Smorgasbord

We are most likely to get angry and excited in our opposition to some idea when we ourselves are not quite certain of our own position, and are inwardly tempted to take the other side.

Thomas Mann

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A very short article tonight.  Been busy most of the day, with everything from laundry to dinner to clean up before the landlord comes over

So many brain cells to kill, so little time...

Tuesday.  It is a very busy, yet mundane existence, mine.  But I tell you I don’t really mind.  I’ve had my fill of excitement in my drunken misspent youth.  It was fun then, but lasted too long and became a hassle, so I gave it up.  Haven’t looked back.  I’ve had a few beers on rare occasions since, but nothing to make me want to go back to the old life. 

I like being sharp… well… sharper at any rate.  I love the fact that I can have an intelligent conversation now.  I really wasn’t able to back then, not being in full control of all my faculties.  Any of them on some days.  Any day you end up passed out drunk somewhere, you don’t have anything even remotely resembling faculties worth a damn. 

Nope. Don’t miss’em.  Not even a little.  Surprisingly though, I do get the hankering for the occasional beer.  Dunno why, because I know where it leads.  One beer isn’t bad, can’t be, it’s only one. The problem I used to have was it was never one, it was always the first, usually of a great many, or at least too damn many for me.  One isn’t the problem.  17 with a few shots is the problem, which is why I cut it off at zero.  Can’t go to hell if you aren’t on the road to hell, now can ya?

Still, when the wife says she wants to go to Aruba and have a balashi, the local brew, it does get me to thinking it would be nice, just once, to be able to have a few and not feel that pull, that feeling that would take me from having a few, to having enough to make me blackout. But that is what happened back when I was drinking.  A lot. 

Those days are gone, and I’m glad to have seen the back of them, to use the English expression.

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BP says things are getting better.  I’m not buying it.  Are you? Coast Guard says the leak won’t be plugged until fall.  That sounds more realistic, doesn’t it.  Don’t feed me rainbows and happiness when all the world has turned into a giant shit.

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Futures on the DJIA are down 114 points as of 10:10 pm.  S&P futures are down 13.3 points.  Guess I get to play the game I played in 2008, the HOW LOW CAN YOU GO game!  That game ended with me losing my job the day the DJIA bottomed out in 2009.  The two events are meshed in my mind together now, and won’t come undone.  I can’t get into playing it quite like I used to, for what should be obvious reasons.

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People who buy apple stuff suck.  IPAD looks like a waste of time.  IPOD has a few happy features, but isn’t anything to write home about.  I’ve seen macs.  Won’t touch’em, just because I don’t want to be part of some fucking movement where I have to own all the latest shit made by some rich idiot who is trying to get richer by making shiny crap that looks pretty and costs way too much.

The hell with Steve Jobs and Apple.  Steve Jobs Sucks.  Apple sucks.  I have very few dollars and intend to keep as many of them as possible.

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This fantastic state of mind, of a humanity that has outrun its ideas, is matched by a political scene in the grotesque style, with Salvation Army methods, hallelujahs and bell-ringing and dervishlike repetition of monotonous catchwords, until everybody foams at the mouth. Fanaticism turns into a means of salvation, enthusiasm into epileptic ecstasy, politics becomes an opiate for the masses, a proletarian eschatology; and reason veils her face.

Thomas Mann

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Viddy of the day to end things tonight.  A viddy from CBS about the BP disaster.

G’night America.

March’s Rhino Nuggets

Once a month or so, I clear out some of the pages and place them here on the blog to make room for fresh content on those pages.  These are the entries from the page “Rhino Nuggets” from March.  Not happy with the fact that I missed as many days writing nuggets as I did, but I was busy with my first real job in  a year.

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March 1st:  The interview went rather well.  I am going to be cautiously optimistic here.  The job is only a temp job, and the assignment is only 6 months long, but can lead to permanent employment in a few months if I do really well.   The implication is that the pay would go up a lot upon sign on.  Implications mean nothing though, and I’ll wait to see if I land the gig before talking about any future speculation about it.

A district attorney bitch slaps a fake pimp! Ha!

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March 2nd:  It looks like the New York Rangers may be making a move today, one day before the NHL trade deadline.  They just put both Enver Lisin and Aaron Voros on waivers.  One potential name I’ve heard that might come to New York is Pavol DeMitra.  I’m not counting on that though.  I dropped a line to Bob McKenzie from TSN, awaiting a response.  When I hear about it, you’ll hear about it.

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March 3rd:  Spent most of the day watching the least interesting NHL trade deadline ever.  The show itself was good enough,  But with the big moves being made before the Olympic break, there really wasn’t much going on.  Rangers did nada.  Caps made some moves, but just to fill holes in their PK.  The Pens made the biggest move of the day, when they made it official and grabbed Ponikarovsky from Toronto.

Two New York Reps in deep shit.  Charlie Rangel fucked himself with stupid bullshit, and Eric Massa had a health scare of some kind, but also has been alleged to have sexually harassed a male staffer.  Massa says he’s not running again because of the health issue, but I would guess the angry man love has at least something to do with it.

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March 5th:  Good news on the Jobs front for the nation.  Job losses were lower than expected.  Unemployment was expected to rise this month, but stayed steady at 9.7%.  Beats trending up, which is what was actually expected for February’s numbers. 

Interesting factoid. The average American makes, and always has made, more than I have.  Now, that isn’t surprising now, seeing how I am unemployed and all, but even when I was working, and a supervisor at that, I was making LESS than the average American worker.  Cheap Bastards.

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March 6th:  I went through my e-mail and found an e-mail from monday asking me to send my date of birth to the place where I had the interview only a few hours before.  I didn’t see it until just today.  DAMMIT!  I called them on friday and they asked me for it again, so hopefully I can get started on the road to employment with these people soon. 

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March 7th:  I went to the S.I. St. Patty’s day parade today.  Relaxed, stood in one place and took pics with my cell phone.  I was going to take pics and viddys with the camera I brought with me, but the batteries in the camera conked the hell out before I could take one single fucking picture,  and I had no money to buy batteries.  Dammit! 

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March 8th: A story that I had watched with some interest a while ago, but fell off of my radar popped back on today.  Just going through stories on the EFF website, found out that in late January, the judge in the case Jewel vs. NSA judged for the NSA and against the EFF in its effort to stop warrantless wiretapping against American citizens. 

The fourth amendment, it is finished! Done! Gone!  It’s protections wiped away, by the actions of one bureau of unelected bureaucrats and one judge, who thinks that because the NSA is spying on ALL Americans, the courts have no power to do anything, even if that action is blatantly illegal.

Fortunately, the case is being appealed.  Rooting like mad for the EFF to win this appeal.  Smells like a case that’ll end up in the supreme court eventually.  

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March 9th: Two dark anniversaries today.  It was one year ago today that the stock market hit its lowest point in this recession, bottoming at  6547.04 points. It has since gone up to 10522.  That is good news at least.

The second anniversary is more personal.  It was one year ago today, at precisely 9:53 am, that I was terminated from my previous job.  I can’t believe a year has gone by and I haven’t landed anywhere yet.  Called a place today hoping for a response, waiting for a callback.  Wish me luck.

The stock market rebounded, I will too.  But dammit it isn’t happening fast enough.

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March 11th:  Just read an interesting article on Bloomberg, about our president and his handling of the economy.  A quote follows

“If he was a Republican, we would hear a never-ending drumbeat of news stories about markets voting in favor of the president.”

The economy has also strengthened beyond expectations at the time Obama took office.

But you don’t hear that. Why? I’ve told you. Right wing main stream media. they control the message, they control the media, or enough of it where it becomes obvious that the media has a bias against anyone that is not “right-wing”, politically.

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March 12th:  My readership has taken a sudden and severe nosedive.  Last week, two weeks ago i was getting a three to four hundred readers a day, like I have for the past year or so, and so far my best day this week is around 200, and I have hardly even been looked at today.  The drop occurred after I edited the publish date on my  “about the rhino” page. 

Finally got rid of those damn spammers. Had I known the easy way to do it was to alter the publish date, I’d have started changing it monthly ages ago, to keep the bastards away from me.

The nosedive does annoy me though.  I didn’t know I was that dependent on spammers for good viewership.  Fuck’em.

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March 13th:  Windiest day in i couldn’t tell you how long today.  I was thinking of running today, but with soaking rains and winds gusting to 70 mph, I think the decision to stay in, to not run was the right one.  Not going to run tomorrow or Monday either, so I get a few days to heal up a bit before i run Tuesday night.   In other news…

The right must be spooked by the coffee party movement, they keep putting it down as some creation of a “former Obama campaign operative”  The woman in question, Annabel Park, has not hidden the fact that she used to work for the President, and for a short time, the New York Times, and yet they act like there is some massive conspiracy to hide the truth.  She has made no bones about her past affiliations.  And so what if she used to work for him, or them? Does it matter? No.  Should it? No. 

The tea party pansies are just quaking in their boots because an antidote has been found to the madness of the tea parties, and they don’t know what to do about it. Nice.

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March 15th:  Been busy the last few days, what with my first day of work today, and trying to get ready to get bankruptcy started and all. 

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March 16th:  The bankruptcy thing was a mess.  Got to the place late, after getting lost in Manhattan, something that can only happen in a few neighborhoods, and I was in one of them, and almost had to re-schedule, but the guy was running late, or some such bullshit.  No worries.  They start the thing up, everything seems to be going fine, I get called last.  No worries again.  

I finally get into an office to talk to a lawyer after waiting 2 and a half hours, and a few minutes in, after the lawyer says he wasn’t sure if I was eligible (despite the fact that my wife makes next to nothing and I have been until yesterday on unemployment) for bankruptcy he asks me for my questionnaire.

My what?  I never got one.  That brings the meeting to a screeching halt. He doesn’t even look at all the stuff I brought in.  He needs tax stuff for the last 2 years, which no one said I needed.  He needs 6 months worth of bank account statements, which no one said I needed.  Or a cable bill. or my renters insurance. or my lease.  None of these were mentioned when I spoke to them on the phone to make this appointment.

Ya know,YOU FUCKING ASSHOLES, the next time you want to meet with me, TELL ME WHAT YOU FUCKING NEED FROM ME, AND PROVIDE ME WHAT I NEED TO GET THIS DONE RIGHT. Idiots, Lawyers are friggin idiots. I walked in, completely unprepared, because of these idiots over at legal services NYC.  I’ll use the service, it’ll be OK (I hope), but it makes me wonder how wise a maneuver this is.  I mean, if they can’t get a simple thing like “could you bring in tax returns and bank account statements” and mail me a questionnaire, then how the hell are they gonna teach me to do Bankruptcy, which is a helluva lot more complex than that, on my own?

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March 20th:  I find it curious that two different groups within the same religion could read the health care bill so differently. Nuns and Bishops in the Catholic church seem to be at odds on the bills abortion langauge, with one nun, Sister Simone Campbell, head of the Catholic lobbying group “Network”, implying that the bishops are acting more out of political loyalty to the right than pure ethical motives in this fight.

The head of the Catholic Alliance for the Common good says that the bishops views are purist, and they are about the only ones who read the bill the way they do, and Rep. Dale Kildee, 81, an anti-abortion Democrat, says he will not change his mind and support abortion, at this point in his life and support abortion, and he supports this bill.

Things are getting hectic on the hill. 

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March 22nd:  Joe Scarborough is an idiot.  The man says that liberals are wrong to say that only government can bring about competition in the insurance industry to make things fair for all Americans.  My response is two fold.  1) If it was going to show up, it already would have.  2) The government is “of, by and for the people” , and can be trusted to be fair to itself, and may be the only organization capable of reigning in the monster that is health care insurance.

Arguments, anyone? 

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March 26th:  Work was good this week.  Got my first paycheck, a little under $318 for 4 days work, comes to about $80 a day.  Next weeks check will be for 5 days, and the one after for the upcoming work week, will again be 4 days.  The office is closed on good Friday.  I haven’t worked in a place that closed on good Friday…ever to my knowledge.

Man, I hope this temp job becomes permanent.  That would make my year.

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March 27th:  Companies, it seems are paying more for medical expenses, and having to write down losses because of it, and there is talk of some of them dropping peoples coverage due to expenses.  John Deere having a one time $150,000,000 expense write down and AT&T has announced a $1,000,000,000 write down.  Why?  A tax loophole was closed that allowed companies to write off medical expenses twice, and now they will not be able to use that money to pad their bottom lines. 

No lost coverage though, Medicare will cover if companies won’t, and savings from the elimination of the subsidy should offset, by and large, the expense added to medicare.

Deep Blue Friday

  Ahhhhh, the joys of Black Friday.  Idiots in a mall to start things off. 

2 Typical Black Friday Shoppers

  You were off of work on Thursday.  You ate turkey. You watched football.  Maybe you drank beer. Whether you had Friday off or not, you were damn well going to make it in, to shop, not to the office, and get those special black friday deals. 

    You got to sleep early, maybe you even went and slept in your car, dedicated asshole shopper that you are.  Whatever the circumstances, you got there early. WAY early. You got to the mall before the sun did, before the warmth did, before anything but you and the other maniacs shoppers.

   You fought the cold. You fought the crowds.  You dealt with the smell of people who had the foresight to get to the mall early, but forgot their deodorant and the toothpaste and toothbrush.  You fought the rush and the crush.  You got your Zhu Zhu hamsters for your daughter.  You got that PSP 3000 w/Gran Turismo for your son.  You missed out on the “crocodile dentist chomper” game for your nephew Smedley, what the hell ever that is (the wife said get it, so you looked), but you got the boy some schweet toy cars.  Boys and cars, that mix never gets old.

   You spent 12 hours shopping, you got the Ipod at Wal-mart, the last one in the store, you kinda ran over the old woman to get it.  She got you back though, ran over your bad toe.  She apologized too, so you couldn’t say much, so you just mumbled a  “that’s OK” even though both of you knew it it was really about you almost flattening her.  Small price to pay.  

     $275, plus tax. 

    You got most of what you wanted.  Even that hot lil number for the wife at Victoria’s secret. Now your credit card is so hot your wallet is smoking, you’ve spent more than you have…  Again.  The bank account is significantly smaller than it was yesterday, and the car payment is due on Tuesday.  So is the rent.  Cable and the electric the week after. 

   Nice start to the Holidays, Isn’t it?  Makes you just wanna sing Christmas carols, Dun’it?

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   Easy for me to pontificate, I don’t have any friggin money.  But then again, who does? I wouldn’t have the money for retail therapy (as my wife likes to call mall excursions) of the kind i mentioned without knocking over a $^%#$% bank.

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    Happy to report that the stock market fell much less than I thought it would. Signs showed a big drop looming for Friday on the dow,  a 3+% drop early Friday morning, but the market only lost around 1.5% today, dropping 154 points.  We can hope that today’s market drop, caused in part by a weak dollar and billions in debt from Dubai, will even out and not be troublesome like the signs early friday morning indicated they would be.  It can’t be that bad. The Dax and the FTSE both ended Friday in positive territory. 

     Watching a bloomberg viddy (embedding for this viddy has been disabled, click here to watch it) talking about the Dubai debt crisis.   “Look where greed is going at the greatest pace…and they’ll see where the next problems are gonna unravel.”   Buddy, you are talking about WALL STREET INVESTORS.  These guys are f****** vultures, They live by the Gordon Gecko “Greed is good” philosophy.  Follow your advice and you’ll have people putting their money in holes in their mattresses.

    Which I am sure a few are, but you don’t need to PUSH them to do it like that.   

   In the meantime, the people actually in Dubai are having a very rough go of it. I can sympathize with the workers being stuck in the middle here.

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     That’s it from here.  Later!

Today’s nuggets, Via Wikiquote: Wise men profit more from fools than fools from wise men; for the wise men shun the mistakes of fools, but fools do not imitate the successes of the wise.   Cato

To hold the same views at forty as we held at twenty is to have been stupefied for a score of years, and take rank, not as a prophet, but as an unteachable brat, well birched and none the wiser.   Robert Louis Stevenson

We should be careful to get out of an experience only the wisdom that is in it— and stop there; lest we be like the cat that sits down on a hot stove-lid. She will never sit down on a hot stove-lid again— and that is well; but also she will never sit down on a cold one anymore.   Mark Twain

Late Night Idle Talk

     I am hanging out, relaxing after a night of eating too much turkey and mashed potatoes and cake and pie and all sorts of goodies that are truly not at all healthy, and loving it.  Right now, a scant few hours after the carnage, I’m sitting in a fairly well darkened room, lit only with the light of computer screens and Christmas lights, the sounds of a computer game being played by my wife occasionally going “DING” in the background, with “Good king wenceslas” being sung by the Hereford Cathedral choir playing from my old computer speakers.  I can faintly smell the downstairs neighbors smoking, and can just make out the aroma of the leftover turkey that I brought back from my mothers house, after the annual Thanksgiving pilgrimage 2 miles north to mom and dad’s place for some festive noms.

     The thing I take from this day is a feeling of peace and happiness that I often get from these family get-togethers.  We are a close knit bunch, and have been since I can remember.  Times change, people change, but family is always family, being with them is being in a safe haven in a turbulent world, in a place to forget that the world is a weight on everyone’s shoulders, even if only for a few hours. 

   Joy to the World.  Life is good.

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     Life is good, and yet, there be turbulence on the horizon.  Apparently Dubai, a tiny oil rich nation on the Arabian peninsula, which has more recently come to depend on real estate, construction and it’s financial sector as well as oil, is flat broke. I mean stone flat broke.  The nations main investment company is seeking to delay payment on $59,000,000,000 in debt.  The fear is that Dubai may have to default, and it has a great many people rattled. 

     The yen, the dollar, and markets around the world have reacted negatively to this.  For a while today (it’s past 3pm  in Tokyo as of this writing at 1:16am in New York) the dollar fell to a 14 year low before recovering somewhat.  The Hang seng is down 3½%,  the Nikkei is down 3¼%, as are the DAX and the FTSE futures. 

    A light trading day is usually what you expect to see on a half day like there is going to be today.  Even if there is a light day though, the market is probably going to tank.  The DJIA futures market, which i started looking at about an hour and a half ago, has lost about 70 points in that time. Not bad, but the market when I started looking at it, was already down over 180 points.  It is right now down about 2.5%.  Both S&P and  Nasdaq futures are down over 3%.  

     Market correction or global recovery losing traction? It took the fall of 2 financial giants, and the near sinking of AIG fed by bad mortgages and speculation to cause a disaster last year.  What will the near collapse of a wealthy nation due to billions in debt, (when there are nations{ahem} with trillions in debt) which in turn is causing people to run from riskier assets and causing jitters over worldwide credit do? 

    Just call my name, cause I’ll hear you scream….

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     MASTER.  MASTER.

    The music and the mood have changed quite a bit.  Gone is the mellow christmasy music, the METAL is flowing and it feels good.  Lots of metallica and Ozzy/Sabbath.  But that is only fitting i guess, reading the financial news when it’s bad gets the juices flowing a bit.  But I’m done with that for now, and I’m thinking I’ll just finish listening to “After Forever” and then toss on some more relaxed fair.  Tis almost 2 am. Calmness, Herr Rhino, no need to mosh right now.

     Ahhhhhh, a bit of Heitor Villa-Lobos.  Kinda thing that makes me grab the guitar and look at it and ask “what am I doing wrong, why can’t I play like that?”

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That’s it from here.  Later!

Today’s Nuggets, via Wikiquote: You know how I define the economic and social classes in this country? The upper class keeps all of the money, pays none of the taxes. The middle class pays all of the taxes, does all of the work. The poor are there… just to scare the shit out of the middle class. Keep ’em showing up at those jobs.  George Carlin

Thanksgiving is not an anachronism whose time is past. It is much more than a holiday to celebrate a meal shared between the Pilgrims and Native Americans. It is a time to reflect and be thankful for what we have–not for what we cherish, desire or envy.   Ted Nugent

I know of nothing more despicable and pathetic than a man who devotes all the hours of the waking day to the making of money for money’s sake.  John D. Rockefeller

Anagram: I Wasn’t Invited/ In Distant View

       Usually I’m a little more on the ball than this, usually a little bit more attentive to these details.  But apparently I missed out on the big news before it came out. Maybe because I was blogging about and thinking about hockey too damned much.  What did I miss?

        The Market dropped like a stone today.  Fell 203 points.  Now, it couldn’t stay up forever, obviously, but a 2+% drop on the strength(or weakness) of manufacturing and jobs loss data. Oof, missed the boat completely here.  And it gets worse, futures are down at this point, because traders are getting a bit antsy about the September Jobs report due out before the opening bell.   I wouldn’t get too too nervous though.  It’s not like those job numbers are going to go back to December 2008/ January 2009 levels any time soon. There are whispers that the number will be worse than expected, those being the exact words I read in a report from cnbc a few minutes ago.  We’ll see if there is any real reason to fear when those numbers come out in a few hours, and if the markets will act, react, or overreact to the news. 

    I’m expecting that any number over 150,000 will spook the market, which some people see as being very overvalued, and will cause a selloff similar to, but not as precipitous as the one we saw today. I have seen, and if you pay attention to the viddy below, you’ll see that the consensus is for the fall in the September job numbers to be around in the 150-160,000 range.  Bloomberg has a worst case consensus range of 235,000.

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     That’s about it for me tonight.  I’ve been watching hockey, and I am going to go catch some post game stuff on the NHL network.   BTW I was watching Vs. before and I watched the first goal of the year.  For those of you that are interested, it was scored by Brooks Laich on a power play, assisted by Nik Backstrom and Alex Ovechkin.  The Bruins Goalie, Tim Thomas,  got pulled out of position and fell  down away from the goal mouth and the puck essentially landed on Laich’s stick, who came around from behind the net to get into position, with several feet of goal mouth in front of him and no one to stop him. 

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Later!

Today’s Nuggets, by John Maynard Keynes, Via wikiquote:  The love of money as a possession — as distinguished from the love of money as a means to the enjoyments and realities of life — will be recognised for what it is, a somewhat disgusting morbidity, one of those semi-criminal, semi-pathological propensities which one hands over with a shudder to the specialists in mental disease … But beware! The time for all this is not yet. For at least another hundred years we must pretend to ourselves and to everyone that fair is foul and foul is fair; for foul is useful and fair is not. Avarice and usury and precaution must be our gods for a little longer still.

Markets can remain irrational longer than you can remain solvent.

Anagram: A Thorough Rebel/ A Three Hour Blog

       The wife tells me that these things always take me three hours to do.  I told her I thought she was off by quite a bit and said it took 90 money1minutes, tops.  So do you want to know how I spent the next 20 minutes? Working on the blog title and the anagram for it.  She may be closer to right that I gave her credit for.  If it takes 20 minutes to work out thirty five letters, twenty eight without the word anagram, then things are going to progress slowly. 

     LOL.

     So lets try to move a bit quicker here for the next segment, which is about saving money….kinda.

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     YAY!  We are saving money…or something.  I am reading a story on bloomberg, (who tend to skew there stories, but that is another point for another time) where they say that the United States has spent $11,600,000,000,000 in fighting this recession.  That is an insane number.  But the Amazing thing is the number has actually fallen by almost 10% over the last 6 months.  In March that number was $12,800,000,000,000.  The numbers here are a combination of loans spending and guarantees.  With the major issues in the banking sector dealt with, or at least handled for the time being, the Fed is now concentrating on buying mortgage backed securities. 

     That number is going to drop further, and much faster than it has in the past six months, due to programs that the fed had instituted that either are coming to an end or have already ended.  The treasury had a program to guarantee money market funds that came and went without paying out a dime.  This program was instituted after there was a run on the money markets last September 18th, to the tune of $550,000,000,000 in 90 minutes.  It speaks to the paranoia that was created by the events of last September that not one claim was paid on this.  If there was a real issue with money market funds, claims would have been paid for money lost due to damage from the financial systems massive drop.  5 other programs are set to expire between the end of October and February next year which will lower the total hit by $2,500,000,000,000 dollars.

    It’s still a helluva lot of money, but if we can drop out debt due to this financial crisis from 12.8 trillion in march 2009 to 9.1 trillion in February 2010, that gives me hope that our children and our children’s children wont have to pay such a crushing debt.  Someone is doing something right.

     For once. 

    There is one very nice additional feature in this story. It is listing of numbers at the bottom it, which lists in some detail the amount spent(listed as current) on the recovery, and the amount the fed has to work (listed as limit) with as well.

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         With that good news from the fed on money spent, one wonders how long this drop in the markets will continue, and how it will effect the markets.  I checked the futures market a few hours ago and it was up over 20 points, I just looked and it’s down over 30 points, a 50 point swing in futures in a few hours on a Sunday night.  That however doesn’t mean the market is going to drop again tomorrow.  Fair value is down but not that much. 

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  54 minutes in, 2 links, One Viddy, and almost 550 words.  I think I can get this done in 90 minutes, maybe even less.  Nice. One more story and I am done.

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    Ahhhhh, the joy of international politics. Iran is a party these days, isn’t it?  A second nuke plant, along the lines of a weapons grade nuke facility

That's gonna leave a mark...

that they tried to hide and only talked about after they found out the western powers knew about them, a belligerent and defiant tone after it was found, and now Missile tests.  The short range ones they fired today aren’t the real issue, they’ve done that before, several times. It is the announcement of plans for a long range missile test.  This long(er) range missile will have the capacity to hit Israel.

      Israel isn’t going to take that, and they have already threatened air strikes against Iran to keep them from getting nukes.  An imminent strike seems less likely, at least according to one report in the telegraph.

     There is a meeting between several nations and iran, including Russia, China, and the United States.  It’ll be interesting to watch how this plays out.  Diplomacy is what Our President wants to see win the day here. We will find out how good he is at the game of diplomacy.  One hopes he is as masterful here as he was on the floor of the U.N. last week.

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    That is it from here, except for the usual quotes.  Have a good night!

Today’s Nuggets, Via Wikiquote:  The first thing necessary for a constructive dealing with time is to learn to live in the reality of the present moment. For psychologically speaking, this present moment is all we have.   Rollo May

Earnest in practicing the ordinary virtues, and careful in speaking about them, if, in his practice, he has anything defective, the superior man dares not but exert himself; and if, in his words, he has any excess, he dares not allow himself such license. Thus his words have respect to his actions, and his actions have respect to his words; is it not just an entire sincerity which marks the superior man?   Confucius

95 minutes. DAMMIT, I was SOOOOOOOO close!

Anagram: Factionalists/ Fat Stoic Snail

    Nothing to do with the main body of the blog itself, just a one minute speech by Rep. Joe Wilson from South Carolina.  Sounding sane, but very short on facts. 

        I apologize right off the bat today for not writing about what I said I was going to write about yesterday.  I said I’d writer about real oppression (Pol Pot, Stalin, Mugabe, Hitler) or about tomorrow’s Primaries here on Staten6a00d8341c630a53ef0120a56ee0ff970b Island (Vassky, Liu, Mitchell, Rose, etc…)  I’ll try to do a bit about the primaries later tonight or early tomorrow, if I find the time.  Gonna go over some stuff I think is a wee bit funny first today.

       Ya see, there’s this picture that caught my eye.  Take a look at it, courtesy of the L.A. Times.  It’s a picture of a few gazillion people, supposedly of the 9/12  tea party, meeting at the National Mall in Washington.   It purported to show over a million, maybe two million people there.  If the picture was an accurate portrayal, the tea party would have been massive, but there was only one problem.

    It wasn’t a picture of the tea party at all. 

        It was actually a picture from a massive promise keepers rally at the national mall over a decade ago, October 1997 to be precise.  The problem with the photo was a simple one, well two actually. The Cranes in front of the Smithsonian is one clue.  On the left edge of the photo second building from the bottom.  The last time there were cranes in front of the Smithsonian was when they were building the Imax theater there. 

      In the 1990’s.

    The other clue is a missing building.  Near the top right, there should be a building, National Museum of the American Indian.  It’s not there. 

      Oops.

     The actual crowd estimate, an unofficial one by Pete Piringer, public affairs officer for the D.C. Fire and Emergency Department, put the crowd at closer to 60,000 to 75,000 people.  Mind you even this number is not necessarily correct, because the city no longer keeps official crowd estimate numbers, due to potential politicizing of them. 

    May well have been larger than 75,000, but it was definitely NOT over 1,000,000 like some reports had made it out to be.

    For all that the republicans want publicity and need all the help they can get, the continuous negative stream of lies and other crap that comes from that end is really starting to hurt them.  Like has been noted previously, the democrats have lost some steam the last few months, but the republicans have not been able to capitalize, due, i think, in large part to their just being blisteringly full of shit.  SOOOOO many conspiracy theories, so many stupid lies, so many Hitler/fascist/socialist references, and the bulk of the population just doesn’t seem to be going for it.  The base LOOOOOOOOOOVES it, but it doesn’t play well for the average American.

    The democrats have their moments of bullshit as well, but nothing quite as amazingly full of shit as the right has shown itself to be.

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   In other news, The financial world got some good news, at least as far as government ownership is concerned.  The Treasusry department is money1exploring selling the stock it owns in citigroup, getting rid of all of the more than 7,000,000,000 common shares of citigroup that is currently property of the Treasury over the next 6 to 8 months, and yes that is 7 billion shares.  Why now? Why not? We the people stand to make a healthy profit from this.  We bought that stock at $3.25 a share.  Citigroup closed today at over $4.50, and the stock has been slowly rising for a while now. 

     Personally I say wait.   Ride it out a few months extra and see if we can’t get a better price on it.  Say wait until the price is…I dunno $15 a share.  That would be a better than 450% profit on a 21 billion dollar investment.  We have a deficit to pay off, let’s be wise investors here.  It is temporary ownership, but why not make it WISE temporary ownership and make a buck or $96,000,000,000 on it.

    But we can’t wait too long.  Things aren’t exactly perfect in this economy.  Watch a viddy from Friday on bloomberg:

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   That’s it for me.  Later!

Today’s nuggets, via wikiquote:  A properly functioning free market system does not spring spontaneously from society’s soil as crabgrass springs from suburban lawns. Rather, it is a complex creation of laws and mores… Capitalism is a government program.   George Will

To found a great empire for the sole purpose of raising up a people of customers may at first sight appear a project fit only for a nation of shopkeepers. It is, however, a project altogether unfit for a nation of shopkeepers; but extremely fit for a nation whose government is influenced by shopkeepers.  Adam Smith