Friday, April 30, 2010

Goldman Takes It Down

The DOW dropped 158 points today.

Its very difficult to predict the market. The examination of Goldman's role in the financial crisis and subsequent charges of fraud is on people's minds in terms of its effect on the markets.

Reuters: Wall Street tumbles on Goldman, chipmakers

'Brown Betty'


CNN - Oil Effects

Sex Dolls

Originally a Reuters newscast on the sex doll phenomena especially as it pertains to Japan.

The man at the center of the story is an engineer who has invested over $150,000 in these dolls.

Reviewing The Cold War Arms Race

Check it out - David Hoffman has written a book 'The Dead Hand: The Untold Story of the Cold War Arms Race and Its Dangerous Legacy' which reveals a far different tale of the arms race than what we were told or what we assumed.

Are there any other instances in American history where outlandish exaggeration was used to boost a military effort.


GWU edu: Breaking Down Soviet Military Secrecy
They showed that the Reagan administration had exaggerated Soviet capabilities and also that the Soviet military machine was not as technologically advanced as had been thought.

From Jung

A "scream" is always just that - a noise and not music.

A man who has not passed through the inferno of his passions has never overcome them.

All the works of man have their origin in creative fantasy. What right have we then to depreciate imagination.

Every form of addiction is bad, no matter whether the narcotic be alcohol or morphine or idealism.

Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves.

The Market On Friday

Another late start today, just very busy lately with less time for the blog.

At 8:50 the market is poised to open slightly higher, futures are slightly up. Oil is down.

As far as I can tell this is fairly dominant news - Economy grows for third straight quarter

The economy is allegedly growing, still. Many are saying the recession is over and it certainly doesn't feel like its over.

CNN: Higher open seen for stocks

'Big Time'

Peter Gabriel

Thursday, April 29, 2010

'Pot Zombies'

As far as I can tell, this is one of the worst movies ever made.

Gold Probe

This is a very recent report - 9ish p.m. Thursday. Wonder if the market will respond negatively on Friday.

Reuters: U.S. starts criminal probe into Goldman trading: report
The investigation from the Manhattan U.S. Attorney's Office, which is at a preliminary stage, stemmed from a referral from the Securities and Exchange Commission, the WSJ said, citing people familiar with the probe

Nikkei Opens Higher On Friday

Reuters: Nikkei rises 1.4 pct on hopes for Greece rescue

Busy Day

Blogging took a back seat with a day of meeting after meeting after meeting and no time to check out the news and such.

I will say that oil leak is downright depressing and distressing. Its a complete environmental disaster, like we need more of them right.

People In Order: Ages 1 To 100.

Great film...

People in order: Ages 1 to 100.

We Speak English Here

All righty then...

“Yo solo sé que no sé nada.”

From Joseph Campbell

A hero is someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than oneself.

Computers are like Old Testament gods; lots of rules and no mercy.

Find a place inside where there's joy, and the joy will burn out the pain.

I don't believe people are looking for the meaning of life as much as they are looking for the experience of being alive.

It is by going down into the abyss that we recover the treasures of life. Where you stumble, there lies your treasure.

The Market On Thursday

At 6:10 a.m. futures are slightly up, oil is up per barrel and the dollar is down against the euro and pound.

The market will open higher if several corporate first quarter earnings reports, scheduled to come out before the opening bell, look good.

The Fed announced on Wednesday that it is keeping inter bank lending rates close to zero and the Fed also announced that the economy is improving.

Right now the market is still looking rosy.

CNN: Stocks headed for early gains
The blue-chip Dow rose back above 11,000 Wednesday after the Fed left interest rates unchanged and said that the economy is getting better.

U.S. light crude oil for June delivery rose 70 cents to settle at $83.92 a barrel.
Reuters: Wall Street futures signal gains, earnings in focus
Quarterly earning from oil majors Exxon Mobil and ConocoPhillips will be in focus, with analysts expecting the firms to post earnings per share of $1.41 and $1.38 respectively, up from $0.92 and $0.52 a year ago on a steady rise in oil prices over the period.

'Shock The Monkey'

Peter Gabriel

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Space Ice To Ocean Ice

BBC: Asteroid Themis has 'frosted surface' - Scientists have detected water-ice on the surface of an asteroid.

Trungpa Quote

Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche "We must be willing to be completely ordinary people, which means accepting ourselves as we are without trying to become greater, purer, more spiritual, more insightful. If we can accept our imperfections as they are, quite ordinarily, then we can use them as part of the path. But if we try to get rid of our imperfections, then they will be enemies, obstacles on the road to our 'self-improvement'."

'Knight Fall'


TPMtv - Arizona Goes Extreme Right

The Truth About Facebook

Eating Elephants

I was reading on Huffpo about animals that are going extinct through people eating them. I was surprised to see that monkeys, apes, and elephants were on the list.

Tracking down an article on elephant consumption I found this one from the Bangkok Post.

It describes people eating an elephant that dies rather than killing it specifically for its meat. Huffpo goes further and writes about people killing elephants for meat.

Bangkok Post 12/13/09: Elephant eaters see no shame in jumbo meal
''On a day that elephant meat is available in the village, it is eagerly snapped up and sells out in no time,'' said Uncle Pao, 73, from Wiang Thong village in Sung Men district where elephant meat costs 100 baht a kilogramme. ''Nobody wants to buy other kinds of meat.''

Despite the cultural cringe of the national symbol finding its way on to the dinner plates of villagers, the people of Wiang Thong have no remorse about consuming elephant meat when they can.

Their ancestors had a close relationship with the animals which were used for logging, and the consumption of a carcass is simply viewed as the elephant providing sustenance for the villagers. The local governor believes it can become a tourist attraction, and the practice of eating elephant meat is already attracting curious onlookers from neighbouring provinces.

"We only eat meat from dead elephants," said Mr Sanan.

The latest survey shows there are no more than 5,000 elephants in the country and it is predicted that if no serious effort is made to help save them, they could become extinct within 14 years, Mr Saksit said.

The Daily Show - Arizona

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Law & Border
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical HumorTea Party

On Admitting Mistakes

“To keep your marriage brimming, With love in the loving cup, Whenever you're wrong, admit it; Whenever you're right, shut up” - Ogden Nash

“Insane people are always sure that they are fine. It is only the sane people who are willing to admit that they are crazy.” - Nora Ephron

“I'm willing to admit that I may not always be right, but I am never wrong.” - Samuel Goldwyn

“There are two things no man will admit he cannot do well: drive and make love” - Anonymous

“No persons are more frequently wrong, than those who will not admit they are wrong.” - François de la Rochefoucauld

The Market On Wednesday

At 8:10 a.m. futures are slightly up, oil is down just above $81 per barrel, and the dollar is up against the euro.

Speaking of the euro, yikes. Greece's debt is now officially junk. The fear is that Portugal and I suspect Ireland are next up for a severe dose of insolvency issues. And let's not forget about crumpling Iceland. Iceland is part of the E.U.

I can't go near this Goldman testimony. Dog and pony crap show it is. The headlines alone are irritating - "we did nothing wrong." Screw you, take your Harvard and Wharton MBA's and place them up your derivative.

What a crock - we did nothing wrong. What do you do with that. Okay all we did was to cause a little systemic problem that caused millions to lose their jobs and just about everyone in the country to lose asset value. Look at the bright side - there are a whole new group of billionaires in the world and considering the amazing benefits of "trickle down", entire families of illegal immigrants can mow lawns, prune shrubs, scrub toilets, and provide master with nookie.

CNN: Greece could weigh on U.S. stocks
U.S. stocks fell sharply Tuesday after Standard & Poor's cut Greece's debt rating to junk and downgraded Portugal's rating.

Investors are fearful that Greece's problem is not being contained and that a European debt crisis will drag on the worldwide economic recovery.

Following its two-day meeting, the central bank will release its policy statement at 2:15 a.m. ET.
Reuters: Stock futures up ahead of Fed statement, after sell-off
The Fed is expected to hold interest rates near zero and repeat its vow of an extended period of very low rates as the Federal Reserve Open Market Committee concludes a two-day policy meeting.

"If the Fed says something out of the band of expectation, given yesterday's behavior, we could be in store for greater volatility..."

'Owner Of A Lonely Heart'


Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Countdown - More On Arizona

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Peter Thiel

He partly owns Facebook, he is a libertarian and Milton Freedman capitalist.

The clip is about a year old.

Laugh It Up

Laughter is even better than we knew, or some of us knew.

It gets your ghrelin going. Who knew.

Live Science: Laughter Affects Body Like Exercise
Researchers measured the hormone levels of 14 volunteers before and after they watched a distressing or hilarious video clip. The researchers were particularly interested in two hormones known to regulate appetite: ghrelin, which spurs hunger, and leptin, which cues satiety.

The appetite hormones did not change significantly as people watched the upsetting video (the first 20 minutes of "Saving Private Ryan.")

But after the amusing video clip — either of stand-up comedians or a funny film — hormone levels changed as if the participant had engaged in moderate physical exercise. Specifically, ghrelin levels rose and leptin levels fell, indicating a possible increase in appetite. The lower leptin levels would mean the body isn't getting the "I'm full" message.

On Possesiveness

You give but little when you give of your possessions. It is when you give of yourself that you truly give.” - Kahlil Gibran

“Possessions are usually diminished by possession.” - Friedrich Nietzsche

“The search for truth is more precious than its possession.” - Einstein

“Complete possession is proved only by giving. All you are unable to give possesses you.” - Andre Gide

The Market On Tuesday

At 8:20 a.m. futures are slightly down, oil is down per barrel, and the dollar is mixed.

It would seem that the markets present sideways movement is the result of a push pull effect.

First quarter profits seem to be on track and in some cases better than expected, this is the push it forward activity.

On the other hand investors fear havoc in Europe with Greece's insolvency and they fear that there will be more merde against the fan with the SEC vs. Goldman issues, which by the way is a huge issue. This is the center of the recent recession and collapse of the economy. So its a big deal. Regardless this is the pull backward.

Hoping we get through today with at least more sideways than down. There are always surprises.

CNN: Stocks set for early retreat
U.S. markets finished little changed Monday as investors had difficulty finding momentum after pushing stocks higher for eight straight weeks.

On the economic front, investors will take in reports on home prices and consumer confidence.
Reuters: Stock futures off on Greece fears, Ford, Dupont top view
Dow component DuPont posted a first-quarter profit that beat expectations early Tuesday and raised its full-year profit view, sending its shares up 1.5 percent to $41.55 in premarket trading on light volume.

Ford Motor Co posted a profit that topped estimates and raised its 2010 outlook to "solid profits." The stock was down 1.1 percent to $14.30 pretrade.

'The Reflex'

Duran Duran

Monday, April 26, 2010

Amazing Long Distance Runner

CNN - Sting On Climate Change

'The Squirt And The Whale'

The Simpsons

Refried Bean Swastika

Reaction to Arizona's new illegals bill.

Its on FOX, so we must assume its partisan, but the reporting on the refried bean swastika is unusual.

Smaller Weapons Systems

Its important to know what your military is up to. They are using smaller smart bombs in an effort to limit "collateral damage."

WaPo: Amid outrage over civilian deaths in Pakistan, CIA turns to smaller missiles
Today, several small missiles are available to the agency, including the 21-inch Small Smart Weapon, created by Lockheed Martin. Weighing 35 pounds and having roughly the diameter of a coffee cup, the Scorpion, as it is now called, was designed to be launched from the Predator. It causes far less destruction than a Hellfire, and it can be fitted with four different guidance systems that allow it to home in on targets as small as a single person, in complete darkness, according to U.S. officials familiar with the missile.

Kansas City And Solar Energy

Its the prefect storm - electricity rates are going up in the Midwest, there's plenty of sunshine, and the cost of solar panels is going down.

That's what we want to hear, a drop in solar panel costs.

Would that be something, the Midwest goes solar, red goes green.

Kansas Solar power heats up as costs drop, electric rates rise
The price of solar panels has dropped substantially, and the Midwest’s traditionally low electricity prices are on the rise.

The payback time for a solar panel project had plummeted from 25 years to just 10 years.

To be sure, solar energy remains in its infancy in the U.S., providing only 1/1000th of the country’s electricity generation. But the amount of solar-generated electricity in U.S. homes doubled last year, and a growing number of businesses are jumping in. FedEx recently installed the largest rooftop solar installation in the country in Woodbridge, N.J., and Wal-Mart has solar installations supplying power to about 20 of its stores.

On Agreement

“Make fair agreements and stick to them” - Confucius

“To break an oral agreement which is not legally binding is morally wrong” - The Talmud

“There is nothing more likely to start disagreement among people or countries than an agreement.” - E. B. White

“A lean agreement is better than a fat judgment” - proverb

“Nobody agrees with anybody else anyhow, but adults conceal it and infants show it” - Ogden Nash

The Market On Monday

At 7:20 a.m. futures are moderately up.

The articles express the investors concerns over Greece and its ongoing insolvency issues and the SEC's case against Goldman. With respect to Goldman, the investors are worried that the accusations could go beyond Goldman. In other words is this the tip of the iceberg.

Are you kidding me...

The week will be filled with corporate first quarter results.

If I were a politician I would be out there with slogans like - "Let's get America back to work" or "We need jobs in this country not bailouts" or "Washington DC has made itself rich and left you broke - let's make a difference and get some real change" or ....

CNN: Stocks headed for mild start
There are no economic reports due Monday, but the week ahead brings the Fed's two-day meeting on interest rates, reports on jobless claims, consumer confidence and gross domestic product.

...investors will likely focus on corporate results. The week brings results from 164 companies in the S&P 500.
Reuters: Stock futures up on Greece optimism, ahead of Caterpillar
...a Greek official said an aid package would help avert a sovereign debt default.

'Don't You Want Me'

Human League

Sunday, April 25, 2010

MSNBC - Reform

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Stephen Hawking On Charlie Rose

The Virginity Industry

I could be on overload lately. I no longer know how to comment on certain stories that I read.

What I can say is this, like you, I read through the news. When I stumble across a story or article that seems particularly poignant in some way, I post it on this blog. Obviously I can only point out so many stories or articles. I have time constraints and a real life as well.

We all love women, so this one seems terribly sad. I think sexual freedom is a human right. These Arab women are going to doctors to become surgical virgins in order to essentially spare their internal and external anguish over having had sex out of marriage. And it gets worse, they could be sparing their lives.

We say garbage. You can't handle the reality that your wife had sex with someone other than you - grow up.

BBC: The virginity industry
Young Arab women wait in an upmarket medical clinic for an operation that will not only change their lives, but quite possibly save it. Yet the operation is a matter of choice and not necessity. It costs about 2,000 euros (£1,700) and carries very little risk.

The clinic is not in Dubai or Cairo, but in Paris. And the surgery they are waiting for is to restore their virginity.

Whether in Asia or the Arab world, an unknown number of women face an agonising problem having broken a deep taboo. They've had sex outside marriage and if found out, risk being ostracised by their communities, or even murdered.

Japanese Want US Out Of Okinawa

The people of Okinawa want the US military bases located on that island to move away.

It would appear that there is solid unified support among the citizens for this.

Yahoo: Japanese islanders stage mass rally against US base
Nearly 100,000 protesters attended a rally on Okinawa Sunday to demonstrate against a US air base in a row that is dominating Japan's national politics and souring its ties with Washington.

It did not return Okinawa to Japan until 1972 and still operates more than 30 military facilities on the island, strategically located near China, Taiwan and the Korean peninsula.

Details On Rodney Dangerfield's Life

From a deep operative -

CCRMGRodney Dangerfield's Lifelong Romance With Marijuana
By Joan Dangerfield

The comedian’s widow gave this talk at the Patients Out of Time conference on cannabis therapeutics in Santa Barbara April 7.
If Rodney were here today he would say something brilliant. He would probably open with a marijuana joke. He’d say, “I tell ya, that marijuana really has an effect on you. The other day I smoked a half a joint and I got so hungry, I ate the other half.”
Rodney had a fantastically unique mind. Few people knew he was a mathematical genius, but everyone knew he was hilarious. His humor was a razor thrust into social hypocrisy and the little injustices of life. He wrote “killers” and made the world laugh.
Another thing that was not widely known about Rodney is that he endured quite a bit of personal suffering in his life. He was heartbreakingly neglected as a child. We’ve all heard the expression “the tears of a clown,” and in many ways Rodney embodied that experience. Like most geniuses, the special chemistry that created his remarkable mind also created certain psychological challenges. Acute anxiety and manic depression were congenital issues that plagued Rodney’s life.
To give you an idea of how his anxiety would manifest itself, Rodney couldn’t sit still. In Caddyshack, his character, Al Cervic, is constantly fidgeting like he’s about to burst out of his skin. The truth is, this was no act. Rodney was under duress. He felt Chevy Chase was talking too slowly and it got on his nerves. Rodney’s impatience would come out through his body. The pace of the whole world was too slow for him until he found marijuana.
Rodney first lit up back in 1942 when he was 21. He was hanging out with a comic named Bobby Byron and his friend Joe E. Ross —some of you might remember Joe E. Ross from Car 54. They went to the Belvedere Hotel in New York where Bobby lived. The night would prove to have such an impact on Rodney’s life that he even remembered the room number they were in —1411.
Although he was supposed to be enjoying himself with friends, Rodney was characteristically agitated and anxiety ridden. It’s how he felt every day of his life to that point. But when Rodney got high, he couldn’t believe it.
For the first time in his life, he left relaxed and peaceful, and had a sense of well-being. That night marijuana became a new friend that would be in Rodney’s life for the next 62 years.
I met Rodney in 1983, and after a 10-year courtship, Rodney and I enjoyed 11 years of marriage. I must admit that when I became a part of Rodney’s life, I did not approve of his marijuana use. My Mormon background hadn’t given me experience with any illegal substances and I was always afraid Rodney would get arrested.
Rodney was concerned about my feelings and agreed to look for legal alternatives to treat his ailments. Over the years we consulted the best experts we could find in search of legal anti-anxiety and pain medications and even tried Marinol. But nothing worked for him the way real marijuana did.
A couple of years ago Rodney was in the process of writing his autobiography, in which he wanted to be very candid about everything in his life. He even wanted to title the book “My Lifelong Romance with Marijuana.”
I was sure then that Rodney would be arrested. So I looked for, and found, Dr. David Bearman here in Santa Barbara.
Dr. Bearman examined Rodney and obtained records from Rodney’s other doctors for review. In addition to his anxiety and depression, at the time Rodney’s medical conditions included constant pain from the congenital fusion of his spine, an inoperable dislocated shoulder and rotator-cuff tear and arthritis. Rodney wasn’t able to take traditional pain medications because of their interactions with his blood-thinning medication, Coumadin.

We were elated a few days after that initial visit with Dr. Bearman when Rodney’s medicinal use was approved. Rodney showed the approval letter to everyone and carried miniature versions in his pockets. Ever the worried wife, I included a copy of the letter in the memory box of his casket in case the feds were waiting for him at the Pearly Gates.
Even though Rodney endured numerous health challenges over the years, including aneurysms, heart surgeries and a brain bypass, he remained active and vital during his last incredible year. He swam regularly, went on a multi-city press tour to promote his best-selling book (the publisher made him change the title to “It’s Not Easy Bein’ Me”), recorded an album of love songs called “Romeo Rodney,” and wrote countless new jokes.
After all those years of pot smoking, his memory and his joke-writing ability did not suffer and his lungs were okay. He was as sharp as ever.
Even moments after brain surgery Rodney didn’t miss a beat. Rodney’s doctor came to his bedside after he was taken off the respirator. He said, “Rodney, are you coughing up much?” And Rodney said, “Last week, five-hundred for a hooker.”
Some of you may be aware that 4:20 is a symbolic time of day for many marijuana enthusiasts. About a year after Rodney’s brain surgery, he had heart surgery and due to complications his life ended... Coincidentally, or perhaps meaningfully, at 4:20 p.m. EST.

'The Basses Extravaganza'

Bass Drums

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Henry Darger


Interesting bike design...

Napolitano On SB 1070

Napolitano on Arizona's new illegal immigrant bill -

The Peak Of Criminality

Hey you want to understand why the country is going to the dogs.

Right here - this is where the middle class and your worth are going. This is the real trickle down.

Yahoo: Goldman emails laud profit from subprime shorts

Military Sucide

This is not acceptable.

Army Times: 18 veterans commit suicide each day

CNN - Recycling Appliances

What's The Deal With Conservatives

Look, where are the orderly persuasive arguments, where is the calm and compelling rhetoric, where is the attractive element that a reasonable person can approach out of authentic curiosity.

I once heard Rosie O'Donnell call Beck a carnival barker. Its gotten to that level.

The Atlantic: Have Conservatives Gone Mad?
Conor Friedersdorf thinks the problem lies with the conservative movement's major spokespeople -- its radio/net news nexus -- and the "overwhelming evidence that their very existence as popular entertainers hinges on an ability to persuade listeners that they are "'worth taking seriously as political and intellectual actors.'" That is why the constant failures of these men to live up to their billing is so offensive, destructive, and ruinous to conservatives. There are plenty of women, too, is all I'll say.

Your Weekly Address

From Rodney Dangerfield

A girl phoned me the other day and said... Come on over, there's nobody home. I went over. Nobody was home.

I came from a real tough neighborhood. I put my hand in some cement and felt another hand.

I could tell my parents hated me. My bath toys were a toaster and a radio.

I drink too much. The last time I gave a urine sample it had an olive in it.

I had plenty of pimples as a kid. One day I fell asleep in the library. When I woke up, a blind man was reading my face.

I told my psychiatrist that everyone hates me. He said I was being ridiculous - everyone hasn't met me yet.

'Oud Music'

Afif Taian

Friday, April 23, 2010

'The Man From The Other Side'


TPMtv - Arizona

Arizona certainly is making a name for itself. Yesterday we saw the appeasement of the Birthers with legislation on birth certificates. Today we have their immigration legislation.

Subway Nuisance Signs


Recycle The Cell Phone

This is something we can all do and encourage others to do as well, recycle your cell phone.

Live Science: Recycle Your Old Cell Phone
All of the major U.S. cell phone carriers have recycling programs, and your discarded phone could end up being of use to someone else.

Cell phone recycling or "reprocessing" as industry experts like to say, may mean the cell phone is refurbished and then resold, or dismantled and used for parts. In some cases, phones are reduced to their essential components and reused. The goal is always "zero-landfill," meaning no part of a device is discarded in a landfill.

On Dignity

“Remember this, - that there is a proper dignity and proportion to be observed in the performance of every act of life” - Marcus Aurelius

“The friendships which last are those wherein each friend respects the other's dignity to the point of not really wanting anything from him” - Cyril Connolly

“Dignity does not consist in possessing honors, but in deserving them.” - Aristotle

“The only kind of dignity which is genuine is that which is not diminished by the indifference of others.” - Dag Hammarskjold

“Humility is the ability to give up your pride and still retain your dignity.” - Vanna Bonta

The Market On Friday

Its been a long week, looking forward to Saturday morning laze. Hopefully the weather will be gorgeous and amazing, I'm afraid to look at the forecasts. All in all its been a very mild and generous Spring.

At 7:20 a.m. ET futures are slightly up. The on the spot articles suggest that the market will open higher.

The story reverts back to Greece and its serious financial woes. Apparently there is a day coming up in May when Greece is expected to pay up and the concern is that its not going to happen. Once again Greece has made an announcement that it will borrow and pay. Is this dejavu all over again?

Basically the first quarter report are showing investors the money. There is no other bottom line. The green light is on.

CNN: Stocks headed for gains
Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou formally announced Friday morning that the country will seek aid from the European Union and International Monetary Fund.
Reuters: Stock futures point to higher start
At 10 a.m. ET, Commerce Dept releases new home sales for March.

Commerce Dept releases March durable goods orders at 8:30 a.m. ET.

U.S. stocks staged a late-day comeback on Thursday as strong quarterly profits from consumer bellwethers like Starbucks Corp...

'Laughing Eyes'

Nashville Mandolin Ensemble

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Nikkei Opens Lower On Friday

Reuters: Nikkei edges lower; Toshiba up on profit estimate


Arizona Lawmaker Explains Need For Birth Certificate Laws


The list is interesting and it includes pets - yes pets.

Live Science: Threats to Earth: 7 Little-Known Ecological Hazards

Thanks to the expansion of portable electronics, battery use has proliferated exponentially. They contain a range of harmful chemicals, and when improperly disposed of, those toxic chemicals leach into ground water, poisoning humans and wildlife, said Cohen.

French Burka Ban

The French intend to ban the burka. Is this an assault on Muslim values or does it have merit.

Telegraph U.K.: French to ban Muslim women from wearing veil
The French government is drawing up a law to ban Muslim women from wearing a full-face veil in public...

The new law will stop the niqab and the burka from being worn in the streets, shops and markets and not just in public buildings.

Nicolas Sarkozy is to press ahead with the bill claiming that the veil is an "assault on women's dignity".

On Contentment

“Contentment is natural wealth, luxury is artificial poverty” - Socrates

“Everyone chases after happiness, not noticing that happiness is right at their heels.” - Bertolt Brecht

“We may pass violets looking for roses. We may pass contentment looking for victory.” - Anonymous

“Contentment is a pearl of great price, and whoever procures it at the expense of ten thousand desires makes a wise and a happy purchase” - John Balguy

The Market On Thursday

At 7:15 a.m. futures are moderately down, the price of oil is down, and the dollar is mixed.

If we are adding up the weight on the market right now its Europe, China, and reform. First quarter results have been on pace. One gets the sense that investors are happy with the DOW at 11k.

Internationally, Greece and now Ireland are weighing on investor's minds as those countries are in the red, deep. Its about the E.U. and the euro, and the world economy for that matter.

Obama is talking reform. In my opinion reform is just a new set of obstacles that a new generation of MBA's will find loopholes for. That is provided the next Republican administration doesn't remove any reform initiative. Who am I kidding, that should read, until the next Republican administration removes any Obama initiatives.

CNN: Stocks headed lower at the open
Strong earnings have helped boost sentiment recently, although investors still remain wary about the economic recovery.

A report on weekly jobless claims comes out at 8:30 a.m. ET, and existing home sales are due out at 10 a.m. ET.

The price of oil fell 61 cents to $83.07 a barrel.
Reuters: Stock futures drop on Greek deficit news, U.S. data eyed
On Thursday, the European Union reported that Greece, as well as Ireland, had much larger budget deficits last year than had been expected.

Investors see any move to cool down the Chinese economy as detrimental to the global economic rebound.

'Foxy Lady'

The World Saxophone Quartet

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

'Knife In The Water'

Roman Polanski


tyranny |ˈtirənē|
noun ( pl. -nies)
cruel and oppressive government or rule : refugees who managed to escape Nazi tyranny | the removal of the regime may be the end of a tyranny.
• a nation under such cruel and oppressive government.
• cruel, unreasonable, or arbitrary use of power or control : she resented his rages and his tyranny | figurative the tyranny of the nine-to-five day | his father's tyrannies.
• (esp. in ancient Greece) rule by one who has absolute power without legal right.

"Socialist Agenda, Tyranny"

Hey, global warming is "bullshit."

Look, the Tea Party is the Republican Party. What's the big deal.

Glenn Beck's Plan Comes From God

The Daily Show - Talking To The Tea Party

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
John O'Hara Pt. 2
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical HumorTea Party

Earthquake In Tibet

The Tibetans are the people most affected by the recent earthquake in "China."

The area is remote, its cold, and there isn't much there. They need help.

I suspect you are not going to see these pictures anywhere.

CNN: Inside China's quake zone: Misery, heroism
In Yushu prefecture, Tibetans are the majority. I was a bit surprised to see people walking around with small Dalai Lama buttons pinned to their jackets, and vehicles with pictures of the Dalai Lama hanging from the rearview mirror.

Several people came up to us and said that immediately after the quake, the Chinese soldiers in the area didn't do anything to help them -- allegations that the government has denied.

The locals said Tibetan monks were first on the scene and helped dig their loved ones out of collapsed buildings. Even in times such as these, the deep-rooted distrust between ethnic Tibetans and Han Chinese was never very far from the surface.

From J.P. Morgan

If you have to ask how much it costs, you can't afford it.

Well, I don't know as I want a lawyer to tell me what I cannot do. I hire him to tell how to do what I want to do.

When you expect things to happen - strangely enough - they do happen.

A man always has two reasons for doing anything: a good reason and the real reason.

The Market On Wednesday

Spring is taking hold more and more. The flowering trees are transitioning to leaves, and the late blooming trees are looking plucky.

At 7:45 a.m. futures are mixed. The DOW is down and considering Apple filled several silos with money in the first quarter, the NASDAQ is up. The dollar is mixed and oil is slightly up.

Will Morgan Stanley and Well Fargo show outrageous profits, moderate gains, or losses before the opening bell....

If its the former the market might start out with a cannon ball shot.

The word is first quarter profits and so far investors are pleased.

CNN: Stocks headed for mixed start
...tempered by caution over upcoming results in the financial sector.

On Wednesday, Morgan Stanley and Wells Fargo are both due to post quarterly results before U.S. markets open.
Reuters: Stock futures mixed, focus on earnings
U.S. stocks rose on Tuesday as oil prices lifted energy shares and investors were upbeat about the overall corporate profits recovery, even as some the results of some high-profile companies fell short of lofty expectations.

'Hide And Seek'

Imogen Heap

I know this is a repost, but its just outstanding.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Senator Graham Gay?

This guy is some kind of conservative anti-immigration kinda politico. He wants you to speak "American." Good grief, I don't even speak American, I speak English. Illegals go home - etc.

Around 6:30 he exclaims that Graham is gay. How about that. Skip to that part.



The Daily Show - Goldman

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
These F@#king Guys - Goldman Sachs
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical HumorTea Party

Filled With Garbage

How do we comment on this?

CNN: Researchers Say Dead Gray Whale Filled With Garbage
Researchers said items found inside the gray whale included small towels, sweatpants, plastic bags, surgical gloves, a golf ball and small bits of plastic.

Chomsky Warns

Chomsky warns about completely losing our democracy.

Truthdig: Noam Chomsky Has ‘Never Seen Anything Like This’

On Calmness

"I think if you exercise, your state of mind - my state of mind - is usually more at ease, ready for more mental challenges. Once I get the physical stuff out of the way it always seems like I have more calmness and better self-esteem." - Stone Gossard

"In the mental calmness of a spiritual life, I have found that the answers to the whys in our lives are able to come to you. In my music I find the same thing." - Clarence Clemons

"Nothing is so aggravating than calmness." - Oscar Wilde

"The more tranquil a man becomes, the greater is his success, his influence, his power for good. Calmness of mind is one of the beautiful jewels of wisdom." - James Allen

The Market On Tuesday

At 6:40 a.m. futures are ever so slightly up, oil is up, and the dollar is mixed. Speaking of oil, the price per barrel has been remarkably stable in the $81 to $84 per barrel area. The projected oil bubble is not off and running quite yet.

Goldman will be revealing first quarter profits before the opening bell. The results are alleged to be off the hook.

The fraud charges against Goldman are still mentioned in the pre-market reports. Curious, remarkable, one would suspect that is water under the bridge. Some reports indicate that Goldman will settle, no undue attention is needed thank you very much. We predicted a public wrist slap and that's what it will be. May I suggest a symbolic fine of $1.

First quarter reports have been reasonably good, one would suspect that will continue today.

CNN: Stocks set for mild start
...investors awaited earnings from Goldman Sachs and any further fallout from the fraud charges levied against it by the SEC.

The fraud suit has weighed on Wall Street, although reports saying regulators were split on the decision to bring charges against Goldman helped lift investor sentiment.
Reuters: Oil rises above $82 on risk appetite, flights
U.S. government fraud accusations against Goldman Sachs have soured market sentiment since Friday, but European equities and U.S. stock futures edged higher, indicating investors are instead focusing on the bank's corporate earnings due later.

The previous day, Citigroup reported its best results since 2007...


Wes Montgomery

Monday, April 19, 2010

Brain Workout

SuperBrain Yoga - Workout to Improve the Brain


Today I was telling the Goldman story. Variable rate mortgages, housing bubble, riches up ahead in asset valuation, bubble bursts, foreclosures, meanwhile Goldman sells the mortgages as good investments, then bets on their failure, recession roars in, millions unemployed, Obama saves the wealthy, Goldman accused of fraud by the SEC, the market tumbles, investors learn that the SEC voted 3-2 to accuse Goldman of fraud, market goes nuts, economic recovery on track - its a story.

Who gets to play Fabrice in the movie? Who gets to play the hard nosed guy on the SEC that goes after Goldman - Clooney!


Then I ran across this bestiality story in the NY Daily News, New York's easy to read rag like the Post.

Goldman to bestiality, what a day - and they talk about loss of a moral compass...

NY Daily News: Coke kingpin Douglas Spink busted for running bestiality farm in Washington state
This stuff is just truly bizarre," he said. "These were mice that had their tails cut off, they were smothered in Vaseline and they had string tied around them.

Maddow On Koch Family Backing Baggers

Fascinating report from Rachel

Reverse Course

Notice that the DOW did an amazing about face today. Futures were down 140 to 150 points and the DOW closed 70+ points above Friday's close. That's quite a swing in one day. This is unusual to say the least.

Reuters is reporting a similarly amazing reasoning for the change based on how the SEC determined to bring a case against Goldman. The vote was 3-2 along party lines. Every single America should know this fact especially Tea Party folk. The idea here is that it was not a 100% determined case and so that is cause for optimism.

Even as a light observer here, the jadedness is astounding.

Reuters: Market lifted by profit hopes, Goldman jitters ease
Market watchers attributed some of the strength in the market to a Bloomberg report that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission had split 3-2 along party lines to approve an enforcement case against Goldman Sachs, citing two people with knowledge of the vote.

"The fact that the vote was close has been the proximate cause for the stock's rally. This means it wasn't a clear cut decision by the SEC..."

Distrusting Government

Its not really a new notion by any means, distrust of government.

The problem is also not new by any means. What exactly is the alternative?

The Republicans are now angling to capitalize on this distrust with the new name brand.

The deeper underlying problem is the understanding and knowledge of the average citizen. The electorate is treated as a child in front of competing candy stores, while simultaneously lacking the patience to look behind those facades.

McClatchy: Poll: Americans' distrust of federal government is deepening
A key finding: Americans oppose greater government control over the economy by a margin of 51-40 percent.

That's a reversal from just a year ago, when they supported greater government control by a margin of 54-37 percent.

There's one big exception, however. A solid majority, 61 percent, do want greater government regulation of the financial industry, something that Obama and the Democratic majorities in Congress are pushing now.

On Wealth

"That man is richest whose pleasures are cheapest." - Thoreau

"I am opposed to millionaires, but it would be dangerous to offer me the position." - Mark Twain

"Let us not be satisfied with just giving money. Money is not enough, money can be got, but they need your hearts to love them. So, spread your love everywhere you go." - Mother Teresa

"We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give." - Winston Churchill

The Market On Monday

Hope you had a nice weekend. It was a little chilly and overcast up here, but all in all it was a fine Saturday and Sunday.

At 7:22 a.m. futures are significantly down. We haven't seen futures fall to this degree in quite some time. We are talking DOW futures down between 140 and 150 points. That is volatile.

Oil is also down over $2 per barrel. The dollar is mixed.

It would be an easy bet that the markets will open down today. It would take a miracle for something different to occur.

CITI and IBM will be presenting first quarter results. However the big story is last Friday's story. It is the SEC pointing fraud charges at Goldman. Goldman sold bad mortgage debt as a good security and then bet that that same mortgage debt would fail. Goldman essentially made money on both transactions while the world's banking system melted down.

CNN: Stocks set for early drop investors remained rattled about fraud charges brought against Goldman Sachs and awaited the next wave of corporate results.

The index of leading economic indicators, a predictor of the economy's future performance, is on tap.

The price of oil dropped $2.01 to $81.23 a barrel.
Reuters: Futures down on Goldman worries, Citi results eyed
Bank stocks are expected to be in focus...

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner on Sunday expressed confidence that lawmakers will bridge partisan differences on the overhaul of financial regulations and pass a bill that protects taxpayers from financing future bailouts.


The cast of Glee

Lead singer is outstanding comedian Jane Lynch.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Nikkei Opens Lower On Monday

Reuters: Nikkei falls to 3-week low, exporters hit by yen

Narcissistic Personality Disorder

USA Now Viewed Favorably Worldwide

The hand off from Bush to Obama has changed the world view of the USA.

BBC: World opinion of US rises under Obama, BBC poll finds
For the first time since the annual poll began in 2005, America's influence in the world is now seen as more positive than negative.

Dolphin Teamwork

The Week Ahead

It boils down to two things at the moment. First is the SEC action against Goldman. Second are a slew of first quarter reports. From the investor point of view the former is confusing and the latter is positive.

I still maintain nothing will happen other than a public slap on the wrist for Goldman. Most people won't even be paying attention...

CNN: Big week on Wall Street
...investors will also be sorting through quarterly results from around one-fourth of the S&P 500.

"So there isn't anything fundamental we can point to as a problem. But Goldman Sachs represents some risk, just because we don't know exactly what's going on."

SNL - Larry King

The Hulu ads are getting longer and longer...


A stoner's dream come true, its a pot expo in California.

Notice the pictures of a Bud Light turnkey pot trailer. Its all you need to grow your own. Wondering if it truly is produced by Budweiser. If true, this would suggest that big business is far more involved with pot than I imagined. Makes sense right...

SFGate: Pot enthusiasts gather at California cannabis expo
T.J. Sheen, who lost his leg in an accident and now wears a prosthetic, smokes marijuana during the International Cannabis & Hemp Expo on Saturday, April 17, 2010, in Daly City, Calif. The event featured speakers, panel discussions, growing aids, smoking paraphernalia and an area for people with medical marijuana cards to light up.

On Love

"Gravitation is not responsible for people falling in love." - Albert Einstein

"A sense of duty is useful in work, but offensive in personal relations. People wish to be liked, not be endured with patient resignation." - Bertrand Russell

"Where love rules, there is no will to power; and where power predominates, there love is lacking. The one is the shadow of the other." - Carl Jung

"A kiss is a lovely trick designed by nature to stop speech when words become superfluous." - Ingrid Bergman


Skinny Puppy

Saturday, April 17, 2010

'Strange Invaders'


The Stanford Grad is getting flack. The name is all the rage. The blogs are all afire over the Goldman employee allegedly at the center of the Century's biggest double dip swindle.

At the time he was only a V.P. at Goldman, but they liked his work ethic and promoted him to a higher position in London.

I smell a movie, and truly believe nothing will happen.

San Francisco Chronicle: Fabrice Tourre and Goldman Sachs sued for fraud by SEC
Fabrice Tourre allegedly packaged Credit Default Swaps (CDS) against the very same subprime mortgage-backed securities he created.

In other words, Fabrice Tourre both created a debt instrument that he allegedly knew was risky, then set up insurance - the CDS - to make money when it failed.

So if you were one of the people Fabrice Tourre convinced to buy into his securities, you were set up for a big fall while he walked away with the cash. That's the focus of the SEC's lawsuit.

'Forbidden Images'

This is a re-post, but its still kinda cool. These images terrified the censors. Clearly if allowed in the films, these scenes would have caused mass pandemonium with people fornicating in the streets like some de Sade fantasy...