Friday, October 31, 2008

Halloween Treat: Tacitus regarding Harry Potter and the Romans.

"On the shore stood the opposing army with its dense array of armed warriors, while between the ranks dashed women, in black attire like the Furies, with hair dishevelled, waving brands. All around, the Druids, lifting up their hands to heaven, and pouring forth dreadful imprecations, scared our soldiers by the unfamiliar sight, so that, as if their limbs were paralysed, they stood motionless, and exposed to wounds. Then urged by their general's appeals and mutual encouragements not to quail before a troop of frenzied women, they bore the standards onwards, smote down all resistance, and wrapped the foe in the flames of his own brands. A force was next set over the conquered, and their groves, devoted to inhuman superstitions, were destroyed. They deemed it indeed a duty to cover their altars with the blood of captives and to consult their deities through human entrails." - Tacitus, Annals XIV.29

Thursday, October 30, 2008

IHT: "A growing number of voters have concluded that Senator John McCain's running mate, Governor Sarah Palin, is unqualified to be president, weighing down the Republican ticket in the closing stages of the campaign, according to the latest New York Times/CBS News poll. The poll shows that 59 percent of voters believe Palin is unqualified to be vice president - up nine points from a week earlier."

Let's see ... given that this is being conducted by the New York Times/CBS News, I figure it is probably just another hatchet job and they likely did everything possible to cook the numbers. I expect them to be off by at least 10 points due to bias. The other item to consider is that any Republican VP pick is going to be slimed, because that is what the MSM does, whether it is Palin, Cheney, Quayle, Bork, or Bush. Even Joe the Plumber has become a target for the slime machine. Palin still strikes me as more experienced and qualified than Obama, although she, like the rest of us, is a human with deficiencies. Now I wonder what would happen if Fox News did a similar poll asking if Obama is qualified? "Given someone who has less than 2 years total experience in government, hasn't achieved anything significant in congress, and has the most left-wing voting record of any senator in congress, would you consider him qualified or unqualified to be president?" Someone could easily get 59% to say "unqualified", probably even using a Democratic voter sample!
18th century French political gaffe: "Let them eat cake".
21st century French political gaffe: "Work more to earn more".

The guillotine has given way to voodoo dolls. After all, what good is chopping someone's head off if that will be the end of the suffering? I still like the French and it is certainly a charming country.
Baths final?

"Perhaps when I baptized so many thousands of souls, I might have hoped for a cent or so from them? 'Just let me know, and I will repay you.' Or when the Lord ordained his priests in every part, through my feeble efforts, and as I exercised my ministry freely among them all, did I ask for so much as the price of a pair of shoes? 'Just let me know, and I will repay you,' yes, and even more.

On the contrary, I have spent generously on your behalf so that I would be accepted. I traveled among you and went to every place for your sake, I was threatened with danger on every side. I came to the remotest places, beyond which no man has ever gone and where no one had ever reached before, who was able to baptize or ordain priests and confirm those people in their faith. By God's own gift, I have done all that was needed, worked tirelessly and with a will for your salvation." - Confessions of Patrick.50-51

This bathing thing is winding down for me now. There are many passages from the Bible that I have overlooked, like Namaan, the Ethiopian and Bathsheba. The Confessions of Patrick is something I have read recently as I have tried - with much difficulty - to sort out what is true from the legend and myth before finally getting a copy of what scholars believe to be about the only genuine thing we have that came from Patrick's hand. After reading this, and combining with what else I have read about Roman Britain, it seems that the myths are easier to handle than the truth. An embellished Arthur or the Lord of the Rings being preferrable to an accurate portrayal of the military scene just after the time of Patrick.

In the case of Patrick, we find an unlearned peasant preaching the gospel in Ireland, risking his life, living in utter poverty, while the learned and comfortable church elders back in Britain scheme against him. Is it any wonder this story isn't told in churches, but we have stories about snakes instead? In the statues and paintings, Patrick is portrayed as a wealthy bishop from centuries later, rather than a crude shepherd.

My copy includes the only other document from Patrick's hand, "A Letter to the Soldiers of Corotocus", which is just as disturbing. Having taught Christianity to Corotocus and his people, they accepted it enthusiastically. Later, however, they proceeded off on a pirating raid - as in former times - took prisoners from Christian villages, and sold them to non-Christian foreign lands. Business is business! Since Patrick had been captured and sold as a slave, he is not particularly sympathetic. Patrick's heart is mostly for the Christian young ladies who are taken and sold into slavery in a non-Christian village. They will suffer the most. It is a good read, and probably something the church needs to hear more of.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

US #18 in the Democracy rankings. Where is your country?

Most of the European Union ranks higher than the US, which perhaps tells us something of the cultural mindset of the authors of the survey. I should note that the US was founded deliberately as a Republic, not a pure Democracy, based on the founding fathers' studies of classical political models and theories. Thus, it shouldn't be too surprising that we aren't at the top when ranked according to pure Democracy.

A more detailed breakdown would be fun to see, but here are some comments regarding the major components of the score:

1. Electoral process and pluralism

This seems to involve mainly the ability to form plausible parties and fairly get the into government. The US (in my opinion) scores badly on some issues here: Gerrymandering and the two party system being the main, but the governing parties do switch periodically. It is fun to see Japan listed as the same as , since it has been governed by a single party for the large majority of its post-war history.

2. Functioning of government

This is a mix of things ranging from checks and balances, governmental authority, confidence, etc. Our government is frequently jammed up politically, which people view as bad, but better than the alternative(s).

3. Political participation

Besides reasonable measures, like voter turnout, this category has a few zingers: % of women in elected offices, % of population involved in lawful demonstrations, % of population following the MSM. Needless to say, the US won't score as well on some of the European cultural measures.

4. Democratic political culture

This is largely a measure of blind enthusiasm for Democratic ideals. The US should score a 20 or 30 here, given our attempt to impose Democracy on Iraq. Of course this also has a category for "separation of church and state", and Europeans probably think of the US as a theocracy.

5. Civil liberties

This includes availability of media and freedom to gripe, of which we are second to none. "Free" print media seems to be valued elsewhere, but this strikes me as silly. Libraries provide free media to the 0.1% of the population that cares. The rest of the free media is sponsored by someone or some group with an agenda. Maybe Europe has something that I don't know about.

Torture is listed as a component, and I think it is well known that torture was given a major re-definition in order to play 'gotcha' with president Bush. Libel laws are mentioned which do cause some problems in the US.

Crime is an issue which inhibits the rights of the victims. Excepting murder, the US is better off than most of Europe on this. We should note that prostitution and the sex slave trade aren't listed here. One that I like is "Extent to which the government invokes new risks and threats as an excuse for curbing civil liberties", which is the main source of contention in the US. The international drug trade, which is one of the worst world wide abusers of human rights exploits this to the fullest, with terrorists tagging along behind.

Overall, the notion that the US is behind the EU on civil liberties strikes me as a sad joke. Anyway, I am thankful for the freedoms I enjoy, including the freedom to travel to less free places periodically.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The BBC reports more on the falling skies ...

This is with regard to the extent of ice in the Arctic, which are forecast to disappear by 2030-2040 if current simpleton extrapolations are accurate predictions. The graph for the current year is here. At the moment, we have about 1.5 million square km more ice this year than last, although we are still 1 million square km less than average.

All this is a bit deceiving. From my scuba diving experience, ocean water temperature drops rapidly as you dive, due to the fact that warmer water tends to stay on top. In the winter, sea water at the freezing point sinks and is stored in the vasts depths until ice forms and provides some insulation - effectively stopping the cooling. In other words, an ice free Arctic summer provides little net global warming, but much greater amounts of cooling in the winter. Thus, even though we had a record breaking thaw during summer 2007, we were near normal for ice cover by March 2008. It seems to me to be a self-correcting cycle, but this won't stop the Chicken Littles of the world.
Bathing continued ...

"There are still some ruins of the walls, and a sanctuary of Poseidon, some harbours, and a spring called Kanathos, where the Argives say Hera washes every year to renew her virginity. The legend about this belongs to the secrets of the mystery they celebrate to Hera." - Pausanius, Guide to Greece, Corinth.38

Hera was the premier goddess of Greece and wife of Zeus. Apparently, she was slightly less than completely faithful, hence, the need to renew virginity once a year.

Now some from our modern era might be tempted to smugly look back at this ancient folklore and make fun. Don't. This concept was actually added to the US constitution a few decades back as a fundamental right. Today, all young ladies when they happen to have a, um, slight accident, can go to a Planned Parenthood clinic for a quick procedure, wash up and voilà, virginity is restored! The "secrets of the mystery" are entrusted to liberal intellectuals and academics who, like the priests of old, are the only ones truly capable of understanding this.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Chavez of the North ...

This clip reflects what I have been thinking about Obama. Again, I am not at all happy with McCain, but being associated with ACORN and a member of the United Church of Christ tends to bring certain baggage with it.

In Venezuela, Chavez has been systematically stripping the country of its wealth to pay off his supporters and fund socialist revolutions in other countries. When Americans were buying Venezuela's oil at $100+ per barrel, the numbers at least added up. The irony of a socialist revolution wholly dependent on globalization and capitalism seems to have been lost on everyone. Obama strikes me as having the same mentality as Chavez, except that he is more polite and articulate. So what would happen to America, given the recent massive loss in paper wealth, if our next president decides to start heavily taxing the remaining wealth and distributing it among his supporters?
Bathing continued ...

"Here the King used to take his pleasure in company with those damsels of his; some in carriages, some on horseback, whilst no man was permitted to enter. Sometimes the King would set the girls a-coursing after the game with dogs, and when they were tired they would retire to the groves that overhung the lakes, and leaving their clothes there they would come forth naked and enter the water and swim about hither and thither, whilst it was the King's delight to watch them; and then all would return home. Sometimes the King would have his dinner carried to those groves, which were dense with lofty trees, and there would be waited on by those young ladies. And thus he passed his life in this constant dalliance with women, without so much as knowing what arms meant! And the result of all this cowardice and effeminacy was that he lost his dominion to the Great Khan in that base and shameful way that you have heard." - The Travels of Marco Polo, LXXVII

And so a king in China lost his kingdom. At that time, only kings had the right to indulge themselves in this manner. Today, thanks to the internet and the ACLU, everyone has a fundamental constitutional right to spend as much time dallying around with pornography as this king did being entertained by his concubines.

We should note that Marco Polo was a Renaissance Man, having come from Venice and lived during the 13th and 14th centuries. The Renaissance Men (and Women) were sexually liberated to the point that my history text books report that certain cities (Rome?) had 10% of the population as registered prostitutes, and Marco Polo's writings seem to reflect this mindset. In this instance, however, one negative consequence of the liberation is all too obvious, even to him, so he is brought to condemn the behavior of this Chinese king. The usual protest I hear regarding any standards of sexual behavior is "but they aren't hurting anyone". Indeed, this king didn't hurt anyone, but his subjects suffered horribly at the mongul invasion.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Baths continued ...

"The Heraion is on the left about two miles from Mycenae; the stream caled Eleutherion runs beside the road. The women of the holy place use it for purifications and the sacrifices which are not spoken of. The sanctuary itself is on the lower slopes of Euboia, as they call the mountain. ..."

Pausanius, Guide to Greece, Corinth.17. (written about 120AD)

Washing for purification seems to be a nearly universal practice. In Japan, I was the recipient of some annoyance when I was taken to a temple, and then refused to wash my hands pretending I didn't understand. After all, I don't wash my hands before going into a church, so why wash them before going in to see a demon?

Christianity does simplify things considerably. Rather than constantly washing and rewashing like the pagans and catholics do, we simply get baptized once - preferably in a muddy river - and that is the end of it. After all, it is Jesus who cleanses us by his blood that was shed on the cross, so why all this ritual?

The other item mentioned in this excerpt is "the sacrifices which are not spoken of". Pausanius has many mentions of little cults with secret practices or sacrifices done to commemorate secret events. It is wonderfully mysterious, but certainly not the Christian way. I also tend to see much of this ancient cultic tendency in the modern notion of a scientist - someone who through mysterious means is able to grasp things that ordinary humans can't, regardless of their training and ability. Maybe that seems more plausible outside Silicon Valley.
The Most Hypocritical Campaign Advertisement Ever?

This title probably would probably call for endless dispute, but certainly a candidate would be the California Teacher's Unions campaign to defeat proposition 8. Proposition 8 is an effort to re-explain to the pin-heads in Sacramento that marriage is between a male and a female, per the laws of biology. The teachers union is offended by this, and especially the advertisement noting that gay children stories are being forced into the classroom in Massachusetts. They assert that this is nothing but slander, that they are not trying to change marriage, and that they are only trying to promote a basic, constitutional right! That, of course, being the hypocrisy, that they are an active part of the gay strategy, asserting that newly contrived artificial rights are basic constitutional rights which trump societies understanding of marriage, families, and everything else agreed upon by those who are civilized, while simultaneously claiming that they are innocent and not trying to indoctrinate anyone. Anyway, gays don't marry, except in tiny numbers and for short periods, so the purpose of gay marriage was never about gay marriage, but rather the right of the depraved to indoctrinate children and initiate litigation terrorism.

The other thing to note is that the "Yes on 8" campaign is voluntary, using funds that are freely donated. The teachers union gets its money by coercion and extortion from a membership that largely doesn't agree. They may win in their campaign to promote depravity, but with California schools headed for total dysfunction due to a shrinking tax base and 2/3 voter approval required for new taxes, well ... they may not have the last laugh.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Baths part 5: Babylon's Gilgamesh.

"He washed out his matted hair and cleaned up his equipment,
shaking out his locks down over his back,
throwing off his dirty clothes and putting on clean ones.
He wrapped himself in regal garments and fastened the sash.
When Gilgamesh placed his crown on his head,
Princess Ishtar raised her eyes to the beauty of Gilgamesh.
'Come along, Gilgamesh, be you my husband,
to me grant your lusciousness.
Be you my husband, and I will be your wife ..."

- The Epic of Gilgamesh - Tablet VI.

Ishtar is supposedly a goddess with a very nasty temper. Her lovers invariably end up dead due to one of her fits, so Gilgamesh repeats the stories of their fates and firmly turns her down. The result is a cosmic temper tantrum and upheaval that is utterly pointless, except to glorify the deeds of Gilgamesh. Much of the middle east devoted great resources to worshiping Ishtar for a thousand years and we have this reference to Ishtar in Jeremiah 7:18 - "The children gather wood, the fathers light the fire, and the women knead the dough and make cakes of bread for the Queen of Heaven. They pour out drink offerings to other gods to provoke me to anger." The end result for Israel was particularly nasty.

Scholars like to claim that portions of the Bible violate copyrights on the Epic of Gilgamesh, but rarely get down to the details of comparing and contrasting. In most of the pre-Christian pagan literature, the gods are constantly bickering and behaving in ways that are as bad as anything humans do, yet people were anxious to worship them. Judaism and Christianity, however, have the notion of a single, Holy God, who does not engage in immoral behavior and won't - in the long run - tolerate immoral behavior either. That is a complete opposite to the concepts in The Epic of Gilgamesh.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Baths part 4: "Nothing But The Blood"

"What can wash away my sin?
Nothing but the blood of Jesus;
What can make me whole again?
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.


Oh! precious is the flow
That makes me white as snow;
No other fount I know,
Nothing but the blood of Jesus."

Getting washed in blood still remains an unusual concept 2,000 years after the event.

"And now what are you waiting for? Get up, be baptized and wash your sins away, calling on his name." - Acts 22:16

"And he said, 'These are they who have come out of the great tribulation; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Therefore, 'they are before the throne of God and serve him day and night in his temple; and he who sits on the throne will spread his tent over them." - Revelation 7:15
Baths part 3: The Damascus Document

"No man shall bathe in dirty water or in an amount too shallow to cover a man. He shall not purify himself with water contained in a vessel. And as for the water of every rock-pool too shallow to cover a man, if an unclean man touches it he renders its water as unclean as water contained in a vessel." - The Complete Dead Sea Scrolls in English.

It seems that people are universally persnickety about bathing. These are the rules of the Essenes, who were an extreme splinter group from Judaism.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Baths Part 2: Seneca regarding the bath of Scipio Africanus.

" ... and the tiny little bath, situated after the old-fashioned custom in an ill-lit corner, our ancestors believing that the only place where one could properly have a hot bath was in the dark. ...

Who is there who could bear to have a bath in such surroundings nowadays? We think ourselves poorly off, living like paupers, if the walls are not ablaze with large and costly circular mirrors, if our Alexandrian marbles are not decorated with panels of Numidian marble, if the whole of their surface has not been given a decorative overlay of elaborate patterns having all the variety of fresco murals, unless the ceiling cannot be seen for glass, unless the pools into which we lower bodies with all the strength drained out of them by lengthy periods in the sweating room are edged with Thasian marble (which was once the rarest of sights even in a temple), unless the water pours from silver taps. And so far we have only been talking about the ordinary fellow's plumbing. What about the bath-houses of a certain former slave? Look at their arrays of statues, their assemblies of columns that do not support a thing but are put up purely for ornament, just for the sake of spending money. Look at the cascades of water spashing noisily down from one level to the next. We have actually come to such a pitch of choosiness that we object to walking on anything other than precious stones." - Seneca, letters from a Stoic, LXXXVI by Penguin Classics.

I have probably quoted too much for the fair use rules, but Seneca is just getting warmed up regarding the subject of baths. Maybe I will add some more in other posts. Scipio Africanus lived in a simpler time about 2 centuries before Seneca. Conspicuous consumption was all the rage in the middle of the 1st century AD. Eventually I should probably contrast the Biblical notion of a bath to the Roman one.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Regarding negative returns on my financial investments ...

There is always the outside chance that I made some bad choices. Then there are all those well known junkets by Wall Street fat cats. What I didn't know was that New Jersey and New York were each getting up to 30% of their state revenues off of taxes on financial services. The final assessment of the causes of the financial collapse is yet to come, but certainly mega parasites feeding off of the system wasn't helping.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Regarding the state established religion of depravity in Massachusetts.

I just noticed this, but it seems this has been going on awhile. The traditional story of the handsome prince falling in love with the lovely princess is twisted to be a story about the handsome prince falling love with the lovely princess's brother - and the two young men go on to be married. Don't know about the "happily ever after" part. This is a second grade text book in Massachusetts. Certainly it is sad to see supreme court justices ruling in favor of evil for the simple reason that it is evil. Get used to it. The wars are just beginning.
Reflecting on baths ...

"Agricola had to deal with people living in isolation and ignorance, and therefore prone to fight; and his object was to accustom them to a life of peace and quiet by the provision of amenities. ... Furthermore, he educated the sons of the chiefs in the liberal arts, and expressed a preference for British ability as compared with the trained skills of the Gauls. The result was that instead of loathing the Latin language they became eager to speak it effectively. In the same way, our national dress came into favour and the toga was everywhere to be seen. And so the population was gradually led into the demoralizing temptations of arcades, baths , and sumptuous banquets. The unsuspecting Britons spoke of such novelties as 'civilization', when in fact they were only a feature of their enslavement. " Tacitus, Agricola, 21.

Every child understands the plots of his parents instinctively and protests bathing at one point or another. I have been reflecting on this passage as I have been forced to skip a few days of bathing to keep my bandages dry.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Blogging about poverty - continued ...

Everyone knows that the rich are getting richer, while the poor either remain poor or are becoming poorer. This was happening for as long as I can remember, but when did the trend start? Consider this:

"If you're poor now, my friend, then you'll stay poor. These days only the rich get given more." - Martial, Epigrams, Book 5-LXXXI.81 (written about 80AD)
Blog About Poverty?

Nah, bloggers are useless people who sit behind their computers babbling about things they don't understand rather than doing something useful. Get off the computer and pack up a shoe box for Operation Christmas Child.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Overheating the culture wars ...

The classic pattern of the spoiled brat is that he stamps his feet and shouts, "if you don't give me what I want, then you are a meanie!". This picture is a visual expression of the same level of maturity by the artist, but also reflects something of the level of today's culture wars in America.

Since the Statue of Liberty was built in 1886, the meaning of liberty has changed drastically in the US. In 1886, it was about allowing people to immigrate in significant numbers to the US in a lawful and orderly manner, which was considered noble. Today, if you disagree with illegal aliens involved in sex trade trafficking being registered to vote, then you are branded as a psycho xenophobe who, like Sarah, wants to murder liberty. Is this change of definition to the word liberty really due to a concern for foreigners? Or is it because foreigners are unfamiliar with American culture and values, inhibited by language, and thus more susceptible to manipulation, exploitation, and being forced into dependency on the welfare state? "Give us you gullible, ignorant, pliable masses." - The Intellectual.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Scientists discover vegan super-predator!

PETA vows to convert other predators to veganism.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Remembering Laura White and Raymond Yu.

Both of these talented young people died within the last few weeks. Both were 19 years old. Both attended Gomes Elementary School in Fremont. Raymond died in a car accident in San Jose. I can't find the exact article on Laura, but the rumor mill says that she died jumping off the Golden Gate Bridge. If someone can confirm or correct this, I would be happy to know. For reasons that I won't explain on a blog, both of these mean something to me. If the reports are true that Laura jumped from the bridge, then she would be the last suicide before the recent vote to erect a suicide net under the Golden Gate Bridge. Incidents like these make me feel like I spend too much time whining about politics and not enough trying to help people.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Connecticut's Supreme Court rules that depravity is the official state religion.

As with California, it seems that Connecticut's GLBT community already had civil unions. Thus, the immediate issue in the ruling was whether or not the term "marriage" was the property of the cultural and religious heritage of the people of Connecticut, or the property of gay gang bangers, bisexuals, pimps and transvestites. The court ruled in favor of the later groups. Longer term it degrades religion in the eyes of the law and will eventually give prostitution a higher legal standing than religious freedom.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

A conservative credits George Soros ...

The thesis is that although Fannie and Freddie may have triggered the current mess, the real issue was a credit bubble that was funding economic growth. In 2006, home equity loans were making up 10 percent of personal consumption. If things move into reverse and people start reducing personal consumption to pay down all of those loans, then an economic implosion would seem inevitable. From 1997 to 2006, home equity loans accounted for $9 trillion in spending, which helps put the $700 billion bailout in perspective. Soros seems to think that the US dollar will end its reign and there will be a huge fall in value suddenly, so he is shorting the dollar. I am not so sure since a very large amount of that spending goes into foreign made products.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

US Banking crisis causes foreign investors to flee the US dollar buy US dollars for security.

So much for the end of the American Empire. It seems that the feds financing of the $700 billion rescue plan will be done by selling bonds to foreigners, thus, sucking up a large percentage of potential capital for the developing world to keep the overdeveloped world afloat.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

The International Herald Tribune evaluates Fannie Mae ...

This is pretty much an outline of what I understood to be the causes of the financial mess, although many details are filled in which I didn't know.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Looney for President?

I didn't even know I had a campaign going ... Thanks Delirious for bringing me into the loop!

Friday, October 03, 2008

Bay Area Bailout Votes: Pete Stark votes 'no'.

Pete Stark is my local representative to the US House of Representatives and the only openly atheist member of the house. The article was from the first vote, but Stark voted 'no' today also. It is always a bit weird when I am sympathetic to his vote.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

The Banking Crisis and the Skeptic.

OK, here is what is bugging me:

a) The banking crisis shows up a little more than a month before a US election.
b) The crisis is actually a global liquidity crisis, but as some have noted, the crisis is not driven by any signs of decline in business. It just appeared.
c) Without this crisis, Obama has no hope of becoming president.
d) Most of the international elite desperately want the Democrats to win this election.
e) Fiscally irresponsible government is the only kind of government that I have ever lived under.

So what are the chances that some institution or group deliberately sabotaged world financial markets just before a US election? China and some middle eastern countries probably would have the financial reserves to do something. George Soros seems a bit small, but would have the right mentality. Then there is Chavez down in Venezuela. No, I don't have any evidence nor could I make an accusation and maybe this is all just some stupid conspiracy theory, but it is something to ponder. Given all of the internationalized abstract monetary flows, would it be possible for some players to deliberately scew up the whole world finance system for political ends?

Update: One article on the October Surprise concept. The International Herald Tribune has a rehash of the market turmoil which looks to be just a sequence of herd style panics from one place to another. It seems that some individual fund managers with large positions could trigger a general panic by initiating large money flows out of a fund that wasn't under attack, but again, that is just wild speculation on my part to suggest politically motivated market sabotage.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

If at first you don't succeed ...

OK, so the $700 billion bailout deal was rejected for being wildly egregious. The logical thing to do is to take the original bill, load it up with pork and try again! Maybe we can get the approval rating of congress down into the single digits.
What is a "Community Organizer"?

Given that this is a key feature of Obama's very short resume, it is perhaps something worth pondering. Community organizers can do much good by lobbying local government to get pimps and prostitutes off the street, introduce stop lights and cross walks next to schools, as well as help those who are suffering in one way or another find help. On the other hand, Mona Charen seems to think of something else when the term Community Organizer comes up.

There is another type of community organizer: The inner city intellectuals running on a toxic mixture of Marxism, liberation theology and racial oppression theory. When a nasty drug dealer is put out of business by the police, this sort of community organizer stirs up the community with stories of racially motivated brutality by the police and then starts filing lawsuits alleging violation of the drug dealer's rights. Armed with the Community Reinvestment Act, community organizers have been filing lawsuits against banks alleging racial discrimination in loans (now you know why they need lawyers). Eventually the noise raised caused the leftist controlled congress and previous White House to increase pressure on the banks, which is the reason for the current banking mess. One commentator suggested that putting a community organizer in charge of the banking system was like putting an arsonist in charge of the fire department. We may find out what kind of a community organizer Obama was.