ravan: by Ravan (Default)
( Jan. 29th, 2013 03:11 pm)
Alternet, Mother Jones, and other reality based or liberal sources:

* Latest Pathetic Conservative Attack on Social Security: Disability Fraud Hysteria
Move over Welfare Queen. The Disability King is the new pet scapegoat for all that’s wrong with America.

* A Fetus Is Not a Person if it Costs us Money, Says Catholic Church
Forced to put its money where its mouth is, the Catholic Church backs off on the idea that the fetus is a person.

* Hillary Faces Down The Angry Men
From simpleton Ron Johnson to delusional Rand Paul, GOP senators swung at the Secretary of State and hit themselves.

* Obama's Failure to Punish Banks Should Be Causing Serious Social Unrest
A new PBS Frontline report examines outrageous steps Obama's administration took to protect Wall St. Wall Street from prosecutions.

* An Academic Smackdown: Refuting the Absurd Social Science Claim that "Poverty is in Our Genes"
* Personhood USA's Unhinged Response to National Advocates for Pregnant Women Study
* 4 Freedoms in America That Don't Exist Anymore
Freedom seems to exist more in our minds than in reality.

* A Girl Reads the New York Times: Why Are All the Front-Page Articles By Men?
The paper of record can't find any women reporters?

* When the Law Won't Call it "Rape"
If there's confusion among the public (and politicians) about rape, baffling, conflicting state laws make it worse.

* Fracking Boom Overwhelming Hospitals With Uninsured Laborers
* Read My Lips: Yes New Taxes
* The Way It Was
The Beatles ruled. The mini was in. I was seventeen, and pregnant. What happened next is what could happen again.

* Texas Public Schools: Still Teaching Creationism
* Bobby Jindal Thinks the GOP Isn't Right-Wing Enough
* A Rape a Minute, a Thousand Corpses a Year
Violence against women is incessantly overlooked, both in America and elsewhere.

* Boy Scouts Losing Big Funders Over Anti-Gay Policy
* No More "Pro-Life" and "Pro-Choice"
Op-Ed: It's time to abandon confusing and limiting labels and live dangerously in abortion's grey area.

* Coke: Wait, People Thought Vitaminwater Was Good for You?
* Top Earners Set to Pay Most, Especially Married People
* How to Avoid the Prying Eyes
* U.S. Still Suffering Depression Conditions: Paul Krugman
* The Science of Why Comment Trolls Suck
The online peanut gallery can get you so riled up that your ability to reason goes out the window, a new study finds.
So, I was looking at various stuff online and in the stores this holiday season, specifically purses, bags and the like. Most of it was sheer, unadulterated crap - ugly, all that same thrown together look, regardless of "brand", like it was made in the same third world sweatshop. Yeah, the labels were different, but the workmanship, the colors, and the designs were all the same nauseating garbage.

I went to four different fabric stores. The notions were all the same, even though the brands were different - except for the high end one, that had a few added different things. The pattern selection was limited, and was was supposedly "fashion" was ill-fitting crap too - sloppy necklines, narrow sleeves, pants without pockets, blah, blah.

Same thing with manufactured clothing. Cheaply made, trashy looking, priced like it was fucking haute coture. Sorry, but why should I pay business suit prices for cheesy whore clothes?

People cry about manufacturing jobs going overseas, about small businesses vanishing. Well, when you have to pay the city bunches of money for the privilege of making stuff to sell in your own home, that's why. When it's easier to wear garbage than to make something that looks decent, that's why.

I used to do flea markets 15 - 20 years ago, and people used to look at my hand made jewelry and sneer, saying they could buy "better" for less at WalMart. No, assholes, you can't. You can buy mass produced crap at WalMart and Target. I couldn't even make my booth fee. Craft fairs were out of the question - they wanted too much money for the privilege of being sneered at.

Now, at least there is a resurgence in interest in hand crafts, in things like knitting and quilting, and sites like Etsy.com. I'm hoping that American cottage industry comes back, that people with money not time start putting that money back into the US economy, not send it overseas, and the people with time not money start spending their time making things for sale.

Someone was commenting about them outlawing plastic grocery bags. A sucky idea, even though I actually like reusable bags, and try to remember to bring mine, I don't like being ordered to do so. But to crochet a string bag only takes me a few hours, and not all at one sitting. If you do it while commuting by bus or train, you can churn out about one a week. All you need is a cone of butcher's twine - between 16 and 30 ply - and a G or H crochet hook (size depending on the thickness of the twine). It's time you would otherwise be sitting around.

So if you have money, not time, spend it on stuff made where you live, please. The livelihood you save may be a friend. Plus, it's "greener" - it didn't have to be shipped from sweatshopland in nasty plastic packaging that cuts you.
ravan: (451F)
( Apr. 15th, 2009 08:22 pm)
Screw you.

Seriously, your man Bush spent us into this hole, all the while cutting services and infrastructure. His guy Paulson wanted us to bail out the fucking banks without any oversight at all on where the money was going.

The Republican administrations have all been "Borrow and Spend", "Fuck You, I've Got Mine", and "Contract On America". So now our education sucks (No Child Gets Ahead), our infrastructure is crumbling, and the banks, insurance companies and their fucking lobbyists are running the country into the ground.

Seriously, you rich fucks don't pay enough tax. Waah, Waah, your top tax rate will go up. It's still less than you paid under your tinkle-down Republican savior Reagan. I want the top rate to go back to that, so we can fucking pay for the fucking war your guy started (you know, the liar Bush's war in Iraq.)

Yes, I will pay more tax. I already do, since you bigoted shitheads put Prop 8 in place - I can't get married except to some dick I don't want to marry, so I have to file as "single", but have the expenses of married, head of household. Not to mention the mess California has made of its budget, and consequent increase in sales tax (the most regressive kind there is) since the yuppies and fat cats didn't want their yachts and private jets taxed.

So yeah, teabaggers, I don't want to see any of you pussy-faced whiners taking any stimulus money, including COBRA assistance or extended unemployment. Hell, don't drive on any of the fixed roads, either. You see, that where that oh, so horrid spending is going - right back into America's pockets, not overseas to Iraq on shrink-wrapped pallets of cash. Here, into the U S of A, not some defense contractor headquartered int the Cayman island that farms its jobs out overseas, or imports indentured scabs to take work away from citizens and green card holders.

So STFU, lilly-white "protesters" - you really have nothing to complain about. The Neo-Con party is over, and we all have to pay the fucking bill, especially the rich fucks. You can pay it on tax day, happily, or you can pay it by madame guillotine. I really don't care which.

The Democratic Congress and Administration have to do "Tax and Repay" to fix the mess your Republican hacks made. Deal with it, whiners. You had your turn, now it's ours.
ravan: (451F)
( Apr. 3rd, 2009 04:00 pm)
Lawmaker sees Fannie, Freddie bonus "insult"

When are these fucking jackasses going to get it:
If a company loses money, and has to be bailed out, no bonuses should be paid, period. They're lucky to still have jobs!

Retention? So what? These fucking entitled people should just be glad they still have a company to work for. That's their retention bonus from us, the taxpayer. We don't need to give them extra to convince them to stay. There are plenty of people willing to take their jobs from all the banks that have failed.

In every other sector, if your company loses money, you don't get any performance or retention bonuses. The only bonus you get is being spared the layoff axe. What the fuck makes these vultures think they are so fucking special that they should get bonuses on the taxpayer dime just for not quitting?

Seriously, if the manufacturing sector can rip up union contracts to avoid bankruptcy, then these jackals can rip up their precious bonus contracts for their pampered employees. Seriously, banks, it's time to put on your big kid panties and suck up the pain like the rest of us have been for years.
The Great Repudiation: Why voters have had enough of conservative rule

True, we are not in any sort of liberal nirvana. And the Democrats who sucked up to the movement conservatives are just as much to blame as the Republicans.

But I am heartily sick of the "I Got Mine, Screw You" conservatives, the "My Moral Mythos Must Be Law For All" conservatives, and "Oh, Look It's A Terrorist/Liberal/Criminal/Drug User About to Ruin America™" conservatives.
Read more... )
Depository Institutions Deregulation and Monetary Control Act of 1980: While this allowed a few better banking services (for higher fees), it is also why savings account interest rates dropped like a rock (from 5% or 0.5%) while credit card rates rose. Where'd the money go? Into shareholders' pockets! The customer got screwed coming and going.

< href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Garn-St._Germain_Depository_Institutions_Act">the Garn-St. Germain Depository Institutions Act of 1982: This piece of work was a Reagan Administration pet, and led almost directly to the Savings and Loan crisis of the late 1980s - after Reagan was no longer in office, but his ideological heirs were still going strong. The S&L problem was chalked up to an anomaly, a few "bad actors", and the Republicans were never held accountable.

Instead, they dismantled *more* of the depression era regulation that was designed to prevent our current crisis with the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act of 1999. A pile of Republicans, riding high on their "Contract OnWith America" and their ongoing witch hunt of the Clintons, pushed this doozy through with enough votes to override a veto, even if Clinton could have with them digging into his private sex life.

Because of this, the Republicans and their corporate sponsors (and the Democrats that sold out to the megacorps) undid all of the Depression era legislation that was put in place after the last great financial meltdown (which was global then, too) to prevent it from happening again.

They all knew why the legislation had passed, they just either a) didn't care, as long as they and theirs got rich, or b) assumed that it couldn't, wouldn't happen again. I'm inclined to believe "a)" out of the Republicans, and "b)" out of the Democrats. (Yes, I'm saying Republicans are avaricious and Democrats are stupid.) But the majority behind this crap were Republicans.

Yes, some of the regulations were dated, but they threw out most the meat with the bones in the stock.

So, when the financial ship of state runs aground, the Republicans put up up washed up candidates for election, hoping that they won't be stuck holding the bag. It worked. Even if Obama was a Saint, with the capital S and all, he would not be able to stop the meltdown. The seeds for the disaster were sown by the Reaganites in the 80s, and watered very, very well by the Gingrich cohort and their Contract On America.

IMO, any institution that requires bailout money that exists because of these deregulations should be denied. They asked for this, they wanted it, they should bear the consequences.
In the world of common sense, this statement would be obvious: "Too Big To (allow to) Fail" is "Too Big To (allow to) Exist". Otherwise, you are always on the hook for bailouts and concessions to these institutions. Simple, no?

But Washington, DC and Wall Street don't live in the land of common sense. They live in the land of automatic welfare for megacorporations, but no welfare for the poor or out of work. They live in the land of socialized corporate losses and bailouts, but no "socialism" for the citizen regardless of the social good. They live in the land of what's good for big business is good for everybody, even when it isn't. They live in a land where obscene profits are a "right", but a roof over your head, food in your belly, and care for your health are unearned "entitlements" and "privileges", to be doled out by your corporate masters for good consumer behavior.

When they repealed Glass-Stegal, (look up Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act) they lined their own pockets, created the "too big to fail" (or be regulated) monster, and doomed us and future generations to indenture to international corporate interests. The "Reagan revolution" had "succeeded", for those who were behind the revolution. The rest of us a stuck paying the bill.

I have nothing against real businesses, that either produce real goods or real services. But when corporate quarterlies are more important than giving value to customers for money, it's not a real business any more, it's a leech on society.

When the average person can't understand "complex" securities, it indicates that those financial instruments are probably funny money, and possibly fraudulent. The kind of companies whose "lifeblood" is trading paper and promises need to be eliminated - broken up, regulated,or closed with their corporate charter revoked. Enron, WorldCom, AIG, and others like them need to be stopped before they suck more of our real wealth into their maw.

Those who trade in pure paper (CDOs, SIVs, futures, etc), not backed by real goods or real services, need to be run out of business (and out of town) on a rusty rail.

Paper burns at 451° F - phony, made-up "securities" aren't even worth the paper they're printed on. Burn them for fuel.
I Don't Care About AIG's Bonuses

Well, I do, and I still care about the trillions of dollars wasted in Iraq - including those pallets of cash (over half of which probably went into AlQ's pockets, as a "thanks" for helping keep the Bushies in power) and sweetheart contracts to Haliburton, KBR and Blackwater!

IMO, the GOP is pushing this crap to a frenzy to a) bring down Obama in revenge for him actually winning, b) distract people from demanding an accounting for their activities in Iraq and Afghanistan, c) distract pedople from their own corruption, and d) as a way of pissing in the well that they have been made to realize that they no longer own.

The pigopolists and the GOP need to worry about this strategy, though, because once people start asking those hard questions, it is very hard to stop it. The obscene costs and shady deals of the Iraq mess *will* be brought up, again and again, until we get the real answers. If the Obama administration and Congress don't want to get answers for us, then we will keep dumping incumbents out until we find those who will.

"I fear all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant." Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto, apocryphal
ravan: (At Well Weaving Wyrd - lwood)
( Mar. 3rd, 2009 11:13 am)
Bernanke defends AIG rescue, says U.S. had no choice.

BULLSHIT!!

AIG must be broken up, and the business units that are rotten must fail. No more sucking at the public teat for this INSURANCE company.

Any company that is "too big to (allow to) fail" must be broken into smaller, leaner, more efficient units. If it's "too big to fail", it's "too big to exist".

Mitigating risk by removing the "all your eggs in a few huge, incestuous baskets" problems sounds like good fiscal management to me.

No choice? A steaming pile of horseshit. Someone needs to find where they've got the leash on Bernanke to make his say crap like that.
ravan: by Ravan (Default)
( Feb. 20th, 2009 11:04 am)
This post is public, because it's an important concept. Read more... )
ravan: by ravan (stormclouds)
( Nov. 28th, 2008 11:45 am)
Wal=Mart Employee Trampled to Death by Customers - you mean "Animals", don't you??

The person wasn't even a Wal-Mart regular - he was a temp agency employee, probably desperate for the work. I know when I had to take that type of job during the holidays I was. I hated it, and I hated the people coming through. They were rude, nasty and mean animals.

My heart goes out to his friends and family. I think everyone in that crowd who stepped on him or pushed the people in front of them deserves to be charged as an accessory to murder. The store manager who was responsible for setting up the security and crowd control, as well as his being assigned there, should get the full murder rap.

Lesson: Stay home on "Black Friday". If you work retail, make sure you have armor between you and the great unwashed hordes. The life you save may be your own.
ravan: (Impeach Bush - lapislaz)
( Nov. 25th, 2008 09:53 am)
The last 8 years of disastrous Republican fiscal policy can be best described as Borrow and Spend

The next 8 or more years will have to be Tax and Repay.

People will whine about tax increases. But it's still fair - we allowed the Repugs to borrow against our future earnings, and the debt has come due. It's time for the nation to repay it.
Oh, my, gods! Palin Clothes Spending Has Dems Salivating, Republicans Disgusted, Palin Shopping Spree Legal? Yes, but Barely.

See Sarah "Imelda" Palin, again for my additional rant on the subject. I could come up with a nice wardrobe for much less, and it would last longer, too.

BTW, Obama’s suits are by Hart Schaffner Marx out of Chicago, and cost in the $1,500 range, which is reasonable for a quality men's suit.
ravan: (Impeach Bush - lapislaz)
( Oct. 1st, 2008 01:46 pm)
Where was Congress in 2002 when my credit was tanked, my unemployment was gone after 20 months out of work?

Where was my bailout on $30,000 in debt+penalties+interest??

You bastards didn't help me - instead you "reformed" bankruptcy to the wish list of the credit companies.

I sucked it up and dealt with it. I worked 12 hour days at a sucky company to get the money to pay my bills.

I had to bootstrap myself back to solvency. You greedy corporate bastards can do the same.

Let the sleaze banks fail.

Let Them Fail!! No Bailout!!

Call your Senators and Representatives - I have (the Senate phone lines are jammed - keep trying!)
ravan: by Ravan (Default)
( Sep. 29th, 2008 09:29 pm)
Wall Street is crashing, the stock-heads are wailing of doom.

I got two calls from headhunters today.

Somehow I get the felling that now the fat cats know that J. Q Taxpayer won't be their bitch, they might actually work out a solution to their own fuckups. Necessity, and fat cats wanting to keep their loot, will do wonders for our economy.

If it doesn't, well, a nice big dose of reality and re-regulation is in store for the jackals of finance.
ravan: by Ravan (Default)
( Jul. 29th, 2008 01:36 pm)
Well, isn't that ducky! Two more banks failed over the weekend, and FDIC hurriedly sold them to another bank. Don't see that on the headlines, do you?

But we are not in a "recession", oh, no. Our economy is still "growing". Nevermind that the dollar is taking a drubbing against the Euro, the Chinese are buying up US companies and selling us tainted crap (toys, toothpaste, pet food ingredients.) Oh, gee, lookeee, there's "job creation" - barristas and WalMart clerks, making minimum, hairdressers and other low paid service workers that soon will be unemployed again, because no one can afford their services except for the ultra rich who fund Republican campaigns.

I want to know who is getting that growth, because it aint me. I got the statement from one of my 401Ks yesterday, and it lost money even on a goddamn Bond fund.

No one can convince me that Republicans are good for the economy, or the country. Ever recent Republican presidency has heralded poor finacial stability and prolonged job loss or underemployment for me. Coincidence? Hardly. Yes, this includes saint Reagan and Bush I.

This, coupled with the jerk thinking he had a duty to shoot liberals, make me pretty sure that if McCain gets into office, we are all royally screwed.
The Republicans say we're having "Tough economic times", but it's "not a recession, the economy is strong and growing", yada, yada.

If that's the case, why are banks failing, and why are more predicted? Why is Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac having troubles, possibly needing a bailout? Why have my 401K's lost money for the last 3 quarters? (This is often a leading indicator of financial trauma, I've found.)

http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5gFzNrCs-LehvnfeVUnbMXkEN7t-wD91UDC682
http://www.latimes.com/news/printedition/front/la-fi-indymac15-2008jul15,0,4702660.story
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB121608077590852783.html?mod=googlenews_wsj
http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601103&sid=ar6r36.ft25A&refer=news
http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5ivh79tfxzU32POF3I6d9RM5FoxewD91UARFG0

George W Bush combines the worst aspects of Warren G Harding, (see this historical article), Calvin Coolidge (See this summary of depression events, including conservative scandals) and Richard M Nixon.

If McCain is elected, he will get the Calvin Coolidge role in history, as he brings the Bush-lite "deregulate and pray, tax the poor, subsidize the rich and the megacorporations", brand of conservatism that is proving once again to be a disaster.

My mattress is starting to look really financially sound right about now.
From Forbes - U.S. Poverty Rate Leveling Off
Four years into an economic recovery, the number of people living in poverty has finally stopped climbing.

Household incomes edged up slightly in 2005, but 37 million people were still living below the poverty line, about the same as the year before, the Census Bureau reported Tuesday.

It was the first year without an increase in poverty since 2000, just before President Bush took office.
This is good news? The bushies paint it like it's some great accomplishment by their abusive economic policies and deficit spending.

Gee, we've stopped going farther in the hole, and it only took 4 years of "recovery" to stop losing ground. I thought "recovery" was getting out of the hole.

The fact is, the high end jobs that are gone are gone forever, outsourced to places where child labor is rampant and unionization is potentially fatal, places where 10 people living in a single room shack with no indoor plumbing is the norm, not the exception. Yeah, the costs there are lower, because it doesn't take much to improve 100% from bare subsistence level.

That's our economic competition, folks. Aren't you proud of our corporatist government?
.

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