Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Other things he did

His great great great grandfather assisted George Washington in defeating Santa Ana at the Battle of the Bulge.

His cousin's second wife's 1/2 brother was with Neal Armstrong when he landed on Pluto and said those famous words 'Ask not what your planet can do for you, ask how much more in taxes you can pay to provide "FREE" health care for urchins'

He is related to Chris Columbus who as we all know discovered Antarctica

Since he thinks they speak Arabic in Afghanistan I wonder if he thinks they speak Spanish in Brazil.

But who cares about any of those pesky facts. Keep chanting Si Se Puede and tell yourself Change is Good 100 times before you go to bed every night and all will be well. Uncle Barry promises.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Can't win 'em all

Oil at $130. Damn who would thunk it? Not me. Every once in a while you get smacked and smacked but good by the investing gods. This has happened to me in the past three weeks. I shorted USO when oil was at $118. Needless to say, not a good move.... so far. I'm still in the 'oil is in a bubble camp' though and long term it's going to be well below $100.

The stock markets had a nice little move the last week or so. Again, I'm sticking to my guns and staying a bear for the immediate future. The runup recently was ignited by the inflation report that said - with a straight face - gas prices were down 2% in April when adjusted for such and such or this and that. If you believe that gas prices went down in April, then by all means go out and buy some stock. If you live in the real world, you probably shouldn't as inflation is raging and damn near out of control.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Typical White People

Watching the CNN coverage of the Oregon and Kentucky primaries was amusing. The media, especially the CNN/MSNBC media types have a nice litle world they've created for themselves. It goes a little something like this:

- Barrack Obama is the new messisah
- anyone who doesn't vote for him is racist
- the more edumacated you are the more likely you are to vote for him, implying that
- uneducated whites who voted for Clinton are racist rubes who don't know 'nuthin
- "young" people vote for the messiah

Except a funny thing happened in KY. Whites with college degrees voted for Clinton. And so did "young" people, ie those under 30. It was like watching deer in headlights. How could this possibly be? College educated people are supposed to be enlightened as are "young" people. How could they possibly have voted against the new messiah?

So the pundits spent some time deriding Kentucky in a nod, nod, wink, wink manner. Oh you know well it's just KY, dumb rednecks, what do you expect. Just like W. VA, also a bunch of inbred rubes who hate black people. Then the Oregon results came in and it was back to normal. The freaks in Oregon who think saving an owl is the equivalent to curing cancer went a votin'. And they voted for Barak. Life was good once again.

Except that it's not really. If you look at exit polls, like people in OR and KY voted the same. That is working class, bitter, religious gun toting freaks in KY and OR voted for Clinton. Super duper ultra liberal latte sippers voted for Obama. There are just more of the former in KY and more of the latter in OR. And Oregon's win for Barak, while impressive isn't THAT big. He got less than 60% of the vote in a state that is tailor made for him.

Of the whole time I watched I didn't hear anyone offer any reason other than race for the anti-Obama vote. It was as if the whole campaign had been about voting for a black guy or not voting for a black guy. No pundit offered the theory that maybe, just maybe those typical white bitter gun nuts don't want a president who will raise taxes. They don't want a president who will 'negotiate' with psychopaths. Perhaps they don't want a president who thinks Iran is just a tiny, insignificant country. Maybe they don't want a president who will take away their right to own a gun. Maybe they don't want a president who wants to socialize medicine.

Whenever a Democrat gets bitch slapped by a Republican the Dems come out in full force and say that voters care about issues. Yet when the voters reject the solutions Barrack is offering for the issues of the day, suddenly issues don't matter and it's all about race. Alice in Wonderland 24/7 on the ex-Clinton, now Barrack News Network.

What I also didn't hear from any of the pundits is that there are a lot more Kentuckys in the country than Oregons. Especially the siwng states that will be swinging once again this year. If I were a super delegate I would be asking myself this question: Are Ohio, Penn, Florida, New Mexico, New Hampshire, Nevada, Michigan, Colorado and Missouri more like Kentucky or more like Oregon? The answer is obvious to one and all. Well except to the brilliant minds on CNN.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

F -

I was reading yet another article on the plight of the poor poor IHOs (Idiot Home Owners) who can't make their payment. Wahh wahh wahh the sob stories go. I bought a $600K house on a $40K salary and holy shit, what do you know, I can't afford it. Oh please let's elect Obama so he can solve it for me. (OK the last part wasn't in the article, but you know a lot of these IHOs are thinking it).

One of the stories however was about a teacher who bought because (of course) now is a great time to buy. And she bought with a $20K grant from the government for being a teacher. So I did a little googling and this is a nationwide phenomenon. If you are a teacher and are hell bent on destroying your financial future by buying an overpriced piece of shit house, the gubermint will write a check on your behalf. Here is one example from Chicago:

* Up to $1,000 off closing costs
* Half point discount
* No origination fees
* Fast loan decisions
* A dedicated team of home loan consultants ready to serve you
* 100% Financing available
* Illinois Housing and Development Authority (IHDA) Programs

100% financing. Great idea guys. Since as we have learned from the past two years, nothing is more stable than a depreciating house purchased with 100% financing. It gets better though. If you are a teacher, making $32K a year you also get:

- Flexible credit scores and low credit score minimums
- up to $3,000 towards closing costs

In other words, if you barely make over minimum wage, we'll give you 100% financing even if you've never made an on time payment in your life. But since you are a teacher - and a member of the larges union in town, aka a guaranteed Democrat voter - we'll give you everything and anything you need. And in a year or two as you are about to foreclose, we'll step in and throw some more money at you.

Teachers are a special breed of people you see. They are the ones that indoctrinate our young minds with a special blend of anti-war anti-American socialism/communism, green studies, 'alternative' lifestyle choices and a heavy dose of 'do whatever the fuck you want if it makes you feel good, anything to keep your self esteem up'. And if they have time they might teach the kids how to read and write.

Putting aside the politics of it, teachers know what they're getting into. I am so sick of teachers complaining about pay. Teachers have been paid their current salaries for decades. Yet every year we hear the same stories about teachers who can't afford this or that. It's like teachers were making $150K a year and all of a sudden the pay dropped to $30K a year. Sorry teachers, that's the deal you signed up for. Don't take a $30K a year job and then demand to live the life of someone earning $75K. You make too little money to afford a house. So either rent an apartment you can afford or get another job. Don't come begging to the taxpayer hat in hand like a street person asking to be subsidized.

DISCLOSURE: My wife is an ex-teacher and is fully aware of my views about the teaching world. She is one of the 16 non-Marxists to have ever taught in a publik skool. If and when we ever do decide to buy another house, I hope for her to take advantage of one of these programs. If you can't fight them, join them.

Monday, May 19, 2008

About this whole gas price

I find it amusing that every day on the news or online there are tips for saving money on gas. One of them is always to slow down. Yesterday I tried a little experiment. I actually drove the speed limit on the freeway to see if it had any material impact on the old MPG. From point A to point B of my journey I drove 55 on cruise. It did seem like I was barely moving compared to the normal 75-80, but I did save gas. Compared to the 17/18 MPG I would normally get, I was getting 23. A 27% increase in mileage for slowing down. Pretty good. The round trip was 60 miles. At 55 I used 2.6 gallons. At 75 I would have used 3.33 gallons. Last I filled up cost $3.85 so I saved $2.80.

But is it really worth it? Not really. By slowing down to 55 it took me 1.09 hours of time to drive the 60 miles. At 75 it would have taken me 0.8 hours. So I spent an extra 0.29 hours on the road to save $2.80. That works out to the equivalent of earning $9.65 an hour.

In economic terms one could say that anyone earning over $9.65 an hour doesn't have the incentive to slow down since his time is more valuable. Conversely anyone making less than $9.65 should slow down. And as everything involved in the study of economics, this assumes a perfect world in which everyone drives the same car and only has two options of driving 55 or 75.

While I was driving 55, I was going slower than 99.9% of other vehicles. I was being passed by trucks - you know the ones driven by drivers who swear they will be bankrupt if the price of diesel goes any higher. I was being passed by shitboxes with 7 illegals inside. I was expecting a 90 year old woman on a walker to fly by me. Which led me to think that this gas price crisis I keep hearing about isn't such a crisis after all. If people really were having to decide between eating and driving as the MSM claims, they'd slow down and save that $2.80 per trip and then go buy a couple of items off the $0.99 menu and not starve to death.

Actions of course always speak louder than words. And my mini-experiment proves that people just like to complain. $4 gas is a bitch. It isn't however the end of the world as we know it. So to the guy at Starbucks guzzling down a $30 a gallon cup of lactose free, non-fat, 1/2 caf decaf, soy mocha with a hint of fat free cinnamon complaining about $4 gas....STFU please. To the soccer mom in the 11 MPG monster SUV with the supercharged V8 option complaining about $4 gas as you drive Brittney and Parker to soccer practice at 90MPH so you can make you $250 hair cut appointment....STFU please.

And so on and so forth.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

It would go something like this

OBL: I want to kill every Jew in the world, convert Europe and America to Islam. You asked us to the negotiating table and that is our opening bid.

Obama: Well I don't believe we can do that. I'll have to ask my manager but I think I can work with you. How about this: you only kill 1/3 of Jews, convert England and France, since they're halfway there to begin with and say New England. In exchange no more 9/11s and you promise to stop trying to get the bomb.

You drive a hard bargain Barry but I can't do that. Best I can offer is I kill 1/2 the Jews, I get England, France, Holland and Spain. You can have New England, but I want California, Arizona and Texas. Plus I still get to work on a nuke for 5 years, if I don't get it by then, I stop. That's really my final offer and I can't go any higher

45% of Jews. S. California, East Texas, England, France, Spain and you get 2 more years on the nukes. Final, final offer, I'm already losing money on this deal and cannot go ant lower.


Wednesday, May 14, 2008

stupidest thing I've read in a while

There is an alarmist article on the 20 vacation destinations that are threatened by global warming. Not climate change, global warming. So freaking hard to keep track if it's change or warming. And before I get to the stupidity, how come climate change is bad? Obama keeps telling me that he will bring about change. So some kind of change is good but other types of change are bad. Damn it really is confusing keeping up with the PC mumbo jumbo these days.

Anyway on to the of the vacation destinations is Death Valley. And yes, Death Valley is now in danger of going away due to global warming. Here is how the writer sees it:

Most of the places that are threatened by global warming are at risk because climate change causes flooding in the area. In contrast, Death Valley is at risk because it's already a hot place that doesn't have much access to water. This United States National Park area takes up a big chunk of Southern California, a chunk that could become almost impossible to cross if global warming heats it up even more.

HUH? WHAT? COME AGAIN NOW? Let me see if I get this logic right. It will be impossible to cross Death Valley because the plants that are there now will not have enough water. Meaning now with all the plants around you can just waltz across the joint without a care in the world? Is that it? So a road can no longer be used to cross the national park because the plants on the side of the road will die off. Is that it? If someone can figure out this bonehead's train of thought, please enlighten me, I am truly at a loss.

Unlike the author, I've been to Death Valley a couple of times. It's nice but you've seen one chunk of desolate SW desert you've seen 'em all. It was interesting to experience 120 degree heat in such a desolate setting though. Get off the main road and it is eerie how quiet the place is. And believe me, when it's that hot outside another degree or two is not noticeable.

And finally the article is called "20 Cities, Islands & Countries Threatened by Global Warming". Among the 20 cities, islands and countries listed there is Death Valley, Yellowstone, Lake Baikal, Great Barrier Reef, Belize Barrier Reef, Red Sea Reefs, Mount Kilimanjaro, Glacier Park and Columbia Glacier. So out of 20 cities, islands and countries, 9 are neither a city, a country or an island.

Like I said, stupidest thing I've read in a while.

W. VA and IN who cares.....NC: Bold and decisive

I'm no political expert or nothing, but here are some interesting facts of the past 3 Demo primaries. Combine the population of W. VA (1.8 million) and Indiana (6.3 million) and you get 8.1. North Carolina's population is 8.8 million.

Clinton won 51% of Indiana and 67% of West Virginia. I know that you can't really use measures like that since not everyone voted and not everyone is a Democrat (thank god). But follow along anyway. So she won 51% of 6.3 and 63% of 1.8 and 45% of 8.8 for a total of 8.35M in the 3 states. Obama on the other hand won 55% of 8.8, 23% of 1.8 and 49% of 6.3 for a total of 8.55 million people. So the margin of victory is 200,000 people out of 16.7 million. Not exactly a resounding victory in my opinion.

Yet the way the media is writing this story you'd think he had won by 3 million not 300,000. He won big in N.C. and she won even bigger in W. VA, yet his victory gets him a glowing love story in Newsweek, she is being pushed under the bus. What makes N. Carolina so much more special than W. VA or Indiana. To me it should be the other way around. W. VA is the most important of the three for Democrats. Indiana and N. Carolina are both solid red states. McCain will win those without breaking a sweat. W. VA on the other hand is one of those swing states that could go either way. Bush winning W. VA in 2000 is the reason he is president today. Had Gore won the state that Clinton won twice, has a Dem governor and a Dem majority in the state House of Reps, Florida wouldn't have mattered. Yet Gore was as hostile to 'bitter, gun toting religious' people and well, we know the rest.

As a Democrat, don't you want the candidate who kicked ass in a swing state to be your guy/gal in November? And the same goes for Ohio where Clinton won big and Pennsylvania where Clinton won big. Yeah it's all fine and good that Obama won Wyoming and Georgia and Alabama and S. Carolina. That and $4.75 will buy you a Starbucks mocha in November.

There is such a zest to elect Obama that Democrats will put their self-interest to the side in order to fulfill some kind of manifest destiny of political correctness. Guess the first woman candidate just isn't good enough anymore. That gets you a B, maybe an A- from the PC commissars. But elect the first black candidate and you get an A++ with a couple of starts next to your name, even if it means losing 40 states in the general election.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

That funny feeling again

No, I am not talking about the tingle Chris Matthews gets up his leg when watching Obama speak. I'm talking about that weird feeling I'm experiencing hoping for a strong showing by Hillary in today's W. VA primary. It is an odd sensation cheering for a KLIN-TON. But the more I see and hear Obama the more freaking scared I get (yes I realize that not fully embracing Obama and his folksy brand of communism makes me a KKK Grand Wizard, so be it).

Maybe it was just good old fashioned marketing that I fell for. But, I saw that interview with Bill O'Reilly she did and I kept thinking to myself, she ain't so crazy. Yeah I know, it was an interview on Fox News so everything she said, should be taken with a grain of salt as she was pandering to a certain group. Still, while not agreeing with her on much, she didn't seem like the wild eyed wicked witch of the east. And compared to Obama she was down right Goldwateresque.

For those of you who haven't read this 20 times here is my theory once again:

Obama wins with a Demo congress, we get communism. Hillary wins we advance another step or two towards socialism. McCain wins and we take the same steps only we do it in a spirit of bipartisanship.

If McCain wins, the media will gush and fawn over him. McCain is nothing but a media whore and will continue to be one once elected. He couldn't care less what the conservative base that elected him, thinks of him. His main pre-occupation is what the NY Times and Washington Post say about him. When he raises taxes. Or when he imposes new gun restrictions. Or when he comes up with some insane global warming climate change scheme, nominates liberal judges, imposes some new restrictions on free speech and of course gives the 20 million alien criminals citizenship, he will be lauded by the media as a courageous politicians willing to work with the other side. Anyone opposing him will be a mean spirited partisan party hack.

Hillary will do the same. She will give the criminal aliens amnesty. She will raise taxes. She will fight global, oops there I go again with 1999 thinking, climate change. She will do all of it. Difference is, when she will do it, conservatives will have a fire lit under their asses and stand up to her, even in a losing cause. After 8 years of Bush and 2 years of Clinton, by 2010 a new revolution, will be ready to take place. It took Carter to get Reagan. It took 2 years of Clinton to get 1994 and Newt. We will never get another Reagan with McCain in office. We very well might get one with Hillary.

With Obama, it's simply a lost cause. It will be absolutely impossible to challenge him on anything. Disagree with him and you are sent to racism re-education camps by the media. 8 years of him and we might as well start taking French lessons. Hell I won't stick around to find out what happens. I'm not packing my bags on Nov. 5th, but chances are pretty good that with Prez. Obama, by this time next year I will be writing from a distant land.

The only hope for this country is a Hillary presidency and that is why I say GO HILLARY GO.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Bush/McCain's America

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) -- Pollo Campero, a Latin American fried-chicken favorite that had been seen in the U.S. only in takeout boxes aboard arriving flights, has teamed up with Wal-Mart to expand its reach to the nation's growing Hispanic population.

For the world's largest retailer, Pollo Campero offers a new opportunity to reach out to its diverse range of shoppers as it customizes some aisles in its mammoth stores to sell culturally attuned products.

"It's kind of like when we're looking at salsa versus ketchup and tortillas versus bread," said Lorenzo Lopez, a spokesman for Wal-Mart Stores Inc. "All those things have crossed over very well with customers in general and this has the potential to very well do the same thing."

Translation: Nobody shopping at Walmart in Texas or California speaks English anymore thanks to 8 years of open border policy. Walmart, being a shrewd business caters to the illegals by providing them with the foods they desire. Look for this trend to continue at stores in Nevada, Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia and N. Carolina where the flood of illegals has turned into a full blown tsunami.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Market Value

I have been looking for a used SUV for a while and have made a couple of fair offers. These offers were made on the value of the SUV, which has fallen about 20% in the past 3 months due to the gas price "crisis". Each time though I was told the seller can't sell it for anything under $X since that is what the loan is. I tried explaining that the value of the loan has absolutely no bearing on the value of the SUV. It was like talking to a wall. So no deal and the seller will get a visit from the repo man soon enough.

Dealers are a little more reasonable. They know what's going on with the price of SUVs. They have no illusions. But they are playing the same games. Can't sell it to you for $15K, I put $17K into it. Like I give a fuck what you put into it. Same mentality. I guess by that logic if I trade in a car on which I have a $50K note, you'll give me $50K? Didn't think so Mr. Dealer Man.

As a society we have been programmed to ignore true market value of anything. Look at any car commercial and you will never see what the thing actually costs. It's only how much a month or what interest rate can you get. And it's not just cars. When people discuss taxes, it's never about how much do they actually pay in taxes. The discussion is usually about how big the refund will be, as if getting a refund means you pay no taxes or something. Someone will send the IRS $30K, get back $1,500 and think 'sweet, I'm getting money back, taxes aren't so bad'.

And this brings me to the subprime mortgage "crisis". Is it any wonder people made such idiotic decisions regarding their homes? Is it any wonder 50% of mortgage holders don't know if their mortgage is an ARM or a fixed rate? Not in this society of how-much-a-month-is-it mentality it isn't.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Is idiot too strong a word?

Watch this video. 2:30 of solid entertainment.

Classic. Simply classic example of the greed, stupidity and irrationality that occurred in Las Vegas.

These idiots camped out overnight to spend $800K for a cookie cutter 4 bedroom home on a postage sized stamp so small you could touch your neighbor from your back yard. Now all their neighbors have foreclosed and they live in a ghost town. They think the house has only dropped $300K in value. Good one lady. If it's worth anything over $300K I'd be very surprised. Come to think of it as it stands, its value is $0 since nobody would ever consider buying there. Who in their right mind will buy a home in a community where every house around you is empty and the HOA is broke? I wouldn't even want to rent in a place like that since there is a good chance my landlord would go belly up and I'd have to move.

These kinds of communities are doomed. Historians will look back on this era and think WTF were people thinking building 4000 sq ft homes in the middle of a desert to be occupied by 2 people? I predict these and other types of communities will eventually just be bulldozed over and replaced with more reasonable houses that make sense. Houses that are 2000 to 2500 sq ft on large sized lots that someone may actually be interested in buying and won't cost $1000 a month to cool in the summer. And no I'm not exaggerating at $1000 a month. My house in LV was barely over 2000 sq ft and the electric bill was close to $500 in July.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

I'm not buying it

Wal-mart came out with numbers and the CNBC gang had their collective orgasm. Same store sales were up 3.2% YOY. Walmart predicted 1-3% increases. Woo hoo! Recession's over. Let's all go out and buy that new 90" plasma.

Except looking deeper at the numbers, the increase in sales came primarily from food and drug sales. Hmmm, I wonder what that means. Oh yeah I know, it's freaking inflation in food and drugs that's responsible. That's not a good sign for WalMart or anyone else. Growing your sales through inflation is a sure sign of 3rd Worldness. If Zimbabwe retailers were to report, their sales are up 10,000% YOY.

A very basic examples: Last year WalMart sold 100 cans of peaches at $1, revenue of $100. This year it sold 92 cans at $1.12, revenue of $103. 3% increase in sales. Just browsing a top line report you'd think hey cool, revenues were up 3%. Economy must be doing well. All this talk of recession is jibber jabber doom and gloom pessimism. Fine. Except ask yourself what's a better situation for the economy; 92 cans of or 100 cans being consumed?

Walmart has also joined a growing number of retailers offering incentives for people to cash their stimulus check onsite. Just something odd about a retailer cashing checks sent to the masses by the federal government. Odd isn't the word. Disgusting is more like it. You know where this used to happen? In the Eastern Block. The government employed everyone. The government also owned all the stores. So the government paid people to go buy things in its own stores. We're not too far away from that. And the brain trust of Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid and Jorge W. is now bringing up the idea of a stimulus part deux later in the summer.

Don't you just love election years?

Recreate Sixty Eight

As a proud member of the VRWC I'm digging this slow train wreck called the Democrat primary. Aside from really good entertainment, I think it is going to have long lasting implications beyond 2008. For the past couple of decades the Dems have portrayed themselves to each other and to the outside world as this kumbayah singing, rainbow tent under which everyone is a special flower and is loved by one and all. And this tent is the little guy fighting against the meanies in the GOP who represent Big Oil or something like that.

Well in 2008 the truth came out. The Obama / Hillary fight has become a back alley brawl with no holds barred. Not only is kicking below the belt allowed, it is encouraged by both sides.The Dems are a collection of disparate special interest groups that don't have much in common aside for hatred of Republicans. Your typical Obama voter has nothing in common with your typical Hillary voter. The Latte Liberal with a six figure income proudly sporting an Obama sticker on their Lexus SUV may as well live on the moon compared to the working class bitter Americans supporting Hillary. No matter which ones wins, the other side will be pissed and more importantly unmotivated in November or anytime soon.

2008 for Democrats will be the polar opposite of what 1980 was for Republicans. Then, Reagan brought together a bunch of conservatives who didn't really like each other. But they all liked - no loved - Reagan so much they put aside their differences to rally around the man.

The only sad, and ironic twist in all of this, is that there is nobody on the GOP side to take advantage of the mess. McCain is nothing but Hillary with a tolerable accent. The Dems will destroy each other and we'll still end up with a Dem as the winner.