2008-10-21

Strange Days at the Polls

Yesterday I had great many errands to run, but foremost in my mind was heading out to the county Registar's office and making sure that I was actually able to vote on the 4th. This is what I saw:


The County offices were packed with people in to Vote Early.

I have been writing, reading and following the electoral process with a lot of zeal for the past 16 months. I was actually watching the Democratic debates when Chris Dodd was still a candidate and when Rudy Guilliani was the presumptive Republican nominee. Even back then I started pegging a lot of interest in Barrack Obama, and by January he was my candidate. I voted for him in the Utah Democratic primary over Hillary. I didn't think he had shot then really, but what a crazy year it's been.

Unfortuneately all has not been well in Avalon for the past year. The sins of the past were starting to haunt the Dow Industrials going back to November of 2007 and since then nothing eased the pain until we hit a total economic freefall this September. Now we are in what is going to be looked at as the biggest slowdown since the Depression, you can just feel it. As bad as it has been watching America turn blue has been beautiful to see. I think collectively we know what has led us to this point, and we know what it takes to bail us out.

My Stepdad calls September 19th "Red Friday". He wants it commemorated as the day card carrying members of the Republican party woke up Socialists. It looks like it might be the day the "Free Market" died. I think the markets should be there to give everyone a slice of the pie, and you know Brother's if I have enough I am going to share them with you. It just feels right to me, I might even want to say it feels "American".

Naturally a group of people in America want to create a strict Socially Conservative state. Liberals aren't the ones tapping phones of Soldiers and Democrats. They aren't ones scared of what happens when Blacks, Latino's and Asians vote. They aren't the ones pounds the pulpits with Dog Whistle politics. They are NOT the ones trying to silence people with the Spectres of Fear. Al-Quada was just as big of a threat under Clinton as it was Bush, but Clinton didn't re-organize the government to fight them. Social Conservatives need to have control, and they think that they must rule on top over the "lesser" people.

Three of the greatest figures in U.S. of the 20th Century, Bobby Kennedy, John F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr. were all sensible Social Liberals. Their killers, as much as we know, were carrying the water of extreme Social Conservatism. Our greatest hopes for a united, peaceful multi-cultural America, one that could really live up to the notion of "With Liberty and Justice for All", we're silenced by Hill-Billy's with guns. The only way to silence the surge in common sense was with a gun.

The worm has definitely turned. I went out to register and then found out that I could Vote, so I did. In the short time I was there so did at least several hundred people. People of every description and from every walk of life were in the courthouse exercising their most crucial right in Democracy. Over half of them were under the age of thirty.

Things aren't great in America today. But it feels like the Ghost of Ronald Reagan might have finally left the building. The influence of that son of a bitch that ordered State Troopers to open fire on students in California, that did everything he could to drive a wedge between Americans and their Government might finally be fading. It feels like Morning in America, and the tide is turning. Maybe John, Bobby and Martin didn't die for nothing after all.

2008-10-09

Oh Shit My Shit

A funny thing happened on the U.S. stock market today, the P.E. ratio's of even the most bloated stocks started looking pretty damn attractive. If I had the money I would start buying stocks again. Oh wait, nobody has any money, except Warren Buffet. That's pretty much the same boat everyone is in.
So now it becomes apparent to a lot of people that we aren't just in a recession, we are in a freefall. No one knew where the bottom was going to hit and indeed we still don't. But you know what, we are going to be alright. Even if this goes from a gut wrenching recession to a full blown Depression it will be O.K.
Let me tell you a little story of what happened to a lot of people in my world after Reagan took office. Back in the 80's things seemed a lot stronger, even for a poor kid in Utah. Somehow we left most of those people behind, we abandoned the dignity of basic work and now here we are, we screwed a huge group of people in America, they used to be called the Middle Class.
For the bosses it was a different story. They would have a great factory in the Heart of America making an innovative product that sells in Wal-Marts across the country. They would have a solid infrastructure, amazing workers with mortgages and a load of machines that cost a fortune. One Wal-Mart comes into the shop and says that don't want to work with a Union shop in the U.S. but they love the beds. They ask the boss to move his factory to China. Pennies on the dollar for workers, and you don't have to worry about Health Care, Days off, Pensions or Government Safety Regulations. The offset in worker cost far out-weighs the shipping costs and besides Wal-Mart can help you set everything up. So the boss has a tough decision to make, but it will greatly enrich him. "The U.S. economy is strong, the workers will find another way to make money", he would think.
So the workers who once had Pensions and Healthcare and Vacations and Security do what ever they have to do to keep paying their Mortgages. Things were getting tough for the former workers of the Mattress factory, the service industry just wasn't as good. Their new Jobs at Wal-Mart just didn't pay like the old. They could never make as money in the blue vest selling the matresses that used to be 'Made in America.'
Meanwhile back at the Country Club the boss was living large. Since he started outsourcing he had more money than he what to do with. He had the Mercedes, the Mansion, the Vacation House, the Viking Stoves, the Sub Zero, the Toys, the Healthcare security, everything a person could want, and then some. He still had enough money that the only thing he could do was work to keep his money keeping him wealthy. Some investment's weren't panning out that great though, the dot-com bubble had already poppped and he still had too much money to just let sit there wasting away in bank at 2% interest.
While some the Old Factory crew were toiling away in jobs going nowhere some of the other people were getting smart. The best place to make money in America was in Housing, in California and Florida and New York the price of real estate was rising by as much as 25% a year. The markets were heating up every where. "Everyone has to have a home, and anymore it's the safest investment you can make", they would say. There was just one problem, everyone but the old boss was working for Wal-Mart or the Mortgage company, how were they going to get people that work for Wal-Mart into a home?
Well it turns out that the Conservatives in Washington had been grappling with that same problem for a while. It turns out if you just lower the barriers to entry enough anyone can have a million dollar home. Besides they had to something to help out their constituent's, they were friends with everyone from the Old Factory and the Boss was their biggest supporter. So eventually they decided it would be good to cut away enough regulation that anyone could have a house. It turns out to get a family working at Wal-Mart into a house you can't ask for money, have a high interest rate, or even ask if they were employed steadily.
So the Wal-Mart workers finally got their houses but the banks were having a tough time making their balance sheets work. "At least these home value's are always going up!" Maybe we can sell the value of these debts off to someone and maybe not have things be so risky.
The Boss has been shopping around the market looking for the best place to put his money and what does he find, Real Estate! Housing prices have been rising for years, it's easier to buy a home than ever and if anything goes wrong at least you have the house! Besides the more houses there are the matresses he can ship in from China!
For a while it seemed like everything was going to be O.K. Long after the factory had closed the Boss was richer than ever, the workers had found new jobs and they even had houses and a piece of the pie. The banker, the mortgage broker and even the Conservative politician seemed to be doing just great.
But then a funny thing happened. Some of those workers at the Wal-Mart started having problems, maybe it was an illness, maybe it was their family, maybe it was some accident or bolt out of the blue. But one way or another when the people at Wal-Mart fell they fell hard and they didn't have anything to fall on. The only money they had left was the equity in there house. When they got sick they had to take out reverse mortgages to pay the doctor. When they had family struggles they had no where to turn, everyone they knew was in the same boat.
It wasn't like there weren't tough times at the Old Factory, sometimes they got hurt, sometimes they had emergencies, but they always had a soft place to fall, and it wasn't just a mattress. They had healthcare, and vacation times, and sick pay and they were pretty secure when they had a Union to help them keep it.
The bad times were back and it seemed like a long time ago when things were good. They went to church, they voted Conservative, they even gave their old Boss a big tax cut so that some of his money might trickle down. Somehow none of that seemed to help a bit. Now they were loosing there home, which wasn't even worth what they paid for it, and they didn't know what to do, they had nothing left but a pile of debt, and now there were new laws that didn't even let get rid of that debt in a bankruptcy.
They turned on Fox News at their Son's apartment one night. Sean Hannity was talking about ACORN and giving loans to people that didn't qualify and how it was causing a crisis. They weren't minorities and they used to make a lot of money, they couldn't believe that the people they helped all there lives would turn on them like that. They were sick, they lost their houses, they lost everything. Shamed and with nothing left they just wanted to cry.
So they went to sleep on the mattress they brought with them from the house they bought after Wal-Mart. It was one the last ones that still said 'Made in America'. It was over 10 years old now, stained from moving house, a little neglect, and a lot of tears.
The story of the family who got sick or had something bad happen got told a few too many times. Too many people got kicked out of their houses and there was no one left to buy the ones that were there. The old boulevards next to the derrilect old factory were almost completely vacant now. The mortgage companies couldn't sell the houses.
One morning in November, the Boss returned from his trip to the Tropics to find that most of the money he just stuck into the Bank was gone. It was millions of dollars and he didn't know where any of it was, or how he was going to get it back. In a matter of weeks he lost more money than most people will ever see in there lives. He couldn't understand where it all went, he believed in America, and now he didn't know what to think. He felt a hollow in his stomach and now he just want's to be sick.

So take a look at the Dow and realize that every point that drops it is just a variation of this story being told a hundred times.

Anyone who has read my blog should have a pretty good idea of how I am voting. Now you know why.

2008-10-02

Throwing Down the Gauntlet



That's it. I've had it. I had to look at this at this cunt far too many times. House Minority Whip* Eric Cantor, I CHALLENGE YOU TO A MATCH OF NO HOLDS BARRED FISTICUFFS. 

The Prize: If I lose I convert to Catholocism, crazy ass Da Vinci Code Catholocism and vote Republican till the end of my days. I will never again forsake De-Regulation, Trickle Down Economics or the Bush Doctine. I will Support the Troops harder than other man in North America, without actually you know, joining a Branch of Military (anal cysts). I will acknowledge that Sarah Palin is like, TOTALLY, so close to Russia she could be Putin's Milf Crush. I will salute BUSH II with the reverence that most nerds only reserve for the 'Empire Strikes Back'. Hell, in my revised Neo-Con Catholocism I will refer to George Herbert Walker Bush, George W. Bush and Ronald Reagan as the Father, Son and Holy-Ghost.

In short I will become all makes my skin crawl in America.

If I win you will voluntarilly contract Polio. You will burn all 37 copies of the Fountainhead that you own and you memorize the names the names of at least 25 foreign nations. You will stop crying. You will read Keynes 'General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money' twice. You will vote for substantive increases in Regulation and Oversight in Capital Markets, especially Real Estate. You will be an active participant in wealth redistribution in America to Extreme Minorities (The Gay Midget Phillipino League). You will work tirelessly to create the lowest Gini Index in the history of our Nation. Like the Grinch you will have to watch your heart grow two sizes to large, you snivelling twat.

Sure I am 15 years younger and not addicted to 'Just for Men' haircolor. I don't know your height, reach or fighting style, but I am assuming it entails a lot pretending be hurt, acting like a pussy and then biting people when they turn around. The way you bawled after Nancy Pelosi's speech I don't think that you have even the slightest risidual testosterone in your shriveled scrotum to face me down. It's a shame.

So Eric Cantor next time you are on the West Coast and need to see if you have a shred of manhood left, look me up. I will see you in the Octagon.

* Now that I think about it in Title alone 'Minority Whip'  that has to be the most appropriate position a Republican can hold. "Take that you sub prime loan stealin' fence jumping Latino's! No Affirmative Action for you Macawcaw!" he would say.