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Late Night FDL: Truth and Consequences

TBogg found this gem from Clown Hall, about really, truly true stuff we’re all too political correct to bring up.

There are a few really truly true things the author missed, which I’ve taken the liberty to interject for them.

We have gotten to a point in our society where people can pursue courses of action that we know, they know, that everyone knows are highly likely to end in disaster. But then, when the aforementioned tragedy inevitably occurs, there is a demand that the federal government "fix the problem."

Congratulations. You just bought Bear Stearns. You, me and all taxpayers.

We’re not getting any ownership, of course, no share of the investment firm that at the beginning of the month had a stock market value of $10.5 billion.

That prize goes to JPMorgan Chase, spending a symbolic $2 a share of its own stock, which on March 16, the day of the deal, amounted to a measly $236 million. Even if Bear Stearns shareholders succeed in pressuring JPMorgan to raise its price slightly by a few dollars, for the giant bank it’s just pocket change.

U.S. taxpayers are assuming the real cost of JPMorgan’s buy: up to $30 billion to cover losses from Bear Stearns’ lousy, risky investments in mortgage-backed securities and even more exotic investment paper that had plunged in value.

But what’s wrong with saying,

* You’re about to lose your house because you got a subprime loan to buy a house $300,000 more than what you could afford. Sorry, but it’s your own fault.

In August 2007, investigator Eric Bremner found evidence in a shredder at Olympic Escrow that he says confirmed borrowers’ complaints that they had never signed the mortgage documents that pushed them into a financial hell.

Bremner found pieces of documents that had been cut to remove signatures and notary seals. Loan applications, escrow agreements and other documents had signatures that had been taped on, he said…

The group is accused of targeting unknowing homeowners whose homes had escalated in value by offering dreamlike mortgage refinancing offers, with promises of cash back and lower monthly payments, Bremner said.

Victims later learned they had been locked into high-interest rate loans, excessive fees and unfavorable terms. In some cases, the cash back never materialized.

Late Tuesday, the alleged ringleader in the scam, 25-year-old Eric Pony, and his sister, Paulette Pony, 23, turned themselves in to police to face charges including conspiracy, grand theft, forgery and elder abuse. Five other suspects were also arrested.

…Instead, when the bill for the irresponsibility of these sort of people comes due, it always seems to be everyone else’s job to bail them out of the mess they got themselves into.

The Fed is trying to ensure no other investment firms suffer a Bear Stearns-style "run on the bank" in which trading partners collectively demand cash.

"It’s like having a big brother stand behind you in the schoolyard," said Ray Stone of bond research firm Stone & McCarthy. "You’re not going to get beat up."

In similar fashion, U.S. taxpayers have suddenly become financiers of last resort for investment banks, thanks to the Federal Reserve generously opening up its discount lending window to securities firms to the tune of $200 billion. offering to lend securities firms in return for their out-of-favor investments in mortgage-backed securities and corporate debt.

"By government giveaway programs, individuals are often hurt far more than they are helped. The recipients of these programs become dependent on the government and their dignity is destroyed. Is it compassionate to enslave more and more people by making them a part of the government dependency cycle? I think compassion should be measured by how many people no longer need it. Helping people to become self-sufficient is much more compassionate than drugging them with the narcotic of welfare." — Rush Limbaugh

and by god, my housekeeper is going to be in the parking lot at Denny’s as soon as I can get a hold of her to score me some of that welfare shit.

Government wealth transfers are destructive, not just to the productive people who have their money taken, but often to the people who receive the money as well. The aim of every government program we have to help the poor should not be to help them just get by; it should be to put them in a better position to help themselves. If you do nothing but teach people to stand around with their hands out, waiting for you to take care of them, you’ve created a beggar. If you teach people to take care of themselves, you’ve created a productive person who may actually be able to shoulder part of the burden in this country instead of being part of that burden themselves.

We should all have such a generous and strong Uncle Sam, backing up our investments, no matter how risky.

Shouldn’t there be a price for such protection? If our money is assuming the risk of schoolyard muscle, shouldn’t we at least have the right to prevent those we’re protecting from engaging in reckless behavior?

It is not the government that makes this country great; it’s the people. As long as the American people are, on the whole — decent, ambitious, fiercely independent, relatively well educated, patriotic, and godly — this country will do fine. But, if we become a nation of selfish, hedonistic, unpatriotic, irreligious takers, we are doomed to go into a steep decline.

Well, yeah. Hell, look at how it’s going when it’s just affluent Republicans behaving that way.

I skipped the Machiavelli and Friedman quotes, the Adams quote I think he missed the point of, the sniffy bit about businesses which lack of immigration enforcement over decades have allowed to build their businesses on immigrant labor, and the part about how if Those Other People aren’t as successful as white guys it’s because they’re not Like white guys and how the problem with Iraq is that there isn’t enough human suffering (although all other government spending is Bad).

Oh, and all of it’s the fault of the DFHs and teh gays because we used to have standards.

Draw your own conclusions.

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Middle-aged (thank god); married (oddly enough); native New Yorker; one (thoroughly magnificent, thanks) child, She Who Must Be Obeyed, aka HM (Her Majesty). But a mere lowly end-user by profession, and a former [pretty much everything, at least in somewhat limited first-world terms].

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The handsome gentleman in the picture is Hoa Hakananai'a. He joined the collection of the British Museum in 1868. His name, which is thought to mean "stolen or hidden friend," was given to him by his previous owners when he was collected.