Saturday, September 20, 2008

Once Upon a Time

We all have at one time or another heard recited various fairy tales beginning with the words which are the title of this posting. A variation of the phrase has been fed to us recently by the political candidates of both major political parties and dutifully echoed by the punditocracy of the so called "mainstream media". I am of course referring to the finger pointing and blame assignment for the recent meltdown of the investment banking and insurance giants on Wall Street. The most recent version goes something like this: "Yes Virginia; once upon a time in the United States there existed a group of evil and avaricious men called 'predatory' lenders who preyed upon unsuspecting poor people and minorities and whose aim was to trick them into mortgages at usurious rates of interest in order to deprive them of any hope of achieving the 'American Dream'." If these poor victims could not convince the lenders to provide financing for homes or businesses due to the unscrupulous practice of having a reasonable assurance that the funds would be repaid, the lenders (banks) were obviously guilty of the evil practice of 'red lining'."

Government (or more precisely Democrat politicians) to the rescue, and voilá President Carter signs the "Community Reinvestment Act of 1977. As of late 2000:

Under its provisions, U.S. banks have committed nearly $1 trillion for inner-city and low-income mortgages and real estate development projects, most of it funneled through a nationwide network of left-wing community groups, [i.e. ACORN, the Obama connected group] intent, in some cases, on teaching their low-income clients that the financial system is their enemy and, implicitly, that government, rather than their own striving, is the key to their well-being.

Not to worry Virginia, "the prices of real estate will continue to rise forever" and these shaky loans will be refinanced.

Right now this crisis is being sold to the American public by the left as evidence the failure of the free market and capitalism. Not so. What we're seeing is the inevitable result of political interference in free market economics. Acme bank didn't want to loan money to Joe Homebuyer because Joe had a spotty job history, owed too much money on his credit cards, and wasn't all that good at making payments on time. The politicians told Acme Bank to figure out a way to make that loan, because, after all, Joe is a bona-fide minority-American, or forget about opening that new branch office on the Southside. The loan was made under political pressure; the loan, with millions like it, failed - and now we are left to enjoy today's headlines.

And Ms Pelosi has the gall to absolve her party, the dimocrats, of all responsibility for the meltdown.
In the words of John Stossel: "Gimme a Break." And be sure to keep kissing those frogs Virginia.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Fascism at Work, Hold on to Your Wallet!

News Flash!

The 100+ year old investment banking firm Lehman Brothers has just yesterday filed for bankruptcy. It would appear that its management has been blindsided and overtaken by mismanagement and the events of the subprime mortgage meltdown. How interesting! Just last year the company, in an effort to boost the profits of its clients including Al Gore's carbon trading scam, the Alliance for Climate Protection issued a report concerning the economic and financial impact of "climate change" a century hence. Hoping to board the cash bandwagon of governments implementing various schemes of "carbon trading" they even presumed to assign a value to a ton of carbon emissions on a government controlled market 50 years in the future. The hubris of socialist theoreticians appears to be boundless.
A year ago they couldn’t predict their bankruptcy but were predicting the climate 100 years ahead. Thousands of green militants have been using the Lehman report as a proof of global warming and impending chaos. Lehman Bros. said it! sacred words! Its scientific advisor is James Hansen! The report is the basis for policies on climate change in Spain, Argentina and several other countries playing the progress game; it is used by economy professors playing the climatologists; by newspapers editorials, and even by a State Secretary: Lehman Bros., said it!

Lehman Brothers spoke in his report about the climate in 2100 and its economic and financial projections, about climate change costs several decades away.

By the way, we also learn that Merryll Lynch, while teetering on the brink of bankruptcy is heavily involved in the carbon trading scheme and has now merged with BankAmerica. Not many remember or are aware how heavily invested in the Kyoto Treaty and banking on huge governmental contracts that Enron was, preferring to assign that debacle to the so called failure of capitalism.
The interests of the environmental movement in acquiring more power and influence are reasonably clear. So too are the interests of bureaucrats for whom control of CO2 is a dream-come-true.

After all, CO2 is a product of breathing itself. Politicians can see the possibility of taxation that will be cheerfully accepted because it is necessary for saving the world. Nations have seen how to exploit this issue in order to gain competitive advantages. But, by now, things have gone much further.

The case of ENRON is illustrative in this respect. Before disintegrating in a pyrotechnic display of unscrupulous manipulation, ENRON had been one of the most intense lobbyists for Kyoto. It had hoped to become a trading firm dealing in carbon emission rights. This was no small hope. These rights are likely to amount to over a trillion dollars, and the commissions will run into many billions. Hedge funds are actively examining the possibilities. It is probably no accident that Gore, himself, is associated with such activities . The sale of indulgences is already in full swing with organizations selling offsets to one's carbon footprint while sometimes acknowledging that the offsets are irrelevant. ....Archer Daniels Midland (Americas largest agribusiness) has successfully lobbied for ethanol requirements for gasoline, and the resulting demand for ethanol is already leading to large increases in corn prices and associated hardship in the developing world (not to mention poorer car performance).

And now we learn that Barclays Bank UK will acquire the profitable sector of Lehman Brothers operations and the remainder will be left to be mopped up in all probability by the US taxpayer.

Monday, September 15, 2008

More Warmista KoolAid

If there was any doubt about the terrible threat that global warming poses to humanity, then it can now be dismissed - as this shocking photograph proves that climate change is turning icebergs into giant penises.

You gotta hand it to the [warmistas]. They have mind-bending gall. New Scientist, which used to be a good pop science magazine, now quotes a NASA scientist saying: “The Antarctic wintertime ice extent increased at a rate of 0.6% per decade” from 1979 to 2006, says Donald Cavalieri, a senior research scientist at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland. Since 1979, the average year-round ice extent has risen too.”

Let’s see, that would be 27 years, so a total increase of about 2.0% in the extent of sea ice in the Antarctic. That’s a lot of frozen daiquiris. Millions of tons of increased ice in the Antarctic sounds colder rather than warmer, no?

But the [warmistas have] a different way of spinning these facts. New Scientist begins the article with: “The amount of sea ice around Antarctica has grown in recent Septembers in what could be an unusual side-effect of global warming, experts say.” You see, when it gets hotter it proves global warming. And when it gets colder it also proves global warming. They get you coming and going.

And these people think creationism is unscientific? Don’t they ever feel embarassed? And why are all the other scientists in the world not rolling on the floor laughing at these silly twits?

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Deja Vu?

Except for a few interested bloggers and some of the journalists in the Miami area recent events in Venezuela have gone unremarked. The Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chávez recently declared the ambassador of the US persona non grata and ordered him to leave Venezuela within 72 hours. Señor Chávez has become increasingly unhinged as the Miami trial in the US District Court unfolds of two individuals charged with transporting a suitcase containing USD $800,000.00 to Buenos Aires for use in the recent Argentine presidential election. It seems that Señor Chávez had an interest in the election of a certain female socialist candidate in that election but the suitcase belonging to a Venezuelan agent was discovered at the Buenos Aires airport Customs desk. In any event the lady socialist handily won the election and appears to now be a cheerleader for socialism in South America.

The video below of a recent rally of the party faithful in Puerto Cabello, Venezuela seems to have eery similarities to the Nuremburg extravaganzas of the National Socialists addressed by Herr Hitler; the exception being of course Herr Hitler never indulged in the gutter language favored by Chávez. For those not conversant in Spanish, the word "mierda" translates as: "shit".

In spite of all this sturm und drang, Chávez is unlikely to sever economic relations with the US as there is as yet no other market for the low gravity crude oil from the oilfields in Carabobo. Incidentally, you should be aware that the US petroleum marketer Citgo is a wholly owned subsidiary of Petroleos de Venezuela S.A. (PDVSA), the socialized oil company controlled by Señor Chávez. In spite of these facts it appears that the prime whipping boy of the oil industry for our Democratic politicos continues to be the eeevil ExxonMobil. How dare they earn 8.3% on their investment.

Friday, September 12, 2008

When the State Violates Its Contract

In the early morning hours of this past 6 September in Gnesta, a suburb of Stockholm, a 21 year old woman was en route home from a birthday celebration when she was set upon by a gang of more than 20 "immigrant youths" (code words for the Muslim "asylum" seekers who have recently flooded that hapless nation to avail themselves of the perks of the welfare system). One of the attackers shouted "Swedish whore" and the gang proceeded to beat her senseless with clubs, fists and feet. Six members of a local soccer team witnessing the assault attempted to intervene in order to save the woman's life and were in turn severely beaten themselves. All seven were subsequently treated at the hospital for serious injuries.

Incidents such as this are in fact becoming more or less routine in Sweden and this one is only mentioned here as Mrs. ΛΕΟΝΙΔΑΣ's blog colleague posted on it here The comments thus far reveal what we here in the US might find rather astonishing.
First, your humble host is rather pleasantly surprised that the six gallant would-be rescuers were not arrested as is often the case when a victim has the temerity to mount a defense against a criminal assault. They were probably spared prosecution due to the seriousness of their injuries. Secondly, nowhere in the comments or the news article is the possibility broached that the item pictured below, judiciously brandished, accompanied by the will to use it, would in all probability have precluded the necessity of visits to the emergency room.



You, gentle reader, might consider this incident the next time a politician such as Mr. Schumer, Mrs. Feinstein, Mr. Lautenberg, Mr. Obama or the venerable ACLU assert that the language in the second amendment protects the " right of the STATE to bear arms".


Monday, September 08, 2008

Unringing the Bell

The extent to which the media have become the partisan apologists and attack apparatus for the Democratic socialist party begins to boggle the minds of those who remain sentient and less than enthusiastic about the assent to the White house of a committed Marxist and former adherent to the Muslim faith. Who would have conceived that the selection of a vice presidential candidate by a nominee who most would characterize as a geriatric pushover "Republican" could result in the pressing of the panic button by every leftist partisan and journalist (redundancy alert) from Seattle to Miami and beyond?

It would appear that the selection of a female, articulate, non feminazi conservative/libertarian to grace the number 2 spot on the ticket has forced these leftists over the edge to the extent that some are attempting to "unring the bell". For example the recent assertion by an obscure blogger that Mrs. Palin as mayor of a small town in "flyover country" had attempted to have a list of books banned from the municipal library was picked up and embellished by the Obama campaign to include the list of every publication ever banned in the US and reproduced on their website. Within two hours of the absurdity of this "report" being pointed out, the web page was taken down by the Obama campaign. Below is a screen shot of the since removed page. Click on images to enlarge.

Likewise, the freudian slip by Obama concerning his "Muslim faith" in an interview with ABC's George Stephanopolus has since been removed by YouTube but has been copied and can be viewed below.

The willingness of most media outlets to carry water for the extreme left of the political spectrum appears to have little if any limits.



ΛΕΟΝΙΔΑΣ would like to extend his apologies to the readers of this blog (both of them) for the recent hiatus. The recovery from major surgery has directed his attention to such mundane subjects as pain management and a temporary change in lifestyle. Hopefully the most unpleasant manifestations of these conditions have past. In any event, you may rest assured that the outrage meter has remained operational and he is prepared to move beyond the mere commenting on other blogs.