There are times when I'd like to share something with you but my Voice in the Garden site does not seem the appropriate place, thus, this blog.

There are experiences, thoughts, views... and for anyone lurking/waiting to pounce (as has occurred on several occasions), please do not attempt to turn what I post into a political statement. This is NOT a political site, but IS about occurrences, reality, and personal opinion concerning what I see in the world around me and my family. There are many excellent writers whose works "speak" to me, and I shall include some of them. At times it may be
something I think you would enjoy or simply whatever ails you (me).
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Saturday, March 26, 2011

NEA Tells It Like It Is

As a former teacher (many moons ago), I was somewhat provoked by the following video/comments of Bob Chanin, National Education Association (NEA) General Counsel for over 40 years, as he addressed thousands of teachers and delegates.

He states unequivocally that the NEA is "... the most effective union in the United States..... and despite what some among us would like to believe, it is NOT because of our creative ideas; it is NOT because of the merit of our positions; it is NOT because we care about children and it is NOT because we have a vision of a great public school for every child.

NEA and its affiliates are effective advocates because we have POWER, and we have power because there are more than 3.2 Million people who are willing to pays us hundreds of millions of dollars in dues each year because they believe that we are the union
... ".

Here is the excerpted portion of that speech,



but should you like to hear his entire farewell address, go here.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Federal Reserve, A Banking Cartel

People think the Federal Reserve is an agency of the U.S. Federal Government - it is not, and in the event you ever wondered about it, here is an opportunity. G. Edward Griffin, author of the bestseller The Creature of Jekyll Island, will be the guest on Glenn Beck this evening. We plan to watch it and thought some of you might also.

Here is a clip you might find of interest.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Something's Missing In Japan

My Northwest.com's Dave Ross Commentary:

Every day you look at the latest fallout from the earthquake -- which at this point may even involve ACTUAL fallout -- and you wonder what else could possibly happen to Japan?

But what's just as remarkable is what HASN'T happened.

Where's the looting? Where are the disorderly mobs banging on the relief trucks?

So far we're seeing no looting, no rioting, just long and orderly lines. Residents waiting for water at a school in Sendai, stood exactly within the snaking lines chalked on the playground.

Survivors still take off their shoes as they enter the relief shelters; they still sort the trash.

When a convenience store lost power and the clerk couldn't open the register -- the customers simply returned the items to the shelves.

And stores that did manage to stay open actually LOWERED prices instead of raising them.

The reason for this order is not because of an overwhelming police presence.

A study a few years ago found that whereas most American kids regulate their behavior based on fear of punishment; Japanese kids focus on how their behavior would affect others.

You just don't do anything you'd be ashamed of later. Even when the world seems to be ending. Oh they're not perfect, there's racism -- the much-oppressed buraku class will tell you that.

But as I see US investors dumping stocks today, for fear that the Japanese economy will never recover...

Well, I don't want to give investment advice... but when you see a bunch of emotional investors betting against Japan's resilience... it might be time to call your broker.

Our thoughts and prayers are with you, Japan.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Let Them Eat iPads!

Truly, I believe most of the elite, the powers that be, are indeed out of touch with reality for they appear to live in another world unto themselves. While many Americans and peoples throughout the universe struggle day upon day to put food on their table and pay for the gasoline needed to get to work, we have representatives addressing these issues either through denial or simple ignorance as to the way the majority of us live (and amidst the most recent data from the government itself).

Yesterday, when New York Fed Bill Dudley was questioned about the food inflation we are experiencing, his response was that although food prices were rising, inflation was not a problem because iPad's were cheaper... "Today you can buy an iPad 2 that costs the same as an iPad 1...".

I'm still trying to digest that one.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Nuff Said

The morning's headline indicates that U.S. claims for unemployment benefits unexpectedly fell last week - under 400,000; but then there is this, another increase in the number of people on food stamps - 44.1 million people.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Ben motors at 60mph – In reverse!

Bruce Krasting offers his take on today's meeting:

Senator Shelby asked Bernanke to explain how he came to the $600b QE2 program. The answer came at minute 32 of this C-SPAN clip. Ben explained that he felt that a monetary ease equivalent to a 75 BP reduction in the Fed Funds rate was in order to avoid deflation. He equated $150-200 billion of QE as being equivalent to a 25BP reduction in short term rates. The justification for QE all along has been that monetary policy is range bound by zero interest rates. QE brings us below “0” in equivalent policy.

The sum of QE 1, QE lite (the top off of QE1) and QE2 is $2.35 trillion. Using Bernanke’s formula you get a range of 4% to 5% as the approximate interest rate consequence of QE. (2.35/.15 or 2.35/.2)

That is an extraordinary number. The Fed’ ZIRP policy set interest rates at zero. QE has brought that to -4.5% (average) based on Ben’s numbers.

I don’t think that this has ever happened before in the USA. The examples I can think of in history outside of the US all ended badly. Ben has set monetary policy so that interest rates are 5-6 % below inflation. There can be only one possible result. Inflation of everything we use is going to explode. Food, clothes, energy, transportation, ball bearing, plastics, you name it. The only thing that is not going to get inflated is wages and residential real estate. Cheap money will not fix structural problems.

I was glad that Ben put a number on what he has done. I didn't think it would be as big as it is. It’s so big that it is irreversible. That’s not what Ben has been contending. We are going to find out before the year is up. Mean time if you think there is a connection between rising commodities prices and global political turmoil, get your seat belts on. Inflation is just now rearing its ugly head. This boat could not be turned around in less than a year even if all engines were in reverse. And Ben has it on Full Speed Ahead.