Friday, July 26, 2013

Beaver friday - day of slack

Not a whole lot to write about so the beaver is sleeping at the moment. In the mean time some economic thingys to consider.
With a finger on the pulse of the world economic picture I do my best to to try and read the tea leaves of what's happening. Sorry for the mixed metaphor it's how I think on waking. I stumbled on an article about the German economy the other night that wasn't too heartening and this morning I read China's manufacturing is slowing down. I already knew that was happening as they set about with their own stimulus package to bolster their economy just a few months ago. I guess that didn't quite work as they had planned.

On further review as they say at football games things are looking just peachy. I don't buy it. We've seen this type of reporting just prior to the last collapse. Back then it went something like... We'll only experience a short term pull back as the fundamentals look strong and emerging markets are pulling ahead. A few months later the entire financial system froze up and stocks took a 7000 point hair cut. Back then for those who were keeping watch the market was just over 14,000.

I'm no financial guru but I don't see people running out to buy new cars, most of the homes I see being sold are at foreclosure and it seems keeping up with the Jones means who finally found work or didn't have their hours cut. People are trading goods and services like never before. True there may be a bit more work out there but it doesn't pay enough to cover the gas to get there. Gas is at $4 a gallon here now and going up.

And forget the financial news that's being reported on lame stream media. The other morning one article from one source reports how rosy things are in the Euro zone when just less than an hour earlier they were reporting that the zone was in stagnation. Is this some economic news psychosis? For some reason that James Bond movie comes to mind. You may recall it's the one where the cable news magnate starts manipulating news by reporting his own evil deeds. As North so aptly put it this is a luncheon of lies. But I think we're on to their game. They throw up a diversion be it a flood fire plane crash or royal birth to keep us distracted while legislation is covertly passed and the real economic figures are quietly slid past our turned heads. Who after all pays attention to " revised data" when it's buried so deep and always presented in a way that only a statistician could understand.

I'd sure like Riley's take on all this as he was closer to the action than I ever was financially speaking. What I do know is that not many rules were changed the last go round so we know that worthless paper is still being pawned off around the world to those dumb enough to buy it. They're playing a great game of musical chairs but the music is about to stop only in this case it's more like a game of hot potato. Who gets stuck with the defaulting debt?

We saw a report just the other day saying that housing starts were up over last months figures. That would be true since the weather in most of the country was pretty bad. Can't build a house with a tornado coming now can you? But if you really want an eye opener pop down to your local country courthouse on foreclosure auction day or take a gander at the legal notices in the back pages of the news paper. I've lived here over 30 years and have never seen more than one or two. Now you can count entire pages of listings. And this area is in the shadow of Boeing and Microsoft.

Bank fails later
UPDATE: No fails this week

Monday, July 22, 2013

Perverted priorities

(Oh I thought they were talking about this country not the middle east... carry on)

We hear about a local getting robbed at gun point with the robber getting away with maybe $20 50 or $100. It's a shock and we say "How can that happen in our neighborhood?" But when it's someone 2000 miles away who with a stroke of a pen takes away an old couples life savings we never hear anything about it. It's quietly hidden from the watchful eyes of main stream media. And not one of the perpetrators seems to see the inside of a jail cell. A financial slap on the wrist and it's back to business as usual. Change the company name and come up with a new scheme to bilk the suckers. And there are usually a lot of suckers to be fleeced. But we rarely see the aftermath.

There's the tragic deaths at a movie theater or school and we mourn for weeks on end about the loss, forgetful of the hundreds being killed on a daily basis in another country and not even reported. They're just numbers on a page as we distance ourselves from the reality. When we do see it have we reverted back to the days of gladiators where blood sport is now on a global level neatly packaged for your perverted viewing pleasure? 

Maybe that's a kinder ending when you stop to see what governments are doing to us of late. There's the slow and steady squeeze of austerity cuts all in the name of eliminating the debt, but we know better. The entire world system runs on debt. They have no more intention of paying it down to zero because to do so would mean a loss for them in our perverted system. For what is capitalism other than shifting debt from one place to another? A company borrows money for start up. It borrows money to stay running and when things get bad it borrows to stay open. If it ever does hit the magic pay off number another company will take it over, sell off the assets and leave it's workers holding the bag. A bag of debt and broken promises.

We think of people such as Helen Thomas the White House reporter as trailblazers. She actually did nothing out of the ordinary other than speak the truth. But now the truth tellers are looked upon as criminals like Manning and Snowden. What does this say to our children? That if you attain enough high standing you can lie to your hearts content and never be punished, but tell the truth and whoa be to you. You'll be locked up, possibly tortured and not see the light of day for years to come. Yes our priorities have become perverted.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Beaver friday and he's not too thrilled about anything

Boston bomber photo on Rolling Stones mag causes furor
I say baloney. None of us were born with a 45 in our hands so the kid went wrong somewhere along the line. That was the whole point of the article.

Martin's parents disgusted
As they should be because we're talking about a town that once had lynching of blacks not long ago. Being white doesn't always mean you're right.

Russian opposition leader gets 5 years for theft
Sounds like the old days of the Soviet Union. Jail your opponents.

Detroit goes bankrupt
Well when half your tax base leaves the city was there any other option? Those that remain can't get out because their houses are underwater mortgage wise. And the new auto industry only pays about half what it once did.

Stocks drop on tech earnings and oil rising
Again more baloney. The bulk of stock trades are done automatically by computer. When they hit a certain high it's sell off time with no human intervention. There was a time when the average Joe could understand the system. There was common stock and preferred stock and that was it.

News not quite reported

German finance minister visits Greece, government imposes laws against protesting
That sure didn't stop anybody from hitting the streets. Germany to give Greece $8 billion just to cover the interest on their debt. Sheesh I've seen kinder loan sharks.

And speaking of banks
Why the system will collapse shortly. Not much changed about the banking rules even after the 2008 meltdown. If anything things are worse this time around. People have had their savings drained while the banks continue to get nearly free money from the Fed. That money isn't going to do things that would have an eventual payback like roads hospitals and schools. It's being leveraged just like it was the last time with more phony junk shares being sold worldwide and hedge funds being used as cover when the whole house of cards comes crumbling down.

Gold that bastion of stability isn't so stable
While more shares of paper stocks are being sold a few companies are buying up the actual product, that is cashing in their paper to take possession of the real stuff. That should be an omen. Gold therefore has been leveraged out and those holding paper may soon find a new use for it, as toilet paper.

Bank fails later
UPDATE: No banks failed this week

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

News you can't use and it's hot and muggy so don't expect niceties.

Okay Pandora got her box burned for starters. The rest is downhill.

Travyon played a huge role in own death.
Okay ladies we'll remember that one the next time somebody is stalking you in Florida.

Bernanke says economy still facing headwinds.
What's the matter haven't your buddies on Wall Street finished pillaging the nations coffers?

Pope says he'll cut your time in purgatory is you follow his twitter.
What an arrogant prick. First he puts the hammer on whistleblowers so he can hide behind decrees, now he wants to blackmail his followers. Hey how about finding out about all those pedophiles you have amongst you and the money your church stole from it's parishioners?

Egypt gets to work amid protests.
Hey MB you lost power. The people didn't buy you brand of governing. Get over it.

U.S. ties outweigh intelligence squabbles.
Oh give me a break. Putin was the head of the KGB, he's loving every minute of this embarrassment.

Bank of America profits up 63% on CEO cost cutting
So CEO Brian Moynihan has figured out his next bonus based on the number of underlings he's fired.

Google ads to be blocked from sites offering pirated content
Oh thank you Google that'll save me from having to install ad blocker and not seeing your lame ads. Nothing like shooting yourself in the foot eh?

Marissa Mayer's Yahoo remains a work in progress
Yeah she's a piece of work. Nothing like taking something that works and messing it up. Remember the last time you guys tried to "update" things. And making everything purple? Yuck!

Monday, July 15, 2013

Monday morning mixed nuts

Some of the pilots names from that Asiana flight were released the other day they are according to KTVU : Captain Sum Ting Wong, Wi Tu Lo, Ho Lee Fuk and Bang Ding Ow. It's suspected that the individual in charge of the tele prompter was named Simpson.

Some pearls of wisdom (don't know exactly where these came from but they're good.)

99 percent of lawyers give the rest a bad name.

Deja Moo: The feeling that you've heard this bull before.

The 2 most common elements in the universe are hydrogen and stupidity.

Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society.

If at first you don't succeed, skydiving is not for you.

Vital papers will demonstrate their vitality by moving from where you left them to where you can't find them.

Always remember to pillage BEFORE you burn.

The trouble with doing something right the first time is that nobody appreciates how difficult it was.

It may be that your sole purpose in life is simply to serve as a warning to others.

Eagles may soar, but weasels don't get sucked into jet engines.

If at first you don't succeed, destroy all evidence that you tried.

Success always occurs in private, and failure in full view.

Change is inevitable...except from vending machines.

Don't sweat petty things...or pet sweaty things.

Hard work pays off in the future. Laziness pays off now. 

Friday, July 12, 2013

Friday beaver is sad

(Okay he looks dead because he is)

Loc Megantic
One half the downtown core of the small town is wiped off the face of the earth and the owner shows up days later to give an interview. When asked about the details and for an apology he shows little emotion and at times seems to joke about the situation shrugging his shoulders. When asked about how much he was worth he somewhat jokingly said "much less than I was the other day". How cruel and seemingly uncaring an individual can be after one of Canada's biggest train accidents. It's mind boggling.

The truly sad aspect of the tragedy is that people literally  vanished from the face of the earth in a mere few seconds. I have personally worked inside of oil tanks that size and can only imagine the fright those people must have felt in that town. In my case there was about 30 gallons of "product" left in the tank. One spark and the right conditions and I would have been burnt toast. But for the people of that town they had to stand and watch an event that could not be stopped. Once the train cars caught fire the fuse was lit and there was no way to stop it.

I guess you could call me something of a worry wart. I always try to consider the what ifs in dangerous situation. I credit that with keeping me alive the last 20 years or so. Not that I haven't made mistakes but the ones I've made were minor.  I guess my greatest fear is forgetting some minor but important detail and to date I have been lucky in that respect. But this isn't just about some worker making an error, it's about an entire corporate culture that puts profits above safety. Those at the top may tout how they keep everybody safe but in the background they turn their heads when rules are broken and safety is ignored. It's not until someone is caught that blame is laid and it's never on the higher ups who created the culture in the first place. The boys at the bottom get pats on the back when production is increased by less than honest means but whoa to him who gets caught breaking the rules trying to beat that production schedule.

For Canada this was an accident waiting to happen. The company had one of the worst safety records and yet was given special permission to run tanker cars that carried the oil. Corporate leaders focus on the costs of regulations and what it does to the bottom line yet somehow forget the greater costs when the worst case scenario happens. A few dollars off the bottom line can be far cheaper than the loss of life and the damage that happened in that small town. A very sad day for a small town.

Bank fails later...
UPDATE: No banks failed this week   

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

If it wasn't for disasters we wouldn't have anything to look forward to

A hurricane Sandy that wiped out peoples homes
A mass shooting at an elementary school
A bombing at a marathon run
Tornadoes in the midwest followed by more tornadoes
A burst pipeline and oil spill in Ark
Squeeze in a flood about every other week or so
A derailment in Canada that just about wiped out a town
Let us not forget the floods and fires that took out more homes than meets the eye.
Did I forget anything? I'm sure I did as this was only on the local level. Ah yes the plane crash, almost forgot.

Mr Mayhem seems to rule the day every day. If it isn't somebody getting blown up it's radiation leaking into the nearest body of water and don't get me started on food born illnesses. You could fear getting run off the road or shot on the way to work if you hadn't gotten the layoff notice and aren't there now. Can't even feel comfy in your own home with the rise of burglaries and armed robberies. What's that you say? Lost the homestead to a shady bank mortgage and the car got repoed. 

A volcano or nice earthquake makes for momentary headline news but only if they're big enough. No wimpy 5.2 or volcano doing a half assed spit will keep eyes glued to TV sets.  Has to be something big enough  so it can be analyzed to death by experts dragged from the ivy covered towers, but I'm sure in a pinch they'll grab an assistant to an assistant or maybe a resident assistant who's handy. Just slap the word expert in the underlying crawl and nobody will know the difference. He must know what's going on because he wears glasses and looks all brainy and such. We're all experts these days just ask us.

Ah the experts. Now we just know republicans are all medically trained to make the decisions about women's health because they all went to med school right? I didn't know they taught all that in political science class. Must be a very progressive institution. It's much like turning to a plumber when you need brain surgery. No wonder they're called the "stupid" party. Let's make that stick shall we? To his discredit Obummer isn't making things much better. For a constitutional lawyer he must have studied the Soviet constitution and drank the bong water too while in college. 

But let's face it we're in an instant Karma world with quick and cheap gratification. Spare me the details I only have time to read a tweet. Hey is that a penguin on roller skates I just saw? Better get it up on the old facebook wall before somebody else does. Sheesh!  Now if you'll excuse me the covers are calling but must check for bed bugs first. There are? Never mind I'll just fall asleep herrrrrrrrr.......   

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Back peddling = When somebody screws up and has to cover up what they did wrong

Somebody didn't check the brake lines or choke the wheels of a train in Canada and hundreds are killed. In 24 hrs they still aren't giving the number of dead or even an estimate. This is the safe clean burning oil and gas those bright sparkly commercials tout complete with fairy dust. But they provide all those jobs for generations to come or so they tell us. Seem to have forgotten a couple of things like the amount of pollution they add and the environmental damage this industry causes. And don't tell us pipelines are safer. The one in Mayflower still hasn't been cleaned up in spite of Exxons' insistence that it was. The stench of that dirty oil will remain for years to come not to mention what it did to property values.

And now we have the plane crash in San Francisco. The NTSB hasn't even really started the investigation and the CEO of the airline is ruling out pilot error because after all people don't make mistakes right? An incorrectly set altimeter wouldn't have anything to do with it would it? Ah but that's just speculation and we wouldn't want to do that at this time. In an earlier article the CEO ruled out mechanical problems so which is it? Has to be one or the other because there were no bird strikes or missiles to speak of in this case. Maybe it was the gremlin messing with the tail rudder (you remember the Twilight Zone episode). To his credit the CEO Yoon Young-doo apologized to the passengers and families and our people. You'll never hear that out of an oil company executive here. 

Then of course there's the back peddling of the news by about every news source around the world. Within minutes of this accident photos and short blips of news circled the globe and were seen on the front pages in such places as the Irish Times. The number of casualties injuries and passengers went up then down then back up and then down faster than the stock market before christmas. And the talking heads had to speculate about the terror aspects because that's what they get paid to do, keep the public in fear and make the story more juicy least the viewers turn on cartoons which might not have been a bad idea. The ghost of Edward R. Murrow is crying somewhere.  

Friday, July 5, 2013

Friday news beaver

Almost forgot the friday beaver as things got a bit busy around here. But this little guy looks like he had fun on the fourth.

Snowden gets offered asylum
And who really wouldn't want him with what he knows. He only spoke the truth about the illegal activities going on around the world.

Egypt the turmoil begins with clashes between pro and anti Morsi protesters
It'll be a long 8 months until a new leader is selected but rest assured another dictator will follow.

Judge drops acquittal request for George Zimmerman
As was expected as it only gave the defense more time to add to the defense. Short take: He's toast.

Pope John Paul II to be canonized
Yeah he ought to be canonized right in front of one for hiding all the pedophile scandals.

39 injured at California fireworks show
You're supposed to put the heavy shells near the middle of the platform not on the outside edge. 

Bank fails later
UPDATE: No bank fails this week

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Egypt land of the pyramids

There's more than meets the eye with Egypt and more lies here than could fill a stadium. While our main stream western media played up the arab spring making its' way across the desert sands other forces were at work setting up for another economic shift of wealth. Step back and look at the over all picture. For over 30 years we have used Egypt as our guardian of stability in that region. For those who don't know the Egyptian army is run like a corporation with each person working outside their military position at a job. But unlike our reserves our national guards of the U.S. who only have to serve for short periods the companies they work for are part of the military. An odd mix if you ask me or more pointedly a source of cheap labor. Egypt's army is the largest in the region.

The army had been up until recently a secular force. It wasn't until Morsi took power that members of the Muslim Brotherhood started enlisting in large numbers. The top generals fearing a shift to a more religious force ( and I expect Washington had the same fears) we can be sure had some input into the current situation. We need to remember too that Egypt was one of the rendition stops for those captured in Iraq and Afghanistan. A shift towards muslim brotherhood would have meant a severing of that intelligence. So while the main stream media plays up the democracy angle with flag waving and fireworks the real issues are being played out behind the scenes with the Egyptian army. I suspect they played a very important part in organizing the street scenes we've seen in the last few days. You don't get a couple of million people on the streets any other way. And they have after all taken Morsi into custody "for his own protection" or so they say.

Once again the U.S. is playing the game of trying to install another dictator as this one went rogue on them. Look no farther than the others we've installed over the last 50 years with the Shah in Iran and Saddam in Iraq. They didn't get in power by popular vote by any means. Where's the money to be made in all this one might ask? First off it creates a sense of fear in the markets as you note that oil just shot over $100 a barrel. Then there is the delicate balance of military aide and more weapons sales to consider to the tune of 1.3 billion dollars. You note that Obama didn't call this a coup because to do so would halt any aide money sent. But then again I hear there's always ways to get around such road blocks. Honestly RPGs and tanks for humanitarian purposes?