Thursday, November 13, 2008

Serfs, fools, and slaves


It is unfortunate that I peck out this tractate with two lonely fingers. But I feel I have to write what I think about. And true, some bich azz mutha fucas gone say or call me self righteous or hypocritical and to them I would like to assert they embrangle a penis.

I always remind my kids of stuff I feel that I should remind adults off. Namely that there was a time when one could not read and that when they learn to do such, if caught they would either have their eyes gauged out, or tongues cut out or both.

It just upsets me that folks walk around and really don’t have an idea of the storm they are in, especially in this current economic environment. And unfortunately, it will only get worse. True I do not have the answer yet alone all of them, and all I do here in my brief essays and commentary is make assertions and opine. But such is the nature of liberty and freedom. On the flipside however, the nature of liberty and freedom requires hard work, and being able to stay informed and see through the fog often proffered by exceptional marketing.

It is just amazing how folks move around and continue in their previous ways as if what we live is different from the reality. I know folks now know that WAMU and Wachovia are no longer, and of the turmoil that has hit Wall Street. I also suspect many know that Circuit City Stores, Inc. has just filled for Chapter 11 and more importantly, that the savior, President Elect Barack Obama is headed to the Whitehouse. And I say savior to be funny and real, cause folks talk like one man, one person, can change the political out come of the executive leadership of America since the Regan years, including the Clinton Administration. But he cannot and will likely do no such thing, especially since many of us do not want to do our part and rather drop the burden on one scholars shoulder.

The sad thing is also that many of us do not know that it has only started, or that we have been in a recession for more than 2 years and that it is sure to last for at least a decade. Add to that, the sub crime (I mean prime) crisis aint even hit us yet. Shit, just this week alone, companies the likes of, Agriprocessors Inc., MicroIslet, (a publicly traded San Diego biotech engaged in stem cell therapies), Xechem International, Inc of NJ, Accentia Biopharmaceuticals (the Tampa-based drug development company that make major chemo-therapy drugs), Storm Cat Energy Corporation of Denver, Harold's Stores Inc. of Dallas, MPC - the personal computer maker formerly known as Micron Electronics, National Wholesale Liquidators and even the prestigious Yellow Stone club have fouled for chapter 11 over the last week alone (about 10 billion combined in market cap, dk how many jobs).

Add to the aforementioned, Sharper Image, Pacific Sunwear, Mikasa, Mervyns, Linens ‘N Things, KB Toys, Hollywood Video, CompUSA and a whole bunch more who have already filled for chapter 11 this year, things is looking extremely bad for America and our economy. One of my folks suggest that if we were a third world country, the World Bank and/or IMF would have come in and closed shop devalued our currency and strapped us with a structural Adjustment program like they did so many African nations. And don’t be surprised if places like Wilson’s Leather will be next.

All I am trying to say is that things aint all good, and although we hear such, we rarely take the time to thoroughly inform and apprise ourselves of what the really real is. But I guess that is the way things are and that such is the nature and can only be expected from serfs, fools, and slaves. Any who, I’m just talking out the side of my neck – yawl don’t hear me though.

51 comments:

rainywalker said...

I just left a long comment at daddyBstrong on this same subject. Will Homeland Security allow a large non-violent group to march on Washington? I think not! As I told the Daddy, holding up a copy of the Constitution and looking at the barrel of an M-60, all it will take is one car backfiring and we will be martyr's. I love this country, but trust government no more than George Washington did in 1776.

Aunt Jackie said...

I am not someone who considers themselves to be a dummy when it comes to the economy, and my personal economy more specifically. having lived thru the previous recession I am well aware what an economic recession can mean however I do feel as though you you enjoy a doom and gloom perspective, which for me is a turn off, for the same reason I don't watch the "bad" news and prefer to read it.

for me an editorialized version of hard times is simply dramatized fact.

I knew WAMU was going down over a year ago, long before it was publicized, because I am in touch with those who work in world banking on the regular.

i do however appreciate your consistency. i can count on you to remind me that shit is hard on the boulevard, which is not to say that i'm trying to forget either.

nicki nicki tembo said...

Each passing day this makes "The Five Stages of Collapse" - Dmitry Orlov, look spot on. I'm just saying...

Tha BossMack TopSoil said...

Shit is Horrible, husle thru tho.

Sheliza said...

it's just rough all around. Nothing will happen for the better overnight, that's for sure. I'm still amazed how so many businesses are closing their doors yet homes are being built left and right.

Zarinah said...

I think one would have to live under a rock to not be aware of what our current market condition is right now. I also think one would be totally irrational if they thought that our next president could clean up this mess immediately, never mind in just one term. For those that refer to Obama as the "great hope" I would think it was that they were referring to the fact that he has accomplished something that most African American's thought was impossible. In that respect, he has given a culture a new hope and has made it ok to dream big dreams and go after them. He has revived a new hope in African American families where just graduating high school was a standard and acceptable in that respect he is a hope, and a much needed well overdue breath of fresh air.

However, though I am fully aware of the market, I have chosen to not focus on that which may cause me to lose faith in what I believe. And what I believe is that no matter what the market does, no matter what the situation looks like, as I trust in my God, my family and I shall never lack or go without. In fact, I believe that we will continue to live in surplus. Now some will call that naive, I call it faith.

Linda said...

amen, amen and also.. amen :P

People just want to be ignorant about just anything. And then they'll be mad when you teach your kids the truth and not let them grow up in a fairy tale too..

It would be wise to be *just a little* prepared for anything happening.. it's not really that much science fiction anymore ;)

greetings from the netherlands!

BuelahMan said...

You know I listen. We sing the same song.

From some of the posts I see a disconnect from truth of the economy. It is called a "recession" when in fact, the situation is worse than anything ever seen in history.

This is no recession, it is at the brink of a Depression that will make the first one look like a party.

It is a fact that we can not sustain the Empire without prosperity and manufacturing at home.

The Bankruptcy filings you see are just a drop in the bucket of what is coming.

Please mark my words, for this is as prophetic a horror story that can be given in regards to America's financial situation.

You ain't seen nothin', yet.

NoRegrets said...

Someone's grumpy today. Of course people hear you. Aside from having our eyes open and bracing for the storm and electing people that might make a difference, what else is there to do?

Veronica Wright said...

"...that the savior, President Elect Barack Obama is headed to the Whitehouse. And I say savior to be funny and real, cause folks talk like one man, one person, can change the political out come of the executive leadership of America since the Regan years, including the Clinton Administration."

COME ON WITH IT BRUH!


But you know what? All I can say about this economoy right now is that I hope it gets better sooner than later. People are STRUGGLIN' out here. I'm blessed not to be one of them but who knows what tomorrow may bring!

Another "all i can say" is that: at least the gas prices have gone down. At least up my way anyway, their I passed by an Exxon this morning with regular at 1.97!

Casper said...

I am just glad I don't live in America right now.

I firmly believe that the housing bubble pop was just the first flair in the road of a bloody car pile up. The problem is we don't yet know how many cars are in the pile up yet.

The thing that gets me is my family and friends are just dying for things to get back to normal. They just want everything to be the way it was. (whatever that means) This scares me more than anything right now. Because I think this must have been how Germany was right before WWII. Everyone is waiting for someone to come and save them.

I just got the 3rd degree on a forum for telling people to google Barack Obama and Warren Buffet, or Barack Obama and Rothschild, or Barack Obama and the CFR, or Barack Obama and Rockefeller or Barack Obama and Goldman Sachs etc.

Now switch out the name Barack Obama and replace it with Dick Cheney. "OH NO HE DIDN'T" Yea I did. Just the fact that Barack is taking advise from Paul Volcker scares the Hell out of me.

Anyways, I hope the big three go under. Maybe, just maybe, some small private car producers will start going into business. And and even bigger maybe, maybe government will leave them the Hell alone.

I would like to go on but its 1:30 and I gotta get up early. Woo hoo!

Marcus LANGFORD said...

this is all a sign of the much-prophesied last days when the bible basically speaks of people throwing money in the streets because it will hold no more value.

[associated mess©]

esin said...

You're tormenting the natives, bruh... Do you really believe that each and everyone of us isn't aware... and that to the extent we are capable we are simply holding our breathe, going through the motions and hoping for the best.

I do believe in the coming administration's fundamental approach... also, the industrialized nations, one and all, are in this with us,,,, failure is simply not an option.

We'll print more money, reach some equilibrium that we can work with, print more money and carry on. Hang in bruh,,, gotta go, baby's got gymnastics today ;)

DP said...

It's likely going to get much worse before it gets better. Based on the comments so far I think you're preaching to the choir, but keep on preaching anyway!

an average patriot said...

People just do not want to be bothered but pretty soon they will be and it is already too late to do anything! Worse is this was all done on purpose and it is just beginning including the bankrupting of America! The worse is yet to come! You know how I feel so I will stop!

Brothers Blog said...

I think the point you made about the savior Barack Obama is so true. He can only do so much. And putting the burden on his shoulder to save all this is setting him up for failure for sure. All this was set in motion before he even decided to run for the democratic nomination. So we may as well brace ourselves for the worst. Grind it through.

AJ said...

I've been following the upcoming collapse for the last 6 months and it's scarring the hell out of me. I've read Dmitry Orlov's writings along with other opinions and sounding the alarm to family and friends and they look at me like I'm crazy. As someone else said, they think things are going to bounce back like they have in the past. It seems denial is far more palatable than reality.

Talina said...

What I really don't get is how people can get all worked up over fear of the unknown and go completely mad over nothing all while ignoring the blatant shit storm we are in the middle of right now.

All those who ran out and bought guns as a result of Obama being elected make me sick. Dude, nobody is taking your right to own a gun away, we have much more pressing issues you know.

There are just too many stupid people walking the earth. That is our problem.

an average patriot said...

AJ
It blows me away but they are not alone. This is just beginning and was manufactured. the timing is no accident think about it!

blackgirlinmaine said...

I hear you. Shoot, I started saying last year the economy was going south but no one in my inner circle was listening to me.

Sadly it took gas prices going up before many folks got a clue and now that the prices are down, folks are once again thinking that as long as they got theirs its all good.

Nope, I believe we are in for some serious hard times that likes that most of us have never seen.

msladydeborah said...

T,

I am curious to know what you are waiting to hear or see?

You can share you intellect and knowledge on a subject. Those that have ears hear and those who have eyes see.

Believe me, I have been watching every move that I make and every one that the economy makes.

How do you undo a national mindset that is handed down from generaion to generation? We are a nation of consumers and we buy products that we do not necessarily need or have to own.

Until we get a different seed to grown different mentalities it ain't gonna be easy to get adverse messaes across.

Hey Shae! said...

Sometimes you have to dumb it down... wait until Doctor Jays, Silvia's or Sean John files chapter 11. Then you'll get the resounding, "Oooooh, I get it now." ;-)

no_slappz said...

torrance,

Chapter 11 filings are hardly bad news.

Chapter 11 means the bankruptcy court and the creditors will restructure the troubled companies so that they continue to live on.

Chapter 7 means liquidation. It's all over when a company goes to that chaper of the financial playbook.

General Motors needs reorganization as much as Ford and Chrysler. But it's got to happen with an eye on maintaining jobs. That means only one thing -- big pay and benefit cuts for everybody.

Otherwise, the nation will have no choice but to organize a funeral for Detroit.

Obama must support a stimulus package. He must drop the ridiculous fuel efficiency standards for Detroit and he must block a law that would force workers to vote openly for unions.

He must drop his destructive ideas about trade restrictions.

He must drop useless subsidies for domestic ethanol and harmful tariffs on imported ethanol.

He must support expanded energy exploration in the US and let the free market deliver alternative-energy rewards. Solar and wind are expensive wastes of taxpayer money.

As for banks, it does not matter that some, like WAMU, have disappeared. In fact, only the stockholders were hurt. All WAMU branches are now JP Morgan Chase branches.

The number of bank branches in the US continues to increase. The number of banks is unimportant.

But, just so you know, there are about 8,000 banks in the US. There are about 2,000 Savings & Loans. And there are about 9,500 Credit Unions.

There's no shortage of places to put money or borrow it.

Meanwhile, the Subprime lending business has always existed and it will continue to exist. People forget that Pawn Shops are subprime lenders.

Moreover, Corporate Junk Bonds are, by every measure, sub prime. But creditors put much effort into determining if Junk Borrowers can repay their debts. If they fail to pass the credit test, then -- no money.

Obama must repeal the Community Reinvestment Act if sanity is to return to mortgage lending.

Meanwhile, the lesson that needs learning is this: Regulation breeds innovation that exists outside the regulatory framework.

The Investment Company Act of 1940 was meant to regulate Mutual Funds, which had been around since the early 1920s.

Unregulated mutual funds were the hedge funds of their day. The 1940 Act regulated mutual funds, and after that hedge funds were born. But it took a couple of decades before they became a household topic.

Credit Default Swaps are a form of insurance. If they become regulated, a new unregulated security will emerge that will address the problems created by the regulations. It is always that way.

Back to bankruptcies and the evolution of American industry -- There is only one company in the Dow Jones Industrial Average today that was included in the Average when it was created over 100 years ago -- General Electric.

The names have turned over many times. Many of those that were dropped have disappeared because the industries no longer exist, or they are so diminished that they are now bit players.

James Tubman said...

progress seems so ubiquitous

even though people around us might be loosing their jobs and their houses (10,000 a month at least)

as long as we arent affected NOW we think oh well things might get better

they dont know things can get a hell of a lot worse

i am in the majority too i have to admit

its so hard to imagine sometimes the white man not bailing us out like he normally does

out of all people i should know better

Miriam said...

Torrance,

What do you want to see folks doing so that you will know that folks are listening to you?

Also Slappz said:
"Regulation breeds innovation that exists outside the regulatory framework."

lol

Casper said...

@ Miriam,

I do agree with slapps on that point. Do you know what the no.1 cash crop in America is? Its not corn, or wheat, or soy. Although they are in the top six. The no.1 cash crop in America is marijuana by a landslide victory. If the government cannot tax something they make it illegal. Marijuana is purely market driven. When there is a demand high enough for an item, no amount of regulation and enforcement will stop it from entrepreneurial people. If the payoff is big enough someone is gonna capitalize on it.

I can go on about how things that are not government controlled are labeled bad, evil, or unfair, but I think you get the point.

OG, The Original Glamazon said...

Well Ti, I think maybe we do know. Retail is faltering because most people are not buying and they project the holida spending will fall flat with last year which is drop of the usual 4% growth we see.

It seems that people are stopping descretionary spending or maybe we aren't maybe we are the 1% but I doubt that.

The thing is these markets have to contract basic economics which is what I know or shoudl I say common sense what goes up must go down. An econmy will reach a peak of growth that can not be sustained add greed into that it that bubble burst a lot quicker.

Or thats what I think happens.

-OG

Sauce said...

Keep talking bruh, we hear ya!

no_slappz said...

casper, you wrote:

"The no.1 cash crop in America is marijuana by a landslide victory."

Your claim is misleading in many ways.

First, by volume, pot is small potatoes. Thus, everything else aside, compared with corn or wheat, very little pot is produced.

Second, the claim depends on the artificially high price of pot for its grain of truth.

IF pot were decriminalized, its price would drop a lot. At the same time, more people would produce it, which would lead to further price cuts.

Bottom line: pot, like other illegal substances, is pricey because the government has established a pot tariff that is collected by pot farmers and paid by consumers. Thus, the price reflects many articial constraints rather than the intrinsic value of the commodity.

Miriam said...

No Slappz said:
"....IF pot were decriminalized, its price would drop a lot. At the same time, more people would produce it, which would lead to further price cuts..."


No Slappz, but wouldn't the demand also rise once its decriminalized? Wouldn't more people feel free to try some, get hooked, etc thus raising demand to meet with the rising supply?

Casper said...

No wonder no one likes you slapps.

OK Champ.

On the DEA website, by there own admission (which you can pretty well guess they are gonna alter the figures in a way that's gonna benefit them) In the "monitoring the future" survey in 2005 45.7% of 12th graders admitted that they will be lifetime users of marijuana.

74% of 8th graders reported that smoking marijuana regularly was a great risk.

Even if that's HALF correct (which I suspect its more) Marijuana is a MAJOR industry and its not going away anytime soon.

The DEA has seized 620,705 pounds of marijuana in 2005. This does not take into account any other law enforcement agency just the DEA alone.

Now take into account every single state and local law enforcement agency. How much do you think they confiscate every year.

Here is an ABC news report

http://abcnews.go.com/Business/story?id=2735017

Here is the report from drug science.

http://www.drugscience.org/Archive/bcr2/cashcrops.html

OF COARSE IF MARIJUANA WAS LEGAL IT WOULDN'T EVEN BE IN THE RUNNING.

That was the whole point behind my agreeing with your original statement. Regulation only breeds innovation outside the regulatory work frame. Marijuana is untaxed and illegal but it outsells every other crop. I suspect the federal government will make it legal again when they are positioned well enough where they can tax and regulate the hell out of it. The same thing they did with alcohol after prohibition. Same thing they did with the numbers racket and made it into the state lotto.

My position is the government has no business even being involved in the first place.

Why do you think government WANTS to subsidize farmers? It puts a LEASH on them. Lets be realistic, the Federal Govt cant wait to get its hands into the marijuana cookie jar, They just can't have it happen all at once or else they won't be able to control it. One state at a time is just the way they like it.

KELSO'S NUTS said...

@ AUNT JACKIE: I'm at least as guilty of that as Torrance is but it's not enjoyment at anyone's misery -- it's frustration.

It's frustration because there were so many great ideas out there which had appeal to everyone across the spectrum which could have helped avert the worst of this and would have averted the pending thievery in the endless bailout series.

Here are three simple ideas most people like as a starting point which no one except maybe Barbara Lee and Ron Paul took seriously back when it counted: Peace In Iraq, Balanced Budgets, and Personal Freedom.

KELSO'S NUTS said...

@ CASPAR: I live in South America so I have some sense of what's going on in the drug world and why.

Because this is a principally American blog, I'll make the usual disclaimer. I have never sold drugs. I will never sell drugs. And my body will not tolerate so much as a hit of marijuana without serious side effects.

The re-scheduling of marijuana during the Reagan administration into the same drug class as cocaine and heroin, created the domestic marijuana production boom you write about. Because of retail crack and the rescheduling, it became absurd for any Narcotraficantes to import South or Central American marijuana into the US because by weight and volume they could get so much more cocaine in with such a greater possibility of profit with the same risk.

Coca only grows in the Andes. Marijuana grows everywhere (including and especially indoors but that's a story for another day). As it turned out, American soil was better for producing high-potency marijuana than Andean soil was anyway. There was all that talk about Maui Wowee a long time ago but it turned out that the Appalachians and Pacific Northwest had soil most amenable to the strongest marijuana.

The American market has becore flooded with cocaine and crack usage is way down, such that an 8-er of high-purity Peruano or Boliviano goes for roughly $180. [The story of Colombiano is way too involved and complicated to go into].

That's really cheap compared to prices in the 1980s. An 8-er of impure Peruano in 1983, before the reclassification of marijuana, was $400!

US demand for most drugs is pretty inelastic, so with the dearth of Latino marijuana, the void got filled by very high quality domestic marijuana, which in turn stimulated more demand and higher quality, bringing on the hydro movement to the point that the coke-pot spread in the US is pretty negative.

I have no idea what 1/8 ounce of "Humboldt", "Eureka" "Seattle" or hydro costs but it's way more than $180.

The US production of grains obviously dwarfs the the US production marijuana by weight but how much do you think the weight of an ear of corn in domestic marijuana is worth in money? I don't know but what does an ear of Nebraska corn weigh? 1 pound? What does it cost at a roadside stand? 50c?

1 pound of "Humboldt"? That's a nice number!

Torrance Stephens - All-Mi-T said...

rainywalker
that Washington comparision is accurate, classic and true

Aunt Jackie
thanks for your humble support and critisism - i just write whjat i think - sorry -O

nicki nicki tembo
i trip off our definition of recession, else were 2 quarters in a row of shrinking econonmy, we have 9 and not a recession

Tha BossMack TopSoil
classic "hustle thru"

Sheliza
sad indeed sister

Zarinah
well said and many are under rocks


Linda
no fairy tales from me sister and how is the fam

BuelahMan
yep, i know u speak the truth - but folks dont know recession from depression and thats sad


NoRegrets
yep 2 of my vendors fioled for chapter 11

Veronica Wright
thanks sister but thats how the blid see - scary huh

Casper
well said and wish i still lived in Nigeria or Senegal


Marcus LANGFORD
dang getting biblical on me, and like wise as price sang - sign of the times

esin
not every one but but most are aware, but awarness doesn not preculde having knowledge or an understanding - which i would suggest many do not

DP
nice to still have a chior

an average patriot
yep i just want folks realize it on us moreso that the folks in DC

Brothers Blog
and a grind it will be.

AJ
ive been writing about it for the last 16 months

Talina
id say ignorant as opposed to stupid, they just dont know and dont try to understand - like lazy or scared

an average patriot
no accident at all

blackgirlinmaine
hard and long times sister

msladydeborah
really, at the extreme worse in - martial law one day


Hey Shae!
lol

no_slappz
i know that it is just the massive numbers 100K this past monday alone (ch 11 across USA) and agree "He must support expanded energy exploration in the US and let the free market deliver alternative-energy rewards. Solar and wind are expensive wastes of taxpayer money."


and im writing about junk bonds and hedge fundsa s we type

James Tubman
so true re: progress - i just dont know if the worse has come yet

Miriam
i dk but it makes me feel good if folks start to think about it so they can start dealing with stuff from the bottom up instead of asking cap hill to make it rain change

Casper
should have never put in place the Mar. tax act of 1937

OG, The Original Glamazon
maybe saving will be a good thing - only thing saving me is that like church and porn, and liquor, dog food is one of the so called recession proof businesses

Sauce
thanks how life in memphis jones

no_slappz

Casper
LOL

KELSO'S NUTS
thanks and again bravo....but they dont hear u though


KELSO'S NUTS
dont remind me of regan, or Humboldt county purple lol

shine said...

we are slaves, even if we don't want to admit it. i just learned that my bank, commerce-- has just changed to td bank--most likely, using the money that they have stolen from us. Eyes wide open.

no_slappz said...

miriam, you asked:

"...wouldn't the demand also rise once its (pot) decriminalized?"

Yes. I believe consumption would rise. The question is: How much?

You asked:

"Wouldn't more people feel free to try some, get hooked, etc thus raising demand to meet with the rising supply?"

Cigarettes and liquor are legal. However, it is clear that the growing awareness of health concerns related to the consumption of both have led to some improvements in personal behavior.

The vast majority of Americans do not smoke and drink responsibly. I believe the same sanity would prevail if pot were decriminalized.

However, Decriminalization is not Legalization.

If pot were legalized, then pot-selling organizations with powerful marketing capabilities would take every possible step to increase consumption.

Budweiser backs high-speed race cars and racing boats. Cigarette companies back many sports.

Would the country derive any benefit from the encouragement of more pot smoking?

NoRegrets said...

Oh, that does suck. Sorry...

no_slappz said...

casper, you cited:

"...in 2005 45.7% of 12th graders admitted that they will be lifetime users of marijuana."

A worthless statistic.

and:

"74% of 8th graders reported that smoking marijuana regularly was a great risk."

Another meaningless statistic. However it seems to convey the idea that 74% of 8th graders think pot smoking is a bad idea.

You wrote:

"The DEA has seized 620,705 pounds of marijuana in 2005. This does not take into account any other law enforcement agency just the DEA alone."

That number is about as reliable as a body count in Vietnam. Wildly exaggerated for the benefit of those spouting the figure.

And:

"Now take into account every single state and local law enforcement agency. How much do you think they confiscate every year."

Very little.

You wrote:

"Marijuana is untaxed and illegal but it outsells every other crop."

No. Not on a unit basis. If pot were priced by the same mechanisms that control corn and wheat or any other agricultural commodity, it would sell for several dollars a bushel.

You claimed:

"I suspect the federal government will make it legal again when they are positioned well enough where they can tax and regulate the hell out of it."

First, there's no move in the US to legalize pot. Surprising, but true. Not one politician in elective office admits to supporting NORML.

Second, the tax revenue you foresee would never materialize because it is way too easy for people to grow their own pot at home, free from the burden of taxation. Really. Wake up. It's already a tax-free business. Nothing would change. The near impossibility of collecting the windfall you envision is probably a reason standing in the way of saner legislation.

You said:

"The same thing they did with alcohol after prohibition."

Alcohol is cheap. Expensive liquors are expensive due to marketing that exploits the snobbishness of those who believe in their mythical qualities.

You claimed:

"Same thing they did with the numbers racket and made it into the state lotto."

The Off Track Betting Corporation in NY City loses money. Hence, taxing vice is no guarantee of easy revenue for the government.

You said:

"Why do you think government WANTS to subsidize farmers?"

By definition, subsidizing an economic activity means the activity cannot stand alone on its own economic feet. Anyway, food is an issue of national security. Though our farm subsidy programs have sailed off in ridiculous directions, we need the security of having an adequate food supply at all times.

You claimed:

"It puts a LEASH on them."

Leash? Try golden handcuffs. My sister, who lives in New Jersey, inherited farmland in Iowa. She enjoys some of that farm subsidy money, some of which is paid to her when the land lies fallow.

You claimed:

"Lets be realistic, the Federal Govt cant wait to get its hands into the marijuana cookie jar,"

Really? Where is the line of politicians waiting to vote in favor of this tax windfall?

Tera said...

Torrance it's sad that many believe that Obama can "heal" this nation and this economy on his own. It is going to take a lot of hard work and years of dedication to even BEGIN to make a measurable difference.

People keep harping over the fact that the democrats have been in influential offices for the past 2 years and have done "nothing." I can't believe that anyone would be so stupid as to believe that much could have happened in those 2 years!

With this nation so divided at present, that may make matters even worse.

I have been thinking about the hypocrites that told Americans they should support their president and back him 100% when Bush stole...oops, I mean won office, yet they refuse to do the same for Obama. It shall be interesting to see how this all unfolds.

KELSO'S NUTS said...

TORRANCE: Appointment of Gregory Craig as White House Counsel is a sign that Jones might be our kind of guy.

Gregory Craig (aside from being nation's instrumental and material political expert on Latin issues) and Brendan Sullivan are two big criminal defense stars at Williams & Connolly.

All I know is that if I'm living in the Middle Atlantic States or 4th Circuit-landia and I'm jammed up on a federal beef, I'm not caring jackshit about "policy" or "history". I'm calling Williams & Connolly like YESTERDAY and paying whatever they ask!

CordieB said...

I hear ya dawg! Honestly, I didn't know all those companies had filed Chapter 11. Mikasia- wow, does that mean I can't buy anymore expensive crystal or that the crystal I already have will be worth much more? When it all comes down to it; perhaps we have been living a little too high on the hog any way. God has a way of making us smell ourselves, especially when we don't smell too good! Peace, Light and Love to you and yours. . . as always. . . CordieB.

no_slappz said...

torrance,

A few months ago you blogged about people stealing gasoline from service stations and the theft of a tanker truck.

Well, a few pirate from Somalia took things a step further:

Pirates raise stakes with oil tanker hijack

By Andrew England in Cairo and Robert Wright in London

Published: November 17 2008 13:11 | Last updated: November 17 2008 19:08

Pirates operating off the coast of east Africa have hijacked a Saudi supertanker fully laden with an estimated 2m barrels of oil in an attack that marks a significant escalation in the scope of banditry in the region.

The pirates, believed to be from lawless Somalia, seized control of the Sirius Star, which is owned by Saudi Aramco, the world’s largest oil company, on Saturday, 450 nautical miles south-east of the Kenyan Indian Ocean port of Mombasa.

It is estimated that the tanker was holding more than a quarter of the daily exports from Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest oil exporter. The oil would have been worth about $100m (€79m, £66.5m) at Monday’s market price but is probably of little interest to the pirates.

Pottengal Mukundan, director of the International Maritime Bureau, said that the only cargoes that had interested Somali pirates previously were the shipments of World Food Programme aid.

Instead, pirates seize vessels to extort ransoms – often of about $2m – from shipowners desperate to have their crews returned.

The number of pirate acts reported to have occurred or been attempted off the coast of east Africa rose to 84 between January and September, compared with 46 over the same period in 2007, according to the International Maritime Organisation, making it the world’s worst affected region in terms of piracy.

Pirates currently hold 14 ships off the coast of Somalia.

Seven per cent of world oil consumption passed through the Gulf of Aden in 2007, according to Lloyd’s Marine Intelligence Unit.
The tanker is about three times the tonnage of a US aircraft carrier, making it the largest vessel ever seized by pirates.

The attack also took place farther out to sea than before, signalling that the pirates have become increasingly bold, organised and able to adapt their tactics, experts say.

“It certainly represents a fundamental change in the pirates’ ability to be able to attack vessels out to sea,” said Lieutenant Nathan Christensen, a spokesman for the US Fifth Fleet, which patrols the region’s waters.

Somali pirates in speed boats, heavily armed with machine guns and rocket-propelled grenades, have been wreaking havoc in the Gulf of Aden, launching regular attacks on vessels in the past two years. But the latest incident suggests they are moving further south into the Indian Ocean as western navies increase their patrols off the waters of Somalia, experts say.

The seizure puts an end to hopes that a succession of engagements in recent weeks between international military forces and pirates might have put an end to the security crisis in the area.

Cyrus Mody, manager at the International Maritime Bureau, said the pirates would probably look to move the Sirius Star to the coast of Somalia where they would anchor it and begin negotiation with the owners.

However, the pirates are likely to face challenges navigating the vast ship, which will be sitting far too low in the water to go anywhere near the coast where they have normally taken captured ships.

Casper said...

@ Slapps

I agree completely, they are completely worthless studies. I believe they are twice what they are reporting. The DEA could very well be under reporting there numbers as not to alarm. Conversely they could be over reporting in order to make themselves look good/increase funding/etc whatever. The fact is that number for whatever reason is definatly NOT accurate. It is also the same with high school statistics, more than likely not in the least accurate. I point to this simply to bring into light that by the governments own admission there is a huge marijuana industry that exists outside the regulatory market.

What the bottom line is about these statistics is, YOU SLAPPS, yes little ol YOU, don't have the ability to say what statistics are worthless or not. Your not a deciding factor, you are one voice and you don't have enough clout. It maybe worthless to you but that's just you. That being said neither do I, I am just reporting it.

Slapps sd: "Now take into account every single state and local law enforcement agency. How much do you think they confiscate every year." Very little.

Really? well considering my grandfather is a retired chief of police, uncles and cousins are police officers and judges, friends are judges and lawyers and police, I am gonna say your wrong. Not some statistic that you wanna disagree with, or some information that you sit behind your desk and look at from afar in your ivory tower. Just straight from the horses mouth. Now because I don't expect you to take my word for it, and would scorn you for doing so. I invite you to go down to your local cop bar, just buyem a few drinks, they will tell you all kinds of fun stuff that you won't learn on a computer.

I have a suspicion you have no real world experience, my hunch is that you only experience your life through your monitor. Your a consumer, not a producer. Just my guess though.

Slapps sd: "Marijuana is untaxed and illegal but it outsells every other crop." No. Not on a unit basis. If pot were priced by the same mechanisms that control corn and wheat or any other agricultural commodity, it would sell for several dollars a bushel.

Who the f**k cares about a unit basis? We are talking about MONEY. All commodities are based in MONEY per unit. The way your looking at it its like comparing gold to corn. Your saying the gold would not outperform the corn in quantity, DUH. Marijuana is a bigger cash crop BECAUSE of its intrinsic value regardless of its legality. The best thing for the marijuana dealer is the fact that its illegal. The best thing the farmer could do would be to get corn wheat and soy made illegal and through the FDA, then get it licensed, bonded, and insured. It will drive out all the local competition and the only people left doing it would be the giant agribusinesses that can afford to pay for the FDA testing and approval. Just like the pharmaceutical companies. You can't grow heroin poppies in your back yard but you can go down to your local doctor with some back pain and get some oxycontin.

Slapps sd: "I suspect the federal government will make it legal again when they are positioned well enough where they can tax and regulate the hell out of it." First, there's no move in the US to legalize pot. Surprising, but true. Not one politician in elective office admits to supporting NORML.

There is no overt move because the public is engrained against it. That not how it works. Major pharmaceutical companies start piping in funds to politicians by way of lobbyists, with the agenda of slow legalization, and then with restriction. They cannot afford to have a major sweeping legislation to approve marijuana. You can't dump the frog into the boiling water, you have to slowly raise the temperature, otherwise he is gonna jump out. Slow creeping death change.

Slapps sd "Second, the tax revenue you foresee would never materialize because it is way too easy for people to grow their own pot at home, free from the burden of taxation. Really. Wake up. It's already a tax-free business. Nothing would change. The near impossibility of collecting the windfall you envision is probably a reason standing in the way of saner legislation."

That's what they said about alcohol 150 years ago. "no one will ever buy alcohol people can just make it themselves" Now we have Budweiser, Sam Adams, and Jack Daniels to name 3. One day we will have Green's Northern Lights selling at Wallmart rest assured.

Slapps sd: "The same thing they did with alcohol after prohibition." Alcohol is cheap. Expensive liquors are expensive due to marketing that exploits the snobbishness of those who believe in their mythical qualities.

Uhhh Excuse me? Jack Daniels cost about 3 bucks a bottle to produce and Jack Daniels makes about 2 dollars profit per bottle. Yep that's right on a twenty dollar bottle of whiskey 5 bucks go back to Jack. Where does the rest go? Can you say Excise Tax?

Slapps sd: "Same thing they did with the numbers racket and made it into the state lotto." The Off Track Betting Corporation in NY City loses money. Hence, taxing vice is no guarantee of easy revenue for the government.

Doesn't really have anything to do with my point, but the fact of business is that if they did not make money consistently they would go out of business. They may write in there books that they are in the red for tax reasons, but if they were in the red more than they are in the black they would sink.

Slapps sd: "Why do you think government WANTS to subsidize farmers?" By definition, subsidizing an economic activity means the activity cannot stand alone on its own economic feet. Anyway, food is an issue of national security. Though our farm subsidy programs have sailed off in ridiculous directions, we need the security of having an adequate food supply at all times.

Uhhh Excuse me??? How did we ever survive for 150 years before subsidies? My Lord, our forefathers must have been STARVING. Hell, me and you must be lucky for the subsidies that came along. We might not even be having this little discussion right now.

Slapps sd: "It puts a LEASH on them." Leash? Try golden handcuffs. My sister, who lives in New Jersey, inherited farmland in Iowa. She enjoys some of that farm subsidy money, some of which is paid to her when the land lies fallow.

Your right about that, but a leash is a leash whether its gold or not. It affords the government the ability to

Slapps sd: "Lets be realistic, the Federal Govt cant wait to get its hands into the marijuana cookie jar," Really? Where is the line of politicians waiting to vote in favor of this tax windfall?

Like I said they cannot outright back it unless their constituents outright back it, as parts of California have. Besides it would not be a direct tax. It would be taxed through the pharmaceutical companies. No corporation ever pays taxes, they only pass the tax down to the consumer. This makes it less obvious to the general public.

Dusty said...

especially since many of us do not want to do our part and rather drop the burden on one scholars shoulder.

Torrance, I wonder if you could be more specific on this. Are you talking about raising taxes and people not bitching about it or other more personal things?

As for the bastards at Agriprocessors Inc., they cite the huge raid that cleared out all the undocumented immigrants as the reason for their woes. Sumbitch's had to pay the 'going rate' for the replacement workers..ain't that a damn shame...not!

I am sick of folks complaining about undocumented workers when the problem lies squarely at the feet of the employers who knowingly hire the immigrants at below minimum wage and refuse to give them benefits.

They, Agriprocessors Inc., make lots of money off those folks who are just looking to feed their families. They also work those same humans under horrible conditions that wouldn't be allowed if regular folk did the work...you know regular folk would turn their asses in post haste.

I could go on..but I see your eyes glazing over bro. ;p

no_slappz said...

casper, you wrote:

"What the bottom line is about these statistics is, YOU SLAPPS, yes little ol YOU, don't have the ability to say what statistics are worthless or not."

Actually, I do have a very clear understanding of which statistics are valuable and which are not.

You said:

"Your not a deciding factor, you are one voice and you don't have enough clout."

My opinion has nothing to do with setting policy. But that has nothing to do with its accuracy.

You said:

"well considering my grandfather is a retired chief of police, uncles and cousins are police officers and judges, friends are judges and lawyers and police, I am gonna say your wrong."

Your sources give you nothing but anecdotal evidence. Furthermore, even though it is clear you cannot admit it, their views are affected by many deep biases. They are in the middle of the forest and therefore do not have a clear picture of ALL the trees. Or, to illustrate it another way -- to a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

Bottom line: some will advocate locking up drug users. Others will have a more compassionate view, probably treating the situation as a public health issue, rather than a criminal one.

You said:

"Not some statistic that you wanna disagree with, or some information that you sit behind your desk and look at from afar in your ivory tower."

I live in Brooklyn, NY, near Brooklyn College, in the southwest corner of Flatbush. Last night I was in the Bronx at a high school basketball game. I get around. Furthermore, there was a time when my job sent me into many housing projects, into the homes of people in the worst neighborhoods.

You said:

"I invite you to go down to your local cop bar, just buyem a few drinks, they will tell you all kinds of fun stuff that you won't learn on a computer."

That would be Farrell's Bar in Brooklyn. What do you think cops have to share? Stories of human triumph? Or stories about dealing with the bottom of the swamp?

You seem to think the US is on the cusp of drug legalization. But the utter destruction of lives that has resulted from drug use -- the stories cops tell -- undermines that idea.

Anyway, your logic suffers from a condition known as the Fallacy of Composition, among others.

You wrote:

"Marijuana is a bigger cash crop BECAUSE of its intrinsic value regardless of its legality."

Pot has no INTRINSIC value beyond its true commodity value -- the price at which it would sell if there were no significant restrictions on its cultivation, ditribution and consumption. The pot market is SKEWED due to government intervention.

Anyway, like I said, you seem to believe things that are not true when it comes to drugs in the US. Millions of people enjoy some recreational drug use. Some of them land in jail as a result. Changing the laws is not as popular as you seem to think, and there is no evidence pharmaceutical companies want a shot at the recreational drug market.

Moreover, some people have spent time considering the realities of drug legalization and decriminalization. Legalization would lead to an increase in use. There is no doubt about that. Furthermore, legalization would lead to the development of more powerful forms.

Nature seems to have limited the strength of alcohol. Few people choose to drink it pure, preferring liquors that are less than 50% alcohol, then often diluting it further with mixers.

There are no such natural limits on recreational drugs produced in laboratories. Further, aside from dealing itself, drugs are tied to other criminal activities that exploit human weaknesses. Like prostitution.

By the way, the most vocal critics of drug legalization are in the black community. No civic groups and no black politicians in Brooklyn support legalization.

Do you think Obama is going to encourage the nation to accept the notion of legalized drugs?

no_slappz said...

dusty,

Your picture of Agriprocessors is wildly inaccurate.

Dusty said...

no slappz,
Why don't you try being a tad more specific.

2sweetnsaxy said...

I hear you. I know it's no joke. I remember saying recession last year to someone and he bit my head off denying it was such.

All I see is the one world order and it's looking closer than anyone may want to admit or believe.

I just can't help that little nagging question in the back of my head, isn't it ironic that all this hit the fan just a few months before Bush leaves office?

Casper said...

Sorry Slapps but I am gonna have to get back to this on Monday. I have to fly to kumamoto this week. See you on Monday.

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