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Friday, December 31, 2010

The Greatest Story You Probably Didn't Hear About in 2010

The mystery missile fired off the LA coast has been one of the greatest cover up stories of the year. In fact, if our military complex truly doesn't know who fired that missile- we have wasted billions on our missile defense systems and we have a bunch of asshats sitting at the controls.

The mystery missile was the second greatest story of the year to fall into obscurity. There was only one larger.

The FED's disclosure that they loaned 9 TRILLION dollars during the financial crisis ranks as the greatest story you have likely not heard about. The FED fought like hell to keep this information from being disclosed. Once it was, the MSM, the (main-stream-worthless-media) hardly even noted the event.

So how in the hell could the FED loan 9 trillion to the banking sector with no collateral- with over night rates so fractional- we didn't make shit? Why did Hank Paulson plead for the 700 billion dollar bailout package from Congress? Why couldn't the FED just dream up another .7 trillion loan and tack it on? If you can answer either of those two questions- you are far better than me. I think it had to do with paying off Hank's counter party claims that Goldman had on AIG. Without further adieu, watch this- it explains it fairly well.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Quick Silver Update

If you haven't bought any gold or silver lately, have a feeling a dip is coming.

Both silver/gold dealers I use were reporting that people were selling more than they were buying today. As I was speaking to one of them, a gal walked in and plunked two 100 oz. bars on the counter and walked out with 6100 bucks. Said she had paid 1200 bucks for them in 1987.

Once the shakeout occurs at this level, maybe a few weeks, expect prices to continue to rise. I am going to wait for some more dips. Just a thought.

U.S. Thugocracy Criticizes Russia, Ain't That Just Rich?

The United States is upset with Russia. Russia has jailed their richest billionaire oil tycoon and now have tacked on a few more years to his sentence.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton led a chorus of political figures in the United States and Europe in condemning the verdict. It "raises serious questions about selective prosecution and about the rule of law being overshadowed by political considerations," she said.
Khodorkovsky is nearing the end of an eight-year sentence after being convicted of tax fraud in a case seen as punishment for challenging the Kremlin's economic and political power, in part by funding opposition parties in parliament.

Now I don't know whether Khodorkovsky is guilty of tax evasion or siphoning off billions. I do know that Putin used to be the head of the KGB. He might know a thing or two about Khodorkovsky.

At any rate Mr. Putin, here's how we do it in the United States. Please take notes.

Our politicians are all greased by big banking interests. So they take banking handouts, millions, and in return they re-arrange all of the laws to benefit these bankers. They let bankers commit millions of fraudulent acts and loans. They get great mortgage deals like Senator Chris Dodd's Irish cottage from Countrywide. When the whole country was fully plundered and ripped off, they gave these prick banksters 9 trillion in FED loans and another 700 billion more of taxpayer money. Money that did not exist.

When our citizens cried out- our politicians said, "go fuck yourselves." They picked out one of the greediest criminals of all, Angelo Mozillo of Countrywide fame. Insider trader and fraudster extraordinaire. They held a civil trial, "found him guilty" and plundered him for 67 million, and let him go free. Twenty million of that was paid by Bank of America. This dog and pony show was then proclaimed a great victory for the thugocracy.

In our country, we practice selective prosecution and ignore the rule of law because of political considerations.

Wait a minute! Where have I heard that before? Oh yea, Hillary Clinton said that about you Russians.

Ain't that just rich? Shame on you Russians. Thank Gawd we don't do shit like that here.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010


Imagine if you will, hooking up with an attractive attorney. She blows gobs of money planning your (her) wedding- nearly 100k.

Because, don't you know, she's entitled to live in America.

Then in some moment of clarity, the groom realizes that he is about to marry Selfzilla. He beats feet. Selfzilla is pissed. Rather than write her own careless spending off to poor decision making, she gets angry, starts spewing blame- which has become a great American past time.

I don't know who that groom is. But something tells me he dodged major big time shit. The best money you'll never spend brother. Imagine a few years down the road in divorce court. That 100k gonna look like something you put in parking meters.

Well at Least They Haven't Outlawed Parents Rights to Profile, Yet

Dad, I met the neatest guy last night. I spent the night at his place.

Arrested for possession of a controlled substance, violating parole.

Honey, When Is the Yeti Going To Get Here With Our Pizza?

I had hoped to buy some more silver at a sub 30 dollar price. I may have missed the boat. Silver crashed the 30 dollar gate, closed above that level and is not hovering around 30.60. That represents a better than 4% move in two days. I am waiting for everyone that bought around 14 or 15 and has doubled their money to off load some gray matter and give us a dip. I'm not sure that's going to happen. Gold has been rising steadily as well. It held the 1400 dollar mark.

I've tried to explain the inverse relationship that gold and silver have to the value of money. In researching debt levels- I came across a fantastic and historical piece of web history from four years ago. Congress was raising the debt ceiling to 9 trillion in 2006. Check out this headline. You'll love it.

In four years time, our debt level has risen 60%. That is a parabolic move. Not quite as ridiculous as flipping a house you owned for two years for a 100 percent profit in 2006- but a very spectacular rise nonetheless.

Our current debt ceiling, set in Feb of 2010, is 14.3 trillion. We will hit that mark before the end of February, 2011. In fact, Congress will be voting on raising the debt ceiling long after it surpasses that level. I have 100% confidence that they will. They are like crack addicts or alcoholics. They cannot stop.

There is only one triggering event that can stop the rise of gold and silver. That would be a unified effort by the President, the Congress, and the Bernank- to immediately halt QE2, drastically hack all government spending, and close down wasteful government spending like the Dept of Energy and the Dept. of Education. Would the U.S. go to hell in a handbasket? Of course not. But then closing that garbage down would be admitting we never needed it in the first place. Obama added thousands of 100k government jobs and left GM's union intact. So the chances of some triggering event such as the one I speak of, would be about the same as the Yeti landing his spacecraft in your yard and delivering a canadian bacon and pineapple pizza.

At current debt levels and static interest rates, we will be at 17 trillion debt levels by the end of Obama's term. That bet comes off the table if interest rates rise. We will be financing 1 trillion a year in interest alone at 6%. We are bankrupt. An excellent read from AT. When will that truth become self evident to the world? Soon I think, in just a couple of years. Which collapse comes first, the euro or the dollar? I was banking on the euro until China said they would help bail them out.

This is not bad news. It is just news. Whether you protect yourself against this, an unprecedented event, is up to you. I guess you have to decide whether you think the Yeti is going to knock on your door holding a flat box or not. 

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Wussy Gov Gets Game, Economic News Bad- POMO Market Will Ignore It, Gold and Silver Blast Off

The Pennsylvania Governor will get his Vikings-Eagles game tonight. This after calling all of us wussies because some upper crust NFL types saw fit to practice a little blizzard caution on Sunday.

How 'bout them Saints?

Let's hope Governor Rendell stays away from local news. He may discover that some fully grown adults actually fondle and molest children. He will then call us a nation of "cho mos." That is slang, ya know, for cho mos'.

I have followed Michael Vick's (aka Ron Mexico) career closely. From Virginia Tech, to Atlanta, to yelling at him because he could not complete a ten yard pass, to giving out anonymous herpes, to dog fighting, to prison, and back to the Eagles. I think Vick is just some crazed kid that won the DNA lottery for football skills. I have been secretly rooting for him. I believe in second chances. Dude has actually been throwing the balls to his receivers rather than the turf. Tonight, I will be rooting for him and the Eagles despite Governor Rendell behaving like a dipshit.

All of today's economic news is shitty. Not to worry though. The stock market is now owned by the FED and Brian Sack at the NY FED is scheduled to give member banks another 7 billion bucks to buy Apple stock. A brief rundown. Consumer confidence was a huge miss, Case Schiller home prices declined again, the European Central Bank had a failed auction, China said they were cutting domestic car sales in half or about 400,000 which will not be good news for the new Ford plant in China. Oil up again and bond prices are down. All of this news and bet me, the market rises by days' end. We are two hours in to today's trading. Behold the power of 7 billion dollars worth of POMO.

All of the floor traders took the week off. Good for them. Computers will do all of the buying anyway.

Gold and silver up 1.5% and 2.5% respectively. That pesky gold and silver. Seems that unlike the FED owned stock market, gold and silver seem to actually behave independently and rationally given all the news of the day. It's nice to see at least one market, the metals complex, behave predictably.

I am kind of bummed. I was going to buy more gold and silver today. I buy on dips, but I might just buy some more anyway. I have a feeling that JP Morgan lied about covering it's enormous silver short position. They probably use POMO to unwind those positions, free of charge, so to speak. Read that story here.

Here is one of the architects of our ongoing disaster. Blythe Masters, credit default swap queen and silver shortress at JP Morgan. I have forever etched her face into my memory. Kind of like I used to do with those cho mos' pics on wanted flyers.

Monday, December 27, 2010

When Did Gallup Start Polling Crack Houses?

Geezus. I think I need some valium.

Barack Obama is the most admired man? Hillary Clinton, that sexless would be spy, the most admired woman? Gawd we're in a lot of trouble.

Governor Calls Us a Nation of "Wussies"

NFL cancels Vikings v Eagles game due to snow, this is the response.

Governor Ed Rendell joined countless fans upset about the game's move to Tuesday when he told FOX News
"It's an absolute joke. I was looking forward to this. It would have been a real experience. This is what football is all about. We're becoming a nation of wussies."
Now there are only a few things in life worse than having a politician call you a wussy. Perhaps an 11 year old daughter calling her mother immature. Or a guy living at the mission telling you to get your shit together.

Whenever someone makes some blanket statement that raises my hackles, I check to see if they have a law degree. It's just a weird thing with me. Twenty five years worth of listening to their bullshit- bullshit spewed from what they think is the intellectual high ground. So of course, not only is Rendell a lawyer, he is married to a Federal Judge. A double whammy. It reminds me of a story.

The state patrolman was called to the scene of a bus crash. Upon arrival, he discovered a man by the side of the road, head in his hands and sobbing uncontrollably. The trooper asked what had happened. The man said he was following the bus down the narrow and winding highway when it veered off the road, through a guardrail, and rolled down a steep embankment. The bus came to rest 1000 feet below. The man said he had rushed down the steep slope to assist any injured people. Upon entering the bus, he found that every one was dead. Scattered among the debris were legal pads, written briefs, and several of the bodies still had name tags attached to their clothing. The tags indicated that they were lawyers attending a convention in a nearby city.

Upon hearing this, the state trooper breathed a sigh of a relief and looked quizzically at the man. The trooper said, "Well it was only a busload of lawyers, it could have been worse- why are you crying like a baby?" The man replied, "Because there were 3 empty seats."

Getting called a wussy by a politician and a lawyer. Geezus, ain't that rich? I think I am going to go down to the Vista Bar and have a drink. Who knows? Maybe some drunk will tell me I got a drinking problem.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

The Case for Precious Metals

I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas Day!

Yesterday, I paid a visit to my neighborhood coin/precious metals dealer. I picked up another 7 oz. of silver. I have been buying gold and silver incrementally on dips in price.

I have done gobs of research on precious metals. I frequently post some of the funniest videos on here. I thought what I'd do is explain some things about precious metals that you might have not heard before. My chief reason for buying precious metals is that I don't think most people understand precisely what Ben "Bernank" is doing. I also don't think most people understand why he can't stop doing it. The last great act of hyperinflation is money printing. That has happened in Zimbabwe, Weimar, Germany and other places.

The last great store of wealth in the United States is private and public investment accounts. Virtually everyone's wealth is tied somehow to the stock market. Real estate has taken it's haircut. If the stock market tanks, we all tank. Thus the stock market becomes the holy grail. All other investment vehicles within the U.S. have become dead money. The Bernank has tried to create the illusion of fiscal health within our stock market by essentially giving free money to member banks to invest. Hedge funds, fund managers, and banks are all that is trading this market. Of course it has been rising with inflated currency. Retail investors have been fleeing in droves to the tune of 100 billion this year- the catalyst for that was the May flash crash. So while 100 billion has retreated, the Bernank has managed to offset that with 600 billion worth of QE2. QE2 runs out in May/June. What happens when the Bernank runs out of dough then? That's the dilemma. The market will capsize. Thus the Bernank will have to announce QE3. Then QE4. Our currency, devalued already, will take more of a beating. In an environment where the FED is essentially robbing savers, to bail out debtors with cheap money- your money becomes more and more valueless.

If bankers could destroy one thing on earth- it would be precious metals. That is their competition. Precious metals are not "money." Precious metals are wealth storage. There is never a "bubble" in price. Their price is directly proportionate and inverse to worldwide currency and debt levels. The more they print worthless fiat, the higher the price goes. It doesn't hurt that the Euro is screwed- and that European countries are all broke. China is experiencing inflation. In fact, I think all of this builds a perfect scenario.

It takes a lot of money to mine, load, transport, and smelt gold and silver. About 600 bucks an ounce for gold. Silver is by and large, just a by product of gold mining.

Do not let anyone tell you that gold and silver will hit any specified price level at any time. That is just bullshit and not predictable. What is more predictable is that central banks will not stop shoveling non existent money at debt levels. State defaults will require bailouts. As currencies dilute, more and more people will drive precious metal prices higher. That's why I don't concern myself with any percentage rise in gold and silver that has taken place already. Precious metals are not stocks. They are not obligated to adhere to any bullshit measurements of value that equities are submitted to. It just doesn't matter. They have that inverse relationship.  

You shouldn't panic buy either. Buy dips in prices, buy when you have extra cash. I buy 1, 5, and 10 oz bars of silver. Gold in small gram sizes. Buy coins or bars with assayed purity levels. I like Canadian Maple Leafs or silver from Idaho's Sunshine Mine. You are going to pay a 5 to 8% commission. I also don't concern myself with any predetermined allocation of my assets to precious metals. Ideally I am shooting for something in the 25-30% range...but that is subject to change.

I love it when bankers call for a precious metals correction. They try to scare money back into the market or bank. If the precious metals complex takes a 10% correction- I will simply buy more. With absolute confidence. Why? Because I am betting the house on history. The same shit, over and over again, produces the same results.

We have enormous debt levels already that can't go away. The check is now due. Interest rates can only go up from here. We cannot GDP "grow" our way out of this catastrophe. We will have to refinance debt into higher interest rates. The FED has fired every bullet in the gun. The economy has not budged, and structurally there is nothing that can change that. Any number of events, a war, a bill re-enactment such as Glass Steagall, failed muni bonds, failed treasury auctions, (China just had one) a euro collapse, oil and other commodity increases... and folks are going to start looking for cover. Banks like JP Morgan are going to have to cover their silver shorts. The bull in precious metals is ON. After suffering a 20 year bear market can you imagine what this bull market might look like?

I want to thank the Bernank. Dude, you said you would drop money from helicopters and you have proven it. Say what you mean, mean what you say. So many things to like. Precious metals just look like an absolute no brainer and currently the only real safe way to protect your wealth. See you at the coin store!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Eve

There was a fundamental shift in my family this year. Now as I refer to family, I am talking about my brother, sister, mother, and significant others. They want to go to church tonight.

This is new. We have done comedy clubs, movies, and other things on X-Mas eve but church is something we haven't done for many years. My father is singing in his choir.

Last night, my sister and brother trimmed the tree. That is their annual job. My brother hung the tuna fish can on the tree. I watched and teased them about how shitty the tree looked. This always kicks off the usual "get your ass over here and help" rhetoric which I counter with I am the eldest and it is still my job to keep you guys in line. At 50, and after a few decades, you'd think they'd learn by now.

My family became a little fractured after my parents' divorce. It took us a long time to recover.  But we are recovering. Each year it gets better and this year I saw real spiritual progress and growth. So I don't find it particularly remarkable that our family wants to go to church tonight. In fact, it makes sense to me.

After church, unless we choose midnight mass, we will choke down my mother's oyster stew. We will pretend to love it. There will be wry and surreptitious glances cast about after my mother asks "how do you like it?" and we will all tell her it is fantastic. My sister refuses to eat the oyster stew and she is missing out on the real tradition. You see it is not the oyster stew that is the tradition. It is forcing yourself to eat it, conjuring up the most convincing and heart warming look, and selling the little fib to mom. Year after year, my brother wins this category. He is a true professional. I marvel at him as he casts that wry smile at me once mom looks away. There are acceptable lies in life and this is one of them.

Sometimes, there is dessert. I will not eat fruitcake. Fruitcake is some other family's horrible oyster stew invention. I am convinced that who ever invented fruitcake was a sadist. Having navigated the oyster stew thing, some ancient and anonymous family raised that bar and presented fruitcake as a higher test of courage and will. I am more than willing to accept defeat here. I simply cannot pretend to like that stuff as tears stream down my face. Given the choice of fruitcake or death in some horrible wilderness disaster where my survival depended on eating fruitcake- I would simply ask that my ashes be scattered at McKenzie Butte. That too, is family tradition.

Then it's on to the present unwrapping event. I will pretend to be shocked and thankful for the sweaters and books I receive each year. I think my sister generally wins this event. One year, I am going to wrap up a Bob Dylan eight track tape, just to see the look on her face. She will marvel about how she has longed for such a thing for many years. She too- is a professional.

I finally grasped the true meaning of Christmas a couple of years back. I am a slow study. It is about being grateful for the things you already have, not the wanting and despair of not having whatever it is that you think you might be missing. I am thankful that my family is all alive and in reasonably good health. I am thankful for knowing there is a power greater than myself and celebrating his birth and life at church. I am thankful for oyster stew and presents I don't need. I am thankful that I get to watch the academy award performances of my family as they clear these holiday hurdles. I am thankful that I can love this crew unconditionally and laugh about their antics. I am grateful that I can be present and take it all in. I am looking forward to it.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Pilot Commits No Crime, Thugocracy Seizes Firearm, Try to Connect These Dots

Think the government is running scared?

I just saw this posted at American Thinker. I looked everywhere for the pilot's videos and they must have been pulled. Lord knows, the only first amendment rights we have are the ones that our government masters give us. I am still trying to determine what illegal act this pilot did that allowed our THUGOCRACY to descend upon him. You decide.

How could this be a month old? This link is worth cutting and pasting anywhere it needs to go. Found a second link to the Channel 10 story.

The bottom part of the article answers many of my questions of why this has been a mystery. Because they wanted it to be.

PS 12/24/10...a big thank you to Jim at Conservatives on Fire for getting this Fox News link...apparently this story is now getting out. Like to hear what nanny government has to say...

All the Investing Advice You Need- in 37 Seconds

In Other WTF! News, There Is This...

Be forewarned, there are some things in life that once imprinted on your brain, you cannot remove. And then there is this survey, way too funny to miss...

The Lost Quatrain of Nostradamus

While diligently working last night, and posting hateful comments, I stumbled across this lost quatrain of Nostradamus. I've been staring at it all morning but I'll be damned if I can figure it out.

Bats what be from moon start circling the great city,
Great plagues arise as hordes inhale the toxic guano fumes,
The printer tries to save the wretched city, but hordes remain steadfast
Crippled birds replaced by fresh fowl, bat shit stuck on brooms.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The Mighty Penny

One of the last acts of the Roman Empire, not unlike those acts of the current United States, was to remove valuable metals from coinage. First we saw gold coins disappear. In 1965, we saw silver disappear. In 1983, we saw copper disappear. We now make coins out of essentially worthless zinc and reclaimed Buick parts.

The last two coins of value, where the melt price exceeds their face value, is the nickel and the penny. In 2006, Congress passed a law preventing you from melting your own money. So as JP Morgan has essentially cornered the copper market (which is not illegal) and the price is ramping up, your pre-1982  pennies are now worth nearly three times their face value. It presents an interesting argument. What is worth more? A dollar that has lost 97% of it's value, or a penny that has tripled in price? Note the value of ten dollars worth of old pennies in the box below...

Base Metal Coin Melt Value Calculation
Generated on December 22, 2010.

Values Used:
Total Face Value:$10.00
Coin Type:1909-1982 Lincoln Copper Cent
Copper Price:   $4.2541 / pound

Zinc Price:   $1.0495 / pound


Total melt value is $28.07.

(exact value is $28.0691134406)

Black Swan

I've been trading stocks, a lot of options, for years. I learned everything the hard way. College classes, economics, business. I read every book in the library. Chart theory, random walk theory. I've done some exotic option buying, I've used options as insurance. And I am certainly not going to say I was victorious all of the time. I've made a lot of trading mistakes. Some were brutal. One Chinese shell corporation I bought was a horrible trade. Three years ago, I packed it in after I had my very own black swan event. Parked my dough in treasuries. I did ok in 2008, while the equity universe got a haircut. I cashed out in 2009.

I am getting ready to get back in. The reason is simple. I think that we are on the verge of a major black swan event. I think the odds are better than 60-40. As a gambler and an odds maker, I make a personal line for everything. And trust me, I am not going long.

The Black Swan Theory or "Theory of Black Swan Events" was developed by Nassim Nicholas Taleb to explain:
  1. The disproportionate role of high-impact, hard to predict, and rare events that are beyond the realm of normal expectations in history, science, finance and technology
  2. The non-computability of the probability of the consequential rare events using scientific methods (owing to their very nature of small probabilities)
  3. The psychological biases that make people individually and collectively blind to uncertainty and unaware of the massive role of the rare event in historical affairs.
Now as I use the term black swan, I do not count war in Korea. I am not looking for a single gunman. That would have limited impact initially and at this point, war there is hardly a qualifying black swan event. It is fully possible that war could break out but I put that possibility at 10%. But war in Korea could in fact- be part of my much larger black swan event. Particularly from a financial point of view.

Europe is completely bankrupt. Forget the PIIGS. Take a look at Germany, France, and the UK's debt levels on US Debt clock. These are the guys bailing out the PIIGS? You'll note they are not much better off than Ireland. Check out Canada's debt levels. Interesting.

The Eurozone is in deep, deep, trouble. The euro will collapse before the U.S. dollar does. But I think that might have a triggering effect. As fools rush out, this will cause the value of a worthless dollar to go absolutely supernova. I can see it happening in 2011. An excellent read on the euro circling the drain...

China despite it's inflation woes, is going to be sitting "chilly" ready to pick up the pieces.

Stateside, I see no end to quantitative easing. I see no jobs, I have yet to see the 7 million pending foreclosures in the housing market get placed on the market. That supply, while hidden, continues to build. It is killing the housing market, it is killing lending,  and it is killing the construction segment. Who is paying the taxes on that vacant real estate? Municipal debt is exploding, states at least five of them- Illinois, California, New York, New Jersey, Michigan, and perhaps Florida are in horrific shape. States are raising real estate tax levels and gouging the middle class even more. The dollar is also deteriorating. Oil is priced in dollars. That price is going up and will continue to go up, demand or not, as the dollar weakens. But it may plunge if the euro implodes. 

When you enter the stock market, they tell you to do so based on fundamentals. That's bullshit when they have rigged the "fundamentals." What you are really trying to do, is to predict human behavior at this point. There are so many triggering events building worldwide, that I think the odds for a black swan event are very good.

I want to finish with a balls to the wall story. In early 2007, I had shorted a little company in Colorado called Fuel Tech Inc. Their products cleaned up coal fired emissions. They were a feel good stock. Their earnings were barely existent, future earnings and I am talking years in the future, were simply not visible. The CEO was gifted at spin. This stock was trading in the mid twenties and was approaching the first quarter earnings report. I had loaded up, short side, expecting a significant miss. Then the miss. It was a significant miss. The stock immediately ramped UP nearly 35%. Shit, there went my new Cadillac up in smoke. I nearly needed heart bypass surgery. In utter shock, I could not fully explain what had happened. But I refused to cover my position which was way too large- almost 40% at that point. I was caught in a monstrous short squeeze. I went home that night and thought it through. I did the unthinkable. I began shorting FTEK even more. At the most significant point, I was nearly 80% invested in that POS company. Had I told my wife, I would not have survived. When it finally cratered to 20, I unloaded my positions. I made money on the trade but not enough to account for all of those sleepless nights I had. In fact, it was FTEK that caused me to exit the most ridiculous, inflated, and irrational market I had ever seen. FTEK trades now for something like 8 bucks and I had it fairly priced at 5 bucks in '07. FTEK rising 35% on missed earnings was a black swan. I never saw it coming. I examined that trade a year later and saw what had happened.

Where there is ruin, there is opportunity. So I try not to base my decisions on emotions or somebody else's opinion of what is good or bad. I look at what's going on, I evaluate it, and I try to decide as unemotionally as possible if this is something I want to get involved in. Sometimes it takes great courage. I really think 2011 is going to be an interesting year, not interesting in the way that many people had hoped. Just interesting.

Government Extorts More Money From Tax Payers, AIG Avoids Prosecution

Well after the government let Countrywide thief Angelo Mozilo out of jail in lieu of 67 million dollar in fines...I see they are at it again.

This time, they let AIG officials off the hook for stealing from workman's compensation pools.

Apparently we no longer have any rule of law in this country. Commit widespread fraud and grand theft and buy your way out of prosecution. Post your bail and subsequent forfeiture with taxpayer funds. It doesn't cost you a dime.

Hey USG...what's the fine for a murder or two? You truly can't dream this shit up.

Don't Ask, Don't Tell Repeal-

Much ballyhoo over nothing.

I have paid little attention to "don't ask, don't tell." I dealt with that issue long ago. It was easy. Like all things the libertarian way.

Years ago, I hired an openly gay man. Not because he was gay, but because he was the best man for the job. The macho guys, and the homophobes, gave me a fair amount of ridicule. I think the funniest part was watching them walk by my office with their hands covering their backside. They thought that shit was funny and it was. Lefties might gasp here.

I had a feeling it would stop when he came on board. It did. He turned out to be an excellent cop, nobody was molested, and the world didn't stop turning. I never had one complaint about the guy. When public servants serve together a weird thing happens. Battles, in any theater, tend to have a unifying effect on people. The small shit gets forgotten quickly. He only stayed with us a year or two and he moved on to a more lucrative career as a stock broker. The people that ridiculed him on the front end, missed him when he left. I saw that personal growth first hand.

I think Obama got this right. From the libertarian perspective, letting people live their lives, was the only way to decide the issue. In fact, having been forced to deal with this issue long ago, is probably one of the reasons I became a libertarian. The "Christian" right will just have to let the creator make the final analysis. I'm ok with letting God handle that. I got too many other things to do. 

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

If Obama Has Such a Lofty IQ, When Will He Unveil It?

I don't like bashing President Obama any more. At this point in his presidency, I think he has demonstrated what kind of man that he is. As I have written about many times before, he has an agenda which has nothing to do with what this country really needs. He lacks the capacity of perception and he lacks personal courage.

Late last night I was reading an article on "American Thinker." I like AT but I think the authors go overboard on Obama bashing. I think a lot of people feel deceived or angry. Like they bought a handsome lemon. Obama has not been any mystery to me. He was never properly vetted by any stretch of the imagination and let's face  the truth- this country was so angry at Bush that they would have voted for anyone. I'd like to introduce that AT article, "Obama's Problem as the Smartest Person in the Room."

I commented on this article, 5 or 6 comments down, as "End the Fed."

Our country has some fascination, call it an obsession, with intelligence. They ASSUME that intelligence equates to success. Now I can't argue that Obama has enough intelligence to get elected. That he was able to dupe people into voting for him. The operative question is, "What benefit have we reaped from this highly touted intelligence?"

Intelligence, standing alone, can never get any job any done. Intelligence has to be coupled with intangible attributes. Strength of character, personal and moral courage, a willingness to tear a problem down to the smallest parts- and to rebuild. This is called project management. Define the problem and identify all of the problem pieces, identify the steps and processes that it will take to overcome the problem, involve experts and team build through consensus. Put together a flow or PERT chart and complete each step in an orderly and logical fashion. Everyone is aware of the processes and what every team member's responsibility is, efforts are not duplicated. It is efficient. As the project nears completion, we should have tangible and identifiable results. A goal.

This didn't happen with Obama. The greatest problem facing this country was economic collapse. Millions and millions of people had been victimized. Obama came in, ignored the greatest problem in the country, and set about his own agenda of government expansion. I don't know about any of you guys, but I was left scratching my head and wondering what the hell was Obama thinking?

Ignoring that problem doomed him. At this point in his term, it is doubtful that he can salvage any credibility. I want to contrast Obama against Governor Christie of New Jersey. Christie has great personal courage. He plays hardball, he deals with shit head on, and he talks in a very precise way. In short, Christie has a plan. He possesses all of the attributes of real leadership and he will succeed. He will pose a very real threat to the Democrats who have nothing like Christie. Unfortunately Christie has said, in no uncertain terms, that he will not run for President. You know what? I believe him. People with great personal courage say what they mean and mean what they say.

Obama may have been able to stumble to a few classrooms, take a few tests, and pass them. That is no great feat. Millions have done that. The qualities Obama needs have nothing to do with intelligence. I am convinced he has enough intelligence. Real intelligence takes courage. It takes rigorous personal honesty to admit that you don't have all of the answers and in fact, you may not even know the steps it takes to manage a project. Real intelligence recognizes it's own shortcomings. It fills those gaps with people who do know the answers. Until Obama does those things, it doesn't really matter what he scores on an IQ test. He simply cannot transfer what intelligence he possesses to any tangible, successful outcome. That's a shame. Obama just hasn't figured this out yet. That's why I can't get angry at him. I feel sorry for him in fact. He has squandered an immense opportunity to go down as a great one. The great ones, like Jefferson, Lincoln, Kennedy had great personal courage and enough intelligence to realize the utility and importance of that attribute. President Obama simply doesn't possess that most important quality right now- when we need it the most. That is not to say, that he is incapable of finding it. I'm just not expecting him to unveil it anytime soon.

11 Reasons Not to Buy a Chevy Volt

Just 4 days after writing my blog, "10 Reasons Not to Buy a Chevy Volt" out comes this report...

This article makes comparisons to other vehicles but leaves out- perhaps the best in class hybrid.

If you wanted a real electric car, with a one hundred mile range, and still a lot's the Leaf. It would save you a lot more than the Volt.

Here's the Prius. For 15 grand less.

The Chevy Volt. Overpriced, over hyped, ho-hum. GM never stood a chance once government got involved.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Young Cop, Old Cop

I thought I'd tell you  a couple of funny war stories today. I need a break from all of this government nastiness. War stories from small town America. Cops.  

Years ago, we hired this young, skinny kid. He didn't have a whisker on his face or maybe even a hair on his ass. You know the type. Nice kid, naive. I think he was 22 but looked 18 or so. Still had pimples and shit.

His situation was further complicated because we couldn't find a uniform to fit him from the storeroom. Cops aren't particularly known for being nutritional specialists or health nuts. Well not back then anyway. So after our guys died of weight related complications, we would nab their old uniforms. So it was, we found this kid a couple of uniforms that hung off him like a potato sack. We should have had them tailored while we waited for those special order- petite sizes to arrive.

Now older folks tend to take getting pulled over a little better than young folks do. But as nice as some of those older folks were, they could switch gears in a hurry when prompted to do so by a skinny kid with pimples that starts telling them how to drive.

Late one night, our field training officer was out with this young kid making traffic stops. They stopped this older gentleman, a hard knocker about 60 years old, for speeding. Their intent was to just give the motorist a warning. The rookie kid walks up to this guy and begins lecturing the driver on the evils of speeding. The field training officer was watching this whole episode and said the motorist was not taking much of a liking to the lecture. About the time he had finished, the motorist paused, looked this kid up and down- eyeing that baggy uniform. He spit on the ground, looked the kid in the eye, and said, "Boy, does your daddy know you got his uniform on?" Our field training officer said he had to absolutely wheel around and clench his teeth to keep from laughing out loud. He had tears running down his cheeks. The kid retreated back to the patrol car. The kid was so pissed off that the field training officer had to calm him down for a few minutes in the car. I nearly cried when I heard the trainer tell me this story. The motorist escaped unscathed.

That young skinny kid has turned out to be a pretty good cop despite that stumble at the gate.

My next story involves a guy who might read this blog but I doubt he'd give a shit anyway. I gotta use his last name because that is a key part of this tale. His last name, for the record, is Pidgeon.

Back when I met Pidgeon, I was one of those know it all rookie cops who was always on the look out for role models. I'll be damned if I didn't always pick the wrong ones. Pidgeon was my favorite. Now I love Pidgeon with all of my heart but Pidgeon had the bedside demeanor of a rhinocerous. He was old and cantankerous but had a heart of gold. He was one of only a few men capable of pissing off Mother Teresa. I think that's why I picked him. I loved working with him because some funny shit was always bound to happen. Pidgeon had logged more than a few complaints over the years. He was a veteran of such things. One last thing, Pidgeon hated it when anybody pointed their finger at him.

So one day, Pidgeon had taken this stolen pickup report and we were looking for the truck and driver. The guy that stole the truck was a former employee of the victim owner and he was from France. The owner just wanted the pick up back. We spent all morning tracking this guy down and finally stopped him in a restaurant parking lot. No guns drawn, no felony stop, none of that. We were just going to grab the pickup and let the guy go. Now Pidgeon's always been a little hard of hearing and he didn't really like the idea of just letting this guy go but he was honoring the owner's wishes. So the French guy gets out of the truck. I think his first question to Pidgeon was something akin to "what ees your problem?" From that point on, things went downhill fast. The interesting thing was that the French guy really didn't speak good English and I don't think he was actually trying to be a smart ass. I don't think Pidgeon quite heard it the same way. There was some back and forth, more back and forth, and then I think the French guy pointed a finger at Pidgeon. That's when shit went from bad to worse. There was yelling, cursing, mouth frothing and people looking at us from inside the restaurant. I knew Pidgeon desperately wanted to arrest this guy but he was a man of his word and the French guy was almost taking advantage of his good fortune. When the smoke finally cleared, Pidgeon told the French guy to beat it. The French guy, clearly an ingrate, looked at Pidgeon and asked, "what is your name?" Now Pidgeon, veteran cop of many complaints knew precisely why this guy was asking that question. He replied, "Pidgeon." The French guy looked at him and said "pee zhahn?" Pidgeon said "Pidgeon!" The French guy repeated, "pee zhahn?" Pidgeon clearly exasperated and pissed off at this point yelled, "No! Just tell 'em I'm the old motherfucker with the glasses on!

Nobody had cameras back then, or tape recorders, and sensitive community police officers had not been invented yet. I miss those days. Everybody broke clean. Doubt we even wrote a report. If we did, we might not have mentioned our field interview in it's entirety.

I told that story at Pee Zhahns retirement party. I had to clean it up a bit because there were kids there. Mr. and Mrs. Pee Zhahn...I miss you. Have a wonderful holiday season.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Is This the Worst Congress Ever?

Gallup says so.

A 13% approval rate?? Could it get any worse? I view this as very good news actually. It may mean that people are willing to set aside whatever partisan views they have and actually start seeing this crew for what they are. It makes you wonder just who those 13% percent were that approved of this Congress...where did they find those people?

Harry Reid is one of the biggest idiots in Congress. After barely retaining his seat, through some shady tactics that involved union workers literally being threatened and shuttled to voting booths, this moron has the balls to propose another gargantuan waste of money- the 1.2 trillion porkubus spending package. While the lame duck session is in, of course. Reid is either brain dead, contemptuous, or both. I wish he were retired.

I am not a partisan hack. I have plenty of contempt for the republican side as well. The bad ones. One other interesting fact- the guys I like the best, Jim DeMint and Ron Paul, are not lawyers.Weird, huh?

Senator Jim DeMint is demanding that the entire omnibus bill be read on the floor. Over 60 hours worth of listening. I love it. It's about time you bastards were actually forced to listen and comprehend what you are voting on....since we damn sure know none of you read those 2000-2500 page bills before voting. "Gone With the Wind" and "War and Peace" look like Cliff Notes compared to this leviathan sized garbage. No wonder nobody reads them. Pelosi, Boxer, and Reid probably think they can just catch the movie when it comes out.

It looks like Reid's giant pork project has been shelved today (19th) to be resurrected  in January after the new crew gets in.

Congress should have to pass a test, some sort of bill comprehension quiz, before voting. Like college finals. Flunk the test, abstain. Flunk too many tests, get ousted. How's that for progressive government?

Is this the worst Congress ever? Without a doubt. I honestly think we could throw darts at a phone book and do better. The working public, taxpayers, would finally get some representation that way. We'd just make sure and rip the attorneys' pages out of the phone book first.

I Fall in Love So Easily

Some things make me yearn for summer. Like the background in this photo, the green grass, the trees, the autumn colors- no snow. Oh yea, and maybe this absolutely gorgeous bike. Check out those ape hangers- a tad much even for me. Given a choice of Anne Coulter or this bike...well, let me think for a moment. After ten years or so, I'd still love the bike.

Harley-Davidson : Touring

Saturday, December 18, 2010

I'd Rather Be a Piano Player in a Cathouse

This is what happens when I get snowed in. I find stupid shit to post from my hotel room. I guess there's worse places than Reno to ride out a blizzard. Actually you'll love this...stolen without remorse from William Banzai at ZeroHedge. The last outpost of truth. This first piece is rated PG. The second one, a catchy tune, is a re-run and rated R.



Friday, December 17, 2010

Smart Young Men and Dumb Old Geezers

My retirement seminar occurred in November this year. This is a group of fossilized people who gather for one day to hear all of the nuances of our public retirement system. For thirty years, the date "1/1/11" has been etched into my mind. Limping into retirement with a few marbles, a few teeth, and some hair. The word hair, as I use it, is singular.

As I took my seat near the back of the fossil room, we were given these clicker things. They ask you some questions with associated slides and you click on the appropriate answer. They split us into four groups and that way we could have some silly competition. It's all a lot of malarkey and the real reason we were given clicker things is so that our answers would be recorded. There is no real reason to take your name and the serial number of the device you are using unless you are keeping an individual tally. After all, it's not like I came to the fossil meeting looking for a nice new clicker to steal. I have too damn many clickers as it is.

There was a young and well dressed kid, early to mid- thirties I'd guess, doing the speaking that day. He is some sort of retirement specialist. He told a story as an illustration about a retiree he was working with a few months ago. The man had been in our retirement system for a long time. Apparently he was about fifty five and entitled to a couple thousand dollar check each month but kept insisting on cashing his whole retirement out. The kid said that he could not reason with him. The dumb old geezer split with the dough. The point our guy was trying to make was that in about nine years time or at about age sixty four, the retiree would have recaptured everything he had vested and then some. After that length of time, the subsequent months and years were simply free gratis. Everyone in the room chuckled at how seemingly stupid this was. Except one knucklehead in the back of the room fondling his clicker.

Now I have simplified this story somewhat. I do not know that retiree's motives for cashing out. But I do know that I have seriously mulled over doing that exact thing. I did in fact, cash out a large 401k last year and took the penalty. That ten percent penalty might look pretty cheap by the time this coming decade is over.

Americans, in my estimation, have been listening to fear driven stories for years. Remember those bombing drills in grade school and civil defense shelters? The worry of nuclear war? Remember those oil shortages that turned out to be bogus? How about stories of the great depression and dust bowl? All of the recessions we have endured and bounced back from? Americans have grown weary of people crying wolf, to the extent that Americans simply don't pay attention any more. People "crying wolf" get labeled and marginalized. They are ridiculed and scorned. Telling some ugly truth is not what people want to hear. Just like some poor sap that cashes out his retirement despite all of the "common sense" applied by some young kid in a suit.

We are entering the fourth year of this depression. That's what this is. It is not going to go away. In fact, I expect it to get worse. I'd like to tell you why.

Central banks are at the heart of the problem. They control the QUANTITY of our money supply. Think about this. They cannot make excess money, or interest, unless they increase the money supply via the issuance of debt. With static and regulated money supplies, the role of central bankers and primary banks gets pretty ho-hum. Almost dreary. If you decrease the money supply, that means less business, less debt, less interest and profits. Central bankers love financing debt, wars, home loans to anyone with warm blood, student loans. That's how their member banks make money.  What we witnessed in 2007, was the blow off top to debt gone wild. Politicians have fueled this insanity and as recently as yesterday, they continue to fuel it. Everyone is desperately trying to ignore and hide from that debt Godzilla. Politicians simply lack the collective will to stop this madness. Our current deficit is fourteen trillion. That is fourteen thousand billion. Our coming obligations such as social security, medicare, federal pensions, put the total bill north of one hundred trillion.

What I am saying is that America is bankrupt. We lack the capacity to pay what we owe. The 4 C’s of lending are: Capacity, Capital, Credit and Collateral. We do not have the capacity, or jobs, to pay this debt burden. The US government pledges your work, and your taxes, when it takes on debt. It cannot tax thirty million jobs that have left our shores. It can't even tax the corporations making dough outside our borders. No workers, no tax money. A bunch of elite folks parking their dough in Lichtenstein. All of this of course brings me back to a young and smart retirement planner dressed in a suit. Maybe an old war horse with a big ass cashier's check that he is now using to buy gold and silver.

Smart young men and dumb old geezers. It's hard to predict which one will prove right. Ultimately, this old geezer settled on the monthly check. I let them have their clicker back. Perhaps, I made a mistake. That's how these things are. Economic collapses don't come around all that often. Its kind of like that man who predicts the end of his life each day- knowing in advance that he'll be right- only once. I feel certain about one thing though. I am confident in America's ability to slick this debt catastrophe onto future generations. I hope. To smart young men with suits on.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Ten Reasons Not to Buy a Chevy Volt

I've watched the Chevy Volt saga for years. I watched as President Obama demanded that the price of the car remain as close to 30k as possible. I suppose when you allow your government to buy a bankrupt auto maker, you get the proven track record of an owner that has screwed up everything it has touched. Obama, master car designer and businessman, lynched GM CEO Rick Wagoner shortly after the takeover. It was an easy sacrifice. I mean after all, Wagoner had the audacity to fly in a corporate jet to those congressional hearings. The outrage!

The Chevy Volt costs an astounding 41k. Throw in some sales tax, an option or two, dealer prep and doc fees, some bank interest and voila! You have a 50k car. Oh you'll be eligible for a tax credit.The same tax credit you'd get on another hybrid vehicle.

I can't get excited about GM's new flagship car. Here are my reasons why in no particular order.

1. The price. I don't give a shit about tax credits. The cost of this car is insane. Comparable models are half the price.

2. The gas math/MPG simply doesn't pencil. You can buy 7000 additional gallons (3.00 a gal.) of gas with the money you'd save on a Hyundai Sonata, base model. That's 220,000 miles worth. You still have to put gas in the Volt and charge it.

3. The Volt uses electricity. Guess where we get that from? Coal fired generators and I have no idea what the cost of charging this car would be. If you charged it every day, I am guessing 30-45 bucks a month.

4. It is a first run car. I never buy first year model runs. I worry about defects.

5. Performance. I don't think the Volt can hang with most Japanese/Korean models. The Sonata has 200 horsepower, the Volt has a whopping 83.

6. Most of my driving is done on the highway. After you have drained the Volt's 40 (tests show 35 miles) mile battery charge, you will be using gas again. A home charger is required for this car, but it is small and you can take it with you. Once you have drained the 35- 40 mile electrical charge, the Volt only get 31 MPG on what appears to be a woefully under powered gas engine. It takes about three hours to fully charge the car. All this car would do for me is save me one net gallon of gas on most trips. Hardly enough to justify the absurd price.

7. The Hyundai Sonata hybrid waxes the Volt it in every category. It has twice the performance and horsepower, gets 38 MPG, and costs 16 grand less. At 38 MPG v 31 MPG it would only take 5 gallons of gas to exceed the savings of Volt's 35 mile electrical charge.

8. The warranties are comparable. Sonata's basic warranty is 60, 000 miles or 60 months while the Volt's basic warranty is 36, 000 miles or 36 months. They have the same 100,000 mile power train warranty.

9. I simply can't support GM. Taxpayers had GM's bail out jammed down our throats. Unions made very few concessions nor did Obama or the Car Czar force them to. For some astounding bullshit, a "you love you" theme, and a huge dose of Obama ass kissing- read this... Nice of Obama to save car jobs huh? What about those other 30 million unemployed workers? Ford stood on it's own and I'd damn sure buy a Fusion hybrid for that reason alone.

10. Initially, I expect to see some morons run out and buy this car. After the smoke clears, I think this car is going to be a bust. I am not sure the Volt will hold it's value and I damn sure wouldn't want to try and resell it if the bottom falls out of it. Remember GM's Pontiac Fiero? I do.

I have been studying various cars for a couple of years now- expecting to buy a new one soon. Obviously I have a big lean on the Sonata. General Motors should have been allowed to fail. They are still making crappy and over priced cars just like they were a few years ago. Motor Trend's "Car of the Year." We'll see how that pans out.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Time to Pony Up

Thankfully, we voted in those Republicans just in time to extend the Bush tax cuts. Give the elite a little more largesse. That and they kicked the can down the road exactly two years- to the next election. To call these guys cowards- gives cowards everywhere a bad rap.

Our government simply doesn't have the spine God gave a jellyfish.

Each taxpayer in this country owes 125,000 dollars. That's you. Go ahead and just send it to me and I'll take care of it for you. Make your check payable to Frankenstein Government. If you are feeling really responsible, scroll down to the bottom line and note that you actually owe just a shade over a million bucks and send that amount in. I'd do it now before interest rates rise.

Travel day for me. The smoldering ruins of Boise States' Rose Bowl dreams, Reno.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


I started writing publicly about five years ago. Back then, I would craft what I believed to be some insightful masterpiece, edit the obvious errors, and whack the publish button. I would then tuck myself in for the night. I had three problems back then. I was writing on a business site that I did not control, I was the Police Chief and I was expected to behave accordingly, and I had an idiot for an editor. I eventually resolved those first two issues but alas, I cannot resolve the third. I still have an idiot for editor.

There are some emotional risks that you inherently agree to- when you write publicly. You are about to expose what kind of person you are, your readers are going to dissect what you have written, and most importantly- if you are a shitty writer people won't be interested in reading what you write.

Those are some of the risks. That and nasty commenters.

Imagine being a small town Police Chief, having "die hard" libertarian views, and trying to write in a very well educated and densely populated- liberal stronghold. This was my conundrum. I can only compare that experience to juggling nitroglycerin while under the influence.

Now I learned a few things while writing in Moonbat Valley. I learned that liberals have a great deal of tolerance and understanding for those beliefs that they hold near and dear. I also learned that they have absolutely no tolerance or capacity for anyone pointing out the flaws in their own collective belief systems. In Moonbat Valley you are entitled to an opinion just as long as it is theirs. I also learned that they will attack enmasse and that they can be rather nasty and personal. The last thing an indoctrinated liberal with a Princeton degree wants to hear is some cop telling them that their thinking is flawed. Some cop with a half assed education from state college.

One last thing. Liberals hate it when logic, facts, or truth stand in the way of what they want to believe. Nothing pisses them off more. They can get nasty fast. I was about to find all of that out in the early fall of 2008. That's when a crazy libertarian cop, researching an Indonesian candidate for President, questioned just who the hell Barack Obama was and if he was even qualified to be President. That I did that willingly, sober, and without coercion is a testament to my insanity. When I whacked that publish button in the middle of Moonbat Valley, I could never have known the shitstorm I was about to endure. It was October. I remember it well.

The next morning, the anonymous commenters went on the attack. My phone rang. Nasty emails came flying in. The site owner didn't even try to defend me, his advertisers were pissed. The moonbats found my friends and family and questioned whether I might need a stretch in the mental ward. But the coup de grace' came when my significant other called from Italy and laid waste to me. I had apparently embarrassed her as well.

All of that because I wanted to see a passport or a birth certificate. I wanted to know who wrote Obama's books. That passport has never been found. The original birth certificate has been sealed. Research has all but concluded that Obama's ghostwriter was most likely William Ayers. It is not insignificant that Mr. Obama has never addressed those issues to my satisfaction. Nor will he ever. I will have to rely on the march of time to take care of those things for me. I will post this link for the posterity that read this post:

I still have an idiot for an editor. An idiot that doesn't find all of the mistakes or kill an opinion that's about to become shitageddon. There are no advertisers here to howl and whine. Moonbats, intent on personal attacks, are disposed of with a whack of the delete button. No nasty calls or emails and no globe wandering girlfriends embarrassed by something I've written. I like it here. It is peaceful and serene. Just you, me, and that idiot editor.

Government Failure, Ignoring The Role Of Restorative Justice

In my waning years as a lawman, I was introduced to the concept of restorative justice. Initially I bristled at this new term as I pondered what it meant for traditional crime and punishment themes. That and I inherently did not trust the liberals that introduced new concepts like this to me in Moonbat Valley.

I quickly became a convert. On a small local scale, I had the unique ability to actually listen and comprehend what crime victims were telling me. In our offices, in our courtrooms, and at our post office. Victims who would find that our criminal justice system doesn't really give a rat's ass about their being victims. Was that true? Well, I had heard it dozens if not hundreds of times. So often actually, it became difficult to ignore. The problem the legal system has is the same problem our government has. It makes sense- they run both systems.

They don't listen. They don't think they have to.

Here then is a comparison and the different approaches of these two types of justice. If you have ever been a crime victim, and odds are that you have, you will like this.

Restorative Justice posits a paradigm shift that is best understood by asking the oft-quoted "three questions." The more common three questions for a system of justice to ask are "1. What laws have been broken?, 2. Who did it?, 3. What do they deserve?" Restorative justice asks, "1. Who has been hurt?, 2. What are their needs?, 3. Whose obligations are these?"[7] 

This is an interesting concept. If victims could acquire the same distrustful beliefs, based on the indifference of the legal system, was it not in fact true? How about hundreds and thousands of victims spanning my 25 year career? These victims were often not consulted, nobody really cared what their wishes were, and the only consultation they received was some trial prep on how to answer questions and the mean things a defense attorney might say. In a sense, these victims felt victimized twice.

Now let's move this micro view to a macro scale. What would happen if the entire taxpaying base of the United States were victimized at once? Millions of people out of work, millions more losing their homes? Millions more losing all of their home equity and savings? What would happen as they saw government ignore the rule of law, bail out the criminals, and not prosecute a single one? What would they think as Goldman Sachs reported record earnings and the same criminals that ripped them off got big bonus checks?

You are witnessing it now. I have never seen America more angry. They have watched as this indifferent government does nothing. Fat cops, doing nothing, in the donut shop. They have formed a collective belief, and rightfully so, made far worse because they all became victims at once. They lost a lot of money and they are not going to forget despite a government that desperately wishes they would. The government wants and needs quick forgetters. Barack Obama for all of his fancy degrees, didn't stand a chance. He ignored the victims and still does. Any two term Sheriff seeking re-election is aware of this principle.

The American people do not trust government. They do not trust greedy and corrupt bankers and rightfully so. There can be no recovery until there is restorative justice. The criminals have been allowed to escape. Those same Americans, the millions that just got ripped off, have been marginalized and ignored. We cannot have a recovery until some sense of sanity, fair play, and a willingness to restore justice in the American people comes to pass. Until then, a pissed off America is simply going to dig in it's heels. It will not hire people, it will not invest, it will not trust. This country cannot turn that corner without the help of the millions of innocent victims who continue to pay a mortgage on a house worth half of what it used to be. All of the money printing and passionate pleas for more unemployment will not save you Mr. Obama. The American people are entitled to and deserve restorative justice. Maybe President Obama, instead of talking so much, you should try listening.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Beat the Rush To Chernobyl! Make Your Travel Arranngements Early

I can't tell you that visiting a radioactive graveyard is on my bucket list. Apparently the Ukraine thinks they have found some sort of nuclear disneyland.

In reality, I'm sure there will be people "just dying" to see the place. I do not number among them.;_ylt=AsPUxb5kAEiX8eeMb976GQRv24cA;_ylu=X3oDMTM2NWxlOTZkBGFzc2V0A2FwL2V1X3VrcmFpbmVfY2hlcm5vYnlsX3RvdXJpc20EY2NvZGUDdmlld3NoYXJlBGNwb3MDOQRwb3MDOQRzZWMDeW5fdG9wX3N0b3JpZXMEc2xrA3VrcmFpbmV0b29wZQ--

I found the price. Reasonable. Only about 150 bucks. Tour information.

I love that part about the reactor still leaking. That'll draw them in by the thousands. I'm guessing you have to pay in advance.


It's Official...ObamaCare Supporters Prove Sheep are Brilliant, Now Willing to Pay an Oxygen Tax For the Air That They Breathe

We can all agree on one thing. We need affordable health care. We can agree on a second thing. We don't have affordable health care. We might even agree that you cannot fix health care by writing a 2407 page health care bill that nobody in Congress bothered reading before passing. Or do you think they read it?

Everything that has happened during and after that sham of a bill passing, the backroom deals in Louisiana and Nebraska to buy votes, this great national debate, is a waste of time. Everything.

I am no longer willing to debate the merits of a law that was a non starter to begin with.

Obama, the Democrats, and that bill have done more to divide our country than any single piece of legislation in our history. I am convinced of it. We fight among ourselves, we debate the merits and legality of a law that has no Constitutional authority. A bill that slicked in income reporting, taxes on real estate sales, and everything else they could think of. A bill that created the most unholy bureaucracy of all time. Read this list of shit Obamacare created and try not to short circuit your computer by drooling on it.

I am not kidding you when I say that some of these people would pay an Oxygen Tax on the air that they breathe.

I will make it this simple. Any person in this country that supports any bill, any piece of legislation, that Congress admits that they did not read in it's entirety is an idiot. If they said they read it, then I want reading comprehension tests and polygraph testing to prove it. A full reading of that bill, with full attendance would have taken weeks. It didn't happen. It's really that simple.

Virginia Judge Strikes Down ObamaCare

So I read this article on Yahoo.

Then I think, the White House will be calling the judge any minute. Asking the judge to resign.

Have you noticed the increasing number of idiots who compare compulsory health insurance to auto insurance? We are truly a nation of idiots.

My sis in Seattle has survived quite nicely without a car most of her life. She actually chooses to ride her bike to work. Thus she avoids depreciation, bank interest, car insurance, taxes and registration, and the Saudi gas subsidy. She has taken those savings and piled up quite a bit of cash for retirement. She figures it amounts to 5 to 6 thousand dollars each year.

My sister cannot avoid health care. Like many of us, choosing to live in pain or die, is not an option. It's not a choice.  Like owning a car might be. We haven't given up our divine rights, bestowed by our Creator, to a life at the mercy, pleasure, servitude, or whims of the state. Well at least not yet.

The next time you hear some imbecile compare auto insurance to health insurance, tell him it's about time to pony up for that air he's been breathing. Tell him we're trying to conserve oxygen for people with brains and that he doesn't qualify. The state should charge those souls 2 bucks a day- oxygen tax. They can send it in with their Obamacare premiums.

The Christmas Goose

Last week our President caved in to political pressure. He extended the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest and bartered for 13 more months of government largesse for the unemployed. Then he went on national TV to whine about it. Later at a press conference, Obama turned the podium over to White House Lewinsky molester, Bill Clinton. Then Obama ran out of the room. Clinton as you might recall, is married to astute cattle futures trader and international spy, Hillary Clinton.

The newly elected Republicans, bent on protecting their elite friends, drew a line in the sand. Obama, the Coward in Chief, nabbed the consolation prize- a few billion more from the taxpayers for his unemployed voters.

Let me score this. Government Cowards 2, American Citizens and Taxpayers 0. 

Now lest ye think I am picking on the current crop of cowards, let me retrace my steps back to Bush II. Bush as you might recall, was the President who lost his veto pen. Among other things, I will forever remember him as the man who failed to enforce immigration statutes, thus allowing the Mexicans to recover land and territory lost long ago. Primarily Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and Southern California. Bush may be best known as the man who stepped away from the podium and turned the reins of government over to Treasury Secretary, Hank Paulson. Hank as you recall, was the Goldman Sachs CEO who I think history will show- pretty much helped bankrupt the world. I'd like to turn your attention to this chart.

As you can see, as Hank was stealing taxpayer dollars to bail out his cronies at Goldman Sachs and AIG, the FED was busy throwing 4.5 trillion toward it's member banks. The most curious part, is why couldn't the FED simply bail out Congress by supplying the mere pittance that would be TARP? Why indeed? Just a taste here below courtesy of Jonathan Schwarz...more here at his link.

That's the first rule of political catastrophes: if everyone's guilty, no one can be punished.
This was an opportunity to get everyone else on the hook with them: both parties in congress, and both presidential candidates, each of whom would be under enormous pressure not to look "irresponsible." Even better, getting some TARP money from congress would create a huge distraction from the gigantic amounts of non-TARP money the Fed was shoveling out the door.
So all they had to do now was make congress terrified the economy was about to collapse. And to do this, they needed a plausible story.

Perhaps. But it's that AIG thing that bothers me. AIG is an insurer- not a bank. They owed a shit ton of dough in claims to Hank's old employer, Goldman Sachs. The same bastards that originated those shit derivatives, sold them as AAA quality knowing damn well they weren't, and passed the liability onto AIG.  Does the FED have any obligation to bail out an insurer? Would it even want to? The truth is, I don't think so. In fact it may have even been illegal. Is it possible that TARP was simply a cover story to bail out AIG and make it look good by throwing a few bucks at banks as well? I think so. I think AIG was the goal and real purpose of TARP.

Note the international flavor of FED loans at this link. The American Central Bank. How's my ass taste, chumps.

Now, we are left with Ben Bernanke. His job is to continue the cover up of a worldwide banking system that is bankrupt and a stock market made of smoke and mirrors sprinkled with quantitative easing and more debt. I wonder how he sleeps at night.

Government Cowards 4, American Citizens and Taxpayers 0

It's no wonder to me why President Obama sidestepped the financial collapse of our country. They co-opted the poor sap before he even got in the door. He never saw it coming. Carved up like a Christmas goose as my grandma used to say.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

The Sons Of Miners

Next week on Jun 8th at the Butte Archives there is going to be a lecture about the greatest hard rock mining disaster that had ever happened up until that moment in time- Jun 8, 1917. So I thought I'd edit and re-run this old piece from 2010.

This is an old story. It is about an agreement that I made some forty years ago. An agreement I made with my friends and the effect it had on my life as I got older. It is about loyalty, blind trust, and misconceptions. I told this story recently and as I reflected back on it, I realized it was an indoctrination. It was not necessarily true or untrue. But we believed that it was true. It was a choice we made. We were just kids, many of us, the sons of miners.
I wasn't the son of a miner. In the 1900's, Butte, Montana was known as the richest hill on earth. The city was bustling and busy- a stark contrast with today. A huge open pit mine had replaced underground operations but I can still remember the electric whirr and creakiness of a head frame near my childhood home on Caledonia as it spooled cable up and down the shaft. It is a kind of haunting sound which I have never forgotten nor heard again.

The city was primarily Irish, but there were other ethnic backgrounds represented- complete with homegrown cuisine with bizarre sounding names, neighborhood bars, and a few brothels. Most of my friends were Irish just like I was. I felt this weird sense of loyalty to my friends as though we had this common bond and whatever they said, simply had to be true.

The sons of miners told me this. There had been a great underground fire later dubbed the Granite Mountain fire. Although it had happened during the time of WWI, the story had been passed down to my friends by their grandfathers. The fire had claimed 168 lives, many of them brave men and Irish. There were very few safety measures in 1917. Men toiled long and arduous hours, made very little, and were treated like slaves. Many men had been killed in the mines since that time. After the great fire, there had been a long and nasty period of labor unrest, people had been killed including cops, sympathetic to the mine owners. Eventually at great cost and human suffering, the first miners' union was formed. They told me that all of this death and destruction could have been avoided. I was then introduced to the villain, the Anaconda Mining Company or in Butte, "the company." Making millions a month and screwing over our Irish grandfathers who toiled for three dollars a day. The company owned the local newspapers. So when people died in those mines, even in the 60's, they dared me to find an obituary that ever said that. I never did.

I saw my Irish friends as heroes. Struggling against greedy and powerful men who could care less if people had to die while ignoring costly improvements in working conditions. Rich men needing banisters made of wood imported from India or stained glass from Italy. I was loyal to those sons of miners. They were my friends. We were in this together. I began to hate the rich. The rich represented all that was wrong with the world. Unions and the working class were my heroes and my friends. Anyone with money, well they just had to be bad people. That is what I believed. I mean I believed that with all of my heart to be true. I was 11 or 12 years old.

There is a real danger in making agreements like that. You carry those beliefs the rest of your life. They are emotionally planted in you and buried so deep that you can't understand why you feel a twinge of hatred when someone drives by in a Porsche or lands a personal jet on the runway. You see, they are all mine owners to me. Oppressive and uncaring people who must acquire what they have at significant loss to the rest of us. To this day when I hear someone praising personal wealth, I get sick to my stomach. Because I made an agreement, many years ago, to hate those kinds of people.

It would take about thirty five years for me to rewind that tape. It took all of that time for me to reach back and wonder just why I held that faulty belief system so long. How simplistic that all seems now. Those preconceived notions I held as a kid and which I applied to anyone including the people who worked hard for their money and earned it. They could not have known. That is how I saw the world. It was judgmental and wrong perhaps, too broadly applied and stereotypical. I know that now. I didn't know all of that as a child. I saw it as a fact of life which was sprinkled with the loyalty one has for his friends and the hatred we have for the antagonists in our lives. Despite all of that, the bigger part of me will always be a miner's son. That I think- will never leave me.

On the 99th anniversary of the Granite Mountain/Speculator disaster- Jun 8, next week- there is going to be a lecture at the Butte archives which is scheduled to start at noon. All that remains to be seen is whether I will arrive in Butte by car or by motorcycle. I booked a boutique room at the new Miner's Hotel in the old Miner's Bank building. I can hardly wait.

Mark Madoff Taps Out

When I was a child, newspapers had a habit of telling the truth about one's cause of death. If someone committed suicide, the obituary would often state that the deceased took their own life. Over the years, I have noticed a shift in the way obituaries are written. We no longer state the truth. Telling the truth is no longer important to us. We are far more concerned with being "sensitive." We justify and rationalize that sensitivity for a grieving family outweighs any need for telling the truth. If Mark Madoff had been just anyone, I doubt the manner of his death would have ever been disclosed.

The sad truth is that many of the citizens of this country fear suicide to such a degree that we are forbidden by custom from even discussing it. Many believe that suicide is something to be ashamed of. We feel guilty when our loved ones take their own lives. We feel diminished or less than because we could not prevent it. If only we could have known, then certainly we would have intervened. We become enraged, frustrated, helpless and hopeless, and we cope until we reach some hallowed ground called acceptance.

I know those five stages of grieving well. I have experienced them more than I ever care to remember.

It's a sad fact that many of us are poorly prepared for any talk of death or suicide. That somehow if we just avoid talk of suicide or death, perhaps we can all just continue living our lives as though it doesn't exist. We believe we are better off somehow when we avoid those truths that we don't like.

Right after Mark Madoff's death was reported yesterday, I scrolled the comment section under the Yahoo news story. The anger and vitriolic comments were everywhere. I sensed while reading those comments, just how sick many of us have become. I also got a very real sense while reading those comments, the very real anger and hostility that must have been a daily fixture in Mark's life.

Mark Madoff was presumed guilty by association by many of those commenters. Are we to "assume" that Mark and his brother knew what their father was doing? People make judgments and assumptions all of the time, irrespective of the facts. They practice contempt prior to investigation. There was no presumption of innocence here. Nobody mentioned that in fact, Mark and his brother had cooperated with authorities. That on the eve of his arrest, Bernie told his sons what he had done and they cooperated with authorities. Nobody mentioned that the Madoff brothers had been reviled and vilified non stop, investigated and sued. If the authorities could have proven a charge they would have filed it. They could not. Maybe, just maybe, Bernie Madoff's sons simply didn't know the truth until the last minute. I feel pretty certain that if my own father, the same father that taught me honesty and integrity did something similar, that he might avoid the embarrassment and shame of telling me he was a thief. Why is that possibility so hard to fathom?

Because we CHOOSE not to believe it. We don't want to believe that. We want to practice our unconditional hatred of the wealthy. We want to lash out at those people that rub their material possessions in our noses. Those people with mansions, jets, and trophy wives. Those people who get away with crimes. We are pissed, we feel cheated, that somehow life has treated us unfairly. People enjoy wallowing in that self pity. They enjoy hurting others to make themselves feel better. There was no better evidence of that- than that cowardly comment section under Mark's story. Complete with anti-semitism rhetoric. Thousands of comments.

I am not claiming the high ground for myself here. I have made similar assumptions particularly when there is no possibility of retrieving the truth. But what I absolutely refuse to do, is to revel in and celebrate the death of a young man that was so isolated and depressed that suicide became his only solution. That is very sad, indeed. Those hate filled comments in that comment section don't say anything about what kind of man Mark Madoff was. Because they don't know. But they sure speak volumes about what kind of people many of us have become.

There's a part of me that wishes we could tell the truth again. To see the national epidemic of suicide that we are experiencing rather than hiding from it with the aid of glossed over obituaries. We don't learn anything when we run from something or pretend it doesn't exist. In that same vein,  I've probably been associated with at least a 100 suicides in my life. Everyone of them is a horrific tragedy. Tragic lives and tragic endings. Death messages delivered and followed closely by sobs, shrieks, and wailing delivered at the top of one's lungs. Agony, anguish, and despair like you'll never want to see or hear again. Scenes that I desperately want to erase. When you have that kind of perspective, you see the other side. For those of you that haven't seen that side of life, I desperately wish that you could. I can't bear the thought of witnessing what I have seen and then celebrating someone's suicide. I am going to hope and pray that those experiences of mine would have the same effect on the people writing those comments yesterday.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Sales Tax on Home Sales, More Government Sleight of Hand

A few days ago, I had a good friend of mine tell me that Congress had passed a new sales tax on home sales or purchases. I didn't think that statement was true simply because a new tax like that would have caught my attention. Could I have missed some bill? Last night I googled "sales tax on home sales" and this is what I found.

I clipped this piece from the second link.

The truth is that only a tiny percentage of home sellers will pay the tax. First of all, only those with incomes over $200,000 a year ($250,000 for married couples filing jointly) will be subject to it. And even for those who have such high incomes, the tax still won’t apply to the first $250,000 on profits from the sale of a personal residence — or to the first $500,000 in the case of a married couple selling their home.
We can understand how this misconception got started. The law itself is couched in highly technical language that only a qualified tax expert can fully grasp. (This provision begins on page 33 of the reconciliation bill that was passed and signed into law.) And it does say the tax falls on "net gain … attributable to the disposition of property." That would include the sale of a home. But the bill also says the tax falls only on that portion of any gain that is "taken into account in computing taxable income" under the existing tax code. And the fact is, the first $250,000 in profit on the sale of a primary residence (or $500,000 in the case of a married couple) is excluded from taxable income already. (That exclusion doesn’t apply to vacation homes or rental properties.)

Government is sneaky. Not only do they hide this crap in a bill that has nothing to do with real estate, but then the idiots that pass this nonsense- claim no responsibility because they hadn't read the bill. That would be bad enough. But the real intent will play out many years from now.

A few months ago, I discussed the concept of a "beach head." These are the incremental steps that government uses over time. They use this method because it is sneaky, they can avoid responsibility, and they can allow future legislators to expand the program.

This is how they do it. They pass legislation that they hope people will not discover. Perhaps as a rider in a bill or concealed in some juggernaut such as the health care bill. When it is discovered, we find that it targets wealthy people. Since the vast majority of us are not wealthy, we breath a sigh of relief. Some of us might even say, "screw the wealthy." We can't deny the existence of class warfare nor the politicians who exploit that. So the legislation stands, supported by the majority of us that it doesn't effect. Years from now, government will raise that tax. Or they will ratchet down the income levels of those that it applies to. The wealthy who have already been subject to the tax, won't shed a tear for the lower income levels as the net widens and captures others. They will say it is fair.

This is how government establishes a "beach head." A safe landing spot that establishes a whole new tax or position. They are like termites. Let them in the house, let them get away with this, and the termites will eat your house. Then we will scratch our heads and say, "how did this happen?" The original legislators will be long gone, collecting government pensions. The new legislators, those that increase the sales tax net on smaller incomes, will shrug their shoulders and blame the old guys- those guys that passed Obamacare. They will say that they were just trying to make it fair for everybody. People might say, "That makes sense, it seems fair." Then the government will start raising the tax. Incrementally of course. Probably start with the wealthy and work their way down again. Once they have established the "beach head", it becomes easier to tack on increases. That is the history of all government programs. That is the history of federal taxes and state taxes, social security, medicaid.

Divide and conquer. Attack the weakest link first, establish and justify the position, pillage the next link. Can you imagine the outrage if government attempted to do this to everyone at once? That is precisely why they didn't and they don't. Honest acts do not fear disclosure.

Don't ever think for a second that government is acting in your best interests. They do not. They act contrary to your interests. Nothing illustrates that better than Obamacare. I'd like to think we run the government but clearly we do not. If you still cling to the idea that government acts in our best interests, I will point you to the overwhelming majority of Americans that opposed this bill. The evidence is in. Pay attention to what government actually does, not to anything they say.