Saturday, April 30, 2011

Good Night

'Egypt: After The Revolution'

Virtual Dizziness

<a href="http://video.au.msn.com/?mkt=en-au&from={from}&vid=73c3ce7e-3084-4f5a-a649-1bcee72c4c57&from=dest_en-au&fg=dest" target="_new" title="Ride Along On Mountain Bike Downhill Course">Video: Ride Along On Mountain Bike Downhill Course</a>

'Shameless' Part 3

Louis CK

Racism

I was thinking about how too much precious energy is expended by those on the left simply trying to keep track of the extremism on the right and to oppose it at every step.

The blush of initial interest in Trump as candidate is sobering up to the reality of his vast non viability. Trump has the nuanced depth of policy understanding one obtains by reading years of the New York Post and not much else.

The question of right wing racism has come up again this time because of all of Trump's fruitless and pointless "birther" claims. Trump made racism a central issue these last few weeks and this is what his self-congratulations should really be all about.

CS Monitor: Are Donald Trump and his fellow 'birthers' racist?
Much of the billionaire real estate developer and casino mogul's product line is made in China – not great for someone who says he’d fight to keep jobs in the United States.

Your Weekly Address

Obama fruitlessly scolds big oil. He's trying to take on the biggest issue that will challenge his re-election bid. Of all the issues pressing Americans and the world, its the price of gas that will determine who will be the next leader of the free world...

John Waters And Breitbart On Maher Show

Misery Looters In Tuscaloosa

I do not support the death penalty but if I could I might impose it in this one very special instance. Looters caught ransacking properties devastated in the South by tornadoes get the death penalty. We read about loathsome human behavior and this looting is right there near the top of the list. Its wretched behavior, I hope they are caught. Scumbags.

AFP: Tornado-hit Americans count blessings, fear looting
"I have to close the house in some way. I got a lot of nice and valuable stuff inside and I want to preserve it, everybody knows in these cases what happens in the night if you don't take care of your home..."

'The Last Sam Weiss'

Fringe - latest episode

Off With His Moustache!

Here's a story with a good punchline. The overly mustachioed maladjusted sycophant preacher of hatred is getting too much attention and causing too much misery. He's another black lab of Christianity where either good or bad attention is equally sought and equally desired.

Raw Story: Protesters drive Koran-burning pastor out of Michigan

Al Jazeera - Deadly Riots In Uganda's Capital

Rising inflation in Uganda is igniting that nation's people to riot in the streets. The government is violently suppressing this action. When governments beat their people, something is tragically wrong. The outrage can only be kept in check for so long.

Coming Up On Wall Street

Good morning and welcome to Saturday. It is 46 degrees and sunny cloudy in Upstate NY. Its time to get outdoors today and tomorrow. I will be working on the vegetable garden, swimming, and generally futzing about. May you joyously futz around too.

What can be said about the American stock market.

It is presently at a high not seen in years. April is traditionally a good month and this April produced amazing results. Q1 reports have been better than expected in the majority of cases and Q1 season is not quite over. Some talking investment heads will admit that the indexes are perched a little high and that some stocks are overbought. Still money is cheap with imperceptible interest rates thanks to the Fed and that is an enticement designed to keep everything happy and fluffy. And its working. The state of fear measured by the volatility index is still low as well. All this seems to be pointing toward a continued rise in the indexes. 13,000 in the DOW is within reach and that is amazing.

When the earnings season ends in May, investors will have to grapple with the Main Street reports. Here the issue of unemployment and a tragically bad job market takes center stage along with the weak housing market and a political system out of control. When that happens, who knows, maybe the market can move sideways, maybe it goes through another correction. Its all a crap shoot.

Reuters: Sell in May and go away? Not so fast

San Francisco Circumcision Ban

Dawn Planets

'The One I Love'

REM

Friday, April 29, 2011

Good Night

Jimmy Kimmel On Trump's Investigators

Its a relatively accurate representation of the maturity level promoted by Trump.

'Goodbye, Michael'

The Office

Chomsky On Democracy

A recent interview with Chomsky where he discusses a wide range of issues affecting the globe. He gets into how the future might very well look given the present set of political, military, and economic dynamics

ZNET: Discussing the State and Future of Democracy
The (American)infrastructure is in very poor shape. Anyone who travels from Europe or even Asia to the United States often think they are coming to a third-world country! This is increasing. It is not a problem for the small-sector of wealth and power that off-shore's production and engages in financial manipulations -- for them it doesn't really matter if the country declines. It is declining, and it is under attack internally. The United States does have a financial crisis -- deficit and debt problem -- that is due to two things. One, the enormously bloated military budget which is approximately the same as the rest of the world combined and secondly, a highly dysfunctional privatised unregulated healthcare system. Those two elements are being protected and that, along with the vicious cycle that I mentioned, is leading to severe internal problems which will continue the decline. In addition, the environmental problem is very serious. If the United States does not take the lead, the rest of the world is not going to do very much. If the United States undermine efforts deal with environmental problems- as is now happening- that is going to be even more serious and that's exactly what we see in front of us for the institutional reasons that I mentioned. Thirty years from now, that will be much more significant.

April's Promise

The DOW gained 61 points today closing at 12,828. Who can say if 13,000 is a sure thing. The Q1 reports continue to come in on the better than expected side. Today earth mover Caterpillar also came in with better than expected Q1 earnings. Clearly there is a lot of construction going on in the world.

CNN: Stocks finish April sharply higher

Reuters: Dow and Nasdaq enjoy best month since December

The Daily Show - Birtherism And Racism

Tea Party Curdling

'Shameless' Part 2

Louis CK

DOW Up At Noon

In the noon hour the DOW is up 64 points. April is continuing to be one of the markets strongest months.

Reuters: Dow eyes best month since December

The GOP Meets The Main Street Movement

This is pretty good.

The Onion - Troubled Democrats To Undergo Party Counseling

Not Cooking And Obese

If I am reading the article correctly we Americans spend the least amount of time among people in all developed countries preparing our food. We have beautiful kitchens but apparently they do not get used too much. Also we are eating without restraint in that we spend little time in the process of eating, somebody is not chewing their food 20 times. Finally one in three Americans is obese.

Live Science: Fast Food Nation: Americans Cook Less Than Any Developed Country
Interestingly, researchers found that about one-third of people in the U.S. are obese — which leads the way among other countries — despite ranking in the lowest third for the amount of time spent eating, at one hour and 14 minutes per day.

Reuters - Slowdown In High Frequency Trading?

HFT trading can now occur in a pico second. A pico second is .000000000001 seconds.

Reuters: Slowdown of high frequency trading?

Al Jazeera - Libya Fighting Spills Over Into Tunisia

Al Jazeera - World News Updates

Indiana, Planned Parenthood, Gov. Mitch Daniels (R)

Indiana might soon have the most restrictive abortion law in the country.

That state's legislature has prepared a bill to defund Planned Parenthood in Indiana meaning that Indiana's Planned Parenthood would lose $2 million in state funding. Abortion accounts for 4% of Planned Parenthood's work in Indiana. Other new restrictions on abortions would come into effect if the bill is signed by Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels (R).

That Governor is considered a legitimate contender for the 2012 GOP presidential nomination so this could be a telling moment if he puts his signature on that bill.

One must remember that the state and federal fiscal crises are being used as opportunities for conservatives to install their social agenda with abortion always a central issue.

I would guess that Gov. Mitch Daniels (R) will sign this bill into law. If he does not sign it, its because he has an eye on the White House and believes his chances of winning are improved by not being seen as a social agenda conservative, an unusual flavor in the GOP. In the latter scenario one would suspect that once installed as president, he would then dust off the social agenda.

CS Monitor: Battle over Planned Parenthood heads to states, starting with Indiana
Last week, Indiana lawmakers voted to approve a measure that would defund the state chapter of Planned Parenthood by $2 million, the amount the group gets each year in federal dollars. The bill would also ban abortions following the 20th week of pregnancy unless a woman’s life is in jeopardy. The measure would also require abortion providers to tell women seeking abortions that life begins at conception, that the procedure is linked to infertility, and that fetuses can feel pain at 20 weeks or earlier.


If the Indiana bill becomes law, it would make the state one of the most restrictive in America in terms of where and how abortions are provided.


Data from Planned Parenthood in Indiana show that abortions accounted for about 4 percent of procedures given to women in 2010. The group provided 5,580 abortions last year.

The Market On Friday

Good morning and welcome to the weekend. It is 42 degrees and sunny here in Upstate NY though the forecast is calling for rain. I missed the wedding, I am in the does not really care all that much crowd, but I do understand how a younger generation might find interest. I must say the bride looked especially gorgeous. She's a beautiful young woman indeed.

At 7:40 a.m. futures are slightly up, the dollar is down across the board, and oil is slightly down.

Investors are still looking at Q1 reports with Chevron, Caterpillar, and Merck on deck. In addition investors will be looking at data on how we ingrate consumers are holding up, are we saving money or are we throwing it around. Most are throwing it into their gas tanks and seem quite willing to blame $4 gas on Obama. The price of gas could very well elect our next president, so be it. You can't extract willful stupidity.

CNN: Stocks headed for mixed start
Before the start of trading, investors will digest data on personal income and spending.


On Friday, the London Stock Exchange was closed for the royal wedding.


Oil for June delivery slipped 15 cents to $112.70 a barrel.

'Hide U'

Sandy Rivera and Rae

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Good Night

'Lamborghini Aventador'

700 horse power of serious car porn.

Lamborghini Aventador from Sehsucht™ on Vimeo.

NPR - The Storms, From Space

The Storms, From Space
As the storms built and rolled across the Southeast, a satellite caught this view. The images stretch from Tuesday to Thursday.

The Daily Show - Believe It Or Believe It

John takes on birth-certificate-gate.

Bob Schieffer: Trump Spinning ‘An Ugly String Of Racism’

I like it, its called smearing. In this case its smearing the smearer...

I like the idea of burying Trump under a load. Let Trump take heat for his screwy actions and words.

O'Donnell Takes On Orly

How did this Orly person ever get in front of a camera to begin with?

Who fronted her and pushed her as some kind of expert and talking head?

Who is her master? Who is pulling her strings? Seriously now she comes out of nowhere and gains attention, that does not happen.

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

DOW Up

The DOW gained 72 points today closing at 12,763.

Listening to NPR earlier, there was discussion on the weak GDP numbers. One aspect that caught my attention had to do with employment. The talking head was saying that corporations are investing in more high tech and machinery rather than hiring more workers.

So what does that say. Is it humans being supplanted by computers and robots or is it something more malicious.

Reuters: Microsoft profit rises, helped by Office

Reuters: Dow transports hit record, leading Wall Street higher
But the U.S. Federal Reserve has maintained support for its easy monetary policy, which has helped push up equity prices in the face of increasing inflation.


Other economic data showed pending sales of existing U.S. homes were much stronger than expected in March, offering faint glimmers of hope for the depressed U.S. housing market.

'Shameless' Part 1

Louis CK

Ron Paul - End Medicare, Social Security, And Medicaid

CNN - Tuscaloosa Tornado

DOW Up At Noon

In the noon hour the DOW is up 20 points. I cannot explain why the DOW is up, even after reading through several articles but I will make a stab at it.

Essentially consumers are spending tons of dough, Q1 profits are huge, oil companies which are one of the main lifelines of Wall Street are raking it in. Pit that against poor unemployment (basically who cares right especially on Wall Street), a weak GDP, multiple world crises, rising inflation, and guess who is the winner.

Yes its another rhetorical question.

Reuters: Exxon, Shell profits surge on higher oil prices
Exxon, the world's largest publicly listed company, posted a 69 percent increase in earnings to $10.65 billion, its biggest profit since the third-quarter of 2008, when oil prices last traded above $100 per barrel.

1.8% And 429,000

Let's be clear, this is bad news.

From CNN -
Economy grows at 1.8% annual rate in first quarter, U.S. says. First-time unemployment claim filings surge 25,000 to 429,000.

The Onion - Study: Only 4 Scenic Routes Left In Country

Leprosy

Early American settlers somehow spread the bacteria that causes leprosy to armadillos. Well they can give it right on back.

Live Science: Leprosy Jumps from U.S. Armadillos to Humans
"People hunt them, eat them, make souvenirs out of their shell...Eating or handling raw or improperly cooked meat should be avoided, as it may have enormous number of bacteria if that armadillo had leprosy."

Southern Tornado

As you know the South is being hit with some extreme weather.

Al Jazeera - World News Updates

Its Just So...So...Strange

When is a birther certificate not a birther certificate?

This birther business is not going away. Thank God! Its just the opposite because now the plot thickens. The murderer in this twisted tale is still at large - wider, deeper, and more sinister implications are suggested. The heart of the matter is buried under layers of malice and the investigations must continue in order to expose the hideous truth.

The new birther story is this. Obama is an American citizen except he holds dual, check that, quadruple citizenship. He is tainted by foreign scum stain and that makes him a felon.

Let me take a moment right now to thank the wildly penetrating analysis and vast depth of news coverage that the American media night after night, day after thankless day, presents to the American people. We are an informed lot, 300 million strong and counting. We know everything that needs to be known and we know we know it and I know that you know that we know.

The good news is that the birther story is not going away. It is merely transforming. The media has found a winner, a true testament to the authenticity and authority of American journalism at its finest, in a long tradition of exemplary work. This is what people need to know because everything else in America is perfect. This birther story is a story that any American can love.

The birther of a nation...

Ledger-Enquirer.com: ‘Birther’ attorney Taitz still has questions about Obama’s birth certificate
Taitz said that based on her examination of the birth certificate, Obama holds dual citizenship in countries including America, Great Britain, Indonesia and Kenya. She said she doesn’t know whether someone with dual citizenship can legally be president.

The Market On Thursday

Good morning. It is 71 degrees and rainy here in Upstate NY. We are starting to feel a little more confident that it may not snow anymore this season. But you never know. Still the blooming is accelerating and the landscape is starting to look more and more decidedly green. The hostas in our front yard are poking up. I like the way plants make their way through the dirt and poke through. Nature is insistent.

At 7:45 a.m. futures are slightly down, the dollar is down, and oil is unchanged in price.

The stock market has been on a genuine roll. The DOW is perched at a three year high. Let's not forget that all pretty things fade away.

Investors will be getting a report on the first quarter GDP from the commerce department. By 8:30 a.m. we will get first time unemployment claims from last week. Also investors will be getting data on housing sales. In short it is an important type of day from the point of view of the amount of salient data coming through the pipes. The GDP news is especially important and we will hear about it throughout the day.

CNN: Investors waiting for GDP
On Thursday, the Department of Commerce releases its report on first-quarter gross domestic product.


Later in the morning, a report from the National Association of Realtors is expected to show a 1.7% rise in pending home sales for the month of March.


Oil for June delivery was unchanged at $112.76 a barrel.

'Ambushed From All Sides'

Wu Man plays the pipa.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Good Night

Nikkei Opens Higher On Thursday

The Onion - Afterbirthers Demand To See Obama's Placenta

People Say

I enjoy reading reader comments. Here's some fresh ones on the birth-certificate-gate.

I decided to not post a link to CNN where the comments are less moderated.

BBC: Obama releases birth certificate, voters talk petrol prices

'Moments'

More work by Everynone

Moments from Everynone on Vimeo.

The Onion - Trump Unable To Produce Certificate Proving He's Not A Festering Pile Of Shit

Market Records

Bernanke spoke and investors liked what they heard. Wall Street is buzzing, equities are fluffy. The DOW closed today at 12,690 and one can sense that 13,000 is a distinct possibility in the near future.

Reuters: Nasdaq closes at highest in more than 10 years
...Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke's first-ever press conference did nothing to short-circuit investors' optimistic outlook on the economy.

As Predicted

The spin is already coming in. This is just plain tragic...

Raw Story: 7 conservatives sound off on Obama releasing his long-form birth certificate

'Chewed Up' Part 6

Louis CK

Reuters: Obama On Birth Certificate

DOW Flat At Noon

In the noon hour the DOW is flat, up 11 points, as investors wait to hear what Bernanke has to say this afternoon. It is a highly anticipated talk on the economy.

Reuters: Markets flat ahead of Fed, Bernanke comments

CNN - Obama's Original Birth Certificate

Bottom line, birthers are crazy.

Birth Or

I actually feel bad for Obama on this one. It was all so pathetic.

On the other side of the equation, according to what we know about authoritarians this will not put the matter to rest.

It will only be a matter of time before the noise resumes full blast.

Doggie Diabetes

Canine diabetes and cat diabetes are both on the rise.

I assumed it was due to obesity, but this appears to be the case only in cats.

Still, if it is on the rise, wouldn't that suggest that our modern diet is the culprit?

Live Science: As Doggie Diabetes Soars, Human Treatment May Help
In cats, the disease is linked to obesity, but the connection is not well-established in dogs, which appear to develop a version of diabetes that looks like human Type 1, or juvenile, diabetes.

Miniature poodles, bichon frises, keeshonds, Alaskan malamutes and miniature schnauzers are the breeds most at risk for canine diabetes, the researchers wrote.

The Onion - Today Now! Interviews The 5-Year-Old Screenwriter Of "Fast Five"

Civil War

This is a rather amazing story.

The Civil War is not really over, it is still being fought.

The Raw Story: Most Mississippi Republicans still upset over Civil War’s outcome, poll finds
Only 21 percent of Republicans in Mississippi supported the Union win.

Al Jazeera - World News Updates

State Pension Funding Crises

The golden parachute retirement of the nation's state workers is torn.

The worst offender is Illinois. New York is perfectly funded, but New York has other fiscal problems which might impact pensions.

CS Monitor: Illinois leading states facing a pension crisis
State pensions are badly underfunded – and the situation is getting worse...


In 2009, 31 states were underfunding their pensions. The year before, 22 states were in the same boat...


...$1.26 trillion gap in overall retirement benefits owed to public employees that year. (2009)


Illinois ranks the worst...


New York has the highest funding level, at 101 percent...(New York) state was able to pull that off by heavy borrowing and other “creative financing,” which makes the comparison to Illinois unfair.

The Market On Wednesday

Good morning. It is 65 degrees, cloudy, and damp here in Upstate NY. We had our breakout day on Tuesday. Temperatures got warm around here, it literally felt hot. Not used to this t-shirt weather yet. The forecast is talking rain, rain, rain into the future with sparse breaks. Who knows.

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

Fed top dog Bernanke will offer words of economic wisdom today and all will be most attentive. This is really today's main story or so the investment journalists are saying. What will he say about the state of the US economy and our beloved interest rates.

Recapping the most present and salient news, the DOW is perched at a record three year high. Most corporations are beating Q1 expectations. The DOW seems set to hit 13,000 barring some disastrous factor or factors entering the mechanism. The rich are getting richer.

CNN: Stocks: All eyes on Bernanke
"The press conference is really the key, and will set the tone in terms of the short and medium-term duration of interest rates..."


...$21 billion merger in the health care sector...


BP reported first-quarter earnings of $1.75 per U.S.-listed share, down from $1.79 per share in the year-ago quarter.


Oil for May delivery gained 44 cents to $112.66 a barrel.

'Summer Wind'

Frank Sinatra

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Good Night

Eagle Cam Tragedy

The mother eagle in the eagle cam that we had been following was killed by an airplane on Tuesday.

Yes, Tuesday was a shitty day.

PilotOnline.com: Norfolk garden's female bald eagle killed in airplane strike

Nikkei Opens Higher On Wednesday

'Optimist'

It looks like this is footage of American students of some Hindu form. It could be connected with the Kirtan movement, just guessing.

Optimist from Brian Thomson on Vimeo.

Phoebe Snow Dies

Very sad about this loss, I really loved her singing. She was the soundtrack to a lot of things way back when for all of us.

LA Times: Remembering 'Poetry Man' singer Phoebe Snow, who died Tuesday at 60

'Poetry Man'

'Last Temptation'

House

Ooopsy

Bill Maher On Letterman

Copper

The DOW gained 115 points today closing at a new record recent high of 12,595.

With global demand for copper soaring, the article is suggesting that copper is the new gold...

Reuters: Analysis: Barrick bid suggests copper will be the new gold
Estimates vary, but analysts see demand for copper, where its ductility and conductivity make it an essential input in electrical products, wiring and in tubing, outstripping supply by between 300,000 tons to almost 1 million tons this year.

Texas BP Refinery Loses Power

Environmental disaster warning...

AFP: Alert after BP oil refinery in US loses power

'Chewed Up' Part 5

Louis CK

When Did Democracy Die?

There's not a whole lot of happy with Chris Hedge's article.

He writes about the erosion of democracy and the drift of wealth and power to the elite corporate few.

If the media were truly of any value, this discussion would be the main headline right now. This would be 30 minutes of news every night.

ZNET - The Corporate State Wins Again
When did our democracy die? When did it irrevocably transform itself into a lifeless farce and absurd political theater? When did the press, labor, universities and the Democratic Party—which once made piecemeal and incremental reform possible—wither and atrophy? When did reform through electoral politics become a form of magical thinking? When did the dead hand of the corporate state become unassailable?

...the heads of state or elected officials in Congress have become largely irrelevant. Lobbyists write the bills. Lobbyists get them passed. Lobbyists make sure you get the money to be elected. And lobbyists employ you when you get out of office.

The massive redistribution of wealth, as Hacker and Pierson write, happened because lawmakers and public officials were, in essence, hired to permit it to happen.

The game is over. We lost.

DOW Up At Noon

Around noon the DOW is up 104 points.

US companies continue to show better than expected Q1 earnings. Serious disconnect, would you agree, between Wall Street raking it in and the general tightness and malaise out there on Main Street. This seems even more pronounced when we hear about restrictions in democracy, unions being broken down, health care failing, an amazingly poor job market, etc etc. Long story short - the rich are doing very well in fact better than ever while the middle class is being forced to swallow the deficit bills. Middle class wealth is being drained.

Reuters: S&P 500, Dow set 2011 highs on profits
Solid earnings from U.S. companies, including Ford, 3M Co and United Parcel Service lifted stocks on Tuesday...

The Onion - Nation's Attractive People Demand We Send Them All $200 Checks

Hot Baths In Winter

Seem to be posting about health lately, hmmm.

Anyhow, this study was conducted in Japan where people use hot baths in the wintertime religiously. Its like a family recreational event. Also the traditional Japanese home is not as well heated as in the USA.

Reuters: Hot baths in winter might lead to cardiac arrest: study
For bathers, the risk was tied to outside temperatures, with more cardiac arrests on colder days.


While it's still unclear how to explain the link, getting into a hot tub on a frigid day causes a rapid blood pressure drop, which stressed the heart.

Al Jazeera - World News Updates

Sugar

Listening to a local radio talk show yesterday, I heard a heart specialist talk about the health negatives with sugar.

Over the years, as someone who once managed a health food store, I have heard many reasons why one must give up or limit one's intake of sugar.

I once quit sugar cold turkey for over a year. I didn't eat a speck of it. When I resumed I will never forget the first taste of sugar after not having any for over a year. It tasted terrible, but that soon yielded. It tasted like something out of a cleaning solutions cabinet.

The big problem I know about is the way sugar causes the body to produce insulin. The problem with insulin is that its great for chilling out the sugar but it has a deleterious effect on cells. Some people call it the death hormone. Some say that inflammation in the body can be reduced by eliminating sugar. The thought is that all disease originates in inflammation.

Anyhow, turns out that there are websites promoting the use of sugar. One might expect that to be the case for just about anything, why not sugar.

I will probably continue to eat sugar but in little doses here and there. I want to stay at a lower weight. The other thing is this, I can't really recall a time when I ever felt full or satisfied after eating some big sugary dessert. I always want more and more and more...

It is addictive.

Sugar.org

Institute of Medicine: No Scientific Justification for Sugar Intake Limits
Government officials finalizing guidelines for Americans' diets and exploring possible front-of-package food labels received a clear signal yesterday from the Institute of Medicine (IOM) – there is no scientific justification for targeting sugar.


"Obesity is a problem that America must address," said Andy Briscoe, president and CEO of the Sugar Association, "but government dietary policy must be the result of sound science and common sense, not emotion or speculation. As the IOM has highlighted, having information available about serving size and calories is important in the fight against obesity."


"There is a lack of scientific agreement about the amount of sugars that can be consumed in a healthy diet," it noted in yesterday's report. "Thus, it is difficult to conclude that total sugars intake is of sufficient public health concern to be included in FOP [Front of Package] rating systems."


Briscoe applauded the IOM for putting science first. "All-natural sugar is a healthy part of a balanced diet," he said. "The IOM has reinforced this time after time."


Sugar is all-natural, has just 15 calories per teaspoon, has been used safely for more than 2,000 years, and remains the world's sweetener of choice.

NATO In Afghanistan

Odd Story Of The Week

The Market On Tuesday

Good morning. It is 58 degrees, gray, and damp here in Upstate NY. We are having a relentless period of primarily rainy gray days. This morning is slightly different in that there is no chill in the air. Out walking at 6 a.m. I had on a sweater and rain jacket. By mid walk I was down to t-shirt, fortunately it wasn't raining. Lots of joggers out this morning crisscrossing at the intersections, most were wearing shorts. The forsythia is out, the yellow and softer colors are all around.

At 7:50 a.m. futures are slightly up, the dollar is mixed, and oil is slightly down.

Its all about the Q1 reports right now. Its a big week for Q1 reports and that more than anything seems likely to sway the markets one way or another. With the DOW perched around 12,500, one might assume 13,000 would be the next mountain to traverse. Its always a crap shoot and it all depends on corporate earnings.

CNN: Stocks poised for earnings boost
Ford Motor reported its strongest first quarter in 13 years...


...data on both existing and new home sales, construction and permits have all come in better than expected...


After the start of trading, the Conference Board releases its Consumer Confidence index for April...


Oil for June delivery slipped 19 cents to $112.09 a barrel.

'Lux Aurumque'

Eric Whitacre's virtual choir

Monday, April 25, 2011

Good Night

Quaker woman's garb circa 1850 - what's the problem with the burqa again...

Nikkei Opens Lower On Tuesday

Ted Talks - Eric Whitacre: A Virtual Choir 2,000 Voices Strong

Extraordinary!!!

'Bad Lieutenant'

Trailer Trash

Gitmo Who's Who

New Dem Ad Attacks GOP On Medicare

The Uni-Party is attacking itself on medicare.

Oil Prices And Inflation

The DOW dropped 26 points today closing at 12,479. Expect to see amazing profits reported by energy companies this week. Inflation is back in focus.

Its absolutely amazing to say this but the thing that could very well eliminate Obama from re-election will be the price of gas.

Reuters: Inflation jitters halt Wall Street rally on quiet day

Haley Less

Move It

Democracy Now - WikiLeaks Documents Reveal US Knowingly Imprisoned 150 Innocent Men At Gitmo

'Chewed Up' Part 4

Comedian Louis CK

Chomsky - The Political System In The USA

DOW Down At Noon

In the noon hour the DOW is down 37 points.

Reuters: Wall Street down as Kimberly-Clark cuts outlook

The Onion - Outside Not Looking Forward To People Wanting To Walk Around In It Again This Summer

7 No No's

Most of us already know this stuff but it doesn't hurt to refresh.

Smoke detectors have some radiative material in them, and the pig tail florescent lights have mercury in them.

When a house burns down, the smoke detectors burn up too. You can see the environmental problem with radioactive material now laying around.

Live Science: 7 Everyday Toxic Things You Shouldn't Toss in the Trash
Motor oil
Electronics
Paint
Batteries
Light Bulbs
Smoke Detectors
Mercury Thermometers

Al Jazeera - World News Updates

Using Nuclear Bombs To 'Dig' For Natural Gas - Seriously

There is a massive amount of natural gas in America. America is full of gas.

Fracking is problematic as you know. The resultant pollution and environmental damage is serious.

In the 60s and 70s our energy planners tried using nuclear bombs to get at the natural gas. They actually did this several times setting off nuclear bombs underground for the purpose of getting at natural gas. It seems unbelievable that these people would pull off such a stunt, but they did.

The article will give you a brief history of this far flung stunt.

One thing that we need to remember, stuff does not go away in America. Somebody out there in a position of charting our energy course, some CEO somewhere or some government authority out there is trying to bring the nuke technique back. It just has to be. You just watch...

Kansas City Star: Detonating nukes in search of natural gas: A curious tale in the 1960s and ’70s
Federal officials once expected to use nukes to blow sandstone and shale to smithereens to provide decades of natural gas to heat homes and run businesses.


One estimate calculated that 10,000 nuclear bombs could blast loose enough natural gas to meet 20 years of U.S. demand for the fuel. In just one gas field in Colorado, 140 bombs were to be set off.


As President Richard Nixon put it in 1971, the time had come for some “nuclear stimulation technology.”


The first nuclear explosion to “stimulate” natural gas was in 1967 in New Mexico, and it won the support of state and local officials. Project Gasbuggy, which used a 29-kiloton bomb about double the size of the one used on Hiroshima, was declared a success because it caused gas to flow from the rock formations and created a cavern to store the fuel.


“I remember having the thought that maybe we shouldn’t be doing this..."

The Market On Monday

Good morning. It is 49 degrees, cloudy, and damp here in Upstate NY. I hope you had a fine holiday weekend and I truly hope you are all geared up for the royal wedding (I kid.) In spite of the cool temperatures leaves are starting to cautiously appear, the grass is greening up, and the annuals are popping up. They are ready to go all we need is that sunny 70s day to nail it down.

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

Barring some unknown turbulence the market is poised to rise at the opening bell. Investors are stoked to get those better than expected Q1 reports from lots of corporations this week. I would suspect energy corporations AKA oil companies are going to show great profits.

The market has been on a ride since March of 2009. People that invested in equities at that point have done well. There are many opinions out there on what to expect in the short term and we will try to keep our ears close to the ground to hear the warnings.

CNN: Stocks poised to continue rally
The last week in April brings earnings reports from nine Dow components and 180 members of the S&P 500...


...data on new home sales, released by the Census Bureau at 10 a.m. ET.


Oil for June delivery gained 41 cents to $112.70 a barrel.

GM's EN-V Car

'I Saw Her Standing There'

Beatles

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Good Night

Nikkei Opens Higher On Monday

What To Do With Nuclear Waste

Its the other side of the nuclear reactor equation, the part people don't know about or want to know about. Its not making the headlines.

What do you do with nuclear waste that has a radioactive life of 100,000 years? Architects and engineers are working with that question. The answers are not pretty.

Guardian UK: Nuclear waste: Keep out – for 100,000 years
(Regarding Chernobyl) Hence the current longer-term plan, called the New Safe Confinement. This project calls for the erection of an arch-shaped hangar, bigger than a football pitch and high enough to fit the Statue of Liberty inside. Because of the radiation levels, it must be built 500 metres away then slid over the top of the reactor and the Object Shelter. At 32,000 tonnes, it is just about the heaviest object ever moved.


(Regarding Chernobyl)...the arch will be assembled and slid into place by 2015. Then huge, remote-controlled cranes inside will dismantle the Object Shelter and begin retrieving the hazardous materials inside.


Onkalo will be ready to take waste in 2020, and then will be finally sealed in 2120, after which it will not be opened for 100,000 years. By that time, Finland will probably have been through another ice age. Little trace of our current civilisation will remain.
Trailer for 'Into Eternity' AKA 'Nuclear Eternity' - a documentary about storing nuclear waste.

CNN - The Trump Dream

Laser Spark Plug

Relatively recent development for the combustion engine -

BBC: Lasers could replace spark plugs in car engines

Go To The Source

Big problem with Standard and Poor threatening to downgrade the USA's credit rating, Standard and Poor itself is in complete disrepute.

The Nation: The Credit Rating Hoax

'Chewed Up' Part 3

Louis CK

On Wisdom

"I have never seen a greater monster or miracle in the world than myself." - Michel de Montaigne


"Be where you are; otherwise you will miss your life." - Buddha


"My great mistake, the fault for which I can't forgive myself, is that one day I ceased my obstinate pursuit of my own individuality." - Oscar Wilde


"We do not see things as they are. We see them as we are." - Talmud


"You cannot find peace by avoiding life." - Virginia Woolf


"Emancipation from the bondage of the soil is no freedom for the tree." - Rabindranath Tagore

'The Mountain'

More work from nature photographer and film maker Terje Sorgjerd. He is highlighted in the CNN piece linked below this post.

The Mountain from Terje Sorgjerd on Vimeo.

CNN - Milky Way Photos

Al Jazeera - World News Updates

Chomsky Part 2

This is my second post on Chomsky's article.

This is a major summation article of the state of the US as the dominant global power.

Its lengthy but as concise as it could possibly be. I tried to paste some especially salient parts to get the flavor of the article but in truth the entire piece is very very good. I hope you take the time to read it.

ZNET: Is the World Too Big to Fail?
I do not want to end without mentioning another externality that is dismissed in market systems: the fate of the species. Systemic risk in the financial system can be remedied by the taxpayer, but no one will come to the rescue if the environment is destroyed. That it must be destroyed is close to an institutional imperative. Business leaders who are conducting propaganda campaigns to convince the population that anthropogenic global warming is a liberal hoax understand full well how grave is the threat, but they must maximize short-term profit and market share. If they don't, someone else will.


This vicious cycle could well turn out to be lethal. To see how grave the danger is, simply have a look at the new Congress in the U.S., propelled into power by business funding and propaganda. Almost all are climate deniers. They have already begun to cut funding for measures that might mitigate environmental catastrophe. Worse, some are true believers; for example, the new head of a subcommittee on the environment who explained that global warming cannot be a problem because God promised Noah that there will not be another flood.


If such things were happening in some small and remote country, we might laugh.

As long as the general population is passive, apathetic, diverted to consumerism or hatred of the vulnerable, then the powerful can do as they please, and those who survive will be left to contemplate the outcome.

Chomsky On Grand Area Doctrines

Chomsky writes a long and detailed essay on American power and dominance throughout the world, from its history and origins during WW2 right through to the present. Learn about the Grand Area doctrine.

ZNET: Is the World Too Big to Fail?
Grand Area doctrines clearly license military intervention at will. That conclusion was articulated clearly by the Clinton administration, which declared that the U.S. has the right to use military force to ensure "uninhibited access to key markets, energy supplies, and strategic resources," and must maintain huge military forces "forward deployed" in Europe and Asia "in order to shape people's opinions about us" and "to shape events that will affect our livelihood and our security."


Grand Area doctrines continue to apply to contemporary crises and confrontations. In Western policy-making circles and political commentary the Iranian threat is considered to pose the greatest danger to world order and hence must be the primary focus of U.S. foreign policy, with Europe trailing along politely.


What exactly is the Iranian threat? An authoritative answer is provided by the Pentagon and U.S. intelligence. Reporting on global security last year, they make it clear that the threat is not military. Iran's military spending is "relatively low compared to the rest of the region," they conclude. Its military doctrine is strictly "defensive, designed to slow an invasion and force a diplomatic solution to hostilities." Iran has only "a limited capability to project force beyond its borders." With regard to the nuclear option, "Iran's nuclear program and its willingness to keep open the possibility of developing nuclear weapons is a central part of its deterrent strategy." All quotes.

While wealth and power have narrowly concentrated, for most of the population real incomes have stagnated and people have been getting by with increased work hours, debt, and asset inflation, regularly destroyed by the financial crises that began as the regulatory apparatus was dismantled starting in the 1980s.

None of this is problematic for the very wealthy, who benefit from a government insurance policy called "too big to fail." The banks and investment firms can make risky transactions, with rich rewards, and when the system inevitably crashes, they can run to the nanny state for a taxpayer bailout, clutching their copies of Friedrich Hayek and Milton Friedman.

Hannity - The Liberal Media Bias

'Two Songs'

Lorraine Hunt Lieberson sings the haunting music of composer Peter Lieberson (1946 - 2011).

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Good Night

'General Observations Of People No. 2'

Ranking The States

Ranking the States from the point of view of energy use and policy, pollution, alternative energy, etc.

1 is the best to 50, the worst.

24/7: The Environmental State of The Union: A Survey of Pollution, Energy Use and Policy in all 50 States
1. Vermont
Population: 621,760 (49th)
GDP: $25.4 Billion (50th)
Toxic Waste: 1,536 Tons (3rd)
Carbon Footprint: 6.4 Million Metric Tons (1st)
Alternative Energy: 28.1% (7th)


29. New York
Population: 19,541,453 (3rd)
GDP: $1.09 Trillion (3rd)
Toxic Waste: 1,032,626 Tons (42nd)
Carbon Footprint: 201.3 Million Metric Tons (42nd)
Alternative Energy: 21.4% (9th)


49. New Jersey
Population: 8,707,739 (11th)
GDP: $482.9 Billion (7th)
Toxic Waste: 555 Thousand Tons (39th)
Carbon Footprint: 134 Million Metric Tons (34th)
Alternative Energy: 1.5% (48th)


50.Ohio
Population: 11,542,645 (7th)
GDP: $471.2 Billion (8th)
Toxic Waste: 1.3 Million Tons (45th)
Carbon Footprint: 267 Million Metric Tons (47th)
Alternative Energy: 0.7% (Tied for Last)

Balloon Tank


South Carolina Birthers Uncut

The Donald

Op-ed on the dangerous politics of the Donald.

NY Times: Of Donald, Dunces and Dogma

'Chewed Up' Part 2

Louis CK

CNN - 9/11 Rescuers Must Be Checked Against Terrorist List

This is the handy work of the GOP. It is completely and utterly degrading. The party that uses 9/11 as the basis of its foreign policies, treats the heroes of this disaster like they were garbage.

Saturday Wisdom

'6:02 AM EST'

The latest episode of Fringe

Al Jazeera - World News Updates

Facts, Authoritarians, Belief

from a deep operative.

Periodically journalists and talking heads attempt to piece together the distinction between what we call on this blog the authoritarians and the democratically minded. Why is there such a severe divide between Conservatives and Democrats? Why do facts seems to have such little effect in changing people's attitudes? How on earth can people deny climate change? Why do conservatives insist on the link between Saddam and WMD even to this day, etc. etc. etc. ad nauseum.

I very much recommend that you read the entire linked 4 page article from Mother Jones. I wanted to copy and paste the entire thing but that is impractical. The terminology is different but the intent is the same. Here you will read about 'a hierarchal individualist' which is our authoritarian, and 'an egalitarian communitarian' which is our democratically minded person.

At this point in my observation and reflection on our present political landscape, a landscape filled with severe contentions and divisions as you very well know, I believe that this information is the only hope towards understanding how to work with it. This is not a complete article on this extensive topic, but its a good primer.

Please read it.

Mother Jones: The Science of Why We Don't Believe Science
Our "reasoning" is a means to a predetermined end—winning our "case"—and is shot through with biases. They include "confirmation bias," in which we give greater heed to evidence and arguments that bolster our beliefs, and "disconfirmation bias," in which we expend disproportionate energy trying to debunk or refute views and arguments that we find uncongenial.


...people's deep-seated views about morality, and about the way society should be ordered, strongly predict whom they consider to be a legitimate scientific expert in the first place—and thus where they consider "scientific consensus" to lie on contested issues.


(...Bush-commissioned Iraq Survey Group report, which found no evidence of active WMD programs in pre-invasion Iraq), they found that conservatives were more likely than before to believe the claim. (that Saddam did in fact have WMD)


Interviewer: [T]he September 11 Commission found no link between Saddam and 9/11, and this is what President Bush said. Do you have any comments on either of those?


Respondent: Well, I bet they say that the Commission didn't have any proof of it but I guess we still can have our opinions and feel that way even though they say that.

Coming Up On Wall Street

Good morning. It is 39 degrees and raining here in Upstate NY. We are literally begging for a warm toasty sunny day here. I was planning to do some work in the vegetable garden but right now I'm rained out. We are going to double the size of the garden, its time to grow more of our own food. No CSA share this year, the money is going into our own garden.

Summing up Reuters' very good article on Wall Street sentiment linked below, there are three points.

First, there are a few sectors that are doing very well right now. That would be some industrials, raw material, energy stocks, and some high tech. These sectors flow into growing markets, think places like India.

Second, other remaining sectors minus some exceptions, are not so robust as the aforementioned. This is because they are affected by remaining economic recovery problems, for example the miserable housing market.

Third, investors will be waiting to hear what Bernanke says about our economy next week. There is concern about what is going to happen when quantitative easing, AKA the government throwing freshly printed money around, ends in a few months.

Reuters: Wall St Week Ahead: It's growth, but not as we know it
Growth is now concentrated in industrial, materials and energy stocks that benefit from strong demand in emerging markets, as well as a technology sector boosted by robust demand from businesses.


Next week, 180 of the S&P 500 companies are set to report earnings. Of companies that have reported to date, 75 percent beat analysts' expectations.

'Refuse To Die'

Craig Wedren sings.

Music by Jefferson Friedman and lyrics by Craig Wedren.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Good Night

'Re:WORDS'

By Everynone

Re:WORDS from Everynone on Vimeo.

'100'

Allen West Calls Obama A ‘Low-Level Socialist Agitator’

Buff

Louis CK

The commercials are getting oppressive.

Plastic Money Stats

Debt levels are up. Look at the average credit card debt per household.

creditcards.com: Credit card statistics, industry facts, debt statistics
Average credit card debt per household with credit card debt:

$14,750

Deity Figure

Olbermann Mocks Trump

Maddow On Wisconsin Republican Overreach

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

'Chenrezig'

Buddhist thankga painting

Reuters - Top News