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We’re bailing Thursday out with some videos.  Sit back, listen, and we can explore inner and outer space together, forever.

“A working class hero is something to be.”


Click to continue reading Werd: Bailout - Part Four

Read More | Hicks on America

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So the much belabored point of Part Two was that, in my opinion, we all realize that a bailout is needed.

There are some dissenters that would argue that no taxpayer money should rescue financial organizations or our American auto makers.  But anyone that seriously supports this philosophy is following the terrible advice that pushed us into the Great Depression:

Even today, with an economy much less dependent on bank loans than it was in 1930, a wholesale failure of the banking system, together with an extended fall in prices, could have a devastating impact. The reason most economists discount this possibility is that they don’t believe policymakers will make the same disastrous mistakes their predecessors made in the 1920s and 1930s, when the authorities stood by as the financial system imploded and withering deflation developed.  [Full article here.]

The lesson learned from the Great Depression was that no government intervention at all is a sure-fire way to see the system collapse severely.  There are many debates about what the government should specifically do, but all the debaters agree that doing nothing is the worst option of all. Nonetheless, many citizens seem to be opposed, in principle, to any bailouts at all that move taxpayer money towards rescuing banks or our automakers.

Click to continue reading Werd: Bailout - Part Three

Read More | Portfolio's Economic Predictions for 2009

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I am not a master of finance, to say the very least.  [You can find my full opinion on debt and credit here.] 

While 80% of the freshman when I was a senior at the University of Richmond in 2000 would go on to earn a major or minor degree from our Business School, I never took a single class at the School, and only ever held disdain for those that did.

It should be no coincidence, then, that almost ten years later, I am still buried underneath school loans and have seen my best entrepreneurial ideas die quick deaths due to my ignorance in all areas involving money.  My relationship to the American economy, to this point, has been adversarial: we both cared little for one another and worked towards the other’s hopeful demise.  But it is not with joy that I witness the economy’s current unhealthy state, as its disappointment only furthers a lesser state of my personal economy.  If the current American economy were to die, a part of my life would surely die with it.

Click to continue reading Werd: Bailout - Part Two


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In honor of Merriam-Webster’s 2008 word of the year, bailout, we will focus this week’s efforts of The Werd on the big story of the year. 

To start the discussion, I will suggest these two great charts:

A Visual Guide to the Financial Crisis - Part One
A Visual Guide to the Financial Crisis - Part Two

Part One explains the many reasons for the financial crisis; Part Two suggests an alternative bailout that punishes those who benefitted from the bubbles without extracting social funds already marked for public programs such as social security or retirement funds (as the current bailouts do).  This expert work shows how solutions to our problems are not beyond our ability, but merely beyond the imagination of our current leadership.

We’ll dig in on Tuesday with my precious take. 

BAILOUT SERIES
Bailout - Part One
Bailout - Part Two
Bailout - Part Three
Bailout - Part Four
Bailout - Part Five

Read More | Merriam-Webster's 2008 Word of the Year

Oh gay, gay, gays. What to do with your wacky wacky ways?  As much as you would like to consider yourself open and an accepting group of people, I beg to differ. Take a look at these two examples:

Where do I begin? How do you accept this?

Click to continue reading The Gays and their Heirarchy

Read More | USA Today

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This week’s werd pirate, as told by the other OED:

pirate (n.)
  1254, from O.Fr. pirate, from L. pirata “sailor, sea robber,” from Gk. peirates “brigand, pirate,” lit. “one who attacks,” from peiran “to attack, make a hostile attempt on, try,” from peira “trial, an attempt, attack,” from PIE base *per- “try” (cf. L. peritus “experienced,” periculum “trial, experiment, risk, danger,” see peril). Meaning “one who takes another’s work without permission” first recorded 1701; sense of “unlicensed radio broadcaster” is from 1913. The verb is first recorded 1574.

From its earliest roots, we can see that the word is based on the seafaring attack definition that we know very well and “one who attacks.”  Then, in 1701, that very concrete definition gains an abstraction – it becomes the piracy of copyright, a taking of thought.  You can say that 1701 marks the death of the singular pirate and welcomes a broader definition founded in the world of Gutenberg’s movable type.

We should not find it ironic, then, that Captain William Kidd was executed in 1701 for his act of piracy.

Click to continue reading Werd: Pirate - Part Five


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So in case some of you didn’t get the subtle satire, Part Three of this week’s Werd said that pirates can’t exist without capitalists.  If we want capitalism, we should expect pirates; if we want to rid ourselves of pirates, all of the laws and security in the world won’t ever get rid of them, so long as we still cling to capitalism. 

Today I received my copy of the January issue of Harper’s Magazine.  The very first entry I read is by former Editor-in-Chief Lewis H. Lapham, who writes about the financial crisis, etc.  Spurred by Thomas Friedman’s myopic quote that says Americans need to get back to their roots and “thinking about how—not just how much,” Lapham notes that the foundation of America’s independence from Britain was largely due to America’s embrace of privateers, who attacked British merchant ships and sold the profits of the booty to the French to support the revolution.  Loathe as I am to include huge block quotes of pirated text, I can’t help but reprint part of Lapham’s opening editorial that relates directly to this week’s Werd and essentially proves the subtle slants of arguments about pirates that I have been setting up all week.[1] Lapham, better than I, writes my perfect and fitting conclusion.  Here we go…:

Click to continue reading Werd: Pirate - Part Four

Read More | Harper's Magazine

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Where, precisely, is the line crossed that separates Robin Hood, the hero to the lower class, from Robin Hood, terrorist?

As usual, it seems to be a matter of perspective.  If you were sending gilded coins to your dear mother by way of carriage to pay for her The Plague medicine and Robin Hood up and stole your ducats, surely you would see Hood as the terrorist.  Even if the money Hood swiped was going to pay for the conspiracy to infect the lower class with The Plague, chances are that the sender would want Hood’s head on a platter.  I guess the overriding feeling is that if people take things that belong to you, you tend to want revenge or at least want to call them a thief, hoping that they will be prosecuted so you can get back the money that rightfully belongs to you.

But, if you are struggling to make ends meet as a cobbler and you can’t afford your child’s The Plague medicine, then when Hood arrives at your door with a burlap sack full of free money, surely you would sing his graces.  Thanks to the beneficence of your green-suited savior, little Sally will live to see another day.  So what if some highfalutin dingleberry lost the spending money for his elaborate vacation?  Is his happiness more important than little Sally’s health?  From the viewpoint of the cobbler’s eye: Hood is a hero.

All of us have either found ourselves in moments of Hood-worship or Hood-hate.  If we follow the genealogy of the dollar bills in our own accounts, surely we will find some dollars buried in our past that have known thievery and charity.  Some times our lives are subsidized for our benefit and some times we subsidize others for their benefit. 

Click to continue reading Werd: Pirate - Part Three

Read More | Ladhe burns his bridges

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I mean, c’mon, who doesn’t love pirates, right?

Whether it’s their eye patches or their peg-legs, pirates are a beloved part of human history.  So long as there have been valuable things moved over water and poor people with a taste for the sea, there be pirates trying to steal them some booty.

And why not?  Thievery on land is a naturally risky business.  Most centers of wealth, private or otherwise, are located in densely populated areas.  Banks are a good example.  The feudal castle of yesteryear is another.  Unfortunate for the thief, however, is that most people protect their banks and castles with thick walls and sentries, adding a layer of complication to the simple thief’s plan.  And there are always the difficult problem of witnesses.  Of course, you can go for petty crimes – stealing the purse or breaking the window of a some other lower/middle class citizen: but there is no great pride in that.  The rule of thievery is that if you want to earn a lifetime of respect for your crimes, the crimes must be bold conquests that attain plentiful booty (e.g., Jesse James, Ocean’s 11-13, Vikings). 

Click to continue reading Werd: Pirate - Part Two


Christmas Tree

As the holiday season reaches a climactic dud, I thought - “What would be a couple of ideal gifts to give that ‘special’ liberal in your life?”  A sudden wave of cheer and warmth shuddered throughout my body and the first gift can be given to anyone, not just to those pesky elitist friends of yours. No worry about the recession as this gift is free of charge. I know this might seem like a radical thought and a bit passé, but wish them a “Merry Christmas.” Being from New York and saying Merry Christmas is like having HIV of the face. You get glares, threats and disgust. As the attacks on Christmas reach its fifth year of steady George Soros-backed attacks, I’m asking fellow Christmasians to stay strong and continue your Christmas cheer.

Since this country was founded on Judeo-Christian values and traditions, it’s unfathomable to me that it’s getting flushed down the toilet by the same group of people that voted for B. Hussein Obama. In the New York City school system under current city policy, Jewish menorahs are allowed to be displayed for Hanukkah and the Islamic star and crescent can be shown during Ramadan, yet the nativity scene is not allowed to be shown during Christmas. Huh? Christmas is a federal holiday signed in law by President U.S. Grant and it celebrates Jesus and Christianity and this is just one instance that must be addressed as we fight America’s culture war. 

The second gift is slightly more, but it won’t break the bank. For only $25.00 or $100.00, you can buy that special lady in your life - be it your daughter, sister, niece or mother (if she’s young enough) - a gift certificate from Planned Parenthood of any abortion of your choice. First Trimester all the way up to Late Term it’s all up to you. What a great stocking stuffer!

I want to wish everyone a safe and Merry Christmas!

Read More | Planned Parenthood of Indiana

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