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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on November 3, 2012 11:19 PM. The previous post in this blog was It's never too late to mislead. The next post in this blog is Jiggle me chowder. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.



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Saturday, November 3, 2012

Are we there yet?

We enjoy politics, but the current election seems to have gone on forever. The last-minute bleating and shrieking are unbearable. We will be very happy 72 hours from now, when it will all be over and with any luck most of the results will be known.

Comments (11)

I have to admit, as one of those people who worries that we could be heading for a financial collapse - that it could be inevitable no matter who wins - it has been very unsettling to see the damage from Hurricane Sandy.

To me that looks like our possible future: No gas, food shortages, chaos, fights over water, no way to heat our homes.
Armed crowds roaming the streets after it's clear that help is not on the way.

If we are on the road to some post-America apocalypse movie, those scenes from Sandy will fit right in.

Bill: No gas, food shortages, chaos, fights over water, no way to heat our homes.
JK: That is the low carbon lifestyle the greenies want all of us to live. Just like parts of NYC are now living.

Bill: Armed crowds roaming the streets after it's clear that help is not on the way.
JK: Welcome to Al Gore's green future. (And the WWF, Sierra Club etc. - beyond coal, beyond natural gas lies chaos, not renewables.)


The problem with this last ten years is one word: derivatives. After Wall Street firms lobbied to have the rules changed allowing them to turn into casino gamblers, they, and the foreign bankers, proceeded to bet up a 600-trillion-dollar financial exposure. 600 trillion that's grown to 700 trillion since the crisis started.
We've spent everyday since just trying to keep it from unraveling.

The big concern was always what would happen if we actually had a real problem that needed a trillion dollars. Not an unnecessary war like Iraq. A real problem like a huge earthquake or hurricane or epidemic.

Would the trillions be available then? If just a fraction of these pointless Wall Street bets went bad, it would soak up the wealth of the nation. We would have to borrow as much as we could from other countries and put a huge tab on future generations just to maintain. And that's what happened.

By creating a risk that was 10 times the world economy, we placed ourselves in an impossible economic position. When things began going bad, the nightmare started - a nightmare we've been in ever since. That's why you hear of trillions flowing from the Fed without any real resolution of the problems. Everything is minor repairs - stopgap measures to keep the derivatives bubble from bursting. But how can we keep fixing this thing with our little trillion-dollar patches? The bubble is 10 times the size of Planet Earth.

That's where we are. It's why we don't have the money now to take care of real problems the way we should. We don't even take care of our veterans from Iraq correctly. What's that tell you? Instead, the world has turned to austerity measures, but they stand no chance of paying off the bad bets. All they are is a transition to what could be coming: A collapse.

What does a collapse look like? It's when you have an emergency so you call for help and nobody arrives. Heck, the phones don't even work. It's when your home is on fire but there's no fire department to respond. Some of the most unsettling pictures from Sandy involved homes on fire. In one spot called Breezy Point, 80 homes burned down. Did you ever think you'd see that in a populated area in America in 2012?

We've gone from foreclosures to foreshadowing. And now that a massive rebuilding effort is needed, you watch: The money will be extremely hard to come by. A hurricane is the ultimate rainy day, and we already spent our rainy day fund bailing out the crooks and gamblers on Wall Street.

One thing the people behind the derivatives scandal do not want, is the public figuring out what happened and focusing its anger where it really belongs. The American Public is furious because we know something really bad has happened, so there is an extensive propaganda campaign to direct the anger anywhere but at the bankers who are responsible.

Many Americans blame the whole thing on President Obama. Jim here blames it on the green carbon tax crowd. Some of it has been blamed on having to fight the war on terror - "a war that will not end in our lifetimes."

But the truth is that Wall Street and the financial industry took the world into this ugly place with derivatives. Turning Wall Street into a casino with no rules was the biggest mistake we've ever made. That's why we're in danger of collapsing, just as the Soviet Union imploded economically. Terrorism was a tiny threat to our national security compared to what Wall Street did to destroy our economic strength. We are losing control of our country, not because of some terrorist threat or some greenhouse tax, but because we are imploding economically.

Hurricane Sandy is a glimpse of what it could look like.

Bill: Armed crowds roaming the streets after it's clear that help is not on the way.
JK: Welcome to Al Gore's green future. (And the WWF, Sierra Club etc. - beyond coal, beyond natural gas lies chaos, not renewables.)

Pretty ironic to invoke Gore's name after Mahattan floods for the second time in as many years. I don't think it's the point you were trying to make, but you did so quite well. This is Al Gore's future, the one where the oceans reclaim the low lands and your problems go way beyond $5/gallon gas.

If the election is within a couple of points, then we'll look back on the current level of shrieking with nostalgia.

Moved to Montana in August. Effective Wednesday it will be interesting to see if anyone not named John Tester or Denny Rehberg (or their associates) actually advertises on local radio and television. I've never seen, nor heard, anything like it. It has gotten so bad I'll be happy for whoever wins, just so long as it is over.

Everything important about two-party politics is explained here:

The current election has gone on forever. I heard a report on NPR a couple or so weeks ago that said that "young people" are not nearly so interested in this election as they were the last. I figure that's because it's been going on most of their lifetimes; it's just background noise and hopeless. And probably full of sound and fury signifying nothing (to be done).

Very well said Bill. I do have to agree, but I put a large amount of the blame on my government. It's not the corporation's job to look after the prosperity of the nation. It's their job to make money, to petition the government, to be soulless. They behaved as expected, while the government failed to keep them in check.

Do I despise the behavior of the big banks? Yes, but without the collusion of our government it wouldn't have happened.

So how to fix it? Can it be fixed before it truly falls apart? Can we orchestrate a soft landing? I just don't know man.

Don't worry, on November 7 the recognized names of the losing party will start schmoozing up activists and precinct captains in Iowa and New Hampshire for 2016. Expect the "exploratory committees" to be formed by the end of 2013, with declarations right after the midterm elections of 2014.

People now start running for election / re-election immediately after the winner of the last election is declared.

(Checking in from a swing county in the swing state of Ohio, where I could bury a car in the amount of direct-mail election garbage I've received)


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In Vino Veritas

Lange, Pinot Gris 2015
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Cleto Charli, Lambrusco di Sorbara Secco, Vecchia Modena
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Edmunds St. John, Bone-Jolly Rosé 2016
Stoller, Pinot Noir Rosé 2016
Chehalem, Inox Chardonnay 2015
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L'Ecole No. 41, Merlot 2013
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Penda Diakité - I Lost My Tooth in Africa
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David Sedaris - Me Talk Pretty One Day
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Charles Larson - The Portland Murders
Adrian Wojnarowski - The Miracle of St. Anthony
William H. Colby - Long Goodbye
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Anthony Holden - Big Deal
Robert J. Spitzer - The Spirit of Leadership
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Road Work

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In 2008: 28
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In 2006: 100
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In 2004: 204
In 2003: 269

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