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Who: Kimball Corson. Text and Photos not disclaimed or that are obviously not mine are copyright (c) Kimball Corson 2004-2013
Port: Lake Pleasant, AZ
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Photo #3
Kimball Corson
10/09/2014, Pago Pago, American Samoa

#2 @ 2000mm and 1/200 sec exp

Photo #2
Kimball Corson
10/09/2014, Pago Pago, American Samoa

#2 @ about 200mm and 1/6 sec exp.

Blood Moon Dup Photo #1
Kimball Corson
10/09/2014, Pago Pago, American Samoa

Dupped by the Press

The press uniformly reported the blood moon eclipse would occur on the 8th, implying of course, the night of the 8th. Wrong. It occurred mostly late on the night of the 7th and finished up early in the morning of the 8th, not the evening of the 8th. I missed it. But I was ready -- simply at the wrong time. I should have checked with astronomical sources.

I did take some shots of the moon, notwithstanding. Here are three. One at 20mm (#1), one at about 200mm (#2) and one at 2000mm (#3). I used a monopod and the camera's optical stabilization system on all three. Exposures were 1 sec, 1/6 sec and 1/200 sec, respectively.

The camera was a Panasonic DMC-FZ70 that I bought new from B&H PhotoVideo in New York for $250 on sale, complete with included camera bag and 15 GB class 10 SD card. I kind of like that camera more than the many others I have, many more expensive. I believe it clearly indicates the future direction of camera development. Ha, I should live so long.

Climate Change Deniers Go Silent as Ice Melts
Kimball Corson
10/06/2014, Pago Pago, American Samoa

Climate Change Deniers Are Becoming More Silent

Why? The earth is clearly warming up and the cause is clearly us.

For example, glaciers at the poles have lost 204 billion tons of ice in the last three years -- so much that the loss of mass in the Antarctica from the melt is actually changing the earth's gravitational balance. Recall the earth spins balanced like a top on its axis.

Antarctica is a continent with much of its mass consisting of ice, but as earth's climate changes and the polar ice regions begin to melt, the ice and its mass disappear from the polar regions, sea levels start to rise and the mass of the earth's gravitational balance shifts toward the equator. Indeed, the loss of mass is a way of measuring the ice loss and the amounts are serious.

On Mental Ditziness Encapsulated
Kimball Corson
10/06/2014, Pago Pago, American Samoa

Let's Go Light, Foolish and Fluffy for a Moment

Susie Moore, a "Life Coach" from New York City, says these seven books will change your life and and, in her own words, she explains why:

1. A Return To Love

This book changed my view of the world entirely.

Greatest lesson: Only love is real. All of our fears, resentment and worry are an illusion of our ego. Marianne's truths are freeing and enlightening in the most legitimate and beautiful way possible.

2. The Magic of Thinking Big

I read this when I was 15!

Greatest lesson: Anything is possible -- it starts and ends with your thinking. There is no way I would have achieved what I have so far from the unstable, extremely humble, nomadic upbringing I had without learning and believing these principles. I adore the 1950s vantage point too. I got a few chuckles out of when re-reading this book recently -- how success is defined by how I "can provide the best opportunities for my wife and children" and how it's important "to treat my secretary with respect!"

3. The 4 Hour Work Week

Never think about work the same way again.

Greatest lesson: Creative decisions and actions allow you to experience the richest life available and reject the traditional 9-5. You'll question everything about why your conventional career is valuable and receive highly practical information to live your life by design in an online driven, connected, opportunity rich world.

4. Who Moved My Cheese?

Change is everywhere, those who embrace it win.

Greatest lesson: People who succeed in all areas of their life embrace change swiftly and without complaint. Be one of them. This is a simple narrative about two mice and how each one acts differently when their cheese disappears. The lesson applies to love, work, migration, even "the times". You can finish it in two hours and be riveted by all the examples in your life you are reminded of.

5. How To Win Friends and Influence People

People matter most in this world.

Greatest lesson: You succeed when you make it about others. Ask questions. Listen. Use people's names. Be encouraging and optimistic and sincerely praise the people in your life. They will love you for it and you are both better for the experience. This has been invaluable in my sales career.

6. The 5 Love Languages

We all have 1 of these 5. Make sure you and your partner understand yours and each others.
Greatest lesson: All forms of conveying love are not equal. You need to give your partner what he or she needs (time, affection) and ask for what you need (help at home, words of affirmation). My husband and I love this book! Every married couple ought to read it.

7. The War of Art

Resistance stands between everything you have any everything you want.

Greatest lesson: Get busy. Work every single day toward your dream. Nothing else is more important and excuses mean nothing.

What has been a life-changing book for you?

My answer: selected works of Friedrich Nietzsche -- I am not into moved cheese or rah rah self help motivators. But I am thinking of penning a book on the virtues of stalling and procrastination. I might even throw in snarling, too.

Islam Buys Some Control Over America
Kimball Corson
10/05/2014, Pago Pago, American Samoa

Fundamentalist Islam Buys Some Control Over America Big Time

Thanks to the investigative journalism of The New York Times and The Nation, who recently combed through reams of public disclosure documents, we now know that the Saudis, UAE and Qatar, bastions of fundamentalist Islamic belief, have been flooding the nation's capital with dollars, buying up think tanks, lobbyists and the best law firms and, for good measure, tossing some of the nation's top liberal institutions into their shopping carts as well. The Times reported that some of the major think tanks are practically partially owned subsidiaries of these Islamic nations.

The Center for Strategic and International Studies, an until now respected policy and security think tank, took more than $1 million to help build new headquarters near the White House. Brookings accepted a four-year, $14.8 million donation from that bastion of liberal thought and tolerance, Qatar. There's a Brookings affiliate in Doha and a project in the works "on United States relations with the Islamic world."

We now more fully enter into the world of bought off information sources with disinformation and misinformation and selective quietude controlling what we can learn and are told to think on various matters. This is a much bigger threat by far than ISIS. Now liberal think tanks such as the Brookings Institution fall under the cloud of credibility suspicion. It is no longer just the Koch & Friends' bogus think tanks and political arms. Now they too have bought off company.

But the "Big Buy" is strongest on the conservative side. For example, The Nation's Lee Fang reported last week that one of the biggest money grabbers, especially of Saudi money, is Minnesota's ex-senator Norm Coleman. He is now a registered lobbyist for the Saudis. This is ominous because Mr. Coleman chairs two Republican super PACs in D.C., the American Action Network and Congressional Leadership Fund, which funnel millions to Republican candidates. In 2012, Roll Call put him "at the center of GOP fundraising, campaign strategy and policy from the top of the ticket on down" and this year AAN is doling out millions to a new crop of aspiring politicians.

Saudi Arabia is more than arguably the strongest fomenter of fundamentalist Islam in the world. Saudis took down the World Trade Center towers. Saudi religious leaders and deep-pocketed sheikhs continue to give moral and financial support to jihadis as they drag us into yet another Middle Eastern war. Islam is buying big in roads into America, all made possible by the Catholic conservative majority on the Supreme Court. This is a real irony, given that Justice Scalia thinks our nation should be a country of nice Christian people governed by Catholics such as himself.

The Rickard's Prediction
Kimball Corson
10/05/2014, Pago Pago, American Samoa

The Rickards Assessment or Prediction

James G. Rickards is a very well educated man. His education is Johns Hopkins University, economics; Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies, M.A. in international economics; Juris Doctor, University of Pennsylvania Law School and an LL.M in taxation from New York University School of Law. He is.also well experienced in domestic and international finance in which he has worked for thirty plus years. He has testified before congressional committees and held high positions in government. He is not a loon.

Rickards argues that within five years we are in for a major economic collapse that will lead to a 25 or 30 year depression. He believes this is true for the following reasons he cites

1) the velocity of money has all but collapsed,

2) to counter that, the Fed has pumped $3.2 trillion dollars into the economy since 2008 to maintain GDP instead of letting it collapse, I argue, as a continuation of the 2008 crash and recession,

3) our public debt levels are very high largely as a result.

4) we are vulnerable to a challenge on our reserve currency status, to rejection of our bonds and other debt, and to coordinated attacks by terrorists or other speculators on our currency, if the dollar falters,

5) the stock market is too high and poised for a collapse as several Nobel Laureates and others contend.

6) Wall Street is again over leveraged, also, with too many derivatives outstanding ($710 trillion vs. world GDP of $72.6 trillion),

7) the misery index is through the roof = real rate of unemployment (23%) + the real rate of inflation (10%),

8) the Fed is in fact insolvent with its unfunded and unstable liabilities hugely exceeding its capital reserves, also meaning the Fed is hugely over leveraged (22:1 in 2008 to 77:1 today),

[Rickards reports this conversation:

"I spoke to a member of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve and I said, "I think the Fed is insolvent."
This Governor first resisted and said, "No, we're not."
But, I pressed her a little bit harder and she said, "Well, maybe."
And, then, I just looked at her and she said, "Well, we are, but it doesn't matter."']

9) the whole banking system is over leveraged and is carrying too much debt relative to reserves and capital, which debt is growing 30 times faster than our economy,

10) foreign holdings of U.S. government debt have been plummeting from a high of over $700 billion in 2011 to well under 100 billion today; this is almost like a silent bank run,

11) The rise of the petrodollar caused the dollar to surge, but petrodollar strength is collapsing as Russia and others challenge it and seek another reserve currency,

12)Russia started dumping treasuries before invading Crimea knowing sanctions would follow, starting an accelerated run of sorts causing China to start dumping treasuries somewhat as a defense,

13) but Belgium has been buying up the treasuries dumped holding the market up but Belgium has to be a front for some other buyer because the buys are bigger than Belgium's current account surplus -- the Fed, according to the US intelligence community is the buyer, [Implication is dollars are flooding foreign markets, those used to buy that debt.]

14) the central banks of many countries are largely increasing their gold reserves, including China which the intelligence community says has bought 3000 tons in the last four years, but China lies and say they only have 1054 tons all totaled, If it successfully pressed for an international gold standard, China could devastate the US. Meanwhile China is developing a huge shadow banking industry,

15) but China has its own problems that could precipitate a world financial collapse; the intelligence community says China's shadow banking system is too much fueling a housing bubble that is larger than what we had and much more unstable, and

16) as countries abandon the dollar, fewer of them hold dollars and the dollar has dropped as a percentage of total global currency reserves.

These are Rickards positions and reasons as he presents them, albeit not verbatim.

I have written myself about the key component of Rickards assessment. It is this. As the velocity of money falls as it has so hugely (largely because of the wealthy hoarding cash, the skewed income distribution and people curbing their spending), the Fed has in fact pumped trillions of dollars into the economy primarily by quantitative easing so as to hold Money x velocity or MV in the following equation more or less constant --> MV = GDP, The economy is indeed too much being held up by increasing the money supply to counter falling velocity. That is a very major concern.

However, more broadly, what are we to make of the Rickards' assessment and prediction?

Regulatory Capture Firsthand
Kimball Corson
10/05/2014, Pago Pago, American Samoa

The NY Fed Doth Protest Too Much

On its own, sort of, Goldman Sachs changed its policy to address a conflicts of interest problem that Carmen Segarra raised. Now, instead of needing approval before GS employees and partners can invest in individual stocks, they are altogether prohibited.

The change came on the same day that a former Federal Reserve Bank of New York examiner's recordings of her ex-colleagues' dealings with Goldman Sachs were featured in reports by public radio and ProPublica. The former examiner, Carmen Segarra, sued the New York Fed last year, alleging that she was fired in 2012 because she refused to change her finding that Goldman Sachs did not have a conflict-of-interest policy. Her case was dismissed in April and she's appealing.

The radio program "This American Life" released a transcript of a broadcast that includes excerpts of conversations it said were secretly recorded by Segarra. In the transcript, Segarra described how she felt that her Fed colleagues handled Goldman Sachs with kid gloves.

"What I was sort of seeing and experiencing was this level of deference to the banks, this level of fear," she said, in the face of the fact the NY Fed was supposed to be regulating those banks.

The New York Fed said it "categorically rejects" Segarra's allegations. Uh Hum.

Our Media Fails Us
Kimball Corson
10/05/2014, Pago Pago, American Samoa

What Our Media Does Not Want to Report

"It costs politicians more and more every year to get reelected. And that means they become more and more dependent on corporate dollars and wealthy donors to win a seat at the table. So far this year, candidates and outside groups have spent three times more on the 2014 mid-term election than the 2010 election cycle at this point.

"Corporations and wealthy donors are willing to fork over big bucks because they view it as an investment. They know if they get the right guy or gal elected it will pay-off big in government contracts, tax-loop holes, deregulation and other perks.

"But "We the People" are fighting back. In September, the U.S. Senate debated the Democracy for All Constitutional amendment to get big money out of politics for about a week. While the amendment did not pass, a majority of senators voted in favor of it.

"And yet, there was hardly a word about it in the mainstream press.

"American voters recognize election spending as one of the most dastardly problems facing this country. A recent survey by Democracy Corps polled voters in states with the most competitive Senate races and 73 percent supported a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United. But [even] the New York Times wrote nothing on these debates. Zilch." HuffPo

Our media doesn't report a lot because it is tied to major corporations at the hip and those corporations don't want us to know about many developments. Rats all.

Know Your Shit
Kimball Corson
10/05/2014, Pago Pago, American Samoa

Know Your Shit; What its color, texture and smell can tell you about yourself

Silly as it is, this is a matter we don't discuss. It is like we refuse to acknowledge to others that we crap. Surely Christ (another Church miracle) and probably Superman didn't, so we pretend we don't either. And heaven forbid someone should see us taking a crap or, as bad, we should look at it.

Poop is comprised of everything that the body could not digest or absorb and had to expel.That is why we call it "crap." Our feces can tell us about our health. That is why we should pay attention and know something about it. First, there is frequency of pooping.

There is no normal when it comes to frequency of bowel movements, only averages. For some, going once or twice a day is normal, for others it may only be once or twice a week. Most typical is once every day or day and a half.

Color is important, especially changes in color. Normal is various shades of brown due to bile in our poop. Bile is produced by the liver and excreted into the small intestines. It contains cholesterol, bile salts to help digest fats, and bodily waste products.. As the bile pigments are broken down by stomach enzymes, they tend to change from yellow and green to brown. Here is the color code:

Green stool: Overtly green stool can be caused by food passing through your system too quickly (possible fast-food induced diarrhea), by consuming large amounts of leafy green vegetables, excessive amounts of artificial food coloring, from taking an iron supplement and even from licorice candy made with anise oil. Green per se is not bad, especially if it is also brownish.

Whitish stool : Poop that is light clay-colored or whitish is caused by a lack of bile in your stool, potentially caused by a bile duct obstruction, a gallstone, enlarged lymph GI nodes, or inflammation of the bile ducts. Bile can back up into the liver, causing not only this color range but abdominal pain, dark urine, and jaundice as well. Watch it.

Yellow: This color of stool that is also consistently greasy and smells of sour eggs (due to the presence of hydrogen sulfide) may be caused by high levels of fat in the stool that have not been broken down by the bile. This is a symptom of several diseases. You should definitely talk to your your doctor.

Black: Black stool is a surprisingly common side effect and can be caused from binging on black licorice and Guinness, from iron supplement tablets, and from ingesting Pepto-Bismol. However, black stool may also be an indicator of bleeding in the upper gastrointestinal tract, caused potentially by an ulcer or tumor. This bloody stool will often take on a tar-like appearance and smell horrible. See a doctor if it is black and sticky and smells particularly bad.

Bright Red: Another symptom that could be deadly or could be nothing is bright red stool. Red stool is fairly common, often instigated by natural and artificial food colorings found in beets, cranberries, tomato juice, red gelatin, and drink mixes (ie Kool-Aid). But stool with bright red spotting or free floating bands of fresh blood are a sign of bleeding in the lower intestinal tract sometimes brought about by hemorrhoids or worse.

Silver: Silver poop is both very possible and a very bad indicator of your intestinal health. If your stool is silverish, it could indicate that you are suffering from both a biliary system blockage and upper intestinal bleeding, Basically white stool is caused by a lack of bile mixed with higher gastrointestinal blood, giving it the look of aluminum spray paint. Get medical help.

Shape is also an issue. Stools that are narrow and pencil-thin are thought by some experts to be a symptom of colon cancer, or an obstruction in the lower part of the colon A soft stool that sticks to the side of the toilet bowl or is difficult to flush, could indicate the presence of too much oil which can mean the body isn't absorbing the fats properly. Diseases, including chronic pancreatitis, block the body from properly absorbing fat. Watch it.

Smell is important also. Poop is made up of undigested food, bacteria, mucus and dead cells. It usually smells bad because of the bacteria and parasites, but it also can have compounds that produce an especially unpleasant smell. Think of those as red flags. Keep track. If persistent, get medical help.

Finally constipation and diarrhea are often nothing unless they persist. The they become red flags.Constipation can be caused by a number of factors, including a poor diet, lack of exercise, certain medications, lack of fluids or various bowel disorders. Diarrhea generally lasts one or two days and goes away on its own. Sugar-free gum in quantity and coconut juice are causes.

Use your poop for self assessment and to check for red health flags.

Two Public Misunderstandings
Kimball Corson
10/05/2014, Pago Pago, American Samoa

The Public's Biggest Economic Misunderstands by Far

The first and biggest is not to realize and keep in mind that today's spending by government, the private sector and foreign buyers in the US is tomorrow's income for Americans. The great paradox of thrift is that it hurts the economy. We have been schooled all wrong and don't understand this at all. It kills us.

Cutting deficits, saving more, reducing employment so those unemployed will have less to spend, eliminating unemployment compensation, cutting government spending, making government smaller and doing anything that reduces spending damages how much income Americans will get immediately. Obama and the Republicans have failed all Americans terribly here, and damaged them enough so all should be removed from office.

Deficits are America's second greatest economic misunderstanding. They are refinanced and rolled over in perpetuity and shrink relative to the economy as it grows. Food is never taken our of the mouths of our grandchildren. That is nonsense. Deficits never harm us. The only thing that harms us about deficits is what we mistakenly think we have to do about them and what we then do.

The only limitation on running large deficits to mobilize unemployed resources by government is the prospect of inflation and that has not been a problem for decades. Indeed, deflation has been the threat in recent years, notwithstanding Republicans repeated, long standing and false claims inflation is right around the corner.

If we could just learn today's spending by all is tomorrows income for us and deficits are helpful, not harmful we would be much better off economically. We have lost literally trillions in income due to these two serious economic misunderstandings. Our economic loss due to the US output gap is huge. We fail on the basics.

Sorting Out Truth in the Age of Disinformation
Kimball Corson
10/05/2014, Pago Pago, American Samoa

The Age of Disinformation, Deliberate Lies and Carefully Crafted Half Truths

One might well ask why I harbor such animus toward the Koch brothers. It is not, as many believe, because I am an enemy of libertarianism or because they have largely taken over the Republican party with money muscle, None of that is sufficiently justifying, just as general political differences likewise fail. No the reason is something else. In a nutshell it is this.

Through the various bogus think tanks, political front organizations and others they fund, the Koch brothers for years have willfully generated and distributed disinformation and lies on public issues and policies, creating and spreading doubt about sound policies and the truth. Using other words, they have all but blatantly admitted as much. In my view, that is grossly immoral and extremely insidious.

Good faith efforts to study and learn about the truth of issues and develop good and sound policy -- honest and genuine hard work -- are polluted by countervailing disinformation, lies and half truths that sow doubt and undermine what is good and true. Worse, it is part and parcel of a huge propaganda effort to feed a too unwitting public media tied to it by purse strings, in order to have that media convince the public of the truth of such propaganda and to cover up its true source.

The Republican party of the Eisenhower era was not so radical, libertarian and conservative as what we have today. The question people should ask is why? Where did this ideology come from? Coincidence or happenstance? Hardly. I contend it is the success of the propaganda campaign waged by Koch & Friends beginning in the early 1970's, according to the Lewis plan, into which those people have dumped literally billions of dollars since then. Much of America has bought it hook, line and sinker, especially those without the education and skills to know better or learn differently. Others on the conservative/Republican bandwagon and indeed some liberals have now learned to play the same game of disinformation that the John Birch Society -- founded in part and funded substantially by the Koch brothers' father -- and the Koch brothers have so aggressively started in the public arena.

For the thoughtful person, this public situation requires that sources of information, ideas and policy suggestions must be vetted thoroughly. Learning about what is true does not require we learn that information first hand, but more these days demands we learn about and determine the veracity of our sources. Learn who and what organizations are honest and reliable and which are not. Accurately determine reputations. Understand track records, Follow the money. Determine who has been paid off or who funds whom. That is a skill very sadly lacking and I see its absence all the time. Enough today to induce me to pen this note.

Beware of what you read or are told. Consider the financial interests of the source and who pays them what. Consider their credentials and verifiable expertise. To whom do they pander? How consistently do their contentions support a defined ideological position? How candid are those sources about these matters? What do they try to hide? Are their funding sources upfront and revealed or is it dark money behind them?

It is a different era now. We drown in disinformation, lies and cleverly crafted half truths The general public lacks the education, skills and mental facilities to assess and make sound judgments in these matters. Members of the public are the target of and then becomes ideologues. I see it all the time.

The Real Unemployment Rate
Kimball Corson
10/05/2014, Pago Pago, American Samoa

The Two Unemployment Rates: 5.9 Percent vs. 11.3 Percent

The U.S. economy added 248,000 jobs in September, according to data released by the the Bureau of Labor Statistics on Friday. The unemployment rate fell below 6 percent for the first time since July 2008, dropping to 5.9 percent from 6.1 percent. Whoopee, right? Not so fast.

The 5.9 percent figure is the U-3 unemployment rate. It only includes those currently looking for work who can't find it. It does not include those who, discouraged from looking, have not looked in just the last month but want full time work or those working part time who want full time work. If we include those as unemployed, we get the U-6 unemployment rate which is 11.6 percent

The chart included here shows the gap between the widely cited unemployment rate (the U-3 rate) and a broader measure of joblessness and underemployment called the U-6 rate. Fed Chair Janet Yellen has said that in the current economy, the U-6 is a better indication of the health of the job market than the headline unemployment rate.

Jesus Is a Myth
Kimball Corson
10/04/2014, Pago Pago, American Samoa

Historical researcher Michael Paulkovich has claimed that Jesus of Nazareth was a 'mythical character' and never existed. The controversial discovery was apparently made after he found no verifiable mention of Christ from 126 writers during the 'time of Jesus' from the first to third centuries who were not Christians or relying on Christian writings. Paulkovich examined independent contemporaneous writings. "When I consider those 126 writers, all of whom should have heard of Jesus but did not - and Paul and Marcion and Athenagoras and Matthew with a tetralogy of opposing Christs, the silence from Qumram and Nazareth and Bethlehem, conflicting Bible stories, and so many other mysteries and omissions - I must conclude that Christ is a mythical character," he writes.

He says Jesus is a fictional character invented by followers of Christianity to create a figure to worship. That is why the gospels of the Bible were written later instead of contemporaneously. Paulkovich says he found an absence of evidence for Jesus in historical texts and says this is surprising despite his "global miracles" and alleged "worldwide fame." His research is set out in his book entitled "No Meek Messiah." The great paintings likewise all came later after the myths were established.

I too believe Jesus and Christ were Christian contrivances for those wanting to create a religion. The existence of Jesus, even as we supposedly know him as a person is challenged by PaulKovich The manufactured Christ is certainly a fiction, one fabricated by St. Paul, aka Saul.

There is no mention of Jesus or Christ at all in non-Christian writings or in Josephus' History of the Jews, although Christians, by fraud and artifice, tried to slip a mention of Jesus into some copies of the History, but they have been caught by scholars, just as scholars caught them when they tried to slip a single mention of the Trinity into the Bible because there was none there before.

You have to watch those Christians. They fudge a lot. However, the art is real and quite wonderful.

What Pornography Do Women Like
Kimball Corson
10/04/2014, Pago Pago, American Samoa

Men's and Women's Individual Preferences on Pornography

From data on the top 16 most-viewed categories of porn on Pornhub. Men like watching teen porn, MILF porn and mature porn the best. Women, on the other hand, like lesbian porn, male gay porn (double the dicks) and teen porn best. The overlap is sex between teens or involving one teen and one older person.

So what gets women off? According to one study which check arousal rates in heterosexual women, it is sensuality. Heterosexual women had a stronger sexual response to images of naked women in certain poses than naked men. Dr. Meredith Chivers, the Queens University professor who conducted the research, told the New York Times that it matters less who is having sex, but how sensual they appear as they are having it.The sexual response of men is less generalized.


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