Saturday, September 20, 2008

Keeping It Real

Heather over at Want What You Have has started the Keeping It Real carnival. Even though a lot of us homemakers blog about schedules and organization and whatnot, we're all real people, with real lives, and our homes reflect that.

So here's what a liberal, agnostic home looks like at 5 pm on the last day of our work week. Up there we have the kitchen, that's hamburger defrosting on the left, right in front of the dirty bread pan/coffee pot/water pitcher. I have to point out that the dishwasher there was running at the time I took this, none of it fit. All the way over on the left is a clean frying pan, waiting for the hamburger, and my lifeline, the kettle.

Edging to the left we have the baking center, complete with bicycle maintenance book and Post-it notes of favorite baking recipes. Beyond that we have the "dining room", with the graphed out beginning of the holiday gift for my Grandmother-in-law covering most of the surface. Beyond that is the living room

It's remarkably clean, but then no kids yet. And it's also "Friday" for us. Wait until "Sunday"/Wednesday when we've been living in it all week-end. Then it's a completely different story. The big green thing is the climbing tower the husband built for our seriously spoiled cats.

Turning around in place...

...we have my desk. Complete with water bottle, giant tea mug, even larger bottle of Advil, and knitting everywhere. That thing behind the blue spray bottle used to make the cats stop that is called a Sherpa. It's our family information center. It's currently opened to the most important page - what's for dinner.

Coming back around to almost where I started

Hallway. With laundry. The rooms off it are a bathroom/storage room, the husband's office at the end, and the sewing/exercise/someday kids room.

Which is only this clean because I'm starting a new project. I swear.

Finally, the bedroom

The only reason why that bed is made is because I got lucky and managed to get a cat-free moment. Otherwise I'm out of luck.

Well, if you ever wondered what a non-religious home looks like on an average day, now you know. This also proves that you can still have clutter, even without kids. Hopefully someday I'll be able to add kid clutter to it.

This just in

photo © patrick hysell for CC:Attribution-ShareAlike

With much gratitude and hat tipping to DarkSyde over at DailyKos. I just had to share his list.

What we've learned this week:

  • The best way to help the people who need it the most is by giving trillions in tax cuts and tax deductions to the richest who need it the least. The fact that this hasn't worked for eight years is justification to make it permanent.
  • Republicans are willing to blow a trillion or more in Iraq and call anyone who doesn't go along unpatriotic, but we can't afford healthcare for Americans and must instead rely on deregulating insurance companies (No, I'm not making that up) and taxing healthcare benefits; anyone who argues otherwise is anti-American.
  • This Just In: John McCain Invented the Blackberry!
  • When CEOs drive century old Wall Street investment banks and multinational insurance firms into the ground with sheer greed and incompetence it's the responsibility of taxpayers to bail them out. When those taxpayers lose their jobs, homes, and healthcare because of corporate greed and incompetence, they're on their own.
  • First dudes don't have to bother answering state investigators or responding to bipartisan subpoenas, as long as they're married to a Republican politician.
  • John McCain was really all for regulation all along, after he and his party deregulated everything in sight, and hired the same dereg fundamentalists that flew the economy into the side of a mountain to run his campaign.
  • The incoherent rantings of a African witch-hunting dominionist lunatic who sees demons hovering in the air are a respectable endorsement for being elected Vice-President.
  • This Just In: Sarah Palin is a Young Earth Creationist End-O-the-World-Nutter.
  • Republicans refer to pointing out any of the above as 'finger pointing' and 'lecturing,' while lecturing and pointing their fat sweating guilty sausage-like fingers at anyone who wanders into sight for the colossal failures of their own warped ideology.
I learned this from my wanderings around the housefrau blogosphere:
  • What the Conservatives reject is the Liberal mindset that attempts to place restrictions on others rather than on themselves in the guise of protecting the environment. There are differences of opinion about what should be done to protect the environment and forcing your own views on others is not a Christian way of doing things, so the Conservative Christians don’t do that.
    That only applies to environmental laws. If someone is gay, then in the Conservative Christian view, they shouldn't be allowed to marry or raise children, and they will put constitutional amendments on the ballot to force that view on others. (Link provided on request, it's in comment #561 on that page)
  • Christians are against sex outside of marriage. But every child is a gift from God and is never a mistake. Following the logic there, saying no to sex would be saying no to God bringing a child into the world. After all, God must have put that boy and that girl in that place for that reason. So Christians are all for sex, at any age or marital status, they are only against birth control and abortion.
  • Conservatives, with the help of the single issue Christians who keep putting them in office, are robbing the country dry. (From Glen Greenwald)
Here is the current draft for the latest plan. It's elegantly simple. The three key provisions: (1) The Treasury Secretary is authorized to buy up to $700 billion of any mortgage-related assets (so he can just transfer that amount to any corporations in exchange for their worthless or severely crippled "assets") [Sec. 6]; (2) The ceiling on the national debt is raised to $11.3 trillion to accommodate this scheme [Sec. 10]; and (3) best of all: "Decisions by the Secretary pursuant to the authority of this Act are non-reviewable and committed to agency discretion, and may not be reviewed by any court of law or any administrative agency" [Sec. 8].

Put another way, this authorizes Hank Paulson to transfer $700 billion of taxpayer money to private industry in his sole discretion, and nobody has the right or ability to review or challenge any decision he makes.

  • A single rumor can drain an American city dry of most if not all fuel in 24 hours.
Amazing what you learn.

On the economy

Image credit to Paul Krugman. But I'm talking about his column and need the example.

I think I'm getting it. I might be getting it in teeny, tiny bits, not even bites, but I'm getting it.

On his blog today, Paul Krugman writes about doubts on the latest bailout.
I think of a hypothetical institution, which tradition says we should call Capital Decimation Partners. CDP’s balance sheet looks like (the above image)

Now, obviously CDP is in trouble if it can’t sell the toxic waste at all. But suppose that Hank Paulson does his reverse auction, and it turns out that the Treasury’s price for toxic waste is 40 cents on the dollar. Even so, CDP is still underwater. So what does Treasury do then?
Apparently, if I have this right, assets does not always equal money in the bank, or a building, or the cars and computers owned by the company. I can also include IOU's other people have given you, in exchange for something like money to buy a house.

An IOU is an asset. Got it.

So what this image is saying is that the company in the example, CDP, is claiming $515 in assets, and has given IOU's to other people for $500. On paper they should be able to pay off the IOU's they wrote, and still have $15 left over.

But they never had at least $50 of that on hand. Maybe even more than $50. It was just an IOU from someone else, someone else's good name.

Now, in the current economy $50 in those IOU's are not going to be paid back, and so even if the government says they'll take those IOU's. But they're not going to pay you $50 for a pile of worthless promises. The example says $0.40 on the dollar. Which means they would now have

OK stuff = $465
Money for
bad stuff
from the
govt. = $20
$ 485

And they are still short $15, just to pay back all their promises, let alone keep going.

Now, the elephant in the room no one is talking it just me or is calling an IOU from someone else an "asset" kinda dumb. If I have $100 in my checking account, loan $50 to my sister, then write a check for the whole $100, that check is going to bounce, regardless if I tell the bank I have an asset in the form of my sister's IOU or not.

I humbly suggest to the financial community that they stop calling IOU's assets, stop using them to figure up how much you have. Assets are what you have, be it stocks or land or cash or goods. Debits are what you owe other people. And IOU's get their own column. Call it profit if you like, when it gets paid back. Pocket it. But don't use it to figure what you're worth.