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Messages - QwazyWabbit

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1051
Politics / Re: What does this mean to the economy?
« on: October 15, 2008, 09:29:39 PM »
Alan Greenspan will go down in history as the worst FED chairman in the history of the United States. His obfuscated statements in his reports will be recorded as meaningless blather and nonsense. His concentration on combating inflation at the expense of all other monetary features of our economy is what allowed the tech and real estate bubbles to persist and expand.

1052
An excellent description of Islam from the POV of a woman subjugated by it and her escape from it. That the enlightenment of REASON not dogma is the way out of subjugation and deprivation.

1053
Politics / Re: What does this mean to the economy?
« on: October 11, 2008, 11:29:39 AM »
it's the bankers fault, and the president's fault.  they made the bad investments, the president said nothing.

You really are clueless, aren't you? The banks didn't "invest" anything. They lent money to people who obtained mortgages they couldn't afford by letting mortgage brokers tell them it was OK to lie about their incomes and expenses. They sent pre-approved credit card applications to people who couldn't afford to pay them off like students and others who managed their credit badly. One friend of mine is on his 5th re-finance since buying his 2nd home and wondering how he'll ever pay it off with two daughters who are getting married soon.

The President has absolutely nothing to do with all of that. The president DID try to tell Congress there was a problem and THEY wouldn't listen because one of their friends [ ] was the CEO of Freddie Mac.

In 2003, the company revealed that it had understated earnings by almost $5 billion, one of the largest corporate restatements in U.S. history. As a result, in November, it was fined $125 million--an amount called "peanuts" by Forbes.

A 200-page report issued by Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight indicated that the company's records were manipulated to meet Wall Street earnings expectations. The firm signed a consent order promising to improve internal controls and corporate governance.

On April 18, 2006 home loan giant Freddie Mac was fined $3.8 million, by far the largest amount ever assessed by the Federal Election Commission, as a result of illegal campaign contributions. Much of the illegal fund raising benefited members of the House Financial Services Committee, a panel whose decisions can affect Freddie Mac. Notably, Freddie Mac held more than 40 fundraisers for House Financial Services Chairman Michael Oxley, R-Ohio.

Oxley, remember that name? Does Sorbanes-Oxley ring a bell?

Franklin Raines presided over Fannie Mae during that period.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_MGT_cSi7Rs

Congress set the rules. Congress set the goals. The banks correctly sold the mortgages to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac who bought them on margin with only 2% capital reserves. That means for example, they bought $400,000 loans with only $8000 in reserves to back them up if the mortgagee defaulted. Get it? The GSEs simply didn't have the funds to guarantee recovery of assets if they had to foreclose. Frank Raines incorrectly told Congress, under oath, that they were riskless. Futhermore, he ordered the cooking of the books so the company would meet analyst expectations so he and his officers could get their bonuses.

Now, you blame the president. Which president? Frank Raines served under Clinton!
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Franklin_Raines
in 2005:
http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/05_02/b3915646.htm
April, 2008:
http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/businesstechnology/2004358433_webraines18.html

"But forget the now-familiar tales of mortgages gone bad. The next horror for beaten-down financial firms is the $950 billion worth of outstanding credit-card debt—much of it toxic. "
http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/08_42/b4104024799703.htm?chan=rss_topStories_ssi_5



1054
Politics / Re: The Official Obama Bashing Thread
« on: October 10, 2008, 09:35:19 PM »
 :bravo: :lolsign:

1055
Politics / Re: What does this mean to the economy?
« on: October 10, 2008, 09:21:06 PM »
I blame the bankers for the problem, since they are the root cause. 

Circular logic with a bad premise. Bankers were not root cause, they just knew bad investment needed to be traunched and diversified. Blame colleges and universities that teach "creative economics" to their MBA's and graduate bean counters who's sole goal in life is to secure big salaries and even bigger bonuses by meeting unrealistic goals using unrealistic bookkeeping.

Quote
Governemnt [sic] mandates that caused banks to give out poor loans was extremely negligable [sic] , considering the extend [sic] of the problem.

Government, (Congress) and Bill Clinton as far back as 1997, told FNMA and FMAC to pick up more MBS even when they knew the MBS were "toxic". They also encouraged banks to lend to people who were "disadvantaged" and needed to participate in the "American Dream" of home ownership, even if they couldn't afford it. When OFHEO told Congress (Maxine Waters, Barney Franks) that FMAC officers were pulling extraordinary compensation and pointed out bad bookkeeping, Congress critters defended FMAC and accused OFHEO of false accusations and bad practice. Congress failed in their oversight responsibility.

OFHEO reports to Congress, not the President.

Quote
As far as the government not fixing problems ahead of time, I blame the president.  It's not like he was saying, hey maybe these policies we issues in the past were good at the time, but now we gotta change them, he didn't say anything like that.

The President enforces the laws. Congress writes the laws. You can't enforce what isn't written or step into enforcement that Congress has reserved to itself. This is and continues to be the main problem between Congress (no matter what party controls it) and the president, no matter what party he belongs to. The Congress continues to micro-manage national affairs while sticking their pig noses into the trough and blaming the president for acting "imperial". Congress tried, to Gen. G. Washington's everlasting exaspiration, to underfund the Revolutionary War while micromanaging and interfering with his command of the army. (Sound familiar?)

Congress and "banking experts" continued to falsely claim "everything's fine" in order to avoid the kind of generalized investor panic we are now experiencing. Quite simply, they lied about the whole mess, hoping it would work itself out and just go away. They pulled "The Enron Maneuver" --  tell everyone it's all OK in order to avoid a "run on the bank".

It doesn't matter who is president. It won't matter if McCain or Obama is president. Except if Obama is elected it would probably become much worse, because the president doesn't control or even have much influence on the course of the economy, it's all the Central Bankers and the Federal Reserve is a private company. Gee, another one of those GSE's?

1056
Politics / Re: The Official Obama Bashing Thread
« on: October 08, 2008, 10:43:21 PM »
If I had the energy, I wouldn't need 5 minute abs, I'd be able to use 10 minute abs but I don't have the energy anymore.
Pass the salt, please.

1057
Politics / Re: The Official Obama Bashing Thread
« on: October 08, 2008, 08:27:26 AM »
qwazy is too intense for me

 I'm :LolLolLolLol: having fun  :violent: being intense.

1058
Politics / Re: The Official Obama Bashing Thread
« on: October 07, 2008, 10:50:27 PM »
Well, let me see. Do we respond to the claim that I am a racist first or that I was denegrating (oops) Abraham Lincoln's achievements as an Inexperienced President. Or shall I respond to the claim that citing the fact that the Civil War killed more Americans than any other implies that I am against the Civil War and it follows that if anyone is against the Civil War they ought to be against the Iraq war or vice versa.

1. I never experienced racism until my junior year in college. I was a member of the broadcasters club at the school and we had a short-range FM radio station and I was one of the DJs, this was in 1975. My partner was black from Detroit and was a year behind me in age. I am white and was brought up in the nearly-all-white suburbs of another city midwest, not in Michigan, precisely where is irrelevant. We got along just fine and we had a nice gig going in our time slot. One day, we decided to get lunch and jaunt around town in my car. After lunch we were seeing the sights and generally hanging out. The car was a convertible. We stopped at a traffic light and there were some black kids our age standing on the corner. They yelled at my passenger, flipped him off and called him Uncle Tom. The light changed, we moved on. I asked him WTF? He said "Nothin' man, keep moving." I had to look it up later to figure it out. I had never heard of Uncle Tom before. It turned out the real racists were black that day.

2. The Civil War was inevitable no matter who was president. While the moral high ground may have been his, it was Lincoln's speeches on slavery and his making it his policy that if elected he would be against admitting any new slave states that caused the secessions of the southern states upon his election so one could say he precipitated the war. If the south had not seceded and caused the north to respond with force of arms, slavery in the south might have lasted another generation but it was inevitable that slavery should end one way or another. The war, and the south's defeat, actually hastened the process of abolition. What's interesting is that blacks who owe abolition to the Republicans tend to be regarded as voting more for Democrats, the common misconception that "conservative" is equivalent to racist or something. Maybe that is/was true in southern states but I don't think there were many Republicans in office down there until more recently since being a white Republican in the south would be equivalent to being "One of Them Damn Yankees".

Weren't George Wallace and Jesse Helms both Democrats? There's some nice racists for you.

There is no logical connection between the Civil War and it's causes and the Iraq war and it's causes.

It's not a question of down playing Lincoln's greatness. It a matter of seeing him and his actions and policies in the reality of their history and consequences. Facts can get in the way when our heros have feet of clay.

I never supported the Iraq war. I thought it was a mistake to go there when it was clear to me at the time that the real center of conflict ought to be Afghanistan/Pakistan and Iran since that's where Al Quaida was. GWB made a huge mistake trying to re-fight daddy's war but I suspect Saddam scared the shit out of the Saudis and they needed him taken out. Lots of phone calls from the good old boys from Rhiyad, no doubt.

I am in favor of McCain's idea that staying there and helping to fix what we helped break is better than some artificial timetable for withdrawl to satisfy the masses. Just another example of vote buying. However, anyone with kids in the armed forces has my sympathy. It's going to be a tough next couple of years. Even if Obama gets elected, it will be at least two years before the beginning of any withdrawl.

FYI, my ancestry in the New World goes back to a young Englishman who came from Hingham, Norwich, Norfolk in 1635 and began his life on this continent at the ripe old age of 25 as a carpenter, mason and general contractor in Boston. He married the ship captain's daughter and was NOT a member of the Puritan church and therefore could not vote. He was made a "freedman" in his 40's and lived to be some 70+ years old. My ancestral grandfathers and uncles fought and died as volunteers in the Revolutionary Army under George Washington and at least one served as Ensign during the war of 1812. Another generation served again in the Iowa Volunteers during the Civil War. My grandfather served during WWI, my father fought in WWII and my Great Grandmother was Sioux. I am 13th generation American and part Native American. And that ain't no bull.


1059
Tech Junkie Lounge / Re: Math geek clock
« on: October 06, 2008, 09:56:25 AM »
Toward a more accurate timepiece.

 :ubershock:

1060
Politics / Re: What does this mean to the economy?
« on: October 05, 2008, 03:21:57 PM »
Citi only agreed after the regulators told them they'd guarantee the deal. They have no case, a better offer came along and Wachovia has to look out for "shareholder interests". If it's worth $2.1 Billion with federal guarantees, it's worth $14.8 Billion without them. Whether we are going to be bailing out Wells Fargo later this year remains to be seen. :)

I can't imagine why New York State Supreme court would have any authority or jurisdiction since they are all Federally regulated and the jusrisdiction ought to be U.S. Circuit court to start, but that was probably the only judge they could find fast enough to stop the deal from going through until the federal guys step in.

Nice game, huh?

My only problem with all these games is they are playing with MY money and MY retirement and I never asked to buy into this casino-roll. Gimme my 401(k) balances back and let me cash out because this has zero reward and maximum risk for no other reason than the people who were supposed to be looking out for my funds were insane.

1061
Politics / Re: another terrorist attack
« on: October 05, 2008, 03:09:07 PM »
The extremists are at it again!

Police arrested three men on Saturday in connection with a fire at the offices of the publisher of a book about the Prophet Mohammed and his child bride Aisha

Gibson Square is responsible for the publication of "The Jewel of Medina" a fictional account of the Prophet's relationship with his youngest bride Aisha, she was engaged to Muhammad at the age of six, she married Mohammed at the age of nine 

Will a religious fatwa be placed calling for the death of author Sherry Jones, Ayatollah Khomeini issued a religious fatwa for the death of Salman Rushdie in 1988 for his novel The Satanic Verses, the fatwa resulted in at least one attempt on the life of Salman Rushdie


Update 10-3-2008

The three men have been charged   

The three men will face Westminster Magistrates, they are accused of “conspiring without lawful excuse to damage the premises -- intending to destroy or damage property and with intent to endanger life and conspiring without lawful excuse to damage the premises -- intending to destroy or damage property and being reckless as to whether the life of another would thereby be endangered.”

One of the men was also charged with “possessing a weapon designed or adapted for the discharge of a noxious liquid or gas.”

The sentence when they are convicted should be 20 years in prison, listening to a continuous loop in their cells of the charges being read aloud. That alone should be sufficient to drive them absolutely bat-shit. :)

1062
Politics / Re: The Official Obama Bashing Thread
« on: October 04, 2008, 11:31:41 AM »
Inexperienced Illinois Senator, indeed.
He was never a Senator.
He was elected to the House but failed in his bid for the Senate.
He was a Republican. The first Republican president.
The Republican party was an abolishonist party.

As President he presided over a civil war that killed more Americans than any war before or since.
A war that was instigated in response to his promise in his presidential campaign to ensure that no new states would be admitted to the union as slave states. He wanted to Change America.

If he had had more experience the war might have been much shorter, instead he went through a long series of unsuccessful generals in command of Union forces until appointing Ulyses S. Grant who undertook a war of attrition costing many lives on both sides.

He suspended habeas corpus.

He signed the death warrants for 38 Sioux who were hanged in 1862 after the Minnesota uprising.
The largest single mass execution in American history.

He signed the Emancipation Proclamation for very pragmatic reasons.
1. To discourage England from joining the war on the Confederate side.
2. To allow the negros in the north to fight in the Union army.
3. To abolish slavery in the occupied territories of the secessionist states.
4. To promote general unrest in the slave populations of the secessionist states.
5. To fulfill his stated goal of ensuring no more slave states would be created and to abolish slavery on his own terms.

Inexperience may lead to greatness, but at what cost?

1063
Politics / Re: What does this mean to the economy?
« on: October 03, 2008, 08:04:32 PM »
If Americans can't see the real problem is the system and the rules the Senators and Representatives have designed for themselves to keep themselves in office and to make it as hard as possible for new candidates to be elected and for real reforms to be implemented then we shall continue to get the government we deserve.

On a related note, I read an interesting hypothesis with regard to gerrymandering the other day.

I had previously regarded gerrymandering ("To divide (a geographic area) into voting districts so as to give unfair advantage to one party in elections") as more or less just an annoying collusion between members of opposing parties to help keep themselves being re-elected, by ensuring a majority of partisan constituents in their respective districts.

However, the hypothesis linked gerrymandering to the increasing polarization and divisive extreme partisan leanings of elected officials.

The idea is, that when districts are drawn to include more of a balance of constituents from multiple political parties, then candidates must campaign more as centrists.  Those who are elected will have campaigned in a way that reached out to not just members of a single party.

By contrast, when we now often have gerrymandered districts, such that democrats can run on an extreme liberal platform to appease a mostly democratic district, and repuclicans can likewise run on an extreme conservative platform to appease a mostly republican district, we end up essentially electing extremists who believe they have a mandate to govern or legislate based on these extreme platforms.

This explanation makes sense to me.  Previously gerrymandering seemed more like just annoying political hackery to me.  In light of the above, it seems closer to bordering on a threat to our being able to function as a democracy.


Regards,

:eyecrazy:


Agreed! But it goes way beyond mere gerrymandy, that's just the political parties keeping the maverics out and the incumbents in. That's what keeps anyone from running up against someone of their own party. Then we have the messing around at the general election to keep it a two party race to keep the independents in disarray.

But the real game is played up in DC where the big bucks are and where all the lobbies with a stake in the game make all those nice "contributions" to campaign funds to buy this or that vote on some issue concerning the special interests behind the lobby. And we all know it's a payoff always was, always will be but Senate or House "rules" allow it to be done. Just because there's no "promise" from the politico to vote one way or the other doesn't diminish the quid pro quo nature of the transaction. Certainly, if they can't get them on tape about it, it's not a crime. :) But "Senator, we'd like you to consider our position on this bill, blah blah..." and here's a nice contribution to your re-election slush fund while we're here....

And don't doubt for an instant that there isn't some executive assistant to the Senator who is responsible for telling him who's account is current and who's not. Or an assistant to the House representative who makes sure that the bigger contributing lobby gets "priority access" to the Honorable Congressman. But if you or I offered to sell our vote at the polls we'd be arrested!

It's corrupt at its face but "the rules" dictate what is acceptable and what isn't. But the piggies are writing the rules. And if the lobby can't actually write the check, well, here's a fundraiser in your name Senator, let's have a party and you get up, show a little face time, talk to all the nice people with fat checkbooks and smile pretty for the pictures *wet your lips* and whatever we take in goes in that nice re-election fund so you can outspend any upstarts that come along.

Meanwhile the Committee Chairmen (usually a nice Senior Senator) or in the case of Junior Senator Obama, a minor subcommittee of some subcommittee get to call hearings (but Obama never called one), lord it over witnesses or petitioners (did you make a contribution?), posture and make comments and generally obstruct any meaningful discussion of what might be important to We the People. If a member introduces a bill, it's the chairman's job to make sure that if it doesn't make bread for his party, the bill will die a silent death and never see a vote.

Anyone remember when the Senate Committee (or was it the House?) was grilling the CEO's of Chase, Citigroup and BofA about their credit card practices and their interest rates and fees? Did anything change? Were any laws written/re-written? When your bank is paying you 1% on your savings, WTF are you doing paying 23% on cash advances or 12% on your balances for? In truth, the difference is directly related to the "risk" the banks took by flinging credit cards to all those "Consumers". We have ceased being "productive" and we now have "consumption". In the old days, you died from "consumption". There is no penicillin for this disease. This country has been buried under its own debt by those who think that watching bottom lines is "managing" a company and guarding your parachute and cooking the books is "commensurate with shareholder interests".

Remember when companies paid dividends to shareholders? How come a CEO gets 100+ megabucks and the shareholders get a 20% loss in equity? Performance... yeah right.

The game is played and it's fixed in favor of the House. It's not even a gambler's game anymore. It's called buy buy buy until you get so big that if you fail the taxpayers will HAVE to bail you out to save themselves.

And the pundits score the games like sports events.

1064
Politics / Re: What does this mean to the economy?
« on: October 03, 2008, 11:34:33 AM »
Real reform in Washington can never happen as long as the Pigs at the Trough have power.
The American people will always continue to take it up the ass until they wise up and get these pork-swine off the public tit.
The only way to do that is for American voters to vote the piggies out of office as fast as they possibly can.

Voters must:
Insist candidates for House and Senate state their promise to vote true reform: Like a no-pork, no earmarks spending rule in the Senate.
Identify "INCUMBENT" candidates and vote for any other candidate who is running for that incumbent's office.
Do this for the next 12 years in every election, possibly even beyond 12 years.
12 years is needed to get rid of our piggy Senators and posturing pandering porkers.
There is no need for a term limit law, give every candidate a shot at making good on his promises and vote him out if he/she doesn't.
Vote every incumbent out of office after, at most, 2 terms. (4 years for House members, 12 years for Senators)

For most Americans this is your only opportunity to righteously fire your grasping, pandering, power sucking, pork-spending idiots in Congress.

The power in the Senate belongs to the "senior" senators they are the ones who have played the game the longest and have been gaming the system the longest and have all the lobbyist and collegial backing. Those are the ones who are screwing with us the most and they are also the hardest to defeat.

Some will say this is indiscriminate voting. They will ask, "What if the new guy is worse than the old one?" The fact is, the new guys will be new in the job and won't be pigging out for at least a term so the potential for abuse of the system is lower. They have 1 term to get it right and the point is rapid turnover of our representatives so they learn to realize they are TEMPORARY EMPLOYEES of the PEOPLE. Guys like Joe Biden who has been in the Senate for 32 years have no business pulling big fat contributions and big fat salaries at the public expense.

Example: They vote themselves big fat pay raises and retirement benefits and health care, but they gain public acceptance of those measures by deferring them to the next session, then they do everything they can to be re-elected so they can participate in those benefits. DUH! Are we so stupid that we can accept that? Do you have the right to give yourself a raise?

If Americans can't see the real problem is the system and the rules the Senators and Representatives have designed for themselves to keep themselves in office and to make it as hard as possible for new candidates to be elected and for real reforms to be implemented then we shall continue to get the government we deserve.


1065
Tech Junkie Lounge / Re: Math geek clock
« on: September 30, 2008, 10:23:53 AM »
Pi is transcendental and no number except pi itself, can be subtracted from pi to yield a whole number.

The transcendence has nothing to do with that.
Let n in Z := {...-2, -1, 0, 1, 2, ...}. pi - (pi - n) = n
 ;)

It has everything to do with it.

Associative law reveals:

pi - (pi - n) = (pi - pi) - n =  0 - n and is not equal to n except when n = 0 so your equation is flawed.

But you have effectively subtracted pi from itself. My assertion is correct.
 
However, the the flaw of my original statement is one of not being more formal with regard to precision and significant figures.

9, the integer is exact. pi, the symbol is exact. C = pi * D is exact.
3.14159265358 as an approximation of pi is precise but inexact. C = 3.14159265358 * D is precise but inexact.

Subtracting 0.14 from pi to approximate 3 is inexact and imprecise in comparison with 9, the integer.

Doing something like 3^2 (1 + pi - pi) would have been exact but mostly useless obfuscation but of course, the whole clock is useless obfuscation. I was merely pointing out the nature of the lack of mathematical rigor in the equation for 9 o'clock.

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