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Economy: A Smoking Heap of Rubble


I wish I understood the economy better, but this quote terrifies me:

“Respectfully, you guys are totally misunderstanding something crucial in the AIG bailout: Derivatives claims are not stayed in bankruptcy. (Yet another brilliant innovation from the 2005 bankruptcy reform legislation.)

If AIG were to go down, derivatives counterparties would be able to seize cash/collateral while other creditors and claimants would have to stand by and wait. Depending on how aggressive the insurance regulators in the hundreds of jurisdictions AIG operates have been, the subsidiaries might or might not have enough cash to stay afloat. If policyholders at AIG and other insurance companies started to cancel/cash in policies, there would definitely not be enough cash to pay them. Insurers would be forced to liquidate portfolios of equities and bonds into a collapsing market.

In other words, I don’t think the fear was so much about the counterparties as about the smoking heap of rubble they would leave in their wake.” (via)

Smoking heap of rubble.  Yipes.  

I personally blame market deregulation, which lead to a blatantly FRAUDULENT valuation of derivatives.   Hopefully we now understand that an untamed market is like an untamed government; a dangerous lack of checks and balances.

Hopefully we can support a SUSTAINABLE relationship with our economy, one that doesn’t rely on cancerous exponential growth.  Maybe then we can develop some of these emerging markets  instead of exploiting them, managing our natural resources instead of exhausting them.

Because that would just be good business, in the long term.  Let’s make it good short term business as well; the market will adapt.


Impeach Bush. Please

I’m happy to say that my senator has voted “Yeah!”, to refer the Kucinich’s articles of impeachment to the House Judiciary Committee. There is will most likely die, alas!

But maybe not; we brought impeachment charges against Clinton for having sex outside of marriage and LYING about it. Gasp! Lying about cheating on your wife; a heinous crime to be sure, but let us compare it to the charges that could be brought against GWB.
full text here:

Please do not turn off your mind while reading this brutal list. At least some of it is most certainly true, and have been commented on in this blog and in many other places. And if even some of this is true, it is certainly grounds for impeachment, if not criminal proceedings.

Article I
Creating a Secret Propaganda Campaign to Manufacture a False Case for War Against Iraq.

Article II
Falsely, Systematically, and with Criminal Intent Conflating the Attacks of September 11, 2001, With Misrepresentation of Iraq as a Security Threat as Part of Fraudulent Justification for a War of Aggression.

Article III
Misleading the American People and Members of Congress to Believe Iraq Possessed Weapons of Mass Destruction, to Manufacture a False Case for War.

Article IV
Misleading the American People and Members of Congress to Believe Iraq Posed an Imminent Threat to the United States.

Article V
Illegally Misspending Funds to Secretly Begin a War of Aggression.

Article VI
Invading Iraq in Violation of the Requirements of H. J. Res114.

Article VII
Invading Iraq Absent a Declaration of War.

Article VIII
Invading Iraq, A Sovereign Nation, in Violation of the UN Charter.

Article IX
Failing to Provide Troops With Body Armor and Vehicle Armor.

Article X
Falsifying Accounts of US Troop Deaths and Injuries for Political Purposes.

Article XI
Establishment of Permanent U.S. Military Bases in Iraq.

Article XII
Initiating a War Against Iraq for Control of That Nation’s Natural Resources.

Article XIIII
Creating a Secret Task Force to Develop Energy and Military Policies With Respect to Iraq and Other Countries.

Article XIV
Misprision of a Felony, Misuse and Exposure of Classified Information And Obstruction of Justice in the Matter of Valerie Plame Wilson, Clandestine Agent of the Central Intelligence Agency.

Article XV
Providing Immunity from Prosecution for Criminal Contractors in Iraq.

Article XVI
Reckless Misspending and Waste of U.S. Tax Dollars in Connection With Iraq and US Contractors.

Article XVII
Illegal Detention: Detaining Indefinitely And Without Charge Persons Both U.S. Citizens and Foreign Captives.

Article XVIII
Torture: Secretly Authorizing, and Encouraging the Use of Torture Against Captives in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Other Places, as a Matter of Official Policy.

Article XIX
Rendition: Kidnapping People and Taking Them Against Their Will to “Black Sites” Located in Other Nations, Including Nations Known to Practice Torture.

Article XX
Imprisoning Children.

Article XXI
Misleading Congress and the American People About Threats from Iran, and Supporting Terrorist Organizations Within Iran, With the Goal of Overthrowing the Iranian Government.

Article XXII
Creating Secret Laws.

Article XXIII
Violation of the Posse Comitatus Act.

Article XXIV
Spying on American Citizens, Without a Court-Ordered Warrant, in Violation of the Law and the Fourth Amendment.

Article XXV
Directing Telecommunications Companies to Create an Illegal and Unconstitutional Database of the Private Telephone Numbers and Emails of American Citizens.

Article XXVI
Announcing the Intent to Violate Laws with Signing Statements.

Article XXVII
Failing to Comply with Congressional Subpoenas and Instructing Former Employees Not to Comply.

Article XXVIII
Tampering with Free and Fair Elections, Corruption of the Administration of Justice.

Article XXIX
Conspiracy to Violate the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

Article XXX
Misleading Congress and the American People in an Attempt to Destroy Medicare.

Article XXXI
Katrina: Failure to Plan for the Predicted Disaster of Hurricane Katrina, Failure to Respond to a Civil Emergency.

Article XXXII
Misleading Congress and the American People, Systematically Undermining Efforts to Address Global Climate Change.

Article XXXIII
Repeatedly Ignored and Failed to Respond to High Level Intelligence Warnings of Planned Terrorist Attacks in the US, Prior to 911.

Article XXXIV
Obstruction of the Investigation into the Attacks of September 11, 2001.

Article XXXV
Endangering the Health of 911 First Responders.

Buddies Looking for Work

I have some buddies who are looking for a job, so check out their resumes.

Hillary Clinton is a Big Fat Liar


The Democrats need to get a clue and recognize that they only have one electable candidate, and that candidates name doesn’t rhyme with Billary.  While I think McCain will give Obama a run for his money, my money is still on the Dems dark horse. 

Hillary now claims she was “sleep deprived” when she exaggerated the danger she faced in Bosnia.  And of course Carl Bernstein had to say “I told you she lied“.  Youtube is mocking her, and digg is dancing on the grave of her presidential bid.

Speaking of national debt; how sad is it that we live in a time when conservatives rack up more debt than liberals?  Does this mean we are entering a progressive age of fiscal responsibility?  Or bankruptcy…we can take our choice.

Obama, please require responsible national spending habits.  McCain or Hillary won’t if they are elected, you are the last hope.

In other news, invest in gold and oil, get rid of your expensive house and buy a cheaper one at an awesome interest rate.  Another hint, Food prices going up means increased farm production, and the weak dollar adds incentive for onshore manufacturing.

Dear Verizon…

I received one of your glossy advertisements in the mail today, asking me to “Come Back To Verizon Wireless BroadbandAccess”. As this flier indicates, I used to subscribe to Verizon’s EVDO service and do not anymore. What this flier does not indicate is that I did not willfully drop this service, you dropped it for me without warning or prior notice. Apparently I was guilty of using going over the bandwidth limit on my unlimited bandwidth account. I’m sure you remember how that ended. Oh yeah I forgot, thanks for that refund check!

Not to rehash old arguments; but the fact that you are trying to get all nicey nicey about this service again really ticks me off. So I decided to send you a letter, and at least opt-out of your junk mail cluttering up my mailbox. (Just so you know, I never opt-in willfully, but I probably missed a TINY little check box with TINY little words next to them, so my bad for not being careful/paranoid)

But instead of providing a convenient email address to contact you at, you forced me to fill out this long webform, and you required that I fill in personal data that I had to look up. And then your crappy Javascript validation puked and crashed the page, forcing me to start over. (perhaps you didn’t test with Firefox? Hmmm…did you test your EVDO with Firefox?) So at that point I decided to write to you in this blog instead.

You know what what would work a lot better than advertisements? Not treating your customer’s like shit…that would work really well. Due to entropy I never bothered to get a new cell phone service, so I am still a monthly custie. I never received an apology for what happened when I called in because me internet had stopped working. Not that I expected one, and I don’t blame your customer service rep; you’re the ones forcing him to claim that a 5 gig a month limit is “unlimited”, and that it’s perfectly acceptable to have a modern internet service that doesn’t allow multimedia.

No apology necessary, but don’t try to sell me your stupid freakin’ internet service. I don’t know why I’d trust you with my internet service anyway, I’m sure you’d love to turn my browsing habits over to Big Brother’s data miners.

Can you hear me now? Go screw yourself.

Your humble servant,

Calvin Lawson


War on Pot: $42 Billion a Year

The War on Pot cost 42 billion last year; roughly 10% of the federal deficit.

I was listening to Love Line the other night; something I do rarely now that Adam is on in the morning.  Some surfer dude called up with an asinine question, but he mentioned that he smokes pot except before during competition (They are tested for drugs, performance enhancing or not).

Drew immediately called him an addict, and started lecturing him on his pot dependency, telling him to get help.  Drew has done this a number of times; and it’s always bugged me.  Freakin’ typical, that’s what I get for listening to radio “doctors.”

Chemical dependency is a very real pysiological effect, sometimes with disastrous results.  Drugs like tobacco, heroin, and meth form dependency in almost everyone very quickly, within days or months even if only used a few times a week.

Drugs like alchohol and pot make only a few dependent, and for those people it takes years of daily use, most often coupled with depression and an overall unhealthy lifestyle.  This is well documented, and available for anyone who cares to do the research. (I recommend “Chocolate to Morphine” to start).

There are very real symptoms experienced from taking these drugs, and they have been well studied.  If Drew categorized all wine drinkers as chemical dependents he would be flame-bait.  But he can pick on the weekend pot smoker with impunity, because of this country’s perverse war on a drug with less side effects than alchohol.

PS: Washington rocks;  Obama got 2 of every 3 caucus votes.