Thursday, September 27, 2007

Interesting Article about the NRG Energy's New Reactor

It seems that a company is finally going forward with a plan to build 2 nuclear reactors that will be pumping out 2700 megawatts of power in Texas. It is interesting who is doing to work for the thing:
Toshiba, which enhanced its nuclear technology by buying Westinghouse,
will build NRG's new reactors. The vessel heads will be manufactured by Japan
Steel Works, the only forge in the world now capable of casting these huge

So the Japanese are on the cutting edge for nuclear power? It is odd that we invented the technology and now other more enlightened countries are the innovators in it. I still say that an America that got 70% of its power from nuclear reactors (like France) would make the Oil Sheiks wet their pants. You could also say goodbye to that global warming and put Al Gore out of a job.

Even the Dems are Saying We Are in Iraq until 2013

I guess the hard truths that General Petraeus tried to pound into their heads finally started to hit home.
The leading Democratic White House hopefuls conceded Wednesday night
they cannot guarantee to pull all U.S. combat troops from Iraq by the end of the
next presidential term in 2013.

"I think it's hard to project four years from now," said Sen.
Barack Obama of Illinois in the opening moments of a campaign debate in the
nation's first primary state.

"It is very difficult to know what we're going to be inheriting,"
added Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York.

"I cannot make that commitment," said former Sen. John Edwards of
North Carolina.

Maybe someone on the Dem side finally thought about the slaughter that would commence if we pulled out of Iraq too soon. Maybe they are cleaving to the actual "progressive" agenda that promotes freedom for the oppressed and tries to *prevent* mass genocide between Sunnis and Shiites.

Maybe the Dems finally understand that a failure in Iraq would be an actual defeat for America and leave the blood of thousands of additional Iraqis firmly on their hands. The Dems can no longer blame Bush once Iraq becomes their war to fight. So maybe the Dems can stop politicizing Iraq and start coming up with concrete solutions to the problem. Be it partitioning the country or a solid plan for leaving something stable behind us when we leave. The Dem plan needs to be less 'cut and run and hope' and more 'here's what we need to do so our troops come home.'

Drybulk Shipbuilders Going Nuts

I have been following this industry lately and these stocks keep going up and up. With Dryships going up 7.5% just today.
Analyst Douglas J. Mavrinac said he continues to see drybulk charter
rates hitting all-time highs through the end of the year. Mavrinac reiterated
his "Buy" rating on Diana Shipping Inc., citing the Greek carrier's increased
"financial flexibility" following a 10 million share public offering on Friday,
with proceeds estimated at about $250 million.

One thing interesting about this industry is there is something called the Baltic Dry Index that measures 40 shipping lanes on a time charter and voyage basis. This thing is at an all time high at 9370 and keeps going up and up. I guess all that trade between China and the rest of the world is really firing this industry.

The company I have my eye on is Diana Shipping Inc (DSX) which is slightly cheaper then some of their peers with a 19 P/E and they pay a 2.04 a year dividend. I like that built in 7.10% yield cushion when you are going in. They are also getting a new Capesize bulk carrier online in Nov 2007 right when shipping prices are at all-time highs. They are also building 2 new Capesizes but they won't be delivered until 2010. The only problem is that it is pretty hard to expand capacity because each of these ships cost like $81 million or more. So if day rates drop due to a recession or Chinese problems then these stocks will drop like a rock with them.

Not Good News to Homebuilders

This can't be a good deal to the beleaguered home builders.
"We expect housing industry conditions to continue to worsen through the
end of the year and into 2008," said Jeffrey Mezger, KB's president and
chief executive officer.

"Our third-quarter results reflect the seriously challenging market
conditions that prevail for homebuilders across most of the nation," he said.
People keep trying to pick the bottom on these guys but they keep disappointing quarter after quarter. At least they figure that mid-2008 will be when things will start to finally turn around. Unless there is a recession during that time of course.

J. Michels Video Game Index 9/27/07

+$18.94 +0.04%

J. Michels Uranium Index 9/27/07

+$983.00 +1.92%

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Chuck Looks Like Crap

I also saw a ton of material for this new comedy Chuck but this rundown makes this show seem like Must-Miss-TV.
When we first meet our geeky hero, he’s climbing out a window to avoid
a birthday party full of pretty single ladies Ellie threw him. Sometimes a guy
just wants to spend some time alone with his hard drive.

Yeah that sounds like the kind of show that I will turn in week after week to see. It just gets worse and worse from there. It seems that the NSA wants to get back some knowledge accidentally downloaded into this Chucks head and yadda yadda yadda. Also some hot girl saves him from trouble etc. From reading this this show sounds like a big mess. I might catch it just to see if my opinion differs from aht of the reviewer Louise Sa.

Journeyman Sounds Interesting

From the commercials this show looks like a big mess but reading this synopsis whets my interest.
He runs out of the apartment only to run into a different Livia. A...
time-traveling Livia. Turns out her body was never found. She vanished just like
Dan. And she's apparently been doing this awhile. She hints at a larger purpose
and tells him to go with his instincts and to follow his guy. And like that,
she's gone. A future Dan and a future Livia crossing paths in 1997, and she's
been leaping for a decade at least. Interesting.

It seems like a Quantum Leap without the righting the wrongs bit. And Scott Bakula is a joke compared to Kevin McKidd. McKidd was an insane actor in Rome and should be a good fit as the lead in this kind of thing.

GameStop Exec Takes Exaggeration to the Next Level

Now this is one pumped up GameStop exec.
"Rarely do we get the opportunity to experience a historical event like
the biggest launch in video game history - one that is equivocal if not bigger
than that of a movie launch," said Jim Wimpress, Vice President of Stores,
GameStop Corp. "It is an exciting moment for us at GameStop to be part of the
launch of Halo 3 in Los Angeles - a city where some of the most powerful
entertainment industry moments happen."

Hmm, I don't think the release of a game can be called an actual historic event. Will, future generations look back and say "I was there" when it people ask about Halo 3? I really hope not. The only thing I want to see is that people flood GameStops and pump up their revenue numbers going into the holidays. Notice that they were the only retailer stock that was up when other retailer stocks were down. I guess video games are recession proof.

Target and Lowes Warn Lower

Could this be a sign that consumers are finally slowing their spending down?
Target, the No. 2 discounter behind Wal-Mart Stores Inc (WMT.N), on
Monday said that it now expects sales for the five weeks ending October 6 to
rise only 1.5 percent to 2.5 percent, below its previous forecast of 4 percent
to 6 percent.

Also Monday afternoon, home improvement retailer Lowe's said
earnings for the current fiscal year would be at the low end of or slightly
below its forecast range of $1.97 to $2.01 a share.

I guess people can only buy so many flat screen TVs and 50 piece drill sets before they think about paying their ballooning mortgage payments instead.

Halo 3 Packaging Scratches Disks?

Now this is a stupid deal to happen right after the launching of the biggest game in MSFTs arsenal this year.
Microsoft Corp., which owns the studio that makes "Halo 3," responded
quickly on its Xbox Web site with details for a replacement program. Customers
can fill out a form and send in their scratched limited-edition disks for a free
exchange through the end of December.

I guess this is another case of someone doing too little quality control. It is another case of pumping out cheap stuff but in the long run it will end up costing more money.

Israel Looking to Buy Nuke Material

Hmm, maybe Israel is thinking of either beefing up their nuke missile reserve to deter Iran or maybe they are thinking about creating a nuclear power industry.
The new push is reflected in papers Israel presented earlier this year
to the "Nuclear Suppliers' Group" — 45 nations that export nuclear fuel and
technology under strict rules meant to lessen the dangers of proliferation and
trafficking in materials that could be used for a weapons program.

It would make sense to create a nuclear power industry because then Israel would not have to rely on their oil reserves as much. So if Iran pulled the plug on the worlds oil then Israel would be more self sufficient when it comes to their power supply. This should be Americas plan as well. Having Nuclear power and ethanol fueled cars means we will no longer be held hostage from unstable regimes. This is Green Security.

J. Michels Video Game Index 9/25/07

+$25.50 +0.06%

J. Michels Uranium Index 9/25/07

-$1,115.91 -2.14%

Monday, September 24, 2007

Ahmadinejad the 9/11 Conspiracy Nut

I hope Sean Penn, Alec Baldwin, and Rosie O'Donnell enjoy being in the same camp as a Holocaust denier and a person that wants to exterminate Jews.
He reiterated his desire to visit ground zero to express sympathy with
the victims of the Sept. 11 attacks, but then appeared to question whether
al-Qaida was responsible.

"Why did this happen? What caused it? What conditions led to it?"
he said. "Who truly was involved? Who was really involved and put it all

J. Michels Video Game Index 9/24/07

+$96.01 +0.22%

J. Michels Uranium Index 9/24/07

+$1,839.99 +3.66%

Friday, September 21, 2007

Justice League Live Action Movie Hire Mad Max Director

Hmm, it really sounds like a neat project depending on what they do with it.
Featuring a screenplay by Kieran and Michele Mulroney (the brother and
sister-in-law of
Dermot Mulroney), Justice League has been shrouded in secrecy, but is expected to feature five superheroes from the original comic: Superman,
Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman and the Flash.

The JLA's roster has also included Green Lantern, Hawkman, Green
Arrow, Atom and the Martian Manhunter, but there's no word if any of them will
pop up on the big screen. Also not known at this point: Which miscreant(s) from
DC's stable of supervillains will be wreaking havoc.
If I were calling the shots I would make their villians the Legion of Doom. First I would put Kevin Spacey in as Lex Luthor. Then I would have the Riddler (not played by Jim Carrey) to fight Batman, Cheetah (maybe played by Jessica Alba) to fight Wonder Woman, Black Manta (voiced by James Earl Jones) to fight Aquaman, and Captain Cold to fight the Flash.

Then I would have Brandon Routh play Superman and Christian Bale to play Batman to keep the continuity between their characters and their individual movies. Then you can launch the other properties based on how well this movie does. The one you really need to cast well is Wonder Woman. You can allow that actress (I would use and unknown) to get exposure and it will make a Wonder Woman movie that much better.

Now Blackwater is Smuggling Weapons?

I think this group should be banned from doing work in the US let alone in Iraq.
Federal prosecutors are investigating whether employees of the private
security firm Blackwater USA illegally smuggled into Iraq weapons that may have been sold on the black market and ended up in the hands of a U.S.-designated terrorist organization, officials said Friday.

So it looks like this company was selling some US weapons out of the back of a van or something as well as gunning down Iraqis. This organization should stand some serious scrutiny before they get another government contract. And if their senior management is at fault they should go right to Federal prison.

Giants Won't Re-Sign Bonds

In a move that looked pretty inevitable from many people the Giants are going to pass on Bonds for one more year.
The 43-year-old Bonds broke Hank Aaron's record with his 756th home
run on Aug. 7. Bonds has spent the past 15 seasons of his 22-year big league
career with the Giants, and signed a $15.8 million, one-year contract for
this season.

Shadowed by steroid speculation for the past few years, Bonds
has hit 28 homers this season, raising his career total to 762. The
seven-time NL MVP is batting .279 with 66 RBIs.

I think they would rather pay that $15 million to some young pitchers or maybe get a real power hitter that can bring in more then a measly 66 RBIs. Also they won't have to be tainted by scandal and have to explain themselves all the time. It would suck if the face of your team is portrayed as a cheater by many fans.

J. Michels Video Game Index 9/21/07

+$243.98 +0.57%

J. Michels Uranium Index 9/21/07

+889.01 +1.80%

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Sony Delays Home: Looks Like Fools

Again and again the idiots at Sony make bad decision after bad decision.
The Japanese conglomerate said Thursday that it has delayed Home, its
much awaited online network for the PS3, from an expected release this fall to
next year. Instead, Sony announced a new game controller that analysts say is
unlikely to affect demand for the console.

Coupled with a weak game lineup, the moves could dampen sales of
the PS3 and result in a bleak holiday season for the electronics giant -- unless
it comes through with another price cut.

So what might have been a decent holiday for them will turn out to be another big mess unless they constrain margins further? What kind of choice that is? Sony provide yet another reason to buy a Wii or an Xbox360.

What makes it even worse there Sony doesn't have a game yet where you can say "that game is great I have to get a PS3." The two exclusives that they cooked up Lair and Heavenly Sword have been big fat jokes as far as I can tell. We may be seeing Sony turn the PS3 into the next Sega Saturn if they keep screwing up like this. MSFT and Nintendo should be licking their chops because they will own yet another Christmas season.

J. Michels Video Game Index 9/20/07

+$58.01 +0.13%

J. Michels Uranium Index 9/20/07

+$1,201.00 +2.49%

The Jena 6: Dispartiy of Justice?

It seems people like Al Sharpton doesn't have much to do other then get in the middle of these race questions. I still don't see the disparity in justice between the whites and the blacks in this town.
The six black teens were charged a few months after three white teens
were accused of hanging nooses in a tree on their high school grounds. The white
teens were suspended from school but weren't prosecuted. Five of the black teens
were initially charged with attempted murder. That charge was reduced to battery for all but one, who has yet to be arraigned; the sixth was charged as a

The beating victim, Justin Barker, was knocked unconscious, his
face badly swollen and bloodied, though he was able to attend a school function
later that night.

About the only thing the white students could have been tried for is terroristic threatening. It would be hard to prove that the nooses could have been lynching threats though. If they actually attacked a black kid or threatened them with nooses then the DA would have had more of a case. Simply hanging nooses is hard to make into a crime according to Louisiana law.

However the black kids actually beat a white boy unconscious. One of them even had priors. Maybe attempted murder was too strong a charge but they still beat a person unconscious and could have easily killed him because he couldn't defend himself. So the DA reduced the charge to battery. Why should they be freed? They actually beat a boy unconscious and the DA had enough evidence to bring them to trial and convict some one them. In fact this Jena 6 committed a hate crime because they attacked this kid simply because of his race. The DA didn't bring hate crime charges against them but simply tried them for an actual crime.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Combat Tour Bill Stalls

It looks like the Dems won't be able to cut-and-run from Iraq as fast as they may think.
But momentum behind the bill stalled Wednesday after Sen. John Warner,
R-Va., announced he decided the consequences would be disastrous. Warner, a
former longtime chairman of the Armed Services Committee, had voted in favor of the measure in July but said he changed his mind after talking to senior
military officials.

I think Warner actually got a chance to ask some senior military men and got their take on this situation. I think Harry Reid and the other Dems need to talk to these same men to get the real deal on this stuff. And it is just like the Dems to try to push a counterproductive solution to a problem.
Defense Secretary Robert Gates said he would have recommended that
President Bush veto Webb's legislation if it is passed. The bill could force the
military to extend tours, rely more heavily on reservists, or not replace units
right away, even if they are needed, Gates said.

So this bill would have actually extended tours of duty and made use even more reservists to keep the troops currently in-country fresher? That sounds like the Dems not talking to people with their boots on the ground and forming their strategy based on this lack of knowledge. And they want to be Commander and Chief?

Let Ahmadinejad Lay the Wreath

I think the Bush administration seriously underestimates the power of perception. Let the Iranian leader lay the wreath but we make a big show of it.
White House spokesman Gordon Johndroe said a visit to ground zero "is a
matter for the city of New York, but it seems more than odd that the president
of a country that is a state sponsor of terror would visit ground

This is exactly why you let him do it. The Bush Administration can show that even our enemies can visit our sacred sites and not have any fear of assassination. I'm pretty sure that if Bush went to Iran the same assurances couldn't be made.

If Ahmadinejad starts preaching anti-semitism or something I'm sure some local Jewish groups will be more then happy to chant some slogans and hold up signs denouncing him. This whole deal can be spun in the same way as banging the shoe on the table by Nikita Kruschev. I think Bush should seriously consider sitting down with this nutjob "Kitchen Table Debate" style and take him to the woodshed on national TV.

J. Michels Video Game Index 9/19/07

-$119.00 -0.28%

J. Michels Uranium Index 9/19/07

+$342.01 +0.71%

Soda is a Bomb in Nations Diet

Now this is some interesting findings on drinking regular soda and how it is contributing to the obesity epidemic.
The sugar in soda pop not only provides a massive dose of calories, but
triggers a vicious appetite cycle, said Ludwig, who wrote "Ending the Food
Fight," about healthy eating for children.

"It's rapidly absorbed, which raises blood sugar and in effect
causes the body to panic." The body releases insulin to break down the sugar,
"but the body overcompensates, and blood sugar drops below the fasting level,"
lower than it was in the first place.

So if you eat a big burger and wash it down with a non-Diet soda you end up hungrier then if you just ate the burger by itself. Now that is really interesting findings because I notice that if I drink a sweet drink I need something salty to compensate so I eat chips. I wonder if the sweetness of the drink also affects what you what you eat with it as well? Could be an interesting thing to study as well.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

FED cuts Rates by 50 basis points

Now that really is quite a cut.
The unanimous decision by the central bank's policy-makers took the
benchmark federal funds rate, which governs overnight loans between banks, down to 4.75 percent, its lowest since May of last year. The Fed also cut the
discount rate it charges for direct loans to banks by a half-point to 5.25

This should be a nice short term catalyst to financials depending on how well they do in the coming quarter. This is especially true since Lehman reported that things were not as bad as some people thought they would be.
Chris O'Meara, chief financial officer, thought credit conditions were
returning to normal: "The worst is behind us." Lehman, the first big bank to
report, will give comfort that revenue falls can be contained. Morgan Stanley
reports in Wednesday; Bear Stearns and Goldman Sachs tomorrow. The results came in spite of a more than $900m (£447m) fall in fixed income capital markets
revenue to $1.1bn. The drop was in part due to markdowns on leveraged loan
commitments and residential mortgage-related positions.

I would really like to see those Bear Stearns numbers to see how bad they took it on the chin to save those failing funds. In any case this should mean a nice bump in the Financial Select Sector SPDR (XLF) if there is no more sub-prime bad news lurking out there.

J. Michels Video Game Index 9/18/07

+$864.50 +2.05%

J. Michels Uranium Index 9/18/07

+2,383.99 +5.24%

Student Tased at Kerry Event

These "progressives" really bring down the hammer hand when their own side asks questions they don't want to hear.
Videos of the Monday night incident, posted on several Web sites and
played repeatedly on television news, show University of Florida police officers
pulling Meyer away from the microphone after he asks Kerry about impeaching
President Bush and whether he and Bush were both members of the secret society Skull and Bones at Yale University.

As Kerry tells the audience he will answer the student's "very
important question," Meyer yells at the officers to release him, crying out,
"Don't Tase me, bro," just before he is shocked by the Taser. He is then led
from the room, screaming, "What did I do?"

I saw the video and it was a case of things getting out of hand quickly. The guy was scared to death when the officers took him to the ground and warned him that they would tase him if he resisted arrest. They kept trying to pull on his arms to get him in the handcuffs and he kept yelling "what did I do" over and over.

He should have been shouting "I am not resisting arrest" like Lee Harvey Oswald did. They officers got tired of fighting him and tased him instead. It was really quite sad to see officers take a guy down for exercising his free speech like that.

Weird Meteor Makes People Sick

This sounds like something out of a comic book but it is real.
Around midday Saturday, villagers were startled by an explosion and a
fireball that many were convinced was an airplane crashing near their remote
village, located in the high Andes department of Puno in the Desaguadero region,
near the border with Bolivia.

Residents complained of headaches and vomiting brought on by a
"strange odor," local health department official Jorge Lopez told Peruvian radio

I will be willing to bet any money that that meteor had radioactive particles in it and that is what is making the people sick. If they develop super powers though then we really have a problem on our hands.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Now Everyone "Cheating" in the NFL

Now we have the Raven's saying the Jets cheated after the Jets accused the Patriots of cheating. Lots of chicanery going on the NFL.
That's not an excuse by any stretch of the imagination. But it is
illegal," Billick said. "Our guys have to deal with it. I don't know how to help
my linemen with that because, you're in the heat of battle and you're calling
the snap count, and the guy across from you is also calling a snap count - which
is illegal."

J. Michels Video Game Index 9/17/07

-$184.50 -0.44%

J. Michels Uranium Index 9/17/07

-$1,085.00 -2.33%

Even Greenspan is Going After Bush

I have to agree with Greenspan though in his criticisms.
Greenspan accused Bush of not responsibly handling the nation's
spending and racking up big budget deficits, saying he and Congress' former GOP
leaders abandoned the party's conservative principles favoring small

"My biggest frustration remained the president's unwillingness to
wield his veto against out-of-control spending," Greenspan wrote in "The Age of
Turbulence: Adventures in a New World," being released Monday.

I agree with this. Bush spent like a drunken Massachusetts Democrat there for a while. He racked up huge deficits and it now fighting a War that costs billions of dollars that could have been going to tax cuts.

In fact that do-nothing Republican Congress didn't even make the tax cuts permanent. They just screwed around with social security, didn't do anything on immigration, and stopped stem cell research while fighting partisan battles. Bush even made the government bigger by starting the Department of Homeland Defence and putting incompetent people in charge of it.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Planet Survived Red Giant Sun

There seems to be one neat astronomy story after another out there.
"At present, (the) discovery is the only planetary system known to have
survived its red-giant phase," Jonathan Fortney, a NASA researcher, wrote in a
commentary in Nature, where the international team published its findings on

"This will shed light not only on our own solar system, in which
Mercury, Venus and perhaps Earth will eventually be engulfed by the red-giant
Sun but also the diverse array of planetary systems that are our galactic

Some one should win a Nobel Prize for discovering that gravity wobble thing that they use to discover all these weirdo planetary systems. It is really filling in our knowledge that we have of our neighbors in the Milky Way.

20 million fans bid on Led Zeppelin Tickets

After this I wonder if they should start thinking about a world tour now? The demand is certainly there.
About 80,000 fans per minute are trying to register for tickets at the website, said Internet service provider Pipex. Demand for the 125-pound tickets also crashed the O2 Arena website.

Dems Don the Generals Hat: It Doesn't Fit

So let me get this strait. The Dems are going against the recommendations of a 4 star general who is in charge of the lives of 152,000 troops in the combat zone? They seriously think they can run a war better then a guy who has dedicated his entire life to military service and deals with what is "on the ground" in Iraq on a daily basis? And again Reid shows that his rhetoric is really not very "progressive" at all:
"I call on the Senate Republicans to not walk lockstep as they have
with the president for years in this war," Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid,
D-Nev., said at a news conference. "It's time to change. It's the president's
war. At this point it also appears clear it's also the Senate Republicans'

No, it is also the Iraqi's War as well since they will be the ones who are going to die in the thousands if we pull out without setting the ground for our withdrawal first. I thought the "progressive" agenda is one where you protect people that might get slaughtered and try to prevent civil wars before they start. This part really takes the cake though.
In a bold challenge to Petraeus' assessment, Reid said the "situation on the ground in Iraq has not changed at all." He later acknowledged gains in Anbar province, "but it's like the big balloon that you push on one side and it comes out someplace else."
Patraeus just said that their were gains and an actual change "on the ground" in Iraq just a few days before. I think a 4 star General in charge of the troops is a better judge of these things then some Senator from Nevada. The hubris on these Dems is really something to behold. Can you really trust them to be Commander and Chief when they won't listen to generals coming back from the combat zone?


This seems to be a direct competitor to the Tony Hawk games and their maker Activision. It seems like it is getting early buzz as well. I wonder when the Wii version is coming out that works with that balance board thingy?
EA's release of the SKATE demo on Xbox LIVE Marketplace on August 15
garnered outstanding attention with over 600,000 downloads to date. The demo
includes the innovative skate.reel feature where gamers can capture video
footage of their skate session at any time during the game and share the footage
online at for other
players to view, rate and comment on.

J. Michels Video Game Index 9/13/07

+$113.00 +0.27%

J. Michels Uranium Index 9/13/07

+$986.01 +2.14%

Talk to Al-Quida? Unthinkable

This is the kind of article that people take issue with when it comes to the main stream media.
But proponents say al Qaeda has established itself as a de facto power,
whether the West likes it or not, and history shows militant movements are best
neutralized by negotiation, not war.

So since they are a "de facto power" we have to sit down and make concessions? Do we give them all Muslim countries to run or just some of them? Do we give these Muslim countries a say in the matter? Buried way in the bottom of this article is why Western Powers can't negotiate with Al-Quida until either we are all Muslim nations (with Israel in ruins) or they renounce violence (like that will happen.)
For Egeland, who now heads the Norwegian Institute of International
Affairs, one peril of entering negotiations is to confer legitimacy on your
opponent, sending a signal that anyone who commits mass murder will be
treated as a serious actor.

Yes, we can't legitimize every organization simply because they have killed thousands of people. This *will* send a signal to anyone with a beef with the West (or any other legitimate government) that mass murder is a path to the negotiating table. So how many deaths would it take for a terrorist group to get a seat at the UN?

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Smartmoney Says Play the Games not the Stocks

I guess they are right for the most part since many of these companies actually trade on speculation of how well their well publicized game release schedules will actually do. It isn't like Biotech where you have to guess what the FDA might do. These games for the most part come out on certain days without question.
But the "BioShock" bounce begs the question: Are there any other
upcoming releases that the market hasn't fully priced in yet?

On a fundamental basis, the answer is probably no. "This is a group
that trades ahead of information," says Todd Mitchell, an analyst with Kaufman
Bros. "The people who trade these stocks are totally focused on the lineup and
its relative strength, so it usually gets priced in ahead of the actual news."

That there even was a BioShock bounce still shows that analysts don't price everything into their views. Take-Two may even be helped by BioShock perhaps launching a franchise. I'm not sure if any of these analysts predicted that this game would do as well as it has. So there are always surprises in the gaming field and the early launch of a new console war creates those surprises.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Higher Gas Prices and Thinner Americans Linked?

Now this would be interesting if it were true.
The report, written by Charles Courtemanche for his doctoral dissertation in health economics, found that the 13 percent rise in obesity between 1979 and 2004 can be attributed to falling pump prices.
I wonder if gas prices and stocks like NutriSystem Inc. (NTRI) negatively correlated? Gas prices already affect casual dining restaurants in a negative way. If you pay more for gas you end up eating less at Ruby Tuesdays (RT) or other casual dining restaurants

Take-Two Rallies

It seems that yesterday's news is good news for Take-Twos stock.


Prev Close: 15.75
Open: 16.93
Day's Range: 16.37 - 16.99
Last Trade: 16.57
Trade Time: 4:00PM ET
Change: 0.82 (5.21%)

J. Michels Video Game Index 9/11/07

+$810.20 +1.99%

J. Michels Uranium Index 9/11/07

+$1,808.40 +4.06%

Why Was the FBI against a Search Warrant?

It does seem like a screwup that the FBI wouldn't want to issue a search warrant against a suspected terrorist before 9/11.
FBI headquarters, however, rejected Minneapolis FBI field agents'
repeated requests for a national security warrant to search Moussaoui's
belongings after he was arrested on Aug. 16, 2001 . One agent, Harry Samit , was
so convinced that Moussaoui was a terrorist that he sent scores of messages to
FBI headquarters pressing for a search warrant.

It might not have made a difference but what kept them from looking inside the bag of a suspected terrorist? I guess they didn't have ironclad proof that Moussaoui was a terrorist and decided to err on the side of not having a lawsuit or something. It just seems like a routine thing for a search warrant to be issued when you are investigating a suspected terrorist. Whatever the case the FBI does look like crap for not following up on the suspicions of their field agents.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Speaking of Take-Two: Short Squeeze time?

Hmm this good news coupled with the record release of BioShock could make for an interesting short squeeze. The Short Ratio for TTWO is 11.5 days as of Aug 10th. So we might see some unwinding of short positions if the stock starts heading back to pre-GTA4 levels.

Also I noticed only about 1000 contracts worth of Put movement in anticipation of this number being not so good. Also there is about a 2/1 Put to Call ratio so people are still pretty bearish on the stock in general. I wonder if BioShock selling a record number of copies is going to change this sentiment at all? In any case I'll be seeing if there is a rally in the stock in the next few days since it is already up 4.13% in after hours.

Take Two Loses Less Money: BioShock Rocks the House

Sounds like a pretty good deal after having to push back the release of their blockbuster game Grand Theft Auto IV until 2008.
Excluding $12.4 million in costs for items including corporate
restructuring and legal fees, Take-Two lost 64 cents per share. On that basis,
analysts, on average, had expected a loss of 67 cents a share, according to
Reuters Estimates.

Third-quarter revenue was $206.4 million, down 14 percent from a
year earlier but higher than the average forecast of $200.8 million. The company
said sales were helped by demand for games including "The Darkness," "Fantastic
Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer," "The BIGs," and "All-Pro Football 2K8."

Hmm, who would have thought that these titles would do as well as they did. I heard that All-Pro-Football 2K8 was not as good as Madden 08. Maybe that OJ Simpson controversy with that cloaked OJ Assassins Mascot making a stabbing motion when you score a touchdown moved some titles. The Bigs was far better the Wii Baseball from what I have read as well. I haven't heard much about the Darkness or FF: Rise of the Silver Surfer but I guess someone was buying them. Now this is some good news for Take-Two stockholders though:
Speaking on a conference call, Take-Two executives said "BioShock" was
one of the fastest-selling games in video game history. The company has shipped
about 1.5 million copies of the game since its August 21 release, it

I would think that BioShock would be fated to break all kinds of records because it was visually stunning and had some outstanding hype surrounding it. I guess it has really lived up to the hype and might be that "must-have" title for the fall release season. I would be willing to bet that TTWO will go back up to those pre-GTA 4 pushback levels.

My Advice to Seniors: Never Sign Anything!

It seems that some of these things might be scams to steal money from Seniors Citizens who aren't alert.
While their promoters paint the "free lunch" seminars as educational
sessions, sometimes promising that nothing will be sold, "they are designed to
sell -- either at the seminar itself or later," said Lori Richards, director of
the SEC's Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations. "They're not
educational events."

The investigation conducted by the SEC, state regulators and FINRA
found the use of scare tactics to get seniors to question their current
investments, claims of fantastic returns with no risk, and "ringers" in the
audience who would stand up and offer testimonials of how much they had

If I was a senior citizen I would go to these things eat the free lunch and breakfast and tell anyone with a sales pitch to go to hell. It seems like an easy way to eat for free if you simply ignore what is being said (or take a nap) and wait for the victuals to show up.

You could even have fun stringing these shysters along by telling them you have millions of dollars in 30 year bonds that you want to invest. Then you have the guy bend over backwards to satisfy his greed. After several months of stringing the guy along you just say you decided to go with Charles Schwab instead since they gave you a free mug when you sign up for an account.

J. Michels Video Game Index 9/10/07

-$33.00 -0.08%

Introducing the J. Michels Video Game Index

Since I have been tracking Gamestop I decided to gather all of the other video game makers into one index so I can follow them easier. Here is the the new index components that I decided to add to my blog. This index consists of the big 3 console makers, Gamestop, and the other big name publishers. I also decided to add the Chinese gaming companies to this list as well. I was considering adding Best Buy and Circuit City but they aren't the same kind of pure play that Gamestop is. They are more an electronic retailing store then a video game store. Here are the stocks in the Index:

Microsoft (MSFT)
Sony (SNE)
Nintendo (NTDOY.PK)
Electroic Arts (ERTS)
Gamestop (GME)
Activision (ATVI)
Konami (KNM)
Take Two (TTWO)
Shanda (SNDA)
The9 Limited (NCTY) (NTES)
Webzen Inc. (WZEN)

J. Michels Uranium Index 9/10/07

-$773.00 -1.71%

Petraeus Highlights

This seems to be a pretty good rundown of what Petraeus said at his testimony. This part is an exact counter to the Dems plans in Iraq.
One may argue that the best way to speed the process in Iraq is to
change the MNF-I mission from one that emphasizes population security,
counter-terrorism, and transition, to one that is strictly focused on transition
and counter-terrorism. Making that change now would, in our view, be premature. We have learned before that there is a real danger in handing over tasks to the Iraqi Security Forces before their capacity and local conditions

So charges of pulling every American troop out of Iraq before the Iraqi Security Forces are ready is directly contradicted by the generals on the ground. The Dems need to start asking questions on when these role changes will go from "premature" to "about ready" and make their plans accordingly.

McDonalds Employee Causes Georgia to Waste Money

I think this is a case of fraud, waste and abuse by Union City Georgia officials.
A McDonald's employee spent a night in jail and is facing criminal
charges because a police officer's burger was too salty, so salty that he says
it made him sick.

Kendra Bull was arrested Friday, charged with misdemeanor reckless
conduct and freed on $1,000 bail.

So some idiot cop ate an entire salty burger and got sick? Why didn't he just dump the thing after one bite and come back to the McDonalds and complain? I would be willing to bet that McDonalds would have given him a free burger in compinsation. Instead they charged this poor person with a crime and this part is the kicker:
Police said samples of the burger were sent to the state crime lab for
So right now a Georgia Crime Lab is testing salty hamburger meat because some idiot got sick from eating an entire salty burger? Doesn't this state have actual murders and things to solve and should not be wasting their time investigating salty meat? I hope McDonalds send out their high powered lawyers to defend this poor employee and sue the state for millions in damages.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Microsoft Auto?

This sounds literally like an accident waiting to happen.
Microsoft and Siemens will first develop multimedia capabilities
for the Microsoft Auto platform, in order to easily connect portable
entertainment devices with vehicle systems.

I would hate to be driving along and get a BSOD in my dashboard display. Or have a buffer overflow that caused a hacker to make me crash into a fire hydrant. Or even weirder would be if Microsoft Auto was hacked and someone stole my car by driving it away while using a backup cam and an onboard GPS device. That sounds like something out of a James Bond movie.

Osama Says: Convert to Win War of Terror

Hmm, he seems to imply that he wouldn't attack a Muslim America.
Instead, he addresses Americans, lecturing them on the failures of
their leaders to stop the war in Iraq despite growing public opposition in the

He says there were two solutions to stopping the Iraq war. "One is
from our side, and it is to escalate the fighting and killing against you. This
is our duty, and our brothers are carrying it out," bin Laden said.

"The second solution is from your side. ... I invite you to embrace
Islam," he said.One result of that, bin Laden said, would be an end to the
Iraq war. He said "warmongering owners of the major corporations" would rush to appease voters who showed they are looking for an alternative, "and this
alternative is Islam."

If we see Hillary in a Mosque with a hijab on then we know she is serious on this War on Terror thing. I wonder if Americans did convert to Islam would we have to swallow the "Destroy Israel" and "I want to grow up and be a Martyr." Death Cult that has taken on the face of Islam to the Western World?

Or would we be the same face of Islam that preserved the works of the Greeks and the Romans, gave us the basis of the scientific method, and helped bring medicine from leeches and humors to dissection and experimentation. Would the Muslim States of America have the same thinkers that gave us algebra, the zero, invented the distillation of petroleum and the forging of steel, created advances in optics and astronomy, invented trigonometry, and built the first observatory? I would be willing to bet any money that we *would be* that face of Islam.

A Muslim America would usher in the Second Golden Age of Islam I am sure of it. I guess Osama would rather convert us by bomb belt, IED and hijacked airliner missile rather than showing us the good that Islam could bring. And in so doing he has made the Death Cult of Islam the centerpiece. And thus he has delayed the Second Golden Age of Islam indefinitely.

J. Michels Uranium Index 9/7/07

-$1,005.00 -2.17%

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Apple Volte Face: Offers $100 Store Credit

At least they are making some kind of amends for slashing the price on the IPhone. Now this is why Jobs is considered a marketing genius. First he had this tone:
"What do you say to customers who just bought a new iPhone for
$599?" he was asked, "Sorry?" "That's technology," Jobs responded. "If
they bought it this morning, they should go back to where they bought it and
talk to them. If they bought it a month ago, well, that's what happens in

Then he let it be known that he changed his mind due to customer complaints.
Jobs acknowledged that he had made the change after receiving
"hundreds" of angry emails and reading "every one."

Yup, he admitted he was a bonehead and the angry e-mails that he "read every single one of" made him change his mind. In other words Jobs didn't know how bad the Apple maniacs were feeling but now he gets the message loud and clear. So this is what he does.
"We need to do a better job taking care of our early iPhone customers
as we aggressively go after new ones with a lower price," he admitted in an open
letter to customers posted on the Apple Web site. "Our early customers trusted
us, and we must live up to that trust with our actions in moments like

So now he gives them $100 in store credit so he keeps the money in the Apple family. Also Apple gets to put $100 in their pockets. And I would be willing to bet that Apple Maniacs everywhere are cheering Jobs for "doing the right thing." Apple is one smart company indeed.

J. Michels Uranium Index 9/6/07

+2,052.00 +4.64%

Syria and Israel Ratchet the Heat

It seems that the Israelis may have gotten caught by Syrian defences and had to drop tanks and bombs and run for the border. At least this is what Syria claimed to this unnamed source. I guess it is just a matter of who shot first.
"It appears that the Israeli planes were on a reconnaissance mission when
they got caught by Syrian defenses and were forced to drop their bombs and extra
fuel tanks," said a Western diplomat in Syria's capital Damascus. He declined to
be named.

11 Corrupt New Jersey Officials Arrested

It seems they were taking bribes in awarding state contracts.
All 11, plus a private individual, are accused of taking cash payments
of $1,500 to $17,500 to influence who received public contracts, according to
criminal complaints, said Michael Drewniak, a spokesman for U.S. Attorney
Christopher J. Christie.

This is real deal corruption where 11 different Democratic State officials in New Jersey took money for patronage. I wonder if this is going to get more press then that Senator Larry Craig BS. My bet is it will get swept under the rug and some of those guys will probably still have a political career this time next year.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

iPhone Rebellion?

I knew that this $200 price drop wouldn't go over well with the Apple Faithful.
"I CANNOT BELIEVE THIS!" adds graphicalliber425. " Somewhere in my
heart I'm hoping, Apple's going to offer all of us an extended return policy, or
a brand new iPod nano right?"

They did just give people who were able to wait 2 months (wow the IPhone is only 2 months old and already marked down?) a $200 discount right off the bat. If were a die-hard that camped out in the line to shell out $600+$1440 for a 2 year contract then you must really be on suicide watch right about now. Early adopters just took both shot gun barrels right to the face.

Why Apple's new IPod Touch is Bad for AT&T

I was thinking about the Apples moves today and I have to agree with this article. This new IPod Touch will be bad news for AT&T.

The iPod Touch gives gadget lovers a device that's nearly identical to the
iPhone, including popular WiFi features. One thing the iPod Touch doesn't have,
though, is a requirement that users sign up for two years of cellular service
with AT&T.
Why would you sign up for AT&T just so you are locked into a 2 year contract where you are forced to pay $60 a month? That is another $1440 that you have to pay in order to simply use the IPhone to its fullest?
With this IPod Touch you can have your Wi-Fi browsing and listen to your entire music collection as well. You could just take your phone calls on your RAZR or some other phone that costs a fraction of what the IPhone costs. It almost seems like Apple is trying to get out of their exclusive contract with AT&T by any means necessary.
Somewhere down the line if you hear of a Vonage Internet Phone hack that you can run on the IPod Touch then AT&T is sunk for sure. If that happens (and it probably will) then the IPod Touch will simply be an IPhone without a contract.

Here is a pic of the device from the Apple site. It does look just like an IPhone without the cell phone chip and that AT&T monthly bill. It even has a calender, clock, and contacts like the IPhone. I think that AT&T screw up with the 300 page bills that doomed tons of trees may have raised the ire of the Apple Green Squad. You won't like Apple when they are angry.

B-52 Accidentily Loaded with Nukes

I guess this was a money saving way to transport the nukes from Minot Airforce Base to Barksdale Air Force Base.
A B-52 bomber was mistakenly loaded with five nuclear warheads during a
flight from North Dakota to Louisiana, a newspaper reported Wednesday.

The bomber carried advanced cruise missiles as part of a Defense
Department program to retire 400 of the missiles, the Military Times said,
quoting three officers who spoke on condition they remain anonymous because they were not authorized to discuss the incident.

J. Michels Uranium Index 9/5/07

-$142.00 -0.32%

IPhone Price Reduced by $200

I would hate to have bought one of these things at launch.
Apple said the price of the iPhone model with 8 gigabytes of storage
was cut to $399 from $599 and that it would discontinue a model with less

"Apple has always been aggressive with price cuts to keep the
competition at bay," Shannon Cross of Cross Research said.

The idea that they are discontinuing the IPhone with less memory is kind of scary if you own AAPL stock. Was that model selling very poorly or did it just cannibalize sales from the 8 Gig model?

Also that $200 seems like a real steep cut. Could competition from the Blackberry or other smart phones actually make Apple lower the price sooner then they wanted to? Maybe IPhone sales were trending lower and the idea of selling 10 million IPhones by 2008 started looking unattainable. You would figure that sales to non-early adopters would be soft with IPhones costing the same as four Blackberry Pearl 8100s. All this could be bad of AAPL shareholders. This however is good news for me:
The new touch-screen iPod will have many of the features of Apple's hit
iPhone, including a touch screen, the ability to connect to the Internet
wirelessly using Wi-Fi technology, and a mini Web browser.

"We've built in Wi-Fi and we've made it usable," Jobs said, in what
could be seen as a dig at Microsoft's Zune, which beat the iPod to market with
Wi-Fi but has not enjoyed the iPod's popularity.

I would seriously consider buying a Wi-Fi enabled IPod if I could browse the Internet wirelessly. I don't listen to music much but I do surf the Internet everyday. However I would have to read the reviews on how well it grabs onto hotspots. If it is a chore to get connectivity whenever I want it then I will fail that IPod.

CBS Sticks With Couric

Why they are doing it though seems to smack more of ego then anything else. They don't want to look like they made a mistake so they are sticking with her even though ratings are poor. However I didn't know they were this poor:
McManus said CBS is disappointed by the ratings -- not only are they
down from Schieffer's tenure, but they've also been historic lows for "CBS
Evening News" -- but they're not dwelling on it.

Historic lows sounds pretty serious to me. If she was a pro quarterback they would have benched her in favor of the rookie. I people that watch the evening news (it seems they are retirees mostly) like their news coming from a folksy guy like Schieffer. They don't like a reactionary like Couric injecting opinion in with her reporting.

I hate how Couric asks those statement style questions all the time. For instance "Mr. President, the Iraq war is the worst defeat in American history, Osama Bin Laden has been elected President of Pakistan, and America will be destroyed in the next few years how do you feel about that?" I couldn't stand her on the Today Show and haven't watched the CBS Evening News since she has been there.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

How Big is Appalachian State's Upset?

Here is Kidd Brewer Stadium the Home of the Mountaineers. It looks just like a high school stadium. In fact it actually seats less fans (16,650) then 12 Texas High School Stadiums!

Compare this cozy little band box to the Big House and its 107,501 seat capacity.

That should tell you how big Appalachian State's upset is. I would really hate to be a Wolverine fan (like our former governor Ben Cayetano) today.

Appalachian State Gets Taste of the Bigtime

After shocking the world against Michigan Saturday it seems that people are really following this plucky underdog story.
Television cameras lined the field, a satellite truck was
parked at one end of the stadium and four sports information employees stood
with phones for players to do interviews after practice.

Oh, and there was only one goalpost. The other was still being fixed
after being torn down by students Saturday and left on the chancellor’s

My pick for upset of this coming week is TCU over Texas. I think Texas is ripe for the plucking after nearly blowing it against Arkansas St. If Arkansas St. hit a few fieldgoals and didn't throw a pick in the endzone then there would have been a 2nd Appalachian State level upset. In any case I think TCU might be the kind of team that could shock the world and knock Texas off.

J. Michels Uranium Index 9/5/07

+$1,176.00 +2.72%

Scientology a Criminal Enterprise Say Belgians

It seems the Europeans are not so easily taken in by the so-called religion. The Germans label it as a dangerous cult. The Swedes host the Scientologists super secret higher level stuff about Zenu killing the cavemen with the nukes. And now the Belgians label it as a criminal organization. I think the Scientologists should start thinking that they are not welcome in Europe at all.
Van Espen's probe also concluded that Scientology's Brussels-based
Europe office and its Belgian missions conducted unlawful practices in medicine,
violated privacy laws and used illegal business contracts, said Lieve Pellens, a
spokeswoman at the Federal Prosecutors Office.

"They also face charges of being ... a criminal organization,"
Pellens said in a telephone interview.