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What Is Wrong With These People? — Why Now?
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What Is Wrong With These People?

Gold is at record high prices. Five more banks failed. Unemployment is at an official 10.2%, with the real rates probably twice that. Jobs are still being shed in all sectors. The dollar is weak, but the US doesn’t make anything, so there’s not much to export.

Obviously the stock market had to go back up above 10K.

Reducing the rate at which jobs are lost is not good enough – jobs needs to be added so people can start buying, or the economy will never improve. We need a real stimulus package that is actually designed to get people back to work. We need real regulation of the financial industry, so they can’t do this to us again.


1 Kryten42 { 11.07.09 at 12:38 am }

It makes anyone sane want to pound their head, or pound someones head.

The AU$ is now = US$0.92. Shopping time soon (New year probably, when all the US stores dump all the Xmas stock nobody could afford. Even with shipping, it’ll be about half what I’d pay here). Yeah… just call me an opportunist! So shoot me. 😉 😛

2 Badtux { 11.07.09 at 1:23 am }

From my understanding, it’s all about pump-and-dump. The big guys are doing pump-and-dump playing with pension fund and 401k money again, trying to time the market just right so they can day-trade their way to riches. Add in the churners, who are churning the pension fund and 401k money to skim off the transaction fees, and you start to get the picture of why watching the stock market recently could make you seasick.

As for the economy, my suspicion is that real unemployment, as measured by labor force utilization, has gone over the 20% mark. At around this time last year I noted that 20% real unemployment would be the breaking point — social networks would simply collapse, people would start getting hungry, there would be food riots, that kind of thing. Note that one of the Clinton administration’s “welfare reforms” was to remove childless people from the food stamp rolls — childless people are eligible for food stamps only for six months out of every three years, or something ridiculous like that. People do not voluntarily starve to death. I’m sorry, they don’t. They’ll do whatever they have to do, no matter how violent, no matter how criminal, to avoid starving to death. And our prison-industrial complex is already groaning under the weight of all the drug war victims filling it to the brim, no way it could handle imprisoning all these hungry people, even if imprisoning them (as vs. feeding them) was a humane or reasonable thing to do.

We are on the brink. Unfortunately, I don’t think the dipsticks in Washington D.C. realize that, they think it’s all business as usual, that they can just keep on doing what they’ve been doing for the past twenty years and nothing bad will happen. But we’re beyond that point now. Keep on keeping on, and this country is going to start disintegrating, and I don’t see any FDR’s out there today to patch it up — Obama sure the f*** is no FDR, and the Rethugs are even worse.

– Badtux the Pantry-stocking Penguin

3 Comrade Kevin { 11.07.09 at 8:51 am }

New industries need to develop and with them will come new jobs. People will also need to be trained to adjust and function in these new areas of job growth and there are times I think we all ought to be required to take vocational training to determine how best to market our unique skills to employers.

This recession has merely exacerbated trends that were already in place. Companies schooled in old ways of doing things that were on the verge of going broke have now gone under. We are no longer an industrial based economy, we are a service based economy, but people want to cleave to an old system because it would be too much hassle and trouble for them to bother. Soon they will have no choice.
.-= last blog ..Saturday Video =-.

4 Bryan { 11.07.09 at 5:35 pm }

Mr. Duff, you know less about the US financial system, that the US political system. It was deregulated thanks to several Presidents, and the pain has been felt around the world. You could look up the US Federal Reserve system and look at what a bastardized non-system it really is, and then understand that they are ones playing with trillions of dollars, of which the $700 billion actually authorized by the real government, is only a tiny portion.

Comrade Kevin, if you don’t actually make anything, actually create something that others want to buy, you can’t exist as an economy. While a Caribbean Island, or a European principality by make out with a service economy, a nation of 300 million that is forced to import everything will fail.

The US needs a manufacturing base to be relevant in the world market. Currently agricultural products and raw materials are the basis of our exports, which makes us a third world economy. When the price of oil makes shipping hyper-expensive again, we will dwindle to nothingness, because we will no longer be able to afford the cost of importing.

5 Bryan { 11.07.09 at 5:51 pm }

Don’t come in too early, Kryten, the Christmas stuff started appearing on November 1 and the stores are already assaulting the senses with Christmas carols. The desperation is palatable.

Badtux, the local food bank ran out of food last week, the first time it has happened in 40 years. One of my neighbors has four part-time jobs which are barely giving him 30 hours of work a week. Everyone is doubling or tripling up to share expenses. Ramen and rice are flying off the shelves. There’s a mob scene at the labor halls every day. It is bad. This area had 2% unemployment last year, and the official number is 12% this year. That doesn’t include construction jobs.

Oh, yes, I am spending too much time with the cats, Mr. Duff, because my clients, small business people, can’t get the financing to even bid on jobs at the moment. If you can’t buy the raw materials, you can’t make the final product, and the standard 30 days to pay is gone. Banks are being given trillions, but they are sure as hell not making available to small business.

6 Kryten42 { 11.07.09 at 7:37 pm }

Oooh! Don’t get me started on the rampant consumerism of retail stores! They started sending out Xmas flyers here last week of Oct! And don’t mention Easter! Seriously… It’s insane.

And yeah, all jokes aside, I do realize it’s bad, and getting worse. And I am angry about it also, it really doesn’t need to be this way! I really wish I could help out my friends there, but I’m not in a position to do much, not at the moment anyway.

Just ignore Homer. He’s truly not worth the effort (as you well know!) 😉 🙂 He’s either just an ignorant over-opinionated twit, or one of the many trolls sent out by one of several groups to disrupt reality-based blogs (if the latter, he’s really not very good). He does have some sleight amusement value however. 🙂 You can’t get a good troll these days… not like we had on LM during the *Bush Reign of Terror*. They all seem to have crawled back into their holes. I guess they are hibernating until the next GOP Prez, or perhaps they will arise when they realise Obama is kinda, almost, one of them (sans the pure whitey genes and
low IQ). All Obama really has to do, is give large donations to the Christian Scientists or other wingnut faux-religious groups (or push bills they want in), and they’ll give him a coat of paint and embrace him like a long lost lamb to the flock! 😆 Actually… I suppose they are not really *faux* religions. They do worship money and control. They simply use Christianity as a mask and a means to an end, and the end justifies the means.

7 Bryan { 11.07.09 at 8:19 pm }

The multiple religious groups are going to have to learn to live on a budget like the rest of the world, because the disposable income they have been sucking up is disappearing like water in our sand. Only the traditional churches seem to understand about giving, rather than receiving.

Hell, don’t get involved in US problems. You are better off than we are because you aren’t tied into our system anymore than you are. You have neighbors under water who need the help now, and there are still people in trouble from the fires.

I noticed that you are looking at some of our, or Canada’s big fire fighting aircraft, which will help out some people in North America. Those DC-10s really are more versatile than the 747, and can operate from small runways. You really should have your own fleet, but the flipped seasons may make the use of the aircraft from North America more economical. An extended flying season may also help to convince the companies that fly them to make more available.

Nothing is going to convince the wingnuts of Obama’s real politics, they make too much money from their ignorance. At their last event in Washington they were carrying signs making references to the “Elders of Zion” garbage and the Rothschilds. WTF, an Nazi-Communist-Islamic-Jewish conspiracy to control the world?! These are some seriously deranged people.

8 Kryten42 { 11.07.09 at 9:01 pm }

“Hell, don’t get involved in US problems. You are better off than we are because you aren’t tied into our system anymore than you are. You have neighbors under water who need the help now, and there are still people in trouble from the fires.”

Ehhh… It’s a problem we Aussies have. That *Aussie Spirit* thing yaknow. We just *HAVE* to help out those less fortunate than ourselves (which by definition is everyone who doesn’t live here). 😉 😆

*sigh* Actually… I have been reading a rather depressing essay about Aussie involvement in foreign war’s and distribution of wealth, etc. It started off with a quote I liked from Winston Chrurchill
“One day President Roosevelt told me that he was asking publicly for suggestions about what the war should be called. I said at once “the unnecessary war”.

There never was a war more easy to stop than that which has just wrecked what was left of the world from the previous struggle.”

Winston S. Churchill, in The Gathering Storm, his account of the origins of World War II, published in 1948.(WC4i, – see Preface, p.xiv)

Australia’s Foreign Wars: Origins, Costs, Future?!

Given that Australia is one of the youngest Nations, and yet, we have fought in more foreign wars than almost any other Nation. I’m not entirely sure what that say’s about our Psyche… Having been involved in one or two myself, and looking at my own motivations, I can say from my own perspective that it’s a complex issue. It isn’t simply patriotism, though that is part of it, it isn’t just that we like a good fight (probably our Irish & Scottish heritage there), or that we feel a genuine compassion for those in need (as well as wars, we have also been involved in more relief and rescue operations than almost any other Nation).

Yeah, about time we got our own fire fighting aircraft! The problem has been mostly political, as always, of course! Only the Fed Gov can really afford to buy them, but all fire fighting resources are controlled by the individual States. And each State, of course, wants to control the aircraft, even though they want the Fed Gov to pay for them. So… what’s new? Politics as usual.;)

9 Bryan { 11.07.09 at 10:43 pm }

The volunteer spirit is commendable, but try not to get carried away. There is more than enough [East Timor, Fiji, etc.] going on in your own neck of the woods to keep the Defence Forces busy. It’s amazing how “police actions” never mean sending the police.

We have the same problem with fire fighting aircraft. The Feds have to certify the aircraft, and the mutual aid thing breaks down when a fire is in a national forest. California contracted for aircraft during the traditional fire season, but that isn’t the current fire season.

I would cover the problem by having the Feds own them, but leasing them as needed to the states, but that would probably never work. It’s too simple.

10 Badtux { 11.08.09 at 12:37 am }

All Obama really has to do, is give large donations to the Christian Scientists or other wingnut faux-religious groups (or push bills they want in), and they’ll give him a coat of paint and embrace him like a long lost lamb to the flock!

Kryten, the Christian Scientists are almost sane compared to the Pentecostals, Southern Baptists, and Assemblies of God, who are the heart of the Dominionists who lead the radical religious right’s opposition to Obama. And no, it doesn’t matter how much money Obama steered their way, they’d still hate, hate, hate him. You have to remember that the Southern Baptist Church was founded in order to defend slavery… and Obama is, err… BLACK. ‘Nuff said.

– Badtux the “don’t you love the smell of racism in the morning?” Penguin
.-= last blog ..The war on drugs =-.

11 Kryten42 { 11.08.09 at 12:42 am }

LOL I know… It’s just that the CS have been in the news lately. 😉

You underestimate the religio-wingnuts methinks! 😉 They can be amazingly friendly to anyone! Up until the point where the money, or usefulness, runs out. Then they can make Brutus seem like the best pal a guy can have. 🙂

12 Badtux { 11.08.09 at 1:28 am }

Kryten, unlike you I grew up in the culture. Believe me, you haven’t a clue. Not a strike on you, nobody outside that culture really has a clue, you still hear Democrats on Capital Hill who think that if they just toss money at evangelicals then they can get support from evangelicals. No. It won’t happen. It can’t happen. If you’d been born in the culture you’d understand, but I don’t know how to communicate it to someone born outside the culture, because it’s an entire mindset, not anything to do with logic or reason. And no, the Christian Scientists are not at all players in the dominionist right wing evangelical circles, they tend to be relatively sane in most ways other than their ridiculous notion that praying over sick people will cure them. Jehovah’s Witnesses, Pentecostals, Assemblies of God, Southern Baptists… now those are some right-wing dominionists to watch.

The evangelical Dominionists will support Obama about the same time that Obama turns white. In their eyes he bears the mark of Cain and thus is not to be trusted. They might not say it outright, and might actually be offended if you stated it to them that way, but that’s just how they work. Logic and reason simply don’t apply.

13 Bryan { 11.08.09 at 9:24 pm }

Never forget the simple truth of the fundies, Kryten, if you don’t wholeheartedly accept their whacko views you are of Satan. They may say “lover the sinner, and hate the sin”, but they don’t mean it, or believe it. If you aren’t one of them, you are going to burn in hell for all eternity, and they believe that there is no penalty to them for stabbing you in back.

They may seem nice and polite, but you had better be able to listen with their filters to understand what is really going on.

Christian Scientists will have reading rooms all around, but the real fundies will be in your face. They believe that they were ordained by G-d to rule the world. They feel that whatever they get, they deserve. They will look on it as their due, not a favor.

14 Kryten42 { 11.08.09 at 11:24 pm }

You are talking about the mindless flocks though. The Snakeoil leaders only use fundie religion as a cloak. They doubt they actually believe much of anything. It’s only about control and money and that’s it. Some may come to believe the garbage they spew, but you’ll never meet a fundie leader who doesn’t have a lot of bling in one form or another, and nothing but the best for them. There may be some exceptions, but few and far between.

It’s always about the money and/or the power to control. They are no different here or anywhere else I have traveled. The God they pretend to worship may change, but the end results are the same.

15 Kryten42 { 11.08.09 at 11:29 pm }

They doubt -> I doubt. 😉

16 Bryan { 11.08.09 at 11:45 pm }

The thing that makes them dangerous is that they believe what they are saying. They believe they are being rewarded for what they are doing. It is hard for anyone who wasn’t raised in this environment to understand, that, yes, by any objective measure it is a scam, a con, but the senior whackos and their followers believe that they are the “elect”, that only they understand the “truth”. They are supposed to be rewarded because that proves they are right and everyone else is wrong.

Actually, it is very similar to the position of the Catholic and Orthodox church hierarchies on all of their wealth, it is needed to glorify G-d.

No matter how many of these churches start out with four walls and a sermon, they all gravitate towards cathedrals and palaces.

To be really successful you have to convince yourself that you are right. If you can do that, as many have, the followers will line up.

The ones who are simply con artists never last long. You have to be truly delusional to buy into your own line of illogic, but the really dangerous ones have done that.

17 Bryan { 11.08.09 at 11:58 pm }

I assumed that. If you want to know how crazy these people are talk to someone who has given one of them a polygraph. They believe what they say.

The particular case I was thinking of involved finding all of the physical evidence needed to convict the guy, but several people were already scheduled for polygraphs, so the DA didn’t cancel as he was applying for more warrants and didn’t want to tip anyone off.

The official report said “inconclusive”, but the operator said the guy didn’t miss a beat and lied his butt off. Small children and actors are not good subjects for polygraphs… oh, yeah, neither are the mentally ill, or anyone with a rich “fantasy life”.

18 Badtux { 11.09.09 at 12:22 am }

What Bryan said :(. These guys are basically the Christian version of the Taliban. They are true believers and they want power and will not be content until only believers (fellow members of the Christian Taliban) are in power. Why do you think there was all that folderol in the upstate New York election when the local Republicans ran a sane non-Christian-Taliban candidate for the office? It didn’t matter that she was a fundamentally conservative candidate and had excellent reputation in the local community, she wasn’t one of the Christian Taliban, and that was enough for the American Taliban to throw their support to one of their own. The Republican Party invited the Christian Taliban into their tent thinking they could control them, but now the Christian Taliban are stabbing the very people who invited them into American politics in the back… and not feeling a single qualm about it.

– Badtux the Southern Penguin
.-= last blog ..Some Sunday dance music =-.

19 Badtux { 11.09.09 at 12:28 am }

Oh yeah, back to the economics stuff… Roubini has the dirt, as usual.

20 Bryan { 11.09.09 at 10:06 am }

Roubini is no one to have at a party. After getting their fingers burned, the idiots are sticking their arm back in the fire.

Really jacking up the short-term capital gains tax stops a lot of this gambling. Watching the price of oil zip around when nothing has changed in the fundamentals tells you it is going on. They evacuated the Alabama platforms, so prices will go up on top of the annual fuel oil increase.