Archive for June, 2008

The cost of energy, they are both wrong

Saturday, June 14th, 2008

Our two presidential candidates have this oil/ gasoline problem all wrong. Instead of looking for practical positive steps to reduce the price of oil and our dependence on foreign suppliers, we are being fed recycled platitudes and propaganda solutions.

Obama in response to a question posed on CNBC about his solution to 4.00 gasoline, suggested that the dramatic rise in oil pricing is good, because it forces us to lower our thermostats, and buy smaller cars.Moving us in step with the rest of the World. The implication is that our standard of living is too high when compared to the rest of the Planet.

He wants us to live our lives in a more equitable manner, so that we stop antagonizing the third world nations.

What!! I thought we lived in a free country, where we work to get ahead and provide a better life for our families. If you want to live in a grass hut and freeze in the winter there are plenty of places to go…But if being cold or too hot  and living like that is so desirable, why do all of these Peoples try so hard to come here, at almost any cost.

On the othere hand, McCain has fired a salvo at Big Oil, demonizing them and talking about windfall profits.

Taxing the corporations might make us feel better emotionally, but will not help the obscene price of a barrel of oil.

There is another way, which makes logical economic sense.

Afghanistan more deadly for US than Iraq

Saturday, June 14th, 2008

For the first time ever, there have been more US and coalition deaths in Afghanistan than Iraq.

Don’t admit this outloud, but apparently the surge in Iraq  is working.

I hate the war, and I am so very disappointed in Bush, but you have to give credit where credit is due. The U S military is not washed up and useless as some of our esteemed Senators and Congressmen have taken great glee in shouting to the World. I’m sure our enemies have listened  to this defeatist rhetoric with glee.

Maybe they even believed the implied softness and vulnerability of our troops.

BULL SWACK!!!! Our men & women are the best trained, best educated, highest quality fighting force in the history of the world!!!Thank you for protecting my freedom to be me.  Thank you for putting your life on the line to guarantee the freedom to be as dumb and  arrogant as we want. And we do try to be dumb.

Economic reports think we are stupid

Thursday, June 12th, 2008

Today a report came out that retail sales had increased by 1% last month. This has encoraged Wall Street, so the market is up 100 + points.

Then they say that discretionary purchases are down, but  the discount retailers  who sell staple items in bulk are doing well. This is shown as proof that the economic stimulus package and the rebate checks are helping to turn the economy around.

Horse feathers! Americans are flocking to these bulk discounters in record numbers because they can no longer afford to buy food and other STAPLES, the conventional way.Buy discount food in bulk or starve.  Easy choice.

By the way, I wonder who produces all this bulk discounted merchandise that we are spending our rebate checks on.

Is our stimulus package resulting in windfall profits for a host of Chinese companies?

It makes sense to me. Everything our wonderful leaders do is helping to push us down the slippery slope of mediocrity.

Way to go Democrats and Republicans. As long as you are ruining us, just be careful that you line your own pockets. Your  fat bank accounts, and spreading buts, are the reason  why we exist…isn’t it?

The economic noose could leave rope burns.

Thursday, June 12th, 2008

The speculators are on the attack, and we are the victim getting blind sided.

The futures prices keep going higher, and the cost is very personal to people worldwide.

With the extreme weather disruptions hurting the farmers, and the commodity traders manipulating prices ever higher, we are looking at a formula for Worldwide disaster.

To speculators, the price of a commodity is a number in a computer program, which they buy and sell as a number not a product.Buy low, run up the price, sell high. When I was an OTC trader, the formula was fun and Trading 101. 

This type of commodity trading is much more destructive and insidious.

How many corn traders, or oil speculators intend to take physical posession of the item. What would they do with 1000 bushels of corn, or porkbellies, or barrels of oil. This is a form of legalized gambling, with only 5% cash required to purchase a contract, the balance of 95% is borrowed money .

This 95% margin gives the speculators an incredible amount of leverage , and allows the relatively easy manipulation of prices.

Sounds like fun and an easy way to make a lot of money, unless of course you have to eat and fill up an auto. Then fun turns into pain…

The Tomato, Montezuma’s revenge?

Tuesday, June 10th, 2008

When we were younger, the saying was, when you go to Mexico, you don’t drink the water, or eat raw vegetables. If you ingested these items, you ran a serious risk of contracting Montezuma’s Revenge, aka a case of diarreah severe enough to make you pray for death.

The Revenge was real, and was a direct result of using human waste as fertilizer. You ate uncooked veggies or unboiled water at your own risk.

During the past few days, there has been a nationwide call for caution when eating raw tomatoes. Espsecially from fast food hamburger joints, who got there vegetables from the new NAFTA, mega farms, which have succeeded in squeezing the smaller US tomato farmers out of business.

The Mexican farms produce cheap veggies, utilizing virtual slave labor, and provide an extra profitable nitch for the McDonalds restaurants, et al.

Don’t worry about Montezuma, and feces tainted tomatoes, the fast food restaurants are turning extra profits

All’s well with the World.

A very troubled economy

Monday, June 9th, 2008

Hi dear friends,

Anyone who has followed my pearls of wisom over the past 6 or 8 months, knows how I feel about the economic mess we are experiencing.

The economy is in a recession, regardless of how the politicians try to spin the numbers.

Inflation is just beginning. When the cost of fuel and food is factored back into the numbers, the sticker shock will further erode consumer confidence.

When the self inflicted credit crunch is blended with the worldwide commodity explosion, it leaves the stimulus package woefully inadequate.

This will not be a quick 6 month pullback, with the good old consumer pulling us back to boom times in the Fall, just in time to save X-Mas.

We are in for a protracted, and somewhat painful call to reality. Our world has been built upon the expectation of cheap energy. It’s time to find all the alternate energy sources and energy boosts, which have been bought and burried in the basements of the rich oil companies.

Playing the energy game was a business approach which worked too well. If we don’t bring out the replacements for oil, the fall down this slope will skin a lot of knees.

Loose banking morals helped to precipitate this mess, and tighter lending practices is making things worse. 

Suspended not Ended

Sunday, June 8th, 2008

Suspended not ended, huh. Very interesting.

I can’t shake the feeling that there’s still a fox hideing in the hen house.

Gloria Steinem does not speak for Hillary

Saturday, June 7th, 2008

I read that Gloria Steimem(Is she still alive? She was irrelevent in the 60’s and damaging in the 70’s) said that she did not know anyone (woman of course) who would not transfer their passionate support for Senator Clinton, to Obama.

What? Who does she know, and who does she speak for?

Hillary’s loyal constituency was mainly middle aged women, who viewed Hillary as a feminine leader and spokeswomen for their views. The only thing Steinem has in common with middle aged women, is the middle aged part.

For the most part Hillary’s supporters were loyal Americans, wives and mothers who enjoyed and accepted being women, and just wanted to see a woman succeed.

Their loyalty post Hillary is very much an open contest based upon their political leanings, and not on the anti feminist agends of NOW.

Long live women. You are the pretty side of humanity and I love you all

The tax man commeth, and commeth, and commeth

Friday, June 6th, 2008

Having been self employed most of my adult life, running  small – medium businesses, I have become accustomed to dealing with the tax man.

The pattern of interaction has been somewhat predictable.

You owe taxes. If you can’t pay all you owe, you make a partial payment. Usually 3 or 4 months later they send you a demand letter, If you can’t make the full payment, then you make a payment against the tax bill .This will buy you an extra few months, and ultimately you pay the entire bill including interest and penalty.

Depending upon the liquidity of your business, you have bought maybe a year before they start legal proceedings to collect.

In the end, the Government gets its money plus a heavy interest and penalty. You have bought some extra time to pay, and everyone was satisfied.

Now that we are in this non recession, the rules have changed for the first time in recent memory.

A partial payment results in a demand letter in 1 or 2 months, and legal action 1 month later.

Are the various govenments running short of money?

I wonder what it will be like to run a small business in the comming years, if Mr Obama gets elected President. Increased taxes, increased spending, more paper work resulting from expanded environmental and governmental regulations.

Constant red tape and collection hastles from the Feds and the State.

Sounds like a major pain to me.

This election could be the pain that keeps on giving. 

9/11 Mastermind asks for the death penalty

Thursday, June 5th, 2008

So lets make him happy. Execute the pig…sorry ASS  er. donkey. Khalid Sheikh Mohammed is on trial at Guantanamo Bay, in front of a military tribunal. He is acting with bravado, trying to disrupt the proceedings , and rejecting the court appointed lawyer. He is responsible for the deaths of almost 3000 of my fellow Americans. Hang the suckah. My only regret is that he can’t be executed 3000 times in memoriam of those he killed. I don’t know how to break this to him, but when my G-d gets him, the only virgins he’ll see are 4 legged with big sharp teeth, and a direct path to the pits of Hell. Safe trip old bean.  On to your just rewards.