Ken's Brain Drain
Monday, September 29, 2008
  Bamboozled Bailout
Isn't anyone else skeptical about how this bailout is being jammed down our throats? Has anyone taken the time to analyze the effectiveness of $700 billion dollars of taxpayer money for corporate welfare? It seems to me that the market had already begun to stabilize last week without a bailout. As of this morning though, overnight markets and early trading has resulted in another tumble of the DJIA, despite agreements on a bailout bill. Perhaps the notion that just giving this windfall Xmass gift to the investment banks, will not induce any change in there irresponsible reckless risk-taking, and we are just throwing good money after bad. Isn't it ironic that free-market capitalism is hailed as the engine of economic prosperity, but when it all turns south, those same capitalists right away ask for the government to step in and bail them out with Federal dollars (a socialist move).

And how about the silly notion that taxpayers will actually make money on this deal. The assumption that the treasury siphoning off these risky, sub-prime, poorly secured mortgages will be good investments is ridiculous. If there was money to be made on these lousy mortgages, these investment firms would not be asking us to unload them at taxpayer expense!

Does anyone actually trust Treasury secretary Paulson (ex CEO of Morgan Stanley), or the top management of these investment firms not to repeat the reckless, greedy excesses of the past? What indications are there that they have changed their ways? Their proposal was to fork over $700 billion dollars without any oversight or condition. Any thought of limiting executive pay, or US equity in these firms would 'discourage' participation in this bailout. If that ain't a recipe for letting the foxes guard the hen-house. That is simply the height of arrogance and entitlement, that we should blindly trust these goons that brought us into this mess to also lift us back to prosperity.

How about using half of that $700 billion dollars to directly help Main Street. Can you imagine how $350 billion dollars to create alternative energy related jobs in the US would help our economy and work towards relieving our dependence on foreign oil? What if that money were used to provide government issued small-buisness loans, healthcare subsidies, auto-industy assistance to retool for hybrid car production. Wouldn't that be a shot in the arm for our economy and solve many pressing issues that directly affect Main Street?

I have not heard anything in this bailout bill that contains significant reform to prevent the excesses of the past from continuing in the future. Instead, we are providing more corporate welfare to the greedy irresponsible investment firms that have failed our economy while lining their own pockets with billions.
Monday, September 22, 2008
  Live music
Lots of live music lately. I want to start journaling these as to not forget them... in my old age.

Wed, Sep 10
Chris Potter (ts) w/Adam Rogers g, Craig Taborn ep, Nate Smith d - CP Underground. No bass. Regatta bar Boston

Fri Sep 19
Insight featuring Zaccai (p) and Luques (b) Curtis. Also Jovan Alexander ts. at Htfd Polish home.

Sun Sep 21
Dave Holland (b) Sextet with Antonio Hart as, Robin Eubanks tb, Eric Harland d, Alex Sipiagin tp, Steve Nelson vb
Friday, September 12, 2008
  Banished from Google

A couple of weeks ago, I noticed that traffic to my Jazz Podcast website had dramatically dropped. I was puzzled as to why this was happening as I hadn't really changed anything on the website. About a week ago, I Googled the page and noticed that no matter what search phrases I used, I could not get a hit to my Podcast home page. It seemed I had been banished from Google. Of course, I freaked out. Over the course of a couple years I had implemented many techniques to improve my organic search rankings. I had improved my positions month after month till I came up second place when 'Jazz Podcast' is searched (only behind My podcast had become one of the most popular Jazz shows on the web. Page hits, podcast subscriptions, downloads and AdWord revenues were on the rise. All of this started to come crashing down in just a couple of weeks.

To try to find some resolution to the problem, I ended right back at Google and found Webmaster Tools. This site has a plethora of great information on how Google views your site, what phrases are returning the highest rankings and tips on improving your positioning.

While it gave me no clue as to why I had disappeared from Google, Webmaster Tools has a 'Reconsideration Form' that can be used to get Google to re-evaluate your site and place it back in the rankings. It took just a couple of days, and sure enough, my site reappeared... right back in second place where it belongs. A huge sigh of relief! I'm posting this info because it might be of help to others that find themselves in this situation.

When it comes to web traffic to your website, Google can giveth and can taketh away!!!
Thoughts that flow through an ethernet cable connecting my brain to the World Wide Web.

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Name: Ken Laster
Location: Connecticut, United States

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