24 October 2008

indications of a revitalized economy

new york--wall street investors experienced a sudden surge in optimism tuesday when, after six tumultuous weeks that saw record drops in the dow jones industrial average, a $1 bill was spotted on the floor of the new york stock exchange.

the dollar bill was discovered in the northwest corner of the trading floor at approximately 12:05 p.m., and its condition was reported as "crinkled, but real." word of the tangible denomination of u.s. currency spread quickly across the nyse, sending traders into a frenzied rush of shouting, arm-flailing, hooting, hollering, and, according to eyewitnesses, at least one dog pile.

"with credit frozen and the commercial paper market poised on the brink of collapse, this is the most promising development i've seen on wall street in months," said floor trader tim formato, one of hundreds who gathered around the $1 bill and excitedly called their clients to inform them that they were looking at actual u.s. tender. "i think i touched it."

according to witnesses, the trading floor was soon abuzz with energy, as traders pointed at the dollar and repeatedly shouted "look!" and "money!" a proposal to divide the $1 note into 1,300 equal pieces and distribute them amongst investors was considered, but ultimately rejected. early reports estimate the dollar may have passed through as many as 65 hands before disappearing in the late afternoon.

the bill's absence, however, did not deter the growing enthusiasm from those on the trading floor. by 2:15 p.m., more than 60,000 shares had been purchased in the new publicly traded asset, dlr, after brokers placed a flurry of calls advising their investors to buy into the booming single-dollar market.

by the close of day, economists were estimating the dollar bill's net worth at just under $270 million.

"we couldn't be in a better situation right now," trader patrick kady said. "unless of course it had been a euro."

however, some financial advisers are warning against the rampant speculation the dollar has caused on wall street. many have cautioned investors not to make rash decisions, such as liquidating all their low-risk government bonds in order to sniff the green paper bill for just a minute.

"i bet it smells like rose petals," mutual funds specialist ken stoute said. "my friend's friend tim formato? he's on the board at westminster securities and he says he touched it. he said it was warm and soft and wonderful. he said he knows where it is now, and i can put in an option on seeing it tomorrow for only $85."

since the appearance of the dollar, the dow has spiked an impressive 993 points—its largest gain ever. initial numbers are showing the most sizable rises in technology stocks, a trend some are attributing to microsoft's cfo chris liddell, who toured the trading floor tuesday morning with the bill stuck to his left shoe.

the overall projection for the market following the incident has been positive, with many analysts claiming that the $1 bill may be an indication of other spare change lying around. this, coupled with reports out of europe that there is a german college student who has not yet hit her credit card limit this month, could be enough to stabilize the dow and jump-start the global economy once again.

"this is just another sign that the u.s. economy is as strong and resilient as it has ever been," said richard fuld jr., former ceo of lehman brothers. "i'm just glad we finally have these credit and subprime mortgage loan crises behind us. this $1 bill will carry us through another 10 years of reckless, unregulated borrowing."

22 October 2008

can you be muslim and american at the same time?
former secretary of state colin powell
says yes.

Moved by a Crescent


Published: October 21, 2008

Colin Powell had been bugged by many things in his party’s campaign this fall: the insidious merging of rumors that Barack Obama was Muslim with intimations that he was a terrorist sympathizer; the assertion that Sarah Palin was ready to be president; the uniformed sheriff who introduced Governor Palin by sneering about Barack Hussein Obama; the scorn with which Republicans spit out the words “community organizer”; the Republicans’ argument that using taxes to “spread the wealth” was socialist when the purpose of taxes is to spread the wealth; Palin’s insidious notion that small towns in states that went for W. were “the real America.”

Maureen Dowd
Fred R. Conrad/The New York Times

But what sent him over the edge and made him realize he had to speak out was when he opened his New Yorker three weeks ago and saw a picture of a mother pressing her head against the gravestone of her son, a 20-year-old soldier who had been killed in Iraq. On the headstone were engraved his name, Kareem Rashad Sultan Khan, his awards — the Purple Heart, the Bronze Star — and a crescent and a star to denote his Islamic faith.

“I stared at it for an hour,” he told me. “Who could debate that this kid lying in Arlington with Christian and Jewish and nondenominational buddies was not a fine American?”

Khan was an all-American kid. A 2005 graduate of Southern Regional High School in Manahawkin, N.J., he loved the Dallas Cowboys and playing video games with his 12-year-old stepsister, Aliya.

His obituary in The Star-Ledger of Newark said that he had sent his family back pictures of himself playing soccer with Iraqi children and hugging a smiling young Iraqi boy.

His father said Kareem had been eager to enlist since he was 14 and was outraged by the 9/11 attacks. “His Muslim faith did not make him not want to go,” Feroze Khan, told The Gannett News Service after his son died. “He looked at it that he’s American and he has a job to do.”

In a gratifying “have you no sense of decency, Sir and Madam?” moment, Colin Powell went on “Meet the Press” on Sunday and talked about Khan, and the unseemly ways John McCain and Palin have been polarizing the country to try to get elected. It was a tonic to hear someone push back so clearly on ugly innuendo.

Even the Obama campaign has shied away from Muslims. The candidate has gone to synagogues but no mosques, and the campaign was embarrassed when it turned out that two young women in headscarves had not been allowed to stand behind Obama during a speech in Detroit because aides did not want them in the TV shot.

The former secretary of state has dealt with prejudice in his life, in and out of the Army, and he is keenly aware of how many millions of Muslims around the world are being offended by the slimy tenor of the race against Obama.

He told Tom Brokaw that he was troubled by what other Republicans, not McCain, had said: “ ‘Well, you know that Mr. Obama is a Muslim.’ Well, the correct answer is, he is not a Muslim. He’s a Christian. He’s always been a Christian. But the really right answer is, what if he is? Is there something wrong with being a Muslim in this country? The answer’s no. That’s not America. Is something wrong with some 7-year-old Muslim-American kid believing that he or she could be president?”

Powell got a note from Feroze Khan this week thanking him for telling the world that Muslim-Americans are as good as any others. But he also received more e-mails insisting that Obama is a Muslim and one calling him “unconstitutional and unbiblical” for daring to support a socialist. He got a mass e-mail from a man wanting to spread the word that Obama was reading a book about the end of America written by a fellow Muslim.

“Holy cow!” Powell thought. Upon checking Amazon.com, he saw that it was a reference to Fareed Zakaria, a Muslim who writes a Newsweek column and hosts a CNN foreign affairs show. His latest book is “The Post-American World.”

Powell is dismissive of those, like Rush Limbaugh, who say he made his endorsement based on race. And he’s offended by those who suggest that his appearance Sunday was an expiation for Iraq, speaking up strongly now about what he thinks the world needs because he failed to do so then.

Even though he watched W. in 2000 make the argument that his lack of foreign policy experience would be offset by the fact that he was surrounded by pros — Powell himself was one of the regents brought in to guide the bumptious Texas dauphin — Powell makes that same argument now for Obama.

“Experience is helpful,” he says, “but it is judgment that matters.”


21 October 2008

more bad news from the banking front

following the problems in the subprime lending market in america and the run on northern rock in the UK , uncertainty has now hit japan.

in the last 7 days, origami bank has folded, sumo bank has gone belly up, and bonsai bank announced plans to cut some of its branches.

yesterday, it was announced that karaoke bank is up for sale and will likely go for a song.

while samurai bank is soldiering on following sharp cutbacks, ninja bank is reported to have taken a hit, but they remain in the black.

furthermore, 500 staff at karate bank got the chop and analysts report that there is something fishy going on at sushi bank where it is feared that staff may get a raw deal.

thanks to kgrizzell for sharing this.

10 October 2008

I'd like to see this on the Next Series of Survivor


Six married men will be dropped on an island with one car and 3 kids each for six weeks.

Each kid will play two sports and either take music or dance classes.

There is no fast food.

Each man must take care of his 3 kids; keep his assigned house clean, correct all homework, and complete science projects, cook, do laundry, and pay a list of 'pretend' bills with not enough money.

In addition, each man will have to budget in money for groceries each week.

Each man must remember the birthdays of all their friends and relatives, and send cards out on time--no emailing.

Each man must also take each child to a doctor's appointment, a dentist appointment and a haircut appointment.

He must make one unscheduled and inconvenient visit per child to the Urgent Care.

He must also make cookies or cupcakes for a social function.

Each man will be responsible for decorating his own assigned house, planting flowers outside and keeping it presentable at all times.

The men will only have access to television when the kids are asleep and all chores are done.

The men must shave their legs, wear makeup daily, adorn themselves with jewelry, wear uncomfortable yet stylish shoes, keep fingernails polished and eyebrows groomed.

During one of the six weeks, the men will have to endure severe abdominal cramps, back aches, and have extreme, unexplained mood swings but never once complain or slow down from other duties.

They must attend weekly school meetings, church, and find time at least once to spend the afternoon at the park or a similar setting.

They will need to read a book to the kids each night and in the morning, feed them, dress them, brush their teeth and comb their hair by 7:00 am.

A test will be given at the end of the six weeks, and each father will be required to know all of the following information:

  • child's birthday
  • height
  • weight
  • shoe size
  • clothes size
  • doctor's name
  • weight at birth
  • length
  • time of birth
  • and length of labor
  • favorite color
  • middle name
  • favorite snack
  • favorite song
  • favorite drink
  • favorite toy
  • biggest fear, and
  • what they want to be when they grow up.

The kids vote them off the island based on performance.
The last man wins only if he still has enough energy to be intimate with his spouse at a moment's notice.

If the last man does win, he can play the game over and over again for the next 18-25 years eventually earning the right to be called


After you finish laughing, send this to as many women as you think will get a kick out of it and as many men as you think can handle it.

Just don't send it back to me.... I'm going to bed.

Thanks to cycledon for sharing this

09 October 2008

a real immigration problem, eh?

from the manitoba herald, canada

the flood of american liberals sneaking across the border into canada has intensified in the past week, sparking calls for increased patrols to stop the illegal immigration. the possibility of a mccain/palin election is prompting the exodus among left-leaning citizens who fear they'll soon be required to hunt, pray, and agree with bill o'reilly.

canadian border farmers say it's not uncommon to see dozens of sociology professors, animal rights activists and unitarians crossing their fields at night. i went out to milk the cows the other day, and there was a hollywood producer huddled in the barn," said manitoba farmer red greenfield, whose acreage borders north dakota.

the producer was cold, exhausted and hungry. he asked me if i could spare a latte and some free-range chicken. when i said i didn't have any, he left. didn't even get a chance to show him my screenplay, eh?" in an effort to stop the illegal aliens, greenfield erected higher fences, but the liberals scaled them. so he tried installing speakers that blare rush limbaugh across the fields. "not real effective," he said. "the liberals still got through, and rush annoyed the cows so much they wouldn't give milk."

officials are particularly concerned about smugglers who meet liberals near the canadian border, pack them into volvo station wagons, drive them across the border and leave them to fend for themselves. "a lot of these people are not prepared for rugged conditions," an ontario border patrolman said. "i found one carload without a drop of drinking water. "they did have a nice little napa valley cabernet, though."

when liberals are caught, they're sent back across the border, often wailing loudly that they fear retribution from conservatives. rumors have been circulating about the mccain administration establishing re-education camps in which liberals will be forced to shoot wolves from airplanes, deny evolution, and act out drills preparing them for "the rapture."

in recent days, liberals have turned to sometimes-ingenious ways of crossing the border. some have taken to posing as senior citizens on bus trips to buy cheap canadian prescription drugs. after catching a half-dozen young vegans disguised in powdered wigs, canadian immigration authorities began stopping buses and quizzing the supposed senior-citizen passengers on perry como and rosemary clooney hits to prove they were alive in the '50s. "if they can't identify the accordion player on the lawrence welk show, we get suspicious about their age," an official said.

canadian citizens have complained that the illegal immigrants are creating an organic-broccoli shortage and renting all the good susan sarandon movies. "i feel sorry for american liberals, but the canadian economy just can't support them," an ottawa resident said. "how many art-history and english majors does one country need?"

thanks to bob for sharing this.

07 October 2008

a new take on the aig bailout. . .

i'm against the $85,000,000,000.00 bailout of AIG.

instead, i'm in favor of giving $85,000,000,000 to america in a We Deserve It Dividend (WDID).

to make the math simple, let's assume there are 200,000,000 bona fide u.s. citizens 18 and older.
our population is about 301,000,000 +/- counting every man, woman and child.
so 200,000,000 might be a fair stab at adults 18 and up.

divide 200 million adults 18+ into $85 billon that equals $425,000.00. my plan is to give $425,000 to every person 18 and older as a WDID.

of course, it would not be tax free.

let's assume a tax rate of 30%. every individual 18+ has to pay $127,500.00 in taxes. that sends $25,500,000,000 right back to uncle sam. but it means that every adult 18 and older has $297,500.00 in their pocket. a husband and wife gets $595,000.00.

what would you do with an extra $297,500.00 to $595,000.00 in your family?

pay off your mortgage - housing crisis solved.
repay college loans - a great boost to new grads.
put away money for college - it'll be there.
save in a bank - create money to lend to entrepreneurs.
buy a new car - create jobs.
invest in the market - capital drives growth.
pay for your parent's medical insurance - health care improves.
enable deadbeat dads to come clean - or else.

remember this is for every adult u.s. citizen 18 and older, including the folks who lost their jobs at lehman brothers, and every other company that is cutting back.

let's not forget those serving in our armed forces.

if we're going to redistribute wealth let's really do it...instead of trickling out a puny $1000.00 ( "vote buy" ) economic incentive that is being proposed by one of our candidates for president.

if we're going to do an $85 billion bailout, let's bail out every adult u.s. citizen 18 and older!

as for aig - liquidate it. sell off its parts. let american international group go back to being AIG.
sell off the real estate. let the private sector bargain hunters cut it up and clean it up.

here's my rationale: we deserve it and AIG doesn't.

sure it's a crazy idea that can "never work." but can you imagine the coast-to-coast block party?
how do you spell economic boom?

i trust my fellow adult americans to know how to use the $85 billion WDID more than i trust the geniuses at AIG or in washington d.c.

and remember, the WDID plan only really costs $59.5 billion because $25.5 billion is returned instantly in taxes to uncle sam.

ahhh...i feel so much better getting that off my chest.

02 October 2008

what's the name of the operating system in your laptop?

we now have two laptops at home.
the operating system for the white one is called leopard,
while the other one, i suppose, is called domestic shorthair.