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  • Partying Like It Is 2007 [View article]
    And please tell me how you arrived at this conclusion?

    What 10K have you read that describes that Bank X, Y, or Z is insulated from systemic failure?

    The fact is that no W. European, Asian or US bank financial reports state their exposure or counterparty exposure towards Greek bankers, companies, or other banks on the European continent have with each other.

    It has been reported that 44.8% of Greek debt is held by the EFSF. Who holds that debt? No source I can locate will report who holds that debt.

    Another 24% of Greek debt is held by bi-lateral institutions. Who holds that debt? No source I can find will tell you who holds that debt.
    Jun 29, 2015. 05:21 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Partying Like It Is 2007 [View article]
    I would add the US bond market, particularly the riskier corporate bonds are trading at uncomfortable highs.

    The US stock market margin calls are also trading at record high levels in May 2015 per below link.
    Jun 29, 2015. 11:52 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Chesapeake Energy: An Open Letter To Carl Icahn [View article]
    Mr. Lee,

    Your column at nearly the begining mentions, "You specifically told me never to ask you for money, but if I had a good idea to call." Unfortunately, you are asking Mr. Icahn for money by asking him to put a bid in for this dog of a stock. Mr. Icahn is also underwater on this stock so I don't think he thinks that you have a good idea either.
    Jun 22, 2015. 05:33 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Why Facebook Will Never Make Money With WhatsApp [View article]
    No one knows for sure why FB bought WhatsApp. My best guess is that Zuckerberg wants WhatsApp to rival the world's largest telecoms. Only time will tell if my assesment is accurate.
    Jun 22, 2015. 01:46 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • A New Kind Of Feudalism As Western Workers Lose Ground [View article]
    Natttering Nabob,

    It is unfortunate that not only public utilities but many of our private and public companies have middle and upper management problems as well. I am retired so I don't have to tolerate sychophants anymore nor quarter after quarter decisions on what direction the company will take.

    The days of meritocracy, paying and rewarding your contributing employees are long gone. It is mostly upper management that is at fault and for the public companies paying more attention to Wall Street analysts than long term strategies.

    I am sure there are some good companies both public and private out there and I've encountered and worked for a few. The vast majority, however, are run by short term thinkers that are only interested in their paycheck, options, bonuses, etc. at the expense of the workers, stockholders and their customers.

    This will be last comment on this subject.

    Thank you Tin Lizzy for articulting intelligent and well thought out comments.

    Nattering Naybob, Thank you too for a breath of fresh air in a sometimes toxic environment on SA.
    Jun 14, 2015. 01:18 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Anti-soda push picks up in San Francisco [View news story]
    The article I provided is for the purpose of providing fact based information about sugar.
    Jun 13, 2015. 11:46 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Anti-soda push picks up in San Francisco [View news story]

    Thank you for "learned" opinion.

    And now for some facts.

    Why Sugar Is Called “The White Death”
    Posted by: Ty Bollinger in Cancer 101, Cancer Causers, Foods

    Spread the Word to
    Friends And Family
    By Sharing this Article. 24
    As good as it may taste, sugar is NOT your friend. It may “feel” like your friend when it comforts you (due to the beta-endorphin rush in your brain), but sugar is really your ENEMY. Truth be told, regular consumption of sugary foods is one of the worst things that you can do for your health. Modern scientific research has shown us, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that sugar in your food (in all its myriad forms) is taking a devastating toll on your health.
    Take a look at the sugar consumption trends of the past 300 years:
    In 1700, the average person consumed about 4 pounds of sugar per year.
    In 1800, the average person consumed about 18 pounds of sugar per year.
    In 1900, individual consumption had risen to 90 pounds of sugar per year.
    In 2012, more than 50% of all Americans consume 1/2 pound of sugar per day — translating to a whopping 180 pounds of sugar per year!
    In 1890, only 3 people out of 100,000 had diabetes. In 2012, almost 8,000 out of every 100,000 people was diagnosed with diabetes!
    The “sugar rush” has been targeted at our children. American children are consuming about 10 TIMES as much sugar as they were in 1900, especially in the form of high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), which is the average American’s greatest source of calories! Highly addictive HFCS contains fructose and glucose, but they areNOT bound together (as they are in table sugar) so the body doesn’t need to break it down. Therefore, the fructose is absorbed immediately, going straight to the liver, which turns it into fat (VLDL and triglycerides).
    According to Dr. Joseph Mercola:
    “Fructose also tricks the body into gaining weight by fooling your metabolism (it turns off the appetite-control system). Fructose does not appropriately stimulate insulin, which in turn does not suppress ghrelin (the “hunger hormone”) and doesn’t stimulate leptin (the “satiety hormone”), which together result in your eating more and developing insulin resistance.” This process also suppresses the immune system.
    But just because you avoid HFCS doesn’t mean that you’re in the clear. Excess intake of ALL processed sugars results in compromised immune function (decreasing the white blood cells’ ability to destroy bacteria), obesity, and diabetes.
    And if that’s not enough, keep in mind that sugar is HIGHLY addictive! That’s right! Dr. Serge Ahmed of Bordeaux, France, has been working with rats and giving them the choice between cocaine and sugar. Guess which one wins, time and again?
    That’s right … sugar!
    It turns out that the sweet taste of sugar is more rewarding than the high of cocaine.
    You see, sugar produces dopamine – a happy, feel-good chemical – in the brain. People get addicted to eating sugar, whereby they need it to feel “normal” and they undergo “withdrawal” if they cut sugar from their diets. If they go “cold turkey” for a few days, their brain will begin to produce dopamine on its own, but the discomfort of the withdrawal process keeps many “sugar addicts” trapped in their addiction.
    Sugar is also cancer’s favorite food, due to the anaerobic respiratory mechanism exhibited by ALL cancer cells. And since half of the white sugar in the USA comes from sugar beets, you should remember that most beets are now genetically modified. This another reason to stay away from the “White Death” isn’t it?
    I personally recommend that you avoid white sugar, brown sugar, agave, and all artificial sweeteners such as aspartame/AminoSweet, sucralose, and saccharin. If you have a sweet tooth, it’s best to stick with 100% pure stevia, xylitol, raw honey, pure maple syrup, molasses, and coconut sugar. The bottom line: If you want to be healthy, you MUST take control of your sugar intake so that it doesn’t take control over you.
    Ending The Sugar Confusion
    It is easy to become confused by the various sugars and sweeteners, so here is a basic overview:
    Saccharide = sugar
    Glucose (aka “dextrose” or “grape sugar”), galactose (“milk sugar”), and fructose (“fruit sugar”) are all “monosaccharides” (i.e. single sugar molecules), known as “simple sugars.” The primary difference between them is the way your body metabolizes them.
    Glucose is the form of energy you were designed to run on. Every cell in your body uses glucose for energy.
    High amounts of fructose are very damaging to the body if it isn’t burned immediately for energy because it travels directly to the liver where it’s converted to triglycerides (fats). Excess triglycerides increase insulin resistance (and insulin production), thus contributing to diabetes in a “back door” fashion.
    The simple sugars can combine to form more complex sugars, like sucrose (“table sugar”) which is a “disaccharide” comprised of 50% glucose and 50% fructose.
    “Refined” white sugar (pure sucrose) is washed with a syrup solution, then with hot water, clarified (usually chemically) to remove impurities, decolorized, concentrated, evaporated, re-boiled until crystals form, centrifuged again to separate, then dried. By this point, any remnants of “natural goodness” and “nutritional value” have completely disappeared! Quite frankly, white sugar should be considered an “industrial product” rather than “food.”
    “Brown sugar” is white sugar mixed with molasses.
    “Raw” sugar is not really raw—it has been cooked, and most of the minerals and vitamins are gone. But it’s probably a little better than refined white sugar because it has a little of the molasses remaining.
    Aspartame or AminoSweet is a neurotoxic rat poison … need I say more?
    Splenda (sucralose) is NOT a sugar, despite its deceptive marketing slogan, “made from sugar.” It’s a chlorinated artificial sweetener in line with aspartame, though not quite as harmful.
    Honey is approximately 50% fructose, but in natural (raw and unpasteurized) form contains many health benefits. Buying honey that is local and unpasteurized is best.
    Stevia is an extremely sweet herb derived from the leaf of the South American stevia plant, which is completely safe (in its natural form.) Green stevia is the whole plant, while white stevia is processed and can often contain other ingredients like natural flavors or dextrose – a form of sugar. 100% green stevia in its natural state is what you want.
    Agave nectar is made from the agave plant, which is a cactus. Sounds natural, right? Like maple syrup from a tree, or honey from a beehive. Only it isn’t. Agave is HIGHLY processed while the end product does not even remotely resemble the original agave plant. Furthermore, agave is approximately 80% fructose (much higher than honey and maple syrup).
    HFCS – high fructose corn syrup – is 55% fructose and 45% glucose. It is mostly genetically modified. Stay away!
    Rapadura is the pure juice extracted from the sugar cane (using a press), which is then evaporated over low heat, whilst being stirred with paddles, then sieve ground to produce a grainy sugar. It has not been cooked at high heats or spun to change it into crystals, and the molasses is maintained in the sugar. “Sucanat” is the USA trade name for Rapadura.
    Coconut sugar is made from the sweet watery sap that drips from the cut flower buds of the coconut palm. It has a low glycemic index (GI) and is rich in amino acids. It is typically less than 10% fructose, with sucrose being the primary component.
    Xylitol is a sweetener known as a “sugar alcohol” (or polyol). Sugar alcohols are neither sugars nor alcohols – they are carbohydrates (with structures that happen to resemble sugar and alcohol). Xylitol is extracted from birch cellulose. Unlike sugar, Xylitol is slowly absorbed, does not cause a rapid blood sugar increase, and does not require an immediate insulin response from the body to be metabolized. Moreover, many studies have shown that it actually helps prevent dental cavities, ear infections and some evidence suggests that it helps prevent gum disease because Xylitol is an anti-bacterial.
    Jun 11, 2015. 05:54 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Exxon rejects role in Texas earthquakes [View news story]
    I wonder what the rates are for an earthquake insurance policy at XOM's headquarters is?
    Jun 11, 2015. 05:16 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Exxon rejects role in Texas earthquakes [View news story]
    Silicon Valley!
    Home to the world's capitol of media and entertainment!
    Home to two of world's best public universities!
    Home to one of the world's best private universities!
    Gateway to Asia!
    Home of the current champions of MLB

    Jun 11, 2015. 05:13 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Exxon rejects role in Texas earthquakes [View news story]
    The EPA said nothing about earthquakes. It is not the department's bailiwick.
    Jun 11, 2015. 04:53 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • A New Kind Of Feudalism As Western Workers Lose Ground [View article]
    I cannot add anything more to the correctness of your comment.
    Jun 11, 2015. 03:38 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • A New Kind Of Feudalism As Western Workers Lose Ground [View article]
    Good analysis.

    I particularly liked the hacker comment. Multinationals are in a for a rude awakening regarding their overall IT security in the coming years. They don't want NSA guidance or listen to suggested protection measure and are adverse to pay for it unless they are hacked. Even the hacked companies are probably doing the bare minimum to keep the hackers at bay and in the meantime the hackers adapt to their last thwarted attempts and evolve.

    Charlie Rose had an interesting show about a month ago regarding a hacker that was caught by the FBI. He is now working for the government. I mention this because the hacker was a US citizen, had no formal education but was a outstanding at hacking. His accomplishments at moving money surrepticiously from banks, causing mischief on other company IT infrastructure was legendary. He was in the process of orchestrating attacks with the other hacker around the world because of his dissatisfaction with his economic circumstances.

    Cyber warfare is cheap. It is the new way to cause a revolution.

    Scary times are ahead if the 1% don't recognize their vulnerabilities.
    Jun 10, 2015. 07:08 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • A New Kind Of Feudalism As Western Workers Lose Ground [View article]
    Tin Lizzy,

    Thank you for responding. Let me admit at the outset of this response that I am not as familiar as you are about education in Canada nor probably in the US since I married late in life and have no children. With that said, I agree that teachers ought to have at the grammar and middle school levels a wide skill set in the basic science, math, verbal, reading, writing, art, music, civics, language, etc. At the same time, most teachers that I grew up instructing me did not have that background for all of the aforementioned disciplines and I grew up in age in the US that was considered at minimum very good, namely circa 1960s.

    As a point of correction I did not advocate that grammar and middle school students should leave one classroom and head to the teacher's classroom. I may've not been clear in my verbiage and re-reading my earlier comment, it is understandable how kids jumping from one class to another could be inferred.

    The math issue that you discuss is not uncommon. There is an online instruction system called Khan academy. The founder's niece had a similar problem as your daughter but she was failing. Khan's sister complained to Khan about it so he took over tutoring her. She began to improve and is now in honors mathematics as I recall. Mr. Kahn is a math guru.

    My curriculum for children in primary and middle schools ought to be in math, english,science, music, art, literature, reading and writing subjects as well as oral communication, how to listen, comprehension, analytical skills as well as a heavy dose of physical education. I find it remote that any teacher today can provide all of these lessons and instruction that I am advocating for. I want the best education for the US because we are living in a global world wide economic and financial system that will competing with the best and brightest in the very near future.

    Under these circumstances, I would like the US education system to rival at minium the best and I prefer it surpasses any other system on earth so we remain the world's paramount economic system. Our poltical system is so dysfuctional at this time that I won't discuss it.

    As a side bar and for the purposes to illustrate why I'm advocating this when I was in eighth grade, (I went to Catholic grammar school), my instructor was a nun. She was good at instructing us in english, math, and religious instruction but didn't teach geography, and sorely lacked in music and the fine arts. The school was advanced at that time as we had another nun instruct us in music, the arts and literature. Her classroom was next door and her class received math, english, etc. instruction from my instructor so we receive the best of both nun's strengths. Tutoring was done either before or after school by the instructor per consultation by the teacher to the parents on a bi-monthly basis.

    Again, given the needs of today's children due to global competitiveness, we need a more robust system than the one I had. We will also need to pay our teachers more than a nun's salary or what we pay a lay teacher today.

    Currently, the Scandanavian countries teach their children a minimum to two languages before they enter high school. We don't even even ask that our kids learn a language at any grade level. Our primary and middle schools in certain sections of the US don't teach evolution. They don't teach civics. If they teach history it is the homogenized version of a mostly caucasain bias. In other words, the American Indian story is rarely communicated. The real results of American empire building, that is Manifest Destiny is not provided. Children are taught pablum math. Middle school kids are not offerred music much less high school.

    To answer your question on whether a teacher at the primary or middle school should have taken and passed caluculus, I say no unless they are going to teach math. Teachers, I agree, do need to have a wide breadth, however. I would advocate that they've taken algebra, geometry and advanced algebra in high school. By the same token, they should've taken biology and chemistry in high school at a minimum. Of course and if later in life but before teaching children if they had not taken these classes then they could take them at the community college level.

    Will this cost more money? Yes. You get what you pay for.

    In closing, I'm providing a link from last Sunday's New York Times about the current state of some of the red states in the US. Unfortunately, it appeared on page A-16. The lead on page 1 was about Seal Team 6 that took up the upper fold and another half page in the front section of the paper. I am bringing this up because the US media has been captured too by corporations that are not interested in providing us with germane news and events that affect our daily lives. Our national politics are covered as if they are sporting events instead of the issues. I could go on but I think you understand what I'm getting at.

    Here is the the link.
    Jun 10, 2015. 05:36 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • A New Kind Of Feudalism As Western Workers Lose Ground [View article]
    Tin Lizzy,

    I am not familiar how the public Canadian education is funded at the primary school level so please understand my naiveté. With this in mind, wouldn't it be better instead of penalizing the teachers that can't teach math to hire someone who majored in math in college and also received a teaching degree? Given today's advances in science, I would advocate the same for that that discipline be taught by someone trainded in science. The same for civics, history, literature, language, english, etc.

    Western society has become specialized. Our educational system has not evolved with it. We should have primary school teachers that specialize in a discipline and have them instruct our childrer in their field of specialization.
    Jun 2, 2015. 02:48 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • A New Kind Of Feudalism As Western Workers Lose Ground [View article]
    Nattering Nabob,

    You are spot on regarding the Jarvis-Gann Initiative or Prop 13.

    It began the incremental downturn in California's higher education affordability for the working and middle classes while improving the profitability of large landholders.

    The state coffers at that time as I recall had a $2 billion surplus and Governor Brown the fiscal conservative that he was and still is did not want to offer the residents of California a tax break so the taxpayers instead of endorsing an initiative that would return $1 billion from the general fund to taxpayers via a rebate based upon tax progressivity, they instead chose to gut education.

    It was similar to a farmer with a silo of grain that would hold him over for drought and the lean years to sell his seed corn instead.

    Jun 1, 2015. 12:50 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment