At Last A Little Good News About The Banksters.

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

.

Bank Logos-2

Don’t get too excited, it is only a little, but it is good news.

In a recent ruling by British regulators, the top executives and managers at banks operating there (which is practically all the major banks) could have their bonuses clawed back for up to ten years after any finding of misconduct. It will also prohibit bonuses for nonexecutive directors and for the managers of companies that are receiving financial support from the government.

The move, which is long, long overdue and still does not go far enough, extends a seven-year clawback period that one regulator, the Prudential Regulation Authority, (part of the Bank of England), introduced for so-called variable pay (read ‘bonuses’) last year as part of tougher accountability rules.

Prudential Regulation Authority

The new rules announced by the authority, which is part of the Bank of England, and by another regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority, are the latest effort by financial regulators in Europe to hold the banksters accountable for improper actions that could play a role in precipitating future financial upheavals.

The regulators say they are trying to “embed an accountable culture” in the City of London, which actually means that the authorities realize that the banksters have learned nothing from their previous catastrophic frauds and thefts. They know when the chance arrives these greedy and immoral people will try to do it all again.

bankster caricature

The new British rules, which apply to banks, building societies and investment firms regulated by the Prudential Regulation Authority, including British units of United States banks and other financial firms based outside Europe, mean that senior managers, risk managers and others at banks will also be asked to defer more of their variable pay for a longer period, making it easier for regulators and financial institutions to recover bonuses if misconduct is uncovered.

Other countries in Europe are also enacting new regulations for their banksters. Dutch lawmakers, for example, capped bonuses this year for employees in the banking, insurance and other finance sectors that limits variable pay to 20 percent of their fixed salaries. The Dutch have also banned bonuses for executives at bailed-out banks.

European rules already limit bankers’ bonuses to the equivalent of their annual salaries, or to two times their base salaries if the company’s shareholders approve it. But they know they are so greedy that they will try to find ways round that.

breaking the rules

Already some banks are making moves to get round the limits by introducing role-based remuneration and other payments, so the regulators have their work cut out for them keeping a step ahead of the thieves.

What they really need to do is confiscate ALL their ill-gotten gains, impose severe additional financial penalties AND throw these criminals in jail – for a long time.

America, which always likes to consider itself as the leader of the world, should lead in this regard too. It would be better than starting another war in some far off God forsaken country.

Unfortunately I think it will be an equally long time, and a lot more frauds, before they get to that much needed stage.

And you can take that to the bank!

Give a man a bank

.

===============================

.

 

Come On Obama, Stick Them In The Slamma!

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

.

Around this time last month I wrote a post about the explosion of sub-prime credit for people seeking automobile loans they couldn’t afford. Here’s a link if you missed it – click here. 

They say that if you don’t learn from what happened in the past you are doomed to repeat it. And it is clear the banksters have learned nothing, mainly because the government was not man enough to teach them a lesson when they almost brought the country to its knees. Their greed was excused and rewarded, not punished in any meaningful and lasting way.

So now we have the auto loans credit explosion, which is another mini sub-prime disaster in the making. And again it is being egged on by the stupidity and greed of Wall Street who just can’t pass on the chance to reap big profits from those people silly enough to take their high interest loans.

greedy banksters

This time, however, it turns out some of the people in positions of power are beginning to recognize that this is becoming a big problem.

The regulators and prosecutors are starting to worry about the level of lending abuses. Not only that but they are also recognizing the similarities with the home loans fiasco that eventually resulted in the financial crisis.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has recently fined subprime auto lender First Investors Financial Services Group Inc. $2.75 million for knowingly providing inaccurate information to credit reporting agencies for at least three years. It was a “computer error” don’t you know, and, of course, they paid the fine but without admitting any liability – perish the thought!

It should come as no surprise that First Investors Financial Services Group is owned by a prominent New York private equity firm.

And like the mortgage sub-prime fraud, the banksters and other money men are not only screwing the people who take out the loans, but once again they are re-packaging them up as “good investments” for their richer clients too.

A United States attorney in Manhattan, has already begun an investigation into whether lenders have sold questionable auto-loan investments to investors, and has sent subpoenas to General Motors Financial and Santander Consumer USA, to try to find out whether the lenders fully disclosed to investors the creditworthiness of borrowers whose loans made up the complicated securities.

sub prime loans

Last time they got away with it. Will this time be any different? You have a lot more faith in the system than me if you think it will. All that is happening so far is tokenism. They need a lot more than a slap on the wrist.

In China or Vietnam and some other locations banksters committing fraud are stood up against a wall a shot. That’s maybe a little harsh, but at the very least some serious jail time is in order.

The fact is the banksters are doing it again because they think that they can get away with it again. And if they get away with it this time, then they’ll do it yet again in the future. All the time racking up fortunes for themselves and leaving the other poor sods, who didn’t know any better than to take out their loans or buy their toxic investments, a lot poorer.

the expendables

.

============================================

.

Fasab’s Feast Of Festive Facts

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

.

You probably thought by now that you knew all there was to know about Christmas.

But there might be a few things in here that may be new to you.

Enjoy.

.

.

Each year more than 3 billion

Christmas cards are sent in the U.S. alone.

Christmas Cards

.

.

The actual date of the birth of Jesus is not known

and for hundreds of years was not celebrated by Christians.

The decision to use December 25 was made in 350AD by pope Julius I

and was chosen because it was the same date used in pagan festivals

such as Saturnalia (December 17-December 23),

the Kalends (January 1 -5, the precursor to the Twelve Days of Christmas),

and Deus Sol Invictus or Birthday of the Unconquerable Sun (December 25).

Christmas-a-Pagan-Ritual .

.

According to the Guinness world records,

the tallest Christmas tree ever cut was a 221-foot Douglas fir

that was displayed in 1950 at the Northgate Shopping Center in Seattle, Washington.

tall Christmas tree .

.

The word ‘Mistletoe’ actually means “little dung twig”

because the plant spreads though bird droppings.

Pagans, such as the Druids, considered mistletoe sacred because it remains

green and bears fruit during the winter when all other plants appear to die.

They even thought it had the power to cure infertility

and nervous diseases and to ward off evil.

Even today a hanging sprig is a fertility or virility symbol

and kissing under the Mistletoe at Christmas or even standing under it

is a signal that the person is sexually available – so be very careful!

Mistletoe_Kiss_by_bittenhard .

.

Although Santa Claus may have been based on a fourth-century bishop from Patara,

in the modern-day country of Turkey, St. Nikolas of Myra,

the modern day Santa Claus that we know first appeared as a recognizable entity

was in a newspaper ad for toys and “gift books” in the mid 19th century.

Originally Santa wore Green colored robes, green signifying the coming spring,

but another ad, this time from the Coco Cola company,

used their own color scheme of red and white which has become the accepted color today.

Green Santa .

.

It is only in very recent times that Christmas has become a “family” holiday.

Even in the late 1800’s December 25 was not a legal holiday in New England,

so stores were open, business were open, and children were expected to attend school.

Christmas was originally celebrated as an adult form of “trick or treat,”

with the “treat” consisting of an alcoholic beverage and

the threatened “trick” consisting of bodily harm or destruction of property.

drunk_christmas

.

.

“We Wish You a Merry Christmas” was originally a threat.

The ever-popular song was originally sung, loudly and repeatedly,

by crowds of rowdy, lower-class servants demanding booze from their masters… or else. 

(I.e. “We won’t go until we get some!”)

We Wish You A Merry Christmas

.

.

Victorian intellectuals invented the tradition of the Christmas tree

as part of a social movement to consciously reform Christmas

away from its tradition of raucous drinking.

Free-Wallpaper-Christmas-Tree

.

.

Many people mistakenly believe that the character ‘Scrooge’

from Charles Dickens ‘A Christmas Carol’,

celebrates Christmas at the home of his clerk Bob Cratchit.

However, in Victorian times this would not have been socially acceptable so,

whilst the reformed ‘Scrooge’ does send the Cratchits a turkey,

he celebrates instead with his middle-class nephew.

scrooge with nephew

.

.

All the gifts in the Twelve Days of Christmas would equal 364 gifts.

It’s not 78 as some people say,

it’s an accumulative song with each verse building on the last.

The first verse has 1 gift, the second verse has 2 + 1 gifts.

The third verse has 3 + 2 etc.

12 days gifts

.

.

The traditional three colors of Christmas are green, red, and gold.

Green has long been a symbol of life and rebirth;

red symbolizes the blood of Christ,

and gold represents light as well as wealth and royalty.

Christmas colors red green and gold

.

.

The world’s largest Christmas stocking measured 51 m 35 cm (168 ft 5.65 in) in length

and 21 m 63 cm (70 ft 11.57 in) in width (heel to toe)

and was produced by the volunteer emergency services organization

Pubblica Assistenza Carrara e Sezioni (Italy) in Carrara, Tuscany, Italy, on 5 January 2011.

largest christmas stocking

.

.

Christmas trees have been sold in the U.S. since 1850.

Christmas Tree

.

.

People in many European countries believed that spirits,

both good and evil, were active during the Twelve Days of Christmas.

These spirits eventually evolved into Santa’s elves.

santa's elves

.

.

Each year there are approximately 20,000 “rent-a-Santas” across the United States.

rent-a-santa

.

.

Bolivians celebrate Misa del Gallo or “Mass of the Rooster” on Christmas Eve.

Some people bring roosters to the midnight mass, a gesture that symbolizes

the belief that a rooster was the first animal to announce the birth of Jesus.

misa_de_gallo__copy

.

.

The British wear paper crowns while they eat Christmas dinner.

The crowns are stored in a tube called a “Christmas cracker.”

jane-burton-golden-retriever-puppy-with-christmas-crackers-wearing-paper-hat

.

.

In Poland, spiders or spider webs are common Christmas trees decorations

because according to legend, a spider wove a blanket for Baby Jesus.

In fact, Polish people consider spiders to be symbols of goodness and prosperity at Christmas.

spider's web in Christmas tree

.

.

In the United States Christmas wasn’t declared an official holiday until June 26, 1870.

Alabama was the first state in the United States to officially recognize Christmas in 1836

and Oklahoma was the last state the declare Christmas a legal holiday, in 1907.

happy holidays

.

.

Because they viewed Christmas as a decadent Catholic holiday,

the Puritans in America banned all Christmas celebrations from 1659-1681

with a penalty of five shillings for each offense.

Some Puritan leaders condemned those who favored Christmas

as enemies of the Christian religion.

Likewise Oliver Cromwell as Lord Protector of England

banned Christmas celebrations.

puritan christmas

.

.

Christmas purchases account for 1/6 of all retail sales in the U.S.

Retail sales

.

.

The poinsettia is native to Mexico and was cultivated by the Aztecs,

who called the plant Cuetlaxochitl (“flower which wilts”).

For the Aztecs, the plant’s brilliant red color symbolized purity,

and they often used it medicinally to reduce fever.

Contrary to popular belief, the poinsettia is not poisonous, but holly berries are.

poinsettia-flower

.

.

In 1962, the first Christmas postage stamp was issued in the United States.

first christmas postage stamp

.

.

Santa Claus, or St Nicholas, is the world’s most popular non-Biblical saint.

He is, for example, the patron saint of banking, pawnbroking, pirating,

butchery, sailing, thievery, orphans, royalty, and New York City.

Artists have portrayed him more often than any other saint except Mary.

pawnbroker-symbol

.

.

There are two competing claims as to which president was

the first to place a Christmas tree in the White House.

Some scholars say President Franklin Pierce did in 1856;

others say President Benjamin Harrison brought in the first tree in 1889.

What isn’t disputed is the fact that President Coolidge started

the White House lighting ceremony in 1923.

White House Christmas lights

.

.

President Teddy Roosevelt, an environmentalist,

banned Christmas trees from the White House in 1912.

He needn’t have worried though, these days there are in excess of

400 million trees with tens of millions of Christmas trees planted each year.

Christmas tree farm in Iowa.

.

.

It is estimated that the single “White Christmas” by Irving Berlin

is the best selling single of all time, with over 100 million sales worldwide.

.

.

===================================

.

This week’s Quiz. Are You Ready?

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

.

Yes, time for this week’s quiz.

I hope you are ready, although I have included a lot of multiple choice questions this time so it may be a little easier – but only if you choose the right answer!

As always the answers can be found waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay down below if you get stuck – but NO cheating please.

Enjoy, and good luck.

.

Quiz 07

.

Q.  1: Which of these spoons is the largest?

            a) dessertspoon     b) tablespoon    c) teaspoon

.

.

Q.  2:  In what movie does Julia Roberts play a character pretending to be the actress Julia Roberts?

.

.

Q.  3:  In 2004, which country became the first in Europe to impose a total ban on smoking in all workplaces?

.

.

Q.  4:  What was the occupation of Alfred Southwick, whose 1881 idea led to the invention of the electric chair?

.

.

Q.  5:  In 1999, which country became the last in the world to grant its citizens access to television?

            a) Bhutan      b) Brunei      c) Bahrain      d) China

.

.

Q.  6:  What card game has a name that also means ‘a short sleep’?

.

.

Q.  7:  A ‘Topping Out’ ceremony marks the completion of what?

.

.

Q.  8:  Which of these animals is NOT a crustacean?

            a) Crab      b) Oyster      c) Lobster

.

.

Q.  9:  In the film ‘The Spy Who Loved Me’, James Bond travels underwater in what make of car?

.

.

Q. 10:  In Greek mythology what was Charybdis?

            a) A ‘Gate’        b) A ‘Kingdom’       c) A ‘God’       d) A ‘Whirlpool’

.

.

Q. 11:  In banking the term ‘SWIFT’ is used in wire transfers, but what do the letters ‘S W I F T’ stand for?

.

.

Q. 12:  Famous for cotton, in what country are the Sea Islands?

            a) Australia        b) India        c) United States        d) Columbia

.

.

Q. 13:  Which of these animals feature in the Chinese astrological calendar?

            a) Elk      b) Ox       c) Yak

.

.

Q. 14:  What is former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger supposed to have called “the ultimate aphrodisiac”?

.

.

Q. 15:  In 1352, Tommaso da Modena painted what is believed to be the first portrait of someone wearing what?

            a) dentures         b) spectacles         c) wooden leg

.

.

Q. 16:  In the movie ‘Good Will Hunting’ Matt Damon plays a character with a special ability for what subject?

.

.

Q. 17:  The British 7th Armoured Division got which nickname during their African campaign in WWII?

            a) jungle tigers      b) desert rats       c) mountain foxes

.

.

Q. 18:  In the 2012 Summer Olympic games competitors took part in how many sports?

.

.

Q. 19:  Martin Landau won the Best Supporting Actor Oscar for playing which horror movie star in the movie ‘Ed Wood’?

            a) Bela Lugosi     b) Lon Chaney, Jr.     C) Boris Karloff

.

.

Q. 20:  Which female singer/songwriter wants to, according to the title of one of her singles, ‘Soak Up The Sun’?

>

>

>

>

>

>

>

>

>

>

>

>

>

>

>

>

>

>

>

>

>

>

>

>

>

>

>

>

>

>

>

>

>

>

>

>

>

>

>

>

>

>

>

>

>

>

>

>

>

>

>

>

>

>

>

>

>

>

>

>

>

>

>

>

>

>

>

>

ANSWERS

.

Q.  1: Which of these spoons is the largest?

            a) dessertspoon     b) tablespoon    c) teaspoon

A.  1:  b) tablespoon.

.

.

Q.  2:  In what movie does Julia Roberts play a character pretending to be the actress Julia Roberts?

A.  2:  Ocean’s Twelve.

.

.

Q.  3:  In 2004, which country became the first in Europe to impose a total ban on smoking in all workplaces?

A.  3:  Ireland.

.

.

Q.  4:  What was the occupation of Alfred Southwick, whose 1881 idea led to the invention of the electric chair?

A.  4:  Dentist.

.

.

Q.  5:  In 1999, which country became the last in the world to grant its citizens access to television?

            a) Bhutan      b) Brunei      c) Bahrain      d) China

A.  5:  a) Bhutan. 

.

.

Q.  6:  What card game has a name that also means ‘a short sleep’?

A.  6:  Nap.

.

.

Q.  7:  A ‘Topping Out’ ceremony marks the completion of what?

A.  7:  A building.

.

.

Q.  8:  Which of these animals is NOT a crustacean?

            a) Crab      b) Oyster      c) Lobster

A.  8:  b) Oyster

.

.

Q.  9:  In the film ‘The Spy Who Loved Me’, James Bond travels underwater in what make of car?

A.  9:  Lotus Esprit.

.

.

Q. 10:  In Greek mythology what was Charybdis?

            a) A ‘Gate’        b) A ‘Kingdom’       c) A ‘God’       d) A ‘Whirlpool’

A. 10:  d) A Whirlpool

.

.

Q. 11:  In banking the term ‘SWIFT’ is used in wire transfers, but what do the letters ‘S W I F T’ stand for?

A. 11:  Society of Worldwide Interbank Financial Communication.

.

.

Q. 12:  Famous for cotton, in what country are the Sea Islands?

            a) Australia        b) India        c) United States        d) Columbia

A. 12:  c) United States.

.

.

Q. 13:  Which of these animals feature in the Chinese astrological calendar?

            a) Elk      b) Ox       c) Yak

A. 13:  b) Ox

.

.

Q. 14:  What is former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger supposed to have called “the ultimate aphrodisiac”?

A. 14:  Power.

.

.

Q. 15:  In 1352, Tommaso da Modena painted what is believed to be the first portrait of someone wearing what?

            a) dentures         b) spectacles         c) wooden leg

A. 15:  b) spectacles.

.

.

Q. 16:  In the movie ‘Good Will Hunting’ Matt Damon plays a character with a special ability for what subject?

A. 16:  Mathematics.

.

.

Q. 17:  The British 7th Armoured Division got which nickname during their African campaign in WWII?

            a) jungle tigers      b) desert rats       c) mountain foxes

A. 17:  b) desert rats.

.

.

Q. 18:  In the 2012 Summer Olympic games, competitors took part in how many sports?

A. 18:  26.

.

.

Q. 19:  Martin Landau won the Best Supporting Actor Oscar for playing which horror movie star in the movie ‘Ed Wood’?

            a) Bela Lugosi     b) Lon Chaney, Jr.     C) Boris Karloff

A. 19:  a) Bela Lugosi.

.

.

Q. 20:  Which female singer/songwriter wants to, according to the title of one of her singles, ‘Soak Up The Sun’?

A. 20:  Sheryl Crowe.

.

.

====================================

.

Cyprus Theft Update

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

.

Anyone who has been following this story that I posted about a few days ago, (here if you missed it), will know that the European Union bureaucrats made an attempt to steal the savings of the Cypriot people right out of their bank accounts.

With at least one eye on their chances of being re-elected, the Cypriot parliament rejected the proposal out of hand. The proper thing to do no doubt, but there is also no doubt that this will not be the end of it. Indeed the fallout continues.

Western governments are desperate because of the financial mess that they and their bankster accomplices have created. And desperate governments are known to take desperate measures to try to patch things up.

Look out for more attempts by these governments to steal your money, whether it be in the form of savings in the bank, government bonds, stocks or in pension plans. Nothing is safe from the clutches of these thieves.

The goings on in Cyprus has already proven their intent and alarm bells have begun to sound among those who are awake and paying attention. The bureaucrats’ attempted money grab has already sparked off suspicion and panic throughout Europe and elsewhere as to the amount of trust people can have in their governments.

Even among the financially stronger nations the trend is clear. In Germany, for example, a recent opinion poll showed that the majority of Germans do not trust their leader, Merkel’s, pronouncements that their money is safe in a bank.

Throughout Europe those who can are moving their money to offshore locations away from the thieving hands of their own governments. Big corporations, including US corporations, are doing the same. It has already happened in Ireland and Spain and France and, to a lesser extent, in the UK too.

What a sad commentary on how these stupid politicians and bureaucrats have mismanaged our affairs.

Will it hit America as well?

That depends just how stupid the political administration in Washington really is – which is perhaps a kind way of saying, please err on the side of caution if you are an American citizen.

The $ as a currency will probably be okay for a while, despite the humongous debt that Obama is piling up, but eventually it will become impossible to print their way out of trouble.

All those highly paid morons and herd followers called ‘money managers’ who work for the various funds that you entrust your savings and pensions to, and who do little more than buy up T-Bills with it, may find that their strategy is going to backfire. Like the banksters, however, they will still charge you a fee for looking after your money whether they invest it wisely or lose it all.

But whilst the bureaucrats will never be able to figure out how to run an economy – their, “take more and more taxes out of less and less income” strategy will never add up – eventually the penny will drop with the good citizens and they will waken up and realize they have been completely shafted by incompetent politicians and greedy banksters.

Then the brown stuff will hit the fan – big time – and people will get real mad. And then the powers that be will have no choice but to turn on their own citizens if they are to cling to power. Preparations for this started under Bush and now Obama has added even more legislation to make this possible.  

It is a rather bleak scenario, particularly for those who choose to ignore what is happening around them. But whether it happens in one year or another five, if the politicians and bureaucrats do not wise up – and their is little sign of them doing that especially when they have yet to realize how incompetent they are – it will happen.

So start to think seriously about your own circumstances and what you can do to protect what you have from thieving governments. Or just settle down and get another 40 winks assured in the knowledge that those in Washington, Brussels, London and Berlin know what they’re doing.

Cyprus ATM
Cyprus ATM

===========================

.

Things Your Grand-kids Will Probably Never Know

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

.

We all happen to be living during a time when there are great advances and changes being made in the way we live our lives. Some of them are to our benefit, other not so much so.

Politically and financially the world is in turmoil. There is an accelerating and inevitable shift of power and influence towards the east, with former great powers like Britain and America declining in their influence and their economic might.

Perhaps that is a natural phenomenon, after all as they say “every dog has its day”, but I happen to believe that a lot of it is due to stupidity and mismanagement allied with a self-defeating philosophy that the west somehow has a duty to police the world and to create nanny states for its citizens where they will neither have to work nor want.

Technologically there have also been many changes and many more to come. During the past twenty years with the advent and growth of the internet everything has changed, from the way we interact socially, to how and where we work, and how we manage our affairs whether that be banking, shopping or whatever.

What a lot of these changes mean is that future generations will have no idea of how our lives used to be. Already many of us who have lived through the changes have forgotten how we used to have to do things. What would it be like trying to explain the ‘old days’ to a generation with absolutely no point of reference to the world we were born into?

To remind you of how it used to be here is a list of some of things we have known and lost, consigned to the rubbish bin of history. Feel free to add your own items to this list of things that your grand-kids will probably never know.

.

.

Libraries as a place to get books rather than a place to use the internet.

Dewey Decimal System

Finding books in a card catalog at the library.

A physical dictionary — either for spelling or definitions.

Reference books such as phone books, encyclopaedias

Finding out information from an encyclopedia.

library_cartoon

————-

.

Having to manually unlock a car door.

Looking out the window during a long drive.

Using a road atlas to get from A to B.

Getting lost in a world without GPS.

gps_cartoon

————-

.

Being able to add and subtract without a calculator

Long division and multiplication

Trig tables and log tables.

Slide rules

Slide Rule

————-

.

House phones

Phone books and Yellow Pages.

Rotary-dial telephones.

Pay phones.

Phones with actual bells in them.

Answering machines.

Fax machines.

Not knowing who was calling you on the phone.

rotary_ringing_telephone

————-

.

Super-8 movies and cine film of all kinds.

Betamax tapes.

Video tapes and renting movies

Inserting a VHS tape into a VCR to watch a movie or to record something.

Laserdiscs.

8-track cartridges.

8-Track-tape-Player

————-

.

Casette Tapes

Vinyl records. Even today’s DJs are going laptop or CD.

CDs and DVDs

Playing music on an audio tape using a personal stereo.

Taping songs off the radio

A Walkman.

cassette tape

————-

.

Rotary tuners that scanned the radio dial and hearing static between stations as you went through the ether.

Shortwave radio.

CB radios.

Rotary dial televisions with no remote control. You know, the ones where the kids were the remote control.

Waiting for the television-network premiere to watch a movie after its run at the theater.

old_radio

————-

.

DOS.

The buzz of a dot-matrix printer

5- and 3-inch floppies, Zip Discs and countless other forms of data storage.

Booting your computer off of a floppy disk.

Tweaking the volume setting on your tape deck to get a computer game to load, and waiting ages for it to actually do it.

Counting in kilobytes.

Joysticks.

Having to delete something to make room on your hard drive.

Waiting several minutes (or even hours!) to download something.

When a ‘geek’ and a ‘nerd’ were one and the same.

NCSA Mosaic.

Netscape

Alta Vista

Being able to get a domain name consisting of real words.

floppy disk

————-

.

Cash.

Writing a check.

Doing bank business only when the bank is open.

Shopping only during the day, Monday to Saturday.

Being able to buy something in Walmart that isn’t made in China

cash

————-

.

Privacy.

Being able to take a drive or walk down the street without being surveilled on numerous cameras

Not knowing exactly what all of your friends are doing and thinking at every moment.

big-brother-thought-police-cjmadden

————-

.

Carrying on a correspondence with real letters, especially the handwritten kind.

Neat handwriting.

Spelling

Grammar

The fact that words generally don’t have num8er5 in them.

Typewriters.

typewriter

————-

.

Putting film in your camera

Sending that film away to be processed.

Having physical prints of photographs come back to you.

Film_Strip

————-

.

Vacuum cleaners with bags in them.

Ashtrays

Roller skates, as opposed to blades.

Ashtray

————-

.

Gosh, It’s A Two Post Sunday!

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

.

I haven’t had a rant for a while, so one is long overdue. Here it is.

.

I’m sure hardly anybody noticed, but last week the bureaucrats in Washington effectively shut down the web site Intrade for US citizens. Intrade was the popular web site that any adult, including Americans, could use to wager on the future price of certain commodities, like gold or oil.

Effectively the bureaucrats have now made it illegal to solicit Americans to buy and sell commodity options contracts unless they are listed on an exchange registered with them or on one designated as legally exempt by them, and they have taken upon themselves the power to regulate nearly any commodity-related activity unless Congress provides a specific exemption.

Of course the politically well connected investment banks and hedge funds into which the great and the wealthy put their money can carry on as before speculating on the price of everything from pork bellies to platinum and manipulating gold, currency, oil and other markets. The recent MF Global scandal really puts that beyond reasonable doubt.

Intrade is just the latest move by the bureaucrats and the thought police to restrict the freedom of American citizens. Not so long ago it was the online gambling websites, then New Zealand based Megaupload was targeted, then banking in any offshore jurisdiction, now the Ireland based Intrade, and tomorrow, well, who knows.

Maybe the ever sensitive morons in the thought police will try to stop you reading blogs critical of their asinine bureaucracy? Oh, oh, gulp!

The way they are acting is nothing short of a complete perversion of the concept of a government with limited powers. But are the liberals, who should be in the forefront of upholding such principles, falling over themselves to defend the ordinary people?

Not likely.

If and when this type of interference happens in China or North Korea or somewhere similar, they are rushing to get on to their high horses to condemn and ridicule.

But back in Washington they are busy trying to create an inefficient and bureaucracy-ridden nanny state that they know will necessitate clamping down on individual choice and freedom, if it is to even stand a chance of making it look as if it is working.

To add insult to injury the bureaucrats make their usual claim that they are taking these steps for “your own protection”.

Why is it that the steps the bureaucrats take in the ”public interest” never seem to turn out to be in my interest or in the interest of anyone I know?

By the way, in case you are wondering, I have never used Intrade, it’s not my kind of thing and I don’t know enough about that field to speculate with any consistent degree of success.

But I would appreciate the freedom to make up my own mind on the subject, instead of having the faceless and less intelligent bureaucratic thought police dictate the decision for me.

We all know how successful the Volstead Act was at the beginning of the last century, but the bureaucrats learn nothing from their mistakes. And they never will, because their desire is not to do what is right or just or even sensible, their desire is to create an ever growing bureaucracy which they control.

Home of the brave? No doubt about that when you see the young people who are willingly putting themselves in harm’s way to help to defend the nation.

But land of the free? No siree, not no mo!

.

.


==========================