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Life's a Gas
$5 gas, to be more precise. While there are millions of barrels parked on oil tankers, the middle east war fears are being stoked to keep the profits up for the people in the energy business, no doubt so they can pay election expenses ;-)
And you notice how the Syria and Iran stuff has gone deaf and dumb here the past few days? Calm before the storm, so enjoy it while you can, too.
The G20 finance dudes are meeting in Mexico City this weekend to see how to orchestrate global markets further. Once again, my invitation didn't get here in time, although if they'd email it, we could still make it....
Other than a consumer sentiment number, not much going on today in terms of data. Next Tuesday we get the Case Shiller/S&P housing numbers which ought to be interesting... The Baltic Dry index is still hovering around 700.
All summed up in our rolling chart of the data this way:
Frankly, the number isn't too bad this morning and except for the fact that airlines, pharmaceutical companies and the Post Office are planning layoffs and closures in coming months, you might have been able to convince me the recovery is real...
The Sky Really is Falling!
Clouds, says NASA are getting closer to the ground. I'm sorting out two competing theories on why. One is global warming, the other is I haven't gotten my instrument ticket for flying. Another possibility is changing global wind patterns but that would just be too simple and logical...
Thumbing through press releases that caught my eye this morning:
Could be interesting...
Waiting on IRS
Seems a lot of people who hurried up and got their taxes done early - like me - are not going to get their money right away. Good story in the south Florida SunSentinel which is more interesting than citing you a press release.
Meantime, This is Reassuring
Quiet day in terms of news stories...maybe Universe is telling me to go back to bed and get some sleep...
More after this:
Coping: With a Root Canal
Yes, that abscess under tooth #29 is doing much better, thank you. And, yes, I read every email sent in by concerned readers about NOT getting a root canal, but we need to have us a little discussion here about how science works.
First. a curious thing: All but a couple of people sent me link to a single article on the topic of root canals and their possible connection with other health issues. I have to tell you, I'm not really keen on single source articles, particularly those which don't give links to the numbers so that I can see what's going on myself.
Still, readers are concerned, so I decided to go out and find some of those numbers and see what they say.
My first stopping point, as always on this sort of question, was PubMed, but not after doing a check of a couple of other definitions, just so I'd be absolutely precise on what I was looking for. Endodontic, for example, means "having to do with the root of a tooth, tooth pulp, and so forth. Peritonitis, on the other hand is disease of the tissues around teeth and the gums.
To answer this, I found a report (via PubMed) on a 2009 report out of the University of Iowa titled "The relationship between self-reported history of endodontic therapy [ET] and coronary heart disease in the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study."
To borrow from their results summary:
No doubt, a few readers are going to look at that 95% confidence level of a 1.62 times greater risk of coronary heart disease (CHD) and they'll jump to the conclusion that that root canals really could cause heart disease.
But - and this is where doing science right is key - that doesn't mean the root canal is causative.
It's like the old joke...
Or, a bit better example, and to show how hidden factors work, a man is injured after being struck by a car for crossing the street. Did the man's crossing the street cause the accident? Suppose the hidden variables were that the man was blind-stumbling drunk, it was raining, and he popped out from between two parked cars in the middle of the block on a dark rainy night?
In other words, we know from our most recent read of things related to coronary heart disease (CHD) that what is going on in heart disease likely has little (or nothing) to do with cholesterol levels - which may themselves be a hype festival as outlined in the book Ignore the Awkward.: How the Cholesterol Myths Are Kept Alive (Dr. Uffe Ravnskov, $11 Amazon) and yes, it comes with more cites of the underlying studies than you can shake a stick at - and much more to do with systemic infections and inflammations. (Sorry for the long sentence, I sometimes get carried away...)
To simplify: Yes, people with self-reported root work do seem to have elevated risk of heart attack. BUT what my read of the data suggests it that the root canal work was likely symptomatic of other conditions when lead to a higher susceptibility to heart disease.
More data? sure, you bet.
There's a 1998 paper "Periodontitis: a risk factor for coronary heart disease?" that mentions a short shopping list of items linking inflammation with CHD:
That was 1998, so along in 2005, along come Beck and Offenbacher's study of 42 previously published studies and they come to what conclusion in "Systemic effects of periodontitis: epidemiology of periodontal disease and cardiovascular disease":
The picture that emerges is that yes, people who have root canals do seem to have an elevated risk of CHD (1.62 to 2 times, a paper in 2007 suggest 1.75 times) BUT as in Beck and Offenbacher, the question of whether they are causative is not shown.
You'd have to have read Ravnskov (that statins are a scam, to put it nicely) to see it more clearly, but imagine that you live in a bag of skin, bones and water (body) and that due to what you keep putting into the bag, there's something that is not good and is causing a low-level inflammation of the bag's contents. In some cases, there will be fleeting evidence. Maybe odd "flu-like symptoms" or a tendency toward gum disease, or (in this case) a tendency toward inflammation of a tooth root when a really minor injury or irritation of the tooth takes place.
Thus, it would seem, the highest risk is not that root canals cause cancer, heart attacks, or anything else. Rather, long-term infectious exposure and long-term inflammation are the enemies. My bet is teeth are indicators.
So when several readers pointed claimed root canals cause cancer, I looked at the data and (again) my read of it is NOT that the root canal is causative. Rather, if you have a long-term systemic inflammation, that is what it likely causative.
The more I plug in this low level inflammation model the more data fits the mold. For example, diabetes as an inflammatory response to left-hand sugars (HFCS - high fructose corn syrups) or any other pseudo-food. Yes, that means preservatives ingredients added to enhance the burning characteristics of cigarettes, and all the rest of life's low-level irritants may just gang up on us. We get cancer, heart disease, and our teeth fall out.
Yet another study concluded  "Chronic periodontitis is associated with incidence of CHD among younger men, independent of established cardiovascular risk factors." But is did not show causation. Could a chronic inflammatory response figure in?
As I read the data (and I don't have any death wish!) the occurrence of the tooth abscess means that I am going through low level inflammation of some kind and I will be working with my doctor (and studying) ways to reduce that inflammation because that is (to my way of reading) likely the cause of what ails people in general and me in particular.
I don't take decisions like this lightly. Time does not permit me to go into all the details of my study, but it has been fairly exhaustive. In a discussion with my doctor I'd probably mention that incidence of CHD in first degree relatives is likely more risky, and that too, seems to fit the chronic low-level inflammation model.
I am very comfortable and confident in my rooty doc. He's one of the best-trained guys out there in his specialty. He's meticulous and when I had my first root canal done a couple of years ago, it was the first time I'd has video gear in my mouth, or a microscope, for that matter, and been able to watching things on a couple of LCD displays. This ain't some backroom deal...this is best out there right now.
To be sure, there are some highly emotional claims that get made. One of them is that this is like "leaving dead things in your body." Here, I have to mention that this is a tooth near the front of my mouth and that having the tooth extracted, a titanium pin and new fake took put in is not demonstrably a smaller risk. What's more, I absolutely will not run around with nothing there and other approaches (bridgework) come with their own set of risks.
So I'm on for Monday's toothy deal. I appreciate the concern, but I've done the research and understand the options and alternatives and this is my decision.
I'm much more focused on reducing my overall (body) inflammation sources which means diet review and so on. And on this, you might want to read up some new research just out that "High glycemic index carbohydrates abrogate the anti-obesity effect of fish oil in mice." Yup...sugary stuff which we all thought might have something to do with low level inflammation is coming up suspect again. Not much sugar cane in Europe and fruits only in season back in the (DNA formative) day, right?
I'm betting my life that inflammation reduction is the general health answer for a huge amount of what ails us. And one more thing? I'll be talking with my doctor about a pneumonia vaccination since another new study just out to look at is "Specific immunization strategies against oxidized LDL: A novel way to reduce non-alcoholic steatohepa titis in mice." Another study is just out which seems to suggest my decision to take niacin isn't bad...
In the meantime, a read of The Maker's Diet: The 40-day health experience that will change your life forever ($11, Amazon) is now on my reading list to see if there's some synthesis with Four Hour Body (Ferris) and others like the Paleo Diet and so forth, with an eye toward simplified foods and inflammation reduction. And, if there turns out to be some causative relationship in risk, which would you expect to have a better chance of reducing the risk of CHD for a 63 YO male? Not having a root canal or dropping 20% of body weight? Seems like a pretty easy call for me.
The claim that 97% of people with cancer had periodontal issues goes in the same column as 99.9% of people with cancer also ate food in the previous six months.
In the end, life is a terminal illness, anyway. Still, I will follow up with a dentist/reader who sent this:
I sound like a politician this morning, don't I? So more research, but the inflammation models fits most of the data so far, barefoot water skiers aside.
Yup, I ought to run for office.
DISCLAIMER: This is NOT medical advice. You're on your own. This is simply a discussion of my personal decision on how to deal with my personal health. I won't be having any more amalgam fillings, by the way, since I view even small amounts of leached metals has having long-term low-level inflammation potential.
Around the Ranch: Waiting on the VGs
As soon as Peoplenomics is done in the morning, we'll be off to shoot landings and messing about with the plane. I've got it scheduled for an oil change and installation of vortex generators next week...my birthday present to myself.
Flying over certain bird sanctuaries on the West Coast below 1,000 (or 2,000) feet could result in fines of up to $100,000 if NOAA gets its way, reports the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association here.
I don't have any problems with the new regs, love birds and all that, but if it's not on an official FAA map (which we update into our iFly 720 GPS every time we fly) they don't exist. Hells bells, if something is not on the FAA charts, seems to me NOAA can't enforce it. NOAA apparently so far hasn't been real clear on where the boundaries are which makes it all the more fun. Low level roulette. But if it's Class G airspace...
Another round of Katraoke last night. Zeus and the stray cat spent a good chunk of last night up the hill from the house in a stand of cedars yeowling. Dead-eye Elaine finally convinced Zeus (with a sprayer of water) to give up the concert.
Long range weather looks like no more frost is coming, so garden work is on for the weekend after playtime.
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Difficult March? Easy Prepping
Although it's still hard to say how the game-changer period ahead (March-June) will ultimately finish, there are fresh "signs and portents" at every turn, and although most seem easy to prepare for, there are a number that are downright disconcerting. So today in addition to the quick run through the headlines, and a pointer to the www.strategic-living.net site where an article on "portable knowledge" will go up later this weekend, let's focus for now on what's before our eyes and understand how to prepare for whatever this way comes and we "Prepare the Ides of March."
Safer Computing: Swearing Off Cookies
It has been a while since I roared the praises of the Maxa Cookie Manager which you can download and install for a free test drive by clicking here.
To upgrade from the demo to full working is still less than $50 and one heck of a bargain at that, if I do say so.
I am a high-reliability computing kind of guy - and near as I have it figured, the road to a hassle-free computing experience is (like flying an airplane) a matter of going through a proper checklist before popping onto the web:
Like anything in computers, updates are critical so before work every morning, the computer does its update ritual - Check of Maxa (5.3.02 is current) Avira, and Malware bytes.
Toss in a good bit of common sense (example: Don't open email purporting to be from UPS, IRS, the US Post Office, or anything else that even has a hint of fishy odor to it) and first thing you know, the internet's actually a useful tool.
"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.
Please pass along word of this site to your friends by simply clicking here to send 'em a short email. - Thanks!
Thursday February 23, 2012
March to War & Collapse
Yep, still on schedule for the world to fall apart in the March>May period, and this morning's headlines sure don't give us much reason to back away from that expectation. True, the jobless filings were holding at four-year lows in this morning's report:
But on the other side of it, pressure continues to build globally on the financial side of things. I am thinking that a nice kick-off to utter economic collapse would be those 117 banks which are on the verge of review being officially told the review is coming might kick things off. That one has the potential to cause all the major banks playing derivatives roulette to have to put up collateral for even generic interest rates swaps...and who's got the money for that?
The report that dozens have been killed in widespread attacks across Iraq has me again scratching my bald spot wondering "What exactly did waste 10-years and countless lives over there for, again?
All this will be touted and screamed to get gasoline up to $6 a gallon shortly, despite there being something like 90-million barrels of crude at sea (and anchor). Head-trippin' the public. Check.
At least in Afghanistan, the match-point is heroin, and so we kinda know why two NATO soldiers died overnight there.
Which leaves only the questions of Syria and Iran to focus on. The sides are squaring off over Syria with Iran sending in a destroyer and supply ship last week and now old Hugo Chavez in Venezuela is sending them gasoline. And the Russians have "advisors" there, so all it takes is a match.
And in Iran (say sources in Jerusalem, like the J Post, it's only a matter of time (we hear 60-90 days) before Iran could build a crude uranium bomb.
My first item on my task list this morning is to call my insurance outfit and ask them if there's a radiation rider we could buy...
So a while back we were telling you how despite a pretty good case otherwise, the state of Georgia has decided to let the Barak Obama fellow's name be on the ballot there.
No, I'm not claiming a causal relationship. I'm simply holding up a couple of data points and saying "Hmmm...."
A Huge, Decades-Long Conspiracy?
Worth reading (and watching the video of the speech British lord James of Blackheath" which claims there's a $15-trillion dollar fraud afoot and, according to the Gordon Duff article at Veteran's Today, guess whose Fed is knee deep in this?
Normally, we'd be included to dismiss such a report, but just last week we had a reports out of Italy that $6-trillion in US bonds was confiscated. While the MSM says they are fake...I'm wondering aloud now "Hmmm...really?" And how would the signing for lots of $5-tillion in and out of banks (and it's claimed the Fed) be "faked"? My news nose knows news...and so far the picture is still disjointed. But as pieces come together, allegations of mystery money going back to the Reagan era have been around for years. What's different this time is there may be some documentation coming out...and which (republicorp) family dynasty in the White House was involved, go claims?
Report from the Heritage Foundation says almost half of Americas don't pay income tax.. 49.5%.
Now, on the surface their recommendations (remove welfare and entitlements, curb DC spending, and encourage more community aid) all sound good. But THE ROOT of the problems of America are we were sold a bill of goods, and our former employment bas gone to India and China, and the government hasn't delivered (statistically) promised jobs to graduating college students...
Oh, what's that? Shut up and don't call out the corporatist agenda and grand corporate tax slide?
The problems of America are right there every month from the diligent workers at Treasury who put out charts like this one:
Check the data in Table 3 here: Regular tax chattel (us) pay 6.7 times more tax than corporations. I don't know about you, but my ankles arte getting tired from all the grabbing.
Shaking it In the Islands
Something like 8 small earthquakes out in Hawaii yesterday...
The report that "Emerging influenza viruses in animal still a threat to human health" brings with it a number of built-in disease avoidance strategies. I won't sleep with animals, any more, for example.
Also, might rethink buying the kids a ferret because of this study.
Oh boy, the president of Finland is in hot water for oggling the prince of Denmark. Or so the headlines go. Apparently, this prez don't get out much...
Great Balls of Fire
Being tracked by NASA over the USA this month... If you say "Goodess, gracious!" I'll have to hit you.
Coping: With Thursday at the WuJo
Here's a dandy to start off our quest for the truth, which last we heard lived on a side street between Reality Avenue and Woo-Woo Drive...
I have this yet-to-be-disproven theory that since universe is put together as a multiverse, every so often we all "jump tracks" and never realize it.
I had one of those track-jump experiences last Saturday. Too cold and rainy to go fly the plane, I figured after posting the Saturday morning Peoplenomics report I would work in the office for a while. Did to ham radio equipment maintenance work, fussed around for what seems like most of the day. And since it started get dark outside, I thought to myself "Gee...must be four-thirty in the afternoon, or so...I better go see what Elaine's been doing all day over at the house..."
I walked in and there she was editing on my/our book and what the hell? The clocks over there said 11:30 AM. "No way!" screamed logical mind. The other side of the brain piped up "What is it you write about?" Hmmm...still working out how that happened.
We've had a lot of responses to the "voices saying something and waking people up" only to find there is no one there. Examples? Tons of them came in...
But this one was a particularly good answer...
Don't need to...kinda, sorta already knew this one...but I was suprrised at the number of reports...
I put fresh batteries in the keep-me-up all night box (radio) so as to catch CoastToCoast AM with George Noory tonight. Why? Well, seems he's going to have Linda Moulton Howe on tonight and she has been researching those "sounds" that have been heard all over the place...including here at the ranch.
This one explains a lot:
On yeah...forgot about that one...my all-time favorite best-ever marketing slogan by a major corporation is "Living better through chemistry." Which was promptly made illegal...
Then, from a reader (down under), comes this:
Hmmm.. If the universe is electric, where's the switch? And mud has already manifested as feminine...it's called feminine logic.
And although I've warmed to the idea of permission slips from Mom to go to war, the roadblock is that most of the people bent on war are old, sour, miserable people whose mums are planted six-feet-under or they'd take a switch to their bratty war-bent offspring and kill their allowances for a few years. Moms wouldn't allow deficit spending by deficit thinkers, either...
Other than that, I think you're onto something...
Around the Ranch: Where'd Idyllic Go?
Many times, I suppose, people reading this site very often would get the idea that life in the East Texas outback is idyllic. Well, yes, there are birds, soft breezes through the pines, the evening chats on the deck, martini mile hikes, and everyone on the road into town waves, and people in grocery stores actual stop and wait for an answer the the question "How are you today?"
Then there are days like yesterday.
Shortly after getting done with the column I went into town to see the dentist - "I'm fine today thanks - except for waking up yesterday morning at 2:17 AM and not being able to get back to sleep for the dull throbbing of tooth" - turned out #29 (a pre-molar, lower right if you dropped out of medical school).
The cheery staff took a picture and (to no one's surprise) I have a tooth abscess which means I get to have a root canal Monday don't by the Rooty Doc up in Tyler. No charge for the X-ray or checkup, either. (I did mention people around here are friendly, right?)
But you don't rush into a rooty thing without first blasting it with antibiotics, so I started those...and a pain-killer, too. Serious one.
"Great!" I was thinking. "Maybe now I'd have a shot at starting up a talk-radio show, from which I too might rise to titular head of the Reblicorps Party! And all without a back problem...just a rotten tooth..." Maybe this isn't so bad.
But overnight, a stray cat which was one of those "dropped off down on the road" by irresponsible pet owners who don't want to take care of their animals, came by for hors d'houevers with Zeus and Pusscilla. And some katraoke.
Since I was now able to sleep (about 2:17 again, BTW) I awoke to the new cat's solo (accompanied by Pusscilla don't a bass line) and being medicated somewhere north of Sherlock Holmes, I tripped and stumbled from a HUGE cramp on the top of my right foot.
This morning I am limping, medicated, and in an even more dour mood than usual. Yes, I had coffee, who's asking?
Although life in the outback is generally pretty good, Idyllic has taken the rest of the month off without permission and I'm a wee tad resentful about it.
Still, feeling like I do, I've realized that I may have more professional options than I formerly had considered. For one, my mood would make me a damn fine funeral director. Maybe a high school teacher, or tax agent. Budget director...you never know.
It's a fine challenge to turn every adversity into a positive and mostly I'm able to do it. Remember, I'm the guy who said the good part about inflation would be having to kill fewer trees because there won't be so much money around. I'm also the guy who doesn't mind being stuck in stop and go traffic, since it reduces the chances of a fatal accident to zero. Or terrible weather, without which sanding truck drivers and air traffic controllers would be out of work. See how it all plays?
Best of all is my outlook on crooked politics: It gives lawyers something to look forward to, and it gives voters and easy way to figure out who to vote out of office, although they almost never do.
A reader, commenting further on the disappearance of Fun as a National Priority sent this:
Cool...see? Humans with good attitudes really are incorrigible divine beings in training.
There, I'm feeling better already. Hand me my cane and one of those oxysomethings. I'm gonna see if there aren't some talk show host openings. Oh yeah, one other thing: Want a singing cat?
Wednesday February 22, 2012
The Wednesday Reader Note
Let's start with what's on our premium site, Peoplenomics:
Portrait of Market's Rolling Over?
The "Going Into March Checklist" is only part of the fun today. We may be watching one of the coolest-ever market rollovers. And since we know that money can be made on the downside as well as the upside, the need for Tums is minimized. But along with that comes serious change this spring, so we haul out some old familiar tools...and admittedly, as high as we keep our state of readiness around here, we we nevertheless have a good-size list under the general heading "Re-Prepping" that needs to be polished off in the next week. We will also try to comprehend how coming events would be managed by our thinking tool (Directorate 153). Busy times are here. Not that we don't always have time for headlines and charts, although it's just possible that they won't encompass outliers to come...since no one's quite sure how global collapse is going to work out.
Then for non-subscribers, there's an interesting read at the Strategic Living site on what we call the "Portable Knowledge Problem."
Drop by tomorrow morning for the usual chipper and cheerful take on a disastrous world..
Tuesday February 21, 2012
Call the Nobel Committee! In Monday's column, I explained the hard lesson about lifestyle and loans from the National Bank of Dad. As luck would have it, this morning serves up the important lesson that...you're going to love this....Idiocy is Fractal!!!
Yessir, we start this morning realizing that the behavior of our children is just a downsized version of our own, which is a downsized version of our city/county and this, in turn is downsized from State and then National government.
And my final proof that idiocy is fractal in nature? (That is, the same patterns go on at all levels...) Well here you go:
The Monthly Port Check
Still, the market is looking to open up a tad, but I wouldn't count out a downside reversal. Someone is bound to sober up at some point and see what's happening: flat sales...which means no profit growth which means no greater fools...which means....(bring on the war to kick-start this puppy again!).
War on Purim?
Remember a few weeks back when we were speculating that the Purim, the Jewish day or revenge/deliverance, might be an interesting time for war to break out (March 8 this year)? Well, here's another place where that's coming up...
Interesting thing is that the observance is when (sayeth Wikipedia) "According to the Book of Esther, Haman, royal vizier to King Ahasuerus planned to kill the Jews, but his plans were foiled by Mordecai and Queen Esther." If I were the marketing officer NuWar, it'd be a simple "leading role switch" from Haman to Tehran's leaders...
Coincidental about this also being the day (Mar 8) that the internet gets shut down to people with DNS_Changer virus on their computers?
Moonquakes? And one 12 Mi. from New Madrid...
Curious story about 'em in the UK's Register here. But it's like I always used to say: Seismology has a shaky future...
Earthquakes in eight places up the west side of California yesterday...nothing really big, but from Chiapas, Mexico, northward.
There was also a 4.0 shake at about 4 AM today up in Missouri around Sikeston according to the USGS maps here.
Well, wouldn't you know it: A check of the map and the quake turns out to be 12.3 miles from where? New Madrid!
This is one of those interesting little quirks of how science works. Sometime - eons ago, I suppose, the geologists all got together and decided on (as was explained to me by one gubbermint 'fish-al "standard landmarks" for quakes.
Which is why we can have a quake 12-miles from New Madrid this morning and it doesn't show up in the automated report. I first got onto this after looking at an almost 7.0 at Amchitka Island up in Alaska, since that was where we blew off a bunch of underground nukes. I thought to myself "My, ain't that curious that Amchitka isn't used as a landmark. And seems, neither is the widely known location of New Madrid.
Weird stuff this science stuff? Or, part of perception management to keep people from freaking out? That question may hound me till lunchtime...
All that hoopla about the national mortgage settlement? A copy of the settlement docs on the National Mortgage Settlement website is still marked "coming soon" as of this morning. Can it be that long, or is there tough to write language which will end in a homeowner BOHICA? Time will tell I'm supposing....
I imagine it's going to be hard to call it a settlement of X dollars though if the banksters have crafted it just so that no actual cash comes out of their pockets...only future fees, refi's and such.
Can't have us armchair cynics and lots of interested lawyers reading it prior to states signing off on it...care to bet there is a "this is a one time settlement" clause of some kind. Wonder how many states are going to roll over and go Patriot Act on this one (i.e. not read, just blindly rubber stamp it)?
Road Rage Control Program
The Mother Jones report out on "Nuclear Weapons on a Highway Near You" has me wondering it that's not the ultimate less in containing road rage. Got the goanies to flip off the 18-wheeler driver who has a 1 megaton response?
Nano-Transistors Vs. Happiness
I have a hard time coming up with a lot of excitement about the reported breakthrough in nano-transistors which could make computers a billion times faster.
Near as I can figure it, this won't buy me much since....
Near as I can figure it, the faster transistor will end up on the scrap-heap of history...just like how atomic power, we were assured in the 1950's would make "power too cheap to measure."
The proponents of new tech items are smart...I'll give them that. But they often as not fail miserably when it comes to wise. Worldwide humans are engaged in a dog-eat-dog race to....what?
Elaine was saying it last night..."Whatever happened to the 1970's and early 1980's?" People just had fun.
Today, people don't do fun anymore. Everything is PC, everyone's got a thinner skin and a me, me, me self-centeredness that boggles the mind. WTF? What's the point of living to be 150 or having trillions of GB of RAM if all it does is make you work harder, longer, and in the end die with fewer memories of really great times?
The world has lost its way. People have come to focus more on process than outcome, more on form than substance.
Given a choice between a day fishing, or being at anchor surrounded by nature, perhaps augmented with just the right biochemicals, or a billion times faster junk mail, it's an easy choice.
The only way into the future I'd really be onboard with would be a national Fun Initiative...so we could get away from our present "Best makers of war" and "Best uyser of resource" paradigm and substitute something a little more emotionally appealing: "Country of Maximum Fun and Freedom!"
I know that's never going to sell, but if people aren't having fun - what's the frigging point? Everyone's going to die...yeah, got it. But some will die miserable and some will have had a fine ride which on playback will be like wine in the (choice is yours here:) bardo, heaven, well of souls, yada yada...
We realize, around here at least, that many of our so-called leaders are stand up guys. It's just that with a wink & a nod, we don't say their last names too often. Comics.
I'm not trying to be Ned Ludd here, but higher tech hasn't translated into a world of happier people yet...so care tell me again, why are we focused so much on that?
Right now is the only time I'll be able to fit this kind of thought into words...since the rest of today's 14-hour day is already pretty well scheduled.
I'm pleased as punch to report that re-write of the old cowboy song (Home on the Range) "Drones, Drones on the Range..." was finally performed in public up in the Midwest somewhere (memory is gone, sorry). But the feedback is good:
Let us know where and when...I'll talk to my consigliore about having a regional readers meeting at the bar ahead of the show...you know, an open mic kind of thing perhaps. Even a bit of stand-up comedy, like selected passages from the Congressional Record...that kind of thing....
Coping: Screaming & Dreaming in the WuJo
A while back we touched on a very curious thing that seems to be going around...people awakening from sleep to the sound of a familiar person calling their name. This is what we call a WuJo event, since there are a couple of ways to explain it; one being scientific while the other is woo-woo in nature.
To the inbox for a collection of reports...
(I don't blog, I write.) Another reader describes the experience this way:
I don't know how to approach the scientific side of this since I can't think of a simple way to get, count, and categorize such cases. Every couple of weeks with the National Dream Center site, I'm able to go through, plug everything into a spreadsheet and get a kind of topological view of what's going on people's "mental blender" when they are sleeping. But this? It's a seemingly widespread phenomena...
If you do manage to extract anything useful from there's wake-up calls, we'd sure be interested in knowing about them. They could be...
Which would be tantalizing to say the least. Can you imagine calling in to work and telling the boss "Sorry, can't come in today, but have a full house of dead people from the past 10-centuries wandering through here and we're having a jolly good time discussing what a crapping system of progressive learning Universe has set up...not at all like a regular school or the community college. Can I bring a few in with me tomorrow?"
Strange as it seems there is probably a lot more "chipping away" at the veil (between life and whatever that other stuff is) lately. A couple of reasons may account for it: There's been a lot more people dying lately who have psychedelic experience - which could be useful since the EVP (electronic voice phenomena) crowd holds - in a few reports - that the other side is much more color intensive which sure would fit with descriptors like surreal and vivid...
The other reason why the veil might thin would be the increasing number of people who pass over with significant technical knowledge - if not outright engineering skill. These people would be familiar with the laws of physics on this side, and since there's Eternity to work on the other side, then reaching across just becoming an engineering problem.
Last, but not least, the world probably has a lot less fear going around these days than in the past and what IF dressed up and masquerading under the color of "religion" there are some beings on the other side of the veil that are just larger than life sick-puppy power trippers who could lose their grip on the game if enough "You don't own me" thinking people show up.
Why, that would be enough to trigger them into inciting their followers on this side of the veil to go and engage in wars in order to thin down the ranks of the disbelievers to more manageable levels and thus, in ethereal realms, be able to carry on with their power trippin'.
From our Indonesia Bureau Chief:
Can I simply say a group THANK YOU for all the happy birthday notes? One reader wish ended...
I wrote back asking if that's the case, why'd He do income tax? Seems that's more a to than a for...know what I mean?
Speaking of Income Taxes
Got ours filed on my birthday - earliest ever done. Found a cool product for wild-eyed gamblers (and daytraders, if there's a distinction there): TradeLog. Best $70 I've spent to figure out wash sales and such... Did the export and loaded into TurboTax fine...cut the misery down to a day instead of several.
Letters We Like to Receive: From up in Washington State:
Like they say out here in the East Texas Outback, "'Preciate cha..." and "Yah otter write more often..." I'm not being flipper'nt.
Tomorrow is Peoplenomics content day...Thursday morning, same time, we'll review some of the comments on the National Bank of Dad's lending and grant policies...
Monday February 20, 2012
Take the Day Off Day
This is a National Holiday...for a lot of people - mostly government workers, seems, since everyone I know is working. This is also my birthday so if I seem a little more sour than usual, it's because I'm older than I was when I went to be last night. Somehow, the holiday was not proclaimed in my honor, but I'm willing to overlook that little boner.
Nice Gesture of the Day Dept.
The International Atomic Energy Agency is planning to visit Iran this week and put forward the idea that if Iran complies on this and that demand, war talk will be toned down.
Meantime, here's a headline for you to ponder: "US official to discuss Iran concerns in Israel."
Here's a handy-dandy referential framework for you: This is like asking a person with a severe (anaphylactic) reaction to peanut butter "Couldn't you learn to like the Jif or the Skippy?
Axe Oil, Invite War
After we reported this last week (might have been in Peoplenomics...last week I* was a year younger) we see that the oil ministry in Iran has indeed cut exports to Britain and France.
Amazingly, the European markets are up this morning because of a fresh round of happy talk on something else. And so, like good little crack monkeys, the profiteers on Europe are focused only on the very short term...even if it means....
And in our "With Friends Like This" file, the Saudi's have cut output....
Still, a reader asked me to read "Is Ahmadinejad the Modern Hitler? Are We Repeating Pre WWII?" which I promptly declined. I'm no fan of Iran, but reality check: The number of countries they have invaded in the last 10-year is what? Zero?
Meantime the number of countries we've invaded since 2000 is what? Oh...I forgot....we're there helping people. Like Germany helped the Sudetenland? I seem to get confused lately on who the good guys are...and who did you say the world's largest arms exporter is? Iran didn't make that list...neither did North Korea as long as we're looking at facts...blue pill, please? I'll be back in parrot the paradigm mode in a few minutes...
Ron Paul continues to tell it like it really is...which about ensures he won't make it. Here, let me put a little more fluoride in the coffee for you...
Cosigning on Greece
As we read how the EU financial types are ready to cast their lot on Greece, I find myself wondering what would anyone effectively cosign any of the EU loans since not working seems to be a central tenet of Europe?
Bind all those little countries into one big gob of goo, give them more time off than earned, lend them the money to live that way and run up huge social bills, and then pull the rug out from under them and leave them behyolding to a new super government.
Ugly, yeah? But seems to be the playbook... "You are bankrupt so you have to do as we say..." And people swallow it.
Wow...there will be continued weather across most of the nation today. OK, a little warmish in Miami...This is one of those holidays whent he newsroom joke used to be "How about we rewrite Hints from Heloise for the lead at noon?"
NewTrends: Home Security Systems See New Use
My son's put up a web page for a buddy of his who has one of those new home security cam systems. Happened to catch a hit and run in front of his buddy Kyle's home...and now there's a Facebook page "Who hit Kyle's car?"
Here's the trend to watch for: People putting in more video and going after doers of evil directly (with a lawyer to write the demand letters) and cutting police out of the deal. I mean think about it: In a cooperative society....
Wake Me When the Week is Over
There's just not a lot on this week's financial calendar...and I keep hoping for my blow-off top to appear. There are some scattered housing data due Wednesday and consumer misguidedness numbers on Friday...but is that all worth getting on the treadmill for?
Coping: With Sunday Banking
I bet you didn't think the National Bank of Dad was open on Sundays. Well, as a matter of fact, it is...and still doing our dead-level best to teach people how not to roll over and get completely screwed by "The Man".
Once again this weekend, it was time to teach one of Life's most bitter lessons: Despite nearly 30-years of media hype and bullshit, at least one of our kids can't afford the lifestyle they have. And so, as a logical consequence, they over-consumed and when trouble came a-calling...which it always does...the person lacking prudence and some spare cash got rolled-up and squished by what has been variously called The System, The Man, or The Machine.
Here's how it works in the latest example - using somewhat less than hypothetical numbers but I won't tell you which of the kids is involved, only that this happens in the Seattle area.
The young person who is single has a budget that looks like this:
As you can see, in my little "Come to Jesus" with said offspring, I said (simply) "No way in hell is the National Bank of Dad going to pay $380 per month so that you can have a pet and a car...sorry but today is the day to catch up with reality and become personally responsible."
I made up a list of expenses (left column) and then income, and discovered this child was going in the hole $380 per month and - for the second time in Life - is planning bankruptcy. "Twice???"
So what I did was write up a revised budget...second column... and by simply getting rid of the car and putting in a bus pass, and giving away the pets would leave the same person with $295 a month which could be saved for a future desired thing. Like a car in the future. To be nice, I'm going to take care of the dental bill, the new parking ticket (a fresh $72) and I paid $ 421.69 to get the "boot" that the cops had put on said child's car for not paying other parking tickets.
"Dad, you have plenty of money...what can't I keep my car? I NEED it..."
"The hell you do! YOU CAN'T AFFORD THE CAR! I didn't go to 6+ years of college and get an MBA to tell my offspring that if you don't have a $20 left over on payday, you have got to do radical surgery on your budget!
"I was giving you a chance to fix stupid but apparently that didn't work. So here's the offer from the Bank of Dad: I will take care of this on a onetime-basis and that's that. No more applications to the Bank...none. If you want to keep the car, you get off your ass and find a higher paying job - minimum of $1,900 a month or you lose the car...period. I'll send you the precise terms and conditions and you send me the info on how to get your car boot off."
Within an hour, the car boot was off...but that gets me to the main point of this morning's report.
The City of Seattle is NOT a place to live if you're poor...in fact no big city is. Reason? They have turned the public streets - already paid for with tax dollars - into paying parking lots.
If you don't pay (as in this child's case) what ought to have been a right (to park your car on roads we all paid for) sudden become a privilege and for non-payment of a ticket a few times, a boot gets put on the car.
This is cute: When the boot goes on you then get a 48-hour deadline during which you have to come up with the money for the tickets - $200 and something in this case - plus a $175 fee to give a little vig to the booters.
If you don't pay guess what? The towing company comes along and gives your car a $200 tow to the impound lot, and then what? You get to pay and pay...and you were broke in the first place:
The more I thought about this, the more angry I got. It amounts to systemized theft of a person's car...and in some cases, destroys their ability to make a living...oh...sorry...creates more professional victim class members.
I just thought I would mention that this is exactly the kind of "system screw job" that drives Occupy movements all over the place. Should there be "fees for parking" on public property? No. If a city has parking meters, don't live there. Dishonest government is double dipping and triple screwing.
Why is there a system of fees? Because its how government wins and asserts its domination over We the People. I want you to notice in this scam how:
And so, in the end, people with not very much money are victimized so the government class can prosper.
And folks wonder why works like "Occupy" are in the air? It's because what were once our rights have been turned into privileges and those are being systematically rented back to us. It's crooked from the top of the heap (income taxes) to the bottom (local city parking fiefdoms).
It's the systematic victimization of dumb people...and if you don't have money left over, the pernicious effect of living an excessive lifestyle is one of the main ingredients that keeps people tethered to student loans (for jobs that didn't materialize) and a whole lot of other crooked thinking.
At least today, in some cities, parking is free for the holiday.
The joke? The people who live in such crooked cities - like Seattle - aren't free at all. They're living in a police city-state and are just too damn dumb to see it.
Oh...and it's about to get worse because as interest rates go up, cities will have to charge more of these fees...and roads paid for with public money will turn more and more into toll roads and the only "public" which will be able to get around the country will be the rich.
There, I feel better now and any problems which might have arisen from low blood pressure have been banished for the week.
How Historical Revisionism Works
I grew up in Seattle...and as long as I'm ranting about the destruction of America, exemplified by government expansionism there, I thought I would mention that King County, Washington is a different place that when I was growing up.
Let's talk about the name for a sec: Wiki, please?
That's the history I grew up with. So I notice, while shopping the bus pass for the financial challenged child that King County now had Martin Luther King's face on it.
What's interesting to me to watch is how the county migrated from being named for William R. King to being named for Martin Luther King.
Face flag? I'm sure noticing the name change is totally inappropriate, but there really are two ways to look at it: One is as a way of honoring Dr. King, or as a PC exercise in historical revisionism which, I expect going forward will downplay or flat disregard that other King fellow who was the basis of the county's name for 153-years. Then, once us old farts with memories die off, the revision will be complete.
Then in the future, when some some up and coming historian wonders "How could the county have been named in honor of Dr. King when it was founded 153 years earlier?" Historians already have a "don't ask, don't tell" code... Worth watching how this rolls out...
I'm half-waiting for Kenedy County, TX to roll out a JFK face-flag and put his likeness on it (and fix their errant spelling). Or, maybe a place like Nassau County NY could remarket itself as Eisenhower County...don't have one of them yet, near as I could figure.
I haven't found a single Bush County yet, but both Montana and New Mexico have Roosevelt Counties. And I suppose we'll have to see if Glenn County, California will put astronaut John Glenn's face on a flag some day.
Just no rhyme or reason to this history stuff, near as I can tell. But I'm pretty sure there's a method to it, though I don't have any explanation for it this morning. But the reason of certain governments in the world naming facilities just plain numbers, does begin to make sense.
It keeps people from getting all whipped up into emotional frenzies about names attached to this, or that. All carefully orchestrated...by whom and for what end?
Since this is my birthday I looked up others with the same birthday who got to be famous. Cindy Crawford is 46 already? Hell, I bet she doesn't even call this year....hasn't called any other year, either...
Speaking of Birthdays, stock car racer Bobby Under is 78 today...same birthday. Turns out Bobby has microvortex generators on his plane (also a Beech, just the grown-up version).
I'm looking at them as a birthday present for our plane, since they reportedly only cost a mile an hour or top speed, or less, but they dramatically improve lift and slow speed control. Literature here says it will reduce flap up stall speed by 10 knots and flaps down by 6 knots and give better crosswind control.
I'd be very interested in any first-hand reports on whether they are worth adding.
Like to get emails like this one:
Uh....that's the plan. No telling for how much longer, though...and as for March release lingo....yes...
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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