Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Every household, every business office, every police station, every fire department and every school principal's office should have a NOAA Weather Radio.

It should be standard practice for every household no  matter what city, no matter what state, no matter what territory of the USA to have a NOAA Weather Radio.

This one is advertised at REI for $39.95 (click title to entry - thank you). I am sure there are other places to purchase them including local stores.  This one is a "Midland WR-120 Weather Radio".  Be sure it is a reliable brand when purchasing.

It is more than tornadoes.  A NOAA weather radio will alert the listener to severe weather no matter what it is, severe thunderstorm and local flooding as well.  This is not a joke.  This is survival in the age of the Climate Crisis.  The tornado outbreak that hit and is hitting the USA today is very early in the season for any type of outbreak.  The arctic air from the north slammed into tropical air from the equator.  

Get for real.  These little radios should be everywhere.

AND PUT THE BATTERY in them as well as plugging them in so the batteries don't run out.  Pay attention to the strength of the batteries and not put any in the radio with expiration dates that indicate they are marginal to use.

Do this.  Seriously.

The GM-Peugeot deal is an empty deal. Basically Peugeot couldn't get an operating cost loan.

Both CEOs should be fired.  Something one would never see with Bain Capital handling the 'deal.'

The 'deal of all deals' is that Peugeot gets operating CASH and GM gets to have parts for their cars.  By the year 2016 both manufacturers will be using the same internal parts for their manufacturing.  It is a consolidation of manufacturing that will create 'sameness' between the two auto makers and not really achieve anything.  Supposedly, by purchasing raw materials and possibly consolidating work forces (either in the USA or Europe has been decided yet) both will save money.  GM never does the right thing for the people of the USA.  Here we go again. Either way, it will Europe or the USA that will take an economic hit from this.  Peugeot should have fired their CEO when they ran out of liquidity.

Why does that sound familiar?

So, while Phillipe Varin, CEO of Peugeot (above) should have been fired, now, both should be canned off the job.

I think it was Ford in 2008 that didn't need a bailout and borrowed all the monies it needed at 0% interest rates?  Yes?  Yep.

...As part of the deal, (click title to entry - thank you) GM intends to take a 7% stake in the French automaker. Peugeot intends to raise $1 billion in new capital.

The two companies are seeking efficiencies that will make them more competitive in Europe's car market.

GM's European business lost €700 million there last year and the company has said it's determined to turn it around.

The two companies said in a joint statement that they'll continue to sell their own vehicles independently and on a competitive basis. The deal will mean they can leverage a combined purchasing volume of $125 billion with suppliers....

So, let's see purchasing raw materials jointly is going to save them all that money?  


I don't think so.  Raw materials are commodities and that is where all the Wall Street money is now.  Not going to happen.  GM now owns 7% of Peugeot, that's all.  GM stockholders will get their share of ? Profits ?.  And given Varin's track record.  Like.  What dividends?

As of right now Wall Street is coveting the deal and will suck the living life out of it. 

So, by 2016, the two companies will have to downsize their manufacturing plants and consolidate parts to their vehicles.  And don't tell me for one minute they don't know it. 

Wall Street sees this as a matter of 'synergy.'  "Sameness in energy."  I think the outcomes are more than obvious.  The synergy is the bargaining chip for investors.  I think it is called 'investor confidence.'  Which is why the market is over 13000.

No matter which way one looks at this it is consolidation.  Raw materials is an excuse for outsourcing either to Europe or the USA.  There are unions at both manufacturers, so its anyone's guess.

...Jean-Pierre Mercier, (click here) union representative at Peugeot's factory in the Paris suburb of Seine-Saint Denis, said 1,900 French manufacturing jobs would be cut, along with another 3,100 in areas like sales, information technology and research and development.

"The group's international development can't be carried out by cutting our jobs here given that we're the ones who created PSA's wealth," Mercier said on the sidelines of a works council meeting.

Hundreds of protesters demonstrated outside the meeting, which took place at Peugeot's Paris headquarters near the Arc de Triomphe....
What 'the deal' will do is pit the two unions against each other to keep jobs.  It would be better if they spoke to each other long before the demolition happens.  There is a way out of this for the unions and it surrounds the manufacturing of parts.  I have mentioned on this blog before how non-unionized shops are being set up by heavy investment to undermine the sale of parts from manufacturers.
If Peugeot and GM can be convinced to not only manufacturer vehicles but maintain their own plants for parts it would continue to employ workers and insure quality.  Now, that is a deal with a sustainable economic impact because we all know without employment their products are worthless if they can't sell them.

The challenges to any CEO is not about consolidation to find profits.  That is the OLD WORLD.  It is a profoundly bad habit.  But, the real challenge to CEOs is to expand their market share by employing more people and recapturing the business that is rightfully theirs from the thieves of Wall Street and the Billionaires set on 'cheap profits' by selling mimiced parts and cheap knock offs like batteries.

Fisher Body was actually a valuable asset to GM because it was quality.  Quality and employment at plants that supply it is the future of any corporation.  For every employee with a sustainable job the market share increases.  Consolidation is for failing corporations, not ones with a future.  Unions insure the future of a company through strengthening market share and building consumer confidence.  

Consumer Confidence IS in just a few words: "How do I know that I am getting what I pay for?" Reputation is a good beginning.

Consolidation of any aspect of a company cheapens it best returns. Consolidation profits are short term bonus returns and not the ensured longevity of the company. It is boom and bust.  It is THE BUBBLE and not the stability.

AC Delco and Interstate Batteries have always competed.  Interstate is an incredible battery and after the AC went dead in the GM, I always purchased interstate.  They'll start anything, anywhere.  I think it is called quality,  Interstate batteries will start a rock rolling.  Literally. 

When there are independent parts manufacturing there is not only a change in the quality of the product, but, also a decrease in market share.  Sure the independent blood suckers hire employees, but, they aren't necessarily employees, such as those in India and China and Iraq, that will purchase products.  The independent blood suckers aren't paying union wages and shrink market share.  They shrink market share even for their own products.  

Relinquishing any market share for parts manufacturing is simply not good business.  How can GM claim to be able to insure the best outcomes to their products if mechanics are not using GM parts?  Why are manufacturers of major products simply shrugging their shoulders and giving up without a fight?  It makes absolutely no sense from any standpoint.

It looks like China took home a message of hope after visiting the USA.

Is it more than we can hope for to believe he loves his people more than power?

U.S.: North Korea agrees to suspend nuclear activities (click title to entry - thank you)

Updated 13m ago
The announcement comes little more than two months after the death of longtime ruler Kim Jong Il, and suggests North Korea has met the key U.S.preconditions for restarting multi-nation disarmament-for-aid talks that the North withdrew from in 2009.
State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said the North has agreed to allow International Atomic Energy inspectors to verify and monitor the moratorium on uranium enrichment and confirm disablement of its nuclear reactor at Yongbyon.
Her statement says the U.S. will meet with North Korea to finalize details for a proposed package of 240,000 metric tons of food aid....

How does a 99% Bank begin? Easy. Ready? Okay.

The 99% Bank has to have a committed membership and/or depositors.

The terms to the savings accounts are different than what is found on the market today.

Imagine a bank where THREE PERCENT interest is amortized annually.  Not daily, not monthly but annually.

Then imagine having 2000 depositors.  More?  Sure.  But, let's start with 2000.

Those depositors have savings accounts whereby they deposit $1 per week.  Besides their checking accounts IF there are checking accounts offered.

$1 per week deposit is a cash inflow of $2000 per week.  Anyone can take if from there.  $5 per week.  $10 per week.  $20 per week.  

Now, where does the THREE PERCENT interest come from?  Growing the local economy that's where.  A small portion of those very liquid assets, let's say 10% ONLY is invested with repayments of loans monthly.

Ever hear of Microloans?  They work.  They work exceptionally well and there is not a bank in the USA that specializes in them.

The monthly repayment incurs interest of 0.3%.  In ten months the monies loaned will have earned THREE PERCENT interest.  If the monthly repayment is 0.4%, the monies will have not only made three percent interest, but, four percent and that is called OPERATING EXPENSES.  If the loan is repaid at 0.6 percent interest monthly that is not only operating expenses but the payment of THREE PERCENT interest to the annual amortized payments to all the depositors.

In the meantime, the bank has 90% liquid equity and growing its own.

What is happening with the loans?  They are regrowing the economy, putting people into small businesses, probably working out of their homes.  

So, therefore, what is happening to the deposits to the 99% Bank?  They are taking on different definitions, now there are business accounts.  There is growing wealth in the community and the bank becomes more secure.

The key to the 99% Banks is growth and financial fiscal security as demonstrated by sound investment.

What happens to those that have taken loans and are repaying them with SIMPLE INTEREST?  They are proving their ability to be responsible with money and they are developing a new base of 'credentialing' for credit.

This is not difficult.  It can begin with a 'Union' of interested citizens.  It doesn't have to be called a bank.  It can be called any darn thing anyone wants to call it.

Is Romney better than Reagan?


Reagan was the best front man Wall Street had.  He actually believed his own reality while Wall Street robbed the country blind.

Romney will actually be a better actor than Reagan to allow Wall Street's continued destruction of the security of the Middle Class, the further victimization of the Poor and removal of all that stands between the people of the USA and Wall Street owing the world.

Heck, Reagan wasn't nothin' compared to Romney, after all it was Romney that created poverty and dressed it up in a salesperson uniform.

Is this sick or what? The West can't even place sanctions on a nuclear threat without Plutocrats siphoning profits.

By John Kemp
U.S. and EU sanctions on Iran’s crude oil exports and its central bank were not supposed to affect either the volume of oil available or its price,provided markets reacted “rationally.” (click title to entry - thank you)

Rationally?  They better act rationally!  Why is this even an option?
The free market system is threatening national security of many nations.  When is this mess going to stop?  Does anyone actually believe opportunistic plutocrats will resist anything but Wall Street chaos to drive up prices?  Hell, no.
Wall Street is exploitation.  There was a time when it wasn't.  It was where investors went to find opportunity, but, these days it is about scalping short term gains ASAP if not by the minute.  It is hideous.  This is no longer an investment market, it is Las Vegas.

An entire generation of Americans are rooked out of their future because greed merchants rob cash from markets and sequester it in their own bank rolls.

Then we see liquidity companies, private liquidity companies offering IPOs to obtain more cash out of the markets.  

Look, Wall Street crashed when it hit 14,000 and we are seeing private liquidity companies looking for more money to run their operations in offering IPOs.  Where does any reasonable person see this going?

In the good ole' days, investors liked their dividends because it allowed them financial security.  They bankrolled those dividends to retire and if they owned enough stock they could actually quit their day jobs.


A dear family friend, about four decades ago, touted the benefits of mutual funds. You know what he did for a living?  He was an independent business person of a small business called a shoe store.  The kind of shoe store where the proprietor worked along with those he hired to actually fit the customer's foot.  

When he paid for his shop and his home and had money saved besides he looked at a place where that money could make interest more than he was making at his shop.  It was sitting in a bank account and he wanted to earn more than 5%, which was the going rate back then.  So, he invested in the least risky stock market offering, The Mutual Fund.

Granted the stock market had an overall value of $1000 back then, but, what does that tell you?

That is the kind of analogy that should exist today, but, over time the markets got greedy and they actually believed they could out perform banks in offering 5% savings accounts, so they 'thunk up' the 401K.  That was the beginning of the end of Middle Class security.  

Now, the tail is waging the dog.  There is absolutely no security for the Middle Class, the American Dream has been trashed and national security is at the whim of market pressures.


It isn't enough that the security of the Middle Class is gone, now political cronies want to buy elections so the entire of SSI and Medicare can be in their coffers, too. 

Hello, America?  Where have you gone?  Where are your local savings accounts?  Where are the banks that sincerely know you personally and value you for your deposit of $20 per week?  Isn't saving 5 to 10 percent of your earnings enough for you?  What makes anyone believe a savings account isn't more secure than an investment?  It is backed by the FDIC, Wall Street should have such guarantees.

Oops, there I go touting big government again.

"I wanna be like Ford feeling." GM is creating it's own emergency again.

Remember all the cash GM was bank rolling to insure against any future market collapse?  For some reason the CEO can't seem to leave it alone.

Wed Feb 29, 2012 7:36am EST
(Reuters) - French car maker PSA Peugeot Citroen's (PEUP.PA) alliance talks with General Motors (GM.N) may yet fail as the U.S. automaker hesitates over criticism from investors, a source with knowledge of the discussions said.
Intense public scrutiny is also undermining the draft deal, in which GM would take a small Peugeot stake as part of a 1 billion euro ($1.34 billion) share issue by the cash-strapped French automaker, the source said, adding: "This is not a done deal yet."
Peugeot has yet to offer any public statement, more than 18 hours after France's AMF market watchdog demanded a response to press reports on the discussions that sent its shares yo-yoing. GM has also declined to comment.
The Detroit-based automaker is not completely convinced by the draft deal on the table, the source said.
GM shares have dropped 4.4 percent since the alliance plan was first reported by a French newspaper on February 21, while Peugeot's have advanced 6.6 percent....
GM will be competing against its own products with this investment.  Where are the unions when you need them?  GM will fail again.  This was its downfall before!  Those bonuses must be amazingly attractive, but, alas the price of GM stocks fall again.

Record gasoline prices have not been set yet, that occurred in July of 2008 which is reflected below.

Tue Feb 28, 2012 3:39pm EST

(Reuters) - Senate leader Harry Reid (click title to entry - thank you) on Tuesday said he hoped the Federal Trade Commission would look into rising domestic gasoline prices, noting "rampant speculation" in oil markets.

"I would hope the Federal Trade Commission can help us" by probing the run-up in prices, Reid said in response to a reporter's question about what lawmakers could do to tackle rising retail gasoline prices.

Average U.S. retail gasoline prices are now at nearly $3.72 per gallon, up from $3.37 a year ago. The price could pass $4, especially if political tensions with Iran, a major producer, continue into the U.S. summer driving season that increases demand....
Rampant speculation, gee, ya think?

February 29, 2012 12:07 pm
Japan nears deal to cut Iran oil imports
By Ben McLannahan in Tokyo

Japan is nearing agreement with the US (click here) on a deal to make deeper cuts to its Iranian oil imports, a move designed to head off sanctions against Japanese banks operating in the US.

Koichiro Gemba, Japan’s foreign minister, said on Wednesday that Tokyo and Washington were “in the final stages” of talks. “We’ve reached pretty deep mutual understanding,” Mr Gemba said. “I don’t think there’s reason at this point for concern about becoming the target of sanctions.”...

It isn't a matter of not having Iranian oil that is increasing prices, it is a matter of speculation.  There are other oil sources, Iran is a convenience to many that can seek supply elsewhere without difficulty.

And where exactly is USA Aid to Pakistan going?  To Pakistan?  Or Iran?  It sounds like "Oil for Food" to me.

Iran offers Pakistan 80,000 barrels per day of oil: official (click here)

By Qasim Nauman
ISLAMABAD | Wed Feb 29, 2012 6:55am EST
(Reuters) - Iran has offered 80,000 barrels per day of oil to Pakistan on a three-month deferred payment plan, an official in Islamabad said on Wednesday, in an attempt to soften the impact of Western sanctions and ease some of Pakistan's energy needs.
Tehran's offer comes a week after Pakistani officials revealed that Iran had asked to import a million tonnes of wheat in a barter deal, with the latest Western sanctions over Tehran's nuclear program disrupting critical food imports.
"It is only an initial offer of 80,000 barrels (per day) on deferred payment at the moment," Irfan Qazi, a spokesman for Pakistan's Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources, told Reuters....

Romney assaults Middle Class

Romney wants to run on his record at Bain as a job creator.  So, let's take a look at that.  He has already stated he would have eliminated the unions in the Auto Industry Bailout.  That wouldn't have effected Ford and if GM and Chrysler were allowed to destroy their unions all their skilled labor would have walked out the door.  Besides, I don't believe a bailout should take the 'side' of the Plutocrats, but, the people in majority effected, which were the unions and other manufacturers of parts that would have been destroyed along with it.

So, Romney has no moral grounds, but, to understand his lust for money all one has to do is look at his record and contribution to the destruction of jobs able to sustain a life in the USA.
February 27, 2012 5:00 AM

Romney's Retail Jobs Offer More Low Wages Than Middle Income (click title to entry - thank you)

Feb. 27 (Bloomberg) -- Mitt Romney says the U.S. can be “the best place in the world to be middle class again” and points to his hand in founding companies such as Staples Inc. and The Sports Authority Inc. to show he can create jobs to get people there.
While these retailers provide salaried positions, including store manager, that offer a path to the middle class, the majority are hourly jobs that don't. Sales associates at the two chains make less than $9 an hour on average, according to survey data from At that rate, which is common in the industry, someone working 40 hours a week would earn below the poverty line of $19,090 for a family of three.
“Some people in those companies in management do fine,” said Stephanie Luce, who studies low-wage labor issues as an associate professor at the City University of New York's Murphy Institute. However, “the way to make a living wage is to get into a management position, and there are very few of those.”
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than 60 percent of workers in office supply and sporting goods stores are salespeople or cashiers, who are generally paid even less.
While Romney, a former private equity executive, has pegged his bid for the Republican presidential nomination on aiding the middle class, the bulk of the retail jobs he touts underscore the widening income gap that can make reaching it more elusive....
Romney is the one percent and not just by tax return only.  He facilitated the destruction of the Middle Class.  He is counting on his billionaire buddies at the his superpacs to buy him the election so he can do it all over again for them.
We all know Republicans have a long history of saying one thing during elections and doing quite the opposition once in office.  What makes anyone believe that is going to change?

As new attacks on Homs begin, Assad is unaffected.

In this photo released by the Syrian official news agency SANA, Syrian President Bashar Assad, right, greets his supporters after he casts his ballot at a polling station during a referendum on the new constitution, in Damascus, Syria, on Sunday Feb. 26, 2012. (AP /SANA)

Date: Mon. Feb. 27 2012 1:45 PM ET

WARSAW, Poland — Poland's diplomats are working to get wounded Western journalists evacuated from the Syrian city of Homs and the bodies of a U.S. journalist and a French photographer out of the country, the Foreign Ministry said Monday.
Also Monday, French President Nicolas Sarkozy said he believes the two killed journalists were "assassinated" and that Syria's President Bashar Assad "must go."
Earlier this month, Poland's Embassy in Damascus took charge of representing U.S. interests in Syria, after Washington closed its mission there as a sanction against the escalating violence....

Assad's forces are going door to door without discrimination and assassinating people.  These forces up to now have been protesters without arms to defend themselves or culminate in an assault against Assad's troops.  This is slaughter.  There are no arrests, but, only killings.

February 29, 2012

UN Says Over 7,500 Killed in Syrian Crackdown (click here)

...U.N. political chief Lynn Pascoe said Tuesday he has "credible reports" from Syria of more than 100 civilians being killed every day, "including many women and children." 
"The international commission of inquiry for Syria, in a report issued 22 February, concluded that the Syrian government forces have committed widespread systematic and gross human rights violation amounting to crimes against humanity with the apparent knowledge and consent of the highest levels of the state," said Pascoe. "I commend this report to each of the members of this council. It does not make easy reading, but its implications for our responsibility are clear."...

He has no reason to stop, with every death there is more incentive to continue his slaughtering.  It is sort of like watching Hilter on digital.  If we knew then what we knew now, I am sure the Jewish race would be more intact.

Actually, Hitler had more discrimination in removing the Jews to remote camps for gassing.  Yeah, in all reality, Hitler was more covert than Assad.  In all honesty.

Syria: Bashar al-Assad 'could be classified as war criminal' (click here)

10:07AM GMT 29 Feb 2012

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad could be classified as a war criminal, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said as the United Nations announced more than 7,500 civilians had been killed by his forces since the start of the revolt.

At least 25 people were killed in the shelling of opposition strongholds by Syrian forces on Tuesday, activists said. In Homs alone, opposition groups said hundreds of civilians had been killed or wounded in the 24-day-old assault.
As world dismay grew over the bloodshed, France said the Security Council was working on a new Syria resolution and urged Russia and China not to veto it, as they have previous drafts.
An outline drafted by Washington focused on the humanitarian situation in order to try to win Chinese and Russian support and isolate Assad, Western envoys said. But they said the draft would also suggest Assad was to blame for the crisis, a stance Russia in particular has opposed.
In the besieged district of Baba Amro and other parts of Homs, terrified residents were enduring dire conditions, without proper supplies of water, food and medicine, activists said.
A wounded British photographer managed to escape from Homs, but the fate of French reporter Edith Bouvier was not clear....

There have been several climate events.

February 29, 2012
UNISYS Water Vapor USA Satellite (click here for 12 hour loop)

1 killed as possible tornadoes hit the Midwest

6:51 a.m. Wednesday, February 29, 2012

...The death happened (click title to entry - thank you) when a possible tornado hit a mobile home park in southwest Missouri, south of Buffalo, said Lt. Dana Eagan of the Dallas County Sheriff's Office. Another 13 people at the trailer park were injured, she said. Crews would begin searching the area once the sun came up, Eagan said.
The storm also knocked out power to all of Buffalo, Eagan said.
Other hard-hit were areas in southwest Missouri included Branson and Lebanon.
In Branson, there were at least a dozen injuries including people trapped in their homes, National Weather Service meteorologist Mike Griffin said. The apparent tornado moved through downtown Branson, heavily damaging the city's famous theaters, Griffin said....

Possibly wind sheer.

1dead after Coast Guard helicopter crash in Ala. (click here)

Updated 8m ago
MOBILE, Ala. (AP) – Authorities searching for three missing crew members after the crash of a U.S. Coast Guard helicopter in the Gulf of Mexico say fog has hampered the air search, but divers were planning another attempt to get inside the submerged aircraft.
The MH-65C helicopter crashed Tuesday evening in Mobile Bay, near Point Clear, Ala., Petty Officer 2nd Class Elizabeth Bordelon said.
She said one crew member was found unresponsive, and was later declared dead.
Chief Petty Officer John Edwards said shortly before 6 a.m. that fog was beginning to clear and visibility was improving. He said divers overnight had gone to the site of the helicopter, in about 13 feet of water, but were unable to gain access to its fuselage. He said they planned to try again Wednesday morning....

Charged with aggravated murder, he may never see a trial considering his circumstances.

Suspected Chardon High School shooter T.J. Lane is escorted by authorities on Tuesday.

A crying, frightened student told a 911 operator that "we just had a shooting at our school. We need to get out of here" just minutes after a teen gunman opened fire in the cafeteria of Chardon High School in Ohio on Monday....

Three counts of aggravated anything means society will not receive the ultimate justice for the crime, but, will bear some of the burden for it.  Three counts is still three counts and if sentences are served consecutively it could equate to a life sentence, however, given the circumstances of Mr. Lane's life he may be found unable to stand trial or committed for treatment.