe we should all pay our own way

The main reason that there is a big push for a national health care program in this country is that the Medicare system is broke and has been running in the red for many years. The money that younger workers have been paying all of their lives, to fund their own retirement health care benefits is spent. The government wants to raise more money from healthy, younger, working people to fund continued coverage for the old, sick, disabled and poor.

I don't care how it comes out one way or another. On the one hand, everybody needs reasonably priced health care. On the other, the benefits currently provided are obscenely inappropriate. You get old and sick and die. That's the way of my people, baby. The way of everyone's people. Leave'm on a blanket, on an ice flow, with a mouth full of snow, when they can't keep up anymore.

I think it's interesting that the group who are most opposed to a public health care system are the fucking Christers. They want to make sure none of their hard earned money goes to fund birth control, then they whine about abortion. What a bunch of stupid shitheads. I think it's about time religion started pulling it's own weight. Churches use government services, just like anybody else. They should start paying taxes on the property they own and on the income they take in. I don't have any problem with tax exemptions for religion as long as it's on funds that are used strictly for approved charitable purposes. Most of the loot they take in goes for other stuff. Why should they get a tax break on money used to pay off sodomized alter boys? I'm tired of the greasy, hippocrite Christers riding on my dime. Fuck'em, just like they fuck those little boys.

Do You Own Tech Stocks?

A lot of people have been buying budget net books with dirt cheap Atom Intel processors that, with a few tweaks, can load and run Apple's new Snow Leopard operating system just fine. Imagine that, a functional $300 Apple laptop that fits in a ladies handbag and holds an eight hour battery charge. Apple just issued a patch that, among other things, disables Atom processors.

What does this tell you? No matter how much you like Apple hardware, Apple is primarily a software company, that produces a line of operating systems, not a hardware company, whose products are indispensable to the computing experience. Their stuff is good but has shortcomings and is overpriced.

Once you understand this, you will realize that the stock is way overpriced. I'm sure that somebody will figure out a way around Apple's interdiction of non native hardware and that they will then issue another lockout. The beat goes on. I'm also sure that there are really smart guys, maybe even in a garage somewhere, working to create a better operating system than either Apple or Microsoft provides, that can be run on any cheap, throwaway machine you can buy down at Radio Shack, on sale for a couple of hundred dollars. When that happens, both Apple and Microsoft are going to be quickly ushered off the stage. They both have their devoted partisans but most of us are ruled by our wallets.

Think about that when you buy their stock. It could be a more costly purchase than any chi-chi Mac Book Pro you might be lusting after.

Monday, November 09, 2009

Partisan Disarray

I'm not opposed to the use of well publicized lies as a political tool, as long as they are creative and effective in swaying people to the cause. It's a respected tradition as old as time.

One of the big Republican talking points emerging today is that pro choice Democrats are at each other's throats over the addition of the Stupak amendment to the House health care bill. This isn't anything more than political masturbation. Nothing wrong with it but doing it in public isn't going to win any votes for Prom Queen. There may be some Democratic disarray around but it isn't over this. Democrats want health care legislation. They're willing to do about anything to get it.

You want partisan disarray, lie about it all you want, the NY-23 Congressional election last week was disarray for all to see.

Up The River

In a couple years, Sirhan will celebrate this 50th year in prison. He'll still have time to do another ten or fifteen years. Lucky him. I wouldn't have wanted to do that kind of time but all things considered, he's had it pretty good.

I'm not a big fan of humane incarceration or rehabilitation. The French always used to do a good job of prison management and they never put away too many people who weren't guilty. I think that's an important consideration. You can't get away with that kind of brutality today, even if it is well deserved.

The Japanese probably do about as good as anybody in the developed World today with incarceration. You just sit alone in a silent, tiny, windowless room for however long your sentence is. A couple of times a day they give you a small portion of unseasoned rice and cabbage. It's pretty economical too.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Never Another Like Him

My grandfather was born on a farm outside of Kokomo, Indiana, in 1896. The family moved from there to central California about 12 years later. By that time my grandfather was an adult. He was through with school and had been for a few years. He was the oldest of three sons and a daughter, the hardest worker and never complained. This sealed his fate. He worked for his father until he was almost fifty. His father said he needed him to. That was that.

My great grandfather would buy distressed and foreclosed farm properties, the cheapest available. My grandfather would fix them up and put them on a paying basis. There was no property too remote or mean, no ground too hard, that my grandfather could not put it right. He decided on the improvements needed, the order in which they were needed, the type of agriculture that would be most profitable and the cheapest way to make it happen. Then he set to work, one man, before dawn to after dusk, seven days a week. Machinery cost money. He used hand tools, cast offs mostly, repaired in his own forge. For work too heavy for a man, he had a mule. He made rundown outbuildings right and weatherproof. He put up fencing, laid out, dug and plumbed irrigation ditches, planted, cultivated and harvested crops, put down silage for winter fodder, milked the cows twice a day and put the milk out for pickup.

My grandmother tended the house, raised the children, kept the chickens and books. She produced or made almost everything the household needed. She canned fruit and vegetables and made soap. From cast off rag bags donated in the church basement, rugs were weaved and clothes were sewn. Good times or bad, didn't matter, not an unnecessary penny was spent.

The last thing my grandparents did before a farm was sold, was fix up the house so it would look as nice as possible and bring a better price. Houses with dirt floors would get jacked up and foundation and floors added, plumbing and electricity brought in, glazed windows, weatherproofing and paint. No use in having a nice house when they were the only ones living there. Didn't add to the bottom line.

The farms my grandfather tended brought good prices and a nice profit, even better during the Depression than before. To people watching their savings dwindle away, a small farm seemed like the way to go. My great grandfather prospered. People that bought his rehabbed farms were often bankrupt and foreclosed on in a year. Small farms, as a rule, don't pay out. They never did and never will. Not one in a thousand farmers is anything like my grandfather was and even if they were, that kind of farming isn't worth the effort. It's a man killer.

My grandfather was not a handsome or impressive looking man. He was short, with a face like a bulldog and had no discernible neck. In his overalls he looked fat. Never was even an ounce on him, though he weighed two hundred and forty pounds. You never see hands like his anymore. They were naturally small but hugely swollen with muscle. His fingers were as big around as polish sausage links. Tens of thousands of hours, working with a pick and shovel, over the course of forty years is what did it. He could crack walnuts between the tips of his thumb and fore finger. Try it sometime.

There never were many men like my grandfather. No one should be nostalgic for those days or that kind of life. It wasn't the kind of life anyone would choose, not him, most of all. His father said he needed him and it was true. If it was me, I'd a told the old man to go fuck himself and signed on a freighter to China.

A Sad And Desultory Mission Statement

It doesn't bother me too much because it's always been mostly true but I am a little disheartened that I am becoming even more out of step politically and philosophically, with mainstream America. I've never cared about the law or social convention and never even attempted to stay within their bounds. Why should that change just because I am becoming old and sadly pathetic.

I am an unrepentant social liberal. I am past the point in my life when abortion has any personal relevance but I believe strongly in Women's reproductive rights. I don't frankly care whether abortion is murder. Society condones the intentional deaths of many types of people. Some of them we revile and some we call heros. So what? I am unilaterally heterosexual but don't give a shit how other people want to live and believe all should have the same freedoms and opportunities under the law. I am married but only because it causes too many complications not to be. I don't care whether other people choose to be married or not, who they marry or for what reason. I don't think the government has the right to make end of life decisions for people but that people themselves absolutely do deserve to be able to make those decisions for themselves. In all of these areas, the country seems to me moving against me. I'm becoming somewhat apathetic about agitating for these issues because they don't really affect me and how I live my life. I am confident that when the time comes I have the will and the resources to end my life on my terms and in my time.

I am a fiscal conservative. Nowhere in America do I see any real resolve to control government spending across the board. Different factions are interested in gutting spending that benefits their opponents but nowhere are there strong voices calling for the real austerity needed to save the system. It will surely fail.

I believe that overpopulation and inequality of resource consumption are real problems in the World and that pollution and global warming are more than hippie propaganda. These are not popular views especially in this country. I do not believe governmental bodies have any will or impetus to address these issues in any serious way and will not in the foreseeable future.

President Obama has staked out a centrist niche for himself as our political leader. He mostly stays silent on social issues and embraces big government spending and wars of foreign aggression. It is the exact opposite of what I would have for the country. Obama may be less my President than any other in recent history although I understand his motives and do not condemn him as I have others in his job.

I do not find any value in the shrill and dogmatic voices on the right or left. They leave me tired and disgruntled. Too many seem more interested in cramming their own life choices and beliefs down the throats of others than insuring they will be able to live their lives the way they choose and that all others will as well.

I like writing this blog. It's therapeutic. I don't care if nobody much reads it. That isn't the point of it. I will continue to write about anything and everything I feel like. I probably will focus on things I like, criticism, cynicism, satire, the bashing of authoritarianism wherever it lives, shameless embrace of doom saying and unabashed gold buggery are always favorites of mine.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Not One God Damn Thing

Governments around the World used to be in the business of accumulating gold. A large gold reserve enhanced status and indicated the financial health and security of a regime.With ample gold reserves, a country could threaten or make war, sustain itself when taxes fell short, even feed the people if crops failed. During times of political upheaval, the faction that could keep control of the gold reserves always had the upper hand in keeping control of the country. If a deposed faction could get the gold reserves out of the country, the new ruling faction faced a much more difficult time maintaining control.

For a long time now, governments have been pretending that gold reserves didn't mean much. Not many but some governments have sold off substantial portions of their gold reserves. Almost no governments have added to their gold reserves in many decades. Apathy towards gold made it difficult for miners to sell their production, even to just cover costs. The value of gold stagnated and even decreased relative to purchasing power.

Things may be changing. The Chinese are the largest producers of mined gold in the World. The Chinese government is accumulating virtually all of it into its reserves. Russia is also a big producer. They are doing the same. The Indian Government just bought 200 tons of gold from the International Monetary Fund and was willing to pay almost double what gold was worth last year. The Indians are supposedly the shrewdest and most knowledgeable gold traders on the face of the Earth.

Investors around the World are accumulating gold. Individuals are purchasing gold coins and ingots, knowing they will have to pay a steep premium to buy and endure a discount if they sell it back to a dealer. Even so, the wait to buy gold is long in many places.

Gold gets a lot of bad press. All the touts, advisers and analysts say it's a bad deal, in a bubble formation and will crash soon. Here in America, people have other things to worry about. Almost nobody is buying gold except the affluent, who are worried about proper diversification.

I understand that I only have two choices. I can have my money in gold or some countries currency. For now, I'll keep the gold. I may lose money with gold. I don't think so but even if I do, my downside risk is limited. If all you have is the dollar, there is no downside limit. With gold there is also a potential upside, which is non-existent, at this point, with most currencies.

You never know. Gold could continue to increase in price, as the Treasury prints huge amounts of money to fund spending deficits, in anticipation of inflation. At the same time the contracting economy may experience perceived deflation as demand for goods, services and assets shrink. If I'm nimble, I could get out of gold at the right time with a big paper profit, buy up distressed but still ultimately valuable assets that are in decline and die rich. Do I think my chances of that are good? Nah! I'm just a little guy. I don't have much and will likely lose it in any case but what the fuck have I got to lose?

Not one God damn thing.

Yurts and Fermented Mare's Milk

I remember before we had a TV. Some people still just had radio. A lot of the radios were the big, old console models, with glowing vacuum tubes in the guts. They could often receive short wave through an outside antenna. You could turn the dial and pick up foreign language and funny music along with eerie howling noises and static. Sometimes you could guess where the signal was coming from and sometimes not but you knew it was far away. For me, it was exciting.

Blogging can be like short wave signals in the old days. I never get a lot of hits but I get them from all over. They aren't all from huge population centers but they tend to be from relatively developed areas because that's where they weave the interwebs.

I got a hit a couple days ago from Ulan Bator. I remember reading a National Geographic article about Mongolia and Ulan Bator fifty years ago. It was pretty bleak but definitely the farthest place you could get away to and still be on Earth, except for maybe the Poles. The people seemed more alien than exotic, the streets were mud and there were yurts and herds of ponies, right in the middle of town. The People all looked like Korean dwarfs and dressed like Robinson Crusoe. I'm sure it's more developed now, almost everywhere is. It's still about as far away from here as you can get, in every imaginable way.

Somebody from Ulan Bator looked at my words. Cool.

Are Polititians Crocodiles? 'Cuz They Cry The Same Tears

It's only been two days but already a pilgrimage of politicians has begun to Ft Hood. Just like the fuckin' Hajj. They want to honor the soldiers killed and wounded there and help the community "heal" from the recent atrocity. George W Bush has already been there, to spend time consoling the victims and their families. What a nice guy.

I wonder why these same politicians never gave a second thought before committing young American soldiers and their families to what will soon be the longest and most costly War in the nation's history? A War embarked upon for no apparent reason, that has destroyed the countries invaded and benefited our nation not at all. These people have lost family members, limbs, blood, mental health and time, a lot of time, out of the best years of their young lives. For too many, it was all the time they had left. Many more who have not yet, will experience these same losses in the years ahead. For nothing. Is this how we respect and honor the members of our armed forces, by selling their lives so cheaply?

Nidal Hasan was crazy or maybe a religious fanatic, the same thing, really. He shot innocents who bore no blame for the war which he was loath to fight. More senseless death in a conflict that has already caused enough. It makes him as bad as those who are responsible for the War, maybe worse and that's very bad indeed. The Army should have left him in Washington DC, where there are so many worthy objects of his psychotic bloodlust.

Meat on the hoof

I was cooking for awhile at a roadhouse in Southern New Mexico, many years ago. One of the local, severely inbred, ranching scions came to the back door one day and called me outside. He had a full grown buffalo bull out there tied to a tree by it's nose ring. Really big.

Seems he had been reading in one of his stock breeding magazines about the saleability of hybrid beefalo meat. He thought he would save money and instead of buying frozen sperm, just turn this big fella loose in his herd. He bought him someplace up North. He was transporting it home in a horse trailer behind his pickup. Fuckin' buffalo got restless and totally demolished the trailer. He was lucky to get as far as our place. He didn't have another trailer and didn't think anybody would loan him one to haul an unhappy buffalo bull the rest of the way home.

He wanted to sell me the buffalo's meat, cheap. The idea was he would shoot it, skin it and cut off it's head for trophies and leave me the meat. It was a good deal and we could have made some money off it. Serving buffalo meat would have been a definite attraction and we could have charged good prices. The problem is, news travels fast in sparsely populated areas like that. Plus, we would be buying seriously less meat from our regular FDA certified supplier in Roswell for awhile. Somebody would have narc'd us out for sure and you can't legally serve meat in a restaurant, that you kill and butcher in a sand lot outside your back door, from a buffalo that some guy passing through sold you. No deal.

He found another trailer somewhere and got the thing the rest of the way home. I don't know whether he got beefalo out of the deal or just a lot or gored cows. Likely, his father just made him take it back where he got it from.

Republicans Shed A Bitter Tear

The Democrats are going to try and pass a national health bill in the House today. My feeling is that they wouldn't be attempting to do this if they didn't have the votes in their pocket.

It doesn't matter if the bill they pass has everything they want. It doesn't matter what concessions they have to make. Once a comprehensive national health bill is passed, it can be modified in the future. The one thing that is pretty much guaranteed is that once passed, universal health coverage will never be rescinded. It will be a huge victory for the Democratic party. In generations to come, when national health care is an established entitlement, it will be remembered that not a single Republican voted for it. Opposition to national health may turn out to be a liability for the Republicans in the long run. I think that it will.

Republicans are unhappy about the situation. Tough shit.

On to the Senate.

Right Tool For The Job

Nidal Hasan, the Ft Hood shooter picked the right weapon for his spree. The FN Five-Seven is a great semi automatic pistol. It shoots very small bullets with a very high muzzle velocity. With proper ammunition it defeats commonly used body armor and penetrates deeply, with a damaging tumbling action. It has minimal perceived recoil and the weapon can stay on target better between shots. The shooter's wrist will not tire as much or develop a tremor after sustained firing. You can get an extended magazine that holds thirty rounds. It can be reloaded in seconds and three preloaded extra magazines of this type, tucked unobtrusively in a back pocket under an unbloused shirt, would have given him a total of one hundred twenty rounds, more than even he needed. The Five-Seven represents the biggest advance in hand gun design in over a hundred years. FN, a Belgique firm and one of the premier weapons producers in the World, none of which are now American, makes a machine pistol based on the same system that puts anything the American military has, in the way of a close combat weapon, to shame. If I became psychotic or religious and was going to buy a hand gun for a high density, sustained fire shooting spree situation, the FN Five-Seven is the one I'd buy.

I'd bet money that all of the damage he did, he did with the FN. He was also carrying a .357 magnum of some kind. I suppose he wanted to be ready, in case he needed to penetrate any engine blocks or was attacked by a bear. I guess it always pays to be prepared.

I remember when this gun was introduced several years ago, many jurisdictions in America banned it before it even went on sale. California, where I live is one of them. I'm not sure but it still may be unobtainable there. Probably Washington DC, where Nidal is from, as well. Nidal was lucky he was in Texas when he went crazy. Personal handguns are like a religion in Texas and firing them is like worship. If he had been smarter he might have gotten away with it. He should have had a few drinks first and he shouldn't have done it on a military base. They're really strict about that kind of stuff in the military. I heard of this old drunk in Texas, who shot his friend point blank in the face with a shotgun after a hydraulic lunch and was never even charged. I'm not sure anyone ever even reported it to the police.

Friday, November 06, 2009

The Big One

During the Cold War era, the idea of nuclear war went hand in hand with the doctrine of mutually assured destruction. The Cold War is over. It's a new game.

Whether they publicly acknowledge it or not, a lot of countries have nuclear weapons and the means to deliver them. Within the next few years, many more will. Some of the countries that have or will have nuclear weapons are run by people who are not known for mental stability. Many nuclear equipped countries are not politically stable. Many do not have full control of their military. The doctrine of mutually assured destruction doesn't have the currency that it once did. Sale or trade of nuclear weapons to countries that do not have the technology to produce them is not an unlikely prospect and may have already happened. During episodes of regime change or political upheaval, ownership of nuclear weapons has become unclear. Not all weapons known to have been produced have been reliably accounted for. The Afrikaners disposed of their very excellent, Israeli designed nuclear weapons and delivery systems, before they turned their country over to Mandela. Who's to say some of the military custodians, soon to be out of a job and a country, didn't sell a few off to ensure a comfortable retirement in exile? No one even pretends to know what happened to all the USSR's nukes. There never even was a reliable inventory.

I was expecting an Indian/Pakistani nuclear engagement in the early-mid '90s. So far, it hasn't happened but still remains a strong possibility. There are several countries which might attack Israel with nuclear weapons and Israel would certainly respond or even carry out a preemptive strike if they had good intelligence that an attack was coming.

There has never been an effective weapon invented that wasn't used and used often. I think it's only a matter of time before any number of small nuclear wars and perhaps even a big one or two break out.

What do you think? Who will attack who? Who will win? Or will anybody?


What do you think about this Muslim army captain that killed and wounded so many at Fort Hood yesterday? It's a terrible thing. Nobody knows yet what if any motivation he had for this act. Whether he had some fanatical religious or political motivation or was just bug fuck crazy, the question will be why nobody in authority figured it out beforehand and did anything about it.

Normally, people in the military develop a bond with others in the community that precludes them from committing this sort of act. It's one of the major ways that the military socializes its denizens. They do it in formal ways and informal. Its going on all the time. Its no big secret. Its not hard to figure out why they do it or why its a good thing. This guy didn't get his dose or it didn't take. He'd been in the military a long time and it had provided him with a life of privilege, status and affluence compared to most in the life.

This guy isn't dead. He's going to spend the rest of his life sitting alone in a little room. He's not going to be covered by any Geneva convention or have any rights. He'll be a member of the US military who is a prisoner of the US military. They can do anything they want to him. Hopefully experts will spend several years taking his head apart to find out how it works, what went wrong and how to spot guys like him in the future.

I'm seeing where a lot of people don't think we should allow people of Middle Eastern background or Islam in the military. I'm not sure that's such a good idea. I think they can be very useful.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Who Is The Scary Republican Leader?

In American politics, the scariest leaders on the other side are those that have a chance to poach your voters. For the Republicans, the two scariest leaders on the other side in the last half century have been Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton. Both were populist, Southern and very appealing to middle American, middle of the road, family oriented voters of modest means.

The Democrats have had a much worse time of it. Republicans have come up with leaders who are very attractive to a wide spectrum of voters. Ronald Reagan was the best. Everybody loved Reagan. I didn't because I lived in California while he was Governor but most Americans weren't paying attention to Reagan in the '60's. George W Bush was very scary. It wasn't too hard to see what an asshole he was but he had an undeniable appeal, in a lowest common denominator, let's admit we all pee in the shower way, to a broad spectrum of American voters.

I'm assuming that Barry O will be the Democratic nominee in the 2012 Presidential race. Right now the scariest candidates that I'm seeing on the Republican side are Rick Perry and Tim Pawlenty. I hate both of them but can easily see how they could get elected. Huckabee doesn't worry me, neither does Palin. They wouldn't stand a chance. Romney doesn't worry me because he might make a pretty good President, for all the people. The Republicans would never run anybody like that.

Who do you think could win the Presidency for the Republicans?

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

I Thought Hoffman would Win. Shows You What I Know

The 23rd Congressional district of the State of New York has been a Republican stronghold since the formation of the Republican party, almost one hundred and fifty years ago. It probably will continue to be one for another hundred and fifty years.

When Doug Hoffman gave his concession speech after the election for that Congressional seat last night, in a hotel ballroom, fewer than fifty supporters were there to witness it. His supporters had already left, out of the district, out of the State, out of the region. They had already gone back to where they came from. His supporters were members of the racist, sexist, homophobic, religious fundamentalist, social conservative movement that currently plague our country. They sought to hijack the local electoral process and elect one of their own to the local Congressional seat. They almost did it. That they didn't says a lot about the kind of people that live in this region.

This is not a Democratic party victory. It is a victory for democracy. There was no real Republican running in this race. Next year there probably will be and I hope then, the will of the people prevails.

Gay Marriage

Legal Gay marriage went down in Maine yesterday. It is becoming clear that slightly less than half the population, in most places in America, are willing to legalize Gay marriage. For me, Gay marriage is the same kind of stalking horse against the religious right as abortion. Probably only about 3% of the population is what could be called full time homosexual. Fewer than that would get Gay married if they had the chance.

Gay marriage focuses the attention of the mainstream culture on the issue of Gay rights. It has become the "this far and no farther" barricade behind which reactionary forces against Gay rights make their stand. While the fight over Gay marriage rages, the general population becomes more and more sensitized to the unfairness of the situation and less sympathetic to the religious bigots that fight to maintain the status quo. As the fight continues, under the radar in more and more places, all legal barriers against Gays except marriage are dropped.

In ten years, Gay marriage will be accepted as the norm in all fifty States. The homosexual community will be a more mainstream part of society than it is now. I favor this because freedom denied to one, is freedom denied to all.

Society is always in flux. Demographics are always changing. The young, of all racial, ethnic, cultural, socio economic and even religious backgrounds overwhelmingly favor legal Gay Marriage. Gay marriage will continue to be tested in State after State, over and over again, until it is the law under which we all live. Gay marriage is a cause that promotes freedom for all. It's not only the smart side to be on. It's the right side.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Gold Jumps, Buffet Catches A Freight

Gold broke above $1080 an ounce spot this morning in conjunction with the London close. I expect this was due to a spate of panic short covering. Likely it will retreat to more reasonable levels by the end of the trading day in New York.

Still, gold has been exhibiting a pronounced tenor of upwardness lately. This is a positive sign for gold and also gold equities, many of which are up 7-8% so far this morning alone.

Warren Buffet has purchased Burlington Northern Railway. It's a good purchase. Railways move freight in a much more fuel efficient manor than trucking. This purchase, like many others that could be made now, will eventually pay off. Unfortunately, transportation will be in a slump, possibly for many years, as the economy contracts and America reverts from a service economy to one of production. Warren has the deep pockets to endure a drain of capital until inflation and an expanding economy makes this purchase pay off but the guy's in his eighties. He'll never see the day. Why buy something, the fundamentals of which, you know will get worse before it gets better?

Warren is contemptuous of gold as an investment. Too bad.

Monday, November 02, 2009

Trading Range Established In Gold

It looks like gold has made its new trading range, moving higher when it gets below $1030 then lower above $1070. I expect the next breakout upward will take it above $1100. Gold is still tied to the fortunes of the dollar, for now.

Some people think the price of gold is already in a bubble. That's not true. That will happen eventually, when the stock market next crashes. After that, there is no telling what will happen. I think initially down with the market, then up.

Gold will hit $2000 an ounce. It may take a few years. I honestly thought it would be sooner.

There are better long term investments than gold. Oil will inevitably rise. Right now though there is a glut and they are still pumping like mad. Real estate is also sure fire. The problem with that is, you have to have deep pockets to maintain a money losing asset until inflation and economic recovery make you rich. Agricultural commodities are a no brainer. People have to eat and there are more of them all the time. The big cap financials, if you have the stomach for it, are a good play. They are ruthless criminals with a license to steal. The agencies that are supposed to oversee and regulate them in reality aid them in their criminality.


It would be nice if the Democrats came out of the off year elections tomorrow with a solid showing but I fear it is not to be. All indications are that a well groomed Pat Robertson University alumni and wingnut of the first water named McConnell, will win the governorship of Virginia. The other prominent races are close but I think the Republicans have the inside track in all of them. Gov Corzine in New Jersey is a real dickhead and deserves to lose. Hoffman, in the NY 23rd Congressional race, is riding a strong wave of upward momentum in the polls, even though he is a poor choice for the constituency, not in touch with their concerns and doesn't even live in the district.  If the race went a couple more weeks, he would get creamed but right now tempers are running high and that favors him. The other big contest is a measure that would repeal a Gay marriage law in Maine. It will be close, which in itself is amazing but I think it will pass easily. There still aren't too many places where Gay marriage can muster majority support. If you look how far, how fast Gay rights have come, the advancements are impressive and will likely continue even more rapidly. The odiousness of Gay rights opponents helps the cause even more than it's necessity and inevitability.

I am distressed that the social conservatives are now the dominint force in the Republican party. It is little consolation that this leadership will surely bring about the destruction of the Republicans in the future.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Scozzafava Endorses Democrat

This story just keeps getting better and better.

Break out the cutlasses and boarding pikes. Spread some sand on the decks. Not all of us will be going home to Mother.

We have a lot of pro choice Republicans that aren't homophobes here in Sunny California.

Here's a link to a post Sarah Palin left on Facebook, about how all Republicans in NY 23 should unite now, in solidarity, after she led the mob gutting the local Republican candidate for Congress. That'll go over big with the Republican voters upstate. I mean, she thanked Dede politely for stepping aside. That should be enough, right? After all, Dede wants to kill babies and let sodomites marry. That'd against God's natural law. She also supports, you know, union membership. (Shudder) She's no real Republican.

When Economists Lie, You Know It's Bad

Geithner is lying and Greenspan before him.

Money is a medium of exchange but in fact has no real intrinsic value. At one time, you could present money at a bank and exchange it for a set amount of gold or silver. After that stopped being true, the only value money represented was the trust that those using money as a medium of exchange had in the issuing entity. In this country, that entity is the United States Treasury. When there is no actual backing of the currency by anything of real value, great care must be taken to control the amount of currency introduced into the monetary system and even then, the Treasury can get into trouble.

A government must not abuse it's authority to issue money. The money that a government spends, must be no more than the amount it takes as revenue from the fees and taxes that it levees. If the government must spend more money than it currently has, it must borrow that money like anybody else and pay it back at the agreed upon rate of interest in a timely manner.

Governments exist to provide order and organization in society. By doing so, they enable the citizens to live together peacefully. The citizens engage in all of the various enterprises of industry and commerce that allow society to continue and prosper. When industry and commerce are no longer sufficient to allow society to prosper the people suffer and become discontent. They may blame the government for their suffering and in truth, if the government has been remiss in its management of its own finances, it may bear some of the blame. Government can become fearful that the populace, in it's discontent, will rise up against it. When this happens, they can do a couple of things. They can institute repressive and coercive measures upon the people in an effort to control any rebellious behavior. They can attempt to buy the people off by providing the necessary resources that the people need to exist at what they perceive to be an acceptable level, that they used to obtain by engaging in industry and commerce. In the end, neither of these actions is effective.

Currently, our government is afraid of it's citizens. It is attempting to buy the citizens off by injecting debased currency into the system, although I'm not sure how you can debase currency that isn't really worth anything in the first place. This won't work for long. They know it won't. This makes them more scared. The repression will come next.

This Post Didn't Go Anywhere I Was Trying To Go But I'm Not Going To Delete It

Whether or not social conservatives are correct in their beliefs is one question. Whether a more socially conservative Republican party is a good political strategy is an entirely different question. Whenever a political party moves farther toward one end of the spectrum or another it tends to satisfy supporters on the end of the spectrum towards which it is moving and alienate supporters in the middle of the spectrum who lean least toward the moving party. This doesn't mean that parties should never move farther towards the end of the spectrum. If the true believers at the far end get disenchanted, they become apathetic, participation, donations and eventually voter turnout will be adversely effected.

To exert maximum influence, political parties must walk a fine line. Often, in a governing coalition, nobody is very happy with the resulting government. This is the situation that the Republican party found itself in three years ago. Even though they had put together a controlling coalition in national politics, a lot of their supporters became critically dissatisfied. What followed was not a resurgence of support for the liberal values of the Democratic party but a lack of support for the Republicans. The Democrats won control of the executive and legislative branches of government because Democrats ran a nation wide campaign of bland, cheerful, centrist apathy, promising all things to all people. Now that the economy is going into a shit storm, nobody's going to feed a quarter into the juke box to hear that song again.

Obviously, the Republicans cannot revitalize their party by offering the people the same thing that Obama, Pelosi and Reid are touting. They have to offer something in opposition. The functional move would be to offer a platform of austerity and strict fiscal conservatism then dial the religious and moral mania of the social conservatives way back but that's not what their true believers want to hear and that's not the way they are going. Besides, the Republicans may regain power no matter what they do, just because the Democrats are so fucked up, so why offer anything actually constructive. Pander to the base.

Most people understand that America as a country and as a people have been writing checks they can't cover for a long time. They understand that there is going to be some suffering involved in getting the economy out of the red. There is going to be inflation. There is going to be a decrease in living standards. There is going to be a decrease in government services. There will be high unemployment as people shift out of service jobs and into production. Somebody is going to have to coin a term a little harsher than stagflation to describe it. It's going to happen whether anybody likes it or not. It would work out better if we all went into it at the same time, together, in an organized manner. It's not going to happen, at least right now. This is not something the Republicans are willing to admit. You can't blame them. It's a pretty depressing idea and harkens back to the Jimmy Carter national malaise days. The Democrats are also aware of this and no more willing to introduce this kind of rhetoric than the Republicans. Everybody is more comfortable hearing that the economy is getting back on track but it will be a slow process and we should all be patient. We fill the time debating the basic human rights that should be accorded to all the little, soon to be aborted, pre born souls and whether or not global warming is real. Like anybody really gives a shit about either one of them.

America needs a great leap forward on the same scale as China started in the last days of Mao Tse Tung. The problem is, that no matter how dark it's getting or how quickly it's falling over the land, nobody willingly starts a journey like that while sitting comfortably in an air conditioned, four bedroom rambler with all the trimmings, in a well manicured suburban development, even if you can't afford it and it's in foreclosure. The electricity is still hooked up and the toilets still flush today, baby. We ain't goin' nowhere. It doesn't mean the journey's not coming, just not right now.

My advice to the Republicans is walk with Jesus. Dig that bunker in the back yard. Keep buying the guns and ammo. Take the grandkids to Disney World.

My advice to Democrats is take a hike in the Sierras. Spend a week camping out under the stars. Adopt a polar bear. Save the Whales.

We're stalled out here. All the choices we make from here on out are likely to be bad ones. So make as few as possible. Things are going to get a lot worse, no point rushing it. The good part is, it's not that bad right now. They're still printing money. They're still cashing the bad checks. Write a few more when you get a little short. Just don't get crazy about it. Stretch things out as long as possible. Enjoy life. Go to a hockey game. Have a beer. Buy the kids hot dogs. You may not have many more chances and there isn't anything you can do to help right now. No use making yourselves miserable. That will come soon enough.