If you recall some time ago we took note of the fact that despite the relentless increase in America's yearly "investment" in education, results as measured by standardized test scores remain in decline.
You don't really have to recall, here's the stuff.
You may remember that at the time, we offered the following thought,
Then, in our last post we took note of a profound increase in women entering the labor force.
After which, we offered the following opinion, "We view this in and of itself as neither a good thing nor a bad thing." although the remarkable visual similarity between declining test scores above and the Husbands Only working line below is ... well ..... remarkable.
We do view it as is a thing.
More important, we see this thing on a daily basis as this just is how things are nowadays.
This much bigger thing ..... IOHO ..... we also see on a daily basis, as this is also how things are.
And while we're on the subject, single parent families account for over half the total of America's welfare recipients, while two parent families accounted for around 5% in 2010.
And family income is the single most powerful predictor for success on standardized academic achievment tests.
Apologies for the fuzzy image, it is however worth the eye strain as there is some good stuff in there.
Our conclusion here is that you should now be in a position to draw your own set of conclusions.
But ......... What to do? What to do?
Later for all of that, we're still bitching.
I have Terry and a couple of the minions all over me to get it back up to speed.
And I will.
Mostly lately I've just been reading in an effort to separate fact from fiction.
The news of the world by the way is mostly fiction, as you can no longer trust any source.
I don't view this as tragedy since it began to occur to me that in all likelihood, you could never trust any source.
We just mistakenly choose to trust those sources that we mostly agree with.
After all, I'm a reputable guy and if these guys agree with me they must be reputable as well.
Mmmmm ..... maybe not.
So what can a poor boy do?
Except to join in a rock and roll band.
Cause in sleepy London town there’s just no place for a street fighting man.
For the forseeable future, you just gotta test everything.
Anyway, here's some pretty good stuff from CBC, The National, it's about 24 minutes and moves along pretty good.
The Monarchs of Money.
That's 178 words TD ..... not counting these.
It's 185 if you count those, but not these.
199 counting those and these.
Our second plank offers up our thinking on "Climate Change" which having not sold all that well under it's original name, "Global Warming" and many of it's chief promoters having been discredited as haters, cowards, shameless profiteers and crazed sex poodles it has now been repackaged with a new name, new marketing and a new catastrophe ... Hurricane Sandy.
To begin with, the earth has been heating up lately ..... probably.
If you look at the chart above and notice the orange lines at the right end. Those lines represent those years where temperatures were actually measured using instruments that record real temperatures.
Take note of the word "Reconstructed" in the key at the upper left hand corner.
Among the problems with calculating "Climate Change" is that word "Reconstructed" as in the year 1000 AD there were almost no thermometers hanging outside the conning tower at your local airport recording daily temperatures.
For the better part of 1900 years out of a 2000 year ... ish ... chart, we're calculating average temperatures from tree rings and ice cores ..... among other things.
This bares repeating ..... tree rings and ice cores.
The problems in data collection are endless as even recently, examples of blatant stupidity and/or pure fraud have been detected in the numbers.
Here are just two physical examples.
By way of explanation for what you're about to look at here, the refrigeration unit and air conditioners blow cold air into the building and exhaust the hot air out ..... pretty much directly at the temperature sensor/thermometer.
Click on either photo below for more examples of sensor placements which are likely serving to help cook the books.
Get it? ..... Cook? ... the books?
I can't crunch the numbers on the research but there are enough complaints about the treatment of the numbers from people who can, not to mention enough assurances from a raft of people who for damn sure can't, to make my bullshit detector swing wildly.
Or you can take my word for it as I did read it because, while it is a little long it's not very tough reading.
Understand something here, all of this is before you even begin to consider possible causes.
Which brings us to our first position.
The Moon is also warming up by the way.
Yeah, yeah that's only a 4 year chart, we're just having a little fun pretending to be Progressives.
NASA also thinks that Mars is warming up along with maybe Jupiter and Triton, but who the hell knows.
They're studying it because ..... that's what scientists do.
Finally, having researched and pondered this issue to the fullness of our not inconsiderable capabilities we arrive at the following conclusion.
Having been both warm and cold, it is our strongly held opinion that ...
We begin today in developing/establishing the platform upon which the Roanman candidacy for the office of President of the United States will stand.
And since I'm still feeling a hair run down and happen to have this bit of word art already completed, and not because I attach any special importance to this issue, I'll begin with "Gays In The Military".
I believe a decent enough interval has elapsed since the 2012 presidential election for me to announce my candidacy for the office of President of the United States in the upcoming 2016 presidential election.
Having taken care of that little bit of business, I'm taking a weekend off from the site as all this politicking and stuff has me worn out.
So ... once again in the words of both Douglass MacArthur and the Terminator.
And, as always when we take a little time off, we remind you of the wisdom of Sgt. Phillip Esterhaus.
That's good advice.
I think we've been plain enough in our opposition to the candidates for President being offered up by America's two great political parties.
We cheerfully acknowledge the liklihood that in addition to being deeply opposed to many/most/if not all of the policies put forward by President Obama, Mr. Romney and their respective party platforms, this may reflect a personal problem on our part as we have internalized ... and then some ... the following credo first presented by the beloved Groucho Marx.
So anyway, the libertarian/anti-war types have sniffed us out and have been bombing us with the stuff.
So to speak.
The following are some of our favorites.
We begin with Terry D's hands down favorite, which mostly just creeps me out.
Our strongly held opinion is that the next couple whatevertheyares accurately depict the overwhelming tone of the 2012 election.
This year, America will be voting against.
Conan get's it.
America's contempt for the political class continues to grow.
Which in the case of Vice President Biden, that contempt is well earned.
Speaking of War, some people are beginning to notice that the supposed anti-war left has been AWOL for the past four years and have drawn some conclusions.
Finally, a warning.
Be afraid ..... Be very afraid.
I knew this one was inevitable.
Among the opinions that I freely share with anyone willing to listen is the notion that there is next to nothing that separates the two candidates presesently running for the office of President of the United States. Furthermore, if you look at the practices of their respective administrations there is next to nothing that distinguishes the administration of Barack Obama from that of George W. Bush and indeed very little that distinguishes either Bush administration from Bill Clinton's discounting the spectacular opportunities for policy adventures afforded the latter Bush by virtue of the wildly more succesful attack on the World Trade Center that occurred on his watch.
This notion frustrates Republican/conservative types to no end as they consider themselves to be the only grownups in the room and as such the only possible responsible viewpoint on any issue you might care to name, while at the same time infuriating Democrat/liberal/progressive types to near apoplexy as they view themselves to be the best possible people imaginable by virtue of their tender hearts and pure intentions all the while loathing with the deepest passion imaginable anyone who has the temerity to oppose them on any issue.
So anyway, I was at the soccer game the other day watching the youngest Roanboy command the midfield, when I chanced upon one of my Republican/conservative type friends who visits us here from time to time and is exasperated with me for refusing to support Mitt Romney.
Finally completely frustrated, he said to me, "Youre so f&#$%@^ smart, what would you do?"
"I'm Emperor?" I ask, delighted at the prospect.
Look of disgust.
Then I rattle it off in about 18 seconds.
1. Break up the media near monopolies. Allow for ownership/investment of only one media outlet, be it newspaper, televison station or radio station per state.
2. Break up the banks. Bring back Glass Steagall word for word at minimum. Better yet, legally segregate retail banking from investment banking from propriatery trading from brokerage from insurance from fee based research.
3. Abolish the Federal Reserve Bank.
4. Disengage from all foreign entanglements including NATO and bring all of our troops home.
5. Establish term limits of 3 terms for Congress and two for the Senate.
6. Establish term limits of 25 years for all public employees. Some time in the private sector would do most of them a world of good.
7. End the "War on Drugs". Legalize it, tax it, use the money you save for treatment.
8. Close the Department of Homeland Security. Hold parties at airports all over the country and beat the shit out of their equipment with sledge hammers. Make transportation companies responsible for their customer's security.
9-a. Establish a flat tax of 10% on every dime of income over twenty thousand dollars, regardless of source, regardless of the form (benefits are income) from every entity, while removing deductions for mortgage interest, state and local taxes, charitable contributions ..... everything. End FICA
9-b. Remove depreciation and depletion allowances from corporate tax returns along with interest deductions, allow business entities to expense capital purchases along with business expenses in the year they occur on a cash in cash out basis. Treat debt for purposes of acquiring capital purchases as income. Get it? You can expense capital improvements in the year they are acquired to the extent they are unleveraged.
10. Hire the nastiest prick I can find with some prosecutorial experience to hold a public investigation of the attack on the World Trade Center of September 11, 2001. Give him every dime he asks for. Hell, offer up a bonus for every conviction that results in a hanging ..... make it a big one.
"How's that just for starters?" I asked, just as innocently as I am able.
He won't be back bothering me anytime soon.
No, that's not me in the picture although I used to look a lot like that ..... before the operation.
I’ve gone through this before, but I want to repeat it.
Of the two of us who do most of the reading around here one of us is retired … me … and the other, despite claims of being gainfully employed hasn’t done an honest day’s work in years, possibly decades.
This provides the two of us with the awesome blessing of time to read.
You can choose to believe this or not but we do sit and read almost all of it from one end of the spectrum to the other and have come away with the following conclusion:
What is going on around here lately is an epic, inevitable, multigenerational, international reset wherein nothing promoted by either the professional left or right has a snowball’s chance in hell of even mitigating, let alone preventing the slow motion train wreck that is upon us.
To the contrary, that which is being promoted by both professional ends of the political spectrum … basically more of the same … is the express cause of all of our problems.
More distressing still, most of that which is being offered as solutions to this horor is specifically designed to benefit only the small group of insiders and their lackeys who presently control the world’s financial system, the media, this country's two major political parties along with much if not most of the rest of the western world, and who by the way also caused this whole frickin nightmare in the first place ..... all at the expense of the ordinary citizen.
And finally we have sadly concluded that the notion held amongst the partisan faithful of the world that if we can just get or keep our guy in power, everything is gonna turn out alright is … to be unkind about it … delusional.
I will also cheerfully admit to being a shameless troll.
I bring this up because this past week I had the distinct pleasure of simultaneously engaging over a 36 hour period of time my favorite Socialist, my favorite NeoCon and one of my all time favorite people on this earth whom I have never actually met, but who happens to be the one individual I have ever known to have continually flummoxed any of the common political labels anyone could possibly pin on another person, with the possible exception of flake.
As an aside, all three of the above would vehemently deny my characterization of their thinking but ... you know ... I just call em like I see em.
Anyway, during a short one hour and 45-minute period of time one evening this week, I was accused of being a "Lying Republican", a "Liberal" and a “Failed Hippy”.
I don’t care who you are that’s pretty damn good work.
Here's the problem that faces not only the government of the United States, but every government everywhere in the world.
So many lies have been exposed and so much bad faith has been revealed that were the President of the United States to come out and announce that the sky is blue, a significant percentage of the population would walk out their front door just to check.
Which individuals of course would depend on whether it were a Democrat or a Republican President.
Here's a way cynical five minute presentation on the government's account of the events of September 11, 2001.
My strongly held opinion is that the report issued by the 9/11 Commission has absolutely nothing to do with what really happened on that terrible morning and that the real perpetrators are far more likely to be Mossad and the Saudis who are much friendlier than they will ever admit to being, along with some serious help from the very top of the international military industrial complex and some of our own intelligence bankers, than it is to have been some rag tag band of Muslim cokeheads.
Once again thanks to our friend Ammericanu.
This type of production is popping up all over the internet.
Which is the fundemental reason the ownership of the federal government is trying and will continue to try to obtain final control over what you see on the internet.
Just as they have obtained control over what you see, hear and read on television, radio and newspapers.
The simple truth is that neither the Democrats or the Republicans have any interest in you, your dreams or your life, and both are blatantly contemptuous of your views concerning how they manage their country.
Wouldn't ya' just love to do something about that?
Well, you have come to the right place as we have your solution.
First of all, vote in every election for the rest of your life.
And then while voting in every election for the rest of your life, never, ever, under any set of circumstances, ever, vote for any incumbent, for any office, under any set of circumstances, never, ever, neverever ..... right down to dogcatcher.
Exceptions to this rule can and should be made on the occasion of TRUE LUV.
And you know how often that comes around ... once maybe twice in a lifetime.
Otherwise, just say no to incumbency.
The great conceit in American political life is that "our guys are better than their guys".
Good government will elude us until we are turning over damn near every political office in damn near every single election.
The more money a guy has for advertising, the less you want that guy representing you, because he doesn't.
The more lawn sign you see out there with some guy's name on it, the less you want that guy representing you, because he doesn't.
Even when it's your lawn.
I promise you he is representing the guy who bought the sign and not the guy cutting the grass.
Kill em all.
Figuratively speaking of course.
A number of people continue to ask about the colt.
He is outstanding, thank you.
This is his baby picture.
We've had no more episodes of colic since he returned home from the convalescent home and he is by far the best two year old I've ever been around ... actually by way far.
He's been so good that the people who own the place where I ride asked me to ride their two year olds while they're off showing horses, thinking that it was my skill as a trainer of colts they were witnessing when in truth it's my colt the genius, picking it up as fast as I can show it to him, who is special.
This is a perfect deal for them as they can't pay me if I want to maintain my non pro card and good for me because I've lost 6 or so pounds, about an inch I didn't need anyway and have cleared my lungs out pretty good just from fooling around three or so hours a day, six days a week with four two year old colts.
The downside is that going from riding no horses a day to four colts a day in about two weeks has left me a little beat up and temporarilly reliant on the Tylenol to accomplish pretty much anything else.
Remembering that I'm riding babies and am training mostly at a walk or a nice working trot, here are two vids that demonstrate how I've been spending my mornings.
The first is from Larry Trocha who offers a useful conversation about setting up a wall with the bit, and maybe more importantly proper riding posture into your stop.
The second is from Les Vogt who certainly has a glorious work environment and presents one of my favorite thoughts on stopping, that being the notion of 'letting them stop" rather than making them stop.
Drive your colt into that stop, say whoa while you're pulling your legs off him and pretty quick you'll get that "melting into the ground" thing that everybody loves.
At least around here.
I've done a fair amount of thinking about fear and phobias during the course of my life having had just the strangest experience with a girl who turned into a human statue one afternoon having been blocked from the door in a horses stall.
It was one of my horses of course, and while not a lover like some I've had he didn't have a mean bone in his body and to my knowledge from the day he had his testicles removed never even had an aggressive thought.
Needless to say, there was no second date.
Among my issues is acrophobia.
I've always been interested in how and why a certain fear or phobia gets a hold on you as I can with dead certainty identify the exact instant that I went from a kid who would climb anything to a guy who ain't climbing nothing much bigger that your average sized horse.
16 hands is about my limit and I ain't tellin'.
Anyway, someone (apologies) sent us this vid long enough ago that it only had fifteen or twenty thousand hits.
It now has some two million four hundred thousand views.
It has taken me that long to watch the thing all the way through.
Feel free to laugh.
Anyway again, thanks to Thunder at Touch the Banner my favorite site for all things Michigan Football, who posted a series of stills on this climb last night which was what caused me to give the vid another try again this morning.
This is just flat stupid as far as I'm concerned, but then again I'm closing in on 60 and still riding colts.
We're back to practicing avoidance around here for a while as the stuff we've been grinding on is just too depressing to work at posting.
Besides, as we are in the midst of almost nightly arguments over just what exactly it is that's going on out there and just what exactly do it mean, we have no thinking worth posting right now anyway.
Besides again, I just took on a second project which is beating the crap out of my not nearly as spry as it used to be body, the result being that I've been coming home, pounding the Advil and sucking on a bottle of Merlo in front of the fire rather than sitting in my office and reading crap that makes me crabby.
I'm starting to think that this may well be a superior approach to life.
The first two vids were shot from the International Space Station, the third from the ground.
Earth can be a beautiful place when the idiots aren't busy screwing things up.
Although it is gonna take me a minute to get there.
Here's why the MF Global story matters to you.
Let's just suppose that you own one share of Apple and the caca having hit the fan, your brokerage firm goes upside down ... or boobs up, as my beloved partner used to say.
Here's the nasty suprise heading in your direction.
You don't really own that share of Apple as it has been purchased with your funds but is being held in your brokerage firm's name supposedly for your benefit.
What is even more interesting is that you have most likely given your brokerage firm permission to pledge that share of Apple as collateral for it's own purposes, be it trading or borrowing or whatever they might want it for when you signed that paperwork you didn't read.
Here's why the MF Global story double matters to you.
The customers of MF Global weren't trading stocks which were purchased in MF Global's name, they were holding segregated commodity accounts, US government treasuries and in some cases physical product most typically gold bars, all of which were held in their own name with MF Global being paid to provide secure housing.
This means that without specific authorization which it mostly never recieved, by law MF Global should not been able to pledge those assets for it's own purposes.
The law was ignored by MF Global but much more importantly, our government regulators who are supposedly in the employ of the victims of this crime actually abetted this theft in the following fashion:
Faced with the choice of the typical Chapter 7 liquidation for a commodities brokerage concern wherein customer assets are untouchable, the SEC deliberately approved the Chapter 11 reorganization of MF Global, the one of two bankcruptcy options that threw customers assets into the entire pot of stuff to be carved up among all of MF Global's creditors.
What's even more interesting is that the SEC did this secretly without contacting the Commodities Futures Trading Corporation which probably is the governmental entity that should have made this decision as it has handled most if not all previous commodity brokerage failures and had experienced people and proven systems in place that would have more likely protected customer accounts.
So to make a long story short federal regulators have abetted the theft of money from private citizens in favor of in this case ... as usual ... JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs, with the now addition of George Soros as the likely discount purchaser.
Not to beat a dead horse, but remembering the words of President Barack Obama.
Ok, so here's my first ... Ok, Ok second question,
"So why is it that the Large Media have such trouble reporting this story? The fact seems to be that the political powers that be in Washington are protecting JPM CEO Jaime Dimon from a possible career ending kind of stumble with respect to MF Global. By stuffing the commodity customers of the broker dealer via an equity bankruptcy resolution supervised dutifully by SIPIC, JPM and Soros apparently get to benefit at the expense of the commodity customers of MF Global. This situation stinks to high heaven and everyone on the Street we've spoken to about the matter knows it. As the article below notes:
"Rather than being treated as a bankruptcy of a commodities brokerage firm under sub-chapter IV of the Chapter 7 bankruptcy law, MF Global was treated as an equities firm (sub-chapter III) for the purposes of its bankruptcy, and this is why the MF Global customer money in so-called segregated accounts "disappeared".
The effort by former New Jersey governor and MF Global CEO Jon Corzine to save his firm by stealing customer funds seems to warrant further discussion, yet instead we have silence. Here's a question: When is Corzine going to be indicted for securities fraud and other high crimes and misdemenors? The answer seemingly is that the Obama Justice Department is afraid to go there. Thus the fraud at MF Global continues and Washington does nothing to inconvenience the banksters as customer funds are expropriated.
But please, to our friends in the Big Media, could we stop saying that we don't know the location of the missing $1.6 billion of client funds from MF Global? The money is safe and sound at JPM and other counterparties. As with Goldman Sachs et al and American International Group, the banks have been bailed out at the cost of somebody else. And the various agencies of the federal government are complicit in the fraud."
Mr. Whalen's conclusion feels about right to us with regards to Fox and the Wall Street Journal who the other day "reported" that funds had "VAPORIZED".
But can you imagine The New York Times, MSNBC, CNN, CBS etc. ignoring this story in an election year with a Republican in the White House?
Ya can't ... can ya?
In recent testimony before a Congressional committee, MF Global’s former chief Jon Corzine as well as other MF Global executives said repeatedly the didn’t know where the failed brokerage firm’s $1.2 billion of missing client money was. In fact, MF Global executives knew exactly what happened to the money, as do the regulators who oversaw the firm’s bankruptcy. The so-called segregated customer funds were repeatedly, and legally (through re-hypothication), used as collateral for MF Global loans for 100:1 leveraged bets on European sovereign debt.
A substantial portion of MF Global’s commodity clients cleared their transactions through the Chicago Mercantile Exchange and Comex, owned by CME Group (ticker: CME). The question now looming over CME’s stock is whether the company will be liable for customer losses, as the Commodity Customer Coalition, a group that says it represents some 8,000 investors—including many hedge funds–with exposure to MF Global are not going down without a fight.
Rather than being treated as a bankruptcy of a commodities brokerage firm under sub-chapter IV of the Chapter 7 bankruptcy law, MF Global was treated as an equities firm (sub-chapter III) for the purposes of its bankruptcy, and this is why the MF Global customer money in so-called segregated accounts “disappeared”. In a brokerage firm bankruptcy, the customers get their money first, while in an equities firm bankruptcy, the customers are at the end of the line, meaning MF Global’s creditors, namely J.P. Morgan and other trading counterparties, got their money first, just as AIG’s CDS (credit default swap) counterparties (mainly Goldman Sachs) got their money first when the U.S. government bailed out AIG.
To add further insult to injury for MF Global clients, the firm reportedly unloaded hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of securities to Goldman Sachs, and others, who then reportedly flipped these securities within a day to George Soros funds.
Ok so whose political party benefits when George Soros is flush with cash?
It all sort of comes together after a while don't it?
I had promised somebody an update post on my colt when I got him back from the convalescent home and then didn't do it.
If you remember we made not one but two breakneck trips across the state of Michigan to the MSU large animal hospital this fall, the first for emergency colic surgury, the second mostly because the colt must have figured I didn't spend enough money on him the first time.
I picked him up and brought him home two weeks ago.
Went back to work on him the next day.
Mostly because I am way too old to be getting my butt bucked off a horse, Scotty got on him for the first time a week ago Friday.
I got on him Saturday and put his eighth ride on him this morning.
Still it's very good stuff and will probably surprise those people who think horses are getting broke ..... literally.
I left out the first video in this series as it was beyond introductory, videos 3, 4 and 5 are very good as Richard Winter gets this very nice, mature, and easy going two year old filly saddled and mounted in the course of an hour or so clinic.
It's always way easier and a lot safer after some hours of handling and ground work.