Tuesday, November 30, 2004
Michael O'Brien and Moral Values
Monday, November 29, 2004
Ted Kooser, Poet Laureate
IN JANUARY, 1962
With his hat on the table before him,
my grandfather waited until it was time
to go to my grandmother's funeral.
Beyond the window, his eighty-eighth winter
lay white in its furrows. The little creek
which cut through his cornfield was frozen.
Past the creek and the broken, brown stubble,
on a hill which thirty years before
he'd given the town, a green tent flapped
under the cedars. Throughout the day before,
he'd stayed there at the window watching
the blue woodsmoke from the thawing-barrels
catch in the bitter wind and vanish,
and had seen, so small in the distance,
a man breaking the earth with a pick.
I suppose he could feel that faraway work
in his hands--the steel-smooth, cold oak handle,
the thick, dull shock at the wrists--
for the following morning, as we waited,
it was as if it hurt him to move them,
those hard old hands which lay curled and still
near the soft gray felt hat on the table.
It was hard to find much on Kooser at the time. There weren't many poetry books at Powell's or Barnes and Noble. I would search through anthologies hoping to find another Kooser poem. I guess I identified with him. He was a retired vice president of Lincoln Benefit Life insurance company in Nebraska. I was a vice president of a stock brokerage company and we both were writing poetry. Poets, I thought didn't generally come from the business community. Imagine my surprise when I read recently that Ted Kooser was now the Poet Laureate of the US for the next year! Here's another I like a lot:
At the Office Early
Rain has beaded the panes
of my office windows,
and in each little lens
the bank at the corner
hangs upside down.
What wonderful music
this rain must have made
in the night, a thousand banks
turned over, the change
crashing out of the drawers
and bouncing upstairs
to the roof, the soft
percussion of ferns
dropping out of their pots,
the ballpoint pens
popping out of their sockets
in a fluffy snow
of deposit slips.
Now all day long,
as the sun dries the glass,
I'll hear the soft piano
of banks righting themselves,
the underpaid tellers
counting their nickels and dimes.
A belated congratulations to you Ted Kooser. Thank you for all your poems and good health to you.
Sunday, November 28, 2004
Don't Fight The Market
Asian Central Banks Face Reality. Stephen Ceccehtti (of The FT) highlights the realities facing Asian central banks:Institutional ECONOMICS goes on to say
We can start to see why governments with large dollar reserves would be concerned about both keeping the dollar from depreciating and ensuring that US treasury bond interest rates do not go up. Both of these would result in capital losses for the entities holding the foreign exchange reserves. Given that these reserves are huge - more than $800bn in Japan and more than $500bn in China - the potential losses are big, as is the potential embarrassment. A 10 per cent appreciation of the renminbi means a capital loss of $50bn for Chinese authorities. Assuming the duration of their bond portfolio is three to five years, a 2 percentage point increase in US interest rates means another loss of $30bn-$50bn.
The massive foreign exchange reserves of East Asia are a sign of economic weakness, not strength. The mercantilist mindset that thinks it can buy its way into world markets through manipulating exchange rates is about to face a massive reality check care of flexible exchange rates.The East Asian countries have made a massive bet that is counter to market forces which seek equilibrium. Greenspan warned of this, first, that the "game" can't go on forever and second, anyone who is still long bonds has a death wish. We will soon see the giant compressed coiled spring that is the pegged currencies market explode. Once again, it will not pay to fight the market.
The Gold price is another case of forces fighting equilibrium. They, also, will find the market, ultimately, works as it should.
Saturday, November 27, 2004
I don't blog much about the economy (except on the micro, things-I've-noticed Andy Rooney level) because I don't think I know enough.I'm not going to quote the rest of his statement, because I don't think he will want that part remembered. Generally, as David Tice of The Prudent Bear says, there is a complacency about the USD. We've been through these ups and downs before, why in 1995, the USD was this low and then went up 50%. We've been through the crash of the Ruble, the Peso and most recently the Asian currency crisis and we've muddled through (I'm paraphrasing). So what is different this time? Tice says:
But I fear the worst: the Fed is immersed in a trap of runaway Credit and asset inflation. Global players – including central banks – are coming to recognize there is no way out. Almost anything non-dollar is viewed as a superior store of value to investors and the massive speculating community. And perhaps others see dollar vulnerability as a potential countervailing force to aggressive U.S. foreign policies. Things don’t look good Mr. Dollar. Confidence is faltering, financial fragilities provide little room for error, and I fear we have passed the point where a dollar crisis is unavoidable.And you say, Mover Mike why do you blog about these things? Few read them, fewer comment! Someday, there will be a lot of finger pointing, and blame shifting, and we will be required to build a new currency. We can't make the same mistakes again. Our Founding Fathers warned us about fiat currencies and our Constitution prohibited these practices, yet we allowed it to happen, anyway. Our progeny deserve better.
I wish you the best in what will likely be a difficult and tumultuous period. And I do sincerely hope you can muster all your strength and surprise us with your resiliency. It certainly didn’t have to be this way. I hope the Greenspan Fed (and the “inflationists”) will be held accountable. Too much lunacy has been spoken and written, while the scourge of financial folly worked furtively to destroy you. The world’s preeminent currency was a terrible, terrible thing to waste. There will be huge costs to pay, and I’m saddened and sorry it happened.
Friday, November 26, 2004
Richard Russell's Lesson
5. To coin money, regulate the value thereof, and of foreign coin, and fix the standard of weights and measures:and this
6. To provide for the punishment of counterfeiting the securities and current coin of the United States:
Section 10 - States prohibited from the exercise of certain powers.The Founding Fathers knew the history of paper money (fiat) and specifically prohibited paper money that was not backed by Gold and Silver. Russell writes about our history with paper: Congress printed Continentals during Washington's time and they became worthless; "not worth a continental". During the Civil war the South printed Confederate Paper, which is worthless, except for it being collectible, but you certainly can't buy anything with it. The North printed Greebacks which became worthless. So now we have the USD!
1. No state shall enter into any treaty, alliance, or confederation; grant letters of marque and reprisal; coin money; emit bills of credit; make any thing but gold and silver coin a tender in payment of debts; pass any bill of attainder, ex post facto law, or law impairing the obligation of contracts, or grant any title of nobility.
I was looking at Kitco and there is an interesting chart of exchange rates. One of the things I noticed is that Gold is different prices depending on the currency. For example, in USD Gold is $451.70 an ounce, in Euros Gold is 339.70, in Pounds Gold is 238.40, and in Yen it is 46337.64. How could Gold be 46337.64 in Yen? In 2001 the USD was 120 and Gold was $250, today the USD went to a new low of 81.53 and Gold was $451.70. Clearly, it seems if the USD goes down, then Gold goes up. But, how could Gold be 46337.64 in a currency?
I would guess with the Continentals, Greenbacks and Confederates that gold went up and up and the currencies went down and down to the point that you did not have enough currencies to buy an ounce of Gold. If the USD declined another 50%, I would guess that Gold would go up 50%; if the USD went down 90% that Gold would be up at least 90%; if the USD went to zero and that is our history with fiat currencies, then no amount of USD would buy an ounce of Gold.
Imagine you own a general store. Canadian touists come into your store and buy from you. Their currency is going lower against the USD. First, you mark up your goods to Canadians, because you take their paper to the bank and the bank doesn't credit your account with as much as fFace value. At some point you can't keep track of the decline and you refuse altogether to accept Canadian currency. No amount of Canadian currency would you take to pay for an item in your store. I saw this happen in the 50's and 60's. The Canadian dollar would buy more here than a USD. In the 80's and 90's only 65 Canadian dollars would equal a 100 USD, and stores refused to take Canadian dollars, anymore.
Richard Russell's lesson:
Lesson -- Gold is money, I know it, Greenspan knows it, the Fed knows it, and the US government knows it. But the lie that gold is a commodity lives on. Ultimately every lie is exposed and every truth comes to life. As for gold, it's only a matter of time before the central banks of the world are forced to admit that GOLD IS MONEY.Mover Mike
Why will the truth be forced upon them? Because as the price of gold in terms of central bank paper rises, the desire for central bank paper will decline. Even an idiot will draw correct conclusion from that action.
Thursday, November 25, 2004
The US Dollar Part II
UBS, the world's largest currency trader, lowered its three- month dollar projections to 103 yen from 107, and to $1.36 per euro from $1.30. Deutsche Bank expects the dollar to weaken to $1.43 per euro and to 93 yen by the end of 2005, from previous forecasts of $1.37 and 99 respectively.Mover Mike
Merrill cut its March forecasts for the dollar to 96 yen and $1.39 from 100 and $1.33. JPMorgan cut its estimates to 96 yen and $1.37 per euro in March, from 100 and $1.30 before.
The US Dollar
Contrary to what the Treasury would have us believe, the US external payment imbalance is not a reflection of foreigners' hunger to invest in US companies and in the US stock market. Alas, those days went with the bursting of the equity bubble in March 2000. Instead, the main factor now holding up the dollar is the massive purchases of US Treasury paper by foreign central banks, which now finance an unprecedented 50 percent of the US external deficit. They do so not because they believe that the US is an attractive place in which to invest. Rather, they do so as a means to keep their currencies cheap in relation to the dollar so as favor their export sectors.Maybe the word is getting around that we have a dire dollar crisis pending. You would not know it looking at the stock market averages or the bond market, but today the CRB went to a record high, the dollar to a new low vs the Euro (1.3266 to 1.00), and Gold climbed to a new high at $452.30 USD per ounce. Let's be careful out there!
Wednesday, November 24, 2004
Now This Is Just Wrong!
From Reuters by Dan Whitcomb
A California teacher has been barred by his school from giving students documents from American history that refer to God -- including the Declaration of Independence.Here's the contact information, if you want to register your outrage.
Patricia Vidmar - PrincipalMover Mike
Office - (408) 245-3312
Stevens Creek Elementary School
10300 Ainsworth Drive, Cupertino, CA 95014
Revisit Peter Ames Carlin
Love him or hate him. But in a medium defined increasingly by the sleek and the corporate, Rather is the last of a rare breed. He's a human being, as passionate, flawed and emotional as they come. And, as Rather's ratings seem to attest these days, that sort of thing doesn't cut it on network TV anymore.Peter, the plummeting ratings are not about his flamboyance and his passion, but his bias. He has proved time after time that his paradigm of what is mainstream does not align with the majority, and so they desert his show.
Tuesday, November 23, 2004
This Is War!
De-linking our currency with China’s is bad economic policy.
For the above to make sense, it has to be remembered that trade is decidedly not war. Just as it is with individuals, when countries exchange with each other, they exchange what they do best in return for what they do least well. As Bastiat wrote, “In war, the stronger overcomes the weaker. In business, the stronger imparts strength to the weaker.”I totally disagree with Tamny. This is war, Economic War. We have the strongest military in the world, but economically we are vulnerable and "they" know it. It reminds me of the the time I "shot-the-moon" playing Hearts. Most everyone saves hearts and if they have the Ace or King of hearts assumes they have a stopper. However, I ran the table by being void hearts and long spades. It is a classic case of fighting the wrong war.
The US Dollar, Asians, and Stephen Roach
Tokyo stepped up its rhetoric about the possibility of imminent foreign currency intervention as the yen hovered close to a four-and-a-half year high against the dollar, threatening the competitiveness of Japan's exporters.
“China's custom is that we never blame others for our own problem,” said the senior central bank official. “For the past 26 years, we never put pressure or problems on to the world. The US has the reverse attitude, whenever they have a problem, they blame others.”
Mr Li insisted an appreciation of the Chinese currency would not solve the US's structural problems and that although China was “gradually” moving towards greater exchange rate flexibility, it would not do so under heavy external pressure.
Stephen Roach of Morgan Stanley much more bearish in private than in public according to Brent Arends of Boston Herald
Tuesday, November 23rd
The U.S. Department of Agriculture predicted that imports of farm products next year would equal exports, marking the first time since the late 1950s that the country failed to run an annual agricultural surplus.That's a $27.3 billion swing in eight years!
As recently as 1996, the U.S. sold $27.3 billion more in farm products than it imported, the largest annual surplus on record.
The agency said the steep rise in agricultural imports was "the result of higher prices of popular value-added products." Two-thirds of the increase in farm imports since 2002, the USDA said, came from seven categories of goods: "essential oils" used in food- and beverage-processing, snack foods, wine and beer, red meats, processed fruits and vegetables, fresh vegetables and miscellaneous grocery products.
The vast majority of those products – around 75% – came from the European Union, Mexico, Canada, China, Indonesia, Brazil and Australia, the USDA said
Monday, November 22, 2004
The Yen Lowest Since April, 2000
Saturday, November 20, 2004
Greespan and the Economy, Again!
Greenspan said major, and to some, shocking things:
"rising interest rates have been advertised for so long and in so many places that anyone who has not appropriately hedged this position by now is obviously desirous of losing money."He also said:
"Given the size of the U.S. current account deficit, a diminished appetite for adding to dollar balances must occur at some point …But when, through what channels, and from what level of the dollar? Regrettably, no answer to those questions is convincing."
Here's The Prudent Bear's Doug Noland writing about the week ending November 19
The dollar has been declining now for over two years, yet the inevitable adjustment period has not even begun. Importantly, the Fed’s misguided war against deflation has tremendously distorted our financial and economic systems. And it is now impossible for us or the rest of the world to “grow our way out” of the problem. If foreign central banks further push the accelerator to stimulate U.S. exports, get ready for $75 crude, $600 gold, and only more problematic global Monetary Disorder. Here at home, our central bank has nurtured a dysfunctional U.S. financial Credit system that is today only capable of sustaining mortgage lending excess. The nature of inflationary manifestations ensures over-consumption, minimal economic investment, massive trade deficits and global liquidity excess. These liquidity excesses and the attendant weak dollar have fueled a major inflation in non-dollar asset-classes, which has incited increasingly self-reinforcing speculative flows out of the dollar. As with all great inflations, the consequences become increasingly uncontrollable, while there is always a need for additional inflation to keep the game going.The Fed is saying interest rates are going to go up a lot, and the dollar is going to go down a lot.
The Fed is in a quagmire. It will not risk piercing the Credit or Mortgage Finance Bubbles, so the spigot of Credit and liquidity excess runs wide open. Asian central bankers are left to purchase massive dollar securities, in what should be an increasingly conspicuous self-defeating proposition. This only supports over-heated U.S. debt markets - and unrelenting Credit, speculation and liquidity excesses. The Fed is now facing its comeuppance. Greenspan should never have nurtured the Bubbles of leveraged speculation and asset-based lending. And only time will tell as to what accident is waiting to erupt in the currency derivatives markets. Simultaneously rising rates and a sinking dollar could spell trouble for our foreign creditors and derivative players. There have been similar Credit system Bubbles and dysfunctional dynamics in play over the past decade, and they have invariably ended in crisis.
Friday, November 19, 2004
Alan Greenspan says...
"Given the size of the US current account deficit, a diminished appetite for adding to dollar balances must occur at some point,"The dollar is down roughly 30% since its peak in 2002.
"International investors will eventually adjust their accumulation of dollar assets or, alternatively, seek higher dollar returns to offset concentration risk, elevating the cost of financing the US current account deficit and rendering it increasingly less tenable."
Analysts were surprised by Mr Greenspan's frank words. "It's a hell of a speech," said Jason Bonanca, director of foreign exchange research at CSFB in New York.German Finance Minister Hans Eichel hopes that Europe, the US, and Japan can work out some way to support the dollar. A rising Euro and Yen is devastating for trade with the US and makes them vulnerable to asian imports. A falling dollar for the US raises import prices, while it helps us export to Europe. It, also, will increase interest rates here, hurting our economy and, possibly, real estate. Since the price of Gold moves opposite the USD, one way to protect ourselves is to buy Gold with US Dollars. Gold has gone from $250 an ounce in 2001 to $448 today.
"It's remarkable ... I think what he's calling for here is a weaker dollar, even though he's tightening," he said, referring to the four interest-rate rises - to 2% - that the Fed has implemented this year.
We are standing on the edge of a tragedy. Back in 1987 interest rates were going up and the dollar was going down. Then the market crashed! I remember it well. The only buyers wanted steep discounts and sellers just wanted out. It was like a hurricane inside the office and the eye of the storm was outside on the street. I recall walking outside for a break and life was normal, a beautiful fall day. Then, we didn't owe $7 trillion and then we saved over 7% and then we didn't have a trade deficit of $600 to $700 billion. The market recovered and by January of 1988, so had the market. I don't think we will be so lucky this time.
Thursday, November 18, 2004
Iran and Nuclear Proliferation, Decision Time Soon
Observers and analysts alike are focused upon terrorist risk. They should pay greater notice to financial retaliation and grand shifts in its foundational structure. The United States owns tremendous superiority on the military battlefield. Our greatest vulnerability is financial, from the foreign dependence on credit supply, from supply chain import of energy and other commodities, and most of all from the continued acceptance of the petro-dollar system which serves as the foundation of the world monetary system. The petro-dollar is showing cracks, decay, and moss. Rivets are loose on the USDollar manhole cover. Prepare for change. These topics are fully discussed and analyzed in my private newsletter.Putin is arguing that oil should be priced in Euros and currently countries hold large reserves of USD's to settle purchases for imports. If the USD supremacy ends we would see much higher interest rates here and a much lower dollar.
Here's a horrible thought. You as a nation decide that nuclear proliferation ends at the entrance to Iran. You decide that further development will be stopped by force.
Iran's secret uranium enrichment site, revealed this week by an Iranian opposition group, is housed below a luxury development complex in which civilians live, military sources told WorldNetDaily.Who wants to talk with the press about the after-action?
Elsewhere, in WND Exclusive Commentary Iran goes nuclear: The handwriting is on the wall
The problem is Israel. Having lost over 6 million Jews in the Holocaust, the Jews are not about to allow Iran to go operational with a nuclear capability. A pre-emptive strike by Israel seems inevitable, regardless of the operational complexity of taking out over 300 largely hidden and buried nuclear sites spread around Iran. The United States has already sold to Israel the bunker buster bombs that would be needed in such an operation. A combined Israeli strike of commandos on the ground and firepower from the air would be better done with U.S. cooperation, but the Israelis are unlikely to wait long for permission.Mover Mike
The WSJ Opinion Journal on Friday covers Iran, the IAEA, the Europe Three and our options and says
Another alternative that should be put aside is trying to bomb our way out of the problem set. Although this option has its proponents, neither we nor the Israelis can do it without making our current Middle East headaches much, much worse. We simply don't know where all of Iran's nuclear activities are. Nor can we target every Iranian nuclear engineer who surely will rebuild whatever might be bombed. With Iraq and the war on terrorism still at issue, waging war now with 69 million Iranians without clear legal cause would risk strategic failure.I'm afraid we are going to make some critical decisions soon with respect to Iran and the enforcement of the proliferation treaty.
Wednesday, November 17, 2004
Clowns of Madness
I agree it is required reading and it led to Nouriel Roubini Global Economics Blog and on October 8th he posted BW2: Are we back to a new stable Bretton Woods regime of global fixed exchange rates? He argues that a yes, a new Bretton Woods Agreement II, of fixed exchange rates has emerged but that it is not sustainable and is very unstable for five (5) reasons:
1. Internal dislocations in the United States.
2. The strains placed on Europe.
3. The strains placed on China’s domestic financial system.
4. The financial risks associated with continuing to provide low-cost dollar denominated financing to the United States.
5. Incentives to free ride and opt out of the cheap dollar financing cartel.
Then on November 8th, Roubini posts Speculative Central Bank Reserve Diversification as the End Game Trigger for BWII?
The news today...that some central banks - India, Russia and "other petrodollar-rich Middle Eastern investors" - are starting to dump dollars to avoid the capital losses from further weakening of the U.S. dollar, may be the starting trigger...the end of the so-called Bretton Woods Two (BWII)regime.The US Dollar hit the lowest in relation to a basket of currencies since 1995. With our trade deficit ecpected to grow further in 2005 and some saying the US Dollar could fall another 35%, those countries that hold upwards of $2 Trillion USD may be getting antsy. The door is not big enough for all to avoid massive losses on their reserves. We are also getting to the point that the EU and Japan will want to intervene massively to keep their currencies from appreciating more. They would do that by buying US Dollars.
The world keeps spinning faster,
like that steel Merry-Go-Round
filled with playmates
on a playground of my youth,
pushed faster and faster
by the neighborhood bullies,
today's clowns of madness,
until we're horizontal, barely holding on.
And, the clowns are convulsed with laughter.
Wednesday, November 17th
When my wife and I celebrated her 50th birthday in Italy in 2000, the dollar was .9 to 1.00; today our lodging in Tuscany would be almost 45% more expensive. Look for Americans to feel poorer when traveling to Europe. Look for Europeans to come here to buy our things.
Monday, November 15, 2004
Specter, Powell, and Keillor
if you listen to what Majority Leader Frist had to say on yesterday's Fox News Sunday - it is abundantly obvious that the President and the GOP Leadership will not pave an easy way for Specter to recoop his squandered political capital following his ill chosen and ill times comments criticizing potential Bush nominees following the sweeping win of the President.Now that's how "hardball" is played in DC.
Speaking of hardball, comes news from the The American Spectator that Powell was fired! This along with the news of resignations from the CIA, prompted by the arrival of Goss for Tenet, looks like a consolidation of power and a rooting out of Clinton holdovers. About time, I say!
And Garrison Keillor, according to WorldNetDaily during a speech at Chicago's Rockefeller Memorial Chapel promoted a novel and totally fascist idea:
"I am now the chairman of a national campaign to pass a constitutional amendment to take the right to vote away from born-again Christians. [enthusiastic audience applause] Just a little project of mine. My feeling is that born-again people are citizens of heaven, that is where there citizenship is, [laughter] is in heaven, it's not here among us in America. ..."Mover Mike
"If born-again Christians are allowed to vote in this country, then why not Canadians?"
Hillary to move to Center
My final piece of advice, Run Hillary in 2008. I know she is a Senator, none have faired well since the original JFK, if you called getting shot fairing well. She starts off with 43% negatives and 54% saying she shouldn't run. Go ahead, run her, and I'll have the Zoloft ready for you in 2008.
Sunday, November 14, 2004
McCain and the CIA
The Arizona Republican accused disloyal elements within the CIA of working to undermine President Bush, complaining that they had engaged in "leaking information that could be damaging to the president prior to the election - using a compliant media, if I may say so."Mover Mike
Friday, November 12, 2004
Porter Goss and the Rogue Weasels
Deputy Chief Resigns From CIA Agency Is Said to Be in Turmoil Under New Director Goss.We know what this is all about. I wrote about it on 10/30/2004:
The deputy director of the CIA resigned yesterday after a series of confrontations over the past week between senior operations officials and CIA Director Porter J. Goss's new chief of staff that have left the agency in turmoil, according to several current and former CIA officials.
John E. McLaughlin, a 32-year CIA veteran who was acting director for two months this summer until Goss took over, resigned after warning Goss that his top aide, former Capitol Hill staff member Patrick Murray, was treating senior officials disrespectfully and risked widespread resignations, the officials said.
Ever heard of Dr. Jack Wheeler? in To The Point , he writes about Al Qaqaa and the real story is that the CIA is behind the information that came out about the "missing" explosives. He believes there are leftists (Rogue Weasels in the CIA who believe like the State Department that the way to manage disputes between countries is to talk, accomodate, and appease. These Rogue Weasels are not happy with the war on terrorism, and want Kerry elected. He says this faction leaked information to CBS which was happy to run the story on Sunday the 31st. The plan was destroyed when an opposing group alligned with Porter Goss, the new head of the CIA, replacing George Tenet, went to the NYT with the story and it was run before CBS, and gave the Bush people time for rebuttal. On October 29th, Wheeler writes This was the last gasp of the Rogue Weasels. Porter’s Purge is coming – upwards of eighty Bush-hating left-wing Kerry stooges are going to be fired at the CIA in November. Looks like the pro-America guys are going to be running the Company once again.Prepare to see more CIA operatives gone and the liberals will try to blame it on Porter Goss.
...if you are not a citizen:I suspect that other states will propose their own "Prop 200" and that may get out the vote as much as bans on gay marriage did in 2004.
* You are not allowed to vote ANYMORE.
* You are not allowed to benefit from tax-paid, state services ANYMORE.
In a nutshell, if you are going to illegally enter the U.S., seek welfare benefits, put your kids in public school, commit a violent crime, demand a language other than English or vote in any election, I would not recommend you set your sights on Arizona……perhaps California?
Thursday, November 11, 2004
Thursday November 11th
"Everybody knew Saddam had chemical weapons, the question was, where did they go. Unfortunately, everybody jumped on the offramp and said 'well, because we didn't find them, he didn't have them,'" said Fox News military analyst Lt. Gen. Tom McInerney.Mover Mike
The Foundation for the Defense of Democracies has this telling information on Yasser Arafat. Not a pretty picture!
James B. Davis is founder of Help.Them.Leave.com, a 501(c)3 organization that offers relocation assistance at absolutely no cost for voters that can't abide four more years of Pres. Bush.
"In return for your irrevocable renunciation of your United States citizenship, and a sworn statement that you will never return, we will provide free one-way transportation to one of our politically matched, recommended countries on one of the jets we have chartered to provide this service," the organization states.Mover Mike
It goes so far as to carefully match relocation countries to political leanings:
•Leftists: France, Germany, Italy or Spain
•Socialists: Canada, Denmark, England, Finland, Norway or Sweden
•Communists: Cuba or North Korea
Some people run screaming from the room, when privatization is mentioned in the same sentence as Social Security. WSJ has a good article about it today. One key point for me: we call ourselves Capitalists, yet other countries use our systems ideas better than we do. Case in point:
Further, about two dozen countries have reformed their state-run retirement programs, including Chile, Sweden, Australia, Peru, the U.K., Kazakhstan, China, Croatia and Poland. If citizens in these countries can handle individual savings accounts, especially citizens in countries without a history of financial freedom, then U.S. citizens should be equally adept. At a time when the rest of the world is dropping the vestiges of state control, the United States should be leading the way and not lagging behind.Mover Mike
Wednesday, November 10, 2004
Conventional Wisdom and Sen. Specter
The Hill has a story that says the controversy over Sen. Specter is mushrooming. Interesting note at the bottom of the article:
...Specter’s son is a prominent Philadelphia-based trial lawyer.Mover Mike
That has raised the suspicions of several tort-reform proponents, who said momentum on the issue could be hampered if Specter presided over the committee of primary jurisdiction.
Speaking of Specter, CNSNews has this about Specter of 40 years ago:
The 40-Year-Old Theory That Continues to HauntMover Mike
Specter was a counsel for the Warren Commission in 1964, investigating the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. He developed the so-called “single bullet” theory, which held that one of the bullets fired from the rifle of assassin Lee Harvey Oswald penetrated Kennedy’s upper body, changed direction, pierced the president’s neck, changed direction again, hit Texas Gov. John Connally, seated in front of the president, in the armpit, exited Connally’s torso, went through the governor’s wrist, changed direction again and finally lodged itself in Connally’s thigh. In November of last year, Specter told the Pittsburgh Tribune Review that he still believes in the single bullet theory, but it continues to be ridiculed by people who believe there was more than one gunman the day Kennedy was killed.
Thomas Sowell doesn't mince words:
Senator Specter is also one of those people who is often wrong but never in doubt. He has mangled the meaning of such basic concepts as "judicial activism" and "original intent." It would be a tragedy for him to become chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, where he could mangle nominees and in the process mangle the Constitution of the United States.Mover Mike
Tuesday, November 09, 2004
Tuesday November 9th
Nonetheless, many in Washington equate being anti-energy with being pro-environment. There are formidable federal roadblocks in front of nearly everything the nation will need in order to meet its future energy requirements. In effect, our energy policy has morphed into an anti-energy environmental policy, and acts as a hindrance to a more secure energy future.Mover Mike
Yesterday, I posted statistics about the number of babies killed by abortions. I said I was startled by the numbers, 1,375,000 per year, more than 3750 per day, day after day, 24/7! My wife didn't seem to be impressed, so I looked up these statistics from the CDC: number of deaths for leading causes of death
* Heart Disease: 696,947Think of how much money is spent each year to prevent Heart Dusease, Cancer. How much money is spent educating people on Diabetes. AIDS is n't even listed. How much money is spent on AIDS Research. How much money do we spend each year making better cars. How much money do we spend buying safety equipment. Yet, yet, we kill 1,375,000 babies each year, 3750 babies each day, 24 hours a day, 24/7. I recall reading and hearing:
* Cancer: 557,271
* Stroke: 162,672
* Chronic lower respiratory diseases: 124,816
* Accidents (unintentional injuries): 106,742
* Diabetes: 73,249
* Influenza/Pneumonia: 65,681
* Alzheimer's disease: 58,866
* Nephritis, nephrotic syndrome, and nephrosis: 40,974
* Septicemia: 33,865
"The Big Book" page 449:I have attended Landmark's Forum and have heard "There is nothing wrong here." I am reading Loving What Is by Byron Katie who says "The only time we suffer is when we believe a thought that argues with what is....All the stress that we feel is caused by arguing with what is."
"And acceptance is the answer to all my problems today. When I am disturbed, it is because I find some person, place, thing, or situation--some fact of my life--unacceptable to me, and I can find no serenity until I accept that person, place, thing, or situationas being exactly the way it is supposed to be at this moment. Nothing, absolutely nothing happens in God's world by mistake. Until I would accept my alcoholism, I could not stay sober; unless I accept life completely on life's terms, I cannot be happy. I need to concentrate not so much on what needs to be changed in the world as on what needs to be changed in me and in my attitudes."
I am not able to practice yet what I've learned. I am not against a woman's right to choose. I just think there is something wrong here!
Monday, November 08, 2004
And Barbara Streisand's web site says this about the recent election where values are said to have prevailed:
"A little patience, and we shall see the reign of witches pass over, their spells dissolve, and the people, recovering their true sight, restore their government to its true principles. It is true that in the meantime we are suffering deeply in spirit, and incurring the horrors of a war and long oppressions of enormous public debt......
If the game runs sometimes against us at home we must have patience till luck turns, and then we shall have an opportunity of winning back the principles we have lost, for this is a game where principles are at stake."
And David Limbaugh quotes Thomas Friedman of the NYT:
"But what troubled me yesterday was my feeling that this election was tipped because of an outpouring of support for George Bush by people who don't just favor different policies than I do -- they favor a whole different kind of America. We don't just disagree on what America should be doing; we disagree on what America is."These may be random gleanings, but they seem to add up to two Americas that are miles apart.
Republic vs Democracy
The Founders understood that Biblical values formed the basis of the republic and that the republic would be destroyed if the people's knowledge of those values should ever be lost.
A republic is the highest form of government devised by man, but it also requires the greatest amount of human care and maintenance. If neglected, it can deteriorate into a variety of lesser forms, including a democracy (a government conducted by popular feeling); anarchy (a system in which each person determines his own rules and standards); oligarchy (a government run by a small council or a group of elite individuals): or dictatorship (a government run by a single individual).
Sunday, November 07, 2004
Back from the Coast...this Sunday
And, the Guardian Unlimited has a story about the new reality show.
In a new Channel 4 reality show on common sex problems, volunteer couples make love on camera while presenter Tracey Cox advises on their performance. Energy, she says, is more important than good looks.Now doesn't that just beat all. When I was growing up, as a male I thought the ideal job would be a gynocologist, or a door to door brassiere salesman. Now I find I could have been a critic, judging couples on their sexual performance.
And, Ragman at Free Republic posts:
Sunday night the 60 Minutes crew corrects last Sunday's story on the under supplied National Guard troops. It states that when they said that other guardsmen were killed by improperly protected vehicles, that they were wrong that the information given them by the guard was incorrect.
I am not making this stuff up. What ever jappened to pruf reeding or fact checking?
In a bombshell development that could have turned President Bush's victory into a landslide had it come out before the election, John Kerry wrote in his Vietnam War diary that he met with "terrorists" in Paris - a revelation that "flabbergasted" his running mate, John Edwards.Where was ABCCBSNBCCNNMSNBCNYTWAPOLAT on this story?
Marines.com has a story about embeds getting cold feet about being with the Marines as they prepare to attack Fallujah.
One photographer, who has prided himself since his arrival here, on being in more than 17 conflicts, says he is more worried about this operation than any before. Because of the tactics the insurgents are using there is much more uncertainty, he explained. He went on to say that he did not expect to have this much access or be this involved with the Marines when he arrived.Say a prayer for peace!
The Jerusalem Post reports that
The BBC has received some 500 complaints about (Barbara) Plett's broadcast, which was broadcast on its Radio 4 program, "From Our Own Correspondent."I have never cried without warning. I can always feel it coming on. First, there's a tightness in my chest, my breathing becomes shallow, my chin starts to quiver, tears well up in my eyes, and then roll down my cheeks. I have gotten mad at stupidity... without warning.
In her report, Plett said: "When the helicopter carrying the frail old man(Arafat) rose above his ruined compound, I started to cry . . . without warning."
Thursday, November 04, 2004
You've got to spread joy up to the maximum...Johnny Mercer
A VALUES DIVIDE. Until Dems come up with a compelling call to modernity, they'll have trouble snagging enough suburban swing voters and urban investors to build an Electoral College majority.I said on November 3rd
It's time for the left to move to the right, to realize that theirs is an old message of the 60's.Hugh Hewitt in the Weekly Standard said
The End of the SixtiesAgain Business Week Online:
More than a win for conservatism, Bush's victory marks the end, finally, of the '60s.
The biggest reason that the coalition won't jell: Democrats must come to grips with the reality that they are increasingly on the losing side of America's cultural divide. In this election, millions of blue-collar economic populists rejected a Massachusetts liberal because they felt he did not share their values on issues ranging from abortion to affirmative action, from guns to gay rights.
More than two-thirds of churchgoing Christians -- including millions who disapproved of the President's handling of the economy and the war in Iraq -- nevertheless voted for Bush. The cultural chasm cost Kerry dearly in states he badly needed to win, such as Missouri, Iowa, and West Virginia.
ATTACKS ON SERVICE. Complicating Democratic comeback efforts is the specter of terrorism. For two elections -- in 2002 and 2004 -- Republicans have successfully used security fears to beat the opposition. The Democratic weak-on-terrorism label is a throwback to the Vietnam era and its aftermath, when the party was tagged as soft on defense.
I am a Republican, why should I care if the Democrats get their act together?. I care because there is no effective rein on Republican's power and I feel the party has moved too far left. There is no spending restraint, there has been no legislation to curb the corruption that gave us Enron and WorldCom. Both parties lie to us about our debt preferring to use Unified Budgets which understate our deficits vs GAAP accounting. We have done a 180 with our currency. The founding fathers warned against a currency that was not backed by silver and gold. Both parties prefer to use government solutions to problems rather than market solutions. IMHO, Roe v Wade will be overturned. Who is talking about the rich going to Sweden and the poor to the alleys?
"The way for us to put together a winning coalition is to talk about big ideas, like Clinton did," says Al From, CEO of the centrist Democratic Leadership Council. "When we break up into constituency groups and try to piece together a coalition, it never works."You want to win the hearts and minds with big ideas? Put the IRS out of business. End the charade and expense of April 15th. Find a solution that is fair and easy. Speaking of "fair". Americans don't want a Progressive Income Tax. Everyone should pay the same percentage and everyone should be encouraged to make as much as possible, legally. Fix Social Security. Why should we pay into a system that is basically a Ponzi scheme and worry about the funds being there at our retirement. You know it's in trouble. There will be in the near future, one worker for every one retiree. Another problem searching for a big idea: we have 11,000,000 illegal aliens in this country! About 1,000,000 illegals come across our borders every year. In the Blue Mountains of Oregon or Highway 26 to the coast signs are posted "Watch for Deer". In San Diego on the freeways are yellow signs showing a Father, Mother and child. The sign warns of illegal aliens crossing the freeways. These people are here seeking a better life. They want to feed their families. You want the Hispanic vote, solve the problem and don't piss off the displaced.
I suspect you are in trouble with blacks and jews. What have you done for them lately? The Republicans could lose the conservatives if they keep finding socialism and big government as a solution. You want back in power? Out Free Market the Republicans, as they have out socialized you and taken your issues. You better get busy, because Bush may outsmart us all by doing away wuth the IRS and privatizing Social Security.
Sen. Dodd, "We Democrats Are out of Touch!"
"Secular socialism, heavy taxes, big spending, weak defense, limitless lawsuits and heavy regulation — that pack of beagles hasn't caught a rabbit in the South or Midwest in years.I have seen a lot of Democratic Blogs this morning asking the question "What went wrong" another said, "I am so tired of losing!" The answer has been there for all of you to see and you refuse to see or listen. A life-long Democrat speaks to the RNC and he is ridiculed by you and the MSM. Another called himself a patriotic American, yet proceeded to trash the man, with the most vile of words, that 59 Million just reelected. Your party has been hijacked by the left.
Even though the Democrats chose the Senate's No. 1 leftist for their presidential nominee, Green Party leader Jo Chamberlain told the San Francisco Chronicle that leftists should now abandon the Democrat party.
"We stepped aside and told the Democrats, 'Go get the White House,' and they failed," she grumbled. "So now, the progressive left is suffering because of their poor planning and leadership."
You are out of touch. Americans don't want to see their flag burned, we get a lump in tour throats when we sing God Bless America, we like to say "Under God" when we salute the flag. We are tired of your constant class warfare (we all want to be rich), we want to be left alone to conduct our business. We are tired of the tax mess. The tax code is out of control and a symptom of big government. We are tired of being surprised by our CPA days before April 15th. We are tired of hyphenated Americans. We are the most generous nation in the world. We will go anywhere and give of what we have to help another country in distress. We are tired of you always hearing it's America's fault.
I notice that many of the liberal blogs link to the New York Times, The LA Times, The Washington Post. Try weaning yourself from the MSM, NPR, Air America, CNN, CBS, NBC, ABC, and PBS. Try listening to the Swift Boat Vets instead of Michael Moore. Try enjoying art and stop listening to the artists.
I know this will set you off, but listen to Rush Limbaugh. Sure he is full of himself, ignore it. He tried to tell you what was wrong with your campaign and message. My God, it was free consultation. He can tell how you will react to almost any news story, because you are so out of touch. Try listening to Pat Caddell.
Someone posted this morning "we need to broaden our party". You are losing your base. Blacks don't like your gay marriage bias. Jews don't like your appeasement and accomodation. People of faith don't like taking God out of anything. Women don't like you demeaning the value of being a Mom. Men who fought for this country know what aid and comfort is, and you have lost all their votes.
Wednesday, November 03, 2004
3:30 PM Mover Mike
Carl Limbacher at NewsMax
Catholics Put Bush Over the Top in Key States
I want to say hello to my daughter Erica, who is visiting froends in Saarbrücken. She is staying up late to watch the returns come in starting at 2:00 AM when east coast returns start coming in. She says, "Europe for Kerry." I have to wonder how long Europe will be anti-Bush when I see news like this:
Theo van Gogh, who angered Muslims with a film that said Islam encouraged violence against women, was shot dead on Tuesday. A man with Dutch and Moroccan nationality was arrested for the killing, and suspected of Islamic extremist motives.then there's Beslan and the bombing in Spain.
Just saw Lanny Davis on FOX talking about the results of the election and the deep differences between the red and blue states. He appeared tired and on the verge of tears. He opined that Bush was a decent man who in the early days of his first term reached across the aisle to the "Ted Kennedys", to the center. "A party must govern from the center", he said., (As if the Democrats occupy the center! That's the reason for the bias in the media. They think they are mainstream.) Then Bush moved right and that caused the problems. He hoped in order to heal the differences, Bush must move back to the center. What BS!
It's always the Republicans that are required to move left, compromise. It's time for the left to move to the right, to realize that theirs is an old message of the 60's. We have become people who are very invested in our attitudes and opinions and there is no compromise. You either join us or get out of the way.
Tuesday, November 02, 2004
Some Thoughts Regarding the Election
I watched FOX for most of the evening tonight and I thought they kept track of the EV votes so that Bush only trailed once early on. It seemed they had learned something from Bush-Gore, and were very conservative in announcing a state going one way or the other. I thought they were more conservative calling states for Bush than for Kerry; requiring greater evidence of a win. The vote for Bush seemed impressive generally 55-45%, except for the national vote.
I predicted that all ballot measures amending constitutions to ban gay marriage would pass. I was right and it appears those people voted for Bush. I think Bush did a very good job, this time, motivating the evangelical or "Born-Again" vote. It didn't hurt him to be criticised for being too religious. The two blue states that had a gay-marriage ballot ban were Oregon and Michigan. Here, their votes didn't carry the states. In a way that's interesting. Oregon went against its liberal tendencies to vote a gay-marriage ban. Could this be a backlash against the way the Multnomah commissioners handled themselves?
Not much has changed in four years, we remain divided between the coasts and fly-over country. I think attitudes have hardened. There seems to be no way to bridge the gap between Bush and Kerry voters.
Going forward, I would say that Bush needs to convince Americans that we are at war. There is a disconnect between what we see on TV and what we see moving about our city.
Bush needs to tackle again the issue of the draft. Many people remain convinced and worried that their children will be drafted to serve in a widening war. How do we fight Iran and N Korea with the troop levels we have?
Bush needs to educate the nation about economics. He needs to teach us about our options with Social Security. We have four(4)options: Raise the eligability age, decrease benefits, raise the social security tax rate OR privatise social security.
He needs to let people know that we cannot continue to run huge trade deficits, spend more money than we earn, and continue on our debt binge.
I am happy Bush won. If you are a Kerry supporter, I feel badly for you, but relieved. I know you feel strongly about issues. The country, I suspect, has changed since the 60's and you need to move toward the center and be part of the solution to some very tough problems.
Promises, Promises, Promises
"If Bush is re-elected - but I don't want to even consider the thought for one second - I really have to think about living somewhere else," Flynt said early Monday in a strip club on the Champs Elysees in Paris where he was celebrating his 62nd birthday.Posted on 11/02/2004 6:16:23 AM PST by Ginifer at Free Republic
Here are a couple of new prospective emmigrants:
Catherine Elsworth of The Daily Telegraph reports:
Some left-leaning Californians say they would rather leave the United States -- and go to Canada or elsewhere -- than stay with George W. Bush as president.''I certainly don't love the climate of Vancouver, but I love the sanity,'' said Steve Crawford, 54, a singer and actor working as a volunteer at the Democratic Party offices in Santa Monica. He and his wife, Karen, have been investigating selling their home in Pacific Palisades, an upmarket area close to the coast, and moving to Canada.The total is seven(7). That's a good start and the polls aren't even closed
''I have a good friend who is adamant he will leave if Bush is re-elected. He's picked two countries and will definitely go to one should this happen.''
''Do you think Great Britain would give us political asylum?'' a woman in Starbucks asked. ''It's just ... I don't think I can stay if Bush wins again.''
Gretchen Witte, 35, from Alhambra, east of Los Angeles, who runs her own Internet business, is making plans to move to London, where she previously lived for eight years, should Mr. Bush win.
Voluntary exile as a political statement is nothing new. Democrat-supporting celebrities have a habit of making (usually empty) threats to leave should the election not go their way. Robert Redford, a vocal critic of Mr. Bush's policies, was reported this month to have vowed to move to Ireland, where he owns homes near Dublin, if Mr. Bush is re-elected.
Mover Mike 10:21 AM
Monday, November 01, 2004
Who Thought This Scheme UP?
The paper describes how
In Spring of 2003 Ken Pedeleose, an analyst at the Pentagon department intended to control program costs at federal contractors, was startled to find that the overhead costs of virtually every airplane that Lockheed Martin sold the U.S. Air Force would soon be skyrocketing in price. Pedeleose had personally researched the massive cost increases on the C-130J transport, which would go up from $1.193 billion in 2003 to $8.352 billion by 2006. Documents widely circulated by others in the Pentagon showed that costs for the F-16 program would jump from $3.49 billion in 2004 to $6.66 billion in 2005 and then on to $14.84 billion the next year. The F/A-22, F-117, and many other programs showed similar vaults in costs.The question is, why would an established program show an increase in costs, assuming there is no major increase in the number of planes built? Shouldn't there be a learning curve, meaning the more planes built, the cheaper the cost per plane?
In a 23 June 2003 letter to the Chairman of the U.S. Senate Finance Committee, Charles Grassley, Pedeleose gave the reason: Lockheed Martin “has to make up hundreds of millions of dollars in their pension funds that were invested in the stock market.”Lockheed Martin and other federal contractors literally operate under a law unto themselves, known as U.S. Government Cost Accounting Standards.
“The total funding requirement for our pension plans under U.S. Government Cost Accounting Standards (CAS) in 2002 was $87 million. CAS is a major factor in determining our funding requirements and governs the extent to which our pension costs are allocable to and recoverable under contracts with the U.S. Government. For 2003, we expect our funding requirements under CAS to increase substantially. This amount is recovered over time through the pricing of our products and services on U.S. Government contracts, and therefore is recognized in our net sales.”
The last sentence is particularly interesting. It means if Lockheed Martin loses pension fund money on the stock market, the company ultimately increases the size of its revenue by adding the losses onto its prices to the federal government.(Emphasis added)
From the 3rd Quarter 2004 Lockheed Martin Quarterly Report
The outlook for 2005 operating profit and earnings per share assume that the Corporation's 2005 FAS/CAS adjustment will be within a range of ($550) to ($300) million.Why appalling? It means that a recession generally brings about lower stock prices. Not only does the budget deficit swell for safety net expenditures, like welfare and unemployment insurance, and less revenues coming in, but now we have to make up the pension losses of our contractors doing business with the Federal Government through higher expenditures for defense, for example. It also means if losses can be recouped from the taxpayer, then you can relax your risk standards. Haven't we already been through this with the Savings and Loans? BTW, I know of people at PGE/Enron that lost their whole retirement accounts in the bankruptcy. Did they get reimbursed by the taxpayers? And this was a case of fraud! One group of citizens should not be made whole at the expense of others.
The Remarkable Tom Wolfe
The novel - researched, as usual, down to the last expletive - concerns a young world speaking "fuck patois", loaded with creatine and cocaine, numbed by PlayStation 3, and charged by alcohol, the "vile spleen" of rap and, above all, ubiquitous sex between the heirs and heiresses to privilege in America.In the article he talks about being at dinner parties of the Eastern Intelligentsia, where to like Bush is to be alone. He has never witnessed any president so reviled by this group. And yet, he believes that if he were to sit down to dinner with a group of people in one of the "red states" in this country that the unanimity of opinion would be the same For Bush as Against him in the East.
What is memorable to me are the high intensity discussions of politics at dinners here in the Northwest and how unremarkable are those dinners where all agree. I will never forget the outrage I felt and the arguments that came, when at one dinner, one of the guests said, "Clinton will go down in history as one of our greatest presidents!" My dinner almost came up with the red in my face!
Tom Wolfe says
"I do think," he admits, apparently speaking for himself, his country and his president, "that if you are not having a fight with somebody, then you are not sure whether you are alive when you wake up in the morning."Mover Mike
Russia, Iran Gold Dinar, and the US Dollar
Militarily back then the Soviet Union was a formidable foe with an impressive arsenal. Its Achilles heel, however, was its economy which was completely dependent on rising commodity prices such as oil, gold, platinum, palladium, etc. to attract foreign capital. Booming commodity prices allowed the Soviet Union the luxury of funding its military sector and made it possible for the inefficiencies of communism to somehow be ignored. The Soviet Union, however, was deeply in debt and thus in a vulnerable position with its economy susceptible to falling commodity prices.How do you confront the US which has the most powerful military the world has ever seen.
By systematically raising short term interest rates and forcing the U.S. economy into a slowdown, Volcker managed to bring down the price of commodities across the board starving the Soviet Union of much needed revenue. The result was that they were forced to the peace table and the rest is history.
Today it is the U.S. that has the unenviable position of being the chief "beggar" nation among the industrialized powers. We have no savings pool and are hopelessly addicted to foreign inflows of capital. Rising commodity prices have fattened Russia's reserve position as they reap the benefits of rising oil prices and now it is their currency which is in demand while the dollar is being spurned.The one advantage we have currently, we pay for our oil and imports in US Dollars.
Those from the East and Middle East realize that the method for challenging U.S. hegemony is to attack the dollar. That is the rationale behind the development of the gold dinar...in Iran. ...Russia under Putin has close ties with Iran.