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Retail Sales & Tea Leaves
Although the conventional wisdom about seems to be that the US market is waiting on retail sales (just out, be patience, would yah?) I think the market is really trying to figure out what the heck's going on at the Big Picture level. The biggest change overnight was Spain's drop of debt rating by S&P, but that hasn't kept the EU markets from a bit of a rally today on the theory that everything will work out. Don't hold your breath.
Ratings outfit Fitch Ratings is reported ready to drop ratings on some of the Big Banks...BofA, Morgan Stanley, Goldman and possibly more.
The calculus of how this works out in markets becomes tedious: If the US money center banks get whacked, that would drop faith in the US dollar, but - and here's the paradoxical part - this means that it would take more dollars to buy the market share represented by major companies in the US, so we would expect the Dollar to fall, but this in turn would push up gold and the US markets, at least that's how things looked prior to Retail numbers coming it.
I told you we'd get to this part, but only after I remind you that the latest Federal Reserve Consumer debt figures out last week already showed detail dropping, but what's this?
But despite retail being up, somehow credit went down...people buying more with checks and cash? Hmmm...
This leaves us with trying to sort out, with flashes of optimism here and there, but countered by pessimism, falling company, bank, and even country debt ratings, just how is this thing called GlobalRev going to work out? There's a very long-term dynamic in play which we'll model out in tomorrow's Peoplenomics report, but to say the problems of 2008-2009 are past us ignores some of the basics of particle economics: The L.A. Times was out with the leading edge of this with the report Thursday that "Home Foreclosure proceedings on the rise again...." which goes right up there with tides and sunrises in terms of surprise levels.
Nothing to Offer
There's a dandy Bruce Bartlett story over at Economix about republican "Misrepresentations, Regulations, and Jobs" by a former Reagan and Bush (the elder) policy advisor.
This really gets us on to the Peoplenomics focus this weekend: If costs go up faster than revenues for very long, even old-line established companies find their operations turning negative and the only choice for capital at that point is to exit. It's the stuff of which long-term Depressions are made.
Zucotti Park Clean-up
Protesters of the OWS movement had a problem this morning which might have led to some interesting TV footage. "Unsanitary conditions at protester's park" had led NYC officials to put a deadline of this morning of move or be moved since the parks is looking like crap, both figuratively and literally.
But, as of a few minutes ago, looks like the city will put off clean up.
The Occupy movements across the country continue to grow to the point where CBS offered the headline "Occupy Wall Street: More popular than you think" but near as I can figure it, the reality is more like "Screwing of working people is move prevalent than you think..."
The Iran War
My consigliore is beside himself...since back in 1976 he got super-serious about idealized long wave economic cycles and made up a master-list of events that should happen, based on combining cycles and such, over the rest of his lifetime. And one of his key dates for conflict due in the Middle East was October 27th of this year. We've chatted about it for years quite literally.
Fast-forward to Thursday and the Alex Jones show and word that Israel has been given a green light to strike Iran, which Washington is loudly trumpeting was behind a planned assassination attempt on the Saudi ambassador to Washington.
Now, since the aware observer knows that such a war would never occur in such a way as to bring down the stock market, the reasonable speculation is that such an event would follow the decline of markets, but in close enough succession to make it seem as though the "bad guys" were to blame for ruining things.
So the next couple of weeks should be interesting to say the least, and which I haven't bought my oil commodity call options yet, I keep thinking about it while looking at the price of oil which looks to be firming. A move over $87 on the chart at Ino and one might have a technical case to support such a wild speculation.
No doubt, those who favor the idea that nuclear weapons triggered the Japan quake in March will glom onto this story: "Mysterious disease kills scores of seals in Alaska". Why would this get attention? Think currents and no mention of radiation measurements in this so far....will this develop? If it did get legs, that would be time to "Cue the big distraction!" wouldn't it?
Did you see where a containment vessel of a nuke plant in Ohio was found to have a big crack in it? Yup, raises my confidence levels in nuke power...
You saw, I assume, the story that "Verizon will soon begin spying on your web habits, here's how to opt out'"?
There's two side to everything: by knowing which sites you haunt, ads and such can be custom-tailored. On the other hand, if (since?) you only visit porn sites, that might might not be a good thing.
Readers of ALTA/Shape reports will notice this signs of 3 on the Drudge Report this morning: A NYC protester with three fingers up, and one each for Iran's president, our president, and Nancy Pelosi.. each with one finger up...that'd be a 3 and a group of 3 and....oh, I'm sure it's coincidental, but fits the forecast, nicely. That's how temporal markers work.
A report that "Scientists crack Black Death's genetic code" is good news and bad. Good, in that it's nice to understand everything, but bad news in that the research is about 650-years late for the estimated 50-million who died of bubonic plague back in the 14th century.
Now, if we could only figure out the DNA defect that leads to politicians, we'd be getting somewhere...
More after this...
Coping: Nope, No Heart Attack...
I'd gone to bed early Wednesday night after a quickie meal consisting of a (large) glass of wine and a French dip sandwich. Over the course of the afternoon, I'd been nibbling on a package of Oberto's Beef Jerky - which to me is comfort food, having grown up on Beacon Hill in Seattle, just up from the "Garlic Gulch" (more formally called Rainier Valley) location of the original Oberto factory.
Zonked out about 6:30 in our guest room, since Elaine & I just got one of those new NovaForm Pure Comfort King Mattresses ( $1,004, Amazon) to replace our 12-year old mattress which has seen better days. The new one was "airing" for two days and Elaine was going bonkers with room decorating...sleep seemed like a good getaway.
I woke up two-hours later with a serious pain in my upper left chest, like a bout of nausea, but not where it ought to be. I immediately went through my check list: Any radiating pain? Nope, no pain at all below 2" down from the shoulder. Nothing in the neck, jaw, or even down to the stomach. Breathing? Normal, no shortness.
I got up and within minutes felt much better...but just to hedge things a bit, I took an aspirin (to thin blood a bit), a Benadryl (sleep inducer), a fish oil, a Co-Q-10 and I went over to my shop, where I turned on the oxygen side of the gas welding rig and breathed oxygen-added air for a few minutes. Went back over to the house, sat on the porcelain throne (if that's delicately put) and returned to bed noting the BP had gone high but that was likely from being concerned.
After some focused breathing the BP dropped to 135 over 85...not exactly what I'd expect from a heart attack. Sleep followed shortly thereafter. If I was a bit "off" in Thursday's column, I had things on my mind.
Thursday morning I was feeling great, but lingering doubts were about. The BP check on rising was a modest 118 over 73, which was pretty good, if I do say so.
Still, I went down to the doc's office first thing and said "Give me a 12-lead" EKG, which a hundred dollar bill later, showed zip, nada, nothing.
I pressed my doc - a man of vast practical experience - whether we should go for enzyme tests, or more. "Tell me how long the pain lasted and I'll tell you..."
Well, about 7-minutes, and since I was sleeping in a "strange" bed and had awakened all "scrunched up" the pain was entirely gone within 10-minutes and didn't return...no shortness of breath, no radial pain, and my heart was more to the center of the chest and it's rhythm through all this didn't seem to fluctuate. Got up to 89 BPM at the height of concern, was slipped back down to under 80 quickly thereafter.
"Enzyme test wouldn't go much good," he advised, in so many words "The pain didn't last long enough to trigger enzymes, more than likely." But the EKG looked great, just like the last one, and I felt good, good energy, but he admonished me to do a stress test, double up on the aspirin during the next two weeks, and take off a few pounds...uh, yeah. 10 of those 18 few pounds that I banished a while back had returned, true that.
Phoned later, my son, the EMT was a bit cross: "Why didn't you call me? Jeez dad, if you'd gone to the ER you could have a 100% rule-out instead of a 95% rule out. You might think about the enzyme test anyway..."
I invited him to send me the $713 that an enzyme panel would cost, and after talking to some colleagues who've looked at my previous EKG's, seems the general agreement is that except for some electrical oddities, likely due to multiple electrical shocks when I was young and doing stupid things with ham radio, the ticker wasn't likely to go at 62½. Both parents went from other causes: 89 for Dad and 93 for mom and high BP's and cholesterols didn't figure in their exits.
Still more fish oil, Co-Q-10, additional aspirin, and moderate walking and life goes on while I ponder the stress test. Not that I'm against showing off my man-manly-man strength (which I'm certain will amaze the folks who administer such things) but I'm not too keen on taking a test which says in the disclosure statement down in the fine print "Oh, if this test kills you, tough shit, we're not responsible...", or words to that effect. Hmmm...everyone goes sometime, right?
This morning we're off to Shawnee for a meeting with Robin Landry this afternoon to look at market charts, comfortable that indigestion gets the blame for this one.
So why all the details?
Well, preppers and survival-oriented people like to think that if they just prep like hell there will be no situation ever come along that you can't work your way out of. If you're 60, or over, spending the money on an automatic external defibrillator (AED) may sound excessive.
On the other hand, we're out here in the sticks where 15-minute response times would be considered good. I mean think about it: A county with something like 1,000 square miles and about 25,000 people (no counting local prison populations). About 18,000 of those people live inside city limits and the rest are spread out thinner than hair on a cue ball.
So, since we're all over 60, I'm now wondering whether to add an AED to our home medical supplies. Yeah, I know, welding oxygen is not as pure as medical, but I did what was close. How much is an AED? The Philips HeartStart Home Defibrillator (AED) is about $1,200 and yes, that's a whole bunch of money. But, if dead is cheap...I'll take the former. I'm just that way, I suppose.
Beyond the self aspects, if the world gets really wonky, and you know that's going to stress people, count up the number of people around you who are over 60. Then, do a quick survey of how many people have a dependence on some kind of pharmaceutical, and then don't have a supply good for 90 days, and have no clue as to dosing-down or withdrawing from its use.
In our case, not to offend the neighbors here, but I'd guess that of the people within 2-minutes of our place we're looking at about 50-60% being over age 60. Using an AED is not difficult, though a certification course is highly recommended.
Besides, the state of the art in software inside AED's is such that the units will NOT deliver any shock unless it's really needed; there's little brainpower required other than to follow prompts and get pad placements even near right and administering basic CPR till the real pros get on scene.
Other than sublingual (under tongue) aspirin (for fastest thinner delivery, but good luck finding it) and a 4-hour supply of emergency oxygen, like the PILOT Airplane 02 OXYGEN Emergency Air Full KIT which may work for home emergency medical applications ($130), it's one of those "prepping things" that most people only think about in passing.
Until I had the jerky, the big class of vino and the French Dip and hit the pillow 3-minutes thereafter, I hadn't really thought about it.
But now? I'm getting serious about our own AED and current first aid certs for all of us. Another crazy George over-reaction to indigestion? Maybe...but maybe not. At least it's got me thinking about real life situations that can sneak up regardless of external forces. Statistically, this is the kind of prepping that has the highest chance of paying off. Basic CPR, knowledge of direct pressure for wounds, and how to use an AED.
Prepping and Losing
Along the same lines, I had this note from a reader who was involved in the recent fires in East/Central Texas:
This is an important email to think about, since it gets into the central idea of "balance" in prepping. In this case, part of this reader's "preps" included insurance which a lot of people chintz on and, as a result, she'll be in a much better position for a "fast recovery" than would a person who had failed to keep insurance up to date, of a complete home inventory list off site somewhere.
Cheapest off-site backup I can think of is an email account for personal records on one of the free email services. Just email it to that account and leave the mail on the server, simple as that, and make sure to update periodically.
Friday at the WuJo
Have been pondering this report from a reader in Northeast Pennsylvania, which falls into that category of things-gone-missing which just "show up" all of a sudden when they shouldn't...
We seem to get a lot of these report - which we never did before until about a year, or so back. They just started happening.
Whether you want to attribute it to reality going Swiss Cheese on us, or whether there's an outbreak of transient global amnesia occurring due to (fill in your favorite conspiracy theory here) makes for a fine conversation.
Oh, one more? Sure..
Yup, the veil is thinning, is it not?
Dream Coming True Department
So we have a contributors to our Dream logging site, www.nationaldreamcenter.com who had an interesting dream which was posted on 9/29...about 2-weeks ago...which went like this:
I mention this because there's an interesting visual to be found at the CBS website under the headline "Authorities weigh pumping oil from NZ Shipwreck."
It seems that as a big event approaches, the probability of someone dreaming about it increases; my personal experience with a dream about an oil rig dire/murder just 18-hours before the Gulf Oil Disaster was a teaching moment on this. Hadn't had a dream like it before - or since.
But curious. Maybe it's tied in somehow to how the future "leaks" and for sure, Clif's work capturing subtle shifts in language is more accurate, but this one struck me as curious in that the timing was in the ball park...and since the dream sampling is small, it does stick out.
The Friday Funnies next....
A reader sent me this, supposedly from a major management consulting firm:
Bet you feel better already.
OK, off to Shawnee (wheels up about 9:30, so up there noonish), www.peoplenomics.com tomorrow morning posted from "up thar" and then back home to relieve Panama from sentry duty if we can remember the right challenge word at the perimeter....
Be sure to drop by Monday for our play-by-play coverage of the end of the economic world as you knew it. Should be a fine time for all, except us humans, of course.
Reader Action Department:
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Waiting for the Shock of Shocktober
...with many types of Buzz this weekend: Consumer Credit announced by the Fed in the final hour before closing was down both in revolving and non-resolving. But worse, there's a virus that's been logging keystrokes of America's drone aircraft fleets. And rumors persist that Germany will wheel out a new currency within weeks. And in another installment of "13 Acres and Independence" we start assembling home media gear to capture the sights and sounds of our civilization "blinking out."
Computer cookies have a purpose in life - they facilitate things like online banking and stock trading. But there's a vicious side to them: They can be used to track your web use without you even knowing about it. And even more dangerous are the 'cross site' cookies which can install malware on your computer without you ever knowing it.
The answer? Maxa Cookie Manager, MCM.
Take it for a free test drive by clicking here - and it you like it, activation is easily done. If you're a heavy web user (who ain't?) you may find like I do that you've accumulating a hundred or more cookies per day. Only a handful need to be white-listed, like your brokerage account or your bank. The rest? Software designed to spy on you that robs you of computer performance. Been using it for several years and pleased as the Dickens with it.
The "Do Drop Inn"
Amazing gardens in about 2 square feet of floor space: www.mygroponics.com. And remember our saying at MyGroPonics: It's OK to be a vegetable...
Post your weird dreams to help our research along into what goes on at night in people's heads: www.nationaldreamcenter.com
"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
Please pass along word of this site to your friends by simply clicking here to send 'em a short email. - Thanks!
Thursday October 13, 2011
The World Ends Next Week
There...now I've said it; do you feel any better about things? Probably not, besides, I'm likely wrong, but just to put this into perspective, next Monday Greek tax inspectors are planning to go on strike for four days. Greek customs officials will be out for four business days.
While most of Asia was up overnight, including a better than 2.3% gain in the Hang Seng, Europe is doing a back-slide this morning. France and Germany were both down more than one percent when I looked earlier.
Although my personal returns in the market are now upside down for the year (down about 3%, which is one hell of a reversal from being up more than 70 percent) I figure at some point the market has to come to its senses. Either that or I need to come to mine. We shall see in a week, or three...
Bad Hair Day
Eight dead but a suspect in hand at a hair salon shooting spree in the Seal Beach area of west metro L.A.
Although we don't normally do much "police beat" reporting, this is of interest if you follow astro-econ dude Bob Hitt's theory that sometimes outbursts like this come just at the markets are at a critical emotional turning point. They seem to be coincidentally timed and may act in some mass consciousness way as an emotional pressure-relief valve. So the timing at what may be very near the top of the Wave 2 bounce here, is of interest.
The One Percenters
Our Indonesia Bureau Chief spied the same article I did yesterday Five Facts about the Wealthiest 1 Percent:
I would, but I don't think I could get near him for all the lobbyists lined up ahead of me...besides, you sure you want to drink that much?
One of the real ground-breakers in this has been Prof. G. William Domhoff at UC-Santa Barbara. Way I figure it, he oughta be on the Nobel Prize list, but thems that pass out the interest from the dynamite fortune apparently don't see things my way.
Two Kinds of Money?
Say, here's an interesting note about an interesting web site:
Now, since I live out in the toolies, if you happen to have a $100 Federal Reserve Note and can get to a Federal Reserve Bank, try going in and asking to "redeem" the Federal Reserve Note for "United States Currency" without the Fed's label on it.
Couple of ideas are that if the public "redeemed" Fed notes for US currency, the Fed shell would collapse in a heartbeat. Also claims the income tax deduction is there because coinage is not Fed money it's U.S. currency. Most interesting claims...
If true, this is one hell of a story. If not, then it goes into our Urban Myths About Money file which, as you might suspect, is already brimming....
Depression 2 Default Watch
Also some interesting footwork going on in the L.A. Dodgers bankruptcy case if you've got an interest in that.
Balance of Trade - No Change
From the Census Bureau:
That's probably not what's helped the dollar up a bit this morning...more likely its the outlook for the EU and flight to quality. Which says something about hot money's idea of quality, eh?
Weekly unemployment data is out, too:
And then there's the day's retail sales numbers:
Nope, not green shoots, is it?
Shake & Quake
Magma is flowing out underwater in the El Hierro Island area of the Canary Islands and a major evacuation continues in place there. It's about 70-miles from Cumbre Vieja where an underwater landslide could trigger disaster for the eastern US coast along with part of Europe.
The little 2.5 shaker 43 miles north of Little Rock, AR is hardly worth mentioning, in comparison, anyway.
Our contributing EQ-sensitive sends this:
Dead fish in the UK, too. And you bet - any day above ground...is a good day.
One Less Worry?
After extensive media coverage (and understandable public concern) the military now says that computer virus found in military drones wasn't really aimed at them...just a gamer type key logger virus.
And you'd expect them to say "Oh, yeah, we're being set up for a sophisticated Venus Flytrap virus"? Ahem.... and besides, what were those password to that it was sniffing?
Don't know if you realize it, but looks like the number of trees killed by the Texas Drought will top 66-million. Definitely changing the look of Houston. Say, this isn't how deserts get started, is is?
Even with the showers through Texas this week, we're still around 15.15" year to date, which would make this desert, technically - at least by some technical definitions.
Finding agreement on climate metrics is like looking for agreement in congress: Even when our problems are bad, those who we send to solve them are worse.
Coping: With Idle Gossip
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be "famous" - I mean to the point where people pointed you out in public and talked to other people about you? I don't think you'd really like it.
I'd never really thought about it, since I've always been semi-anonymous. The reason for this is that in many ways, I'm really a bit shy. I don't like being the center of attention and the use of a nom-d'-air in radio (George Garrett) really helped to keep "work" separate from "home".
To be sure, it's a little different on the web - and I use my real name here which has to make the kids a bit nuts, but I had the family name first so I claim some kind of "rights to use" as I see fit. I mention this today because someone sent me a snip which seems to be about me which was really quite surprising:
Let me begin by reporting that Elaine and I are fine...but upon reflection I can see the reason for concern: Yes, too many man/wife - couples jokes lately.
Hello Houston? We have a problem: My the time I got rid of all the political jokes, the jokers aimed at various minority groups, religions, and so forth in an effort to keep the "joke" experiment going, there wasn't much left but man/wife-couple jokes - and I suppose that's why I decided to tone down jokes and move on to more reflective material.
Still, some of the "couples" jokes were pretty funny. Like this one which came in a day or so back and which left us (yes, I tell Elaine jokes to see how they might play with a semi-normal person) and she found this one meritted a decent laugh:
I haven't told her this one yet...but it's another man/woman hunting-season example:
In the interest of full disclosure, however, I will reveal the biggest thing wrong I've done in the past week: We have one of those new NovaFoam kind-sized mattresses and in order to get it in the house, I brought over my hand truck from the shop ($19 at Tractor Supply three or four years back. marvelous for moving almost anything...furniture, shop tools...whatever). I didn't rinse the wheels off. That's it...I mean of all the crap I do this was my biggest infraction in the past week.
Elaine could displace Mother Theresa - if word ever leaked out.
An astute reader would also notice that I haven't written about the magic carpet/airplane much in the past couple of weeks - same reason. I don't figure people want to read about our really fun flight down to Conroe (north of Houston) to have an avionics issue looked at by the radio shop at that airport, nor would anyone care how Mr. Ure flew off with the car keys to the courtesy car and had to overnight them back.
Nor would anyone give a hoot that the Cracker Barrel restaurant in Conroe had a really good chicken-fried steak dinner, or that Elaine only ate about 1/2 of her 1/2 pound bacon-cheeseburger. They no longer have the Atomic Fireball jawbreakers in the Mason Jars, either - they come in a plastic package now. Still, it's minutia.
Coming back to KPSN was way faster than the southbound flight thanks to an 18-knot tailwind, but the landing at home was a two-bouncer on runway 18 compared to the "greaser" onto runway 14 at KCXO. That the flight was bumpy as the Dickens (3,000 feet, just under 50% cloud cover) and 90º in the flying sauna/cockpit is just part of flying.
Anyway, not to worry. Most serious thing around here at the moment is my awakening with chest pains last night - which will mean a "just-in-case" run to the doc's place this morning to make sure it was nothing more serious. Possibly caused by looking at my account balance in my trading account, now negative for the year, although only slightly. Thanks, bulls.
Possibly the chest whatever was from having a glass of wine, half a bag of beef jerky and a French dip sandwich and laying down 5-minutes later...but never can be too careful about such things, since I'm discovering there's a different operators manual in place on this side of 60.
That leaves only the grumpy old man. GOM issue. Guilty as charged... I am grumpy. Linguistically Clif has got all kinds of stuff popping between now and a week from tomorrow and most of it is very depressing. Very, very, very...
Since we're trying not to be "obo's" [obsolete version of humans] I promise to be more "with it" and not stand outside on the porch waving a newspaper at the deer in the front yard; I am something of a GOM.
I'll wave my Android, instead. And you know what? That does tilt my column.
Thursday at the WuJo
Starting to get another flurry of reports of "disappearing/reappearing" things. Here's our first one:
Nope...this is the "new normal"! Got another one to report on...but we'll save that for tomorrow's column...
Who would have thought? Some of the metal coins issued by the government have gone up in value better than almost anything you can think of.
An example is a 1932-1964 Washington Quarter. It's gone from being worth just 25¢ which issued to about $5.79 each which pencils to 2,317%. Hats off to Howard Ruff (he told me in 1981, or so, to buy bags of "junk silver" coins.
You'll want to bookmark www.coinflation.com for price checks. Does add about 5-minutes to getting undressed at night, though. An hour, or longer, if turned into a game with your significant other....May have to call it purse poker/pants poker....
Consumerism Note: Going Ape
Fine Zen-like message here:
Wednesday October 12, 2011
Wednesday's Report is for Peoplenomics subscribers
Marking Time to Earnings
How to preserve the little we've got - that's the task here. First there's the little matter of earnings and the mechanics of massive paper dollar inflation going on behind the scenes. Then we move along to the Europe and check the latest from our Aggregate Index. And do we spy a little choreography in this "assassination plot" story? But the serious part is in "Coping" this morning " as we go through some "Rethinking Revolution" since the term is making a resurgence in popular use that hasn't been seen since the late Beetle John Lennon asked us if we wanted one, back in 1968. Was this half a long-wave economic cycle back?
If you aren't a subscriber and want so fine reading, check out Howard Hill's essay on E Pluribus Corporatum here.
Tuesday October 11, 2011
Rabid Rally, Nervous Nellie's
OK, I was only expecting a 50-point rally on Monday and we got 330 on the Dow instead. What did I do wrong? Just underestimated how a Wave 2 rally could play out and where it could all go in a very short time with no particular news, thin trading volume and the impact of the Merkel-jerk on a Greece/whole EU bailout. Big issue there is how Slovakia will cast its vote on bailing out richer countries than their own.
In case you're wondering, the Gross Domestic Product of Greece is estimated by our CIA at $318.1 billion dollars (purchasing power parity basis) whereas the estimated GDP of Slovakia was about $120.2 billion (PPP basis also) in 2010.
There's a delicate teeter-totter here: Slovakia's economy is about one third the size of Greece, yet they are being asked to participate in the bailout. The problem is the Slovak people are smart and there's a chance the ruling coalition won't be able to stampede enough of the opposition party to support the "gotta bail out the banksters" which is really how this game works.
To refresh: Banks print up all kinds of paper, when countries can't make payments, banks essentially threaten to foreclose/bankrupt a country, so globalistas government comes in and says "Oh, God, no! Can't have bankers have a loss so we'll paper it over with yet more paper..." I think the Slovak (and German, too) regular folks get this. It's just that in checkbook democracy world, the strings are pulled by checkbooks and those are controlled by the bankers.
All they need to do is threaten a world economic collapse and they win, simple as that, since no one is willing to call bullshit on excessive debt, so we continue down the self-tightening noose path.
The fact the here in the US the Federal Reserve has not ended business cycles - which was one of its excusifications of being created concurrent with the income tax in that year that lives in infamy (1913, look it up), but we've been sucked into the game whole hog, too, such that what began as "our" government by the people for the people, has been purchased by high dollar politicos who own their allegiance to the transnational paymasters.
Is Germany seeing this and is this why the headlines are out reporting a "German push for Greek default risks EMU-wide 'snowball'"?
And since there are huge short positions on next week's options expiration there's no way the paymaster dudes can let those pay off, so what we're seeing is a violent Wave 2, running of the shorts. May see pullback later in the week, but who knows...crazy as things are anymore. A further discussion in the Coping section this morning under "GrUnCH Time at Space Mountain."
Bankers Before Humans Dept. (#2)
With all this focus on global economics, we notice the NBC story out of Chicago about how "Cash-Strapped Topeka may stop prosecuting Domestic Violence" case.
What's not being reported in the MSM is that this is exactly the kind of FU'ed choice-making that has evolved the chants "Occupy Wall Street" into "Occupy World" and which continues percolating out of direct sight, as the MSM and the PowersThatBe have not wrapped their heads around how to co-opt a headless/leaderless revolution. Not that they won't try, of course.
High Official Resignation Watch
Attorney General Eric Holder's hold on his office is weakening with a stinging letter from representative Darrell Issa, who wonders whether he's been candid with Congress on the Fast & Furious guns to Mexico program.
Still, I'm saving the popcorn for (when/in case) Hillary and the State Department get roped in to F&F, since I gotta think someone would have briefed State on this, right?
Admittedly, one well-informed colleague tells me I place too much faith in one hand of bureaucracy knowing what the other is doing, but we shall see...
Wrong Ended Solutions Dept.
OK, so let me get this right: Congress gives American and tax-hiding transnational corps favorable treatment to build foreign factories, avoid US income taxes and so forth and doesn't impose tariffs on foreign goods, and now that China's making huge leaps forward, we're going to have the balls to tell China how to manage their own currency?
For a country which hasn't ever (far as I can recall) audited either its own Federal Reserve, gold stored at Fort Knox, or for that matter fully disclosed the operations of the Plunge Protection Team (PPT, a/k/a/ the Presidential Working Group on Markets) this is crazy.
No? Oh, I'm sorry, we are talking Washington here. I forgot myself, what was I thinking? Seems to me China's doing with its currency what we do with our Army...except China goes out and buys countries outright.
China Buying Patagonia
You missed that? Not buying - just long term leasing is more accurate. This goes back a few months, but I assume you noticed that China is putting about $1.5 billion into Patagonia farms. This popped up on one of the English-language services we monitor here - don't recall whether it was Russia Today or Al Jazeera (both English, both free to air and both not on 99% of cable systems, gotta protect the herd, you know).
Thing is this: Argentina doesn't allow foreign ownership but China's going in and doing long-term leases which come with investment provisions in infrastructure like dams for hydro and so forth.
Love to work up the cost comparison with what we've sunk into the Sand Box on this kind of approach, huh?
2012: And Then Things Get Worse
A CNN-Money report notes that millions of our countrymen/women will lose their unemployment bennies in 2012. How many? 1.8 million are due to lose benefits in January alone.
A recent National Employment Law Project (www.nelp.org) press release offers this:
While the Obama administration is trying to rally support for the Jobs Bill (which would include an additional UI extension, doesn't look too likely since partisan (BS) politics gets involved.
Oh, and before you get all whipped up by the Herman Cain bid for the White House, maybe someone should check what happened to head count and average salaries for workers while it was optimizing things? That'd be some fine research to see - and I'm not proposing this as a partisan point. Just I'd like to see what happened to the average hours, hourly wages, and how close did they track to inflation when Cain ran companies? Inquiring minds....kinda thing...
Political Favors? Dept.
Report out in the Washington Times today says House minority leader (sic) Nancy Pelosi's hubby stands to make millions in a residential real estate deal with a man whose daughter Pelosi helped get the Hungarian ambassador post, says the report.
Ambassador gig have always been political plums, though.
If I were president or a member of congress I would vote no on anyone who didn't speak the language of the country they were being assigned to. But, hell, I'm just that doggone "basic competences" kinda guy.
Which ensures I'll never hold public office, of course.
Coping: With GrUnCH Time at Space Mountain
Several readers asked me why I didn't mention colleague Clif's newest about the GrUnCH just ahead in Monday's report. Answer? As a holiday, we had less readers expected Monday and so all this talk about GrUnCHing best fits when we're all around the morning breakfast fire, warming our innards and bracing for more of same-o. But, now that we've made it to key pseudo-mystical 11:11:11 and we'll cautiously watch the clock around 11:11:11 this morning, it's as good a time as any to go read "Yo, Grunch just Ahead!"
So to begin, a GrUnCH is a Gross Universal Cash Heist. This is a term that arose from the researches of Buckminster Fuller, father of the geodesic dome and lots of other cool technology, much of which was suppressed because while it was tres cool from the human standpoint, it was not profit optimizing from the standpoint of thems that pull of GrUnCH'es, which is to say the small portion of humans (less than 5%) that own nigh on to 90% of all wealth.
Which is how R. Buckminster Fuller came to his conclusion back when that there were unseen forces, sort of like the malevolent version Adam Smith's invisible hand, that periodically reached out and ripped off much of what society would otherwise put to use making forward progress.
And this relates to contemporary events how? Well, seems we're in one of those periods when a GrUnCH could be in the offing. The problem for most of us is we kind of "see" it in advance, and we know the likely outcome - that's leaking back into the here and now from the future already (hence why it shows up in the latest Shape of Things to Come reports so strongly, and continues to build in immediacy values with a kind of temporal dart landing around October 17th-ish, but we shall sit back and watch for it.
The thinking, amongst those who see GrUnCH in advance, is that larger and larger events are being used to separate people from their life savings and more and more extreme news items are used to install a GrUnCH-supportive ongoing system of tribute extraction. Some of the "tools of tribute/tax" are wars, the "security state", polarization politics, religious friction, drug control, and so forth.
In the end, it seems (to me, anyway) built on the notion that humans are best managed by segmentation - the old us-versus-them game. Works in war, security matters, religious affairs, sociopolitical labels (communism is dead and gone yet the labels keep getting recycled to press public "hot buttons") and the ever-popular partisan politics and institutional racism.
The aware observer, given the time to surf the net and pull ideas out of it, has a number of specific mechanisms to consider when pondering how the GrUnCH will be packaged and promoted. Some leading candidates are:
"Fine so far, we get most of it, but what's this crap about Space Mountain?" you're thinking.
Space Mountain - if you haven't been to Disneyland or Disney World is (according to Wikipedia):
What separates Space Mountain from most coasters is the wonderful control of visual cuing: Much of the ride is inside and in the dark which makes it either more scary, or even cooler to those of us who like the ride, since conventional coasters provide plenty of visual cues as to what to expect next. With me?
So how does this relate to the GrUnCH, at least theory-wise? Well, in order for the perps of the GrUnCH to get maximum benefit, whatever tool is used will need to be one that locks people's money in place and which ideally, provides plausible deniability when the money is somehow not there.
Take 9/11, for example: Hard to trace the what - I trust you remember the question about all the gold in the basement at 4 WTC? And the insurance and the bonds involved...
One could argue - and conspiracy theorists to (ad naseum) that with all the insurance, bonds, financial products, gold, and the foundation of the security state, 9/11 was a GrUnCH all by itself. Kicked off wars - did all kinds of economy-boosting stuff to those at the top of the heap.
So what will the next one be? Fine question, but as in the example of Space Mountain, which is a fine thought tool for this kind of ride, the idea is specifically not to give the public too many visual cues as to what's coming.
Face it: If there's a 100-foot series of waves washing over Florida and a 100-footer due to roll into New York Harbor off Cumbre Vieja in a half hour, the last thing you're going to think of doing is wiring all your money from your NY-based IRA fund to some Asian money center. Number of people with that kind of presence of mind is nearly....wait for it.....zero!
So the event must be BIG. More to the point, it must be unexpected which no doubt it will be to 99.99% of folks. Those in the know will have already been clued-in prior to the GrUnCH so they will be fine, and besides, even if you got your IRA moved to a West Coast operation, it wouldn't matter, the total devastation of the East Coast from the tsunami (just to pick one from our suspect list) would be such that government would be self-justified to impose Draconian measures, like retroactive taxes due, on IRA's and whatever, since it would be required to "Rebuild America!"
OK, I get that. Just like the people in Japan are being systematically killed off because of high radiation readings.;..they're already partisans in the War with the GrUnCH without even being given the courtesy of disclosure, but then again, who said the battle for control of the planet would be played by "public rules?"
Interesting, once one gets to thinking in these terms, there are some serious follow-on things that come to mind, including the redefinition of words like "Revolution" and more important, particularly because it self-limit our fine military from properly defending us, there's a whole specialized/limited kind of thought meme out there that limits military thinking in such a way as to become GrUnCH-blind, but more on these matters tomorrow in Peoplenomics.
For now, the thought-tool GrUnCH, Space Mountain, and how vulnerable to confiscation are any of your assets is probably enough to ruin breakfast.
Sorry 'bout that.
"Pizza and Genocide Day"
Our verging on excessively honest look at Columbus Day in our Monday report received many comments, but this one, I thought, had the highest "edumacational" content:
A bite-sized beginning on Fomenko can be had in History: Fiction or Science? Dating methods as offered by mathematical statistics. Eclipses and zodiacs. Chronology Vol.I Controversial Knowledge in Religious Studies Books) Be warned there are at least four volumes and that'll take some hefty reading bandwidth.
Besides, who'd want to spend all that time "getting real", why wouldn't your Facebook page suffer along with your twit count?
Oh, our UK reader's been thinking about our P&G Day idea, too:
And we could have a whole global "Kill people and break things" day, which would celebrate the fine efforts of the GrUnCH to tear everything down repeatedly so as to make us do it all over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over....
Oh, and one more: About the "Nazca Tourism Center idea?
Shhh! We can't handle the truth, remember? And forget I mentioned the made up timelines and Fomenko, too, while we're at it...
Agrarian Truth Department
Not sure where he came up with this, but this is a peach:
A little farm wisdom goes a long ways...
Monday October 10, 2011
Song & Dance Monday
The Dow is likely to go up today...maybe 50-points or so, and there's not too much news - nor should there be too much traffic, since this is a kind of semi-holiday, being Columbus Day. We tackle this holiday in some depth in our "Coping Section" which is longer and more researched than usual today. Why? Because nothing much on the economic front is changing.
For one thing, being a federal holiday, we won't be flooded with federal statistics. We get back into that tomorrow when the FOMC minutes are released.
There is some possible interest in the trading session, since this is the day Anonymous has threatened to turn off the stock market, but there's been a lot of money and research done in order to make it robust, so we'll just take a gander but won't be too surprised if nothing much gets disrupted.
The most interesting song and dance act of the morning features the international favorite series "Dancing with the Clowns" featuring Germany's Angela Merkel and French president Nicolas Sarkozy.
The reason I'm so skeptical is that they are releasing no details of their much-hyped agreement which is likely to try and spread as much pain as far and wide as possible.
Strategically this gets to be a fun exercise to watch. We hear from sources that German code-writers are working on porting bank and ATM code to a Deutsche mark and in fact there have been some recent polls our that show more than half of Germans would like to bring back the D-mark.
Despite the song and dance which the MSM blindly parrots, the fact is that there's another strike in Greece today, that country has had to activate a bailout for Proton Bank, and the health of people in Greece is suffering due to austerity measures.
So is it time to rally? No, but that doesn't seem to stop folks. Just like drinking and driving usually ends up badly, so does printing money, but sure is fun till the blue lights and sirens go off, isn't it?
To sum up the weekend then? Let's just call it another Merkel-jerk.
Defending the Paradigm
But, seems to me, Cain's playing into the hands of the UP/Down party while ostensibly selling a right/left perspective. In order for general wages to go up, might help to have some innovation and new technology which has mass appeal and huge growth potential. Otherwise, the core problem keeps turning back to consumer market super-saturation and no one is talking about that one.
(Or prison-made in the USA products, either, and yes, come to think of it there's a whole lot not being talked about by the wannabes...)
Flames of Egypt
An Iranian actress is getting a year in jail and 90 lashes...crime was being in a movie which lacked government/.mullah approval.
Speaking of religious items, did you see where four Amish mention have been busted over attacks on fellow Amish that involved cutting off their beards and hair?
Duck - Again
Another satellite is due to come down - ROSAT was a German x-ray telescope and it's a biggie - about 2½ tons worth.
The good news? Oh....um.... only 1.6 tons are expected to reach the earth's surface?
Coping: Beyond the Columbus Debate
Various parts of human history are wrong - terribly wrong - but there's so much momentum that gets built-up by groupthink that seldom are past false assumptions questioned and replaced when outdated because doing so would force someone to admit error and since that in turn is painful, denial-laden humans tend not to do enough of it. We cling to false beliefs like blankets.
As a result, we continue to labor as species and countries as well, under a lot of untrue ideas despite the best efforts of well-credentialed writers on the subject of crypto archeology - the sort of folks that seem to make it about as far as guest appearances on CoastToCoastAM and then get stonewalled by the MainStreamMedia, which make the MSM a fine tool for assessing where the line between objective reality and the la-la land of make-believe money and legal fictions, make-believe politics, and make-believe economics, and all the rest truly lives.
A fine example flies up, this being "Columbus Day" so it's time to look once more at some pretty well established facts.
1. Columbus did not "discover" America. It had been previously occupied by native Americas/First Peoples who numbered by acknowledged research, at least 20-million, or so. More recent research argues for 50-million, or even 100-million. This is like me arriving in New York and claiming to have "discovered it" - and crazily, having the history books print it!
While I could wax on almost endlessly about the inhumanity of the European "discovery" and conquest, and genocide in the New World, a read of the "Population history of indigenous peoples of the Americas" ought to be shame enough.
2. Columbus Day is a dandy example of cultural imperialism. Yup, the Wikipedia entry on point goes like this:
To be sure Wikipedia doesn't use the term "cultural imperialism" but since we each get to play "Umpire of Life" part of my calls 'em like I sees 'um is to cut through the politeness and bullshit and tell things near as I can like they are so we can develop an honest understanding.
3. Credit where due: Chris Columbus was a better real estate marketer than the next-most credited "discoverer" which was....
4. Leif Erikson (or Leifr Eiriksson if you're into old Norse, in which case say hi to Odin for me and tell Bragi not to be offended by my columns...) gets credit for being the first European/white dude to show up and hang in long enough to get into the history books.
With photo credit to Tom Stohlman, there's this plaque in Cambridge,
Massachusetts which commemorates some storage buildings which were Leiff'ed
behind, as it were, 500 years before
As someone of Scottish/Danish ancestry, I'm still somewhat offended that Leif Erikson Day - which was yesterday - seems to have been almost entirely overlooked by the MSM.
How bad is this sleight? Oh, uh, a Google News search came up with a whole 19 hits for "Erikson Day" versus 3,440 hits on "Columbus Day" when I looked. In other words, 181 Columbus stories to each single Leif Erikson story.
Still, this is only our first revelation about how once a group of people has been led into crooked thinking about their past, they cling mightily to their demonstrably wrong-headed ideas, and continue on celebrating the wrong thing. The phenomena is not unlike Christmas, the maketing-hijack of which we'll discuss in about 10 weeks.
My problem with Columbus Day is that it perpetuates an American mythos that's demonstrably delusional. Yes he got here, no he wasn't first.
But as long as we're getting into brutal history, I might go so far as to propose renaming Thanksgiving as "Religious Fanatic Refugee Day" too, if I thought large numbers of people would agree to it. Maybe that one should wait, too.
For now, we can't go to the bank today - the federales have bought the myth - hook, line, and day off. Most of the working class has to put in 8-12 today but federal workers along with most other government types get to skate.
If I get some time, I might draft a petition to the Federal Trade Commission in which I'd cite "Truth in Advertising" and demand renaming today something more clearly descriptive of the event. How about "Pizza and Genocide Day"?
Citizen Science: Crypto Archeology Project
This seems like a dandy time to haul out a letter from reader L.E.S who lives up in the Ozarkie area north of Batesville, AR.
I don't think he'd mind me sharing his letter, since it's a wonderful example of how a human can penetrate the misty veils laid out by papered archeologists and lobbied by special interest groups:
Reader L.E.S. is a genius for making this observation. Wikipedia uses the date 1513 in which case the Columbus dude would not have used it to "discover" things, but the fact that an Ottoman-Turkish admiral, Reis in the eastern Med, was able to find source maps strong suggests that Columbus wasn't exactly shooting in the dark when he sailed west.
OK, my thoughts: This idea is gathering momentum and this is the second case I've seen of the Piri Reis-Nazca connection being made - the first being a post over at Above Top Secret in 2010.
As to the navigation use of the maps? They bear an uncanny resemblance to a kind of map we use flying called an low level enroute map which looks like this:
Now, about the animals adjacent to Nazca's lines? You see how we use numbers on that low level enroute chart above?
I wonder if it's possible that Nazca's drawings were routes to see different "features" of earth. In other words, if the lines are extended, do they direct an aerial observer to regions of the planet where the particular animals depicted might be found? Was Nazca like a planet tourism office?
When I see, just an an example, the "Monkey" drawing at Nazca with its arms seemingly wrapped around a line, would this indicate that taking this particular heading would lead ancient astronauts to some "land of monkeys"? Might they be ring-tailed lemurs, at that?
Not to drag this part out but have you noticed what the ring-tailed lemur has a thinner body and has a much more body-tail proportion than a simple monkey and lives on Madagascar?
Unfortunately, if the Monkey/Lemur is pictured North-up in the drawing (and I don't think it is...) the extend line from Nazca would hit Australia. On the other hand, if north of this picture is about 35-40º rotated (rotate the monkey/lemur clockwise) then the angle would be right for hitting Madagascar 7350 miles away, but the animal head would be looking from Madagascar, not oriented toward it, unless it was a long-path heading rather than short path...
This would be a fine theory to test, since developing thought as a series of icons is a much different way of thinking/living than walking about, loaded to the gills, as we are, with look-up tables by the boatload. Look-ups for math, language, spelling, context, spelling, culture....yada yada...
Prior to GPS, in order to get up to Shawnee, I could have had to have flown various headings to hop from one Variable Omni-Range (VOR) to another. This is rather inefficient since the route would be a long list of stations and headings. Fly to the Frankston VOR, then up to Quitman, Sulphur Springs, Bonham, Texoma, Ada, and finally find the destination off on the 090 from Will Rogers.
Since the advent of GPS, aerial navigation has become much simpler. I plug in KPSN -> KSNL, the course line pops up and that's that.
I expect at some juncture the GPS systems will make 'the leap' to simple iconography...like our Nazca Monkey/Lemur. Except I might have a line to Shawnee on the GPS with a computer screen icon with a zig-zag for a chart on it.
All of which launches us onto a line of thinking which we don't have time to fully explore now...but contemplate what it would like to do all your thinking in icons instead of dancing about with a head full of look-up tables.
To move a little further down the "iconic thinking" path, you might want to right click on some of those icons on your desktop - and simply rename them [with blanks instead of words].
I'm willing to bet that you'd still find how to get your work done and it would make your desktop look a lot neater and would be a step in a new direction of thinking.
Given that the "ancient world" seems to be (if you look at temples, pyramids and so forth) most symbolic/iconic driven, instead of look-up table driven, how much knowledge which is right before our eyes do we miss because we are stuck in "look-up table mode" and forced to sell fellow humans on additions to look-up tables which tend not to be very flexible?
And if you don't think so, please go back to the Columbus Day example and tell me it ain't so!
Been contemplating a trend here: Initially most readers seemed to like the Monday Funnies (and other days of the week, too) but over time it's become a bit of a drag and bore. First, because most humor is at someone's expense and secondly because jokes are easily overdone...as I've demonstrated.
So we're off on a change here...and likely more in keeping with our tone and timbre...we will evolve this section into a wider range of thought, specifically looking for stories/concepts/anecdotes which hold some core human characteristic up for inspection. Learning moments.
Not that we'll completely abandon jokes, but most of them lately I've heard before and most don't bear repeating. Stories about Life, learnings and lessons, on the other hand, we can never get enough of.
An example that came in? You bet!
See what I mean? Much more useful than a recycled joke. So if you have a favorite Zen story, or some other 'teaching moment' of a nondenominational type, please send it along and we'll go down this path for a while.
Humor's fine, but the rest of the month threatens to be no laughing matter, and learning moments likely have higher value.
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 11-year long coincidence...yessir....just a coincidence, we're like SO sure... (Shhh...don't tell anyone that major Depressions are two-part coupled affairs like the linkage between 1920-21 and 1929, OK? Damn, dude...don't spoil it for the sheep...)
Oh...don't forget to "Write when you get rich!"
George Ure, The People's Economist
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