Parisian Family Office, CEO. Began Wall Street, 1982. Founded investment firm, CHIPPEWA PARTNERS, Native American Advisors. Active Trader. White Earth Chippewa Tribal member. Was NYSE/FINRA arb. Conservative, raised on Great Plains reservations. Pureblood, clot-shot free. In a world elevated on a dopamine binge, this is his take! Written from MT Ghost Ranch on the Yellowstone River, TN farm Pamelot or San Jose del Cabo, Mexico, CASA TULE'. Always been, will always be, an optimist.
Monday, January 31, 2011
A federal district court judge in Florida ruled today that a key provision in the new health care law is unconstitutional, and that the entire law must be voided.
Roger Vinson, a Ronald Reagan appointee, agreed with the 26 state-government plaintiffs that Congress exceeded its authority by passing a law penalizing individuals who do not have health insurance.
"I must reluctantly conclude that Congress exceeded the bounds of its authority in passing the Act with the individual mandate," Vinson writes. "Because the individual mandate is unconstitutional and not severable, the entire Act must be declared void."
And some more from Bloomberg:
President Barack Obama’s health care law, assailed as an abuse of federal power in a 26-state lawsuit, was ruled unconstitutional by a U.S. judge who said Congress overstepped its authority to regulate commerce.
U.S. District Judge Roger Vinson in Pensacola, Florida, declared the entire law unconstitutional today in a 78-page opinion. He said the law’s provision requiring Americans over 18 to obtain insurance coverage exceeded Congress’ powers under the commerce clause of the U.S Constitution.
Florida filed suit on behalf of 13 states on March 23, the same day Obama signed into law the legislation intended to provide the U.S. with almost universal health-care coverage. Seven states joined the suit last year, and six this year. Virginia sued separately on March 23 and Oklahoma filed its own suit on Jan. 21.
“Regardless of how laudable its attempts may have been to accomplish these goals in passing the act, Congress must operate within the bounds established by the Constitution,” the judge wrote. “This case is not about whether the act is wise or unwise legislation. It is about the constitutional role of the federal government.”
The ruling by Vinson, who was named to the federal bench by President Ronald Reagan, a Republican, in 1983, may be appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals in Atlanta. An appeals court in Richmond, Virginia, is already slated in May to hear challenges to two conflicting lower-court rulings in that state, one upholding the legislation, the other invalidating part of it.
The U.S. Supreme Court may ultimately be asked to consider the issue. According to Vinson, of the four courts that have ruled on the health-care act, two have found that Congress exceeded its authority, while two have not. Vinson’s ruling is the first to invalidate the entire act.
“The judge has confirmed what many of us knew from the start: Obamacare is an unprecedented and unconstitutional infringement on the liberty of the American people,” Florida Governor Rick Scott, a Republican, said in a statement. The 955-page law bars insurers from denying coverage to people who are sick and from imposing lifetime limits on costs. It also includes pilot projects to test ideas like incentives for better results and bundled payments to medical teams for patient care.
The salesman (a black man wearing an Obama "change" lapel pin) sat in the passenger seat describing the truck and all its "wonderful" options.. The seats were of particular interest. He explained that the seats directed warm air to your butt in the winter and directed cool air to your butt in the summer heat. Feeling like messing with him, I mentioned that this must be a Republican truck.
Looking a bit angry, he asked why I thought it was a Republican truck. I explained that if it were a Democrat truck, the seats would blow smoke up your ass year-round.
I had to walk back to the dealership... Damn guy had no sense of humor.
Tuesday, January 25, 2011
How many other people do you know who will compare, in front of a live Bloomberg audience, the president of the formerly greatest country in the world to a whore?
From Bloomberg: “Financial markets professionals have been stretched over the last two years and recruitment activity continues to strengthen,” Constance Melrose, managing director of eFinancialCareers North America, said in the statement. “There are more opportunities this year for Wall Street professionals to make a career move, and that’s true on the sell-side and more recently the buy-side.”
Bonuses decreased for 19 percent of those surveyed and stayed the same for 25 percent. Eight percent received no bonus, according to eFinancialCareers, a unit of Dice Holdings Inc. The survey was conducted from Jan. 3 to Jan. 12 and received responses from financial firm employees who knew their bonus amount.
Of the U.S. respondents who received a bigger bonus, 31 percent attributed it to their firm’s performance and 40 percent said it’s related to personal accomplishments. Of those who received a smaller bonus, 53 percent said the primary reason was firm’s performance, and 3 percent said it was their own performance.
What was omitted was that 100% of bankers would have no bonus (or base) if it wasn't for continued DC-Fed wealth transfer from the future of the eviscerated middle class.
Will be interesting to check out the prices of food and beverage at the Super Bowl. Food inflation has literally sky-rocketed in Russia and Chine over the last 6 to 8 weeks. It will be coming to a supermarket near you soon enough.
No, I am not listening to President Teleprompters speech tonight. No need. I hear enough lies coming from the Federal Reserve, Wall Street and a number of tribal councils to listen to any more.
Sunday, January 23, 2011
Saturday, January 22, 2011
A half-gallon of 2% milk
A carton of eggs
A quart of orange juice
A head of lettuce
A 2 lb. can of coffee
A 1 lb. package of bacon
As she was unloading her items on the conveyor belt to check out, a drunk standing behind her watched as she placed the items in front of the cashier. While the cashier was ringing up the purchases, the drunk calmly stated 'You must be single.' She was a bit startled by this proclamation, but was intrigued by the derelict's intuition, since she indeed had never found Mr. Right. She looked at the six items on the belt and saw nothing particularly unusual about the selections that could have tipped off the drunk to her marital status. Curiosity getting the better of her, she said, 'Yes you are correct. But how on earth did you know that?'
The drunk replied, 'Cause you're ugly.
Tuesday, January 18, 2011
Friday, January 14, 2011
I was just thinking about all this, and suddenly it hit me like a brick in the head, my dog is a democrat !
"If banks can afford to pay billions in bonuses, they can clearly afford to be taxed a great deal more. A £20bn Robin Hood tax in the UK would help avoid the worst of the cuts and show we are all in this together," said David Hillman, spokesman for the Robin Hood Tax campaign. "While bankers wallow in cash, the general public are suffering unemployment and cuts to public services," Hillman added.
The figures were released after JP Morgan Chase kicked off the US banking reporting season by reporting a 47% jump in profits for the last quarter of 2010. America's second largest bank beat Wall Street forecasts, thanks to an improved performance from its retail banking and credit card operations.
Shi mounted fake military license plates on his two trucks so they could avoid paying tolls more than 2,300 times between May 2008 and January 2009 when he ran a business transporting gravel. Military vehicles don't have to pay highway tolls. News of the verdict triggered an uproar among Chinese who argued in online postings and commentaries that shorter sentences were given out for the more serious crimes of rape or murder. The comments also strayed beyond Shi's case to popular complaints that highway tolls are too high, especially for a farmer.
Thursday, January 13, 2011
Wednesday, January 12, 2011
From the NIA
The National Inflation Association believes that the United States has a college education bubble that is set to burst beginning in mid-2011. This bursting bubble will have effects that are even more far-reaching than the bursting of the Real Estate bubble in 2006. College education could possibly be the largest scam in U.S. history.
NIA's advice to the youth of America today is to think for yourselves. Don't get suckered into overpaying for a college degree that is worthless because everyone else has one. College is only worth attending if you plan on actually learning something there. If you are only going to college because you think a piece of paper is going to help you find a job, you would be much better off skipping college and entering the workforce right now at any entry level job. Your experience will benefit you more than any piece of paper.
The median U.S. home price is currently $170,600, down 26% from its peak of $230,200 in July of 2006. The Dow Jones is currently 11,672, down 18% from its peak of 14,198 in October of 2007. Oil is currently $91 per barrel, down 38% from its peak of $147 per barrel in July of 2008. After the financial panic of 2008, the U.S. saw a collapse in the prices of just about all assets, goods, services, and commodities. Between lost stock market and home equity wealth, Americans lost $10.2 trillion in paper wealth in 2008, and have only recouped a fraction of it since then.
College is the only thing in America that never declined in price during the panic of 2008. It actually rose in price substantially. The annual tuition for a private four-year college was $21,235 in the 2005-2006 school year. Despite Real Estate beginning to collapse in late-2006, college tuition rose by 4.6% in the 2006-2007 school year to $22,218. Despite the stock market beginning to collapse in late-2007, college tuition rose by 6.7% in the 2007-2008 school year to $23,712. Despite oil and other commodities collapsing in late-2008, college tuition rose by 6.2% in the 2008-2009 school year to $25,177. Even after the Dow Jones crashed to a low in early-2009 of 6,469, college tuition still rose by 4.4% in the 2009-2010 school year to $26,273.
Annual tuition for a private four-year college in America is now $27,293, up 29% from five years ago. Meanwhile, the employment situation in the U.S. has deteriorated. There are currently 130.7 million non-farm jobs in America, down 3% from 134.5 million U.S. non-farm jobs in December 2005. 3.8 million jobs have been lost, while the U.S. population has grown by approximately 14 million people during the same time period. We would need to have seen the creation of 6.7 million non-farm jobs just to stay even, but now we are 10.5 million jobs short.
All across America, thousands of students are graduating law school each year with $250,000 in debt, but with no jobs at law firms available to them. 15,000 attorney and legal staff jobs have disappeared since 2008, yet 43,000 law degrees are being handed out each year. Law degrees are losing their value faster than the U.S. dollar is losing its purchasing power. Lawyers are non-producing workers that do nothing to create any real wealth for society. The artificially high incomes of lawyers are made possible entirely by inflation, which steals the wealth from hard working goods producing middle-class Americans and transfers it to those who add no real value to society.
The service sector currently makes up 76.9% of the U.S. GDP. Agriculture, which in 1933 made up 28% of GDP, currently makes up only 1.2% of GDP. The wealth of any country is primarily created at first from the production of food, oil, and precious metals. Secondly, wealth is created from the manufacturing of real consumer goods. After a country generates wealth by producing real things and builds a large domestic pool of savings, it can begin growing a service based economy, just so long as it has enough savings to support it.
During the past decade, an unprecedented number of Americans went to school to become lawyers, because they thought if they became a lawyer they would immediately become rich. 60% of the U.S. Senate and 37% of the House of Representatives are lawyers. The reason we have so many lawyers in Washington is so that they can pass as many new harmful laws and regulations as possible, in order to provide enough work for all of their lawyer friends. All of the needless legislation that is passed each year in order to provide work for lawyers, has the devastating unintended consequence of destroying what little is left of the free market. Small businesses are the backbone of the U.S. economy, but it is now nearly impossible for a small businessman with limited financial resources to build a large successful corporation in any sector, because their legal costs would eat up all of their profits.
Many law students got suckered into going to law school due to deceptive marketing practices. Some law schools are advertising that 90% of graduates are employed within one year of graduating. Sure, maybe 90% of law school graduates were employed a year later, with half of them working at McDonald's, but no law school degree is required for that. Schools are using dozens of unethical tactics to manipulate their numbers while encouraging alumni to falsify the surveys they fill out about their employment situation. Just like we are now seeing countless class action lawsuits against mortgage companies that misled customers about the loans they signed up for, we will soon see a massive number of lawsuits filed against colleges that lied about their job placement rates and average starting salaries of graduates. (At least there will be some work for law school graduates.)
Most Americans today are sheep who believe that the key to success and happiness in life is following the same career paths as everybody else. While everybody went to school to become a lawyer, nobody went to school to become a farmer because Americans didn't see any money in farming. With prices of nearly all agricultural commodities soaring through the roof in 2010 and with NIA expecting this trend to continue throughout 2011, the few new farmers out there are going to become rich while lawyers are standing at street corners with cups begging for money.
The college tuition bubble has been fueled by the U.S. government's willingness to give out easy student loans to anybody who applies for them. If it wasn't for government student loans, the free market would force colleges to provide the best quality education at the lowest possible price. By the government trying to make colleges more affordable, they have actually driven prices through the roof. Colleges have been encouraged to spend recklessly on wasteful construction projects, building new libraries, gyms, sports arenas, housing units, etc. Colleges spent $10.7 billion on construction projects in 2009. Although this is down from an average of $14.7 billion per year colleges spent on construction projects from 2005 to 2007, colleges are still struggling to pay off their old construction related debt. When interest rates start to rise, it will add further upside pressure to college tuition prices.
College students borrowed $106 billion in total student loans for the 2009-2010 school year, up from $96 billion in 2008-2009, $94 billion in 2007-2008, $87 billion in 2006-2007, and $83 billion in 2005-2006. Total student loan debt in the U.S. currently stands at $830 billion and now exceeds credit card debt. President Obama's new student loan bill that was passed last year now makes the government the primary lender to students. By taking the free market out of the student loan business and allowing students to receive loans from the government at artificially low interest rates, colleges will be encouraged to spend more recklessly than ever. None of this wasteful spending is doing anything to improve the quality of education in America.
Over a year ago when NIA was filming 'The Dollar Bubble' in Los Angeles, violent riots broke out at UCLA over a 32% increase in college tuitions (from $7,788 to $10,302). We went to the protest in order to video tape the shocking footage to show you. While we were there we remember thinking to ourselves, why on earth are these students protesting at all? If tuitions are rising by 32% and they are unhappy about it, why don't they quietly and peacefully enroll someplace else for college next semester. If not enough students enroll into UCLA, the university will be forced to either dramatically cut their costs or shut down. UCLA decided to completely ignore the riots and went ahead with the 32% rise in tuitions. Did the students decide to enroll someplace else? Nope, most of them simply took out larger student loans and went back to UCLA. In fact, UCLA reported that they received a record amount of freshman applicants for the next semester.
With all of the technological advancements taking place around the world today, the cost for a college education should be getting cheaper. Americans today can purchase just about any type of product they want over the Internet for substantially less than they can find it in a retail store. When the U.S. dollar collapses and the college bubble bursts, NIA predicts we will see a boom in online education where Americans take all of their courses over the Internet from the comfort of their own home at a fraction of the cost of traditional college.
Later this year, NIA is going to be producing a documentary about America's college education crisis and the college tuition bubble that is about to burst. In the weeks ahead, NIA is going to begin searching for people who deserve to be featured in our documentary. If you are a college student, a recent college graduate, or a current or ex-college professor with an extremely shocking, interesting, and important story that the whole world needs to know about in what will be the most viewed college documentary in world history, please send an email to email@example.com. We would also love to hear from any NIA member who has any ideas of topics that we should cover in this new documentary. Please send all ideas and suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
This will truly be one of the most important documentaries NIA has ever produced. We need to change the mindset in America that only those with college degrees have any chance of becoming successful. Americans have become so brainwashed that even after graduating college with over $50,000 in debt and not being able to find a job, many of them are wasting even more years of their life and getting even deeper into debt to attend a graduate school, for a master's degree that is just as worthless as a bachelor's degree. It is like comparing a $10 bill (master's degree) to a $1 bill (bachelor's degree), they are both worthless pieces of paper with no intrinsic value.
NIA believes that any recent high school graduate with $30,000 saved for college who invests that money into silver and becomes a minimum wage apprentice for the next 4 years, will likely have enough money in 4 years to buy a median priced U.S. home. Not only that, but they will have work place experience that is far more valuable than the worthless college degrees of any of their friends. We must work hard to educate America to the truth if our country is going to have the wherewithal to survive the upcoming bursting college bubble and Hyperinflationary Great Depression.
It is important to spread the word about NIA to as many people as possible, as quickly as possible, if you want America to survive hyperinflation. Please tell everybody you know to become members of NIA for free immediately at: http://inflation.us
More from Reuters:
The poll underscores the tough task ahead for U.S. lawmakers as the debt nears its current ceiling of $14.3 trillion. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner last week warned that a failure to raise the borrowing limit in the coming months could lead to "catastrophic economic consequences".
Republicans, who won control of the House of Representatives in November on a promise to scale back government, hope to pair any debt-ceiling hike with a commitment from President Barack Obama to reduce long-term spending.
Republicans have vowed to slash $60 billion from the budget as soon as March, but many of those cuts are not likely to be popular with the public. Just as amusing is the popular response on which programs are "cuttable": Only 24 percent say the country can afford to cut back on education spending, a likely Republican target, and 21 percent support cuts to law enforcement.
With the Pentagon fighting wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, 51 percent supported cutbacks to military spending.
Less than half, 45 percent, support an expected Republican effort to pare environmental enforcement.
Some 53 percent support cutting the budgets of financial regulators like the Securities and Exchange Commission, in spite of the widespread consensus that a lax regulatory atmosphere contributed to the devastating financial crisis of 2007-2009.
And 47 percent support cutbacks to national parks, which were shuttered for several weeks during the budget battles of 1995 and 1996.
Tuesday, January 11, 2011
"Sorry," said the fairy, "I'm not allowed to grant wishes like that!"
"Fine," I said, "then I want to die after Congress get their heads out of their asses!"
"You crafty bastard," said the fairy.
Monday, January 10, 2011
If you own shares of Playboy you best call your broker and have your share certificates physically delivered to you. They make a great addition to one's man-cave in a frame.
The suit was filed on behalf of Army Capt. Connie Rhodes, who sought to avoid deployment to Iraq by claiming Obama wasn't born in the United States and thus, is ineligible to be president and commander in chief.
Thursday, January 06, 2011
KNOW WHERE YOU ARE
DON’T GET CAUGHT IN A STAMPEDE
DEFINE THE RISK
DON’T PUT ALL YOUR EGGS IN ONE BASKET
CUT YOUR LOSSES
CONSIDER THE WORST CASE
STICK WITH WHAT YOU KNOW
THE MARKET DOESN’T CARE WHAT YOU THINK OR HOW YOU FEEL
MONEY FOLLOWS EARNINGS
IS THE MARKET RIGHT?
IS THE SECTOR RIGHT?
IS THE STOCK RIGHT?
IS THE ENTRY POINT RIGHT?
Maybe it's all just a bad dream.
Wednesday, January 05, 2011
I respectfully ask you to stop. Stop paying unemployment, and other entitlements.
I simply can't compete with you. We have the worst unemployment in nearly 4 decades yet I can't seem to hire people. My new business would love to hire a bunch of people, but the DOL and the state, will not allow me to pay them straight commission because of stupid "independent contractor" rules. So I'm forced to pay them, at least, something.
So I'm offering $10/hour plus bonuses. Within 4 months an employee should be making $4,000 - $6,000/month (good money in this part of the world).
But I can't compete with unemployment and food stamps. Working for me, for the first two months, someone would make a few hundred dollars a month more than they would make on unemployment and food stamps...or they could make $200 a month less sitting at home without the "effort" of having to get out of bed and and actually work. I know you don't want to believe this dear Uncle Sam, but there is a HUGE number of people that will choose to sit home and do nothing. Don't believe me....check this out:
My new company put an ad in several publications to hire salesmen. We offered a good base plus bonuses (as outlined above). Believe it or not, with the massive unemployment we have in America, we only received about 30 resumes. Out of those 30 resumes' we were only able to schedule ~ 15 interviews (all interviews were set to occur within 24 hours of our phone conversation). Of the 15 interviews that were set, only 7 people actually showed up at their scheduled interview time. Of the 7 people that showed up, we extended job offers to 6 people, and all 6 accepted the offer. They were schedule to start training today at 8:30 am.
Of those 6 people that accepted the job offer and said they would be here to start today, only 3 actually showed up to start work this morning.
My dear Uncle Sam, please understand that your paternalism of entitlements is destroying this country. The jobs that were out there 3 years ago are no longer there. People are going to have to settle for less, but they are unwilling to settle for a lower paying job when they can sit home and do NOTHING and collect unemployment and food stamps.
This problem has to be fixed and fixed now.
Although there are more, here are a few things you can do to help alleviate this problem:
1. Stop unemployment after three months. You'll be surprised by how many people actually find a way to work when they have too.
2. Drop the rules for "employees vs. independent contractors". Let businesses hire people on straight commission. There's a lot of people out there willing to work to under those circumstances and I know a lot of businesses that would be willing to hire people on a "pay for performance" basis.
3. Free up IRA, 401k and all other retirement/pension money. Let people use their retirement money to start a business and do NOT tax it. Let them withdrawal their money tax free and penalty free and start up a business. Let them pay themselves (and others) wages and buy equiptment and rent office, etc. etc. (whatever they want to do with that money).
4. Tell the IRS and DOL to STOP, STOP, STOP!!!!! Stop auditing and stop making life miserable for small business owners. I know more small business owners that are dealing with IRS and DOL at this moment than I have ever seen in my 24 year previous years in the business COMBINED. Uncle Sam, you can create fear and loathing when you threaten the engine that drives this country. Small businessmen are ready and willing to take the risks necessary to drive this country forward.....we just need you to get out of the way.
5. If any of this makes sense to you, the best way to implement it is to just do it. I know you have a massive proclivity to want to micromanage all of this and put into place all kinds of rules and conditions on how it should be done.....but you can NOT NOT NOT NOT do that. We don't need another jobs bill. We don't need you to micromanage this process. All we need you to do is repeal some laws that are on the books to free up capital and then GET OUT OF THE WAY. We small businessmen will take care of the rest.
A Small Businessman
His wife has done nothing but look through the kitchen window all day.
He says that if it gets much worse, he may have to let her in.
Tuesday, January 04, 2011
If you said Barack H. Obama, give yourself a golfclap. And if you are scratching your head furiously at the seemingly unbelievable hypocrisy after how just four years later, the president's own economic advisor Austin Goolsbee said that a refusal by the Senate to increase the government’s debt ceiling would be “catastrophic” and a sign of "insanity" don't worry, you are not alone. In fact, very few people can believe the self-professed "insanity" of the very people who four years ago were all about prudent fiscal behavior but now couldn't give a rat's ass about drowning the country in $150 billion in debt each and every month.
And some other observations on the teleprompter's facility with swaying in the wind via the National Review Online: In 2007 and in 2008, when the Senate voted to increase the limit by $850 billion and $800 billion respectively, Obama did not bother to vote. (He did vote for TARP, which increased the debt limit by $700 billion.) Sen. Jim DeMint (R., S.C.) told Human Events in an interview released today that the decision about the debt ceiling “needs to be a big showdown” in the Senate. “We are going to cut [spending] necessary to stay within the current levels, which is over $14 trillion,” said DeMint.
If by "big showdown", DeMint means the latest pathetic theater of, for and by the government, which pretends to care about the middle class, while continuing to pander to the top 0.1% of US society, then he is absolutely spot on. But yes, the president is correct. Americans do deserve better... than the corrupt puppet frauds that are allegedly representing their interests in the judicial, legislative and executive branches of the Wall Street purchased US government.
Perhaps it would be more newsworthy to report that rapper Gucci Mane and his protege, Waka Flocka Flame, avoided trouble with law enforcement. Both men were incarcerated Monday for separate infractions -- Gucci Mane, aka Radric Davis, in Fulton County, and Waka Flocka, the alias of Juaquin James Malphurs, in Henry County. Gucci Mane was ordered back to jail by Fulton Superior Court Judge John Goger for violating terms of his probation -- the same offense that led to his incarceration for several months last winter. Records show he has been in the Fulton County Jail at least five times since 2005 on drug, aggravated assault and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon charges.
Waka Flocka, who turned himself in Monday, is being held on charges including drug and weapons possession as well as criminal street gang activity and a probation violation, according to jail records.
Henry County police arrested two people at Waka Flocka's home for possession of a minor amount of marijuana three weeks ago. The 24-year-old rapper was not home at the time -- but Gucci Mane was. He was handcuffed and then freed, according to reports, the second time in as many months that he was arrested but not charged. Gucci Mane was briefly jailed in early November after an off-duty police officer reported seeing a white Hummer being driven recklessly on Northside Drive. Dispatched officers saw the Hummer outside an auto body shop where the rapper was arguing with another man. Officers had to use pepper spray to subdue Gucci Mane, who was jailed overnight. But charges were dropped for "want of prosecution."
It appears doubtful Gucci Mane will be so lucky this time around. Goger reportedly told the rapper's attorneys Monday that prison time is inevitable. He's scheduled for a hearing Jan. 24. Waka Flocka has kept pace with his mentor, returning to jail for the second time in less than a year. He was arrested in Houston County last March for leaving Georgia for a concert, which violated his probation from a 2006 incident. At the time he pleaded guilty to possession of a sawed-off shotgun and received four years probation, according to the Houston County Superior Court Clerk's office.
Monday, January 03, 2011
Ms. Cindy William wrote a piece for the Washington Times denouncing the pay raise(s) coming service members' way this year citing that she stated a 13% wage increase was more than they deserve.
A young airman from Hill AFB responds to her article below. He ought to get a bonus for this.
I just had the pleasure of reading your column, "Our GI's earn enough and I am a bit confused. Frankly, I'm wondering where this vaunted overpayment is going, because as far as I can tell, it disappears every month between DFAS (The Defense Finance and Accounting Service) and my bank account. Checking my latest earnings statement I see that I make $1,117.80 before taxes per month. After taxes, I take home $874.20.
When I run that through the calculator, I come up with an annual salary of $13,413.60 before taxes, and $10,490.40 after. I work in the Air Force Network Control Center where I am part of the team responsible for a 5,000 host computer network. I am involved with infrastructure segments, specifically with Cisco Systems equipment. A quick check under jobs for "Network Technicians" in the Washington , D.C. Area reveals a position in my career field, requiring three years experience in my job. Amazingly, this job does NOT pay $13,413.60 a year. No, this job is being offered at $70,000 to $80,000 per annum............ I'm sure you can draw the obvious conclusions.
Given the tenor of your column, I would assume that you NEVER had the pleasure of serving your country in her armed forces. Before you take it upon yourself to once more castigate congressional and DOD leadership for attempting to get the families in the military's lowest pay brackets off of WIC and food stamps, I suggest that you join a group of deploying soldiers headed for AFGHANISTAN ; I leave the choice of service branch up to you. Whatever choice you make though, opt for the SIX month rotation: it will guarantee you the longest possible time away from your family and friends, thus giving you full "deployment experience." As your group prepares to board the plane, make sure to note the spouses and children who are saying good-bye to their loved ones. Also take care to note that several families are still unsure of how they'll be able to make ends meet while the primary breadwinner is gone. Obviously they've been squandering the "vast" piles of cash the government has been giving them. Try to deploy over a major holiday; Christmas and Thanksgiving are perennial favorites. And when you're actually over there sitting in a foxhole and shivering against the cold desert night, and the flight sergeant tells you that there aren't enough people on shift to relieve you for chow, remember this: trade whatever MRE's (meal-ready-to-eat) you manage to get for the tuna noodle casserole or cheese tortellini, and add Tabasco to everything. This gives some flavor.
Talk to your loved ones as often as you are permitted; it won't be nearly long enough or often enough, but take what you can get and be thankful for it. You may have picked up on the fact that I disagree with most of the points you present in your open piece. But, tomorrow from KABUL, I will defend to the death your right to say it.
You see, I am an American fighting man, a guarantor of your First Amendment right and every other right you cherish...On a daily basis, my brother and sister soldiers worldwide ensure that you and people like you can thumb your collective noses at us, all on a salary that is nothing short of pitiful and under conditions that would make most people cringe. We hemorrhage our best and brightest into the private sector because we can't offer the stability and pay of civilian companies. And you, Ms. Williams, have the gall to say that we make more than we deserve?
A1C Michael Bragg, Hill AFB AFNCC
Sunday, January 02, 2011
-Since taking office: 883
News conferences and press availabilities: 27
-Formal, solo White House Press Conferences: 6
-Since taking office: 69 total, 11 WH.
Town hall meetings: 17
-Since taking office: 40
-Backyard chats: 7
Domestic trips: 65 spanning 104 days
-Since taking office: 111 spanning 176 days
States visited for the first time: 9
-Since taking office: 38
Vacation trips: 6 (all or part of 32 days)
-Since taking office: 10 spanning 58 days
Foreign trips: 6 trips to 8 countries spanning 22 days.
-Since taking office: 16 trips to 25 countries spanning 70 days.
Flights on Air Force One: 172
-Since taking office: 328
Flights on Marine One: 196
-Since taking office: 386
-January 8 2010: 10 percent.
-December 3, 2010: 9.8 percent.
National Debt in 2010: Up $1.56-trillion
-January 1, 2010: $12.311-trillion
-December 28, 2010: $13.871-trillion
Bills signed in 2010: 203.
-Since taking office: 329.
Cabinet meetings: 6
-Since taking office: 12
Visits to Camp David:
-In 2010: 4 visits, 8 days.
-Since taking office: 15 visits: 35 days.
-Golf: 29 rounds in 2010
-Since taking office: 57 rounds.
-Basketball: 20 basketball outings.
-Since taking office: 28
Interviews: 107 in 2010
-Since taking office: 254
Meetings with foreign leaders: In 2010, President Obama had face-to-face meetings with 61 foreign leaders, 30 for the first time.
Days of no appearances: 24
-Since taking office: 45
Saturday, January 01, 2011
In tenth place, with 80,842 reads, "The Hindenburg Omen has Arrived" is the story that Zero Hedge brought to the surface as soon as the H.O. was confirmed on August 12, and ended up making waves for the balance of the summer. According to some, it was the concerns about the Hindenburg Omen's self fulfilling prophecy that cemented the Chairman's resolve to proceed with the Wood's Hole speech two weeks later on August 27, which made QE2 a certainty.
In ninth place, with 80,942 reads, "MUST HEAR: Panic And Loathing From The S&P 500 Pits" is the definitive, and most visceral, recollection of the terror that had gripped each and every single momo trader as the Dow briefly dropped by 1,000 points on May 6. One thing is certain: as the SEC has taken absolutely no proactive steps to address the conditions that generated the record Dow drop, this is just the first of many "flash crashes" for US stocks.
In eighth place, with 82,232 reads, posted on February 11, and long before it became apparent just how insolvent Europe was, "Just How Ugly Is The Sovereign Default Truth? How Self Delusions Prevent Recognition Of Reality" - our summary of Dylan Grice's phenomenal analysis on the cognitive dissonance when it comes to that last bastion of backstops: sovereign insolvency. The analysis is even more relevant now than it was almost a year ago and we urge readers go through it one more time now that its argument has been fully borne out.
In seventh place, read 82,297 times, and appearing almost a year ago, "This Is The Government: Your Legal Right To Redeem Your Money Market Account Has Been Denied" discussed the government's stealthy plans to force ordinary US citizens and corporations to force the move of as much money as possible out of money markets and into riskier asset classes. That that particular plan relied on the embedded concern of capital lock ups, was not surprising. What is also not surprising is that with outflows of $392 billion in 2010, money markets were the primary source of capital for US institutional and retail investors. Mission accomplished Paul Volcker, Group of 30.
At number 6, read by 84,368 people, Gordon Gekko's guest post: "It's Going To Implode: Buy Physical Gold - NOW" needs no introduction. Despite starting a brief blog war, those who actually listened to Gekko's advice, made a 25% return in 9 months. Nuf said.
Holding number 5, and making waves with 89,743 readers is the recent revelation that JP Morgan, contrary to conventional wisdom, and in line with "conspiracy thinking" admitted Bart Chilton's allegations via FT sources that indeed it had accumulated a major silver short position, which subsequently has been rumored to have moved to offshore, and to non-CFTC regulatable entities, presumably out of the orient. The full piece is here "Water, Meet Blood - JP Morgan Admits To, Reduces Massive Silver Short Position, Proves Millions Of Conspiracy Theorists Correct."
At number 4, with just a few extra reads at 89,791, another tangent of the manipulation ploy was revealed when we learned that "Canada's Only Bullion Bank Gold Vault Is Practically Empty" It is only very ironic that earlier today we noted that ScotiaMocatta's electronic store is now out of all silver bars.
At number 3 in the most popular list, with 91,571 reads, and rounding off the trifecta of precious metal manipulation posts, is the one that started it all: "Whistleblower Exposes JP Morgan's Silver Manipulation Scheme" - there is no need to recap this particular post.
In the first runner up spot, with 93,320 reads, was Gonzalo Lira's essay on possible hyperinflation catalysts "Guest Post: How Hyperinflation Will Happen". The popularity of this post was only matched by the firestorm of angry responses it engendered within the deflationist camp in the blogosphere.
And in the top spot, it is not surprising that the expose on the intersection of disappearing civil rights and financial prohibitions should garner the most reads in 2010 with 172,155 reads, "It's Official - America Now Enforces Capital Controls" The title is self-explanatory.
All in all, it was a very interesting year, with the oligarchy doing everything in its power to retain the perception it was in control even as the walls were crumbling all around it. We are confident this encroaching central planning process will continue in 2011, this time with far worse odds for that ultimate backstopper of the global bankster system: the US taxpayer.