Thursday, November 6, 2008

Why I "hate freedom"

Here's why I hate freedom. Itemized, for free! (plus processing & shipping and handling)

  • I think that women should be allowed to choose what to do with their own bodies (This applies to many different things)
  • I think that the government has absolutely no right to know what I, or anyone else says in a private conversation on a telephone, or on the internet (without a warrant) regardless of any [perceived] loss of security that could follow
  • I think that if a person wants to die, with the assistance of a doctor they should be able to
  • I think that the right to burn the American Flag should never be infringed upon (otherwise it would destroy the very thing it stands for)
  • I think that anything someone does in their personal life that has no effect on the general population should not be regulated or controlled by anyone in government, OR in business
  • I think that gay persons have just as much right as straight ones to become married. Divorce will destroy the "institution of marriage", and if GOD didn't want gay people to to be gay people he should have paid closer attention to what he/she/it was doing.
  • I think that belligerent, unprovoked unilateral attacks on sovereign nations is hypocritical
  • I like Scooter
  • I am not a Republican, nor am I a Libertarian
This is not an exhaustive list.


Scott Brady

Sweet I've been legitimized. Message from "Scott Brady" regarding my blog:

"Sorry, but your blog is complete idiocy. You obviously have no grasp of the principles on which this nation was founded. Either that, or you have declared yourself an enemy of freedom. Go back and read our founding documents, or any of the other Revolutionary-era writings they never made you read in school."

Here's his myspace. Nice guy, obviously terribly funny.


Wednesday, November 5, 2008

A victory for humanity

"Oh, really?" you say? Yeah, really. The false messiah, the liberal, the black man.. he won. And despite the generic "he has no mandate" bullshiz coming from conservative propaganda mills, Barack Obama won by a significant margin. (Unless ~6% is no longer a wide margin in a "50/50 split nation"). Perhaps instead of alienating our allies, unilaterally deciding the fate of other nations, and being essentially, belligerent assholes we will take things into consideration around the world. The acknowledgement of people in countries other than the USA by our leadership has been rare for quite a while it would seem, and this:

"And to all those watching tonight from beyond our shores, from
parliaments and palaces, to those who are huddled around radios
in the forgotten corners of the world, our stories are
singular, but our destiny is shared, and a new dawn of American
leadership is at hand."

is precisely what the world is waiting to hear (or so it would seem from analysis of worldwide reaction). Why do we care what the world thinks? Well, as it turns out, and as is as of late painfully clear; information, and technology have made the world a very small place. We have to deal with other countries.. listen, talk, debate, etc. We can't be so damned self centered if we wish to actually remain a super power. We have to set an example, and a complete idiot in the white house for 8 years has not helped our cause. We'll see if he can live up to his rhetoric in the weeks, months and years to come. I really have no doubt in my mind that my country has made a good decision. Lots of work is ahead of course, we have to now bail ourselves out of the mess that we've gotten ourselves into in the past decade. It will take time of course, and when it doesn't happen immediately (which it won't), conservatives (That's not a completely accurate term, and maybe needs to be explored in the future) will of course say "Look, he couldn't fix it", and ride that out for the rest of the term.

I have a lot more to say, but I am terribly tired. To summarize: Obviously, people are sick of getting screwed in the ass. Absolute free market is bullshit, and only favors the wealthy. Young people voted overwhelmingly for a black man for president, and the United States of America has once again set the bar high. Let's hope we can ride the wave for years to come.


Thursday, October 30, 2008

Redistribution of Filth [Drill baby drill!]

Quick short humor before the story.. this has been in my head for quite a while, and I am sure I am not the first one to think it, but I haven't heard it:
"Where did the McCain camp get the idea for the slogan 'Drill baby drill'?
They wanted the population of the USA to essentially scream 'F*CK ME HARDER, I CAN STILL FEEL MY SOUL!" to the republicans, so they won't feel so guilty about the sodomizing of the 'American Dream', and the destruction of the country from within.


"Exxon Mobil (XOM, Fortune 500), the leading U.S. oil company, said its third-quarter net profit was $14.83 billion, or $2.86 per share, up from $9.41 billion, or $1.70, a year earlier. That profit included $1.45 billion in special items.

The company's prior record was $11.68 billion in the second quarter of 2008."

This is all f*cking absolute bullshit. When any other industry's raw material jumps 40-60%, their mother f*cking profit declines. These gouging assf*cks can just increase at will, bring up margin even, and make so much damned money.. Redistribution of wealth is OK if its a business, or benefits business (which is absolutely the case here, and was sanctioned by the USA's neglecting to solve the problem of overinflated crude prices. ), but if it has anything to do with the common good, it's socialism. I will leave this at rest for now, I have already written a really long essay on oil prices, etc.. maybe I can find it, and put 'er up here.


Thursday, October 16, 2008


So there I was, about a year ago.. first time ever I was introduced to the idea of Ron Paul. It was great, Libertarianism; freedom for all, liberty, etc. It was a romantic idea: the end of the war on drugs, legalization of various other things, FREEDOM! For once, someone that agreed with me on all levels; or so I thought. Because I tend to be skeptical of everything, including things I hold as truths, I pried into it a little bit. Let me parse some stuff from his website:

"Are you confused by all the talk about monetary policy, fiat money and inflation? You’re not alone. Bankers and politicians have worked hand in hand for many decades to obscure their activities from the public. They hide behind elaborate structures designed to inflate the money supply while creating the false impression that they are looking out for our best interests."

Oversimplifications of complex issues are very sexy. If it fits on a bumper sticker, it's gotta be good. (that doesn't fit on a bumper sticker, but "drill baby drill does"). This paragraph illustrates what turned out to be my key problem with the Ron Paul Revolution: he is an ideologue. His voting record confirms this, as I am sure he would have no problem with me saying he is. Whats wrong with ideologues? Well, human nature is not predictable. Things change, and when they do, those willing to adapt will be the survivors, and those who stick to their guns ("you're just not looking hard enough for the WMDs in Iraq.") look like assholes. I learned this long ago in reading philosophy, any time you set out to come up with a strict set of rules, they will always have exceptions. Even math has exceptions. If you ignore these exceptions, you become ignorant to what is directly in front of you.
So, back to the that paragraph; "They hide behind elaborate structures designed to inflate the money supply while creating the false impression that they are looking out for our best interests." Yes, they do. The fed has very little, if any oversight. This is wrong. But the correct answer is not the dissolution of the fed, IMO, the correct answer is oversight of the fed (and all other governmental institutions). What is wrong with the gold standard, why can't we go back to non-fiat money!? When I go to the bank, I want to be able to turn my cash in for the gold that backs it! No. If we used the gold standard, instead of fiat currency, we would not be able to adapt to the crisis at hand, the government wouldn't be able to make loans to banks to allow them liquidity to make loans to consumers. (various places on the Internet explain these concepts) The [printing] creation of money for loans is what has allowed people all across the US (and the world) to be able to buy homes on credit, instead of buying a home outright, or with considerable amounts of money down. Despite the current problem, the main source of a persons wealth is long, constant payments on a house over the span of 30 or so years. If everyone rented instead of owned homes (Not everyone, but far more), money, instead of going into that persons equity/wealth, would instead be funneled to people who already have plenty of money (or enough at least to own rental property), and is effectively a concentration of wealth. So yes, at first glance, dismantling the fed seems like a good idea, but some diving into the subject, at least if your not rich, reveals more, and prompts the question: why does Paul pander? Is he pandering, or does he really believe these things? I choose to believe that Paul really believes this is what is best for the country, albeit IMO, wrong. Read his website's fiat money/inflation paper with these things in mind now, it would then seem as if we shouldn't own houses because we can't afford them [outright], and that loans are the creation of money (which they are), and cause inflation (which they do). and think about this critically, and report back why inflation is not a bad thing per se. (Hint; I doubt there would be any raises in a commodity backed currency. Raises are generally to counter [if even that] inflation, however, not all things inflate at the same rate.) I have already gone over some of these issues about inflation, taxes, and otherwise in previous blog posts, and other essays, so read those.

I agree with Paul on some issues of course, the patriot act is one of the most appalling attacks on liberty America has ever seen. Of course the war on drugs is a goddamn joke, it's not to protect children, for goodness sake, when I was in High school it was far easier to get ahold of pot than it was to alcohol. I think this is the trap lots of people have fallen into; they agree with the personal freedom side of it, and figure, how in the world could I disagree with the other things?! Personal freedom! WOO HOO. But it's not just personal liberty.. not just for the PEOPLE, this is extended to business. Business should have very little freedom. Why am I anti business? I am not. Business is very necessary to the way of life in the USA, obviously. But business makes terrible mistakes. does anyone really think they can f*cking tell me that if business wan't told they couldn't dump their chems into rivers with no repercussions (at least immediate) that they would choose not to because they care about the environment? No. Would they have to when people found out they were doing it, and boycotted them? No, because all the other business that make the same product, or what-have-you, would be doing the same thing. Could one find a niche in a more green approach? Maybe, but their shareholders would shit bricks, since profit margins would decrease in contrast to the other companies, since the other companies were not paying extra to take care of waste. There's more examples, such as how employers treat employees, etc. maybe for another time.

It seems as if some of Mr. Paul's issues statements have disappeared from his webpage since last look. The last time I looked however, he had a short article about the Internet... against the Internet "regulation" (if you remember when this was a top issue, the Internet regulation was meant to tell ISPs that they couldn't restrict customers access to websites.) Paul was against this regulation, which really means that he would like to allow business to tell you what websites you can and can not visit. THAT WOULD BE THE IMMEDIATE DESTRUCTION OF THE INTERNET AS WE KNOW IT! THINK about that now. Do a thought experiment; Comcast can charge $1.00 per access to Skype, or to Vonage, but charge nothing to use their phone service. That is NOT A FREE AND OPEN INTERNET. This is why BUSINESS CAN'T BE TRUSTED WITH FREE REIGN. And for now, I rest my argument before I give myself a heart attack.


Sunday, October 5, 2008

Shareholder Votes

Something I was thinking about over the past day since I had my (insignificant) Microsoft vote.

So, let's say a person has $100,000 invested in a 401k. 401k plans hold securities in a wide variety of business. Every share has a vote, however in a 401k, these votes are proxies to the holder of the paper (in my case, Principal). Some of this is based on assumptions (namely, the assumption that the holding company gets/uses the votes. I can't confirm this anywhere, as it seems the question hasn't come up. If you find the actual answer to that, let me know). So let me break this down a little bit:
1. Social Security may damn well not be around by the time I retire (should I somehow live that long)
2. My generation has been told that (about S.S.) forever (I suppose, if they lower our expectations, we won't be THAT upset. Pay no mind to the fact that we've been holding up S.S. for the generations before us. *cough* bullshit, f*cking figure it out so we get ours too!)
3. We're told we have to have 401k/Roth IRA plans so we can retire one day. (Because with pension plans, we don't have the "freedom" to choose where to invest it, ignoring the fact that most people are not savvy stock market investors with the proper tools/knowledge to invest properly anyhow)
4. We put (maybe I should say I on a lot of these) money away from our paychecks every pay period
5. That money buys securities/shares/whatever in various companies
6. We are essentially giving our money to someone to allow them to have large amounts of sway in the business they use our money to hold.
7. This is all a f*cking scam to use our money to influence these businesses.
8. I hate republicans


Think about things, read stuff, do a tiny bit of homework. People need to stop taking things at face value, and look deeper into them. We are getting screwed in the worst way possible. This had been lingering in my mind long before there were market problems. I realize that the stock market goes up and down, the point is the interest lost on that money in the meanwhile (for CHRIST sake, my ING savings account has a 3% return, and is F.D.I.C. Insured!), not to mention the votes we are buying very rich people [shareholders]. Oh, and; what happens if Principal fails? What happens if the company that holds your 401k, or whatever fails? F*cked. We don't need 8% returns with the risk of 100% losses. I am sick of holding on to my ankles, it's time to grab some hot, tight ass. (What??)

(I just wanted another comment inside of parenthesis)


Friday, October 3, 2008

Microsoft Shareholder Vote

Below follows my votes for my shares in Microsoft. Never in my life did I think I was going to get to vote AGAINST Bill Gates (Though I have a strange feeling I will be out voted)

You Voted: For This Proposal.

You Voted: For This Proposal.

You Voted: For This Proposal.

You Voted: Against This Proposal.

You Voted: For This Proposal.

You Voted: For This Proposal.

You Voted: For This Proposal.

You Voted: For This Proposal.

You Voted: For This Proposal.

You Voted: For This Proposal.

You Voted: For This Proposal.

You Voted: For This Proposal.

You Voted: Against This Proposal.

You Voted: For This Proposal.

You Voted: For This Proposal.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Interesting perspective

Quick quote from yahoo's tech ticker. Interesting to come back to in a few weeks:

"Given the ongoing crisis in the credit markets, a bailout plan will likely be struck today or Monday -- whether McCain plays ball or not. Assuming this happens, McCain will:

* Take credit for brokering a compromise (assuming the final deal is palatable to Americans)
* Crow that he was the candidate who tried to stand up against the bailout of Wall Street fat-cats
* Note every five minutes in the next six weeks that the enormous sop to Wall Street hasn't saved anything (if the bailout works, it won't work until long after the election is over)
* Blast President Bush, who everyone hates anyway, thus reinforcing his "change" message
* Say he's the only guy with the balls and experience necessary to deal with this crisis."


Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Why we must kill Mammon

Is greed part of human nature? Of course it is. Greed, since the beginning of civilization has driven us to where we are today. Without greed, we would be nomadic tribes yet, wandering the earth with the purpose of survival. Greed has allowed us to invent money, trade, wealth, and poverty. But we, as moral agents, have the ability to suppress instincts. I do not believe greed as human nature can be used as a defense of actions any longer. The current economic situation can be blamed entirely on greed. I am not an economist by any stretch of truth; however I have followed economics with great interest for the past several years.
When I was young, a man who I had great admiration for planted a seed in my mind, he said; If you didn't have to work for it you probably shouldn't have it. I don't take things at face value, I have a tendency to look into things (sometimes far too much), and that seed (along with countless others) has fueled many thought experiments, and internal debates. A few years ago, the company I work for pushed me hard to start a 401k plan. Being a natural born skeptic, I wasn't interested at first, but the large percentages, and the dream of retiring rich one day (should I manage to survive that long) took over. "Wow, I can have a happy life just as soon as I am [really] old". The markets were high at that point, things have changed a bit. The 11% returns have turned into %-13 losses. I, having read a great deal about recessions, the great depression, and
Global economic turmoil past, understand that markets will bounce back. I do not believe they will bounce back to quite the extent they were at for a good chunk of the beginning of this century.
I do not think we will see huge returns ever again (again, I am not an economist, nor do I play one on YouTube) because of the simple fact that the USA has a mature economy. The huge gains and ridiculous returns were due, mostly, to boundless growth funded by seemingly limitless credit. The housing boom was caused by irresponsible lenders and borrowers. The greed factor is big: buy a house on credit, fix it, and flip it. You don't have enough money to pay for it, but in the housing market, you could sell it before you have to worry about it. Buyers were told that their wealth could only go up from these houses, and they as well figured they could sell if shit* hit the fan. We all know how that ended. Now, the chairmen of the fed, and other 'important' individuals are calling for a $700 billion "Bailout" (it's really not a bailout, and it won't really cost $700B, but that's a separate discussion. Go read about it if you’re curious). The part that scares me about this is that it was almost given to Paulson to do with what he pleased. Thank goodness congress is holding it up to make sure there will be some accountability.
At any rate, what does this mean? People are terrified. The stock market is afraid (Take all the irrational people you've ever met in your entire life, multiply it by a million, and that's the stock market). Stocks go up, and stocks go down, that's how a "free market" works. (For all you assholes* bitching* about the ban on short selling, RE: The Great Depression. We're not a completely free market, and that's a good thing. And you can shove your gold backed currency up your asses*, fiat money will save us from this being far worse than it could be). Is it really fair, albeit not $700B, but a good chunk of money has to come out of taxpayer funds to fix a big-ass problem created by a bunch of rich sons-of-bitches? Not really. But our desire to keep “our” money, instead of use it to fix a big problem is nothing other than greed.
My understanding of how money works suggests that if we cut taxes, costs for every day expenses will increase, as people would have more money, and would buy more.. supply demand. If income tax was dropped, prices for everything would go up, and by my calculations, nearly as much as you would have ended up paying in taxes, but now instead of getting something for that money, you’re buying a $25 loaf of bread. We’re going to end up paying for these bail outs in the form of taxes. Taxes will go up. Hopefully, they go up far more for people that have far more, but at any rate, they will go up, and when they go up, discretionary spending money will go down, which will in turn cause some deflation. We see deflation in the electronics sector every day.
Market downturns cause great concentrations of wealth. (See Berkshire Hathaway’s latest purchases for instance). People are going to get rich off of this weather we pump money into the markets or not. Provided there is proper oversight, and the public gets ALL of the returns from these bailouts (Yes, it's fucking* socialism. But it will, more than likely, end up bringing taxes down for everyone if it pans out. And if it doesn't pan out, we're all screwed anyhow). A feedback loop I see possibly coming from this: higher taxes on businesses and rich (to pay for the bailout they necessitated) will cause innovation, and growth. This flies in the face of everything I have ever read about economics.
According (abstractly) to Reaganomics, this will cause less spending and growth by business. According to logic, if business has to pay more in taxes they will work harder to make the same profit. They may raise prices, but if no one has the money to pay, they won’t sell anything. Rich people, and business are greedy- that will not change. But we can use it against them. Business will come up with new ways to create, and make more money with less. Keeping them within parameters regarding the environment, and consumption will cause them to work even harder to squeeze out a profit, but they will, and we will grow greatly because of it.
This huge bailout has the purpose of taking mortgages off the hands of banks. These mortgages and other bad debts (hopefully the gov only ends up buying mortgages. Screw the car financing, etc) are nearly impossible to value, and as a result, are hard to get off of balance sheets of major banks/lenders. This causes a lot of bank assets to become worthless, as the loans are "worthless" (we all know the properties that back them are not worthless, and never will be, however they end up being seen as such). This in turn causes banks to have a hard time lending to each other for withdrawals, etc. When this happens (it IS happening), credit seizes and there can not be any loans made (IE Growth/creation of wealth).
The Federal Reserve (which needs far greater oversight, but as is very apparent, is a very necessary evil) is scared shitless*. The fact that this plan was even brought up should show just how scared the money people are right now in this country. We ARE at the very edge of a worldwide economic collapse. Reaganomics is defunct, deregulation is a pipe dream for greedy corporate America (and is precisely what caused the current mess), and frugality will soon be the new Hummer. My point, besides exercising my rusty essay skills, is that greed got us into this mess, and our ability to overcome our instincts will get us out. We're going to have to raise taxes (to pay for this bail out), cut back, suck it up, and hope to GOD future generations will learn from our mistakes this time. That is, if we don't decide to go to war... Hopefully we don't fall into a deep enough of a hole that the only way to get out of is war. Big war. The next time you hear someone say "We need to deregulate x" tell them to shove it so far up their ass that it comes out in China. Think about that one for a minute. That's pretty far up ones ass.


Why am I wasting my time with this?

Well, I have been considering starting a blog for quite a while. I loathe blogs, and still do, however I have been nagged for a long time to start one. All kinds of crap will weasel its way into here, personal stuff, political commentary, rants, etc. You may agree, you may disagree. The name Better Orange Than Dead should need very little explanation. I will put my latest (and yet to be edited, and clarified) essay up after this post. Thanks for calling, and have a great day.