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Cougar Country

Five miles from my doorstep this little kitty met her maker.cougar

Dork in Chief

Dork in Chief

I know you’re too little to understand my profundity but let me be clear, I’ve read several pages of Cliffnotes about Marx. So again Let ME be clear, I’ve read something about somebody so I’m in charge. I WON! Remember. So let me be clear, hand it over you capitalist kulak. How dare you ask about my grade school grades in Indonesia! Let me be clear that American education is failing.

Athens on Fire, or Hope and Change (in English),,,,

This Tsunami is scheduled to arrive within 5 years….

Hope and Change!

One of the sad duties I performed as a stockbroker was informing Americans that their retirement funds had vanished. Poof! Just like that retirement at 68 was now a pipe dream! I worked for one of the largest BAnks in America in its brokerage business. I took calls daily from clients who could not understand why their GM bonds had vaporized. I guess I lacked the acumen to explain to Aunt Nellie from Saginaw that it was for the greater good. Senior creditors of GM were fucked over. And by the way contract law in America vanished overnight to ensure that the UNIONS maintained their preponderance. Ever talk to a 70 year old dude wondering why his $200,000 retirement fund of GM bonds is now worth $0! Didn’t think so. Everyone thinks when bondholders get screwed that it’s some huge investment/pension/institutional player. News for ya folks. I talked to a few dozen retirees who were fucked out of their retirement by the Asshats who run the Government! And I was one simple broker in my call center of several hundred brokers!

I think the best part of my organization was that our leaders acquiesced when the Federal Government forced us to buy a failing Investment Bank with your tax dollars! Nothing wrong with a merger, we’d been buying up everything in sight for years. But mergers are great when YOU pay for them. And the bonuses are great if you’re above AVP. Cheers taxpayer!

Time to Get Off the Grid?

In 1989 I remember travelling to California in late January /early February from Chicago aboard a Greyhound bus. Not a pleasant way to travel!  But it was a bus full of Deadheads out to Cali to see the Chinese New Year’s shows. There was enough strangeness and surrealism to make Hunter S. Thompson proud. We plunged into the worst cold front the western US had seen in decades. Our bus followed a snow plow through most of Wyoming. I remember the driver warning everyone before we stopped at Casper, WY to get inside the station ASAP. It was -30F outside and he warned we’d be frostbitten within 30 seconds. I should have been back studying my calculus and physics but I had opted for an adventure. Really not a good idea when you’re studying at the U of C! My second quarter grades suffered. But one thing sticks in my memory. I recall walking past a young “hippy” talking on the payphone. He said “I don’t want to get caught up in the system.”  This still resonates. At the time, of course, the “system” was the capitalist structure of society which would determine your life; i.e., you had to get a job, be responsible and earn your way towards the life you desired. But now in the cool recollection of older age I identify something else in his plaintive response. In the strange transmogrification of American society today the “system” means working until you are dead to support the parasites who engorge on the body politic. I find it curious and ironic that the trailblazers of economic “equality”, i.e. the UNIONS, are the ones attempting to force servitude on everyone else. Folks, the “system” ain’t what it used to be. You private sector shitheads will work until 70 so that Daisy the schoolteacher can retire at 55 (with a pension twice yours and medical! HA!). Welcome to the system!

So I ask a simple question. What would it take to make you move to another state or country and get off the taxpaying carousel?

The looming debacle of the emerging public pension crisis has even pricked the ears of the NY Times! I read an editorial today in the Providence Journal about the City of Providence firefighters. One firefighter took disability in 1991 with a salary of $34,000. With compounding COLAS of 4, and 5 and even 6 percent through the years, his pension today is $103,000. In 2015 it will be $138,000. In 2020, $185,000. These levels of pension largesse are obviously unsustainable. Of course, Providence’s pension fund is also 70% unfunded!!! Smart private sector citizens who refuse to be raped by the public pension system will obviously flee spendthrift locales. But the ultimate question is how did the pension system get so out of control? Simple answer: Unions. No one employed by any government, city, municipality or town should be allowed to unionize. They retire much earlier than you with benefits beyond your wildest imagination. I laugh when I hear teachers complain that we have to do it for the children. What they really mean is they want to do it TO the children. As we tumble over the cliff of Mt. Obama Doom remember to keep your powder dry. Once all these cities, towns even states start defaulting there will be hell to pay. Cheers!

Ellsworth AFB Air and Space Museum, South Dakota.  The Air Base itself is home to 24  B1-Bs.

Our mastery of technique and engineering has ensured the survival of a few generations. But who now is engaged in the race for future technique? I somehow doubt it is the product of American colleges. As we succumb to the non-inevitable decline of this once great country I’m sure we’ll have a surfeit of Ph.D’s in Sociology to explain its inevitability! Great!!!