Thursday, March 31, 2011


Food Inflation Hidden in Smaller Packaging

Food inputs, commodities like corn, wheat, soybeans, are rising in price so it is no surprise that food prices are rising. But food companies are very clever because they know that American shoppers will balk and buying something that has risen in price. We might, God forbid, look for a substitute.

I noticed when I went to Walmart a couple of months ago that Helman's mayonnaise was now being offered in a jar that was 20% larger. The price of the old jar was $3.00 and the new jar was offered at $3.88, a 29.3% increase in price. A clever way to hid a 9% increase in price.

John Maynard Keynes once said of inflation: "There is no subtler, no surer means of overturning the existing basis of society than to debauch the currency. The process engages all the hidden forces of economic law on the side of destruction, and does it in a manner which not one man in a million is able to diagnose."

Food Inflation Kept Hidden in Smaller Bags

Chips are disappearing from bags, candy from boxes and vegetables from cans.

As an expected increase in the cost of raw materials looms for late summer, consumers are beginning to encounter shrinking food packages.

With unemployment still high, companies in recent months have tried to camouflage price increases by selling their products in tiny and tinier packages. So far, the changes are most visible at the grocery store, where shoppers are paying the same amount, but getting less.

Meanwhile, Glenn Beck is a kook for pointing this out months ago.



Team Offers to Assist Rival in Search for New Coach

Hew Hewitt: "The GOP is crazy to allow its presidential nomination process to be mediated by a left-of-center to hard left MSM." This has been discussed before. There are many lessons I don't think the GOP has learned yet. I hope the Tea Party keeps the pressure on them in the right direction.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011


Chuck's pizza destroyed by fire

I hope they can recover. In Beverly you were either a Chuck's or Fox's pizza fan. I was a Chuck's fan.


Monday, March 28, 2011


Tech-Savvy Victim Tracks Laptop Thief, Has Lulz at His Expense

I love it when a thief is stupid.


Friday, March 25, 2011


Remy: Why They Fought

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Wednesday, March 23, 2011


Kings of Kong

If you watched the documentary King of Kong, this is the epilogue.


Domestic Disputes

The GOP should not assume it can capitalize on Obama's failures in the 2012 elections. Some in the media might appear to be turning on the President now but next spring there will be a rekindling of that love affair with enough PDA to make even a liberal vomit. The "don't get cocky" advice still applies. If you rush into the middle of a domestic dispute thinking you will be welcomed and appreciated you might find yourself outnumbered and under attack.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011



John O, do you remember this word?

20 awesomely untranslatable words from around the world.

Saturday, March 19, 2011


Farrakhan warns, advises Obama on Libya

(Via Hot Air Pundit.) Chicago's very own race baiting windbag, dictator lover.

"...built a country over 42 years..."? (8:05 on the video)

Built? Farrakhan sounds like he thinks Qadaffy owns Libya.

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Friday, March 18, 2011


Shame: Ignoring Death Threats to Wisconsin Politicians Is Media Bias

Try to set aside whatever biases or preconceptions you might have for a moment and ask yourself why death threats against politicians aren't considered national news, especially in the wake of the all too fresh shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and other bystanders. And there hasn't just been one death threat, but a number of them.

Alex, I'll take Hypocrisy for a thousand.

Just before writing this article, I did a Google search and it's stunning to find out that the right wing media really isn't exaggerating -- proven death threats against politicians are being ignored by the supposedly honest media. If you've never agreed with a single thing that Limbaugh, Bill O'Reilly et al have said about anything, you can't in any good conscience say that they don't have a point here. Death threats are wrong and if a story like Wisconsin is national news for days, then so are death threats.

It's so heartbreaking to watch a liberal have the their eyes opened to liberals inability to have a rational argument. Isn't angry rhetoric and closed-mindedness pervasive of the right wing? Sadly no ideology has a monopoly on irrationality.

That tone of extreme hostility I experienced brings me back to the death threats in Wisconsin. Frankly, the bile and invective in that threat reminded me of the tone I saw directed at me from many so-called liberals because I committed the heresy of taking a different position from them on the issue of collective bargaining for public sector employees... based on something FDR said.

Is this really what liberalism has come to in 2011?

It was always there you just had to oppose them to see it.

Update: 20 days of left wing thuggery in Wisconsin

Ann Althouse has been threatened. She's a law professor. Not smart dude. His name is Jim Shankman, he is on Facebook, and he delivers pizzas.

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ATM Fees: How to Avoid Them

If you would like to avoid paying another bank or company to deliver your money to you in the form of cash then you should consider these two tips when using an ATM.

1. Check the logo and name on the ATM you are considering using. If it is not the same as your bank, do not use it. If you have difficulty remembering what bank your money has been deposited in you should be aware that it is usually printed on the bank card you would use to access the ATM. You can look on the bank card and then look at the ATM.

2. If an ATM is going to charge you a fee they will notify you and ask you if you would like to continue with the transaction. This will require you to read the entire sentence shown on the screen. When asked if you would like to continue you will likely be given two choices: YES and NO. You must be sure to chose 'NO'. If you choose 'YES' you will be charged.


A beautiful trendline

It was the perfect cap to this downtrend which appears to have ended at 11450- basis June mini-Dow futures contract. I think the trend has turned down and I was all ready to post about that but the really sharp rally off the low has given me pause. Usually at this point we see a downside acceleration especially with the stair step down ever so nicely illustrated by that trendline. (I am a geek.) So sharp rallies which break beautiful trendlines have me sitting on the sideline. %0 points higher and we take out the 11850 high of the last peak and that would be good enough for me to call a new uptrend.

Thursday, March 17, 2011


How many Friday nights were begun with this song?



Will western dithering push Arabs into the hands of Al Qaeda?

Imagine you are a Libyan and the first American president born of a Muslim father is in the White House. Your not sure if the west cares about what happens to you but you hope that if you take up arms against a tyrant that the Americans will at least put up a no fly zone like they did over Iraq for 13 years.

And then nothing happens. America went to war with Iraq and occupied their country when their leader defied the United States but they seem indifferent to your leader who has recently sought to make peace with the west. What would you conclude? Does the west only care about the flow of oil? Or do they want to actually help bring about democracy in the region?

"People are fed up. They are waiting impatiently for an international move," said Saadoun al-Misrati, a rebel spokesman in the city of Misrata, the last rebel-held city in the west, which came under heavy shelling Wednesday.

"What Qaddafi is doing, he is exploiting delays by international community. People are very angry that no action is being taken against Qaddafi's weaponry."

So who do you turn to when the west won't help you against a tyrant? Who else in the region has any power?

Now imagine you are Qadaffy (spelling borrowed from Ace of Spades) and you are looking around at the world and you are seeing who isn't getting me messed with by the west. If you have WMD the US is gun shy about pushing you out. When the Iranians rose up in 2009 Obama kept quiet. Eventually, Obama has called from Qadaffy's ouster. Why not pursue nukes if it keeps the west off your back?

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Wednesday, March 16, 2011


Obama's Picks

Mubarak will get knocked off early but Amidenijad will make it to the finals. Gaddafi shouldn't have even made it in but will advance and Hussein could have made the finals if only the selection committee gave him the chance, what a mistake.

Monday, March 14, 2011


Teachers Unions Explained


Apple's video pitch for the iPad 2

Worth watching for the gadget lovers like me.



First-time Buyers Fade From Market

A report out today from Capital Economics says that cash buyers and investors together have driven 70% of the increase in existing home sales seen since last July, while first-time buyers have been responsible for just 6%.

I think the biggest drops in the market are over but the recovery might be a year or more away. The interest rate picture is still cloudy and we haven't had enough growth to make people confident that their jobs are going to be there. Still, now is a good time to look for bargains. A lot of row houses in our area are cheap and can be rented for more than the cost buying. I don't expect that condition to exist forever.

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Friday, March 11, 2011


Technical picture

The Dow 30 is coming into a major area of support. Both a trend line and a 4th wave of one lesser degree (not labeled) should stop this market. The blue parallel trend lines define the major trend which began back in August. If the trade goes under 11,750 all then we will have to consider this trend over and try to define the down trend.

Right now we just don't know but what happens next week will let us know the direction of the market at least for the next couple of months.

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Drivin' On...


Illinois Governor Signs Amazon Internet Sales Tax Law

Governor Quinn is making my life more expensive.

Wednesday, March 09, 2011


Gross Eliminates Government Debt From Pimco’s Flagship Total Return Fund

How to put this in proper perspective? Hmmm. Imagine Bill Gates and Warren Buffet sold all of their shares. It's a huge vote of no confidence in out governments ability to get its financial house in order any time soon and that interest rates will need to rise to compensate for the fiscal irresponsibility. I wrote recently that it might be too late to save our economy from a debt spiral in which ever rising interest rates force the government to make draconian spending cuts. Apparently Bill Gross is worried enough about this to have completely eliminated gov't debt from his portfolio.

Meanwhile Nero's children fiddle.

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Sunday, March 06, 2011


TEDTalk- Jonathan Haidt on the moral roots of liberals and conservatives


Friday, March 04, 2011


The fiberoptic war between traders who cash in electronic lag for dollars

I have a big problem with high frequency trading for two reasons.

1) It has decimated the human market maker. People cannot compete with machines so now the population of market makers are a couple of dozen financial/technology firms.

2) Machines cannot make markets as well as humans. I am convinced the flash crash of May 6th 2010 was caused by the few firms who make markets turning off their computers during a time of high volatility because they were afraid their algorithms couldn't handle it. What is better, a dozen computers or 100k+ humans making markets? Which are more likely to disappear from the market when the going gets tough?

The article I linked hints at a solution, put all the computers at the same disadvantage. There is a way to do this without physically changing anything. Put a limit on the number of packets going into the exchanges computers. The limit would be all data packets are stored for say 1.5 seconds then they are allowed into the server. Next batch does the same thing every 1.5 seconds.

Another idea I would like to see one exchange open up with stocks priced at $0.05 increments instead of one penny.

If nothing is done the stock market is going to see a lot more volatility and there will likely be a point that the computers will fail again and this will be when the markets are falling. Down 500 points in 5 minutes is a warning we should heed.


Thursday, March 03, 2011


Upgrading Windows, from 1.0 to 7.0

Watch as some guy upgrades his computer through every version of Windows, from 1985's Windows 1.0 to the present-day Windows 7.

Tuesday, March 01, 2011


Could the massive quakes of 200 years ago happen again?

Yes it will.

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