Thursday, February 4, 2010
Thursday February 4th 2010
Today i am going to begin my post by speaking about several issues i find important and as time rolls on i need to document these feeling and ideas for my own sake.The first is the issue of Government bailouts for banks and financial institutions.As i am sure you are aware,yesterday one of the companies that recieved the most taxpayer money to keep from collapsing under the weight of its own bad financial decisions gave out 100 million dollars in bonuses to the very same people who brought about the crisis.The company had leveraged itself into an unsustainable position.The complicated financial instruments that led to this potential implosion of this company our financial experts and Congressional leaders declared"too big to fail"were brought about over the last several decades by deregulation and government's inability to understand the risks it was allowing these companies to take.As a homeowner in America you are allowed to borrow money against the value of assets you own.But in the financial markets,companies were allowed to"leverage"assets to attain daily operating costs and other short term gains needed to continue to operate in this environment.40 to 1 is my understanding of the allowable leveraging these companies were legally allowed.This would be the same as me taking the 70,000 my house is worth and telling a lender it is worth around 2.8 million dollars.If that was possible there would be alot of very wealthy people in this country.The financial institutions that are allowed to STILL leverage assetts at this rediculous level will continue to take enormous risks on a daily basis and therefore another bubble and economic collapse are very possible.These companies are under no new regulations or rules even after bringing the country and the world to the brink of the second great depression.Our Congressional leaders,and especially the chairs of the commitees overseeing the markets,like Barney Frank,have taken no lessons from the near collapse of our financial markets.The regulators have no new enforcement authority over these institutions,leaving them to repeat the mistakes that brought about the problem to begin with.
The companies that are allowed to do this have no motivation to fix the systemic risks that these complicated daily transactions produce.As the public became aware in September of last year,even the United States ,the most wealthy and powerful country on the planet,could be destroyed by a handful of financial institutions.The term"Moral Hazzard"has been tossed out the window and replaced with a view that if they generate huge short term profits they personally benefit financially,but if they suffer losses that could bring about economic collapse of the markets the taxpayer will step in and backstop the company from said losses and possible collapse of their institution.AIG is the company that handed out 100 million in bonuses yesterday to the very same people they employ that brought the company and the Nation to the brink.These bonuses are disgusting and a slap in the face to every American that pays taxes.These people should not be allowed any bonuses regardless of contractual obligations made prior to the collapse.The Government has the authority,but not the intestinal fortitude to reign in these practices.Our congress can and must act to prevent another economic disaster from happening.This is only one of the issues i find important as the next election approaches,and i expect with the recent Supreme Court decision to allow corporate and union money into our elections,the people will be again left behind in exchange for the almighty dollar.Politicians have alot to fear from this decision as well,because with unlimited resources behind them,lobbyists for corporate america now control our elections and therefore our nation.If they want to retain or gain office,they will be forced to capitulate to the demands of wealthy companies that have nothing else but profits for shareholders in mind.With our deficit numbers at a record breaking number,our children and grandchildren will be left to repair the damage and pay the bills on this Government's decision to put corporations before the people of our nation.
Another issue i find important is the 2nd amendment to our constitution.This right will be addressed again by the Supreme Court later this year.The court recently decided in the case of District of Columbia v.Heller.by sayng the second amendment applies to "the People"not just the militia as was the official position of Government for the last thirty years.When they decieded this case in June of 2008,the people who want guns banned immediatly began to decry the decision as irresponsable and wrong.Now the court has announced it will hear Mcdonald v.Chicago,a case that addresses the incorporation of the second amendment under the 14th amendment,which if it ends in a win for the people,will mean it applies to the states.Under the Courts doctrine of "selective incorporation"the court is the entity that chooses which part of the bill of rights applies to the states.The way the current court is split at 5 to 4 on most important decisions,the conservative wing of the court should rule in favor of incorporation.This will solidify the people's right to bear arms permanantly and remove the fear of being disarmed by an authoritative corrupt and broken political system.The very text of the second amendment states that it protects something that is requisite to a free society.That text says "necessary to the security of a free state."
In the current atmosphere in washington,the gun banners have embraced terrorism as their new reason to deny American citizens the right to bear arms.A biil introduced by Sen.Frank Lautenburg-S.1317,the so called"Denying Firearms and Explosives to Dangerous Terrorists Act".The title of the bill is misleading seeing that it allows secret deliberations behind closed doors to deny American citizens their Constitutional right to bear arms without the ability to confront their accusers.Summaries and redacted versions of documents the Government agencies use as the reason people are to be denied these rights.The Supreme Court has stated in a previous time of national crisis"The Constitution of the United States is a law for Rulers and People,equally in war and Peace,and covers with its sheild of protection all classes of men,at all times,and under all circumstances."This principle needs to be remembered as we the people work to protect the fundemental freedoms that our founders envisioned neccesary to the protection of the last truly free and democratic nation on this earth.
My family is doing well right now,as my wife is still employed and we are lucky enough to have a roof over our heads and food for the table.The rest of the nation,on the other hand,is not so blessed.The economy seems to be emerging from the abyss,and it seems the worst is over as far as the economic problems we faced together.Job losses continue,and the prospects for job growth seems to be quite aways down the road,so i continue to assume the worst of the results from the crisis are yet to be realised.In this environment it seems inappropriate for me to speak to mine and my families problems,as the nation is struggling as a whole.My personal medical problems and concerns around raising a family will still remain topics i will discuss in this forum,but important national and local issues most probably will be regularly addressed as well.I still remain open to any and all suggestions from anyone taking time to read my thoughts and dreams for the future.As i end this post i want to mention i am posting another photo unrelated to the text in my commentary.It is a photo taken at camp while fishing on the pond in our family boat.This was one of the best days i had last year and this sunset was the end to a wonderful family outing.until next time,i want to say thank you for reading. Spacewalker