Monday, August 22, 2011

Your Forgotten Wealth

I think that we can all agree that, in spite of all the happy talk from the media and government officials, we're in a Depression.

Seeing the stuff I see every day just confirms it for me. I know many people aren't out and about everyday, but I am. Roughly half of the customer accounts I deal with are in malls or are malls themselves, and compared to what I saw in the Roaring 90's, some of the places are turning into ghost towns.

There are many "seasonal" or "temporary" stores that are being allowed to open up shop inside of up scale malls. This was once unthinkable. These establishments detracted from the shopping experience as some of these stores are ramshackle affairs whose appearance oozes all the allure of a hooker with an eye-patch.

One mall I frequently visit even opened a foreign currency exchange in the middle of the common area. Makes sense if you consider this.

Every day, when the mall opens, quietly a group of people appears out in the common area hauling luggage (not kidding). Some nurse their coffee while hammering away on their laptops availing themselves of the mall's free wi-fi network and power from the omni-present floorboxes. The silent and hunched bodies, afraid of being noticed by mall security, add to the air of desperation wafting upon the cool conditioned breeze from many of those quietly huddled there.

We went through another round of lay-offs at work. Thank God if this ever happens to me, I'll have my own tools and can freelance. Most of the guys use company provided tools, but I buy my own. The stress on everyone from local managers to the guys in the field is immense. I've been trying to de-stress, and unwind because of all the craziness going on.

I've been imbibing, perhaps too frequently, in the evening. My Portuguese neighbors have introduced me to Licor Beirao. Good stuff. That alternated with Pisco has some interesting effects. If you buy Pisco, buy the Peruvian version (not Chilean) and get "Puro" ( made from one grape variety). The Chilean variety has this kind of sickly yellow color to it as it is aged in wood casks. The flavor of the wood carries over heavily into the final product. The Peruvian Pisco is aged in glass and carries nothing but the original flavor.

This layoff was a result of one of the world's largest retailers deciding to take some of their maintenance and installation in-house. I've seen and had to fix a lot of the stuff their in-house teams have done, and I think they're foolish for doing this, but I wish them luck. There was one store that the fire department threatened to shut down because of what their in-house team had done.

I love panicked phone calls from store managers. Sounds like cash registers.

Wow, I almost forgot what the whole point of this post was. Must be the Pisco.

How many of you have "rewards" type credit cards? Think about redeeming those points for something now. They may not be there later ...... or maybe soon.

Do you have gift cards scattered around the house? You really might want to think about using those now. If things go south, they might only have value for making keys for Medeco M3 Locks. Have cards you'll never use? Check out Plastic Jungle and Card Pool to sell or exchange your cards.

Traveled outside of the US and have a stash of foreign currency? Unless you're planning to flee to one of those countries, you might want to convert that back into US currency and go buy some bulk food. Some larger malls offer currency exchanges at their concierge desks as do many banks. Pick up your phone and give them a call.

Do you have gift certificates or incentive awards from your employer? Time to use them.

Does your employer partner with other companies who offer significant discounts? You might want to check the program out and see if there is anything you can use. Don't forget restaurant gift cards. I recently found one that had a $50.00 face value for $5.00! That's cheaper than eating at home! Unfortunately, there are none of these restaurants in my area. didn't hear this from me, but if you travel for business, a little judicious shopping for restaurant gift cards before you leave on your trip could pay off when you do your expenses. Or taxes. Sarbanes-Oxley be damned.

No partner discounts? Check out Restaurant.Com.

That's kinda like using your rewards credit card to buy one dollar coins from the mint, and depositing the coins to pay your credit card bill (US Mint pays the shipping). It's nice that your credit card often gives you checks to use in lieu of your credit card in each monthly statement. Guess the mint forgot about that.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Watch: Fully Automatic America

Click below to view on Hulu:

Fully Automatic America

And you wonder why Obama, Eric Holder, Feinstein, Barney Frank and Nancy Pelosi whip out the Depends when they think about angry Americans.

It also makes very clear why operations like Gun Walker take place in order to freak out weak minded sheep.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Michele Bachmann's Meager Win

Bachmann, while a congressional representative of Minnesota, is originally from Iowa. The media's fawning tones regarding her paltry 152 vote ( less than one percent) "victory" over Ron Paul is disturbing.

Fox News, the self styled voice of American Conservatism, chortles "Bachmann Wins Iowa Straw Poll, Cements Her Top-Tier Status in GOP Race". Ummm, guys have done nothing but do the cheer leading for this candidate. She's in her home state. And she can only "win" by 152 votes over a gentleman physician from Texas who is alternately demonized, ridiculed, or held in contempt by even many so-called "mainstream" conservatives.

Straw polls do not offer surety of success in an election, but show early leanings of party faithful and gauge the relative strengths of candidates organizations. Mitt Romney's ill fated 2007 primary campaign is a prime example. Romney started fast out of the gate and showed promise among the rank and file of the GOP, even those identifying themselves as "evangelical Christians", but somehow the Republican leadership offered America the "no-choice, no chance" duo of McCain and Palin. Romney, was sabotaged by his own party when people questioned his faith (Mormon), while similar questions about Obama's Muslim Roots were taboo.

I've been watching this odd contest with interest. Something doesn't sit right with me. Someone is gaming the system and setting up a catastrophe.

This is what I've noticed that is most troubling to me:

1) WAY TOO MANY players in the pool. Rick Perry, Ron Paul, Michelle Bachman, Tim Pawlenty, Rick Santorum, Herman Cain, Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, John Huntsman, and Thad McCotter. There are others with small campaigns that receive no air time from the media, so its hard to get the message out, but they're there. Then there are those hanging around the pool like Rudolph Giuliani and Sarah Palin. These jokers are keeping the door open for a potential bid. Maybe just in case the wrong person gets too much traction, the system will throw in another face hoping to draw off support.

After yesterday, Pawlenty is out.

It seems like someone is intentionally attempting to dilute the poll numbers. Gingrich is as discredited as Obama, and yet someone has induced him to run. Given the expense of campaigning, who is picking up the bill? Newt knew the odds going in to this, poor ratings among voters (he's even having to fake Twitter Followers), cash problems, staff problems had to be noticed by himself. Yet here he is, and after garnering only 385 votes yesterday he hasn't withdrawn. Pawlenty received 2293 votes and he saw the writing on the wall and bailed out.

2) Rick Perry. The guy is another Bush or Clinton. He's overseen the sale of quite a bit of Texas infrastructure to foreign nations, and still seeks to push through what was once called the "Trans-Texas Corridor". Given the mood of the country, is this guy really someone who should be sitting in the Oval Office?

3) Bachmann's background. Bachmann studied with John Eidsmore at the OW Coburn School of Law, then part of Oral Roberts University. Bachmann cited Eidsmore as "one of the professors who had a great influence on me" (Read "The New Yorker" article "Leap Of Faith"). Eidmsore states in his book "Christianity And The Constitution" that the United States was originally founded as a "theocracy" and that it would again, one day, be returned to a Christian Theocracy. Bachmann worked as a researcher on the book.

As a Christian, I find that idea repugnant and offensive.

Bachmann has confused John Wayne, the movie star, with John Wayne Gacy, the serial killer. She has made statements, then later retracted those statements she made about Obama, and later said she was right by slightly shifting the focus.

Bachmann's background, and statements will make for plenty of political hay if she receives the nomination, which could hand the Democrat Party (and their allies in the Republican Party) a pretty handy foil to try and ward off further gains by a now emboldened Tea Party, which Bachmann claims to represent, and others interested in regaining a legally and ethically operated Federal Government.

Her apparent endorsement of Eidsmore's work will put her diametrically opposite those working towards the implementation of another theocratic state within the US. Islam

Not to mention those who want to keep religion out of government.

In my opinion, these are the types of distractions that help to keep the current system in place.

It's obvious who won yesterday in Iowa. Best wishes to the gentleman from Texas.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Are You Mentally Prepared?

Over at "Don't Tread On Me", Silver Shield writes "5 Reasons Why American Riots Will Be The Worst In The World".

It is my thought that Silver Shield leaves out something very important. Tribalism.

Americans, who frequently like to put on the happy face of a united front against any aggressor, are in reality a deeply divided people. We divide along race, ethnicity, national origin, language, belief systems, age, political affiliation, and income brackets. Even sports teams, schools, neighborhoods, cities, states, what car you drive, what designer labels you wear, where you shop can lead to a divide being created between people.

Recently this has been highlighted by the beating of a San Francisco Giant's fan at the Los Angeles Dodger's stadium following the game between the two teams. This was followed by "Beat A Dodger Day" promoted on Craigslist where

"I support the murder of a Dodgers fan" says:

When the Dodgers come to AT@T,..some Mexican in Dodger gear,..fuck it, do it,..nobody would blame you...might even be rewarded.
Violence at sporting events between fans is nothing new, and often spills out into post game riots. It has always amazed me that something as trivial and inconsequential as children's games being played by adults would result in such asinine behavior.

Even among new immigrants, illegal or otherwise, old divisions are brought to this land.

Sword Fight At Sikh Temple

But that's not all:

Kids get killed over shoes.

Man killed over wearing the wrong color jacket.

Beat Up A White Kid Day

Concealing Black Hate Crimes - Investors Business Daily of all places

White Kids Kill Black Man

You ever wonder why there are places called "China Town", "Little Italy", and similar? All you have to do is look around. People like living with people who are similar. It is comfortable and familiar. It feels safe. The problem is, if you're an outsider, things can be very bad.

Friday, August 12, 2011

John Kennedy Oswald, dead at 47

Most people knew him by his stage name, Jani Lane, a hold over from his stint as the lead singer of the Southern California band, "Plain Jane".

I still listen to Hair Metal, or Glam Metal if you will, even though I enjoy some of the music the kids are listening to these days. Forever The Sickest Kids do a really great live show.

But, I guess somewhere along the line we begin, as we age, to leave pieces of ourselves in years past.

Perhaps, like Hansel and Gretal, those pieces we dropped along the way help us find our way home.

Hope you found Heaven, Jani.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Who Am I?

This from a reader:

I was born in one country, raised in another.

My father was born in another country.

I was not his only child.

He fathered several children with numerous women.

I became very close to my mother, as my father showed no interest in me.

My mother died at an early age from cancer.

Although my father deserted me and my mother raised me, I later wrote a book idolizing my father not my mother.

Later in life, questions arose over my real name.

My birth records were sketchy.

No one was able to produce a legitimate, reliable birth

I grew up practicing one faith but converted to Christianity, as it was widely accepted in my new country, but I practiced non-traditional beliefs and didn't follow Christianity, except in the public eye under scrutiny.

I worked and lived among lower-class people as a young adult, disguising myself as someone who really cared about them.

That was before I decided it was time to get serious about my life and embarked on a new career.

I wrote a book about my struggles growing up.

It was clear to those who read my memoirs, that I had difficulties accepting that my father abandoned me as a child.

I became active in local politics in my 30's then, with help behind the scenes, I literally burst onto the scene as a candidate for national office in my 40s.

They said I had a golden tongue and could talk anyone into anything.

I had a virtually non-existent resume, little work history, and no experience in leading a single organization.

Yet I was a powerful speaker and citizens were drawn to me, as though I were a magnet and they were small roofing tacks.

I drew incredibly large crowds during my public appearances.

This bolstered my ego.

At first, my political campaign focused on my country's foreign policy...

I was very critical of my country in the last war, and seized every opportunity to bash my country.

But what launched my rise to national prominence were my views on the country's economy.

I pretended to have a really good plan on how we could do better, and every poor person would be fed and housed for free.

I knew which group was responsible for getting us into this mess.

It was the free market, banks and corporations.

I decided to start making citizens hate them and, if they became envious of others who did well,
the plan was clinched tight.

I called mine "A People's Campaign".

That sounded good to all people.

I was the surprise candidate because I emerged from outside the traditional path of politics and was able to gain widespread popular support.

I knew that, if I merely offered the people 'hope', together we could change our country and the world.

So, I started to make my speeches sound like they were on behalf of the downtrodden, poor, ignorant to include "persecuted minorities".

My true views were not widely known and I kept them unknown, until after I became my nation's leader.

I had to carefully guard reality, as anybody could have easily found out what I really believed, if they had simply read my writings and examined those people I associated with. I'm glad they didn't.

Then I became the most powerful man in the world.

And then the world learned the truth.

Who am I?


Eds note:

And you were thinking it was this guy:

Obama: Time's Person Of The Year 2008

Or maybe you were right:

Adolf Hitler: Time's "Man Of The Year 1938"

The show is always the same. It's just the actors that keep changing. 70 years and fascism is alive and well in the American Media.

Keep that in mind when you read, listen to, or watch their version of what is going on in the world today. They didn't tell you the truth 70 years ago, and millions died. They're not telling you the truth today, and soon, millions more will die.

The question is, will you be one of them?

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

You Vs. Stryker

Foreign nations around the globe have begun to deploy armor against a restive public. Bashar Assad has unleashed armored units against his people in Northern Syria resulting in hundreds of dead and at least one thousand wounded in the cities of Hama, and Deir Al-Zur. His attacks have spread to the cities of Homs, Idib, Ar-Raqqah and Abu Kemal. The population of these cities is estimated to be near 3.5 million.

The disintegration of the fabric of American society is underway as highlighted by the increasing number of incidents of random violence and the decline of the number of police on our streets. Rising unemployment, declining services, rising inflation, declining property values, an increasing number of foreigners who refuse to assimilate into American society and an increasing number of people demanding special rights and privileges coupled with increasingly over-reaching laws and an often draconian response from remaining law enforcement is like a sweating stick of dynamite.

Obama's tenuous grasp in Washington highlighted by the Debt Ceiling charade and his current rating of -19 in Rasmussen polling bode ill for his 2012 aspirations. Obama's desire to portray the strong man in a nation with an increasingly unstable economy, and society coupled with his will to use military force may be the hammer that gets dropped into that case of wet dynamite.

If military forces, our own or foreign peacekeeping troops, are deployed within the United States under the guise of maintaining order; they're not going to be walking around in the streets alone.

They will have support in the form of helicopters and light and medium armor. The average bunch of hunting buddies would be a serious problem for foot soldiers if they were left unsupported. I doubt we would see fixed wing aircraft and heavy armor in use, at least initially.

Hence, we need to start examining the hardware we are most likely face in the field. We need to know its profile, so that it may be recognized. We need to know its strengths and weaknesses so as to be best able to capture or defeat it and its crew.

One of the most popular Light Armored Vehicles (LAV) in use is the Stryker built by General Dynamics Land Systems.

M1126 Infantry Carrier Vehicle

The Stryker comes in a variety of flavors. Each optimized for a specific function as seen below.

Click on the links below to view specifics to each model including on board personnel, mission tasking, weapons systems, and support systems.

A. Infantry Carrier Vehicle M1126

M1126 in Iraq with slat armor in place. Slat armor increases the resistance to RPG rounds at the cost of maneuverability. This may be acceptable in urban or sub-urban settings but would prove to be a mistake in the Pine Barrens.

B. Command Vehicle M1130
C. Mobile Gun System M1128

D. Fire Support Vehicle M1131

E. Medical Evacuation M1133

F. Mortar Carrier M1129

G. Engineer Squad Vehicle M1132

H. Anti-Tank Guided Missile M1134

I. NBC Reconnaissance M1135

J. Reconnaissance Vehicle M1127

See this article for details on access to the vehicle, locations of doors, hatches, ramps.

See this article for construction, implemented upgrades and planned upgrades.

Click above image for more information

Strykers after IED hits.