Sunday, April 27, 2008

Interesting conversation.

This is an exchange on live journal between a couple Brits. One being an expat on his feelings of civil war/ unrest and how likely it is. I find it very telling how it actually is right now across the pond. violence IS rampant and there is almost no accountability for any of it.

2007-03-02 12:11 pm UTC
The latest problems we had were because of two days of snow. Traffic on one of the main roads out of Cardiff had slowed to a stop which was a bad thing for people stuck in this area. Gangs of youths were opening car doors, pelting people inside with snowballs and stealing sat navs and anything else they could grab. They even pelted a six month old child. Some people got out to yell at them and were attacked. There were fights in the store I work at. Luckily I was off sick with the flu. Well on the second day of this the police turned up. They were pelted with snowballs too and eventually they baton charged the crowd to try and disperse them. They arrested several people but didn't watch their backs and one of the guys snuck around and opened the riot van and they all escaped. Not a good day for the police. The police are losing in a very real way and everyone can see it. Even when they do make an arrest the Crown Prosecution Service lets them off again. Illustrated very nicely by that latest fiasco where a government memo was leaked ordering the CPS to only jail the worst persistent offenders as there is no more room in the prison system. That's just one of the things that seems to be at breaking point. The NHS and the ambulance service specifically can't cope. In the last fortnight there have been headlines because a man died after phoning for an ambulance nine times. Fire and police chiefs have hit out because they have been called out to respond because no ambulances were available. The worst so far was that South Wales was left without ambulance cover for a whole hour one night.Things aren't looking all that good. It's not civil war but I bought an extra case of water yesterday now that you've got me thinking about it.

2007-03-02 12:44 pm UTC
Interesting info. That's the sort of crap that can lead to outbreaks of violence, which leads to more violence, which leads to the police unable to contain it.In fact I am a little surprised that vigilante groups haven't sprung up yet in some areas. I guess, because most folks aren't allowed to carry anything more than a wallet any more, there is little one can do other than 'jump up and down and distract the criminal until the police arrive'.As for the British police - I know there are some good ones; an old friend of mine from school is a traffic officer in the Avon & Somerset force, but as a group I think they and the CPS are piss poor excuses for 'service to the tax payer'.Maybe if they weren't so focused on prosecuting people for stupid crap like defending themselves, or having chemicals that they might be able to make bombs with, under their sink, there would be more space in prison.
2007-04-04 05:46 pm UTC

Do you think that the lack of guns in the UK (on the side of the citizens and the police) has made criminals braver, and more apt to do stupid things?

2007-04-04 06:18 pm UTC
I think they lack any fear of consequences. There have been many cases, especially lately, of someone standing up to a mob and being beaten down and even killed, so no one really wants to stand up to them. The average person doesn't just fear violence but legal repercussions. If you act against a criminal the common belief is that you will be prosecuted and sued. This is in fact true, even if you act to legally defend yourself and are acquitted you can still be sued. The police are also understaffed, severely limited in what they can do and completely unsupported by the crown prosecution service. There was a bit of a scandal of late when it turned out the government had instructed them to only imprison the worst violent repeat offenders to lower prison populations. Criminals know this so there is a general feeling that even if you are caught you will be freed with a token punishment or fine.All this combined makes people who are prone to violent or criminal behaviour very bold. It's not just the lack of guns but the culture that puts money and the rights of criminals ahead of the safety, freedom and welfare of the law abiding.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Good advice. But scary

  1. NEW YORK (CNN) -- "The people who survived the Great Depression were the ones who had money to buy when everybody else was selling." -- My grandfather
    I learned a lot from my grandfather, but that might have been the greatest lesson he ever taught me. He wasn't just talking about managing money, he was talking about managing life -- and his words have stuck with me since I was a child.
    A few years back, I was taking a theology course and the professor recommended only the books whose authors he agreed with. I read those books, but I also asked that professor which books he thought had it completely wrong -- and I read those too. Then I made up my own mind. After all, following the herd is fine until they all run off the side of a cliff together.
    Less than a year ago, a recession was the last thing on anyone's mind. In fact, over the summer, as I was questioning the conventional wisdom, I read an article on my television show that quoted a financial expert as saying, "It is the strongest global market that we've seen in the history of measuring these things."
    That's when I realized how fast the herd was approaching the cliff.
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    But with predictions of a recession now more common than Fed rate cuts -- and that's saying something -- maybe now it's time to look at a worst-case scenario. After all, considering all sides of an issue, no matter how extreme they may be, doesn't make you a crazy person; it makes you an educated one.
    So to understand what a real meltdown could look like, I turned to Nouriel Roubini, chairman of RGE Monitor and professor of economics at New York University's Stern School of Business. He's also a former adviser to the U.S. Treasury Department.
    Professor Roubini recently laid out what he called the "12 steps to financial disaster." Unfortunately, they were really complicated, and I have severe ADD, so I've boiled them down into five phases that even a rodeo clown like me can understand.
    I think of these like our military's "DEFCON" -- or defense readiness condition -- scale, except that this countdown could end in the meltdown of your bank account:
    How you'll know we're here: The housing downturn turns into a free fall, making it the worst collapse in our country's history. That not only triggers massive numbers of foreclosures and lost household wealth, but it also sets off another large wave of bank write-downs.
    Odds we get here: Roubini told me that it's "extremely likely, even unavoidable" that we hit this stage because "the excess supply of new homes in the market is like we've never seen before." Prices, he believes, "need to fall another 10 to 20 percent before that clears."
    How you'll know we're here: Americans upside-down on their mortgages and unable to pay their home equity loans begin defaulting on other debt, like credit cards, car loans and student loans. In addition, bond insurance companies lose their perfect credit ratings, forcing already troubled banks to write down another $150 billion.
    Odds we get here: High. Roubini says that 8 million households are already upside-down on their mortgages and he thinks we could see that number go to between 16 million and 24 million by the end of 2009. A lot of those people, he believes, will simply walk away from their homes and send their keys back to the bank.
    How you'll know we're here: Some banks begin to crack under the pressure of continuing write-downs and mounting defaults by consumers. A national or large regional bank finally collapses, triggering hedge fund failures and general chaos on Wall Street, potentially leading to a 1987-style market crash.
    Odds we get here: Very good. Roubini says that we'll likely socialize the losses, "effectively nationalizing the mortgages or the banks." It would be, he told me, "like Northern Rock (the large bank in England that was recently taken over by the British government) times three." He thinks the stock market will head south throughout the year as fears about a severe recession are confirmed.
    How you'll know we're here: Most forms of credit (both to consumers and businesses) become virtually nonexistent. That results in a "vicious circle" of additional write-downs, stock market losses, and bank collapses, which leads to even less credit being available.
    Odds we get here: Good. Roubini says that credit conditions are becoming worse everyday across a variety of markets and won't be getting better anytime soon. Without extra credit available, people might have to actually (gasp!) live within their means.
    How you'll know we're here: Welcome back to 1929. A full economic meltdown results in a complete failure of the underlying financial system. What will be known to future generations as "The Greater Depression" has arrived.
    Odds we get here: Not likely. Roubini believes that this will be a "very painful and severe recession" that could last for 18 months or more, but it will be more like 1981 than 1929. Families may be eating soup again, but at least it'll be in their own kitchens.
    Now, do I think any of what you just read will happen?
    I have no idea, and that's exactly the problem. I'm not an economist or a stockbroker; I'm just a guy trying to make the best decisions I can, and picking the brains of real experts helps me do that.
    But I do know one thing for sure: Depressions aren't advertised in advance. Last time around we went from the Roaring '20s to bread lines in a matter of just a few years.
    Anyone who says that can't happen again either doesn't know history, doesn't understand how interconnected the world's economies have become, or is lying to you. While that doesn't mean you should panic, it does mean you should prepare -- something my grandfather would've done a long time ago. E-mail to a friend

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

No money from big oil?

Bullshit. and of course this all comes out just as he has all momentum to take him out of the primaries against a weakened Republican(thank you president Bush). I wish I would here a story like this or maybe the Basra story at six o'clock when I am sitting down to do report with my coworkers. Every day I here "see Will, it's a mess over there or he doesn't take money from corporations and, he's for change. It's so old.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Where are they???

Where the hell is the main stream media in my own damn country? Why won't I here about this story on the six o'clock news? It drives me fucking nuts to see day after day stories about the thousand Iraqi troops who turned tail and ran from the fighting in Basra and not one friggin story about the good news. The good news is astronomical news that should lead the news daily.




I swear to God if only a democrat had starrted this war, the MSM would report the truth.

Monday, April 14, 2008