I can see it in your eyes, false hopes fed by lies

I know y’all love it when I’m pissed off.  I’m beyond pissed off, so much so that I spent a good hour awake in the middle of the night with my head spinning pissed off.

Yesterday I went to load up Rita and Norman in the truck to take them to a dog event at Sports Basement.  I fired up the truck and it didn’t sound right.  It was not an unfamiliar sound.  It was the sound of my truck without a catalytic converter.  And tonight’s the night I worry about my vehicles being vandalized.  This time the little jackholes cut the exhaust manifold and the exhaust pipe and apparently got away.  The last time it cost me $600 and I had the cat.  Last time they cut the exhaust pipe but not the manifold.  This is going to be a small fortune to fix.

I called the Concord PD and they wouldn’t even come out.  I’m sure it has something to do with the Clayton Police not arresting the criminals for them.  A little later a cop called me and told me about a program that was over with at Concord Toyota where they are doing some things to make them harder to steal.  My idea of harder to steal is different than theirs.   “Tamper resistant hardware and tracking numbers” is nice.  I want the thing to explode in the thief’s face and blow off his hands so he can never steal from anyone again.  I don’t think that’s asking to much.

On February 23rd mine was stolen.  The Clayton Police arrested David Ballesteros-Fajardo and two other clowns after they asked the Clayton Police for directions at 4am.  My converter was in the car.   On March 16, Walnut Creek Police arrested David Fajardo.  Again he had stolen converters in his car.   I asked the cop if David Fajardo was out of jail yesterday and he was.  So when I filed the online police report I told them who did it and to go out to Stockton and pick up his thieving ass.

Later yesterday I was talking to one of my clients.  He is a cop.  A very honorable man.  He’s retired out on a back injury.  He wants to go back to work and they won’t let him.  He hurt it picking up a fire hydrant to save someone’s life.  He now has to short sale because he’s not making the money he used to, he’s almost out of savings trying to do the right thing.   This guy re-painted the interior and re-caulked all the moulding BEFORE he would let me put his house on the market.  On a SHORT SALE!  Anywho, I’m talking to him and he said to call back CPD and ask them to do a Probation Check on Fajardo.  They don’t have to do it since he’s in San Joaquin County.  (San Joa for your SOA  fans)  And apparently the San Joaquin County Sheriff likes to jack guys up.  First on the agenda this morning.

And believe me the CoCo County DA is getting an earful.

Speaking of an earful, let’s end with a couple of videos.

Jeffrey Sachs is the one of the youngest economics professors in the history of Harvard.  He is the Director of The Earth Institute at Columbia University.  He wore a suit to Wall Street.

And if that didn’t lay it out in very simple terms, check out Cenk Uygur owning Bill O’Reilly and Fox news.

I can’t even add to what Uygur said, he just kills it.

OK, it’s Halloween, here’s your treat.

Said goodbye to his momma as he left South Dakota to fight for the red, white and blue

I think a big problem with these Occupy protests is that the media is doing a shitty job of covering them.  When I hear comments like “dirty hippies” and “get a job” it pisses me off.  I said it earlier, these guys are fighting for us.  All of us.

Math is fun.  Who are the 1%?  Who are these people who pay less taxes and run this country?

The last time the IRS released the numbers was for 2009.  That makes sense, 2010 taxes were just filed by us business people.  I got my ass kicked so badly last year that even as a business person all they are asking me for is a Pepsi and a bag of chips and that ought to cover it.  I owe self employment tax and that’s it.  But back to the 1%, because I’m the 99%.  The 1% makes over $343,927.  Check out this asinine article by Tammy Luhby on CNN, which I will now quote.

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) — Think it takes a million bucks to make it into the Top 1% of American taxpayers?

Think again. In 2009, it took just $343,927 to join that elite group, according to newly released statistics from the Internal Revenue Service

Tammy says “just $343,927”.

Just for shits and giggles, if you are a PBE reader and make over $343,927 per year would you just comment “I am the 1%, quit being such a bitch to me”.  You have to register and then log in to do that, but I’ll make it easy.  If you’re the 1% and read PBE I will actually put my email in a post today.  Write me at winedog at astound dot net.  I’ll count you.  If you exist.  I don’t believe there is a single reader of PBE (and my readership is around 4000 per month) who actually makes that.  I might have a few that make HALF of that.  But y’all aren’t the 1%.

That’s not to say that $343,927 isn’t a number to aspire to, it is.  It’s just not you or me right now.  I would venture to say that number did drop in 2010 but I’m sure it didn’t drop under $300k.  A lot of Realtors are up in arms about the protests but few have businesses that make enough to qualify them.  I’m not sure how the number works with expenses since I don’t do my taxes any more.  I only look at two numbers.  Then I shove it back in the envelope and wait for the nastygrams from the feds.  The truth of the matter is that the average income for a Realtor is around $23,000.  So in truth, few Realtors very few, are in the 1%.  They actually don’t get that they are being jacked because they aren’t and would be better off if they were.

That’s kind of what’s going on in the streets.  People are parroting the “news” outlets (translation conservatively owned propaganda stations, the liberal media is a myth) and have no idea that these people at these Occupy protests are actually fighting FOR them.  Don’t you wonder why there are so many veterans out there on the line?  Have you heard of OccupyMarines?  Yes, veterans of the USMC have responded and are there fighting again for us.  They aren’t dirty hippies, they are veterans.

Last night a former Marine was hit in the head by a Oakland Police projectile.  His skull was shattered.  The Marines are there because they aren’t the 1% either.  They are fighting for us.  Today, we should say a prayer for Scott Olsen’s recovery.  He’s fought for us three times.  The Oakland Police put him in the hospital.  If we don’t get a grip on this situation this country is going to explode into real violence.  It won’t be the negros burning Detroit this time.  It will be the people taking back the country for real.

Some folks are born made to wave the flag

“The civil rights movement was a few years in front of me. I was too young to participate when they first started the freedom rides and the sit-ins. So on a day-to-day basis, it didn’t have an impact. I just kept going to school, doing what I was supposed to do, and stayed out of trouble. I didn’t go downtown and try to participate in sit-ins. Counter to our real feelings we decided to avoid trouble by moving to the back of the bus when the driver told us to. Dad always said, ‘stay out of trouble,’ and we did.” `Herman Cain

Perhaps he should have named his book “From the Big House to the White House”.  It’s catchy, you’ve got to give me that.  But that’s actually not to subject today.  The juxtaposition, that’s the story here.

Lots of African Americans did not join that fight on the street.  Lots of like thinking white Americans did not join that fight on the street.  It takes a special person to go out there, risk arrest, injury and even death to fight for the rights of the rest of us.  ACT-UP used to make me cringe, but they fought a fight that needed to be fought.  At the time we had a President who had never uttered the term “AIDS” in public, while Americans died.  I hated ACT-UP’s tactics and did not participate even though I had friends who were dying and they were fighting for people I cared about.  There was a rag tag element to those protests, but they were right.  They were as right as the anti-war protestors of the 60’s.  (not the ones screaming “baby killer” at our returning soldiers, those guys were wrong) They were as right as the Civil Rights protestors of the 60’s.  They were as right as the original tea party.  (I’m sure those guys in Bostom harbor spelled their signs correctly)  And they were as right as the Occupy Wall Street protestors are today.

They are fighting a fight that needs to be fought for America.  Here’s a good reason why.

That’s a Gallup question asked to Chinese and American families.  19% of American families are what they call “food insecure”.  That is, they don’t know where their next meal might come from.  Now I could go on about how the only thing they can afford is cheap ass fast food that is full of hormones and antibiotics and wood.  And how that might make them fat and sick.  And how that might put a strain on the health care system, because they probably don’t have insurance either.  But that would take money out of the pockets of billionaires and we wouldn’t want to do that.  Because this is America.  Which right now looks a lot like Rome.  Fixin’ to burn.

But really today I wanted to draw the parallel with those who fight for us in the streets and those of us who sit in our comfy homes and “stay out of trouble”.  Time magazine just did a poll that said that 54% of America supported the Occupy Wall Street protestors.  That’s pretty decent support in a divided country.  There’s this weird little phenomenon where they are finding that the Occupy Wall Street guys are spelling the words on their signs properly, a feat that has consistently eluded the Teabaggers.


I wonder why the Teabag protestors are referred to as “Americans” by Faux News and the Occupy Wall Street guys are referred to as “dirty hippies”.   That’s not “fair” or “balanced” you asshats.

I support Occupy Wall Street.  They have finally gotten to the root of the problem and they are pointing the finger at the Emperor.  And he wears no clothes.

As for Herman Cain, he’s just a House Negro.  His 15 minutes is going to be up pretty quickly here.

And the preacher he did start to glow

We haven’t had a link dump/rant/cheapshot lagniappe in a while.  Let’s go!

First, I have a couple of votes for worst person in the world.  Or in our first case, most disgusting excuse for an human being and certainly not a Christian on any level goes to the asshats at Westboro Baptist Church, and we use the term “church” very very loosely.  These people are the devil walking the earth.  Period.

Next up, let’s take a few minutes to talk about CEO compensation.  You know I check out everything I’m sent.  I was sent a chart saying CEO’s are making 475 times what the average production worker makes.  That is incorrect, that number is from 1999.  The correct number as of 2010 was 343.  Simple translation, for every dollar you make, the CEO of your company is making $343 of them.  If you were making $1 an hour, your CEO would be clearing $594419 per month.  But you make more than that.  In some cases $10-15 these days.  A CTO (Chief Title Officer) might be making $30 right now.  Multiply…I’ll give you a few minutes.  Yeah, we’re talking $6million per year MINIMUM.  Why are we protecting these guys from paying the same level of taxes that we pay?  Hypothetically you gross $50k per year.  Times 343, your CEO gross $17,150,000.  You pay on the average 35% of that in taxes.  $17,500 of your income goes to takes.  Your CEO pays 17% in taxes.  He pays $2,815.500.  You clear $32,500, he clears $14,335,000.  If he pays the same amount of tax as you do he would clear $11,147,500.  If you paid the same amount he did you’d clear $41,500.  Did he put his pants on one leg at a time this morning?  Hell yes.  Did he go to more school than you?  Possibly, but not probably.  So why is this ok?  It’s not.  Close the goddamned loopholes.  Thank you.

On that same subject, Occupy Wall Street.  These guys aren’t going away.   And they shouldn’t.  The sooner we listen to them instead of the corporate sponsored talking heads, the better off we’ll all be.  This looks and feels like 1967 all over again to me.  We even have the handwringing and ridiculous comments from politicians which sound exactly like they did back there.  Insert the phrase “dirty hippie” and we’re right that.

“The fact is these people are anarchists. They have no idea what they’re doing out there, they have no sense of purpose other than a basically anti-American tone and anti-capitalist. It’s a ragtag mob basically.”

“We have to be careful not to allow this to get any legitimacy, I’m taking this seriously in that I’m old enough to remember what happened in the 1960s when the left-wing took to the streets and somehow the media glorified them and it ended up shaping policy, we can’t allow that to happen.”

That’s the hateful Congressman, Peter King (R-NY).   Uh, swing and a miss there buddy.

There is a great quote about that period of our history?  Go rent “The Fog or War”.  Robert McNamara (Secretary of Defense under Kennedy and Johnson) speaks about the Viet Nam war for 90 minutes give or take.  He is asked point blank about the Gulf of Tonklin incident, which for those of you who don’t know all your history, is the event that led to our troop escalation.  Robert McNamara says that he doesn’t believe that our warship was fired upon, that it was “an over reactive radioman”.  Today he believes the event that led to our bombing North Viet Nam didn’t happen.

So Congressman King, the hippies changed policy that was a lie.  How is that bad?  Idiot.

I’d love to change the world, but I don’t know what to do

There’s an old Wayne Gretzky quote that I love. ‘I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been.’ And we’ve always tried to do that at Apple. Since the very very beginning. And we always will.
—Steve Jobs

Few human beings get a chance to actually change the world.  Fewer recognize that opportunity and move on it.   In 1976 two men met in a garage and changed the world we live in.

I have said it before, for the newer readers PBE is written on a mac and has been.  Period.    Here is the real story.

I decided in 1995 it was time to buy a computer.  I know, home computers had been around for a while by then.  There was the Apple II.  We used to keep track of the new title orders on one of those.   Up until then I had only used information retrieval systems.  But a few years earlier a friend took me to MacWorld.  Holy crap.  I was bitten.  I bought one of the few mac clones ever built.  At the time John Scully was running Apple and they had allowed a very few licenses to be issued.   I bought a machine from Power Computing.  They had an awesome presence at MacWorld.  Big white Hummers back before every douchebag in the world owned one.  White cammos and black t-shirts.  Their machines were rocket fast.  Faster than Apple’s.  And their campaign was “Arrested for speeding”.  I had to have one. I had that machine for a number of years.  It was a slice of awesome.   Steve Jobs came back later that year and put an end to the licenses.  And rightly so.

My next machine was a G4.  I wore that poor bastard out.  It was rocket fast when I bought it, the fastest mac that wasn’t a gamer.  I retired it two years ago.  I now have the 22′ iMac.  I had an iPhone but I hated AT&T and dumped it after one call dropped six times.  I got a Droid which I love, but I miss my iPhone.  The apps at least.

Back in 2001 when I was a stock broker Apple stock could be traded for a coke and a bag of chips.  Rumors were flying that they were done.  Finished.  Being the contrarian that I am, I said 22 million mac users can’t be wrong.  I was on the wrong side of history.  Apple was done.  The fat lady was going to sing.  And then something amazing happened.   From the depths of the market Apple started clawing it’s way back.  I loved the RISC processing.  (reduced instruction set computing) But the game changer was the iPod.  Up until then everybody and their Uncle had a Walkman.

The next game changer they brought to the table was the iPhone.  It basically rendered flip phones, which were really cool at that point, obsolete.  But they didn’t stop there, last year they brought out the iPad.  Think you don’t need one?  Think again.  Some of the nicest presentations I’ve seen have been on an iPad.

PBE will continue to be written on a mac.  Because when it is, all is right in the world.  In a world that’s just a little emptier tonight without Mr. Jobs.  Godspeed Steve.  Stay hungry, stay foolish.

You’ll thank me for wasting the next 15 minutes of your life.







There will be no highlights on the eleven o’clock news


Interesting.  Depending on how long you’ve been reading PBE, you’ve seen <insert your years of participation here> years of me bitching about corporations beholden to their Wall Street gods.  Looks like somebody else gets it.

Now I’m not a big fan of Anonymous.  However, 700 arrests is nothing to sneeze about.  Neither is the fact that the progressives and the teabaggers actually agree on this issue.  Wall Street has too much power in America and some people have finally figured that out.

JP Morgan Chase donated $4.6 million dollars to the NYPD to…break heads?  What was that for?  To protect their interests?  That is the most suspicious act in this whole thing.  Rumors were flying that USMC veterans were heading down to protect the protesters from the NYPD which seems to be a bit out of control on this one.  I haven’t seen any reports of their actual appearance but somethings is happening here.  Something different.  Something we haven’t seen since 1967.  The next week will tell the story.   Hopefully the story isn’t the National Guard firing live rounds into a crowd.

Monday morning seems like a good time to wake a sleeping bear.  SCOTUS ruled that a corporation was a person, I believe last year but it might have been the year before.  At the time I said it was one of the worst Supreme Court decisions of all time.  (Worse than Dred Scott for you Sarah Palin fans out there)  I stand by that.  One of the protesters had a sign that said “When you can execute a corporation, they are a person.”  That wasn’t lost on me.  I doubt idiots like Sarah Palin or Michelle Bachmann or Rick Perry have any idea how bad that decision actually was.   Or what that sign means.

Occupy Wall Street thinks they are on to something.  I think they are too.   So does Robert Kuttner, check out his essay here.   And so far, the bulk of the violence is being committed by the NYPD.  (and apparently funded by JP Morgan Chase)  I’ve seen some of the messages to the protesters, and they are one of non-violent protest.  No, I don’t know how I got on that list.  I hope they can hold the line on that one.

It seems to me that this country has been two trains on the same track heading towards each other for a while.  One train has been protecting the rich from tax equality with the rest of us in the name of “no new taxes” while the other has been losing their jobs, their homes, their health and everything they’ve worked for to billionaires.  In the middle the teabaggers have been screaming “zero taxes” which is absolutely asinine.  I wish I could find the picture of the teabag protest sitting on the public street with the arrows pointing to all of the things that taxpayers paid for, like the sidewalk, the stop light, the traffic sign.  Here is the most brilliant video of the week.  Hopefully this is the end of Scott Brown.


If we don’t walk away from the teabaggers and do something for the masses, these trains are going to crash.  And it ain’t going to be pretty.