Friday Sept. 30, 2005 2010 PDT
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Back to Texas Update #1
In the Nick of Oil!
Our Houston Bureau guys (a/k/a email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org ) do an amazing job of keeping me posted on what's going on in the Gulf. Tonight, on the eve of our departure for the ranchstead, Houston 1 offers this:
Ergo, we may not take too long getting there...we don't like lines any more than you do. (humming, "On the road again, just can't wait to get on the road again...")
Now let me add it up: A tenuous political situation in DC, New Orleans clusterfibbit, quakes pending west, and oil outages on the horizon. That means rationing and restrictions on travel. We'll take flight ahead of a crapstorm any day...
Friday Morning Update
First, and foremost, my chief audio instructor's house and puppy are OK in the canyon fires here in the San Fernando Valley. Lots of damage, tons of smoke and even ash on cars in the studio district here in Burbank this morning.
Second item, if you are anywhere near Dallas November 1st, check this out:
Yup, we got ours already...see you there.
We look back at the past 15 days or so and there's no doubt that the future predicting linguistic technology of our colleagues over at www.halfpasthuman.com has been worth it's weight in gold - both literally and figuratively. Today, the price of gold has posted a high of $475, before being beaten down, as we put bytes to phosphors, but our expectation is that it will go higher - much higher - than where it is now. Moreover, if you had run out as we did and bought up a bunch of silver at $6.92 an ounce, you'd be smiling because not too many investments feature a nearly 10 percent return since May and have no debt attached to them. But that's not where the value of the web bots shined - although that was a great start.
No, the place which was an incredibly accurate hit was the forecast about the 20-days of hell for the Bushista entity in model space, something that popped for this time frame. As we have been watching in the headlines, that's a pretty darned good summary of this.
Consider, for example that Judith Miller of the NY Times is out of the iron bar hotel and now reported ready today to testify in the Valerie Plame "outing" case. That won't be good for the administration.
The republican's platter this morning includes numerous other pieces of what I'd only be able to described as unappetizing morsels for the once grand old party to swallow: Tom DeLay promises, sounding like a Terminator movie, that he'll be back and things will go his way. Then Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist has his hands full with the SEC formally going after details of his trading of HCA stock.
Just to keep the overview complete, we can't forget how the Bush folks botched the New Orleans response. First it was the "sitting on thumbs" appearances portrayed wall-to-wall in prime time on the corpmedia outlets. Then, Brown resigned, and lately hearings haven't done much to polish up the Bushita entity image.
With the October 15th referendum on deck in Iraq, an upswing in violence has kept up the war pressures on the administration, and in Afghanistan, British Defence Secretary John Reid is keeping up a high profile on behalf of his handler Tony Blair. It may look good as news clips, but there are other clips which have definitely been a bummer for folks like Karl Rove - especially the imagery of Cindy Sheehan being busted at the White House for daring to speak her mind.
So, as we enter October tomorrow, we'd have to look next for the kind of geopolitical event that would have as much impact as Katrina and Rita.
If I were stepping up and placing a bet, I would be watching the health of Vice President Dick Cheney for the next month, a quite closely. Three reasons: First, Miller is going to testify today. Scotter Libby is already painfully close to Cheney. Cheney is pushing himself hard, perhaps too hard, to get back to work after knee surgery. Then there's the continuing controversy over Halliburton's role in hurricane reconstruction. On top of the Iraq questions.
As I see it, all of this adds up to incredible job stress for the Vice President. While I haven't been a fan of his by any stretch, I never wish anyone ill. But there's an old rock and roll song (I think it was Talking Heads) with the phrase "I can see my lifetime piling up." Dick Cheney is a man who looks to me like someone in presactly that situation.
I think we have to ask ourselves "If the President had to appoint a Vice President for any reason, who do you think he'd appoint?" Condi?
The report is out from the Bureau of Economic Analysis this morning...and as you no doubt had figured by inspecting your own bank balances, things are not well in Consumerville. We quote:
Want the nickel's worth of analysis? Sure: With the interest rates creeping up, people are no longer able to roll over their home mortgages as easily and take out cash. The housing bubble is no longer inflating, in our view. There was a very good piece this week in the Contra Costa Times by report George Avalos which reported on a recent UCLA study:
We've found in watching and listening a bit that the Universe told us this was coming earlier this year. How, you ask? Well, I made what I reckoned was a fair offer to the current owner of some property adjacent to our ranch in Texas and the offer was turned down. Now, when I gently push in this direction or that and I meet with resistance from Universe, I frequently go "Aha! Not time for that move yet..." And so, I figure if it's written that I should buy the property, it will happen at a lower price, not the one the property own was holding out for. Meantime, our little 13-acre patch will more than keep us busy.
Bye Bye LA LA
The Big Earthquake may not be scheduled to hit the Western U.S. until November-December but it sure feels good to be heading out of town tomorrow on the way back to the ranch via San Diego, Phoenix, Santa Fe and who knows where else along the way. We will keep you posted from the road next week, something I always enjoy.
As Elaine was coming out of a beautiful downtown Burbank department store on Thursday, she got an eye full of a largish brush fire on the hill east of downtown near the Castaway Restaurant that we enjoyed so much.
Across town, my director of instruction at the recording engineer school found himself up 24-hours and then some, unable to get to his home in fire threatened canyons northwest of North Hollywood. This morning, firefighters hope the weather will pull down some of the fire. We hope he's able to get to his home and that his puppy is OK...
Again, the longer perspective is interesting: You will recall that last winter we were telling you about the heavy rains here in SoCal? Well, it was just those rains which grew local vegetation to much larger than usual size...and that's why the fire season here is unfortunately probably far from over.
It's a good time to get the hell out and head back for the ranch. Before the quake, if the Universe continues smiling on us.
What Kind of Winter?
This coming weekend, our subscriber newsletter will look at what's ahead during the coming winter and some things you can do to prepare for it. (subscription information)
At our bookstore, the top sellers are "How to live on less than $10,000 a year" and the new book covering tops to prevent Alzheimer's.
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Before we launch into the daily mainstream stuff, the big story coming out of the Anchorage Daily News today is really the story that you should ponder on - it's about the rapid meltdown in Arctic ice sheets. Click here to read this first rate report by Doug O'Harra.
Where O'Harra doesn't go is to completion of the thought: Melting of the global ice shelves (already in the water) won't raise sea level. On the other hand, when the glacier in Greenland slides into the ocean, or the Antarctic ice packs on land slide in, we're in deep doo doo because virtually all the planets energy sources are located very close to what is now sea level. If Robert Felix is right, at some point the climate will flip and we will get a new ice age. On the way there, however, we could get high sea levels from glacial melting. Care to put some thought into where you would put oil refineries (oh sure and moving oil to them, too) as a thought exercise? Which brings us to...
Post of the Day
Once in a while I get great posts that tie in closely with a developing story. For example, this morning the Saudi's are trying to reassure everyone on earth that they have all the oil anyone could ever want - all they need to do is drill for it. (Do I have the word "stupid" written on my forehead? Come on, I read Twilight in the Desert, fer crying out loud...the book, not the PowerPoint)
Unfortunately, as you'll see in this post, this is just a case of history repeating itself:
Yup, that'd be history rhyming, Jeff...
Blame the Hurricanes
OK, the economy was growing in the second quarter at a slightly slower rate than the first quarter, which means that the administration will be blaming hurricanes for anything bad that comes along between now and the end of the year:
Come later this year when we are all back in gas lines again, remember the mantra "We are victims of weather!" We figure the market will be about flat on this report after the hype wears off.
Losing Our Fannie
This is one of those dandy phrases that can be taken any number of ways on a day like this. For example, we might be referring to the stock of Fannie Mae which took a direct hit on Wednesday with the rumors floating about that the $11-billion dollars in questionable accounting may actually turn out to be on the conservative side. That left the stock down and investors asking "What's up?" Today we read that the unraveling might take until January, which if our understanding of the emotive incidents coming toward the economy is correct means either it will come later, perhaps in the February or March of 2006 range, or it won't matter at all by then. Not nice, but then again, neither is the whole kit and caboodle. We'll be watching to see if there's any way the perk department can pump things up to hit Q3 bonus levels...
Couldn't have happened to a nicer bunch of people. Yeah, I know, without bankers, how would we all be able to go out and slip plastic through a machine and get enough food to last until payday? But that's the spin, you see. The problem is that the very lending which makes food accessible to the hypnotized masses turns around and becomes unaffordable when the bills, some carrying 21% and higher interest rates, show up in the mail. So much so in fact that nearly 5% of credit cards are delinquent 30 days or longer. What makes this so ridiculous is that the bankers are the ones with the blues about it! What about the people who genuinely can't afford to pay their bills because they have been jobjacked out of an income for their families, eh, banksters? Eh, supporters of NAFTA? Eh, supporters of CAFTA? Eh, Interstate 69 promoters? Eh, offshored corporation board? WFT?
Our figuring is that if people are willing to work then government has an obligation to provide them something productive to do. Maybe it's just painting of the local library, or helping build some new public works, but to reduce people to bankruptcy and a lifetime of indenture to the corporate elite? Can't the guys in CONgress look beyond their own checkbooks? Speaking of which...
As a Texan, I'm pleased to report that Tom DeLay is no longer the sitting House Majority leader following his indictment on Wednesday for allegedly trying to finagle ways to get corporate money into local Texas legislative races and then use the new support to gerrymander the state so the GOP could represent more of the Republic than they should have been entitled to.
If you don't know what gerrymandering is, we're talking about funneling corporate money to move election district boundaries around. Not to be confused with Gerry Mander, author of "In the Absence of tile Sacred: The Failure of Technology and the Survival of the Indian Nations." If you aren't up on both, you might consider turning off your TV for a while.
Not that I am pleased that DeLay has been indicted by a grand jury - but what I am pleased with is that the American system of governance still works. That may not feel too good for folks like HCA Stock trader Bill Frist, and Texas Tom but it does give me hope that the country can be saved by the good efforts of honest people.
A bit of long-term perspective here: Unless you are over 30, and live in Seattle, you have no idea who Liem Tuai was. He was a Seattle City Councilman, later Seattle City Council President, and then went on to become a Superior Court Judge. I remember talking with then councilman Tuai back in my news chasing days advising during the Seattle Police Department corruption cases in the early 1970's when he advised me (a sub reporter then) "It's not enough that public servants follow the letter of the law, but we also have a duty to follow the intent of the law and avoid even the appearance of wrongdoing."
I wish Liem were still around today - he passed away a few couple of years back - because he was the kind of lawyer, constitutionalist, and Republican, and solid family man that I admired, even though I might disagree with on occasion on this policy or that. I remember his advice whenever I read stories about folks like DeLay and Frist and ask myself "What would the good guys have thought about this one?"
Land of Bakers Gets Shakers
News Tips of the Day
Try these on for size from our massive network of tipsters (see link upper left):
This is Progress(?)
Matsushita is hyping a new broadband over power line chip which promises to do away with "the hassle of hooking up a wireless device." I imagine a lot of ham radio operators like me are skeptical because such schemes have the potential to screw up ham and shortwave frequencies. Not that you need to hear news from independent shortwave stations around the world, mind you.
About Our Crash Warning
As we open hump day, facing the prospect of a leisurely trip back to the ranch starting Saturday morning at 0h-dark-thirty, we can see that our Crash Warning issued last Thursday seems more justified now than it was then, based on some developments that just can't be ignored. I mean other than the comments of Alan Greenspan admitting that the U.S. has lost control of its budget deficit because of the costs of war and now storms on top on the housing bubble.
I'd begin by pointing to an article appearing in The Australian today which says the Reserve Bank of Australia - their equivalent of our Fed - is warning of the possibility of a global meltdown. To be sure, Greenspan is lightening up on his warnings a bit, but with storm damage in the billions, one can only look at the weather maps and ask, "Gee, what next?"
While the National Weather Service isn't reporting any new storms in the Atlantic at www.nhc.noaa.gov, there are private weather watchers who see the potential for more storms, possibly severe, before this storm season ends. One storm continues, though, and that's the storm over the role of FEMA in New Orleans, and the testimony of Michael Brown is getting some play - as someone has to take the fall.
However, keep in mind the larger context of the federal role in New Orleans - as Alex Jones' site suggests in a dandy Steve Watson read today over at Infowars.net, "Katrina/Rita Fallout Part One Martial Law: Police State America - We're So Close Now".
One reader suggests that maybe, just maybe, the New Orleans response might have something to do with an attempt to nationalize the US oil industry. We think not, but nothing would surprise us anymore.
The Warning from Texodus
America can certainly rebuild from the weather disasters of the past two years - that's no stretch for an economy with the kind of horsepower harnessed self interest under capitalism can turn out. But where things run into a brick wall is if our energy inputs are restrained in a significant way. Our Houston Bureau - in the heart of America's oil patch, offers an assessment today which we fear may prove much more accurate than the happy talk proffered by mainstream media:
No matter how grim our reports may sound to the "Ain't no peak oil.!" believers, there are others picking up the same information and piecing it together such as the prestigious Financial Times which reports this morning that Rita caused record damage to oil producing infrastructure.
Thanks to the future scanning technology of www.halfpasthuman.com and some just plain luck, Elaine and I will be back in Texas in just over a week. As best I can guess, we will be paying around $3.50 a gallon on average as our travels take us along an "anything but direct" route. Naturally, I'll keep you posted along the way, but it could easily be that the web bot "event" which we're in the midst of right now could be nothing more or less than a sudden public awakening over the next week or two that oil prices of $100 a barrel and $4.00+ gas are in sight by Christmas. Elaine & I are looking at locking in holiday travel plans now as costs for airfare for our kids have gone up 20% in the past week (damn!). If you're able to make investments, locking in airfares might be an interesting play, indeed.
The Bureau of Economic Analysis today released State Personal incomes for the second quarter of the year (Ending June 30th). If you're keeping up, you should have seen an increase of 1.5% in personal income for the period. if not, you're falling behind:
Do you notice that Florida, which was hard hit by storms last year, had great gains? That's what I mean when I talk about the resilience of the American economy. It does best when things are bad.
As if to underscore this phenomena, the durable goods report for August out today says there was a greater than expected 3.3% increase in August, rebounding from a big drop the month previous. Problem is the report doesn't cover Katrina or Rita periods, so next month could be a bit of a bummer, or maybe not, depending on how fast rebuilding orders come in.
Our colleagues at www.halfpasthuman.com have an interesting observation about the big quake in Peru this week: "an oddity about the Peru quake. no fore or after shocks that I can find. very odd." Yeah, very odd indeed...
Get Jules Verne on the Line!
There's a science report today that yes, giant squid like the one in Jules Verne's novel "20,000 Leagues under the Sea" are real - and pushing 60-feet end to end.
No Snake Conclusion
We have just about an even split on yesterday's excess negative ion induced question, "Can snakes crawl backwards...?" People swear both answers are correct...it's like trying to get a straight answer from an economist, I tell you.
Putin's Next Job?
No, he's not saying what he will do after he steps down in 2008, but Vlad Putin apparently has something up his sleeve. Gee, I thought Putin and and Tony Blair might both hang out shingles at Carlyle... Say, got a fresh cup of coffee and RealPlayer? Take 48 minutes to watch a video online? Skip the first 1 minute 48 seconds...and the English language begins...
Solar Race Results
It's not like the old Tour 'd Sol, but a Dutch Team won the latest big solar-powered car race in Australia. Not much on hills, solar cars are lots of fun on flatlands...but an average speed of 102.75 KPH? That'd be, let me think (ouch!) a bit over 60 MPH? Wowsers...
Consumer Confidence Drops
Well, it was obvious, but for what it's worth, American Consumer Confidence has dropped to 86.6 in the wake of Katrina (Rita impacts will become clearer over time). No, I don't see any reason to change my bet that we'll see $4 gas before Christmas most places...Grinch that I am.
As of yesterday all the oil production in the Gulf of Mexico and 80% of the natural gas production was shut in from hurricane effects, reports one energy newsletter, quoting the Minerals Management Service web site. Let's see: Greenspan has lost control of the budget, our domestic oil and gas is constrained, and the woolly bugs are putting on heavy coats this year. Reason for confidence? Not in our book. Remember, we still have the future reading technology calling for a city to 'slide down a hill" before Christmas, too. A confidence reading of 86.6 is a gift from Universe to greedy bulls. It could have been worse - a lot worse.
Housing meantime is down and up. Down in sales volume nearly 10%, but prices moved up 2.5% among houses that did sell. Feeling a bit nervous there, Flipper? Let's see, if housing drops 9.9% and prices for up 2.5%, then the net effect if you believe in dollar volume being the real measure...ah...it would net out to something like -7.66% in the real estate perfect market "handle" last month. Yeah, Flipper, be cautious or be banker-shark bait..
Federal Power Grab
Not that we're surprised, but notice that George Bush and handlers are now planning to federalize responses to major emergencies such as the hurricanes. We find this appalling, very much anti-constitution and part of the "trust us, we're here to help" illusion the D.C. spinners are trying to sell. Write down where you read this first: First they will make it for "major events" like hurricanes. Next, they will lower the threshold so that anything the feds want to interfere with, they'll have a free hand at. Tornado? Martial Law! Big car wrecks? Martial law...
No point voting for governors any more, huh? Is your governor of the wrong party? No federal money coming in to back up federal regulatory requirements?
Here's how the story plays out: Governors either go along with this hijack of constitutional authority or they won't get money from Uncle Fed. Does this suck? Yes, but only if you've read the Constitution, understand that the Civil War was about state's rights (and other issues, too, mind you), and a few other concepts that contribute to the subversive concept called "democracy."
Global Baking - Texas Style
Being somewhat awake this evening, it occurred to me after an appearance on the Alex Merklinger Mysteries of the Mind radio show, that yes, something odd really is going on with the weather in general - and about heat in particular.
To put this in context, there was a recent study announced that said the 2003 European heat wave which killed 35,000 also reduced plant growth by 30%. Not a good thing, if you happen to be an an agricultural area where crops equal money.
This is worth knowing when we read reports about the scorching temperatures in Texas this week. We noticed temps over 102 in San Antonio and the National Weather Service reports lots of records falling in central to East Texas:
With our planned return to Lone Star country in the next 10-days we expect the temperatures to break.
On the other side of the world though, we notice that a major typhoon (what a hurricane in the Pacific is called) has hit Vietnam. The odd weather is far from over, it appears.
We are expecting chopping trading today: Consumer Sentiment (this should be amusing), housing numbers (another question mark) plus some of the oil companies will be fessing up to having four refineries hard hit, not the "two" reported on first spin....which was slowly evolved into "OK, it's four, but they will start up right away..." when we hear from oil patch sources that "right way" is measured in weeks, not days. And the offshore guys are still counting damage...
Then we observe another outbreak of the "Not ME!" syndrome. Your people's economist explains it this way: When a school system closed down for two days to conserve energy, the parents involved start to yowling and caterwauling like abused animals. "This disrupts MY schedule!" is the gist of it.
So it goes with where to put industry, where to put prisons, and who should conserve energy and recycle responsibly. It's good and necessary stuff, but as only, as long as it's "Not ME!"
Iraq: Spin, Spun, Spunnest
There's a report today that the #2 man in the al Qaida efforts against the government has been found dead. This might be interpreted as a major advance for the U.S. forces in country, but we'll just have to wait and see. But we're looking at the war a little differently since the British were caught in what looked - at least on the surface - like an attempt to stage of "terror" raid on a police station.
This is being "swept under" in the mainstream, because if true it would be an indication that corporatist forces are actually "stirring the pot" for purposes we don't like to speculate about.
Nevertheless, when we see a single PFC getting seriously burnt in the wake of Abu Ghraib, we have to ask ourselves, where's the accountability up the food chain?
What does an undersecretary of State for public diplomacy do? If you're talking about Bush handler Karen Hughes, you go visit Islamic countries and push the party line. Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey are planned stops.
Dali Lama in New York
We read with interest the accounts of the Dali Lama's visit to New York environs this week. Not so much because of what he says, but because it's interesting to me that as America ages (demographically with the Baby Boomer bulge moving closer to retirement and the end of the road) how folks are working on spiritual issues. Thus larger crowds to see the Dali Lama are a data point - a small one perhaps - but a reason to hope.
Another? Sure: The Pope is reaching out to his critics.
I've always suggested that genuinely spiritual people should be able to work out their differences in a calm, logical discussion of whatever facts are available - and when religious leadership leads by example, something that's rare enough, it's actually...well....encouraging!
Frist Things Frist
If you haven't been following the libretto in the Bill Frist HCA stock sale case, it goes something like this: Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist tells his blind trust to sell HCA stock. Stock goes down. Criticism comes up. Head of the Securities and Exchange Commission steps aside in the matter as he shoved money Frist's way.
OK, systemic failure analysis goes something like this: A) in a genuine blind trust, the beneficiary of the stock profits shouldn't be directing the trust. End of analysis. The Frist case does nothing more than demonstrate what we already knew: Blind trusts are not blind, they're just sort of near-sighted. Had Frist genuinely done a blind trust - where the intent was that he would have absolutely nothing to do with the trust's operation and would only get a number on paper at tax time, then that would pass the People's Economist blindness test. If there's direction to seel this or buy that, sorry, the trust isn't blind and the smell test ain't passed.
But then again, the People's Economist would also mandate that while in office, a shareholder in a big company, say Halliburton, would be required to sell off all the shares in that company, and not be in a position to benefit from Halliburton operations like you know who. (Dick Cheney, of course...) So when minority leader Harry Reid puts his stock in a blind trust, we have to consider a trip to the ophthalmologist to see if we can "trust the trust" to be truly blind.
We know "justice is blind" but when some suggests that "blind trusts" are the answer, I just sort of choke. It's like holding the foxes dentures while he in the hen house.
What's better than blind trusts? The People's Economist suggests a mandate that all the money of political office holders be put in 10-year US government bonds (no margin allowed) such that they will experience the same kind of "widows and orphans" revenue streams and tax consequences of real folks. And, make them keep it in bonds for five years after leaving office (so they taste the long term sting of their own whips.) While First may have had good intentions, the timing couldn't have been worse, but the lessons learned could be valuable.
Negative Ion Effects
We've been rereading (Actually, Elaine reads and summarizes because I'm too damn busy yet..) and lately she has been reading the classic "The Ion Effect" which gets into why some people are addicted to negatively ionized air (symptoms: long showers, walks on the beach, love smell of air after storms, and such, coupled with a hatred of high rise buildings and such). So to make a long story longer...
As I was standing in the shower this morning, at pressure more like standing in front of a fire hydrant, it occurred to me "I don't know whether snakes can back up!" So, I asked E and she said something like "I haven't seen one, and I don't think so..." I don't have time to hunt this up so if you happen to know definitively whether snakes can back up, please drop us a note.
Monday: Next Freak Weather Deal
From the national weather service:
Seems mighty odd to us...I'm sure the "weather wars" people will pick this one up in short order.
Beneath the patina of calm:
Greenspan: "We've Lost Control"
If you thought the economy was doing amazingly well, then perhaps it's time to read what's being written in the foreign press, like this Irish report that says, in effect, Greenspan admitted a loss of control over deficit spending in meetings with the French this weekend.
We watched in amazement this morning as the price of gold was beaten down and then bounced smartly back. It would seem that our www.peoplenomics.com report on how the new Weimar may be in sight was close enough to the mark. The pieces are starting to fit: In place of war reparations, we have a balance of trade deficit, and now more recently two unexpected hurricane impacts - all of which have wrestled inflation control from Greenspan and his private bankster pals. Oh well...what's next?
Bird Flu Jitters
People in SE Asia are beginning to get worried - and perhaps with good cause. The bird flu keeps popping its head up and the local press is starting to look at the subject seriously - with good reason.
One email from a reader sums it up this way:
One or two coincidences would be no big deal, but when they start to pile up like this, yeah, it gets us wondering if maybe some of the "conspiracy theory" folks just happen to be more aware than our detractors over on the right bank of de Nile.
Separation of Powers
There's a fair amount of discussion kicking around the web today over whether the US military should have a larger role in providing for emergency services. Specifically, his Bushness is trying to sort out what is a pretty convincing case from the military that they, not FEMA, be taking point. Our problem with all of this is the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878 which we recall reads:
The lone exception to date has to do with nuclear materials. If hurricanes were a second "exception" to the act it would be one thing, but to open the floodgates all the way is bothersome to former members of the left wing of what used to be the Republican party like me. In fact, so much so, that one has to ask "Was the FEMA screw up at New Orleans deliberate and part of a plan to empower the military for search and seizure operations on home soil?" Government's probably not well enough organized to conspire, but that means incompetence and...oh forget I said anything.
Speaking of the military...more than 100,000 turned out for the big anti-war march in the nation's capitol this weekend. Not too much mainstream coverage of the event, but then again, everyone was doing wall-to-wall hurricane coverage. This morning's news feeds look like Houston is the only city on earth worth covering.
Bush To Texas
We were a little
concerned this weekend when George Bush decided to swing by
Colorado Springs. Why?
long-established nuclear protocols, when there's a chance of
a nuclear attack on Washington (and other major U.S. cities) one
of the questions is where do you put the President? A
couple of choices here, but it's usually a military base,
somewhere near the middle of the country and in the case of
One thing we see is a lot of jockeying going on in the wake of the disaster (which was either the hurricane or the evacuation plan, depending on whether you were in it, or not...) Of particular interest is the military's take on this because I thought FEMA was supposed to do disaster planning. Thousands of middle management types at FEMA jumped ship over the past few years as FEMA went from action to political at the top...and now that (along with the 'canes)( seems to have created a power void.
At the risk of sounding like the Mogambo Guru, known for his brilliance, strange use of the alphabet, and the Mogambo's Top Secret Bunker In The Backyard (MTSBITBY), [click here and scroll down to "Gold, How Undervalued art Thou?" or visit Bill Bonner's the Daily Reckoning where the gospel according to the Mogambo originates. This week "I, Economist" is absolutely the best thing you can do with the next 5-minutes (after finishing here) other than send in the Publisher's Clearinghouse entry on the off chance...Hold IT!....hmm, where was I? Oh yes...
UTMAIA (Up to my ass in alligators) as Elaine and I frantically pack to make our break for parts East between national disasters and Bush visits to Texas. We split in the wee hours Saturday, spend two days with the gypsy division of the family (mom, and sisters meeting us from their cruise ship in San Diego) and we hope to be safely up the hill to Phoenix and out of harms way (and Arnold's reach) by sometime Sunday night. We pray the web bot prediction of something UGLY this week doesn't happen till the end of the window, October 5th. But, between now and then there is soooo much to do and soooooo little time OUCH! Another alligator just nipped at me...
Seriously, looks like the BIG quake coming by the www.halfpasthuman.com future scanning linguistics program will be in the Pacific Northwest or maybe San Francisco because the imagery continues to be of a city sliding down a hill and into the water. When that happens, we would like to be far, far away from LA LA land. From a reader:
On our trip, the differences between Elaine and I come into focus as we hotel hop: Me: "You have high speed internet?" Elaine: "You have room service and a gym?"
If you're going to file for personal bankruptcy, you only have 20 days left before the new "screw the consumer" bankruptcy bill goes into effect on the 17th of October. Also, minimum credit card payments are going up because they will have to be based on a 10-year payoff instead of the 20-year plan - which we call the "consumer debt for life" conspiracy.
OK, so $75 is a huge hit, but over at Amazon.com you can pick up the new copy of Peter Warburton's classic "Debt and Delusion" Central Bank Follies that Threaten Economic Disaster" Last updated in 1998, this may be preaching to the choir, but the new edition is cheaper than the $379 that used editions of the original were fetching. Before reading Warburton, you might want to get a copy of William Cooper's classic "Behold a Pale Horse" while you still can. It ties the JFK assassination, UFO's, the way on drugs, and the sale of political process all together in a fine stew. And, it's only $16 used. "Silent weapons for quiet wars" is remarkable in its prescience.
Our Book Store Goodies
The newest book in our e-bookstore last week was the new title featuring 128-ways to reduce your risk of getting Alzheimer's. #2 on the list from last week was the ever popular "How to live on $10,000 a year or less..." Drop by for a browse, no charge for that...
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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