Saturday, November 24, 2007


Decisions, decisions.

I still have a 401(k). I left money in it so that I could grow part of my savings while I pulled the rest into a safe haven. I pulled an additional 20% off the base in profits this year just before one of the crashes. It was growing nicely until the last few weeks -- but almost everyone with stock accounts knows how that is. The market has been just poison recently.

Now 401(k) accounts are of all different sorts. The one I was in had actual, explicit funds you could pick to join. Then the money the company put into that account as profit sharing was not part of those chosen funds, but run by the company fund manager. That's where my problem is. You see, as it became clear how Bush was handling the economy, I moved everything that I controlled into funds that are in other countries. Businesses that run in other currencies are gaining money against dollars just because the dollar is tanking. The stuff I picked is keeping my fund in the black overall.

The stuff the fund manager is doing ... well, it is losing money hand over fist. I may have to pull all the money out and shut the account just to get shut of someone else's decisions. While the market is OK, so is the fund manager -- but the manager doesn't seem to move with a changing financial climate. So. Do I need to move on?


A woman in England went to court for the right to keep a one night stand from being notified that she gave birth to a child from the episode. Now maybe I am not a person to understand the nuances here. I have never had a one night stand. I can't imagine what it would be like to do so and find out that the consequences were going to be another human being.

I can, however, categorically state that I would not want to have to put up with a long relationship with someone who meant so little that once was enough. I would not want to hand a helpless person to someone who could walk away that easily. I would, like the woman in the article, want to make sure that someone so casual had no say in what I did.

Father's rights? No. here we are talking sperm donor rights, which is a different thing altogether. Just because the donation was made in person is no reason to give it more weight than a donation made in a lab.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Strange Convergence

It is not often that Thanksgiving lands on the anniversary of the Kennedy assassination. It was 44 years ago today. I was in the narrow hall leading to the high school band room when the director popped out and said "the President's been shot!"

"You're kidding!" He wasn't. School let out a few minutes later as the formal announcement came over the loudspeakers. A lot of the next few days was spent in that same band room playing "Hail to the Chief" in preparation for a memorial assembly.

And a few days later came the first live-on-TV murder, as Jack Ruby shot Lee Harvey Oswald.

I've seen the runs of the Zapruder film on the internet. I still think he was hit from the front, and that the real perpetrator went free. I have a law enforcement friend who is still convinced that the CIA was responsible. This day may be more vivid to me than 9/11, when I was quite grown up and quite used to seeing malice and mayhem on television.

We see so much synthetic violence that the impact is diluted. This is a Bad thing.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Monday, November 12, 2007

I Don't Know How Many Times

I have said this aloud, and not blogged it, but here it is:

To have an economy that grows steadily instead of doing the roller-coaster that we have seen throughout the entire time of the Bush regime -- for the economy to steadily grow all classes must grow together. Unemployment has to be low. Workers must get paid enough so that they can buy the things that companies make and that stores sell so that there are profits to bolster the market.

When you only have an investor class, and it is bolstered by lower taxes and by the enforced savings of 401(k) contributions of a large segment of workers, you have a situation that is going to be unstable. There will be no one out spending all their money to keep the economy healthy. There will be no workers contributing growing amounts to help an economy flourish when workers are stomped down and unemployed.

Jeez -- you people need an English major to tell you this?

Monday, November 5, 2007

Blogging the Future

Every Monday, Jim Kunstler writes another essay and posts it at Clusterfuck Nation. I think he has a handle on the future. Too many people just don't believe that the world is going to undergo seizures when oil gets a bit more expensive.

Just as there are holocaust deniers, there are also peak oil deniers. There is even one imaginative theory that oil just "naturally" floats up through solid rock and pools under everything -- that it is not a deposit from some other era, but a magic mineral that comes into being for the delectation of the deluded.

Kunstler repeats, over and over, that we need to rebuild the rail system in this country before the crisis hits -- that we need to go back to a walkable way of life. That is a whole lot more realistic than the dreams of the magic oil idiots.

Sunday, November 4, 2007


Jim over at Mockingbird's Medley continues to have articles full of interesting things to think about. Today there was a long mail from someone who recommended getting involved as a poll worker at the local level, and making sure that fairness was the hallmark of local voting, draft boards, and other activities that are community based.

A couple of days ago he had a piece on whether, under x circumstance, a criminal should be let out of prison.

I've been commenting a lot because I just cannot make myself sit here and write about politics. The candidates who have stepped up just fill me with something between ennui and disgust. So I am hiding my head in the sand an hoping we will still have a country as the primaries creep closer and the candidates stack up their mud balls and slime cannisters.

The one piece of amusing news is that Richard Mellon Scaife's wife is divorcing him, and he did not make out a pre-nup. Maybe the activity in his life will keep him from his infamous meddling in national politics. But right now, if It's political, I do not wanna go there.