Monday, October 11, 2010

Notes from the Paddock: CHDN Looking Rough

Check out the red flags waving in Churchill Downs news releases.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

This Country Needs a Hero

Out of such crises as the world now faces, heroes arise because the public wants, needs, order.  These heroes needn't be protagonists.  Indeed, Adolf Hitler was a hero to the German people who found themselves left in physical and economic ruin subsequent to World War I.

The United States of America must scour its ranks over the next two years to find a leader which will instill, restore, to this country the following qualities, at a minimum:
  • Hope - must see opportunity, not obstacles;
  • Trust - must be honest, act with good faith, inherently apolitical, or probably deemed "a loose cannon" by opponents within and outside the standing political systems;
  • Honor - does the right things when no one is watching, does not hide behind FOIA redacted texts;
  • Accountability - holds others and is held to personal culpability for decisions;
  • Creativity - not indoctrinated by the status quo, would not lean on "it's complicated" as an excuse to continue dysfunctional causes.
Any longer, politics have become a means by which integrity goes on the negotiating block next to reason.  Thusly, trustworthy people are labeled "loose cannons" by their parties because they cannot be counted on to vote against their conscience, even if the party line dictates that they do so.  @JPCounihan thinks that perhaps the world as we know it must go to zero before the citizens will accept such radical qualities in a leader.  I say that such qualities are the foundations on which the country was built.  We need not go to zero, perhaps stopping at the top-of-slab would be sufficient.

To be sure, if every object relates to another as posited here, then the entropy accelerating this country into disaster can be likened to the inexplicable acceleration of the bounds of our universe.  Can we explore balance in our reality, or shall we simply resign ourselves to impending doom, by fire, by ice, by Big Rip, by alien invasion, by nuclear holocaust.

Perhaps we should all study the Tao, or at least the Three Jewels thereof:  Compassion, Moderation, Humility.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Free Markets and Free Enterprise: Not Synonymous

I may or may not come back and complete this stub of a post.

The essence of the point is that Free Markets will allocate resources to the most favorable environs for profit.  Whereas Free Enterprise means maximizing the advantage of such environs, even if by impinging the basic rights of such locale as defined by the most comprehensive body of rights represented among involved parties.

Too often corporations hide behind the banner of Free Enterprise, counting on fools to misunderstand the subtle differences between it and Free Markets for the purpose of returning shareholder profit at the cost of the local citizenry, present and future.

Examples include Apple's Foxconn workers jumping from buildings after enduring unsavory working conditions for years, among others.

It is most important, even for a libertarian, to recall that without affording others our version of basic human rights we are animals and hypocrites.  Too, corporate profits measured against human suffering should duly taint all bearers' karma.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Happy Election Season

If you haven't read Machiavelli's The Prince stop wasting time and get a copy.  May I be so bold as to recommend the version edited by Quentin Skinner and Russell Price and labeled on the cover as a part of the "Cambridge Texts in the History of Political Thought."

These guys do a beautiful job in distilling the oft misunderstood Machiavelli.  Below, please find a quote from the Introduction to the translated body, which I assume was written by the aforementioned editors.
Since our circumstances vary, while our natures remain fixed, political success is simply a matter of having the good fortune to suit the spirit of the age.
Qualifications?  Citizenship?  All taxes paid?  None of it matters.  And it has never mattered for over 500 years.

Vote wisely, Suckers.

post script.  The Tea Party are not libertarians, but they're also just as fucked up as any other political regime.

A Cockle Warming Post Script

Well, it's been a month since last we visited the train-wreck that is JPM Chase and their home mortgage business.  Today, in reviewing cash flows, Wells Fargo showed a full deduction for mortgage payment in line with the direct draft we had set up through Chase's website.

So I go over to Chase and log in to make sure that the correct moneys had been applied against principal and interest, since they fucked (purposely screwed) up so royally last time.  Lo, Chase only reflected the base payment and did not reflect the overage we had set up THROUGH THEIR GODDAMN WEBSITE against principal.

Quiz:  If my monthly mortgage payment is 1600 (principal and interest inclusive) and I set up payment of 1750 with the added 150 going directly against principal how should monthly payment be recognized on online statements?

Chase's Answer:  Show 1600 and claim that their system is not setup to indicate principal reduction.

Real World:  A statement is a motherfucking receipt.  If it says a goddamn payment has been received, it had better show the total deduction that came from the other account.

I have an idea how JPM Chase is trying to make interest by holding overage back until the last day of the month as a way to gain small interest on the difference and there's a real problem with it.

Situation developing.