Tuesday, July 15, 2008

The upcoming attitude adjustment?.

I know Dada's Dally isn't always "The Happiest Place on Earth." I'll concede that willingly - uncontested - to Denmark or Disney.

Maybe some of the darkness Dada's is continuously birthed beneath is born from a sense that reality and our interpretation of it are terribly misaligned. Trust me, I try very hard to temper my fear that, as a nation, we are truly in some very deep shit and when we are forced to reconcile our present fantasy world with the real one, it could get real exciting (i.e., "messy") real fast.

Last week, the seventh bank failed under Bush World's economic prosperity era we are currently reaping the "benefits" of with increasing sobriety. As a result of IndyMac's seizure by regulators, Wall Street investors are now sitting on the edge of their seats, waiting for the latest reports of quarterly bank earnings due to hit the fan in coming weeks.

Could IndyMac, claiming the honor of being the second largest bank failure in the FDIC's 75 year history, only hold that title for a few weeks or months? Are there still bigger fish to be fried? Soon we shall see.

In the meantime, this week James Howard Kuntsler talks about our teetering national economy in his The Clusterfuck Nation Chronicle after Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the two major vertebrae comprising the backbone of our nation's housing finance system, suddenly came under closer scrutiny in light of the housing bubble now deflating all around us.

Just as a note of the economic enormity Fannie and Freddie represent to the U.S. economy, at the end of last year they had a combined book of business valued at about $5,000 billion. (That's the calm way of saying 5 trillion dollars!) That's difficult for me to imagine when I'm down here concerned about my electric bill going up next fall an average of $10/month.

But let me just quote a bit from this week's Kunstler as a hint to why I tend to be a little pessimistic at times. (Note: emphasis are mine)

"If Fannie and Freddie are left to die out on the desert floor, say goodbye to the housing market, the major investment banks, countless regional banks, the retirement accounts of virtually everyone in America, the viability of all fifty states' governments, and the day-to-day operating ability of all their municipalities -- and very likely the current incarnation of the world banking system.

"This process is really out of control now. The bottom line is the comprehensive bankruptcy of the United States. The Republican Party under George Bush will be known as the party that wrecked America (release 2.0). Painful as it is, Americans had better get a new '
Dream' and fast. It better be a dream based on the way the universe actually works, which is to say an operating procedure run on earnest effort and truthfulness rather than merely trying to get something for nothing and wishing on stars. We might begin symbolically by evacuating Las Vegas and calling in an air strike on the loathsome place -- to register our new reality-based attitude adjustment."

Dada says, "Ha, ha! Poor Las Vegas. Why, when looking for the worst of our best, is Las Vegas most often mentioned?" But I digress.


Utah Savage said...

Time to start hoarding what little cash one has into the clothes on one's back for the quick get away. I inherited a diamond. It might just get me across the Canadian border. That and the Margaret Attwood books and the Leanord Cohen CDs stacked on the passenger seat in plain sight of the border patrol.

Border Explorer said...

It'll go way beyond Vegas; it will be the end of the world as we know it. Canada won't be far enough, Utah. Better to hitch a ride with D.K. to Mars.

Fran said...

Z sheet is hitting z fan my friend. This house of cards is falling fast. But catch this... Obama plans on sending in 10,000 more troops to Afghanistan. New & Improved wars run by a bankrupt country. Now why did he not make that announcement when 75,000 Oregonians came to hear him speak? Or that he would approve warrentless wiretapping?

Continuing in the trend, GM is to cut thousands more jobs. How will they cut their losses?

"A large chunk of the reduction, would come from cutting health care benefits for salaried retirees over age 65. Those people would get a pension increase from the company’s overfunded pension fund to help compensate for Medicare and supplemental insurance, the company said.
Several thousand jobs will be cut through normal attrition and retirements, and through early retirement and buyout offers, Henderson said. The company could resort to involuntary layoffs but does not want to, he said."

If the pension fund were overfunded, they would not be cutting back health care benefits for those over 65 & in most need of a good health plan. They will help fund Medicare costs. Is that even legal? It should be a crime.

They are even closing a plant in Silao, Mexico.

Well, Mr. Bush left a few of his business endeavors in bankruptcy, so he is consistent.
Too bad the consistency is in failure.

Move over- I'm joining you on the critics bench as well.

Utah Savage said...

Dada, where do you go when the women show up to tell you what they think? Where are you going? I don't speak French or I'd be going to France. I have a friend in Costa Rica, but I don't speak Spanish. I'm just one more barely literate American, want to get the hell out of Dodge.

D.K. Raed said...

OK, here is Minnie Mouse checking in at Dada's Disneyland. What? This is NOT "the happiest place on earth"???? I don't know about that, Dada. It certainly makes me VERY happy to read your thoughts & comments of others about the demise of america. But after re-watching "Reds" this A.M., I start to wonder if what comes after a revolution is any better.

Oh & OF COURSE Las Vegas is always THE place on everyone's hit list!!! I think Stephen King made that clear in "The Stand" (where vegas becomes the place that all forces of evil migrate to, while the forces of good go to Boulder Colorado, in preparation for the final stand for humanity's soul). If that image is too strong, perhaps Hunter Thompson's description of Las Vegas as the place where the American Dream went to die is more palatable. While Kunstler no doubt knows the evil of which he speaks, it does seem sometimes like he has mixed up the Wile E. Coyote/Roadrunner buttes & mesas of AZ & NM for Vegas (where all such natural features, if they ever existed there, have long since been replaced with NY or Paris or Egyptian or King Arthur replications).

And hey, if your elec bill will only increase $10/mo soon, count yourself lucky! We got notice last xmas that our rates were increasing by 50%. Electricity use is not normally noticeable until the summer here, so we are dreading the July bill. Our natural gas rates were increased 2-yrs ago at the by-now-too-familiar 50% rise, so the winter u-bills have been a bitch.

UT Savage, Canada would be a quick way out, but come winter, I'd be gone to Australia (I cannot deal with much snow). I have the same problem as you with frustration when I can't have deeply meaningful conversations in a foreign tongue, so I'm afraid Europe, Costa Rica, etc, are out (not to mention all that SNOW). Baby talk, hand gestures & smiling faces only go so far. But as B.Explorer hints, we may have an "IN" to go to Mars. DivaJood is getting certified to handle Interplanatary Virgin Galactic airfare!

dada said...

Utah: Don't mistake my reticence over on your website for "puny friendship" or lack of caring.

I can fully and totally appreciate what you are currently having to endure. And I know of what you speak: of the preference for the mania over the drugs that control it.

In today's blog entitled "Remembering John" (my brother), I'm sad to say he suffered from bipolar disorder. I was with him daily (on the phone for always an hour or more) at the heigth of his most rampant, intensive and scary episodes. I shared (calmly) of his moments of offering total strangers in a McDonalds $$$ because he thought they had been mistreated by the girl at the counter when ordering; of his accident on an LA fwy (not his fault) where he took sympathy on the party who was, offering to pay his damages until the CA Hwy Patrol told him to "leave before he got himself in real trouble!"

Or when getting estimates for the installation of a lawn sprinkler system at his home, declining the offer to do the job for $1800 in favor of an estimate of $6400 because the guy was nicer; or the new windows a cold call salesman sold him for nearly $14,000 which he paid up front and no installation was ever begun.

Some of these, like this last example, I was able to pull him out of after a couple of months, consulting the State of Oregon, legal aid thru one of Portland's law schools, his psychiatrist and finally thru persistence with the asshole contractors who sold him a pack of bullshit he so willingly paid for upfront. So I know the ravages this disorder can manifest on one's well being. (And don't even bring up the asshole at Washington Mutual who, when I ask if I could speak with her manager about my brother's account replied, "No. Is there anything else I can help you with today.")

It's a good thing you can't go thru phone lines because I would probably have committed homicide that day! (Fortunately, thru more communication with the State of Oregon, the State of Washington I was able to implicate that most public relations oriented b*tch to WAMU in a letter and eventually received a long apology from their mgmt whom I am hoping their heads roll in the next round of bank bankruptcies.

My apologies. While I am not bipolar (I think....unless provoked by the insanity all around us), I can be stimulated to a point of frenzy. So I apologize for my lack of response on your blog at present. It triggers many, many (unpleasant) memories and I can deeply empathize. And, no, I'm not saying what my brother experienced is the form in which it manifests in your case. I'm just saying I've had a hint of what bipolar disorder is about and it can get real difficult.

Now, as to your question of what can we do, where can we go: I think Border Explorer pretty well hit the nail on the head.

As Jimi Hendrix recited Bob Dylan, I think that best describes the place we're now in, i.e.,

"There must be some way out of here
Said the joker to the thief
There's too much confusion here
I can't get no relief....

"No reason to get excited
The thief, he kindly spoke
There are many here among us
Who think that life is but a joke

"But you and I, we've been through that
And that is not our fate
So let us not talk falsely now
Because the hour is getting late"

And, boy!, is it getting late. In fact, I think it may be far later than we think.

But for a good laugh, I read speaker Nancy Pelosi calling the Bush presidency a total failure.

No disagreement there, true. But who will assess the speakership (speakerhood?) of Nancy Pelosi?

As to Fran's comment. I consider Fran a most astute blogger and welcome her disillusionment. It's nothing I cheer. Rather, it's something to feel great remorse about.

But as some who read this may have discerned, I am greatly disillusioned with our current choices to lead us the next four years. Today came more discouraging news.

Is Obama a better choice than McCain? I guess. Will I vote for him? HELL NO! I WILL NOT vote for the lesser of two evils.

Obama's economic background training is from the conservative U. of Chicago and his professed stand on NAFTA (as opposed to it) was later retreated from by Obama as "overheated campaign rhetoric."

A March '08 London Times article tells us Obama has interviewed two republicans as possible candidates for high level positions in his administration should he become president. Senators Chuck Hagel and Richard Lugar. (Secs. of State and Defense)

And on and on. I've even read some far out shit re the republicans (ala "Karl Rove") recognizing Obama as likely the next president and to cover all bases, surreptitiously support Obama as well as their professed candidate McCain. Three cheers for the great two party!

Oh geez, another conspiracy theory but, if true, WOULD WE NEED ANOTHER REASON FOR THE OVERTURN OF OUR ENTIRE POLITICAL SYSTEM??!!)