Archive for the ‘deception’ category

PENSION FUND SMACKDOWN

February 17, 2010

Mish Shedlock an investment advisor of some fame has consistently ragged  on unions and their pension funds in particular, time after time.  In this post and others Mish claims it is the union workers who have negotiated fat retirement and pay contracts that are bankrupting the states.  Here’s the Illinois story of why this is now a problem.  Seems like the state who owes the retirement system the money they now have to borrow to pay up should have been paying into the system all along.  They opted out of the Social Security system to save money on a year to year basis and of course it’s easier to shine the unions then to cut services or raise taxes to pay your bills.

This argument is used by the right and the rich to try and destroy working families by basically telling half truths  when the system is in trouble.  It’s the same argument they use when they talk of Social Security being broke.  They say there is no money in the systems trust fund.  Hell no there isn’t it’s government T-bills that if the SS system hadn’t bought them somebody else would have had to.  Now the bills are coming due and they don’t want to pay them (default on the debt)  which says they also will try and default on the National Debt.  They won’t be happy till were all eating cat food.

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THE DRUMS ARE PLAYING-WE JUST CAN’T HEAR THE MUSIC

February 9, 2010

The marching band is banging away and were sitting out here thinking if they would just play a little louder we could hear them.  Were all wanting and expecting reform of our financial systems and all eyes are on the Senate where we see day by day more and more of the reforms wacked from the bill.

It’s all a game my friends.  They have no intentions of changing anything but the paint job. Here’s Why.  The George Washington Blog pops a story that seem new to my eyes.  I’m sure we heard some puff lines about the goodness of this part of the WTO treaty but it didn’t ring a bell at the time.  If you think change is going to happen read this piece.  The cyanide pills are in the upper medicine cabinet.

YOU LIVE IN A GLASS HOUSE-PUT DOWN THE DAMN ROCK

February 4, 2010

I’ve said it before , but it needs saying again, quit blaming the collapse of the housing bubble on the the citizens who bought the houses.   Put the blame (there’s enough to go around) where it belongs .  Mike Whitney lays it out in detail here.  Sheila Bair in testimony The Fed knew exactly what it was doing when it lowered interest rates to near zero , at the same time signaled to the banks that they were not going to police the mortgages they gave under the laws that existed at the time.  The Banksters knew a good thing when they saw it and since they had no intention of holding the mortgages they decided there were no rules on lending (old economics doesn’t apply) .  You apply , YOU GOT THE LOAN, no job (no problem) no income (no problem) no credit (no problem) , living on cat food (no problem).  Is you body temperature above 83 degrees , sign here.

The idea all along was to role these loans (some good and some very bad) into a packet to be sold as investments, but first you have to have your package rated  (get your mind out of the dirt) the rating companies played along with the game and applied their AAA stamp to these pieces of junk, which made them hot sought after deals by the whole world.  But wait the hot shots are not done yet.   You can picture them sitting around the lunch table with their gold plates and goblets asking a simple question (notice how these simple questions end up most of the time as bombs) we know the packages we just sold are junk how can we profit from that knowledge.  I know, a bright young lad (coulda been a lass) jumped up and said let’s design and buy a derivative package betting these packages would fail. ( a sure bet) .  They didn’t stop there though and bought derivatives on derivatives knowing all along they had a sure thing.  All the rules went out the window, most of these rules had been in place since the Great Depression and had kept these Wolves at bay for 80 years (fits nicely into the cycle theory)  now they were on the loose unrestricted by those Stinking Rules.  Were on a Free Market roll get outta our way.  So there you have it the set up for failure.

Into this mess good ole John Q. Public strolls being told by all the Powers that be , that now he can afford all those things he has wanted for years but couldn’t qualify for.  What the banks knew all along was this simple fact detailed in this link by Budget 360 , Ole John Q couldn’t afford all this stuff but he doesn’t know it because the find print was so small he couldn’t read it (most of us don’t) and the game was on.  Not only were the houses he bought not affordable to him when the magic rules were applied later (1, 2, 5 years later) but the house inflated by 10, 15 or 20% per year and he was encouraged to get an equity loan and spend the equity into a new SUV a new boat, or a nice cruise to Europe.  He did exactly that (some say he should have know better) but face up to it , he could afford his monthly payments so what’s the big deal.  It was a” Hot Time in the Old Town Tonight” for a few years.  THEN THE SHIT HIT THE FAN!

The set up for what happening  now has been going on for 30 years, since dear ole Ronnie Regan rode the Free Market Pony into town , and with his Con man talent planted that incorrect theory deep in out brains.  So we didn’t scream very loud when they started shipping our jobs overseas (they told us how great it would be) we would be able to go to work in a white shirt and tie at higher wages.  They were half right, the wages didn’t happen , we got a white shirt and tie, but they didn’t say it would say Kentucky Fried of the front. The average family during the last 30 years has lost ground wage wise , both husband and wife are working , and together make a little more than 60% of what a  husband use to make.  The destruction of manufacturing jobs was not enough for the big boys, they set out on a pogrom of building Walmart stores in every town America running the Mom and Pops out of business.  Sold to us by “Man it’s cheap, quit bitching”.   Then they were on to outsourcing our high tech jobs, (after they suckered us into a Zillion dollars worth of student loans) to train for these jobs which they now shipped overseas.  But wait, they are not done yet, now they are shipping back room jobs out of the country too.  So we are left with damn few good paying jobs, nurses, teachers, government employees and a very few more.  We are left with low paying no future jobs clerking, burger flipping, cashiers, laborers .  When truck drivers and customer service reps are classified as high paying jobs then you should get the scope of the problem.

It was no secret to those who cared to look, that NAFTA, GATT, WTO were passed it put American on a  Race to the Bottom economically.  Sure enough , look around you, the direction we are going is not up.

THEN THIS STORY!  WHY ARE AMERICANS PASSIVE , WHEN THEY ARE LOOSING THEIR, JOBS, HOUSES AND DREAMS?

This story claims there are 5 reasons for the passivity of Americans in response to this crisis.

  1. THE CRISIS IN MORALITY AND SOCIAL ETHICS
  2. THE DYING OF THE AMERICAN DREAM
  3. WHAT PRODUCED THE CRISIS IN PERSONAL AND FAMILY LIFE
  4. ISOLATION FROM ONE ANOTHER
  5. THE DRUGGING OF AMERICA

You’ll have to read this piece to see if you agree with the points above.  I have and and I don’t buy #1 or #5.

The major crisis in morality and ethics that I see has mostly occurred at the highest levels of government and corporate figures.  We all know what these breaches of trust are so I won’t name them again here.  Down in the trenches I don’t buy that we are less moral or less ethical than in past history.  The failing listed are not what I would site as moral or ethical failures at our level.  The failings as I see are bigger than any mentioned, high on my list of moral failures is the lack of  outrage on finding out the lies that took us to war, the justification of torture, the violation of numerous treaties, complete disregard of the Geneva Convention , the huge financial crimes committed by the FED the Banks, and the Treasury . There are many, many more crimes too numerous to mention.   The use of religion by the right wing to create huge divisions in the country on supposedly moral and ethical grounds has prevented us from moving forward on many fronts.  While the same ole topics rule the conversation God ,Gays, Abortion, Guns (know as GAGG).

The drugging of America is focused non recreational drugs but on drugs used to treat various forms of brain chemistry that are the causes of depression, bi polar and other chemistry problems the society has.  Are they used more often (than when ) I might ask.  They have not been around all that long and have done millions a lot of good.  The interesting thing is if you really didn’t need them and were just mis diagnosed no damage is done, so what’s the problem.  Recreational drug use , depending on what you want count is up, but a lot of what they are talking about is pot and it’s pretty well proven to be not much of a problem.  A lot of the rest of the world doesn’t list some of these drugs as a problem , they just legalize them, or administer them making them not a social problem.  The sighting of anti depressant as a drug problem  just clouds the picture.

THE POINTS I AGREE WITH:

THE DYING OF THE AMERICAN DREAM:  I would label as the Deliberate Destruction of the American Dream by a bunch of Free Market Radicals out for personal profit with complete disregard for the workers of America.  So far the 22% unemployed and god knows how many underemployed of downsized to mere existence have remained pretty passive, probably based on the hope that things will bounce back to the past.  When they realize that dream is dead ????

THE FAMILY CRISIS.   When both parents have to work to survive that leaves little time for the leisure time of the past (I can remember when the projected big problem was we would have too much leisure time) Well they sure took care of that.  The women who until the 70’s were homemakers, mothers, care givers now still try to do all that and work too.  Is it any wonder that intimacy between the spouses has fallen to very low levels. Where a headache  or I’m too tired was an excuse , now it’s a fact, and the man thinks thank God. I’m too tired too.  Then there’s the kids.  In days of old they would come home from school to a smiling mom, who would ask them how was their day while offering a glass of chocolate mild and fresh baked cookies, who made sure they did their homework, changed into play clothes and ate a good dinner.  Now they might not get home till after 6 or 7 , spend the in between hours at a baby sitter or day care or maybe some kind of lesson if their lucky.  Home by seven, four hours of homework, a delicious TV dinner and if their really lucky maybe an hour surfing on the net.  Then there’s the weekend , Mom and Dad now do the household chores, shop for groceries, take the kids to their organized leagues, or to music lessons or other form of completely organized events.  If this evaluation of a normal week is any where near close you can see there is hardly any time dedicated to individual enjoyment, it’s go , go , go. and then more go.

ISOLATION:  The car, where we live, TV and work make this a normal way of life.  When you leave home in the morning , drive to work, work, drive home, the only interaction with people you have is at work (hell that’s 8 hours a day)  the rest of the day is spent in the car going to and from work.  Gee now you lucky dog,  your home, you address the everyday chores of family living, cook dinner, wash clothes, supervise the kids homework, and now it’s fun time you flip on the TV ,,,, AND FIND OUT YOUR JOB HAS BEEN OUTSOURCED.

WELCOME TO AMERICA – ALL YOU HAVE STRENGTH LEFT TO DO IS SHRUG

AT LEAST FOR NOW!!

THE DAY THE MUSIC DIED

January 22, 2010

YESTERDAY THE SUPREME COURT KILLED THE MUSIC!

BY DECLARING CORPORATIONS A FULL PERSON THAT CAN FUND ANY POLITICAL MESSAGE THEY BACK.

OF COURSE THAT MEANS THESE FOREIGN OWNED CORPORATIONS NOW HAVE THE SAME POWER AS ANY CITIZEN.  CHINESE JUNK IS GOOD  YOU BETCHA! I CAN SEE SINGAPORE FROM MY PORCH!!

In 1970 Don McClean wrote and sung “By By American Pie” a vivid description of where we had been and what we had evolved into.  Listen to the song , even if you were too young or not even here at the time.  If you were here during that period you will understand what your interpretation of the song was.  What I would like you to do is listen to the song and think about the way things are now.  Here’s an interpretation of the original.

THE INTERPRETATION OF VERSE 1  1970

Today at the close of the first decade of the 21st century I find myself pining for the music of my youth and for times that seemed so much simpler.  The shattering of the Constitution of the United States yesterday is comparable to the death mentioned in the song but much more serious to the welfare of the whole.  Bit by bit over the past 30 years and particularly the last ten years our Constitution has been whittled away a piece at a time , by utilizing acts of terror and threats of acts of terror to have us roll over and say “JUST MAKE ME SAFE, I’M AFRAID”

THE CHORUS: ORIGINAL INTERPRETATION

BY BY AMERICAN PIE today is the simple fact that our status as leading economic power, leading military power, leading moral authority and standard bearer for the world days are over.  We have watched the destruction of  the once most powerful economy in the world reduced to third world status by a small group of greedy banksters, aided by crooked politicians and paid for economists that led us and the world to destruction by sending misleading , dishonest signals to the consumers of the US (AND THE WORLD) that we should spend the excess equity in our homes, it was after all our money, and then manufactured loans they knew would blow up and then bet they would.

We have watched the most powerful military in the world , disgraced, humiliated and destroyed by two wars that didn’t have to be engaged in and in fact were told lies to get our backing.  We have now been engaged for 10 years in these wars , neither one of which will ever be stabilized or won.  Meantime our military is worn thin, the troops are burned out, their families destroyed , lives lost, bodies maimed, all for lies.  Disgrace, there is no other word that fits.

VERSE 2 INTERPRETATION

Today’s lady for me is America herself.  A once undying belief in her as a source of good in the world has been shattered over time by her dirty deeds.  During my time in the Military I without question believed my President and my leaders would tell me the truth when it came to things like launching nuclear missiles or the reasons for war.  Naive, you bet your butt I was.  Sooner or later you start to wake up , a book here and a book there , facts garnered bits and pieces at a time till suddenly you realize you have been living a dream.  (nightmare) The lady you held on a pedestal is in fact just a whore.

VERSE 3 INTERPRETATION

TODAY’S VERSION IS:

Summed up by a Bob Dylan quote:

How does it feel

to be on your own

With no direction home

Like a rolling stone.

Exactly, for millions of Americans, left without a job, without a home, without health insurance, without a retirement, without a country ,  WITHOUT !!!

VERSE 4 INTERPERTATION

SAME O SAME O

Today we are facing the tumulus period of trying to find a way out of two wars and to prevent starting two more.  Total unrest with the political and economic systems.  From Teabaggers to Future forecasters calling for revolution it just remains a matter of time to watch the revolution start.  Meantime the fat cats set on the sidelines feeding the flames of revolution, somehow they think they will benefit.  I think they may be wrong about that.

VERSE 5 INTERPRETATION

The turmoil of verse 5 interpretation is depicted today by the Obama supporters dismay of what they have wrought. They banded together is huge numbers, beat the bushes for him , raised money for him, and along with Howard Deans 50 state strategy got him elected.   Just to see him appoint the Satan’s of the economic world to his team.  The bail out of the banksters, the wild spending of money, the escalation of wars, the continuation of torture and rendition have led to a great feeling of abandonment to his young supporters, who now are wandering around with no place to go.  The rising up of the Teabaggers being touted as very pissed off Americans over taxes, health care reform , gays, guns, abortion but really being funded by Astroturf organizations led by the Dick Army’s of the right and fed by racial hatred, religious fundamental yelling points, and led by devils in preachers clothes.

VERSE 6 INTERPRETATION

As in the interpretation if you roamed the country asking everyone you saw “IS THERE ANY GOOD NEWS” they would just turn and walk away.

CONCLUSION INTERPRETATION

Today we are in the exact same blow up point the song exams .  Wars we cannot win, and don’t know why we fight.  30 years of economic leadership we now know was bullshit and designed to make the rich richer.  30 years in which unions were destroyed, wages were lowered, women came into the work force for liberation but it was really done to keep the family income at stable levels,  It now takes two people’s wages to do what one wage use to be able to do.   30 years of watching our jobs being outsourced and replaced by burger flipping or Walmart clerk jobs at a lot less money.  30 years of watching company after company being bought up, merged, cut up and destroyed, from newspapers to manufacturing no company was safe.  But Globalization is good we are told , only one dude along the way (and we said he was crazy) told us what would happen.  Dear ole Ross Perot, the only true sayer in 30 years.  In the last 10 years we watched the real estate market bubble build and build, and we were told to spend the money , get a new mortgage with great initial rates and spend the equity difference, Oh and did we.  They didn’t tell us they were really selling us time bombs with delayed fuses, (OH AND THEY OWNED THE FUSE COMPANY) that would blow up in the near future they would take the house back and start the cycle over again.  Now we wait for the final bomb to go off.  We all know it’s coming , when is the only question.  Now like then , things looked pretty bleak  , yet we made it another 40 years.  The bounce will be a bitch but we will make it up again.

JUST BECAUSE YOU CAN’T FIND IT

January 2, 2010

Probably means the Tiger’s initial guess on what the FED did with the 6 Trillion bucks they wouldn’t tell Congress what they did with was correct.  Even though there still is no hard evidence , tongues are finally wagging that the FED pumped it into the S & P futures market to create a what???(another Bubble of course)  .  Nothing else was working for them , the stimulus wasn’t working (could it be the banks sat on it )  so they had to do something.

Now isn’t it strange that the sum they wouldn’t talk about was about $5 trillion bucks and in this report by Mike Whitney on a piece by TrimTabs CEO Charles Biderman the amount that Biderman says was thrown into the market is about 6 Trillion.  1+1 sometimes does equal 2.

THERE WERE NO NORMAL STATISTICS THAT DROVE THE S AND P: HERE ARE FACTS THAT SAY PRETTY CLEARLY THAT IS WAS PURE BACK DOOR MANIPULATION AND THE FED WAS DOING IT:

* Companies. Corporate America has been a huge net seller. The float of shares has ballooned $133 billion since the start of April.

* Retail investor funds. Retail investors have hardly bought any U.S. equities. Bond funds, yes. U.S equity funds, no. U.S. equity funds and ETFs have received just $17 billion since the start of April. Over that same time frame bond mutual funds and ETFs received $351 billion.

* Retail investor direct. We doubt retail investors were big direct purchases of equities. Market volatility in this decade has been the highest since the 1930s, and we no evidence retail investors were piling into individual stocks. Also, retail investor sentiment has been mostly neutral since the rally began.

* Foreign investors. Foreign investors have provided some buying power, purchasing $109 billion in U.S. stocks from April through October. But we suspect foreign purchases slowed in November and December because the U.S. dollar was weakening.

* Hedge funds. We have no way to track in real time what hedge funds do, and they may well have shifted some assets into U.S. equities. But we doubt their buying power was enormous because they posted an outflow of $12 billion from April through November.

* Pension funds. All the anecdotal evidence we have indicates that pension funds have not been making a huge asset allocation shift and have not moved more than about $100 billion from bonds and cash into U.S. equities since the rally began

On top of this common ole every market indicators said this was a rigged rally.

P/E were sometimes as high as 100:1  and this was because prices were very high and earning were very, very low.   After market activity was very active with big bucks coming in after the close, if these funds are not traceable , guess who????   Insider sales were very high .

So here we are with markets at tipsy levels for the true economic facts and even though we can’t prove it (YET) we will and then the shit will hit the fan..

BEWITCHED BOTHERED AND BEWILDERED

December 21, 2009

No, not about love.  About the current economic mess we are in.  Can’t understand what’s gong on, don’t believe what you are being told, can’t believe what you know is true.  I have a suggestion to help you ease your mind. I am suggesting reading just four books.

  1. CONFESSIONS OF AN ECONOMIC HIT MAN
  2. HOODWINKED
  3. THE LONG EMERGENCY
  4. PEAK EVERYTHING

The first two explain the plan by the evil money men of the world to destroy one at a time by design country after country.  Confessions tells the tale of the destruction of Latin American countries.  Hoodwinked shows you the same is happening to us today.  Hoodwinked also suggests there is a way out.  The Long Emergency adds to our woes by the coming of Peak Oil and Peak Everything shows you all natural resources are being stretched to the limit.

Doom and Gloom, on the surface your right and I know you have been trying to avoid the truth but the time is now to face it.  Know that all that is really required is a different way of living life, not necessarily new but for sure different.  The people of the world cannot all come to our standard of living (not possible)  and we aren’t going to be able maintain our current standard of living.  We will have to trade our SUV’s for smaller rigs, give up our 100 MPH bass boats, NASCAR has to go, none of these kinds of things will be able to continue.  Face it now and prepare you and yours for the probable future.  If  I’m wrong , tell me how preparing will make you worse off.

THESE GUYS MAKE SCROOGE LOOK LIKE A PHILANTRAPHIST

December 17, 2009

Lower the minimum wage they scream and let the low wage  worker do better.  Yeah OK, and while we are at it let’s lower the wages of the folks (there are ladies?) saying it too. On my list are the talking heads of the right, banksters, insurance execs, congressman, fed chairman, treasury sec., the president, ceo’s , hedge fund managers and all other crooks.  Here’s the video from The ED Show of the talking heads spouting their crapola and everyone of them is a millionaire several times over.

So we know what were talking about the federal minimum is $7.25/hr that’s $15080/yr , the federal poverty level for a family of 3 is $18310 that’s $3220 bucks short of living in poverty.  So I would suppose that under these conditions you wouldn’t have long to live. Here’s the data on family status , roughly 12 million single parent households with 10 million of those being headed by a women.  If these fools had there way all 36 million people living in a single parent household would be living below the poverty line.  It  is obviously damn easy to say this when your dinner plate is made of gold.

The argument presented by the Free Market Freaks (free except for labor)  is that raising the minimum wage increases unemployment , yet they cannot provide data that proves that.  Time and time again I have listened to them try to prove they are right , but like most of their arguments , they fall far short on evidence.

Look at graph at the bottom of this article for historical unemployment.  If you weed out the depressions and recessions the rate doesn’t vary all that much .  So what does that mean, my take is even if you doubled the minimum wage you wouldn’t change the unemployment rate by much.  They argue that raising it caused business to look for other ways of doing business, like voice recognition software, outsourcing, doing it their selves.   That only works today because we put up with it.  A good example I switched from Dish TV to Direct because Dish switched customer service to India and now Direct has a voice recognition system, and if I find someone providing satellite TV and a real person for customer service I’ll switch again.  Same thing with these big box stores, I don’t shop in them unless their is no other choice.  Local stores with real people satisfy most of my needs.  Check out your friendly big box store today, no clerks, God Damn scanner checkouts with no people, crap crammed onto the shelves defying you to find what your looking for.  Sure it a little cheaper, (if you can find it)  but as I have said before cheap doesn’t mean good.

A fantasy world link the effects of doubling the minimum wage!!