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THE FED: WHAT SHOULD HAPPEN LATER TODAY?

The Federal Open Market Committee decided today to lower its target for the federal funds rate 25 basis points to 2 percent.

In a related action, the Board of Governors unanimously approved a 25-basis-point decrease in the discount rate to 2-1/4 percent.

Although readings on core inflation have improved somewhat, energy and other commodity prices have increased, and some indicators of inflation expectations have risen in recent months.

The Committee expects inflation to moderate in coming quarters, reflecting a projected leveling-out of energy and other commodity prices and an easing of pressures on resource utilization.

Still, uncertainty about the inflation outlook remains high. It will be necessary to continue to monitor inflation developments carefully.

The old saying that the "Fed will do what the Fed will do" has never been truer.

The Fed Watcher game of reading the FOMC announcements and meeting minutes as gypsies read their tea leaves is often unproductive.

Pandering to Wall Street...

Considering that the Federal Reserve is a private institution owned by its member banks should be the first clue that the FOMC will do whatever it takes to keep the major banks and Wall Street institutions afloat.

It seems that Bernanke and the Federal Reserve's FOMC (Federal Open Market Committee) has been pandering to the needs of Wall Street and all of its supplicants in responding to the present financial crisis.

These combined actions have resulted in ordinary citizens suffering with reduced interest rates on their bank investments and only minor reductions in their credit card interest rates.

However, for the banks the margin between what they pay for access to money and what they charge consumers and corporations has been steadily expanding. The Fed has created new and unusual methods to pump BILLIONS into the banking system at rates slightly under those charged at the reputation-tainted Fed "discount window."

It seems that the entire Fed ploy is conditioned on pumping enough money into the banking system, and by extension the brokerages who created these toxic derivatives and the insurers who guarantee the derivatives to insure a maximum rating by the ratings agencies, to allow the banks to avoid reporting their true condition and triggering concerns over solvency issues. A shell game to buy time so allow the results of  toxic securities to naturally self-resolve over time.

Even though there is a great deal of residual value in the land and structures that serve as collateral for mortgage backed securities, the Wall Street Wizards sliced and diced various levels of risk, repackaged them and induced buyers to purchase these toxic derivatives with borrowed money -- thus leveraging both their potential gains and, as it turns out, their eventual losses.

There is no liquidity crisis, only a crisis of counterparty trust...

It seems that these derivatives cannot be accurately priced and that no buyers can be found at prices which would minimize losses. Of course, the bottom feeders are all salivating at the opportunity to purchase this "residual value" paper at discount prices. What is causing the major impediment to business is that banks and others can no longer rely on the balance sheets of those who wish to do business with them, their so-called counterparties.

The Fed is attempting to resolve this situation by offering highly liquid and desirable treasury instruments as loans in return for toxic paper that is supposed to serve as so-called "collateral."  This will allow business to continue and hopefully, the situation will resolve over time.

The dollar...

On the other side we see that our trade balances are being favorably resolved by an abnormally weak dollar which is manifesting itself as an increased cost of essential energy and foodstuffs as a result of inflationary pressures. This is what is currently (apparently) moderating our economic woes. Slowing our economy to a position just this side of a formal recession.

Today...

So what is the FOMC likely to announce at 2:00 p.m. Eastern Time?

What should be done...

Capture4-29-2008-10.29.54 PM

According to my calculations, the Federal Reserve should raise the Federal Funds target rate by at least 85-basis points to achieve a neutral inflationary stance in the 5-year outlook or by 157 basis-points in the 10-year outlook. The numbers were computed using the Fed's H.15 report numbers which were published on April 29th for April 28th values. In more practical terms, the Fed would be obliged to halt rate cuts and alter their "guidance" as expressed in both the FOMC meeting announcement and the actual meeting minutes which are published three weeks after the meeting. To surprise the market, a take-back (raise) of 25-basis points would not be unjustified by the numbers.

The market moves only on "unexpected" FOMC actions...

The information shown above is known to the Fed and to any competent economist. Therefore, the likely scenario, based on a consensus opinion, already prices the "common wisdom" of the wizards into the market. Thus, only "unexpected" results are likely to move the market.

The current buzz is that the Fed will reduce the Federal Funds target rate (and probably the discount rate) by 25-basis points... although there are those who wish for a cut of 50-basis points. It is also widely believed that this may be the last cut before a period of "waiting and watching."

The consensus...

Conventional wisdom has the Fed cutting rates by 25-basis points one last time before entering a period of "wait and watch."

My view...

As I mentioned before, the only safe projection is that: "the Fed will do what the Fed will do."

What can YOU do?

Ladder and diversify your investments to insulate yourself from radical moves in the economy and any particular sector such as the financials, technology, industrials, retails, etc.

Use trusted investment advisors whenever possible.

Believe the Better Business Bureau's favorite saying, "Investigate Before You Invest."

For those who wish more information on how I calculate the Fed Watcher numbers and a copy of the actual Excel Spreadsheet, drop me an e-mail.

-- steve

P.S. Thank you very much for continuing to read my blog entries. I recently reviewed the e-mail addresses of those who subscribe via e-mail and I have noticed that my subscribers range from my best friend to other interested and diverse parties, if you can believe their e-mail addresses,  such as Minister Malik Shabazz of the New Black Panther Party. All are free to disagree with me or comment on my blog entries. All I ask is that the response is within the bounds of good taste and promotes a legitimate exchange of viewpoints. The only comments that I delete are those reported to my ISP (Internet Service Provider) as being commercial offers (SPAM). Again, thank you for reading.

A reminder from OneCitizenSpeaking.com: a large improvement can result from a small change…

The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane. -- Marcus Aurelius

Reference Links:

The Federal Reserve H.15 Data Link

The Federal Reserve Meeting Announcements and Minutes


“Nullius in verba.”-- take nobody's word for it!

“Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance.”-- George Bernard Shaw

“Progressive, liberal, Socialist, Marxist, Democratic Socialist -- they are all COMMUNISTS.”

“The key to fighting the craziness of the progressives is to hold them responsible for their actions, not their intentions.” – OCS

"The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." -- Marcus Aurelius

“A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves, and traitors are not victims... but accomplices” -- George Orwell



BACKDOOR ASSAULT ON THE SECOND AMENDMENT?

What would motivate any legislator to craft legislation to disarm law-abiding citizens that are forced by circumstance and legislative ignorance to live among violent illegal alien drug and gun dealers?

The answer appears to be relatively simple: they are far-left liberals adhering to the far-left liberal agenda of disarming anyone who could present a clear and present danger to those who they openly support.

In this case, law-abiding citizens who would resist, by force of arms if necessary, the continual assault on their lives, the lives of their immediate family by violent illegal alien gang members, dope dealers and gun runners. And to protect themselves and their families from a potential uprising (riot) by those illegal aliens who might consider massively disruptive  acts of civil disobedience. Illegal aliens who have no problem ignoring our current laws and have little or no trouble securing access to weapons.

Nothing in this legislation will curb the ability of those who operate outside of the law to arm themselves and to use those weapons against law-abiding citizens. Nothing in this legislation will curb crime.

The legislation...

From the text of A.B. 2062, as introduced by Assembly Member Kevin de León:

"Existing law requires the Department of Justice to maintain records pertaining to firearms transactions."

Adding ammunition to firearms control requirements...

"This bill would require the department to maintain additional information relating to ammunition transfers, handgun ammunition permittees, and licensed handgun ammunition vendors, as specified."

Requiring further expansion of government registration activities which are ineffectual and cannot be easily enforced or monitored...

"Existing law establishes the Prohibited Armed Persons File, which lists persons who are prohibited from possessing firearms, as specified. This bill would expand those provisions to include persons prohibited from possessing ammunition."

Requiring further federal registration programs...

"Existing law generally regulates the sale of ammunition."

"This bill would establish a program administered by the Department of Justice for licensing handgun ammunition vendors, as specified."

"The bill would also authorize the issuance of a handgun ammunition permit, to be used by purchasers of handgun ammunition, as specified."

Making all routine traffic stops into potential "felony-style" stops with the added risk of an accidental shooting of a law-abiding citizen...

"The bill would authorize the Department of Justice to incorporate the permit information into a permittee's California driver's license, as specified."

Defining all target shooters, hunters and re-loaders as ammunition dealers...

"The bill would establish a database maintained by the department to serve as a registry of handgun ammunition vendors."

"The bill would also establish a database of handgun ammunition permittees."

"This bill would require that commencing July 1, 2009, unless specifically excluded, no person shall sell or transfer more than 50 rounds of handgun ammunition in any month unless they are registered as a handgun ammunition vendor, as defined."

Store employees would also be subjected to background searches and clearances...

"The bill would also require these vendors to obtain a background clearance for those employees who would handle ammunition in the course and scope of their employment."

"The bill would require the Department of Justice to maintain a registry of registered handgun ammunition vendors, as specified."

Criminalizing currently non-criminal behavior...

"Violation of these provisions, as specified, would be subject to civil fines, as specified."

Although I have never seen ammunition stored in areas easily accessible to casual shoppers...

"The bill would also provide that no retail seller of ammunition shall sell, offer for sale, or display for sale, any handgun ammunition in a manner that allows that ammunition to be accessible to a purchaser without the assistance of the retailer or employee thereof."

"Violation of these provisions would be subject to civil fines, as specified."

This bill would prohibit ordering mail-order ammunition...

"The bill would further provide that handgun ammunition may only be purchased in a face-to-face transaction and only if certain conditions exist."

"Existing law generally regulates what information is required to be obtained in connection with the transfer of ammunition."

Thumbprints would be required to be submitted to the Department of Justice for anyone purchasing ammunition...

"This bill would, subject to exceptions, require certain ammunition vendors to obtain a thumbprint and other information from ammunition purchasers, and would require submission of that information to the Department of Justice, as specified."

A violation of these provisions would be subject to civil fines, as specified.

Massively hypocritical...

Assuming that these far-left liberal politicians want to protect the public from a clear and present danger, why not demand the immediate prosecution and deportation of  illegal aliens who drive drunk, without license or insurance? Illegal aliens who are more apt to abandon an accidentally injured citizen and run for the border? 

More people are killed and injured by drunk illegal aliens than are killed by law-abiding citizens using firearms.

These are the same activists who are resisting tamper-proof identification cards with biometric features and the immediate Department of Justice reporting that they strongly resist when applied to the illegal alien community.

Perhaps we should demand that any illegal alien found with any weapon be imprisoned for a period of no less than five years and then deported? Or immediately deporting any illegal alien caught using a deadly weapon (vehicle) without a license and insurance, immediately confiscating and destroying the impounded vehicle and preventing that person from ever entering the United States on any legal immigration and/or visitors program?

There are more clear and present dangers presented by illegal aliens that require immediate action than those dangers that demand the further control and criminalization of law-abiding citizens who happen to be Second Amendment supporters, sportsmen or gun collectors.

Who is Kevin de León?

By all objective accounts, Kevin de León is a far-left liberal professional politician who appears to be a Mexican activist who strongly supports the "legalization" of those illegal aliens who are slowly destroying our healthcare, educational, judicial, retirement and cultural infrastructure by their very numbers. I feel that he is a politician in the same mold as Los Angeles Mayor Tony Villar (aka Villaraigosa), Assembly Speaker Fabian Núñez. A union organizer and Hispanic community activist, de León seeks to ignore reality by attempting to disarm law-abiding citizens in an area that is overrun by violent illegal immigrant gangs, dope and gun dealers.

Far-left Mexican Activist Kevin de León serving the 45th Assembly District which includes East Hollywood, Echo Park, Elysian Valley, Mt. Washington, Lincoln Heights and portions of Los Angeles.

From de León's official biography... 

"Assemblyman de León has spent a lifetime fighting to empower working families and the poor – as a community organizer, English as a Second Language and U.S. Citizenship teacher and an advocate for public schools. During his five years at the California Teachers Association, de León fought for more funding for 'high-priority schools' in low-income neighborhoods, more school construction, and health insurance for children."

"As a Senior Associate for the National Education Association in Washington, D.C., de León advocated for more resources for schools in low-income neighborhoods. He also coordinated a team that fought schemes to take funds from public schools in the form of taxpayer-funded vouchers. He thwarted efforts to impose academic censorship on public school teachers.

"Assemblyman de León grew up in the San Diego barrio of Logan Heights. He was the first in his family to graduate from high school. He attended U.C. Santa Barbara and graduated from Pitzer College at the Claremont Colleges with Honors."

What can YOU do?

Never confuse "crime control" with "gun control." In the absence of guns, people will still commit crimes with other weapons.

Consider the extremely restrictive and rigidly enforced gun control policies of Mexico -- and the amount of crime that is perpetrated against its citizens, many times by those officials who have sworn to serve and protect their fellow Mexican citizens. This is the true meaning of the Second Amendment -- protection against the tyranny and abuse of governmental power in extreme circumstances.

Tell your legislators that a vote of Assembly Bill 2062 would be tantamount to an attack on the Constitution's Second Amendment.

Consider the implications of registration, the collection of a $35 fee or more and the requirements to be "registered" as an ammunition dealer with all of the OSHA and explosives handling requirements that are sure to follow.

Demand that we immediately prosecute and deport all illegal alien gang members, drug dealers, and drunk drivers who present false identification or lack a valid international driver's license and proof of insurance.

Demand that the Alien Registration Act be enforced with biometric identification and that anyone not registered after a given data would be summarily deported.

For those of you in de León's 45th Assembly District, consider denying him a return to office as he has attempted to place your lives at risk with his nonsensical political policies.

For those who are going to call be a racist or worse, save your breath. You and others of your ilk mean nothing to me. I care for the opinions of my family, friends and colleagues ... all others are taken with a grain of salt.

It is now time to step up to protect your individual God-given liberties and rights against those who want to enslave for for their own political purposes.

Do not vote for any candidate or current politician who is willing to subvert the safety, security, sovereignty and economic strength of the United States or limit an individual's right of self-defense for their personal philosophy, power, prestige or profits.

Full disclosure: I am a Life Member (Patron Level) of the National Rifle Association and support their efforts to preserve our Second Amendment and rights to participate in legal recreational activities.

-- steve

Quote of the day: "When everyone is against you, it means that you are absolutely wrong-- or absolutely right." - Albert Guinon

A reminder from OneCitizenSpeaking.com: a large improvement can result from a small change…

The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane. -- Marcus Aurelius

Reference Links:

California Assembly Bill A.B. 2062|California State Legislature


“Nullius in verba.”-- take nobody's word for it!

“Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance.”-- George Bernard Shaw

“Progressive, liberal, Socialist, Marxist, Democratic Socialist -- they are all COMMUNISTS.”

“The key to fighting the craziness of the progressives is to hold them responsible for their actions, not their intentions.” – OCS

"The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." -- Marcus Aurelius

“A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves, and traitors are not victims... but accomplices” -- George Orwell



GAMBLING ON "THEIR" FUTURE BY SACRIFICING YOURS?

Two "termed out" politicians turn to Indian gaming sources to feather their political beds?

Arnold Schwarzenegger:

There is no doubt that California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has larger political aspirations, otherwise he would not continue to fundraise like a politician in heat. The Governor will be termed-out of office in 2011 after reaching the California Constitutional limit of two consecutive terms.

So it is no surprise that we find that the Governor has agreed to further expand Indian gaming in California with another precedent-setting deal; this time by signing an Indian compact which allows two different tribes, from two different locations, to share the profits from a single casino which would feature 2,500 slot machines and be located near Fresno California in Madera County.

According to published reports in the Sacramento Bee...

"This time the potential beneficiaries are the North Fork Rancheria of Mono Indians and the Wiyot Tribe. Under new compacts signed by the governor, they are being promised revenues from a casino resort destined for a prime freeway location near Highway 99 in Madera County."

Cast as both a State revenue enhancement and ecology play...

"Schwarzenegger announced today he has signed gambling compacts allowing construction of a 280,000 square foot gambling facility for 2,000 slot machines - and an option to add 2,000 more. The catch is that the governor is requiring the 600-member Wiyot Tribe to give up its right to build a casino on tribal lands near the ecologically sensitive Humboldt Bay and Eel River Estuary."

Although it appears that common sense regarding travel times and location would endanger the success of a casino located elsewhere...

"The governor said the agreement would also keep the 1,700-member North Fork Rancheria from putting a gambling facility in remote Sierra foothills near the Sierra National Forest."

Political bafflegab...

"'These compacts are a model for protecting the environment and balancing the needs of the tribes and local communities,' Schwarzenegger said in a statement today."

Bottom line: money for California, grateful deep-pocket friends...

"The casino project, which would share revenues between the two tribes, would pay the state a 13.5 percent to 22 percent of slot machine and card game revenues. The plan reflects Schwarzenegger's pledge to look to increase state revenues through a continued expansion of tribal gambling."

Not quite a done deal...

According to a report by KQED...

"The formal gaming compacts are being signed today by Schwarzenegger, but are not yet being submitted to the Legislature. The governor’s advisers told reporters on a conference call this morning that until federal officials approve the 305 acre parcel near Madera, the compacts will be in a holding pattern."

"The proclamation also stipulates that the 'local community' support the project. How to measure that, of course, is the tricky part. Some local officials in Madera County have signed off on the deal, but others in the community have voiced strong objections. And in today’s briefing, there was mention of a telephone poll that reportedly showed the community is in favor."

A larger surge of gaming applications may be imminent...

"Nonetheless, today’s news marks a significant new chapter in Indian gaming in California. Expect fans and critics alike to use it as a rallying cry for other proposed expansions in the coming months."

Tom McClintock:

Here is a man who I regarded both as a neighbor (Thousand Oaks, California) and as the smartest, most conservative Republican member of the California Senate. A man who I wholeheartedly supported in the past and who is about to be termed-out of office by California's term-limit law.

I became somewhat concerned when this universally-acclaimed fiscal conservative voted for a proposition which would weaken the State of California's position with respect to Indian gaming activities. Reducing the audit requirements to verify a casino's take in favor of more "self-reporting" and an agreement which penalized the State of California if they opened up gaming activities to "non-Indian" groups. [ See Scalping California Tax Dollars: Is this a Schwarzenegger "Back Room" deal with Indian Casino interests?|One Citizen Speaking]. It seemed to me, totally out of character for a man who has fought hard and long for budget and legislative responsibility in California.

Next came continued rumblings of Indian campaign contributions which were somehow characterized as "non-campaign contributions. The amount mentioned was approximately $2.5 million dollars.

From the Wall Street Journal [9-24-2003]  Indian Givers--II:
Tribes that run California casinos aim to run the whole state.

"... Last Friday the Morongo Band of Mission Indians began airing independent-expenditure ads in support of Mr. McClintock. The Sycuan Band of the Kumeyaay Nation has also ponied up a large sum for a similar independent expenditure."

"John Stoos, Mr. McClintock's campaign manager, told me that his boss has nothing to do with the ad campaigns but welcomes them as appropriate support given the senator's longtime backing of tribal sovereignty."

Repeat pattern?

From the Sacramento Bee [4-26-2008] McClintock independent campaign effort questioned

"Partnership for America, a Washington-based nonprofit headed by former Rep. Richard Pombo, is organizing the $660,000 independent campaign in the 4th Congressional District where McClintock and former Rep. Doug Ose are locked in a bitter Republican primary battle for the seat held by retiring Rep. John Doolittle."

"Steve Ding, a former Pombo aide who was on McClintock's campaign payroll until a few weeks ago, is now soliciting donors to the independent effort."

"Both Ding and McClintock were in San Diego earlier this week for the National Indian Gaming Association conference where McClintock was soliciting contributions to his campaign and Ding was looking for contributors to the independent effort. McClintock has been an advocate of Indian casino expansion."

"But the Ose campaign charged Friday that a wall that is supposed to separate an independent expenditure campaign from a candidate's committee has been breached."

Jumping venues...

It seems the decision to change residency was conditioned more upon a job opening in the Fourth Congressional District than any regard for his long-time residency in Thousand Oaks.  In fact, according to Wikipedia...

"In March 2008, McClintock was criticized for receiving payments totaling over $300,000 in per diem living expenses during his time in the California State Senate, despite the fact that he lives near Sacramento. McClintock held that the payments were justified due to the fact that his legal residence is in his Senate district in Thousand Oaks. He stated, "Every legislator's [Sacramento area] residence is close to the Capitol. My residential costs up here are much greater than the average legislator because my family is here."

Which made me think even harder as I could not fathom anyone who would give up living in Thousand Oaks for life in Sacramento -- even on a semi-permanent basis. Even Schwarzenegger commutes back to Pacific Palisades on a weekly basis.

So the more research I did, the more McClintock started looking like a "professional politician." Perhaps it was my fault for viewing him as something else: a citizen-legislator; a standup, principled guy fighting for the rights of all Californians.

Sacrificing our fiscal future...

By making sweetheart deals with Indian gaming operations  restricting other gaming organizations from expanding their operations in the state, relaxing the reporting requirements of generated revenues, it appears, at least to me, that we are sacrificing a portion of our fiscal future to allow professional politicians to feather their own nests. But, that is only one citizen speaking.

What can YOU do?

View all agreements between the Indian gaming casinos and the State of California with a critical eye.

Ask which politicians appear to be feathering their political beds by granting privileges not available to other gaming corporations in the State of California and ceding procedural controls over gaming operations in favor of Indian self-regulation.

Ask yourself about the apparent hypocrisy of a State which demands programs for "out-of-control" gamblers but facilitates casinos which foster the very behavior which they deplore -- all for the sake of increased revenue to be spent by profligate politicians on their special interest projects.

-- steve

Quote of the day:

In democracy it's your vote that counts; In feudalism it's your count that votes. - Mogens Jallberg

A reminder from OneCitizenSpeaking.com: a large improvement can result from a small change…

The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane. -- Marcus Aurelius

Reference Links:

The Latest From Capitol Alert - Capitol Alert - The Sacramento Bee - Schwarzenegger again offers casinos as eco solution

Capital Notes — From KQED’s John Myers » Governor Says Yes To New Indian Casino

Scalping California Tax Dollars: Is this a Schwarzenegger "Back Room" deal with Indian Casino interests?|One Citizen Speaking


“Nullius in verba.”-- take nobody's word for it!

“Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance.”-- George Bernard Shaw

“Progressive, liberal, Socialist, Marxist, Democratic Socialist -- they are all COMMUNISTS.”

“The key to fighting the craziness of the progressives is to hold them responsible for their actions, not their intentions.” – OCS

"The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." -- Marcus Aurelius

“A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves, and traitors are not victims... but accomplices” -- George Orwell



SCE: UTILITY BILLS DESIGNED TO CONFUSE RATHER THAN SIMPLIFY?

As we prepare for additional laws, statutes, rules and regulations governing the generation and sale of energy, we must question whether or not the utilities themselves are telling the whole truth about their operations.

It is not so much that I mind paying for the energy that I or my family consume, but it annoys me no end to see the sanctimonious justification of the charges in an almost incomprehensible manner.

My energy supplier, Southern California Edison, is an extremely reliable source of energy and seems to be a well-governed company adhering to prudent business practices.

But I am annoyed when I received my new bill which includes the following drivel...

"We've come up with something new. Southern California Edison is introducing an enhanced bill that will help you better understand and ultimately manage your energy use. Your SCE bill now provides useful tools and offers a more complete picture of the electricity you use. These tools and features can help you decide how you can save more energy in order to lower your bill and protect the environment."

Exciting new features...

  • New Look!
    Easy to read layout
    Easy to find details
    Standard paper size 
  • Great Features!
    Monthly comparison chart
    More saving tips
    Tiered usage graph
  • More Resources!
    Explanation of charges
    Update address form
    Direct payment sign-up

The bill looks great, but...

On page 1 of 6, SCE notes that I have used 405 killowatt/hours (kWh) which was computed by checking my meter usage (91606-91201) which is easily understandable.

Now if they would simply multiply the 405 kWh by the rate then in effect and add the taxes ... the bill could be produced on a single page -- even a postcard -- and I would gladly pay it.

However, on page 3 of 6 we are provided with a breakdown of the charges as if somehow this will make me happier or possibly more en-lightened. (pun intended)

In the "Details of your new charges" section, we see that the delivery charges are listed in the following fashion:

Delivery charges

Basic charge - this appears to be a charge of .029/day for whatever they decide this will mean.

Energy-Winter

Tier 1 (within baseline) 152 kWh rate sub/total
Tier 2 (up to 30%) 30 kWh rate sub/total
Tier 1 (within baseline) 187 kWh rate sub/total
Tier 2 (up to 30%) 36 kWh rate sub/total
Total 405 kWh no total

DWR bond charge  405 kWh @ rate -- sub/total

The next line item is the DWR bond charge -- which I suppose is the payoff to investors who actually lent money to the utility to purchase energy when ENRON was busily (and illegally) manipulating energy prices into the stratosphere by causing planned energy outages and selling and re-selling energy among complicit parties.

DWR refers to the California Department of Water Resources although I am uncertain of their statutory authority and function.

There does not appear to be any rational reason for duplicating the Tier categories other than it makes the sub/total amounts smaller. -- Whoops, there was a rate decrease in the middle of the billing period and that's SCE's method of providing full disclosure. It's probably one of the temporary rate decreases that precedes the next rate hike as mentioned on page 6 of 6.

At this point, I can still comprehend that I used 405 kWh and the cost, added taxes and the DWR bond charge should give me a bottom line. But that appears only to cover the delivery charge.

Generation charges

DWR - Energy-Winter

110 kWh rate sub/total

  SCE - Energy-Winter

Tier 1 (within baseline) 111 kWh rate sub/total
Tier 2 (up to 30%) 22 kWh rate sub/total
Tier 1 (within baseline) 136 kWh rate sub/total
Tier 2 (up to 30%) 26 kWh rate sub/total
Total 295  kWh no total

Again it adds up to 405 killowatt/Hours and it is a total. OK, so our bill now has a base charge, a generation charge, a delivery charge and taxes. But I now know that the DWR supplied 27.102% of the energy I used this month. A statistic that I am sure is necessary to the management of my power consumption.

However, we are now presented with some additional information... which I am sure is of extreme importance to each and every consumer.

Your delivery charges include:

  • transmission charges
  • distribution charges
  • nuclear decommissioning charges
  • public purpose programs charge
  • trust transfer amount

I suppose that the public purpose programs charges somehow related to the enforced charity of making me pay Southern California Edison, its investors and executives for the electricity used by the poor and the disadvantaged; which in Southern California is tantamount to saying "illegal aliens."

And I suppose this also covers all of those rebates you allegedly "earn" when buying more energy efficient appliances.

We should be commissioning nuclear plants, not decommissioning them. And why am I supposed to pay for this? Won't the terrorists take the nuclear fuel off our hands for a substantial fee which includes dismantling the plant too?  Couldn't SCE just transfer the plant to one of those SPEs (Special Purpose Entities) so it won't show up on the books -- and then the Federal Government will pay for it when they find it, once again, leaking radioactive water? I mean, isn't this the way utility accounting has always been done?

By way of explanation of the TTA, here is the definition of the Trust Transfer Amount (TTA) which appears in the fine print on page 2 of 6...

"This reflects the Fixed Transition Amount (FTA) chargeable to residential and small commercial customers pursuant to state law and a financing order issued by the CPUC. The TTA is the property of SCE Funding Limited Corporation (LLC) and is collected by SCE solely as a servicing agent for SCE Funding LLC."

Not done yet...

Your generation charges include:

    • competition transition charge

Your overall energy charges include:

    • franchise fees

I have no clue as to the meaning of "competition transition charge," but believe that the franchise fees are simply another way of saying "taxes."

Understanding and Management...

This new bill does not help me to better understand anything, and only increases my anger at a utility which hides behind acronyms and program costs which are couched in legalese.

As for managing my energy usage, I am not about to run out and buy a new, and much more costly, refrigerator or turn it off during certain times of the day to conserve energy. Since most homes are incapable of metering energy by the hour, curtailing energy usage during peak hours has absolutely no effect on my bill. Nor am I going to re-insulate my house or "go green" as the energy savings will not kick in to my profit column until way after I am dead. By then, I don't really care.

The guilt factor...

To inspire guilt or "good citizenship," we find a slick little bar graph of your daily average energy usage for past 14 months.

OK, now what.

I react to hot days in Southern California by using my air conditioner in the manner in which it was meant to be used: to make me comfortable. I do my laundry and dishes when time allows, not when the utility has surplus capacity. I use CFLs wherever possible and have a minimum of electrical devices.

Bottom line...

No matter how a utility slices and dices your bill, no matter how much supplemental information they include, the bottom line -- the amount you pay divided by the amount of services you consume -- will reveal all you need to know about rates, rate trends and internal manipulation.

Additional capacity, lower generation costs are something that should be shared between the investor, the utility and the ratepayer. And, of course, the taxman who reaps the benefit of any additional consumption.

In the final analysis, utilities are monopolies that offer necessary services to their customers. This monopoly is granted in order to achieve efficiencies of scale and as another way of raising tax revenue outside of direct taxation.

The folderol about conservation is mostly about keeping expenses down so that utilities executives can earn their bonuses and investors make a decent return on their money. Which is the way it should be. However, when the utility refuses to grow capacity to meet needs, fails to maintain its aging infrastructure or engages in ENRON-like pricing schemes -- and then demands that the ratepayers pay higher prices for reduced capacity, that is a major problem.

The folderol about using carbon caps and emissions credits to allow a utility to continue its polluting ways by simply purchasing artificial "indulgences" and passing the cost along to the ratepayer is likewise problematical.

But there is a lesson to be learned from the "Power Content Label."

The power sources for 2007 include 16% for Eligible Renewable Energy (2% Biomass, 9% Geothermal, 1% small hydroelectric, 1% solar, and 3% wind), 9% for Coal, 6% for large hydroelectric, 48% natural gas and 21% nuclear.

Which provides a clear direction in developing energy resources: increase the use of nuclear and geothermal energy, develop further natural gas projects (possibly the clean gassification of coal) and leave the rest to marginal yuppie-scum producers who want to sell "feel good" credits without bothering the rest of us who want to enjoy our energy consumption in peace.

By the way, am I the only one who noticed the increased energy usage in expanding the bill's paper size to 8-1/2 x 11 and using a larger envelope? Of course, I probably could go all "electronic transfer," but there is something about allowing them to put their hands in my pocket that seems obscene.

What can YOU do?

There are times when it is economically or operationally prudent to conserve energy. This is an individual choice and will always affect those who are the least able to pay for the energy.

And then there are times when you need to recognize that the utilities are spewing self-serving propaganda in order to disguise their real operations, profitability and future intentions.

One also needs to keep an eye on all levels of government (local, state and federal) for their activities in raising costs through additional taxes, fees, surcharges and other program expenses which are never voted on and simply appear as another confusing line on your utility statement.

And for the utilities, next time you send me a "enhanced" bill, send me a simple postcard with the charges -- not something that insults my intelligence and angers me to write a blog entry.

-- steve

Quote of the day:  "The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it."     -- George Bernard Shaw

A reminder from OneCitizenSpeaking.com: a large improvement can result from a small change…

The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane. -- Marcus Aurelius


“Nullius in verba.”-- take nobody's word for it!

“Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance.”-- George Bernard Shaw

“Progressive, liberal, Socialist, Marxist, Democratic Socialist -- they are all COMMUNISTS.”

“The key to fighting the craziness of the progressives is to hold them responsible for their actions, not their intentions.” – OCS

"The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." -- Marcus Aurelius

“A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves, and traitors are not victims... but accomplices” -- George Orwell



CALIFORNIA CONTINUES TO TILT LEFT -- FURTHER INTO THE ABYSS OF POLITICALLY CORRECT CULTURAL ANNIHILATION

Los Angeles: the focal point for socially-engineered transportation policies formulated by special interests bent on modifying personal behavior and politicians catering to the transportation needs of  illegal aliens...

Los Angeles  is a community of cars and commuters, the  hub of an exceedingly large metroplex stretching beyond county boundaries where workers may commute easily over one hundred miles or more per day. With such diversity, ride-sharing becomes almost impossible due to the lack of concentrated work centers and compact feeder neighborhoods. There is no inexpensive or practical way to respond to the demands of your employer or to the demands of a family emergency without access to a vehicle.

And yet, the MTA (the over-politicized and bloated Municipal Transportation Agency) and the far-left idealists in the State and Federal transportation agencies continue to attempt to separate California's citizens from their cars... ostensibly to relieve the congestion of a growing traffic nightmare.

Enter the diamond lanes...

A failed experiment in social engineering which has increased traffic congestion over the years as a significant portion of busy freeways lose up to 20% of their car carrying capacity in favor of those mommies and other who carpool. Most of the time, the lanes sit idle as a testament to the far-left loons in the California legislature.

The latest outrage... A freeway that will be a little less "free"

A Trojan horse: accepting federal funds to allow the State of California to convert their failed diamond-lane carpooling experiment from an HOV (High Occupancy Vehicle) lane to a HOT (High Occupancy Toll) lane? All in the hopes that charging people money to use a "hopefully" less crowded lane during rush hour traffic will seem to relive some of the traffic congestion. And in politico-speak, "reduce the nation's energy requirements by eliminating much of the idle commute time."

Stupid is as stupid does...

The Secretary of Transportation, Mary Peters, typifies the inarticulate and somewhat incompetent Bush Administration. In her little speech, Peters sounded like President Bush as she mangled the names of the California Governor (Schwarzenegger) and the Los Angeles Mayor (Villaraigosa). Her little speech was filled with stupid inanities while her background leaves no doubt that she is a functionary and lacks the heavy transportation credentials that one would assume would be a prerequisite for a Cabinet position.

"U.S. Secretary of Transportation Announces $213 Million Grant to Cut Traffic, Improve Transit and Clean the Air in Los Angeles"

"Congestion Reduction Funding to Finance Creation of New HOT Lanes, Better Bus Services"

"An ambitious plan to cut highway traffic jams and provide better bus transit services in Los Angeles is eligible for more than $213 million in federal Congestion Reduction grants, U.S. Secretary of Transportation Mary E. Peters said. The Secretary noted that the grant will allow local leaders to move forward with a plan to use proven transportation solutions like congestion pricing to improve southern California’s traffic, economy and air quality."

Proven where?

Stupid platitude...

“'The concept is simple but the idea is bold, to make L.A. an easier place to live, a better place to do business and a cleaner place to raise a family,' Secretary Peters said. 'We want this iconic American city to continue to be known for its epic Hollywood movies, not epic traffic jams.'”

Oh Yes, the impact of up to 85-miles of HOT lanes and 60 new busses will be the turning point!

"In announcing the funding in Los Angeles during an event with Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, the Secretary said that the new federal funding would provide the leverage local leaders need to convert up to 85 miles of local HOV highway lanes into more reliable high occupancy toll, or HOT, lanes by the end of 2010."

"These roads use electronic tolling technology to allow drivers to pay a fee for access to less-congested lanes. She added that sophisticated sensors will monitor the region’s freeways and adjust fares for the lanes based on traffic levels. Secretary Peters said that being able to choose to avoid back ups to experience faster commutes was 'a better option than being stuck in traffic and staring at an open lane just to your left.'”

DUH, you think?

Suspicious accounting from the start...

"Under the proposed deal, the federal money would pay for 60 passenger buses that would use the new high occupancy toll, or HOT, lanes in Los Angeles County. That would free up MTA funds for creating the lanes."

Busses which would primarily benefit the illegal alien population.

And if anyone cares, HOV miles are measured in lane-miles; so you can have 20 lane miles representing a two-lane 10 mile stretch of lane. Another opportunity to bamboozle the public and the federal authorities.

Following the money...

The city, county and state all bend over backwards to accommodate illegal aliens which, in and of itself, represents added pressure on the transportation infrastructure including the daily commuting congestion, higher insurance costs relating to uninsured motorists and the necessity of increasing bus transportation for those who do not have convenient transportation.

Not to mention the special interests, including the unions, who benefit from the continuing construction of projects which rarely pay for themselves and are heavily subsidized. So the diversion of funds from one project into another is not unknown.

Even as a start, consider the amount of real time, energy and money which will be spent on the conversion, installation of electronic systems, and the bureaucracy to manage the system and billing. Or will it be subcontracted to a politically-connected special interest firm?

The city, county and state has traditionally transferred tax money from designated highway funds into the general fund to balance out-of-kilter budgets. What is to keep a portion of this money from being siphoned off to balance today's deficits and which would require additional taxes in the near future to replace the funds after the next election cycle?

How much money could be at stake...

One need only look at a single toll-road in Orange County to develop an estimate...

"Currently, fees for accessing a 10-mile toll lane on a highway connecting Orange and Riverside counties range from $1.20 to $10, said Orange County Transportation Authority spokesman Joel Zlotnik. Using the lanes at 5 a.m. weekdays costs $1.20, but the fee rises to $10 at 3 p.m. on Fridays."  The roughly 177,000 motorists who use the 91 Express Lanes pay an average $2.25 toll, Zlotnik said." 

That's approximately $398,225 per day; $1,991,250 per 5-day week. An attractive target for the politicos who are hunting everywhere for funds to erase a budget deficit caused by out-of-control spending, not so much on infrastructure, but on expanding government, special interest projects and the care, feeding and healthcare of a hoard of illegal aliens.

No real road improvements...

In this scheme, there would be no road improvements to help maintain our crumbling roads or build-out new lanes which are desperately needed. Just considering the administrative overhead burden on $213 million in grant money, the citizens of Los Angeles and California will be sure to be tapped for additional funds in the near future.

Worsening of traffic...

Even current car pools with only two people would have to pay the toll. Three carpoolers and you would be home free. And there is no exemption for hybrid vehicles now allowed to use the HOV lanes. Thus people who do not want to pay for the HOT lane will now re-enter the normal traffic lanes thus degrading traffic further.

Defective design...

It should also be noted that the carpool experiment was flawed from the beginning as those people wishing to use the carpool lane must carefully increase their speed while crossing three or more lanes to enter the restricted carpool lane area; often at the expense of increasing the risk of accidents or slowing down other drivers as one navigates to the designated HOV lane.  Likewise, cars that must depart a carpool lane to exit at an off-ramp must cross a minimum of three to four lanes -- thus slowing down all traffic.

For those in Southern California, consider the San Diego Freeway South (I405) from the Ventura Freeway (I101) through the Sepulveda Pass towards the airport (LAX). Although there is a carpool lane, it is often just as jammed as the regular lanes -- and there is no apparent benefit for the experiment.

And this is only a start...

Meanwhile, the MTA continues to spin their pipe dreams of building a world-class underground transit system next to some of the most expensive high-rises in the land and which would run almost parallel to a known earthquake fault. And how many executives and professional workers do you think will take this line? About as many as currently commute into the city? Hop on any bus and it appears you have entered a third-world nation.

Time to take action...

If you are curious to know where the money came from, it came from the City of New York which operates a famous and successful subway system and where a majority of city dwellers in this very small, compact city do not even own or drive cars. They turned the grant down rather than attempt to institute congestion-based pricing in Mayor Bloomberg's leftist paradise.

According to officials, the deal is not done until city, county and state agencies would have to agree. The plan must be implemented by 2010 in order to secure the funds.

And, as with all projects of this type, the devil is in the details. According to the MTA, they are not sure of the pricing or even if solo drivers would be able to use the system.

The hidden agenda?

Is it possible that this scheme is to simply charge enough money so that people will leave the car pool lane altogether so as to permit California to keep receiving the federal funds that they may lose if the car pool lane does not allow an average speed of 45 miles-per-hour?

The impossible dream...

"Transportation officials hope enough people use the buses and the tolls clear enough space in the carpool lanes for traffic flow to stay at about 45 mph at all times."

In a state facing a 10-billion dollar deficit, and motorists experience the effects of up to $4.00/gallon  gasoline, the thought of increasing spending on a foolish venture is more than ridiculous, it is political. Another "pilot" program which eventually ends up as a "pile it" project.

San Francisco: the home of multi-cultural political correctness: Crazy far-left radical to run against far-left radical...

There is no doubt that San Francisco is unlike any other major city in the nation. There is the famously cold damp fog, the locus for destructive earthquakes, the heart-challenging hills, drug-shooting hippies, and a variety of sanctuary policies which openly welcome illegal aliens.

And from the official San Francisco Convention and Visitors Bureau...

Diverse San Francisco.

"San Francisco may be the world's most diverse and exciting city. Explore our amazing cultural tapestry with these stimulating one-day itineraries, and plan your travel adventures with the other special interest resources provided below"

"San Francisco’s rich African American heritage can be found in the unlikeliest places - if only you know where to look. Enjoy this one-day itinerary, which offers a glimpse into the City's extraordinary black culture."

"Asian people make up a crucial part of our city’s cultural heritage. Only in San Francisco can you delight in cultures from across Asia, each just a few steps away from each other. Visit historical sites and colorful Asian neighborhoods."

"San Francisco is a city chock full of historic lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) commemorative memorials, political precedents and historic events. Visitors who crave a crash course in queer culture are invited to uncover an unrivaled education in the streets, cafes, parks and museums of San Francisco. Leave your heart in America's Favorite Rainbow City with this exciting tour."

"The City’s rich Latino heritage pulses throughout the streets of San Francisco, and much of its vibrant street scene is concentrated in one distinct neighborhood, The Mission District."

It is hard to believe that in this sea of diversity is an area where "old white"  guys can feel at home. Of, course it is San Francisco's financial district with its iconic buildings like the Transamerica Pyramid. Home to major corporations and often known as the Wall Street of the West.

So why is San Francisco a city where common sense takes a leave of absence and the loony leftist politicians rule with an iron hand?

The latest insult to normalcy and good behavior...

From SFGate.com...

"Anti-war Cindy Sheehan files to take on Pelosi"

"Peace activist Cindy Sheehan wants to snatch House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's congressional seat from her in November, but first she's going to need the help - and signatures - of 10,198 friends and supporters."

"Sheehan was at San Francisco City Hall on Friday to take out papers for her independent run for Congress, but without those signatures from voters in the district, her name won't show up on the ballot."

"'It's an uphill battle,' said Sheehan, who vowed to run against Pelosi in July after the speaker refused to start impeachment proceedings against President George Bush. 'But I'm excited about the signature-gathering process. It's going to be an opportunity to talk to people about our campaign.'"

Casey would be appalled...

"The 50-year-old Sheehan, whose son, Casey, was killed while serving in Iraq in 2004, became the public face of the anti-war movement when she mounted a demonstration outside Bush's Texas ranch that lasted from 2005 to 2007."

Casey's willingness and enthusiasm to serve should not be marred by the actions of a grief-stricken mother who has been manipulated by those in the far-left to lead the charge to impeach the President. The very same people who rail against nuclear energy, any expansion of the military and who seem to be part of the "hate America" or "Blame America First" crowd.

"Even after pleading exhaustion and closing down "Camp Casey" in May, Sheehan was a regular speaker at anti-war gatherings across the nation. Since moving from Dixon to San Francisco's Mission District, she's been campaigning virtually full time."

"Sheehan has name recognition, particularly for her Camp Casey crusade."

"I said last year that I was going to take a break (from the anti-war movement) and then come back," Sheehan said in an interview at her Mission Street campaign headquarters.

"But when the president commuted White House aide Scooter Libby's prison sentence last summer, she said, she decided 'that seeing George Bush impeached would be a victory for humanity.'"

Progressives is a political label, not a description of their policies...

There are plenty of congressional Democrats, especially in the Bay Area, who don't agree, including Reps. Lynn Woolsey, Barbara Lee and Pete Stark, along with other progressives, both in and out of office.

The Far-left's anti-war and Marxist agenda...

"Impeachment isn't Sheehan's only concern. Pelosi's refusal to vote for an immediate end to the Iraq war and to support single-payer health care shows she's out of touch with San Francisco's progressive roots, Sheehan said."

Financed from the outside...

"The odds don't bother Sheehan, who has raised more than $100,000 for her race, most of it from outside the district."

"'Even people who I won't represent are willing to back me, because they know what I'll do in office,' she said. 'Many people in San Francisco know me, and they know my persistence.'"

"'If I get to Washington, I'll only be in office a couple weeks before Bush leaves, but I guarantee he'll know I'm there.'"

The only thing missing in Sheehan's campaign is the environmental activism components; which will probably be added in the near future.

What can YOU do?

Now is the time to return competence to all levels of government.

It is now time to remove the far-left old hippies and those that represent the special interests and the government of Mexico from office. It is time to concentrate on the legal citizens first before institutionalizing our "mandatory" charitable giving.

In case you haven't noticed, the major companies and their employees are moving to other more tax- and user-friendly states. The entrepreneurs and small businesses that support this great state are also moving. Perhaps that's the true plan: force everybody out, turn a major portion of California into a third-world nation, let the illegals vote to take over the political infrastructure and de facto cede Southern California to Mexico.

The size of government, along with the waste, corruption and outright pandering to special interests must be curtailed. There is no alternative if California wants to remain the Golden State.

My best friend has already relocated and tells me that the State appears to be doomed. I sure hope he is wrong -- but then again, he is more often right than wrong by a significant margin.

Do not vote for any candidate or current politician who is willing to subvert the safety, security, sovereignty and economic strength of the United States or limit an individual's right of self-defense for their personal philosophy, power, prestige or profits.

-- steve

Quote of the Day: "The real trap of fame is its irresistibility."
--Ingrid Bengis

A reminder from OneCitizenSpeaking.com: a large improvement can result from a small change…

The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane. -- Marcus Aurelius

Reference Links:

Anti-war Cindy Sheehan files to take on Pelosi


“Nullius in verba.”-- take nobody's word for it!

“Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance.”-- George Bernard Shaw

“Progressive, liberal, Socialist, Marxist, Democratic Socialist -- they are all COMMUNISTS.”

“The key to fighting the craziness of the progressives is to hold them responsible for their actions, not their intentions.” – OCS

"The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." -- Marcus Aurelius

“A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves, and traitors are not victims... but accomplices” -- George Orwell



OMG: A FOOD PANIC? HOW TO QUICKLY AND EASILY MAKE 50%, 100% ON YOUR INVESTMENT IN FOOD...

It is almost comical to see Asians and others in Alhambra (California) stocking up on multiple 50-pound bags of rice or other foodstuffs and believe that they are doing so for purposes of personal consumption. Or to hear news reports of major chain stores considering restrictions on the amount of rice that may be purchased at a single time. What they don't seem to get is: these are not ordinary citizens stocking up on various food products, they are restaurateurs and others who are simply insuring the availability of their base ingredients at a reasonable price. The tales of many people using FedEx to ship rice to their relatives abroad is also suspect.

The thought of rationing does not ring true when I am allowed to buy ONLY 4 50-pound bags of rice each time I shop.

While there may be food problems in the rest of the world and temporary local dislocations of supplies due to so-called "panic buying," we are far from being in some type of trouble.

So why is the media continuing to play up the story?

Enter the Wall Street Journal... Brent Arends' column, R.O.I. (Return on Investment) seems symptomatic of the Wall Street Wizards attempting to manipulate the market for their own personal profits.

"Load Up the Pantry"

I don't want to alarm anybody, but maybe it's time for Americans to start stockpiling food.

"No, this is not a drill."

"You've seen the TV footage of food riots in parts of the developing world. Yes, they're a long way away from the U.S. But most foodstuffs operate in a global market. When the cost of wheat soars in Asia, it will do the same here."

We are in America...

While there are many problems with the food production and distribution chain in foreign countries, the United States is mostly self-sufficient and, in many cases, self-indulgent when they demand out-of-season foodstuffs. But, pricing is a function of supply and demand. Unless the pricing is divorced from the demand on the basis of market rumors or outright manipulation by commodities brokers. 

Inflationary pricing...

One of the nasty effects of inflation due to a shrinking currency is that is will always cost more to purchase the same quantity of commodities. One need only look at the declining value of the dollar to notice that oil producers are raising prices in order to be able to receive an equitable value for their product.

"Reality: Food prices are already rising here much faster than the returns you are likely to get from keeping your money in a bank or money-market fund. And there are very good reasons to believe prices on the shelves are about to start rising a lot faster."

So, in spite of people like Henry Paulson (Treasury) and Ben Bernanke (Federal Reserve) trying to convince you that they have a handle on inflation, your own observations tell a much different story.

In fact, as of April 24th, you would have to raise the Federal Funds target interest rate by 89-basis points (5-year outlook) to 116-basis points (10-year outlook) just to achieve a neutral inflationary stance. If the Fed wanted to go beyond bailing out the large New York banks and brokerages, they would raise the Federal Funds target rate by 50-basis points at their next two-day FOMC (Federal Open Market Committee) meeting starting on April 29th.

The evidence tends to point out that the Federal Reserve resolved the equities ( dot com) bubble by creating cheaper money which led to the housing bubble; which they are attempting to resolve by creating cheaper money which appears to be creating a commodities bubble.

Is this another "produce nothing but profitable market volatility" fund manager?

"'Load up the pantry,' says Manu Daftary, one of Wall Street's top investors and the manager of the Quaker Strategic Growth mutual fund. 'I think prices are going higher. People are too complacent. They think it isn't going to happen here. But I don't know how the food companies can absorb higher costs.' (Full disclosure: I am an investor in Quaker Strategic)"

Being cute and casting the problem in economic terms...

"Stocking up on food may not replace your long-term investments, but it may make a sensible home for some of your shorter-term cash. Do the math. If you keep your standby cash in a money-market fund you'll be lucky to get a 2.5% interest rate. Even the best one-year certificate of deposit you can find is only going to pay you about 4.1%, according to Bankrate.com. And those yields are before tax."

"Meanwhile the most recent government data shows food inflation for the average American household is now running at 4.5% a year."

"And some prices are rising even more quickly. The latest data show cereal prices rising by more than 8% a year. Both flour and rice are up more than 13%. Milk, cheese, bananas and even peanut butter: They're all up by more than 10%. Eggs have rocketed up 30% in a year. Ground beef prices are up 4.8% and chicken by 5.4%."

I am surprised that the analysis wasn't performed with "constant dollars" which gives a clearer picture of what is happening. You will also note that the author mentions both milk and cheese which are artificially priced by those government agencies who have for years manipulated the prices of whole milk and its derivative products. As for other foodstuff commodities, once again we see the hand of the government in our pocket by retaining farm subsidies that mostly benefit the major corporate farming entities and the wealthy major supplies of foodstuffs like television host David Letterman. According to published reports, "Subsidy benefits for David Letterman totaled $8,023 for Program Years 2003-2005."

"These are trends that have been in place for some time."

Scary news...

"And if you are hoping they will pass, here's the bad news: They may actually accelerate."

Here's the "official reason" which conveniently omits any mention of farm subsidies and price manipulation...

"The reason? The prices of many underlying raw materials have risen much more quickly still. Wheat prices, for example, have roughly tripled in the past three years."

"Sooner or later, the food companies are going to have to pass those costs on. Kraft saw its raw material costs soar by about $1.25 billion last year, squeezing profit margins. The company recently warned that higher prices are here to stay. Last month the chief executive of General Mills, Kendall Powell, made a similar point."

"The main reason for rising prices, of course, is the surge in demand from China and India. Hundreds of millions of people are joining the middle class each year, and that means they want to eat more and better food."

I am unaware of the fact that there is a major difference between the lower class and the upper class in Asian countries as they all regard rice as a staple main dish much in the same way we regard grain and potato products.

"A secondary reason has been the growing demand for ethanol as a fuel additive. That's soaking up some of the corn supply."

Again, what is not being mentioned is the government's fine hand in the price manipulation of ethanol by subsidizing the production of so-called bio-fuels which artificially stimulates the marketplace for foodstuffs by placing a premium on diverting products for consumption into fuel.

"You can't easily stock up on perishables like eggs or milk. But other products will keep. Among them: Dried pasta, rice, cereals, and cans of everything from tuna fish to fruit and vegetables. The kicker: You should also save money by buying them in bulk."

Subtract government interference and restrict the speculative activities of hedge funds and you will see a much different picture emerge.

"If this seems a stretch, ponder this: The emerging bull market in agricultural products is following in the footsteps of oil. A few years ago, many Americans hoped $2 gas was a temporary spike. Now it's the rosy memory of a bygone age."

I do not believe that anyone really believes that the price of oil is not being artificially manipulated by those who speculatively buy and sell "spot" oil without ever having to take delivery of the base commodity. In essence, treating oil like any other derivative and speculating on the value of the paper rather than the value of the underlying commodity.

Ending on a high note...

"The good news is that it's easier to store Cap'n Crunch or cans of Starkist in your home than it is to store lots of gasoline. Safer, too."

Fulfilling my promise to you...

How to quickly and easily make 50%, 100% on your investment in food.

Use store coupons, especially those that offer 2-for-1 sales or free trials. And do not forget to shop at stores who promise to double or triple the value of the coupon.

No I am not being snide. It is a known fact that most people do not take advantage of the money savings coupons printed everyday in the paper. Even though more and more coupons continue to be printed.

Many years ago, I built a computerized fulfillment system for "nylon coupon wallets" that allowed one to organize all of your grocery coupons by category. Each full-page advertisement for this product, which ran in the Sunday supplements, cost about $50,000 and in the great majority of cases yielded two to three times the cost of the advertisement.

Now, one rarely sees anyone using the product or using coupons to their fullest potential. Another lost opportunity to save your hard-earned money.

What can YOU do?

Whether it is real estate or food, one should suspect, and often rightly so, that there is some form of government manipulation of the process or the reporting of the results. Or that the speculative activities of the Wall Street Wizards who never intend to take delivery of the underlying commodity may play a significant part in the pricing of foodstuffs as well as other commodities.

Do not be panicked into buying more than you can consume in a reasonable period. Panic buying at every-increasing prices is what causes spiral pricing and sometimes local outages due to supply and transportation dislocations.

If you do wish to stockpile food, check with the nearest Mormon church for the best way to handle such stockpiles.

"For many years, Church leaders have counseled members to prepare to care for themselves and their families in times of need. This includes, to the extent that local laws and personal circumstances allow, storing and saving a one-year supply of food." You may even want to visit the Provident Living web site for further guidance.

Be careful what you accept as fact from today's media. Even the esteemed Wall Street Journal is apparently changing its focus to include more reporting on political matters in accordance with its new owners.

And in the word of Mr. Spock -- "Live long and Prosper."

-- steve

Quote of the day: "

There is always more misery among the lower classes than there is humanity in the higher."           -- Victor Hugo

A reminder from OneCitizenSpeaking.com: a large improvement can result from a small change…

The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane. -- Marcus Aurelius

Reference Links:

R.O.I.|WSJ.com


“Nullius in verba.”-- take nobody's word for it!

“Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance.”-- George Bernard Shaw

“Progressive, liberal, Socialist, Marxist, Democratic Socialist -- they are all COMMUNISTS.”

“The key to fighting the craziness of the progressives is to hold them responsible for their actions, not their intentions.” – OCS

"The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." -- Marcus Aurelius

“A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves, and traitors are not victims... but accomplices” -- George Orwell



Our justice system is in serious need for an overhaul... from overly aggressive law enforcement officials, politically motivated prosecutors, judges with questionable sensibilities and juries with little or no common sense.

We are not speaking of high-profile cases where the defendant is represented by top legal talent and the resources for investigation and presentation are easily available. An O.J. with his dream team or a Michael Jackson with his expensive counsel.

We are concerned about the possibility that an average, ordinary citizen may be railroaded into jail even though he may be innocent of the crime. And while we have not reviewed the transcript of the legal proceeding or made any findings of fact, it seems that the circumstances of this case, as reported by the Los Angeles Times, merit some attention. 

A carjacking in Buena Park (Orange County, California)

The crime: a carjacking in Buena Park. A man with a previous criminal record was traced using an unproven methodology and then fingered by two eyewitnesses.

Unproven science should not create probable cause...

"The night Ochoa was arrested, police called in civilian Larry Harris and his dog. Harris, a Newport Beach engineer, is co-inventor of a scent-lifting device known as the STU-100.
Backers of the machine, which resembles a leaf blower, say it can collect human scent from an object as small as a bullet fragment and transfer it to a 5-by-9-inch gauze pad that is put to a bloodhound's nose. They claim the dog then follows the scent to the suspect."

"Prosecutors also relied on a controversial law enforcement tool to identify Ochoa as a suspect, a machine that supposedly lifts human scent from items left at a crime scene."

"A bloodhound that Buena Park police used supposedly followed the scent from a cap and shirt left by the carjacker two blocks to Ochoa's house, where he was sleeping. Ochoa's DNA was not found on the items."

Nightmare: an innocent man charged...

"After the dog led police to Ochoa, two victims identified him as their assailant. He was charged with carjacking, two counts of second-degree robbery and street terrorism for using a pellet gun."

Imagine, like a bolt out of the blue, the police breaking in and arresting you for a crime you know nothing about. Compounded by the shock of being identified as the perpetrator by people you do not know and who have never met.

Preconditioned to believe the worst...

"At the time he was arrested, Ochoa was on parole and had been out of prison two weeks after serving six months for possession of methamphetamine."

Failure of law enforcement...

Whether they stop looking for the real perpetrator once they have a viable suspect or are unduly prejudiced by prior criminal acts, one expects law enforcement officials and employees to search for the "truth" in such a manner as to develop the facts surrounding the case. Not to manufacture evidence or slant the existing evidence to fit the circumstances.

"'My free advice to Buena Park and other cities in the state is they better think twice before using this dog handler's technique,' said attorney Arturo Gonzalez, who represented Ochoa in one of his lawsuits. 'He's the reason why Ochoa was arrested when the real criminal was miles away.'"

It is unknown if this civilian engineer/inventor was a trained dog handler working with a certified K-9 class dog?  Or what testing had been done with the equipment/handler/dog combination before field use.

Failure of the prosecution...

"The Orange County district attorney's office prosecuted Ochoa despite having DNA evidence and fingerprints linking someone else to the carjacking near a Buena Park nightclub on May 23, 2005."

"He was imprisoned for 10 months before Jaymes Thomas McCollum, who was serving a prison term for another carjacking, was linked to the DNA found at the scene. McCollum, 22, confessed on Oct. 16, 2006, to the Buena Park carjacking. Ochoa was freed four days later.

Improper judicial conduct? Pressured to plead guilty by a system you can't trust...

"Ochoa pleaded guilty on the third day of his trial in 2005 after Orange County Superior Court Judge Robert F. Fitzgerald threatened to sentence him to life in prison if convicted.
Ochoa insisted that he was innocent, but was unwilling to risk life behind bars. The prosecution offered him a deal, and he agreed to plead guilty and serve a two-year prison sentence."

How the judge arrived at his "life in prison" sentence or if the judge actually coerced the defendant into falsely confessing should also be explored further.

We need to restore integrity to the system by removing those who have proven that their judgement has become unreliable...

While judges and other officials are relatively exempt from the consequences of their decisions, it seems that especially egregious situations should result in the immediate unemployment or demotion of the offenders. I am not saying incarcerate or fine them, just remove them from a position where they can do further harm to the populace.

And while we are at it... the same prescription should be applied to those who fail to disclose exculpatory evidence or otherwise knowingly try to manufacture a false scenario to fit the evidence.

Of course, the citizens are taxed for the bad judgement of those whom they trusted...

"Falsely convicted man to be compensated"

"A state agency has recommended that a former Buena Park man be paid $31,700 for spending 10 months in prison for a carjacking he did not commit."

"On Wednesday, James Ochoa, 22, also reached a tentative $550,000 settlement of lawsuits he had filed against Buena Park, its Police Department and a dog handler involved in the investigation. "

And it is given grudgingly...

"On Tuesday, the state's Victim Compensation and Government Claims Board voted 3 to 0 to reject a hearing officer's finding that Ochoa did not deserve payment because he had contributed to his own conviction by pleading guilty."

with no explanation...

"The attorney representing the city declined to comment but confirmed the tentative settlement and that the city will pay Harris' portion. Harris also declined to comment because he did not know about the agreement."

Once again the taxpayer gets soaked for the avoidable mistakes of our elected officials and employees. As a condition of paying Harris' portion of the judgement, perhaps the government should get an ownership interest in his venture, should it ever be perfected to the point of being reliable.

What can YOU do?

It is time to carefully scrutinize those who we elect to high office in both law enforcement and the judiciary.

It is also high time to start weeding out those government employees who appear to be senile, incompetent, capricious and who do not seem to have the temperament to serve the public faithfully and honestly.

And it is time to require all jurors to attend at least a one day class on the duties and responsibilities of jurors and how juries work. A test will then be administered and those who lack the ability to understand the materials or the sample cases presented are excused from jury service. Better this than a costly miscarriage of justice.

And, as per my previous blog entries, it is time that we start reconsidering the use of the death penalty in cases where the evidence is circumstantial or there appears to be egregious conduct on the part of law enforcement, prosecutor or the judiciary. And review all existing cased where DNA still exists or there was a question of improprieties by law enforcement, prosecutors or the judiciary.

-- steve

A reminder from OneCitizenSpeaking.com: a large improvement can result from a small change…

The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane. -- Marcus Aurelius

Reference Links:

Falsely convicted man to be compensated - Los Angeles Times


“Nullius in verba.”-- take nobody's word for it!

“Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance.”-- George Bernard Shaw

“Progressive, liberal, Socialist, Marxist, Democratic Socialist -- they are all COMMUNISTS.”

“The key to fighting the craziness of the progressives is to hold them responsible for their actions, not their intentions.” – OCS

"The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." -- Marcus Aurelius

“A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves, and traitors are not victims... but accomplices” -- George Orwell



JIMMY CARTER HITS HOME RUN WITH HAMAS MEETING

Hail to the ex-Chief...

Jimmy Carter should be widely congratulated by world leaders, democrats, Republicans and all Americans for revealing the truth about Hamas and the peace process.

I believe those press reports that claim "Carter-Hamas meeting achieved nothing" are absolutely wrong.

According to press reports by the AFP...

"Carter-Hamas meeting achieved nothing: Palestinians"

"Last week's meeting between former US president Jimmy Carter and the exiled leader of Hamas militants did not produce any results, Palestinian foreign minister Riyad al-Malki said here Wednesday."

"'President Carter came to the region thinking he could achieve something. Unfortunately president Carter left without anything concrete,' he told a conference in the Spanish capital."

"'The only thing he achieved was permission on the part of Khaled Meshaal of Hamas to deliver a letter from a detained Israeli soldier to his family. Nothing else,' he said."

"'Hamas offered nothing to president Carter. They reiterated the same positions. There was no change on the part of Hamas,' Malki added."

"Carter's meetings with top Hamas leader Meshaal and his deputy in Syria angered Israel and the United States, which consider the movement a terror group despite its victory in 2006 elections."

"He was unable to secure a ceasefire or a prisoner exchange for an Israeli soldier seized by Gaza militants in 2006, but on Monday Carter said Hamas told him it would recognize Israel's right to exist such a deal was approved by a Palestinian vote."

"Just hours later Meshaal told a press conference in Damascus that Hamas would not recognise the Jewish state and would insist on the right of return for 4.5 million Palestinian refugees."

Carter: the useful idiot...

Carter, a useful idiot at best and an ignorant anti-Semite at worst, did manage to demonstrate clearly and convincingly to the entire world that HAMAS was not willing to engage with the Israelis or call a halt to the shelling of innocent Israeli citizens to provide a sign that they were willing to talk about peace.

Hamas: unchanged and impenitent...

Their position remained unchanged and they remained impenitent. They are terrorists and will continue their campaign of terror.

Deflects criticism by attacking Condoleezza Rice...

"Former US President Jimmy Carter on Wednesday accused Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice of being untruthful over remarks made about his controversial meeting with the Islamist Hamas group."

"Rice had chided Carter for meeting with Hamas, saying US State Department officials had told him such talks would not help the Middle East peace process. "

"But a statement from the Atlanta-based Carter Center, which speaks on the ex-president's behalf, said no one from the US government told him not to meet with exiled Hamas chief Khaled Meshaal or other leaders of the group."

"'President Carter has the greatest respect for Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and believes her to be a truthful person,' the statement said.

"'However, perhaps inadvertently, she is continuing to make a statement that is not true,' it said."

"According to the statement, 'No one in the State Department or any other department of the US government ever asked him to refrain from his recent visit to the Middle East or even suggested that he not meet with Syrian President Assad or leaders of Hamas.'"

"Rice had said Tuesday that the United States would not deal with Hamas and 'we certainly told president Carter that we didn't think meeting with Hamas was going to help the Palestinians who (are) actually devoted to peace.'"

"Commenting on Carter's statement, Rice's spokesman Sean McCormack defended his boss, saying, 'We stand by the statements.  We stand by them as statements of fact.'"

Final analysis...

There is no doubt in my mind that Jimmy Carter enhanced the perceived prestige of Hamas and its leader, Khaled Meshaal among the terrorists and Islamo-fascists, by traveling to Meshaal in Syria to ask for favors. Even the letter provided to Carter was being laughed at by the terrorists who only respect strength and the resolve to use it to win your position.

What can YOU do?

Keep in mind that terrorists and especially the Islamo-fascists ONLY respect strength and those who have the resolve to use it. They hide behind women and children when the commit acts of aggression as any counter-strike to suppress fire is liable to kill innocent non-combatants which will then be portrayed to the world as the wanton killing of innocents.

Recognize that it was on Carter's watch that we saw the beginning of Iran's theocracy (when Carter abandoned the Shah of Iran and urged the Ayatollah Khomeini to return to Iran to run for office. It was on Carter's watch that the North Koreans lied about the nuclear ambitions and thus became a nuclear power. (Note: the Syrian's were trying to build their nuclear capability by purchasing North Korean technology and were bombed by Israel to halt their nuclear ambitions.) And it was on Carter's watch that the American embassy was placed under siege and American hostages taken. Carter's inability to take definitive action to secure the return of the hostages cost Carter a potential second presidential term.

Carter, as well as most of our elected democrats, is a proponent of the far-left who believe that they can simply talk to a dictator and convince them of their errant ways. In many ways, the far left movement has been infiltrated by those who believe that they can capture and subdue America without a shot being fired -- by using our own freedoms and laws against us. And they are trying their level best to insure that we have weak leaders who will refuse to defend the United States from its enemies, both foreign and domestic.

Do not vote for any candidate or current politician who is willing to subvert the safety, security, sovereignty and economic strength of the United States or limit an individual's right of self-defense for their personal philosophy, power, prestige or profits.

-- steve

Quote of the Day: "At times the whole world seems to be in conspiracy to importune you with emphatic trifles." --Ralph Waldo Emerson

A reminder from OneCitizenSpeaking.com: a large improvement can result from a small change…

The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane. -- Marcus Aurelius

Reference Links:

Carter-Hamas meeting achieved nothing: Palestinians 

Carter accuses Rice of being untruthful over Hamas meeting


“Nullius in verba.”-- take nobody's word for it!

“Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance.”-- George Bernard Shaw

“Progressive, liberal, Socialist, Marxist, Democratic Socialist -- they are all COMMUNISTS.”

“The key to fighting the craziness of the progressives is to hold them responsible for their actions, not their intentions.” – OCS

"The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." -- Marcus Aurelius

“A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves, and traitors are not victims... but accomplices” -- George Orwell



I TOTALLY IGNORED THE PENNSYLVANIA PRIMARY FOR ANOTHER FUN DAY WITH MY FRIENDS...

It is widely known among my friends, relatives and select acquaintances that I am a techie... in their words, "I speak computer."

Therefore, when something goes wrong with their computer, I am the last person they call. They have already tried everything they can to fix the problem. They have consulted their other friends and, perhaps, read a few articles on the Internet.

So by the time they call me, there is little or no chance to simply resolve the original issue. I am expected to magically solve all of the other issues that they have created with their ineptitude.

Tonight was no different. A friend called and told me that she was upset because her system was infected with a virus. And she knew this because different ads kept popping up on the screen every time she used Internet Explorer. We won't even mention what the older son was browsing or the damage inflicted by a young game-playing neighbor.

But I was puzzled. I had cleaned up her system more than six months ago and installed a good anti-virus program. It was a thirty-day free trial and I told her that she would need to purchase the registered version after thirty-days. After thirty-days, she did in fact purchase the registered version and duly printed out the license installation procedure.

When I arrived and booted the machine, the first message from the anti-virus was that it had been 196 days since the trial expired, and would I like to purchase the software?

I asked about the purchase and she handed me the software license information. After using the update function to enter the download username and password, the anti-virus was updated.

However, the damage had already been done. The system was infected with a malicious little Trojan known as bho.dmj and was manifested in a program named Adware.Virtumonde which was relatively benign as it didn't destroy her data files... only logged her keystrokes and then downloaded and displayed advertising depending on what was being typed.

A pesky bug contained in two main dynamic link libraries (.dll files) known as cbxOfxxy.dll and efccrhiH.dll; both of which were referenced by numerous registry entries as well as other programs. A fast web search yielded a complex repair process that involved editing the registry, unregistering inprocess servers and deleting a number of files. Or purchasing software which promised to fix the problem quickly and easily.

The registry deletes were easy. Many of the referenced programs did not even exist and apparently there was no way to delete these .dll programs as they were "locked" by the system. One virus scanner placed a copy in quarantine and promised that the offending files would be deleted after a re-boot. Didn't happen. Another virus scanner detected the file and flashed a message that the infection could only be remedied by the paid version -- just click here to purchase the registered version on our secured site. Yeah, right. Entering personal or credit card data with an active keystroke logger is sheer madness.

The unlock problem was quickly and easily solved with a free shareware program called "unlocker" which allows a file to be unlocked and deleted in a single pass. No re-boot required.

However, as with all utilities of this nature, you need to be extra cautious to avoid deleting a file which can cripple your machine to the point of uselessness -- which is guaranteed to require professional assistance to clean up the mess.  You need to know what you are deleting and exactly why the file should be deleted. Along with any other file dependencies it may have. If the malware is well-written, it may simply pop-up again under another name and continue this behavior until all of the infection is removed at the same time. You also need to be aware of what is in memory, the cache files and restore points. If you did not understand what I just said, call for help -- it is your only chance.

For this service, I do not expect much more than a thank you and possibly a cold drink. But I do expect you to follow-up on any advice that I might provide and if you don't understand it, ask me to explain it, re-explain it and keep at it until you understand what I am saying. After all, when one speaks computer, it sometimes gets in the way of communicating with humans.

What can YOU do?

Do not simply invite me over and casually mention that you are having problems with your computer. It may surprise you but I do not normally carry software, computer test equipment and backup storage everywhere I go.

OK, so I carry 8-gigabytes of flash drive on my keychain.  Surprise, this is for my own convenience using my own system. What may be needed to fix your problem may be miles away. So tell me up front that you are having problems and describe them to the best of your ability.

"Kaflooey" is not a technical description of what the computer program is actually doing when you call me. Tell me what programs you were using. What you were doing when the problem occurred and when you first noticed the problem. It is also helpful to know what you did while waiting for help to arrive. Swearing you didn't know how it happened seems very suspicious to me... there are two of us in the room and I know I didn't do it! Blaming it on others is very rarely helpful, since I know you tried all kinds of stuff to try and fix the problem before I arrived.

When I arrive, it would be nice to know that you have kept all of your original program disks in a single place so that there is some way to re-load the system should all of my efforts fail to produce the desired results.

It would also be nice to know that you have regularly backed-up your data files and that there is some way to re-load the data if all goes wrong and the base operating system and application programs need to be reloaded.

Even if you have not backed up your system, it still would be nice to know what programs you normally use and if there are any critical "must have" data files on the system.

I may be able to perform a backup on your system so it might be nice to have some writable CD-ROMs or DVDs around. If you think that a backup might be necessary, please mention it before I drive 50 miles at 8:00 p.m..

Do not stare over my shoulder, block my light or place your nose against the screen. It's just not helpful and it makes me want to whack you.

Likewise, do not ask me to teach you how to fix the problem so you don't have to call me next time. Especially before I know what the problem actually is.

Remember, there is no way I can impart a lifetime of education, trial-and-error and just plain lucky guesses to you in a few hours.  What I actually do is to follow a checklist in my head of likely causes and remedies that comes with a lifetime of experience. Sometimes even my hunches work out.

This reminds me of the golf pro who was playing with a talented amateur. The amateur kept remarking on how much better the pro played and asked was it possible to get a lesson. The pro replied that he had been playing professional golf for about twenty-plus years and queried, "wouldn't you think it was strange if, after all of that experience, you were able to play as well as me?" "And yes, I can give you a few pointers, but unless you practice for another five to ten years, you still won't be able to play as well as I do." Dejected, the amateur said he was going to just buy some new golf clubs -- and these would do the trick. For some time after that meeting, the pro referred to the amateur by the nickname "Copperfield" because any improvement in his game had to be done by magic.

Do not ask me which computer you should buy because I have no clue to what you want or need to accomplish with your system. My system was custom-built and is loaded with things that make me productive. I do not play games, listen to music or spend hours fooling around with gadgets -- unless they interest me.

Likewise I do not download commercial music, video or programs and share them with my friends. My software is licensed and legal -- so I feel free to harass the vendor with my complaints. So it is nothing personal when I refuse to share my programs with you. 

More often than not, I discover an unknown bug or request features which will wind up in the next version of the software... therefore I get superior technical support because I know what I am asking and how to ask for it.

If you see me call a vendor, do not try this on your own without being prepared. I have taught my methods to a few select people over the years and my current protege went from a timid mouse to someone who is comfortable calling the president of the company and asking for assistance. In all likelihood, I will not teach you how to do this as I have respect for the vendor's time and patience.

And above all, do not ask me to do anything illegal. In all likelihood, I may turn you in to the authorities... and your wife or loved one will be really mad at you. 

-- steve

Quote of the Day: "Perhaps the best thing about the future is that it comes one day at a time." --Dean Acheson

A reminder from OneCitizenSpeaking.com: a large improvement can result from a small change…

The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane. -- Marcus Aurelius

Reference Links:


“Nullius in verba.”-- take nobody's word for it!

“Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance.”-- George Bernard Shaw

“Progressive, liberal, Socialist, Marxist, Democratic Socialist -- they are all COMMUNISTS.”

“The key to fighting the craziness of the progressives is to hold them responsible for their actions, not their intentions.” – OCS

"The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." -- Marcus Aurelius

“A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves, and traitors are not victims... but accomplices” -- George Orwell



DEMOCRAT ED RENDELL PANDERS TO RACIST, ANTI-SEMITE, SEPARATIST LOUIS FARRAKHAN

It is almost impossible to believe that minutes after I posted my blog entry on  "AMERICA IS BROKEN AND THE LIBERAL DEMOCRATS ARE AT FAULT" highlighting the inane stupidity of democrat Jimmy Carter as he openly panders to the terrorist organization HAMAS, that I would see a video of a prominent democrat governor (then the Philadelphia Mayor) as he openly applauds racist, anti-Semite, separatist Louis Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam with much of the same rhetoric as that used by Jimmy Carter.

gov_rendell

THIS IS A PRIME EXAMPLE OF THE DYSFUNCTIONAL DEMOCRAT PARTY

IT IS HARD TO BELIEVE THAT A DEMOCRAT WOULD ENDORSE AN AVOWED RACIST... AND CLAIM THAT HE WAS HELPING TO END RACISM...

See it for yourself...

"Ed Rendell, who is Governor of Pennsylvania and the state's most influential supporter of Presidential hopeful, Hillary Rodham Clinton, speaking to a packed audience at Tindley Temple United Methodist Church on April 14, 1997 at rally: "A Solution to Heal the Racial Divide."

"The then mayor was the principal organizer of the rally that brought together diverse religious, political, and civic Philadelphia leaders, with Nation of Islam leader, the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan as the keynote speaker."

THIS IS YET ANOTHER EXAMPLE OF THE DEMOCRAT PARTY  PROVING MY POINT!

OBAMA MARCHED WITH FARRAKHAN IN THE MILLION MAN MARCH!


“Nullius in verba.”-- take nobody's word for it!

“Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance.”-- George Bernard Shaw

“Progressive, liberal, Socialist, Marxist, Democratic Socialist -- they are all COMMUNISTS.”

“The key to fighting the craziness of the progressives is to hold them responsible for their actions, not their intentions.” – OCS

"The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." -- Marcus Aurelius

“A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves, and traitors are not victims... but accomplices” -- George Orwell