Random Access Memories

July 6, 2017

And we see the signs of the next coming storm on the horizon.

by @ 3:46 pm. Filed under Business, News, Politics

For those of you not following the markets (overvalued), unemployment data (Unemployment is down), government policy changes (The odds of more fiscal stimulus is almost nil), or federal monetary policy (The Fed is raising interest rates). These are all indicators point to a coming recession in the next 1-3 years.

If you want more signs they will be things like a collapse in consumer spending, a drop in housing prices, rising unemployment, and an inverted yield curve. (You can learn about that here: http://www.cnbc.com/2017/06/05/inverted-yield-curve-predicting-coming-recession-commentary.html)

We have not seen these more “certain” signs yet, and I encourage you all to look out for them. (I would love to be proven wrong, lol) I think the odds are good enough to start “digging in”.

What does all this mean for us? Well, since we see some of the signs of a train coming at us down the tunnel we can at least plan a little.

Financially, this is a good time to save. Plan for possible coming unemployment. Plan for a drop in the stock market. (Divest your retirement, especially if you are over 45) Look for a job that doesn’t come and go at the whim of consumer spending. (Jobs people always need are more stable than jobs around things considered luxuries. Like eating out or buying a new car.)

Politically, it means that come 2020 we’re going to be looking at things getting worse, not better. Which means a change in party. (For those of you with aspirations of holding political office, heh.)

This is also a really good time to sell a house if you were at all planning to within the next five years. Better to rent for awhile and buy again than to be underwater later when you want to sell.

Me? I’m going to be saving, then investing those savings in the stock market after it looks like it’s hit a low point. Often stocks get badly undervalued when the bottom drops out.

I also think my home buying plans are on hold until the coming recession bottoms out. It will be a good point to buy, especially since the Spokane area where I am is in the midst of a bubble.

Curious as to what anyone else thinks would be good planning measures.


September 30, 2014

Unimpressed by the Washington Times

by @ 11:21 am. Filed under Business, Media, News, Personal, Politics, Religion

So, somehow I ended up on a mailing list for the Washington Times. Which is odd because I do not recall ever signing up for such a thing, and checking my back emails shows no signup confirmation.

The ad is titled: “Why is THIS Bible verse changing atheists’ minds?”

Now, maybe i’m asking a lot, but I don’t expect media outlets that I might be interested in readon news on to thump the bible. It’s apparently from this nutjob company called “Health Revelations” that claims there is a cure for cancer hidden in the bible.

And after a lengthy sales pitch explaining how you can cure your cancer it asks you to claim your “free gifts” by of course signing up to pay them money: “1-Year Subscription (12 issues) for just $74.00”

Now I know the Times is just looking for advertising revenue, but it strikes me as poor judgment when their ads are more likely to stop people from reading their site than to get them clicks and more readers. This is what I expect from Faux (Fox) News, not “real” news sources.

October 13, 2011

Dennis Ritchie – 1941-2011

by @ 10:41 pm. Filed under Business, News, Technology

Yeah, I know, “Who?”.

Take a minute and look at your computer, look at all the software you are running, look at all the websites you visit, look at all the portable devices you use. Chances are almost all of them owe a big thanks to Dennis Ritchie.

Dennis Ritchie is the writer of the “C” programming language. Between it and it’s derivatives they are responsible for almost all the software you run or use online. It is also the basis of most operating systems that run your computers as well

Yeah, he wasn’t rich, or powerful, or famous, but his idea and work was the very foundation of our modern computing system.

Perhaps you should know who he was.

March 17, 2011

A few numbers

by @ 10:27 pm. Filed under News, Politics

222,570, that’s my first number to think about. Almost one quarter of a million.

Now compare that number to 6,400.

The first number is the UN total on how many people were killed in the 2010 Haitian earthquake. The second is the death toll so far from the recent Japanese quake. That’s thirty five dead in Haiti for every one person dead in Japan.

4,672 Haitians have died just from the cholera outbreak after the quake alone.

Haiti has no running water, no sanitation, no insurance, no stable government, no infrastructure.

So some may find this callous, but seriously, which place should donations be going to at this point?

March 1, 2011

Canadian Judge orders Lawyer to mislead his client.

by @ 11:33 pm. Filed under Crime & Justice, News, Politics

Likely news you have heard nothing about, but I found it very interesting.

In New Brunswick back in 2008 a young lady by the name of Erica Sparks was injured in a car accident. She attempted to sue the other driver for damages. The insurance company of the other driver fought the claim.

During the trial they decided they wanted to see Spark’s facebook photos to determine the level of her injuries.

The Judge (Fred Ferguson) decided she might try to delete her photos before being forced to hand them over, so he ordered her lawyer (James Crocco) to mislead her by hiring another lawyer to summon her to his office.

He was not allowed to tell her anything about the meeting at which she was under court order to login to facebook and provide the photos.

How exactly will things change if judges get an idea that they can hand down a court order to force a lawyer to do something against the client’s best interest?

May 14, 2010

No Johnny, you cannot be an Astronaut, how about being an oil driller instead?

by @ 6:42 am. Filed under Business, News, Personal, Politics

So what’s come to the top of the pot in the US recently?

We’re found that both BP and the Government were grossly wrong about the flow rate of the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico (No shock there really, what company isn’t going to make it’s figures as low as possible when it’s impact on the environment is concerned).

We’re learned that Transocean who owns the rig has received 411 million dollars from it’s insurance company, but is trying to use a law written in 1851 to limit it’s liability to 21 million total.

To top it off the last flight of the shuttle Atlantis is scheduled for this afternoon, and the final flight for all the shuttles is a November launch of Discovery. The replacement launch vehicle “Orion” has a scheduled launch date of 2015, anyone that seriously thinks that is going to be on target is fooling themselves.

The US has ignored the job of the Federal Government to push the envelope for the good of the nation and instead now has handed off such trivial things to private corporations. Those corporations are now almost completely running the show, able to do almost anything and ignore the consequences of their actions.

In the end tho isn’t it the people that need to do something about this? Given the great divide in US politics I don’t see that happening for more than 20 years.

So all we can really do now is keep fooling ourselves into thinking that we matter while of course remembering to bow to our corporate masters who demand our money and ruin our environment. Yeah, I am no more thrilled about this idea than you are.

April 18, 2009

We miss you Roxanna

by @ 7:33 am. Filed under Crime & Justice, News, Politics

Roxanna Saberi was convicted of spying today in Iran following a one-day closed-door trial.

Can you say “sham”? Good, I knew you could.

I hope she realizes that many of us back in the USA are hoping for her safe return. Maybe at least when she gets back and all this is over it might make the memories a little less harsh to know she was not really “alone”.

Iran Convicts U.S. Journalist Of Spying

April 18, 2009

NPR.org, April 18, 2009 · An Iranian court has convicted U.S. Iranian journalist Roxana Saberi of spying and sentenced her to eight years in prison. Saberi, who has reported for NPR, only recently learned of the espionage charge.

Saberi’s lawyer was not allowed to ask the court about bail. She has been jailed at Evin Prison in Iran since Jan. 31.

The deputy director of the Committee to Protect Journalists, Robert Mahoney, says her sentence is too harsh.

“We believe that Roxana Saberi’s trial was not transparent,” he said. “And it does not seem that she has been treated fairly. We would call on the Iranian authorities to release her on bail pending appeal because we believe she should not be confined in Evin prison.”

NPR’s CEO Vivian Schiller says Saberi has already been held in for three months. Schiller has appealed to the Iranian government to show compassion and allow Saberi to return immediately to the United States.

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