Monthly Archives: March 2008

Numerous Countries Drop Dollar as Reserve Currency

From Reddit:

In the past couple of years, the following countries have stopped using the dollar as their reserve currency or have dropped their currency’s peg against the dollar: China, Japan, Kuwait, Syria, Iran, Libya, Russia, Malaysia, Brazil, Argentina, Ecuador, Switzerland, Norway and some other Scandinavian countries, Some Balkan countries, Many East European currencies.

Transgender Man Becomes Pregnant

Thomas Beatie is was born a woman, but is now legally a married man. But his wife was not able to conceive so he discontinued his hormone treatments in order for them to have a child:

Wanting to have a biological child is neither a male nor female desire, but a human desire. Doctors have discriminated against us, turning us away due to their religious beliefs. Health care professionals have refused to call me by a male pronoun or recognize Nancy as my wife. Receptionists have laughed at us. Friends and family have been unsupportive; most of Nancy’s family doesn’t even know I’m transgender.

The first doctor we approached was a reproductive endocrinologist. A few months and a couple thousand dollars later, he told us that he would no longer treat us, saying he and his staff felt uncomfortable working with ‘someone like me.”

When I finally got pregnant for the first time, I ended up having an ectopic pregnancy with triplets. It was a life-threatening event that required surgical intervention, resulting in the loss of all embryos and my right fallopian tube. When my brother found out about my loss, he said, ‘It’s a good thing that happened. Who knows what kind of monster it would have been.”

How does it feel to be a pregnant man? Incredible. Despite the fact that my belly is growing with a new life inside me, I am stable and confident being the man that I am. In a technical sense I see myself as my own surrogate, though my gender identity as male is constant. To Nancy, I am her husband carrying our child—I am so lucky to have such a loving, supportive wife. I will be my daughter’s father, and Nancy will be her mother. We will be a family.

Michelle Obama’s ‘Bitch, Please’ Look

I love Michelle Obama.

She is smart and funny and graceful. Let the record show I would rather have her be the president for her sheer practicality and unabashed authenticity. You can tell she is the one that grounds their relationship. You always feel she is just one step away from kicking ass (either physically or rhetorically) and taking names. She is so opposite the Lady MacBeth or Stepford Wife, Guenevere or Xanax’ed Smile we’re used to seeing from first ladies:

Wonkette writes about Michelle’s ‘you have to be kidding me you idiot’ look that she saves for the stupider of journalists. Or in this case, Anne Romney way back when:

Michelle, I know this look. I have given this look. This is the look that a woman gives another person when s/he’s saying something so dumb you’re afraid it might rub off. This is the “bitch, please” look. I love that you gave this look on stage, in public, to Ann Romney.

Be on the lookout for more of these brief glances where Michelle levels with us and indicates that she’s as fed up with stupid campaign coverages as everybody else is.

Astro the Viking

Astro and Downy just had another schoolgirl paw-slapping fight.

Again, Astro pulls back a paw and he’s got a wad of Downy fur in in his claws (don’t worry: Downy is long hair and so remains unscathed).

Astro then stares down Downy and eats Downy’s fur in front of him.

That is some Viking, Vlad-the-Impaler, Dr. Lecter, Aztec bullshit right there, folks.

Porn and Casinos, Bullets and Prisons

I was talking with a trusted colleague last night on Skype and we were batting back and forth what we thought would be the effect of the recession on the online business scene. I’m kind of a pessimist. Each time the credit crisis spreads to a new sector of the financial ecosystem the Fed dumps in money hoping to stanch the bleeding. Nobody in the US seems particularly alarmed that the UK had to nationalize one of its banks… the government took control of a bank. (isn’t nationalize just another word – gasp! – socialize?) The dollar continues to collapse and oil prices continue to rise. I know you think I’m just being a big commie for being concerned about this. I feel like I know enough to be scared shitless but not enough to feel at ease. And I know there will be a bailout. Industries get bailed out, individuals don’t. Those that made stupid mortgage choices will not be required to pay the piper – and the loan officers that convinced uneducated customers into loans they could never afford will never be punished. People seem so desperate to find some example of constant and ever-expanding growth. I’m all for abundance and attraction but come on. I don’t think it will ever get as bad as it did in Argentina where the entire banking system collapsed. But do you really trust the nation’s leading financiers to do the right thing for all of us or just for themselves?

This coupled with my complete and utter disgust at our Presidential election wear on me every single day. As we become willing torturers and nourish ourselves on the hateful fearmongering and war-profiteering of the smallest minds who knows how that will affect business.

I’ve said before that the entire reduction of online business cooks down to porn and casinos. I think that the entire reduction of offline industry boils down to bullets and prisons. I don’t think it matters who gets elected. No one is willing to dis-assemble the surveillance state that is being built up systematically and shifting it’s eyes from foreign nationals to citizens. The boundaires of constitutional rights continue to blur and no one seems particularly alarmed that habeas corpus no longer exists. You probably just rolled your eyes and called me a name. Or you have the defense that if you are’t doing anything wrong then you have nothing to worry aobut – well if I’m not doing anything wrong then why do you need to watch me or track my online usage or my Tivo recording dhabits or credit card purchases or geographic incidence of purchase patterns.

So the recession that most economists agree that we are in will do two things to online business: bring in more desperate people hoping to strike it rich.