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Well, It's Saturday
...which means the new content we're serving up for the weekend is available only to subscribers to our premium service, www.peoplenomics.com for just $40 a year which we've told is a huge bargain in today's marketplace.
Main report tomorrow has to do with the kind of business models -- and everything's a business model at some level -- that will be able to transition into the age of self-organizing collectives as society is on the verge of a whole transition on the order of the change to industrialization.
The other thing is a short analysis of the coming changes in US Tax policies which will phase out the income tax and replace it with a transaction tax which...well, that's for subscribers.
Otherwise, more free stuff Monday, so ya'll come on byh then, yah hear?
Friday September 10, 2010
Stand-up Economics Rules
A "New" Advisory Dude
Later on this morning, president Obama is expected to appoint Austan Goolsbee to head up his council of economic advisors. He takes over from Christina Romer who's going back to school (teaching) although based on the performance of the economy I'm not sure I'd sign up for one of those classes.
A couple of snips about Goolsbee from Wikipedia:
And besides being involved as an economic advisor to Obama since 2004'ish, he's also used to the 'bright lights':
I'm looking forward to Goolsbee's elevation since with this kind of track record, he fits right in with our perspective which is summed up as "Stand-up Economics" and it's obviously taking root. We may not get good numbers, but I'll settle for good theater for a change in its place.
At some point, I considered sending Goolsbee my resume - not that mine is particularly impressive - but I think I've got a good sense of what's wry and funny and anymore, economic speech writing has to be humorous to work. The Labor Department unemployment stats are just so....so...formulistic. Slapstick.
Then again, maybe I wouldn't be able to land a writing gig with the laughing wing of the Obamanistas...Why, they might hold out for less frequent typos and there's some things I just won't compromise on. Man's gotta have some principles.
With Friends Like This File
Say, remember that 2009 first-time home buyer tax credit that 1.8 million people claimed on their tax returns? Well, now says an Inspector General for Tax Administration report, some 950-thousand people will have to repay the government.
Here's the really sophisticated applicable tax term you may have heard before: BOHICA.
Rally and then What?
Market looks like it wants to open higher this morning, but the 99-cent question is whether people will want to leave money on trades over the weekend with the lighters at the ready in Flourida (sic) which gets us to my latest keen-o economic insight...
Alternate Reality Dept.
I was sitting around Thursday contemplating whether this whole Koran burning thing might not be a huge viral marketing campaign put on by the cigarette lighter lobby.
I mean, think about it: People are smoking less so it follows that lighter sales have been slipping. The Pentagon seems to be getting spending under tighter rein, so not burning as much money over there. Bra burning has gone out of style over the years...as has flag-burning at least in post-Vietnam War America and with the new world of marijuana vaporizers - mostly electric [we hear...ahem...] sales of lighters would be naturally be flickering.
Then there's the higher reliability of clicker-lighters in BBQ's which are increasingly propane-fired because charcoal's a mess. You got the picture? If I were conspiracy minded (I'm not, however) I'd put the cigarette lighter lobby under close surveillance.
The lighter lobby may have gotten wind of us uncovering their plans and reports are about this morning that the Koran burning may - or may not - happen.
What would complete the viralness of the lighter manufacturers stealth promotion? How about if the MSM carried pictures of Pastor Terry Jones with a red hotline phone to his congregation down in Florida? Or, a catchy phrase like "Light 'em up!" Why, that'd just be whipping cream on the top of this center ring event.
That Bibles were burned by Muslim extremists in Gaza in 2007 causing Christians there to fear for their lives, somehow didn't get publicized to this extreme, but then again, the contest for ratings has never been tougher.
Come to think of it, why didn't the 2009 Halloween Bible burning in North Carolina go viral? Maybe because of who funded subsequent versions of the Bible after 1611, you think? Oh, there's so much marketing and social engineering to be learned here, it's astounding.
Gives an odd twist on the quest for Enlighternment, huh?
One further note: This whole Quran/Koran story has pushed the Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth report that they now have concrete evidence (sorry for the bad pun here, really) that all three 9/11 buildings were controlled demolitions....off the front page. Gee, you don't think that'd be by design do you?
Not too much can be said about a judge's decision that the military "Don't ask, Don't tell" policy is unconstitutional. While the US District Judge in the case is expected to sign off on a 'permanent injunction' I figure almost immediately this will be kicked up the legal stairs toward the Supreme Court when DADT has been upheld previously so this oughta set the stage for another media circle coming to town.
Say, here's a dandy Brian Sullivan story on the corporate wisdom (NOT!) of outsourcing America's last GE incandescent light bulb factory to China. It's as much the 200-jobs as it is the half-watts in the boardroom.
Oh-oh, I forgot, the sole corporate mission is make money...'scuse me!
(continues below ad)
Coping: Addicted to Change - Rethinking Values
Elaine & I have taken the idea of selling the home here in Texas and moving back aboard a large sailboat off the 'front-burner' for a while. Too much to do in the very short term (unfinished projects and no point killing ourselves off to hurry up and finish).
At the same time, I'm coming around to realize that I need to slow down a bit and not go running off looking for change so much...maybe part of learning to appreciate what we have.
Working on this weekend's Peoplenomics has certain been an eye-opener - it was a client project involving a long-term strategic plan and while the client involved - who spurred the investigation into "What's the next business model?" - is in the US Midwest, I also shared it this week with a subscriber down in New Zealand (south island, not bothered by the quake last week) and it resonated with him, too.
As a result, and after rereading my own research, I figured that the resilience of the Eat Texas outback is at least as good as living aboard a boat so the 'right' thing to do may be to hunker down here, finish a half dozen large projects in progress, put a new metal roof and rain catchment system in, and settle back a bit as the Big Slide carries us all along, having a good idea about how to transition the other side.
Oh, and this reader email weighs, too:
Just seems that the yellow bricks are bumpier than expected upon closer inspection...
Related, I recalled the Russell H. Conwell story that became a founding/funding source for Temple University. If you haven't read it before, his story "Acres of Diamonds" makes a point that I often find myself struggling to remember.
Traveling around the country, Conwell used the money from that speech to establish Temple University which took a fair amount of dough.
Historian Howard Zinn, according to Wikipedia, took Conwell as something of an elitist for this quote in the Acres of Diamonds story:
One could argue about this a good while; Conwell wrote about life during a time before federal progressive income taxes, and before the establishment of a central bank whose policies include a constant watering down of the purchasing power of money, since interest must be created out of think air to pay the rent on money and this simple fact therefore requires watering down of 'original money'. It's also why the manipulators of finance today as so dead-set against hard money - it catches them out with no way to profit off another man's work (or woman's).
Another good speech to read (after you've done Conwell) is the William Jennings Bryan's speech "Cross of Gold" which came up in a conversation recently with my consigliore. Again, a short one, but worth the effort especially for pearls like this one and remember this was from 1895 before income taxes and the Federal Reserve:
That conflict hasn't changed too much in the past 105-years and it too got me to thinking "What's my hurry?"
If Clif's right about the big tipping point coming in November, East Texas is a good place to be. Minus mushroom cloud events, a person can scratch out a living here as well as on a boat. The local sheriff's response is fast even if the medic unit has to come from town, and the folks around here are as honest as the day is long, at least in the main.
Old Simon & Garfunkel tune has a line in it: "Slow down, you move too fast. You've got to make the moment last..." 59th Street Bridge Song if you're young enough to be mystified by the Simon and Garfunkel reference.
I used to think that applied only to the province of human relations, but now I'm sensing there may be another meaning to it; something broader about how to take life in general. Wonder if it has anything to do with the old Wall Street saying "Traders drive Chevrolets, long-term investors drive Cadillacs..."
If it dries up a bit today, I'll get some work done on the "Martini Mile Trail" and maybe cut the morning bean down to 50-50 decaf next week. Got to make the moment last...
Trouble in the Hills
Say, since it's Friday and always a good time for WuJo (science meets woo woo stories) here's a good one from out in NorCal:
3-hours with chicken kabobs? That's 2:12 longer than they'd take here - I happened to time some recently (slightly overdone at that). So yeah, how that turned into three hours...dude, that's strange... Call the Kingsford people and ask them ...or refill the propane bottle?
Friday at the WuJo
October UFO Confab
A reader who watching for developments in this area sent along an interesting note - especially if you have vacation time to burn off in October:
It's a given that electromagnetism as an 'assist' to lift on advanced aircraft exists and has been exploited for years, but the Big Problem is how to introduce any advanced technology into a world that's not stable enough. Why, right now the Obama administration is considering throwing a pile of dough at updating airports with improved runways and navigation systems. If a truly advanced technology were introduced (like anti-gravitics on even a 50% scale) can you imagine what would happen?
A great mental exercise is to ask yourself questions like: What would happen to the travel industry? If people could more or less instantly go to places like tropical islands, but return home in a blink to sleep in the comfort of their own beds, would that be a disruptive technology?
What would happen to 'hotels'? Who'd need 'em? Or, rental cars, old-style aircraft...all kinds of social dislocation would occur.
I certainly admire both Hoagland and Greer, but while I consider it a near-certainty that America's high tech best have pushed the envelope out 20-years or better, there's the fundament problem of how to throttle the introduction of such super-tech so that folks like you and me don't publish PDF's on the internet and start building economy endangering variants beyond the control of the PowersThatBe.
Would be cool to have the technology out in the public commons, but the shift in society would take "addicted to change' to whole new levels.
Bad Weather Good?
Some grist for the noggin in this email from a reader in Tampa:
Could be...the idea that storms bring in new life forms and take out the trash is one I hadn't considered...thanks!
Self Programming Dept.
"You are what you think...": has never been more true, apparently. Super Consciousness, a website that focuses on human potential has a dandy article about the key role that mental attitude has on your actual physical condition. Goes through some of the research highlights of Harvard social psychologist Ellen Langer's work and definitely worth a read whether you're old - or young.
If you're old, some tips on getting back to young are good...but more important if you are young right now it may be important to invest some quality time with your memory to make sure you can remember the feeling of vitality and power so you can refer back to it (benchmarking it, if you will) as you age.
Oh - may be something else to consider here, the story " Want to live forever? A scientific breakthrough could mean humans live for hundreds of years" is about DNA tweaking, but maybe DNA gets tweaked by the mind just as well?
Say, you don't happen to know if there's anything in the literature about changes in DNA brought about by traumatic events, do you? Or, is DNA 'stable' over a lifetime?
That ought to be enough brainfood for Friday, this is getting old (arghhh bad pun notice should have posted). More in Peoplenomics.com tomorrow and Sunday for those with strong constitutions....otherwise TTTM (tah-tah till Monday...)
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Home Defense Against EMP
Several readers have requested additional information about how I plan to reduce at the ranch to the possible effects of a major electro magnetic pulse event. Such an event becomes a low level contingency planning matter due to several recent changes evident when looking at how our shared futures may develop. For one, the discussion matter of a purported former Boeing engineer – namely, that Earth would soon be passing through an energetic portion of local interstellar space which may cause activation of the sun, and that in turn could cause an electromagnetic pulse event – is just one example. Nuclear war over Iran is another....
Dream A Little Dream...
If you have an especially vivid dream that seems to have something to do with the future, please write it down so others can look it over for possible future/predictive values. Simple go to http://www.nationaldreamcenter.com/ and click over to the DreamBase - commercial-free and open registration...
The folks at Maxa Research have put together a short video (sound track by guess who?) that shows the Maxa Cookie Manager. You can see it here.
I don't usually get all whipped up about software, but this is one of those dandy tools that just simply works great. First thing I put on my new computer when I got it was Avira Anti-virus and Maxa Cookie Manager (MCM). Either follow the on-screen download instructions of simply click:
Once you try it out, to upgrade to the fully functioning version, just 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.
"Live on $10,000" A Year
Having a hard time making ends meet? (Like who isn't, right?) A good starting point to better match up income with outgo is our $10 e-book "How to Live on #10,000 a Year...or less!"
It's an automatic download. It's written in an information dense style: The whole thing runs about 65 pages, but it gives you a vision of how to not only live on the cheap, but also how to migrate up the economic foodchain if you have a little hustle left. A bonus section called "How to Build Anything" should instill confidence if you've never taken on a home improvement/home creation project before, too..... Click here for the index and details.
Pass It On
A different take on things - that's what you'll find here most mornings. If you know of anyone who might also like our content, simply click here and send a link to them. Or, if you hated what you read, send the link to all your 'worst enemies'. Like they say in Burbank, "Ain't no such thing as bad press..."
Thursday September 9, 2010
Scoring the Inflation-Deflation Battle
Don't know if you are aware of it, but inflation is running rampant in other parts of the world. I suspect what's going on is that the G20 finance ministers may have4 some kind of secret hand-shake that they'll all water down the purchasing power of their money in more or less synchronized fashion. The story of how "Someone Just Bought an Old Shoebox Apartment in Hong Kong for a Quarter Million Dollars" underscores my contention that prices don't go UP, the value of money gets watered DOWN.
Next we look to this morning's report that the first-time unemployment claims were down a bit in the latest reporting period:
Then there's the balance of trade report out this morning:
So this morning's scoring is pretty simple if you remember the concept of "dead-banding." That's an engineering term that describes an area in a control system where very small inputs on the control mechanism have not impact on the system. Think of it as the little 'deadband' in the middle of a computer joystick where a very tiny movement of the joystick doesn't do anything until you move it past a certain threshold.
That's where the market is: Nothing particular profound (except for maybe that jobs number) and as a result the market should go up today. If things get north of 10,500 I will bail from short positions, otherwise, I'll be sitting here waiting for the fall in the fall.
The score today seems to be a slight upward bias/continuation move, with 10,501.67 (from Aug 17th) a kind of line in the sand to be crossed first.
Phony Tony Dept.
So answer me this: How is it that the qoe (queen of England) is saying in a movie depiction the same thing that ex-UK PM TB says in his new book? Say, you don't think Tony Blair maybe fudged a bit, do you? What of course not! LOL...caught! No worries, the Ovis Ares ain't gonna get it, just both of us conscious people. Besides, Blair was already a good laugh before the book...
Fools On The Hill
A senior aide to senator Barbara Boxer (D-Calif) has resigned after being busted for trying to bring marijuana into the Hart Senate Office building.
The fact this particular aid worked for the "Joint Economic Committee" is the Universe winking at us...the joint committee....got it? Ah, what a sense of humor Universe has...
So now we have a czar to oversee the federal response to the arrive of the Asian carp in the Great Lakes. Of course this just about assures they will spread all over the place. Something fishing about gov't, know what I mean?
Peoplenomics Reader Note
Remember last week's report on how to harden your home against a possible EMP attack in our September 5 offering? Check the timing of the story "Gauging the threat of an Electro-Magnetic Pulse Attack in the US" reported September 9 in the Business Insider site. Curious coincidence of sync-wink?
Speaking of EMP and such: While we're waiting for October 28th to see if we get a sunquake on schedule there (alternate count date Oct. 18) this reader email popped in:
Cool and thanks to the fellow ham (a KH6) for sending this along.
Religion as a Marketing Venture Dept.
Much is being made out of the Koran burning planned this weekend by a Florida church. Turns out the church involved has a 'student rulebook' that reportedly bars such behaviors as eating out in restaurants and measured for progress toward weight goals.
On the other side (religiously speaking) the Imam who proposed the Muslim community center two blocks from the WTC site says to move it now could spur radical reaction.
While president Obama is asking the pastor to call off the Koran burning, we have to put the planned event in the same league with flag-burning: not what we'd do, but protected free speech...
See how this freedom stuff requires actual thinking?
Also: From a marketing standpoint it's a brilliant/viral ploy that's well-timed and it should help this outfits business model considerably.
Speaking of Marketing
This is going to sound incredibly cynical but here goes: Ure's newest axiom of humanistic economics (peoplenomics) goes as follows:
In the first Depression, it was the socialists, the national socialists, the various riots and protesters... now in this iteration we're seeing marketing turn to computer social networks, religion and sexual persuasion.
If you want to understand Facebook, Islamic fundamentalists, Koran burners, and gay rights, here's the common thread - marketing of social business models because the 'thing' business models are mostly breaking or already broken. Marketing moves to where the money or growth is. Sort of like water seeking its own level.
Sure wish the data lined up some other way, but more and more business models built on social groups / belief groups (affinity psychographics) seem to be making real inroads.
Coping: Inquiring Minds Want to Know
A long-time reader of this site sent in a most interesting note raising a question which I imagine more than one reader would like to know the answer to:
Let's start at the beginning: I've done a tremendous amount of moving about in Life - since I discovered a long time ago (talking early 1970's here) that the numbers don't work to support mass retirement of the Baby Boomers. In other words, people over 50 might as well get used to the idea that they will have to work at something until they are about ready to 'get planted.'
The macro view of the historical period we're in is that the economy is changing in unforeseen ways and the only way to effectively cope is to move in advance of economic change. So Elaine and I left Seattle in early 2001, lived and worked in Boca Raton for a couple of years, then the ranch briefly, the a 2-year project in L.A., then back here and so forth.
Yes - we have done a tremendous amount of moving around, BUT that moving around has kept us both very adaptable to change. Oh, and along the way, the net worth has done just fine, thank you.
Now to your specific points: Yes, the ranch is coming along as a well-prepared place with lots of survivability potential and more will be coming on line during the coming few months in the form of more solar, greenhouse, and so on.
We got rid of the goats for a number of reasons: 1) the highest cost period of goat ownership is winter. During winter we need to spend a fair bit on feed and the idea of 'free lunch' for 28 goats (and perhaps 6-8 more since many of the nans will be dropping additional kids next month) would mean wintering over between 35-40 goats. That's about a bag of medicated goat feed per day ($9) and three or four round bails of hay.
The payoff for us on the back end would have been very low, not to mention that come next spring we would have the nans dropping still more kids in April or May which would put the herd over 50 (plus or minus).
Instead, I followed the "what feels right path" and amazingly, a very nice family with 560 acres near Mt. Pleasant Texas has a huge piece of property and gave us a decent price - and best of all since they'll be doing land-clearing work, the goats won't end up going to market which means they won't end up on someone's dinner plate and that's a karmic kind of burden that I'm conscious of.
Sometimes you just have to be in touch with your internal feelings and 'go with it.'
As to 'getting rid' of the ranch, we're in no particular hurry to do so, except that both Elaine and I are not exactly kids. While her age is classified, I'm going to be 62 early next year and we recognize that as we're getting older we have both come to appreciate our kids more while they have come to appreciate us more. Oh, and did I mention that the medic response time out here is on the order of 20-minutes? That's a triviality if you're under 50 and fait as a fiddle. Bigger deal when you're north of 60.
And I miss sailing terribly.
In a perfect world, we would keep the ranch in Texas as a home six-months out of the year place and have enough money to buy a waterfront home in the Pacific Northwest and park a 36-foot sailboat (45-feet would be nicer ;-)) in the front yard, and since I expect real estate prices won't bottom for at least a year or two, now would be the time to make a half-step in the direction of that 'next dream'. Selling the ranch would fund both the boat to live on this fall/winter and if should leave us enough leftover dough to pick up a small waterfront place up north.
On the other hand, if nothing happens, then so be it - that's just how Universe works. But my experience is that I've been incredibly lucky in my moving around the world - Clif wryly points out "Universe sure seems to like George." And with the 'goat thing' as an example, when I decide to do something, it's almost a magical falls-into-place sequence of events that usually work out harmoniously. That will depend on how the market does this fall and while I expect a major downward move, that alone 'don't make it so.'
Selling the Porsche, on the other hand, was an interesting lesson is personal attachment to 'things.' I have always wanted the wide-body whale tail and a 1986 is about the creme of the crop. I lost about two-grand on it, but had probably twice that in the amount of fun received. The harsh reality the experience taught was that a Porsche takes up about 200 square feet of garage space, and if I ever got popped by the local gendarmerie I'd be facing jail time because 930 speeding tickets are not measured in "miles over the speed limit" -- they're measured in multiples of the speed limit and 150 MPH is a hard think to talk your way out of.
Plus, I spent enough time on the big brakes when wildlife appeared, that I knew if I hit another deer in the 930, the outcome might not be so fortunate as the first deer/Porsche event I went through on I-=5 outside of Portland, Oregon back in 1986, or so.
The fellow who bought it is a retired cop up north who is equally adept at high speed driving and lives in a less 'deer & wildlife intense area' and knows the local constabulary on a personal basis. It was another win-win and lessons learned.
Yes, I've had the money sitting in paper assets and as the market declines come along, perhaps that will go up a small house worth which would be fine. For now, I've shelved plans to buy an airplane after running the numbers and looking at Clif's report. Mobility and a plan to move into a self-organizing collective setting is what works. More on this point in Peoplenomics this weekend since I think I've got a bead on what the next iteration of global business models will be and I think you'll enjoy that report a lot.
Overall, I've spent a lot of time just trying to 'listen to the quiet voice' and do what 'feels right' along the way. If the house is found desirable by someone, then fine, off to the boat we go. If not, then this is a fine place to hunker down and with the goats gone, we're able to get back to our evening "Martini Mile" walks around the perimeter.
Yes, the Net Worth has continued to go up; something I attribute to buying gold at $275, buying land when it was cheap, and making a few bucks in the market ;-), consulting, and what-have-you.
We're able to live like this because there are a few golden rules of economics that do always seem to work and I'd offer these for your thoughtful consideration:
I'd go on for hours on this larger economic perspective, but I'm guessing most folks already know it, since it's been said that "The Laws of Universe are written on people's heats."
Today's modern world and fixation of paper assets serves as a great distraction which prevents people from reading what's written there. In the end, Life will probably be like a river, after all: Easy if you go with the flow and hard if you swim against the current all the time. A map of the river is handy if folks want it but seems many don't.
I'm pretty sure the economic plan that always works is to keep the longer - eternity-length - investment horizon in mind is the Economic Plan That Always Makes Sense. However our hop-scotching around life may seem random, we're doing our best to go with the current on this Big River and swim easily with it whether it takes us from Texas back to the PNW, or whether we get another Monty Python-like "And now for something completely different..."
Life's always fun and always eternity-length investments can be made for next to nothing.
Wednesday September 8, 2010
Rally 'Round the Train Wreck
While president Obama is set to pitch some of his new tax & spend our way into prosperity's return ideas in the Midwest, the Fed Beige Book was coming out with less than cheerful input on the much ballyhooed recovery. Little items like these:
Well, maybe then, but not now. The Consumer Credit report (a/k/a how many people will stick their neck in the debt-noose report) showed that consumer debt is back to declining at an overall 1.8 percent rate for the month of July. Worse - for the credit card folks - the decrease in revolving debt was 6.3% annualized. That's only a slight improvement on June which was negative 7.5 percent annualized, but June's net 0.5 percent annualized was offset by the small pop in (stimulus driven) housing sales and now that those are going, going, gone...so is the happy-talk.
The way this works out is pretty simple: Given that the money supply (M1) is going up at about 4% per year in the recent reports, and given that revolving debt (e.g. discretionary debt) is going down at an annualized 6.3%it doesn't take too much rocketry to to figure there's a 10.3 percent deflation rate in consumer discretionary purchases.
So when you see all those home electronics going on sale is it because things have gotten cheaper? Kind of. The real bottom line is that consumers were already pulling in their horns 60-days back and I have to believe that the public is still in a 'gun-shy about debt' mode right now which augers poorly for the idea of avoiding the second leg down of the 'recession' (depression 2).
Does the market's rally today of around 50-60 points at press time mean anything? Ha ha ha....that's a good one. Remember we dropped 107 yesterday so this is just a talking point before the fall in fall, or as my editor Zeus the Cat paws it: "Rally Round the Train Wreck." Wise-ass cat.
Will Consumer's Buy It?
Check back this afternoon around 3:15 PM Eastern for a summary of how the Fed's Beige Book and the latest Consumer Credit (really debt) report come out. The big question is whether the American consumer will 'buy' the notion that good times are just ahead, or whether the consumers will have stepped deeper into the wait and see mode.
Here's the problem: If consumers start to really hold onto their money and don't go on buying the endless piles of junk out there, then the whole economy will crater into a global depression the likes of which has never been seen. Of course, we're already going down that road, but the happy talk is that markets are up a little in the pre-open and that just one more stimulus package is all it will take to put America back on the road to prosperity.
Which of course, it won't. Economist Paul Krugman ( The Return of Depression Economics and the Crisis of 2008 ) is among the skeptics, too, so it's not like you and I are alone in our thinking here.
The consensus is that Consumer Credit will be down $5.25 billion, but any surprise to the downside will cut the legs from under the market's small bounce today off of yesterday's decline of 107 Dow points. Oh, and when it does, if it does I should say, then that will set up the kind of fundamental weakness that should drop the Dow to the 9,600 level in short order, from where we should get a bounce to the 10,000 range and then it'd be off to 8,600 to 8,100 in short order.
And - if you think that's a bummer, if we don't get something like a limited nuclear war (or at least Israel bombing Iran in November - not that I support it, but just saying...) then all that energy and all those ugly impacts will start in the US and go into the collapse of world confidence in paper assets of all kinds.
It'd be sort of like waking up one morning in March-April 1637 and the whole world deciding one morning that tulips are really worthless. So ends a mania.
Not that I'm in favor of any of this ending, mind you. I kinda like paper assets, but as a decade-long gold and silver bug, I have to admit a kind of grim satisfaction noting that silver is back over $20 this morning and gold is edging toward highs.
Still, they are nowhere near their ultimate destinations. Remember that when gold hit $850 an ounce back in 1980 that it was only held by intervention to keep it from going higher and to hang onto the mirage of paper assets being more important. That's held up for 30-odd years.
But imagine where gold would be if - on an inflation adjusted basis - it had been allowed to rise to its natural $1,000 or higher level in 1980? Oh my...just on an inflation-corrected basis alone, that would put gold at $2,666 while the actual $850 inflation corrects to gold at $2,266 in today's hollowed out dollars.
A friend of mine, Hugo Salinas-Price, who is one of Mexico's leading advocates of a strong silver-backed Peso, cc'd me on a letter he wrote to a prominent commentator on economic affairs. I share it with you because it raises a critically important point:
Did you catch it? The whole essence of what's likely to befall the global economy this fall summed up as two simple words: irredeemable dollars.
It's when global trading partners figure out that the global reserve currency is saddled with more than $500-trillion in notional derivative debt on top of an exceptional government spending spree which is the last-ditch effort to keep global depression from arriving....well, you get the idea.
Lots of 'experts' (more than a few self-proclaimed) have made forecasts for gold's ascendance in international prominence to new highs; sometimes north of $10,000 an ounce and a few over $20,000.
Guess Who's Coming to Dinar?
Amidst the speculation and wild projections, it's hard to see which one(s) will actually come to pass. BUT what we can say with a fair amount of certainty is that where gold money is being introduced, people are flocking to it as never before, no doubt due in part to the global awakening that paper dilution of purchasing power has gotten out of hand and that no amount of happy-talk can scrub zeroes off the debt which burdens paper.
The view on Wall St. seems to be that gold is not practical in the modern world, but that seems to fly in the face of the evidence. Paper - backed by gold convertibility - is the most serious threat to the Western PTB there is and the advancement of the Islamic dinar is almost a certainty.
On the personal tactics side, I have been watching the Gold to silver ratio closely. Over the longer span of history, ten to fifteen ounces of silver has been enough to buy an ounce of gold. But, with the spot price early today at
$1,261 for gold and $20.12 for silver, the ratio more than 62 ounces to one.
No problem here: even a return to the historical 10-15 to one ratio, would mean a rise to $2,000 an ounce gold should be accompanied with a rise of silver to perhaps $133 an ounce or even $200 per ounce if it went 10:1.
All of which is not to say any of this will happen. But, I think it's a fair bet that as global confidence in the permanent of ink on paper fades, gold and silver's return to their traditional storehouse of value roles is as close to a sure thing as I can think of.
Home Defender Busted
Unreal story about a man in New York being arrested for defending his home against MS-13 gang members. Firing four warning shots into the ground got him arrested.
While the speculation increases that Rahm Emmanuel - currently Obama's chief of staff - will run for mayor in Chicago to replace retiring Dick Daley is interesting if you like windy city politics, there's something else to keep an eye on: The evolution of the city-state.
Here's the background: There's a bill in Washington called Senate Bill 1619 which would basically implement the UN's Agenda 21 here in the USA. According to the non-partisan Congressional Research Service, here's what this little gem of lawyering would do:
So here's the PTB wet dream plan if I'm getting it right: Retire Daly, put Emmanuel in, and since he's tightly wired into Obamaville, they soak up the major chunk of dough for Chicago and install it as the first of the city-states.
Oh, and since the republicorps will be coming in larger numbers, the time to get S. 1619 voted through over the wishes of the people would be during the lame duck session between November's elections and January when the new kids show up in Washington.
Should be just marvelous to watch unfold. Especially in the midst of paper collapsing, but there you have it.
Keeping Them Arches Golden
The story that the "Homeless Upset About McDonald's Dollar Menu Increase" reminds me that for a land of opportunity, we sure seem to have exported too many jobs.
Latest Iran Rumble
Iran is getting bitchy about inspections again says the International Atomic Energy Agency using slightly more refined lingo to say it.
Weathering the Day
New global climate report says the icecap loss has been overstated by a factor of two.
Big Rains here in Texas as remnants of Hermine come through. Some places getting up to 12 inches worth. Only 0.33 inch here at the ranch past 24-hours.
And a reader up in Colorado sent in this dandy shot of the fires up there in the Boulder area.
Reader said they had ash falling 'like snow' for a while. Big smoke cloud, yessir...
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Coping: EVP in Seattle
Daughter Denise in Seattle, when she's not out looking for a job, spends time in rather odd places in pursuit of something called 'electronic voice phenomena'. And you thought your hobbies were 'out there', huh?
Denise is one of those empath types who is long on feelings and has been blessed (or cursed) with periodic episodes of being able to see/hear/touch worlds that most of us just read about. So, for example, when I call up to chat about a column where I've written up something like "shadow people" that a reader claims to have seen, what I get back from Denise is usually something like "...oh...them..."
Besides being a very talented musician, Denise also wears a BAHA device (a bone-anchored hearing appliance) which, she says, malfunctions periodically in a strange way - giving her access to out of 'normal' hearing ranges.
Yesterday, while catching up on the phone she mentioned that she's been having a high degree of success lately recording electronic voice phenomena.
Like this one which she says is unenhanced....(.wma audio file)
Electronic voice phenomena is somewhat well described, although controversial. The Wikipedia entry goes like this:
I listened to the EVP capture Denise did and said "Wow!" I'd taken a look at EVP's before since George Noory has done several segments on CoastToCoastAM on the phenomena, but I've never been 'close' to one so that I could ask a lot of specifics about how they might work. Later on today, I'll be chatting with Denise and get her to give me a rundown on the equipment and maybe another EVP file for tomorrow's report.
Since she's between gigs at the moment, she's thought fancifully of setting up the "Seattle Paranormal Search Team/Independent Contractors" (SPASTIC for short - she missed the marketing gene in the family) with hopes of doing a real-life version of Ghost Busters. Email her: firstname.lastname@example.org if you have a ghost hanging around in the PNW.
Armed with a 'tri-field meter" she says that both her BAHA device and the tri-field meter go nuts before and during EVP events and being an empath she says in the right places (like the Seattle cemetery where Jimmy Hendrix is buried, for example) she can get pretty good EVP's.
Not sure what to make of it all, but doggone if it isn't interesting stuff. I'll probably have to break down and buy myself an ultrasonic receiver kit, since there's some indication that the phenomena has something to do with audio frequencies higher than most people can hear. My own hearing, for example, after tons of time in broadcasting and such tends to roll over at about 12-13KHz (-6 db point).
The EVP phenomena was first noted using cassette tape recorders - the small handheld variety. The way this works - so say adherents to the theory, anyway - is that there is a very high frequency AC bias voltage applied across the magnetic recording head as explained in this Wikipedia entry:
So from here, we dig a little deeper and find (see page two of Patent 1,640,881) that the AC bias used is higher than 10 KHz and in cassette units, tends to be in the 25-40 KHz range.
Here's where it gets interesting from a technical standpoint. Consider the typical radio receiver which has an 'antenna' (that pitchforky thing on the left) a mixer, local oscillator and then an IF amplifier...with me so far?
What I think is happening is that in EVP work, in place of the RF amplifier, you have a microphone (and a pre-amp stage) which can 'hear' above the human hearing range. Virtually all EVP's I'm aware of are picked up with electret (condenser-type) microphones.
The recording media bias (typically in the 25-40 KHz range, right?) acts as the local oscillator. And the 'output' is the captured signals on the audio tape.
All of which then leaps a half-step forward since the sample rate of modern digital recording equipment is also typically at several more or less 'standard' sample rates including 22, 44, 48, 96, and 128 KHz.
A curious point: Where are the EVP voices coming from if sampling rate theory says that we should only be able to hear up to about half the sample rate? With 44.1 or 498 KHz sampling, that might imply EVP's would be most pronounced in the 20-40 KHz part of the spectrum...
In some cases, the EVP's are best recorded if there is a local source of 'white noise' (or pink noise) present as well. This might be something like an open squelch from a 2-meter ham rig or whatever's handy. It seems that the local background noise source somehow helps give the disembodied personality something to modulate.
Want to really push the envelope? Are you an electronic engineer with a little time to kill in the lab, or a college student working on a masters in EE with no dissertation topic? OK...here comes my contribution to the state of the art in this stuff, but credit sharing if you patent any of this, right?
Consider the two obvious enhancements in EVP: One is that you could hook up some kind of detector to the ultrasonic mic/digital sampler because the kind of recording that's being done would be analogous to only the crudest kind of transmission. Obviously, the EVP search - so far - has been capturing only the coarsest kinds of (afterlife of whatever?) disembodied voices.
The second iteration would be to build up (and this gets to be pretty exciting) what would be the EVP equivalent of a dual or even triple conversion receiver which would then allow experimentation with various demodulation techniques. Toss in the idea of using a tunable sampling rate (the first stage variable frequency oscillator equivalent) and upshift the spectrum to something where a good communications receiver could get at it and then start looking around for different modulations beyond just 'brute force' AM. Might be some odd carriers to be found, and maybe some of the EVP's will turn out to be frequency modulated - we just don't know.
The key reason to go through a rigorous build and exploration is that best I can figure it, Life as We Know It doesn't end at time of death - it just goes off to another plane which - in physics - seems to be orthogonal to this one. Odds seem good that IF EVP can be studied, there may be a technical method to actually cross that orthogonal bridge into another dimensionality which could make something as bizarre as real-time communication with the dead possible and boy, wouldn't that be worthwhile?
Why, I can envision a new kind of communication evolving which might follow some of the message formats of ham radio, except that instead of exchanging basic location and signal reports in the familiar name/location/signal report format, it would become name/timeframe/signal exchanges. Yup, I could see that kind of receiver being a game-changer for the PTB...no question about it. Technically, it wouldn't be that difficult to build and test...
Reader contributions, thoughts, and schematics are welcome - especially for the tunable DSP sampling rate 'front-end'...May be able to cobble something up using one of my function generators as a trigger...it's good up to 5 MHz...hmmm...time sink ahead!
That Ad and A Few Notes
You noticed, no doubt, that I put an ad for Emergency Essentials between the 'hard news' section and the 'coping' part this morning. It will be a more or less permanent fixture for a while for a couple of reasons. One is they have great products and Two because as I venture a little deeper into content (pictures and audio) that gobbles up a lot more bandwidth and that's not free.
This site has gotten to where it is mainly due to subscriptions of Peoplenomics.com readers.
By the way - neat piece coming up this weekend on how Clif's SOC's will likely evolve on the other side of the financial meltdown now in progress.
Around the ranch: We are now goatless: We loaded 28 goats up and headed them off to a new home in the Mount Pleasant, Texas area where they will be clearing off 561-acres of land.
That means we will have a fair bit of additional time to work on projects around here, since the goats were something of a time sink. I can tell youi first-hand that the saying "If you know a man with nothing to do, buy him a goat..." is the gospel truth.
Tuesday September 7, 2010
When in Doubt, Pump Harder
The "Big Slide" Returns
With the reality that we're bound for at least a 'dip-and-a-half' - if not an outright double-dip Great Recessions which is what Washington pundits seem to want to label this Second Great Depression, the Obama administration has pretty much run out of tricks and blown it in terms of making this a short-lived phenomena.
Not that I fault the Command in Chief himself; he's been aided and abetted by some of the very people who built the bubble in housing then vigorously defended the unregulated derivatives market until the fall 2008 collapse and bailout round; whereupon the likes of Tim Geithner and Larry Summers became 'born again regulators' after following the faulty thinking of Alan "the market will police itself" Greenspan. Obama just inherited a circus, and many of the clowns seem to have no-cut contracts. But this much is probably obvious.
The latest version of a "silver bullet" seems to be the plan to spend $50-billion (plus or minus a cheeseburger on Tuesday) which seems on the surface to be a reasonable next step, but in my view, it's not for two reasons.
First is that it's insufficient to really end the recession. In most countries which are serious about depression-fighting regimens, it's a kind of article of faith that the spending needs to be in the 1.5 to 2.0 percent of GDP range. Plug in the US GDP at $14-trillion (plus or minus a cabbage), toss something in for lateness of the hour, and the stimulus ought to be in the $280-billion range. Everyone outside of Washington knows that the first round of stimulus was not organized around any principle beyond stir-frying the pork.
The second problem with the stimulus is that it's going into wrong-headed areas....in other words, areas which will benefit corporate interests more than regular humans above all.
Maybe it's the cynical look of the Monday comes of Tuesday this week, but when I read plans to rebuild 150,000 miles of the nation's roads, I ask "Is this so more of these can be turned over to private contractors to profit from?"
Or, when I read about constructing 4,000 miles of railroads I ask "Since private industry can get money for next-to-free now, how is this going to give us long-term employment?
150-miles of airport runways sounds OK on the surface, until you look at who benefits: corporate users of airports mostly. Recreational and occasional business fliers doing VFR (visual flight rules travel, under 18,000 feet) don't use fancy updated instrument landing systems sound like increasing safety - and that part at least is true, but other than an occasional training approach down to decision-height, guys like me who fly VFR can already land on a pea patch thanks to advances in GPS technology. Serious business users seem like they'll benefit most.
Giving business a $200-billion investment tax break is not a viable answer. Why? because the primary jobs created will be overseas, damn it! Wrong end of the problem!
I continue to argue (pointlessly, I'm afraid) that the core problem in America is the export of primary manufacturing to third world shit holes where dime-an-hour labor lets international corporations in tax-havens dodge any responsibility to end-users of their products.
By the time this round of 'stimulus" gets passed, call me the Grinch, but the number of products carrying the "Made in America" label is just about certain to remain unchanged or still dropping.
Amidst the global hoax falling apart - you know, the one about how globalism is good for everyone? - news that there are fresh bank worries out of Europe is about as surprising as coffee getting cold.
Got news for you: Entropy wasn't invested over the holiday; it's been lurking in the wings ever since the happy-talk ended with a promise of financial transparency to come. It's not here yet, so another crisis will be. Simple, huh?
The Wall Street Journal's online section carries a story about "The Good News About Rising Mortgage Rates."
The thinking seems to be that there's some pent-up demand somewhere that will magically be unleashed once rates look like they're about to turn upward. That in turn might change what's presently a deflationary mindset - people holding out for lower prices.
Nice theory -far as it goes - but the reality is that banks are not anxious to lend and most of the mortgage activity latest has been people doing refi's on the way down.
The core troubles of America all stem from a lack of jobs. With jobs, people have money, people have bright prospects, and with that comes easier spending and the virtuous cycle returns.
The Obama administration is trying to put a Band-Aid on the economic finger while we have body parts like arms and legs hemorrhaging.
The markets know. Deep down under the stock tout buzz off the tube you can catch it...the sense that something's wrong. Yet, so far it's mainly unspoken like the Emperor's new clothes. Can't talk about it - nothing to see here - move along.
Not much in the way of economic news today, except renewed bank jitters and the markets in Europe down a half to one percent; not particularly worrisome; yet.
But stick around through mid-November. We oughta be getting into full-on crash mode this fall. Not that I'm the only one warning of continued deflation, coverage leaked out a bit over the holiday, but the latest stimulus plans even if 20% or less of what's needed (and in the wrong areas) will no doubt push logic off the front pages again.
Nice to get up and try to find work, especially with headlines like "Work until you're dead? That may be the only option for many Americans." But, between stimuli and greed-based banking collapses, what were you expecting?
It's been there all along but at glacial speed so far, but that's about to change between now and Turkey Day. Seeping into the public consciousness all over the place as one astute reader advised in an email last night:
Ah, yes...well if you open your eyes thoughtfully and you'll see it coming into focus out of a mental fog: the Big Slide is back.
I'm thinking silver may be about to pop over $20, too, but I've been wrong often enough to learn not to make predictions.
Still, being 100 percent short in equities right now feels good...
People always seem to ask "impossible-to-answer questions" when something like this pop this morning happens. Short answer: More buyers than sellers. Long answer? Well, you start by going to college for 6-years and get an MBA or a masters in economics and you know what the answer is after 6-7 years of mind-numbing study??? More buyers than sellers! Amazing!
"The Earth Moved"
Headline in the UK's Mail this morning says that New Zealand quake Saturday morning moved the earth's surfaced "11 ft to the right". After rereading the story a couple of times, I can't figure out what direction it moved, since I don't know whether the directional word 'right' meant the observer would have to be standing north - or south - of Christchurch to see it that way, although down in the underworld things have been lurching to the right off and on for years; if you'll pardon my mixing of politics of Oz and New Zealand in here...
Oh, the North Island of NZ had a 5.2 shaker today (NZ time), part of a related swarming down that way.
More to come? Wouldn't bet against it. Something's going on with the East-Pacific Rise.
Came ashore down near in the Rio Grande Valley (RGV), officially making landfall 40-miles south of Brownsville. A three-day spell of showers here at the ranch in East Texas, which is either a minor inconvenient or a convenient excuse not to do outside chores.
Hide the Meteorite
Alternative and South American news outfits are abuzz with talk of a large meteorite hitting Colombia and leaving a 300-foot crater...
Folks in Wisconsin have decided to name the April meteor the "Mifflin" meteor in honor of the township where it landed.
Dandy example of clustering; the regional coverage of the Wisconsin meteor naming and within a day or two of that going into the public consciousness, the meteor strike down in Colombia. Always find such 'clusters' interesting...although I suspect Clif finds them more annoying from a data sifting perspective.
Big one up near Boulder - about 3,500 acres and winds are the problem.
Tuesday Morning Office Pool
Nothing big in sports betting at the office? How about a pool on which comes first: Israel attacks Iran OR full-up revolution in Greece due to austerity programs imposed by the foreign enabler/bankster/demons who create such crisis in the first place?
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Coping: Chemtrails Over?
Short answer: No, not likely. Long answer: Readers have started to notice unusually clear skies a number of places, like this reader email:
Only had a couple of reports of clearing skies so far, but near as I can figure, chemtrails have been a nightmarish scheme to reduce global warming. But, with the advent of new temperature data showing, among other things, that satellites aren't 100% reliable, seems that some of the purported secret program proponents panic-driven aerial spraying may have slowed.
On a little more grounded basis, don't know if you're away of it, but NOAA has a couple of satellite feeds where you can watch the AOD - aerosol optical depth) on a near-real-time basis. The GOES East - Aerosol/Smoke Product (GASP) Flash Loop is here while the GOES West - Aerosol/Smoke Product (GASP) Flash Loop is here.
No, don't ask me what the funny arcs at the top of the GOES West loop are...for that matter, don't ask me how it is that aerosol depth equipment is floating around overhead...makes my head hurt. But check out some of the items on the special imagery tab.
But,. judging by the Aerosol Optical Depth, my guess is the reader lives in mid to southern Ohio and the particulates downwind from the Colorado fire should be impacting star-gazing soon enough.
Oh, informed speculation about why Gulf Stream sea surface temperature information is so hard to find would be interesting.
A number of people sent in advice about my commodity guy's round with tomato worms which have moved from the tomatoes to the Jalapeño peppers in his MyGroPonics gardening system. (Picture in yest's column)
Several people suggested the solution might be to apply the same thing to the Jalapeños that he used on the tomatoes (no, it wasn't Sevin, something organic which it's too early in the day to pull out of sleeping brain cells). Nope - we're looking for an organic solutions...ah, like this one...
...that is, if you don't mind beagle patrol after, know what I mean? However, a couple of people suggested chickens, but JB lives in a citified part of Prescott, AZ, and although you'd think they'd welcome any kind of self-sufficiency moves, seems not everywhere does...although I'll grant you that chickens could also work over scorpions and lot of other bugs. The problem we had with our chickens (prior to their retirement at the paws of a local raccoon) was they'd quickly be done with the bugs and then they'd go after the fresh young shoots of [anything you planted] in the garden.
The most interesting note was a reader who pointed out that this ugly-buglies turn into beautiful butterflies - monarchs - and that's kinda special if you like royalty. Oh, the joys of gardening... but wait! Maybe NOT a tomatoe bug:
Whatever they are, put them in a big aquarium, feed them leaves until they roll up and then wait to see what kind of butterflies come along. Or, as another reader suggested, a slice with a pair of scissors will end 'em without having to pick them off. No running with the scissors though...
And Now, the Important Stuff
A while back I told you about the invention of deep-fired beer which was going up against tough competition at the State Fair of Texas. Well, sad to report it was aced out by "Texas Fried Frito Pie" although reports from the Dallas Morning News indicate the fried beer nabbed a "Most Creative" award.
I've been working on development of related intellectual property, such as deep-friend Jack or stir-fried Gin, but for some reason large fireballs keep occurring. Back to the drawing board, I guess...
Time is Money Dept.
Say, here's an interesting one: A movie-goer in China is suing over those trailers that run before the main feature. Argues, according to a Xinhua story, that with 20-minutes of trailers before the move 'Aftershock' her valuable time was wasted. Apparently going to trial...we'll keep you posted.
Monday September 6, 2010
More Rally Ahead This Week?
The happy-talk and pre-holiday buzz in the US markets is still reverberating around the world this Monday as many Asia markets popped nicely to the upside as the week's trading resumed. The Hang Seng was up 1.83% and Japan was up better'n 2%. However gains in Europe (early when I checked) were a little more restrained and whether the US market can keep up the charade once the monthly inflow of money runs down will be interesting to watch play out this week.
One thing that's clear when you look at the alternate unemployment statistics analyzed at Shadow Government Statistics - John William's most savory data site - is that the expected "recovery" is not showing up in new jobs yet. By their count the SGS site figures the unemployment rate is still about 22% which - yes - is a Depression-era level. Nothing to see here...move along....right....
Monday being a holiday, the next Biggie will be the Treasury auctions tomorrow and then on Wednesday afternoon the Consumer Debt report will be released by the Fed. This will be a key one to watch: If Consumers are willing to keep going out on a limb while sticking their heads further into the debt-noose, then the economy might do a kind of 'half dip" or "dip and a half" instead of a full second-dip -- at least that's how it will be spun. On the other hand, if the Consume Debt (called Credit) shows people are back to pulling in their horns, who could blame them? What's going on in America hardly inspires confidence.
Elsewhere, the usual discussions of the 'double dip' continues with articles like "Global Collapse of the Fiat Money System: Too Big to Fail Global Banks will Collapse Between Now and First Quarter 2011" are appearing, tilling again the same ground we've been reporting on since 1996/1997 when the Second Depression was in its formative years, the modern analog to the Roaring Twenties was the Internet Bubble....
What many people fail to appreciate is that there is no economic reason why the stock market collapse and the financial crisis that are sure to accompanying this Second Depression can't be stretched out over years.
To repeat my view for the umpteenth time: When banks started to collapse in the first depression, the losses were both immediate and personal - and thus the public's mindset spun rather quickly.
In this - the new and improved Depression - and thanks to the fact that FDIC hasn't run out of money yet, the public recognition of losses has slowed.
The places where you will see it are when you look at your 401(k) and other retirement vehicles, particularly if your retirement was in any way in those crooked derivatives that may - or may not - contain substantial elements of fraud which folks like Alan Greenspan and Larry Summers thought the market would somehow magically police itself clear of.
For supposedly 'smart' people...oh, don't get me started on 'true believer' thinking. Ayn Rand obviously never was the be-all, end-all, when it comes to understanding human nature and the real-world. Come to think of it, I can't think of a Russian novelist who does...
Depends Who's Greedy
There's a worthwhile article over at BlackListedNews about the arrest of one of the people behind so-called 'high-frequency trading" that's worth a read.
But, it's part of a much bigger problem of what's going down on (and off) Wall St. where free-market terror extremists (like Alan Greenspan and Larry Summers) were standing by idly while the world building to the next financial calamity, waiting for disaster before backing regulation -- even after LTCM.
If you have NetFlix, the Frontline documentary "The Warning" is on their 'instant/streaming" list now and it's about the best 60-minute backgrounder on what happens with even reasonable regulation is pushed aside.
The key takeaway from the Frontline piece is that despite all the hoopla, the same cast of clowns is in place and there are still five financial lobbyists for every member of congress.
And the arrest? Well, seems like more of 'keeping up appearances' to me - and the real culprits (the financial industry) are still running amuck. When it comes to justice in America, there's a continued and disturbing correlation between political contributions and vigor of prosecution.
Last week about this time, I seem to recall the happy-talk and hype about the US 'ending combat operations in Iraq". Of course, you wouldn't have been foolish enough to believe that if you'd seen some of the homespun videos from our young men and women in country (in Iraq) where they simply changed unit names and kept on fighting. Turns out there's a huge spectrum between lying outright, shading the truth, to misdirection, to misstating, to ultimately misunderstanding. I'm convinced speechwriters have that nailed up somewhere.
But, if you're still hopelessly media-programmed and need some head clearing, perhaps the story "Iraq Combat Continues: Despite formal end, U.S. joins Baghdad Battle" will help. This is the part where I raise an eyebrow and ask "You aren't really surprised, are you?"
Bailing Out, III
Looks more and more like US tax money will end up underwriting somehow the planned bailout of a key Afghanistan bank.
Understanding how this will be worked requires little financial sophistication: The US will find a vehicle which it can fund without massively ugly questions, and that entity in turn will act as a conduit to pass through the dough to the Afghan bank. "Oh, we didn't fund that" is what we'll here, but remember that continuum of "lies" at one extreme over to "misunderstood" at the other we were talking about a second ago? Fun example to watch unfold here.
Either that, or it will fail, but my money's on bailing since banks key are 'symbols' which is what wars are about, after all: Symbolic at all kinds of levels and mostly the sacrifice of humans under various symbols, but I assume you figured that out on your own. Banners and symbols on battlefields and equipment oughta be a hint.
Bailing Out, IV
Although there have been (year to date) 118 bank failures and 280 failures since IndyMac including some biggies like WaMu, there's plenty left in the pipeline; Nouriel Roubini figures that with 800 banks on the 'critical list' that something like 400 are likely to fail and need government money. Wucking funderful!
No...make that your money...just so we keep our thinking straight on who's getting stuff ro the tab in the end. Care to guess which end?
One of Rupert Murdoch's publications is in trouble as his "News of the World" publication is back in hot water (thanks in part to the NY Times coverage here) over purported use of private cell phone communications of major public figures.
When In Doubt, Spend
Looks like the Obama administration may be coming to its senses on one issue: The need to work on improving American infrastructure seems to be rolling around back into vogue. Old fashioned bricks and mortar stuff, roads, airport runways, and things like that, but hey, at least they are getting this part right.
Remember that it was massive public works projects (think Grand Coulee Dam) that got the last Depression set up to support the world war. We've got a couple of years before that, but good time to build infrastructure.
Why, maybe if it's rebuilt well enough, some of those jobs the corpgov geniuses allowed to go offshore (via misguided globalist policies) could come back to America where they belong, you think?
One other political note: Looks like young up & coming republicorps are turning on the Bush/Rovian faction of the once GOP for turning its back on conservative ideals.
A number of quakes up north of us this weekend and if you're thinking "Is this a set-up to something really big - like a New Madrid II qauke?" just keep wondering...we sure as hell are...
Hurricanes and Such
The remnants of Earl made it through the Canadian Maritimes without too much damage and it looks now like Tropical Storm Hermine will be next to make landfall in the Rio Grand Valley (RGV) area. This will be interesting to watch on several levels, not the least of which is that's such a key food producing area, but beyond that, it will blow up toward San Antonio and the Hill Country up around Bandera and up into Kerrville if the track from this morning holds. Don't expect it to impact oil operations up in the Permian Basin, but depends on how much steam is loses going inland.
A ways further south, Guatemala is going through a national day of mourning since the rains down that way caused landslides which have killed at least 50 and the toll is expected to go higher.
Overall a quiet morning on the news front, so while we'll check in a couple of times today on gold and silver, not a lot going on except a lot of yard work to be done and projects on the house.
Be well...and drop by tomorrow morning for the latest....
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Coping: Paring Down the Herd
We've decided to dramatically pare down the size of our goat herd here at the ranch since we're up in that 30'ish -range and wintering over a herd is a somewhat expensive proposition: There's the matter of feed, medications, building a bigger barn to keep them out of cold and wet conditions.
Then, too, there's the matter of how a herd of goats could fit in to our 'getting mobile' mindset. Simply put: They don't and abandoning animals doesn't seem to make sense.
There's a good-sized community of folks in East Texas who use goats for land clearing operations. If you've got a couple of hundred acres of land, the way to keep down the brush is buy a small herd of goats, turn them loose, and come back in a year or three. The goats do a masterful job of eating most everything off (especially gum trees, hickory, and oak leaves) up to about the 6-foot high level.
Since we're getting close to the linguistic turning point (Nov 8-12) we want to have as few responsibilities for animals as possible; karmic burdens and all that. So if all goes well, in the next day or two our involvement in goat-rearing (boy, there's a loaded phrase, huh?) will be dramatically reduced to somewhere between 3-4 and zero.
I keep looking at sailboats, too. Hudson Force 51 or a Formosa 51 sounds interesting, but only window-shopping...for now. Still...
Web Bot Notes
Several readers have sent along links to the recent article about how the dispersant used in the Gulf oil spill - which showed up linguistically in Clif's work as 'the blue flu' may now be in the wild to the point of morphing existing bugs into new and more deadly strains. The article is speculative, but something to ponder...how soon before things come up the food chain towards the biped population?
A while back (several reports back, in fact) there was a mention of the egg recall as a temporal marker and yes, the big egg whoopee recently was that. I get tired of posting when every prediction comes in, since people are disinclined to believe new forms of science, having been programmed effectively not to consider data and think for themselves. Ain't today's educational system grand?
My commodity guy JB Slear reports what's for him a new phenomena in the garden: He's applied something or other to keep tomato bugs off his prize MyGrowPonic-grown tomatoes...but seems now that the critters have developed a taste for his Jalapeño peppers!
I thought they'd stay away from Jalapeños because they'd be too hot, but apparently we're both wrong on this one. Big suckers - several inches long and really one of the grossest of critters in gardening.
Other than pulling them off by hand, anyone got ideas? Yucky disgusting critters.
8's In the Wallet
Say, we haven't talked about putting the number 8 in your wallet for a while, so this might be of interest:
After experimenting with various iterations of 8's (multiples in pyramids and other formations) I decided no, not any positive change I could see, so back to just a plain simple "8" on a hunk of 3 by 5 cardstock.
I don't have many ads on this site but one client that I'm pleased to have is the crew up at Emergency Essentials in Utah. They're having a sale on Mountain House Freeze-Dried foods and my favorite is their beef stroganoff. If the world's going to end (or shake itself to pieces) no point starving in the process...
Before the chart, a little background:
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.
No, it's not a perfect replay of 1929, but history doesn't repeat exactly, it only rhymes. So think of this as the rhymes and the crimes chart:
"George, that's only a coincidence!" your monkey-mind will protest.
Why sure it is...you bet. A 9½ year long coincidence...yessir....just a coincidence, I'm sure...
Write when you get rich,
George Ure, The People's Economist
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