World Ending…but Which World?

Still saddled with this crummy flu/cold./plague/or pox upon me, I almost crawled back into bed this morning upon discovering that the world would be ending sometime in August of this year.  Yes, there’s a story out on the Turner Radio Network (no relation to Ted, so far as we know) that assures us that a “Professor gives coordinates of planet inbound toward Earth.”

Of course, the story’s cited source, a “Dr. Kaplan” (no first name given) seems to have a video up on YouTube, which would be terribly important except for one thing:  the UT Austin Astronomy Dept. doesn’t have any Dr. Kaplan listed on it’s personnel directory (here) and so it doesn’t look legit, so we continue our quest for how the world is likely to end this year.

The smart money is on the world ending because of financial destruction, instead of errant planets.  Errant financial policy is far more likely…

In the early-going today, the Dow which was up 109 points yesterday, is likely to drop more than a hundred-fiddy  around the opening, and as a result, we expect the week to end down around its lows, or under.  Remember, below the S&P 1,770 level is where Robin Landry and a lot of other experts in market analysis expect things to get really interesting.

While we await the market opening today, we can begin munching on a side order of quick-fried numbers – personal income and expenses.  Have your ViceGrips at the read as you read this one…

“Personal income increased $2.3 billion, or less than 0.1 percent, and disposable personal income (DPI) decreased $3.8 billion, or less than 0.1 percent, in December according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis. Personal consumption expenditures (PCE) increased $44.1 billion, or 0.4 percent. In November, personal income increased $29.8 billion, or 0.2 percent, DPI increased $14.4 billion, or 0.1 percent, and PCE increased $74.8 billion, or 0.6 percent, based on revised estimates. Real disposable personal income decreased 0.2 percent in December, in contrast to an increase of 0.1 percent in November.

Real PCE increased 0.2 percent in December, compared with an increase of 0.6 percent in November.

No surprise, however I do have on my questions to ask BEA list this one: Are ya’ll counting healthcare tax in your accounting?

And then there’s personal savings:

Personal saving — DPI less personal outlays — was $495.2 billion in December, compared with $541.0 billion in November. The personal saving rate — personal saving as a percentage of disposable personal income — was 3.9 percent in December, compared with 4.3 percent in November.

How they can come out with such stuff month after month is mystifying.  But the real numbers to wait for will be the January numbers (a month from now) after all the healthcare changes roll in.  Or, will they simply not count that as a tax?  Jokes on us.

But meantime, if there’s a decline in your standard of living, if you tear into their underlying spreadsheet, you’ll see they do things like count home equity as “savings” and such, you’ll see that the last YTD increase in personal savings for 2013 was 4.5% while in 2012 it was 5.6% and In 2011 it was 5.7%.

Gee, do you think this economic reality has anything to do with why the Dow will open down 150 this morning?

Which gets us to….

Obamacare Poll

I’m looking to collect actual reader experience with healthcare reform, so please click one of the following links and send me a note:

My healthcare become MORE expensive under Obamacare

My healthcare became LESS expensive under Obamacare

Oh, sure, there have been other polls out there, but I want to find out what actual UrbanSurvival reader experiences are.  If the poll comes in good – then fine – we’ll be pleased to report that.  However, if the poll comes in negative, well, that too will get reported.

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Coping: Flu Link to the Shaman in the Living Room?

This is getting old: That chest cold I was telling you about earlier this week has come back for “round 2” and although it’s bad, there may be some good to come of it.  Takes a little explaining, but here’s my logic:

As you remember, my son came back from Skydive Spaceland with a really hoarse voice and a bit of a cough.  Nothing serious, so I chalked it up to a “no risk” event.  Since then, he’s gone back to Seattle where he’s on the job for the health department and university up there and feeling fine.  He was symptom-free in 72-hours.

So I talked to him Wednesday and wondered why I was feeling like crap.  “Well, you know dad, since I’m a first responder on just about everything up here, I have not only the regular flu shots but also two kinds of investigational flu shots in my.  So I’m immune to bird and swine in all the variants we know of, at least as of when the studies started.  Have you broken into your Tamiflu yet?”

Could it be something as simple as that?  Could he have had a close brush with one of the new flu’s and I’ve simply gotten a version of one of those? 

One way to check on your temperature, if you don’t have a thermometer handy, is to run your blood pressure with a BP cuff.  G2 has me do that and it came in as 113/69 with a pulse of 74.

Doesn’t seem like more than a degree, or two, dad.  The way we figure it on the fly is for every degree of elevated temperature, the heart rate can go up about 10-beats per minute.  Last time I had a bad flu and 105, my heart rate was up around 110-115 resting.  So you don’t have anything bad…at least not yet.  But keep an eye on the heart rate…”

One reason I am super-sensitive to chest colds is that as a life-long asthma sufferer, I remember the nearly fatal combination of cold, fever, and “seeing the blue light” and all from where I was very young and had been rushed to the ER for oxygen and treatment.  For the last 40-years, being aware of allergies has moderated that and between one pill and a puff or two on an inhaler every day or two (albuterol and QVAR) the lungs have been dandy.

Until this cold, this week.

So I went back through my allergy/eating habits and nothing had changed. “What is going on such that I feel like I’m being…..waterboarded?”

OH-OH…. I just solved my own question!!!

Last Saturday, Elaine and I ordered an Amazon Instant Video: Escape Plan with Sly Stallone and
Arnold Gubernator.  Hugely entertaining flick.  EXCEPT for one minor detail:  There are lots of scenes in the movie where the heroes are having all kind of difficulty breathing.  Such things as being underwater on the prison ship they’re on (“The Tomb”) and, in one scene in particular Stallone was being waterboarded.


About here I began to play back a number of things we all know about television, starting with Pappy’s sage advice, issued while I was watching the early Untouchables” series:  “Don’t sit so close to the TV, you’ll get blood all over the place…”

Some where in there, he also mentioned that one of the rare games that his crew down at the fire house would do on the odd evening in the station when there wasn’t a fire or mayhem afoot, was the firemen would count the number of killings per episode.  I think the high was something like 31-deaths in a one-hour show.  I think a fireman named  Califano kept score, if I remember…

There was even some wonderment at the time whether the wildly escalating number of murders on television would spill over into “the projects” that were in pappy’s district, although it was a busy enough station they didn’t have time for full-on research like that.

Fast-forward: We already know (or at least presume you know) that sitting on lard butt in front of the tube is all kinds of bad for you anyway.  The reasons are simple enough:  No body movement, often accompanied by binge-eating and it’s no wonder heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and even Alzheimer’s are linked to too much butt-time in front of the tube.

But what there doesn’t seem to be too much data on is the shamanistic potential of the television.  Especially when a person’s normal “hard shell” has been softened or weakened by some kind of illness.

The roll of pain and suffering in shamanism is touched on in a 2005 article by Drs. John
Ankerberg and Weldon.  (two Johns)

This one quote in particular, to borrow a cite in their work, drives home my point:

The Salish shamanic initiation includes first a period of torture and deprivation: being clubbed, bitten, thrown about, immobilized, blindfolded, teased, starved. When the initiate “gets his [shamanic] song straight,” or the slate that is the mind is wiped clean, the guardian spirit or power animal appears [to possess the shaman].[

Oh my!  It all gets me to wondering if watching television which sick (or in diminished capacity) might have the same effects on the subconscious?  Could this be the mechanism by which young men under 30 are programmed to commit murder and mayhem?  Is there deliberate (or even inadvertent) shamanistic ritual included in certain shows that could make a person more susceptible to a more serious version of the disease (like my chest cold) than would otherwise happen?

The government’s (savory/excellent) cites something like 76-pages of research into the effects of watching television.  We know that it’s linked to obesity,  it can be a management tool in epilepsy, eating while watching television increases energy uptake in women, so eating with the telly on may be a bad thing, too.

There is one paper in particular that touches on the more general mechanism that I sense around my Stallone movie experience.  It’s the paper “Media’s role in broadcasting acute stress following the Boston Marathon bombing.”

So what is the “learning” to be had from all this?  Perhaps this is too gross a statement, but it seems it will be borne out over time:

When you are ill – even so much as coming down with a sniffle – immediately institute television watching controls.  Limit television intake to those shows that are nonviolent and educational in nature.  Shows that are “uplifting” would likely be OK, too.

But steer away from shows of unknown content (like my watching “Escape Plan” where there may be subliminal permissions implied (drowning, waterboarding) that may expand the subconscious inclination to “fill in” details that might result in a more serious healthcare episode that the one you’re presently in…

There’s a shaman in your living room.

It’s a sad testament to the acuity of present medical thought that the link between content inputs versus clinical outcomes has been so poorly studied.  But, as I’ve said before, if television had to do an environmental impact statement (or video games, for that matter) there would be a lot better content (and games) around that what we have today.

Don’t hand me a pill in the future:  Hand me the remote, first.

DDT Polio Link

Oh-oh….something for reader George from reader/researcher Nancy who has been collecting data on the DDT-Polio link:

As your reader George was espousing the benefits of DDT, he apparently didn’t hear of DDT exposure being the real cause of polio

(See chart here) 

*Note the close correlation to the spraying of pesticides and the worst polio epidemic in US History. “…Before 1940, relatively small amounts of such chemicals as nicotine, rotenone, pyrethrum, and the aresenicals (sic) were used for insect control. During and following World War II a rapid changeover to DDT, heptachlor, dieldrin, TEPP, malathion, and related compounds occurred.” [5]

I have to admit I didn’t know about the polio-DDT/Pesticide link previously.  Related:  Michael R reports “The Epigentics Heretic” in Science magazine notes that pesticide damage can be passed to future generations.

WoWW:  Slippery Time

In Thursday’s column (I think it was, with cold meds, it could have been any time in the past six centuries) I mentioned a reader’s (Doug) experience with time dilation at moments of high stress like playing football.

More details about the phenomena from Big Al:


The time dilation effect is called Tachypsychia.

It’s in Wiki and Massad Ayoob writes about it in his recounting of gunfights.

It is an effect of the “fight or flight” dump of adrenalin, norepinephrine, dopamine, etc.

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Fed Aftermath: End of the World In Sight

The Dow Jones Industrials dropped 189 points Wednesday following the Federal Reserve meeting at which the reins of power (money) were handed over to Janet Yellen.  Hopefully, Gen Bernanke’s first task now will be to write a follow-up book to his Essays on the Great Depression.   However, I’d suggest a cooling off period of 4-5 years so he will have additional data about the now-emerging Depression Deux.

You’ll have to pardon my artwork here, since our art department has had massive layoffs and I can’t seem to train the cats to run CorelDraw, but the scrawl on the right shows how Fed policy since the 1999 peak of the Internet Bubble has been a series of serial bubbles over the valley of National Financial Death, through which the River of Ruin runs and threatens to take all with it.

You may recall a while back that IMF bossette Christine Legarde warned of deflation risks, too.  This is not a US-only problem.

But, at the same time, the Fed is discovering that quantitative noodle-pushing has its limits, too, and as a result they took $10-billion of free money off the table at their meeting Wednesday and were hoping that it would not cause panic.

Well a 190-point drop in the Dow may not seem like a big deal, but we can’t help but wonder what will happen when critical support at S&P 1770 breaks.  Will support around 1,725 and then 1,680 be in line to fall, too?

The Fed has a problem:  How to you put a whole country into economic rehab without blowing off another round of jobs?

The rational answer is, you simply can’t which is why – despite looking like a minor rally was expected at the opening of today’s trading – I don’t trust this market any further than I can throw it.  China was down another one half a percentage point last night,   And Japan dropped a further 2.45% and is now threatening the psychologically important 15,000 level.

In early European trading, Germany, France, and England were all down about a third of a percent, which would translate to the Dow down another 50, or so.  But the problem here is this:  Once we get a convincing close under 1,770, then the way for much larger declines open and that’s when you want to have the preps for whatever all topped off.

The Daily Happy Talks

While we wait for the rest of the market to figure out near term direction (bounce then hard down) we can’t help but share the latest GDP report, issued by the Hallelujah Choir over at the Bureau of Economic Analysis…  A quote from the Scripture According to Gubmint, please?

Real gross domestic product — the output of goods and services produced by labor and property located in the United States — increased at an annual rate of 3.2 percent in the fourth quarter of 2013 (that is, from the third quarter to the fourth quarter), according to the “advance” estimate released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. In the third quarter, real GDP increased 4.1 percent.

The Bureau emphasized that the fourth-quarter advance estimate released today is based on source data that are incomplete or subject to further revision by the source agency (see the box on page 4 and “Comparisons of Revisions to GDP” on page 5). The “second” estimate for the fourth quarter, based on more complete data, will be released on February 28, 2014.

The increase in real GDP in the fourth quarter primarily reflected positive contributions from personal consumption expenditures (PCE), exports, nonresidential fixed investment, private inventory investment, and state and local government spending that were partly offset by negative contributions from federal government spending and residential fixed investment. Imports, which are a subtraction in the calculation of GDP, increased.

All of which would be fine and you might even be able to swallow, except for the fact that year-on-year container counts coming in were DOWN at west coast ports in December.

“Gee, Ure, what do you think is happening, then?”

Oh, golly, let me think:  MAKING UP MONEY!

We will get fresh numbers this afternoon, but when M1 being printed up at a 9.5% annualized increase rate and M2 is printing at 5.8% annualized over the last three months, come on:  What do you think will happen to the paper GDP?


Drought: First of Four Million?

No, my estimate of the possible relocation impacts from the drought in California are only hip-shots based on the modern-day impacts from a Dust Bowl-sized relocation scaled up to present day, but already we see the potential for a few of the 12,000 people who live in 17 communities to start “getting mobile” in the next three or four months.

The reason is that 17-communities are on the verge of running out of water.

I suppose that the good news is that a bit of mist and some very light rain is moving through Modesto, CA at this hour, but that won’t last long – before noon it should be ending – and that will leave the area 2.4 inches or more short for the year to date.

On flip side of weather, the snow and ice that slammed Anchorlanta (Atlanbanks?) this week is being blamed for 13-deaths.  I’m not sure terms like “post apocalyptic world” are right.  How about “winter” instead?

Dark Shadows of the PowersThatBe

In yesterday’s Peoplenomics report I unveiled a new concept that I want everyone to be watching for:  the “Gentlemen’s War” between Russia and the West/EU which boldly told Putin in a press conference this week that the EU has expansionist designs that would extend its treacherous reach from “Lisbon to Vladivostok..”

I’m not the only one to pick up the innuendo from the press conference Tuesday…it’s showing up in Ukraine media, but few in the West realize the power grab in play.

While headlines this morning are still trying to whip things up (at the West’s direction) our consulting wargamer sees things similarly:

Putin is probably the most skilled at realpolitik of all the world’s current leaders, doing what is best for ‘his’ Russia vice doing what is morally and/or globally right. 

I like your ‘chess match’ analogy.  Putin completely understands the NWO agenda, while the PTB collectively recognize the formidable power that Putin wields from Europe across the Middle East to the Pacific Ocean.

Obama may be totally in the PTB’s pocket, but Putin remains a dauntingly defiant single-state force that must and will eventually be reckoned with.  That is when things will really get interesting

For those a little short of coffee, here’s the new West/EU global elite/New world order takeover plan:  Pick the “next country” wanted.  Recently, they trying Syria.  So the game was to support the opposition – even if al Qaeda-linked – in order to topple the government.

Now, we see the same smarmy attempt being made in Ukraine…Western dough coming in to agitate and steel influence from Vlad Putin.

Now, since the West is buddy-buddy with AQ (at least in Syria) Putin knows that his hands are tied until after the Sochi games.  But when those are done, look for Putin to start calling out the NOW’ers of the EU who fancy themselves able to steal directly elected government from people foolish enough to follow their crap.  Tossing one more good country (Ukraine) doesn’t turn their sack of crap financial picture.  It just makes them too big to fail…power mongering pricks.

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Coping: Notes from the WoWW

The WoWW is, in case you’ve forgotten, the World of Woo-Woo where we get lots of odd/curious things.

For example, one note from a female reader informed me that..

. So I’ve given up on reading past articles that i had tried to save and really, as I sit here with aluminum foil on my head (my husband took a picture to try and blackmail me, but really, no one I know would even care) all I wanted to find was that article you posted on wearing some aluminum foil ..was it on your head or another body part? I occ. wore a colander and that was long before the movie Signs came out. Last night the very high-pitch tone in my left ear (no hearing aids) was most bothersome and it reminded me to find your article. Long lead up to: what were your instructions in that article, and did people respond?

I politely pointed out that many of the past 13-years of articles on the UrbanSurvival site have been removed in an effort to keep our content down to a more manageable side.  But, back in the day I detailed  a number of experiments of the “foil hat” variety and yes, there does seem to be something of a “calming effect” of wearing metal on the head.

It can’t be just any metal, though.  It needs to cover from the base of the neck, over the ears, and under the chin and so forth.  Ideally, so only the eyes can see and some small holes for air serving the nose and mouth.

The Montana reader says she’ll get back to us with results. But if you try it, see if you don’t also experience  a sense of calm of quietness.  My thinking on this stuff is that it has something to do with the huge amount of radio frequency energy that we have been shoving into humans since shortly after Marconi. 

We weren’t designed with RF resistance in mind and I figure that being the case, if could expect a lot of the craziness of humans at a very deep (un or pre-conscious) level.

Was I Wrong on DDT?

Earlier this week I offered up a link to news reports of a link being found between the use of pesticides and development of Alzheimer’s later in life…

As you’d expect, some people said that sure squared with their experience in life…

Wow almost exact same story with my father, fruit trees, grapes, garden all sorts of sprayers, powders, liquids swirling around him throughout the 50’s.

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Crashes: “Shock Timing” and Futuring

While we are sitting around clearing the financial wreckage and waiting for the Fed to be put in its place by the PowersThatBe Wall St. Division, let me share with you a revised chapter from my book “Real Time Machines: The Future is an Ap,” This arises from ongoing discussions between brainpower Grady, Mike, and Ures truly.

Peoplenomics update: A Look at Fresh Housing Data

Case-Shiller/S&P Dow Jones housing data is just out…and here’s what it means when I say on an inflation-adjusted basis we’re stuck with 2001 or earlier housing prices… More for Subscribers ||| SUBSCRIBE NOW! ||| Subscriber Help Center

Crash Planning: Joy of Cash – Data Bummers Arrive

As the market is likely to rally at the open this morning, I’m once again thinking about moving to cash.  The reason is simple: Earlier this morning the S&P looked like it might rally 7 or 8 points, and although the Fed is not likely to actually do anything about getting off the easy-money addiction of quantitative easing, the new banking rules in China do give some reason for concern.

To be sure, the stories about China’s banking picture do give mixed signals:

“Is China running out of cash?”

“China’s shadow banking woes ‘exaggerated’

China’s banks: fighting back against online upstarts”

Looming $500 million default to test China’s banking system

And “Citic’s bad loan writeoff a sign of strain in China’s mid-sized banks”

All of which casts some very long shadows here in the West, since China is the major player in terms of US debt, despite notions to the contrary.  And, China’s economy is inextricably related to the economy of the US>

As you can see in the data that I’ve compiled from major West Coast Ports for the month of December, there has been no year-on-year growth whatsoever in container volumes coming in to the US west coast.

The one (small) bright spot is that US exports to China and the rest of the world is up, but a 5% increase may simply mean that exports of recycled goods (metals) may be up.

This is setting up another devastating round of price attacks on (what’s left of) the US steel industry.  The Chinese output of steel was reported up slightly at mid January, but their domestic consumption is tapers off.  With no huge auto industry, and with most of the steel for all those high rise buildings in Beijing tapering, we expect to see a continued price decline in Chinese steel.

The other name for this of course is the beginning of pernicious global deflation.  And a further indicator of Chinese demand sinking is the report that “Chinese steel firms losing appetite for overseas iron-or assets.

For now, out expectations are muted:  It seems likely the Fed will be forced into a “No QE change” position in tomorrow’s meeting.  And, depending on how tough Janet Yellen talks, there might even be a rally of a week or three in length.

But for now, the S&P 1,770 level will be key.  If we break that, then there is a fair chance the market could decline a long, long ways.  Like 1,640, or even below that to 1,540.

And if THAT last number fails, then our long-predicted return to the 2009 market lows (and lower) along with falling metals prices (under $1,000 gold, for example) might very easily come to pass.

Still, our trading indicator only momentarily dropped below the mandatory shorting level on Monday and ended the session above it.

We also note with growing concern that the Baltic Dry index (BDI) (which will be more widely reported by the MSM tomorrow) is down 40 at 1,177 this morning.  Remember, this is the dry bulk cargo pricing and in December the Index was up in the 2,200-2,300 range.  So it has been whacked about in half.  And the index often moves ahead of the major US indices by some number of months.  (Usually around 90 days).

So if I were a betting man, I might be inclined to expect an initially accommodative Fed report tomorrow and that might give the market another month or three to the upside.  We’ll just have to wait and see.  But the main thing to remember is that calling the exact top or bottom of markets is not necessary to make very good returns in the long run.

The real “skill and art” is to consistently catch the middle 80% or larger, long-term, market trends.  If we can do that successfully, then it will be better than most of the ‘herd’.

But for this morning, once we see a substantial rally?  Time to be thinking about the joys of cash and looking closely at leading indicators on global trade.

The odds grow by the day that globalism is on its last legs,but that’s just not apparent to many people yet.  Barry Lynn, I think, over the longer term will be correct in his assessment laid out in his book End of the Line: The Rise and Coming Fall of the Global Corporation.  The book was early (2006) but many of the dynamics have not changed.

And as long as you’re reading about “how the sky is going to fall” be sure to also add Richard Heinberg’s Peak Everything: Waking Up to the Century of Declines.  Like Barry Lynn’s book, this is another one of those “early, but watch the data” books that came out in 2010.

After you read them, you may have a better appreciation for our “outback” lifestyle and why we’re planning for a world that will likely be vastly different from the world of right now.

I know of several authors who are standing by in the wings with “after the crash books.”  Around here, we don’t hold them in particularly high regard.  Reading about the biggest financial collapse in world history may be interesting after the fact, but our focus both on UrbanSurvival and more so in continues to be on the strategic financial and personal lifestyle decisions than may be implemented ahead of events.

That’s where you have the most “room to move.”  As always, it’s better to be 8-years early than one year too late.  The “prepper movement” sort of get’s it, but most are prepping as part of an “in place” strategy.  And for the majority of Americans, that’s not a good thing; fraught with much higher risks. 

It’s also why the evolution UrbanSurvival will be to the™ website, because this has the likelihood of being the kind of mass migration you want to be at the front of.  Not the last one out of Dodge.

Data Bummers

Census has a couple of them, including the drop in Retail Sales (down 7%) in yesterday’s report.

Sales of new single-family houses in December 2013 were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 414,000, according to
estimates released jointly today by the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
This is 7.0 percent (±17.5%)* below the revised November rate of 445,000, but is 4.5 percent (±19.8%)* above the
December 2012 estimate of 396,000.

We’ll have this morning’s update on the Case Shiller/S&P Housing Index up for Peoplenomics subscribers (hopefully) just ahead of the market open.

And this morning’s Durable Goods report shows an unexpectedly large drop, too:

New orders for manufactured durable goods in
December decreased $10.3 billion or 4.3 percent to
$229.3 billion, the U.S. Census Bureau announced

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Coping: Yes, Pesticides Kill

Yeah, as if there had been any question about it.  But a new report out says there’s a link between the use of pesticide DDT and development of Alzheimer’s later in life.  According to the EPA website:

DDT (dichloro-diphenyl-trichloroethane) was developed as the first of the modern synthetic insecticides in the 1940s. It was initially used with great effect to combat malaria, typhus, and the other insect-borne human diseases among both military and civilian populations and for insect control in crop and livestock production, institutions, homes, and gardens. DDT’s quick success as a pesticide and broad use in the United States and other countries led to the development of resistance by many insect pest species.

The book that spilled the beans on the early dangers of DDT – a classic of investigative reporting in book form – was Rachel Carson’s “Silent Spring”:”

The New Yorker started serializing Silent Spring in June 1962, and it was published in book form (with illustrations by Lois and Louis Darling) by Houghton Mifflin on Sept. 27. When the book Silent Spring was published, Rachel Carson was already a well-known writer on natural history, but had not previously been a social critic. The book was widely read—especially after its selection by the Book-of-the-Month Club and the New York Times best-seller list—and inspired widespread public concerns with pesticides and pollution of the environment. Silent Spring facilitated the ban of the pesticide DDT[3] for agricultural use in 1972 in the United States.

The use of DDT has been contentious, seems like, most of my adult life.  Looking back on my childhood, I sometimes wonder if my father’s long goodbye from Alzheimer’s was related to pesticides. 

I remember as a kid we had a number of fruit trees on our property up in Seattle. And a persistent problem with weeds.  So products like DDT, malathion, and an assortment of othere “things you wouldn’t do today, necessarily, we commonly used.

Remember, this was at a time when “long-chain science” had not really evolved.  People used whatever worked and the long-term cause and effect (like smoking) was just not questioned.

Today, there’s evolving evidence that this lack of understanding about the things we put in the ground – and in our food – is going to come back and haunt us for a very long time, even though the US discontinued DDT earlier than most of the rest of the world.

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Gray Monday: Don’t Trust Today’s Rally

Longwave economics teaches us that every 48-64 years capitalist economies go through massive expansions and this is followed by contractions.

I’ve spent 15-years trying to figure out the answer to the “which came first, the chicken or the egg” of it all:  Was it debasing the money supply that he Fed set in motion in 1913 and which has averaged 3.24% compounded since then, even including the Great Depression?

Or, has it be the periodic technology booms which come, bring massive change, and then 10-20 years after the break throughs, everything hits the fan while a new reality settles in?

This last one is particularly appealing since the Great Depression of the 1930’s was wrought by a combination of the traction engine (nowadays called tractors) that replaced draught animals, and the invention of the Ford auto which swept the country into a road rage which has lasted a good hundred years now with no end in sight.

Or, was it the Radio Trust?  Radio was the “new thing” and promised to make people fortunes, but that was quickly regulated with the Communications Act of 1934 in which the Federal government seized the formerly “free” airwaves, much as government is eyeing internet kill switches and massive surveillance today, that will almost certainly lead to internet controls in the future since free-thinking and alternative viewpoints are dangerous things in the ands of free men.

And it’s in this larger context that we eye our trading model and expect there may be a minor increase in market levels in the early going this morning, but I would not trust them to be much more than a short-term technical correction this week.  We won’t be able to clearly see the future until Wednesday or Thursday by which time we will have the first Janet Yellen Fed decision in hand, as well as tomorrow’s monthly Case Shiller/S&P Housing data.  That will guide our thinking a bit.

More difficult for traders is the matter of the Bradley Siderograph turn date which comes up on Fed day. The normal Bradley turn would be down about now (and the markets may be telling us that) but the possibility of an inversion is also possible.  We still need to see the S&P cash get down to the 1,770 levels and see if that holds for a while.

Some indication of a market change could come around 10 am Eastern when new home sales are announced.  Durable goods tomorrow, along with the Housing data.

The main reason not to trust any momentary glee in the markets is simple: Asia got kicked on its ass last night: Japan was down 2.5% and China was down 2.11%. In Europe, Germany and France are holding their own, but England is down almost 3%.

So like I said, other than giving the commercials a place a bit higher from which to make more money shorting, I wouldn’t trust any strength in the early going this morning any more than I’d trust a politician.,

The Runaway Presidency

With the upcoming State of the Union (SoU) tonight, here’s a piece with six things to expect el Presidente to cover.

I use the term “el Presidente” carefully here.  You see, aides were on the talking-heads circuit this weekend delivering clear threats that el Jefe would act through “executive orders” independent of Congress if he doesn’t get his way on the Hill.

Even more amazing, is that after essentially saying they would  make up their own laws in order to prosecute their agenda, the White House says the posturing is “not confrontational.”

In this morning’s Coping section, some additional comments on how this administration is setting up “tolerance policies” that allow groups that can break the law long enough to somehow earn rights to be considered something other than law breakers.

But that’s likely just the start.  The president has sinking ratings, as does congress and there’s a simple reason why:  The will of the people has either been put in a trash compactor or has been sent down the garbage disposal.

On immigration?

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Coping: Flu, Robotics, Davos, and Useless Eaters

I’m almost totally immune to colds, flue, and “that stuff” that goes around every winter.  But it gets me to thinking about flu, robots, Davos, and mass murder or excess humans…in roughly that order.  My logic may seem a bit circuitous, but that’s the marvel of swilling cold medicine, isn’t it?

Also,  notice the qualifier word “almost?”

When my son came back from skydiving last week he attributed his bronchitis and hoarseness to yelling a lot (which is something that skydivers do a lot of when doing link-ups and such).

But since he’s been gone since the wee hours of Saturday, I now have the sore throat and general light touch of it and I haven’t been anywhere near a drop zone.

Most of Sunday was spent in my favorite chair surfing articles about how to get well with Elaine offering helpful hints like “Did you take some zinc?  How about some cough medicine?”

So pardon this morning, if with a few more aches and pains that usual, if the column lacks some of it’s usual sparkle.

I’m not the only one getting this crud, either.  Dr. Zero, who works on animals, not uprights, noticed it too:

…this flu bug that’s going around hit me very hard.  Started on December 1st and I was very sick, but continued to work.  Didn’t seem febrile, but had the chills at night.  Also muscle aches and pains.  2 weeks and I went to the doctor and he said I didn’t have Pneumonia, gave me an inhaler with multiple refills and put me on antibiotics.  Told me that the cough might last for a few months.  I also had a sore throat, though not in the usual place but in the back of my Pharynx (mostly soft palate on the roof of my mouth).  And sinus discharge too.  Others around me had it before and after me, some worse than others.  Its only since Monday the 13th that I finally felt better.  Still have the cough once in awhile and occasional sinus discharge and shortness of breath.  The sore throat pain didn’t really stop until Monday the 13th.

This virus must do a lot af damage, because I don’t think the virus would last this long since the immune system should have knocked it in 2-3 weeks.

Which gets me to the first major point of this morning’s Coping section.

I don’t know about you, but as I told Peoplenomics subscribers recently, it’s Management 101 that there are always two ends to solving a problem like overpopulation on Earth and collapsing economies about to be destroyed by robotics.

You see, the coming mass unemployment by robotics/3D printing/running out of tax money will all be part of the Ugly Vortex that will make this pending long wave economic bottom so terribly awful.

The obfuscation of it is really interesting.  On some sites, like Defense One, for example, we see how the defense contractors are getting ready for a field day of next-generation robo-killers.

And yet paradigm defenders are saying in OpEd pieces like this one that “Robots will stay in the back seat in the second machine age.” 

Bullshit.  Google’s driverless car which has been on the road for a couple of years now argues convincingly that the happily-ever-after, life will be as always, and here, let me sprinkle some fairy dust period will not last.

Davos has just wrapped up with a horrible lack of consensus – at least publicly.   Commentator Patrick Young in an OpEd piece suggests that “Davos Groupthink is Dangerously out of touch.

Oh?  Let’ me give you an alternative explanation which is not nearly as warm and fuzzy as a bunch of rich-bastards who just accidentally got their Gulfstreams and billions by pure accident of nature end up filthy rich.

It is de rigueur for the rich to paint themselves as “nice” people.  But a close look at the facts generally reveals a very small percentage of wealth accidental or is used to fix core problems of society and most of the Richie Rich types – somewhere in their closets – have boxes of skeletons; people and organizations that have raped and pillaged in order for the top of the heap to claw their way up.  Pardon my gentle cough as I read about how there’s “dangerous groupthink” afoot post—Davos. 

These folks are mostly schemers of the highest order, one notch above the Madoff class of criminal.

Instead, my cough medicine warped mind looks at the flu.  Is it The Plan?  Then  it watches the videos about how H5N1 (H7N9) may be an entirely man-made flu.  Oh, just a coincidence?

We’re hearing reports that the swine flu may be moving into the Rio Grande Valley, especially coming over the border from Mexico.  It’s anecdotal so far, but an outbreak there is hot rumor grist in the oil drilling business these days.  The six deaths in Hidalgo County earlier this month may have been only a “tip of the iceberg” and preview of more to come.  We will keep an eye on it.

As we do, a terrible thought comes to mind:  Is it possible that in the back rooms of Davos an ugly plan was unleashed that said words to the effect “We have two ways to attack this global meltdown thing that’s coming:  We can place nice and take a minor hit to our power and wealth while we blame the coming disaster  it on ”nature” or a laboratory “accident”  and downsize population by 5% or more with an  outbreak of a terrible 1918-like flu or other bioweapon?  Clean, not dirt on us…

Most people don’t know that the 1918 flu wasn’t that bad as advertised.  Oh, sure, lots of people died in it, but the root cause of many of the deaths was that medicine had not yet gotten to the “minimum effective dose” concept.  And, as a result, people were popping the new wonder drug of the day, aspirin, like it was candy.  As a result, millions may have died from internal hemorrhaging as much as flu.

People don’t read about the role of so-called “medicine” – in the sound-bite world it is just the flu that gets blamed even though now, a hundred years later we are able to read about the still-underplayed role of aspirin poisoning in places like Wikipedia:

“In a 2009 paper published in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases, Karen Starko proposed that aspirin poisoning had contributed substantially to the fatalities. She based this on the reported symptoms in those dying from the flu, and the timing of the big “death spike” in October 1918 which happened right after the Surgeon General of the United States Army, and the Journal of the American Medical Association both recommended very large (by today’s standards) dosages of aspirin.[64] Further, Starko suggests that the wave of aspirin poisonings was due to a “perfect storm” of events: Bayer‘s patent on aspirin ran out, so that many companies rushed in to make a profit and greatly increased the supply; this coincided with the flu pandemic; and the symptoms of aspirin poisoning were not known at the time.[64]

This hypothesis, insofar as it sought to provide an explanation to the universally high mortality rate, was questioned in a letter to the journal published in April 2010. In it, Andrew Noymer and Daisy Carreon of the University of California, Irvine, and Niall Johnson of the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care, questioned this universal applicability given the high mortality rate in countries such as India, where there was little or no access to aspirin at the time.[65]

On this basis, they concluded that “the salicylate [aspirin] poisoning hypothesis [was] difficult to sustain as the primary explanation for the unusual virulence of the 1918–1919 in?uenza pandemic.”[65] In responding, Starko pointed to anecdotal evidence of aspirin over-prescription in India and argued that even if aspirin over-prescription had not contributed to the high Indian mortality rate, it could still have been a major factor for other high rates in areas where other exacerbating factors present in India played less of a role.[66]

It’s all a kind of cough-medicine blur, but the basic concept comes down to this:  We have a global population of 7-billion, and if not, give Yemen a few more minutes and we’ll be there.

We have tons of data on flu and some evidence of manmade viruses such as the (purported) H7N9 impossible in nature bird/swine cross.  And tell me again, why do we have level 5 biohazard facilities in big cities like Houston? 

And why am I the only guy who still seems to take some of the assertions in the book  Dr. Mary’s Monkey: How the Unsolved Murder of a Doctor, a Secret Laboratory in New Orleans and Cancer-Causing Monkey Viruses are Linked to Lee Harvey … Assassination and Emerging Global Epidemics as an important enough topic that congress ought to really look at the data and do their frigging job?

In the main, the ultra rich didn’t get that way by being nice.  And tigers don’t change their stripes.  So if on the back-end of Davos, it seems like they are confused?  I got news for you.

Another twist of the knife is pending just as soon as they’re off the public radar for a short while.  You and I are expendable and – arguably – stupid.  Which is why we didn’t get invited to the party.

If American gets too smart, or too many begin to awaken, there are contingency plans I’m sure to keep us from interrupting “the play.”

End of the World Watch

From Patrick Geryl:

Hi George,

Sunspot 1944 is back!

TWIN BARREL M-FLARES ! Twin barrel M-flares have been detected off the southeastern limb of the solar corona at 1:22 and 2:11 this morning. Solar activity is about to step into another gear once old active region 11944 rotates back onto the solar disk tomorrow. X-ray background rising sharply indicates magnetic complexity associated with this large active region.

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Now Arriving: Hard Times Economics

This past Thursday, in an UrbanSurvival report, I mentioned several key factors that will likely usher in the return of “hard times economics.” To be sure, it’s a general umbrella kind of label, but it’s a fair one given that working hours may be set for pending collapse as employers begin to reduce the workweek to the threshold (30 hours) below which employees are really “on their own for healthcare.” Then I mentioned the drought that continues to engulf California, and with it, the likelihood that the Central Valley and south (San Francisco down to San Diego) may encompass the New Dust Bowl (NDB). This morning I thought it would be useful to highlight from the practical day-to-day aspects of living in the new Hard Times. After coffee while we can still afford the elixir of morning…

A Final Hour (Friday) Market Comment

A number of subscribers have asked me how our trading model looks going into the final hour today since the Dow is off more than 240 points for the day, although in line with the expectations this morning based on China’s action earlier this week. More for Subscribers ||| SUBSCRIBE NOW! ||| Subscriber Help Center

Markets: First Level of Support

There has been a lot of discussion in media here lately of how the WEF/Davos meetings might make some decision to promote some kind of global economic reset.  Whenever the ultra-rich and the power class talk about resetting anything, I’m overwhelmed with the need to sit on my wallet because usually what follows is yet another way to screw the little guys.  (YAWTSTLG)  And yes, that includes you and me, our fantasies of “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” aside.

Gold and silver has been going up while the markets are headed for another opening down in the dumps.  Look for the Dow to drop another hundred, or so, at the open.  Then, by taking out the S&P 1820 to 1818 level, anything lower on a weekly close brings the possibility that  this move is complete.  If our trading model indicates a change, there will be an update for Peoplenomics readers in the final hour of trading today.  Not that we give trading advice, but we do discuss playing on the freeway in front of rolling semis now and then.

The real question is “How far is down?” 

We have a number of choices and a great deal will depend on how the discussions among the money-mad at Davos go, coupled with next week’s Fed meeting.

For now, there’s a good distance down to our trading model decision point…maybe another 200 points or better.  And that may not happen since key tech stocks, like Microsoft, are out with earnings that are a surprise to the upside.  The possibility of a late session bounce today is in there.

Still, as we eye the tech stocks, we have the nagging suspicion that a global economy based on more cell phones and more time gaming may not really be the crowning pinnacle and glory of humanity.  One doubts that Leif Erickson would have said “Great land here, let’s develop it so we can all take C# programming courses and make video games for our grandchildren!”  The absurdity of gaming (and tech) is obvious, yet few confront the hollow vision.

About here, you might want to kick back and read this week’s longer perspective on things as penned by Margaret MacMillan in the OpEd section of the Financial Times this week in “A world above it all – welcome to Davos 1914.”

It’s sure to all sound fine, when the plans and platitudes begin to roll.  But the reality is that the Economic Long Wave finds the world in serial bubbles over a gaping chasm and should the money-huffing promoted at all levels stop, the world will drop into Depression like none ever seen before.

In case you haven’t noticed, we live in a surveillance state without legality, a highly communicated life though mostly without purpose other than self preservation, and we look to gaming to save us from the untaxed onslaught of automation and robotics that makes us all obsolete.

As a result, so-called “leadership” rejects Constitutionally based findings that NSA surveillance goes too far in violation of protections. Our future is pinned on the success of entertainment which hasn’t been tried since the fall of Rome.

WE live in a country where one minute of Super Bowl time is worth $8-million dollars to an industry that’s made up of rich guys who get massive tax breaks at all kinds of levels. Yet unemployment benefits can’t be extended.  Say what?

So if you hear a massive national creaking later on this morning, that will be last layers of support at this level of the S&P giving way as more studied minds consider whether investing at the top of a financial mania makes sense. 

As goes China, so goes America.  They rule us, not the other way around.  And China was down 1.25% overnight so this morning’s dart toss suggests down 202 for the day here and that pushes us out to “turnaround Tuesday by which time we should be at the make-or-break line for our trading model.

And then it will all hinge on how goes Janet’s Yellen after the Fed meeting next week.  Leg up to follow, or down in a heap?   Major European markets are also down 1% and more so at least the first level of support is likely to fail and that sets up the possibility ofS&P 1775 as the next resting place, say say by Tuesday mid-morning?


More after this…

Politics in a Bundle

Hot lead in the Hollywood Reporter this morning about how “‘2016: Obama’s America’ Filmmaker Indicted for Violating Campaign Finance Laws” is a must read.

So the GOP leaning fellow’s crime?  Gave $20,000 to a campaign when the limit is $5,000.

OK, what’s really going on?


It really has NOTHING to do with the amount of money raised but more about the form that is used.  Political influence is for sale, but you have to buy it just so…

For example, on the demo side, we read how one top Hollywood Bundler for the Obama campaign was Jeffrey Katzenberg who reportedly (according to OpenSecrets) bundled something like $1.8 million for Obama.  Compared to this other fellow who did $20,000 direct.

But, you see, that’s the point, isn’t it?  Bundling is OK but direct contributions of much smaller amounts are not.  Form, not substance, but that’s the New Merican way.  Appearances, my friend, appearances.  Smoke, mirrors, and bear traps.

Say, as long as we’re on that OpenSecrets page, we note the entry for Jon Corzine listing $$882,932 in bundling.

The truly paranoid would point to the headline this week that the “US Lawsuit against (Jon) Corzine over MF Global collapse can proceed, judge rules…” and wonder if that figures in, if at all.

Ask me when we have more time.

Guns on De Nile

70 wounded so far and four dead police in Cairo and Egypt continues to play out a kind of gangstah version of democracy.   Wait, let’s change this up to…

Cynics Corner: The Daily Bomber

So it’s now five in Egypt, then.

None as a small bomb went off near a church in Rome where the Pope is meeting with the prez of France.  No word if the hottie would join ‘em.

US and Russia are cooperating on bomb investigation (making and detecting)  technique in advance of Sochi.

US Officials are downplaying an apparently foiled embassy bombing plot in Israel.

The Washington Beacon reports the nuke deal with Iran only delays their Big bomb by one month.

Six dead from an explosion – car bomb-  at an auto repair shop in Pakistan.  No details on whether the car was in for a bomb repair or not…

Meantime, our editor in chief says out new motto for this section ought to be “All the news you can fuse.”


Those so-called peace talks in Geneva are  in trouble.

Leave it to Bieber

Things keep going from bad to worse for America’s latest bad boy du media..

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