Saturday, January 29, 2011

Cold Fusion not just a failed programming language... it's a reality.

Okay, class: who's seen this:  Andrea_A._Rossi_Cold_Fusion_Generator This is so... flippin... amazing!!!  This is a major game-changer.  Seriously.  Read up on it.  They took Nickel and Hydrogen and are fusing them to form Copper.  For every 1 unit energy put in, 8 come out.  I totally put this in a nutshell of course, but this- if it does indeed work as it is being advertised- is a moon shot from these guys in Italy.  It is a leap for mankind.  Can you imagine?  This means the issues surrounding oil and fossil fuel completely changes.  In fact, it mostly goes away.  Even if you're not a science nut, this is worth the read. 

It gets a little science-heavy in the interviews, so if that's your bag baby~ dig in!  I sure did.  
We're one step closer, well, except for the flying Deloreans part, bummer! 

Egypt just part of a chain of trouble.

On Yahoo Finance Today: Fitch downgrades Egypt outlook to negative as violence and protests mount.  

Really.  This is one of these things where I say... ah... yes? Isn't this pretty obvious?  Maybe it's just me. Am I being too cynical?  It's a scary thing because this really has the potential to set the entire region on fire, more on fire than it usually is, I mean.  I cannot help but wonder if this is going to spread and interrupt crude supplies for exports.  That's a shock that the world economy would not take well.

On the other hand, this could potentially spell real troubles with Israel.  Watching this with interest -and horror- as things develop. 

Regardless, this is a horrible, horrible situation for the Egyptian people.  The country is practically in media blackout.  Cell service cut off, internet access cut off, tanks in Cairo, flights cancelled, people dying, tear gas, bullets, beatings... horrible horrible stuff happens when there is civil unrest.  I pray for those people.  May this all come to a peaceful resolution.  Fast. 

Meanwhile,  Albania is becoming destablized, looks like things are heating up there: 
Protests in Albania
And in Jordan, it's spreading.  Al Jazeera is reporting anti-government problems there.
Anti Government demonstrations in Jordan
Of course, Iran is all in turmoil over this too... According to CNS news,
Iranian Media Hail Egypt ‘Revolution’
God help us.  What is going on in our world. 

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Words of Wisdom I've Read From Someone Else.

I read this and had to share:

     "Little wooden blocks with paper letters peeling off or gone, some tarnished Lincoln Logs, and assorted steel parts from an old Erector Set.

     As a boy of 5-6 years of age, I found great joy in playing with the above toys passed down from four older siblings. I would sort out the parts and pieces, those that had not gone missing, on the living room floor and ponder what to make out of them. I never won a prize for anything I constructed, but fun and adventure filled the day. The well worn and incomplete collection of parts called upon the imagination and, most importantly, helped me build bridges to days that would follow.

     Those bridges eventually brought me to this day. In the dark and damp of a January morning, I again found I would have to build a day with shop worn and bent parts and do so without elements of life that have stayed behind or that I have never caught up to.

      I had to smile.

     The parts and pieces are laid out before me. What I will build this day is not yet known, but I will build it the best I can with what I have. Some segments of the day, I am sure, will fall down, and others will stay in place. But whatever is left standing when the day runs out will serve as a bridge to one more tomorrow. I owe a lot to those old blocks and Lincoln Logs and steel parts. Their imperfections have shown me the perfect things in life.
     Have a Perfect Imperfect Week."

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Why the "Recovery" is bogus.

Thank you Karl Denninger. 

Look carefully and you will see why a 'recovery' that happens even as the government's contribution to the GDP increases shows that the private sector is still sinking.  While the govt spending has gone from circa 4% of GDP to nearly 12% while the overall GDP has declined from 2% down to circa -11%. Just think about that for a bit.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Oops. Social Security Not Paying For Itself. 6 Years Earlier than Predicted. Government Misunderestimated. Again. What a Huge Surprise.

Social Security Promo Poster, 1936 - 1937.

Social Security is no longer taking in more or the same than it's paying out.  This is an interesting development.  You see, we all knew the day would come, but it's now come 6 years earlier than expected.  So for all those politicians who in the past have felt they can just kick the can to the next bunch of elected officials, well, time to pay the piper.  I personally wonder if the politicians have felt no urgency to this matter as they don't pay into this system and are not part of it.  I'm a GenX-er.  I don't believe for one second that I'll see my SS.  But this is only because since I was small, my Mom told me that I shouldn't expect to ever see it, so be responsible for my own retirement money.  Shrewd Boomer, that one.  Anyway, my peers all feel the same way.  But the ones who will truly suffer from this aren't my generation, it's the boomers now retiring.  I think of the policiticans who have screwed and mismanaged and essentially taken the $ poured into the SSI funds and replaced these monies with IOUs, and the little old ladies who are widows, my parents and grandparents... they rely on this income because they were told that they'd have this and this is their retirement.  Now whether it is smart or not, the government made it clear that there would be this funding for retirement for people.  And when it's not there, it's a damn crime.  It's worse than that.  It's a conscious, intentional, evil deed.

Yes it may be legal, but it's W R O N G.  Not all things that are bad or wrong are illegal.

So now the day has come 6 years early (due to the unemployment I imagine, gee who could have seen that coming) where the amount being paid into the system is less than the amount being pulled out.  Time to crack open those drawers and cash some of those IOUs.

You know, I was thinking... if the government just took the running-head-start healthcare taxes and used that money to pay for social security and swapped the SSI IOUs (Those IOUs are actually Treasury bonds, did you know?)   with the healthcare "funds" we're supposed to accumulate... well, wouldn't that be creative!  Then the black hole of social security would be patched until 2014 when our healthcare is supposed to kick in.  That way, when we need the funds for the healthcare that 70% of the population opposed in its current format, well~  Social Security will still be broke (broker than it is now) and that healthcare funding we need will not be there.  So instead of 1 black hole and national healthcare, we'll have 2 black holes and all our insurance companies out of business.  Hmmmm.  Seems easy to see, so how come our brave leaders who are oh-so-much smarter than the general durr-duhh-populus (as they see us) in those backwoods flyover states can't see it?

Or can they?  I really am beginning to wonder?  How is it actually possible that they don't see this cliff they've steered us?  And now they're whipping the horses so that they'll be unstoppable.   

I am nearly convinced that those people in power who do nothing about social security are complicit in this legalized robbery of the present, past, and future generations' money for their own purposes.  But it really doesn't matter to them because it's not something that can land them in jail.  And since they and their friends and family are financially set for life, what does it matter.  I hope I am wrong, but I cannot come to any other conclusion.  I'm out of ideas.  Our leaders are lacking the common sense and decency of knowing right from wrong, that right and wrong that isn't in a law, but in the hearts and souls of most men and women.  They seem to be missing that inner compass of a moral conscience.  I don't understand it, I can't excuse it, and I see the consequences of electing persons who are put forth as candidates by people who say that "character doesn't matter, it's how well s/he does the job." Nope. Wrong. Those repercussions of that thinking is now quite obvious but the damage is done- our policy has been set by those people who believe that character doesn't matter.     

Meanwhile, back at the ranch... the American People are soiling their collective drawers  because as we all know, as the healthcare IOUs when they are cashed, are simply going to be the equivalent of the printing presses churning out more dollars.  Since the dollars aren't actually there, the Treasury [that is dead broke and running on less than zero with additional deficit every year remember] will simply issue little pieces of paper that provide little old ladies with more funds to put in their banks, or cash to use.  As the social security payments are made, our dollar is devalued as every little payment adds to our deficit and national debt.  Tick Tock....  Just hang on till November folks.  It'll be time to get fresh faces in there.

In the meantime, start planting your victory gardens, this is going to be a bumpy year.

And the boys inside the beltway say there won't be any impact until 2014...

Law of Unintended Consequences and What Healthcare May Mean to You

Check this out.  Three  days after the new healthcare bill is signed into law, there's an SEC filing by AT&T.  Remember, the rules are that your company has to file these things as soon as you're aware of their impact, not when they're taking effect.  So AT&T is aware, and they filed within 3 days.

(excerpt from the SEC filing at SEC's site:)

"On March 23, 2010, the President signed into law comprehensive health care reform legislation under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (HR 3590).  Included among the major provisions of the law is a change in the tax treatment of the Medicare Part D subsidy.  AT&T Inc. ("AT&T") intends to take a non-cash charge of approximately $1 billion in the first quarter of 2010 to reflect the impact of this change.  As a result of this legislation, including the additional tax burden, AT&T will be evaluating prospective changes to the active and retiree health care benefits offered by the company."

3 days.  That's all it took.  Okay, so what is the downstream effect?  What's this going to do to the balance sheet of AT&T for Q1 2010?  1 Billion hit?  Holy crap.  That's monstrous.  Let's say you work for AT&T.  Do you think you're going to see a raise anytime soon?  Let's say you're trying to find a job.  Do you think AT&T is going to be hiring anytime soon?  Let's say you're a stockholder of AT&T.  You think this is going to do good things for your earning? It certainly is.  That's because 1 billion is 8% of the company's profits.  So even if all else goes well, they have to amend their earnings down to circa 92% of target.  So, all you teachers out there who have AT&T in your pension fund portfolio, how do you think you're going to fare in the coming years with your earnings down 10% or so?  And by the way, John Deere has also filed a $150 Million hit (that's a huge 16% off their profits), and Caterpillar has filed a $100 million hit. (that's 11% off their profits)  Anyone looking for a job with Cat or Deere will also be feeling this.  Verizon, Valero Energy, and AK Steel have done the same. 

Law of Unintended Consequences: (according to wiki) is defined as follows:

"Any intervention in a complex system may or may not have the intended result, but will inevitably create unanticipated and often undesirable outcomes".  In common usage, it is a wry or humorous expression warning against the hubristic belief that humans can fully control the world around them. It is used in variety of different contexts in different fields of study, including Philosophy, Economics, History, and Social Sciences. "

This fits perfectly, no?  Hubristic belief that humans can fully control the world around them.  And yes, that includes the other humans around them too. if that doens't fit the boys (and girls) inside the beltway to a tee, I don't know what does.   

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

What the Hell is a CDO, Credit Swap and all that stuff anyway? The answers, in digestible format. Watch and Learn!

For the layman, or laywoman, who doesn't have a degree in financial economics, Jonathan Jarvis does a *GREAT* job of boiling it down to a nice understandable format.
Enjoy.  10 minutes of your life, it's well worth it.   You can visit his site at
or just watch this video.  Then you'll want to watch the others.

The Crisis of Credit Visualized from Jonathan Jarvis on Vimeo.