Tuesday, August 04, 2009

I Still Don't Get It

You know, I've been trying really really hard to see what the supposed majority see in Obama... trying really hard.

I still don't get it.

If any other President had posted on the White House website the following quote, there would probably be calls for impeachment. Talk about trying to make people afraid to speak their own minds and/or express their own opinions. This is outright intimidation:

There is a lot of disinformation about health insurance reform out there, spanning from control of personal finances to end of life care. These rumors often travel just below the surface via chain emails or through casual conversation. Since we can’t keep track of all of them here at the White House, we’re asking for your help. If you get an email or see something on the web about health insurance reform that seems fishy, send it to flag@whitehouse.gov. [link to full story]

If anyone were going for their Toastmaster goals and delivered speeches the way he does, drowning in ummms, ahhs, errrs... they'd be the laughingstock of the entire Association, and yet he gets praised for being such a brilliant speaker... a man who demands that his teleprompters go everywhere he goes. It's not only pathetic, it's truly sad, IMHO.

But I'm in the minority, according to polls, pundits and others following him en masse.

It's an eery feeling, like watching a movie that you feel is going to end soon so everyone can get back to reality and go back to work on building their lives, hopes and dreams.

But it's not a movie.

It's real.

And for some strange reason I can't quite explain, I find that just a bit frightening considering the USA's position in world affairs. The most powerful nation in the world being run by a bunch of school ground bullies? Say it isn't so.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

A Total Eclipse of the Sun

Wednesday, July 22, 2009 will bring the longest total eclipse of the sun of the 21st century. It won't be visible on our side of the globe ...maximum totality will occur over uninhabited North Iwo Jima island.

While skies darken on that side of the globe, let's try to focus on bright spots on on this side of the globe. For example, let's try hard to ignore yet another Goldman Sachs (vice chairman of the board) being named to an important Federal Govt. post in the State Dept. namely, undersecretary of state for economic, energy and agricultural affairs. [link]

Surprised? Then maybe you didn't see it coming when this article came out back in March 2009. In writing, we call this "foreshadowing."

Mr. Hormats has been a visiting lecturer at Princeton University and is a member of the Board of Visitors of the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy and the Dean's Council of the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

Mr. Hormats' publications include;

Mr. Hormats earned a B.A. from Tufts University with a concentration in economics and political science; an M.A. and a Ph.D. in international economics from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy.

He is also;
Trustee, vice chairman of the Economic Club of New York, although I'm wondering if, with his new State Dept. appointment, he will have to step down? After all, they claim to be:
...nonpolitical, nonpartisan and nonprofit. Its membership (individual, not corporate) of about 700 is drawn primarily from the senior leadership ranks of the business and financial communities and the associated professions. Its individual members represent a wide diversity of opinion. [link]
Trustee of Freedom House, yet another he might have to step down from?

Freedom House, a non-profit, nonpartisan organization, is a clear voice for democracy and freedom around the world. Through a vast array of international programs and publications, Freedom House is working to advance the remarkable worldwide expansion of political and economic freedom. [link]

And finally...

He is a council member of Securing America's Future Energy (SAFE), a group that spent a massive amount of lobbying money ($715,000 per the "Open Secrets" website) in 2007 and 2008, while the years prior and after they've spent next to nothing by comparison. I'm guessing they got what they wanted??

It's kind of strange that SAFE submitted a plan back in Sept/08 to dramatically change the transportation industry (the transformation of our transportation sector from one dependent on petroleum to one largely powered by electricity), while at the same time, one of their co-chair members, namely John F. Lehman, was a fundraiser for the John McCain camp whose slogan "Drill, Baby, Drill" still rings out in some sectors today.

But let's not speculate. (pun intended)

His past relationships include;

  • National Security Council - senior staff member
  • Pacific Council on International Policy - director
  • Rockefeller Center Club - member
  • U.S. Department of State - assistant secretary

THE BOTTOM LINE: It would appear that the incestuous relationship between GS and Big Gov is alive and doing well. At this rate, there will be more Goldman Sachs and Google execs in our Government than Democrats... hahaha, my bad. It's a total eclipse of our Government, wouldn't you agree?

Monday, July 20, 2009

You Can't Handle the Truth!

In the movie "A Few Good Men," JAG lawyer Kaffee (played by Tom Cruise) demands, "I want the truth."

In response, Col. Jessup (played by Jack Nicholson) shouts back, "You can't handle the truth!"

Little bits and pieces of the truth are floating around in a huge vat of speculation, innuendo and fiction with respect to;
  • the initial bank bailouts
  • the Freddie/Fanny bailouts
  • the AIG bailout
  • the GM/Chrysler bailouts, and
  • the subsequent mainstream bailout (ie. Stimulus Plan)
The actions of our Federal Government redirected extraordinarily massive amounts of taxpayer dollars into the hands of a few "privileged" entities in all instances.

What was the tipping point that led our Government on the largest spending spree in our country's (in any country's) history?

By now we know that there are some dirty tracks leading directly to Paulson's doorstep, as this article clearly points out.

But that only excuses the first round of TARP... an explanation that "we can't handle the truth" ...quote:
Making his first appearance on Capitol Hill since leaving office, the former Treasury secretary Hank Paulson said it was important at the time not to reveal the extent of officials' concerns, for fear it would "terrify the American people and lead to an even bigger problem".
So, I'm guessing there is some truth to the rumors that Martial Law would have been declared if the first TARP had not been signed? And possibly there is a glimmer of truth to the idea that so-called leaders in Washington truly believe this nation is so weak, it can't handle the truth?

For some reason, I just can't shake that picture of Jack Nicholson as Col. Jessup out of my head.

In the many catastrophes that have hit this nation, from Pearl Harbor to 9/11 to Katrina and more, it would appear to me that this country draws more closely together to help its fellow citizens when facing great adversity. And, in most instances, they did not stand around waiting for their Government to act... many from all across the land came in droves to help out where ever they best could.

Can we, the American people, handle the truth?

You tell me...

The better question might be, what would the American people do if the truth revealed that they had been swindled... that some in high places had orchestrated the entire financial mess. Well, then, I'm guessing the Federal Government might have cause for concern.

I ask again, "Can we, the American people, handle the truth?"

Friday, July 17, 2009

Must see video

Not much time to blog today, so I'm leaving you with this short video. A MUST see!

Will be back tomorrow with some HOT info for all of you!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

While We Were Sleeping a Tea Party was Brewing

Practically everyone remembers the first round of large tea parties held earlier this year on tax filing day -- right? I posted pics from twitpic here for all of you to see the crowds gathering in cities and towns across the nation.

Fox News was about the only major network to cover them in detail.

Most all other major networks (if we can call them that today) either dismissed them and/or derided them -- some outright calling them "turf" roots instead of "grassroots" -- something even Pontificating Pelosi claimed when asked about them. They would love people to believe this is some kind of Republican thing, not grassroots at all.

So, I grew really curious... methinks they (networks and WH crowd) doth protest too much.

Curiosity is at once a curse and a blessing. (I'll explain that another time.)

I searched on the map for all the July 4th tea parties, compared the map with the 2008 election map and noticed a very interesting pattern. It seems the majority of the tea parties were happening in BLUE zones -- you know -- those are the zones where the Dems supposedly won by a landslide.

Not all of the tea parties, grant it... there were a few Republican strongholds holding tea parties as well, but some of the BIGGEST TURNOUTS seemed to be occurring in MAJOR "landslide" DEM cities.

Since many in attendance for most of these tea parties are from local and surrounding areas, if one has a curious mind such as mine, one might be thinking something isn't quite right here. If those so-called-big-networks were right, and this is turf-roots, not grassroots, either the voting machines got something wrong, or there is something similar to "buyers remorse" happening in these largely Dem territories... wouldn't you think?

But I digress.

There are bigger things going on.

I've been following twitter A LOT these past few weeks. Even watched/participated in the Twitter Tea Party that happened last weekend. It was kinda fun, and enlightening, all at the same time.

But here's what has been happening while we were sleeping...

Another MASSIVE Tea Party is Brewing.

I'm talking MASSIVE!!!!

But for this tea party, it will require travel -- because they're taking right to Washington DC.

Seriously. Check this out.

To all the national networks who avoided reporting anything about the tea parties and/or derided them and tried to paint them as ruffians, hoodlums, whatever ...man-oh-man are you in for a surprise. Bet you're wishing you tried to cover them honestly now, right? Nah. You could care less. You'd probably far prefer covering Obama's date nights and their cute doggy or the little organic garden thingy.


While the major news networks were tuned into the Sotomayor confirmation hearings all day yesterday, here's what happened while they were sleeping.

A massive twitter campaign sprang up organizing petitioning and/or calls to Reps to Read the Bill (referring to Obomacare).

Another massive grassroots push is supporting the Ron "Skywalker" Paul Bill. Read this for a truly entertaining perspective on this bill (I LOVED it! Reminded me of Czar Trek all over again!) -- and read this for a more serious look at it.

And on a completely different story, looks like the birth certificate thingy might soon be resolved. (It will be nice to put this puppy to rest once and for all.)

The resolution is coming from a truly unlikely source and a case that I have not yet heard any mainstream (or otherwise) news report on, so I'm not even sure if this case filed by U.S. Army Reserve Major Stefan Frederick Cook is true -- or if the many other U.S. Army soldiers said to be joining on with the case is a fact. Still, it would be nice to put this issue behind us. I'm looking forward to the confirmation that a vault copy certificate has been brought forth and authenticated in a court of law.

It's driving my curiosity nuts!

Kind of like a mosquito in your bedroom at night that simply won't let you sleep.


There are a ton of other HOT stories (particularly in the financial sector) that went unnoticed by mainstream media as they kept covering the Sotomayor confirmation hearings. But, it's late, and I have work to complete before I can go to sleep tonight.

See you tomorrow... time permitting.

PS: Hey Indiana! How are you liking them new Fire Safe Cigarettes? Not sure what I'm talking about? Check your pack and look for the FSC on the package. If your cigarettes keep going out on you, welcome to the new law that went into effect here as of July 1/09.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

The Most Incredible Financial Story Ever

John Crudele from the New York Post writes, "...here's where the conspiracy starts to unfold -- for the government."

Apparently, "...a couple weeks ago the NYSE suddenly announced that brokerage firms would no longer have to report their program trades. The new rule takes effect next week."

If you're wondering what all of this is about, it leads back to a previous post I made here at WAHM DIARY, called "Czar Trek and Pump & Dump" ...read the Pump and Dump section carefully. (link opens in new window)

Think markets are NOT being manipulated? Then you need to learn more about the secret, rapid-fire, stock- and commodities-trading software that has supposedly been stolen (and sold?).

Grab a cup of coffee, then take your time and read through these latest articles from the mainstream media (all links open in new window):

New York Post: "Influence is all in the bag for Government Sachs"

Bloomberg: "Goldman Sachs Loses Grip on Its Doomsday Machine"

Reuters: "A Goldman Trading Scandal?"

There was a quote in the above Reuters story that I found particularly interesting:
Federal authorities say the platform quickly processes rapid developments in the markets and uses top secret mathematical formulas to allow the firm to make highly-profitable automated trades.
Which "Federal" authorities knew about it, I wonder...???

This leads me to ask the following two-fold question:
When our hard earned wages are invested into pension funds, do our pension fund administrators use their own secret, black-box trading software?

...or are they simply the stooges that Wall Street firms rely on so they can use their black-box trading programs to fleece us all?

If the latter is true, which Federal Authorities have allowed Wall Street to fleece us?

Ah, heck, it's all just speculation on my part. Who said pun?

I'm guessing, however, based on the news above, that it is absolutely no surprise to hear that Goldman Sachs are "poised to report the largest profit since it set earnings records in 2007."

Another commentary on this entire subject that is well worth reading comes from Zero Hedge: "Is A Case Of Quant Trading Sabotage About To Destroy Goldman Sachs?"

You're still day trading?


Good luck with that.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Tax Withholding for Independent Contractors?

Got this in my email inbox today...
You should be worried if you...
(a) live in California AND/OR if you
(b) are an Independent Contractor AND/OR
(c) if you know that "Whatever happens in the 'land of fruits 'n nuts' (that would be CA) gets copied everywhere else"...
Apparently, the California Assembly just passed SB 17 on a majority vote which contains a provision for a 3% withholding tax on independent contractors.

If this bill becomes law, all who contract with IC's will be required to withhold 3% of the monthly check of every IC and remit this amount to the state, just like a payroll withholding tax.

Throughout history, across the country, Independent Contractors have been exempt from withholding taxes because many of their expenses are deductable. Independent Contractors make up a LARGE proportion of small businesses throughout the country. A fair percentage of them are part time contractors, most are family owned businesses. An up front 3% withholding could result in shortages of much needed operating capital that helps keep them running through the year during "down" months. Although they could potentially receive most (if not all) of the 3% tax back after filing year-end returns, the long wait for the return of those funds may force many of them out of business.

This legislation sets a dangerous precedent that other states, and even the Federal Government, could follow.

Beyond the hardship this places on Independent Contractors, and the extra paperwork burden it places on those who hire them, I see this as an attack on the entrepreneurial spirit as well.

Many entrepreneurs will think twice about hanging that "Open for Business" shingle on their lawn and/or posting it on their website. And... I'm guessing... far many more Independent Contractors will think twice about doing business with California firms.

As I recall, it was the small Mom and Pop businesses that helped California stay afloat at one point during their crisis.

This is the thanks they get?

I could be wrong -- but I wonder -- what percentage of those tea party goers are Independent Contractors? Sounds to me like their numbers are about to grow. I'm guessing grassroots instead of green shoots are about to carpet California.

If you are an Independent Contractor in California... or if you hire Independent Contractors for your business... here is the contact info for the CA Governor and Senate President. You might want to contact them to try to stop this freight train from steam rolling its way through your business...

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger
State Capitol Building
Sacramento, CA 95814
Phone: 916-445-2841
Fax: 916-558-3160

Senate President Pro tem Darrell Steinberg
State Capitol, Room 205
Sacramento, CA 95814

It's your struggle now, California.

It might be our struggle next...

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Cap And Trap

Those who know me well, know that I truly believe in respecting the planet, wildlife and our natural resources. When and where possible, I reduce my own "carbon footprint" ...and I'm a strong supporter of the Cub Scout "leave no trace behind" training that I'm happy to see my son learning.

One dear friend used to tease me, saying, "You don't even litter!"

Furthermore, I think CAFOs are NOT farms and should be regulated as the industrial entities that they are, complete with related industrial waste, OSHA and zoning laws. (You want cheap milk, cheese and burgers, go raise your own dang cow and don't force us to pay for your desire to be a cheapskate.)

And I believe there are far more ways all of us can work together to live in sync with nature and create a beautiful, healthier planet in the process.

For this, I've been "labelled" an environmentalist.

Well... I'm firmly against millions of people being forced to screw in billions of mercury-filled bulbs into sockets across the land. I think, quite frankly, it is asinine... regardless how minuscule the amount of mercury is contained in each bulb. And I think the so-called "green" movement is off its rocker for supporting such absurd policies to supposedly "save" power consumption.

The stupidity of the plan, quite frankly, boggles my mind.

I also think coal sequestration is one of the all-out-stupidest ideas I've EVER heard with respect to so-called "clean coal" and that scientists supporting it should be forced to undergo sanity tests if they can actually claim with 100% certainty that it will never turn water into acid years from now. (Yeah, sure. I wonder what the archaeologists of the future are going to think about us when they dig those sites up?)

And even further, I believe power is absolutely necessary to our way of life in this century... that it is needed, new sources need to be created and existing sources should be supported and assisted to become as efficient as they can be -- and that, yes, we should be energy independent -- and that we have (and should use) the resources to make it happen far faster than most people might think.

For this, I've been "labelled" an anti-environmentalist.

Finally, I also think it's positively hypocritical on the part of some countries to posture about reducing green-house gases to benefit the planet when so many other countries are not participating in the same plan. Further, I think the plan is nothing more than a power grab (pun and sarcasm intended) that will not benefit the planet near as much as it will fill certain pockets with bucket-loads of money. And if you choose to look closely at some of those pockets, I'm betting you'll find more than one or two individuals that are some of the worst polluters in the history of this planet.

Which brings me to the "Cap & Trap" legislation moving through Washington.

Don't think the Cap & Trade legislation is a power grab?

Then grab a cup of coffee, sit back, and read this brief article:

"If You Don't Hate the Cap and Trade Bill, Let Me Show You Section 304."

What happened to the Constitution?

Where -- oh where -- shall freedom reign?

Friday, July 03, 2009

Hello Sarah Palin... or Good-Bye?

At 4:00 p.m. EST in front of a small gathering of press, Sarah Palin announced she was stepping down as Governor of Alaska... and that she would not be running in the next election.

Gone for good?

I, for one, hope not and her parting speech leads me to believe this is not an end, but rather, a new beginning...
If I have learned one thing: LIFE is about choices!

And one chooses how to react to circumstances. You can choose to engage in things that tear down, or build up. I choose to work very hard on a path for fruitfulness and productivity. I choose NOT to tear down and waste precious time; but to build UP this state and our country, and her industrious, generous, patriotic, free people!

Life is too short to compromise time and resources... it may be tempting and more comfortable to just keep your head down, plod along, and appease those who demand: "Sit down and shut up", but that's the worthless, easy path; that's a quitter's way out. And a problem in our country today is apathy. It would be apathetic to just hunker down and “go with the flow”.

...Productive, fulfilled people determine where to put their efforts, choosing to wisely utilize precious time... to BUILD UP.

And there is such a need to BUILD up and FIGHT for our state and our country. I choose to FIGHT for it! And I'll work hard for others who still believe in free enterprise and smaller government; strong national security for our country and support for our troops; energy independence; and for those who will protect freedom and equality and LIFE... I'll work for and campaign for those PROUD to be American, and those who are INSPIRED by our ideals and won't deride them.

I WILL support others who seek to serve, in or out of office, for the RIGHT reasons, and I don't care what party they're in or no party at all. Inside Alaska – or Outside Alaska.

But I won't do it from the Governor’s desk. [link to Sarah Palin's website]
IMHO, this has all the appearances of the Democrats acting like the papparazi acted towards Lady Di. Love for Diana grew far and wide, by leaps and bounds, and distaste and dislike for the papparazi grew to staggering heights. The Democratic Party would do well to remember that.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Tea Parties Brewing Again

Some thought they would disappear following most of the mainstream media attacks... but not so fast. July 4th - Independence Day here in the USA - is shaping up to be another show of unity, but this time with a message.

T = Taxed
E = Enough
A = Already

Now, you can look at this new message in several ways, but if you're a political pundit, you're probably noticing two important ingredients to the tea being brewed...

FIRST: the solidification and unification of the message means some marketing savvy is now in play which can spell trouble for any politician. It becomes far more difficult to derail.

SECOND: it's not going away. With a unified message, it now has the potential to turn into a wildfire, building into ever bigger momentum over time. In fact, I dare say, it has the potential to become bigger than ACORN. (Yeah, couldn't resist the jab there.)

Will it rage into ever larger wildfire proportions?

Or will it be snuffed out like a candle in the wind?

We shall see...

Washington is the New Wall Street

On another important story -- in case you missed it -- a very short video on CNBC is worth watching. "The New Wall Street is Washington" is the theme and Rick Santelli is one of three guest speakers discussing the Washington manipulations of the stock market that are interfering with the healing process. Don't miss this video.

It might help you understand how, against all the depressing numbers and facts coming out with respect to the economy, the stock markets can still be moderately coasting along -- when you would think they would have already crashed and burned, right?

Take today, for example...

Bloomburg has 2 stories out.

The first story -- "Banks Falling 23% Since May Foreshadow S&P 500 Slump"

Which is quickly followed by this story -- "U.S. Stocks Rise Following S&P 500’s Best Quarter Since 1998"


Watch the brief video clip and you will probably nod your head in agreement on how this could possibly happen.

Personally, I believe they're still playing the "Pump and Dump" game.

Happy Canada Day!

To all my Canadian friends and family, Happy Canada Day!

I hope you are enjoying your extra-long weekend (those of you who get one) and taking time out to celebrate your sovereignty. I'm guessing, the way things are going down here south of your border, you will have more freedoms than we do in the not too distant future. In time, you might become the only model of freedom left. Hang onto it.

(Oh... and ignore those ACORN reps that are crawling all over Ottawa right now trying to mess up your country next. I heard they're desperately trying to find some kind of issue they can use to herd your masses on their path to social unrest. Keep that healthy Canadian skepticism going. You're going to need it!)

Friday, June 26, 2009

Jobless Numbers rise yet Cap and Trade vote still going

The Labor Department reported that the number of U.S. workers filing new claims for jobless benefits unexpectedly rose for the week ended June 20 by 15,000, to 627,000.

Continuing claims -- those drawn by workers for more than one week -- climbed by 29,000 to 6,738,000. Both numbers had fallen the previous week.

While they try to cram through "Cap and Trade" today... if successful, you'll see those jobless numbers climbing at an accelerated pace once the energy prices begin an inflation spiral, IMHO.

Catch up to date on this vote on the floor today:
- A tooth-and-nail fight in House over climate bill

If passed, the bill would represent the most profound government intervention in America’s energy use since Washington began regulating the fuel economy of vehicles in 1975.

- Cap and Trade Facts Every Minnesotan Should Know

Today the U.S. House of Representatives will likely approve one of the most crushing tax increases to American consumers in history – a hidden energy tax called "Cap and Trade."

- Environmental Capital

“Without a resounding House endorsement, I think the Senate is going to view this as too risky to take up in any significant way,” says Bill Durbin, head of carbon research for the consulting firm Wood Mackenzie.

Hmmm... the vote to advance the legislation to the House floor was close -- 217 to 205 -- does that make it "too risky" to take on right now?

Personally, I think it will be another nail in the "economic green shoots" coffin and help propel those jobless figures upward -- not good.

But I'm guessing the Fed has a different take on the rising jobless numbers. They probably still see higher jobless figures as a good thing for the country right now.

Why in the world would I say this?


According to minutes of a Fed meeting back in 2003, Bernanke cited studies that essentially said the declining dollar doesn't matter, commodities prices don't matter, and "weak labor markets would keep inflation tame."

Speaking of this...

Have you noticed how "cozy" things are getting between the White House and the Federal Reserve? Check this out...

Beyond the grim jobless numbers, I've also heard that there is a serious backlog in mortgage foreclosures. Quote:

During the first quarter of this year, the share of all homeowners seriously delinquent on their mortgage but not yet facing foreclosure more than doubled to 3.04 percent, or about $227 billion in loans. [link to full story]

Back to cap and trade -- House Majority Whip, Rep. James Clyburn (D-S.C.), says "We're getting there."

The question is: Getting where?!??

I'm thinking this will drive a stake into the heart of the Democratic party deeper than any they've already driven in.

There won't be any "dancin' in the streets" over this one in the Midwest. If the Dems keep it up, the only dancin' will be in the dark, in my humble opinion.

Who is running for an Independent or Libertarian seat in Indiana come 2010?

Introduce yourself in the comments here, please.

I have some people that might want to meet you -- if your ethics, values and morals match those we're looking for in a leader to send to Washington.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Ode to Farrah Fawcett and Michael Jackson

Michael Jackson passed away just over 50 minutes ago at ACLU Medical Center. Farrah Fawcett slipped away early this morning.

It is a sad day in the Entertainment world; a sad day in Hollywood, California.

I think, to sum up the mix of emotions, it would be a good day for me to share with visitors to this blog, my favorite poem as a tribute to both Farrah and Michael. May they both rest in peace. My sincere condolences to family, friends and fans.

How Angels Are Born

Whose heart deserves to glow?
Whose soul deserves to shine?
Have I been good enough
For this soul of mine?

Have I helped as many
From all the souls I've met,
To earn a pair of wings
And a halo yet?

Have I touched the hearts
Of those who need it most?
Have I helped inspire...
From coast to coast to coast?

Each day I shall work harder
For this is my job on earth...
And I'm told it is the secret
To give an angel birth.

Copyright 1998, Karen August
(Posted here with permission.)

I leave you with this quote by Albert Schweitzer, knowing how many people have been touched by both Farrah Fawcett and Michael Jackson...
"At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lit the flame within us."

Farewell Farrah.

Farewell Michael.

For all you have inspired through your talents, may you both find the Peace and joy you seek. You will be missed.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Nano-Technology Hurdles to Come

I see technology stocks on the rise... and I'm wondering -- how much of this growth is being driven by nano-technology?

With current worldwide annual investment in nano-technology research and development at $9.6 Billion and set to grow to $1 Trillion by 2015, investors and the financial industry might well be excited.


Actually, let's make that a...


There might be a few things that investors aren't being told.

Older investors will most likely recall how asbestos turned into a financial catastrophe for firms around the globe. Well, a new report on nano-technologies put out by Investor Environmental Health Network (IEHN) claims:
"...some of these technologies are showing signs of posing serious hazards to human health and the environment, including the same kind of grave threats resulting from exposure to asbestos." [link to pdf]
Nanotechnologies are now commonly found in sunscreen, cosmetics, food, clothing, sporting goods and packaging. In fact, you might be surprised to find the wide range of applications for nanotechnologies that are already in use.

Companies like Avon, RBC Life Sciences, Cadbury, Miller Lite, The Sharper Image, Procter & Gamble and many more are embracing nanotechnology, already deploying nanotechnologies in either their products and/or their packaging. Even Japanese toothpaste firms are running with it. But many of these companies have not disclosed the risk potential (read very expensive law suits) that could be hiding on the horizon once science and long-term effects catches up with them.

Other companies blazing the trail on nanotechnologies include Nestle, Altria, H.J. Heinz and Unilever... it's not known for certain if they are already deploying the technology in their products and/or packaging.

To be fair, some of them aren't even fully aware of the potential risk to human health and/or the environment.

Let's take one type of nano-technology already showing alarming results under scientific scrutiny: the use of nanosilver as an antimicrobial agent.

The use of nanosilver as an antimicrobial agent is now widespread, with a wide variety of products now on market shelves. The petitioners discovered no fewer than 260 self identified nano-silver consumer products. A recent study reported that nano-silver could harm the immune system, and other researchers have suggested that if nanoparticles from disinfectants get loose and into the body, they might wreak havoc with the human immune system. [link to pdf]
Interestingly, even though firms currently using nanosilver in their products are now aware of the potential risk associated with it, they step around the risk/danger by removing -- not the nanosilver (at least, not that we know of) -- but instead, they simply remove the term "antimicrobial" from their ads and labels and product descriptions.


Problem solved.


Yeah, right. (sarcasm intended)

Who's looking out for you, the end user, on this one?

Who is looking out for the workers in the plants handling this material?

And who is looking out for the investors who probably have absolutely no clue about the bad news/potential risk.

Here's another nanotechnology causing great concern in the scientific community: carbon nanotubes.


A particular group of nanomaterials, carbon nanotubes, raises special concerns because they are similar in shape and rigidity to asbestos fibers. Carbon nanotubes are "seamless cylinders of hexagonal carbon networks and are 10,000 times thinner than a human hair. They are a hundred times stronger and six times lighter than steel and are used in adhesives, coatings and polymers and as electrically conductive fillers in plastics to make polymers more resistant against temperatures, harsh chemicals, corrosive environments, extreme pressures and abrasion."

Multiple laboratories have already independently found that certain carbon nanotubes can cause progressive, irreversible lung damage in test rodents. Two 2003 studies conclusively showed lung damage from exposure to certain carbon nanotubes. Further studies on this topic have increasingly strengthened the link between certain carbon nanotubes and pulmonary damage. [link to pdf]

When it hits the fan, you better believe that investors will find out right quick.

You see... unlike asbestos, which was used commonly across many industries spreading the risk, nanotechnologies can actually be traced directly back to the source -- faster and easier than most any other "ingredient" or application.

If you want to learn more about the "Eight Corporate Liability Accounting Loopholes that Regulators Must Close" to prevent another asbestos-like catastrophe from working its way through the entire globe...

Or if, like me, you're curious as to just how safe all this nanotechnology stuff really is...

Then you want to grab a cup of coffee and sit down to read this eye-opening report. You won't regret it. But you might regret it if you just pass it on by.

Here is the link.

And here are a few more little excerpts from the report for your reading pleasure.

Excerpt #1:
"As a result of weak regulations, companies do not assess, quantify or disclose potential and pending liabilities on a timely basis... Today, as potentially ultrahazardous nanotechnologies enter the market, the same regulatory weaknesses that allowed asbestos manufacturers to conceal information from investors are being abused once again to conceal information regarding the newer technologies. Regulators must act now to prevent a repeat of past financial disasters, and to ensure that investors' expectations of forthright accounting are met. Although our report focuses on product-related liabilities, many of our findings are equally applicable to the broader array of contingent liabilities that appear in disclosure reports and financial statements."

Excerpt #2:
Nanomaterials can represent a special threat to health and safety because the unprecedented manipulation of particles at the molecular scale brings with it unprecedented toxicity expectations - as the particle size decreases so dramatically, materials are able to penetrate the body much more aggressively. In addition, the molecular scale causes reactivity to increase so that harmful effects can be intensified. Previously harmless substances may even take on hazardous characteristics.

Excerpt #3:
Laboratory studies indicate that some nanoparticles ingested from food or water, or breathed in, can pass through the intestinal walls or lungs and reach the bloodstream, allowing them almost unrestricted access to the human body. Some inhaled nanomaterials can access the brain, as they can pass the blood-brain barrier via the olfactory nerve.

Excerpt #4:
Despite the growing number of nanotech food products on the market, consumers have no way of knowing which products contain nanotechnology. Other proposed uses of nano in food include: "interactive" drinks that contain nanocapsules that change color and flavor, spreads and ice creams with nanoparticle emulsions that improve texture, and nanocapsules that carry nutrients and flavors into the body, increasing their bioavailability.

The complete report (52 pages) can be read on the IEHN website through this link.

(And you can watch a video interview with the author of the report.)

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Inspector General Firing

An important story that should not go away:

Probe launched into suspicious firing of inspector general ...and related story,
Grassley wants more details on fired AmeriCorps IG (possible First Lady involvement?)

Here is a bit of background (YouTube video):

After Obama "smeared" Gerald Walpin (the Inspector General he fired), George had a few things to say about it:

BO's iron fist is completely clasped now. He now takes actions without fear of retribution. By now, he is truly feeling invincible... and the majority who put him in power are reaping the rewards.

Future generations will not pay for his misdeeds. However, they will be awfully busy cleaning up the mess he's making.

My late grandmother was always fond of saying, "What goes around, comes around." She truly believed that God works in mysterious ways... that He restores balance when there is none... and that time will fairly deliver His justice. All we have to do is sit back and wait for it.


I haven't thought about her in many years. Some day I'll have to share her story with you. She was an amazing woman.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

How to Lie With Statistics

"There is terror in numbers," writes Darrell Huff in How to Lie with Statistics. [get it from Amazon through this link]

The book was (still is?) required reading for the Statistics course in the CGA program in Canada. (A CGA would be similar to a CPA here in the USA.)

You know, every time we hear the latest reports out of Washington, you have to wonder just what the economic numbers really represent. Are they telling us everything? Is the picture really as rosy (or gloomy) as the numbers indicate?

Take, for instance, the latest economic numbers coming out of Washington.

At last count, 9.4% of the workforce is jobless. Compared with a year ago, the goods and services we produce are worth 5.7% less while the ones we buy are 0.7% cheaper. [link]
John Williams, a semi-retired grandfather of five living in Oakland, Calif., consults for corporations, recalculating government economic data to arrive at what he says were more reliable measures, and with them, truer forecasts.

Here is the picture his numbers paint:

If Williams is right, unemployment is over 20%, gross domestic product is shrinking by 8% and consumer prices are jumping by nearly 7%. [link]
Now, looking at the two pictures above, having just completed a wee bit of shopping at my local area stores, I'm thinking John's numbers with respect to inflation are far more accurate.

Having read a great deal in recent months regarding bankruptcies, business and bank closings and major corporation cutbacks... I also have a strong feeling John's picture regarding GDP and unemployment are far closer to reality.

So ...if one were to compare the two styles for collecting and disseminating data... in a way similar to art, one might say that John Williams style uses "realism" and Washington's style uses "impressionism" in their approach to paint the final picture.

Either way, in art at least, both approaches can result in a great masterpiece.

The quickest definition of a great work of art was probably given by Leonardo DaVinci. It was DaVinci who said that an artist must be able to paint the thing represented, i.e. if an artist clearly wants to paint a squirrel and the resulting representation is an embarrassment ... then the artist is a failure. Of course this will not grade the fundamental attribute of complexity of subject matter.

To contrast between realism and impressionism in art you could say everything is equally important (realism) or equally unimportant (impressionism).

In art, it's all about "controlling the viewer."

In marketing, the same could be said to be true.

In copywriting, it most definitely is true.

Whether you choose to believe the numbers according to Washington, or the numbers according to John Williams... the picture is far from good.

In fact, according to the Administration's reasoning behind the Stimulack, you can now officially say it failed. Unemployment was to be kept below 8% according to that grand plan, wasn't it?

I leave you today with one final quote by Darrel Huff:

"The fact is that, despite its mathematical base, statistics is as much an art as it is a science."
Have a super day.

I'm back tomorrow with a real whopper that will have your head spinning!

PS: Did you hear about the latest on-air media confrontation: Contessa Brewer vs John Ziegler? Just for fun, you can learn more here. Draw your own conclusions there. LOL!

Monday, June 08, 2009

2 Liars Whoopi and Walters

I'm super busy today, but couldn't help posting this link to an excellent investigation performed by Breitbart tv regarding those two twits from the View. (Yeah, I have little to no respect for either of them.)

If you have about 8 minutes to spare, you might want to check this excellent video out.


What a refreshing change in this chaotic world.

It proves to me yet again how ABC, and indeed, most of the ladies on The View, have a fierce agenda to bash all things conservative, IMHO. Not republican -- but conservative. If you are a conservative independent, then you better watch out for their catty claws because they don't even care if they're telling the truth or not... they'll slice you any way they can.

Catty? Hmmmm...

Female dogs might be more apt to describe the pair.

I'm somewhat surprised jumping Joy didn't join in. She usually likes to slam conservatives, too, from the clips I've seen; although, to be fair, she usually goes after all things Republican.

Any way you slice and dice it, those 3 ladies ain't no ladies.

But in particular, Whoopi and Walters must be feeling their ANCIENT years creeping up on them because it seems, at least for the episode referenced in the link above, they are experiencing a wee bit of dimentia.

It's a shame when the memory plays tricks on you, isn't it?

If you watch The View maybe it's time to tune out and turn off because they're obviously just playing tricks with your mind, too. Unless you like having your thoughts shaped by lies and innuendo...

Tsk. Tsk. Tsk.

And I used to actually admire Barbara. That was eons ago before she lost her morals... and her mind, it would appear.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Tsar Trek and Pump and Dump

Two new unreal reality shows are in motion now ...but they're not reality tv shows ...they're playing out on the Hill and spreading through every nook and cranny of our country.

Enter unreal reality show #1...

Tsar Trek

You remember the intro to those first Star Trek shows?

Well, this new show, "Tsar Trek," goes something like this:

States. --- The final frontier. --- These are the voyages of the U.S. Federal Government.

Its four-year mission; to explore deranged, new ways to control its industry, to shape industry policies and force other businesses to follow their lead, without fear of House or Senate intervention. To boldly go where no Administration has ever gone before.


Sorry. I just couldn't resist the above.

I'll bring you more on that unreal reality show in future posts as the drama unfolds.



Enter unreal reality show #2...

Pump and Dump

In "Pump and Dump" we have the most extraordinary market interventions ever seen in the history of the stock markets -- not hidden -- but instead, playing out in plain sight.

If you invest in stocks (through a pension plan or directly), this might be the most important article you read today... "Manipulation: How Markets Really Work"

In the article you will learn a little bit about:
  • the Working Group on Financial Markets (WGFM), also more commonly and often referred to as the Plunge Protection Team (PPT) which could easily be renamed as the Plunge Protection/Destruction Team (PPDT)
  • the Exchange Stabilization Fund (ESF)
  • the Countyparty Risk Management Group (CRMG)
And the curtain is drawn back a wee bit to reveal how other entities interact to intervene (and/or how they are intertwined) ...like the IMF, SEC, CFTC, etc., etc.


You simply won't find the mainstream media covering the "Pump and Dump" show -- happening LIVE, right now, real time.

Not even Fox News.

You have to remember that Newscorp owns the DJIA, so even Fox News will NOT be able to cover the "pump and dump" show... at least, not transparently.

But you will notice -- people reporting in the financial industry are nervous.

They see "The Visible Hand of Uncle Sam."

Read the article.

Know how "Pump and Dump" works.

That's when other stories start making so much sense... how you can tie seemingly unrelated stories together to get the full picture being painted so carefully -- and strategically -- to suck the wealth out of American citizens as boomers approach retirement age and the boomer echo generation steadfastly marches toward their destiny.

You see... "triggering market collapses can be a very profitable undertaking."

Just as Morgan (J.P. Morgan) understood very well before his death:

Morgan died early that year but profited hugely from the 1907 Panic. It let him expand his steel empire by buying the Tennessee Coal and Iron Company for about $45 million, an asset thought to be worth around $700 million. Today, similar schemes are more than ever common in the wake of the global economic crisis creating opportunities to buy assets cheap by bankers flush with bailout cash. Aided by PPT market rigging, it's simpler than ever.
Goldman Sachs knows it very well, too. As I mentioned in one of my previous posts. If you didn't read the article then, now is a good time.

"Did Goldman Goose Oil? - How Goldman Sachs was at the center of the oil trading fiasco that bankrupted pipeline giant Semgroup."
I wonder who Goldman are gunning for next? It has to be someone key in the great scheme of gas, oil and pipelines as I notice the same play on oil happening these past few weeks as the fiasco that occurred last summer during the primaries.

They're getting ready to do yet another BS hike through market manipulation.

Gotta be careful this time, or they could crush those "green shoots" that the Admin is pretending are signs of economic recovery.

Sheesh. Green shoots, indeed. Where even bad news is good news in the revisionist reporting zones. Who's afraid of the big bad wolf? Watch the news and you will see.

IMHO, the major players pulling the strings on the American economy know full well how to fleece the market to their own ends. They're probably fleecing markets to rake in enough coin to cover their shorts on gold before it cuts loose and skyrockets out of their manipulative control ... heh-heh ...oh, yeah. Like that's not happening, right?

Some funds will do quite well. Others are about to be fleeced. None, in my humble opinion, are safe right now because, quite frankly, I truly believe the worst is yet to come. It's all part of the Big Fat Lie they told us. (You're better off to invest in a slot machine about now. LOL)

But glimmers of truth are coming out.

Let's see how long it takes before the full picture is revealed.

One thing is for certain... we'll probably never know the truth behind the Federal Reserve's actions in all of this, as this Bloomberg story states -- quite clearly.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

About Peter G Peterson

What do Barrack Obama and Peter G. Peterson have in common?

One is the President of the USA.

The other is a retired Wall Street "Tycoon" turned philanthropist.

One likes to spend like money grows on trees.

The other likes to spend his money towards his chosen cause, which he claims is to: "focus on America's key fiscal-sustainability challenges."

One likes to talk about fiscal responsibility.

The other likes to take definite steps and precise actions in dealing with fiscal responsibility.

Now, one might think that the second gentleman is being very honorable... In fact, upon reading this quote from a brief article about him in News Week titled, "Why I’m Giving Away $1 Billion," one might think the gentleman is quite honorable, indeed:
For years, I have been saying that the American government, and America itself, has to change its spending and borrowing policies: the tens of trillions of dollars in unfunded entitlements and promises, the dangerous dependence on foreign capital, our pitiful level of savings, the metastasizing health-care costs, our energy gluttony. These structural deficits are unsustainable.
Later on in the same article he expands on this theme:
Underlying these challenges is our broken political system. Our representatives, unlike our Founding Fathers, see politics as a career. As a result, they are focused not on the next generation, but on the next election. When the long-term problems are large and real, they anesthetize us, mislead us, divert us—anything to keep us from giving up something or having to pay for it. Too often, our political leaders are just enablers, co-conspirators in a disingenuous and greedy silence. Our children are unrepresented. The future is unrepresented. The moment is long overdue for us to become moral and worthy ancestors.
Three cheers!! ...and then, some more!!! Right?

Not so fast...

Let's pause and go back to the original question -- what could Barrack Obama and Peter G. Peterson possibly have in common when you look at their seemingly contrasting view points and/or actions?

FIRST, what they both have in common is attendance at a summit to be held this week hosted by Barrack Obama. You can read about it in this article posted to 'A Pakistan News' titled, "Peter G. Peterson Foundation"

SECOND, their agenda's match on one very important issue: entitlements, particularly with respect to health care.

You see, the "unspoken" word is that the honorable gentleman, Mr. Peter G. Peterson, appears to have another agenda quite dear to his philanthropist heart:

"Mr. Peterson has never been shy about using his Wall Street wealth to try to cut Social Security and Medicare, and he recently stepped up his efforts. Last
year he spent $1 billion to endow the Peter G. Peterson Foundation, which seems to have destroying these programs at the top of its agenda." [emphasis added by me]

So now I'm thinking we are about to get an earful on how the so-called "entitlements" for the above two programs are the greatest threat to our financial stability (yeah, even greater than Wall Street bankers, Fannie, Freddie and the too-big-to-fail-lot -- imagine that).

The spin will be -- and is already shaping up to be -- that if we can fix the health care system, we can also fix the entitlement program... two birds -- one stone.

Don't believe me?

Check out this quote from another article over at The Jamestown Sun:

If President Barack Obama sincerely wants to expand health care access with a broad, bipartisan vote, here's how he can do it:

Tackle entitlement spending first.

Hey, I'm all for fiscal responsibility in Government.

In fact, I think this Administration is quickly bankrupting all citizens of this great nation with its outrageous spending policies and expensive agendas.

But when it comes to entitlements in the form of Medicare and Social Security... I have a bone to pick with this Government... indeed, even the honorable gentleman himself.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't Social Security the one thing all working adults and businesses pay into... over a lifetime of working?

Is it your fault -- you the taxpayer -- you the business owner -- your fault that those funds have been so sorely abused, misappropriated, and worse over the years?!

I think not.

In Canada it's called Social Insurance -- and their Government is not allowed to touch those funds for other Government programs. Guess what? They LOWERED the age to file/retire there.

The retirement age there is 55.

Here, in the USA, they are considering raising the age to 67 ...possibly higher.

As for health care... don't make me stand on that soap box again.

It's your insurance industry that needs a thorough cleaning in this country -- top to bottom -- inside and out. They are hammering away at the wealth of this nation every minute of every single day.

Look, it's so easy to find an example of someone discontent and/or misdiagnosed when it comes to health care -- in BOTH countries.

One of our uncle's died just a few short months ago because they "pulled the plug" on him after 4 days. You see, after a certain age in this country, that's it. Your health care system isn't run by the medical community. It's run by your insurance industry. The insurance industry dictates just how much health care you get, when where and how.

For everything you hear about how supposedly-lousy the Canadian health care system is, you probably haven't even heard a word about this important study comparing both health care systems -- the first joint survey of the USA and Canadian health care systems (2004).

My parents, both in their upper 70s, receive phenomenal care in Canada.

The same eye problem I have, my mother had fixed within one week of getting it diagnosed!!! Here in the USA, I'm told it's natural... comes with aging... learn to live with it.

So don't sell me that bill of goods about the poor health care in Canada!

Frankly, I've seen and lived the difference, and the care down here is a far cry from what I used to get... and I used to get it for nothing... now I pay a small fortune!

Ask someone here in the USA how long they wait, if they rely on their insurance, to get any kind of non-life-threatening procedure completed. One acquaintance of ours had to wait 9 months for back surgery here in the USA! My uncle (in Canada) had to wait 3 weeks for a hip replacement. My other uncle had a quadruple bypass 6 years ago -- no waiting -- alive and doing quite well, even for his advanced years, in Canada.

Shucks... I didn't mean to go down this path.

Back on point here.

You're about to get a plethora of propaganda supporting many different agendas for many many different reasons.

Always look beneath the surface, because there are people in this world that don't have your best interests at heart. They have their own agenda, and chances are very high that it won't benefit you in the long term or the short term in my humble opinion based on what I'm hearing and witnessing lately. And lately, it seems to me at least, most of "them" are in politics or from the Wall Street jungle.

Yes... this is just my humble and personal opinion.

But still...

Keep your eyes open...

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Cars of the Future and the Prediction

We've all heard the Obama speeches regarding his policies to push car companies to build "greener" cars... the cars of the future.

When I saw this Brit's review of one of those so-called green cars, I couldn't stop laughing. It was hilarious. Here are just a few of the descriptive details:
1. "It's the first car I’ve ever considered crashing into a tree, on purpose, so I didn’t have to drive it any more."

2. "The biggest problem, and it’s taken me a while to work this out, because all the other problems are so vast and so cancerous, is the gearbox."

3. "It feels like the clutch is slipping. It feels horrid."

4. "And the sound is worse. ...at full chat, makes a noise worse than someone else's crying baby on an airliner. It's worse than the sound of your parachute failing to open. Really, to get an idea of how awful it is, you'd have to sit a dog on a ham slicer."

5. "So you're sitting there with the engine screaming its head off, and your ears bleeding, and you're doing only 23mph because that's about the top speed, and you're thinking things can't get any worse, and then they do because you run over a small piece of grit."

6. "Normally, Hondas feel as though they have been screwed together by eye surgeons. This one, however, feels as if it's been made from steel so thin, you could read through it. And the seats, finished in pleblon, are designed specifically, it seems, to ruin your skeleton."

The entire review is well worth the read. Here's the link.

Deep in the review is this quote:
Car makers, then, have had nearly a century to develop and hone the principles of suck, squeeze, bang, blow. And they have become very good at it.

But now comes the need to throw away the heart of the beast, the internal combustion engine, and start again. And, critically, the first of the new cars with their new power systems must be better than the last of the old ones. Or no one will buy them.
Now that's a message all auto makers need to pay close attention to if they plan to stay in bailouts... errrrr, I mean business.

Speaking of Bailouts

Watch for news coming out soon on Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. Here's a snapshot:
In an ominous setback, the government agency that insures the pensions of 44 million Americans has amassed a record $33.5 billion deficit -- triple what it was just six months ago. [link]

Interestingly enough, "Investment losses from the stock market were only the third contributing factor."

The Prediction

Awhile back, I made a prediction right after the election results were in.

I posted it online a few months later.

In case you missed it, here it is again:
I remember telling a friend of mine to "get out of stocks" immediately after the election results were announced. He listened. Saved a small fortune.

I told him this is what was going to happen...

The DOW would fall to between 6500 to 6200. Then there will be a brief rally. Everyone will think we've finally hit the bottom. And it will look like everything is finally shoring up, that the crisis is over.

In fact, I wouldn't be surprised to see the Dems crowing, hootin' and hollarin' that they fixed everything... that it will be because of the massive amounts of money they've thrown at the problems. They'll be strutting about, gleefully exclaiming, "I told you so."

That's when the "stupid money" will start pouring in.

The rally will be brief.

It will be a relief to millions of people.

But it will be short-lived.

Then everything will fall off a cliff. It will slide to about 3800, plus or minus a few hundred.

DISCLAIMER: I am NOT an investment adviser. I am NOT a tax advisor. Everything in this post is simply my personal and humble opinion/analysis. If you want investment advice and/or tax advice, talk to a professional, if you can find one you trust.

I'm repeating it all here because some of you have seen this video.

And also, because it looks like the stupid money is now being skimmed out, just as I knew it would be...
"...in the last couple weeks, company chief executives and chief financial officers have gone from big buyers to heavy sellers. According to InsiderScore.com, two weeks ago there was a slight bias towards selling, while last week turned in the biggest disparity of sellers to buyers — more than 1.2 sellers for every buyer — since September." (Excerpt from "Insider Selling Adds to Cautious Tone" - WSJ)

Watch carefully over the next few short months.

If you haven't already done so already, start building up your cash reserves. I'm talking CASH... not bank balance. How much? Ask yourself this question: "If you were to lose all sources of your income for the next 12 to 18 months, do you have enough cash on hand to see your family through?"

Maybe I'm just being paranoid.

Maybe not.

You will either need it (and thank me for telling you this)... or at the very least, be able to have a nice party 5 - 9 years from now once the dust settles and rebuilding our battered economy really begins.

Monday, May 25, 2009

In Memory for Memorial Day

Today, we remember...
" I want all of you to be safe. And please don't feel bad for us. We are warriors. And as warriors have done before us, we joined this organization and are following orders because we believe that what we are doing is right. Many of us have volunteered to do this a second time due to our deep desire to finish the job we started. We fight and sometimes die so that our families don't have to. Stand beside us. Because we would do it for you. Because it is our unity that has enabled us to prosper as a nation." - Staff Sergeant Marcus Golczynski, written a week before he was killed in action in Iraq.
The picture below shows Christian Golczynski, 8, receiving the flag from his father's casket from Lt. Col. Ric Thompson during the graveside service at Wheeler Cemetery in Bedford County. [link]

Photo Credit: DNJ photo by Aaron Thompson

Please remember those who serve and their families this day. Take time to read "Blackfive's Blog" with respect for Staff Sergeant Marcus Golczynski... and meet the Warrior Legacy Foundation.

Protect and preserve the memories of all who have fought so bravely for this nation.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

FDIC Friday Bank Closings Update

Yesterday was FDIC Friday and since it's been awhile, I thought I'd post a new update on bank closings racing across the nation.

In our last update (April ) there were a total of 29...

We are now up to a whopping 36!!

Yesterday, our unofficially nicknamed FDIC Friday, two Illinois banks with combined assets of almost $1 billion were closed, their assets taken over/bought by other banks:

  • Strategic Capital Bank in Champaign, and

  • Citizens National Bank in Macomb

The above 2 bank failures brings the total bank closings in Illinois to FIVE for this year. Bloomberg reports, "The FDIC estimates the seizures will cost the federal government's deposit insurance fund a combined $279 million."

In an unusual twist, the largest bank closed this month -- namely BankUnited Financial Corp. in Florida -- was closed on a Thursday.

Bloomberg reports:
Regulators are closing banks at the fastest pace in 15 years, including BankUnited Financial Corp. in Florida yesterday, and pumped $200 billion into the biggest banks in a Treasury rescue program. Costs from closing banks in the second quarter climbed to more than $8 billion, including $4.9 billion for BankUnited, from $2.28 billion in the first, FDIC data show. [link]

So, let's update our running "tickertape" on the parade of bank closings:

Total Bank failures in 2005: 0
Total Bank failures in 2006: 0
Total Bank failures in 2007: 3
Total Bank failures in 2008: 25
Total Bank failures (as of May 22) in 2009: 36 BANK CLOSURES!

(As of April 24, 2009, the total was a whopping 29 bank closures... and we thought that was a high number. Whew!!)

Since we are not even half way through the year yet, I'm guessing our total for the year will more than double last year's bank seizures/closings (possibly triple?).

If you are sitting back watching all of this unfold, just as a casual observer, do you see the "glimmers" and "green shoots" of recovery happening here?

Hmmmm... Let's see if we can add a few facts up:

1. Personal incomes fell in March for the fifth time in the past six months. (According to a report on April 30 by the U.S. Commerce Dept.)

2. Bank closures/seizures are at an all time high for the year, not seen since the 1930s.

3. Home prices in 20 major U.S. cities dropped in yet again February. (According to the S&P/Case-Shiller Index.)

4. Another 539,000 jobs were dropped in April, extending the decline to 5.7 million jobs since December 2007. (According to the Labor Department's May 8 report.)

5. On the foreclosure front "April was a Shocker!" Foreclosures in April exceeded even March's blistering pace with a record 342,000 homes receiving notices of default, auction notices or undergoing bank repossessions. (According to a Realty Trac.) But I'm guessing the numbers are higher with the new trend in both commercial and residential real estate -- the increase in deed for mortgage swaps to avoid the foreclosure process. [See this on the subject.]

6. Housing starts and the industry in general remains in a state of near total collapse.

7. As for the "bank stress tests" released this month, some experts are saying "the stress tests will go down in history as the world's most elaborate effort to paint lipstick on a pig." It's a cornucopia of deceit that, once the general public wakes up to the real facts, could demolish the Dems in future elections. [link]

There are 11 more points I could add to this list, but I have to dash.

Got things to do.

On a brighter note, here are some unique ways a few industries and entrepreneurs are adapting to the tough economic climate:

Downsizing is Cool in Farming: Farms downsize with miniature cows

Recycling huge Space is another Gamble Underway: A Casino Rises in the Place of a Steel Giant

Innovative ways to Save Gas: 'Termite' Truck on Cross-Country Journey Burning Wood Chips for Fuel

And even Teens are Finding NEW WAYS to help Clean Up: Here's the scoop on skimming trash from waterways
As always, it won't be our Government who bails us out of the financial quagmire we find ourselves in (in most part, through no fault of our own). It will be the unique thinking and risk taking of individuals... the true strength of America... its awesome and highly creative people!

Let's just hope the Government doesn't try to screw that up, too.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

This is NOT How to Create Abundance

The squeeze is on in about 47 of the 50 States right now. How many bailouts are on the way?

Where does the money come from?

Where does it actually go?

Who pays for it in the end?

Who said this?

"Great expansion of currency and credit have depreciated the dollar just as expansion and inflation have discredited the coins of the world. We inflate it in haste; we must deflate in deliberation. We debase the dollar in reckless finance. We must restore an honesty. Deflation on the one hand and restoration of the 100 cent dollar on the other ought to have begun the day after the Armistice, but plans were lacking or courage failed."

The exact opposite of what we are being told now...

"We gotta blow eight hundred billion dollars that doesn't even exist on a whole bunch of money losing projects to keep the economy going. Yeah. I gotta bash the patient in the head with a hammer to keep him conscious, too." (link to video)

It was Harding who said the first quote above during his acceptance speech for the Republican nomination back in 1920. In the same speech, he also said this:

"Let us call to all the people for thrift and economy, for denial and sacrifice if need be, for a nationwide drive against extravagance and luxury, to a recommittal to simplicity of living, to that prudent and normal plan of life which is the health of the republic. There hasn't been a recovery from the waste and abnormalities of war since the story of mankind was first written except -- through work and saving, through industry and denial -- while needless spending and heedless extravagance have marked every decay in the history of nations."

For the benefit of California, I add that it was also Harding who said:

"I would be blind to the responsibilities that mark this fateful hour if I did not caution the wage earners of America that mounting wages and decreased production can lead only to industrial and economic ruin."

Misallocation of Resources...

I'm paraphrasing here on a very (VERY) brief introduction into how interest rates work (or don't work) in a capitalist economic system.

Interest rates actually play a role in society... they aren't just arbitrary numbers... they play a coordinating function. And when they are permitted to play this coordinating function, what they do is coordinate production across time.

People save more today for spending more in the future. When they save, interest rates go down. Businesses take loans when interest rates are down to invest and make changes to gear up for production to capitalize on that future spending.

By saving, my deferral of consumption (ie not spending) leaves resources out there for businesses to draw from to increase production. It increases the supply of resources into the overall economy which industry can draw from.

When you tamper with interest rates as the market sets them, you are introducing dis coordination into this coordinating structure.

So now, if the central bank, like the Federal Reserve, tries to artificially lower interest rates -- forcing them down in an open economy -- but the public has not indicated they want to save for future consumption (instead, they want to consume now) then businesses are still being encouraged to invest right now for future consumption (long range production) which creates a timing mismatch.

Just because the Federal Reserve wants to force interest rates down, that does not force more resources into the economy.

What it does is create an unchanged resource pool in a market-driven economy.

The Bust is Inevitable

Without all the needed resources, many long term projects cannot be completed. This will create a bust that comes in the future.

While things are "booming" you don't notice it... until you run out of the needed resources. In a timing mismatch, you will run out. History has proven this. And when you run out, that's when the real crash comes.

That's why falsely pumping money into the economy (like the Administration is doing right now) is not a solution to a "depression" ...it's actually the cause of a "depression."

Even worse, by snatching resources from that pool and putting them towards non-producing projects (ie take resources and/or capital out of the hands of industry) at a time when you are trying to "stimulate" production, you are creating a gaping hole that becomes larger, and larger (and larger) to fill, the longer you keep doing it.

It's a mismatch of time, resources and demand.

That is NOT a capitalist system, dear readers.

One thing you have to do in a situation like we are now in is STOP THE MONEY CREATION.
Learn more in this 49 minute video: "Why You've Never Heard of the Great Depression of 1920"

Yes, it's a long video, just over 49 minutes long, but I promise you, it is well worth the time you invest in exchange for the education you will get from it. You will walk away from it with a far clearer picture of how integrated and interrelated interest rates and money creation are in a capitalist economy.

Don't Blame Capitalism

There are people in Europe screaming against capitalism right now.

There are people right here at home silently agreeing with those very same Europeans.

There are some in Government in agreement, as well.

Their ignorance to the natural laws of capital economies has led them down the path of believing they actually have a capitalist economy. Theirs' is nothing but a farce, a managed economy teetering on the edge of socialism... so far from true capitalism that they cannot even see the forest for the trees, IMHO.

I wonder how they would react if they actually found out how "managed" their economy truly is?

You see... when you Lord it over natural laws of supply and demand, then it is YOU who is to blame for all the pain, poverty and lack of abundance you see. You've actually created your own lack of abundance. And worse, you've actually created the inequalities in your society.

You've created a FALSE abundance along with a FALSE abundance mentality.

What would your people think of that if they ever found out?

You can try to misdirect them -- tell them it's capitalism's fault.

If you can live with that lie.

Sooner or later, the truth comes out.

They should heed these words:

"In a world without truth, freedom loses its value." ~ Pope John Paul II

This mini lesson on interest rates and abundance all ties into the BIG FAT LIE that I will be expanding on very soon. I have not revealed all the lies behind the BIG FAT LIE yet because it's important, in my very humble opinion, that you understand at least the basics of how a capitalistic economy works.

Watch the video... and I'll see you again soon with some VERY IMPORTANT information I've uncovered regarding how some books are being cooked in the most extraordinary of places to create money that does not exist.

Until then, keep the faith.

Americans are strong. Once they understand the truth, they will adjust their direction and find their inner compass. I truly believe this!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

South Bend Hotbed

By now, you've probably heard all about the hotbed of activities going on in South Bend, Indiana, over the President's pending commencement speech at Notre Dame today.

Personally, I don't see a problem with the speech part of the visit since Presidents are often guests to such events at major Universities in this country ... but... I have to admit I share the belief that the Honorary Degree crossed a line, honoring someone who most obviously does not share Catholic beliefs on some very important subjects.

I'm guessing there are more than a few people who wish the Honorary Degree was not part of the event. I wonder what the spin will be on this when everyone moves forward?

Over 400 people have been arrested in riots to date regarding this commencement speech.

The Administration is probably, in one way at least, thankful for the attention being drawn away from the Pelosi pickle barrel they've landed in.

There are a growing number of people believing she should voluntarily step down from the Speaker's Chair and/or resign. If the Dems throw her to the wolves, I wonder who their next "scapegoat" will be to deflect attention from the economy when yet another shoe drops. (Oh yeah. It's coming. I'll tell you more next week.)

But I digress...

Back to the commencement speech. By the way things are being portrayed in far left media, I see a bit of "underdog" like marketing in play... that's kind of bizarre, actually.

You see, it's pretty hard to paint the "victim" picture when your "hero" has made it so clear he likes his superpowers so much. (Are you picturing tights and a cape? LOL)

I'm still reading The 5000 Year Leap. In fact, as chance would have it, I'm on the "4th Principle: The Role of Religion" right at the section where Justice Joseph Story of the Supreme Court pointed out why the Founders as well as the states themselves felt the federal government should be absolutely excluded from any authority in the field of settling questions on religion.

In an excerpt from Justice Story's now-famous "Commentaries on the Constitution" he stated clearly and unequivocally:
Following the speech excerpt above, the book goes on to say...
This is why the First Amendment of the Constitution provides that "Congress shall make NO law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof."
I wonder what the Founders would be thinking now if they were to witness Obama giving his commencement speech when, from what I'm given to understand, he will be meeting the controversy head-on with respect to his beliefs which are so contrary to Catholic beliefs regarding stem cell research and abortion.

Contrary to what some people think, the Founders truly wanted to encourage religions in this country. A lot of people have a completely mistaken interpretation of the term "Separation of Church and State" which is so often used to boycott religions in schools and public properties/institutions.

Even with the many, many safeguards they put into the Constitution and other important documents to help religions flourish in the USA, it's obvious, to me at least, that in this important area that originally defined the fabric of America the Founders failed.

It's not their fault, however, as it failed more as a result of "statesmen" who rose to power long after they left.

There is a powerful reason the words -- "In God We Trust" -- were so intertwined with so many facets of this country.

But those who wish to abolish the words (and the ideals and beliefs behind them) have little concept of what this can (and most likely will) lead to, if successful, within a nation such as ours.

Those are the very people who truly need to read The 5000 Year Leap. But I haven't met any of them that are open minded enough to see beyond their own definition of "separation of Church and State" which they cling to so tightly.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Chrysler Dealerships Closing List Is Here

After some searching, I found the Chrysler Dealerships Closing List posted on the Baltimore Business Journal website. Here is a link to the full list of Chrysler Dealership Closings on their site.

Just right-click the link and choose "Save Target As..." to save it to your computer. It's 41 pages long. (It's a pdf document. You will need Adobe, most computers have it, to read it.) Or you can click to open it now.

I've also downloaded a copy. If the link above doesn't work, let me know in the comments below and I'll load it to one of my servers so you can grab a copy.

After a very quick search, it looks like 21 of the 789 dealerships are located in Indiana.

There might be more. I just used the quick text-search tool... didn't have time tonight to read through the list line-by-line.

From what I understand, GM hasn't yet compiled the list of dealerships they plan to close. They are said to be closing 3,600 franchises from their 6,200 franchise network. I have a feeling the impact of the GM Dealership closings will be felt much deeper considering the numbers... but still, I imagine there are quite a few unhappy Chrysler dealership/personnel upset right now.

I don't blame them.

My hearts go out to each and every one of them.

Imagine, if you dare, that ...say... McDonald's decided to close over 50% of their franchises here in the USA. Can you imagine how many people would be impacted?

You all know my stand on the wasteful Government spending by this Administration since it took over the reigns of governing. And yet, I am shocked and appalled by what they did to Chrysler -- and how they did it.

Look for the story behind the story.

Don't take the 30-second sound-bites from mainstream media as the only story on this. Look deeper, my friends... if you can stomach the ugly truth of what really happened here.

I owned a Chrysler Newport once.

It lasted more than 10 years, was still running even after I pulled it off the road... and was still in great condition with wide front bucket seats that you could snuggle deep into and feel totally safe.

I remember the longest trip I took with it driving 2 days and 2 nights non-stop with the exception of getting gas and a burger at a few truck stops on the way. It was my all time most awesome car.

I once hit black ice on a long hill doing about 70 miles an hour (errrr, probably faster)... As it slid close to out of control, I had a choice. Choose the ditch (beyond which was a mountain side) or the lake (frozen solid beyond the highway barricade).

I chose the ditch and gunned it, because I knew that Chrysler would take me into the ditch and right back out again... it was that solid.

I was right.

Unfortunately, it pulled a 360 degree on me once back on the highway and I ended up slamming right back into that 10 foot snow-drifted-in ditch.

Even so, after being towed out, that car still ran like a dream and there wasn't even a scratch on it.

And then there is another unrelated story about the baby moose that hit my passenger mirror. That was a different place, different time... and the car fared better than the moose, considering there was just a slight dent in the backside of the mirror whereas the baby moose stood stunned for several minutes before ambling off after its mother into the forest.

Those were good times.

Good times.

The story isn't over yet. The article over at the BBJ indicated, "It's expected that the dealers will have a right to appeal Chrysler's decision." [link to full story]

Stay tuned to this one. It ties into my post the other day.