Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Mitt Romney in Poland "Kiss my ass and shove it"

Man this guy's the comedic gift that keeps on giving. Is he getting lessons from Herman Cain or something? Blunders are Us has nothing on this campaign. A man that just can't resist insulting any crowd he appears before. His staff is following Herr leader.

The score card:

UK - Not ready for the olympics yet? Looking out of the rear of 10 Downing street? I think the term used by the Brits is a "Barclays" Look it up in a rhyming slang dictionary.

Palestine - Failing because they have no culture? And we're back to bomb bomb bomb bomb bomb Iran. Saw where that got McCain. But for Raw Money and the rest of the rightards they seem to have forgotten what it's like to have your home taken away from you and relocated then surrounded by a tall wall.

Poland -And now we have the latest gaffe. It wouldn't surprise me if Mittens told them Hitler only invaded their country to help out.

Maybe he should just issue a prepress release with a blanket apology before his next stop. But as was mentioned in prior posts that's not how this clown rolls. It's insult first then try and walk it back or spin it as best you can. Only his spin doctors are running out of revolutions. With a staff like his who needs enemies? And don't be trying to take a photo or get an interview. The black curtains are drawn tight on the clown bus. Wouldn't want the jokes spilling out before they are fully developed. But then I forget he's a natural at this. Must have taken years to develop such disconnects. But that's what happens when the focus was on a bunch of numbers on a balance sheet and not actual people.

So ends the Griswald... er Romney European vacation campaign stops.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Oil oil everywhere...ah let's just leave it in the ground

This is what the fight is about. Does wonders for the landscape eh?

The reason for more study about the Keystone pipeline. Enbridge spill A spill of 1000 barrels of oil (that's 42,000 gallons for those who don't know) in Wisconsin Friday caused anger among local residents. The bulk of the oil was said to be cleaned up by late Saturday but no mention about all the contaminated soil that will have to be dealt with which could take months. This was after another spill two years ago that did great damage to the Kalamazoo river. The company promised to make changes in their procedures to prevent future spills. Sound familiar?

I can think of six good reasons why the extensions of Keystone pipeline should not be built. But a little background so you can get the whole picture. Trans Canada the company responsible for the pipeline had bough out Conoco Philips' stake in the project a few years back. But even before that the unions responsible for constructing it were against it stating that it would not benefit employment and would risk canadian oil security. After all the oil was being pumped out of the country and into the U.S. The Canadian government disagreed and signed the necessary permits to continue anyway. Part of the line was built stretching from Alberta to Nebraska then to Illinois while another was built south to our reserves at Oklahoma. What remains is a connection from Oklahoma to Houston, Texas. From there it would be loaded onto tankers and sold on the open market most likely China. So what's coming here right now is being refined here and more than likely used here. There is another phase that would tie Alberta directly to Oklahoma in one straight shot but that is the 4th and final phase if this gets built at all.

So why all the fuss? First there was the cost overruns. What was to cost $2.5 billion soon turned into over $5 billion. And this doesn't include the law suits for the overruns.
Second is the reputations oil companies have with spill response. Not so good after the Deepwater Horizon spill. And even though the companies have said they have cleaned up their act there is still not much change in the way they operate. It's still a matter of using what amounts to paper towels to do the job. Oil absorbent pads have not changed in 40 years.
Thirdly you have the type of oil coming through the line. It's tar sands oil the most corrosive of all petroleum products and much thicker than light sweet crude. Cleaning it up would take a bit more work and is actually more toxic.
Forth, no one could calculate accurately the amount of damage to either the environment or to human health when a spill happens and we know it will.
Fifth, exactly how many jobs would be created? I've heard estimates between 6 and 12 thousand employed after which maintenance crews are very limited in numbers, a few hundred at most. It would take less than 18 months to complete if that. Well paying but temporary jobs.
Lastly the only ones who would benefit from such a pipeline would be the oil companies because they would be the ones profiting with fees to Canada for it's use. States lose because have waved the property taxes on the line. And America as a whole doesn't benefit because the oil is sold on the open market. And stop to think who gets stuck with the whole bill when there's a spill?

But this won't stop the Harper government and the Canadian oil companies from forging ahead. Harper is after all nothing more than a Canadian republican and is following their playbook. They are set to build yet another line from Alberta to British Columbia so that they can ship oil directly to China. They've even loosened environmental regulations to speed things up. This is much to the dismay of the locals, First Nations tribes, and the BC government who get little benefit in the deal and all the clean up responsibilities.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Rob McKenna gets another award

In his current TV ads candidate for Washington state governor states that he'll:

Expand learning with more focus on higher education

Have the state cover 50% of higher education costs

Make the state business friendly by lowering taxes

And create jobs

Hey dumbass! How are you going to expect to hire more teachers, pay half of the tuition costs and expand employment when you're cutting taxes? What are you going to do pull the money out of your ass? Or maybe you have a money tree in your back yard and we can all come and pick the greenbacks. Also thinks he can pay down the state debt with this plan. Hey Sparky it didn't work for Bush what makes you think people will buy that crap again?

So for you Goober this award is for you.

Fits right in doesn't he.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Clown Circus world tour

I'm sure you've heard all the gaffes from the republican candidate even before he set foot on UK soil. So much of this is looking familiar much like the end of Hilary Clinton's run but too her credit she had enough sense to change up her remarks to the crowd she was speaking to. So as time passes and the election season draws near it makes one wonder exactly how the clown handlers will manage. All the ads in the world aren't going to cover up an image that's in your face once Mitt opens his mouth. I can now see why even his own party finds such distain for the man. Who hasn't he insulted? And now on a global scale. Makes you wonder what he'll say should he set foot on the African continent. Note to the clown wranglers: You might want to check out the CIA fact book and do a little coaching before Mittens opens his mouth and puts his foot in it again.

If the gaffes even before the Olympic games weren't bad enough there was a 25,000 pound per plate fundraiser for Mitt. So now we're whoring on the world market are we? Oh but I forgot this is a global economy and anything can be had if the price is right. I guess now he'll pop down to a few African countries and make off with oil money from a few dictators. Easy pickings for a guy that broke up companies for a living. Wonder if there's any Nigerian princes in Mitts' family tree.

So the next stop is Israel. Let's see what insults he can come up with there. If you're thinking something about free air and nose lengths then you're ahead of me. But I'm sure he'll throw in something to offend Arabs there as well. That's how he rolls.

It appears that blogger Major Conflict has found a list of the perfect gaffes for Mitt - Possible top 10s for Raw Money

Friday, July 27, 2012

Dead beaver Friday

That's one dead beaver

Just noticed a bunch of people have passed this week. Gone to the great reward. Croaked. Kicked the bucket. Bought the farm. So thought I give a run down on who's passed over just the last three months. All those actors and entertainers from a by gone era of the 50s are dropping like flies. Here's a list:

Donald "Duck" Dunn music - played in the Blues Brothers movies
Junior Seau - sports football
Vidal Sassoon - fashion
Carroll Shelby - sports auto racing
Donna Summer - music singer
Robin Gibb - music singer the Bee Gees
Doc Watson - music
Richard Dawson - entertainer Family Feud and Hogans Heros
Ray Bradbury - Literature science fiction
Frank Cady - entertainment parts on Ozzie and Harriet and Petticoat junction
Rodney King - caused the LA riots when cops beat him
Leroy Neiman - art painted abstract paintings of sport scenes
Nor Ephron writer wrote Sleepless in Seattle
Doris Singleton actress parts in I Love Lucy My Three Sons and Dick Van Dyke
Don Grady- played Robbie on My Three Sons
Andy Griffith - played Andy Griffith Show, Matlock and many other parts
Celeste Holm - played Oklahoma on broadway All about Eve and High Society
John Lord - keyboardist for Deep Purple (smoke on the water)
Sally Ride - astronaut
Shermin Hemsley - played George Jefferson on the Jeffersons
Chad Everett - played Joe Gannon on the 70s show Medical Center

And as usual the dead banks later.
UPDATE: We have one dead bank this week in GA.
The parking lot index was at 12 this morning. Not a good sign.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

News you can't use and could probably care less about

Another one of those whiz bang thoughts occurred to me today. One of memory. From the earliest learning to the present we have evolved into something devoid of memory. In that ever hectic quest for technology our thirst for all the bells and whistles has interfered with our ability to remember. How so? We read and read and yet forget most of what we've read because it lands up forgotten in the electronic black hole of the past. Correct me if I'm wrong. You read an article about this or that and quickly go on to the next and then the one after that. At some point the process becomes more important then the product. Don't forget to bookmark that you might forget it. We rely too much on our notes and files neatly tucked away in history tabs to actually remember much. Is it any wonder people howl with laughter at Jay Leno's Jaywalking segment. People with supposed degrees of higher learning not knowing who the Vice President of the United States is at present. No problem, we can Google it. So it does make one wonder if the likes of this generation could survive should the electronic age collapse and people actually had to rely on memory and thought. Too much is done for us automatically. And no cheating, even libraries are shifting to the cybersphere. Did you get that? No? Okay then on to the next latest and greatest non informative event.

Seen here is the Saudi Women's track team getting ready for the Olympics.
It should be noted that the high hurtles and pole vault could be quit interesting this year.

In baseball news it looks like the Mariners have pulled yet another boner by trading their best outfielder Ichiro. Note to owners: Yeah I really want to watch a bunch of minor leaguers play ball at premium prices. And don't give me the crap about team building. You've been saying that for the last ten years. You get one or two decent players, keep them for a couple of years then trade them for wash ups or rookies. Hey you think maybe you could pull Roger Clemmens or Nolan Ryan out of retirement or maybe Jamie Moyer back. You could pick them up cheap. Or maybe bring back steroids. Like unlimited hydros we could have an entire league of Goliath's.


Greenland is melting

Scientist studying the country don't know if this was caused by global warming or a fluke event. They are certain that the ice at the edges is far thinner than years past and is caused by climate change. This current event happened over a period of just four days!
This is a similar high pressure area that's been hanging over the midwest for the past several weeks causing triple digit temperatures. Go ahead fire up the barbe and keep stoking the coal for the generator plants, mother nature doesn't care right?

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Sometimes you can't see the forest for the trees

A little something that changed my perspective in on the job safety. Amazing as this may sound I've gone over 20 years in a profession that has a fairly high rate of injury with little to no major incidence of bodily harm. I was even at one time on the safety committee with the focus of helping others go home with all their limbs intact. But looking back I see now that the primary focus of most companies is with minor injuries and the avoidance of lost time claims. Even the smallest injury on the job costs a company between $1000 and $2000 just for the filing process with Labor and Industries.

But as I said things changed with the Deepwater Horizon explosion and Gulf oil spill. As I said the greatest know factors of an on the job accident are slips, trips, falls, and objects falling on you. Of these I have been witness to plenty. But I never once considered process safety until the investigations of the Chemical Safety Board.

From their latest findings:
Houston, Texas, July 24, 2012 – In preliminary findings to be released today at a public hearing in Houston, U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB) investigators examining the Deepwater Horizon explosion in the Gulf report that companies like Transocean and BP, trade associations, and U.S. regulators largely judged the safety of offshore facilities by focusing on personal injury and fatality data (such as dropped objects and slips, trips, and falls), that overshadowed the use of leading indicators more focused on managing the potential for catastrophic accidents.

Looking back I can think of several instances where things could have gone terribly wrong and it was only luck that things didn't. A little ignorance is bliss or so they say. But all of this did change my perspective and made me ask a few more questions about the processes occurring around me even if they had nothing to do with our own mission. We are always on the look out for the "what ifs". I believe they call that risk assessment. But now we needed to have a few more to add to the list. The basics have been repeated so many times that they are ingrained in every long time workers' head. Slips trips falls electrical hazards chemical hazards and heat stroke or stress can be found on just about any safety meeting sheet. But it takes a sharp eyed supervisor and alert workers to spot the many other dangers and that's where the importance of good communications comes into play.
Will companies learn anything from all of this? I seriously doubt it. Not as long as bean counters rule. The bottom line always supersedes any safety issues. That is until enough people die and it cuts into the profit margins. I've seen it too many times. The lower management bosses who cheat and are hailed as heros until they get caught by a regulatory agency. Then it's as if upper management never heard of them. With the accidents at BP had they been a smaller company they'd no longer be in business. Most companies get three strikes and then the fines are so high it usually ends their operations. Not so with a larger corporation making millions or billions because the fines are set for such things at $1000 $10,000 and $100,000 which would be pocket change for them. And for any deaths there's liability insurance. Any hit there would be as a premium increase. Most regulatory agencies with limited staff only have enough time to look at paperwork. If it's all in order then it's move on to the next inspection. That's the reality of the situation. Even then much is overlooked or worse ignored. We've seen what's happened with oil spills and again with the financial sector. Self regulation doesn't and won't work.

Hope I haven't bored you to death. That could be an occupational hazard if you're reading this at work. Just what are the health effects of boredom? Never mind it just came to me. Just flip on the ad for cable TV as in "don't sell you hair to a wig shop".

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Tuesday funny....because everybody needs a laugh

Yazzanaxatumsalax (try saying that three times real fast)
Never in the annals of pharmaceutical science has such a unique and multifaceted approach to the plethora of problems of life in this hectic fast paced modern times. But now through months of extensive research the good folks at Krelm Drugs LLC* have come up with what is believed to be the ultimate break through. A simple capsule taken once daily to treat and relieve the following symptoms, ailments and other life's problems:

Birth control
Breath freshener
ED treatment
Hair restorer

That's right the multilayered capsule contains just about everything from the medicine cabinet we could squeeze into a pill and still be capable of passing through to the stomach. Highly tested** this medication has been proven mostly safe and moderately digestible (hence the addition of antacid) and recommended by doctors*** the world over. Developed by a Dr. Drake the renowned ear nose and foot specialist while he was on the run..er..sabbatical in darkest Africa. Formulated from the purest of mine tailings from the copper mines of Mozambique.

This highly sought after medication can only be had through our special internet offer. With just three easy payments of $399 left under the third stone next to the tree by the bridge in Central Park. Place your order (cash only) in a plain envelope marked "Nigerian Prince". (You didn't think he'd leave an electronic trail to follow now did you?)

Warnings - May cause bloating, rash, hives, enlarged nipples, heart palpitations, ringing in the ears, and an increase risk of fungal infections. If an erection lasts more than 4 hours find more women.

*Operates from a Liberian registered oil tanker somewhere off the coast of Africa.
**Tested on Mbuti pygmy convicts of central Africa.
*** Nigerians with online degrees. If you pay them the ransom they will release your daughter.

Monday, July 23, 2012

A neat and clean nefarious scheme

(No mask required)
We've seen bits and pieces how this little scheme works from the likes of 60 Minutes. But that was only a brief glimpse by outsiders much like seeing an envelope being passed under the table at an upscale restaurant. I speak of the supposedly legal method of hiding loot from the tax man. We saw the building that housed over 2000 companies discretely tucked in the Cayman islands. But no one has explained the process where by a company can get away with such unethical practices. It was explained to me once years ago but I thought little of it until now when the BBC did a bit of investigating in the matter. They of course didn't reveal the exact process but gave a little insight into the extent of the damage. Damage that is to the world economies.

Simply put it works something like this. A large corporation and many smaller ones as well establish a subsidiary company in the Caymans. This is a nation that refuses to reveal anything about the cash flowing in from around the world. To do so is considered a crime by their thinking. Now we know where the offspring of the Pirates of the Caribbean landed up. The corporation sends documents through these "shell" companies (after all there's no employees actually there and nothing produced). And it doesn't matter if it's a profit or a loss because anything can be seen as a benefit to the corporate bottom line. If the company on American soil is showing a large profit then the sister operation in the Caymans shows an offsetting loss and the corporation lands up paying no taxes for the year. And if that weren't bad enough the corporation relies on other companies set up to do it's dirty work. They are the ones who account for all the transactions and shuffle the cash around. Plausible deniability I believe is the term.

The other part of this scam is for corporations to place their profits into an off shore account. They inform the IRS that they have paid all their taxes to that foreign government. When asked by the foreign government for its' cut of taxes the corporation informs them that they have paid their taxes to the U.S. government. The real trick here is how they document such bogus information. And I'd all but bet that some palms were greased in the process. What's ten or twenty grand to a company that's making billions and hiding trillions?

Corporations Trillions Hidden via BBC news report

You think this shell game will stop any time soon? Think again. It was a campaign promise by Obama to clean up this mess and yet not one piece of legislation has made to the floor of the house or senate. Why? Because those in the house and senate are part of the game. And Mitt the biggest player is running for office. Even he admitted that a blind trust is a scam.

The extent of the problem is far greater than anyone first though. You may be thinking in the billions or hundreds of billions but this problem is in the double digit trillions. Equal to the entire economies of two nations combined was the last guesstimate. And that was only for the cash. We all know what happens in a monopoly game when only one or two players land up with all the cash and properties. It's game over.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

All set for Pi Day?

My favorites are key lime and mincemeat. Okay it's really a play on:

Pi Day which is really about that mathematical thingy that everybody forgot right after high school geometry class. Anybody here (excluding maybe Stu Savory) ever have a need to use π in their day to day lives? Thought not. Only bits and pieces of algebra I've every used is to calculate driving times and distances with the formula RxT=D. Even having to build complex containment systems for work soon resulted in knowing calculations off the top of my head. Building dimensions tend to be fairly standard after all.

So why July 22 for Pi day when it should be March 14? Actually March 14 is the real pi day. (What an impostor?)
It's really Pi Approximate Day which is 22 divided by 7 in mathematical jargon. How that effects the price of tea in China is beyond me so I'll leave that to the brainiacs. As I've said math was never my forte.

So does this mean we must celebrate with mock apple pie?

Saturday, July 21, 2012

The human mind

Packed neatly into that two plus pound package at the top of our bodies the brain is the most complex pieces of organic equipment. No computer on earth could match it's functionality for it's size. A bio chemical electrical control system with a sense of self. And yet with only minor imbalances can have devastating impacts on the rest of the organism. All manner of bodily function is under its' control. But it takes only slight variations in blood flow, oxygen intake and chemical balance to throw the entire organ out of whack and along with it the rest of the body. An arterial blockage or an increase or decrease in blood pressure can cause a shift in cognitive though processes. Drugs can have a similar effect as can exposures to certain chemicals exposures.
Pharmaceutical companies can only guess at the effects such drugs they produce because there is no owners manuel for the human brain.

So it's with bewilderment that an individual with a seeming high I.Q. could carry out such a heinous act. Is there truly a thin edge between brilliance and insanity? What motivational factor could be the root cause of such a shift to the irrational? Maybe we will discover the causes as more unfolds or maybe not. Time will tell. The one and only question at this point is why? And this leads to the other greater philosophical question. Is man inherently evil? We love we hate we are somewhat self centered but the bulk of us go about our daily lives in relative harmony. Each of us has our own quirks but not usually to the extremes. There are those who've been bullied and yet sought no bullies' revenge. But it does make one wonder of the thought processes of this individual. Was every kind word directed at him perceived as a threat? And why the elaborate plan to wreck such havoc? As was said before time will tell.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Friday beaver gone berserk!

Dang never knew beavers got this big!

crazed beaver attacked two girls as they swam in a lake at a popular beauty spot leaving them with serious injuries.
Eight-year-old Annabella Radnovich and her 11-year-old sister, Alyssa, were playing with their cousins at Lake Anna in Virginia's Spotsylvania County when the 65 pound animal bit and scratched their legs.
The sisters were rushed to Spotsylvania Regional Medical Center after the attack just before noon on Sunday.

Don't mess with the Bev when he's working I guess.

In other news I see our oil companies have managed to weasel their way into the Iraqi oil fields with a deal with the Kurds. For those who may have forgotten the U.S. under Bush (more than likely Cheney) wrote the original oil policy for that nation only to have it overwhelmingly rejected. Gee I wonder why? More at Kurd oil deal

Odd that I wrote this post last night prior to the news of the Colorado movie theater shooting. Maybe some xanax or other anti depressant are in order. At any rate berserk seems to have been predictive word choice.

As usual Bank fails later.
Parking lot index at 12 :-(
And we have 5 banks hitting the skids this week in FL GA and IL.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

I've got nothing today so...

Let's get the party started!

Toga party anyone

Hold the rice.

That's some mean punch. And don't step in the dew dew.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

News you can't use and could probably care less about

Sometimes the news becomes so predictable that you don't even have to read it. I throw up a template for your viewing pleasure. Don't forget to wash rinse and repeat.

(Fill in candidate's name here) slams (fill in opponents name) for (pick one or any of the following) 1. Corruption 2. Tax evasion 3. Slander 4. Morals charges 5. Lying... (okay think you get the picture)
(Senator/Congressman) after being caught in (restroom, motel room) had no comment to the (charges, accusations, rumors) of his (affair, tryst, relationship, encounter ) with (his intern, the stripper, the motel maid)

Crime (Always an attention getter if it bleeds it leads)
In (pick a city)(pick a state) The suspect (always include his/her middle name) was (shot, stabbed, strangled) to death from (self inflicted, by police, neighbor, estranged spouse) after a (domestic dispute, altercation, robbery of a (bank, connivence store, liquor store or mall shooting). The suspect was described as (quiet loner, disturbed with mental problems, a nice young/ old man/ woman) (well loved, unknown to his neighbors) And had (always, never) been in trouble with the law. Police are still searching for a motive.

Economy (Spin artists love this meat for fodder)
The markets are up today after dismal news about future economic forecasts. The DOW surged ahead on news several european nations may default on their debt. The price of oil made significant gains on news of a world economic slow down. Lay offs at (pick a tech firm) caused an uptick in the company's stock with only a glimmer of hope that fourth quarter earnings will be in positive territory. Employment figures came in as a positive note with (pick a positive number) jobs added for the month causing a concern that profit margins could not be met. In turn the markets dropped by (pick a percent) on the news.

After being arrested for DUI (pick a noted player) of the (and a team) has just (signed, been released) (to from) a (one year,multi year) contract that could be worth (think of an incomprehensible figure). The player had (no comment, expressed extreme remorse) when questioned about his actions. Said he will (work hard, take leave of absence) and hopes for a second chance to prove (himself/herself). Team (managers,owners) are (considering, mulling over, have reached of final decision) about what to do with (player's name).

A simple matter there of predicting just a bit less or more than the expected outcome. Or shall we label this the weather that wasn't quit what you expected? Let's face it they have a 50/50 chance. Either it rains or it doesn't. Here that's easy. Just predict rain and when it doesn't everybody's happy. Unless there's a long dry spell. Historically we only get about three weeks of sun here anyway. Get over it. Is there such a thing a extremely moderate?

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

So Obama is doing a bad job ... sorry the data says otherwise

The first chart here shows the housing valuations. Note it hit bottom under George W. Bush.

Second chart show Gross domestic product. That's what the nation produces. Again in a positive direction.

This is the bikini chart measuring employment. Red being under Bush the blue under Obama. And again from negative to positive. Even as things slowed it was still going up and not down.

And the last chart here shows what the Dow Jones Industrial average did from 08 to present. Sure looks like a positive direction to me.

So when Romney opens his trap and sounds off about how bad things are under Obama it's nothing but bold face lies. You can see that for yourself. Sorry Mitt the numbers don't lie but you sure do. Now tell us again how you weren't part of Bane when your name was clearly on the ownership papers. You can't etch-a-sketch your way out of this one or any of the other bull your trying to feed us.

If you hadn't guessed I hate liars.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Acronyms and Abbreviations

Is it any wonder why we have such a hostile society today? That shall be addressed l8r.

There are approximately 171,400 words in the Oxford English dictionary. 46,000 of which are obsolete. Leaving 125,000 for general usage. However we know that the average vocabulary is lucky if it hits 25 or 30 thousand. But like yesterdays' fashion trend of wearing spats, words fall out of grace. How "retro" I believe is the latest term. Aside from obsolescence we have the latest trend of cramming ever more verbiage into the limiting confines of cyberspace. Slicing and dicing the language is nothing new for it goes back to ancient times when free expression could land your head at the end of a pike. But does all the mincing of language make for better communications? Granted it's time and space saving but easily misunderstood. A recent check of the innertubes reveals that there are 600,000 text abbreviations. If that's not a recipe for disaster I don't know what is. You can note that much of today's text has more to do with explaining the first misinterpreted text than a continuation of the dialogue.

It seems we are never satisfied with some simple explanation of a process or organizational name but must add some catchy tech talk or cute acronym. Pick any profession or organization and you'll find we're all guilty. When a garbage man (person) becomes a sanitary engineer we know the extremes have been met. I found this truly infuriating when taking a weatherization course. I believe they call it weatherproofing in other countries just so you won't be confused. At any rate a process, which any trained monkey could accomplish, was raised to the level of rocket science by the mere requirement of learning the tech talk. How friggin complicated is it to calk a window or install insulation? But I guess the higher powers had to justify the expense and confuse the customer in the process.

Now if you really want a prime example of neatcy cutecy acronyms and abbreviations look no further than our government. Just type in "Department of" and see what comes up. Making one wonder if they do anything at all considering we may not know what they do in the first place. Kafka would have better luck making it through this maze. And just how do they justify their existence when their purpose is so vague? Why with tech speak, acronyms and abbreviations of course. And if someone would catch on to the ploy then it's time for an update. Can't have the commoners actually understand what you're doing now, they might realize they could do it themselves and where's the profit in that?

Now before you comment don't forget to fill out your DDY/ 72658 forms submitted in triplicate. All entries must be submitted no later than 7/14/12 void where prohibited. WTF GTH ULB.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Friday business beaver and more Raw Money slams

Here we have, I'll call him Buckey for lack of a better name, playing his violin. Is Rome burning? You betcha. But fear not Romney er I mean Buckey has an ample supply of gasoline to add to the fire. Gaffs and blunders? He's full of them. Nothing like insulting the crowd you're talking to with plans of slashing the very safety nets relied on by plain folks. You remember the little people who just might be crazy enough to vote for you. And then there's Bane. Slowly becoming the bane of your existence. So which was it were you retired, on leave or just lying to the American people? Vulture capitalism isn't easy to hide you know. It leaves a paper trail. Character? I've seen more scruples from a street thug. And who would give his golden seal of approval to this miscreant? If you said Oil Can Dick our former slippery slim of the last administration then you get today's gold star. The man to have in the event of another 911 I believe was the quote. Ha! The Raw Money er Buckey would probably have sold them the planes but not before he leveraged the buildings to some foreign outfit. And not to forget making a cool bundle by hedging on their destruction, planes and buildings both. Because that's how he rolls.

To sum up what's become of this mass of living tissue disguised as a candidate that can be done in one phrase "I got mine, the hell with you, you're on your own. And don't forget to vote for me in November."

For shame to desecrate the reputation of our furry friend here but that's how I use and abuse beavers here on Fridays. Sorry little fella I'll leave you to get back to your dam building on the stream.

Bank fails later.
Parking lot index stands at 10

UPDATE: One more bank failed in Missouri today. And after the Chase debacle I see more folks closing there accounts there. Way to go Jamie.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Romney pulls a Faux pas and it's not fashion

We've seen this picture before, first with Social Security and then again with Medicare. The doom and gloom sayers like the kid screaming "the sky is falling" are at it again. Like bratty kids you ask them "well did you actually read the Affordable Care Act?" And of course the answer is "No". Usually followed by "I don't have to it was Obamacare". I find this particularly interesting considering it was patterned after the same legislation passed in Massachusetts by a republican governor. And in the bill are many parts worked on and approved by republicans in the House committees and sub committees. In fact this was much the same bill that Nixon tried to get going when he was in office. But I guess hypocrisy runs deep these days.

The right would like nothing better than have you believe that their solutions are something different than those evil socialist european countries. But what's their plan? It's to raise taxes on everyone but themselves and cut government jobs, slash retirements and anyone left gets a pay cut. That sure sounds exactly what's going on in Greece and Spain and all the rest of those evil euro nations.

Mittens pulled a grand faux pas yesterday by telling a gathering of the NAACP that he'd eliminate Obamacare. The round of jeers lasted 15 seconds. It wasn't so much his position on the matter that raised the ire, anyone can have a different view, but it was the several minutes of bashing the president prior that drew the negative response. And then there's the fact that Romney has no substitute to sell in it's place. Romney later stated that he spoke with leaders of the NAACP only to find out that these "leaders" were hand picked and flown in just for the event, none of whom were actual NAACP leaders. Sad to think that Mitt carries around some black folk in his back pocket.

If I didn't know any better I'd say this is nothing more than a ploy. A rouse if you will to get big bucks into state and local politics. They do after all need to get a stronger foothold in the House and Senate if they expect to forward their agenda of national thievery. And let's face it that's all this is. The money flying around may seem like big bucks to us but it's pocket change compared to changing laws that will mean billions later on. Wouldn't you trade a half billion for 10?

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Mitt Romney

Rubber and glue.
You can be absolutely certain that every word that comes out of his mouth is a vilification of his very own character and principles. He has called Obama every name in the book and a few that aren't there. How anyone would consider such a choice is beyond reason. Take any of the issues and talking points he's been blathering the last several months.
1. Health care - A government take over? Hardly. If anything this was a gift to the Insurers. They get 30 million new premium payers and I'd bet most of them are healthy. Only thing seen from Romney was his support of the Ryan plan. The Ryan plan - to give you a $5000 voucher to buy insurance. All well and good until you stop to consider that insurance premiums run nearly double that for a single payer and triple that for a family leaving you to pay the difference. It was Mitts' very own plan instituted in Mass. that was used as a template for our national plan. And the party that suggested national insurance exchanges now find that unacceptable now that it's part of the bill. Call it a penalty. Call it a fee. Call it a tax. It doesn't matter because whether we like it or not we all pay even for the uninsured. And that is getting way out of hand. Medical costs here have tripled in just the last 5 years.
2. Taxes - More of the trickle down economics that got us in this mess in the first place. He wants to lower upper income taxes down to 20% while raising everybody else's effectively playing Robin Hood in reverse. But what does he care as most of his money is in the Caymans or a Swiss account. And his tax rate was only 13.9% anyway at least that we know by what he showed.
3. Immigration - Doesn't really have a plan. Is some how hoping that people just self deport when they can't find jobs. Gave lip service to better identification checks for businesses and supports the Arizona papers please law. His non answer when asked about his position was to say he'll wait until after he gets into office to reveal his plan. Same with his tax returns.
4. Education - Loves the idea of charter schools because after all somebody should profit and who cares about the lower and middle class who'd have to foot the bill. It's getting hard enough to pay for all the fees of a public school even with help.
5. Social Security - Would love nothing better than to get his hands on at least a portion of the money you put into the system over the course of your working life. After all there's all those Wall Street supporters to pay back should he get elected. Bush tried presenting this little idea at a gathering down in Florida and about got booed off the stage (and those where his supporters).

Republicans seem to be looking for another Bush a mere puppet they can hold up to the American public while they actively dismantle this nation. People rail about socialism not realizing that some of the best benefits we have in this country are socialist ideas. Go ahead grandma scream about socialized medicine but let's seen you pay full price for your health care when it comes out of your small Social Security check. And oh yes they'd like nothing more than to privatize that and make it smaller too. Take it to the casino and bet the entire check on red because you never know you might get lucky. And if not you'll be fighting the cat for the last can of cat food.

Sorry pal but knowbody is going to wait until after you're in office so you can reveal what your plans are. Would you buy a car with a car cover over it and the seller telling you you can see all the details after the sale is final? I thought not. Well this is what Mitt expects the American people to do. Sorry but I don't care for a grab bag election when the stakes are so high. I was hoping for something more than an empty suit for their choice of competitor. I thought wrong.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Slow news day so...

Some funnies for you viewing pleasure. Honest officer I didn't steal many of these.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Get out of here you capitalist dog. Where's the socialist cat?

Capitalism. To some it's become a dirty word invoking images of corruption and greed and western decadence. I don't quite see it that way. Granted there has been a perversion of the system of late but the fundamental concept is sound, It's just that adjustments must be made from time to time to keep the whole process in balance. At present few adjustments have been made.

Call it functional leveraging if you will. Most of us do it to some degree or other during our life. We borrow money for a car and therefore have use of something more expensive than if it were saved for it. Few could afford to plunk down the thousands of dollars required even for a good used vehicle. Same with a house. I doubt any of us could gather the neighbors together for a home raising these days. They'd tell you to bugger off. But somewhere along the line our grand system has indeed become corrupted. It was a slow but methodical process. Elimination of a law here or regulation there and soon greed reared its' ugly head. Promises of easy no work required profits fed the fire. And most fell for it. When things looked too good to be true it's because they were. We cast out any semblance of past reasoning and ran for the easy money. Never stopping for a second to question the rationale of the process or possible outcomes.

Bubbles here bubbles there it was bubbles everywhere. Almost perverse in the way they form and continue to grow until... We all know the outcomes. From the Savings and Loan debacle to Dot Com bust then Housing and now banking to who knows what it's all become unnatural cycles. You would think that we'd have learned a thing or two from past history but I guess that misquoted PT Barnum expression he never said holds. Another sucker born ever minute. And like Charlie Brown we once again get tricked by Lucy as she snatches the prize away and we land up flat on our backs.

So what's the next bubble one might ask? At present I'm seeing natural gas as a somewhat smaller bubble. The race is on to extract as much as is humanly possible. There's Russia, Syria, China, not to mention several countries in Africa and South America that seem to be in a race to the top. Even in the U.S. it looks like a gold er gas rush. But this is a bit deceiving if you think about it. While companies race to make a fast buck the world economy is slowing down and eventually we know what that will mean if we learned anything from the housing markets. An oversupply will drive down prices as the orders shrink but unfortunately it will be the little guys who will be hurt the most. Then when they are gone the rest of us will suffer. The fortunes will be made on speculation but now we have the swaps and hedges to consider. Let's just hope grandmas' retirement plan wasn't stashed there. What's truly disheartening is that the forces of supply and demand no longer apply. What was once easy to understand now takes a Phd., but it doesn't take a genius to figure out there are bubbles out there just waiting to burst.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Mixed nuts and the soup du jour. On second thought just a glass of water please

As the east coast gets flambéed as olde sole turned up the heat, in foreign news Turkey beefed up patrols as Syria plays a game of chicken with her neighbors. Sounding more like a fishing expedition as greece experiences yet more turmoil. Forget meatballs at least for the time being if you're cooking with ingredients from Buona Vita Inc. . But on further investigation it appears most of their food goes for institutional purposes. Don't know too many people who buy 30 lbs of anything at one time unless it's pet food and who can afford to dine out in these times. Way to go Boner (reference to the tan man head of our congressional House) just keep cutting food safety regs and you'll land up with food poisoning yourself!

In just the last 4 to 5 years we've had food poisonings from:
Tomatoes although they got a bad wrap it was actually peppers
Milk (you remember Chinese milk laced with plastic)

Really amazed that more of us aren't dead from the cut backs. Sorry but you don't fix a problem by ignoring it and hope it goes away. Our industries aren't self regulating as some would have you believe. It's all about production figures and profit margins and they don't care who gets killed in the process that is if nobody gets caught. Guess reputation means nothing anymore unless you're a reputed crime boss.

On the other end of the spectrum we have recalls for mislabeling. Some are understandable such as omitting allergenic ingredients. But failing to label a jar of peanut butter because it may contain peanuts is going a bit too far. I know some of us aren't the brightest bulbs on the planet but come on.

So to our senators and Congress critters we give you a nice heaping serving of e-coli, a side of salmonella, some listeria, and for desert our special mad cow moose. Yep just keep cutting those budgets right down to the bone and beyond and see what happens.

Is the water safe to drink? I thought not.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Actuarial beaver Friday

Not that beavers really care about cash but this is my evil plan to take over everything beaver at least on Fridays. Not that beavers care anything about a monetary system as they're too busy building their lodges in preparation for the winter. As warm as it's been getting better put some AC in those lodges this year.

I see nary a peep about the Barclays' scandal in the financial sites. But then again it'll take some doing to unravel this puzzle and I'd bet that the accused will start to run out of fingers to point in short order once this thing hits full stride. The markets today were focused on jobs or lack there of. As ugly as the news may seem people don't stop to consider that the direction of the numbers is headed upwards and not down as it was with the legacy of Bush. And you must give Obama a little credit for getting anything past the House filled with the Tea Bag crowd. Nothing like trying to run a foot race with people throwing garbage in your path.

In other buried news wikileaks just unleashed over 2 million documents from Syria's dear leaders computers. Not that it will make headline news or even light reading for the curious but it should provide plenty of evidence against Assad at his trial in the Hague if he makes it that far. What do you mean general you're going to visit relatives in Turkey for your vacation?

The markets the markets up down in and out. They pump them and dump them and watch them fall. As has been reported many times before this has absolutely little to do with actual market forces but blazing fast computers able to squeeze dimes out of nickels. Pay no attention to what the talking heads on the screen in front of you are saying, it's all infotainment. Meant to keep the sucker players amused while the big boys go about robbing the place. And a fine job they're doing. Always said to really screw things up use a computer.

As usual bank fails later.
The parking lot index* stands at 12 (not a good sign but then again the Highway bill just passed congress so we'll see)

* Index of cars parked in the neighborhood during the day representing local unemployment. 10+ = bad 7 or less = good

Update: And we have one bank in GA. that failed this week.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

You Barclays

For those of you who don't know that's English rhyming slang for wank. If you don't know what a wank is look it up in a slang dictionary. Not a very nice term to call a person. So it goes Barclays bank = "wank" hence the rhyme. Got to love those Brits and their creativity. We've heard or may have heard of the latest fines against this institution but nobody reported the actual extent of the damage and who else was in on the scam. I don't know all the details yet as it's all still under investigation but the meat of the crime was simple. The LIBOR which we refer to over here in the U.S. as the discount rate (that's the rates banks charge each other) was manipulated for the benefit of the banks. Not being set by the market forces of supply and demand this effected the price of all of the consumer loans things like mortgages, car loans and credit cards.
They have the nerve to call themselves professionals. They forgot to add the ending word, thieves.

The extent of the Damage
The fine which was in the $400 million range might seem excessive by anyones' standards until you look at how much money was involved. We're talking about $360 trillion dollars here. That's trillion with a T. That would be enough to easily take down the entire worlds' economy in a heartbeat. But the real questions remain to be seen. Does Barclays have enough capital reserves to cover even a fraction of the losses or insurance against a meltdown? Time will tell as the investigation unfolds. But don't expect too much information on this to be broadcast as such because to do so could in itself bring down banks and entire national economies. Not that that isn't happening already. What can we the little guys in this sea of sharks expect in the coming days? Well, if the whole thing doesn't collapse of its' own weight more and higher fees and penalties. That's the nature of incompetence and corruption to pass the problem of to those who had nothing to do with it. I know it's our fault for putting our money in the banks in the first place. It was just too tempting for the crooks.

Will we see some perp walks with CEOs trading in expensive suits for prison orange? I almost doubt it. While us peons can get jail time for stealing a loaf of bread these guys are making off with the treasuries of entire countries. Willie Horton was wrong. Don't bother going to a bank to rob it, own the bank! That way you can rob the entire city state and nation. Willie thought small I guess.
There's the derivatives and the swaps not yet disclosed and I'm almost certain that once this onion is peeled back there'll be nothing left at it's core. Debt is only seen as an asset on the banks books but to us only when it's backed with something of value. The trust lost here will be astronomical. Not that there was much to begin with in the first place after our last go round.
Just waiting for the day when every bank transaction at a bank will come with a fee whether deposit, withdrawal or payment. My god loan sharks will seem kinder after this is all done. Mark my words.

Barclays Bank

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Exploding heads and general catatonia

A Forth of July Extra read all about it:
Is it any wonder we're accident prone? Short of plugging ourselves directly into the wall outlet we have more distractions than a fruit fly in an apple orchard. Can't see how people do it. Multiple windows open on the computer screen following five ongoing chats with ear buds dangling listening to the latest tunes. Multiple cable channels with picture in a picture all the while tivo (is that still around?) records for later consumption if they remember what it was they so desperately wanted to see later. With smart phone at hand picking up a steady stream of abbreviated messages from people they only know by some catchy screen name. The phone probably with a higher IQ than the user. Internet video chats complete with picture sound and text and personal messaging to boot. And don't forget to Skype me when you get a chance. Ha! Who has the time or the memory? And with all these bells and whistlery and every manner of communication the primary comment first and foremost blurbed and texted echoing through this electronic maze of mass communication is of course "I'm bored" or "Waz Sup?".
It is a total wonderment that any of the tech savvy urchins of todays' youth can maintain a complete thought or follow a conversation longer than three words. They sit and stare dead faced at a screen for hours with only a momentary human expression. Hey somebody say something. Devoid of creativity it's always best to let the other guy go first and like a four way stop nobody does. So much fun to tweak the psyches of this crowd but one must take care not to go too far lest the troll hammer comes falling on your head. Always best to postscript a comment with a LOL or a smile. It was a joke I tell you. But the jokes on us as this is slowly becoming the bubble gum for the mind. That is what's left of the minds.
There is a wealth of good information out here in cyberspace but it's slowly being contaminated by a sea of misinformation and down right silliness. Sorry but I just didn't want to know that your dog got sick on the carpet and I sure don't want to see the video on Youtube. But I guess we're now stuck with both the good and the bad. Let's just hope we can keep this all free.

The banksters are at it again

Some whiz bang news just came out today that had wall street smiling. It seems there's a requirement under the Dodd Frank bill that requires banks to submit an annual plan for what they would do in the event of a failure of their institution. All this knowing that there will be no more free ride by the American taxpayers. All well and good you might think. Think again.

Resolution plans by Americas' largest banks

In reading through a couple of their plans one finds them passing the ball off to the FDIC and resolutions under the Dodd Frank bill. Okay then there must be some solution there or at least you'd think. Not to be. In vague terms a financial corporation such as a bank requiring full dissolution like a bankruptcy would be taken over by the FDIC or other receiver as listed in the bill. The assets would be sold but there was no mention of the liabilities. Assuming the liabilities were greater than the assets there's no mention of who gets stuck with the bill except the shareholders. At that point one would assume that the stock shares would be worthless so then what? There was mention of the FDIC being required to sell bonds and stocks to cover shortfalls but who in their right mind would buy them? Dodd Frank bill has holes big enough to drive a truck through.

The only good thing I saw in all this was the requirement to remove management and the board of directors responsible. And I don't think you'll be seeing anymore golden parachutes or bonuses this next time around and yes there will be a next time. The game hasn't changed much since 07 even after this attempt to correct things. But should we be surprised? When most of the input to this bill was provided by the very same people running the game in the first place.

So what going on that's barely reported. We know Barclays bank in the UK just got hit with a couple hundred million dollar fine for their con. And it's been reported that Chase lost $2 billion in their little scheme (some reports as high as $9 billion). To their credit the Barclays management resigned in disgrace. You think that would happen here? Not unless they were stuffing cash in their underwear while strolling out the front door.

Something is going to happen very soon because now I understand that a bunch of the wall street boys are moving overseas. Which can only mean it will make it easier to make this game more complicated. The fuse is lit and it's just a matter of time before this thing blows. I give it six months maybe less. So how's that for a Forth of July firework?

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

How much is too much?

We know that everything on this planet is based on balance. From the largest whales to the tiniest insect and even the ecosystem itself relies on cycles and a balance of nature. Too much of this or that and it's the end of a species or a river for that matter. It's so easy to see and understand. Too much dry sunny weather and there's drought. Too much rain and there's floods. But we leave the observations to the nerds who get some type of pleasure from gathering such statistics. Say what you will about a volcano spewing out more ash and toxic gases than what a country produces in a year but the fact is with 7+ billion of us on the planet all producing some type of waste on a daily basis, nature doesn't stand a chance.

It was just reported that 40,000 record high temperatures were recorded just since the start of this year. If that doesn't say something's going on then I don't know what would. What would convince the deniers of climate change that something ain't right? An anomaly they'd say. Nothing to see here move along. It doesn't take a genius to figure things out though. Just look at how efficient we've become at trashing our planet. A hundred or so years ago it took a couple of guys an entire day to fell a tree and now entire swatches of land are cleared in a day. Someone was finally smart enough to figure out that you can't keep dumping toxic waste into rivers without consequences. Even the lowly plastic grocery bag has turned into a major problem. And yet we slough it off, it's only my one bag I dumped on the ground. We forget how many more might think the same way in the millions or billions.

Our biggest problem is that we try to fight nature rather than work in conjunction with her. She will always win in the end. But it seems that in the process we are slowly killing ourselves. Look no farther than the increased rates of respiratory illnesses in just the last 40 or 50 years. Childhood asma was a rarity many years ago. In fact many of the childhood diseases are making a come back with a vengeance from an over use of antibiotics and lack of vaccines. Again nature is winning.

We always think more is better but that's not always the case. Because with more comes more waste and the consequences to the environment. We waved the flag over massive dam projects never realizing what the eventual damage to the rest of the eco system would be. So it will take broader thinking to solve ever and ever larger problems as we push forward. The days of the single family farm are about dead, replaced with factory farms and a new set of problems. To their credit the old farmers knew how to live in balance with nature and not suck every last nickel of profit from the land. Not so today with genetic engineering that's opened a Pandora's box of problems. Just ask the farmers of India who went bankrupt when their new high tech crops failed. All in the name of progress.

So to all who have experienced our country's current bout of blistering hot weather, this is just a preview of things to come. Deny it all you like but you know nature wins in the end.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Professor Sdrawkcab and how to spot a lie

Unfortunately not as funny as our current situation or is that backwards?

It's an age old means to dumbfound the masses by taking your weaknesses and labeling it to your opponent. And yet the masses have fallen for the ploy. The trick of course is to frame the dialogue in such a way as to make the illogical seem logical. That may work in quantum physics but in the big boy world you should find that an insult to your intelligence. Prime example is the current debate on health care in this country. But how can there even be a debate when there's a shining example in Massachusetts that's been around for a couple of years? And surely they've worked the kinks out of that system by now.

No, we are witnessing psychosis at it's very peak and it has become a sickness. We have witnessed such behavior in alcoholics in the latter stages. Any grain of rational though soon becomes irrational and vis versa. And we all know the end result of such people. So vehement is their thirst to return to power they will do or say anything. I've seen hookers with more self respect. This scenario has played out before. Ireland comes to mind where in their quest for change the IRA began killing their own under the premise of not enough support even by ardent supporters. That's when you know the end is near for no organization can think it can survive when it's leaders are thinning its' membership. That always seems to happen at the extremes of the political spectrum.

The right now has a laundry list of talking points that can easily be tagged to their own party. Obstructionism? Check (most filibusters in U.S. history) No votes? Check (the most again I'm sure) Nanny state? Check (who set up Homeland security and passed the Patriot act?) (and who would limit your intake of soda and restrict abortion?) Take away guns? Check (the Brady bill was passed after Reagan was shot nothing since). And it goes on and on too many to list.

Call it the logic of the illogical because who in their right mind would turn down federal help when their state is facing massive budget shortfalls? But like the bratty kid who didn't get his favorite flavor of ice cream pouts and stomps his feet. Oh well just more for the rest of us then. I hear nothing from the right during the wildfires in Colorado about wanting to send these federal firefighters home because they're a waste of taxpayer dollars. Because when reality sets in their rhetoric is silly. We are all in the same boat and only a fool would throw his lifejacket overboard.

And one last thought. We all know the story of the boy who cried wolf. When the facts were checked and the story found untrue nobody believed him any more. In the end the boy was eaten by the wolf. End result politically will be self emasculation.