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Friday, June 1, 2012

This Is Who Runs the Country

First the donor list for Obama circa 2008.

University of California $1,648,685
Goldman Sachs $1,013,091
Harvard University $878,164
Microsoft Corp $852,167
Google Inc $814,540
JPMorgan Chase & Co $808,799
Citigroup Inc $736,771
Time Warner $624,618
Sidley Austin LLP $600,298
Stanford University $595,716
National Amusements Inc $563,798
WilmerHale LLP $550,668
Columbia University $547,852
Skadden, Arps et al $543,539
UBS AG $532,674
IBM Corp $532,372
General Electric $529,855
US Government $513,308
Morgan Stanley $512,232
Latham & Watkins $503,295

Oh look who jumped ship! Gone are Citibank, JP Morgan, Goldman Sachs. This year they are Romney's new best friends. The best President money can buy. Let me try and hide my excitement.

It looks like the billionaire Adelson's are coming to Mitt's rescue as well. Can't forget the elite.

As Mitt Romney speaks on TV, we thought it may be prudent to present an update of the key donors to the Romney presidential campaign.

What the Cops Haters Haven't Learned Yet

In a minute, I'm going to tell you a personal story in my own self disclosing and humiliating way. I can do this because I am a man of great courage. And ample stupidity.

I have been taking a raft of shit from the cop haters lately. Unreal. Mostly, I usually just keep my mouth shut but lately I find my cup- overflowing.

I am a retired cop. That's my disclaimer. I am getting sick of having to defend my former profession like it was some hideously terrible occupation that I should be ashamed of.

Here's my newsflash. I'm not ashamed.

I did not steal from people under some umbrella of legality like a car salesman, banker, or lawyer. I did not operate a strip club or some other unscrupulous or sleazy business. I was a public servant in a capitalistic system that has largely thrown away the rule of law where the rich and elite are concerned. The rich and elite can mount a rigorous defense. Like O.J. They intimidate and outspend prosecutors and they regularly beat them. So mostly, the cops are relegated to peeling off the indefensible and poor. I get that. That's the way the system is evolving. I didn't invent it.

Quite honestly, the criminals are getting better. The system that prosecutes them- is not. That's an opinion of mine that you may or may not share.

Here's my 25 year take on why people hate cops. The people who hate cops are largely unconscious. It is probably that simple. Some folks simply can't come to terms with the idea that they alone are responsible for their problems. To do that would require some level of internal honesty and responsibility. Show me a cop hater and I'll show you somebody that has usually been busted multiple times- individuals who still think they are victims. People who cannot practice rigorous internal honesty.

When people actually grow up and take responsibility for their actions- which very often includes the truthful realization that if they hadn't driven drunk or stolen shit- maybe they wouldn't have greeted someone with a badge. So mostly when people bitch about cops- it is simply their own anger and frustration boiling over. These poor victims don't want to talk about their own mistakes- so instead they blame the guys and gals that attach some responsibility to their actions. They don't like that shit.

You ever hear a cop hater talk about how many times they have broken laws before getting caught? Hundreds, thousands of times. No, you won't hear that. Instead you'll hear some minimalized and largely fabricated story about how they were victimized by the police during the time or times they were actually caught.

Here in Boise, the Boise cops went through a three year period where they were involved in a lot of shootings. They shot and killed several suspects. It was simply a mathematical anomaly. It was crazy high. That was several years ago. Yet to this day, I hear people almost on a weekly basis, talking about the trigger happy Boise cops. People talk about Boise cops like they are some homicidal bunch of maniacs.

Nothing could be further from the truth. Boise cops are well trained and they come from a state where everyone grows up with guns and knows how to use them. Not only is every shooting reviewed internally and by an ombudsman locally, but all types of reviews are held in every case ranging from autopsies, coroner's inquests, magistrates inquiries, and grand juries. Prosecutors and attorney generals review shootings. So does the state and federal government. There are civil trials. To suggest that all of these levels of inquiry are somehow corrupt or collusive- is asinine.

Yea and the cops take bullets too. I am not gonna apologize for bringing some training and preparation to a gunfight and winning. Cops don't dial 911. We are 911.

So what we are really talking about here is the ability to take REAL responsibility for your actions. Cop haters cannot or will not do that. That failure to evolve is no longer my journey. How that came about is kind of a strange story which I will tell you now.

Years ago I was on vacation in Billings, Montana. I have always played poker and being a cop, I only played in places where it was legal. On this particular night, I was playing in a bar called the Crystal which is a pretty well known joint in Billings. I was in my early 30's. Seated next to me was a large stocky cattleman type of guy- who was wearing a straw hat. He was probably about 60.

On that particular night, I was catching huge hands and losing with every one of them. I was getting my ass handed to me and I was hot. I was losing a lot of money. It didn't help matters any that I was well acquainted with odds and probability and on this particular night- you could throw all of that math out the window. I was furious. This was not lost on the cattleman sitting to the left of me. I can't imagine any improvement he could of made on the level of tact that he employed while intervening that night. I could have chosen not to listen- like my responsibility avoiding friends- but I did not. Maybe I just needed the relief. 

He said, "Son, how long have you been playing this game?" I told him something like 15 years. He then said, "How long do you plan on playing this game?" I told him, "well, the rest of my life I guess." He then took a deep breath and said, "Then you need to get used to this. There will be nights like you are having. Lots of them. Nobody drags you to the table. You do that on your own. If you don't get ok with losing on nights like this, you don't have to play any more."

As simple as all of that sounds, it was an epiphany for me. What that rancher was preaching was responsibility and acceptance. I went home to my hotel room that night- a changed man. It would take another 15 years for me to grasp the entire idea of honesty, responsibility, and acceptance wrapped into one emotional package. I am still not perfect. But at least I know who is responsible. That's the lesson the cop haters just can't grasp. Cops are not entertainers. They are not supposed to be warm and fuzzy, handing out Zagnuts and soft drinks on traffic stops. Get real.

Remember this cop haters. Cops don't particularly enjoy seeing you either. We just practice a little more tolerance than you do and we keep our mouths shut. That might sound a little harsh because it is. I'm not gonna apologize for that either.

Obama Administration, Sans Any Plan, Gets Entirely Predictable Result Today*Updated

Wow. Some seriously shitty  numbers today. Even worse than I expected.

The unemployment rate actually ticked up even though the government statisticians added 200k jobs out of thin air with the birth/death model last month. Last months's report was revised down 35,000 jobs and today's report misses by nearly 100,000. Of course, today's report has been "touched up" and undoubtedly will be revised lower next month.

Dow futures are down -203 points. Oil is down HUGE....nearly 3 bucks a barrel. Brent is down under 100 a barrel. It looks like my call for 80 buck oil may have been too conservative although retailers are still gouging the hell out of us. Oddly, gold and silver are up. *Gold now up 67 dollars- putting a major hurt on the shorts.

The stock market, our default investment, looks terrible. The Fed will meet in June. This looks to get interesting as our crooked administration will not like today's numbers and I can easily see Bernanke and the FED hinting at some more money printing by then and ramping the market back up. That's why gold and silver are not budging today. Yet, anyway.

More at the link.

*President on television refusing to take any responsibility for unemployment problems. I decided to save on electricity today and turned the broadcast off. This is what he said. I'll be damned but I think he is even lying about this.

Obama says economy will come back stronger

President Barack Obama jogs to greet people on the tarmac as he arrives at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport in Minneapolis, Friday, June 1, 2012. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn. (AP) — President Barack Obama says the May jobs report shows that the economy is not creating jobs "as fast as we want," but he says the economy will improve.
Obama says that "we will come back stronger. We do have better days ahead."

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Once In Awhile The Good Guys Win, Fuck You Citibank

This whistle blower won 31 million. That's not as odd as the hundreds of thousands who didn't whistleblow. A nation of hostages. Think about that. Warm and fuzzy at the link.

The Economic Malaise Continues

In 2010, it was green shoots. In 2011, it was recovery. Last month in 2012, it was recovery. Three years of media spin. I believe that this economic spin is initiated at the White House level and repeated by the media ad nauseum in a desperate attempt to keep the worst President ever- in office. (it is a traveling trophy which Bush currently possesses)

We could use a miracle or two.

I love days like today. Once in awhile, the truth in the form of unmanipulated economic numbers, leaks out. That has been quite obvious in the commodities. Oil has been leading the sell off. Gold and silver holding up today. I am beginning to think my prediction a couple months ago of 80 buck a barrel oil was too conservative. Retailers in Boise are still gouging the shit out of us. (Avg price 370.0)

Japan knows the economic end game. They had a giant economic boom brought about by easy credit, a commercial real estate market that went so bad shit crazy that at one point- Tokyo real estate was selling for one million dollars a square inch. 

Then there was the bitter credit contraction and implosion in 1989 and the stock market collapse. There has been no recovery in Japan for a quarter of a century. Japan has the world's highest debt levels which they simply- cannot nor will they ever pay down.

I wonder if each year in Japan- the media or politicians call for green shoots or recovery. I wonder if they've been doing that for 24 years. Maybe.

Now that we are firmly entrenched in year 4 of our own- turning Japanese experience- I saw today's numbers. The purchasing managers number was a huge miss and closing in on contraction, GDP was revised down again which was hardly newsworthy, and unemployment numbers were revised up as usual. I expect tomorrow's numbers to be just as ugly.

Hewlett Packard unloading 30k employees. Unemployment benefits cut short. Obamacare looms. 

Bankers, not politicians, run this place. That should have been extremely obvious to anyone by now. How long can bankers hang on? I have quit underestimating them.

The answer is a long time. The first step in recovery occurs when our "leadership" re-installs the rule of law and protects the inventors, the entrepreneurs, and the players once again. The second step in recovery occurs when the FED is abolished or at the very least, the bankers are broken up permanently. The third step occurs when American jobs are brought back home, corporations start paying taxes again, and the government focuses on eliminating our debt through a combination of reduced spending coupled with excess revenues used to pay down debt principal.

Until then the malaise continues.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012


That's the fish on the right. Heh...

Science ‘Frankenfish’: What Odd Fish Did an Angler Reel In at a U.K. Lake?

While fishing for carp recently, the Tackle Editor for the Angling Times reeled in what is being dubbed the “Frankenfish.”
Mark Sawyer was fishing in Magpie Lake in Cambridge, U.K., when he caught what some are saying has the features of at least three different fish species.
U.K. Fisherman Brings in Fish With Characteristics of a Roach, Common Goldfish, Fantail and Bream

Monday, May 28, 2012

President Obama: No More "Unnecessary Wars"

We are only going to kill you if we have to.

Thankfully, we may all rest well knowing that our next war will be necessary unlike those other ones.

I have clipped a couple paragraphs from the news story and it's Obama quotes. My interpretation of what Obama is really trying to tell us is in parenthesis.()

"As commander in chief, I can tell you that sending our troops into harm's way is the most wrenching decision that I have to make," Obama said shortly after laying a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. (Except when deciding whether to lay up or go for the green in two on the dog leg, par 5, sixth hole. Bunkers on the left and a stream running in front of the green make this a difficult birdie opportunity.)

"I can promise you I will never do so unless it is absolutely necessary and that when we do, we must give our troops a clear mission and the full support of a grateful nation."

(This is all bullshit. Just vote for me. I killed Bin Laden. His body is in the rose garden.)

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Write Like a Hillbilly, Edit Like a Moran*

Hi it's me. Frankenstein. It's Sunday morning. I have finished my editing chores. For now.

Every time I think about the word "moron" I think of that idiot holding this sign. Normally I wouldn't believe anyone was that stupid if in fact this guy didn't look the way that he does. It all just congruent.

Get a Brain Morans

I love this pic and this guy. I want to make this picture my new screensaver. I mean that. You see that American flag doo rag? I would bet serious money that this guy rides a Japanese motorcycle.

Every week, I scan hundreds of news stories on line. From those, I pick out a few links. Some cause me to think. That's what happened when I read a piece last week on the ten happiest countries and noted that Israel numbered among them. Israel. That's the place where everyone goes into the military. That's the race of people everyone hates and wants to kill. That little postage stamp of a country where bombs are dropped off every now and then and a bunch of people die. Happy.

They landed in the top ten. The USA didn't. In fact our placing at 11th in my view- is absolutely erroneous. The opinion I hold is the culmination of hundreds of hours of studying on line, of listening to travelers and friends, of looking up everything from health stats to expatriate numbers if you can find them. My best guess at the number of American expats is somewhere around 10 million. Ten million people have decided that living somewhere else is a good idea. They might have something to say about the happiness index.

Nobody asks them. Probably... because we already presume to know the answer.

At any rate, I want to apologize. Often when I put stuff up, it's late at night. Sometimes, I wake up like I did this morning and think, "who wrote that piece of shit?" Of course I soon figure it out and I set about the process of reading the project out loud. This as it happens, is the best editing tool I have. Sometimes I delete the whole damn thing and I swear never to drink again. Oddly enough, if you read what I write out loud- you will know that I speak exactly the same way- well except with a lot more profanity. Which brings me right back in some circumlocuous (that word is not in my spellchecker) fashion, to where this all began.

Please forgive my hillbilly writing style and my editor, the moran. I am a product of the U.S. government school system with the exception of the two years I spent in catholic school- getting my ass kicked by nuns. This one in particular. This woman tried to teach me sex education at age 12. That did not work out well for either one of us.  

Community mourns activist nun; Sister Francilla Kirby dies at 82
December 3, 2010

The Sunday Collage- Happiness and Shithouse Luck

This week I read an article about the ten happiest countries in the world. Here's a newsflash. The U.S. wasn't one of them.

How could that be? We have the perfect form of government and the capitalistic success story. Right? Don't we make all the dough? Isn't that happiness? Isn't that the meaning of success- to go out and screw as many people as possible out of their money? To have private jets taking us to our vacation homes in France? Ivy League schools and people kissing our asses just to get a job? Won't that make us happy?

Look at that big bundle of joy, Warren Buffett. Ain't he just a peach? 

How could this great country of ours- fail to make the top ten list of happiest countries? So here, before we go any further- let's address the obvious house cleaning now. Some of you will actually dispute the poll's findings. You will call the poll arbitrary and subjective. Because the nationalist in you doesn't want to admit the cold, hard, truth. We aren't in the top ten. That we found our way to the 11th position surprises me. I don't think we should have been in the top 25. And oh, by the way, I don't think we are trending up  either.

The beautiful thing about this particular topic is that I have had all week to ponder it. And if it were, that I were never to write another thing, this piece would be a perfect place to stop.

Let me say one other thing before we start. Nothing of great value was ever learned because it went the way it was supposed to go. We expected that outcome. When things go bad, we learn harsh lessons. We pass those harsh lessons along until we get an outcome that is expected. That is how we learn from mistakes. However, an absolute tragedy occurs when we make mistakes, receive harsh lessons, and yet fail to learn something. It's when we justify, rationalize, ignore, and become indifferent to our mistakes- when we fail to practice rigorous honesty- that is when our culture begins to unravel.

The problem with being happy is that nobody knows what the hell that is anymore. Individually, people have been sold a belief system that is entirely fictitious. Our capitalistic society has been bombarding us with marketing to such a degree that it has overwhelmed us. We actually think that money, boob jobs, planes, jets, fancy cars, vacation homes, designer clothing, and room service is going to make us happy. We covet the people that have all of that. And rather than tell the truth- the people with all of that stuff pretend they are happy because that is part of the fictitious belief system. We fall for that big lie. The lie that our capitalistic, marketing, world wants us to desperately believe. Oh and we do believe. Somehow when we get those things- we will be happy.

It is a big lie that has been sold to us by these professional marketers. Intuitively, we know better. We know that things don't make us happy but the marketers do what they do. We falter and waffle just a bit. Maybe... they are right we think. We just don't want to admit that we don't know what makes us happy and we are vulnerable. So we pretend to be happy. We tell ourselves and others that we are happy- but mostly we aren't.

And for an old lie catcher like me- I know most of those "happy" people are full of shit. I bought into that mirage once too- along with every friend, co-worker, banker, and trust funder friend that I had. If you'd have asked me the question back then, "Are you happy?" of course I would have lied and said I was happy. We do that because our society expects us to say that. And we damn sure know not to say, "Well actually I am really depressed because my boob job isn't attracting any attention and my Jaguar runs like shit." So we conjure up some smile and we fib.

And then I think about what we do.

How the hell can you be happy stealing from people? How can you feel good selling people medicine for thousands of dollars when it costs just a few dollars to produce? How can a dentist feel ok charging 1000 dollars for a crown made of porcelain? How can a lawyer feel good while stealing half of an award on a contingency? How can a car salesman feel good ripping off a customer for full sticker price, stealing the trade in, and selling the loan for an interest rate 4 points higher than the bank sells the paper to them? How can the investment bankers continue to steal from investors or taxpayers with impunity? How can the government continue to look the other way?  Or go fight some more wars, kill some more civilians?

In short, why would we be happy? What in the hell do we do- that anybody would feel happy about? And since we don't practice rigorous honesty anymore, we view all of this with a kind of indifference. So it is...we can't get any better because we can't even admit we don't know what the hell we are doing anymore. We don't admit mistakes. We don't learn. We are unraveling.

Under the current circumstances, happiness just becomes some bullshit word. We throw it around because everyone else does and even if we don't know what happiness really is- maybe that guy with the jet and the mansion does. Maybe we think, all of that success and money gives him some credibility. Psst... I got a secret for you. Chances are that he doesn't know anything more than you do about being happy. Unfortunately- he is substantially more invested in the illusion than you are- and more likely to wax poetically and thus untruthfully- about happiness.

I fell for all of that once. I really did believe the rhetoric. In fact, I thought I was entitled to happiness.. their style of happiness. And then one day, the greatest thing that ever happened to a man, happened to me. I lost it all. And I had to get real honest with myself about what was important in my life and what was going to make me happy. I think humility came before gratitude. Then I became conscious. I began to embrace honesty and rather than deny my mistakes- I embraced the lessons that those mistakes taught me. I did not view mistakes with indifference. I began to evolve into a state of happiness that continues to enlarge.

Shit house luck. I fell into the toilet and came out with a trout.

So yea, I don't see the USA as this big happy place. But we should be. We are the luckiest bastards on the planet if we don't keep fucking it up. We are as fractured and polarized as we have ever been. We are confused. We have a long, long way to go. And if we have to lose everything- to gain something- I guess that's just the optimist talking in me.

Speaking only for myself and my interpretive spirit guide, I don't think that I could have figured any of this out had I not traveled the path that so many others are currently on. I would not have gained anything had I not lost everything. Having lost everything caused me to examine my life with the urgency of a drowning man. It has also caused me to re-examine those folks who purport to be happy. Not that their business is mine. It's not. It's just that I have a decision to make every time the capitalists or their crony believers whisper a promise of happiness in my ear. I tend to see things a little differently now.