sunday sunday sunday

spent a bit of time today checking out orkut. it was a thoroughly overcast day here in berkeley, so that quashed my plans of going out for a sail. although, actually if i had the truck i might have driven down to the marina. but the new clutch master cylinder that they installed on it last week turned out to be defective, so no truck. and the vw golf’s battery is still dead, after 2 years of sitting in the garage. maybe when the weather warms up, i should spend one of these sundays evaluating my car situation.
the string of non-sequiters up there in that paragraph is an approximate reflection of my day. i just sort of bounced around the apartment, drinking coffee, eating berries and granola, and reading, gaming, and sitting at the puter. laurent and i had talked a week or so ago, when he was in town, about redoing the look of the minna website, and now that he’s back in paris, he emailed me a jpeg of what he’s thinking. it’s going to look pretty cool. the old look was pretty cool, but as i have tinkered with the thing and basically redone most all of the pages, the architecture of the site needs to change. more simple.

maybe i’ll post some more later, right now i’m going to go tube it for sixty minutes.

convention tokens

just browsing through some of my blog subscriptions this morning, and read a link to this guy’s blog where he says

Let’s remember that Rudy Giuliani will be a prominent speaker at the Republican convention in New York City. It’s hard to imagine that a gay-bashing convention is what Bush and Rove are looking for, and Bush did conclude his statement with a call for “kindness and goodwill and decency”. In fact, we pity the poor fool at the RNC who has the unhappy task of digging up some gay Republicans to appear on the podium alongside the black Republicans.

from phil

something to chew on from the transcript of greenspan’s appearance before congress this week, brought to my attention by phil……last night we were talking about what recourse we have against a social security that won’t have any money for us by the time we’re ready to retire. this is probably why no politicians want to discuss this thorny question. they don’t want people who are somewhat younger and more capable of possibly sticking a boot in their ass to start realizing they are paying, not for their own retirement, but some corporate/government largesse.
but what can you do, not pay taxes?

I’m particularly concerned about foreign debt and the amount that foreign individuals and foreign countries hold of our debt. I have some numbers that I find to be frightening. The idea that 70 percent of last year’s record $373 billion deficit were financed by foreign investors concerns me — a 33 percent increase in the past two years. Japan holds almost $600 billion of our debt; China holds almost $150 billion of our debt. And I’m concerned that this leaves us a possible victim to economic problems that are outside of our control. And add to that the fact that the billions of dollars that we’re paying on interest on this debt is not even being paid — or part of it is not even being paid to folks right here; but instead, this becomes the biggest foreign aid program that we have in this country. And I’m worried about what may transpire because of this. And I’d like to hear your thoughts on it.

MR. GREENSPAN: Well, I presume, Congressman, you’re concerned about the issue of what would happen if they started to sell these securities.

REP. THOMPSON: Well, to sell them, to threaten to sell them, or to somehow decide that we’re not such a good — (chuckles) — investment and do something else with the money. I think it’s got some interest rate ramifications.

MR. GREENSPAN: Yeah, we’ve looked at that in some detail.

First of all, remember when you’re talking about the issue — let’s take the issue actually of selling securities and see what happens. We’re dealing not only with the size of the treasury debt owed to the public, but we’re dealing with a whole big block of securities in the United States which is in several multiples. And they — all securities compete with each other.

So there’s no question that if there is a sale of foreign assets, which largely are held by the central banks or the ministries of finance, that has — it has an effect, but it’s very small. And one of the reasons is not only is the amounts of money, as large as they are, as you’re quoting, relatively modest against the aggregate markets in this country, but they also tend to be disproportionately short-term instruments. And short-term instruments are huge in the United States, and since the liquidity is such that their effects are relatively modest. And remember that short-term rates are to a large extent controlled by the Federal Reserve’s basic policies. Now, obviously, we cannot suppress rates without expanding our balance sheet inordinately, creating huge increases in the money supply and creating the problem that your colleague had mentioned previously, but within a fairly broad area, we can and do.

So granted, the numbers look very large, but —

REP. M. THOMPSON: Well, it’s near — it’s fast approaching $2 trillion on our $7 trillion debt. So —

MR. GREENSPAN: Well, I mean, I will grant you there will come a number at some point which will disturb me. But at the moment, and in the foreseeable future, it is still a problem for the future not for the current period.

REP. M. THOMPSON: Thank you.


maybe it seems like i use this site a lot more often to complain about things that are pissing me off or bugging me. it sort of seems that way to me. this post is no exception.
my buddy chav is staying here for a little while. he’s an old friend from the dorms at berkeley. i had the door to my bedroom closed this morning, and his snoring is still louder than a big block chevy flooring it away from the stoplight down on sacramento street. at seven i finally gave up on all hopes of sleeping and headed out to the living room. i am officially sour.