I'm surprised how insular and obnoxious all this Bailout stuff makes me.
So when I read the Australian Prime Minister saying about the US Congress
The call that we need to make is for them to put aside party politics
and to pass this package because it is necessary for the stabilisation
of US financial markets and global financial markets.
or a European Union spokesman saying
The United States must take its responsibility in this situation,
must show statesmanship for the sake of their own country, and
for the sake of the world... We expect that the decision will go through
my immediate gut reaction is
Ha ha ha ha ha ha bite me!
Run your own fucking country, assholes.
If your economy depends upon the US government stealing a trillion dollars
from its citizens, then as the lolcats say, U R DOIN IT WRONG.
This is of course a horrible reaction!
I should be telling myself that we are all in this together, that the world
is an interconnected place, that if some other part of the house is on fire
I should not begrude the use of my extinguisher.
Or, given that I think the bailout would be equivalent to paying the
blackmailer, I should comment in calm tones that while this looks like
something that would help the world out of this tough situation, in fact
I think it would be a mistake for all of us.
But in fact my reaction is full of rude noises and cursing.
The mind is an odd thing...
A reader reminds us in this week's comment box that saying No to a bad
thing isn't always a good thing:
What's going to happen is we're going to spend the money anyway,
but we're going to get a whole lot less for it. (Actually what's
going to happen is the plan will be revised into something acceptible
to another dozen or so of the Republicans who bolted but probably less
good than the one they rejected.) Distance from Russia: less and less.
But it was nice to be amused for a little while.
I'm off to write my elected officials
again, for what it's worth...
So wow, I think this is maybe the first time I've skipped two whole weeks of
Hope no one has been worried; things are fine, just very very busy, and I've
been doing lots of other stuff and not weblogging.
To get Big Important World News out of the way first, I have to say that I
take great delight in the defeat of the Huge Very Important Really Critical
Bailout Package by sufficiently many stubborn US Congresscritters to actually
stand up and vote against something that Dubya and the leaders of both parties
wanted them to vote for.
I mean, after Nancy Pelosi's speech about how
Our message to Wall Street is this: the party is over.
No longer will the U.S. taxpayer bail out the recklessness
of Wall Street.
I mean, we'll give you the seven-hundred billion dollars this
one last time, but if you do it again, oooh, we will be so angry!
(roughly), and Sarah Palin's emphatic:
...like every American I'm speaking with, we're ill about this position
that we have been put in where it is the taxpayers looking to bail out.
But ultimately what the bailout does is help those who are concerned about
the healthcare reform that is needed to help shore up our economy. Helping
the -- it's got to be all about job creation too, shoring up our economy and
putting it back on the right track. So health care reform and reducing taxes
and reining in spending has got to accompany tax reductions and tax relief
for Americans and trade -- we've got to see trade as opportunity,
not as competitive, scary thing, but one in five jobs being created
in the trade sector today -- we've got to look at that as more opportunity.
(and yeah she actually said that, that isn't from the
Tina Fey sketch, although the two are very similar), after those
two compelling arguments to the contrary, that a sufficiently large
body of congresspersons could stand up and say "um, no, not really",
gives me an element of hope and delight.
This bailout would be like paying a blackmailer; it's awfully tempting in
the short term, but he's just going to be calling again next month, that
breathy voice on the phone, disguised with a dirty T-shirt wrapped around
the handset, saying that now there's a terrible crisis in I don't know the
market for Collateralized Inverse Credit Card Debt Obligations, and this
time it'll cost two trillion dollars to save the world economy.
And then what do you do?
Yeah, the stock market went down 777 points; that's the blackmailer sending
us a crude sepia print of the incriminating photographs.
But if we say, if those brave whackos in Congress say, "sorry, bub,
do your worst", and stick with it, it may be a little embarassing when the pictures appear
in the local newspaper, but in a few months everyone will have forgotten
them, the stock market will be back at 11,500 as the market says "darn"
about not being able to buy all those new yachts and private jets and
gets back to business, and we'll all be able to
look back with relief.
And can we like fire Hank "may not be reviewed by any court of law" Paulson
while we're at it?
I mean my gawd.
So that's the boring (if world-shaking) stuff.
On more interesting fronts, the little daughter is still all excited by
school, and even has a cool
job, as well as vast amounts of work, and is learning to write Computer
Programs and other things dear to her ol' Dad's heart.
(And boy do I envy her sometimes when I'm sitting here writing PowerPoint
that will influence the course of computer science research worldwide;
in the right mood, being a college frosh seems far preferable.)
Good ol' Spennix is level 64, and now has skill level 375 in First Aid (Heavy
Netherweave Bandages ftw!), as well as her Epic Mount (a Swift Grey Ram),
and is busily exploring the mysteries of the Outlands.
Dale has been doing various things
in Second Life, I'm getting over (touch wood) a slight but annoying cold,
M went off to an event
at a Local Needlework Store (which is, I understand, a technical term in the
international online cross-stitch community) the other day so I got to bond
with the little son (by, mostly, playing online video games in adjacent rooms),
who is doing Just Fine in high school.
And here's an article on Solving Every Sudoku puzzle
using about 100 lines of Python.
And there's a bunch of other things in my "to maybe log someday" file, but, well,
So much else to do!
(rushes madly off, stage right)