"It's the Inequility Stupid!"

"Some people question the validity of the "rebelious" artists who made big money - they are accused by revolutionary purists of being a part of the system, and for being rich. I do not share that feeling - I think that it's OK to make big money - it's OK to become rich if it's based on creating a real value - art, inventions, services of products. What is not OK is a legalized systemic swindle - and that is what we are against..." - Roger Waters

I lifted the title for today's post from a Mother Jones article It's the Inequality Stupid! it has several graphic representations of just how large and pervasive is the wealth gap in the United States. You think you know because you feel it every day but when you see the numbers graphically you have to wonder why anyone in the 99% isn't with us on this.

Here's another interesting piece, this one from the Washington Post, they call it The Big Lie. The big lie is that our current financial mess was caused by Washington and not by Wall Street. Now the reasonable assessment is that there is plenty of blame to go around. But the perverse explanation goes like this - Congress made the banks lend to borrowers who could not afford to own those houses. What a lot of people seem willing to overlook is that it was not the home loans that brought on the financial crisis. No, it was the packaging of those loans into fifty and one hundred million dollar portfolios and selling them to pension funds and other financial institutions with false ratings. Then creating a secondary market buying and selling derivatives on those suspect loans. 

Now when exactly did Congress passed legislation demanding that Wall Street banks create such risky investment products? What Congress did or rather didn't do was regulate. I know that is a dirty word for conservatives but you can't have it both ways. If government is the problem and they didn't do their job, then the problem was not enough regulation and enforcement. If Wall Street was the problem then who was supposed to stop them - the government? If so, how without regulation? 

The Tea Party wants to blame it all on big government and Occupy Wall Street - well the name does say it all. But do we really want to have another good versus evil standoff here? Isn't the country already locked into inaction by the republican/democrat divide. Please take note that both Washington and Wall Street are promoting the divisions between conservatives and progressives, they want us divided because united we scare the hell out of them.

So hug a liberal, kiss a conservative or at least talk to each other. Keep your eyes on the real target - "It's the Inequality Stupid!"

The Truth About TARP

"The Federal Reserve and the big banks fought for more than two years to keep details of the largest bailout in U.S. history a secret. Now, the rest of the world can see what it was missing."

You owe it to yourself, your children, your retirement savings, your home and your sanity to take fifteen minutes to read the analysis from Bloomberg.com, which provides for the first time the details of the 2007-2009 financial bailout of the U.S. banks. Over 29,000 pages of documents were obtained using the Freedom of Information Act. The U.S. Federal Reserve resisted releasing these documents, the government clearly does not want you to know the truth about how much of the taxpayers money was used. Remember the $700 Billion dollar number - that was how much Congress approved for the Bush Bank Bailout in 2007. Want to know the real number for all the bailouts under both Bush and Obama including the secret monies that neither President approved - $7.77 Trillion. What the heck, it's only one more zero.

No more grumbling about Obama's spending or the Fed's 'Too Big to Fail' policies until you read this article.

Here's another little teaser:

“When you see the dollars the banks got, it’s hard to make the case these were successful institutions,” says Sherrod Brown, Democratic Senator from Ohio. “This is an issue that can unite the Tea Party and OccupyWall Street. There are lawmakers in both parties who would change their votes now [on bank regulation].”

The Attack on Occupy

I'll bet there are some Occupy campers who are a bit tired of having old hippies telling them stories about the Vietnam War protests. But there is a subtle distinction I have not heard voiced yet - here is it. When we were protesting against the war in the late 60s and early 70s most of our parents were not with us. For them the United States at war meant World War II, pretty hard to be against that war when on the other side was Adolf Hitler. My father's reasoning on Vietnam was - "our boys are fighting and dying over there and we need to support them." In my late teens I was protesting a war, at that same age he was in one, so was everyone else in the country.

But in the 60s the "adults" did not make a distinction between the fighting on the ground in Vietnam and the insane policy in Washington D.C. which was also based on WWII mentality. The flag waving obscured the questions of policy and any rational basis for what we were doing in Vietnam.

Flash forward to today, we are all part of the 99%. We are on your side, marching with you against some incredibly over the top reactions on the part of local police, mayors and governors. But listen carefully to your elders about this because it really has very little to do with what the local mayor wants. These marching orders are coming from Washington. The good news is that you have struck a nerve, they are afraid we will wake up too many of the 99% and it will cost them their places of privilege.

For anyone who doesn't believe Washington, the Department of Homeland Security and yes, Barack Obama are not behind the militant crackdown on Occupy. Here is an article from the Guardian for you. For those who believe as I do that this is an organized repression, the article is most enlightening. 

Black Friday

Tryptophan Hangover

The 1% President

Sure the 1% would have been happy with Mitt Romney, but the Perry blunders followed by Cain's loose zipper gave the super elite the chance to push their real guy - Newt. The timing couldn't have been better, the holidays are upon us, people will be distracted from the endless republican debate schedule and then BANG! January and the first presidential primaries. Newt could be the nominee by Valentines Day. Under even the most competitive circumstances the nominee will be in place after Super Tuesday March 6th.

Unfortunately then the conversation turns as it always does to the better or worse of two terrible choices. My liberal friends will once again say "but if you don't vote for Obama we will get Newt!" And my conservative friends will say - "sure it's that gas bag Gingrich but otherwise we are stuck with another four years of Obama." 

John McCain! John Kerry! Al Gore! Bob Dole! Michael Dukakis! Walter Mondale! 

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I will step off the path,
And chose a new future
that will make all the difference
(apologies to Robert Frost)

Images for a Monday

And now a word from the Right

One of my conservative friends challenged me to send him an Occupy article from the "main stream press" or better yet from something he actually reads. OK Chuck, how about Forbes Magazine; I've seen that in your office waiting room, so read this.

And as for a view from the left... I strongly disagree with the conventional wisdom that the Occupy Movement needs to have stated goals, even a legislative agenda. Here is a well researched article from Salon.com that lays out the reasons for Occupy staying away from politics as usual. I strongly recommend not only this article but the numerous embedded links that will walk you through the differences between contemporary American politics and a true citizen's movement against the current institutionalized two party stagnation. The article is really worth your time as it fully illuminates the strength and depth of the Occupy Uprising.

political cartoon - Mike Lukovich

Saturday Art Returns!

Do You Agree with the President?

Today the first few paragraphs from a very interesting article found in Rolling Stone magazine:
The nation is still recovering from a crushing recession that sent unemployment hovering above nine percent for two straight years. The president, mindful of soaring deficits, is pushing bold action to shore up the nation's balance sheet. Cloaking himself in the language of class warfare, he calls on a hostile Congress to end wasteful tax breaks for the rich. "We're going to close the unproductive tax loopholes that allow some of the truly wealthy to avoid paying their fair share," he thunders to a crowd in Georgia. Such tax loopholes, he adds, "sometimes made it possible for millionaires to pay nothing, while a bus driver was paying 10 percent of his salary – and that's crazy."
Preacherlike, the president draws the crowd into a call-and-response. "Do you think the millionaire ought to pay more in taxes than the bus driver," he demands, "or less?"
The crowd, sounding every bit like the protesters from Occupy Wall Street, roars back: "MORE!"
The year was 1985. The president was Ronald Reagan.
Read the full article here:  If you are a Republican you are required to read it; for everyone else it is merely informative and at times fun.

For those who sympathize but don't understand why someone would volunteer to be arrested, read this account of one woman's experience at Occupy Oakland. Then pull out an old blanket or two and take them down to your local Occupy encampment, winter is coming.

[Private/Public note to one of my very best friends on the planet - stop skipping over the links I post here, you need to read them.]

art and primary article from Rolling Stone Magazine

Occupy Rant - 11/16

The first question usually is: "What do they want?"

Dutifully we walk our newly awakened friend through the Occupy saga. If they are a conservative acquaintance this comes with a big dose of dispelling the rumors and lies they have gleaned from Fox News or Ann Coultier. If you get your information via Rush Limbaugh, I simply ask you to lose my email address and crawl back in your cave, some people really are too stupid to live.

Yes, I am a bit annoyed today.

I saw Tom Brokaw on Charlie Rose last week and when he was asked about Occupy Wall Street he said all the right things but ended with "what is their end game?" There it is. A seasoned and rational news anchor with over 40 years experience, too damn lazy to take an hour to figure out a grassroots movement that is transforming the entire Middle East and is now prepared to change America and most of the Western world.

Take some responsibility. Educate yourself!

First step, you're already here, I have been writing about Occupy for over six weeks - Read My Blog! Then send the link to a friend.

Next, get yourself a twitter account, it takes two minutes to set up. Follow the posts from #Occupy #OccupyWallStreet and #Occupy_Together plus your local Occupy protest group, they are simple to find. Fresh new articles and reports will be linked in the twitter posts and you will have plenty to read to answer your burning question: What is this all about?

But wait! Why can't I just tell you? Well, it's complicated. This is a big country and an even bigger world. It's all tied together in a even more complex economic system. But you want the short, dirty, nasty version - here goes:

You are a victim. You are a victim of an economic system that has been rigged for you to fail. The unchecked greed of a small segment of our country has conspired with the government to hoard so much of the nation's wealth that they nearly collapsed the entire world's economy a couple of years ago. We, all of us, bailed their butts out and now they are preparing to do it again. "Our government" has been so corrupted by corporate money and the lobbies of big business that it will not regulate them to prevent another crisis. Europe is on the verge of an economic collapse which will be followed by civil unrest and riots. The rule of law will break down and the entire planet could well be plunged into a depression that will last for decades. Indeed, there will not be a full recovery within any of our lifetimes.

Think this is paranoia. You need to pay attention. The U.S. Congress is about to miss it's own mandated "Super Committee" budget cutting deadline and yet they will do nothing about the federal deficit for another year and a half. The Republicans are intentionally doing nothing to support economic recovery because they can use the bad news to defeat Obama. On the other side, Obama is a talking head with sweet words and no clue how to actually do anything to control the vicious greed of Wall Street. The suits on Wall Street and the CEOs in the corporate boardrooms continue to drain money and jobs from our economy yet Congress will not pass any regulations to prevent what happened just three years ago from happening again.

The Occupy Movement wants to force the government to respond to the extreme prejudice the American economy gives to corporations and the super wealthy. The word is "force" not "ask" not even "demand." For now the Occupy Movement is attempting to use non-violent tactics to force the government to act. How long that will hold is anyone's guess.

Once again, the whole world is watching. This time they are also hoping and praying that the United States of American gets it right because if we don't, if this economy collapses, there will be no place on earth that will not follow us down the black hole.

That's what Occupy is about - Care to join us?

Us vs. Them

Even using non-violent tactics against the establishment does not mean that thoughtful, liberal politicians will not respond with violence. Mayor Quan of Oakland admitted in an interview with the BBC that she had participated in "a conference call with 18 other cities" on how to end the Occupy encampments.

If you think these local city mayors are not taking orders from higher up the political machine chain, you just don't follow American politics closely enough. But here's the point - all these attacks do is give fuel to those small number in the protests who want to be violent. Throw one of us to the lions and three more step forward and one of those is not a non-violence player.

This is going to get more and more ugly. More arrests, more injuries and eventually there will be deaths. The police will resort to murder in defense of America's parks. But, of course, this has nothing to do with tents or parks or any physical aspect of Occupy. "They" are afraid we might succeed and their rape of the American and World economies will be stopped. It is all about money, power and greed. Those with all the stolen riches are scared and they are sending their minions to stop us.

They will not.

Occupy & Baby Boomers

Today's Read

"Those who think that the cold weather will end the protests should think again. A new generation of leaders is just getting started. The new progressive age has begun."

Yes, today's must read comes from the New York Times, so my conservative readers will know it must be left wing propaganda. But give it a read anyway, you might find as others have that we share a lot more in common these days than ever before in our lifetimes. The article has a historical bent about how we got into economic troubles in the past and how we dug ourselves out.

The article is called The New Progressive Movement

Remember I read all of the articles you send me, so you owe yourself this one.

Questions for a Conservative Friend

OK, I really don't understand. I've tried, I've listened; but I just don't get it. Perhaps my friends and readers on the right will explain this to me. Rather than write yet another "left wing" litany of the evils of the corporate takeover of American; here is a letter to a good, very conservative friend asking him some specific questions about his life. All responses, comments and chortles are welcomed.

Dear Alex,

Please help me understand your position, I really do want to understand. I enjoy our back and forth politically charged emails. But if you don't mind,  I would like to get serious for a moment and ask you to explain to me why you still hold the economic beliefs you do.

Four years ago when you activated your retirement plan you bought that great place in Arizona and put your St. Paul house on the market. I know that had been your retirement plan since early in the 90s when you refinanced the Minnesota home, consolidated your debt and started your business. I understand that was a 15 plan you had that was both well thought out and financially viable. You didn't take some crazy negative amortization refinance loan, you got a solid 30 yr. fixed rate and took the extra cash out of your house to start your business. The plan was to sell that house and put the equity into the Arizona place so you could retire without a mortgage.

Now, however, you have two houses, two mortgages and thankfully a long-term tenant in the St. Paul place. But both properties are underwater, even that beautiful St. Paul house is worth less than the mortgage you refinanced nearly 18 years ago. You didn't take a loan you weren't qualified for, you always paid on time and I know you would never walk away from either property. As you have said many times - a mortgage is a contract and you honor your debts.

Someone(s) clearly screwed with the real estate market.

Then there is your retirement. You sold your business for a nice chunk of cash and a ten year payout based on the profitability of the business. But the economic collapse means that business has done poorly under new ownership. I know you have been advising the young guy who bought it and I know he is working his butt off to stay in business, but as a consequence of the double down economy your retirement nest egg is producing almost no income for you. You started taking social security even though your well thought out retirement plan was to wait to do that until you were 70.

Someone(s), perhaps the same someone(s), screwed with the economy.

So here are my questions. You worked hard, made a solid financial plan and the bottom fell out. But you are a smart guy, you know why this happened, you know who got rich, yet you still support them.

Alex, you are not one of the 0.1% who got richer in the financial collapse. You aren't one of the 1% or even the 10%; you are a middle class guy who did everything right and then got screwed by a system rigged to make other people rich at your expense. So why do you still support them?

Why do you oppose taxing the uber-wealthy? You aren't one of them and never will be. You know they stole your retirement and everything you worked years for. You have kids, you know how they are suffering because of the greed of Wall Street, yet you still act like corporate America is honest, straight forward and has your best interest at heart. You are too damn smart to actually believe that, so why not start acting and thinking in your own best interest?

To get your retirement plan, your life plan, back on track the financial corporations, banks and yes, Wall Street have to be brought under control. The unregulated free market screwed you and you are not the type of guy to just take something like that lying down. So, yes your dyed in the wool republican ethic got you where you were three or four years ago, but those ideas no longer serve you. So my question is:

Why not change?

Vote Obama? Hell no! That's just a different sleeping pill.

Support Occupy. Join the millions of Americans who have been screwed over my a non-responsive government that has clearly been bought and paid for my corporate America. Get this country and your retirement plan back on track. Stand Up! Speak Up! Don't let the olde right vs. left noize get in your way. Keeping us quiet is what the rich need. Making those Occupy camps go away is exactly what the rich want and they are paying their politicians to do exactly that. So I ask again:

Why not change? Why not act in your own self interest? You worked for your piece of the American Dream, why aren't you pissed at the people who stole it?

Penn State vs. Cal

Getting a college education should be about expanding your view of the world; about obtaining facts and opinions different from your own and thinking critically on those new ideas. So I have a reading and writing assignment for students at Penn State University and the University of California at Berkeley.

First for those Penn State students who participated in the riot Wednesday night in College Station. Here is a link to the Grand Jury Report on Jerry Sandusky, your former Penn football coach. Your assignment is to read it, all of it and then write a letter of apology to the Penn State Board of Trustees. Last night you lashed out with anger and the destruction of property in support of a rapist, a pedophile and those who kept silent when they knew of this monster's crimes against children. 

You should be ashamed.

Next, for the students are UC Berkeley who were peacefully protesting at that same hour and were attacked by elements of the UCB police force and the Alameda County Sheriffs Department. Your reading assignment is this report on the May 4th (1970) Shootings at Kent State University. Part of your university education should be history in context, what you did yesterday, what you will continue to do today and tomorrow is going to bring a response from the establishment. The response is likely to be violent and therefore not under anyone's control on-campus or off.

I applaud your zeal, I stand with you. I was there yesterday and will be back today, but I do not intend to sacrifice my health or my life to the armed minions of the 1%. I want you to be informed of exactly what it is you may face during the Occupy protests. Please read the Kent State report and be prepared.

For everyone else - Remember Allison Krause, William Schroeder, Sandy Schreuer and Jeffrey Miller.
Four Dead in Ohio - May 4th, 1970.

Teach Your Children Well

Parents are you feeling more and more like part of the 99%? Well, here is something else you need to think about, if you have kids away at college. Might I strongly suggest you contact the University administration and make it clear to them what your opinions are on the Occupy Movement. I was on the University of California at Berkeley campus yesterday afternoon when the riot thugs from Alameda County attacked peacefully demonstrating students. The riot gang then went away only to return around 9:30 PM and started instigating all over again.

Read one student's ordeal.

Up until now I have not even used the word "cops" when referring to the local police but those riot geared pigs were there today only to inflict pain and beat heads. I don't know what the Cal Regents were thinking or not thinking but calling out the same armed forces who attacked the demonstrators in Oakland last week was clearly not one of their more thoughtful moments.

Need we remind UCB officials and any other college or university administrators of the consequences of mixing armed militia with the student body.

False Words, False Hopes

"Last month protesters took to the streets across the country to demand their universal rights, a government that is accountable to them and responsive to their aspirations." - Barack Obama

To all my liberal and moderate friends out there. Before you even consider voting for Barack Obama again - watch this video. Listen to his words. Is this really the person you want leading your country? Perhaps a better question might be: Is this really the person who is leading anything at all?

Don't look away - Watch the video.

Another Must Read

"It is vital that the occupation movements direct attention away from their encampments and tent cities, beset with the usual problems of hastily formed open societies where no one is turned away. Attention must be directed through street protests, civil disobedience and occupations toward the institutions that are carrying out the assaults against the 99 percent. Banks, insurance companies, courts where families are being foreclosed from their homes, city offices that put these homes up for auction, schools, libraries and firehouses that are being closed, and corporations such as General Electric that funnel taxpayer dollars into useless weapons systems and do not pay taxes, as well as propaganda outlets such as the New York Post and its evil twin, Fox News, which have unleashed a vicious propaganda war against us, all need to be targeted, shut down and occupied. Goldman Sachs is the poster child of all that is wrong with global capitalism, but there are many other companies whose degradation and destruction of human life are no less egregious." Chris Hedges TruthDig.com

There are several 'must read' articles every day that I would point out to you or are sent to me by my readers and friends. Yesterday's piece by Chris Hedges is one of the "must, must reads."

It will particular appeal to those who you know are part of Occupy but haven't quite had the light turned on yet. Circulate it to everyone who needs to engage in this protest against the greed and lack of humanity that threatens us all.

To Encamp or Not to Encamp

One of the major obstacles to the Occupy Movement is going to be - winter. There may have been a reason that the cultural upheaval in the Middle East is called the Arab Spring. But we're here and winter is coming. So let's say it flat out:

"Basing a once in a lifetime protest on fragile tent encampments, in February, in the Northern Hemisphere, might not be the best laid strategy to topple wall street and reform the world's financial institutions."

Which does not mean I don't support you and I will continue to march with you and donate supplies to the encampment. But at my age I am simply unable and unwilling to spend this winter in a tent. 

Yes, I know we are all "one lost job away from being on the street" but that is simply revolutionary rhetoric for most of the 99%. We are mostly two or three or more steps away from being homeless. We're older and yes perhaps softer or simply less adventuresome. Fine, not everyone will be in a tent come the new year.

But might it not make sense, where possible, to move Occupy indoors for the winter. Yes, that raises a lot of problems. Yes, that makes it easier for the reigning government to control and even raid the encampments. But there are abandoned buildings in most of the encampment cities. Buildings that can provide shelter and even utilities for the Occupy encampments.

Surely in some, if not many cities the local politicians would dearly desire to trade a city public space for an abandoned building. Teach-ins become easier with heat, media coverage does as well. Yes, there are logistical issues; not to mention negotiating with "the man." But this is all new ground for all of us - flexibility seems to be one of the natural characteristics of the Occupy Movement. So, shall we explore the reality of a tent city in winter before it's actually upon us?

Class Warfare

"It's class warfare, my class is winning, but they shouldn't be." -Warren Buffett

We hear a lot of sound bytes about class warfare these days. Yes, most of it comes from conservative politicians. This is what politicians do, they craft a message in ten seconds or less and then pass it off as thoughtful insight into the American psyche. Conservatives are no more guilty of this than Liberals, the right wing is simply better at it.

On the matter of class warfare there are really two rather obvious positions. First from the left: "Are you nuts? You think the Occupy Movement is a call to begin class warfare? Hell the rich have been at war with the poor for centuries, it's only recently that they have taken on the middle class as well." There really isn't a lot more to that argument, either you think the rich prosper at the expense of the rest of us or you don't. I have seen very little movement on the right in response to the arguments, facts and/or figures that have come out time and time again in the last six weeks.

The other argument is a bit more nuanced. It begins by suggesting that the essential democratic economic premise is simply that anyone can become wealthy in America. This endeavor requires some set of character traits that involve hard work, a great business plan and leadership skills. The argument further says that things like tax breaks, low corporate taxes and government subsidies are available to every business and that taking advantage of what the market offers is what the free enterprise system is all about. 

What both arguments fail to address, of course, are the people involved. There certainly are many wealthy Americans who use their capital for good through charities and other philanthropic deeds. A primary example would be Warren Buffett quoted above. But Mr. Buffett also knows that if the economy were thriving, if the middle class was not burdened with foreclosures, joblessness and shrinking retirement funds; if those things had not happened, he would be making even more money with his investments.

But back to class warfare. Is it getting worse? Yes. Does Occupy suggest it will get even more so, Yes. The facts are that much of the newly created wealth in America is stolen money. The simple facts behind the mortgage crisis that pushed the entire globe off this economic escarpment is that banks in the U.S.A. made horrible loans to unqualified borrowers. Then they packaged these loans to sell to pension funds and other financial institutions while, wait for it, paying off credit rating companies to grossly overrate the potential value of these hundreds of billions of dollars of bad loans. Finally, after selling the loans, the banks bet on the predictable foreclosures and sold the debits short. They lied about the creditworthiness of the loans they sold and then turned around and bet those loans would go bad.

Criminal fraud pure and simple. And people suffered in all segments of the community but those are the bottom with the least ability to recover got hit the hardest. But truth be told, there would be no Occupy if the pain hadn't climbed so high and hurt so many. 

We are the 99% and we all got hurt by the greed of Wall Street. Otherwise there would be no encampments, no protests, no 99%.

So is there real class warfare happening in the United States today. Yes and it's going to get a lot worse if the political demagogs of both parties don't start listening soon.

For a somewhat different slant on class warfare, stuffed cabbage and Jimi Hendrix you might want to read my friend Arlene Goldbard.

Just a Question


Economic Numbers

Some random numbers from recent polls of American citizens.

54% of Americans agree with the Occupy protesters.

73% of Americans want prosecutions of the Wall Street executives who brought on this crisis.

86% say that Wall Street and its lobbyists have too much influence in Washington D.C.

68% feel that the rich should pay more in taxes.

Are any of these polling numbers reflected in how your representatives in congress are acting? No. Then you're going to vote for someone else next election, right?

How do you feel about the whole economic upheaval of the last several years?
25% consider themselves to be "upset" about the financial mess.
45% are "concerned" about the country as a result of this crisis.
25% is just flat out "angry".
 3%  simply screamed at the question.
 2%  wept.

You've all seen the numbers about how much of the total wealth the top 1% have or how much that number has grown. But even stunningly shocking numbers are often not as compelling as words.

Total wealth of the top 0.5% of Americans is more than they will ever need in a hundred lifetimes.

Total net worth of the bottom 10% of Americans could double and still be below the poverty line - a disgraceful shame for the richest democracy in the history of humankind.

bridge to the Port of Oakland 11/2/11

Strike! - November 2, 2011

 4 PM Peaceful

6 PM Unified

 10 PM Unfortunately with a few fools.

2 AM and then the cops became the fools

Political Rorschach Test

This test has a 99.4% accuracy rate in predicting your deepest feelings regarding your innermost political positions on social and economic issues.


Look for a moment at the five individuals in the foreground of the photograph above. Look at each face for five seconds, take in the emotional and cognitive meaning of those expressions.

Now, does the composite mental imagery you have remind you more of:

A) the Occupy protesters
B) the United States Congress

If you answered "A" you really need to get out more into the real world.
If you answered "B" you are correct, move to the head of the class; crowded up there isn't it?
If you answer "both" you are far too cynical, eat some chocolate.
If you answer "neither" you are just the sweetest lil pumpkin on the planet, stay the hell away from me.