Coping: With the Death of Reading.

I have been perplexed recently – although not the first time – by a continuing erosion in people’s reading skills.

It seems that with the advent of GoPro videos and YouTube people’s interest in reading have been dropping dramatically. Paper thin attention spans.

We may begin posting MP3s to YouTube with our morning remarks. Although it will be on a delayed basis (of probably an hour) because of time constraints and our dedication to the written word first.

Now, about the death of reading:

While it’s true that Pres. Trump has had a number of serious run-ins with the old-school institutional press, it’s also true that some of the major media have been losing revenue. People aren’t reading today as they once did.

Things are reduced and distilled to almost idiotic levels.

Once upon a time a thoughtful American, seeking insight into a political issue could turn on C-SPAN and watch first-hand..

Today, who has time? Instead, people are watching 30 second to 2 minute news blurbs that mostly fail to capture essential details of decision-making by policymakers.

Along this line, a New York Times article from 2008 titled “The Death of Reading, Continued…” is worth reading.

The article mentions It is the “if: book” project of the Institute for the Future of the Book.

When I review top – ranked authors of best-selling books, there’s a clustering effect: Many people selling books are making sales not because of their book’s content, but because they already have established a cult personality. Some cult members will buy anything. Let’s go monetizing!

Often enough, the “book” is not designed to extend their ideas, not so much propose, new or original ideas in the print format. Damn shame that.

This seems particularly true for the electronic media stars.

I’m not saying it’s all bad. But people don’t seem interested anymore. in reading a book.

Instead,. The kids especially want to turn on YouTube. Get the instant answers and get a hurry up – fix. Even the president has been reduced to tweeting

I think back to the Tower of Babel story.. Did it fall because of different languages? Or is the effect of data compression doing something pernicious, something subliminal to the human species?

We were never engineered as compressed data consumers. We are upright apes – omnivores – capable of environmental extremes. Where did the walking and foraging go?

A little over 100 years ago, companies like Atwater, Scott, and others exploded the realm of audio distribution..

The second revolution was optical with the ultra small cams the Flip Videos and then look GoPros. Today everybody’s smart phone has shoot and stream capability.

Which has gotten us what exactly?

Our political nominees don’t seem any better informed than those of yesteryear. Our opinion makers don’t seem particularly brighter than their forerunners.

Even more importantly, we now have rap artists able to make (not so) Thinly Veiled Threats against the President and get away with it because it’s all in the infotainment sphere.

Sounds like a paradigm and collapsed to me.

My very first job (outside of shoveling coal for the lady up the street – yes, I really am that old) was as a “page” at the Seattle Public Library on north Beacon Hill in Seattle.

People would return books at the front desk.. They were placed on a roll-around cart. It was my job to place the books back on the shelves in the proper order. It wasn’t a terribly difficult task, or I would not have been able to do it.

Works of fiction were all sorted by the authors last name. Errol Stanley Gardner mysteries were placed well ahead of Nicholas Montserrat. Adventures. Easy money.

Learning the Dewey decimal system was hard at first because at age 13 I did not have a good grasp of what philosophy, natural science, hard sciences, nor applied sciences were all.

Perhaps the Dewey decimal system itself is one of the problems facing the future of the book.

The competing knowledge organization system today is the Library of Congress classification system which leaves us in a very interesting space: We’ve got the Dewey Decimal System that works just fine, but which now seems to be more proprietary. On the other hand, we have the Library of Congress system which is a government solution. Sheesh!

Not sure what to do with the problem of the future of the book, but it does mean something around the Ure household.

I will probably throw a slapdash cover on the Millennial’s Missing Manual and toss it up on Amazon as complete e-book for $2.99.

If you haven’t had an opportunity to read the series as it’s has evolved, and if sorting through back issues of Urban Survival, not your cup of tea, here is opportunity to do the American thing: Spend Money and get something of value in a somewhat condensed form.

By the look of it the Millennial’s Missing Manual will probably run 50 to 60,000 words, but novels – and everything else today, including phones, earphones, videos, portable monitors, and so forth – all seem to be shrinking in size.

A novel used to be at least 80 to 90,000 words in length. More recently, novels are becoming shorter – perhaps 60,000 words. My first novel (DreamOver) was about 93,000 words, and I thought it was just squeaking by the accepted length for a novel, just a few years ago.

Do We Write Another Book Online?

This future of the book problem has me wondering if we should continue the process of publishing a chapter of one of my book ideas per week on Thursday mornings around here.

The next book, I’d like to write is a second in the Dave Shannon adventure series, taking up from where DreamOver left off.

Please leave a comment (yes or no is fine) and let me know how you feel about it.

Some people think Thursday’s have become a terrible waste of space because the chapters of the missing the Millennial’s Missing Manual were sometimes a bit long..

On the other hand, some just love the idea of some real substance on the web for a change, which I think you’ll admit is largely missing.

For the Love of Saint Patrick

As soon as I’m able to extricate myself from my writing position, I’ll be hosing off the old pickup going to town two prep for St. Patrick’s Day.

No, I will not be dropping by the local Catholic Church to operate offer my confessional. That would take the rest of the month.

But if you know where to look at Walmart, you can find an acceptable corned beef in almost every town in America.

My what I’d really like to do is swing by “The House Of Good Corned Beef.” If I were in Seattle, but it’s a long drive from Texas.

My gastronomic fine tuning advice for the Walmart corned beef is as follows:

Order yourself about a pound of fresh organic clothes from Amazon. Walmart may have those in their spice department. While you’re at it pick up a pound or two of pickling spice to go with it.

When you get your pre-packaged corned beef home, you can rinse off all of that pickling gel that comes from the corned beef factory. This will allow you to make a much less salty corned beef.

The American palate seems to get confused between taste (as in spices), and salt (as in that stuff that’s bad for blood pressure).

The solution is like real corned beef establishments (HOGCB in Seattle) do: throw a big handful of pickling spice along with a few extra cloves in at the time of cooking. This will give you a corned beef that is. Less salty – maybe just enough to offset the cabbage and carrots – while kicking up flavor a notch.

Oh Yum!

There is no practical way to have left over corned beef. Not only are Reuben sandwiches, easy enough to make (should you have any leftovers) but also sliced up in homemade corned beef hash with Yukon gold potatoes is about as good as it gets at breakfast time. Serve with two eggs over easy and some catch up. Don’t forget to call the cardiologist.

Climate Change and Dogwoods

Another seasonal note here: our Dogwood trees out in the woods have blossoms looking long in the tooth.

I hope there will be enough to justify your visit to Palestine, Texas for the Dogwood Trail days weekend after this. Then two weekends following.

In past years – before the mass marketing of climate change – the last couple of weekends of March and the first one in April were excellent dates..

Why, I remember one year in particular, we had a pretty good snow on the 4th of April. It didn’t stick but for five or six hours. It was only an inch or so deep, too. Point is Dogwood blossoms used to make sense at this time of the year. Now they’ve been listening to the Weather Channel or something and they have taken up this climate change stuff. Blossoms arrived a good three or four weeks early.

Perhaps Texas will have a rare named storm to preserve the blossoms long enough for the touristas. We’ll keep our fingers crossed. I sure wanted some snow this winter

In the Ham Radio Corner.

The sale of our airplane to that bright young contractor fellow up in Bismarck does not seem to have restored any available time for ham radio pursuits.

I finally have a line on enough pieces to put an HJT-45 linear on the air with the collectible/tube-type SX-117/HT-44/PS-150 set up.  These were the late sixties Hallicrafters Co. answer to the Collins 75-S series receivers and the mating #@-S series of transmitters.

The HT-45 is a single-ended 1 KW PEP amplifier that matches in styling. Although the original protos and early production units were made by Radio Industries and marketed by Hallicrafters.

Between a ham up in the PNW (who has a power supply) and the Texas ham with the RF deck, I should be able to complete another one in the bucket list: A complete Hallicrafters Line.

A word about the Cosmophones that may be coming up on eBay shortly (the fellow has a couple he may part with if I read it right):  There is some discussion about where the KWS-1 Collins transceiver was the first one build (ostensibly the somms side of the U-2 spy plane program in the 1950’s) or whether the Cosmophones came first.

Good article on the QRZ Forums site over here if you’re interested – or just scroll down for a picture of a Cosmophone with a Collins S-line in background to the left…

Yes, I love ham radio history particularly the early days of Single Sideband when the R.L. Drake company up in Ohio was just coming up to challenge the Collins boys over at Cedar Rapids…

What was the old TV cutaway phrase?  “Meantime, back at the ranch…” 

A couple of projects remain directly ahead that will limit my use of that 746-foot OCF monster antenna a while longer.

Fixing up the foundation under the 180° view porch is on the agenda for this weekend.

Next week I have to till and get the garden planted. Somewhere in the midst of all this outdoor pleasure, the lawnmower is screaming for attention.

Shop organization is coming along, and a few ongoing projects like a new stove hood being installed for Elaine will eat up a day or two of spare time along the way as well.

But I’m at least starting to leave a 2-meter portable radio on the local repeater now and then and I’m catching up on the local goings-on. The local ham club provides communications support for the Dogwood Trails event weekend after this… 

Speaking of the Range Hood

Found an interesting little device that I stupidly did not know about until recently when our range hood finally rusted out: There is now a range hood damper available that will keep the cold air from going up the vent in summer time and prevent the cold air from coming in during the wintertime available from Amazon for about nine bucks.

Not a very big device either. It’s easily installed when you’re putting in a new hood and I wish I had thought about it (or known about it) before. It’s one of those devices that may actually pay for itself over its lifetime.

When you get this close to 70 anything that will pay for itself in your lifetime looks a tad less like a bargain.

Enough of the ramble: let’s go watch the stock market make a fool of my melt – up prediction.

I’m still unrepentant and bullish until our trading tools send me to Rehab for Bears…

Come on by Monday.

Write when you get rich

Dow 38,228? Kashkari Right at FOMC But So What?

By our East Texas Outback reasoning, Neel Kashkari of the Minneapolis Fed was the only one at the FOMC meeting this week who seems to “get it” with regards to the coming mega bubble and blow-off that could come close to doubling the Dow from today’s levels between today and a year from July.

Go ahead, write down July 24, 2018, then. 

Want another stunner?

Even if you’re not subscribing to our (hugely insightful and profitable) report here’s what’s going on in a nutshell:

Ure has this method called Global Aggregate trending he uses.  As of today (like this morning) we are only 18 points (in a 34,000+ point index) away from breaking to a new Global High.

<begin rant mode>

When this happens, the market will scream upward and you should see a huge short-squeeze develop tomorrow that could tack 300 points onto the Dow.

As we’ve been reminding our subscribers for a couple of months,there has been a “collapse path” but that closes once we beat the 2015 Global peak.

Once it’s done, we KNOW the global picture will drag the U.S. higher – but what’s more, since the U.S. generally leads the Global, well, let’s just say that the next week or two should be stunning on the upside.  Least-wise for the collapse-a-holics and doom porn peddlers.

Here’s another Stunner – seems we’ve got a boatload of ‘em this morning.

Dow 22,100 before the end of April.

Not precise enough?  OK, mid session on April 20th, then.  It’s a Thursday.  But remember this edict from Old Man Labs where we’re still working on our Junior Econometrician Merit Badge:  The further you go out in time, the more “iffy” models become…even an dropout could follow that one.

Tradable pullback in May/June on tap, too, in one of our backwoods whack-job models.

Anyway, pearls before swine – we’ll save the details for the paying customers. –  readers Saturday. Replete with how we view markets and make such outlandish suppositions.  Even a “DIY” kit for the grown-ups.

But here’s one last free stunner that could be worth  a pile – though this is NOT FINANCIAL ADVICE.  (Our portfolio only gained 1.35% yesterday…).

<rant mode off>

In addition to the obvious impacts of the Fed Hike (like home loan, credit card, and auto sales which the WaPo outlines this morning over here) I’ll repeat for those especially “hard of thinking” the two major fallouts from the Fed decision over the next year should be:

1.  Bonds will lose their luster.  Stocks will pick it up. 

Meantime: The Fed has over $4-trillion on its balance sheet so why not bundle and peddle it into a rising market or once a short term rate top is in by the end of this summer?  Delish, Janet!  (Say, wasn’t that move called ‘pump & dump back in the day?)

2.  When the cost of borrowing looks to be going up, particularly when a 37-YEAR long term secular bottom in interest rates becomes apparent, what naturally follows on a massive scale?

Mergers and Acquisition.  Hoo-rah brothers and sisters.  Got some ideas there, too.  For the Peoplenomics folks.

I only ran the model out to December 2018, which is almost two years.  Doing so, and using conservative (sic) triple-levered long and short ETFs, if history keeps rhyming and if we trade it deftly, we’ll MIGHT be able to make an 8-10 times return on our initial investment.

Beats parking money in a bank where your money is THEIR ASSET doesn’t it?

The only fly in the oink-ment seems to be short-term gains are taxed like regular income, but some pain with the pleasure we ‘spose.  I love to pay taxes, though – the more the better!

Brain-melting concept:  I see an even-money chance the Dow will outperform Bitcoins in the coming period.

If we hit 22,000 before May 1, Peoplenomics will become more expensive than the $40 per year – try $50. 

And  if we pass Dow 24,000 before September, Peoplenomics will go to $400/year.

No that’s NOT greed.  That’s because when a market system works, it ONLY works as long as a small segment of people are using it.  Once mass adoption takes place, the benefit to the earlier adopters is washed out.  We don’t plan to do that.

We don’t like terms like “washed out” so we may (like the Fed) raise rates this summer, too.

UrbanSurvival will likely become a “when I feel like it” because at that point if it works out, retirement (as in no scheduled work, just whatever moves me), will come into view.

So much for shop-talk.  Back to the point…

Yes,. Neel Kashkari is absolutely “right” in my view, but that’s assuming the uberplan isn’t to collapse the economy a year from this fall (likely) as the ultimate embedded’s f/u to Trump.

Janet and the banksters are golden as long as the rally runs.

No counting chickens till they’re out of the roosts, though.  Long ways to go between now and then.

Last little pearls?

1. Target for today on the Dow is 21,022.5

2. Tomorrow’s Dow target is 21,320.3

Not saying 297 points Friday WILL happen, but these are a couple of numbers that fall out of the Model. No, not trading advice.  But I do have some matches you can play with…want some gasoline, too, kid?

So, What Kind of News?

There are three kinds of news in the world. Maybe four.

#1: Daily Grinding

There is the daily grind of Trump – which has become a whole class of news by itself.  Trump rolls out a ‘hard-power’ spending plan — and now the budget battle begins and Trump’s Border Wall Gets Billions in Budget Proposal.

Dare I toss in “Immigration Ban Proves Trump’s Tweets Will Haunt His Presidency.”

#2 Under-Reported/Buried But Important

Speaking of the Travel Ban

One of the federal judges to enjoin the Trump travel ban this week is Derrick Watson who, we note, was appointed by (look surprised, please) Lew Alcindor’s pal…er… Barack Obama.

And, care to guess who appointed the Maryland judge who blocked Trump’s plan?  I don’t have the heart to tell you so click here to see but it’s no surprise.

The remnants of the Obama administration are still promulgating that lefty crap that incorrectly believes that U.S. laws apply to NON-CITIZENS.

Someone needs a law school refund, methinks.

In the weird twist (which the dimwitted mainstream fail to sell)_America really does need a sustained level of quality immigrants for economic reasons because the LBGTQRS trends are killing the birth rate in the U.S.  Part and parcel of the divorcing for dollars festivals that wrecked the upbringings of so many Millennials.  Can’t say as the trends are unfathomable.  We new young Social Security payers – badly!!!  If we don’t relearn our national sex drive, there’s no growth execpt the imports – capisci?

It’s just that we wrap up political-economic/demography issues (immigration) in partisan bullshit so thick you need a strainer to sort it all out.

And the lamestream media lefty’s (Rachel?) jump off the histrionics end of the pool instead of getting their defensible arguments in order.

Yeah…logic?  Mainstream? Wisdom in Washington?  Ure outta check into rehab, I suppose. I is juss askin’ too much.

#3: Acts of God

Sampling mode:

Houston woman drowns in canyon tour boat accident in Mexico

One person killed in early morning accident in NO East

Woman dies in one-car rollover accident

Scott Co. school bus accident reignites concerns over safety of US-25

(yasda, yada, yada…)

#4 Fake News

“Okla. Trump campaign leader faces prostitution charges after being found with teen boy.”

Here’s how it’s fake  (keep up with the class, please):

Suppose I had voted for Obama once (in a moment of gullibility).

Then further suppose I was arrested on a meth charge.

Would the headline in NYC read: “Obama Supporter Busted on Meth Charges!!!” 

No.  Wouldn’t be covered. 

However, if I had voted for Trump (as I did) damn straight it would headlined all over the place as: “Trump Supporter Busted on Meth Charges” would be the NYC headline. 

The leftagandists idea is to link all bad behavior to Trump so as to give the impression it’s his doing, you see?

New Yorkers ain’t ‘specially brite…

And after all the Clinton Foundation questions (still unanswered BTW) this is why New Yorkers are dumb enough to even consider a mayoral run by what’s-her-name.

Ain’t no cure for stoopid (sic) is there?  On the island of Manhattan, anyway.  Upstate?  Sure…

Inquiring Minds and Embeds Dept

Stories like this one bother Ures truly very deeply: “Navy SEALs startled by Yemeni combat readiness in January mission…”

Smells to me unlikely that SEALs (or MARSOC or Rangers or SFs or any of our pro-level teams) would mess up on readiness level assessments.

Smell that?  Thought I might have caught a whiff of a leak or embed…if I were placing a bet at the $10 window…

Since We Have the Dart Toss Ready:

Since we have penciled in 21,022.5 for a “perfect” rally today, what could support it?

Let’s peak at our press release du jour, Housing Starts.

Building Permits Privately-owned housing units authorized by building permits in February were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,213,000.  This is 6.2 percent (±1.8 percent) below the revised January rate of 1,293,000, but is 4.4 percent (±1.3 percent) above the February 2016 rate of 1,162,000.  Single-family authorizations in February were at a rate of 832,000; this is 3.1 percent (±1.5 percent) above the revised January figure of 807,000.  Authorizations of units in buildings with five units or more were at a rate of 334,000 in February.

Housing Starts Privately-owned housing starts in February were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,288,000.  This is 3.0 percent (±13.0 percent)* above the revised January estimate of 1,251,000 and is 6.2 percent (±10.4 percent)* above the February 2016 rate of 1,213,000.  Single-family housing starts in February were at a rate of 872,000; this is 6.5 percent (±10.9 percent)* above the revised January figure of 819,000. The February rate for units in buildings with five units or more was 396,000. 

Housing Completions Privately-owned housing completions in February were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,114,000.  This is 5.4 percent (±9.6 percent)* above the revised January estimate of 1,057,000 and is 8.7 percent (±12.1 percent)* above the February 2016 rate of 1,025,000.  Single-family housing completions in February were at a rate of 754,000; this is 6.5 percent (±9.7 percent)* below the revised January rate of 806,000. The February rate for units in buildings with five units or more was 344,000.

For the visually-driven brethren:


There’s another release to consider, too:  Philadelphia Fed Business Survey just out:

“The index for current manufacturing activity in the region decreased from a reading of 43.3 in February to 32.8 this month. The index has been positive for eight consecutive months and remains at a relatively high reading (see Chart 1). Forty-four percent of the firms indicated increases in activity in March, while 11 percent reported decreases. The current new orders and shipments indexes increased, rising 1 point and 4 points, respectively. Both the delivery times and unfilled orders indexes were positive for the fifth consecutive month, suggesting longer delivery times and an increase in unfilled orders.

Natural Gas inventory report due this afternoon and yes, fracking should be loading some into the reserves, but it is still winter – as people in the Northeast may have figured out without help this week.

Tomorrow, Tomorrow…

“…bet you bottom dollar that tomorrow, there’ll be Sun…”  And a short squeeze?

With apologies to the cast of Annie, it’s quadruple witching tomorrow along with Industrial Production, and bleating (sic) economic indicators.

Yes sir, with Sun and a high of 40 tomorrow in NYC we are half-expecting a short-squeeze to drive the Model’s 297 point projectile.

But that’s then.  Today just 72 points would be fine.

We may get it, too since  90 minutes before the opening, the Dow futures were up 60…so is there 12 points left out there somewhere?

Ask me at 4:05 Eastern, lol.

Kashkari’s right.  Maybe for the wrong reasons, but standby over the next year for Economic Hydrogen, the good sense of Kashkari notwithstanding.

Then we go Hindenburging.

35 minutes from the open Dow looks up 58 on futures…let me find my gloat mask.

Coping: Millennial’s Book 11: [keyword: Execution]

simple title art)

Reader Note: If you are just catching on, each Thursday we’re are doing a chapter each week of a book I’m writing for Millennials – teaching the insights that will (hopefully!) allow them to live long and prosper – and be around to clean up after us Old People who made a mess of getting civilization this far.

There are three sections to each chapter. Something you can read to children, a general reader part, and the advanced/business section.

Here’s where the book has explored so far:

We established in the first chapter that there is RECIPE for everything we do.

Chapter 2 involved understanding (and owning) PROCESSES.

Chapter 3 discusses recipes and processes of INVENTION.

Chapter 4 looked at FLOW  The reason we do management reports is so we can spot problems and head them off at the pass.

Chapter 5 considered “WORLDVIEW” and how that “place we stand in our minds” determines what happens in the strange land “outside our heads.”

Chapter 6 focused on “TRAVEL” and considers the importance of travel as a way to more deeply understand worldviews since people with similar problems will come up with surprisingly different answers to the problems of Life…

In Chapter 7 “Matrix 512” is discussed as a unique way of keeping your worldview consistent and how to use it as a tool for clarified thinking in an every increasingly complex world.

In Chapter 8 we discussed the keyword “MAKE” and how it is that what we produce really is a large measure of our value in the world.  Being natural DIY’ers, humans love their tools and what they can “make” with them…

Chapter 9 discussed the the LIFESTYLE tradeoffs we make when a certain lifestyle is chosen for one’s time on Earth. What, after all, is “living well?”

Chapter 10 considered our PURPOSE in Life.  And in the process, we found the recipe for plugging into unlimited energy for those lucky enough to have their attention totally arrested by a great purpose in Life.

Today as we begin to wind up the series (and book) we’ll look into one of the most important aspects of all:  EXECUTION (Doing)

No point to having a recipe, process, or any of the rest of it if you’re not going to step up and put it to use, is there?  So we begin there…

For all Readers

Little John looked all over the King’s Kitchen trying to find Tom the Baker and Kitchen Boss – a title recently bestowed on him by the King.

Unable to find him, Little John set out on a search.

He asked the maids-in-waiting and none of them had seen him.

Neither had the stable boys.

The King’s Physicians hadn’t seen him either.

As he was standing in the town’s square looking, an old man came up to him and said “I suppose you want some worms, too, then. Little John?”

“Excuse me sir, but whatever would I need worms?” Little John wondered.  He’d seen the man a few times – he was the town worm-seller.

“Why to go fishing like your friend Tom the Baker fellow. He picked up some great big night-crawlers about an hour ago and said he was going fishing. Even said I might see you when you came looking for him…

What a baffling remark:  They hadn’t made plans to go fishing, yet here was the worm-seller….

Little John thanked the man, and said “Sorry, I don’t need any worms, but if you could tell me exactly where Tom went…”

He know the place so with that, Little John set off for Trout Lake.

It was a fair hike, about 4 miles from the Castle and the township, so it took just over an hour to reach it.  Little John was walking briskly.

As he arrived and surveyed the shoreline he spotted Tom the Baker leaned back on the west edge of the lake and staring toward the middle of the lake..

“So THERE you are, Tom,” exclaimed Little John.

“Hi Little John,” replied Tom. “I came out here hoping to catch a fine trout for the King’s dinner. But now that I am here, I am watching the frogs and learning much about management.”

“Management?” said Little John. “What can frogs possibly teach you about Management?” he asked.

“A surprising amount, particularly when it comes to execution of plans or manifesting our desired outcomes.”

Tom went on to explain that there is a subtle difference between a PLAN and Execution of a Plan – the DOING of it.

A PLAN, he explained, is a collection of steps or small recipes designed to achieve a certain goal.

In order to reach the goal, the smaller recipes must be executed in order…

As he was explaining this, Little John interrupted with a question: “Tom, why must a PLAN be Executed (or carried out) in a certain order?”

“Electricity is new to our Kingdom, Little John. At first, we didn’t know how to work with it. When the first electricians worked with electricity, they were not clear on how switches worked and why it was so important to turn off all power before doing any wiring.”

“How did they learn?” asked Little John.

“Some electricians were injured – a few gravely so – because they didn’t understand that the plan to install wiring must always including turning power off at the beginning of a work recipe – and even installing a sign so other workers would not turn it on by accident.  Once the work plan was done, they could safely turn the power back on again and do the needed testing at the end of a project.”

Little John nodded. “So if I want to do something new in the Kitchen, I need a plan, right?”

“Exactly. You need your ingredients – all the things that go into the recipe – but there are assumptions  made all the time because of social customs. You need to be on the lookout for these.”

“Like what?” Little John was becoming quite interested now.  He’d never thought that how his thinking worked had been formed by the people around him – the television shows he watch, what his friends said, what books he read in his space time, and so on.

“I’ll give you a simple example,” began Tom “When you as instructed by a recipe to ‘Bring Four Cups of Water to a Boil’ what do you do?”

“Well, I get out a pot – about yea big – (he held his arms out to indicate the pot size he would pick) and then I would boil four cups of water in that.”

Tom nodded. “Right.  But did you know there are many parts of recipes that are unwritten but commonly understood Little John. You could boil four cups of water in a dozen, or more pizza pans, Right?”

“Why that’s just silly, Tom,” interrupted Little John, laughing at the thought.

“But seriously, you could boil the water in a baking dish or even a bread pan.”

“But that would be silly, too,” said Little John. “Who would be so stupid as to do that?”

“What if you had never seen a pot before?”

“Everyone has, Tom!”

“Not so.  Some of the people in the Kingdom only has a single very large cooking pot to go over the fire.  Someone who has never worked in the King’s Kitchen before might never has seen pots.”

Tom paused for a moment before continuing.

“The reason I was thinking over this problem was because one of the older stable boys wants to become a worker in the King’s Kitchen. Bright lad, but he’s from a one-pot family.  What I was thinking about was not so much how to teach him the recipes. I’m more concerned about the common sense part.  The part where I have to teach him the unwritten recipes that run our lives and tell us – among other things – what size pot to select in the kitchen.”

By now, Little John was seated on the edge of the lake.  He was deep in thought.  As always, talking to Tom was opening him up to new ideas.

“Oh, boy, do I know that one,” Little John laughed. “Do you remember the first time I cooked potatoes and I cooked almost 100 of them? I kept thinking I was still cooking for Robin Hood, all the Merry Men, Maid Marion, plus Friar Tuck and a few dozen interlopers from Sherwood Forest. Back then, I almost could not cook too much, no matter how I tried. But now that I am working for you in the Castle, I know to make exactly 48 potatoes. That serves the King, the Royal Court, the jesters, Chief Physician, and the kitchen help plus the Ladies in Waiting….”

“Common sense!” declared Tom. “It’s a foolish name for it because it is not really  “common” until it is learned. When I began cooking for the King, I only needed to make 17 potatoes…the King’s empire as grown. But did I ever tell you that?  I learned one day when the King himself came in and demanded more potatoes be cooked.”

Hmmm…both men stared at the Lake.

“Little John, let’s watch that frog for a minute. He sees there is a cloud of flies out by the farthest lily pad from shore. But it is much too far for him to jump. Let’s see if he can come up with a plan…and then how he executes it.”

As they watched, the frog looked to his right and far down the lake. After a few minutes he turned to the left and looked up the lake. He was sizing things up…

Then he did a most unusual thing: He jumped to the right as far as he could. He landed on a lily pad and looked around some more.

Presently, he took another mighty jump to the right and landed on another lily pad.

Next, working back to the left, three more jumps to the left now and he alighted on the lily pad covered by flies. Pleased, he began to eat them which is what hungry frogs do..

“That Little John is how planning and execution go hand-in-hand: The frog had a plan to eat the flies. But he needed the smaller recipes – jumping from pad to pad in a certain order –  to achieve his goal. By executing – or carrying out – the smaller recipes – those half dozen jumps – he made it to the final lily pad where he sits before us eating his fill of flies.”

Little John was quiet for a moment before asking “Is that why some people are successful and others are not?” he asked.

“I’ve traveled the world Little John, and it seems to be so. Everyone dreams about success and most people TALK about it as though it was REAL.”

Tom took a deep breath before continuing.

“But remember our Frog? He did more than just talk. He looked for the specific steps – in his case the specific lily pads – that he could jump to. Then he executed a series of very good frog-jumps to successfully reach his Feast of Flies. Not one of those jumps was particularly difficult all by itself. The magic was this frog saw that it would take six steps – or jumps – to get where he wanted to go.”

Little John nodded his head as Tom went on.”

Now look over yonder to our left. You will see another frog who was looking-on the whole time while first frog was working things out. This other frog didn’t see a way to reach the flies directly. While he was wasting him time plotting an impossible jump, the frog that got the flies simply began to execute a number of smaller steps. Each one of them doable and he won the prize frog dinner of flies.”

Suddenly, a mighty trout tugged on Tom’s fishing pole. In a few minutes a large trout  had been landed – big enough for the King and many in his party.

Suddenly, the fish were really biting well!  With an hour, both men were on their way back to the Castle with a dozen such large fish. Tom carried his pole and had loaded down poor Little John carrying the whole catch of fish.

“I never thought we should have such a fine catch for dinner,” said Little John.

“There was never any question about it, Little John.  What I didn’t tell you up front was that I had a plan, I had used that recipe to catch first before, and I executed everything else I needed to do in order to have it work out perfectly.”

“But you didn’t tell me where you were going,” complained Little John. “Would it not have been common sense to tell me?”

“Oh no! If you knew, you would not have come looking for me exactly when you did,” explained Tom, who then began to laugh so hard tears rolled from his eyes.

“What’s so funny?” demanded Little John.

“Look at you…you’re carrying all the fish for me…and, I would point out, doing most of the work.  That was my Plan all along,” said Tom between gasps of laughter.

“I hope you today you have learned a little something about how Management works.  The whole point of Management is to use the efforts of others to get their Plans done, Little John. Step lively with out fish!”  Tom was still smirking and pleased with himself.

The weeks to come would be busy for both Tom and Little John because a far-away King by the name of Machiavelli was coming for a visit.

The whole Machiavelli family had a terrible reputation for manipulating people to do their work for them and Tom wanted to teach Little John a lot about how foreign Kings might behave.

For General Readers

This will get fairly deep, fairly quickly, but it’s worth the time to ponder if you want to become a high energy/high output human.

The magical part of being Human is having the ability to take a thought and turn it into something tangible – outside of your head – in the shared Reality we inhabit together.

It was a question I never asked myself – “How do thoughts turn into Things?” – until a fateful day in 1970 when Max Sartori (later Maxanne Sartori of WBOS-FM in Boston) lent me a book to read while she was on the air at KOL-FM.  Her studio was the next door down from the KOL-AM newsroom where I worked for 13-years following.

I lost track of Max years ago after she went to Boston (always wanted to return the book), but somehow it was like I was meant to keep the book.

It was H.P. Blavatsky’s “A Treatise on Cosmic Fire” in which things like the role of the Solar Logos – nuts and bolts of how Creation worked – and much of the early 1900’s Theosophical Society beliefs were laid out.

It was a fascinating book because it attempted directly explain this problem of how “thoughts” become “things.” It’s a non-trivial pursuit; it’s a quest that has taken a life-time of ultra slow-motion research to pursue. Habits like eating and living get in the way of our spiritual interests, regrettably.

Even today, the question is still very much on the minds of Theosophical Society members. In a February 2010 page (The Mystery of the “Ring-Pass-Not”) it is said that ““The full Initiate knows that the Ring ‘Pass-Not’ is neither a locality nor can it be measured by distance, but that it exists in the absoluteness of infinity.”

“Ring-Pass-Not?” you’re thinking…

Imagine a thought in your head. It is a beautiful thing – and quite perfect therein. But how does it become energized sufficiently in your Mind to smoothly transitioned to outer Reality?

Going back to alchemical times, it was to alchemists as though there was this “ring-pass-not” – a kind of spiritual speed-bump system – that prevents what we think casually from becoming what we have in the physical realm.

Some application of brakes seems reasonable when you think about it.

Not that Blavatsky (and other Theosophists) were entirely correct. Creation – or more properly co-creation with Universe –  is an equation with an assortment of solutions.

For example traditions of magick such as Aleister Crowley were advancing the idea of the Seven Veils that keep thoughts from becoming objectively “real.”

“Seven are the veils of the dancing-girl in the harem of IT.

Seven are the names, and seven are the lamps beside Her bed.

Seven eunuchs guard Her with drawn swords; No Man may come nigh unto Her.”

The simple “ring(s)-pass-not” or “seven veils” were born of a time (before quantum mechanics) when it was not entirely clear that magick and science would ever meet. Hence Crowley and Blavatsky were products of the great schism between science and religious philosophy.

The good news more recently, however, is that we are fortunate now to live in an era where the schism is beginning to close, and not just quickly but gracefully.

It remained, nevertheless, for an obscure book – P.D. Ouspensky’s Tertium Organum ­– (The third Principle of Thought) – to enlighten my quest a bit further.

I will never forget the briefest of instants when – while reading Tertium Organum, I fathomed the fourth dimension. Touched for the shortest fraction of an instant it was (and still is) very much like the big fish that got away.  Except for one other occasion – what would be called a “moment of Grace” – it continues to elude me even now.

Still, over the years I have evolved a simpleton’s recipe for turning thoughts into things – a recipe which I offer for you to tinker with and which comes with no warrantees implied.

You need to look not so much at those who articulate belief systems like Blavatsky, Crowley, or even Ouspensky – though such teachings are worth study. Instead focus on what I think of as the “General Recipes” that run Life.

One of these is what I call the “Grand Farmer’s Recipe.”  Works on all kinds of problems.

It holds – simply enough – that to move something from the mental Realms to the Physical, we need to treat ideas as those they were seeds of plants or young children. (Yes, brain child fits!)

The first thing a farmer does is INTENTION. He or she intends a fine garden. In order to have a perfect garden in the physical, however, each and every obstacle to its realization must be addressed and overcome within the Mind.

Only when the idea is intended and rendered as perfectly in mental space as possible, can one go on to the next step.  Rule 1:  Each step must happen in order.  Plan the garden, get seeds, then till, then plant, then tend, and finally you get a harvest.

Let’s drop back to the second step of the garden is to find the right seed. Although it seems obvious, it is never so when dealing with how thoughts become things. It’s why the story of Tom and Little John looking at those two frogs is so important.

One frog, you will recall, focused on the single long leap. The other cut the overall task into easily achieved smaller tasks. That done, success came quickly and easily.

With seed in the ground (the initial steps taken to materialize the idea) we next need to offer what any farmer would: Water and nutrition. Rain and fertilizers.

Generalize this and it becomes resource. Resource applied regularly leads to the harvest.

A point about Gurdjieff and Ouspensky are worthy of note – and I believe it was in Crowley as well – the matter of sexual energy. As Wikipedia notes:

“Ouspensky also provided an original discussion of the nature and expression of sexuality in his A New Model of the Universe; among other things, he draws a distinction between erotica and pornography.”

The existence of an “orgasmic energy” is not something restricted to beliefs of Ouspensky, Gurdjieff or perhaps Crowley. Rather it is well dispersed and was the core behind the work of Wilhelm Reich’s Orgone – a kind of orgasmic energy that rules (among other things) health and weather.

This was taken even further when it was postulated by Trevor James Constable that UFO’s were a kind of gaseous organism. Wikipedia picks it up from there:

“After reading about radionics and Wilhelm Reich’s orgone, Constable became convinced that supposed UFOs were in fact living organisms. He set out to prove his theorem by taking a camera with him, fitted with an ultra-violet lens and high-speed film. The processed pictured showed signs of discolouration, which Constable insisted were proof of amoeba-like animals inhabiting the sky.[1]

Reviewing his new found ‘evidence’, Constable was moved to write in two books that the creatures, though not existing outside of the “infrared range of the electromagnetic spectrum”, had been on this Earth since it was more gaseous than solid. He claimed that the creatures belonged to a new offshoot of evolution, and that the species should be classified under macrobacteria.[1] According to Constable, the creatures could be the size of a coin or as large as half a mile across.[4]

The biology of the creatures supposedly meant that they were visible to radar, even when not to the naked eye.[4] To explain supposed cattle (and occasionally human) mutilations, Constable theorised that the use of radar angered the organisms, who would become predatory when provoked.[4] At a later date a crypto-zoologist officially classified these supposed creatures as Amoebae constablea, named after their discoverer.[1] Constable wrote a book entitled The Cosmic Pulse of Life in 1975 that outlined his ideas…”

Also of interest is the re-issue of “They Live in the Sky: Invisible Incredible UFO’s around us.” All of which sounds like hokum until you go look at rods and cones which have been catching world-wide and are chronicled in this video ( ).

Whew…you can see how the logical following of questions like “sexual energy needed to fertilize an idea into a reality can quickly lead down a rabbit hole of speculations?

So instead, returning to my simple “farmer paradigm” we simple pile enough resource on until the “idea” “materializes.”

Usually, time, money, and physical resource (steel, concrete, six-layber PCB boards or yet-another C# library ) will handle most conventional objects.

A Word About LUCK

There is one more part about Execution of a Plan – that takes an idea and materializes it: Luck.

I’ve gone to great lengths to study Luck. Two of the best books on topic are by Max Gunther: The Luck Factor: Why Some People Are Luckier Than Others and How You Can Become One of Them.

Gunther also wrote The Zurich Axioms: The rules of risk and reward used by generations of Swiss bankers . Both deserve a read.

There is a flow of energy all around us, of course, and it’s easily thought of as the flow of coherence.

Luck (or coherence within randomness) is at the core of the Princeton University Noosphere / Global Consciousness Project and the Princeton EGGs. This is a worldwide network of random number generators linked to spot periods of “coherence.”

Among recent coherence events you can look at the Inauguration of Donald Trump, or the International Women’s Day event.

In the case of the latter, it was clearly not as impactful on global coherence (think of this as luck) as was Trump’s taking the Oath. In comparison, the effect of Muslim Ban demonstrations arguably had very little impact on coherence.

When you have some time and want to see how this all works – this global coherence and luck stuff – all you need to do is get a good software poker package and experiment by hitting “Deal” when coherence is running high.

Over time, like me, you may get a sense of how “luck runs” but unless you have patience, don’t quit your day job.

In order to have a good day job – and to be perpetually moving up, there is a simple, easy to learn key: Execution.

Figure out first what it is that your “job” is all about. Spend some time trying to optimize what it is you do so that no one else in your organization can do as much in as little time.

Then move your sights up the next step of the ladder: Figure out how you can help your boss do their job better. Taking care, naturally, not to do so in a threatening way. The notion is that if someone is working for you – and they make your life easier so you can move up the food chain – they are exactly the person you want to promote when you move up.

The Plan of the Day

Theory aside, we each start every morning where that fly-hungry frog began: On the side of the lake ready to jump in.

Take about 15 minutes each and every day to plan what you need to accomplish to make your personal Plan of Life come true. Reduce it to one of two essential tasks that when done will move you along. Then resolve to stay up and work on these problems until they are done.

Each and every day there is a new lily pad to jump to, but if you didn’t jump to a new one yesterday, you may be too far away to make the jump today. So commit to making daily progress.

Once you have this, you may be broken as some point in your life, but you will never be poor.

The distinction is that “broke” is a temporary state of your cash resources. “Poor” on the other hand is a state of mind. Money is never long gone from a person of prosperous thoughts. But money and success will NEVER appear long for a person of poor spirit.

It is all part of the magic we share as co-creators of the Reality around us. Science and religion are moving back towards a middle ground and there are some dandy books on the topic.

One that I can recommend is Kim Romainer’s book “The Science of Making Things Happen: Turn Any Possibility into Reality.”

For the more academically inclined “Making Things Happen: A Theory of Causal Explanation (Oxford Studies in the Philosophy of Science)” might seem overloading but some learning styles are that way…

Romainer’s book deals with the science that is filling in the gaps which used to separate magicians, business leaders, and the hard sciences.

I think you might enjoy it because becoming a master of co-creation with the forces of Universe is a totally empowering experience.

The final step to “birthing an idea” is the delivery room, analogous to the farmer’s harvest.

When you do, be sure to hold a party and celebrate the completion of a fine project. Your team will appreciate it and few things in life can be done totally alone.

For Business Readers

Become an expert with Microsoft Project and leverage your teams using online tools like, BaseCamp, SmartSheet, ZOHO Projects. or others.

If you’re a young business reader, the sooner the better on project software and tasking programs.

must always do.

Figure out, like Tom,  who you want to “carry the fish.”

Reader Note 2: This book was going to end here, but I’ve had a request to add one more chapter to close it out.

So next week? [Keyword: Mating]

Write when you get rich,

Power Sources and Silver

This week I’ve spent a little time looking into what some have called “new electrics” but which seem likely to really fall more under the description “New Sources” – of power.

But we don’t stop there – as we go looking at how New Sources may be using a fair bit of silver to make their innards work.

As usual, though, we will begin with some headlines (Yes, Trump paid A LOT more income tax than Obama judging by his 2005 returns).  And yes, we still start the Wednesday morning Data Festival rolling out the new Consumer Price report just out…

So bean on, buckle up…and let’s roll…

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What is a Deficit Reduction Worth?

Time for the Grown-Ups to discuss Healthcare Spending…

The basic question posed by the Wall Street Journal headline this morning is really “What’s a free lunch worth?”

They point to a Congressional Budget Office report: “CBO Sees 24 Million More Uninsured, $337 Billion Deficit Cut in Coming Decade With GOP Health Plan.”

Let’s do the math together, shall we?

Let’s take the savings ($337 B) and divided by the uninsured (24-million) see what the answer is and whether the estimate is reasonable since we like that word a lot when comes to spotting holes in our thinking.

So it’s $14,041.67 per person.

Since there are usually 10-years in a decade, the CBO is estimating $1,404 per person per year for healthcare — of the uninsured.

I’m arguing with myself over the “reasonableness” of this number.

Remember, most of the uninsured are not people at retirement age – or older.  These gray folks like us are mostly covered by Medicare.

And it’s axiomatic that your medical spending goes up at a nonlinear rate as you approach the end-of-life.  (It’s OK –EoL brings the end of taxes, too.)

Paul Ryan is quoted over here as saying “If we don’t pass my bill, the system is going to collapse.:”

Und zo?

Ryan, unfortunately, is a typical politician – and not a particularly admirable one so far. 

Worse? Washington is in something of a hostage-taking mode on healthcare since the insurance industry/business model has convinced the weak-minded that giving perhaps 20% of our healthcare budget to overhead and profit of insurance companies is the only way to go.  “Why look at all them health insurance jobs!” they moan.

See “disingenuous.”

The U.S. government spends about $100-million a year on healthcare for active duty military.

There are (about) 1.174 million enlisted plus another 224-thousand active duty officers.  That doesn’t count 580-thousand civilians.

Let’s round it off to 1.4-million.  Then, let’s double it because I think we can assume that there is is a lot of spousal and child healthcare in this – so maybe the figure is closer to 3-million covered active.

But it doesn’t stop there:  We have to toss in a further million, or so who are getting healthcare (Tri-Care) and other V.A. benefits, too.

It might round that off to 4-million.  Pencils out to $25,000 per YEAR per patient.

I’d have to dig a lot more numbers out, but it seems to me that either a) V.A. is spending too much OR b) the CBO numbers could be low, if anything.

Which then circles us back around to the original problem:  How do we do a better job of delivering healthcare to everyone?

As the old saying goes:  We don’t have any problems more revenue won’t fix.  This is a fine example.

I can’t cite current figures, but Canada – often held up as a role model on national healthcare – spent about $11,000 per family – and this was back in 2015.

That pushed pushes out to $2,750 per person.

The REAL problem with Canadian healthcare is at some point, they will have to pay the ACTUAL costs because that’s how budgets work.  So picture basic Canadian income taxes then toss in $11,000 for an average family just to handle healthcare. 

Not exactly a pretty picture.

So Let’s Solve It!

The problem with healthcare, when comes down to it, is something we touched on in the Coping section yesterday when we were talking about Daylight Time.  (We don’t say “savings” with that because no one “saves” time.  It’s just another government over-reach.)

The fundamental question has to do with the 10th and (missing) 16th Amendments.

Did States delegate the power to CentGov to decree everyone MUST buy healthcare to the FedGov?  (Justice Roberts said it’s a tax, remember.)

Sure, if we were loaded (like the State of Alaska was for a while with oil tax revenue) it would be fine to have total healthcare. Toss in a universal gym membership and tanning cards, too.

But the Budget is far from “fine.”  It’s a wreck. 

I think about government healthcare as being something that should be scaled according to the Nation’s financial condition.

We need more money coming in.

If we were to wipe out the Balance of Trade deficit, for example – which runs $40-$50 billion per MONTH, then sure. We would all get healthy.

The ugly fact of Healthcare is that it has been reduced to a single bill that doesn’t look at the entire budget picture and come to realistic answer to the over-all problem.

Remember Rubberstamp Ryan pushed Obama’s globalism plans.

Picture an airline flying along at F?light Level 37 (37,000 feet).  The crew notices a problem with the right wing/.  As the cabin decompresses and people begin to instantly die from cold and a lack of oxygen, the pilot turns to the co-pilot and says “This is just ;like the approach to healthcare reform.”   As the plane crashes toward a very small landing.

Point?  Sure:  You can’t fix one wing at a time.  You need to consider the outgo when trying to spend income that isn’t here. 

If the U.S. were to tax imports at the differential between the cost of such goods being made America and the cheap-o overseas rates, life would be wonderful.

The problem (which no one talks about) is that universal healthcare from some of these Asian countries – and Mexico – is not considered nor required  when tariffs are set on cheap-o goods.

Then – compounding our national stupidity – there’s the World Trade Organization which really benefits the rich One Percenters more than the rest of us.

I would argue – and I think it’s a convincing case – that if we are going to enforce a Healthcare program in these (prior to Obama) United States, then we must simultaneously move to impose a tax on imported goods to level the trade playing field.

Tariffs should be set after adjusting labor both here and abroad for Worker Purchasing Power Parity plus Quality of Life (QOL).

The problem, you see, is bigger than healthcare.

There is the corporate tax angle. 

Here we have major corporations screaming bloody murder about how high the U.S. tax rates are yet IRS has only limited authority to deal with the multinationals that use international tax dodges and havens to avoid (or ridiculously minimize)  corporate taxes in most countries. 

Remember I lived and worked in the Cayman Islands for a couple of years – and I have a pretty good handle on how the International Tax Shuffle is danced.  Really,  do 40 of the 50-largest banks in the world need to be serving a total market of 60-thousand people unless there’s a lot of dodging going on?  Well, there is.

Corporations should all pay the same “end-to-end” tax rates as U.S. domiciled corporations..

Go back to last year and how the E.U. moved against Apple on just this point.  Read “The Inside Story of Apple’s $14 Billion Tax Bill.”  Interesting stuff.

The simple version of this avoidance game works is simple:  Since I will use a couple of dummy shell companies to illustrate, seems only right that they be named  after myself:

Ure Industries buys cell phones from our Ure Industries Ltd in Grand Turk for $100 per phone.  They sell at a small profit (retailing net is $110) so $10 in taxable income in the USA.,

The Foxcommy Division of Ure International, Inc. manufactures the phones in China for $20, sells them to Ure Industries Limited, Grand Turk, for $22 – and thus pays China a corporate tax of 10% ($2) profit from making the phones.

Follow me here:  Did you see the cutout?

Ure Industries Ltd in Grand Turk in the Turks and Caicos made a tax-free bundle. 

They buy the phones all day long from China for $22.  And they resell them to Ure Industries America for $100 and that $78 of pure profit is tax-free since it was “earned” manipulating paper in a tax haven country.

Sweet, huh?

I made it simple because I used Ure throughout.  But in real life no way.  The companies have interlocking directors, perhaps, but the names are varied to hide avoidance.

Sadly, the Fools on the Hill don’t get after end-to-end taxes.  If they did, our foreign goods income might be higher, but so would our consumer prices – so it’s a balance there.  The E.U. has moved against such schemes, though – they need dough to build-their-burgers, so to speak.

But with lobbyists essentially buying votes in D.C.?  Do you really think Washington will land the airplane and look at the whole aerodynamic problem?

N o chance, at least YET.

They’re going to crash the plane.

And as is goes down, the usual pathetic crooks will blame one another (and the president) when the fact is, we need something the Trump Administration has the brainpower and horsepower to do, but are up against the Ryans and butt-kissers/ and coverers on the Hill.

With no Trade Deficit, we could pay $1`,875 per month for each of those 24-million who (wring your hands with me brothers and sisters) wouldn’t be covered.  Yes, PER MONTH!

Revenue is the answer.

We need to sit back, review the Big Picture first, and then fix healthcare to the degree we have money to spend, not to the degree the democrats can subvert Trump via the Obama “second White House” where the leakers might be on speed dial.

Cynical view?  Me?  Oh, hell yeah. GTFU.

We now return you to the usual data with a side order of slime for breakfast.

Data du Jour:  PPI-FD

Producer Prices, Final Demand is where we sometimes get a glimmer of ‘inflation in the pipeline.”

“The Producer Price Index for final demand increased 0.3 percent in February, seasonally adjusted, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today.

Final demand prices rose 0.6 percent in January and 0.2 percent in December. (See table A.)

On an unadjusted basis, the final demand index climbed 2.2 percent for the 12 months ended February 2017, the largest advance since a 2.4-percent increase in the 12 months ended March 2012.

In February, over 80 percent of the advance in the final demand index is attributable to a 0.4- percent increase in prices for final demand services. The index for final demand goods moved up 0.3 percent.

Prices for final demand less foods, energy, and trade services rose 0.3 percent in February, the largest increase since a 0.3-percent advance in April 2016.

For the 12 months ended in February, the index for final demand less foods, energy, and trade services climbed 1.8 percent.

Final Demand Final demand services: The index for final demand services moved up 0.4 percent in February, the largest advance since a 0.4-percent increase in June 2016. Nearly 70 percent of the February rise can be traced to prices for final demand services less trade, transportation, and warehousing, which climbed 0.5 percent.

The indexes for final demand trade services and for final demand transportation and warehousing services advanced 0.4 percent and 0.3 percent, respectively.”

Dow futures are down about 70 as the market dare not rally until after tomorrow’s Fed rate hike decision.

Bitcoins are $40 over gold this morning if you’re among the people trusting your future to a hard drive.

Storm Marketing

31-million people are reminded it is still winter.

One of our cynical readers points out that “named storms” may be a way for insurance outfits to slide on claims.  Tisk, tisk – such cynicism, really!

5,000 flight cancellations so far.

It’s About the Surveillance State

You probably already knew this, b ut when the NY Times says “White House Says Trump’s Wiretap Claim Was Meant More Broadly” you can bet democrats have something to hided or gloss over.

Like the Hillaryites meeting with the Ruskies?  Damn!  There goes the cynicism alarm again!

Big Day Tomorrow

Fed Decision, CPI and a barrel of monkeys (played by the House).  Up for subscribers at 7:55 on as always.

Wonton soup for breakfast?  Seems like hot soup would be a show of solidarity with the snowed in.  Cold at the ranch overnight, too: 34.

Coping: With “Spring ‘Ranch-keeping’

Or, we could call this morning’s Coping articling “Shop Time for Bozo.”

A more (or less) practical report this morning on progress being made on spring cleaning of Ure’s all-purpose Old Man Labs support shop.

The organizational plan is blocked out as Excel gobs but you can get the general idea: Red for saws, gray for bench, black a lathe, green is the power center for the solar, yada, yada…


Across the top, the first red square is the vertical milling machine, the black one is the 9×20 metal lathe and then the power center. In real life (IRL) it looks like this:


Best thing I ever did was cover the shop walls with polycarbonat5e panels instead of plywood.  See all that natural lighting?

Moving south, (or next row down) you’ll find the rest of the metal working gear including the box & pan brake, buffer wheels with rouge, TIG welder, gas welder, and in the red cart below is all the tooling for the lathe (not visible behind the brake).


The shelving to the right of this view (east on the map) is where paints and adhesives are stored. If we turn to the right, we get to the metal chop saw and the main compressor:


I could go on boring you to tears with this, but being the shop docent the main thing to note is that I’m getting it all squared away (again) and this time more emphasis on putting tools within easy reach.

A few weeks back I mentioned the joys of having a utility cart to stack stuff on – or to use as a parts-picker/tool collector when you need tools at a different bench.

Or when you need to wheel a bunch of boxes out to the burn barrel…


Turns out the bottom shelf is a marvelous place to store the portable compressor, too.

Next up in the battle for order is taking on the woodpiles. There are a couple of them in the shop. Seems like the simplest way to make them (mostly) disappear is to get outside and build another deck and such, so that’s on the agenda for this spring.

You would be surprised how many hours can be spent looking at woodpile solutions.  Worst decision process in the world.  Seems you just pick an arbitrary size (one board foot) and go with that.

Elaine’s not too keen on adding more “area” to  the house. But I have this dream of a kind of  “lean-to” kind of affair off the recording studio which will be perfect place to grow lettuce and other plants year-round.  It would be closer than the greenhouse and garden and seems to me a swamp cooler might just be the ticket to keep things moist and not wilted.

Lettuce is problematic this way and that’s what drives here.  Using more of that polycarbonate paneling would make it a two or three day project.  A month is I measure things.

A figure to build the lean-to out of ten foot 2-by-4’s and toss the cheapo swamp cooler.  Maybe a cold tub for soaking.  If THAT doesn’t work out, then maybe I could raise Tilapia or fresh water shrimp there…

Speaking of which, (building things, not Tilapia) latest issue of Family Handyman has a good article on using expanding foam for setting ground posts in lieu of schlepping and mixing those 80-LB sacks of Qwik-Crete. Good stuff, but my back kills me just looking at ‘em.

There are 140 bags of Qwik-crete holding the base of the big ham radio tower.  I think most of the worker lawsuits for concrete abuse have been dropped now.  Someone will need a D-9 with a rock claw to get it out.

These projects will run about the speed of maple syrup at mid-winter (the shop org stuff) because there is a new deck to be tossed in front of the 180 Room (so named because we have a 180-degree view of the property from it) and then there’s tilling, garden setting, getting the mower running again…so there goes one day a week by the time I get writing and research chores done.  I told myself when I get to be 68, I’m going to cut back to 12 hours a day no matter what.  Some delusion, huh?

But let’s see how much of this is actually done before the doors to Hell open up.  That happens around May 15th in these parts. We won’t touch 60 again until October…

The only problem I haven’t worked through is where to put the built-in shop vacuum system. Picked one up for a song about 10-years ago as one of those super-deals from Harbor Freight and never did get around to putting it in. Been spending our time on everything BUT the shop. So it sat in the Tool Loft. 

The price I paid, by the way, was so cheap it was ridiculous.  As we advised our readers back when (when the Chinese tools were dirt cheap)  “Buy all you can – they will go up in price.”

No kidding – they have!  The unit I paid around $69 on super sale for is now $149.  Heck, I even picked up the accessory kit, although those are about the same price as before.

Still, tools – the kind a nation needs to have in order to remanufacture itself – still seems to be like a reasonable investment along with av-gas (that won’t degrade like this methanol-laced varnish waiting to f/over your carburetor on any small engine you own that we’re force-fed by thems that’s gonna save us but haven’t worked a day of real work in their lives.

Near as I can figure, the only other angle is methanol-based gas is a full-employment for carburetor companies make-work program.  Is that you, Rochester?  (You’d only get that double entendre if you’re over 50, lol. One of the ‘bennies’ of aging, I suppose…hardly a fair trade but anything’s an improvement.) 

About the time I get the shop done we’ll be ready to be put out to pasture. I’m reminded of the old saying though which goes “He who dies with the most toys, wins!

(What I’m not sure, but I’ll be too busy for the next few months to worry about it.

Blissfully shorter columns are on the way and more on the homesteading and urban prepping stuff. Markets don’t go up forever so it’s time to be getting ready for when they don’t.

I’ll post more pictures along the way, too, since many of my projects would fit in a “Handyman’s Book of How NOT To Do Things.”

Suggestions and comments welcome…Even ideas what to put in the shop first aid kit.  I’m thinking a phone with 9-1-1 preprogrammed would be the right answer…

Write when you get rich,

Cool: Like Weather and Markets

Once again, the Great American Hype Machine is set to roll with a “Horrible Winter Snow Blast” like it is supposed to mean something.  I haven’t bothered to look for it, but I’m sure someone will give it a name.  All part of the branding process.

Yes kiddies, it will snow tomorrow – up to a couple of feet in the Northeast, but this is how the Universe teaches the gullible about subjects like climate change.

All that remains is for the email machinery to start cranking out their fear porn to raise money for…well, whatever.

Still,  a look at the calendar tells us all we need to know:  There are still eight days of Winter left.

The Monday Tee Shot (Economic Golf)

The main thing to do this morning is to recover from the God-awful time change this weekend.  There is so little going on this morning that no one could possibly blame you for returning to the rack for at least part of your stolen day. ‘Cept the boss, maybe.

Tomorrow?  Different deal.  Warm-up day.

We will get the Producer Price Index for final demand, but the real action this week is Suyper4 Wednesday.

First thing will be the bank reserve settlement (if you like accounting) followed by the Consumer Price Index, Retail Sales, and then in the afternoon the Fed Rate decision.

Sure looks about 90% likely the Fed will raise rates – which means if we are really replaying the 1929 period, this will be about like the rate hike of
April 23, 1928.  A flat to down week is possible, but by the week after next, our long position should be in full bloom.

In a perfectly conspiratorial world, the last rate hike as the bubble grows would come 87 days later than Wednesday – which we could round off to expecting Hike #3 in June..

Thursday’s Housing Starts should be interesting and an upside surprise would be nice.  If it comes, that would be smart people, seeing that the bottom of interest rates is here – and wanting to lock in a new home at never-before-seen rates.

If you’re a Millennial, you may not realize this, but when us old Grays were your age, a 7 3/4th’s percent home loan was considered a steal by 1975, or so. 

Not saying it’s a bad idea to buy a home – seldom is except when you’re right on the cusp of a Greater Depression an d even then, no one sends out a memo.  Becomes a judgment call.

After all the excitement (or data excretions if you think of it that way) of the Super Wednesday, Friday will fall back to nappy-time and we can all get back to working our butts off to make ends meet’ never getting ahead, mostly.

What Conway Didn’t Say

Oh boy.  Democrats may be about to get their comeuppance.

Kelly Conway was on the talking-heads circuit this weekend saying the government has many ways to surveil people.

What most Americans want to believe is the government is just government. 

Well no, Not true:  Multiple government agencies are working to create a super-database which would allow an interested federal (whatever) to pull up everything about you on a single screen.

Oh, sure, NCIC (national crime information center) would have all your traffic stops, speeding tickets, warrants for unpaid tickets and the like.  But then beyond that picture having your tax filing tied into that along with your Facebook posts and a network diagram of who are your friends are.  Toss in your Social Security, bank account balances, and oh yeah we’re talking about Admiral Poindexter’s Total Information Awareness Project which just sort of faded into the woodwork.

Thing is:  It’s mostly there.  Social mapping, especially.

What would you expect from an East German Stasi lake surveillance system designed by a fellow who was convicted of five counts of lying to Congress, only to have it overturned on appeal?

Do you really think people in the Intel community are going to tell the truth when asked “Are you illegally watching Americans?”  Hell no.  They will lie with impunity.

That’s what they have all the fancy lawyers for – to tell them which weasel words to use.  I love Clapper’s use of “to my knowledge” for example when asked a specific question.

To be sure, if Congress really does its job, they would use the hearings starting today to bust open the progress along the lines to Total Information Awareness which schematically looks something like this:


If you just glance at it,  all looks straight-forward enough. 

But read the zhit under “transactional data” – your vet bills for f’s sake?

But few know, for example, that there are “cloaked modes” where a few “special people” have access to everything in the system?  I know this is true of NCIC and logically assume the cloaking mode is available across platforms.  Which is where this gets to be dangerous stuff.  Who is watching the watchers?

Cloaking is used to control access to juvi records and to keep those in law enforcement who are suspect from learning of surveillance, but this cloaking stuff is a HUGE policy issue.

The biggest threat to American Freedom is SQL databases, in many ways.

Lying Two-Face Democrats

You know, this whole episode started with the Obama/Clinton attempts to subvert the new President with innuendo about “meetings with Russians.”

But now?  Here comes a report out of the UK (and you’ll love this):  “Hillary Clinton’s team met with Russian ambassador, says Kremlin spokesman, as he warns against ‘hysteria’ .”

I can hear ‘em  squealing now “But that’s different…”  Yeah, uh-huh…

Hysteria?  Here in clear-thinking ‘Merica?  Land of the border-free? LOL it is such fine Kabuki – and no flight to Tokyo required.  Just turn on See-Spawn (sic) today.

Collapse of Europe Pending (Slow Motion)

We’ve been massively entertained by this for some time:  How the U.K. is dragging its feet on BREXIT – and how Marine Le Pen could toss the Euro and resuscitate the Franc if she wins May 7 in France.

Now we read how on “Scottish independence: Nicola Sturgeon to seek second referendum.”

What we’re really watching in the slow-motion collapse of Globalism.

Bigger Picture, Wider Thoughts

In his book End of the Line: The Rise and Coming Fall of the Global Corporation, Barry Lynn summed it up perfectly:

“The era of national industrialisms honed honed to win power and glory is over.”

It’s a complicated plot line, but it involves the problem of consumer super-saturation, the limits to valuations (which already verge on absurd) and then we have all those disruptive technologies coming along.  Toss in a helping, or two, of resurgent nationalism?  Why not?

Yes sir, a fine fish-fry is ahead.  Especially in light of our recent Peoplenomics discussion noting the global Purchasing Power High was actually Y2K on an inflation-adjusted basis when a boarder than U.S. market perspective is applied.

Now, this is not  as sexy and fast-moving like either the hands of clocks this weekend of Winter Storm Stella, but it IS the kind of change that matters and will shape the world we live in.

The U.S. – and to a large extent China and Russia – have a problem in that we have gotten into a terrible habit of using Cold Wars to keep the economic scales balanced because there is no alternative to growth.

Since we’re addicted to growth, we need to find new and creative ways to “make up jobs” – and just so you know, that’s one of the major obstacles to getting rid of Obamacare:  Even the dullest-witted republicans know that we can’t really shrink government nor its child-industries:  They are all that stand between us an Oblivion.

Yet here it comes:  Rates are beginning to tick up.  Box prices will fall as rates rise – from Future Values declining when reduced to Present Values.  The great stampede into stocks will continue.

Until, that is, it can continue no more.  Then it will be Collapse.

Unfortunately, we see the ugly outline of the republicans being left holding the bag on this one.  The Obama shadow government and the Hillary loyalists still embedded will do all they can to foment opposition to Donald Trump.

You can see how it’s working, too.  With people like John McCain who is bashing Trump saying he should retract his wiretapping claims.  Glad McCain didn’t become President.

Yet this is how we all become victims of process.  Too small to stop the train wreck, all we can do is watch the “majority party” disintegrate while the democrats keep selling free lunches on the one hand and offer aid and comfort to Trump opposition on the other.

We see the NE liberal press throwing stones, as well.  “Trump Lets Key Offices Gather Dust Amid ‘Slowest Transition in Decades’” moans the NY Times.

If we could – as a country – work on our real core problem – it would be refreshing.

That problem is to design an economy that will weather both rapid growth as well as moderate declines – without relying on intimidation of the people (as in brow-beating to pay more taxes like this climate scam which aims for a global climate tax and thence world government) or restarting the Arms Race which increases the potential for global genocide.

Trump wiretaps seem  destined to be “talked around” but not addressed head-on.

That’s because the term “head-on” also applies to vehicular accidents.  And that’s what the f/u’ed GOP looks like from out here in fly-over country.

Say “Hi!” to Global Warming for us and drop by tomorrow.

(Feels like a Bailey’s & nutmeg French Toast morning to me.)

Coping: Daylight Stupid Time

The story told to me by Pappy, back before the dawn of political correctness, involved a certain Native American who was reported to have said:

“What man is so foolish. He cuts a foot off the bottom of his blanket. Then he sews it to the top of his blanket and believe he has a longer blanket…”

Such was the first I heard of Daylight Savings Time when I was young as Daylight Time came to America in 1966.

This was when the Federal Fools on the Hill swallowed logic and enacted the Uniform Time Act.

“80 Stat. 107, enacted April 13, 1966, was a United States federal law to “promote the adoption and observance of uniform time within the standard time zones” prescribed by the Standard Time Act of 1918. Its intended effect was to simplify the official pattern of where and when daylight saving time (DST) is applied within the U.S. Prior to this law, each state worked out its own scheme for the dates of beginning and ending DST, and in some cases, which parts of the state should use it.”

Being a strict Constitutionalist, I have had a problem with the growth of the FedGov since about when president Kennedy was bumped off, some say by the early shadow government/deep state.

The reason the FedGov has no right to be declaring what is “time” is seen clearly when one takes the time to read the 10th Amendment:

“The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”

Seems a simple enough recipe, does it not? If the States did not grant a POWER to the FedGov, it stays home, closer to the Will of the People. has an excellent discusion of the Reserved Powers” over here and it’s worth taking the time to read.

Really the key point is this:

“Nevertheless, for approximately a century, from the death of Marshall until 1937, the Tenth Amendment was frequently invoked to curtail powers expressly granted to Congress, notably the powers to regulate commerce, to enforce the Fourteenth Amendment, and to lay and collect taxes.”

Still, until the Johnsonian massive overstep program (of which the Great Society was part), government had been relatively in check. Civil rights had moved forward but for the most part the FedGov had not yet undertaken its more recent role of “Declaratory Government” which is the mode we are in now.

I tend to lump Daylight Time into the same “Question Bin” that holds other – and equally odd – questions about the FedGov’s involvement in the lived of Free Persons living within the States.

For example, the push to outlaw marijuana was a “tax deal” and was never a public threat, per se. Except that when the U.S. was involved with Mexico tensions in 1910, it became clear that Mexican Labor was being used by some large hemp plantations (it was used for cloth, rope, and lots of other items at the time) and so by outlawing the high (poor pun, sorry) THC versions of hemp, the labor for Mexicans dried up.

To me, it is little coincidence – in fact it’s a huge red flag to Constitutional Americans – that the end of the 10th Amendment as an effective defense ended in 1937 – which is precisely the year the FedGov went massively into controlling drugs with the Marijuana Tax Act of 1937.

“The Marihuana Tax Act of 1937, Pub. 238, 75th Congress, 50 Stat. 551 (August 2, 1937) was a United States Act that placed a tax on the sale of cannabis. The H.R. 6385 act was drafted by Harry Anslinger and introduced by Rep. Robert L. Doughton of North Carolina, on April 14, 1937. The seventy-fifth Congress held hearings on April 27, 28, 29th, 30th, and May 4, 1937. Upon the congressional hearings confirmation, the H.R. 6385 act was redrafted as H.R. 6906 and introduced with House Report 792. The Act is now commonly referred to, using the modern spelling, as the 1937 Marijuana Tax Act. This act was overturned in 1969 in Leary v. United States, and was repealed by Congress the next year.”

Unfortunately, since 1969, some of the broader questions raised in Leary v. United States has been largely unaddressed.

While it’s true, for example, that the States never ceded the question of drug legality to the FedGov, the government took it upon itself to pass a law – and in the process made-up that God itself erred with Creation of such a plant.

I can’t speak for you, but it seems to me that the several States need to begin kicking-back on matters such as regulatory agencies, because States were never informed that the power grab to the FedGov would occur.

While there is no doubt that federal agencies do good work, they also fail to perform on many levels. Take the Food and Drug administration, as an example. I’m not clear where the State of Texas authorized the FDA to approve potentially life-saving drugs more promptly, nor am I clear where Texas had any say on whether a common drug (Colchicine) could be “taken private” to extortionately fund “research” by a private firm for several years. This despite the fact the use of the autumn crocus can be traced back to Roman times.

It’s akin to government racketeering.

And this gets us all the way back to when John Locke was writing in 1690 about something called “Non-delegation” doctrine.

“The Legislative transfer the Power of Making Laws to any other hands. For it being but a delegated Power from the People, they, who have it, cannot pass it over to others. . . . And when the people have said, We will submit to rules, and be govern’d by Laws made by such Men, and in such Forms, no Body else can say other Men shall make Laws for them; nor can the people be bound by any Laws but such as are Enacted by those, whom they have Chosen, and Authorised to make Laws for them. The power of the Legislative being derived from the People by a positive voluntary Grant and Institution, can be no other, than what the positive Grant conveyed, which being only to make Laws, and not to make Legislators, the Legislative can have no power to transfer their Authority of making laws, and place it in other hands.”

Notwithstanding, the FedGov has virtually unlimited power because the 16th Amendment was never enacted – and that’s why we have a “war on drugs,” an industry-related FDA, and oh yeah, Daylight Time.

“The original Bill of Rights approved by the House of Representatives included a Sixteenth Article, which stated that “(t)he powers delegated by the Constitution to the government of the United States, shall be exercised as therein appropriated, so that the Legislative shall never exercise the powers vested in the Executive or Judicial; nor the Executive the powers vested in the Legislative or Judicial; nor the Judicial the powers vested in the Legislative or Executive.” This article was not included in subsequent versions of the Articles or in the final Amendments.”

The fix, as you can see, was in! Government would not really have to be responsive to the States, and as a result, bureaucracy has run wild. To his credit, I believe President Trump sees some of this, but the danger now is that we could be in position to “throw the baby out with the bathwater.” The FedGov does good things, but often with crooked reasoning.

And that’s how we get to the time mess we just went through this weekend:

“Most areas of the United States observe daylight saving time (DST), the exceptions being Arizona (except for the Navajo, who do observe daylight saving time on tribal lands), Hawaii, and the overseas territories of American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and the United States Virgin Islands.”

There isn’t a hill of beans we can do about it, though. Like the Federal Deficit, powers have been either ceded or usurped and nowhere is it more clear to me than in regulation of plant life and declaring the Hour of the day.

We know it is wasteful, we know people lose productivity when their circadian rythmns are tweaked, and we know energy use goes up and so do predawn accidents.

Bad ideas have become very popular in America, though, because most people ignore the obvious.

Still, there is one thing we can all do: In discussing the subject, please refuse to toss in the Big Lie Word “Savings.”

There is no savings. There is a foot of the blanket. And the Native American who allegedly made that observation is right…we are a bunch of deluded, slow-witted, and foggy-thinking sheep.

What we really need is strong coffee, clearer thinking, and a modern analog to the 16th Amendment. 

These could rein-in the omnipotent central government and return power to  local hands where it would repose safely in the arms of its would-be victims of government overreach.

Such people already know what time it is.


Write when you get rich,

Aliens Visit to Discus the Y2K PPH

That’s the global Purchasing Power High of financial markets.

We approach this entirely tongue in cheek (d’uh) but in the light-hearted discussion there’s a a butt-ugly bit of truth.

When you look at things in just a certain way, the whole world has made less than zero REAL economic progress in the past 17-years.

But as long as you don’t think about inflation, it’s OK. And after seeing the data, you won’t want to think about global inflation…

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