Thursday, April 28, 2011

Silver Mania in the Making? Time to go Short

Well, I think silver might be entering a mania phase according to this article.

Make no mistake: This is speculation pure and simple, and wild speculation at that. Some people may say they have "reasons" for buying now -- inflation, the Fed, the dollar's decline -- but you can hedge against all of those without buying silver.

No, the only real reason anyone's buying silver now is because they think the price is going up soon, and they don't want to miss the boat. That's the very definition of speculation, and it always ends very, very badly.

This article writer recently got a full color glossy ad that touted silver as "the single greatest opportunity of our time." In other words the bubble might soon burst and the price of silver will go back down to the mid-$30s. I love watching for bubbles and this one certainly qualifies. I mean silver is at multi-decade highs and cannot stay that high forever no matter how much "dollar hedging" or "inflation hedging" is out there.

The thing that solidified it for me is that silver miners seem to be going down. In other words people are in a mania to buy the metal but don't want to own the people that take the metal out of the ground. In other words there is no rationality to the market and it is just speculation now.

Losses May be in the Billions as a Result of Sony's Massive Hack Attack

You thought Apple keeping tabs on you is bad this Sony Network security hack might mean billions in losses.

Security experts said Sony would need to account for the loss of business -- as well as damage to its brand -- when it tallies up the cost. Other costs include notifying customers of the attack and bringing in experts to cleanse its network.

Larry Ponemon, chairman and founder of the Ponemon Institute, said the theft could cost Sony more than $1.5 billion, or an average of $20 for each of the 77 million customers whose data was potentially compromised. Poneman's firm specializes in securing information on computer networks.

If I had to cancel my credit card and change any passwords that were the same as the one on the Playstation Network then that would be worth much more then $20 to me. In any case this is one of the times that I am glad I own an Xbox360 even with the Red ring of Death problem. That only caused inconvenience and not the potential for identify theft and credit card fraud that the Sony breach does.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Picky Eating Might be a New Mental Disorder?

Now this is an interesting new finding.

Like kids, adult picky eaters limit themselves to an extremely narrow range of foods. Unlike those who suffer from anorexia nervosa or bulimia, adult picky eaters are seemingly not worried about calorie counts or body image. But so far, researchers don’t know if adult picky eaters just haven’t outgrown childhood patterns or if their eating habits are a new twist on obsessive compulsive disorder. Some may be “supertasters,” with an abnormally acute sense of taste that turns them off certain foods. Many appear to have had unpleasant childhood associations with food.

When I was in high school I was an extremely picky eater. I didn't like melted cheese, raw fish, certain candies, and a whole lot of different things. Then when I went to college I ate more and more stuff and after graduation I try almost everything. Hell, I even ate crab roe in Hokkaido without missing a beat. I think the idea of limiting yourself to only certain foods if you aren't dieting is foolhardy. I mean you never know what new thing there is out there without trying it.

At Last Obama Releases His Birth Certificate, Why Wasn't this Done in 2008?

Our long national nightmare is over. Obama looks like he was born here after all as if there were any doubt in the first place.

"I am so proud of myself because I've accomplished something that nobody else has been able to accomplish," Trump said from Portsmouth, N.H., where he was giving early primary voters a close-up look at a potential presidential campaign.

"I feel I've accomplished something really, really important and I'm honored for it," Trump said.

Well I guess you can give "the Donald" some credit because it was him that took up the banner and the White House finally caved. The funny thing about this whole process is that it should have not been an issue. The Obama people should have just released the damn thing during the campaign when the Clinton's asked for them.

I'm not sure what the hold up was other then ego. I mean the only reason I figured the White House was stonewalling on this issue is because they didn't want to cave in to Fox News and the dirty Birthers. If they would have just released the thing way back when then this issue would have been settled long ago.

Now after waiting so long they look like Trump put pressure on them and they were forced to release it. Or whats worse it looks shady that they are releasing it after stonewalling for years. Oh well in any case the question is settled.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Jobs Fires Back Against IPhone/IPad Location Tracking. Is this an Official Statement?

I wonder why the Apple PR machine isn't the one launching into damage control mode instead of Jobs perhaps sending out a personal email.

"We don't track anyone. The info circulating around is false," reads an email from Jobs to a customer complaining about reports that the iPhone transmits users longitude-latitude coordinates to Apple.

Tech bloggers are taking the emails at face value because Jobs has a history of replying to customers from his corporate email account and MacRumors says the headers of the email match with previous Jobs emails. The remarks are being interpreted as particularly blunt. At one point, the customer wonders why he shouldn't switch to Android because Google doesn't track his every move. "Oh yes they do," responds Jobs.

I guess they are simply going to coast based on their reputation. This sort of screw up would doom Microsoft to years of litigation and destroy whatever rep they have left. In any case they seem to not care too much about having your location in plain text stored on their devices. So I guess Android and the Xoom might be getting my tech money in the near future.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Syria Starting to Boil over with 75 Killed in one day.

I hope NATO doesn't start talking about airstrikes in Syria now.

Syrian security forces fired bullets and tear gas Friday at tens of thousands of protesters across the country, killing at least 75 people in the bloodiest day of the monthlong uprising and signaling that the authoritarian regime was prepared to turn more ruthless to put down the revolt against President Bashar Assad.

It seems like things are only going to get worse from here. I really don't see the army splintering into rebel factions or anything like that. The death toll will simply mount and the international community will sit around because they have their hands full in Libya.

Homeless Woman Who Tried to Get Kid into Better School District Might Face Prison

Wow, now this is a sad state of affairs if she is convicted.

Connecticut authorities have filed theft charges against Tanya McDowell, a homeless woman, alleging that she used a false address to enroll her son in a higher-income school district, The Stamford Advocate reports. If she's convicted, McDowell may end up in jail for as many as 20 years and pay a $15,000 fine for the crime.

McDowell is a homeless single mother from Bridgeport who used to work in food services, is now at the center of one of the very few false address cases in the Norwalk, CT, school district that is being handled in criminal court--rather than between the parent and school. Authorities are accusing McDowell of enrolling her 5-year-old son in nearby Norwalk schools by using the address of a friend. (Her friend has also been evicted from public housing for letting McDowell use her address.)

So she wanted to send her kid to a better school and get him out of a failing one and she might go to jail for 20 years and pay a $15k fine?  In a system of vouchers where you would be able to pick your school this sort of thing should never occur.  In the current system she is penalized and potentially criminalized for being homeless.

This system seems to be put in place simply to keep black people from succeeding. I mean if this kid got a chance to go to this Norwalk school he might get the tools to go to college and maybe have a better life. If he is stuck in the failing school his chances are that much slimmer to be anything but a drop-out and part of the permanent underclass. Maybe that is what the Dems want by keeping this system in place.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

GOP Pushes Back Against Medicare Scare Tactics

Well, it is good to see them finally defending their plans to turn Medicare into a voucher program.

In an interview, Stivers said he has been busy explaining to people aged 55 and up that they will see no change in their benefits under the Republican plan which would save nearly $6 trillion over the next decade.

"I talk about how for people 54 and under we are preserving the system, we are reforming it to save it because frankly in nine years if we do nothing Medicare goes broke," he said.

Yeah, pretty much. If it is kept as the current system I will not see Medicare in my lifetime because it would have gone bankrupt decades before I can receive it. I other words all that money I paid into it is pretty much set on fire since I will never see it paid back to me. The system needs to change right now or we will end up with trillions more in debt going forward to keep the current system in place.

So the iPhone and iPad Saves Where you Been for Years? Yeah, time to get a Zoom or an Andriod Phone

I have no idea why these devices would do this but it is a pretty big privacy breach if it is true.

Much of the concern about the iPhone and iPad tracking stems from the fact the computers are logging users' physical coordinates without users knowing it — and that that information is then stored in an unencrypted form that would be easy for a hacker or a suspicious spouse or a law enforcement officer to find without a warrant.

Researchers emphasize that there's no evidence that Apple itself has access to this data. The data apparently stays on the device itself, and computers the data is backed up to. Apple didn't immediately respond to a request for comment by The Associated Press.

I understand that this data needs to passed on to Verizon or whomever so that they can tell where you are for cell service and to rescue you or whatever. But there is no reason why it is saved on the iPhone in a non-encrypted form. It is even more baffling why an iPad does the same thing. Plus it looks like it saves the file from one software update to another so it isn't a glitch but seems to be intentional.

All I can think of is that this file allows sites like FourSquare or other location marketing firms to verify if you actually go where you are supposed to go. So you won't be lying about trying some new place to earn a badge. Other then that there is really no reason why this file exists at all. It should just flush itself whenever the phone is turned off or just truncate itself after 2 weeks or something. I mean as soon as you turn on the phone it will grab a signal from the closest tower and you have your current location. You don't need to save that data from last year.

I'm sure Apple will survive this with their reputation intact. But I will certainly be buying a Xoom so that hackers can't pull this unencrypted file (I mean encryption is so cheap why is this file in open text?) and find out where I live and where all my friends live as well. Plus it will tell if I am home or not which is as bad as writing on your Facebook that you are out to dinner or something.

Obama Creates Laughable Gas Price Task Force

I guess Obama wants to get to the bottom of high gas prices.

President Barack Obama said Thursday that the Justice Department will try to "root out" cases of fraud or manipulation in oil markets, even as Attorney General Eric Holder suggested a variety of legal reasons may be behind gasoline's surge to $4 a gallon.

"We are going to make sure that no one is taking advantage of the American people for their own short-term gain," Obama said at a town-hall style meeting at a renewable energy plant in Reno.

The national average price for a gallon of regular gasoline was $3.84 on Thursday, about 30 cents higher than a month ago and almost a dollar higher than a year ago.

Um, I wonder if Obama knows that part of the reason for the high gas prices is the war he helped start in Libya? I mean almost all of Libya's oil production is off of the market for an indeterminate period of time. So supply is disrupted and that makes prices rise. I mean this guy went to Harvard right? Maybe he fell asleep in his Econ 101 class or was out shooting hoops or something during that lecture.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Now This is One Intimidating Soccer Mascot

Yes this is a man with a freaking giant chainsaw named Timber Joey and he is the mascot of the Portland Timbers MLS team.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Roswell Crash Real? The FBI Seems to Confirm It

Now this is some blockbuster news if it is true. The text kind of speaks for itself. They described the shape and that they had 3 bodies of human shape only 3 feet tall dressed in metallic cloth of fine texture. We even have a reason why the saucers could have crashed which I haven't seen in any Roswell literature I have read. It says high powered radar interfered with the crafts instruments causing it to crash.

The only problem I see is that this memo is from 3/29/50 and the Roswell Crash was in June or July of 1947. Does it really take 3 years for this kind of information to circulate from the military to the FBI? Maybe the memo wasn't issued until the FBI was tasked with checking into more sightings. Also it would be interesting to find out what the various numbers mean on the sides and bottom of the sheet.

One thing that I found interesting was a very important issue of the well-respected magazine Flying with the topic of flying saucers came out in July 1950. Perhaps this document was part of a larger investigation into that issue. Maybe Hoover wanted to get abreast of the facts before the magazine dropped and potentially caused an uproar.

Friday, April 08, 2011

Government Shutdown Might Be Averted: $39 Billion in Cuts

Well at least they were able to cut something.

Republicans said the deal called for $39 billion in spending cuts, a measure that one official said Boehner told his rank and file marked the "largest real-dollar spending cut in American history."

Over a decade, the agreement would cut more than $500 billion from the federal budget, Boehner added, according to a participant in the meeting.

The agreement marked an extraordinary reach across party lines and the first test of a new era of divided government that includes Obama in the White House, control of the Senate by fellow Democrats and a tea party-flavored Republican majority in the House.

It is good to see everyone working together once and a while. Now lets pass a real budget so we don't have to worry about this crap.

Thursday, April 07, 2011

Time to Trump Obama: The Donald Polls Well in the GOP Field

I really hope "Time to Trump Obama" is his campaign slogan.

According to the poll, Trump and Huckabee both garnered 17 percent support among likely GOP primary voters. They trailed Mitt Romney, who topped the poll with 21 percent support, but bested several potential candidates, including Newt Gingrich (11 percent), Sarah Palin (10 percent) and Tim Pawlenty (6 percent).

Yet the most surprising number is Trump's standing with self-described tea party supporters. Among tea party voters, Trump leads the entire 2012 field, with 20 percent support--besting Romney (17 percent), Huckabee (14 percent) and Palin (12 percent).

I mean he has made a payroll and gone bankrupt and rebuilt his empire so he knows about debt and running a large company even in tough times. He knows about the real estate market so he would be well ahead of Obama on the housing crisis. He knows how to create jobs because he has actually created hundreds of them with his own capital. He talks tough and obviously loves his country.

In fact he might be the best advocate for reforming Wall Street and the financial systems because he is an insider. Kind of like LBJ helping to get civil rights passed easier because he was a southerner. We might see some real reform when it comes to these markets because "The Donald" knows what the change and what the effects will be.

However, he is a bombastic windbag sometimes but will certainly make for an interesting debate with Obama. I also think he would have a much better chance to win than Palin, Newt, Bachmann or Romney. Hell, if Paul Ryan doesn't run I would vote for Trump in a minute.

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

FBI Documents Claim that LAPD might be Involved in Notorious B.I.G. shooting

Now this would be an interesting thing to look into.

Informants told the FBI that the killing of B.I.G., whose real name was Christopher Wallace, may have been aided by corrupt police officers. The heavily redacted case files include several mentions of sources who wouldn't talk to Los Angeles police investigators about Wallace's death because of suspicions about corruption.

The idea that the LAPD aided in the murder or maybe just protected the trigger-men might be an interesting angle for the case. I mean it has been years since he was gunned down and they didn't catch anyone for the murder. I wonder if it was a hit put out by Tupac's people and aided and abetted by corrupt cops in the LAPD? I can see the officers protecting the corrupt cops and not wanting to talk to the FBI. Hmm, it sounds like a cool angle for a "The Wire" episode to me.

Slanted AP Story Goes after the Ryan Budget

Wow, the AP doesn't fool around when it carries the water for the Dems.

A report from the Congressional Budget Office provided added fodder for critics, after nonpartisan experts concluded most future retirees would pay considerably more for health care under the GOP approach — which turns Medicare into a voucher-like plan for those now 54 and younger.

Oh no , retirees will have to pay "considerably more" for their Medicare states unnamed "nonpartisan experts." That is scary stuff too bad the Congressional Budget Office has a different take:

Ryan's plan would put people now 54 and younger in a different kind of health care program when they retire, unlike the Medicare that their parents and grandparents have known. Instead of coverage for a set of benefits prescribed from Washington, they'd get a federal payment to buy private insurance from a choice of government-regulated plans.

"A typical beneficiary would spend more for health care under the proposal," the budget office estimated in its analysis.

Wow, it seems that "considerably" just left the building according to the budget office. People should just admit that the "Medicare that their parents and grandparents have known" is just not fiscally sustainable. I would rather have a voucher program or anything else rather then seeing the damn thing go bankrupt in 10 years. The idea of robbing future generations so that you can have prime healthcare needs to end with the Baby Boomers.

The AP then goes on to say that their budget would hurt the poor and disabled:

They would mean that poor people no longer would have a right under federal law to get health care through Medicaid. Instead, Washington would send each state a lump sum to spend on medical care, nursing homes and other health services. 

Wait what right are they talking about? I read the Constitution and it doesn't talk about medical care anywhere in the document. I like the idea that the states will have to run the program and the government just writes them checks. Hell, if the State Medicare program sucks in one state then a poor person could conceivably move somewhere else. To avoid the Federal Medicaid program that poor person would have the emigrate to Canada or something.

Advocates are worried that states will not be able to offer vulnerable low-income people reliable protection. Medicaid payments to providers are already at rock bottom levels. States pressed for money in a future economic downturn might reduce payments to doctors and hospitals even more, and they might even freeze enrollment. 

Yeah but then you make funding an issue and boot out the State Legislatures if you don't like what they are doing to Medicaid. This would give the poor a powerful incentive to vote and pay attention to their local races.

Even if they did reduce payments and freeze enrollment it would be temporary like furloughs and such. The idea that the Feds need to run programs like this is ludicrous. Hawaii has a Medicaid program that is supposed to be one of the best in the nation. I don't see how other states can't do something similar. The Federal program is a ripoff and actually penalizes states for doing their one thing.

Glenn Beck's Show Done at Fox

Well I guess you can see it coming.

Viewers also began turning away. Beck's 5 p.m. ET show averaged 2.7 million viewers during the first three months of 2010, and was at just under 2 million for the same period this year, the Nielsen Co. said. His decline was sharper among younger viewers sought by advertisers.

Increasingly, the show began to be dominated by Beck standing in front of a chalk board giving his theories about the world's troubles.

I stopped watching his show after he went off on the Egyptian democracy protests. He was talking about the Islamic Brotherhood taking over and other nonsense. Egypt is exactly what the Bush Doctrine stood for and Beck was pissing all over it.  I mean we spent lives and treasure to get this to happen in Iraq and Afghanistan and it was happening on its own all over the Middle East.

Beck was basically a fear monger. Instead of saying Egypt might turn into a pseudo-democratic-Israel he had it pegged as a potential Iran. That is a possible outcome but you figure that a bunch of people that fought for "freedom" probably won't change one repressive dictator for another. The left field outcome was the one he ran with and I didn't like it.

All Beck saw was conspiracy crap about a Caliphate rising out of Egypt and not the potential of several Democracies springing up throughout the Middle East. That might actually lend all sorts of stability to the region because Democracies rarely fight one another. But Beck was convinced that this wasn't an opportunity but a sign of terrible times or whatever. I just stopped watching the show because I can't stomach a guy that can side with a dictator (even a benign one) over people that want free elections.

Monday, April 04, 2011

Obama Starts Re-election Bid; Hopefully Paul Ryan Can Step up and Make Him a One Termer

Well, I guess someone finally convinced Obama to run for a second term.

He offered a kickoff video in which official Washington is ignored and even Obama himself only makes a fleeting appearance. What the campaign wanted voters to see instead were people like them speaking of real-life concerns and their faith in Obama, against wholesome backdrops in every clip: a church, a farm, a family in a kitchen, an American flag.

I wonder if Obama will "only make a fleeting appearance" for his re-election bid as well? However he is still trying to surround himself with sycophants and yes-men.

A huge part of his challenge will be to spark the voter inspiration that often got lost in the slog of governing. His new campaign video gave a nod to the challenge. A woman named Alice from Michigan said: "We're paying him to do a job. So we can't say, `Hey, could you just take some time off and come and get us all energized?' So we better figure it out."

Yup, its your fault America that Obama hasn't energized you. I mean he has to do all that crappy governing and leading and just doesn't have any time to pump you up. You have failed America to be sufficiently jazzed to see 4 more years of his hands-off, no drama, wait until the last minute to make a poor decision style.

In any case the only way Obama wins is if the GOP has Sarah Palin, Michele Bachmann or Rand Paul as their candidate. I agree with their substance of cutting and debt reduction but they are not electable as President. The ideal candidate (who isn't Chris Christie) in my opinion is Paul Ryan.

I called it way back when and I think he is eminently electable. A hard worker and an economics wonk would be a perfect academic and chief. Obama is a pretender to that title and only seems intellectual because the media would do anything to protect him. An Obama v Ryan debate would finally expose Obama for the fraud he is.  It will be something to watch an intellectual and policy wonk verses a pseudo-intellectual hopey-changey empty suit.

Natural Gas Bill Brought Back from the Dead in Congress

I was wondering why my Golar LNG (GLNG) stock went up today and it seems like it is Congress who is responsible.

The bill is a revamped version of the New Alternative Transportation to Give Americans Solutions Act, or NAT GAS Act, that died in Congress in 2008. The original act required 10 percent of all vehicles sold in the United States to run on natural gas and all retail gas stations have at least one natural-gas pump by 2018. The 2009 version of the bill would have increased tax credits for natural gas vehicles and refueling.

I'm not sure how a Natural Gas vehicle would work but this bill certainly will raise the demand and the price of the commodity going forward. I was thinking that a natural gas pump would be totally covered with no smoking signs too. I mean one spark and Kaboom. Also if you wreck a natural gas car would flammable gas fly everywhere? I guess I need to do more research into this sort of thing. In any case I would much rather power a car with a fuel that is brought up from the ground under North Dakota rather than Saudi Arabia or Iran any day.