Crispy Economics: CalScare

CaliFires:  Someone of a conspiratorial mind-set might look at the unfolding disaster in the NorCal area and wonder if some evil force is behind the fires of late?

In the latest, there’s part of I-80 closed near Vallejo, but worse, power  blackouts threaten nearly a million as what should be a workweek rolls around.  As of this morning (5:28 A Central), the company website was telling of outages continuing into tomorrow as well:

“10/29/19: PG&E may proactively turn off power for safety

Weather conditions, including potential fire risk, have been forecast that may impact electric service to portions of our service area.”

The power problems of PG&E, as one of our commenters alluded to, are a kind of  financial kindling that is likely to propagate into the future. The sequencing, going beyond the immediate fire dangers, ripple in all directions.

To begin with is the cascading financial hit to PG&E.  With a million customers (there abouts) with outages, that’s about 18% of PG&E customers (5.4 million electric accounts).

One place the outages have already rippled is stock price.  A year ago (November) the stock was trading above $48 a share.  Today, it is possible it could bounce from the $5-buck area where it closed Friday.

Pacific Gas and Electric is owned by PG&E Corporation and offers investors a financials-oriented page over here. But, an equally important page details the paper-shuffling since PG&E filed for Chapter 11 re-organization in September.  Docs and court papers available here.

With power off, it means that electric revenues will drop.  And, to a certain extent, there’s likely to be a decline in natural gas revenues, at least among people not home.  Extrapolating a bit, the declining revenue will begin being felt with this month’s billings, and since more power outages are planned, it will probably result in smaller revenues next month.

As long-time readers already know, Ure’s truly is skeptical (to the MAX) of Sacramento state government’s ability to do much of anything right.  The state has (idiotically) enacted many regulations to “protect the environment” preventing brush cutting or imposing tough regs.  Which leads to more fuel being available for fires.  Ergo, the State has some skin in this game.

Next come the PG&E vendors.  When will they become nervous and want to cash on the barrel head, rather than a place in line at the bankruptcy?

Of course, there’s a HUGE investment in the in the Silly Con Valley area by high tech companies.  Take a look at the map here (it’s a PDF) and notice that PG&E also serves a lot of the nation’s Central Valley food basket, too.

With so much at stake, there will be a game of “hot potato” coming that should be spectacular to behold:  PG&E investors, the bondholders, they’re already slammed.  The State,  one might argue, may have some culpability, but expect the state do “cry poor.”  Which, to the extent they get roped into bailing out the company to ensure ongoing service,  means what?  Oh, higher taxes?

The Federal government would be petitioned to bail out, more than likely.  “Too much to lose in the high tech area if we don’t!”  I can almost hear it now.

Yet, it would be a hard sell to the FedGov because any such action would have to come from the House (where spending bills originate).  There, states both blue and red, would have compelling counter-stories to the “Poor California” narrative.

Texas, for one, would point to its completely independent state power grid, and wonder why California didn’t address its issues long ago.  Even liberal Washington State, blessed with gobs and oodles of hydro, would point to local city-owned utilities that do an amazingly effective job of keeping the lights on.  Such outfits as Seattle City Light, Tacoma Power, and the Snohomish County PUD would likely be too polite to comment directly.  But, out of stater’s might wonder “How can California’s foxtrot uniformed bubble be something people in Oklahoma,” for example, ” should pay for?”

It’s a hard discussion to have, but easy enough to see how it works out.  Hands go out:  “Brother can you spare some megawatts?”

No, thanks.  We gave in our home state.

Our proposed solution:  Have the parent company do an internal break-up.  Take the fire prone area and call it PG&F and give existing shareholders 1:1 stock.    Keep the solid assets in a separate company.  Very similar to the purported Deutsche Bank plan to dump all their turkey assets into a “bad bank” and spin that off.

Not a bad idea…but would that be allowed?  Probably not.  But in the piney woods of Texas, it looks better than just pulling the plug.

Terror:  Another One Bites the Dust

(Maestro: Theme Please?)  Politics of death as president Trump announced a successful military operation to take out Abu Bakr al-Bagdadhi, leader of ISIS.  Predictable, Fox News headlined it as “Al-Baghdadi takedown catches Dems flat-footed, blunts criticism of Trump’s Syria pullback.”  CNN, from the other bleachers, labeled it analysis in “Baghdadi is gone, but ISIS isn’t dead yet — and could be poised for a resurgence.

Regrettably, both will likely have it right to some extent.

We awaken on “the strange planet” this morning to dueling subpoenas now (House and the Durham grand jury) and a world that is sinking into digitally-led global revolution.  So, yeah, let’s talk about the…

GlobalRev and DMR (Digital Mob Rule)

While al-Bagdadhi is a passing headline, the dangerous memes on the Internet continue to sell the Global Uprising we’ve mentioned many times.  While governments have had the sense to prohibit “regular people” from building atomic weapons in their basements, there’s no regulation of software development for the web.  Anyone can launch anything…and by doing so, work innocent people into becoming partisans.  Whether on the environment, selling a particular gender-bend, or climate…it all’s the same.

Latest hotspots to worry about:

This weekend, the UK  Guardian  pointed out “41% of the world’s population is under 24.  And they’re Angry!”  But that misses the key point we’d make:  They’re armed.  With Phones.  And Mommy and Daddy better stop paying the bills in order to avert intergenerational warfare.

Yahoo News  summarized a good bit of it in a piece on how “There was a “Surge in protests around the world in October.”

Meantime, pardoning the pun here, but Chile is hot as UN mission to probe human rights abuses in Chile during street protests is covered by the Santiago Times.  Along with Friday’s A million Chileans march in Santiago to protest inequality.

Where this is going depends on which glasses you put on.  While our view is that it’s anarchy on the web spilling into the streets (something obvious as hell when you study it), those with the rose-colored glasses of Capitalism on see it as something else.  An Op-Ed in the Wall St. Journal, for example, suggests it’s “Chilean Capitalism on Trial.”  We’d beg to differ, but  the collapse seems coming to Chile because there’s an all-too familiar pattern here:  One group creates wealth (capitalists in Chile) and as soon as there’s enough of it, out come the online/on-phone anarchists (dressed as socialists) to claim it’s all crooked and they could do better if the people would just support them.

Friday demonstrated with some clarity to me that there are a million fools in Chile.

Not surprising, though.  The average person spends >4-hours a day plugged into the on-phone  pseudo-reality and nearly half of that time is on 5-big social platforms.  And you don’t think there are that many selfies, do you?  Nope.  Shock value voices all trying to garner a  following to assuage their tender, bruised little egos, poor darlings.

Almost counter-intuitively, Facebook may be one reason for the demonstrations.  Why, with “likes” going, going….how do idiots online “validate” themselves?  Why let’s band together every loose gender and race and round ’em up into a Digital Mob.  So-called “news” organizations will handle PR from there. Convince them they’re all victims.  Yeah, that works.

Markets

Well, this is sure telling us the future…or is it?  As of the early futures today:

Also out, new trade figures:

Why a cynic (not that we’re experts on this!) might look at this and think “Buy the rumor, sell the news with the Fed meetings starting tomorrow.”  Announcement in time to spoilt a long lunch Wednesday.

Yes?  Und Zo?

“We’ll, by Ure’s estimate, if the Fed doesn’t lower then the market will come tumbling down?”  

Yes, possibly.  And let’s not forget Seattle this coming weekend…Sunday, right?  Run markets way up in advance?  More money for the insiders, then, right?

In the Shorts

Popeyes’ chicken sandwich to return in November.  (A side of Olive Oyl with that?)

S.A. financial note: Brazil rates to hit record low 5.00%, seen falling further: Reuters poll.  You know, with rates hitting global lows like this, when the Second Depression hits (be patient, wait for it) it will be at least as bad – and likely more so – than the 1930’s event.  We’re talking serious famine outlook.

Good summary of some harvest outlooks (and planting) info here.  And with Europe getting back to its historical norms of drier weather, “Merkel’s Climate Failings Are Now a Matter for German Courts.

Health watch: Lassa fever – West Africa (36): Nigeria. See also Ebola update (102): Congo DR (NK,IT,SK) cases, WHO/  But the NK reference is to North Kivu-Ituri, so hold the panic down.

On that…shorter columns as focus continues on Peoplenomics.  Planning a weekly podcast starting New Years for subscribers.

Go have a dandy Monday and drop by tomorrow or…

Write when you get rich,

George@ure.net

61 thoughts on “Crispy Economics: CalScare”

  1. If the CA legislature is not requiring utility companies to keep the brush cleaned up in their easements, then the legislature is at fault for both the fires and the power outages.
    The original rural electrification efforts in the US were supported by the progressives. That a liberal state like CA would become the poster child for rural deelectification looks like legislative madness committed by urban port centers who continue to loot resources from the rural and interior regions of the country.

  2. George, the ads on your site are targeting me. “What is the best toilet paper for senior citizens”. Last month I went thru that & selected the Aldi’s brand. Comfort without the cost. The grandkids use excessive toilet paper, you’d think it was candy.

  3. With the new $0 commissions, I opened a small account & watched a video on trading low priced stocks (under $5) instead of options. I don’t like options because you can lose 100%. With small stock there is no time limit. Buy 1,000 or less shares based on price, & hold. I use a stock screener using a MACD Crossover. So far ARLO, AXTI, DNR, GTE, SNSS. A mixed bag result so far, but I am having a lot of fun.

    • If there was no fun, would such investing make sense from an ROI perspective, including the time spent to understand the risks and rewards? This is my conundrum. Investing actively and successfully takes a lot of time, and most of mine is allocated. A strange situation for someone allegedly “retired”. If the answer was “yes”, then I’d be tempted.

      • NM: My system & rules are all set up to follow so I just check how everything is doing after the close & make any additions or subtractions the next day. I am not in it for just a day so I am not a daytrader. I could hold these small stocks for a couple months as the upturn develops. If I make a bad call, I am out immediately or at least by the next morning open. Let your winners run and cut the losers. For diversification & time restraints, I am looking to have 10 stocks maximum in the portfolio.

      • NM: Fun without making money is no fun. You’re in it to win or get out. Unless you seek, you will never find. That is the fun.

  4. California does require utilities clean up their easements, but PGE always has an excuse why they can’t do it…It’s called smaller dividends for their stockholders. I can’t for the life of me, why they didn’t break up PGE decades ago after the Erin Brockovich disaster, then the San Bruno, gas line explosion that destroyed an entire neighborhood, to the Santa Rosa/Paradise fires….it’s one disaster after another. It’s corporate greed that is the culprit.

    It’s a catch 22….Everyone wants to blame our California legislative branches for not being more aggressive in policing easement clearing, but then if that happened, then those same legislators get blamed for over regulating and having government over-reaching policies. In the end, if PGE can strongarm municipalities to get easements granted, then they have to maintain those easements. Governments can only do so much…Have you ever lived in a neighborhood where every home is maintained beautifully and there is that one neighbor whose home is an Eyesore? Notes from other neighbors on the door, calls to city planning, etc. can’t make that “bad” neighbor take care of their property. There’s nothing any city government can do to make that neighbor upkeep his or her property….unless it’s a city code violation that endangers others. And even then, that fight could take years.

    Same concept here. California has issued the equivalent of “red tags” to PGE and they all get piled up on someone’s desk and nothing happens. The thing is there is a solution. There is on site transformer technology that can be installed to just shut down a small danger zone, rather than an entire community. San Diego has such technology. And no surprise, San Diego is not PGE territory… It’s much cheaper than burying the lines underground and while it won’t eliminate all fire disasters…those have been raging here in this state for thousands of years, it will help locate vulnerable areas that can be repaired and made more safe in the case of future high hazard weather conditions that occur every fall.

    • “It’s corporate greed that is the culprit.”

      Is it corporate greed???? I think I’m on PGAndE’s side on this one..
      We are talking about an area where poverty food stamp level is just shy a quarter of a million dollars a year. To keep product prices where those working at a grocery store can afford them..not counting the millions of illegals that are living off of the clerks and janitors etc..
      Let’s face it..if we theres a million buildings and yours is one.. you cant afford the maintenance for several miles of wire. You have to keep it working Up to your place spread the cost out.

      A company that has stocks has to show a profit in order to make their stocks look enticing enough to keep investors interested in owning them.
      Then you have to look at the area and cost of living.. how can you maintain a hardworking staff if they cant pay the rent. Buy groceries, etc.
      To keep a good staff maintain public appeal as a company you have only a limited reign where you can cut costs and still get the xmas bonus.. salaries and maintenance are two of them..

      • This is only one area that should never have been deregulated in the 80’s.
        Then part of the fault lies on the tree huggers. Proper forest management should never be an issue and the forests should get regular maintenance and clearing to keep them healthy. Protect it manage it.
        Then environment.. let’s face it if theres constant mudslides why build on it. Why build in a forest that’s not properly maintained..your just looking for disaster. That’s almost as logical as building a city in a desert where water has to be piped in fifty plus miles then neglecting to add regular maintenance for the water lines and infrastructure.
        Our infrastructure has had a D and f rating for years rather than work on that we seek to destroy and rebuild the infrastructure and homes of communities around the world do some schmuck that doesn’t live here doesn’t pay taxes can make more money gain more control..all on the secretary and janitors of the country..
        Tell me all of that makes sense

  5. George

    “Popeyes’ chicken sandwich to return in November.”

    In late 1973 I left military life and went home to the Big Easy area.
    A friend said “lets go have lunch at Popeyes”. And we did.
    That Popeyes was in Arabi Louisiana which is adjacent to New Orleans and was Al Copeland’s very first store. It was Great fried chicken and soon went into national distrabution.

    In a similar situation I had shopped at a Walmart store in Arkansas in the early 1970’s. They were very small buildings at that time. Somewhat like an old drug store and concentrated on sporting goods and general merchandise.

    Had I known in each of the above cases how history would unfold I would have dumped all I spent on collage into Popeyes and Walmart stock. I would be a multi-millionaire today!

    Looking back I see that you get narrow minded by all the propaganda put out to funnel you into how you must travel through life. In my younger days I was totally set on going to collage as we were conditioned to believe that was the path to success.

    The propaganda has ramped up to almost infinite levels.

    Thank God we have George to point out some of it to us!

  6. Can’t see the forest for the trees.

    No one talks about how overpopulated California is. Massive legal and illegal immigration with no where to call home.

    Reflecting the growing income disparities, the better off bulldoze the hills and mountains and move into gated communities in the desert valleys. To escape the invasion. Many have been leaving the state.

    Repeat that idea.

    Hills and mountains have always had fires, only now they have houses and condos built where trees and shrubs use to grow. Ecosystems and wildlife be dammed.

    The remaining trees and shrubbery catch fire and now houses as the shrubbery always has.

    They need to stop all immigration –as does the entire U.S.

  7. TRUMP: “We secured documents and materials relative to the founding and operations of ISIS”

    this is bad news for those, who [redact] puts on a pedestal, the ones he say we should listen to
    Treason is the word that comes to mind
    My fellow patriots, you need to realize that every time [redact] complains to us abut President Trump, [redact] is telling us HE IS IN PAIN
    The Storm is Coming

    on the other hand, will the Fed lower rates, or will they fight the storm
    Our beloved JFK fought the Fed and the C_A and sacrificed his life trying.
    President Trump has picked up the banner and is continuing the fight

    • Political progress, they don’t shoot you anymore, they impeach you or at least try to. What happens when that fails? This isn’t going to end until the voters fall in line, meaning not reelecting Trump.

      • This is who all the propaganda is designated for, the Trump supporters, turning that tide, or ship is a real tough job, tougher than TPTB thought it would be. Yes, the shutting down of America’s power generators is going along just fine like Obama planned along with the UN…What year are we going back to? 1978? Remember, they want people out of their cars, herded into the cities, out of the rural areas, or make it so expensive that you give up your cars and move to a city. Time to learn how to ride a Honda 90 or Vespa, etc. (But, as many of you know, people are instinctively leaving the cities and certain states and people are migrating…internally.)

        Do you think that all those houses are insured in California? What if you wanted your house rebuilt to new specs, are you a winner?

        I wonder, Dannion Brinkley said in his prophecies that there would be something put in the water in France and it would kill thousands of people, can Fentanyl be put in the water supply to kill? Here is the quote: “A chemical is put into the water supply, & thousands drink it & die before it can be eliminated.”

        Here is the website summarizing his visions: https://www.alamongordo.com/Prophecies_of_Dannion_Brinkley.html

        Here is a CDC article on Fentanyl: https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/ershdb/emergencyresponsecard_29750022.html

      • “Do you think that all those houses are insured in California? ”

        Hmm my question isn’t are they insured.. will the insurance cover the losses similar to the statistics they do during other catastrophic events. And how much will our insurance costs increase for the policies they dont cover..

    • Good luck with that…

      Every time I go I-65 between Indy and Chicago, I marvel at the massive fields of windmills between Lafayette and southern Lake County, and how few or none seem to ever be rotating. It reminds me of the massive fields of windmills I’ve passed in Texas, of which few ever seem to be rotating.

      I’ve never even looked at the tech, because it is so impractical for me to consider, but I’d assume these windmills are all bigassed alternators. Coupled through two 9:1 planetary stacks, a windmill would still have to hit 9rpm before it made any electricity, and 14+rpm before it became efficient. I’ve rarely seen a windmill spin at more than 10, and when I have, it was an outlier among its mechanical sibs. At $2mln per, I’m just not seeing how wind tech could ever be a replacement for turbines, let alone a cost-effective replacement.

      Unless, of course, they were installed around the D.C.Beltway…

      • It’s one thing to consider nameplate rating and another to consider reality.
        a. They are running the reduction gear in reverse this will destroy it.
        b. At best they can capture 3-4% of the wind energy in a very narrow window.
        c. Proper control of voltage and reactive power is impossible. Research the net to see the difficulty.
        d. If not for gov subsidies these would not exist.

      • Its a payoff scam. I looked into it some years back.
        The $10,000 monthly rents just magically seem to go to landholders who JUST HAPPEN to be big party contyributors. The electricity isn’t the deal – the payoff is.
        God help the stupes of the climate scam who don’t know how to read and research – they are minion

      • I am with you RAY the big windmills are a waste of money.. the infrastructure is horrendous and expensive.. I myself promote small wind the costs are lower there is realitively small changes that have to be made.. the rest is a waste of taxpayers money..
        in other countries.. the changes made were to put up on those willing to accept it.. was solar panels and small wind turbines.. they would put them up on any household that would accept it..
        It took the USA almost twenty five years to allow some of that technology to even be sold here..

        I put up a smaller system on the house.. it can be done.. but should it be done.. if a person was to do it the best way I would say put it on light poles.. and do a similar mount to the ones where you can raise and lower the turbine mount from the bottom for maintenance..
        I still say smaller solar farms on towers to.. I realize that the wind sheer is greater the higher you go up.. that same wind sheer also affects buildings.. a three sided tower with mounts on all three sides and the support pole in the back would not be any different than building a building five stories high and give an output that would be huge and cost less. there would be less costs for infrastructure changes no boost stations… and could be implimented in smaller sections reducing the overall affect on changes to the system
        but hey.. who am I some schmuck with an ugly hat..

      • At best (and much higher speeds) wind mills harvest a fraction on the energy in their swept area) and are a poor use of taxpayer money. If they were all so great and profitable, efficient market theory would have capitalists putting up all over hell and gone to get rich.
        Don’t see that?
        Then they’re largely payoffs

  8. Grayscale Bitcoin Trust is up $.50 today with bitcoin down over $200. GBTC had a 29% premium on Friday. What a scam. I am sick today & have all day to watch Bloomberg TV.

  9. Revenues will not drop, customers still have to pay. Some little law snuck through that protects PG&E’s bottom line. I don’t remember the specifics, but my sister read to me the relevant line in her electric bill.

  10. Capitalism is great as long as it is seriously regulated. When greed takes over, pure capitalism becomes crony vulture capitalism which is what we have now IMO.

    I remember hearing over twenty years ago, that the plan of the rulers was to wipe out mom and pop operations everywhere and consolidate the big players into three max corporations in each industry for the purpose of price setting and control. Look how they successful “they” have been. We now have three major airlines in the USA. Most local business supply operations are gone in favor of the national big three. Gasoline stations are virtually gone except for Shell, BP and Sinclair and they don’t provide “full service”. Media is now in the hands of six? corporations.

    If there were real competition and no huge conglomerates, capitalism would be great. The perverted form we have now just may push the populace into the hands of socialism. But then, perhaps, that is the ultimate goal of the rulers.

    • Yeah – that stems from there being too many mom and pops to easily shake down for profit for the congressional member “foundations” A few Big Players will give more generously and with less effort. Need that bill passed? Why just hire my wife, kid, nephew and it’ll pass…

    • What you’re seeing today is mercantilism, not capitalism. Capitalism is lots of competitors serving a market on a level playing field, without coercion and without collusion. Mercantilism is collusion by definition. Craigslist is close to real capitalism, with lots of people offering all kinds of things without collusion and you haggle the price either before or after you see the goods. It makes for the best prices and services. Craigslist got a bit less free with the advent of FOSTA/SESTA and their rules about no firearms, drugs, escorts, etc. Otherwise, it’s probably the best free market there is and would be even better if we could scan the nation or world for what we’re really seeking.

      There are some markets where the economy of scale factor is such that a near monopoly is needed. If it’s an essential service, then it does need regulation. The next questions are how do we regulate the regulators and how do we trust them?

    • Remember, “Capitalism” is a term created by Karl Marx to help define “Socialism…”

      The U.S.A. was not based on “capitalism,” it was based on Adam Smith and the notion of a “free market laissez faire economy,” meaning a free market with Federal interference only via protectionist tariffs against unfair trade practices of foreign Nations, and moderation between the States themselves. Since there WERE no universal utilities, there was no regulation designed for them, meaning regulation of monopolistic, essential entities, like utilities, is the purview of each State, with the “Commerce Claus(sic)” being used to even out the WAY States regulate same. Of course, it was assumed by the Founders that businesses, and the Nation as a whole, would function in a manner defined by Christian mores and morals, and that the populace would remain interested in government’s function.

      [Although even I do it,] capitalism and “free market economy” are far from equivalent. Substituting “capitalism” for “free market,” then making people believe “the two terms mean the same thing” is the way we’re programmed, socially, and is an example of one of the many inroads that have been made to our language by those who would see us return to serfdom…

      You are both observant and correct, although it seems to me like we’re closer to corporatism than mercantilism now, because the merchants have sufficient money and power that they can create government policy and exclude potential competitors.

  11. Kalifnutso PG and lost power spent all funds
    on wind and solar.
    No money left to remove the fuel load.

    A crazy state mandate has been don’t cut anything.

    • The new Cali business opportunity is to breed, raise and RENT lotsa GOATS!
      When they’re finished, it’s CABRITO Babie!

  12. George,

    I’ve been out of the loop, so to speak, the last week or so. I was even down in your neck of the piney woods a few days ago. I’m not all caught up on the columns for the last several days, but I especially appreciated the PN piece on fake news.

    First things first, California’s wildfire problem is self-inflicted. There’s a couple of reasons that they’re in this position. The first one is where they are located on the continent. It’s dry and windy there and always has been and there’s not much anyone can do about that. The state and federal people know this and still choose to shoot themselves in their collective feet by employing really poor land management processes, which is the real problem. This wildfire mess doesn’t have to be as bad as it is. One day the good people of the state will get tired of this B.S. and do something about it, but until then it’s all smoke and mirrors…literally.

    Now, back to the ‘fake news’. When I say ‘fake news’ what I really mean is propaganda. A good definition of that is from Stanford University (https://web.stanford.edu/class/e297c/war_peace/media/hpropaganda.html )

    “A working definition of propaganda is the spreading of ideas, information, or rumor for the purpose of helping or injuring an institution, a cause, or a person. While propaganda has been around for almost a thousand years, only recently (last 100 years) with the advent of technologies that allow us to spread information to a mass group has it evolved to a scientific process capable of influencing a whole nation of people. While propaganda is most evident in times of war as in the poster, it is constantly being used as a political and social means in even less obvious ways to influence peoples attitudes. This is currently evident with all the election commercials on TV, where the candidates are using propaganda techniques to elevate themselves above their competitor.”

    It’s helpful to us ‘normies’ to understand that EVERYTHING that comes from media has some aspect of this. Everything you read or see in media is propaganda. Every single source. All of them. I treat all of them like I would a used car salesman with a disease. Whatever they’re trying hard to sell me is in their best interest and NOT mine. When it comes to media, the only thing that you can count on is that the info they’re pushing on you is, at best, a partial lie, or more likely a complete lie. Once one understands this you can begin to inoculate one’s self against this ‘information disease’ that is being spread.

    I like to think of this inoculation in much the same way you would mitigate against risk of other threats in the rest of your life. What I mean are measures that you take to preserve your health and home. Don’t drive recklessly, wear your seat belt, eating healthy, exercising, etc. Here we can add thinking critically and objectively, not becoming emotionally attached to a source or subject and by educating ourselves on the techniques our enemy uses to attacks us.

    Here’s another good resource from George Washington University: https://gspm.online.gwu.edu/blog/public-relations-and-propaganda-techniques/

    A good exercise that any of us can do is to take any news article and evaluate it on its use of propaganda techniques. Here’s a portion of an article from a mainstream source that I just pulled this morning. (I won’t name the source because some of the readers are very emotionally involved with certain news outlets).

    “The DARING special forces raid that killed the leader of ISIS cannot have come at a better moment for a CRISIS-HAUNTED President Donald Trump, but he MAY have INCITED A BITTER NEW TURF WAR between the White House and Capitol Hill by FAILING to inform congressional leaders about the raid.

    BESET by a DEEPENING IMPEACHMENT STORM and FURY among Republicans about his Syria withdrawal, Trump broke into America’s Sunday morning to announce an UNEQUIVOCAL WIN for the nation abroad. He RELISHED the demise of ISIS founder Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, playing the role of a RUTHLESS commander-in-chief to silence critics of his IMPULSIVE foreign policy leadership.”

    I added all caps to certain words to highlight how these emotive words are used to add emotional value to the ‘story’. Take a moment to re-read it without those descriptive terms or sentences. It changes it from an emotional story to one closer to just data. The point of all this is to make you feel a certain way and to not simply inform you.

    Let’s break it down a little further…What do we know?

    First, did the raid really take place and was it daring? The raid probably took place and was probably daring, but we weren’t there, so we don’t really know for sure.

    Is the President crisis-haunted? Yes, but why and from where? Some would say the source is from within and some would say from without. Neither viewpoint is from purely objective data.

    Next, did he incite a bitter new turf war? Maybe, but the writer wants you to believe that this is so. Why?

    Did the President fail to inform congress or did he chose not to inform them? Why did the writer chose the word ‘fail’ and how would the writer know what really happened within the decision making process? The answer is that he wouldn’t know, but he wants you to believe that he does and that somehow the President failed. Why?

    Skipping to the end, is the President’s foreign policy impulsive? The writer chose this word for a reason. Is the writer an expert or otherwise privy to the inner workings of any foreign policy decisions? Probably not, but we have no way of knowing.

    So why would we believe this person when we have absolutely no idea about them or what they do or do not know? We wouldn’t and we shouldn’t.

    So, to answer my original question: What do we know? We know for a fact that the President made a public announcement about the raid on television and that he didn’t inform congress that the raid would take place. How do we know this? Because we saw it first hand from the President’s public address. That’s it. That’s all we know. We can see that the author chose to insert emotive words and information that neither the author nor the reader can know first hand. The uncritical and emotional reader will fail to grasp this and will completely accept the article as complete truth.

    This has been a lesson in recognizing propaganda 101. I do this for every piece of information that comes to me from any source. Spend a couple of days doing this and you’ll recognize what I said at the outset…that every single mainstream source of information is a propaganda outlet. All of them. Use the resources that I provided and do your own homework. Whatever you do, DO NOT become emotionally involved with these people and the products that they produce. When possible don’t read second hand summaries of speeches or documents. Listen and read the source materials for yourself and always think critically and objectively, as much as possible.

    Class dismissed.

    • For those missing the important subtext – if you’re surrounded by witch burners flicking BICs you don’t tell them anything that can leak to the enemy because they’ve demonstrated a willingness to burn down the country for their political agenda already, it seems.
      Care to name three meaningful budget and spending reforms from them during the Impeachhunt?

      • Thanks for the class MAJ13. I have been using the WSJ for news and find it more balanced not perfect but better.

      • “https://gspm.online.gwu.edu/blog/public-relations-and-propaganda-techniques/

        A good exercise that any of us can do is to take any news article and evaluate it on its use of propaganda techniques. ”

        They forgot other subtle ways to promote the ending agenda.. LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL did anyone see the evening news tonight… LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL…
        I bet I can tell who they MSM is pushing for president.. LOL LOL LOL LOL I about fell over.. they were showing the interview with the candidate….. the wife made a comment and I looked over LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL….
        they had the candidates head highlighter to give it an aura..MSM gave the candidate a halo… LOL LOL LOL.. how many caught that subtle psychological slap to the ole brain box LOL LOL…. LOL LOL
        I don’t know why but I just love that one for president LOL

      • From past ‘leaks’ one can surmise that there is one or more ‘spies’ in the WH. Could it be that Trump purposefully did not inform anyone outside the room to try to smoke out the spy? It didn’t work this time but it doesn’t mean the spy wasn’t in the room.
        He needs to try again.
        Otherwise he may need to put a team together to identify the leakers.
        He could call them ‘The Plumbers’!
        They got Nixon the same way, but DJT is too smart to fall for this demoncrap tactic.

      • “try to smoke out the spy?”

        The Trouble AL… is economics…..

        the puppeteers spent two billion plus dollars.. for the two weeks before the election to try and get the vote turned… they have been spending billions every week just in negative news…they donated billions and billions to congress in six month to push the same negative scenarios…

        https://represent.us/action/5-facts-lobbyists/

        there are so many studies done on the corruptive political environment that you could read for a week and not see them all..

        https://blog.hollywoodbranded.com/hs-fs/hubfs/Blog_Images/2016_Ad_Rate_Chart_image.png?width=645&height=2571&name=2016_Ad_Rate_Chart_image.png

        just like the old rummor line in a grade school classroom.. if you hear it long enough it has to be true…. and the average worker.. doesn’t have time to actually sit down and go through the efforts to discover what is true or not.. I am an avid reader.. I read a couple articles more than the average person.. and I cannot tell you what is true news and what is spin.. they start argeuements with themselves to get the line going then dump in the shizt to prove their points with fake news.. its all a scam.. and the average.. he is going to hear the negative enough and buy the shizt that is dumped out for them..
        Now I support Trump.. I see what he is up against.. what he is trying to accomplish and the horror his family is going through.. but.. If someone dumped money on my door step.. you can guarantee the posts I would write.. you would expect me to be signing my handle as MARK the second..

        It is easier to listen to the negative narritive than the other .. hell lets be realistic it must take an hour just to get to the office every day and an hour back on the daily commute not counting where in a building someone is working did they stop for a coffee along the way get groceries etc….. there is another fifteen minutes just in elevator time.. that is one fifth of the day plus..figure in lunch and coffee breaks.. depending on whether or not your an exec.. execs usually take a little longer lunch breaks than the guy in the janitors closet more time spent moving in elevators.. . figure in most of that.. you just wasted more than a third of the average work day without any time to actually sit down and check on the truth of the pitch being sold Over MSM … Now if your a blue collar worker.. do you have a part time job your traveling to.. that narritive goes there to.. your time to actually sit down and investigate something has droped to only listening to the repeated negative narritive.. then sleep.

    • Hi, MAJ, thank you. I have instinctively, curiously, persistently concluded what you have written….all propped up ganda, all the time. ONCE one realizes this, the TRUTH reveals itself. THE MSM is obviously a purchased intentional product selling anarchy via destabilization. The sad part is the “connected-at-the-phone” young people are so inexperienced and easily swayed and lining up like sheep.

      Tip: 20,000 troops left Ft. Hood last night headed to Poland.

      • What is your source for the troop movement report? I find no public announcements to support from national news sources.
        G- I think one got past you. Whether the report was propaganda or intelligence, it doesn’t look appropriate.

    • Excellent!

      I do this as a matter of course, but it takes practice and requires that a person “leave their ego at the door” and admit their personal belief or opinion, whatever it may be, might be wrong. It also takes sufficient bravery to wither the storm, both within and without, when their answer to a question or problem is: “I don’t know.”

      I rarely seek out information to reinforce my beliefs. Instead, I seek the best information and highest quality data available, and adjust my personal beliefs to fit the data. If more, accurate or relevant information becomes available, my beliefs and opinions will change to incorporate this new data in the most logical, common-sense manner.

      I also grade sources. Information from a source which fairly-consistently proves itself as a purveyor of erroneous or untruthful information, or information which is counter to data I already possess, which I KNOW to be accurate, causes me to cease ever using such a source for anything, except a debate citation in a political or scientific discussion (‘cuz dumbasses, “educated idiots,” and the narrowminded {often one and the same, BTW} only accept citations from pubs THEY consider legitimate…)

      I get ZERO news from radio or television. RTV “news” all comes off the same wire services (mostly AP in CONUS) and is “pre-biased” and “pre-spun” before it ever arrives at a broadcast facility, ergo, it is the same propaganda, whether it’s delivered by an old dude who sounds like Cronkite or Sloan and looks like a few seconds of his misspent youth were spent two feet too close to a grenade demonstration, or a bright-eyed hottie [who’s] fresh out of the Columbia School and causes your heart to misfire every time she looks straight into the camera.

      It’s still propaganda…

      • Ray, you and I are the same page. I believe that if the majority of people could learn these techniques and thought processes we would live in much better world. These propaganda outlets exist because we allow them to exist. George, is right when he says ‘everything is a business model. This is no different. Propaganda is not only useful to the creator, but also very lucrative.

      • The problem is people are egocentric and lazy. It is both easier and non-demanding to have “news” spoon-fed to them, than it is to actually determine whether the “news” actually is, and then make the judgement call as to whether it can affect them.

        Don Henley’s lyrics to the song “Dirty Laundry” SHOULD (but never will) be posted on the door of every School of Journalism in the “civilized World” — not as a guideline, but as a warning…

    • Because history isn’t taught anymore, youngsters should Leni Riefenstahl ‘s “Triumph of the Will” . It’s a classic piece of propaganda film.

    • “A good definition of that is from Stanford University ”

      MAJ….don’t you just love Stanford and all the other wonderful colleges that open their libraries and research …

  13. George, regarding the podcast: I don’t know about others, but I’d personally find it most useful if it was an MP3 that could be downloaded and played anywhere. MP4 and MP4A are terrible formats when you’re away from a computer. I’d also avoid Itunes, and others and just have the recordings on the PN site. The sites that host these things are generally clumsy and bandwidth/processor intensive for no known reason.

    Just my two cents.

  14. George – we have liftoff..or perhaps just premature liftoff..hate it when that happens!

    Too early to tell for this wild eyed investor – need more info – as in the opening tomorrow will be key.

    Margin debt levels is reportedly coming down, Bearish bets coming off -reportedly, all time new highs – this is getting VERY interesting considering the staggering amount off debts (Sovereign/Corporate/Municapal/Personal). Can U say re-Hypothication..

    What could possibly go wrong? bwahahahaha

  15. On the topic of wildfires, why is it we don’t hear much about out of control wildfires in Mexico? Could it be they use controlled burns and goats to minimize the underbrush? Of course in CA the NIMBY (not-in-my-backyard) people would bitch and moan, but what we’re seeing unfold is the result. BTW no fires in my area but I have a daughter right square in the Sonoma fire area, but her and her BF are living in a van there and I hope right now they’re “down by the river”. At least they’re “mobile”.

  16. Yeah yeah Sure! – and the Arab news reports in 2017 regards Shimon Elliott or is it Elliott Shimon aka “bagdaddy” died in an Israhell hospital.
    Born in Britain to jewish parents..Mossad/CIA/US MIlitary Intel trained..Au Duaa, Ibrhim ibn Awad bin Ibrahim Al Badri Al Aradui Husseinei.

    The guy is a meme – and the whole friggin country is buying it..

    Protecting Syrian oil? – B.S.! We have been stealing Iraqi oil and then Iraqi and Syrian oil for years. Originally a private deal w/Bush officials, BP and Exxon have been in there all along. Just like US forces coming into Trashganistan – Taliban had but eradicated Opium Poppy production. By the time CIA/DEA was done – production has risen 20 fold – supposedly to flood Russia with cheap heroine.

    Kinda seems like – sounds like USA is a Giant Evil Criminal Enterprise.U justcant make this stuff up.

  17. Reading George’s essay and the comments section, I always ask myself afterwards, why would George be “Prepping”? His insights, his dreams, his “wooh wooh” experiences leads me to believe that he would look forward to the “other realm” and yet, he keeps on “Prepping,” to my guess, just to stay around for what really??

    I went through a lot. Never prepped and came out well; Lucky me!! And that’s what it’s all about, call it luck or God’s intention, “whatever will be will be!” IMHO.

    P.s. It’s an excellent business model though. ;-)

  18. To follow up on my discussion with MAJ13, note:

    People like information, but they love blood & gore, and gossip. Murrow (and his “Boys”) brought WW-II into the living room and Lowell Thomas (with Movietone News) delivered newsreel footage in his staccato reporting style to the Wednesday and Saturday matinees. Until about 1990, radio newscasts provided the most up-to-date news, but from the ’50s on, you could get your news with bloody, gory, or flaming video, nearly as current as radio, at 6pm.

    Starting in 1987 (and until about 1997), the best source for news became Rush Limbaugh, when he went live nationwide.

    When ARPANet became the INTER-Net, CLARINet was born as a subscription-only (and damned expensive) channel of newsgroups on Usenet. Every wire service and local newsroom north of the Rio Grande was on CLARINet, and every story which got printed or broadcast anywhere in the U.S. and Canada, along with a huge variety of foreign, English language stories, were dumped into the CLARINet feed.

    Lexis, possibly the original legal databasing / cross-indexing firm, purchased unlimited access to CLARINet in the mid-1980s, then added -Nexis to its name and news to its indexed database offerings. Limbaugh paid the dime (actually ~$3400/month at that time IIRC) to subscribe to Lexis-Nexis. He used the investment in LexisNexis (they dropped the hyphen in the ’90s) to access not just the 3 national / 1 local / 2 special interest news stories that the network wonks were going to carry, but the other 15,000 or so which occurred EVERY DAY, of which no one heard.

    When United Press International (more or less) died, they handed the Associated Press a virtual monopoly and lock on the American news market. AP was quick to centralize their product. ClariNet (they changed their spelling in the early 2000s) moved to cut subscription fees and increase access, but it was too little, too late. Local news now belonged to conglomerate-owned newspaper aggregates. (And yeah, I know Reuters’ market expanded, AFP-English came into the mix, and UPI did their “Phoenix act,” but AP became, and still is the 800 pound gorilla…)

    With the advent of paywalls and the (probable) death from disuse of ClariNet, the centralization of news sources to wire services and aggregates has radically limited the quantity and quality of news. Today, Breitbart is by far, the best source for U.S. news which doesn’t “meet the agenda or criteria” for broadcasting, but their website is such a PITA to navigate, I rarely bother.

    Excerpted from Don Henley’s “Dirty Laundry” —

    You don’t really need to find out
    What’s going on
    You don’t really want to know
    Just how far it’s gone
    Just leave well enough alone
    Eat your dirty laundry

    We can do the innuendo
    We can dance and sing
    When it’s said and done
    We haven’t told you a thing
    We all know that crap is king
    Give us dirty laundry

    – From 1982, when both politicians and the “media” were much more honest and significantly less Socialist than they are, today…

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