Friday, October 2, 2015

Friday Post - Your services are no longer needed

Heads will roll

While the good news fairies of Wall Street would have you believe that everything is just hunky dory the truth is it's not. In order to make bottom lines look better and keep stock shares high companies have resorted to buy backs, asset sell offs and finally layoffs. The guise of the latter being the company is restructuring in order to meet global demand or some such other BS explanation. That's become very easy to do given the lack of ethics and the new corporate vulture capitalism. Also quite easy given the rise of investment groups who could care less about a product or process as long as it makes their shareholders money. Then there's the hedge funds that bet on a company's failure, but that's another story. Everywhere you look there's layoffs. Microsoft, Caterpillar, the banks, insurance companies all laying off to tighten balance sheets and make some CEO look like a winner at the shareholders meeting.

Customer service or no service as some call it - Seems those boiler rooms in India have finally come back home to roost. Note the southern drawl in the operators' voice. It's a good bet these people aren't working full time or get anything more than minimum wage and in southern states that isn't even the federal level (look it up). The "technicians" who do come out to your home mostly look like high school dropouts and just hope your problem isn't too complex or the old trouble shooter will have to be called in for a follow up visit. Once had a cable "technician" come out and install a cable box backwards. Resident 12 year old figured it out and fixed it. And good luck trying to change service. That's a guarantee for a sales pitch to a pricier package complete with features you'll never use. Forget trying to understand a remote, it takes a NASA engineer with an advanced degree to figure that one out when all you want to do is turn the damn thing on. And if all these smart cars and smart phones and smart this and that are so smart how come they keep failing? Machines do not necessarily need to talk to each other. My refrigerator, dishwasher, water heater, and stove have done quite well without having to talk to anybody. And it's an open invitation to hackers. We've already seen it in planes and cars. It's apparent there's no system that can't be hacked one way or another. So maybe it's time to simplify life and go back at least to some of the old ways. We just might be better off for it. 

bank fail later…
Two bank fails this past week one in WA. and one in GA.   

Friday, September 25, 2015

Friday Post - Cap and trade

That familiar sounding buzz word that everybody's talking about. To environmentalists it sounds like a slam dunk. To the conservatives backing dirty oil you'd think Armageddon was to start tomorrow. but this may be more a boon to Wall street than either groups. While it would on the face of it force companies to clean up their act by making emissions more expensive it doesn't take into account what happens when a company is forced to buy credits on not just the open market but a secondary market set up complete with derivatives. And once the hedge fund boys step in it's open season on market manipulation. And exactly how do they monitor emissions when there's not enough inspectors at present to keep up with safety inspections? OSHA only has one inspector to cover 4 states in the west just to give you an idea. The EPA has been pretty much gutted in terms of personnel and funding. And we know companies cheat whenever they can. It increases profits the environment be damned.

And another thought came to mind. What's to prevent large companies that have high emissions from buying smaller companies with little emissions, using the credits and selling off the assets as we've seen with the rest of vulture capitalism? Then there's the possibility of shell companies being set up off shore that produce no green house gasses but provide a nice benefit for the parent company. They could in theory make billions by gaming the system. We're on to their little games.  

A better solution would be a pollution tax but one that could be gained back by installing control equipment. Throw in a 10 or 20% bonus on the tax rebate and you'd see quick changes in industry overnight. The added money could be gained from those who refused to comply or were fined for breaking emission standards. Sort of an carrot and stick approach.

To its' credit China will at least begin to clean up its' act. Maybe having to shut down factories for a month to clean up the air around Beijing was a wake up call. After it's burned all that tar sands oil smoke just drifts back over the Pacific and pollutes us. But the real proof in the pudding is how the economics of this will work. If they have to rely on outside investors to keep markets going it's an open invitation for manipulation.

Part Two - Greed

It starts at the top. A CEO issues a memo to the underlings to cut costs and increase profit margins. Managers tell estimators much the same. Estimators pad their bids telling the CEO one price while informing the project manager that the bid was far less. Managers always want to look good so they cut the bid even more and pass it on to the supervisor. The supervisor tells the foreman that the project was under bid but to do what he can without upsetting the workers. He too shaves off a few hours. The foreman then cuts some hours from the bid and tells the workers it's a tough job and must be done in the time given. His time of course. The workers manage to get the job done in just under the bid which isn't the real bid as we know. The CEO stands before the company and tells them the company isn't making any money so he'll have to cut costs even more. That may be in the form of refusing to replace broken equipment or maintaining company vehicles. And when there is an accident it's always the employees' fault. Driver/ operator error they say and be sure to drug test him. When an employee dies on the job so much the better because the company had an insurance policy on him. Worth more dead than alive. Of course in a large company CEOs don't care because the guy was just a number on a spread sheet. Only concern will be cover up story and the lies and fabrications to be addressed. When media inquires just tell them the matter is being investigated. But the workers usually know exactly what happened, but they won't talk for fear of losing their job.

bank fails later
No fails this week

Friday, September 18, 2015

A phony and a failure


After watching part of the clown show the other night it's a safe bet none of these guys or girl is capable of running anything. It looked more like a side show than a debate. Trump the bloviating usually master of ceremonies toned down his usual bombastic style yet had no answers as to exactly how he'd pull off one of the largest construction projects in U.S. history all the while making Mexico pay for it. The rest of the pack took turns spewing the usual right wing line complete with lies and falsehoods. 
The "Donald" was seen at an event just the day before aboard the U.S.S. Iowa. Touted as a support for veterans event a little research turned up some discrepancies. The group Veterans for a Strong America was there and to quote Donald has "hundreds of thousands of members". A little research indicates otherwise. The group only has one member, Joel Arends its chairman and if you go to the web page there's no way to join this organization. If that was bad enough an IRS filing from the organization showed that it had $30 in the bank and owed $300 in expenses. (Hat tip to Rachel Maddow for her investigation on this matter.)  Haven't dug much into the Donald's past but I'm sure it will surface as time passes.

I think what we're witnessing here is the last bastion of the death throws of a dying party. While they resurrected the images of their patron saint Ronnie they fail to realize that Reagan got away with it because back then there wasn't the internet to fact check and everything wasn't archived via cell phone. Anyone now can check their statistics in real time and pick out the lies post haste. Spouting the deep seated and usually hidden hatreds of a waning base will not expand their numbers. But now we have Trump doing just that on the national stage. These conversations were usually reserved for the exclusive party dinners in places average Americans could never see the inside. As we all recall it was the secret recording of Mitt Romney at one of these events that was his downfall. While he mentioned the 47% who rely on government handouts he failed to mention corporations who take far more or of the 1% who produce absolutely nothing for society.
That brings us to Carly Fiorini the "businesswoman". Stepping in at Hewitt Packard she laid off 30,000 workers, purchased a company that was overvalued losing Packard millions and was fired taking with her a $42 million dollar golden parachute. She may have done well but the workers sure didn't. And this was before she lost 1/2 billion dollars for Lucent at her previous job. Some business record no?

But this entire debate thing is more about a beauty contest than actually picking a world leader. More points seemed to be given for style and performance than actual facts and policies. Fear not all of this will be long forgotten come next October or November when who knows whom will be on top of the pack. But to have to endure another entire year of this…ugh!

bank fails later...
none this past week

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Meanderings of the brain and no you can't get there from here

Guess I'm getting writer's block because I just can't think of much to write that I haven't beaten to death. 

The mass exodus from Syria Iraq and Afghanistan continues. It's expected that 1 million more people will flee before year's end. Little we can do about it as world governments poo poo about the issue. Funny how 60 years ago we were more than capable of dealing with things like this. Now it requires a blue ribbon panel to discuss the problem which will take months. And all the while not much more than another report of an air strike campaign. No mention of casualties unless it's some ISIS big whig or cache of militants.This has to be the most hidden war in all of world history. No mention of exactly how they're targeting those on the ground. For all we know some poor kid finds a cell phone calls his grandmother and the next thing you know he has a missile coming down his chimney.

Other thoughts randomly thinking. Our roads here are slowly crumbling. They just did a quick fix by putting tar in all the cracks. That might last until spring but it's no permanent fix. Some roads they used what's called chip seal. They cover the road with tar and spread small stones on top before it sets. All well and good for a short time fix with one drawback, tires kick the stones up until the roadway is compacted. All this cheap work when the state has some of the highest gas taxes. And don't get me started on mass transit around here. That's become a money pit. We're building what appears to be the biggest underground tunnel around. Only problem the machine broke down about a year ago and they just now getting it repaired. Adding tolls to the tunnel to boot when or if it gets finished. People are stupid they'll just take other routes to avoid the toll. Same as they did with a new floating bridge they're building. And slowly car pool lanes are no longer free. That'll make things better right? Should we be surprised? When the idiot republicans keep lowering taxes and the state has no money for things like schools or roads they expect somebody else to pay for it. And it's funny how when the state wanted to put a toll on a bridge to their area the uproar was tremendous. 

Seattle is in a state of "build it and they will come" mode. There's no less than 15 tower cranes slapping up office buildings, apartments and condos and I'm talking big ones. It seems to be a repeat of what you could see before the last bust. Investment organizations are buying up homes and condos not to sell but to rent and rents are going up. A "cheap" place in Seattle can go for $1600 a month and you're talking small one bedroom places. 

bank fails later none last week
No fails this week

Friday, September 4, 2015

Money money money

No rate hike at Fed meeting. But of course being that the Fed is controlled by bankers why should they raise rates? Cheap money continues to flow to the gamblers on Wall street while the rest of us suffer. But this game of musical chairs can only go on for long. Eventually the band must be paid. Think about it for a sec. Investors took out loans to buy stocks in companies that weren't making much money. Their values were based purely on perception. Customers are slowly drying up and the housing market in China has hit a bubble. Their government has done just about everything it can to prop up the markets while their banks have faltered and the yuan is nose diving. And people wonder why.
Fear not they can always buy insurance to cover their losses unless of course there's not enough in the coffers to cover the losses as before. Lloyds of London went bankrupt the last time round. They're the ones who will insure anything and it took a UK bailout to get them going again. Somebody's going to get stuck with a lot of bad paper yet again. And those big "too big to fail" banks have gotten bigger so the fall will be greater.

Last time around the markets hit a little over 14,000 before dumping 7000 points. To date the markets hit a high of around 18300 and have lost nearly 2000. I don't see people rushing out to buy big ticket items. They say consumers run the economy and it doesn't look like we're buying much from China even though just about  everything is made there. Always look for the made in USA label.

Oh Canada looks like you're in recession already. Maybe if Harper hadn't put all his tar balls in one basket things might have been better. Tariffs aren't helping and by the looks of it Stevey would trade his grandmother for some cheap Chinese trinkets. And he has a masters in economics? Must be an honorary degree. Where's that cheap gas they promised. Nova Scotia I hear ran out of gas. How'd that happen the world is swimming in oil? Maybe that what happens when you put bean counters in charge.

Bank fails later...

Friday, August 28, 2015

Friday Post - Migrants and bankers

“Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed, to me:
I lift my lamp beside the golden door.”

Migrants - The current situation is bad because rather than deal with the situation in an organized manner, creating processing centers and spreading that population out across multiple countries, migrants are crammed into camps with poor conditions and treated like criminals. Their only offense is wanting a little safety and maybe a shot at a better life. Rewind to the days of the end of the Vietnam war when those who helped the U.S. fight the North Vietnamese were airlifted to safety, brought to the U.S. and Canada and neatly spread out across cities and towns. Done so well that nobody realized that 450,000 were settled here. No town or city can handle the influx of tens of thousands of people all at once yet that's what we're seeing in Italy and Greece. That's also not to mention the refugee camps in Lebanon, Turkey and Jordan. The problem as I see it is that they're trying to deal with the symptoms and not the problem which is political instability and war. And this has to be a drag on the world economies. The arms dealers, bankers and morticians may be doing well, not so much for the rest of us. There has to be a breaking point. 

There is the issue of China which for the moment is desperately trying to pump up a slowing economy. But there are other factors at issue. Mainly they followed the U.S. lead of allowing their investors to borrow money to invest in the stock market. All went well until their economy slowed and values fell. Add to that the loosening of real estate regulations that permitted the ownership of second homes and just like the U.S. market when the bubble burst prices fell. In a feeble attempt to pump up the market the Chinese government lowered interest rates. It's worked for a brief while but even that ploy is set to fail. A small snippet from a Chinese analyst today gave credence to what the future may bring. The government is buying stocks to try and keep the markets high. “If the government sustains buying there are terribly negative consequences, such as impact to [People’s Bank of China’s] credibility and yuan credibility…Any bank can create money out of thin air, which is why confidence is so important,” said Cui. “So if they keep printing money to buy high valued stocks, it will damage yuan credibility.”

Wall Street would have you believe that this was just a minor glitch, a temporary correction but the fundamentals say otherwise. And this isn't happening in just China but other countries as well as others devalue their currency to make their products more attractive. But I don't see a rush to buy more stuff. While there may be pockets of building in some cities this isn't a broad based boom like after past recessions.

Bank fails later
No fails this week

Friday, August 21, 2015

Friday Post - Cast your ballot but hang on to your wallet

Thought about doing a small straw vote on the candidates here but it's become a real circus. Here was some possibilities:

However after further review as they say in football we find that there's far more than the 17 plus on the republican side or 5 democrats running as attested to by a Guardian article (sheesh you have to go overseas to find out what's going on over here). Interesting to note that according to a Guardian article there are 585 registered candidates for U.S. president in 2016, including Sydneys Voluptuous Buttocks (independent), President Emperor Caesar (Democrat), Buddy The Cat (Democrat), Crawfish Crawfish (other), Bailey D Dog (independent), Buddy The Elf (write-in). Forget voter fraud the elections board might do better to scrutinize the candidate's qualifications. It's a safe bet some of these aren't even human beings. With the actual numbers in the voter fraud non problem a half dozen votes wrongly cast has not changed an outcome yet, at least not since the days of Tammany Hall or the Chicago party machines.

 The sad fact today is that unlike Canada or the UK we here in the U.S. must endure the better part of 2 years of campaign BS and just like retailers the day after Christmas when the last of the tinsel has been swept up the preparation process starts all over. Should you wish to keep warm all winter it's an easy task of picking up yard signs the day after an election. Wooden stakes and cardboard burn quite well.

The more things change the more things stay the same and they aren't getting any better. Looking at the markets the Dow has taken a 600 point dump so far in the last two days. It's obvious they weren't realistic in the first place but we all knew what happened when the fun and games ended with the crash of Wall Street in 1929. And if you thought 2008 was bad you ain't seen nothin yet. China's economy is slowly freezing up. Germany thinking they are in some power seat hasn't realized that they are broke too. How many of the euros did they just hand off to Greece? And those were borrowed euros at that. So let's face facts when the money isn't put to actual use for things like building bridges or roads or schools and gets filtered directly to banks who only make money by creating more debt (all paper shuffling) then eventually the music stops and everybody is left chairless or in this case homeless. This appears to be the very start of an economic freeze up. With the cost of two wars still ongoing a decade later and not paid for and the round after round of tax cuts it's a sure bet there won't be another bail out like the last time. Expect some of the larger brokerage houses to fall this time along with a few of the larger banks.

I'm sure Voluptuous Buttocks, Buddy The Cat or Deez Nutz could solve the financial problems given a chance but in the mean time we endure another year of election campaigning.

bank fails later...

Friday, August 14, 2015

Friday sans the beavers and pussies

Thought I'd pass on the beaver and pussy stick. It was getting old and only used it to get traffic here. Must say it did work for a while. So what now?
Oops how'd he get in there?

 Ever notice how Mike Duffy looks much like a Vogn from "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Gallexy"?
Try getting that image out of your mind.

On with the post -

Ever notice that a lot of the bloggers are gone? Check your side bar and note how many dead links there are. Some moved on to jobs that might not take kindly to net postings that are less than politically correct. Others died and can't leave a forwarding address. Kind of sad. It was like going into your favorite bar and knowing what the atmosphere was like before you got there. And sadly we all have our expiration date even though it isn't stamped on a body part we can see.

Life goes on in spite of tornadoes hurricanes fires or explosions. We're getting a little rain here even though it won't be enough to make much difference. Lawns are still brown here and much of the landscape is parched. Haven't seen it this dry in all the years I've lived here. Neighbors' bushes caught fire the other week while they were on vacation. Fortunately some other neighbors stepped up and had it under control before the whole place caught fire. Guess there are a few decent people left unless you're a politician.

 What a clown show we must endure for another year plus. On the right we have egomaniacs pandering to the ever shrinking white old man base. Selling them the proposition that you too can be rich like me if you'll just take another pay and benefit cut while I and my congressional buddies slip in another tax break. Their accounts in the Caymans must be bursting by now. Think about who the real welfare queens are. Ten or twenty bucks swiped from food stamps pales by comparison to the trillions that were reaped off the taxpayers with multibillion dollar bonuses to boot. Wrong is wrong but some wrongs are more wrong if you get my drift.

And should you think that the U.S. has cornered the market on corruption look no farther than to our friends to the north. Mr. Harper can no longer spin his story. He now has to resort to bold faced lies. To say he knew nothing of the Duffy matter is just plain hog wash. But take heart Canada at least this matter came out. Such things rarely see the light of day in the U.S. Now if I could just figure out a way to write off the meals I eat at home humm. What could I charge for sleeping in my own bed? Pretty ballsy if you ask me. And what's this chite about paying it back? Try stealing a loaf of bread at your local store and see what happens. Everything won't turn out okay just because you came back and paid up.

Bank fails later...

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Friday Beaver - Comb over

(Couldn't find a beaver shot with a Trump hair cut so this 'll have to do.)

Hola from the Donald

What do you mean you're not thugs, drug smugglers, rapists and murders? Thought everybody knew that.  We'll just build a wall, maybe electrify it and slap in a mote with alligators. All built by Mexicans to boot.

Let us not forget to throw grandma off her Social security because you know Wall Street needs even more money to lose in that grand poker game they call the market place. 

Health care? Who needs health care? Are there no prisons? Are there no work houses? We'll just replace that with yet another terrific plan but I can't tell you what that is because we haven't invented it yet. We'll have to consult with our insurance backers and lobbyists.

And taxes - who doesn't hate paying taxes unless it's those at the very top of the heap who can afford to pay an accountant or two to avoid paying even a nickel. Millions in profits and not a cent going to pay for the infrastructure that they used to make it. That's fair right?

Ah women - I'll Insult them all I want because I have that trophy wife stashed away and she won't say a word after I forced her into signing that prenup. 

I love hispanics and blacks. I think everybody should own one, just don't rent to them they might tarnish the Trump brand.

I'll bring jobs back to America ( As soon as I can get the wages in Asia even lower) Over here we'll just get rid of the EPA and all those nasty laws that protect our water and air. Doesn't everybody use bottled water to shower with? Thought everybody did.

Education - We'll just eliminate the K thru 12 requirement and make charter schools for those who can afford it because after all what jobs are left? And anyway you can't tear them away from their phones long enough to teach them anything.

Now everybody shut up while I get back to looking at a cheap land deal in Puerto Rico. Build a world class hotel I'll call it the Trump Cha Cha Cha. It'll be *UGE. 

(Take note of how many times Trump uses the term "I" or "me" in his speeches and never "us" or "we". A definite indication of a sociopath. Would love to hear from a professional in the mental health field about what they think of him.) 

Bank fails when I think of it.  
No fails this week carry on. 

Friday, July 31, 2015

Friday Beaver - Trading beaver edition

Beaver hoping the traditional beaver skin top hats don't come back in fashion. Oops! Too late for this beaver.

TPP  NAFTA CAFTA and other stupid ideas

There was a time when TV sets were made in the U.S. Then NAFTA was signed. Slowly that business went first to Canada then to Mexico and finally to China seeking its' lowest labor costs. To date 62,000 manufacturers have left the country. Nothing was spared and nothing is safe. About the only thing left is airplanes and autos and we know autos took a hit with imports. Yes the auto industry came back but new workers now make about 1/2 what the old timers made. And forget pensions. So that raises the question. What happens when the Chinese learn to build our American planes? If you look at our GDP the bulk of it is dedicated to aircraft manufacturing. While aircraft machinists did make a handsome salary with plenty of perks, new workers see a smaller paycheck and a 401K instead of a pension. 

With an all out assault on the middle class and the fact that 70 to 80% of our economy is consumer driven just where do the corporate suits think they'll find customers? They have this delusion that somehow they're the "job creators" when in fact they didn't create one single job. Jobs are created by demand and necessity. You don't start a business unless you know there's a demand for your product or service.

Now we have the TPP Trans Pacific Trade agreement. From what I've read of it it would strip countries of their sovereignty and give it to corporations. Even though your country might have banned a product or chemical a corporation could sue and not just to be permitted to sell the banned item but for future losses. Such was the case in Canada when Ethyl Corporation sued because Canada had banned a gasoline additive MMT. The company won and got $13 million for its' trouble even though EPA and Health Canada indicted that exposure could cause nerve damage.

Does it really make economic sense to ship a pound of beef from New Zealand half way around the world? And who exactly needs to eat watermelon in the wintertime in North America? Much of the problems could be resolved if they took the speculators out of the market. Their only function is to buy and sell contracts thereby driving up the price of a commodity. They have no vested interest in product itself. And now we have hedge funds betting on the rise or fall of a product. Vegas must be jealous.

Bank fails later
No fails this week

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Late Friday Beaver - Random beaver shots

Random rants

It's amazing we haven't seen more shootings in this country. Forget some ISIS extremist hiding under the bed. They're about as much threat as a stone gargoyle. No, worry about that quiet creepy guy on the bus who talks to himself. He's more of a threat should he be off his meds or worse if he took some of the meds they prescribe these days. (side effects and all) It was Ronald Reagan  who opened up the doors to the mental hospitals back in the 80s and let everybody out. So now it's harder to get these folks help. Haven't seen what Obamacare covers so it's a safe bet many are falling through the cracks. Health care shouldn't be tied to whether you have a job or not.

How dry I am
We've had almost no rain here this year. Only two minor rain storms that I can think of in the last couple of months and not enough to water a garden. Normally the grass turns brown until late Sept but this year trees are starting to die. Checked the pine trees the other day with the old christmas tree test. Grab a branch and pull on the needles, if they come off easily then the tree needs water. Can't even keep some of the landscape plants alive. That's creating a fire danger. A bush across the street caught fire the other day. Had it not been for some fast acting neighbors and strangers their trees next to the building would have gone up like a torch setting the entire building ablaze.
There's parts of California, Texas, and Alberta, Canada that I hear are worse. So much for food prices and forget beef. Chicken just shot through the roof with a 4 million pound recall.

Bomb bomb bomb (fill in the blank)
What haven't we blown up over the past years? Afghanistan- check Iraq - check Pakistan - check Syria - check Libya - check Yemen - check. The right wingers are just drooling over Iran. Oh and let's not forget our assistance in Ukraine and Turkey. Bet we loan them a drone or two. But then that leaves the entire continent of Africa with so many countries but we tend to steer clear of that part of the world. Small potatoes maybe? Guess we can't squeeze enough out of them with bribes or intimidation to make it worthwhile.

The Fox News republican clown show
I say we arm them all with pies and seltzer bottles and see who comes out the cleanest. You just know this will be a contest to see who can be the most tea baggyist. If you go so far to the right do you finally land up on the far left? And just who is their base? Or should we say who's left of their base? This country isn't lilly white northern european anymore. Somebody had it right when they called them "the stupid party".  What better way to lose an election than by insulting potential voters. We've heard what they think of hispanics. Can't wait till they're asked about what they think of black people. Now if they could just remember where they put those binders full of women.

Bank fails when I think of it.
No fails this week and only 6 fails so far this year.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Friday Beaver - Up and running

Finally got a newer computer. The old one just wouldn't handle new software and was about as slow as dial up towards the end. Then there was the issue of updating everything. Sadly I can not transfer old files to the newer one because they are two completely different operating systems even though the same brand. 

Greece - Either way they were screwed. Take the deal and inflict austerity or don't take the deal and face bankruptcy and austerity.

Doesn't pay to be a black man or a hispanic in this country. The odds are against you. One black man strangled for 20 minutes until he died. A hispanic with his empty hands held out shot to death. All listed as justified? But the civil suits are running into the millions. You'd think by now that police departments couldn't get liability insurance for such events. No sweat off their hides it's the taxpayers' dime.

I see Canada is swirling down the toilet bowl to recession even though their finance minister denys it . Harper will have fun trying to spin his way out of this especially when the Iran oil hits the markets and the price of oil drops even more.  Fear not Canadians we're not far behind. The largest part of the U.S. GDP is selling airplanes which normally runs in 20 year cycles. Well it's been about 20 years since the last uptick in building aircraft. Much of the military aircraft is coming to an end as well. Forget the F-35. They haven't worked out all the bugs yet and the fuel tankers for the air force are almost complete. That just leaves drones and the military only ordered a couple dozen of them.

Puerto Rico could be the next Greece. They have $72 billion in outstanding bonds and couldn't make a $94 million payment. Portugal is in no better shape with debt to GDP at 400%. Question is when will the dominoes fall?

Bank fails later  None last week
Correction: One bank did fail last week in Denver,Co none this week.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Friday Beaver - Please stand by

 The beaver is off today while he fixes a few computer problems. He may be back next week with a few surprises. In the mean time it looks like Greece caved and more austerity is on the way. We shall see. Haven't researched the full agreement.

Bank fails later

Friday, July 3, 2015

FryDay Beaver

Don't know if our trusty beavers will be out today. The network gods seem to be angry and keep dropping connections.

Hotter than a $2 pistol around here. It's so hot ... (fill in your own answer cause it's too hot to think of one on my end.)

Stick a fork in Greece it's done. Now to the next entree. Will it be Portugal Spain or Italy or maybe some other unsuspected country?

Rah Rah Happy (fill in the blank) be it Canada, the U.S. or the tiny republic that everybody forgot and got taken over by yet another dictator Day. Is it national throw out the moldy leftovers from the fridge day? Perhaps it's treat the third degree burns from fireworks day. Nope that would be Sunday the 5th. To her credit mother nature  has blessed us (or cursed depending on how you look at it) with extremely dry hot weather so the kiddies aren't lighting off explosive devices two days before as they usually do. Two morons here set the grass next to the freeway on fire the other day. Two guys in their 50s I'm told. Sheesh grow up. Temps here hovering around 90F or 32C but nothing like the 104F or 40C Europe is experiencing.

The toxic materials racket. Corporations get away with murder literally. Kill a bunch of people because of greed and yet nobody goes to jail and the fines while appearing large are a pittance of what's needed. Face facts the Gulf Coast will never be the same. Their "solution" has made the problem worse. Oil treated with Corexit can not be picked up with an absorbent pad.
Ideally we should get off of burning dead dinosaurs for our energy needs and it may be that we're getting close to that as we have to drill farther and deeper and resort to fracking to squeeze the last drop of oil from mother nature. Momma doesn't seem to be too happy with that either. Dimwits deny science and they may find their house burned to the ground with no water to put it out. Or a flash flood will wash what assets they had down the river. That's the extremes of climate change.
We have a nice choice now between a leaky pipeline or an exploding rail car take your pick. Nice choice eh?

Where do we go from here? There's enough sunlight hitting the earth in any given day to power all the TVs and monitors on the planet for 100 years but no profit margin in the deal I guess otherwise we would have done it long ago. One thing we do know is that those entrenched in the oil industry will milk every last dime out of the planet before the oil runs out. It's how they roll.

One last parting thought from my pearls of wisdom necklace - A fifth on the fourth could get you ten in the pen.

Probably no bank fails today here as I believe the banks are closed but I'll check...

Friday, June 26, 2015

Beaver Friday - Train wreck edition

The world is falling apart. The slow moving train wreck continues. Seems each day another car slips the tracks careening down the ravine to its' destruction. In just over a week 700 die from heat in Pakistan. People shot and killed in Ukraine. ISIS bulls its' way back into Kobane (no report on casualties) and not a peep out of what's happening in Fukushima, Japan or Afghanistan. If you aren't being dried up like a raisin in the West or succumb to heat stroke in the desert of the Middle East., then it's flood waters to be dealt with in Texas or China or Russia.

Should we be surprised though? With the devolution of education (bet your resident spawn couldn't name the capitol of Turkey but they'd be embarrassed if the didn't know the runner up on American Idol. And no the answer isn't Istanbul it's Ankara.) what are we preparing the next generation for one might ask? No more steel mills or at least not many left and forget appliance manufacturers or clothing, they left a decade ago. What's left? Much of our "high tech" has been outsourced as well. Greeter at Walmart is not what you'd call a career ambition and if I'm not mistaken they eliminated that position anyway. Must face the facts that we've become too efficient for our own good.

Less is more until it no longer has the strength to hold up the bridge or building. And who forgot to read the architectural drawings along with the specs? Oh right, they used those cheap Chinese bolts cause they got such a deal. And the night shift forgot to tell the day shift to finish tightening the bolts. Too tired must have slipped their mind. At some point in the not too distant future we'll have robots doing all the work and only need one robot master to keep watch. Look no farther than military use of drones soon to be unmanned. And you thought "the terminator" was just a fantasy.

The Greek tragedy continues. Sure I'll give you a loan (debt) to pay off your loan (debt) and you'll be that much deeper in the hole. But they aren't the only ones facing the loan sharks. Portugal may be next up followed by Spain and Italy. Let us not forget Belgium in this mix. Will the dominoes fall? We'll have to wait and see. Time is running out lest they kick the can once more. So as you can see we're all in the same leaky boat. Oops wrong analogy, we're in one of the train cars waiting for our turn to careen off the cliff.

Side note: Our local regional experts on beavers informs me that many of the beaver photos I've posted are not in fact beavers but other members of the rodent family i.e. woodchucks, nutria, etc. We duly apologize for being misinformed.

Bank fails?
No banks fails here this week but keep an eye on Greek banks. What will they do when there's nobody left to screw?

Friday, June 19, 2015

Friday Beaver Greek tragedy edition

Beavers don't need home loans and you may not like the second act Mrs Lincoln.

Greece that ancient bastion of democracy is slowly crumbling along with the rest of the world. Question remains will it take everybody else down in the process? Democracy a system of government whereby the majority of people rule either directly or by representation. Demos = people Kratos = power or rule. And it's the only reason Greece has the government it does because neither the banks nor the corporations could buy off the government there.

What does it all mean one might ask? Banks are trying their best to steal, yes steal the wealth of the people. And prior governments had a hand in it by borrowing money then lowering taxes and letting the very rich hide their money off shore. Hum sound familiar? And now the bill comes due but there's no money left to pay it. It sits quietly in the Caymans collecting interest untouched and untaxed.

And what a Ponzi scheme we've created for ourselves. You take out a loan with interest which is created from money that never existed. Your friendly banker takes that loan and sells shares (leverages it) at around nine times its' value. The system works well until either somebody can't pay or too many want to cash in their shares. Then the system collapses. With a home loan the borrower loses his house and still must pay back any difference if the home value is less than the loan (known as due on default). The share holders lose by getting pennies on the dollar if that. The bank wins all around. It has possession of the home, the difference on the loan balance and can tell the shareholders to bugger off also charging them a fee to try and sell their shares. And let's not forget the fees which in some cases can amount to one third to one half the loan balance.

So getting back to Greece it's a safe bet whatever happens they're screwed. If they were to take the Euro deal their pensioners and public workers might as well take a poison pill. If they don't take the deal and have to go back to the Drachma then it would become basically worthless paper. After all who'd want to hold currency in a bankrupt country or buy a bond from it? And from the latest reports people aren't waiting around to see which way this is going. Money is flooding out of banks in millions of euros. Come and get it before it's gone.

All of this could have been avoided if all parties had looked at past history. You can't expect anyone in a tough financial situation to cough up more than they have. Germany for one seems to forget that they had much of their debt after WWII forgiven and the rest was financed over a 55 year period. They just finished paying their war debt in 2005 believe it or not.

And what banks failed this week? That's right they never really fail they just change their name and keep stealing. We'll look later...

Friday, June 12, 2015

Friday Beaver - Beavers don't lend

Neither a borrower or a lender be.

Wise advice and older than dirt if you look at the world situation. China's economy is slowing, has been for some time now. After the housing bust there (remember there's entire cities that sit empty there) investors moved to stocks. One can only assume their markets are as inflated as the tulip fiasco a century plus back. There is the Greek tragedy playing out. We should know by months' end whether it will be default or the can gets kicked farther down the road, but you can only kick the can for so long. Eventually somebody wants paid but nobody wants to face up to the facts. Greece is broke and sucking more money from pensioners isn't going to help the GDP.

There's the Ukraine needing around $15 billion to stay afloat. So which loan shark will it be the east or the west? Putin would love nothing better than to take them under his wing just don't have any unkind words for him should you take the deal. Guess bribery and extortion were much easier in the old Soviet days.

Want to be a "bajillionare"? Then head to Zimbabwe. A dollar U.S. will get you $35 trillion Zimbabwean dollars. And we wonder why there's unrest in that part of the world.

Nigeria - A wonderful place with educated people and no opportunities unless of course you've invented something more creative than the dead prince scam. Bet there's 419 ways to say no to that. We're hearing the latest profession involves taking bribes from drug smugglers from South America so their cargo gets to Europe.

Somehow though in the grand scheme of things it all boils down to perceptions. What is the true value of an item? Take housing for example. Did you know that there are still 4 million people in the U.S. who are underwater with their mortgages. Their homes are worth less than what they owe. This to the tune of $579 billion according to Zillow. But the truth there is that people borrowed when the market was artificially high. A two bedroom condo in the suburbs is not worth a quarter of a million dollars. But if you believe that I just might be able to dig up some tulip bulbs for you. Just have your certified checks ready.

Bank fails later...

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Friday beaver - How did we get here?

We're getting to the point of diminishing returns. In all aspects of society. What do I mean by that you might ask? In so many things we've become too efficient for our own good. What used to take dozens of workers now takes two or three and many jobs have been replaced by one machine or robot automatically cranking out products like never before. All well and good for the bottom line and prices for some items have never been cheaper. I said some. A color TV used to cost several months' salary now can be had with just a few days' labor. And what was once hand made in a factory by dozens of workers can be done mostly without human hands touching the product. Such was the case with almonds. What once took an army of pickers days of work can now be done with a shaking machine that removes the nuts and captures them at the base of the tree. No need to hire Jose and the boys for that back breaking work.

Same thing with education, but in this case rather than resort to new methods to tackle an ever increasing work load it was easier just to eliminate entire subjects. Of course the American system never was quite up to wold standards, but it's gotten progressively worse. We now have high school graduates who can read at better than a third grade level if at all. Once we trained young people to work in a factory or go on to college, but the factories are gone and there only so many jobs left that require college. What's left are service jobs that require little education and don't pay very well so where's the incentive to do well in school? And who wants to be saddled with a massive student loan when there no guarantee you'll be able to pay it back. Imagine if you will if you had some thing akin to a mortgage after graduation and all the jobs pay minimum wage or a bit higher.

How did we get here? Base wages never kept pace with inflation. They haven't doubled in 35 years here while at the same time costs have nearly tripled and in some cases quadrupled. How did that happen? What used to be subsidized like colleges are no longer. Taxes on the wealthy used to pay for 2/3s of the costs for college. Taxes also built our roads and much of our infrastructure. Taxes at one time were 90% of everything over $100,000. The wealthy were still wealthy back then and didn't seem to complain.

Lastly there's the push for efficiency and savings. The lay off two workers and give that to one worker with a new job title but with little or no increase in pay. Cut that can of beans down to less than a pound and you increase the bottom line by millions. Airlines squeeze in another row of seats. And forget the free lunch or dinner. And don't get me started on the worthless paper that's being sold all over the world. Simply put they're just bets on debt. Speaking of which...

No Bank fails this week but keep an eye on Greece at the end of the month, it could get interesting.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Mess - the situation we call the Middle East

Beaver is taking a day off this week so that we may bring you the following:

The mess we call the middle east.
We see that Iran is now assisting in taking on ISIS in Iraq. That somewhat complicates matters as we have been no friend of Iran for the last 35 plus years. But digging deeper into all this we find that it's more a matter of Iran against Saudi Arabia. Iran is Shia while the Saudis are Sunnis. So it's a safe bet the Iranians were delighted when Bush invaded Iraq and threw out the Sunni government.  But wait didn't we label Iran a terrorist country? We did right after they threw out the dictator the Shah whom we installed after overthrowing their democratically elected president . And it was the same thing with the Muhajadeen (sic) who we backed against Russia in Afghanistan until they morphed into Al Qaeda. And we helped install the Taliban. I'm going to take an educated guess and say that we created or helped to create ISIS in an attempt to combat Al Qaeda (divide and conquer) but in the process created a worse monster. An educated guess would be that both the U.S. and the Saudis backed ISIS at least in the beginning but for different reasons. And it seems funny how in spite of all the drone strikes and areal bombings ISIS keeps moving forward and taking cities. Remember ISIS was at the beginning a force of just 30,000.

Then there's the Russian aspect in all this. We know that prior to the Shah era in Iran their president was about to start oil deals with Russia. Russia is also friends with Assad in Syria and (when he was alive) Gadaffy in Libya. We also know that Hussein in Iraq was about to do large oil deals with Russia before the first Gulf war. And we know what happened to Russia in Afghanistan. Suspect they're staying out of Yemen for the moment unless it's to sell arms. Putin's overall plan is a bit of a puzzle to me. Most of the countries he's tried to take over are very poor. Ukraine was understandable because there's been close ties both economically and culturally. Is he really trying to put the old Soviet Union back together? What exactly are his plans for the middle east? We know he'd like nothing better than to lay in some pipelines through Syria and Iran but the wars and hostility are preventing that.

None of this will be resolved until all factions sit down and negotiate a peace agreement. Whether that would happen any time soon is anyone's guess, doubtful at this point. Where does that leave our military? We actually accomplished the mission when we got Bin Ladin. Even Bush admitted he wasn't there to nation build and yet here we are over a decade later trying to rebuild nations and stuck in the quagmire we call the middle east. There is the cost not just in the 2 to 3 trillion dollars but of the lives lost both of our military and their civilians. For us it was about the oil and protecting our interests in it. For them it I believe it was more about respect and survival. If they want to live in some 12th century dream of utopia that never existed, I say let them.

Our military this fine remembrance day is paid lip service for their part in all this. They get used as a backdrop for every politician going but when it comes time to actually supporting the troops the legislation gets voted down time and time again. Twenty five percent of the homeless in the U.S. are veterans and a yellow ribbon and a couple of days to remember them isn't going to change that. Did they fight and die for freedom and democracy? I'd say not. More like for oil and corporate interests. And if you look back through history the story is the same, all about conquering lands and gaining more wealth all at the expense of the underclass too poor to do otherwise. So ask yourself as you may be driving this weekend what price was that gallon of gas? How many died for it? And who actually benefitted from it? A dollar or two less sure doesn't raise anybody out of poverty, but it sure made a small group at the top wealthy.

No bank fails this week

Friday, May 15, 2015

Friday beaver The trill is gone but not forgotten

Blues legend BB King has died at the age of 89. Only regret is that I never saw him preform live. It was one of those 'round to its' you keep putting off until it's too late. He kind of fell out of favor until the late 60s when big concerts came back and he started playing as an opening act for rock bands. Music I believe evolved into something a 12 year old could produce with computerized melodies and backgrounds whipped up with a press of a finger. BB however stayed true to his music and gave blues the feeling it rightly deserved, right from the gut and soul. The thrill is definitely  gone.

Random things.
Looks like the real data came out about production and consumer spending. Just knew they couldn't hide reality for long. You still won't find hoards at the retail shops buying crap they can't afford and didn't need in the first place. Most purchases now are for necessities like food, cheap replacement clothing (you can only darn socks so many times before they become thread bare) and of course repair items like glue and tape. And all this time the economic wizards  thought the rest of the year would be roses and fairy dust. Judging by some housing prices in some areas we may be in for a second burst bubble in that sector. Big banks dumped their bad loans on unsuspecting private equity firms who are now renting out the properties if they haven't been trashed first. Average rent around here runs $1000 or more per month. That's not something even two people making minimum wage could afford.

Trains planes automobiles and computers.
We've gone a bit too far in the respect of adding computers to everything. While they work great in some situations controlling everything is really not necessary. Who after all wants to hear a knock at the door and a repairman telling you that the refrigerator called him telling him it was sick when it was in fact a teenage computer hacker from Uzbecki beckistan having his kicks on a Friday night? And good luck finding that Maytag repairman when the fridge actually does go on the fritz. They don't make em here anymore and nobody knows how to fix them. What's that you say? The computer in the fridge needs replacing? Forget it and call the recycling company just hope they don't charge you to haul it away.
And with all the wi-fi signals to all the devices out there you just know it's a recipe for disaster. Cars, trains, and planes can be hacked now so don't believe it when they tell you it's foolproof there's smarter fools being born every day.

There's a terrorist under my bed
That's what the insurance companies would like you to believe. Got a homeowners policy? This is the latest rider for the squeamish. But do read the mouse print. It only covers you if Abdul or other lone wolf is running up your driveway with bomb in hand or explosive belt and does damage to your homestead. Should he be attacking your neighbor and accidentally takes out your property in the process the policy doesn't cover you. Pretty sneaky out if you ask me.

bank fails later
UPDATE: No fails this week

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Friday Corporate Beaver

But of course all of my assets are kept off shore.

Where has all the money gone?

Stock prices are at an all time high but consumers aren't rushing out to buy the latest fridge or flat screen. Corporations given what amounts to free money are off shoring it, paying little or no tax on it and reaping the rewards. Savers desperate for income have ventured into buying corporate bonds. Most savings accounts now pay about .25% interest if even that. This bodes well for CEOs who's bonuses are based on driving up the price of a company stock. That doesn't mean a company is actually making a profit.  And what isn't being said or noticed is the amount of money corporations are borrowing. Non financial corporate debt stands at $1.6 trillion or 60% over profits. Gross cash flows have been at a mere 4%.

You'll note companies buying back their own stock. That's because their sales are so bad it's the only way to keep their stock price high.  One caveat to all this is that it works well in a bull market but when the tide turns there's still the borrowed money to consider. Paybacks can be a bear (pun intended).

So how long can they keep this grand illusion going is anyone's guess, but one thing is certain it can't last forever. Who will flinch first an start the sell off? And who will be smart enough to get out while the getting is good. Guess it's human nature to wait until the very last second but by then you might just get run over by the heard leaving the building.

Keep an eye on Greece because next month they'll be faced with a repayment on their debt that there's no way they can make. The IMF and Euro zone banks have successfully sucked that country dry. And once again the off shoring of wealth was the primary cause.

Speaking of banks let's see what they did.
We have one bank in Chicago, Il that hit the skids this week. First one since Feb. 

Friday, May 1, 2015

Friday Beaver - Distressed version

Earthquakes Volcanoes and War... Oh My

Terrorists? School shootings? A foreign virus? Get your fear here. You're more apt to be gunned down in a road rage incident here than any of those things. Everywhere you look here we're being sold fear. Toe nail fungus? Fear not there's a pill for that just don't listen to the side effects at the end of the ad. And what old man would like an erection that lasts more than four hours?

Not much you can do about earthquakes. They either happen or they don't. That's not to say we aren't helping them along with fracking. Just wish they wouldn't screw up the water in the process. If fracking water is so clean let's see you drink it Mr. oilman.

There's said to be some kind of super volcano off the west coast here out in the ocean. It's just a matter of time before it will blow. Can't worry about it because there's nothing we can do about it. It sure will be interesting when it does. But it seems just about every place on this planet has its' problems, be it weather, ground movement, or a plague of locusts.

Then there's war or as I call it man made stupidity. Ideologies aside wars are fought for one reason and one reason only and that's greed. Like two kids fighting over the  last cookie in the jar we're never satisfied with what we have. We seem to want it all. All done by hook or crook and don't forget to send in the Marines. We probably have enough oil to last decades but we want yours and we'll take all your minerals while we're at it. So what if a couple hundred thousand die in the process no skin off our nose.

But I think we've seen this scenario play out in past history with the fall of the empires. Always wanting more and more until they couldn't hold on to what they had. And the process goes on with wealth as well. Not satisfied with having nearly all the cookies those at the top continue to snatch the few crumbs left somehow thinking that they should own everything. Beware when you create a class that has nothing left to lose. The end results will not be pretty. History doesn't lie and you can't change it no matter how hard you try.

Bank fails? Later perhaps... 

Friday, April 24, 2015

Friday Beaver - Canadian edition

Time to pick on Canada our 51st state.

Canada is set for a collision course. These are just a few parts of the problems. Canada made it through the economic collapse in 07 because consumer debt back then was low. Canadian banks were in a better position to weather the storm and the housing market wasn't anything like it was in the U.S. Fast forward to today. Canadian consumer debt is up 20% and even higher than it was in 07. Oil revenues are down as is the Canadian dollar. Economic growth was at 0% this past quarter. Can't speak for the entire country but Toronto and Vancouver housing markets have been booming as I'm sure Alberta's was as well. The Harper budget just came out . It may be balanced but at what cost? He gave out his goodies but check what areas he cut. And then there's the issue of how did he pay for all of this? Did he use the sales of GM stock? If so what's next when bills come due?

Items of note
Even before the budget came out the Harper government was touting what was to be in it, on the taxpayers dime I might add. It sounded more like a campaign flyer than a government announcement. And many of the promises had to be revamped before it was all finished as oil revenues slid. There was a delay for getting this out. Maybe they couldn't find the lipstick for this pig.

So how'd they do it? First they robbed the country's piggy bank for a couple of billion. What had been a cushion of $3 billion is now $1 billion. Don't expect that to change any time soon if the Tories hold power.
Income splitting - Letting couples divide their total income so that the tax rate is lower. Works well if one is making a lot of money but in reality this only helps the wealthy plus it lowers tax revenues. Paid for by eliminating the child tax credit.
TFSAs - That's like a Roth retirement savings account in the U.S. What it amounts to is money you've already paid tax on that won't be taxed again when you retire. All said and done you land up with less. Less because the accounts don't pay squat in interest, some have fees, and inflation will eat up the rest. This is a boon the the stock market guys who will gamble with the money. You'd be better off buying gold coins and hiding them in the closet.
Public transit - A fund starting at $250 million which local governments can borrow against meaning they can transfer the actual costs to taxpayers. The 250 number might sound like a lot but a mile of highway costs $2.5 million last I checked and that's the cheap part of highway construction.
Seniors - Don't have to withdraw as much from their retirement accounts. That'll keep more money in the hands of the bankers to play their game of Monopoly. And the home accessibility tax credit for renovations for seniors and disabled which just increased the cost of those home projects. You know how contractors work.
Security - A good chunk of change is going into security. Everything from increasing the spy budget to increases in the military. What ever happened to those $15 billion fighter jets? Oops it was $20 billion and climbing. Guess that's what jets do.
Manufacturing - Write off depreciation faster. Hum that'll take more taxes away, but not to worry government will just steal it from some place else.
Small business - A whopping 2% lowering of their tax bill to " stimulate growth". Unfortunately that wouldn't cover the cost of hiring one employee, 2% of $500,000 is a mere $10,000. Think Tim Horton's employees make more than that.

Public employees - It's sounding more and more like they'll get the shaft in all this and negotiations have not even begun. Expecting a $900 million savings without so much as a meeting is wishful thinking.

Ah but fear not, the good news Tory fairies will just magically shift all the responsibility to your grandchildren, problem solved.

Bank fails later
UPDATE: No fails this week

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Friday Beaver - The one that built NYC

(Back story - The Dutch traded beaver pelts in the 1600s. Beaver hats were all the rage in Europe until the fad died out and so did most of the beavers.) 

Amazing the statistics on people moving about on this planet. Last report was 50 million people displaced by wars or natural disasters. People fleeing drug gangs in south america make up a few. The bulk of Iraqis middle class left the country after the second Iraq war and you can bet they're trying their best to avoid ISIS. Syria lost more than 40% of it's population with 300,000 reported dead, 2.5 million in refugee camps in surrounding countries and 6.5 million displaced within the country. And these are old figures. Everyone's wanting to get to safer ground.

People in northern Africa seem to be headed to Italy by the boat load. Australia and New Zealand is seeing its' share of boat people. All for the opportunity of safety and maybe a better life. But the backlash is growing as such mass influx of people all at once is putting a strain on local resources. But these migrations aren't limited to just third world countries. It's a safe bet Greece Spain and Ireland has seen its' share of those wanted to get out and probably did while the getting was good. Unemployment numbers are far greater than have been reported. Here in the U.S when your unemployment runs out you magically are no longer counted. So the 5.5% national figure is a load of bull. And just because you did manage to get a job doesn't mean it pays a living wage or was full time. On the plus side at least we don't have to dodge drone strikes on the way to work.

There's a hostility that's permeating the entire globe so I'd say we're due for another crash only this time worse than the last. Debt is being passed around like a hot potato and the effects are being gravely felt. Austerity does not make for a healthy economy but I guess world leaders forgot the crash of 1929.

Speaking of which there were no bank fails this week, but I get a feeling that one of the big banks will fail by years end or early next year.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Beaver Friday - Beavers don't do politics but...

A black, half Latino, Muslim, handy capped, gay, socialist woman should run for president. That way we could sit back and watch the right wingers heads explode. But no we're stuck with the clown circus here.  We have Ted (I'm not a Canadian) Cruse who has about as much chance of becoming a president as I do of becoming a CEO of a Fortune 500 company. To his donors: save your bucks boys you just might need em when the economy tanks in the next year or two. Scott (I've got to mess in women's feminine health care needs cause I ain't getting any at home) Walker. Scotty thinks that by destroying unions we'll somehow raise the middle class. It was unions that created the middle class. Guess he skipped class when they talked about that.

Ah but this is only the beginning of the clown parade. There seems to be many more packed into the clown car just waiting to get out. There's Chris (Shut the hell up) Christie who's still under federal investigation for what he did with the hurricane Sandy money. A particular part of Jersey not affected by the storm got a whole lot of Sandy money. Sorry guys we don't need Ralph Cramden as president it won't play well in De Moines.

Let's squeeze out Ben Carson who's sounding like a replacement for Mr. 999 Herman Cain. And while he may be a gifted surgeon his chances are slim to none of sitting in the oval office. Can't have a black man there even if he's on their side.

But if you think he's crazy you haven't seen anything yet. Here's one I bet you never heard of, Jack Fellure. Jack who? Jack Fellure a retired engineer from West Virginia who's running with the Prohibition Party. Last time he ran he got a grand total of 519 votes, not enough to be elected dog catcher. Maybe he should just put on his spats and go after some rum runners. Yes we're talking that prohibition.

Then there's Mark Everson. Reading his profile he looks to be the least crazy of the lot which will probably make him ineligible to make it through the primaries. Going after Big Banks and reinstating a military draft will definitely put him at odds with most of the country. And we must face the new reality that any idea halfway sane has little chance of making it through our lunatic congress especially when they have voted against the very bills that they wrote and brought up on the floors of the House and Senate. It was like a crazy street person arguing with himself. Shut Up! Don't tell me to shut up.

No bank fails this week, but a note on that matter. I lost track of the actual number somewhere around 450.

Friday, April 3, 2015

Beaver Friday - Not so lucky

This is my lucky beaver skin hat (not really) Lucky for me, not so much for the beaver.

Don't know why they call it "good friday" when some guy got nailed to a cross, but what do I know . You have people worshiping a rock in the middle of the desert.  Hey guys it's a meteor if you didn't know. But all in the reality of superstition we do things that make no logical sense. Spock is laughing his butt off in another dimension. So don't forget your magic underwear and ladies cover you heads for cripes sake. Hum that reminds me of a little happening some years back goes something like this:

Was doing some work at some apartments and at the request of one of the tenants was asked to check on a broken appliance. Went to the door and a very attractive young middle eastern gal answered wearing a tight tank top and tight stretch pants that left little to the imagination, if you know what I mean. She quickly explained the problem but nervously ran to the back room only to come back with a hajib on her head still displaying the rest of her body in her tight clothes.

What crazy little boxes we create for ourselves. In India I hear it's against the law to show a couple kissing in a movie. That might explain why the country has the highest rape figures. Sexually frustrated men and treating women like an object to be hidden behind a vail doesn't make for a healthy situation. But it all goes back to superstitions. Who ever though of throwing a virgin into a volcano to appease some fire god must have been smokin some heavy stuff and yet here we are some thousand plus years later doing much the same. Face it that lucky bowling shirt is just a shirt and your team isn't going to come from behind just because you turned your baseball cap inside out. It looks stupid by the way.

Take a step back and look at your own superstitions. Do they really make any sense? I might not walk under a ladder not because it's bad luck but because I know the idiot stupidly standing on the top rung up there might just drop something on my head.

Bank fails later
No fails this week so keep your bitcoins close and safe.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Friday Beavers - They're Back! What'd you call me?

Beavers are back from their winter hiatus. They don't seem too happy since it was such a warm winter and the world didn't get any better since.

Think of all the derogatory names there are. You could fill a volume with them all. And it's not just in the last 50 years or so that they have been used. Take paddy wagon for example. It got it's name by police when the Irish left Ireland and flooded New York. Paddy referring to Patrick an Irish name. And let's face facts just about every country has their digs into somebody else. Muzzie and Vic are two slang and hateful terms in the UK. One referring to Muslims and the other to Australians as in conVICts. Australia was a penal colony at one time. Could go on about this aspect of the subject but I think you get the idea.

How did all this come about? In the past it was due to an influx, a mass migration of one group or another. "They" not being like "Us" were the target of ridicule and mistrust. That might be ingrained in human nature as a survival mechanism. Call it the power of a mob or in this case the fear of the mob. Imagine if you will a large group of (fill in the blank) came marching down your street. You'd be suspicious too and wonder if they weren't there to do you harm.

But there's another aspect of all this to consider. That would be the gradual isolation of the masses. The first incarnation came about with the introduction of the motor car. All well and good at the beginning as most horseless carriages were open. The driver could at least wave as he passed by. Speed and enclosures soon changed all that. The personal wave turned into a honk. Soon pedestrians became little more than obstacles in the rush to get to work.

About this time another wondrous invention came into play, the telephone. It separated us yet again. No need for face to face confrontations when you can do it in the comfort of your own home and make all the nasty faces you like. It's a safe bet Bell would never have imagined the ends to which his invention have been taken. With the "smart" phone and internet connected we're about as far from a human experience as one can get. Safely hidden behind the bits and bytes and anonymous screen names people have become free to expose their greatest fears but also their greatest hates. That random evil thought that we'd get punched in the mouth for saying in open company now gets screen captured in all it's glorious 144 characters. But with repetition it becomes rote learned and spills over into daily conversations face to face.

That's my two cents
Bank fails later
No fails this week carry on.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Friday Pussy - I didn't do it so...

Hands up don't shoot? Forget it they'll shoot you anyway armed or not. Alcohol agents carrying guns. Since when does a government agent need that to check for false ID? Tanks and UAVs yep that'll keep the peons in line. And don't forget enough fire power to take out a platoon of "enemy combatants". Seems to me we have slowly turned into an entity that we fought against in WWII.  complete with secret courts and secret laws. Forget the SS we have the NSA and GPS and cameras everywhere. The Gestapo would be jealous.

Careful what you say comrade er... my fellow Americans. You could be looking at expulsion. What teen boys used to talk about in the locker room is now posted online for all to see. As if anybody didn't already know. But now there must be photo evidence just to prove your manhood to the boys. Sheesh even senators did it. Thank you but my privates are my privates and let's keep it that way. But as we all know or should nothing is sacred anymore. All manner or pervy perversion is out there so careful where you tread. You might just end up at 50 shades of disgusted least you have a strong stomach. Are we slowly becoming virtual blobs in this cyber universe? No worries you can look it up on Youtube later somebody must have captured it.

But back to the subject at hand. Have we always been this violent or did I just not see it? Most cops I knew never so much a drew their service revolver in the course of their duties. It was once a badge of honor to say that you never once pulled the trigger in all the years of being a cop. Guess that was "the old days".  But we now have a military police force complete with military vets trained in military tactics.  Add to that picture several billion dollars worth of second hand military hardware. What could possibly go wrong?

Then there is the issue of mental health. It started when Reagan opened up the mental hospitals and let most of the inmates out. Didn't want to pay for a bunch of crazies with his tax dollars. But I think a whole bunch of them ended up running for office and won. That sure would explain a lot. But with these people the police have taken a shoot first think up a good excuse later mentality. If the individual is lucky enough to survive the confrontation he lands up in jail and still doesn't get treatment.

That's my two cents
Bank fails later... UPDATE: No fails this week

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Friday the 13th Pussy - TGIC thank god it's caturday

It was Friday the 13th and the world was not looking good. Stupid was reigning supreme. Smashes and crashes and just general ignorance ruled the land or was it the world? A brief summary to make a short story long:

If you didn't know better you'd think the lunatics had taken over the asylum. Congress writes a scathing letter to Iran warning not to make a deal with the president. Hey guys that's not your job. Stick to paying the bills. That's right you can't even do that.
Military chopper goes down during a training exercise. Shouldn't try and fly in the fog it never works out well.
White powder found in DC and BC. Okay who took my baby powder? And while you're at it don't blow up my backpack it's not dangerous.
Bonuses rise on Wall Street by 2%. For doing what exactly? Selling more worthless paper around the world won't make things better. Your day is coming.
More Iraq and Syria air strikes makes for more mayhem. Although we don't know the exact extent because nobody's there to report it. It's the easiest way to make the arms dealers wallets fatter.
No global warming you say? Icebergs were seen hitting the beach in Cape Cod. And while the east coast saw record snow and cold the west saw record breaking high temps.
Fergeson,Mo saw resignations, protests and police get shot. It's going to be a while before that town returns to R.E.S.P.E.C.T. Any bets the mayor is the next to go? Not a good time to be a black man in America.
The Emails nobody really cares about. Think you know who I'm talking about Mrs. C.
Why buy a new car these days it'll only be recalled. Did we lose the basic concept of how to build a car? Keep designing them cheaper and that's what you get.
Jeb Bush divests his business relationships. Isn't that like telling the NAACP you just quit the KKK?
Hookers, fence jumpers and drunken agents (higher ups at that) The secret service has enough egg on its' face we can all have an omelet. 
The N word made quite a stir this week prompting one frat to be kicked off campus. While we look in shock at the slurs being bandied about if you've ever hung with "the brothers" for any amount of time they rip each other far worse.
Ukraine expects to get the first $5 billion of its' bail out shortly from the IMF. The IMF that wonderful fund spreading debt traps all over the world. The money never seems to go where it's really needed but ends up as bonuses to bankers and the 1%. What do you bet even Putin will get a cut of that?

I could go on and on but I have some real things to do.
Bank fails later should I think to check...
Update: No fails this week