Archive for December, 2007

Looking Back and Ahead (December 31, 2007)

Posted in Economics, Law, Politics, Society on December 31, 2007 by

The Mortgage Meltdown continues unabated.  Someone should collect a chronological list of the statements of the economists and businessmen in 2007 who predicted that the Mortgage Meltdown was “no big deal.”

The political pundits have voted.  ________________ is the Republican nominee. ________________ is the Democratic nominee.  No doubt about it, they proclaim.  Someone should collect a chronological list of the prognosticators’ predictions in 2007 and those yet to be made in 2008.  What do the tenth-graders say:  Faze the Nation; Beat the Press; Almost Broadcasting Company; Faux News; Useless News and World Distort; The Compost, etc.; those crazy kids.

The Neo-Confidence Men (“Neo-Cons” in ordinary parlance) have once again declared “Mission Accomplished” in Iraq.  The pundits seem to be bamboozled again.  More Americans died in Iraq in 2007 than in any other year.  World War III continues unabated.  The escalation surge has not advanced any fundamental interests.  The cauldron in Iraq and the Middle East continues to roil and boil and percolate.  Afghanistan and Pakistan and ________stan are roiling and boiling and percolating.

Someone observed that “’experience’ is simply the name we give to our mistakes.”  Now may be the time to call our recent experiences mistakes.

The sports pages are laced with steroids and punctuated with asterisks.  Turn off the tv and go biking, hiking, running, living.  The writing in the sports pages is still worth reading.

Global climate change/warming is heating up and is the subject of ordinary conversation.  Embryonic stem cells may now be available without controversy.

Resolution for 2008.  The Republic needs every citizen to commit to a private sector health care initiative.  Eat less; exercise more.  Exercise your mouth less and your feet more.  At least in January.

Prediction for 2008.  An ugly, vicious, amusing and expensive political campaign.  Something big will happen abroad (Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, ________stan, Yemen, etc.) in Aug. – Oct. and all bets will be off.  Or what is happening at home in the economy will finally become clear to the electorate and command attention.

And Anna Nichole Smith, RIP.

Bumper stickers of the year:

If all economists were laid end to end, they would not reach a conclusion.  GBS

If all political pundits were laid end to end, they would not reach a clue.

If all climatologists were laid end to end, they would ___ would not ___ reach a consensus.

Experience is simply the name we give to our mistakes.  Oscar Wilde

Pax (December 24, 2007)

Posted in Health Care, Society on December 24, 2007 by


Bumper sticker of the week:

Why was Jesus born in a manger?  Because Joseph and Mary were enrolled in an HMO.

On Respect, Fear, Admiration and Irreverence (December 17, 2007)

Posted in Society on December 17, 2007 by

Respect (R) is a mix of Fear (Fe or F) and of Admiration (Au or A).  Marine Corps Drill Instructor:  R=Fe8Au1.  Minister:  R=Fe4Au4.  Den Mother:  R=Fe1Au8.  When the A evaporates, however, the residue is F.  The F is often sedated by adopting a detached and irreverent world view.  The F is often sedated with sedatives.  When Admiration for society’s institutions and individuals disappears, Irreverence emerges as a defense mechanism.  Irreverence is a manifestation of alienation (for those under 25 years old) and disconnection (for those over 25 years young) and a defense mechanism.  The populace is becoming more alienated and disconnected from American institutions and individuals. [See the e-ssay dated August 28, 2006 entitled “The Residue of Unrelenting Fear:  PTSD Afflicts The Populace”].  And no one seems to know or to care.

[With a nod to Montaigne’s work Essais.]

Bumper sticker of the week:

I could care.

More Fun At The Fed (December 11, 2007)

Posted in Economics, Federal Reserve, Inflation on December 11, 2007 by

On September 18, the Fed reduced the FFR (Federal Funds Rate) by .5 percent; on October 31, the Fed reduced the FFR by .25 percent.  The pundits claim that the Fed will reduce the FFR by another .25 or .50 percent tomorrow.

Reducing the FFR results in the injection of even more paper money into the economy.  There are already too many dollars chasing too few goods and services even if those dollars are being hoarded by some skeptical lenders at this time.  The additional money is not going to spur the production of additional goods and services; the production of goods in China and the provision of services by India are responsive to other factors.  The additional money in circulation will only drive up the cost of the available goods and services which means we suffer. . . inflation.  “Price stability” (holding down inflation) was one of Ben Bernanke’s primary concerns in his previous academic writings.  He also studied the relationship between a lack of liquidity and the Great Depression and is aware of the precarious national predicament.

The Economy is threatened.  The decline in the dollar (in relation to the Canadian “Looney” and the Euro and beaver pelts) is having and will have deleterious impacts even though some American exporters benefit.  The gradual transition from the Petrodollar to the PetroEuro is more than symbolic.  The United States government is paying less interest for Treasury bills and bonds, but that may soon spawn less interest among potential investors in the bills and bonds.  Then the United States will need to pay more interest to attract interest.  The low interest rates also discourage what little savings there is in the United States today.  Reducing the FFR is appearing to be a bailout for Wall Street at the expense of other individuals and policy concerns and objectives.

Bumper sticker of the week:

Stagflation Again?

The Life of Today’s CHO (December 3, 2007)

Posted in Chief Household Officer, Society on December 3, 2007 by

The life of a CHO, the Chief Household Officer.  There Are CEOs (Chief Executive Officers) and CFOs (Chief Financial Officers) and COOs (Chief Operating Officers) and their ilk.  A CHO was called Mr. Mom in the distant past.  With more Ms. CEOs, there are more Mr. CHOs.  Kinder, Kuchen, Kirche (Children, Kitchen, Church) were the domains and province of women.  Now she brings home the bacon and he cooks it, or not if they have reservations about pork or meat; turkey bacon or tofu bacon works.  He shows and tells Francis Bacon to the kinder.  She brings home the bread and he converts it into PBJs (peanut butter and jelly), the official sandwich of the Republic.  The moment of great anxiety arrives when one of the youngsters, dressed in his (or her) Sunday-go-to-church clothes, falls on the kitchen floor, scrapes a knee, and calls out for . . . . . . . . dad.  The great obstacle to the new chief, of course, is the inherent nature of the male of the species.  As we all know, adult males are frightened, insecure, desperate little boys in bigger bodies.  Some point to the emerging research correlating the Y chromosome with stupidity and other callow behavior.  However, some males have the rare Y cum serifs chromosome.  Today’s CHO is able to rise above his gender.

Bumper sticker of the week:

What until your mother gets home