We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Our Recent Essays Behind the Front Page
Monday, June 25. 2007
Chinese cars: not up to snuff...yet.
In praise of the whip: how flagellation makes people happy. New Statesman
"To whom at The Times do I complain about their Public Editor?" Tigerhawk
Border problems - between Vermont and Quebec! Wizbang
Blue Smoke: a good barbecue site
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We will see shortly if Congress and the President will uphold the laws of the land or make a mockery of the peaceful process of change.
By and large the Supreme Court operates on the principle of "*stare decisis* et non quieta movere" meaning "stand by decisions and do not move that which is quiet" We simply call it stare decisis
Of course the role of Congress is different. They, almost to a Member view the Constitution as play dough to be formed any way they so desire.
Don't like free speech..nibble at the edges until it is in such a narrow box it becomes meaningless.
Don't like the messy procedures of habeus corpus ... ignore it.
Don't like private gun ownership ..hammer that anvil until it dissappears.
Congress and the President are clearly currently breaking the law by ALLOWING the border laws, the laws that give meaning to sovereign nations, non enforcement. It is purposefully being done
If passed into "legal status" a tax will be incured by the American people without debate on it. It comes with the new law given that someone, meaning the taxpayer must foot the bill to integrate AN UNKNOWN number of alliens into this countries socialist care systems. The number projected so far run into the trillions. *One trillion is a thousand billion*, but the numbers mentioned so far are at minimum triple that.
#1 If it is passed, recall petitions should begin circulating, targeting those who voted for the measure.
#2 If passed on April 15th Americans should not file their taxes, yes a full blown TAX REBELLION.
#3 On election day we are "skunked", "snookered" because we now have two rogue parties. I am not a Libertarian, yet, but I would recommend turning to that party. We can do no worse that we are doing now.
If you want to be ruled then stay the course and continue to believe that Congress and the President are doing the right thing. Polls show 80+% of us DO NOT.
Congress is handing us a giant CON-job.
I would aslo suggest that each of us reread the Declaration of Independence. Note the list of grievences against King George and determine if we are reliving the nascent stages of that bondage.
Here is what Oklahoma has done. One of the most salient points is to remember that eachs state has soverienty.
Oklahoma's Governor Brad Henry has signed a sweeping immigration reform bill, House Bill 1804, that its sponsor believes will go a long way in dealing with the illegal alien problem in the state.
House Bill 1804 was passed by overwhelming majorities in both the House and Senate of the Oklahoma Legislature. The measure's sponsor, State Representative Randy Terrill, says the bill has four maintopical areas: it deals with identity theft; it terminates public assistance benefits to illegals; it empowers state and local police to enforce federal immigration laws; and it punishes employers who knowingly hire illegal aliens.
Oklahoma is no longer "O.K." for illegal aliens, Terrill observes. "When you put everything together in context," he contends, "the bottom line is illegal aliens will not come here if there are no jobs waiting for them, they will not stay here if there is no government subsidy, and they certainly won't stay here if they know that if they ever encounter our state and local law enforcement officers, they will be physically detained until they're deported. And that's exactly what House Bill 1804 does."
The Oklahoma legislator is pleased the bill he sponsored into law was signed by Governor Henry and believes it will go a long way to curb the illegal immigration problem in the state. "I would remind people that states are separate sovereigns in our federal system," Terrill points out. "Anyone who doesn't understand that needs to go back and take an American federal government class in college," he says.
As a result of that sovereignty, the Oklahoma lawmaker insists, "we have as much right - in fact, I would argue, a responsibility - to protect our taxpayers against that sort of egregious waste, fraud and abuse as the federal government should have a responsibility to protect that international border, but doesn't do that."
Terrill says as long as the federal government refuses to do its job of protecting the international borders of the United States, states likeOklahoma must take action to deal with the problem that is costing taxpayers in the state $200 million a year in public benefits, law enforcement costs, and other resources.
Hugo Chavez claims P.R.
How many illegals are simpatico with Chavez. How many will become HIS agents within our borders?
From the American Thinker
Is Puerto Rico really a part of the United States? And if it is, is it worth defending from attack? That's the emerging issue right now because Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez has just made his first threat on the U.S . commonwealth as he seeks to acquire advanced submarines.
Chavez is heading to Russia in the next few days, to discuss the purchase of five kilo-class submarines, and possibly four more advanced amur-class subs. There are questions as to how he would be able to finance them as well as how obtain the advanced training to bring them online, but there is no question from his statments that he wants them. Saturday, he laid it all out as AFP reported:
"They're making all this noise because Venezuela is going to buy some submarines. And I told them, 'Why not?'" Chavez said without confirming or denying the rumor.
"We've got half a million square kilometers of (Caribbean) sea, to the north, we've got Puerto Rico, in other words the empire (as he calls the United States), and France in the western Caribbean islands. We've got a huge sea," he said apparently alluding the use to which Venezuela's submarines would be put.
Inculcated as our Army is I would imagine many will shoot. Most will be highly conflicted.
A tax revolt with 150 million not paying will send a message. The govenrmment doesn't have enough of anything to enforce that type of civil disodedience.
I would prefer to sned the message via electing as many Libertartians as pssible to Congress...They seem to be the best hope for an alternative that isn't "overboard"...elect enough so that their "swing" votes are always necessary to enact bills.
Winds of War
Iran is making a mistake that may lead the Middle East into a broader conflict.
BY JOSHUA MURAVCHIK
Monday, June 25, 2007 12:01 a.m. EDT
WALL STREET JOURNAL
A large portion of modern wars erupted because aggressive tyrannies believed that their democratic opponents were soft and weak. Often democracies have fed such beliefs by their own flaccid behavior. Hitler's contempt for America, stoked by the policy of appeasement, is a familiar story. But there are many others. North Korea invaded South Korea after Secretary of State Dean Acheson declared that Korea lay beyond our "defense perimeter." Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait after our ambassador assured him that America does not intervene in quarrels among Arabs. Imperial Germany launched World War I, encouraged by Great Britain's open reluctance to get involved. Nasser brought on the 1967 Six Day War, thinking that he could extort some concessions from Israel by rattling his sword
Last week's big economic news was that two Bear Stearns hedge funds worth $20 billion are teetering near collapse. These two Collateralized Debt Obligation (CDO) funds--ironically named the "Bear Stearns High-Grade Structured Credit Strategies Enhanced Leverage Fund" and the "High Grade Structured Credit Strategies Fund"--are in trouble because of their heavy exposure to sub-prime mortgages. A well-publicized rescue plan involving Merrill Lynch fell apart. At one point Merrill Lynch--one of Bear’s credit backers--said that they planned to seize about $850 million worth of collateral assets from Bear Stearns and sell them on the open market. Reuters reported Bear Stearns injected $1.5 billion of cash into the troubled CDO funds. Meanwhile we read that the head of the European Central Bank, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, and about 250 other international banking executives planned to meet at a "Financial Stability Forum" on June 23 & 24 at BIS headquarters in Bale, Switzerland. Much of their conversation will surely center on the derivatives traders, especially the Bear Stearns hedge funds. The results of the BIS meeting? Uncertain. The bottom line: Be ready. Minimize your exposure to market fluctuations. Diversify into precious metals. Minimize you exposure to U.S. dollars. Any U.S. dollar-denominated investment should be specially selected to be resistant to inflation.
Taxpayers ...it's our money that the US Gov'ment uses to bail out PRIVATE financial instituation who they deem to be "too big to fail" Chrysler Motors" ... don't buy into the idea that when the Federal Reserve steps in to "facilitate" a consortium of "private investment companies" to bail out other failing companies that it doesn't afffect your return on investment..it does...
My personal favorite was the saving of "Long Term Capital Management" a private investment company for the ultra rich, headed by two Nobel prize winners in Economics ...it failed but was deemed too big to do so ..it was bailed out.
Oops, I forgot to mention (seems impossible with this mornings output doesn't it?)
When you are investing and see the term "High Yield", or in the above example "Bear Stearns High-Grade Structured Credit Strategies Enhanced Leverage Fund" and the "High Grade Structured Credit Strategies Fund"-- RUN, RUN FAR RUN FAST. These are the RISKY investment that mesmerize the unwary when the broker shows them a chart that looks like a moon launch....well eventually those booster rockets or in the case of staged rockets falls away, empty of fuel and crash back to earth.
There's kind of a natural law here. The sort of regime that is dangerous to neighbors is also the sort of regime that sooner or later HAS to do something to justify the very rhetoric & policies that made it dangerous to begin with (otherwise the lower command echelon will overtake the upper).
So in that sense, appeasement denies nature, and if from time to time it seems to work, it will likely be temporary, unstable, and dependent on externalities.
System order law shows that chaotic subsystems are either subdued, or they create a new system.
Risk pricing--the yield spread between "junk bonds" and Treasuries is extremely low. Either people are dumb/greedy en masse and are mis-pricing risk, or, there is something about the evolving interconnectedness of global trade and information dispersal that has lowered actual risk.
That either/or, that's the big question.
In any event I just odered from Blockbuster
1. On the Beach
2. Seven Days in May
plus 300 days worth of MRE's
While watching "Gallipoli" see if you don't start wondering if the British WWI officer corps shouldn't be high in the pantheon of those responsible for the current malaise in the West.
Will look at it with the cerebrum set on full red alert, and no doubt benefit by your recommendation.
After watching "On the Beach" (my mother could have been Ava Gardners twin)
"Seven Days in May",
I'll be ready for some light hearted Gallioplli ..then a nice Hemlock cocktail.
Naw, I'll just rerun the start of Baywatch over and over and over ......
Supreme Court limits student speech
In 'Bong Hits 4 Jesus' case, Roberts says advocacy of drug use can be curbed
OK just so I'm sure my gyroscope hasn't tumbled, we're allowed to 1. burn our flag 2. immerse the Holy Cross in urine "as art" 3. dozens of other unreal things, but not this...hmm...looks very capricious.
I guess there wasn't any stare decisis cases with "bong" in them
Are they con artists or semi smart guys who fake it to make it?
Dear Mr. Zischeme, nothing on the face of earth is traded without value. Derivatives allocate risk--you can buy exactly what you want, for exactly how much you want to spend, and hedge yourself against swings in the market. That said, sometimes the value in trade is a little arcane for anyone except the wizards themselves--meaning there is a monumental risk of everyone of this small group heading for the exit simultaneously. hoever, liquidity levels are high, meaning that the sidelines come in on bargain day. that's the value of having 10,000 hedge funds, instead on one, the "government".
You guys sound as if you know. My broker invested a bunch into Oppenheimer Amt Free Municipals Fund Cl A.
The original amount invested was 35K. It's down to 32K. I asked her about it and she talked as if it were no big deal - tax free, etc. I don't even know enough to ask the right questions.
She said I needed to diversify into that category and that it would go down as the market went up. I'm not happy about it - why am I not in Crox? (I'm with Edward Boring Jones)
Everything else she's done is great, so I have faith in her. I just don't understand that fund.
I wish I could give you advice but I am a licensed securities broker and you are not my client, consequently I am prohibited from offering investment advice to you.
Stare Decisis on "Bong" is probably in the "incitement to rot" body of case law.
like we say on the river, once it's in the corpus, well you'r a goner
Phoenix--a thunderstorm is coming so I need to be quick & kill my puter, but, munis are tax free, you buy 'em for the total yld. When interst rates go up, the asset value of your bonds--what they'll bring in the secondary mkt, has to go down as the gap between your coupon and the long T bond is widening (also hurts stocks, all else equal), but not that much, unless inflation goes hyper. Oppenheimer is solid gold. don't worry--enjoy the tax free aspect--okay by now thunder coming after me electronix--
ps, more question, ask, weill answer later--
Thank you, Habu. I understand. I guess. I think I am more in need of an explanation than advice, but it does end up the same in the end.
Buddy, Thank you. I didn't understand much of what you said other than to recognize it sounded like my broker. No matter - you made me feel better by your tone.
(When I first started investing about 12 years ago, I basically went to stock college online to learn all about it. After 2001, I gave up and haven't bothered since. My broker just rearranged my whole portfolio, and I have to admit, I sure felt dumb not knowing what to ask. I sincerely like her, luckily, so deferred to her.)
Funny how you can get so interested in something and learn all about it, study it and absorb it and then just dump it without a thought. Story of my life and learning. Except for teaching. I never lost my love for that.
Subject: Jose and Carlos
Jose and Carlos are panhandling at the freeway off ramp.
Jose drives a Mercedes, lives in a mortgage free house and has a lot of money to spend.
Carlos only brings in 2 to 3 dollars a day.
Carlos asks Jose how he can bring home a suitcase full of $10 bills every day.
Jose says, "Look at your sign." It reads: "I have no work, a wife & 6 kids to support"
Carlos looks at Jose's sign.
It reads: "I only need another $10.00 to move back to Mexico"
I was down on my luck once, hitchiking down the interstate in the snow and sleet, when this stretch limo screetches to a stop. In the back seat is my old friend from high school.
He says. "Hey, Buddy, howya doin'?"
I tell him I'm broke, freezing, hungry, my shoe sole is coming off, and the snow is freezing my toes.
He pulls out this big roll of hundreds, takes the rubber band off the roll, tosses it to me and says "Here, put this around your shoe sole and maybe it won't leak so bad!"
Phoenix--the caveat on that 'don't worry' is, don't worry unless you're gonna be needing the cash before the bond maturation date. If so, then you are potentially in the secondary market and do need to keep an eye on rates. If the 10 year Treasury gets up to close to 5.5% yld, you might want to discuss your bonds' asset values with your broker. Lotsa ways to screw up selling, tho, too, so, best advice is "do the right thing".
Thanks, Buddy. I won't need the cash so I'll just do what she says.
I was thinking about buying a house for my son and as an investment. Edward Jones said 7%. I looked around on the Internet and talked to a lady from a Residential Mortgage place, and she talked about an MTA mortgage - 3.87%. Wow.
I can't believe you can do this stuff over the phone - from online, and then dealing with my stuffy bank is so detailed. The lady said she could fix me up in a few days.
I wish I cared about it as I used to. Now I look up stuff in Suze Ormand's book. I sure do not like dealing when I don't know what's up.
Naw, neither do I. Hate being "handled". When I catch a drift of it, I'm gone.