Friday, December 19, 2014

Friday Pussy - depressed cat version

We wonder why the drug companies sell so many anti-depressants. Look no further than any headline news. Note the words used on a daily basis. A brief list from the BBC latest headlines:

Yes these were actual words taken from today's headline news. The list goes on but you get the idea. It makes one wonder if there are any of life's pleasures left. Maybe a little to eat would life a spirit? Oh think again. Salt fat and sugar content are far too high, didn't you read the label first? Perhaps a bit of music to sooth the savage beast. You sure that song wasn't pirated? And what medium to choose? mp3, cd, dvd, or old school cassette, 8 track or I hear vinyl is making a comeback. Or you could choose from any of the broadcast media. Over the air FM? No that's about dead. Satellite? That you have to pay for. Cable? Again another subscription. The "Net" then but it's only as good as your cheap chinese made speakers. Oh the heck with it all I'll just hum to myself and stare at the cobwebs on the ceiling.

Then there's sex. That sure got complicated in the last few years. Wouldn't mind filling out these consent forms in triplicate before we go out on a date? A look is no longer considered a green light. And what if she didn't like it? No money back guarantees there. Harassment? I've heard some of the crudest comments from women on the job and it didn't get my feathers ruffled. It was a wild time during the Victorian era only nobody spilled the beans. Wouldn't have been cricket now would it? So where are we now? Teen pregnancies are down but STDs are up so maybe a bit more education is called for. Abstinence only sure failed. You after all should remember what you did when you were their age. 

Bank fails later 
One bank in Minnesota failed this week. Note they always get taken over on Friday so no runs on the bank.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Friday Pussy - I know nuthing

A time line of torture, who knew what and when. Important to note that the U.S. government executed Japanese soldiers after WWII for their part in water boarding prisoners. And if they think they can get off via some statute of limitations law they'd better think again. We're still capturing and convicting WWII German war criminals some 70 years later. So according to the following article not only did Bush and Cheney know about the torture they approved its' use.

The CIA director claims they did not know how to conduct such an interrogation program. I say Horse Shit!  They would have looked no further than the School of the Americas for instruction as to establishing such a program although I doubt they had to. They've been interrogating prisoners since the end of WWII. The school of the Americas - The school was founded in 1946 and from 1961 was assigned the specific goal of teaching "anti-communist counterinsurgency training," a role which it would fulfill for the rest of the Cold War. In this period, it educated several Latin American dictators, generations of their military and, during the 1980s, included the uses of torture in its curriculum. In 2000/2001, the institute was renamed to WHINSEC.

To say that torture worked would be far from the truth no matter what they try tell you. We were getting the truth until the CIA stepped in with its' heavy handed and brutal methods. FBI interrogator Ali Soufan  was gaining much information from high ranking suspect Abu Zubayduh about the way Al Qaeda operated. From his own recalling of events Ali concludes that if the president and congress don't act in this matter then it will surely happen again in the future. It also sends a message to foreign countries that any technique is fair game and they're be no consequences if caught. And if anyone should know that torture doesn't work it would be John McCain who was captured and tortured in Vietnam. He stated that under duress you will tell an interrogator what he wants to hear to get him to stop knowing that the information is false.

So will we move forward and put an end to this madness? I doubt it. History has a way of repeating itself from the Civil War onward, but before we mound our moral high horse and cast criticisms on other nations we'd better take a good hard look at how we operate.

Bank fails later...
No fails this week keep spending

Friday, December 5, 2014

Friday Pussy - Us vs Them

Reality isn't always what it's cut out to be. Is there prejudice ? Of course there is otherwise we'd all wear the exact same clothing and hair styles. And note when working on a job site with multi racial folks when lunchtime comes they all gravitate in groups to their own familiar cliques. But that's not to say it's out of some underlying hate. It's just the way we are as humans. May date back to survival of the group. It now seems the police in this country have taken that to a whole new level. It's now an "us against them mentality". If you aren't part of the police force then you're one of "them". So who are they protecting and serving now?

There was a time when a cop could go his entire career and not once pull his service revolver from its holster. Yes they carried a six shot 38 special if memory serves correct. But these days they're looking more and more like they're going to do combat maneuvers. When did the attitudes change? And what ever happened to probable cause? And while other countries might look on us like the old west we're really not. Granted we have more guns per capita then anyone else on the planet but the bulk of them are collecting dust in the backs of closets. But one only has too look at our movies and TV shows to see an ever increasing level of violence the message being might makes right. Sadly that's become a large part of our foreign policy too.

I think part of the problem is that we are slowly becoming totally disconnected from humanity. How so you might ask? We hop in the car and are immediately disconnected from others. Slow moving granny is no longer that sweet old lady down the lane, she becomes a thing an interference in your way slowing you down.
Then of course there's cell phones and texting. What better way to shut out the world than to watch as a person chin down and thumbs racing be focused and devoid of their surroundings. TV used to be the "drug" of days past. What drug could make you sit for hours with a blank stare on your face watching a piece of furniture? In short we're losing our sense of real human interaction. Even this post has its' drawbacks as we can't see the expression on you faces as you read it.

Back to the original idea. We're taught at a very early age to separate items in terms of same and different with no mention of good or bad. Now it seems entire groups are labeled good or bad.  When was it that people started to become just things, objectified as yet another statistic or notch on a belt of a policeman's report ? Then there's the last thing to consider. One slip up or lapse of logic and it could be you lying there dead on the pavement. All because you looked like one of "them".  Didn't think about that did you?

Bank fails later...
No bank fails this week keep shopping.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Cyber Monday Pussy

Caption: Catnip - check, Tuna - check, Play mouse - check. Now where's the masters credit card and when can Amazon have this delivered?

The entire holiday stick has just lost its' luster I guess. May be due to an aging population or maybe there's no room left in the closet for the once used Chia pets of Christmases past. Do you really need a computerized electronic nose hair trimmer? Cross that one off your list aunt Martha. Quit chuckling and put it back on the shelf. And what was to be so thankful for this fine holiday season? Twenty five million around the world are parked in tents in the desert or living in bombed out buildings. So what joy do we get? Fifty cents off the price of gas at the pump is no great prize. You can now afford to drive to the mall but the bank statement says that's about it so why bother? Now think for a minute the absolute worst gift you've ever received and pop them in the comments. A certain extended ivory handled shoe horn comes to mind for me which at the time was when I took a liking to wearing boots. Like a comb and brush set for a bald man (bad example I know but it was on the top of my head, pun intended).

Ah but let's get to the meat of this little morning mental excursion:

I once recall one of those magic moments, an epiphany if you will, of the sheer insanity of consumerism that pervades the season. One Christmas morning after the floor was strewn with wrapping paper, precious satin bows had been saved and the excitement of the moment had waned, that core concept slapped me in the face of the absurdity of it all. Sneaking gifts into the house and running upstairs so no prying eyes would be let on to the surprise, then carefully (or not) wrapping presents to be nonchalantly placed under the tree. So in a nut shell it was wrap presents upstairs bring them down to be unwrapped then to be returned upstairs to the recipients' room. (I was older then so no toys strewn about the living room.)

When this epiphany struck me one fine Christmas morning I pointed it out to my father who with his droll sense of humor not bothering to look up from the newspaper he was reading quipped "What fools these mortals be."

No bank fails this past week but there's still a month to go.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Friday beaver does a temporary encore - Massey mine disaster relook

It was four and a half years ago I reported about this and never thought for once that a CEO might go to jail. The original story from my first posting  Seems I was dead on about what was going on in his mine.

In 1992 Don Blankenship was appointed the President, Chairman and CEO of Massey  Coal Company one of the largest in the U.S. He was the head when an explosion at the Upper Branch Mine took the lives of 29 miners. This happened in April 2010. By December Blankenship resigned saying he was retiring. The year prior to the accident the mine was cited for 458 safety violations 50 of which were failure to comply. (You're talking criminal acts here.)

Four years later
Don Blankenship, the longtime chief executive officer of Massey Energy, was indicted Thursday on charges that he orchestrated the routine violation of key federal mine safety rules at the company’s Upper Big Branch Mine prior to an April 2010 explosion that killed 29 miners.

“Blankenship knew that UBB was committing hundreds of safety-law violations every year and that he had the ability to prevent most of the violations that UBB was committing,” the indictment states. “Yet he fostered and participated in an understanding that perpetuated UBB’s practice of routine safety violations, in order to produce more coal, avoid the costs of following safety laws, and make more money.”  Quote from Booth Goodwin United States Attorney.

So Mr Blankenship will face a potential 31 years in prison if convicted. But we all know nobody gets the max when they hand out prison time, none the less, it's nice to know that justice is finally being served. And not stated above was that he made false claims in connection with Massey stocks, an SEC violation.

Bank fails later... and maybe we'll get the goods on them too.
UPDATE: No fails this week

Friday, November 7, 2014

Friday Pussy - South of the border edition

A story that's gotten little press here in our main stream media from Mexico.

The peace in the little town of Iguala, Mexico has been shattered with the disappearance of 43 students from a teachers college of a neighboring town (Ayotzinapa). The wife (Maria de los Angeles Pineda) of the mayor of Iguala was about to give a speech for her charity when her husband Jose Luis Abarca ordered the police to round up the students and prevent them from protesting. That is the last they have been heard from. As the days past with no word about the students the mayor and his wife fled the town. The Attorney General issued arrest warrants for the two. Eyewitnesses report seeing the students shuffled into police cars the day of the event September 26.

It has been reported that the mayor had ties to a local drug gang and that the police turned the students over to them. The gang leader received word that these were members of a rival gang and ordered their disappearance. They were loaded into pick up trucks and driven to Pueblo Viejo where a number of mass graves were found. The 28 bodies found there turned out not to be any of the students.

The towns' people became furious over the slowness of the investigation and took to burning the mayor's office. Protests have since spread nationwide as even the federal authorities have been slow to act.

To date 52 people have been arrested including police officers, gang members and local officials but no sign or clues as to the whereabouts of the students. Even the president of Mexico has been confronted by one of the families only to hear silence.

UPDATE: To date 70 people have been arrested and the gang members have confessed to killing the students, burning their bodies and dumping some of the charred remains in a river. Forensic scientists from Argentina are trying to determine identities. 

Bank fails later...
One bank fail this week in Ca.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Friday pussy - scary edition

What's scarier than a black cat crossing your path on Halloween? The Republicans winning the senate. And why you might ask?

Republicans never let facts and science get in the way of their agenda.
They use the military before diplomacy.
When the military is ill equipped they cut military budgets unless of course it's for some hardware that the Pentagon says it doesn't need.
Republicans have made boogiemen out of Mexicans, Blacks, Liberals and generally anyone else who isn't exactly like them.
Republicans hate any program that might benefit the masses like social security, medicare, medicaid and definitely welfare.
Republicans love tax cuts but only if it's for the "job creators" and not small business or those in the middle or bottom. (Jobs by the way are created by demand and not big corporations).
Republicans want to control a woman's vagina even though they have no idea of the medical science involved. (IUDs do not cause abortions and unnecessary ultrasounds after conception would show little to nothing... idiots)
Republicans want to repeal the Affordable Care Act but keep their state health care exchanges. (Not telling you that the exchanges are funded by the ACA)
Republicans think Africa is a country and anyone coming from there must have ebola.
Republicans hate education. They have after all been the biggest budget cutters of education slashing billions out of state budgets. And we wonder why Johnny can't read after getting a high school diploma.
Republicans leaders have fooled their followers into thinking they too can be rich. (Sorry peons it's a club and you aren't in it but we'll let you think you can be.)
Republicans have no ideas other than being against everything. That's not leadership. That's just being childish.
Republicans say they want to be the "big tent" party all the while slamming potential members like women, blacks and hispanics.

Bobby Jindal and Rand Paul are right when the say it's the "stupid party" and "this party sucks".

And now the scariest thought for your fright night, the next president of the United States - Jeb Bush.

Bank fails later...
No fails this week keep shopping.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Friday pussy - Don't shoot

Armed and dangerous pussy doesn't have a chance

Too many guns and not enough common sense says I. Face facts we no longer live amongst wild bears or mountain lions. The Mongol  hoards are not going to breach the walls of your humble castle and in spite of what the right wing would have you believe there are no islamic mexican terrorists with ebola running across our southern boarders. So you think you're faster on the draw than someone intent on robbing you? Think again Marshal Dillon.

The real problem is that we've made it too easy for people who shouldn't be near a gun to own or get one. Granted putting restrictions on fire arms would not eliminate the problem all together but it sure would slow things down a bit. And think about it. We have more restrictions to getting a drivers license  or a marriage license than to own a gun. And while people may think a gun is a great means of protection, those who have done the most damage have heard voices in their head.

So yes I believe there should be background checks for anyone owning a gun. I'd bet that even McDonalds does a basic background check for its' workers. What makes owning a gun any less important? And let's not forget the other part of the second amendment, it was to arm a militia because there was no formal army at that time of our founding and there were bears and other wild animals roaming the land.

And for those delusional enough to think they're going to go against the government they'd better think again. A pump action shotgun would be no match to an armored vehicle or an assault helicopter they'd be facing.  The military will do its' duty to protect against foreign and domestic threats. It's what they do.

As for the middle east we've never been attuned to what was happening there until it was too late. We supported dictators there for decades not really knowing or caring about what they were doing to their own populations. After all that was "over there" not here. There is now a psychosis on a grander scale and guns seem to be easy to get there. And why not? You can't sell a lot of arms without fear and a division of the population. It's a safe bet that gun sales will go up at least here in the U.S. with the latest shootings and with that will come more shootings. It's a simple matter of numbers and probability. So the gun makers will profit yet again and more people will die and all we can do is sit back and watch. Law makers won't touch the issue even if gun owners would like some common sense regulations. And if that's the case then the NRA is not as powerful as they'd like to believe.

Would you sell a gun to a criminal or someone with mental issues? I know I wouldn't.

One bank fail this week in Chicago, Ill.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Friday Pussy - Humans are incompetant edition

Asian cat always knows to wash his paws after touching humans

Having dealt with nasty things for the last 20 plus years I must put my two cents in on the Ebola situation. I've worked with everything from Asbestos to DDT and even Hanta virus so I know a thing or two about personnel protective equipment. What I've witnessed over the last few weeks has been utter incompetence. There's hastily set up medical "clinics" in western Africa. Good intention but far from what they need. At the beginning they didn't even have something as simple as a bottle of bleach for disinfecting. And it's a safe bet they were lacking in suits and masks even to protect the doctors.

But now the focus is on the West and it's supposed greatest health care in the world. If you believe that I have a bridge to sell you. Everybody assumes that every hospital has a special ward to isolated someone with a deadly communicable disease. They do not. There are at present only a handful of hospitals that have such facilities and the total number of beds? Would you believe 9? Four of which are now being occupied. But from what I've seen there's a truly inconsistent level of personnel protection for hospital workers (a bit about that later). We've seen everything from paper dust masks and cheap nitrol gloves with no other coverings to the full level A moon suit with full face respirator. They should have gotten a clue when they saw the haz mat workers who cleaned the apartment in full attire with all potential exposure areas duct taped. But even then it's hard to doff a suit with everything taped. Worker has to be sprayed with disinfectant first.  Even the CDC protocols that the Texas hospital said they followed were inadequate in my opinion. It only takes a skin break or inhaling mist from a sneeze to be affected even though they say otherwise. One touch to the face with a contaminated glove was all it took in the first case.

How did we get to this point? It was all in the name of profit. Federal funds to hospitals were cut (by around $250 million). Hospitals looked for ways to cut spending and those units being rarely used became low hanging fruit. And why spend the time training personnel on something they may never use? It's become the perfect storm. I can attest to that last part personally. After 911 I was expecting a training program to be set up for us haz mat workers. Remember the Anthrax situation? We assumed there would be other possible attacks either chemical or biological. The training program came 4 years later and consisted of a booklet of just 19 pages. Yes we are a bit familiar with dealing with hazardous chemicals but Ebola and many of the other nasties takes a bit more training. Oh and the government would like nothing better than to have the military handle all of this because they can't complain and they can't sue.

How profits supersedes science
After 911 the 3 M people decided that they wanted to make a bit more for the bottom line. They convinced congress that it would be a great idea to turn their dust masks into respirators. This even though science says that they are only good for nuisance dust like when you sweep your garage floor. But with the stroke of a pen people are now being exposed to things they shouldn't. And if your thinking of investing because they also make tyvec moon suits, forget it the big boys beat you to it.

There's still two problems in all this great effort to contain this outbreak. Aside from the fact that there's few facilities capable of dealing with the virus, there's an issue of the waste stream. Every time a doctor or nurse goes into the isolation area they must dawn new garb and that must be disposed of in the proper manner. It was reported that the contaminated clothing was piled high to the ceiling at the Texas hospital and other hospitals have much the same problem. There's few facilities willing to take highly contagious waste that must be incinerated. So just like 911 we are not prepared in the event of a national emergency. There's even no chain of command just as there was none for the Twin Towers. They all rely on recommendations.

Bank fails later (Note there have been none since July as of last week)
One bank fail in Maryland this week.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Friday pussy - Only worried about tuna supply not viruses

MERS, MERSA, SARS,SWINE FLU, ENTRO, NORO and lest we forget DENGUE, WEST NILE, and lastly MARBURG. Oh there's plenty of others but I'll spare you the gory details because it isn't Halloween just yet. Forget zombies this is the real deal. There's enough viruses and bacteria out there to wipe us all out. Keep using the super ultra anti bacterial washing products and you're playing right into their little trap. They can adapt and mutate quickly but we sure can't.

Be afraid? Heavens no. You'll more than likely get hit by a cross town bus or fall from a ladder changing a light bulb than picking up one of these little beauties. But the panic will be fun to watch once the flu season hits full force. Moms stocking up on paper masks and surgical gloves. Invest in hand sanitizer now if you already haven't you could make a "killing" pun intended. Your odds are better of being shot by a stray bullet from a Missouri police man. Just were did they get their fire arms training?

Then there's the other boogiemen to watch out for. You know them the guys who long for the good old days of the 12th century. Sheesh even the tea baggers only want to go back the the 50s. Tea baggers sure do hate the government until it's their hide they want saved. Note that all who hate the government are "in" the government. So there should be a requirement or two for running for office. Drug and alcohol testing would be a good start along with a psych evaluation. Couldn't hurt. Forget about Achmmed  sneaking across the mexican border though, you'll see more injuries with the stroke of a pen in congress. Or should we be truly realistic and note that it's been what congress has not done the last six years all the while patting themselves on the back. If you were paying attention and actually read the few bill they did pass it was shoveling yet more money to their corporate masters. Didn't see anything passed that didn't have a tax break for the big corporations hidden in it.

So what about our preparedness for a medical emergency? That's not looking too good. A few points. The federal government here used to allocate $500 million to hospitals for emergencies. That figure has been cut to around $250 million (low hanging fruit in budget terms). Why spend money on an isolation unit that rarely gets used was the thinking. That is until you actually need it. Add to that an influx of foreign medical workers (no offense to them but communications can be a problem). Lastly we have a system that's devolved into assembly line medicine. It's no longer about quality of care but how many bodies can be run through the door. And not to forget everybody gets an MRI because it raises the bottom line nicely. They said privatization was going to be a good thing. They should have called it profitization. 

Bank fails later

Friday, October 3, 2014

Friday Pussy - Is tired


Friday already?

The world is wearing out. Face facts. The days of hot rod cars with chrome bumpers are over. Who can afford the gas? The planet is doing a quiet death knoll scream and we aren't listening. Any iron ore deposits left in the U.S.? Oh forgot we outsourced steel making decades ago and only thing left are specialty metals and recycled. Let us not forget the mountains of garbage flowing down the Swanee and out to the ocean garbage islands now purported to be the size of Texas.

Just don't make em like they used to. Isn't that a fact. Only thing that wore out as a kid were shoes and the knees of your pants. That is if you didn't outgrow the pants first. Things were once repairable. Now they're disposable. Sell em another when the original didn't even last a year. Sure that makes sense if you're the one selling. Not so kind to the planet though. And just who lands up paying the price in the long run with manufacturers seeking the lowest of the low wage? And you thought slavery was dead. Let's see you get buy on $3.60 a day.

Where is the end? When will the last mine be dug out and left as a big hole in the ground? Now they're talking about mining asteroids which may happen in the next century but only after they've sucked all the life blood out of this planet. They'd better figure out some energy alternatives because oil is a finite thing. Oh well I'll leave that for future generations. Not my problem at the moment. Too busy listening to my arteries hardening. The world is wearing out and so am I.

Bank fails later...

Friday, September 26, 2014

Friday pussy - Got rope?

Rope? You have rope? Seems we're all near the end of the rope. At least for some. Latest fad seems to be cranial detachment. How barbaric. Don't like the boss and you have no cache of 8000 rounds? Well then a little lighter fluid and some rags will do the trick. Hits em right in the wallet. Everything is defined by "terror" now even if it wasn't. This was not a TERRORIST act. Nothing to be AFRAID of. Nothing to FEAR.  The victim was BEHEADED even though the suspect was not part of a TERROR cell. You get the idea.

And the second fav topic the economy which, should you believe the pundits, is going in two directions at once. Only the supercomputers know for sure. Bent phones, aircraft that doesn't quite fly right and more car recalls than you can shake a stick at and is it any wonder consumers aren't buying it. Take a vacation? Ha! and be replaced on one's return? Not happening. Anyway you couldn't get me on one of those floating virus incubators. Take the all new Norocruise and witness the splendor of the bottom of the bathroom bowl and it's swirling blue waters. Fly away you say? Ah yes nothing like getting groped and not so much as a thank you then being crammed into an aluminum tube with the rest of the sheeple. Please leave you seat in an up right position thank you very much. My knees can only take so much. Maybe you'd like a neck massage with your head in my lap.

Okay okay nothing left but to hunker in the bunker now what's on cable? What's left that they haven't turned into a reality show? Competitive brick laying? Oh they can do better than that. Dancing with perverts? Hum costumes might be interesting. Oh let's face it they've put nearly every stumbling bumbling act of humanity under the sun on TV. It's little more than bubble gum for the mind and the flavor's gone.

Well so much for my cerebral expulsion.

Bank fails later...
Update: None this week carry on

Friday, September 19, 2014

Friday Pussy - Scotish/UK edition


Lads and Lassies the vote is over but maybe not just yet. There's reports of massive voter fraud in the counting process. No this wasn't about dead people voting or someone without proper ID, Westminster must have known they'd be booted out of power after sticking it to the masses for the last several years.We'll see if this is pursued further.

Here's just a taste of the punishment that the folks at the bottom of the economic ladder have had to endure. Miss an appointment at the social welfare office and see your benefits cut for 6 months. Have and extra bedroom in your flat? You get a $50 a week tax slapped on you even if you can't afford to move and single bedroom flats are hard to come by. Then there's the assessments. Able to just barely walk to the mail box? Then surely you can get a job at Tesco (Britain's version of Walmart). And then there's the zero hour contracts. What's that all about? Basically it's working for your disability payments. The government pays the company what should have been paid out in wages so they're getting free labor. And as we all know disability doesn't pay a full wage.

Then there's the national health care that's slowly being dismantled. Just like in the U.S. the first attack is to privatize it just as we did with HMOs. You end up with a for profit system that few can afford to use. Forgot to mention up top that the folks who do the assessing have also been outsourced so they too are working on a profit motive. More people off the rolls or "sanctioned" as they call it more profits to be had.

So that is part of what Scotland was fighting against. That and the fact that any time they come up with an idea that just might benefit Scots it gets shot down in parliament. Who wants to be ruled by a party of thieves (look up the original definition of Tory)?

And speaking of thieves the banks have not changed their ways (but that's a post for another day)
Bank fails later. UPDATE: No fails this week.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Caturday - also known as friday pussy in another life

Ebola carrying Russian terrorist get off my lawn or it'll be enough drones to take out the neighborhood for you. And take your hedge fund manager with you. No there isn't any gas or oil under the property worth drilling for and you can keep your GMOs to yourself thank you very much. Grown attached to my head and that's the way it will remain.

Who's selling all those arms to ISIS or ISIL or ISICLE or what every they're called now? Must have made their mommas proud...Not!  Easy to steal when your foe runs away. 1..2...3.. what are we fighting for? Don't ask me. I don't give a damn. Next stop is Afghanistan. And how many tours did you do before you lost your mind?

Far more important things to view and ponder. Was that a new royal baby or a celebrity boobie we just saw? Ah but violence rules the day. Can't get your way? A punch to the face is in order, but don't forget to duck. Repercussion is an easy instrument to play. Have we covered the bulk of the news in one short meandering here? Close. Save the mass shootings and revenge items for another day. Hey did you just leave your backpack lying around? It'll get blown up don't you know. Now let's get out of here before the suns rays scorch us to a cinder or that tornado bears down on the old homestead. Something is sure to get you that's a given.

No bank fails in quite a while. They must be setting up for the next crash.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Friday pussy - reflective edition

Put down your weapons. Turn swords into plowshares and let's get on with life. Too much greed and hate in the world. Was it something in the water? "Us" never really wins against "them". What fools these mortals be.

Momma sends her sons to war and they don't come back. Was the sacrifice really worth it? Raise a flag and stand tall with a nation we're told. Are we really any better than them? It's all just an illusion. What's worse a beheading or a bombed baby? Okay no fair that was a choice between cancer or leprosy. All comes down to numbers on a mortality chart with no faces there.

The disconnect has permeated most facets of our daily lives. How many points for killing the aliens again? What a sick reward when the word "winner!" flashes on the screen. Congratulations you've just made it past the million mark. No points for the medics who must clean up the battle field.

Okay okay this is getting a bit too morbid but what else is there when looking at the morning mirror on the world? My kingdom for some kindness or at the very least a bit of good news. My hands are up don't shoot. Just here to see if I could help out. But maybe that's just a fools errand.

Bank fails later

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Friday Beaver - fear edition

Life of late is cheap which makes one wonder if it was always this way or did we just not see it? Was it hidden behind some veil of secrecy? Eventually atrocities creep out. How could a city stand and watch boxcars crammed full of humanity pass by and not wonder what was going on? Justice it seems is only for those holding all the cards, the boys with the most fire power. This truly has turned Orwellian. Good is bad and bad is good. Who would Jesus bomb?

Rights? You actually think you have rights? Shut up. They just slap a label of enemy on your back and you get a visit from a drone. Oops did they kill your family and neighbors in the process? So sorry just collateral damage. Move along nothing to see here. People have a hard enough time just trying to survive without war becoming big business, but that's what it is. Fear is sold on a daily basis just read the headlines. Got to keep the arms dealers in business. Your sons' college degree is now part of a fighter jet flying over Afghanistan. But that's okay because he'd only be flipping burgers or driving a taxi upon graduation.

It's a fools wish to think that all this would just stop. Just stop, unload the gun and put it away. But no we'll just arm some more people only to have them turn their guns against us at some future date and sons and daughters will become cannon fodder just as they have in the past. In the mean time bankers will sit on their fat bonuses having made a "killing" (pun intended) financing our own destruction.

That said let's see who lost in the banker wars.
No casualties this week but stay tuned the year isn't over yet.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Friday Beaver - dead beaver edition

This is getting uglier than a dead beaver.

Here we are fighting ISIS in Iraq an admirable mission considering they murdered entire villages for not converting to their way of thinking. The irony in all this is that by doing so we are doing the will of Syrian leader Assad as well as the wishes of the Iranian leadership. While Assad may be pleased that we are doing much of his dirty work for him by thinning the ranks of ISIS in Iraq, it's doubtful he'd be pleased to have the U.S. enter his airspace. And what of the innocents caught in the crossfire where three armies to clash in northern Syria?

According to the latest reports it's ISIS's plan to create an islamic state covering Syria, Iraq. Lebanon, Jordan, Palestine, and Israel. So here we go again. Due to the failed idea of invading Iraq in the first place and the fact that we shut out the Sunnis from the governmental process (we did dissolve Iraq's military after Saddam was overthrown) we have created the perfect power vacuum ripe for an upswing of radicals. Maliki was no help when he effectively shut out the Sunnis as well. Remember there was no Al Qaeda in Iraq until we got there. That has somehow morphed into something worse. Also need to remember that we pretty much created Al Qaeda when we trained the Mujahideen to fight the Russians back in the 80s. 

Meanwhile back here in the U.S police continue to shoot unarmed black men. Put your hands up and they shoot you anyway. All the while not one banker has seen the inside of a jail unless it was one he built to house the less fortunate at a pretty profit.

No bank fails this week 

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Sunday Beaver - Financial edition

Not much to report of late. The world has gone crazy and I'm just sitting here waiting to die. That's life. It's what ya do while your waiting to die. Work has become something out of an ancient slave ship all that's missing are whips and a slave master. How's that you say? When the economy tanked companies desperate for business under bid projects just to keep their workers going, that is those lucky enough to find projects. Last jobs I was on were over budget by a week each. And nobody can work full out all the time, but that's what's happening.

Think there's another consequence to all this too, another economic melt down. I saw all the tower cranes that graced the Seattle skyline back in 05 and 06 that disappeared in 09 and 10, well they're back up and busy as ever. That would be a good thing if the rest of the economy was doing well but building more and more apartments and condos won't do much if nobody can afford them and they sit empty. Banks are slowly riding their books of foreclosures but a larger price that will come due is all the savings that was sucked up from the melt down. That's the money banks rely of to leverage more debt and it's not there anymore. Take note of Argentina which can't pay it's debt now in default. It's just a matter of time before the house of cards falls again. And pay no attention to the Dow, it's numbers were perverted years ago with the advent of supercomputers. Forget congress. Their solution was no solution. All they did was make more rules that nobody understands and that banks don't follow anyway. Check your local news for the homeowners who were illegally foreclosed on in the last two years.

That's my two cents.
Bank fails: Two banks failed in the last two weeks one in Ga. and another in IL.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Friday beaver - patriotic edition it is the 4th

(The beaver raises its' tale to slap the water warning others of danger.)

So the DOW is up over 17,000. There's no reason in the world it should be that high because it's supposed to be based on the perceived value of a company's worth or at the very least an expectation of what it will do in the near future, normally 6 months. However mathematicians and ultra-fast computers have taken away any sense of perception or even realistic forecasts. Tiny glitches present a golden opportunity to pounce and scrape fractions of a percentage in profits and on the grand scale that's a lot of cents being pocketed. But it's all an illusion because sales didn't have to go up for any of this to happen. It's all just bets but even a bet takes research and facts none of which are necessary in today's market.

It should have been apparent near the end of the last great bull run when the talking heads sluffed off any talk of recession saying that if there was one it would be short lived. How wrong they were. Now the talk is of how great things are becoming but are they really? They may have added jobs to the latest stats but it's a fair guess that those jobs don't pay anything of what they use to and then there's still the long term unemployed cast out and still wondering how they'll survive with little or no income. If you're over 50 or under 25 you're screwed. And it's a safe bet nobody's tracking those numbers.

So wave your American (made in china) flag and wonder where it will all end. We don't need another war because the chinese already won, well them and their  vulture capitalist cohorts. You want to see welfare bums? Look no farther than Wall Street they're the guys who produce absolutely nothing of value and yet think they're the ones who work hard. Give me a break.

One bank fail last week in OK

Parting shot - Never have a fifth on the forth or you just might get ten in the pen.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Friday Beaver - thrifty too

Oops looks like these two are trapped. Hope they aren't under the burden of debt. Wars are fought over that you know.

Aside from the centuries old blood feud you just knew Iraq would break out in civil war once U.S. troops left. There was no way we could have remained in the country indefinitely. At some point all parties had to come to the table and work out a solution, however installing another puppet dictator didn't help the situation. It's a failed policy on so many occasions. We've done the exact same things in Iraq, Iran, Vietnam, and many of the South American countries all to no avail. In the end the people always suffer the fate of arrests, detentions beatings, torture and murders. Iraq is no different.  Al-Malaki set about to essentially eliminate any opposition to the Shia way. We should have seen this coming when Iran held meetings with Iraq just after we left.

So what now? We're in a position that's a no win situation. Fail to act and the slaughter will continue. Go in and expect a circular fire squad with various factions using you as a target. Any type of limited air strikes would only be a recruiting poster for more violence. Nice job Bushy. Thinking you could go in and destabilize a country then neatly walk off with all their oil didn't quite work out the way you planned. You didn't bother to read their history or understand their people. So if your mission was to go in and mess up an entire region then "Mission Accomplished"! 

Eventually people will get tired of the killings and the violence will stop. Look at Lebanon which has only now begun again. Then there's northern Ireland which had fighting and bombings for decades. And if you step back it's all due to banks and the fractional reserve economy. There's the Federal Reserve which is no more federal than your aunt Mabel. It loans out money that doesn't exist, never did all based on a ratio of 9 to 1. For every dollar a bank has on deposit it lends out 9. So you see the system is broke. It's the biggest Ponzi scheme the world has ever known but since nobody is paying attention they don't care as long as the game keeps going nobody's the wiser. That said...

Bank fails: We have two more this week. One in Fl and one in IL 

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Beaver weekend

This beaver hasn't died yet but he sure is busy.

Life seems to be getting in the way of fun things like posting snarky articles and comments around the innerwebs. Now where was I....

Don't you just love it when the government causes a problem then tries to blame somebody else? Such is the case with Iraq. Roll back through history a bit and we find that the U.S. helped Saddam gain power. We even supplied him with weapons to fight Iran in the 80s. Ah yes Iran another of our success stories where we forced out a democratically elected leader and installed the Shah a brutal dictator no better than Saddam. Two of the biggest mistakes in Iraq was outlawing the Bath party which had made up the only form of government in the country for decades. The other being the abolishing of Saddams'  army thereby creating a massive power vacuum. And if you know anything about Iraqi history you'd know that there's been a blood feud there for centuries (dating back to the 13th century). Putting the majority in power did nothing to stop the situation as Iraq under Saddam was more or less secular and based on a socialist system.

Given the fact that we basically trashed their country in terms of government, economy and stripped it's leadership of power we now see the end result, civil war. We must not have done a very good job of training their military as they cut and ran in the latest altercation. Something is terribly wrong when a force of 30,000 is intimidated by just 800. But there's a bit more to that than is reported. There is the sense of country not factored in all this. It's been noted that during the American civil war troops would not fire on fellow countrymen during the heat of battle after all these were just plain folks just like the rest of us. Most were farmers in the south and not able to buy they way out of the conflict. In Iraq the bulk of the wealthy and middle class left the country at the beginning of the conflict which left the poor to do the dirty work as usual. 

But the real issue here is what's happening to the countries oil wealth. In spite of and conflict the oil will still flow and petro-dollars banked. And what better opportunity to make off with a bunch of loot while the underlings are busy fighting each other.  

Hum...No bank fails this week

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Friday Beaver - world economic edition

Not much to write about these past few weeks, too busy watching the world fall apart.

What happened in the 1920s that lead to the great depression is much again following suit. Just like today banks were leveraged to the hilt. The stock market soared as investors borrowed 100% to "invest" in a market that had no chance of success at least in the long run. "Bucket shops" placed side bets on the direction of the market much like the hedge funds of today. When the entire economic system unraveled cooler heads finally prevailed but not until much damage was done. Homes and farms were lost. People's entire savings were wiped out and same as Detroit homes were bulldozed as banks foreclosed and tax revenues fell.

There was the drought in the Midwest forcing many farmers to either leave or endure the ravages of the dust bowl. Many died, in fact it's estimated that 5 million died from the effects of the depression. Republicans back then did much the same as Republicans are doing now by blocking any legislation that would help regular folks. FDR came up with the New Deal much of which was done through executive orders. Things were slowly coming back to normal. In the late 30s the republicans convinced FDR to start cutting programs and lowering taxes. The country started to slide back into depression. That's when WWII broke out and unlike today all of our military hardware was made in the USA. Soon factories that had turned out cars were turning out jeeps and tanks. Everything became geared to winning the war with everyone doing their part in the way of sacrifice. Bosses took a 10% pay cut. Workers had to deal with rationing coupons and shortages as everything went to the war effort.

Today everything is done on the cheap. Much of the military hardware or at least it's electronic components are made overseas. Car factories aren't cranking out tanks. There's no rationing and top management is making more than ever before even as companies lose money. Workers on the other hand are making less than before.  Everything has become for the benefit of the elite when you look at it. It's been going on for a long time. Ever since someone thought that moving a little wealth around was something akin to communism. Agree with it or not FDRs "New Deal" built a nation and a strong middle class and much of our infrastructure we have today but much of it is slowly falling apart as those at the top see no need for maintenance. If we do nothing it will be like a slow drip in the living room ceiling. Just a matter of time until it falls. And of course you know who'll get the blame. It'll be the ones who pointed out the problem in the first place.

Now we have entire countries set on the verge of collapse. Greece is a good example. Years of tax cuts and the off shoring of wealth lead to it's demise. It is at present $400 billion in debt with no prospects of even paying the interest on its' loans. What was once a game of 'vulture capitalism' has now become a game involving entire countries. You know the drill. Watch as a nation cuts it's taxes and gives loopholes to its' wealthy and like a game of Monopoly a select few win as everyone else loses. So easy to do when you're the one making the rules.

Ukraine is in a unique position at present. Yes the country has debt and there is that tug of war financially speaking between the west and Russia, but it has the opportunity to redeem itself if it can somehow wean itself off of gas and oil. But then there's the matter of corruption that seems to be a long tradition in the country. Perhaps a hold over from the old Soviet days how could anyone expect a country to change its' economic model overnight when bribes and kickbacks are still ingrained in the culture. It seems only Putin has learned modern day vulture capitalism in that part of the world or at least he's the only one with the economic clout to use such tactics. They could pull an Iceland move on these financial malcontents but there isn't enough honest people in government to try that not when their president is "the chocolate king". Iceland by the way defaulted on its' debt and jailed the bankers responsible if you didn't know.

To conclude it appears that what once started out as a debt bubble of working folks, you know it was the leveraging of simple things like bank deposits that started all this, soon moved to houses that were tied to cities that were tied to states and then entire countries that created the mess we see today. Don't be lulled into a false sense of security just because you have a job and a steady income, this debt and borrowing has to reset itself sometime soon because soon there won't be enough income to pay the interest just as we see in Greece. Well that's my two cents. What say you?

What banks have failed this week? 
One bank in Maryland is no more.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Friday beaver - and this time it's a real beaver story

The reintroduction of beavers to the wild in Scotland for the first time in 400 years has been an "outstanding success", according to the team of ecologists that brought them back.    The  four pairs of beavers reintroduced in Knapdale five years ago have  produced 14 young, engineered 18-metre-long dams and lodges the size of  double garages and significantly boosted tourism      The trial, conducted by the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland, the Scottish Wildlife Trust and Forestry Commission Scotland, released 16 Eurasian beavers (Castor fiber)  in four family groups between May 2009 and September 2010 into three  lochs in the Knapdale forest, west of Lochgilphead, in Argyll.    After a challenging start, the first beaver kit was born in 2010 and the latest count shows there are now 13 animals living around lochs Coille Bharr, Buic, Creagh Mhor and Linne.

Was out cutting dead limbs from some trees and much to my surprise found an eagles nest at the top of one of them. Couldn't tell if it was still active but you never know. Also surprising was the fact that the tree wasn't that tall about 25 to 30 feet. Usually eagles like to make their nests much higher.

Bank fails later.
One bank failed this week in Berwyn, Il.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Friday Beaver? Oops got too busy last week

Not much to report. The world is crazy as ever. Good is bad and bad is good. Guess Orwell was right unless he was wrong.

Seems the Chinese are slowly buying up most of our country. So much easier than using bombs or guns I guess. But this goes in cycles. It was the Japanese some years back then came the Arabs. Let's see what's in the closet I could sell them. Wonder if they'd go for an old dusty disco suit? The collars are comical. Hum... better save it you never know they just might come back in style someday. Which reminds me of a quick story.

Fellow gets sent to a strict school to straighten him out. While perusing the rules he notes "No zoot suits allowed". Which makes him wonder when those rules were written. There doesn't seem to be anything like that today. No shipping Jr. off to boarding school or military school. And our schools are dying a slow death. Used to be at least 3 years of math 2 science courses 4 years of english and at least a year of foreign language two when I went. Not to forget history, civics and economics, shop class and of course physical education. They have since eliminated civics and economics and I believe phys ed. is optional if your get a note. So we're now producing functionally illiterates who have few options. It's the reason McDonalds had to put pictures instead of menu items on their cash registers. Amazed that they can give back the correct change without the register telling them. Perfect candidates for the Government Accounting Office. Hey they're never audited. 

And speaking of such there were no bank fails last week but the year is still early.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Friday beaver - Hey it's Monday already

Heads I win tails you lose

This is the Ukrainian coin toss Putin style. No rest for the wicked there. The choice being being crushed by western debt or crushed by Russian debt. Nice choice eh? The third alternative would be no better. Reject them both and you're still bankrupt. Might be a nice place to visit but I wouldn't want to live there comrade. How quickly those pro russians forgot what it was like under the old Soviet system or maybe mom and dad forgot to tell them. And really what benefit has any system gotten them? They have one of the lowest standards of living of any industrialized country. Countries like Hungary, Bulgaria and Rumania aren't doing any better and yet we don't see Putin going after them at least not yet. And why exactly would any superpower want to saddle themselves with such a burden? Some answers to be revealed shortly.

How exactly did all this start and what does it mean you might ask? We quickly forgot the "Orange revolution". That was the last major protest when the country was shifting from the old communist ways. But don't be fooled it was backed and financed by the west. And for what reason? Simple, the Ukraine is a pinch point for the gas and oil that flows into Europe. Control that and you have control of most of the energy supply of Europe. And there's only two ways to gain that control, either by an agreement (in this case it was by loaning the country billions there by making them slaves to debt) or with the use of a military invasion. The latter is never looked upon too kindly as people still remember the blitz tactics of Hitler. Nope Putin tried a different tactic by making it look like the people themselves were rising up and wanting a russian system. Nothing could be further from the truth as the country is made up of just 17% russians. 

This makes you wonder if Putin isn't trying to copy something out of the Tea Party play book. Try to make people long for a by gone era. The only problem is that the good old days weren't so good. Then of course there's the flag waving and national pride. That and a couple of rubles will get you a cup of coffee. 

Lastly we have dictators in the making. In Egypt it was Morsi who wanted to give himself more power than the supreme court. We're seeing how that's working out. And now it's being played out with Yanukovych who neatly got some anti democratic laws passed the parliament (see below) and decided it was open season on anybody who didn't agree with him. Putin must have paid him off well as the next thing you know the country was about to be saddled with russian debt.

In the U.S. it's business as usual. While the lame stream media is touting how things are just peachy (yeah if you have an account in the Caymans) main street is still suffering especially if you're over 50 and were laid off when the economy tanked. Don't believe the jobs numbers for a New York second they don't count 3.5 million that couldn't find work at least nothing that would cover the rent when the unemployment ran out.

No bank fails last week

Friday, April 25, 2014

Friday Beaver? You get what you pay for cheapskate

Friday already? Okay this isn't a beaver. You try looking for a photo of a beaver and a mirror and don't even think of trying it with safe mode off.

Mirror mirror on the wall who got blown up stabbed or shot today? No you aren't the prettiest puss in the land. Have you looked in the mirror lately? Just more bad news boys. Keep working and work harder because the end isn't anywhere in sight. Just when you thought you'd make ends meet they moved the ends. Knew I shouldn't have burned that candle at both ends. Life is what you do while you're waiting to die...Bob Dylan. No more Capt. Kangaroo for you. How poetic must have smoked the same stuff as that Graves fellow but nobody's seen him in a coon's age so... on with the show Buggs.

What stupid distraction pops up in the mirror today? Another Al Bundy and his hoards of idiots gracing our screens? Guess they ran out of has beens to trip the light fantastic. Come on guys Fred Astaire is long gone. Ah that's right be afraid, be very afraid cause little Billy might have left his backpack when he took a pee at the airport. Blow it up first and ask questions later. 

When in doubt regurgitate the news cause you never know who didn't see it the first three hundred times.  Miscellaneous of the Miss Cellaneous engineering hungrier fish? Why not just do your GMO magic and have them grow legs then they can walk into your frying pan... sheesh.

Beware of the "Vortex"! That's the latest catch word be it snow rain and now pollen? This could present golden opportunities hum... When in doubt just add a 'vortex' to the beginning and you'll be a hit at the party. But as far as the news is concerned it's a vortex of lies. Headline reads "US. Manufactures gaining competitiveness". Of course they are everything is made in China now. Russia gets it's credit rating cut. Who cares? Do you care? The Russians don't care. Why? Because it's all come down to who can slap the other guy with the most debt and you know we're experts at that. International Monetary Farce and all that. Oops that'd be Federal Reserve for us which is no more federal than your aunt Mabel. Again slap an important sounding monicker at the beginning or the end and you can fool anybody. And now for the grand euphemistic ending, let's see...

Financial institution readjustments at a differed time.... How's that?
UPDATE: One redistrubuted bank this week in South Carolina.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Friday Beaver - Was busy chasing Easter bunnies

Miscellaneous multi colored messages of meaningless meanderings. Put that in you smoke and pipe it.

Almost be afraid to smoke the latest of BC bud lest the mind go into intergalactic overdrive and that's not a far trip from what I hear. Ooh no no no no this boy don't smoke it no mo cause ya never know who'd you wake up next to. She didn't look that fat last night ewww. 

But I digress there was a point here if I can just find it. Have to call NSA and see if they can find it. Ah yes there it is in the last place to look. Now why didn't I look there first? Bracket creep or more to the point price creep. That insidious little devil derived by the craven boys of the bean counting department. Knew we should have been kinder to the nerds in high school. It's their revenge. The ploy: to make it appear that you're getting more when you're really getting less. A new improved doesn't mean a thing when it's only the brighter colors on the packaging. Now where did they hide the net weight? And don't give me that "by weight not volume"  disclaimer stuff. The package is three times the size of the stuff inside and I can't eat the cardboard trays. And just where does Monodiglopopysodogluedomate come from? You won't find that growing in a farmers' field. Just how much salt and beet sugar can you squeeze in there because we all know those are fairly cheap ingredients? Maybe they were right when they said you should just eat the box because it has more nutrition and tastes better too. :-)

Ah but we're stuck with what we got. Is my memory going or didn't coffee come in a five lb. can at one time? And sugar comes in a 4 lb. bag which was once 5 lb. Forget cereal. You're lucky if it maxes out at 1/2 lb. And when did they start adding fractions to the net weight? Point 25 means little unless you've downsized your spoon accordingly.

Oh enough of all this. Maybe I'll just go out and shoot a bunny or two. I hear there's one carrying a basket full of eggs. Wow what kind of drugs was that guy smoking when he thought of that idea?

No Bank fails this week. Guess the bean counters have gotten very good at hiding the losses.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Friday Beaver - Late again. Better late than never

Republicans hate beavers

Republicans must think beavers are stupid. They blocked a bill in the House to make pay more equitable. In some states a beaver must undergo a medically unnecessary ultrasound before they can get an abortion. Add to this the recent cuts to food stamps most of which go to baby beaver kits as well as cuts to head start and it sure looks like a war on beavers. Then of course there's the voter ID laws enacted to to make it more difficult for beavers to vote.  And where is a beaver supposed to carry that ID? Don't answer that.

There's the push for more gas and oil that will pollute beaver dams and rivers. Oregon wants to sell of an entire forest to help pay for it's schools. What's a beaver to do when all the trees are clear cut and there's no jobs left? Sounds like a short term fix to a long term problem. But beavers aren't stupid. They manage to survive in spite of all the laws cast upon them. But just wait till the next election when these beavers get their say at the polls.

Isn't it wonderful how republicans tout family values while in the background fooling around with married beavers? And she was even on his staff. Then there was the republican governor "hiking the Appalachian trail". What was he doing drilling for oil with a south american beaver? Again don't answer that.

Of course the beavers could put an end to this nonsense by simply crossing their legs. That simple act has put and end to wars in the past if you know the history. Have to look up the specifics but in the mean time...

No bank fails this week.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Friday Beaver - Late Sunday edition

Beaver got tied up this week. Considering it's spring and dams don't fix themselves... well you get the picture.

Not a great deal to report this week. If they find the Maylasian jet it will be a miracle. Chinese say they heard a ping from the black box but debris they found was 50 miles away. It's a big ocean and there's a lot of garbage in it. Add to that the fact that down under is heading into fall and bad weather. Seem to recall something about Asian culture where by if you lose someone at sea their soul can never rest. I could be wrong so someone correct me if that's the case.

On the Oso mudslide I think at some point they'll have to give up looking and declare that area a memorial resting place. A pile of mud and debris 70 ft. high and over a mile wide would take months to sift through. The only comfort that can be gained here was that the slide happened in about 3 seconds.

Nothing works anymore the way it should. Someone along the line forgot the principle of "keep it simple stupid - k.i.s.s." A 57 cent solution but GM couldn't be bothered to use it. What's the old expression? Penny wise and pound foolish. My thinking on some of this modern technology is "will it really make things better or just be something else to break. Case at point you can no longer buy a new appliance without some sort of computer attached.  I mean come on does a toaster really need to be computerized? And what's next the toaster talking to the fridge? Toaster to fridge "What do you mean we're out of bread and bagels what the hell am I supposed to do now sit here and talk to the faucet?"
Sheesh get me my sonic screwdriver.  

Bank fails - Guess the economy is improving. No bank fails in over a month, but it does bring up the question of what do they do with all that bad debt? You would have thought that by now they could have written off all that bad debt and started anew but judging by the number of pre and foreclosed homes in my area it looks more like they are hanging on for better times. Good luck with that. The job market may have picked up but the jobs out there pay only half of what they once did. Sorry but when a job pays little more than the gas money to get to the job include me out as Yoggy might say.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Friday Beaver Slide edition

Cities see tax dollars while logging companies see profits. And there nary the twain should meet.

Hard to say which came first but it's almost a safe bet loggers cut trees long before subdivisions were laid in to provide cities with coveted tax dollars. After all logs were once well taxed and provided all the revenue needed that paid for schools and roads so property taxes were cheap back then. There was the growth spurts that fueled a growing housing market. Then came the housing bubble. That was fueled in part by out of state buyers who sold their over priced homes there and moved here because we were such a bargain.

Looking back it's fairly easy to see that this was a disaster in the making. Someone should have taken note that the hillside that gave way in Oso, Wa. had been clear cut some 25+ years back. Not exactly a place you'd want to build homes but they did. No one can say for certain what mother nature will do in any given place but it's a safe bet when you fool with her she'll get her revenge. The biggest oversight here was when people ignored a six inch subsidence that happened just two years ago. That should have been a wake up call but I guess it's human nature to ignore small cracks because after all they're probably just cosmetic. Nothing to see here keep shopping.

Looking at a satellite map of the surrounding area you'll find a patchwork of clear cuts and logging roads. That will be a recipe for future disasters unless the procedures for extracting logs from an area are changed. You can't strip the land bare and expect it to be stable. You also shouldn't build near a slide area no matter how pretty the view. But once again money rules the day.

After the initial reports of cars being shredded, houses buried and 15 feet of mud and debris this has turned into a recovery operation so let's just hope no one else dies in the process of cleaning up. It's going to be a monumental task that will take months if not years.

Bank fails later....

Friday, March 21, 2014

Friday Beaver - Crazy oil baron edition

                                Can you tell me the way to the Kremlin?

The Deal
Shell ends talks with Ukraine and ExxonMobil on extracting natural gas in the Black Sea off the coast of restive Crimea.  ( In September, then president Viktor Yanukovych said Ukraine had reached a production-sharing agreement with a consortium including Shell, ExxonMobil and state-owned Nadra Ukrainy to tap gas from the Skifski site in the Black Sea. Russia plans to nationalize Crimeas gas and oil.)
In January the Shell deal was dead and the next thing you know Exxon is making a deal with Rosneft Russia's largest energy company to drill in the arctic. That deal was penned just last week as the Crimean situation was unfolding. 

The Players
This now boils down to basically two men. Putin who we know is so ruthless he even had Robert Dudly (you may recall the deepwater horizon disaster in the gulf of which he was BPs head man.) was at one time headquartered in Russia and part of BPs Russian affiliate JV TNK-BP had him poisoned, burgled and threaten with arrest.
Then there's Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson who holds the same attitude as his predecessor which is to say "I'm not a U.S. company and I don't make decisions based on what's good for the U.S." He and Putin seem to be the best of friends as Putin bestowed on Tillerson Russia's order of friendship just last summer.

The Standoff
We've seen the latest sanctions being thrown around by both sides in a game of tit for tat but there is one hold card that hasn't been played, putting oil and gas sanctions on Exxon which would be a deal killer for Putin. It would of course be a blow to Exxon who's looking for future production. All the EU can do is sit and watch as the psychopaths play games with the energy supply.

bank fails later...

Friday, March 14, 2014

Friday Beaver - They're Back!

Back from their winter hiatus and just in time for springs' arrival.

The economy or lack there of...
It was a simple and evil plan started many many years ago. Saddle someone with debt and you own them. Digging through history we find that a mortgage was only for 5 to 7 years back before the great depression era. It slowly crept up to the 30 year level and now there's even plans for a 40 year mortgage. We've even watched car loans go from 3 to 4 years to 5 or 6 and more. The asset becomes worthless long before the debt is paid off leaving the borrower no choice but to do the process all over at least with cars. Housing became a problem with an overinflated bubble that burst leaving people with more debt than house. And to finance that great ponzi scheme we had mortgage backed securities and sub prime loans sold the world over. We saw what happened when the bubble burst.

But why is the stock market so high you might ask? Part of the reason is that the Federal Reserve is pumping money in to the tune of first $85 billion and lately $65 billion a month. You could call it funny money because it never existed but this situation isn't funny. China for the most part has been holding up the world economy for the last several years but it too has reached it's breaking point. They built entire cities that now stand empty because there's no demand. They tried in 30 short years to move from an agrarian economy to an industrial one with little success as demand has slowed.

So we now stand in a great game of "bugger your neighbor" where one country asks for a bail out from another that doesn't have the money either but non the less cranks up the presses to create an even bigger burden. Eventually however this ponzi scheme of debt must end and that's usually when the lender gives up, forgives the debt and writes it off.

We've witnessed this plan first on an individual level then with companies (recall Bane Capital and their vulture techniques?) followed by cities (Detroit) and finally with entire countries (Greece Cyprus Spain etc etc.). In the process a select few have become very wealthy while the rest of us suffered. What did that select few produce? Absolutely nothing. A robbery if you ask me. But somehow they'd like you to take the blame for what they did.

A note on bank fails: During the 1930s 9000 banks failed, at present count we're at around 450. Updates later...

Friday, March 7, 2014

Friday Pussy - Ukrainian style

Ignore the insignias we're really just armed ukrainian cats on a mission.

The say the first casualty of war is the truth and while the situation in the Ukraine isn't a war yet the truth has been well trampled by both sides in this issue. It might have been a bit more plausible had the opposition party not set up a stage complete with expensive sound systems and left it up for over two months. In that case you have to question the financial backing especially when thousands of people remained in the square. I recall the days of the Vietnam protests where protesters had about enough money to stay in D.C. for about three or four days before having to depart.

Here's a bit of back story from the people on the ground. Yes you could actually ask questions of these regular folks if you knew where to go on the web. Contrary to what main stream media would have you believe these people aren't as dumb as they're portrayed. While a small group are extreme right wingers neo-nazis as they're referred to the bulk of the people there realize that they have no taste for either Russia or the EU. They'd like nothing better than to have their own autonomous nation free from the clutches of the east or the west. Sadly that probably won't happen as the country is $70 billion in debt. With an average per capita income of around $200 a month things aren't about to change any time soon. Reports surfaced that the protesters were getting $500 to show up at the square which may or may not be true. It's a safe bet that some monies were paid because who in their right mind would go to a square in the middle of winter to freeze their butts off?

Exactly how this will all end is anyone's guess but one thing is certain, the people aren't going to want to remain in the situation they're in now for very long. And if you step back a bit from the politics you'll note that it's nothing more than two factions of the 1% fighting over the country. Russia is dangling the carrot of cheap oil and gas while the west has its' better life style to envy. And there's the matter of the Russian navy fleet based in the Crimea that needs protecting. One has to wonder if a few older folks long for the days of the old Soviet Union even though it was as corrupt a system as what we see now. 

We are now at the point in the play Mrs Lincoln where the curtain falls but the play isn't over yet. All we can hear now are some muffled whispers behind a heavy curtain and at present there'll be no going back stage to congratulate the actors as they're still busy trying to write the last act. That is if the bankers are still willing to continue financing this. 

And as usual bank fails later... 
No bank fails this week carry on.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Friday Pussy - The Russians are coming the Russians are coming

Okay pussies are late this week, but the Russians weren't. And just how they'll spin their luncheon of lies on this one is anyone's guess, but one thing's for sure the little guy isn't going to make out well no matter what happens.
First off the U.S, has been wanting to get some type of influence in that region for some time now. We did after all finance the Orange revolution when it started to the tune of $5 billion. And the average "protester" this time around got $500 a month for showing his/her displeasure in the main square. That's about double the going rate er income of the average Ukrainian. The bribes and corruption are beyond the pale here. Should we be surprised? No because that figure is buried somewhere in some secret budget that nobody can talk about lest they be called a liar. Makes ya want to have a peek at a CIA budget just to see how our tax dollars are being stolen. National security my arse. Plenty of money for fine leather chairs and wall artwork but screw the veterans who actually paid their dues. What did you do in the grand scheme of things senator other than raise funds for you next election and quash another bill that just might have helped somebody? Thought so.

So what's this all about? It isn't about ideology or some flag waving support of national pride although that's what they'd have you believe. This is about oil gas and who has the power to control it. Putin sure got the free market thing down pat, vulture capitalism at it's best. The bulk of the energy lines goes right through the Ukraine and on to Europe so why not keep control of it? Just don't try and cross Putin or you land up in an unheated cell in a place nobody's ever heard of.

Ah but there's another plot turn to this three penny play that's ever so hush hush. That would be the fact that Exxon Mobile was about to reach a deal with the Ukrainians after a discovery of a large gas and oil find right off their coast in the Black Sea. Exxon wanted to pony up $700 million so you know this was no small potatoes. All of this was about to start shortly until the revolution started or should we say Kanukovich got a better deal from the Russians. Guess he didn't have enough play toys at the palace, but then maybe this wasn't about money because after all he had more than he knew what to do with. There must be at some point where the mass accumulation of wealth is just not enough. At some point the money becomes meaningless and then it's about the power. What a sickness that must be.

The Ukrainians were screwed from the start. The country was $15 billion in debt (a paltry sum by US standards) with little resources. Had they taken the first offer of a "bail out" from the EU they would have been saddled with even more debt compound interest can be a mother if you can't pay it back. The Greeks found that out the hard way. The other option was to go with Putin and his band of thieves. Either way it's not likely conditions would change. One thing is certain the little guys losses. The debt which was magically created (remember it's all done with smoke and mirrors because that money never existed in the first place) will be laid on two nations at a very minimum. Germany France and the other Eu countries don't have that kind of cash laying around in a bank vault. So there you have it.

And speaking of banks let's see how the little fish did this week.
We see two more banks hit the skids in Va and Pa.