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11, 2009 7:55
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Santa Does Wall Street
poor, been kicked out of your home? You just didn't have
the right job, Bunkie! You needed to have a
federal job because I'm reading
where the average is now up around $71,000 a year.
I keep wondering how this concentration of taxes will eventually
end for the private sector, but I think I already know the
wait! Santa is due on Wall Street. With yesterday's 68
point gain, and the early futures buoyed by overseas gains, the
only question is what about those retail figures due out this
morning? The envelope please...
The U.S. Census Bureau announced today that advance
estimates of U.S. retail and food services sales for
November, adjusted for seasonal variation and holiday and
trading-day differences, but not for price changes, were
$352.1 billion, an increase of 1.3 percent (±0.5%) from the
previous month and 1.9 percent (±0.5%) above November 2008.
Total sales for the September through November 2009 period
were down 2.1 percent (±0.3%) from the same period a year
ago. The September to October 2009 percent change was
revised from +1.4 percent (±0.5%) to +1.1 percent (±0.2%).
Retail trade sales were up 1.4 percent (±0.5%) from October
2009 and 2.2 percent (±0.5%) above last year. Building
material and garden equipment and supplies dealers were down
9.3 percent (±1.8%) from November 2008, but gasoline
stations sales were up 8.9% (±1.3%) from last year.
lemme see: Inflation's up 4-5%, retail is up 1.9% compared
with a year go not accounting for price changes
so...hmmm...some recovery, huh? Gold collapsed from around
$1,142 to the $1,153 area upon release. Happy talk
headlines like "November
retail sales rise more than expected" oughta rally the
Meanwhile, Santa's trip to Goldman Sachs exec homes will be a
little unusual: He'll be delivering
bonus stock which can't be cashed in for 5-years.
Leave a "Come back for a cookie in five years" note and powder
milk out for him, maybe?
between now and Christmas, the market has a pretty good chance
of setting a new high for the year. Normally, that'd be
good news, except this year has been pretty crappy. Any
close over 10,549 would be a new high for the year and I think
there's maybe one of those on the sleigh.
wonder if Santa's got a couple of jugs of ink and a lot of
pulping trees chopped down for the U.S. Treasury: "Democrats
to lift debt ceiling by $1.8 trillion, fear 2010 backlash"
What!!?? From people like me screaming "Throw 'em ALL out
'except Ron Paul!"? No reason for congressional
hearing scores to improve now, especially in mid-bidding from
the special interests that will bankroll the slick 2010 media
Silver Screen, Golden Reviews
follow-on from the producer of Titanic -
"Avatar" is getting really good reviews. Why, there's even
talk of an Oscar nomination for the film which oughta make
James Cameron delighted.
always find such things interesting; a kind of social commentary
mixed in with marketing, cross-promotions, and product
licensing. A whole phenom to behold in seasonal wonder.
talking about plans for a Stability Policy Force in the USA -
and while you're pondering that report from Thursday here,
consider the latest on how private security contractors are
behaving in Afghanistan and Iraq according to this MSNBC/NY
Seattle setting record lows again. As goes
Seattle, so too may go much of the country by next week.
Wonder if software over in Redmond runs slower because of it?
has to be an excuse in there somewhere...
know what to make of the headline that "Oxfam
says additional funds needed if Climate Change Conference is to
succeed". More in today's "Coping" section...
Simple Minded Solutions Award goes to Gordo Brown and Nicolas
Sarkozy this morning after the headline in the Times Online
reported that "Gordon
Brown and Nicolas Sarkozy: banks should pay for climate change."
Someone would need 10 pounds of lard between the ears not to
figure out that banks aren't going to print up a solution - they
will pass it on to who? Us retail customers - of course!
And if Gordo and Sarkozy are trying to point out what callous
political hacks they are, well to me this does it in
spades. Free (climate) lunches - step this way.
Gimme a friggin break.
again it becomes clear: Gordo and Sarkozy are all part of
the elite globalist club that's trying to come up with a
workable scam to set up a system of global taxation
beyond the direct control of an electorate. Thanks, but no
thanks. I still hold to this thing called a Constitution
that's about representation and recall for mis/malfeasance
and such. But what would
gold-seller Gordo know of such things; sovereignty in
particular? Their EU is busily replacing the
and woe be to those who question the agenda....
snip and save section ---
The PC Walk Among Us
the time of the year when saying "Merry Christmas" is a
dangerous thing; such are the concerns about being 'politically
correct". Went to the Post Office in town to mail a
package on Thursday and lo and behold, there were green
(fireproof) hangings on the walls adorned with simple
(unlabeled, nondenominational) shiny red glass balls.
While I was waiting in line, I held a 5-minute internal
screaming match in my head over whether the green was
symbolizing where Christianity got Christmas from (co-opting the
mid-Winter pagan festival which celebrated rebirth/things being
made new again) to integrate Christian practices into formerly
wasn't going to mention the "The Marketing History of Christmas"
which would make a dandy book, or a subset of a much larger work
"Marketing Practices of the World's Religions" which would be a
much larger task, but I was reminded of is this morning when a
reader sent a nice email which ended with:
"Take care and have a fantastic holiday of your choice."
pleased that political correctness is still alive; and I need to
apologize for using the term "Stewardess" in yesterday's report.
When I visualize things in my head (like the economy being
similar to a plane in a furious dive toward a mountain, so as
the name of the pilot doesn't matter, but you don't want to
change him out at that exact moment) my imagery in this case was
of a DC-3 of the sort flown over the mountains in one of the
Indiana Jones Flicks (Temple of Doom, I think).
on me! I should have used the term "Flight Attendant".
I give myself the excuse that I'm not in charge of Sales,
In-flight, and Communications for an airline anymore so as a
writer, I reserve my right to pen conforming to the imagery in
my head, not bounded by secular political correctness. I'm
sure that in a lawyer-driven world of political correctness
police, I'll be carried off to the re-education camps at some
point, but such are the risks of writing.
effort to set things straight, I think there's a global need to
come up with a cross-denominational single word that encompasses
Chanukah, Christmas, Islamic New Year, Kwanza,
Laba Festival for the Chinese, and all the rest.
However, in modern marketing practice, we need to keep the
number of letters to a maximum of eight, since the layout
department graphic artists want something short. Then we
have to find something that's cross-culturally correct and
doesn't translate from English into Arabic, Turkish, or Chinese
into something like 'steaming lumps' or worse.
that it's an urgent matter; however since there seems to be a
frenzy to install global governance, may I proposed to the
PowersThatBe that in my "The Marketing Practices of the World's
Religions" the need to institute global holidays as a support
system for global governance is clearly outlined! Already,
the GPTB (global powers that be) blew it on Earth Day (April 22)
which is outside of traditional Western Marketing windows.
PTB are going to really get anywhere in their drive for global
governance what we need is a commercial holiday that will be:
Commercial in the sense that it will be as big a
shot-in-the-arm as Christmas gifting.
Would encourage local agriculture with something more tasty
than locally grown bitter herbs, although that and free
range chicken is a good starting point.
Would be locally made from readily available materials.
Would repurpose consumption in support of the
globalist ruler's paradigm.
like it should be easy enough to come up with; Earth Day
established a kind of baseline for the new religion of
environmentalism, but if the movement is to really get traction,
it needs more holidays, especially those of a commercial sort.
looked at the SWOT analysis of the problem, I came to a critical
insight about the strategic growth problem facing the
PowersThatBe. This is one you might want to spend some
"If the PTB were successful in some kind of 'global
governance' and the whole world "got local' and became
highly self-sufficient, we wouldn't need 'global government'
a problem akin to the snake swallowing its own tail; successful
global governance on environmental grounds would be
have that, now, can we? From whence would the ruling class
then draw authority?
Good Feedback on Global
very thoughtful letter on the question of climate change/global
warming which I'd like to share with you and then some comments:
I am a subscriber to
UrbanSurvival and I generally enjoy you commentary and find
it useful in helping me address the future in my investing
and living. It is clear that you do not believe in man
induced Global warming and are totally fixed on the sun
spots as the climate driver. And that is OK, it certainly
opens my mind to looking and watching for evidence that
supports you concepts.
On the other hand, I think you
are irresponsible in promoting an article like: “The
Smoking Gun at Darwin Zero” without checking it out:
If you had taken the time to look into it you would find
that the author was caught lying. Check this out:
Link to article: "Willis
Eschenbach caught lying about temperature trends"
Link to: "Perplexed
by Smoking Gun: Santa never made it to Yamba?"
Australian Bureau of Meteorology is likely the best source
for the homogeneity adjustments necessary to Australian
data: Here’s their annual mean temperature anomaly for
Darwin Airport, site 014015
Trying to keep up with the
Climate skeptics in their disinformation campaign is
exhausting. In researching Watts Up With That web site (the
site organizer is a climate change skeptic) and the author
of the article, Willis Eschenbach, I came across this
posting by Amory Lovins (link
to post, scroll down to 3 Dec posts)
"What I get from the
stolen-emails controversy so far is: - Some opponents of
climate protection not only lie and cheat but also
steal. - A well-funded and -planned campaign of climate
disinformation continues both to distort and deny
climate science and to try to discredit the scientific
- Many reporters and editors
remain ill-informed about climate-science fundamentals
and about how science works.
- Robust discussions are a
vital tool for sorting truth from error.
- Peer review is not an
infallible error-detector, but beats none.
- Some people, including
some scientists, can be untactful and indiscreet,
especially in communications they think are private.
These human traits are unrelated to the merits of their
- Ambiguities can easily be
taken out of context and out of proportion to reverse
their intended meaning. A skilled effort devoted to this
deception now threatens scientific and policy leaders
with political harm for frank expression. They may learn
greater care and discretion in their choice of words,
but their public duty demands not less but even more
clarity, candor, and transparency. Efforts to intimidate
through falsehood, like the current media circus over
the stolen e-mails, continue to merit exposure and
None of this is new. In time
it will pass, and climate science may well be the
stronger for it. As we learn more about who stole and
published the emails at this sensitive time, how, and
why, climate protection too may benefit from greater
insight into the manufactured-doubt industry. What seems
to be missing from this conversation, though, is an
appreciation of why this flap doesn’t matter: not only
because climate science rests on such numerous, diverse,
and independent lines of evidence and inference that its
findings remain highly robust, but also because whether
you believe climate change is real and threatening or
not, we should do the same things anyway just to save
money and help address “Peak Oil” (because saving fuel
is cheaper than buying fuel, and productive forests are
worth more than dead logs) and to improve our security.
In other words, what you do
about energy shouldn’t depend on your opinion about climate
science, nor about whether you most care about prosperity,
security, or environment. If the public debate about climate
focuses on outcomes, not motives, it can reach broad
consensus. And if in Copenhagen we start to correct a
pernicious sign error—assuming from economic theory that
climate protection is costly, rather than learning from
business experience that it’s profitable (see:
More Profit Less Carbon)—then we can shift the
conversation from cost, burden, and sacrifice to profits,
jobs, and competitive advantage. This sweetens the politics
enough to melt any remaining resistance faster than the
I hope more climatologists will
add this concept to their normal remarks about climate
science. The science was and remains clear, but for other
compelling reasons, we should do the same things even if it
were not. But if you are right and it is all over for most
of the people in the World by the end of 2012, it really
doesn’t make much difference what we do; however, just in
case it might be good to slow down on our use of fossil
fuels, especially coal.
name withheld, Logan, Utah
PS: I am not a Climate
Scientist, but am an Engineer and a Scientist. I
well thought out note. Just a couple of personal comment,
not a man-caused global warming denier! There is no doubt
that jet travel, automobiles, burning Amazonia, and a host of
other financial driven climate-changers are real. I
don't think I've ever said that. However, given that there
are temperature changes going on on places untouched by Man, and
given that the greatest driver of all is likely solar output
(based on periods of global cooling - the Maunder Minimum, the
'little ice age' in Europe long before industrialization, etc.)
a more balanced viewpoint seems in order.
example, in many of the climate studies, data seem based on
'heat island' effects, where reporting stations have been
surrounded with different heat absorptive/refractive surfaces
and these skew data over time; just as an example.
I'm perfectly willing to accept that there is global warming,
but my personal sense of the science would be to use temperature
data from those stations & area where there has been the
least encroachment by man into the data via
construction/city-building, and what have you.
whole issue of homogeneity of data smacks of the same data
jiggering that I've noted in many government figures - like
unemployment rates that don't count people who have fallen off
the unemployment rolls and thus, must not be serious about
job-finding; that kind of logic is dangerously misleading.
sensible climate change analysis model - seems to me - would
start at the top and work its way down:
Starting with the highest level of data, temperature change
on other planets would be measured - the missing polar caps
on Mars correction - and some solar-system wide correction
factor on that above all others.
Secondly, calculation of heat island/encroachment effects
and use of remote climate stations as a baseline for urban
Thirdly, as a double-check on #2, sea surface anomaly
analysis. Again, the effort would be to quantify heat
islanding/encroachment as a data distortion.
Fourth would be data correcting at the local level.
problem - and it's just me, I suppose - is that I haven't seen a
'soup-to-nuts' climate study following this approach. To
do otherwise seems the height of folly - unless, of course,
there is a global government agenda in play and setting up a
system of carbon trading/carbon credits turns into little more
than a power/financing tool to break down national barriers and
install a new kind of governance which is several layers removed
from direct representation.
Moreover, when I see evidence that direct representation is
getting further and further away (as evidenced by yesterday's
report on the Rand study which discusses setting up a "Stability
Police Force" in the United States, coupled with DoD directives
enabling use of civilian contractors in whatever roles seem to
feel appropriate -
Go read DoD Directive 1404.10 of 23 Jan 09 to see how this
works) I wonder if the Constitution isn't already toast.
that it is, a top-down approach to climate as I've outlined
makes little sense, since the conclusions are preordained,
Beating Las Vegas
email is highly interesting - if you follow the notion that
humans are co-creators of their lives with a Greater
I read with interest your Urban
Survival every day. It keeps me tiedin to what is going on
out there in the "real" WuJo world.
As I was reading it this
morning, Thursday, I kept thinking, gee, maybe I need to go
to a casino. Then I read these paragraphs:
The aware human's task (if
you're serious about foreknowledge) is to extract a design
pattern from all this and figure out how it works so that it
can be done more on less at will.
If I ever get it sorted out, I
figure a good place to test it would be...a casino maybe?
But even pure science has 'blow-back' associated with it, as
the development of nuclear weapons demonstrates and this
would be in many ways far more powerful...
You might want to check out this
Joe has worked with the Monroe
Institute for many years and has been putting on these Vegas
workshops for 10 years. It's very interesting stuff, this
I did his workshop in Vegas a
few years back and am now doing his home-study course. I
have many issues with money that I need to deal with, and
feel this is one of the most powerful ways to do it. I
remember a teacher of mine said that in the future the
casinos will be the ATMs for the lightworkers. I am going to
scream if I have to do one more day in 9-5 land and am
determined to create a better reality for myself and in turn
I love what you write, you are
my morning inspiration. The hard-core numbers and policies
make my head spin and my eyes roll into the back of my head
at times, and I get totally lost when you talk about ham
radio and hertz and all that, but I do get the gist of what
you are saying.
sets off two conflicting notions colliding in my head: one
suggests that co-creating for gain is somehow an abuse of powers
and may have karmic burdens associated with it, while the other
says "Who says?" One of these days, I may go with a small
amount of dough to a casino up the road a short piece
(Shreveport, LA area) and take a $100 bill and see what happens
to it if I run it through the system on behalf of a local food
Meantime, Back at the WuJo
the dojo where science meets woo-woo is getting backed up with
projects. The most topical being the disinfo about how the
mystery lights in Norway is being hinted by the PTB as being
some kind of failed rocket test in the White Sea area. Not
hardly, IMHO since I looked at this:
"Little to see, in Norwegian
Earlier version of "Norwegian Spiral" took place in
November. (from 1/11/2009!-G)
Hmmm .. kinda
shoots down the Russian Rocket Theory.."
kinds of possible explanations are on the table, but when you
mix up this latest with a double-scoop of 'holes in clouds'
which have been showing up in daylight hours off and on, the
truly tin-foiled among us are asking is this something to be,
uh, conCERNed about?
The Writing Coach
...sends in this:
In view of the latest TSOTTC, the coming decade might
well be labeled the “Terrible Teens”
In highlighting the activities of various miscreants,
as the occasion dictates, you may want those reports to fall
under the category of “Half-assed humans”.
I would but it overstates human
progress by several orders of magnitude, I'm afraid. Zeus
the cat reminds me (with something of a sneer, I might add) that
"I don't pay taxes and you call yourself an advanced species?"
Friday is the last report of the
week for non-subscribers. If you want more (would that
make you a sadist or masochist?)
on to subscribe to Peoplenomics are here.
Next scheduled report here will be
posted Monday morning, unless world-changing events creep up on
us, although we don't show anything scheduled till the context
changing starts on the 19th, but that won't be a single event
This weekend, Peoplenomics features
the latest chapter of 13 Acres and Independence, a short
discussion of goat ranching economics and the perpetual issue of
getting a small farm to pay for itself.
For your Christmas shopping this
weekend, be sure and take my gift parameters - and just for the
fun of it, see how many you can properly reference - answers
80 proof or above
Arabica, not over-roasted
3.3 liter turbo
Three 3-500Z's @3 KV or better
Peace & quiet
BP cuff or pulse oximeter
Shouldn't be too hard to figure,
should it? I am, after all, a simple man with simple
Send your comments
The UrbanSurvival Mall:
Peoplenomics This Week
Fingerprints of the PTB
Don't know if you have noticed the same disturbing trend I have, but
when one sits back on a cool morning with no work to think about and
reflect over a hot cuppa joe, I get a growing sense that less and
less of what's being 'piped' into human melodramatic consciousness
can be trusted. It starts as a feeling, but when I started
start to add up all the Big Lies of the past few years, the number
became impressive; 9/11, the supposed naturally occurring flu,
the 'need to war', and more recently, climategate. This week,
we review a few of these Big Lies and ask an almost impossible
question: "Why?" The answers are few, but we can at least
begin framing a large and potentially life-altering answer set.
More For Subscribers
To Subscribe, CLICK HERE
Been a while since I've updated you on how many cookies and web
bugs have been removed from my main computer by the Maxa Cookie
Manager from Maxa Tools: 1,602 web bugs and 54,131 cookies
so far. It's amazing.
Take it for a free test drive by downloading it. To
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Christmas is coming... Is your privacy worth it?
Once you try it out, click the
upgrade button (!) on the upper right hand side for the $35
unlock to get it to remove even those nasty and highly intrusive
'non-browser specific' cookies. Bonus: You computer
may run faster.
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
"Live on $10,000" A Year
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
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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
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(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 December 10, 2009
"Fear Mongers" and
the Stabilization Police Force
is rich: Word that president Obama is telling GOP leader "Stop
trying to frighten the American people". But it's
as good a starting point as any this morning, since the American people,
by my reckoning, have plenty to be frightened about, even though
it's hidden and obfuscated by the advertiser-owned
one thing, the entire global financial system, most admit, is
still walking on eggshells and could crack at any time.
Then we have Climategate to deal with and despite the hoopla in
Copenhagen, the best (ok, devastating) analysis I've read of the jiggered data in
contained in Willis Eschenbach's analysis "The
Smoking Gun at Darwin Zero".
Australian media is reporting that Climate Change Minister Perry
"Wong plays down climate talk tensions". Wong answer.
here's something more worrisome than Climategate or Swine Flu
out in the wings. Every so often I get an email that
spells out a possible US future in crystal-clear terms
- the discussion of which is not
fear mongering at all: It's revealing actual planning...
but for what? A new kind of police authority is in
the works for America.
The document I've been
studying is a Rand report called "A
Stability Police Force for the United States: Justification and
Options for Creating U.S. Capabilities."
this paper - which to those of us
with a strong Constitutional bent and respect for posse
comitatus is an exercise in 'thinking the unthinkable' - there's a sort of working conclusion that a new
super police agency - a "Stability Police Force" it's called - run by either the military (MP) system or the
U.S. Marshall's Service, are achievable options for the US
central government to consider implementing.
extract of the Rand study is illustrative of their thinking:
The present chapter omits any discussion of cost, which
appears in Chapter Seven. Of the options presented, our
analysis suggests that the hybrid Marshals Service option is
preferable. With the ability of civilian agencies to
significantly enhance their tactical suitability by placing
SPF members in those police agencies that excel in their
skill area, the Marshals Service could significantly
increase its tactical suitability by leveraging placements
to the point where it would dominate the other options, with
the exception of the variable “Experience in Building
Indigenous Capacity.” However, even with respect to this
variable, any SPF would build this capability over time. An
MP SPF could not achieve the same benefit, without relief
from the Posse Comitatus Act. Soldiers could not serve in
civilian policing capacity to the same extent, and so could
not maximize an MP SPF’s tactical suitability rating through
the experience to be gained by the hybrid option. If relief
from Posse Comitatus were forthcoming, then the MPs could
benefit from the advantages offered by this staffing option
"Relief from the Posse Comitatus Act"?
Stabilization Police Force? Stabilizing what?
Wikipedia on the health of Posse Comitatus reveals:
"Recent legislative events On September 26, 2006, President
Bush urged Congress to consider revising federal laws so
that U.S. armed forces could restore public order and
enforce laws in the aftermath of a natural disaster, in the
wake of Hurricane Katrina.
These changes were included in
the John Warner National Defense Authorization Act for
Fiscal Year 2007 (H.R. 5122), which was signed into law on
October 17, 2006.
Section 1076 is titled "Use of
the Armed Forces in major public emergencies". It provided
The President may employ the
armed forces... to... restore public order and enforce the
laws of the United States when, as a result of a natural
disaster, epidemic, or other serious public health
emergency, terrorist attack or incident, or other
condition... the President determines that... domestic
violence has occurred to such an extent that the constituted
authorities of the State or possession are incapable of
maintaining public order... or [to] suppress, in a State,
any insurrection, domestic violence, unlawful combination,
or conspiracy if such... a condition... so hinders the
execution of the laws... that any part or class of its
people is deprived of a right, privilege, immunity, or
protection named in the Constitution and secured by law...
or opposes or obstructs the execution of the laws of the
United States or impedes the course of justice under those
In 2008, these changes were
repealed in their entirety, reverting to the previous
wording of the Insurrection Act
There's a fair amount of discussion in the Rand paper of things like
financial disincentives for failing to deploy against fellow
citizens and so forth. Chilling stuff to read.
a quick read of the Rand study, I figure the emergence of a new
Stabilization Police Force is only a matter of time, and
depending on how the political winds blow in Washington, I'm
just guessing the U.S. Marshall's Service will be a lot of
hiring down the road. Either that, of the MP recruiting
budget of the Army will be going up.
one takes the
2006 announcements that Halliburton subsidiary KBR was awarded
up to $385-million to construct temporary detention centers
- and couples it with the Rand report - a picture emerges of a
vastly less free, much more militarized internal governance
structure in America.
realistic question to be asked is whether simply reporting these
developments in some way sets up a self-fulfilling mechanism. A
student of history can see an eerie similarity in temporal
markers between the
opening of Dachau in 1933 and
ramp-up in hiring of the German SS in the 1932-33 period.
there's no detention camps operating yet that I'm aware
of, but when they do, it's important to note the discussion of a
special "Stabilization Police Force" here in the USA which could
be applied against enemies of the State, whatever that
definition might include.
chicken & egg sense, which comes first? The talk of a
paradigm-changing 'revolution' or excessive State response to
dissent? Does it all somehow track back to those
Constitution-free zones around the national political
conventions because they have become so institutionalized that
dissent is no longer honored? I can't say; but the
opposites of consensus is dangerous to complex societies;
those societies where the marginal rate of return on additional
hard work falls below zero which one could argue is in
danger of happening planet-wide.
what degree is talk of revolutionary change a precursor
to its realization or iron-fisted repression? History only
provides data; not simple formulas. But the divisions
within America between left and right seem to be widening and
logically, the more divided a country is, the easier its
conquest by those who would argue persuasively for the
replacement of its Constitution as somehow 'outdated' and not
applicable to what will surely be packaged and sold by the MSM
as 'extraordinary times' which will require a 'fresh look'.
Kinda like the 'Change' sloganeering.
also remind you that the U.S. is still under federal state
of emergency (e.g. there is no posse comitatus in force right
now due to the federally declared pandemic flu emergency) despite the
waning of public interest in seasonal flu shots and a lot of
right wing charges that it's 'phony flu' and part of some vast
conspiracy of the left. Arguably, swine flu is a
money-making scam because global business needs something
to act as a financial stimulus although word is now leaking out that
key WHO advisors may have been paid by big pharma for their
efforts to stampede government purchase orders...
country is on a delicate path at the moment and while my recent
endorsement of Ben Bernanke for a second term at the Fed is cast
as some readers as 'cowardice', I'm mindful based on the Rand
report and other information I've sought out that the best case
forward is a migration path to a new consensus.
Absent that - a means of moving in an orderly way as a culture
into an evolving and peaceful future - the detention centers and
the SPF are forming in the wings and a fine 200+ year experiment
in Freedom becomes even more seriously endangered.
into the mix
a national leader winning a Nobel Prize
while simultaneously committing 30,000
more soldiers to the Afghanistan fray and all I can say to those
who charge 'fear mongering' is this: If you're not at least a
little fearful based on the under-reported developments going on
just under the surface, you don't fully comprehend nor
appreciate the scope of the problems and State & PTB responses we're facing as a Nation
and as world of humans.
Balance of Trade
from the Commerce and Census folks this morning:
U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis,
through the Department of Commerce, announced today that
total October exports of $136.8 billion and imports of
$169.8 billion resulted in a goods and services deficit of
$32.9 billion, down from $35.7 billion in September,
revised. October exports were $3.5 billion more than
September exports of $133.4 billion. October imports were
$0.7 billion more than September imports of $169.0 billion.
October, the goods deficit decreased $2.6 billion from
September to $44.8 billion, and the services surplus
increased $0.2 billion to $11.9 billion. Exports of goods
increased $3.2 billion to $93.5 billion, and imports of
goods increased $0.7 billion to $138.4 billion. Exports of
services increased $0.2 billion to $43.3 billion, and
imports of services increased $0.1 billion to $31.4 billion.
October, the goods and services deficit decreased $26.5
billion from October 2008. Exports were down $12.9 billion,
or 8.6 percent,
out this morning, new unemployment claims:
the week ending Dec. 5, the advance figure for
seasonally adjusted initial claims was 474,000, an increase
of 17,000 from the previous week's unrevised figure of
457,000. The 4-week moving average was 473,750, a decrease
of 7,750 from the previous week's revised average of
Dollar weakened a bit and futures were pointing up earlier.
May drag gold up, too.
Drifts, Drifting, and Drifted
people who've purchased the latest SOTTC ("Shape of Things To
Come") report from
www.halfpasthuman.com, the 'context change' that's shown
(page 8) is now moving from December 29 to a much closer-in as
early as the December 19 area.
post report processing continues, in predictive linguistics
there's a certain amount of 'drift' to the future since the way
observer states works, every time the future is viewed, it
changes somewhat. In this cases, the date moves a bit (as
much as 10-days early).
uninitiated may wonder "What's a context change"? Not a
single big event - just a flow of things that changes the
context with which we view events. Remember when the
millions of feet hit the street in immigration marches a while
back...2006, or so? Before that series of marches, flag
raisings, and such, 'illegal immigration' could be viewed
narrowly as a single context. But when the context
shift arrived, suddenly the issue got a whole lot more complex
think of it where one context does something akin to
linguistic fission - setting off lots of new and
different ways of looking at something.
could it work (and no, I am not saying 'weather/global
warming will be IT, this is an example only as a thought
now the context of global warming has broken loose from its
moorings and is drifting about. besides the discussions at
Copenhagen, the Climategate hack, the Willis Eschenbach's
analysis and such, the aware observer has no doubt noticed that
storm has buried the central US in snow". 15-foot
drifts? Snow already in Houston this year - the earliest
context change might be something like over a week or two period
the US sees something like massive once-in-a-thousand-year
snows...or an ice age seems to be forming. That
would be a context change because people going outside walking
on glaciers in Nebraska would be mighty hard to sell global
warming to...and the whole context of everything weather-related
(food, for example) would undergo a massive change; things would
never be the same thereafter.
one possibility, and again, not saying the context will be
weather - that's just one possibility. A financial
crash would be another candidate for context change, and the
list goes on, but that's what context changes are in language
reflected in the popular press and the MSM.
kids have been calling us from the Seattle area telling us about
record cold up there. Just a bunch of whiners, I thought,
until I noticed that it was colder in
when I looked than it was in
Anchorage, Alaska (23.3º). OK, maybe its been a little
on the cool side....
Financial Calamity Department
Thought the global financial mess was over and one with?
ha! You wish!. Here's a story that a "Former
BoE official Buiter says Greece may be first EU Default."
think it was Jim Sinclair (www.jsmineset.com)
who several years ago described the EU as something like 'a
collection of 13 bankrupt countries held together by a common
currency'. Sinclair, BTW is predicting that Gold will go
past $1,650 and beyond...
one thing when a smallish country lands on the financial rocks;
Finland or Zimbabwe being recent examples. But, one has to
wonder how the global financial system will do with multiple
countries imploding at the same time?
In the UK there's talk of taxing banker bonuses at the 50% level,
like that's going to change anything. Why, it's like only
giving a $100 tip to the airline stewardess serving drinks - in
the middle of a plane crash. Of course the stewardess
could argue "I didn't know the plane would crash - thanks for
the tip" but the more alert would say "Didn't the stewardess
think to mention the captain and copilot were drunken on their *sses?"
"I'm just a stewardess" in this kind of scenario is akin to "I'm
just a banker..."
snip and save section ---
Busy Times in the WuJo
the past week or two have been exceptionally busy (starting 10
days before Thanksgiving) a lot of things have been piling up in
the "WuJo" - which is the Reality Dojo Meets Woo-Woo Department
around here. Going through some of the more recent notes
to pop in:
Magnetics Adventures, 101
you live under a rock and would never venture into a WuJo on a
bet, then you probably have already read the story about how
there's a "Mystery
as spiral blue light display hovers above Norway".
best guess? A Project Blue Beam tuning test.
the David Icke forums here, and Wikipedia deleted the entry
as not substantiated, but you can read more here, too, including
about the untimely death of the researchers...
Alternative B: CERN is opening up dimensional portals. How
do you spell Ooops?!
Magnetic Adventures, 102
while back I told you about a paper on the Los Alamos server
about reported changes in gravity in the vicinity of low
pressure plasma. You can find it if you go Googling,
although I don't see the LANL server listed as a source any
but try here for your own copy, if you didn't save a local
copy when it was on a public LANL server. No telling how
long this will be available.... Key Lesson to be learnt?
Important papers can (and do) often disappear off the 'net so
grab it and have a filing system set up for good stuff you
stumble on that might be 'disappeared'.
Meantime, back at the WuJo
I've decided to do a little research on this to see if I can
duplicate the effects in may decently equipped home physics lab
& machine shop where things like low frequency HO audio
oscillators and a nice dual trace scope are readily available.
addition to the low pressure plasma found in a T-20 fluorescent
light, I've also ordered a couple of 7" plasma lights like
you've maybe seen in clubs, bars, or what-have-you's; these are
the ones which seem to be balls with lightning in them.
Since I've got almost DC-to-Daylight generator capability, the
idea of stacking these is intensely interesting, particularly
since there are enough memes about pooh-poohing the idea of HF
radio as a source that it got me to thinking back on an
experience that I had as a kid that I've never written about
was about 15-years old, and really active in ham radio, I used
to put a couple of used 40-watt fluorescent tubes on the
80-meter (3.8 MHz) dipole antenna. These would light up
when I talked and I could see looking out the basement window by
judging the intensity of the light coming off the bulb how good
the energy transfer was from the transmitter to antenna.
No problem so far.
that it was along at this one point in my life where I had what
is even to this day the scariest thing happen to me ever.
I was taking a snooze - dozing/thinking on the bed in my
basement/radio room (so I didn't keep the rest of the family up
all night) when I was started by an alien-looking critter about
4-feet tall carrying some kind of weapon with a bunch of tubes
on it in very sci-fi fashion and wearing an kind of iridescent
green/blue vest which had about 2" quilting on it. Short
this guy looking at me with lizard-like eyes and says "This one
must die..." and he opens the door and leaves. Took me
about 3-minutes to gain my composure and open the door since I
was shaking with fear because of the absolutely visceral
reaction to the little slimy expletive-deleted. This was
scarier than going up in an airplane and doing my first spin,
even. Right down in the core experience.
opened the door, there was (naturally) no one there in the rest
of the basement and I immediately went upstairs to tell the
family what had just happened. I was shaking and they were
"Oh, uh...yeah...whatever...". Until I read the paper off
the Los Alamos site - and then bumped into what now read like
'don't go here's' about HF energy exciting this fluorescents to
cause gravity anomalies, I hadn't put 2+2 together.
since that time, I've convinced myself that this was just some
kind of near-waking-state nightmare augmented by reading
everything around in the way of science fiction (including UFO
tales). However, that was before I read the Los
Alamos paper suggesting something about plasma and energy and
gravity. Now although the rational science mind says "No
way! Don't waste your time!" there enough radio gear,
antennas and fluorescent lights around that if there is
something going on...I now have the technical tools to record it
and get it on YouTube.
Rationally, I expect that no interdimensional critters will come
calling as was also
to have happened in the Montauk Project, but I have high
power magnetics, signal generators and I'm collecting a few low
pressure plasma tools, just to tinker with it. Besides,
having also now studied Maxwell's early lectures, there's no
easy explanation of what those lines are that run orthogonally
to magnetic lines of force around bar magnets - you know - the
force that pushes the magnetic lines out. Never get
good answers to that one from physicists I've met over the years
other than a 'that's just how they work'. Not good enough
for me, so I go off adventuring into this area over the
holidays. If one of the reptiles with thick legs, short
tails, and a bad attitude shows up, I'm pretty much past the
fear of death stuff and I want some damn answers.
looking to see if OHSA has a tinfoil hat standard for such
exercises. If I get any odd green mists or scaly critters
come calling, I'll have several data streams, a well annotated
lab book and HD video rolling for my successors to find.
little easier but just as edgy? "Secret
Space Fleet - Antigravity - SUPPORT Gary Mckinnon with Ed
Grimsley 2009 HD Delta rev" on YouTube. I was really
skeptical till about 4:30 into the video when the 'delta' showed
up. I'll have to do a little looking on the clear mornings
down here with out Gen2+...but when it's 28º,
I'm not inclined to spend much time outdoors between warm house
and warm office...
Magnetics Adventures, 103
got this snip from a forum about magnets losing their magnetism:
"Have you gotten any feedback on
this? I've been seeing emails/posts about magnets losing
their magnetism in isolated areas for a few days...here's a
blog post describing the phenom:
Below is an email received from
a friend in N.E New South Wales, Australia. Very odd events,
as described - any thoughts would be appreciated.
======================================= On 22/11/2009, at
5:14 PM, Joyce wrote: Had to contact you - Xxxx rang from
Kyogle and asked if our magnets were all alright and still
on the fridges or wherever we had put them, and I said yes -
why - and she said all around the area for the last 3 days
magnets have been sliding off the fridges or metal walls or
wherever, and now they just fall off - all of them. She also
has a couple of 3,000gausse magnets, one a horseshoe and one
round, plus bar magnets - she cannot re-charge her magnets -
no attraction with any of them, and what was holding on to
her horseshoe one has also fallen off. She reckoned not
everybodies could have suddenly all got old and dropped
their bundle. I said to her I thought it would be because
the magnetic field around their area (some are in Casino -
she hadn't contacted anyone in Lismore) was low . . .
Question . . . would I be right
in that? or would you have an answer I can give her - she
was really worried, and said she was really short of breath
too, and a couple of her friends were too - one of them one
of the visiting nurses - I thought that might apply too -
but not due to lack of oxygen - don't know why. It's not
just the elderly it is happening too - her daughter in her
fifties has the same problem with them about 2 klms away. .
. and her grandson and family - can't re-charge magnets and
can't keep them on anywhere.
=============================== Yes, I will send it around
the ridges - might get some feedback.
IMHO, this is VERY weird. I have
no explanation at all. Even referring to my knowledge of
magnetism re the ship's compass, which I had to know inside
out, I have no ideas. Even neutral soft iron will assume a
magnetic polarity; it is used in ships' compass binnacles to
counteract the earth's field's influence on the steel of the
ship itself. It is NOT a magnet per se.. merely a temporary
measure to counteract a weak and changeable field. The best
known examples are the Kelvin Spheres and the Flinders bar.
All marine binnacles have them.
Permanent magnets are called
that for a very good reason. They are independent of the
earth's field - unlike simple soft iron, once they are
magnetised they will stay that way for a very long time. The
only ways I know of DEmagnetising them is to knock them
around, tap them etc (and a strong magnet will need a LOT of
tapping!) or to put them into a magnetic field in such a way
that the magnet's field is opposite to the induced field.
That will either demagnetise them or re-magnetise them in
the opposite polarity, if they are left there long enough."
guess? Cheap magnets made in the 3rd world - likely glue
and steel powder that just doesn't last long. At least
that'd be my first guess, anyway...
Warnings from the
Several readers have sent in notes about the oft reliable reader
who had a dream about a '7.5' earthquake in Georgia' which I
mentioned in this section in early December. Of course,
that dream came to pass
with a 7 Dec. quake that was 3.2 - a far cry from the
7+ expectation he'd been given in the dream.
now here where things get interesting. Recall what our EQ
tipster had been looking for: "Another dream: 7.5 quake centered
in or near Newnan, GA pending. If I had to pin a date on it I'd
say "tonight, 12/02/09."
the woo-woo part as the dreamer sent this follow-up:
"As expected, the quake dream about Newnan, GA was purely
metaphorical. On the "target" date, Saturday night, a
longtime friend of [name deleted]'s family overdosed on
Oxycodone and alcohol and died at 21 years old. The funeral
is today in Newnan, GA - a place I've never been to, never
thought of, and never had ties to, other than [name
deleted]'s cousin possibly having gone there last Saturday.
So the dream was a quite valid prediction but it wasn't
anything 2012 related.
this was quite publicly forecast
in our Wednesday December 2 update (here) it's a dandy
example of how at a global mass consciousness level, aspects
and attributes of the future 'leak' into our consciousness.
To the degree we can be 'clear' of interference, people seem to
have some undeveloped ability to access parts of the
future. It's the interference - likely things like stress,
too much book learning & too little nature appreciation, along
with setting up paradigm patrols that keep us from touching
those areas of human consciousness where the action is, but at
the same time hold some level of personal danger - that keep
some critical mass of people from shared dreaming, shared
futuring and perhaps even advanced forms of communications which
could facilitate another level of human development.
challenge is to sort out how it all works since it seems to
happen in certain trance-like states (Nostradamus and his tripod
of oil), comes through at 'voice of God' in waking/drowsing
moments, or, in this case, as slightly jumbled information in
dream state. Others get there in meditative states through
practices like Yoga and work on raising
kundalini, while in other traditions it happens when one
'touches the stream'.
aware human's task (if you're serious about foreknowledge) is to
extract a design pattern from all this and figure out how
it works so that it can be done more on less at will.
ever get it sorted out, I figure a good place to test it would
be...a casino maybe? But even pure science has 'blow-back'
associated with it, as the development of nuclear weapons
demonstrates and this would be in many ways far more
reader (Martin) noted that I have a fondness for coffee and sent
a delightful Christmas gift: A 12-volt powered electric
coffee warming mug and an assortment of coffees to try. If
one of these mornings the column sounds unusually wakeful,
that'll be the reason.
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
Another Climate 'Leak'
it's getting to be a near regular thing in the climate debate:
The latest being that
"Poor nations' fury over leaked climate text" is popping out
of Climatehagen this morning. The gist of it seems to be
that the big, Western, rich, industrialized countries want to
put caps on third world developing countries which are still
ramping up industrialization. What's happened with today's
leak is that the third world/poor countries seem to be getting
enough time to study what's called the "Danish text" that
they're figuring out that guess what? Victims yet again.
to me that just as the West is recolonizing the Middle East with
trinkets like ski and mega resorts in the desert in return of
oil a form of oil indenture, so to, climate burdens will be used
to extract maximum carbon-credit trade benefit to the West when
all's said and done.
that it comes as too much of a surprise to the watchful.
role in climate change not in doubt- UN's Ban" is true,
what's also true is that poor people eking out dinner over a
village fire is a little different kind of pollution than the
tons of carbon dumped by a typical jet flight.
something which hasn't escaped the notice of
Adair Turner, who chairs the UK government's Committee on
Climate Change (we don't use name symbology like 'lord' around
who is talking about higher travel taxes on frequent
got a pet theory about this climate stuff: How much
different, do you suppose the approach would be if every
participant in the decision-making process was barred for
life from benefiting in the eventual outcome? In other
words, how many of the participants are going to come out of
Copenhagen and turn right around and become carbon magnates?
can figure this, it's like having a convention where the foxes
and chickens get together and the foxes (running global media)
pressure the public toward this outcome, or that. Seems to
me the chickens ought to be mighty careful - and with today's
"Danish leak" it seems they will be.
that there's any escaping it, since EPA is gonna get us if the
global climate carbon magnate game doesn't first. Still,
freedom was a nice thing while it lasted, just never thought I'd
see it blinking out in my lifetime.
guns for the market which is showing as though a strong open is
in the works. Even if the Ure-Indicator on Gold to Dow
isn't reliable, I sure wouldn't be surprised to see
a 100-150 point flare-up in the Dow at the open.
17 Spotless Days
- another goose egg for sunspots. 17 days this will be.
Winter's here with part of the
upper Midwest facing a blizzard warning today. My commodity
guy JB up in Arizona had his greenhouse ruins by wind and 4" of
snow earlier this week and it was a mess up in the Colorado
Rockies yesterday. 7.2" up at Grand Junction.
mention the sunspots since a lack of spots is associated with
global cooling and things like
shrimp production have been associated with sunspots, too.
can see in the latest NOAA chart posted yesterday how the gap
between 'predicted' sunspot activity and actual is opening
up...but look closely at the NOAA chart here - see anything of
you're really alert, you'll see that "Data through Nov 09".
Problem is that we are now 17 days without a spot and that will
further the divergence. That will put the line back down on zero
through into early December at a minima (poor pun intended).
only that - and I can't prove this since I didn't save the last
couple of monthly updates, but if my memory is serving me right,
the red bulge is being shifted to the right as these reports
come out...so I've saved the graphic with a date stamp on it and
we can compare things in a month or so, but if the data
prediction line slides to the right, I wouldn't get too
surprised. Don't want to panic sheep and all.
Eye-balling it and knowing we have over a half month of
flat-lined to add to the chart, if we get anything like
symmetry in this chart's development, world's going to be in a
food crisis from cooling that will develop over the next 4-5
years that will dwarf any news story in recent global memory.
hey, don't let that ruin your morning. We still have food
now....although I will be calling the NOAA folks asking
for the older charts if I get some time. Damn inconvenient
for the global warming stampeders, though.
who says the economy isn't booming? Why already the
US is $292-billion in the red for the fiscal year which
is...er....two months old! Lemme see now: $292 times 6
would be 1.752 trillion compared with $1.4 trillion last
year....yep, that's change, awright.
Doing a Job on Us
President O has laid out his jobs plan for the country...another
'spend our way rich" scheme rewrite, but given that it's all
we've got (till the global war threat meme comes along to make
everyone either glow or make sacrifices) it's about all they've
got, except CO2 and Copehtradin. But no point getting
ahead of the liebretto. (sic)
Turkey continues to resist sanctions against Iran as the pot
boils on that front.
snip and save section ---
Beat With the Funny Stick in Ulcer Gulch by Doctors and Bankers
number of readers have been asking me "Why you been so serious,
lately, George?" I guess the answer is that there are some
number of very serious things going on in my life which has
taken the funniness out of my sails [temporarily] and done so in
as one example, Elaine had been having some health issues which
had signs of being a serious disease off in the wings. My
humor is back, although not at full-strength yet, since we got
the good news yesterday that the symptoms all traced back to
nothing more serious than a mild case of acid reflux disorder.
Easily cured - so we're told - with a change of diet. What
was interesting in one of those sly - wink from Universe - kind
of ways is that the symptoms have been caused by Elaine's
pursuit of excellent health,
example, eating lots of tree nuts - something I thought was
good - turns out, when done too much, to actual trigger
reactions in some people. Ditto drinking milk, too much
fish oil, and so forth. A simple change in her diet we're
promised, will set everything right. But putting extra
flax seed on the cereal? Nope. And no milk on it -
on to Rice Dream on that one. No eating and then crashing
- got to stay up for a couple of hours; most easily fixed by not
working on projects till 9 PM and then getting around to eating.
More like eat around 5 PM and then work till tired. That
kind of thing.
funny part here is what? We got all worried about
something potentially life-threatening, which turns out to be
simple to fix. Ha ha! Good one. My foot.
there are plenty of other stresses around the normally peaceful
ranch - a couple of goats not going well, a quiet spell in
consulting (a seasonal thing), and one of my every-so-often goat
flare-ups. All manageable, but none of them the kind of
thing I'd run out and do for play, if you know what I mean.
there's the current beating with the funny stick being
administered by bankers via the issue of interpreting what will
happen to the banking system in the USA after the first of
January 1st. If you go to a bank, you'll many of them are
putting up signs that mumble something whether the bank is
participating in something called the Transaction Guarantee
Program (TGP) under the Temporary Liquidity Guarantee Program (TLGP).
I don't go to banks very often, but after getting several
reports I decided to look into what's going on in detail since
there are so many rumors about the net about the country's
financial condition of late.
attention: There will be a quiz on this:
like this one at the other end of this here link, are
participating in the TGP under the TGLP until June 30, 2010.
of other banks, including one we do business with presently are
opting out as of December 31st.
The opt-out option is explained on the FDIC web site here,
and it includes the posting requirement:
"Confirmation that no later than November 16, 2009 the
institution will post a prominent notice in the lobby of its
main office and each domestic branch and, if it offers
Internet deposit services, on its website
that after December 31, 2009, funds held in
noninterest-bearing transaction accounts will no longer be
guaranteed in full under the Transaction Account Guarantee
Program, but will be insured up to $250,000 under the FDIC’s
general deposit insurance rules.
got to asking "Just what is a
noninterest-bearing transaction account?"
answer is found reading deeper into the FDIC definitions:
"noninterest-bearing transaction account" is defined as a
transaction account with respect to which interest is
neither accrued nor paid and on which the insured depository
institution does not reserve the right to require advance
notice of an intended withdrawal. This definition
encompasses traditional demand deposit checking accounts
that allow for an unlimited number of deposits and
withdrawals at any time. This definition does not encompass
interest-bearing money market deposit accounts (MMDAs).
However, for purposes of the
transaction account guarantee program, the FDIC is including
in the definition of a noninterest-bearing transaction
•Accounts commonly known as
Interest on Lawyers Trust Accounts (IOLTAs) and functionally
equivalent accounts; and
•Negotiable Order of Withdrawal
accounts (NOW accounts) with interest rates no higher than
0.50 percent for which the insured depository institution at
which the account is held has committed to maintain the
interest rate at or below 0.50 percent."
now here's the kicker (and where it starts to impact operations
out here at Uretopia Ranch): Some banks have
figured out that "free checking accounts" are presently covered
by by the TLGP and if it's linked to a low/no-interest
savings account, that low/no interest savings account would
not be covered under TLGP if the bank opts out early.
easy enough: So, how do we figure out who is opting out
early and who is planning to stay covered by the TLGP until 30
June '10? Turns out you have to look in several places.
From the FDIC website (linked here) we read:
Liquidity Guarantee Program Opt-Out Lists
As required by the Final Rule implementing the
Temporary Liquidity Guarantee Program (the TLG
Program), the FDIC is publishing on its Web site a
list of the eligible insured depository institutions
that have opted out of the original Transaction
Account Guarantee Program, scheduled to terminate on
December 31, 2009.
Please note that there are many
valid reasons why an entity may have chosen to opt
out of the TLG Program. Entities must make
individual decisions based upon their business
needs, including the costs of the Program as well as
the benefits of participation. The decision to opt
out in no way signals anything, either positively or
negatively, about the financial health of the
entity. Depositors and investors may ask any of the
entities on either of these lists for a further
explanation concerning the entity's decision to opt
out of the TLG Program.
List of Institutions Opting Out of the Original
Transaction Account Guarantee Program - Excel
Note regarding entities that exercised
their One-Time Opportunity to Opt Out of the
Transaction Account Guarantee (TAG) Program
extension period:On August 26, 2009, the FDIC extended the TAG
Program through June 30, 2010 and modified the fee
structure for the Program. Institutions currently
participating in the TAG Program that wished to opt
out of the TAG extension period had until Monday,
November 2, 2009, to do so. Any election to opt out
will be effective on January 1, 2010. Any
institution currently participating in the TAG
Program that opted out will continue in the TAG
program through December 31, 2009. Below is a list
of the eligible insured depository institutions
participating in the original TAG Program that have
opted out of the TAG Program extension.
List of Institutions Opting Out of the TAG
Program Extension - Excel (Excel
Debt Guarantee ProgramThe final rule implementing the TLG Program
also requires that the FDIC publish on its Web site
a list of the eligible entities that opted out of
the debt guarantee program. (Entities that
participated in the debt guarantee program can no
longer issue FDIC-guaranteed debt, except on an
emergency basis with the prior approval of the FDIC,
since the last date for guaranteed issuance has
passed.) Below is a list of the eligible entities
that opted out of the debt guarantee program.
List of Eligible Entities that Opted Out of the
Debt Guarantee Program - Excel (Excel
first list has 1,110 banks on it (sorted by state to help out,
or you can use the 'find' command in Excel). The second
list has 525 banks on it.
we do business with one of the banks on one of the lists, and
since that means that our free checking will not be covered by
the TAG on or after Jan 1, 2010 if I read this right, we get to
make an interesting strategic decision (as presumably so do you
if you have a 'free checking' account that's considered covered
presently by the TLGP and your bank is opting out early:
you move all your funds into an interest-bearing account (in
which case, you would conceivably have to pay a monthly fee
for checking services if you don't meet the continuing
capital requirements of most interest-bearing checking
you assume the (small, but nonzero) risk that goes with
having FDIC insurance to $250,00 on the account as good
enough if you're aware that "FDIC
insurance fund closes quarter with $8.2 billion in debt"?
While its a political certainty
that FDIC will never be allowed to go broke, there's the little
matter of timely settlement that concerns me. Since we
presently use one of those non-interest bearing accounts that
may not be covered after January 1, here's my personal
strategy to deal with the matter.
I will be making some large
payments from the presently covered account over the next
couple of days to ensure that the checks involved will clear
before the end of the year. An example here is the Q4
Next, I will be downloading all
available data from the bank involved so that I have hard
copy records including the print outs of all checks
(front & back showing clearing data) for critical accounts,
such as IRS payments.
Third step will be sweep any
excess funds into my TreasuryDirect account - who's gonna
tell Uncle no?
Then - whatever is left - will
go into a new bank where an interest-bearing checking
account will be set up this week, in a bank that will be
participating in the TLGP through June 30, 2010.
From then on, only a minimal
amount of money will be kept in the opted-out account on
the small, but still nonzero chance that in the event of a
systemic banking crisis in Q1 or Q2 2010, we will still be
covered by the TLGP in the new checking account which can be
used for operating, and whatever's not earmarked for
immediate spending will be in the TreasuryDirect account
presumably backed by the full faith and credit of Uncle.
This may seem like a 'belt &
suspenders' approach, but if there's a risk - even though very
small - that I could have delayed check clearings and such, then
I want to hedge against the possibility well ahead of systemic
A Reuters story here in the past
couple of days notes that
one family in four in the US is already out of the banking
system for a variety of reasons. While the story
paints a picture of mostly poor or minorities being involved
(and I like the term "under-banked" a lot) it's just possible as
a way-out fringe contingency that the term "under-banked" who
might fall on those who are not aware of the possibility that
the non-covered 'free checking' category might be covered by
FDIC but not TLGP. And with FDIC running in the red - with
something like 184 banks estimated to be facing failure in the
So that's how I plan to get out my
funny stick out to beat the bankers back: I'm planning to
do my dead-level best to spend it all over the next week
so that it all clears before the TLGP coverage comes off.
HispanicBusiness.com recently noted that "Problem'
Banks reach 16-year high" while Australia's Sydney Morning
Herald headlined it as "US banks not out of danger; FDIC".
Belt and suspenders is one way to
look at it. Another is a very cautious operating mode
that's consistent with my core philosophy of life: "I'm
not trying to win the most, I'm just trying to lose the least."
Anthony Ring's latest post 'Breathing
Molasses" likens the behavior of many people in the US to
sleep apnea. Not bad since it builds on the idea of a
sleep-walking public; a concept hard to dispute. If you
do, I'll try to beat you with my funny stick till you get it.
The Quake Dream
Readers want to know:
"If I am remembering correctly,
I thought you had a reader who wrote in to tell you about a
dream he had predicting an earthquake in Georgia, the state,
just a few days ago? This morning while sipping coffee I see
there was a small 3. something earthquake in Georgia! This
guy was pretty accurate! "
Yeah...except he had it as a 7.5 so
I've sent him out to the lab to be recalibrated. The lab,
in response, said they had no idea what an "NIST
traceable dream calibration was..." Damn cut-rate
labs, anyway. Maybe I should send him to India for
(If you don't know that NIST is the
National Institute for Standards and Technology, the odd humor
may be lost on you, so we'll try a little less highbrow stuff
Discretion is the
Better Part Of Golf Department
A few caffeine Jolted readers have
noticed I haven't said much about the purported escapades of
Tiger Woods. While "Playgirl
rep taking a close look at Tiger photos" may be of prurient
interest to some, I must confess to be one of those
old-fashioned golfers who plays the game one hole at a time; on
and off the course. It's tended to me out of the rough in
Tuesday December 8, 2009
Clean Air at What Cost?
Environmental Protection Agency announced on Monday that under
the Clean Air Act, greenhouse gases, including CO2 were going to
be regulated in the interest of public health.
December 7, 2009, the Administrator signed two distinct
findings regarding greenhouse gases under section 202(a)
of the Clean Air Act:
Endangerment Finding: The Administrator finds that
the current and projected concentrations of the six key
well-mixed greenhouse gases--carbon dioxide (CO2), methane
(CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O), hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs),
perfluorocarbons (PFCs), and sulfur hexafluoride (SF6)--in
the atmosphere threaten the public health and welfare of
current and future generations.
Cause or Contribute Finding: The Administrator finds
that the combined emissions of these well-mixed greenhouse
gases from new motor vehicles and new motor vehicle engines
contribute to the greenhouse gas pollution which threatens
public health and welfare.
These findings do not themselves impose any requirements on
industry or other entities. However, this action is a
prerequisite to finalizing the EPA’s proposed greenhouse gas
emission standards for light-duty vehicles, which were
jointly proposed by EPA and the Department of
Transportation’s National Highway Safety Administration on
September 15, 2009.
with this comes publication in the Federal Register -
you can read the final rfindings here.
the case with many decisions, this one has balanced
implications. On the one hand it will improve air
quality, but there will be a cost associated with it and this is
something where industry is already getting worried. The
USA Today headline "EPA's carbon dioxide ruling could raise
energy costs" is certainly a possibility, because where I sit,
even if there was no actual reason to increase prices,
industry would raise prices anyway just to get a little
more dough out of customers. This is a fine chance for a
costs plus pass-through.
There's a little deeper issue, however. It has to do with
common sense, but since the CO2 regs will impact vehicles,
here's something to be thinking about. In regulations
there's an apparent conflict between safety and
environmental concerns. On the one hand, the federal
vehicle safety requirements put out this and that requirement
for air bags, crash resistance, and so forth, which adds to
vehicle weight. But, at the same time, along comes the CO2
finding which will mean more effort at clean-burn technologies
which will up costs.
sensible approach would be to rethink vehicular transportation
from the ground up. What would happen if vehicle
requirements were weight & mileage-based, instead of the complex
maze of current regulations? Seems to me that a
four-passenger go-kart would be a lot of fun - much smaller than
today's vehicles and since they'd be lighter, extremely good
mileage - which translates to lower emissions would come along
think VW is on the right track with their
concept car, but I've heard where that kind of vehicle won't
fly because it may not meet crash test standards. What
seems to be in the wings is a move by multiple manufacturers to
come out with ultra light trike (three-wheelers) in order to
avoid onerous federal crash regs. Nothing I'm aware of
says that a motorcycle can't be enclosed, right?
were just throwing a dart on this, I'd guess that motorcycle
licensed trikes with ultralight bodies may be coming...with
extreme gas mileage and low emissions. A somewhat higher
personal risk, but only during the window where we get rid of
thinking that says a car must be this big and must
weigh that much for good roadability. Bonus:
Ultralight cars will reduce repair & maintenance costs
associated with highway use.
one of these days states will wise up and allow us small time
mechanics to license some of the more innovative ultra light
cars that could come out of home garages. Europe is way
ahead of the US in many regards - taxing vehicles based on
weight being one of them.
end, clean air gets to be a complex formula involving speed,
size, weight, fuel, and required regulatory compliance.
And that's just one cars.
you thought Iraq was secured and getting back to normal?
Depends what you mean by 'normal' anymore, since
more than 110-people have been killed in coordinated bomb
attacks there overnight.
doubt, this will cause policy problems for the Obama
administration which has just recently decided to send 30,000
additional US troops to Afghanistan -- not bad for a Nobel Peace
Prize winner -
the WH says he will mention it in his Nobel speech Thursday
which oughta be interesting.
there's the report this past week that
Osama bin Laden was sighted in Afghanistan in 2009.
bin Laden hasn't been found - after 9½
years, untold billions (or, is it trillions now?) and with a
$50-million dollar bounty on his head,
continues to swirl around the op-ed pages.
The basic facts of the conflict
haven't been reframed so far; the US still needs oil and has
taken to a re-colonization via lifestyle dependencies approach,
witness the "Mercedes
Benz fully built in White Gold body (Abu Dhabi registration)"
that made headlines in May and is circulating in an email around
the web presently.
Not that they get the English
language emails, but a lot of regular folks in the Middle East
who are not awash in dough hear enough from the jihadists that
participating in anti-American/anti-West actions becomes a
fairly easy sell; the underlying positioning of the
conflict being the haves versus have-nots, while the stated
positioning goes virtuous versus infidels.
The pending Israeli attack on Iran
factors into the same conflicted market. Internally,
Iran is threatening tougher action against those who question
its political and nuclear agenda at home; just one
consequence of the hardening of positions.
The Jerusalem Post this morning
proclaims in a headline that
"Iran can now produce nuclear bomb". Not a surprising
assertion since there are plenty of nuclear scientists floating
about and North Korea has been pedaling its technology to
whoever's got a checkbook. That Iran has just announced
plans to expand the number of enrichment facilities means they
have a target dispersal agenda in play and before those get into
production, Israel will likely feel compelled to act. Then
it's only a matter of how large the reaction will be.
Ben's Cautious FAQ
gold making another double-digit drop this morning, I expect the
market will fall as well. Futures are pointed that-a-way.
didn't read it,
Ben Bernanke's FAQ speech at the Economic Club of Washington
is a pretty good summary of where the economy is, although I
think his estimate of strength is a little too optimistic.
"Though we have begun to see some improvement in economic
activity, we still have some way to go before we can be
assured that the recovery will be self-sustaining. Also at
issue is whether the recovery will be strong enough to
create the large number of jobs that will be needed to
materially bring down the unemployment rate. Economic
forecasts are subject to great uncertainty, but my best
guess at this point is that we will continue to see modest
economic growth next year--sufficient to bring down the
unemployment rate, but at a pace slower than we would like.
A number of factors support the
view that the recovery will continue next year. Importantly,
financial conditions continue to improve: Corporations are
having relatively little difficulty raising funds in the
bond and stock markets, stock prices and other asset values
have recovered significantly from their lows, and a variety
of indicators suggest that fears of systemic collapse have
receded substantially. Monetary and fiscal policies are
supportive. And I have already mentioned what appear to be
improving conditions in housing, consumer expenditure,
business investment, and global economic activity.
On the other hand, the economy
confronts some formidable headwinds that seem likely to keep
the pace of expansion moderate. Despite the general
improvement in financial conditions, credit remains tight
for many borrowers, particularly bank-dependent borrowers
such as households and small businesses. And the job market,
though no longer contracting at the pace we saw in 2008 and
earlier this year, remains weak. Household spending is
unlikely to grow rapidly when people remain worried about
job security and have limited access to credit.
Inflation is affected by a
number of crosscurrents. High rates of resource slack are
contributing to a slowing in underlying wage and price
trends, and longer-run inflation expectations are stable.
Commodities prices have risen lately, likely reflecting the
pickup in global economic activity and the depreciation of
the dollar. Although we will continue to monitor inflation
closely, on net it appears likely to remain subdued for some
inclination is to expect a double-dip since commercial real
estate may only be sidestepping the hangman's noose on seasonal
factors associated with Christmas spending. While a rally
lasting as long as March is possible, there's also the ugly an
linguistics bump-in-the-road of a context change toward the end
of this month that may recalibrate everything held as
current expectations. Depending on how those winds of
change blow. The
latest linguistics report is available from Cliff's site here.
snip and save section ---
Holiday (Boardroom) Driving
in my 'working for others' days I did a lot of time in
boardrooms doing what we called 'driving'. The gist of it
was that in client meetings, one of the senior members of the
firm would do the client presentation while a next-layer-down
person (one under 'C' level, if you will) would do what we
purpose of the 'driver' was to handle all the non-spoken parts
of the meeting, as well as act as an instant critic being
empowered to toss in an occasional comment where appropriate
because the driver had the ability to 'sit back' from the
C-level's talk and make sure that a) they weren't getting off
point and that b) the client was tracking and if 'b' happened,
c) figure out a way to get the client back on the same page as
the presentation. Worked dandy.
Anyway, the reason for mention thing is about five-fold this
morning; first just to mention the technique and that nothing is
cooler than to have someone running a PowerPoint for you who
'gets it' (even authoring) the .PPT and then making sure
everyone is tracking.
second point would be to mention that nothing is cooler in a
sale presentation than to have an assumption spreadsheet ready
(behind, not shown to client unless needed) with all the 'deal
points' so that assumption errors can be tabled, discussed,
modified and committed to if necessary by the C-level who can
effectively bind the company. Which means if you try the
technique that you need the driver to be really good at
spreadsheets. More important in any kind of sales setting is to
have written out the business logic in support of your sales
pitch showing incontrovertible reasons why your
product/service/whatever is superior from a dollars and
sense standpoint. (sic)
point is that another application to have ready is a blank .PPT
so that notes on the discussion after the presentation can all
be captured and written as the participants are all around the
table. Especially important in a sales setting so that
there's no coming back later with "No, I didn't say that" when a
client tries to weasel out of a commitment or position.
You'll be in a position to be able to say "Look: We documented
the meeting as we went and you didn't say that - in fact we had
it up on the screen and entered it right there with you watching
and what you said was...."
fourth point is that there are a couple of great tools available
for capturing free-ranging discussions for non-closure meetings
(product development and such), one of which is Inspiration
which you can see at
www.inspiration.com. I mention it because it is
incredibly simple being designed for grade schoolers, yet
powerful enough so that it makes business logic sense.
Inspiration (Version 9 due out shortly) is really cool from a
writing standpoint - besides being a great flowchart tool.
No, not as fully featured as MS Visio which does fine, too.
But the nice thing about Inspiration is that once you put up a
bunch of boxes in a flow diagram and label them, you can simply
change views and you've got an outline in Word that you can then
'write to' in supporting written materials.
are a couple of other tools that work in similar fashion;
Cliff's a fan of something called "FreeMind". FreeMind is
Java-based [available here at SourceForge], and has some
very powerful features like being able to hook into a SQL
which is a lot of foreplay to get to what got me started on
mentioning the techniques behind successful 'boardroom driving':
There's a never "Online Diagramming and Design" tool out called
'Creately' which has a nice cross-section of features from the
Visio/Inspiration/FreeMind class of products but which is built
for the shared online environment.
Demo and such available here.
Something else to think about - long as we're on the topic - is
the business model behind the online collaborative tools
like this one. A little study of the
Creately pricing plan (here)
brings it into focus. If you subscriber
to Peoplenomics, see Issue 429-B, 11/15/2009 "Life
through Business Model Glasses"
Creately - and I'd venture a lot of other software firms - are
moving toward continuing tariffs (effectively renting)
for software. The problem is that ongoing software
development costs a lot of money and once someone buys a copy of
something, the incentive to upgrade is sometimes minimal.
I know people from 'back in the day' who ran
MultiMate for 8-9 years. Their reasoning
was pretty sound, too: Why bother upgrading? Doesn't
change basic typing speed, does it?
sure, that's maybe where software is headed - toward something I
categorized back in 2002/2003 as the 'evergreen software'
concept. In this business model, a software company with a
high-end product with complex ongoing support issues such as CRM
or ERP-oriented products, need to figure out a feature set
enhancement path so that the customer has a reason to be
constantly paying for constantly upgraded software.
time, I wouldn't be surprised to see Google Docs, just as an
example, to migrate from a bsic 'free' model (although maybe
even here there'd be the opportunity for some kind of revenue
stream from advertising, for example) to a 'Pro' version with a
lot more bells and whistles in return for 'x' dollars per month.
I've said for years: How much improvement can you do to a
word processing program? Inputs are going to be pretty
much limited by spoken speech speeds if you use Dragon Speaking,
to maybe 120 WPM. Even if you're a good typist like me (I
charge extra for all the errors in these morning reports) you're
still bound at about that 100 WPM range. nevertheless,
Microsoft keeps coming up with new features that I find useful,
and I'd bet Google and other online word processing projects
will head in the same direction: basic functional free,
but then scaling up the features as the pricing model steps in
and starts to generate the revenue so that ongoing development
can be funded.
is where you'll get the ultimate show-down between open source,
one payment licensing, and continuous payment models.
Marketplace will decide.
Meantime, I've made a note to ask my friend who used MultiMate
for years in the business she was CEO of, whether she's tried
firing it up under Windows 7 yet. Just in the name of
science, mind you; that'd be the equivalent of getting what?
1,200 miles per gallon? LOL.
the pricing model decision is an even bigger - more fundamental
- issue which doesn't make it to the front of daily tech rags:
How much functionality is "enough"? As far as I know there
are only so many classes of software out there:
Spreadsheets, word processors, databases, games, utilities and
OS's, and hybrids.
sure, there are a ton of additional features not to mention the
hooks into Visual Basic from Excel these days, but when I'm
adding up columns of numbers, the answer is the same as it was
when I was model airline route yields on a Commodore PET using
VisiCalc 25-years ago.
which gets down to the simple points of this note: 1) Make
sure the business model has unassailable business logic and that
gets communicated to the customer and 2) Lots of new and
improved ways to tell that story but none of it matters unless
3) The C-level people can delegate driving so that they can do
only one thing in the boardroom: Get the answers
they went in there for.
I Sit Corrected
yesterday's column, my caffeine deficiency was showing when I
asked "Why isn't Dick Rutan running NASA?" What I should
have said is "Why isn't Burt Rutan running NASA?"
the pilot, brother
designer/engineer. I've also dropped a note in Mrs.
Olson's personnel file about the caffeine levels.
Speaking of spacey things...
Orbs at the WuJo, Redux
Orb Society channel has an interesting
Fox News piece on orbs up at James Gilliand's place in Trout
Lake, Washington. As our resident orb tracker noted:
"as I see this unfolding I can’t help but think of the
linguistics in the Alta report that said at around this time
we would start seeing the Alien/Alien Wars meme appearing
since we are seeing these in
Oregon as well , its seems to be a trend that is rapidly
Yep, seems to be. We'll keep
an eye on things. Lots of Iridium type satellites up
there, however, but last time I checked, they don't do
discontinuous motions and trading places with one another.
That's how you separate LEO satellites from orbs & objects.
Also satellites are more likely an hour or two either side of
sunset when the observer's part of earth is in the dark, but
there's light at high altitude. Middle of the night, in
deep sun shadow...that's a more problematic.
December 7, 2009
Boring Markets Week?
America's in a box, not a pine one (at least not yet)...more
like one of those old times TV Western Box Canyon kind of boxes.
The Stimulus that was supposed to usher in a strong economic
recovery has failed to do much more than line a few purses of
the well-connected. Now, we're seeing headlines that the
Washington Jobs Summit last week was something of a charade and
mid-sized papers like the Santa Rosa Press Democrat are calling
for more stimulus - now. The problem is that creating
jobs is easier said than done.
one thing, it takes consumer demand. When this afternoon's
Consumer Debt report comes out from the Fed ( 2 PM ET) nothing
would surprise me less than to see another $12-billion drop in
consumer spending. Hard to grow jobs under those
conditions. Just starting up this morning, the
dollar is up somewhat, which is driving the gold and commodity
part of the drop in gold was to keep some fat currency calls
from ending last week in the money, or maybe it was the PPT
intervening a bit to keep inflation expectations dialed back
with the Treasury out pedaling $130-billion worth of paper this
week. Lower inflation expectations can mean lower
borrowing costs and that reduces the cost of government.
Or, looked at another way, it may allow for more stimuli -
emphasis on the second syllable, please.
at the Dow shows
the 50-day moving average is just a tab over 10,000. A
combination of a stronger dollar - which will take some of the
'inflation premium' out of the market might get us down to test
the 50-DMA later in the week, but all depends on the data due
out and how things line up for next week's triple witching.
I'd expect the week to be pretty boring as the balance of forces
works out; the seasonal Santa Claus rally means the Trade
Balance Thursday and retail & inventory numbers on Friday.
week will be a lot more interesting, since we'll get a Fed rate
decision (no move, trust me on this one), CPI and PPI - and
maybe an EIEIO report from old McDonald. Or, more
seriously (but not too much so) we ought to get a monthly
crop outlook update from the USDA along here later this
week. I'm fond of digesting food reports, he mumbled
you're a trader, this is the week to put the monitors on
snooze-control and get the Christmas shopping finished up.
if you're in the reported $21-billion dollar Goldman Sachs,
I'd like a new Porsche Turbo, anthracite but if that's a little
much, I'd be mighty pleased with a used
RUF 993 TurboR like this one. Am I easy to shop for,
Besides, you can afford it: Why
the administration is saying the cost of the Bailouts just got
$200-billion cheaper! Don't think of it as a waste of
$150,000! Think of it as 0.00000000075 ( or 0.000000075% )
of the bailout cost savings.
New SOTTC Report
follow-on to the ALTA reports from
is out - Shape of Things To Come. And, guys like
Les Visible are already wading through it.
going to jump up and down and tell you what's in it since if you
really want a linguistic peek ahead you'd spend the $10 bucks.
"Senator Dodd to press financial reform ahead: aides"
I wonder...how does this figure into fund raising for the next
election cycle? Isn't he up in 2010?
Here are some figures through September of this year.
Seems to be running ahead of other members of the senate if I
read the chart right...
looking at the
NOAA sunspot chart and realizing that again this morning,
shows a big fat goose egg for sunspots. Say, you don't
suppose old saying like "As above, so below" got to be old
sayings because there was and is a grain of truth to them, do
If you're a ham radio type (like me) you might want to visit
www.solarcycle24.com. Such as the cycle is...seems
like it will be years before 10-meters opens up again.
15 spotless days in a row...I call it the Obama minimum.
is being made by climate skeptics of the
1,200 limos and 140 private planes and caviar wedgies at
Copenhagen. I'd go but our Gulfstream is in for a D
check, sorry. Darn, hate it when that happens.
city laid out most like a pizza (large, flat, and round) I've
ever spent time in (Sacramento)
is due to get a dusting of snow this week. Next thing
youi know, hell will freeze over and California will solve its
budget problems. Well, maybe it won't get that
"From your guy in Jerusalem....
Did you see that Israel is going
to redistribute gas masks to us starting in Jan. I wonder
to J-Post article]
When I arrived in May of 07 they
were just collecting the ones they distributed during the
that may mean the Iran attack is pushed some distance back into
2010 - middle to end of January at the earliest, I suspise.
Thanks for the heads-up.
Although I haven't seen much on Iranian national television (You
do keep a free-to-air-dish pointed at the international birds,
there's continuing news out of the US-backed Voice of America
suggesting rioting and clashes with authorities in Tehran.
it be that the fine are of Tweeting up flash mobs is being
worked out successfully enough to slow Iran's agenda?
Researchers think they have solved some of the
mystery surrounding a Japanese mini-sub that was in Pearl Harbor
back in 1941.
here, I use the 1943 issue of the steel penny to mark the end of
the Great Depression; my continuing worry is that as the Second
Depression drags out, the only way out of it will be some global
conflict (not sure if global anarchy would fill the bill).
speaking of that, more
protests in Greece over the death of a teenager a year ago.
Curious how things echo over time, isn't it?
Out on the Final Frontier
report that "Virgin
Galactic to unveil commercial spaceship" has me wondering
how to get enough money into the piggybank to afford such a
trip. $200-large is a fair chunk of cash.
the story has another dimension to it, a nagging question that
seems someone with a little horsepower in Washington ought to be
come Dick Rutan isn't running NASA?"
With Hard Management Decisions
my more controversial positions was covered in Peoplenomics this
week - supporting the reconfirmation of Ben Bernanke, but also
one of the most productive. If you don't get the 'full
meal deal' around here by subscribing (which would make a fine
Christmas gift, BTW) my support for Bernanke boiled down to
several key points:
He's a big brain
He's trusted by other central banksters
He's got recent near-financial-train-wreck experience
He's a student of the Great Depression and while a little to
formulaic in his approach for my own tastes, he's got more
working Keynesian pump-priming knowledge than most.
were a couple of other points, too, such as an explanation of
how where we are in the business cycle (declining lifestyle due
to consumer supersaturation) might make his impact minimal.
comments & feedback so far have covered this range:
"OK, good Sunday report.
Good enough to give me cause to
pause in lighting my torch, and to set the pitchfork down -
for the moment. But the sands are ticking through the
the flip side:
"Do not agree these bottom suckers created this whole mess,
let it collapse and we can start over via Peoplenomics
Controversial though the position is, it has turned into a fine
example of how hard-headed decisions can sometimes produce the
rare Best of Class inputs that have the potential to save the
day. It came from a friend (Howard
Hill) in answer to my stating I'm not prepared to debate
Bernanke's renomination unless you've specifically got a better
alternative to table who would meet all those bullet points
above. Turns out, Howard knows of one candidate...
"I have one potential candidate
that I think could be better than either Bernanke or
Summers. He's an acquaintance from college, a couple years
behind me... He used to come over and watch us klutzes play
lightning chess, but we could never get him to sit down at
the board. As you know from me, I appreciate a wicked sense
of humor, and Ken has one.
He also has more "chops" with
the international bankers than even Bernanke, having been
Chief Economist for the IMF (he also got his ticket punched
with degrees or faculty appointments at Harvard, Yale,
Princeton and MIT, and one tour of duty at the Fed)
wiki entry is good.
I like especially that he could
toss off a great insult back then, and isn't afraid to even
in his professional life as a 50-something on the world
economists' stage.... Stiglitz went after him and the IMF,
Ken hit back with this open letter to Stiglitz....
That letter is worth printing in
its entirety, but with lines like this, it's clear that Ken
still has the wit to match his considerable IQ
candlepower..... "Governments typically come to the IMF
for financial assistance when they are having trouble
finding buyers for their debt and when the value of their
money is falling. The Stiglitzian prescription is to raise
the profile of fiscal deficits, that is, to issue more debt
and to print more money. You seem to believe that if a
distressed government issues more currency, its citizens
will suddenly think it more valuable. You seem to believe
that when investors are no longer willing to hold a
government's debt, all that needs to be done is to increase
the supply and it will sell like hot cakes. We at the
IMF—no, make that we on the Planet Earth—have considerable
experience suggesting otherwise. We earthlings have found
that when a country in fiscal distress tries to escape by
printing more money, inflation rises, often uncontrollably."
Back when we were undergrads,
another chess player, ranked Grand Master, used to come to
our 24/7 insane game. I mentioned one day to Ken that I had
actually won a lightning game against XXX. Ken's comment was
that "XXX plays about as well as someone can who doesn't see
This may sound outrageously
grandiose, but I took it for what it was - a judgment of
relative strength. A really really good college tennis
player might give a decent game to the #120 ranked pro
before losing, but if you asked Federer or Nadal about that
guy sitting at #120, they would dismiss him out of hand.
I know this also from personal
friendships... I may have been one of the sharper math
majors in my class, but a classmate I spent a lot of time
with was on a whole other level. His freshmen job wasn't
busing trays in the dining hall like other freshmen -- his
job was grading the first year math grad students homework
papers.... He went on to write an 8-page PhD thesis a year
after the summer he and I camped and drove and climbed
mountains for 6,000 miles. Years later I heard that his
paper was seminal in establishing the area of physics called
Ken was that kind of talent in
chess, eventually ranked International Grand Master, two
rungs above the lowly US Senior Masters. What that meant to
us was that he didn't have to have a summer job, because
chess tournament organizers would pay Ken to fly over to
Europe and compete. Needless to say, even my math genius
friend was a little envious of a gig that easy.
Ken just co-wrote a book
amusingly titled "This Time is Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly
", currently ranked #238 among Amazon
books (all categories) in sales.
couple of takeaways from this: First - and most important
- is that there really are people out there who might be better
at Fed bossing than Bernanke. What we - as a country -
ought to be doing is trying to cobble up what in the
marketing would call a 'product migration path' that doesn't
trash the existing economy, or start revolution in the streets
where decision-making tends to be more spontaneous.
the reason Rogoff hasn't been tapped for a national economic
post is that he's perhaps too much of a truth-teller compared to
Summers, Bernanke, and Geithner. Or, maybe he's so smart
he doesn't want to sit behind the wheel of this bus now that
it's gone over the cliff and is in mid-air.
International consensus is Bernanke knows what he's doing.
Over the rest of this week, I'll be reading Rogoff''s book as a
afternoon the Fed's Consumer Debt report comes out. Until
Consumer Debt stabilizes, Bernanke's bus is still flying in the
general direction dictated by gravity. Absent a better
alternative (which I think there is with Rogoff to name one) let
the bus driver keep trying.
the whole country ought to have learned a bitter lesson about
"Change" for change sake. Even if there are more than
1,110 days left.
Another reader feedback to share on this - with another damn
fine idea offered:
"Hey George , I have to admit
that if it wasn't for Bernanke right now the social contract
in the US would be toast and anarchy would be law . I guess
you could say we are all being slow boiled so we don't start
acting up in the streets . This soft landing depression will
take out what's left of the middle class methodically slow
so I don't expect to see pitchforks when you have a govt
about to give healthcare to the nation "free (lol)" or
majority of people who will have to rely only on social
security for retirement (which if you read the original SS
plan it might have worked if gov't kept their hands off that
money like they were supposed to ). So currently the plan is
make everybody poor slowly then give them crumbs so they
think they are being helped out by their nanny government .
That is , if it goes according to plan .
So you want a new idea to change
the world . I got it and it is radical . End the legal
protection of a corporate charter .Make every man doing
business or investing in eneterprises in the country
responsible for his actions and the actions of a corporation
. Example abc corp. who is run by CEO Jim Screwim, who was
elected by the board of usual suspects , makes baby toys .
One day he decides to put a dangerous product which causes
cancer in the company's most popular toy because it is
cheaper than the current ingredient used . Kids start losing
their hair and teeth by age ten get sick and die. Someone
figures out that the toy is the common denominator to all of
this and can easily prove it in court . Today he sues the
corporation and the corporation closes filing bankruptcy
.Victims never get a dime . Or there is a settlement and the
company continues to do business as usual .
Under my plan abc corp gets sued
, it files bankruptcy . It doesnt matter because now that
legal protection is gone the debt falls on anyone who owns a
share in the company at the time of the crime . From the
head of the board to the little investor who decided to pick
up 100 shares and they become the responsible parties to pay
for the companies actions . In other words ,everyone is
responsible who owns a piece of the company and they must
pay their share according to what percentage of abc corp
they owned .Foreign investors must be a person or person who
takes responsibility for a foreign corporation and any
assets in US would be held until debt is paid . Also those
who feel they aren't responsible would be able to recoup the
money they had to pay to victims by also suing Jim Screwim
or the board . Corporatism can be stopped by getting rid of
all liability protection against them .
I think this would create
responsible capitalism (being people would have to watch
each other to insure they weren't doing harm ) along with
amending the constitution so a jury of regular citizens
would hear cases of govt corruption and decide a politicians
fate not congressmen in the club doing some staged grand
jury on cspan and letting their friends walk away scott free
if they resign bs .
I am sure there are some
loopholes to my idea ,but I am sure w/ rational thought they
could be closed . (I am not writing a book it is an email )
I am a capitalist George and I
want my neighbors to be rich or have the chance to be, as
long as they do it responsibly and there is serious
punishment for those who aren't .
Anyway I didn't proofread this
and punctuation i have heard it exists but not in my world
(when is someone going to make voice email where I just type
your name in the email address bar speak my letter into a
mic and send. You open it and get to listen to what I have
recorded on your speakers .). I hope the universe sends you
great things today
Already has. I'm reminded by Universe that there are
really smart people about and that gives me great hope. I
mean after 1,110 days.
Around the Ranch:
see how good a detective you really are; here's the evidence:
The cats have been wondering why I have been beating a trail
back and forth from the office to the house this morning.
The column is a tiny bit shorter than usual.
The cryptic letters were not found on a pyramid and could
mean something like Dangerously Hot Vegetarian Mexican
the interest of trying to do 2-days a week of eating vegetarian.
This is Day #2. Thought I'd try and get in the spirit of
saving the environment but I get terribly confused on points
like this one: I don't understand which is a greater
threat: Eating beef and having the T-Bone since it will
assure that at least one animal won't be emitting methane, or
the cow lives and farts. Oh well, back to pondering egg
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.