- Friday about 8 AM Central Time Except Holidays....many major
typos are fixed by 8:30 daily
2009 07:55 AM CST New
here? Visit our
in a reader
This site is
supported by subscriptions: For additional
Content mirrored at:
(.MOBI) version here
The Dangerous Convergence
My report today deals with four converging
data sets which could spell disaster for humans at an unimaginable level
- in fact, unlike the movie 2012 and it's 'neutrinos increasing'
indicator, this one is a bunch of hard data sets with potentially
horrific implications - and it's all quite real. Because of it's
content, this report available only to Peoplenomics.com subscribers
since subscribers are the ones that keep the servers up. Also,
when I post this kind of material on the free side, I typically get
flooded with emails from non-subscribers and I'm not here to debate the
general public. The data speaks for itself when assembled in a
More For Subscribers
are NOT a Peoplenomics subscriber,
subscription information is here. Subscriptions are
processed on a daily batch basis around 6 PM Central Time so if you subscribe Saturday
you won't get access till Saturday or Sunday evening.
are a current subscriber and cannot access the site
because you haven't converted to the new site logon system,
click here and the system will resend your logon (new
credentials) tonight. The old logon system involved your email
address - the system now assigns username/password pairs.
UrbanSurvival's next free update will be Monday morning - as
usual. Here's what was covered earlier this week:
November 13, 2009
F-13/triskaidekaphobia etc. As you munch over the trade figures,
down toward the end of this morning's report, remember that
sometimes when a new consensus starts to appear, it will come
from the 'fringe' which is where most of the action comes from.
OK, so the Mogambo Guru has been yelling "Buy gold!" for a
couple of years - more then - and I made the inflation-is-coming
buy assets call back in 2001 (I don't like to make too many
investment decisions...find them tiring).
Thoughtful piece today in the WSJ
"Tight maneuvering for Bernanke" gets to the idea that the
Fed doesn't really have much elbow-room in decision-making these
now go read the Tyler Durden piece at ZeroHedge on how this all
adds up to
"Goldman on why a second stimulus is merely months away..."
the ONLY question on the table is timing and whether the
next stage of money-printing will happen before - during - or
after the next round of panic, probably over quickly
depreciating bundled commercial real estate debt which is about
to sneak up on us in January when the Grim Reaper Does
Christmas gets reported.
really ought to start a pool at the office for both remaining
coworkers... Form might look something like this:
|Commercial RE Panic in Market week of
|Dec 27 --- etc...---
you sell tickets all over town - until you're busted for
breaking gambling laws. When you go to court be sure to
ask embarrassing questions like "Why is betting on when a market
panic will occur any different than buying a stock option?
Or, how about different than taxpayers betting that there's
really all the gold in warehouses and Fort Knox without a
complete audit of the Fed & bar analysis or betting that this
will all end pleasantly?
'deep storage' mean the gold has yet to be mined? Which I
suppose gets us around to this in our...
So We'd Noticed Department
count the number of emails that I've gotten about the Rob Kirby
story about gold bars being partly filled with tungsten.
Here's a typical example:
story is hitting some messageboards I frequent. People
are getting worried about all that "real money" they bought
over the last year or two in the form of precious metals.
I'm not sure I believe it, and
actually it might be good for gold longer-term, but for now
I wouldn't be surprised to see all PM's take a dive soon
once this hits mainstream.
Was this .Gov trying to quell
the run on gold as a mechanism to drive the dollar up?
YOU TELL ME!
this was one of those darn predictive linguistics hits I mention
(way too often for some).
Starting to look like the swine flu really was the
predicted 'building tensions' part of the language globally,
what with the situation in Ukraine, etc. What's
interesting in the amount of hate mail both Cliff and I got for
that particular prediction.
I've mentioned many times before, the linguistics often get
'scale' wrong...but for sure there was a shift of language
on the expected date and if you read the
October 25th Obama declaration of a national emergency related
to swine flu, here, please note that the situation is placed
in the same category as Hurricane Katrina, Hurricane's Ike &
Gustav, and the North Dakota Flooding of this year.
Interesting to note the latest figures out from the CDC show
that some 22-million Americans have had swine flu now and the
death toll is running about three times higher than previously
estimated with 4-thousand deaths attributed to swine flu.
41.6 million doses of vaccine are available presently...
CDC video here.
3-million doses of 'regular' seasonal flu vaccine have been
distributed in the latest reporting week.
the things bugging me about the 'flu' being 'it' in the
linguistics is how this relates to the economy...but now what
we're finding out is that flu spending has turned into a major
discussion within Ukraine and concurrently,
Ukraine's debt rating has been downgraded by Fitch to B-minus
status according to a MarketWatch report.
and local press coverage in Ukraine
continues to paint an ugly picture, although maybe not from
WHO is taking a more aggressive stance on antiviral use early
on in the flu.
President Obama is in Japan before continuing on to meet
with the Chinese. Hope he remembered knee pads for that
meeting with the Chinese who could flush our economy on a
Apparently their power position/cat bird seat is clear:
"China's Hu prods West on trade, investment barriers". I
figure it's just a warm-up for the strong arming ahead -
especially since Commerce Secretary Gary Locke was just recently
giving China missile technology. Don't mean to keep
HAARPing on this, but the MainStreamMedia must be DDNB - deaf,
dumb 'n blind - on the importance if giving China access to our
hard won technology. You & I paid for it...remember?
Trade Gulf Wider
latest figures out from the Census & BEA types today shows that
after declining a bit in late 2008 and into the first part of
this year, the trade deficit is up again...
"The U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Bureau of Economic
Analysis, through the Department of Commerce, announced
today that total September exports of $132.0 billion and
imports of $168.4 billion resulted in a goods and services
deficit of $36.5 billion, up from $30.8 billion in August,
revised. September exports were $3.7 billion more than
August exports of $128.3 billion. September imports were
$9.3 billion more than August imports of $159.1 billion.
September, the goods deficit increased $5.6 billion from
August to $47.6 billion, and the services surplus was
virtually unchanged at $11.1 billion. Exports of goods
increased $3.5 billion to $90.3 billion, and imports of
goods increased $9.1 billion to $138.0 billion. Exports of
services increased $0.2 billion to $41.6 billion, and
imports of services increased $0.2 billion to $30.5 billion.
September, the goods and services deficit decreased $23.7
billion from September 2008. Exports were down $20.0
billion, or 13.2 percent, and imports were down $43.7
billion, or 20.6 percent.
Not to Worry
the economy has a cloud over it (which is what you'd expect in a
Second Depression, right?) and yeah, so Obama is going
hat-in-hand to China. What's really encouraging is
the report that a number of students aged 15 and younger have
been arrested for a school food fight.
how this will solve our nations ills? Why if we can start
putting enough of these pre-adults into jails, we could be off
on another huge phase of economic expansion. Better yet -
jail both the parents and students involved in
Imagine the gloriousness of it all: A perfect command
economy: Everyone goes to jail, everyone gets do-overs,
and no one is held accountable, but it all costs a bundle, so
everyone has a job - even if just trading places every so often
with their jailer. This, my friend, is the essence of
economic recovery going on right now.
only problem I've ever had with socialism is I can't figure out
how to get rich following it.
snip and save section ---
is Cocooning? It's what happens to people when they lose
their jobs, can't afford to go much of anywhere 'big' and living
the large - the blingish thingish falls out of favor.
Which - in case you were planning to install some fancy
grillwork - has become decidedly uncool.
cocooning sinks in, people start to pay attention to their homes
- and apparently there are tons of people doing it, since
we are presently finishing off the last unpresentable room in
our every room gets fixed remodeling project and we can't find
anyone to install a bathroom floor for at least a week and a
half. Normally, this would be a "Dammit..." and just
schedule and run with it. But, since we have house guests
landing on the 22nd, fourteen days from now would be the 27th
and Elaine mutters something about needing a day or two to do
'finishing touches' before company arrives.
'last room' happens to be a bathroom and the repair is from a
slow water leak under one of the two vanities in the room - and
since the home was made with OSB (oriented strand board)
flooring over the joists, yours truly got to experience
the joys of ripping out a 4' by 5' section of floor and
replacing it. In some houses, this would not be a terrible
and grueling task, but in our house, it involved not only
ripping out the floor, putting in runners and cross bracing
(can't have flooring meet in mid-air) and the normal stuff, but
going down into the crawlspace under the house to pick up
leftover chunks of OSB. This was followed by man-handling
the 4X8 sheets of OSB that went in...had to use two sheets of
OSB that were 7/16th's since no one seems to have 7/8th's OSB
anymore...but I digress.
taking glue off floor joists, can't think of a better tool than
my Rockwell Sonicrafter.
fine tool for that kind of project. (Christmas is
had the good sense to go $hopping for flooring and lighting, so
when she got back I was really ready for some humor - a hot
shower and a cold beverage go only so far when you've been under
a house and schlepping OSB...
heard the most amazing thing on the radio on the way
home....there's some serve advertising that there's a site on
the internet that will do break ups for you...."
mean like 'sick of remodeling...you're fired...kind of thing?"
"No...like tell a boyfriend or girlfriend you're history....tell
a spouse you're getting a divorce from them...that kind of
still get along fine, but it got me to thinking about what shows
through in people's character when times get tough.
In the consulting arena, I'm at the slow time of the year, so
while working on a couple of projects, time's also loose enough
to be able to spend quality time with my Skil saw which despite
all the complaining, I really enjoy. I've always found
that when things slow in one area of life, there's always lots
to do in other areas.
a business model I wondered what it meant - if anything -
when a society starts to farm out basics of getting along with
other people...just struck us both as odd that there's a
business model for this type of misery. Maybe the internet
really has gotten us to the point where everything can be
monetized... If you've used such a service, let me know?
Curious what the costs are and whether it's a viable business. -
Oh...and if you know a flooring installed in the Athens- Tyler -
Palestine area that's not booked out solid (and does first-rate
work) send me an email.
couple of calendar items here....Yes!
Tomorrow is the Elmwood Volunteer Fire Department's fall BBQ.
More on the
department web site... I plan to skip breakfast
tomorrow to be extra hungry for lunch. If you're in Dallas
or Houston - for that matter, anywhere within driving distance -
ya'll come on by...
Google Map is here.
Last Day Note
This is the last day you can sign up for EMWD web hosting and
get the discount I mentioned earlier this week. Click
here to check prices & sign up. Discount codes
B-DAY01 - to receive 40% off a
new domain name
B-DAY02 - to receive 40% off any
of our hosting packages except our mailman service.
Ghosts in Machines
inquiry into the source of the mystery code-like noises in
Alabama continues. A fresh case to ponder this morning:
In light of the comments on the
'mystery code' today in your most welcomed newsletter, I'd
like to share another strange experience, via phones and
TV....phone system supplied by AT&T, just a plain old
landline, and TV by satellite, Direct TV.
The location is ******** out in
the country, about ********, though I would appreciate your
not publishing this location. Cell phone reception is awful,
in fact can't be used consistently even outside, unless one
is about a mile down the road. This is so far out in the
country that besides dial-up, only satellite Internet is
+ When the phone rings,
if the TV is on, for a very brief time, the name of who is
calling appears on the TV screen on the lower right side.
The caller can be either on a landline or on a cell.....same
thing happens. I was stunned the first time I saw this....is
This one is too easy! Get the
manual out for the DTV receiver and see if you have it plugged
into a phone line. Bet me that as part of the "call home
feature" to bill you for all those PPV movies, the sat. receiver
has caller ID outputted to whatever is on-screen at the time.
Your cell phone service is
presently set to 'dual ring' I expect, so you can pick it up
free on the landline if you're home ...er...watching TV...
The number of emails on topic this
week gets me to wondering if there's a niche for this kind of
service on the internet...you know - pay $5 to ask the home
electronics guru a question. Just thinking out loud.
Say, your TV doesn't break up much, does it? (Just
Maxa Cookie Manager - MCM has now
deleted 53,513 cookies from my computer - and of these 1,439
were in the web bug category. Typical comments:
"Recommendation of George Ure on
UrbanSurvival.com. It is unobtrusive, cleans as promised,
and integrated with my Kaspersky anti-ware program without a
hitch. Very pleased.
"I love the control that comes
with managing web based cookies so easily and conveniently.
I think you have a great product, and will consider other
products available from your company. Your customer support
is awesome, and that speaks well of your company also. "
Test drive it free by downloading it. To upgrade to full
functionality will be $35 bucks. Is your privacy worth it?
Latest factory version here:
Attn: Mac Drivers: MCM
does support the Safari Browser, but that does not mean it is
compatible with Mac OS. Maxa-Tools only support the Windows
world....so far. Given Jens and the other engineers
I decided that Saturday Morning's
report - when I do them - will be posted for Peoplenomics.com
Peoplenomics on Sunday is "Woo-Woo
as a Business Model".
Drop by Monday - next week we get
PPI, CPI and EIEIO...
Send your comments to
The UrbanSurvival Mall:
Peoplenomics This Week
The Single Person's Marketing Plan
Common economic wisdom is that a home is
the most important investment most folks make, but I respectfully
disagree. I'd suggest it's the partner you choose to put in the
home that is really the biggest investment you make in Life since you
can lose money faster than any market in history through the mechanism
of divorce. Half to 65% net worth - or more- can disappear in an
instant. And you thought stocks in the 'pink sheets' were risky?
See this divorce rate chart. A number of subscribers who are
single have asked for advice, so I thought it might be useful to apply
some basic marketing principles to finding a significant other.
This may seem a little irreverent here - and to be sure the line between
sociopath and social butterfly is a thin one - but it won't be the first
time one of these in-depth reports has stepped over a line or two.
Such is the danger of inquiry.
More For Subscribers
"Live on $10,000" A
With another round of
layoffs due to start later this month...a round which will start
to axe many of the middle managers who have managed to avoid the
HR grenades...might I suggest a preemptive tactical move?
Voluntarily dropping your lifestyle back a bit, since we're all
being marched down that road by either circumstances or some
out-of-control-PTB types who write checks to Washington lobby
and to anti-reformers in California! A good starting
point, at least if you've still got $10-bucks is
my e-book "How to Live on #10,000 a Year...or less!"
It's an automatic
download. It's written in an information dense style: The
whole thing runs about 65 pages, but it gives you a vision of
how to not only live on the cheap, but also how to migrate up
the economic foodchain if you have a little hustle left...
Click here for the index and details.
My commodity broker JB Slear and I
have written a simple book to get you started on high density
hydroponics. It's an example of how someone with a little
creativity, access to a few 'dollar stores' and willing to try
out some new farming techniques can grow an amazing amount of
produce sin a very small space - like even an apartment balcony
(if it gets some sunlight). Sound interesting? It's
just $10 bucks here...
Pass It On
business model of this website is base Simply
and send a link to this site to everyone on your distro
list...Nothing more dangerous than sharp, clear-thinking
upstarts who ask a lot of questions, eh? Unless you
believe WTC-7 fell over on its own, of course....
week's report is here. For
back issues of this site, click here. (Goes back to
Thursday November 12, 2009
As Goes Zimbabwe...
There's a fine article to start things off today over at the
Kitco web site by
Field. It tells the tale of what happens when a currency
dies as it did earlier this year in Zimbabwe.
mention this as a reminder that the USA is on a similar track -
toward death of the dollar - although Zimbabwe got there first.
Our own progress has been a little slow, but not for a lack of
effort on the part of the left-right-money alliance in
Washington. The ruling Troika (and the Russian word is
becoming more and more apropos) has been moving us right along
the nonlinear path toward hyperinflation ever since the bankers
seized the nation's monetary controls in 1913.
1929, the not-really-federal reserve had stolen away 42.1% of
the dollar's purchasing power. By 1950, that amount had
swelled to where 58.9% of the dollars purchasing power had been
stolen. Even more importantly, thanks to Keynesian
doubletalk, the American public had the "Big Lie" about
inflation deeply seated in both textbooks and popular media.
Big Lie is that prices go up. They don't. The
purchasing power of your dollars goes DOWN.
1975, the dilution of purchasing power had sucked 81.6% of the
dollar's purchasing power away - meaning that something which
cost $1 in 1913 when the banksters took over (along with their
free lunch/deficit spending pals in congress) was up to
things got worse.
2000 the dollar's purchasing power was diluted 94.25% from where
it started in 1913. What had cost a single dollar then was
up to $17.39.
morning, if we assume 5% inflation for 2009 year-to-date, what
cost a single dollar in 1913 is up to $22.61. The dollar
is buying 4.42% of what it did in 1913, or more clearly its
purchasing power has dropped 95.57%
doesn't take a financial genius to figure out that what's
happening to the US dollar's purchasing power is along the same
lines as Zimbabwe's only slower - at least for a little while.
But over time there's no way of getting around it: We're
going down the same road led by compounding interest the whole
major task of governments is to keep as many people buying into
the idea that paper money is a 'solid' thing. It is...and
Williams of Shadow Government Statistics wrote a most excellent
piece back in 2008 - a "Hyperinflation
Special Report" in which he forecast a "Hyperinflationary
Depression remains likely as early as 2010."
Williams calculations of the dollar depreciation, by the way is
even more grim than mine. The way he figures it, the
decline in purchasing power has been such that since December
1913 through August of this year, fully 96% of the dollar's
purchasing power has gone toes up and what cost a single dollar
in 1913 is up to $25.18.
Obviously, this can't go on forever. The only reason that
China has played nicey-nicey is that the U.S. has been bribing
China with things like missile technology. You probably
missed a couple of weeks back when I reported that Commerce
Secretary Gary Locke was in China with quietly issued Obama
permission to hand over more missile technology? Not that
Obama's the first mind you; the Bushies were in the same boat.
Such is the power of blackmail.
gets us to an old saying: "You can never pay off a
blackmailer." THE most important story of this week was
carried Wednesday when bond traders were sleeping in: "China
central changes wording on Yuan policy".
We must be running out of trading stock, huh?
week, president Obama heads to China for his first visit there.
I'm expecting that China will essentially hand him a shopping
list of demands and Obama like Clint6on and Bush before him,
will put on his best repartee.
the bottom line, behind all the hoopla is that the US dollar
seems heading in the same direction as Zimbabwe's old
100-trillion Z dollar notes.
might take a while longer, but as you watch the price of gold
making new highs, remember that gold's not going up. What
you're seeing is the dollar coming down.
the dollar rally for a while? Sure - but the rally I was
expecting to start around October 26th was a lot weaker than I
expected - although maybe the little rally going on this morning
will turn into something. But regardless of the short
term, longer term compound interest wins and inflation is the
Barrick has shut its gold hedge book 'as world gold supply runs
out' should be a hint. But here's the thing:
It's not entirely run out yet.
talking to one of Elaine's boys yesterday (electrician up in the
Telluride/Delta area of Colorado) and he mentioned in passing
that the big gold mine up that way is still closed. When
that reopens, then I'll start to take the "gold runs out'
stories more seriously. Expect it will reopen when
economics of production improve.
the Labor folks:
"In the week ending Nov. 7, the advance figure for
seasonally adjusted initial claims was 502,000, a decrease
of 12,000 from the previous week's revised figure of
514,000. The 4-week moving average was 519,750, a decrease
of 4,500 from the previous week's revised average of
green shoot or no one left to fire? We report, you
something or other...
Keep an Eye on Ukraine
Although there have been a lot of reports that the outbreak of
'whatever' in Ukraine is something other than swine flu and a
lot of panic, the stories from the mainstream have - at least
until this morning - pretty much closed off that possibility.
But, a careful read this morning is starting to open a few doors
to new possibilities.
for example this Reuter's story under the headline "Ukraine
PM accuses Yushchenko over H1N1 swine flu". All of
which sounds just swine until you get to looking at the cited
total of 189 people have died in the outbreak, the health
Then in the next paragraph "The toll included 17 deaths from
the H1N1 flu, First Deputy Health Minister Vasily
Lazorishinets told journalists."
I'm not saying for sure that something else/big is going
on here, but by my arithmetic, that would leave 171 dead people
to be explained.
strange way, this whole flu thing is filling out the linguistics
for this period - the 'ill winds' aspect of things, the economic
impacts, and the fact that it's not US-centric - it's really out
in GlobalPop. The declaration by the Obama administration
(October 25th) was bang on time-wise, and since then we've
seen building tensions globally although not so much
noticed by the MSM.
Wouldn't be the first time the linguistics have painted a more
dire picture of events in advance that actually come to pass,
nor will is likely be the last since another report is in the
offing for mid-Decembers tentatively.
Whether pandemic 'flu'/hemorrhagic whatever is "IT", or whether
we'll finally get around to seeing an attack on Iran's nuclear
facilities should become clear over the next week, or so.
Since Ukraine is already under martial law, a generalized spread
of hemorrhagic whatever popping up in other countries, which
could bring serious restriction on air travel, particularly of
the intercontinental sort, is something worth at least keeping
an eye on in terms of future developments.
meantime, was the
on the agenda as the prime minister and president of Israel met
in Washington with president Obama Monday.
reader sends this:
web bot hit from The shape of things report volume 0 issue
1. The first sign of revolt will be the President's
declining poll numbers."
Rasmussen Reports daily tracking poll show only 30% strongly
agree that president Obama's doing a good job. Guess
the rest of us are waiting for change.
notion that Obama's presidency would somehow improve race
relations may be illusion
as a bar fight in New York seems to underscore.
Dobbs Moves On
watched Lou Dobbs history ever since his stint at KING-TV in
Seattle where I was newsing at the same time (Seattle, not
Part of me is sorry to see him leave CNN - where he was
usually on the same side of issues (e.g. the reasonable/rational
side) as I tend toward.
other part of me is hopeful that Dobbs will get serious about
making some real change happen in this country; the
change we were promised by the democorps has been long on wind
and short on delivery. Could Dobbs be the one that takes a
run at high office and actually makes it? We should be so
Cuba is going through huge energy cuts due to a failing economy.
You'd think the country's leadership would have learned a thing
or two, but in case they need a reminder here it is: Communism
Failed in the Soviet Union...so why would Cuba be any different?
snip and save section ---
With Strange Radio Sounds
another reader has chimed in on our discussion of strange noises
(other than cell phones) coming out of radio speakers:
"Hi George! :-)
I too have been plagued with 'code' from my computer
speakers, but I finally figured out what it was (took me a
couple days though ha). Bear hunters (we're in the boonies)
and whatever communications device they use (CB, etc), was
interfering with them. Was looking out my window one day
while they were driving by, saw them talking on something
then whamo, out of my speakers comes that "code" that had
been driving me nuts for the past week. Such a simple thing!
Then there was this:
I'm not from 'Bama... But I'm willing to bet that the reader
that sent in his experience with his cell phone has an AT&T
phone (or Tracphone, or any other GSM-850 phone). This is
typical for these devices to cause RF interference with
anything near them. We just happen to hear it because the
harmonics of the interference are within the range of normal
There is no "satellite" communication going on with these
phones... It's all between the phone itself, the towers and
the switching office. And yes, you can tell if you're about
to receive a call if you have your phone next to, say, your
computer speakers. It will start the "codes" and shortly
thereafter the phone will ring. The same is true for
texting, or even the routine communications between the
phone and the tower. There is ALWAYS a small amount of
traffic between the phone and the system as long as the
phone is ON... Imagine the system is asking your phone "are
you still there?" and your phone either replies with "yes,
I'm here" or the system gets no reply. If no reply, calls
to your phone are more quickly routed to your voicemail
instead of trying to ring a phone that is "unavailable".
This "morse code sound" doesn't happen with Verizon or
Sprint phones since they use CDMA, not GSM. OK, I should
say we just can't hear it, since all RF causes interference
However, these technologies have been blended into a new
And that is developing into LTE:
If you're interested, I can give you a rant on the old
analog cellular technology...
But that rant goes off on another tangent..."
Meantime, our reader in Alabama with the 'mystery code' has a
recorder ready for next time it shows up - and no, it was NOT a
cell phone. Reader happens to be quite computer savvy and
ruled that one out right away. We continue tracking
Sarbanes and Servers
other day I was just thinking out loud that not keeping server
logs would be an easy way to prevent too much collection of
people's ID & IP info. Got a couple of very good replies
RE: "legal requirement to
maintain server logs," consider a corporate officer in a
commercial (public) or financial trading institution,
accessing corporate accounts from a laptop computer using a
VPN (virtual private network) or similar enterprise system
remote entry process.
The 2002 Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX)
Act requires all corporations to log all FTP server
activity, then report on that activity, which requires a
"maintained server log." The log lets one recreate a
sequence of changes to the database in case of a system
crash or other problem, and to validate the legality of each
activity affecting account value. The system must thus
Capture Client-Server connections and activities related to
the storage and transfer of files, and maintain a managed
backup of those log files.
Log files can provide
information on logon success or failure; system file read,
write or delete; host session status; and account
management. These logs provide a trail for forensic
investigation. Section 802 of SOX mandates that records,
including system logs, are maintained for seven years after
an auditor concludes an audit.
SOX applies to all public
company boards, but not private ones."
Upshot of it seems to be that private entities could just not
keep server logs - and thus - nothing to produce if subpoenaed.
I know, too simple, LOL.
Brazil Is Not Alone
...when it comes to power outages, says a reader in Ecuador:
Brazil is certainly not the only
country suffering blackouts in South America. Here in
Ecuador we have been twice a day electric outages for the
past week, and no one seems to be all that upset. The
electricity goes out promptly at 6:00AM and turns back on
approximately three hours later. Depending upon usage, there
might be another outage in the early evening for an hour.
All of this to relieve the burden on our inefficient
electrical grid system due to a lack of power generation. As
it is, a good percentage of our electric needs are imported
from Columbia, and they are beginning to have problems, too.
Our one hydroelectric power
plant is located in Cuenca in the Northern part of the
country, where there is a continuing draught caused by a
lack of rainfall. This is normally our "Rainy Season", but
El Nino has decided to visit our coast changing the weather
patterns. The gov'ment informs us that we may have these
residential blackouts for up to six month, if the climate
doesn't change. Hm-mmm, sounds like preparation training for
2012 to me.
The point is that all of us
simply do a "work-around" to fit the circumstances. Everyone
in the country now seems to arise with the sun at 5:30AM, to
make their coffee, cook their breakfast and use what
appliances are absolutely necessary. No big deal. Since I'm
prone to oversleeping now and then, I've had to learn how to
make "camp coffee" with candle heat, if I need my caffeine
hit. Food doesn't spoil in three hours and there is still
good fresh water to drink. And most importantly, there has
been NO reported increase in crime within this wonderfully
safe and peaceful country. Maybe that's why they call the
place where I live the Valley of Longevity."
Science has a different idea: You only think it's
longevity because the clocks weren't running much of the
time....it's always later than we think...just sayin'...
Several readers have asked me if there is a Big Worry in all the
mortgage resets coming next year after reading the headline "US
foreclosure filings surpass 300,000 for 8th straight month."
Although I am a management geek by trade, not an economist, I
have nevertheless mastered the fine art of talking out of both
sides of my mouth; to wit:
there's nothing to worry about because most of the rates will
reset to at - and in a good number of cases actually lower than
where they are now.
Yes, because no one will have a job.
There: See see how much clarity that brought to your life?
A Proud Fathering Note
Every so often someone sends me an email demanding I 'put more
good news in your column'...so when my son did a ride-along with
Medic One up in Seattle yesterday as part of his EMT recert, I
thought it would be interesting for him to write something up on
it - you know, some of the hints that our medically focused
readers might find useful.
after saying - in so many words - that Medic One has already
been written up in all kinds of places and just keeps getting
better all the time, he shared this:
"I can't sit and rewrite a story about a program we all know
works, that does not appeal to me in the least.
But what I dream about is being
the guy with the vision and making it happen.
For example taking some of medic
ones tactics and some of my own and making a rural fire
department have a kick ass BLS response team that causes
lives to be saved. Then take that same recipe to other
I remember you teaching me all
about the lily pads and thinking in ways of the “George Ure
SR. recipe work the system” way of doing things. Well good
news your teachings have worked.
I just want to get out and do it
because I need to serve something much greater then myself
that helps people and in turn if I am doing that I am also
helping me because I am only happy when I am doing such
Write back to me tell me what
wrote him back to told him he was a genius - and one with focus
at that - and that a thoughtful note from son to father like
this makes me proud as hell. (don't think he'll mind me
"What about the lily pads?" you're wondering..."What's that part
The lily pad theory is one I don't think I've shared before but
it goes something like this: If you envision a possible
future...and can get a really clear vision of it, then it's only
a simple matter of working backwards to figure out the steps to
Just like a frog sitting on a log in the middle of a pond:
He sees his objective is getting to shore where the bug hunting
might be better. From the moment he sets his little froggy-sized
brain on "get to shore", something almost automatically happens
when it comes to the jumping. Without too much thought to
the matter, he simply picks out the best set of lily pads to
land on to get him to his objective.
Like my 'recipe system of learning' - which empowers me (and
you, too) to do anything by simply finding the
'recipe' for it - so too, the "lily pads to the desired future"
concept should be incredibly obvious.
it's not. All too often it's so much 'taken for granted'
that it's not stated and that's how a lot of plain common
sense gets lost between the generations. The simple
stories, and information framing concepts are the keys and few
people spend much time figuring out 'how they frame' things in
their heads. Get the framing tools right and the world
changes - to the good.
my son is learning, once you empower yourself to learn and do
anything and once you get the lily pad approach to the
future worked out, then you can become a powerful agent for
change in the direction of your personal vision of the future.
Oh, and you also wake up a bit more.
Wednesday November 11, 2009
Call It A Half Day
you're just waking up this morning - and it's the usual time,
too bad for you that you don't have one of those GS-whatever
levels jobs in the
federal government since this is Veterans Day and a holiday
for many government types besides federal.
good news about the mail is bills won't be coming. The bad
news about the mail is that if yoiu leave it in your box to be
picked up - after scraping together a house or car payment, that
won't be picked up today. Oh - and I guess that "You may
have won!" notice from Publisher's Clearinghouse won't be
arriving today, either, come to study on it.
most states - we'll pick Missouri for our example of the day
since I haven't picked on the square staters for a while -
things like state offices are closed, too.
Schools, on the other hand, will be open - or not -
depending on district.
stock market will be open today, but my bond-trading friends
will be running up flags at home presumably because the bond
market is closed.
Doesn't hardly seem fair to me that the bond traders will get
the day off, but the logic is that if the feds are getting a day
off - which includes Treasury - then why go to work? And
then - because there's no one to pass troubled assets off to,
the banks (for the most part) will be closed.
Probably the highlight of the day is that we'll see banks closed
by something other than the FDIC today...trying to put a
positive spin on things.
traders have distinctly not taken the day off with gold
up more than $10 earlier - which applying the 'Ure ratio'
suggests that that a Dow rally of a hundred points, or so, may
be in the works. Why, with the feds off (in a manner of
speaking ;-)) ) who's going to throw cold water on euphoria?
couple of major insights usually come from Veteran's Day.
First is that I've always held that if you give someone a day
off to 'observe' something, then they ought to be honor (if not
legally) bound to do some observing. I don't mind
the bond traders and bankers that get the day off, but it they
aren't laying flowers on graves, showing up at a parade, or in
some other way honoring those who have paid freedom's highest
price, the WTF are they getting the day off for?
same token, I reckon that if folks get Martin Luther King day
off, of President's Day, or Labor Day, they should actually
observe and honor. Not that I'm against taking time
off, but just pick one, how much honoring of the labor
movement actually gets done on Labor Day?
has always been more than a little suspect since it originated
in Canada, a country known for shameless torpedoing of a
single national language. Other than the NHL players,
timber, and time off, well....we shouldn't go there. My
older sister lives in Canada and she's managed to retire while I
haven't so maybe Canada isn't so bad.
other notes on this "half day": If you like to gamble (and
if you have a 401(k) you're gambling, whether you'll own up to
it, or not) this is a fine day to play parking meter roulette.
You drive to a city with parking meters, don't feed the meter,
and see if you get a ticket. If you're a winner - no
ticket. If you're a loser, you ought to learn to read
final point to be made about this 'half day' is to notice how
smoothly everything runs. Most of government shuts down
and the working people that are really where the 'rubber meets
the road' (fire, police, air traffic, paramedics, etc.) still
get their jobs done. But there's less - you know -
overhead. All of which gets me to thinking we could cut
the cost of government in half my reducing its hours to three
days a week, so the rest of us could get stuff done.
when backs of envelopes were used for bond figuring bond trading
took time. But with point & shoot spreadsheets? And
federal offices? How about we make a little side bet they
can overspend as much in three days as five?
Not So Free Speech?
There's a very interesting story developing about a federal
grand jury which is apparently trying to compel a web site (www.indymedia.us)
to produce all
kinds of records about people that visit its web site on one
particular day in 2008. Apparently the request was
withdrawn, but that leaves a very interesting question about
what was the DOJ looking for?
Electronic Frontier Foundation has been watching the development
of something called ACTA - the anti-counterfeiting trade
agreement, which its web site suggests is a "Secret
Global Deal Targets Internet".
has to wonder if the web site was being targeted over some
copyright issue, or whether the DOJ (this was during the Bush
era, BTW) was simply trying to do 'intelligence' gathering on
what the unbrainwashed folks were up to. We may never
you get some time, read "From
EFF's Secret Files: Anatomy of a Bogus Subpoena."
s a simple answer to this kind of government intrusion - I
think: Seems like the 'fishing' is based on the existence
of 'log files' which are generated by operating systems.
didn't hear this from me, but I am not aware of any legal
requirement to maintain server logs. Could be ignorance on
my part, I'll let you know what I hear back.
problem with not keeping server logs is this: A lot of
the internet traffic ranking system is built around server logs.
Ranking services routinely send out spiders that sample logs and
come up with traffic reports. Without those logs, how
would traffic be counted? And no telling how much of what
goes on over the internet is sniffed out by phone company
tie-ups with big phone companies, but that's another discussion
for a different day.
whole area continues to hold my attention, however, since it was
in the middle of the first Depression that government seized
control for itself over the airwaves via the Communications Act
- and no reason to expect any other channels of communication
that happen along wouldn't be seized in this one.
America's a 'free country' but only just so free,
think America is really free - try speeding sometime. The
yoke is there, whether folks care to see it or not.
Speaking of Yokes
of talk has been surfacing around this whole 'jail time for
failure to have health insurance' boondoggle that's up for a
bloody fight in the senate shortly. What's bothering me is
that president Obama is widely quoted as saying “penalties
are appropriate for people who try to free ride the system and
force others to pay for their health insurance."
to respectfully disagree here: If someone is not able to
afford healthcare, rather than throw them in jail, the
administration ought to work on positive reinforcement
rather than the jackboots approach: Get folks jobs
that come with health insurance.
that a little too simple? Criminees sakes: Next we'll have
return following Brazilian blackout" is an interesting story
to read because it serves as a kind of grim reminder that life
without electricity can get pretty dicey pretty quickly.
Making coffee, just for instance... I trust you've got a
camp stove an a percolator, yeah?
Wide Ranging Pirates
Something about the report that
"Pirates seize Greek vessel off Seychelles" didn't sound
right, so I hauled out the maps this morning.
report says the vessel was seize 607 miles (513 nautical) north
of the island group. That would imply that the
pirates if based in Somalia or Ethiopia were ranging almost 800
miles out. A half-circle on that kind of range is 800,000
square miles of ocean to patrol and that's some kind of ocean
to love the headline on CNN: "Golf
balls: 'Humanity's signature litter."
But I'd offer that paper money is the signature litter: It
don't seem to last more than 80-years, or so, at a stretch
without being retooled would be my candidate. The whole
notion of usury and depreciating value is at the core of planned
obsolescence and in turn low quality goods that swell landfills
to overflowing. And through inflation, people are robbed
of their savings which in turn fills to pockets of the owners of
the means of production.
want to be rich: Make junk and sells lots of it. Over and over
have been really slow - to verging on dumb - figuring out that
if we were focused on quality as a species, we'd all more time
to pursue self-improvement and self-discovery.
maybe that's really the plan: To prevent just that?
snip and save section ---
Getting on down the road toward 2012 seems to be concurrent with
a rise in movies that could be a serious bummer for those folks
that just want to get along with life. The
NY Times site has a trailer for the new movie Collapse, for
on Friday we get the answer to the question "Who
will survive 2012" The answer - if you haven't already
guessed - is not many. That is, if the 2012'ers are
problem is that even if the 2012'ers are not right, there
is still the whole problem which "Collapse" brings up - and it's
a nasty one: All it takes is a major spike in oil
prices/shortfall in supplies due to whatever and the
'civilized world' (whatever that is) could just simply begin to
like a fine time to be working on the fine art of detachment:
Not getting too involved (if at all) in the left-right political
game. Focusing instead on food, shelter, and being away
from crowds. Pay the taxes, drive within the speed limit,
and generally maintain a low profile. At some level
there's a real threat that global system collapse will show up
despite best efforts of a power & control structure to work it
for their own ends, the simple strategy now in play is 'get
over the next couple of weeks I've got these two movies on my
"must see" list. But will either change my personal plans?
Unlikely. If - after seeing both and doing some reading
about 2012 and independently researching - you choose to make
changes in your lifestyle and personal plans I reckon that would
be a good thing.
simple guiding principle of life is don't try too hard to
win...but try really hard not to lose.
crop circles hold information way beyond our present level of
schematics on how to building machines? You gotta see this
to keep up, read the story "Vatican
looks to heavens for signs of alien life." This from
the folks who locked up Galileo?
Morse Code - Oh Doh!
Yesterday's report on electronic interference had a huge hole in
it: Forgot about cells phones since I swore off the damn
things as 'electronic dog leashes.
"Good afternoon George:
First, I would like to say that
I have recently discovered your site and that it has since
become a morning routine to read your daily newsletter. I
appreciate both the commentary and comedy that you provide
on a daily basis; it makes the working day a little more
tolerable, so THANK YOU!
I just read your post, or rather
another readers email that you had posted about getting a "morse
code" sound out of her computer speakers. I too had
experienced something similar to this recently, and your
explanation of long wave radio navigation or ham radio
interference was something that never occurred to me ( I am
NO electronics expert be any stretch of the imagination). I
did however find the source of my problem. The culprit was
my cell phone and its proximity to my computer and alarm
clock. I find that if I have it in my pocket when I am near
my computer or set it down on the computer desk or night
stand next to the alarm clock, that I get a continuous mild
static hiss with random bursts of what sounds like "morse
code". What I found even more interesting after
experimenting was that after I set the phone near the alarm
clock (I get a stronger "signal" sound from the alarm clock)
I would get an extremely violent burst of "morse code"
seconds before the phone would ring. I would get bursts at
random points without the phone ringing as well but not as
strong as when the phone actually did ring. I can only guess
that maybe these other random bursts are updates being sent
to my phone via satellite? I don't know, like I said
electronics are not my strong suite. I have not looked into
this any further as I found a solution that works for me
(keep the phone away from the computer and alarm clock), the
post just had me thinking about it again. Maybe you know
about this kind of thing already? Any thoughts? Any
plausibility to cell phone interference being the problem?
Anyway, thanks again for all the
work you do, I really enjoy reading your daily newsletter!
Yeah...damn silly oversight on my
part: Yes cell phones talk to cell towers so they know
which cell they should be listening to...and even if you're not
actively using the phone they will 'ping' so the cell system
knows if you are still in ring range - otherwise they shunt off
to voicemail and such.
Will let you know what I hear back
from the reader in 'Bama.
Web Hosting Deals On
Birthday deal at emwd.com is on today...Click
here to check prices & sign up. Discount codes
B-DAY01 - to receive 40% off a
new domain name
B-DAY02 - to receive 40% off any
of our hosting packages except our mailman service.
mentioned yesterday about how the Bovespa was crazy
out-performing the Dow. Seems it's not the
hemline/miniskirt flap says a reader from Brazil:
"This one is easy George. I happen to be in Sao Paolo this
week, and today we had a meeting @BOVESPA with their IT
Infrastructure and Performance Management group to start a
project. Brazilians are enjoying a "War Free" environment,
with self-sufficient amounts of Petroleum products (and
daily new findings off Rio) + a very strict taxing system,
where corporations and individuals alike have to file and
pay every month (incredible cash flows into their Treasury
kitties). There you have it. if the US starts by eliminating
at least one War, well you have those numbers...
Monthly tax filings? You know that's not a bad idea.
Makes more sense than...oh...throwing people in jail for not
having insurance, huh?
Tuesday November 10, 2009
What Goes Up
Tyler Durden piece over at Zerohedge.com tipped by a reader
Monday is a fine place to begin a Tuesday morning conversation
about "How frigging crazy are we?"
answer (looked surprised, OK?) is very crazy, manic, irrational,
and insane - but thanks for asking. The behavior of
markets is nothing more than numerical evidence of something we
all know deep down inside anyway; we just don't like to talk
Durden article makes the case that we're in a market now which
sees the "S&P
Price Oscillator is three Standard Deviations from Mean: 99%
outlier Market." Or, if the coffee hasn't sunk in yet, the
market's in a 1-in-a-hundred kind of rally.
modest pullback in gold in the early going indicating perhaps a
soft start to the Dow today, we have to start looking for my
(still expected) decline back to a test of the March 2009 lows
around Dow 6,627 before the one final run up till
August/September of 2010 which now seems like the time when
widespread recognition of the Second Depression ought to be
one of the drivers to be watching: I was talking to one of
my sources who's pretty well 'plugged-in' to the commercial real
estate market. "You know George, I've got one client who
is a national retailer who has just negotiated a zero rent
deal because the landlords are becoming so desperate to keep
big-name tenants in operation...because when anchor tenants go,
the traffic count drops and the remaining stores in a strip get
upside down and the owners then find their properties in a
downward spiral. So what we're seeing is a lot of the
anchor tenants are renegotiating great deals..."
that is, if you don't own commercial real estate. And I'm
not talking the BIG malls - I'm talking the smaller strip kinds
these huge rewrites of rents start rolling in to cash flows
happens in early 2010, that will probably add to the woes of
commercial real estate which tends to be a lagging sector.
Big Picture to keep in mind here is that when you see deals like
Warren Buffett buying things like railroads, there's a
better-than-even-chance that he is buying because it's a 'fixed
asset play' that's much more resilient than owning malls,
strips, and so forth.
kicked around "Why would he buy 100% of Burlington?"
he is apparently planning to sell off his Union Pacific and
Norfolk Southern rail pieces in order to own 100% of BN.
source and came to appreciate that by taking BN 100% under the
Berkshire umbrella, Buffett's outfit would not have to report
its rail operations separately. Thus, because the
Interstate Commerce Commission is hardly regulating much of
anything (except safety issues, driver hours and such) that
would give Berkshire an opportunity to play poker essentially
with other players while never having to show their hand.
once again - it's a sheer genius move by Buffett: He's
buying this huge inflation hedge since the replacement
cost of all the rail stock and real estate under BN tracks has
to be worth probably somewhere in the trillions.
yesterday's column I talked about my
'poor man's fixed assets' project: Machine tools for
the shop here at the ranch, a tractor that's only 3-years old
with only 220 hours on it, a collectable old air cooled sports
car, and having no credit card debt plus enough real estate
that's paid for such that as global synchronized inflation
comes along, our fixed assets replacement costs ought to zoom
such that my next year (summertime) we can unload a few things
having gotten desired use out of them, recoup probably our
purchase price and maybe then some. No, it's not a
railroad, but it's a start.
like Buffett's plan is in a sense the same thing, except he gets
to play engineer on a big railroad and I have to be satisfied
with a smooth-shifting five speed. He gets to move more
zeroes around, for sure.
Probably the reason Buffett has so much more money than me is
that I've wasted a lot of personal resources on projects like
learning to fly airplanes, whereas Buffett had the good sense &
focus to just make oodles of money and hire the plane and pilot.
To each his own; Life seems like a tradeoff between focus and
fun all too often.
suppose we could go through lots of technical discussion about
why this market is overbought, but the simple part is that the
turn down can come any time, or we could rally north of 10,500.
Arguing against going too much higher are indicators like the
German investor confidence is falling, and the HR department
Lloyds bank rolling grenades on 5,000 more workers.
making the case for 'synchronized global inflation' is the drop
in the pound today as
Fitch said - in some many words, that the British credit rating
is more at risk than ours.
you've played the rally since March, "Get thee to the sidelines"
seems like a fair approach. Especially since we're now in
1% country as Durden's work points out. As usual, this is
NOT FINANCIAL ADVICE. Think of it like...oh... financial
suicide prevention comes to mind...
Got What We Came For
the headline "Iraqi Cabinet approves Exxon-Shell oil deal" mean
we can send fewer troops to the sandbox?
you wish? Nope: Word is
Obama is sending another 40,000 troops to Afghanistan.
BBC News Magazine has a rather interesting article seeing as I'm
$275 gold Gordo fan: "How
does Brown's handwriting compare with other PMs" they ask.
at least he can write...that's...er...reassuring.
Speaking of the BBC
Journalism at its finest here: BBC has also been covering
adventures of a female college student who was kicked out of
school for wearing a mini skirt. She's been readmitted
to school, they report - but that's just a good starting point
to a finely honed investigative journalist like...ahem.....
"You're going for a bad pun...like 'Built like a BRIC________'?"
anything so gauche! This is a serious (or nearly so)
financial news & comment site, after all.
the BBC story launches us into a discussion on the application
of hemline theory. You know - the one that says as
go hemlines, so go markets. Hemlines going up should mean
strong rally and upward movement while ankle-length attire would
indicator declines or Depression.
click here you can see a comparison of how the Sao Paulo Bovespa
stock has done over the past year compared with the Dow.
Dow is up something like 7% while the Bovespa is up around
75-80%. Conclusion: If our government is so damn
smart...why aren't they promoting miniskirts to get the economy
rolling again, huh? Look what it's doing in Brazil!
Rainy Night in Georgia
Brook Benton - just knowing that likely makes you a Boomer,
Tropical storm Ida is what we're talking about..
Looking at the weather radar for Atlanta today the drought seems
so long ago and far away....
snip and save section ---
With Hearing Voices
readers some time back mentioned that they had been hearing
voices. Not some kind of disembodied far away stuff,
either. These were 'just like were standing there' voices.
This morning, a follow-on piece to noodle:
I’ve been reading your site for
a while now and I remember seeing a few entries about people
hearing voices. My husband and I didn’t think too much about
the voices as we live in a house that, let’s just say has a
lot of otherworld activity so hearing voices is nothing new
to us. For the past two weeks I have been hearing something
in our house that I hadn’t mentioned to my husband before
until 4 days ago when I realized what the sound was.
I have a separate computer on my
desk that I use to connect to work and every so many minutes
the speakers will start squawking and that squawk sounds
like Morse code. I really need to redo this machine and
replace the speakers but I just haven’t gotten around to it
yet. I’m sure that most everyone in the world knows what
Morse code is and some may even have played around with it
in the past. I know as a child of about 8 or 9 years old, my
uncle gave me a book and a device to learn Morse code but
that was the only time in my life that I had ever used or
even gave a second thought to this very old technology.
Bear with me as I am setting the
scene for what happened next. While we were sitting on the
sofa, the familiar tones started resounding. I looked over
at my husband and asked him if he heard the noise and his
reply was yes. We both think that this unusual sound is from
a bird. To rule out any other interference we made sure and
closed the door to our computer room which sits way off of
the living room. The sound the speakers make can only be
heard if you are in the computer room. Ok, I’m not going
crazy. Now at least what I heard was experienced by someone
other than myself.
We are currently living in
Madison, Alabama and have been here for almost 4 years now.
We have lived in the same house since we got here so no
change in local. We have a lot of animal and bird activity
around our neighborhood but have never heard this strange
sound before. This sound just started happening about 2
weeks ago. I have searched the internet for birds of this
area that have calls that sound like Morse code but have
come up empty handed. I did run across a frog that is from
Alabama that makes sounds like Morse code but when it
displayed the map of where the frogs are located, you got
it, it’s not the area I am living in.
Now for the Woo Woo portion of
the email. Being of Native American decent, animals and
plant life have always held a special place in how I live my
life day to day. I believe that if an animal shows up, that
it also has special meaning about what is currently going on
in your life or for what is to come. Each animal and insect
have a meaning and if one shows up it could be that they are
trying to tell you something. My husband suggested that I
try and decipher the code and see if it says anything. My
Morse code skills are surely lacking since it’s been years
since I messed with Morse code. This weekend we are going to
get a recording device and I will see what I can come up
with. How weird would it be though if I decoded the sounds
and it really contain a message. I find it quite odd that in
the 4 years we have been here that this is the first time we
have ever heard this sound before. I will have to let you
know if I come up with anything other than gibberish if I
can recall the Morse code.
have a cassette recorder and can send along a tape, I'd be glad
to interpret it - since I'm a member of
FISTS - the International Morse
Code Preservation Society. Honestly, I expect that
when you send the tape (or copy it yourself and play back what's
being sent), you'll find that it's a local longwave radio
navigation system being picked up by your computer's audio
system or a ham radio operator working CW (continuous
wave/Morse) nearby. A lot of ham radio types have had to
become very stealthy in their antenna building due to community
restrictions in some parts of the country so you wouldn't
necessarily notice a nearby ham.
However, hams don't use modulated carriers to do CW - so
if a ham was at fault you probably would NOT hear tones.
you are hearing tones, I dragged out the best woo-woo
tools I own and put them to work on your problem:
Microsoft Streets & Trips and
Knowing that both VOR and longwave radio beacons still use
modulated CW, I clicked around Madison Alabama for about
1-second before discovering that you are probably within 4 miles
of the Huntsville/Madison County International Airport.
Putting in Huntsville International we find one each Carl T.
Jones Field (KHSV) 4.1 miles south of Madison so we look for
nearby radio navigation aids. Our suspects are the VOR
stations (lower probability due to higher frequency - and that's
a longer discussion of why best held for another day):
And my primary
suspects would be the NDB (nondirectional beacons/longwave) at:
|| .... ..- .-
|| -.-. .-- ....
|| -.-. .--. .--.
|| - -. -.--
|| .- .-. ..-.
first question is: Does there seem to be a repeating
pattern? If the code is there most of the time and is
repeating, then odds would favor the navigation beacon.
If it is once per hour, or a few times an hour, then you may
have a VHF or UHF repeater located on a nearby water tower (or
other high place owned by local government or a ham club) that
you're picking up. I expect there would be few - if any -
really high towers in Madison, since the city is 5-miles north
of what looks like runways 36 (left traffic) at Huntsville
Regional. Get a fair bit of jet noise out there?
the most likely explanation. If it was clicking
instead of Morse-sounding, then things would be interesting
because clicking (the old Continental code) and such was a part
of the bygone days when tones were not 'copied" - it was the
difference in clicks of a DC powered annunciator. Then we
could have had time tunnels/time warps - magical vortex to
another time - you know - the fun stuff.
but my money's on a new repeater going up nearby for government
or ham use, or you're near the Redstone beacon 5.7 miles west of
the airport or up by Cole Spring NDB which would be just east 9º
of due north 16.3 miles north of the airport, which would put
your home 11-12 miles north of Madison?
how much fun this is? Ham radio has a whole subgroup
within the ham radio culture that does hidden transmitter hunts.
Back in the old days we called these 'bunny hunts'.
Best-ever 'bunny hunting" story? Back in the mid 1960's up
in the Seattle area we were having a 'bunny hunt" one rainy
Friday night and hams from all over the Seattle area were
participating. Maybe 20 in all. The "bunny" station
decided to pull one of the meanest, nastiest tricks ever.
The 'bunny' hid next to the railroad tracks in Edmonds,
Washington and used the rails as a ground!
Since radio waves tend to follow nearly perfect grounds (and the
tracks next to the water along Puget Sound are nearly
perfect), every time someone got near the tracks they would
think "Aha! I've got you know you wraskly wabbit!"
In fact, along about midnight we finally had to tell the people
who were walking up the tracks 15-miles south of the bunny that
they were a little off in their calculations. Such being
the joys of hiding a transmitter down on the low frequency
bands. 2-meter & VHF bunny hunts? b-o-r-i-n-g....
Say, did this morning's report just turn into a book on ham
The Real Deal on Web Hosting
Once a year I'm please to pass on this from my hosting provider
"Dear EMWD Client:
Nov 15th will be my 42nd
birthday. Now that I am over the hill, I realize life after
40 is not so bad. To celebrate my new outlook on life, I am
offering a very generous 40% discount on all new domain and
new web hosting packages. This discount is for the life of
the package. This is an incredible deal and should be taken
full advantage of.
The sale will be on Thursday,
Nov 12th, and Friday, Nov 13th. Please mark your calendar.
We would like to request that
you use all available means to promote our sale such as
posting it on your web site, blog, etc. As an incentive, we
will be giving a free month of web hosting for every 3 of
your referrals that sign up during this sale. That means if
you refer 9 new customers to us during our sale, you will
receive 3 free months of web hosting. Please be sure to pass
on to them the following coupon codes:
B-DAY01 - to receive 40% off a
new domain name
B-DAY02 - to receive 40% off any
of our hosting packages except our mailman service.
Please keep in mind that the
above coupon codes will only be valid on Nov 12th and 13th.
The discount is also good for domain name transfers.
appreciated all of your business and friendships through the
years, and I look forward to serving you in the years to
Remember this is on Thursday and Friday only, but start looking
at hosting plans and such now - Click
here to check prices & sign up.
this year, UrbanSurvival has served up almost 15-million pages
with almost no glitches - a few are going to happen no matter
what - that's just how the law of large numbers work. In
October Urban passed 337 GB of bandwidth to just under a million
I'm not sure of is whether those numbers should give me faith
that America has that many reasonable, intelligent, and light
hearted people who haven't been dumbed down completely yet, or
whether it's evidence that we're in a whole heap-o-trouble.
Still pondering that one.
November 9, 2009
You Know It's A Bad Day When...
wake up, it's Monday, and the US dollar is worth 0.666 of a
Euro. Of course, it was only there for a few minutes, but still,
it makes a thinking person wonder "What's up?" I mean
besides the price of gold which was handily through the $1,100
barrier earlier this morning.
Usually, when gold is up, so is the Dow. Thus a
continuation of last week's rally seems in the cards for this
week to the 10,300 to 10,500 range, but beyond that is anyone's
guess. The problem is that once a dollar exodus is
underway the potential increases for the markets to become
'disorderly' and that's when the fireworks go off.
headline that "World
markets get a G-20 boost" because the money-meisters decided
this weekend to continue their economic stimulus plans may sound
like a non-event, but to my way of thinking it's an admission
that 1) they haven't printed enough money to jump-start the
economy yet so 2) they are continuing to orchestrate what is
best described as 'synchronized global inflation'.
have to work out the meaning of this to your own financial
statement, but imagine, if you will, that global inflation is
heading up at 10-15% over the next six months or so.
That's the kind of possibility to consider.
were in a house and its value had fallen 10-15%, it might come
back up a bit and therefore tempt you into not walking
away from a loan. If you've been holding back on buying a
big ticket item, global synchronized inflation will tempt you to
'buy now since prices are going up.
event, synchronized global inflation will keep the US dollar
from complete and utter collapse while at the same time dropping
our standard of living since magically wages won't keep up with
born again inflation. At the same time, it will moderate
the amount of goods that can be bought in countries like China
here the long-term strategy has been to buy as many long
term/big ticket goods as possible while interest rates were (and
are) at lows. Hence, a car loan from a Big Bank can
buy a decent car for say $20,000 at something less than 5%.
A couple of years from now, the inflation rates that are coming
as a consequence of global synchronized inflation might mean the
car will depreciate less rapidly on the one hand, while there
should be more dollars sloshing about if, and when, we get into
serious recovery mode -- which pardon my conspiratorial bent
here - ought to happen in time for the next presidential
people who voluntarily lowered their stand of living over the
past half dozen years may now be able to reap some benefits by
locking in low rates and seeing their paid-for goods actually
appreciate in some cases.
mentioned almost a year ago I was thinking about buying an old
(mid-80's) air-cooled Porsche because it might be a 'good
inflation hedge'. I had done this before in the very early
1980's when inflation was zooming along. There was so much
global inflation going on back then that the car I bought for
$6,500 fetched $7,500 at trade in time 4½
years later. Ignoring maintenance, the underlying car
actually appreciated in period I owned it.
Can you do the same kind of thing
today? This isn't financial advice, but it's an
interesting bet. If you think about what 20% global
inflation would do to imported car prices, one has to imagine
that as imported car prices go up 20% that the price of used
cars will be buoyed up.
Same thing is true in other hard
goods as well.
The Jet 9X20 metal lathe out in the
shop was in the $800-900 range when it arrived here about
3-years back. This morning I checked
prices and the new units have gone up to the $1,200-$1,350 range.
I can't tell you that machine tools
are as good an inflation hedge as gold because gold in the
period went up 70% and at best, the machine tooling went up only
50%, but you can kinda get the idea: Physical commodities
are the hedge when money-printers are afoot. Hence long
term investments in commodities look interesting and if the
economy doesn't completely implode housing may be cheap.
But it's still a bet with long
odds. If the market hits 10,400-500 and then drops down to
test the March lows either late this year or early next, there
may be one more good run-up in the market. That's when I'd
be unloading any physical good hedge positions and roll back
into bonds for what could be a humungous ride down.
But that's probably the biggest
financial story of the day - global synchronized inflation to
continue to kick-start the economy - it's what gold, machine
tools, and even collectible car prices seem to be telling us.
Wall Street ought to be moderately
higher for the week if my guess is right - and about the only
'biggie' due out should be the Balance of Trade figures on
Friday the 13th. CPI and whether synchronized global
inflation is apparent there yet is a crap shoot.
Related: An article by strategic
planner Bill Sharon under the heading "What Needs to Go Right"
that discusses how
gone from goods-trading people to money traders and a swing back
to goods could be something to think about...
Ida is likely to make landfall tomorrow morning along the
Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida coasts. The
southeast weather radar looks like pretty good rainfall
ought to be hitting the Florida pan handle later on this
You saw where there was
tornado in Lincoln City, Oregon this weekend?
Talk about terra changes...
Big Quakes Department
7.2 in Fiji this morning. If you
look at the plate map sure looks like something big is in
play all along the southern edge of the Pacific plate...
Interesting to see that China's
prime minister is pledging $10-billion in loans to Africa.
Making sure the Chinese food supply chain is intact long term,
The headline "India
limits media on contentious Dalai Lama trip" to a disputed
border area. When I sit back and think about China's
interest in Tibet and other high mountainous areas in that part
of the world I sit back and ask "Why?" Rumors have been
around seems like forever that there's some kind of "hall of
records" lost in the Himalayas, that there may be hidden hints
as to what's ahead in 2012...all that kind of stuff. Maybe
it's because there are some minerals up there, but China's
interest is enough to give one pause to wonder "Why?"
Iran's Bad 'Tude
Iran's latest attitude shift has
gotten some seriously negative press in Israel.
"Iran ignoring USA bid to salvage deal" points out the
Jerusalem Post this morning. There's
a report the US has not lost hope yet, although clearly
there's a sense in Israel of 'time running out'.
reportedly given its president authority to end fuel and other
subsidies to shift money into nuclear development in event
of Western sanctions.
I've argued many times that people
should come back from service in Washington with no more than
they had going back there...plus some adjustment for inflation -
using the CPI figures like the rest of us put up with for cost
of living adjustments.
So let's roll this morning with a
press release from the Center for Responsive Government which
reveals that 237 members of congress are millionaires:
Even members of Congress – many among the country's richest
people -- aren't impervious to the nation's economic
Current congressional members'
median wealth uncharacteristically dropped nearly 5 percent
in 2008 when compared to the prior year, a Center for
Responsive Politics analysis of federal personal financial
disclosure reports indicates.
But with 237 millionaires still
serving in Congress, most of the nation's leaders are doing
fine compared to many of their constituents living paycheck
by paycheck, if they're earning a paycheck at all.
About 1 percent of all Americans
are considered millionaires, while more than 44 percent of
congressional members claim that distinction. And 50 members
of Congress boast estimated wealth of at least $10 million.
"Generally speaking, members of
Congress are wealthy by comparison with the vast majority of
Americans. That doesn't mean they're immune to the effects
of this ailing economy -- they're not," said Sheila Krumholz,
the Center for Responsive Politics' executive director. "But
they are much better positioned to withstand financial
pressures than the people they represent."
U.S. senators currently serving
have a median reportable worth of $1.79 million for 2008,
down from $2.27 million in 2007, CRP's analysis indicates.
Meanwhile, currently serving House members' median income
was $622,254 in 2008, down from $724,258 in 2007.
This ends a notable run of
congressional wealth expansion.
In 2007, for example, members of
Congress then serving experienced a 13 percent increase in
wealth when compared to 2006. Congressional members
experienced similar year-over-year increases back to the
early part of this decade.
Among Congress' biggest
financial losers: Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.), John Kerry
(D-Mass.), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Mark Warner (D-Va.),
according to CRP's research. All experienced double-digit
percentage declines in their average, estimated wealth
between 2007 and 2008.
On the opposite end, however,
stand Sens. Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii), Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.),
James Inhofe (R-Okla.) and Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), who each
experienced sharp spikes in their reported wealth.
Many members of Congress
reported holding assets in companies that have come before
them for financial bailout money, such as Bank of America
and Goldman Sachs. Real estate holdings are the most popular
investments among congressional members. This is followed by
recreational and live entertainment entities – powered
almost entirely by Kohl's ownership of the Milwaukee Bucks
basketball team -- securities and farming.
But because members of Congress
are only required to report their wealth and liabilities in
broad ranges, it's impossible to precisely determine how
much value their assets are worth, or have gained or lost.
CRP determines the minimum and maximum possible asset values
for each member of Congress to calculate a member's average
Based on this criteria,
Democrats occupy the top five spots in terms of average
wealth among senators: Herb Kohl (D-Wis.), Warner, Kerry,
Jay Rockefeller (D-W. Va.) and Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.).
Kohl, in placing first, boasts an average wealth figure of
more than $214.5 million. In contrast, Max Baucus (D-Mont.)
and Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) recorded average wealth below
In the House, Rep. Darrell Issa
(R-Calif.) placed first, with an average wealth of $251
million – top among all members of Congress. Following Issa
are Reps. Jane Harman (D-Calif.) and Jared Polis (D-Colo.).
Twenty-three House members recorded average wealth in
negative territory, with Alcee Hastings (D-Fla.) and Harry
Teague (D-N.M.) scraping the bottom.
This may – or may not – mean
that these members are financially destitute. In addition to
only requiring congressional members to report their assets
in ranges, federal financial disclosures don't require
members of Congress to report certain assets such as
personal residences, which may represent significant stores
"Federal disclosure requirements
don't make it easy to determine the true extent of federal
politicians' personal holdings," said Dan Auble, who manages
CRP's database of lawmakers' personal financial information.
"More transparency regarding congressional members' personal
assets helps lawmakers make decisions in the interests of
their constituents and discourages them from attempting to
benefit from legislative actions."
CRP advocates electronic
submission of personal financial disclosure reports to
provide greater transparency and more meaningful access to
this valuable public data.
All interesting stuff except that
the real report I'd like to see as a taxpayer is what was
their net worth BEFORE they went to Washington and what does
that pencil out to?
The way politics (of the kind I
covered in my reporting days) works is simple -yet legal.
Say a congressman is on an important committee - like the XYZ
committee. A lobbyist with XYZ horse trades some
information with the lobbyist for the ABC industry. The
lobbyist for XYZ meets with the congressman and explains the
position of the XYZ industry and informally drops the hint that
ABC is a good thing to invest in. No conflict of interest,
because the congressman doesn't actually regulate XYZ - so this
is all nice & ethical. Or it's an investment hint plus a
promise of turning out XYZ industry workers to support the
congressman...that kind of stuff.
Which is why disclosure of net
worth before - and after - government service seems like a good
idea to me.
--- and save section ---
Coping: Growing Your
Marvelous email to share!
This totally rocks...
I've been following your site
for a couple of years. I really appreciate your mixture of
humor and doom - especially the really bad puns. Quite a few
bring a range of responses from a simple smile to a full
body guffaw. I've gotten quite a bit of good information
from your readers. Now, I finally have something to share.
One of the things you've been
stressing in these uncertain times is preparedness. Find the
weak point and work on that area. Once that is solved, move
on to the next weak point. Unexpected events can change the
landscape, so it is necessary to reevaluate frequently. It
is a constant battle.
I live on the outskirts of
Portland, OR, so I have 7 months of wet, 2 months of
semi-wet, and 3 months of mostly dry weather each year. Our
winters aren't too severe; however, we usually get enough
cold weather to keep coconuts from growing. It keeps the
killer bees and tropical diseases in check. Nonetheless, the
dreary conditions can exact a toll on the spirit. There is
nothing like a bunch of fresh vegetables to lift the spirits
when the gloomy weather sets in. At some point, they may not
always be available at the local grocery store.
Last year, I built a Solexx
After spending about 3 months researching, I settled on this
one because of the size, the light diffusion, easy cleaning,
and insulation. Looking back, it is a bit larger than I need
and a bit expensive, but I'm mostly happy with it so far -
insulation could be better and it needs external power to
get adequate ventilation (fans) in summer time; otherwise,
it gets too hot on long sunny days.
Here's the crux of this e-mail.
I needed to have pots for my plants. I had lots of 5 gallon
buckets available and thought that they might fit the bill.
The problem is that they have a big volume and small growing
top surface, therefore limiting the plants per bucket. I had
seen the topsy turvy planters
https://www.topsyturvy.com/ and wondered why
things wouldn't grow out the sides as well. I experimented
with drilled holes first in a few buckets; however, it only
worked (and minimally) with pre-sprouted seedlings. Big
holes allowed too much dirt to flow out and little holes
were too difficult to plant. Then, I wondered why a flap
wouldn't work better. After a bit of experimenting, I came
up with this design ...
I use a drill to make the two
holes at the top and a jig saw to connect the dots. The flap
can be pushed back to expose a small garden area - large
enough for a couple of beans, a strawberry plant, lettuce,
etc. The drilled holes act as stress relievers to keep the
flap from tearing further into the bucket. A few more drill
holes in the bottom of the bucket for adequate drainage and
I'm in business. It works quite well. Here are some photos I
took in mid October inside my greenhouse.
Here is a Home Depot bucket that I planted green beans
into. The beans have been producing all summer and are
finally going dormant. You can see the typical flap pattern.
There are 3 rows of 8 flaps on this bucket. On this bucket,
the flaps are about 3" wide. I think that 2" wide would be
sufficient. Because the flap size was a bit large, some soil
eroded out during watering.
This is a bucket with the same hole pattern as in the
bean bucket above. It has everbearing strawberries (Tristar)
growing in it. They are as good as they look! The plants are
still blooming and producing berries, but the lack of
sunshine and high humidity inside the greenhouse are
encouraging mold to grow on them now. Always something to
yellow bucket has Swiss chard and the bucket on the left
contains beets. The greenhouse was usually 30+ degrees
warmer than the outside temperature. It would regularly get
above 120 degrees in there this last summer. Cool weather
crops like this don't respond well to excess heat. Now,
after a few weeks of cooler temps, the Swiss chard and
broccoli are really taking off. Again, quite delicious. The
buckets don't work too well for root crops, but the beet
seeds were cheap enough to experiment with.
These buckets are cheap! Lots of
fast food places get pickles in these and will give them
away if you ask. You don't need to pay more than a buck for
each bucket. A large heavy duty clear garbage bag over the
top will turn these into individual patio greenhouses. Bird
netting or chicken wire will keep most pests at bay. My
biggest headache this year was watering. Because of all the
plants per bucket, these had to be watered every other day
or they would show severe stress.
I used a soil mixture of half
worm compost, a quarter perlite, and a quarter mineral sand.
I added a little dolomite lime and gypsum to increase the
calcium, magnesium, and sulfur. Potting soil will work too,
but I had most of the ingredients so made my own.
The world is a giant class room.
[name withheld - Portland area]
Is this cool, or what? Of
course, the reader's jig sawing skills are a lot better than
mine and maybe yours...but you get the idea, right?
Violence Against Bankers
"As foreclosure nightmares increase, will more homeowners play
off their bankers in violence?"
When this first popped up in the
predictive linguistics it sounded almost far-fetched - with
visions of "lamp posted bankers" and such. But now, well,
seems to be arriving.
A number of readers have been
asking "Where's that predictive linguistics stuff about building
tensions that's supposed to be going on now?" Oh, tensions
are building and events like Fort Hood are signs of 'release' of
tension in the form of 'outburst of violence'.
I'm just kicking back watching
The Mindless MainStreamMedia
Still, a reader asks:
"Can't find a
Have I lost my mind? Or is
everyone in the media brain dead? This is insanity."
No, this is Monday.
Once upon a time, a long while ago, I observed during my quest for
'truth' in economics, that the PowersThatBe, the talking heads on
the teeve, and the other information sources that actively engage in
the programming of humans not to think, had conveniently swept
several trillions of dollars that disappeared in the Internet
Bubble's bursting (since spring 2000) under the rug. Surely,
it wasn't unnoticed by the thousands of people who called brokers
and said "Where is my money?" "Gone, but hang in there as
you're a long term investor!" was about all they heard back.
So one of our
charts for Peoplenomics subscribers oughta be widely circulated - it
shows that if you line up the peak of the Dow in January 2000 with
the peak in early September of 1929, we're on a very very close
replay track. Much closer than even the chart shows if you
were to back out inflation, and put in the effects of 1929
deflation, but that'd be real work, and I'm sort of lazy if the
truth be told.