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) 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...