Alien Thought

From the desk of the Rigorist:

Something my host Rutherford said here haunts me.

“If you or anyone else can help me understand this, I’d be appreciative”, referring to middle class conservatives identifying with fat cat financial predators.

It haunts me.

Not only because I yearn for connection, as does everyone, but because the most serious threat to America, Islam, is alien to liberals in precisely the same way as conservative thought. They aid and abet the Islamic agenda by acting as an infidel, just as Mohammad ( P B & J ) described. Mohammad knew how to crush such people. Islamic tactics were made and honed to subdue those who believe that people are good.

As much fun as it would be to pick on President Obama – and he is as fat, slow, clumsy, and ridiculous a target as one could hope for – his fate is sealed. Eventually the pork addicted Republicans, who have proved themselves to be as completely destitute of integrity as the Liberals have always said, will roll for the President in Act III of  ‘Obama, a Shakespearean tragedy’.

How, though, can one draw a Liberal into such a paradigm shift? Rand used fiction to entice the undecided looking for entertainment. Rush uses disparagement to goad Liberals to substantively engage the reasoning beneath his  monologues.

Hmmm.

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I’m Feeling Better Now

From the desk of the Rigorist:

Despite my embarrassment at posting so light a note, events are moving too fast to be shy.

Some months ago, amongst friends, I estimated the DJIA bottom at 5,000.

Greed and fear are the two economic emotions, and with the S&P 500 P/E near 20, the market had become … overoptimistic, to be kind, especially considering the difficulty of discerning any real difference between McCain and Obama fiscally.

Obama was/is a Socialist.  McCain would always go where the favorable press was, as he scrambled for votes. Any Republican who claims it would have been different if McCain had won needs to be laughed at.

Monday, as the DJIA dropped past the previously knee-high 7,000 like a dead canary from a wire, I must hurry to be prophetic. I’m thinking 4,000 now. 3,500 is plausible.

It’s only Theoretical Money ( the long promised, long post’s topic ) but the unfortunate bird is the telltale of what is in the air – fear, and not just fear but terror and despair.

Right on cue, the President announces that to address the problem he’s going to work on … health care.

Can I call’em or what?

In a comment, I suggested that low quality nursing homes might be a good place to invest, which some took to be dark, dark humor. I’m sorry to say that the joke is that I was being deadly serious.

While Recessions are best handled like Racism, IMHO ( focus on the bottom line and it will go away ), I have been hearing the stirrings of Atlas.

Last Autumn I listened to a restaurant owner saying that in 2009, instead of selling the business to retire – trying to preserve the jobs of 50 or so people that he felt some responsibility for – he intended to close and liquidate. He knew who they had voted for. They had said it loud enough. Screw them. His was the most memorable, but not the only such voice.

As anecdotal as those rumblings were, now we have heard the voices of traders on the Chicago Exchange, and seen the antics of ACORN.

As a Capitalist, you see, I take the crashing market as justice and I’m energized by it. I’m enthusiastic about the economy collapsing as Socialism is enacted. Rush Limbaugh is a milquetoast poseur who “hopes that Obama will fail.” I am John Galt, and will co-operate with our government’s plans with a smile because I know for a fact what results Obama’s success will bring.

The worry for Liberals is while I am extreme, I am not special.

I haven’t seen solid evidence that Atlas has become sufficiently discomforted to shift the world, but I think the Liberals that read this blog should know that I’m smiling and why.

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Buying Good Intentions

[Editors Note]: What follows is the last contribution I received from my blogging partner The Rigorist from back last September. Perfectionist that he is, he requested that it not be published until he had worked on it some more. Since he has been away  from the blog for some time now, and his comments have become timely once again in light of the impending Geithner TARP part 2, I am publishing this article now. Rigorist, if you’re out there, accept my apologies for moving forward without you. To my readers, feel free to comment but understand that I can’t speak for the author.

From the desk of The Rigorist
September, 2008

Since my last post, I have been trying to find a way to address the “Bailout” illustratively.  Searching past the wailing and the warnings of impending doom, I have been reading other people’s attempts to do the same thing, to describe the elements and the mechanics and the issues to the deliberately uninformed.  It is the deliberately uninformed who present the challenge.  Their attempts fail and I shall do no better.

To those that embrace Capitalism, and understand it as a human right as fundamental as speech and faith, explanations are easy.  The existence and nature of such things as money, contract, and insurance do not fundamentally contradict the rest of their view of the world.  The complexity of the mechanics of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac can be made simple.  The issues can be argued from one side or the other.

But to those who find Capitalism hard to accept because it is predatory, or unfair, these things must not be understood.  Their worldview doesn’t permit them.

It was a friend of mine, David, who showed me a way.

What the government is buying in  the “Bailout” — brace yourself — is other people’s good intentions.  I am terribly serious, and this description is terrifyingly accurate.  President Bush, Secretary Paulson, Federal Reserve Chairman Bernanke, and, hopefully, minorities in both houses of Congress are proposing to pay $700 billion for other people’s good intentions  in order to mitigate a forthcoming recession.

A good intention is an element a liberal can understand whereas contract or loan or debt give them problems because the creditor is being uncharitable when demanding payment. Usually, there is no trouble in buying someone’s good intention.  If someone has the good intention to give me $120 (thousand) in a year or two, any problem I have with buying that good intention for, say, $100 (thousand) is solved by giving me partial ownership in something I think is valuable.

What has happened is Fannie Mae has bought all whole bunch of other people’s good intentions, who unfortunately are having trouble.  What has made this a crisis is that Fannie Mae screwed up in evaluating the value of the thing they got part ownership of.  She’s a trusting soul, full of hope

What Freddie Mac does for a living is take bets that people like Fannie Mae will screw up just like Fannie Mae did.  Yes, Freddie Mac is a professional gambler. He’s not one of those “gaming” weenies that put up casinos in Las Vegas, either.  Freddie Mac is hard-core.

Well, Freddie Mac hasn’t been hard-core enough.  He now finds himself in possession of a whole lot of good intentions and  partial ownership in things that aren’t particularly valuable.

So, what is being proposed is that Uncle Sam ( the federal government ), who is a close relative of Freddie Mac, will buy — paying full price no less —  all those good intentions — of people who can’t make good on them — and partial ownerships — of things that really aren’t very valuable.

AIG is a gambler just like Freddie Mac, but the good intentions he got are actually pretty good, and the partial ownerships are in things that are valuable.  He’s just looking for a loan until payday,  but nobody is in a hurry to loan a gambler money especially when he isn’t family.

People think Uncle Sam can afford this because he’s got a money printing press. He’s not a counterfeiter, but he might as well be for the effect this deal will have. It’s not all that bad, really. He does this sort of thing, running the money printing press into the night, all the time. People get grumpy about inflation, and feel all recessed — that’s a recession joke, it’s OK to smile — but they get over it.

This is a good place for a break. Can you non-Capitalists get the what and the how, understand the elements and mechanics, from this? Can any Capitalist point out where I have erred?

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