Friday, December 27, 2013

MRAPS being destroyed.....


The US Military is destroying thousands of MRAPs. 

A few years ago they couldn’t make these vehicles fast enough.   Roadside bombs were blowing up soldiers and these vehicles were in short supply. 

Today as the US Military is leaving Afghanistan they don’t want to transport the MRAPS back to the United States.  Instead they are selling or destroying them.  At 1 million dollars each this is Billions of dollars being destroyed.

The problem is the best way to remove these very heavy vehicles is by boat.  Afghanistan is land locked.  That means taking them through Pakistan where the US is not liked.  Where the US is firing drone strikes, and pissing off the population.  Long convoys of US Armour is easy pickings for Pakistani ambushes.

The other option is flying the MRAPS out of the country…. but at 16 tons each that is a very expensive proposition. 

They can’t give them to the Afghans either because the Afghans are not educated enough to do the maintenance.  Even though we have trained them for 13 years they still aren’t ready.

So the only option (they claim) is to chop them up and take the loss.

http://www.latimes.com/world/la-fg-afghanistan-armor-20131227%2c0%2c5362453.story#axzz2oiH8ONfr

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Target proud of Their Offshoring....Sorry about your empty bank account.

November 26th Target was bragging about all the great IT work they do in India. They were excited about doing even more IT work in India in 2014. 

India’s fantastic programming expertise would help them compete against Walmart and Amazon. 

While this story was being published 40,000,000 Target customers were getting their credit and debit cards stolen from the same shoddy Target software. 

Nothing enhances a consumers shopping experience like credit card theft.

My guess is target will be a lot quieter about their shoddy India coding going forward.

http://techcrunch.com/2013/11/26/target-yes-that-target-wants-to-launch-an-accelerator-in-india-to-tap-into-its-startup-scene/

Next time you are in Target and swipe your credit card you can do it with confidence. Your bank account may soon be empty, but you will be comforted knowing how much money Target saved by offshoring their IT.

Happy shopping…..

http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/technology/target-data-breach-affects-40-million-accounts-payment-info-compromised/2013/12/19/5cc71f22-68b1-11e3-ae56-22de072140a2_story.html

Saturday, December 21, 2013

China VS The USA.....The Chess Match Continues.

This month the Chinese Navy harassed a US Navy Cruiser in the South China sea. The US cruiser was forced to take emergency action to avoid a collision.

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/dec/14/chinese-warships-nearly-collide-airspace

To understand what this story is about you have to go back to 1995.

China was aggressively harassing Taiwan, firing missiles off their coast . In response President Clinton ordered two Aircraft Carrier battle groups into the area. 

One of the battle groups entered the Taiwan Strait which did not please the Chinese. The problem the Chinese had (In 1995) was the US Navy was far superior. There was nothing the Chinese could do to counter Clintons actions.

As a result the Chinese spent the last 19 years trying to fix that problem. 

In order to harass their neighbors (South Korea, Taiwan, Japan, The Philippians, and Vietnam) the Chinese have to find an answer to US Aircraft Carriers. 

No other country has the capability the United States has with our Aircraft Carriers. To be able to place air power anywhere on the planet is a rare thing. The US has 10 Carrier battle groups. No other country even comes close. 

Even the countries that have carriers do not use them the way the USA does. The USA uses steam catapults to fire off aircraft. Other countries do not. The USA uses a cable and hook to land aircraft. Other countries do not. While the US makes these things look easy…… they are actually very complex.

To deal with this carrier problem the Chinese have done certain things.

They have grown their submarine capability.

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/oct/31/inside-china-nuclear-submarines-capable-of-widespr/?page=all

They have developed advanced missiles for the sole purpose of destroying US Carriers.

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/oct/31/kazianis-chinas-carrier-killer-missile/

They also purchased an old Soviet Aircraft carrier and are attempting to renovate it.

http://worldnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/11/27/21641914-china-deploys-only-aircraft-carrier-after-us-sends-b-52s-over-disputed-islands?lite

The Chinese were testing this carrier (the only one they have) in the South China Sea while the Americans were observing.

From the Americans perspective they were in international waters and completely within their right. 

From the Chinese perspective the Americans were in the new China security zone. It was their opinion the Americans should not be there. That is why the Chinese were aggressively trying to get the Americans to leave. In doing so they almost caused a collision. 

It is not the first time an incident like this has happened. The Chinese being recklace is a common occurrence. Most likely it will happen again.

This is a lot like the good old days of the Cold War. These things used to happen all the time with the Soviet Union. The only difference is the United States didn't send jobs, money, and know how to the Soviet Union. We can’t stop sending it to China. They can’t wait to use it all against us.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Boeing Take it or Leave It.......

Boeings main workforce is in Everett Washington, and they are unionized. 

The management of Boeing hates these workers with a passion.

Unfortunately Boeing needs these workers because they are the only ones who actually know what they are doing.

When offshoring turned the Dreamliner into a historic fiasco it was the Everett workforce who were asked to fix the debacle. They are still trying.

When the new 747-8 had lots of issues it was again the Everett workforce asked to fix those problems as well.

As a thank you the Boeing management has offered the Everett workforce a new deal.

If the workers agree to take massive cuts to their benefits (And the state agrees to give Boeing 8.1 billion in new tax cuts) then Boeing will allow the next generation 777 to be built in Everett.

If the workers do not agree……then the work will probably go elsewhere. Some would call that a kind of extortion. Corporate America calls it business as usual.

Boeing has been sending lots of work to South Carolina where there are no unions.

Without unions it is a lot easier to treat your workers like dirt. Companies really like that.

The Everett workforce told Boeing to take their new deal and shove it. I agree that was a good answer.

Now Boeing is being courted by multiple states who would like the work. Boeing doesn’t really want the work to leave though, so they are stalling in hopes the union caves.

http://www.latimes.com/business/money/la-fi-mo-boeing-777x-union-20131212,0,6898494.story#axzz2nrGSPi4s

Meanwhile Washington State is tired of these Boeing games. Now for the first time Boeing is flirting with Airbus. This is unprecedented. Washington’s viewpoint is if Boeing won’t respect our skilled workers maybe Airbus will. Since Boeing shows no loyalty ever….. why should Washington State.

http://www.usatoday.com/story/todayinthesky/2013/12/18/washington-state-courts-airbus-amid-boeing-tension/4110875/

See in Capitalism when companies want to make more money it is applauded as a great thing.

Everyone jumps up and down and cheers the effort. It is considered good. It is considered right, There is nothing more American then the quest for more and more, and nobody should ever question it.

When stock holders want to make more money it is applauded as a great thing too. Everyone jumps up and down and cheers that effort. It is considered good. It is considered right, There is nothing more American then the quest for more and more, and nobody should ever question it.

But when workers want to make more money they are ridiculed and scorned.

Not only should workers NOT expect to make more money.....but they should be enthusiastic about making less money all the time.
Unions aren’t even trying to get a better deal anymore……Those days are gone. They are just trying to hold onto the deal they currently have.
And it is not like Boeing doesn’t have money either. Good times are predicted for years to come.

http://online.barrons.com/article/SB50001424053111904399004579264242691306948.html?mod=googlenews_barrons

But any unwillingness by the employees to be treated like dirt is considered greedy.

Ironic Isn't it!

New Guidelines.....Ignore everything

If you are over 60 and have high blood pressure feel free to ignore it. Treating it is expensive. Not treating it is cheap. The worst that happens is you die……Which also happens to be cheaper. 

So these new guidelines are a win win for saving money.

“Many older adults with high blood pressure can be treated less aggressively (cheaper), which could mean taking fewer pills (cheaper) to get it under control, according to new treatment guidelines from a U.S. “expert panel”. But not all experts are on board with the advice - including the government agency that appointed the group.”

“Panel members stressed that they are not changing the definition of high blood pressure: 140 over 90. (you still have it….We just don’t want to pay to treat it)
“For adults aged 60 and older, they are recommending a higher treatment threshold (cheaper), prescribing medicine only when blood pressure levels reach 150 over 90 or higher.” (only when you are right about to die).

“While the guidelines were updated by a government-appointed panel, they don't have the government's endorsement like previous versions.

The panel completed its work earlier this year, around the same time that the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute announced that it was getting out of the guidelines business and turning the job over to the American Heart Association and American College of Cardiology. Updated guidelines from those medical groups are expected in late 2014.” (After they see how many people die in this trial period)

(Translation – Nobody wants to be responsible for the new guidelines….. but they do want to stop treating you to save money. Just don’t blame them when it kills you.)

“In the meantime, the heart association is raising concerns about the new recommendations, saying that many studies they are based on didn't last long enough to reveal dangers of undertreated high blood pressure in older patients.”

I guess these are the death panels that Fox News warned us about.

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/us-expert-panel-updates-blood-pressure-guidelines-for-older-adults-over-60/

Mac Made In The USA.....

Apple Mac Book Pro Made in the United States. Not just assembled…..but completely made here. What a novel idea.

Now if they just made everything else here then I could be real excited.

http://www.sfgate.com/technology/article/Apple-kicks-off-made-in-USA-push-with-Mac-Pro-5076631.php

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Exporting US Oil To Keep The Price High.....

For 14 years we have been told the price of gas is high because there isn’t enough supply. It is simple Supply and demand (they said). 

If you want lower gas prices they need to “drill baby drill”. We were told “drill baby drill” was about National Security. The USA can’t continue to rely on unsavory characters in the Middle East.

We were told Middle East wars were exacerbated because of our unquenchable thirst for Middle East oil. It needed to stop.

All our problems would go away (We were told ) if we just produced more oil.

You don’t like $4.00 gas? You miss the days of $1.28? Well so do they (they said)…… but if they aren’t allowed to drill then expensive gas would be here to stay.

When Obama became president he opened up all kinds of new American drilling opportunities. Sure he campaigned on a new green economy (wink wink) filled with wind mills and solar panels. Then he pulled the old bait and switched and it became nuclear power and oil.

Nobody moved the Republican agenda like Obama.

Then Fracking arrived……

As a result the United States is now breaking records with the amount of energy being produced. They literally don’t know what to do with it all. It is a real problem……for them.

America will soon be the # 1 oil producer in the world. More then Saudi Arabia. More then Russia. This was unimaginable just a few years ago. But here we are.

Sarah Palin must have tears in her eyes.

So now that we are drowning in oil is the price going back to $1.28???..... OF COURSE NOT….Don’t be stupid.

Now they want to export US oil to other countries. This will create artificial shortages (here) ensuring the price stays high.

Isn’t that wonderful? Aren’t you excited?

They drill the oil in the USA. Then sell it overseas. The benefit to America? ZERO! NADA! NOTHING!

Funny how Palin left all that out of her stump speech.

So you and your family get to keep paying $3.80 a gallon (or more). Our environment gets tainted with fracking pollution……. and the oil companies get even richer (if that is even possible)

Don’t worry I am sure Obama will put a stop to it..... (HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA Oh my belly hurts from laughing.)

Remember when Obama said he was going to close the oil company tax loopholes. The oil companies who are breaking all time corporate profit records……. and yet still getting tax breaks.

Well Obama never closed those loopholes. But he did cut food stamps…..You know…… just to be fair.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-12-17/oil-supply-surge-brings-calls-to-ease-u-s-export-ban.html

GM CEO to US Taxpayers....F-You!

http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/cars/2013/12/16/general-motors-gm-bailout-repayment/4043607/

GM Message to the US Taxpayer…….Go F**K yourself.

“The General Motors bailout may have cost the government $10 billion, but GM CEO Dan Akerson rejects any suggestion that the company should compensate for the losses.”

“He says Treasury officials took the same risk assumed by anyone who purchases stock.” (Yeah but nobody else was taking the risk….which is why the company was bankrupt.)

"I would not accept the premise that this was a bad deal," (No of course you wouldn’t. Losing 10 billion sounds like a great deal. Who wouldn’t want that. Thanks GM)

Monday, December 16, 2013

Tech CEO's Back With Obama.......

A who’s who of Technology CEO’s are going to the White House. 

The White House is pretending they are going to talk about the progress of the Health Care Website. Like somehow the CEO of Apple cares about the Obamacare website. Same goes for the CEO of Netflix.

Then they are pretending they are going to talk about the NSA data collection. This might be a very small part of the conversation.

The main guts of what they will be discussed is the need for more and more and more foreign workers.

They will dress it up and call it “Immigration reform” but really it has nothing to do immigration at all. These people never get to become citizens. They are only here to work for less…… and as long as they do they can stay. The second they speak up the visa goes away, and they get shipped back.

It is corporate America’s favorite kind of workers. The kind they can treat poorly and pay less. They can’t get enough. Hopefully they can convince Obama to get moving on their agenda. I am positive Obama will be only too happy to move it along.

Watch in the next few weeks as Immigration reform becomes front and center again. It all starts with this visit.

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2013/12/16/obama-google-yahoo-facebook-nsa/4044471/

Yahoo Still Can't Figure It Out.....

It has been a week and Yahoo STILL can’t fix all their email problems. Isn’t offshoring great! Such control. Nothing makes a company look like buffoons faster then having problems and being incapable of fixing them. 

But when your IT people are on the other side of the globe (and they are really really really cheap)……Well you get what you get.

It is important for you to know that Yahoo is sorry. Hope that makes you feel better.

“Patrick Moorhead, an analyst at Moor Insights & Strategy, described the email system crash and continued problems a huge blow to Yahoo, which has been trying to overhaul its image as an Internet has-been.”

"I don't recall any other service like this being down this long over the past 15 years," he added. "It makes Yahoo look like a real Web rookie. If Yahoo doesn't fix [it soon], day-by-day they will continue to lose more credibility as a Web services company."

Offshoring = Fantastic!

http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9244829/Nearly_a_week_in_Yahoo_still_fixing_email_woes?source=rss_latest_content

Martha Stewart Crumbling.....

Martha Stewart getting pummeled. Lots of products made by slave laborers but nobody is buying. Shocking I know.

What do you do in a free market when you can’t sell your crap? Well you cut something of course. Then wall Street will cheer.

First you bring in an “expert”. Then the expert gives you his sage advise. “You should cut people”. Genius!

So two weeks before Christmas Martha laid off 100 employees. Marry Christmas from Martha…….. The Stock Market went crazy and Marthas stock finished at a 52 week high of $3.87. Wow….Try to look impressed.

Investors are excited about the possibility of Martha being bought out. Maybe somebody smarter can make money with Marthas name. Makes sense to me.

Last year Martha was forced to take a $200,000 pay cut. Poor thing….. Capitalism can be so unfair. First jail and now this. So sad.


http://www.cbsnews.com/news/martha-stewarts-media-empire-lays-off-about-100-as-it-circles-the-drain/

Ford Hiring

Ford hiring 5000 people in the USA next year. Now we are talking. This is the kind of story I have been waiting to read. Now if all the other companies (in our economy) do the same thing then all our countries problems will disappear. It is just that simple.

Jobs fix everything.

http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/cars/2013/12/13/ford-hiring-new-models/4007887/

Thursday, December 12, 2013

IBM Whining.....

IBM bellyaching that the economy still sucks. 

I am not sure I understand their complaint. They got exactly what they wanted. They (and all the rest of corporate America) wanted to get rid of all their high priced American workers. They wanted to replace them with low cost overseas workers.

So they did.

They thought this plan was going to lead them to greater riches. It is a global economy……..(they said) It is no longer just about the United States…….(they said) These companies can make money anywhere……(They said)

So what happened?

Why does this article say sales in China are down 20%. China is the new gold mine of peasant workers leading corporate America to new riches. How can that strategy not be paying off.

I am so confused. It is almost like these companies are run by people who have absolutely no idea what they are talking about.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-12-10/ibm-says-economy-remains-discouraging.html

Yahoo having problems....

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-switch/wp/2013/11/12/yahoos-employee-ranking-system-sounds-suspiciously-like-the-one-blamed-for-microsofts-decline/

Yahoo email has been down for multiple days. The company can’t fix it. Customersare pissed off. Nobody can figure it out.

My guess is it has something to do with all the Angry Yahoo employees. They are mad at the new CEO. First she ended all work from home opportunities. Then she instituted an employee ranking system based on a bell curve. This bell curve is forcing a portion of good employees to be ranked poorly. Poor employees are getting laid off. Over 600 stealth layoffs so far. Everyone is unhappy. So when I read that the Yahoo email system is suspiciously down and can’t be fixed I can imagine why that is.


http://www.latimes.com/business/technology/la-fi-tn-yahoo-mail-down-multiple-days-twitter-complaints-20131211,0,5482191.story#axzz2n72ZzdhV

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

GM off the hook and off to China.....

Last May GM announced it was spending $11,000,000,000.00 in Communist Red China to build Cadillac’s.

US Taxpayers prevented GM from going out of business in 2008. To say thank you GM is building even more cars outside the USA.

Yesterday the US government announced it has sold all of it’s GM stock.

The end result is American Taxpayers lost $11,000,000,000.00 bailing out GM.

Taxpayers lose 11 billion. GM sends a 11 Billion to China. That about sums it up.

Next time GM needs a bailout they should go asked the Communist Government of China to help out.

http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424127887323372504578468582435347210

http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/cars/2013/12/09/government-treasury-gm-general-motors-tarp-bailout-exit-sale/3925515/

Regulation........

This is an excellent Op Ed piece which I completely agree with.

In fact this guy says exactly what I say all the time. 

The only difference is I post it here and it mostly gets ignored. This guy makes the same points a
nd the NY Times can’t wait to print it for millions to read.

Oh well.

Maybe this guy is more effective.


http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/12/08/what-obama-left-out-of-his-inequality-speech-regulation/?_r=0

History tells us that in periods when protective governmental institutions are weak, irresponsible companies tend to abuse their economic freedom in ways that harm ordinary workers and consumers. The victims are often less affluent citizens who lack the power either to protect themselves from harm or to hold companies accountable in the courts. We are in such a period today.

Three decades of deregulation and restrictions on legal liability had given companies greater freedom to innovate and expand. But irresponsible companies also had greater freedom to subject their workers to unsafe working conditions, to market predatory loans to desperate borrowers, to sell defective toys and automobiles, to discharge toxic pollutants, to invade the privacy of Internet users, to market unsafe food, drugs and medical devices, and to subject the world economy to systemic risks.
The laissez-faire culture that prevailed in both government and the private sector so deeply discounted risks to workers, consumers, the environment and the financial system that a series of crises was inevitable.

The deadly oil refinery explosion in Texas City, Tex., in 2005, the financial sector meltdown of 2007-8, the Upper Big Branch mine catastrophe in West Virginia and the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, both in 2010, multiple disease outbreaks because of contaminated peanuts, eggs, hamburgers and seafood, and dozens of motor vehicle and toy recalls were just a few of the visible consequences of the laissez-faire mentality that has pervaded the American political economy.

Less visible, but equally devastating, were the heart attacks caused by poorly regulated painkillers, the quiet desperation of millions of “underwater” homeowners who owed more in mortgage debt that their homes were worth, and the subtle but steady and irreversible increase in global temperatures as a result of carbon emissions.

The laissez-faire revival also contributed to the growing disparities in wealth and well-being that became painfully obvious during the last decade. While corporate executives, Wall Street bankers and hedge fund managers greatly benefited from the three waves of assault on regulation, the fortunes of blue-collar workers and the working poor steadily declined. Median incomes have fallen over the last decade.

The disparities brought on by the laissez-faire revival, however, go far beyond the vast disparities in income and wealth. It is of fairly small consequence to the disabled miner whose boss violated federal safety standards that the mining company’s revenues, profits and executive bonuses are on the rise. But the disparity becomes unconscionable when lax pension-protection regulations let the company spin off its “legacy liabilities” (pension and health-insurance guarantees) into an undercapitalized shell for the sole purpose of filing for bankruptcy protection.

Not all of the adverse effects of the laissez-faire revival have fallen disproportionately on the middle class and the poor. Lax regulation of airplanes is as risky for passengers in first and business class as in coach. The rich and poor suffer from the side effects of hastily approved prescription drugs. But the overall burden of deregulation is borne by those least able to carry it.

The chief executive of the giant meat producer does not have to worry about losing a finger or contracting carpal-tunnel syndrome as he attempts to extract more “efficiency” from a poultry processing plant by persuading the Department of Agriculture to allow the company to speed up production lines. The health of few rich people is at risk from the plumes of unregulated toxic emissions that migrate through neighborhoods adjacent to large petrochemical complexes. The affluent tend not to live so close to railroad tracks as to be affected by toxic gases escaping from derailed tank cars.

Wealthy people injured by defective products can afford to hire lawyers to sue the responsible companies. Not so the middle class and the poor, who must rely on attorneys working on a contingency-fee basis. The caps on damages and restrictions on liability that state legislatures have enacted at the behest of big business make it very difficult for potential attorneys to justify taking on many entirely valid claims. Unless they are severely injured and incur enormous medical expenses, ordinary people are effectively deprived of their right to recover damages in court.

The recent confluence of crises undermined the bedrock assumptions of laissez-faire minimalism. The stage was set after the 2008 elections to recapture the spirit of reform that permeated the Progressive, New Deal, and Public Interest Eras and to enact fundamental changes to reduce short-term profit incentives and enhancing the public good. After all, the economy had been nearly destroyed as a direct result of reckless risk-taking by financial institutions, enabled by decades of deregulation.

Unfortunately, far-reaching reforms have not been forthcoming. The business community’s idea infrastructure shifted to defensive mode and — with help from lavish corporate spending to influence elections — beat back the most significant reform proposals of the Obama administration and congressional Democrats, like the suggestion that giant banks be broken up because they are not only too big to fail, but also too big to manage or regulate.

Instead of comprehensive change, Congress settled for patch-and-repair reforms. The Dodd-Frank financial reform act and the Food Safety Modernization Act, both enacted in 2010 while Democrats still controlled both houses of Congress, were, to be sure, important attempts to fix badly broken regulatory programs. But neither statute will bring about fundamental changes in the underlying incentive structures that ultimately determine the behavior of regulated companies and industries. And the agencies charged with implementing those reforms have made only modest progress.

We are now in the midst of a fourth assault on regulation, following the 2010 midterm elections. Having failed to seize the initiative in 2009, the Obama administration has done very little to deflect that assault. Rather than rising to the defense of beleaguered regulatory agencies, the president hosted a closed-door “summit meeting” with 20 chief executives of major corporations, where he promised to work more closely with the business community. He then ordered all regulatory agencies to review all previously issued rules with an eye toward “streamlining” or eliminating as many as possible.

The business community has emerged virtually untouched from a confluence of crises that in previous eras would have resulted in profound redistributional changes. For this surprising development, the idea and influence infrastructures that conservative foundations and corporate America carefully created over a 35-year period can claim much of the credit.

That gets us back to Mr. Obama’s speech last week. While he touched on many of the macroeconomic forces driving the surge in inequality since the 1970s — skill-biased technological change, the dismantling of American manufacturing, the globalization of commerce and finance, and a “trickle-down” ideology of tax cuts for the rich — he barely mentioned regulation.

Sadly, the crises resulting from deregulation will almost certainly continue until political forces realign themselves and a new social bargain is struck under which the business community’s economic freedoms are once again constrained by a government that is more willing to impose greater responsibilities on powerful economic actors and a legal system that is capable of holding them accountable for the harm that they cause. Until then, a crucial check on the seemingly inexorable advance of economic inequality will be missing.

NSA Playing Video Games

Do you like video games? Do you play them a lot? Are you any good? You don’t need to answer my questions. It is really none of my business…… But the governments thinks it is their business and they are watching you. You might even be playing against them right now. Be careful who you bludgeon in the alleyway….It could actually be an agent (think the Matrix). Those guys hate to lose.

http://www.cnn.com/video/data/2.0/video/us/2013/12/10/tsr-todd-nsa-spying-on-online-gamers-world-of-warcraft.cnn.html

Beer Sales

US Beer sales down in the last 5 years. The top US beer makers are down over 25%in that same time period. 

That should pretty much tell the story of our economy. Who buys beer? Young people. Who can’t find jobs? Young people. Who is drowning in college debt? Young people. Do the math……

Busweiser sales down 28.8%. First Budweiser was bought out by InBev (an overseas company). Busweiser…….The great American Beer company no longer American.

Then the new owners were accused of watering down the beer. Now consumers are buying less and less of it.

Surprising? Not to me it isn’t.

http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/business/2013/12/09/beers-we-no-longer-drink/3915505/

http://www.nbcnews.com/business/budweiser-waters-down-its-beer-lawsuit-alleges-1C8566405#

Saturday, December 7, 2013

December 7th, 1941

December 7th 1941. 

“A day that will live in Infamy”. 

The Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor with 353 aircraft. The attack came in two waves and began at 7:55AM. 

The first wave had 183 aircraft. The second wave had 170 aircraft.

8 US battleships were heavily damaged. Two of them were total losses.

In all 20 ships were damaged, but most were later repaired. 188 US aircraft were destroyed. Over 2400 US service members lost their lives. Another 1100 were wounded.
The Japanese lost 29 aircraft and had 64 casualties.

The goal of the attack was to destroy America's ability to fight a war forcing a negotiated settlement.

The biggest failure of the Japanese attack was the fact that all the US Aircraft Carriers were not in the harbor. It was pure luck they all happened to be out at sea.

If the carriers had been destroyed the war could have been over that day.

The months following the attack brought more Japanese victories. It wasn’t unreasonable to think the US might not prevail.

It wasn’t until April of 1942 that the US finally pulled off a victory with Doolittles Raiders.

It was thought the US had no way of attacking the Japanese homeland.

The Americans flew B25 bombers off aircraft carriers. The mission was a one way bombing run of Tokyo.

The raiders continued onto China where the planes landed/crashed. The bombers didn’t have enough fuel to make it back to their carrier.

The bombs did little damage but psychologically it was a huge moral victory.

Now (for the first time) the Japanese knew they were not safe, and could be attacked from anywhere.

In June 1942 the turning point in the war came with the Battle of Midway.

The US had broken the Japanese code, and lured them into a trap.

The Japanese thought they were doing a land attack on the island of Midway.

The Americans put out false information that the island was without fresh water.

The Americans listened to the Japanese discuss this development and plan their attack.
The US ambushed the approaching Japanese carriers sinking 4 out of 6.

It was one of the worst defeats ever for the Japanese Navy.

The war in the Pacific would drag on for 3 more years. But after Midway the Americans had the upper hand.

The attack on Pearl Harbor dragged America into a war that resulted in the death of 111,000 Americans (in the Pacific) . It killed another 2.6 million Japanese.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Obama back to his old Playbook.

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2013/12/04/obama-income-inequality-speech-center-for-american-progress/3867747/

Obama is trying to rekindle the magic of his 2008 presidential election with more populace speak. 

He is now (once again) concerned about the rich get richer, and the poor getting poorer. How nice…… He is only starting his 6th year as President of the United States. Yet he talks about this stuff like somehow it isn’t his fault. Somehow all his policies (which are the exact same policies as his predecessor) aren’t responsible.

Don’t despair though because Obama’s has lots of great speeches……. if you will only keep listening. The only problem is nobody is listening anymore. Everyone now gets it. The Wizard behind the curtain is a fraud.

According to Obama -

“The growing gap between rich and poor can be closed by actions ranging from an increase in the minimum wage to better education to following through on his health care plan, Obama said.”

Obamas statement could have read - “The growing gap between rich and poor can be closed by drawing colorful pictures of beautiful flying unicorns and delightful rainbows”.

Because that statement is about as relevant as what he actually said.

To say raising the minimum wage is an answer is naive. To say “better education” (whatever that is) has any bearing on anything is also weak.

Everyone likes to say education is the problem, but that statement means absolutely nothing.

The United States is drowning in student loan debt. Last year student loan debt passed credit card debt and broke all-time records.

Americans now owe over $1,200,000,000,000.00 in Student loan debt…… and yet Obama wants you to believe the problem (in America) is people don’t have enough education. Peasants in China are much more qualified to do the work then Americans.

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/student-loans-reach-another-troubling-milestone/

Student loan debt can never be wiped away either. When GM wanted to wipe out their debt, they filed bankruptcy, and the debt was gone. When Detroit wants to wipe out their debt they are doing the same thing.

But when kids leave college they can’t wipe out their student loan debt no matter what. They can file bankruptcy…..Yes….. but the student loan debt will never go away….ever…Until it is completely paid.

So kids leave college at age 22 buried alive in debt. Then they can’t find jobs. They also can’t get rid of their debt. And the Presidents assessment of the situation is they just don’t have enough education.

Maybe if they take out more student loans (and take night classes) they would be more marketable. Oh and by the way don’t forget to sign up for Obamacare….. because it is the law.

And people wonder why Millenials are running away from Obama.

If the problem really is that American’s aren’t educated enough……Even after 1 trillion + dollars in education debt……Then Congress needs to be holding hearing demanding an explanation from our college presidents. If that is truly the case then US Colleges must be the biggest fraud scheme in world history. The FBI better start performing swat team raids to get to the bottom of this.

5000 colleges in the United States (graduating a new class every 12 months) and yet there are no Americans qualified to do anything…..That is what we are all supposed to believe.

Don’t worry Millenials……You will get that record student loan debt paid off in no time once Obama raises the minimum wage.

Biden in China.....

My favorite part of this story is how Biden went to Communist Red China to meet with AMERICAN business leaders. 

You would think if Biden wanted to meet with American business leaders he would stay in America. But that is not how economics work anymore. 

Today if the Vice President of the United States wants to talk to American business leaders he has to fly half way around the world to a communist dictatorship. One which employ slave laborers. 

There he can find all kinds of American business leaders. Biden was hoping his trip would be about giving away more American jobs. Unfortunately Communist Red China isn’t cooperating….. with their extremely bad behavior. The Chinese trying to take over a large sections of the South China sea is creating a real problem. 

This situation must be making American business leaders very nervous. China wasn’t interested in alleviating any of that stress either. 

If Biden wanted to solve this crisis he could do it in about 10 seconds. Simply tell the Chinese that the United States also has a new security zone.

From now on no Chinese Freighter ships will be allowed to dock at any US Ports……You know for security purposes. Any Chinese ships trying to dock at the Port of San Diego will be waved off. After 35 freighter ships (full of merchandise) is turned away (and sent back to China) you can be sure this Chinese belligerence will stop.

This tough stand is sure to give some US CEO’s a heart attack though…… but it is for the greater good.

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2013/12/05/china-biden-air-defense-zone-south-korea-japan/3877031/

NSA tracking your every move.....But you can trust them.

Did you go to the grocery store recently? Did you bring your cell phone? If you did then the government has a record of your trip.

Did you go to work recently? Did you bring your cell phone? If you did then the government has a record of that trip too.

Did you stop at Duncan Donuts on the way…..when you weren’t supposed to? Don’t worry nobody will ever know….Except the government…..who has a record of your side trip.

The government doesn’t mean to have all this information on you. It is all just “Incidental”.

http://apps.washingtonpost.com/g/page/national/how-the-nsa-is-tracking-people-right-now/634/

Meanwhile Biden is over in China telling the Chinese people to challenge their government.

Ironic…..Isn’t it.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/china/10493973/Joe-Biden-tells-Chinese-to-challenge-their-leaders.html

RBS - Success in Offshoring....That is if success means failure.

RBS – Royal Bank Of Scottland did what every company does. 

They layed off thousands of workers. They offshored all their IT functions to the other side of the world. Why wouldn’t they do that. That is what companies do nowadays, and they all insist it is a good thing.

Except on Cyber Monday their computer systems crashed and none of their customers could use credit or debit cards. That is not a good thing on one of the busiest shopping days of the year.

Shopping carriages full of merchandise were abandoned in stores, as angry customers couldn’t complete transactions. RBS looks like a bunch of baffoons as they try to apologize to anyone who will listen.

The bank mentions a lot of things that led to this disaster (which has happened before) but they never mention layoffs…. and they never mention offshoring.

Luckily the union workers have no problem mentioning the real issues.

“Union leaders have claimed cost cutting was to blame for the faults on Monday evening and called on the bank to halt its redundancy programme.”
“Unite, Britain's biggest union, said the 30,000 job losses announced by the bailed-out bank since 2008 and the offshoring of IT functions had left it unable to provide a proper service to customers.”

Yup once again we see these practices are common. The results are predictable. The losers are always the same. Yet nobody ever learns the lessons.

http://www.theguardian.com/business/2013/dec/03/rbs-says-sorry-card-glitch-cyber-monday

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Detroit Bankruptcy....The workers are about to get creamed.

A federal judge has agreed that it is OK to pay for Detroit’s bankruptcy by screwing the city workers out of their pensions. 

The auto companies sent the factories out of the country. That screwed the private workers. That decimated the tax base of Detroit which created all the problems. Now they will finish it off by screwing the public workers too. 

The common denominator is always the workers get screwed. First they get blamed. Then they get screwed.

Sure they were promised this and promised that. Sure the workers did their part. But now the rules will be changed.

When GM went to the US government, with their pockets turned inside out, and pleaded for a bailout..... they got it. The GM workers agreed to take less money (and less benefits) and the company took the taxpayers money and tossed it in their bank account.

Remember when Congress lambasted the Big 3 CEO’s for flying to Washington on their private jets to ask for a bailout. Congress called them out on that…… What should have happened next is the Government should have said they will bail GM out…… but only if they agree to move ALL the jobs back to the USA. Every last one of them.

If they agreed then they get bailed out. If they didn’t then they can join Studabaker on the ash heap of failed companies.

Instead Congress made no demands at all and now the result is more workers are going to get kicked in the teeth.

12 Billion dollars fixes the Detroit’s pensions. 85 Billion dollars goes to Wall Street every month. What if next month Wall Street only got 73 Billion and Detroit pensions got secured with the other 12? Would the world end if that happened? We are talking about 20,000+ people who are about to get creamed.

If these were Goldman Sachs Pensions at risk you bet your sweet azz they would be saved.

Funny how that works.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Nobody agrees on anything....Except everyone hates Washington.

The American public HATES Congress and Detests Obama.

Congress has a 9% approval rating. 85% Disapproval. That is the lowest since 1977. They didn’t track it before then.

Obama has a 39% approval and a 54% Disapproval. Lowest of his presidency.

“Most troubling for the president is Quinnipiac's finding that his honesty and trustworthiness numbers are upside down. Fifty-two percent to 44 percent say the president is not honest and trustworthy.”

All that spying on Americans (and our friends) have left everyone with a sour taste. The Obama Care debacle hasn’t helped either.

I am sure the health insurance companies are still big fans of his though. That is the important thing.

There is a reason Obama Care didn’t go into effect until after Obamas reelection. They knew once the public figured out the bait and switch there would be consequences.

The solution – Get rid of Republicans and Democrats. That is the only way to fix our broken system.

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-250_162-57612031/polls-congress-obama-approval-ratings-hit-record-lows/

Oil Price Fraud......

Oil price manipulation and fraud. 

They said oil prices went up because of supply and demand. They lied. 
They said oil prices went up because China was using so much oil. They lied. 
They said oil prices went up because we don’t drill enough in the USA. They lied.

Oil prices went up because of manipulation and fraud. Period! This was allowed to happen because of deregulation. The result is you have over paid for gas every time you have filled up for the last 13 years.

Some times people get robbed by a man holding a gun. Other times people get robbed when they pull into a gas station and fill up. If you have pulled into a gas station and filled up….. then congrats….you have been robbed.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-11-06/brent-crude-traders-claim-proof-bfoe-boys-rigged-market.html

Some of the world’s biggest oil companies including BP Plc (BP/), Statoil ASA (STL), and Royal Dutch Shell Plc conspired with Morgan Stanley and energy traders including Vitol Group to manipulate the closely watched spot prices for Brent crude oil for more than a decade

The North Sea benchmark is used to price more than half the world’s crude and helps determine where costs are headed for fuels including gasoline and heating oil.

The case, which follows at least six other U.S. lawsuits alleging price-fixing in the Brent market, provides what appears to be the most detailed description yet of the alleged manipulations and lays out a possible road map for regulators investigating the matter.

The traders who brought it -- who include a former director of the New York Mercantile Exchange, or Nymex, one of the markets where contracts for future Brent deliveries are traded - - allege they paid “artificial and anticompetitive prices” for Brent futures. They also outline attempts to manipulate prices for Russian Urals crude and cite instances when the spread between Brent and Dubai grades of crude may have been rigged.

The oil companies and energy-trading houses, which include Trafigura Beheer BV and Phibro Trading LLC, submitted false and misleading information to Platts, an energy news and price publisher whose quotes are used by traders worldwide

Over 85 pages, the plaintiffs describe how the market allegedly showed that the Dated Brent spot price was artificially driven up or down by the defendants, depending on what would profit them most in swap, futures or spot markets. They allege the defendants used methods including “spoofing” - - placing orders that move markets with the intention of canceling them later.

Platts’ methodology “can be easily gamed by market participants that make false, inaccurate or misleading trades,” the plaintiff traders alleged. BFOE refers to the four oil grades -- Brent, Forties, Oseberg and Ekofisk -- that collectively make up the Dated Brent benchmark.

The suit provides an insight into one of the less-transparent corners of global trading -- the $5.7 trillion-a-year market in physical commodities, including metals and agricultural products as well as fuel, where spot trading is largely private. By contrast, stocks and futures transactions are conducted on regulated exchanges with prices visible to all.

Sears on its way out......

Sears is on its way out.......

Sears a once proud name with a 120 year history in the United States is in the process of going extinct. 

They executed the same (supposedly) winning strategy of filling their store shelves with Made in China merchandise, and then attempted to sell it to unemployed Americans.

Unfortunately (as we see over and over and over and over) the strategy is a failure.

You would think eventually somebody (other than me) would figure out what the issue is….. but nobody ever does.

If you like Sears you should go now because sooner (rather than later) they won’t be here anymore.

Think about that. 120 years Sears survived everything. Two World Wars. The great depression. Countless recessions. Social upheavals. Doughts, storms...... Whatever happened (decade after decade) Sears survived.

But one thing no company can survive is the offshoring of all the jobs. There is no way to survive that level of stupidity.

When Sears had store shelves full of products that were labeled "Made in the USA" they never had these issues.

http://dealbook.nytimes.com/2013/10/29/sears-considers-split-of-lands-end-and-auto-centers/?_r=0

To help raise cash for the future, Sears announced on Tuesday that it was looking to split off its Lands’ End and Sears Auto Center brands, two of the company’s best-known assets. It also said that Sears Canada, which it controls, had sold five store leases for $384 million.

Sears said the moves would let it become more focused company that is easier to understand and to manage,” (There is nothing complicated to understand. The American economy stinks. It has stunk for a very long time. It is going to continue to stink for many years to come. Until that changes, middle class Americans (the ones who shop at Sears) aren’t going to be buying anything. So liquidate away….It is your only option)

On Tuesday, the company also released limited information about its financial performance that suggested that its core retail business was plummeting. Sears said that comparable store sales fell 3.7 percent in the 12 weeks ended Oct. 26 and that it expected adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization, or Ebitda, of negative $250 million to $300 million.

Gary Balter, a retail analyst with Credit Suisse, said in a note that the early results represented “an amazing rapid deceleration into the abyss for the U.S. retail operations.”

The rich and The Poor.....The divide grows......

Like I have been saying….The rich are getting richer. The poor are getting poorer. The middle class is getting pushed downward. 

In a few years the middle class will be something your kids will learn about in their history books.

Even the President of Wal-Mart understands the problem…. Which is nice considering his company played a major role in creating it in the first place.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/sales-at-wal-mart-macys-hint-at-two-consumer-realities/2013/11/14/b3c9ac52-4d6a-11e3-ac54-aa84301ced81_story.html

Wal-Mart U.S. President Bill Simon told reporters in a conference call. “Our customers’ No. 1 concern is still around jobs and employment. . Their income is going down while food costs are not.

China threats and the B-52 Response.......

Over the weekend China Unilaterally announced they are now in control of airspace (and waters) around disputed islands controlled by Japan. China announced anyone attempting to fly through this area needs to get their permission first.

This is like going to your neighbors house…… standing on their lawn………. and announcing it is now yours. Then stating if your neighbor wants to walk on the grass they need to get your permission.

The United States (who is sworn to defend Japan) responded by flying two B-52 bombers through the disputed airspace without permission. China did nothing about that. Japan also continues to fly commercial airlines through the airspace.

So everyone is calling China’s bluff….. and now we will see what they do about it.

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/28/world/asia/china-explains-handling-of-b-52-flight-as-tensions-escalate.html?_r=0

The Pope is against Republican Ideology....

Traditionally Republicans love the church. But the leader of the Church thinks Republican ideology is completely wrong. 

Now Conservatives are questioning the new pope.

“Conservative Catholics, however, have worried that his open tone is too unspecific and causes confusion on traditional teachings such as those against abortion and gay equality.”

Translation – Republicans miss the old days when it was acceptable to dislike gays, control women’s rights, and send all the money to the rich people……

Now things are changing. Nothing scares the h*ll out of Republicans like change.

You have to kinda feel bad for Republicans. The world is moving on without them…… and they don’t know what to do about it.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/pope-francis-denounces-trickle-down-economic-theories-in-critique-of-inequality/2013/11/26/e17ffe4e-56b6-11e3-8304-caf30787c0a9_story.html

Zimmerman

When George Zimmerman murdered Trayvon Martin he had a lot of supporters.

A whole faction of right wingers jumped to his defense. They said he was a victim. They said he was a hero. They said he did the right thing by "standing his ground". They raised money for his defense.

According to them the sympathetic figure was the guy holding the gun.

The sympathetic figure was the guy who provoked a confrontation with an unarmed man. Then killed him.

The bad guy was the one minding his own business, walking home with a bag of skittles.

Now Zimmerman has been arrested AGAIN for assaulting his girlfriend. He is accused of choking her. Pointing a shot gun at her head. Throwing her out of her home. Breaking all her things.

This is after his last wife left him because he threatening her too.

For some reason today Zimmerman has no more defenders. I wonder why that is. He is the same guy. He is doing the same things.

Yet on social media there is nobody speaking up on his behalf (as had been the case when Trayvon was killed).

Maybe finally everyone realizes (what they should have realized the first time). George Zimmerman is a dirtbag.

http://www.cnn.com/2013/11/19/justice/florida-george-zimmerman-arrest/

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Oil Market Fraud and Manipulation.....

Oil price manipulation and fraud. 

They said oil prices went up because of supply and demand. They lied. 
They said oil prices went up because China was using so much oil. They lied. 
They said oil prices went up because we don’t drill enough in the USA. They lied.

Oil prices went up because of manipulation and fraud. Period! This was allowed to happen because of deregulation. The result is you have over paid for gas every time you have filled up for the last 13 years. 

Some times people get robbed by a man holding a gun. Other times people get robbed when they pull into a gas station and fill up. If you have pulled into a gas station and filled up….. then congrats….you have been robbed.


http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-11-06/brent-crude-traders-claim-proof-bfoe-boys-rigged-market.html

Some of the world’s biggest oil companies including BP Plc (BP/), Statoil ASA (STL), and Royal Dutch Shell Plc conspired with Morgan Stanley and energy traders including Vitol Group to manipulate the closely watched spot prices for Brent crude oil for more than a decade

The North Sea benchmark is used to price more than half the world’s crude and helps determine where costs are headed for fuels including gasoline and heating oil.

The case, which follows at least six other U.S. lawsuits alleging price-fixing in the Brent market, provides what appears to be the most detailed description yet of the alleged manipulations and lays out a possible road map for regulators investigating the matter.

The traders who brought it -- who include a former director of the New York Mercantile Exchange, or Nymex, one of the markets where contracts for future Brent deliveries are traded - - allege they paid “artificial and anticompetitive prices” for Brent futures. They also outline attempts to manipulate prices for Russian Urals crude and cite instances when the spread between Brent and Dubai grades of crude may have been rigged.

The oil companies and energy-trading houses, which include Trafigura Beheer BV and Phibro Trading LLC, submitted false and misleading information to Platts, an energy news and price publisher whose quotes are used by traders worldwide

Over 85 pages, the plaintiffs describe how the market allegedly showed that the Dated Brent spot price was artificially driven up or down by the defendants, depending on what would profit them most in swap, futures or spot markets. They allege the defendants used methods including “spoofing” - - placing orders that move markets with the intention of canceling them later.

Platts’ methodology “can be easily gamed by market participants that make false, inaccurate or misleading trades,” the plaintiff traders alleged. BFOE refers to the four oil grades -- Brent, Forties, Oseberg and Ekofisk -- that collectively make up the Dated Brent benchmark.

The suit provides an insight into one of the less-transparent corners of global trading -- the $5.7 trillion-a-year market in physical commodities, including metals and agricultural products as well as fuel, where spot trading is largely private. By contrast, stocks and futures transactions are conducted on regulated exchanges with prices visible to all.