Monday, September 22, 2008


Another hard-hitting, directly on-point piece from the Cunning Realist. I urge you to read it in its entirety, but a highlight or two:
While the economic cost will be huge, the real damage from all this will be psychological. Bailouts are now an indelible part of our national identity. When the economy and financial markets recover -- and they will -- that new identity will shape the behavior of economic players and market participants for decades. This has implications for the next bubble, which should be a doozy. Will speculators remember the faded lessons of Bear and Lehman? Or will they be guided subconsciously by a single word -- "bailout" -- just before hitting the buy button?
And this (he's speaking ironically here. The "voice" is that of the Fed/Treasury/Administration/Congress, i.e., the Stooges of Wall Street):
[B]ailouts, interventions, and the socialization of risk are only feasible with a de facto dollar standard. With a massive new expansion of government liabilities, that will become even more imperative. Last week, gold rocketed from $780 to $900 in a few hours. Oil is back over $100. That's unacceptable. Those who shun the dollar are threats, and must be treated accordingly -- now more than ever.
Scary times, folks. Strange, unchartered, dangerous days at hand. Keep your powder dry.


Wednesday, September 17, 2008


I'm too numb to post anything thoughtful about the financial situation. Just do yourselves a favor and read this, from the Cunning Realist. Highlight:
The past eight years have constituted the fastest, most complete reversal of fortune in this nation's history. One party controlled the government for almost all of it. Obama/Biden have been handed on a silver platter one of the starkest policy debacles ever, and just weeks before an election. If they don't hammer the White House and Republicans every day for this, they deserve to lose. And if voters don't think change is needed, they deserve whatever John McCain gives them.
Or maybe this is the highlight:
A couple of big-picture realities have become obvious. First, our financial system as it's currently constituted is neither profitable nor viable without artificially low interest rates. Moreover, in an age of risk socialization, the winners are those who acquire an implicit government guarantee by becoming "too big to fail." Individually, each reality has broader implications -- together, even more so. Perma-low rates and system-saving bailouts and interventions aren't possible without a de facto dollar standard; the longer-term inflationary consequences are too serious.
Oh, just read the whole thing. It'll take you 3 minutes. But you'll stay scared all day.

Labels: ,

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


With the economy landsliding down a cliff, natural disasters wiping neighborhoods off the face of the earth, and Maverick McCain managing to close the margin in the Presidential campaign on a combination of shame-faced falsehoods and a perky monstrosity of a running mate, it sure is good to know one can turn to the time-tested diversion of a pennant-charging baseball team.

Uhhh . . .

May I remind you that the Nats have the worst record in baseball. Or that the Braves are 16 games under .500 (and were 17 under before taking two-of-three from the Mets)?

Should I note that if the Mets bullpen ponied up to bail-out Lehman Bros. the bank would refuse?

(Maybe point out that Pedro Martinez was the best pitcher in the game once?)

Lil' help? Anyone?

Labels: , , ,

Thursday, September 11, 2008


. . . and still nothing but a big hole in the ground.

A hole which still serves as the sacred relic of the God of Fear to which we're told we must bow in reverence and obeisance.

(Or at least one half of the November tickets tells us so.)

Labels: , ,

Saturday, September 06, 2008


Well, it's been at least a month since I done any meme-based postings, so here goes. I've seen this one at Toast's place, as well as Angelos, Tracy, Maurinsky & others I suppose.

And the good part? This one's all about FOOD. Mmmm. The rules are as follows:

1. Bold all the items you’ve eaten.
2. Cross out any items that you would never consider eating.
3. Put asterisks after what you must try before you die.
4. Put a question mark (?) next to the ones you had to look up because you had absolutely no idea what they were. I'm not gonna bother looking them up, because I don't feel like it. So there.

(Anyhow, I swear I'd never cross out any food. I'll try anything at least once, so you'll see no cross outs on this here list.)

Let's git' to it:

1. Venison
2. Nettle tea (?)
3. Huevos rancheros
4. Steak tartare ***
5. Crocodile **
6. Black pudding
7. Cheese fondue
8. Carp
9. Borscht
10. Baba ghanoush
11. Calamari
12. Pho

13. PB&J sandwich
14. Aloo gobi
15. Hot dog from a street cart
16. Epoisses (?)
17. Black truffle ***
18. Fruit wine made from something other than grapes
19. Steamed pork buns
20. Pistachio ice cream

21. Heirloom tomatoes (?)
22. Fresh wild berries
23. Foie gras
24. Rice and beans
25. Brawn, or head cheese *
26. Raw Scotch Bonnet pepper (?)
27. Dulce de leche *
28. Oysters
29. Baklava
30. Bagna cauda (?)
31. Wasabi peas
32. Clam chowder in a sourdough bowl
33. Salted lassi (?)
34. Sauerkraut
35. Root beer float

36. Cognac with a fat cigar *
37. Clotted cream tea (?)
38. Vodka jelly/Jell-O
39. Gumbo
40. Oxtail

41. Curried goat ***
42. Whole insects
43. Phaal (?)
44. Goat’s milk
45. Malt whisky from a bottle worth £60/$120 or more
46. Fugu *
47. Chicken tikka masala
48. Eel

49. Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnut
50. Sea urchin
51. Prickly pear
52. Umeboshi
53. Abalone
54. Paneer
55. McDonald’s Big Mac Meal (though I've had a Big Mac, without the "meal")
56. Spaetzle
57. Dirty gin martini
58. Beer above 8% ABV
59. Poutine (?)
60. Carob chips
61. S’mores
62. Sweetbreads
63. Kaolin (?)
64. Currywurst **
65. Durian
66. Frogs’ legs
67. Beignets, churros, elephant ears or funnel cake
68. Haggis ***
69. Fried plantain
70. Chitterlings, or andouillette **
71. Gazpacho
72. Caviar and blini
73. Louche absinthe
74. Gjetost, or brunost (?)
75. Roadkill - this is as close as I'm getting to a cross-out. Won't say I'll never try it, but . . .
76. Baijiu (?)
77. Hostess Fruit Pie
78. Snail
79. Lapsang souchong (?)
80. Bellini (?)
81. Tom yum
82. Eggs Benedict
83. Pocky
84. Tasting menu at a three-Michelin-star restaurant
85. Kobe beef
86. Hare (though I've had rabbit)
87. Goulash
88. Flowers
89. Horse
90. Criollo chocolate (?)
91. Spam
92. Soft shell crab
93. Rose harissa (?)
94. Catfish
95. Mole poblano
96. Bagel and lox

97. Lobster Thermidor
98. Polenta
99. Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee (?)
100. Snake

There you go.


Thursday, September 04, 2008


I'm not gonna bother wading into any of the "substance" of what the republicans have talked about at their convention. I'm sure you an guess what my opinions are in that regard.

And I'm not gonna delve into my thoughts regarding the "effectiveness" of America's favorite beauty pageant runner-up governor, or America's favorite fascist mayor, or any of the other white christians who tried to sell their platform of . . . change(!).

Nah, you can go read the pundints [sic] to learn about that.

I'll stick to something far simpler, far more gut-level. I'm gonna talk about the spectacle of watching that arena filled with wide-eyed & gaping-mouthed white people, whooping it up and chanting "USA-USA-USA" after every invocation of McCain's military service and readiness to lead us into at least 4 more years of never-ending war, as if Mike Eruzione had just slipped the puck past Vladimir Myshkin on the rink in Lake Placid.

And I'm gonna talk about speaker-after-speaker walking onto that stage to talk about war and gutter patriotism and abstract values and cities on the hill, backed by unsubstantiated and unsupportable declarations that America is the greatest, free-est, safest, richest nation in the history of the world.

I'm gonna talk about Rudy's mass rally, straight out of Mussolini's handbook, complete with sneers and sarcasm and outrageous insults based on nothing and backed by even less. Red meat? This was raw meat, with maggots squirming on the rotting flesh.

I'm gonna talk about Traitor Joe Lieberman, standing in front of a stage of rabid christian fundies -- counting the days til Jesus returns to smite his Jew ass and bring about the New Jerusalem -- dragging the names and reputations of his erstwhile colleagues and allies through the mud as he transparently & shamelessly positions himself for a cabinet post if McCain takes the day.

I'm gonna talk about Sarah Palin -- after days of hiding behind the right wing spin machine's salvos at "the left wing media's attacks" and "leave her family out of it" hand-wringing & whining -- introducing her children, one-by-one, in order to milk applause from the fetus-loving and war-craving audience of bible-thumping xenophobes.

That's what I'm gonna talk about. About the frightening image of these fucking insane pleated trouser would-be rock stars and their blood-thirsty, soul-saving groupies raising hell (so they can rail against and try to "save" it), as they reduce the scope of the Presidency to its commander-in-chief duties, turning America into a military state, riding to save the world from non-believers of every color & stripe.

I'm talking about the fact that as an American who isn't naive, and understands that there is a world beyond NY & California, I nonetheless find myself staring at the screen and thinking, "Who the fuck are these people?! Are these my fellow citizens?"

And then, with disappointment mixed with anger and sadness, I remind myself of what I knew after Election Day four years ago: I detest them, I loathe them, I despise & hate them from the core of my soul, to the center of my very existence. I wish they weren't Americans and I wish they didn't control or affect my country's policies.

Frankly, I don't care what Obama does or what he thinks or what he believes in. But I want Obama to do one thing & one thing only: smash these bastards into little pieces.

I can only hope.

Labels: ,