TLP: Why Bother with Costumes When the Campaign is a Horror Show?

halloween campaign
Predictably, the news media coverage of the presidential campaign can't resist a little Halloween spoofing here at the end of October. But based on this pathetic rundown of the candidates by HuffPost, the better idea would have been to stay in and hand out candy.
We're nothing if not here to help. So we've come up with some suggestions for Halloween garb for each of the people running for president in 2012. What do you think? Did we miss anyone, or do you have any better ideas? Vote for your favorite and let us know your thoughts!
You're looking a little desperate with the exclamation point, there, Arianna. But here's a thought: make your suggestions a bit more 2012. These? Kinda dated. Don King? Gandalf? Stay Puft Marshmallow Man? Governor Half-Term? And how lame: making up a pseudo-Nazi (?) character for Mitt Romney. Whatever. None of it's as scary as the actual campaign, which you already know if you've been watching the GOP debates. ("Anderson? Anderson? Anderson?")

Count us as being bored by it all. Except for the chick in the tiara and the network quality control failures. We gave up on Halloween cleverness (Barackula, anyone?) when the witch melted. That was last Halloween, when JDA showed up in DC, a long-running, real-life horror show.



TLP: Perry for President? Don't Ask

perry debate
Taking part in debates with his fellow Republican presidential candidates apparently is become a bit too much for Rick Perry. What with all those questions.

The NYT has the campaign trial balloon:
A spokesman for Rick Perry, the governor of Texas, raised the possibility on Wednesday that Mr. Perry might not participate in all of the contest’s upcoming debates.

“We will look at each debate individually and then make a decision,” Mark Miner, the spokesman for Mr. Perry, said. He earlier told Politico that the governor will participate in the next debate, in Michigan, but that future ones are not assured.

“I think all the campaigns are expressing frustration right now,” Mr. Miner said. “We said we would do Michigan but the primaries are around the corner and you have to use your time accordingly.”

Mr. Miner’s comments follow ones by his candidate on Tuesday night in which Mr. Perry expressed regret for participating in the debates — many of which did not go well for him.

“These debates are set up for nothing more than to tear down the candidates,” Mr. Perry told Bill O’Reilly on Fox News. “It pretty hard to be able to sit and lay out your ideas and your concepts with a one minute response.

“So, you know, if there was a mistake made, it was probably ever doing one,” Mr. Perry added.
Perry also told O'Reilly that the point of the debates seems to be "stirring it up between the candidates instead of really talking about the issues that are important to the American people about how you gonna get us back to work."

Right. Of course, having a thoughtful discussion about those "issues" is tough when you have to spend time answering questions about such matters as, oh, why the fuck you started Trumping out on birther bullshit. Of course, once Perry got that stirred up, he was done talking about it.

The WSJ has Perry's response to a reporter's birther question:
“I’ll cut you off right there,” Mr. Perry said. “That is one of the biggest distractions that there is going. We need to be talking about jobs. If somebody wants to see my birth certificate, I’d be happy to show it to ‘em. But the fact is that this is a distraction, and Americans really don’t care about that, if you want to know the truth of the matter.”

Mr. Perry revived the birther matter in an interview in Parade magazine this weekend and another with CNBC in which he said the question over Mr. Obama’s birthplace “is a good issue to keep alive. It’s fun to poke at him.”
At this point, Perry ought to just turn over his campaign to Bad Lip Reading. They can't do him any more harm than he's doing to himself.


Things Senators Wonder

Shouldn't Coburn have asked this question already?

Via those "fair & balanced" fuckers at FOX:

China is one of the biggest economies in the world and grew at more than 9 percent over the last year. It also has loaned more than $1 trillion to the U.S. to fund its deficit-spending.

But at the same time, the U.S. sends foreign aid to China, which lawmakers of all stripes say is just plain nuts.

"Why in the world would we be borrowing money and then turn around and giving it back to the countries that we're borrowing it from?" Republican Sen. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma said. "If they have enough of a surplus to loan us money, they have enough of a surplus to take care of their own needs."

"I think the Chinese are just laughing whenever they receive a check," said Dan Ikenson, a trade economist at the CATO Institute. "How silly this is of the United States to be subsidizing the faster-growing, second-largest economy in the world."

I wouldn't call it subsidizing. In exchange for tens of millions of dollars, we dilute their much larger forced investment in our financial future by printing up more dollars to create this aid. They are aware we're doing this but as long as they keep shipping us cheap crap, we'll keep shipping them our garbage, products to bootleg and dollars. Since China is in on the money laundering scam, they're not about to pull out.

Meanwhile, in Europe:

The European Financial Stability Facility will be worth $1.4 trillion after European leaders agreed to leverage existing guarantees by as much as five times, Sarkozy estimated when speaking to reporters at a briefing in Brussels at 4 a.m. local time after the end of a summit of European leaders. Chinese support for the effort would be welcomed, Sarkozy said. The presidents will speak about noon Brussels time, he said.

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao has signaled willingness to aid the European Union as financial turmoil within the region threatens to crush export demand in China’s biggest market. The expansion of the rescue fund and a deal for bondholders to take 50 percent losses on Greek debt may help Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel to convince the world that Europe is getting to grips with the crisis.

“China will need time to evaluate this plan very carefully,” said Shen Jianguang, a Hong Kong-based economist for Mizuho Securities Asia Ltd. “What worries China is that there is so much disagreement among European policy makers. It doesn’t want to be seen spending money on a plan that even Europeans don’t want to support.”

You know how we could solve this global economic malaise almost instantly? If we all stopped borrowing money from each other.


Be Careful What You Wish For (In This Case, We Wished For Hella Oil)

See? He was cool with Obama not that long ago! What happened?!

Britain's defense secretary and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said a full investigation into fallen Libyan dictator/leader/weird guy Moammar Gadhafi's death is necessary:

[head of the National Transitional Council, Mustafa] Abdul-Jalil laid out a vision for a new Libya with an Islamist tint, saying Islamic Sharia law would be the “basic source” of legislation, and that existing laws that contradict the teachings of Islam would be nullified.

He outlined several changes to align with Islamic law, including putting caps on interest for bank loans and lifting restrictions on the number of wives Libyan men can take. The Muslim holy book, the Quran, allows men up to four wives.

Abdul-Jalil thanked those who fought and fell in the war, saying they “are somewhere better than here, with God.” Displaying his own piety, he then stepped aside from the podium and knelt to offer a prayer of thanks.

Has anyone read Confessions of an Economic Hit Man? When I watched them parading this guy out - thanks to video filmed on shaky cell phone cameras - I instantly thought it was straight out of that book. What did Gadhafi do now to get in that position?

Well, we know he suggested a dollar-free gold dinar. The Money Changers don't like when you deviate from themotherfuckingPROGRAM. That's probably why he got taken out.

Goes to show that not even gold can save you from these maniacs:

Countries around the world have been freezing Moammar Gadhafi's assets, and trying to choke off the flow of money to Libya's state oil company and sovereign wealth fund.

But there's one asset they can't touch: the 143.8 tons of gold in Libya's central bank, which is controlled by Gadhafi. Today's FT describes the $6.5 billion stash as "enough to pay a small army of mercenaries for months or even years."

Here is an excellent animated John Perkins interview that really explains it all:

Was it worth it? I'd give up my car if we could stop pulling this kind of shit around the world.


One Occupy Wall Streeter Gets a Personal Lesson in Wealth Distribution

h/t Old Zeke via WC Varones

The NY Post reports that things aren't so cuddly at Occupy Wall Street now that it cranks on into its second month, with thieves making off with overpriced electronics, food and donations. Read on:

Occupy Wall Street protesters said yesterday that packs of brazen crooks within their ranks have been robbing their fellow demonstrators blind, making off with pricey cameras, phones and laptops -- and even a hefty bundle of donated cash and food.

“Stealing is our biggest problem at the moment,” said Nan Terrie, 18, a kitchen and legal-team volunteer from Fort Lauderdale.

I had my Mac stolen -- that was like $5,500. Every night, something else is gone. Last night, our entire [kitchen] budget for the day was stolen, so the first thing I had to do was . . . get the message out to our supporters that we needed food!”

Wait a second... you (or, more likely, your parents) paid $5,500 for a fucking Mac? You got robbed TWICE, kid! Was it gold-plated? Signed by St. Jobs himself?

I'm sorry but if you bring a $5,500 Mac to a protest at which you're going to curl up in a sleeping bag and that motherfucker isn't chained halfway to your naughty bits to prevent theft, you're asking for it. And how do you get a $5,500 Mac anyway? Is there even such a thing?

Hate to break it to you, Princess, but this is the wealth redistribution you are fighting so hard for down there at OWS hard at work. The people have spoken, and your $5,500 is now feeding a family of crackheads' habits for three days. Who are you to say the Mac was "yours" and not "belonging to the people?"

That "free education" you all have been demanding down there? I think you just got it. Congratulations.

"From each according to his ability, to each according to his need." Sorry, guess you just didn't need your own computer that much, kid.

Occupy the Occupiers!


Louisiana Bans Cash For Second-Hand Items?

Now, it's obvious that the intention here was to quash the stolen copper market but has the state of Louisiana has effectively claimed that FRNs are, in fact, not legal tender for all debts public or private?

Raw Story:

In a new law that could put every trading post, Goodwill, flea market, garage sale and Craigslist merchant in the state of Louisiana out of business, a bipartisan group of elected representatives has opted to ban all cash payments for the buying and selling of used goods.

Though House Bill 195 was intended to make it easier to track the sales of stolen goods by giving police a paper trail to follow, the unintended consequences could be much more widespread. Namely, the law requires second-hand sales be made paid for with credit cards, paper checks, electronic transfer or money orders. Cash is prohibited.

How does this impact Craigslist sales of crap you no longer want? Yard sales? Little kid lemonade stands?

Well I'm glad I asked. Apparently, this little tidbit has been making the rounds (predictably) and one of the bill's authors reached out to the Internets to clear the air:


"It has come to my attention that incorrect information is circulating concerning Act
389 of the 2011 Regular Session. This law was passed to curtail the theft and then sale of copper and other metals and materials.
Under Act 389 a person, other than a nonprofit entity, who buys, sells, trades in,
or otherwise acquires or disposes of junk or used or secondhand property more than once a month, is deemed to be a secondhand dealer. All payments for the purchase of used property by a secondhand dealer are to be by check, money order, or electronic transfer to the seller of the used property and are to be reported separately in the required daily reports. Secondhand dealers are required to obtain a signed statement from the seller of the junk or used or secondhand property stating that it has been paid for or is owned by the seller. This is new to the secondhand dealers' law but was an existing requirement for junk dealers before the passage of Act 389. A secondhand dealer, under Act 389, who obtains the required statement is exonerated from any fraudulent, willful, or criminal knowledge. Act 389 does not effect the purchase of goods by a consumer from any business.

Under Act 389, (R.S.37:1861 (B), the following are exempt from the secondhand dealer law:
(1)Dealers in coins and currency, dealers in antiques, gun and knife shows or other
trade and hobby shows.
(2) Persons solely engaged in the business of buying, selling, trading in, or
otherwise acquiring or disposing of motor vehicles and used parts of motor vehicles,
or wreckers or dismantlers of motor vehicles
(3) Private residential sales commonly known as "garage sales" or "yard sales" as
long as such sales take place at a residential address
(4) Any bona fide charity possessing a valid exemption under Section 501(c)(3) of
the Internal Revenue Code.
(5) Collectors, transporters, or disposers of waste whose waste collection,
transportation, and disposal activities are regulated by the Department of
Environmental Quality, or persons who collect, transport, or manage recyclable
materials pursuant to a residential collection, recycling, or disposal contract with a municipality or political subdivision.

What does that mean? A whole lot of nothing, really. Go back to your yard sale, America, nothing to see here.

Here's the news report that kicked it all off:


The Buy More Cheerleaders Attack the Brits

 pic credit: Mindflowers

Get off your ass and shop now!

The Daily Mail wants you to spend a shit ton of money you don't have on nail polish:

Despite fears of a new recession, economists have been quick to point out how well the sales of beauty products have held up. Even when we are strapped for cash, it seems, we’re still able to justify the purchase of a small cosmetic treat to boost our spirits when times are tough.

Financial boffins have even coined terms for these phenomena — the Lipstick Index, the Foundation Factor. Now, however, it’s time to embrace a new catchphrase: the Varnish Vector.

It’s a term to reflect the fact that more women than ever are buying nail polishes, a fact proven by the latest statistics from Superdrug showing a 37  per cent rise in sales in the past year.

The Varnish Vector? Is whoever wrote that completely serious or am I misunderstanding?

WOW, 37 percent sounds pretty exciting (btw Superdrug is the #2 largest drug store in Britain) independent of any other statistics. Like how many Brits have discontinued costly manicures in favor of store-bought polish jobs. Or how much 37 percent actually is (like $370? $3700? $37,000?! It's hard to get excited about a number I don't know).

The Mail then trots out an "expert" who explains how a splurge like "trendy" nail polish is actually like crack for broke people in a disturbing time such as our own:

'It’s an inexpensive treat which is something we all like when everything else is unsettled around us,’ says psychotherapist Lucy Beresford. ‘Nail varnish is not a basic cosmetic product like a foundation or a concealer, it’s at the playful end of the spectrum. These little pick-me-ups form part of healthy self-care, which is an indicator of mental well-being.’

First of all, how does this psychotherapist define "inexpensive?" To some, an inexpensive treat is heat in winter. To others, it's real cheese. For others, it's a car. It's a bit broad to call a £17.50 bottle of Chanel nail polish "an inexpensive treat." Though the psychotherapist was simply explaining the psychology behind buying a bottle of polish, the Mail is reaching a bit by including that comment. Not to mention the fact that she throws in the bit about foundation being "necessary" - as if human beings cannot live a fulfilling life without concealer and foundation slapped on their faces.

For someone with 45 bottles of polish already and no idea how they will put gas in their car at the end of the week when the tank runs out, a £17.50 bottle of Chanel nail polish is far from a "little pick-me-up," which I also find reckless as far as "expert" comments go. The psychology at work here is not that of a shopper but that of a pro-shopping person. Several little pick-me-ups in a compulsive shopper's life can actually destroy someone's personal balance sheet, especially in lean times. I can't believe they actually quoted this person.

I get that articles like this are targeted toward a very specific demographic (that doesn't include me, I've purposely opted-out of the 30-year-old female marketing since I was a 14-year-old getting pushed Teen Spirit and Virginia Slims) but it's destructive to the collective psyche of a society. Paint your nails like this. Wear this outfit. Do this to your hair. Get a big ring. Get a big car. Fuck you!

Here's another one about one woman's 25-year-old battle with grey hair. Are you serious? There's nothing more important going on in the world than a few fucking grey hairs? I found out I had a few in a little patch a few months ago and stopped dyeing my hair as often. I couldn't imagine waging a 25-year-old war on them, even if I did get a little butthurt when they showed up. It's pretty pathetic programming to make a 25-year-old war on grey hair an entire story.

Back in July, we learned that a quarter of Brits are living in poverty thanks to rising fuel prices (not inflation and definitely not our inflation being exported to any place dependent on our cheap money):

As energy prices go through the roof, shocking figures reveal one in four families has been plunged into fuel poverty. Consumer Focus warns as many as 6 million could be forced to choose between a hot meal or heating their homes this winter.

Single parents are the hardest hit with 39% of mother or father and child households struggling to pay bills.

The figures are higher than the one in five first estimated and show for the first time wealthier families have also been hammered by spiralling fuel costs with 15% of middle classes now fuel poor.

Hmm... nail polish? Or heat?

The wrong decision could kill you.

Then again, if you can't afford heat, you probably can't afford the Internet, and therefore will never see the article and be brainwashed into buying a bunch of bullshit nail polish.

Carry on.


TLP: Otherwise Occupied

credit: Nadav Neuhaus, New York Times Magazine

I haven't given much thought to the whole Occupy Wall Street happening, mainly because it seems like a supremely lazy, and therefore completely acceptable, way to spend time. The fact that it seems to have started out as pretty aimless also rates as a plus.

But seriously, kids these days. The NYT Magazine featured a photo, shot at 4:30 a.m. in the McDonald's (sticking it to The Man!) near Zuccoti Park, of a couple of protesters telling their stories.
Core Jones, 20:

"I agree with the Occupy Wall Street demands. I'm a college student working for my education. Both my parents are cops, and I split the tuition payments with my father. I get paid about $300 if I work 20 hours at AutoZone in Brooklyn. They give me good hours, so it's $717 a month. But when I get out of broadcasting college, what job am I really going to get? I may have to go to Kansas just to get a normal job with low pay, and that frustrates me. I want to stay in New York. I was born and raised here."
Got to give her credit: she's working to pay for school and doesn't outright demand a free college education from anybody, unless that's what she means by agreeing with the Occupy demands. And her dad the cop, a former Freedom Rider, is cool with her being part of the protest. But Core, I've got to break it to you, you're going to be lucky to get that "normal job" in Kansas after you get out of "broadcasting college." Do you think CNBC is waiting for you to graduate so they slide you into Erin Burnett's old slot? Get ready for all kinds of idiocy in local teevee, wherever you end up, and, yes, low pay.

Maybe I shouldn't be so hard on Core. After all, she has a job, is in school and has ambition. For someone with none of the above, check out this dude.
Brandon Watts, 19:

"I came here because it felt like something I could help out with. I've been arrested eight times so far this protest. I have a bruise from the Brooklyn Bridge march. I caught cops on a bad day, a bad week, and they did stupid stuff. The police threw me over the barricades. Literally, they just picked me up and tossed me, but I got away.

"I’m doing well now, though. I drank six Four Lokos with Core, a beer or two. And then we ordered an iced mocha and two chicken fingers and large fries. I lost my virginity today. I was amped for it."
Uh, what can you say about all that? Have at it in the comments if you have any thoughts. I'm speechless. Or just lazy.

For the record, Core promises that she didn't take Brandon's precious virginity. For his sake, it better not have been this chick.


TLP: Mark Sanford Trades Time on One Trail for Another

sanford teevee
A few years ago, Mark Sanford was expected to be in the current Republican field for president. A detour on the Appalachian Trail settled that, but the former South Carolina governor has found a way to have a political presence during the campaign.

Former Gov. Mark Sanford of South Carolina may have not have been able to run for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination after his 2009 cheating scandal, but he will at least get to talk about the campaign on national television – as a paid contributor on Fox News, the Caucus has learned.

A network spokeswoman confirmed that Mr. Sanford, once considered a potential Republican presidential contender, has signed on with the network. While he is certain to appear prominently at the debate Fox News is holding in South Carolina in January, he will appear well before that and will stay on with Fox even beyond the general election.
After that summary of Sanford's largely meh hiring, the Times posted twice as many paragraphs about his scandal. More than two years after the fact. Just think what he'd have been in for if he was actually in the race. Makes a guy want to lace up his boots.


Don't Worry, It's Still OK To Close Your Bank Account

 actual Citi ad, released May 2001

Not sure if you heard but some more shit went down this weekend and some "former" Citigroup customers got in the middle of it. If you only watch part of the video, you see some scary ass plain clothes guy grabbing a chick who seems a little worked up about closing her account.

I hate the banks as much if not more than the next guy. And I just had to close my BB&T account a few weeks back; trust me, I was worked up at the time. But I paid her however much they overdrafted me at the point I stopped using their services (maintenance fees... bad me for having a job and not being able to get down to the bank before 4 PM when they close to close my account in person) and was on my way. I asked her if she wanted the debit card back, she said no, I could throw it out. Throw it out? An unexpired debit card? I shredded it and moved on with my life. All in all, the transaction worked out fine.

But last weekend a couple Occupy Wall Street protesters decided to head down to Citigroup and close their accounts. What they did from the time they entered the bank to the time they were dragged out of it in ziptie cuffs is beyond me. As far as I can assume, they must have been pulling some shit inside. See above: the BB&T lady really didn't care that I was closing my account. And here I thought I had a more frightening reputation.

Here's the video:

Of course, the sheep immediately began blurting out "THE EVIL BANKSTERS ARREST YOU FOR CLOSING YOUR ACCOUNT!!"... right. Like Citi has nothing better to do. They're busy creatively interpreting accounting rules, they don't give a shit about your $15 checking account.

As a private business (government intervention aside for the purposes of this argument, as we technically allow Citigroup to pretend like it is a real business and not a ward of our dysfunctional state), Citigroup reserves the right to refuse service, especially to people carrying signs and screaming at iPhone video cameras.

Here's the Citibank statement:

Citibank Public Affairs issued the following statement regarding today's incident: "A large amount of protesters entered our branch at 555 La Guardia Place around 2:00 PM today. They were very disruptive and refused to leave after being repeatedly asked, causing our staff to call 911. The Police asked the branch staff to close the branch until the protesters could be removed. Only one person asked to close an account and was accommodated."

To be clear: no one was arrested for closing an account; we didn't lock people in our branch - the police decided to close the branch; and we didn't ask for anyone to be arrested - that is a police decision.

The truth probably lies somewhere in between. The protesters were probably being mildly disruptive or maybe just a little annoying and Citi has a few friends at the NYPD (being a business in the district those officers "protect"). Still, the First Amendment doesn't apply on someone else's property if they don't want you to be there. Sorry.

In reality, the NYPD had to use NY taxpayer money to pay these cops to protect the lowly Citibank tellers making barely enough to afford living on the fringes of the city from a group of people angry at the wrong target.

It isn't brutality or injustice if you yourself bait the participants into behaving that way. It's just how the world works.


An Occupy Wall Street Trustafarian and Bankster Call a Temporary Truce

Edward T. Hall III may be the greatest Occupy Wall Street troll we've seen so far (excluding the young woman in the video I've posted at the end of this post). Either he's really good at convincing reporters he's important or he's an obvious plant masquerading as a crusader for economic freedom and $20/hr minimum wage. His website is a trip - as in oh man, I'm trippin' balls - and it's likely were 99%ers to have their way, Hall's grandfather would have never been able to leave his grandson a trust fund large enough to fund his adventures in airports and rallies.

First, you have to watch his crying, sniveling "fuck these people" rant from the other day. Short version: "We are digging in farther like the future cars are gonna have more mileage and more sustainable stars than on the flag." Ummm... what? Keep in mind this guy is a former Columbia University research assistant (yes, the same Columbia from which we get Fredric Mishkin). You can also see him in this incendiary @OpieRadio video at 0:40, still asleep on the street at 1 in the afternoon.

Anyway, now he's in the Times meeting with a bankster for Snapple and a cappuccino.

Mr. Hall is a well-educated young man with a privileged upbringing who said he was following a calling greater than getting a job and making money. He said he saw the protest as a global movement to help fight poverty and economic inequality. He has spent the past month sleeping in the park and is one of the organizers of the protest.

Mr. Vivona grew up in a working-class family on Staten Island and now lives in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, with his wife and two young children. He has been a stockbroker for 17 years, works “13- or 14-hour days” and has done well for himself on Wall Street.

“Not tens of millions of dollars, but I do O.K.” was as specific as he would get.

City Room had arranged for the two to meet and to have a one-on-one discussion about the issues raised by the protesters. Trying to find someone to represent the views of the financial industry proved challenging, and several workers declined. Mr. Vivona, who was spotted outside Zuccotti Park, agreed.

At a nearby cafe, the men, an unlikely duo, sat across from each other. Mr. Vivona, who works in an office building two blocks from the park, had a Snapple. Mr. Hall — who, when told the meeting would be indoors, ended up covering his bare feet with a pair of women’s rubber boots — went for a cappuccino.

Here's the video of their meeting.

And here's video of the trust fund baby making a creepy, hardly intelligible address to the OWS sheep, who bark back his babble.

This is a guy who jumped into a baggage carousel in an attempt to board a flight to San Francisco from New York's JFK airport after airport security denied him entry to his flight based on the fact that he did not have ID on him. Now I've flown without ID, so I know you've got to be pretty off to get rejected at the airport, and definitely way off to decide to jump the gate to get in anyway. It's lonely in a Me First world, ain't it?

Here's a brief interview he gave to The AWL on the subject:
Zachary Urbina: First, what were you thinking?

Ted Hall: Ha ha! I wanted to spend a little more time with Maya. The universe conspired for this to happen. I decided to buy a ticket at the last minute from one of those ticket kiosks. I didn’t bring my ID to the airport, but they let me buy a ticket. We waited in the security line and when I got to the front of the line, they said they had to find a way to validate my identity.

I was determined to make this flight. I waited while they tried to check my identity but it was very close to the time the flight was scheduled to depart.

At some point, I asked security, “What will happen if I just go past you.” Their response: “You will reap the consequences.” Really, I wasn’t thinking about other people. I realize that especially in New York, I was trespassing on social norms, but I was just thinking about spending more time with this girl. Eventually, I decided to return to the United ticket kiosk to see what they could do for me. In my eyes, I was a customer and they should be able to help me. United. UniTED. There’s so much Ted in my life! At that point I realized I was getting on this flight, or getting arrested. I felt a certain magnetism. I remember thinking, I’ve gotta do it myself. I’ve just gotta try. If I get arrested, so be it. Love can be that strong.

Love huh? What the fuck is going on here?

Oh well. Let's end it with the best Occupy Wall Street video I've seen so far.



Here's a 1932 Cartoon That Explains Everything Happening Right Now

Just watch it. (email subscribers can go to YouTube here)

At 6:03, you can very clearly see links of sausage mounted in a frame with "FATHER" below it.

You probably know how it ends so this isn't a spoiler: eventually, the pigs outsmart the big bad wolf by boiling his ass after he sneaks down their chimney and he runs away howling, dragging his ass in the dirt the whole way. Two pigs go back to dancing (one with a flute? and one with a violin) while the third waits a moment and then knocks on the piano he is playing (all we're missing here are some sweet drums, people) as if the wolf is banging at the door. The two dancing pigs? They run and hide under the bed, their little pink tails quivering in the air. Powerful stuff, those creepy old cartoons.

Tangentially related, did you guys hear some shit went down around the world today?

So why were none of the MSM media whores (and by media whores, I mean news outlets that used to be 24 hours) reporting it? I didn't watch it most of the day (too busy trolling "NYPD Brutalizes Innocent Protesters For Peacefully Trying to Close Their Bank Accounts" posts all over the place), but as of 2 AM Sunday, not a single one was running anything about news. Anderson Cooper had his stupid ass town hall on bullying.

I turned on RT (lucky me, we have it in Washington, at least on Comcast) and they were running a headline that said the worldwide "Occupy Together" rallies were a demonstration "against corporate greed and government cutbacks." Their words, not mine.

Oh wait, CNN also said that part of the world's gripe (not necessarily ours exclusively) was government cuts:

Thousands of people across the world railed against corporate power, grinding poverty and government cuts Saturday as the Occupy Wall Street movement spread to the streets of Europe, Asia and Australia -- and took a particularly violent turn in Rome.

Maybe you would prefer this overly dramatic opinion piece (Douglas Rushkoff via CNN):

To be fair, the reason why some mainstream news journalists and many of the audiences they serve see the Occupy Wall Street protests as incoherent is because the press and the public are themselves. It is difficult to comprehend a 21st century movement from the perspective of the 20th century politics, media, and economics in which we are still steeped.

In fact, we are witnessing America's first true Internet-era movement, which -- unlike civil rights protests, labor marches, or even the Obama campaign -- does not take its cue from a charismatic leader, express itself in bumper-sticker-length goals and understand itself as having a particular endpoint.

Who's afraid of the big bad wolf?

Meanwhile, while many of us are transfixed by this blessed event/endless source of satiric material/train wreck, China and Russia are cuddling up. We're picking some weird fight with Iran over some guy that friends say could hardly plot his way out of a paper bag. This guy allegedly plotted to kill the Saudi ambassador. A drunk used car salesman! Anyone feel like you're being used yet? It was too easy to watch the Occupy train wreck over the real news.

Here are some pictures if you couldn't be occupying in person today. Or you can just watch the video above again to fast-forward to how it ends.


Update: $CIGX Is Definitely NOT a Buy (But I Won't Say It Is a Scam)

WC Varones astutely pointed out that something is amiss in CIGX's finances after I naively asked if it was a scam or a buy. I hadn't looked there yet, as I'd only just heard of the company the night I wrote that post (last night). I don't know what kind of life WCV has but a girl has to sleep and can't be combing through SEC filings until 3 in the morning.

So. Tonight I looked. Fuck it, it's early.

According to Star Scientific's August 2011 10-Q, it has 135,055,505 shares (in thousands) of common stock out there. Now that might seem like a big number if you have nothing to compare it to but allow me to compare it to a company that we can pretty much all agree is not a fraud, Merck (shady Big Pharma status aside, naturally).

Merck had 3,577 shares of common stock (in millions) roaming in the wild as of June 30, 2011.

If I were actually an accountant (I very clearly remind everyone that I am not), I'd be able to decode these numbers further.

While I go grab a remedial Financial Accounting textbook, can one of my accounting people please go unravel this mess?

I do know this much (I can barely read an income statement but sometimes it's so obvious even an accounting industry reject like me can see it). Star Scientific is bleeding money and shoving shares out there as quickly as it can while Merck is making their money the old fashioned way, by screwing the dumb sheep through pharmaceuticals (allegedly).

Still, I've gotten pretty good at trolling a 10-K (it isn't hard) and found this little item on Star Scientific's last one:

We have incurred losses for the past eight years and operating expenses are likely to continue to be greater than operating revenues in the foreseeable future.

Does that explain why they are diluting the hell out of their shareholders and trying to "sell" this product so hard?

Hey, you can't get mad at them, they actually disclosed it (pretty clearly, actually):

The recurring losses generated by our operations continue to impose significant demands on our liquidity. Over the last several years our liquidity demands have been met principally by private placements of our common stock and the cash exercise of related warrants and stock options. In 2010 our company received proceeds of approximately $27.8 million through private placements and we obtained an additional $11.0 million in private placement transactions subsequent to December 31, 2010. See note 15 to our consolidated financial statements included in “Item 15. Exhibits, Financial Statement Schedules” for further details of the latter transaction. Absent the exercise of outstanding warrants and options for cash or a substantial improvement in sales and revenues and/or royalties, we believe that the recent funding will support our operations through the first quarter 2012. Additionally, although options or warrants are currently or in the future may be in-the-money, there can be no assurances that holders of these derivatives will exercise these securitites [sic].

However, our business and operations may consume resources faster than we anticipate, and depending upon market conditions and the price of our common stock, we may decide to seek additional funds before that time. Additional financing may not be available on favorable terms, if at all. If adequate funds are not available on acceptable terms, we may be unable to fund the expansion of our sales and marketing and research and development efforts or take advantage of other opportunities, which could seriously harm our business and operating results. If we issue additional equity securities, existing stockholders will experience dilution.

Maybe Star Scientific products are great. It's funny that the "testimonials" I got on this site just hours after I wrote about CIGX all came directly through either Google Finance or Yahoo Finance. I love how Advil takes away my chronic back pain but I don't troll the Wyeth finance page on Yahoo finding sites talking about how great or horrible Wyeth stock is. The red flags pile up pretty quickly.

I still plan on picking up some CigRx to see if the hype is real. But if a product can really do what CigRx and Anatabloc "fans" say it does, why the suspicious red flags in its stock?

15 hours ago, an Anatabloc "fan" on Facebook posted the following:

Seriously how is Anatabloc going to get any exposure outside of FB, I have had real improvements in me happen but no way of providing proof outside of mentioning here. And i'm not some dude pumping the product.

Defensive much?

Whoever is behind the actual Anatabloc Facebook page posted a, uh, promotional note on the "Medical Profession, Wow I love it." page recently, whatever that is. It has to be some page not curated by native English speakers, as it is littered with grammar mistakes not often made, even by Americans (and we know how dumb they are). I get cross-pollinating through social media (it's OK, I work in Internet marketing) but really? Spamming some ESL medical page? WTF is going on here?

Right. So let's move right into this June 5, 2011 Seeking Alpha article by Martin Shkreli that says Star Scientific has had the shit shorted out of it because it deserves it:

Star has a diehard allegiance of retail investors who are attracted to the sub-$5 share price and seemingly large tobacco and Alzheimer’s markets. A sub-$5 share price is not the key to financial success. This optical illusion results in illogical investor losses--one is better off buying shares of undervalued companies like Biomarin (BMRN) or Onyx (ONXX). Always think in terms of market cap, not share price. Ask yourself: Is CIGX worth $700 million? Cover up the market cap and try to figure out what you think it is worth, independent of the stock market. If you guessed $2 billion, buy the stock. If you came up with less than $50m like I did, stay away or short.

So? I AM going to buy the product to see if it puts a dent in my constantly aching back and will be thrilled if it works (and will tell you). I AM NOT going to touch this stock, not even with someone else's money. Fuck that.

Whenever a press release contains an entire disclaimer like this... :

This press release contains certain forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Star Scientific, Inc. and its consolidated subsidiaries (collectively, the "Company") has tried, whenever possible, to identify these forward-looking statements using words such as "anticipates," "believes," "estimates," "expects," "plans," "intends" and similar expressions. These statements reflect the Company's current beliefs and are based upon information currently available to it. Accordingly, such forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which could cause the Company's actual results, performance or achievements to differ materially from those expressed in, or implied by, such statements. These risks, uncertainties and contingencies include, without limitation, the challenges inherent in new product development initiatives, the uncertainties inherent in the progress of scientific research, the Company's ability to raise additional capital in the future necessary to maintain its business, potential disputes concerning the Company's intellectual property, risks associated with litigation regarding such intellectual property, potential delays in obtaining any necessary government approvals of the Company's low-TSNA tobacco products, market acceptance of the Company's new smokeless tobacco products, competition from companies with greater resources than the Company, the Company's decision not to join the Master Settlement Agreement ("MSA"), and the Company's dependence on key employees and on its strategic relationships with Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corporation in light of its combination with RJ Reynolds Tobacco Company, Inc.

... you need to walk away. No, back away slowly.


Here Is the Entire Reason Wall Street Is Occupied

I know some of you know this guy

Believe me, I miss it too.

This sucks. This wasn't the future we were promised. We were told we were special and that we could do amazing things but they raised us to be lazy, unmotivated and somehow convinced we're fucking amazing. Most of us are not.

I remember listening to this in my grandparents' basement in 1993. It changed my fucking life. I didn't know why I was so pissed off but I was, and years later, it led me to End the Fed rallies, after which I founded a world-renowned website known for its angry, expletive-filled tone. Fuck yeah. Fuck this. I don't know about you guys but I certainly didn't grow up privileged but I didn't starve either. I didn't have a Hypercolor t-shirt but I knew what they were. Now that I'm 30, all of that seems so silly. There are bigger problems on this planet, and what t-shirt I own is not among them.

I don't know about you guys but I'll always remember April 8, 1994. I know where I was (Madison, WI) and I know what it felt like when I got the news. Sorry to be overdramatic but we didn't have many heroes... I watched Headbangers Ball and discovered the Internet when we got our first Windows 3.11 PC at a Best Buy Christmas sale. My mom paid too much for it but I listened to the hissssssssssssss chicka chicka brrrrrrraaaaaaayyyyy and knew that my life would never be the same. 17 years later, I work on the Internet, publishing online content for a leading UK parent company, part-time contracting out content for another completely unrelated industry and constantly combing the Internet for the next thing to rant about. I had no clue it would lead me here but it did and I love that.

I don't know anyone my age or around there (the 28 - 32 year olds are Gen X/Yers, don't you dare lump us in with the Millennials) who doesn't miss that carefree time if we stop to think about it. Nancy fucking Reagan telling us to Just Say No. How many of us use drugs regularly? How many of us function just the same? But we're still brainwashed by this idea that drugs are bad, mmmkay.

Personally I'm pretty pissed off that life isn't like a God damn Color Me Badd video after all. Why the fuck did I have that picture of Jordan Knight on the back of my door for, then?

I get it. We're all mad. This is bullshit. Not to rub it in, but I figured out it was bullshit in 1st grade when I told a classmate the Easter Bunny was a motherfucking fake because he and Santa had the same handwriting as my mom. Busted.

Still, I'd love to return to a time when LEGO was enough and Jem was a high-quality television show and I beat Mother Brain in the original Metroid. But that's gone now. I have a PS3 that would kick that 1985 Nintendo's ass but there's something about how good it made life that attracts me to the nostalgia of that time. I think that's where a lot of the Occupiers are - we grew up in a world not at all like this one and don't appreciate not being able to plug right back into it. Super Mario 3 used to make the world drop away; now I have to hit the liquor store, the cigar shop and hope Fallout 3 can take me away. Strangely, the Capital Wasteland scenario of that game resembles the Washington, DC I live in, but I still keep Super Mario 3 on a Chinese-made Nintendo DS card so I can play it when I really need to get away. How fucked up is it that so many of us live like that?

A lot of us miss that time. Whatever it was that made it what it was. When we didn't know how fucked up things were, and when our parents told us shit like how special we were and how awesome we were even if we were far from it. Many of us know nothing about discipline, a routine or any type of structure. Our parents had it beaten into them, so it's no wonder we ended up like this. You could say we're coddled but too few us actually accomplished enough by now to say we've had it good (the rare start-up super genius excluded, of course).

Do you get it? We were duped. And we're mad about it.

Understandably, but, someone should have asked me. I would have told them about the Easter Bunny, Santa, the New Kids on the Block and Ben Bernanke. Fine, I didn't figure out Ben Bernanke until I was 27. A lot of my peers' parents have no fucking idea who the guy is. WAKE UP.

So they're pissed. We're all pissed. It was all bullshit. It continues to be.

That doesn't mean anyone owes us anything. Let our parents suffer the consequences of what they built (I hope you guys realize it's partially their fault college is out of reach or a crushing debt burden for so many of you - it was their idea that all of us deserved "the right" to go, so their demand for the financial products that led to the college bubble drove your education costs higher); their huge echoing houses, their crap piled up in the garage so they have to park their SUVs in the driveway. Fuck that. We're above that.

The "American Dream" somehow counts homedebtorship among a person's loftiest goals (along with a college degree, marriage and children) but who says we have to buy into their version of perfect?

They were wrong, you guys. Really fucking wrong. Let's not make the same mistake they did.

Cut up your credit cards. Educate yourself in a library. Seek out those older than you to tell you about how it used to be. Look beyond instant gratification.

Look at your parents. How fucking gratified are they right now? That's what I thought.


Is $CIGX a Buy or a Scam?

Friday, October 14, 2011 13 Comments

IMHO, everything is a scam. I lost money on bonds that aren't even supposed to move, that's a scam. You know this. I know this.

But there are also obvious "red flag" hand jobs going on (HFT robots aside), like InterOil for starters. CMKM. I could go on.

So when I came across CIGX, I have to say I was intrigued.

Their CigEx product has raving reviews on Amazon, and apparently the same product that purports to help people stop smoking has anti-inflammatory benefits. That's pretty rad. A carton of the anti-smoking lozenges sells for about $40 on Amazon. Its Anatabloc product (packaged similarly to CigRx) sells for about $100 for a 10 pack carton.

A recent Seeking Alpha article by Dr. John Faessel touts Star Scientific as one hell of a buy, but in the same article, commenters call him out for writing four posts about this damn Star Scientific, which is a trademark tool of your typical pumper.

I will give the SA commenter this, it's a pretty wild claim. According to the Seeking Alpha article, Star Scientific's new product can practically cure cancer. Then again, as a person who suffers from an inherited bad back made worse by a hellish commute, I'm tempted to give this alleged anti-inflammatory a shot.

Now enter Star Scientific. Last Wednesday (8/30/2011) Star began selling Anatabloc™ online and by phone. I believe that Anatabloc™ could become a multi-billion dollar product. Why?

Simply, Anatabloc™ inhibits NF-kB. New testing at the Roskamp Institute shows that Anatabloc™ is more effective in lowering / moderating / inhibiting NF-kB’s role in inflammation than the leading drugs in the market space — and they sell in the $billions. Furthermore, Anatabloc™ can be taken without concern about toxicity, and it’s an over-the-counter, non-prescription product.

The Roskamp Institute has posted data – "inflammaging research" – revealing how (RCP-006) Anatabloc™ is more than four (4) times more effective than either Celebrex or Voltarol and three (3) times more effective that Lipitor in reducing inflammation in whole human blood. Lipitor and Celebrex are recognized to have advanced anti-inflammatory properties and have sold in the billions. Lipitor sales in 2010 were $10.7 billion.

The market for Anatabloc™ as a reducer of low grade inflammations is of staggering proportions: the product targets chronic inflammation known to be present in a number of coronary and vascular diseases, cancers and in auto-immune diseases such as thyroid disease, diabetes, asthma, Crohn’s, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and arthritis, besides numerous other conditions and bodily woes ― and that includes ageing [sic].

OK fine, he spelled "ageing" wrong.

CIGX definitely shows the danger signs but it isn't about whether or not the product works, it's about whether or not enough people believe the product works to make some money.

Right? Can we be honest about that?

I might buy. I might regret it (I'm no fucking HFT robot) but I might buy anyway.


Why Does Netflix Need Lobbyists?

If you ever doubt that the Washington lobbying machine is too big, let this convince you that it is, in fact, the beast we fear it is.


Netflix’s need for representation in Washington is growing as it closely watches issues — from online privacy and broadband pricing schemes to postal cutbacks and patent reform. To that end, the company has ramped up its lobbying spending. So far this year, Netflix has spent $190,000 on lobbying, according to disclosures. It’s hired Franklin Square Group, Kountoupes Consulting and Monument Policy Group.

So Netflix is buffing up its presence in Washington. Just what we need, more rats scurrying around the Hill with comically sized checks for Congressional asshats.

Unfortunately, since I am a resident of Washington, DC, I ironically do not get any Washington presence. Sure, if I had a few hundred thousand to throw around, I could hire my own lobbyists but who has that kind of money?

Did you read that? I DON'T HAVE WASHINGTON REPRESENTATION and I live here.

Anyone else get what's wrong about that?


Mayor Bloomberg Tells Protesters To Leave Jamie Dimon Alone

When the anti-Wall Street kids turned their focus to JP Morgan Chase, NYC Mayor Mike Bloomberg felt it necessary to defend his neighbor in the hopes protesters would back off:

“You know, Jamie Dimon is one of the greatest bankers, he’s brought more business to this city than maybe any other banker,” the mayor said of the JP Morgan CEO at the Bronx Library Center off Fordham Road, where he announced a new literacy initiative this afternoon. “To go and pick on him, I don’t know what that achieves. Jamie Dimon is honorable and works very hard and pays his taxes.”

As if that weren't enough, Bloomberg went on to suggest that something like Occupy Hollywood or Occupy Football Players in Atlanta might be a better use of protesters' time. “You know a lot of people make a lot of money, athletes and actors, and other business people,” the mayor said at his press conference.

Clueless. As little as I understand the whole drum circle business happening at Zuccotti Park right now, I'm pretty sure it's not ALL people with more money than them the protesters are mad at.


Why the F*** Are We Here?

I came across this SF Citizen post from March 2009 again tonight by total random coincidence. The post caught me at an anti-Iraq war rally in my "Bernanke 00%" T-shirt (yes, I still own it), and it made me think about how far we've come since I first jumped on this "movement." The last time I was actually out there protesting this bullshit was March of this year, when I wandered out to 20th and Constitution at 6 in the morning to find... well... silence. Silence and a lone Fed cop wandering the perimeter. The Washington Monument looked amazing at that hour, but at least I got good shots of it. Sure, End the Fed rallies in San Francisco were fun (with a clear list of demands), but what did we accomplish? Here we are 3 years later and shit has only gotten worse.

I kind of miss the days of parading around San Francisco with some variation of the End the Fed theme. We don't really get that in DC, we're kind of expected to be more adult than that. No hanging a bling dollar sign around my neck for irony. Yes, I still own the bling dollar sign too.

I still try to make it to the Federal Reserve Board to distribute flyers when I can since I live here in DC now. Every little bit counts, kids, don't you forget that.

I'm sick of it. I'm tired. I'm sick of yelling. But I have to keep doing it. If I don't, they've won. Fuck that, I didn't make that T-shirt for nothing.


DIY Offensive Bernanke Mini Polaroid Magnets

Wednesday, October 12, 2011 2 Comments

I came across a tutorial for DIY mini Polaroid magnets today and decided I should really make some with our fearless Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke featured prominently (and offensively) on them.

Since the first few I tested seemed to work out OK, I'm going to make a bunch in the weeks ahead. You never know when these might come in useful... lobbying on the Hill... cruising around SE DC... scaring suburbanites at the Giant. Whatever.

If anyone actually wants one on their fridge, I'll put some up on Etsy.

Come on, who doesn't want semi naked Bernanke with dollar bills coming out of his ass on their fridge?


The Natives are Hella Restless

Lock up your daughters and take your dogs to the pound, people, the natives have officially stormed the fortress.


Thousands of people including teachers, religious leaders and union workers marched in downtown Chicago on Monday to voice mounting anger over joblessness and income inequality in protests that snarled rush-hour traffic.

Chanting "We are the 99 percent" and "Tax, tax, tax the rich," some demonstrators marched on Michigan Avenue and gathered outside the Chicago Art Institute where a U.S. futures industry trade group was holding an evening cocktail reception.

Others marched outside a luxury hotel near to where the American Mortgage Bankers Association was holding a meeting downtown.

Thousands. On a Monday. Granted, some people didn't work. I know I didn't. I took off. My small private company can survive a day without my magic, I'm sure.

Wait, it gets better. Kanye West showed up:

Ladies and gentleman, Kanye West is in the building. Or in this case, outside of it.

The outspoken rapper paid a visit to the Occupy Wall Street protests Monday afternoon, led by rap mogul Russell Simmons. Simmons was there to appear on Reverend Al Sharpton’s radio show, which the MSNBC primetime host was broadcasting live from the park.

The media spotlight on the movement has not faded and celebrity interest hasn't abated. Organization, however, is still lacking and political goals still need unpacking.

Right. Kayne West is the fourth sign that this movement never stood a chance, and it started with the unions showing up.

Reuters goes on:

The media spotlight has been unrelenting. As TheWrap made its inaugural trip to the protests' headquarters in Zucotti Park, various representatives of the movement related a ceaseless onslaught of cameras and interview requests.

A press officer told TheWrap that he spends almost every moment he's there either being interviewed or arranging interviews; a more recent recruit said she'd already lost track of how many times she’d spoken with the press.

Cameras greet “occupiers” as they wake up, even before they get the chance to grab a bite to eat or smoke their first cigarette of the day.

And that is why the likes of West, Susan Sarandon and Michael Moore trudge down here. The more attention the movement gets, the more opportunities it gets to spread its message and the more likely it is to have an impact.

Also Read: #Occupy Wall Street: Susan Sarandon, Arrests & Twitter Create a Movement

Anything can have a hash tag, is anyone going to intervene and steer this before an unscrupulous bunch of "celebrities" hijack it?


Corn Mafia Henchmen Cargill Blame The Government For Rising Food Prices

pic credit: Indymedia

Forgive me, this link is a few weeks old but still very relevant as it deals with the Corn Mafia henchmen at Cargill and their unreasonable view that it is, in fact, government to blame for rising food prices.

That is somewhat correct. The real reason food prices are so high is that A) there are more people to feed on this planet than this planet was ever built to feed, B) we burn food in our cars and C) those money-printing maniacs at the Federal Reserve are pumping funny money into any market stupid enough to still be traded in dollars. But hey, it's a good time to be in agriculture I suppose.


Cargill Inc. Chief Executive Officer Greg Page, who runs the largest agricultural company in the U.S., has a good idea whom to blame for the global surge in food prices at the end of 2010: governments.

Page urged 708 delegates and guests at the National Grain and Feed Association convention in San Diego in March to take action, Bloomberg Markets magazine reports in its September issue. He said government hoarding was the biggest contributor to the rise in prices, which had soared 15 percent from October through January and pushed 44 million people into poverty, according to the World Bank.

“Ill-timed, ill planned and really a beggar-thy-neighbor strategy,” Page, 59, said of moves by Russia and others to ban grain exports as droughts and floods helped send stockpiles to their lowest levels in two generations.

Page warned that further disruptions might ratchet up costs so much that governments would jump in with more regulations -- not only on grain shipments but also on energy, trade and financial markets. Such moves could discourage investing in agriculture and hurt the poor.

“We have to make sure lawmakers share our understanding,” he said, imploring the executives to increase their lobbying to keep government hands off agricultural markets.

Hint hint. Get that, lawmakers? A private company in charge of polluting the food supply thinks you need to butt out.

If you read JDA regularly, you've definitely heard of Cargill. And if you live in the frozen tundra of the Midwest, you probably know who they are. But how many Americans know that so much of their food is touched by Cargill's magic wand at some point along the way?

In the 4 1/2 years leading up to November of 2010, Cargill shareholder equity nearly doubled to $29.5 billion. Keeping in mind that this period includes the worst recession the U.S. (and the world) has seen in nearly a century, if not ever. It's good to be king, I guess.

Chicago-based research firm AgResource Co. president Dan Basse told Bloomberg “Cargill sells seed and chemicals to farmers, buys their grain, transports it to Cargill feedlots, kills the cattle and sells the beef. They’re not part of the food chain; they are the chain.”

Apparently 2011 hasn't been as kind to Cargill, with the company posting a 66% loss for its first fiscal quarter ended August 31st.

Oh and that "corn sweetener" we Americans love so much? Its price is about to rise by 30%, according to a Cargill announcement.

It doesn't matter that they're pumping out bad meat resistant to antibiotics (duh, that's because they're putting antibiotics in it to begin with), or that they are basically in direct control of our food supply.


Happy Columbus Day

Tuesday, October 11, 2011 2 Comments

Sorry I'm late, I took the day off.

Anyone remember this poor motherfucker?


Finally, an Occupy Wall Street Protester I Can Support

Anyone know which Occupy Wall Street protest this photo came from? A friend posted it on Facebook and I had to share.

Maybe this movement isn't so backwards after all.


The Corn Mafia Is At It Again

pic credit: Natalie Dee

Do you feel like shit? I know I do. I could blame the horrible traffic situation in DC but that's an easy out. I could blame drinking too much Flying Dog. I could blame choosing writing as a career (protip: the shit doesn't pay, yo).

But a more likely cause is our toxic environment.

They put corn in our gasoline and gasoline in our food. Does that make sense to anyone? When I lived in California, I'd have to stare at Prop 65 signs everywhere warning me that my environment was known to cause cancer, birth defects, or other reproductive harm. Not might, HAD and probably COULD. My lymph nodes throbbed. WTF.

The Corn Mafia wants to keep burning up the shit in gas tanks and in things it has no business being in (like most grocery store cat foods - but I won't make this a lecture on feeding your cats an actual meat diet free of fillers like corn), but the deception is wearing thin.

Surely you've seen the Corn Sugar ads. This big toothy chick (who I think was also in a birth control ad - another lobby in and of itself that we'll save for another day) talks about how she too suspected high fructose syrup which shall not be named was bad but then she did the research. She doesn't say what research she did but it led her to discover that sugar is sugar.

As AP reports, the FDA doesn't like the Corn Refiners Assocation's use of the words "corn sugar" as an alternative to "high fructose corn syrup." 

The Corn Refiners Association wants to use "corn sugar" as an alternative name for the widely used liquid sweetener currently labeled as high fructose corn syrup on most sodas and packaged foods. They're attempting an image makeover after some scientists linked the product to obesity, diabetes and other health problems; some food companies now tout products that don't contain the ingredient.

Keep in mind the CRA (ha, it's like the NRA but with corn cobs instead of shotgun shells) is basically a "trade group" (read: lobbying organization) that just dropped $20 to $30 million on an 18 month public relations and advertising campaign to rebrand high fructose corn syrup into "corn sugar."

The FDA, apparently, did not find this to be entertainment:

"We request that you re-examine your websites and modify statements that use the term 'corn sugar' as a synonym for (high fructose corn syrup)," an FDA director wrote to the Corn Refiners Association.

As of Thursday, two months after the letter was sent, none of that wording had been changed.

A Corn Refiners Association spokeswoman told the AP that they are currently reviewing their materials and will make changes if necessary.

"We do not believe that anyone could be confused or believe that the statements regarding 'corn sugar' on the websites refer to anything other than high fructose corn syrup," she wrote in an email.

And the CRA spokeswoman can say that with a straight face because it is written very clearly on their website:

The term ‘corn sugar’ today is an FDA approved alternate label name for dextrose, a corn-based sweetener that contains no fructose. When we use the phrase ‘corn sugar,’ we are using it to describe high fructose corn syrup as a form of sugar made from corn.

Someone should co-opt Corn Sugar as a porn term and take it away from them.

Anyway, the member companies that make up the CRA (find more info at - ha, I'm trying not to laugh - are as follows:

Archer Daniels Midland Company
Cargill, Incorporated
Corn Products International, Inc./National Starch (I have never heard of that company but BWHAHAHA now that I have... "National Starch?" Fuck, you guys are funny)
Penford Products Co.
Roquette America, Inc.
Tate & Lyle Americas

I see some familiar suspects in there...

Here is a chart of all the crap these guys make. Among said crap, "Starch Products" like "unmodified, food" and "unmodified, industrial," whatever that is. Sounds like some fucking cattle kibble, which shows the level of regard these people have for our well-being. Some also make carbon dioxide (what?) and "Corn fiber food/industrial ingredients" - what the fuck is THAT?

They also pump out Xanthan gum (which you will find in lots of weird places like ice cream, make-up and salad dressing), which human bodies were probably never equipped to digest. Look around, America. See what the cattle kibble has done to you?

A Xanthan gum "thickener" was recalled after the FDA became aware of 15 illnesses, of which two led to death. But they didn't say the deaths were due to Xanthan gum, which is basically a byproduct of bacteria feeding off corn sugar. Vomit, and we eat that?!

FDA first learned of bad side effects possibly linked to SimplyThick on May 13, 2011. Silverman says he was alerted by two reports in FDA’s MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting system. He followed up with the physicians who filed those reports and subsequently with a network of other neonatologists.

Karl Klontz, M.D., a medical officer in FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, says the severity and scope of the problem soon became apparent. To date, the agency is aware of 15 cases of NEC, including two deaths, involving premature infants who were fed SimplyThick mixed with mothers’ breast milk or infant formula products. The mixture was fed to infants for varying amounts of time.

At least four different medical centers around the U.S. have reported the illness in infants who became sick over the past six months.

This situation is unusual because NEC most often occurs in babies while they are in the hospital early in their premature course. But some of the ill babies that FDA is aware of got sick after they had been discharged from the hospital and sent home on a feeding regimen that included SimplyThick.

At this time it is not known what about SimplyThick is making babies sick. FDA is actively investigating the link between SimplyThick and these illnesses and deaths.

Xanthan gum is also the secret to Starbucks Frappuccinos, according to Consumerist. Who wants corn in their fucking coffee? Sorry, it's not corn, it's bacteria burps made from digesting corn and tweaked in a lab. That's delicious.

Want to see what they've got loaded with high fructose corn syrup, er, corn sugar? Here's a pretty good list.

The Corn Mafia wants to make sure there is enough cattle kibble to go around so they spend a lot of time, energy and money lobbying for their cause. Obviously the toothless FDA isn't going to stop them with a silly letter about wording. I guess that's the FDA's way of trying to appear to give a rat's ass about this mass poisoning.

So these CRA guys also make - surprise - ethanol, which is ruining our car engines (buy American! Every three years!).

Are you completely outraged yet? I don't even like corn that much. I like bacon, is there corn in bacon? I better be careful what I say, I hear these people are not to be messed with and would hate for the Corn Refiners Association rats to start harassing me over these comments.

Here's the ad if you haven't already seen it (the Corn Refiners Association YouTube account does not allow embedding). I'm sure you have already watched it if you own a TV.

THEY ARE KILLING US. Wake up. And they don't care, because now there aren't enough jobs to warrant feeding us cattle kibble anymore.


Dallas Fedhead Fisher: It's the Jobs, Stupid

Still heart you, #1!


The most urgent threat to the U.S. economy is joblessness, not inflation, but there is little more the Federal Reserve can do to help, a top Fed official, known for his hawkish views on inflation, said on Friday.

"We have far too many people unemployed, and they are unemployed for too long," Dallas Fed President Richard Fisher told the Texas A&M Retailing Summit. "We cannot have a pickup in consumption unless you have a prosperous people. We cannot have a pickup in prosperity unless people work."

The problem being that the jobs are gone. As in never coming back. I mean sure, it's possible that the United States can recapture her supremacy and rise again but for the most part, we're going to have to accept where we are before we can rise above it.

On the upside? We'll replace "made in China" with "made in the USA." The downside? You'll be making about as much as the Chinese do to make the shit.


Brit Gun Nuts Warn America Not to Give Up Her Weapons

Don't say they didn't try to warn us.

While the following video is obviously biased in favor of Brits who feel somehow wronged by anti gun laws over on their corner of the world, it's also a good watch.

[email subscribers can go to YouTube here]

The reverse of the Tony Martin story can be found over at the Daily Mail.

Vigilante farmer Tony Martin has said he has no regrets about shooting and killing a teenager who broke into his farmhouse 10 years ago today.

The 64-year-old insisted he was right to kill petty crook Fred Barras, 16, and seriously injure his accomplice Brendan Fearon, 31, after they broke into his home.

'Regrets? I've got no more regrets than people who break into people's houses,' the eccentric vigilante said last night.

The Guardian (predictably) gives an alternate account several years earlier about a man who was sick of getting bullied by burglars and finally fought back. Maybe execution style.

Anyway... see where this is going yet?

We'll be too busy fighting amongst ourselves to notice that the war is really them against us. Obama isn't trying to take our guns away, he's just doing what every president before him has tried to do since 1963.

Check out item 19 on the Communist Goals for America (same year), which resides in the Congressional record.

19. Use student riots to foment public protests against programs or organizations which are under Communist attack.

Or how about item 42?

42. Create the impression that violence and insurrection are legitimate aspects of the American tradition; that students and special-interest groups should rise up and use ["]united force["] to solve economic, political or social problems.

That item sounds shockingly familiar, doesn't it? How about these:

1. U.S. acceptance of coexistence as the only alternative to atomic war.

2. U.S. willingness to capitulate in preference to engaging in atomic war.

3. Develop the illusion that total disarmament [by] the United States would be a demonstration of moral strength.

4. Permit free trade between all nations regardless of Communist affiliation and regardless of whether or not items could be used for war.

5. Extension of long-term loans to Russia and Soviet satellites.

6. Provide American aid to all nations regardless of Communist domination.

Starting to make sense now?

Remember this when you're being cattle-prodded onto a train wondering where your rights went.