Archive for the ‘Moneylending’ Category

No More Jobs?

Hello.

Of all things the news spews I think the most underrated are the stories about Steve Jobs health.

Though I consider him just one step away from being the Anti-Christ, he is still human. However, he is a human who has lied through his teeth to shareholders. First it was ” No, no, I’m fine.”  Then it was “Oh well. I am on a special diet.”  Then, of course, “Oh I might have had a touch of the Cancer but I’m good now.”

Now he’s had his liver transplant which is probably an extension of the pancreatic cancer he never told anyone about.

Well bully for you, Stevie.

Why shareholders aren’t more ticked is beyond me. The entire company rests on the charisma of the grand poohbah of technology and he hasn’t the cajones to just tell the frickin’ truth. Sure he’ll mass market a ‘business plan’  that smacks of profiteering but he won’t tell the truth to the people who probably should know he’s going to drop any minute.

And he could. Pancreatic cancer is  one of  the most devastating and aggressive cancers. I watched a friend go from diagnosis to death in three weeks. It doesn’t just go “Oh you’re Steve Jobs? Sorry man, I’ll go now” It’s a hanger arounder. A, slip into your other organs and have a party, kind of cancer. It likes to travel. A lot. So give it a few months I’m sure we’ll hear about a new ‘special diet’ Jobs is on. Right before they take him in for another transplant.

 

Dogwoman

Everybody Panic!!!!!!!!

Hello.

I awoke so early this morning that even the birds were still asleep. When I tried to wake them, they gave me the middle feather. Cheeky bustards.

After reading the news, I turned to my abnormally cheerful husband and wailed “But, I was only gone for five hours!”

Here’s what I found :

The banking sector of the United States is in Chicken Little mode with every newspaper screaming that the sky is falling. As it may well be. When the smoke clears, will Bank of America be the only financial institution still standing? One pundit goes so far as to hint the “thousands” of banks will now fail in the coming months. Which is of course a signal for everyone to begin pulling their money out of the bank and hiding it in their mattresses. Failure to help people fully understand what the collapse of these financial giants means for the average Joe almost guarantees a run of worried customers, causing further panic and instability. If they can soft pedal of war of indeterminate length and destruction, why can’t they lie about the money problems of the entire country?

Also, because I have to live here, this really pisses me off and makes me hate the GOP more, which I didn’t think possible, but there it is. The Michigan GOP is trying to use the nifty Right-To-Vote laws here in Michigan to keep those who have been foreclosed upon from voting. Last time I checked the only groups of people not eligible to vote in the U.S. are illegal immigrants and currently incarcerated felons. Is the Michigan GOP trying to say that those who lost their homes to the shady dealings of the mortgage companies are actually criminals???? That’s one way to misdirect to mislead. Which seems to be the GOP’s SOP.

This one is more of an observational question. If oil is now selling for under a hundred dollars a barrel, why am I paying almost 4.50 a gallon this morning? If you say Ike I will issue a horrible Ancient Roman Curse upon you and your family. And your dog. While the closing of the refineries was probably a factor it does not explain to my personal satisfaction a jump of nearly 70 cents in two days. Especially with the price of oil continually falling. At one point on Friday a gas station here in Michigan was selling at 5.99 a gallon. Clearly, they were gouging. Yet, are the oil companies now gouging on the speculation of the maybe of things to come? So it would seem. Starting a mass panic can be profitable.

There was also a story about a house burning to the ground in North Texas because some geniuses disconnected the fire hydrants. Why, you ask? Because they were afraid that terrorists would poison the water supply. *Headslap* Good God, I knew this country was going backwards but, all the way back to the Middle Ages?

If you haven’t yet started running about your abode wailing in terror, scrabbling for your bankbook and refusing to drink the tap water, well, there just might be hope for you yet.

Dogwoman

Legislating Dystopia: Huxley Is Laughing

Hello.

Today I am having a fit of moral curiosity. It could happen, stop laughing.

As our culture endures a rather lengthy shake up and restructuring due to gas prices and food costs, I’ve noticed something. The government in the background is trying to legislate morality. They are going about it much more forcefully than ever before.  They are in the process of trying and potentially winning a battle to make nicotine a governmental regulated drug. Recently legislation was presented to make female contraceptives on par with abortion.

Why is this being allowed? Is it because we the people lack the common sense to live up to high moral standards or have we just stopped trying? In a culture that excoriates anyone who attempts to live outside the consumer mentality and exonerates greedy corporations for what amounts to illegal activities it is not a surprise that we no longer care. No one is listening. We are not being heard.

At some point being a gansta became the highest achievement teens will reach for. I say this, not because of flimsy media reports, but because that is what the students tell me. So, instead of looking beyond, they look around this country and feel that since it cannot be fixed in any meaningful way they will glorify defiance and violence. And that is where many inner city teens live. Not all of them mind you, but many of them.

And the adults are losing hope as well. We are losing the feeling that this government is for the people. As oil companies take in record profits on the backs of working Americans, many of whom are losing their homes, what is there to makes retain any hope for the future? Apparently nothing.

That being said, do we need government to regulate our personal habits? After allowing greed and gluttony to rule the last eight years what right does the Bush administration have to decide what we do with our lives?  They are trying to tell us who we can sleep with, while Republicans and evangelist ministers are indicted for prostitution and fraud. They are trying to tell us how to have fun, while Legislators are indicted for sexual harassment and fixing the judicial branch to reflect their groups’ philosophy. And more importantly, they are trying to tell us what we should believe in. By passing care for the poor directly into the hands of protestant churches and giving them government funding, by defining what a human being is using a 2000 year old book and repeatedly failing at passing new marriage laws aimed at keeping out non-traditional families, our government is trying to force this country to move backwards rather than forwards.

This moral legislation ideology will only last as long as the current crisis. Once Bush and his cronies no longer have their boot heels on the throats of ordinary citizens there will be a backlash. One has only to look at periods of history to see this. And it will not be good. Our society is in the midst of a shake up, a change. It happens every 65-70 years or so. Social patterns change and grow. Not everyone will engage in the change and not everyone will appreciate the new direction. However, it is coming, and it is coming faster than most of us realize.

To legislate personal choice is a violation of not just the constitution but the section of the constitution that guarantees us the ‘pursuit of happiness’. To look over the neighbors fence and decide that their idea of happiness is just a bad choice is ludicrous. We do not all engage in the same behaviors. Nor should we.

I, for one, would find no pleasure in living in a dystopian society in which everyone is expected to behave the same way at the same time, all the time.

Would you?

Dogwoman

All I Want Is EU

Hello.

Bono wants Africa to create a United States of Africa.

Yeah, and I want Baskin Robbins to start a home delivery service.

The problem that the little man has vastly overlooked, as has his alter ego Jeffery Sachs, is the separatist and tribal nature of many African nations. There are literally hundred of tribes within the African framework and they do not all get along. I don’t mean this in a Protestant v. Catholic way either. I mean that they will never get along. Ever. This division existed long before Ireland tossed out it’s Druids and gained a snake charmer.

Also, has either of these social geniuses looked at a map?  I am referring specifically to North Africa. I don’t mean to be a killjoy here but have they noticed the many stable, productive, countries at the top of the African Continent? Something tells me that Egypt and Morocco are not going to loosen ties to other Muslim countries in order to embrace a chaotic warlord run Sub Saharan Africa. They can’t, their ideologies are so different nothing would ever be accomplished.

And I don’t think pointing to the EU is a good example builder in light of Ireland overwhelmingly killing the Lisbon treaty.

In fact, pointing to Ireland at all is probably not a good idea right now. Their entire economy was overhauled to mimic a supply side economic reality. Housing went from affordable to outrageous in a few years and the deep social divisions between the poor and wealthy became over- exacerbated. Now with the credit crisis striking everyone who ever had dealings with the United States, Ireland’s economy is in a tailspin. Companies are pulling out and jobs are being lost. The housing boom is declining. What has been an economic success for many years is turning into a struggling morass of nothing actually being accomplished.

Is this what Bono the Great wants for Africa? A warring conglomerate of mis- matched countries whose separate and individual natures keep them in a constant state of flux rather than as a cohesive ruling body?

And if they do manage somehow to become a full fledged United anything  who is going to keep the rampant cocaine use and boy racers at bay? Not to mention the self righteous, self indulgent celebrities.

Dogwoman

To Paraphrase: It’s Your Own Fault

Hello.

I’ve just read the speeches of the Presidential candidates on the Credit Crisis. I thought to help out those who don’t want to slog through the Orwellian tactics of our potential candidates, I would rephrase them here.

Keep in mind I am doing so with a mind altering temperature of 103. If I get it wrong I was, in fact, out of my mind at the time, senator.

McCain: Fuck ’em, Fuck ’em all. They should have figured it out before they took on the mortgages. Idiots. Those lenders were at fault and so were the homeowners and it’s not the Governments job to bail out either. Though, in a pinch we should help business over people because that’s what this country is made of, business not people.

Obama: Historically (and this man knows his American history ) we’ve already done this. See, we just need new plans for dealing with 21st century business, more regulation, more oversight. However, we don’t need to cap campaign contributions from these businesses. No, the government needs to work with business to ensure that business prospers in a kinder and gentler way. And people need to suck it up and deal with all the painful changes because America is a business, not a collection of people. Oh, and maybe we could propose some sort of legislation that teaches morons how to manage their mortgages properly. Maybe. I’m just sayin’.

Clinton: I told them years ago this would happen but did anyone listen to me? NO. Now look what’s happened. Well, I guess we can start cleaning up the mess and getting some sort of legislation into the works that makes sure this doesn’t happen again. Do I have to do everything around here?

See, each of the candidates has a grand vision pertaining to fixing the mess and who should be blamed. I noticed however, that they weren’t all that interested in mentioning the lobbyists who helped with the deregulation process. Ok, Obama mentioned it, but he sort of glossed it over. Each candidate doesn’t want to fix anything, they want to blame someone and then ride them around the town square before sentencing them to the stocks. We know this because while they mention the fact that low income homeowners were taken advantage of they lay a good portion of blame at the feet of the homeowners. Even though many of the mortgages were altered by the lenders to make the homeowners look better on paper than they really were. And then those falsified mortgages were sold in mass bundles to other lending companies.This practice created a waterfall of shitty paper that was actually worth nothing. Voila, Credit Crisis.

The lending institutions are the bad guys in this scenario. The hiding of large debt, the use of derivatives, the explosion of private equity that has almost no government oversight and continuing deregulation of vital industries has all contributed to this current mess that taxpayers have to pay for. At no point have I heard the regular Joe Shmo saying ‘Hey lets screw about with everything cause it looks good on paper” No, they just wanted what we’re constantly told everyone is entitled to here in America, a home of their own. Now, entire states have Homeless of their own.

Great job you greedy hope sucking bastards.

Oh and under no circumstances are you yabbos allowed to blame China. You did to yourselves, now fix it. The right way.

Dogwoman

Nothing To Lose

Hello.

Credit crisis. Rising Gas prices. Rising food prices. Inert and unwilling lawmakers.

These are some of the problems facing America today. While it may seem that these are loosely connected in some vague way they are in fact directly related.

Banks made loans to low income people at what are termed ‘predatory rates’. This means that the bank knew the homeowner couldn’t pony up the dough and was just waiting for the time they must foreclose. Then they could sell the house to another ‘low income homeowner’ and start the cycle all over again. Using this method they could make thousands of dollars off one house and the average yutz. Pretty slick. Too bad so many banks started getting in on the action. By using the idea of the American Dream against regular Joes, like you and I, the banking industry has crashed our economy.

It’s not just the lending strategy, it’s the hiding of assets and debit that has been going on since 2000. The banks have been playing fast and loose with numbers off the books. Things that we never hear about like derivatives and the resurgence of hedge funds and private equity funds.

What puzzles me and makes me wonder is why the Government is bailing out the banks.

The Government should be bailing out the homeowner. I thought is was the general duty of the Government to help those who have been harmed by the amoral practices of businesses which it is supposed to regulate. Like Banks. I had no idea the Government was in place to bail out the banks who instituted these policies after Slick Willy signed Bank deregulation into law in 2000, just before he skated out the White House door. Guess he was hoping we wouldn’t notice.

With the credit industry crashing on a global scale NOW bank officers are crying foul. “Oh we should have seen that” Oh fuck off, you did see it, but your profits were more important than those who might be harmed. Like everyone not on the Board.

The bankers who brought you the Savings and Loan disaster of the eighties have now brought you the World Wide Credit Crunch. And they have no plans to change any of their policies once our Fed bails them out.

Thanks to them gas and food and housing prices are soaring because the billions in tax payer dollars that should be going to restructuring programs are going into the coffers of banks. The Government is using our money to bail out the banks who raped our communities. And the lawmakers sit back and yawn and rake in the campaign contributions from these bastards while rubber stamping their poor policies.

Why not? They’ve got nothing to lose.

I really hate that.

Dogwoman

Paper Or Plastic?

Hello.

So last night we were watching something on the idiot box. Please don’t ask what. I had my head buried in a book about inclusion classrooms and brain function. Did I mention that aside from being an angry giantess, I am also a dork?

Anywho, all dork relations aside, a commercial came on that caused me to poke my giant head over the top of my minuscule book and go “Mer?”

It was a Visa commercial. The entire thing implied that if you want your world to be fast and symmetrical and effortless you should be constantly using your credit card. Because things like checks are slow and make other people unhappy. And that asinine look of confusion and tsk tsk on the commercial clerks face when they are given crinkly paper instead of plastic is really irritating. As though they have never seen actual cash before. Or that using a check makes you a naughty customer who should know better. Right.

I hate credit cards. I don’t own one. Aside from their branding, which I also hate, and their idea of marketing a feeling to those with low impulse disorders, they are a poor way to manage money. But today, pay later. Don’t think about it, just do it. Yeah, that’s a good finance strategy. Credit debt in this country is skyrocketing. The companies who deal in credit cards are making huge profits from late fees and high interest rates. They continue to make using them seem like a good thing.

No, bad thing. Very bad thing. Use money. That papery stuff the bank gives you from time to time. Or a check. Which is money in a form all English majors understand. Written money. What could be better?

I am all for buying that expensive gift for grandma at Christmas, just save up for it and do it with cash. It makes January so much brighter and stress free.

Dogwoman

(This is public service announcement brought to you by The Doghouse, Dogwoman and the letter C. Because C is for cookie and that’s good enough for me.)