Wednesday, April 30, 2008
the only 'success' is that the american people aren't seeing any images like these of their own dead soldiers, only those of the poor iraqis...
..oh yeah, and marketing exactly the same giant, heavy pick-up trucks & suv's, but with hybrid engines and pretending they're 'gas friendly' isn't fooling anyone with an I.Q greater than room temperature.
...as the first quarter figures show.
DETROIT — General Motors said Monday that it would slash production of big trucks and sport utility vehicles by nearly 140,000 units this year, a move that would eliminate assembly shifts at four plants and cause about 3,550 workers to be laid off.
and wall st. cheers, and GM's shares rise because the losses and earnings were better than expected...
Tuesday, April 29, 2008
yes, but not this one, george.
the republicans in congress in particular let down ‘americans’ when it blocked a $15 billion tax on oil companies.
of course, president bush, aware of these figures omitted to mention any of this in his statement.
and john mccain, doesn't want to end tax breaks to oil companies...
SHELL MADE $9.08 BILLION PROFIT IN THE FIRST 3 MONTHS OF 2008
BP made $7.62 Billion.
Exxon are expected to report blockbuster numbers. Can't wait to hear how much they need their tax breaks...
or to put it another way, as you watch the display the next time you fill up at a gas station, $1,155 a SECOND...so next time it takes you a minute to fill up at a shell gas station, consider that they just made $69,300.
to listen to bush's speech, you'd think that all this was fixable by drilling for oil in alaska and that america was a helpless victim.
truck drivers in washington, d.c. protesting about the price of diesel, daily news about record prices of gasoline. this country learned nothing from it's past history lessons of the oil shocks of the 70's when it could have begun investing in alternatives and public transportation.
detroit serving up huge gas guzzlers. people responded. they bought them in droves, on credit, of course, and they are the ones that are suffering as they fill up their monsters on the way to Wal*Mart to buy cheap chinese goods and then complain about the lack of jobs in the good 'ol USA when they get back home and switch on their flat panel tv (bought at Wal*Mart, of course, because the once local tv dealer went out of business a long while ago because he couldn't compete with Wal*Mart and the likes...).
what did this country do after the oil crisis? lack of vision and disastrous under funding for public transportation solutions for the future economy should the unthinkable happen. tax cuts, tax cuts, tax cuts.
sorry, but we've seen how that has all played out for the world's richest nation.
well, welcome to now.
i'm afraid it's time for americans to start paying more tax, not less.
from the new york times:
Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton lined up with Senator John McCain, the presumptive Republican nominee for president, in endorsing a plan to suspend the federal excise tax on gasoline, 18.4 cents a gallon, for the summer travel season. But Senator Barack Obama, Mrs. Clinton’s Democratic rival, spoke out firmly against the proposal, saying it would save consumers little and do nothing to curtail oil consumption and imports.
While Mr. Obama’s view is shared by environmentalists and many independent energy analysts, his position allowed Mrs. Clinton to draw a contrast with her opponent in appealing to the hard-hit middle-class families and older Americans who have proven to be the bedrock of her support. She has accused Mr. Obama of being out of touch with ordinary Americans who are struggling to meet their mortgages and gas up their cars and trucks.
At a meeting with voters in North Carolina on Monday, Mr. Obama said lifting the gas tax for three months would save the average consumer no more than $30, a figure confirmed by Congressional analysts. Mr. Obama has previously dismissed Mr. McCain’s proposal as a “scheme.”
“Half a tank of gas,” Mr. Obama told his audience. “That’s his big solution.”
...60% of federal gas taxes are used for highway and bridge construction.
and for anyone thinking of voting for john mccain come november, remember that senate republicans blocked a $15 billion tax on oil companies last december that was part of a larger energy package...
Saturday, April 26, 2008
while the republicans are busy falling over themselves attacking 'barack hussein obama'
and muckspreading so they can promote 'granny knickers' as much as possible without directly saying so...
from the bbc:http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/7368219.stm
US lawmakers are investigating whether to cut government funding for health education programmes that promote sexual abstinence until marriage.
The move follows a report earlier this year from
Opponents of abstinence education say the approach ignores the fact that teenagers are sexually active and fails to give them accurate medical information or advice on safer sex.
"We get sex-ed classes in school and that should be where teens get the right information - but that isn't happening," says 15-year-old Mildred, from
"They don't touch on subjects like sexuality, STDs (sexually transmitted diseases), birth control - it's not allowed because of abstinence-only education. It leaves you on a cliff-hanger - and a lot of teenagers become sexually active in their middle school years."
"Teens are curious and they want to experiment and if they know what's out there and they have the correct information, they're going to know how to protect themselves and prevent an unwanted pregnancy and an STD," adds
"Putting up a wall and saying 'don't have sex' makes them more curious and wanting to know what it is. But if you tell them the straight facts they're going to know how to protect themselves. It's about taking care of yourself."
...i leave the reader to draw their own conclusion.
Thursday, April 24, 2008
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
it now seems there is only one way to decide the democratic presidential nominee.
forget the boring tv debates. i am talking about hillary vs. obama in a televised
Ninja Warrior contest!
...and come november, save the cost of voting, let us all enjoy watching the very youthful obama-san take on the very ageing and saggy-faced, john mccain-san (ha ha ha).
ps. does 'i'm not releasing my tax returns' cindy, know any other colour besides yellow...
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
all states count equal, not just the last one that voted...
i'm sure all those that live and vote(d) in those states know that.
unlike CNN, who keep telling viewers every fifteen minutes that they are:
"the best political team in television..."
or as one pennsylyvanian voter put it:
Obama and the lapel pin
She added, “There’s a lot of things about Obama that I don’t like — that he won’t salute the flag and that he doesn’t wear the American flag on his lapel.”
...like THAT'S the most fucking important thing in you and everyone else's life around you and this country. RIGHT NOW.
there is simply no substitute for education. it's where you learn to discern the difference between a valid debate, hyperbole, bullshit, television aimed at 12-year old mentality, and inspirational speeches.
...i suggest others less blinkered than this woman ( who was probably large) try the BBC:
if anyone in pennsylvania remembers that incredibly sincere and honest speech (because i do) that barack obama gave about race in america...
i somehow doubt it, but i'll be pleasantly surprised if she wins by less than 10%.
americans seem have the political attention span of an ant on amphetamines.
this country will see between 3% and 5% inflation over the next 2-3 years.
the love affair with cheap oil and consumer debt is over, and it is time to pay the price.
world food prices will adversely affect the usa, not completely removed from its contentious biofuel policy.
the price of oil will fall from its record highs, but not below $90 a barrel or thereabouts, and when it does, the value of the currently weak dollar will climb as investors take their money out of the current safe haven of the oil market, and so interest rates will have to be raised to try and combat inflation.
(this is assuming that there aren't any oil disruptions during hurricane season, or in the outside oil producing nations..)
this is unavoidable (but nobody's got the balls to tell you).
a growing world food crisis and wall st. is acting like the worst is over and just waiting to set off again?
yesterday the dow jones industrial closed at 12,621.78, that's only around 11% off its record high set in october 2007 of 14,164.53.
only those companies that have strong overseas exposure will perform well, and i cannot see how wall st. can continue to ignore the very real effect of record gas prices on the american consumer.
hillary's latest commercial:
from the new york times:
Her commercial was the first in which a Democratic candidate had used Osama bin Laden in the presidential race, although Republicans, including Rudolph W. Giuliani, have done so. In her commercial, Mr. bin Laden, the mastermind of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, is featured along with grainy images of the stock market crash of 1929, the attack on Pearl Harbor, the fall of the Berlin Wall and Hurricane Katrina.
…As Obama supporters worked to drum up support, they said they were still hearing rumors that Mr. Obama was Muslim and questions about his patriotism.
let's hope the people of pennsylvania have tired of all this negative crap that only serves to provide fuel to the republicans when obama gets nominated.
ans it's certainly not what you'd expect from one who would be president...
Monday, April 21, 2008
Saturday, April 19, 2008
from the bbc:
A stunt driver has crashed the car used by movie secret agent James Bond into
...this thing's a fuckin' thing's a death trap. the guy driving was a professional stunt driver.
what chance do normal drivers have keeping one of these on the road? remember, it rolled seven times, i repeat , SEVEN times, in 'casino royale', when he braked to avoid the chick in the road...one of er, two very disturbing scenes featuring daniel craig...
they should give bond this:
…Harley Dark Customs suggest precision machines, the refinement of a century-long tradition. They put me in mind of expensive optical instruments — cameras or microscopes or even musical instruments…
- Phil Patton Reviewing for the New York Times
...it looks like a cross-breed between a tractor and a cement mixer, and then painted black.
try one of these, phil.
Phobos was discovered in 1877 by the American astronomer Asaph Hall. Both Phobos and Mars' other moon, Deimos, are thought to be captured asteroids.
Phobos' orbit around Mars is dropping by about 1.8m (5.9ft) every 100 years. This means that in 50 million years it will either crash into Mars or break up into a ring.
Thursday, April 17, 2008
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
the head of the catholic church is in town to complain bitterly about guantanamo bay and the 28,000 iraqis being held captive that the american news media is strangely silent about...no, just kidding!
the catholic church and christianity, directly responsible spreading such universal joy as the spanish inquisition and the crusades - mass murder and torture of innocents on an unprecedented scale.
oh, and i almost forgot. widespread sexual child abuse from its very own priests.
...and the vatican thinks it has the right to tell me what 'sin' is, and how to live my life! - how about having a go at bush and his war in iraq?
reality, however, is available to anyone to read with an open mind.
Monday, April 14, 2008
Sunday, April 13, 2008
it's become painfully clear that all the clinton and mccain campaigns can do really well is this:
attack! attack! attack!
...how very presidential.
isn't it time america actually had someone in the whitehouse who actually portrayed some sense of dignity in their campaign?
Saturday, April 12, 2008
"You go into these small towns in Pennsylvania and, like a lot of small towns in the Midwest, the jobs have been gone now for 25 years and nothing's replaced them," Obama said. "And it's not surprising, then, they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren't like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations."
Fellow Democrat Clinton, campaigning in Pennsylvania ahead of the state's April 22 primary, seized on the remarks, suggesting that Obama was offering condescension rather than solutions. "Pennsylvania doesn't need a president who looks down on them," the New York senator said at a Philadelphia rally. "They need a president who stands up for them, who fights for them."
...i say they need someone who tells the truth (unlike you, hillary)
Responding today to Obama's concession that his words were ill chosen, the New York senator continued her attack. "Sen. Obama's remarks are elitist and out of touch," she said. "They are not reflective of the values and beliefs of Americans. Certainly not the Americans that I know." She added, "If you want to be the president of all Americans, you need to respect all Americans."
'americans' aren't angels descended from heaven. hard working this, great this, great that, bullshit.
do us all a favour and shut up, you old bag.
they are just normal people with perfectly 'normal' faults. it's called a functioning society, except a normal society needs the police, the courts system, and numerous jails (for the 1% of adult americans that are currently in jail).
to listen to john mccain and hillary, we live in dreamworld usa. we could eliminate the cops because everyone's so fucking busy working hard for their families, doing the very best they can, because, as we all know, america is the greatest fucking nation on earth - except they keep shooting each other, and it seems nobody wants to pay taxes for health care and other trivial stuff like education, public transportation, stuff like that...
because how else do you explain bush getting elected. twice! how clever do all those people feel now? especially the ones who have lost their homes. you know they're out there.
americans have this naivety that tax is a dirty word. when you're paying not $4, but $7 or $8 a gallon, maybe the penny will drop that this country might have invested in public transportation alternatives to the automobile.
look where 7 years of failed republican economic policy of tax cuts and deregulation has gotten this county. they couldn't have done worse if they'd tried.
A strategist for Sen. McCain (R-Ariz.) also joined in the criticism. "Instead of apologizing to small-town Americans for dismissing their values, Barack Obama arrogantly tried to spin his way out of his outrageous San Francisco remarks," said campaign spokesman Tucker Bounds. "You can't be more out of touch than that."
out of touch? that's rich coming from john mccain.
you also have a spokesman called tucker bounds? do you think he had a difficult time at school?
...anyway, i say quite the opposite. obama hit the nail squarely on the head, and everyone knows it, but daren't agree.
anyone that has been to a small town in rural pennsylvania knows that what he said is spot on.
people actually put up road signs outside their houses that read "OBEY GOD'S LAW"...
Friday, April 11, 2008
Wednesday, April 09, 2008
Saturday, April 05, 2008
"i loved your speech yesterday, john. i didn't say a thing, and you voted against the holiday in the first place"
Friday, April 04, 2008
...the 19% that disagreed had been shorting Bear Stearns stock.
shorting a stock
shorting a stock means to sell shares which an investor doesn’t own, but has temporarily borrowed.
the investor’s hope is to borrow the shares of stock, sell them at a high price, wait for the price to fall, buy them back at the lower price, return the borrowed shares to their original owner, and pocket the profit. the profit, in this case, is the difference in price between when the investor “sold high” and then “bought low”.
let’s take a look at an example. the very yellow investor, flat eric, believes that bear stearns’ common stock, which was selling at $70 per share on a recent friday, is overvalued. being flat, yellow, and eric, he thinks he can make a quick buck or two, and borrows one thousand shares of bear stearns from another investor who owns the stock. flat eric then immediately sells the borrowed shares for $70 each. the borrowing of the shares is usually facilitated by the brokerage firm that the investor uses to execute the short sale.
after selling the stock, flat eric sits and waits. its value falls to $40 per share. at this point flat eric very cleverly repurchases the thousand shares, returns them to their original owner, and retains a profit of $30 per share, less the expenses of margin interest and transaction fees.
shorting a stock must always be done in a margin account in order to protect the party who lends the shares. a margin account is a brokerage account in which the broker lends the account holder cash with which to buy securities. because of investing with the use of leveraged money, possible gains and losses are substantially increased.
in our example above, because flat eric is shorting one thousand shares of a $70 stock, he would have to deposit $35,000 into a margin account (fifty percent of the value of the shorted stock). when the shares are actually sold, the proceeds of $70,000 would bring the margin account’s balance up to $105,000. this serves as collateral for the short sale by insuring that the party who shorts the stock, in this instance flat eric, has the funds available and ready to repurchase the shares so that they can be returned to their original owner.
outside of any expense fees, flat eric has just made $30,000.
to give you some idea of how much money was made by bear stearns going down, their stock was being traded at $70 on the friday, and by the following monday the stock was being traded at $6 a share…
that’s right, shorting just 1,000 shares of bear stearns stock would have made a profit of $64,000 with an investment of $35,000.
now, what do you think the big players on wall st. made?
McCain Sees King Speech as Chance to Mend Ties – only if you’re young, stupid, or have no memory…
The year Mr. McCain voted against establishing the federal holiday for Dr. King, the bill passed the House by 338 to 90, with most Republicans supporting it. It then passed the Republican-controlled Senate and was signed into law by President Ronald Reagan, who had initially opposed the measure. Asked this week why he had voted against it, Mr. McCain said, “I just had not had a lot of experience with the issue, that’s all.”
…it’s 1983. john mccain is 46 years old.
i think most people have a pretty good grasp of what is going on around them at 46. especially so if you are a senator and martin luther king is the hottest topic being voted upon.
that’s how old i am, john fuckin’ mccain. and i have a very good grasp of exactly who you are.
i also have a very good grasp of civil and human rights issues, and i'm not even a politician.
you voted against the Martin Luther King holiday — and his votes against civil rights legislation in 1990 (just 18 years ago – also when he was a very experienced senator) and in support of stripping funds from a commission to encourage observance of the holiday, at best question his commitment to civil rights.
…in short, another white republican. and we all know what they have done for the poor, the neediest, the oppressed, and the poverty stricken.
how is that lower 9th ward coming along in new orleans...?
...just how did john mccain not find the assasination of the country's most important civil rights leader enough of an experience?
if he wants to drag up his experience then by all means, let's not fuck around.
shame on you, you warmongering, lying cunt.
i have a dream, also john. and you, and you're fucking incapable, evil, republicans aren't anywhere in it.
from john mccain's speech today:
...I remember first learning what had happened here on the 4th of April, 1968, feeling just as everyone else did back home, only perhaps even more uncertain and alarmed for my country in the darkness that was then enclosed around me and my fellow captives. In our circumstances at the time, good news from
i also see how that video of you as a soldier that is being used in your campaign, promoting your so-called patriotic presidential aspirations to lead this country into another 4 more years of bush tax cuts for the rich, while continuing to spend $5,000 every second on the disastrous war in iraq. which you fully support.
and he wants to talk about civil rights?
exactly how can a man of war honour a man who spoke only of peace?
john mccain doesn't even know who is talking about when it comes to foreign policy in the middle east:
john mccain. a real republican war hero.
well, at least he'll be up at 3am if the red phone rings, because of his of bladder...
Thursday, April 03, 2008
The unmanned vessel will deliver just under five tonnes of food, water, air, fuel and equipment to the orbiting platform's three astronauts.
The Automated Transfer Vehicle will use its own computerised systems to make the attachment.
Ground controllers and the station's astronauts will not get involved unless there is a problem.
Tuesday, April 01, 2008
the bush administration’s new proposal for financial reform? creating the appearance of responding to the current housing and credit crisis, without actually doing anything substantive.
is there anyone left in this country, save for a few very rich republicans and investors that need further convincing that the
speaking at the economic club of
"It's important not to overcorrect, because when you overcorrect, you end up in a ditch," Bush said. "It's important to be steady."
what the federal reserve did was to tear up it’s own rule book, george, and in doing so offered up $30 billion of taxpayers money in the process. you call that steady? must be nice to help out a wall st. investment bank with somebody else's money (taxpayers).
a little economics history lesson:
traditional, deposit-taking banks (high street banks like bank of
when push came to shove, however, the federal reserve didn’t dare let market discipline run its course. instead, it rushed to bear’s rescue, risking billions of taxpayer dollars, because it feared that the collapse of a major financial institution would endanger the financial system as a whole.
and if financial players like bear are going to receive the kind of rescue previously limited to deposit-taking banks, the implication seems obvious: they should be regulated like banks, too. doesn’t that seem reasonable?
yet the bush administration, however, has spent the last seven years trying to do away with government oversight of the financial industry. in fact, the new plan was originally conceived of as “promoting a competitive financial services sector leading the world and supporting continued economic innovation.” that’s banker-speak for getting rid of regulations that annoy big financial operators.
even now, as the new proposal’s ink is still drying, industry lobbyists are lining up to oppose it. and to reverse course now, and seek expanded regulation, the administration would have to back down on its free-market ideology — and it would also have to face up to the fact that it was wrong. and as we all know, this administration never, ever, admits that it made a mistake.
as if no further proof be needed that a poodle whose previous employer was goldman sachs (a wall street bank) sits at bush’s side, on monday, henry paulson, the treasury secretary, declares, “i do not believe it is fair or accurate to blame our regulatory structure for the current turmoil.”
really? just what do you think it is fair or accurate to blame then.
according to the executive summary of the new administration plan, regulation will be limited to institutions that receive explicit federal guarantees — that is, institutions that are already regulated, and have not been the source of today’s problems. as for the rest, it blithely declares that “market discipline is the most effective tool to limit systemic risk.”
in other words, the people that has driven the bus full of homeowners into the ditch will be allowed to take corners as fast as they like again.
the administration, along with the treasury then, has learned nothing from the current crisis. yet it needs, as a political matter, to pretend to be doing something. how pathetically lame given that lack of coordination among regulatory agencies was an important factor in our current problems.
the various regulators actually did quite well at acting in a coordinated fashion. unfortunately, they coordinated in the wrong direction.
for example, there was a 2003 photo-op in which officials from multiple agencies used pruning shears and chainsaws to chop up stacks of banking regulations. the occasion symbolized the shared determination of bush appointees to suspend adult supervision just as the financial industry was starting to run wild.
you might wonder how such a situation could have arisen in the first place.
i give you alan greenspan, the then federal reserve chairman. the roots of the foreclosure crisis can be traced to three deliberate decisions made by greenspan.
first, by reducing the federal funds rate to a mere 1 percent in 2003 and refusing to increase it for a year, greenspan and the federal reserve created the economic conditions for rampant investor speculation and a loosening of loan underwriting standards as lenders frantically competed for market share.
second, greenspan shunned increased regulations, even though he has now admitted knowing about abuses in the subprime loan industry. his failure to act has resulted in the mass use of the foreclosure, one of the most inefficient mechanisms in the market. not only is there a massive and total misery to families thrown out on the street, but foreclosures also carry with them massive societal costs, with lenders losing up to 50 percent of the loan value on each foreclosed home.
third, blinded by the irrational exuberance of surging home prices, greenspan promoted the non-traditional mortgages that have devastated so many homeowners. in a speech on feb. 23, 2004, greenspan stated consumers were paying too much for fixed-rate mortgages and asked lenders to provide "greater mortgage product alternatives to the traditional fixed-rate mortgage." when a person of greenspan's influence and stature promotes alternative mortgage products, lenders and consumers listen.
so if you want a start date for the beginning of this present crisis, i argue these three.
wall street followed greenspan's call and designed a whole range of risky, alternative adjustable rate mortgages, including those with low teaser rates that spiked after two to three years. these risky loans were sold - sometimes fraudulently - on a mass scale to a public ill-informed about
their significant risks. the regulatory system also allowed mortgage brokers to receive monetary incentives to place a borrower in a higher interest, adjustable-rate subprime loan even though the borrower would have qualified for a fixed-rate prime loan.
borrowers were also told that they would be able to refinance in a couple of years (now) when the rates shot up. they can't.
and for all those thinking of voting republican in november because of fiscal responsibility, just remember that the bush administration actively blocked state governments when they tried to protect families against predatory lending.
think of that when you next see a foreclosure sign…
because right now, as the fed has lowered the interest rates to banks, the cost of mortgages hasn't come down, and the banks are pocketing the difference in the loans the do make. and of those loans - only those with really good credit can even get a mortgage. so if you have one those adustable rate mortgages and you have less that a 600 credit score, the chances of you refinancing are currently very remote....
how's that for a system that doesn't need fixing?
remember what the secretary of the treasury, former chairman and chief executive officer of goldman sachs, said in his speech yesterday to america:
... i say you're full of shit, henry paulson.