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The Hive – Please Talk Among Yourselves

Here is our usual weekend discussion thread, where comments on the general topics of the day are welcome.

But please remember to post and comment on specific news items in the ‘News Selected By Our Correspondents’ thread below or via the link found in the sidebar.


This article was posted by Steve on Friday, October 28th, 2011. Comments are currently closed.

7 Responses to “The Hive – Please Talk Among Yourselves”

  1. GetBackJack says:

    I’ll start off, and in an unexpected direction.

    Go here – http://www.buckthefilm.com/ – especially watch the Trailer. Better yet, rent, buy or stream the movie.

    Then, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pQNBZjFy0_A and the jarring discordant contrast couldn’t be more powerful between disaffected, politically sabotaged urban drifters without purpose vs. people outside the cities with purpose in touch with the world of nature and animals and sunshine and fields around them.

    I don’t have any great point to make, other than the jarring contrast between the two.

  2. GetBackJack says:

    Okay, here’s another one – with 16 different Social Security #’s attributed to Barack Obama –

    First we had multiple Oswalds

    Now we have multiple Obamas


    • Rusty Shackleford says:

      And both wanted so very hard to be good little communists.

      Oswald was such a joke that the Russians deported him.

      Obama is such a joke that not even communists take him seriously.

  3. Mithrandir says:

    I am just curious if people realize what communism really is, and what it’s doing to our country.

    Sucking 2.3 trillion out of a capitalistic economy IS communism! Capitalists can’t use or reinvest that money if the gov’t redirects it to their own communist causes / countries (China) and domestic buddies. —and then adding another 1.3 trillion to the debt, which is a tax increase whether you want to call it one or not.
    ~~It’s FAR BETTER to voluntarily give your $ to a rich capitalist, sit in a bank never to see the light of day, than to have it STOLEN again and again by greedy communists to give to their buddies and grow centralized authority like a festering tumor needing new sources of blood.

    Ever wonder why the dept. of energy gets around 35 billion/year, but we are still 49% dependent on foreign oil? Or the 25 billion we give to the dept. of education yet they play puppeteer with it, and don’t educate 1 child? and George Bush’s dept. of homeland security—wow, the liberals didn’t protest the invention of that monstrocity did they?
    The departments are DESIGNED to suck money and do nothing! It’s designed to do nothing but keep cash out of the hands of the capitalistic economy, and fund the communist economy.

    All those tax increases, all those ‘helping children’ school lunch programs, all that worthless spending and waste on needless departments, the czars etc….is all designed COMMUNISM. Green energy and Van Jones?—communism. All the leftists who pretend to be for children’s funds and programs? –they don’t give a crap about the kids, parents are supposed to give a crap about their own kids. The communists are adept at using innocent human shields to block their communist agenda.

    These are my thoughts . . . . .

    • GetBackJack says:

      Mith – once I looked at “communism” as the prefect criminal mafia, it all began to make sense. The ideology means nothing to it’s practitioners; that’s for the little people. The reality is that massive crimes can only take place if first wrapped in a thick cloak of the political, and then hidden inside a nation-state as one would hide a hive in the midst of a forest. From there, the core of the criminal gang can operate safely behind the rules of Diplomatic Immunity, etc.

      Once inside the borders of a target nation, the syndicate uses all the host-nation’s Freedoms against them, the age-old tactic of guerrilla war, use your weaknesses to advantage.

      Wrap themselves in mufti of Religion, Political and Underdog status, etc. Make the host pay you to shut up.

  4. Petronius says:

    October economic report :

    • Have we hit bottom yet? The answer is … No, but we might be getting close.

    • First the bad news :

    • The Misery Index just hit a 28-year high. http://www.cnbc.com/id/44970105

    • Consumer confidence dropped sharply to hit a 31-month low. http://www.marketwatch.com/story/oct-consumer-confidence-weakest-since-march-2009-2011-10-25

    • A recent poll by Pulse Opinion Research found that 69% of voters believe the USA is in decline, 57% believe today’s kids will be worse off than their parents, and 83% are either very or somewhat worried about the future of the nation, with 49% saying “very worried.” Only 19% believe the USA will be the most powerful nation on earth 20 years from now. Among Republicans, 90% agreed the country is declining and 66% said their kids will be worse off. Democrats were more optimistic at 47% and 45%, respectively. http://thehill.com/polls/189273-the-hill-poll-most-voters-say-the-us-is-in-decline

    • US per capita disposable income has fallen almost 4% since 2008.

    • Home prices fell more than expected, down about 4% from last year.

    • Existing home sales fell again.

    • Home values are expected to fall an additional 3.6% by June. That would be 35% below their 2006 peak.

    • The USA has fallen out of the World Bank’s top ten countries for starting a business. It is now ranked 13th (tied with Ireland). The USA now ranks behind New Zealand, Australia, Canada, Singapore, Hong Kong, Macedonia, Georgia, Rwanda, Belarus, Armenia, and Saudi Arabia. The USA ranked 4th in ease of doing business and 72d in taxes. http://www.doingbusiness.org/rankings

    • Official unemployment holding steady at 9.1%. Real unemployment is about 20%.

    • September layoffs were the highest in two years, over 115,000. Most of the cuts came from the US Army (50,000) and BOA (30,000).

    • Despite all this negativity, we had a splash of good news –– the economy picked up some nice momentum in the 3d Qtr. 3d Qtr GDP grew at an annual rate of 2.5% over last year.

    • 2.5% is nothing earth-shattering, given the depth of our decline, but it’s a nice start if the number holds up.

    • Another plus: the growth was driven by business investment. This is a positive sign because it suggests that American businesses may finally be moving off the sidelines and are willing to take on some risk.

    • Confirmed by American Electric Power, which reported industrial volume is up 5% for the quarter and for the year in its operating area, based primarily on increased production by metals refiners.

    • Exxon, Chevron, Newmont Mining, Visa, Caterpillar, McDonald’s, Verizon, DuPont, UPS, AFLAC, Merck, and Electronic Arts beat earnings expectations. GE, Microsoft, Dow Chemical, and Procter & Gamble also issued upbeat reports.

    • 3M, Texas Instruments, and Constellation Energy missed. Whirlpool missed and will cut 5,000 jobs.

    • Gap sliced its profit forecast by 22% after drought cut into the cotton crop in Texas.

    • Kraft, Sara Lee, and Nestle all announced price rises to offset higher commodity costs caused by droughts and flooding.

    • Corn soared above $7.50 a bushel in August, up from around $4.30 a year before, while cattle have risen around 20% in the same period.

    • Agricultural processors Archer-Daniels-Midland, Bunge, Cargill, and Corn Products Int’l reported increased costs for raw farm products.

    • 27 Oct. The DJIA jumped 500 points in two days on news of a deal on Greek debt. (The gain was promptly wiped out.) Bondholders agreed to accept a 50% haircut. Greece agreed to reduce its debt to GDP ratio from 160% to 120% by 2020 in return for €100 billion. The €440 billion Eurozone bailout fund was increased by €1 trillion. Finally –– and the best part –– European banks are required to raise capital, from a capital ratio of 5% to 9% by June.

    • The bad part of the deal is that Greece is allowed to write off 50% of its debt before it has achieved a balanced budget. In other words, the incentive is removed for the Greeks to push through further reforms. Which means we may eventually have two 50% write-offs.

    • The street protests in Greece have been growing more violent and have moved into the heart of downtown Athens.

    • Greece is hopelessly mired in socialism. Its bloated public sector is run by powerful unions that refuse to accept any cuts. Even the tax collectors are on strike (go-slow).

    • Talk about featherbedding –– there is a state-owned hospital in Athens that employs 45 gardeners but has no garden. And everyone is demanding that the Germans pay for this mess!

    • On the other hand, the bond markets are watching, and if Greece –- and the other PIIGS –– don’t get their act together, there’ll be no place for them at the trough.

    • 6 Oct. UK: The Bank of England injected £275 billion (about US $450 billion) into the UK economy by buying gilts and private sector assets. The move drives down interest rates, pushes up inflation, and drives down the pound. Financial experts said the move will be a “Titanic” disaster for pensioners, savers, and those approaching retirement.

    • 6 Oct. The governor of the BOE stated that “This is the most serious financial crisis we’ve seen, at least since the 1930s, if not ever,” and that governments need to repay their debts and get their spending under control.

    • 7 Oct. Moody’s downgraded twelve UK financial institutions, including RBS and Lloyds.

    • Barclays reported nice profits and further reduced its exposure to PIIGS debt. Barclays did not receive a government bail-out but ended up with the remains of Lehman Brothers.

    • Moody’s downgraded two of France’s largest banks, Societe Generale and Credit Agricole.

    • Fitch cut Italy’s debt rating one notch, then cut Spain two notches.

    • Run-up to class warfare (USA): The hate-the-rich agitation has now been heard loud and clear in every nook and cranny of America from coast to coast, with the President banging the bongo drums as the Marxist-in-chief.

    • Run-up to class warfare (UK): Anti-capitalist protesters in London forced closure of St Paul’s Cathedral. It was the first closure since the Blitz.

    • Iconic American brands under attack by the regime during October included Dominion Resources, Avon, Bank of America, Gibson Guitar, Boeing, Wells Fargo, and AT&T.

    • Dodd-Frank is to banking what Obamacare is to the medical industry. The law has 849 pages and more than 500 sections. There are 387 sets of rules proposed to implement the act. One of the proposed rules, the so-called Volker Rule, has 298 pages, with 381 footnotes and 350 questions for public comment. It is estimated that the banks will need some 3,000 new employees just to comply with this one rule. These employees will be engaged in work that provides no customer service and generates no revenue for the banks or their shareholders.

    • Orthopedic surgeon John Tongue reports that patients are putting off hip and knee replacement surgeries and living with pain because they are afraid they will lose their job if they take time off from work.

    • Immigration (documented and undocumented) continues full throttle, despite record high unemployment. Janet Incompetano has fiddled the deportation numbers to make the regime look good.

    • 4 Oct. In the fuss over the Durbin fees, the President said BOA had no inherent right to make a profit. That is a plain statement of pure socialism.

    • 5 Oct. BOA’s CEO replied that he had an inherent obligation to maximize profits for his shareholders. That is a plain statement of pure capitalism. Touché!

    • Wells Fargo cancelled plans to test a $3 monthly debit card fee in five States.

    • US interest rates show a negative return, below the inflation rate.

    • Negative real interest rates are one factor supporting the price of gold.

    • Major gold miners (Barrick, Goldcorp, Newmont, Kinross) are reporting record revenues, high earnings, and dividend increases.

    • The IRS and DOJ have successfully breached Swiss bank secrecy laws. Swiss banks have agreed to settle lawsuits by paying the US government billions of dollars and releasing the names of thousands of American account holders. Many wealthy Americans are now seeking to renounce their US citizenship, and many thousands more may soon be heading to prison. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-10-24/swiss-banks-said-ready-to-pay-billions-disclose-customer-names.html

    • Oil closed the month at about $93 bbl.

    • Copper –– a leading economic indicator –– hit a new low for the year.

    • Global stocks suffered their worst quarter in three years, followed by a surge in late October.

    • October started on a sour note as gloom over Greek debt drove markets lower.

    • The wild swings of August and September carried over to the stock markets in October, with intraday swings in the DJIA of 400 points.

    • The key factors driving the markets have been Greece, Eurozone debt and world economic signs.

    • If you think the stock market affects only rich people, think again. Everyone who has a job with a pension plan and insurance is indirectly invested in the stock markets.

    • The US dollar hit a record low against the Japanese yen. The decision by the Swiss National Bank to peg the franc to the euro effectively constrained the supply of safe haven currencies, giving a boost to the yen.

    • Run-up to class war (Indonesia): Freeport McMoRan has suspended work at its Grasberg mine, the world’s second largest copper mine. Work was suspended for safety reasons after strikers cut the pipe carrying copper concentrate from the mine to the port. So far six replacement workers have been murdered in the worst labor strike in Indonesian history. Strikers have blockaded roads. Strikers rejected Freeport’s offer of 30% wage increase. Freeport is making contingency plans to mothball the mine.

    • Run-up to class war (Peru): Freeport McMoRan was hit with punitive fines by the leftist government of Peru for using managers and volunteer employees to run the big Cerro Verde copper mine. For the first time in the 40-year history of the mine, the government declared the strike legal, enabling workers to stay on strike without being fired. The union demands an 11% raise while the company offered 3%; strikers rejected Freeport’s request for arbitration.

    • Run-up to class war (Peru): Newmont Mining suspended work at its giant Yanacocha gold mine in Peru for safety reasons after local protesters had injured workers, torched and sabotaged heavy equipment, and blockaded roads. Newmont is also under attack by new leftist Pres. Ollanta Humala, who wants to “spread the wealth” to Peru’s poor.

    • Say goodbye to Tony the Tiger. A Federal interagency working group has recommended a ban on all food advertising to children, except for whole grains and fresh fruits and veggies. “They’re kids!” cried Congressman Henry Waxman. “Somebody should do something.”

    • Environmentalists are urging a boycott of Monsanto’s genetically modified sweet corn claiming “there is a pesticide in every bite.” Monsanto officials said they were surprised their new product was generating so much controversy, as a rival seed company has been marketing a biotech sweet corn for over a decade.

    • France adopted a fat tax on sugary soft drinks, including drinks made with artificial sweetners, and will ration catsup and mayo in school canteens.

    • Denmark announced a new tax on foods containing saturated fats.

    • 11 Oct. 25 States urged a Federal court to require the EPA to slow down its new rule on mercury emissions by power plants, saying the rule is too costly. Jeff Holmstead, former EPA assistant administrator under President Bush, said “there are senior folks at EPA whose main goal is to shut down as many coal-fired power plants as possible.” About 45% of American electricity comes from coal. Coal is also the mainstay of American railroads. The EPA’s new rules will kill thousands of jobs and cost utilities and their customers billions of dollars.

    • Canadian gold mining companies are moving into the Carolinas, reopening old mines in the Carolina Slate Belt that were first explored in the 18th century. Romarco Minerals has reopened the historic Haile Gold Mine near Kershaw SC, and expects to begin production in 2014 following environmental approvals by the EPA and Army Corps of Engineers. Environmentalists are concerned about the threat to the Carolina heelsplitter, a freshwater mussel found in local creeks. Kershaw Mayor Wayne Rhodes is more concerned about the delay in hiring. “People here are begging for jobs,” Rhodes said. http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/10/15/us-southcarolina-gold-idUSTRE79E1FU20111015

    • Dominion Resources is still awaiting government permission to restart its North Anna nuclear plant. The plant, which automatically shut down during the August earthquake, has passed all inspections, tests, and analyses at a cost to Dominion of $21M. The plant has been ready for startup since September, but the NRC insists on further hearings and delays.

    • Bipartisan support is building in the Senate in favor of the House bill to overturn EPA regulations on coal ash. Coal ash is a byproduct from coal-fired power plants that is used to make cement blocks and other building materials; however, the EPA is seeking to ban coal ash, which it views as a pollutant. The White House says it will veto the legislation, if passed.

    • 5 Oct. Steve Jobs died.

    • 5 Oct. Senate Democrats proposed a 5% surtax on millionaires (i.e., small businesses).

    • 5 Oct. The White House –– after a delay of almost three years –– submitted trade agreements to the Senate covering Columbia, Panama, and South Korea. In the meantime, US businesses have lost tremendous market share in those countries, which will prove difficult to recover.

    • World population hit 7 billion this month. We are adding one billion people about every twelve years.

    • National debt is now $14.9 trillion, or almost 100% of GDP. State debt is $1.2 trillion. Local debt is $1.7 trillion.

    • Looking ahead: If the Congressional debt committee doesn’t come up with a meaningful deficit reduction plan by Thanksgiving, we can expect the rating agencies to issue another cut to America’s credit rating, possibly in December.

    • A further ratings cut will undermine the US dollar and jeopardize the dollar’s status as the world’s reserve currency. It could send powerful shock waves through the markets.

    • Since Nixon removed the convertibility of the US dollar into gold in 1970, the dollar has fallen to 18 cents.

    • tranquil.night says:

      Great fact bundling, Petronius, as always thank you.

      They’re going to run that nuclear plant straight to close permanently, just through sheer negligence. See for example how they handled (or didn’t) negotiations over staying in Iraq.

      Also, in an earlier post, you mentioned to look for QE3 if we turn back towards a slump. I believe we’re already engaged in it, however the Fed is using a different vehicle now that’s not as radical and not as obvious in just purchasing trillions in treasuries. Here’s Bill Gross explaining how Quantitative Easing is working now: http://wallstcheatsheet.com/stocks/bill-gross-heres-what-quantitative-easing-3-will-be.html/

      The dollar continues to tank globally because there hasn’t been any positive substantive change in gripping our debt burden.

      However the ship has been stopped (or further slowed) right before going over the edge. With Congress deadlocked because the Republicans refuse to raise taxes, businesses are now getting the advantage of a little predictibility in their budgets.

      Long term bonds have been very bullish lately and I think for good reason. With each fix the EU offers that isn’t a fix at all but a reshuffling of the problem onto the backs of those few left there that actually produce, I’d be looking at America right now and think it’s a fairly solid bet that twe do have the political will to keep ourselves from going the way of Europe in the next couple of years.

      But I’m not as optimistic about that 2.5% GDP figure. It’s not reflective of any broad health in core markets. I think we’re seasonally bouncing around the bottom of the Obama recession and this is about where we’re going to stay until 2012 when the fate of all these dark omen policies looming us will finally be decided. It’ll either be the road to recovery or the road to serfdom.

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