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Cruel September

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    This September has been cruel. We lost, through freak accident, a fine writer, and as of this posting to yet-unidentified causes, a fine filmmaker.

    The writer Keiko McDonald, Jan. 1, 1940 – Sept. 14, 2008

    The story is here

    The fimmaker Jun Ichikawa 1948-2008;

    Variety article here



    September continues to blow up.

    Autumn-particularly September, is usually, in my neck of the woods, a time of trees beginning to blush, and temperatures cooling off just enough to be “good sleeping weather”. Lawns and gardens get a last boost of green and lush growth. Roses that may have taken a rest in the sweltering heat of August may put out a last show of luxuriant color and scent-a last mad swoon before the long sleep of winter. Apples are ready, and in apple-growing country like ours, we inhale the rich scent of earth and apple and cider and doughnuts and spend weekends picking bushels of our favorite vairetals-winesap, empire, gala and all the rest-each with a special purpose, flaovor and scent. School is back, and suddenly, the former summer de-populated world kicks up a notch-the university campus is crowded with bright young faces, and the crabbed old professors can be seen slogging between buildings for the first time in months. Flyers are posted for Homecoming Kings and Queens, the university gallery puts on some edgy new shows, our study abroad students from across the pond land on this side of the world, and we welcome them to our university and our country.

    But what country are we welcoming them to? What the heck is this September about? Bank crisis after crisis-failed bailout plans, infighting, republican and democratic factions struggling for supremeacy, and the presidential debates in question while this all plays out.

    This is a September that is, in some ways, nearly as traumatic as that in 2001 when September 11 set into motion a series of reactions that have compounded the evil of this hour. And, isn’t this the kicker: we Americans have done this to ourselves.



    cocoskyavitch wrote 5 hours ago:

    we Americans have done this to ourselves.

    Yes, personal responsibility has become a foreign concept now-of-days, despite being the very building blocks America was created with.

    Somehow people, have come to the conclusion the government is not only responsible for their errors, but has a duty to cure them.

    Dependency of government, has killed countries, and currently bleeding ours. It is us, that allowed this to happen, and only us that can repair the wounds-not Washington.

    I say burn the life boats, and let people drown. Only then will they learn to swim.

    And when everyone learns to swim, we can go back to enjoying the Autumns of old.



    Jeremy, I don’t know if, in this case, it is our dependency on government or govenment’s dependency on “corporate sponsors”-in Annie Leonard’s The story of Stuff she has the cartoon of American Government polishing hte shoes of big business: http://www.storyofstuff.com/

    This is a failure of government, of business, of individuals. Everyone is frightened that if we let the culprits drown, they pull us all under-that everything collapses. You already know that-your “burn the lifeboats” alternative is pretty appealing, I admit.

    Funny thing is, we just get to watch in horror. The decisions that will affect the US for the next quarter century are being made now, and we’ve got no role to play except as passive victims of the errors made by government and business, crossing our fingers that whatever is done works and doesn’t make things ever more dire.



    It is indeed a failure of many things, and while business share a deal of blame, along with the government ignoring their greedy actions. It is the people that signed the contracts, that didnt educate themselves, and thought there was such thing as a free lunch-or more closer- a free 5 course dinner.

    I have no pity for the people, that where buying houses 3-4 times outside their range, then getting loans for 105%-110% because they didnt even have the money to pay for closing cost or down payment.

    Sure the banks shouldn’t of trick people by presenting cons that allowed $500,000 house, to have the same payments as a $150,000 house, but who the hell signed the contract and was blinded by greed?

    Let’s not blame the free market, but instead stupid people.

    Everyone is attached, and no doubt if you let culprits drown, they will bring everyone with them. Yet, those who are responsible, have lived within their means, and have educated themselves, will in time swim back up and I would argue only suffer slightly before the great reemerge.

    Such collapses are temporary, but tossing $700 billion dollars of tax payer money, in the fire will only punishing the responsible, reward only the irresponsible, and cause the dollar to sink more and more. And right now, China only needs a few more American errors, to come out the world’s economic power, and Japan is simply waiting to consume up more U.S. banks.



    China is already the majority holder of US mortgages…and, this is funny: I just bought my mom a condo and the mortgage holder is Deutsche Bank-evidently the bankrupt Indy Mac bank (remember-they were the first to fold) was the original holder of the property in foreclosure.

    I’ll tell ya what, Jeremy, your’re right about individual responsibility. You probably pay your taxes, your mortagage (if you have one) and it kinda leaves you (and me) holding the bag for everyone who defaulted. Let me tell ya how it boils down, here: I have about five deadbeats in my condo association. They’re not paying their taxes, their association fees or their mortgages. In other words, they are living rent-free off the rest of us! I will be part of the bazillions in bailout money, and currently, they raised our association fees because of all the deadbeats not paying their fair share. That means I am paying my neighbor’s water bill, insurance for structural, maintenance, landscaping, exterior lighting, water and sewage (all part of the assoc. fee).

    So, how am I supposed to greet my neighbors nicely? Yes, the blame goes to the individual, the bank and the government. Everybody sucks. Go to a mortgage site today and plug in the numbers and you’ll see several that give quotes without including the property taxes in the estimation. I know it seems impossible that there are those who don’t understand that they are responsible for those taxes in escrow when they do not have a down-payment, but, it’s true! People underestimate the cost of living-then got whalloped with rising food and gas bills. So, the mortgage banks did a little sleight-of-hand and downright deception.

    The government was busy in Iraq-what the hell did they care about any of this? The housing industry seemed to be propping up the economy. I have Business Week magazines from before the fall-and it’s hilarious how bright and sunny it all looked. The government drank the cool-aid and did not look out for the inevitable bust.

    I’m pretty crabby about this whole mess. Our government is junk-and not just in terms of economic policy-this whole situation is surreal, bewildering, infuriating.



    It’s good to be crabby, it’s the sitting back and drinking Kool-Aid that brought the mess. Certainly the government is trash, but, still, I claim the citizens the worst offenders, a scare, weak and stupid bunch, it us that fear to question, fear to stand, fear to knock down the doors of government and smash things up.

    Have you seen this? Not posting it up for any specfic reason, and I dont quite find it 100%, but a great video none-the-less(I like the music 😆 ). It at the very least should piss you off. And pissed off citizens is something America sorely lacks.




    I took a look at the vid, but placing all the blame at the Dem’s feet is…well, not exactly gonna fly with me. I’m not a big fan of partisan politics. I think politics are the RASHOMON EFFECT in action-everyone sees a guy killed but everyone comes to a different conclusion about how he died. That’s why politics are crap-because human beings are so deeply flawed.

    There’s plenty of blame to go around-(fueled by greed-people are at their worst). Let’s remind ourselves that we had a Republican Congress and White House throughout most of the last 8 years…Both Dems and Republicans are culpable, narrow-visioned, power-hungry, partisan, selfish, out-of-touch.

    I remember the last woman to buy a condo in our place in 2004 (she’s now in foreclosure) paid $35,000 more than those folks who bought two years earlier. Right after that, the housing market collapsed, and our condos are worth about $55,000 less than she paid. I still don’t want to pay her water bill, sewage, maintenance, insurance, landscaping, and in winter-snow removal. But, I get how she got stuck. The interest rates were so low it seemed crazy not to buy-everyone else was! And houses had never gone through a bust. Houses always increased in value, historically. I feel particularly bad for the Director of our program, who is planning on retiring in December. His TIAA-Cref is decimated, his home worth so much less-it’s just about the worst time to retire imaginable. And, there are plenty in that same boat. They haven’t done anything wrong-still, they’re getting screwed. All these folks who counted on their home equity-planning to downsize in retirement-may be totally stuck.

    I know that I, personally, was looking for a house for my mother (she needs a one-floor handicap accessible ranch style space) during that inflated-home-value period and would go through homes that were absolute garbage, and I would think, “I’m supposed to pay $255,000 for this piece of crap?” And the property taxes…oh, don’t get me started!

    Allright, deep breath. Looks like a modified bailout goes through, and looks like, once again, the idiots in government will be involved in economics they don’t even understand. Yay for us.


    Vili Maunula

    I agree with Coco, the video seemed quite one-sided. I also found it far too fast to follow, giving the impression that it didn’t actually want us to read the various quotes and/or the context in which they were originally written.

    But politics is far from being my thing, economics even less so, so I won’t comment further. Except for saying that I personally fully agree with Coco in that party politics is, to use the technical term, crap.



    Lets hope October is a little better than September. I’ve hardly done any work I’ve been so fascinated by watching history made in real time. Emotions have been mixed to put it mildly – delight in watching such arrogant tossers made to eat humble pie, but despair at how much damage it will do to us all. And I don’t think we’ve seen the worst yet.

    As for that youtube link – its economically illiterate I’m afraid. A crude attempt to blame the whole thing on a policy that was designed to prevent ‘red-lining’ (the unofficial blacklisting of minority areas for mortgages and loans). CRA loans never accounted for more than 20% of mortgage lending for lower income users – all the worst offenders in ‘liar loans’ and subprimes were the unregulated sector. There is a very good discussion about it by Sara Robinson.



    The video is one sided, but I wasnt intending it to point to my one side, although by the mere posting of it, it sort of shows my pick. Anyways, it was more to show one thing, take out McCain and Obama and you’re left with just government-what this coverstation is about.

    So, it’s not so much who it’s pointing the finger at, then notion that the government offering cheap housing, doesnt work, or more the government entering into arenas it has no business in, doesnt work.

    Anytime the government offers a “free lunch”, your going to have more takers, then providers, and so bubble is created to keep up with demand, and more and more tricks are made to allow the takers to take, despite having no providers to provide.

    The more demand for houses, the more the value increases, but if it does so faster then the dollar inflation.The people are having to continually stretch the dollar to get by. Then add in banks, that in someways had to, but still largely tricked people in temporary being able to afford what they cant, you create such a huge separation in between the all regulating dollar and the insanely, falsely worthy houses.

    The government created a stimuli to buy, and to buy without question because everyone was doing it, and everyone can do it. And that is the problem.

    While there are some innocent victims, that literally had to pay too much for a house, just to get a house that was worthy of living in.

    Still, even if you bought a house, now worth much less then you paid for, but you still bought a house within you’re means, even if forced to slightly stretch, a temporary drop is not going to hurt you.

    The house isnt going anyway, it’s value it only going back to where it should of been, had the government not free lunched the market. Within time, the value will go back up, and those that were smart enough to wait(granted some couldnt wait) will now be able to pick up once expensive houses for a fair value, and within time be sitting on a gold mine, as the economy resurfaces and the house value goes back up in the normal rate.

    The point is, anytime the government decides to offer a necessity, be it housing, health care, education, etc. they have to provide it so cheap the poor can take advantage of it. So the poor get their lunch for free, and the taxer payer is having to cover it. But! Then you bundle in the tax payer getting greedy and waiting something for free too(which who can really blame them-it’s not fare to give and never take).

    You now have one less tax payer providing, and now taking. Give it enough time, and you have very little providers and all takers. Then market collapse.

    Do this in several arenas, for a long enough time, and empires collapse, and so has been seen throughout history.

    So you have to ask yourself, do you want a government with more power, giving stuff away, and therefor creating a citizen dependency or a government that does very little, and tells citizens to take care of themselves.

    Both are with flaws, but one leaves only good hard working people free from dependency, and one breeds poor, dependent people.

    I say ask a Cuban that fled, to see what they prefer or even some old USSR refugee.



    Hey, Jeremy, looks like the Senate takes the bill to the House next…so the bailout saga continues. No, I am definately not convinced the bailout is necessary or adviseable. You make a lot of strong points, so let me indulge in one last “Cruel September” post even though it is October:

    You said,

    “So you have to ask yourself, do you want a government with more power, giving stuff away, and therefor creating a citizen dependency or a government that does very little, and tells citizens to take care of themselves.”

    I’m just gonna say that I want neither! It is a romantic notion (and a very American one) to think that citizens should take care of themselves, and the country is stronger for it (the individual leads to the aggregate strength). But, that doesn’t account for those unable to care for themselves (the sick, poor, mentally/emotionally/physically impaired, the elderly). The government (which should be “our representatives”) has the responsibility to provide safety nets for those who cannot fend for themselves. And, government has the responsibility to reign in the wilder effects of capitalism-we don’t want our milk supplies tainted with melamine because the milk producers make a better profit if there is less milk in the milk, and more chemical waste. And, I think the government had a responsibility to watch the shop when the banks went hog-wild in lending. Government regulations, while maybe odious, are necessary to safeguard the people-we see what happens without them.

    I think many European countries find a balance, in social democracies that provide the important social safety nets, while distributing wealth a bit more evenly. Handouts don’t work-and I am not suggesting that they do-but regulation is necessary, and social safety nets are necessary to account for the reality that the world is not a nice place, and not everyone means well.

    You said,

    “The point is, anytime the government decides to offer a necessity, be it housing, health care, education, etc. they have to provide it so cheap the poor can take advantage of it. So the poor get their lunch for free, and the taxer payer is having to cover it. “

    The taxpayer is already paying for the poor not having health care in exhorbitant premiums! I think government will, by necessity, be forced to step in. It’s ridiculous and embarassing to even discuss health care in this forum, knowing that folks like Vili and Ugetsu are from countries that believe that health care is a right for all citizens. America is so full of crap in so many ways…what…we are gonna leave the sickly kid on the mountaintop to die? Are we Spartans? Who are we kidding? We are paying for the poor anyway!



    I dont got the answers, indeed no regulation creates many problems, and while I agree some is necessary, the allowance of regulations allows government to grow larger and thus ease of corruption. A large government, a overseer, goes against every foundation of America, and weakens the citizens. Such foundations, shouldn’t be tossed at the slightest hint of trouble. Doing so, will allow America’s downfall, such things can be seen in the UK’s loss of global position, when citizens gave up so much, allowed the government to grow unstopped, just because things got a little rough. China, Japan and Russia are only held back by America, and I dont care to see any of those countries in control of the world.

    I dont want to get into European ideals versus American (Vili, has already suffered my rambling rants via emails in the past), but I would contend that Europe has found a better balance in many areas, because they dont face the global stabilization issues of America. If America becomes European in a sense, a great void is created. And, as I said China, Japan, and Russia will gladly fill it-stabilization doesnt seem to be one of their concerns.

    While leaving some kid to die, isnt right, I still dont find it the government’s direct responsibility to take care of the sick and poor.

    Forcing people that have their own worries, to now pay for others, isnt right either. Taxpayers are already contributing to society, why make them pay for those that give nothing in return?

    Allow the churches, organization, and good willed people to take care of them, and then the government allow tax breaks to them in return, but don’t force people to take care of others.

    If we didnt have this already semi-forced, taking care of others, we would havent people unable to afford privatized health care. It’s the abuse by the poor, that raise the prices for the middle class to the point the middle class can’t get help, but are still paying for the poor.

    Sure it’s embarrassing in many regards, America without government health care, comes off cold. Should we suffer, just to gain European popularity?

    America will always be the hated and misunderstood country-I’m fine with that.

    Not to say I dont care about sick people, especially kids(poor I simply dont), I’ve been though the halls of MD Anderson(I believe 2nd largest cancer center in the world?) here in Houston, it’s very sad indeed.

    They do deserve aid, but unless their is some filtering system that aids only a select deserving few, then I would still have to hold, at no government health care as the best for the greater. However to select, who basically lives or dies, is a whole mess of problems, I dare not enter. My thinking is flawed no doubt about it, but so is hand outs without question. Still, one saves the greater, and one hurts.



    I understand and agree with your frustration. It just blows my mind that Germany, for example, does health care better than we do. All citizens are covered, and the quality is excellent. It makes me so angry that we cannot do as well.

    But, I confess that I do not really have solutions-this is a problem on a truly enormous scale. It’s just that we actually are paying for health care for the poor (in premiums and in higher costs because the poor get treatment but do not pay). But, it sure isn’t working!

    I guess this forum isn’t the place to discuss all this…(I hope Vili isn’t gona whack us. ) but I do appreciate you allowing me to vent a little, Jeremy. Bless you for tolerating rants, and for even contributing your perspective. These are historic times, and to pretend that they don’t exist is silly. I am a geeky film buff, but I’m also aware that this particular moment is historically significant. So, thanks for putting up with me. I’m watching the debate tonite!



    This is indeed perhaps the most important election, in recent history.

    The debates tonight, could be historic–I’m excited.


    Vili Maunula

    cocoskyavitch: I hope Vili isn’t gona whack us.

    I don’t mind political debate as long as it is polite and civilized (as it has been here), and I am not expected to take part in it. 😉



    Thanks, Vili. This collapse of the American economy, and the upcoming historic election…well, it’s big stuff for us. And, of course, Europe feels something, too. I note stock markets in Asia and Europe are down over the weekend.

    Well, speaking of the election-I’m going to a rally at 3:00 this afternoon-a free concert with Bruce Springsteen! There will be about 5,000 people there. The tickets were gone within a few hours of the announcement of their availability. Jeremy, you won’t like this- Springsteen supports Obama-but it’s a rally to get students to register to vote-and that’s good, right? I hear that some of the Southern, conservative Christian colleges are suspending classes for November 2 so that students can vote.

    Jeremy, September is long gone, now, but we are still reeling from the banking crisis and “resolution”- the first, last and only Vice-presidential debate is over (the pundits spent all weekend dissecting-most commentators agree that one had to admire both candidates for staying on target-and that if you liked Palin before, you loved her now, and if you liked Biden before, you thought he won hands down-a debate that didn’t change many minds, but reinforced the good qualities of each candidate).

    I am gonna have to give SNL’s Tina Fey a shout out for rocking the impression, though. She is freaking hilarious. I was listening to NPR while spackling walls and painting this weekend, and they did a breakdown of impressions of political personalities over the years. I was reminded of the “Tricky Dick” impressions of Nixon, of Chevy Chase’s falling-down, bumbling Ford. SNL seems to have had the corner on the presidential impressions in recent history-I guess we don’t have variety shows and professional impressionists in the media much anymore except for that particular venue.

    Well, I have been nervous about this “bailout” and this morning, in a pre-coffee haze, turned on the news and heard, “Didn’t cross the t’s and dot the i’s-” and I had this panic attack thinking they were referring to the bailout-and that it now was collapsing the market even faster than if nothing had been done due to lack of oversight and planning-

    It happened to be a rehash of the Lehmann Brothers failure in sub-prime lending-but, it shook me for a minute. You think the bailout will stabilize the economy? Europe and Asia are looking pretty jittery!



    What celebrity isn’t a liberal-Obama supporter?

    Other then the great Ted Nugent. Which by the way, offered one of the best interviews with CNN’s only non-commie-Glenn Beck I ever witnessed-not even counting all the great stuff he mentioned about how prefect Texas is compared to the rest of the US and his love of our Governor Rick Perry. 😆

    Springsteen, only to get people to vote? Right 🙂

    Michigan just so happens to be one of the most important states, and so happens to have Obama stepping up efforts there.

    Palin jokes are getting rather old, really there not even jokes anymore but just plain attacks. Obama of course only gets treated like he is the second coming of christ, the man can do no wrong. Obama can attack McCain and Palin without fear, and without pure facts, but when Palin or McCain mention anything about Obama all with complete facts(they have to or will be further attacked) they are attack by the media for playing “dirty politics”. Which makes impossible for the Republicans to ever bring up the most important issue of this election- Obama loosely hidden socialist agenda. For if they did, they would get blasted, with being paranoid, of pushing negative propaganda, further hurting their campaign.

    Really, I wish the Republican would just tell people to check the facts and research for themselves. I suppose they know no one would do it anyways, but it allows the Democrats to lie, maintain protection by media, and the Republicans even when using truths to be attacked no matter what.

    The bailout makes no sense to me, rejected because it was too much, but the second time, they ask for even more money and it gets approved. Then it’s to be distributed in way that reduces its value.

    Plus you California practically broke-which came as no surprise to me, it is after all the the most liberal state in the US. 😉

    I really dont know what this bail out will really do, and it appears no one does either.

    Europe is having a bit of problems, and Germany is having similar ordeals as America. With Germany considering looking after only themselves and blowing off the EU shield. The thing is, if Germany wises up, that giving but getting nothing back is a system of failure- and stops. And America tightens up internally, having to ignore some outside manners, especially if McCain gets elected -Europe is largely screwed.

    As for Asia, well they will can right now bounce back from anything.

    I dont know where I’m going with any of this, so I’ll stop and continue to relax knowing Texas is the most republic forefather ideal ran state, and as history has shown, will go largely unaffected by a bad economy.


    Vili Maunula

    Coco: Springsteen supports Obama-but it’s a rally to get students to register to vote-and that’s good, right?

    Personally, I think that it is anything but good. To put it shortly, when it comes to important decisions I would rather have three individuals with highly informed opinions making those decisions than 300 million people with no idea of what they are doing. But maybe that’s just me.

    All these campaigns to get people to vote seem to me just another facet of party politics. As far as I can see, it’s far less about how many of the so-called “enemy” you can convince with your message, and far more about how many of your own you can mobilise.

    But as I said before, I know next to nothing about these things. 🙂



    Seems Europe is in far more trouble then I first understood, it’s hard to believe the Euro is now worth less then the Dollar. If Germany ignores the EU protection plan, this may encourage France to do the same(since they will be needed to fill in Germany’s place). So if the Euro continues to losing value, the great EU bound will be broken, and whole mess of problems will go down. Japan too seems to be barely holding on with the Yen, but they will likely be the last to have serious problems-there’s just too much disposable income among their people. However that comes from America and Europe.

    Then the American bail out is likely to do absolutely nothing, and only require even more money. Not surprising the government is unaware that there is no money. You also got both candidates, preaching how the people will get this and that, but never mention where exactly this money will be coming from-again America is seriously out of money.

    Whoever wins, there will be at least 4 years of rough waters, there is no choice but to raise cost of living for the same amount of time, things were so easy and which created this mess.

    The government is too willing to print up money that has no true value and the bail out(s) will show how truly worthless the dollar is.

    The dollar and all the investments tied to it will be worth far less then it is now, very soon. And the far less part, will be far less then far less has ever meant.

    The only wise investment is gold-currently rather cheap at $850 an ounce, I would expect that value to explode, as the dollar looses power. Just right now, for some weird, and what appears to be unexplainable reason the dollar has gone up a bit-that wont last.

    Having an unstable world power, is very dangerous, America should never be in this position, it is and unfortunately Russia, has been sitting around waiting for such a thing to happen. Nobody appear to know just how bad America really is, but this is still just the first stages. 1929 and 1930 werent all that bad considering, but it was the action that took place in those year that made the great depression.

    Though history has shown America to do a bunch of wrong things, before doing the right things to fix it’s problem. So we will likely come back, just the wrong moves will be costly, and mustn’t ignore there is a handful of not so nice countries that will gain from our fall and couldnt very possibly push America out of top position.

    All I got to say is, the person with lots food and cigarettes, and the weaponry to protect them will be god. Shit is about to hit the fan.

    I wish this was a paranoia rant, but likely not. Although I been watching a lot of Glenn Beck-but I always consider him very level headed. 😆

    Anyways back to less doom.

    As I mentioned the media never talks bad about Obama. As we know SNL has had done a lot of bashing of Palin, and McCain, but never Obama.

    Well last week they made fun a small bit about the Democrats.

    Not surprising the video has been removed from their website, and the comments asking about it, have been deleted.


    Just funny-that’s all.

    I do look forward to the upcoming debates. McCain has been playing too nice, taking hits from Obama but never hitting back. I also wonder why. Appears the Republicans were just waiting, as Obama campaign is getting less and less funds, and the McCain is setting new highs, I think now they will attack while Obama is down- and there is lots to attack-lots.

    Perhaps it was wise to play nice, when Obama was the new kid and everyone couldnt wait to give him money. Luckily the more he talks, and more people learn, they will see Obama being the worst thing for America-ever. Allowing Republican words to be heard.

    Of course McCain is still going to kill the country, but a much slower speed-with chances to come back up again. Obama just plans to kick a dead horse-and give freebies despite having no bloody money. They both suck really.



    Jeremy, I just want to say that I actually think the SNL impressions of Palin make me like her quite a bit. I don’t get people who dislike her personality. And, as you know, it’s far harder to make fun of Obama because of the race issue. There- I said it. The press and media are scared witless about being perceived of as racist. But, I also think that Obama is in the lead by a growing margin-due to most folks seeing the economic crisis as a result of Republican administrative decisons. Even if this is not quite 100% true-that’s the sentiment.

    Listen, I think we both want America back. Things are so totally messed up, and this is so far-reaching, it’s really inconceivable. Neither you nor I lived through the Great Depression (I think) but this is just as big a deal-and bigger-because it has international repercussions.

    Vili, I don’t believe in philosopher kings (they’re still tyrants), and mob rule is the other end of democracy. Politics are inherently troubling-just like humanity itself. The rally was amazing and inspiring, and probably wouldn’t have happened if McCain had pulled out of Michigan earlier. But, it was still a battleground state at the time the concert was planned. And I have some sweet pics of the boss.

    Springsteen said, “My whole career has been about the American Dream and the distance from that dream that is the American Reality”. He said, “The distance has never been as far as it is right now. I want my country back.”

    Whether or not you agree with his political leanings, I agree with his sentiment.

    Vili, it may reassure you to know that there were lots of people who were there just to see Springsteen, and some of them even had, like Ralph Nader buttons and stuff…(Ralph Nader!!!! Yikes.) Most of the attendees were already registered..but they did register others-and that’s a good thing. People should participate. It is, in fact their duty to vote. Even though politics are inherently dirty and disgusting and partisan.



    I just wanted to fix a error on my part. The Euro is not worth less then the Dollar, but rather I intended, the Euro is worth less against the dollar. The Euro still holds a higher value, but that difference has gotten much smaller then ever before, then factor in the loss of value in the Dollar-the Euro that had very hard hit, and dropped faster then the Dollar-if although still a bit higher in value.

    1 Euro sits around $1.30, while in the past it was closer to $1.60+ and that was when the dollar had more worth, then it does now due to the bail out.


    Vili Maunula

    Jeremy: 1 Euro sits around $1.30, while in the past it was closer to $1.60+ and that was when the dollar had more worth, then it does now due to the bail out.

    Indeed, it’s been coming down a little bit. Too bad, I had just got accustomed to ordering everything from Amazon.com. Everyone’s got to do their share for America, you know! 😉

    I do remember though when the Euro first broke the one dollar line. This, I think, was back in 2002. Or so I seem to remember. Whenever it was, it felt bizarre.



    Vili, you’re right. I remember when the Euro was first introduced, and how much better the rate was in the beginning-when it first crept up over $1 I was bummed (you know it’s my job to take students to Europe and show them around the place-and every summer dealing with Deutschmarks, Francs, Kroner, Pounds, Schillings, etc. made for some tough conversion calculations. Then came the Euro-what a blessing! So easy. Yes, those Brits insisted on keeping the pound, and Ireland wasn’t yet on the Euro, and Czech Republic still has its Kroner, but generally life was much better for me, and the rate was 98 cents to the Euro that first summer. Blessed days!).

    Today is a rough day for world markets. Asia has shaky knees, and London just did a major bailout. America stumbles and the world does, too, I guess.

    Jeremy I think our government has made a horrible mistake-we should have insisted on buying stock in the banks like London did yesterday-rather than taking over these toxic mortgages.

    And, didja hear about he AIG exec who got a 15 mil golden parachute, and the top tier that took a week at a spa with our (your tax dollars and mine) for something like $400,000 after the bailout? It’s gonna be like Mad Max if things aren’t resolved soon. I’m buying a dune buggy.

    I guess the last comment I want to make is that big government is not a good idea, but that was a load of garbage we’ve been fed about deregulation. Don’t drink the Kool-aid, Jeremy. People are greedy and some are viciously greedy, and trusting business to do the right thing is the load of bull that got us into this mess. Had there been restrictions on lending practice, we wouldn’t be in this situation.

    I know we can say it was under Clinton that the modernization act was passed-(but let’s not forget it was a bill introduced by Graham-McCain’s former financial advisor) the one that created the monster that was Enron and the first rolling blackouts in California since WWII. And that it also created the free market that allowed toxic mortgages and predatory lending practices to go without question, without a leash until this moment.



    Bruce pic:


    Bruce did 8 songs, only one of them one of his big hits (“Thunder Road”). He did “Used Cars,” an obscure song from his 1982 “Nebraska” — and it’s reference to “Michigan Avenue” was a hit here in Ypsilanti. The crowd roared!

    Bruce also said “Ypsilanti, glad to be here. Don’t know how to spell it but glad to be here!” It was a pretty good show!


    Vili Maunula

    Coco: you know it’s my job to take students to Europe and show them around the place

    I want your job, Coco! 😆

    Thanks for the photo link, but it asks me to log in and I don’t have a Facebook account (yes I know, I’m the last one on Earth without one).

    By the way, I just noticed that a recording of the Springsteen concert was made available at Dimeadozen.org, in case you are interested. You need to register and know about Torrents though to download it.



    Well, coco, I got to be really firm on that free-market and deregulation are not the problem.

    If such is true, Europe would not be facing our exact problems.

    Such thinking, is what Obama is throwing at people to allow him to install a large government and his dream of socialism.

    For Obama the America dream has now become the America promise.

    It’s that, that has cause our problems. It’s the big government installs, that promise poor people equality, and ignoring to cost of doing so.

    In the 50’s during America great incline, people where getting house when they were in their mid 30’s, and putting down 30%.

    Now it anybody, even with no job, and putting down 0% getting into house-this is what killed us. Greedy people, spawned by big government desire to create dependence.

    And that is what happened, the people that got a house for more or less free, are now completely dependent on government aid.

    There has been no long term successful large government country-ever.

    Beware the man, that is preaching Karl Marx.

    The problem right now, is poor people and middle class people that think, somehow they are owned the American dream-on top of Obama telling it is so.

    When it comes to the poor and entitled thinking middle class, they will follow Jesus or Hitler in hope of getting a bite of the carrot being dangled in front of them.

    That’s dangerous and That is the Kool-Aid.

    I assure you, I’m under no illusion.

    Small government and low regulation is what build America, it why America was even founded in the first place, people in Britain found out big government doesnt work.

    Dont toss out American ideals, because some guy tells you the government owes you. Obama cant eve explain where the money to give to peope will come from. The US is broke. This is fact.

    If you feel the government owes you something, it because they have taking something from you.

    Small government takes a fair and small amount

    The America Dream is being free and unbounded by government-from this it allows prosperity. The America Dream is not being a bum and expecting hand outs.

    Another point, is government runs around 33% fraud, just relaxing of regulation money in the government comes from that they are large and money is virtually endless. Large corporations operate at less then 3% fraud, money is highly regulated, as it must be to survive.

    The larger the government, the less it has to worry about how money is spent, the people are too weak to do anything about. Then enters large scale corruption.

    Obama’s socialism, in America’s current power and wealth, will easily lead to totalitarianism. Cuba, USSR, China, WWII Germany are all prime examples, only they were stunted, by America or a decline in wealth. America will not be so lucky.

    Another issues Obama plan to cut taxes on the poor, fails to mention that 40% of people that fall into Obama’s tax cut, pay 0% in taxes already. Under Obama ideals, they will be getting a check every year from the government for doing nothing. Nothing! Obama rewards dependence, and punishes success with large taxes.

    How long do you think, your hand outs will last? Soon most middle class will be poor as they are bleed.

    Oh, I assure you, Obama ideals of equality will happen. Just prepare to be entirely dependent on government, and watch as it grows, watch as they install Marxism.

    This is no republican party Kool-Aid, and this is not just my paranoia.

    It’s a wide spread acceptance to what will happen, just people that blindly follow Obama fail to see it and the Obama loving press ignore it.

    There only 2-3 states with the power to fight off a Marxist government. Texas is one, and they have threaten separation in the past, having the weaponry and money to do so. States like yours, stand no chance.

    I know I being a bit brute, and I dont want to cause any hatred between us. I just ask you research Obama ideals against socialism and Marxism. If you still think Obama is right, I not going to try to change you then.



    cocoskyavitch wrote 11 hours ago: mess. Had there been restrictions on lending practice, we wouldn’t be in this situation.

    Not to beat a dead horse, but it was the government that made free-market companies give out the loans. The government would force fines and lawsuits, if they werent approving enough poor people.

    No free-market company would ever give willingly a loan to someone that couldnt pay it back. But the government forced them, and then rewarded them for doing it. This is where greed and corruption first started.

    I know about AIG and the spa retreat-but who gave them the money?

    Free-market citizens didnt-government did-well a government that stole the money from citizens.

    It was the government regulations that made this happen, McCain tried to deregulated, so free-market would go back to free-market ways, meaning you dont give people with no money, loans.



    Jeremy, I’m not going to be angy with you. It’s pretty clear that we come from opposite sides of the fence in terms of our concepts of government. You usually are able to make your positions clear, and substantiate your claims. So, it’s unlikely that I will ever lose my respect for you ( Besides, I have a lot of admiration for the kind of visual thinking you exhibit in your analysis of film-you achieve real brilliance when you’re “on”-and I have learned a lot from the your approach!). So, take the following as not really disputing your points, but as a general statement of my feelings about power, government, politics, and social agendas. Read it as you would any generic rant.

    As I may have mentioned, politics make me puke. They’re dirty and creepy, and politicians are basically creeps, too. I cannot trust anyone who smiles when you know that they feel like punching you in the gut. The first requirement to be a politician is to possess the ability to dissemble. But to really succeed in poliotics, you must posess the second requirement which is to be able to screw your own sister on camera while denying it, and get 51% of the people to agree that it never happened.

    I don’t think Obama is the saviour.

    I really do have socialist leanings. Not so much big-government leanings, but definite social progressive leanings. I do think we would benefit from some ideas that have worked in Europe. We don’t have to reinvent the freaking wheel.

    The free market is not god. Not all people are good. One plus one equals need for regulation. Listen, after the bailout, the guy from AIG that they fired was given the 15 million. AIG could have used the money to balance their books, but no. Don’t tell me the free market is anything but corrupt to the bone. What, they put a gun to his head and said “buy yourself a golden parachute”?

    Jeremy you said:

    Obama rewards dependence, and punishes success with large taxes.

    How much freaking money are you making a year? Or, are you hoping one day your ship will come in? Or, perhaps you haven’t been paying attention-the middle class already is pinched! My property taxes have nearly tripled in the last seven years, I am paying more at the pump-at one point it was doubled, more for food, and my salary has flatlined-in fact, we’ve been asked to contribute to our health care, and even parking freaking stickers to park at the university (insult to injury)-so we’ve seen a net loss in salary over the last couple of years. Who in the freaking world are you protecting? I’m sorry, but I work in a beauracracy, and I know for a fact that some people are overpaid. What’s wrong with salary caps, and taxing the richest? (OOOOH taboo!) This Darwinian survival of the fittest marketplace makes the creepiest, slimiest, bloodsuckers rise to the top and once there, they suck the life out of those below. How do we ask single mothers to make yet one more scarifice? Are you freaking kidding me? I have the terminal degree in my field, I think I have an interesting job (at least that’s what people tell me) but my salary has flatlined, there is no possibility of advancement, and my colleagues salaries have flatlined. And, now I have the financial burden/responsibility of caring for my elderly mother. What world do you live in where only the good succeed? What world do you live in that doesn’t make accommodation for the sick, the elderly, the mentally impaired? What world do you live in where the guy at the top is always deserving? ( Our university fired our last two presidents-I have a very jaundiced view of power! I’ve never seen bigger idiots than these guys…oh, wait, the US president…). I live in a world where Bush is still president- I’ve watched in horror the last eight years, and felt a sickness in the pit of my stomach as things went farther and farther off course. The basic selfishness of the American concept of individualism has brought us to this pass. We need a fundamental change in focus. A couple of miles from my office are the steps of U of M where Kennedy gave his speech and the Peace Corps was founded. Where Americans were given this challenge, “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country”.

    Individualism, free-market economy, the inherent wisdom of selfishness. These are basic tenets of capitalism that have not been questioned. And, what? Are we under some amnesiac anti-historical illusion that these are the truths America was founded on? These Reagan-era “truths” have ricocheted us into a country where the gap between the richest and is poorest wider than ever. How the hell can this be a good thing?

    Naw, all politicians suck. The free market is also a pack of crap that exploits the poor, and I have no faith in it, and I don’t buy in to any of these precepts. Things are going to get bumpier and uglier.



    Vili, thanks for the Springsteen link. (Sorry you can’t Facebook…I wasn’t sure whether or not the pics gallery was open to all…and I myself am pretty resistant to any more online logins!)

    When he sang “This Land is your Land” (the Woody Guthrie song) American hearts got a little sentimental…while at the same time realizing that we were standing on Huron land (Native American first nation land). There is something so raw in Springsteen’s voice, now, that has a sense of remorse, of lost hopes and dashed dreams…that feels particularly appropriate in this particular autumn of our discontent.



    Here’s Bruce on our university site: http://www.emich.edu/video/



    I certainly dont want to create any animosity, despite our differences. And we do share the same thoughts on the horrid nature of politicians.

    And not to get all mushy, but I find your movie opinions, fantastic, plus anyone who is a “real” Kurosawa fan- cant be all that bad 🙂

    I’m glad you dont think Obama as the messiah, but your only a small minority.


    Of course this is a more obvious showing, rather then the hidden mentality of the majority of Obama supporters.

    (It’s not about young blacks, inspiring to be something, it about them thinking, they are nothing without Obama. Reminds me of the N.Koreans, that get foreign medical treatment and food, but afterward dont thank the doctor, but go praise a picture of Kim Jong Il-the guy that made it near impossible for them to get the foreign aid)

    No matter really, Obama thinks he’s the messiah, the minds of others is hardly a concern.

    If find it interesting, your (rightful) hatred of government, but yet you lean towards socialism. Socialism is big-government. You can’t get much bigger then controlling the needs of citizens, the only next step is controlling the minds of citizens.

    Free market is not god, and it is full of corruption, but this at worst is corruption on a small scale, and confined in one area. Greed kills in the end.

    What makes you think, government is free of corruption? They have no one to answer to, have more money to play with, and operate on the largest scale possible.

    (Though I assure you, I’m right there in the middle class at best)

    How much money I make, or how much anyone makes has no bearing, even the rich will sink if the middle-class bleeds out. Nations are built on the middle-class, not the rich. There is are no secret meetings of the rich people in top-hats and wearing monocles plotting your destruction. Hatred of those that have it better, even if non-deserving, is nothing less then self-pity. A self-pity that limits your success, and grows you sour.

    The middle-class is indeed pinched, but how exactly do you think these “free” benefits are paid for that you desire? I tell you, by taking from the middle class. And trust me you havent felt pinched, till see inflation and you dont only got to care for your mother, but you got to care for the majority of America.

    Then what happens when the dollar drops? Company must either get rid of people or reduce salaries. If your already having problems, what can do if your company decides to reduce your pay? Properly nothing, you need that job, you’re dependent on that flow of money.

    Though with socialism, your not only dependent on your job, but the government for all your needs. A government that though socialism will kill more of the middle-class, creating a bigger poor, a bigger poor, bleeding a smaller middle-class.

    The more poor, the more money the government needs, so they take more, creating even less middle-class. The cycle never ends.

    Yet, you support a socialist ideal, and a man that promises “free” stuff, without ever asking just how free this stuff really is.

    I would point you towards current France-a socialist extreme, that gives alway so much but has now ruined it’s economy.

    Things are so bad, they are pushing for a global currency, the only means to save them-more money-more money that ideally isnt their own.

    See, Europe may have areas where socialism is working, but these are in the global scale, tiny countries of limited value. Their lack of military power and money, prevents the looming death socialism creates. Though when you get big, like France or Germany, socialism starts to fail-yet, due to America holding them from dropping down, gaining too much government power, and regulating the worlds economy, they do alright for the most part.

    However that nations with lots of money, and lots of military power, use socialism as a entry to communism. The USSR did it, Cuba with USSR aid, did it, China did it, Japan with German aid, did it.

    There more throughout the past-still they all died.

    But guess what, they then restarted with American ideals(minus Cuba)-stock markets, smaller government, free-markets, etc.

    The middle-class is born. Russia is born, China becomes the 3rd most powerful economy, 2nd most important nation, Japan become the 2nd most powerful economy, 3rd most important nation. German takes top tier in Europe-German still has a socialist-free market hybrid.

    Socialism works? Socialism, Communism, Marxism, Militarism, Totalitarianism. Whatever one you pick, they all started the same.

    The exact same, though the exact means, due to the exact reasons.

    Obama is not change, he is talking, acting and doing, nothing that hasnt been done before.

    Find people that are down and out, offer them something free, make them dependent, and watch them follow you to hell. By the time they start to see whats happening, they got nothing.

    I’m not saying America isnt in bad shape, I couldnt agree more of our selfishness, our materialist nature , our greed is to blame.

    What dont need Socialism, we need 1950’s Americans or even 9-12-01 Americans. The real Americans, not this fake America, that idolizes Hollywood, that is poor but yet buys chrome 22″ wheels, has cellphones with $100 plans, wears designer clothing, etc.

    Indeed Free-market carries many dangers.

    Although, those that educated themselves, think for themselves, push away greed, united together, become enormously successful. In what other country, can a poor man, with a strong will, and a good idea, become rich? Only a free-market can offer this.

    All these family owned empires, came from poor, but wise Americans.

    I know you maybe in a ditch, in a job that leaves no where to go. But free-market didnt put your there, and free-market isnt holding you there. Rest assure however, big-government spawned from socialism will hold you there, and may even find you a bigger ditch to be in.

    I’ve been in ditches, look I got no college degree, not even reportable work experience(couldn’t prove if I wanted to anyways). Yet, I speak this way. Yet, I have never been in a inescapable financial pinch, I own my home, I have a free flow of cash, I have expensive things- I live quite comfortably.

    I dont make a lot of money-especially now. But I learn the way America works, I didnt get sorrow, I didnt blame others, I look at what has worked and hasnt work, and I planned as wisely as I could.

    Only free-market, small governments allow for true success or guys like me to live rather relaxed and care free. And when the free-market has a hiccup or two, I simply slow down spending. I’ll wait for things to smoothing out, and go back on living the America Dream-or at least plan to achieve it-if I dont, only I’m to blame, not someone else.

    Socialism kills guys like me, when I die, you die, the middle-class dies, the rich die, the nation dies. China and Russia, will love to consume us, when America dies, it will drag down this seemly wonderful Europe.

    Can you not see it now, Britain’s large bailout, Germany’s possible bailout, France dead in the water, the rest of the countries-dominoes. Add in Japan with unstable markets, and a sinking Yen and a dying Euro, standing on the backs of a drowning Dollar.

    McCain is not the answer, in fact I dont really like him, but he can hold us on for better times. Obama will never allow the ability for better times, America will die.

    Yes, politicians suck, so why give them more power?

    You think you got it bad, wait for Obama.

    Now this part is just for comical relief, so dont get all-you know. (even if it is true 🙂 )




    Seems a bit tacky now, but I intended to post this link too, regarding “The Messiah”


    This is a long, but very good video about socialism gains appeal and how Communism gets install. I studied Yuri Bezmenov, maybe this is why my views are this way. Yuri, speaks the truth, he gave us warning, and predicted a Obama figure.


    Anyways, nice Bruce pic, and hearing some Woody Guthrie, even if sung by Bruce- sounds like good times.



    Jeremy, the video about Obama/messiah is hilarious, but who are those kids in the first video at the beginning of your post? Is that for real? Some people are so desperate for a messiah that they will find it anywhere. It’s a weird video, though.

    One of the kids working as an intern in our office used to spout off about Obama way back in August, and it just exhausted me…I knew he was a lunkhead, and I knew that he was glomming on to something like a teenage girl gloms on to a fashion trend. The interesting thing to me is that I had an SIP student mentee this summer, and he was a young black man who wanted to vote for Hillary! I remember when he first told me about his political ideas I was dumbfounded. Hillary seemed a surprising choice to me, but I could respect the fact that he had thought a lot about it. Once Hillary dropped out he gudgingly moved over to Obama.

    My interest in the political stage was piqued with the first debates. I watched all of them, determined to remain neutral and to see who impressed me most. Well, we all know that one by one they fell by the wayside, and now we are left with McCain and Obama. And, as you said before, neither one of these guys is perfect. It’s interesting-the more I see of them-(did you watch the “town hall” debate?) the less I like either one. And their political ads make me want to retch. They are both responsible for vile misrepresentation, and I lose more respect with each ad I see.

    I would like to clarify a bit about my characterization of my own situation-I worked really hard to earn my degrees and to get what most folks would say is a decent career-I’m not saying my life or job suck-I was illustrating that, even if you are what folks would characterize as “doing allright”-that economic pressures have hit all sectors of the market including education. It isn’t about “pulling yourself up by your bootstraps if you don’t like the way things are”. I AM the middle class-my parents were immigrants, and nobody went to college. I put myself through college, then university-even winning a scholarship to study at Yale-and I fought hard to get where I am, and continue to work hard. I AM the middle class-and have felt the “pinch”. And, I am aware that the rich have not. Revision of the tax code is logical. It isn’t that I am asking for FREE stuff-I am asking that those who have benefitted most from America contribute their fair share to America. Look, what is so hard to accept? Life is unfair. There are those without the ability to care for themselves. Children, the mentally handicapped, physically debilitated, elderly-they can’t “pull themsleves up by their bootstraps”. They can’t “work harder”. They need the services that are the only real reason I can see for government to exist. What is government for? Seriously.

    Jeremy, maybe it is fair to say we are in a far more socialist situation than either of us is comfortable with right this minute! The bailout package is really a socialist situation. The free market is suddenly part of government! It’s all over the news!

    Oh, and that crack about Reaganomics and free market economics-I wasn’t the first to question the rationality of sticking to a belief system that brought us to this very pass-“Business Week” magazine had a series of articles questioning our “free market” precepts as far back as several months, and now, I hear it on NPR as I drive to work in the morning, and on the BBC. Everyone is thinking, “Hmmm freee market with no restrictions…maybe not such a brilliant scheme after all”…

    Anyway, Jeremy, I am not a Marxist or a socialist, but I do agree with a socially-progressive agenda of healthcare reform. Don’t get the misconception that I am a granola cruncher, though…my favorite meal is a good steak and glass of red wine.



    Those kids where from Kansas, doing this in a school, during school time, instructed by a teacher.

    It’s not just blacks, whites are much the same, just they hide it better.

    Blacks can get away with a lot more.

    Obama is aware of this, he is promoting it, but he must hide or else risk scaring the whites.

    Martin Luther King Jr, is one favorite people in modern history, he wouldnt allow people to worship him. And he warned blacks at the ease black “leaders” like Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton could trick them by installing mental slavery, trick them to following back in position and being the black stereotype. Blacks, low income, low education, slave mentality isnt from whites, but from fellow blacks, taking advantage of blacks. Just they dont see this.

    So now a high powered black man, comes up, and he appear to be the answer- he becomes the messiah. So Obama, has an army, one that will completely loyal no matter what.

    They dont realized whites, arent holding them back, blacks are. Obama wont free them-he’ll only enslave them further.

    I’m not surprise to see obvious displays of worship, and no amount of truth will ever change their minds.

    Poor whites are doing it, but Obama isnt the one that will free them, so their displays are smaller, still they think him the answer. And too will follow his con, and too be enslaved.

    There lots of stuff out there, being suppressed by the media-Obama musnt scare the white people, while not discourage his black army.

    This is all been done before, the results are clear, the steps are clear.

    Just no one is looking. The republicans will appear crazy, if they dare attack Obama on this. Plus, rich white man, attacking a black man-seriously.

    Our problems, is we dont have a Obama or McCain admitting fault, or giving Americans the respect of simply telling whats going on, and how no plan is really going to fix it, but here’s the best bet. Instead, they point fingers, and bring up concepts that play no role today, and both, claim that money will fix everything, they speak billions non-stop, while ignoring there simply isnt any money to use, much less give away.

    For every attack I can make on Obama, or his supporters, the truth is, a few changes of words, and slightly shift in policy leads to McCain. They’re both bad people. My hatred of McCain is growing rapidly, he is not the answer, I can only claim him to be the lesser of two evils, but I wonder if it even really matters.

    I wrongly lead to claiming that you being “stuck”, was your fault or laziness. I didnt mean to imply that, or shout “work harder” as the answer to the problem.

    Look, I got no room to speak, I’ve shifting around in the same stagnate waters for the last 8 or so years. I have no college degree, this only due to my laziness, that, and, not being able to cut it. Dont let me fool you, into thinking I got it all figured out, only a mixture of good fortune and opportunity has allowed to do “alright”, in all honestly very little is has held me up higher then a job at McDonald’s. So, I’m not discrediting your efforts, or anything of the sorts, even if it does appear that way.

    As I mentioned early, I dont have the answers, nobody does. I just serious doubt a government has the ability to help anyone or to even make things better.

    I dont know. Sadly it appears no one does either, and most certainly all the politicians are completely clueless.

    The great question: Is America socialized?

    It’s hard to say, the last 2 weeks have been the biggest changes to America-ever. This is all new ground, and nobody know what to expect.

    The bailout is socialism, the government owns all the big banks, business are getting money straight from the government-The government owns most of the house. Yes, this is socialism, just we haven’t felt the effects yet.

    Government is soon to gobble up the big 3 auto makers, then the airlines and perhaps media soon. This is fact.

    Likely government will own our health, highly regulate the value of our money.

    The ball has started to roll, and never in the any countries’ history, has anybody be able to stop the socialist ball. It’s not till the country dies, before a change can be had.

    Things will spring up, or get really bad, there is no middle ground.

    I do assure you however, a socialized America, within only a few years, will lose it’s global position, hurt Europe and Asia badly, while allowing Russia and China to become the power they have always dreamed about.

    America is too big and powerful and rich to ever have a socially-progressive system. There no middle ground, or the “best of both worlds”, there never has. McCain will get us into full blown socialism, and dependence. Obama will be a intro to Marxism and his “black army” will be a intro to fascism.

    The problem is like Yuri Bezmenov said, you wont even now what it is, till its too late. The people are blinded, truth no longer matters.

    Since the last 3 weeks or so, it doesnt matter who wins president, we screwed no matter what.

    America is no longer America-we were the last strong hold, and we have been killed from the inside. Just like our forefathers warned.

    I’m glad you like steak, being Texan, I about damn near worship it. 😆

    Do you know, that their is a policy that is waiting for a more socialist government, that will regulated how much meat a person can eat a week, brought about by some left wing, environmentalist. It’s currently pending in the UN, being held back by America-until it become socialized.

    Rations, reminds how great the Soviet Union was…..oh, wait a minute.



    Jeremy, I was not taking offense…I just didn’t want you to think I was whining about life…

    And, I don’t know if I mentioned this, but before Springsteen came on stage, they did the “Pledge of Allegiance” and then a black preacher gave a dedication saying we should “thank our lord, Jesus”-and a lady next to me said, kinda loud, “Be inclusive”. Then she said to me, “Black preachers never remember that.” And, to be honest, we have a lot of students from India on campus, and many Asians and probably every religion and non-religion was in the audience.

    I’m not sure how that relates to the messiah thing, but when you mentioned it, it made me think of that.

    You said:

    America is no longer America-we were the last strong hold, and we have been killed from the inside. Just like our forefathers warned.

    Well, it sure does look like it. And, your prediction that Russia and China will be dominant powers? We might already be there with China-and since Russia has oil, we’ve got some tough times ahead there, too.

    But, I don’t want the government to own healthcare-how can I trust them? If they were not downright corrupt, they would botch the job. I cannot believe that the government now owns banks. Like you said-we are screwed no matter what. I am in shock.



    Vili, congratulations to your countryman and former president on his Nobel Peace Prize! http://nobelpeaceprize.org/



    Talking about, Russia and China, as real threats seems rather crazy. I feel like some 60’s backyard bomb shelter, nuclear winter preaching, dont drink the water, guy during the cold-war. The crazier thing however, was the paranoia was very real, even coming seriously within minutes of happening.

    This is sort of the same thing now, anyone talking about China and Russia taking over the world, is going to appear crazy. But, regardless how it sounds, the danger is very real.

    All I know, is America is very vulnerable. This is all new territory-anything can happen. After all, America, is no longer America.



    Jeremy, do we feel like bigshots now that we own banks? Isn’t this the craziest autumn we’ve seen? Who woulda thunk in the USA we would be seeing government intervening in the market? I don’t even know how to wrap my head around it.

    I hope we see gains like yesterday. The initial, cautious optomism of the pundits makes me hope that things will steady. I know a lot of folks who had their retirements decimated by the crash of the market, and hope they can get back what they lost.



    The gains have been nice, but still far to early to really make judgment, the effects aren’t likely to been seen for a few months into the next president’s term. The good thing if we already seen the bottom of the market, things will be alright, if not, well… things get bad.

    Everything is crazy, not just the markets.

    You know, if Obama doesnt get elected, there will no doubt be riots in many areas across the U.S. The poor blacks, and black politicians, among a handful of white liberals, have now officially made this a race war.

    Their one sided views has created the concept that a Obama loss is just another example of the whitey, holding down the black man.

    At any rate, the Obama riots will make the Rodney King riots, look like a minor scuffle.

    I’m glad I’m in Texas, our middle-class black people know race has got nothing to do with it, plus Texas just doesnt put up with this kind of sh–. Bless the most republic state in the US 🙂

    If Obama does win, there will still likely be celebration riots and some liberal and black superiority complexes that will dive the nation into a sort of cold-civil war between the liberals and conservatives.

    Worse will be the out right anger that will be fuel by Obama’s socialism( arguably communism) ideals, coming from the conservatives.

    There anger I feel justified, but their actions is anyone’s guess.

    Then got fraud in Ohio, paying, bribing, begging people to register, then vote for Obama. Not to mention the recruiting of homeless, in exchange for food.

    Then you got ACORN, doing their usually voter fraud. They even have stop by Houston today. I was hit by one, but I was rocking a “I’m the NRA and I Vote” shirt, so they turned away quickly.

    I got a friend in Ohio, and he says(which I believe completely-some of the forums I visit are claiming the same things too) that his McCain yard signs, have had Obama supporters throwing trash into his yard, running over them, and shouting cuss words out of their cars.

    Anyways, now that I own the bank, I would like to buy Obama, Nancy Pelosi, and all their commie friends a one-way ticket to France. 😆

    But….No matter who wins, things could easily turn towards chaos.

    So I say: cue REMs “The End of the World”, down a bottle of Wild Turkey, load the shotgun, fire up the grill, and enjoy the show. America is going to hell.



    Speaking of banks… Europe just dropped $2.3 trillion Monday,into their banks, and on top of that, still allowed French President Nicolas Sarkozy to help formulate a plan. This is the guy, that spent so much money, France is dead-what do they do-give him more money.

    This is like giving a crack head, more crack, in hopes of curing his problems.

    Gee, America is stupid…but Europe is making us look like Einstein here.

    Although nothing out of ordinary, we’re talking about Germany, France, the Netherlands, Spain, Portugal, Austria and Britain after all.




    Jeremy, you are teasing right? The European Union is a pretty defendable concept that has strengthened the economic stability of member countries and made the euro stronger than the dollar. The guys actually using the euro: Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Portugal, Slovenia and Spain are trying to find a way to put some kind of safeguards on their banking system just as we are.



    The EU is a joke, they’re only united under a currency, that’s not a union. It only works when everyone is doing well, other wise is kills the smaller countries.

    This is like the time when I was a kid, and took money from my little brother to buy something I wanted. I got what I wanted, but I was still left broke, so I never payed him back. When he needed something, and ask me for money, I told him to pay for it himself, me being bigger, and stronger he couldn’t do anything about it.

    I win and he gets a double-whammy of lose.

    See, where America’s bailout is rewarding greed to banks-banks America needs. Europe’s bailout is rewarding countries-countries the rest of Europe could do without.

    Lets take Finland for example, all may be going well for them, and their economy is stable and lively. However, France economy is junk, so they bailout(using other countries money), and thus print more money.

    Alright France recovers a bit, but Finland, now just took a big hit, all because their currency is the same. Finland’s economy struggles, dragging down the other smaller European countries. Collectively, they in return pull down again France, making their bailout of less value.

    The solution, print more money-rinse and repeat.

    Take this on a large scale with Germany, France, the Netherlands, Spain, Portugal, Austria and Britain.

    The bigger issue is global inflation. If the EU didnt bail, the Euro would be a stable currency, and whatever happened in America, the dollar could be propped up the Euro.

    Instead, now the Dollar and the Euro will sink together though large bailouts. As the Dollar and the Euro sink, more bailouts are needed, more money is printed.

    Give it enough time, and we can look at Zimbabwe to see what happens when money is thrown into a money problem.

    Zimbabwe now has a 531 Billion(no error) percent inflation.

    Their money so worthless, the cost of a house last year, is the same as bread this year. The thing is, what Zimbabwe did, is exactly what the U.S. and E.U. are doing. Granted, the inflation is unlikely to get that high, but still your $100,000 retirement, could easily just buy you pair of jeans.


    notice the print date, a new amount for a new economy. Last I check, it’s worth 33 cents US.

    What I finally figured out, is why the stock markets jump. Government being horrible business people, announced they were buying stocks and the day they were doing it. So, the markets jump up, and for example, Morgan Stanley when up some 80%.

    So now the government is going to spend over 80% more of our money, to buy the same stocks, that is they would of just shut the hell up, could of help the economy, but now will do nothing.

    History again repeats itself, the largest market gains on record, happened before, and the early part during, the great depression.

    And just like FDR’s “New Deal” put the “great” in depression. Obama’s socialism, will do the same.

    Another problem. if Obama taxes large “evil” companies, and inflation goes up.

    For what reason should they hire Americans, or maintain American operations. There is nothing stopping big companies, that employ millions, to move to the Middle East, and Asia.

    See, we only seen the tip of this iceberg. I wouldn’t listen to the liberal media, and start rejoicing just yet. I’m all for optimism, but too much optimism kills. Just like when President Bush, told us to “Spend!, Spend!, Spend!” when the economy got rough a few years back.

    Such optimism is what killed us. Of course, hording, is just as bad.

    So spend wisely.


    Vili Maunula

    Coco: Vili, congratulations to your countryman and former president on his Nobel Peace Prize! http://nobelpeaceprize.org/

    Well, thank you, Coco! 🙂

    Although I must say that I don’t actually feel any special connection to Finland. That is, apart from an occasional craving for salmiakki as well as for proper sweet licorice or Fazer chocolate and candies. I also import several kilos of porridge every time I visit — you just can’t get proper porridge in Central Europe.

    Anyway, interestingly enough Ahtisaari is not a very popular person in Finland. He’s perhaps seen as being “too international”, which is something that doesn’t sit in well with the relatively xenophobic Finns. (Or that at least is my personal interpretation.) It would be interesting to see if this changes now that he is Finland’s much hoped-for third Nobel Prize winner. (Or he may be the fourth, it depends on how you count it.)

    Jeremy: The EU is a joke, they’re only united under a currency, that’s not a union. It only works when everyone is doing well, other wise is kills the smaller countries.

    Just a quick fact-check: the EU is not united under a single currency. It is a loose political and economic union that they are (without much visible progress) trying to make somewhat less loose and (apparently) more functional.

    It doesn’t always work too perfectly but calling the union a “joke” is, in my view, a rather naive view of things.

    Also, it is true that some countries in the Union seem to be more equal than others, but even the so-called “paying countries” like Finland have in my view benefited tremendously from their membership.

    But my views may well be just as naive as the ones expressed above. As I keep saying, I really don’t know anything about these matters, and neither do I really want to. There are people more qualified than me in Brussels to try and sort it all out.



    I wont deny, my one sided views, and my knowledge of European affairs are limited.

    But the Euro adoption if I’m not mistaken is a requirement of the Single European Market, all which is held in place by the Euro. European currency outside the Euro is directly, if not more so connected with what happens with the Euro. More or less creating a common currency. All of Europe is interconnected, just as Europe and America, despite different currencies, show they directly effect one another, although having a large play room.

    And while Finland did benefit from membership, this is was only because Europe, held in place by America had strong economies. The positive trickled effect was in place.

    With Europe and America falling, the connection of Finland with the Union, now creates the negative effect. The smaller countries fall hard and faster then the bigger, as the bigger now use the smaller as props to hold them up.

    The “joke” part was in bad taste, but the “Union” of Europe is so loose, it hardly fits in the confines of what “union” means. A true Union, would be a like the U.S. in which states are self regulated, but share the all problems and success.

    What the EU allows, is some countries to be fixed, at the cost of other countries, while having no requirement to fix the still damaged smaller countries. Worse if war was to ever break out in one country, the rest of Europe can just sit back and pretend it’s not happening. Really all it does, is give large countries, extra pockets, it’s only when pockets are over filling do the smaller countries get anything in return.

    Stuff like this, is why Germany, although a big country has considered dropping the EU.

    Leaving it up to Brussels, is like America leaving it up to Washington-and we all know how well that has worked out.



    Did you watch the debates Coco?

    Finally something decent, both did well, but still I doubt anyone will switch sides. All worthless in the end really.

    Still despite liberal media polls, its nearly a 50/50 split who will win, after all Republicans have always been quite, till election day. Take Kerry for example.

    I do think Obama has a great chance in the key states, like Ohio, but McCain’s “Joe the plumber” is likely to build some power.

    Market went down, erasing nearly all the previous earning, tomorrow doesnt look any better. I actually just completely pulled out (goes into effect tomorrow morning) triggered when WellsFargo was illegally forced to give up controlling share to the government. I’m obviously a small player but I did lose some $6K already, and decide to pull out whats left(a laughable amount).

    Yeah! I’m officially went from doing well, to completely broke (see how the snow ball happens-more people like me die, then the less amount of money goes into the economy, while a increase for demand from the newly broke wanting handouts-of course I would never ask for any, I’m not that low) Despite wise decisions and careful living-I’m equal to the asshats that dont know how to manage their money.

    Thank you Socialism, your equality for all knows no bounds.

    Not that anything really matters, free-trade is dead, therefore our stock market, and everything connected to it. And I rather lose money in the last of the free-trade America, then to the socialist America.

    Good News!! Obama gets Fidel Castro’s support. Now there’s a man that knows how to run a country. 😉


    That’s a conservative site, but even the liberal sites mention it. Doesnt really matter and plays no role really, but sure is interesting that the people that are killing Europe and the man that singly destroyed Cuba, all love Obama. The only thing left is the zombie, Marx, Stalin, Hitler, and Mussolini to offer their endorsement.

    Basis and bitter enough for you? 😆 It’s all in joking manner really.

    Because the funny thing is everyone else is going to be screwed too. Yeah Socialism! Bring on Communism!

    Also as hopefully all should know(but properly dont, the EU are great lairs) America, is the only reason Eastern Europe hasnt fallen back into Communism. What happens when America falls into Socialism, intro to Communism?


    I’ll say a new cold war, and Eastern Europe a slave the the much stronger Russia. The EU being a laughable “union” isnt going to do jack, in hopes to save the larger countries. The big countries standing on the shoulders of the little guys-that what EU is all about. I cant believe so many small countries, joined Nato and EU, just because some money was tossed their way.

    And now we circle back to the older post about the dangers of China and Russia, when America is no longer the head honcho . 🙁


    Vili Maunula

    Jeremy: But the Euro adoption if I’m not mistaken is a requirement of the Single European Market, all which is held in place by the Euro. European currency outside the Euro is directly, if not more so connected with what happens with the Euro. More or less creating a common currency.

    While there is truth in what you say here, it is actually slightly more complicated than that.

    Single European Market actually existed before the Euro came along. You are right though that the Euro adaptation was a requirement for the new EU members (or so I think), but when they actually start the process of switching to the currency is another question altogether. There are also old member countries (I think UK, Denmark and Sweden) that are not required to join the Eurozone. At least the UK and Sweden don’t seem to have any interest in doing so.

    Looking at the current figures, 15 of the 27 EU members have adopted the currency. 11 non-EU countries also use the currency, although these are mainly European city states (but including also Kosovo and Montenegro).

    Of the 12 countries not in the Eurozone, there are the above-mentioned three that are not required to join (although Denmark probably will). Further five countries have their currencies in one way or another connected to the Euro, preventing them from floating above or below certain limits. The remaining four countries have completely free-floating currencies, just like the UK and Sweden. (And they really do float quite a bit these days — in the past month alone one Euro has at best got you 272 Hungarian Forints, while at another point you only got 237. This uncertainty is obviously not very good at all.)

    By the way, whatever you say, I can assure you that leaving it up to Brussels is certainly better than leaving it up to me. 😉



    Vili, thanks for the updates on Finnish Nobel Numbers, the former president’s popularity, the link on salmiakki (sounds good…but, then, I am a big fan of Ouzo and Raki, and the salty licorice idea sounds good to me)…and Jeremy, I am addicted to the details of this election, so I watched every second of the debates I could while also moving my mother into her new condo…I think that the venue was appropriate, and McCain gave his best performance, yet.

    Some polls think that Obama wins the election unless racism is a factor that shows up in the voting booths but remains undisclosed until then. It seems somewhat surprising, since he’s not nearly as feisty-seeming and irascible as McCain. I thought they chose Bush because he seemed like a cool guy to have a beer with, and Reagan because they had a fondness for his folksy charm, and Arnold because it’s so much fun to say “I’ll be back” with an accent, and because he was so cool in Terminator. Clearly Obama is a boring pick compared to McCain. It must be the “Jimmy Carter” effect, maybe?

    Speaking of stocks, the ricochet back down..what the hell? I lost $5,000 which is nothing, but that was from the last quarter, so who knows where things stand, now? I’m afraid to look.

    My cocky friend just bought up a bunch of stock in railroads, yesterday, trying to anticipate the bottom and the resurgance. He’ll probably make a killing. I’m just too overwhelmed and whipsawed by confusion to buy.



    Thanks for the information Vili. But, I find your faith in government to be far too high. They are but merely human in Brussels, and their judgment is no better then anyone else, but is more at the mercy of pressure and special interest groups, while their knowledge of events is just as clouded.

    I suppose we will always disagree in this regard. Maybe you just haven’t seen the beauty of a real republic. You, got the visit Texas, before its too late. 😆

    Yes, Obama is much cooler then McCain. But right now a pissed off McCain, can connect to America, better then a guy, that pretends all is well, and money is about to rain from the skies.

    This whole “Joe the plumber” is exactly who McCain connects with, and this is America. Plus only liberals ever think polls are worth taking part in, rarely have they predicted anything. And even then Obama has only has a 8 point lead.

    Railroads are dependent on the flow of goods, which is dependent on the flow of money. The farm goods has slowed, and thus the railroads. To me it’s a bad stock. Right now, I’m showing a railroads taking among the hardest hit today. Hoping for a resurgence this early is just wishful thinking, it’ll be at least 2 years before things stabilize.

    But, what do I know. I’m just the crazy guy, that talks about communism and destruction of the world. The good news is, every great forum site has one idiot. Consider me the person that legitimized this site. 😆



    Jeremy, this “clandestine” thread here, has been really interesting. These are crazy, historic times, and despite your sense of humor, (self-deprecating) your thinking cap is on…we have oppositional views over social progressive issues, but we both agree that big government is just a drain on the country, and an opportunity for corruption.

    I wouldn’t be surprised to find, come election day that McCain doesn’t end up with a huge lead, so you may get your man, after all.

    The only bright spot in the economy is the lower gas prices. Travel (airfare) costs are down, too. I am hoping we can see that continue into the spring and summer travel period so that I still have a job!

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