Friday, April 24, 2015

Friday Beaver - Canadian edition

Time to pick on Canada our 51st state.

Canada is set for a collision course. These are just a few parts of the problems. Canada made it through the economic collapse in 07 because consumer debt back then was low. Canadian banks were in a better position to weather the storm and the housing market wasn't anything like it was in the U.S. Fast forward to today. Canadian consumer debt is up 20% and even higher than it was in 07. Oil revenues are down as is the Canadian dollar. Economic growth was at 0% this past quarter. Can't speak for the entire country but Toronto and Vancouver housing markets have been booming as I'm sure Alberta's was as well. The Harper budget just came out . It may be balanced but at what cost? He gave out his goodies but check what areas he cut. And then there's the issue of how did he pay for all of this? Did he use the sales of GM stock? If so what's next when bills come due?

Items of note
Even before the budget came out the Harper government was touting what was to be in it, on the taxpayers dime I might add. It sounded more like a campaign flyer than a government announcement. And many of the promises had to be revamped before it was all finished as oil revenues slid. There was a delay for getting this out. Maybe they couldn't find the lipstick for this pig.

So how'd they do it? First they robbed the country's piggy bank for a couple of billion. What had been a cushion of $3 billion is now $1 billion. Don't expect that to change any time soon if the Tories hold power.
Income splitting - Letting couples divide their total income so that the tax rate is lower. Works well if one is making a lot of money but in reality this only helps the wealthy plus it lowers tax revenues. Paid for by eliminating the child tax credit.
TFSAs - That's like a Roth retirement savings account in the U.S. What it amounts to is money you've already paid tax on that won't be taxed again when you retire. All said and done you land up with less. Less because the accounts don't pay squat in interest, some have fees, and inflation will eat up the rest. This is a boon the the stock market guys who will gamble with the money. You'd be better off buying gold coins and hiding them in the closet.
Public transit - A fund starting at $250 million which local governments can borrow against meaning they can transfer the actual costs to taxpayers. The 250 number might sound like a lot but a mile of highway costs $2.5 million last I checked and that's the cheap part of highway construction.
Seniors - Don't have to withdraw as much from their retirement accounts. That'll keep more money in the hands of the bankers to play their game of Monopoly. And the home accessibility tax credit for renovations for seniors and disabled which just increased the cost of those home projects. You know how contractors work.
Security - A good chunk of change is going into security. Everything from increasing the spy budget to increases in the military. What ever happened to those $15 billion fighter jets? Oops it was $20 billion and climbing. Guess that's what jets do.
Manufacturing - Write off depreciation faster. Hum that'll take more taxes away, but not to worry government will just steal it from some place else.
Small business - A whopping 2% lowering of their tax bill to " stimulate growth". Unfortunately that wouldn't cover the cost of hiring one employee, 2% of $500,000 is a mere $10,000. Think Tim Horton's employees make more than that.

Public employees - It's sounding more and more like they'll get the shaft in all this and negotiations have not even begun. Expecting a $900 million savings without so much as a meeting is wishful thinking.

Ah but fear not, the good news Tory fairies will just magically shift all the responsibility to your grandchildren, problem solved.

Bank fails later
UPDATE: No fails this week

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Friday Beaver - The one that built NYC

(Back story - The Dutch traded beaver pelts in the 1600s. Beaver hats were all the rage in Europe until the fad died out and so did most of the beavers.) 

Amazing the statistics on people moving about on this planet. Last report was 50 million people displaced by wars or natural disasters. People fleeing drug gangs in south america make up a few. The bulk of Iraqis middle class left the country after the second Iraq war and you can bet they're trying their best to avoid ISIS. Syria lost more than 40% of it's population with 300,000 reported dead, 2.5 million in refugee camps in surrounding countries and 6.5 million displaced within the country. And these are old figures. Everyone's wanting to get to safer ground.

People in northern Africa seem to be headed to Italy by the boat load. Australia and New Zealand is seeing its' share of boat people. All for the opportunity of safety and maybe a better life. But the backlash is growing as such mass influx of people all at once is putting a strain on local resources. But these migrations aren't limited to just third world countries. It's a safe bet Greece Spain and Ireland has seen its' share of those wanted to get out and probably did while the getting was good. Unemployment numbers are far greater than have been reported. Here in the U.S when your unemployment runs out you magically are no longer counted. So the 5.5% national figure is a load of bull. And just because you did manage to get a job doesn't mean it pays a living wage or was full time. On the plus side at least we don't have to dodge drone strikes on the way to work.

There's a hostility that's permeating the entire globe so I'd say we're due for another crash only this time worse than the last. Debt is being passed around like a hot potato and the effects are being gravely felt. Austerity does not make for a healthy economy but I guess world leaders forgot the crash of 1929.

Speaking of which there were no bank fails this week, but I get a feeling that one of the big banks will fail by years end or early next year.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Beaver Friday - Beavers don't do politics but...

A black, half Latino, Muslim, handy capped, gay, socialist woman should run for president. That way we could sit back and watch the right wingers heads explode. But no we're stuck with the clown circus here.  We have Ted (I'm not a Canadian) Cruse who has about as much chance of becoming a president as I do of becoming a CEO of a Fortune 500 company. To his donors: save your bucks boys you just might need em when the economy tanks in the next year or two. Scott (I've got to mess in women's feminine health care needs cause I ain't getting any at home) Walker. Scotty thinks that by destroying unions we'll somehow raise the middle class. It was unions that created the middle class. Guess he skipped class when they talked about that.

Ah but this is only the beginning of the clown parade. There seems to be many more packed into the clown car just waiting to get out. There's Chris (Shut the hell up) Christie who's still under federal investigation for what he did with the hurricane Sandy money. A particular part of Jersey not affected by the storm got a whole lot of Sandy money. Sorry guys we don't need Ralph Cramden as president it won't play well in De Moines.

Let's squeeze out Ben Carson who's sounding like a replacement for Mr. 999 Herman Cain. And while he may be a gifted surgeon his chances are slim to none of sitting in the oval office. Can't have a black man there even if he's on their side.

But if you think he's crazy you haven't seen anything yet. Here's one I bet you never heard of, Jack Fellure. Jack who? Jack Fellure a retired engineer from West Virginia who's running with the Prohibition Party. Last time he ran he got a grand total of 519 votes, not enough to be elected dog catcher. Maybe he should just put on his spats and go after some rum runners. Yes we're talking that prohibition.

Then there's Mark Everson. Reading his profile he looks to be the least crazy of the lot which will probably make him ineligible to make it through the primaries. Going after Big Banks and reinstating a military draft will definitely put him at odds with most of the country. And we must face the new reality that any idea halfway sane has little chance of making it through our lunatic congress especially when they have voted against the very bills that they wrote and brought up on the floors of the House and Senate. It was like a crazy street person arguing with himself. Shut Up! Don't tell me to shut up.

No bank fails this week, but a note on that matter. I lost track of the actual number somewhere around 450.

Friday, April 3, 2015

Beaver Friday - Not so lucky

This is my lucky beaver skin hat (not really) Lucky for me, not so much for the beaver.

Don't know why they call it "good friday" when some guy got nailed to a cross, but what do I know . You have people worshiping a rock in the middle of the desert.  Hey guys it's a meteor if you didn't know. But all in the reality of superstition we do things that make no logical sense. Spock is laughing his butt off in another dimension. So don't forget your magic underwear and ladies cover you heads for cripes sake. Hum that reminds me of a little happening some years back goes something like this:

Was doing some work at some apartments and at the request of one of the tenants was asked to check on a broken appliance. Went to the door and a very attractive young middle eastern gal answered wearing a tight tank top and tight stretch pants that left little to the imagination, if you know what I mean. She quickly explained the problem but nervously ran to the back room only to come back with a hajib on her head still displaying the rest of her body in her tight clothes.

What crazy little boxes we create for ourselves. In India I hear it's against the law to show a couple kissing in a movie. That might explain why the country has the highest rape figures. Sexually frustrated men and treating women like an object to be hidden behind a vail doesn't make for a healthy situation. But it all goes back to superstitions. Who ever though of throwing a virgin into a volcano to appease some fire god must have been smokin some heavy stuff and yet here we are some thousand plus years later doing much the same. Face it that lucky bowling shirt is just a shirt and your team isn't going to come from behind just because you turned your baseball cap inside out. It looks stupid by the way.

Take a step back and look at your own superstitions. Do they really make any sense? I might not walk under a ladder not because it's bad luck but because I know the idiot stupidly standing on the top rung up there might just drop something on my head.

Bank fails later
No fails this week so keep your bitcoins close and safe.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Friday Beavers - They're Back! What'd you call me?

Beavers are back from their winter hiatus. They don't seem too happy since it was such a warm winter and the world didn't get any better since.

Think of all the derogatory names there are. You could fill a volume with them all. And it's not just in the last 50 years or so that they have been used. Take paddy wagon for example. It got it's name by police when the Irish left Ireland and flooded New York. Paddy referring to Patrick an Irish name. And let's face facts just about every country has their digs into somebody else. Muzzie and Vic are two slang and hateful terms in the UK. One referring to Muslims and the other to Australians as in conVICts. Australia was a penal colony at one time. Could go on about this aspect of the subject but I think you get the idea.

How did all this come about? In the past it was due to an influx, a mass migration of one group or another. "They" not being like "Us" were the target of ridicule and mistrust. That might be ingrained in human nature as a survival mechanism. Call it the power of a mob or in this case the fear of the mob. Imagine if you will a large group of (fill in the blank) came marching down your street. You'd be suspicious too and wonder if they weren't there to do you harm.

But there's another aspect of all this to consider. That would be the gradual isolation of the masses. The first incarnation came about with the introduction of the motor car. All well and good at the beginning as most horseless carriages were open. The driver could at least wave as he passed by. Speed and enclosures soon changed all that. The personal wave turned into a honk. Soon pedestrians became little more than obstacles in the rush to get to work.

About this time another wondrous invention came into play, the telephone. It separated us yet again. No need for face to face confrontations when you can do it in the comfort of your own home and make all the nasty faces you like. It's a safe bet Bell would never have imagined the ends to which his invention have been taken. With the "smart" phone and internet connected we're about as far from a human experience as one can get. Safely hidden behind the bits and bytes and anonymous screen names people have become free to expose their greatest fears but also their greatest hates. That random evil thought that we'd get punched in the mouth for saying in open company now gets screen captured in all it's glorious 144 characters. But with repetition it becomes rote learned and spills over into daily conversations face to face.

That's my two cents
Bank fails later
No fails this week carry on.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Friday Pussy - I didn't do it so...

Hands up don't shoot? Forget it they'll shoot you anyway armed or not. Alcohol agents carrying guns. Since when does a government agent need that to check for false ID? Tanks and UAVs yep that'll keep the peons in line. And don't forget enough fire power to take out a platoon of "enemy combatants". Seems to me we have slowly turned into an entity that we fought against in WWII.  complete with secret courts and secret laws. Forget the SS we have the NSA and GPS and cameras everywhere. The Gestapo would be jealous.

Careful what you say comrade er... my fellow Americans. You could be looking at expulsion. What teen boys used to talk about in the locker room is now posted online for all to see. As if anybody didn't already know. But now there must be photo evidence just to prove your manhood to the boys. Sheesh even senators did it. Thank you but my privates are my privates and let's keep it that way. But as we all know or should nothing is sacred anymore. All manner or pervy perversion is out there so careful where you tread. You might just end up at 50 shades of disgusted least you have a strong stomach. Are we slowly becoming virtual blobs in this cyber universe? No worries you can look it up on Youtube later somebody must have captured it.

But back to the subject at hand. Have we always been this violent or did I just not see it? Most cops I knew never so much a drew their service revolver in the course of their duties. It was once a badge of honor to say that you never once pulled the trigger in all the years of being a cop. Guess that was "the old days".  But we now have a military police force complete with military vets trained in military tactics.  Add to that picture several billion dollars worth of second hand military hardware. What could possibly go wrong?

Then there is the issue of mental health. It started when Reagan opened up the mental hospitals and let most of the inmates out. Didn't want to pay for a bunch of crazies with his tax dollars. But I think a whole bunch of them ended up running for office and won. That sure would explain a lot. But with these people the police have taken a shoot first think up a good excuse later mentality. If the individual is lucky enough to survive the confrontation he lands up in jail and still doesn't get treatment.

That's my two cents
Bank fails later... UPDATE: No fails this week

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Friday the 13th Pussy - TGIC thank god it's caturday

It was Friday the 13th and the world was not looking good. Stupid was reigning supreme. Smashes and crashes and just general ignorance ruled the land or was it the world? A brief summary to make a short story long:

If you didn't know better you'd think the lunatics had taken over the asylum. Congress writes a scathing letter to Iran warning not to make a deal with the president. Hey guys that's not your job. Stick to paying the bills. That's right you can't even do that.
Military chopper goes down during a training exercise. Shouldn't try and fly in the fog it never works out well.
White powder found in DC and BC. Okay who took my baby powder? And while you're at it don't blow up my backpack it's not dangerous.
Bonuses rise on Wall Street by 2%. For doing what exactly? Selling more worthless paper around the world won't make things better. Your day is coming.
More Iraq and Syria air strikes makes for more mayhem. Although we don't know the exact extent because nobody's there to report it. It's the easiest way to make the arms dealers wallets fatter.
No global warming you say? Icebergs were seen hitting the beach in Cape Cod. And while the east coast saw record snow and cold the west saw record breaking high temps.
Fergeson,Mo saw resignations, protests and police get shot. It's going to be a while before that town returns to R.E.S.P.E.C.T. Any bets the mayor is the next to go? Not a good time to be a black man in America.
The Emails nobody really cares about. Think you know who I'm talking about Mrs. C.
Why buy a new car these days it'll only be recalled. Did we lose the basic concept of how to build a car? Keep designing them cheaper and that's what you get.
Jeb Bush divests his business relationships. Isn't that like telling the NAACP you just quit the KKK?
Hookers, fence jumpers and drunken agents (higher ups at that) The secret service has enough egg on its' face we can all have an omelet. 
The N word made quite a stir this week prompting one frat to be kicked off campus. While we look in shock at the slurs being bandied about if you've ever hung with "the brothers" for any amount of time they rip each other far worse.
Ukraine expects to get the first $5 billion of its' bail out shortly from the IMF. The IMF that wonderful fund spreading debt traps all over the world. The money never seems to go where it's really needed but ends up as bonuses to bankers and the 1%. What do you bet even Putin will get a cut of that?

I could go on and on but I have some real things to do.
Bank fails later should I think to check...
Update: No fails this week