An Ol' Broad's Ramblings
Archive for 1 June 2009
In light of this….
LESBIAN, GAY, BISEXUAL, AND TRANSGENDER PRIDE MONTH, 2009
BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA A PROCLAMATION
My Administration has partnered with the LGBT community to advance a wide range of initiatives. At the international level, I have joined efforts at the United Nations to decriminalize homosexuality around the world. Here at home, I continue to support measures to bring the full spectrum of equal rights to LGBT Americans. These measures include enhancing hate crimes laws, supporting civil unions and Federal rights for LGBT couples, outlawing discrimination in the workplace, ensuring adoption rights, and ending the existing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy in a way that strengthens our Armed Forces and our national security. We must also commit ourselves to fighting the HIV/AIDS epidemic by both reducing the number of HIV infections and providing care and support services to people living with HIV/AIDS across the United States.
….this isn’t all that surprising. Disgusting, but not surprising.
Some Americans are having a gay old time in Iraq. On Friday, a gay pride theme party was held at Baghdaddy’s, a bar in the U.S. Embassy complex in Iraq frequented by State Department employees and contractors. “Come celebrate the start of Summer with color,” the invitation read, “and in costume! Dress in DRAG or as a GAY ICON.” Prizes were awarded for best-dressed gay icon and best lip-sync performance.
This certainly is not the first time the Green Zone has been tinged pink. We spoke to a former State Department official who served recently in the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad who told us he was “not surprised” by the gay pride party. “Unusual things happen all the time at that embassy,” he said. He added that the State Department has a “high tolerance for gay and lesbian issues,” and fliers were posted periodically at the embassy for events of interest to the gay community. “Usually they were seminars or discussion groups dealing with gay issues,” he said. “Not typically this flamboyant.”
Flamboyance is the critical issue. Sodomy is a crime in many countries in the Middle East, per the dictates of Shariah law. It is punished by imprisonment, flogging, stoning, beheading or hanging. But in private, homosexual conduct is widespread, and our source told us that living in the closet is the “dirty little secret in the Middle East. As the saying there goes, ‘Women are for family, boys are for fun.’ ” This has made the Middle East a mecca of sorts for gay Near East affairs specialists in the State Department and CIA.
Read the rest here.
An Easily Understandable Explanation of Derivative Markets:
Heidi is the proprietor of a bar in Detroit, MI. She realizes that virtually all of her customers are unemployed alcoholics and, as such, can no longer afford to patronize her bar. To solve this problem, she comes up with new marketing plan that allows her customers to drink now, but pay later.
She keeps track of the drinks consumed on a ledger (thereby granting the customers loans).
Word gets around about Heidi’s “drink now, pay later” marketing strategy and, as a result, increasing numbers of customers flood into Heidi’s bar. Soon she has the largest sales volume for any bar in Detroit.
By providing her customers’ freedom from immediate payment demands, Heidi gets no resistance when, at regular intervals, she substantially increases her prices for wine and beer, the most consumed beverages. Consequently, Heidi’s gross sales volume increases massively.
A young and dynamic vice-president at the local bank recognizes that these customer debts constitute valuable future assets and increases Heidi’s borrowing limit. He sees no reason for any undue concern,
since he has the debts of the unemployed alcoholics as collateral.
At the bank’s corporate headquarters, expert traders transform these customer loans into DRINK BONDS, ALKIBONDS and PUKEBONDS. These securities are then bundled and traded on international security markets. Naive investors don’t really understand that the securities being sold to them as AAA secured bonds are really the debts of unemployed alcoholics.
Nevertheless, the bond prices continuously climb, and the securities soon become the hottest-selling items for some of the nation’s leading brokerage houses.
One day, even though the bond prices are still climbing, a risk manager at the original local bank decides that the time has come to demand payment on the debts incurred by the drinkers at Heidi’s bar. He so informs Heidi.
Heidi then demands payment from her alcoholic patrons, but being unemployed alcoholics they cannot pay back their drinking debts. Since, Heidi cannot fulfill her loan obligations she is forced into bankruptcy. The bar closes and the eleven employees lose their jobs.
Overnight, DRINK BONDS, ALKIBONDS and PUKEBONDS drop in price by 90%. The collapsed bond asset value destroys the banks liquidity and prevents it from issuing new loans, thus freezing credit and economic activity in the community.
The suppliers of Heidi’s bar had granted her generous payment extensions and had invested their firms’ pension funds in the various BOND securities. They find they are now faced with having to write off her bad debt and with losing over 90% of the presumed value of the bonds. Her wine supplier also claims bankruptcy, closing the doors on a family business that had endured for three generations, her beer supplier is taken over by a competitor, who immediately closes the local plant and lays off 150 workers.
Fortunately though, the bank, the brokerage houses and their respective executives are saved and bailed out by a multi-billion dollar no-strings attached cash infusion from the Government. The funds required for this bailout are obtained by new taxes levied on employed, middle-class, non-drinkers.
Now, do you understand?
Shared by Sue.
The Mr and I had a couple things to do today, so we headed off and the first thing that caught my eye were these little purdy thangs, blooming by the drive way.
Ain’t they cute?
I was really surprised they popped up this year because we didn’t cut them back, like we were suppose to, or cover them up when it got really nippy.
Well, the reason for our trip to town? I won a raffle on Saturday. I never win anything, but hey, there’s always a first time, right? Well, not exactly true. I did win a raffle waaaaaaay back in 1980…or somewhere around there. I had my choice between a little portable black and white TV, or a pig. Uh…. I took the TV. Stupid thing didn’t work, so had to get it fixed. Oh well. So, when I got the phone call Saturday afternoon, needless to say, I was rather surprised. What did I win?
Ok, the picture didn’t come out too swuft, but I kept trying to convince Mr Spot he really didn’t need to be in the picture. sigh… You can tell who won that argument.
What am I going to do with it? Well, not real sure right at this moment. I should probably learn how to use it, don’cha think? One thing is for sure, I should probably start lifting a few weights, cuz that thing is kind of heavy for this fragile little ol’ lady.
Well, while we were out and about, we decided to pick up something else. Something that is going to be a WHOLE lot more practical living out here in Podunk. We traded in my baby…..
for something a little more substantial…..
After the gold car, I now feel like I’m in second place, but ya know what? I don’t care! I LIKE IT! It’s going to take some getting use to, but I’ve no doubt, I will adapt! And the BEST thing? It’s neither a Government Motors nor a Crapsler!
So, how did we celebrate our nice Monday? Why, we went to Burger King, of course! That’s all we could afford!
At midday today, President Barack Obama will announce details of his administration’s $30.1 billion plan to restructure General Motors. Despite claiming that the administration “will not interfere with or exert control over day-to-day company operations” it is instructive that this announcement is being made by the President, from the White House, and not by the company’s CEO from either the company’s Detroit headquarters or the New York bankruptcy court. Since March of this year when the White House rejected GM’s restructuring plan, their interventionist actions have spoken much louder than their hands-off rhetoric.
Did no one explain to him that this is NOT his job? He is interfering in a privately owned business. Why does HE get a say in how a company restructures itself? As best I know, Constitutionally, he has NO say. I’ve read Article II. I don’t see anywhere it names the POTUS as a CEO of any company. I don’t see where it says he can fire and hire any CEO of a company.
Just days after the White House informed GM that they were unhappy with the company’s first restructuring plan, President Obama fired GM CEO Richard Wagoner. The payoff from Obama’s hand picked replacement, current CEO Fritz Henderson, quickly became apparent when Henderson stood next to Obama in the Rose Garden and announced his support for the Obama administration’s new fuel efficiency standards: “GM is fully committed to this new approach.” The surreal event underscored the myriad of inherent new conflicts as the Obama administration now becomes GM’s regulator, tax collector, customer, lender, and owner. The Obama administration’s heavy handed management of GM did not end there:
What Cars to Make – Currently, General Motors most profitable products are the Chevy Silverado pickup and the Cadillac Escalade SUV. These gas guzzlers aren’t exactly popular with the anti-carbon Obama administration. GM’s electric-powered Chevy Volt, however, is expected to cost $40,000 per vehicle, much more than the $25,000 gas-electric Toyota Prius.
Now, I don’t know about you, but we can’t afford a $40K totally impractical tin can. Shoot, we can’t even afford a $40K vehicle that IS practical. I don’t know a whole lot of people who can, or if they could, would want one of those things. First off, they are ugly! Second, they are dangerous! I don’t particularly want to die in a smushed vehicle. Safety of people comes first. Well, at least it does with me. Those whack jobs up in D.C. don’t seem to much care about people….it’s all about fish, or otters, or whatever else they can think up to put their constituents in harms way. They are actually deciding which plants to close. How much you want to bet the ones to be definitely shut down will be in states that did not overwhelmingly vote for Obama?
Salesman in Chief – While General Motors has been rapidly shedding market share, Ford (the last private auto company in Detroit) has actually gained market share. Obama’s new car company will never turnaround if that trend continues. So already President Obama personally promoted a $7,500 tax credit for consumers who buy a GM Chevy Volt.
Guess what we’re looking to buy in the not too distant future? Sure as hell ain’t a Chrysler, or a Gubmint Motors! I am canceling my boycott of Ford! I have a darn good reason for my personal boycott, which I won’t get into now. But, as I told the sales guy, they are the only company that did not take my money without my permission, and the only company I feel can be trusted now. Nice kid too. He agrees with me about the tin can cars. He won’t have one either!
As much as I miss my mom and dad, and all my aunts and uncles, I’m rather grateful they aren’t still alive to see the country they fought and sacrificed for, turning into what they fought and sacrificed against!