Archive for September, 2008

Such Fancy Flags

Military flags have gold fringe.

More information here.

I’m just saying.

This is about Trust

In the long run, truth is aided by nothing so much as by opposition, and by the opposition of those who can give the full strength of the argument on the side of error. In an age of authority and spiritual bondage, the opinions of an individual are often important, — sometimes decisive. One voice may determine the judgment of a country. But in an age of free discussion, little is to be feared from great names, on whatever side arrayed. When I hear a man complaining that some cause which he has at heart will be put back for years by a speech of a book, I suspect that his attachment to it is prejudice, that he has no consciousness of standing on a rock. The more discussion the better, if passion and personality be eschewed; and discussion, even if stormy, often winnows truth from error, a good never to be expected in an uninquiring age. — William Ellery Channing, American preacher and religious reformer, 1780-1842, on the slavery question

The proposed bailout will not work because it does not address the problem. In fact, it makes the problem worse.

The problem is trust. It doesn’t exist. It has been actively, purposely eroded by people in all positions of power, whether in Congress, the White House, or the panelled boardrooms of corporate America. Greedy, powerful people erased trust by refusing to deal with the American people in good faith. Republicans did it, and Democrats did it, and corporations did it. And we have been well aware of that for many years. But as it turns out, they don’t deal with each other in good faith, either. Whoever could have predicted such a thing?!?!?!?!

Now ’suddenly’, ‘without warning’, ’surprising them no end’, ‘we’ have a ‘crisis’. Oh boo hoo hoo they cry. Give us lots of money so we can have more confidence.

No. These are junkies and dealers, addicted to money and power. It’s time to go to detox and rehab.

Poor planning on your part does not make a crisis on my part.

Ill fares the land, to hastening ills a prey, Where wealth accumulates and men decay: Princes and lords may flourish or may fade; A breath can make them, as a breath has made; But a bold peasantry, their country’s pride, When once destroyed can never be supplied. — Oliver Goldsmith, Irish poet, dramatist and novelist, 1728-1774, from The Deserted Village

They Sold Us Down The River Again



These assholes have supposedly worked it all out. So they say. (Does Henry Paulson look like a bloodsucking ghoul all the time?)

Behold the cornucopia of hedging language to describe this deal.

The plan calls for the Treasury Department to buy deeply distressed mortgage-backed securities and other bad debts held by banks and other investors. The money should help [or not help] troubled lenders make new loans and keep credit lines open. The government would later try [they will try, but they will fail] to sell the discounted loan packages at the best possible price.

At the insistence of House Republicans, some [unspecified amount] of the program’s $700 billion would be devoted to a program that would encourage [as opposed to require] holders of distressed mortgage-backed securities to keep them and buy government insurance to cover defaults.

The legislation would place “reasonable” limits [as determined by the ultra-rich] on severance packages for executives of companies that benefit from the rescue plan, said a senior administration official who was authorized to speak only on background. It would affect fired executives of financial firms, and executives of firms that go bankrupt. Some [unspecified] of the provisions would be retroactive and some [unspecified] prospective, the official said.

The proposed legislation also calls for the financial sector to help [unspecified limited responsibility] make up the difference if [you mean when] the government does not recoup its investment in five years, the official said, but details were unclear. [wink wink]

Also, the government would receive stock warrants in return for the bailout relief, giving taxpayers a chance to share [kind of like the craps tables] in financial companies’ future profits.

To help struggling homeowners, the plan would require the government to try [try but fail, then express regret] renegotiating the bad mortgages it acquires with the aim of lowering borrowers’ monthly payments so they can keep their homes.

The measure’s main elements were proposed a week ago by the Bush administration, with Paulson heading efforts to push it through the Democratic-controlled Congress. Democrats insisted on greater congressional oversight, more taxpayer protections, help for homeowners facing possible foreclosure, and restrictions on executives’ compensation.

To some degree, [what do you think...2%?] all those items were added.

At the insistence of House Republicans, who threatened to sidetrack negotiations at midweek, the insurance provision was added as an alternative to having the government buy distressed securities. House Republicans say it will require less [CYA...they 'tried' to help us] taxpayer spending for the bailout.

But the Treasury Department has said the insurance provision would not pump enough money into the financial sector to make credit sufficiently available. The department would decide how to structure the insurance provisions, [Unitary Executive Powers] said Sen. Kent Conrad, D-N.D., one of the negotiators.

Money for the rescue plan would be phased in, he said. The first $350 billion would be available as soon as the president requested it. Congress could try [and fail, surely expressing regret] to block later amounts if it believed the program was not working. The president could veto such a move, however, requiring extra large margins in the House and Senate to override.

Despite the changes made during an intense week of negotiations, the heart of the program remains Bush’s original idea: To have the government spend billions of dollars to buy mortgage-backed securities whose value has plummeted as hundreds of thousands of Americans have defaulted on their home loans.

Senate Majority leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said Saturday that the goal was to come up with a final agreement before the Asian markets open Sunday night. “Everybody is waiting for this thing to tip a little bit too far,” he said, so “we may not have another day.”

This is total bullshit. Vote them all out. This is a house of cards deal for the house of cards economy. The thing will fall down just as soon as our money gets whisked away.

The correct answer for the American people is NO BAILOUT. They failed the test. It is time to go.

So what happened is that the people who actually own this country told the people who pretend to run this country what to do. Apparently your only role, American citizen, is to shut up and pay.

But consider that many financial analysts say that the real reason that the government bailed out Freddie and Fannie is because China demanded it. And there were rumors last week that China instructed its banks to stop lending to U.S. banks. The U.S. owes trillions of dollars to China which, along with Japan, Saudi Arabia, and other creditor nations, is keeping America afloat. If they pulled the plug, the U.S. would instantly default on its obligations.

They say that economics and finance are now global. Perhaps corruption, blackmail and tyranny are also.

I interrupt your regularly scheduled goofing off to say…

Tbogg wins the coveted Moniker Lewinsky Award for: Bible Spice.

Responsibly, we have turned the prize monies over to Hank Paulson for safekeeping in his lizard cave (DON’T LOOK AT HIS RIGHT EYE!!!!).

Let Us Break Their Bonds Asunder!

Go here to see some wonderful righteous indignation and SOLUTIONS, and videos, and letters from outraged Americans, and every manner of truth about the financial crisis and proposed abhorrent bailout.

If you have not made any phone calls yet, what the sam-hell are you waiting for?

The phone calls are working. At long last, Americans have been aroused from their stupor, praise God.

Let us break their bonds asunder, and cast away their yoke from us! Psalm 2:3

UPDATE: Read Joan Veon.

A Higher Standard

All the war dead couldn’t do what the economy seems to be doing: waking people up. It shows us the power of money, does it not? Sad, but we’ll take the wake up call any way we can get it.

The division between left and right is easily manipulated for the ruling class. The division between ultra-rich and everybody else…not so much. The ruling class may have touched the third rail this time, as they have purposely set themselves apart from everyone else. So. Now they are apart from everyone else, as in pretty much every single person you know, whether democrat or republican, left or right, does not belong to the ruling class. The people who want to be bailed out travel in their own circles. That’s the way they like it. They do not want to mingle with the hoi polloi, like you bubba, even though you might think you shit chocolate bars because you have a nice house and a nice car. Whatever. What I’m trying to say is when you get into us v them games, and you are so very seriously outnumbered, umm…, and pretty much all the people in the military come from the lower classes, well, you might want to rethink that plan.

In order for their plans to work, they must count on the military turning against us. Again, this may be one thing to accomplish with a terrorist attack or some more easily manipulated political trick, but it’s quite another to accomplish with an economic collapse.

Therefore, John McCain seems to be devising a rise from the ashes. He will be a Maverick on this one. He will be the one to stand up to Wall Street, and then Sarah Palin will get back to Katie Couric with the answer, victoriously, to her question about how John McCain has stood up to the established interests. It doesn’t matter if he’s rolled over for three decades. It only matters what he does now. And if he is the one to stand up to Wall Street now, well, that will be all that matters. Does Obama understand this? Who knows.

The Republicans will be empowered. Then the terrorist attack will come, and then…Game Over USA. Sorry you lose.

But, first, we have this moment in time. We have this moment when everyone with eyes to see may gaze upon the true divide between us, the very many, and them, the chosen few. We observe an impressive chasm which the rich themselves excavated. They consider themselves safely on the other side. Safe from you and me.

Of course John McCain is one of them. So is Obama. But McCain will cross over here, magically, on a holographic media bridge, and pretend to be one of us just for as long as necessary until the terrorist attack comes and takes over the narrative, assuring him the victory. Then he dies and we are stuck with the vicious shrew.

Don’t fall for it. If McCain or the Republicans stop the bailout plan, hey that great. Awesome. But we owe them NOTHING in exchange. NOT ONE THING! The politicians have the current account deficit with us, the American people. They owe US. You can think of any victory here as a small deposit against the vast treasure that they have looted from our country: dead and mangled people, outsourced jobs, moral standing around the world, crumbling infrastructure, environmental damage, substandard health care and education, etc. to infinity and beyond.

Now some will argue, well why should a politician stand up to Wall Street if they get nothing in return?

Because there comes a time when the scales of justice demand to be balanced. Any man or woman who cannot do the right thing without some sort of payback is inherently unqualified to lead this country.

Lord Jesus, teach me to be generous; teach me to serve you as you deserve, to give and not to count the cost, to fight and not to heed the wounds, to toil and not to seek for rest, to labor and not to seek reward, except that of knowing that I do your will. St. Ignatius Loyola

Understand the Stakes

Original here. I thank God for Americans like this man. Please, if you haven’t started making phone calls and applying pressure to our elected representatives, now is the time. It is working. Stand up for yourself and be counted. m

The headline’s oscillate between proclamations of bailout success and dark forebodings–the visual representation of this is conveniently graphed for us on the stock indexes for the day. “See?” they taunt. “See how the market gets better when we say the bailout is at hand? See how it gets worse when word of your stonewalling gets out?

“We cannot let up on the Congress, and, frankly, at this point we should be calling our state representatives as well. We must accept the reality of this situation: This bailout has minimal impact on the American people; it is primarily about paying off foreign interests before the collapse, even if that process is to be heavily veiled and masked by transactions. The $700 billion dollars is nothing in the face of the problem at hand. It is enough to save a few prominent corporations, leaving them in position to sweep up the remnants at fire-sale prices. The great rush to get this bailout through isn’t about saving the markets. It’s about sucking in as much capital as possible before the market collapses. As quickly as the Treasury writes the check, the recipient corporations will retrench and shift their money out of the U.S. Dollar. Foreign funds will buy stock rapidly, in companies that hold solid assets, because they need to buy something fast with those dollars.

It is the collapse of the derivitives market that looms, trillions of dollars in “credit default swaps” (62 trillion in the Unites States alone, according to the International Swaps and Derivatives Association), basically insurance bonds against losses in other credit instruments, bundled and sold over and over again, like some kind of world-wide Ponzi scheme. It’s not just the taxpayers holding the bag here; it is mutual funds and pension plans and savers from here and other nations who are all about to get flattened. So far, every time the true market price of these bonds rears its ugly head, it is pennies on the dollar, and this unveiling is what they have been fighting off since Bear Sterns.

The great lie is that this bail out will ‘unclog’ the credit pipes–as if other people are sitting around with trillions of dollars ready to buy out junk bonds at above-market prices. This is an almost laughable theory being presented to the people of the United States. “If we buy $700,000,000,000 of these bad, severely overvalued bonds at above-market prices, then others will buy the remaining $61.3 trillion of bad, severely overvalued bonds at above market-prices.” Right. Come on, kids..Follow the piper down to the river…

But this isn’t the dialogue that is happening in the public forum (yeah, I use that loosely). President Bush all but confessed that the sins of the world market seizure are borne by the USA, though he makes it sound like an unforeseen consequence, like all gamblers do when the pot goes the other way. And he did a great job of redirecting attention towards mortgages as the entirety of the problem, instead of merely the first crack in a dam made of cheap clay. What he cannot say is this: “It is the derivatives market that has created hundreds of trillions in false wealth, and it is this market that is imploding. We are entering a severe recession that will result in the collapse and restructuring of the economy in ways you cannot imagine, though many people have imagined it and you probably should have listened more.

As far as the bailout, if you knew what we know, you’d be looting, too…”President Bush met with McCain and Senator Obama today. This isn’t about negotiating the bailout; this is about negotiating with the voters. I wish it was different on either front. By the way, President Bush, if you ever wanted to have your Anakin Skywalker moment, veto the bill no matter what and tell people what’s really going on. Your father would become a footnote…

There is not enough money in the world to circumvent a massive correction in the market. Literally. That’s the problem. There is not a lot of money, actual wealth, at all. There are just a lot of people saying they have money. They hold up a bond that’s worth six cents and declare, “This is worth a dollar.” You think it is a damnable offense that some family lies on a mortgage application, exaggerating assets, to get a loan? Corporations like Lehman, Fannie and Freddie, AIG, and the whole line up yet to come all did this to the tune of hundreds of billions. But with every default, more of these toxic bonds get found out. You see, the corporations aren’t really losing money; they are just being forced to reveal that they didn’t have the money in the first place. This is why “the credit” has come to a standstill. That is the usual consequence of lying to your creditors…

Your friends and family must understand these things and take action. We need whatever flimsy credit we have left to help our fellow taxpayers when misfortune lands upon them above and beyond the sum of their choices. That’s why we pool our money, that’s why we hire these people to manage the People’s operations. We, as a nation, need to seriously review our hiring practices…

Keep calling your Senator, your representatives, your Governor, your mayor. Hammer them with this message: You’ve bailed out enough. Near a trillion dollars already. We will reinstate the value of the dollar by working our way out of this mess, as a people who all seek the same liberty, regardless of how we often differ in the application of that liberty. We will not bail you out, and if the fall of these corporations results in the bought-and-sold members of Congress and members of the administration losing their revenue streams, so be it. Maybe, if there is no damn money to be made in D.C., we can get some people in there who actually want to fulfill their oaths.

Listen to what Bush said and shake your head free of the patter of hyperbole. You already can’t get credit, and frankly you shouldn’t go anymore into debt anyway. You already can’t find a good job, or at least a job that feels like you contributed something at the end of the day. You already are paying escalating prices for everything, and this new addition of debt will dilute the dollar further, and you will pay more–inflation is simply a form of taxation. It’s called monetizing the debt. Either way, we lose. We can’t convert our paychecks overnight into Swiss Francs. We won’t know when to sell that gold we hoarded, and then it will be confiscated. And we, unlike the rest of the world, have no savings.

Let’s just get on with it. Eight years of this administration dangling the Sword of Damocles over our heads, the constant threat of disaster used to provoke our acceptance of the erosion of our Constitution and Bill of Rights, has grown old. We’ve given up habeas corpus, we’ve given up the right to peaceful protest, we given up privacy in our homes. We give up a free press. We’re okay with torture, now? When I joined the Marines at 17, I thought we were the good guys. Now, we’ve got an Army brigade with active orders on U.S. soil, the first time since the Civil War, moving to Colorado, having been trained to enforce martial law. Now, just to bring it home, they would have us give up a trillion dollars.

So, let’s just get on with it, then. Bring the damn crisis. Bring your shock and awe. We’ll show you what we got. We’ll show you that for all of your divisiveness, we are not a mass of ignorant people incapable of adaptation, courage, unity and faith. Get on with it already. Get on with your master plan so we can plan for our tomorrow.

Yeah, history does repeat itself, and at the end, the empire always loses. It loses because people who require such obscene advantage in life in order to secure success are weak, and they build weak structures, in such a hurry to reach the heavens. But we are more than commerce, or a marketplace. And we are not a nation of people with a Constitution and Bill of Rights–We are a Nation because of the Constitution and Bill of Rights. That is the agreement that binds us. We are sovereign individuals who consent to be a Nation, through agreed upon rules of law and truthful representation. There is no royalty or papacy that dare lay claim to our free will–that is what our founders recognized, that is the experiment of our democratic republic crafted from their humility, and that is the experiment still left undone. That we would choose to avoid for a short time discomfort rather than secure the integrity of that great experiment is baffling. It renders the acts and sacrifices of those before us as lesser deeds, and resigns the promise of those who will follow to the ambitions of empty men.

John Caelan Say no to this bailout. Save the bailout for us. We are going to need it.

UPDATE: Bush’s speech last night was like some kind of terrible fire insurance offered by the mafia–”Pay us or else…” Look, and see: This is a scam, the greatest transfer of wealth in our times from the poor to the select rich. The derivitives market represents 45 trillion in potentially bad debt alone. The bail out will postpone, for weeks only, the inevitable collapse of this house of cards, and the dollar will be broken. THIS NATION IS BANKRUPT and the rest of the world is running out of self-serving reasons to augment our audacious spending. We require well over 2 billion a day in debt-financing just to keep the lights on. That is dissolving before our eyes.

This bailout is Meat..on a rope. Animals see the meat hanging there and lunge, excited by the instant gratification. Sentient beings stop and think, “Meat…but on a rope..” The animal is trapped, the sentient being either steers clear or outsmarts the trap. What are we? Do you not see the rope attached to this putrid chunk of meat dangling in front of you?

An entire army brigade reports to NORTHCOM in October, the first active duty unit to EVER be permanently assigned to our home soil. They have been retrained in crowd control, tasers, and other law enforcement actions, in violation of more laws than you can shake a stick at. Come on, people. When it walks like a duck, its’s a duck, and we know a thing or two about ducks. This is the end of our republic and the scenario is something like this:

1. The bail out is passed, buying them the time they need to distract through the next few weeks.
2. An “incident” takes place in early October, civil unrest is amplified, a national emergency is implemented.
3. The dollar tanks, the nation suspends servicing debt.
4. Three days later, the country decends into martial law.
5. McCain and Pailin win the election, an outcome of amplified fraud.
6. McCain will die (the actuaries on his skin cancer predict this), and Pailin becomes the president, exactly what they want, a zealot to control the police state, without questioning other policy (does she know enough to question?)
7. War is widened to ramp up the only production we have left, the military-industrial complex, with the subsequent redirecting of the worker base towards defense and military service.
8. A draft is reinstated as part of that redirection.
9. Your kid dies.
10. Their kids die.

THIS IS THE LAST STAND. If they get control of this money, mark your calendar as this being the date the Republic folded. Do not choose promises of security over liberty! Everytime that promise is made throughout history, it is a great deception. Self-determination is the grant of providence, the root of all conflict through the ages. If you sacrifice your free will, your time in this experience is for naught. Too long have we been distanced from cause and effect, too long have we suffered in the throws of cognitive dissonance, too long have we ignored the face of the lie. Trust your instincts–you are more than the sum of your experiences. You know what is happening. React accordingly, or lose the right to react.

John Caelan

REPOST AS YOU WISH

And The Crowd Roared!!!

This Bailout is A TRAP

If you can stand it, watch the video of Bush delivering his little pep talk to the nation last night. When he delivers his vicious lies, cleverly honed though they may be by his writers, the truth flickers across his face. You can see it in his eye area and around his mouth, the ripples of astonishment, the fleeting smirks, the lips pursed in disgust, the arched brow as he delivers what he absolutely, positively knows are LIES to the American people. The expressions go by very quickly, in fractions of seconds, but they are there. I’m sure somewhere our government has this super technology that they use in airports to analyze our faces for terrorist intent, and if they have that trained on GWB they must be laughing their asses off right now, as he leads the charge to rape our country one more time for the road. It’s as if he almost can’t believe we’re going to fall for it again, but he’ll give it the old college try. Rah rah.

This bailout plan is a trap, of that I am convinced. Bush and Paulson keep talking about what will happen if we don’t do it, but nobody talks about what will happen if we do do it. They don’t want you to know about that. They don’t want you to know what this bailout will do to the economy.

What it can do is provide a one-time transfer of wealth to insiders who already have been playing the debt-credit system and siphoning off its predatory financial proceeds to themselves. The Wall Street bankers, brokers and fund managers to whom I’ve been speaking for many decades all know this. That is why they pay themselves such large annual bonuses and large salaries each year. The idea is to take as much as you can. As the saying goes: “You only have to make a fortune once in a lifetime.” They have been salting away their fortunes year after year, mainly in hard assets: real estate (free of mortgages), fine furniture, boats and trophy art.

Their plan now is for icing on the cake – to take Mr. Paulson’s $700 billion and run. It’s not a “bailout of the financial system.” It’s as giveaway – to insiders, to sell out all their bad bets. Companies across the board will get rid of their bad mortgages, and also their bad car loans, furniture time payments, credit-card loans, student loans – all the debts that any competent actuary could have told them never could have been paid in the first place.

…Promises that “taxpayers” will be able to recover a large part of this money are a fiction. If there were a hope of recovering this money, then investors abroad – foreign buyout funds, foreign banks, foreign sovereign wealth funds – would have been willing to buy Bear Stearns, Lehman Brothers, A.I.G. and other companies at some price. But they wouldn’t touch this at any price.

…For the government to even begin to recover some of the value of the $700 billion in junk mortgages it has bought would force new homebuyers to pay even more of their income to the banks. And if they do that, they will have less income to spend on goods and services. The domestic market will shrink, and tax revenues will fall at the state, local and federal levels. The debt overhead will deflate the economy, causing shrinkage all down the line.

So here’s where the cognitive dissonance comes in: It is necessary, even inevitable, for the volume of debt to come down – not up – to restore equilibrium. The economy was well on its way to preparing the ground for this last week. As Alan Meltzer of the American Enterprise Institute (of all places!) explained on McNeill-Lehrer, Merrill Lynch was able to be sold at 22 cents on the dollar; and the economy survived Lehman Brothers and Bear Stearns being wiped out.

Such debt writes-offs are a precondition for writing down America’s mortgage debts to levels that are affordable. But Mr. Paulson’s plan is to fight against this tide. He wants the Wall Street to keep on raking in money at the expense of the economy at large. These are the big banks who lobbied Congress to appoint de-regulators, the banks whose officers paid themselves enormous bonuses and gave themselves enormous golden parachutes. They were the leaders in the great disinformation campaign about the magic of compound interest. And now they are to get their payoff.

The pretense is that not to pay them off would threaten “the economy.” The reality is that it only would stop their predatory behavior. Worse than that, for the economy at large a government take-over of these bad loans would prevent the debt write-down that the economy needs!

It gets worse. If Congress should be so destructive as to buy out $700 billion of bad loans (for starters), the sellers will do just what Russia’s kleptocrats did. They will take their money and move it abroad to a “hard” currency country. This will help collapse the dollar. Up will go gasoline costs and prices for other imports. America will be turned into a Russian-style post-Soviet economy, having endowed a new domestic kleptocracy of insiders, who use some of their gains to finance the campaigns of American Yeltsins such as McCain.

Do not believe these people. They lie ALL THE TIME. They don’t care about Americans. They only care about themselves. They set this up, knowing it would come to this, and now they will force us at gunpoint to bail them out, lying the whole time that we will be made whole. We never will. Our dollar will collapse, chaos will break out, and then they will clamp down with Martial Law and begin the oppression in earnest. It’s no coincidence that the Army will install an active duty unit on October 1st, within the US, to handle ‘civil unrest’ and ‘crowd control,’ using the latest ‘non-lethal’ weapons. That would be in 6 days.

Keep calling your congresspeople. Here you can see one, DeFazio D-Oregon, actually show some courage as he speaks the Truth on the House floor. We need more of this, much more. We need many more people to have courage and to stand against this plan. There should be NO bailout. As DeFazio says, let them write off the bad debt first. If they need help after that, let them take a loan under stiff terms. Is that not what would be expected of any one of us? Of course it is. Good enough then, for them who already have so much.

A wolf never can so badly enslave a fellow-wolf as a man can enslave a fellow-man. It is not easier to live in freedom than to fight for freedom. One must fight for freedom like an archangel, but one must live in freedom as a saint. When you fight for freedom you are helping every slave of the world, not only yourself. - Nicholai Velimirovic, Wisdom of the Serbians

This Bailout is Bullshit!

OK, look. I’m no economist. This is the situation as best I can tell. We can pick Door #1: No bailout, severe recession; or Door #2: Bailout, greedy bankers happy, hyperinflationary depression follows, martial law, new currency (Amero) forced on Americans, NWO victory.

If you are not outraged yet, you need to pay closer attention. These Wall Street people have been screwing us every way to Sunday. These high rollers, these are the people ordering the 100 foot yachts and having to get on a waiting list because the demand is so high and there aren’t enough crewmen! to service their amazing lifestyles, these are the people you are being asked — nay THREATENED by Hank Paulson and other White House goons — to bail out. Or else our economy will go in to a severe recession and credit will be tightened.

Is that right? A severe recession? In the unforgettable words of GWB, bring it on.

We can survive a severe recession people. It’s the ‘Rescue Plan’ we need to avoid.

WAKE UP!!!