Saturday, January 29, 2011


Tigerhawk points out that his Governor is awesome

Our Governor...not so much.

Wouldn't it be nice to live in a state that cared about its non-union citizens?


Friday, January 28, 2011


Before Their Explosion, You Can Tell By the Threads


On the precipice of a vicious circle

The top left chart is the weekly 30 year treasury bond price. As the price falls interest rates rise. The top right chart is the U.S. dollar index daily chart. As you can see both charts show pronounced trends down. The vicious circle I have pointed out is that if interest rates keep rising it means that the US gov't will have to pay ever larger amounts of interest on our huge debt. The latest figure I have is the average interest rate on treasury debt is a blessedly low 2.365%. That is a pretty low number compared to past years and has to do with our weak economy. What scares the hell out of me right now is that interest rates are rising as the dollar is falling, usually higher interest rates would attract foreign money because it would signal a strong economy, but that isn't happening and it might be because interest rates are rising because of fear of default. When fear takes over there is no telling how far markets will go.

Keep that in mind when looking at the stock market. If this vicious circle takes grip there is no way the stock market can continue its up trend. There is a point when all of this will dawn on the average investor and there will be a mad stampede. That stampede will be worse if the people are caught unaware that a problem existed. Look at the stock market as your indicator that the problem of higher interest rates on a huge government debt has been recognized and get out before the crowd runs for the door.

Your point of recognition illustrated:


“Although deficits during or shortly after a recession generally hasten economic recovery, persistent deficits and continually mounting debt would have ... negative economic consequences for the United States”—among them, reduced investment, output, and incomes; less room for maneuver when the next economic crisis erupts; and worst of all higher probability that investors would eventually lose confidence in our country’s creditworthiness and demand much higher interest rates. While no one can predict when that “tipping point” might occur, the report notes that as the global economic recovery gathers strength, investors will be less inclined to purchase U.S. government debt as a safe haven and will focus instead on its rising risks. [Emphasis added.]

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Thursday, January 27, 2011


School Board OKs new charter schools for 6,000 kids

One of the only voices not spilling praise into the microphone during two hours of public testimony was that of Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis.

Charter schools are just a marketing scheme trying to sell a product that doesn’t... work — just like a weight loss gimmick she once fell for. “Guess what?” said Lewis. “I’m still a fat girl.”

Maybe Karen should try gastric bypass and Charter schools.

Update: Karen Lewis on Democracy NOW!!!

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Monday, January 24, 2011


Watch Idiots Burning Jay Cutler Jerseys

Did Jay Cutler play his heart out all year long getting sacked multiple times each week just to quit with a decent chance at going to the superbowl? I don't think so. I think he was hurt for awhile during that game which explains why he kept overthrowing his receivers.

These guys should be ashamed.

Diego: Phillip Rivers left the Chargers playoff game against the Titans a few years ago with a knee injury while trailing in the second half. His backup came in and led the game winning drive. To River's credit he had surgery on his knee and played the next week against the Patriots in the AFC Championship game. However, at the moment when he left the game while his team was trailing he was in a similar situation as Cutler and I don't recall hearing much criticism then like I am hearing now.

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Thursday, January 20, 2011



The order Mr. Obama signed Tuesday "reaffirms the principles" of the Clinton order with a few tweaks. In weighing costs and benefits, for instance, agencies may now consider "equity, human dignity, fairness and distributive impacts."


Saturday, January 15, 2011


Black Ops Jeep

Makes me nostalgic for my Defender. Wish the girl would get out of the way so I could see the car. That's so annoying.


Friday, January 14, 2011


Texter in the fountain



Beans in the teens

The Federal Reserve has followed an easy money policy for most of the last 20 years. What that means is they have allowed banks to borrow from them especially in times of crisis and they have lent at below market rates, again chiefly when the economy was weak or during a financial crisis. Markets got use to the removal of moral hazard aka the Greenspan put.

Cheap money will flow into areas of speculation which is why we have had a running series of bubbles during this time. The stock market, housing, and, now, commodity markets are the areas that have seen hot money. These money flows have distorted prices and lead to economic dislocations the biggest being the huge amount of foreclosures due to overbuilding of homes.

In 2008, crude oil approached $150/barrel and $5/gallon by the summer. This was another bubble and it could not be sustained because commodity prices eventual run into the consumers ability to pay. Unlike previous bubbles the commodity bubble hurt many more people than it helped and it made a bad recession much worse. We are seeing the return of the commodity bubbles in 2011 and I think it will have the same effect. Look at charts of soybeans, oil, gold, the stock market, and many other markets and you will see people piling onto trends caused not by economic growth but by cheap credit offered by central banks all over the world in the mistaken notion that the only way to fight deflation is with inflation.

Unfortunately this is likely to end badly.* Watch long term interest rates. I think they will keep going up as long as the commodity bubble is alive. I still think deflation is going to win in the long run. We have to ring out the excess speculation** out of economy before it can begin growing again in a non-stimulated, business driven way.

Update: It's beginning to feel like the '70s.

*Also unfortunately I have no idea when this will end. Could be next week, could be in a year.
**Prices need to reflect incomes and returns on investment, not the momentum of speculators piling into the latest hot market.

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Forget Cellphones; Casinos Say Poker Is Answer to State's Budget Woes

Hey Illinois! Are you listening?

A group of California casinos say they could raise about $1 billion over the next decade if the state legalized Internet poker.


Thursday, January 13, 2011


St. Vincent- Cruel



Wisconsin is open for business, Illinois just wants you to pay up

Wisconsin is open for business. In these challenging economic times while Illinois is raising taxes, we are lowering them. On my first day in office I called a special session of the legislature, not in order to raise taxes, but to open Wisconsin for business. Already the legislature is taking up bills to provide tax relief to small businesses, to create a job-friendly legal environment, to lessen the regulations that stifle growth and to expand tax credits for companies that relocate here and grow here. Years ago Wisconsin had a tourism advertising campaign targeted to Illinois with the motto, ‘Escape to Wisconsin.’ Today we renew that call to Illinois businesses, ‘Escape to Wisconsin.’ You are welcome here. Our talented workforce stands ready to help you grow and prosper.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


Real life vs. Gran Turismo 5


Tuesday, January 11, 2011


Suspecting a Scam

I'm not sure how this all works just yet but my initial inquiries suggest a scam. You can't take your dog to a dog park (dog friendly area) in Chicago without a permit. Permits are only issued by 'participating veterinarians' who seem to only give out permits to their clients. This might not be a strict rule, I'm still checking. I have a dog who was vaccinated outside Cook County but has a Chicago dog license. I have to acquire a permit for him to enter a dog friendly area or risk a $500 fine. I'm guessing the 'participating veterinarians' supported this recently enacted law.

Sunday, January 09, 2011


Man Gets Ticket While Paying for Parking in Chicago

View more news videos at:

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Friday, January 07, 2011


Silversun Pickups- Panic Switch



Thursday, January 06, 2011


NFL Predictions

Packers, Saints, Colts, Ravens win this week.
Packers, Bears, Patriots, Ravens win next week.
Packers, Patriots win in two weeks.
Patriots win in February.

Tuesday, January 04, 2011


This is a test

Are you old or young? Do you respect the rules or not? I think in the process of aging you lose the ability to have fun but it is also true that young people don't understand respect and they need their butts kicked sometimes. Ten years ago I would have laughed at the beginning of the video. Now I find the second half more funny. Too bad those old guys didn't have a cart.


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