It’s the TRUMPazoid

I like Donald Trump. I don’t know if I will vote for him, undecided at this point. Still, his favorability rating with me is definitedly postitive.

I thought this was funny.

You have your “Bushies”, your “Clintonistas”, your “Paulians”, and now, your “TRUMPazoids!”

TRUMPAZOID

From the movie “Bustin Loose” starring Richard Pryor.

Pryor set himself on fire shortly after filming this movie.

Dont’t try this at home, kids.

It’s all in the Terms of Service

I never read the Terms of Service.

TOSI’ve scanned a few, but it always comes back to my not wanting to spend the time;  Plus the fact that they read like a Fund Prospectus, written by a Philadelphia lawyer:  dull, drab, and confusing.

This is America, after all.  We expect, demand, and in most instances receive the highest good faith from those that we deal with.  In fact, when the occasional bad apples are discovered, we expect them to be flushed from the pool with the simple act of exposing their misdeeds.  That’s the way we do business in the good old U.S. of A.

It shouldn’t be any different on the internet, but it is.  There are a lot more bad actors in this wild, wild west of commerce.  And, by not reading those pesky terms of service, I open myself up to their shenanigans, forfeiting whatever little may be left of my privacy, among other things.

But, this post isn’t about my lackadaisical approach to reading the fine print on commercial websites.  It’s about an idea I’ve been playing with in my mind for a few weeks now, and has only recently come to head in two unrelated cyber places:  Facebook, and GoFundMe.

In the first case, a FB friend of mine, Thomas Lipscomb was banned from FB with no explanation.  Questions to FB administration were unanswered, with a closing response of, “this decision is final,”  no appeal, no explanation, nothing.  No one is questioning that Facebook has the right to do what they did.  It’s all in the Terms of Service, you see.  Thomas, just like everyone else on FB must agree to those terms of service, or they will not be allowed to play.

The second case came about after the arrests of six Baltimore police officers.  Some well-meaning people started a campaign to raise money for defense costs at GoFundMe.  After a number of complaints by the politically correct crowd, the admins at GFM took down the site.  They shut down the fundraising campaign  in less than one hour, citing their right to do so, yada yada yada, in accordance with the Terms of Service.  And, just so you know, you MUST agree to abide by the Terms of Service, or you cannot enjoy the privileges of membership.

This practice isn’t exclusive to FB and GFM.  In fact, it is standard practice on the commercial internet.

The idea that has been swimming around my mind goes like this:  If commercial websites are allowed to pick and choose with whom they will interact, and if such practices are justified by the fine print in the Terms of Service, then why can’t brick and mortar firms be allowed to do the same thing?

If, for example, a Christian baker were to have carefully crafted TOS posted on their physical premises (or on their websites), in which they state unequivocally that any potential customer must agree to abide with the TOS prior to making a service request, well, you see where I’m going here. They could simply point to the TOS any time they want to, with or without explanation, it would make no difference.  No difference at all.

As a disclaimer, I am not a lawyer, nor have I played one on TV.  But, I did stay at a Holiday Inn recently.  (BTW,  I read the Terms of Service posted on the door of my room).

see also: One Way Contracts:

Zero

For the first time since 1945, the federal government reported a net monthly job change of  Z-E-R-O.

“The bottom line is this is bad,” Diane Swonk, chief economist with financial services firm Mesirow Financial, told CNBC Friday.

source

Kind of adds a whole new dimension to the nick-name “zerobama”, doesn’t it?

Top 10 recession proof careers

h/t Candice

Recession Proof - 10 Hot Careers
Created by: Online Graduate Programs

DOES A WEAK AUSSIE DOLLAR SIGNAL A SLOWDOWN IN BUSINESS?

The economic turmoil witnessed over the past few weeks is a reminder that fundamentals play an important role in determining price trends in our various trading markets. A debt crisis is a basic fundamental, and due to the interdependence of our global markets, it can send shockwaves felt around the globe. Currencies weaken and strengthen. Commodity and futures markets react since the price for farming exports will be impacted down the road come harvest time. Balances between exports and imports become disrupted. Inventories may have to be revalued. Management teams must suddenly review their near term plans and adjust where necessary.

The European debt crisis and the uncertainty surrounding the Euro and its future were quick to cause the expected flight of capital to safe havens. In this case the U.S. Dollar and the Japanese Yen were the primary beneficiaries in the forex market. The flight into precious metals, Gold and Silver, was more pronounced. Traders, that had graduated from forex demo accounts and had dabbled in the “carry trade” business, raced to their respective trade desks to unwind unprofitable positions.

A “carry trade” is a strategy in which an investor sells a certain currency with a relatively low interest rate and uses the funds to purchase a higher yielding security, a bond or stock, in a different currency.  A trader using this strategy attempts to capture the difference between the rates, which can often be substantial, depending on the amount of leverage used. If the destination currency weakens, then the trader is exposed to a loss unless he has hedged his bets.

Many hedge funds and traders have used the Dollar and Yen as the “base” currency and invested where rates were higher, typically in Australia and New Zealand this time around. The Australian economy has been one of the strongest of the G20 countries.

The unwinding of carry trade volume could signal a further downturn in the Aussie Dollar. If it breaks through 0.85, then deeper cuts can be expected.

The Australian economy has outperformed many around the globe. GDP was up 2.7% in 2009, unemployment is half of what other countries are experiencing, machinery and equipment spending is also up, and China’s demand for resource exports remains unabated. The Central Bank has raised interest rates, and it appears that Australia may have skirted the global recession that has gripped Europe and America.

If the Australian economy is performing at near trend, then what are businessmen to make of all of this global turmoil? Fear and uncertainty, not market fundamentals, drove the Aussie Dollar to an eight-month low of 0.8517 on Wednesday. The consumer sentiment index showed a seven per cent slide for May, its biggest percentage drop since the height of the credit crunch in October 2008. Global turmoil and uncertainty suggest caution as the best strategy, or as the old adage goes, when in doubt, hold onto your position.

SEIU mortgage shakedown

Tired of paying your mortgage? Here’s an idea …

Just demand to see the original note on your mortgage.

And, to make it easier,your friends at  SEIU offer this handy-dandy tool to contact your bank.

In a few days the mortgage bank must tell you if they do in fact have your original mortgage note. And if not, then welcome to Easy Street. I suspect, if your mortgage is post 2006, the chances are good they won’t be able to produce the note.

Hello systemic financial meltdown.

Or, maybe not. This “crisis” has all the makings of a grand shakedown.

Consider this:  Linkage between SEIU and Barack Obama is well-documented and without question.  So, why would Obama veto the recent foreclosure moratorium bill, and take a position in direct opposition to his co-religionists at SEIU?

I think Obama is triangulating, and just maybe this was the plan all along.

From Zero Hedge

If these issues do in fact escalate, the Administration may try to broker some sort of settlement… The endgame will likely end up being the extraction of material concession from the banking syndicate, in the form of systemic mortgage writedowns, with Obama’s blessing, which will likely put the 25% of homeowners who are underwater on equal footing with the other 75%.

October Black Swan Roundup

1) Stuxnet is “Something Big”
How Stuxnet is Scaring the Tech World Half to Death

To date, no one knows exactly what Stuxnet was doing in the Siemens PLC. “It’s looking for specific things in specific places in these PLC devices,” Digital Bond CEO Dale Peterson told PC World. “And that would really mean that it’s designed to look for a specific plant.” Tofino Security Chief Technology Officer Eric Byres was even more ominous, saying, “The only thing I can say is that it is something designed to go bang.”

2) Massive Mortgage Mess

CNBC’s Diana Ollick who is by and far the company’s best (and only) investigative reporter, confirms various so far unfounded rumors, that the government is planning to institute a 90 day foreclosure moratorium as it deals with the realization of just how big and pervasive the mortgage problem is, and even worse, will soon be.

3. Consumer bankruptcies at 1.6M run rate Good thing that recession thingy is over.

September consumer bankruptcy filings once again are on the rise, with the monthly total hitting 130,329, 4.4% higher than the prior month. Overall, YTD bankruptcies of 1,046,449 are 11% higher than compared to the same period last year, as America revels in its newly found post-recession reality by going straight to bankruptcy go and not passing go. As Dow Jones reports, “the bankruptcy filings so far in 2010 represent the highest total since 2005” and are on track to hit a record 1.6 million by the end of the year.

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