Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Governor Rick Perry is Askeered of Animals

Oh My God! It's Coming right for me!!!!!

Our esteemed governor evidently hunts in the city limits with a laser sighted .380

I'd be in jail if I did this. But it's Ok if the governor does it.

Never mind that this story smells of bullshit. A coyote isn't going to attack a group men and a dog.

But then, if he said he shot it for the thrill of killing a wild and relatively helpless animal, the story wouldn't sound so sexy.

I'm still one up on him. In may last walk in the woods, my dog caught a wild boar and dragged back to me by it's head. They sure can squeal. I didn't have a gun on me so I couldn't shoot it and brag about how askeered I am of wild animals. So I told my dog to let it go, and the boar ran off back into the woods.

Good thing Perry wasn't with me. I'd be askeered he'd shoot my dog.

Texas gov. shoots, kills 'wily' coyote during jog

On this particular morning, Perry said, he was jogging without his security detail shortly after sunrise.

"I'm enjoying the run when something catches my eye and it's this coyote. I know he knows I'm there. He never looks at me, he is laser-locked on that dog," Perry said.

"I holler and the coyote stopped. I holler again. By this time I had taken my weapon out and charged it. It is now staring dead at me. Either me or the dog are in imminent danger. I did the appropriate thing and sent it to where coyotes go," he said.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Apple Gets Drunk, Loses Phone, Steals Computers

I think there's a lesson here. If you see Apple Engineers taking their prototypes out for a date, and they go home without said prototype, don't pick it up. Apple will break into your home and steal your computers.

Or in other words, Apple is hard up for new technology.

Calif. police seize computers in 'lost' iPhone case

Friday, April 16, 2010


Rolling Downhill

By now you've heard that the SEC is gonna sissy slap Goldman Sachs. Speculation is already mounting that GS got advance notice, and used that information to fuel insider trading deals. What a deal if you can bet against yourself, knowing that you're gonna get dinged, and profit from it!

When it comes to comes to El Squid, who knows? Did they perhaps even ask the SEC to do this so they could short themselves?

A play like this though, rarely is a one off. I have to wonder, what's stage II? What happens next?

We're coming up into an election year. It's time for politicians to pretend that they care about the great unwashed masses. so this could be a good quarter to start prosecutions and start another wave of seizing and selling of smaller banks. To do so, the gov needs to pretend that they are acting fairly and without prejudice.

Going after Goldman Sachs now, and giving them a little smack on the hand, could well give them a bit of cover for when they start really nailing the smaller banks.

Bank of America is planning to increase the rate of foreclosures. In my opinion, it's just a ploy. They may well increase it for a short while, but this will bring pressure on the politicians, who will find another way to give BofA and the other big banks, another mountain of free money. In exchange, we can expect that the SEC will pretend to smack BofA too.

Right on schedule for my May prognostication, economic events are coming to a head. Oil and gasoline prices are rising faster. This will lead to tighter margins, and more layoffs. The systemic problems with the banks in regards to housing, mortgages, stock market gambling and derivatives exposure have grown since the last bailout.

This next round of bailouts will make the last one look like a drop in the bucket. I think now that by the time Obama is out of office, our deficit will officially be way past $50 trillion. Right now it's a paltry $12.8 Trillion. Heck, maybe it'll pass $100 trillion? That doesn't seem out of line at the moment.

Isn't that amazing though? We've added $12 Trillion in debt in such a short span of years. We've multiplied two hundred years of debt more than 12 times in about ten years. in another ten years, it should be in the quadrillions!

We're in for a wild ride and I think it's time for another big crisis. Our politicians likely want to put it off. But I thin they are out of room, for Extend and Pretend. They can go back to that after this little upcoming correction.

In the garden, my beans and squash are coming up. I have little grape clusters forming. I've been enjoying fresh asparagus and onions. Now I just need to get my tomatoes and artichokes in the ground.

Happy Gardening!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Texas Ranch House

Over the weekend, I caught the last few episodes of Texas Ranch House. This is one of my rare forays into 'Reality Television'. From the start I could tell it differed quite a bit from the other 'Reality' shows that are designed to have constant contrived drama, to keep the viewers interested.

The setup in this educational reality TV series, is that a modern family and hired hands are placed on a West Texas ranch, to recreate the 1867 lifestyle.

The show highlighted for me the juxtaposition of modern day thinking and values, with those that were likely the norm in the late 19th century. It was an interesting program. I'll try not to cover too much ground, so that if you watch it in the future, this won't be too much of a spoiler for you.

So here are my impressions and observations...

Mr. Cooke, the 'landowner' in this show, is in daily life, a hospital administrator. He and his wife and two daughters play the family that owns the ranch. An experienced foreman and some of his crew are brought on to work the ranch for the season documented in the show. Additional ranch hands come from modern life, with no working experience on a ranch.

What struck me is that from the beginning, Mr. Cooke was running the ranch like a middle manager. His primary concern were profits for that season of work only. Like a typical middle manager, he often consulted with his foreman, then told his foreman what he wanted done, with little regard for the foreman's experience. Then he'd meet with his wife, who would give him new orders, and he'd go pass those orders down to his foreman. His foreman was visibly bothered by getting a conflicting series of orders, and having to go to the ranch hands and tell them of the changes. This bred a lot of uncertainty as to what they really should be doing, and a lot of talk about how Mr Cooke wasn't really wearing the pants. Further, there was much talk about how he was dishonest and kept breaking promises.

In an early episode (that I missed), it seems he had fired the first foreman because he wasn't 'loyal' enough and his crew were only loyal to him, and not Mr. Cooke. This loyalty theme, where the Rancher and his family complained that their hired hands were loyal to them, was in constant play. It never seemed to occur to them that this loyalty might be a two way street. They seemed to view themselves as plantation owners, lording over slaves.

The women in the show, didn't want to be typecast as women of 1867, and were constantly complaining that the men didn't respect them. It seemed to a small degree this was true. In a flashback scene, they showed the hands giving the two daughters a tough time, by joking about not helping them, as they tried to milk a cow. The two daughters didn't seem to know that they should tie the cow to a post before trying to milk it. It kept walking away from them.

Mrs' Cooke went so far as to hire a woman as a domestic helper, befriended her and then needled her husband into taking her on as a ranch hand, behind the foreman's back. That breach of trust didn't work out well and the cowgirl ended up bailing on the ranch hands during round ups, after she found out that it wasn't all fun and games.

Mr. Cooke showed his true colors later when Comanches kidnapped one of his hands and wanted cattle in trade for him. Cooke remarked that he didn't trade with terrorists. He'd trade for horses, but not a human being. When the Indians outsmarted him, by selling him back a horse that was the property of the ranch hand, he blamed the cowboy and proclaimed that he was keeping the horse.

I'll leave it to me readers to see what the women were doing to the ranch house, garden, etc... while the ranch hands were out 'having fun', driving cattle in the West Texas heat.

In the end, all of his ranch hands quit on him, angry about the constant betrayals. The Cooke family griped about the ranch hands lack of loyalty. The ranch hands seemed to have come out the experience a little wiser. The Cooke family learned nothing. They got a bad review all the way around by a three experts in ranch style living and 19th century living, and felt that they were treated unfairly in the assessment. The 'experts' didn't think that the Cooke family could make the ranch work for an entire year, because they were going to have a lot of trouble getting good help to replace the cowboys that they drove off the ranch.

I happen to agree with their assessment. I think that in 1867, those cowpokes would've taken their wages to the nearest town and regaled the townsfolk with tales of the wussy, running the Cooke Ranch. 'Wussy' is the descriptive term for Mr. Cooke used by the Tribal Leader of the Comanche Nation, that appeared in the show. In 1867, a man like Mr. Cooke would likely find his reputation preceding him as he went town to town, looking for new help.

Still Mr. Cooke was proud that he made a profit in that one season and failed to understand why that was no guarantee of long term performance. He saw his hired hands as replaceable slaves. A common way of thinking in the modern corporate world. He never understood that his own actions had repercussions. He found himself blameless, as did his family.

This show highlighted in my view why we Americans (Well in the USA and Canada), are going to have a tough time adapting to the energy downturn. So many of us have in the circle jerk so long, congratulating each other on how great and noble we are, simply because we were born on this continent, on the 'good' side of the Mexican border, that we completely lack the humility necessary to act as a community. In the Ranch House, the lack of sense of community and the understanding that the ranch hands were deserving of respect, would eventually lead to the Ranch's failure. This is a problem for the USA and Canada as respect for our fellow man, is in short supply. We will not be able to come together as communities for the most part, and solve our problems together.

Eventually, communities will emerge that pull together and work together. But for some time, they will be the exception.

For today and the foreseeable future, we are dividing by our owners, into groups that are set as enemies. We choose our tribes, and then our tribal leaders in the MSM, tell us what to think, how to think, who to hate and who to blame. And of course, they set us upon each other.

Just look at the talk on the financial forums about how the taxpayers are going to have to pick up the tab for the retired workers. Aren't the taxpayers and the workers the same people? How did we come to identify with the uber-wealthy, to wage an idealogical and economic war against ourselves?

Too many of us are the Cooke family, write large across America. At times I saw a bit of Mr. Cooke in myself. and I didn't necessarily like what I saw.


Update: I found this viewer exchange in which Lisa Cook defends her role on the show. It's worth a read.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Plan To fix the California Economy

From Bush's Base...

Genius Plan to Fix California Economy - Watch more Funny Videos

As our energy supplies continue to diminish and our civilization collapses, evolution is going to be tough on many people.

I've said before, that we are a self selected group in the Peak Oil community.
You have to have some intelligence in order to understand the concepts behind limits to growth. Actually it helps to be above average, as you have to be able to solve problems on your own, have confidence in your projections and have an interest in even bothering.

Most of the people I know and meet, don't have the curiosity to even look up such things when they hear about them.

The gal above isn't very well informed, but she is not unusual. She is however, a good example of why I am very pessimistic about how things are turning out. Keep in mind that our bankster overlords have her beat in only one department. They have a talent for stealing money. Outside of that, most of them know very little additional expertise. The accumulation of money is their only interest. The side effects, the wreckage they leave behind, is just collateral damage. You have to break billions of people, to build a pyramid made of hundred dollar bills.

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Fed: Recovery may lose steam

Fed: Recovery may lose steam

NEW YORK ( -- Federal Reserve policymakers are worried that the economic recovery may lose steam going forward, despite recent moderate improvements, according to minutes from their recent policy meeting released Tuesday.

Though the latest data suggest an uptick in economic activity, Fed members believe that some sectors of the economy could stifle overall growth, the minutes from the March 16 meeting said.

Fed says "extended period" may last a long time

This is no surprise. The US Gov depends on the banks to loan it money to operate, as it's debt flies into outer space on a parabolic trajectory. It has no choice. Each round of borrowing has to be grander than the last.

To keep this borrowing going, now that the Chinese, Saudis and others have lost interest in financing our eternally expanding debt, the Fed has no choice but to loan money at near zero rates, so the banks can make easy no risk profits, by lending it to the US Gov.

This gives the pretend illusion that the Fed isn't just printing money at fantastic rates and just giving it away to the taxpayer. Nope, it's creating easy profits to keep the banker's mountains of riches grow.

And of course, the taxpayer is backing both ends of this trade and is on the hook for the money our Gov borrows. If this goes sour, the taxpayer will have to cover the losses in triplicate. Of course this is more money than exists in the world. But that's just a technicality.

Silly prediction: In less than 20 years, our national debt will be measured in the hundreds of trillions by 'official' gov stats. Unemployment will be dramatically worse.

I'm still looking for a severe economic dislocation in the Merry Month of May.

Fed says "extended period" may last a long time

h/t FTW

In response to the worst financial crisis in generations, the Fed not only cut short term interest rates to near zero but also undertook a host of emergency measures aimed at reviving credit markets in the past three years.

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Monsanto GM-corn harvest fails massively in South Africa

In the article below, Monsanto says that the corn was insufficiently fertilized in the laboratory. That is their explanation as to why the plants didn't produce seeds. In this case, seeds are the yellow kernels on an ear of corn. The plants weren't producing any corn on the cob.

I don't have any idea what they mean by 'insufficiently fertilized'. The fertilization happens in the fields, when pollen blows in the wind to be picked up by the stigma attached to an embryonic corn kernel.

A better explanation may well be that the genetic manipulation by Monsanto, provided a variety that can't produce seeds in the second generation. Monsanto is big on terminator seeds and seedless fruits.

One means of introducing new genes into a plant, involves plasmids carried by plant viruses. One theory might be that Monsanto's corn crops have been inadvertently infected by viruses intended for other crops.

Or could simply be that through genetic manipulation, they've broken the plant's reproductive system.

If Monsanto has produced a virus that carried the terminator gene and it's gotten out into the wild, we could possibly see a dramatic shortage in food supplies worldwide. Wouldn't that be a kicker?

Monsanto GM-corn harvest fails massively in South Africa

South African farmers suffered millions of dollars in lost income when 82,000 hectares of genetically-manipulated corn (maize) failed to produce hardly any seeds.The plants look lush and healthy from the outside. Monsanto has offered compensation.

Monsanto blames the failure of the three varieties of corn planted on these farms, in three South African provinces,on alleged 'underfertilisation processes in the laboratory". Some 280 of the 1,000 farmers who planted the three varieties of Monsanto corn this year, have reported extensive seedless corn problems.
Urgent investigation demanded

However environmental activitist Marian Mayet, director of the Africa-centre for biosecurity in Johannesburg, demands an urgent government investigation and an immediate ban on all GM-foods, blaming the crop failure on Monsanto's genetically-manipulated technology.

Willem Pelser, journalist of the Afrikaans Sunday paper Rapport, writes from Nelspruit that Monsanto has immediately offered the farmers compensation in three provinces - North West, Free State and Mpumalanga. The damage-estimates are being undertaken right now by the local farmers' cooperative, Grain-SA. Monsanto claims that 'less than 25%' of three different corn varieties were 'insufficiently fertilised in the laboratory'.

80% crop failure
However Mayet says Monsanto was grossly understating the problem.According to her own information, some farms have suffered up to 80% crop failures. The centre is strongly opposed to GM-food and biologically-manipulated technology in general.

"Monsanto says they just made a mistake in the laboratory, however we say that biotechnology is a failure.You cannot make a 'mistake' with three different varieties of corn.'

Demands urgent government investigation:
"We have been warning against GM-technology for years, we have been warning Monsanto that there will be problems,' said Mayet. She calls for an urgent government investigation and an immediate ban on all GM-foods in South Africa.
Of the 1,000 South African farmers who planted Monsanto's GM-maize this year, 280 suffered extensive crop failure, writes Rapport.

Monsanto's local spokeswoman Magda du Toit said the 'company is engaged in establishing the exact extent of the damage on the farms'. She did not want to speculate on the extent of the financial losses suffered right now.

Managing director of Monsanto in Africa, Kobus Lindeque, said however that 'less than 25% of the Monsanto-seeded farms are involved in the loss'. He says there will be 'a review of the seed-production methods of the three varieties involved in the failure, and we will made the necessary adjustments.'

He denied that the problem was caused in any way by 'bio-technology'. Instead, there had been 'insufficient fertilisation during the seed-production process'.
And Grain-SA's Nico Hawkins says they 'are still support GM-technology; 'We will support any technology which will improve production.' see

He also they were 'satisfied with Monsanto's handling of the case,' and said Grain-SA was 'closely involved in the claims-adjustment methodology' between the farmers and Monsanto.

Farmers told Rapport that Monsanto was 'bending over backwards to try and accommodate them in solving the problem.

"It's a very good gesture to immediately offer to compensate the farmers for losses they suffered,' said Kobus van Coller, one of the Free State farmers who discovered that his maize cobs were practically seedless this week.

"One can't see from the outside whether a plant is unseeded. One must open up the cob leaves to establish the problem,' he said. The seedless cobs show no sign of disease or any kind of fungus. They just have very few seeds, often none at all.
The South African supermarket-chain Woolworths already banned GM-foods from its shelves in 2000. However South African farmers have been producing GM-corn for years: they were among the first countries other than the United States to start using the Monsanto products.

The South African government does not require any labelling of GM-foods. Corn is the main staple food for South Africa's 48-million people.

The three maize varieties which failed to produce seeds were designed with a built-in resistance to weed-killers, and manipulated to increase yields per hectare, Rapport writes.

Monday, April 05, 2010

Rolling Over Loans, Federal Prosecutions - Open Letter


As a concerned citizen I've been very worried about all of the free money that mayor has said that city is getting from non-tax revenue.

Anytime someone starts bragging about money for nothing, you know there's always a catch. I assumed at the time that I heard it, that the city was rolling over loans, so they would balloon and explode later. I knew that municipalities and governments were doing this, as I keep up with topical financial issues and enjoy researching economics and science.

After all, when people who are accustomed to living in a certain way, find their costs going up, it's typical for them to begin running up debts. They start using their credit cards for income or take on a second mortgage, in hopes that their personal downturn is temporary. This is fine so long as the downturn is temporary.

In our current nation's downturn, I cannot find a single reason to believe that recovery is co,ming in the next few years. Sure the Federal Government shows happy figures demonstrating that we're being flushed down the toilet at a slower rate. But later, like clockwork, they come out with the corrected reports that tell us that the flushing is going faster.

In fact, none of the problems that led to our nation's crisis has been repaired. Instead, the Federal Government has given their rubber stamp of approval to continued fraud on multiple levels. The Federal Government has no choice. Foreign investors have been dropping out of the Treasury Auctions. Our Federal Government's parabolically rising deficit, is being supported by a form of rollover refinancing. Much the same sort of shgenaighan that many US cities are doing. The same sort of creative financing that brought down Greece. The same sort of financing, that I suspect, but cannot prove, that The City Of Irving is getting it's 'free' money from.

What the Federal government is doing is guaranteeing loans from the Federal Reserve to the major banks, at effectively 0% interest. These loans are guaranteed by the taxpayer and will have to be repaid by the taxpayer, if the banks don't pay it back. The banks then loan this free money to the Federal Government at 4% interest. The taxpayer is on the hook of course to pay this back and to make interest payments, effectively on money it loaned to the banks. When these banks run into financial trouble again, and they will, then the taxpayer will have to repay $Trillions of dollars to the Federal Reserve. $Trillions to the banks when they call the loans. Then $Trillions again to bail out the banks. The US Gov will likely just speed up the rate of borrowing in order to pay this off. Rolling over debt is like that. It tends to go parabolic and the borrowing has to increase in speed with every crisis.

In the mean time, the biggest banks are operating with effectively no reserve requirements. They are marking dead beat loans at full value, and Goldman Sachs is actually front running trades, by illegally operating computers inside the Exchanges to to act as an illegal middle man to suck the difference out of third party trades. The Federal Government has sanctioned all of this, while buying up toxic loans at face value, not market value, to cut their losses and transfer them to the taxpayer. The Federal Government has allowed this in order to help banks, that are actually too big to profit from business dealings on a finite planet, to keep growing.

When the next crisis comes, the Federal Government will have to find even more outrageous ways to keep the majors growing.

I know this email is getting long, but I'm getting to my point. This next crisis increase the rate of job loss and do more damage to state and city revenues. Irving, because it's in the middle of the country (East West Vantage), sees a lag in the nation's economic problems. But as you well know, it's not immune. In the upcoming downturn, I expect Irving to take a bigger hit.

If as I suspect, Irving is rolling over loans in some creative accounting games, the banks are likely to call the notes. They have been doing this in city after city already. They know that they have been selling time bombs to our nation's cities. And they make counter bets that these creative loans will fail. Counter bets that they know will be guaranteed by the US taxpayer. It's fraud that they are engaging in. But it's government sanctioned fraud. Even as city council members and contractors in cities all over the USA are going to prison for taking these deals, the bankers themselves appear to have immunity from the law. The US Gov owes them so much money, it dares not hold them accountable.

I've been worrying about how the upcoming crash is going to affect my city. I suspect that the city is getting this free money through such creative accounting tricks, even as it's residents see their jobs lost and salaries cut. I could well be wrong. Our Mayor and his lavishly salaried City Manager buddy, may have found a magical money tree. But the lack of transparency in their statements about where the money is coming from, has me assuming the worst.

And have you followed the City of Birmingham Alabama? According to a recent Matt Taibbi article, almost everyone in the upper levels of the City government and many in the county, went to prison for their dealings with the banks. "If you go into the county courthouse," says Michael Morrison, a planner who works for the county, "there's a gallery of past commissioners on the wall. On the top row, every single one of 'em but two has been investigated, indicted or convicted. It's a joke.". The bankers ran off with the money and no persecutions.

I heartily suggest that you read Matt Taibbi's article. When the City of Irving crashes financially, Federal Prosecutors will be combing the personal records of everyone in the city government. I hope and pray that our city leaders are not engaged in the same shenanigans that have swept our nation like a cancer. But the odds are, that the City of Irving has walked into the same trap that many other cities have walked into.

If my suspicions are correct, then it's not a matter of if, but when. Because you can't keep rolling over loans on a declining income. Eventually, you'll come up short and you'll fall into arrears. The banks have really done a number on our economy, just as they did in South America in the 1990s. There is no reason to believe that we'll fare better.

I hope that I am wrong. I hope that our city has not fallen for these traps. When the decision to give the City Manager a princely luxury salary was made, at the beginning of our crisis, I have to admit, my hopes were all but lost. When magical non-specific reassurances of free money were announced, I began to fear the worst.

I wait now, for the next wave crisis to wash over our nation, to see if my fears will be confirmed.

Are you ready for the upcoming mass layoffs the city will have to engage in, to cover the bonds?

An Irving Resident.

Friday, April 02, 2010


This cutie was found recently by the border patrol near Mexico. He was found in a cage in the desert with no food or water. The theory is that smugglers dumped him to avoid being caught with contraband.

He's currently doing very well in his new permanent home at In-Sync.

I had the chance to visit with him this last Monday. He was very playful and affectionate. It was easy to see that the volunteers working with him, really wanted to give him hugs, and play with him, but that's a bad thing to get a young tiger used to. After all, they grow up.

Buy Buy American Pie