Thursday, December 31, 2009

Cable TV Deadlock

I have Time Warner Cable. Fox is going to quit feeding to Time Warner at midnight, unless they get paid more money.

I would miss the Laker games but that's about it. A free market dictates that some station carried by Time Warner Cable will broadcast the Lakers. Those games get huge local ratings. I'm not really a big sports fan. If I'm watching, every body's watching.

Atheism Is Dying

Christers always used to say that there weren't enough atheists to be significant. Now they say that atheism is fading away. Next, they will proclaim that atheism can never constitute a majority.

What do you suppose the last thing will be that we hear from them, before we never hear anything again?

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Good Luck

It's traditional to have black eyed peas and some kind of fatty pork with bitter greens and corn bread on New Years. Sometimes I have it, sometimes New years just gets me thinking about it and I have it later. You are also supposed to put some silver in the pot when you cook it. Some places they douse it with a lot of hot sauce. I don't do those things. They don't have silver money anymore and I don't like hot sauce with black eyed peas. It just tastes wrong.

I'm in more of a pintos with lard mood right now. I used to make that up when I was really poor. I made corn bread with it too. Now, I just go to Del Taco. They make a perfectly good burrito for a buck. After a couple of those, you don't want any more. I guess I'm not really that much of a traditionalist or maybe it's a case of adapting to the times.

Busted Flush

Rick Warren and his superchurch in Southern California are often cited as the model for successful contemporary church building. Historically, bad economic times have been fertile ground for nascent evangelical religious organizations.

A religious organization rising in sinking times must fit those times and give people what they need. I think people are still waiting for the religious organization that will give them hope now. I don't think it's Warren's superchurch. Here's why.

The Party of No. The Army of Lincoln.

In 1936, a small but vocal segment of the American population felt strongly about the need to provide military support to the Spanish Republican forces against the Royalists in the Spanish Civil War. To this end, the Abraham Lincoln Brigade was formed and over 3,000 Americans went to Spain to fight. Funds were raised in America to support them. They fought under their own officers. Some other countries also sent contingents. The Soviets sent munitions to the Republicans. Adolf Hitler sent military aid and personnel to the Royalists. Eventually, the Royalists won and one third of the Lincoln Brigade died bravely.

Some Americans today believe it is very important that America intervene militarily in Yemen against the forces of al Qaeda. I do not believe there is majority support for such an intervention. I suggest that a second Abraham Lincoln Brigade be organized to fight al Qaeda in Yemen. Joe Lieberman could be its commanding General. Jonah Goldberg and William Kristol could be his Aides De Camp. Charles Krauthammer could head up intelligence.

It would be a splendid little war. I myself do not feel motivated to go but I would certainly attend to the docks at their bon voyage and wave my hanky gaily as their gallant ship embarked.

After they kick al Qaedas's ass in Yemen, they can go to Kenya, it's not too far and find Obama's real birth certificate.

Justice Janet?

There is probably another Supreme Court position opening up next Summer. Janet Napolitano was on the short list last time and many think she has a lock on the next slot. Barry O really likes her. Well, who wouldn't?

I like Janet for the job. She's smart. She's qualified. She's the Republican's worst nightmare. I doubt there would be anything they could knock her out of the Senate confirmation process with, although I'm sure they would try. What more could you ask for?

On the other hand. She's not particularly young or in good health, being a breast cancer survivor. I prefer someone who has a good chance to serve for thirty or forty years. Health concerns were my main objection to Sonia, last time.

One thing, she should come out as a dyke before she is confirmed. I believe in truth in advertising. Also, it would put John Roberts to shame. He's as Gay as a Sunny day in May. I despise a coward.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Avatar. Yeah or Neigh?

Has anybody seen Avatar yet? I've never been a big fan of Cameron's movies. Terminator II was probably the best one and it wasn't that good. He's really deficient in the area of character development. I was hoping this one would be a big flop, just because it cost so much but it seems to be doing well. I've never gone to a theater to see one of his movies. I'm not planning to break my steak now.

From what I can tell, he lifted the idea from the old Jay Ward Rocky and Bullwinkle TV cartoon series, the plot line where they enlist the help of Captain Peter Peachfuzz to claim Bullwinkle's inheritance of the floating Mount Flatten, the only source of the rare antigravity element, Upsydaiseyium. I hope he paid a royalty on that.

It's tempting to go and see it at an Imax. I've never been to one. I'd get my money's worth. It's almost three hours long.

What do you all think? Is it worth the money and time? I'm old and I lose critical butt circulation sitting upright in a theater seat that long. Makes my sciatica flair up too.

Ya know what? I lied. A friend of mine convinced me to go see Alien when it first came out. It wasn't terrible. Sigorny still looked pretty good in those days. Once again, character development was the big problem, which was a shame, it had a great cast.

Friday, December 25, 2009

The Passing of an American Original

Arnold Stang died. He would have been an American icon but then Wally Cox came along and totally dominated the category. He made people love little nerdy guys, then died young. So unfair. Arnold had the better schtick and a longer run.

Pope Attacked By Deranged Co Religionist

The Pope was attacked by a Catholic woman at the midnight mass last night. She wasn't armed in any way. They say she is crazy. I don't know about that.

I just want to get it out there that most of the people who hate the Catholic Church or the Pope enough to attempt acts of violence against them are religious people. I can't think of an instance where an embittered atheist has attacked any religious figure. Maybe there have been some. I don't know. I know I wouldn't do it and I certainly qualify. I loath organized religion's attempts to make the rest of us toe their malignant line. The guy that shot John Paul II was a Muslim. I hear he's real sorry now. This lady that attacked the Pope yesterday has done it twice.

The current Pope is a pathetic little scumbag, probably a sexual pedophile pervert as well. He was instrumental in covering up the World wide priest sexual molester epidemic that has plagued the Church for the last thirty years and has been going on as long as anyone can remember. His pontificate is doing more than anything else to destroy the authority, credibility and following of the Catholic Church. More power to him. That's fine with me. I hope he lives to be a hundred.

Atheists just want Christers to leave them alone.

Slightly Frosty Christmas.

Coldest night of the year. Little bit of frost on the coldest parts of the rooftops and grass in the neighborhood. By early afternoon, it will be bright, Sunny and in the mid to high sixties.

Good football weather.

This is a tough time for the many tropical plants and animals in SoCal. A lot of areas in SoCal have flocks of wild parrots. A few have peacocks. When I was a kid in Garden Grove there was a pair of Toucans that came through every Winter. I swear to God.

We don't have anything like that in HB. I don't know why not. The weather is very mild. Where's my fuckin' parrots?

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Stupid Christer Scum Make Me Sick, Again

Have you seen this?

Very interesting. For any of you that haven't actually worn the uniform, what this translates to, is that any woman who gets pregnant while deployed to the Middle East will get an abortion without leaving the theater of operations, then return to duty for the remainder of her rotation. Even if she is willing to accept the punishment herself, whether she was coerced into sex or just overcome by the loneliness of a far away land, a woman will be forced to abort her child, in order to maintain the code of silence and protect a fellow soldier from court martial. Don't think for a moment that the Army won't make sure that its personnel have access to the latest in abortion drugs and medical technology, even if they have to bring in civilian staff to run the program under the table. That's what organizations like Blackwater and creative accounting are for.

What gets me is not the fact that this is an unconstitutional action on the Army's part. What gets me is, where are all the fuckwad, pro life, "prayer warriors" and "sidewalk counsellors"? They could actually be doing some good, saving some lives and supporting the troops by challenging the Army on this, instead of mugging young girls on the streets and fomenting the brutal murder of physicians.

Christer scum are never around when they could be doing some real good. Where were they when this abortion of a war was started? Where were they when their closeted gay, sodomite priests were butt fucking the last several generations of little Catholic boys. I'll tell you where they were, they were cheer leading W and Cheney as they trumped up the case for war and they were telling their little sons to shut the fuck up and bend over for Father, like he asked you to. They are too high minded to help a soldier. They'd rather stay safe at home and figure out ways to deny health care to the poor.


Monday, December 21, 2009

How Low Can You Go?

Gold took another $20 hit today.

Things to watch. Will the dollar continue to show strength? Will gold stop moving higher in overseas trading sessions? If both of those things happen, there is no telling how low gold can sink. I'm not expecting interest rates to rise in the near future but if they do, gold could be down for the count.

I'm hoping for at least the $900 an ounce level. At that point, if gold stocks are sufficiently depressed, I will cautiously begin to buy back into the market. Unless it's looking really puny. Then I'll wait even longer. I'm pretty sure gold will reach and surpass its recent all time highs sometime in 2010. This could be like taking candy from a baby. You never know though. It could turn out to be a particularly vicious baby.

How low do you think gold can go at this time?

Royal Canin Duck And Green Pea Cat Food

My wife scored a plastic trash can liner full of cat food from one of her friends. It probably weighs 20 pounds and the cans are 5.5 oz each, so there are probably at least 50 or 60 cans in there. It had been passed around to several people and none of their cats would eat it. Linda leaves food out for raccoons in the park, so she ended up with it. Raccoons will eat anything.

Before consigning it to the raccoons, I decided to see if our two cats would eat it. They are big boys, always hungry and will eat almost anything. This stuff is one of the anti allergy formulas that they sell in veterinarian hospitals. The ingredients look to be very high quality and it smells good. It's made almost completely from duck meat and green peas. On first try, while interested, the cats didn't eat much. It was finely ground and very dense. I decided to dilute it a little. First I mixed it with some other canned cat food and had decent results with that. Next I just mixed it up with a little warm water so the consistency would be a lot looser. They were all over it and licked their little bowls clean, day after day.

If you can find any of this stuff in a clearance bin for cheap and I expect you can, buy it. It's very good quality and cats love it.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Raise Cash

What will the markets do now? A surprising number of people think an economic recovery is underway but many are very bearish and don't believe it.

There is no question that we are at or nearing a crux point, so the first thing we should see is a period of indecision with extreme volatility in both prices and volume. Overall, I think movement will be downward in prices, across the board. After that, things should sort themselves out. Some things will continue down and some will turn around and go up.

If I had to guess, I would say that stocks, industrial commodities and building materials will go down. World currencies will continue to deteriorate. Agricultural commodities, energy and precious metals should eventually resume their bull market, though not at the same times or proportion. I am often dead wrong. My phone number is not in any of the Blackberries of the rich and powerful, for inclusion in late night strategy sessions.

Now is not a buying opportunity. Almost everything except the dollar has been increasing in value for most of the last year. I think everything will come down a peg or two, at least. Some things maybe a lot of pegs. Good buying opportunities may start at or near previous lows. They may prove to be even lower than that or may not be opportunities at all, except to lose more money.

Raise cash. It's cheap right now. That's always a recommendation.

The Big Die Off

In the middle and late eighties, I worked the night shift at Santa Monica Hospital. This was after AIDS had been identified as a retro virus but before anybody knew exactly what it was or how to treat it. There was an AIDS floor there with 15-20 patients all the time. Stays ranged from a few weeks to a few months. Nobody went home or anywhere else. They all died, horribly.

They couldn't staff it. They paid extra money. They gave smaller patient assignments. They didn't require any special training or skills. They didn't care if you were conscientious or a Demerol addicted junkie. They still couldn't get anybody. They would float people from other units. Some people got doctors excuses not to work there. Some would just quit if forced to. I used to float there a lot. Somebody had to.

It was terrifying. The unit was supposed to be on blood and secretion precautions. It was a joke. Those guys leaked every kind of fluid there was, in large amounts. A lot of the time they sprayed it. The walls would drip. The sheets would saturate. The floors would puddle. The linen and medical waste hampers overflowed and the full bags stacked up. The stenches were amazing and the various deodorants they tried just made it worse. There were constant screams, moans and cries for help. Between 2 and 5 AM there would be deaths. You'd try and clean up the bodies for when the families came in but they just kept on leaking. We tried to keep everybody comfortable and give everybody all their meds. A lot of the meds had side effects worse than the symptoms of the disease and they got refused. Everybody there knew they were dying and had a real good idea what it would be like.

I did the best I could. Honestly, I think I was as good as anybody else and better than most. I never worried about getting AIDS from working there. AIDS is is pretty hard to catch. After a while I kind of liked it. Nobody ever gave you a hard time. You never saw a supervisor. Sometimes you had to work over until they found somebody to replace you but they never made you work a full double shift on the AIDS floor.

I never regarded homosexual people the same after that. Almost every patient there was Gay, male, my age or younger. There was never any pretense. What would be the point? I couldn't say if they died bravely. I don't even know what that would be. I know I wouldn't have been any different from them, if it had been me dying.

Over the years, other places, I worked with AIDS patients. Never anything like that again.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Dead Preacher

Oral Roberts has died at 91 years of age. Most people don't realize that he had lived for the last 15 years or so in a little condo at an exclusive country club adjacent to the ritzy Newport Center/Fashion Island complex, just up the hill from Balboa Island, on the Orange County, California coast. It's very nice there. To be fair, it was a modest two bedroom condo, sparsely furnished and not at all pretentious. I was there, and met Oral and Miss Evelyn a few times, in an occupational capacity. Miss Evelyn was an intelligent and admirable woman. Oral was nothing special. I guess he was able to take direction well.

Oral was the most successful of the multimedia evangelists of the last half of the twentieth century. If you were not familiar with the breed, he was pretty entertaining but compared with some of the others he was positively bland. My favorite was based right here in Los Angeles. Dr O L Jaggers and his wife, the eternally young and beautiful Miss Velma, founded the World Universal Church, downtown on the Nickle after the end of World War II. If you needed a fix of Pure Dee Okie stump stomping, you couldn't do any better than to tune O L and Velma in on the TV at 6 AM, Sunday mornings. You could only get the true effect of it, if you had been drinking for the last 18 hours or so. Psychedelic drugs also really enhanced the experience. O L believed in aliens, demons, angels, and that he could deliver eternal youth, vigor and beauty to any denizen that wandered in with some loose change. The shows were worth the price. O L slicked back his long, greasy hair, dressed up in silk robes with glittery badges like Fu Manchu, played the piano and sang between sermons and Miss Velma sang, danced, flew through the air in a wire harness and would end up with a sharpshooting exhibition. They did all of this in front of the World famous seven million dollar altar. The alter looked like it was built by a team of hyperactive seven year olds out of left over Christmas decorations, covered in tinsel and glitter, then electrified. O L strongly suggested that they actually held Jesus captive inside the alter and squeezed oil out of him that would cure all ills, rejuvenate you and make your pecker stiff and he would sell you the oil.

O L and Miss Velma disappeared several years ago. Some people think he and Miss Velma went to Hawaii for a well deserved retirement. Some people think he and Miss Velma ascended bodily to Heaven, in Miss Velma's custom built motor coach. I miss them. The least they could do is play the old shows over again on Sunday mornings. There's forty or fifty years worth, somewhere.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Scratch a Progressive

Since I spend a lot of time and effort demonizing the religious right, I would be remiss if I didn't point out that the left has its share of religious wingnuts too. I'm always amazed at the number of people claiming to be secular progressives who readily admit to believing in reincarnation, astrology, the healing and spiritual power of crystals, the cosmic consciousness of Nirvana and an endless list of other clap trap. They are a burden the left must apparently bear. These people are all nuts.

If anything good can be said of them, it is that their beliefs are diverse and they pose little collective threat to the peace and freedom of the rest of us. That doesn't make them any less crazy.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

The Secularization Of Christmas

People think it's terrible that commercial interests have turned Christmas into an orgy of consumerism. The truth is that organized Christianity sucked all that was meritorious out of Jesus long ago, leaving a dry husk suitable only for the veneration of fools. Either way, there is nothing positive in Christmas celebrations and God is rarely invoked during the season. Given what is left of the legacy of the carpenter, there is no reason to celebrate his coming.

Don't blame atheists for this. Most of us are good Samaritans. We, maybe more than you, wish your religion worked better. Christians did it all themselves. They built a soulless culture, gutted their own God and seem to like it fine.

Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Tiger Tiger. burning bright, In the forests of the night; What immortal hand or eye. Could frame thy fearful symmetry?

Tiger was one of the richest professional athletes in history and totally dominated his sport when he was twenty one years old. Look where he came from. Military father. "War bride" mother. Golf culture. Orange County. Why would anybody be surprised at the life choices he made?

Blame him? Shit. I wish it was me.

Cheeky Monkey!

When the stars threw down their spears
And watered heaven with their tears:
Did he smile His work to see?
Did he who made the lamb make thee?

Bushes Like Dykes, Dykes Like Bushes. Go Bushes. Go Dykes.

Houston, as everyone knows, is where all the old Bushes go to die. They're having a mayoral election there in a week. A young, White Dyke is running against an old, Black, civil rights lawyer.

The Dyke has the inside track. I believe the Bushes are secretly rooting for her. Both Barbara's anyway, for sure.

The wing nuts are pretty much stuck supporting the old, Black guy. For me, it's a win/win situation.

It'll be fun to watch. Break out the mint juleps and sun bonnets.

Hello, Goldbugs

If anybody wants my opinion, here it is. Almost two years ago, gold topped out at $1034 an ounce before retrenching. A few months later, gold started looking like it would continue its run up. That's when I bought in to gold stocks. Gold was about $890. I made quite a bit of money, right off the bat as gold advanced about $100. I was feeling pretty good.

Then it started down again. I couldn't believe it would go much farther down than where I had bought it, so I hung tough because by that time I had a pretty nice cushion. That cushion was gone in a couple of weeks and before I knew it, I was deeply underwater. I decided to ride it down, because I knew if I got out, I would never have the guts to get back in at the right time. By the time gold bottomed at $680, because gold stocks are leveraged to the value of gold, I had lost about 2/3 of my original investment. Nice work, Dave.

So I sat for almost a year, while gold worked its way back up. Unfortunately, gold stocks, while they advanced spectacularly from their lows, never really took off ahead of the gold price. I didn't break even until gold was $100 an ounce higher than I had bought in at. Then, every time gold would fall back, the stocks would fall back twice as far. When gold would advance, the stocks would never really catch up. I ended up breaking even again several times, always with gold at a higher price. It wasn't until gold was close to $1100 that I was substantially ahead. The stocks weren't really going into overdrive until about a month ago and then two weeks ago trading started to get choppy. I should have got out then but I was convinced gold still had a ways to go. Always the optimist.

At the $1227 peak, I was about $100,000 up, a little more than 20%. I got out at the end of trading Thursday, with about half my winnings. All out.

Now, I am convinced that the American dollar is toast, the American economy is shit and that gold is the best long term investment but have come to believe that the road from here to there is not a straight line. I'm old. I want to maximize my investment returns.

Gold may resume its run very soon. If it moves convincingly across the $1227 threshold, I'll buy back into stocks. I may be crazy but I still think they are the way to play gold. If I had bought into stocks at the bottom, a year ago, I'd have tripled my investment. Given the profits they will make, even at $900 an ounce, they are massively undervalued.

Gold is vulnerable at this point. If buying interest is not heavy and the dollar index rises, it could easily fall back below $900 an ounce and the miners will get hammered much harder. If, at that point, Bernanke starts to aggressively raise rates, it could go back to $700. I would not put it past the little cocksucker. If I was him, that's what I'd do. If that day comes, I would rather be there for the buying opportunity, with money in my pocket, than at the end of another long ride down, waiting to get well.

If you own physical gold and have made a decent gain, I don't think you have anything to worry about. Over the next decade gold is going way up and the dollar is going way down. Shorter term may be a different story. There is still money to be made in gold and even worst case, its better than dollars printed by the trillions to support a welfare state, full of fat, lazy, type II diabetic, cretins.

Good luck to you. I'm waiting to see what happens next.

Friday, December 11, 2009

The Most Catholic Country In The World

Spain is among the most Catholic countries on Earth. By Spring, they will likely pass a law there that will legalize abortion up to 14 weeks gestation on demand. For thirty years elective abortion has been performed in Spain, up to 22 weeks gestation, by utilizing a loophole in the law. The new law will actually tighten up control of elective abortion in real World terms. Legalization of abortion is not controversial for the majority of Spanish citizens. Obedience to the Church has not been a big issue there since the death of the Church's protector, the hated El Caudillo, Generalissimo Francisco Franco, ending 40 years of dictatorial control over secular life in Spain, by the Church, complete with the imprisoning of unwed mothers and homosexuals to indeterminate sentences without trial. Nice. Pope Benedict says he will excommunicate any politician that votes for the law. He says he will excommunicate the King of Spain, if he signs the law. He says he will excommunicate any doctors or nurses that participate in abortions, any women that have them and their parents, if she is under the age of consent.

The law is going to pass anyway. The only part of the law that may have to be compromised is a provision that allows girls as young as 16 to have an elective abortion without parental consent. Spain is the most Catholic country in the World. Do you think the Catholic Church might be suffering from some control problems among the faithful there?

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Sodomite Sheltering Bishop Offers up Resignation

Donal Murray, the Catholic Bishop of Limerick, in Ireland, is going to Rome. He will offer the Pope his resignation over his part in covering up the priestly sodomy of young boys for almost 30 years.

That's all fine and good but to whom will the Pope offer his resignation and who in the Church is clean enough to replace him?

I think all the bishops and cardinals should go. Perhaps they could turn the Church over to the old nuns. I never heard of them sodomizing any little children. Let the old nuns rebuild the church or just shit can it and start over again. It's past time, either way.

Does Acid Rain On Demethanated Sheep?

You hear a lot about how the science behind carbon buildup in the atmosphere and climate change is wrong. I don't doubt it. It's pretty complicated, with a lot of variables. I'm not sure anybody will get a real handle on it any time soon.

Unfortunately, the people who don't trust the science on climate change the most also believe in a young, creationist Earth and think geometric population growth is a goal rather than a problem.

Who's a boy to believe?

As Long As There Are Females There Will Be Feminism

The Women's rights movement began when some well educated, affluent women asked that they have some choice in marriage partners. Not that they be allowed to marry whoever they wanted but that they might have some choice among a field of acceptable, family approved candidates. Some women had related requests, that they not be liable to arbitrary corporal punishment and that they should have recourse to relief from a grossly abusive spouse. These were revolutionary concepts when proposed and not universally accepted today.

Later, women would ask to be able to have legal ownership of personal possessions, land, money and to have their rights respected in legal contracts.

Finally, women demanded the right to vote, to participate on an equal basis with men in industry, commerce and culture and maintain independent personal domiciles.

It needs to be noted that male society within the family, church and civil authority have all reacted violently in opposition to every move by feminists to better their situation and that no gains were ever made by feminists that were not hard fought.

There is still a great deal animosity toward feminism and resistance to gender equity in society today. It is especially prevalent within religious institutions. I always enjoy it when institutions or individuals in authority pick a fight with righteous feminists because I know they will soon lie bleeding in a dark alley.

Monday, December 07, 2009

Donate $30 And Get A Complete CD Of This Performance

Public Television frequently shows Andrea Bocelli specials in conjunction with fund raising drives. I've seen several recently. The new Christmas one is out or maybe it's from a previous year. The shows are very nicely produced and he's very good. They have him singing with all sorts of other artists and entities and doing all kinds of music. I know some rich people who pay big money to attend the concerts recorded for these public television fund raising specials, like it's a real big deal.

Maybe it's just me. I'm not that crazy about him. There doesn't seem to be any genuine emotion or life in the performances. Even the guest performers, some of whom are normally quite emotive, seem strangely muted. I saw him do a duet with Reba McIntyre, no shit and she came across like a somnolent, zombie princess in an old Voodoo movie. Even her hair didn't seem as red as usual.

Maybe next they could have him do a whole concert with Celine Dion. Possibly the two of them together would excite each others phoniness isotopes and a critical reaction would take place, melting them down to the center of the earth and then exploding the planet in a fiery, faux operatic, cataclysm.

That would be something to see.

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Navigating The Shalt Nots

Gold had a short pull back a week ago during the long Thanksgiving weekend, from which it quickly recovered and resumed its climb. Last Friday gold lost $50 an ounce. One should never assume that changes like this are transitory. They always signal a change in momentum. Who knows how much or for how long.

I would like to see the price go down at least another $50 an ounce and then trade sideways for a few weeks, to establish a little confidence that there is some support at $1100 and to let the market cool down. If it goes down more than that, I won't be surprised or disappointed but neither will I be as sanguine as I would during a smaller drop. There's no reason that gold couldn't drop several hundred dollars an ounce over at least a few months and then take a year or more to recover. There is all the time in the World for that to happen and when it gets finished, the economy will still be fucked up and ready for a gold bull market. I don't think that's likely because it just finished doing that and I think it will do something different now.

Gold could bounce right back and continue its climb. That's not necessarily the best thing that could happen. As an investor, I'd be lying if I said I ever wanted gold to do anything but go up in value. I'm only human. When I was younger, I was interested in lust, sloth, drunkenness and gluttony. Now that I'm older, I am enthralled by avarice and greed. I honestly am not sure why but it doesn't make it less true. I see them as two different things, avarice as the desire for riches not already in my possession and greed as the unwillingness to part with wealth I already have. I'm surprised there aren't a lot more words in this vein. Eskimos have 10,000 different words for snow. I like to think I am a virtuous man. I have never been troubled by jealousy or envy. Well, not too much and those are the really deadly sins. I'm sure God smiles upon my shining face.

Evo Wins

40 years ago, Che Guevara was killed in Bolivia by the American CIA. Today Evo Morales easily won re election to head the government there for a second term. However you interpret this, it is a momentous event. Latin America is rapidly changing. The Monroe doctrine is discredited. This will mean big changes for Latino people, those from developed nations who do business with them and the Catholic Church, which may or may not command their allegiance, depending on who you believe.

Evo isn't to every one's taste. He's not very popular here in America. The poor of his nation love him. It should take him a long way, if he can stay alive. In any case, I don't think anybody is ever going to put the Aymara back in their box.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Time to drink now

The price of Gold is going parabolic. I am making money hand over fist. On paper. For now. I would frankly rather see a slow steady rise over the next few years during which the price of gold doubles a few times. Why wish for the inevitable quick death of the goose that lays the golden egg. Unfortunately, I just bought a ticket to the show. I don't get to decide how it will unfold or how long it's going to last.

Like Petty Officer Tom O'Neill used to say, God rest his weary, whisky sodden, soul. "Shut the fuck up and cash that check, punk. They've already taken away your birthday twice. You're an ignorant, non qual, deckape and permanent messcook, not the XO's long lost, little boy. You'll be in the T.I. brig on bread and water soon enough. Time enough for that. Time to drink more now."

What a kind and gentle man. I loved him like a father. When he was a boy, he wanted to become a priest but the beatings and constant sodomy became too much for him, though he was of a disposition to like that sort of thing. He found a better home in the brotherhood of the sea. With Tom, you always knew what you were getting. It was good to have a man of God among us.

Peak Rice?

I am looking seriously at rice futures. About a year ago rice prices peaked. Several Asian countries, unable to produce adequate amounts for domestic consumption were forced to make large purchases, driving prices to record highs. Since then, rice prices have declined but not near previous lows. Last years purchases, along with the crops they were able to produce have been able to forestall further large purchases since then. Next year, they will likely have to make further large purchases.

Most land suitable for rice cultivation is already in production. Even with improved agricultural techniques there is a limit to how much nutrient rice plants can extract from the soil and turn into grain. Much of rice producing lands are in large, low lying Asian delta systems. Theses deltas are undergoing rapid erosion due to rising sea levels. There is less land available and the salinity of the ground water is increasing, making the prospect of much higher rice yields unlikely.

Most of the rice importing countries of South and East Asia have large, rapidly expanding populations of young median age. The governments of these countries are hoping that they will be able to increase rice production enough to feed the empty bellies of their people but how likely is this, really? I don't think it's very likely. Rice futures should be low in the coming Spring. I think there will be large purchases made next Fall.

This doesn't seem like that much of a gamble. The populations of these countries are growing. Rice production has been decreasing. Hungry people overthrow governments. It's cheaper for the governments to buy some rice than keep a bigger army to kill off the unhappy masses.

I think I'll buy rice. What do you guys think? Any commodities traders out there? Any Asian rice consumers that have insight into existing availability of rice in India, Myanmar, Bangladesh, Indonesia/Malaysia or the P.I.? Those few countries are home to two billion people. All of them eat a lot of rice.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Dottie Was Famous For Her Sloppy Joes

Up until the second grade, I attended the James Marshall Elementary School in the South Western section of Modesto, California. Modesto was a bustling but not very affluent community at that time, it's about the same today. It may be a little more bustling and a little less affluent, mostly having to do with an extraordinarily high per capita consumption of methamphetamine by the inhabitants.

The school custodian used some kind of highly aromatic oil to dust mop the floors and wipe down the walls at James Marshall. In the morning everything was shiny and slick but as the day wore on a layer of dust and grit adhered to every surface. The oil worked its way into our clothes and pretty much ruined them for anything but going to school in, so most of the kids only wore one set of clothes to school. We were a shopworn looking bunch, gritty, oil stained and funny smelling.

The school cafeteria was a big Quonset hut that somebody had got for surplus and set up out on the playground. We all ate in there, whether we bought lunch or brought it. I guess it was easier to keep control of us that way, so that most teachers could enjoy their own lunch, someplace else. People that bought lunch were prepaid by parents and their names were on a list. You couldn't just decide to buy a hot lunch on any arbitrary day, except for Wednesdays. Wednesday was Sloppy Joe day. Dottie, our cafeteria lady was famous for her Sloppy Joes. That's what they always said. Because her Sloppy Joes were so famous, it wasn't deemed fair for all of us brown baggers to miss out. On Wednesdays, if you brought a quarter you could get the delicious, entire meal, complete with a scoop of green beans and peachy cobbler or for 15 cents, you could just get that famous Sloppy Joe. My father got paid once a month. Early in the month, I usually got the 15 cent Sloppy Joe to eat with my apple and homemade cookies. Later on in the month, Wednesdays were just the usual baloney, mustard and mayo on white bread. I liked that just fine. Mostly, I just missed being with the crowd clamoring for Dottie's Sloppy Joes, they being so renowned and all.

Except for that brief period of my life, Sloppy Joes have never been high on my list of culinary delights. In fact, I went most of my life with no Sloppy Joe intake whatsoever. Strangely, I have been making them pretty frequently the last couple of years. I just use tomato paste, with a little vinegar and sugar for sweet and sour, chopped onion, garlic powder, shredded potato as a binder and filler. Great comfort food. Filling. Cheap. They're also soft and my teeth aren't good anymore. A mouthful of titanium implants would prob'ly run North of 50 grand. I'm not going to live long enough to get my money's worth out of something like that. My Sloppy Joes are a lot better than that greasy sludge Dottie was pushing. Sweet memories of youth.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

New Attack Drone?

This looks promising.

I like it. Let's buy more.

Castrating Their Young And Building A Strong Republican Platform

Huckybuck is feeling the pain of Willy Hortonesque accusations from fellow travelers of the Right Wing over his past clemency and commutation of sentence for a Seattle cop killer and subject of a recent large scale manhunt.

Pawlenty has already weighed in that he would never do any such a thing. It'll be fun to see what Mitt and the Salmon Slut have to say about it.

Huckybuck broke one of the seminal rules of Conservative American politics. Never let a Negro out of prison on purpose.