Sunday, November 27, 2011

Sick, Sick, Sick

A woman pepper-sprayed 20 other customers at a Los Angeles Walmart on the run-up to Black Friday in order to be first at Xbox video games. This is consumerism out of hand. And soon the bargains will take their place in thousands of rental lockers across the country full of stuff that people don't have room for in their houses. Sick!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Same Sex Marriage

Twenty-nine states have enacted constitutional amendments blocking same-sex marriage. Twelve states bar same-sex marriage by statute. This is in spite of the fact that 53% of Americans say gay marriages should be legal. Go figure!

Special Interests rule

In January, the USDA proposed new guidelines for school lunches to reduce carbs and sodium to try to reduce obesity in children (One-third of children are overweight.) But, the food industry spent $5.6 million and blocked improvements to the 15 year-old guidelines. The present guidelines say that two tablespoons of tomato paste constitute a serving of vegetables. Well, the salt industry has to eat too!

Friday, November 18, 2011

European Central Bank

The Spanish are advocating that the ECB buy its bonds. The head of the ECB says no way. He is worried about the wrong problem while Rome burns. The New York Times DOES NOT CONTRIBUTE TO ECONOMIC UNDERSTANDING WHEN IT keeps using the phrase "printing money" when referring to the ECB. Central Banks do not do anything ordinary commercial banks do everyday--i.e. credit the accounts of borrowers when they make a loan. Will the ECB create world-wide financial and social ruin by clinging to ancient symbols? I'm afraid it has happened before!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Bottles at Grand Canyon

The National Park Service had announced the ban of disposable water bottles in the park as they constitute 30 percent of the trash there. A similar ban is in place at Zion. Coca-Cola objected and the proposed ban was put on hold. Coke has political influence because it contributed $13 million to the park. This is another example of the interpenetration of private interests into government. Corporations get what they want via contributions to election campaigns and by making so-called gifts to government programs. Beware of corporations bearing gifts!

If we don't pay taxes to support public functions, we become dependent on corporations to keep them going.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Making MOney

News item, Nov. 4, 2011, LSJ
"The government provided American International Group with $182 billion at the height of the 2008 financial crisis. Treasury has recouped $18 billion of the 268 billion it provided the company through the government's Troubled Asset Relief Program. The rest of the money came from the Federal Reserve."

And where did the Fed get the money? It made it by writing numbers after the account of AIG at the Fed. Apparently, it never occurs to the FED to do the same for underwater home mortgage holders! This is why people are participating in "Occupy Wall Street" and similar protests across the country.

AIG was a profitable insurance company before it gambled on derivitives based on sub-prime mortagages. AIG got bailed out from its folly, but not the common Joe home owner who is now in the street. This is the basis for the protest signs referring to the 99%.