Weekend OT
September 17, 2011 7:56 AM - BoerumHillScott

333 comments
September 17, 2011 8:22 AM - cobblehiller
GM
Edited at September 17, 2011 8:22 AM
#1
September 17, 2011 8:25 AM - cobblehiller
(Very sleepy, crashes into counter. ouch! BANG! CRASH! ooops....soorry, shhhh, eeek! People are still sleeeping...)

sotto voce: anyone else awake?
Edited at September 17, 2011 8:25 AM
#2
September 17, 2011 8:33 AM - cobblehiller
UBS Faces Questions on Oversight After a Trader Lost $2 Billion
http://dealbook.nytimes.com/2011/09/16/ubs-faces-questions-on-oversight-after-traders-huge-loss/?hp

It's stories like this that make me wonder if anyone is really paying attention, ever. Or do these banks just go through the motions. Remember Societe Generale's big embarrassment a couple years ago? What goes on that allows this to happen? Well, here's a link to how that story ended...

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2010-10-05/kerviel-is-jailed-for-three-years-ordered-to-repay-6-5-billion-to-socgen.html
Edited at September 17, 2011 8:33 AM
#3
September 17, 2011 8:53 AM - cobblehiller
Or perhaps this is more OT worthy!
Manhattan AG's office suspends lawyer who moonlights as a dominatrix

Read more: http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/manhattan/state_lawyer_pay_for_pain_gal_jnU5GUO7B1eLRnulyREcKO#ixzz1YDJnxDTf
#4
September 17, 2011 9:01 AM - DeadCatBounce
Cobble, I don't get this at all. Many years ago I worked with the proprietary trading group at a bank.
Everyday, each trader, and each of his positions were reviewed.
Not only was overall risk examined, but comparisons were made to something called "the efficient frontier".
There was a lot of control.
In fact, while I was there, one of the traders made a really stupid exotic options currency bet. He probably didn't really understand what he had done and the position started to hemorrhage.
That Trader was quickly cut off.
These rogue trader stories don't really meet the test of reasonableness. Banks don't turn over control and walk away.
#5
September 17, 2011 9:05 AM - cobblehiller
DCB, Well, I'm very glad to hear it! Stories like this really make me go 'hmmmm'.
#6
September 17, 2011 9:06 AM - DeadCatBounce
That dominatrix story was pretty amusing, until I got to the end and found out three people had died.
#7
September 17, 2011 9:11 AM - DeadCatBounce
As a fiscal conservative who believes in free enterprise, I have been thoroughly disgusted by the bailouts, fraud, and cronyism that is literally threatening our nation.
People were too lazy to understand the repeal of Glass-Steagall when that legislation was passed (during Clinton administration) and they are even more lazy today as the Federal Reserve just extended unlimited credit to the International Monetary Fund. That alone should be the basis for major protests and investigations, at the very least.

#8
September 17, 2011 9:14 AM - cobblehiller
Yes, that part was pretty shocking, but otherwise an amusing item. It won't be good for this woman to be "attached" by association to Vixen. Eek!
#9
September 17, 2011 9:15 AM - cobblehiller
I think it's stunning that Glass-Steagall was repealed. I just don't understand how they got away with that.
Edited at September 17, 2011 9:15 AM
#10
September 17, 2011 9:19 AM - DeadCatBounce
The bribery of congress started in earnest under Reagan. The lobbyists had to keep raising the stakes becomes our elected representatives had a surprising amount of backbone. Finally, under Clinton, they apparently came up to the right price, just as Citibank (illegally) purchased Travellers Insurance, and the rest is history.
Edited at September 17, 2011 9:19 AM
#11
September 17, 2011 9:26 AM - DeadCatBounce
Just looked at the web site for Jade Vixen.
I have zero interest in S&M, but the whole fantasy and drama aspect of the site is fun.
Now if only it wasn't about hurting people.
#12
September 17, 2011 9:34 AM - cobblehiller
"The bribery of congress started in earnest under Reagan."

Sigh. That was the first presidential election I was of age to vote in. Of course, I didn't vote for him. Even at 18, I had a sense that something wasn't right, and this wouldn't go well. : (
#13
September 17, 2011 9:41 AM - Donatella
GM, Cobble, D-Cat...it looks like another nice day. What happened at UBS was awful. The UBS and Societe Generale rogue trader episodes have one thing in common - young traders who started out in the back office and figured out how to override certain automated controls. Still it is no excuse; the banks' risk management was asleep at the switch.

Speaking of being asleep, need more coffee.

Later...good luck with the apt hunting, cobble.
#14
September 17, 2011 9:56 AM - petebklyn
If gov't workers received decent pay they wouldn't need to moonlight like that.

Edited at September 17, 2011 9:56 AM
#15
September 17, 2011 9:57 AM - cobblehiller
Are you suggesting that you were/are moonlighting like that, Pete? ; )
#16
September 17, 2011 10:03 AM - petebklyn
somehow I wasn't able to find a customer base in that field.
imagine.
#17
September 17, 2011 10:04 AM - DeadCatBounce
Just look at Petes Avatar, Cobble. All he needs us a pair of handcuffs, and he is in business.
#18
September 17, 2011 10:08 AM - cobblehiller
LOL! You're too soft spoken, Pete. Somehow I'm not really seeing you in that mode! : P
Edited at September 17, 2011 10:08 AM
#19
September 17, 2011 10:08 AM - petebklyn
has anyone done a analysis on the sexual meanings/undertone of PeterPan story?
Edited at September 17, 2011 10:08 AM
#20
September 17, 2011 10:09 AM - cobblehiller
That's what I was thinking, DCB! He just needs to step it up in the barking orders dept, and he'll take that world by storm! ; )
Edited at September 17, 2011 10:09 AM
#21
September 17, 2011 10:13 AM - Deleted
One of the factors that went into the repeal of Glass-Steagall was the fact that European banks were not so constrained, and there was concern that the US banking system would not be able to compete with them.

I do not think that the repeal of this act was one of the key ingredients in what happened. Rather, it was a little-known provision inserted into the banking regulations that were drafted after the S&L debacle. This provision stated that, for the first time, the Federal Reserve would open its lending windows to investment banks. A moral hazard was created.

If one wants to get a good overview of the factors that led to the recent meltdown, I urge folks to read "Reckless Endangerment" by Gretchen Morgenson, the business writer for the NYT. IMO, she is one of the few good writers for that paper.
#22
September 17, 2011 10:15 AM - ij
I'm working, and then going to a funeral this evening. Awesome day for me.
#23
September 17, 2011 10:16 AM - cobblehiller
Sorry to hear that, infinite. My condolences.
#24
September 17, 2011 10:18 AM - ij
Thank you.
#25
September 17, 2011 10:29 AM - DeadCatBounce
It's too bad Huntsman has so little support in the Republican Party. He probably has the best chance of getting independent voters and Democrats in the general election.
#26
September 17, 2011 10:33 AM - dibs
Bacon &Eggs now
#27
September 17, 2011 10:37 AM - MontroseMorris
GM, all.

Granola and 2% milk, an hour ago.

Dave, how did your house showing go yesterday?
#28
September 17, 2011 10:38 AM - petebklyn
cobble - did you see this listing?
or are all these real estate office listing bogus?
http://newyork.craigslist.org/brk/fee/2602270897.html
Edited at September 17, 2011 10:38 AM
#29
September 17, 2011 10:39 AM - petebklyn
greek yogurt, fruit, granola and part of a danish for me.
#30
September 17, 2011 10:43 AM - Donatella
Oatmeal with walnuts. Now.
#31
September 17, 2011 10:44 AM - DeadCatBounce
Two hard boiled eggs and yogurt.
#32
September 17, 2011 10:46 AM - ij
Raisin bran with wheat germ two hours ago; tea now.
#33
September 17, 2011 10:48 AM - MontroseMorris
Tea sounds great. Think I will. Thanks Jester!
#34
September 17, 2011 10:48 AM - dibs
Have had a few showings...buyers and brokers. Yesterday went well and he asked me if i'd be willing to rent it for a year if he bought it but didn't move right in

He has a Singaporean wife and she's not sold on the neighborhood because, as we all know, Asian women are afraid of black people, until they get them in bed!!!!

One guy from last week bringing wife back tomorrow


And 2 more showings today



#35
September 17, 2011 10:48 AM - dibs
A few people came here yesterday for the "open house" when it clearly stated Oct 16!!!!
#36
September 17, 2011 10:49 AM - MontroseMorris
We've turned into Twitter!!!!

So sorry!
#37
September 17, 2011 10:53 AM - MontroseMorris
Dave, I hear your house will be on the house tour. That should also bring a lot of interested parties in. Even if someone isn't personally interested, they do pass on the info. We've had a couple of sale houses on our tour that closed soon afterward. Don't know if we had anything to do with it, but it didn't hurt. The gorgeous St. Marks Avenue house that was a HOTD recently will be on our house tour this year. Oct. 1st.
Edited at September 17, 2011 10:53 AM
#38
September 17, 2011 10:53 AM - petebklyn
who announces an open house more than a month ahead of time?
You think it is some society event where people need to plan their calendar that far ahead of time?
#39
September 17, 2011 10:54 AM - dibs
Pete, I'm sure your dance card is open
Edited at September 17, 2011 10:54 AM
#40
September 17, 2011 11:01 AM - bxgrl
Nice breakfasts you all. I'm having my little purple pill and a chaser of Maalox.
#41
September 17, 2011 11:01 AM - DeadCatBounce
I predict Dave's patience with the househunters (who will mostly be cheap ass, rude, moronic Democratic douchebags) will soon be running out.
#42
September 17, 2011 11:02 AM - petebklyn
I looked thru real estate magazine for up here this morning.
in 100's can buy simple cape, small ranch houses, 200's nice middle class suburban type homes, and 300's really nice upscale houses.

#43
September 17, 2011 11:05 AM - Deleted
For those who did not see it: towards the end of yesterday's OT, Etson posted a link in which Mr. B.'s henchmen (the techie who helped him with the new site) discusses the demise of the OT. Interesting reading.
#44
September 17, 2011 11:06 AM - petebklyn
lesbi in on prescription prevacid max dose like forever.
Edited at September 17, 2011 11:06 AM
#45
September 17, 2011 11:06 AM - Deleted
Oh, and: Cheerios with strong coffee. My usual.
#46
September 17, 2011 11:07 AM - dibs
Pete...$399,000 around the corner from me in Carversvillle and, it doesn't flood!!!!

http://www.lisajamesotto.com/3780-Aquetong-Rd-a209259.html
Edited at September 17, 2011 11:07 AM
#47
September 17, 2011 11:10 AM - petebklyn
I read that this morning, benson. I say, whatever.
Biggest downside is this new OT won't attract new blood since doesn't have exposure from being on brownstoner. Who reads that techies blog anyway.

#48
September 17, 2011 11:16 AM - petebklyn
beautiful house....what would you guess r.e. tax would be?
Edited at September 17, 2011 11:16 AM
#49
September 17, 2011 11:16 AM - bxgrl
But we are getting a lot of looks, pete. And once we are doing more with articles and such, we cna put up a FB page too. Eventually we will be found.

I wrote to the website and asked them if they would post my response to Kael's piece since he quoted me (all of 2-3 words, not even in a sentence). If they don't answer, I'll post it in the comments under him, nd send it to him and Jon. It was a real hatchet job, with a lot of fact fudging.
#50
September 17, 2011 11:23 AM - sixyearsandcounting
Interesting take on things here:

" “The primary will of the world is no longer about peace or freedom or even democracy; it is not about having a family, and it is neither about God nor about owning a home or land. The will of the world is first and foremost to have a good job. Everything else comes after that.” The only problem is that there are not enough good jobs to go around.

Clifton explains that of the world’s five billion people over 15 years old, three billion said they worked or wanted to work, but there are only 1.2 billion full-time, formal jobs. Therefore his conclusion “from reviewing Gallup’s polling on what the world is thinking on pretty much everything is that the next 30 years won’t be led by U.S. political or military force.”
“Instead,” he says, “the world will be led with economic force — a force that is primarily driven by job creation and quality G.D.P. growth.”

Of course, the url is OT-worthy so I'll link in full:
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/17/opinion/blow-for-jobs-its-war.html
Edited at September 17, 2011 11:23 AM
#51
September 17, 2011 11:25 AM - Arkady
Coffee. Xword.
Edited at September 17, 2011 11:25 AM
#52
September 17, 2011 11:29 AM - Deleted
Benson - I think this is the thread you were referring to when someone outed crownmolding.

http://www.brownstoner.com/blog/2011/08/111-kent-avenue-preparing-for-take-off/#comment-293213503


Off to the Smorg to get some Blue Bottle. Got my nicotine patches and gum. Gonna try this quitting thing tomorrow.
Edited at September 17, 2011 11:29 AM
#53
September 17, 2011 11:31 AM - DeadCatBounce
Six, that article misses the point entirely, as does Obama. "Jobs" are not a natural resource, with limited availability. Jobs are created by human initiative, imagination and ambition. Create an environment where those qualities are rewarded, not thwarted, and jobs will naturally be plentiful.
#54
September 17, 2011 11:34 AM - bxgrl
DCB- seems to me everyone in government is missing the point- Republicans as well.

Another interesting article in the times today too: http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/09/16/lets-talk-about-death/?hp

Off to the post office (ugh ugh and double ugh).
Edited at September 17, 2011 11:34 AM
#55
September 17, 2011 11:34 AM - Deleted
lowering taxes does not create jobs.
#56
September 17, 2011 11:35 AM - Deleted
DH;

Thanks. So it seems it wasn't deleted. When I tried to find it, I couldn't. Anyway, Skillman played that well.
#57
September 17, 2011 11:37 AM - sixyearsandcounting
DCB - one can do one's best to create that environment but the problem is that there are lots of other countries doing the same thing. The US doesn't have the influence it used to have - not because we're not as prosperous as we used to be, but because other countries are growing wealthier and barriers to trade are falling. If I have a widget to manufacture that requires skilled labor, the US is failing to produce the skilled workers I need, and in any case, China and especially India are producing lots more of those. If I have a widget requiring unskilled labor, I can put the factory in Mexico. The US government can offer all the tax breaks and incentives it can but ultimately I might save just as much or more on wages, etc.
Edited at September 17, 2011 11:37 AM
#58
September 17, 2011 11:38 AM - sixyearsandcounting
amen, dh. put more money in the hands of the middle class and poor, and there will be more demand for products, and more jobs making them (although the jobs are probably in China).
#59
September 17, 2011 11:42 AM - dibs
Taxes on that somewhere around $5,000, same as mine there


#60
September 17, 2011 11:45 AM - Deleted
Six years;

I've said this before, and I'll say it again (and I'm speaking as someone who works directly in manufacturing): those who think that manufacturing is the key to prosperity and wealth are simply not involved in it.

Once again, I'll use a device like the IPOD. I don't know what they retail for these days, but I'll guess about $200. Of that $200, less than 10% flows to the manufacturer (Foxconn). Apple has created enormous wealth in the US - the 90% that does not involve manufacturing: Design, product management, marketing, distribution, software, etc.

DB has it exactly right.

Also, the US is at the zenith of global influence in the world economy.

Question: where are the Japanese or European Ciscos, Googles, Facebooks, Intels or Apples - the giants of today's economy? Answer: they do not exist. Name ONE new innovative Japanese company that has appeared on the scene in the last 20 years. Ditto for Europe (with the exception perhpas of Nokia, which is now fading away).
#61
September 17, 2011 11:47 AM - petebklyn
I don't see 11217 as crownmolding. 11217 was most interested in newest boutique/shopping and restaurant and house price in park slope and I doubt would call people communists.
#62
September 17, 2011 11:48 AM - rf
DH, good luck with quitting smoking!!!
#63
September 17, 2011 11:49 AM - Deleted
Here is another intersting fact for you to ponder: Apple has more cash in its reserves than the GDP of all but about 6 or 7 nations.
Edited at September 17, 2011 11:49 AM
#64
September 17, 2011 11:49 AM - petebklyn
if he quits smoking -- look at all the tax revenue gov't loses. Will increase deficit.
Edited at September 17, 2011 11:49 AM
#65
September 17, 2011 11:50 AM - Deleted
Thanks rf!! If I'm testy and engage in any ad-hominem attacks over the next few weeks that's why! (apologies in advance to dibs, benson and legion)
#66
September 17, 2011 11:51 AM - Deleted
Pete. My cigarettes are from the Ukraine. Hahaha
Edited at September 17, 2011 11:51 AM
#67
September 17, 2011 11:54 AM - Deleted
Benson. How many jobs do companies like apple, google and Facebook really create? Arent they rather small companies (headcount vs value). Serious question.
#68
September 17, 2011 11:55 AM - Arkady
DH - Get a little cocktail-stirrer straw. When you want a smoke breathe through the straw & think about how that's what your breathing would be like w/ emphysema. Being unable to breathe the night I went to the hospital is the only thing that's kept me on track & I had it much easier than you - 3 week kick-off in the hospital for a start & a 6-month scrip for Welbutrin (which I think did help). It's really hard! As you know, I'm still fighting! Best of luck to you.
#69
September 17, 2011 11:58 AM - DeadCatBounce
Wow six, that was really confusing. I will try and break it down into component parts:
"One can do one's best to create that environment but the problem is that there are lots of other countries doing the same thing. "
I would advocate for our Govt. to create an enviornment of business opportunity. If there are a lot of other countries creating a hospitable environment for business formation, God bless them. World poverty is a huge problem, and the solution is human ingenuity, as it always has been throughout history. And human ingenuity is limitless.

"The US doesn't have the influence it used to have - not because we're not as prosperous as we used to be, but because other countries are growing wealthier and barriers to trade are falling. "
We are NOT as prosperous as we used to be. Entitlements have gone up, even as the poverty rate and unemployment rise. These are facts. The developing world is growing wealthier, in part because they are starting at a much lower level, and in part because they can bootstrap on advances already made in the developed world. If we are to maintain our prosperity, we will have to be at the forefront of innovation. That takes a lot of self motivation on the part of a lot of people. And it is what Americans have at least until recently, always done

Edited at September 17, 2011 11:58 AM
#70
September 17, 2011 11:58 AM - Deleted
Thanks Arkady. I'll try that. It's gonna be tough! Gonna probably have to stay away from alcohol and coffee too. Those things all go together like macaroni and cheese.
#71
September 17, 2011 12:00 PM - Deleted
Seems to me an area of innovation we could be at the forefront of Is alternative energy. But we can't seem to get off the saggy Tit of oil
#72
September 17, 2011 12:01 PM - Deleted
DH;

Here's seom numbers I just looked up:

Apple: 36,000
Cisco 64,000

That's not too shabby. The problem is that we don't have enough of these types of companies.

Also, I can tell you that almost every tech company I deal with: IBM, Cisco and GE, for instance, are holding back their hiring in the US right now, while they are expanding overseas.

We can debate the reason for this phenomenon. I think DCB has it right: the current environment in the does not encourage further growth.
Edited at September 17, 2011 12:01 PM
#73
September 17, 2011 12:02 PM - sixyearsandcounting
Benson - I second dh's question. But I also think that the US simply will not sustain itself at the top of the global pecking order unless we make serious adjustments. First and foremost we have to reduce our military spending. I know our military prowess is key to making the world secure but the fact is that everyone else (especially Western Europe) have been free-riding on this for decades.

Even if China implodes or becomes another Japan, our influence will be reduced. Both of us travel abroad, but to different areas - New York's roads and infrastructure (don't get me started on our airports!) are disaster areas compared to up-and-coming countries like Turkey and the smaller ones in the Persian Gulf. If I want to manufacture something and ship it to emerging markets, I'd put the factory in Dubai.
#74
September 17, 2011 12:02 PM - Arkady
I found that the 'triggers' I was worried about weren't hard to fight - it was unanticipated moments that were/are hardest. Reading along in a book & a character lights up - I want one! Finishing an arduous, physical task: ditto! The reading the paper w/ coffee & having a cocktail were as nothing in comparison.
Edited at September 17, 2011 12:02 PM
#75
September 17, 2011 12:05 PM - Arkady
One of the deterrents to innovation such as alt energy is our existing infrastructure: Europe rebuilt w/ modernization after the war; 3rd world is building now w/o having to phase out the old.
#76
September 17, 2011 12:06 PM - DeadCatBounce
Six, I was in Turkey last year. My impression was that everybody was working there asses off, and many, many people were starting businesses of all different types and sizes.

Same for Poland, where Mrs DCB's family was originally from. One of Mrs DCB's cousins runs a good sized solar energy company, serving most of Europe.
#77
September 17, 2011 12:07 PM - rf
DH, if you are a coffee-drinker, don't give up coffee altogether at the same time. Definite physical reaction to the lack of caffeine. Just use the patches and gum if you have to. When I quit, back in the dark ages, there were no patches. I halved the number of cigarettes I smoked every other day, and didn't use the gum until I was down to zero. Then of course I had to wean myself from the gum but that was much easier. Again, halves.
#78
September 17, 2011 12:09 PM - sixyearsandcounting
btw Benson, even in Israel, which is a real high-tech center, there were massive protests about the rising cost of living and lack of economic opportunity (ironically inspired in part on the Arab Spring?).
Edited at September 17, 2011 12:09 PM
#79
September 17, 2011 12:09 PM - Donatella
dh, good for you!! You can do it. If I could quit (quit a long time ago, but after 5 attempts). Some advice-- in a moment of weakness, don't think you can just smoke one. Or that was what I had to do. I realized that one led eventually to buying a pack and the cycle would start all over again. Also, you will feel crappy for about 10 days which is how long it takes to kick the physical habit. The rest is social/psychological. Positive motivators: you will have more cash, you won't have to deal with finding places to smoke, you will look better, etc. etc. Negative motivators: I will tell you about the people I know who got lung cancer. Three. Two died. One just lost half a lung.

Sorry for that. But I'll be your cheerleader.
Edited at September 17, 2011 12:09 PM
#80
September 17, 2011 12:10 PM - Arkady
I used patches: found the gum made me really hyper like a magnified sugar high.
Edited at September 17, 2011 12:10 PM
#81
September 17, 2011 12:11 PM - sixyearsandcounting
"Wow six, that was really confusing."

DCB, I've been grad student for two years now. We specialize in that sort of writing!
#82
September 17, 2011 12:11 PM - Deleted
Six Years;

I have to go, but I'll mention one more fact that speaks to the continuing dominance of the US in the world economy. Another company I deal with is Huawei. It is not well-known in the US, but it is a Chinese telecom equipment company that has quickly risen to become #2 on the world stage.

Do you know where their primary R&D is done? Santa Clara, California.

Regarding your comment regarding Dubai - I'm sorry, but I find it incredible. As DCB has said: entrepeneurship and innovation are the key. A fundamental requirement for such an environment is an open society with a rule of law that protects intellectual property and free thinking. I don't associate the Mideast with either of these attributes.
Edited at September 17, 2011 12:11 PM
#83
September 17, 2011 12:13 PM - Donatella
oh also, dh. Plan on doing some physical exercise, even if it is just fast walking. You will let off steam and it will help you prevent weight gain, which is an unfortunate tendency since you are removing a major stimulant from your body.
Edited at September 17, 2011 12:13 PM
#84
September 17, 2011 12:14 PM - DeadCatBounce
LOL, Six. Didn't know you were a Grad student. I will make allowances going forward.


#85
September 17, 2011 12:17 PM - Donatella
One of the factors (out of many) which helped Brazil power ahead economically is that it strengthened the enforceability of contracts. It is very difficult to grow a business in a place where you don't have well defined rules or those rules are not enforced.
#86
September 17, 2011 12:19 PM - Deleted
Finally, regarding the US miliatary hegemony.

If the US were to withdraw from the world stage, and in the Pacific particularly, the world economy would be thrown into utter chaos. The distrust between the major nations of the Pacific: Japan, China and Korea, for instance is enormous. The only thing that keeps that region from plunging into a mercantilist and nationalist free-for-all is the presence of the US military.

I've spent many a night drinking with the Japanese. After a few drinks, their attitude towards other Asians comes out, and the feeling is mutual. The level of racism that Asians exhibit towards each other would shock us here, and that's an unpleasant but real turth.
Edited at September 17, 2011 12:19 PM
#87
September 17, 2011 12:20 PM - sixyearsandcounting
DCB, the irony is that several profs have praised the clarity of my writing! I guess all things are relative :)

Benson - you'll have to reform your thinking about the Middle East. The people have all of the entrepreneurial attitudes we praise - they can only exercise them on a smaller scale, thanks to their crappy governments (cf. what you and DCB are saying).
#88
September 17, 2011 12:21 PM - DeadCatBounce
On another topic, it looks to me like real estate prices in Clinton Hill are rising fast, even compared to surrounding neighborhoods. Any one else have the same impression?
#89
September 17, 2011 12:22 PM - Donatella
Re quitting smoking, I quit cold turkey. And I was a mess for 10 days. And then it was over. No kidding. BTW, the times that I failed in my early attempts were connected with having drinks. I was able to lie to myself about just having one cigarette every now and then. Maybe some people can do that but I don't think there are many. I certainly couldn't. It was sort of hard to admit that I was a nicotine junkie. Drinking was my biggest challenge.

Gotta go. Good day PLUSAs.
Edited at September 17, 2011 12:22 PM
#90
September 17, 2011 12:22 PM - Deleted
Six years;

My comment about the Mideast was not about the people, it was about their governments. Until they allow for a more open society, their people's efforts will be stymied.
#91
September 17, 2011 12:25 PM - petebklyn
"since you are removing a major stimulant from your body." ---
he is quitting smoking..not cutting off his right hand.
Edited at September 17, 2011 12:25 PM
#92
September 17, 2011 12:26 PM - sixyearsandcounting
Ben Ali, Mubarak, Qadhafi, Saleh (sort of), Assad is next, and hopefully the Bahraini revolt will produce a constitutional monarchy. There go the governments, thanks to my avatar!
#93
September 17, 2011 12:28 PM - DeadCatBounce
What are you studying, Six? PhD or masters?
Edited at September 17, 2011 12:28 PM
#94
September 17, 2011 12:36 PM - Deleted
Thanks guys. Will definitely use all your suggestions. Alright. Off to go do stuff. Have a good one!!
#95
September 17, 2011 12:42 PM - gay smurf hoodlum
gay ass block party on my block today in park slope!!!!

akward adults grilling tofu burgers? check

inbred and / or old egg and chromosome looking children of the damned riding around 4000 dolllar wooden bicycles? check

giant inflateable bouncey castle that youre not allowed in (EVEN IF YOURE A FUCKING RESIDENT OF THE BLOCK) sans crotchfruit? check

my dog's gonna take a dump in it

*rob*

#96
September 17, 2011 12:45 PM - gay smurf hoodlum
you gain like 30 pounds when you quit smoking tho. i think i'd rather have lung cancer than be fatter than i already am.

*rob*

#97
September 17, 2011 12:47 PM - gay smurf hoodlum
actually, no that is not true at all, horrible thing to say... if i COULD quit i would, but i wouldnt know what to do with myself i quit smoking. it's the perfect crutch for asocial people.

*rob*

#98
September 17, 2011 12:49 PM - Arkady
I haven't gained & it's been over a year AND I'm 68 which is when people have annual 5 lb. creep anyway. So it doesn't have to happen.
#99
September 17, 2011 1:07 PM - bxgrl
Good luck dh. I have a friend who quit over 10 years ago- on the other hand, she is addicted to nicorette gum and so its probably just a substitution. Still- it's gotta be better for her lungs.
September 17, 2011 1:22 PM - gay smurf hoodlum
oh just noticed you said you are doing the gum AND the patches!??! dont do the both at the same time!!!! and dont do any of of them unless you are 100 percent sure you are going to quit cuz you might wind up smoking more. the cool thing about the nic patches is that if you put them on before you go to sleep youll have wicked nightmare on elm street type dreams (i used to stick a patch on before bed sometimes just for that purpose... thanks NYC government for giving people free patches to abuse!!!) and stay away from chantix, that shit is fucked up. that also gives you insane nightmares but also really fucks with your brain (it did for me anyway and a few people i know who went on it).

i knew one chick who quit who stopped slowly by burning herself with her cigarette everytime she smoked one. once the burns start adding up you get the point where you dont think it's a good idea anymore or something. now she has burn scars all over her body, but at least she's not a smoker!

*rob*

Edited at September 17, 2011 1:22 PM
September 17, 2011 1:27 PM - rf
I know someone who used patches and smoked on them. NOT A GOOD IDEA!
September 17, 2011 1:28 PM - Deleted
Speaking of tech companies - late yesterday I learned that I may have scored a major coup - a deal with a large search engine company (you can guess!). I say "major coup" because this deal came by way of a partnership I have been fostering with a company that is also our rival. The Japanese are not keen on the idea of "co-opertition", as it is called, and I've been struggling to get them to accept it. I may have hit pay dirt. And so, I'm off to San Jose for the week. Have a good week all.
Edited at September 17, 2011 1:28 PM
September 17, 2011 1:34 PM - DeadCatBounce
Congrats Benson. Buying drinks for PlusAs?
September 17, 2011 1:34 PM - Arkady
I used half-strength patches at each stage so no vivid dreams. Also did 24-hr time release Welbutrin for the same reason - the twice-a-day gave me horrible nightmares.

September 17, 2011 1:38 PM - gay smurf hoodlum
oh , how did the wellbutrin go? i had an Rx for that but never got it filled... wellbutrin is an antidepressant (sorta) and i dont like messing with psychotropics.

did anyone read the end of OT yesterday where 6years (i think) posted a link about b'stoner ot!??! LMFAO here is a quote

"Then recently Jonathan received an unsolicited email, an excerpt of which is included below:

“I beg you to increase the quality of comments on your blog and do away with the Open Thread and perhaps people will start coming back to commenting again on the actual news of the blog, instead of fighting with each other about politics and poo mist.”

And so it was decided. The Open Thread would close for good. Jonathan penned a goodbye post for the last Open Thread:


guh-ROSS so someone complained who obviously loves poo mist!

*rob*

September 17, 2011 1:46 PM - Arkady
rob - Did you see who wrote the article? It's that guy Kael who developed the new version of 'Stoner. They should've put that info in his by-line.
I think the Welbutrin helped - in fact, even after a year I'm still lusting for a smoke & am going to ask the doc if I should go back on it - I've been off it for about 8 months. Supposedly it diminishes the desire.
September 17, 2011 1:46 PM - gay smurf hoodlum
rf, im mad at you... for mentioning reality show contestants who get kicked off before ive gotten a chance to watch them on dvr!!!

im extremely annoyed at the moment. a friend of mine came to visit last night and is STILL HERE sleeping on my floor and won't wake up even tho it's like almost 2pm. ANNOYING!!

ive been up for hours and im bored and antsy!

*rob*

September 17, 2011 1:50 PM - gay smurf hoodlum
oooooooooooh i didnt realize it was him who wrote that! hahahaha. okay, just went back to that article and saw...

"K.el G00dman is the founder of Bl.nkSl/te, a Brooklyn-based company providing software and services to local publishers."

lol. i hate when shit says "brooklyn based" usually brooklyn based = moonfaced. i know it's too early to be drinking the haterade, but whatever.

*rob*

September 17, 2011 1:54 PM - gay smurf hoodlum
wait, youve been on wellbutrin for a year!? do u think i should give it a try? im seriously chary.. tho it would be kinda funny if it made me a happy person along with quitting smoking. i think i sorta AM a happy person tho (i know that sounds bizzaro) and i enjoy smoking. last night i found out that im REALLY good at darts! which makes me think if i quit smoking i would need something to fulfill brain voids (brain voids are why a lot of smokers, smoke). my mind races like crazy and cigarettes actually put it in check.

*rob*

Edited at September 17, 2011 1:54 PM
September 17, 2011 1:59 PM - gay smurf hoodlum
oh and i really REALLY suck at ms. pac man which actually contributes a lot to my self-esteem issues. imagine sucking SO bad at something you love SO much. that's me and ms. pac man. and it's not one of those things that you can practise (i dont think anyway) and get much better at. you hit a plateau (i hate that word more than myriad). there is a bar across the street from me with a tabletop ms. pac man machine. so fucking awesome, except im SO bad at it and i have never once EVER beaten anyone. it's like constantly being reinforced that youre a loser.

*rob*



September 17, 2011 2:17 PM - gay smurf hoodlum
oh lol, sorry i didnt realize that article was already talked about.
okay, going out to the block party now

*roB*

Edited at September 17, 2011 6:17 PM
September 17, 2011 3:13 PM - rf
I know Benson is off on his business trip. I just read through the thread about the building in Williamsburg. I don't think crownmolding sounds like 11217. Definitely obnoxious though. But whatever.
Edited at September 17, 2011 3:13 PM
September 17, 2011 3:15 PM - bxgrl
Yea- just think, they thought all the trolls left with the OT.
Edited at September 17, 2011 3:15 PM
September 17, 2011 4:22 PM - rf
So great to have a weekend OT to waste time checking all weekend! Great improvement over the time-sucking OT that only ran M-F on Brownstoner.
September 17, 2011 5:11 PM - cobblehiller
Pete, I don't think they're scams, but often they are gone by the time we call. Hadn't seen that listing so will check.

Went to Ditmas and met up with 6yrs who gave us a fantastic tour of Cortelyou Road and environs. And lots of great conversation. Really super! Thank you very much, 6yrs!
Edited at September 17, 2011 5:15 PM
September 17, 2011 5:18 PM - InsertSnappyNameHere
Howdy Cobbly! How's the hunting?
September 17, 2011 5:21 PM - cobblehiller
Hey Snaps! Well, we saw one pretty nice place not far from Cortelyou for $1650 with W/D and DW. We didn't love it, so we're passing, but it gave us an idea of what we can find out there. Really great area, we think we would like it a LOT! : )

How are you, m'dear?
Edited at September 17, 2011 5:21 PM
September 17, 2011 5:22 PM - InsertSnappyNameHere
Nice! It's good to know there's promise out there!

I'm having a super lazy day over here, snuggling with the cats :-)
Edited at September 17, 2011 5:22 PM
September 17, 2011 5:25 PM - cobblehiller
Yes, very promising, and nice shops, etc. I think we'll focus on that. Going to see another place in Kensington tomorrow. We're doing our homework.

Good day for snuggling with kitties, chilly and overcast now. We're in for the night. Best part is that I don't have to cook. I made that chicken pot pie last night, and we have leftovers! YAY! (It takes so little to make me happy! : P )
September 17, 2011 5:25 PM - cobblehiller
Rob seems like he's in a good mood today. Hugging people? Really?
Edited at September 17, 2011 5:25 PM
September 17, 2011 5:27 PM - InsertSnappyNameHere
LOL! Dave talking about lasagna the other day has got me craving it. I may have to cook one up tomorrow and warm up the apartment. Yum :-) I ran errands earlier today, but neglected to buy paper towels and a drinkie! I'll coax myself into going back out soon. I think. Gah...I feel so lazy today!
Edited at September 17, 2011 5:27 PM
September 17, 2011 5:27 PM - InsertSnappyNameHere
Hugging? Good mood? CALL THE MEN IN WHITE COATS!
September 17, 2011 5:28 PM - petebklyn
gee, ted kennedy's daughter died (51) and walter mondale's daughter(51) too . watch out ladies.
Also Sen. Percy .....a republican from Illinois - before that political party was taken over by the demagogues and ideologues.
Edited at September 17, 2011 5:28 PM
September 17, 2011 5:29 PM - cobblehiller
MMMM, lasagna! Great for warming up and apartment and a belly!

You're a hard-working lady! You deserve to take a break and enjoy it!
September 17, 2011 5:31 PM - InsertSnappyNameHere
I shall, Cobbly! Well, I'm gonna peel myself off the couch and try to do something. Maybe! Ha! Have a great day!

Pete, love the avatar!
Edited at September 17, 2011 5:31 PM
September 17, 2011 5:31 PM - cobblehiller
Thanks for the good news, Pete! (says your friend here who is pushing 50!)
Edited at September 17, 2011 5:31 PM
September 17, 2011 6:03 PM - petebklyn
"Went to Ditmas and met up with 6yrs who gave us a fantastic tour of Cortelyou Road and environs."

cue line from The Squid and the Whale---->
"Across the park? Is that still Brooklyn? "
Edited at September 17, 2011 6:03 PM
September 17, 2011 6:04 PM - cobblehiller
I know! I know, Pete! It wasn't quite like visiting a foreign country, but it was close! For me anyway, as I said earlier today to 6yrs...I'm rather provincial in that I've always been in this area. I had to consult MAPS! : P
Edited at September 17, 2011 6:07 PM
September 17, 2011 6:20 PM - petebklyn
corcoran has a listing for concord village 1 bdroom for 1850.
could call managing agent for that complex and see if they have anything.
do a search for concordvillage.
September 17, 2011 6:24 PM - cobblehiller
I will Pete, thanks! It would be really nice to be able to stay in Downtown Brooklyn.
Edited at September 17, 2011 6:24 PM
September 17, 2011 6:26 PM - WonTon
I knew you'd like Cortelyou! I like it there too. A good friend of mine move there about 18 months ago. She had been in Lefferts Gardens and was unhappy there. Now she's got a huge 3BR for 1800 a month. It's nearer to the Beverley Road stop than the Cortelyou stop.
Edited at September 17, 2011 6:26 PM
September 17, 2011 6:28 PM - DeadCatBounce
Sounds like you are enjoying the house hunting,CH.
Making Mrs DCB dinner. Gnocchi w homemade Pesto, Soy Ginger Cod, tomato & Cucumber salad.
Edited at September 17, 2011 6:28 PM
September 17, 2011 6:35 PM - sixyearsandcounting
Cobble, great to see you and bh and show you around - hope you find a place out here (of course I'll be happy for you if you find a place somewhere else too, but I'd prefer you two to be in Ditmas Park!). Anyone else who wants a tour of Cortelyou/Newkirk/Coney Island Ave., let me know, and I'll be the shill for my 'hood...
September 17, 2011 6:35 PM - cobblehiller
Holy cow, wonton! A 3BR!? That's amazing. I mean we're thinking maybe we would find a 2 BR for $1800, 'cause we're squished in here pretty tightly. I know B. Road from years ago, VERY pretty.

Yes, DCB, I'm getting into it! The thrill of the chase! How low can we go and find a great space with DW and/or W/D? Saw one place for less with both. Not optimal spot, but it was nice to see it's possible.
September 17, 2011 6:37 PM - CGar
"we're squished in here pretty tightly"

TWSS
Edited at September 17, 2011 6:37 PM
September 17, 2011 6:38 PM - CGar
And, Snappy, I do NOT go off half-cocked!

(Unless I forget to take Viagra)
September 17, 2011 6:41 PM - cobblehiller
As we say in Brooklyn...You're a mensch, 6 yrs! We left feeling pretty excited about Cortelyou/Ditmas area. It had the best vibe of the day's hiking.

Church Av., which we had gone to earlier, just didn't do it for me. It had everything we'd need, but not much of what we might want — if that makes sense? That said, we're seeing a place closer to that tomorrow.
Edited at September 17, 2011 6:42 PM
September 17, 2011 6:42 PM - cobblehiller
CGar, dear, are you drinking already? If not, please join me! : P
Edited at September 17, 2011 6:42 PM
September 17, 2011 6:43 PM - sixyearsandcounting
Btw, one of things I've noticed since moving back after two years in DC is how much worse the MTA has gotten! Already two (of eight) morning commutes on the F train have been diverted or I've experienced significant delays. Even worse, I returned today to find that Fedex was holding a package for me at 51 20th Street, on the other side of the Gowanus Expressway. So I took the shuttle bus/F train from Ditmas, intending to get off at 4th Avenue and catch the R train to Prospect. Lo and behold, without any announcement or signage (I had a few choice words for the bus driver on that topic), the bus went express all the way to Jay Street-Metrotech and got stuck in traffic on the BQE. So I took the R train (there's also no signage for the R train if you enter on the Jay St. side, I found) but it got stuck at Dekalb because a train was stalled at Pacific. Ok, I thought - I'll take the Q to Atlantic and then the D, but even the Q took seven minutes to get from Dekalb to Atlantic. By now it was getting late, and at 4:45 I was still waiting for a D or R at Pacific (no stalled train in sight). So finally a D arrived on the R track and I made it to Prospect Avenue, ran from 17th and 4th down to 20th, crossed under the Gowanus (where I had to wait for a motorcycle gang running a red light) and made it to Fedex at 4:59, one minute before closing time. While they were getting my package the place closed and I had to exit back in the loading bays through some secret door ("Security will escort you out, sir"). The whole ordeal had taken an hour and twenty minutes and could have been avoided if the bus driver had been minimally competent and told us we were going express to Jay Street.
September 17, 2011 6:47 PM - cobblehiller
Uhm, 6 yrs., This is NOT good 'shilling' for your area!! : P
September 17, 2011 6:49 PM - sixyearsandcounting
Hah! Well, how often does one have to go from my place to 51 20th St on the weekend when the F isn't running? First time ever for me!
September 17, 2011 6:50 PM - sixyearsandcounting
btw cobble here's the dp blog: http://ditmasparkblog.com/
September 17, 2011 6:53 PM - CGar
"CGar, dear, are you drinking already?"

Not yet, cobble, but I'm meeting Biff in a bit.
September 17, 2011 6:53 PM - cobblehiller
Yes, thank you! I've already been perusing it. Saw that coop listed for not high price! Put notions of potentially, in time, buying there in my head.
September 17, 2011 6:56 PM - cobblehiller
"Not yet, cobble, but I'm meeting Biff in a bit."

Ah, then you two'll outpace me in no time! : P Have fun, and say hi to Biffy. : )
September 17, 2011 7:04 PM - sixyearsandcounting
Is today block party day in Brooklyn? There's one on my block, I saw another on the way to the F non-train, I saw one in Sunset Park, *rob* mentioned there's one on his block...
Edited at September 17, 2011 7:04 PM
September 17, 2011 7:20 PM - Donatella
Tomorrow is the Brooklyn Book Fair in Brooklyn Heights. I'm going over to check it out.....
September 17, 2011 9:03 PM - rf
http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/09/17/wall-street-protest-begins-with-demonstrators-blocked/
Wall Street Protest Begins, With Demonstrators Blocked

September 18, 2011 5:06 AM - DeadCatBounce
Thanks for the link to the NYT article, RF.
Below is the first "comment" from the readers, which I think accurately characterizes this event:

"If I lived off my parents or got a check every month from the government, perhaps I, too, would be out there with these childish protesters. However, I have to make a living and save and invest my money. A 31 year old student at Harvard Divinity School was protesting? Dude, grow up already. "
September 18, 2011 9:54 AM - cobblehiller
Why not protest? They weren't destroying property, from what I hear it was a mostly peaceful assembly. Which is a right of 'the people', last I checked. A lot of people have real frustration and anger with the corporate bailouts, lack of jobs and politicians while the average person/family falls behind in earnings, savings and overall life security. I can speak to it myself, having lost a good job which won't likely ever come back in my natural working life, losing savings and having a lot less security than I worked and planned for at almost 50. I don't see it as childish. I see it as a natural and honest response to the mess this country is in. I hope they take that anger to the polls, not that I'm convinced it will help that much. You yourself have expressed anger at the corporate bailouts. How is it that you separate yourself so completely from the protesters anger?
September 18, 2011 9:59 AM - bxgrl
Cobble- its one of the differences between the right and the left. There is a very interesting book review in the Times about the American Left: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/18/books/review/american-dreamers-by-michael-kazin-book-review.html?pagewanted=2&src=recg

It's really unfortunate that over the last decade or two, the right has defined the national dialogue into a partisan and rigid beatdown of anything to the left of center. The Left is about people, the right is about corporate culture.

And this editorial is also a good one: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/18/opinion/sunday/leadership-crisis.html?ref=opinion
September 18, 2011 10:16 AM - cobblehiller
Interesting links, bxgrl. I might like to read that book. I also liked the editorial. I, too, wish Obama would stand up and fight harder, yell louder, and be a bit less of a nuanced egghead bargainer with the corporations/right. My feeling, from talking to plenty of egghead righties is that we're really not so far apart as the media might make us out to be.

If I weren't so consumed with finding work and a place to live that BH and I won't be priced out of, I might very well have been down there yesterday. I'm glad to SEE some anger displayed by younger people. I have this impression at times that they are complacent and unaware of what's going on in this country. It pleased me to see some of them SPEAK UP, in a relatively peaceful manner.
Edited at September 18, 2011 10:17 AM
September 18, 2011 10:24 AM - bxgrl
This generation is complacent. I think it goes back to what the book review says- the Left is losing ground. Which means ourmoral conscience is losing ground. These aer generations raised to admire people for how much money they make and how much money they pay for a house or a car or a shower curtain, not for their compassion, or how much they care about civil rights and such. I think it's sad and it's scary. A country where your worth is only measured by how much money you make.
Edited at September 18, 2011 10:24 AM
September 18, 2011 10:25 AM - DeadCatBounce
The protesters have the right to peaceful assembly. The fact that they have the "right" does not make them right.

I actually understand the protesters anger and frustration. I believe that our culture has lost touch with self reliance and initiative. It is way too easy to blame some amorphous thing called wall street for your problems, than to learn something about economics and history and to discover how things actually work.

All change begins with yourself. The nature and target of the protest, as well as the emphasis on jealousy and blame, leads me to conclude that the protesters are childish and fundamentally looking for a handout, not a hand up. But of course that is their right.
September 18, 2011 10:29 AM - Deleted
"the Left is losing ground. Which means our moral conscience is losing ground. "

Can someone explain to me how this statement is any different than the thought that "God is on our side", which Bxgrl so vehemently detests.
September 18, 2011 10:34 AM - DeadCatBounce
Bxgrl, I agree about this generation being too complacent. I also agree that compassion is sorely lacking.

I believe if we transfer society's collective compassion responsibility to government, you create a society where individuals are not compassionate. And that is exactly where we are headed and at an alarming rate.
September 18, 2011 10:35 AM - cobblehiller
That's a shockingly simplistic view, DCB. I think it's incredibly cynical to believe that most people don't want to work, save and build themselves up. The economic crisis was not caused by them. It was caused by un/de-regulated corporations/Wall Street, yet it's the average person that is suffering. The disappearance of jobs is directly attributable to what happened with Wall Street and as you mentioned the other day, the repeal of Glass-Steagel. It's nonsense to say otherwise.

I EMPHATICALLY do not believe that most people are looking for a handout, I think they looking for a decent shot at building themselves up.
September 18, 2011 10:39 AM - cobblehiller
DCB, That sounds like a lot of mumbo-jumbo rhetoric. Join me here in the real world where real people are looking for real jobs to pay for food, health insurance and a roof over their heads. Please.
Edited at September 18, 2011 10:44 AM
September 18, 2011 10:53 AM - DeadCatBounce
It all starts with individual responsibility. Change yourself, change the world.
We all have a great deal more power than we are willing to accept. We all have situations that we feel are out of our control (myself included), but we just have not been able to make the shift in our thinking, or re-order our priorities, to deal with those obstacles effectively.
I know this to be true, because I have plenty of frustrations that I could easily blame on others and it is very tempting to do so. Especially when the grievances are legitimate.
September 18, 2011 11:04 AM - cobblehiller
Ok. I hear part of what you are saying, as I am re-tooling for a new/old line of work. And I know many others who are doing same. But that doesn't negate that my good job was lost and ain't coming back. That my savings were lost. That there is cause and effect. Yes, we can all do much to help ourselves. But one cannot negate the effect of the times and circumstances. And that what happened is directly attributable to Wall Street and politicians. The lack of jobs is REAL. There are only so many seats at the table. Inventing your own chair is not available to everyone. I have had very real luck in finding the p/t job that I have, and having had some savings, which are sadly now a mere tatter, and having the steady material and emotional support of BH and friends.

Seems to me you're talking big ideals, shiny objects, not real world boots on the ground life stuff. I'm not sure we'll ever meet in the middle.
Edited at September 18, 2011 11:04 AM
September 18, 2011 11:10 AM - bxgrl
Oh please, benson.It's no such thing. The difference is that the Left believes in a society that cares for people's basic needs- and the reality is, goverment is a function of that society. The thing you scornfully call socialism, or when you're really on the rag, you call "communism." With G-d on Our Side, you imply that everything you do is correct and need not be questioned because- hey, G-d told you it's ok. That attitude the Right can certainly lay claim to.
September 18, 2011 11:13 AM - Deleted
Bxgrl;

Okey-dokey!
September 18, 2011 11:19 AM - bxgrl
DCB- but don't you think, in the corproate society we live in today, that the idea of collective compassion is hardly a vialbe one? At least if we are depending on corporations and their strict only for profit model? Big business is all about the bottom line- not that it shouldn't be, but when it gets to the point that nothing else matters, including the state of their own country, what's the answer? If these corporations really cared, the gleeful outsourcing and job loss here would not be so extreme.

I relaize that's a totally unrealistic point of view on my part, but societies, communities and coutnries really involve investment in both money and people. If people have no money, they can't buy product. I think corporations have gotten to the point where they no longer see or understand that consumers are people, not papers or data. We've been called a consumer society- I think we must be the most marketed to country in the world because our whole lifestyle seems to revolve around buying, not making. Do corporations not understand that when we can no longer buy, they are jsut as much a loser as we are?
Edited at September 18, 2011 11:19 AM
September 18, 2011 11:19 AM - bxgrl
No good answer, benson? Just another one of your hit and run routines?
September 18, 2011 11:27 AM - cobblehiller
I also take issue with your comment that the protesters were motivated by jealousy. The class income job wage disparity is a very real thing. How you can't see that when there are charts, graphs with circles and arrows and articles/facts written about it everyday, is a mystery to me. Wages are flat, income is down, unemployment is high, health insurance is just pie-in-the-sky out of reach for a number of people I know personally. How is it that you position yourself as 'apart from' this? Yes, you are working hard to rebuild, but so are many many many others. What makes you think your work ethic is so different or above these others?
September 18, 2011 11:30 AM - DeadCatBounce
Cobble, I am not going to comment on your personal situation much because I do not know it well enough and I will be accused of lecturing.
I do know you well enough to be certain that you are smart enough to accomplish anything.
Keep following the ideas, and I think you will see that the model I am proposing is the only one that ultimately can work. And yes, cause and effect is very real. It is so important what causes we make in our lives. I struggle with this with my children every day.
September 18, 2011 11:34 AM - cobblehiller
EESH! Tell me you did NOT just compare me to your children! Holy mother of g*d, DCB!! We're done. Have a nice day.
September 18, 2011 11:40 AM - Legion
1. Either you believe in the "free-market" system or you do not.
By free-market I mean the same system that rewards innovation and ideas and those that move society foward.
If you do not believe in the "free-market" system feel free to join the anarchists, communists, anti-Americans, etc. There are plenty out there who just want to don black boots and act "serious" without having the slightest notion about the idea that in this life we have free will and the choices we make have a direct effect on the outcomes. It's way too easy to blame an evil cabal or conspiracy.

2. If you believe in the "free market" system's ability to produce jobs, you must reject this administration's ideas of redistribution and continued assault on the small businesses and entrepeneurs that produce 60-70% of new jobs. Without these people opening restaurants, starting medical practices, buying taxi cab medallions and going out on their own, etc. etc, you will never produce the jobs creating environment to lift the entire nation.

3. The President has been poorly advised from the start. Why? Because he put all of his faith in a system that saw him advance outside of the private sector. He surrounded himself with economic advisors ready to back his core beliefs without challenging his basic premises. That economic team has jumped ship, all but Geithner whom I predict will be out by the end of the year.
Consequently, he has no core respect for this aspect of our society or worse, he actually seeks its demise. I am not that far from believing that last part seeing how he continues to look for taxation as the main means of stopping a second dip into recession.

4. The theme of corporations as "evil" manipulators is overplayed. When someone looks at their retirement portfolio and their end of year summary, what are they looking at?
A list of corporations like 3M, Catepillar, Microsoft, etc.
Same for the municipal pension funds. I assure you, the fireman's fund is not investing in Venezuelan futures. They are investing in the same corporations that the union bosses reflexively denounce.

5. All of the above, by no means, discounts the idea of a compassionate society. This nation has given better lives to more people from diverse backgrounds and circumstances than any other in history. It continues to do so also. An efficiently run "free market" system throws off more than enough tax money to cover the most basic of human needs and then some.
September 18, 2011 11:41 AM - DeadCatBounce
I am getting double teamed by Bxgrl and Cobble! Boy am I lucky!
September 18, 2011 11:42 AM - Deleted
On the subject of outsourcing: if one goes to one of the "contract manufacturers" located in China or Southeast Asia (companies like Foxconn, Jabil and Celestica that manufactuer most electronic and consumer products today). one sees an interesting phenomenon. On one line they are manufacturing a product for Apple. On the next line they are manufacturing a product for Sony. On yet another manufacturing line they are making a product for Philips, the Dutch company. Outsourcing is a global phenomenon in which developed economies are seeking the lowest-cost quality producer. This phenomenon reflects the economic realities of a global economy, and is independent of the degree of "social democracy" in the advanced country.
September 18, 2011 11:43 AM - bxgrl
ut the fact remains, DCB that for many of us there are factors beyond our control that put us in the position we are in. And it's not for lack of trying to change it- or change ourselves. Sometimes I think the arguemnts come down to a matter of those of us who think we can control everything and those of us who know we can't. Sure there are people who have no interest in changing their lives or accomplishing anything, just as there are those who want to beleive if you're out of work or have no money it's because you want to be in that position. The situation is not that cut and dry. The reality is this country is less and less a place to make a decent life for your family unless you have lots of money. we have the remnants of a middle class and the working poor are killing themselves just to make ends meet. Meanwhile there are people in finance who look sown their noses at the rest of us and tell us to move if we can't afford to live in our home neighborhoods or tell us we are lazy folk looking for handouts because we can barely afford to get food without foodstamps. Sure these kids have a right to be angry- they are looking at a very bleak future and they realize banks, big business and wall street could care less. So they use a traditional means of protest.
That said- the anarchy idea is totally stupid. It's the last thing anyone (except maybe the tea party) actually wants. We want change and I bet if they had focused on that, they would have gotten a whole lot more people with them. But heck, young and dumb, as they say :)
September 18, 2011 11:45 AM - bxgrl
DCB- Better not let your wife know ;-)
September 18, 2011 11:47 AM - Deleted
I operate under the following premise: most factors are beyond my control, and I assume so in my endeavors. The things I can control are my attitude, behavior and inititative. Hence, I focus most of my thoughts and efforts on these topics.
September 18, 2011 11:47 AM - DeadCatBounce
Of course I did not compare you to my children.
I was explaining MY OWN problem.
How the causes I make with my own children effect the outcome for the three of us, sometimes not to my liking.
I told you I would NOT comment on your situation except to say you were smart. You really ran off the rails with that last comment.
(And made a terrible cause at the same time)

September 18, 2011 11:48 AM - Legion
I agree with bxgrl on the anarchist idea,
I've been seeing these types of fools all my life. Some organized some disorganized.
From the sociopath with a gun and anger on the streets of East New York to the "professor" sitting in an ivory tower who prescribes violent revolution without the slightest thought for the stability of a human society ten thousand years in the making.

One thing is for certain, we have a short memory. That's one of our biggest flaws and one of the reasons that there is so much truth in Santayana's idea that those who ignore history are doomed to repeat it.
Edited at September 18, 2011 11:48 AM
September 18, 2011 11:51 AM - minard lafever
I do think executive bonuses are ridiculously excessive. How can anyone "earn" a forty million dollar bonus?
The bonus of a top wall street ceo can be ten times more than a typical middle class person earns in a lifetime. That is just wrong.

September 18, 2011 11:54 AM - bxgrl
"If you do not believe in the "free-market" system feel free to join the anarchists, communists, anti-Americans, etc. There are plenty out there who just want to don black boots and act "serious" without having the slightest notion about the idea that in this life we have free will and the choices we make have a direct effect on the outcomes. It's way too easy to blame an evil cabal or conspiracy. "

I wonder, Legion, where you got the warped idea that the free market system equates with patriotism? If that were the case, corporations would not be sending jobs overseas and saving money out of country to avoid taxes. If anyhting, the free market system is pretty anarchistic itself. But to claim that those of us who think things about the free market system need to change belong with communists, nazis and anarchists is one of the most ignorant, and offensive comments you've ever made. I believe in this country and the Constitution. And the Bill of Rights. That makes me an American, and frankly, a goddam patriotic one. The free market system is not compassionate. Whatever else it may be, compassion is an alien concept to it- as you've just proven. I could list a whole pile of what's wrong with the free market system today but I have to go polish my black boots and iron my fucking brown shirt.
September 18, 2011 11:59 AM - cobblehiller
"I wonder, Legion, where you got the warped idea that the free market system equates with patriotism? If that were the case, corporations would not be sending jobs overseas and saving money out of country to avoid taxes."

Hear! Hear!
Edited at September 18, 2011 11:59 AM
September 18, 2011 11:59 AM - Legion
benson
You made a great point about the global economy and giving examples of American, Japanese and Dutch companies using Chinese factories.
Ironically, it is the rise of a "middle class" in China that may lead those same companies to seek production elsewhere or even back at home.
It's an extremely complex system which seeks its own balance and ideally spreads a better standard of living globally.
The challenges facing us all are balancing the growth while keeping an eye on human rights and the health of our planet.
I believe it can be done if the process can be properly administred without falling prey to political pitfalls.
It's a lot to ask however, given our history of conflict.

September 18, 2011 12:00 PM - cobblehiller
"I do think executive bonuses are ridiculously excessive."

Minard! You, you shameless communist, you! They deserve every penny! All that time spent blackberrying from the back of a limo on the way to dinner at Cipriani is hard work! : P
Edited at September 18, 2011 12:00 PM
September 18, 2011 12:01 PM - DeadCatBounce
On the subject of executive bonuses: Lord Blankenstein at Goldman is being sued by shareholders for taking excessive compensation. What makes his compensation excessive is that Goldman had a horrible year. He is rewarding himself despite his miserable failure.
The shareholders are unlikely to win because Goldman is a Delaware Corporation and the laws in that state protect cronyism. Why? Because the voters in Delaware want all that tax revenue that they otherwise wouldn't have.
Human nature runs deep and there is plenty of blame to go around.

September 18, 2011 12:04 PM - Legion
"wonder, Legion, where you got the warped idea that the free market system equates with patriotism"

I don't equate the free market with patriotism necessarily bxgrl,
I equate the free market system with the American system we have been laboring under for the past couple of centuries.

I equate anarchists and communists with anti-americanism based on all those pesky pictures of those same types burning American flags and telling Americans like myself that they want to see our downfall.
September 18, 2011 12:05 PM - bxgrl
"Human nature runs deep and there is plenty of blame to go around." We agree, DCB. OMG! ;-)

And in another weekend shocker, I agree with benson re: "I operate under the following premise: most factors are beyond my control, and I assume so in my endeavors. The things I can control are my attitude, behavior and inititative. Hence, I focus most of my thoughts and efforts on these topics."

However, for all that it doesn't guarantee me steady work, food, rent, health care ,etc. Most people like myself are struggling with circumstances, not a lack of initiative, attitude or effort.
September 18, 2011 12:06 PM - cobblehiller
"If you do not believe in the "free-market" system feel free to join the anarchists, communists, anti-Americans, etc. "

"I don't equate the free market with patriotism necessarily bxgrl,"

legion, darling, You're talking out of both sides of your mouth again! It's confusing.


September 18, 2011 12:07 PM - Legion
I never mentioned nazis in my post bxgrl,
but feel free to turn this into one of your patented
arguments about something other than what was posted.
September 18, 2011 12:07 PM - DeadCatBounce
Dear Benson and Legion, thank you for sticking to the high ground. Let those of opposing view points resort to sarcasm, innuendo and insults.
Edited at September 18, 2011 12:07 PM
September 18, 2011 12:09 PM - cobblehiller
"There are plenty out there who just want to don black boots and act "serious" without having the slightest notion about the idea that in this life we have free will and the choices we make have a direct effect on the outcomes. "

legion, You're the one that brought up "black boots" and it's a not unknown reference to the Nazi's. You're playing around with semantics, as usual.
September 18, 2011 12:09 PM - DeadCatBounce
Running for cover.
September 18, 2011 12:10 PM - bxgrl
You equated people who don't beleive i the free market system with anti-Americanism, legion. A far cry from your backpedaling now. And for your infomration- the free market system is not the "American" system. Once again you are equating the two while claiming you aren't. You and I have very different ideas about what America is-but I wouldn't be so insulting as to equate you with anrchists and nazis, for all your rigidity and elitism.
Edited at September 18, 2011 12:10 PM
September 18, 2011 12:11 PM - bxgrl
you did mention black boots. Did you think no one got the reference?
September 18, 2011 12:11 PM - Legion
cobble,
Clearly my sentence alluded to the known "anti-american" factions that routinely go out to protest and cause havoc (if allowed) at international summits both here and abroad.
If you and bxgrl are taking the "anti-american" portion as an adjective instead of a noun as it was meant.
That's a reading comprehension problem there, my dear. ;o)
September 18, 2011 12:11 PM - Deleted
Regarding bensons comments yesterday regarding apple. They have a GDP larger than many countries ( 7th largest if it was a country) and they only employ 60k people? Isn't that really telling that corporations nowadays are more concerned with efficiency rather than job creation?
Edited at September 18, 2011 12:11 PM
September 18, 2011 12:11 PM - cobblehiller
legion, Oh cry me a river! You're taking this all way too personally. No one wants to see your downfall. Please. Cool your jets. People want to be able to see the possibility of their 'upfall'! (If I'm allowed to make up a word to make my point.)
Edited at September 18, 2011 12:11 PM
September 18, 2011 12:12 PM - bxgrl
DCB- there's a trash can cover over there you can use to deflect the darts and bullets.
September 18, 2011 12:12 PM - minard lafever
ever wonder what the unemployment rate would be if we were not engaged in TWO wars??

September 18, 2011 12:13 PM - cobblehiller
No, legion, your sentence (g*d I hate this semantics crap) said...anti-american and 'black boots', it's pretty clear to everyone what you were alluding to. Take this one on the chin, and try to do better next time. : P
Edited at September 18, 2011 12:13 PM
September 18, 2011 12:13 PM - bxgrl
Back pedaling, legion. And not very well. You did not refer to that. Reread your post.
September 18, 2011 12:14 PM - Legion
bxgrl,
Let's get this straight.
I have no need to backpedal because I posted what I believe.
And I'll say it again,
if you don't believe in the "free-market" system,
feel free to join the groups mentioned in seeking the demise of our economic system and the basis of our society.

I will continue to oppose.
September 18, 2011 12:14 PM - cobblehiller
"ever wonder what the unemployment rate would be if we were not engaged in TWO wars??"

Nope, sorry, too busy fighting my own war! ; ) But seriously, I'd love to know that figure. Has anyone taken a stab at projecting it?
September 18, 2011 12:15 PM - bxgrl
minard- yes- that was the elephant in the room. On the other hand, there are many corporations who love wars because they make money off of them.
September 18, 2011 12:16 PM - Legion
cobble,
Black boots are generally associated with any group of extremists,
communists, anarchists, what have you.
No need to define a term so narrowly when there are plenty of examples of extremists ready to kick established society in the groin at the slightest chance.
Edited at September 18, 2011 12:16 PM
September 18, 2011 12:17 PM - cobblehiller
"Extremists" as defined by legion: Anyone who disagrees with him! : P
September 18, 2011 12:18 PM - cobblehiller
Actually, the UE number I'd like to know, even if it would likely make me cry, is if we didn't have two plus wars and Wall Street hadn't tanked itself. What would it be then.
September 18, 2011 12:20 PM - minard lafever
there is nothing anti-American about public protests. The opposite is true.

September 18, 2011 12:20 PM - cobblehiller
"Isn't that really telling that corporations nowadays are more concerned with efficiency rather than job creation?"

Oh cripes, DH, stop positing truths! ; )
Edited at September 18, 2011 12:20 PM
September 18, 2011 12:21 PM - bxgrl
Finally you admit your comment, legion. Feel free to go fuck yourself. Enjoy a steak with all the CEOs making millions while they pay their workers $8.00 an hour or use child labor in China. If that makes you more "American" than me, keep it.
Edited at September 18, 2011 12:21 PM
September 18, 2011 12:22 PM - cobblehiller
"there is nothing anti-American about public protests. The opposite is true."

Thank you, Minard. But the disagreeable here seem to think it's anti-american to disagree with Wall Street!
September 18, 2011 12:22 PM - Donatella
Personally, if I met Stanley O'Neal, I would be sorely tempted to kick his butt. Or Thane or a number of the leaders of financial institutions who were asleep at the switch and were rewarded richly for it. I was thinking of going to Occupy Wall Street with a sign "Hey Thane, that is MY 20,000 dollar waste basket!!!". By the way, this is not in response to any of you directly. I do not have the ego strength for an argument of this nature but I lost big time by the 2008/2009 crash and while I can't take responsibility for the CDO, CMO crisis, I was sleepy and not paying attention to my own money and for that I have been paying dearly. THat was one thing I learned from this mess. It was like taking an ice cold shower for 3 years. Take from this horrible experience any personal lessons and rebuild as best as you can. As far as the macro picture, as much as we would like to prescribe fixes for the global economic system, it is enormously complex. I can see from my corner of the world how freaking complicated "fixing" the world of derivatives has turned out to be and even the best of intentions does not guarantee competance.

I am going to the Brooklyn Book Festival now. Have a good day!!!!
September 18, 2011 12:23 PM - Legion
cobble,
I only take it personally when I realize that the same forces at work abroad calling for violent revolution would like nothing better than to destabilize our society here.
We take it for granted that violence is not around the corner. That upheaval can't happen here.
I'm a completely practical and realistic person, I realize it takes a lot to get things moving in that direction. I also live through street violence here in NYC however and realize that a mob mentality can quickly consume all reason in the right circumstances.
I also realize that those that seek such changes in our society have no greater forsight or plan for afterwards than to continue stoking the fires.

example: Egypt's revolution and the growing concern over Israel. The revolution continues, most recently at the Israeli embassy in Cairo.
Edited at September 18, 2011 12:23 PM
September 18, 2011 12:24 PM - cobblehiller
"On the other hand, there are many corporations who love wars because they make money off of them."

Gee, who do you think those corps are? It's all so mysterious! Who would want to profit from a war? (said in my best Marilyn Monroe impersonation) : P
Edited at September 18, 2011 12:26 PM
September 18, 2011 12:25 PM - Legion
"Finally you admit your comment, legion. Feel free to go fuck yourself"

bxgrl,
I'll take DCB's advise and stick to the high ground
which you've obviously ceded.
September 18, 2011 12:25 PM - cobblehiller
"I also live through street violence here in NYC "

legion, Then move to a nicer neighborhood! You can afford it, right? No? Then you must not be working hard enough! : P
Edited at September 18, 2011 12:25 PM
September 18, 2011 12:30 PM - Legion
Again for clarification purposes:
read the post in its entirety,
it's not semantics it's the meaning itself.
I am using anti-americans as a known group of individuals who often join communists and anarchists at any given chance to protest.
I don't know if there is a specific group named "anti-americans united" but there are clearly people out there who are not necessarlily communists or anarchists but simply hate the idea of America.

If you choose to take the sentence as a personal affront. I can't change that.
September 18, 2011 12:33 PM - Legion
"I also live through street violence here in NYC "

legion, Then move to a nicer neighborhood! You can afford it, right? No? Then you must not be working hard enough! : P


I meant "lived" through,
as in the past. ;o)


September 18, 2011 12:34 PM - minard lafever
Bloomberg predicts public unrest and riots if more and more young people find themselves unemployed. I can see that. When one bedroom apartments in Brooklyn are renting for excess of two thou a month, and when unpopular wars seem endless, and people cannot find jobs, you are describing to some degree Czarist Russia circa 1914. something has to give.
September 18, 2011 12:36 PM - bxgrl
You can clarify all you want, legion but yo said what you said. Just because people believe in change, and that includes change in how the free market system works, doesn't make us the equivalent of terrorists, communits, nazis or enemies of the state. Yours is a far more unamerican attitude than I have. So if your comments are your version of the "high ground", I certainly won't get neck strain looking at you.
September 18, 2011 12:38 PM - DeadCatBounce
Legion, You are a class act.
Edited at September 18, 2011 12:38 PM
September 18, 2011 12:39 PM - bxgrl
A good time to repost the link from earlier: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/18/opinion/sunday/leadership-crisis.html?ref=opinion

And this time read wht it says about the American public. While it takes Obama to task for not being strong enough, the real point is what the American people are saying, and not hearing back in return.
September 18, 2011 12:40 PM - minard lafever
Obama is not really helping either. he has some scary ideas like eliminating charitable deductions on income taxes. That will mean the shuttering of thousands and thousands of non-profit jobs everywhere, especially here in NYC. Everything from the American Heart Association to the Municipal Art Society. If he wants to see the unemployment figures go up five percent, he should put the non-profits out of business.

September 18, 2011 12:40 PM - Legion
That's my concern minard,
I'm not talking about small concerns here.
We have people in our own society who are setting up such a conflict.
For example we had union guy Hoffa recently talking about "an army ready to take out the opposition". I'm paraphrasing of course, but the basic premise of his speech was that it was "us vs. them".

I believe it's totally patriotic to protest, in fact it's necessary. When we look at the language however of many protesters, we realize however, that many are not looking to find solutions within our current system. They actually seek violence in the streets.
To discount that possibility is to ignore what's going on around the world.
September 18, 2011 12:41 PM - cobblehiller
Frankly, I'm not surprised, Minard, I've just been wondering why it's taken SO LONG! The rise in crime has been predictable. The protests are predictable, perhaps a bit late, not on schedule, but if I were 30 and not so entrenched in my own private war of survival here, I'd be on the street too and not just a keyboard warrior! (Picture me in a Wonder Woman outfit, knocking heads together, outside the Stock Exchange or the Fed! : P )
September 18, 2011 12:43 PM - bxgrl
What is classy about calling people unAmerican or equating those who feel differently about the economy with nazis, terrorists, or others of that ilk? He knows damn well who he's talking to. He knows exactly who he is insulting.
September 18, 2011 12:44 PM - DeadCatBounce
The Federal Reserve just offered the IMF an unlimited line of credit.
That means every American is on the hook for the missteps of the European Union.
Those in favor of change, please protest this incredible sell out of our country.
Those worried about unemployment, please write your congress person and tell them you do not approve of undemocratic and illegal transfer of power.
September 18, 2011 12:45 PM - bxgrl
"For example we had union guy Hoffa recently talking about "an army ready to take out the opposition". I'm paraphrasing of course, but the basic premise of his speech was that it was "us vs. them"."

Perhaps he took a page from the Perry/Bachmann/Palin manual of public speaking?
September 18, 2011 12:45 PM - cobblehiller
legion, You are stubbornly refusing to look at the cause of the anger. If your job were taken away from you by rich corporations who were then bailed out by the government while your savings depleted and the safety net was removed...I'm betting you'd be pretty damn angry yourself! The means to solve this crisis are there! The powers that be refuse to use the tools available! You cannot toss people out onto the street and then tell them that they need to pull themselves up by their boot straps with both arms tied behind their backs!! It's illogical. And fight provoking! Look at history! This doesn't work! And yet, you support it seemingly with out question!
Edited at September 18, 2011 12:45 PM
September 18, 2011 12:47 PM - bxgrl
There's a lot I don't approve of that the government does. Especially since 2001. Why do we persist in pretending all our troubles began with Obama? The crash happened before he ever took office. In fact before he was even elected.
September 18, 2011 12:49 PM - cobblehiller
MWAH! I love you, MM. : )
September 18, 2011 12:51 PM - Legion
MM,

However tempting it is to see bxgrl's reaction as one of resentment towards the idea of being called anti-patriotic, I will state again that I am not calling her un -patriotic.

I do however consider plans to "re-make" and "re-shape" this nation into something reliant on systems outside of the free market system, an attempt to undermine the basis of our society.

At some point a person must stand by their beliefs and that demands an honest assessment of what forces are working for or against those beliefs.

If you and bxgrl are interested in a discussion of finding solutions to our economic problems within the framework of a free market system, I am more than willing to go there.
If the prescribed solutions are outside of that system, I am unequivocally stating that such ideas are looking then, to replace our current model.

I've already given examples of those that seek such solutions:
communists
anarchists
anti-americans

I respect their dissent (to a certain extent) but I do not accept their proposed solutions so I oppose them.

Edited at September 18, 2011 12:51 PM
September 18, 2011 12:53 PM - MontroseMorris
"When we look at the language however of many protesters, we realize however, that many are not looking to find solutions within our current system. "

The same can be said of those who insist that those who are in the streets are only lazy malcontents looking for a handout. That is so untrue of the vast majority of people. They have looked to the system. The system says that if you lose your job, you go on unemployment for a couple of weeks while looking for a new job. Because of your qualifications, experience and work ethic, you will be re-employed in no time, because someone such as yourself is a valuable member of whatever industry or craft you are in, and of course, someone else will see that, and be glad to employ you, at the same, or even higher salary that you had before. Well, we know now that this is a lie, and to make matters worse, what few jobs there are out there will not even consider you unless you are already employed by someone else.

So the employed are able to jockey themselves from job to job, but those who desperately need work are forced to be on unemployment for 99 weeks, after which they are on their own. I don't see how those people are lazy, and I don't see how they cannot help but be damn mad. The system tossed them under the bus, ran over them, stopped and backed up to do it several more times. I'm surprised people haven't stormed the gates a long time ago.
September 18, 2011 12:55 PM - minard lafever
what the government should do IMO is incentivise investment in the US and come down like a ton of bricks, tax-wise, on American companies who use their surpluses to invest overseas. Running away from US workers is not right.

September 18, 2011 12:57 PM - minard lafever
Legion to the unemployed: how did you get yourself in this pickle?
Edited at September 18, 2011 12:57 PM
September 18, 2011 12:59 PM - Legion
cobble,
I definitely feel the anger and resentment of our current situation.
Remember, I work in medicine, do you think I haven't been getting notices of cuts in reimbursements and new mandates?
Every time I hear the new numbers of unemployed, I cringe, knowing the destabilizing effect that has on our nation.

I applaud the indictment of corporate insider criminals and I'm not comfortable with the all too cozy Goldman Sachs-Treasury-Federal Reserve
relationship.

On the other hand, I still believe that the proper application of proper economic principles can get us back to work and on track.

What gets me pissed is hearing all these people who want to use this crisis to reshape our future without regard for the failures of the past.

I can include right wing extremists in that mix too if you'd like. Nobody is looking for an "evangelical state" overhaul.
It's about jobs and individual liberty.
Edited at September 18, 2011 12:59 PM
September 18, 2011 12:59 PM - cobblehiller
"what the government should do IMO is incentivise investment in the US and come down like a ton of bricks, tax-wise, on American companies who use their surpluses to invest overseas. Running away from US workers is not right."

I've said it before! It's TREASONOUS!
September 18, 2011 1:01 PM - cobblehiller
Cripes, Minard, I feel like BH and I are that couple in the middle of the lion's den there. Only difference is that I have a pitchfork in my hands! ; )
September 18, 2011 1:02 PM - bxgrl
"communists
anarchists
anti-americans"

And that's the gist of it, Legion. These are the groups you think are the only ones who want change. Does it ever occur to you that the majority of Americans right now want and need change? So are we all anti-American, commies or anrchists? Don't be ridiculous. You've rigidly defined your parameters, and yet you still claim that someone like myself, or cobble or MM who do want change, should be equated with them. You can't even create a cohesive argument because, as cobble said, you're talking out of both sides of your mouth.

xoxoxo, minard! No wonder all us ladies are in love with you. *quickly looking around for e-hubby*
Edited at September 18, 2011 1:02 PM
September 18, 2011 1:03 PM - MontroseMorris
"I've already given examples of those that seek such solutions:
communists
anarchists
anti-americans"

And therein lies the problem, Legion. It is possible to think that the system is wrong, and not be a communist, anarchist or anti-american. Your labels are offensive to the idea of a free exchange of opinion. Someone is not a communist because they think those below should get some help from those above. A protester in the street is not necessarily, and probably about as far from an anarchist, as possible, and it is not un-American to think that one's government or a nation's economic system needs some changes. All of those ideas - that the government, and the society in general, are within the perogative of the People to both comment on, and change, are Constitutional rights.
September 18, 2011 1:06 PM - bxgrl
JINX!!!!! MM
September 18, 2011 1:07 PM - Legion
MM,
No doubt,
we need to find a solution for the unemployed.
And despite Minard's humorous cartoon which echoes the sentiments of the French revolution,
I am simply explaining that you have one of two choices:

1. Continue in the free market system and realize that the private sector produces sustainable jobs and growth, not the government which can produce jobs only insofar as it can grow on monies from that same private sector.

2. Deny the known dynamics of the free markets and seek another solution as many do with no regard for the consequences.



September 18, 2011 1:07 PM - DeadCatBounce
It is well known and generally accepted that small and mid sized businesses are major engines of job growth.

Dodd-Frank, is Obama era legislation that regulates banks.
It is 2500 pages long.
Community Banks cannot comply with 2500 pages of regulations.
Community banks support local businesses.
Bank of America, Citibank etc will never bother with local businesses to an appreciable degree.
Community banks will either go out of business or will be bought out and turned into branches of big banks.
Small businesses will not get the loans and other banking support that they need.
They will not expand and hire people.
Unemployment will go up.
This is how a controlled economy functions.
Cause and effect.
September 18, 2011 1:08 PM - MontroseMorris
It is possible to discuss what is wrong with this country's economic state without descending into the usual "capitalism is good, true and all-American" flag waving, while any hint that that one believes otherwise, or thinks the system is in need of some changing, somehow is couched with a backdrop of marching jackboots and wild-haired flag burners. Bxgrl is correct, one's patriotism has nothing to do with capitalism or the free-market. Legion, your screed really is offensive.

It's so easy to simply sit back and declare the President wrong. To listen to today's marching band of wannabe presidential contenders, he's done absolutely nothing right. But I have yet to see one of them, or any of the pundits and talking heads, including the ones here, say anything that goes to changing where we are now. To pontificate that a stimulus is wrong, but offer no alternatives is no help. To say that American manufacturing is now a global enterprise, deal with it, does nothing to address how we put people back to work in this country.

Countless polls and studies show that most people out of work are desperate to get back to work. Americans on the whole are not lazy, and not used not being able to make their own way. If small business and the private sector are the way out of the job malaise, then why is corporate America, which is certainly still making profits, not doing their part to encourage small businesses? Banks, which have just as much money, if not more than they had before, are not lending. This is not because of horrible Democratic regulation, its because of greed and a hunkering down mentality, not to mention short sighted outlook on the future. It's amazing to me that institutions that thought nothing of tossing money into fake real estate futures, things they KNEW were fake and unsustainable when they did them, now all of a sudden are too gun shy to lend Joe/Jane Small Business Owner a few thousand dollars to start up or build a business. "too risky" Yeah.

Multibillion dollar American corporations, instead of doing their part to support American small businesses who would like to supply them with tech, or parts, or whatever, go overseas because no matter how much flag waving goes on, they care more about their bottom line than the welfare of the country their CEO's, as well as board members and stock holders, live in. If we are all supposed to be weathering this together, and tightening our belts, and all the other metaphors for working together as a nation to get out of this mess, why aren't they taking a lower profit margin, or doing anything to help out? They aren't going to go under, they've got more money than God. Making a bit less, not more, in these times is not going kill them, but might go a long way towards employing more people, and generally helping out the country.

Small businesses for the most part, either sell a product or sell a service. If they are the future, then it's damn time that Big Greedy Business and Big Greedy Banks do their share to make sure they succeed. It's not rocket science to see that that would be to the benefit of all. All. What good is it to be king of the mountain when there is no one left to lord it over? This can't be legislated by gov'ment, it has to come from them. They like to back candidates who will let them do whatever they want, in the name of patriotism and the "Free Market", but there is nothing "Free" about it. They need to pay, like all of us.
Edited at September 18, 2011 1:08 PM
September 18, 2011 1:10 PM - rf
I love when Legion starts sounding like Richard Nixon!
Edited at September 18, 2011 1:10 PM
September 18, 2011 1:11 PM - cobblehiller
"Continue in the free market system and realize that the private sector produces sustainable jobs and growth"

Risible! Despite deregulation, tax cuts and bailouts they've done SH*TE to create jobs! OMG! I'm laughing my ass off! They tanked themselves! Looked for handouts! Took handouts! Showed profits! And now create almost ZERO jobs, while crying poverty and stuffing their pockets silly with cash! legion, you need a new game, fella. This one ain't workin'!!
Edited at September 18, 2011 1:11 PM
September 18, 2011 1:12 PM - bxgrl
'On the other hand, I still believe that the proper application of proper economic principles can get us back to work and on track."

True- but the free market system today is the free-for-all system. The kind of change we need is to get it back to where it actually works. Necessary change- and hardly the work of communists, anarchists or anti-Americans. If those who love the free market system weren't so in love with operating only as they want, maybe there wouldn't have been a crash. An unfettered free market system, one that pays no attention to law, is destructive, not productive, because it feels no responsibility. That's what got us into this mess, not what is going to get us out.
September 18, 2011 1:13 PM - Legion
Let's get back to basics then,

Who believes that the solution to increase jobs in the USA is to be found outside of the free market system?

I mean any of the following:

-printing more dollars in order to monetize our debt
-creating jobs by government mandate
-changing over to a system where the government holds the means to production and distribution
-changing to a system which relies mainly on taxing those that produce jobs and ideas.
September 18, 2011 1:13 PM - cobblehiller
"True- but the free market system today is the free-for-all system."

I disagree. It's the free-for-all-but-only-if-you're-rich system!
September 18, 2011 1:16 PM - Legion
"Risible! Despite deregulation, tax cuts and bailouts they've done SH*TE to create jobs! OMG! I'm laughing my ass off! They tanked themselves! Looked for handouts! Took handouts! Showed profits! And now create almost ZERO jobs, while crying poverty and stuffing their pockets silly with cash! legion, you need a new game, fella. This one ain't workin'!!"

cobble,
I see you are missing some key information in the larger economic picture of the last few years.
While corporations were given handouts to continue priming the pump,
no such large scale programs were available to the "small businesses and entrepeneurs" which produce 60-70% of new jobs.
That's the point!
In fact, the current economic policy has been to squeeze this sector even more by a combination of increased regulation, onerous mandates and economic policy uncertainty.

I think this is a key breakthrough in our discussion here.

You seem to automatically equate the small business/entrepeneur class with big business.

Edited at September 18, 2011 1:16 PM
September 18, 2011 1:22 PM - bxgrl
Sorry cobble. YOu're right- I just thought it sounded punchier :)
September 18, 2011 1:23 PM - cobblehiller
Tra la la, I'd love to continue on, but I have things to do today away from the apt. More later, if I can stomach it.
September 18, 2011 1:26 PM - Legion
remember,
Microsoft was once a small business,
only 30 years ago
So was Apple.

You have to realize that there is a beauty to the system that rewards the growth of small businesses and fosters their prosperity.

What I'm getting at here is cutting to the core of the simple choice that must be made in Washington.

Either/Or

However much the cat ladys like to talk about the large area in between, the truth is that a choice must be made.

If there is another choice between those two,
let me know
because what I am seeing voiced on the streets of Greece, France, Egypt, etc. is loud and clear.

It is only because we live in a sort of bubble of prosperity here in the US that we have the luxury to dissect words and meanings into plump and soothing morsels of agreement.


September 18, 2011 1:26 PM - MontroseMorris
I'm not going to pretend I know enough about Dodd-Frank to go through it point by point, but that's a poor excuse, DCB. And why can't Citibank and BofA lend to small businesses? They certainly advertise themselves as such all the time? Seems to me that Citibank's track record in only trading on international business concerns, and mortgage futures didn't exactly work out too well for them, and they had to be bailed out, after their stock was selling for $2 a share. So why not invest in America?

And Dodd Frank was only passed last year. Even if it stopped the industry cold in its feet, which doesn't seem likely or in evidence, that still doesn't mean that banks can't lend, if they want to. They don't want to. They want ALL regulations taken away so they can do whatever they want. Citing Dodd Frank is only an excuse. So is saying that there is too much paperwork to read through. Please.
Edited at September 18, 2011 1:26 PM
September 18, 2011 1:27 PM - bxgrl
cobble is not automatically equating the two. And when big busines was given bailouts to prime the pump, they didn't do so. However, the interrelationships of big and small or medium sized business cannot be underestimated. Big business steamrollers right over everyone, all the while whining about regulation and taxes. Yet they hardly deign to act responsibly- necessitating the need for regulation.And off-shore money to avoid taxes? It may help line their pockets, but it's doing nothing for the economy.
September 18, 2011 1:28 PM - Legion
^^^
err, ladies, not ladys. thanks
September 18, 2011 1:33 PM - Legion
Look,
I'm all for closing the loopholes,
repatriating foreign held funds by scared corporations,
a fair tax system where everyone pays their share.

We can discuss all that for days legitimately.

My point is that Washington will ultimately take one of two courses.

If we choose the course not based on free market principles,
be prepared for a bumpy ride because someone has to pay to change all those statues. ;o)
September 18, 2011 1:35 PM - Deleted
microsoft was a small business during a time there was much more regulation and much higher taxes. didn't seem to stifle them
Edited at September 18, 2011 1:35 PM
September 18, 2011 1:37 PM - Deleted
didn't they form under reagan, who raised taxes 11 times?
Edited at September 18, 2011 1:37 PM
September 18, 2011 1:37 PM - bxgrl
Our system does not reward small buisness and foster their growth. It rewards the large corporations for being rich and big. It allows them to be treated as individuals in leections so they can poour money into the pockets of politicians willing to sell out their constituents. Times have changed, legion. The free market system you carry on about is not the same one operating today and therein lies the problem. There are those who feel money entitles them to everything. If they can buy a senator or a congressman, they can own him. Government is trying to do a balancing act to mitigate the damages caused by big business. It's a power struggle between those who care about the country as a whole and those who don't.
Edited at September 18, 2011 1:37 PM
September 18, 2011 1:37 PM - MontroseMorris
Oh Legion, please. You always bring apples to an orange show, and then try to make them what they are not. The fact that Microsoft started out as a small company has nothing to do with anything. All huge corporations started out as small companies. Can we cue the stirring music in here while the slide show showing the humble garage plays in the background?

The cold hard fact is that we are talking about serious help from banks and corporations to small businesses. Small business is not getting the help it needs. Period. That is not because of the government, taxes or regulations. It's because banks are not lending, and large corporations are not looking to American companies to supply them with product or services to make their own products. Until both of those things are deemed attractive to both of those entities, nothing much will happen.

I've been a small business owner for years, in several kinds of businesses, with business plans, great ideas and all. My inability to grow had nothing to do with gov't regulations or taxes, or lack of hard work or a good product. It came from not being able to get capital. Plain and simple.
September 18, 2011 1:38 PM - bxgrl
Think so, DH
September 18, 2011 1:47 PM - Legion
DH,
It wasn't the worse economic period since the depression however.
Small businesses are resilient by their nature, if they don't thrive and have a good economic plan in the first few years they fail.

My point is getting at the idea that jobs can be produced elsewhere by mandate.

MM,
Corporations and banks are doing what they are set up to do,
make a profit.
If they were non-for-profit, they'd be in that sector.

The economic uncertainty is the driving factor here. When Washington proves to the private sector that it has its best interests in mind, the private sector will respond in kind.

Applying emotional motives to corporations is like cursing the sea for the tides.
Edited at September 18, 2011 1:47 PM
September 18, 2011 1:48 PM - Legion
"Our system does not reward small buisness and foster their growth"

Microsoft.
Apple.
Dunkin Donuts.
KFC.

September 18, 2011 1:49 PM - Legion
"worst" instead of "worse",
...I wish I knew how to work the "edit" function.
September 18, 2011 1:50 PM - Deleted
Chicken and egg. Perhaps it wasn't the worst economic period since the GD because there were regulations in place and we weren't fighting wars while cutting taxes.


September 18, 2011 1:54 PM - Deleted
It's funny how we mirror our economic policy after Europe ( we repealed glass stegal to be more competitive with them ) but when it comes to stuff like healthcare we view Europe as a bunch of heathen communists.
September 18, 2011 1:54 PM - DeadCatBounce
"I've been a small business owner for years, in several kinds of businesses, with business plans, great ideas and all. My inability to grow had nothing to do with gov't regulations or taxes, or lack of hard work or a good product. It came from not being able to get capital. Plain and simple."
And that is exactly my point. Small business needs capital. No community banks, no capital.
Edited at September 18, 2011 1:54 PM
September 18, 2011 1:56 PM - minard lafever
Whenever I read Paul Krugman, who is constantly encouraging the governemnt to spend more, I wonder, the US is spending a gazillion dollars a month on military exploits in Iraq, Afgnstn, and all over the world really, How much more can we spend? We have almost become a war-dependent economy. Perhaps in the future, we will be the world's mercenaries. Dunno.

Edited at September 18, 2011 1:56 PM
September 18, 2011 1:57 PM - bxgrl
legion- the point of what I said was our prsent day free market system. As dh pointed out, those businesses, like microsoft grew in periods of more regulation and taxes.
September 18, 2011 1:57 PM - Legion
DH,
Vietnam->Cold War->Balkans->Gulf war->War on Terror......

The wars have unfortunately been one true constant.
I'm for a re-assessment of our world role as well.
Let Taiwan and Japan keep China in check,
Let India keep Pakistan in chect,
etc, etc.

Let's fall back a bit and let Europe take care of it's own defenses.

GWB spent a lot. no doubt.
O spending 4 times as much in 3 years is not a solution however.

September 18, 2011 2:02 PM - Legion
bxgrl-
And my response is that small businesses have been growing jobs since day one.
At this point however, it appears that a choice is clearly being made in Washington not to rely on small businesses and entrepeneurs for growth.

I am not discounting the idea of more taxes evenly distributed in society at a time when there is good economic growth.
I am concerned with the idea that in a time of huge unemployment, anemic GDP growth and economic uncertainty (much of it from abroad), we will continue to see the small businesses and entrepeneurs and piggy banks to be smashed open.

September 18, 2011 2:03 PM - Deleted
Enough political tail chasing for me today. I'm off to contribute to my local small businesses by buying an 18 dollar bowl of pasta and several 10 dollar cocktails. Later y'all. Play nice!!
Edited at September 18, 2011 2:03 PM
September 18, 2011 2:06 PM - Legion
I gotta go to.
It does kinda feel like chasing one's tail after a while.

I'm going to the garage to build something. ;o)
September 18, 2011 2:08 PM - Legion
TOO.
damn it!
September 18, 2011 2:12 PM - MontroseMorris
Legion, one last shot, because I got places to go too:

"MM,
Corporations and banks are doing what they are set up to do,
make a profit.
If they were non-for-profit, they'd be in that sector."

So how is reinvesting in America, by lending and supporting smaller businesses a "not for profit" enterprise?? How can you tout small businesses as the be all and end all of this country's survival, and then talk about them like they were a charity to big business?

Hmmmmm?
September 18, 2011 2:23 PM - Legion
MM
I'm trying to go to the garage here.

Half the battle is perception.
Who wants to open a restaurant at this time,
knowing the up hill battle to climb in getting everything from a liquor license to a small business loan to healthcare mandates.

If we are to spend money, it should be done wisely.
Not in a cash for clunkers model.
How could a program work when it pays people to destroy vehicles which still had functional capacity?

In a nutshell, money must be spent by the government, I agree.
It must be spent wisely and in the right ways to make it really work though.
Edited at September 18, 2011 2:23 PM
September 18, 2011 2:28 PM - cobblehiller
legion, There you go again, talking out of both sides of your mouth!

If you believe in free market, then you believe that banks should be lending to small business which need the capital to thrive and create jobs. NOT THE GUBMENT! Why are you looking to the gubment to solve this!? It's in the hands of the banks! They can decide tomorrow to lend money. It's just not that difficult. If one bank would do it, the next would, and so on. This is not as complicated as you want to make it out to be.


September 18, 2011 2:31 PM - cobblehiller
All this blather about regulations, etc. I'm not buying it! After the depression, all sorts of regulations were put in place, and this country grew just the same.
September 18, 2011 2:42 PM - Legion
[responding from garage]

There you go again cobble,
misunderstanding the point.

When I say the government must spend money, I am obviously talking about the idea that the federal government needs to keep liquidity in the markets.
States and corporations don't make their own money so it's gotta be government.
Banks borrow money from the government and should be loaning it at an interest rate to create a profit as well.

How can this all work if the government is standing over the whole process with a big sack with one of those $ signs on it, ready to grab the first bit of profit visible and without concern for the long term viability of such enterprises?
Edited at September 18, 2011 2:42 PM
September 18, 2011 2:44 PM - bxgrl
corporations and big business do not operate in a vacuum. I know some people think the free market system should operate like the wild west but the reality is, the world doesn't work that way. Big business wants the benefits of living and operating in a free society- well, as the popular expression goes, freedom isn't free. And neither are free market systems. For all the carrying on about how terible it is to do business here, our corporate culture is getting richer by the second. And unfortunaltely, its the small and medium businesses, and citizens who are paying for it.
September 18, 2011 2:51 PM - Legion
bxgrl:

1. sanofi-aventis Patient Assistance Foundation (NJ) $321,376,881 12/31/2009
2. The Wal-Mart Foundation, Inc. (AR) 204,970,646 01/31/2010
3. The Bank of America Charitable Foundation, Inc. (NC) 190,668,042 12/31/2009
4. Novartis Patient Assistance Foundation, Inc. (NJ) 177,195,258 12/31/2009
5. GE Foundation (CT) 103,573,293 12/31/2009
6. The Wachovia Wells Fargo Foundation, Inc. (NC) 99,435,085 12/31/2009
7. The JPMorgan Chase Foundation (NY) 81,422,595 12/31/2009
8. ExxonMobil Foundation (TX) 73,544,150 12/31/2009
9. Wells Fargo Foundation (CA) 68,367,615 12/31/2009
10. Citi Foundation (NY) 66,507,524 12/31/2009
11. Verizon Foundation (NJ) 56,289,332 12/31/2009
12. Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies Contribution Fund (NJ) 49,556,298 12/31/2009
13. The Merck Company Foundation (NJ) 42,238,719 12/31/2009
14. The Coca-Cola Foundation, Inc. (GA) 40,968,382 12/31/2009
15. Intel Foundation (OR) 40,481,300 12/31/2009
16. MetLife Foundation (NY) 39,800,039 12/31/2010
17. The UPS Foundation (GA) 38,913,155 12/31/2009
18. AT&T Foundation (TX) 38,176,693 12/31/2009
19. BP Foundation, Inc. (TX) 37,210,977 12/31/2009
20. The Goldman Sachs Foundation (NY) 36,029,944 12/31/2009
21. California Physicians' Service Foundation (CA) 34,725,931 12/31/2009
22. Abbott Fund (IL) 34,202,053 12/31/2009
23. Caterpillar Foundation (IL) 31,239,085 12/31/2009
24. Eli Lilly and Company Foundation (IN) 30,345,734 12/31/2009
25. The Boeing Company Charitable Trust (TX) 30,053,296 12/31/2009
26. The PNC Foundation (PA) 29,694,921 12/31/2009
27. Nationwide Foundation (OH) 27,990,598 12/31/2009
28. The PepsiCo Foundation, Inc. (NY) 27,628,717 12/31/2009
29. The Pfizer Foundation, Inc. (NY) 27,269,884 12/31/2009
30. The Medtronic Foundation (MN) 26,570,593 04/30/2010

Those are just 30 corporations and their charitable foundations with the amounts contributed for 2009.
Corporations do not operate in a vacuum and of course I don't know why I'm the one put in the position to defend them when the fact is that as well as there is corporate malfeasance which needs to be constantly monitored, the corporations are one of the engines of our economy and our society.

They also pay taxes for the most part, more taxes in an expanding economy. Grow the economy and you have more taxes for the good stuff.
September 18, 2011 2:54 PM - cobblehiller
You can help, legion! Why include the govt in that process? It's too big, over regulated anyway! You can just give your money directly to ANY BIG BANK, USA!! I'm sure they'd take a check! : P
September 18, 2011 2:55 PM - cobblehiller
Who knows, maybe it's tax-deductible, too! LOL!
September 18, 2011 2:56 PM - bxgrl
legion, considering the growing wealth of corporations and banks, they aren't grabbing much profit. I think just the opposite- the governemnt is concerned with long term viability of the whole country. And that includes enterprise. But enerprise is not concerned with that at all. They are only concerend with immediate profit,and future profit, no matter how it's gotten. Remember after the bailout when companies who took billions from the government suddenly saw record profits and still decided to give out huge bonuses? That may be their version of long term viability, but look at the reaction to it across the country. And eventually it will affect them badly. YOu're right- it i about perception- and the perception is Wall Street is greedy and uncaring. Ask us why people think that's true.
September 18, 2011 2:59 PM - cobblehiller
"there is corporate malfeasance which needs to be constantly monitored"

No! Say it isn't so! But I thought you said we need more deregulation! The corps can be trusted to do the right thing, can't they?!
September 18, 2011 3:00 PM - Legion
[while using table saw]

... I wish all the time we spent on the OT was tax deductable! ;o)
September 18, 2011 3:02 PM - cobblehiller
"and the perception is Wall Street is greedy and uncaring."

And TREASONOUS! Don't forget TREASONOUS!!
Edited at September 18, 2011 3:02 PM
September 18, 2011 3:03 PM - cobblehiller
Ok, back to my chores!
Edited at September 18, 2011 3:03 PM
September 18, 2011 3:08 PM - rf
Legion, do you have any clue about these charitable contributions? They support the arts, they support research in disease prevention and cure, they support families whose children have illnesses for which they have to spend time away from home during treatment, they support a zillion random causes. Is this a systematic safety net? I don't think so.

Lloyd Blankfein, CEO of Goldman Sachs, contributed a middle school building for Fieldston, where his daughter attends. Charity for the rich, that too!

Can you list these corporations and their contributions, along with their profits and their net worth?
September 18, 2011 3:12 PM - bxgrl
Don't they get tax breaks for all those charitable donations? Very few corporations give without an eye toward getting something in return. And like rf says- it hardly constitutes a systematic safety net.

(step away from the table saw- )
September 18, 2011 3:13 PM - cobblehiller
And don't forget the tit-for-tat that goes along with these charitable contributions. You wanna make a business deal with Fred? Only if you give $1,000,000 to his wife's favorite charity and play golf with him!
Edited at September 18, 2011 3:13 PM
September 18, 2011 3:20 PM - gay smurf hoodlum
maybe my outlook on life and perspective about the state of the world is a tad bizarro, fatalistic, and nihilistic, but why are americans really so afraid of sliding into third world status and style of living? the USA is NOT that old, in fact extremely young compared to most countries. way of life in america was an anomoly for the planet Earth. an experiment, that in the end is now failing. i really am blessed that i do not have children so i have no stake in the future of this world. media, specificially the internet in general, makes everyone terrified of not only the future, but the present. just this morning i was cleaning my bedroom window sill and a spider actually said to me "youre all a bunch of fucking retards". at first i was kinda aghast cuz i thought it meant me and my dog lol. but the spider was talking about everyone, humans in particular. i opened the screen and pushed him out and said there's no more vacancy in the spider motel that my bedroom windowsill has become. he (maybe it was a she, do spiders have genders?) didnt give a crap he was getting kicked out. nothing in life is secure; not housing, not love, not health, not sanity, not jobs, etc... the only secure and given things we get in life are our first breath and our last. everything in between those are seriously inconsequential and like the spider said, retarded.

*rob*

September 18, 2011 3:29 PM - Legion
[still hammering in garage]

An efficiently run government takes in more than enough taxes to maintain a generous social safety net and itself.

Why we, as Americans, feel that the government needs to grow automatically by 8% yearly (that's the actual baseline increase in the budget that congress implemented years ago) is beyond me.
Especially when there was relatively low inflation, as in the past ten years.

What's 8% of a Trillion? 80 billion X 3 Trillion yearly government budget.
That's a 240 billion dollar increase in the federal budget YEARLY!

The corporations will continue to make money, that's the system, they will continue to employ people, feed families, pay taxes, contribute to charity, etc., etc.
Reign in out of control spending,
close tax loopholes for the sake of fairness and keep illegality in check by making sure those doing the monitoring are doing their jobs.

When we are back on track with sustained GDP growth we should again have the talk about taxing more. If warranted.
That should be linked to a balanced budget amendment though.
These politicians like nothing better than to spend other people's money.



Edited at September 18, 2011 3:29 PM
September 18, 2011 3:35 PM - gay smurf hoodlum
has anyone watched the first episode of Americas Next Top Model yet?! it's an all star version, where they brought back previous contestants from the last TEN years!!!! before watching i was like eeeks, how can they really be models ten years in? i know it's just a dog and pony show and has nothing really to do with modelling and just a giant vanity project for tyra banks, but i thought they actually all looked really good. im not really sure what my point of bringing this up was.. maybe just trying to de-focus on the economy. do you know that you can purchase a FEMA trailer for 6000 dollars (and they are HUGE!), park it somewhere and only pay like 100 bux a month in land use tax and like 150 a month for electricity... so essentially you can get by on 250 dollars a month. if you have no job you can qualify for food stamps and as a single person probably get 200 dollars of food stamps a month.. if you use that 200 dollars and buy tons of high demand groceries on sale and then re-sell it to peolpe who dont qualify for food stamps but are kinda broke-ish you can cover your 250 dollars a month that you need to pay for land tax and electricity, and perhaps make a profit. im just thinking of ways to make a life where no money is needed. of course who has 6000 dollars for a FEMA trailer lying around?

*rob*

September 18, 2011 3:37 PM - gay smurf hoodlum
the're not a hell of a lotta curb appeal on the FEMA trailers, but the insides are pretty nice :)

*rob*

September 18, 2011 3:37 PM - Legion
*rob* is right,
We could learn a lot from spiders,
they've been around for long time.

When humans leave the scene,
they come right in and make themselves at home
spraying webs all over.

Like the honeybadger,
"they don't give a shit."

Edited at September 18, 2011 3:37 PM
September 18, 2011 3:40 PM - gay smurf hoodlum
now that im looking at that trailor park picture... i dont think brownstones look any different than trailer parks really.

*rob*

Edited at September 18, 2011 3:40 PM
September 18, 2011 3:47 PM - gay smurf hoodlum
seriously tho about spiders... why are there so many? i kinda find them gross but i dont mind them, but the thought of them laying eggs creep me the fuck out. i actually name them sometimes. my favorite spider was pedro from a year or so ago. but he didnt actually make a web (i find the webs gross) he just lingered in the corner of my room for DAYS! then one day he just wasn't there. also the spiders are quite diverse, some are black, some are beige, some are kinda clear (i hate the clear ones).

*rob*

September 18, 2011 3:58 PM - Legion
It's like that book Charlotte's Web,
where the spider helps that pig out by making all sorts of special webs.
The pig makes friends with the queen spider who is busy making thousands of other spiders while the pig is busy prancing around
the fair grounds with a talking rat.


Edited at September 18, 2011 3:57 PM
September 18, 2011 4:10 PM - gay smurf hoodlum
i've never read that, but slightly know of it. wasnt it a cartoon as well? or a movie? lol @ "talking rat" as far as i know, no rats have ever spoken to me. they probably dont have much to say cuz they basically eat our garbage and stuff. when i was a kid i used to go to the pet store and buy mice (those feeder mice that were like 25 cents) and keep them in my closet and feed them oreos and baloney.

*rob*

Edited at September 18, 2011 4:32 PM
September 18, 2011 4:13 PM - DeadCatBounce
Legion, I am in awe of your patience.
Edited at September 18, 2011 4:13 PM
September 18, 2011 4:13 PM - DeadCatBounce
Legion, I am in awe of your patience.
September 18, 2011 5:04 PM - minard lafever
Legion, I am in awe you have your own garage.

Edited at September 18, 2011 5:04 PM
September 18, 2011 5:10 PM - CGar
Why are you all fighting on such a beautiful day? It's a perfectly good day for drinking 5 bottles of wine.
September 18, 2011 5:14 PM - minard lafever
hey. I just got back. Haven't finished reading through all the comments from today's Davos-like economic summit.

September 18, 2011 5:16 PM - gay smurf hoodlum
quote:
It's a perfectly good day for drinking 5 bottles of wine.

except for dirty alcoholics!!!

*rob*

September 18, 2011 5:18 PM - Donatella
I am in awe of all of your patience. You are still pretty much AT IT.

I went to the Brooklyn Book Festival, which is an amazing event. I thought it was book stalls which sold books. Yes, but there are hundreds of them, all promoting independant booksellers and authors, many from Brooklyn. And surrounding the event are three days of lectures, readings, panels, etc. I thought that next year I have to go with a plan. It wasn't so clear from their website (or at least to me) about the extraordinary amount of associated events. In the Bklyn courthouse (main courtroom - beautiful!) I heard Senator Joseph Lieberman talk about a book he wrote about being a practicing Jew, basically his thoughts about his own observation of the Sabbath. There was an excellent Christian minister Dr. Bernard, who has a large congregation (Baptist?, not sure) and the Rabbi of the Mt. Sinai temple in BH, who I have heard speak in the past. Interesting.

I also heard a couple of panels held in front of the courthouse. and one on childrens' novels. What I missed was Mary Carr, the writer of the Memoirs "The Liars Club", "Cherry" and "Lit" which were very colorful memoirs of her childhood through adulthood -- particularly the Liar's Club about her East Texas childhood, which was riveting to say the least. I would have loved to hear her speak.
September 18, 2011 5:20 PM - rf
How was the street fair yesterday, Rob?
September 18, 2011 5:20 PM - Donatella
*rob*, hi. In addition to the "Confederacy of Dunces" which I mentioned to you some time back (great New Orleans based novel), you should really read the Liar's Club. I think you would really enjoy that book.
September 18, 2011 5:21 PM - InsertSnappyNameHere
While you all were arguing politics, I was out soaking up some sunshine and then baking a quite tasty lasagna. And now, if you'll all excuse me, I'm gonna crack open a bottle of wine and dig in to my noms :-)
September 18, 2011 5:29 PM - gay smurf hoodlum
my little sister and her boyfriend :-/ he looks like he's 40!


*rob*

Edited at September 18, 2011 5:29 PM
September 18, 2011 5:31 PM - gay smurf hoodlum
quote:
How was the street fair yesterday, Rob?

spoiled crotchfruit riding around on 2 thousand dollar wooden bikes from holland, bouncey castles, and no one sharing their food.

*rob*

September 18, 2011 5:37 PM - rf
Did you share your food?
September 18, 2011 6:22 PM - DeadCatBounce
BEET SALAD
Roast Farmers Market Beets approx 50 minutes. Peel and Julienne.
Add Olive Oil, Best quality Balsamic Vinegar. Stir.
Add Walnut Halves, and blue cheese. Sea Salt and Pepper to taste.
Garnish with chopped fresh Italian Parsley.
The art is in getting the quantities just right so they blend together perfectly.

September 18, 2011 6:34 PM - InsertSnappyNameHere
beets....ICK!
walnuts....allergic.

DCB, you're gonna have to start making different dinner items or else I won't be inclined to show up on your doorstep wearing a bib and carrying a fork and spoon :-)
September 18, 2011 6:37 PM - minard lafever
I have never in my life heard of anyone roasting a beetroot, what will they think of next?
They are nasty vegetables to peel and deal with. I like buying them already steamed and beautifully glossy.

Edited at September 18, 2011 6:37 PM
September 18, 2011 6:43 PM - Legion
Thanks DCB,
That salad sounds great!

I've been meaning to make a simple and great tasting salad I had recently at a restaurant:
Spinach with walnuts and raspberry vinaigrette.

Tomorrow, I'll go and buy the ingredients.
I'll keep the beet salad in mind too.

I don't eat healthy enough. :o(
September 18, 2011 6:43 PM - CGar
Bottle 6.
Edited at September 18, 2011 6:43 PM
September 18, 2011 6:45 PM - Legion
CGar!
what are you drinking over there?
September 18, 2011 6:46 PM - DeadCatBounce
Snappy, you live right nearby me, don't you?
September 18, 2011 6:50 PM - gay smurf hoodlum
i think im gonna make mac and cheese for dinner

*rob*

September 18, 2011 6:58 PM - CGar
Bottle 7.
September 18, 2011 7:04 PM - Legion
Take it easy there CGar,
I'm picturing the movie Sideways.
Edited at September 18, 2011 7:04 PM
September 18, 2011 7:16 PM - InsertSnappyNameHere
DCB, where are you? I'm in Greenwood Heights.
September 18, 2011 7:26 PM - minard lafever
looks like the Wall Street anarchist takeover was a bust.
maybe the anarchists couldn't afford the new tolls at the bridges and tunnels.

September 18, 2011 7:28 PM - gay smurf hoodlum
of course it was a bust. did you LOOK at those people? total privileged brats who never had to worry about a single thing in their lives. worry when REALY people take to the streets and it gets bloody. not these dorks.

*rob*

Edited at September 18, 2011 8:19 PM
September 18, 2011 7:35 PM - CGar
Bottle 8.
Edited at September 18, 2011 7:35 PM
September 18, 2011 7:36 PM - minard lafever
cgar, what are you talking about?

Edited at September 18, 2011 7:36 PM
September 18, 2011 7:59 PM - rf
He's talking about the ongoing destruction of his liver.
September 18, 2011 8:02 PM - Legion
I hope he isn't drinking all that wine on his own!

Citizen Kane is about to start on TCM network CGar,
well worth watching.
September 18, 2011 8:18 PM - gay smurf hoodlum
uh, who added this...
"I LOVE THEM! I WANT TO HUG THEM AND YOU TWO!!"

dont be editing peoples posts like that. wtf?

*rob*



Edited at September 18, 2011 9:04 PM
September 18, 2011 8:38 PM - Deleted
In other topics....

....I'm starting to wonder if Mayor Bloomberg has gone off the deep end. When asked to comment on the 50% increase in tolls on the Hudson River crossings, he states that the choice is between their falling apart and the toll hike. How stupid. Oh, I see, Mr. Mayor. If the tolls were hiked only 25%, we'd soon see leaks in the Holland Tunnel, I guess.

Memo to Mr. Mayor: these toll hikes were $4/day, which works out to roughly $100/month, or $1200/year. I know that you fart that type of money, but in a recession, that is real pain to some people. We're not stupid. We're questioning the need for an unprecedented 50% toll hike.
Edited at September 18, 2011 8:38 PM
September 18, 2011 8:46 PM - CGar
Home from brunch. 8 bottles. A new record. Citizen Kane sounds good. I once had a sled ...
September 18, 2011 8:49 PM - Deleted
Citizen Kane deserves its reputation as the greatest movie ever made.
Edited at September 18, 2011 8:49 PM
September 18, 2011 8:54 PM - minard lafever
really? I was just trying to watch a little. dreary and grim. worse than I remember.
I do agree with you about bloomie and the tolls. he's a perfect idiot.
Talking down to New Yorkers. And everyone knows the PA needs the money for the overblown plans at the WTC site.
Nothing to do with bridge or tunnel maintenance.