Thursday, September 30, 2010

Nikkei Opens Higher On Friday

Reuters: Nikkei gains 0.5 pct on short-covering, yen eyed

'Nepotism'

The Office

Sweet Potato Fuel

Using sweet potatoes as a source for bio-ethanol fuel is not particularly new.

Gulf News: Sweet potato provides clean energy for transportation without air pollution
Abu Dhabi: Sweet potatoes can provide clean energy for transportation and scientists have developed new efficient methods to produce bio ethanol from sweet potatoes, according to two new studies.


The studies conducted by Taiwanese experts were presented at the 11th World Renewable Energy Congress which was concluded in Abu Dhabi Thursday.

TPMtv - On O'Donnell

This story is getting more and more amusing as it progresses.

Religion Versus Believers

Ed and I had a nice exchange going on this article yesterday, so I am bumping it up to today -

My thoughts on this topic remains the same as it has been for years and years.

I believe all major religious traditions are just fine. The teachings are deep and filled with purposeful symbolism which points to the ineffable. I also believe that only a few followers of these traditions get to the highest levels of understanding. Problems seem to creep in when neurotic confusions mix with the deep true teachings and produce a monster that knows better, is the one true religion, allows for brutality of non believers, and on and on with all of the endless butcherings that people of "faith" have wielded on the "other" people, or savages, or non believers, throughout humanities brief existence.

CS Monitor: In US, atheists know religion better than believers. Is that bad?
The US Religious Knowledge Survey, released Tuesday from the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life, found atheists and agnostics know more basic facts about the Bible than either Protestants or Catholics.


...that meaningful dialogue between Christians and Muslims will prove elusive, despite good intentions, unless people come to master the basics of their own faith traditions – and become at least familiar with the other’s.

Gliese 581g

An exoplanet has been found that exists in its solar system's sweet spot, where life is likely - not too hot, not too cold.

This is a major discovery.

Space.com: Odds of Life on Newfound Earth-Size Planet '100 Percent,' Astronomer Says
An Earth-size planet has been spotted orbiting a nearby star at a distance that would makes it not too hot and not too cold — comfortable enough for life to exist, researchers announced today (Sept. 29).


If confirmed, the exoplanet, named Gliese 581g, would be the first Earth-like world found residing in a star's habitable zone — a region where a planet's temperature could sustain liquid water on its surface.


"It's both an incremental and monumental discovery..."

Al Jazeera - World News Updates

Got X-rays?

Let me start by saying the excerpted story below reveals one of the most messed up, vile, infuriating, and disturbing things that the government has ever perpetrated on the public.

The Feds are sending out mobile X-ray units to randomly X-ray our cars and trucks. You may already have gotten the ray.

Pretty f-ed up, would you agree?

This is the world of anti-terrorism.

CS Monitor: 'Feds radiating Americans'? Mobile X-ray vans hit US streets
As an antiterror measure, the US government has deployed mobile X-ray technology to randomly scan cars and trucks.


"This really trips up the creep factor because it's one of those things that you sort of intrinsically think the government shouldn't be doing..."

The Market On Thursday

Good morning. It is raining in upstate NY. I still went out for my morning walk with trusty rain parka and hood. I like the rain and we really need it. Its been a dry season, no one is cutting their grass because it seems to have stopped growing about 6 weeks ago.

At 8:10 a.m. futures are ever so slightly down.

At 8:30 a.m. the government will come out with new recalculated numbers about the second quarter. Usually the recalculations are lower. We start high and work our way down, it makes for better press and helps everyone's feelings.

We have new legislation aimed at censoring China. China is keeping its currency artificially low, thus making American companies, i.e. what remains of American companies, at an unfair disadvantage in the world of commerce. We shall see how this plays out.

CNN: Stocks set to slip at the open
The Commerce Department's third estimate for second-quarter gross domestic product is due out at 8:30 a.m. ET.


The dollar fell against a broad range of currencies, including the euro, the Japanese yen and the British pound.


Crude oil futures for November delivery rose 20 cents to $78.06 a barrel.
CNN: House passes bill aimed at Chinese currency
Lawmakers say China's currency is unfairly cheap and passed a measure Wednesday that opens the door to tariffs that aim to help U.S. companies compete.

'When The Music's Over'

The Doors

The ending is not on this clip still it is an outstanding performance of an outstanding song.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

CNN - Sanctions Against Iran

The case against Iran builds with new human rights sanctions.

9/11 Responders Bill Passed

What an incredible embarrassment for House Republicans with only 17 Republicans voting yes.

This is way long overdue.

CNN: House passes bill to help 9/11 first responders

'Momentos'

MOMENTOS from Nuno Rocha on Vimeo.

Nikkei Opens Flat On Thursday

Reuters: Nikkei looks poised for best month in last 6

Colbert - 'Pledge To America'

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Left Behind - Paul Begala
www.colbertnation.com
Colbert Report Full Episodes2010 ElectionMarch to Keep Fear Alive

Non Sequitur

The Onion: Poll: 1 In 5 Americans Believe Obama Is A Cactus

The Onion - Bush On Mars

Recall Bush II's plans for a manned flight to Mars. The thing I remember about it the most was how it seemed so utterly incongruous with his scorched Earth neocon policy. It was a tiny bizarre reprieve and moment of levity in a viciously depressing period.

The Onion: Bush Still Working On Manned Mission To Mars Quietly In Spare Time
"This is genuinely important to me," said Bush, looking over sketches of potential rocket systems he had drawn up while waiting for his oil to be changed at a service station earlier this week. "I wasn't kidding when I announced a plan to get us to Mars, by God, and I intend to finish what I started. That's why I try to carve out a little time before lunch and after dinner to work on this important interplanetary initiative."

Al Jazeera - World News Updates

The Market On Wednesday

Good morning. Its turning into a sunny day here in upstate NY. I had a nice day yesterday as I met up with an old college friend. This is someone I have not seen for 30 plus years. It was a terrific meet up and I was inspired. We talked for a couple of hours over lunch. It was a great time.

At 8:00 a.m. futures are slightly down.

There are no real strong reasons given for the slight downturn other than European stocks sliding earlier in the day. The dollar is down and oil is up so those components should keep things a little fluffy. My sense is that once again some unknown factor will arise that will prove to be a compelling reason for the market's direction. We are still headed for a decent September even with a day or two of possible downturns.

CNN: Stocks set for weak start
The dollar fell against a broad range of currencies, including the euro, the Japanese yen and the British pound.


Crude oil futures for November delivery rose 11 cents to $76.29 a barrel in global trading.

'Summer In The City'

Lovin' Spoonful

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Nikkei Opens Higher On Wednesday

Reuters: Nikkei crawls higher, boosted by exporters

'Now What?'

House

Balance is restored as House is back on the waves. I enjoy the show.

Obama On FOX

I like it. Obama goes after FOX.

CNN: Obama: Fox News is 'destructive' to America
Fox News pushes "a point of view that I disagree with. It's a point of view that I think is ultimately destructive for the long-term growth of a country that has a vibrant middle class and is competitive in the world," Obama said.

The Daily Show - Bill O

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Bill O'Reilly
www.thedailyshow.com
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical HumorRally to Restore Sanity

Toys R You

This is the kind of news we probably will be seeing in the next couple of months, we hope. The holidays open up some hiring as the gift giving arousal reoccurs.

I suspect that the official numbers on employment will improve leading to talk of an improved economy. Unfortunately we are talking about temporary jobs.

Google: Toys R Us to hire 45,000 workers for holidays

Van Gogh

Al Jazeera - World News Updates

NATO Airstrikes On Pakistan

Does anyone understand what is going on in Afghanistan and Pakistan? This is not a rhetorical question, I am asking it with direct simplicity.

We read about air strikes on insurgents in Pakistan, drone bombings in Pakistan, all kinds of Pakistan related warring led by the USA, and yet we are not at war with Pakistan, only with parts of Pakistan. No other country could possibly push another country around like this except the USA. Yet we read about it with ease of acceptance. Oh yeah, they're just bombing terrorists in Pakistan.

CS Monitor: NATO attack in Pakistan was 'self-defense,' says US
Islamabad's sharp reaction to the helicopter strikes Saturday came despite a long-standing understanding that allows the US-led International Security Assistance Force to pursue militants who attack Afghanistan from bases in Pakistan's rugged tribal territory.


...US-backed Afghan President Hamid Karzai had received overtures from senior Taliban leaders responding to his initiative to open peace negotiations.

The Market On Tuesday

Good morning. It is rainy and balmy in upstate New York today. I went for my early morning walk in rain jacket and rain pants and sweated up a storm. The town is replacing one of the main sewer lines a few blocks over. There are an ungodly number of car kill squirrels smashed on the road. The large grackles swoop down and pick at their entrails. That's life.

At 8:25 a.m. futures are up and I can find no explanation for this other than some lingering optimism from last week.

Investors will be looking at data on home prices and consumer confidence this morning. So one would suspect that by 10:30 a.m. or so, daily trends could be more solidified.

CNN: Stocks poised for early gains
Case-Shiller's latest home price index and a reading on consumer confidence are on tap Tuesday. Also the Census report on poverty levels at the state and local level is due out around 10 a.m. ET.

'I've Got The Music In Me'

Kiki Dee

Monday, September 27, 2010

Nikkei Opens Lower On Tuesday

Reuters: Nikkei dips, hurt by ex-dividend effect and yen

'Alone In New York'

Alone in New York from Giuseppe Vetrano on Vimeo.

Diabetes

Here's an article that is in the camp that favors exercise and diet as a way to control the disease. Let's face it, good exercise and a good diet will prevent a lot of diseases.

Live Science: Diet and Exercise Trump Diabetes Drugs
Diet-plus-exercise has always been the best method to prevent diabetes as well as to control and even reverse the course of the disease. A study released today in the Archives of Internal Medicine is the latest to demonstrate this.

CNN - Anderson Cooper Vs Anti-Mosque-A-Vite

The Art And Letters Of Gauguin

Watch the clip.

Guardian UK: The Art and Letters of Gauguin

Al Jazeera - World News Updates

Dems Look Strong In California

The one thing that the Tea Party wing of the Republican Party has going for it heading into November is enthusiasm. If Democrats could get people out to vote, they stay in power.

The Age of Arnold is set to expire. Maybe we'll get a new Terminator movie. Who would have ever thought Jerry Brown would be back and winning. The man is an addict, he can't stop mainlining politics.

CS Monitor: Barbara Boxer, Jerry Brown lead in new California poll
Brown now leads Whitman 49-44 percent, which is close to the poll’s margin of error. Boxer, meanwhile, has widened her lead over Fiorina to 51-43 percent. California’s senate race could prove crucial in Democrat’s efforts to hold on to Senate control.

The Market On Monday

Good morning. I have started to include a little weight training and yoga after my morning constitutional walk. That's the trouble, I easily get carried away and before you know it I'm joining the Y. I used to love to do weight training especially the chest weight bench. I would imagine lifting a burden off the psyche. Its interesting sitting down to type and having a patina of sweat around.

At 7:50 a.m. stock futures are ridiculously high. I had to do a double take. DOW futures were up around 184 points.

(Addendum - at 8:25 a.m. DOW futures are only 18 points higher.)

Let's not sing happy days are here again yet.

Regardless, the optimism that began building last week is still in place. Remember it would not take much to take the house of cards down. Just enjoy the ride. It does seem possible that the DOW hitting 11,000 is a possibility and it could happen today with the DOW closing at 10,860 on Friday.

Employment, employment, employment, we need some jobs now to fill it out.

CNN: Stocks set for sharp gains
...economic optimism.


An upbeat mood has taken hold on Wall Street lately.


The price of oil for November delivery rose 4 cents to $76.54 per barrel.

'Roma'

Sonny Rollins and Don Cherry

Sunday, September 26, 2010

BBC - Human Powered Plane

SNL - Governor Paterson

Sam And Rodney


Sam Kinison and Rodney Dangerfield
Uploaded by realimages. - Watch more comedy videos and sitcoms.

Reuters Opens Higher On Monday

Reuters: Tokyo's Nikkei share average opens up 0.90 percent

Work Sunday

This old house will be the focus of my attention today.

I am putting the kitchen back together slowly but surely. I had repair work to do to the walls and foundation below the kitchen walls. All that is fine and dandy now. The walls are back, insulated, ready for the winter on the outside, sheetrocked and even partly taped on the inside.

We've been without a fully functioning kitchen for a while. I have gained a little weight because I am eating prepared crappy food from the local deli. Its tasty but full of white flour and mayo and all the bad things.

I'm looking forward to cooking food again, my food. I do well with a simple stir fry, could eat it all the time. The big missing part is not having a kitchen sink. Somehow the sink is really the hub of the kitchen.

When the kitchen is ready, I think the first thing to do is some baking. Let the smell of some baked bread or pie or something kick off the new era. Got a few miles to go first.

Al Jazeera - World News Updates

Flooding In Wisconsin, Minnesota, And South Dakota

The Midwest gets hit with flooding, its part of the equation. The Mississippi and its related river branches breach their lines with hard rains in a flat landscape. Meanwhile it remains relatively dry in the Hudson Valley. The leaves will fall fast.

CS Monitor: Swamped Midwestern towns prepare for more flooding
Towns across southwest Wisconsin, southern Minnesota and southeast South Dakota are starting to assess the damage...


One of the towns hardest hit by the flooding was Arcadia, Wis., where 343 homes were evacuated after the banks of the Trempealeau River toppled with water, drowning the town’s downtown, destroying power lines, and swamping its two main bridges.

DOW Rallies

Good morning. We attended a block party yesterday. The company was fun, the food was very good, and I wished I had brought a sweater. Someone even brought champagne, how cool is that.

Figures, September is traditionally the worst month for Wall Street. If you haven't noticed, the markets are breaking out of high trading levels and this September is on course to be the best September since 1939. Does writing this down jinx it? Who knows.

Allegedly the week is filled with light technical economic data and so the bulls might have it. Oil continues to fluctuate between $70 and $80, positive economic news continues to trickle in, and last week Bernanke indicated that the slow growth scenario might not be etched in stone and that was the first time I could recall reading that kind of optimism about the recovery.

We need one solid indicator that employment is improving somewhere, just one little thing from somewhere.

CNN: Dow on track for the best September since 1939
Last week, stocks rose more than 2% after the major indexes broke above key technical levels early in the week.


...analysts don't foresee a pullback in stocks in the week ahead.
Bloomberg: Dubai Stocks Rise to Four-Month High on Global Growth Prosepects, Oil Gain
Oil rose the most in two weeks.
Reuters: Wall Street Week Ahead: Stocks eye strong September finish
The S&P 500's move above 1,130 this week let the broad index break out of its recent trading range.


Technical analysts are watching 1,173 as the S&P 500's next level of resistance.


"What's so important about moving above a trading range is it signals a willingness to buy at higher prices."

'Hey Ya'

Outkast

Saturday, September 25, 2010

'Bonnington Truce: An Alternative History Of Mississippi'

MC Escher Meets Legos

Bernanke On The Economy

According to Bernanke, we might escape the fate of a long extended slow recovery. The keyword is might. Traditionally there is a slow recovery from a financial crisis especially one that exceeds a periodic recession. But the actions taken during the recovery period do alter the speed of the outcome.

If corporate third quarter results which begin a week from Monday are reasonable, I suspect there will be some relief.

Reuters: Bernanke hopes U.S. not relegated to slow recovery
"Although financial markets are for the most part functioning normally now, a concerted policy effort has so far not produced an economic recovery of sufficient vigor to significantly reduce the high level of unemployment," he said.


He said the recent crisis reflected a failure to regulate financial institutions, manage risks and anticipate shocks rather than shortcomings in economic theory.

Your Weekly Address

CNN - Bailout Saved GM And Chrysler

This is an Obama success.

Krugman On The GOP Pledge

Read the pledge. Its nothing new from the GOP and its nonsense to boot.

There is nothing there that will help the country, nothing that will help the deficit, nothing to help the economy, nothing. Its warmed over GOP.

The whole warmed over mess is being packaged as if it were something of value. Its a gift wrapped box of garbage.

NY Times: Downhill With the G.O.P.
On Thursday, House Republicans released their “Pledge to America,” supposedly outlining their policy agenda. In essence, what they say is, “Deficits are a terrible thing. Let’s make them much bigger.” The document repeatedly condemns federal debt — 16 times, by my count. But the main substantive policy proposal is to make the Bush tax cuts permanent, which independent estimates say would add about $3.7 trillion to the debt over the next decade — about $700 billion more than the Obama administration’s tax proposals.

'Czardas'

Nigel plays the music of Monti

Friday, September 24, 2010

'How To Tie A Shoelace Really Really Fast'

'Offbeat'

Offbeat from San Francisco School of Digital on Vimeo.

Colbert Before Congress

The Daily Show - Postcards From The Pledge

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Postcards From the Pledge
www.thedailyshow.com
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical HumorTea Party

Get Yourself Grounded

The closer you are to the Earth, the slower you will age. This includes simple altitude issues like living high up in the mountains as opposed to living deep in the valley.

Live Science: The Higher You Are, the Faster You Age
...if one twin spent 79 years living at an altitude 1 foot higher than her sister, the first twin would end up approximately 90 billionths of a second older, the researchers found.

This so-called "time-dilation" effect is a consequence of Einstein's theory of general relativity, which posits that the gravity of a massive body – such as the Earth – warps the space-time around it, causing the flow of time to speed up or slow down depending on its distance from the mass.

Teresa Lewis

I am not going to lie to you here. I am not a fan of the death penalty. Something is not sitting well at all with this recent execution. It seems to highlight the problem with the system.

Yes, murder is a violation that goes beyond the reprehensible. I don't even have a good argument for you against the death penalty beyond what we already know. Eye for an eye justice is not the best solution.

BBC: US woman Teresa Lewis executed for family murders
"I want Kathy to know that I love her and I'm very sorry..."

Al Jazeera - World News Updates

The New Contract On America

Remember the old contract on America? Oh yeah, that really helped everything along just fine.

The new contract on America promises to be more of the same. Allow me to sum it up.

- End all entitlement spending
- Turn SSI over to Wall street
- Privatize everything conceivable from highways to public schools
- Increase the massively bloated military budget
- Continue to reduce taxes for the ultra rich
- Allow businesses to suck the last little breath of life out of the country

In short these guys will nail the coffin shut. The idiots are still pushing trickle down economy as if it were something that works. Its stunning.

McClatchy: Is new Republican 'Pledge to America' all hat and no cattle?
The GOP plan, however, doesn't have much to say about some of the day's most pressing issues.


It doesn't address how to deal with the projected shortfalls in Social Security and Medicare, discuss how to wage or end the war in Afghanistan or deal with the U.S. mission in Iraq. Nor does it propose many spending cuts or detail how Republicans would offset the cost of the Bush tax reductions.


The new plan also advocates slashing discretionary spending, but it promises a robust defense and makes no mention of Medicare or Social Security.

The Market On Friday

Good morning and welcome to the first weekend that Fall has to offer. It is time for the full remaining harvest. The leaves are getting rich in color. Fall is the best time of the year.

At 8:00 a.m. futures are modestly up and who can explain it? The dollar is in mixed territory and the price of oil per barrel is slightly up as well.

It certainly has the feel that the recent run up in equities is over. Hope always springs eternal and yet I have no trust whatsoever in this morning's futures number.

I was speaking with an investment guy yesterday and he was talking about the upcoming third quarter reports. Its pretty obvious really but that would be the next key period. I suspect that companies are going to show some profits but there is still this lingering cloud of slow growth.

CNN: Stocks poised for early gains
"...Maybe the weakness over the last couple of days was a bit overdone."


Investors will look to a report on new home sales, due out at 10 a.m. ET.


The price of oil for November delivery edged up...

'Hep Kitten'

Gene Krupa

Thursday, September 23, 2010

'The Cove'

trailer...

Nikkei Opens Lower On Friday

Down we go...

Reuters: Nikkei falls 1.5 pct, tracks US shares lower

'A Sunny Day In Glasgow'

A Sunny Day in Glasgow - So bloody, so tight from mis ojos discos on Vimeo.

The Daily Show - Is Our Country 'Run By Assh*les?'

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Are We Run by A**holes?
www.thedailyshow.com
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical HumorTea Party

BBC - World's Largest Wind Farm

Gitmo

It sounds like Gitmo is on its last legs. The camp is still operating. There are 48 men there who are considered so dangerous that they will not be given trials. What does that mean?

Miami Herald: Guantánamo not planning for indefinite detention
Meantime, he said, ``We're prepared'' to shutter the camps once a solution is found on where to put the 174 foreign men currently held at the detention center.


...48 of the men can never be tried but are also too dangerous to set free. The Obama administration has said it would like to buy an unused prison in Illinois to house the prisoners, but Congress has not approved the funding.

Al Jazeera - World News Updates

The Market On Thursday

Good morning. During my walk earlier today I encountered the usual suspects walking their dogs. One guy has two beautiful gray Irish Terriers. I think it takes a special person to keep terriers. Our remaining dog, our Dachshund is on his last legs. The poor guy has brain cancer. Really. He still likes food, still does his business and let's us know when he has various needs. We don't give him a lot more time. His balance is poor but he has his moments when he can walk just fine. He's lost weight. Cancer does that. This will be the second dog we've lost to cancer. Our Lab died in '07 from cancer that had spread throughout her body.

At 7:50 a.m. ET, stock futures are moderately down, oil is down, and the dollar is in mixed territory. The day could still recover, it could, really it could.

That will take good news on first time unemployment claims due out at 8:30 a.m., good news on existing home sales, and good news on the unknown, unwritten about factor which tends to be the decider.

Curiously a report of 400,000 or less first time unemployment claimants would be considered a real victory. That must be the number that occurs when the economy is in decent shape.

CNN: Stock set to retreat
The weekly report on initial jobless claims is due out at 8:30 a.m. ET.


Investors will also be watching for a report on existing home sales, which is due to be released at 10 a.m. ET.


At that same time, a report on leading indicators is expected to show the index increasing by 0.1% for August.

Utahceratops And Kosmoceratops

Hey, who doesn't like a new dinosaur or two. Now we've got Utahceratops and Kosmoceratops. Ugly looking beasts but still lovable in a dinosaur lovin' way.

These brutes roamed during the late Cretaceous Period roughly 99 to 66 million years ago, or if you prefer, 2 thousand years ago. I don't want to freak anybody out.

CNN: Scientists find new dinosaurs related to Triceratops
The newly discovered dinosaurs were inhabitants of the “lost continent” of Laramidia...


Utahceratops and Kosmoceratops are the two latest species to be unearthed in Utah's Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument...

'Tombstone Twist'

Big John Bates plays in the impeccable tradition of The Cramps. This is music to sniff glue to, almost have sex in the back seat of a 1986 Cutlass Supreme, and then pass out.

bbbb - 4 broke beer bottles - Sande

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The Speech Accent Archive

Trying to get ready for your next role as an English speaking Russian scientist?

The Speech Accent Archive
The speech accent archive uniformly presents a large set of speech samples from a variety of language backgrounds. Native and non-native speakers of English read the same paragraph and are carefully transcribed. The archive is used by people who wish to compare and analyze the accents of different English speakers.

TPMtv - Christine O'Donnell's Greatest Hits

I really like the part where she goes on about mice with human brains. Makes me think of a few politicians I know about...

Leaked Oil On Seafloor

Research teams are working to assess the depth of the environmental destruction from the BP oil leak in the Gulf. They are finding that oil is 6 inches deep on the seafloor. In short its a catastrophic disaster of massive dimension. Yet its on the back page, and there is an uneasy feeling that BP skates on this.

Live Science: Degraded Oil From BP Spill Coats Gulf Seafloor
A research team from Columbia University in New York...found oil on the seafloor, evidence that it may be in the food chain, and signs that it may be hidden in large marine mammals. In spots, the "oily snow" — degraded oil and other organic material that clings to it — was up to 6 inches (15 centimeters) deep on the seafloor...

Al Jazeera - World News Updates

Saudi - US Weapon Deal

Apparently one of the USA's greatest exports is still going great guns. That export would be guns - and all types of military hardware.

The US has brokered a huge deal with Saudi Arabia. The Saudi's have bought $60 billion worth of state of the art weaponry. Hey weren't the 9-11 hijackers Saudi's?

My bad.

The Pentagon is suggesting that the weapons will be used in the fight against terrorism (is there an irony here?) and towards a joint eventual face off with stalwart Axis Of Evil (AOE?) member, Iran.

Tune in on March 21, 2011 at 7 p.m. EST to watch the first bombs fly - I'm making that up, and yes its not funny but it is potentially accurate. We like our wars on time, after the news thank you, and pre-empting Prime Time. I wonder who is already working away on the graphics and logo?

CS Monitor: Blockbuster US arms sale to Saudi Arabia: Will it deter Iran?
More than $60 billion worth of American F-15 fighter jets, Apache helicopters, and missile defense systems will soon be on their way to bolster the arsenal of Saudi Arabia...


“A motivating factor is clearly the threat posed by Iran’s missile programs and its nuclear programs,” says Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell.

The Market On Wednesday

Good morning. Welcome to the Fall Equinox, which according to the US government begins Wednesday September 22, 2010 at 11:09 p.m. EST. Leaves are already falling in my neighborhood. The general lack of rainfall through the Summer is contributing to the early leaf shedding.

At 7:50 a.m. stock futures are modestly down, oil is up, and the dollar is down against the major world currencies.

Yesterday's statement from the Fed is pointed to as the real culprit in today's downturn in futures. There isn't anything outrageously new or surprising here. The recovery is weak, it will be long, and allegedly there will be modest growth.

When stocks don't pop, they drop.

CNN: Stocks set to drop
While the Fed said it expects improvement ahead, the central bank also cautioned that "the pace of economic recovery is likely to be modest in the near-term."


Traders will be closely watching the Fed's securities purchases on Wednesday, he said, for any indication of how yesterday's statement translates into real action.

'Cantus In Memoriam Benjamin Britten'

The exquisite music of Arvo Pärt...

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Nikkei Opens Lower On Wednesday

Reuters: Nikkei edges down as yen gains after Fed;Panasonic up

'Drunk History' Vol 5 With Will Ferrell

Fed Up

Investors were not all that cheered by today's Fed statement on the economy. Markets closed sideways.

Reuters: Indexes end flat to lower after Fed comments
The central bank nudged the door wider to pumping more money into the economy but kept overnight interest rates unchanged near zero, as expected.

TPM - Al Franken On DADT

We're Number 4

A Bloomberg poll has investors are pointing to Brazil, India, and China as the preferred places to invest. That is meaningful.

Bloomberg: U.S. Loses No. 1 to Brazil-China-India Market in Investor Poll
In the September poll of 1,408 investors, analysts and traders who are Bloomberg subscribers, respondents rate the U.S. fourth for potential returns over the next year, behind Brazil and China, tied for first, and India, in third place.

Al Jazeera - World News Updates

What Happened

I'm not sure anything productive happened at yesterday's Town Hall meeting.

I am however attracted to any headline that says "Tea Party Wrong." Let's not forget that the "Tea Party" started the day before Obama took office. Actually it probably got funded and put into motion when it became clear as a bell that McCain was cooked back in '08.

Who caused the recession? The huge incriminating finger gets pointed at the Bush Administration.

CS Monitor: Obama: 'tea party' wrong on 'culprits' of economic woes
The president added that the nation would “not be able to solve these problems just by yelling at each other.”


Obama disputed tea party activists who argue that the government is now engaged in activities which go beyond the scope of what is authorized in the US Constitution. He argued that “the federal government is probably less intrusive now than 30 years ago.”

The Market On Tuesday

Good morning. I was out taking a constitutional walk earlier with a sweater and a jacket on. All that clothing and Summer is not even officially over. Its getting chilly. I smelled a few fireplaces actively cranking out the smoke. People want heat.

At 8:00 a.m. futures are relatively flat, oil is slightly down per barrel, and the dollar is mixed against world currencies.

Investors are awaiting the word from the Fed today. It is a highly anticipated announcement. One suspects that good news will boost markets and vice versa. Its that simple. One might also suspect that the Fed wants to make the most advantageous decision from the point of view of Wall Street.

CNN: Markets await Fed decision
Investors are gearing up for the Fed's announcement on interest rates, due at 2:15 p.m. ET.


The Fed is widely expected to leave rates unchanged.


Reports on August housing starts and building permits are due out at 8:30 a.m. ET.

'Mony Mony'

Tommy James

Monday, September 20, 2010

Nikkei Opens Higher On Tuesday

No surprise here as the DOW went wild on news that the recession is over.

Hey let's have a party, the recession is officially over.

Reuters: Nikkei hits 7-week high; resource shares gain

Obama Gets A Ration

To Dip Or Not To Dip

According to the Centre for Economics and Business Research, the world is not headed for a double dip recession. But we are headed for weak growth and continued high unemployment. Allegedly 2011 is shaping up to be a real stinker.

BBC: Think tank says 'no double dip'
The sharpest downgrade is for next year. It cut its growth forecast for 2011 to 3.4% from the 4.1% it had predicted just three months ago.


Although US manufacturers have increased their output over the past year, the CEBR does not expect the level of growth caused by the end of destocking to last.

TPMtv - Palin And The Elections

How Not To Get Your Ass Kicked By The Police!

Astronaut Cuticles

Bummer, astronauts face hand and finger problems in space. Better gloves are needed.

Live Science: Ouch! Astronauts' Fingernails Falling Off
"In several cases, sustained pressure on the fingertips during EVAs caused intense pain and led to the astronauts' nails detaching from their nailbeds, a condition called fingernail delamination..."

Who Controls The Tea

Recall that the popular ground uprising of the Tea Party, is hardly popular or a ground uprising of the people. The Koch Brothers, The Koch Brothers, they pick up the tab and the agenda suites their wants and desires.

CS Monitor: Who’s picking up the tab for the tea party?
"By giving money to 'educate,' fund, and organize Tea Party protesters, they have helped turn their private agenda into a mass movement. Bruce Bartlett, a conservative economist and a historian, who once worked at the National Center for Policy Analysis, a Dallas-based think tank that the Kochs fund, said, 'The problem with the whole libertarian movement is that it’s been all chiefs and no Indians. There haven’t been any actual people, like voters, who [care] about it. So the problem for the Kochs has been trying to create a movement.' With the emergence of the Tea Party, he said, 'everyone suddenly sees that for the first time there are Indians out there – people who can provide real ideological power.' The Kochs, he said, are 'trying to shape and control and channel the populist uprising into their own policies.'"

Al Jazeera - World News Updates

CNN - Utah Wildfire

They are pointing to machine gun fire at a military facility as the source of the fire.

The Market On Monday

Good morning and welcome to the first official week of Fall. I took my morning constitutional walk today and it is crisp and sunny out. I would call this weather - perfect. Perfect it is, and I suspect that most people just love the Fall. We will miss the Summer, it was a sturdy dry summer, and we all lived easy. Tomatoes were decent this year, very tasty.

At 8:00 a.m. future are modestly up, the price of oil is slightly up, and the dollar is mostly down against world currencies.

Investors will be spending the week parsing information on the housing sector. This is probably the largest "consumer spending" segment. Recall that housing consumer sentiment was the leading arrow of the Great Recession, all that bad mortgage debt packaged and sold around the world as if it were a meaningful investment. We still experience the repercussions.

The Fed will tell investors how the economy is doing on Tuesday. They will talk about the elusive nothing to zero interest rate one again.

Part of me has this suspicion that investors want to bring the indexes up and the fundamentals might not really be there to justify this. Its just a suspicion.

CNN: Stocks set for higher start
"Given that the economy is so reliant on consumer spending, any indication that some stability is being found in the housing market is one factor that could contribute to propelling stocks higher..."


At 10 a.m. ET, the National Association of Home Builders and Wells Fargo will release a report on housing affordability -- the first of a number of readings on the housing market due out this week.

'Sweet Soul Music'

Arthur Conley

Sunday, September 19, 2010

'Outsourced'

Trailer

Dividend Plus

In the never ending quest to find decent investments, some people look at high dividend stocks.

I am NOT recommending anyone buy any of this. Its simply a fascination, okay.

Check out Hatteras Financial Corp - HTS, The company is a mortgage REIT.

The stock closed at $30.31 per share on Friday offering a 14.68% dividend. That's a lot percents.

Hatteras Financial
Hatteras Financial is an externally-managed mortgage REIT formed in 2007 to invest in adjustable-rate and hybrid adjustable-rate single-family residential mortgage pass-through securities issued or guaranteed by U.S Government agencies or U.S. Government-sponsored entities, such as Fannie Mae (FNMA), Freddie Mac (FHLMC), or Ginnie Mae (GNMA).

Based in Winston-Salem, NC, we began operations November 2007 and upon completion of our initial private offering. Our company is externally managed and advised by our manager, Atlantic Capital Advisors LLC.

'Pong'

PONG from California is a place. on Vimeo.

30 Years Of Extreme

Robert Parry has written an outstanding summation article on the rise of extremism in America in the last 30 years. He hits on the hot and strangest spots, Reagan, trickle down, Gingrich, Bush, tea party, birthers, and the endless barrage of trumped up nonsense which is now the norm.

Consortium News: America's Decoupling from Reality
The Tea Party madness is aided and abetted by a now fully formed right-wing media apparatus that can popularize any false narrative (like Islam planning to conquer Christian America as represented by the building of an Islamic community center near Ground Zero).


Unlike many other congressional Republicans of the time, Gingrich cared little for constructive governance but a great deal for political gamesmanship. He was already plotting his route to national power and was ready to use whatever tactics would advance his personal and ideological cause.


What the Right learned was that it could achieve political gain by circulating an endless supply of baseless or wildly exaggerated allegations. Many Americans would believe them just because of the repetition over right-wing talk radio, especially by the most prominent talker Rush Limbaugh.

CNN - Its Plugged For Good

Certainly its mixed news, not only is the well dead, but so is a good percent of the Gulf coast environment.

CNN: Gulf well permanently plugged, U.S. says

Al Jazeera - World News Updates

They Don't Care

WaPo distinguishes itself by laying out the cold truth regarding politicians and democracy in America. If you are poor, and now 1 in 7 Americans fits into that group, politicians could give a flying f*#+ about you. That is because you have no power, AKA money, and you cannot contribute to a politicians greedy little pockets. You could say the poor are the fastest growing political non constituency, its like a vast black hole of nothingness.

Now that's democracy.

WaPo: Capitol Hill reaction to poverty figures sidetracked by political concerns
The reluctance of political leaders on both sides of the aisle to directly confront the fact that growing numbers of Americans are slipping into poverty reflects a stubborn reality about the poor: They are not much of a political constituency.


"But we are also up against a general recognition that poor people don't vote in great numbers. And they certainly aren't going to be making campaign contributions. That definitely puts them behind many other people and interests when decisions are being made around here."

'That's Not My Name'

The Ting Tings

Saturday, September 18, 2010

'It's Kind Of A Funny Story'

Trailer

Think Progress - Christine O'Donnell: "I Dabbled Into Witchcraft"

The Fear Party

Republicans are not the party of no, they are the party of fear.

Yahoo: Montana GOP policy: Make homosexuality illegal

CNN: Gingrich blasts Democratic establishment at annual summit

'Living In The Present Moment'

For my Buddhist friends and sympathizers...

Liberace Heads Into The Unconscious Void

Liberace is finally liberated.

After decades of profound posthumous popularity, the Liberace museum is closing. America is changing. The younger generation does not even know his work.

NY Times: Mr. Showmanship’s Show Is Closing
The Liberace Museum, once a tourist attraction on a par with the Hoover Dam — 450,000 people came every year to the strip-mall museum with a red neon piano on the roof — is closing its doors next month. The collection is being put into storage.

Your Weekly Address

Al Jazeera - World News Updates

Equities In September

Good morning. It has been rather cool lately, unusually cool for late Summer. I was out yesterday with a sweater and a jacket on. I am not physically adjusted to temperatures in the 50s quite yet. In February if 50 degrees somehow comes along, its like a heat wave.

Equities are impressing even a die hard pessimist like myself lately. Its September and the indexes are all floating just below yearly highs. The market has not taken a precipitous fall just yet. People are even talking about a shift from bonds into equities.

Next week investors will get some words of wisdom from the Fed. Allegedly anything resembling something better than Armageddon will propel the markets even higher and that's fine with us.

The stinker in the week will be reports on housing. Jobs and housing, jobs and housing, this is the mantra. The reports on housing will come all week long. Think of it like bowling where you've just thrown the ball, its rolling down the lane, and you use some mental body English to levitate the ball into the pocket. We need some of that very body English to kick housing just a tiny notch higher.

Reuters: Wall St Week Ahead: Fed holds key for stocks to break range
...the S&P 500 seems poised to move above 1,130. Some chartists see breaking that level as a harbinger for future gains, with overhead resistance not seen until 1,173 and then at the year's high near 1,220.


In terms of economic data, next week's schedule has a daily dose of housing indicators. From the housing market index on Monday to housing starts on Tuesday, followed by existing home sales on Thursday and new home sales on Friday...

'Piano Concerto No.1' - Allegro Brioso

Pianist Alexander Kobrin plays Prokofiev

Friday, September 17, 2010