February 28th, 2009


You know things are bad when Berkshire Hathaway isn't making money.

"By the fourth quarter, the credit crisis, coupled with tumbling home and stock prices, had produced a paralyzing fear that engulfed the country. A freefall in business activity ensued, accelerating at a pace that I have never before witnessed. The U.S. - and much of the world - became trapped in a vicious negative-feedback cycle. Fear led to business contraction, and that in
turn led to even greater fear."


I always find it hilarious when randroids and other laissez-faire types claim that the stock market is "rational". The credit crisis sucks, it's true. But the credit default swap market is not the entire economy. And some banks going under is not the end of the world - it happened during the S&L crisis in the 80's.

But don't tell it to Wall Street. They're so busy feeding the bear that it hasn't even occurred to them that while some banks may be fucked, the rest of us don't have to be. As Buffet quite astutely observes, the fear of a bad economy is a self-reinforcing feedback loop that actually creates a bad economy, whether one should really occur or not.

The other thing this should remind everyone of, is how much of a lie you've been told about investing. We're all sold this myth that goes something like, "if you invest intelligently and manage your risks well, you'll make money." WRONG! If you do everything right, you can still get totally and utterly fucked over and lose your shirt, because the people on Wall Street are stupid, panicky herd animals. (We can assume Warren Buffet is doing everything right, can't we? I mean, this is the guy who told investors to get lost when they pressured him to get in on the dot-com boom. If there's anyone who's doing everything right, it's got to be him.)

Investing in stocks is pretty much gambling. Except instead of set rules that favor the house, the rules in investing constantly change, and basically the game rules end up being whatever a bunch of skittish morons feel like they should be at any given moment. Thus my personal rule about investing in stocks: Never, ever invest any money in stock(s) that you can't afford to entirely lose.
straight to hell

King County PD - Notes on the treatment of teenage female detainees.


1. If she sulks and kicks her shoe at your shin, charge in like a raging bull, grabbing for her neck.

2. Body-check her into the wall face-first, using your full weight.

3. Now grab her by the hair, twirl, and slam her into the concrete floor face-first.

4. Get your knee into her back, so she can't bring her overwhelming 90 lb little girl strength into play.

5. Raise your right arm and hit her a couple times while she's down - that'll show the bitch!

6. Cuff her so she can't kick her other Ked at you. (Wait, what?)

7. Drag her up to her feet by the hair.

8. A quick glance at the floor where you body-slammed her, to make sure there's no blood to incriminate you later, is always a wise policy.

Trajedy... for YOUUUUUUUUUUUU!!!!

Change^W Monarchy I can believe in!

The Obama administration has lost its argument that a potential threat to national security should stop a lawsuit challenging the government's warrantless wiretapping program.

The Obama administration, like the Bush administration before it, claimed national security would be compromised if a lawsuit brought by the Oregon chapter of the Al-Haramain Islamic Foundation was allowed to proceed.

Let's just pause for a moment to consider how remarkable those statements are. One of the worst abuses of the Bush administration was its endless reliance on vast claims of secrecy to ensure that no court could ever rule on the legality of the President's actions. They would insist that "secrecy" prevented a judicial ruling even when the President's actions were (a) already publicly disclosed in detail and (b) were blatantly criminal. (As is the case with the NSA warrantless eavesdropping program, which The New York Times described on its front page more than three years ago and which a federal statute explicitly criminalized.) Secrecy claims of that sort to block judicial review of the President's conduct, i.e., to immunize the President from the rule of law, provoked endless howls of outrage from Bush critics.

Yet now, the Obama administration is doing exactly the same thing. Hence, it is accurately deemed "a blow to the Obama administration" that a court might rule on whether George Bush broke the law when eavesdropping on Americans without warrants. Why is the Obama administration so vested in preventing that from happening, and worse still in ensuring that Presidents continue to have the power to invoke extremely broad secrecy claims in order to block courts from ruling on allegations that a President has violated the law?

During the controversy in the Jeppesen/rendition case, there were actually "defend-Obama-at-all-costs" advocates in the comment section offering the painfully ludicrous excuse that Obama only embraced Bush's State Secrets theory because Obama secretly hoped and expected to lose the case and thus create good judicial precedent. But in the Al-Haramin case, the Obama DOJ has now lost - twice - in their attempts to invoke secrecy to stop this case from proceeding, but they just keep searching for a court to accept their claims.

Manifestly, the Obama DOJ has one goal and one goal only here: to prevent any judicial ruling as to whether the Bush NSA warrantless eavesdropping program was illegal. And they're engaging in extraordinary efforts to ensure that occurs.


If Obama believes that the president is (or should be) above the law then he is no better than Dubya. The difference between them in that case would be merely a matter of degree, not a difference of type.