Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Norway Running Out Of Oil

Now this is news. Recall that Norway is one of the world's top oil producers right after Venezuela in fact.

Reuters: Norway oil production seen slowing in next 10-20 yrs

Nikkei Opens Lower On Thursday

Reuters: Nikkei hits 7-month low, but tankan helps slow decline

TPMtv - Graham Questions Kagan On Abortion

Democrats Use Boehner's Remarks

I wish my skin color was orange...

CNN - Clinton On The Spill

Al Jazeera - News Updates

On Technology

“One day soon the Gillette company will announce the development of a razor that, thanks to a computer microchip, can actually travel ahead in time and shave beard hairs that don't even exist yet” - Dave Barry

“Technology makes it possible for people to gain control over everything, except over technology” - John Tudor

“If GM had kept up with technology like the computer industry has, we would all be driving $25 cars that got 1000 MPG” - Bill Gates

“Once a new technology rolls over you, if you're not part of the steamroller, you're part of the road.” - Stewart Brand

“Technology is destructive only in the hands of people who do not realize that they are one and the same process as the universe.” - Alan Watts

The Market On Wednesday

At 6:30 a.m. futures are moderately up. Go figure. On Tuesday the market tanked like a free falling brick. The best explanation the journalists have come up with for this drop was a report on possible stalled economic growth in China for the latter half of 2010. China is the economy behind the economy. This should be clear as a bell.

Right now the DOW appears to be comfortable just below 10,000. Some of you might want to consult with your advisers and people that are really in the know. Its possible that a buying opportunity could be emerging, but do consult with the experts. Investing in the stock market is often done for the long haul. A person has to be able to stomach the ups and downs that occur day to day, week to week, and month to month. Think in ten year intervals.

CNN: Stocks look for recovery
One of the triggers for the selloff (on Tuesday) was a report that suggested growth in China would slow in the second half of 2010, which raised worries about the prospect of a global economic slowdown.

A report on private sector jobs by payroll processing firm ADP comes out at 8:15 a.m. ET.

...a reading on business activity in the Midwest, is slated for release at 9:15 a.m. ET.
Reuters: Wall Street futures point to firmer open
The euro rebounded after two days of steep losses, but investors remained worried about the global recovery and concerned the European Central Bank may be pulling back emergency funds too quickly.

Investors fled the U.S. stock market on Tuesday and the S&P 500 tumbled to its lowest level in eight months in a sell-off triggered by a wave of increasing alarm over the global economic outlook.


Don't know a thing about the performers, just that they are terrific.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

The Flying Car

Artists Boycotting Arizona

Apparently the list is growing every day.

The Sound Strike
3 Digit IQ
A Fashion For Regret
A Map of the Chelsea Leaf
Abyssal Creatures
Afrikan Soul
Aline Frazao
American Werewolf
Andrew Anderson
Apollo Poetry (MTV)
art damage
Aztlan Underground
Beggars & Thieves
Best of the Worst
Billy Bragg
Bita Shafipour
Brass Menazeri Balkan Brass Band
Carlos Paul
Chachi On acid
Chris Prythm
Chrissy Velia Gurrola
Claudio Marchesini
Conflikto Armado
Dan Sena
Disco Villains
DJ Jonathan E.
Dj Splinta
DJ Spooky
Echoes Of A Supernova
El Trompo
Esperanza Xochitl
Flight Orchestra
Fortune & Spirits
From The Pawn
Generic Concession Stand
Geraldine Hunt
Gregory Siff
Groovin Ground
High Above The Storm
Jacky Jasper
Jarris Margalli
John Lee
Juan Galeano
Junkyard Empire
Kid Cynical
Killa Politik
Killbot Kindergarten
Kymberlee Ann Lopez
L Spice
La 5ta Paralela
La Lupe
La Paz en el Mundo
Leo Añorve
Leo Añorve
Like Tigers
Locos por Juana
London After Midnight
London Bridgez
Lorissa Chapa
Los Faggots
Los Harris
Los Mas Valientes
Lou Patty
Lucia Pulido
Mahtie Bush
maniqui lazer
Marc Copely
Matt Love
Meklit Hadero
Mic. Bomb
Mike and Matt
Mincho Jacob
Monk Turner
Mopreme Shakur
Moral Decline
Mr. Shammi
Nine Inch Nails
Norman LaFave
Paper Canyons
Peter and the Ads
Philip David Morgan
Pistol Youth
Pitstop Romantico
Post Dessler
Professor Edit
Raiz Muzik
Red in my Head
Rhondo & The Goodes
Richard Cheese & Lounge Against The Machine
Rick Hart and the Blue Horse Band
Rumy Marcelo
Ryan Harvey, Riot-Folk
Ryan Keeley
Sabertooth Tiger
Sage and Eon
Sagrada Escritura
Sessha Batto
Shane Bugbee
shie moreno
Sigo Siendo Un Fantasma
smokus pocus
Social Klash
Stephan Said
Sterile Jets
Suicide Contrition
The Alexandria Kleztet
The Bastard Fairies
The Coup
The Cran Tangerines
The Cyklones
The Dissociates
The F.U.S.S.
The FezTones
The Griot
The Insurgency
The Janet Terminal
The Jesus Chainsaw Massacre
The Joysticks
The New Loud
The New Years Gang
The Raptors
The U-Liners
The Whispering Tree
Tibia Aldea
Tom Asakawa
Triple Overhead Cam
Tyrone Murphy
Ulrich Ellison
Unidub Estacion
vampire slayer
Veronica Lopez
Virgin Heart Society
W. Kamau Bell
We Are Now Awake
Zac Rossetto

'Ha Ha Ha'

Betty Boop

Olbermann On Kagan

Kagan On Bush Vs Gore

On Peace Of Mind

“Do not overrate what you have received, nor envy others. He who envies others does not obtain peace of mind.” - Buddha

“For every minute you remain angry, you give up sixty seconds of peace of mind.” - Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Do not confuse peace of mind with spaced-out insensitivity. A truly peaceful mind is very sensitive, very aware.” - The Dalai Lama

“From his cradle to his grave a man never does a single thing which has any first and foremost object but one - to secure peace of mind, spiritual comfort, for himself.” - Mark Twain

Modifying Krugman

McClatchy journalists have done a nice job of modifying Krugman's severe warning article from Monday. Recall that Krugman is describing the period that we are entering as the Third Depression. Krugman was incensed by the G20 meeting and the overall adoption of a policy to reign in deficits. Krugman likened it to a severe orthodoxy that places millions of people's lives, those without jobs or prospects of jobs, into the dustbin of belt tightening and oh well life is tough repressed thinking. Krugman wants more spending and enlarging economies not belt tightening.

Here we have some expanded views and reactions to Krugman.

This is something to watch. We want to keep our ears to the ground especially about the direction of the economy.

McClatchy: Does world agreement to halve deficits fix things or worsen them?
Prodded by European leaders frightened by a debt crisis in Greece, the leaders of the world's top economies met through the weekend in Canada and promised to cut deficits in half by 2013 and stabilize their debt by 2016.

Deflation is the decline in prices across the economy. It's pernicious because it leads consumers and businesses to withhold spending amid expectations that prices will decline further. Japan suffered through this in the 1990s, and the trend is arguably visible in parts of the U.S. housing market.

Nariman Behravesh, the chief economist for forecaster IHS Global Insight, thinks Krugman has overstated the depression threat.

"He (Krugman)was always a little prone to drama, but the basic point he's making is that this is not the time for countries that don't need to tighten to tighten," he said.

Al Jazeera - News Updates

The Market On Tuesday

At 6:45 a.m. futures are sharply down - think the edge of the world, or cliff to nowhere down.

The articles are indicating that investors are freaking out. Its global economy jitter syndrome. Woe is us. European insolvency is re-emerging, then world markets literally tanked overnight. Like it or not, China holds great power in the global economy. China is the economy behind the economy.

Clearly the market will open with a drop. After that, well I've learned my lesson. The market has been completely unpredictable beyond the opening. Odds are pretty good it will be a foul day but who knows.

CNN: Stocks poised to drop
The Case-Shiller index of home prices in 20 cities comes out at 9 a.m. ET and a reading on consumer confidence follows at 10 a.m. ET.
Reuters: Stock index futures signal sharp losses
U.S. crude oil futures fell $2 per barrel on Tuesday as stock markets slumped and risk appetite dwindled on renewed worries over euro zone debt, while the euro slumped to a lifetime low against the Swiss franc, stung by liquidity concerns before the key euro zone refinancing program expires this week.


Shakuhachi music

This guy is outstanding.

Monday, June 28, 2010

'Winter's Bone'


Nikkei Opens Higher On Tuesday

Reuters: Nikkei rises 0.3 percent after posting 2-week lows

'Black Dawn: The Next Pandemic'

Remember the swine flu? Here's a happy little disaster pseudo-documentary on influenza as a pandemic.

Just in case you don't have enough to worry about...

The Lithophone

Technically a lithophone is like a xylophone except it is made from rocks.

These instruments are similar and what I especially like is that they are hand built.

Check out the wrench glockenspiel.

Egg Freeze

Young women are having their "eggs" frozen. This is in order to alleviate the fear of not being able to find Mr. Right right now, and to also allow for time to develop careers before child raising.

BBC: Women freeze eggs to wait for 'Mr Right'
The chance of success is better with younger, healthier eggs, yet most women currently choosing the procedure are in their late 30s and opting for egg freezing as a "last resort".

TPMtv - Leahy Talks Judicial Philosophy

The Third Depression

Krugman suggests we are entering a long depression.

He does tend to be pessimistic, but the facts are the facts.

NYT: The Third Depression
We are now, I fear, in the early stages of a third depression.

And this third depression will be primarily a failure of policy. Around the world — most recently at last weekend’s deeply discouraging G-20 meeting — governments are obsessing about inflation when the real threat is deflation, preaching the need for belt-tightening when the real problem is inadequate spending.

Al Jazeera - News Updates

Senator Byrd Dies At 92

Reuters: Senator Byrd dies at 92

The Market On Monday

I hope you all had a good weekend. We had mixed weather here, so it wasn't a great weekend for outdoor work. You had to be judicious and go outside for short periods in between cycles of rain.

At 7:20 a.m. futures are slightly up, the dollar is mixed against the yen, euro, and pound, and oil is starting to drop back a tad after getting closer and closer to $80 per barrel.

The market continues to perplex the novice, namely me. When I expect disaster it improves, when I expect gains it flops. So its best I watch and not predict.

The G20 meeting seems to have not rattled investors. Bring down deficits - great - lots of luck with that.

We keep expecting the second shoe to drop and see the markets significantly fall. Are we suffering from post recession market disorder?

CNN: Stocks set to head higher
Leaders of the world's most important economies agreed to ambitious targets for getting deficits under control, pledging to cut them in half by 2013, according to a statement made following the G-20 summit this weekend in Toronto.
Reuters: Stock index futures point to mixed open
On the macro front investors awaited the Commerce Department's May personal income and consumption data, due at 8:30 a.m. ET, and the Chicago Fed National Activity Index for May, due at 8:30 a.m. ET.

'Blue Bossa'

Joe Henderson Quartet

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Nikkei Opens Higher On Monday

Reuters: Nikkei inches up 0.2 pct after sharp falls



People with panic disorders -


Watch the clip...

Facebook: Rethink Afghanistan

Dream Theory

Think about this for a minute.

Every generation that comes along thinks that they have answered the great riddles. Things like how it all began, everything i.e. Things like why we are here, all the big massive complex and simple conceptual problems that we all face, or at least some of us face. When we get really immersed in how wonderful our lives are, we sometimes forget to ponder such questions and then, bam, death.

So this in my opinion is just another theory on dreams. That is all it is. Another theory on what it is all about.

Live Science: Why We Dream: Real Reasons Revealed
"Whatever the state we're put in, we're still working on the same problems..." ...Although dreams might have initially evolved for a different purpose, they likely have been refined over time so they can serve double-duty: help the brain reboot itself and problem-solve.

GM Salmon

We just can't seem to help ourselves. The need to genetically tinker with food and now animals is practically unstoppable.

Genetically modified salmon, sound appetizing to you? Its on the dock and may soon be FDA approved.

NYT: Genetically Altered Salmon Get Closer to the Table
...salmon that can grow at twice the normal rate.

Next in line behind the salmon for possible approval would probably be the “enviropig,” developed at a Canadian university, which has less phosphorus pollution in its manure.

“You don’t get salmon the size of the Hindenburg...You can get to those target weights in a shorter time.”

Sixth Place

Onion is consistently the funniest thing around in my opinion. But I am certainly open to other suggestions.

The Onion: Experts Say Breakfast Now Sixth Most Important Meal Of The Day
...once considered the most important meal of the day, has now slipped to sixth place, below brunch and just above midnight snack. "Significant gains by lunch and dessert badly damaged breakfast's standing in the late 1990s..."

The Onion - Congress, 1924: Rep. Demands Horses Wear Dresses To Hide Foul Penises

Congress, 1924: Rep. Demands Horses Wear Dresses To Hide Foul Penises

Al Jazeera - News Update

Republican Schism Continues

There is another Republican primary race, this time in Washington, that pits an establishment Republican against a Tea Party Republican.

Didier is the Tea Party(T.P.) Republican supported and endorsed by T.P. leader Sarah Palin.

Hey wait a minute, isn't T.P. the usual term for toilet paper. Now that's low down, and uncalled for, even by my lofty standards. My apologies, what was I thinking.

McClatchy: Washington State GOP split in another tea party challenge
Rossi is taking the more traditional route, heavy on meetings with the National Republican Senatorial Committee; its chairman, Texas Sen. John Cornyn, and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky. Republican senators already have thrown one fundraiser for him and he's expected to receive support from a group formed by Bush political adviser Karl Rove and backed by corporate contributors.

Didier has met with Tea Party favorite Ron Paul, and a former Washington Redskins teammate, bad boy John Riggins, threw a fundraiser for him. He has talked with GOP chairman Michael Steele and met with conservative groups ranging from the Eagle Forum to the Family Research Council and the National Right to Life to Americans for Tax Reform.

Kellogg Cereal Recall

If you eat Kellogg cereal, note that there has been a recall of several varieties.

Steel cut oats, now there's a fine cereal...

Christian Science Monitor: Kellogg recall: Apple Jacks, Corn Pops, Froot Loops, Honey Smacks recalled

'Low Down Dog'

Big Joe Turner

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Oil Tracker

'The Best Of Scary Movies'

The Rotten Tomatoes Show

Oil Spill Time Lapse Photos

Oil Leak Plus Hurricanes

The environmental damage from the leak could potentially multiply with the addition of a hurricane. Imagine the scenario where a hurricane passes directly over the path of the enormous oil leak and brings the polluted water onto the coastal towns.

Why does it seem like this possibility is inevitable.

Christian Science Monitor: Gulf oil spill: Could 'toxic storm' make beach towns uninhabitable?
Moreover, scientists have predicted one of the busiest Gulf hurricane seasons in years, expecting between 14 and 23 named storms and 14 hurricanes this summer – compared to a long-term average of 11 named storms per season.

'Shutter Island'


Just watched it - entertaining in a dark way.

Rethinking Debt

From a deep operative -

Nice clip on the concept of leverage and its meaning from a kindly old school business guy - Leo Wells on Leverage

Al Jazeera - News Updates

Your Weekly Address

Economic Pulse

According to Reuters, the economic recovery has slowed. In spite of the fact that the US has had three consecutive quarters with a positive GDP, the concern is that growth is not sufficient to generate jobs and lower the roughly 10% unemployment rate.

We've been watching this for some time and the data confirms the theory that it is a jobless recovery, so far.

Allegedly people are there spending as consumer confidence is improving. Corporate profits are improving as well. The market is skittish but is still holding.

This article is stating that economists are not worried about a second recession just yet. Let's just say this is one of the optimistic articles because we've all read about dire scenarios. I don't know what to think about a second recession and the only remedy seems to be to still keep our eyes and ears close to the ground. Personally I'm still all about decreasing spending, eliminating debt, and making do with elegant simplicity. I just made up the elegant simplicity part because I'm looking for positive sentiment but you get the idea.

Reuters: Economic growth trimmed on consumer and business spending
Gross domestic product expanded at a 2.7 percent annual rate instead of the 3 percent pace reported last month...

While analysts see little threat of another recession they worry growth could prove too anemic to bring down a near 10 percent unemployment rate.

Despite the downward revision, growth in consumer spending, which normally accounts for about 70 percent of U.S. economic activity, was still double the 1.6 percent rate in the fourth quarter and the largest advance in three years.

"Third Man Theme"

Anton Karas on Zither

The annoying over dub voice goes away fast.

Friday, June 25, 2010

'The Chump Champ'

Droopy Dog

Too Big To Ride

As I never go on rides or even go to amusement parks excepting the county fair, this article is literally without relevance, for me.

Universal Studio's amusement park in Florida will not allow you to ride on the Harry Potter adventure if you are a "large" person.

What I did find intriguing about this article is the simple fact that the average American now weighs 191 pounds. In 1960 the average American weighed 166.

We are getting huge.

Yahoo: Harry Potter Fans Deemed Too Heavy for 'Wizarding World' Ride
That's all fine and good, but considering the average weight of an American man is 191 pounds (and rising: in 1960 it was 166 pounds), "Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey" could be turning away quite a few potential revelers.

TPMtv - Obama On Finance Reform

'Nature By Numbers'

Nature by Numbers from Cristóbal Vila on Vimeo.


The idea is to try and limit the way banks can play with assets and how much they can be exposed to the stock market and complex market financial investments. Its an attempt to bring back a few aspects of the Glass–Steagall Act of 1933.

McClatchy: Lawmakers move to curb risky trading by commercial banks
Under the compromise first announced Thursday by Sen. Christopher Dodd, D-Conn., the chairman of the Banking Committee, deposit-taking commercial banks could still invest in hedge funds and private equity funds, but their participation in these high-risk funds would be limited. Banks could own no more than 3 percent of such funds, and the investment couldn't exceed 3 percent of the bank's capital.

In a blow to consumer advocates, lawmakers agreed that auto dealers who offer financing to customers should be exempt from direct regulation by a new Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection. The Pentagon took the unusual step of writing letters to negotiators calling for tougher regulation of auto lending, citing predatory lending practices aimed at members of the armed services.

In another point of negotiation, senators pared back a House proposal that would have provided $3 billion, through the Department of Housing and Urban Development, to help unemployed homeowners with good payment histories to stay in their homes. The Senate negotiators counter-offered with $1 billion. House members were to respond overnight.

Al Jazeera - News Updates

The Market On Friday

At 6:50 a.m. futures are slightly down, the dollar is up against the yen, euro, and pound, and the price of oil is down.

Finance reform is in the spotlight and indications are that the bill will be weak and watered down. This does not surprise us.

What can we say, the market has been having a fit. Many of us are concerned that this is the beginning of something ugly.

CNN: Stocks set for shaky start
Lawmakers eventually agreed on a weakened version of the provision that would allow banks to make traditional trades of contracts. But banks that want to engage in riskier trades would be required to spin off the divisions that trade derivatives contracts into affiliates in two years.

The dollar was up versus the euro, the British pound and the Japanese yen.

U.S. light crude oil for August delivery fell 43 cents to $76.08 a barrel.
CNN: When will you get to retire?
In the late 1960s, men in Spain spent less than 10 years in retirement; now they spend more than 20, according to data compiled by the OECD and the Economist. In France, the time in retirement has risen from 10 years to almost 25. The jump in the United States is also large but not as drastic: from just under 10 years to roughly 18.

'What's So Funny 'Bout Peace Love And Understanding'

Elvis Costello

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Strongest Cities

Some of you will not believe which city is number one.

Yahoo: America's most recession-proof cities

'Autumn In New York'

Destin Beach, Florida - Oil

The Daily Show - McChrystal

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
McChrystal's Balls - Honorable Discharge
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical HumorTea Party

We Flunk

No surprise here, as America ranks poorly on health care compared to other selected countries.

We don't even get out of the starting blocks.

Just be careful when you get really old, end up in an old age health facility, and contract Mersa - methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus, in the facility. It will be your undoing and now I know of several seniors who passed away contracting Mersa while being in a health care facility.

Reuters: U.S. scores dead last again in healthcare study
Americans spend twice as much as residents of other developed countries on healthcare, but get lower quality, less efficiency and have the least equitable system, according to a report released on Wednesday.

The United States ranked last when compared to six other countries -- Britain, Canada, Germany, Netherlands, Australia and New Zealand, the Commonwealth Fund report found.

Al Jazeera - News Updates

The Market On Thursday

At 6:30 a.m. futures are moderately down.

The Fed ended a two day meeting yesterday. This is the first time I have officially read that Europe's fiscal problems are having a direct impact on America's economic fruition. According to the Fed, the US is being adversely affected by Europe's economic problems.

As a result the tone of this morning financial articles is dreary. We are back to pessimism about the recovery yet there is also a sense that a second recession might not be inevitable or at least not just yet.

Personally I now think that a milder recession is the middle position between the extreme naysayers who warn of a catastrophic meltdown and the optimists who predict better growth. These things are hard to predict as we know. So its important to still keep our ears to the ground.

Personally, I also think that its smart to live simply and live small. Its not the time for living large as they say. Cut out debt, reduce spending, do it yourself, ride the bike, don't take on burdensome loans if possible, and eat organic. Threw that eat organic one in there for fun. Hey...

CNN: Stocks seen pulling back
Central bank policymakers said Wednesday that problems in Europe have slowed the pace of the U.S. recovery over the past two months.

While the Fed said it didn't expect the U.S. economy to fall back into recession, it warned that financial conditions have become less supportive for growth and that the recovery is "likely to be moderate for a time."

Oil Rain

Not likely but the intent is of value.

'Pet Cemetery'

The Ramones

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

'Star Trek VIII - First Contact'

Obama Sacks McChrystal

Plunging Home Sales

Wednesday morning data indicates that new single family home sales significantly dropped in May.

One would suspect that the credibility or even the inevitability of a second recession has now strengthened among the more pessimistic.

This will certainly put a dent in today's market activity.

Reuters: May new home sales plunge to record low
The Commerce Department said sales dropped a record 32.7 percent to a 300,000 unit annual rate, the lowest level since record keeping started in 1963, from a downwardly revised 446,000 units in April. The fall unwound two months of gains, which had been inspired by a government tax credit for home buyers.

Al Jazeera - News Updates


You might agree with me and want to see the US out of Afghanistan now.

In my mind its interesting that Rolling Stone Magazine can have such power. Who knew.

Regardless, McChrystal meets with Obama today and the future of the Afghanistan War is about to change.

McClatchy: Obama-McChrystal showdown may be pivotal moment
Several defense officials and officers told McClatchy on Tuesday that McChrystal has no choice but to offer his resignation. It will be up to the president whether to accept it. "The only issue here is whether he retains the confidence of the president," one senior defense official said, speaking only on the condition of anonymity because of the situation's sensitivity. "And only one person in this town knows the answer to that."

The Market On Wednesday

At 6:30 a.m. futures are moderately up. Recall that the pre-market numbers have been practically without relevance the past two days.

Investors will be anxiously waiting to hear the wrap up news from the ongoing Fed meeting. One would suspect that this will be a strong impetus for the final market direction.

It is a more volatile market. One of my insiders is expecting another recession but believes it will not be as severe as the great recession.

CNN: Stocks set for higher open
The central bank is due to release its policy statement at 2:15 p.m. ET.

A report on new home sales is due out shortly after the opening bell at 10 a.m. ET.

'Surfin' USA'

The Beach Boys

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Nikkei Opens Lower On Wednesday

Nikkei: Nikkei falls towards support, hit by broad selling

Sande On NPR

Happy to see one of my new music pieces was included on an NPR cast.

Sande on NPR

TPMtv - Rolling Stone And McChrystal

From Groucho

"A child of five would understand this. Send someone to fetch a child of five."

"All people are born alike - except Republicans and Democrats."

"Before I speak, I have something important to say."

"Behind every successful man is a woman, behind her is his wife."

"I didn't like the play, but then I saw it under adverse conditions - the curtain was up."

"I have had a perfectly wonderful evening, but this wasn't it."

Al Jazeera - News Updates

Patriot Act Statute Upheld

On Monday the Supreme Court upheld a controversial aspect of the Patriot Act that makes it illegal to provide support for terrorist groups even if that support pushes the group towards non-violence. How about that.

CSMonitor: Supreme Court upholds controversial part of Patriot Act
The US Supreme Court on Monday upheld the constitutionality of a federal law that makes it illegal to teach members of a foreign terrorist group how to use peaceful means to pursue political goals.

The Market On Tuesday

At 8:00 a.m. futures are slightly down, the dollar is mixed, and the price of oil per barrel is down.

Investors will be looking at housing market data today. Also there is a new Fed meeting also starting today that ends on Wednesday.

After some enlightening news on China's currency on Monday, everything has returned to a worrisome approach. You got me...

CNN: Stocks poised for lackluster start
A report on existing home sales from the National Association of Realtors is due after the market open.

The FHFA Housing price index for April is also due in the morning.

U.S. light crude oil for July delivery fell $1.14 to $76.68 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
CNN: How to ride an up-and-down market
Even if you don't try to exploit volatility, at minimum you shouldn't run from it. "In general, when the public gets scared, that's the time to take advantage of volatility if you've got the intestinal fortitude...At the very least it's a signal to not get out of the market, because investors inevitably bail out at the bottom."

'Hey, Soul Sister'


Monday, June 21, 2010

Nikkei Opens Lower On Tuesday

Turns out it was the day that wasn't.

First day of summer didn't exactly bomb, but the Chinese currency issue fizzled. It will return.

Reuters: Nikkei slips 1 percent on profit-taking, exporters fall

Cigarette Tax Hike In NY

I suspect this brings the price of a pack of cigarettes to over $10 probably even over $11 in NY.

Fox 23: Cigarette tax passes in NY
It will also raise the taxes on a pack of cigarettes by $1.60.

TPMtv - O'Reilly And Bachmann On BP

This is amusing. There's Bachmann trying her damnedest to try and pin something nasty on somebody, but she doesn't have a thread to work with. Bill O is of course letting her skate lightly because she is a fellow wingnut.

The real interesting thing about this to me is that we have a major corporate entity, FOX producing this type of pointless alleged news cast and making gobs of money on it. What is wrong with this picture.

CNN - Small Town Battles Oil

Oil Leak Toll On The Residents

Here we have a realistic accounting for how the leak is affecting the residents of the Gulf coast. Its a heartbreaking article.

Essentially they are all living in a traumatized state of being right now. One person spoke of literally dreaming about brown waves of oil. That's a nightmare.

McClatchy: The oil spill colors the fabric of Gulf coastal life
"but you walked close to the beach and you couldn't miss the smell of oil. Your heart just sinks.''

"Business has just gone to nothing.'' One recent day's tally: a bag of ice and a can of soda. They plan to add more food, to feed the fishermen-turned oil spotters plying the bayou.

"We got shrimp by the 16-20 count, 21-30 count, 10W-30, 10W-40..."

Al Jazeera - News Updates

The Market On Monday

Hey. welcome to the Summer! Today is the very first day of Summer and if you are like me, summertime is fantastic. How can I count the ways?

At 7:20 a.m. futures are significantly higher, the dollar is mixed, and oil is up per barrel.

Ordinarily I would not make a bold statement here, especially considering how volatile the market has been lately, but I will go out on a long limb and say the markets will advance today and close higher. Now how is that for being FOS. (Addendum - I was wrong. The market closed relatively sideways.)

Essentially I cannot recall too many days when the news has set investors so intensely aflutter. They are resonating to the molecular hum of the dollar, its practically orgasmic.

China has cut its currency free from severe state control guidelines and is now allowing it to float against the world. That's the news. Its huge news and for the time being it might even keep the market buoyant through the summer. How do I know that - well I don't know that. I'm just aping what I read but I do know this. This is big news and it will have a positive effect on equities. When the yuan is stronger, guess what China can buy a whole lot more of. That's right, they can buy more of the USA. We are so owned.

CNN: Stocks set to surge
Investors became more confident in the global economy following news that China will let its currency trade more freely.

"The thinking is that a more flexible Chinese currency will help exports, and that means it will help the global economy, too. So in the short term this is positive for global markets and commodities..."
Reuters: China unshackles yuan ahead of G20
Asian currencies and stocks rose and U.S. Treasuries fell on expectations that China's promise to give the currency new room to move would ease political tensions with the West and encourage investors to snap up riskier assets.

Commodities and oil also surged, as a stronger currency would give the world's third-biggest economy more purchasing power to buy foreign goods, which would be positive for world trade, especially for commodity exporters such as Australia, Brazil, Canada and New Zealand.

'The Bunny Hop'

Ray Anthony Orchestra - 1952

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Nikkei Opens Higher On Monday

Reuters: Nikkei up 1.5 percent, eyes resistance at 10,200


Oil Leak Containment Improvement

According to this Christian Science Monitor article, BP is closing in on containing almost all of the leaking oil by mid-July.

If true, this is welcome news.

We are expecting worse and some are not expecting this thing to ever go away. BP appears to be slowly ramping up the collection process. The recent addition is not collecting the leaking oil but is burning it off. Now one part of the environmental disaster goes directly into the atmosphere.

CS Monitor: BP moves a step closer to full containment of Gulf oil spill leak
BP collected a record 25,000 barrels of oil (1 million gallons) on Thursday. Previously, it had been collecting only about 15,000 barrels a day.

This puts BP on track to collect about 50,000 barrels a day by the end of the month. The best available scientific estimates suggest that between 35,000 and 60,000 barrels of oil are gushing from the wellhead.

A second large ship, the Discoverer Clear Leader, is expected to arrive on site in mid-July. That could increase capacity to 80,000 barrels daily, which would collect virtually all the oil, barring small leaks.

Rahm Over GOP

Fundamental Advice

I periodically post this excerpt from Thich Nhat Hahn. It will instantly make you realize that life is good.

Thich Nhat Hanh

Fundamental advice from the book 'No Death, No Fear'

"..... Suppose two astronauts go to the moon. When they arrive, they have an accident and find out that they have only enough oxygen for two days. There is no hope of someone coming from Earth in time to rescue them. They have only two days to live. If you asked them at that moment, "What is your deepest wish?" they would answer, "To be back home walking on the beautiful planet Earth." That would be enough for them; they would not want anything else. They would not want to be the head of a large corporation, a big celebrity or president of the United States. They would not want anything except to be back on Earth - to be walking on Earth, enjoying every step, listening to the sounds of nature and holding the hand of their beloved while contemplating the moon."
"We should live every day like people who have just been rescued from the moon. We are on Earth now, and we need to enjoy walking on this precious beautiful planet. The Zen master Lin Chi said, "The miracle is not to walk on water but to walk on the Earth." I cherish that teaching. I enjoy just walking, even in busy places like airports and railway stations. In walking like that, with each step caressing our Mother Earth, we can inspire other people to do the same. We can enjoy every minute of our lives."

Al Jazeera - News Updates

Happy Fathers' Day

I had a great dad. He passed away 16 years ago. He was kind, that was his outstanding character trait to me. Like everybody else I've had craziness, missteps, screw-ups, pains, and problems in my life. But I had one really good thing, a good dad.

'Brick House'

The Commodores

Saturday, June 19, 2010

'Wailing Oktoberfest Drummer'

There's been several high energy drummer clips lately, but this is unique.


Droopy Dog


We've been there, or some of us have.

I found the description of the desirable mate to be telling. I hope it gives you a hoot.

Yahoo: Are you being too picky?
Me: otherwise easygoing SF, 29, in desirable neighborhood near excellent schools and world-class cheese market. You: 31-36, Ivy League (except Penn), minimum 5’ 10", maximum 180 lbs., pectoral-to-waist ratio .33; fiscal conservative/social liberal; profession: law, medicine, banking (employer must have innovative paternity leave policy); hobbies: pan-Asian cooking, helping the needy, foot rubs; civil to (but not “friends” with) ex-girlfriends (maximum: 2); informed, witty, self-starter: equally comfortable chatting at state dinners and changing tires. Send introductory email along with photo, high school and college transcripts, 3 recommendations (1 academic, 1 professional, 1 non-threatening friend-girl) plus two 750-word essays on the topics: (1) “A Man of Quality is Not Threatened By A Woman For Equality” and (2) “Why I Always Share My Feelings.”

Al Jazeera - News Updates

Coming Up On Wall Street

Followers of Wall Street are keenly aware of the market's rise the last two weeks. The DOW is now up to 10,450. Recall that it had dipped below 10,000 a few short weeks ago.

At the moment investors seem pleased or at least appeased with Europe's ongoing fiscal problems and the steps taken to alleviate them. Next week the Fed will reiterate its plan to keep inter bank lending rates at next to nothing levels. Other economic indicators will be coming out on the upcoming week but the glaring problem remains. The unemployment rate is declining but this is only because people are falling off the charts. The benefits end and then there's no place to go. The harsh irony here is that the unemployment rate could go down to "normal" levels with the same number of people out of jobs, a huge pool of unemployed.

I for one am very concerned about the crime rates, and danger in the cities. In upstate NY gang activity is big. There is no money for youth employment programs. Inner city kids will be joining the one thing that provides identity, the gangs. I just read where five teens beat and robbed two 23 year old young women. They fortunately got caught while running away, but getting caught is rare.

Reuters: Momentum in stocks' favor but trading choppy
In addition to the statement from the Fed's rate-setting meeting, investors will take in data on the housing and labor markets, consumer sentiment and the final reading for first-quarter gross domestic product.

Your Weekly Address



How about that ending graphic...

Friday, June 18, 2010

'High Fidelity'

TPMtv - Gingrich And Hannity Support Barton

The Daily Show - Day 59

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Day 59 - Judgment Day - The Strife Aquatic
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical HumorTea Party

'The Protecting Cyberspace As A National Asset Act of 2010'

Lieberman is at it again.

Key elements of the legislation include:
1. Creation of an Office of Cyberspace Policy in the Executive Office of the President run by a Senate-confirmed Director, who will advise the President on all cybersecurity matters. The Director will lead and harmonize federal efforts to secure cyberspace and will develop a national strategy that incorporates all elements of cyberspace policy, including military, law enforcement, intelligence, and diplomatic. The Director will oversee all related federal cyberspace activities to ensure efficiency and coordination.
2. Creation of a National Center for Cybersecurity and Communications (NCCC) at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to elevate and strengthen the Department’s cyber security capabilities and authorities. The Director will regularly advise the President on efforts to secure federal networks. The NCCC will be led by a Senate-confirmed Director, who will report to the Secretary. The NCCC will include the United States Computer Emergency Response Team (US-CERT), and will lead federal efforts to protect public and private sector cyber and communications networks.
3. Updates the Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA) to modernize federal agencies practices of protecting their internal networks and systems. With strong leadership from DHS, these reforms will allow agencies to move away from the system of after-the-fact paperwork compliance to real-time monitoring to secure critical systems.
4. Requiring the NCCC to work with the private sector to establish risk-based security requirements that strengthen cyber security for the nation’s most critical infrastructure that, if disrupted, would result in a national or regional catastrophe.
5. Requiring covered critical infrastructure to report significant breaches to the NCCC to ensure the federal government has a complete picture of the security of these sensitive networks. The NCCC must share information, including threat analysis, with owners and operators regarding risks to their networks. The Act will provide specified liability protections to owners/operators that comply with the new risk-based security requirements.Creation of a responsible framework, developed in coordination with the private sector, for the President to authorize emergency measures to protect the nation’s most critical infrastructure if a cyber vulnerability is being exploited or is about to be exploited. The President must notify Congress in advance before exercising these emergency powers. Any emergency measures imposed must be the least disruptive necessary to respond to the threat and will expire after 30 days unless the President extends them. The bill authorizes no new surveillance authorities and does not authorize the government to “take over” private networks.
6. Development of a comprehensive supply chain risk management strategy to address risks and threats to the information technology products and services the federal government relies upon. This strategy will allow agencies to make informed decisions when purchasing IT products and services.
7. Requiring the Office of Personnel Management to reform the way cyber security personnel are recruited, hired, and trained to ensure that the federal government has the talent necessary to lead the national cyber security effort and protect its own networks.

On Grace

“Gracefulness has been defined to be the outward expression of the inward harmony of the soul” - William Hazlitt

“If a man be gracious and courteous to strangers, it shows he is a citizen of the world, and that his heart is no island cut off from other lands, but a continent that joins to them.” - Francis Bacon Sr

“If one has to submit, it is wasteful not to do so with the best grace possible” - Winston Churchill

“Grace is the absence of everything that indicates pain or difficulty, hesitation or incongruity.” - William Hazlitt

Gardner Executed

We are now at the social moral level of the Saudis.

I was talking with someone in corrections just last night, truly. They are opposed to the death penalty.

The Market On Friday

Very disappointed to see the Celtics lose to the Lakers. The Celtics had control of the game, fatigue set in as they used their starting lineup extensively. Didn't help that Boston lost its starting center. The Celtics are getting old, however it was a very good series.

At 7:40 a.m. futures are flat, the dollar is in mixed territory against the yen, pound, and euro, and the price of oil per barrel is down over a buck.

Today is quadruple witching day.

According to the financial journalists, a calm day is expected. That alone is enough to jinx it!

Investors seem appeased by Europe's stabilizing maneuvers, so for the time being that time bomb is sleeping.

Everyone is anticipating the double dip, expecting to see all hell break loose with markets tumbling. I keep reading precautionary steps to take. We could very well be on the edge of that precipice, I just don't know. The markets have a mind of their own. It is thought that the Summer will be D-Day. We shall see.

CNN: Stocks look to open flat
Investors also welcomed positive developments out of Europe...

The Labor Department will release a report on state unemployment levels at 10 a.m. ET.

U.S. light crude oil for July delivery dipped $1.23 to $75.56 a barrel.
Reuters: Stock futures flat ahead of futures, options expiration
Four different types of June equity futures and options contracts expire Friday, a convergence known as "quadruple witching." As volatility has receded lately, traders expected a quiet session.

A Democratic bill to extend jobless benefits and raise taxes on investment fund managers failed a key vote in the U.S. Senate on Thursday, dealing a blow to U.S. President Barack Obama's push to boost the economy.

Afghanistan Wealth

Always follow the money.

Yahoo: Afghan mineral wealth may be at least $3 trillion

'The Boy With The Thorn In His Side'

The Smiths

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Nikkei Opens Higher On Friday

Watching the basketball game tonight. Final game of the finals, and I am rooting for Boston over the Lakers. Its purely an East Coast thing.

Reuters: Nikkei edges back toward 1-month high, chips gain

TPMtv - Rep. Barton Apologizes To BP

WOW!! Now he is back pedaling.

CNN - Why Invest Now

Got Drilling Rights In The Gulf

So the Gulf of Mexico is filling up with oil. At this instant animals of all types are seeing their oily demise, their oil soaked carcasses filling the area probably with an ungodly stench to go with the morally reprehensible environmental stench. But that is just one little problem among many.

And that is not the end of it

Much more is on the way, oil is here to stay.

Mother Jones: License To Drill
In recent weeks, the government has quietly approved the sale of more than 400 new leases for vast swaths of the Gulf of Mexico. And these contracts—which mark the first step in the drilling process—were subjected to the same slapdash environmental oversight that failed to prevent the BP catastrophe. was Obama's Interior secretary, Ken Salazar, who gave the go-ahead for the sale of Lease 213—6,800 tracts covering 36 million acres off the coasts of Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama in November 2009. The sale—which was held on March 17 this year in the New Orleans Superdome—attracted $1.3 billion in bids. Since then, the Department of the Interior's Minerals Management Service (MMS) has approved the sale of 448 of those tracts, 198 of them in deepwater, which is defined as more than 656 feet below the sea. BP is the proud new leaser of 13 of those tracts.

On Greed

“We tend to forget that happiness doesn't come as a result of getting something we don't have, but rather of recognizing and appreciating what we do have.” - Frederick Keonig

“There are many things that we would throw away if we were not afraid that others might pick them up.” - Oscar Wilde

“Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed” - Mahatma Gandhi

“A greedy father has thieves for children” - Serbian Proverb

Al Jazeera - News Updates

The Firing Squad

Ronnie Lee Gardner is scheduled to be executed by firing squad on Friday, tomorrow.

Gardner killed a man with his gun during an escape attempt.

Gardner has chosen firing squad because Utah offers it - its the firing squad or "legal" injection. Not many have elected firing squad so this is a first in recent times.

In my opinion, life in prison is a far more imposing sentence. The convict has to deal with the intensity of prison life and then comes to a crossroads - either they become more hardened or they see a little bit of light. The latter is the better choice and of course more desirable. Utah convict's choice of firing squad focuses spotlight on death penalty
He is scheduled to be executed Friday by a firing squad...

Two men in recent years, including a prisoner in Virginia earlier this spring, have elected to be put to death by the electric chair, which by all accounts is a gruesome and violent means of demise.

“It will have a big ripple effect in the public...Utah will be known as the state that carried out an execution by firing squad.”