Friday, February 28, 2014
For instance, if a news item is reported on TV that robbers stole $1,000 from the local convenience store, its met usually with momentary interest then shrug..
And when it was reported the Fed basically took hundred of billions in US taxpayer $$ back in 2008/09 and gave it to the European Union and Japan among other foreign entities, its met with no interest and a bigger shrug..
And yet if someone opens their purse or billfold and finds $20 missing??
Such an utter detachment everyday people have from money, particularly their own..
They are so afraid a burglar will enter their premises and know precisely which empty can of paint in the basement their cash is being stored, they will instead willing allow another entity.. a corrupt one no less to hold onto it..
And not just any entity but one that takes that money, pays near zero interest while lending 10x that amount to others at 5-12% interest and places restrictions on how much of one's money they can take back in a given day without being reported to the IRS..
Its quite funny when you think about it.. Ahh people..
Those people in Cyprus last year sure weren't laughing..
Yep, people are kooky..
Most hate working in their current jobs though they do their best to convince themselves otherwise.. They also sure hate being without one..
And no matter how much or how little a person makes as a salary, the skill in utterly wasting it is not exclusive to any demographic..
And the not so poor.. they're not so brainy either.
Was watching an exhibition Grapefruit League baseball game the other day.. the game itself was a typical spring training affair. What did capture the interest was all the people sitting in the first two rows staring down Constantly at their cellphones..
And we do mean Constant.. texting/tweeting.. surfing the web.. whatever.. Really didn't notice too much actual Talking on phones.. Just a dozen or so people with heads constantly lowered and busily tap tap tapping away..
Couldn't that be done from the comfort of home? Or better yet, actually go to the event WITH the person they are most are texting to?
Just a thought..
Yep, money money money..
Guess they know something we don't.. Or embrace the illusion the US will 100% take care of all its people in times of individual or collective national crisis..
Others work and work... and work and work.. and save and save.. And they become millionaires and multi-millionaires and billionaires.. and keep working and working.. and then in a snap of a finger..
Psst Mr. Buffett et al.. didn't mean to bum you out with that one..
So really.. beyond all the standard textbook definitions, etc, what is 'money'?
Money is Freedom i.e. Absolute control and possession of your time.
When you possess enough of it, you can tell your employer to go F him or herself at any moment you wish and no longer be a part of the rat race and a scheduled life.
You wake up and go to bed when you wish.. Want to eat lunch at 4p instead of 12:30p? Do it.. Want to take a day trip on a beautiful sunny day? Who's stopping you.. Who to report to?
Some people can't handle the truth.. Even more can't handle the thought of possessing continual 24/7 freedom.. Fear of boredom or even odder, in some guilt pangs occur..
We told you people are just goofy..
None of it is truly real.. Grab a handful of dirt... or smell a flower.. That is real..
Money is illusion.. It is based on confidence; a belief that when you take those pieces of paper in your hand or those binary numbers enter your bank account based on products sold or skills completed, they will be worth something to another to exchange for other goods and services..
Can't hold it or smell it but.. definitely real.. And it keeps on tick tick ticking.. Whether you're happy or sad.. Whether your 33 or 77.. Whether trapped in an office cubicle or sitting in a classroom..
And quite honestly, that should be the #1 reason to put up with all the skull drudgery and daily tensions of the workplace..
To be able to acquire the freedom to be in true control of your time which is really the same as saying control of your life.
After all, to paraphrase from the film 'Caddyshack', if everyone listened to us and changed their mindset, the world would be without ditch diggers.
Posted by Susquehanna at Friday, February 28, 2014
Thursday, February 27, 2014
To answer that question, you have to go back in time to February 1933 and ask why was the 21st Amendment enacted which repealed the 18th Amendment which back then made alcohol illegal..
It wasn't due to questions of health benefit or to curtail organized crime and the black market or that prisons were overcrowded with alcohol-loving law breakers...
It was repealed for one reason stated in two words: Economic Necessity.
During this period, unemployment ran as high as 25% and no one fudged the numbers back then like the government does today with that current 6.6% nonsense.. And loss of jobs means loss of tax revenue as well as inability for people to pay their property taxes..
Government of all levels suffered.. Federal, state, city and local..
So as a revenue stream for government, alcohol production, distribution and consumption was now made legal again and the populace could happily dull their pain away all day n' night free of the worries of imprisonment.
The corrupt media can lie all the live long day about "recovery" and economic optimism but the truth can be felt in real life...
Government needs money desperately.. State governments especially..
And no one wants to raise taxes especially the cowardly one trick pony Republicans who only know how to campaign on the notion that every expenditure in Washington should be slashed and burned to curtail the deficit...
Well except Defense spending..
According to TheStreet.com, it is projected that due to the legalization of pot, Washington state is expected to generate $359 million in additional tax revenue with Colorado bringing in $208 million by year's end..
This is why you have another 14 states projected to pass adult use regulations in the next five years, including Alaska, Arizona, California, Delaware, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Maine, Maryland, Missouri, New Hampshire, Nevada, Oregon, Rhode Island and Vermont.
Investors are also taking notice of its profitability..
"Legal marijuana businesses are cropping up in many states, but those who have definitive business models and mainstream strategies are able to attract funding from investors, boost their growth and achieve scale.
The potential for the marijuana market to increase to $10.2 billion within the next five years or a 700% increase from the current U.S. market value is very likely, said Douglas Leighton, managing partner of Dutchess Capital, a New York investment firm which manages $125 million in assets, has $200 million in direct investments and made its first investment in the cannabis industry recently.
The "real growth" will arise when more states decriminalize the use of marijuana.
"I've never seen it where a market already exists for the product," he said. "The market is already there and it will gain wider acceptance.""
Investment firms are now looking to expand their profits vis a vis the expansion of the gateway drug.
Not really a surprise though.. 'Morality' to Investors is simply a term in the encyclopedia between 'Money laundering' and 'Off-shore accounts"
The legal marijuana market is estimated to grow by 64% to $2.34 billion in 2014 from $1.44 billion, according to a recent report by The ArcView Group, a cannabis investment and research firm based in San Francisco.
And governments across the country aren't stopping there in pursuit of new taxable revenue streams..
Many states are building new casinos as fast as their grubby fingers can pay off the right people and some states such as New Jersey have even allowed their citizens to play online gambling.
Or harder drugs with governments mandating the opening of "dens" where people can relax while the opium, heroin, meth, crack or other hardcore drug is in their system..
And who knows.. if the market suffers a serious crash down to Dow 4,000 and masses of people are standing in long breadlines and living in their cars, maybe the government will legalize and incentivize child prostitution and use the tax revenue to fund food stamps..
Why not? Vice is Vice is Vice..
Vice is profitable..
As of 2009, the US government collects a little over $1 per pack of cigarettes in tax revenue... Then individual states receive another 75cents to $3 depending on jurisdiction.. That adds up to over $17.7 Billion in tax revenue..
And the smokers keep on a-smokin'
Then there's alcohol.. Did you know 45% of the cost of a beer is composed of various taxes?!
Good thing alcohol is legal or it would just be one more sin tax added currently by state and local governments in desperate need of money to pay back municipal bonds, loan interest and maintain a local community..
It is projected the legal marijuana market could generate as much as $10 billion in revenue by 2018 and outpace the sales of tobacco and alcohol combined.
Now if only the various governments could figure a means to tax the hell out of masturbation, the National Debt would be paid down to zero in no time..
Posted by Susquehanna at Thursday, February 27, 2014
Wednesday, February 26, 2014
Thus one can communicate like "How R U?" & get back a response like "Gud - I'm @ Mall w/ budz" and not sound like two illiterate ignoramuses..
And Number #1 with a bullet..
Facebook.. God how we hate Facebook!
Or as its commonly described around the water cooler, "Clique-book" because unless you're an attractive young female that is well-endowed and place plenty of salacious photos on your profile (and even then no guarantees), the chances anyone you don't know seeking to 'friend' you is next to Zero.
It is merely a way for people who know each other and who don't wish to bother to take a couple minutes out of their day to actually call or email another, to still be able to communicate in the most lazy way humanly possible while FB spies on every keystroke for the NSA
All it takes is a generic post like "Have a great weekend!" or a quick note to someone directly along the lines of "Thinking of you.. K.I.T" (Keep in touch) to satisfy the communication obligation.
We have friends and family members like that.. One in particular- a deeply thoughtless and inconsiderate cousin coming to mind deserving of a couple open-hand slaps to the face.. It's a long story..
Bet you have people like that in your life too.. Yep, thought so.
We know of people who have had their accounts frozen for a week because they posted comments that were contrarian in political opinion to what was originally posted. Even the most pretend 'tolerant' never seem to have tolerance for opposing viewpoint..
Also know of people who had their ability to add-request others frozen because they add-requested 5 people in the span of an hour..
Many more horror stories..
Including the following..
It seems according to an article at SFGate.com that a lot of Facebook's ad revenue is a result of click fraud. Businesses pay money to FB to advertise on the site and believing the more "likes" they acquire, the more people their message is getting out to..
The rest of this post is from the SFGate.com article and in blue font with any underlines or highlighting done by us, not the original source..
We think its a very interesting read and accurately discredits a terrible company run by an equally terrible person who's company has not had to pay income taxes in the last 2 years even though generating literally Billions in revenue..
"Raaj Kapur Brar runs a small but successful empire of online fashion magazines from his base just outside Toronto. Some of his titles are huge online brands, such as Fashion & Style Magazine, which has 1.6 million Facebook fans.
That’s more fans than Elle magazine has.
Recently, however, Brar has fallen out of love with Facebook. He discovered that his Facebook fanbase was becoming polluted with thousands of fake likes from bogus accounts.
He can no longer tell the difference between his real fans and the fake ones. Many appear fake because the users have so few friends, are based in developing countries, or have generic profile pictures.
At one point, he had a budget of more than $600,000 for Facebook ad campaigns, he tells us. Now he believes those ads were a waste of time.
Facebook declined multiple requests for comment on this story.
Brar’s take is a cautionary one because Facebook has 25 million small businesses using its platform for one marketing purpose or another. Many of them are not sophisticated advertisers — they are simply plugging a credit card number into the system and hoping for the best.
This is what can happen if you don’t pay careful attention to contract language, or the live, real-time results your campaigns on Facebook are having.
Here’s how Brar believes it went down: He became interested in advertising on Facebook in 2012, and he took it seriously. He went to Facebook’s local Toronto office where he was trained to use the advertising interface.
They set up the campaign, and ran a small “beta” test. Then, in late October Brar pulled the trigger on a massive push through Facebook’s Ads Manager. He used Bitly and Google Analytics to measure the number of clicks his campaign was generating.
The results were disastrous, Brar says.
Facebook’s analytics said the campaign sent him five times the number of clicks he was seeing arrive on his sites, which Brar was monitoring with Bitly, Google Analytics, and his own web site’s WordPress dashboard.
There was a reasonable discrepancy between the Bitly and Google numbers, Brar says, but not the five-fold margin between Google’s and Facebook’s click counts.
At one point, data from Facebook indicated his ads had delivered 606,000 clicks, but the site itself registered only 160,000 incoming clicks from Facebook, according to data supplied by Brar.
“I don’t know what to say, right? This is a huge loss. This ran for four days, then we just stopped the campaign,” Brar says.
Then, things got worse. Even though Brar wasn’t advertising, the likes and new followers kept on piling up.
Normally, an advertiser would be pleased at such a result, but every time Brar checked a sample of the new fans he found people with dubious names; a picture of a flower as a profile shot; and fewer than 10 friends — classic signs of a fake profile.
Naturally, Brar began disputing his bill with Facebook. He wanted his clicks audited by a third party, to see how many were genuine.
Then he discovered that Facebook’s terms of service forbid third-party verification of its clicks.
That’s something all advertisers should be aware of before they spend a penny on Facebook: Facebook has operated this way for a long time, and has a page for advertisers explaining in more depth why third-party click reporting may not match Facebook’s click counts.
Essentially, Facebook suggests, if clicks are not measured in exactly the same way over the same time intervals then there will always be discrepancies.
Facebook is different from the rest of the online ad industry, which follows a standard of allowing click audits by third parties like the IAB, the Media Ratings Council or Ernst & Young."
Facebook does as it wants and until people break free from it, will continue to intrude into every aspect of a person's life... All under the ruse of convenience and work time diversion.
Posted by Susquehanna at Wednesday, February 26, 2014
Monday, February 24, 2014
For instance back in September 1862 right before the Civil War battle of Antietam, a Union officer by chance, found a piece of paper on the ground that detailed General Lee's strategy to temporary divide his army while crossing the river which would cause considerable delays.
That is 100% true.
Antietam ended up a bloody affair and even though ended as a draw, that politician Lincoln would treat it as a glorious Union victory and from there announce the Emancipation Proclamation.
In the 1950s alternative history novel 'Bring The Jubilee' by Ward Moore, the premise was one of Lee's staffers retrieved the paper before the Union got their hands on Lee's formation strategy and Antietam resulted in a Confederate victory that ultimately won them the war by the end of 1862.
Turtledove then tried in the 2nd half of the book to depict what a post-war Confederacy and America would be like politically and economically..
He would also write a form of alternate history where enemies become allies in the face of a greater foe.
There's one novel he wrote where the US and CSA fought a 2nd war against one another in the 1880s then ultimately allied when Britain invaded both territories, and a WWII novel called "In the Balance" where Hitler, Churchill, Stalin and FDR became allies to ward off an extra-terrestrial threat..
These books aren't for everyone especially those who like things as they are..
Of course this Did already happen during WWII when the US and the Soviets fought on the same side...
And when Britain and France allied themselves in the very early 1900s after centuries of constant warfare, united over an increasing fear of pre-WWI Germany's military, naval and territorial expansion..
And its happening now.. Between the US and Iran..
And yes.. Israel..
"U.S. aerospace companies are seeking permission to sell airliner parts to Iran for the first time in three decades, in a key test of the temporary relief on sanctions given under talks to curtail Iran's nuclear activities.
At least two leading manufacturers, Boeing and engine maker General Electric have applied for export licenses in a six-month window agreed by Iran and six world powers in November..
A senior Iranian official told Reuters in November that Iran could require between 250 and 400 jets if and when sanctions are lifted completely."
"[A] court in Athens has told The Telegraph that parts appearing on an American list of forbidden military-grade materials had been shipped from Israel on two occasions, apparently destined for Iran.
The seized items comprised spare parts for military aircraft: a constant speed drive designed for the F-4 Phantom jet, and a voltage output sensor used in the F-14 Tomcat.
The parts were confiscated by Greece’s financial crimes squad and were being sent to the US for investigation, court officials said...
Israeli arms dealers twice tried to send spare parts for fighter planes to Iran, The Telegraph has established, flouting an international arms embargo and openly contradicting the bitter enmity between the Jewish state and the Islamic regime...
The shipments - one in Dec 2012 and the other last April (2013) were sent by courier from the Israeli town of Binyamina-Givat Ada, near Haifa, via a company in Greece. The firm was later established to be a ghost company. Its contact number was said to belong to a British national in the Greek city of Thessaloniki, who could not be traced. "
Seems pretty odd, yes?
Why would sworn enemies be engaged in this manner.. besides greed?
Illicit Israeli arms shipments to Iran first came to the public attention, during the 1986 Iran-Contra scandal, when it emerged that Israel was acting as a conduit to send weapons to from the US to Iran in exchange for its help in winning the release of American hostages held in Lebanon.
Then in 1998, an Israeli court sentenced Nahum Manbar, a businessman and former decorated soldier, to 16 years in prison after he was convicted of secretly selling Iran equipment to make chemical weapons.
"Iran has stepped up support on the ground for President Bashar al-Assad, providing elite teams to gather intelligence and train troops, sources with knowledge of military movements say...
The Syrian leader has drawn comfort from the withdrawal of the threat of U.S. bombing raids following a deal under which he has agreed to give up his chemical weapons.
Shi'te Iran has already spent billions of dollars propping up Assad in what has turned into a sectarian proxy war with Sunni Arab states.
And while the presence of Iranian military personnel in Syria is not new, military experts believe Tehran has in recent months sent in more specialists to enable Assad to outlast his enemies at home and abroad."
Take that all in..
But in a way how strange is it all really?
Just last year President Obama was about to commit US forces into Syria to fight for the first time ever since 9/11 alongside al Qaeda, the ones responsible for the attacks
Of course every single person involved in 9/11 was Saudi Arabian born but shhh... That's our ally.
Well.. if written in 1979...
Posted by Susquehanna at Monday, February 24, 2014
Friday, February 21, 2014
The big news yesterday in markets even though we guess it shouldn't be 'news' is the Federal Reserve once again demonstrated themselves to being bleeping Liars who will say and do anything and rescind any previous verbal commitment for the benefit of the market and investors' profitability.
Over a year ago the previous Fed Chair Bernanke stated that once unemployment drops to a threshold of 6.5%, the Fed will release the reins and let interest rates go up a little bit..
But its hard to control bogus numbers as flimsy as paper in the wind, and now we're at so-called 'official' unemployment of 6.6%
So the new Fed Chair Yellen and her cackle of the soulless rescinded their promise and it will be very low interest rates for some time to come..
Remember the Fed is a bank created and owned by banks for the sole benefit of banks while it plays upon a ruse of being 'Federal' while under the guise of pretending its policies are meant to benefit the greater populace
We shouldn't get upset but it just goes on and on..
And like we presented yesterday, within a span of 13 years (2001-2014), the National Debt has grown by almost 3x and yet the Fed has successfully pushed interest rates down by near 75% from over 6% the government paid on debts to around 1.5%
Doesn't matter how many everyday people suffer from near zero interest savings, the fact is if we had to pay over 6% interest on over $14 Trillion in debt, the game would be up as they say.. And it'd be a mess...
So five and a half years of constant meddling and manipulation with no entity to check/balance the Fed nor the power or will to put them down like one would a rabid mouth-foaming dog with eyes locked upon an unsuspecting child..
Speaking of markets, we perused a good article in WSJ's 'MarketWatch' today about the corruption of Wall Street and its basic mechanisms for survival..
No moral conscience necessary. Adam Smith’s “Theory of Moral Sentiments” is lost. Wall Street’s “accelerating returns” simply mean more profits for bank insiders and shareholders. Never for America’s 95 million retail investors. Never the public interest.
Get it? Wall Street does not want rational, informed investors. Never. So traders, brokers, advisers, gurus use tricks to obfuscate, put up obstacles, keep investors making irrational and informed decisions"
So we have a responsibility to keep plugging away and providing information that may be obvious to some but not-so to others..
We finish up today's posting with an informative list from the same MarketWatch article previously mentioned..
1. Hire psychologists, neuroscientists to manipulate the media
Use consulting contracts, grants and retainers and lock up the best talent to work to keep America’s 95 million individual investors irrational and uninformed
2. Free experts constantly deliver Wall Street’s message to media
Network, cable, bloggers must fill their channels every day. Talking heads are free advertising for Wall Street to manipulate investors using so-called news content.
Lobbying is one of Wall Street’s best investments. Lobbyists control Washington: control politicians, fight reforms, push favorable laws, regulations, spin the truth to mislead investors.
4. Fuel anxiety by pushing the investor’s buy/sell/ trade button
Wall Street’s a casino, makes money on “the action,” skimming a percentage off the top. They fuel investor anxieties, fears, optimism, volatility, maximize action on exchanges.
5. Kill our savings button, undercut self-confidence, long-term planning
Wall Street uses neuroscience technology to sow doubts about retirement security, do-it-yourself investing, how indexing beats trading, then overloads us with misleading ads.
6. High-frequency trading, misleading Wall Street and Main Street
Short-term online trading makes Wall Street billions annually. Hyperactive traders have a competitive edge using high-tech neuroscientific strategies, plus keep markets churning.
7. Brokers trained on aggressive selling and closing techniques
Securities are sold not bought: Broker’s advice is self-serving, often misleading, anything to get a commission. They’re trained to use high-powered psychological techniques.
8. ‘Investor education’ programs are self-serving sales gimmicks
Most Wall Street-sponsored “investor education” programs are loaded with new business, sales and promotional gimmicks. But they help Wall Street present a “we care” persona.
9. New ‘designer’ funds based on latest fads to replace losers
Fund companies constantly design new funds based on the latest fads, for anxious investors chasing higher returns, driven like teenagers who need the latest video games.
10. Retirement gatekeepers: kept in the dark and manipulated
Two-thirds of all funds are controlled by corporate pension and retirement managers. So Wall Street focuses sales pitches on easy to manipulate naïve plan managers.
It went back on its word to raise interest rates at 6.5% unemployment because it knows the figure is meaningless and because it would hurt this filthy Investor & banking rabble in the pockets and piggy banks..
And the Fed was simply not chartered in 1913 to do that
Posted by Susquehanna at Friday, February 21, 2014