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How to Live on
$10,000 a year
The Melt Down Ahead
To see what's coming, you only need to read a few stories, in the right order, and think through the picture being painted. Because it's a weekend, bear with me for a few minutes, and let me walk you through the highlights, ok?
More than a few of us who have been buying gold since the Manufacturers Resource War broke out (with 9/11/2001) have been expecting gold to begin making its "big move". With prices surging past 24-year highs on Friday, this very well could be it. If it is, our inclination is to wait until the Dow and the Price of Gold (POG) are even, then we'll figure out where to deploy both of our dollars next.
I have to agree with one poster over at LeMetropole Cafe who noted that the surge in prices was not directly attributable to Iran tensions. He noted if that was the case, we would have seen oil spike up in a similar meaningful way. It hasn't, so he figures, something else is at work.
What's really going on, as best I can judge, is that the Fed has partially lost control of the money supply (which is why they will stop their weekly confessionals of M-3 in March of this year - it will be too scary for "regular people" to stomach by then. This week's report shows that M-3 has increased by 7.84% compared with year ago levels. It's really worse: The November to December change in M-3 pencils out to an 11.5% annual rate. In simplest terms, the money supply is going nonlinear now. That's why gold is up.
You might be asking what is so frightening about that - we've had bouts of inflation before, so no big deal. Well, not quite. You see in the same period, the amount of M-1 (basically cash in the system) has actually decreased by about 2-10th's of one percent in the same period!.
In other words we have deflation and inflation simultaneously in the money figures. The divergences are staggering. You've got less paper money in hand, yet easy credit - so the purchasing power of cash goes up and the consumers are forced more and more into debt to make ends meet.
It doesn't take a rocket surgeon to figure out that this condition in the economy can't go on forever. Thus, later this weekend, when the new web bot run (future forecasting techniques of www.halfpasthuman.com based on linguistic shifts on the internet which seem to precede major social/psychological turnings points, such as 9/11, the anthrax attack, and others) we expect that a very large unexpected event will seen happening between now and April 1st.
Why? Because its clear to the international banksters that their game is falling apart and they need an "event" of some kind in order to maintain their cover and remain in functional control of the country through their shadow government proxies. Care to take a guess what that will be?
Let me help you...
Leading to Iran
One of our brilliant sources makes a very sage observation: Don't be surprised by war with Iran around the time of the dark moon this month. His reasoning? Well, this bright fellow looks at Navy ship reports, a few selected posts, and notices how many small landing craft and small carriers are out of port at the moment. Then he catches that some jet jockeys have rotated out of country for duty. To his way of thinking, this is a tip off - or a none-too-subtle hint to Iran that the US is not kidding around on the uranium enrichment issue.
Still, Iran seems to be sticking by its guns on this and says there is no basis for other countries to restrict what it does on its own soil, whether we like it or not.
Still, it all potentially leads to a regional conflict, which could easily go "theater nukes" which means the genie is out of the bottle and there's no bets at that point. But isn't that what the Powers that Be are after? The demand destruction and continued concentration of wealth in the hands of the few? Of course!
A move against Iran, and I hope not in response to another false flag terrorist event, would keep the public's mind off the bankers and will provide a mechanism for the spinsters to blame economic duress on indigenous people and the Muslim faith which are fighting for what they see as control of their natural resource base and against Western/corporate exploitation.
The greed of the money changers and usurers would be shielded from public scorn by opening of an Iran front, especially if there was an "event" and thus their continuance in power would be assured. That's why the Texas Cell Phone story from Friday is so important - we can almost see something coming. (Along with ID to buy a cell phone, for sure!) Simple, huh?
Now be a good citizen and run out and charge something on that 21% credit card, would yah? You've got 20-minutes yet before you're due back in the squirrel cage to line the corporate thieves pockets.
Top Talent Targeted
A very astute reader in New Mexico has been watching the reports of injury and death from the Iraq war and sends along an interesting analysis worth considering:
This is one dimension of the war that is getting precious little coverage, no question about it. The stories that are easier for the conventional press to cover are things like the report that the cost of the Iraq War will top a trillion dollars and may get well on its way to $2-trillion...
An al Qaida Mystery
Is Dr Ayman al-Zawahiri dead? An attack by a CIA remote controlled flying bomb is believed to have taken out the number two man in al Qaida. But has it? There are conflicting report sthis weekend about whether he was actually killed in the attack, or whether he managed to get away again. Forensics experts will be used to sort this one out. ]
The problem, of course, is that even if al-Zawahiri is dead, the al Qaida movement will no doubt continue. With Osama bin Laden still at large (we heard speculation that he may have fled Tora Bora to China), the myth building of the violent jihadist movement has continued.
Canadian News Hound Tim B. sends along another request for our analysis of the winter wheat situation in light of the reports from folks in various areas about the lack of rain in the South.
Coming to the truth of such matters takes a lot of reading of local reports, such as this one, but as I told subscribers to our premium service some time ago, the rain of the spring will tell the tale on food prices late this year. America, which used to be a net exporter is a net importers lately, and things aren't getting better thanks to soaring input costs. Without becoming an economist, if you set a few news alerts to the phrase "input costs" you will turn up some interesting accounts.
Here in East Texas, we are expected to get some rain this next week, but it will hardly make up for what's a 25 inch deficiency rung up in 2005. When you read reports about Arizona having the driest year in centuries, just remember the Anasazi were there a long time before us..at a place called Chaco Canyon. Arizona wheat and soy production is relatively small.
Other end of the spectrum? The Wendy's people are back to optional tomatoes because of hurricane damage to their jumbo toms from Florida.
Another Side of Teaching
In Friday's report, I mentioned how the idea of teacher compensation being tied to performance of school kids. One of our sources in Oil Town (Houston) writes that while this looks like a good idea, what turns out in practice is really something else. Here's his report:
I'm eternally grateful to my son for demonstrating to me this week just how bureaucracy works. He showed me his drivers license last night. His name is signed in careful cursive" Please No Ticket."
I chastised him for this and pointed out that he would be jailed for screwing with The System. But, he seems to think it's funny and this is the second license renewal he has done it with. One State Trooper who pulled him over (minor speeding infraction) actually let him off after accompanying him to a local Office Depot to get a copy. The trooper couldn't believe it either.
The lesson? Just because you may be required to produce papier bitte? You're still in a free country. I'm shocked that in two trips to his state DMV, no one has caught it. Smart kid, bad kid. The nut doesn't fall far from the tree either, I guess...
This is precisely why we need to have children sign their birth certificates!
Joke of the Week
You know you've been in front of the CPU too many hours when stuff like this is funny...
(a muffled boom-dash drum hit is heard slightly off stage...)
Non Numeric Economics
This weekend, we cast aside numbers and offer a different approach to economics based on needs, values, supply, and demand - with no use of complex formulas. A little common sense allows us to scoff at quants. Click here for subscription info if you don't already know it's just $30 bucks a year..
Live Large (and Cheap!)
"How to Live on $10,000 a year, or less" is a fine way to spend $10 if you are living on the edge of economic disaster. It's in our bookstore.
Do Your Friends Think You Are Sane?
Send them a link to this site, by clicking here. That ought to settle any question they might still have.
Friday Jan 13, 2006
Details are sketchy, but police reportedly have busted a half dozen people of "middle east descent" in the Midland Texas area trying to buy - get this - 60 prepaid cell phones! Any guesses what they want those for??? KWES-TV and local media leading in Odessa-Midland are leading with this... Real question is where did this lead authorities after the Dec. 18 busts?
Bush Martial Law Powers
PPI Jumps 5.4% YoY and 11% rate annualized
You were wondering why the Federal Reserve is in such a hurry to lose the M-3 reports? Well, as I've been telling subscribers to our www.peoplenomics.com site for a couple of months, my outlook for 2006 is "inflation in the first half and deflation in the second." Today's Produce Price Index, up at an annual rate of 11.3% annualized rate is pretty much in keeping with our expectations.
What's important is that the Finished Goods index is up 5.4% from year ago levels - and seeing as our estimate was 6.3% inflation on a trailing twelve month basis by mid 2006, this seems just dandy. Oh, sure, there will be little inconveniences like the market hating it, but come on, admit this is fitting into what the the People's Economist has been palavering about.
As you line things up, from the mine, farm, and wellhead, through the intermediate processes of manufacturing, and into finished goods, you can see the inflation in the pipeline I have been warning about. One a 12-month basis, from the start:
No, I don't claim to be an economic genius, but then again, I can read which some economystics apparently can't. Huge hikes into pipe mean margin cuts for corporations and inflation coming and then we flip over and get demand destruction... (duh...)
Friday the 13th Part One
OK, here's the overview:
But we'd like to offer from worries that will outlast the stroke of midnight tonight
The rally of this market is long in the tooth. While the retracement hasn't hit precisely at 11,093.81 which would put in an 85% retracement rally from the post 9/11 lows after the spring 2000 All Time Highs, it's close enough in my book to at least bear (pun intended) thinking about. Stocks are set to open lower. I expect PPI will weigh, but let's look for happy talk about that..
Regardless of you personal feelings, we don't have another one of these days until October this year.
Economic Rocket Surgeons
Folks at the White House have apparently figured out that the federal budget deficit will rise in 2006. Gee, hmmm, what a surprise, huh? These guys have mastered the inter-generational debt transfer which will bind your children and grand kids into economic slavery...fine spend away...
Tyco plans to split into three companies. Electronics, healthcare, and everything else. Whatever happened to their electric trains?
Fuji to Blow?
Let's see: while much of Japan is experiencing record snowfall lately, in fact the death toll from the snows is up to 63 or so, a few folks in Japan have noticed Mount Fuji is short of snow. Does that mean is could be setting up to blow wonder local press? Got to admit that's a strange pairing - death from now and bald mountain.
Alaska's Augustine volcano, which popped off the other day has chilled a bit and the threat level has been downgraded - for now. Scientists are still watching it closely.
Iran Stands Firm
Iranian officials say the country is standing by its plan to continue uranium enrichment work.
Practical Econ: Incentive Pay for Teachers
Once in a while a concept comes along that seems like a good thing. Today, it's the report that teacher pay in Houston is being tied to test scores. I have to wonder how this would work in big city schools where kids are occasionally alleged to be passed just to get them out of the system and out of the way.
What the heck is Buckypaper? After Buckminster fuller, it's a new kind of paper being developed which is about 1-10th the weight of steel and 250-times stronger says a report out of FSU recently. Sounds like cool materials science work with lots of applications.
If it Helps Elephants...
Indian elephants in Mongolia are being given daily doses of vodka to help them cope with cold weather. I wonder if it impairs their memories?
East Timor Comments
A follow up note from a reader in Australia to our remarks on East Timor and Oz coming to terms on oil and gas revenue sharing:
Uh, yeah, OK. We notice in the CIA World Fact Book that East Timor claims no territorial sea, exclusive economic zone, or fishing zones. On the other hand, Australia claims 12 miles territorial sea, a 24 miles contiguous zone, and an exclusive 200 nautical mile economic zone, and even further, claims out to 200 nautical miles or to the edge of the continental margin.
Now, I'll admit to East Timor being run by a wobbly group of folks - but it seems that "size matters" because as a 2003 Asia Times article noted:
Now, while I will grant that the million or so people on East Timor might not be up to the capital formation required for major oil and gas exploration, we're not clear what will happen when resources are found (again) outside of the specific field covered by the present agreement.
It seems more than just coincidental that the international community supported East Timor's independence in 2002, but as the facts in the case show, Australia is hiding behind "international law" which gives them a 200 nautical mile (236.75 statue) mile lebensraum while the indigenous people (without corporate interests to help lobby) get zero - that's right - zip in the way of territorial or economic rights despite the disputed area being 50 miles from their coast. I figure the $10 billion is petro hush money, at best.
Thus, I'd argue that "international law" is a buzzword for global corporate law, as "equal protection" need not be applied.
Thursday Jan 12 2006
Sarasota is Mean?
A place to live - that's right at the top of UrbanSurvival issues, along with something to eat, some water, and a chance at upward mobility. Today, more than a few cities in the U.S. have been actively "criminalizing homelessness" says the latest report from the National Coalition for the Homeless. From the executive summary of this year's report comes the list of "meanest cities in America":
The rest of the top 20 "Mean Cities" list is:
Texas has 4 out of 20, while California has 3 out of 20, something Texas media has noticed.
The Coalition report also offers up some examples of how criminalization of homelessness works:
Here's the Catch 22: If you don't have money, in many cities, you can't find a place to relieve yourself. Unless you are a customer of a business, that is. I can tell you after traveling across much of the country in the past year or two that gas stations will withhold restrooms keys from non-customers.
"OK," you're muttering, "Why is the People's Economist pointing out all this homeless stuff?"
Ah, glad you asked. I see a large number of news stories and social markers that suggest to me that the number of homeless in America will be making a dramatic increase in future years as our middle class is ripped apart and bifurcated more clearly into the "Haves" and "Have nots." Examples:
Sadly, it's not like I'm the only one seeing the middle class squeeze out at work. A reader in (Saudi) Alberta (Canada for the truly sleepy) writes:
Yup, no doubt about it: 5,000 of history (for this go 'round anyway) might seem like enough time for people to come up with workable ways of growing food, sharing wealth, and generally getting along without Crusade versus Jihad, but apparently not.
We live in a world where anything tough is done away with. In fact, the most recent data point that goes to the notion of "fast is everything" comes from right here in Texas where cursive writing is being phased out in favor of more time to learning keyboarding so kids can interact with a world where computers don't do cursive unless you have the right font packs installed.
A reader suggests this tonic: "I have jusy finished a book by Robert Fisk, THE GREAT WAR FOR CIVILISATION THE CONQUEST OF THE MIDDLE EAST. Published by Fourth Estate in Great Britain. You may be interested in reading this book , it certainly covers a lot of what has been happening in the last three decades . If you do read this book I would be very interested in your opinion of it."
Oh sure, throw it on the reading pile. Finishing "The Magus of Java" and next up is "Blink" and after that, a close encounter/trance with TurboTax Premier which will keep me preoccupied for a while.
Before I do that, however, one of my kids called and wants to quit her job (before she has a new one). Because it's a well enough paying job (more than twice minimum wage, which is OK these days) I gave her my UrbanSurvival Short Course on Career Building (which I should package like Trump on four CD's and sell for $39.95, but I'll give it away free because I'm not as bright apparently):
UrbanSurvival Career Building Course:
Do not quit job 1 until you have a firm start date for Job 2.
Corollary 1: Job 2 pays at least 15% more than Job 1 or you just suck it up and keep Job 1.
Corollary 2: Benefits are generally worth $300-$800 per month depending on age, and count as you weigh total compensation when deciding on job.
Daughter wants to discuss this. "Too busy with Job 1 to get out and get Job 2."
Listen again, kid: "Bird in hand is worth two in bush and Job in hand is worth four in Bush Land." Sometimes I just want to have a drink and bang my head against a wall.
Hard at Hearing
Also in the discussions of Alito, we notice the term "left-wing" popping up again. Just for the hell of it, I consulted the Search Engine Oracle (also known as Google's news engine) and was told in current news coverage, the Oracle is aware of about 8,530 references to the term "left-wing" and 12,400 for the term "right-wing".
(Get it? I ran, dancing? Ha Ha... But seriously...) We see this morning how the Russians are saying that Iran's breaking of the seals (which we reported yesterday) is not really a violation of international law. It is a big dance, at the moment anyway.
A reader - in fact I think it was Canadian correspondent News Hound Tim - suggests this morning that the sequence of events will be something like this: The U.S. will ask the U.N. to act against Iran. China and Russia will veto. Then Bush & company will build a new "Coalition of the Willing" (the new label for international vigilante justice) and off we go to another war.
Manufacturer's Resource Wars
Hmmm. Let's see: Today we find that Australia, which has been trying to muscle in on East Timor's oil and gas resources, has strong-armed an agreement out of East Timor to share oil and gas revenues. And Bolivia's new president is talking about nationalizing oil and gas resources. But, we already talked about that.
It's not often an executive jet crashes and so when the US Navy loses one of its executive jets, we pay attention. Wonder who was aboard?
The Best Possible Investment
Wednesday Jan 11 2006
Oysters, Illegals, Money and People
"Rebellion or Scandal on the Texas Coast?" writes one of our readers this morning, as he sent along this eye witness account of what's going on to our south...
Iran has "broken the seal" on its equipment which is used to enrich uranium. OK, you ask, why do I think this is so interesting? I don't find anything unusual in the US and Russia condemning the resumption of nuclear work.
Not to go "Biblical" on you, but I seem to recall that the "end times" get rolling in earnest with a "breaking of the seven seals" and get worse from their. OK, you might say "this is a stretch, George" but I can't think of a time when the breaking of "seals" have made headlines of an international type and the breaking of which could be used as a basis of a major shooting war that could escalate to something global/horrible/life threatening. Just a curiosity at this point and maybe I've become overly sensitive to linguistics. "Seals broken" is such a familiar phrase in Revelations, though...
We're reading lots of reports about how Bolivia's new president-elect Evo Morales is wooing new allies. Curiously, many press reports cite his "left wing agenda" (or similar pejorative terms) and yet upon investigation we read that he's not moving on existing holdings of foreign companies, but is taking control of the country's economics resources such as natural gas.
You might want to watch this closely, as in the context of the Manufacturer's Resource Wars which I'd propose the world is in today, the pressure (read: spin) against local South American versions of George Washington (e.g. Chavez in Venezuela and now Morales in Bolivia) will be smeared in reports as being radical/leftists and worse for opposing corporate subjugation of their countries. Just as a thinking point, something in the gut says these guys are tapping into the large mass of humanity's distrust of the resource gobbling consumer-crazed world at the core of US policy. The march of Islam taps in to the same sort of sentiment.
At a macro level (when you "zoom out" on world events) there's a spin battle of concepts being played. One side has "natural resources" positioned as something that should be available to all citizens of the world. The other side, conversely, gets labeled something like "selfish national governments" which are "anti-progress." Whether Morales' actions constitute a "leftward wave" or indicate he's only looking out for the interests of his constituency is something time (and money, no doubt) will reveal.
I couldn't help but note that former president Fujimoi has been barred from running in Peru's president contest. He's presently jailed in Chile, fighting extradition on graft charges and worse, and sounding like a member of our own CONgress, huh?
Not all corporations are evil. A few - damned few - but a few are really acting responsibly. We have to offer a "tip of the hat" (or the coffee cup at this hour) to Whole Foods which is trying to run its whole company on renewable energy. An admirable plan - and coupled with their historic support of organic farming - gets them an "A" in my book.
Still, at last week's photo op for former secretaries of defense and state held at the White House, each guest was reportedly given only 20-seconds to really speak. I have to call that a photo op. The US corporate structure is built on a consumption-driven business model (and has been since the introduction of the annual model car by Alfred Sloan et al at GM in 1928*. Whether we're honest with ourselves about planned obsolescence, some leaders in the rest of the world have figured out, and our actions speak louder than words.
I figure until we get to work on a new business model for America that rewards recycling, quality, and craftsmanship within our own borders, the existing power structure which profits from outsourcing, consumer churn, and debasing the currency, is not likely to loosen its reins on power. Besides, war is easier to wage than peace and there's a lot better short term investment return.
Speaking of GM & Cars & Such...
As the economic noose has been tightening lately, GM has announced it's cutting prices. I keep waiting for one of the GM divisions to "go Volkswagen" and announce it's ending the annual model scam and instead will focus on building great, long-lived cars and light trucks. We'd step up for one of them, but short lifespan cars? No thanks.
Cliff at www.halfpasthuman.com (the web bot genius) just finished putting a new engine in his Trooper, so it will be good for another 200,000 miles for $2,300 or so. To save you the calculator, that will give him about 1.15¢ a mile for a vehicle that he uses for light truck type work. A new vehicle of the same grade would be about $25,000 pencils out to 16.6 cents a mile at 150,000 miles and that's before interest and required maintenance like timing belts. Our own paid for Daewoo is about to turn over 100,000 with 130,000 targeted before replacement.
Are we the only guys on earth who do cars based on operating cost per seat mile? IRS has business mileage pegged at 48¢ a mile for the last part of 2005. Yup, moving back from L.A. this year yields $768 in mileage to IRS way of thinking. Our cost out of the checkbook will be something like 15¢ actual car costs and around 13¢ for fuel/oil. That's 28¢ actual versus 48¢ allowable - their rules are fine with me.
Swiss Out CIA
The US operated secret jails in a number of places including the Ukraine, Kosovo, and Romania, according to a report.
I think this is amusing as all get out, the Sam Alito hearings. Why? Oh, depending on who you read, he's either going to keep an open mind on abortion rights, or his still holds to his views expressed in 1985 on Roe vs. Wade.
Sounds like something out of Germany in WW II, doesn't it? Well, no wonder people in New Orleans are worried about what will come from the Bring Back New Orleans report due shortly. Meantime, the poor displaced are being evicted.
Too Much TV?
A woman's mummified body has been found in front of a TV set 2 1/2 years after she died. Was "The Ring" out 2 1/2 years ago?
American Lung Association kudos to Washington State for anti-cigarette work. Like the old country song "Cigareettes & Whiskey & Wild Wild Women" describes smoking: "There's a fire on the one end and a fool on 't other..."
Tuesday Jan 10, 2006
Although the Dow closed over 11-thousand yesterday, we are sort of expecting it to give up the ghost today and close under that "line in the sand" today. If you read the latest fractal report, it could go much, much lower. What's driving that? Oil (see next article) at least in part. As our friends over at www.bullnotbull.com wrote:
Oil Prices Firm
Now that imports to the US are pretty well tapped out after the big surge of international shipments following Katrina/Rita, prices are staying firm. All this leads us to wonder how long before gasoline prices start moving up again. Shortly, we expect.
Then there's the problem of Iran, which is reopening its nuclear research facilities and plans to start enrichment soon. What's interesting to me is that the Bush administration seems dead set against Iran having nukes, while they are virtually surrounded by nukes. If proliferation really was a big deal, the West shouldn't have allowed Pakistan to build its first bomb.
Another touchy area in natural gas prices. A good article in MosNews today outlines some of the politicking behinds the scenes in the recent showdown with Ukraine.
As one reader sends in today:
Link to the site has been up on the left menu for months. More coffee in order, but the point is worth repeating.
I love when headlines talk about a "secret visit" of North Korean madman/leader Kim Jong-il to China. Some secret, huh? No doubt talking about the important items on his agenda: food and nukes. I notice that he's riding on a specially armored train. I don't suppose he's thought through the tracks issue?
That's bird flu danger (why would you think anything else?) and it seems to be rising following the reported cases in Turkey on Monday. While 14 cases are H5N1 bird flu for sure, the unanswered question is whether this strain can transmit from human-to-human. 23 cases are suspected, but again, human-to-human is the big issue. If/when that occurs, then look for countries to start getting serious about restrictions on travel.
Rule of Law
That was the big pitch in Sam Alito's Supreme Court nomination hearings opening statement. Now, we look for the democrats to school up (as in sharks) and go after him on abortion rights, presidential powers, and such.
VP Health Issues
The L.A. Times has good follow-up on VP Dick Cheney's health after he was hospitalized early this week.
Also, as long as we're doing rounds this morning, Ariel Sharon is able to move an arm now.
Whenever we read about how the governor of Louisiana is going to Holland to learn first hand about how Holland keeps the ocean at bay, we wonder why they can't just read a book or five? And, if they can't read, what about all of those web cams from Holland? (oops, not those kind of web cams, you pervert!) For the governor, the choice is "Go to Holland or meet with George Bush and suck up to the godfather of federal funding later this week." Just not the call I would have made if my city was still digging out. Coffee shops, anyone?
Global Housing Bust?
If you thought the end of the housing bubble was going to be a U.S. only affair, flip over to the L.A. Times report on the housing bust in Shanghai, and rethink your thinking.
A sharp-witted reader read about NASA's plans to bring back some of the oldest stuff ever collected by humans and wonders if scientists ever read Michael Crichton's "The Andromeda Strain." Yeah, seems a bit odd that first space flights were isolated for fear of bugs back when, and now here comes the equivalent of a FedEx from space kind of thing. Behavior change, I guess. Reader thinks NASA may be nuts, but that's a political issue we don't have all day to get into. The scientists are great, but the politics....oh boy...
From Gary Lammert:
A few readers wonder why I even look at fractal economics. Well, I think it's a coming field.
A Lick & a Promise
That's about what the weather was here last night. We had a spectacular thunderstorm go through our area about ( PM last night, but the amount of rain it brought was mighty disappointing. Less than a quarter inch, which for the Texas drought area is just (to borrow an Elaine saying) a "lick & a promise." Fires this year have been unusually harsh in Texas.
Civilization: Veneer Wears Thin
A reader up in Vermont sends this interesting "taste of America" along:
Again, I have to ask, where the hell of the real republicans? Eminent domain is another side to this same coin. If folks want to live in the country, I figure leave them the hell alone and give them their privacy. If they want to living in sheeple coups (that's condos and apartments) then fine, too. But home rule? Local control? Fagettaboutit. The real republicans are mostly gone and who these guys are lately is a fine mystery.
My son is visiting today and has announced his intent to dispose of many rounds from our armory. Deer in the vicinity are advised that he's confined to the range, and those shots today will not be a band of rabid poachers.
Monday Jan 9, 2006
Back around the middle of December, there was a lot of speculation floating around the 'net that CIA Director Porter Goss was going to Turkey to advise them that the US would be overflying their country on our way to kick the living daylights out of Syria and Iran in the not-too-distant future. And, to be sure, there have been some follow up reports about how al Qaida was eyeing Turkey - a place where there have been terrorist actions in the past, including bombings of it was either mosques or synagogues, the latter I think, as Turkey sits on the outer edge of the Middle East's "ring of fire."
Now, I know absolutely no one in the Turkish government, and have no source, but nevertheless I am struck by the odd coincidence with Bird Flu showing up all of a sudden in Turkey. Four known cases are reported but several more are suspected - as best we can tell over 20 so far. Already, governments are warning people about travel to Turkey, including Ireland and Russia who are worried travelers might bring home an outbreak. That's IF indeed this strain is human-to-human transmissible.
Coincidence that Porter Goss went to Turkey to "warn them" about something (which was assumed to be overflights)? I hope so. But, you know there is so much money to be made from selling drugs these days (the medicinal kind, not the crack baby kind) that the reports from Turkey just sort of popped out at me...
We read that VP Dick Cheney is in the hospital with shortness of breath, but due to return home today. The web bots some time ago referred to a linguistic shift around Cheney references that went to the idea leg problems, if I recall, and a developing paralysis of some sort. And personal rage at the body not keeping up with the brain kind of thing. We'll see if that evolves, or is further into the future.
Meantime, in Israel, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon is due to be awaken from his medically induced coma while he fights for life against a stroke. He is breathing on his own now, say reports.
Earnings to Come
Corporate confession time again as earnings reports start to trickle in this week. We notice that Gold last week was up more than 2%, and while a number of people wrote in to ask "Where is your Crash you've been expecting?" I can only answer that we could still have a crash and keep the Dow at 12,000. Here's how it would work: There would be massive inflation such that the price of precious metals would go skyward and the price of gold would close in on the Dow. At the point when one ounce of gold will by the Dow Industrials, then I would suggest that we would have been through a "crash" even if by conventional thinking it might be hidden.
Today, Gold has been up to nearly $544 and the Dow looks like a flat sort of day is in store (at least by the pre-opening numbers). Here's a good Forbes report about the Chinese rate moves and what they mean.
But even more important to the long term picture is the idea that China is taking some of those US Consumer dollars and is spending them in places like Nigeria, to buy out energy resources ahead of US interests. Cash talks, huh?
Black Hawk Down
12 American soldiers were killed in a deadly chopper crash this weekend in Iraq. Authorities are trying to figure out what happened.
While so-called republicans are circling like a bunch of damn vultures to see who's going to pick up the pieces of the party left by Tom DeLay and the Abramoff "takers", we're watching the continuing evolution of Spygate - where the administration has stuck its foot in by spying on Americans without judicial oversight as Congress demands. Meantime, spies might open your mail for you...
Not that privacy means anything, anymore. For example, Chicago Police are telling their officers that their cell phone records are available to virtually anyone, for a price. See how good Capitalism gets? Of course, if you drive a newer car, you might also have a surveillance tool built in.
Today, my son, who has the same name as me, except for the Roman numeral II after it, will be flying down from Seattle to spend what I've sold him as "quality time with dad" - which I define as running a chain saw, helping put up paneling in the expanded office space, rototilling, running a chipper, and putting in fencing. I'll be interested to see if his name (or mine) is on any no-fly list. Why, you ask? Oh, the guy who wrote the book "Bush's Brain" has been banned from flying. As I said this weekend, speak ill of the emperor and walk...
I guess I just see too much irony in how government works, though. Members of CONgress & the Senate get caught with hands in the cookie jar and then sit in judgment of a Supreme Court nominee. That's rich, in my book. Here, have a cynic pill...no, take two...
Now that you're properly dosed up, try and read all of this year Darwin Award winnings with a straight face. If you can, reduce the number of cynic pills. Try rum.
Quake in Greece
They're now calling the Sunday quake in Greece a 6.9 event. That's plenty big. But the worry with quakes is "Where's next?"
Spreading to other Plains States is the word this morning. Here in our part of Texas, things are still tinder dry, too. We expect the agricultural impact of the draught to be substantial on ag prices late this year if we don't get some growing season rain pretty quickly to build the falling water tables back up.
Gold Trader's Corner
If you're a radar cop, be watching the Cannonball Run that our friend the Gold Trader is making from the LA area to the East Coast starting today. His license number is...oh just kidding. Here's his current thinking:
News from Elliott Wave International
I only put up one chart a week as my "freebie" site. There are several more weekly charts including our Global index, the Dow of today versus the Dow of the 1929-37 era, and how program trading is going. To get these charts plus the very serious minded weekly analysis piece, please look at subscribing to http://www.peoplenomics.com/subscribe.htm for the low $30/year cost.
Write when you get rich,
George Ure, The People's Economist
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