Why are “The French“, those high-nosed European assholes, my new heroes? Because they understand their place in their country. They understand and exercise their authority over those that “serve” them. Us rednecks could learn a lot from these hooty-McTooties. We could learn to recognize our place in this country. That it is ours, NOT the government’s. That they are elected to serve us, not be our “Commander in Chief”. They are “REPRESENTATIVES” of us and it is US that puts the criminals in charge to abuse us.
Does anyone else see a problem with this scenario?
We should be doing precisely the same things as these “Frenchies” and then show our representatives who is boss by electing people that are independent of the TwoOne Party System… people who will truly “represent” their constituency (not Lord over it). The people in France, no matter how “inferior” they are to us Americans, are apparently much smarter than us. They know when they have been screwed and are LOUD and poignant in their response.
Police and demonstrators have clashed after thousands of protesters took to the streets in France to protest about the government’s handling of the economic crisis.
More than one million French workers downed tools yesterday in the first general strike to hit a major industrialised nation since the start of the global financial crisis.
Unions said more than two million public and private sector workers took to the streets across France to protest against President Nicolas Sarkozy’s handling of the economic crisis, saying too much had been done to bail out fat cats and banks, and not enough to protect jobs and help workers make ends meet…
There must be some French in me somewhere, because I’m SCREAMING at the top of my lungs. And so is Suzie-Q! <<<—Read the rest there.
Let me explain something to you rednecks. Testicles are not something that normal human being ingest (altho a lick every now and then never hurt anyone… hint, hint). If you find some sudden urge to eat testicles of any sort, especially the testicles of the poisonous blowfish, then your problem isn’t your diet… its your mind. You have gone freaking nuts. From FOXNews.com. At least in this case they were grilled, not raw. Makes all the difference in the world, huh?
TOKYO — Seven diners in northern Japan fell ill and three remained hospitalized Tuesday after eating blowfish testicles prepared in a restaurant not authorized to serve the poisonous delicacy.
The owner of the restaurant in Tsuruoka city, who is also the chef, had no license to serve blowfish and was being questioned on suspicion of professional negligence, police official Yoshihito Iwase said.
Blowfish, while extremely poisonous if not prepared properly, is considered a delicacy in Japan and is consumed by thrill-seeking gourmets.
Iwase said the seven men ordered sashimi and grilled blowfish testicles at the restaurant Monday night.
Shortly after, they developed limb paralysis and breathing trouble and started to lose consciousness — typical signs of blowfish poisoning — and were rushed to a hospital for treatment, Iwase said.
A 68-year-old diner remained hospitalized in critical condition with respiratory failure and two others, aged 55 and 69, were in serious condition, he said.
“It’s scary. If you go to a decent-looking restaurant that serves fugu, you would assume a cook has a proper fugu license,” Iwase said, using the Japanese term for blowfish.
Blowfish poison, called tetrodotoxin, is nearly 100 times more poisonous than potassium cyanide, according to the Ishikawa Health Service Association. It can cause death within an hour and a half after consumption.
Three people died and 44 others were sickened by blowfish poisoning in 2007 — most of them after catching the fish and cooking it at home — according to the Health Ministry.
On another note: Here, in my small hometown, I saw a place called “Kelly’s Katch”. When I saw it, I finally understood what Derrick (our young friend) explained about the work he does part time… extracting “caviar” from catfish (Spoonbill).
Yes, rednecks, you didn’t realize that all those catfish you cleaned over the years and the yellow egg sack that you pull out with your fingers and throw away as fast as humanly possible is now being eaten in this country… even in Tennessee. But mostly by those high falutin’ idiots in NJ (wink, wink, GrandAmVixen and Mr G-Man)… I can almost see Z Man dining with the Italians and in his rich, pompous way, feed them this shit.
(No, really I cannot see Mr Z Man doing that…)
I mean, truly, WTF? Fish eggs? Bottom dweller babies?
So, I had to learn more and found that it is a specific kind of catfish-like creature, the Spoonbill. I have actually caught a few of these in my time, but never knew that the eggs (which I heard could be used for pig slop) could be used for anything… much less eating. Leave it to a Tn redneck to come up with something that now adorns the shelves of the most hooty tooty gourmet stores in this country. From Tennessee Home and Farm:
Co-owned by Mike and Vickie Kelley, Kelley’s Katch was one of the first small caviar producers in the nation to begin labeling its own product. And it’s been a big hit – in fact, the Wall Street Journal raved about Tennessee’s paddlefish product, naming the salty gray eggs the best caviar value in America. Today, it’s proudly displayed on the shelves of New York’s legendary Dean & DeLuca food emporium, and is snapped up by fish-egg connoisseurs looking for a more moderately priced alternative to the belugas and sevrugas.
New this year: black U.S. sturgeon roe, described as having a “rich, nutty taste.”
All of the caviar either comes from the Kelleys’ own fishing boats or is bought from local commercial fishermen, giving proof to its marketing slogan:”The Freshest in the Nation.”
For more information, visit http://www.kelleyskatch.com, or call 731-925-7360.
Now, I used to work for a Japanese company (TDK) and traveled to Japan and traveled with Japanese here on many occasions. After 7 years, one has eaten virtually anything that walks (or swims) if you are really hanging with them. On one trip, after work, around 8 engineers (only one spoke very broken English) took me to a very small mom and pop sushi shop right on the ocean in the small town of Kishikawa. We sat at a huge tatami table, all 9 of us, and the mom and pop team went to work.
I remember the Japanese guys looking at me, talking to each other, then ordering. The translator would laugh and say, they are trying to find what you will NOT like, as a joke. They brought out a soup as an appetizer that was known to be very spicy hot. The Japanese didn’t use a spoon, they just sipped the soup. I quickly finished mine and asked for a second… then noticed the approving grins from my friends… then the deviousness starter.
Uni, or Sea Urchin eggs, raw, is one of the worst things I ever put into my mouth. It is akin to shoving shit filtered sand into your mouth and trying to chew the grit. Roe (fish eggs) is almost as bad, especially the Salmon Roe (Ikura). These damn things are big, like a pile of mini marbles stacked up on a bed of rice. When you bite into a mouthful of Salmon eggs, they pop with a salty thick snot-like fluid that I almost want to barf writing this. And some people like that shit???
I was not going to relent. I was going to eat any damned thing they put in front of me, just to proove a point and to garner their trust and admiration.
Let me tell you, when you can sit with a bunch of Japanese guys and eat the shit they won’t eat… you impress the hell out of them.
Don’t get me started on the Karaoke and my Elvis imitation.
I was a star!
I keep talking about the people I meet and hang with that are seemingly oblivious to the seriousness of the financial situation and even more ignorant to the actual cause. These people are engineers and college educated folk, so none are stupid or incapable of learning. How can it be that they can say I am black when anyone looking and “seeing” can tell I am white? Or that it is daylight at 2AM? Or that the flatulent sound and stench emanating from your ass isn’t a fart?
I keep saying that I am a leading indicator… the parrot in the mine when it comes to what is occurring in the manufacturing sector. I have been telling my Principals (the manufacturers of the equipment I sell) that I have been hearing “We ain’t spending money ’til we know what is going to happen.”
Thank goodness we now have some sort of report to regurgitate what I have been saying all along:
The Financial Times (1/30, Weitzman) reports, “US manufacturers said on Thursday that they plan to slash capital spending this year as they try to conserve cash in the face of the worsening global economy.” 3M said “it was cutting its capital spending budget for 2009 by 30 per cent and halting its share repurchase scheme, while Textron, the world’s biggest corporate jet maker, said it was reducing capital spending by 42 per cent this year.”
BBC News (1/30) reports, “Earlier this month, figures from the US Institute for Supply Management showed that US manufacturing activity fell to a 28-year low in December. And individual companies are being hit hard by individuals and companies tightening their belts.”
IndustryWeek (1/30) reports, “About a third of U.S. manufacturers say they expect revenue will decline over the next 12 months, citing concerns over a lack of demand, lower profitability and capital constraints.” Over the next year, manufacturing executives “anticipate revenue will fall an average of 2.4%. Last year, respondents forecasted a mean revenue growth of 5.4%.” The economic slowdown is “expected to impact employment figures, with only 10% of manufacturers planning to add new hires, and 35% anticipating layoffs.”
Then we have the GDP Numbers released and the proof is in the pudding, folks. Its not all media hype… It’s not all conspiracy nuts. It is real…
This morning, the quarterly release of GDP numbers from the Bureau of Economic Analysis confirmed the economy is shrinking: “We now know that the U.S. economy contracted by 3.8% in the final quarter of 2008 — the largest quarterly contraction since 1982,” said EPI economist Josh Bivens. “This headline number actually masks how truly weak the economy was last quarter. Economic growth was essentially stagnant during 2008 with GDP falling by 0.2% from the fourth quarter of 2007 through the fourth quarter of 2008. This is terrible — but totally expected — news and highlights in the starkest way the need for an effective stimulus package to be passed by Congress and signed by the Obama administration.”
Terri Shockley commented about this detective (I hope a soon-to-be pencil pusher) early on in a pseudo-defensive manner, since he is related by marriage and had never seen this type of behavior from him before. It takes a good deal of tact and intellectual reality to admit what she did… Well, 1 saw the v1deo,and 1 am very d1sappo1nted. 1 wouldn’t have bel1eved 1t 1f 1 hadn’t seen 1t.1 feel sorry for Mr. Walker, as well as Kenneth’s fam1ly,who 1′m sure are d1sappo1nted,shocked,and embarassed.
(She is missing the “i” on her keyboard, so don’t ask)
First of all, I understand the defense of the man. There were several questions unanswered. Terri felt that the non-issuance /release of the video meant that Freeman was being falsely accused. My stance was basically the opposite… that he was being protected from a full scrutiny of his actions.
So, my intent was not to immediately accuse him, but ask the question (in so many words), “Are Policemen too puffed up and dangerous due to ego and the fact that they carry so much power and clout in their world”? Power, no matter how much, can taint a person and cause them to do things they normally would not, especially in a family setting.
I have known a lot of cops in my day and most are legitimate, honest people. At least in the beginning. But I have also seen men change into monsters because of the power trip.
I felt that there had to be much more to this story than a rogue 71 year old “cowboy” greeter trying to play some race card or abusing his own Wal-Mart Greeter Power trip (if there is such a thing).
Terri showed true moxie and honesty by coming back to share with me her opinion, then giving me the link to the video that you can see below. Tell me what you think? And ask yourself why it took so long for this to be investigated without the normal Chattanooga cover up from government officials and their bogus judicial system? Why did it take so long to hold this man accountable for his abuse (the entire incident report is found here)? From his own mouth, the man was ready for real trouble (the entire interview with him is combative and he never, once, believes he has done anything wrong:
“Officer Kenneth Freeman stated that “you know, you know, I’m going to tell you what, the only saving grace the good thing about it is that Mac was there because if he’s not there and all these other clowns jump in now what, we got a real problem.”
I can only imagine that he means that he would pull out his “hidden” weapon and start blasting anyone who dare question his actions and/or motives. Yes, thank God I had another cop there to stop my rampage from the assault of the Zombie Wal-Mart Employees (what a tool). I also wonder if everyone he meets is a clown or just people at Wal-Mart. I think that it is evident who the “clown” is in this scenario.
From that report, I note that first and foremost, Freeman is defensive and argumentative. He has his facts all wrong (intentional or not) and he lies with abandon. Even the guy that was with him negates much of his story. Then, there are the witnesses who were interviewed:
I told Ms. Parker who I was and why I was calling. I also told her that the interview was being recorded. I asked Ms. Parker to tell me what she witnessed and she advised that she did not hear the security sensor sound, but she did hear Mr. Walker saying “Sir, Sir” to Officer Kenneth Freeman trying to get him to stop. She advised that she saw Mr. Walker touch, not grab, Officer Kenneth Freeman on the elbow trying to get his attention. Ms. Parker described Officer Kenneth Freeman’s reaction as “ballistic” and advised that he started saying, “How dare you touch me, you keep your hands off me.” She advised that Officer Kenneth Freeman kept yelling, “You’re not supposed to touch me.”
Ms. Parker advised that she did not see Officer Kenneth Freeman push Mr. Walker, but she saw Officer Kenneth Freeman standing over him yelling, “You’re not supposed to touch me.” She advised that a man in a green shirt that she nicknamed “The rescue guy” (Mr. Ghassedi) came in and grabbed Officer Kenneth Freeman while he was standing over Mr. Walker. Ms. Parker advised that they went outside the exit doors and was yelling at each other. She advised that Mr. Ghassedi was telling Officer Kenneth Freeman, “How could you do that to an old man, you should be ashamed of yourself, How could you do that to an old man!”
Ms. Parker advised that Lt. Edwin McPherson was trying to keep the peace. She advised that the Salvation Army bell ringer ran and got help from inside the store. Ms. Parker advised about 10 (ten) people came outside to help. She advised that Officer Kenneth Freeman and Mr. Ghassedi were “mouthing” back and forth. Ms. Parker advised that Officer Kenneth Freeman was trying to leave and that Wal-Mart managers told him that he could not leave because the police were on their way. She advised that Officer Kenneth Freeman said, “Who is going to stop me, you? I don’t think so!” Ms. Parker advised that she did not know Officer Kenneth Freeman was a police officer until after everything was over.
So here we go: I am a man who also hates abuse of anyone, especially the old and young. My mama taught me to respect my elders and to conduct myself in a manner fitting of her instruction to always honor and help older people. To me, this Mr. Ghassedi guy is a hero and did exactly what I would have done (and may have been shot and killed over). But therein lies the problem. Mr Freeman was not in Blues. He was in plain clothes. There were no identifying badges and apparently his gun was obstructed from view. I would have cold cocked that fucker for pushing the old man down. I would have gotten my ass whipped and likely shot, but by God, I cannot stand for such shit right before my eyes.
Mr Freeman obviously NEVER identified himself as a cop. No one knew it until long after the incident. All the “You should not touch me” bullshit is meaningless when one cannot be identified as a cop. I wasn’t there and didn’t witness this in action, but the video tells all and I appreciate Terri sharing it with me.
Yes, there is another poster who has some axe to grind over civil liberties and somehow believes that Wal-Mart has no right to ask someone if they stole some shit when the alarms go off. But this isn’t about abusing Mr Freeman’s civil liberties. This is about doing what is right and honorable and acting like a civil human being, instead of a egotistical monster.
Now, to be perfectly honest at this point, I wonder out loud if the bastard actually stole the shit that set off the alarm. He has a long history of offenses towards people (and notice how most go unheeded or go misaddressed). Also, in my opinion, 28 days suspension is not enough. Retraining is not enough (especially after you see his history). This man needs another job where he is not in allowed to carry such an ego (or weapon).
Posted: Jan 28, 2009 12:03 PM
Updated: Jan 28, 2009 12:03 PM
Chattanooga Police Department
Internal Affairs Div.
Officer Ralph K. Freeman [801/41789]
Part I – Personal Information
Name: Officer Ralph K. Freeman
Employee #: 41789 Badge No: 801 Hire Dt: 10/14/1994
Department: Administrative Services
Division: Administrative Operation
Part II – Incidents
Citizen complaint IA #: 1997-14 Case #:
Received date: Mar 11, 1997 Occurred date: Mar 10, 1997
Improper Conduct – Unfounded May 29, 1997
Citizen complaint IA #: 1997-71 Case #:
Received date: Dec 30, 1997 Occurred date: Dec 20, 1997
Use of Force/Mere Touching – Unfounded Feb 3, 1998
Citizen complaint IA #: 1998-58 Case #:
Received date: Mar 20, 1998 Occurred date: Mar 18, 1998
Use of Force/Injury – Exonerated May 27, 1998
Citizen complaint IA #: 1998-125 Case #:
Received date: Jul 21, 1998 Occurred date: Jul 3, 1998
Use of Force/Mere Touching – Withdrawn Aug 6, 1998
Administrative investigation IA #: 1998-128 Case #:
Received date: Jul 27, 1998 Occurred date: Jul 27, 1998
Improper Conduct (Insubordination) – Sustained Nov 9, 1998
Policy Violation – Sustained Nov 9, 1998
Suspension Nov 4, 1998 Days/hrs suspended: 3
Citizen complaint IA #: 1998-131 Case #:
Received date: Jul 29, 1998 Occurred date:
Improper Conduct – Unfounded Oct 8, 1998
Citizen complaint IA #: 1999-18 Case #:
Received date: Jan 29, 1999 Occurred date: Nov 5, 1999
Harassment – Unfounded Feb 26, 1999
Administrative investigation IA #: 1999-170 Case #:
Received date: Nov 21, 1999 Occurred date: Nov 21, 1999
Shooting/Non-Contact – Exonerated Mar 4, 2000
Citizen complaint IA #: 2001-17 Case #:
Received date: Feb 14, 2001 Occurred date: Feb 13, 2001
Discourtesy – Unfounded Mar 15, 2001
Improper Arrest – Unfounded Mar 15, 2001
Citizen complaint IA #: 2001-35 Case #: 01-26448
Received date: Mar 8, 2001 Occurred date: Feb 23, 2001
Fact Finding – Withdrawn Mar 26, 2001
Citizen complaint IA #: 2001-41 Case #:
Received date: Mar 27, 2001 Occurred date: Feb 26, 2001
Excessive Use of Force – Unfounded Oct 17, 2001
Vehicle accident IA #: TA01-71189 Case #: 01-071189
Received date: May 24, 2001 Occurred date:
Traffic Accident – Non-Preventable Jun 20, 2001
Citizen complaint IA #: 2001-111 Case #:
Received date: Aug 28, 2001 Occurred date: Aug 25, 2001
Discourtesy – Not Sustained Nov 7, 2001
Citizen complaint IA #: 2001-126 Case #:
Received date: Oct 1, 2001 Occurred date: Sep 2, 2001
Discourtesy – Not Sustained Nov 6, 2001
Citizen complaint IA #: 2002-101 Case #:
Received date: Aug 6, 2002 Occurred date: Aug 1, 2002
Improper Procedure – Sustained Apr 17, 2003
Written Reprimand Apr 17, 2003 Days/hrs suspended:
Citizen complaint IA #: PPI 2003-65 Case #:
Received date: Jul 11, 2003 Occurred date: Jul 10, 2003
Improper Procedure – Exonerated Sep 24, 2003
Improper Procedure – Exonerated Sep 24, 2003
Vehicle accident IA #: TA-121210 Case #: 03-121210
Received date: Oct 29, 2003 Occurred date: Sep 10, 2003
Traffic Accident – Non-Preventable Oct 29, 2003
Citizen complaint IA #: PPI 2004-6 Case #:
Received date: Mar 9, 2004 Occurred date: Oct 26, 2003
Rudeness – Exonerated May 21, 2004
Citizen complaint IA #: PPI 2004-40 Case #:
Received date: Jun 18, 2004 Occurred date: Jun 17, 2004
Rudeness – Unfounded Oct 8, 2004
Citizen complaint IA #: 2005-13 Case #:
Received date: Feb 24, 2005 Occurred date:
Use of Force/Injury – Not Sustained Jun 30, 2005
Vehicle accident IA #: TA-29241 Case #:
Received date: Jun 13, 2005 Occurred date: Mar 20, 2005
Vehicle accident IA #: TA-32966 Case #:
Received date: Apr 1, 2006 Occurred date: Apr 1, 2006
Citizen complaint IA #: 2006-16 Case #:
Received date: Apr 20, 2006 Occurred date: Apr 16, 2006
Use of Force/Injury – Not Sustained Sep 28, 2006
Rudeness – Not Sustained Sep 28, 2006
Failure to File Use of Force Report – Sustained Sep 28, 2006
Written Reprimand Sep 28, 2006 Days/hrs suspended:
Citizen complaint IA #: PPI 2006-57 Case #:
Received date: Jun 27, 2006 Occurred date: Jun 11, 2006
Rudeness – Not Sustained Jan 17, 2007
Vehicle accident IA #: TA-100576 Case #:
Received date: Sep 25, 2006 Occurred date: Sep 25, 2006
Citizen complaint IA #: PPI 2006-96 Case #:
Received date: Dec 11, 2006 Occurred date: Dec 1, 2006
Neglect of Duty < Open allegation >
Administrative investigation IA #: 2007-25 Case #:
Received date: May 9, 2007 Occurred date: May 9, 2007
Fact Finding – No Action Taken May 27, 2008
Citizen complaint IA #: PPI 2007-47 Case #:
Received date: Nov 6, 2007 Occurred date: Oct 16, 2007
Rudeness – Not Sustained Jan 8, 2008
Training Jan 8, 2008 Days/hrs suspended:
Citizen complaint IA #: 2007-74 Case #:
Received date: Dec 5, 2007 Occurred date: Dec 1, 2007
Use of Force/No Injury – Unfounded May 27, 2008
Rudeness – Unfounded May 27, 2008
Administrative investigation IA #: 2008-12 Case #:
Received date: Mar 27, 2008 Occurred date: Mar 27, 2008
Fact Finding – No Violation May 27, 2008
Administrative investigation IA #: 2008-32 Case #:
Received date: Sep 8, 2008 Occurred date: Aug 23, 2008
Insubordination – Unfounded Nov 23, 2008
Administrative investigation IA #: 2008-50 Case #:
Received date: Dec 26, 2008 Occurred date: Dec 24, 2008
Fact Finding < Open allegation >
Printed: Dec 26, 2008 09:23 By: Civilian Amy Williams
I found this article at the Society For Worldwide Herb Smokers blog, via my Ralph Nader News Alert feed and just felt as if I needed to add it here. In my opinion, it is high time (pun intended) that we get to the skinny of marijuana truth in this country. It is time to realize that Power Brokers who control Big Money (Big Prison, etc) will do anything to scare you into NOT buying something that is competitive to their product.
It is so pitifully clear to even a casual observer (one doesn’t have to be a user to understand this) that marijuana is not the horror drug we were brainwashed into believing. It is FAR safer than its competitive product in society (alcohol and tobacco) and should be made legal for a variety of reasons. As a matter of fact, the subject that caused me to look at the blog was Ralph and he plainly lets the world know the truth.
Please give this blog a visit and quick read. Good stuff related to this subject matter:
A simple conversation could become heated when the subject of legalizing ganja came up. A realization occurred: because of common misconceptions of ganja and its users, many people strongly oppose the idea of legalization. Without knowing the facts, people do not understand why this is not such a bad idea.
Through legalization, the government can regulate ganja use and production to make it safer for the consumers as well as make a profit off of its sales.
Ganja is derived from the cannabis sativa plant and its main component is THC. THC causes a reaction in the brain that stimulates a mood of euphoria. This stimulation can also by caused by eating chocolate, a completely legal activity.
Ganja use continues to be a growing trend in the U.S. and the rest of the world including Malaysia. To dispel the common “gateway drug” myth, statistics from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services show that the majority of people who smoke ganja do not use any other illicit substance.
With this growing trend, the money that could be made off of a government tax on the sale of ganja is incredible. Right now, drug enforcement programs are a drain on the national budget while making no profit to pull funds from. By legalizing ganja, the money made from it could go to support these expensive programs.
To be deadly, a person would have to consume more than 70 grams of pure THC. The chances of having deadly outcomes from alcohol consumption or legal drug use are much more attainable. Why then are these substances are regulated by the government and ganja is seen as so wrong?
By outlawing ganja, the government is also hurting the economy. Ganja is not the only thing derived from the cannabis plant but the hemp fiber is also. Hemp is extremely durable and can withstand rotting due to seawater.
This durable hemp fabric can be used as a cotton alternative. The reason why this is such a great alternative is because hemp is naturally resistant to pests, therefore no pesticides would need to be used to make cotton products. Cotton production is responsible for half of the world’s toxic pesticide use.
Another use for hemp is as a paper and plastic alternative. Normally, trees are used to produce paper and plastic products. Where it takes trees years and years to grow back, hemp can be cultivated every 100 days. Also, it takes less hemp to produce the same amount of products that trees can. One acre of hemp produces the same amount of resources that would take four acres of trees to do.
Ralph Nader put it best when he stated the following:
Annual drug deaths:
Legal drugs: 38,000
Illegal drug overdoses: 5,200
Considering government subsidies of tobacco, just what is the U.S. government protecting their citizens from in the DRUG WAR?
By DAVE GOLDINER, Daily News
A statue dedicated to the man who threw his shoes at President Bush has been erected in Tikrit, Saddam Hussein’s hometown.
Many Iraqis considered it poetic justice when a journalist tossed his shoes at President George W. Bush last month.
Now the bizarre attack has spawned a real life work of art.
A sofa-sized statue of the shoe was unveiled Thursday in Tikrit, the hometown of the former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein.
Baghdad-based artist Laith al-Amari described the fiberglass-and-copper work as a tribute to the pride of the Iraqi people.
The statue is inscribed with a poem honoring Muntadhar al-Zeidi, the Iraqi journalist who stunned the world when he whipped off his loafers and hurled them at Bush during a press conference on Dec. 14…
“the treason of the clerks“
How can intelligent people act as if they are so ignorant? Act as if nothing is going on that won’t just work itself out… believing the MSM and the talking heads… seeing the job losses, financial failings, retiree’s pensions disappearing… shops and long lived companies closing their doors in bankruptcy… home after home for sale or foreclosure.
“It’s just a rough patch.” (To them, while to most of the world dabbling in reality, it is far worse than any “rough patch”)
“This comes and goes” and this country “always turns itself around”, etc.
As in my story from earlier this week, I sat with engineers who aren’t simpletons in any form or fashion, yet, they seem oblivious to the depth of the danger our country is really in. They are in some false optimism in the face of all evidence and fact. I have had conversations with those who deny any real problems, just because Alabama is having a pretty good go, at least temporarily, while the rest of the country is suffering (it is only a matter of time).
They call my attitude defeatism. Maybe. I call it realism.
Very light posting this week due to heavy travel with Mr Z. May the gods be with me…
by Gerald Warner
Jan 24, 2009
This will end in tears. The Obama hysteria is not merely embarrassing to witness, it is itself contributory to the scale of the disaster that is coming. What we are experiencing, in the deepening days of a global depression, is the desperate suspension of disbelief by people of intelligence – la trahison des clercs – in a pathetic effort to hypnotise themselves into the delusion that it will be all right on the night. It will not be all right.
We have been here before. In the spring of 1997, to be precise, when a charismatic, young prime minister entered Downing Street, cheered by children bussed in for the occasion waving plastic Union Jacks. A very few of us at that time incurred searing reproaches for denouncing the Great Charlatan (as I have always denominated Tony Blair) and dissenting from the public hysteria. Three times a deluded Britain elected that transparent fraud. Yesterday, when national bankruptcy became a formal reality, we reaped the bitter harvest of the Blair/Brown imposture.
The burnt child, contrary to conventional wisdom, does not fear the fire. After the Blair experience there is no excuse for anybody in Britain falling for Obama. Yet today, in this country, even some of those who remained sane during the emotional spasm of the Diana aberration are pumping the air for Princess Barack. At a time of gross economic and geopolitical instability throughout the Western world, this is beyond irresponsibility.
To anyone who kept his head, the string of Christmas cracker mottoes booming through the public address system on Washington’s National Mall can only excite scepticism. It is crucial to recall the reality that lies behind the rhetoric. Denouncing “those who seek to advance their aims by inducing terror and slaughtering innocents” comes ill from a man whose flagship legislation, the Freedom of Choice Act, will impose abortion, including partial-birth abortion, on every state in the Union. It seems the era of Hope is to be inaugurated with a slaughter of the innocents.
Obama’s American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan is like one of those toxic packages traded by bankers: it camouflages many unaffordable gifts to his client state. With a federal deficit already at $1.2 trillion, Obama wants to squander $825 billion (which will undoubtedly mushroom to more than $1 trillion) on creating 600,000 more government jobs and a further 459,000 in “green energy” (useless wind turbines and other Heath-Robinson contraptions favoured by Beltway environmentalists).
It is frightening to think there is a real possibility that the entire world economy could go into complete meltdown and famine kill millions. Yet Western – and British – commentators are cocooned in a warm comfort zone of infatuation with America’s answer to Neil Kinnock. We should be long past applauding politicians of any hue: they got us into this mess. The best deserve a probationary opportunity to prove themselves, the worst should be in jail.
It is questionable whether the present political system can survive the coming crisis. Whatever the solution, teenage swooning sentimentality over a celebrity cult has no part in it. The most powerful nation on earth is confronting its worst economic crisis under the leadership of its most extremely liberal politician, who has virtually no experience of federal politics. That is not an opportunity but a catastrophe.
These are frank, even ungracious, words: they have the one merit that, unlike almost everything else written today about Obama, they will not require to be eaten in the future.
Gerald Warner is an author, broadcaster, columnist and polemical commentator who writes about politics, religion, history, culture and society in general. If it is an exaggeration to say that he believes the world has gone to the dogs, it is only a slight hyperbole.
Greg Palast is funny, but it is my kind of snarky humor, so I really enjoy his writing. It just so happens that Mr Palast has hopped upon a mind glitch that I have had lately… the hypocrisy of Tiny Tim and the real reason behind his appointment. See below to find out what that little itch in your craw is all about. Maybe Greg has the answer…
John Thain is the guy that looks like a Clark Kent doll you saw grinning from page one of your paper Friday morning. Thain was just fired by Bank of America because the square-jawed executive demanded a $30 million bonus after losing $5 billion in just three months at the bank’s Merrill Lynch unit. In addition, Thain spent over a million dollars redecorating his office – including installation of a $35,000 toilet bowl – while the U.S. Treasury was bailing out his company.
There is no justice. Thain shouldn’t have been fired; he should have gotten a $60 million bonus — and Obama should immediately hire him as Secretary of the Treasury in place of that tax-dodging lightweight that’s been nominated, Timothy Geithner.
Here’s the facts, ma’am.
Thain was CEO of Merrill Lynch, the big brokerage firm. On a good day, Merrill is worth zero. A week before it was about to go out of business, Thain sold this busted bag of financial feces to Bank of America for $50 BILLION.
I’d say that’s worth a bonus.
But it gets better. When the bag broke and another $5 billion in losses were discovered at Merrill, Thain went to the U.S. Treasury and got ANOTHER $20 BILLION to cover Bank of America’s bad financial bet — from us, the taxpayers.
Now that certainly deserves a bonus. And let’s face it, a butthole that big needs a $35,000 toilet. Instead, the guy that paid the $50 billion, Bank of America Chairman Kenneth Lewis, is keeping his job. Lewis is the same guy that just spent billions more on buying Countrywide Financial, the sub-prime mortgage loan sharks that have brought America to its knees and put Bank of America into effective bankruptcy. (Note to Mr. Lewis: the only thing worse than getting cancer is PAYING for it.)
But dumber than Lewis is the loser who OK’d paying Bank of America for its losses on Merrill, who traded a pile of turds for a stack of gold — our gold from the U.S. Treasury. That was Tim Geithner, Obama’s pick for Treasury Secretary, who’s now answering questions at Senate confirmation hearings about his funky tax filings. Tiny Tim was head of the New York Federal Reserve Bank during the Bush regime. Along with Bush’s Secretary of the Treasury, Geithner came up with that $700 billion bail-out that loaded banks with loot on their way to insolvency. Bank of America got $25 billion of it to spend on Thain’s company Merrill. That was before the extra $20 billion was weedled by Thain.
So why, President Obama, have you given us Tiny Tim to save our sorry nation’s economic behind? What’s with that?
In another life I was an economist. Really. So here’s the economic facts of life: Our valiant young president is going to have to borrow a trillion dollars to bring our economy back from the grave. He’s got to borrow it, no choice about that. But who in their right minds will lend it to us? I can tell you the number one job of a new Treasury Secretary will be to con Saudi sheiks and Chinese apparatchiks into lending us another trillion (they’ve already lent $2 trillion).
Who in the world can talk them into it?
The answer came to me after I went this afternoon to see my proctologist, a brilliant doctor with one eye and really long fingers. (OK, I made that up.) The good doctor told me that hoary old joke about the heart and brain and rectum getting into a fight about which one was more important. When the higher organs made fun of the butt-end, the rectum went on strike. After a month, the brain and heart couldn’t take it any more — the whole body was about to explode. So they told the rectum, ‘You win.’ And the rectum said, ‘Now you know why an asshole’s always in charge.’
There’s our answer. Instead of an easily duped, incompetent weasel like Geithner for Secretary of the Treasury, what we really need is a lying bucket of evil snot, a flaming red take-no-prisoners asshole. A guy like Thain that can sell a piece of crap like Merrill for billions — twice — is just what we need to shake down the sheiks. “America for Sale! Cheap!”
And Thain comes with his own gold-plated toilet.
Operation Itch’s Dennis Trainor, Jr (aka Davis Fleetwood on UTOOB), speaks for me (while showing his writing expertise) in regards to Obama’s turning back the torture clock, but allowing those who wound it up to live and flourish without accountability.
President Obama does not want to look backward and wants to focus forward, but, from experience sake, the future cannot go unimpeded without taking care of the past’s criminality. No one can “move on” when they have such a blight and horrible past that has gone on for so long. I am sorry, Mr President, but your stance is just wrong… and anyone thinking knows this. So, what is your motive?
Remember my letter about honor and integrity yesterday?
We are watching you…
And hope is dwindling…
Barack Obama went from becoming the first black president of the Harvard Law Review (1990) to becoming the first black president of the United States of America so quickly, that it is not a stretch to say that we have only known him as a candidate. His life, for the last eighteen years, has been one carefully modulated and expertly managed campaign. Even when he held such underachieving slacker status positions such as United States Senator, his votes, his appearances, his public statements- and even the shirtless beach photos – have all been part of the larger campaign. As a candidate, perhaps no one has ever been as good as Obama. He has been so good, in fact, expectations of his presidency are rivaled only by an Evangelical Christian’s expectation that Christ will come again to judge the living and the dead.
Like Christ, Obama is now a myth. The man will never walk in step with what we think of him, because we have projected so much onto him. Yes, it does speak well of his campaign that it was able to leverage the desperation of so many who were so horrified of our own inaction these past eight years. We needed a savior to rescue us from the shame brought on because we had, collectively speaking, done nothing after George Bush stole the 2000 election save for prop up a cottage industry that fed us a steady stream of clever anti-Bush t-shirts and bumper stickers for us to brandish on the sidelines as our President proceeded to treat the constitution as a pesky little obstacle in his way as he waged his comic book battle of good vs. evil, now let loose from the safe confines of his little village idiot of a head and leaving a trail of blood soaked deserts and unknown blowback in its wake.
There are some who will give Obama high grades for a longer than average honeymoon period simply because the man has replaced will be remembered by history as the worst president to ever hold the office. Alfred E. Newman would have been an improvement on Bush, the subliminal thinking will go, and Obama is surely better than Alfred E. Newman. But for many, the bar is set unreasonably high. Like Christ, many praise Obama as a revolutionary. I’m more inclined to agree with Ashley Sanders, former spokesperson for the Ralph Nader campaign, who described the change that Obama has sold us as
a hazy feeling that Obama (despite all evidence to the contrary) was the peace candidate, the environmental candidate, the Black candidate, the people’s candidate. The whole production borrowed ideas that were actually dangerous to Wall Street, gutted them of danger, and resold them as ideas that were dangerous to Wall Street. It used spectacle to create the illusion that an infinity of similar options was the same thing as a meaningful choice, as real change or authenticity. It was the triumph of ideology: getting people to vote against themselves in the name of themselves.
The whole thing smacked of buying punk clothes at Hot Topic.
As Americans, we know not where to get punk clothes but at Hot Topic, and are so entrenched in ad culture that we would not know a revolution unless it was being sold to us. Here is what is being sold to us in the first week of the Obama presidency: Obama has swept into town and takes swift action in reversing the criminal culture of torture and rendition and secret prisons by issuing an executive order to shut GITMO. This much is true.
However, in reversing the criminal policies, Obama is still reluctant to go after the criminals. The Obama faithful, like abused foster children in a new home, do not want to look back. They agree with Obama when he says, “I don’t believe that anybody is above the law. On the other hand I also have a belief that we need to look forward as opposed to looking backwards.” One does not need their special superhero decoder ring to get the message that Obama is not going to rush in to investigate Bush, Cheney and company. And many on the left are out front supporting such an attitude that can best be summed up with the attitude of “ah- so what Bush lied to Congress lied to Congress, the American people, the U.N. and the result of those lies is an illegal, immoral and (no longer a footnote in these tight financial times) pornographically expensive war. And so what that as we wage this war we torture. We participate in secret renditions. So what! We elected a guy who walks on water, let’s just move on! (dismissive pun intentional)
To be fair, some approach it with a little more political savvy, couching their cowardice in Machiavellian political strategy. Dan Sweeny, blogging at the Huffington Post, sums up a persuasive argument for inaction. Listen closely, and you hear an argument that will be repeated, one way or another, in coffee shops, bars, and Hot Topics all throughout Obama nation:
What we know for certain is that the mushy middle of the country wants to move on. They want the cooperation and bipartisanship that Barack Obama has promised. And if the Democrats can show those people that they’re making every effort to reach across that aisle, even as they push a solidly progressive agenda, the Democrats have the opportunity to effect a seismic shift in voter trends. Karl Rove once boasted of creating a permanent Republican majority through his brand of slash-and-burn politics, so it’s particularly ironic that now, less than a decade later, the Democrats have the opportunity to do the same, mainly because of the utter failure of Rove’s methods.
The Democratic Party will only get one shot at killing the GOP with kindness. If it elects instead to put every ex-Bushie before a congressional committee, to investigate every alleged crime and misdeed of the Bush administration, the opportunity will be lost. We will return to the bomb-throwing, trench-warfare politics of the past several decades, and the huge gains that Obama has made for the Democratic Party’s image as the adults in Washington will be destroyed by the endless partisan battles that follow.
Even as Sweeney holds up the carrot of a bipartisan America, his endgame is rooted in crushing the Republican party. What can be more partisan than that? This is the very context that is strangling us. When judged against the intentions of the founding fathers, the current two party system fails. It was George Washington, in his farewell address, who warned against the two party system, saying “It serves to distract the Public Councils, and enfeeble the Public Administration….agitates the Community with ill-founded jealousies and false alarms; kindles the animosity of one….against another….it opens the door to foreign influence and corruption…thus the policy and the will of one country are subjected to the policy and will of another.” Arguments rooted in the left vs. right, or Olberman vs. O’Reilly, or Obama vs. McCain only distract us from a more accurate descriptor of how our system works: Corporatism. It was Mussolini said that Fascism should be called Corporatism, because it is a merger of state and corporate power. Can anyone look at the handling of the bailout, or how we elect presidents for that matter, and tell me that we do not live under the stranglehold of Corporatism?
Trying to convince the Obama administration to investigate the Bush administration for war crimes is a noble cause, but it is not going to happen. Unless, that is, Obama is a Trojan horse. Thomas Friedman, ( in a January 20th Op-ed for the New York Times, wrote “…Indeed, dare I say, I hope Obama really has been palling around all these years with that old Chicago radical Bill Ayers. I hope Obama really is a closet radical. Not radical left or right, just a radical, because this is a radical moment…” If Obama is truly a radical, a kind of post modern, Trojan horse of a radical, he will shortly appoint Dennis Kucinich to a cabinet level position to establish a Department of Peace that will replace the Bush doctrine of preventative war with one of pro-active, preventive peace (image the peace core on steroids, with a budget even 1/10th of the pentagon). If Obama is a radical, he will instruct the Senate to pass HR676 this session and bring single payer universal healthcare for all to the United States. If Obama is a radical, he will stop using the word clean next to the word coal. Thomas Friedman knows, and you and I know, that Obama is not that type of radical. He is a “Hot Topic” kind of radical.
What needs to happen, if the past administration is to be held accountable for war crimes, was outlined recently by John Nichols, who pointed out:
A Founding Father seeking evidence of the checks and balances so carefully constructed to guard against executive tyranny would be hard-pressed to discover them in the Washington of 2009.
This is not Obama’s fault. He inherits executive powers so massively inflated by his predecessors George II and Prince Regent Dick that even he has said they must be diminished.
But presidents are not in the business of defining downward the authority vested in them. That is Congress’ job.
The work should begin immediately. Members of the House and Senate should assert that theirs is a co-equal branch of government. This need not be an affront to Obama. It is about identifying and condemning the excesses of the Bush era.
Lucky for us, Rep. Tammy Baldwin, D-Madison has already drafted the Executive Accountability Act. In addition to affirming that it is the sole legal right of Congress to declare war and restoring the writ of habeas corpus as an essential principle, the act would also criminalize lying to Congress and the American people about the reasons for going to war.
That, in this age of corporatism, is the kind of radical you can’t get at Hot Topic.
Dennis Trainor, Jr is the host of Operation Itch. In addition to regular video commentator for THE UPTAKE, he was the the writer/ performer of The Hermit with Davis Fleetwood. He is currently at work on two books, My Progressive Dilemma (chronicling President Obama’s 1st year in office) and a novel adapted from his play, I Coulda Been a Kennedy.
It appears that it is when they belong to the Obama Administration (posted by Chris Kelly at Alternet) and when it is related to the Military Industrial Complex:
The week, President Obama announced that lobbyists wouldn’t be allowed in his administration and nominated a defense lobbyist to be deputy Secretary of Defense.
The rule, and it’s an inspiring rule, is that lobbyists can’t work for agencies they’ve lobbied in the last two years. The nominee is William J. Lynn, who was working for Raytheon until late last Thursday. Since then, of course, he’s had his memory scrubbed clean with a powerful amnesia agent — not unlike the one in Eternal Sunshine of a Spotless Mind — and now he doesn’t even know what Raytheon does.
It’s like he was never Senior Vice President of Government Operations and Strategy at all.
Obama announced that the revolving door between government and lobbying would be slammed shut — wait, can you slam a revolving door? — “for as long as I am president.” And broke the pledge while he was saying it.
Talk about hitting the ground running. That’s fast.
When you set very tough rules, you need to have a mechanism for the occasional exception. We wanted to be really tough, but at the same time we didn’t want to hamstring the new administration or turn the town upside down.
In other words, you can’t let what you say get in the way of what you do.
Also this week, President Obama got a letter from forty-four senators and about 200 congressmen asking him to build more F-22 fighters. How good is the F-22? It’s so good that we haven’t lost a single one in Iraq or Afghanistan. We also haven’t used one.
That’s how valuable they are. They’re too valuable to use in a war.
We’re saving them up, in case the Soviet Union comes back. Or Mothra. Or the Soviet Union and Mothra, working together. And I wouldn’t put it past them, either.
But Senator Patty Murray (D-Boeing) explains the real reason we need to keep building the world’s heaviest fighter plane:
Continued F-22 production is critical to both the national security and economic interests of our country. At a time when we are looking to create jobs and stimulate the economy, eliminating the $12 billion in economic activity and thousands of American jobs tied to F-22 production simply doesn’t make sense.
Not spend money? She’s right. That’s crazy talk.
Unlike building a plane you won’t use.
Here’s something cool about the F-22, I mean aside from all the aeronautical engineers it keeps out of trouble: Not only does it weigh three times as much as the Skyhawks John McCain used to heroically crash, it actually weighs more than John Kerry’s swift boat. That’s bipartisanship.
Why is it so huge? To make it invisible. See, an ordinary fighter-bomber carries its missiles on the outside. (So you know it’s a boy.) An F-22 carries its armament on the inside, to decrease its radar signature. Naturally, putting a bomb bay on a fighter jet means you have to make it larger, which makes it easier for radar to spot.
By Yuri Andropov.
None of this matters, since it’s just a make-work project anyway. Like a new post office. Only larger and heavier.
During his confirmation hearings Wednesday, William Lynn promised — if confirmed — to supervise a strategic review and decide the fate of the F-22.
I wonder if he’ll remember that Raytheon is making three billion dollars on it.
My Letter to Mr Barack Obama regarding medical marijuana. Please visit Marijuana Policy Project to write him yourself.
Dear President Barack Obama,
As a skeptic of all things political, I have to say that your election does inspire me to believe that things could be made better for this country and my fellow citizens. I have never been prouder than when this country could finally look past any perceived racial/color issues and finally find a thinking person of seeming integrity and honor (no matter the color). I would also be remiss if I didn’t admit that the bar was lowered greatly by your predecessor and that it would take little integrity or honor to do better.
My expectations of you and your administration are far greater now than ever before. You MUST right their wrongs. Sir, today this country needs MUCH better. Not small amounts. No incremental changes.
We need radical changes to policies that our government insists on using AGAINST its citizens.
I am writing today to ask you to adhere to your promises of stopping the medical marijuana dispensary raids. We need studies and a government that does not kowtow to the Prison Industrial Complex and a bogus and failing “War on Drugs”. We need a leader who is willing and ready to further advance the medicinal rationale regarding Marijuana and its healing benefits, without the lies and rhetoric.
My hope is that you will clean house of the Bush administration left-overs and shut down their intrusion into healing my sick compatriots of America.
I just attended a funeral yesterday of one of my dearest friends who passed from the same type of brain glioma that Sen Kennedy has been stricken with (she was 40). Early tests (outside of the US, which DOES, in many cases, study the benefits of this miracle substance) show that THC could have helped her, not with just the sickness of the chemical/radiation treatments, but studies have shown that these gliomi can actually SHRINK and go away when THC is injected in to the tumor, itself.
My friend was a patriot and would never do anything illegal, but she died in horrible agony and was afraid to use to even minimize her sickness.
Please, Mr President, help make the changes we need. Stop the crazy assault on sick people and at the same time help us focus our law enforcement on the real problems in society (which marijuana is not). How many poor kids must go to prison and lose so much, while the fat rich-cats get away with horrendous and most harmful things? The hypocrisy is stifling and surely is not beyond your comprehension.
You, yourself have experience with this drug and had you been caught, you would not have me calling you “Mr President”. That is a fact that should be highly recognized by yourself and the rest of America.
It is time to make things right. To help sick people with legitimate medicines.
All my thanks and every hope for your success in helping heal this nation devastated by the actions of your predecessors.
Lets get real, now. Help me change this country for the better. Prove to me that you want it as bad as I, for I am still not convinced.
My business is based around these “High-Tech” jobs; at least the manufacturing side of High Tech. I consult, design and sell automation components and systems for factories in the SE USA. What I do is the ultimate “high-tech” kinda stuff. Fortunately (or maybe, unfortunately, depending on how you look at it), I am the first person to see the impending doom in manufacturing. I am the first person the customer explains to that they are not spending any money right now. Too bad more people don’t pay attention to my explanations on this subject (seeing how I have nailed this since the beginning of my blog and beforehand).
I can sit in meetings with people who seem as if they are totally devoid of fact about the economy and what is in store for us. Yesterday, I sat across from a man who is a brilliant electrical engineer and controls guy, but as we discussed the economy and the recent housing starts decline (compared to all time numbers since this has been tracked… 1959), all he could say was, “I have seen the hills and valleys before. They will still need furniture and it will come back pretty soon”. (This company just so happens to focus on furniture and boating) He thinks that the hotel re-furnishings will help and that Baby Boomers will want their second homes and that divorcees will need furniture…
Egad. He doesn’t realize that much of the furniture being done for hotels is foreign. Duh. That divorcees are having a hard time making ends meet, so they are not likely to buy a house full of furniture, especially when credit is unavailable.
He said, “You need to watch and analyze the media reports because they all just seem to want to pronounce gloom and doom.”
Reading between his lines I asked him, “Where do you get your news?”
His reply? “Fox”.
He’s a big guy, so I didn’t do it, but someone needs to slap some sense into these folks (at least figuratively) who believe that anything they get from Fox could remotely be accurate (much less “fair and balanced”). It is ludicrous that “brilliant” people can think in such ignroant ways… that they could be so brainwashed into believing such a silly and erroneous statement. Brilliant people can spout shit that sure makes them seem to be totally stupid (this is especially true in regards to religion, but it is true for politics, as well).
All I could say was, “Facts are facts.” Governmental reporting, although deathly slow, also supports my claims.” My advice to him was to tur off anything that Fox says and open a freaking newspaper or better yet, read foreign news sources, if he thinks the other American sources are biased and wrong.
The truth is that we are just now getting to the difficult part. We have the second round of the Prime Lending crapola about to hit. We also have the round of Business ventures that are about to go under, adding to the vast empty spaces I am already seeing in the strip malls, shopping centers and Big Box periphery.
I am seeing it in medical clinic staffing (small towns, anyway), in restaurant attendance and their workers being laid off.
It takes a huge amount of denial (or brainwashing) to not see what is obvious with any cursory view as you drive down the damned street. How many “For Sale” signs does one need to see before they realize we are in a free fall? How many times can a person regurgitate the Fox News meme and at the same time see what is happening on the streets of their town and still believe the bullshit?
Sometimes methinks that these “brilliant” people are truly idiots who excel in a particular field, but are truly ass backwards to reality in this country.
There is a fine line between geniuses and imbecilles.
Now, back to the “High Tech” Economic Meltdown and the latest news…
USA Today (1/23, Swartz) reports, “Microsoft announced 5,000 layoffs — its biggest cutback ever — and Sony said it will report an operating loss for the first time in 14 years: $1.65 billion. A day earlier, Intel said it will close several older factories, displacing 5,000 to 6,000 workers.” This “is sobering news for the tech industry, which had resisted the gravitational pull of the tottering economy over the past year as consumers continued to snap up laptops and iPhones.”
The Financial Times (1/23) adds, “Nokia also revealed a sharp fall in 2008 profits and issued a gloomy forecast of a 10 percent fall in global industry sales of mobile phones.” Notably, “cost-cutting and financial underperformance from the leading software, handset and consumer electronics companies depicted the spread of the economic crisis from housing and cars to reduced spending by consumers on technology.”
The Wall Street Journal (1/23, B1, Wingfield) reports on the front page of its Marketplace section that, in addition “to plans to slash 5,000 jobs,” Microsoft “posted an unexpected 11 percent drop in quarterly profit…the latest sign that companies dependent on commodity-style businesses such as personal computers are suffering the most in the global slowdown.” CEO Steve Ballmer, “in an email to employees Thursday laying out his plans to cut jobs, described the current economic environment as the ‘worst recession in two generations.’” The front page of the New York Times (1/23, B1, Vance) Business Day section, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer (1/23, Tartakoff), the Los Angeles Times (1/23, Semuels, Guynn), Forbes (1/23, Gutierrez), and the UK’s Daily Telegraph (1/23, Quinn) also report the Microsoft story
Economic Recession Having Uneven Impact On Tech Sector. The AP (1/23, Metz) reports, “The economic recession is hurting every industry, and technology is no exception.” Yet, “the effects of the meltdown haven’t been spread evenly across the sector — even within companies, sales of certain products may fall while others are more resilient. It seems that the health of tech companies has a lot to do with what they sell, and who their customers are.” Forrester Research analyst Andy Bartels noted, “Nowadays, products like MP3 players and cell phones are more integrated than ever into consumers’ everyday lives, and software and computers are increasingly intertwined with companies’ operating needs.” He “said that hardware companies — particularly PC and server makers — are generally doing badly because businesses see their products as expenses they can hold off on while times are tough. He thinks cell phones could sell better than PCs simply because they are cheaper.”
Oh, but wait until you see the numbres provided by those who actually build those cellphones:
The New York Times (1/23, B4, Jolly) reports, “Sony, the Japanese electronics company, said on Thursday that it expected to post a record annual operating loss of nearly $3 billion because of the rapid deterioration of the global economy.” Sony chief executive Howard Stringer “said the main problem had been ‘a significant deterioration’ in the company’s core electronics division. But business worsened across every major line, including games, movies and financial services, even as competition from Apple’s iPhone and Nintendo’s Wii game console turned up the heat.”
The Financial Times (1/23, Harding) notes that analysts agree that, “with net debt of about $5.5bn on the balance sheet, Sony…is fast burning through cash,” but “where there is disagreement is about why Sony went wrong and how to fix the problems.” Stringer “thinks that the company should concentrate on its media content and electronics that link to networks.” Meanwhile, Kota Ezawa, at Nikko Citi in Tokyo, suggests, “What Sony has to do is structural change. Japanese manufacturers need to shift their value-added from R&D and manufacturing to marketing and supply chain management.” AFP (1/23) also covers the story
The Wall Street Journal (1/23, B4, Ramstad, Lee) reports, “Samsung Electronics Co. on Friday reported its first net loss since the company started disclosing quarterly results in 2000, as the wipeout of demand for electronics caused by the global downturn created big losses in its component-manufacturing operations and a steep profit decline at its cell phone unit.” The company “said it expects demand to continue to fall in several key product areas, including computers, cell phones and TV sets, for at least the first half of the year.” The electronics manufacturer “reported a net loss of 20 billion won, or $14.6 million, for the three months ended Dec. 31.” Notably, “Samsung’s report came a day after Korean rival LG Electronics Inc. posted its first quarterly net loss in almost two years, primarily because of hefty shortfalls at its flat-panel unit and foreign-exchange losses related to overseas debt.
The AP (1/23, Olsen) adds that LG Electronics “painted a pessimistic outlook for 2009, saying Thursday it expects both sales and profitability to decline this year because of waning demand. LG Electronics lost 671.3 billion won ($487.2 million) in the three months ended Dec. 31, according to a regulatory filing
While we’re at it, how about luxury items such as one of the most expensive and luxurious cars ever made in the world?
The AP (1/23, Carson) reports, “Luxury automaker Bentley said Thursday it was halting production at its manufacturing plant in central England for seven weeks as Britain’s car industry continued to suffer amid plummeting demand.” Bentley Motors Ltd. declined, however, “to say how much the company, which is owned by Volkswagen AG, hoped to save by stopping production.”
I have heard time and time again about how luxury items aren’t being hurt ad that rich people are spending money. Yeah, right. I just happen to cater to a French private aircraft manufacturer who finishes their jets in Little Rock. It was noted last year that their backlog for orders was out through 2018, meaning that they could not meet the demand of their customers. For perspective, the entry level jet is $30,000,000 (30 MILLION Dollars and that is for the low-grade plane).
I don’t have the latest numbers, but according to Gulfstream and other aircraft manufacturers that are similar, they are hurting in bad ways. The same holds true for boating (especially the Yacht manufacturers).
Folks, don’t let a Fox News Fool confuse you. Shit is bad. Worse than they are letting on.
Been a hell of a week for this country and me personally. My friend is passed and her wake was incredible. She was Catholic and since I am (was?) Protestant, all I really knew about their services was what I read… liturgy and a lot of up and down (no wonder most Catholics I met are thin, they get so much damned exercise in church).
Seriously, it was a “church service”; a “mass” for Jennifer, but the Priest truly nailed it in his religious terms.
He called Jen’s presence among people just like the “Glory of God”. I won’t bother with his explanation, but I will say that on my way to the service I was mulling over what I would say in eulogy to her, if I had been give the opportunity (TR did it and basically was amazing and touched every person in that room with his stories and feelings… Matthew, Jen’s husband started the service the same way).
My feelings were that Jen could empathise with any person’s dilemma or pain. She was the kind of person that when you looked into he eyes and shared something with her, you KNEW she understood. She could give you comfort with a smile and make you feel so good, even when you were hurting. She was a “healer”, in that way.
There was some sort of spiritual nature about her that transcends most people walking the earth (at least the ones I have met). I knew early on in her illness about this phenomena. I was drawn to her because of it, for she proved herself to be one of the strongest, yet most empathetic people I ever knew. She could truly “feel your pain” and help you feel better. Amazing!
I hope you all get to know someone like her in your life.
Now, to the point of this post. As I was traveling the 3.5 hours to get there, I listened to NPR and heard several of the words uttered by our new President. I heard him speak about transparency in government (and the new series called Air Force One, where a film crew will travel on Air Force One and air the footage). I heard him talk about torture and that we don’t do it. I heard about closing down Guantanamo and other CIA rendition bases and perhaps bringing those people into out justice system (as it should be).
This man is inspiring and I will admit that I, again, am beginning to have some hope in change. He is an amazing man with an amazing intellect. I just hope that he doesn’t end up like the rest, liars and cheats adhereing to the CFR platform.
Now for the bad news: he did not mention the MIC or PIC (Military or Prison Industrial Complex). The military overspending is our biggest issue right now. We don’t need most of that (especially the ancient cold war bases we set up long ago). If those countries want us there, they should pay for it.
We MUST cut that budget.
We must also stop the Prison system from its crimes by legalizing marijuana. We must begin to house only those who are a threat to the community and those around them.
There is not a single marijuana user that I have ever been worried about in this way. It is all a hoax to scare you rednecks.
The money saved from MIC and PIC, added to the tax base the weed would bring i would bring us right out of our conundrum. As long as President Obama denies to speak it or address it internally, it won;t change.
To me, I expect several things of a President who is truly my servnat (servant to the population). He must hold each and every thing Bush did accountable and under review and prosecute for any crimes committed (he will need a special prosecutor for this and it will take some time). He must roll back each and every bogus “signing statement” and re-evaluate each and every law that was passed by congress (then changed with Bush’s statement).
President Obama MUST relinquish all of those powers that were grabbed by the two previous criminals before him and the new VP. He must work very hard to roll back the travesty that was the Bush Years and make sure they can NEVER happen again. The best way to insure this is to have those two (and all the complicit asshats) arrested, prosecuted and jailed for their crimes. Nothing less will do the job and will be reason for me to question Barack’s real ideology and motive.
President Obama MUST re-evaluate (with congress participation) The Patriot Act, The lead up to the war in Iraq and (if I’m wishing) a new investigation into 9/11. I mean, it doesn’t take a fruitcake conspiracy theorist to see that many items within the “official stroy” are false and downright lies. We need to know. This country deserves to know the truth and the first commission was stacked with people set to protect those who could have something to do with it.
No big flair and anthem announcing it. Just a good, non-politically motivated team of independent investigators. Does Barack want transparency? Well, transparency will be helped when we look BACK through the glass at what led us to this point.
He says he doesn’t want to focus on that (looking back). I simply do not see how we can honestly go forward without looking back first to see the crimes and correct them and to learn from those crimes and/or mistakes (mistake is the word a Bushie would use).
Mr President, show me you are real. I’m begging you.
h/t Undeniable Liberlism for the pic (btw: rough language at that blog, but they are hilarious… I have been a long-time RSS subscriber)
That cramp you been feeling is from the peanut butter cookie you ate yesterday…
USA Today (1/19, Weise) reported, “FDA staff are working to track what products contain salmonella-tainted peanut butter and paste made in a Georgia manufacturing plant. So far, 474 people have been sickened in a 43-state salmonella outbreak that may have contributed to six deaths.” PCA’s plant in Blakely, Ga., “believed to be the source of the contamination, distributed a relatively small amount of the peanut butter and paste used to produce snacks and treats. … But PCA sold to at least 85 companies, some of which distributed to other food manufacturers.”
The Washington Post (1/20, Reinberg) reports the latest round of recalls followed an FDA “warning Saturday that consumers should avoid peanut butter products containing peanut butter or peanut butter paste while the salmonella outbreak probe continued. The U.S. health warning is focused on products made with peanut butter, like crackers, not jars of peanut butter on store shelves.”
The AP (1/18) reported, “Officials said new illnesses are still being reported in the outbreak investigation. Kellogg Co., which listed Peanut Corp. as one of its suppliers, has recalled 16 products. They include Austin and Keebler branded Peanut Butter Sandwich Crackers, and some snack-size packs of Famous Amos Peanut Butter Cookies and Keebler Soft Batch Homestyle Peanut Butter Cookies.” In addition, “Perry’s Ice Cream Co., based in Akron, N.Y., said it was recalling select ice cream products containing peanut butter because of the PCA investigation” and “the Midwest supermarket chain Hy-Vee Inc. of West Des Moines, Iowa, said yesterday that it was voluntarily recalling products made in its bakery departments with peanut butter because they had the potential to be contaminated with salmonella.”
The Wall Street Journal (1/20) reports, “Ralcorp Frozen Bakery Products Inc. on Sunday announced that it’s recalling all Wal-Mart ‘Bakery’ brands of peanut-butter cookies, peanut-butter no-bake cookies and peanut-butter-fudge no-bake cookies.” The FDA said “consumers should avoid eating food containing peanut butter unless they know it isn’t linked to Peanut Corp., Lynchburg, Va.” The FDA is “inspecting some of the direct distributors, including King Nut Co. in Solon, Ohio, and is following the distribution chain to figure out which companies used Peanut Corp. products. The FDA is also asking companies to check their supply chain and tell consumers if their ingredients came from Peanut Corp.”
WASHINGTON—Network news cameras covering Barack Obama’s inauguration ceremony Tuesday captured Hillary Clinton silently moving her lips along with each word of the minute-long presidential oath of office. As she stood watching several yards from Chief Justice John Roberts, the former Democratic presidential candidate could be observed placing her left hand on a leather appointment book and raising her right hand slightly from her hip. Clinton, who carefully followed the swearing-in procedure with her eyes shut tightly, only varied from the president’s words once, when she soundlessly mouthed her name instead of Barack Obama’s. Clinton was later seen at an inaugural ball pretending she was dancing with first lady Michelle Obama.
via The Onion