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Sara Trice

Just a programmin', bellydancin', cake bakin' kinda girl

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saratrice

Economic Crisis – understanding why the bailout was proposed

(reposted from a comment I made in filkertom’s LJ)

This may be useful for you:
http://seekingalpha.com/article/97427-the-dummy-s-guide-to-the-u-s-financial-crisis

A lot of what is happening right now has to do with money markets and short-term liquidity, which is drying up. When people hear “the banks can’t lend money”, they just assume it’s John Doe borrowing money to buy a house or a car or something like that. Not so.

Here’s an example:

Bob’s Cleaning Service (BCS) employs thousands of people. Every day, BCS goes and cleans some offices, and people write them a check in order to pay for their services. Now, that money doesn’t instantly appear in the BCS account – it has to go through the system and will be in the account in a day or two. So BCS has to make payroll on Friday, and they’re $900k short, since they’re waiting for things to clear through the system. So they go to the bank and say, “Hey, we need $900k for two days, at the end of two days we’ll give you back $900k plus $1k for a lending fee.” The bank says sure, passes the money over to BCS, payroll gets paid, and two days later BCS pays the money back, plus a small lending fee.

Now, the problem is that people are terrified of the market’s stability, and are pulling their money out of the money market – and here’s where I’m a little fuzzy on the concept, because it has something to do with the money markets, which involve banks and bonds and such, so you really need a better economist to explain that part. But, if there’s no money in the money market, it means the bank doesn’t have money to loan, because people have removed it. If the bank can’t loan BCS $900k on a short-term basis, BCS can’t make payroll (or pay for supplies or gas for their trucks or pay for their operating costs, etc.). If BCS can’t do this for even one day, things start to go very badly. Payroll gets delayed, the cleaners can’t get to the sites, they don’t have the equipment they need, etc. etc. In just a few short days BCS can lose a whole lot of revenue because of delays and breakdowns in their workflow.

And this is the real crisis – not “John Doe can’t borrow money for his house or put money on his credit card for a vacation to Bermuda or a bunch of stuff he doesn’t need.” It’s the day to day businesses coming to a screeching halt because they don’t have the money moving through the system like they used to – people don’t get paid, people don’t get the services or goods they’ve paid for, and it snowballs until it all comes to a slow, grinding halt.

This is why people are screaming for the bailout.

Now, it’s not that I am endorsing the bailout. I think that 3-page piece of crap that Bernanke handed to congress about “Give me all the money and the power or we all die” wasn’t worth the paper it was printed on. It should have been rejected outright and Congress should have started over, instead of trying to take the piece of crap and make it smell nice. But something has to keep the markets moving or things will go very badly very quickly.

This isn’t about consuming and more more more. It’s about the pace of our society and the speed of business, and how quickly it can be brought to its knees. Objects at rest tend to stay at rest, and if we let the economy stop, it’s going to be very hard to get it moving again.

(Sorry for the long post. It’s just I’ve been trying to follow this crisis closely and I have a lot to yammer about.)

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Why is this not front page news?

Muslim Children Gassed at Dayton Mosque After Obsession DVD Hits Ohio

elorie is much more eloquent than I am right now:
Anti-Muslim Propaganda Has Predictable Results

The news is starting to get to me because it’s all rotten.

Walk the walk

Father leaves nine children at Nebraska hospital
Children left at Nebraska hospitals: more details

I can only assume that being a parent of a mentally disturbed child is the most difficult, painful job you can have. And when you say “help me” there should be somewhere to turn. However, due to the Reagan administration, mentally disturbed people have been mainstreamed for years – read: “stuck out in public to fend for themselves.” So, I feel for all these parents who have come to the end of their rope and taken Nebraska at its word that they will give the help they’ve promised to their children.

Being a parent of more kids than you can handle (the “father of nine” mentioned has a history of unemployment and “no common sense”) is also just as hard, and when your spouse dies and you’re left to handle the children you couldn’t handle in the first place, yes, you need help.

But again, there’s nowhere to turn – and why the hell not? If all these pro-life groups are serious, shouldn’t there be centers, groups, programs for all these kids that are being born? Shouldn’t there be help for parents that feel overwhelmed by their children? Shouldn’t we have better support for families? Health care for children? Pre-natal programs for mothers?

(Oh wait, I forgot. The pro-life groups are too busy sitting outside of abortion clinics on all their free time. Maybe more of them should be foster parents.)

If the government is going to make laws over what access women do and don’t have to birth control and abortion, then the government should be prepared to deal with the consequences – a whole lot of children that won’t get the care they need from their parents, because their parents didn’t have access to the knowledge or materials to prevent unwanted children.

Uh… homeland mission?

[info]oddball79 made me aware of this:

http://www.armytimes.com/news/2008/09/army_homeland_090708w/
The 3rd Infantry Division’s 1st Brigade Combat Team has spent 35 of the last 60 months in Iraq patrolling in full battle rattle, helping restore essential services and escorting supply convoys.

Now they’re training for the same mission — with a twist — at home.

Beginning Oct. 1 for 12 months, the 1st BCT will be under the day-to-day control of U.S. Army North, the Army service component of Northern Command, as an on-call federal response force for natural or manmade emergencies and disasters, including terrorist attacks.

It is not the first time an active-duty unit has been tapped to help at home. In August 2005, for example, when Hurricane Katrina unleashed hell in Mississippi and Louisiana, several active-duty units were pulled from various posts and mobilized to those areas.

But this new mission marks the first time an active unit has been given a dedicated assignment to NorthCom, a joint command established in 2002 to provide command and control for federal homeland defense efforts and coordinate defense support of civil authorities.

So… we have, for the first time, military patrols assigned to North America?

Don’t look for any extra time off, though. The at-home mission does not take the place of scheduled combat-zone deployments and will take place during the so-called dwell time a unit gets to reset and regenerate after a deployment.

So much for resetting and regenerating.

They may be called upon to help with civil unrest and crowd control or to deal with potentially horrific scenarios such as massive poisoning and chaos in response to a chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear or high-yield explosive, or CBRNE, attack.
Does it make anyone else nervous that they’re starting this a month before elections? ‘Cause I am.

Last Chance to speak out against Bush’s new reproductive rights rule

“The Bush administration has issued a rule that would limit the rights of patients to receive complete and accurate reproductive health information when they visit a health care provider. It’s more of the Bush administration’s bad medicine, and this is our last chance to stop it.

This new rule could allow individual health care providers to redefine abortion to include the most common forms of birth control — and then refuse to provide these basic services. A woman’s ability to manage her own health care is at risk of being compromised by politics and ideology. We have until September 25 at midnight to voice our opposition.”

http://www.ppaction.org/campaign/frcp08_adv1

Setting the PHP path in OS X

So this will be obvious to you unix/linux geeks, but it took me a while to remember, so I’m putting it here.

I was trying to use the new install of PHP (on the command line) that I’d added instead of the default 4.4.7 install that comes with OS X 10.4. But nobody really says how to do that anywhere.

When I ran “which php” it said I was using /usr/bin/php. I wanted to be using usr/local/php5.

So, in .bash_profile for my user, I added the line:
# Set PATH for php (override default /usr/bin/php)
export PATH=/usr/local/php5/bin/:$PATH

then I saved that and ran “source .bash_profile”.

Now when I run “which php” it says /usr/local/php5/bin//php.

Yay!

A rose by any other cupcake…

Or something. Anyway, today I made cupcakes for Linda & Jered’s engagement party, and here they are…

I’m not sure why my buttercream does that rough thing at the edges. I’ll have to work on that.

I wouldn’t do that if I were you…

Thinking about voting for McCain?

http://blog.thehill.com/2008/09/16/mccain-secretly-plans-new-tax-on-middle-class

McCain wants to add the employer’s cost [of health insurance] — an additional $8,824 [on average] — to that middle class family’s income, then tax it. The hit to the average family is 15 percent of the McCain-added income — $1,323 more in income taxes.

Here’s the way the New York Times put it in an April 30 story, in which there was only straight talk: “Mr. McCain’s health care plan would shift the emphasis from insurance provided by employers to insurance bought by individuals.” Since 2000, the percentage of employers offering health insurance has declined from 69 percent to 60 percent.

Could you get health insurance on your own? Are you overweight? Diabetic? A smoker? Ever been admitted to the hospital for anything? Depression? High blood pressure? Or something really expensive – cancer, MS, HIV? Yeah, good luck.

If you’re hoping that voting for McCain means that the government will promote a sane health care policy, please read the comparison of the actual proposed policies.

Keith Olbermann’s Special Comment on the Anniversary of 9/11/01

He is as outraged as all of us should be.
If I am ever this eloquent, I’ll die happy.

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