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"The United States requires a massive restructuring to address its debt, cutting back on its borrowing, spending, and wars. The bailout package is essential to keep the credit markets open. But absent sentences that include the word austerity all the bailout will accomplish is a temporary postponement. Bailout and stimulus are a stopgap."
"Linux developers shouldn't be too worried over the threat of a major recession, says the Linux Foundation's Jim Zemlin, according to an eWEEK story. As companies look for ways to cut costs in response to the current financial crisis, Linux will be given greater consideration, Zemlin was quoted as saying."
"Bulgaria privatized its banks, did not create semi-socialist mortgage banks like Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, has required banks to keep adequate reserves (which now average 13 percent, about double the U.S. average), and now is in a much better position to weather the international financial crisis."
"Stallman's dismissal of cloud computing and call for the categorical rejection of web services is puzzling in light of the potential opportunities created by web technologies and the innovative work that is being done by software freedom advocates to bring openness to the web."
"Not everyone loves cloud computing. Richard Stallman, founder of the Free Software Foundation and creator of the GNU operating system, says cloud computing is 'stupidity' that ultimately will result in vendor lock-in and escalating costs."
"An appropriations bill signed by President Bush last week allows the controversial National Applications Office to begin operating a stringently limited version of a program that would turn military spy satellites on the US, sharing imagery with other federal, state, and local government agencies. The government's own watchdog agency, the Government Accountability Office, has warned in an unpublished report that the more expansive program in the offing lacks adequate safeguards to protect privacy and civil liberties."
"We will pay because the only language we have to describe our world is that of our oppressors because we have been taught to think in Wall Speak."
"So despite President Bush’s claim not to allow the 9/11 terrorists to restrict our freedoms, that is unambiguously what happened to Raed Jarrar. And seemingly lost on the people who detained Jarrar was his comment to them: 'I grew up under authoritarian governments in the Middle East, and one of the reasons I chose to move to the U.S. was that I don’t want an officer to make me change my t-shirt'."
"Growth management is responsible for much of the recent subprime mortgage crisis. Because state and local restrictions on housing supplies sent prices soaring, families who ordinarily would have qualified for prime loans were compelled to borrow at subprime rates. When the housing bubble burst, housing prices dropped, leaving many families with mortgages greater than the value of their house. The resulting credit crisis has shaken the American economy to its core."
"If a false entry in a database leads to a unconstitutional police search that reveals illegal drugs, does the government get to hold it against you?"
"[W]hatever hope there is lies in that large number of Americans who are decent, who don't want to go to war, who don't want to kill other people. It is hard to see that hope because these Americans who feel that way have been shut out of the communications system, so their voices are not heard, they are not seen on the television screen, but they exist."
"More great things happened after the bailout failed. Commodity prices including oil fell dramatically. This is a magnificent thing. Right now, consumers are not threatened by the possible failure of another paper-addicted investment-banking house. Consumers are threatened by ever-higher prices for all goods. If we are in a recession, especially if it lasts and lasts, low prices are precisely what we need to start economic recovery again."
"The people today who obey the media propaganda and simply must have three cars, a mini mansion and every new gadget that comes along, find themselves worked to death and in debt peonage. Then cigarettes, diet sodas, junk food, all consumed by the lemming masses whose pay back is obesity and cancer. And so on..."
"The power elite, the puppet masters, the higher order, the shadow government, whatever the hell you want to call these bastards, have really shown their hand this week as they whine, cry, then rail against a public that 'just doesn’t understand the fine workings of the economy and the urgency of this crisis'."
"By flashing your lights to warn oncoming traffic, you are taking money away from the state. This neighborly act is like putting change in expired parking meters (also frowned upon by your local bullies in blue) or putting lanterns in the bell tower of a church."
"Becoming more agrarian and self-sufficient would require an enormous upheaval in my current way of living. I’m trying to evaluate the pros and cons of the two paths, before attempting to tweak my current balance. And I operate under no illusion that the local farmer’s market is automagically more trustworthy somehow than WalMart or Safeway. But, for good or for ill, I have always leaned toward trusting individuals and 'the little guy' over the big guy."
"Although Russia's Central Bank still holds massive US dollar reserves, the Kremlin has in the past two years sought to diversify the country's holdings, notably by boosting holdings in euros."
"Google, says Andy Rubin, will not play things that way.[i.e. Like Apple] ... 'Google won’t impose many of the restrictions Apple developers have been grumbling about. Unlike iPhone aficionados, developers using Android Market will, for example, be able to allow consumers to try their applications for free before they buy them. This may seem like a small thing, but developers name lack of free trial as one of the biggest reasons behind their lukewarm App Store sales'."
"While CPR organizations do not produce property rights in exactly the same way as we are accustomed to, such arrangements do function very much like normal property-rights systems. CPR systems also have a good track record in comparison to overt government regulation. CPRs are in fact quasi-governmental arrangements that emerge to deal with tragedies of the commons."
"I’m making my New Year’s resolution early this year. I’m done pretending that we have honest markets. I know most of you are already fully aware of this, but I’m gonna throw one last chart out for those who might remain unconvinced"
"In the world of the ancient Greeks, hubris – an overweening pride – was a cardinal sin in the eyes of the gods, and they visited upon prideful sinners all sorts of unpleasant fates, such as suffered by Icarus. Hubris, in the Greek mythos, was soon followed by Nemesis – the cause of the sinners' ultimate downfall."
"The ... passage of the $700 billion bailout of Wall Street ... exposes once and for all the true nature of the American political-economic system. It is free-enterprise in name only. In fact, and especially for large well-connected companies, it is nothing of the kind. Many names have been attached to the system we labor under: state socialism, state capitalism, corporatism, fascism. Whichever one we choose, let us hear no more about America’s free-market economy."
"Centralization is fundamental to the overall Empire scenario in everything from finance and economics to so-called Defense, with, of course, other items such as Health and Education (Schooling) thrown in for good measure."
"If the ADS prevents small boats from approaching a U.S. vessel without harming anyone, then it will be seen as a humane option. If it is used to clear protesters out of the way it may be seen differently."
"On Thursday's edition of The Colbert Report, bestselling author Naomi Klein argued that the Bush Administration creates crises in order to 'enrich themselves and their friends,' drawing parallels between the torture of prisoners and the economic bailout being provided to Wall St. by US leaders."
"Why would a smart guy like Hank Paulson -- the former boss of Goldman Sachs -- advance such a dumb, shady plan? Let us count the reasons...."
"This interview was prepared for a major news program special that was supposed to air two weeks before the 2006 midterm election. At the last moment, however, the special was killed by the corporate media."
"Back in 1828, opponents of the tariff bill enacted in that year felt such outrage that they dubbed the law the Tariff of Abominations. With this precedent in mind, we might well refer to the bill just enacted as the Bailout of Abominations."
"[H]ere's a very simple question that almost no one in the media seems to ask: If we're going to make the crimes of the radical left in the 1960s and 1970s a campaign issue - a time period much of which Barack Obama spent in elementary school - then how about the crimes of the radical right?"
"Michael Bloomberg has decided to run for an additional term as mayor of New York. He will do so despite a law limiting mayors to two terms in New York. ... Bloomberg does not plan to put the change in term limits before the voters. Instead, he will try to get the City Council to extend his term. A New York Times survey of City Council members in early September found that a majority might support changing the term limits law. Perhaps that’s not surprising: two thirds of the City Council will be turned out of office in 2009 under the current law. If the mayor’s term can be extended, it will be easier to change the law for City Council members."
"In the modern world, the workings of any particular market are so complicated, they are beyond the grasp of mere mortals. Moment by moment, day by day, so many subtly interrelated decisions are made by so many people worldwide that no individual or group could possibly understand the big picture in any detailed way. So there is nothing simplistic about proposing the market as a solution to an economic problem. It’s short way of saying: let the multitude of knowledgeable people seeking profit, risking their own money, and responding to incentives find a solution based on persuasion not force."
"Then you will hit bottom and then you start over. The people who are sound will take over the assets from the people who aren’t sound and we will start over. This is the way the world has worked for a few thousand years."
"The Big Bailout is the last gasp of the Establishment, of the Ruling Class, to preserve the System which they say relies on 'credit' but which really relies on debt, the indebtedness of the people, which is serfdom. The easy credit has perverted our incentives and misplaced our priorities. Well-meaning and intelligent people have been misled about the nature of the System. It is easy credit to government, businesses, and individuals, that has caused the giant federal budget deficits, misplaced government priorities, distorted incentives in business, and encouraged individuals to make bad choices."
"The fact that government bears such a huge responsibility for the current mess means any response should eliminate the conditions that created this situation in the first place, not attempt to fix bad government with more government. The obvious alternative to a bailout is letting troubled financial institutions declare bankruptcy. Bankruptcy means that shareholders typically get wiped out and the creditors own the company. Bankruptcy does not mean the company disappears; it is just owned by someone new (as has occurred with several airlines). Bankruptcy punishes those who took excessive risks while preserving those aspects of a businesses that remain profitable."
"It is true that the financial system must be rescued; it must be rescued from the institutions holding bad debt that are currently draining capital while waiting for a bailout and adding little in return. It is they that are preventing wealth-generating activities in the financial sector and the other parts of the economy from expanding real wealth. ... The collapse of the Soviet Union's centralized system is the best testimony one can have that controls don't work. A better way to fix economic problems is to allow entrepreneurs the freedom to allocate resources in accordance with society's priorities."
"No credit-default swap, no exotic derivative, can be structured without stipulating the monetary unit of account in which its value is calculated. Money is the medium of exchange -- the measure, the standard, the store of value -- which defines the very substance of the economic contract between buyer and seller. It is the basic element, the atom of financial matter. It is the money that is broken."
"The problem that is vexing the financial system, we are told, is the pile of mortgage-backed securities held by financial institutions. These have lost value as the underlying assets – the actual homes – have plummeted in value. But this is a fraud. This precipitating event no more caused the financial fiasco than the murder of someone named Ferdinand provoked World War I, as taught in elementary school."
"As many authoritative economists are desperately trying to explain amid all the confusion, the culprit was a system geared toward loaning money to people who were not in a position to pay it back. Two policies underpinned that system: easy money by the Federal Reserve and the government-induced lowering of standards for approving loan requests."
"Socialism for the rich, capitalism for the poor – that's the first rule of state-capitalist societies everywhere."
"Republican and Democratic governments deliberately shifted the risk of dubious mortgage-writing from lenders and borrowers to the public. This has been portrayed as a noble effort to make the American Dream accessible to all, regardless of income or credit-worthiness. In fact, it was a massive subsidy to special economic interests: bankers, homebuilders, and the real-estate profession."
"War, like its progenitor, inflation, is a narcotic that causes us to forget the real problems and their causes and permits all sorts of actions that would not be considered normal under any other circumstances. It is a perfect holiday from the rule of law and is fully taken advantage of by our lawless politicians, who seize on it as a pretext for anything and everything."
"Governments love threats and emergencies. That is their opportunity to use and expand their power. The Bush II administration was asleep before 9/11 whereupon it literally came to life to the detriment of our liberty."
"Almost everyone I spoke with assumed -- whether true or not -- that the United States backed the arbitrary arrest and unlawful rendition of men like Ishmael and the still-detained Kenyans. Almost everyone assumed that the Ethiopians operate with America's blessing. Their stories have circulated, fueling anger and resentment. As one man, whose childhood friend became one of the rendition victims, told me, 'Now when I go to the mosque, I pray to God to punish the Americans'." [Consequences sometimes come to those who earn them.]
"In March, the market was working fine; now it’s 'locked up.' This sort of hyperbole, with which we are being bombarded hourly around the clock, is totally without a basis in the facts."
"Some people may think one consequence of the ongoing United States financial crisis would be increased pressure for cuts in military spending. But that is unlikely to happen. While the crisis will increase fiscal pressure to reduce military spending, as it is the largest pot of discretionary funding in the federal budget, other countervailing political factors will ensure that there likely will be no significant reduction."
"Questions about the Great Depression may be usefully framed as pertaining to three distinct issues: the Great Contraction, the extraordinarily severe economic decline from 1929 to 1933; the Great Duration, the persistence of sub par economic performance for more than a decade; and the Great Escape, the ultimate recovery from this uniquely deep and long depression. Although economists continue to debate the causes of the Great Contraction and the Great Duration, a rough consensus has emerged that major policy blunders of various sorts deserve most of the blame for these calamities. With regard to the Great Escape, economists have also reached substantial agreement, but unfortunately they have come to agree on an interpretation that is almost completely wrong."
"FDR took office under the promise that he would curb the big spending of the Hoover administration. The tune changed once he took office. Like Hoover before him, he denounced the rich and powerful speculators, bankers, and corporations he blamed for bad economic times. Even as he was saying these things, he called together the people he regarded as the most powerful and important corporate, banking, and labor interests — together with a gaggle of professors from Columbia — and essentially asked them what they wanted to get the economy going again. ... The model here was Mussolini's Italy, which was regarded at the time as an ideal system of industrial management. "
"The October 13, 2008, issue of THE NEW YORKER had an outstanding article by Harvard historian Jill Lepore detailing how American elections evolved from voice voting to the current 'Australian' ballot, printed by the government, and the consequent decline in voter turnout."
"Hoover's chief concern seemed to be to hold up the price of labor. He cut off immigration, in an effort to keep out wage competition. Then, he got the business community to pledge that it would not reduce wages. Since the cost of labor was then too high for the closely shaved profit margins, businesses could not hire. Unemployment rose. Roosevelt was a better politician, which is to say - he was more shameless. He attacked Hoover for spending too much money - won the presidency - and then spent more. He began so many agencies and projects - from the AAA (Agriculture Adjustment Act) to the CCC (Civilian Conservation Corps) to the SSA (Social Security Act) - he practically ran out of alphabet. He also imposed wage and price controls, as well as limits to executive salaries."
"Before examining the long period of collapse, Tainter first spells out his thesis: that a society will centralize and urbanize to the extent that the marginal profits from centralization outweigh the marginal costs."
"What Kauffman has done here is more than merely sketch a history, though it is wonderful and detailed history. He has fashioned a new way to look at the makeup of the politics of war."
"The key to bringing America's armed forces through the Panic of '08 and the following recession or depression is to act quickly. If we continue to overextend our commitments while pouring hundreds of billions of dollars into legacy forces and systems, we will bring about a general collapse. "
"The sight of dead children, in particular, has a way of raising uncomfortable questions about what the hell you are doing in that God-forsaken hellhole and how you are going about doing it."
"After Bush announced the sovereignty handover, the American media sharply curtailed its coverage of the Iraqi conflict. The media acted as if Bush’s de facto victory proclamation made the Iraq War old news and not worth as much coverage. They let the White House define reality — and thus people were supposed to move along. Americans paid more attention to Bush’s bragging about the 'sovereignty hand-over' than to the rising number of dead U.S. soldiers. "
"Obama, an early critic of the Iraq War, tied ballooning defense spending in Iraq to the growing government and current-account deficits, suggesting that ending the war would help put America's financial house in order. Neither candidate, however, used the opportunity to flesh out how their economic visions corresponded with their broader views of America's role in the world."
"Even at this point, the current crack-up in world finance makes the 1929 crash and the events of the 1930s look in comparison like an orderly small town auction of somebody's grandmother's effects. ... This time around, things could get more disorderly."
"Charley and Chuck Greenwood, a father-son combo, think they know the secret to the future of cars: rowing. And they founded their company HumanCar to prove that human energy, not biofuels, is the gasoline of the future. Their Imagine_PS car seats up to four in a low-slung chassis; the passengers get to help row the lightweight car. Think of it as an ergonomic, efficient and sneaker-saving Flintstone's car for an oil-free future. The front two 'drivers' get to steer, which is done with a talented and coordinated lean."
"The notion of an instant Singularity rests upon the misguided idea that intelligence alone can solve problems. As an essay called Why Work Toward the Singularity lets slip: 'Even humans could probably solve those difficulties given hundreds of years to think about it.' In this approach one only has to think about problems smartly enough to solve them. I call that 'thinkism'."
"It is only a matter of time before the whole enchilada collapses. All roads lead to the greatest depression of all time. Just as the Fed was directly responsible for creating the stock market crash in 1929 and the ensuing depression, so to will they be responsible this time for the greatest depression the world has ever known. All of this Fed and government intervening in markets has made things worse not better. "
"If the U.S. government were a publicly traded company, would you invest in it? Assuming the answer is no, then why would anyone believe the government can pull all the right economic strings to alter the course of natural events in a complex global economy?"
"The idea that freedom is simply a state of mind may sound trifling, especially when considering some of the unimaginable horrors faced by unfree peoples across the globe. But even political freedom cannot be had without a people who keep the spirit of freedom alive within themselves; and if they do, political freedom is often not far behind. ... "
"You know, we've been asked to trust Secretary Paulson. Now I don't know this man, and maybe he's brilliant. What I know about him is that he's a Bush appointee, like Rumsfeld, Gonzales, Miers and Cheney. What I know about him is that he worked for Goldman Sachs, who are part of the problem. And I know that he was on his knees in the Oval Office recently. Maybe he was looking for change under the couch, but I don't think so."
"Four decades after its short run concluded in controversy, Patrick McGoohan's brilliant sci-fi miniseries The Prisoner remains one of television's most influential shows."
"Today, the debut installment of Boing Boing tv's SPAMASTERPIECE THEATER, which Hodgman himself describes as the dramatization of 'true tale[s] of romance, adventure, infamy, and low-cost prescription drugs, all culled from the reams of actual, unsolicited emails, received here by us and people like you -- what we call SPAM'."
"What does a fiasco have to do with a bottle?"
"Inspired by Something Awful articles and forums where folks used Photoshop to transform porn photos into images that are hilariously 'safe for work,' the brand Diesel put together an entire video of SFW XXX."
"In a recent sketch, NBC’s 'Saturday Night Live' (SNL) superbly and hilariously lampoons the $700 billion bailout and the foolishness, deception, and hypocrisy of many of those who support it."
"Every gallon of Prescott gas you buy goes towards researching alternative fuel."
"If you want to see real panic, don't go to Wall Street, head down to Fox News."
"Donnie Hoyle sounds off on his return home."
"The only way that I can figure time is money is if money is the measure of my life. The clouds pass overhead and I must stop and allow my batteries to rest, I can’t get done what I need to do to “make the money” I need to pay the taxes which are coming due. "
"If our premises are true and our reasoning is logically sound, our conclusions are true. This doesn't mean that economics is done without reference to the world. It means only that we look at the economic world, as it were, with praxeological lenses -- and are powerless to do otherwise."
"While most Americans can easily recognize how ridiculous the idea of immigration controls between Maryland and Virginia would be, actually the principles are no different with respect to international borders. "
"Any suggestion that any aspect of the current Wall Street financial crisis reveals the dangers of a "free market" is a fallacy. Easy credit from a central bank authorized to create money out of thin air, and extravagant government spending, gave the private sector more money than it otherwise would have had, which is why it was spent badly. In a free, unregulated market, previous profits and surpluses can and will finance current research, development, and production."
"Many factors—among them the collapse of the Soviet empire, globalization and mass migration—have ingrained in people’s minds the notion that having a big idea is tantamount to ideological intolerance, even fanaticism. The result is the triumph of form over substance."
"[W]hile Barack Obama and John McCain argue about who’s got the best health care plan, each ignores the simplest solution. Call it the Gillespie Plan: If you want health insurance, get some."
"Could care less... it's supposed to be I couldn't care less."
"My plan is a simple one, that if Reuters does not issue an apology right away, I shall take this as an act of war and, as a good German in the extreme sense, invade Poland, and subjugate France and all of Europe…"
"Frankly, the ostensibly free-market economists are not helping to clear things up. Their silence at the time that the Federal Reserve and Government Sponsored Enterprises were prosperous gave such institutions their implicit stamp of approval. So, when socialists now say 'the private sector has failed,' it sounds revisionist when free-market economists suddenly find their voice and argue that the financial crisis is actually a failure of government. "
"The fact is, the whole system was put in place to find a way to sell you sketchy products that probably wouldn't be advertised at all under normal circumstances. My wife describes it best: 'To sell us more junk we don't need'."
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