Saturday, April 18, 2009

Friday, April 17, 2009

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Well the sun is surely sinking down
But the moon is slowly rising
So this old world must still be spinning round
And I still love you

So close your eyes
You can close your eyes, its all right
I dont know no love songs

And I cant sing the blues anymore
But I can sing this song
And you can sing this song
When Im gone

It wont be long before another day
We gonna have a good time
And no ones gonna take that time away
You can stay as long as you like

Britain's Got Talent

I love Susan Boyle. I think she is the greatest thing as of late! And I love how she simply unveiled as this incredible talent,defying all expectations and the judgements that had already been made. Ella Fitzgerald started that way....

Notes I Took A While Ago From An Elizabeth Warren Lecture

This weekend I caught a lecture by economist Elizabeth Warren on television, discussing the financial crisis in the US. Amazing and wonderful stuff. Here are some notes I took down. The largest expenses for American families are Houses, healthcare, car maintenance, childcare, and taxes. Americans spend 3/4ths of their two salary incomes on these expenses, in 1970 they spent just half of a one income salary on these costs.--In my words, there is no longer an Archie Bunker effect.-- In 1970, women just giving birth spent at least five days in the hospital, today its 24 hours, and many times thats because its required by law. Hospitals are pushing people out--sicker and quicker. There are nearly fifty million uninsured in the US. Also those who think they are insured until time for treatment. She calls it Faux insurance...something touted by one of Bush's secretaries of Health, Education, and Welfare... In 1970 the average uninsured person was a 23 year old male with no children. Now, its a 35 year old with 2 kids....In 1970 parents believed it only took 12 years of public funded grade school education for their children to enter the middle class, in 2002 it took 18 years--preschool-grade school-plus four years of college with families paying for 1/3rd of the child's education out of pocket... She says we are quickly moving from a three class society to a two class society... The main reasons why families go into bankruptcy these days is because of one of three reasons 1. Family Breakup 2. Joblessness 3. Medical Problems. Most hide it--guilt and shame, especially from children....more children live in homes that have experienced bankruptcy than have experienced divorce. .... I find all of this very interesting. I wonder how all of this compares/fits along with the trend in the 40s, 50s, and 60s, of the children of Black maids and chauffeurs and other members of the working class rising into the middle class, recieving college educations. I have noted before on this blog, and thought about a lot too--it used to be that it was people of color, particularly Black people who went to school, earned college degrees and ended up working as somebody's maid...that due to discrimination. Nowadays, its everybody...macdonalds, walmart. Interesting turns in the U.S. economy.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

I am feeling my inner Josephine Baker! I am so channeling her right now!

An Excerpt From Barack Obama's Speech on the Economy

Excerpts from "A New Foundation"

Today, I want to step back for a moment and explain our strategy as clearly as I can. I want to talk about what we've done, why we've done it, and what we have left to do. I want to update you on the progress we've made, and be honest about the pitfalls that may lie ahead. And most of all, I want every American to know that each action we take and each policy we pursue is driven by a larger vision of America's future -- a future where sustained economic growth creates good jobs and rising incomes; a future where prosperity is fueled not by excessive debt, reckless speculation, and fleeing profit, but is instead built by skilled, productive workers; by sound investments that will spread opportunity at home and allow this nation to lead the world in the technologies, innovations, and discoveries that will shape the 21st century That is the America I see. That is the future I know we can have.


All of these actions -- the Recovery Act, the bank capitalization program, the housing plan, the strengthening of the non-bank credit market, the auto plan, and our work at the G20 -- have been necessary pieces of the recovery puzzle. They have been designed to increase aggregate demand, get credit flowing again to families and businesses, and help them ride out the storm. And taken together, these actions are starting to generate signs of economic progress. Because of our recovery plan, schools and police departments have cancelled planned layoffs. Clean energy companies and construction companies are re-hiring workers to build everything from energy efficient windows to new roads and highways. Our housing plan has helped lead to a spike in the number of homeowners who are taking advantage of historically-low mortgage rates by refinancing, which is like putting a $2,000 tax cut in your in pocket. Our program to support the market for auto loans and student loans has started to unfreeze this market and securitize more of this lending in the last few weeks. And small businesses are seeing a jump in loan activity for the first time in months.

This is all welcome and encouraging news, but it does not mean that hard times are over. 2009 will continue to be a difficult year for America's economy. The severity of this recession will cause more job loss, more foreclosures, and more pain before it ends. The market will continue to rise and fall. Credit is still not flowing nearly as easily as it should. The process for restructuring AIG and the auto companies will involve difficult and sometimes unpopular choices. All of this means that there is much more work to be done. And all of this means that you can continue to expect an unrelenting, unyielding, day-by-day effort from this administration to fight for economic recovery on all fronts.


It is simply not sustainable to have a 21st century financial system that is governed by 20th century rules and regulations that allowed the recklessness of a few to threaten the entire economy. It is not sustainable to have an economy where in one year, 40% of our corporate profits came from a financial sector that was based too much on inflated home prices, maxed out credit cards, overleveraged banks and overvalued assets; or an economy where the incomes of the top 1% have skyrocketed while the typical working household has seen their income decline by nearly $2,000.

For as some were chasing ever-bigger bonuses and short-term profits over the last decade, we continued to neglect the long-term threats to our prosperity: the crushing burden that the rising cost of health care is placing on families and businesses; the failure of our education system to prepare our workers for a new age; the progress that other nations are making on clean energy industries and technologies while we remain addicted to foreign oil; the growing debt that we're passing on to our children. And even after we emerge from the current recession, these challenges will still represent major obstacles that stand in the way of our success in the 21st century.

There is a parable at the end of the Sermon on the Mount that tells the story of two men.The first built his house on a pile of sand, and it was destroyed as soon as the storm hit. But the second is known as the wise man, for when "... the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house ... it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock."

We cannot rebuild this economy on the same pile of sand. We must build our house upon a rock. We must lay a new foundation for growth and prosperity -- a foundation that will move us from an era of borrow and spend to one where we save and invest; where we consume less at home and send more exports abroad.

It's a foundation built upon five pillars that will grow our economy and make this new century another American century: new rules for Wall Street that will reward drive and innovation; new investments in education that will make our workforce more skilled and competitive; new investments in renewable energy and technology that will create new jobs and industries; new investments in health care that will cut costs for families and businesses; and new savings in our federal budget that will bring down the debt for future generations. That is the new foundation we must build. That is our future.


I've talked a lot about the fundamental weakness in our economy that led us to this day of reckoning. But we also arrived here because of a fundamental weakness in our political system.

For too long, too many in Washington put off hard decisions for some other time on some other day. There's been a tendency to score political points instead of rolling up sleeves to solve real problems. There is also an impatience that characterizes this town -- an attention span that has only grown shorter with the twenty-four news cycle, and insists on instant gratification in the form of instant results or higher poll numbers. When a crisis hits, there's all too often a lurch from shock to trance, with everyone responding to the tempest of the moment until the furor has died away and the media coverage has moved on, instead of confronting the major challenges that will shape our future in a sustained and focused way.

This can't be one of those times. The challenges are too great. The stakes are too high. I know how difficult it is for Members of Congress in both parties to grapple with some of the big decisions we face right now. It's more than most congresses and most presidents have to deal with in a lifetime.

But we have been called to govern in extraordinary times. And that requires an extraordinary sense of responsibility -- to ourselves, to the men and women who sent us here, and to the many generations whose lives will be affected for good or for ill because of what we do here.

There is no doubt that times are still tough. By no means are we out of the woods just yet. But from where we stand, for the very first time, we are beginning to see glimmers of hope. And beyond that, way off in the distance, we can see a vision of an America's future that is far different than our troubled economic past. It's an America teeming with new industry and commerce; humming with new energy and discoveries that light the world once more. A place where anyone from anywhere with a good idea or the will to work can live the dream they've heard so much about.

It is that house upon the rock. Proud, sturdy, and unwavering in the face of the greatest storm. We will not finish it in one year or even many, but if we use this moment to lay that new foundation; if we come together and begin the hard work of rebuilding; if we persist and persevere against the disappointments and setbacks that will surely lie ahead, then I have no doubt that this house will stand and the dream of our founders will live on in our time