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Saturday March 3, 2007 07:50 CDT
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Saturday 1:00 PM Eastern: "Decoding the Past: Doomsday 2012"
For a number of weeks now, we have been puzzling over the predictive linguistics which said we would see a couple of major "deaths" and then we'd get into our standoff period (March 7-15) , to be followed by [emotional] release events around or just after the Ides of March (15th). Some around 3-million readers have written in arguing that the recent death (and burial Friday) of Anna Nicole Smith was not "prominent" but when you're dealing with the future, a key lesson we've learned is that words must be taken at their literal meaning. Thus, Anna Nicole Smith, while not important (at least in the general financial/social sense) was absolutely unarguably prominent in that her passing owned the headlines. There were times I thought Fox was the Smith Channel.
Now that the burial is done, the question comes up "What is the "green death" part? The web bot project, being a garage enterprise with no official ruling body to adjudicate such questions, doesn't post any "absolute" answers. The linguistics is what they is, so to speak, and in retrospect, their meanings are clear enough.
Admittedly, we have two really strong candidates for the "green death" have already arrived. One story, which seems to "fit" is the one about chlorine trucks being targeted by insurgents in Iraq's Green Zone. This is a meme that has quietly continued this week with, as the Anchorage Daily News reports "Alaska troops destroy bomb factory" which contain, among other things, chlorine tanks.
Another story that is "green" in nature (as in 'environmental; green') is the ongoing coverage of the be colonies collapsing. In addition to colony collapse syndrome - which has been in the headlines for a week, there are also reports that wintering losses in hives is running 3 times - and more- the usual rate.
But our adventures with the "Green death" may not be over yet. As I advised you of some while back, there is also a language called "green" and while it's the "language of the birds" it is also a way of saying spiritual/metaphysical/alchemical. So we've got some headlines to ponder here, too. Most shocking of these is the headline in the Times Online (reposted here) that the "Pope is warned of a green Antichrist."
And while we have "green death" interpreted as the death/demise/massive decline of the US dollar by some investors (which I look to accelerate in coming weeks due to market forces) yet another 'green' period coming up is St. Patrick's Day on March 17th, which one astute reader figures may have some numerological significance. His thinking goes like this:
We could take numerology a bit further, if we had enough coffee, and note that:
But my sense is that if we experience a "terrorist" attack at a time when the markets are collapsing - which may happen in coming weeks, then it could be just a little too coincidental. From a long wave economics perspective, I've suggested before that the country would be in a massive economic Depression today if it were not for the Twin Towers disaster because it provided for an instant and massive economic injection into the economy (read: War on Terror) which refocused the country on an external enemy and shifted focus off excessive creation of private debt, which was melting down in the fall of 2001 when the 9/11 event struck, and also conveniently wiping out SEC records in WTC-7 which wasn't even hit by a plane, but I digress. Too much coffee...
Nothing would surprise me in terms of "green death" and the folks that subscribe to the web bot project will no doubt get more insights into what's ahead when the next report is issued this weekend.
Who knows, maybe "green death" is some kind of reference to the Walter Reed Army Hospital scandal that seems to be growing by the day. Washington is less one Army Secretary, and while George Bush promises a probe, we wonder what will come of it... Curious, though, how much green has been cropping up in the new lately isn't it?.
In a way in a way the predictive linguistics is like a libretto (story summary) for opera goers. Except, in this case, the linguistics say something that's the equivalent of "look at stage left for a grand entrance" (e.g. look for green death), but without saying exactly who/what enters from stage left.
All of which is fine with us because if we had greater precision on this stuff, we'd probably become expendable anyway. Can't be giving away too much of the plot because it ruins the opera for the rest. So we'll sit quietly by, watching to see if we get more "green death" entering from stage left, noting that so far the "green death" hasn't had the jaw-dropping "Oh my God, did you see on TV just now..." reaction that typically accompanies a high emotive value hit, like Anna Nicole Smith's death and subsequent media coverage marathon. Chlorine and bees seem to have long carry values (in that they have shown up for more than a week running) but the shock level may be too low. We'll watch the stage closely because the February 27th market hit prediction (click here for details) was so 'dead to nuts' on.. So the 'green death" should be large when viewed historically come year end. The bee impacts will be very long lived.
Another way of thinking of the "green death" is to ponder the idea that the world is presently falling apart before our eyes on several fronts from which we may not recover. On area is Peak Oil, and it's why our Houston Bureau forwarded an article "Mexican leader acts to increase dwindling oil production." Then there's a headline suggesting "Saudi Oil Production Down 8 percent." Darn water cut, anyway, huh?
All of this has led to oil hitting new highs for the year. You can bet your bippy that China is watching oil production falling, which is may why "China to build strategic oil reserve base in northwestern Gansu."
I may go out and buy a wood stove today - it's getting on to the end of the season and having one around seems like a good idea. Not for this year, but for next - and I know I can afford one now, but whether I'd be able to afford one next year is problematic - too much strange stuff lies ahead.
Climate change is being widely touted as man-caused, but there's new evidence today that not only is climate change more dramatic that first reports, but also the heating of other planets (like Mars) means that oh-oh, it may not be all man-caused after all. Like that's a surprise. Welcome to the galactic ecliptic, the hunab ku, and whatever comes after this baktun
Stuck In Neutral
I've observed a couple of times that there is an uneasy peace between the administration and democorps who have recently acquired the majority in the District of Corruption/District of Correctness, depending on your leanings. The Houston Chronicle reports that the "Public sees little difference with Dems at helm on hill..." Which, as I've suggested, may have may have more to do with the same corporate paymasters dishing out money/campaign contributions/incentives/trips/speaking honorariums/and votes to both sides. No point rocking the boat, eh?
Homeless and Anarchy
A reader more schooled in recent events in Denmark (see yesterday's report) offers more insight into development/rioting there:
Another offers more insight into the homeless conditions in France:
Saturday's are always fun here at the ranch/farm or whatever you'd call it. Today, there's a full day of working on the new office, pounding in fence posts for the "chicken moat" (a chicken run around the vegetable garden so the chickens get the bugs enroute the lettuce), and trying to figure out what to do with a pesky raccoon we call "Rocky." We've stopped feeding the cats over on the screen porch to discourage Rocky from visiting the house. And he's been smart enough to get the top off the dry cat food container - apparently this animal has a history of crime.
The problem is how to get rid of him, other than the direct lead poisoning route, which he seems aware off, always keeping something of value behind him whenever Mr. Ruger and I go to investigate odd noises. He gets into the cat's water for washing his meals, and I'm afraid if I borrow the neighbor's live trap, I will end up trapping the cats, which will make them nuttier than they are. Pusscilla and Tom, Tom, the Cat Outside may be parents this spring by the way, either that or we might have to sign Pusscilla up for Mouse Watchers.
If you have any suggestions for how to gently rid the place of Rocky, please send them along. As far as I know, he doesn't have an attorney, doesn't have a social security card, although before he goes bye-bye for good, I may take out one of those new 'no documents' Bank of America credit cards for him. He owes me for back cat food.
Peoplenomics: Transitional Economic Plans
A large number of readers have asked me to begin this week by commenting on whether the report that "US Military Attempt Arrest of Vice President Cheney, 3 Reported Dead" is true or not. While it's a shocking headline, we can skip past the discussion about whether it's "true" or "false" because regardless of the report, our long time expectation set has been that for the period "Ides of March" we've been looking for a political/geopolitical standoff of some kind and then a series of emotional "release events" which will change the basic international standing of the USA, our lifestyle expectations, and much more, between now and September 19th. So while following the news events in the "standoff" or "high tension period" almost at hand may be interesting, if you get too hung up on the events, you might miss the precious preparation opportunities which may never come again. To put it a little differently, watching the Anna Nicole Smith hearing on television last week was interesting, but at the end of the week, time spent watching that was unproductive (except for courthouse theatrics) whereas the same amount of time spent putting in a small garden would have been more productive. Given that I expect a major lifestyle change to arrive before year-end, you shouldn't need too many clues to figure where my thinking is
Be sure to watch the History Channel at 9 PM Eastern tonight. My mug talking about web bot project for part of the "Decoding the Past: Doomsday 2012" segment. Tell your friend.
Still have to work on Catastrophic Abundance adds - that should be done in a week. Meantime, check our ebookstore for "How to Live on $10,000 a year, or less..." and other titles. Reasonable.
Friday March 2, 2007
Big Pharm's Battle Lines
I'm starting to refocus on developments in what seems like a battle over money between the pharmaceutical business and food supplements crowd. What got me started was the recent headline on Reuters "Suspected steroid ring to stars busted". The story centers on allegedly illegal sales of growth hormones, but I read it as only a skirmish in a much broader battle between big pharmaceutical companies on one side with compounding pharmacists, life extension advocates, and natural food advocates on the other.
As I've advised you many times, to get the big picture, it's easiest sometimes to follow the money - and in this case, there's been lots of money to be made in natural compounds approximating the FDA-blessed lab rat-tested chemicals, many of which try to mimic the natural effects of naturally occurring chemicals in the first place. For example, some women I know swear that certain yam compounds are much better/less dangerous that manufactured chemical treatments (synthetic estrogen) for menopause. But I have no idea and make no claims not being a medical professional and such. I just follow money around..
What does comes into focus are a couple of main points:
I am personally amazed every time I turn on television and I see commercials telling me to "Tell your doctor about xxx" or "Ask your doctor is xxx is good for you." Ad agencies have escaped the wrath of the FDA - they're on the side with the big bucks. But why isn't direct-to-consumer advertising illegal for all drugs? Not just nicotine, and highest octane alcohols? Answer: $$$ Big $$$ at that.
Another battle line is seen when we read the headline: "Study links antioxidant supplements to increased mortality"? But then, a few days later, researchers at Oregon State University tell the Bend (OR) Weekly: "JAMA study about antioxidant vitamin risks flawed" Like I said, depends who you ask and what day it is.
I also notice that the American Heart Association has removed folic acid from its recommended list as a tool to prevent cardiovascular disease in women at about the same time JAMA's article was dissing antioxidants.
Another example? Sure. A new "Study questions garlic's cholesterol-lowering powers."
Outside the US, there are sites like Patrick Holford's UK-based "Food is Medicine" that offer an alternative view. And at the Food is Medicine site, there are plenty of good starting points for further reading.
My big takeaway from all this? To avoid the appearance of conflict of interest, anyone who serves on the Food and Drug Administration in a decision-making role should be banned for life from being on payroll of either a food supplement company or pharmaceutical firm. I expect we'd have vastly different health laws if the financial incentives were completely off the table. Doctors of conscience only need apply would be a fine start.
Oh yeah, and no more consumer-direct drug ads on radio, television, and in newspapers. Doctors of conscience keep up on their field - it's why they can charge what they do and which I'd gladly pay. Why should I push my doc to give me this pill or that? I go to doctors to get well - not to get pills. I don't want him or her focused on anything else or influenced to make anything but the absolute best possible decision in my case.
(OK, I'll get off the soap box now...where were we...)
Here's a story I want you to remember for this summer when widespread unemployment is expected to jump here in the US - and home foreclosures run rampant. It's about what happens in a normally mellow society when folks get kicked out of their homes. Read what is going on in Denmark where rioting between police and young squatters has resulted in several hundred people being arrested.
We like to duck our heads down and forget that there are perhaps a million homeless right now - today - here in the USA. But even places like Hawaii have their homeless and are trying to keep the problem under control. Even in tiny Delaware, nearly 7,000 were homeless at least part of last year.
The "displaced/homeless/squatter meme is growing by leaps and bounds, the time monks note. And we're certainly seeing it when we hit our news munching software in the mornings here at the ranch. A squatter camp in the City of Cape Town, and Jamaica is setting up a "Squatter Management Database" so officials can keep track of pitched camps on the island. Zimbabwe has blossomed in squatter camps, something you'd expect with inflation running well over 1,000% per year.
All of which wouldn't give us so much reason to worry about squatter camps in America, except that a story in the Boston Globe this week says that "Foreclosure notices surge to a record." You know what follows and where it leads, I presume. Especially with the web bot project looking for a major increase in unemployment this summer.
Canada's Gas Shortage
You know those refinery fires up in Ontario? "Gas shortage causes closure of 25 Petro-Canada stations" now reports the CBC.
11 Dead in Twisters
Russia's oldest theater has installed equipment to jam cell phones inside. I wonder if I could make a portable version to take with me shopping?
I expect the Dow to close down a fair bit today. The web bot project has us in a down markets mode now and about next Wednesday we get into our March 7-15 standoff period for Bush/geopolitics - about the dark of the moon - a time that may favor a not to surprising military move. We'll see...
Thursday March 1, 2007
Credit Card Revolution in Retailing?
You see it all the time - people go to a small retailer and they use a credit card to pay for something - maybe a double Americano split shot tall (my choice when I feel like spending a small part of my life savings on coffee) or they spend a couple of bucks on the special burger combo and swipe a card to pay for it. So, what's the problem? Many credit card processors are putting surcharges (up to a dollar we hear) on small retailers who are taking cards for small purchases. Result? Losses.
The trend, which seems to be getting hot, is for small retailers to offer either two prices - one for cash, the other for credit - or they simply tack on a credit card processing fee. A Chicago Sun-Times column last month has more background.
It's not like this is a local USA issue either: We're seeing complaints about small businesses getting hammered more than big corporations in other countries, too. Like South Korea where the press headlines "Merchants cry foul over credit card transaction fees."
Worldwide, the transition from cash to some form of digidollars looks to continue unabated. For example, we read that "US debit card transactions [were] up 18% in 2006"
So might there be a revolution in retailing in the wind? Could be, if we read some of the key findings in a report by RNCOS for the National Association of Convenience Store correctly:
Could it be half of potential C store potential profits are going to banksters? The collision of interests here is plain to see: The public likes the convenience of a credit card - sometimes faster than dirty old cash. But, on the merchant side, it can gobble up the profits. So we look for a moving front for this battle as consumer and merchant forces try to achieve some balance of interests. In the meantime, we'll stick with cash for transactions wherever possible. Sure cash is a nuisance, but when the end of the month comes, there's no squaring up with the devil, and we find our resistance to useless impulse purchases is greatly improved.
We read that 400 people have been arrested in a Mexican drug ring operation. With a bust worth $45 million, this hailed as a big deal, but we expect it's about enough dope for a single weekend of California partying. Still, it's a good start. Why should we support crime families when a few plants at home would solve most problems? But let's not go there, it's a too simple answer and think of all the lawyers, judges, jailers, counselors who could lose their jobs if people could grow any plant God put on earth in their own yards. Not to mention how the "Drug War" gives criminal gangs a way to control their opponents through "selective ratting.".
Billionaire Baseball Player
This is really a cool story. The Palm Springs Desert Sun reports "Unknown Dodgers pitcher could be baseball's first billionaire player." But, it's not because of his throwing arm. It's because he bought a piece of property in western Massachusetts from a relative that turns out to be worth a top line $2-billion in quarry rock. A fine return on a $50K investment, any day.
Oil at the Core
We notice that a "Timor rebel vows to fight to the end" as Australian troops have Alfredo Reinado surrounded. Why should you care? Well, look shocked when I tell you this all has more to do with oil and gas development in the region than simply local politics. To echo the question ("Would we be there is all they had was bananas?") about Iraq, I'll say in my best Oztralian accent picked up by eating and drinking Foster's at the local Outback, "East Timor: Australian for oil."
Zimbabwe to Export Power
I like watching the developments in Zimbabwe lately. Not just because of their several thousand percept episode of hyperinflation, although that is catchy by itself. But, because of other things. For example, president Robert Mugabe a while back told Western banksters to stuff it with their loans to his country - thus making himself the man banksters love to hate. And now we read that Mugabe's government has signed a deal to export power to Namibia starting next year. That will generate a little national income.
So, why didn't the powers that be just send in troops to Zimbabwe like happens most everywhere else on the planet when a bankster plan goes awry? Well, unlike East Timor, there's no big oil or gas deposits to profiteer from, ergo, with only a little coal (says the CIA World Factbook) it's hardly worth the campaign contributions it would cost to ramp up regime change there, in the name of "freedom" mind you. In other words, Mugabe and Zimbabwe definitively answer the question "Would we be there if all they had was bananas?"
It's all clear to me now: By the way, speaking of the CIA World Factbook online, where I checked to see how much oil Zimbabwe had, I noticed that the Factbook's alphabetized country drop down menu (at least for today) doesn't end with Zimbabwe at the bottom, which seems like it oughta be the last country on the list. Nope. It's followed by Taiwan and then the European Union. I woulda thought the #2 alphabet agency would be able to alphabetize a list. My 'managing programmers conclusion' is that this is an example of why NSA has the point with Echelon, don't you suppose?
Darwin and Idiots
As long as I've started tilling this particular field, I guess I could mention that the 2006 Darwin Awards are out. If you haven't scanned them, and you need to reminding that we're not as smart as we might think as a species, click here. And the 2006 Idiot Awards are making the email rounds today and showing up in places like Chocolate and Raspberries.
I'm trying to come up with a nice quote to put up on the wall of my nearly refurbished office. I've been tinkering with several:
If you have a suitable guiding principle, which would fit UrbanSurvival, please send it along - I will put a page of Urban Wisdom up when we're done. Click here to submit your entry or please title your entry "Wisdom entry" so my email router puts it into the right folder. One winner will get a "Pirates of the Constitution" poster (courtesy of www.epingo.com ). No voting though - my call on this one. besides, we all know voting is a what? (I'll just motion to the nothingcrats and nothingcans in CONgress...)
By the way: If you wonder how I can deal with so much "stuff" that crosses my desk every day (I mean besides reading fast and typing fast, and timing phone calls), can I advise you to start using the power of your email program's built-in message router? Even Outlook Express has some basic rules for routing emails.
So, depending on who you are, when you send me an email it lands in a particular folder that I then prioritize on a daily basis and handle in sequence. Folders for me include Cliff & Igor of the web bot project, emails forwarded to me from my wife (her office is in the other building at the ranch). Then I've got 23 folders under my main consulting client, where much of my day goes. Then I've got folders for emails from Panama Bates (presently in Panama), for receipts, software upgrades, special deals on tools from Northern Tool and Harbor Freight, Tiger Direct, etc...well, you got the picture.
Then, to top it all off, I've got a routing map borrowed from "Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress Free Productivity". All tied in to my Outlook calendar. Just something to think about, if you're not running a task list/ rules-driven/ calendar and clock driven life already. It's how I stumble through writing, research, consulting, running a farm, being married, and doing an office rehab simultaneously. Use email rules! Capisce?
Let's see, where were we...oh yeah....
Iran: China Pipes Up
Speaking of oil wars, we notice that the "Chinese Foreign Minister calls for Iran's positive response on nuclear issue." The pragmatic Chinese obviously know that if the US (or our proxy Israel) go nuking Iran's nuclear projects that it could end very badly not just for the Iranians, but for the US, Russia, and China, which we reckon could all be drawn in to a much expanded conflict.
A reader at Georgia Institute of Technology has sent in this:
Our GT reader didn't specify, but those trend lines look suspiciously like 4th or 5th order polynomial trend lines - which I've always liked and yeah, sort of looks like prices are starting to factor in either one hell of a lot of summer driving, or an attack on Iran with restricted exports of oil to the US to follow, doesn't it?
Edge of the World
Our Canadian Correspondent Tim B, who has been working on the notion of a 72-73 year economic cycle (which he calls the basic PHI cycle) offers some food for cyclical thinkers:
It's against this kind of background that I read stories like this one: "Huron River Area Credit Union is Placed into Conservatorship" and wonder what lies ahead.
February 28, 2007
200 point Bounce Next?
There's two thing's we know about the road to Hell. It's paved with good intensions and it's bouncy. Today, we get to see some of the bouncy part first-hand as the futures are poised to bounce back from yesterday's initial "top-may-be-in" 400+ point Dow decline, and a hundred points up on the Dow would be a minimal expectation. Yesterday's action was, for web bot subscribers and for readers of this site, something of an expected outcome, given the pressures which have continued to build in the global economy.
Although my personal expectation is for the markets to spiral downward, the "fat lady" may need to do more tuning up first. A couple of things to report from readers and contributors are on point.
Frist, from Robin Landry, one of the
few brokers I know who has been watching this pending Super Cycle decline
develop for years (and advising his clients appropriately, comes
this bit of advice and a chart:
"The market action [yester]day
is one step closer to giving me a clue as to what the
market direction is likely to look like over the next few
weeks. The chart above labeled SPX122806 is the chart I sent
out on my last update dated 1/04/07. The S&P went higher for
6 more weeks and then turned down. [Yester]day's action not
only broke the trend channel and the 50 day MA ,but fell
close to the support area of 1350-1382 I mentioned in my
last update. This area is a very important support zone
which if broken will mean we are in a much larger decline
and the alternate count is most likely in effect. Review the
chart above and remember if this support zone is broken I
then expect a drop to at least the June-July low area. I will keep you advised as time
permits and circumstances warrant. Be very Careful."
"The market action [yester]day is one step closer to giving me a clue as to what the market direction is likely to look like over the next few weeks. The chart above labeled SPX122806 is the chart I sent out on my last update dated 1/04/07. The S&P went higher for 6 more weeks and then turned down. [Yester]day's action not only broke the trend channel and the 50 day MA ,but fell close to the support area of 1350-1382 I mentioned in my last update. This area is a very important support zone which if broken will mean we are in a much larger decline and the alternate count is most likely in effect. Review the chart above and remember if this support zone is broken I then expect a drop to at least the June-July low area. I will keep you advised as time permits and circumstances warrant. Be very Careful."
As Landry's chart shows, there are two possible outcomes here. One is that this is a normal correction (IV) on the way to (V), or the downside action marks the start of a much larger decline. Landry (email@example.com) is a methodical guy and says there may be some significance to the fact that yesterday we saw both the 50 day moving average (50DMA) taken out as well as the 2-standard deviation trend channel.
Landry is not the only one with a "wait and see" view. A web bot project subscriber offers this:
And I have to agree - one day does not a trend make. And while a Big Bounce ( as much as 80% of the decline [300+ points or more up from here] is possible, I'm pleased to be on the sidelines as this works out. Bulls and Bears can have their fun...I'll be with the chickens. They sometimes make money, too. A typical reader quote:
And during an unscheduled appearance on the Steve Quayle Show last night, Steve and I received this email from a listener to his show:
So to summarize my expectations: I would expect a higher opening this morning and lots of broker touts of "bargain hunting" to be heard early on, but over the longer term, a day to three weeks, I would expect the market to resume moving downward in a major way.
Gold meantime, will likely thrash around as some folks have to unload gold to cover positions, and it hasn't dawned on the masses yet that paper assets are in global trouble. That's a few weeks off yet, and maybe a couple of months I expect. Need more paper failures first.
Speaking of which, you did know that a small Pittsburgh bank failed this month, right? I'm not reading too much into this yet, but keep your eyes open for shotgun mergers of banks in trouble. One of our nightmare scenarios has to do with small banks being forced to take back bad real estate loans that have been collateralized (CMO's) and sold like bonds in bundles of debt.
One of the questions from listeners to Quayle's show was "Why is the price of gold going down?" While the obvious answer is "More sellers than buyers at the moment" the longer answer is that many gold investors probably got caught and had to sell gold to hang onto (or cover) other market positions.
True, gold is also down, but if you're a long term investor in markets and metals, the key thing is not the short term fluctuations, but the long term results.
For example, and this is one of the most irritating things about financial market pimps and hypsters, if you put the Dow's 11,723 level of March 2000 or so, into the Minneapolis Fed's inflation calculator (see left column for the link) you'll see that to just keep even with inflation the Dow would have to achieve 13,989.99 before yesterday's debacle just to maintain purchasing power. Oh sure, you can argue dividends reinvested, but I'd argue back management fees in mutual funds, taxes on gains, and commish to whoever does the trade and we'd be here for days - and I've got way too much crap on my plate right now, so if you want to argue the numbers, have fun.
Gold, on the other hand, .using $265.60, the closing price in March 2000, should only be at $316.96 an ounce using the same inflation calculations. So long-term investors in gold, even at today's prices, and without counting taxes, have bagged roughly a doubling of our purchasing power since the all-time (purchasing power parity) high of the Dow in 2000.
Know any broker who's reminding clients of that before they throw good money after more paper? I mean with the exception of Landry and a few others, I sure as heck don't see this kind of truth telling as an epidemic in the financial planner's rap. More like "buy the dips" and "buy and hold" are still the mantra. Yuk.
A reader discovered an article at the "Online Journal" by Mike Whitney called "The Second Great Depression" which paints a scary future about what may be ahead of us here in the USA, and then admits the reader "I'm very scared for what is coming." Good idea to be scared - and if you can turn that into positive action for yourself, your loved one, and the community you live in, fear is a great motivator.
I was a little late getting up this morning, as Elaine and I had a "two book dinner." She read Dean Radin's "Entangled Minds" and I was busily munching through Michael Panzner's latest book which he sent me (thank you!) titled: "Financial Armageddon" [available at Amazon and other major bookstores. To borrow some Amazon text:
What was interesting was what Panzner was talking about toward the end of the book - the "How do you prepare?" question. I started working on that last week on my subscriber side (www.peoplenomics.com) last week in apiece called "Transitional Economics" and I'll likely continue with that course of research this week, because the problem for many people - stuck in big cities, suburbs and such, will be how to scratch out a living. While we made the decision several years ago to get close to food and water, people in big cities take so much of life for granted that they have no Plan B for what to do when the lights going out, the net goes down, the food disappears, and the water stops coming out of the taps...all of which happens at the same time banks could be shutting down.
Panzner, by the way, writes in the wake of yesterday's paper quake that there's basically "Nothing in Reserve at Commercial Banks."
I'd recommend Panzner's book, especially if you're new to reality-based economics (as opposed to the paper asset floating craps games) as he approaches it methodically and comes to the same outcome as we've been talking about for years now. If you're already there, the book's a good gift for your friends who may think by now that you're some kind of survivalist freakazoid. (Speaking of which, the new Mogambo Guru update will be posted here about 8:15 this morning.)
The Green Death
The recent web bot predictions of "Prominent death followed by green death" looks like it may be a tie between the US dollar's decline and the bee die-off. The thing about the bee die off is that people are starting to write about the economic impacts of the die-off with headlines like "Bee Extinction on A Rise, Fruit and Vegetable Industry Threatened."
USA Today has a good article on a report that says a climate tipping point is near. The reality of this is frightening. While the report says there is "no more time for delay" we have to note that financially driven decision-making is not going to press forward on anything until a way to make money has been found. Maybe the Mogambo Guru's assessment of life ("We're all friggin doomed!") will turn out to be correct... expecting money lenders to think about anything except themselves is a stretch even for my wild imagination.
A strange rock slide in San Francisco has scientists curious. Although the larger west coast quivers/shakes with injuries are several weeks off according to our libretto.
Dow Down 415: A Jaw Dropping Web Bot Hit
For a long time I've been warning about the high risk of financial meltdown (spreading to the US Dollar) beginning the period Feb 23-27. This was all based on the amazing work of Cliff at www.halfpasthuman.com who developed the proprietary way to "see" the future via subtle linguistic shifts on the public parts of the internet days, months, and even years in advance - depending on the size of event. With Cliff's kind permission, here's an extract from the report sent out to predictive linguistics - web bot - subscribers last weekend, reproduced with exclusive permission here and any linking or reposting much reference both www.urbansurvival.com and the site of www.halfpasthuman.com:
As one web bot subscriber noted:
So without giving away the whole outline of what else is to come (you can get longer lead times by subscribing to the current run ($200 for the whole series over the next 5 weeks) , but we'll post the public warning parts here) let's just say that sometime around the middle of the month (our months of Ides of March references will come into focus) a whole new direction of life will start unfolding and my store food/water/ and "investment grade diesel" comments may start to make sense even to remaining skeptics.
Don't forget to watch History Channel 9 PM Thursday night this week as I try to explain all this technology in a few seconds of TV air time in a "Decoding the Past: Doomsday 2012" documentary.
Bad Bombs, Worse Bombs
Bombs, in my book are very much like taxes: There's bad, and then there's worse. Starting today with a review of the "bad bombs" we read that Vice president Dick Cheney's trip to Afghanistan has been marked with a bombing outside the military base he was visiting. More than a dozen people were reported killed in the attack, which we note is attributed to Taliban, not al Qaeda
Bomb makers in Iraq also seemed bent on the vice president level of society with a bombing attack aimed at Iraq's vice president killing 10 on Monday.
The "bombs meme" is really hot today in another way - seemingly pointing the way toward a bombing of Iran in March if we read the linguistics right, as the US military in Iraq is pointing to Iran as the source of bombing components being found in Iraq's civil war.
The suicide bombing outside a college in Baghdad on Monday killed 41, reports the British press. The weekend bombing near a Sunni mosque in western Iraq has killed 40 now, if you're keeping track.
Not that bombs are an overseas phenomena: Bomb making materials have allegedly been found at a home in Bloomington Minnesota, and kids in North Caroline found a military practice bomb. A man in Ohio reportedly had bomb parts,
Now let's move on to "worse bombs". For the most part the preceding stories were are about "small" bombs, not that 40 or more dead isn't significant, but it's nothing of the scale of a "grown up/worse bomb."
While we read recently that the US military had called off plans to test a huge conventional bomb in the Nevada desert, we note on our Big Bomb peg that the UK is about to vote on modernizing its Trident missile fleet, a move that has led some to point out a little hypocrisy: How can a British nuke bomb fleet of missiles be any less dangerous than an Iranian bomb asks one article?
Then we have the US military plan to come replace some of its Trident warheads with conventional ones. This has a funny odor to it. One the one hand, the military says the nukes for conventional warheads plan will give the US a new conventional "quick strike" capability. I can't help but wonder if it's a not-particularly-subtle way to keep the Trident delivery platform alive in case we ever need it, in light of Russia's nuclear upgrade program and China continuing development. Not that it would be a bad thing, but to come up with a 6-th grade level charade like "quick strike" instead of saying "we need to keep Tridents updated" taxes my patience with the five-sided building's spin meisters.
Meanwhile, as we've been draining ours precious national reserves with the oil war, the Russians seem to have just zipped by us with their new SU-30MK fighter, which looks like a dog fighter's nightmare opponent. Click for some kick-ass video and then picture the planes in "Top Gun" (and their similar successors) taking on this.
Sometimes big explosions just happen - like the probably sewer gas explosion in Nelsonville Ohio this past weekend.
Other times, they are planned years in advance, and sometimes we are left wondering years after a "bombing" who was really the perpetrator. For example, convicted bomber Terry Nichols has claimed in the past week that the FBI had a hand in the Oklahoma City federal building bombing, and an email this morning reminds me of this:
Actually, no, they don't. Remember that over the coming couple of weeks as we get into our standoff/high tension period between now and mid month. Political figures have long known that voters only remember their latest headlines, and corporations -- which could be brought to heel if more people understood the power of voting with your wallet every day --pursue their bottom-line-only agendas with minimal public interruption.
I was reminded in a conversation with my deflationist pal Jas Jain yesterday that if you have a mortgage, or more debt than you can pay off right this instant, you're not a free person. While consumers could hold corporate exploitation by "the nets" so to speak, it's the other way around - they hold yours - and you, I'm afraid to report, can't do much more than squeal about it. Sorry, facts is facts. Why do you think the democorps haven't changed anything yet? Here are some hints: "bite" "hand" "feeds".
Slicing Up the Booty
There's a worthwhile read in the San Francisco Chronicle this
morning titled "Draft
oil plan seen as breakthrough - Cabinet O.K.'s pact to divvy up the
profits" of the Iraq oil war.
While much of the press focused on the TXU buyout has been focused on the apparent scrapping of plans to build 11 coal fired power plants, we have to wonder if there's not more than meets the eye to this? For example, the SEC is probing the trading surge ahead of the buyout report. But I've got another take on it: What if, for example, this is a maneuver by private corporate interests to profit largely from the ongoing attempted merger of the US, Canada, and Mexico into a North American Union? Higher rates for Texas and power exports to Mexico. Yee haw!
Dud Day for the Street?
When I checked early this morning, it looked like a 50-point downer for the Dow might be in the cards, and with oil prices edging up ahead of inventory data, that could certainly weigh on the markets. But I wouldn't blame it all on oil. The dollar is at a 2-month low vs. the Euro today thanks in part to departed Fed Bank deity Alan Greenspan's "I see a recession coming, maybe" remarks on Monday.
Also the price of gold is getting its characteristic beat-down this morning, although I'd observe that with the dollar expected to tank more as the year progresses, this may be just the big boyz driving down the price a bit for a better entry for their own accounts. At least, that would be my guess, and no, it's not trading advice. I'm just reminding you that the predictive linguistics folks have Feb 27 as a start of a big slide for the dollar from here forward. The catch is that even though the dollar can decline, the market could go up (temporarily) as stocks it could be argued may be valued just as gold and silver - as physical hedges, at least to the extent that a market share in America has value.
The great swing/crash move comes when the larger part of the market awakens one morning to learn that the US consumer has no purchasing power left and that no end of private money creation (e.g. via real estate refi's) can convince folks to take on more. It's then that the roof falls in.
We Bee Thinking
Here's an interesting reader thought from the emails this morning:
Could Colony Collapse presage pole flip? Bee on the lookout.
Monday February 26, 2007
Two Weeks to Changepoint
If you're watching the wrong things, it may be because you don't have the libretto handy, as we have been so graciously provided by our colleagues at www.halfpasthuman.com. But, even without that, you might be well-advised to skip the global mainstream press accounts of shared reality and go off on your own, seeking a personal context for the daily news that will help you prepare for the coming transition to a new lifestyle that will be much different than the one you have now.
Suppose I told you, for example, that over the past week to 10-days, a part of the planet nearly the size of Great Britain in area had flooded? It would seem in comprehensible that such an event would go missing from mainstream media, and yet this morning 350,000 Bolivians, after suffering the effects of massive flooding in the Beni province area, uphill from the Brazilian Amazon Basin, and their regional capital Trinidad, like New Orleans not so long ago, is fighting to keep dikes from failing, ala the Big Easy.
I expect that sometime this week, the story of Beni Province Bolivia will thrust itself into the global mainstream, but perhaps not yet. Give it a day or two, more rains, more rising waters, and more misery among Bolivians. Then maybe...just maybe if it's a slow enough news day and mainstream can't find any other "global warming story", Oscars, or weeping judges, then maybe the threshold will be crossed and the story emerge into media consciousness.
Not that mainstream doesn't report the obvious. Of course, it does. But US media is Americentric, if I can coin a word this early in the week; an outcome of Empire thinking, which has gotten us to the present condition. While it's true that 40-people have been injured in Arkansas in another powerful tornado, no doubt some of our Americentricism is founded on the relative ease with which great news feeds are to be had from the Heartland, about to be hit again, if we read the headlines right. Fresh feeds and live helicams are in relatively shorter supply in Bolivia - and without a large supply oft reporters who speak English - backed up by lots of "B roll" footage, a story though big doesn't get legs easily.
So what is the combination of stories that seem likely from today's dot on the timeline that are likely to pressure/shape/form what I call the "changepoint" just ahead? And, while we're at it, just what is a "changepoint"?
The latter is an important concept to grasp: Unlike tipping points in predictive linguistics, such as the "tipping point" that preceded 9/11 and was evident in modelspace as a "tipping point" that we wrote about in the summer of 2001, a "changepoint" may not be a single "event" per se, but rather a gathering of many events/stories/circumstances clustering around a period that in turn lead to big changes, such as the ones I expect between March 15 and the middle of September. A stew instead of a steak, sort of thing, and there's a lot to stew on:
One of the changes, for example, seems likely to be the breakdown of what has been an uneasy "truce" between democorps and republicorps over public discussion and prosecution of impeachment charges against the current regime. Hence, while you'd expect democorps like Hillary Clinton to be vocally roasting the administration over it's war policies, she wont', likely because the 'corporate implications' for major defense contractors/donors are such that a "don't ask, don't tell" atmosphere prevails for now.
Somehow, the comments earlier this month by retired Lt. General William Odom, the Director of the National Security Agency (NSA) under Ronald Reagan, talking bluntly of military reality and saying "Victory is not an option" has been effectively buried by the corporate-controlled press. In place of serious discussions about the socioeconomic implications of wars to secure manufacturing economy resources, and the wild printing of paper assets and what that inevitably leads to, we're treated instead to the bread and circuses of Oscars, which I'm pleased to note Tom Shales of the Washington Post has the honesty to question
Not to grind this to an excessively sharp point, but we notice that the offices of journalists in Iraq were battered last week, another little mentioned event. In Israel, too, the attack on dissenting media has continued, as their [latest] invasion of Nablus on the West Bank continues.
If you're keeping tabs, since this latest iteration of the Iraq Oil/Resource War started, 193 journalists have been killed As one writer asked recently, "Would we be doing this is all they had was bananas?"
And speaking of which, Vice President Cheney's trip to Asia was not exactly warm last week, but we don't read much about the arrests for simply exercising free speech. That's one reason why, when things turn dicey this summer, the internet may be at risk. Can't have too much freedom out there. The tables have turned and corporations are masters now, having usurped government by the People.. Rock not the boat.
The main thing I'm looking for now will be some kind of "7 Days in March" standoff starting next week before we slide into the abyss where a first strike begets more global anti-Americanism, and a possible oil shortage and raises the specter of a slaughter of our American forces in Iraq. I certainly don't want that to occur - we owe our support to our troops. Apparently neither does the Russian Foreign Minister. But when Dick Cheney says that "all options are on the table", Condi Rice says "Iranians 'need a stop button,' and Israel has formally asked US permission to overfly Iraq to strike as our proxy, you don't 'need to be a weatherman to figure where the bind blows.' Perhaps the "standoff" will be between the US military and the White House as some US Generals are ready to quit over an Iran strike.
A read of the New York Times /Erna Journal report on the propane shortage impacts on Maine may provide a sobering and prescient look at what's ahead in the near term for the US at large in the near future. And the new change of EPA mileage ratings underscores that the "illusion of progress" is just that - illusory.
Judging by how the futures are looking, at least the first part of the trading week should be an up one. The new mass layoff numbers out from the Labor Department last week showed a drop below 127,000 victims in January, but the indicator is a rear view mirror look at the economy.
Around the Ranch
Our youngish rooster, a recent addition to our flock, went back to the neighbors across the road this morning. The three Rhode Islands females didn't take a liking to him. A fine double entendre, the phrase "chicken peckers." We'll bring him back when he's older and a more able to stand up for himself.
Meantime, our "chicken moat" parts have arrived - several hundred feet of 8 foot steel T posts and 200 feet of poultry wire. The idea is a simple one. I reckon that if bugs got as much from our garden as we did last year, that surrounding the garden with a 15 foot wide 'chicken run' would give the birds a sporting chance to catch bugs before they get into the garden. And if they come out (not that I know why they would) they'd be well fed and juicier.
I've already been served with papers by the attorneys for the tomato plants who claim that my plan, which effectively puts their clients in a double-walled maximum security garden seems harsh. Attorneys for the raccoons, who maintain their client's innocence in the of eating 48 ears of corn 3-days before human harvest last year, have also warned us of legal action. "Cruel and unusual gardening!" declares their brief. Yeah, yeah, yeah.
They apparently haven't yet heard about the electric fence on the outside of the outer wall of the chicken moat. I expect they'll be shocked at my gardening techniques this year, but time will tell.
Write when you get rich,
George Ure, The People's Economist
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