The most amusing piece of email I’ve gotten this week about the financial crisis:
Subject: CONFIDENTIAL FINANCIAL TRANSACTION:
MY DEAR AMERICAN FRIEND:
I AM NEEDING TO ASK YOU TO SUPPORT AN URGENT SECRET BUSINESS RELATIONSHIP WITH A TRANSFER OF FUNDS OF GREAT MAGNITUDE.
I AM MINISTRY OF THE TREASURY OF THE REPUBLIC OF AMERICA. MY COUNTRY HAS HAD CRISIS THAT HAS CAUSED NEED FOR LARGE TRANSFER OF FUNDS OF 700 BILLION OF YOUR DOLLARS (US). IF YOU WOULD ASSIST ME IN THIS TRANSFER IT WOULD BE MOST PROFITABLE TO YOU.
I AM WORKING WITH HIGHLY REPUTABLE MR. PHIL GRAM, LOBBYIST FOR UBS, WHO WILL BE MY REPLACEMENT AS MINISTRY OF THE TREASURY IN JANUARY IF MY POLITICAL PARTY WINS UPCOMING ELECTION, WHICH WE CERTAINLY WILL BECAUSE WE ARE IN CONTROLING OF THE HIGHEST SUPREME COURT. YOU MAY REMEMBER HIM AS A SENATOR AS LEADER OF THE AMERICAN BANKING DEREGULATION MOVEMENT IN THE 1990S.
THIS TRANSACTIN IS 100% SAFE. YOU MUST TRUST ME COMPLETELY AND NOT ASK QUESTIONS ABOUT THE TRANSACTION. YOU HAVE MY WORD NO ONE WILL DO ANYTHING WRONG WITH THE MONEY.
THIS IS A MATTER OF GREAT URGENCY. WE NEED YOUR BLANK CHECK. WE NEED THE FUNDS AS QUICKLY AS POSSIBLE. WE CANNOT DIRECTLY TRANSFER THESE FUNDS IN THE NAMES OF OUR CLOSE FRIENDS BECAUSE WE ARE CONSTANTLY UNDER SURVEILLANCE. MY FAMILY LAWYER ADVISED ME THAT I SHOULD LOOK FOR A RELIABLE AND TRUSTWORTH PERSONAGE WHO WILL ACT AS A NEXT OF KIN SO THE FUNDS CAN BE TRANSFERRED. YOU ARE THAT PERSONAGE.
PLEASE REPLY WITH ALL OF YOUR BANK ACCOUNT, IRA AND COLLEGE FUND ACCOUNT NUMBERS AND THOSE OF YOUR CHILDREN, GRANDCHILDREN AND THOSE YET UNBORN TO WALLSTREETBAILOUT@TREASURY.GOV SO THAT WE MAY TRANSFER YOUR COMMISSION FOR THIS TRANSACTION. AFTER I RECEIVE THIS INFORMATION I WILL RESPOND WITH DETAILED INFORMATION ABOUT SAFEGUARDS WE PROMISE WILL BE USED TO PROTECT THE FUNDS AND PRODUCE A LONG-TERM RETURN ON INVESTMENT FOR YOU AND THOSE YOU LOVE.
MINISTER OF TREASURY H. PAULSON
Dorothy Samuels wrote a great Op-Ed for The NYT on the whole issue of Wasilla charging rape victims the cost of their rape kits and forensic exams.
In the absence of answers, speculation is bubbling in the blogosphere that Wasillaâ€™s policy of billing rape victims may have something to do with Ms. Palinâ€™s extreme opposition to abortion, even in cases of rape. Sexual-assault victims are typically offered an emergency contraception pill, which some people in the anti-choice camp wrongly equate with abortion.
My hunch is that it was the result of outmoded attitudes and boneheaded budget cutting.
Mine too, but that’s still not an excuse, and we deserve an explanation. As Tony Knowles said:
â€œWe would never bill the victim of a burglary for fingerprinting and photographing the crime scene, or for the cost of gathering other evidence,â€ said Alaskaâ€™s then-governor, Tony Knowles. â€œNor should we bill rape victims just because the crime scene happens to be their bodies.â€
And in case you’re wondering if there was any Federal effort to keep states from charging the victims, here you go:
Thatâ€™s why when Senator Joseph Biden, the Democratic vice-presidential nominee, drafted the 1994 Violence Against Women Act, he included provisions to make states ineligible for federal grant money if they charged rape victims for exams and the kits containing the medical supplies needed to conduct them. (Senator John McCain, Ms. Palinâ€™s running mate, voted against Mr. Bidenâ€™s initiative, and his name has not been among the long list of co-sponsors each time the act has been renewed.)
This is probably the best example of why having a woman in office means almost nothing if her policy is blind to the needs of women.
Nina Smith over at Queercents is doing a series on ‘Transgender Finances’ – covering issues like Social Security, marriage, etc. She has already interviewed me, James Green, Jenny Boylan, Jay Sennett and a few other trans people & allies. This series is a great, cool idea, & I’m glad to see someone’s doing it. Thanks, Nina!
GenderVision, who are Nancy Nangeroni and Gordene MacKenzie formerly of GenderTalk, did an interview with us in November 2007. Two parts of it you can watch online, but then there’s other conversations we had, with both of them, that you can only get by buying the DVD. I got mine today, and it’s nice to see professional packaging. We don’t make any money from it, but they do good work up there, so do support them. It’d make a good DVD to pass around within a support group, or to watch bits of at a meeting, even.
Tell them Helen sent you!
On hearing about the closing of Indymac Bank, my thoughts went like this:
- What the hell kind of name is that for a bank?
- Who has more than $100k in savings?
- I will probably never have to worry about having more money than the FDIC insures.
Which is, in these proto-depression days, something like reassuring. In case you don’t know, the FDIC guarantees accounts up to $100K. So if you have more than that, you need to spread it around if you want it guaranteed. The FDIC was invented after the last runs on banks, after the Great Depression. It’s nice to know, so far, that it’s working, but apparently there’s another 90 banks that are at risk of closing due to this whole mortgage disaster.
Of course, if you just have too much money in the bank, you should feel free to donate any extra you’ve got to the hundreds of organizations that need it.
This financial post brought to you courtesy of my sister Kathy’s birthday, who bugged me & bugged me to take economics courses in colleges & who I thoroughly ignored. (Sorry, Kath. Modernism seemed so much more pressing at the time. Happy Birthday!)
The National Stonewall Democrats are doing a cool thing: trying to track transpeople’s donations to Barack Obama. The letter they sent out not along ago is reprinted below the break in full, but the basic idea is that, if you’re trans, & you want to donate to Obama’s campaign, you donate through their website, so that the donations can be “counted” as a bloc.
Excellent idea. Go do it.
Continue reading “Trans for Obama”
A friend of ours works with a theatre out in IA that’s lost almost everything as a result of the recent floods, and like many others – they had no flood insurance. Worse yet, FEMA considers theatres “non essential services” and so they will receive no funding whatsoever to help them rebuild.
If you’re a theatre person, and you can help, you can contact them:
to see if you can make a donation, of money or stuff, to help them out. Right now they’re performing out of the local high school’s auditorium, as of course, the show must go on.
A very happy wedding day to all the Californians who are finally able to get married to the ones they love.
It’s unfortunate how much a basic civil right has to be fought for, & unfortunate in so many ways (and not even the ones Mattilda goes into).
And I know many people are bothered by it because it’s not an economic issue, and that more than anything, LGBT people need employment non-discrimination protection. And we do, we do. But I’ll make this argument, as a legally married queer: marriage is also an economic pact. It’s not romantic, but it is something. It’s about being able to be a dependent on your spouse’s health insurance (which saves you money). It’s about being able to live together (which saves you money). It’s about getting Social Security benefits. Amongst other things.
So congratulations, bride & bride, and groom & groom: you may now fight with your spouse about money, & forever have your credit record linked to theirs.
I was so happy to find this article on being a woman who is planning to marry a man who is deep in debt and who actually called off the wedding – at least temporarily – until he got this finances in order. It’s an issue no one ever talks about – debt in general, & money in relationships too. I’ve seen money listed as one of the top five things a couple should make sure they agree about (the other four are having children, dealing with family, sex, and religion) before they get married. Historically women end up with a lower standard of living after divorce, for instance, than men do, despite all the jokes about how women “get rich” via divorce. Those with children, even moreso.
I’m waiting for her to outline how exactly he managed this 53% reduction in so short a time. It’s encouraging.
The “John Money” episode of Law & Order: SVU is was on USA right now at 9PM EST tonight.