Saturday, October 11, 2008

Damon's iPod, Part 3

Damon just plugged Journey's "Revelation" CD into his computer. It's a two-CD compilation of their greatest hits, plus a Live DVD.
I know there's something in the Geneva accords about this.
There's gotta be.

I Need A Caption For This Album Cover

It's once again time to fire up the caption contest.

Controversy, scandal, and contestant disagreements with the Competition Committee made it necessary to end the contest for a while.

Francis Shivone of the Food And Ford Worth blog was the undisputed winner of the previous contest.

For this week, I need a caption for this album cover.

Thanks to the LP Cover Lover for the photo. Great site. Strange stuff.

Eco-Hippies Mourning The Loss Of Some Trees

There are all sorts of things I've tucked away for a rainy day, or even worse, for a rainy day stuck in a hotel room in Thomson, Georgia.
Here's a YouTube video of a group of hippies ceremonially mourning the loss of some trees.

Some people might think they're over-reacting. But this is EXACTLY what it feels like when you realize you're going to be spending the weekend in Thomson, Georgia.

Damn It Feels Good To Be A Banksta

Damn, It Feels Good To Be A Banksta.... Note Paulson's salary at his previous job at Goldman Sachs. I wonder why he's working so hard to save them with your money.

Here's Ron Paul on The Bankstas:

You can click here for the large version of the cartoon parody of The Geto Boys' "Damn It Feels Good To Be A Gangsta" (Warning: Adult Language)

And for those who still retain sentimental beliefs that there's a difference between The Mommy Party (D) and The Daddy Party (R)

And here's the Geto Boys' Original. The Somewhat Censored version:

And in case you're wondering, I'm in a Thomson Georgia hotel room with Damon, Damon's iPod, and not much to do but collect all these Gangsta/Banksta parodies.

There's a good chance that this trip will never end. We don't have all we need to get the job done. I don't think we'll ever get to go home.

There's going to be a total economic meltdown; Damon and I anticipate being stuck here for decades. We're looking at Real Estate in the area (which I bet is getting cheaper by the minute). We saw some gasoline for $2.99 a gallon, BTW.

We went to the Augusta Georgia Barnes & Noble this morning, and I found a Classic Rock magazine that ranked all the "Journey" albums as "Essential", "Good", and "Avoid". Click here to see the online version.

Why I Love ACORN

One of the few remaining warm spots in my cold, cold heart is for ACORN (Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now).
ACORN is currently in the news for voter fraud, registering the Dallas Cowboys Football Team as voters in Nevada, and other trivia.
Pay no attention to that stuff. That's mere generic skullduggery for those guys.

Here's the funny one.

I've long believed that our Minimum Wage laws are some of the only truly effective "Social Engineering" legislation ever passed.
If your goal was to guarantee full employment for whites and the expense of blacks, this was a home run.

Here's a bit of history on our first minimum wage law, the Davis-Bacon Act of 1931.

The story of Davis-Bacon begins, one might say, in 1927 when a contractor from Alabama won a bid to build a Veterans' Bureau hospital in Long Island, New York. He brought a crew of black construction workers from Alabama to work on the project. Appalled that blacks from the South were working on a federal project in his district, Representative Robert Bacon of Long Island submitted H.R. 17069, "A Bill to Require Contractors and Subcontractors Engaged on Public Works of the United States to Comply with State Laws Relating to Hours of Labor and Wages of Employees on State Public Works," the antecedent of the Davis- Bacon Act.

The discriminatory implications of Bacon's bill were recognized immediately. On the floor of the House of Representatives, Congressman Upshaw said: "You will not think that a southern man is more than human if he smiles over the fact of your reaction to that real problem you are confronted with in any community with a superabundance or large aggregation of negro labor."

Over the next four years Bacon introduced thirteen more bills to establish regulation of labor on federal public works projects. Finally, a bill submitted by Bacon and Senator James J. Davis, with the support of the American Federation of Labor, passed in 1931. The law provided that all federal construction contractors with contracts in excess of $5,000 or more must pay their workers the "prevailing wage," which in practice meant the wages of unionized labor.
The measure passed because Congressmen saw the bill as protection for local, unionized white workers' salaries in the fierce labor market of the Depression. In particular, white union workers were angry that black workers who were barred from unions were migrating to the North in search of jobs in the building trades and undercutting "white" wages.

Current debates on Minimum Wage legislation tend to overlook this fascinating bit of history. The racially discriminatory nature of the bill was openly debated in the House and the Senate. It was simply assumed that one could hire more low skilled blacks than high wage whites.

Ok, which is more "humane", "fair", and "just"? Hiring four people for $25.00 an hour to complete a job? Or hiring five people for $20.00 an hour? Hiring 10 people for $10.00 an hour? Or if you really want to help the little guy, why not hire 20 people at $5.00 an hour?

The rational response to that question is.... All of the above. It depends on the situation. But if you mandate that the starting wage must be $25.00 an hour???? Who is going to get hired first? The homeless guy, who would ordinarily be willing to work for $5.00 ? Or the already privileged white guy with the college degree?

If you need a lot of low-skilled work done, and you're in a high wage area? Tough luck. Send it to China.

Enter ACORN. This is from sometime in 2006:

According to a Dec. 25 report in the Boston Globe, the Democratic Party is joining forces with the activist group ACORN (Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now) to place initiatives on state ballots this fall to raise the minimum wage. The idea is to energize the poor to vote for Democratic candidates as well as the initiative.
ACORN's involvement in this campaign is amusing because a few years ago the group sued the state of California in order to be exempted from its minimum wage requirement, which was higher than the federal government's. In its appellate brief, ACORN acknowledged that the more it had to pay each worker, the fewer such workers it would be able to hire. Of course, the same thing is true for businesses as well, something minimum wage advocates refuse to admit.
You've gotta love it.
I really can't tell you how much I love it.

I wish this election could go on forever.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Damon's iPod, Part 2

One thing I forgot to mention in the previous post....
Damon's iPod contains lots of REO Speedwagon.

Not the older REO, which did good stuff like "Riding The Storm Out" and "Like You Do".
The later stuff only. Lots of it. All of it.

Lots and lots and lots of REO Speedwagon.

Free Market Capitalism and Damon's iPod

I'm spending the next week in Georgia and the Carolinas.
It's a work related trip to take care of some problems with one of our customers.

Listening to right wing AM radio stations and left wing NPR, you would guess that the sky was falling, people were throwing themselves out windows, and four horsemen were spotted riding toward Bethlehem to see what rough beast was slouching over to be born.

But guess what I'm seeing?

Interstate highway traffic is rolling along nicely. Restaurants are full. Fuel prices are dropping. People seem to be in a good mood, despite the recent looting of The Treasury by the people whose gambling losses you just covered.

NPR this morning featured a conversation between William Greider and some other economist (Kevin somebody?) on the virtue and flaws of Free Market Capitalism. They agreed that Free Market Capitalism could be defined as the free exchange of goods and services between individuals with minimal government interference.

Here's what I don't understand about the link people are trying to make between our current difficulties and Free Market Capitalism....

The government has encouraged, if not insisted, that various institutions give home loans to people who ordinarily wouldn't qualify for them. The government has implicitly and explicitly guaranteed loans AND INVESTMENTS that no one in their right mind would underwrite with their own money. And due to the upcoming retirement of a jillion baby-boomers, there will soon be more government mandated claims against the dollar than there are against asbestos manufacturers. The government has now run up the national debt to 10 trillion dollars. They'll soon be printing money like it was toilet paper, and it will soon have a similar value.

All of the pipers are lining up to be paid.

What, exactly, does this have to do with failures of Free Market Capitalism? Can anyone tell me?

My companion on this trip is Damon, our Director of Human Resources. His political opinions on economic freedom are pretty much in line with mine.

His opinions on music....well, that's another story. Damon has an iPod that features pop, rock, and metal from 1981-1986. I've heard lots and lots and lots of Journey, Styx, Foreigner, Van Halen (pre Sammy Hagar) and, God Help Us All.....Huey Lewis And The News.

If it were my iPod, it wouldn't contain any of that overproduced crap. The perfect music for this trip would be Bob Dylan, Charlie Robison, Chris Knight, Rodney Crowell, The Marshall Tucker Band, Neil Young, and a sprinkling of Skynyrd.

Which one of us is right?

Both of us. I should decide for me. And He should be allowed to decide for himself, regardless of the damage he is doing to his moral character by continuing to listen to Journey so much. After all, it's his iPod. Since we're sharing the same Ford F-250, whoever is driving controls the music. We worked that out on our own, no help from Bush, Pelosi, Reid, or the Supreme Court required.
Who should decide how much House you can afford?

You. And anyone willing to lend you the money for it.

Who should decide how much you should be allowed to bet on the housing market, the stock market, or any other variation on a Blackjack table?


And as long as both parties in our agreements are honoring their obligations, how much government involvement do we need in the contents of our iPods, the purchase of our homes, or any other decisions we make?

A lot less than some people think we need.

p.s. - when I get home, I might buy the Journey Live CD.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

C-SPAN's Transcript And Video Of The Debate

I got this bulk email from a guy at C-SPAN sometime early this morning:

Hey Allen,
I've been monitoring your debate blogging for C-SPAN's Debate Hub tonight, and I just wanted to let you know that if you want to go back and splice together and mashup any clips from the candidate's answers that you can do so at C-SPAN. We allow you to search through the transcripts and then edit together your own clips and then embed them on your blog. So let's say McCain or Obama said an answer that you found interesting, you can go to the debate timeline, click on the blue (Obama) or red (McCain) block and that specific answer will pop up in the transcripts and you can embed just that tiny portion of video (pretty cool, right?):

Unfortunately, I've not yet learned how to embed just a tiny portion of video. I still have to embed fat massive chunks of video. But these smaller excerpts are better than nothing.

Also, if you scroll down to the bottom you'll see that we're live streaming twitter posts when users use the hashtags debate08 and nashdebate, and we're also constantly monitoring and linking to bloggers who are live blogging the debate.
Anyway, if you have any questions, shoot me an email.
Take care,

As if I really needed more toys to play with between now and the election....
They have a pretty good system, though.
Here's the section where Obama brings up the AIG executives going on $400,000 junkets with your bailout money:

For those of you who are fans of Advertising, Marketing, BiPartisans, Coin Flips, and False Choices, C-SPAN has already posted a searchable transcript of the entire debate.

Unfortunately, C-SPAN is an unnecessary government entity that nations with a 10 trillion dollar debt can't afford any longer. If the Libertarians ever come to power, it'll be shut down.
On a side note, if you want to see the resort where the AIG execs spent your money, along with some commentary by those who are SHOCKED, JUST ABSOLUTELY SHOCKED that such a thing could happen with your tax dollars, you can click here.


Leslie Bradshaw said...
Allen -- I am working with C-SPAN on this project and wanted to stop by to say: Thanks so much for posting the C-SPAN video and glad you could find it helpful in your coverage of the debates.
My colleague Simon Owens reads your blog and I believe is the one who reached out to you over email last night.
One thing that I would hope you could correct about the post is the fact that C-SPAN receives $0 from the government. Yes, you read that correctly: $0.
Your note "C-SPAN is an unnecessary government entity that nations with a 10 trillion dollar debt can't afford any longer" is misleading and I wanted to point you to this fun video that gets you the facts on C-SPAN's website.
In a nutshell, C-SPAN is funded entirely by cable companies and offered as a public service. Yes, you read that right.
Free to the government and brought to you for free by cable companies.
I would hope that you could update your readers with this information and feel free to contact me directly with any further questions :)
All the best,

Leslie A. Bradshaw

Communications ManagerPublic Affairs
New Media Strategies

Wow. They're reading my drivel at C-SPAN. And taking it seriously when I screw up.
10,000 apologies for my mistake about C-SPAN funding.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

John McCain and Barack Obama Debate at Belmont University in Nashville

I promised myself that I wasn't to LiveBlog the debate tonight.
The previous two almost did me in.

That resolution lasted until Obama opened his mouth with some faux outrage about some AIG executives going on a $400,000 junket after the bailout. Obama says those executives should be fired.
Well Barack, you just gave them their share of 800 billion freakin' dollars ! What did you think they were going to do with it - put on haircloth shirts and eat McDonald's Value Meal #1's until they paid it all back? If some people run a company into the ground, and then get a gift from God, do you really think these leopards are going to change their spots? Good Lord in heaven, I wish we had a genuine competitive choice in this election.

Then McCain got up and said we have to stabilize housing prices.
No we don't. Let the market determine the price for each house.
How do we do that?
See what it sells for.

McCain just said he would consider EBay founder MEG WHITMAN for Treasury Secretary. He's been bringing her name up for the last 6 months as someone who would advise him on financial matters. He just did it again by pure reflex.

McCain is now objecting to the term "Bailout", while he prefers the term "Rescue". He's now detailing how much money Obama was given by Fannie and Freddie.

Obama is blaming the crisis on deregulation. (Whereas in reality, the crisis was caused by lenders following Fannie and Freddie and The Community Reinvestment Act's regulations to the letter.)

You know what? We started off as a great country. But once we discovered that we could vote ourselves money from the public trough, it was over.

Someone named Teresa Finch just asked why either candidate should be trusted with our money, when both parties got us into this crisis?

While Obama blathers on with cliches and boilerplate, let me take this moment to nominate Teresa Finch for President of The United States.
Obama says that we've had surpluses. Short term, yes. But you know what? We have entitlements that are about to come due that are going to plow through any potential surplus like Sherman went through Georgia.
McCain is blathering about how he's been able to reach across the aisle and achieve bipartisanship. Well, if that's the case, his Republican base shouldn't vote for him. They should vote him out immediately.
He's now talking about an earmark for a 3 million dollar overhead projector for someplace in Chicago. I can't wait to see what the fact-checkers do with that one.

Brokaw just asked McCain to prioritize several items for his administration. McCain says he'd work on all three at once.

Senator McCain, we're going to play Rock, Paper, Scissors. Which one do you think will win first? All three, Mr. Brokaw.

Obama, to his credit, says we'll have to prioritize. He's mentioned Energy first. Then Healthcare. Then Education.

Thank you for answering the question, Senator. It was very refreshing. It would also be refreshing if you'd advocate turning the oil companies loose on offshore drilling, encourage the medical schools to produce more graduates, and shut down the Department Of Education.
Brokaw asks what sacrifices we'll have to make.
McCain says we'll have to examine every agency and bureaucracy in government. He mentions defense spending. Earmarks.
I know what we can do, kids ! Let's have a spending freeze ! ! !
Obama is criticizing Bush for saying "Go out and shop" after 9-11.
I bet there are people in NYC who are grateful for that, Barack.
Brokaw: Who got drunk? The Government? The American People? Wall Street? The guy who is typing this drivel? (Beer is the only thing making this bearable....I really didn't want to do this tonight. If Obama hadn't opened up with that stupidity I might be in the recliner throwing popcorn at the TV screen.)
Obama: He disagrees with McCain about an Across-The-Board Budget Freeze. McCain wants to use a hatchet, while he wants to use a scalpel.
WE HAVE A TEN TRILLION DOLLAR DEBT, AND YOU WANT TO USE A SCALPEL???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????
Brokaw: Huge unfunded obligations for Medicare, Social Security? How are we going to pay for this?
McCain, he's giving you an open door here....
Obama: The straight talk express lost a wheel here. I want to provide a tax cut for 95% of Americans. The money for the 10 trillion dollar debt will be provided by fairies and Oompa Loompas who will leave the money under my pillow when I go Night Night when I get shweepy.
McCain: Reach across the table. Reach across the aisle. Give in. Compromise. After all, Republicans and Democrats are really the same political party.
Wouldn't it be fun to have Bob Barr's mad howling outrage dumped into the middle of this festival of ineffective half-measures?
A questioner named Ingrid Jackson has asked why Congress could move so fast in the economic crisis. Will they move that fast on the environment, and for "Green" Jobs?
McCain: I reached across the aisle to Joe Lieberman. I want some nukes. Nuclear power creates hundreds of thousands of jobs.
Ok, John. Your wrinkled butt needs to go back to school. Prosperity occurs when jobs are eliminated due to something like nuclear power. Efficiency is good, inefficiency is bad. You don't become more efficient to create more jobs. It gets ugly. Be honest about it.
Obama: I favor nuclear as one component of an energy "mix". McCain voted AGAINST alternative fuels 23 times.
Well, if one of those alternatives was subsidizing the ethanol industry, more power to him. Some sort of fracas just broke out over Obama going past his warning light. This is almost like NASCAR, where the warning flag gets thrown out onto the track, and everybody is supposed to stop and wait in line.
Bad analogy.
Too much beer is now required to listen to this. They're not making sense, and I'm not either.
McCain is talking about fundamental economics and drilling offshore.
Did I just hear him accuse Obama of voting with Bush when he voted against some Bush proposal?
Questioner: Healthcare as a marketable commodity? (As opposed to a form of life on the planet Nektor???? In places where it works, it's a marketable commodity.)
Obama: I'm going to change lots of stuff without eliminating government, lawyers, and insurance companies from the process, which would lower healthcare costs by 50%. After all, that would be a positive change, and I'm against that.
At least I think that's what he just said.....
McCain: Let's do lots of stuff. There's a fundamental difference between me and Obama. Government Government Government. Obama will fine you. I want to give everybody a refundable tax credit.
I'm going to Georgia and South Carolina tomorrow. It's a work-related road trip. I'm kind of looking forward to it.
This has nothing at all to do with the debate, but it has more to do with the question than the answers these two guys are giving.
Brokaw: Is healthcare a privilege, a right, or a responsibility?
McCain: We should have available and affordable healthcare for every citizen. I'm nervous about mandates.
My home church, Broadway Baptist in Fort Worth, used to have a dentist's chair in the basement. Homeless/Low income people could get dental care there. You know why we can't have the dentist's chair there any more? Guess.
Obama: You are going to have to make sure that your child has healthcare. Children are cheap to insure. I think it's important for govt to crack down on insurance companies that rip off their customers. Big companies shouldn't be able to shop around for the least regulated state to base their operations in.
Phil Elliot: Let me provide a paraphrase of Phil's question....How will the economic crisis affect our ability to provide a free military for South Korea, Japan, Germany, the rest of eastern Europe, Antarctica, Israel, Iraq, Afghanistan, Greenland, NATO, and everyone else who gets a free ride at the expense of the American taxpayer? I mean, this has to cost a lot, right? Does it make sense to you? How much longer do we have to do this?
McCain: Lots of Bullshit.
Obama: Lots of Bullshit. More eloquently presented.
Brokaw: What about humanitarian interventions for Humanitarian purposes?
Ok, McCain, here's your chance to jump Obama on voting against intervening when Saddam was gassing 90,000 Kurds.
Obama: Nothing about Saddam.
McCain: Obama would bring our troops home in defeat. I will bring them home with honor. Are you going to bring up Saddam Freakin' Hussein gassing the Kurds in his own nation? It's sitting there, waiting...O God, he's just blathering more about opposing his own party. I bet he's going to talk about reaching across the aisle. 90,000 Kurds died in vain.
Brokaw: Katie Hamm....
Katie Hamm: Should the U.S. respect Pakistan's sovereignty in the pursuit of terrorists?
Obama: I'm going to ignore your question, and slam Bush for not staying in Afghanistan. The situation in Pakistan is such a freakin' nightmare that I don't want to go there.
If Bob Barr was in this debate (as he would be in any truly just society), he would slam dunk all these questions. He'd say that we shouldn't be in Iraq, Iran, Pakistan, of Afghanistan.
McCain: Teddy Roosevelt is my hero. Walk Softly, and Carry A Big Stick. Almost totally irrelevant to the question under debate. Now I want to link myself to Petraeus. I LOOOVE me some Petraeus.
Big confusion about follow up questions. Brokaw says he's just the hired help. Giggles from the audience.
Obama: I want to hunt down Bin Ladin. I have hair on my ass too. But John, you sang "Bomb Bomb Bomb Bomb Bomb Iran". So there, you old fart.
McCain: Not true. Not true. I have supported the U.S. when we HAD to go in, and have opposed it when we didn't. I was joking when I put on a Tutu and said "Bomb Iran". But I'm not going to telegraph my punches.
Brokaw: Developments in Afghanistan. The place is screwed beyond recognition. We need an acceptable dictator.
Obama: I'll be very brief. Because this question is hell. I want to pull more troops out of Iraq and put them in Afghanistan.
McCain: Petraeus. Petraeus. Petraeus. That's one of the names he knows that he chants like a freakin' mantra. That, and Meg What's her name, the founder of EBay. More about Petraeus. Petraeus. Petraeus.
Brokaw: How can we apply pressure to Russia on humanitarian issues without starting another Cold War?
McCain: There won't be another Cold War. I looked into Putin's eyes and saw KGB. The Ukraine is in the sights of Putin (I agree. But the Ukraine has been ruled by Russia for a Looong time. How many of your sons and daughters do you want to sacrifice for their Independence? That's the question.)
Obama: We can't just provide moral support. We have to provide support for everybody. Poland, Estonia, etc. Yeah, we're nowhere near totally broke. 21st century challenges. See them before they happen.
Brokaw: Reagan called the Soviet Union an Evil Empire. Do you think it is an Evil Empire under Putin?
Obama: They might have Evil Impulses.
McCain: Maybe. It's a Catch-22 question.
Brokaw: Terry Shrey:
Terry: What if Iran attacks Israel? Would you intervene, or wait on the U.N.
McCain: All I Know, I Learned In Kindergarten And From Chief Petty Officers. There are all sorts of people in the middle east who are a threat to Israel. Ok, just like Palin did, and just like he did in the previous debate, McCain is trying to make a HUGE deal over Obama's willingness to meet with the bad guys "without preconditions". Nobody cares about that outside of the State Department, and you need to drop it.
Obama: We can't allow Iran to get nukes. It would be a game-changer. Nukes would be in the hands of terrorists, and not just in the hands of government contractors. That would be totally unacceptable. Let's interrupt their supply chain.
Brokaw: Peggy in Amherst has a question...."What don't you know, and how will you learn it?"
Obama: Ask Michelle. It's not the challenges you expect. This country gave me an opportunity. I got scholarships. Grandmaw scrimped on things. Food Stamps. I went to the best schools on earth. Are we going to pass on the American Dream to the next generation? We need change. That's why I decided to run for President.
McCain: What I don't know? That's what's going to happen at home and abroad. Campaign speech boilerplate. Cliches. I've spent my whole life. Ok, here's McCain trying to hop on the victim bandwagon. Mama kept the family going while daddy was gone. What is it with the victim motif in this election? Give me another opportunity to contribute. We need a steady hand at the tiller.
Brokaw: That's it.
The winner of this debate? The entrenched Republicans and Democrats. The loser?

Monday, October 6, 2008

Is This The Wall Street Bailout? Or Another Nigerian Scam Email?

For the last year, I've posted all of the Nigerian scam emails that I receive. The last few weeks have been screaming for a parody.
The idea was sitting there.....waiting.
And I didn't do it, Dang it....
Someone else did, and it's brilliant

Dear American:

I need to ask you to support an urgent secret business relationship with a transfer of funds of great magnitude. I am Ministry of the Treasury of the Republic of America. My country has had crisis that has caused the need for large transfer of funds of 800 billion dollars US. If you would assist me in this transfer, it would be most profitable to you.
I am working with Mr. Phil Gram, lobbyist for UBS, who will be my replacement as Ministry of the Treasury in January. As a Senator, you may know him as the leader of the American banking deregulation movement in the 1990s.
This transaction is 100% safe.
This is a matter of great urgency. We need a blank check. We need the funds as quickly as possible. We cannot directly transfer these funds in the names of our close friends because we are constantly under surveillance. My family lawyer advised me that I should look for a reliable and trustworthy person who will act as a next of kin so the funds can be transferred.
Please reply with all of your bank account, IRA and college fund account numbers and those of your children and grandchildren to
wallstreetbailout so that we may transfer your commission for this transaction.
After I receive that information, I will respond with detailed information about safeguards that will be used to protect the funds.

Yours Faithfully Minister of Treasury,

Henry Paulson

Thanks to Samizdata.

Now you've gotta ask yourself....

1) How drunk would you have to be to send this guy any money if his appeal were to show up in your inbox?

2) Is there anything inaccurate about this letter? Does it reflect the reality of our situation?

3) Why do you continue voting for members of the BiPartisan political parties?

Thomas Sowell And The Financial Crisis

Please stand for this month's reading from The Gospel According To Saint Thomas....
Economist Thomas Sowell, the smartest man in the world now that Milton Friedman is dead, has stated that the blame for the current economic crisis can be laid at the feet of Chris Dodd and Barney Frank.

Fact Number One: It was liberal Democrats, led by Senator Christopher Dodd and Congressman Barney Frank, who for years-- including the present year-- denied that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were taking big risks that could lead to a financial crisis.
Please excuse Dr. Sowell for his misuse of the word "liberal".
Those of us who favor minimal government interference in the public and private sector are liberals. I am a liberal. Ron Paul is a liberal. Dr. Sowell is a liberal.
(Liberty, Liberal, Liberate, Libertarian - all from the same root word.)
Dodd and Frank are impostors, and technically should be called "statists".
Dr. Sowell has probably grown tired of having to make the proper distinction.

It was Senator Dodd, Congressman Frank and other liberal Democrats who for years refused requests from the Bush administration to set up an agency to regulate Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
It was liberal Democrats, again led by Dodd and Frank, who for years pushed for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to go even further in promoting subprime mortgage loans, which are at the heart of today's financial crisis.
Alan Greenspan warned them four years ago. So did the Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers to the President. So did Bush's Secretary of the Treasury, five years ago.
Yet, today, what are we hearing? That it was the Bush administration "right-wing ideology" of "de-regulation" that set the stage for the financial crisis. Do facts matter?
We also hear that it is the free market that is to blame. But the facts show that it was the government that pressured financial institutions in general to lend to subprime borrowers, with such things as the Community Reinvestment Act and, later, threats of legal action by then Attorney General Janet Reno if the feds did not like the statistics on who was getting loans and who wasn't.
Is that the free market? Or do facts not matter?
Therefore, Chris Dodd and Barney Frank should be sentenced to twenty years of involuntary servitude, driving potential home buyers from place to place and trying to sell them distressed "properties". All sales commissions would be contributed to our national debt payments.
Dr. Sowell has spoken.
Thus endeth the reading from The Gospel According To Saint Thomas.
You may be seated.

For those wanting further devotional readings, copies of the following are available in the narthex of The Sepulchre:

"Frank's Fingerprints Are All Over The Financial Fiasco", by Jeff Jacoby of The Boston Globe. The Globe is Congressman Frank's hometown newspaper. Jeff Jacoby is a libertarian demigod. This piece is highly recommended to those wishing to affirm their faith, or to assist in the spiritual formation of the young.

"The Devil's Kitchen" has written that "Yes, It's Still Largely The Fault Of The State". I recommend this post to the congregation here at The Sepulchre with a few misgivings....The Devil's Kitchen is a British blog, and is therefore far removed from our economic concerns in the U.S. However, Mr. Kitchen is usually entertaining and always accurate. And the language used by his commenters makes you people look like a Masterpiece Theatre presentation.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

I Can't Believe People Still Fall For This - South Africa Edition

I post every ripoff email that I receive, mostly for the search engine hits, but partly as a public service to the rest of the gullible world.
The idea is that if every blogger who receives them also publishes them, the con artists involved in sending this stuff will eventually stop.
And they usually generate some interesting comments. Hit the "ripoffs" label at the bottom of this post to see all the others.
This one came in on the morning of October 5, 2008.
Apparently there's a dead expat engineer in South Africa who has the last name "Sepulchre".

My Tel: 0027741071085
I am Mr. Gavin Tarr, account manager to an expatriate Engineer, Who was a contractor in South Africa.
On the 24th of Jan 2004, my client was involved in a boat accident and died leaving no will or next of kin. He had earlier lost his wife during child birth and never remarried
I seek your consent to present you as the next of kin to the deceased since you have the same last names, so that the proceeds of this account can be paid to you on your respon se we shall then discuss the sharing ratio and modalities for transfer.
I have all necessary information and legal documents needed to back you up for claim. I guarantee that this will be executed under legitimate arrangement that will protect you from any breach of the law.
Please include your private Tel/Fax and Mobile
Best Regards,
Mr. Gavin Tarr

Here's another from October 6th. This person, from having read my profile, wants to know if
1) She can trust me
2) She wants to know if I will accept her as my sister, and
3) You'll have to read #3 for yourself. It's kind of abrupt.

From: Miss Lily Jones
Dear Beloved one,
Based on your profile, l am happy to request for your assistance because I beleive that you are not going to betrayed the trust which I am going to lay on you Dear Beloved i pray all is well with you and Other members of your family.
My name is Lily 20 years old and the only daughter of my late parents Mr.and Mrs Jones, My father was a highly reputable busnness magnet-(a cocoa merchant) who operated in the capital of Ivory coast during his days. It is sad to say that he passed away mysteriously in France during one of his business trips abroad on 12th.November 2005.Though his sudden death was linked or rather suspected to have been masterminded by an uncle of his who travelled with him at that time, but God knows the truth!
My mother died when I was just 6 years old, and since then my father took me so special. Before the death of my Father on November 12th 2005 he called the secretary who accompanied him to the hospital and told her that he has the sum of(USD$17.5 000 000) Seventeen Million five hundred thousand dollars left in a metalic trunk trunk box, wich he deposited in a Security Company here in abidjan, that he registered it as family valuable items for security reasons, he told the secretarythat I should contact the Company for them to know me as his next of kin wich I have did as he instructed,
He also told the secretary that I should not let any of his relations to know about this because he was kiled by them and if they know about it, that they will do nothing but to kill me in other to take hold of every thing,
He told her that I should seek for a foriegn partner abroad who will help me retreived the trunk box and also travel with him or her in other to continue my Live and Education and also to start a Bussines relationship with the person whom can take care of me in the future,
My dear, this is why I have come incontact with you in order to help me retreive that trunk box from the Security Companys custody and send it direct to your country and also to make an arrangement for me on how I will come over to your country in other to continue my Live and Education and also to go into bussines relationship with you hence I am still a child and I dont know any thing about bussines,
I am just 20 years old and a university undergraduate and really don't know what to do. this is because I have suffered a lot of set backs as a result of incessant political crisis here in Ivory coast. The death of my father actually brought sorrowto my life, My dear, I am in a sincere desire of your humble assistance in this regards and your suggestions and ideas will be highly regarded. Now permit me to ask these few questions:
1. Can I completely trust you?
2.Can you accept me as your own blood Sister (Or Daughter)?
3.What percentage of the total amount in question will be good for you?
Consider this and get back to me as soon as possible with your full assurance that you will not disapoint me in this issue so that i can give you the contact of the Security Company where my late Father deposited that trunk box for you to contactthem on how the trunk box will be retreived from their custody and deliver to your country,
Thank you soo much for your understanding and may almighty God bless you and your Family to the Glory of God Almighty,
My sincere regards,
Miss Lily

Here's a new one from 11-15-08. It takes a different angle. Esophagal Cancer.

I have a new email address!
You can now email me at:
I have been diagnosed with Esophageal cancer.It has defiled all forms of medical treatment, and right now I have only about a few months to live,according to medical experts.I have not particularly lived my life so well, as I never really cared for anyone (not even myself)but my business.Though I am very rich,The last of my money which no one knows of is the huge cash deposit that I have with a Finance Vaulting Unit.I will want you to help me collect this deposit and dispatch it to harity organizations.N/B: Kindly note that 35% of this funds must go to the tsunami victims,60% o other Charity Organization and 5% for your effort and time.I cannot talk with you on the phone due to my health situation, as I am using my Lap Top Computer to communicate with you. You should respond to this e-mail if you are interested in carrying out this assignment on my behalf.
God be with you.

William Ayers Demotivational Poster

The Daddy Party (R) is FINALLY hitting back at The Mommy Party (D) over Barack Obama's relationship with William Ayers.
The bulk of Obama's executive experience was with Bill Ayers, a former member of The Weather Underground.
I posted and linked and wailed about this guy back in August. Click here and here if you're interested. The stuff on the Chicago Annenberg Challenge is still under lock and key, and probably will stay that way until after November.
Nobody cared back in August, but the puppetmasters have now declared that Ayers is a legitimate concern.