Friday, September 26, 2008

Sneeze

video

Ron Paul on the "bailout"


Dear Friends:

The financial meltdown the economists of the Austrian School predicted has arrived.
We are in this crisis because of an excess of artificially created credit at the hands of the Federal Reserve System. The solution being proposed? More artificial credit by the Federal Reserve. No liquidation of bad debt and malinvestment is to be allowed. By doing more of the same, we will only continue and intensify the distortions in our economy - all the capital misallocation, all the malinvestment - and prevent the market’s attempt to re-establish rational pricing of houses and other assets.

Last night the president addressed the nation about the financial crisis. There is no point in going through his remarks line by line, since I’d only be repeating what I’ve been saying over and over - not just for the past several days, but for years and even decades. Still, at least a few observations are necessary.

The president assures us that his administration “is working with Congress to address the root cause behind much of the instability in our markets.” Care to take a guess at whether the Federal Reserve and its money creation spree were even mentioned? We are told that “low interest rates” led to excessive borrowing, but we are not told how these low interest rates came about. They were a deliberate policy of the Federal Reserve. As always, artificially low interest rates distort the market. Entrepreneurs engage in malinvestments - investments that do not make sense in light of current resource availability, that occur in more temporally remote stages of the capital structure than the pattern of consumer demand can support, and that would not have been made at all if the interest rate had been permitted to tell the truth instead of being toyed with by the Fed.

Not a word about any of that, of course, because Americans might then discover how the great wise men in Washington caused this great debacle. Better to keep scapegoating the mortgage industry or “wildcat capitalism” (as if we actually have a pure free market!).

Speaking about Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the president said: “Because these companies were chartered by Congress, many believed they were guaranteed by the federal government. This allowed them to borrow enormous sums of money, fuel the market for questionable investments, and put our financial system at risk.” Doesn’t that prove the foolishness of chartering Fannie and Freddie in the first place? Doesn’t that suggest that maybe, just maybe, government may have contributed to this mess? And of course, by bailing out Fannie and Freddie, hasn’t the federal government shown that the “many” who “believed they were guaranteed by the federal government” were in fact correct?

Then come the scare tactics. If we don’t give dictatorial powers to the Treasury Secretary “the stock market would drop even more, which would reduce the value of your retirement account. The value of your home could plummet.” Left unsaid, naturally, is that with the bailout and all the money and credit that must be produced out of thin air to fund it, the value of your retirement account will drop anyway, because the value of the dollar will suffer a precipitous decline. As for home prices, they are obviously much too high, and supply and demand cannot equilibrate if government insists on propping them up.

It’s the same destructive strategy that government tried during the Great Depression: prop up prices at all costs. The Depression went on for over a decade. On the other hand, when liquidation was allowed to occur in the equally devastating downturn of 1921, the economy recovered within less than a year.

The president also tells us that Senators McCain and Obama will join him at the White House today in order to figure out how to get the bipartisan bailout passed. The two senators would do their country much more good if they stayed on the campaign trail debating who the bigger celebrity is, or whatever it is that occupies their attention these days.

F.A. Hayek won the Nobel Prize for showing how central banks’ manipulation of interest rates creates the boom-bust cycle with which we are sadly familiar. In 1932, in the depths of the Great Depression, he described the foolish policies being pursued in his day - and which are being proposed, just as destructively, in our own: Instead of furthering the inevitable liquidation of the maladjustments brought about by the boom during the last three years, all conceivable means have been used to prevent that readjustment from taking place; and one of these means, which has been repeatedly tried though without success, from the earliest to the most recent stages of depression, has been this deliberate policy of credit expansion.

To combat the depression by a forced credit expansion is to attempt to cure the evil by the very means which brought it about; because we are suffering from a misdirection of production, we want to create further misdirection - a procedure that can only lead to a much more severe crisis as soon as the credit expansion comes to an end… It is probably to this experiment, together with the attempts to prevent liquidation once the crisis had come, that we owe the exceptional severity and duration of the depression.

The only thing we learn from history, I am afraid, is that we do not learn from history.
The very people who have spent the past several years assuring us that the economy is fundamentally sound, and who themselves foolishly cheered the extension of all these novel kinds of mortgages, are the ones who now claim to be the experts who will restore prosperity! Just how spectacularly wrong, how utterly without a clue, does someone have to be before his expert status is called into question?

Oh, and did you notice that the bailout is now being called a “rescue plan”? I guess “bailout” wasn’t sitting too well with the American people.

The very people who with somber faces tell us of their deep concern for the spread of democracy around the world are the ones most insistent on forcing a bill through Congress that the American people overwhelmingly oppose. The very fact that some of you seem to think you’re supposed to have a voice in all this actually seems to annoy them.

I continue to urge you to contact your representatives and give them a piece of your mind. I myself am doing everything I can to promote the correct point of view on the crisis. Be sure also to educate yourselves on these subjects - the Campaign for Liberty blog is an excellent place to start. Read the posts, ask questions in the comment section, and learn.

H.G. Wells once said that civilization was in a race between education and catastrophe. Let us learn the truth and spread it as far and wide as our circumstances allow. For the truth is the greatest weapon we have.

In liberty,

Ron Paul

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Cutest

This is what happened right before I turned on the camera.... Daniel reached into the isolette (that's the plastic box Ezie lives in... which Daniel insists is just a rubbermaid container) and put his finger in front of Ezie's face. Ezie looked intently at his finger, and then reached up and grabbed it. It was soo cute, and looked so deliberate. I don't know if he is big enough to put thoughts together like "reach up and grab this thing in front of my face" but it sure seems like that is was he thought. I only caught the end on tape. This is from a few weeks ago.

OH and please excuse my high squeaky voice. I swear I do not sound like that in real life, or if I do, it's just when I'm talking to babies.
video

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

It's been too long

After talking to my friend Aimee yesterday (ehem.... cough cough... leave comment....) I realized it's been a while since I've posted a new blog. Sorry guys! I really do love you all. I know you're just dying for new pictures! :)

Sooo... all the doctors and residents in the NICU start their responses to our questions with the word "so". Every. Time. It was weird/annoying at first and now it is just funny. I wonder if they teach them to say that? Or if it was just something they all picked up from a head doctor or something? Just hysterical.

So, here is our first family photo!

This is Ezie's "praise Jesus!" picture.
Ezie and his Daddy. I love the look on his face in this one!
Sigh. This is the sweater I finnished. I have so many almost-finnished projects. But this one is done! Hopefully it will fit him through the winter. Thankyou Sarah for your lovely pattern! You rock! It was wonderful to knit up. I have a second one in the works for my friend (also named Sarah) who is due two weeks after Ezie was supposed to be due. They are having a girl, so instead of blue hers will be white, and I think I will embroider some pink flowers on. I will of course put a pic up when that one is done, too.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

VENTING

Ezie is OFF the ventilator! YAYYY!!!! AHHH!! We are sooooo SOO happy!! They said that if he can make it 24 hours without needing to go back on it, he will probably not need it any more at all. Sooooo.... if he can make it to 4 this afternoon, he should be good. I have all sorts of sweet pictures to put up but right now I need to go get dressed and get to the hospital. More later :)

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Some lovin'

On a total Ezie-craving whim I drove over to the hospital at 11 tonight... quite a bit later than usual. When I was there, our nurse asked me if I wanted to hold him! :) :) :) :) I was so surprised!! I thought we still had a while until that would happen. She said that not all the nurses are comfortable with the parents holding the baby while he/she is still on the vent.... I think she is just trying to be on our "favorite nurse" list. :)
Here are a few pictures of Daniel lifting Ezie up so our favorite nurse (ok... one of two favorites. Our favorites are Greg and Jerry. This was Greg.) could change the sheets under him. These are from this past weekend.

Unfortunately Daniel wasn't there tonight when I got to hold him. He will be sad that he missed it. But Maggie (the nurse tonight) said we could hold him again tomorrow night as long as he was doing well. So hopefully Daniel can hold him tomorrow!

I am a little sad because they are putting Enfamil human milk fortifier in his milk. He is at the maximum volume he can digest (23ml!) for his weight, but there are not enough calories in the milk for him to gain weight well. So they add this powdered milk fortifier to add the extra calories (and extra vitamins/minerals). We aren't particularly thrilled about it, because it contains soy and corn syrup solids. Hello!! I totally don't want to be feeding my baby corn syrup and soy. We asked about alternatives and Greg our nice nurse was very understanding. I guess he said something to the doctors and so apparently they are looking up information for us about other options. I asked Maggie tonight if we could just feed him extra hind milk and with a mystified look and a scrunched up nose she said, "what's hind milk?" Oh dear. I explained how they could take the cream off of some of the milk and add it to the milk they were feeding him. She didn't seem thrilled. Oh well, I will talk to the docs tomorrow. If he has to get it then I guess it's ok. Hopefully he won't need it for too long.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Wednesday

Ezie is doing good. He is 3lbs 3oz as of yesterday. He is eating 16ml of milk every 3 hours. He is becoming more and more alert as they reduce the amount of sedation he recieves. He is still on the ventilator, darn it! Hopefully soon.....

Anyhow, I'm getting ready to go to the hospital. My mom is coming into town today to visit. I think we will have a good time.

I have more pics and things, I will put those up later! :)

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

A bit of a down day

Yesterday Ezie didn't do quite as well as he had been doing for the past 3 or 4 days. Now don't worry at all please, because it's nothing severe or big; he was just more fussy and unhappy, so they suspect he may have another infection, or may have too much mucus in his lungs. Sooo they sent cultures off to check for an infection, started antibiotics just in case, put him on sedatives, and have started sucking the mucus out of his lungs more frequently. They were going to take him off the vent yesterday, but then this minor drama happened, and so he is still on it at least for today, and maybe 2 or 3 more days. Sigh. It's never-ending. I expected him to have a sort of "bad" day because he had been having sooo many good days. This is just the way it goes--- a few good days, then a bad day... then a few more good days, then another bad day. Just up and down, up and down. As long as we have more ups then downs, we are making progress. Hopefully today he will recover from yesterday and do well again. :)

Meanwhile, my laundry is piled to the ceiling, there is no food in my fridge/pantry, my whole house is a disaster, basically..... It seems we are never here, or when I am here, I am pumping/trying to scrape together some sort of meal/showering. That's ok though.