Saturday, September 29, 2007

Golden Country

Golden country your face is so red,
With all of your money your poor can be fed.
You strut around and you flirt with disaster,
Never really carin' just what comes after.
Well your blacks are dyin' but your back is still turned.
And your freaks are cryin' but your back is still turned.
You better stop your hidin' or your country will burn.
The time has come for you my friend,
To all this ugliness we must put an end.
Before we leave we must make a stand.
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Mortgage people you crawl to your homes,
Your security lies in your bed of white foam.
You act concerned but then why turn away,
When a lady was raped on your doorstep today.
Well your blacks are cryin' but your back is still turned.
And your freaks are dyin' but your back is still turned.
You better stop your hidin' or your country will burn,
The time has come for you my friend
To all this ugliness we must put an end
Before we leave we must make a stand, oh yeah...

Golden country your face is so red,
With all of your money your poor can be fed.
You strut around and you flirt with disaster,
Never really carin' just what comes after.
Well your blacks are dyin' but your back is still turned.
And your freaks are cryin' but your back is still turned.
You better stop your hidin' or your country will burn
The time has come for you my friend,
To all this ugliness we must put an end.
Before we leave we must make a stand.


Reo Speedwagon lyrics to Golden Country, 1972 (6:44), the final track on the album R.E.O/T.W.O.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

U.S. Imperialism and the Republican Party

The American flag has not been planted in foreign soil to acquire more territory but for humanity's sake. - president William McKinley (R), July 12, 1900.

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At this point in history the United States occupied Puerto Rico, the Philippines, and many other distant lands.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Join the Buddhist Monks protesting China and Burma

Some of the bravest people in the world today are the Buddhist monks of Burma. They have been marching in the streets of that country protesting the iron-fisted ruling military junta. The dictators of Burma, though they prefer to call the land Myanmar, are nothing but a pack of drug-running killers. During past protests, these thugs have simply told the army to open fire, killing all who cannot run fast enough.
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In the case of the current Buddhist monks marching in the streets, the murderous generals have only gone so far as to arrest some of the monks. Jail? What a strange punishment for a Buddhist monk. Have the generals even set foot inside a Buddhist monastery? Jail will provide even more time for the monk's silent meditations, so essential to seeking and understanding the correct path. The monks are also quite likely to convert the inmates and guards at the same time.

The monks must be allowed to protest, Aung San Suu Kyi must be released from house arrest, and the government of China must stop propping up the murderous dictatorship in Burma. Until that happens there is no reason for anyone to buy tickets to the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.

Links: New York Times

Saturday, September 15, 2007

The Next War: Iran

The Washington Post gives retired General Wesley Clark space to describe why the "next war is always looming."

It does not have to be this way. The citizens of the United States are not doomed to always live under a kleptocracy, i.e. ruled by thieves. We still have a chance to show the door to the thieves currently in power. People must get up from their couches and demand accountability.Nuclear Blast 1945

If the people in the cities choose not to participate the people living out in the small towns and surrounding countryside must speak out.

General Clark reminds us all with these words about the upcoming Iran War, "Think another war can't happen? Think again." He goes on to describe a scenario all too commonly understood by everyone who paid attention to the start of the 2003 Iraq War.

This writer is not defending the actions of Iran, but does our nation have the right to kill another million people in our quest for fuel for our gas-guzzling economy? Many nations, including our own, have nuclear weapons. Our own Air Force recently mishandled 5 nuclear bombs, leaving open the possibility of a horrific accident somewhere in the Midwestern United States.
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Are the nations of Pakistan, China, Russia, and Israel any less likely to be the scene of a "mishandled" thermonuclear device? Does anyone really know how many people will die if even one of these thousands of weapons leaks or detonates in error or on purpose?

The time is ripe for a global summit on nuclear weapons. This notion that the United States should be the sole force controlling the sources of energy or nuclear weapons is pure nonsense.

Dick Cheney is planning. George W. Bush is sleeping. Are you awake? What plan do you have for protecting your family from a White House hell-bent on starting The Next War? Speak to your neighbors, speak to the people you voted for, demand answers, demand accountability. Now is the only chance you have, the next war may well be the last war, for everyone on Earth.

Links: Washington Post article

Friday, September 14, 2007

Quicksand in Iraq: Why The U.S. Cannot Leave

When someone asks me why the U.S. Army should stay in Iraq I can think of only one major reason. The Roman Empire's desertion of England.

Sometime between 407 and 411 AD the Roman Senate voted to pull their army out of England. It seems that Hadrian's Wall and all the former might of the Roman Army was insufficient to maintain order in that distant colony.
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Insurgent Englishmen were killing members of the Roman Legion whenever they ventured out of their forts. The English would pull boards out of key bridges so that Roman chariots would crash into the streams below. Archers hid in the trees and shot arrows at diplomats and soldiers in transit. Buildings occupied by Romans were set on fire. So the Romans decided to leave England.

After the Roman army left, it is estimated that all hell broke loose. Sectarian violence broke out all over the vast island. Records from the post-Roman period are sketchy, of course, but archaeologists believe that the post-Roman occupation violence went on for decades. Far more people died during that period than during the entire period of Roman occupation. Many of the English probably pined for the relative calm they once enjoyed while the Legions occupied their land.

So the United States is stuck in Iraq, probably for decades. U.S. taxes will go to fund the roads, police, sewers, and corruption in Iraq for years to come. No matter who the voters elect as president in 2008, Bush's Colonial War for oil will be with us for a generation.

History seems bound and determined not to be repeated in just this one case. Maybe an Iraqi citizen or two should be taught the lessons of the Roman withdrawal from England. It could save a few thousand Iraqi and U.S. lives over the next few years.

For Sen. Ted Stevens, Bribery is a Family Trait

The Seattle Post Intelligencer is reporting that an oil industry exec admits bribing Sen. Ted Steven's son, Ben Stevens. The younger Stevens was President of the Alaska State Senate at the time of the alleged bribe. The allegations occurred on the stand during a trial of another Alaska lawmaker, Pete Kott.

The individual on the stand was none other than VECO Corporation's former CEO and owner, Bill Allen. VECO is an engineering and construction firm that handles Federal and private contracts up there in the 49th state. VECO has since been acquired by CH2M Hill. One must wonder if the bribery issue was disclosed prior to the sale of VECO.
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The issue complicates matters for Republican Senator Stevens, already under investigation for matters related to his second home, a million-dollar retreat in Alaska. There are suspicions that builders did much of the work in return for Federal contract awards. Ted Stevens gained additional fame for his "Bridge To Nowhere" $200 million earmark intended to build a bridge to an island with less than 200 residents.

These politicians must get pretty bored way up there in America's OPEC state. This writer has heard that the cold, dark Alaskan winters can drive a man insane. Alcoholism has been a issue for Alaskans for decades. Bribery and corruption appears to be no less an issue.

Links: Seattle Post Intelligencer, Washington Post, Local news

Related Blogs: Breitbart
Price of Oil

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Paying The Cost of State-Sponsored Terrorism

Recently a judge in the U.S. held Iran accountable for the 1982 bombing of U.S. Marines that had invaded Lebanon. The judge fined Iran $2 billion for their support of Hezbollah.

The timing of this decision is quite a coincidence, given the recent White House push for a war with Iran.

That's a good start but the U.S. courts need to keep going if they want to be seen as fair about settling the scores. The U.S. has also sponsored terrorism many times throughout history.
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What exactly do we owe the families of Iraqis who were quite plainly tortured at Abu Ghraib? What do we pay the people of Falluja for the chemical weapons we dumped on that city? There is no shortage of evidence proving those terrible war crimes, your honor.

The U.S. provided the phosphorus weapons and cluster bombs that Israel used on Lebanese civilians in the 2006 invasion of Lebanon. How much do we owe the Lebanese, Judge Lamberth?

The U.S. trained and funded Guatemalan death squads that killed countless people and continue to kill politicians to this day. The CIA has admitted participation in these war crimes. How much does the U.S. owe the families of victims of those atrocities, your honor?

The U.S. funded the Contras, who subsequently killed thousands of civilians. What was the cost of that crime? The good justice should surely be able to ballpark a figure for that.

The U.S. poured agent orange and napalm on the farmlands and villages of Vietnam. What should we pay those chemical burn victims, Judge?

The U.S. provided the chemical weapons that Iraq used against Iran in the Iraq-Iran War. Those weapons killed and maimed thousands of Iranians. What is the cost of that? We need to do our calculations here and come up with a fair judgment.

The U.S. shot down an Iranian civilian airliner. The U.S. paid Iran for that "mistake", but hardly $2 billion, more like a few million. Was that a fair sum? Do we deduct a more fair amount from the amount they owe us for the 1982 Beirut bombing?

The U.S. used weapons of mass destruction on the civilian populations of two Japanese cities. These are the only 2 nuclear bombs ever used in war (If we still refuse to count the U.S. use of depleted uranium weapons all over the world). How much does the U.S owe Japan for that?Nuclear Blast 1945
A judge now needs to determine how much back pay, with interest, the U.S. owes the African people that were placed in chains, brought to the U.S., and forced to work without pay for more than a century. We should certainly be able to come up with a round number for that crime.

What does the United States owe the native American people for the near total destruction of that civilization as well as theft of all lands? Didn't we purposely give them blankets laced with disease as well?

There are many more war crimes the U.S. knows it is responsible for, these cases and victims also deserve their day in court.

Link: BBC article

Impact of iPhones, iPods, and other devices on Our Future

A local newspaper writer recently sought input on the "newspaper of the future."

The new flexible, scroll-like LED displays were mentioned as one solution.

My response was this:

In the not too distant future the little ear piece millions of people call their "bluetooth" will also project a very sharp, holographic image just before us in whatever dimensions we desire. Transparency will be adjustable. I have seen lab models of such a tiny projector. Right now there are heads-up displays that project certain controls on windshields of different craft. Both devices will distract us from driving and life much like the iPod and mobile phone do now. Special glasses already allow users to watch wide-screen movies anywhere they want, except while driving!
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My additional comments, not included due to space restrictions in the newspaper comment box, were:

For those concerned about battery-power restrictions, these devices may not require batteries. One solution is a microscopic gas-powered turbine. At this stage in life I am somewhat concerned about wearing a gas-turbine behind my ear, no matter what the size. Nokia had a cell phone that uses fuel cells under development, at one time. A third possibility is a microscopic reactor, already in-use in some heart pacemakers. A reactor behind my ear has even less appeal than a gas turbine in the same location. Another researcher has proven that sufficient power can easily be derived from excess heat given off from the human head. I am not sure about a steam turbine behind my ear either!

The amount of power consumed by portable electronic devices is decreasing as microchip developers design chips that require less power. Already flash memory provides data storage using a fraction of the power spinning hard drives require.

Projection systems are notorious for their electricity consumption. However the portable Apple computer I am using to write this piece already incorporates LED backlighting technology. These displays were made available in June of 2007. I have been told super-efficient solar panel technology can derive power from basic room lighting.

Another type of projection technology takes existing room light and magnifies it with a lens, this technology uses only a small amount of additional energy to create an image.

Controls for new portable devices will be voice-activated for the most part. I already press a button on my bluetooth headset, speak the name of my contact, and my cell phone dials the correct number for me. Voice-recognition software has come along way from the early versions of Dragon Naturally Speaking. Customer Service applications of voice recognition software may not be appreciated by many but they sure beat longer wait times on-hold.

The initial objections that I had to new portable devices form my strongest arguments against them. With each new device our young people learn to carry around with them there is less and less contact with the outside world. Every day I pass thousands of people, young and old, wearing headphones or glued to a cell phone. When these iPod-obsessed minds are forced to interact, by some unexpected interruption, I notice that they cannot easily talk to me or other people. Their minds are elsewhere, far off in the distance realms of fantasy, musical or otherwise.

Cell phone users are even more distracted by the devices they now use to fill nearly every walking hour. Driving or walking along urban streets in oblivion, they pose a real hazard to themselves and others. Every other driver now seems distracted by a cell phone to a great extent. The more we rely on devices to entertain us the less capable we seem to be of entertaining ourselves and others. Some of the most boring people I spend time with are those who must always be listening to an iPod or talking on the cell phone. Now that people can do both, with devices designed along the lines of the new iPhone, I have nearly given up hope of meeting a conscious being during my daily outings.

An attack by an EMP or electro-magnetic pulse bomb would destroy every unshielded electronic device. This unfortunate occurrence might actually be a blessing in disguise for a modern society so obsessed with living anywhere except in the present.

Link: Washington Post article

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Looking Through the Apple iPhone

Many institutional investors focused on Apple Inc. shares (AAPL) during the June run-up to the iPhone release. Mom & Pop investors (a popular industry moniker for the individual investor) jumped on board and drove the price of Apple shares to $146 near the end of July. Somewhere around that time a mid-day high of 148.92 was reached. Stock trading is not a horse race, however. Investors need to take their blinders off and look at the synergies Apple, Inc. generates.

AT&T (T) is an interesting play. From a low of 33 at the beginning of 2007 it reached $41.93/share at some point in the past 8 months. Any good news from Steve Job's team at Apple, Inc. on Oct. 16 is quite likely to rub off on Randall Stephenson's AT&T. A recent article in USA Today suggests AT&T is using the iPhone boost as a platform to jump into other wireless market services.
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The WiFi computer connection is no longer viewed as a threat, at least for one phone company. The USA Today article cites Stephenson saying that data usage by iPhone users is double what AT&T expected. Half of that was at WiFi hotspots. T-Mobile (DT or Deutsche Telecom) provides quite a few of those WiFi hotspots if I remember correctly. Starbucks (SBUX) and T-Mobile have an arrangement going that many people count on for a few minutes every day. Starbucks and Apple have a cute arrangement to tell an iPhone user when they are near those ubiquitous coffee shops.

One company called FON is even trying to give free WiFi routers to people that live near a Starbucks coffee shop. Why would a firm go to such lengths to provide a WiFi connection to the Internet?

Hotels, libraries, and even homeowners, with unsecured WiFi-capable routers, support a multitude of wireless computer users. The iPhone, all laptop computers and many other portable devices can jump on the web using those connections as well. Deep down in the iPhone and many devices a tiny device made by Broadcom (BRCM) facilitates this WiFi link. Broadcom shares were $26/share at this time last year, right now my stock ticker displays $35.50. Qualcomm (QCOM)is also in this business but failed to play by the rules here in the U.S.. Would you say I made a mistake buying Broadcom shares last year?

I could not pick out all the good technology shares very well so I bought shares in an ING fund called IDTOX. I know there are better technology funds but there were many that performed poorly too. I'm OK with an initial 11% 12-month gain on such a broad play as IDTOX. They brought DST Systems (DST) to my attention, I will not forget that. DST shares are up $1.80 today. My investing is for retirement 20 years from now, not immediate income this year or the next.

Looking overseas, EWT, an exchange traded fund, based on the Taiwan market is up about 100% since the tech market crash settled down in 2002. PRMSX is up 275% since that same point. Why invest in funds if you want AAPL-like returns? Taiwan is the home of Hon Hai (AKA Foxconn). Hon Hai makes iPods along with a host of other electronic devices sold in Europe, Japan, North and South America. Those two funds, EWT and PRMSX, also have rather low fees of around 1.25%, attractive costs for phenomenal long-term returns. Of course rich people may soon stop buying electronic gadgets altogether and get into organic gardening. That's a risk you just have to take!

My shares in a T. Rowe Price Latin Fund (PRLAX) are up nearly 60% in 12 months, even in this volatile market. Why? A mobile phone company called America Mobile (AMX) is one reason. There is a huge potential for growth in Latin American cell phone markets, unlike the saturated EU and U.S. markets. Latin America energy firms drove up those PRLAX shares too.

So I started started talking about a new phone producer, Apple Inc., and ended with a Latin American cell phone service, America Mobile. In the middle I mentioned AT&T, Broadcom, DST, Starbucks, and T-Mobile.

NOTE: I don't directly own SBUX, QCOM, or DT shares but I have owned the other firms for quite some time now. A fund I have managed for the past year owns shares in PKX (up a measly 150%) but that's another story...

Monday, September 10, 2007

The Impact of the U.S. attack on Iran

Somebody just asked if Russia will cut-off oil sales to the EU when the U.S. attacks Iran. They also asked about the impact of an expanded Gulf war on Apple computer sales. Two good questions, just a little unusual to see them from the same source. It was definitely an AAPL investor based outside of the U.S. Likely a Canadian or U.K. national.

Here is my response:

To begin with, a U.S. attack on Iran is a given. That is expected prior to the end of September, maybe in October. The only people that are not aware of this are U.S. civilians and folks without sufficient clearance. The rest of the world has been getting regular updates on the unprecedented Persian Gulf build-up nearly every day in print and on satellite dish.
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It is likely to be one of those Clintonesque cruise missile burps, along with shots from unmanned Predator drones. Cheney can't get the cash or approval from Congress for a bigger effort.Nuclear Blast 1945 What has the crude market concerned is the Iranian reaction directed at Gulf oil tanker traffic and terminals. U.S. commanders claim to have any Iranian response covered but you know one or two tankers will definitely burn.

The Chinese have been hacking U.S. Secretary of Defense Gates PCs,along with French, German and UK defense systems, just to pick up any chatter they could. China drinks a lot of Iranian crude you know.

The Russians are mixed about this. They stand to make billions on the short term sale of crude while the Gulf becomes a playground for weapons systems. Russia will never, ever cut-off any market when the price is so high. Have you ever heard of a market closing when customers are lined up out the door and willing to pay top dollar? Hell no! Smart business people stay open later and open earlier in those conditions.

iPods and iPhones will still be under Christmas trees no matter what happens. Part of the recent blip in INTC shares is due to chips going in to Macbooks and some other devices I cannot determine right now. Is there an INTC ship in the iPhone or new iPods? I really don't know where those extra INTC chips are going. Maybe weapons systems for the build up.

If you are concerned about the upcoming attack on Iran you can write your Senator or Congressman but they really don't care. They spent the day in Washington bashing Iran along with General Petraeus. War is a sport for millionaires and billionaires who could care less about the millions that might die as "collateral damage."

Links: New York Times article

2007 BBC article

The Herald UK article

2006 BBC article

I wish I had more domestic U.S. links to include but the U.S. press has chosen not to pursue this terrible possibility.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Fake Bin Laden Video

I really did not want to comment on the latest Osama Bin Laden cartoon but my associates asked me for my opinion as a photographer.

The video is an obvious fake. It is amazing that media outlets are promoting something that belongs only on YouTube or in a supermarket tabloid. I suppose there is a value in that it reminds people of the years and lives wasted pursuing oil in Iraq rather than shutting down all paramilitary training centers in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Somalia. The Taliban continue as a force while the U.S. prepares to invade Iran.

Simply compare available known images of OBL from prior to 2001 to the poorly made-up actor posing in this farce. Search Google images for bin ladin or bin laden. You will spot other recent fakes as well. Place those side by side to the actor in the video. Observe closely. OBL changed hair color on his head and his beard? Sunni Muslim men might use henna (in Arabic hina) but certainly not shoe polish black or some drug store dye. Is that really Usamah's nose? Ask a friend with experience in video production or even someone that knows PhotoShop how difficult it might be to concoct a fake Usamah Bin Ladin video.

It is also necessary to consider who (Bush) benefited from such precise timing at APEC (not OPEC) in Australia (not Austria). U.S. government intelligence analysts and any U.S. attorney hand-picked by Republican politicians are not permitted to be honest about this very dumb ploy.

International Islamic scholars and intelligence analysts know very well the true fate of Monsieur Usamah Bin Ladin.

There seems to be no limits to the lengths people will go to scare those who might be so easily deceived.

As we trace the genius of a nation by their taste in poetry and music, so by their encouragement of these we may judge of their rise or fall; good authors have never been wanting in happy climes. Barbarism begins her reign by banishing the Muses. Those who have ears to hear, let them hear!

- Philip Dormer Stanhope, Earl of Chesterfield, (1749)

Links: Forbes article al Jazeera article Newsday Article

Why China Is Hacking Computers

The Chinese are looking deep into the computers of the leaders of Germany, France, Britain, and of course, the U.S.. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates had his computers hacked by the Chinese. When nations secretly plan wars that might impact a major source of energy for a nation, that nation is compelled to look closer.

To spy.

Everyone else in the world, except the average person on U.S. streets, knows Uncle Sam is about to attack Iran. It is obvious. It is more than a hunch or whispers on the breeze. It is openly being discussed in major dailies from so many countries. The United States is going to use nuclear weapons on Iran to protect Israel.
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They need to use nuclear bunker busters to knock out Iran's nuclear centrifuges.
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The U.S. has extra carriers in the Persian Gulf Region. The generals and admirals have plans all written up. The U.S. has to do this because they think Iran will lob the first complete bomb at Tel Aviv or Israel's own nuclear bomb factory in the Negev desert. Israel can act all innocent of any wrongdoing while the U.S. is a target too far and too powerful.

Never mind the possibility Iran might strike back at Persian Gulf oil supplies.
Never mind that Russia could feel threatened by such an action. Russia would become the most important source of oil overnight. Never mind that China and many other nations depend on Iran's oil supplies.

Never mind that the U.S. wants control of all the oil in the Middle East.

That is the real but taboo reason for the U.S. invasion of Iraq. "Secure the oil supplies at any cost." the oil company chiefs told Dick Cheney in those "secret meetings" held long before the invasion. We need secure access to Iraq's oil. Blame it on the terrorists and WMD's but capture the oil fields first. We need to feed those SUVs everyone in the U.S. wants to keep driving.

This has grown well beyond the blogs and the conspiracy theory people. After all, those writers have been smelling the scent of a new war for several years now. It does not help that Bush, Cheney, and Rice rattle their rusty sabers every chance they get. "No options are off the table." They repeat incessantly when asked about the U.S. posture to Iran. They think they are clever, forcing Iran to play cards it does not even hold.

For weeks and weeks of my youth a big farm boy taunted me with threats. Day after day on the school bus this much stronger fellow used to describe how badly he was going to beat me up. He wanted my seat, no matter where I sat on the bus. Gradually I was forced to move towards the back of the bus by his antics. Day after school day I dreaded what would happen next.

There were little punches here and there but the farm boy really never hurt me, he just threatened to hurt me over and over again. Finally an afternoon came where I was cornered in the back of a crowded bus and this big guy sat down next to me. I just knew I was going to die that day. All those bullying threats kept going around in my head.

Before he did a thing to me I grabbed his hair and slammed his head against that steel bar that ran exposed in the back of every bus seat. I grabbed him and slammed him so hard and so fast that he had no time to react. I slammed his head not once but three or four or even more times, hard, until my arm was too tired to keep pulling his hair and head onto that bar.

I knocked the big farm boy out cold. I may have knocked him out on the first slam for all I know. The fight was over before it even started.

I wondered if I did not do permanent brain damage to that farm boy. I was actually scared that I might have killed him for a moment. He had been kicked in the face and head by horses several times by that point in his life.

His big sister had to pretty much carry him off the bus but even she said something to me that surprised me. "He deserved what he got, I know that, he's been sayin' he was gonna beat you up for weeks now. Deserved what he got."

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

The Problem With Unrestrained Capitalism

Problem, problem, where is the real mortgage problem?

Is the problem with the people who bought a larger home than they could afford?

Is the problem with real estate speculators that bought five or ten homes expecting to flip them at a higher price in just a few months?

Is the problem with lenders that loaned money to any person who was physically able to walk into their office and sign the forms?

Is the problem with trick, adjustable rate mortgages that go from 6% interest to 10% almost over night? Nice trick if you are a banker looking to make fast money off gullible people, huh? These mortgages are not so helpful to the home owner that sees their house payments balloon from $1,020 a month to $1,800 a month or more.
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Everyone has a different reason for the current sub-prime mortgage crisis.

The buyer should have known they could not afford those ballooning house payments.

If you read the fine print on page 35 of your mortgage you would have known the bank could raise the interest rate to any amount it needed to pay the banker's million-dollar salary.

Whatever made those investors think that home prices would keep going up and up, year after year? Crazy speculators, didn't they know all markets move in cycles?

What about those predatory lenders that loaned money without looking closely at the borrowers ability to pay? Were they right to encourage their brokers to keep writing mortgages no matter who walked in the door to their offices?

What about those bankers all over the world that bought entire portfolios of stinking, rotten house mortgages that will never be paid off?

The blame for the current crisis lays in many places but the people in high places, the really rich people, knew this was coming. They knew many poor homeowners would default on certain types of mortgages. Just like the characters in Upton Sinclair's novel, The Jungle, some sly moneylenders just figured that once one buyer missed a few payments they could turn around and paint the house and then sell it to another unsuspecting poor family.

That works fine until there are no more buyers in the market for a home.

Suck the money out of as many people as you can just so you can live in that huge palace by the lake. Who cares about the next person, this is the United States of America. It is every man for himself. The poor, stupid people are nothing more than cannon fodder for generals, lawyers and bankers.

Does anyone want a credit card? There's a great offer over at that bank across the street. They promise not to raise the annual interest rate and fees over 30%. Step right this way suckers, sign on the dotted line right there. That's right, here's your shiny new credit card. NEXT!!!

Look over here people! We have the lowest prices in town. In fact, we drove all the little mom and pop stores out of business and we are damn proud of that achievement. We even funded a university research project that decided we never harmed any small business owners, the same people that staff our cash registers even right now.

No more jobs left in your poor little town? Look over there, there's a new U.S. Army Recruiting office with plenty of great jobs in Iraq or Afghanistan or Africa. All you have to do is drive around until they blow you up or shoot you dead or maybe you get to home.

You want a living wage? Get lost buddy, there are five people behind you willing to work for eight bucks an hour with no health care benefits.

No money to pay for your children's health care? Who cares? Get out of my office, right now! I don't want my rich patients disturbed by the sight of you. Go die someplace else you poor sop, this is America. Pay up or die. How else can we pay the bosses back at the health care corporate office $25 million dollars a year? Certainly not by treating poor people like you.

Excuse me, I only do breast implants for rich ladies, you will need to go wait for hours in the inner city emergency room for that nasty skin problem. Not unless you want to pay my outrageous fees. Are you willing to sign up for a big loan for that treatment? OK, step right in my office.

Unrestrained capitalism. Greatest system in the world. Let's send our army to blow up those damn socialist countries that actually provide schools and health care for their poor people. How dare they give the common man an education and good health care. Next thing you know they'll want a living wage. Damn communists. Shoot 'em all!

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

A Nation Deceived By Leaders & Newsreaders

U.S. Military reports indicate that at best 1 in 10 U.S. enemies apprehended in Iraq may be affiliated with Al Qaeda. No doubt some Yemenis, Jordanians, Saudis, Syrians, and nationals from countries other than Iraq are fighting the U.S. occupation of Iraq. Then again, if a foreign nation invaded North Carolina, for example, you can be certain residents of Tennessee, Virginia, and Georgia would immediately come to the aid of the Carolinians. The major U.S. news outlets: television, and newspaper sources, never, ever put the war in Iraq into any realistic perspective.
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Every modern Iraq conflict, including the current war, has been about control of oil in the Middle East. The United States demand for oil continues to increase with no end in sight. Look at the huge SUVs speeding down every highway across the land. Those drivers will refuse to slow down no matter how much extra gas they are burning to drive so dangerously. Try to find one person that can connect the waste of so much oil with the young soldiers dying in Iraq. Too many have forgotten how to think critically.

Once again the people that read the news to functionally illiterate people in the U.S. refuse to explain the real problems.

U.S. leaders still stand on podiums and tell their carefully selected audiences that we are in Iraq because of the attacks of September 11, 2001. Listen to the words in every speech: Al Qaeda, Iraq, 911, Bin Ladin, Iraq, September 11, terrorism, Iraq. The chosen audiences cheer while their leaders lie to them.

The damage is done. Most people will tell you that we need to defeat terrorism before it arrives in the United States. Terrorism is a concept, no nation will ever defeat terrorism. Crime might be reduced, bombers can be caught, guns can be taken away from some criminals but a "War On Terror" is akin to a "War on Ignorance." You cannot defeat a concept no matter matter how many of your children you send to die overseas.

While politicians and newspapers keep people focused on the war for oil; roads, bridges, and schools are falling apart in this country. Wounded soldiers and 47 million people are getting killed by broken health care system. Mortgage bankers and credit card firms are stealing billions from poorly educated citizens. Disturbed schoolchildren are walking into gun shops to buy guns to slaughter their classmates. Lawyers have tied the court systems into Gordian knots. The few people that still vote are getting cheated by crooked voting computer manufacturers. National leaders are soliciting sex in airport bathrooms.

The people in the United States need to look after the "wealthiest nation on Earth" before it collapses into a heap under the weight of all the major problems at home.