Thursday, June 19, 2008

Random thoughts

My first language was Japanese. I was watching the original Iron Chef and tried to remember the first song I ever learned. After about 10 mins of cogitation, I remembered it!
Don't know what it means, and it is spelled phonetically (as I was only 5 when I knew this song)

Mushi mushi anno nay, anno nay, mushi mushi annoy nay ah so deska.

Like I said, just a random thought.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

HBO series John Adams

My favorite lines so far:

As the Continental Congress meets, and is hesitant to declare war, John and Abigail Adams have this conversation:

Abigail Adams: Send a woman to the Congress. She might knock some sense into them.

John Adams: This is not a question of men and women Abigail. This is a matter of politics.

Abigail: Politics. Politics?

John: Mmm.

Abigail: And do women not live politics John Adams? When I go to the cupboard and I find no coffee, no sugar, no pins and no meat, am I not living politics?

Deja Vu

Do you remember gas lines? Inflation? I do, and it's all coming back, wait and see. Funny the "rice shortage" scare was averted so quickly, what will be next? Are we sheep to be herded from one made up fear to another?

From McClatchy..., on how it's like the 70's all over again...inflation rears its ugly head.

Fed policymakers in April projected a dismal growth rate for 2008 of between 0.3 percent and 1.2 percent. That forecast implies that the slowing economy will dampen inflation's embers before they ignite into fire.

That suggests "no tightening (of interest rates) until the end of the year," said Reinhart, now a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative policy group.

But what happens if a hurricane rips through the oil-rich Gulf of Mexico later this summer? Researchers for investment bank Goldman Sachs & Co. predict that'd send oil to $200 a barrel. And $200 oil would send all kinds of prices skyward, creating the potential for 1970s style inflation.

"That really gives the Fed very big headaches, because $200 oil is going to set back the economy big time and the U.S. big time," said Gramley, the Reagan-era Fed governor. "There just aren't any easy options in this case."

SIDEBAR BOX (165 words 5")

Factors affecting inflation -- the rise in prices across the economy.

Rising oil price: Makes virtually everything that we eat or make more expensive. Oil prices affect the costs of plastic, packaging, chemicals, fertilizers, transportation and sundry other products.

Weak dollar: Makes imports more expensive, adding to inflation. The weak dollar is also partly to blame for high oil prices since foreign producers demand more dollars for the same barrel of oil to make up for the dollar's diminished value.

Economic slowdown: Bad for consumers and business, good for inflation. Slow growth moderates inflation, which ticks up as the economy heats up.

Imports: For the last 15 years, low-priced imports have kept inflation low. Shoes, clothing and electronics made in Asia cost Americans jobs, but also lower costs of products we buy. China is now facing its own inflation problem, with an official rate near 8 percent, which translates into higher-priced imports for American consumers and adds to inflation pressures here.

Recommendations for reading and viewing

This book is excellent and I suggest you read it before seeing the HBO movie John Adams. It is not crucial that you read the book first, but I think it helps.

Movie..John Adams, best price so far found on

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Oil prices, dark markets, ENRON-like deals

Our young people, can't afford the gas to go to work, and buy groceries. Ask around and you will hear their horror stories. Yet, nobody is protesting in the streets. Why? Ignorance of the facts. I have put a few facts together to get you started on looking up more on the subject. Your next the farm bill, and tell your state and federal legislators that you want something done about oil prices, you want the ENRON loophole closed!

From Oil Watchdog:

If I told you that Venezuela's crackpot leader Hugo Chavez is responsible for crude oil hitting $100 a barrel in futures trading today, would you believe me? I hope not. But the speculators who drove up the price are pointing wildly at Chavez's spat with Exxon, at a refinery fire in Texas and at OPEC. Meantime the hedge fund speculators are hauling in dough, with a big side benefit for oil company profits. You and I and the national economy pay the price.

We'll never know exactly how the trick was pulled off, or by who, because so much energy trading is done in unregulated markets created by the corporate criminals of Enron. Congress has in its hands a partial cure for the speculative excess. If lawmakers don't have the guts to act now, closing the loophole opened by Enron, they should have their heads handed to them by consumers.

There is so much more to read about this....and when you do you will come to the realization that we, the lowly American citizens, the "proles" (you did read 1984 didn't you?), the proletariat, the dumb and mooing masses, are being screwed to the wall by the corporations and their shills in the White House and in our Congress.

The sponsors of the Farm Bill, Democratic Senators Harkin, Stabenow, Baucus, Conrad, Leahy and Lincoln; Republican Senators Chambliss, Grassley, Cochran, Roberts. This farm bill has a provision in it to close the "ENRON loophole."

Regulating the markets... From the Oil and Gas Journal,

Senate to FTC, CFTC: police markets aggressively

Two federal regulatory agencies are moving too timidly in response to record crude oil prices, US Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) said during a Senate committee hearing on energy market manipulation and federal regulatory regimes.

Cantwell will press both the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) to regulate oil and commodity markets more aggressively, Cantwell said following the June 3 Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee hearing, which she chaired.

She wants FTC to issue an interim rule under the oil market investigation and regulation authority it received under the 2007 Energy Independence and Security Act while it completes its formal regulatory rulemaking process.

She also intends to continue pressuring CFTC to revoke "no action" letters issued by its staff that allow electronic exchanges operating outside US borders to continue trading West Texas Intermediate crude oil and related commodities without being directly regulated, Cantwell said.

"Our oil futures markets were substantially deregulated by CFTC staff decisions that were made behind closed doors," she said in her opening statement.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Our early anniversary present

Almost one year ago, we volunteered for Barack Obama's event in San Antonio. We were excited about our candidate and we worked hours in the hot sun parking cars for Obama's event. It was our 35th wedding anniversary. How romantic! LOL.

Following the event, Barack Obama met with the volunteers and when told it was our 35th wedding anniversary, he congratulated us with gusto, and signed my shirt.

Now almost one year later, he is the presumptive nominee for our party! We are so excited, what a great 36th wedding anniversary present! Go Barack!