Sunday, November 30, 2008

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Preferred Company

I've rediscovered a lot of truths recently. I don't remember people being so manipulative, hypocritical and cruel in the late 60's, 70's and early 80's when I was growing up, except with my family who made me feel like dirt every chance they got, but it seems that most Americans just can't mind their own business. If someone wants to sell drugs to someone who wants to buy drugs, what business is it of mine? If they want to hire a woman to have sex and the prostitute is not forced into it, that's their business.

I think most of it started with Reagan's escalation of the Drug War, and the incredible stupidity of mandatory sentencing for non-violent crimes and RICO statutes. He also ushered in this holier-than-thou self-righteous BS we see so much of these days. The pastors who bitch about someone else visiting a prostitute when they often do the same, or worse, molest a child often do more harm than their "sinner" targets. The Eliot Spitzers and Jimmy Swaggarts of the world. Funny how RICO became law under Nixon, Mr. Paranoid.

The people who've wreaked the most havoc in my life are considered absolutely law-abiding by local police or the cops themselves, even as examples to follow. Like the cops who lie their asses off in courts, knowing the judges go right along with it, or the ones who discharge their weapons accidentally or use excessive force and hardly even get a slap on the wrist.

Today's Monet; 11/29/08

Argenteuil (Red Boats); 1875

The "Fun" of Destroying Lives

I can understand how it is unusual to see two people in bathroom stall having sex, but is it really necessary to humiliate them as much as possible? Does the woman really deserve that? What is it with the "average American" that makes them the police of everyone? What's the end game, to get her to kill herself? Is that it? Does she deserve to die for having sex in a public restroom?

Any reporter listing her home address is liable for any harm or property damage that comes to her or her family, as far as I'm concerned. What the is it with people who delight in the destruction of a person? It's these "normal" people that terrify me the most.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Today's Monet; 11/27/08

A Field of Tulips in Holland; 1886

Chancellor Merkel Is Right

Congratulations to German Chancellor Angela Merkel for standing her ground. I wish US politicians would do the same, if they even have sense to know where the good ground is. Since the real solution seems politically explosive, and it should be, US politicians are just going back to easy money hoping that they get a different result or struggle through another round of elections. Low interest rates and flushing the economy with cash is stupid and is what caused the problem. Liquidity IS the problem. There's too much worthless paper floating around. That's what the problem is. Issuing more worthless paper isn't going to be the answer.

Another point that makes my head spin on my spine is this idea of just getting everyone out there to by some big screen TVs this Christmas and it will all be OK. Hello! Hello?? Hey!!! Is anyone getting the message? The music has stopped playing, game over.

The USA, and other countries need real economies, based on more than selling video games and TV sets, and to live within the means of those economies. We need to educate citizens and allow them the means to provide for themselves...and not centralize the food supply and everything else just so a few fats cats can own it all. I've got news for the fat cats. There won't be a spot on earth to hide if this whole thing goes bad, so I hope the Mars settlement is ready for you by then. The "let them eat cake" attitude is getting damned old. 300 million starving and pissed-off citizens with pitchforks is something worth worrying about.

I know it'll be rough for the super rich to just have 3 mansions instead of 8-10 or 20 all over the world, but looting the system is killing the world. Does anyone other than Merkel get this? It has to stop or nobody gets anything, game over, society breakdown across the globe...war, crime and death. Is any of this reality seeping into the heads of any of the fat cats, or do they truly believe looting the world citizens of resources that belong to everyone is sustainable long-term, with predictable results. It's never occurred on this scale before, so the fat cats are lying if they say they know the effects of what they are doing.

Penn Station Stupidity

How dumb is it to station government enforcers in public locations with machine guns when a bomb threat may have occurred? It's a suicide effort. The bomber isn't deterred by the "presence" of armed guards. All that does is intimidate the average citizen. I get so sick of this government psychology of using force or signs of force at every opportunity. I hope Obama is a lot more skilled in these matters. The only reason the US caught their attention in the first place is because the US government is messing around with Iraq and Iran and almost any country that has something the US government wants. That is the price of being the world's policemen, and a corrupt one at that.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Brothel Rule No. 1; Know What You Want

As I've written before, I like to study different people. It amazes me how many di**heads are walking around this great country of ours. I just got done reading a post from a peckerwood whining about not finding what he wants at what's probably the best brothel in Nevada. My advice: pay your money, enjoy yourself and don't freaking bitch and whine about every flipping detail. Leave that to the three year olds in this world. Something tells me that guy's going to be demanding a refund no matter what happens. People get dominant behavior mixed up with just being a prick. Sheesh.

Signs of Wall Street Bear Market?

It amazes me how people like Carter Worth, Vince Farrell, and Barton Biggs are talking about some huge market rally. Isn't that the sign of more downside to go? It seems that the very act of them constantly saying the worst may be over means that it probably isn't.

Is Bush in the Way?

The world's economies are close to falling into a bottomless pit of uncertainty and President George W. Bush is still acting like it's the year 2000. This is exactly the approach that facilitated the 9/11 disaster.

Can the US survive another 2 months of the looting of the US Treasury? I'm not so sure. I go back to a reliable method of discerning truth. Are there any consistent results of Bush's actions? Yes, the rich get more rich and those who must work daily to survive are pushed to the breaking point. That's a reality you won't read in the Wall Street Journal. The American citizenry is being crushed by greed. One can't believe a word a guy like Bush says about freedom. His every action contradicts every speech or statement about how he wants the American citizenry to be prosperous and safe.

I see where Obama is being criticized for being so active, but he has no choice. America has never been more close to massive poverty and starvation, while Bush plans his next bike ride and how to loot the few solvent pension funds and savings accounts in his last 2 months.

Economic Fantasy; Housing Recovery and Rewarding Bad Behavior

I keep reading what seem to be attempts to create an illusion about buying a home in many parts of the US. I'm not an expert, but it's fair enough to say that gaining equity is the objective. A real estate purchase has not historically been a way to get rich quick, but a person used to be able to preserve wealth with a home purchase, and that's called equity.

That wasn't enough for some folks and their own personal investments weren't enough either. They devised schemes to charge current prices for future equity. In other words, sellers began stealing buyer equity from many years in the future.

The only solution is massive bankruptcies for those who can not afford their homes. Where will they live? I don't know. What do you do when millions are no longer willing or able to take care of themselves? However, it's insanity to try to prop up inflated home prices that reflect inflated projections so much more than reality. Where are the jobs that can pay $1100/month mortgages and rent? Instead of focusing so hard on inflated prices, our government needs to focus on sustainable economic policy. That means looking ahead more than 3 months. Priorities need to be shifted and the practice of depending upon profit from systemic inefficiencies must end.

Today's Monet; 11/26/08

Water Lilies, Evening Effect; 1897-1899

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Wall Street; Is the Fix In?

No one else seemed to know about the Citigroup bailout, except for Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal. He did pretty well on that deal. The rest of us can't retire until we are 103, but Bush and the GOP make sure the barons of oil are protected.

Most Will Not Mind if Bush Steps Down Now; Honest

Why wait until January 20? Turn it over to Pelosi and Obama's transition team. A team of drunk teenagers could do a better job. I've never seen a more failed term in office. The situation goes far beyond any party loyalty. Bush43 is a very nasty guy, with few talents. The man who destroyed hope and praised treachery, leaves a trail of slime where he has been.

Today's Monet; 11/25/08

The Garden at Vetheuil; 1881

Monday, November 24, 2008

US Economy Foundation of Waste

The US economy is vested in waste and is unsustainable. Who's trying to change that, Obama? This article is the real reason responsible resource usage will never occur with US government blessing. Conservation is bad for business. Where are the articles against bailouts of US banks which use funds that could help repair a crumbling infrastructure?

An earlier post of mine on the same matter of conflicting conservation messages.

Today's Monet; 11/24/08

Lane in the Poppy Field; 1880

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Regarding Complaints of Clinton-era Appointees

There aren't but so many people who have a clue about what's involved with a White House Administration. What's Obama supposed to do for an appointee pool, pick who McCain would? I'm all for change too, but Obama can't go to the local employee agency looking for a Chief of Staff or Treasury Secretary.

I think the problem with American politics is with the Americans. The lesson of the "lesser evil" goes forward.

Today's Monet; 11/23/08

The Garden at Vetheuil; 1881

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Must One Always Beg Government to Perform Appropriate Role??

How is it that Britain and the US eagerly attack some cultures, while ignoring Somalian pirates who are a direct attack on the global economy and stability? Must the public demand action for every little issue before anyone does anything? The US government didn't give that much leeway to the Branch Davidians.

Big Surprise; Drug War Law Enforcement Official Bribed

It's hard to believe. Those nice men dressed in suits and uniforms, saying they are doing all they can while drug crime runs rampant, may be taking bribes from gangs and criminals. Each time we are told how it's important to stay the course of the insane War on Drugs, we should ask ourselves how much those proponents are getting paid by the folks they are supposed to be arresting. End the drug war, mandatory sentencing, and asset forfeiture...now. We're about to find out how much change Obama actually believes in. If there are as many non-violent guys rotting in jail or losing their property in 4 years, Obama will mark himself as just another one of those guys in a suit...which I suspect will happen.

Funny thing, not once have I ever had an "outlaw" biker threaten me, my loved ones or my future. The US Congress, lawyers and cops are the guys who refuse to leave anyone alone. Who should we be more afraid of and concerned about? My money's on guys like this...Rusty Keeble and Mark Bridgeman.

No Computer Flash Drives at Pentagon

The Pentagon has banned flash or "thumb" drives. It's a little surprising that they ever allowed such storage that wasn't tied down to a particular computer. I wonder if they even have encryption on all of their computers. Did Bush 43 do anything right? Anything?

Today's Monet; 11/22/08

Sunflowers; 1881

Friday, November 21, 2008

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Whoops, No Carter Worth Stock Market Bottom Today

Vince Farrell gave it another shot yesterday. He was wrong too. If they had some reason behind their guesses, that would be another matter. We don't see Art Cashin trying to be a hero. He says it could do this or it may do that, which is the truth. Nobody really knows. If they did know, it'd be stupid to give up that edge and mess up their trades. But, It's going to far to put out misinformation, if that's what some are doing. Very interesting times. I'm not so sure anyone has control of this market anymore. Redemptions from funds have got to still be pouring in.

Today's Monet; 11/20/08

Autumn Blooms I;
Unknown Year

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

US Auto Makers and Unions Surprised; Threats Not Working

It's a shame it has to turn out this way, but it's not looking like GM is going to get much of a bailout, and they aren't happy about it. Everyone is playing chicken, thinking the other guy is going to blink. It's pretty foolish of the workers to be so fixed in their position. They don't seem to understand they're going to lose their jobs, for real. The unions were sqeezing money from one end, and the CEOs from the other...now it may be all be gone. Greed kills.

Where's the Carter Worth Stock Market Bottom??

Probably the same place as the Vince Farrell bottom. These guys were just calling it way too soon. They wouldn't even admit there was an economy problem until the summer, and it was a year old by then.

More CNBC bottom-fishers.

Today's Monet; 11/19/08

Meadow in Giverny; 1886
A few of similar title. Scene may vary.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Decriminalize Prostitution and Marijuana Offenses

I've been observing the recent issue about online prostitution stings. I think I'm getting good at guessing the cops. Somebody remind me again why it matters is someone pays money for sex, as opposed to not paying money. It's still an agreement between two adults. I think many of us know women who are loose and don't charge money, so why bust the ones who do.

Or, if they are performing one service and decide to take it further, who has any right to interfere? If it's about preventing disease, bust anyone having sex with someone other than a spouse. That'd be cute. What this is really about is enforcing one's religious beliefs upon others via government, taxes and middlemen skimming the women's take.

Dylan Ratigan of CNBC on Carl Icahn Blog

I agree with the logic of Dylan Ratigan's post on Carl Icahn's blog. He certainly has a sharp mind and knowledge of his field of choice. As a poster mentioned, many business media hosts do not have Ratigan's insight. He's got talent. However, I would disagree that every answer is market-driven. Limiting a company's size is a good idea. I'd like to also see limits to trading volumes, in an effort to reduce market manipulation and level the playing field for individual investors.

In Ratigan's theory, the short sellers should have corrected the situation long ago. Steve Eisman and others were very aware of this situations years ago. I know government regulation meets a great deal of resistance, but I don't see any way around it.

My post here refers to an article and people who knew what was happening long ago. In fact, many people got rich off of this credit disaster. When that much money changes hands, it is rarely an accident. I like one of Ratigan's earlier solutions, about arrests. Laws were broken and arrests need to be made. I think that will have far more impact than short-selling the firms of corrupt executives. Why would they care? Did Richard Fuld or Erin Callahan lose anything? They all had their golden parachutes at the ready, didn't they?

Market Forces Will Never Allow Citizen Benefit As Priority

I am not a Boone Pickens fan and am still not convinced that he doesn't have some other angle than being sincere about energy choice. As example, gaining water rights as he builds his federally-subsidized wind farm. The wind power won't make it and the government will end up funding Boone's water acquisitions, which are immediately profitable.

There's a real problem with the GOP version of privatization, which most democrats seem to have eagerly adopted. Privatization efforts have zero recognition of the humanity of the citizenry. In other words, the truck of free trade would run down an occupied baby carriage if that carriage interfered with maximum profit and getting goods to a market on time. Privatization would refuse to take a dying patient to the hospital if transport was not a profit. The term used in an explanation would be "regrettable" or a similar adjective.

One can't make government policy decisions based on short term monetary gain, ie. turn over government decision-making to a corporate mindset. The very justification for taxation is to do what would not be done otherwise, serve the public good first. If our government is no longer concerned with the public good, hasn't it then just become another commercial enterprise, losing it's legitimacy to govern and tax? If that were the case, an historical revolution not seen since 1776 should be the result. If citizens are on their own and paying taxes, then they might as well be own their own and not paying taxes or tribute.

The US would reap immense benefit in 50-100 years if it were to lead the research into "green" living. The waste of water and power in the US is criminal. The fact that homes are about the same as they were in the 1800's in absurd. Where are domes, underground structures, gray water use, solar and other point-of-use efforts? People are still squirting chemicals into the ground to prevent termites? Dark age stuff, but still profitable.

The crazed moneychangers scoff in their rants of greed and ask who's going to pay for it all. I scoff right back and ask who's going to pay when we run out of clean water. The closest response to an answer I've seen so far is that they think the wealthy will be colonized safely on Mars by then.

Today's Monet; 11/18/08

Water Lilies and Agapanthus; 1914-1917.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Some Factual Remarks by Rupert Murdock

Rupert Murdock made some great remarks, covered in this CNET post. I don't know about some of his past decisions, but he clearly understands his business. I have to respect the older guys who embrace new technology and run with it. Here's my favorite quote from this piece.

To make his point, Murdoch criticized the media reaction after bloggers debunked a "60 Minutes" report by former CBS anchor, Dan Rather, that President Bush had evaded service during his days in the National Guard.

"Far from celebrating this citizen journalism, the establishment media reacted defensively. During an appearance on Fox News, a CBS executive attacked the bloggers in a statement that will go down in the annals of arrogance. '60 Minutes,' he said, was a professional organization with 'multiple layers of checks and balances.' By contrast, he dismissed the blogger as 'a guy sitting in his living room in his pajamas writing.' But eventually it was the guys sitting in their pajamas who forced Mr. Rather and his producer to resign.

A Quick Word About US Governments

I know about all of the complexities about trying to please everyone, but why no plan for following some very basic guidelines to keep the wheels from flying off that vehicle of governance? Even the local governments spin around in circles if the economy is absolutely not as perfect as it can be. The past 6 years have yielded historical windfalls from property taxes, yet the governments merely shifted spending dramatically higher and are now in chaos if historical windfalls do not continue? How many times do they get away with that failure before there is no recovery?

For those who think a new and better day will emerge after a total collapse, don't be so sure. World history is full of extinct civilizations which once ruled the world. Americans are not exempt from reality.

Today's Monet 11/17/08

Woman Sitting Under the Willows, 1880.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Another Congressman Shocked; Bailout Rush Mistake

OK, what's going on? Gee, I seem to remember just a few constituents (80%), who were called ignorant and worse, saying the same thing BEFORE the vote. Here's the story, and a quote.
"I have learned a long time ago. When they come up and say this has to be done and has to be done immediately, there is no other way of doing it, you have to sit back and take a deep breath and nine times out of 10 they are not telling the truth,'' he said.

"And this is one of those nine times.''
Every congressman who voted for this debacle should be investigated for corruption and the missing $290 billion.

Senator Inhofe, do me a favor and tell Senator Webb to resign. He can't seem to understand that part about people lying when they force laws through in a hurry like that.

Recent Words of the Day

circumvent
disabuse
effigy

Come on, CNN, Do Some Decent Research!!

CNN is serious about putting out an article in which their fact-checking consists of a visit to wine.com? Maybe it's just me, but after a recent discussion with a local newspaper editor and this, I'm concluding that modern journalism in America is in serious trouble. Political correctness and affirmative action ran off all of the crusty editors and reporters who knew how to run a paper and who to hire. Now, we're stuck with mediocrity. That's what happens when we hire by quota and not by talent.

Good Eye on the Internet; Missing Fine Wine at White House?

I was reading how the participants who are going to save the world from financial run are enjoying their fine wine and a commenter at the CNN site came up with a great question. It's similar to the Deborah Palfrey question in that there may be nothing to it, but it'd be nice to fill in some gaps. A guy who loves his wine saw a possible problem.

Posted by Winelover:
November 15th, 2008 11:31 am ET

With a little research, in 2005 they served the Queen "1994 Hillside Select", excellent age. Now in 2008 their serving "2003″, too young. My question, there seems to be some vintages missing, like six years of, wheres it at. Maybe a ranch in Texas?




Today's Monet 11/16/08

Red Water Lilies 1914-1917

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Did the DC Madam, Deborah Jean Palfrey, Kill Herself?

I can't understand why it's not worth a second look, as high profile as it was, whether Deborah Jean Palfrey may have been murdered by professionals. The reports that she was making arrangements to pay her bills during her jail term don't indicate suicide. Suicide isn't in the nature of people like her or Heidi Fleiss. They're tough women in a tough business and will do their time if they have to. The sudden "suicide" and subsequent silence from anyone who should be an interested party doesn't strike anyone as strange? Strange similarities to the Vince Foster death. I know, but there were valid questions unanswered in that case.

The Article About Wall Street Everyone Needs to Read

Michael Lewis The End of Wall Street's Boom. I'll say it once more, "Somebody needs to go to jail for this financial disaster." Actually, many people should go to jail. Those congressmen on those finance committees, like Barney Frank, don't know about this? Yeah, right.

To US Congress; Don't Try to Act Stupid About Bailout

They knew exactly what it was, and they had 80% of their constituencies telling them not to vote for the Wall Street bailout. Congress now expects us to believe that they knew less than the constituents who were imploding with anger over the issue?
"I think it's fairly obvious that Congress would have never passed the [rescue plan] had it known how Treasury would marshal the resources it was given," Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D., Ohio) chairman of the subcommittee, said during his opening remarks.
I think it's fairly obvious Kucinich is either being dishonest or has no business in a leadership position, if he didn't see this trainwreck coming. That statement just doesn't represent what went down. I know Congress tried to put in a trap door if the deal went bad and are now trying to use that emergency exit. The public isn't that stupid. I don't know why Kucinich is trying to give cover to those who completely ignored the outcries from their constituents on this, but I don't like it.

What in earth about the Bush adminsistration's past history indicated they could be trusted? What? That's what I was saying then and what I'm saying now. If Pelosi and others voted for it just to try and hang another failure on Bush and the GOP, she's as guilty as Bush and his GOP hacks in this.

VA GOP Question; Still No Response

I'm going on the forth day of no response from the Virginia Republican Party about how they plan a return to the party basics and extensive reform with the same players who got the party off track in the first place. I'll probably join "Joe the Plumber" in the number of illegal searches of government databases for dirt on me when this is all said and done.

I don't think that is an unfair question. Most of those GOP guys and gals were vicious in their support for Bush policies which have turned into total failures. There weren't just a couple of failures. The entire 8 years is rife with failure and excuses about it being someone else's fault. They supported government databases and warrantless wiretaps on all US citizens, torture, strike-first war(which means attack without just cause), no-bid contracts for war, Gitmo, and a bevy of insane positions. Let's not forget about the bailout and the insanity that wrecked the world economy, all on the GOP's watch. And, now, they are going to make it all better? How?

Now, these same people are going to pretend someone else did all of that and they are the answer for recovery? I want to hear what the plan is. If the GOP has the answers and expects my support, the least they can do is let me know what their plan is.

Today's Monet 11/15/08

Water Lily Pond Symphony in Rose; 1900

Friday, November 14, 2008

Who's Surprised?; Dow Down 338

My little experiment today was just a touch of humor at all of the pep talk by some on CNBC about no way to go but up. The big problem a lot of these money managers are making is that their customers aren't that dumb. Someone like Carter Worth gets on Fast Money drawing on charts as if a lot of the viewers don't have their own charts, following along. Someone might mention a "flag" pattern as if it's some cool new term, and the audience is three steps ahead of the guy, at home yelling at a TV screen, "That's no f***ing flag. It's a f***ing classic base failure." Then they go get through their chart book or go to stockcharts.com to confirm. By the way, both the book and the laptop are right there and the wireless modem is fired up. The public is more sophisticated than the government and industry seem to realize.

Whether that's the way it is or not, the public starts getting the idea that those guys at CNBC and other places are trying to trick them into making the opposite trade that should be made. That's what can cause a huge run on brokerages. If these guys don't stop trying to call magic bottoms and telling people it's going to be an up day when everything indicates a down day, Wall Street and the US government is going to have a problem it can't handle...if it's not that way already.

The post is below, to go see what my experiment was...CNBC; Another Stock Market Bottom.

Another Killer Entry; CNBC's Diana Olick

CNBC's Diana Olick's recent articles, as far as I'm concerned, have been smashing home runs. The latest on Treasury Secretary's wonder boy Neel Kashkari, The $700 Billion Bailout King, is another classic. I believe Mr. Kashkari is discovering there are bigger dogs in the park. Woof!

The biggest problem is that there isn't enough money in the world to reprice the end result of what was an uncontrolled frenzy of real estate speculation without a lot of bankruptcies, foreclosures and forced evictions. There's a lot of ugly to go before this is over.

Today's Monet

I had an outstanding art teacher in one of those community colleges I was talking about. He was the best as far as I'm concerned. I guess a lot of people like Claude Monet for the pastel colors and the outdoor scenes. The one thing I don't like about that widget is that it excludes the title to the painting. So, as long as I care to do it, I'll give some details in a post.

The painting of 11/14/08 is Garden in Flower at Sainte-Addresse. 1866 I've gotten different translations of the title and year, but think this one may be more common.

CNBC; Another Stock Market Bottom

It's become comical how so-called professionals are so eager to jump out and yell "bottom" with hopes that this time, they will go down in history as the one who called the market bottom of 2008. They are so-called professionals, because even I know that calling bottoms in a stock market is all about luck and coincidence. Even with market manipulation by program traders, nothing is ever that certain. I seem to remember other bottom calls from Mr. Worth. If not, then this sure is one.

In other news...Dow down 157 points as traders sell into yesterday's "bottom" rally. Let me get into some of this action and say how I see the Dow down at least 300 points at the close, probably by 2:00 PM. I hate talking about market psychology, but it just isn't right. Everyone is fishing the bottom, amateurs and all and I don't see how a bottom ever sets in like that. Just thinking out loud, I wouldn't be shocked at a 700-728 S&P before the year-end. Two things are happening. Funds are selling due to redemptions, which will only increase as the stock market tumbles and funds are making money by shorting to help clean their numbers up for year-end. Nothing says anyone has to go long in order to get their returns looking better for the year. They can do that by shorting the market.

Update: Whiskey Mind story hits the streets, Dow down 212....Just kidding. It's down that much, but I didn't do it.
3:19 PM Update: I wanted to get this in. I dunno. I still think it'll be down, big, at the end of the day...around 3%. It's been cracking a little. We hit the 300 Dow points down, but I'd still be surprised if it didn't close down close to that low. I don't like predictions, but I thought I'd put one out there with all of these guesses about a "bottom." I thought I'd start guessing some too. 275 down points to go.
4:30 PM Update: 338 down. More details in post above. There's a hell of a lot of selling pressure still out there. It just amazes me that "professionals" keep trying to nail a bottom. I thought bottom-fishing was excluded in the first year of business school, on the first day.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Bailout Oversight Promises Broken

They lied? I kept asking my elected representatives why they were voting for that piece of garbage. Eric Cantor is up for re-election in 2010 and Jim Webb in 2012. I'm going to keep voting against them until they are gone. I don't care how long it takes. I hope I am not alone. Anyone who ignored 80% of their constituency and voted for that disaster needs to go. That was such a basic breech of voter trust. It can't be tolerated.

Palin Brings Conservatism and Courage Back to GOP

Who cares if those knotheads who were all for Bush 43 got upset at the Republican Governors Association press conference. It's all of those Bush 43 lemmings. What did they expect? She was the GOP candidate for vice-president this year. To complain about her getting more questions is incredibly childish. Those same guys are why Obama is president and the GOP is hated by most humans around the world.

Governor Palin is the only one who seems to have the guts to actually answer questions in an honest way. The GOP boys club might as well get used to the fact that she's an interesting personality and people want to talk to her.

Mainstream Media and MSNBC "Errors"

I have to laugh each time I recall Helen Thomas or Ann Compton muttering some negative criticism about citizen journalists as they have the facial expression of having just eaten something very bitter. MSNBC is a huge news entity and they don't even check a source? Saying it should not have made the air means nothing. How can that happen? David Shuster can run with a story and never have it checked before it goes on air? Where's Compton's public criticism of this?

This sort of stuff should be punishable with a stiff FCC fine or something. It's a very serious issue to have this level of failure. They didn't even check for a bio on the source, just ran with it.

CNBC's Pisani 11/13/08 Article; Fix the Financial System

Under his list of what Obama needs to do Nouriel Roubini, Professor of Economics at the Stern School of Business, 1) fix the financial system ...

Excuse me for saying, "no sh**!!" That's some concept there, any details for that first suggestion? I would add: 1) make it all better. I wonder if Pasani paraphrased too much or if community colleges are an even better choice than I believed.

Taxpayer Funds Making Failing or Irresponsible Banks Bigger?

I'm no financial expert, have never claimed to be, but logical thinking yields some decent answers. How is it wise to allow taxpayer money, which is said to be necessary to save banks too big to fail, to be used to further isolate the banking industry to fewer players? Isn't that putting all of ones eggs in a single basket and promoting what is causing a key problem? Instead, it would seem that the more logical solution would be the break up the biggest banks, like Goldman Sachs, into smaller institutions. When is it ever wise to play an entire nation's banking system in the hands of a few CEOs? They have a name for that, criminal enterprise.

The Games Goldman Sachs Plays

I've never gotten the bad taste out of my mouth from the CNBC Fast Money programs where all of the traders were flopping around in blind praise of Goldman Sachs and it's brilliant (ie. ruthless) operation.

Well, here's some of that brilliance. Part of that business model appears to be betting against products that other Goldman Sachs employees are selling. The firm did the same thing with home mortgage securities. That way they play both ends. Goldman sells junk for big money, shorts what they know will quickly fail and makes a profits at both ends. Let us not forget, that is the company where treasury Secretary Henry Paulson made his $700 million. How is that less criminal than a Nigerian email scam?

Goldman-related Update:
A nice article that touches on this "Goldman as a god" fantasy floating around. Seems like Paulson's boy wonder isn't getting such grand reviews. The article also tends to support the talent versus salary post I have up. What talent do these Wall Street guys really have? They are supposed to be the best in the financial business, but they just seem like a bunch of cowboy speculators to me. They don't actually seem to understand the fundamentals of banking or of managing people. When nothing makes any sense, I consider the possibility of criminal activity.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

CNBC's Pisani Is Outraged; Me Too

Bob Pisani of CNBC points out the socialism of the US federal government daring to insist that the rich Wall Street tycoons actually do something other than throw parties at luxury resorts and increase their salaries, as the US economy spirals down the toilet. The most outrageous part is the federal government mandating how taxpayer money is spent. Who the hell do those regulators think they are? Bring back the good ol' days of capitalism and free trade, when it's not at all improper to have expensive dinners and hookers at taxpayer expense. I'm with Bob on this one.

By the way, Mr. Pasani, it was your brand of cowboy "capitalism" that got us in this mess to begin with.

Wealth and Talent Decoupled at Wall Street?

Each time I see Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, my reaction is the same, "That guy's got over $700 million?" It's clear enough that Paulson has no clue about what to do and his inflated opinion of himself won't allow him to make the quick adjustments his incompetence requires. It's also clear that CEO jobs on Wall Street have more to do with one's connections than with one's talent. This guy ran Goldman Sachs? He should be thriving in an environment like this. I've always said US management was lacking in many ways. Unlike other countries, the US places excessive value on ego, height, and social skills at cocktail parties over talent. Henry Paulson, more confirmation that an image of competence is often not reality.

Tempeh Research Data

This woman did a great job. It's the best tempeh preparation material out there. I thought it was quite kind for her to post it. Sharyn, thank you. Fantastic.

For those of you not familiar with the product, tempeh is a fermented bean cake, usually prepared wiyh soybeans. I've just tried it recently, but like it plain or quick fried. I probably shouldn't say, but I bet it's great deep-fried in thick batter.

Hell, the jobs are almost gone, might as well get something out of globalism and GOP-style "free trade."

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Changes at Whiskey Mind; Changes All Around

Someone might notice that links to Democracy Now and CounterPunch have been removed. I may offer details on this later, but for now will just leave it at my disgust of their frequent attacks on white males. Race, gender and sexual preference have always been an obsession with "progressives" but it seemed they were correcting that failure. Well, they aren't. Now that democrats have some power again, we're right back to pitting Americans against Americans, based on race and gender. CounterPunch contributed my last straw yesterday. I'll see if Amy Goodman holds Obama's feet to the fire or not. Folks, there has got to be more to this than just turning on each other, pitting American against American.

I've never understood the compulsion of those who identify with progressive politics to constantly strike out against perfectly innocent people for crimes they had nothing to do with, other than by sharing race or gender characteristics (ie. white males). I thought such bigotry was supposed to be wrong. No wonder American youth are so damned confused these days. When there's too much to be gained financially and politically by those who claim to be civil rights activists, the situation only gets worst. Many progressives are so deeply invested in the racial problems of this nation, that any resolution would be devastating to their personal incomes, and the future of the income of their immediate family and associates. Most people consider that a conflict of interest which breeds a lack of credibility. I know I do.

In the spirit of truth and rebellion against injustices, and to push back against "progressive" misfits, I have promptly installed a link to the Drudge Report and removed any links associated with progressive movements. As the power shifts, Drudge has now again assumed the role of revealing the secrets of those vested in America's failures. His guys are out, so Drudge has nothing to lose and everything to gain by printing unsavory facts about the DC political establishment. The game is always on, it's the roles that change.

My role won't change. I'm interested is truth and credible information to base decisions and beliefs upon, and I don't care where it comes from. Anyone who breeches the trust gets dropped like a hot potato. I'm sick of being vilified because I was born male and am of Scots-Irish decent. I'm doomed to a lifetime of attacks on my well-being and dignity because of how I was born, by people who say it doesn't matter how we were born...that we're all human? It's time to label them as the unstable and dangerous quacks that they are.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Main Street America; Becoming A Prison Yard

From TV shows to guys who have been there, the message about prison life is the same, "watch your back and don't ever trust anyone you don't know." It occurred to me that incarcerating a large portion of the population is not having a positive effect on American society. Who can blame a convicted felon for not trusting anyone? They get treated like dirt whether they're in or out of prison. It's beginning to get like that for the average citizen. Now, we have people being allowed by government to loot pension funds and money market accounts. Nothing is sacred. Nobody expects life to be all peaches and cream, but the last eights years have been nothing but news of the worst nature. Fear after fear after fear and extreme intimidation. Welcome to the Bush prison yard mentality. Will January 20, 2009 change anything? We'll see.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Time to Reload the Character Backup Drive; With Updates

The many failures of President George W. Bush, and career politicians in general, have resulted in nothing less than a system crash. Although, the last eight years should be taught for generations to come in public administration classes as an example of how not to govern, America needs to go to the backup disk. True, there are dark segments of US history, as with any country inhabited by human beings and not androids, but I still know an America to be proud of. Veteran's Day is coming up and I'm proud of the men and women who are out there doing their duty honorably. I really don't care if America goes to the backup, I'm already there. We need to go back to the phrase, "don't let the bastards grind you down."

Sure, it looks like some pension funds might collapse and the US is in for a rough ride, but most of our grandparents went through as bad or worse. Even if they didn't many of our recent immigrants have. If I could be half the person most of my Scots-Irish ancestors were, with the exception of a rogue and malevolent father, I'd be honored. It's not the genes as much as the behavior. I think we forget that we all make current decisions, regardless of our pasts. That's my Sunday morning message, load the backup drive, build on the good foundations that remain and get on with it.

Good Luck with That Bush Legacy; Santa's Not Very Happy

I'm still making my list and checking it twice. President G.W. Bush has been very naughty. My first thought is about torture and shipping prisoners who are labeled "detainees" so they can be tortured. There's Abu Ghraib, Gitmo, the vicious publicly-released videotaped hanging of Sadaam Hussein, whom we now believe was stabbed several times post-mortem, and the general practice of killing and waging war in a way that would make the most evil despot envious. There's Katrina, illegal wiretapping on US citizens, airport security to humiliate a populace by, and the denials. Constant denials of wrongdoing, the avoidance of any accountability, and counter accusations are classic strategies of corrupt regimes. The economy is crushed under the weight of unregulated bank practices and Bush proponents are actually claiming that excessive regulation was the culprit. I think it's safe to completely ignore them as maniacs, now.

To this day, Larry Kudlow and Jerry Boyer will proudly glare into the camera, with those famous smirks of a child remarkably proud of his obstinacy, as they baffle most audiences with countless contradictions and economic "expertise" contrary to economic reality. This is the same pair who mocked Peter Schiff, Gary Shilling, Joe Battipaglia and others who dared to contradict the wild claims of Ben Bernanke and Henry Paulson that all was well with the Bush economy, until the facts became so obvious that hey had to change that story. Each Kudlow episode is the same. There's the reality even the viewer can understand, represented by people labeled as "gloomy" bears, tempered by the practiced smirks of Kudlow and Boyer and the masters of fantasy Kudlow has installed on his panel. Here's a link to Charlie Gasparino calling Donald Luskin a jerk. Luskin, like any good jerk, seems proud. I've never seen a blog where a guy proudly displays remarks from professionals who know what they are talking about how he's a person nobody should try to emulate. Talk about self-hate. Congratulations to Gasparino for finally addressing the competence and intentions of those who spew out such nonsense. They are, indeed, jerks.

This is the legacy of Bush, at least some of it. I won't take any more space to provide evidence of the obvious. President G.W. Bush failed the American people. There is not one part of most of American lives which isn't spinning widely out of control. We are being prepared for the reality that not only will Social Security be gone, but some rich guy has looted the pension funds too. It's all crumbling downward, but Dick Cheney seems fine. I wouldn't want anyone to worry.

It's my prediction that millions of personal journals will firmly contradict any historical magic applied to a miserable eight years of President Bush and his compliant band of accomplices in the US Congress and the media. The fact that this man hasn't been impeached and jailed speaks volumes about justice in America. There are plenty of impeachable offenses, no need to pretend they aren't there.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Hedge Funds Still Dumping Leverage; Gates Are Closing

Articles of on hedge fund redemptions, here, here, here, and here. December 01, 2008 was the day, but the one article didn't account for delays in redemption requests. With gate provisions going into effect, the hedge fund drag could go on for some time. If Obama does anything right, I hope he puts an end to the unregulated hedge fund insanity. I'm not holding my breath.

CounterPunch.org Nader Interview

You won't read a similar interview on the Daily Kos, Huffington Post, or Democratic Underground. They are too caught up in Obama fever when the surface rants are all said and done. Regardless of what anyone thinks of Nader, he does represent many views of the left and he is newsworthy. Alex Cockburn does another great job here. The lead of that page is informative also, a look under Raum Emanuel's rock.

I think Nader made a crucial mistake in saying that white men owe women and non-whites 300 years of servitude. That divisive rhetoric that panders to hate-filled motivations. Mocking a white man and telling him to sit in the back of the bus is not more moral than doing the same to anyone else because of gender and skin color. It's still wrong. More evil doesn't reduce an evil influence. An interesting Nader article from Deroy Murdock of the National Review Online (NRO).

Back Into Ubuntu

Every so often, as I'm sure many do, I toss out my cyber junk and reformat the hard drive. It's gets a fresh OS install going for the year and even there may be absolutely zero improvement noticed, it makes me feel better. If anything, it is at least an attempt to scrub out any info that may be lurking around Microsoft Windows' woefully inept infrastructure regarding security and deleted files. OSX has a built-in disk utility that allows the user to do a basic, DoD 7 or DoD 35 free space wipe. Every OS should have that.

I've also recently reinstalled Ubuntu Linux 8.04 on a VMWare Fusion 1.1 virtual machine, along with the dreaded and essential Windows XP. With that XP virtual machine, I have Zone Alarm. I do what I have to online, then I lock it down. XP does not have access to my Macintosh home files and it's read only, so it's locked down pretty tight. I needed the MS to run a certain program I use, and for MS Office Excel and Word. It's hard to use computers and not use and be able to read those programs. I refuse to pollute my Mac OSX with a Windows program for Mac. Anything Microsoft is in isolation, where it creates less mischief.

Update: Thought I'd mention that a DoD 7 free space wipe took about 9 hours on a 100 GB of space. All told the reload and wipe, and downloading all of the Mac updates took the best part of 24 hours, and that's not counting favorite programs to load. If I had a faster connection, the time would be a fraction of that, but there's no fast way to secure-wipe 100 GB, not that I know of.

Always A Thankful Thanksgiving

Everyone has pressures pushing down upon them and few are exempt, possibly the dead, Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and President George Bush. The rest of us struggle to make a living and to retain the integrity of our souls in the process. Some of us may have recently been forced into isolation by family members. It's not easy, but it's all there is. I doubt if many of us don't have at least a few past acquaintance's who are either no longer living or are having cancer problems or some other tremendous struggle. I can't speak for others, but it's often not difficult to encounter someone who's hurting fiscally and emotionally. However, we all move on. We have to.

The months of September through December have always been among my favorites. There's just something fundamentally sound, unlike the US economy, about that time of year. This year will be better than many, as I've removed myself from a bizarre family dynamic. Their main contribution to my life was polluting my holiday cheer and creating as much doubt and despair in my mind as they could possibly manage. Perhaps they are harmless, but I wouldn't bet on it.

Wal Mart has Christmas music playing, so it should be timely to wish everyone a peaceful and safe Thanksgiving and Christmas. Think freely.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

What Would Josey Wales and Forest Gump Agree On?

That we take life the way it is, not the way it might be. Both characters knew how to prioritize.

One Last Word About Voting; Reform

By the way, President Baby Bush still has 2.5 months to create more problems that will take generations to resolve.

All I had to show when I voted was my voter registration card. There is nothing on there that describes me. What is to prevent ACORN or some similar group from registering people who have no intention of voting, then have people voting in more than one district? In theory, nothing stops me from voting in my own district, then taking a voter card from someone I paid to register and also vote in that district. It's not asking too much to have to confirm with a photo ID. It's a crime that the US does not have a more secure voting system. The government can develop remote planes that drop bombs, but it refuses to establish a reliable national standard of voting.

It's ridiculous to hear shrieks of panic from election officials because turnout is high and they may not be able to handle it. They now, once again, have 4 years to come up with more efficient and secure methods of voting that allow prompt access to the polls for 100% of the eligible voting public. If they don't have enough funds, send them to Wall Street. House Representative Eric Cantor and US Senator Jim Webb wrote them a blank check not long ago.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

The Seas Part; His Royal Highness, King Obama, Gets His Throne

Never fear, Governor Sarah Palin has staked her claim and she's giving none of it back. I've gone from an interest in her as a unique person, to the beginning of sincere respect for what she endures merely because she is a woman. From a small town guy who knows the type, she's a small town gal, a real person. She just happens to be very stunning and physically attractive. Tine Fey described Palin as pageant quality. It's hard to ignore, but should never be the fodder for endless derision by the envious women and barbaric men of the national news media and the general public.

As as side note, I was personally impressed as PUMA and some more conservative independents joined forces in a rare effort to create synergy based on agreement. That's a good start for the next elections.

The G. W. Bush Legacy of Failure; A Real Chimp Would Have Done Less Harm

President George Bush, if not the most criminal all of US presidents, may certainly be the most despised. His "errors" seem to consistently satisfy some dark agenda or enrich his supporters. Stock markets appear to rally on the mere thought of the Bush administration finally coming to an end, not caring for the time who may win. It has been a long eight years known for a series of disasters: losing 3000 American lives in an attack on US soil, the misguided response to the attack which should have never occurred, the Katrina debacle, urban sprawl fueled by interest rates forced down too low for too long and forever ruining countless acres of once-fertile farmland. Those interest rates also helped fuel what may still be the collapse of the global economy.

Massive deficits and fiscal insanity, torture of innocent civilians in Iraq, abuse of power, and perhaps even sheer stupidity seem to have been with President Bush all along. Still, the national infrastructure crumbles away and far more troubles were created than solved. Bush's definition of success is that we are not all dead or in prison.

I will never forget when Vice President Dick Cheney refused take his seat on Bush's cue during the Rumsfeld departure ceremony. Bush began to take his seat, but the crowd took their cues from Cheney and Bush had to rise again until Cheney was ready to end the applause for Rumsfeld and sit. The video is clear and I am still amazed that not a single mainstream journalist, the ones who consider themselves stewards of the preservation of truth, mentioned the least concern about that episode. Let us hope, if Senator Barack Obama wins, that Senator Joe Biden is not the one really in charge.

The only question now is how much other damage can Bush and Cheney do until January 20. It still may be a good idea to get that chimp on the job, now.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

How Is War Less Likely If Obama Wins?

I keep seeing Obama supporters claiming that WWIII is less likely under Obama. Where have they been since July? Obama has practically reversed every key position that won the nomination from Clinton. He's talking about increasing the US military by 92,000. Does that sounds like he's planning on them sitting in the barracks playing cards? Alexander Cockburn of Counterpunch.org provides excerpts from another article he wrote:
“Obama wants to enlarge the armed services by 92,000. He pledges to escalate the US war in Afghanistan; to attack Pakistan’s sovereign territory if it obstructs any unilateral US mission to kill Osama bin Laden; and to wage a war against terror in a hundred countries, creating for this purpose a new international intelligence and law enforcement “infrastructure” to take down terrorist networks. A fresh start? Where does this differ from Bush’s commitment to Congress on September 20, 2001, to an ongoing “war on terror” against “every terrorist group of global reach” and “any nation that continues to harbor or support terrorism”?
Regarding Obama's backpedaling from pre-nomination positions, Cockburn writes:

“In February, seeking a liberal profile in the primaries, Obama stood against warrantless wiretapping. His support for liberty did not survive its second trimester; he aborted it with a vote for warrantless wiretapping. The man who voted to reaffirm the awful Patriot Act declared that ‘the ability to monitor and track individuals who want to attack the United States is a vital counterterrorism tool.’

“As a political organizer of his own advancement, Obama is a wonder. But I have yet to identify a single uplifting intention to which he has remained constant if it has presented the slightest risk to his advancement. Summoning all the optimism at my disposal, I suppose we could say he has not yet had occasion to offend two important constituencies and adjust his relatively decent stances on immigration and labor-law reform. Public funding of his campaign? A commitment made becomes a commitment betrayed, just as on warrantless eavesdropping. His campaign treasury is now a vast hogswallow that, if it had been amassed by a Republican, would be the topic of thunderous liberal complaint.

I didn't see where Cockburn mentioned Obama's praise of Bush's "surge" results in Iraq. When the reversals are that frequent, it's difficult to keep track of them all. This isn't supposition or political rhetoric. Obama has flatly reversed himself on every key position he had in the primaries, something his supporters have ignored. Those who say they want Obama's "change" are probably too busy focusing on Palin's hair and clothes or her legs to notice or care that Obama's not the same candidate who won the democratic primaries.

Good Neighbors

Life in the US seems increasingly to have become about how much stuff one owns and how prominent or superior one appears to others. I think that is changing as the folly of that mindset becomes evident in the current global financial crisis. Of course some people never embraced the low road, at least not to the extent that it destroyed their personal identity.

A neighbor just dropped by, after a quick call to me from the wife, with some gifts he thought I'd like: a couple of car magazines, some organic fruit and a few other goodies. It reminded me of one of those community college instructors I was thinking about recently. One of them mentioned in an economics class that there was no substitute for a kind gesture, no value could ever be assigned to taking a break from life to think about someone else. In other words, his message was that humanity and being humane was priceless.

My respect for that message grows with each day and each experience, as time passes. In all of the turmoil and disagreement and passion of life, I hope I do not forget about the value of those good neighbors and the value of my own role in nurturing that tradition as a member of a community, not just functioning as some pirate of life grabbing more loot than anyone else.