As I assembled it in the living room, Christina asked, "That's not my birthday present right???" I assured her it was not.
We are starting to split some wood for next winter. We burned a lot this year, so we are somewhat behind for next year. My son Isaac will most likely not be visiting us this summer, since he is trying to get a summer job in a veterinary practice. That's pretty much a requirement to get into vet school. The consequence to that is we don't have a hired man to split most of our firewood now. Humph...
I am more or less ready for the arrival of two packages of bees in the next two or three weeks. You may expect regular reports from the apiary.
We have tons of blossoms just ready to pop open in our orchard. If we are lucky, and don't get a killing frost like last year, we should have our first good harvest of apples and peaches.
In the past, I have mentioned the state of the economy, and the sorry state of our debt and banking system. It is with sadness that I see further unravelling of the banking/debt fiasco. More and more people are catching on to the grave and precarious condition of our economy.
John Titus is a lawyer. He has primarily done patent law. But he has also taken a very keen interest in the financial bailouts of Wall Street. He recognized that the official messages from Washington and the mainstream media were leaving gaping chunks of information out of the story of the banking crisis of 2008.
So much of the financial crisis has been spin doctored into generalities and conceptual problems. For example, “Credit was too cheap and available.” “There was too much leverage in the housing and mortgage backed securities markets.” It was just errant market forces. Capitalism run amok. Not so much...
In reality, the financial crisis of 2008, which is still utterly unresolved, was caused by fraud. Mr. Titus does a very good job of unpacking that—explaining in minute detail, exactly what happened, and is still happening. He made a movie about it, "Bailouts". It is a comedy, and a tragedy, all at the same time.
Most folks have heard and understand that Mortgage Backed Securities were many mortgages “bundled” together and then sold as a financial instrument/investment. Many of these underlying mortgages were unrealistic in terms of the ability of the homeowner to actually pay the payments. Further, the official valuations and assessments of house value were, in many cases, wildly optimistic. Thus, the housing bubble in a nutshell. At least, that's the official story.
While everything in the previous paragraph is true, it is still the tip of the iceberg. The big driving force behind the financial meltdown, was outright naked fraud. There are many examples of this. Bear Stearns, J.P. Morgan and others sold the same mortgages multiple times to different buyers. So, let's say BS securtized 5,000 mortgages, putting them all into a package, which we call a mortgage backed security. It's a type of bond, in which all of those assets are “bonded” together as collateral for the security. Conceptually, it's not a complicated thing.
Where things run horribly amok, is that BS put this group of mortgages together into a financial instrument, and then sold the security to more than one institution. The technical term for this is FLIM FLAM, or securities fraud. Literal actual fraud. You have perhaps heard of problems with banks foreclosing on a house, and then being unable to prove that the bank actually owns this house. The reason has to do with something called “wet ink” signatures.
Let's pretend that you (some institution) bought one of these mortgage backed securities. You gave BS the money, and BS gave you some documents. Those documents were supposed to transfer ownership of the underlying house mortgages to you. Hey, you bought them! But, since they sold the same mortgages to several different people (including you), they had to, ummmm, fake the documents multiple times. They literally forged documents and signatures to accomplish this fraud. A photocopy of a hundred dollar bill, is not as good as a real 100 dollar bill. A photocopy of your signature, is not really the same thing as your actual “wet ink” signature. You own jack shit. Yeah, fraud.
Ultimately everything worked out fine, because the TARP program just went in there and bought up all the “troubled assets” so the banking industry wouldn't crash and burn.
By “fine”, I mean the Federal Government just paid off most of the fraudulent mortgage backed securities with your taxpayer money. Then the banks paid it back (except, not really...) That is exactly how the mainstream media portrays this. In reality, it is the biggest theft in history. And it's not measured in billions of dollars stolen from you, the tax payer, it's trillions and trillions.
There are other variations of this scam, but they are all assuredly illegal. Nobody has really paid any significant price for all this illegality and fraud, because the Federal government is the fascist/plutocratic arm of the banksters (and other large corporate entities).
They stole from you. They are still stealing from you. The Fed is still “pumping in” 40 billion dollars a month to “stabilize” the banking system and inflate the value of the stock market to unrealistic levels. That's your money. You're going to have to pay that back. Yeah, that's theft from the taxpayers.
When they stop pumping all this fake money into the economy, the economy will crash. Then you and your family will get to suffer the consequences of that too. The longer they do the “free money out of thin air” trick, the worse the crash will be. The crash is a mathematical certainty. Only the timing and the severity are in question.
We have to put a stop to this, however painful that may be today. It will only be worse tomorrow.
Go watch this movie when it becomes generally available. Ask questions. Fire people. Lots of people.
a nice review of the movie: