Monday, January 31, 2011

Snow Snow Snow Then Snow

Weather Advisories: MAJOR LONG DURATION WINTER STORM TO BRING HEAVY SNOW AND SLEET TO THE REGION FROM EARLY TUESDAY MORNING THROUGH EARLY THURSDAY MORNING...WINTER STORM WARNING IN EFFECT.

Brent Crude Tops $100

Nikkei Opens Higher On Tuesday

'Earth, Water, Sky'

'So Old/Playdate'

Louie

Approve

Obama is back in the green.

Gallup Daily: Obama Job Approval
50% approve
42% disapprove

Voids Health Care Law

All Consuming

At noontime the DOW is up. Egyptian revolution be danged.

Investors are all abuzz. You, oh American consumer, are consuming more and saving less.

Old habits die hard, you ingrates.

According to some economists, your spending is directly linked to job growth. The more you spend, the more somebody else gets the chance to work.

CNN: Americans earn and spend more, save less
...economists look to increased consumer spending to help drive job growth in 2011.


...personal savings as a percentage of disposable income nudged down to 5.3% from 5.5% in November.


Inflation at record low...

The Onion - Al Qaeda Populating U.S. With Peaceful 'Decoy Muslims'

Happiness

Al Jazeera - World News Updates

ElBaradei

The Nobel Peace Prize 2005 was awarded jointly to International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and Mohamed ElBaradei "for their efforts to prevent nuclear energy from being used for military purposes and to ensure that nuclear energy for peaceful purposes is used in the safest possible way"
We are figuring out what is going on in Egypt, as the Dude would say, the ins and outs.

World financial markets are slightly rattled by the events. There is the essential fear that somehow the world's supply of oil will be adversely affected. Notice that has virtually nothing to do with the well being of Egyptians. One would suspect that there are other aspects in this essential fear. There is the Suez Canal and oil shipping in the region, and there are other countries in the area ripe for dissent and governmental overthrow.

ElBaradei won the Nobel Peace prize, hey didn't Kissinger win it too? ElBaradei appears to be the central voice of the revolution.

CS Monitor: ElBaradei to US: Take Egypt's Mubarak off life support
Mohamed ElBaradei, the Egyptian Nobel Prize winner who says he has a mandate from Egypt's opposition to negotiate President Hosni Mubarak's withdrawal from power and the creation of a transitional government, urged the US to turn its back on long-time ally Mr. Mubarak in a series of television interviews earlier today.


Earlier today, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had called on the Mubarak government to embrace political reform and respect the Egyptian people's calls for democracy.


The US provided $1.3 billion in military aid to Egypt last year, and the F-16s that buzzed the crowds in central Cairo and some of the tanks on the streets today are US-supplied.

The Market On Monday

Exxon Mobil fourth-quarter earnings climb 53% to $9.3 billion.
Good morning. It is sunny and cold with a solid coating of old snow here in Upstate NY. I had the pleasure of going swimming over the weekend. My swimming is not strong yet. I hope to get up to a steady 1/2 mile or so eventually. Water is sensuous.

At 8:10 a.m. futures are slightly up, the dollar is mixed, and oil is slightly down.

Investors are talking Egyptian unrest. The most salient quote I found was the guy who said that as economic and social conditions become more and more intolerable in developing countries, we will see more civil unrest. I'm not sure if Egypt is considered a developing country as it is the world's 27th largest economy. There are 195 countries in the world, so Egypt would be in the top 1/7th of all countries in terms of GDP.

Wall Street will get through Egyptian unrest but they might not get through Friday's government figures on unemployment in January, to be released on Friday. That will be the week's most salient economic news from their perspective.

CNN: Stocks set for flat open amid Egypt unrest
But Egypt won't be the last country to fuel worries about political and economic situations abroad...


"I think we'll see a lot more civil unrest as economic situations become intolerable to the general populations..."


The Commerce Department is expected to report that personal income rose 0.5% in December...


The most closely-watched report of the week comes Friday, when the government releases its January jobs data.


Oil for March delivery slipped 9 cents to $89.25 a barrel.

'Please Please Me'

Beatles

Sunday, January 30, 2011

The Onion - Wealth Gap

The Onion - perfecting the art of dry humor.

The Onion: Gap Between Rich And Poor Named 8th Wonder Of The World
"It is a tremendous, millennia-old expanse that fills us with both wonder and humility."

Nikkei Opens Lower On Monday

The Egyptian revolution will make gold more desirable right now.

Reuters: Nikkei falls as risk money shifts to resources

Another US Terror Plot

Let's see, California man goes to Dearborn Michigan to light up a Mosque.

Gosh, I wonder where he ever got the idea or interest in doing such a thing?

This time, he gets a terrorism related charge.

Click On Detroit: Terror Plot Thwarted In Dearborn
Dearborn police have arrested Roger Stockham, 63, in connection with a terrorist plot directed at the Islamic Center of America on Ford Road.


Stockham, who is from California, was arraigned on Wednesday for threat of terrorism and possession of bombs.

The Real News Network - Roots Of The Egyptian Revolutionary Moment

Surveillance

'Street Art: Painting The City'

Fight, Hit By Car, Car Drags Man

For the people who do not live in the area and might be curious about what goes on here among the ordinary people.

CBS 6: Albany man hit, dragged by pants attached to car

Egypt Protests

Vicious Beck Attack

We've said it before and we will continue to say it. Beck's supporter are violent and Beck is violent. Why does the right wing get a pass on death threats and gun violence?

Guardian UK: Frances Fox Piven defies death threats after taunts by anchorman Glenn Beck
The 78-year-old leftwing academic is the latest hate figure for Fox News host Glenn Beck and his legion of fans. While she has decided to shrug off the inevitable death threats that have followed, she is well aware of the problem. "I don't know if I am scared, but I am worried," she told the Observer as she sat in a bar on Manhattan's Upper West Side.


"At the start I thought it was funny, but now I know that is dangerous... their paranoia works better when they can imagine a devil. Now that devil is me."

SNL

Al Jazeera - World News Updates

On Revolution

“Those who hate most fervently must have once loved deeply; those who want to deny the world must have once embraced what they now set on fire.” - Kurt Tucholsky

“The more there are riots, the more repressive action will take place, and the more we face the danger of a right-wing takeover and eventually a fascist society.” - Martin Luther King, Jr

“Political power grows out of the barrel of a gun.” - Mao Tse-Tung

“Those who make peaceful revolution impossible, make violent revolution inevitable.” - John Fitzgerald Kennedy

“When liberty comes with hands dabbled in blood it is hard to shake hands with her.” - Oscar Wilde

Cultural And Historical Tragedy

'Bilady, Bilady, Bilady'

'My homeland, my homeland, my homeland'

The Egyptian national anthem.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Night All

Hope springs eternal.

Stunning

B-Ball

Played my first game of basketball today, first time on the court to play a game of one on one in 15 years. I played a young woman who didn't speak much English, she was French. She was good, she had some skills. She won the first game, I won the second.

I left the court and my face was so red and flushed that my partner in crime was worried.

I am determined to drop 10 pounds. Its going to happen.

'Reciprocity'

Fringe - latest episode

Two Irish Nuns

Two Irish nuns have just arrived in USA by boat, and one says to the other, "I hear that the people in this country actually eat dogs."


"Odd," her companion replies, "but if we shall live in America, we might as well do as the Americans do."


As they sit, they hear a push cart vendor yelling, "Hot Dogs, get your dogs here," and they both walk towards the hot dog cart.


"Two dogs, please!," says one. The vendor is very pleased to oblige, wraps both hot dogs in foil and hands them over. Excited, the nuns hurry to a bench and begin to unwrap their 'dogs.'


The mother superior is first to open hers.


She begins to blush, and then staring at it for a moment, leans to the other Nun and in a soft brogue whispers......


"What part did you get?"

Monsanto, GM Food, Its A Go

Horrible horrible horrible horrendous disgusting infuriating arrogant display of corporate disregard.

AlterNet: Why You Can Now Kiss Organic Beef, Dairy and Many Vegetables Goodbye
Monsanto has been trying for years to gain approval for its genetically modified Roundup-Ready alfalfa seed. On January 27, 2011, it finally got the green light in the form of "deregulation." This means that farmers are free to plant GE alfalfa, and the USDA won't even be keeping track of who plants it where. There will be no tracking, no notification system, and no responsibility on the part of Monsanto for any business that is lost as a result of the genetic contamination that is certain to result. If the ruling stands, we can kiss organic dairy and beef goodbye, and many organic vegetable growers will have to switch the cover crops they use on their fields.

Coming Up On Wall Street

Good morning. The weekend started out with a bang for me. Water dripping off of ice cycles on the roof created a slick ice patch on the ground and yours truly just had a gravity defying slip. It was classic, feet right up in the air, banged up knee, and lots of ouch. But neither, ice, snow, or cold will stop JCSande.blogspot.

In case you didn't notice, the unrest in Egypt has sent investors scurrying. They are worried that there is a virus taking hold in the Middle East and more countries will catch it, leading to more overthrows and and and. Call it the democratic domino effect. It terrifies investors who love a good decent hard working hard loving dictatorship to impose its cruel iron fist on the will of the people. From the investors point of view, until Egypt gets its house in order AKA violent repression, stocks are not so attractive. Hard to imagine Saudi Arabia being affected even in the tiniest. Now that is one repressive little fundamentalist government, tow the line or face decapitation. Tea Partiers and ultra conservatives must drool over it.

Corporations are still making money hand over fist. The big enchilada next week will be Friday's report on employment and the major lack there of. I would suspect the numbers might be a little off for January with Christmas season workers now bye bye in January. The main problem is that a 3.2% GDP does not create enough employment. One would suspect that is a severe oversimplification.

Reuters: Focus will be on Egypt, earnings, jobs data
The government's January jobs report on Friday will highlight the week's economic data...


Worries that Egypt's unrest could spread to other countries in the Middle East, home to the world's top oil exporters, caused investors on Friday to pull out of stocks and into bonds and other safer assets.


The majority of companies continue to beat expectations...


...economists see slow progress ahead for job gains.

Egypt Fact Sheet

The CIA has very useful fact sheets on all countries.

Check out their info on Egypt to get up to speed.

For example, Egypt is the world's 27th largest economy. Actually that is pretty high on the chart, so we are talking about an important country from the corporate side of things.

CIA: Egypt
Executive branch:
Field info displayed for all countries in alpha order.
chief of state: President Mohamed Hosni MUBARAK (since 14 October 1981)
head of government: Prime Minister Ahmed Mohamed NAZIF (since 9 July 2004)
cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the president
(For more information visit the World Leaders website Opens in New Window)
elections: president elected by popular vote for a six-year term (no term limits); note - a national referendum in May 2005 approved a constitutional amendment that changed the presidential election to a multicandidate popular vote; previously the president was nominated by the People's Assembly and the nomination was validated by a national, popular referendum; last referendum held on 26 September 1999; first election under terms of the constitutional amendment held on 7 September 2005 (next scheduled for 2011)
election results: Hosni MUBARAK reelected president; percent of vote - Hosni MUBARAK 88.6%, Ayman NOUR 7.6%, Noman GOMAA 2.9%

Regime Change In Egypt

The Egyptians are defying government imposed curfews. The protest are continuing.

Al Jazeera: Protesters back on Egypt streets
Protesters are returning to the streets of Egypt, following violent overnight demonstrations across the country staged in defiance of a curfew.


Thousands of demonstrators have gathered in Tahrir Square in the Egyptian capital, Cairo, on Saturday, shouting "Go away, go away!".


Similar crowds were gathering in the cities of Alexandria and Suez, Al Jazeera's correspondents reported.


In Alexandria, our correspondent Rawya Rageh reported that scores of marchers were calling on Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak to step down.


"They are calling for regime change, not cabinet change," Rageh said.

Al Jazeera - World News Updates

Cairo In Flames

Fascinating and simultaneously disturbing turn of events in Egypt as we know. The disturbing part is that people are getting killed in their effort to effect change and oust Mubarek. Mubarek is in his 80s for cripes sake, not that there's anything wrong with that but the man has been in control for 30 years.

VP Biden has gone on the record as saying that he would not call Mubarek a dictator. With all due respect that is a load of recycled baloney. Obviously the USA is standing behind Mubarek.

We are reading that Mubarek's response is to fire the existing government and then to reform a new one, except he gets to pick it all out. Excuse me, that is a dictator.

People want democracy, that's really what is going on. I hope they get it. What I am reading from people like Biden is that Mubarek needs to be more responsive to the needs of the people. With all due respect again, this statement is an admission that the government is not democratic and is serving to support its own interests. I hope the Egyptians knock it down.

Guardian UK: Egypt Protests - Live Updates
The opposition leader Mohamed ElBaradei has called on Mubarak to stand down and set a framework for a transition of power.


He told Al Jazeera television that this was the only the president could end the unrest across the country.


ElBaradei said Mubarak's speech in which he dismissed the cabinet was dissapointing as it did not go far enough towards addressing the people's desire for change.

'On Friendhip'

"A friend to all is a friend to none." Aristotle


"A true friend never gets in your way unless you happen to be going down." Arnold H. Glasow


"An insincere and evil friend is more to be feared than a wild beast; a wild beast may wound your body, but an evil friend will wound your mind." Buddha


"Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art... It has no survival value; rather it is one of those things that give value to survival." C. S. Lewis

'Rule Britannia'

Friday, January 28, 2011

'The Parking Lot Movie'

trailer

'Travel Day/South'

Louie

People

Egypt

The reports are talking about a government crackdown on anti-government protests. It's getting violent.

CNN: Unrest in Egypt: Ruling party offices burned, reports say; Delta to halt flights

Protesters swarming military vehicles -

Move Your Money

Down

I was just saying that the markets were ripe for some unknown factor to come in out of nowhere and knock down the indexes. Well there it is. Egyptian unrest.

At noon the DOW is volatile and down.

Reuters: Ford, Egypt unrest knock Wall St off 29-month high

3.2%

Lotioning Lotion

Look Into The Horizon

There have been several articles recently on why humans need reference points in order to do things like walk in a straight line and remain balanced on their feet.

I like it, I like things that point to human frailties. We are all interdependent, everything, let's get it straight. Stop gritting the teeth and go with it.

Live Science: To Stay Stable At Sea, Look to the Horizon
Although it might seem that looking at something steady would make the ship's movement all the more noticeable, it helped to focus on a distant, steady point on the horizon while at sea, the researchers found. On land, people were more stable when looking at something close to them, but at sea, they stayed steadier while gazing far away.

Al Jazeera - World News Updates

Obama Passes On Gun Control


In truth I have great respect for individuals for are conscientious gun owners. I'm talking the people who do it right, know how to handle guns, and generally are exceptionally good law abiding citizens. These people can own guns. On the other hand, are there too many guns out there? Is this a rhetorical question? Yes.

Obama mentioned nothing about gun control in his SOTU. Clearly this was a political decision because as we know in the pointless 5 word sound byte summation of how politics works, Democrats hate guns, Republicans love guns. This is the narrative and the narrative and reality are two separate issues.

One simple point: Extensive background checks are essential and need to be regulated by the Feds not state by state. People cross state lines all the time and apparently that's not a problem, except it is a problem. Oh yeah, and maybe we don't need certain high powered assault weapons at all out there in the market place. Just saying.

CS Monitor: Key omission from Obama's State of the Union address: gun control
But there was no mention of guns or the high-capacity magazines suspected shooter Jared Loughner is alleged to have used, and which some members of Congress want to see banned again. There was also no discussion of the background-check system that did not prevent Mr. Loughner from purchasing his Glock 19 and several magazines. And no mention of mental-health treatment, or efforts to keep firearms out of the hands of people with mental issues – a possible factor in the shooting spree.

The Market On Friday

Good morning. It is sunny and cold here in Upstate NY. The roads are clear for the time being. We were fortunate in that NYC got 19 inches of snow Wednesday and Thursday and we got a pass, no snow at all. This is unusual. On my early morning walk I bumped into a dog walker with their 1 year old golden retriever. This dog was a complete sweetheart, golden retrievers are the sweethearts of the dog world. Let it be known far and wide.

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

Any second now the government will release its preliminary fourth quarter GDP numbers. One would suspect that this will be very salient data for today. Otherwise, corporations are presenting expected to above expected fourth quarter reports and investors are still tingly and warm on equities.

CNN: Stocks set for flat open ahead of GDP
Stocks are widely expected to continue edging higher for the time being, as more earnings surprise on the upside and the Federal Reserve's bond-buying plan continues to stoke investor optimism.


An advance reading on fourth-quarter U.S. gross domestic product is due before the market opens.


Oil for March delivery gained 11 cents to $85.75 a barrel.

'Embraceable You'

Gershwin performed by pianist Yeol-Eum Son.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Nikkei Opens Flat On Friday

'She Wants'

Fault

An article that everyone must read.

I would also suspect that this will get hardly any notice. In fact this is front page center important.

CNN Money: Financial crisis was avoidable: FCIC
...federal authorities, who failed to curb reckless behavior on Wall Street, bear much of the blame for the turmoil that erupted in 2008 and 2009.


"We conclude first and foremost that this crisis was avoidable..."


The commission faults policies under both Presidents Bush and Obama, as well as actions taken by the Federal Reserve under Alan Greenspan and the current chairman, Ben Bernanke. Tim Geithner, the current Treasury Secretary who was president of the New York Fed during the crisis, and his predecessor, Henry Paulson, were also named in the report.

Criticizing Limbaugh Can Cost Your Life

Why is the right wing given a free pass with death threats and threats of gun violence?

Somebody wants to take out Sen. Leland Yee because he is demanding an apology for Limbaugh's caustic and disparaging remarks about the Chinese and the Chinese language.

Is this a first - death threat based on a complaint against Limbaugh? The image below accompanied the threat.

Think Progress: California Lawmaker Receives Racist Death Threat Warning ‘Rush Limbaugh Will Kick Your Ch-nk Ass’
Last week, California State Sen. Leland Yee (D) called on right-wing hate radio host Rush Limbaugh to apologize for mocking Chinese President Hu Jintao and the Chinese language by speaking gibberish “ching chong chang” Chinese on his radio program. Yee, who is Chinese-American and chairs the state Senate Select Committee on Asian and Pacific Islander Affairs, said Limbaugh owes the Chinese-American community an apology for his “pointless and ugly offense.” Naturally, Limbaugh did not apologize, and instead railed against Yee the following day on his radio, calling him out repeatedly by name.


Yee’s call for civility did not sit well with one Limbaugh fan, who responded by sending several racist death threats to Yee’s office this week. “Rush Limbaugh will kick your chink ass and expose you for the fool you are,” the faxes read, threatening him with “death..."

'Poker/Divorce'

Louie

Louis C.K. has tapped the vast storehouse of American jadedness and turned it into tragic comedy. His brand is NYC.

There's a famous joke about NYC. A tourist is in downtown NYC. He asks a stranger for directions. So he says, "Excuse me sir, can you please tell me how I can get to the Statue of Liberty, or should I go fuck myself?"

FOX News - Palin Says Russia Won The Space Race

Listen to Sarah as she provides version 1.2 of her hey I'm a smart person persona. By the time version 2.0 comes around, the hardware will be out of date.

Synthetic Gasoline

The Daily Show - The Anti-Social Network

Sleeping With The Dog

We really like our pets. But we might want to limit the intimacy thing just a bit.

Live Science: Sharing a Bed with Fido Can Make You Sick
These so-called zoonoses include contracting plague from flea-infested pets, a MRSA (Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus) infection, a bacterial infection resistant to multiple strains of antibiotics originating from the canine family, and various parasitic worms.


The authors cite surveys conducted in the U.S., the United Kingdom, France and the Netherlands, where between 14 and 45 percent of dogs sleep on or in an owners' bed, while 45 to 62 percent of cats sleep on or in the bed.


A couple was plagued by MRSA infections until the source was traced to a family dog that slept with them and licked their faces.


In multiple cases, patients acquired various infections after allowing their dogs or cats to lick wounds or damaged skin.

Al Jazeera - World News Updates

454,000

Initial jobless claims took a big hit this last week. The number is distressing to say the least. I believe managers wanted to see 410,000. The economy is still very sketchy. Obama's words were inadequate as he skimmed over this most pressing of issues.

The Market On Friday

Good morning. It is semi cloudy and a tad below freezing here in Upstate NY. Its been so cold lately that temperatures in the 20s seem like a heat wave. Nice to see the slow return of light as well. We've had a little over a month of the Earth tilting back towards the Sun in our favor. Hey, we are almost done with January which as far as I can tell is the coldest month.

At 8:30 a.m. futures are slightly up, the dollar is mixed as the yen is under pressure, and oil is down.

For a while the DOW crossed over into the 12,000 zone yesterday. Equities are looking pretty fluffy right now. Owning equities requires great patience. Its fascinating but in spite of the great recession, the market is responding in a typical historical fashion. It certainly did not feel like it would in any way whatsoever. One gets the sense that investors are expecting more. Remember, optimistic in times of famine, and pessimistic in times of plenty.

CNN: Stocks poised for lackluster open
...SnP downgraded Japan's credit rating...


(On Wednesday) The Dow finished at its highest level since the summer of 2008...


...stocks are likely to continue their upward march...


Oil for March delivery was down 54 cents to $86.79 a barrel.

'Get Rhythm'

Johnny Cash

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Nikkei Opens Higher On Thursday

'Gym'

Louie

Louis C.K. rings that huge wealth of jadedness over and over. This is tragic comedy.

Matthews Yells At Tea Party Leader: Why Is 'Balloon-Head' Bachmann Speaking For You

Hot damn, listen to Tweety ring the bell over and over. Totally delightful exchange here on the merits of Michele Bachmann.

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

The Real News Network - SOTU

How To Get Hired By Goldman Sachs

The Uni-Party

Tracked Down

Artificial Heart

They leave part of the original heart behind and attach the artificial heart. It is used as a stop gap till a transplant can occur.

Live Science: Total Artificial Heart Transplanted in West Coast First
Each year, 670,000 Americans are diagnosed with heart failure, according to the American Heart Association. About 3,100 people are on the heart transplant list at any given time, competing for one of the approximately 2,200 hearts donated each year. The total artificial heart extends the life of the patient until a match can be found. Syncardia is currently running a study on whether patients can safely leave the hospital and wait for their donor heart at home while using the artificial heart.


Approximately 80 percent of artificial heart recipients — currently more than 850 worldwide — get a permanent transplant within six months.

Al Jazeera - World News Updates

Ho - Hum

The State of the Union is a political cheer leading and posturing deceiving hot air balloon. I'm just too jaded lately to say anything positive about it.

Alternative energy, hey great, is it happening? Do you see it happening? Do you think the Republicans will be amenable and cooperative? Are you f-ing kidding me, these people are authoritarians? Exactly how is the government going to create jobs, hello, they will be cutting jobs. American exceptionalism? Isn't this possibly a root core problem. Cutting military spending? Wait a minute now, we can't be weak on defense now can we. Obama is going to maintain SSI, yet he just signed into defunding it.

We live in a capitalist plutocracy with democratic trimmings around the edges. Corporations call the shots. The military is the helping hand of corporations. We are out there on our own, we get the scraps. The government works for the corporations.

CS Monitor: Obama's State of the Union long on US greatness, short on austerity
In the spotlight of national attention that goes along with the State of the Union, it may have been the smart political move, for both parties, not to go into the specifics of cuts, analysts say.


“There’s no political profit in getting too detailed, because the picture is so grim.”


Obama twinned his touting of the repeal of the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy with a call for all US college campuses to “open their doors” to military recruiters and ROTC. And he repeated his openness to medical malpractice reform, a proposal popular among Republicans, as he drew a bright line in the sand rejecting repeal of his signature achievement to date, sweeping health-care reform.

The Market On Wednesday

Good morning. It is cloudy and cold with a threat of snow here in Upstate NY. Hey were you as bored as I was with Obama's speech. It could be one of two things or probably both. Obama speech was uninspiring and I am now so jaded with politics that I have come to expect nothing. The Republicans are an utter joke, talk about lack of inspiration. For every uninspiring moment out of Obama you get 20 out of Republicans. We are in a 20 to 1 uninspiring negative feedback loop. Was Obama's speech better than a Bush 2 speech, yes. As far as farces go, Bush is the record farce holder, with a steady degrading heaping of lies and destructive nonsense.

At 8:30 a.m. futures are modestly higher, the dollar is down, and oil is up.

Investors will be hearing from the Fed at 2:15 or so. This will probably be the most compelling influential modifier of the indexes today.

One would suspect that today will be the day that the DOW hits 12,000. Its been a while, almost three years since that last occurred. It may not stay above 12,000, but it may very well hit it.

CNN: Stocks set to open higher as Fed awaited
...investors await the Federal Reserve's latest pronouncement on the nation's economy, new home sales data and corporate results.


While stocks may continue their run-up in the next couple weeks, the market is due for a correction...


The Federal Reserve...policy statement is expected around 2:15 p.m. ET.


New home sales data will be released...


Oil for March delivery edged up 62 cents to $86.81 a barrel.

'Ghost Riders In The Sky'

Johnny Cash

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

SOTU

The White House: SOTU Live

10:13 p.m., speech is over. I did not hear it as being inspiring. This is my first general reaction.

10:23 p.m., the speech was flat and uninspiring. Obama seems burnt out. This was a cheer-leading type of speech, weak on ideas, repetitive and frustrating in the sense that we need some fizz and what we got was flat soda.

'The Night I Killed Tommy'

Charles Bukowski reads his work.

Not for the faint of heart...

Revolution

We may be thinking about tonight's SOTU meanwhile people in the Middle East are taking to the streets. This is something to keep an eye on.

Guardian UK: Protests in Egypt and unrest in Middle East
As midnight approaches in Cairo thousands of protesters are still occupying the Tahrir Square, vowing to remain in place until the government falls. News has reached Egyptians here of deaths in Suez and the capital, as well as unconfirmed reports that Gamal Mubarak – the president's wildly unpopular son and presumed heir apparent – has fled to London, and they appear more determined than ever to hold their ground.

The Daily Show - 24 Hour Nazi Party People

'Larger Than Life'

House

Confident

In a capitalist society humans are defined as consumers.

Therefor, consumer confidence is dramatically higher. Human confidence on the other hand is not even on the radar, its not measured, but I suspect it might be dragging a little bit.

The housing market is still bad, and people are worried that inflation is gathering steam. Of course unemployment remains unbelievably high.

I believe the writers at Reuters may have coined a new term - "Consumer Morale."

It reminds me of soldiers weary on the field of battle, their morale low, yet they summon up courage and get back into the fight after a rousing call to valor.

So what's consumer morale?

I was tired, worn out from the mall, my pants were torn and ragged and I clearly needed new ones and really wanted new shoes too. Oh what the hell, money is better, the world isn't ending, I'm going to get back to the mall and buy. Hold my head up and buy.

Reuters: Consumer morale at eight-month high
Economists worry a sustained decline in house prices could impact consumer sentiment, but remain optimistic that this would be offset by the strengthening labor market.


...consumers' expectations for inflation in the coming 12 months rose to the highest since July 2009, a potentially worrying sign for the economy.

Sicking The Dogs

Why does the right wing get a pass on being overtly gun death violent in this country. Isn't this one of the main attributes of a terrorist, the terror of a deathly assault. By all definitions, Beck is a terrorist and so are the people that enact his violence.

Raw Story: 78-year-old woman gets death threats after Beck shouts conspiracy

Linhenykus Monodactylus

This is fascinating, the discovery of a one fingered dinosaur.

Now you just know that some sophomoric, adolescent minded late night talk guy, Leno perhaps, will be all over this. Boring...

Live Science: First Known One-Fingered Dinosaur Found in Mongolia


Al Jazeera - World News Updates

The Market On Tuesday

Good morning. It is overcast and cold here in Upstate NY. We had more flurries last night that left an inch or two of new soft snow. We are expecting a 30 to 40 degree increase in temperature as we go from -20 to -10 degrees up to 20 to 30 degrees. Its a heat wave baby, I got my shorts on, t-shirt, and sunglasses.

At 8:30 a.m. futures are slightly down, the dollar is mostly down, and oil is down. Will oil continue to go down - no.

We are within striking distance of 12,000 in the DOW. Who knew. Right now its all about fourth quarter earning which investors appear to be getting all giddy and silly over. Equities are hot.

This can only mean one thing, the time is ripe for some unknown ameliorating or excruciating factor to arise in system which will ultimately have a confusing or adverse effect. What could it be? Perhaps China redesigning its interest rate structure, or a new European country that somebody noticed is on life support, or maybe something militarily harsh in the world, its all possible I don't have to tell you about it. Wars tend to make the market trip up...

CNN: Stocks set to slip at the open
...a stone's throw of 12,000...


"It's going to be choppy, but still a continuing an upward trend...There's an expectation that earnings will keep improving and we're looking for more surprises on the upside."


The Conference Board, a business research group, will report its January report on consumer confidence shortly after the opening bell.


Oil for March delivery slipped $1.36 to $86.51 a barrel.

CNN - Bachmann Flubs

Imagine that, Bachmann is making shit up again. Look when you don't know anything because your education is weak and when your sum curiosity about the world is limited by your arrogance and tightly clenched narrow fundamentalist personal views, facts are not relevant. Facts don't matter because you're speaking as an authoritative representative of the truth. You gained that truth because you went to a fundamentalist church and you are part of the milieu of truth, the authentic line of truthers. When you are living in the light of truth everything you say is a reflection of the sacred, the most sacred of sacred. Bachmann is such a person, another authoritarian, irreproachable, unassailable, and very dangerous.

'We Venerate'

Hilarion Alfeyev

Sacred music.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Nikkei Opens Higher On Tuesday

Obama Backs SSI

Not sure what to say here, hey thanks for leaving it the way it is at least (allegedly) for people in the over 55 age group.

Obama is saying he won't mess with SSI.

WaPo: Obama won't endorse raising retirement age or reducing Social Security benefits
...he will not call for reducing spending on Social Security...


"The fundamental - the starting point in any plan - has got to be, we need to distinguish between those at or nearing retirement. Anyone 55 and older in this country has got to know that their Social Security benefits will not be addressed - will not be changed," Cantor said. "It is for all of the younger people - those 54 and younger - we're going to have to have a serious discussion."


...including raising the retirement age from 67 to 69 and the early retirement age from 62 to 64 by 2075...

'Night Out'

Louie

CNN - Homo-sex Is Sin-sex

In my opinion the fascinating aspect of this interview is the blond at the preacher's side.

Is this the kind of situation where in three years he is caught with a male prostitute?

'The Wayward Canary'

At 3:31 the canary lands on a reverse swastika cigarette lighter and gets burned. What's up with that?

Legalizing Abortion Made The Giffords Shooter

According to Arizona State Senator Linda Gray, abortion and not guns contributed to the Arizonan gunman.

We do talk about having an open debate in this country. Now how on Earth do you do that.

In my opinion she is fundamentally saying that it is a liberal culture that created the gunman. That must be the part minus Nixon, Reagan, Bush 1, and Bush 2. She is also equating someone who has had an abortion with the gunman.

Politico: AZ lawmaker: Roe v. Wade a factor in shootings
Training of people to respect human life. It is ironic that today today is the day 38 years ago that the Supreme Court said we do not have to respect the life of an unborn and we have gone through now more then a generation of people, a large number of people who believe that it is fine to take an infant prior to it being born and to kill it. What type of respect is that for human life? So now we have this generation of people who have that idea and it continues on, that why respect life if we can kill an infant who can’t defend themselves. It goes back to the value in the creation of life and the respect for that life and if your not trained and have that type of character in realizing that all human life deserves respect this is what our country has come to.

MLK Attempted Bombing Got No Coverage

Terrorism is back in the headlines today with the massive bombing in the Russian airport.

Recall that one week ago a bomb was found in the USA which would have done similar destruction during an MLK celebratory parade.

The media is all over Russia, the media barely noticed the attempted MLK bombing. Oh and the MLK bombing would have occurred on US soil.

So what's the deal?

Guardian UK: The rhetoric of fear feeds terror
...why did the national news media give the attempted bombing at the Spokane MLK Day parade such cursory amount of coverage?


None of this would matter if the mainstream American right was dedicated to rationality and civility. But since the mainstream right has embraced conspiracy theories and talk of insurrection, they've created an environment where the fringe right can flourish.


The evidence demonstrates that many on the right have already figured out that they now have greater licence to sow paranoia and call for violence after the Tucson shooting. One of the people still alive on Beck's Jewish-heavy rogues gallery, liberal sociologist Frances Piven, has been receiving a crushing number of death threats.

Cutting SSI

Say goodbye to SSI or put up a serious fight.

RawStory: GOP majority leader backs plan to slash Social Security, Medicare

CNN - Feeding Children Pure Opium

Greenland

There no disguising it, this is harsh news. Greenland is melting away. Doesn't matter if you believe its global warming or not, Greenland is melting away.

Live Science: Records Melt Away on Greenland Ice Sheet
The disappearing Greenland Ice Sheet...


The extra-long melt was caused by reduced snowfall and summer temperatures up to 5.4 degrees Fahrenheit (3 degrees Celsius) above the average...

Al Jazeera - World News Updates

The State Of Disunion

Allegedly Omama's SOTU speech will see him moving to the center. Indeed, he will be moving from the left side of the Republican agenda to the dead smack center of the Republican agenda.

Preliminary reports are showing that Obama's speech will contain two main points, one a reality and the other a fantasy from Candyland.

The reality is that these people are hell bent on what is called "deficit reduction." All terms from the government are misnomers. Deficit reduction is a term that means you the ordinary citizen will be getting f-ed, and this time better than ever. Say goodbye to the last remnants of entitlement spending including SSI. The Republicans are "draining the beast." The almost century long war with FDR is drawing to a close and the Republicans are winning. Obama might as well go shoot hoops all day, or even better, right after his SOTU speech. He is as complicit as anyone in this shock and awe plundering.

The fantasy part of the speech will be the section on creating jobs. As thousands of government employees are released from state and federal jobs throughout the country because of "deficit reduction" they can swell the unemployment lines. The only real increase in jobs will be through negative space. As the time on unemployment benefits runs out millions will go into living in the deep crevices, yet the official employment figures released at the beginning of each month will look better and better and better.

CS Monitor: State of the Union: Will Obama's push to the center appeal to the left?
...emphasizing both job creation and deficit reduction.


...principal focus is to create jobs, “not just now but well into the future.”


Senator Schumer said. “We will join with our colleagues and with the president to do it. But certain key investments we will keep.”


Schumer...said Americans want "an optimistic future-oriented pro-growth platform..."


...the bipartisan deficit commission that proposed a host of measures to reduce the deficit by $4 trillion over the next 10 years.

The Market On Monday

Good morning. It is clear and unbelievably cold here in Upstate NY. The outdoor thermometer is reading "oh shit." It must be -10 to -20 out there. Good thing its not -25, now that's cold. Believe it or not, I was out walking in the predawn dark a few hours ago. I could barely move I had so many layers on. I did cut it short, only walked about 1 mile.

At 8:20 a.m. futures are slightly higher, the dollar is up across the board, and oil is down.

Although there is a certain amount of consistency in the stock market, if you talk with 5 experts, you will get 5 different opinions. Today we are getting that the market has room for upward movement. A few days ago it was its time for a pullback now.

Yes there are many corporations in America. McDonalds', American Express, and Sara Lee will be reporting on their fourth quarters soon. I know someone who worked for America Express, and this person was rolling in dough.

CNN: Stocks poised for flat open
Postive economic reports and strong earnings are likely to continue to help markets head higher during the first half of the year...


There are no major economic reports on tap for Monday.


Oil for March delivery slipped 69 cents to $88.42 a barrel.

'DE DO DO DO, DE DA DA DA'

The Police

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Jack LaLanne Dies

The Hippy Imam

Fascinating true tale of a 50s Brit hippy who travels East, stays, becomes an Islamic scholar, and still lives right in the area of keen US military interest.

BBC: John Mohammed Butt: The hippy who became an imam

Nikkei Opens Higher On Monday

'Undercity'

Edge of your seat lots of fun documentary watching deep city subway and other structures explored by one hyped up guy and one equally hyped up filmmaker.

4 stars - **** Sande - Watch this, the entire thing.

UNDERCITY from Andrew Wonder on Vimeo.

Tea Party Logic

Hell right! Turn up the violent rhetoric, make the situation even more divisive, and make the environment three feet deep in guns. If not, well the shooter wins, because the shooter wanted a less violent world. Is this guy f-ing nuts?

When you give an authoritarian a lemon, he or she makes lemon vitriol.

Raw Story: GOP senator says lowering violent rhetoric means ‘the shooter wins’

'Children Of Invention'

How To Build A Robot

Define Persons As Human Beings

Go Vermont. Vermont is looking more and more like the place to be. It is on the American societal forefront of looking towards a more humane world.

In the USA, corporations have the rights of individuals. Its crazy, freeing the slaves was the pretty cover letter on an amendment that really made corporations much more powerful.

This should appeal to all, but it won't. The right will find this - a socialist plot.

AlterNet: Vermont Is Gearing Up to Strike a Major Blow to Corporate Personhood
In Vermont, state senator Virginia Lyons earlier today presented an anti-corporate personhood resolution for passage in the Vermont legislature. The resolution, the first of its kind, proposes "an amendment to the United States Constitution ... which provides that corporations are not persons under the laws of the United States." Sources in the state house say it has a good chance of passing. This same body of lawmakers, after all, once voted to impeach George W. Bush, and is known for its anti-corporate legislation. Last year the Vermont senate became the first state legislature to weigh in on the future of a nuclear power plant, voting to shut down a poison-leeching plant run by Entergy Inc. Lyons’ Senate voted 26-4 to do it, demonstrating the level of political will of the state’s politicians to stand up to corporate power.


Denouncing this situation as an "intolerable societal reality," the document concludes that the "only way" toward a solution is the amendment of the Constitution "to define persons as human beings.”

Al Jazeera - World News Updates

Execution Drug

The image is a lethal injection in China, apparently they do it outdoors.

The one company that makes the drug used in the execution of prisoners through lethal injection, is no longer making the drug. The company was going to move the operation to Italy, but Italy objected to the drug's use in lethal injection. There is no death penalty in Italy.

In Oklahoma phenobarbital was used in a recent execution. Phenobarbital is used in putting animals to sleep. We had a dog that had seizures and the seizures were kept in check with phenobarbital.

I am more and more leaning towards opposing the death penalty. I understand revenge all too well and there may very well be exceptions. America does not seem to be fertile ground for no death penalty. We like executions.

Live Science: Company Ceases Manufacture of Death Penalty Drug
Hospira Pharmaceuticals, the only American manufacturer of a drug used in U.S. executions, will cease making that drug, the company announced today (Friday)


The cease in manufacturing is likely to cause more difficulties for states trying to execute prisoners. All of California's supply of sodium thiopental expired Oct. 1. Arizona, Kentucky, Ohio and Oklahoma have also experienced sodium thiopental shortages. On Dec. 16, Oklahoma inmate John David Duty became the first person in the United States whose execution involved pentobarbital, a drug usually used to euthanize animals.

Profiles In Perseverance

Its very rare that individuals can skate by in life and not have events occur that test one's inner resources and reserve. Some have to face very high obstacles. But we need to persevere, I mean what's the alternative. Many do take the alternative. There is a type of saying in Buddhism and I paraphrase, but it teaches that there is no obstacle that occurs in any one individual's life that is not too big to endure. What we encounter, we can endure. You might disagree.

CS Monitor: Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and 5 other profiles in perseverance
1.Gabrielle Giffords
2. Christopher Reeve
3. Tammy Duckworth
4. Ronald Reagan and James Brady
5. Roger Ebert

'Tumbling Tumble Weeds'

Sons of the Pioneers

Saturday, January 22, 2011

'Laschia Ch'io Pianga'

Renee Fleming sings Handel to perfection...

Have a great evening...


Let me weep over
my cruel fate,
And that I long for freedom!
And that I long,
and that I long for freedom!
Let me weep over
my cruel fate,
And that I long for freedom!


The duel infringes
these images
of my sufferings
I pray for mercy.
for my sufferances.
I pray for mercy.


Let me weep over
my cruel fate,
And that I long for freedom!
And that I long,
and that I long for freedom!
Let me weep over
my cruel fate,
And that I long for freedom!

Romney

Playing Jesus In The Big Lebowski - John Turturro

Psychological Violence Ban Mulled In France

This probably will not stop abusive people but at least there will be recourse for the victims. I hope France does this.

BBC: France mulls 'psychological violence' ban
"It started when I got pregnant," she told me. "He would start by saying that I was very fat, that I was ugly, of course, that I wasn't any use for anything, that I couldn't even work."

She said when she challenged him, he replied that it was a joke.

But the abuse continued. One day, she says they had an argument in their car and he punched the windscreen so hard that it broke.

"I thought I was going to go crazy and he said, 'OK are you going crazy? I'm just going to drop you at the psychiatric asylum'. And that's what he did."

Gabrielle says he drove to a hospital, told her to get out of the car and drove off.

"When he left I was just breaking down and my daughter was crying inside the car."

Sasha Baron Cohen Is Saddam

We are hoping Sasha Baron Cohen takes up the reins of comedy. He has too much acid at this point.

CNN: Sasha Baron Cohen to bring Saddam novel to big screen
Baron Cohen's version "tells the heroic story of a dictator who risked his life to ensure that democracy would never come to the country he so lovingly oppressed..."

American Exceptionalism And Decay

Richard D. Wolff provides a shorthand summary of the economic trajectory of the US economy since the 70s. With an excess of labor, a loss of jobs through corporate migration to other countries, the computer revolution, an all consuming elite upper class, and more such changes in the US landscape, the middle class has lost its momentum, reversed its direction, and is steadily dissolving while the country's managers set the population on each other. (That last part is my contribution.)

ZNET: The Myth of 'American Exceptionalism' Implodes
Nevertheless, most US workers postponed facing up to what capitalism had come to mean for them. They sent more family members to do more hours of paid labor and they borrowed huge amounts. By exhausting themselves, stressing family life to the breaking point in many households, and taking on unsustainable levels of debt, the US working class delayed the end of American exceptionalism until the global crisis hit in 2007. Now, their buying power could no longer grow: rising unemployment kept wages flat, while no more hours of work or borrowing was possible. Reckoning time had arrived. A US capitalism built on expanding mass consumption lost its foundation.

'The Firefly'

Fringe

Finally, and at long last. Who cares about repression, economic instability, stock market crashes, poor to no health care, violence, corporate social takeover, conspiracy theories, Tea Parties, and global warming. Fringe is back.

Colbert - Limbaugh's Chinese

Limbaugh is such a douche. Is acting like a third grader the real heart of conservatism?

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Rush Limbaugh Speaks Chinese
www.colbertnation.com
Colbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical Humor & Satire Blog</a>Video Archive

Naked Lunch: The Restored Text

For fans of the book...

Naked Lunch: The Restored Text

Al Jazeera - World News Updates

Coming Up On Wall Street

Good morning. Welcome to the weekend. It is overcast and cold here in Upstate NY. In this tiny sector of the universe we are looking at some terrifying numbers coming up in the next few days. We are talking numbers like -11, 0, and 1. If you stop seeing posts around here, send authorities to search for my frozen remains.

The stock market sent pangs to the stomach this last week. The feel good merriment of ballooning equities valuation lost some air. Suddenly it became all too clear that we are vulnerable and some began to scramble. The musty familiar ant nest was exposed.

The investment journalists are saying that investors want to not just see signs of a recovery, they want much more. They want fourth quarter reports to drip with liquid gold. They want excess, profits that inspire bacchanalian extravagance. This is point one.

Point two is that historically and with almost an 8 in 10 chance of probability, as January goes, so goes the year. So far, January has been a happy month for equities even adding in last week.

Point three is that February is an historically weak month.

The question seems to be to pullback or not pullback. Reuters is taking a position that is more weighted towards pullback.

Reuters: Bar set high as stocks face pullback
"...people are going to need some evidence of accelerated recovery -- not just baseline recovery..."


..."a healthy pullback" through the historically weak month of February.


"We're looking for a 5 percent to 7 percent pullback range, and I think we started it..."


..."the January effect" that holds the market's direction in January points to stocks' direction for the year. The indicator has a 78.3 percent accuracy rate over the last 60 years, according to the Stock Trader's Almanac.