Daily Archives: September 17, 2008

Lest We Forget

Lest we forget the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act of 1999 where it all began, I have found some interesting links.

Follow this link to see the record of the vote for the act. 53 Republicans and 1 Democrat voted for the bill. 44 Democrats voted against the bill.  1 Republican voted present.  1 Republican did not vote.

Follow this link to the Government Printing Office version of the 144 page bill.

Here is the innocuous sounding official description of the bill:

An Act to enhance competition in the financial services industry by providing a prudential framework for the affiliation of banks, securities firms, and other financial service providers, and for other purposes.

The following is the real key to understanding the purpose of the act:


Here is another sound bite you often hear about the bill:

Sec. 101. Glass-Steagall Act repeals.

How about the following heading?

Subtitle B—Streamlining Supervision of Bank Holding Companies

By now you should get the gist of how to interpret Republican double-talk.  Remember this when you hear John McCain’s explanations.  Remember that Phil Gramm is one key idea man for John McCain.

What they say sounds innocent and good for us.  What they mean is hold onto your wallet.

Economic Silly Season

The so-called conservatives don’t have a lock on silly ideas about the economy.

We so-called liberals have to guard against falling for articles of equal silliness on the opposite side.

Follow this link to read the article of Steven G. Brant about the demise of capitalism.

Follow this link to see the comment I made  in response.

In the comment, I finally came up with an explanation for what is wrong with only having a qualitative understanding of economic principles (or any other principles for that matter).

The author said “You either have Capitalism or you don’t”.

Having only a qualitative understanding may be the reason for this silly all or nothing notion. Oddly enough the bio of the author claims that he has a civil engineering background. I can’t imagine doing civil engineering without quantitative calculations.

A simple example is a chef with a five pound bag of sugar and a desire to make a pie. Qualitatively she or he knows that the pie needs some sugar.  When making a pie, the chef doesn’t ponder whether or not to put in the whole bag of sugar or none at all.  The chef knows that there is a measured amount that will be good.  Put in far too much or far too little and the pie is inedible.

Life is like this.  At some point you have to know when enough is enough.  You also have to know when too little, too late will do no good.

Ukraine’s Pro-Western Government Collapses

Follow this link to the story on Huffington Post. The story takes on added significance after what happened in the former Soviet Republic of Georgia.

Follow this link to a comment that ties what is going on to the history of how World War I started. I am not enough of an expert in history to attest to this telling of the story. I just know enough for it to sound plausible.

It just shows that while military alliances can be necessary, they can also be dangerous.  If NATO doesn’t stop pressing for new members, is it going to lead us to war? Are we afraid to put the bakes on NATO for fear of being called cowardly and weak on defense?  Will we let this fear lead us to war instead of allowing us to break the chain of tit-for-tat?

See my posting on Tit-for-Tat and my posting about Georgia.  Scary, isn’t it?

Bumper Stickers

RichardH has been goading me into showing some bumper stickers.  I finally saw one today that I thought was interesting.

Bumper Sticker

Bumper Sticker

Remember folks, this is a joke.  Don’t get all upset over it.  You know this web site doesn’t claim to be fair and balanced.