Author Archives: Locke n Load

Plan a road trip on 1.75 gas

A man I know in Ft Worth, a man I’ve been quite amazed with recently, is about to be in a world of butt hurt as are an awful lot of others like him who ramped up capacity in Texas oilfield support trucking. This acquaintance of mine has gone from 5 to over 60 rigs in the last 2 years as the oil boom raged and the frack sand biz expanded exponentially. This was of course all possible because of the high prices and demand for crude. The last 9 months have reversed both demand AND supply problems.

More below the fold…


The long buried Bacon post. Finally.

For the record, I wrote this up about 3 years ago but Van busted my balls about getting all “ladies home journal” on the off topic page, lol. So ya know what? Phooey on that. Bacon is MANLY. Smoke is MANLY. Big honkin slabs of meat is MANLY Flintsone kinda stuff. So here ya go, warts and all. No editing. Oh wait, no. Considerable editing :) As many of you remember, my shit can get pretty damned long and detail intense. I cut a LOT out from multiple gourmet sources. Too frou frou, right? Hope the links still work…


Bleary eyed and stumbling, I found my way into the expansive dining room by smell alone. The aromatic cloud was unmistakable, burned butter and hickory, coffee and potatoes. I was in Tennessee at a divey truckstop but one of my favorites for breakfast because of the Ham. Dear god that ham…and they served it with a generous side of Bacon to boot. Crisp whiskey toast cradled a slick, thick pearlescent over-easy and I was in heaven. A good line cook can make fresh eggs shine but one who insists on locally cured and smoked pork is divinely inspired. Sainthood was in order as this little hideaway not only sold the local stuff from the kitchen, but on modified coat racks by the front counter. Gorgeous 15lb fully cured and smoked shanks could be had for $2 and change per pound. I’ve bought several over the years and never met the guy who brings them in. Lucky for him or I’d have bent his ear for an hour demanding details on the process.

Can any of you imagine life without the Pig? I sure as hell can’t and if the pockylipse ever came? I think I might rather be vaporized than live without it. Think about it, pigs reproduce prolifically, eat damn near anything, are easy to raise and slaughter, and are a great source of lean protein. From snout to tail, we use every darned piece of it in so many ways. Mexicans roast whole heads for tamales and make menudo from the organ meat while the Chinese make crunchy little dim sum delicacies from the ears and a thousand different dumplings from the rest of the animal. Most Americans eschew organ meats in general so we’ve developed a different cult of the pig. Our fixations involve large cuts of meat, salt, and smoke, glorious smoke. Think country hams and bacon. Both of which make for excellent examples of how to store protein without refrigeration. With that in mind I’ll try and give you a rundown on the basics, some specifics, and the necessities you’ll want to keep on hand. I can’t guarantee you a finished product like that joint on I40 but at least you’ll be able to start making your own.

First things first: the Pig

Whether you raised it or hunted one down, pigs have to be cleaned and cooled as quickly as possible. Ideally they’ll be cleaned, cut, and in a fridge within 24 hrs at around 40 degrees. Unlike beef, it isn’t recommended that they be aged. Pigs were traditionally slaughtered in the winter for just this reason. Anyhoo, store bought hams and bellies should be cured at the same temp. When buying bellies look for cuts that are 2-3 inches thick. Mexican markets and Asian markets will special order the bellies for you if you ask. Expect to pay around $2.49/lb. Shanks and Shoulders are seasonally on sale for as little as .99/lb and keep well in the freezer.

Salts: Kosher and Pink

For food preservation and brining, kosher salt works best. It has no caking agents and is usually a coarser grind. Iodized salts discolor meats and vegetables so save that for the table shakers. 25lb bags of kosher salt can be hard to find but Morton sells boxes (8 cups worth) for about $1.50. It also works well as ice cream salt in a pinch.

Because of the slim chances of botulism infecting your meat, Pink Salt is generally recommended for any pork aging process. Pink salt is just kosher salt with Nitrite added as an anti-bacterial agent. You will have to ask a butcher where to get it though as this one is NOT going to be on your local Wal Mart shelf. Pink salt has the added benefit of keeping your bacon and hams that nifty pink ‘hammy’ color. While you can probably ignore this particular additive for homemade bacon, you DON’T want to forget it when curing a Ham. Pink salt is sold under a few names, Prague Powder #1 and Insta-cure #1 will be easiest to find. Saltpeter also works but you would only use a tiny bit, on the order of 1 tsp per 2 cups of salt.

Heres a place to find the salt…there are plenty of suppliers actually


You can go 2 ways with this really, good brown or turbonado sugar, and molasses. Turbonado sugar is pricey as hell and molasses just isn’t that sweet. Brown sugar stores easily and imparts the most flavor.


From the little 2 shelf bullet smokers to the monsters you could park a VW Bug in, all must be able to do one thing; control temperature. Temperature is of critical importance because it determines whether you will be cooking or preserving the meat. Temps under 100 f are considered cold smoke, over 200 means hot smoke. Cold smoking can take 24hrs or more depending on thickness but will keep insects off the product as it finishes curing. Virginia hams and the best bacon are smoked at <100.


You can probably guess what your favorites are already but the obvious choices are Apple, Hickory, Maple, Cherry, Pecan, and Oak. All are hardwoods but that’s about the only requirement. Soft woods spew resins and absolutely ruin the meat. About the only exception to that rule is Mesquite but I’ve never much liked it in pork. You might disagree. Remember that some smokes are extremely strong, like Hickory, and can overwhelm whatever flavor subtleties you may have imparted during the salt cure. Learning the tricks of smoke is a hands on experience so take mental notes as you try variations.


This one is almost entirely up to particular tastes. Common dry rub spices include Juniper berries, Sage, Black pepper, and Garlic. Believe it or not, coffee grounds and good green tea leaves are also considered great in dry rubs. Like I said, it’s up to you. Experiment. Mix up the salt and sugar, store in an airtight container, and add spices as you need them for each batch.

Brine cure vs Dry cure:

In the broadest sense of the concepts, Brine vs Dry is the difference between city hams and country or old world hams. City hams are chewier, less silky, and retain a much higher water content. Think deli meats. They are partially cured then fully cooked. Store bought bacon is almost exclusively brined bacon which explains the shrinkage when cooked (the water is being cooked out, right?) Conversely, country hams are old world. The have a much denser flavor profile, are fully cured, but uncooked. They may or may not even be smoked. Prosciutto and Pancetta are both uncooked and prosciutto is generally eaten ‘raw’. The dry cure process insures them against spoilage and allows the meat to age into buttery smoothness as it hangs for a year or more. Dry cured smoked bacon is denser, more flavorful than brined bacon, and doesn’t shrink nearly as much.

Dry curing is the technique to learn if you expect the grid to fail and worry about meat supplies in 6 months. But keep the following in mind.

Dry curing large cuts of ham like shoulders and shanks can take 30 to 60 days in a cold salt and spice blanket. Temps should be in the upper 30’s and the mix has to be refreshed often. This means most folks would want that ham in the cure no later than January. It takes a long time to get that salt deep into the meat to insure against microbes and in the process the meat gets pretty, well, salty (if you’ve ever bought a Virginia country ham you’ll remember having to soak it overnight to remove the saltiness, right?). After getting out of the cure the large hams must be cold smoked for several days at sub-100 degree temps to penetrate the meat completely. Only after all that can you hang them to age through the summer months. Ideal temps for aging allow for a temperature range between 75-90 degrees but lower temps won’t harm the process, just slow it while adding flavor density. There is a LOT more on the specifics here courtesy of the UM Extension in Missouri.

OK then, now that THAT is out of the way and you have a lay of the land, how about some easy things to try while we still have modernity on our side?

I say we start with BACON!!

For comparisons sake I’ll give you two recipes, one wet, one dry. Try them both and you’ll see the differences I suggested above, but both will make damn fine bacon.

When buying your pork bellies pay attention to the marbling and thickness of the cut. You will end up with a significantly denser cured slab so size counts. I’d suggest you make friends with a butcher and order ahead. Pork bellies aren’t usually available in grocery stores so it may become something of a treasure hunt. Large Mexican grocery chains get shipments and trim it aggressively but, if politely asked, will order for you and get you a reasonable price. Asian markets turned out to be the best place for me in Texas with prices in the $2.50lb range.

Dry Cure version:

15-20 lbs of pork belly, approx 2.5 inches thick cut into 10 inch sections

Four 3 gallon ziplock bags

2 cups kosher salt

1 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup fresh course ground Pepper

2 cups maple syrup

Various spices if you want, see above. Go easy on them, the cure will last for days and intensify…

Mix up dry rub mix and set aside.

Remove skin from the bellies and set aside for other uses (smoked cracklins, dog treats, etc). Using a very sharp knife take JUST the skin leaving as much fat as possible in place. If you’ve ever skinned a salmon it’s the same technique.

Spread some of dry cure mix on a cookie sheet, lay a belly portion across it, and rub in on the top of the fat taking care to cover the whole surface. Flip, repeat. Cure should be dense but not caked on. If excess falls off it wasn’t really needed anyway as this is a quick cure. Slip into a 3gal bag and repeat the process until you have them all bagged up. If you did it right you should have about half of your cure mixture left unused. Split the maple syrup between the bags and seal em up.

Place the bags in your fridge, grab a beer, and forget about them until you wake the next day. Flip them in the morning, and then ignore them.

Do this for 2-4 days, never emptying the bags. The meat will shed a LOT of liquid but that’s just fine. By day 3 the meat should have shrunk by about 1/3 and become much denser. You can remove it from the brine if the belly feels about as stiff as playdoh. Yeah, that’s pretty vague but you’ll see. A 2.5 inch thick slab really only needs no more than 4 days. Much longer than this and it starts getting very salty. You can of course remedy that later but the goal is to not HAVE to, right?

Remove the cured belly from the bags and wash under cold running water. The goal is to remove all the excess salt but don’t go crazy scrubbing it.

Pat dry and allow to sit and reach room temp while you get the smoker going. I will assume you know enough to SOAK YOUR WOOD OR WOODCHIPS IN WATER THE NIGHT BEFORE.

I smoked with 2/3 hickory and 1/3 apple but go wild, try what you have on hand. If you intend to do a true cold smoke version you’ll need to maintain 90-100 degree temps for about 12 hours. I don’t see the need really, so I keep mine hovering around 175 and give the slabs about 2-2.5 hrs, turning a couple times. Do NOT get it hotter than this or you’ll cook it. Bad, very bad. All we need to do is infuse it with smoke so keep it away from the heat, capiche?

Once smoked, let cool to room temp. If a hard rind developed on the fat cap feel free to remove it by slicing a VERY thin layer off but be careful not to get too deep. If you aren’t that great with a knife, don’t bother. Instead, trim the sides square and save the scraps. Individually wrap each slab in plastic and chuck it in the freezer. By the next morning it will be ready for the slicer. No slicer? Again, VERY sharp knife and aim for 1/8 in slices.

Before slicing it all up, slice off a piece of heaven and cook it to check for saltiness. If it’s too salty for your tastes, put the uncut block of bacon in a shallow dish and cover with water for 30 minutes. Drain, repeat, reslice and retest. Should be perfect.

You’ll notice this bacon doesn’t fry like store bacon so pay attention until you learn how REAL bacon fries on the stove.

Theoretically you could store a bacon slab treated this way on a hook in your pantry. I wouldn’t suggest it. If that day ever comes and you NEED to, well, double the salt cure time and cold smoke it. Then hang it in a cool place away from insects. You’d also want to leave more fat on the bellies when you cure it. The bacon will be exceptionally salty but that can be removed by soaking in water.

Brine Version:

Start with the same ingredients as above but double it and substitute 1 gal of apple cider for maple syrup then proceed as follows.

In a pot large enough to hold 3 gallons, set the fire on high until the pot smokes, then add the pepper, salt, and spices. Stir for 30 seconds to break the essential oils then add 2 gallons of water and remainder of cure mix and apple cider. Heat just until sugar and salt dissolves then cool brine to room temp.

Pack belly slabs, cut as above, into 2 bags and pour brine equally between them. You want the bellies immersed completely in the brine. If you need to you can add water to top them off but it probably won’t be needed.. Place the bags in your fridge, cure for 3 days.

After 72hrs remove, rinse, and proceed as above. The bellies will NOT be as hard as dry cured so don’t expect them to be.



whoa,whoa….no… absolutley not

Maybe I’m just a stickler for caution but this woman…









should not be back anywhere near the general population. Not yet. Not absent criminal intent. Lets review shall we?

  • 9/15 “daddy” escorted a critically ill pregnant woman to and fromn a hospital in Liberia, thereby contracting Ebola.
  • 9/20 he’s boarding a plane for Brussels.
  • 9/21 he disembarks in Dallas and hugs his soon to be daughter.
  • 9/26 he makes his first visit to hospital for symptoms
  • 9/28 he’s in the ambulance with her, on his way to medical infamy and isolation.


Considering it takes roughly 7-9 days in most people for symptoms to present and for said patients to become contagious, but said contagion is dependent on symptoms that can take TWENTY ONE days to present…

Should we assume a young nursing assistant, someone likely to be near weakened immune systems, open wounds, or otherwise compromised individuals should be ANYWHERE NEAR A MEDICAL SCENE UNLESS IN QUARANTINE???

Ahem…sorry. Apparently the woman in question doesn’t believe so either. For the time being.

But your CDC disagrees. She’s been cleared. Whiskey Tango Foxtrot?

I know the woman is going stir crazy. I know the hospitals say the blood tests look OK. I honestly don’t give a damn until roughly 9-19.

Am I nuts???


In typical rookie fashion I committed a most heinous cardinal sin of blogging: I didn’t confirm one timeline against another and ended up with an inaccurate day count. I have corrected it above. That said, this woman was cleared to walk on the 6th, or roughly 9 days from the outset of symptoms. She was with him for the whole time they worsened and even brought linens with her in the ambulance by some accounts. I still maintain this woman has NO business being in public, period. Not for a couple weeks.


Art afficionados, rejoice

Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you… Obama Ladies

Available for a suggested $6,250, bidding ends in 4 days.

obama ladies






Imagine all the jealous stares at your next OFA soiree when you unveil this masterpiece!

Honestly, I’m at a loss for words. And what IS the deal with the one far right?


It takes a village Idiot

Modern liberal mindset, full retard mode


“You are probably wondering why your child has this note; have you ever heard the saying, “It takes a village to raise a child”? I am disappointed in “the village” of Fargo Moorhead, West Fargo,” she writes.

“Your child is, in my opinion, moderately obese and should not be consuming sugar and treats to the extent of some children this Halloween season.”

Kids, the eggs are on me, take as many as you need

The full moronic story here…


22 yr Deja Vu

Yesterday the wife and I spent 8 hrs getting a pair of Texas CHL’s and at the end of the session our instructor decided to take a little editorial license. It stopped the class dead. I suspect most of them were way too young to remember this but I immediately recognized it. I remember this testimony well.
For those of you who were kids in 1991, this might be surprising. This woman, who went on to be a Tx legislator, could give almost the exact same speech today regarding the battle since Sandy Hook.

In case you’re wondering, the class was 14 people and SIX were women.


Dozens of attacks thwarted…really. trust us.

You buying this?

The director of the National Security Agency said Wednesday that once-secret surveillance programs disrupted dozens of terrorist attacks, explicitly describing for Congress how the programs worked in collecting Americans’ phone records and tapping into their Internet activity.

Yeah, I call BS.
Knowing this administration’s desire to claim credit for anything successful in the war on ‘man made disaster’ makers, I’d ask a simple question: Where are the guys we busted?

This administration cannot, will not, tell the truth about ANYthing, but if they can produce information about those ‘dozens’ of attacks perhaps I’ll cut them a little slack.

I doubt it though, as PRISM and Stellar Wind aren’t about pre-crime. They’re about connecting dots afterwards. Well, that and collecting every last bit of personal data about YOU.


I’m starting to love this guy…

Yeah, I liked him before. Talked to all my neighbors and pushed hard to redeem him against the BS attacks by that RINO – not to be named- who ran against him.

He’s a true Texas fighter. I’m growing to love the guy. I mean when you can piss off SO many people, this fast, you must be doing SOMEthing right, right?

Boxer is calling him a McCarthyite, hehehehe. Good.

“It was really reminiscent of a different time and place, when you said, ‘I have here in my pocket a speech you made on such and such a date,’ and, of course, nothing was in the pocket,” she said, a reference to Senator Joseph R. McCarthy’s pursuit of Communists in the 1950s. “It was reminiscent of some bad times.”

Conveniently linked here by nota.

Though they try and slander him as a “canadian born” lawyer, they let slip a gem that ought to warm your heart.

To the growing core of ardent conservatives in the Senate, Mr. Cruz has offered a jolt of positive energy.

Hell yeah he does!


China Surpasses US As #1 Global Trading Partner

Wanna read something terrifying? Some of you, okay, a LOT of you won’t get all of this so you need to read it carefully. [not written for a Revo audience ~nota] Twice if needed. Pay attention!

We’ve already been living in a world of failed Treasury auctions for 3 years now and avoiding that obvious truth doesn’t change it… the Dollar is slated for depegging, the Petrodollar is increasingly being subverted, and the need for our surplus dollars awash in the global market is about to come to an end.

This is what we need to watch, what we need to stay laser focused on if we’re to be ready for the collapse of the Dollar. Russia, China, India…all ramping up gold purchases while we feebly try and restrict oil-for-gold trading by throwing sanctions on Iran.

Our power is rapidly diminishing and those of you who thought that was a good thing? Well just you wait and see what it means when the break happens. You”ll look differently on those of us who begged and pleaded for fiscal restraint and curbs in spending, for temporary pain instead of the agony of currency wars and world wars.

To those of you who mocked the Tea Party’s message and STILL don’t get it, don’t say we didn’t try and warn you. And don’t come begging at my door for food or protection. You demanded this fate, you live with it.China Surpasses U.S. As Number One.

Read here to find out the how & why.


Unwinding The Fed’s Balance Sheet

This comment was posted (by locke n load) in response to my post entitled: How The Fed Plans To Unwind: Must Read.

Well, see, there’s a bit of a gaping hole in this plan. They can’t sell these bonds/notes on the open market as 1: they’re going to be holding more than 24% of GDP, they’re going to be holding about 90% of all outstanding debt at that point and BE the market into which they usually sell. 2: They will be competing against the Treasury sales for financing of our almost certain 1+_ trillion deficits.

Now, as for 1, ask yourself what kind of market will exist for those sales? If the global market is drying up now for them, what on earth makes anyone think the market will somehow expand in an environment where the USG is STILL cranking out insane annual deficits, the Debt is over 19 trillion, and the US economy is laboring under Japanese style stagnation (at best!) while gold continues to make new highs further deflating the value of the dollars they try to hawk like vendors in some mexican beach town?

Regarding 2, this scenario DEMANDS an extremely robust super-Reaganesque recovery that re-instills faith in the dollar. Without that there would be no reason for a recovery of the dollar’s value. Unless our economy goes into overdrive this option is total fantasy. We simply can’t sell enough bonds to finance a 1.5 trillion deficit while competing with our central bank attempting to unload almost equal amts. Who in the fuck thinks notes written against increasingly worthless paper would generate ANY demand? This stretches the idea of rehypothication to such absurdity it resembles a mobius strip. The system cannot eat itself like this and hope to retain any semblence of good faith from the buyers. Period.

Long story short, the Fed has no option but to pray for a robust recovery spanning 20 years (ha!) and thereby roll out of the debt by actually letting maturities expire OR forcing their purchases into another pocket, say, private member banks. But since that last option is ALSO part of the problem (excess liquidity re above) thats not actually a viable alternative.

The Fed is fucked right now but not completely dead, at least it doesn’t have to be. But in actuality it IS because they’re committed to continuing this absurd liquidity farce our annual deficits demand.

And thats really the rub. We sinmply CAN’T begin to fix the problem until the USG stops spending 50% more than it takes in. Period, end of story.
Wanna put odds on THAT happening?

I’m sorry, I really am, but the only way out is complete devaluation and collapse as long as we continue down this deficit/debt path. World powers are already moving to drop the dollar which will only excacerbate the death spiral if not drop the guillotine on the neck of the economy.

Catastrophuck indeed. Wish I could predict a better outcome but I can’t. At best they start forcing individual and institutional purchases of the deficit (like Japan which is indebted almost entirely to it’s citizenry). At worst, there’s a violent break and the system collapses before we kneel at the feet of the new world bank.
Take your choice.

The Treasury and Fed think they can operate in a world that will always DEMAND our debt. Thats a bad idea, epic bad. No demand, no dollar, no economy.

1 Comment

Political Jujitsu ?

So I’m over here parked in the middle of nowhere again, a little PO’d about how savvy the Obama team is with media. He has the MSM, the Talkshows, and Hollywood all out covering for him in every way possible. His talking points are ubiquitous, his reach seemingly endless… If only there were a way to turnthe power of that intrusive Machine against his disciples and his party. Hmmm…

More below the fold…


Update: All eyes on the Greek election

The Greeks managed to elect a “conservative” government, so we can stand down from DefCon 5 to DefCon 3… for the moment. (Locke is in the outer reaches of Montana and asked me to update this post, just before his phone cut out. ~nota)

Maybe I should subtitle this post “the sky is falling isn’t quite falling, just yet!”

End update.

I could spend all day mapping out the dominos about to fall in Europe. Thankfully, I don’t have to. This article from AP of all places actually does a fine job of it. For every friend you have that can’t wrap their heads around Europe crashing the banking system, study and pass this along. Its not heavy on jargon, covers much of what you need to know, and should clearly flesh out the enormity of the risks and challenges immediately before us.

More below the fold…


Perfect Explanation

Nice artistry too.


Define the Mission

Ok folks, last question of the week but really, maybe the most important.

What is it we want to accomplish if we take the presidency and/or congress? What exactly are we asking them to do? Whats the Mission? Obviously Obamacare’s repeal, but what else and in what priority? Where are we willing to expend the most political capital? Our candidates haven’t given it much more than platitudinal respect onstage.  I wonder how many of us could rattle off the basics of any of their plans.

Reference reads:

I don’t recognize the author so draw your own conclusions but he links to Romney’s Believe In America plan.

Santorum’s plan. Sort of   c’mon Rick, it should be easy to google…boooo

Ron Pauls

And of course,  Newt



Define the Platform

The third installment of our little “what do YOU think damnit” quizes asks: What should be the planks of the Republican platform. Remember, we’re trying to win
Oh, btw


Define the Threats

Continuing with yesterdays little exchange, lets further distill our personal Conservative platforms as it were. I find this fascinating.

In descending order, what are the top 5-10 threats to American sovereignty, strength, and our future.

Remember, there are no wrong answers,lol.


Define Conservative

Nothing gets the blood pumping like a good sprirted debate and as it seems I’ve developed near paranormal powers to stir the pot of late, lets try a little something here. It occurs to me that most of us that frequent the Revo are “80 percenters”. We agree on about 80% of what we talk about but there is by NO means unanimity of opinion. Which is good. What I want to know is how we disagree.

Ok then, this is a Live Fire Excercise. Put rounds on target, show no fear.
Your mission today: Define Conservatism


Last rites for the EU?

Ok look, I could go into great detail about the size of the Italian debt (2 trillion+) and the Greek situation. I could belabor the point about Greece not only not being able to pay obligations at a 50% haircut, but also not being able to form a government. We could go round and round with estimates of what the debt write downs have to be to allow the affected PIGS breathing room…but I won’t. It’s pointless. The citizens in these socialist ponzi schemes won’t let the reforms happen. Furthermore, the interim governments won’t have the will to enforce the needed reforms without enforcing martial law. I don’t care how giddy or relieved Wall street gets hearing an impasse has been breached, the fact remains that these countries cannot and will not abide by the austerity plans. Eventually they will succumb, be it now or 12 months from now.

More below the fold…


Local radio. Dependably unpredictable

Ok, so its just an ad for a local gun store but this stuff won’t make it onto nationally syndicated shows, XM, or Top 40 Trash stations. The midwest and east both have their community “Swap Hours” (AM garage sales essentially), the South has more Church goodies for sale than anywhere on earth but the Vatican, but the West… ahh the West. Starting about where this gun store sits the AM stations start getting fewer and farther in between. You can spin the dial in Search mode and find maybe 2 hits when you get an hour west of Mason. Stuff starts getting interesting in the sticks. You can learn a lot about the character of the area you’re driving through by paying attention to the local radio. I think I like this town.
The best part of the ad is the last 1/3 btw

I’m going to make a point of finding this guy next time I’m running up us87. I think I need to shake his hand


Contain the Contagion? Really?

A few days back when I wasn’t feeling on my game I started writing up a synopsis of what I saw about to happen, and what I thought actually needs to be done, in Europe. I sent it off to RD to check through what I thought was probably a messy rambling screeed but he didn’t correct anything. Upon further review it seems coherent enough and since Breitbart has stepped out and said much of what I was getting at here, well, I might as well post my bleary eyed observations.
More below the fold…


Well THAT might explain it…

Just when you thought the Zuccatti park owners wern’t going to be pushed around about their private property being trampled they went and caved in to the protesters. Surprised? So was I until this little piece of information slipped through the Obama censors.

Zuccotti is owned by Brookfield Asset Managers, an investment group that just secured a $169 million loan for its wind farm operations from the Obama administration. Surely just a coincidence. Nothing to see here folks, move along. No quid pro quo’s allowed in this transparent administration. Nope, just good ol’ fashioned sound investment strategy. On BAM’s part that is. And I’m sure its just coincidental that mayor Bloomberg’s gal-pal is on the boad of directors of Brookfield Properties. Its not like he was warned off strong-arming the protesters by a woman denying him sack time, right? The very idea of Bloomberg getting laid seems a bit preposterous to me… However, not getting to kiss the President’s ass? Now THAT might be difficult for the mayor to endure.

So fine. When the firehoses come out I hope they scrape every last bit of beauty off that once landscaped park. Just don’t come running to the city for repair costs. I’d say $169 million ought to go a long way to re-sodding the cesspool.

Read the story here


Has it really been 10 years?

10 years and 12 hours ago I was still a commodity broker. I was still plugged into the hive mind that is the Chicago investment community. I was still of the opinion that stability, order, and international law reigned supreme and peoples of the world understood the importance of same. I still operated under the assumption that financial markets could account for 99% of the risk in the world, that we could accommodate most chaos and keep the world on an even keel. I wasn’t just naïve, I was proud.
More below the fold…


Oh, is that all? Just … chaos?

A few months back Germany’s Merckel shocked anyone who listened by suggesting they could potentially up their committment to something around 100% of their GDP to the PIGS bailout plan if the terms were right. While that might seem like an Onion headline (and was given about as much airplay) she was floating a serious option. That it was done so publicly was the jarring part, not so much the offer. To be sure, it was an extremely ‘generous’ solution but since when do governments commit THAT much money to an otherwise petulant crop of failing states? Even Germany has its limits on rescue loans, the recent elections just proved that. So what on earth were they thinking? Why would the option even be considered?

The obvious answer is it would have to be better than the alternative. As few actually understood the severity of the alternative our press scrubbed that story and instead fell back on our ‘recovery’ prospects here in the states. Since THAT hasn’t played out so well in recent months and since Europe seems poised for the mother of all liquidity traps I guess it was just a matter of time before someone actually quantified the alternative to bailing out the Socialist leech economies of Europe. UBS has broken the ice.
Among the possibilities envisioned if arrangements aren’t made to rescue said countries and defend the Euro: Collapse of the banking system, collapse of international trade, and civil war. Cheery, no?

This is absolutely worth a read if you want to spoil your breakfast.

More below the fold…


Hey FEMA, what about Rock Port ?

Considering all the talk of storm damage recently, what with Irene, etc, I think it might be worth pointing just a few things out. Inequity makes me cranky, so forgive me.

1) Irene was only a Hurricane up until about Delaware. By the time it hit New Jersey it was only a tropical storm despite all the BS being played in the press. It sounds better as a hurricane but the storm was a tropical depression by the time it hit the north east. That doesn’t diminish the flooding or the power disruptions, but lets cut through the 6 days of hype, shall we?
2) Lee was, and continues to be, a washout. I drove into what was supposed to be the center of the storm and winds barely topped 40mph. Is that enough to cause damage? Sort of, but not enough to warrant the sensational coverage. The flooding is considerable in some areas but nothing extraordinary. Gulf residents are used to much worse. Lee is a huge rainmaker, but that’s about it.
3) Both the above storms, as well as the horrible tornadoes earlier in the year (Joplin, Tuscaloosa, Tushka, even Minot, etc) were immediately addressed, and committed to, by FEMA. Irene got more press than the erasure of 1/3 of Joplin (with only 1/3 the death toll), and Tuscaloosa barely got 3 days, but all were spectacular events that somehow played into the climate change template.

Whats the common thread? Not climate change. FEMA. I’ve worked FEMA loads before. I’ve run into Florida, and Texas with water and generators. Hell, I was in Hattiesburg and Mobile 24 hrs after Katrina scrubbed the land and I did more good, more efficiently and immediately without them than FEMA managed in 72 hrs. I’ve fought through the blasted bureaucratic nightmares. I’ve been hindered and/or snubbed in my attempts to work within the system. As a Federal agency, FEMA is monster to deal with. When finally mobilized they can do a world of good but getting the gears moving is challenging.

All that said, I give you this:
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Excuse me, is this seat taken?

It’s been what, almost 8 months since Gabrielle Giffords’ horrific morning at the Safeway? She’s made remarkable progress and the fact that she’s alive at all borders on miraculous. That said…

Ok, I know this is going to seem crass, impolite, or just plain mean to some folks but the question does need to be asked and I may as well be the one flayed for posting it so publicly. Trust me, we aren’t going to hell for pointing out the obvious quandry:

Is Gabby Giffords fit to hold office?
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