Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Bad News for Google

This is quite an announcement by their CFO.

"Most of what is left is just organic growth," Reyes said on a Webcast from the Merrill Lynch Internet Advertising conference in New York.

"Clearly our growth rates are slowing. We see that each and every quarter," he said. "We are going to have to find new ways to monetize the business."

I like that candor but it really torpedoed the stock. Lots of high hopes were rolled up into that 72 trailing P/E. I think Google should take a page out of Yahoo's book and start selling services on their site. Maybe a Google dating service with the robust searching of their technology allowing people to find a mate. Or sell some java games or something. Hmm, or maybe a buyout offer for Yahoo? That would make an Internet colossus that would make MSFT quake in their boots.

Barry Bonds shows his Scary Feminine Side?

Oh crap, this is a side of Barry Bonds I don't want to see. At least he is loosening up the club house or something like that. And the sad part is they raised only $337 from it.

Interesting Thoughts on First Hour of Trading

Hmm this would be an interesting research project to carry out.

Of course, a 36 session sample is not much to go on. Prodded by my reader's inquiry, I went back to January, 2004 (N = 543 trading days) and examined the number of occasions in which the day's high or low was registered in the first hour. It turns out that we saw daily highs in the first hour on 177 occasions and daily lows in the first hour on 179 occasions. All in all, we saw either a daily high or low in the first hour about two-thirds of the time. It's not quite the 71% quoted by my reader's source, but it's not far from it.

That seems to be something you can trade on for sure. A 75% chance of something happening in the market seems like great odds to me.

Monday, February 27, 2006

New York Times goes after the Pentagon

Looks like the NYT is getting a little froggy here.

The New York Times sued the U.S. Defense Department on Monday demanding that it hand over documents about the National Security Agency's domestic spying program.

The Times wants a list of documents including all internal memos and e-mails about the program of monitoring phone calls without court approval. It also seeks the names of the people or groups identified by it.

I have a feeling that the editors and the reporters there had better have some really clean slates. If they have any skeletons in the closet, secret affairs, or weird associations the NSA might dig it up and give it to the Daily News. And shouldn't this be Congress' job in the first place?

Friday, February 24, 2006

al-Quida admits to attack on Saudi Refinery

It looks like its the usual suspects again. This looks like the second shot in a long term war against Saudi oil infrastructure. This was the first shot:

In May 2004, attackers stormed the offices of a Houston-based oil company in the western Saudi oil hub of Yanbu in fighting that killed six Westerners, a Saudi and the militants. Several weeks later, al-Qaida-linked gunmen stormed oil company compounds in Khobar, on the eastern coast, and took hostages in a siege that killed 22 people, 19 of them foreigners.

This would be an interesting turn of events. Al-Quida really can't get at US as easily as they could before 9/11. They killed some people in the Britain attacks but it looks like the Brits are clamping down their security too.

If they drive up the price for oil then they could cause an economic destabilization of the West. $100 oil will *really* put a dent into spending and some economists have said it will toss us into a recession. Perhaps this destabilization could hurt King Fahds government so badly they could try for some kind of coup de tat and take over Saudi Arabia? Maybe that is too James Bond villian a plan though. Probably al-Quida just bought a mess of oil futures and want to artificially drive up their price.

Dubai Ports World Gives Congress more time

It looks like they are delaying the deal so we can get the lawmakers to shut their yappers. I still can't believe that all this fuss is being made over a legitimate forgien power taking over another company. They happen to be our ally in the war on terror. This isn't the Red Chinese or North Korea or something.

Domenici crystalizes my thoughts on this whole mess:

Sen. Pete Domenici R-N.M., said much of the criticism has an anti-Arab bias.

"We are at war against terrorists, not any religion or ethnicity. Some politicians seem to have forgotten that. ... Such alarm, verging almost on hysteria, harms our efforts to have the broadest coalition possible against worldwide terrorism," Domenici said.

Exactly, if we treat our friends this way we won't have many more left. Some of the statements are even getting into the moonbat territory:

"The fact that you are putting a company in place that could already be infiltrated by al-Qaida is a silly thing to do," said Mike Scheuer, who headed the CIA unit until 1999.

Yup this company is positivly infested with al-Qaida operatives! Shouldn't the CIA have vetted this company already? And if they didn't, can't they start the process now? Even if the deal is in place they can still check this company out. Or are we just going to let this company run wild while the CIA, Homeland Defence, and the Coast Guard just stands around? I have to go back to what my Dad used when he used to work for the Army. "Trust but Verify!"

Commodities Exposure?

Seems like an easy way to get some diversification if you want to trade commodities without losing your shirt.

On Jan. 27, an easily accessible exchange-traded product from Deutsche Bank called the DB Commodity Index Tracking Fund will be listed on the American Stock Exchange under the ticker DBC.

However, its composition will be much narrower than the Rogers product, with exposure to only six commodities. It will have 35% in light sweet crude, 20% in heating oil, 12.5% in aluminum, 11.25% in corn, 11.25% in wheat and 10% in gold.

However this ETF from our friends at iShares looks even better when it comes out:

iShares will have its own commodities ETF soon and that may end up being a better way to go, given the narrow scope of the Deutsche Bank fund.

Maybe with this ETF you too can feel like Mortimer and Randolph Duke from Trading Places and trade in Frozen Concentrated Orange Juice (FCOJ) futures.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Violence gets crazy after Askariya Shrine bombing

Things seem to be getting dicey in Iraq over the Askariya shrine Bombing.

The hardline Sunni Clerical Association of Muslim Scholars said 168 Sunni mosques had been attacked around the country, 10 imams killed and 15 abducted since the shrine attack. The Interior Ministry said it could only confirm figures for Baghdad, where it had reports of 19 mosques attacked, one cleric killed and one abducted.

Shiites have a right to be mad but of course not violent about it. This Mosque was 1200 years old and was one of the great cultural and artistic achievements of the Muslim world. And scumbags from al-Quida blew it up. This should show in no uncertain terms that al-Quida has nothing to do with religion and only want to spread death and destruction to everyone. Here is a before and after shot taken by the AP:

I think the US should pledge a certain amount of gold or building experts or something to help the Shiites rebuild the place. In other words we should be seen as the rebuilders while al-Quida is seen as the destroyers of Islamic treasures.

I agree with Bush on Portgate

This statement says it all:

The president said he was struck by the fact that people were not concerned about port security when a British company was running the port operation, but they felt differently about an Arab company at the helm. He said the United Arab Emirates was a valuable partner in the war in terror.

Yup, this is more disrespect from the West toward Muslims. These aren't the funamentalist blow-up-Israel-Death-to-America Muslims either. This is a country that is an ally in the War on Terror and has allowed our military ships to land in their port all through the Iraq War.

A British company can go ahead and run those ports without a peep but the second a moderate Muslim state takes control of them all sorts of alarm bells are ringing. If we are going to trust these guys with the lives of our sailors and servicemen landing at their ports we should trust them when they are running the day-to-day activity in ours. The Coast Guard is still on Security duty there.

We need to back these good-guy moderate Muslim States. If we can't trust them then it is true that our only friend in that whole region is Israel. And we will deserve the cold shoulder and the lack of help in the War on Terror that these moderates will be giving us.

UAE Portgate a Big Joke

Now isn't this some stupid statements from Dems on this whole mess.

Brushing aside Bush's assurances, Sen. Carl Levin of Michigan, the panel's ranking Democrat, said the UAE backed the Taliban and allowed financial support for al-Qaida. Levin also charged that the UAE has an "uneven history" as "one of only a handful of countries in the world to recognize the Taliban regime in Afghanistan." He added that millions of dollars in al-Qaida funds went through UAE financial institutions.

Does Levin even know who the other two nations that backed the Taliban? Or did he not get briefed on that info on his march to Get-Bush. The other two nations were Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. Yup, both staunch allies in the War on Terror. But Levin throws that around like some sort of indictment. Also perhaps billions of dollars went through Saudi financial institutions and came from Saudi's themselves to fund al-Quida. So are we going to boycott their oil? This is an even more muddle headed statement from you guessed it:

Sen. Hillary Rodham, D-N.Y., also was critical, calling the approval process "a failure of judgment" because officials "did not alert the president, the secretary of the treasury and the secretary of defense" that several of our critical ports would be turned over to foreign country.

Um, they were already turned over to a foreign country if you missed that briefing while getting ready for your presidential run. The country that ran those ports in the first place was a British company. Yes Hillary, Britian is not part of this country. Perhaps she needs to go take a Geography course at the Learning Annex.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Buy A Hybrid it's Your Patriotic Duty?

I was watching a GE commercial about Alternate Fuels this past weekend and I was struck by the people they used in their commercial. Of course they used these hipster doofuses with soul patches touting "like-Yellow Fuels-dude."

These are the kind of folk that smell of patchouli, are militant Vegans, and like to wave placards that read "Good Soldiers Kill their Officers" at Anti-Bush rallies. In other words fringe elements that the majority of Americans have learned to tune out. I think this is the wrong way for GE to go when it comes to green fuels. These fringe weirdos are already in your camp and using them to push your product hurts your cause. They need to go after the bulk of America with a line like "Green Fuels Means a Safer America."

They need to push the fact that buying Green Fuels means less oil money to fund terror or build Iranian nukes. So it will be your patriotic duty to buy a Hybrid car or fill up your tank with corn and switchgrass. That way we can turn the debate from Green Fuels means a happy world or some other easily tuned out stuff to Green Fuels means safety for America. If they push that safety and patriotism line the thinking will change when it comes to this stuff. This should be Toyotas new sales slogan:

Radioshack's CEO, David Edmondson is out

Well at least he saved the company some trouble by bowing out gracefully. Now the next person, Claire Babrowski got some real work to do. I wonder is she can get the company back on track. Could be a decent turn around play depending on the steps she takes.

I was listening to Squawk Box last night and Carl Quintanilla brought up a great point about Radio Shack. He said that in this Wireless Age the word Radio really doesn't help you sell products. It sounds like the kind of place you want to come to buy a Philco radio to listen to Uncle Miltie on.

Plus you probably won't want to buy high-end electronics from a Shack. It always sounded to me like they are selling you stuff that fell off of the back of a truck. Or it was like a fence or a pawnshop or something. Actually this chart tells to whole tale of Radio Shack:

Bush the Environmentalist?

Wow he sounds like a downright tree hugger with some of the things he is saying now.

There is technology available now, there is the know-how now," Larney said. "What is lacking is leadership on the large scale at the national level."

The White House says Bush is providing that leadership. They say he wants to invest more in zero-emission, coal-fired plants, as well as support solar and wind research, promote cars that run on hydrogen, encourage more nuclear power plant construction and fund work to produce ethanol — not just from corn, but from wood chips and switch grass.

Of course the Libs are seeing shady, ulterior motives to Bush's evironmental push.

Clapp claims the president is promoting renewables because polls show his job approval numbers are being weighed down by Americans' concerns about high utility bills this winter and the cost of gasoline at the pump.

Or course this guy fails to see the real reason why Bush is behind this stuff. He said in no uncertain terms in his State of the Union that he is doing it for national security. We keep getting our energy from unfriendly nations. The moment that environmentalists get wise to this fact the sooner they will be accepted by regular Americans. Oil money goes to fund Jihaddis. Green fuel money goes to fund farmers in the Midwest. It is just that simple.

Japanese Housewives Love to Save

I guess there is a bonus to running the family finances in Japan.

About 46 percent of housewives said they had secret funds, with the sum averaging 2.41 million yen (20,000 dollars), according to a survey of 500 wives in salary-earning households by Sompo Japan DIY Life Insurance.

The hidden savings seem to be accumulating with time, as the average sum was four million yen for housewives in their 50s, nearly three times as much as the 1.46 million yen for those in their 20s.

However Japanese men are only socking a little bit away:

On the other hand, 76 percent of the women believe their husbands keep no such secret money.
Even those who suspect their husbands have funds they don't know about estimate the sum at a modest 364,000 yen.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Radio Shack's Big Mess

They are going to shutter 700 stores and their CEO lied on his resume?

Fourth-quarter earnings fell to $49.5 million, or 36 cents per share, from $130.9 million, or 81 cents per share, a year earlier.

According to Reuters Estimates, excluding 22 cents per share for the inventory write-down and a 2-cent charge for an accounting change, profit would have been 60 cents, which compares with the analysts' average forecast of 66 cents.

Sales rose 5 percent to $1.67 billion, compared with analysts' target of $1.62 billion.

I guess that sales figure was fairly decent though. That 22 cents is a one time deal but missing by 6 cents is big. I guess closing those stores should help the bottom line but I think Radio Shack is just getting their asses beat by the big box electronics retailers. Best Buy and Circuit City both had pretty good quarters but still Radio Shack misses by 6 cents.

This could be a decent short candidate simply because of the CEO controversy. It may get a bump if they fire him though. The new guy they pick needs to be good at a turn around play that will compete with some powerful competitors or we might see Radio Shack shutter more then 700 stores. If they keep the lying CEO Edmondson then all bets are off. Could we see a KKD style implosion of the stock?

US Asks for Aid back from Palestinians

I hope other countries follow our lead.

The money was demanded as part of a full review of all U.S. aid for the Palestinians that began soon after the militant group Hamas' surprise victory in elections last month. A Hamas-led parliament was set to be sworn in on Saturday but it could take several weeks for a Cabinet to be formed.

My tax money better not be funding bomb belts for hapless Palestinian youths. Maybe Bush should use the carrot on this thing though.

For a Hamas government to get direct aid, it would have to renounce violence, recognize Israel, disarm militias and agree to past Israeli-Palestinian agreements.

Why don't we increase aid 10 fold if Hamas does agree to do these things. Kind of like we did with Libya. It probably won't work though. Violence is too deeply ingrained in Hamas for them to take these steps willingly.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Somewhere over the Rainbow...

Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades hides! I wonder if these guys will be getting 100 male virgins?

Israel to seal up Gaza

It seems the Palestinians are going one step forward and two steps back all the time. At least Abbas is kind of putting Hamas' feet to the fire though.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, meanwhile, will demand that Hamas publicly accept his goal of reaching a peace deal with Israel and recognize past agreements with the Jewish state, officials said. Aides to Abbas declined to say what steps he would take if Hamas rejects his demands.

Notice he doesn't say anything about having Hamas keep that little trifle about destroying Israel out of their charter. And this article goes on to blast the Israelis:

Israel will immediately bar laborers from Gaza from entering Israel, stripping about 4,000 Palestinian families of their main source of income, and halt the movement of Palestinian officials between the West and Gaza, security officials said.

Israel will consider tougher economic sanctions later, including restricting Palestinian exports, the officials said. Barring access to Israel would be devastating for Gaza. The Israeli market is the largest for the impoverished coastal strip, and most of Gaza's exports go through Israeli ports.

Um, Israel doesn't have to be hard-line if Hamas would recognize Israel's right to exist and not want to see them wiped off the map. It looks like we are going to see a return to the poor-Palestine and mean-bully-Israel mentality in the AP. It is Hamas that should be the bad guy until they step forward and take the reigns of state. Israel seems to be just trying to protect themselves from getting blown up again.

Iran Renames the Danish

More crazy stuff from the Mad Mullahs of Iran.

"Given the insults by Danish newspapers against the prophet, as of now the name of Danish pastries will give way to 'Rose of Muhammad' pastries," the union said in its order.

So I guess they will be called RoMs for short. This is as stupid as renaming french fries to freedom fries that went on a few years ago. If Iran truely wants to hurt Denmark then cut off all oil exports to the EU. World markets will surely feel the wrath of Iran then.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

HP beats the Street

Wow these are some great numbers and they raised next quarters earnings expectations as well:

For the current quarter, HP said it expects a per-share profit before items of 47 cents to 49 cents per share on revenue of $22.4 billion to $22.6 billion.

On that basis, analysts expect a profit of 45 cents per share, on average, within a range of 42 cents to 49 cents per share, on revenue of $22.6 billion.

They also grew every revenue catagory in the company. It looks like CEO Mark Hurd is lightyears better then Carly Fiorina

Monday, February 13, 2006

Fox's Bulls & Bears: Ethanol Talk

This Fox show is normally a weird-assed screamfest with a bunch of money managers all talking at the same time. Last night I was able to cut through all the garble to notice that they mentioned Ethanol stocks. I think it was Mike Norman who picked Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) as his long term stock play simply because of their tie to Ethanol. It was kind of like they were on the same wavelength as me when it came to how green fuels can increase the gains in your portfolio.

I think it was Tobin Smith who mentioned that another stock that I have been doing research on PACIFIC ETHANOL (PEIX) He said it was a pure play that was poised to do well in the space. I think it could be an interesting take over target for Big Oil or even ADM depending on what direction they are going.

If it doesn't get taken over it could be a great growth story. They are building several ethanol plants in California so the transportation costs won't be as high to move the raw materials to the refinery. It is kind of like the Brazillian company Companhia Vale do Rio Doce's steel mill which is right next to their iron mines. Plus California already mandates that a certain amount of ethanol must be added to gas. This article also mentions PEIX as well.

Muhammad Bomb Head Mess - Lack of Respect

The Danish are really feeling the heat of this thing with the PM saying that they are unfairly portrayed as intolerant. It is a very interesting clash of two cultures here. We have on one hand the highly secularized Europe who looks at making fun of the top dog in a religion as nothing more then a free speech issue. On the other hand we have the highly religious Middle East who feel that their Prophet is being attacked by Denmark who isn't even one of their traditional enemies.

I have a feeling that the Danish certainly weren't prepared for the backlash of just printing a few cartoons would cause. They are looking at it with secular eyes where all things are fair game for ridicule and lampooning. This shows the lack of respect the secular West has for the Muslims and their beliefs. They can go ahead and make fun of Muhammad and Muslims have to just sit there and take it since the West is operating under the auspices of "free speech."

The far left shows this lack of respect whenever they talk about pulling the troops out of Iraq willy-nilly without any rhyme or reason. They all know that Iraq will fall to pieces and many Muslims will be slaughtered in the ensuing civil war. They don't care about that because a civil war will win them Senate/House seats and possibly hurt Bush. They don't have enough respect for the Muslims in Iraq to see them through to a prosperous future. In their eyes our soldiers aren't worth dying so Muslims can be freed.

You even see this lack of respect whenever you see someone saying that Western style democracy cannot flourish in the Middle East. Some liberals view Muslims as too corrupt, backward, or ignorant to understand democracy. They even seem to dislike how democracy is flourishing in the Middle East since it is helping Bush build a legacy.

One thing that I found interesting is that it might have been easier for the Muslim world if these cartoons were first printed in the New York Times or in Haaretz. It is more hate from the same sources. The idea that all this disrespect came from the supposedly tolerant Europe must really feel like a slap in the face. This is the same Europe that sided with Palestine when their suicide bombers were slaughtering innocent Israelis. They sided with Saddam against the US. They even have some of the largest concentrations of Muslims living within them outside of the Middle East. So now the Muslim world might perceive that they have no real friends to turn to anymore.

This is much closer Ahmadinejad

Just keep that hand strait out and you've got it.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Thoughts on Green Fuels - the Countries

Here you will really see a big changeover and you might even see some historical things going down. You will see major changes in different parts of the world for sure.

There is so much potential arable land in Africa and South America that could produce the raw materials for green fuels it is scary. Much of that land seems untouched because there is no oil or other raw materials buried beneath them. However that land suddenly becomes very valuable once they start growing corn and green fuel refineries start to sprout up right next to them.

In the past there were only altruistic reasons to help turn crap land into farm land. Now there will be an actual financial incentive involved. The more and better corn you grow the greater the amount of money you will make. Scientists would work to turn scrub land into agricultural land. It will be like oil exploration projects but with less work and geologists involved. They would also have to work on making the stalks yield more corn and having that corn create more energy per bushel. Could super-corn be on the way?

The Middle East will probably cease to be a world-wide concern I think. Crazy fundamentalists backed by Iranian and Saudi oil money will go the way of the anarchist bomb thrower or the Communist nationalist. Something that was a concern way back when but not so much in the future. Now every nation (that has enough arable land) would be able to generate their own energy right out of the ground. Corn won't be only used to feed hungry people but to run their cars as well. The source of the worlds energy will go from being controlled by people that hate us to being available to any nation that has a lot of land.

Of course the only way this could come about is if oil prices get so high that green fuels will not only look attractive but be the cheaper alternative. I will bet any money that the Saudis and other oil controlling nations will do anything they can to squelch this whole deal though. The wealth and importance of their kingdom is at stake.

So they wouldn't be adverse to start pushing down prices by any means necessary to get oil to look more attractive then green fuels. This could be good for consumers and might be bad for the oil majors depending on what they are going to do in response.

Would the Saudis kill to see that green fuels will always be a pipe dream of environmental types? Probably not, but the Iranians and the Venezuelans might depending on how much green fuels cut into their money and influence. Whatever the case it sure will be nice to fill up your gas tank and know for a fact that the money that you used didn't pay for a bomb belt for some hapless Palestinian kid.

Thoughts Green Fuels - Oil Majors

Ever since I was doing research on Ethanol and Methanol being used to replace oil to run cars I have been thinking about the impact of what it all means.

Right now there is an entire oil infrastructure in place to get the oil out of the ground. They already have integrated suppliers who pump the oil out of the ground. They have suppliers who sell drill bits, slurry pumper dealies, and other stuff that only an oil man can understand the use for. They also have transporters that either move the oil by pipeline or by tanker. Finally, they have refiners that turn the oil into gasoline and other things. So basically this infrastructure takes up nearly 10% of the S&P 500. 3% of it is Exxon Mobil alone.

All of this infrastructure will be at risk by the move from oil to green fuels. That means 100,000s of jobs, billions in capital, and 10% of the market will all be affected by the changeover. So I was thinking what could the oil majors do to counter this.

1. They could lower the price of oil to compete with green fuels. Why would you pay double to fill up your car with green fuels when you can just use the same old amber fuels? They are already making record profits so if oil dropped down to $30 a barrel again green fuels again look like big losers.

2. They could buy out ADM and other big agribusiness concerns with the record cash hordes that many oil majors have. So Exxon will go from pumping oil out of the ground to growing corn in the ground and shipping them to green fuel plants. This move will kill off tankers, oil service, and oil explorers. But the big oil majors might survive.

3. They could do nothing and become the next airline industry. Lots of top-heavy, bankrupt concerns that cannot compete with nimble and newer arrivals. However they will have lots of cash and political clout left so they can still effect the picture some.

Basically it comes down to the oil majors embracing change or fighting like mad to keep the change from happening. Will they buy ADM out simply to gut the company's ethanol production? Or will they resort to buying off major green fuel scientists to stifle innovation?
It will be interesting to see since supposedly we will reducing our dependence by 75% by 2025. Something is going to happen here before too long.

Yield Curve Inversion Different this time?

Hmm, it seems that even John Snow is saying that this inversion is different.

But government officials, including Treasury Secretary John Snow and former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan, have insisted that the inversion now reflects boisterous global appetite for U.S. assets, rather than deteriorating U.S. economic fundamentals.

New Fed chief Ben Bernanke attributes the inversion to a global savings glut that has sent unprecedented flows of capital from all over the world to U.S. Treasurys.

I guess that is good news if those foreign investors keep buying the debt. It seems that economists are all over the page on this issue though. With some thinking the FED has raised rates too much and others saying it is not enough. We won't be able to tell until we get a recession though.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Ethanol Good for your portfolio?

Seems like a good idea to me. These company's could become the Exxon of an economy independent of foreign oil. I like Archer Daniels Midland myself because they are so big and can afford to put the research dollars into ethanol. They also have the expertise in moving and finishing the soybeans, corn, and sugar that it will take to make ethanol.

Still ethanol isn't cost effective and relies on government subsidies. However if Iran gets sanctioned, oil will go through the roof and powering your car with corn stalks and things will start to sound like a good idea. Here is their webpage. Those school lunches look unappetizing though.

US Senators to Revoke Normalized China Trade?

Now this is a true bone headed move.

U.S. Sens. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., and Byron Dorgan, D-N.D., announced legislation Thursday that would revoke normal trade relations with China.

Under the legislation, Congress would have to vote annually to grant China normal trade relations with the U.S.

So they will be using this as some sort of club to punish China. So the trade deficit is too big then we punish them stopping trade to them. Or lets say they aren't paying workers enough. So would US steelmakers not ship to them? It is idiotic protectionist crapola.

This would first hurt US consumers who get their cheap stuff from Wal-Mart made in China. That is almost like an inflation buster in itself. People pay less for everyday stuff and they could then use that money for investing, retirement, health care, or some other thing.

We would also close off one of the biggest markets in the world from buying out goods as well. They still need the steel, cars, technology and other stuff we currently produce and will go to another source to buy them. Basically we will let our competitors get unfettered access to their market while we stand on the sidelines and watch them to save a few lousy manufacturing jobs? That is why Senators shouldn't have anything to do with trade.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Jyllands-Posten Hypocritical; Well not Really

Ah the title of this article does not correctly tell us what is being said in it. Taken how it is it looks like the Danish paper hated Mohammed on one hand but protects Jesus on the other.

"Danish paper refused "offensive" Jesus cartoons"

Yup showing Jesus is offensive but Mohammed with a bomb on his head is not so much. But if you read down the article should be titled "Danish paper refused silly Jesus cartoons"

Jens Kaiser, the former editor of Jyllands-Posten's Sunday edition who turned down the cartoons three years ago, said he had done so because they were no good.

"Having seen the cartoons, I found that they were not very good. I failed to see the purportedly provocative nature," he said in a statement.

"My fault is that I didn't tell him what I really meant: The cartoons were bad." Kaiser said he told Zieler he had not used the cartoons because they were offensive to some readers.

Zieler's five colored cartoons portrayed Jesus jumping out of holes in floors and walls during his resurrection. In one, gnomes rated Jesus for style, another entitled "Saviour-cam" showed Jesus with a camera on his head staring at his feet.

Hmm, I wonder if the media is trying to stoke the fires of controversy here?

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Johansson, Knightley Bare it all for Vanity Fair

They sure are some pale girls. I think Tom Ford needs to let them get some sun and then do the shoot again. Also Keira has a really weird look on her face. Maybe Ford is telling her something that is making her queasy.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Bomb-Head Mohammed claims first Lives

I wonder if the Danish newspaper is rethinking their editorial policy now that we have some people killed over this thing. As you know it's all fun and games until someone gets killed.

Afghan troops opened fire on demonstrators Monday, leaving at least four people dead, while Iranian police used tear gas to disperse hundreds of protesters hurling stones and firebombs at the Danish Embassy in Tehran as anger mounted over the publication of caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad.

Yup words and cartoons do have the power to kill people still. I am just glad a US newspaper doesn't reprint that stuff and throw us deeper into the anti-Western crucible.

Sheehan Loves her some Chavez

Now she is really getting out of hand by giving the thumbs up to a person like Chavez. I really think she is hurting the cause of the Peace Party with this kind of behavior. Coddling socialist dictators and admirers of Castro like this really hurts her cause.

The Peace Party simply needs to give the rest of America a cogent plan for getting out of Iraq without having that country descend into civil war. Also if that withdraw plan could look like something other then the insurgents winning and driving us out of the country then let us know that as well. But cutting and running *will* doom Iraqis to a civil war and the possible breakup of the country. I have a feeling that Chavez won't be giving her any good advice on this subject.

Friday, February 03, 2006

US gets out of the way of Mohammed Bomb-head

The US got out of the way of this thing pretty fast. At least we don't have the LA Times reprinting this stuff in solidarity to their oppressed European brethren. I agree with the State Department though.

The State Department called the drawings "offensive to the beliefs of Muslims" and said the right to freedom of speech must be coupled with press responsibility.

"Inciting religious or ethnic hatred in this manner is not acceptable," State Department press officer Janelle Hironimus said.

Yup Ms. Hironimus is 100% correct. One thing that Denmark should really be watching out for is the crazy so-called "religion of peace" perverters will now be targeting them. I would hate to be working for that paper now.

Now this is Weird

This is probably the first picture I have seen of reactionary nutjobs not burning the US or Israeli flags.

Wow Mohammed Bomb-head is going ape now!

Protests from all over the Muslim world now. And things are getting pretty dicey for the Europeans now too. I wonder if crazy riots are going to engulf France again? Check this out:

Interesting Thoughts on Protecting your Portfolio

This is from dollar risk. Lots of foreigners are sponsoring our spending habits to the tune of massive trade deficits. This is the fear:

If foreigners became less inclined to buy our debt, the Treasury would have to raise interest rates to entice more buyers. Rates on commercial loans and mortgages would rise, too. Those higher rates, in turn, could slow the U.S. economy.

So this guy is advocating the following to stave off a dollar meltdown:

1. Grant recommends gold, which gains in value when paper currencies fall in value. An easy way to invest in gold is through the iShares Comex Gold Trust (ticker: IAU). It's an exchange-traded fund that invests in the yellow metal. You can buy or sell shares through your broker.

2. If you're really bearish on the buck, there's the Rydex Weakening Dollar fund (ticker: RYWBX). It uses futures and other investments in its effort to rise 2% for every 1% fall in a dollar index. If you're less bearish, the Falling Dollar ProFunds (FDPIX) is designed to rise 1% for every 1% fall in a dollar index.

3. If you're down on the dollar but eager for euros, you could invest in the Euro Currency Trust (FXE), an exchange-traded fund that invests in euros. It rises when the dollar falls against the euro, and vice versa.

4. Another avenue is bank CDs denominated in foreign currencies. EverBank, in Jacksonville, offers CDs and other accounts denominated in a variety of currencies, as well as some linked to currency indexes. You'll gain if the dollar falls. It's no sure thing, though. Even though the CDs are insured by the federal government against the bank's collapse, you could still lose money if the dollar rises. EverBank's Internet address is www.everbank.com.

5. Probably the most sensible way to hedge against a dollar decline is an international stock or bond fund. Still, both would run into problems if worldwide interest rates rose. International bond funds are probably the better currency play. Some international stock funds use futures to hedge against currency risk.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Boehner in as Republican Leader

Lets hope old Hammer DeLay is behind the party now. This guy seems to be a pretty good fit and at least he is willing to work with Dems on things.

Boehner is considered a mainstream Republican conservative who is willing to work with Democrats. He is also known as foe of "pork barrel" spending, which is the funneling of federal money into lawmakers' pet projects and considered a factor in a lobbying scandal now shaking Washington.

Now they can work on the business of the people and not influence peddling and defending themselves from ethics violations.

You almost got it Ahmadinejad

Put the arm out a little straiter and keep the fingers together.

Bomb-Head Mohammed Claims first Job

I wonder if the managing editor of Frances Soir, Jacques Lefranc knew that the company he worked for was owned by an Egyptian shipping magnate? I guess not since he published the offending cartoons again. I wonder if this legal challenge will get any traction?

Mohammed Bechari, president of the National Federation of the Muslims of France, said his group would start legal proceedings against France Soir because of "these pictures that have disturbed us, and that are still hurting the feelings of 1.2 billion Muslims."

Is it slander against Mohammed or is it suing on behalf of the hurt feelings? If someone gives you the finger in France then are you allowed to sue the guy for hurting your feelings. Maybe it is somehow a hate crime.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

EU solidarity on Mohammed Bomb-Head Flap

The French and the Germans jump in to support Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten . I guess I agree with their central thesis that a democratic society can pretty much make fun of anyone's religion. It was just the meanspirited way that they did it that I didn't like. It just implies that Mohammed is a homicide bomber that I don't like and apparently the Muslim world thinks the same as I do:

Angered by the drawings, masked Palestinian gunmen briefly took over a
European office in Gaza on Monday. Syria called for the offenders to be punished. Danish goods were swept from shelves in many countries, and Saudi Arabia and Libya recalled their ambassadors to Denmark.

I thought we were trying to seperate Islam from the Extremists. By putting a bomb on Mohammed's head you simply fuel the anti-Western fires. If this happened in the US we would see some serious backlash including firing and resignations. In the EU they have solidarity.

US to Go to War to defend Israel?

This Bush statement won't go over well in the Muslim world.

"I am concerned about a person that, one, tries to rewrite the history of the Holocaust, and two, has made it clear that his intentions are to destroy Israel," Bush said.

"Israel is a solid ally of the United States, we will rise to Israel's defense if need be. So this kind of menacing talk is disturbing. It's not only disturbing to the United States, it's disturbing for other countries in the world as well," he added.

Asked if he meant the United States would rise to Israel's defense militarily, Bush said: "You bet, we'll defend Israel."

Bush should have added that the US will defend any solid ally that is directly threatened like this. So if Iran threatened to destroy Iraq or Kuwait the US will use the same force to defend that nations right to exist as well.

It is good that Bush points out who his real friends are in the Middle East. We have backed the Israelis since their existence and it is no time to let them twist in the wind.

Michael Bowers the New Thomas Edison?

Soon you may be saying Thomas who? This is really some invention from Michael Bowers, a graduate student at Vanderbilt University. And it seems to have been done by accident.

When you shine a light on quantum dots or apply electricity to them, they react by producing their own light, normally a bright, vibrant color. But when Bowers shined a laser on his batch of dots, something unexpected happened.

"I was surprised when a white glow covered the table," Bowers said. "The quantum dots were supposed to emit blue light, but instead they were giving off a beautiful white glow."

Then Bowers and another student got the idea to stir the dots into polyurethane and coat a blue LED light bulb with the mix. The lumpy bulb wasn't pretty, but it produced white light similar to a regular light bulb.

Now that is pretty cool science. Kind of like the legend that an apple falling from a tree made Isaac Newton create his theoreys of motion. This LED invention has the potential to change the world and make the US alot more energy independent. Good job Vanderbilt University grad student Michael Bowers.