Wannabe Masters of the Universe
The word "greed" is not an accurate description: A man can feel lustful without committing rape. People can be envious without stealing. Similarly, people can be greedy to an extent less than destroying the hopes and dreams of a nation.
We, the United States, have never been anything but a Democracy. You know, "Of the People, By the People and For the People". In recent times, another adjective that might be used to describe the US is Capitalism. We seem to have lost track of the fact that the terms Democracy and Capitalism are not interchangeable. It seems that since the corporate and think tank folks manipulated the government to make laws and foreign pacts, the sociological trends have be escalating toward criticizing, I mean, censoring, anyone who might argue that greed above all else is not good for the US. Further, as a culture, now we idolize these personality traits (Donald Trump, Bill Gates, etc).
The term from Sociology 101 is "internal control." We don't have any. People who can make bunches of money now will do so even if they have to twist their thinking severely to rationalize how it's OK if others suffer as a consequence. And it doesn't help when the government encourages this cultural shift in attitudes and behavior by reducing the external controls (making laws or enforcement more lax, financing and making profitable through incentives activities that can reasonably be expected to have catastrophic failure.)
So, yeah, Bush pushed for everyone to be able to get a house and nobody prevented the variable interest rate, negative amortization catastrophe. But as I recall, both sides of our bipolar political arena thought that was just fine. Also, none of them did anything to curtail the abhorrently exotic and weird business practices in the financial industry.
Worse yet, the folks who seem to have pocketed all the money personally by mastering the norms of the day when the problems were manifesting are not getting punished. In fact, Wall Street Journal readers seem to think that these "really smart people" need to get big bonuses STILL because they are the only talented ones able to get us flying level again... If 1000 Engineers caused way over a Billion dollars in losses from revealing National Security secrets, they would all be shot for treason. But the cost of this current economic disaster is 1000 TIMES worse than the hypothetical Billion dollar scenario. And yet we are going to pay them bonuses?
But it is ACORN's fault. They are a non-profit which operates with money dealing in the millions...Not Billions, but millions. ACORN couldn't even afford one private jet. But ACORN (Rush-Limbaugh-speak for 'blacks') brought down the "perfect" Capitalistic System. Get Real!
Wannabe Masters of the Universe
Compiled By J Ho at 06:56
Those who know what they were doing gave out loan after loan to those who they knew couldn't afford said loan. But property values were rising. So they got to drain a family, get the house back, sell it at a higher value, drain that family, re-sell. During the drain process, tack on late fees and 'other' fees in the fine print. When the family stops paying the mortgage, tag their credit for fees and penalties for months before the home is foreclosed. Take debt, package it up, and sell and trade it. Base your entire profit and loss statement on loans. Nothing tangible. Just numbers. A number that can be molded and shaped to show whatever you want. With no regulation, nobody will find out.
Give yourself a bonus for showing such great numbers. Take that bonus money, give money to both Republicans and Democrats, buy your way into more and more influence over laws and policy. Buy yourself some more of your companies stock, watch it rise (unnaturally) while all the while hiding from the pending anvil hanging over your company's head.
Realizing the cycle is about to go from positive to negative, sell that stock before the value tanks, take that profit and give yourself another bonus. Go to those Democrats and Republicans and ask for bailout money, get billions in bailout money, give yourself a bonus, give MORE money to Democrats and Republicans, keep yourself out of jail, keep your job.
Don't lend out money. Just collect all the interest and late fees and overdraw fees and 'other' fees outlined in the fine print of a 'change to your contract agreement' insert which took peoples APR from 15% to 30%, keep the people paying for life. Make a profit, give yourself a bonus, buy your company's stock really cheap, watch it grow, make more money, create shady loans to give to people, make more money, buy more stock, give yourself a bigger bonus. Read more!
Compiled By J Ho at 22:38
RIVERSIDE, Calif. – How fast can evolution take place? In just a few years, according to a new study on guppies led by UC Riverside's Swanne Gordon, a graduate student in biology.
Gordon and her colleagues studied guppies — small fresh-water fish biologists have studied for long — from the Yarra River, Trinidad. They introduced the guppies into the nearby Damier River, in a section above a barrier waterfall that excluded all predators. The guppies and their descendents also colonized the lower portion of the stream, below the barrier waterfall, that contained natural predators.
Eight years later (less than 30 guppy generations), the researchers found that the guppies in the low-predation environment above the barrier waterfall had adapted to their new environment by producing larger and fewer offspring with each reproductive cycle. No such adaptation was seen in the guppies that colonized the high-predation environment below the barrier waterfall.
"High-predation females invest more resources into current reproduction because a high rate of mortality, driven by predators, means these females may not get another chance to reproduce," explained Gordon, who works in the lab of David Reznick, a professor of biology. "Low-predation females, on the other hand, produce larger embryos because the larger babies are more competitive in the resource-limited environments typical of low-predation sites. Moreover, low-predation females produce fewer embryos not only because they have larger embryos but also because they invest fewer resources in current reproduction."
Study results appear in the July issue of The American Naturalist.
Natural guppy populations can be divided into two basic types. High-predation populations are usually found in the downstream reaches of rivers, where they coexist with predatory fishes that have strong effects on guppy demographics. Low-predation populations are typically found in upstream tributaries above barrier waterfalls, where strong predatory fishes are absent. Researchers have found that this broad contrast in predation regime has driven the evolution of many adaptive differences between the two guppy types in color, morphology, behavior, and life history.
Gordon's research team performed a second experiment to measure how well adapted to survival the new population of guppies were. To this end, they introduced two new sets of guppies, one from a portion of the Yarra River that contained predators and one from a predator-free tributary to the Yarra River into the high-and low-predation environments in the Damier River.
They found that the resident, locally adapted guppies were significantly more likely to survive a four-week time period than the guppies from the two sites on the Yarra River. This was especially true for juveniles. The adapted population of juveniles showed a 54-59 percent increase in survival rate compared to their counterparts from the newly introduced group.
"This shows that adaptive change can improve survival rates after fewer than ten years in a new environment," Gordon said. "It shows, too, that evolution might sometimes influence population dynamics in the face of environmental change." Read more!
Compiled By J Ho at 11:58