Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Nikkei Opens Lower On Wednesday

The World's Smallest Car

Noam Chomsky: WikiLeaks Cables

I hope this embed code works...

Ouch

'Small Sacrifices'

House

The Daily Show - 'You're Not Punny'

Gigatons Of Work

What can we do to help this process along?

Live Science: Climate Negotiators Have Gigatons of Work to Do

Al Jazeera - World News Update

Cancun Climate Change Chaconne

I'm thinking about how climate change is "just another story." You can read it right along side baseball scores and bargains at Wal Mart.

There's no bold black headlined story. Look, what is the most challenging thing humans face? I would say its survival. Not the buying shit at a mall on Black Friday survival mentality, but actual are we going to be able to inhabit this fair planet in the future.

According to what I am reading, there's a single toe in the ocean water of what needs to be accomplished. I take it back, a single toe nail is in the water. Nobody is taking this stuff seriously. Nothing is happening.

I mean it must be fun to be on a select panel and go to Copenhagen and Cancun. Might I suggest Venice or possibly - oh let's say Disneyland. Yeah that's it, bring the family and don't forget to head up to Napa Valley.

CS Monitor: Climate change talks in Cancun: What can be accomplished?
Even if everyone implemented their most stringent pledges rigorously, the world would be only 60 percent of the way toward the emissions levels that scientists say would be needed by 2020 to put countries on a path toward holding global warming to about 2 degrees C (3.6 degrees F.) by the end of this century, according to a recent analysis undertaken for the UN.


"Cancun is going to answer the question of whether that agreement (The Copenhagen Accord) was progress or the beginning of the end of the international process..."

The Market On Tuesday

Good morning. It is a very magical late November day here in Upstate NY. The sky is gray, the landscape is naked with leaf-free trees, and the long johns are starting to chafe. I am all about fleece lined pants vis a vis LL Bean, or as one friend calls them, my fancy jeans.

How about those Wikileak cables. They seem humorous in a dark political ugly kind of way. Its like a bunch of middle schoolers sending nasty notes to each other over who is the prettiest girl. The meme is accepted fully, politicians are morons the world over. How about the King of Saudi Arabia wanting the US to blow up Iran. So much for the Muslim brotherhood...

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

The investment journalists are making investors sound like a worried Grandma and Grandpa, frittering over a huge pile of what ifs.

What if Europe falls apart into separate countries not linked to the euro and the euro collapses. Fritter, fritter. What if North and South Korea go to war.

Allegedly the frittering stays in the background today as investors will look at data on how the economy is performing. In my mild opinion, it is the numbers on consumer confidence that will be of high importance. We, you ingrate, are the engine that drives the economy.

Buy, buy.

CNN: Stocks set to pull back at the start
...reports due on the housing market, manufacturing activity and consumer confidence.


...Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke, who is scheduled to speak (today)...


Oil for January delivery fell 56 cents to $85.17 a barrel.

'Gimme Shelter' Voice Only

The isolated tracks of Mick Jagger and Merry Clayton singing on 'Gimme Shelter'.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Nikkei Opens Lower On Tuesday

'Good Day Today'

David Lynch

Yes, its a brand new single by the famed film director.

'Apollo Run'

Representative Elect Kirk

Long story short - he wants to keep the Bush tax cuts and not extend jobless benefits.

This man is linking removing the Bush tax cuts to a double dip recession. If they are rescinded then the country will go into another (sic) recession.

How does this kind of logic prevail?

TPMtv - Clinton On Wikileaks

Reversing Aging

Selective Eating Disorder

Our society could stand a strong dose of overall sensitivity. The thing that is distressing to me about this newly designated disorder are the social consequences. People shun company because they are afraid of not fitting in correctly in this case because they can't tolerate food variety. They don't want the wrong kind of attention. They are embarrassed.

Live Science: Adult Picky Eaters Now Recognized as Having a Disorder
Most people with this disorder are highly embarrassed by their limited food repertoire and will go to great lengths to keep it hidden, either by avoiding social events that involve food or drinks (which ones don't?), or by making up excuses to avoid eating, such as fibbing about an upset belly.

Al Jazeera - World News Updates

Cyber Monday

Welcome to Cyber Monday, the consumer extension of Black Friday into the virtual realm. It would be interesting to know how the day became designated as such. What retail conspiracy hatched this thing. It is the holiday of the future, when the need for retail outlets in malls becomes a thing of the past. It is a superior holiday too because no one needs to miss work. You can shop on a hidden screen while sifting through work pile X.

This article points out one little detail that you must consider. When shopping make sure the cyber address starts with https and not http. The 's' stands for secure. Never put down your credit card numbers unless you see the 's'. This is important. A pro explained this to me one time and etched it into my brain.

Go nuts.

CS Monitor: Cyber Monday 2010: Tips for finding deals and avoiding mishaps
1. Plug into your favorite stores
2. Let the web deliver deals.
3. Take the web with you to the mall.
4. Reap something extra.
5. Avoid scams and disappointments.
6. Track the shipping time.
7. Select your payment option wisely.
8. Guard your privacy

The Market On Monday

Good morning. It is sunny, clear, and crisp this morning in Upstate NY. There is a light frost on the ground. Nature is preparing for the oncoming snow.

At 8:15 a.m. futures are flat, the dollar is mixed, and oil is up.

The investment journalists are talking the same points for the past several days. Recapping that would be the insolvency issues in Europe with Portugal and Spain next up for crisis status. After that comes the economic reports on the American consumer due out this week and culminating in the monthly government report on employment due out Friday. At some point this whole Black Friday holiday season consumer spending meme will bust through as well.

That's about it, except for the surprise ameliorating factor that always raises its head during the day. Offering my value free and pointless take on it all, I would say the market has the potential for slight gains today. I do regret writing that...

CNN: Stocks' open seen little changed
European officials on Sunday announced an €85 billion bailout of Ireland and its banks.


Portugal has emerged as the next likely candidate for a bailout, while investors are particularly worried about the outlook for Spain -- one of the EU's largest economies.


On Friday, the government will issue its monthly jobs report.


Oil for January delivery increased 66 cents to $84.42 a barrel.

'Voodoo Child - Hey Joe'

Jimi Hendrix live on the BBC in 1969. That would be 41 years ago if you're counting.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Leslie Nielson Dies

I was a huge fan of his work.

People: Leslie Nielsen Dies

Food Or Heat

Food stamps and food pantries are holding a lot of the country together right now. The data trickles in about how various communities are negatively affected by the recession.

Roughly 14 out of every 100 people in Vermont needs food assistance.

CBS6: More Vermont families seeking food assistance
The Enosburg Food Shelf is feeding more families than it had expected. Three years after opening it now serves an average of 160 families each month. It had predicted it would be serving about 60 families.

Nikkei Opens Higher On Monday

Leaks

At some point I will peruse the leaked documents.

The Guardian is pointing out that the total effect is not that big a deal.

Guardian UK: US embassy cables: The job of the media is not to protect the powerful from embarrassment
Anything said or done in the name of a democracy is, prima facie, of public interest.


Nor is the material classified top secret, being at a level that more than 3 million US government employees are cleared to see, and available on the defence department's internal Siprnet.


If WikiLeaks can gain access to secret material, by whatever means, so presumably can a foreign power. Words on paper can be made secure, electronic archives not.

Truffles

$330,000 for roughly 3 pounds of truffles, that comes out to a little over $100,000 per pound.

UK Guardian: White truffles fetch $330,000 at auction
The lot included a huge truffle dug up in the central Tuscany region weighing 900 grams (about 2lb) as well as one found in Molise weighing in at 400g.

Saving Ophelia

Chubbier But Much Cuter

Become that lean mean machine.

Live Science: 8 Reasons Our Waistlines Are Expanding
3


Cars, Chairs and Sofas


We don't move our bodies nearly as much as our hunter-gatherer ancestors, a fact that has likely contributed to our collective weight gain. Exercise is great for maintaining weight and regulating appetite...


But if you want to lose a bulge, or ten, and "you are not reducing calories, just exercising, it will take a very long time to lose a single pound..."

Al Jaeera - World News Updates

Cyber Monday

No, this is not about some mass cybersex holiday.

Cyber Monday is the internet's version of Black Friday. We have the virtual versus the paranormal. Its the pixel versus the pixie, the keyboard versus the highway.

Cyber Monday is for the introvert, the shy soul, those unwilling to get kneaded into the swell of mass hysteria. Here the religion of consumerism, the most pervasive of all American religions one that transcends all beliefs including nihilism, can be conducted with a rafter of brandy, a cigar, a bathrobe, perfect solitude, or for the extra sensuous - right from the bathtub with bubbles, or for the more sarcastic - from the pot. It is truly an unlimited environment of consumerism.

CS Monitor: Cyber Monday: US Shoppers eye deals from laptops to Squinkies
...so-called Cyber Monday, when millions of Americans make a few more purchases from keyboards in the workplace.


...web-only specials...


...41 percent of retailers will be offering a one-day online sale on Monday...

Coming Up On Wall Street

Good morning. I hope your holiday weekend is as good as it can possibly be and then some.

The investment journalists at Reuters have concocted a theory on how the coming week's market activity will evolve.

In one corner there is a failing European economy, with the spotlight now moving to Portugal and Spain. In the other corner we have a modestly improving American job market linked with a neo-happy consumer willing to throw money around at retail outlets all over this great land.

Whichever of these two memes becomes the most compelling, the direction of the indexes goes along with it.

Friday will be highlighted. That is the day when the government releases data on employment for November. The preliminary thought is that there will be a gain in employment. I suspect this is true simply because there is an increase in seasonal employment. Someone has to hand you a new TV at the mall.

My pointless and value free prediction is this. When all is said and done, the American consumer, yes that is you you ingrate, will have its way with the Euro and the big payday will be Friday.

Reuters: Euro bears jolt U.S. bulls but jobs may help
The government's nonfarm payrolls report on Friday is set to be another sign of a turnaround in hiring that could boost stocks through the end of the year.


"The consumer is more confident and they are spending a bit more money, and I think retail as a whole is perking up..."


...discounts were not as deep this year as last....


"It seems the American consumer is back with a vengeance..."

'Had To Cry Today'

Steve Winwood and Eric Clapton

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Uh Oh

You are not spending enough Mr. and Ms. consumer.

What's the problem? Spending only went up .3% this Black Friday past.

Pitiful, just pitiful, you are a disgrace.

CBS6: Black Friday retail sales edge up only slightly
...retail spending rose just 0.3 percent, to nearly $10.7 billion...

'The Story Of Stuff'

Mari-Ja-Willy

Hey now wait just a minute, isn't this an annual event?

I imagine the police sitting around, kind of bored, looking for an easy way to justify the wage. "Hey, let's go bust Willie! He's good for it."

Yahoo: Willie Nelson charged with pot possession in Texas

The Real News Network - Chomsky On US Global Policy

Chomsky goes into a history of American global policy and hits on some of the major present day issues with some emphasis on Iran. Its fascinating.

More at The Real News

Your Weekly Address

Al Jazeera - World News Updates

Brazil Breakdown

The societal breakdown in Brazil is reaching noticeable proportions.

I don't know the history and one would suspect that this is not a brand new confrontation, drug gangs versus police.

It reminds me of some futuristic movie setting where the fabric of a cooperative society has vanished replaced by gang law and pretend justice based in brutality.

The closest thing to this in the USA is the recent activity of the Tea Party, with their quasi-militaristic demonstrations and simmering undertone of armed mayhem.

CS Monitor: Amid violent flareup in Rio, Brazil defends its security strategy
...dozens of cars, buses, and vans have been set ablaze in an apparently coordinated assault from the city’s entrenched organized crime members.


In many cases, armed bandits have forced motorists from their vehicles to rob them and set the cars on fire...


In the meantime, the violence continues. Today, Army reinforcements circled the Complexo do Alemão, a large slum in the north of the city. Rio authorities have long recognized that the slum has become a haven for organized crime members...

'Can't Find My Way Home'

Steve Winwood and Eric Clapton are featured.

Friday, November 26, 2010

American Masters - John Lennon Excerpt

Watch the full episode. See more American Masters.

'The Call Of Cthulhu'

Buy One, Give One Away

I was listening to NPR today and heard about this company - TOMS Shoes.
In 2006, American traveler Blake Mycoskie befriended children in Argentina and found they had no shoes to protect their feet. Wanting to help, he created TOMS Shoes, a company that would match every pair of shoes purchased with a pair of new shoes given to a child in need. One for One. Blake returned to Argentina with a group of family, friends and staff later that year with 10,000 pairs of shoes made possible by TOMS customers.
According to NPR there is a new breed of entrepreneurs who want to help the world not simply make gobs of money. It is a type of socially minded business model. Giving is built into the system and Yale is offering managerial programs for this new breed of socially minded business leaders.

'Sky'

Deal Madness

The psychology of Black Friday, and now "Cyber Monday," has two components.

The first component has to do with our shedding of rationality in favor of an emotionality that is linked with a range of survival instincts.

The second component are the shrewd methods that retailers employ in order to provoke and highlight component one within the consumer.

Its a love story about two interdependent halves involved in a parasitic and sympathetic relationship. The retailer wants to survive and needs the consumer, the consumer thinks that what the retailer is offering is the key to their own survival.

Live Science: Black Friday Psychology: Why We Go Mad for Deals
...an innate fear of scarcity that drives people to buy, buy, buy.


Men who engage in conspicuous consumption, like driving around in a fancy Porsche instead of an old sedan, experience a testosterone surge...


...the desire to hoard resources...


Creating a sense of urgency is one trick retailers use...

Al Jazeera - World News Updates

Rape Victims And TSA Pat Downs

Kudos to the CS Monitor for pointing out an overlooked problem with TSA pat downs.

That would specifically be the women and men who have been victims of rape and are re-traumatized by the pat down.

The numbers are sickening with 1 in 6 women being the victim of rape. We talk about how America is the land of the free, but within the borders there is a war raging among the population. We have some serious issues with sexuality and violence.

CS Monitor: For sexual crime victims, TSA pat-downs can be 're-traumatizing'
...victims of rape or sexual assault who are now confronted with a procedure that they feel explicitly strips them of control over their bodies.


Nationwide, an estimated 1 in 6 women and 1 in 33 men have been the victim of an attempted or completed rape, according to a consensus of figures compiled by the Department of Justice, FBI, and Centers for Disease control. About a quarter of a million people each year report a sexual assault.

The Market On Friday

Good morning. It is overcast, gray, slightly drizzly, and slightly warmer today, Black Friday. Curious name, Black Friday, would you agree. It sounds like something from the Middle Ages, where the Black Madonna is venerated by an adoring and slightly fearful population. I am not a conspicuous consumer. For me, heading out to the mall at 3 a.m. is the equivalent of an eternity in the darkest reaches of Hades. The mall is the church, who gets that excited about spirituality.

At 8:10 a.m. futures are significantly down, the dollar is up, and oil is down. Forget about your upcoming losses, and enjoy the in between day where most are taking the day off.

Allegedly investors are in a twist about European insolvency and China's new banking austerities. That is baloney. A few remaining investors want to sell off highly inflated equities and turn a profit.

End of story...

CNN: Stocks: Bracing for an early sell-off
Most focus remains on euroland with Ireland in trouble, and Portugal and even Spain under attack now..."


Trading volume in U.S. markets is expected to be light and that could lead to some exaggerated moves...


Oil for January delivery slipped 67 cents to $83.19.

'Lovesick Blues'

Patsy Cline

Thursday, November 25, 2010

David Cross On Conservatives

'Its A Wonderful Life' Part 1

Nikkei Opens Higher On Friday

Thanksgiving

We had a wonderful meal. The fireplace was cranking out the heat. The dinner was candle lit. The food was delicious, the turkey was small and locally raised. The dessert was pumpkin pie with fresh cream. The company was interesting.

I am tired. One good point, we have no TV. The game was not on, the commercials were not heard.

Basketball, now there's a game.

Dead Certain

Very interesting read at the New Yorker. They critique Bush's new memoirs.

If I had time, I would read Bush's book - borrow it from the library, because seriously now I would never ever buy it.

The New Yorker: Dead Certain - The Presidential memoirs of George W. Bush.
...the abuse of prisoners at Abu Ghraib—receives a single page (most of which is about Bush’s reasons for not firing Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld).

Al Jazeera - World News Updates

Not Many Thanks Out There

I can't lie, reading this CS Monitor article rankled me.

Yes, times are tough. Yes, the economy is much worse. Yes, people are hurting. Yes, the future looks like more of the same.

Still, that is no reason to be the Grinch. Hey its just my opinion, but if you are alive and have connections of value to other people, that alone merits gratitude.

Never underestimate the supreme gift of having a human life. This point is missing in our society. Yes it is and it is a big huge problem.

CS Monitor: Thanksgiving 2010: In these hard times, are Americans thankful?
A wavering economy, a polarized electorate, a future in fog.


Charitable giving, one barometer of the collective sense of well-being in the country, is way down in the US...


...2 out of 3 don't want their taxes increased so government can help their neighbors.


..."gratitude-motivated reciprocity" – or positive acts sparked by a feeling of thankfulness – raises the overall level of altruism in society.

'Amazing Grace'

Ani Choying sings in Tibetan.

Gratitude has no language barrier.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

DeLay Is Found Guilty

'Brian Writes A Bestseller'

Family Guy

'One Year In 40 Seconds'

407,000

Surprising improvement this week...

CNN: Initial unemployment claims: Lowest since July 2008

Islamaphobia In Europe

Islamaphobia is gaining in England. The focus is a group called the EDL, the English Defence (sic) League. It sounds right wing with the tougher elements of the community banding together and instead of focusing on football, its Muslims.

Check out the link, there is an interesting photo essay accompanying the article.

Al Jazeera: Is a storm brewing in Europe?
...notorious gangs such as Cardiff City's Soul Crew, Bolton Wanderers' Cuckoo Boys and Luton Town's Men In Gear: a remarkable gathering given that on a match day these men would be fighting each other. But today they are not here for football; it is politics that has drawn them. Their destination is Manchester to support a protest by the newly formed English Defence League.


But although the league publicly espouses peaceful protest, there is growing concern over its secrecy and quasi-paramilitary appearance - as well as some of its membership. According to the international anti-fascist magazine Searchlight, far-right British National Party activists and other fascist extremists are at the core of the league.

His aim, he says, is to unite the "thinkers" and those prepared to take to the streets. He describes this marriage as "the perfect storm coming together," adding that street violence is not desirable but perhaps inevitable.

Al Jazeera - World News Updates

Senate Bill 510

Read about Senate Bill 510. It is ostensibly created to help preserve the food chain and prevent salmonella and other such outbreaks that have recently occurred.

Look, big corporations want to privatize every conceivable thing that you use. That would include your DNA, your air, your water, and especially your food.

When Monsanto is fully behind a bill like Senate Bill 510, the antenna needs to get raised. Monsanto makes plants that do not produce seeds. They want you to buy seeds from them every year. They hold the patents on these things. We are talking genetically modified. This is the new food that is replacing the old normal food that humans have enjoyed since day 1. I don't want any part of that stuff. It is representative of an arrogance and greed level that is off the charts.

CS Monitor: Food safety bill 101: What are the facts and myths?
"You may be disposed to embrace a genetically modified, enhanced, and altered food chain, but for those of us who eat our foods unadulterated, raised naturally, and without benefit of the federal government mandating what we can and can't eat, SB 510 is one more giant step toward consolidating total power over the lives of free citizens," writes Michael Geer on the American Thinker blog.


Can I still share (and sell) vegetables from my garden?


Yes. Farmers who sell most of their harvest directly to restaurants, food co-ops, farm stands, and farmers' markets wouldn't have to register with the FDA under SB 510. And they wouldn't be subject to the regulations in the legislation. But such farmers would still have to abide by current state laws.


Supporters include General Mills, Kraft Foods, Monsanto, and the National Association of Manufacturers. Opponents include the American Grassfed Association, Family Farm Defenders, and the Small Farms Conservancy.

The Market On Wednesday

Good morning. This is always a more pastoral type of work week. At least for me it is. It is sunny, lightly breezy, and cooler here in Upstate NY. Walking was fine this morning with the moon out and bright at 6 a.m. Sun, moon, man, woman - such fundamental words, I was thinking about their origins and the origins of language as I walked.

At 8:15 a.m. futures are slightly higher, the dollar is mixed, and oil is slightly up.

The journalists are pointing to investor concerns over fiscally unstable Spain and Portugal as the next Eurozone catastrophe of worry.

Today the investment class will also be parsing data on employment, personal income, and housing. Do you have any money you ingrate? I didn't think so.

A lot of Wall Street types are sunning themselves on the beautiful beaches of the tropical world right about now. When they pamper themselves, the market is left to the whims of the few remaining, the die-hards.

I think they want to give themselves a happy ending for a Happy Thanksgiving.

CNN: Stocks set to rise, but eurozone watch continues
...attention now shifting to Portugal and Spain, both of which are far from out of the woods.


...a full docket of economic reports: personal income, durable goods, weekly jobless claims and new home sales.


Deere, the tractor and lawn mower maker, reported earnings per share of $1.07, topping analyst expectations.


Oil for January delivery gained 27 cents, rising to $81.52 a barrel.

'Hicks' Farewell'

Tim Eriksen

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Nikkei Opens Lower On Wednesday

'Jackass 3D'

Seriously now, is there a better movie series?

That's a resounding no...

I am a huge fan.

'A Pox On Our House'

House

Third Quarter Corporate Profits Set Record

Welcome to the newest version of America. In this America unemployment remains fiercely high and this does not even matter to the corporate ledgers. We are living in the age of the corporate government. Do you think that there is a reason to create employment opportunities when the balances show a record profit?

NY Times: Corporate Profits Were the Highest on Record Last Quarter
This breakneck pace can be partly attributed to strong productivity growth — which means companies have been able to make more with less — as well as the fact that some of the profits of American companies come from abroad.
Bureau Of Economic Accounts: National Income and Product Accounts Gross Domestic Product, 3rd quarter 2010 (second estimate); Corporate Profits, 3rd quarter 2010 (preliminary)
Corporate Profits


Profits from current production (corporate profits with inventory valuation and capital consumption adjustments) increased $44.4 billion in the third quarter, compared with an increase of $47.5 billion in the second quarter. Current-production cash flow (net cash flow with inventory valuation adjustment) -- the internal funds available to corporations for investment -- decreased $57.8 billion in the third quarter, in contrast to an increase of $61.1 billion in the second.


Taxes on corporate income increased $31.8 billion in the third quarter, compared with an increase of $2.4 billion in the second. Profits after tax with inventory valuation and capital consumption adjustments increased $12.6 billion in the third quarter, compared with an increase of $45.2 billion in the second. Dividends increased $8.2 billion compared with an increase of $8.1 billion; current- production undistributed profits increased $4.4 billion, compared with an increase of $37.1 billion.


Domestic profits of financial corporations increased $33.3 billion in the third quarter, in contrast to a decrease of $3.4 billion in the second. Domestic profits of nonfinancial corporations increased $18.6 billion in the third quarter, compared with an increase of $48.2 billion in the second. In the third quarter, real gross value added of nonfinancial corporations decreased, and profits per unit of real value added increased. The increase in unit profits reflected a larger increase in unit prices than in the unit labor costs and the unit nonlabor costs corporations incurred.

NPR - Siblings Share Genes, But Rarely Personalities

Chris Hedge's On Rebellion

I am reposting this article from last night. In my opinion it is one of those on the mark important articles.

Chris Hedge's has done an excellent job of presenting and summing up our collective problems, identifying why these problems can't be affected by the two political parties, how democracy is dying, and what we need to do to keep from dying ourselves.

Its a harsh article in the sense that the present political and economic reality is harsh and getting worse. This is hard to truly accept.

Truthdig: Power and the Tiny Acts of Rebellion
The economy is in the hands of corporate swindlers and speculators. And the public, enchanted by electronic hallucinations, remains passive and supine. We have no tools left within the power structure in our fight to halt unchecked corporate pillage.

We have reached a point where stunted and deformed individuals, whose rapacious greed fuels the plunge of tens of millions of Americans into abject poverty and misery, determine the moral fiber of the nation.

Our worst premonitions are becoming reality. Our intuition has proved correct. We are reaching the breaking point. An explosion, unless we halt the increased pressure, seems inevitable. And what is left for those of us who cannot embrace the contaminants of violence? If the system shuts us out how can we influence it through nonviolent mechanisms of popular protest? How can we restore a civil society? How can we battle back against those who will mobilize hatred to cement into place an American fascism?

Al Jazeera - World News Updates

North Versus The South

Great, North Korea is out of its collective mind. The entire world seems to understand this point.

The saber got rattled, innocent lives were lost, property was destroyed.

This is so retarded and we are sick of it.

CS Monitor: North and South Korea clash across tense border
...the 'most serious incident' since the Korean War. Two South Korean soldiers were left dead.


“North Korea’s shelling of Yeonpyeong island constitutes a clear armed provocation..."


...the attacks combined with the recent revealing of its new uranium enrichment facility may have been part of a calculated maneuver by North Korea to ensure that world leaders continue to take the nation seriously.

The Market On Tuesday

Good morning. I set off this morning in hat, gloves, woolen jacket, sweater, and good walking intentions. Long story short, I was way over-dressed. It is balmy here today. I expect to see some flowers blooming by noontime.

Which war is now looming. Yes there is a new old flash point. It is good old North and South Korea. Gunfire was exchanged and world markets are slightly to moderately rattled.

As a result futures are down, the dollar is up, and oil is down.

One "bright" note is that the US economy grew at a better rate in the last quarter than was previously announced. Investors will like that, but they still might stiff us.

CNN: Stocks to open lower on Korea jitters
...world markets reacted to an exchange of artillery fire between North and South Korea.


...erratic behavior by North Korea is expected.


Trading could be choppy this week, with many market participants taking time off ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday.


Oil for January delivery slipped $1.38 to $80.36 a barrel.

'Wayfaring Stranger'

Jack White

Monday, November 22, 2010

'The Fool Monty'

The Simpsons

Nikkei Is Closed On Tuesday

There's a national Japanese holiday on Tuesday and the Nikkei is closed.

250 Introductions

Polling For 2012

Romney! Huckabee! Palin! Gingrich!

Oy...

I don't understand. What's wrong with Obama? He's a terrific Republican president...

Quinnipiac Poll: November 22, 2010 - American Voters Could Deny Obama Reelection, Quinnipiac University National Poll Finds; President Tied With Romney, Huckabee But Leads Palin
President Barack Obama does not deserve a second term, American voters say 49 - 43 percent, and he is in a statistical dead heat with possible Republican challengers Mitt Romney and Mike Huckabee, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today. President Obama leads Sarah Palin 48 - 40 percent.


Romney, Huckabee, Palin and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich are bunched together when Republican voters are asked who they prefer for the GOP's 2012 presidential nomination...

TPM - Yoo Defends Torture

Colonie, NY - USA's Safest City

Hey, statistics don't lie - just the facts mam.

Yahoo: St. Louis tops list of most dangerous US cities
For the second straight year, the safest city with more than 75,000 residents was Colonie, N.Y.

'The Things That You Think'

Ben Folds, Nick Hornby, and Pomplamoose

Al Jazeera - World News Updates

Ireland's Collapse

Reading about the general atmosphere in Ireland one cannot help but see the parallels to the general atmosphere here in the USA.

Their unemployment is around 13% which means that it is more likely really around, say 25%.

There is a housing crisis with many homes unoccupied. The Irish are a little behind the curve with massive foreclosures, that is their near future not the present.

There is the sense that people are very upset with the government and the business community. One wonders if there is a neo-conservative movement brewing or already in place. You would have to think yes.

Young people are leaving the country seeking employment overseas. Many of our young talented people are now in China.

And then there is the deficit...

CS Monitor: Ireland bailout: Young Irish flee 'Celtic Tiger' for a better life
Ireland will likely have to raise taxes and cut public services, including the unemployment benefits and, according to some sources, retirement pensions that many are now relying on.


...unemployment is now above 13 percent...


...the Irish landscape is now littered with so-called "ghost estates"...


...280,000 homes are unoccupied in the country, 23,000 of which are new homes that have never been lived in.


...widespread foreclosures have not yet begun.

The Market On Monday

Good morning. It is Thanksgiving week. Its going to be a nice short week. Its a good week to try to relax and go with the old flow. My job is to eat sensibly.

At 8:20 a.m. futures are relatively flat, the dollar is down, and oil is up.

Many investors will probably be taking a lot of the week off. When that happens the market is subject to more volatility.

Ireland is still a hot topic and yesterday there was movement towards that country securing loans for its huge implosion. The European crisis is a big deal with Spain and Portugal now frequently mentioned as insolvent and in need of an economic makeover.

Considering that futures are flat, the dollar is down, oil is up, and Ireland is making progress, one might imagine that the indexes will at worst stay flat and possibly show some gains. But you never know...

CNN: Stocks headed for a weak start
The volatility was driven by nervousness over China's efforts to temper bank lending and a potential bailout for Ireland.


Reports on the agenda Tuesday and Wednesday include a revised reading on U.S. economic growth, housing data and durable goods orders, as well as personal income and spending figures.


Oil for January delivery gained 81 cents to $82.79 a barrel.

'Cuckoo'

The Monks
Monks are a garage rock band, formed by American GIs who were based in Germany in the mid to late 1960s. They reunited in 1999 and have continued to play concerts, although no new studio recordings have been made. The Monks stood out from the music of the time, and have developed a cult following amongst many musicians and music fans.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Chalmers Johnson 1931 - 2010

Tremendous loss for those of us seeking the inside information on the military industrial prison complex.

The Atlantic: Chalmers Johnson

Nikkei Opens Higher On Monday

Old House

We spent the day painting the kitchen. Everything got painted, ceiling and on down.

We bought a very pricey gallon of low odor "green" paint. Okay that's fine except, when I put it on the walls, it did not stay put. It started to literally slump off the wall and make clumps. I did lose my cool. Having spent all this time getting everything prepped and finally ready for painting, I now had a problem that was going to require extra time to fix.

I wrote the paint company a very strong letter. I told them it was junk and ridiculously overpriced.

We did get a free gallon of the regular latex paint, which worked fine, but I believe we deserve a refund.

Anyhow, at this point, its looking good. Its been a long haul, we are not quite finished yet. There are a few more steps but its functioning.

'Origins Of The Moonwalk'

Wonderful clip on some off the chart dance moves over the last 70 years.

Atkinson

The Real News Network - War Is A Lie

Fiscal Commission: Unchecked Debt Threatens US Security

Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson, co-chairmen of President Barack Obama's fiscal commission, respond to the crisis the nation is facing if Congress doesn't respond to their plan to reduce the country's budget deficit.

Food Stamp Use Through The Recession

There is a chart appearing towards the latter half of this clip that is a the most telling. Food stamp use is surging in all the states.

'Try A Little Tenderness'

Otis Redding

Saturday, November 20, 2010

CNN - Bush On Palin

'Escanaba In Da Moonlight'

Rubber Meets The Road

If you are a male prostitute with HIV, then the Pope gives you a break.

Welcome to the 20th Century...

Yahoo: Pope: condoms can be justified in some cases

Coming Up On Wall Street

According to Reuters, Black Friday is the next major catalyst in determining the direction of the stock market.

Makes sense to me, although there are these frequently arising unknowns that enter the equation and throw everything askew. You know, stuff like countries going belly up, wars, oil leaks, elections, that kind of thing.

Don't you just love the frenzy of Black Friday. Its the closest we get to mass hysteria. People line up for hours in order to get a shot at a cheap TV and it must be had. Its orgasmic, the materialism ripples out over the malls in waves of ecstasy. Love is found and happy campers drive off onto the thruways with smiles and a sense of satisfaction.

Reuters: Black Friday focus of investors
Bullish sentiment toward holiday sales is the most likely catalyst for the cyclical bull market to resume, so a lot rests on that..." If sales seem weak, "this dip could turn into something bigger."


Among the week's economic data is the government's second estimate of third quarter gross domestic product growth, expected to show the economy grew a bit faster than previously thought.


Two reports on housing are expected as well: the existing home sales report...and new homes sales...


Other reports will give a glimpse of manufacturing, consumer spending and inflation.

Good Sachs

CNN is practically falling all over itself recommending GS as an investment, calling it insanely profitable.

I'm going to pass. There are really just a few things that seem completely taboo to me.

CNN: Goldman Sachs: All is forgiven?
But shares of Goldman Sachs...are up about 30% from their 52-week low in June.

Al Jazeera - World News Updates

Your Weekly Address

'Everybody Hurts'

REM

Friday, November 19, 2010

Voting Orgasm Video

'The Abducted'

Fringe

That Thing, You Know

And here is why the country is in the hands of the top 1% on the economic ladder. Nobody cares. No one bothers to learn anything about politics. Its a disgrace.

Politico: Poll: Most don't know what GOP won
Only 46 percent of respondents in a Pew Research poll released Thursday knew that the GOP had taken over only the House, while a mere 38 percent can identify Ohio Republican John Boehner as the incoming speaker. Three times as many young people, under age 30, could properly identify Google's new phone software, Android, as could identify Boehner.

The Real News Network - Who Benefits From Deflation

The Real News Network - Chomsky On Post-Midterm America

The Daily Show - Beck And Soros

Al Jazeera - World News Updates

GM's IPO

No offense to some, but I would not touch GM stock with a 10 foot pole, make that 20 or 30.

However, I am very interested in watching the stock. Will it boldly forge ahead in value or crumple like t-p tissue.

According to my inside sources, a lot of the stock went to mutual funds. All I could think was, who on earth wants that in their mutual fund package.

But, one man's t-p is another man's money rocket.

Truthfully, I hope I am wrong. I hope it goes nuts in value and I kick myself. We want American corporations to succeed in the auto industry. We would like to see them catch up with the rest of the world, considering the cars are roughly a decade behind in value and efficiency. I know there's exceptions. Let's make the exceptions the rule, and I am all in.

GM might be a very interesting microcosm of American industry, that is why I am going to watch it.

CS Monitor: GM stock price up 3.6 percent on first day: five questions about the IPO
General Motors began selling shares of company stock again Thursday, 17 months after the company declared bankruptcy and its previous shares became virtually worthless.


Company executives used the good news to help drive home a message to investors and the media that says GM can be profitable at roughly half the vehicle sales volume of past years, thanks to plant restructuring and deep cuts in its labor force and dealership network.

The Market On Friday

Good morning. Hey, its the weekend again. Wasn't it just the weekend the other day? Time is flying and I want to slow this train on down. This weekend we paint the kitchen, the final coat of paint i.e. Paint away.

At 8:30 a.m. futures are moderately down, the dollar is down, and oil is up $.03. Peanuts they say.

I have gleamed 3 reasons for today's negative pre-activity. First, yesterday's rally was so big, that today there's nothing left but fuzzy memories, ripped up underwear, and scratches in unmentionable areas of the body. Second, Bernanke gave a talk in Germany a short time ago, and investors don't like what they are hearing. "Quantitative easing" is not popular with the investment home boys. Third, there isn't a whole lotta stuff going on today.

Having given reasons 1 through 3, some ameliorating factor from the deep blue unconscious will arise. By 4 p.m. we will know what it is and that, you ingrate, will be why the market goes up, down, or sideways.

CNN: Stocks headed for weak open
"We have a bit of a hangover after a rally yesterday."


In his speech, Bernanke defended the Fed asset-buying plan, saying the strategy has worked in the past and could help reduce unemployment in the United States. He also argued that nations need to work together to correct global imbalances, as the world economy recovers at an uneven pace.


Oil for December delivery gained 3 cents to $81.88 a barrel.

On Laughter

“The human race has only one really effective weapon and that is laughter.” - Mark Twain


“Nothing shows a man's character more than what he laughs at.” - Goethe


“God is a comedian, playing to an audience too afraid to laugh.” - Voltaire


“Really, sex and laughter do go very well together, and I wondered - and I still do - which is more important.” - Hermione Gingold


"Laughter is the closest distance between two people.” - Victor Borge

'Can't Find My Way Home'

Stevie Winwood

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Nikkei Opens Higher On Friday

'Brooklyn Without Limits'

30 Rock

The Daily Show - Republicans

CNN - Is Marriage Obsolete?

GOP Unanimously Votes Against Fair Pay For Women

Its 2010 and the GOP is acting like it is all for Sharia Law, by suppressing a bill that would guarantee equal pay for women.

What a bunch of jerks.

Think Progress: Senate Republicans Vote Unanimously Against Bill To Help Guarantee Fair Pay For Women

Dumber Than A Bag Of Hammers

Now if even I can find B.O.'s birth certificate in a matter of seconds, do you think this bright boy can too?

Think Progress: Texas State Rep. Introduces Birther Bill Because ‘People Don’t Know Whether [Obama] Was Born In Kenya’

Laugh It Up

They are saying that laughter with one's mouth open is far more contagious and infectious. People like it better. But please, chew with your mouth closed.

Thank you, the management.

Live Science: Spread the Joy: Laugh with Your Mouth Open

439,000

The weekly jobless claims number is still above the magic 400,000 number. Allegedly the trend is still one of an improving job market. Seriously now, can it get worse?

Reuters: Jobless claims rise 2,000 last week
...but the underlying trend remained tilted toward a gradual improvement in the labor market.