Thursday, October 30, 2008

The Obama Infomercial

Nobody can really predict what we have in store for the next 4 years. But if Obama is elected at least we can be confident that the production values will be high!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Finally...Good News

MTV has reportedly put all of their video archives online. Whilst I doubt that (there are some huge artist holes) the catalog does include some classics including this one from Madness. What makes it all the more interesting is the location, namely London's Hope & Anchor pub, home to both the burgeoning New Wave & Ska movements. A favorite of the Stiff Records acts it succumbed to Wine Bar (Fern Bar in the US) status but was rescued in the late 90's and re-opened as a music venue.

Interestingly enough it was located across the street from Islington's infamous Skunkz club, home of the hardest of the Skinhead acts where yours truly was the house mixer for awhile!

'Palllin Around

This just in. Hot on the news that Obama has been 'pallin around with even more terrorists comes this unquestionable evidence that Our Own President has been doing the same! Yes, this is President Bush clearly 'pallin with a figure who until July of '08 was still on the US list of known terrorists! We have to thank Palin & the McCain campaign for unearthing this National Scandal and I believe we should appoint a Blue Ribbon committee to investigate just how many other lawmakers are quilty of such Anti-American associations.

Hate To Say I Told You So But...

The good news is that those annoying (and un-secure) pre-approval notices are no longing cluttering up your mail box. The bad news is that just as consumers are having trouble with their mortgage payments, as expected, many are defaulting on their credit cards. The average US credit card customer owes over $8,000 on their card for a total of 2 trillion dollars with around 43% of Americans who actually spend more than they earn each year.

And this is the tip of an iceberg. The 800lb gorilla is car loans, many of which were issued under the same lax oversights as the home sub-primes and were packaged & traded as such. Deliquencies on sub-prime auto loans rose to over 4% in September which is further bad news for the manufacturers & dealers as repossed vehicles (more often than not, SUVs & trucks) find their way back into the marketplace further depressing prices.

I believe the forces against the US auto industry to be too strong for the industry to survive. A bailout may do nothing more than waste taxayers' money by only temporarily staving off the ineviatable. Don't think it can't happen here, years of union/management battles, a lacklustre product line and appalling build quality killed off the auto industry in Britain.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Finally, Good News For McCain

AP reports that Joe The Plumber is backing McCain. This has to be good news for the Republican campaign since there's nothing like an unlicensed tradesman with an IRS lien on his home to turn the endorsement tide away from Obama who only has Colin Powell, a number of prominent Republicans and nearly every major newspaper in this country on his side.

Apparently Mr. Wurzelbacher, was particularly concerned about Obama's commitment to Israel. And being familiar with The Communist Manifesto, he also expressed reservations about Obama's Marxist sympathies. Really, I'm not making this up.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


Dear Republican Party, here is a Muslim for you. Quick note; the Crusades ended in the late 13th Century.

Thank you Colin Powell for bringing this brave young man to our attention.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Grab A Kleenex & Read On...

What with the economy collapsing around us, political candidates slinging mud at each other and the general malaise that has taken over our country at this time, it's nice to find something that reminds us of the qualities we share in common.

Last Friday at the Aledo High School football game, Senior Kristen Pass was elected Homecoming Queen. What makes this particular monarch different is that Kristen suffers from Down Syndrome and when this winner was announced the entire stadium erupted into a pandemonium of support.

Like all good fairy tale stories the new queen took her crown to bed with her that night.

From the Dallas Morning News.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Cry "Havoc" And Let Slip The Dogs Of War

Thus rages Anthony in Shakespeare's Julius Caesar. With much assistance from Gov. Palin the McCain campaign did just that last week. Desperately trying to distract voters from the subject of the economy the RNC went on the attack with suggestions that their opponent was associating with terrorists. It certainly seemed a successful strategy with recent rallies including cries from the crowd of "kill him" and "terrorist" and even threats made to black TV crew members.

Obviously scenes of howling bloodlust do little to sway the undecided voter and now Sen. McCain is desperatly trying to tone down the rhetoric from his audiences even today even giving praise to Obama, claiming that "he is a decent person, and a person that you do not have be scared as President of the United States."

The problem for him and the Republican party is that once the dogs of war are gone it's very hard to leash them again. This is the YouTube generation and the site is becoming filled with videos featuring McCain supporters hurling epiphets at the cameras. Currently the most viewed video on the site is labelled The McCain-Palin Mob, another is The Sidewalk To Nowhere, both feature party supporters with some very nasty and angry sound bites ("Commie Faggots").

This has the potential to completely derail not just the campaign but the entire Republican party. An act of actual violence perpetrated by a member of one of these mobs could have devastating and long lasting political effects and would rightly bring the wrath of decent society to bear directly on those who let slip the dogs in the first place.

Repeating History - Again

Note to McCain campaign : It's not Reverend Wright or William Ayers, it's not that his middle name is Hussein. It's not even that he partied it up in school.

It's The Economy Stupid!

Thursday, October 09, 2008

For Those About To Leech, We Salute You!

Hard rockers from down-under AC/DC have certainly listened to the money talk and after finding that it's a long way to the top (if you wanna rock n roll) signed an exclusive with Wal-Mart for their new album. That's right, no iTunes, no Amazon no MySpace, just Wal-Mart.

Seems like the plan may have backfired already. Not actually scheduled for release until October 20th, "Black Ice" has already leaked it's way onto the torrent and P2P networks and is no doubt by now in the hands of all AC/DC fans with half a brain and an internet connection.

Wal-Mart must be thunderstruck with this development. Although the sums paid to AC/DC were not disclosed, I'm sure they were substantial. It was pretty certain that after the official release the album would find it's way online fast enough, however, now even the launch is old news. This may be the end of the road for the exclusive album release deal, better grab the money now while it's still on the table.

Edit: Wouldn't it be awesome if this is what the band intended all along? Think about it, they get their money, the fans get their music, the tour sells out. The only loser is Wal-Mart & it's hard to feel sorry for them. It's like Robin Hood & His Merrie Men vs. the Sheriff of Bentonville.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Follow The Money (Or Lack There-Of)

In the first quarter of this year, container shippers were worrying about a shortage of containers. Global trade and the weak dollar had boosted shipping to levels beyond their capacity.

What a difference 6 months makes. Eivind Kolding, Chief Executive of shipping giant Maersk declared last week that his company will do whatever it takes to keep their share of the transportation markets. This is in the face of container rates that have dropped over 70% on some routes in the last 12 months.

Companies like Maersk, Cosco, Evergreen and their competitors are at the very front of gloabl trade. Unlike the silent movement of monies, they carry the actual tangible items that make up the international economy. I liken them to a thermometer under the tongue of the world's trade bodies, they don't tell you exactly what's going on but they can give a pretty good indication of the health therin.

A Couple Of Questions Mr. Senator

Sen. McCain, a couple of things you mentioned during last night's debate got me wondering:

1) You plan to buy up mortgages that are in default & refinance them at fixed rates based on the actual value of the home at this time? Doesn't that reward the property owners who bought way more than they could afford (once values go up again they can profit handily from their foibles) and penalize those who acted responsibly with loans within their means? And what is to stop a homeowner declaring themselves unable to pay their loan merely to take advantage of your amazing offer? How do you plan to vet every applicant for this program without it taking longer than some of the loans issued?

2) Drill Baby Drill! Your battle cry for domestic production with which you plan to give American's "relief at the pump." This all sounds well and good but wouldn't oil sourced in ANWAR, the continental shelf or anywhere else in the US still be subject to world oil prices? Or are you suggesting that say, oil on the spot is selling for $110 a barrel but US domestic oil would be held artificially low at $75 a barrel (or some other pre-determined amount)?

And I thought you were for less government? You sly old maverick you, getting harder to pin down every minute aren't you?

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Saving The Labels - Part 57,423

Not only does EMI have a museum piece of a home page but they've also come up with an innovative new way to save the record industry through clothing. Teaming up with the UK grocery chain, Sainsburys, they will offer apparel bearing "the lyrics to some of the greatest songs ever written" according to the team.

I was swept up in the excitement of the announcement and went rtight to Cafe Press to create my own. I hope you like it. If the idea takes off I'm sure no Hong Kong apparel manufacturer will figure out that you could put lyrics on shirts all day long without infringing anything.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Bush Has Company

Ever the achiever, President Bush now joins President Nixon with the second lowest approval rating ever recorded for a president. His 24% ties that of Nixon's right after Watergate in 1975.

I am not a crook!

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Hey It Could Be Worse, We Could Be In Iceland!

Iceland, long thought of as a country of stable, hard working Norse people has been on one long party. Flush with funds from deregulated banking, fishing quotas and large pension funds, the Icelandics went on a spending spree sweeping up stocks, primarily in Europe. The average family in the Island of 320,000 saw their income rise by nearly 50% and luxury goods raced off the shelves.

Now it's the morning after and the hangover includes huge losses as the world's banks crumble. Grocery chains are claiming they do not possess enough cash to buy staples. The currency is in free fall, inflation is at 12%, banks have been nationalized and people are lining up to move their money into the safest accounts possible. The government seems unable to cope with the crisis which deepens as foreign banks cut off any possibilities of financing.

Perhaps we don't have it so bad after all?

Iceland Melt-Down via The Guardian

Divine Provenence?

This blur of red is actually Ferrari driver & World Champion contender Felipe Massa pulling his car out of the pits in Singapore with the fuel hose still attached. This lead to a lengthy delay at the end of pit row and ultimately put Massa at 13th place, a big blow for a driver who was only 1 point off the championship lead going into the race.

Perhaps it's all karma though? Hamilton's unfair penalty at Spa after a completely legal maneuver, handed Massa the race victory. Fate has a way of evening up the odds in F1 just as in life.