Monday, April 8, 2013

Zombies

Greetings good citizen,

Still ‘disoriented’ by this ‘backwards schedule’ (I’m up but I haven’t had breakfast yet because coffee will keep me awake and I need to go back to bed later!)

The posts are fewer but the message remains the same, the destruction of our civilization proceeds apace.

When it finally does collapse it will be swift and (insanely enough) unstoppable…mostly due to massive stupidity…but it is really just widespread ignorance.

Talk about your ‘dangerous games’, there will be no ‘recovery’ from the downward spiral our self-professed ‘betters’ have put us in until ‘justice’ has been served/restored.

And that is the one thing the guilty have no interest in…but they need to be tracked down and eradicated all the same.

Or they will serve as an example to a new generation of thieves, just as the ‘robber barons’ of old are the ‘heroes’ of today’s plunderers.

(You see, our grandparents thought they could ‘tax’ the robbers into compliance when letting them live [while keeping their plunder] was the original mistake.)

[And] justice won’t be restored until the link between prospering personally is severed from the exploitation of what we all need to live. (Forcefully creating a huge ‘underclass’.)

But I digress, let’s have a quick peek at today’s headlines:
Sponsors Now Pay for Online Articles, Not Just Ads
By TANZINA VEGA
The strategy of advertisers sponsoring or producing content that looks much like traditional editorial content has become increasingly common as publishers try to create more sources of revenue.
Who needs ‘truth’ when you can pay to have your, er, ‘point of view’ published as the ‘truth’?

How ‘Orwellian’ (and I’m thinking Orson and not George) when we see this kind of ‘abuse’ of the system we rely upon for our information.

War of the Worlds (the radio broadcast) was an ‘example’ of the power of the media. People believe what they see or read in the media because it is our ‘trusted source’ for news.

They aren’t obliged to advise you that 99% of what they publish as fact is actually the opinion of the paper’s management/revenue department.

So, as you now know (kinda) you should only believe half of what you see and even less of what you hear (because most of it is BS.)

More disturbing was an article on one of the ‘top rated’ TV shows on cable…The Walking Dead.

Besides ‘outperforming’ almost every other major broadcast in its Sunday night time slot, the scientifically improbable event is also used as an allegory for our current political climate…if not our society’s entire political philosophy!

[Leading to my earlier comment regarding the ‘ocean of stupidity’ our civilization is being drown in…thanks to the same ‘profit driven’ media.]

Moving on we have this ‘obvious outcome’ making headlines once again:
Greek Banks Suspend Merger Talks
By NIKI KITSANTONIS 9:45 AM ET
National Bank of Greece and Eurobank said they could not raise the necessary capital under the terms of Greece’s agreement with foreign lenders.
Remember when we actually worried and fretted over how we would ‘pay’ for things?

This is that ‘revisited’. How unfortunate is it, good citizen, that the scoundrels who (and remain at large) bankrupted the global banking system (with impunity) have proven what we all only suspected, that all ‘money is ‘funny’, essentially meaningless.

Why else would Geithner’s replacement be taking this position (given the US’s new found role as being ‘on top’ of the world’s remaining fossil fuel reserves?)
U.S. Treasury Chief Talks of Growth in Europe
By ANNIE LOWREY 11:53 AM ET
On his first trip to Europe as Treasury secretary, Jacob J. Lew met with European officials to discuss protecting the global recovery.
Difficult for me, after two years of being unemployed, to dismiss the nascent ‘recovery’…BUT, I returned to work by virtue of a skill that has all but disappeared from these shores, manufacturing.

I’m now in the position of being one of the few that knows how to do this stuff.

So my ‘good fortune’ isn’t due to a tide that is lifting all boats. I caught a lucky niche, bully for me!

Not so good for everyone else I’m afraid.

In our final snippet, let us examine yet another inescapable fact of the ground that is rushing up to meet us…
DEALBOOK
G.E. to Buy Lufkin Industries for $3.3 Billion
By MICHAEL J. DE LA MERCED 12:27 PM ET
The deal is the latest by G.E.’s oil and natural gas unit, one of the fastest-growing parts of the conglomerate.

So Mr. Dillenger, why DO you rob banks?

And he quipped, “Because that’s where the money is!”

Now how many of you are agree with Mr. Dillenger?

Thanks for letting me inside your head,

Gegner


Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Morning in America

Greetings good citizen,

Still not up to regular posting but I thought you shouldn’t miss this excellent post by the incomparable Digby.

As many are noting of late, ‘the Reagan Revolution’ serves as a historical benchmark in the, er, ‘hi-jacking’ of the US government and its subsequent criminal takeover.

The ‘run it into the ground’ policy of the criminals (who disguised themselves as conservatives) becomes evident when we examine what they fondly refer to as “Morning in America.”

Tens of millions of US jobs flowed out of the country while imports flowed freely to hide the drop in GDP.

Our entire economy for the past 35 years has been an exercise in ‘creative accounting' (that has resulted in global bankruptcy.)

Which will soon manifest itself in the collapse of the global supply chain.

Sorry if I seem to be ‘cutting to the chase’ but my powers of concentration are greatly diminished by this disorienting shift change.

Shorter posts will likely be the rule until the situation stabilizes…or should I say ‘if the situation stabilizes.’

Time is running out.

Thanks for letting me inside your head,

Gegner

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Hell, Circled

Greetings good citizen,

Largely because it’s the middle of the night and I don’t have to go in tomorrow I’m taking advantage of my ‘down time’ to create a new post.

Probably how it will go for the next couple of weeks until I adjust to a ‘regular’ 3rd shift pattern.

That said there have been MANY disturbing news items I have wanted to expound upon, including the typical beating of the war drums surrounding North Korea (and how the hopelessly stupid believe we are in danger of ‘eminent attack’!)

Seriously…but the same thing happened when W was drumming up support for an invasion of Afghanistan, followed thirty days later by a totally irrational invasion of Iraq!)

Which is to return to our main theme…the one where I belabor the obvious and point out the destruction of our civilization by the hopelessly greedy (and stupid.)

But let’s see what the ‘guardians of truth and justice’ have for us?
We’re One Big Team, So Run Those Stairs
By JED LIPINSKI
CrossFit, the workout fitness program, is viewed by some companies as a way to improve worker production and morale.
Yes siree, you are a ‘member of the team’ until it becomes more profitable to ship your job to Timbuktu (where your replacement will do what you do for two cents A DAY!)

Lying corporate America keeps insisting that they ‘value’ their employees until they don’t.

The rats have no loyalty.

Your circumstances hinge largely on their inability to replace you with a competent meat puppet that they will also tell what a valued member of the ‘team’ they are!

As long as stupid keeps getting the work out the door, they will remain a ‘valued member of the team’.

But if they start angling for a better, fairer deal, suddenly they are a ‘liability’.

Although complaining about working conditions will also result in ‘early termination’:
As OSHA Emphasizes Safety, Long-Term Health Risks Fester
By IAN URBINA
OSHA, the watchdog agency that many Americans love to hate and industry often faults as overzealous, has largely ignored long-term threats.
Video: A Dangerous Trade
Documents: Investigating a Chemical’s Hazards
Why do workers ‘hate’ OSHA? Because the typical capitalist will terminate employees who complain about unsafe working conditions, often telling the media those workers were ‘unwilling to work’.

In our ‘desperation’ to hold on to our paycheck, many people will throw their would be savior under the bus, ultimately aiding no one.

It’s not until the ‘true blue’ employee loses an appendage and gets terminated for being disabled that they learn who their real ‘friend’ was.

But hey, we have bigger things to worry about:
Oil Pipeline Ruptures in Arkansas
By MICHAEL SCHWIRTZ 11:16 PM ET
An Exxon Mobil crude oil pipeline ruptured near Mayflower, Ark., spilling as many as 10,000 barrels of oil, the company said.
Somehow I don’t think it is particularly helpful to point out that a barrel of oil only has 33 gallons in it. When it’s 33 gallons of black guk it still mighty nasty business.

But locally two water department employees were terminated for ‘dressing’ deer they had shot at one of the town wells.

Now the paper is saying the town may have to pay a fine for ‘contaminating’ the drinking water along with not reporting the incident to the state environmental protection agency.

MORE LUDICROUS is the fact that the town wells are over 1,500 FEET deep…long way for deer blood to ‘seep’ into a portion of the town’s water supply (and the well in question is just down the street from where I live. So theoretically I’d be drinking ‘contaminated water’.

Mind you, Exxon Mobil probably WON’T be fined for spilling crude oil in Arkansas but two town employees who happened to take advantage of a public water source got fired for letting deer blood run 1,500 feet above the town water supply!

You know what the chances are of that blood even reaching the water table, pretty much nil!

Soil bacteria alone will gobble that stuff up long before it even begins to get under the earth.

So why are our environmental police so stupid?

Oh, that’s right, they don’t have to know anything about biology! All they need to know is law, which is written by equally as ignorant legislators!

Did I mention we have a problem with the ‘maladministration’ of our society?

Which probably explains why this myth persists:
Freed From Its Cage, the Gentler Robot
By ANNE EISENBERG
New factory robots, designed to work and play well with others, no longer have to be fenced in to protect workers from accidents.
Let’s leave aside the reality that robots don’t consume the products they make. Once again the ‘trend’ (driven by the greedy and short-sighted capitalist) is towards ‘total automation’.

You no longer have to keep robots isolated if you eliminate humans from the factory altogether!

Thus do we continue to read ‘happy talk’ about robots learning to operate ‘safely’ around their human counterparts.

How many robots will the capitalists need when nobody has a job anymore?

(Or the ONLY jobs left are in healthcare and law enforcement…) It’s a bit too nightmarish to even contemplate a healthcare environment utterly devoid of humans, sort of re-defines the innermost circle of hell, doesn’t it?

It certainly redefines being trapped with no way out.

And this is from Saturday’s NY Times.

How bad does it need to get good citizen?

Thanks for letting me inside your head,

Gegner


Monday, March 25, 2013

Useful idiots

Greetings good citizen,

Once again I apologize to my faithful readers for the scant postings of late but adjusting to this 3rd shift schedule at my age is proving quite the feat.

You don’t know what to do when (and you pay dearly for your mis-steps) you are also perpetually playing catch-up in the sleep department. (No matter how much you get you still wake up addled!)

I thought I had outgrown the wish that someone would bottle ‘rest’ but there it is!

This constant state of fatigue isn’t conducive to writing coherently and I deal in that which is barely coherent on a good day!

I am tempted to throw in the towel but after two decades I refuse to let a small thing like a change of shift defeat me.

That said, I am praying for your forbearance as I adjust my internal clock to its new schedule.

But enough with the ‘excuse shirt’, my inability to remain lucid does nothing to alter the predicament faced by our civilization.

Although some curious ‘background music’ has come to mind and it makes one reflect upon the world stage with a renewed sense of alarm.

IF we ‘assume’ a global capitalist take over (a coup if you will) then the world’s nuclear arsenal is all in the hands of a single ‘team’ so to speak.

This goes a long ways towards explaining the nuclear ‘haves’ and ‘have-nots’ (aside from the ‘useful idiot’ argument we are currently expected to swallow.)

So what does Putin’s third term say to us?

Odd how we immediately return to the ‘useful idiot’ argument, don’t we?

Even more disturbing is the question of who is behind these ‘meat-puppets’?

Undoubtedly the one percent but who among them has the clout (to both remain anonymous AND push these otherwise powerful leaders buttons as well?)

Naturally the quick response would be to point out that NO ONE on the world stage is what we could traditionally call a ‘leader’.

And the one calling the shots is too smart to step into the limelight. (It means instant death.)

(See what I mean regarding the product of an exhausted mind? But these are the thoughts that occupy my weary head of late…)

So, are the men with their finger on the button really so spineless as to defy their lord and masters?

I suppose you’d be chicken too considering what these entities are capable of.

Which brings me to the darker still side of my musings…do these fools realize what they are unleashing upon themselves if they continue on their current course?

Even anonymity won’t save them! (Because the beast is mindless and can’t be reasoned with once it is loose!)

So these fools are relying on ‘luck’ (or worse, money) to save their sorry backsides.

We can only hope Darwin was right…(the stupid will eliminate themselves from the gene pool!)

How sad is it that these fools will take a lot of good people with them?

On that note my feeble powers of elucidation are giving it up…so I will (once again) thank you for letting me inside your head,

Gegner


Thursday, March 21, 2013

For Dummies

Greetings good citizen,

This night shift thing is kicking the crap out of me and posting is suffering. Again I apologize for slacking but at the end of the day health comes first (and I’ve gotta sleep!)

Anyway, one of the seldom touched upon topics…I don’t point to it often because if YOU visit THIS site (regularly and habitually) it doesn’t apply to YOU.

What doesn’t apply to you? The fact that a shockingly large percent of the adult population is STUPID.

Not just here in that ‘Awesome bastion of freedom and liberty, the good ol’ USA but around the globe, the hopelessly gullible are the rule rather than the exception.

As This article from Alternet points out:
In sum and all averaged out, it’s safe to say about 37 percent of Americans are just are not very bright. Or rather, quite shockingly dumb. Perhaps beyond reach. Perhaps beyond hope or redemption. Perhaps beyond caring about anything they have to say in the public sphere ever again. Sorry, Kansas.

Did you frown at that last paragraph? Was it a terribly elitist and unkind thing to say? Sort of. Probably. But I’m not sure it matters, because none of those people are reading this column right now, or any column for that matter, because reading anything even remotely complex or analytical is something only 42 percent of the population enjoy doing on a regular basis, which is why most TV shows, all reality shows, many major media blogs and all of Fox News is scripted for a 5th-grade education/attention span.

OMG LOL kittens! 19 babies having a worse day than you. WTF is up with Justin Timberlake’s hair?!?

It is this bizarre, circular, catch-22 kind of question, asked almost exclusively by intellectual liberals because intellectual conservatives don’t actually exist, given how higher education leads to more developed critical thinking (you already know the vast majority of university professors and scientists identify as Democrat/progressive, right?) which leads straight to a more nimble, open-minded perspective. In short: The smarter you are, the less rigid/more liberal you become.

And if you aren’t a meat puppet of the bloviating right wing noise machine, you already knew this…which is why you’re here, reading my blog.

The typical conservative can’t get through two paragraphs here without their heads exploding.
Seriously.

If we were to seek out this massive cognitive dissonance we’d need look no further than the invisible economic recovery that only exists in the corporate owned media.
We usually assume that economically distressed areas exist only in inner-city slums or rural backwaters. But areas plagued by persistent high unemployment almost never fit into conventional categories. Distressed areas share characteristics that make them unlikely to recover if the remedies offered rely only on the standard approaches to boosting the economy.

In distressed areas , government aid provides nearly one-third of residents’ incomes, compared to 17 percent nationwide. Upwards of 40 percent of the population in these areas lives on $30,000 a year or less, and the workforces there have low educational-achievement rates, with more than half possessing just a high-school degree or less. Most jobs are in low-end service industries, especially prisons, casinos, nursing homes, and retail. Such jobs offer few chances for upward mobility or skill enhancement.

For instance, unemployment in Yakima, Washington, has averaged 4 percentage points above the national average over the past 20 years—57 percent of its adult residents have only a high school degree or less. Similarly, in Rockford, Illinois, where the average unemployment rate has been 2.4 percentage points above the national standard for over 10 years, 53 percent of the population has no education past high school. To take one more example, a staggering 62 percent of the population in Danville, Virginia, has only a high school degree or less, and its unemployment rate has hovered 2.1 percentage points above the national average over the past five-plus years. In the country as a whole, by comparison, 43.3 percent of the adult population has no post-secondary education; in some thriving areas, the figure is much lower—for instance, Cambridge, MA (22.7 percent) and Seattle, WA (25.8 percent).
Oddly today’s headlines were crowing about a ‘building boom’ that has taken contractors ‘by surprise’.

This is (once again) a total ‘mis-reading’ of the housing situation. The few who can afford it want to buy ‘new’ houses, which has absolutely nothing to do with economic recovery and everything to do with economic outliers!

Time presses good citizen so I have to wrap this up, as disjointed as it may read.

I promise to do better come the weekend (although I have another ‘mandatory Saturday’ this week so my weekend is (virtually) non-existent.

I (once again) laud my readers mental alacrity and ability to read between the lines…if you couldn’t do that you wouldn’t be here (nor would you keep returning.)

Thanks for letting me inside your head,

Gegner

Monday, March 18, 2013

Unicorns

Greetings good citizen,
The, er, ‘stress’ of acclimating myself to a reversed schedule has rendered me more ‘incoherent’ than usual.

Doesn’t help that my perspective is contrary to the BS you’ve had hammered into your head since childbirth. [A phenomenon I find extremely curious because once it is confirmed, you should see it for the ‘self-serving tripe’ that it is without my coaching.]

For those of you not so quick on the uptake I will be more specific, I’m talking about that illusion that increasingly makes less and less sense, money.

I was reading an article online the other night where this professional ‘money manager’ was telling his readers that he charges his kids ‘rent’ (forcing them to ‘save’) so they will learn about the ‘value’ of money.

Understand dipstick’s ‘lesson’ is centered on the no longer viable idea that money pays interest (although that wasn’t the ‘example’ he used, he was using his ‘savings’ to buy stocks!)

So he equated spending money with ‘firing’ his personal money making ‘robots’ (what he referred to them as.)

He went on to claim that he had ‘earned’ $3,000 in annual ‘dividends’ from his holdings.

Do you know how few stocks pay dividends or that companies are under no ‘obligation’ to pay a dividend AT ALL? (Even if they’re crazy profitable.)

Well if you didn’t you weren’t about to be ‘educated’ by this idiot’s article!

Which is to reflect just how ‘unreliable’ professional monetary advice can be.

Worse, the most prominent ‘risk’ when it comes to investing is listening to advisors peddling their own self-interest!

Naturally, you’d expect ‘financial advisors’ to focus on the traditional ‘backbone’ of investment, that of ‘savings’. These days ‘ordinary’ savings vehicles don’t pay spit, which is why chucklehead is ‘speculating’ in the market WITHOUT telling you…although he does ‘volunteer’ what stocks HE invested in (hoping YOU will be STUPID enough to buy them!)

Now, back to reality. Markets around the globe are bleeding from the eyesockets today (which has nothing to do with nothing. Wall Street is so far divorced from Main Street as to be on a different planet, as disturbing as that realization and what it implies means to the average citizen.)


Which leads us to this headline:
To Reassure Investors, Fed Stresses It Will Not End Stimulus
By BINYAMIN APPELBAUM
Concerns about the effects of the Federal Reserve’s stimulus policy can dilute the policy’s impact by causing investors to doubt that rates will remain low.

What do you suppose the Fed is going to do when people realize the Fed is inflating away their purchasing power?

Can you say Banana Republic?

How are our two stories ‘related’?

Note the extremely poor ‘quality’ of what passes for ‘investment advice’ these days and how shamelessly the pundit uses his (probably already grown and gone) ‘kids’ as a ‘teaching tool’?

How bizarre is it good citizen that this is a perfect example of ‘what you don’t know’ causing insurmountable harm?

Once again your (deliberate) ‘ignorance’ only aids the grifters the government has failed to protect you from.

Not that ‘government the concept’ failed, it was (of course) the humans running it that have failed.

We’re back to ‘weakest links’…as you well know.

How can ‘The Bernank’ maintain this false fa├žade?

Let us return to lesson one shall we?

ALL MONEY IS FUNNY!

I don’t mean just paper or coins, I mean ALL of it!

How ‘astonished’ would you be if I told you our financial system is based on Unicorns?

You’d probably think I was kidding but think about it.

You’ve seen money but you’ve never seen a unicorn so how can this be?

The whole concept of ‘debt’ is imaginary; that’s the first thing you need to wrap your head around!

The next step is really simple…there is absolutely zero difference between debt and unicorns…so there you are!

Even more disturbing is how prevalent the belief in Unicorns (debt) is.

Do you honestly believe Ben Bernanke has an endless supply of dollars at his disposal? (Especially after his masters have hollowed out the US economy?)

Of course you don’t!

But it works today because the price of disbelief is too stiff.

And there’s the rub!

Thanks for letting me inside your head,

Gegner


Friday, March 15, 2013

What the...

Greetings good citizen,

Once again we have the corporate owned media using trivia to distract us from the real issues at hand.
JPMorgan Ignored Warnings in Loss, Inquiry Finds
By JESSICA SILVER-GREENBERG and BEN PROTESS 49 minutes ago

JPMorgan Chase ignored risk controls and withheld information from regulators during big trading losses last year, a Senate inquiry found.

A Senate panel report says that Jamie Dimon, chief of JPMorgan Chase, withheld details about the bank's daily losses.
Then our ‘guardians of society’ double up the information, attempting to confuse the matter even worse than it already is.

How inconvenient the very next article points to the real issue?
Pearl Brady of Brooklyn worries that it will be years before she will be able to put money away.
Younger Generations Lag Parents in Wealth-Building
By ANNIE LOWREY 49 minutes ago

A study finds that younger working adults are not doing better financially than the previous generation.
With ‘wealth management experts' opining we need to set aside at least a half a million dollars to retire ‘safely’ and with most workers earning less than 25 to 30 thousand dollars annually, the only way the majority can retire ‘comfortably’ is magic.

They’d fall short of the mark even if they saved every penny they ever earned!

In order to be a low wage drone for corporate USA, retirement must be an impossibility. (Not that this is news to the people being compared in this article.)

We have been saying all along we’d have to work ‘til we drop’ (IF we were lucky enough to find work after being ‘churned’ into pauper-dom!)

But the 4th Estate knows thinks YOU are STUPID.

How pathetic is it good citizen that a majority of the corporate owned media’s Blarney is insulting to the average person’s intelligence?

If we back up to our first post we have to scratch our heads and wonder what anyone is supposed to make of the banking sectors alleged ignorance.
Which is to point to what ‘everybody knows’. The crash of the financial system was deliberate and these clowns drove it off a cliff KNOWING the taxpayer was going to ‘bail them out’!

So what’s this nonsense about the banks ‘ignoring warnings’?

We’re talking the biggest heist of all time here!

It sure takes a lot of chutzpah to pretend (never mind actually assert) that they had no idea this whole situation was going to end in bankruptcy.

Sort of like this next headline…where once again we are played for ignorant chumps powerless to stop what’s going to happen next:

The drilling rig Kulluk was grounded in January 40 miles southwest of Kodiak City, Alaska.
Interior Dept. Warns Shell on Arctic Drilling
By JOHN BRODER 8:32 PM ET

The government wants a detailed plan on how the company plans to address safety issues before allowing it to resume exploration.
A REAL government would never have permitted this nonsense in the first place but we all know the political lapdogs are ‘going through the motions’ of pretending to protecting the public while they allow private enterprise to doom our civilization.

We don’t need MORE fossil fuels, we need to use what little there is left much more judiciously.

But the >One Percent doesn’t do privation well (if at all.) Isn’t it bad enough they have to ‘put up with’ the rest of us using THEIR stuff?

Speaking of which:
DealBook
Fed Rebukes Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan Chase Over Capital Plans
By PETER EAVIS

The Federal Reserve cited “weaknesses” in capital plans of JPMorgan Chase and Goldman Sachs, while Citigroup and Bank of America got a green light.
Doesn’t God ‘rebuke’ people? The rest of us get called on our baloney. How sad is it that the other two thieves got away with their ‘plans’?

We’re back to the ‘appearance of propriety’ as opposed to actual legal oversight.
If YOU were this incompetent you’d be on the outside looking in already!

BUT if this clowns did what they were elected to do they’d be ‘pushing up Daisy’s’ in a remote field somewhere.

You are right to fear a government that has suspended both your right to a fair trial along with any prohibition against executing you out of hand but you SHOULD fear the MEN who made this possible even more!

But I digress, what do you suppose the deal is with this story?

The Galaxy S IV.
Samsung Introduces New Galaxy Phone
By BRIAN X. CHEN and NICK WINGFIELD 7:31 PM ET

Increasing the stakes in the smartphone battle, the South Korean manufacturer showed off the Galaxy S IV, the latest version of its flagship device.

comment iconPost a Comment | Read (1)
Since this is YESTERDAY’S Business section you won’t be able to ‘backtrack’ any of this but there was an article this morning’s news about Samsung being a giant ‘pretending’ to be a scrappy start-up like Research in motion. Or that other tiny company…Apple.

Seriously, good citizen…
New Jobless Claims at a 5-Year Low
By REUTERS 7:38 PM ET

The report on unemployment added to a range of data that suggested higher taxes were having a limited impact on the economy.
Like the whole theme of today’s reporting is ‘insult their intelligence!

The most prosperous time the US have ever known came when the marginal tax rate was at over 90% of income over a million dollars…so employers paid their people instead of handing it over to Uncle Sam.

And what we’re seeing today is the ‘blow-back’ of that policy.

Which is to opine that there is going to be a whole lot of ‘punishment’ going on before we get this ship back on an even keel.

Last but not least we have a token of open rebellion on display!
Media Decoder
Editor Charged With Aiding Hackers Group
By AMY CHOZICK 8:51 PM ET

Matthew Keys, a 26-year-old social media editor, was charged with assisting the hacking collective Anonymous in an attack on The Los Angeles Times Web site.
Perhaps someday we will be able to give Mr. Keys the medal he richly deserves for standing up to our tyrannical overlords.

But for now he’s going to have to live with being black-balled by an industry that insults your intelligence.

Maybe this one is a net win from a realist perspective.

How this landed in the business section remains a mystery but it is the ‘re-surfacing’ of ‘old news’.
Hoping to Save Bees, Europe to Vote on Pesticide Ban
By DAVID JOLLY 4:08 PM ET

European officials plan to vote on a proposal to sharply restrict the use of chemicals that have been implicated in the decline of global bee populations.
Once again good citizen we are witnessing the side effects of failing to prosecute the corporate guilty for playing God recklessly.

What do you suppose this ban on pesticide is going to accomplish?

Most likely it will result in a plague of pests! Then they’ll be spraying twice as much pesticide!

But you (evidently) aren’t smart enough to figure that one out…

Thanks for letting me inside your head,

Gegner

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Rope

Greetings good citizen,

Contrary to the Happy Talk being spewed by the Corporate Owned Media, the destruction of our civilization proceeds apace (to better protect the guilty from prosecution.)

Ironically our first headline is yet another exercise in ‘misdirection/manipulation’:
U.S. Retail Sales Jump
By REUTERS 8:44 AM ET

The Commerce Department said retail sales increased 1.1 percent, the largest rise since September, after a revised 0.2 percent gain in January.

Shares Slip Despite Economic Data
Given a how our entire economy (these days) is based solely upon ‘creative accounting’ it is somewhat disturbing to see the totally fabricated stock markets tanking in light of this alleged ‘good news’.

Can’t these people get on the same page?

But the whole ‘teamwork’ thing doesn’t work for the ‘rugged individuals’ these shills take their marching orders from.

More curiously, we have this bizarre headline focused on a topic that mostly affects the One Percent’s minions…seriously?
Europe Seeks Update of Law on Fliers’ Rights
By NICOLA CLARK 8:57 AM ET

For flights originating in Europe, new rules would clarify passengers’ rights to compensation for delayed or canceled flights.
How will this face-off between two One Percenter’s play out? (One who is picking up the tab for airfare and the other who owns the airlines…)

We may never know.

But this story is increasingly ‘in the news’
Chinese Solar Panel Maker on Financial Brink
By KEITH BRADSHER 8:10 AM ET

Suntech Power, a U.S.-listed company that is closing its Arizona plant, is poised to be taken over by the government of its hometown in China.
Where are the conservo-loonies (that basically chased this US company into the waiting arms of the Chinese?)

The management of this company should be drawn and quartered for treason…but that’s beside the point. Where are you going to sell Chinese made solar panels if you can’t sell them in the US?

And if you try to sell them here, a hundred million unemployed US citizens will tear them apart (along with whoever buys them!)

Then we have the point/counterpoint exercise that follows in two separate headlines:
Blessings of Low Taxes Remain Unproved
By EDUARDO PORTER

Paul Ryan of Wisconsin recycled an argument for lower taxes that surfaced in the ’80s and ’90s, but recent history suggests that higher taxes might help the economy.
The very definition of ‘insane’ is doing the same act repeatedly and each time expecting a different outcome…like conservo-loonies (by definition insane) for steadfastly advocating tax cuts for the rich as a vehicle for ‘prosperity for all.’

Is hasn’t worked in the past yet they somehow think it will work if we give it just one more try!

But wait, the conservo-whackos aren’t done!

We have one last headline from an arch Dumbo!:

Today's Economist
Hidden Costs of the Minimum Wage
By CASEY B. MULLIGAN

The federal minimum wage should be lowered, not raised, so as not to compound the damage it causes.
Lower the minimum wage so as not to ‘compound’ the damage to the economy presumably caused by the US’s ‘uncompetitiveness’

Is this dolt crazy?

You know it is a rhetorical question good citizen, Bobo is a conservative so it stands to reason that things like logic and truth are meaningless to him.

He expects Leprechauns to bring pots of gold to all of the good employers who make their workers suffer the most to better insure ‘class purity’.

How twisted is it good citizen that a certain segment of our society believes there are ‘good people’ who ‘own things’ and needy-greedy people who demand things like living wages and enough to eat.

These same people feel the needy greedy people have to be taught their proper place, that they are ‘entitled’ to nothing.

While those of us condemned to the One Percent’s dung heap think shills like this guy belong at the knotted end of a stout rope with their feet at least twelve inches off the pavement.

Thanks for letting me inside your head,

Gegner


Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Tragedy

Greetings good citizen,

The cheats on Wall Street are ‘taking a break’ from pushing the Dow (which is mostly bank dominated) higher.

We are supposed to ‘assume’ this condition is natural when nothing could be further from the truth.

The Dow could be pegged at 20,000 TOMORROW and NOTHING would change except the one percent would be richer and YOU’D be poorer…on paper of course.

How sad is it that the ‘back of the envelope’ is ‘as good as it gets’ for most of us?

Once again we must ask ourselves how did we come to this place?

Let’s have a look at our predatory commerce system:
5 Ways Privatization Is Poisoning America
We all live better lives when the common good is not for sale.
March 10, 2013 |

This article was published in partnership with GlobalPossibilities.org.

It gets more maddening every day. Essential human needs are being packaged into products to be bought and sold. The right to food and water, education, health care, public spaces, and unrestricted speech shouldn't be based on who can pay the most, or on who can generate profits with the slickest marketing pitch.

The free-market capitalism that drives our economy is a doctrine of individuals pursuing profit. Nothing else matters. An executive for Roche, a healthcare company, said "We are not in the business to save lives, but to make money."

With privatization of the common good we risk losing both our heritage and our humanness.
Long recognized as an elementary evil, the ‘tragedy of the commons’ is the very reason we have/establish government.

How sad is it good citizen that the people who control the printing presses keep selling the rest of us out?

What is the ‘inevitable outcome’ of profits before people? You’ve been living in it’s ‘death spiral’ for decades.

Why can’t Japan ‘recover’ from being robbed by its corrupt?

Predation, plain and simple.

Those who are robbing you blind ‘own’ the government that was established to ‘protect’ you.

This is the thing ‘treason’ (and it’s terrible punishment) are made from.

So…where is our White Knight? Who will rescue us from the nasty, evil predators?

Historically it has been the ‘professional class’ that has led and nurtured revolutions but our better educated rabble now know there is barely a nickle’s worth of difference between the predators and their well paid lackeys.

Why these ‘stupid people’ continue to replace the system they’re rescuing us from with a virtually identical one defies comprehension.

I suspect a ‘lack of imagination’ has nothing to do with it.

In many ways a revolt can be like hitting the lottery for the sublimely mentally deficient.

Which is a big reason why so many revolts are ‘stillborn’ technically dead before they start.

But people are stupid and continue to believe the funny money they’re bought off with is actually worth something more than it really is.

Worse, a reliance on scrip that has no actual value can be a powerful weapon in the, er, ‘wrong hands’.

(Or so argue the gold bugs/hard money crowd.)

Read my lips, ALL MONEY IS FUNNY!

When taken in this context ‘the tragedy of the commons’ is put in its proper perspective.

Usually followed by the, er, ‘swift sword of justice’ cutting down those who would cheat you out of your just share.

Those who would privatize the commons for their own benefit.

How tragic is it good citizen that besides suspending rights you have enjoyed for 900 years our bought and paid for ‘Supreme Court’ has also re-purposed commerce to ‘profit’ the shareowner at society’s expense?

Which is to ask why is there no revolt? (Are the lackeys so well paid this time or have they become so stupid as to be blind to the danger our current course represents to themselves as well as their ‘masters’?

A truly troubling question good citizen.

It can’t be because we’re afraid of dying, those who rob us with impunity have taken everything worth living for!

Government, it’s supposed to work FOR YOU, not for THEM!

Just another painfully obvious point I felt compelled to belabor.

Thanks for letting me inside your head,

Gegner


Monday, March 11, 2013

Dirty (Republican) Deeds

Greetings good citizen,

Most of us (now graybeards) draw a straight line from our current troubles to the ‘Imperial Presidency’ of ‘Tricky Dick’ Nixon and his hapless follow-up act, Ronnie Reagan (a lifelong ‘paid corporate shill’.)

What disturbs us (graybeards) most is the ignorance surrounding the criminal activities of both administrations

The corporate owned media still lionizes both men as ‘great (albeit misunderstood) leaders’ serving during ‘difficult times.’

But the evidence shows otherwise:
Indeed, newly disclosed documents have put old evidence into a sharply different light and suggest that history has substantially miswritten the two scandals by failing to understand that they actually were sequels to earlier scandals that were far worse. Watergate and Iran-Contra were, in part at least, extensions of the original crimes, which involved dirty dealings to secure the immense power of the presidency.

Shortly after Nixon took office in 1969, FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover informed him of the existence of the file containing national security wiretaps documenting how Nixon’s emissaries had gone behind President Lyndon Johnson’s back to convince the South Vietnamese government to boycott the Paris Peace Talks, which were close to ending the Vietnam War in fall 1968.In the case of Watergate – the foiled Republican break-in at the Democratic National Committee in June 1972 and Richard Nixon’s botched cover-up leading to his resignation in August 1974 – the evidence is now clear that Nixon created the Watergate burglars out of his panic that the Democrats might possess a file on his sabotage of Vietnam peace talks in 1968.

The disruption of Johnson’s peace talks then enabled Nixon to hang on for a narrow victory over Democrat Hubert Humphrey. However, as the new President was taking steps in 1969 to extend the war another four-plus years, he sensed the threat from the wiretap file and ordered two of his top aides, chief of staff H.R. “Bob” Haldeman and National Security Advisor Henry Kissinger, to locate it. But they couldn’t find the file.

What do you suppose happened to that (and countless other) ‘files’, good citizen?

Everybody knows the rubric of ‘National Security’ is regularly abused to shield the guilty from prosecution.

Can you think of a more bullet-proof office than that of the presidency?

When your justice system breaks down to the point of protecting criminal wrongdoing as a subset of guarding the faux‘honor’ of elected office, then your justice system is indeed FUBAR.

When national security trumps justice you find yourself living in an ‘anything goes’ society…where the rule of law has been replaced by the rule of man.

I don’t think I sit on my ‘high horse’ when I opine that most of us want no part of an unjust society.

Especially one that favors the criminal element so brazenly (in the interests of commerce [and against the interests of our species!])

While our first ‘anecdote’ points to Nixon’s mischief as ‘commander in chief’ even before he was one, let’s look at how Saint Ronnie’s ‘handlers’ manipulated the voting public to elect an ‘unlikely’ candidate:
At the start of the Iran-Contra investigation, Attorney General Edwin Meese had set the time parameters from 1984 to 1986, thus keeping outside of the frame the possibility of a much more serious scandal originating during Campaign 1980, i.e., whether Reagan’s campaign undermined President Jimmy Carter’s negotiations to free 52 American hostages in Iran and then paid off the Iranians by allowing Israel to ship weapons to Iran for the Iran-Iraq War.

So, while congressional and federal investigators looked only at how the specific 1985-86 arms sales to Iran got started, there was no timely attention paid to evidence that the Reagan administration had quietly approved Israeli arms sales to Iran in 1981 and that those contacts went back to the days before Election 1980 when the hostage crisis destroyed Carter’s reelection hopes and ensured Reagan’s victory.

The 52 hostages were not released until Reagan was sworn in on Jan. 20, 1981

If you didn’t live through these times and these particular incidents, you are likely ignorant of them. Worse, it plainly shows evidence that ‘somebody’ had control they shouldn’t have had BEFORE either (hand-picked meat puppet) was elected.

(In case any of you were ‘wondering’ where I come up with some of my crazier sounding ideas! [Like the entrenched wealthy ‘conspiring’ to kill off as many of us as they can get away with.] We’re dealing with some first class, above the law ‘sickos’ here good citizen!)

But the corporate owned media maintains its silence regarding this conspiracy that hides ‘in plain sight.’

If we don’t acknowledge it, it doesn’t exist.

Which is to ask, do you really need to be told (by Oprah) that the bear poops in the woods?

With that chilling thought I leave you to yours...

Thanks for letting me inside your head,

Gegner

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Uncommonly Good

Greetings good citizen,

I have no idea what we’re going to do when this fine fellow moves on from our midst.

He has consistently expressed with unusual (and enviable) clarity the real issues facing our civilization and done so unflinchingly.

Look up the word courage and you’d find his picture next to it.

To say he is an ‘inspiration’ is an understatement.

Even his opening paragraphs cut right to the point:
Whether public education contributes to the Common Good depends, of course, on what kind of education it is, to whom it is available, and what we take to be the Common Good. There’s no need to tarry on the fact that these are highly contested matters, have been throughout history, and continue to be so today.

One of the great achievements of American democracy has been the introduction of mass public education, from children to advanced research universities. And in some respects that leadership position has been maintained. Unfortunately, not all. Public education is under serious attack, one component of the attack on any rational and humane concept of the Common Good, sometimes in ways that are not only shocking, but also spell disaster for the species.

All of this falls within the general assault on the population in the past generation, the so-called “neoliberal era.” I’ll return to these matters, of great significance and import.

The ‘liberalization’ of trade relations that has effectively ended global capitalism (turning it into a global monopoly) and crucified the global economy.

Um, he points to (without specifically saying so) the twin ‘illusions’ of liberty and prosperity and how the corporate owned media dispenses ‘dis-information’ (which benefits the oligarchs.)
Two crucial changes were financialization, with a huge explosion of speculative financial flows, and de-industrialization. Production didn't cease. It just began to be off-shored anywhere where you could get terrible working conditions and no environmental constraints, with huge profits for the Masters. Within the US that set off a vicious cycle, leading to sharp concentration of wealth, which translates at once to concentration of political power, increasingly in the financial sector. That in turn leads to legislation that carries the vicious cycle forward, including sharp tax reduction for the rich and deregulation, with repeated financial crises from the ‘80s, each worse than the last. [The Reagan ‘revolution’] The current one is so far the worst of all. And others are likely in what a director of the Bank of England calls a “doom loop.”

There are solutions, but they do not fit the needs of the Masters, for whom the crises are no problem, they are bailed out by the Nanny State. Today corporate profits are breaking new records and the financial managers who created the current crisis are enjoying huge bonuses. Meanwhile, for the large majority, wages and income have practically stagnated in the last 30-odd years. By today, it has reached the point that 400 individuals have more wealth than the bottom 180 million Americans.

In parallel, the cost of elections has skyrocketed, driving both parties even deeper into the pockets of those with the money, corporations and the super-rich. Political representatives become even more beholden to those who paid for their victories. One consequence is that by now, the poorest 70% have literally no influence over policy. As you move up the income/wealth ladder influence increases, and at the very top, a tiny percent, the Masters get what they want.

Or as I like to phrase it, the deliberate mismanagement of our planet’s resources for the benefit of the privileged few.

How we remove these parasites from our midst is simple, we unite and purge them…but they will endeavor to use our lack of information against us.

Yes, the oligarchs have been ‘careful’ not to show their faces and only the faces of their proxies are in jeopardy.

It will take a lot of ‘sifting’ to ferret out the guilty. Removing their hands from the levers of power is the easy part, stopping them from committing further atrocities will be the difficult part.

Thanks to the human proclivity for stupidity, the guilty will enjoy the use of their proxies long after they’ve lost the ability to reward them.

This is the danger of ‘entrenchment’. The name alone will be enough to compel otherwise good people to perform treacherous acts…as we see repeatedly in Harry Potter.

Thus we must be ruthless in rooting out the turncoats who would risk the stability of civilization itself to curry favor with those who would cheat even them.

Funny how the ‘proclivity for stupidity’ is a self-fulfilling loop.

The sad part is how the greedy conspire to strengthen this ‘failure of reason’.

If we were all ‘born smart’ we wouldn’t be having this sad discussion.

Perhaps that is the last obstacle for natural selection to overcome. Oddly we are born with the ‘seed of wisdom’ (or at least most of us are…it is what the conservo-whackos are trying to snuff out via ‘quibbling’.)

We instinctively know the difference between right and wrong. Yet ‘political expedience’ twists our inborn views to favor the unscrupulous.

Throw ‘spirit in the sky’ into the mix and pretty soon even otherwise ration adults no longer know which end is up…

Once you realize you are parroting the words of those who would stick it to you in a heartbeat, you somewhat regain your bearings.

But if they fool you into thinking they are your ‘friends’…then you’ve got trouble…possibly bigger than you know.

With that chilling thought, thank you for letting me inside your head,

Gegner



Saturday, March 9, 2013

Holes

Greetings good citizen,

I am still struggling to adapt to a work routine (two years of being a slug doesn’t help) I am, er, ‘worried’ by this first sure sign of ‘economic recovery’.
Unemployment at 4-Year Low as U.S. Hiring Gains Steam
By NELSON D. SCHWARTZ and BINYAMIN APPELBAUM

The joblessness rate sank to 7.7 percent as 236,000 positions were added across a broad range of sectors, but analysts warned that federal budget cuts could slow the recovery.

Jobs Fuel Stock Rally
Economix: The Rise of Part-Time Work | Shrinking Government
Why would I be ‘worried’ good citizen? Because I’ve seen this before…many times.

They ship work overseas and the ‘customer base’ collapses. (The unemployed can’t afford your product.) As local economies ‘adjust’ (the unemployed pull up stakes and head to where the work is) ‘recovery’ is declared and they start farming out work again!

As you can see, the so-called ‘recovery’ is the final stage of this cycle.

Now how much longer can they keep this up is unknown, they’ve almost completely hollowed out the US and Japanese economies (and completely destroyed the Real Estate markets in both countries in the process.)

Now, I count myself as fortunate. I landed a ‘real job’; 40 hours with full benefits and not the part-time/no insurance or benefit purgatory that most of the ‘inexperienced’ find themselves condemned to.

And the looming energy crisis seems to be driving a movement to restore some local capacity in basic industries while there is still some talent who remembers how to do it!

Whether or not this movement can sustain itself when a renewed contraction strikes remains to be seen.

But we’re talking patterns here.

Now the ‘new normal’ can form the basis for a real recovery BUT you need to ‘let it ride’ and establish itself.

Why don’t I think this is what they have in mind for us good citizen?

Would that it were that we have finally reached the end of the global race to the bottom that was completely 'unnecessary’ in the first place.

But you know as well as I that this thing won’t be over until the oligarchy can protect itself from prosecution.

And short of wiping out an entire generation I don’t see how they can do that.

But it’s not stopping them from trying:
Blocked Bids to Fill Judgeships Stir New Fight on Filibuster
By CARL HULSE

Republican senators have so far kept President Obama from filling any of the four vacancies on the nation's most important appeals court, reviving talk of a change in Senate rules.

Graphic Graphic: Filling the D.C. Appeals Court
Our best, er, ‘indicator’ of social health has been our badly broken political system. The very fact that most of the commerce system is in private hands contradicts the precepts of a ‘democratic’ society.

We even have our ‘activist’ (conservo-loony) judges to prove this argument.

No civilization can stand without justice…sometimes they take a long time to fall but in the end the final destination remains unchanged.

The bad apples use the ‘holes’ left in the legal system by the founders to drive civilization off a cliff.

Why do those holes exist?

Because the founders didn’t want to leave themselves open to prosecution!

No society founded on theft can survive for long so how sad is it that the backbone of capitalism is the ‘fake ownership’ of that which belongs to us all?

Understand good citizen, the ‘well, it’s not yours’ argument leads directly back to the ‘why don’t I kill you where you stand?’ question.

Were I writing this for the firewalled version, there would be some mighty choice expletives employed here.

Especially surrounding the argument as to whether or not lynching someone for being a greedy blockhead is ‘justifiable’…

Or perhaps just for being a blockhead as we can observe in our final offering:

Law Backs Guns in Class for Teachers in South Dakota
By JOHN ELIGON

South Dakota became the first state to enact a law explicitly authorizing school employees to carry guns on the job, under a measure signed Friday by Gov. Dennis Daugaard.
Um, as I commented repeatedly and I’m sure you have noticed the same phenomenon in your own local news organs, the local rag exists to highlight the bad behavior of people in positions of public trust.

No doubt this is sometimes ‘witch hunts’ like the recent attack [by Fox News] on a local animal control officer but half of the stories center on malfeasance and inappropriate behavior of wide range of, er, ‘public servants’.

Now we hire (and supposedly psychologically screen) our police forces to carry guns…and our most recent nation headline shows once again that the ‘screening process’ isn’t ‘infallible’. [re: the Park Ranger who blew away the reality show host for being in the company of his wife while he was elsewhere.]

The ‘green-eyed monster’ is probably the most powerful of them all but it still provides an case in point. Kids are designed to frustrate you, even if you’re taught to deal with that, kids can ‘get under your skin and push your buttons’ because you’re in the protectors role.

They trust you not to harm them.

They even have the chutzpah to give you that knowing little smirk after they’ve twisted the knife and you’ve retaliated by suspending them (although you’d prefer to have had them drawn and quartered!)

Do you really want to add handguns into that volatile environment?

Not that we humans are overly smart…like the young lady who wanted to ‘play with the kitty’…what part of ‘wild’ didn’t she understand…because she sure understands it now!

Mother Nature is VERY ‘unforgiving’ and we need to respect that…or we will pay.

Thanks for letting me inside your head,

Gegner

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Salvation (Personal)

Greetings good citizen,

Things will be more than a little topsy-turvy for the next couple of days as I return to the civilian workforce in the field that has orphaned me repeatedly…manufacturing.

After a two-year drought I’m not complaining. I was beginning to think my race was run, that I was too old to be considered.

That said, the ripples of the sequester may yet blow this blessing right out of the water before I can get my feet back under me.

As I have proven repeatedly, I cannot see the future, we’ll have to wait and see.

First day standing all day in twenty-some odd years and are my dogs barking! Ouch!

But the new Wolverine boots are more comfortable than I had hoped and I should get used to the routine as time goes by…

Anyway, I’m returning to night shift so it will/should be day light posts from here on.

Sorry for the abbreviated post but I’m wrung out and need to get some rest before repeating what I did today, tomorrow.

Thanks for letting me inside your head,

Gegner


Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Poison Pill Strategy [Post # 1234]

Greetings good citizen,

As we, er, ‘enjoy’ the calm before the storm (with the Dow setting ‘new highs’ to fall from.) We have some time to reflect upon the ‘sequester’, the Republican sponsored ‘poison pill’ designed to make the Bush tax cuts permanent.

Ironic that this could be viewed as the ultimate ‘win-win’ scenario as far as the conservo-whackos are concerned.

They already have all of the tax cuts they want for the uber-wealthy. They know if they keep pushing, they risk having the carefully built loopholes currently in the system slammed shut.

So how do they achieve their ‘true goal’ of killing off a significant portion of the ‘entitled rabble' and show them who’s boss?

Enter The Sequester.

Note El Sequester only cuts the social safety net and initially only cuts the direct programs that assist the ‘truly needy’.

Meals on wheels was the very first bird to have its wings clipped…and it wouldn’t exist if those senior/disabled individuals had a choice!

Perhaps a bad analogy there but a majority of the people on mobile meals programs lack the ability/mobility to secure/prepare their own food. It’s meals on wheels or starve!

Now our heartless conservo-whackos have labeled the recipients of this benefit as ‘the entitled’ (as opposed to what they really are, ‘needy’) and acted to ‘correct’ this costly problem by ‘unfunding’ the program.

Left unsaid is what will happen to the money saved by not performing this social service (often prepared and delivered by VOLUNTEERS!)

What do you think will happen, good citizen?

Will it be diverted to more ‘corporate welfare’ so the financial sector can pay their executives even larger bonuses? (Or will the ‘savings’ be consumed by the added cost of moving these formerly independent meals on wheels recipients into an ‘assisted living facility’ AT THE TAXPAYER’S EXPENSE!)

Did I mention the CONSERVO-WHACKOS were behind this?

You know, the ‘nothing go up top’ crowd?

Not that it helps but what’s the difference between one of these facilities and those other taxpayer funded institutions we call prisons?

Cute(r) nurses?

The Daily Show’s host Jon Stewart ran a piece the other day lambasting BOTH political parties (that you can no longer tell apart) for failing to ‘derail’ the sequester.

It really would have been simple…but it seems the ‘political will’ didn’t exist…in either (alleged) party…is this ‘true bipartisanship’ at long last (or is it a brazen example of our ‘captive government’ at work?)

So WHOSE ‘representative’ did you elect last November? Certainly wasn’t YOURS!

(Yet another prime example of how badly broken the, er, ‘original system’ was and is.)

What’s the point in dragging yourself down to the polls every November if the ballot you cast does you zero good?

It’d be a different story if you voted directly on the laws. (Where you’re supposed to have ‘your say’.) [But that’s not how our ‘elitist’ founders saw things. We were all a bunch of ignorant sodbusters, barely worthy of consideration. That’s how the ‘invitation only’ crowd who gathered in Philadelphia to draft the constitution thought! They thought YOU’D mess things up!]

But I digress, that’s all water over a long ago dam.

It is important you understand that this is where the revolution was hijacked by the soon to be ‘privileged few’.

One despot for another, same as it ever was. Still, it would be interesting to know which one of them had their hand up Washington’s backside…

But again I digress…We are on this path BECAUSE the system we were saddled with long ago is now in such a state of disrepair that it must be replaced.

How sad is it that the ‘truly ignorant’ will die defending ‘original intent’ that was totally against their children’s ‘best interests’?

Riddle me this, would YOU trust a new system openly operated by the SAME PEOPLE who (through their ineptitude) brought the previous system crashing down?

Heck no!

Which is why YOU won’t have a choice in the matter good citizen.

In other news Hugo Chavez died yesterday causing capitalists everywhere to rejoice. The thought running through the back of my head is what will become of the poor people up in the frozen north that benefited from Hugo’s generosity?

Will they freeze to death? Will the capitalists cheer this development too?

Thanks for letting me inside your head,

Gegner


Tuesday, March 5, 2013

We're Saved!

Greetings good citizen,

Looks like today’s top story is yet another slap in the face to intelligence of the public.

How much of this tripe are you expected to swallow?
Dow Average Surpasses Record High as Market Opens
By PETER EAVIS 39 minutes ago

Since a low point in March 2009, the Dow Jones industrial average has more than doubled, stunning even the most seasoned stock market watchers.

Economically speaking, the past five years have been a train wreck in slo-motion for the 99% while the >One Percent has waxed ever richer, largely due to their control of ‘paper wealth’.

The higher the Dow goes, the poorer YOU get!

The curious part is YOU aren’t expected to notice the connection here. You see the shares in your IRA/401k rising and you cheer up…until you realize you’re ‘running in place’.

Actually you continue to fall behind because the rise in share price only partly compensates for the fall in purchasing power YOU’RE being ‘hammered’ with.
(THEY have a lot more shares so they’re making up for the ‘shortage’ with ‘volume’.)

Did I mention that the >One Percent has declared ‘Open Season’ on peasants?

We have long ago determined that the stock market is utterly divorced from anything to do with the economy; yet our corporate owned media still uses it as ‘barometer’ of economic health.

And ‘Once upon a time’ it used to be.

But how do you make sense of the Dow’s record high in a job market plagued by record unemployment?

The ONLY answers are FUNNY MONEY and/or COOKED BOOKS!

(Probably a combination thereof.)

Which begs the question of how long can our civilization survive these levels of dishonesty?

We’re back to the old sod about the stock market remaining irrational longer than you can remain solvent. (BECAUSE all MONEY is FUNNY!)

Perhaps now would be a good time to address this distressing charge I keep pointing to.

Why bother working if money is largely ‘meaningless’?

And that would be to take away the ‘wrong message’ from my very true insistence that (all) money IS ‘funny’.

Money only works for the individual. Society itself doesn’t ‘need’ it. (In fact it has proven quite harmful in the, er, ‘wrong hands’.)

We all know that money or ‘representative wealth’ can be manipulated. This is especially true under legal systems that are purposefully designed NOT to prevent this.

Sure we have laws AGAINST ‘counterfeiting’ but we have a very poor definition of what is or isn’t ‘counterfeit’.

Today’s top headline is a classic example of ‘counterfeiting’ but we don’t have a mechanism under which to prosecute this kind of ‘manipulation’ of the money supply.

Raising share prices arbitrarily is NOT illegal…although it SHOULD BE.

UNDERSTAND there is no basis in reality for the Dow (now largely comprised of financial sector stocks) to be at the highest level in history.

Can you say, “Stick ‘em up!” good citizen?

Because you now NEED to earn more to obtain the same level of purchasing power you had before the Stock Market robbed you. Money the already too rich to spend it didn’t need in the first place.

So why are they taking it?

What answer do you arrive at good citizen?

Are you think along the lines of how they intend to flush as much of the surplus population down the toilet BEFORE it rises up and demands its fair share?

You really don’t need to look too far for a motive, the old ones work just fine.

Oddly, the old ones have become ‘preventative maintenance’ at this stage in the game.

The ‘relatively well-armed’ US civilian population is the ONLY factor keeping our new oligarchs in check.

If not for an armed citizenry, I’d be in a gulag right now…

Thanks for letting me inside your head,

Gegner

Monday, March 4, 2013

Self-Defense...

Greetings good citizen,

Does anyone else find it curious that these clowns understand economics (some of the time) but do things they know will hurt (what’s left of) the economy anyway?

Let’s start with our top story from today’s NY Times:
Recovery in U.S. Is Lifting Profits, but Not Adding Jobs
By NELSON D. SCHWARTZ

Experts estimate so-called budget sequestration could cost the country about 700,000 jobs, but Wall Street doesn’t expect the cuts to substantially alter corporate profits or threaten stock markets.
.7 percent of the much-modified workforce will lose their income source but this WON’T affect the ‘bottom line’ of US based corporations?

Which is to point out that 700k is in fact a much smaller percentage of ‘working aged citizens’ but the workforce isn’t measured ‘rationally’ considering the bizarre idea of if you don’t have a job you don’t count skews the whole picture…

Is Wall Street ‘right’ about this assessment?

Sadly yes. Your job was exported and you were made ‘redundant’ to the new global economy. The individual they gave your job to ‘replaced’ you as a customer as well…making you totally superfluous.

The only reason there hasn’t been blood in the streets is because our ‘globalization is good’ cheerleaders haven’t been telling YOU the whole story.

They concentrate on the ‘lower prices’ part of the story (won through lower wages/benefits) as a ‘win-win’ situation.

The part where you lose is the few hundred million competitors who (completely) took YOUR place via the heavily manipulated ‘funny money market’ (which is about to collapse!)

In this respect it is more than a little amazing to see the corporate owned media laying this fact out in a way that shows everyone what capitalism has done!

How else can the US workforce lose such a large percentage of its workforce and not affect profits an iota?

This is where the rubber meets the road good citizen, If you have never considered yourself as ‘surplus’ before…it’s time to LOOK AGAIN!

Did I not point out that the policies of the past three decades point directly towards an effort to kill off as much of the 'surplus population' as possible?

Headlines like today’s TOP STORY should leave you with NO DOUBT who the cannon is pointed at…

It points at YOU!

If you aren’t a bona-fide member of the >One Percent, you’re toast.

Like things weren’t desperate enough, it gets more interesting:
Chinese Stocks Fall on Steps to Curb Property Prices
By DAVID BARBOZA 5:13 AM ET

China’s cabinet, or State Council, said home sellers would soon pay a 20 percent capital gains tax.
You don’t suppose Chinese equity prices are being ‘propped up’ by a ‘real estate bubble’ do you?

What do you suppose is going to happen when that little episode plays itself out?

Can you say ‘cascading systemic collapse’?

I knew you could!

For our last installment of ‘belaboring the obvious’ (seems to be the day for it.):
As Hacking Against U.S. Rises, Experts Try to Pin Down Motive
By NICOLE PERLROTH, DAVID E. SANGER and MICHAEL S. SCHMIDT

Motives for a cyberattack, which could range from industrial spying to disabling the power grid, remain obscure.
Given what we have already discussed, especially the part where it becomes obvious that YOU are being played for a patsy however you slice it, are YOU ‘mystified’ as to why ‘the capitalists’ are under heavy attack from the cyber-warriors?

I’d say it was ‘self-defense’.

The curious part of this unforeseen development is just how far will they let it go?

You know they’ve been looking for an ‘escape hatch’ for quite some time…could this be it?

Get out of dodge under the cover of a crippling (and likely self-inflicted) cyber attack?

We all know today’s capitalist/opportunists are a little light in the honesty department so I’d opine that it wouldn’t ‘surprise’ me.

But the corporate owned media is repeatedly astonished by such mundane occurrences as sunrise.

Thanks for letting me inside your head,

Gegner


Sunday, March 3, 2013

Deficit

Greetings good citizen,

Naturally the rhetoric behind these mysterious ‘budget cuts’ appears to be as ill-informed as the rest of us are.

Is what’s happening now the end result of not reading what you’re being forced to vote upon?

Common ‘trick’ in modern politics…funny how one of the ‘advantages of democracy' was its alleged ‘deliberateness’, that everything was discussed and debated BEFORE it was put to a vote.

But (like many Republican budget appropriation bills) they get slipped into other, unrelated legislation and voted into law…’unwittingly’.

And that SHOULD BE illegal…but under our current system of ‘anything goes justice’, it is not.

So we are faced with (apparently) ‘indiscriminate’ cuts across social welfare programs…(gee, wonder WHO would have done THAT?) while the civilian branches of the military (that provide oversight) are bearing the brunt of cuts to the Pentagon’s budget.

Once again it looks like the Conservo-Whackos have been (as they will undoubtedly claim later) 'framed perfectly' for this crime against civilization.

We all know it’s those commie, (code) pinko, One Percent lovin’ LIBERALS that want to slash social security and throw poor, defenseless old people out in the streets!

Sure…

Liberal isn’t quite right…it’s those never met a tax cut they didn’t like LIBERTARIANS that ‘sneak’ stuff into other legislation so it can get passed into law unread and undebated.

In fact, the Libbies are so unpopular they can’t get a candidate elected beyond the state level.

And this ‘underhandedness’ is the reason why.

Their ideas (that even their rank and file are ignorant of) are so radical as to border on criminal.

You’d never voluntarily live under Libertarian rule but the cannibal capitalists (who already own everything) think it would be ‘fun’.

That’s why our bought and paid for justice system ignores ‘irregularities’ like unread legislation being slipped in with legitimate business and getting passed ‘en masse’.

Again our much-criticized corporate owned media has ignored this issue completely because their corporate masters want it this way.

The evidence that our government has been hijacked continues to mount while the vaunted ‘4th Estate’ remains mute.

Even more bizarre is how if you read this fact on the Internet, it automatically becomes a conspiracy!

Only the paper you pay two bits for tells you ‘the truth’ (as our corporate masters see it…reality be…oh well.)

And somehow this is NOT a ‘conspiracy’…

Let’s set aside the fact that nobody knows/can explain where these ‘budget cuts’ come from (although we can guess fairly accurately.)

And turn our attention to ‘the deficit’ (that the Republicans have quintupled since Reagan took office.) [And somehow this escapes being a conspiracy too…curious, don’t you think?]

If we start from the basis that ALL MONEY IS FUNNY and compound that with the fact that MOTHER NATURE DOESN’T HAVE A CASH REGISTER we have to ask the obvious question ‘WHAT DEFICIT?’

Actually no such thing exists…it is ‘faulty accounting’ driven by capitalist economics but the ‘conservo-whackos’ like to pretend it matters!

How unfortunate is it that this whole charade is a power trip made worse by extreme mis-management?

Even more disturbing is how this entire ‘conspiracy’ to push our current civilization off of a cliff can be chalked up to ‘Social Darwinism’ by the very ones who have been marked for extinction!

Even more ironic is how they’ve marked themselves (although in most cases their parents did it for them.)

Naturally I’m hoping for a public debate…how sad is it good citizen that my chances of success are roughly equal with Bradley Manning’s chances of being acquitted (despite not having committed a crime.)

Once again I end a piece with the admonition ‘what happens next is up to YOU!

Thanks for letting me inside your head,

Gegner

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Sequester

Greetings good citizen,

How fitting to say, ‘another week down the drain?’

Which is what it will look like to the survivors of our collapsed civilization.

Did they really need to flush everything down the drain?

And the answer is yes; (if they wanted to escape prosecution then they ‘had to do it’.)

While it is unlikely that the collapse will be traced back to this particular incident (The actual ‘trigger’ is forty years in the past…far too late to stop or change course.) This ‘budget madness’ (brought on largely by political psychosis) will be viewed as one of the shoves that knocked civilization over the edge.

Note how the media is still ‘pretending’ that there are two parties. It makes you wonder whom they think they’re fooling? The half dozen or so Republican ‘true believers’ perhaps?

Today’s headline reads:
TOP NEWS
As Cuts Arrive, Parties Pledge to Call Off the Budget Wars
By MICHAEL D. SHEAR and JONATHAN WEISMAN

As a deal to break a budget impasse failed to emerge on Friday, both the president and his Republican adversaries said they would not carry the fight over the cuts into the coming effort to finance the government.
Since ‘neither party’ (and it’s become impossible to tell one from the other as they are both the lapdogs of the ‘One Percent’) blocked the dreaded ‘sequester’ the only logical conclusion to be reached is the One Percent WANTED the draconian budget cuts.

(Less money the government needs translates directly into more in THEIR pockets, right?)

How long do you think it will be before they (the One- Percent) abandons the pretense and starts issuing ‘royal decrees’?

I suspect it won’t be too much longer as the psychosis deepens with each passing day.

We can only assume the beatings will continue until moral improves…

One of the factors ignored by the corporate owned media (and they know its there) is what the ‘sudden discharge’ of hundreds of thousands of soldiers is going to do to the job market.

Only a tiny portion of these guys have ‘civilian jobs’ to return to. If it weren’t for the military they’d be unemployed too!

What do you suppose their sudden return (en masse) to civilian life is going to do to an already staggering job market?

Because that’s what the ‘sequester’ is going to do. It will slash the military budget and the generals aren’t going to take it in the shorts… so this leaves?

Now, veteran-hiring preference will put yet another obstacle to an already reeling over 50 crowd, desperate to save what they’ve spent their whole lives building.

But what the heck, the over fifty crowd has proven to be both passive and complacent, unwilling to ‘rock the boat’ even to save themselves…(or their kids) from oblivion.

Because in a cosmic karmic kick in the pants, the kids who are throwing their parents on the scrap heap today will see the same thing happen to them in the not too distant future.

Where does this stop?

When the safety net gives way…which actually means it is unlikely that karmic retribution will be visited upon the blind children of the privileged.

While civilization has taken some incredible punishment recently it doesn’t mean it will tolerate abuse indefinitely.

Eventually the switch will flip and the words on everybody’s lips will be ‘death to the tyrants!’

(Because we are ‘herd animals’ after all, despite Republican rhetoric to the contrary. The ‘rugged individual’ is a [downright dangerous] myth perpetuated by the ‘more for me’ crowd.)

The interesting thought experiment here is you WILL NOT FIND ANYONE who professes to ‘love capitalism’ after it causes the collapse of society.

It will make you wonder why, if everyone hated it so much, did they put up with it all of their lives?

Should you be impertinent enough to ask, you won’t get an answer, at least not a straight one out of the average sheeple.

Instead you’ll hear what you hear today, the ancient ‘bad advice’ about going along to get along.

Evil flourishes whenever honest people do nothing and that’s the ‘net yield’ of the go along to get along rubric.

Unquestioned is the fact that no one will (openly) oppose the destruction of our civilization.

Those elected to ‘uphold the law’ have failed utterly and deserve what’s coming to them.

I suspect it is more than just my opinion that our politicians won’t be judged kindly by those they have rendered destitute…

Thanks for letting me inside your head,

Gegner



Friday, March 1, 2013

Impasse

Greetings good citizen,

The Kabuki dance that passes for our government is being presented to convince you that the BAD (non-existent) LIBERALS are responsible for the ‘automatic austerity’ that somehow found its way into law.

Naturally, to that end, we have this headline:
Boehner Halts Talks on Cuts; G.O.P. Cheers
By ASHLEY PARKER

Speaker John A. Boehner seems to have decided that he may have more to lose by negotiation over the impending spending cuts than letting them happen.
Just to provide a clear starting point you must be aware that the ONLY reason the Republicans have retained control of one branch of Congress is to provide the ‘illusion of conflict’.

The voters of this nation aren’t that stupid…but they are powerless, thanks to the mis-steps of the founders.

Conservative rhetoric aside, we all KNOW who is responsible for the economic devastation being visited upon us.

The conservo-whackos keep pointing to the liberals (who no longer exist) claiming they are responsible for policies that passed during conservative administrations!

Why is there A SINGLE conservative in government today? Because the electoral process is rigged!

Hanging chads and all…(like we need to go there.)

The >One Percent tells their very willing puppets what to do and they do it.

Is this eventually going to get those puppets lynched? Undoubtedly! But that day has yet to come.

I remind you good citizen that the only people who need secrecy are people who are up to no good as we see in this headline from today’s front page:
Soldier Admits Providing Files to WikiLeaks
By CHARLIE SAVAGE

Pfc. Bradley Manning confessed in open court to providing vast archives of military and diplomatic files to the antisecrecy group WikiLeaks.
Even more tragic than his arrest is the track record of the current administration towards ‘whistle blowers’.

And naturally, the, er, suspension of the young Pfc.’s rights makes the whole situation reek of justice being steam-rolled.

But that’s the funny thing about coups…they don’t give a fig about justice! They exist to PROTECT THE GUILTY!

Once you start doing that your whole justice system falls apart.

World’s largest inmate population…broken justice system, guess what? They’re related!

Record income inequality and a corrupt banking sector…related again!

You don’t have to look very far to find links that stretch right down to the local level.

The ‘rot’ goes right to the core!

Here you sit, waiting for the other shoe to drop.

Miraculously things haven’t come unraveled (yet) but tick-tock good citizen, that old clock just keeps ticking off the seconds to zero (and you know it's going to happen soon because nothing is being done to head it off.)

(Ironically, acting to prevent derailment will be the most likely cause of one!)

Hmmn…maybe that’s what’s behind the latest Republican strategy!

Hanging in the balance here good citizen are school systems across the nation.

However, this situation is not unprecedented, across the south school systems closed during the (former) Great Depression due to ‘lack of funds’.

Given our inevitable conversion to a Banana Republic, this will be viewed as ‘no big loss’.

Thanks to ‘financial manipulation’ we have already been rendered ‘uncompetitive’ by those (union busting) conservative ‘haters of freedom’!

You either cut the schools or you cut fire and police…and you know the only reason Fire and Police protection exist is to protect the >One Percent…

YOUR tax dollars at work…protecting those who oppress you!

Same as it ever was.

So…what do we do about our ‘runaway government’?

Short answer, replace it.

Thanks for letting me inside your head,

Gegner

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Shadows

Greetings good citizen,

It’s one thing for me to repeat (ad nauseum) that our civilization is on the verge of collapse and quite another to present the evidence that proves it.

Thus it is my pleasure to present to you the ever popular Shadow Stats!
No. 505: January CPI, Real Retail Sales and Earnings, Existing Home Sales, Subscription required February 21st, 2013
• Real Earnings Fall Year-to-Year • January Year-to-Year Inflation: 1.6% (CPI-U), 1.5% (CPI-W), 9.2% (ShadowStats)
• Aside from Not Measuring Constant-Standard-of-Living Inflation, The Chained-CPI Is Too Unstable for Setting Cost-of-Living Adjustments
• Outlooks Unchanged for Ongoing Economic and System-Liquidity Crises and for Inflation Crisis to Develop in Year Ahead More ...
Yes good citizen, while all of the picky pundits continue to insist the problem will be ‘deflation’ and not hyper-inflation, the central banks of the world are running the presses in ‘hyper-drive’.

WHEN (not if) the global supply chain shuts down we will instantly be faced with ‘too much money chasing too few goods’…typically notable by the frantic ‘bidding up’ of prices…also known as ‘hyper-inflation’.
No. 504: January 2013 Housing Starts, PPI and PPI and CPI Revisions Subscription required February 20th, 2013
• January 2013 Housing Starts 61% Below High of January 2006
• Annualized January PPI Headline Inflation of 2.5% Was 7.1%, Before Seasonal-Adjustment Muting
• *Revised Seasonally-Adjusted Inflation Data Suggestive of Instabilities in Monthly Headline Reporting More ...
Inflation is still in ‘runaway mode’ while the government continues too ‘cook the books’ (just like they do with the unemployment numbers.)

*Note Mr. William’s subtle nod at the accountant’s difficulties keeping the data, er, ‘credible’.
No. 503: January 2013 Industrial Production
Subscription required February 15th, 2013
• Annual Production Growth in January Slowed to Pre-Recession Levels
• Monthly Production Decline Was In the Context of Continued Volatile and Unstable Reporting
• Production Benchmark Revision in March Should Show Weaker Activity Than Previously Estimated More ...
‘Pre-recession levels’…so how’s that recovery (that nobody but the pundits and the financial sector has been able to see) coming?

You know as well as I good citizen that there is no recovery. There isn’t going to be one. The plunge stopped (temporarily) to let the economy ‘adjust’ to the new normal. Then it will plunge again.

In this case the ‘it’ in question is the economy and the global one if you want to be more specific.
No. 502: January 2013 Retail Sales
Subscription required February 13th, 2013
• Retail Sales Continued to Stagnate, Reflecting Intensifying Structural Liquidity Issues for the Consumer More ...
A single (harrowing) bullet point but what does it point to, eh, good citizen?

Anyone? (Bueller) Anyone?

(and the geeky kid in the back says,) “It’s pointing to the failure of capitalism!”

Does the teacher hand the kid an ‘attaboy’ or detention?

What would YOU do?
No. 501: December 2012 and Annual Trade Balance, Consumer Credit Subscription required February 8th, 2013
• Little Changed for the Year, 2012 U.S. Merchandise Trade Deficit Still Reflected [the] Cumulative Loss of 6.6 Million Jobs
• December Trade Reporting Suggested Upside Contribution to First Revision of Fourth-Quarter GDP
• New ShadowStats Graph of Consumer Credit Outstanding More ...
Not that there was much of a ‘choice’ (The whole system is designed to provide an ‘illusion of participation’) but where was this data during the run up to the election?

Or were conservo-whackos worried that bad jobs numbers would bite THEM in the backside…because we all KNOW who is responsible for destroying the economy.
No. 500: SPECIAL COMMENTARY U.S. Government GAAP-Based 2012 Financial Data
February 5th, 2013
• GAAP-Based Federal Budget Deficit Hit Record $6.6 Trillion in 2012
• Five-Year Average Annual Shortfall at $5.2 Trillion
• With U.S. Facing Mortal, Long-Range Solvency Issues, Hyperinflation Remains a Virtual Certainty More ...

I don’t know what to tell you good citizen, there is obvious fraud in the markets and impending collapse in the supply chain, both of which spells disaster for our species.

What needs to be understood up front is both are the result of mis-management…to the degree of criminal negligence.

There is profit in crisis and the capitalists intend to inflict the ‘long emergency’ upon the rest of us.

This WILL lead to civil unrest and revolt.

DUMP CAPITALISM NOW!

Thanks for letting me inside your head,

Gegner.


Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Hell in a Bucket

Greetings good citizen,

Nothing is more poignant than the daily headlines for driving home the point that our civilization is scroomed!

We need look no further than the top story in the business section for proof:
DealBook
Obama’s Nominee for S.E.C. Tries to Allay Skepticism
By BEN PROTESS

Mary Jo White, President Obama’s choice to lead the agency, is telling Congress she can avoid conflicts of interest despite her Wall Street clients.
I’m not kicking the poor woman in the shins but who do you place in a sensitive position like that who ISN’T an ‘insider’?

My ‘problem’ with this choice is not the chosen but the chooser, who has proven to be Wall Street’s boy from day one.

We have already witnessed some well qualified appointees resign in frustration…and if this woman has integrity it is likely she too will go the way of her predecessors.

But it gets better:
The budget cuts scheduled to start taking effect on Friday would affect all facets of the federal budget, including aviation and military spending.
Austerity Kills Government Jobs as Cuts to Budgets Loom
By BINYAMIN APPELBAUM

The federal government is cutting back at a pace exceeded in the last half-century only by the military demobilizations after the Vietnam War and the cold war.

Graphic: Austerity Is Here
Um, that last headline is a bit deceptive considering the government has been spending at an ‘unprecedented clip’ since this whole ‘War on Terra’ thing got started.

How ironic is it that if they were serious about reducing ‘terrorism’ in the world they’d make their most promising progress by slashing their own budget?

Not only has the invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan lasted TWICE AS LONG as WWII but it has also been TWICE AS COSTLY!

Yet you don’t hear the conservo-whackos screaming to cut the Pentagon’s budget, do ya?

No, instead we get headlines like this:
Durable Goods Orders Drop as Aircraft Demand Falls
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS 47 minutes ago

A sharp drop in demand for commercial aircraft caused overall durable goods orders to drop 5.2 percent last month, but orders for core capital goods like machinery, equipment and software rose 6.3 percent.
How ironic is it that the same sort of ‘phenomenon' accounts for the recent ‘surge’ in home prices (after years of flat lining.)

When the whole economy is deader than a door nail, a 5% reduction in orders for commercial aircraft really spanks you in the bottom (line that is.)

Housing prices are up ‘relative to what they were last year’ (and not 6 years ago when things were booming.

It may be ‘the biggest increase’ SINCE then but what are they really saying?

I saw some twit last night proclaim that if they could keep up the pace the current ‘inventory’ would be ‘sold out’ in just 4 months.

What a crock! Guess who’s buying all of the houses?

Why it’s our old pal Flipper, (betting he’s finally going to find renters at long last!)

Guess what?

Flipper is…WRONG AGAIN!

And like the last ‘bubble’, Flipper is going to ‘walk away’ when the renters fail to materialize.

But our next headline shines a light on the current state of economic affairs:
DealBook
Regulators Block Ryanair’s Latest Attempt to Buy Aer Lingus
By JAMES KANTER 19 minutes ago

As the European Commission blocked the attempt by Ryanair for competitive reasons, the Irish carrier reiterated that it would appeal the decision in court.
In a ‘saturated market place’ the most you can do to boost the bottom line is ‘buy market share’ (by buying our the ‘competition’…then sticking it to the customers!)

Turning down this merger is the right thing to do…however, it isn’t over yet.

If you can’t soak the public you can always take the sure route of soaking the government:
EADS Profit Soars 19 Percent
By NICOLA CLARK 7:28 AM ET

The company says it made about $1.56 billion in 2012 thanks to commercial aircraft sales, even though its military segment struggled amid budget troubles in the United States and Europe.
What’s the old saying, ‘war is good business.’

Wrecking stuff then getting paid to rebuild it…can’t beat that racket.

It’s a ‘self-reinforcing circle’.

Better shake a leg here, we’ve still got a lot of ground to cover.
Fed Defends Stimulus in Testimony to Senate
By BINYAMIN APPELBAUM

Ben S. Bernanke told senators that the central bank saw its campaign as necessary and effective, reassuring them that its benefits outweighed any risks.

Economix Blog: Does Bernanke Have the Best Inflation Record? | By Unemployment, Not So Good
Home Sales and Bernanke Calm Market
How does Helicopter Ben justify bailing out the world’s financial system (to the tune of 22, we don’t have ‘em, trillion) to a financially incompetent legislative body?

If there were a half a brain between the 500 plus of ‘em, they’d know the system was bankrupt without even asking ‘the Bernank’…

The only reason the home sales are calming the market is because they (the corporate owned media) believes the average citizen is too stupid to figure out there is no ‘recovery’ in the housing market (nor will there ever be!)

And again we are expected to be shocked by this latest revelation:
News Analysis
Italian Deadlock Rekindles Anxiety About Euro Zone
By LIZ ALDERMAN and JACK EWING

The apparent political gridlock signaled by its elections raises new fears that the euro crisis may be far from over.

European Markets Dip Amid Uncertainty
Italian Parties Maneuver After Electoral Split
Does ANYONE truly believe the Euro-zone crisis is over, seriously?

Then we have this ‘gem’:
Officials have recommended that nuclear plants like Nine Mile Point in New York install new safety equipment.
Post-Fukushima, Arguments for Nuclear Safety Bog Down
By ERIC LIPTON and MATTHEW L. WALD

A dispute is developing between the nuclear industry and regulators, and among the regulators themselves, about the necessity of more safeguards at power plants.

Graphic: Tasks Remain for the American Nuclear Industry
Let’s ‘cut to the chase’…the only ‘safe’ nuke is a cold one…but if you shut down the nukes without first installing adequate renewables the entire grid would shut down in less than a day.

Better to let the candle remain lit than to curse the darkness.

And finally:
DealBook
Wall Street Pay Rises, for Those Who Still Have a Job
By SUSANNE CRAIG 6:39 AM ET

The average cash bonus for people employed in New York City in the financial industry rose by roughly 9 percent, to $121,900, in 2012, the New York State comptroller said.

U.S. Banks in 2012 Posted Highest Profits Since 2006,
The Litany of Woe was quite detailed today, a rather good ‘capture’ if I must say so myself.

Thanks for letting me inside your head,

Gegner