Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Nikkei Opens Lower On Wednesday

Nikkei: Nikkei hits 16-mth low hurt by broad-based selling

StS' Van Halen

This guy is hilarious.

Yamuna River, India

Citarum River, Indonesia

Rachel Maddow - Republican Islamophobia

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Beyond Polluted

We are in trouble...

Mother Nature Network: The 15 most toxic places to live
Earth's orbit

Believe it or not, even space contains copious amounts of pollution. An estimated 4 million pounds of space debris — nuts, bolts, metal and carbon, even whole spacecraft — currently orbit the Earth, threatening satellites, communication and even the lives of our astronauts.

McCain On The Campaign

CNN - Warren Buffett

'The Eco-Commune'

THE ECO-COMMUNE from Richard Hardy on Vimeo.

Less Energy Use During Recession

Live Science: Energy Use Dips Due to Recession and Tech Advances

Al Jazeera - World News Updates

Brutality In Mexico

We are taking more and more notice of Mexico lately. And it is a lot more than the immigrant problem. It is the drug trade, violence, human trafficking, you name it. The mass murder of 72 people hoping to illegally get into the USA was an unparalleled cowardly act of violence. There is another war out there.

CS Monitor: Mexico massacre: How the drug war is pushing cartels into human trafficking
...sending some 50,000 federal forces to weaken the power of criminal gangs has made them desperate and forced them increasingly into other businesses, such as extortion, kidnapping, and human trafficking.

The violence is constant in Tamaulipas, the troubled state where the 72 migrants were massacred.

Blindfolded and shot one by one, they included teens and even one pregnant woman. At least one came from as far as Brazil.

The Market On Tuesday

Good morning. We are having a series of extremely fine days here in upstate NY, the weather is just gorgeous. The buzz is in the air with young people readying for school. The Fall is my favorite time.

At 7:30 a.m. stock futures are moderately down. The stock market is in a slump. Wall Street-wise September is traditionally the worst month of the year and all indications keep pointing towards just that once again.

Today investors will be looking over economic data on housing prices, consumer confidence, and manufacturing. Lately most data numbers of this type have been worse than expected. Add that to unusually low trading volumes and we are ripe for more volatility and stinker trading days.

CNN: Stocks headed for lower open
The Case-Shiller 20-city home price index comes out before the opening bell and is expected to have risen 3.1% in June...

...Consumer Confidence index for August after the start of trading.

The Chicago PMI, a regional reading on manufacturing activity, is expected to have fallen to 57 in August from 62.3 in July.

'Exit Music'


Monday, August 30, 2010

Nikkei Opens Lower On Tuesday

Reuters: Nikkei slides 2 pct on profit-taking, Wall St fall

Palin 'Refudiated'

Hang on a second here now, 26% think she would be a good president.

Isn't that around the same number that think George Bush was a good president.

Vanity Fair: The 60 Minutes/Vanity Fair Poll
Do you think SARAH PALIN would have the ability to be an EFFECTIVE PRESIDENT?

TPMtv - Midterm Elections

Spending Up Up And Away

Finally you ingrates are doing something to support my never to come retirement. You are spending some of that doled out government money because we all know you are collecting unemployment, lazy bastards, instead of clenching onto it like a rusty old bolt hanging onto a nut.

Speaking of nuts...

CNN: Consumer spending picks up
Personal spending rose by $44.1 billion last month, or 0.4%, after falling less than 0.1% in June. This came in above the 0.3% increase economists expected.

Distinguishing Play From Violence

Nice article amplifying how young boys plays more aggressive than girls and pointing out that there is a distinction between play and actual violence.

Live Science: Battling the Boys: Educators Grapple with Violent Play
...boys appear to be hard-wired for more active and aggressive pursuits than girls...

"Violence and aggression are intended to hurt somebody. Play is not intended to hurt somebody. Play, rougher in its themes and rougher physically, is a feature of boyhood in every society on Earth."

...how often are a convicted murderer's actions explained by too many games of "cops and robbers" on the playground? There's no link between the two...

The Emmys


The alleged political party backed by billionaire corporate stars the Koch brothers, plays the role of funneling discontent while essentially working to re-establish a Republican majority in the House. The Koch brothers have much to gain, the politically discontent will gain nothing. The latter so enjoys cutting off its nose to spite its face.

CS Monitor: Glenn Beck rally: A warning to Obama and Democrats?
“You can’t profit from fear and division all week and then denounce them one Saturday on the National Mall in Washington and hope nobody notices..."

Beck “knows how to manipulate an audience’s emotions..."

“But to be more than a political movement that is tugging the Republican Party ever farther to the right, the tea party must show in November that its candidates are electable,” writes political analyst Rhodes Cook in the Wall Street Journal. “If not, the movement could lose much of the luster and attention that it has gained over the past year.”

The Market On Monday

Good morning. I hope you had a good weekend. It was humid here yesterday. The humidity really takes energy out of you. I had to work on this old house and by 5 p.m. I was very tired.

At 7:50 a.m. stock futures are mixed, oil is down in price per barrel, and the dollar is down against the major currencies.

The week is being characterized as one where economic data will play the primary role. The biggest player will be Friday's highly anticipated monthly government report on employment, and the lack of it. That along with a few factors that are as yet to be mentioned will drive the market this week.

Recall that September is statistically the worst month of the year for equities.

CNN: Stocks poised for shaky start
Government data on personal income and spending during July come out before the market opens.

Oil futures for October delivery slipped 37 cents to $74.80 a barrel.

'Sleep Safe And Warm'

Tomasz Stanko

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Under The Radar News

From a deep operative -
Aug. 23, 2010 (KILLEEN, TX) - Five peace activists successfully blockaded six buses carrying Fort Hood Soldiers deploying to Iraq outside Fort Hood’s Clarke gate this morning at around 4 a.m. While the activists took the width of Clarke Rd. and slowed the buses to a halt, police made no arrests, but instead beat the activists out of the streets using automatic weapons and police dogs so the deploying Soldiers could proceed.

Among those blockading were three veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and one military spouse. (See attached bios) The action, organized by a group calling themselves “Fort Hood Disobeys,” was aimed at preventing the deployment of the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment Soldiers to what the veterans termed an illegal and immoral occupation.

Despite heightened security around the portion of road targeted by the activists, they crawled undetected through a gully separating two lanes of TX HW-190 leading to an overpass before descending on to the road below unexpectedly just as the buses left Clarke Gate.

While standing in the street, the activists held banners reading “Occupation is a Crime” and “Please Don’t Make the Same Mistake We Did. RESIST NOW.” From the TX HW-190 overpass, additional supporters attempted to hang larger banners that read, “Tell the Brass: ‘KISS MY ASS’ Your family needs you more” “Sick of Fighting Your Wars” and “Col. Allen [3 ACR Commander]: Do not deploy wounded Soldiers.”

This latest deployment comes less than two weeks after President Obama announced the second end to combat operations in Iraq. FHD organizers denounced this as a lie, and pointed to the deployment of the 3rd ACR, a combat regiment, to Iraq as clear proof. They have stated they will continue to organize direct action in the Fort Hood community to oppose the wars as long as troops continue to deploy.

The action organizers have established a website at forthooddisobeys.blogspot.com where they will be posting statements, photographs and video from the actions as they become available during the next 48 hours. As well, for the length of the day, FHD ran live webcasts updating their supporters and depicting portions of the direct action. All live broadcasts from the day are archived at http://bit.ly/b1WEyv.

Remembering The Avanti

Made by Studebaker in the early 60s. I remember how I thought it was completely futuristic looking.

I was just checking out the prices and you can buy one for anywhere from $10,000 to $35,000. I would imagine the price difference is related to the overall condition of the vehicle with $35,000 being a cherry.

Nikkei Opens Higher On Monday

Allegedly the Nikkei is responding to the news that the revised US GDP numbers for the second quarter are not quite as bad as expected.

Sometimes when the Nikkei opens stronger there is a reverberating effect around the world, right up until Wall Street opens 13 hours later.

Reuters: Nikkei up after yen slips on BOJ easing speculation

Jobs Report On Friday

A big report on jobs comes out this Friday.

Reuters has its own predictions based on polls. These types of predictions have been way off base lately. Usually the news is worse than anticipated in recent weeks especially surrounding jobs. The news will have many angles though, and so one might suspect that within the report there will be a few bright spots.

I must say, from a blogger's point of view, its getting extremely old pointing out this same dreary news month after month after month.

Reuters: Jobs data to show severity of malaise
Economists polled by Reuters forecast an August drop of 99,000 non-farm jobs after a fall of 131,000 in July. The unemployment rate is expected to tick higher, to 9.6 percent from 9.5 percent.

The Reuters poll forecasts a 0.1 percent gain in average earnings and a slight gain in weekly hours. Private payrolls are expected to rise by 42,000 after a 71,000 rise in July.

'Big Man On Hippocampus'

The Family Guy

Housing Programs

Yahoo: 2 new programs planned to help homeowners

Al Jazeera - World News Updates

'Seven Things You Must Do Before World War III'

From a deep operative -

Other than the stories that come out of the main media outlets, I confess to not being in touch with the extreme right wing. There was a time when I deliberately forced myself to look at Little Green Footballs, but in truth that is probably a more moderate and even at times "sensible" right wing web site. Plus the owner of that site posts decent music clips. I suspect I could have a conversation with him that would not end in a pointless retraction into pointless positions - both his and mine.

If you are like me and don't go there, hold onto you hats. This clip is amazing...

Coming Up On Wall Street

Long story short - giving the prevalence of poor economic indicators in employment, housing, and consumerism in general, September is expected to be a hard month on Wall Street. Throw into this mix the fact that September is historically the worst month of the year for all the indexes and all is not rosy.

I think many know this already, but this is the time to gird your loins.

Reuters: Investors embark on treacherous month
The non-farm payroll report on Friday is expected to show 99,000 jobs were lost in August...

Both the manufacturing and services sectors are expected to have experienced another slowdown in growth in August.

...September, historically the worst performing month for all three major indexes.

'Killing Me Softly'

The Fugees

Saturday, August 28, 2010

'I Have A Dream'


'Between Two Ferns'

With Steve Carell


Restore honor? Restore honor?

Please, start in your own wacky world first before you extol others to any action.

Not Exactly Reverend M.L. King

What list of words can we assign to this ill advised spectacle.

This is essentially a show of contempt.

NY Times: Where Dr. King Stood, Tea Party Claims His Mantle

Chris Matthews - 'Burn A Koran Day'

Tweety interviews Terry Jones about his plans for a 'Burn A Koran Day' to coincide with the anniversary of 9-11.

Jones only admires George W. Bush but a call from the ex-president would not sway his opinion.

Oh, this is really going to help.

Your Weekly Address

Al Jazeera - World News Updates

GDP At 1.6%

Hidden within the CNN article is the line about the huge amount of money that corporations are holding onto. The levels have not been seen in 4 years.

Why are corporations not hiring? When corporations have money and their inventories are low, typically they rehire.

Could it be that the mood is to create a little dissatisfaction going into a November election and help bring in the Party Of Business.

CNN: GDP report: Sharp slowdown in economic growth
Some economists said the weak report could prompt the Obama Administration and Democrats in Congress to push for additional federal action to try to spur the economy.

"The case for more action from policymakers to support the recovery and return the job market to health is now overwhelming..."

...corporate profits rising to a level not seen since 2006 should put businesses in a good position to eventually start adding workers.


The Cranberries

Friday, August 27, 2010

'8 1/2 Minutes With Robert Crumb'

Katrina Reviewed

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

The Daily Show - Beck

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
I Have a Scheme
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical HumorTea Party

On Jealousy

“In jealousy there is more of self-love than love.” - François de la Rochefoucauld

“Jealousy is all the fun you think they had.” - Erica Jong

“Jealousy is the tribute mediocrity pays to genius.” - Fulton J. Sheen

“Yet he was jealous, though he did not show it, For jealousy dislikes the world to know it” - Lord Byron

CNN - Living Hand To Mouth

Making Martin Guitars Part 3

Do It

We know this, yoga is good for you in many ways.

Live Science: Yoga Shows Potential to Ward Off Certain Diseases
...lower levels of inflammation...

Al Jazeera - World News Updates

Foreclosures Update

According to the Mortgage Bankers Association, the rate at which foreclosures are occurring is starting to decline but the numbers are still very high.

Its very simple with 10% official unemployment and unofficially much higher unemployment, people can't afford to stay in their homes. This is coupled with deflation in home prices putting tons of homeowners underwater. These people often just pack it in and leave it all behind. We can understand this.

So we have a one two punch - high unemployment and the devaluation of home prices. Eventually the numbers will come down further because there is a finite number of people that can go into foreclosure. Once we are all out on the streets, the numbers will look great, no more foreclosures...

CS Monitor: Foreclosures aren't over, despite quarterly drop in mortgage delinquency
About 9.1 percent of all mortgage loans were "seriously delinquent" in the year's second quarter, the Mortgage Bankers Association reported Thursday. That includes a roughly equal number of loans in two categories: those already in the process of foreclosure, and other loans that are at least 90 days past due.

That high rate of re-default, coupled with still-high unemployment numbers, appears to be causing a high number of loans to enter the pipeline that may ultimately lead to foreclosure...

The Market On Friday

Welcome to the weekend. Another week just flew by and there's no slowing it down.

At 7:45 a.m. futures are up.

Before the market opens the government will release its revised reading of the second quarter GDP. It is expected to be lower than previous estimates. This alone could very well sink the market for the day. It all depends...

Bernanke gives a talk later today, and all investment ears will be on alert.

We are looking at bad economic data, and a real interest in getting a Republican House re-established in November. Things are not going to improve soon.

CNN: Stock set for gains ahead of GDP
A revised reading on U.S. gross domestic product comes out before the market opens.

Later in the day, Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke is scheduled to speak at an annual meeting of central bankers in Jackson Hole, Wyo.

'Mrs Robinson'

The Lemonheads

Thursday, August 26, 2010

The Onion - Prison Economy

Prison Economy Spirals As Price Of Pack Of Cigarettes Exceeds Two Hand Jobs

No Comment

Click the image to see it full size.

Nikkei Opens Lower On Friday

Reuters: Nikkei slips, dragged down by techs and exporters

'Brief Interviews With Hideous Men'

The Daily Show - John McCain's Primary Victory

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Indecision 2010 - Arizona, Alaska & Florida
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical HumorTea Party

Stock Market Fear

Yahoo: The Hindenburg Omen IS Scary, but So Are the Fundamentals


Reuters: Jobless claims fall 31,000 last week

Organ For Sale

Hey only $85 grand and its yours.

You really must forgive me here for what I am about to write.

I know its adolescent and juvenile, juvenile impulses are prevailing.

I am reminded of that old musicians' joke -

"What's better than roses on your piano?"

"Tulips on your organ......."

Boing Boing: Incredible vintage lucite organ for sale

Al Jazeera - World News Updates

Well Is It or Isn't It

Is it a double dip or not, most of us are on the edge of ours seats anticipating a clear answer, fully aware that there isn't a tiny smidgen that we can do to stop it, but alert to the notion that we might have to make some adjustments. On the other hand, we might need to tighten the belt, stay the course, and/or buckle down - all ineffective and meaningless terms, I'm just throwing them in for effect.

So what the hell is it. I call it it a prolonged C*$#%&!F#$%. The DOW is still hovering above 10,000 and that's got to count for something with all of this week's bad numbers in housing. That could change real fast as we know.

Let me just say one thing. We need to keep our eyes on this stuff and try our best to read it. I mean, do want to retire? I'd like to as well...

CS Monitor: Economic recovery falters. Does it signal recession or just a 'pause'?
But bank lending conditions have improved a bit. And key indexes viewed as leading indicators for the overall economy, for manufacturing, and for the service sector have remained positive, although not robustly so.

Michael Darda, chief economist at the investment firm MKM Partners, blames the slowdown largely on the ripple effects of the European debt crisis this spring.

Charles McMillion, an economist at MBG Information Services, sees the durable-goods and housing numbers as confirmation that the economy is in a period of stagnation at best.

The US is stuck in low gear.

The Market On Thursday

At 8:01 a.m. stock futures are slightly higher. Also the price of oil per barrel is up a tad.

Recall that one week ago the government released some devastatingly bad numbers on first time unemployment filers. The number was around 500,000 and really took the steam out of markets. The government releases its latest numbers on unemployment before the bell and if last week is any kind of indication, this data will be extremely telling and could highly influence the markets. We shall soon see.

All in all I am still surprised to see that the DOW is still floating slightly above 10,000. You may be surprised as well. On the other hand it is somewhat telling that it is this high. It indicates that the inside feeling at least at this particular juncture is not quite as calamitous as the articles would have us believe. Remember, there are two economies - Wall Street and Main street.

CNN: Stocks poised to edge higher
...investors may remain cautious ahead of the lastest reading on second-quarter GDP due Friday. It's expected to show the economy grew much less than previously estimated...

Before the bell, the government will release its weekly numbers on first-time unemployment filers.

Oil futures for October delivery rose 77 cents to $73.29 a barrel.

'Love In An Elevator'


Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Shocking Disclosure - Mehlman Is Pretty Sure He Is Gay

I've had a rough day - lost a pair of glasses, got way behind on time, went to a dental appointment to find the office closed.

But this has given me a serious laugh. Its revisiting the massive hypocrisy of the Republican Party. At their heart there is a psychological gaping wound that finds its relief in creating pain and suffering for ordinary people.

Mehlman should do us a favor and disappear into an old nelly nightclub.

(Update - Mehlman has also announced that he will continue to aggressively fight gay marriage...)

WaPo: Former RNC chairman Ken Mehlman: I'm gay
"It's taken me 43 years to get comfortable with this part of my life," Mehlman said. "Everybody has their own path to travel, their own journey, and for me, over the past few months, I've told my family, friends, former colleagues, and current colleagues, and they've been wonderful and supportive. The process has been something that's made me a happier and better person. It's something I wish I had done years ago."

Nikkei Opens Higher On Thursday

Reuters: Nikkei edges up on short-covering, eyes on yen

TPMtv - Christina Bellantoni On Pam Geller

Geller is the person at the start and center of the mosque hatred.


We might consider giving this guy the local idiot of the week award.

Fox 23: Cohoes man jailed for punching police horse

Completely Broken Country

Mission accomplished.

BBC: Wave of deadly bombings in Iraq

Quayle ReDux

Oh dear, have you heard this guy?

Raw Story: Dan Quayle’s son wins congressional primary

Al Jazeera - World News Updates


Rep. Boehner gave a big speech blasting Obama and the Democrats. That's his job, so no big deal.

What I am reading here is that corporations are holding out for a Republican takeover in the Fall. This should be clear. They are sitting on wads of dough and yet not hiring. They want complete deregulation and huge tax cuts. Just look at where that has left us. Yet they will get it because they have the leverage and the electorate is as usual poorly informed or ill informed.

CS Monitor: Amid John Boehner blast at Obama, hints of how GOP would rule
Boehner disputes what he calls "the common logic among Washington Democrats" that building a hiking trail or playground – or, for that matter, extending unemployment insurance – creates jobs better than investments in private-sector growth.

"We have to remember that, even when spending is not at record-setting levels, each dollar the government collects is taken directly out of the private sector," he said.

The Democrats are only making matters worse because they don't understand how to help small businesses – the engine of job creation, he said.

The Market On Wednesday

At 8:00 stock futures are slightly down.

Investors will be looking at data on new home sales before the bell rings this morning. The numbers are expected to have risen. Old house sales are down, new home sales are up. That's a curious figure, maybe people want smaller more efficient homes. One could only hope.

Regardless, the economy is in the doldrums and it seems like the trend for investors is to sell.

CNN: Stocks poised for weak open
"The market is being driven by economic fundementals, and things aren't looking to rosy."

Reports on durable goods orders and new home sales are expected in the morning.

Oil futures for October delivery slipped 6 cents to $71.57 a barrel.


808 State

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Kodak 1922 Kodachrome Film Test

Just lovely...



Fascinating documentary on design and modern consumer objects...

Nikkei Opens Lower On Wednesday

Reuters: Nikkei futures in Singapore open down 1.2 pct

'Rocket Man'

William Shatner

TPMtv - Rove On Imam Rauf

Whenever the conversation starts off with, "Karl, great to see you first of all", you know its going downhill real fast...

This Modern World

Great cartoon...

Salon: A mosque near ground zero?

Housing Market Bottoms

Rough news here with the existing home sales market hitting a low not seen since 1995. We do react badly to bad news but let's try to remember that this was a 27% drop not a 100% drop.

Regardless, the implications could be bad. The keyword is 'could.' The problem would be a trend towards deflation with housing prices leading the way.

Reuters: Existing home sales dive to 15-year low
Existing home sales dropped a record 27.2 percent from June to an annual rate of 3.83 million units, the lowest since May 1995. June's sales pace was revised down to a 5.26 million-unit pace from a previously reported 5.37 million.

For the overall economy, the dangerous link to housing is home prices and this report signifies that home prices should fall considerably faster, which could tip the economy back into a recession. We are, however, not quite there yet but this is a worrisome report."

Global Warming, Drought Affecting Plant Growth

A surprising statistic after everyone presumed a lengthened growing season would turn the world into a jungle.

Live Science: World's Plants Growing Less Thanks to Warming, Drought

Mission Accomplished

Since the start of shock and awe, Iraq is a devastated country. Unemployment and disease is rampant. Extreme violence is commonplace. The war has reduced the country to a crumbling heap.

Alter Net: U.S. Occupation of Iraq More Than Doubles Poverty, Sickness -- Leaves Country a Total Disaster
Iraq has between 25 and 50 percent unemployment, a dysfunctional parliament, rampant disease, an epidemic of mental illness, and sprawling slums. The killing of innocent people has become part of daily life.

According to the U.S. Census of 2000, 80 percent of the 285 million people living in the United States are urban dwellers. Those living in slums are well below 5 percent. If we translate the Iraqi statistic into the U.S. context, 121 million people in the United States would be living in slums.

Al Jazeera - World News Updates

Stem Cell Research Block

Trying to get up to speed and understand why the Obama administration's vision of stem cell research got knocked down in court.

The short story seems to be that there are laws in effect that limit the research. The judge alleges that he is simply upholding the law as it is written.

As we know, opponents to stem cell research see this as a victory.

CS Monitor: Why a judge blocked Obama's expansion of stem-cell research
“Had Congress intended to limit Dickey-Wicker to only those discrete acts that result in the destruction of an embryo … Congress could have written the statute that way. Congress, however, has not written the statute that way, and this court is bound to apply the law as it is written.”

In weighing the balance of harms, Lamberth said embryonic stem-cell researchers who benefited under the new guidelines would not be seriously harmed by a temporary injunction because the injunction would preserve the status quo and would not undercut their ability to receive private funding.

The Market On Tuesday

At 8:00 a.m. stock futures are moderately down.

The news is very soft and porous surrounding investor sentiment. The troubling weakness of the recovery pervades the tone of the investment journalists.

I just read an article explaining that purchasing a home is now regarded as a bad investment. How about that. I can't recall ever reading articles attempting to sway people away from buying a house. This writer was even calling for the removal of the mortgage interest tax deduction. Now that's a little harsh.

Up is the new down and vice versa.

CNN: Stocks headed for a weak start
Housing will take center stage after the market opens, when the National Association of Realtors reports on sales of existing homes.

Oil futures for October delivery fell 95 cents to $72.15 a barrel.

'Pump Up The Jam'


Monday, August 23, 2010

Nikkei Opens Lower On Tuesday

Reuters: Nikkei drops below 9,000 for first time since May 2009

'Showgirls' Excerpt

According to Yahoo, its so bad its good...

Durbin Gets It Right

Dick Durbin gets this one right. I am ashamed of Reid and Howard Dean.

The Hill: In break with Reid, Durbin backs mosque
Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (Ill.) said Sunday that those who are opposed to the mosque are trying to divide the country with fear and hate.

The Other Brain

Shit, now I get this article. Now, when I'm too freakin old for it to matter.


Live Science: 10 Things Every Man Should Know about a Woman's Brain
She goes through adolescence twice

No one wants to go through adolescence again. Its physical changes and hormonal fluctuations not only create mood swings and physical discomfort but nagging questions about self-identity as well.

Women, however, lucky girls, get to do just that. They go through a "second adolescence" called perimenopause in their 40s. It starts around age 43 and reaches its pinnacle by 47 or 48 years old. (Men's hormones also change as they age, but not nearly as abruptly.) In addition to erratic periods and night sweats, a woman's hormones during this transition are so crazed she can be as moody as a teenager.

The duration of perimenopause varies from two to nine years, with most women leaving it behind by age 52.

Al Jazeera - World News Updates

The Mosque

I was looking at photos of people protesting the proposed 'Ground Zero Mosque.'

One sign said something like - "We will build a mosque near ground zero when we can build a Jewish synagogue near Mecca."

The problem with this reasoning is that this is America, not Saudi Arabia. Our standards of democracy are not based on the absence of democratic standards in Saudi Arabia. America is the shining example not the dark shadow. We lead.

I have completely firmed my opinion that if the builders want this community center in its proposed location, then they can have it. Ultimately if we limit this from happening, we take another step backwards with our collective freedoms.

CS Monitor: 'Ground Zero mosque' debate hits the streets of New York
...which is not a “mosque” as most people might envision it with a dome, minarets, and amplified calls to prayer but more like a YMCA or Jewish Community Center...

...we have to worry about the extremists as well, because they are seizing this moment.

"The people who say the mosque is too close to Ground Zero, those are the same people that protest mosques in Brooklyn and Staten Island and Tennessee and Wisconsin and California..."

The Market On Monday

At 7:30 a.m. stock futures are moderately higher. Yes, you read that correctly.

We have learned to recognize that the market now turns on a dime, so although the pre-market numbers are improved, it could be a long day.

Allegedly there is no significant economic data on tap for today. If that were true, then the day would be a clear sail.

Expect some ameliorating factor that is unknown by investment journalists to be the thing that pulls the market up or down. It could possibly be an M&A or a political hot point.

CNN: Stocks poised to edge higher
No major readings are on tap for Monday.

European shares were modestly higher in mid-morning trade.

Oil futures for October delivery rose 14 cents to $73.96 a barrel.

'Peaches And Regalia'

Steve Vai plays Frank Zappa

(I don't see Zappa there but I could be wrong.)

Sunday, August 22, 2010

What Will E.T. Be

BBC: Alien hunters 'should look for artificial intelligence'

'Foxy Brown'

'Vampires Suck'

Trailer - definitely a rental on a night when 1 + 1 is too complicated.

Nikkei Opens Lower On Monday

Reuters: Tokyo's Nikkei share average opens down 0.35 percent

Solar Do It Yourself

Clarian Power is designing solar panels that cost in the $600 range that can be up and running in allegedly one hour.

They are removing the high installation fees and making a product that anyone can install. However, even though it will play on people's desire to be green and responsible, energy wise, will it really be worth the investment?

Don't know, but let's check it out.

CNN: Do-it-yourself solar power for your home

Animal Shaped Cities

That's thinking outside of the bun, I guess. What's next - vegetables, desserts, cuts of meat, sexual themes? I know, underwear! I have lived in places that easily are the armpit...

CNN: Southern Sudan unveils plans to build animal-shaped cities

USA Turning Into USSR

Iran's Bushehr Nuclear Reactor

Iran keeps cropping up on the main page headlines. The first thing I read this morning on CNN was about Iran's new homemade long range drone bombing weapon. Get another Bush type Republican president AKA Palin in there with a neo-conservative AEI backup band and chorus and the next major US war is with Iran.

Still read the article as it has more detailed and nuanced information about nuclear reactors, spent fuel rods, and nuclear reactor oversight. It will quiet the fears instilled by the present neo-conservative calls to war.

McClatchy: Iran begins fueling nuclear reactor — and that's good news
Moreover, under a 2007 accord negotiated by the Bush administration, the spent fuel rods will go back to Russia after they've cooled to prevent Iran from harvesting them for plutonium, the other essential component of nuclear weapons.

"There are 25 tons of fuel rods that would be discharged every year," the White House official said. "You can't pick them up and put them in your pocket."

He and other experts said there's no evidence that Iran has the knowledge, ability or the facility needed to extract plutonium from spent fuel rods, which would first have to sit in water for as many as four years before they're cool enough to handle.

Coming Up On Wall Street - Maybe...

The market is treading water against a current that is pulling it downstream. The current is getting stronger. Economic data has been poor while corporate returns have been positive.

I read the other day where the era of the McMansion is over. That type of housing is still being built and purchased, and the supply of such houses is vast. I am seeing plenty of articles on the wealthy, on huge houses and estates, notions and strategies for that high six figure job, million dollar cars, its very perverse as most are under pressure to quiet consumerism like it or not. The belt is tightening.

Mergers and acquisitions are on investors minds. However, when there is a merger more people are laid off in an attempt to streamline and improve profitability.

If I were a betting man, I would put money on the DOW, S&P, and NASDAQ overall losing some but not hundreds of points during the coming week with a day or two of relief mixed in.

Reuters: Investors defensive with data in spotlight
"The main goal of a merger is to cut costs which means they are going to be cutting jobs even more -- so is that necessarily a good thing?"

Disappointing initial jobless claims data and a dismal reading on manufacturing activity in the mid-Atlantic region on Thursday have turned investors pessimistic, as the chorus warning of a double-dip recession grows louder.

"The big speculation for next week is who is next on the M&A front. That's going to be the big story and information everyone wants to know..."

The CBOE Volatility index .VIX, Wall Street's so-called fear gauge, was expected to stay below 25, suggesting a relatively calm market.

From Trungpa Rinpoche

Relevant commentary on our collective state of mind.

"People who have experienced the Great Eastern sun are constantly gentle and fearless, whereas those who are still trapped in the world of the setting sun are aggressive and fearful. Whenever genuine sadness attempts to enter their minds, they try to block it from happening. To counteract the feelings of sadness and emptiness, people... seek entertainment to distract themselves. This world of entertainment is designed to help you forget who you are and where you are. The setting-sun version of enjoyment is to forget your gentle sadness and instead become aggressive and "happy." However, what you're experiencing is neither real happiness nor enjoyment. This perverse notion of happiness is based on forgetting that you exist, forgetting that your mind and body could ever be synchronized. Such a notion of happiness is based on separating mind and body altogether. You try your best to do this by putting your mind on a TV screen while your body is slouched in a chair. That's the closest to magic that exists in the setting-sun world. All sort of entertainment have been developed so that your mind is kept away from your body. The objective here is completely opposite of joining heaven and earth. Joining heaven and earth is not separating this and that, but making them indivisible. That unity or harmony is "it" or "That" with a capital T, without qualifications."


Jay Z and Eminem

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Brain-Computer Interfaces

Watch it on Academic Earth

Extremist Republican Political Policy

Republican candidate for governor Carl Paladino wants to take welfare recipients, house them in NY States' underused prisons, have them work in state sponsored jobs, get jobs training, and learn personal hygiene.

What we want to know is where is the part about forced sterilization, curfews, torture, and mind control. Carl you are slipping. I would suspect that if you asked this guy about personal freedom he would have a great answer...

Yahoo: NY candidate: Prison dorms for welfare recipients


(Update - charges were dropped. Definitely a smear tactic.)

My initial reaction to this news is - wait a minute this seems politically motivated. But sometimes where there's smoke there is fire...

CNN: WikiLeaks founder charged with rape, molestation in Sweden

Stock Investing Advice

If you are in the market - read this guy's article.

CNN: Are stocks still a good investment?
...quite optimistic about stocks' prospects for superior performance...

Now, future stock returns might be lower than the near 10% historical average. We think maybe 8% or so, although others say they could be even lower because they don't see strong economic growth for the next decade.

...kind of returns you got over the last 30 or 40 years might be indicative of future returns. But they'll come with up and down periods that can be very disheartening.

It's when you're most afraid of stocks that they have the most potential.

...its (volatility) going to gradually dampen...

Al Jazeera - World News Updates

Your Weekly Address

Blame Game

CEO's are blaming the American consumer. They are not hiring because they don't see a need well into the future. You ingrates are not buying, you are paying down debt, and starting to live more within your meager means. How anti-social and un-American is that. Not only that but this trend is expected to continue well into the future.

Summing it up, CEO's are not hiring because there is no expected boom in American consumer spending. This is how the adjustment to 9.5%+ unemployment in a weaker economy is being made. Corporations are running lighter and profiting, and they are holding onto the money in a huge mattress.

WaPo: With consumers slow to spend, businesses are slow to hire
Companies are sitting on billions of dollars of cash.

Across the industrial parks and office towers of the Chicago region, in a more than a dozen interviews, senior executives said they see Americans for years ahead paying down debts incurred during the now-ended credit boom and adjusting spending to match their often-reduced incomes.

'Need You Tonight'


Friday, August 20, 2010

Totally Totally Creepy

This is very creepy. I hesitate to even post this because its so ghastly. But we need to be aware of what is going on in the world. We have a ways to go with our group consciousness.

BBC: Saudi man 'faces spine-op punishment'
A Saudi judge is reported to have asked hospitals if it is possible to cut the spinal cord of the man, found guilty of paralysing another man in a fight.

Laughter Yoga

The Daily Show - Is Fox News A Terrorist Command Center?

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Extremist Makeover - Homeland Edition
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical HumorTea Party

State Report On Unemployment

Today each state posted reports on unemployment. The results are mixed at best. While more states posted improvement in the percents, almost as many posted more losses. Again, how many people are now below the radar because their benefits have expired or they were not counted initially because their work situation was slightly unorthodox, self-employed for example.

CNN: Unemployment rates rise in 14 states
A total of 18 states and the District of Columbia posted unemployment rate decreases in July, according to the Labor Department's monthly report on state unemployment. Jobless rates rose in 14 states and were unchanged in 18 states.

Environmental Disaster

Enough with the its almost gone routine, the oil is there and the environmental damage is extensive.

McClatchy: Scientists say Gulf oil to linger, Obama's estimates rosy

CNN - Three Unusual Vignettes


I am presently trying out using Scroogle as my search engine. It is compatible with Firefox as a very easy to install add-on.

Scroogle claims that it allows you to search the internet with more privacy.

Mozilla: Scroogle
Why was Scroogle SSL search created?

I never liked the idea of Google knowing all about my searches (and being able to link that to my e-mail data...). But let's face it: the other search engines just aren't no match for them, currently. So I eventually found out about Scroogle, which acts as a middle man between the searcher and Google, preventing the latest to track anything more than the global searches of all Scroogle users. In order to use it more, I decided to add it to my search engine box. And here it is...

Al Jazeera - World News Updates

Iran's Bushehr Nuclear Reactor

One might suspect that the next hot point for war occur in the near future. This would be a called for bombing of Iran's new Bushehr nuclear reactor. One would suspect that Israel is watching the progress on this thing as a hawk watches a mouse in an open field. The reactor is in their sights 100% of the time.

The reactor is scheduled to begin the fueling process tomorrow, Saturday. Initially the radioactivity produced will be tiny but after a few weeks the radioactivity becomes significant and the by product of some country's bombing raid at that time will be harmful to the surrounding areas. It would be another environmental disaster.

Somebody is either going to bomb this thing in the next couple of weeks or they are going to live with it.

CS Monitor: Why Iran's nuclear reactor may not be an immediate threat
Some hawks say bomb it now...

Former UN Ambassador John Bolton says the deadline for destroying it must be before the first fuel is loaded on Saturday...

"the amount of reactivity in the reactor initially is relatively low, so low that the amount of radioactive material that might be dispersed if the plant was bombed would be negligible"

It's technically true that the spent fuel coming out of this light-water reactor will be more radioactive and difficult to use for nuclear weapons as time between refueling grows..."

The Market On Friday

And in the snap of the fingers, Friday has rolled around again real fast and the weekend is set to begin. No specific plans here except that I will be working on this old house.

At 7:35 a.m. futures are moderately down and the price of oil is down as it heads towards $70. per barrel.

The investment world is in a bind. They are pleased with corporate earning and corporate reports such as Dell reporting higher than expected profits while they are simultaneously seeing a stream of data on the weakness of the recovery. Yesterdays numbers were seriously bad. Most no longer view it as a recovery, its more like a continuous recession with corporations gaining. The corporate world is not doing much to help the recovery are they. One might call it cutting off their noses to spite there faces. Can they really expect to see profits streaming in when everyone is living in a cardboard box. Or is it just a little plan to get Obama out.

CNN: Stocks set for lower start
Investors will be watching for a reading on state unemployment.

Hewlett-Packard posted solid quarterly profit...

Dell also reported higher earnings...

Oil futures for September delivery fell 75 cents...

'Gimme Shelter - Keith's Guitar'

Keith Richards' guitar work on 'Gimme Shelter.'