Manages Parisian Family Office. Began Wall Street, 82. Founded investment firm, Native American Advisors. Member, White Earth Chippewa Tribe. Was NYSE/FINRA arb. Conservative. Raised on Native reservations. Pureblood, clot-shot free. In a world elevated on a tech-driven dopamine binge, he trades from Ghost Ranch on the Yellowstone River in MT, his TN farm, Pamelot or CASA TULE', his winter camp in Los Cabos, Mexico. Always been, and will always be, an optimist.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Gettelfinger from the UAW

Have you ever in your life heard such bullshit from a union boss as this guy?

I believe he could hang with Bernie Madoff in a tit-for-tat.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

General Motors

This fiasco is really getting good. I will never buy a GM car as long as I can breathe.

This is American socialism. What a waste of money. Good, wonderful, tax-paying Americans money. Americans who pay their bills on time, Americans who don't ask anything from their government. All they get is a good shaft. The drive shaft.

The beat goes on.

Monday, May 25, 2009

The Lord's Prayer in Lakota

Ate unyapi Mahpiya ekta nanke cin, Nicaje wakanlapi nunwe. Nitokiconze u nunwe. Mahpiay ekta nitawacin econpi kin, he iyecel maka akanl econpi nunwe. Anpetu ihohi aguyapi kin, anpetu kin le unqu piye. Na tona ecinsniyan ecaunkicinpi wicaunkicicajujupi kin, he iyecel waunhtanipi kin unkiciajujupiye. Na taku wawiyutanye cin ekta unkayapi sni piye; Tka taku sice etanhan eunklaku piye; Wokiconse kin, na wowasake kin, na wowitan kin hena ohinniyan naohinniyan nitawa heon. Amen.

Arkansas justice.............

In Arkansas a hillbilly's wife came home just in time to find her husband in bed with another woman. With super-human strength, borne of fury, and cutting firewood, she dragged him down the stairs, out the back door, and into the tool shed out back of the barn.

She put his tally-whacker in a vise and then secured it tightly and removed the handle.. Next she picked up an old carpenter's saw.

The banged up hillbilly was terrified and hollered, 'Stop! Stop!

You're not gonna cut it off with that rusty saw, are you?'

The wife, with a gleam of revenge in her eye, put the saw in her husband's hand and said, 'Nope. I'm gonna set this old shed on fire and go to town for a cold beer. You do whatever you want.'

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Ray Dirks

Ray Dirks and the Equity Funding Scandal
By Brian Trumbore, President/Editor,

Over 30 years ago, a scandal broke involving a large insurance company, Equity Funding Corporation based out of Los Angeles. The central figure ended up being a securities analyst at Delafield, Childs, Inc., Raymond L. Dirks, who one day in March 1973 received a call from a disgruntled employee at Equity Funding, Ronald Secrist. Secrist was upset over his small Christmas bonus and he had a story to tell. As you read what follows, you'll be reminded of today's headline grabbing cases, ranging from Enron and Parmalat to Martha Stewart. Yes, we've been here before, and we'll just keep repeating the same mistakes, over and over again until the end of time.

Equity Funding had been creating false insurance policies for years, which the company then turned around and packaged to reinsurers, pocketing the cash. Incredibly, the fraud was known by as many as a thousand employees. As reporter Robert Cole wrote for the New York Times back on April 15, 1973, "Those closest to (the scam) were believed to have cleverly concealed their tracks through intimidation, subterfuge, threats of violence and the use of doctored computer tapes."

Equity Funding would use the fake profits to maintain the share price and the hope was that one day it would be able to buy a major life insurance company and then "go straight." Equity Funding's books were loaded with fake bonds and CDs, but when questions arose, the accountants trusted the explanations of company officials. Remember, it was 1973 and computers weren't in use anywhere near what they are today, so at times the auditors accepted handwritten lists as proof various positions existed. Employees involved in the scam also created computer printouts and paper files during late-night parties after receiving a specific auditor request. And all this time that Equity Funding deceived the auditors, the analysts on Wall Street and various insurance industry watchdogs were taken in as well.

For example, one month before it all unraveled, Cowen & Co. issued a report where the analyst recommended purchase of Equity Funding "for aggressive accounts." Burnham & Co., Inc. said on January 30 "We regard the stock, selling at 9.9 times estimated 1973 earnings, an excellent value and rate it a Buy."

On March 26, the day before the NYSE halted trading, the analyst for Hayden, Stone, Inc. wrote a memo addressing the fact that "several rumors have been circulating which have affected Equity Funding's stock; we have checked these rumors, and there appears to be no substance to any of them." This particular analyst had checked with insurance regulators in various states and each one said they had no present intention of conducting any inquiries.

As for Ray Dirks, he told his favored institutional clients of the scam and alerted the SEC. There was a mad dash to get out, and those who didn't act quickly enough, or who didn't have the knowledge, lost everything. Overall, the fraud exceeded $300 million.

Dirks ended up being censured by the SEC for his actions and over the next ten years he fought the decision, all the way up to the U.S. Supreme Court. Following is an extensive excerpt from a brief filed by the Justice Department, in defense of Dirks, before the Supreme Court, October 1982. It's as good a description of the issues in the case as you'll find anywhere.


[In order to make this read a bit easier, I have substituted "Dirks" for "Petitioner." Some of the quotes noted in the brief refer to the original SEC case, as well as the Appeals Court ruling.]

"Dirks is a securities analyst, 'well-known for his investigative talents,' who researched insurance company securities. In March 1973, Dirks applied those investigative talents to uncover a major fraud perpetrated by the officers of a publicly-owned insurance company. As the court of appeals observed, 'in two weeks of concerted effort, at times resembling something from detective fiction, Dirks investigated and confirmed rumors of massive fraud by the Equity Funding Corporation of America, an insurance holding company whose stock traded on the New York Stock Exchange. Largely thanks to Dirks one of the most infamous frauds in recent memory was uncovered and exposed. Despite his efforts to uncover and expose the criminal scheme at Equity Funding, the Securities and Exchange Commission charged Dirks with 'tipping' material inside information in violation of Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.

"Dirks first learned of the fraud at Equity Funding from a former officer of the company, Ronald Secrist, who met with him for several hours on March 7, 1973. 'Secrist made a series of detailed but nearly incredible allegations about Equity Funding,' including allegations that the company had produced large numbers of spurious insurance policies to inflate its sales revenues and that 'its top officers had Mafia connections which they used to threaten the lives of employees who objected to the fabrications.' Secrist urged Dirks to verify the existence of the fraud and then expose it. He expected Dirks to transmit evidence of the fraud to 'his firm's customers' and 'clients,' thereby triggering large-volume securities sales that would lead to a full investigation: 'by jarring the stock, he would jar the corporation - this was my plan - he would jar the corporate officers and would also rattle the Wall Street financial community to the extent that someone would take action very quickly.' Secrist believed that selling pressure would cause the price of Equity Funding stock to 'drop close to zero very quickly,' and thus 'reveal the fraud to the world' and 'prevent its continuation.'

"During their initial meeting, Dirks sought and obtained Secrist's permission to convey evidence of the fraud to the Wall Street Journal. Secrist warned, however, that merely presenting the information to regulatory authorities, including the SEC, would be abortive. Secrist stated that employees who attempted to do this in the past had been 'brushed aside with a comment that that's a ridiculous story;' those employees also found that the information was sometimes relayed back to Equity Funding and that 'they were placed in personal jeopardy as a result of having gone there.'?..

"In addition to interviewing former employees of Equity Funding, Dirks also met with Equity Funding's present and former auditors in an attempt to spread word of the fraud and bring it to a halt. As the Commission explained:

'Dirks also learned that Equity Funding's auditors were about to release certified financial statements for the company on March 26. He immediately contacted them and apprised them of the fraud allegations, hoping that they would withhold release of their report and seek a halt in the trading of Equity Funding securities. Instead, the auditors merely reported Dirks' allegations to management.'

"As early as March 12, 1973, Dirks also attempted to communicate his evidence to the Wall Street Journal. 'Dirks expected that a highly respected publication like the (Journal) could be effective in helping him investigate the Secrist allegations and to expose the fraud if it proved to exist.' Those efforts also were unavailing.

'During the entire week that Dirks was in Los Angeles investigating Equity Funding, he was also in touch regularly with William Blundell, the Wall Street Journal's Los Angeles bureau chief. Dirks kept Blundell up to date on the progress of the investigation and badgered him to write a story for the Journal on the allegations of fraud at Equity Funding. Blundell, however, was afraid that publishing such damaging rumors supported only by hearsay from former employees might be libelous, so he declined to write the story.'

"Dirks provided Blundell with 'the substance of all he knew,' including his 'notes' and the 'names' of all witnesses. Nevertheless, given the 'scope of the fraud,' Blundell doubted that it could have been 'missed by an honest auditor' and discounted the entire allegation.

"Increasing circulation of rumors about the fraud led Dirks to believe that it was 'unlikely that Equity Funding stock would open for trading on Monday, March 26, because trading would be halted by the NYSE.' This did not occur, however, and Dirks again spoke to William Blundell of the Wall Street Journal and urged him to publish a story exposing the fraud. Blundell refused to do so but stated that he intended to discuss the matter with the SEC's Los Angeles Regional Office. Blundell secured Dirks' permission to propose a meeting with the SEC that would include himself and two other key witnesses. Dirks then contacted the SEC and voluntarily presented all of his information at the SEC's regional office beginning on March 27 and continuing throughout the next three days.

"During the two-week period in which Dirks pursued his investigation and spread word of Secrist's charges, the price of Equity Funding stock fell precipitously from $26 per share to less than $15. This led the NYSE to halt trading in the stock on March 27. Shortly thereafter, Illinois and California insurance authorities impounded Equity Funding's records and uncovered evidence of the fraud. Only then did the SEC file a complaint against Equity Funding and only then did the Wall Street Journal publish 'a front page story written by Blundell but based largely on information assembled by Dirks.' Three days later, Equity Funding filed a petition (for bankruptcy).

"While Dirks' investigative activities succeeded in revealing in a few days that 'one of the darlings of Wall Street, a company that had managed to produce continued high earnings growth for a decade, was, instead, a gigantic fraud,' government authorities with jurisdiction over Equity Funding did not move so quickly. As early as 1971, the SEC had received allegations of fraudulent accounting practices at Equity Funding. Moreover, on March 9, 1973, an official of the California Insurance Department informed the SEC's regional office in Los Angeles of Secrist's charges of fraud. The SEC's staff attorney 'stated that similar allegations had been made about Equity Funding before by disgruntled employees.' He nonetheless recommended 'delaying any type of inspection of the Equity Funding operations until next year absent further corroboration. Equity Funding's Chairman - one of the principal architects of the fraud - testified that, prior to March 1973, he received no questions from auditors, state regulatory authorities, or federal regulatory authorities that suggested 'they suspected there was a fraud at Equity Funding.' When asked whether Dirks was 'personally responsible for having uncovered the events at Equity Funding,' he candidly stated: 'I think Mr. Dirks is entitled to personal credit for that.'

"Following public revelation of the Equity Funding scandal, a federal grand jury in Los Angeles returned a 105 count indictment against 22 persons, including many of Equity Funding's officers and directors?[Guilty pleas or convictions were obtained on all 22. Chairman Stanley Goldblum received an 8-year prison sentence and a substantial fine.]

"While the Wall Street Journal's reporter, William Blundell, was 'nominated for a Pulitzer Prize for his coverage of the Equity Funding scandal,' Dirks was charged by the SEC with violating the antifraud provisions of the federal securities laws based on his selective revelation of information about Equity Funding prior to general public disclosure. Following an administrative hearing, the Commission found that Dirks had 'tipped' nonpublic information concerning Equity Funding in violation of those provisions. It observed that 'Dirks received the information from inside corporate sources. From the nature of the information, the inference must have been obvious that his sources had received it during the course of their corporate duties, and that the company intended that it should be kept in confidence.'?

"Despite its finding of a violation, the Commission imposed only a censure - its mildest sanction - on Dirks. It observed that 'it is clear that Dirks played an important role in bringing Equity Funding's massive fraud to light, and that he reported the fraud allegations to Equity Funding's auditors and sought to have the information published in the Wall Street Journal."

In a 6-3 decision, the Supreme Court overruled prior judgments and Dirks was finally cleared, ten years later. Essentially, the Court ruled that for a recipient of a tip to be guilty of insider trading, the insider who provided the tip must have been seeking to profit from the tip. There never was any evidence Ray Dirks personally made a dime off of his actions.

Today, Dirks is head of his own research / investment banking shop, specializing in small companies steeped in controversy. I'll leave it at that.

But I do have to note a comment Dirks made during the above proceedings concerning the New York Stock Exchange and its internal procedures.

"There is the question of the NYSE, a venerated American institution which advertises the safety and security of investing in its listed companies, but which, in fact is an antique, costly and dangerous system perpetuated for the convenience of its members." [Charles Geisst]

A little ahead of his time, don't you think?

I knew things were bad but................

12. CEO's are now playing miniature golf.

11. I got a pre-declined credit card in the mail.

10. I went to buy a toaster oven and they gave me a bank.

9. Hotwheels and Matchbox car companies are now trading higher than GM in the stock market.

8. Obama met with small businesses - GE, Pfizer, Chrysler, Citigroup and GM, to discuss the Stimulus Package.

7. McDonalds is selling the 1/4 ouncer.

6 People in Beverly Hills fired their nannies and are learning their children's names.

5. The most highly-paid job is now jury duty.

4. People in Africa are donating money to Americans.

3. Motel Six won't leave the lights on.

2. The Mafia is laying off judges.

And my favorite indicator of all.

1. If the bank returns your check marked as "insufficient funds," you have to call them and ask if they meant you or them.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Credit card nonsense...........

Hundreds of millions of credit card solicitation offers were coming through the USPS every year for years. The sheep took the bait. They indulged. Big time.

Now the BHO machine is going to "help" those who wouldn't nor couldn't help themselves control their spending.

America is in the business of the "stupidity bail-out". Here and now.

FDIC shenanigans.......

$5.6 billion is the amount the good banks will pay the bad banks to stay afloat.

Beautiful, just beautiful. Another "tax" on American savers and depositors.

A hearty "Thank You" to 1600 Pennslyvania Avenue.

Please, kill the banks or subsidize them. Wasn't $700,000,000,000 enough to "bail-out" every bank on earth? Let me repeat, $700 billion. Had enough?

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Wednesday, May 20, 2009


The SEC should require TV commentators to use the word "diluters" instead of the term "capital raise" when describing these At-The-Market issuance programs.

Obama now owns your bank, soon your cars and has his hand in your wallet.

There are higher taxes, robust inflation and nasty real estate horror shows ahead.

Nothing is safe..........believe it............

This afternoon the acting director of the government-backed insurer of pension plans will testify that the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation has a $33.5 billion funding hole.

That’s the insurer’s largest deficit in its entire 35-year history, and will pose an enormous challenge to fill. The PBGC’s two income streams are investment gains and premiums from still-healthy plans, both of which are quite challenged at the moment. And while it has enough assets to cover its payments for years to come, the insurer is burning through $2.5 billion a year.

Vince Snowbarger’s testimony before the Senate Special Committee on Aging’s hearing entitled “No Guarantees: As Pension Plans Crumble, can PBGC Deliver?” will focus in large part on the figure, which has more than tripled since it was last reported six months ago. “The $33 billion is a startling increase,” acknowledges PBGC spokesman Jeffery Speicher. “It reflects the economy of the last few months, the number of new bankruptcies, etc. But it doesn’t mean we’re next in line for a bailout.”

Since the end of its last fiscal year, September, 2008, the PBGC has taken on a dozen plans from bankrupt companies that can no longer support them. With those plans came a cumulative shortfall of $418 million, the insurer will have to make up.

But there are many more plans waiting in the wings. Of the $33.5 billion under-funding, about $11 billion comes from obligations to newly terminated pension plans and plans that will probably be terminated in the near future. Another $7 billion of the shortfall comes from a decrease in the interest rate used to value the insurer’s long term liabilities.

The US auto industry alone has an underfunding of $77 billion, of which the PBGC would cover $42 billion should the plans be terminated. The insurer is also watching closely the troubled retail, financial services and health care industries.

One topic sure to come up at the hearings, is the controversial dealings of Snowbarger’s predecessor, Charles E.F. Millard with Wall Street firms being considered to run portions of the PBGC’s investment pool.

Millard had pushed the PBGC to sell its heavy bond holdings, and go further into alternative investments including private equity and real estate. Now he stands accused of improperly communicating with those firms during the selection process and using contacts there to search for a new job.

According to the PBGC, though, the insurer still has most of its investments — 68% — in bonds and only 2% in alternative investments, all of which it inherited from failed pension plans. That portfolio sustained $3 billion in losses in the past six months.

There is time to make up the $33.5 billion, which cover obligations to retirees and workers that stretch decades into the future. Last year the PBGC paid out $2.5 billion above the pension premiums participant companies put in. It has $56 billion in assets, so even at a higher payout rate, can cover its obligations for some years to come, a point Snowbarger stressed in a press release about his upcoming testimony. “Benefits are paid monthly over the lifetime of beneficiaries, not as lump sums,” he said. “Nevertheless, over the long term, the deficit must be addressed.”

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Obama welcomes Hamas............

DOCID: fr04fe09-106
[[Page 6115]]
Presidential Determination No. 2009-15 of January 27, 2009

Unexpected Urgent Refugee and Migration Needs Related To Gaza
Memorandum for the Secretary of State

By the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, including section 2(c)(1) of the Migration and Refugee Assistance Act of 1962 (the ``Act''), as amended (22 U.S.C. 2601), I hereby determine, pursuant to section 2(c)(1) of the Act, that it is important to the national interest to furnish assistance under the Act in an amount not to exceed $20.3 million from the United States Emergency Refugee and Migration Assistance Fund for the purpose of meeting unexpected and urgent refugee and migration needs, including by contributions to international, governmental, and nongovernmental organizations and payment of administrative expenses of Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration of the Department of State, related to humanitarian needs of Palestinian refugees and conflict victims in Gaza.

You are authorized and directed to publish this memorandum in the Federal Register.

(Presidential Sig.)
Washington, January 27, 2009
[FR Doc. E9-2488
Filed 2-3-09; 8:45 am]
Billing code 4710-10-P

Friday, May 15, 2009

Lighten up's a joke......Happy Friday!!

My friend has ten (10) extra tickets for the Robbie Knievel (son of Evil Knievel) event at the Home Depot parking lot this weekend, if anybody wants them.

He's going to attempt to jump 5000 Obama supporters with a bulldozer..

Should be a great show! Let me know if you are interested.

Fathers Day in Indian Country..........

Federal funding for Indian reservations to fight gang violence is pretty funny to my 86-year old Dad, Douglas Parisian. You see, Doug spent his career with the Bureau of Indian Affairs in Law Enforcement. Gangs weren't "in style" during his career with the BIA which ended in 1985 upon his retirement while working on the Crow Indian Reservation out of Crow Agency, Montana. Dad is a pretty straight shooter and worked on many reservations across the Great Plains where I grew up. He thinks that alcohol is bad for Indian Country simply because Indian country can't handle it. Dad doesn't drink alcohol, he quit "cold-turkey" long before I can remember. He thinks that people should be responsible for their children and be good parents. He thinks that people who have children should think more about raising their children in a 2-parent family rather than themselves and jettisoning marriage when things get rocky. He thinks that if more Dads were being responsible Dads there wouldn't be gangs and gang violence. He thinks that being healthy is the responsibility of each person in what they eat and how they exercise. He thinks that casino gaming, the "something-for-nothing" mentality is bad for Indian country and that tribal employees who gamble their paychecks away should not be allowed to do so. He thinks that tribes can't have it both ways, to talk "tribal sovereignty" and the associated jurisdictional issues with their hand out to the Feds for money. He thinks that on so many reservations the biggest violators of the game and fish codes are the game wardens. He thinks that spending money for more law enforcement isn't addressing the causal issues of violence, gangs, drug use or bad health on reservations. He thinks those answers have to come from Indian Country itself. He thinks more money isn't a cure and won't change behaviors.

Maybe, just maybe, he is right on all of those things. He knows being a good father takes work. He was good at it.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Al Gordon of Kidder Peabody...........

With great sadness, we inform you that Harvard University has recently lost one of the finest members of its community. On Friday April 30, Albert H. Gordon died at his home in Manhattan at the age of 107.

Albert H. Gordon was the oldest living graduate of Harvard College and the oldest living member of the Harvard Varsity Club. Born in 1901 to a leather merchant in North Scituate, MA, Mr. Gordon attended Roxbury Latin School as a teenager before coming to Harvard in 1919. In 1923, Mr. Gordon graduated cum laude from Harvard College with distinction in economics. Two years later, Mr. Gordon graduated third in his class from Harvard Business School.

After completing his education, Mr. Gordon went on to have a remarkable career as an investment banker in New York City. He began as a Goldman Sachs statistician in 1925, but quickly found himself at Kidder Peabody in 1931 after the Great Depression. Mr. Gordon was largely credited for rebuilding the devastated Kidder firm into one of the most successful Wall Street operations, and in 1960, was named by /Forbes /as one of the financial community's most successful underwriters and salesman. After
selling the majority stake in Kidder to General Electric in 1986, Mr. Gordon continued to work in New York's financial community at Deltec Asset Management. Even recently, at the age of 105, Mr. Gordon could be found in the office four days a week overseeing deals and providing sage advice to his coworkers.

While many will remember him for his business legacy, in Cambridge, we remember him for his philanthropy and his love for athletics. Mr. Gordon was one of the most generous men ever to have graduated from Harvard. His contributions have touched nearly every part of Harvard's campus, including professorships, House Life, and the Athletic Community.

The Athletic Community, in particular, was very fortunate to have Mr. Gordon as a supporter. Indeed, thousands of Crimson athletes have benefitted from Mr. Gordon's unwavering generosity, and the Albert H. Gordon Athletic and Tennis Center represents his enduring love of Harvard Athletics. In 1971, Mr. Gordon received the Harvard Varsity Club Award for his contributions to the greater Harvard Athletic
Community. A life-long athlete himself, Mr. Gordon began competing in marathons at the ripe age of 80, and he holds the record as the oldest participant in the London Marathon.

Monday, May 11, 2009

The last nickel............

A father walks into a restaurant with his young son. He gives the young boy 3 nickels to play with to keep him occupied.

Suddenly, the boy starts choking, going blue in the face. The father realizes the boy has swallowed the nickels and starts slapping him on the back.

The boy coughs up 2 of the nickels, but keeps choking. Looking at his son, the father is panicking, shouting for help.

A well dressed, attractive, and serious looking woman, in a blue business suit is sitting at a coffee bar reading a newspaper and sipping a cup of coffee. At the sound of the commotion, she looks up, puts her coffee cup down, neatly folds the newspaper and places it on the counter, gets up from her seat and makes her way, unhurried, across the restaurant.

Reaching the boy, the woman carefully drops his pants; takes hold of the boy's testicles and starts to squeeze and twist, gently at first and then ever so firmly.

After a few seconds the boy convulses violently and coughs up the last nickel, which the woman deftly catches in her free hand.

Releasing the boy's testicles, the woman hands the nickel to the father and walks back to her seat at the coffee bar without saying a word. As soon as he is sure that his son has suffered no ill effects, the father rushes over to the woman and starts thanking her saying, "I've never seen anybody do anything like that before, it was fantastic. Are you a doctor? "

'No,' the woman replied. I'm with the I.R.S...'

Meredith Whitney.........

on the floor of the NYSE today makes far too much sense.

You go girl....saying that the major banks are still sitting on rotting assets is an understatement!

"It's not illegal if the President says it" .......truer words were never spoken.

Ugly, distasteful and so very sick...........

Hey, a trillion here a trillion there, where exactly did it go??

If this doesn't scare mr. and mrs. liberal democrat what will?

Obama's Fat Care Program..........

President BHO is at it again.......nothing new there. The teleprompter is getting a good workout today. Too bad the teleprompter won't turn bright red when he is pulling a big fat lie on America. You have to love his math lessons, cutting health care costs by 1.5% and yet ramping up national health care to 'save' billions. Yea, right.

I couldn't make this crap up if I tried. If it wasn't bankrupting our nation it might even be funny. Mr. President here is my solution for health care. Cut a deal with China to manufacture every American 2 pair of walking shoes and tax fast food consumption. Let the fat American either die young or become unhealthy. Why do Americans who actually feel responsible for their own health and who take care of their health have to pay for the millions upon millions of unhealthy obese idiots who just happen to live in America?

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Mothers Day, 2009

Like you I had a great Mother. It's been over a decade since my Mom went on ahead to the Spirit World and there are days it seems just like yesterday I hear her voice in our conversations. Moms are special. My sons have a great one.

My Mom didn't have it so great growing up. Her first heart surgery, at age 4, was in the early 1930's at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN. Her second in 1975 at Abbott Northwestern in Minneapolis. Her third in 1991 where she suffered a massive stroke coming out of surgery. I "lost" my Mom that fateful day in January of 1991 though she lived another 8 years. I wish it wasn't so. Today I wonder what she would look like, how she would have aged, how she and Dad would have spent those "golden" years together, where they would have traveled?

So you think your bank is safe?

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Insider Trading

The finest example of insider trading comes from the United States Government today.

Will the SEC prosecute those responsible for leaking the stress-test results?

Will they enforce the existing law?

Yea, right.


According to counselor Bill Glass, who has spent 25 years with men who are incarcerated, not one of the thousands of prisoners he has met has genuinely loved his dad. And Dave Simmons, author of Dad, the Family Counselor, conducted a study that said over 90% of men on death row hated their father.

The correlation between social problems and lack of fatherly affection has been established time and time again. Being a loving dad is not only crucial for your family, but dictates the future course of our country. Dads, matter - to everyone.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

A bridge to the middle class?.......give me a break..............

I get it. I work my ass off. Go to school. Work in a non-salaried position my entire life after getting out of grad school. Where was my handout? Some guy gets a grunt job because he didn't pay attention in school, goofed around, used drugs and now has a menial job somewhere and wants a house and the FEDERAL GOVERNMENT matches his savings with my tax dollars. Welfare at it's finest. I thought you had to work to get in the "middle class" instead of taking the bridge. I guess the "something-for-nothing" mentality is alive in well outside of casino gaming. You get double what you save, courtesy of guys like me.

From the

Published April 29, 2009

N.D.’s anti-poverty toolbox gets new tool

The bottom line is that Individual Development Accounts work and operate as a bridge to the middle class for the Americans who use them.

By Andrea Olson

FARGO — The North Dakota Legislature recently passed SB2260, which is an amazing victory for the people of this state. The bill provides a $125,000 appropriation for Individual Development Accounts, which are administered through the Community Action agencies in all 53 counties across North Dakota.

IDAs are long-term matched saving accounts for low- to moderate- income people to be used for a targeted asset goal. In order to qualify for the program, a participant must not be above 200 percent of the federal poverty level.

Currently, there are about 173,000 North Dakotans who are at or below this 200 percent mark. By no means is this a giveaway program. IDAs come with parameters and high expectations of participants. All participants must be employed and have good credit and a willingness to follow a slow and realistic savings plan towards one of three approved assets: college tuition, small business capitalization or first-time home ownership.

Throughout the savings period, participants are also required to make a monthly deposit into their IDA, and the contribution must come from money they have earned while working. The IDA is also a custodial account managed by Community Action, and the participant does not have card-blanche access to the funds.

Further, participants are required to complete financial literacy training — a critical component, as it teaches skills such as creating and following a budget, owning and managing a bank account or credit card and guidance about refundable tax credits such as the Earned Income Tax Credit.

Additionally, participants also are required to attend asset-specific training. This training is focused on the participant’s asset that they plan to buy upon the completion of their IDA savings. For example, a participant who is saving for a first-time home purchase is required to attend a home buyer education class.

Ultimately, the IDA lets participants acquire a lasting asset after saving for an extended period of time. Participants are required to save for a period of at least 10 months, although most save money over the course of a few years. At the end of the program, every dollar deposited into the IDA by the participant is matched by a combination of federal and nonfederal funds at a rate of 2:1. In North Dakota participants are able to save up to $2,000 for a match of $4,000. This means if the maximum amount is saved, the participant gets a total of $6,000 to use for their asset purchase.

Since 2002, North Dakota has celebrated many IDA successes with participants, and more than $280,000 has been spent on asset purchases. Two participants acquired their first home in Minot, another eight in Fargo and six more in Grand Forks. Two small business owners in Grand Forks and Fargo have been able to accumulate the necessary equipment to make their businesses more viable and competitive.

Also, 29 students from a variety of backgrounds pursuing a range of degrees at UND, Dickinson State University and elsewhere have successfully attended and/or graduated from college using their IDA funds. The federal government supports IDAs through the Assets for Independence Act, which was passed in 1998. Each dollar North Dakota has committed will be matched by a federal dollar and together will match the savings of the participant.

IDAs promote not only self-sufficiency but also economic development. Participants who graduate from college will have better jobs, those who expand their small business will generate revenue for our economy, and first-time home owners will pay property taxes and likely will become more active in their communities.

The bottom line is that IDAs work and operate as a bridge to the middle class for the Americans who use them. A tremendous “Thank You” to the initial sponsors of the bill: Sens. Mac Schneider, D- Grand Forks; Robert Erbele, R-Lehr; and David Houge, R-Minot; and Reps. Vonnie Pietsch, R-Casselton and Robert “Tork” Kilichowski, D-Minto.

Also, the many legislators who supported the bill also deserve thanks. As a result of their efforts, many hard-working North Dakotans will be able to acquire a lasting assets through IDA accounts. Olson directs the North Dakota Community Action Partnership

Harvey Pitt

Listening to Harvey Pitt expound on CNBC about the dangers of short-selling on Wall Street speaks volumes about those "at-the-top" who don't, won't or can't understand the problem with "naked short selling".

It is NOT short selling that is the problem. It is the counterfeiting of shares, hence "naked" short selling that is the problem.

Harvey, we all can be thankful you are no longer at the helm of the SEC.

If the SEC would enforce the rules there would not be a problem.

Enforcement Mr. Pitt, enforcement.

Visualize this if you pay taxes...........

America's idiots............

Last weekend driving down to New Orleans I enjoyed seeing the road signs in Mississippi, Alabama and Louisiana proclaiming how much both state and federal governments forked out for road projects I happened to be driving on.

I seriously think that citizens must "think" that federal dollars come from somewhere other than from taxation of American citizens. Frankly, why should anyone who doesn't pay taxes be allowed to vote? As we ramp up the welfare socialist state this ought to get good. Real good.

"For the first time in history, federal money has surpassed sales and income tax collections as the largest source of revenue for state governments, USA Today reports. And the shift is just beginning, with tax collections continuing to sink while the bulk of federal stimulus aid is just starting to arrive. As Indiana State Sen. Jim Buck points out, "This money isn't manna from heaven. It comes with a price." He worries that the federal money will leave states under greater federal control and burden future generations with debt. The federal government plans to provide about $300 billion in extra aid to state and local governments over the next two years, mostly for health care, education and transportation projects. State and local governments spend about $2 trillion a year, and the federal government is now paying about 23 percent of those costs."

Monday, May 04, 2009

This is NOT economic development........

"We've got a lot of work to do in Montana to bring our communities up to speed and to invest in the future," said Baucus, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee. "Today's funding is another dose of good news that will create good-paying jobs in communities across the state. And it's a reminder that the stimulus bill is working for Montana."

"This is another smart investment in Montana people and the infrastructure they rely on," said Tester, a member both the Senate Appropriations and Indian Affairs Committees. "I voted for the stimulus bill because it rebuilds our economy by creating jobs, investing in infrastructure and cutting taxes."

The liars in Congress and the Senate must think every hay-seed out in the fly-over states can't see their impropriety with taxpayer funds. The first priority in Montana should be to examine what has happened to say, the hundreds and hundreds of millions that has been spent on Montana's Indian reservations and why those communities are so far beyond the national "average" in most facets of (take your pick here) education, suicide, meth use, gang violence, diabetes, etc. The increasing numbers of children without their parents (a married Mom and Dad) taking an active and healthy role in their upbringing is just one of many causes at the root of the problems across Indian country. Indian country must look within to get up to par. And then figure out how to stay there. And if more Native Americans heeded Billy Mills the world would be a better place today and for generations to come.

The Society of American Business Editors and Writers (SABEW)

This is one group that can't see the forest for the trees. I sure hope Gretchen Morgenson doesn't belong to this outfit. I would bet an Obama C-note ($50, which will buyone Coffee and a Cookie when the coming inflation spiral blasts off) this bunch is a front for the MSM.

I'm certain this crew isn't bright enough to understand "naked" short-selling and its ramifications to our financial system.

New Orleans Jazz Fest, 2009

It's been 20 years since my first Jazz Fest down in the "Big Easy". The food is still the same, fun, unique and just darn good. The music, better. The crowd, stil laid-back and well-behaved. The city, still in shambles. Bourbon Street, still a stench. The Tony Bennett show, stellar. The older I get the better he gets. The sun, the wind, the food, the crowd, the organization made for a great weekend get-away. Someday again, I'll be back. And it won't be 20 years. And those white-winged whistling ducks I spotted east of New Orleans were a welcome addition to my "Life List". Who would have thought running 70 miles per hour!

This dude is "on" to the truth...........