Archive | September, 2008

The Difference is One of the Problems

Posted on 29 September 2008 by GlazednConfused

Perhaps you’ve seen all the articles online and in business rags about “Main Street versus Wall Street”, or how “Main Street” has finally become fed up with corruption on Wall Street and is rejecting the greed that has fueled the system, or how blah blah blah. That Fortune article even goes as far as to refer to this as a “class fury”. Only on Wall Street can widespread yet logical objection to a massive bailout plan be called “class fury”. Maybe, probably not in my or my child’s lifetime, there will be a true revolution in the way we deal with massive corruption and greed. Until then, I will be buying the most extravagant version of Iron Man on DVD tomorrow.

Nonetheless. Not to put too fine a point on it, but since when are these two groups so different? Actually, they are not – as this NY Times article sums it up quite nicely. Denial about how you are pulling money out of your ass is universal; whether it be buying a new TV on high-interest credit, or borrowing money from a loan that ceased to exist in 1956.

OK, but I have an even more specific example: Jack Welch is one of the wealthiest, most successful businessmen on the planet. White, older than dirt, married to a woman 25 years his junior – he fits the profile of Wall Street fatcat. Anywhoo, in a recent BusinessWeek column he was asked his opinion of the obscene income of business leaders, and why it irritates many investors. Mr. Welch was unapolgetic. His response is that there is a “difference in philosophies” between investors and the business leaders. This struck me as funny, because investors are just that – the money source of the businesses. If there is a difference of philospophies, you tell me who should prevail.

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MoMajic Mo Money

Posted on 29 September 2008 by Thraxxus

I was speaking with Mo the other day regarding the state of the economy and he told me a ton of things but one really stuck out: “If I was anyone in this country right now I’d pull no less than 20% of my money out of my bank in cash and find a nice place to hide it.” Turns out he actually did that.

Let’s examine the nature of that statement. At the tail end of last week Washington Mutual (WaMu for short), the largest commercial bank in the USA went under. If not for JPMorgan-Chase (who by the way is near the top of the evil list to me, right next to Hitler, Satan and Ho-Hos) buying up the company at a nice cheap rate the company and all her little friends would be totally dead. Today we find out another commercial bank is about to topple as well – Wachovia. So by the “HOLY CRAP BANKS ARE FAILING” score – Mo is totally correct.

Economists would argue that his suggestion is a bad one as there exists this concept that banks fold when all their customers actuall want their money back. The process is called a “Run on the Bank” as all the customers are running to the doors to see if they can get any of their cash back. If you have seen “It’s a Beautiful Life” then you have witnessed this happen in a film – and even in a film the entire action wasn’t pretty with people throwing stuff, yelling epitaphs etc.

So what happens when there is a run on a bank for roughly 20% of all the cash in the bank? About the same thing. As I indicated in a previous post about Banking, banks are strenuosly strapped for their actual value – meaning they have lent out loads of cash and expect people to not actually ask for any of it back, at least not in droves. You may have encountered a bank not wanting to give you your money back before if you went in and ask for a large sum of money  – yeah I don’t have any either but I have heard rumor that people do try to do this and are often rebuked.

Given that GlazedNConfused always thinks I write rubbish with no point, here is the point – crap I don’t have one. I am all for pulling my money out of the bank, in fact my wife and I are discussing doing so, but I also realize that if everyone does this then, well, we may actually help close more banks.

What to do? What to do?

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Endgame – No Comment

Posted on 26 September 2008 by Thraxxus

Watch for yourself.

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1 min 17 seconds

Posted on 25 September 2008 by Enigma

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Wikileaks – HOLY CRAP WHAT A SITE!!

Posted on 24 September 2008 by Thraxxus

Ok so this Palin email hack thing is exploding quickly. I guess the story was broken on Wikileaks.org. GlazedNConfused and I have been discussing this topic and the site for the last few hours and are wondering just how legal the site is and how much potential trouble these folks could be in, if ever caught. Either way, call me impressed. 

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How Does Banking Work?

Posted on 23 September 2008 by Thraxxus

Watch this entire series. Even though it will terrify you, after watching it you will completely understand how the market is crashing.

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Liquidity is Confidence.

Posted on 22 September 2008 by Thraxxus

So like every other morning, today I was listening to NPR on the way to work – sorry gang they are the closest thing to real news on the radio. Anywoot, they had this expert financial buff on there who was talking about the state of the economy, GLOBALLY. Here are a few things he had to say:

  1. Nobody trusts anybody anymore, primarily because all of the CEOs and companies they work for can’t get their balance sheets straight. (In other words they are liars.)
  2. Financial Institutions have invested some times as much as 30 times their actual worth! (In other words when their investments go belly up and there is something akin to a Margin Call, said company goes belly up as well.)
  3. The American Dollar value is soaring. (There is nothing to invest in so people are just sending their money to the USA)
  4. There is 6 Trillion Dollars sitting in accounts right now looking for something to do – and nobdy has anything. (If you are looking for a time to find investors STRIKE NOW!)
  5. The USA is looking to purchase up 700 billion dollars worth of bad mortgages. (coughSOCIALISMcough.)

GlazedNConfused always jumps on me about my articles not having a point. “Great information Thraxxus – Whats the F’n Point?” Well according the the expert dude on NPR “The economy is FAR FROM F’N OK!”

There is your F’n point mister!

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Capital Gains Tax, Heal Thy Country!

Posted on 19 September 2008 by GlazednConfused

In case you’ve been living on Saturn for the last six months and this is the only BB post you read when you came back, bad news: our financial system is going to hell in a handbasket. This handbasket has been carried by very wealthy individuals who put their philosophy first before everyone else. This philosophy was “Make as much money as God before everyone finds out how reckless we’ve been”. So now that the market has crumbled, crumbled, everyone has ideas how to fix it. To paraphrase a criminally underrated metal band, if there’s a new way then I’ll be the first in line. But it had better work this time.

Well, this one’s for you, Mr. Mustaine. My very simple suggestion: tax the holy hell out of the rich. Not just a few percentage points here and there like Obama is suggesting. I’m proposing  taxes of Canadian proportions. How does the range of 40-50% grab you? If you are making more than, let’s say $10mil annually, it grabs you by the teabags. Why that number? I have no idea. But the number is not important. What’s critical is what it symbolizes – that wild excess is no longer celebrated in America. The problem with most of the solutions, which include increased accountability and regulations, is the simple fact that the people in charge of fixing the system are owned by the people with the most to lose. If Thraxxus’ socialistic rantings haven’t been clear enough, let me simplify: big business and the our government are so intimate, they are on their way to Macy’s right now to pick out a china pattern.

However, the IRS doesn’t dick around. If you change the tax laws, and make them crystal clear, all you have to do is stand back. No matter what those cheesy late-night commercials say, the IRS can not be reasoned with. They will get you eventually, and you will pay interest and penalties. Release the hounds!

Ok, I can hear the arguments. Hell, I can Google the arguments. “You are taking money that people have earned” they say. I would argue that no one person in the world actually earns that much money. Professional ballplayers are basically playing a game. Investors are playing a game, and not even with their own money. Corporate executives, if you haven’t noticed, have zero accountability. They don’t deserve what they are earning. The newly retired Bill Gates? Two words – “Windows Vista”. Steve Jobs? The Pixar guys? OK – maybe. But if a few worthy leaders and innovators get thrown under the bus, then that’s a small price to pay.

Another argument is that this type of taxation is “unAmerican”. For you fourteen readers, I have tackled the herculean task of ranking the top one thousand most “American” things you can do as an American. Due to space restrictions, here’s only a sample:

1.     Dick Cheney cupcheck, at every opportunity


17.   Proudly display classic 1970s Farah Faucett poster


34.   Sarah Palin cupcheck, at every opportunity


457.  Wear a flag pin


809.  Make more than $10million in a year, while paying less taxes than a Harlem schoolteacher that’s had a knife pulled on her six times

Furthermore, consider the side-effects of cranking up taxes on the rich – there are none! If you start taxing the hell out of the poor, the results are glaring. You come home and your television has been jacked. Live news riot footage pre-empts “Dancing with the Stars”. Who needs that drama? I’m not sure what rich people do when impotency is thrust upon them, but my guess is its pretty passive. They probably just sit there behind their antique desks made of ivory and walnut, seething. Maybe they strangle their high-priced escorts out of frustration. If TMZ is to believed, they just go shopping. Another boost to the economy! We need to face facts. The money for this new trend of American Fascist World Domination has to come from somewhere. You tell me which is more entertaining:

  1. Listening to single mothers whine that they can’t afford their baby’s insulin or
  2. Reading in business magazines about an anonymous hedge fund manager muttering under his breath that he’ll have to settle for a Ferrari F430 instead of a 599 this year.

So you ask, how is such a brutal, discriminative tax law going to be passed by the very people it will cornhole most? Here’s the only way: first, Obama gets elected. His enthnicity is key, plus his Veep choice is the second-poorest Congressman. Second, a group of lobbyists, oil execs, southern state congressmen, or various Good-Old-Boy Club members get caught on cellphone video calling our president the N-Word. You just know it’s going to happen. They’ll be sitting in a bar, four cocktails into two-hour lunch paid for by you, and someone will slip. Something like “Can you believe a n—– got elected as president?”, and everyone will somberly nod. Obama’s response would be swift: “N—–?! I’ll show you rich c*cksuckers a n—–!!!” and that will be that. Rooting for naked prejudice – a sacrifice that I’m willing to make for my country. It’s #140 on my list.

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Some things to ponder.

Posted on 19 September 2008 by Thraxxus

Here are some quotes on Socialism.

“The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings; the inherent virtue of socialism is the equal sharing of miseries.” – Winston Churchhill.

“Democracy and socialism have nothing in common but one word, equality. But notice the difference: while democracy seeks equality in liberty, socialism seeks equality in restraint and servitude.” – Alexis de Tocqueville

“The assumption that spending more of the taxpayer’s money will make things better has survived all kinds of evidence that it has made things worse.” – Thomas Sowell

““All socialism involves slavery” – Herbert Spencer

And now for Capitalism
“In the Soviet Union, capitalism triumphed over communism. In this country, capitalism triumphed over democracy.” – Fran Lebowitz

“Capitalism without bankruptcy is like Christianity without hell.” – Frank Borman

“Capitalism has destroyed our belief in any effective power but that of self interest backed by force.” – George Bernard Shaw

“Capitalism is the astounding belief that the most wickedest of men will do the most wickedest of things for the greatest good of everyone.” – John Maynard Keynes

So why do I bring these up? The United States of America, a Federal Republic – not a Democracy (most people don’t get that), is a country that toutes itself to be a Capitalistic society. In fact much of the Cold War rhetoric was based on how the USa is capitalist and the Soviets are Socialist, or Communist – really depended on who was talking.

So what is Capitalism then?
Two definitions by dictionary.com
1) an economic system in which investment in and ownership of the means of production, distribution, and exchange of wealth is made and maintained chiefly by private individuals or corporations, esp. as contrasted to cooperatively or state-owned means of wealth.

2) An economic system in which the means of production and distribution are privately or corporately owned and development is proportionate to the accumulation and reinvestment of profits gained in a free market.

Note that both indicate that the PRIVATE sector handles their own investments, their own growth, their own development, and thus their owns losses. The moment that government steps in you no longer have capitalism. Folks, the sad truth is this: For Capitalism to truly work you must allow those who would fall, to fall. Using the resources of the people that those companies made their money off of to prop them up is Socialism, period.

ADDITION:

Apparently the top of this article was vague and off topic, or rather, I didn’t really say the topic. GlazedNConfused made fun of my mother for a while and then pointed out that he didn’t understand the point of it. So without further ado – The Point:

OUR GOVERNMENT IS SPENDING YOUR TAX DOLLARS TO BAIL OUT COMPANIES THAT SHOULD FAIL AS A RESULT OF BEING BOTH PART OF A CAPITALISTIC SOCIETY AND SUCKING AT WHAT THEY DID! THE ACT OF DOING SO IS SOCIALISM.

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Some flashback for my 80s friends.

Posted on 18 September 2008 by Thraxxus

Sit back and enjoy.
Midnight Oil
 

Living Colour

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Who is in charge anyway?

Posted on 18 September 2008 by Thraxxus

My father told me years ago that there is a god and he comes in the form of money. That may be a cynical view of the world, however it is rather difficult to argue against it at times.

That said, unless you live under a rock in Sonoma, you know that not only the United States of America but the entire world is in a financial crisis. I have both eluded to and out right said in the past that governments don’t actually control the world but rather banks do. Recently the US government has bailed out some massive corporations, however those bailouts came from a bank, and that bank is not the US government. The Federal Reserve Bank is not actually a United States Government entity – it is a standalone corporation that the US Government can buyout whenever we want – supposedly. Go ahead do some research, its true.

Read this. Ok ponder. Ponder. Waiting for it. Ok so what does that mean. In case you were too lazy to read that it basically says the major banks of the world have decided to help the world out so that we don’t enter a second Dark Ages. Note it does not say that governments have decided to do that, but banks. This leads to a question: Why can’t governments save us?

The answer is simple really – Governments don’t actually control money. This may sound like a foreign concept as we are constantly told about the budget, balancing it, making it, blah blah – but the fact of that matter is none of that is actually banking. Banking is a rather complex thing that seems simple. An entity takes money in, stores it, and has to make money from that money to sustain itself without having any commodity at all other than the money that it stores for other people. Think that one through.

Governments work with banks to get things accomplished. Want to go to war? You needs the backing of banks. Want to build a new bridge to nowhere? Banks again(Sorry Palin). So why is everyone so freaked right now? Well if Banks start failing all over the place, and Governments need banks to survive and operate, what happens to the Governments?

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It’s Hopeless to Resist the Sweet, Alluring Siren Song of Fascism

Posted on 17 September 2008 by GlazednConfused

“Fascism should more appropriately be called Corporatism because it is a merger of state and corporate power”

Mussolini, you sly dog – you saw this coming! So before the U.S. slides into a Brazillian society, you may want to check out this article about how we got there. Short and sweet, please note the juiciest bit – the fact that companies were borrowing $30 for every $1 they actually possessed. They then distributed this “imaginary” money to fat bastard managers, who passed it off as real currency to the local Ferrari dealership and Neiman Marcus. Legal money laundering – is this big business or an episode of “Weeds”?

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O’Reilly ORLY?

Posted on 17 September 2008 by Thraxxus

I love this clip. Nuff said.

 

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Is it Fascism or Socialism – I forget.

Posted on 17 September 2008 by Thraxxus

First lookie here!

I tried to tell people. I did. I really tried. I posted here on this famous website of 7 readers (I think they all write for it too) about the direction the good old USA is going. I mentioned it back when Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae were “bailed out” by the government – meaning the government used our tax dollars to take over the two largest companies on the planet. I spoke about how your tax dollars are being used to prop up two failing companies that are were destroyed by greedy Executives and ill planning. I mentioned how things are going downhill. Did anyone take the warning? DID THEY?!?!?

So now we have several failed banks, including the potential downfall of Washington Mutual, which last I heard nobody is going to bail out. It doesn’t stop with banks or lenders folks – oh no – now we have one of the largest insurance companies on the Earth going belly up. What kills me here is that the USA is using our tax dollars, yet again, to bail out yet another company, and this one isn’t a bank. What I mean here is that AIG doesn’t store customers’ money in the way a bank does. So why then bail them out?

79.9% stake folks, that is why. The USA is taking 79.9% of the company. What does that mean to the shareholders who have stock in AIG? Well it means their shares won’t disintigrate, which would happen if the company folded, however they will lose a ridiculous amount of value. Furhtermore it means that yet another massive company is in effect being nationalized.

Nationalization of corporations has happened several times in the world’s history –  most important of which? Nazi Germany. Congrats folks.

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A Bit on Success

Posted on 16 September 2008 by Thraxxus

The Lunch GameRecently we have been working on a Facebook Application called The Lunch Game. The premise is simple – we have a database of 500 thousand restaurants in the United States that is searchable by your location and the type of food you want to eat. To delve a bit further it also allows you to include friends in your choosing session by considering their preferences for foods that they like and dislike and then you can send them an invite. For example: I am in Overland Park Kansas and want to eat with my friend Enigma who is in Lenexa Kansas. I select where I am, types of foods I want, and then select him as a dining partner. The resulting list shows me places near us as well as which places would best accomodate our collective tastes. Turns out to be Red Robin.

I didn’t bring this up as a sales pitch, but instead for a more interesting reason – although I do find The Lunch Game to be a great idea! The funny part to all of this is the concept of Web Success. A few years ago there was this commercial for a company on the Superbowl, I think, regarding a website launch that goes bad. Realize that bad on the web can mean a few things: 1) NOBODY comes to your site. 2) People come and never come back. 3) So many people come that your site explodes resulting in people not coming back. The guys over at Penny Arcade are known to wield the power of breaking someone’s website just by Tycho or Gabe merely mentioning said website’s existance. Evil Bastards!

Back to my point – let us pretend that you have this clever idea for a website, take the time to put it together, and launch it. You do a little Search Engine Optimization(SEO) on it, maybe even go so far as to purchase some Pay Per Click(PPC) ads all in hopes of getting a following. The thing is most people don’t realize what it means to actually have a successful website –  a REALLY successful website – it takes hardware, loads of it, and bandwidth, tons of it. In fact in many cases it can take more than the average person can even afford.

My point here is that Enigma and I were discussing The Lunch Game, and its place on Facebook, and have talked about the very scary prospect that is a successful website. If that thing takes off, like we all hope (GlazednConfused sacrifices a chicken every day to the greek god of the Internet – Webisius), then we may in fact be screwed. Enigma isn’t too concerned as we are web dudes and thus do know what to do if we have a traffic explosion – we move the site to bigger IRON (Iron is the industry slang for SERVERS). The thing is, as I said, we are tech guys and thus actually know what to do – what if you aren’t?

Penny-ArcadeThe guys over at Penny-Arcade have this following for their site that is a little on the HOLY CRAP side – something like 50 million page views a month. I’ve met them, hell I even interviewed Tycho for an online radio show I used to do – and in that interview Tycho eluded to the fact that they never expected to be successful, especially not on the magnitude that they are now.

So if you have this problem what do you do? WHAT DO YOU DO?

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9/11 by Keith Olbermann

Posted on 12 September 2008 by Thraxxus

It is a tragedy regarding what NBC is doing to this guy right now. Ladies and Gents – I give you argueably the best orator on television today talking about 9/11 memorial services.

 

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Palin Interview!

Posted on 12 September 2008 by Thraxxus

Palin was finally interviewed – here are some clips as well as responses from political “gurus”.

 

 

Now here is Matt Damon talking about Palin. I never understood why people made fun of Matt, seems like an intelligent guy to me. His comments are EXACTLY ON MARK. Consider his statements on soccer mom.

 

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Currently My Favorite Political Cartoon Series

Posted on 11 September 2008 by GlazednConfused

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I am of the love at you!

Posted on 11 September 2008 by Thraxxus

NatalayaI have this bit on here where I show the Daily Spam – basic gist being I post a cool Spam email that I received and comment on. Today I received a spam email that pointed to a Russian Bride website. I have to admit I was intrigued for the very simple reason that this entire situation is odd to me. What confounds me just a bit is these women, and let me assure you there are hundreds if not thousands on there, are willing to put themselves on the Internet with full color pictures of them wearing almost nothing in some cases for the hope that they can draw the interest of an American or European “buyer”.

This entire thing may be confusing to you so let me explain. My friend Zhazoo used to have a correspondance with a couple of Russian Brides to be and thus I had the opportunity of reading some of their emails. There are a couple of things that I’d like to point out: 1) The English is terrible and in most instances an online service like babblefish was used to do that actual translation. 2) The desperation in the tonality of the emails was staggering. The ladies in question went very shortly, like 3 email exchanges, from “Hello my name is Svetlana!” (btw their names are sort of slick, but all seem to end with the letter A) to “I am the love of your life. Send me money so that we may of the marry and have of the fatter babies!!”

Apparently the aim here is two fold: 1) Get a guy on the hook and get as much cash out of him as possible – both women asked Zhazoo repeatedly to send them money, which is odd as their photos and the clothing in the photos could not have been cheap. I smell a scam. 2) If it is actually real then their idea of love is the word hello wrapped up in desperation – tragic to me for sure. think about it, apparently Natalaya up there on the left who according to her Profile has a college degree and is arguably one of the hottest women I have ever seen, has it so difficult wherever the hell she lives that she is willing to marry some guy sight unseen.

Mother Russia is awesome.

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OPEC and You.

Posted on 10 September 2008 by Thraxxus

Do you recall how the price of oil/per barrel was 152 bucks back in July? Well it turns out that through conservation efforts, leading to a lack of demand, people just being tired of the price of gas, and the increase in the value of the dollar that a new problem has arisen: The Members of OPEC aren’t making as much money now as they did back in July.

Let me stop for a second and explain to you that I am ABSOLUTELY NOT MAKING THIS SHIT UP. In fact I am incapable of doing so. This is so absurd that it beyond any alcohol induced hallucinations that I might be able to dream up.

The cost of a barrel of oil, today, is at 104 bucks. $104 Dollars – American. That is a HUGE DIP. So what is OPEC doing about it? This is so laughable I almost crashed my Honda Civic Si on the way to my office when Steve Inskeep on NPR said it. I am paraphrasing here – OPEC is going to be cutting oil production to increase the cost.

BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH
AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

Now consider all the BS we had to endure from all of the “experts” going back and forth about Supply and Demand and how the cost of Oil, and consequently the price per gallon of gas, was super high for reasons that nobody could explain. Recall how you couldn’t actually go anywhere this summer with your family on vacation so that you could save money to buy gas just to go to work. Regail yourself with memories of how the Oil crisis WORLD WIDE was slated as the begining of the end! ARMAGEDON!

Now consider how bad those poor OPEC fellows must be doing with the cost of oil returning to prices close, not actually there yet, to where they were a couple years ago. Instead of rejoicing, throwing a party, and haveing a press conference about how great things are going – what do they do? The slow down production to ARTIFICIALLY INCREASE THE SUPPLY DEMAND RATIO – in effect hoping to boost the cost of oil again.

I swear if anyone asks me to feel bad for OPEC again, or implies that there is some form of REAL oil crisis TODAY I will punch them in the mouth. Do we need to find new ways to move ourselves about in vehicles – absolutely – if for any reason to stop being raked over the coals by a bunch of greedy fat cats.

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Our Financial Institutions: Delicate Like Paper Flower

Posted on 08 September 2008 by GlazednConfused

Perhaps you read about this interesting phenomenon in BusinessWeek. Apparently, an investment media group somehow picked up an archived article that was 6 years old and distributed it as current news on their website. Unfortunately, the news was UAL going bankrupt. This caused the company’s stock to plummet from $12 to basically nothing just about overnight. Internet, how awesome is thy power.

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Gov Mac

Posted on 08 September 2008 by Thraxxus

If you have been living under a rock you may not have heard the the ol’ US of A has taken over both Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae. Given the complete debacle that these two companies turned out to be, and the fact that a huge portion of the US economy, and oddly enough the world economy, is based on these two companies not DYING, the US Treasury Department decided it might be wise to step in and take over.

So what does this mean? Allow me to elude to some things, via facts and what not:

  1. The US Government plans on supplying each company with “no more than 100 billion dollars” of your tax dollars. In other words you, the tax payer, who may have a loan from these two companies, is also paying to ensure that they stay afloat. That is kind of like making sure that the local Loan shark, Fat Tony, is well fed and has a roof over his head so that you are able to keep paying him even though he loves to spend your money on hookers. Maybe that was a tad over the top – but I think you get the point.
  2. The US Government is taking, in exchange for your tax dollars, 2 million shares of stock of each company, which will yield something like 10% of the total dividends these two companies are SUPPOSED to send out every year. In other words, through spending your tax dollars on the investment into these two companies, who btw own something like 5 trillion dollars in home mortgages the government will receive residuals. How nice of them to make money on your money off of a company that already owns your house. Oooops, being a bit rough again aren’t I?
  3. There has been no talk of handing the companies back the reigns that I can find. What does this mean? One COULD ARGUE that it means the begining of mortgage and banking nationlization –  of course one could also argue that President Bush has an IQ greater than an azalia. Who I am to judge?
  4. If the government can nationalize the mortgage and banking system, then why not health care? Oh wait! That is Socialism!
  5. According to NPR this morning the biggest gainers from this little situation are the Chinese. Wonder why? Well they have loads of stock in these two companies (seriously don’t even get me started on that) and thus if Freddie and Fannie faltered (cute right to that) then the Chinese would lose loads of cash. Tragic. However, since the USA government decided to step in, the Chinese are actually guaranteed to get their money by, you guessed it, YOU! That’s right, your tax dollars are going to be used to make sure that the Chinese, who took a chance in investing in a company, will now get back all their hard stolen, er spent money.

I know, I am an evil, jaded sum-a-bish. Tell you what – search teh web, read as much as you can, and if you can find a non jaded writeup on this that says I am totally wrong, PLEASE post it here and I will gladly share it with the planet. That said, ask yourself something – why is the government trying so hard in the media to convince everyone that this is a great thing? Did that happen once before? COUGHinvadeiraqandkillrandombrownpeopleforbasicallynoreasonwhatsoeverCOUGH!! Excuse me, had something absolutely appalling stuck in my throat.

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My Voting Guide for November

Posted on 06 September 2008 by GlazednConfused

Average, moderate, non-obsessive, relatively sane American, I understand your frustration. I can relate to your apathy towards the current political process, and the “lesser of two evils” choices that has been the status quo since (at least) JFK. I too will be tempted to write in “I.P. Freely” or “Hootie McBoob” on the ballot in front of me. Washington is a Cube-like device that slices and dices the soul of every reformer or “maverick” that staggers into its rooms. The whole thing whiffs of dogshit, piled high on a bun of impotence.

Here’s my advice: come up with a list of “least” statements that’s relevant to your values and priorities. For example, here’s my list in no particular order:

(1) Which candidate is least-likely to send my son off to die in a pointless war?

(2) Which candidate is least-likely to put my name on a “list” just because I checked out Orwell’s 1984 from the local library?

(3) Which candidate is least-likely to force his values upon me and my family?

(4) Which candidate is least-likely to tolerate fat f*cking cat CEOs who hoarded millions of dollars while their companies tanked and Bob and Sandy Stockholder got fleeced?

(5) Which candidate is least-likely to pour billions of dollars into new military weapons that, with 99% certainty, will never be used because they are useless against Sue. E. Side and her C4 jacket when she walks into a crowded market?

(6) Which candidate is least-likely to bring baggage – and you know the kind I’m talking about. The kind that distorts his vision, and forces him to make bad decisions.

(7) Which candidate seems the least hypocritical? Notice I said least. There is zero chance that any person over the age of six has never changed their mind,  or backed up their words with actions 100% of the time. That’s a fact of life.

(8) Which candidate screwed over family and friends the least? Adultery, divorce, pissed-off cousins, etc. – more facts of life. But that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be tallied.

(9) Which candidate is the least-likey to be crazy? For example, if you heard one of them climbed to the top of a belltower and started tagging UCLA freshmen, which person would surprise you the most?

(10) Which candidate is least-likely to die before the end of his first-term?

Judging by my “least” statements, you probably know my candidate. The bottom line is, if you are looking for perfection, rock-solid resolve, or a candidate that is more “like you”, then you are delusional. Do some research, read a LOT, and pick and choose what’s important to you. Or you can write in Mr. Freely.

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The Death of a Legend

Posted on 02 September 2008 by GlazednConfused

No, I am not talking about Isaac Hayes. His lame South Park stunt killed my love. No, I’m not referring to Bernie Mac either, although he was a great standup comedian (but no legend). I’m talking about Jerry “East Bound and Down” Reed. The man had a great influence on my life – allow me explain. Of course, he starred in Smokey and the Bandit, one of THE movies in my life.  All red-blooded boys fell in love after witnessing that magical elixir of Sally Field (in hot mode), Burt (that ‘stache!), and of course the fiery Phoenix. Fell in love with what exactly, I don’t know. The V8? The stereotype of the racist Southern cop? The banjo? Maybe all that, and the open road and the t-tops to boot. But it goes much farther than that, all the way to what I call the “Holy Trinity of B-Movie Actors” of my childhood – Burt, Jerry and Dom DeLuise.

Years before HBO was known as “Hey, Beastmaster’s On!”, I swear Hot Stuff was on ten times every lazy Summer weekday in Louisiana. It starred Dom and Jerry as two cops working undercover in a fencing operation or some crap. There was pot smoking, which just puzzled my young mind – my dad didn’t get hysterically giggly when HE lit up a cigarette. All I know is back then, HBO didn’t show R-Rated movies during the day, which limited it’s library – drastically it seems. Speaking of The Dom, I can’t believe that guy is still alive. Him and Burt just didn’t give a f*ck back in the day. Could you imagine a group of actors, even B-listers, all getting together to make Cannonball Run now? Hell no – there’s not enough trailers and fruitbaskets in Hollywood. I can imagine stiffs like Kathy Griffin and Ashton Kurcher fighting (through their agents) over who’s going to drive the Lambo Reventon. Screw you both – you can share the beaten-up Yugo that Flea pushes over a cliff in his Hummer.

Anywhoo, Jerry was a prolific singer, songwriter and fake truck driver. He will be missed.

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Chrome Colored Musings

Posted on 02 September 2008 by Thraxxus

So driving into the office today with Enigma we heard a strange little diddy on NPR regarding the “slip up” made by Google regarding pre-announcing via email the release of their completely open source web browser- CHROME. Word has it that Google created said web browser as they were concerned that the evil dark wizard Microsoft was going to tweak Internet Explorer to magically ignore Google.com.

As it turns out, on Google.com, Google has presented a different, more politically correct version of the story. According to Google, and this may be true – kind of like those weapons of mass distraction, they are launching Chrome so that the web user of today can use a browser of today, not one designed for 7 years ago with pasted add-ons and patches galore. Nice theory.

So what does it do? According to Google, Chrome is a developers web dream. It doesn’t crash. Javascript is like heroin through its code based veins. Plugins are like musical notes to Mozart, French horns to Beethoven. The ability for a developer to debug a web application will be easier than Paris Hilton. It is multi-threaded, which means that multiple tabs will actually load at the same time, and it also means that with any luck, if you are on Vista anyway (odd the not definded dependancy here), the browser will actually use all those extra processors and cores you paid Dell good money for. Basically that means that the Browser will act like a GOOD operating system coughnotwindowscough.

I could go on and on about the features, instead I suggest you give the cartoon I linked a good read. Its fun coffee/poop reading material. Print it off! No I won’t do that, I won’t tell you every drop of the supposed features. If I had a link to download and install Chrome, I’d give it to you. Tragically though Enigma has spent the better part of the last hour trying to find a link, oddly enough using GOOGLE.com, and can’t seem to locate it. Irony is an evil bitch it seems.

My parting thought is this: Does the Google staff have a mantra that they sing at the start of every meeting? “Microsft sucks. Microsoft sucks. We hate Microsoft. Kill Kill Kill.” I am not a song writer, it shows. Perhaps they meet in the woods, under the cover of darkenss, in cloaks, sacrificing screen shots of Internet Explorer to some Google god, Googleisis – the Goddess of Search Engines, after which they have some weird dork laden sexcapade to the song musings of Moby. Who knows?

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