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Re: Down with the government!

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  • Dave Land
    ... Of course, you understand that this was said in the friendliest way possible. Common sense might have told you to quit, but as your story shows, repeated
    Message 1 of 11 , Oct 8, 2010
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      On Oct 8, 2010, at 2:31 PM, Jon Louis Mann wrote:

      >> I am also running for political office,
      >> for the tenth time...~{
      >>
      >>> Proving the old adage, if at first you don't
      >>> succeed, don't have the common sense to quit?

      Of course, you understand that this was said in the friendliest way
      possible. Common sense might have told you to quit, but as your story
      shows, repeated attempts increase your name recognition.

      > I was starting to get name recognition around the 6th or 7th
      > campaign, then I got married, took my wife's name and had to start
      > over from scratch.


      Sounds like you got your priorities right to me. I wonder if you
      couldn't have run under your old name, or if people would just find
      that weird?

      > Most serious candidates raise at least $100,000, much of which comes
      > from special interests; developers, realtors, city employees, etc.
      > The job pays $12,000 a year but you have control over a budget of
      > 554 MILLION bucks, for a city of 80,000!
      >
      > I'm running because I want to oppose that system and give residents
      > a voice in how those millions are spent with a virtual town hall
      > forum on the city website, for transparency, and to hold city
      > officials accountable.

      You sound like the kind of guy I might just vote for, name recognition
      or not!

      Dave



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    • Charlie Bell
      ... It s not uncommon for female careerists or politicians or authors or sportswomen to continue to work/run/publish/compete under their birth name even if
      Message 2 of 11 , Oct 8, 2010
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        On 09/10/2010, at 10:36 AM, Dave Land wrote:
        >
        >
        > Sounds like you got your priorities right to me. I wonder if you couldn't have run under your old name, or if people would just find that weird?

        It's not uncommon for female careerists or politicians or authors or sportswomen to continue to work/run/publish/compete under their birth name even if they've legally taken their partner's name for all other purposes. As Jon has discovered, having to rebuild the name recognition is a handicap. So yes, he could've continued under his birth name. But now, 3 campaigns on, he'll have done a lot of the hard work in that rebranding.


        Charlie.
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      • Jon Louis Mann
        ... Thanks Alex I ll look you up. I pop up on FB as Jon Mann on Dr. Brin s page. My e-mail address is net_democracy@yahoo.com The concept of the electronic
        Message 3 of 11 , Oct 11, 2010
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          > This would be great internationally as well,
          > not just in the US. If you want a bit of
          > (free) adivce on websites, its what I do for
          > a living for my sins.
          > My Facebook and twitter profile is alexgogan
          > Good luck with the project love the idea!

          Thanks Alex I'll look you up. I pop up on FB as Jon Mann on Dr. Brin's page. My e-mail address is net_democracy@...

          The concept of the "electronic village" is found in SF, especially if you've read "Earth". It's evolving on the internet as weblogs, etc. The Internet enables discussions to be held online and provides a way for the people to gather together, allowing everyone speak their mind, discuss an issue, make a decision, and vote to have it carried out. It is a means to implement direct participatory democracy, as opposed to representative government.

          Town halls can no longer work as they did in ancient times. They are a function of the size of the group, which places limits on speaking time. Within the decision making process some people talk more than others.
           
          Electronic forums are the ideal venue for brainstorming solutions for social issues, as you can take time to edit your comments. It also affords more people an opportunity to be less passive and have a voice. Moderated sites work best to stay on topic and maintain civilized discourse.




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        • Doug Pensinger
          ... As long as the moderator isn t a censor. Doug I(ttb)AMoaC _______________________________________________
          Message 4 of 11 , Oct 11, 2010
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            > Electronic forums are the ideal venue for brainstorming solutions for social issues, as you can take time to edit your comments.  It also affords more people an opportunity to be less passive and have a voice.  Moderated sites work best to stay on topic and maintain civilized discourse.

            As long as the moderator isn't a censor.

            Doug
            I(ttb)AMoaC

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          • Dan Minette
            ... From: brin-l-bounces@mccmedia.com [mailto:brin-l-bounces@mccmedia.com] On Behalf Of Doug Pensinger Sent: Monday, October 11, 2010 8:17 PM To: Killer Bs
            Message 5 of 11 , Oct 12, 2010
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              -----Original Message-----
              From: brin-l-bounces@... [mailto:brin-l-bounces@...] On
              Behalf Of Doug Pensinger
              Sent: Monday, October 11, 2010 8:17 PM
              To: Killer Bs (David Brin et al) Discussion
              Subject: Re: Down with the government!

              >> Electronic forums are the ideal venue for brainstorming solutions for
              >>social issues, as you can take time to edit your comments.  It also
              >>affords more people an opportunity to be less passive and have a voice.
              >>Moderated sites work best to stay on topic and maintain civilized
              >>discourse.

              >As long as the moderator isn't a censor.

              After 20 years of changes in internet groups, I think its reasonable to see
              what really happens in internet forums. Yes, there will be the rare
              exception, but I've seen multiple postings that indicate that, when the
              forums are used, they are trivial and decisions are based on rumors. The
              birther rumor is a good example of this.

              Dan M.


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            • Nick Arnett
              ... That s a tempting idea, but this article got me thinking it is just not true. Small ChangeWhy the revolution will not be tweeted.by Malcolm
              Message 6 of 11 , Oct 12, 2010
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                On Mon, Oct 11, 2010 at 1:30 PM, Jon Louis Mann <net_democracy@...> wrote:

                 
                Electronic forums are the ideal venue for brainstorming solutions for social issues, as you can take time to edit your comments.  It also affords more people an opportunity to be less passive and have a voice.  Moderated sites work best to stay on topic and maintain civilized discourse.

                That's a tempting idea, but this article got me thinking it is just not true.

                Small Change

                Why the revolution will not be tweeted.

                by Malcolm Gladwell


                Read more http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2010/10/04/101004fa_fact_gladwell#ixzz12BH0HcYw

                Gladwell's observation is that social media is a great place for people who don't want to put much energy into their "activism."

                Nick

                 

              • Dave Land
                ... Which makes it perfect for me. Dave _______________________________________________ http://box535.bluehost.com/mailman/listinfo/brin-l_mccmedia.com
                Message 7 of 11 , Oct 12, 2010
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                  On Oct 12, 2010, at 2:05 PM, Nick Arnett wrote:

                  On Mon, Oct 11, 2010 at 1:30 PM, Jon Louis Mann <net_democracy@...> wrote:

                   
                  Electronic forums are the ideal venue for brainstorming solutions for social issues, as you can take time to edit your comments.  It also affords more people an opportunity to be less passive and have a voice.  Moderated sites work best to stay on topic and maintain civilized discourse.

                  That's a tempting idea, but this article got me thinking it is just not true.

                  Small Change

                  Why the revolution will not be tweeted.

                  by Malcolm Gladwell


                  Read more http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2010/10/04/101004fa_fact_gladwell#ixzz12BH0HcYw

                  Gladwell's observation is that social media is a great place for people who don't want to put much energy into their "activism."

                  Which makes it perfect for me.

                  Dave


                • Jon Louis Mann
                  ... I was NOT arguing you should vote for the GOP (just opposite) but they are right about some criticisms of the left. Of course they are hypocrites; defense
                  Message 8 of 11 , Oct 16, 2010
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                    > I would argue that the right (the one that
                    > was in power anyway) was doing all the
                    > wasteful spending.  T
                    > if you vote for the GOP because you want to
                    > curb wasteful spending, you're barking up the
                    > wrong tree.
                    > Doug fingers crossed

                    I was NOT arguing you should vote for the GOP (just
                    opposite) but they are right about some criticisms
                    of the left. Of course they are hypocrites; defense
                    spending had a lot to do with Bush's huge deficit.
                    Both parties voted to bail out corporations that
                    should have been allowed to fail.

                    I hope you are correct that many people in the center
                    do not want to return th GOP to power.

                    > We are still putting everything on credit card

                    > the progressives are offering no real solutions. 

                    I agree and I think the lively conversations have
                    disappeared partly because people feel alienated
                    and powerless. There are lively conversation on
                    David's FB page.

                    What difficulties are there that don't fit into the
                    left or right wing polarizing box?

                    Flaming is a problem. The trolls are up to their
                    usual tricks, even on David's FB page, where participants
                    tend to supplement and reinforce each other.

                    > California has put itself in a box and I'd expect
                    > housing prices to drop another factor before it
                    > can start to rebound. 
                    > Dan M.

                    I see housing prices going down further in Calif.
                    We have a way to go to catch up with other areas.
                    I think the economy is years away from rebounding.
                    If Prop 19 passes the state should invest in industrial
                    grow of medical marijuana, rather than let the tobacco
                    companies 'harvest' all the profit!~)
                    Jon M




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                  • Dan Minette
                    ... I m not sure why you think the main argument against letting banks fail is false. It is that the financial system as a whole could have collapsed if there
                    Message 9 of 11 , Oct 16, 2010
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                      >Both parties voted to bail out corporations that
                      >should have been allowed to fail.

                      I'm not sure why you think the main argument against letting banks fail is
                      false. It is that the financial system as a whole could have collapsed if
                      there was no intervention.

                      There were measures that a panic and a bank run was about to set in. When
                      the biggest insurance company in the world fails, then it is reasonable to
                      assume that one's insurance policies have uncertain value. When values are
                      uncertain, prudent people take the lower limit.

                      If you look at measures of the uncertainty, like the spread in the interest
                      rates with corporate AA notes vs. corporate AAA notes, or that short term
                      T-bills started earning real negative interest (e.g. you paid money for the
                      right to hold money there), one couldn't dismiss the real possibility of a
                      full blown panic. As it stands, the estimate of the bailout costs are now
                      down to $50 billion, as the government sells some of the assents it got in
                      the bailout at bargain prices at a higher price.

                      So, I'm really curious. Do you believe that the empirical measures that
                      indicated a credit freeze was starting were false measures (e.g. the fact
                      that companies with AA ratings interest rates went from 0.25% higher than
                      AAA ratings to 6% higher, virtually overnight, has nothing to do with an
                      unwillingness to lend) or do you believe that a Depression was just what the
                      country needed, or that banks could fail without a massive downturn, or...?
                      I'm honestly curious what you think would have happened if the government
                      did nothing and just let the chips fall where they may.

                      Dan M.


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                    • John Williams
                      ... Maybe he thinks it is false because it IS false. A lot of financial company fat cats screamed for help to their cronies in Washington, and of course, their
                      Message 10 of 11 , Oct 16, 2010
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                        On Sat, Oct 16, 2010 at 1:34 PM, Dan Minette <danminette@...> wrote:

                        > I'm not sure why you think the main argument against letting banks fail is
                        > false.  It is that the financial system as a whole could have collapsed if
                        > there was no intervention.

                        Maybe he thinks it is false because it IS false. A lot of financial
                        company fat cats screamed for help to their cronies in Washington, and
                        of course, their old chums came to their rescue. What's a trillion in
                        taxpayer dollars between friends?

                        By the way, he said "corporations". Why do you immediately assume he
                        was referring to banks? I know it is hard to keep track of all the
                        handouts the politicians gave to their cronies during their bailout
                        spree, but off the top of my head:

                        Fannie Mae
                        Freddie Mac
                        AIG
                        Bear Stearns
                        Citigroup
                        BoA
                        GM
                        Chrysler

                        Are you seriously going to argue that the failure to bailout all of
                        those would have led to disaster?

                        The politicians and their advisors have no clue about what would have
                        happened without the bailouts. He is an example of the predictive
                        ability of Obama's financial advisor:

                        "The paper concludes that the probability of default by the GSEs is
                        extremely small. Given this, the expected monetary costs of exposure to
                        GSE insolvency are relatively small -- even given very large levels of
                        outstanding GSE debt and even assuming that the government would bear
                        the cost of all GSE debt in the case of insolvency. For example, if the
                        probability of the stress test conditions occurring is less than one in
                        500,000, and if the GSEs hold sufficient capital to withstand the stress
                        test, the implication is that the expected cost to the government of
                        providing an explicit government guarantee on $1 trillion in GSE debt is
                        less than $2 million."
                        --Peter R. Orszag, et al. "Implications of the New Fannie Mae and
                        Freddie Mac Risk-based Capital Standard," in Fannie Mae Papers, Volume
                        1, Issue 2, March 2002.

                        Dan Minette wrote:
                        >  As it stands, the estimate of the bailout costs are now
                        > down to $50 billion, as the government sells some of the assents it got in
                        > the bailout at bargain prices at a higher price.

                        Still drinking the Kool-aid, I see. I know there is little hope of you
                        seeing the truth, but I will give it a shot anyway.

                        The Fed has purchased over $1.5 Trillion in MBSs from Fannie and
                        Freddie, a large fraction of which are delinquent mortgages and
                        valued on the books significantly higher than the amount at which the
                        properties can be liquidated. And there are more big foreclosure waves
                        coming in late 2010 and in 2011. The FASB has helpfully suspended
                        rule 157, mark-to-market valuation, until at least 2013, allowing
                        "substantial discretion" in asset valuation. In other words, the asset
                        values currently on the books are pure fiction. You can get a decent
                        idea of the market value of many mortgages by checking the FDIC auctions
                        of mortgages it obtained from bank takeovers. Most of them are selling
                        well below 50 cents on the dollar. What happens after 2012 when the
                        Treasury backing of the bad GSE loans goes away?

                        If a corporation engaged in this sort of fraud, the board and officers
                        would have been put in jail. But when the politicians do it, the gullible
                        think they are heroes saving the public!

                        Dan Minette wrote:
                        > I'm honestly curious what you think would have happened if the government
                        > did nothing and just let the chips fall where they may.

                        As I have explained to you before, there is a difference between
                        allowing the bad companies to fail, and doing nothing. Congress should
                        have passed emergency legislation streamlining the process for the bad
                        shareholder and bondholder debt to be stripped away, allowing the
                        solvent operating portion of the companies to be sold off, thus
                        allowing the useful portions of the companies to continue operating,
                        while properly penalizing the shareholders and bondholders who
                        imprudently allocated their capital.

                        I'll conclude with an excerpt from Ben Bernanke's Humphrey-Hawkins
                        testimony before Congress in July. He was questioned by New Jersey
                        Congressman Scott Garrett of the House Financial Services Committee.

                        SCOTT GARRETT: You bought over a trillion dollars of GSE debt, and to
                        that point, under normal circumstances, on the Fed's balance sheet
                        what you have on there are Treasuries, or if you had anything else on
                        there, I assume you would have a repurchase agreement for those
                        securities on your balance sheet. Now of course around two-thirds of
                        that are in GSE debt.

                        BEN BERNANKE: Correct.

                        GARRETT: So right now, those are guaranteed - whether they're
                        sovereign debt or not, we don't know - but they're guaranteed by the
                        U.S. government. But they're only guaranteed to when? 2012, right?
                        After that, Congress may in its wisdom make another decision, and at
                        that point in time, you may be holding on your balance sheet - two
                        thirds of your balance sheet - something that is not guaranteed by the
                        Federal government. First of all, you don't have a ... do you have a
                        repurchase agreement on those with anyone? No.

                        BERNANKE: I don't know what you mean by a repurchase agreement. We own
                        those securities.

                        GARRETT: You own those securities. Right. So there is no repurchase
                        agreement outside to buy them back. You own them.

                        BERNANKE: Right.

                        GARRETT: So after 2012, if they're no longer guaranteed, is it fair to
                        say that you may at that point in time actually engage in fiscal
                        policy, because you basically are creating money at that time? And I
                        know that you'd agree that it would be an unconstitutional role for
                        the Fed to engage in fiscal policy - so where will you be at 2012 if
                        they had to take a haircut on those because they're no longer
                        guaranteed?

                        BERNANKE: Well, first from the government's perspective, I, uh, such
                        an act would, uh, there would, the Federal Reserve would lose money
                        which the Treasury would gain. There would be no overall change to the
                        position of the U.S. government. Secondly, the Federal Reserve act
                        explicitly gives..

                        GARRETT: How would we be gaining? How is the Treasury gaining?

                        BERNANKE: Well, if there's a bad mortgage and the Treasury.. it
                        requires $10 to make it good, if the Treasury refuses to do that then
                        the Fed loses $10, so one way or another the government's going to
                        lose $10. But I would just say two things, one is that I think, uh...

                        GARRETT: But if you didn't purchase them in the first place, it would
                        just be a total - then what would have occurred? There would not have
                        been the creation of that $10. Now that you've purchased them, and in
                        essence if we don't back them up, then you will have created that
                        additional $10.

                        BERNANKE: Well, I hope that doesn't happen, because I think it's very
                        important for financial stability and confidence that we, that we
                        guarantee...

                        GARRETT: Let's play out that hypothetical that it does happen.

                        BERNANKE: Well, then the Fed would lose money there. But let me just
                        point out that the Federal Reserve Act, that we did not invoke any
                        emergency or unusual powers to buy those agencies. It is explicitly in
                        the Federal Reserve Act that we can buy Treasuries or agency
                        securities and so we did not do anything unusual there.

                        GARRETT: In what status were they when you bought them? Were they in
                        conservatorship at that point?

                        BERNANKE: Um, yes.

                        GARRETT: Is it normal practice for the Fed to buy agency securities
                        when they're in conservatorship? Was that ever done before?

                        BERNANKE: It's never been in conservatorship before.

                        GARRETT: Well, there you go. So the normal practice is not what was
                        followed here. It just seems to me that we may have gone down a
                        different road than we've ever gone down in U.S. history, where the
                        Federal Reserve has engaged in buying a security, it's not Treasury,
                        it's not guaranteed by the full faith and credit of the United States
                        for its lifetime, nor is there any repurchase agreement from any other
                        entity that you purchased - that you have a trade with an agreement
                        with - and that the Fed in essence could have created money if the
                        government does not guarantee them. At least, that could be the
                        situation we could find ourselves in 2012.

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