First let me apologize because I have not been writing for a while, well, plainly too much work.

Now the apologies are done, let`s go into the matter.

The Federal Government is shut down, it is essentially like when your credit card company blocks your card because they want ot get paid before letting you spend more. So, is it fair ?

Well, I honestly believe that a government should be treated just as a private party, and if you are overextended, your credit gets stopped, period.

Now, let’s ask the question no one wants to hear. Does the US really need a Federal Government ?, let’s face it, the states have legislature, police, and all the same things as the federal government.

After two periods in office, Uncle Tom has not changed anything, he even had to be stopped by congress form getting the US in another war, I don`t know in what world do the politicians live, I guess they missed the end of the cold war, they missed the European crisis, they simply did not get that free market, although unfair and unreliable is much better than socialism.

I am not saying the Republicans are any better, but one of the definitions of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expect different results.

Every time a country steers to the left, a minor recovery is standard, it always happened, darn, even Hitler had it in Germany, Franco in spain (those were NOT right wing governments BTW) they were fascists or center left with a strong military.

So, now the problem is that the do gooders are always wanting to tax “the rich”, but what they forget is that when you tax “the rich” to give to the poor, “the rich” own the factories (let’s say dairy farms), so taxes go up, “the rich” simply charge the extra tax on the milk, and “there ya go “, poorer people, when you tax “the rich” too much you always end up taxing the poor and the middle class, in my cuntry we have a 19% VAT, compnies sell product as +VAT prices, therefore the final consumer of a product finally pays the VAT.

So, I believe the US should consider looking back into its history and when the federal government was a sensible thing to have, maybe it just has to be downsized, it just uses too much money, it’s an entropic machine. I believe the US government as it is today cannot be funded, not even with a 50% tax on all the income of the rich.

Just a hunch, but run your numbers.

Have a nice day.

Soon there will be an election in Chile, BTW this country is doing quite well, once again the “left” is running a sale, free education, high minmmum wage, welfare system, and the usual “vote buying” strategies, what is really dissapointing is that the “right” is talking about a “fair” society. In the US war has not stopped, in Europe nothing has been fixed, in fact, Europeans are worse off than the inhabitants of some emerging economies. Both sides say that the other has failed, the “left” saya that the free market has failed, the “Right” says Socialsm has failed, So, would you like a diagnosis ? It seems democracy has failed.

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I am right now at a seminar in Santiago Chile listening to Mr. Zacks, he is talking about wealth distribution, environment, sustainability, etc. It is amazing to hear an economist talking about these issues. But well, I am not impressed, he talks about what governments must do to drive a change in these issues, well, this is not the government`s job, this is our job, if there is to be a change it has to come from the individual, (it seems the amish were not wrong after all), we as individual citizens must shorten our showers, keep the heating a bit cooler at home, get a couple of solar panels (instead of a new car for example). It is all up to each of us, it is very easy to place the responsiblity on the government, well, this is something we can blame on the government. It’s our fault.

Have a nice day

Hello again:

I recently posted about hydraulic fracturing (or fracking for short), my previous post was a reasoned post, I was told it was bad, and I just bitched because my government allowed it. I assumed that the usual causes (big Money and politicians) were involved in this. But it’s not something like “We allow the sale of cigarrtettes, alcohol and (legal) addictive drugs because of Money, but you can choose not to consume them”. I ended up researching about it and it’s psychotic.

Let me put this in context, the fact of the matter is that there are effluent regulations, in industry in general, industries simply  cannot discharge hazardous chemicals into the environment, and if they do, they are prosecuted, the environment agencies monitor these effluents and keep a close watch on them, the same with emissions, there are laws forcing companies to decrease theit greenhouse gas emissions.

Now, imagine my surprise, when I found out that fracking is allowed in countires with these regulations, once again let’s keep in mind that if you change the oil in your car and were so unconscious as to throw your used oil in the drain and got caught, you would be fined and probably “jailed” (even though you will not actually go to jail, you would get probation, at least the first time), and energy companies  are allowed to inject fracking fluid into the ground, now “fracking fluid” does not seem bad, until we look at what it contains, now just imagine what your government would do to you if you dumped the following chemicals in your back yard:

WARNING!!! – GEEK STUFF AHEAD…. (Got all this from Wikipedia, I also confirmed it in several other sites, including government agencies, so let’s remind them it was there,  if people start dying, they can`t say they didn’t know).

Additives can include one or more of the following:

Acids—hydrochloric acid (usually 28%-5%), or acetic acid is used in the pre-fracturing stage for cleaning the perforations and initiating fissure in the near-wellbore rock.

Sodium chloride (salt)—delays breakdown of the gel polymer chains.

Polyacrylamide and other friction reducers—minimizes the friction between fluid and pipe, thus allowing the pumps to pump at a higher rate without having greater pressure on the surface.

Ethylene glycol—prevents formation of scale deposits in the pipe.

Borate salts—used for maintaining fluid viscosity during the temperature increase.

Sodium and potassium carbonates—used for maintaining effectiveness of crosslinkers.

Glutaraldehyde—used as disinfectant of the water (bacteria elimination).

Guar gum and other water-soluble gelling agents—increases viscosity of the fracturing fluid to deliver more efficiently the proppant into the formation.

Citric acid—used for corrosion prevention.

Isopropanol—increases the viscosity of the fracture fluid.

The most common chemical used for hydraulic fracturing in the United States in 2005–2009 was methanol, while some other most widely used chemicals were isopropyl alcohol, 2-butoxyethanol, and ethylene glycol.

Typical fluid types are:

Conventional linear gels. These gels are cellulose derivatives (carboxymethyl cellulose, hydroxyethyl cellulose, carboxymethyl hydroxyethyl cellulose, hydroxypropyl cellulose, methyl hydroxyl ethyl cellulose), guar or its derivatives (hydroxypropyl guar, carboxymethyl hydroxypropyl guar) based, with other chemicals providing the necessary chemistry for the desired results.

Borate-crosslinked fluids. These are guar-based fluids cross-linked with boron ions (from aqueous borax/boric acid solution). These gels have higher viscosity at pH 9 onwards and are used to carry proppants. After the fracturing job the pH is reduced to 3–4 so that the cross-links are broken and the gel is less viscous and can be pumped out.

Organometallic-crosslinked fluids zirconium, chromium, antimony, titanium salts are known to crosslink the guar based gels. The crosslinking mechanism is not reversible. So once the proppant is pumped down along with the cross-linked gel, the fracturing part is done. The gels are broken down with appropriate breakers.

Aluminium phosphate-ester oil gels. Aluminium phosphate and ester oils are slurried to form cross-linked gel. These are one of the first known gelling systems.

END OF GEEK STUFF…

Now today, in the city where I live, we cannot use our fireplaces, “too much soot” the say, well, I am really concerned that I have to “properly dispose of” my used oil, batteries, etc. And my elected and well paid officials are allowing fracking, it’s plain insanity, it is this simple, if you can`t say it or don`t have a clue of what it is, it doesn’t belong in our water table (or anywhere near it BTW).

I don`t really know what half of that stuff is, but I’m pretty sure I would not be allowed to dump it anywhere, so how is it that energy companies are allowed to PUMP IT into the ground ?.

Sorry to mess up your day

After WW2, two ways to run things remained, the left and the right, (not Cuba and Bahamas left and right), a more subtle difference, more like Canada and the US, while Europe became a little more socialist (and I don`t mean this in a bad way), some emerging economies were almost forced into not doing so. so the spaniards, french, and socialists around the world complained that workers worked too much, had no rights, had no benefits, and started funding parties in these coutries to give hem the benefit of a “developed” society. Today, european countries (which what they actually had was a lot of credit) are broke, and what is their solution ?

Spanish government workers are getting stripped of their rights, their benefits, they have health cuts, free days taken from them, their working hours are now longer, and their retirement is postponed, all over Europe, working conditions are becoming worse than in underdeveloped countires, immigrants are leaving, and citizens too.

Now, when a parent is irresponsible with family finances (gives everybody in the family what they want just to be liked) there comes a time when bills and loans must be paid, then you see that (as our parents and grandparents told us), our responsible neighbors are better off than us, they saved to be better off in the future, they did not buy unnecessary stuff and did not get in debt, therefore today they are buying our house at auction.

Well, the only reason you do not see rafts leaving Miami headed to Cuba is because Cuba is an economic  s***hole and no matter how bad things get nobody would like to go there. So, If you have a father or grandfather in a nursing home, or he’s retired to Florida, make it a point to go visit soon, ask them about life, how is it they actually left you money or a house to sell, then compare the way you live with the way they lived theirs, it will surprise you to find out that you will get another “I told you so, but you wouldn`t listen”,

Your parents kept a car for 10 years not because they are old, but because they knew they couldn’t afford one, just like you can`t (even if a bank is willing to lend you the money to buy one), and rest assured your grandparents and parents had better credit than you do. And sadly this applies to governments also, it’s time to pay the bills, social expenditure in the case of Europe, and wars in the case of the US, and it’s not Shell or Exxon who are gong to pay for the gulf wars, it’s you, why is canada better off than the U.S. and has more social benefits ? Because they have not been at war !!!!

Shooting at someone has a cost, you have to train a soldier, send him/her there, buy him a gun, buy bullets, missiles, airplanes, food, etc. and let me tell you how empires worked: Spain invaded a place, they took all the gold and wealth back to Spain, and then  the king spent the money in Spain, therefore the economy bloomed.

Let me tell you how the U.S. works: The U.S. invades Iraq, destroys almost everything, the oil companies keep the oil, and the american people pay for the cost of the war.

Europe gives benefits to the workforce, has the US fight their wars for them, overtax the people and businesses, people and businesses go broke, they lay off the people, the government cannot pay for the benefits because they have fewer people and businesses to tax, therefore you have a lot of unemployment, the worforce loses their benefits, and the US goes broke and cannot afford to fight their wars for them.

France raised income tax to 75%, well, that didn`t do it either, the wealthy french simply left, so back to square one.

Now, the U.S. is following the european roadmap, just look at Europe today.

Here’s the result.

Hello Again:

First let me point out that I am not an enviromentalist, I really don’t care much about the issue and I go through my life like a normal citizen; having said this, I want to explain myself befoe you freak out on me. I buy fuel, buy electricity as well as products and don`t concern myself about what these companies do with the environment because I have elected officials who are my representatives in congress and are supposed to take care of these things.

This is basically the way life is organized, I go to work, make money, then go buy bread, I assume my baker makes bread with clean water and raw materials which will not kill me (at least not poison me). So we have a sort of hierarchy in life, my responsibility is to send my kids to school, I assume the school does a good job, I am not a teacher, therefore I must trust the teacher does a good job, that is where my responsibiliy ends, I have elected officials who get paid part of my wages to monitor schools and teachers.

Today, I found out on the news that fracking pollutes (WAIT, actually poisons the water table) and leaks methane (100 times stronger as a greenhouse gas than CO2) into the atmosphere, well, that is not really  my problem (in fact it is, but there is nothing I can do about it). There is a group of people in government who charge me to prevent this, there is a whole bureaucratic system which, if it did it’s job, this problem wouldn`t exist.

You have an EPA, or a ministry of the environment, or wahtever this agency is called in your country who are supposed to say to these companies: You are going to do WHAT ?

The same thing with education, if you have kids, (teenagers) turn around and ask them: where is Finland, or Bolivia for that matter, if he/she can’t answer, or tell you Bolivia is a province in Mexico, you must be concerned, there are less than 300 countries, and if your kid doesn’t know where these are, he is in trouble, and of course there is a group of bureaucrats who have not been doing their jobs for the last 15 years.

So, fracking is dangerous, horribly polluting, has a higher carbon footprint than burning coal (even before burning the gas), so simply, our governments should not allow it, no matter how much these companies contribute to their campaigns, because at the end of the day, their salaries are paid by us, and please gentlemen, we woul really appreciate you did your jobs for a change.

Have a nice day

I have been listening a lot to the “90%” (those who say 10% of the people have all the money), complain about their misfortune, but I really want to ask everybody if you honestly believe that there is a hidden power preventing you of being successful, if there is a conspiracy in the economy that “makes” you poor. I remeber when i was struggling through life, making even less than minimum wage, I quit a job, then entered another (which didn’t work out), and after several jobs and attemps, I found the activity which made me enough money to be “well off”, now, looking back at that 25 year journey to being “well off”, there is no one to blame but myself, I played my cards wrong, I was a lousy poker player in a professional table, I settled for a job in a company and until I understood that what a company does is to buy me cheap and sell me expensive I could not be “well off”. If today you have a job and are underpaid, there are two things which are true:

1) Whatever you do is needed by the market (if it wasn`t, you wouldnt have a job).

2) You are getting paid less than what the customer pays for the service. (because your employer is making money, therefore…, you do the math).

So, whenever you buy a shirt, you know you are paying the manufacturing cost, plus shipping, plus taxes, plust the overhead of the store, plus the profit of the store. Bingo! that is the sale price. So whenever you want to save money, you go to the factory outlet (or the importer outlet), and get it cheaper. So with labor it is the same thing, a company will hire (let’s say) 5 pool cleaners (cost = 25 US$ per cleaned pool), and charge the customer (let’s say 100 US) to clean a pool, if they have enough pools, they will keep all the 5 pool cleaners. Now if the economy is bad, the company will fire 4 pool cleaners and overwork the fifth to sustain it’s profits. The customer would love to be charged 50 US$ per pool cleaning, and you (who just got fired, or are the overworked guy) were actually being paid 25 US$, so if you go out in the market, with a more efficient operation, you can charge 50US$, double your income, and while you are at it put your former boss out of business (payback IS a Bitch !!!”).

So you have now become part of that select group who makes more money than the rest, and all those who make less than you are now out to get part of your money, You have now become part of the “opressors”, of those who steal the money from those who make less, by the “hocus pocus” of some twisted socialist logic, it’s your fault that someone s flipping hamburgers for minimnum wage in Duluth, So if you are part of the 90% and want to be in the 10%, DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT, your income will NOT grow if you just stay idle, get on the move, take chances, and most of all, learn, it took me more than 15 years to learn enough to make enough money to be “well off”. It took several misfires and mess-ups, but today I make enough, and (you are not going to believe this, I pay enough taxes to support 2 poor families, who are calculated at approximately my income when I began.

So get off your butt and ACT NOW, and then you will see that the 90% does not really deserve the money made by the 10%, Making money is HARD WORK, you do not make large amounts by coasting 9 to 5 in your job, it takes 12 hour days and lots of sleepless nights. Also, quite a little bit of talent (which a lot of people simply do not have).

So I hope I can call the demonstrators at 4 AM (while I am working) and see if they are doing something, or they are confortably asleep in their beds.

Have a nice day