Thursday, April 30, 2009

Trades - April 30th, 2009

Increased FAZ position today by (another) 25%. Bought at 7.67 this morning.

Mark Cuban On Blogs, Etc.

All of this I essentially knew, but Mark Cuban summed it up succinctly:

In the beginning , blogs were the easiest way to communicate an opinion. Then as with now, writing a blog doesn’t mean that anyone would take the time to read it, but sometimes people did.

Blogging today, is not the same as it was 5 years ago. In the early days of blogging, it served as much as mini social networks as a publishing tool. Many used blogs as a way to communicate with family and friends. I don’t see that as the case any longer. Social Networks have become the primary means of keeping in touch with those close to you. Friendster for a minute, then Myspace and now Facebook are the primary means for people to keep each other up to date. Pictures and privacy have made the biggest difference. Facebook its a quick and easy way to share pictures, videos and updates only among those people you want to see them. It has become a unique utility, which for many people eliminated the need to blog.

Beyond personal communications, blogs have also been used as a broadcast medium by public figures, consultants and corporate executives. Blogs have been the most expedient means to share a point of view, a quick thought , factual reporting and whatever else someone else wants to share to a potentially unlimited audience. RSS feeds have advanced so that it has become incredibly easy for people to subscribe to blogs and quickly determine from the RSS headline or full feed whether or not they want to commit to reading the full post. However that is changing as well.

Enter Twitter. Twitter has quickly changed the nature of "broadcast texting". While Blogs have been a great way to offer complete stories, Twitter, with its 140 character limit, by its nature is the best suited of options for short bursts of content. The size constraint makes “tweets” far less intrusive and easy to receive and read on a phone. Twitter works for what it is designed to do, however its future is not a slam dunk.
Five years ago blogging was a big step. Now, the internet has become such a stable home and mobile platform for text and graphics, we are going to see a rush of derivative products that we will strain to keep up with, but benefit from as we integrate them

Off and on I toy with the notion of adding MySpace and Facebook dimensions to this blog but invariably decide not to. Presently, a *blog* more than fulfills all of my needs.

As one who's tried, quite unsuccessfully, to get many others to write and/or contribute to blogs, I say from experience that social networking is just *dumbed down* blogging. Facebook and Myspace are to the web what cavity-backed clubs were to the game of golf - open doors for the unskilled, lazy masses.

And who has time to write a blog anyway?

It's a whole lot easier to simply respond to the ramblings of others than it is to collect and articulate one's own thoughts. Not to mention, it's also a whole lot safer for one's own intellectual ego!

I remember at *math camp* some 18 years ago, at the end of the three week session, the director lectured us *geniuses*:

DrGeorge - Now you're all tremendous problem're the best around at that....but how many of you know anything about *problem posing*?

I, and I am sure most of the other, much bigger geeks, were stupefied over this line of inquiry. While we learned how to rapidly solve all of the questions from myriad competitions over the last 20 years or so, we never once thought about where these problems originated from. Someone had to *pose* them, right? And a whole lot of deep thought must have gone into framing simple, original questions that invited attainable and elegant solutions.

Sunday night I got into bed with a sheet of paper on my nightstand. In no time at all I had 21 *blog ideas* scribbled down.

Not long ago, it would have taken me hours to brainstorm so efficiently - but over four years of blogging, of PRODUCING CONTENT, my creativity muscles have been found, awakened, and exercised.

It's in all of us. We've just been socialized to passively consume lessons, entertainment, news, and opinions.

As bad as our outsourcing of grunt work (cleaning, cooking, etc.) is, the outsourcing of our mind work has been so much more destructive.

I KNOW that I've gotten many of my readers to, if not venture down the homeschooling route, at least to give it and education in general serious consideration.

But I've been far less successful at inspiring others to write or even contribute to blogs. And that's a darn shame.

Because that's where it all started. I never even heard of homeschooling until my wanderblogging led me to an essay by John Taylor Gatto nearly three years ago.

Y'all need to break free and become the lead actor in your own play.

Dumb Kid Versus Wild

Read the follow-up to Another Massachusetts Moron and watch the video news coverage here.

He sank several times into mountain runoff that was hidden beneath waist-deep snow.

"The runoff was about 2 1/2 feet deep and probably running 30 mph," he said. "The guides confirmed I could have gotten sucked in if I had fallen all the way in, and I would have been gone."

Saturday and Sunday nights, Mason crawled beneath snow-covered pine trees and hunkered down in a bivvy sack, a waterproof sleeping bag shell. To keep warm, he started fires with a hand sanitzer gel.

"You can put it right on what you are burning, and even on the snow you can make a fire," he said. "I was able to make a fire just because I ripped down some big evergreen branches."

Three feet of snow sounded pretty dangerous to me....but on top of semi-frozen rapids??? Holy poop!

If the *Vesus Wild* reference is lost on you...

Read my posts - Man Versus Wild and Man Verus Wild Versus Captious Fools.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Not Trading Update - April 28th, 2009

Haven't done anything in a while - except piss away some money on expiration day puts in GE.

So I'm still riding out massive losses in my shorts, particularly FAZ and SRS.

Though until today, I hadn't looked at the stock market in six full days - seriously. It was tough to *not notice* a quote given as much time I spend at the computer but I did quite well sheltering myself from harsh reality.

Regardless, I pretty much sensed that I was still getting squeezed good. Most media outlets only mention the markets when they are plummeting - and I caught wind of nothing.

One idea I have been toying with, however, is dumping my TBT, (leveraged short long-term Treasury) position and adding but more to the short financials and short REIT blackholes.

I figure if the long bond tanks, that'll finally push pretenders like BAC, WFC, JPM, SPG, etc. over the edge and back to reality.

But what the heck do I know?

Note that in the pre-spin of so-called bank stress tests:

People close to the situation said both Citi and BofA were contesting some of the conclusions made in the stress tests. Citi executives, led by finance chief Ned Kelly, are believed to have told regulators the estimates for losses on credit cards – based on rising unemployment – are too high.

I have already been somewhat proven correct.

I recently asserted in My Own Stress Test that this sham would be focused on small beer, like *unemployment* instead of mortgage rates.

Watch your Treasuries; watch your TBT going forward.

Another Massachusetts Moron

Mason left the Appalachian Mountain Club's Pinkham Notch Visitor Center near Gorham at about 8:30 a.m. Saturday after telling staff there that he planned to hike 17 miles in one day along the Appalachian Trail, over the summits of Mount Washington and Mount Madison.


17 miles in one day over two mountains?

The article also said at one point he had to wade through *3 feet of snow*.

If it wasn't unseasonably warm (90 in Boston today, 85 or so on Saturday and Sunday), mightn't this dumb kid be dead?

Maybe he knew the forecast going in?

Whatever....I just don't see the risk/reward for this crap. Can't he tote a GPS device or a cell phone or something? Or would that be considered *cheating*?

It's one thing to risk *money*, quite another to risk *life and limb*.

See also - Unconscious Morons.

Socialization - Lesson 1

I submit that amongst humans:

Lemma - You don't want to be anybody's ONLY FRIEND.

These relationships never end well. A *lack of friends* always implies that something is awry - and it's only a matter of time before discovery.

Also along these lines:

Lemma - Beware of the female that has no female friends.

All of us neanderthals can appreciate the chick who's into football, drinking beer, poker, farting, around whom we generally don't have to modify our behavior...

BUT, as far as longer term, relationshippy stuff goes, in my experience a woman who can't get along with her catty gender-mates always turns out to be a bit of a whack-a-doo.

Since mass government schooling has anti-socialized most of y'all, some irreparably, I've taken it upon myself to commence socialization lessons - even if I no friends myself!

But seriously, this is no joke. I could teach my kids all about history, trigonometry, and entrepreneurialism.....but if they end up smitten and married to the wrong people, their lives will surely be ruined. We've all seen it too many times, right?

Who amongst y'all has ever researched *socialization*? Or, more to the point, studied the course of your own social lives?

When it's all said and done, with whom we chose to associate with will have played a major role in our life's legacy on this overheated planet.

This facet of our lives most certainly merits serious contemplation and analysis.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Boston Globe - A New Nadir

It may have happened to me before SOMEWHERE on the web, SOMETIME in the past 4 years of my very active (and feisty!) blogging career, but right now I simply can't remember an instance. Today the Boston Globe *censored* my pretty darn innocent comments on a stupid article - that probably no one even read - on McMansions.

Mostly, my comments were on-topic. The one thing I said that may have been deemed *defamatory* as per their *comments policy* was this:

This article is propagandistic bunk. When was the last time the Globe gave a platform to a born-again Christian? To a homeschooling parent? Or to a libertarian?

What diversity?

They can't even stomach that?

The other possibility is that something they found on my blog may have flagged me for muzzling.

I can't blame them. Even though I've seen scores of far more *defamatory* comments under their articles, if I were them, I'd CENSOR me as well.

Newspaper Fossils

Last Friday my wife brought PrincessC-Nut into work. That was one of my daughter's rewards for potty training graduation.

Mrs. C-Nut informed me that on the train ride in, our 2.83 year old daughter pointed to a queer 'old coot' on the train reading a newspaper and asked:

What's that?

Now an extended answer to that question might have mentioned: a *dejected wage slave*, an *empty skull* who's researching *what he's supposed to think*, or a calcified *creature of habit*.

But my daughter was really just curious about what the large paper object was.

I do consider my daughter's ignorance of newspapers a victory of parenting. My father used to tote his local agitprop all the way out to my house but I forbade him from taking it out of his car. Seriously. The idea that my own father, an unwitting statist supporter, PAID everyday an organization to DEFORM his mind and SUPPRESS his life politically and economically remains tough for this son of his to swallow.

And man, have newspapers gotten a pass on *tree killing* over the years or what?

So, in conclusion, if your little ones grow up aware of newspapers....that could explain while they'll lag mine on both standardized and non-standardized tests.

I've Broken Through!

I've just received word that someone we know is going to name their son after me!

Well, I'm not 100% sure that I was the inspiration, but they do know me and they are still going with my baptized name for their newborn. And that's the first instance out of many, many possibilities.

My original name is very common; it's biblical for crying out loud. Yet, I must have ruined the name in the minds of everyone I've come into contact with because I wasn't even getting *middle name* consideration.

How many baby names did you and your spouse irrationally cross-off because of an insufferable acquaintance?

Now just think, how many others have utilized your own name. Count'em up and ponder the likelihood that you may have done unto others what you have done to them!

Meanwhile, there's probably a whole preschool army out there of Kobe's, Lebron's, and Wentworth's.

Been Beach Bumming

The past two days have been unseasonably warm so I have been donning my banana hammock and basking in the sun at the local beach. They are forecasting 89 degrees for tomorrow so I'll be there again with yet another six-pack of wine coolers.

Now, regardless of this recent burst of sunshine, this Spring has outright sucked. Out of the first 40 days, there might have been 2 or 3 nice ones. If it was invariably rained. If it was sunny....we got freezing winds. Typical Massachusetts weather!

Here's one beach sub-population that merits Marginalization:

How about those knuckleheads who just have to face the sun at all times? I can't stand going to the beach and seeing half of the people with their backs to the ocean. If they want to sit and face a *parking lot*, then why not just lay out in their back yard?

Pagan sun-worshippers....that's what they are.

And the delicious irony is that these Morons in love with *having color*, in love with their skin will spend their outgoing years as wrinkled as a prune!

I don't know how true this is, but I once heard that the ONLY THING that causes 'old coots' and 'old bags' to wrinkle is the volume of sun exposure over their lifetimes.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

A Useless Rally - Except For Its Bashablility

For a minute yesterday, I considered going down to Faneuil Hall to heckle the Boston Globe clowns....but I refrained.

I am originally and currently a Boston guy (much to my chagrin) and I am certainly basking in the demise of the Boston Globe....

But first and foremost, this blog's vocation is to Marginalize Morons.

So I want to highlight this asinine quote from yesterday's Boston Globe wake/rally:

"Today we’re here to talk about free speech," Totten said. "We’re also here to tell the New York Times that the Boston Globe remains in Boston and belongs in Boston. The Globe is too important to New England to ever be placed in jeopardy by the New York Times or anybody else."

Say what?

Free speech? Placed in jeopardy?

Oh man are these Globies dumb. Good riddance!

By the way, the Globe's speech hasn't been free in any respect. It's bled tens of millions of dollars....and it hasn't exactly been a fount of *intellectual diversity*.

By rights I should have gone down there and unleashed deserved vitriol - and kicked a few supine union a$$clowns. But what can I say, I'm incorrigibly derelict on *civic duty*.

See also what I wrote yesterday.

Friday, April 24, 2009

My Own Stress Test

Right now there's some sham propagated by our government where it's ostensibly *stress testing* the nation's banks - particularly the large ones - for financial integrity.

Let's put aside the silly notion that as highly regulated entities, this kind of auditing should have been going on all along by our elected officials.

Without even researching what these so-called stress tests are examining, I presume they are ignoring the most significant variable of them all - low interest rates which derive from sky-high Treasury prices. This, long-time readers know, I've been saying for a while now. And note that EVEN WITH nominally low mortgage rates, housing is still spiraling down the toilet!

I submit that if the Treasury market dumps, and mortgage rates scream past 7% and 8%, that all these banks will be roasted by their mortgage books - no matter what the *employment rate* - no matter what the level of *reserves* - no matter what the current *spread margin*.

So I just don't get the mad rush today for banks like Wells Fargo and Bank of America to go hog-wild selling *refi's* and effectively expanding their mortgage books. It doesn't well matter what home prices are - whatever home A is with 5% rates, its marginal cost of ownership and therefore its market price, can arguably go down another 19% with an uptick from 5% to 7% in mortgage rates.

You see, it's been proven that the number one cause of mortgage default is actually *negative equity*. Loan type, geography, demographics,....that's almost all irrelevant. This is a point that Mr. Mortgage, Mark Hanson, has been trying for a while to drive home.

These banks think that since their current borrowing costs are near zero, that they can write 5% loans with abandon to *those with good credit*. I think they are completely out of their minds.

The fact is, if the US Government could borrow money at 3% for 10 years - as it can today - then why hasn't it been doing so all along?

Because it can't. All the clowns are mistaking an anomaly for the new and permanent baseline.

Prepare yourselves for interest rate mean-reversion, even if your banks and Big Government aren't doing so.

More On Earth Day

Above is Ira Einhorn one of the founders of Earth Day. Click here to read his interesting story.

What a holiday!

It's The Small Things In Life....

That's the screenshot of today.

And the paper version has this hilarious picture on its cover:

Just for a refresher.....the Boston Globe is dying. It's on pace to lose $85 million this year and its parent, The New York Times, has given it a deadline for $20 million in union concessions. Obviously, the Boston Herald, is basking in its snooty rival's demise.

This morning Howie Carr wrote about today's noontime *rally* to save the Boston Globe:

Globies Plan Own Wake, Call It A Rally

To all you silly-billies at the Globe - enough already with the groveling. Self-pity is not good box office. Stop weeping into your brandy Alexanders and start looking for a job - a real job.

And no, I won’t be at your "Solidarity" rally today at Faneuil Hall. But I can imagine the signs - "In Barney Frank We Trust," "Viva Fidel, Hugo y Teddy!" and of course, "Hands Off My Trust Fund."
You think I’m kidding? Check this out from the Globe in 2003:

"If she had lived, Mary Jo Kopechne would be 62 years old. Through his tireless work as a legislator, Edward Kennedy would have brought comfort to her in her old age."

That’s not journalism, that’s hagiography, which means, lives of the saints.

Sorry Globies, but your death throes are nothing less than the popping of a festering, pus-filled boil on the gluteus maximus of Massachusetts. To quote, Oscar Wilde, "It would take a heart of stone not to laugh."

All these years, the Globe has been telling us how evil capitalism is. Now they really know. They were against corporate welfare - until now. They were for corporate democracy - except for their masters at The New York Times [NYT], where incompetent heirs filled up the newsrooms with their fellow clueless rich kids as they steered their dreary left-wing sheets right over the cliff.

While the organs of statism are in steep decline....

The damage is already done and may be irreparable.

The cheering, the gleeful schadenfreude from yours truly and the clowns at the Boston Herald, may be analogous to a touchdown dance in the fourth quarter when one's team is down 52-14.

See also - The New York Times And Its Suicide Fart.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Driving Thru

So today I pulled into the drive-thru at McDonalds. Usually I just order two Happy Meals which my kids barely touch but today I was desperate and ordered a salad, chicken sandwich, and iced tea for myself.

The bags I was handed seemed light so I inquired, "Do you have everything in here?" - and she responded in the affirmative.

Experienced in these matters, I pulled over in the parking lot and did a purchase inventory. They had completely forgotten my salad. So I went in, elbowed my way through the lunchtime line and asked for my salad. A minute later I got it and then went over to the condiment bar to scrounge for a fork which I couldn't find. Back at the counter, I had to wait some more until they handed me some utensils.

CaptiousNut - Is the dressing in here?

McDonaldsPerson - Yes. Definitely, it's under the salad.

So I went back to the car, and just for good measure I emptied out the bag. There was no dressing anywhere to be found and thus I had to barge back inside and up to the counter again (and wait another minute). Would any of y'all eat a dry salad?

I wasn't really that upset as I'm not one of those people - you know, the type that think bottom-barrel prices can be delivered with top-line service. Plus, as my original pullover implied, I've encountered this *drive-thru* issue before.

Heck I've almost seen fisticuffs in the backseat when I was a teenager in a car-full of teenagers, after McDonalds left us short a few sandwiches.

And more recently, I've endured the agony of driving a mile away from the drive-thru short one Happy Meal toy. Bear in mind, that's the ONLY REASON we go there!

The drive thru experience was sufficiently captured by Joe Pesci eleven years ago in Lethal Weapon 4. Caution - adult language.

I always wondered how Mel Gibson and Danny Glover got along off the set. One's a total moonbat and the other a total wingnut.

Joe Pesci's line at 7:12 in that clip may be one of the all-time funniest in Hollywood history.

Dinner Parties Getting More Boring

Mixed company is hard enough to bear as it stands. Religion and politics have long been off-limits - along with unwhispered *male humor*.

But now, one can't even talk about the economy or the stock market. Sure, everyone wanted to converse about (their) home prices on the way up....

However now, in the Greater Depression, it's a different story. Wage slaves and ovine, passive investors would very much like to remain in complete denial about what's going on. And this goes even for those economically literate enough to have a clue about reality. So don't you dare say anything at a dinner party like *well, I don't think the market is going to bounce back* or *job losses have really JUST BEGUN*.

Nobody wants to hear that sh* just sit there quietly, stuff your face, pound that wine, and stick to approved topics like: that new restaurant in town, the weather, and kindred small talk. And be grateful you're *out* for a night!

My *dinner party* behavioral policy has come full circle, sort of.

I used to swing freely, offending everyone without even realizing it.

Then, for a couple of years I experimented with personal growth and went into total *make nice* mode.

But recently I've concluded that others' sensitivities are in fact THEIR OWN PROBLEMS - not mine. I'll walk on egg shells no longer - though my jabs these days are deliberate, targeted, and more refined than in the past.

In fact, I'm pretty darn good at what I do.

Foreclosure Flip

That's 5171 Mahogany Ridge Drive in Naples, FL.

Built in 2006, never lived in, 3,845 square feet on a rare 2.5 acre lot.

A month ago, it sold as a foreclosure for $350,000.

My real estate agent buddy down there tells me the buyer just flipped in for about $550,000. Nice scalp, huh?

Apparently the flipper hangs out at the courthouse day and night waiting for opportunities like this to fall through the cracks.

It's a dangerous game - buying a foreclosure - but there's certainly profit potential in it for those flush, intrepid souls who know what they're doing.

Who's Your Daddy?


Today my baby girl's 18th birthday I be so glad that this be my last child support payment! Month after month, year after year, all those damn payments! So I call my baby girl, LaKeesha, to come to my house, and when she get here, I say, "Baby girl, I want you to take this check over to yo momma house and tell her this be the last check she ever be gettin' from me, and I want you to come back and tell me the 'spression on yo mama's face."

So, my baby girl take the check over to her momma. I be anxious to hear what she say, and bout the 'spression on her face. Baby girl walk through the door, I say, "Now what yo momma say 'bout that?"

She say to tell you that "you ain't my daddy" .... and watch the 'spression on yo face!

Woe Is Knee

Last year the Boston Celtics traded away their future - budding star Al Jefferson - for an aging, and overpriced Kevin Garnett ($20 million per season). I thought it was a mistake. At best the Celts, IMO, were going to have a year or two of good ball, then watch Al Jefferson play 12 great years in Minnesota.

While last year, the Green did win the title.... A couple of months ago, KG blew his knee out.

Then last week, one of Garnett's back-ups, Leon Powe blew his knee out.

And, ironically, Al Jefferson torn his ACL this winter as well.

Not long ago, no pro athletes recovered from ACL tears. Nowadays, they seemingly all make comebacks. Why is that? Well, I believe the surgery has gotten less invasive. Also, a PT in Brooklyn told me that these athletes suck down an unhealthy amount out anti-inflammatories to expedite the recovery. Who really knows?

But seldom do these gladiators come back at full strength? Remember Penny Hardaway? Or Terrell Davis?

Although I consider *sports* an over-hyped religion, it's nonetheless somewhat tragic when one of these guys essentially has their life's work pulled out from under them with a knee injury.

By the way, five years ago I had my right knee reconstructed. I went with the *graft* - I think they call it. My new ACL came from a cadaver. The doctor said *they messed up*. The sent him an ACL from a black guy who was 6 feet 7 inches or so; I'm only 5'10.5. Regardless, the orthopedic surgeon jammed the ACL in my leg and ended up stapling the *extra* ligament.

On the plus side, after my rehab, with my ebonic bionic knee I can now dunk AND dance more rhythmically....

On the weird side, for the past five years I've had an insatiable hunger for orange soda.

Earth Day Agitprop Versus Me = No Contest

So twice last week my 4.46 year old son moanfully inquired:

PrinceC-Nut - Dad, is it Earth Day yet?

The first time I played deaf. And the second time I responded:

CaptiousNut - Where did you learn about Earth Day? At school?

PrinceC-Nut - No....on TV (Nickelodeon).

No doubt many of y'all would have GULPED on that one.

But I had a great retort to Nickelodeon's agitprop.

CaptiousNut - Well, Earth Day isn't really a holiday. You won't get any gifts. No one is going to come visit you. There's no cake or candy. AND, you have clean up the entire house!

Seriously, that's what I said.

And I haven't heard a word about *Earth Day* since.

Here are a few Earth Day blasts from the past:

My Unhappy Earth Day

Happy Earth Day, You Heathen Socialists! What about Your Externalities?

And from my post Share The Earth I want to highlight this revelatory nugget:

From Socialist Party USA's 2005 Earth Day statement,

On Earth Day, concerns over capitalism's stewardship of Mother Earth or lack thereof take center stage for a day in ecological conscious circles, among left-leaning progressives and the working class. The well-being of our Mother Earth and the mere existence of our human race should lead all of us to seriously recognize what kind of "miracle," if any, we intend to bequeath to future generations if we don't organize locally, nationally and internationally to end capitalism's profit-driven exploitation of our natural environment and resources.

Join the Socialist Party USA as we work towards the restoration of the integral bond between humanity and Mother Earth and recognize that the mechanisms in capitalism that oppress and alienate humans are the same mechanisms that destroy the environment.

And one more factoid for y'all....

Earth Day was actually only invented in the 1970s. AND, it was meant to coincide with Lenin's birthday!

For that, see the tail-end of the this ancient post - April Fools.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Armando Rodriguez - A Crook

This guy down in Naples refinanced *his house* five times over the 2002-2007 period.

It looks like the home is currently *bank owned* and going to sell for a mere 80k or so (down from a peak of approximately 250k).

Note all five of the lenders: Indymac, Oak Street Mortgage (twice), People's Choice Home Loan, and Option One are all now bankrupt.

Just for kicks I did a People Search on Armando. I figured I'd wield my Spanish cuss words and mess with him a bit. I believe the word for thief is ladrón. ¿No?

But alas, Armando has now moved to 2520 Tropicana Blvd, Apt A where he's no doubt delinquent on his rent; is commiting credit card fraud; and probably urinates without lifting the toilet seat!

More Over-The-Pond Talent

Click here to see another popular performance from this season's Britain's Got Talent.

I found it a trifle corny but millions of others have busted a gut watching it.

My favorite part was the kid's retort at the beginning to judge Piers Morgan - "I'm not obliged to answer that."

Quite snappy for a 12 year old!

Clever And Effective

The USA - Frayed At The Edges

Ann Coulter's column on the so-called Tea Parties this week posited a foreboding Californian analogy:

In June 2002, the liberal American Prospect magazine called California a "laboratory" for Democratic policies, noting that "California is the only one of the nation's 10 largest states that is uniformly under Democratic control."

They said this, mind you, as if it were a good thing. In California, the article proclaimed, "the next new deal is in tryouts." As they say in show biz: "Thanks, we'll call you. Next!"

In just a few years, Democrats had turned California into a state -- or as it's now known, a "job-free zone" -- with a $41 billion deficit, a credit rating that was slashed to junk-bond status and a middle class now located in Arizona.

Democrats governed California the way Democrats always govern. They bought the votes of government workers with taxpayer-funded jobs, salaries and benefits -- and then turned around and accused the productive class of "greed" for wanting not to have their taxes raised through the roof.

Having run out of things to tax, now the California legislature is considering a tax on taxes. Seriously. The only way out now for California is a tax on Botox and steroids. Sure, the governor will protest, but it is the best solution ...

California was, in fact, a laboratory of Democratic policies. The rabbit died, so now Obama is trying it on a national level.

That's what the tea parties are about.

Now I haven't been to California that much so all I can go on is what I read - which isn't too good.

The sense that many have is that California is on many levels already a Third World nation.

Could that happen on a national level? Dear God let's hope not.

Incidentally, Californians have always represented this blog's largest readership - so the state can't be all bad.

(I did read Mexifornia three years ago. See my take here.)

Modern Slavery - Coercion-Free!

Invariably, whenever in the past few months I have mentioned to anyone that I took the family to Florida for the month of January I've had to endure:

Yeah, that's great. You gotta take advantage of that now while the kids are young....before they're in school and you can't do that.

No one fully comprehends the *slavery* of outsourcing the education of their brats. Homeschoolers can do whatever they want. Many travel extensively and on a whim. Just think what your family could do if unburdened from the *school year*.

Of course, schools are only half-responsible for modern slavery. The other taskmaster is Corporate America. Most all of us are, to a degree, wage slaves for big corporations. In fact, some of my best friends are wage slaves! (As is Mrs. C-Nut.)

Young people today need to be taught and warned about these *chains* waiting for them to voluntarily step into.

They need to visualize an ideal life based upon self-employment and self-education. Because without seeing the real possibility and full bounty of unfettered living, without a target the kids have nothing to aim for. They'll be like us, sheep following a Moron in front and leading a another fool at the rear.

Think about it. Schools co-opt your kids, your family for 180 days per year. Or, you could argue they take up 10 out of 12 calendar months. So, minimally, between 50% and 83% of the parent/child relationship has been expropriated by Big Education - an institution that was actually designed for that very purpose. Read John Taylor Gatto.

And the Corporate prison is even worse. What do most wage slaves get for time off? Three to five weeks per year? And that has to be held against all of the *overtime* - like business travel and the Blackberry tether. After we break free from the grips and fetters of Big Education, why do we so eagerly shackle up for a new master?

Because they pay us? Or is it because everyone else is doing it?

Well, hopefully my homeschooled kids will have experienced the thrill of making money and the windfall of *free time* long before the age of 22.

That way, they won't be so nonchalant about forfeiting their personal liberties.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Still Zonked

Still dealing with taxes (mini-audit of 2007), family members popping in, clean-up from Easter, and the onset of golf season (played a bunch of times already this year).

So I'm really beat and haven't even thought much about posting - even though my idea notepad is overflowing at the moment.

Tomorrow morning I have *help* in the way of grandparents so I should be able to churn out some morsels for my flock.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Marginalizing Animals

Animals, animals, animals...

Seemingly all these schools and pre-schools push are turtles, bunny rabbits, and lions.

I'm sick of it. Why should I send my son to an entire museum class on frogs? Why does his twice-a-week preschool keep making *crafts* of dinosaurs and turkeys?

My wife told me to settle down.

But here's my most trenchant argument.

The problem with this line of *education* is two-fold:

1) The animal focus comes as a backdoor into pagan Earth worship - aka *environmentalism*. Introduce them to Father Earth and they'll fall in love with it - or so the rationale must be.

2) The animal fetish is another base *infantilization* of the curriculum. They think the children so childish that all they can come up with for study are whales, insects, and furry creatures.

Elaborating, these *schools* could just as easily do a fun and edifying class on say *how a car works* or *running a lemonade stand*....but they refrain.

And if it's not animals it's *plants* - pussy willows and foliage....another dumbed-down backdoor into you-know-what.

Education ought to minimally be about life preparation. I want to ask y'all how integral, how valuable knowledge of reptile/amphibian distinctions has been in the course of your sad existences?

I really, really, wish I had learned about lemonade stands at a tender young age. See my classic post - Sheep To Slaughter.

Politicians with a smattering of brains and an iota of integrity are a full-fledged ENDANGERED SPECIES whose extinction we should all be scared to death of!

Meanwhile, elites want your kid losing sleep about the spotted owl and *climate change*....lest your kids otherwise find out how to design an engine, become an entrepreneur, or learn to think independently.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Google Search Suggestions - Who Is....???

So my son and I are learning about fiat currency. He was badgering me yesterday for the names of everyone on each coin and each bill. Do you know who is on a 1,000 bill? I couldn't remember....I mean I didn't know.

Straight to the computer we went. As I typed in "who is..." I got the above Google search suggestions.

First of all, who the heck is Robert Pattinson. I've never heard of the bloke.

Secondly, what is this business with *big papa*? I can infer - even though I've never heard of it - that the *real housewives of atlanta* is some cable reality show. What channel it's on....I couldn't tell you (without cheating).

From the show's Wikipedia entry:

Kimberleigh "Kim" Zolciak -- She is a Connecticut native and Johns Creek resident, a divorced mother of two who is attempting to pursue a career as a country singer while half-heartedly attempting to quit smoking. She had a "sugar daddy", whom she mysteriously referred to as "Big Poppa", who chose not to be aired on the show for personal and privacy reasons. In October 2008, Jezebel reported that "numerous blind items and internet rumors" had identified him as entrepreneur Lee Najjar.[1] He funded her somewhat lavish lifestyle, buying her $14,000 in diamonds and a $60,000 Cadillac Escalade. Kim and "Big Poppa" broke up in the last episode of season one. Since the end of the first season, Zolciak has linked in media reports to billionaire Dr. Stefan Lemperle[2] and Girls Gone Wild founder Joe Francis.[3] The show was originally planned to follow the lives of five black women, but Zolciak, who is white, introduced by Leakes, impressed the producers with her personality.

After a quick glance, because that's even more than it deserves, it looks like these *real housewives* are all divorced deadbeat whores - though someone else will have to confirm.

How pathetic that *big papa* has made it to the top of the Google search suggestions!

THIS is what piques the curiosity of the lumpen masses?

And how pathetic that after all my Marginalizing - 4 years and 1,200 blog posts - one has to practically type out my complete moniker for Google to suggest CaptiousNut!

I guess my goal should be to steadily move up the results of *morons*. Currently my blog comes up on the fourth page.

By the way, it's Grover Cleveland's mug on the thousand dollar bill. See the rest of the big bills here.

What's Wrong Here?

That reminds me of these Morons who actually think they don't pay income taxes because they get a $500 refund or something....

Who Is Susan Boyle?

I had seen the name a couple of times with my *peripheral vision* on news sites and whatnot. And then today my golf buddy mentioned her. So I just had to google her and find out.

Watch the clip here. (Sorry, YouTube is not allowing embedding with this gal.)

Simon's comment (at 5:30 or so) was uproarious - as usual.

It looks like Susan Boyle had a predecessor. Check out 2007 contestant Paul Potts here. That clip has received a mere 45 million stinkin' hits so far!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Who's Teaching Your Kid?

So the other night I was out boozing locally....

There was a band, and some tattooed, whack-a-do chick-a-dee in our proximity who let it be known (to us) that she was one of their gals.

In fact, after a few drinks and over the din of the live music, she confessed (bragged?) that she had slept with each of the band members. She even told us about one band member's anomalous testicle count. What a lady!

So whatever, right?

Later that night, as the barkeep was kicking me out at closing, and after most everyone had left, one of that chick-a-dee's friends informed me that her skanky friend was a teacher at one of the most expensive and *prestigious* pre-schools around.

Hah! Man did I get a good laugh out of that.

And so have all fifty *moms* at the parks with whom I've charitably shared that gossip.

You see, the commoners love to deprecate what they can't afford or have.

While I enjoy deprecating them all.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Bill Simmons Said What?

The Sports Guy wrote today:

First, it's going to be near-impossible to win a Game 7 in Cleveland with the way LeBron James feeds off a frenzied crowd that's in "Maybe if we shower him with love, he won't leave in two years mode" (like a high school junior who starts putting out because her boyfriend is leaving for college in a few months).

Boy, Disney (ESPN's parent) sure has come a long way from Mickey Mouse and innocent family fun!

Now he has a four year old daughter Zoe and has just given her, if she does her *homework*, the ultimate retort to a scolding father for when she's a teenager and gets caught sneaking out to see her older boyfriend.

SportsPrincess - But Dad, you once wrote that....

But in all seriousness, Simmons' making light of, well, what he referenced, has to be considered inappropriate and also unnecessary for that column.

Having just read his Wikipedia entry, apparently Bill Simmons has already had a handful of run-ins with ESPN management over *adult content* and such.

He ought to tread lightly here. If ESPN fires him, it's not exactly as if he can go elsewhere as ESPN is the only game in town now.

Remember those last couple of talking-head sports upstarts?

Max Kellerman?

And Jim Rome?

I'd say the career of Bill Simmons is an easy short.

The Dollar Ain't Worthless, Yet

I'm 34.83 years old and I just did go into my first *dollar store*. I checked out a brand new Dollar Tree in Weymouth, MA this afternoon.

I must say that there is definitely some good cheap stuff in there, I think. I purchased some Rubbermaid plastic containers for 50 cents a piece. I can't even imagine they're that cheap at Wal-Mart. Now I can tell my wife to throw them in the garbage after she eats her lunch at work - though she certainly won't. [I find these things, along with *Gladware*, a real pain in the butt to wash - oil and grease adhere to them, they get water stuck in the lids and don't dry off,....]

And there seemed to be other useful junk in there as well though I couldn't really focus. I had my two urchins with me and my son was wandering the store with his dollar bill. The store is a good teaching ground for my son since we're currently doing Kumon's Dollars and Sense book. Also, I'm trying to teach him the transitory property of money. In other words, if he spends his $1 on the water pistol at Dollar Tree then he won't be able to rent that DVD (Redbox) at the supermarket.

There were a bunch a books at Dollar Tree that had price tags on them for $17 or so. It was only on my way out, after asking the cashier, that I discovered those books still only cost $1. There were a ton of anti-Bush and anti-Iraq books to put it mildly. Standing out among them was this one:

You know why these *pamphlets* are getting liquidated for $1 each?

Because they were over-supplied and under-demanded to begin with. A full audit of book publishers *losses* would no doubt expose a mountain of *bias* in terms of what books got seeded and which ones made money.

This would be the ignominious risk of writing a book - i.e. seeing it at a *dollar store*, or, like Frank Rich's book, seeing it offered used for a mere 1 cent on Amazon!

As you can see from the above chart, *dollar stores* are, along with pawnshops, repossession firms, credit counselors, etc., one of the beneficiaries of the Greater Depression - for the time being anyway.

I do wonder about the business aspect of these retailers. Is their inventory all of the liquidation variety? Or do manufacturers, like Rubbermaid, develop products specifically for them?

Make Them Walk!

So recently, while taking my daughter out for a ride to induce a nap, I got stuck behind the local school bus.

Within about 400 yards, it made 5 STOPS!!!

It was literally a door-to-door limousine service. Why couldn't it just stop once in the middle and make the brats walk for 30 seconds or so?

I really didn't mind because I was in no hurry at all. Just the pure inanity of it chafed me.

Then, maybe two weeks later, I got stuck behind a school bus in the adjacent tony town. Likewise, this bus also stopped every few feet to let kids out RIGHT ON THEIR DOORSTEP even though the span was also a mere couple hundred yards, and even though there was a full-fledged sidewalk they could have utilized.

So where does this movie star treatment come from? From the parents? Or from the school that will no doubt claim *insurance reasons*?

Regardless, this is just another example of the gross infantilization of government schools.

Just when my father thought the schools couldn't descend any further from his *time* when he had to walk to school uphill in the snow - BOTH WAYS!

[I, myself, was walking a mile to and from school by the 1st grade - though admittedly, it was only uphill on the way there.]

So schools are going to spend millions on nutrition education and BMI tests for obese school children.....meanwhile they should just make the darn kids walk A LITTLE!

And then we have these parents that *pick-up* their kids at the bus stop via car. I have parents waiting at the end of my driveway for their kids each afternoon in a minivan - EVEN THOUGH I could literally hit their house with a 6 iron (167 yards) from here.

Boston Globe - Pathological Partisanship

Just as I presumed, there would be no mention of the nationwide *Tea Party* demonstrations in the Boston Globe. Above is a screen shot of the front page which however had the space to mention stabbings, sports, weather, American Idol, and ketchup theft.

I checked the *News* section as well and found nothing.

Supposedly 2,000 people rallied on the Boston Common to express disgust with Washington DC. And locally it could only be read about in the Boston Herald.

I do think the protests were a waste of time and energy - but they are still *news* worth reporting.

And the Boston Globe still thinks the *internet* is what did them in as opposed to unions and partisanship!

See also - The New York Times And Its Suicide Fart.