Markets: Xi’s Terrible Virus Quandary

We expect the market to open seriously down this morning for several reasons, not the least of which is the seriousness of COVID-19 is dawning on people other than us.

As of writing time, Dow futures were down 178 points on the Dow,  but we will see how the Fed plays the repo and reverse-repo game that has been flooding cash into markets.  Another factor:  It’s a shortened trading week and Europe got off to a lousy start.

The moment of anagnorisis (recognition) is not here…yet.  But the numbers are brutal.  Let’s run through them:

The number of deaths is up to 1,874 while the number of confirmed cases is up to 73,336.  Our back of the envelope scribs hint at 114,37 cases and 2,654 dead by Saturday, though it may be Sunday. CNBC calls it this way: Japan is on ‘cusp’ of outbreak, France warns of pandemic risk.

The Princess Cruise ship in Japan is also continuing to devolve: 454 onboard cases.  Some passengers are headed for Omaha.

While many passengers elected to come back to the US when they had a chance, others thought the quarantine would be over by now, so they stayed.  Stupidly, we think, not realizing the health-conscious Japanese are not going to let potential cases land in their country.  When there are two weeks with zero new cases onboard?  Well, yeah, then there’s something to talk about.  Now, though?  We just don’t see the ‘Mericans hitting the Ginza yet.

Let’s Focus on Xi’s Problem.

You don’t want to be the President of China this week.  Xi Jinping is walking the edge of a razor with his country.

IF he lets everyone in quarantine go back to work this week, he will save exports, diminish global supply chain impacts and keep the global economy from imploding.

BUT if everyone goes back to work – and we already know the quarantines are not long-enough based on video leaks – THEN Xi will face an even BIGGER problem when the back-to-work crowd begins spreading the disease like wildfire.

ADDING to the mess, Apple is already out with lower revenue guidance because cell phone sales are cratering in China.

We hate to mention it, but how long does the virus remain active on surfaces of goods (and packaging)?  This is one data point where the CDC guidance has been woefully lacking.

My consigliere pointed out three weeks back (or longer) while governments are putting on the “happy-face” and telling people not to worry, behind the scenes it has been apparent to us that utter panic is afoot.

If THIS Isn’t Enough…

Xi’s other big worry is showing up “out west” where that locust plague that is set to drive down global food stocks has shown up.

What’s a Sensible Personal Defensive Posture?

It depends who you ask.  The U.S. Government’s performance so far has been terrible.  While a sensible thing to do in early to mid-January would have been to tell Americans that there would be a 10% risk of a two week quarantine by June – based on early projections – instead, government has made sequential errors, as we see it.

Failing, for example, to throttle-back international air travel early, and lots of other easy decisions which – while they would have devastating impacts on the bubble stock market – would nevertheless have potentially reduced ultimate body counts by this time next year.

Five cases of the virus have been confirmed in British Columbia and yet my son was simply waived-through returning Monday from a concert up there.

Maybe its the “old newsman genes kicking in” – or the odd way the Universe seems to take care of me – but from the perspective of this morning, it’s damn strange how I turned into a serious tool collector two or three years back.  And then?  I started collecting all manner of “how to make it books.”  3D printer, spools of filament…all that I could think for for a “civilization restart.” Tools one might need out here in the sticks.

As a Nation we don’t think long and hard-enough about how much crap comes from China.  My consigliere pointed out over the weekend (in response to my Fall-Back Bike and Fix-It Shop plans), that so far as we know, there’s not a single bicycle inner tube being made in the USA, anymore.  Nor bike tires, let alone the good ones made with Kevlar linings and such.  (If you know otherwise, let us know…that might b e an interesting stock play, for sure!).

Already this morning I’ve gone through another couple of hunksy’s on the Zon.  I looked at everything I could think of around here:  We have the gas power tools in working order (again, curious how that timing worked out!!!).

When I looked at what I expect to see break this year there were several items that went on the “let’s purchase now, rather than later” list.

For example, my 50-foot air hose retractor reel in the shop is on its last legs.  I can repair (*again) but sooner, or later, it would be replaced.  The new one, I expect, will also be “made in China” but if I get five years out of it, that’d be fine.

Liquid rubber roof patch (Five gallon bucket) is another interesting bet.  Since I just chased down one roof leak, I’m in no hurry to play that game again.  And while most roofing materials are still made in the USA, we will likely see a lot of “context switching” depending on how far “down” China goes.

In other words, if you make roofing material today, what are the Chinese goods that might come off line that could be manufactured with (roughly) the same equipment?  Business will follow the money – and demand.

Suddenly, my recent (November of last year on) picking up of Popular Mechanics “Shop Notes” from the 1930’s through 1960″s has become fortuitous, as well.  In depth articles on  raising your own chickens.  And since we have to keep raccoons away, T-posts and Chicken Wire down at Tractor Supply are also largely made where?

Granted, a lot of this is “stuff” we would have purchased later in the year, anyway.  And when you consider it, the virus outbreak may be having some of the impacts of modern advertising:  Pulling future demand into the present.

We don’t know how long the shelves will remain full, but for now, the massive outbreak of “consumer locusts” has not gotten wind of how serious things could become as we move into summer.  Infections compound – and so does the death toll..

So, when I order a tub, or two, of PVC pipe cement, it’s because while I expect it to be in good supply, it may only be a matter of time until the U.S. supply chain impacts begin to get really serous.Whnat happens when “online and overnight” hiccups?

When they do?  I expect we will see a very large inflationary hit on all manner of products. Yeah, the output from China can (and would) be replaced.  But, it sure as hell won’t happen overnight.  And in the interest, we like our comforts.

So, I’m back to eyeing (another) $400-class 65-inch TV.  Two-day delivery right now.  By September?  Will there be any?

Not a pleasant wake-up to Monday-on-Tuesday, but trying to keep one move ahead of the mob is something we’ve done very well here since 1997.  And we hope to do a good bit longer.

Is there more?  Oh, hell yeah.

For example, you need to block some time to do a Google search on “cytokine storm” and various supplements.  It will quickly become apparent what may be useful to at least slow down a storm.  And what about anti-diarrheals? Yes, we got some of that landing today.   Ever read up on how bismuth works in vivo?  Time’s a wasting.  How’s your stock of chicken soup?

And most important of all?  Hibi-clens, bleach, nitrile gloves. and a full freezer so you can cut off the outside world for a couple of months, if it comes to that.

We don’t say that it will…don’t misunderstand.  But I’d rather spend $500 on  “what-if” contingencies NOW and have what might be useful, than NOT have something and really, really need it later.

A trip to the lumber yard this week will top off cabinet-making supplies.  Our weekend “making” article will be focusing a bit on how to make useful things around the house.

Do you have this year’s garden seeds in hand, yet?  L-O-C-U-S-T-S!!!  Got it?

We plan to have ours in the ground in the next three weeks.  Oddly, I bought our soil amendments last fall…again way early and knowing they would be used.  (Still, Elaine thought I was nuts at the time, but I know from 71 years that if you listen with your heart, everything will work out just fine.  We are all blessed if we just ask and listen.)

Sure, we’ll do some short-news snips now, but I can’t tell you how important it is to thinking strategically at this time in world history.  Those who can and do ought to quickly become apparent.  there’s always been a “quick and the dead.”

Useless News Mostly

We are continually amazed at what mind-numbing crap passes for news when personal futures can see a real by-God threat on the horizon.  Two if you count virus and locusts/global food shortage.  Remember:  Sun’s doing cold on us…less blooms to come.

Again, think food stocks: Mississippi flooding leaves nearly 3 million under state of emergency.

The best politicians money can buy: Bloomberg to join Democratic debate amid poll surge.  Cue Vanna White “ Big money! Big money!” while off-stage someone yells ‘Re-screwing Bernie!!!’

There go our travel plans, lol: Amsterdam considers banning tourists from cannabis cafes.  We’ll have to figure some other way for the world to go up in smoke, I reckon.

Where to send your resume:   Fortune’s 100 best big companies to work for.  Anyone need a prigish writer who works from home?

Off to work on the 1929 replay charts for Peoplenomics tomorrow

Write when you get rich/  Keep your moral up and your head down.  The NY Fed just rolled $78.55 billion in via repo;s.

62 thoughts on “Markets: Xi’s Terrible Virus Quandary”

  1. Just saying, chicken wire is for keeping chickens in. It does nothing to keep raccoons out. Works pretty well against hawks, if you want to use it to create a covered area for foraging. Stock up on rabbit wire or hardware cloth for chicken security.

  2. “Failing, for example, to throttle-back international air travel early,”

    Not to mention the illegals that are jumping the borders…

    “I expect we will see a very large inflationary hit on all manner of products.”

    How much is a razor worth to someone.. a pound of coffee..toilet paper.. (although I was visiting last night with a gentleman I know that is an engineer at a paper factory..No worries so far)
    Years ago.. long time back.. I was working day labor.. our job putting in the first plastic extruder to make bottles and disposable dishes.. today that plant is shut down.. the products are all made in .. guess where.. in my opinion we outsourced so much and with an estimated five year retooling..we are screwed.. the talent of the older generation is slowly dying off..

  3. When I was in manufacturing, we went from a maker to an importer, going from lean just in time factory to waiting for the boat.

    22 days. That’s how long a container would be between ports. This virus can make the trip.

  4. George,

    On the Bloomberg buy of the Presidency, I have quick thought. The latest talk is that Bloomers is considering the Hilldebeast as a running mate. What about this scenario? Bloomers is merely the front man and back door for Hilldebeast. If perchance Bloomers buys into the White House; he shortly after inauguration, resigns and hands power over to the Hilldebeast. Either that or he has a death wish. Same result. People mysteriously die around Killerary. This should set Mark’s hair on fire.

    • Lloyd,
      We discussed this yesterday. It WILL set my hair on fire, but in a way you didn’t think…because as I said about 500 times on this comments section…I am a Centrist Republican and I hate Hillary with a passion. I even went as far as to write the Bloomberg campaign with a WTF comment.

      Now back to Bloomberg. I am curious as to why people say he is buying the election. Yes, he is spending money on advertising. Wooohooo! So does Bud Light. I hate Bug light. I haven’t had one since the 80’s, despite the billions Anheuser Busch has spent over the years. More of a craft beer type myself anyway. The billions on advertising haven’t and will never sway me. The point being…we still have free will to choose correct?

      I say…more power to the man or woman that has the resources to make it happen. Trump in his inaugural down the escalator announcement of his run for President said he would be self funded…of course, like everything else he says and never does…that never happened. He has never stopped raising money ever since.

      Listen, when you have a guy that really made money on his own and uses it to help make this country a better place…I can’t find a reason to negatively judge. The thing is…you know he is 100% pro-business…so that won’t change…He understands that being more responsible stewards of the earth is a good thing and can bolster our economy with new technologies and added jobs that can last another generation into the future. He is misunderstood on guns…Like a large majority of Americans, even gun owners like me…we want more controls and regs on guns. Again, I have said this dozens of time too. Like a car, If we drink and drive, we lose the license and Privilege to drive a car. Yet, in open carry states, we can walk in an under 51% restaurant and drink with a gun. Hell, even in the Wild West days, many establishments had check your guns at the door policies. We have to take tests and renew our license with cars to maintain that privilege to drive. Guns, not so much. If we park illegally, turn illegally, go over the speed limit etc, we get fined and points come off of our privilege to drive. Don’t you think there should be similar rules for guns? That’s all Bloomberg is saying. And a super majority of Americans agree. That IS NOT a violation of our second amendment rights. It may be an adjustment of those rights…as there should be of any amendment written nearly 230 years ago…especially in a society ruled by Moore’s law where 230 days is a generation of change.

      On healthcare…Bloomberg is pragmatic, allowing people with corporate health care to keep their plans and giving 1099 employees and others a chance to take advantage of an improved, cost effective and more sensible ACA or expanded Medicare program.

      Look beyond the Zombie approved Fox News Network and go on Bloomberg’s web site and see for yourself. My bet is Amy Klobochar…the most reasonable of all the candidates will be his running mate. I think Hillary was a plant to gauge where he should go next in the campaign strategy…I think he got his answer…run away as fast as you can for the beast.

      • comparing guns to cars is a distraction from the reason we have gun rights
        ANYONE wanting red flag laws is one of THEM, not a patriot PERIOD
        ask the Chinese about their rights, they have no guns

      • Mark, I live in an open carry state and it’s a fourth degree felony to enter an establishment that sells alcohol(including Walmart) when carrying. The local saloons, taverns and bars usually have a “no weapons” sign which includes pocketknives. There is effective gun legislation related to these things already in most places. Currently, there’s a dangerous push for “red flag” laws where anyone can be victim of an “ex parte” hearing and then a search and seizure of their property without notice! This is a clear and present violation of the fourth amendment and the right to privacy. A person may not even own a gun but can be victim of this process due to a malicious rumor or call from a neighbor or relative. Law enforcement and the courts tend toward the safest option for them – not that of the victim of such illegal laws. There are at least two instances of a victim’s death at the hands of law enforcement when surprised by such raids.

      • Just like most driving violation gun laws are what your state allows. That being said please come to nebraska with a gun on your hip and try to drink a beer are get a dwi are break any law with your weapon at your side. Please send photos of your arrest and jail sell buddies.

      • NM Mike,

        That is not totally true about restaurants and guns. If a restaurant has 51% of their revenue coming from food sales, and they serve alcohol there is no restriction on open carry and gun toting. So a person can go into any Applebees or similar type of restaurant, if they don’t have a personal no-gun policy, and drink all he or she wants with a gun by his or her side. Now, in that instance, I am not saying that an inebriated person is going to up and go postal…I am more worried about the bad guys that want that gun for themselves and overtaking a drunk and his or her gun.

        And for those that think there is no correlation between a car and a gun? That’s a very irresponsible and uneducated response. There are dozens of article n this very subject. Pick up a book or magazine very once in a while and read.

      • “giving 1099 employees and others a chance to take advantage of an improved, cost effective and more sensible ACA or expanded Medicare program.”

        It’s hard to find an employer that offers health insurance anymore as a benefit. Most employers have a skeleton full time employee roster and fill the rest up with part time or point employees. That’s how my employer was able to not give vacation time off etc.

        For the healthcare insurance we font need an expanded medicare. Just uphold these already in place.
        No discrimination
        No price gouging.. product a sells for the same price. If costs go up its dividend equally among all the customers purchasing that plan.
        Open the borders.. a plan for sale in texas should be available in New York.
        Open the borders for pharmaceuticals as well.. Utah is paying people to go to mexico to get their medications. There shouldn’t be any reason why a medication here is thousands of percent higher than another country.
        Open the borders for insurance companies to.
        Put regulations back on necessary products just like it was. In the seventies everyone had insurance. It wasnt until they deregulated it that it went nuts. My employer said in a meeting approximately one in three are uninsured .those expenses dont go away. They are passed on.
        On guns. Guns dont kill people..people kill people and would use any method available to them if that is their intention.

        Just my personal opinion but in a country that has one of the worlds worst healthcare systems for their population.. with a potential pandemic virus loose.. it’s stupid to have people wait till they are to sick to go in to be seen. People will wait until the last possible moment just because they know they face bankruptcy.

      • I think the majority of our crime issues have to do with the lack of adult supervision at home. Mom and dad have to work. In many cases more than one job. The days of a single wage household are long gone. Our entertainment system has pushed violent based television and game shows.. the games our children play are violence based. Children left to raise themselves or be raised by the neighborhood gangs..
        Now I may be wrong but that is what I see.

      • “And for those that think there is no correlation between a car and a gun? That’s a very irresponsible and uneducated response. There are dozens of article n this very subject. Pick up a book or magazine very once in a while and read.”

        There is no LEGAL correlation.

        Possession of a firearm is a God-given, and Constitutionally affirmed Right. Possession of a means of mechanical transportation is not. The fact people can extrapolate allegorical arguments several generations out, then use the “allegory of the car” to destroy the straw man they constructed with their “allegory of the gun” is irrelevant and shows both their ignorance, and that of their audience.

      • Mark – regarding NM gun laws and alcohol:

        Yes, there are some minor exceptions, but not 51% as it may be in Ca. Any business can prohibit carry and their rule has the force of law within their establishment.

        Unfortunately, our latest governess and the totally democratic legislature(thanks, cities) has passed a couple of very ill conceived and badly written laws recently that will very likely have bad consequences. We have at least two more years of her presence to deal with. Luckily, NM does have a two term maximum for her position and she’s made many enemies already. She was funded by a great deal of out of state money, FWIW.

  5. “IF he lets everyone in quarantine go back to work this week, he will save exports, diminish global supply chain impacts and keep the global economy from imploding.”

    ????? When is it practical to call a national quarantine..

    the lessons learned from the 1918 flu.. are disturbing.. the places that survived untouched were shut off..

    which brings up the story in a church magazine from a religious leader.. would the people of the church be willing to tie together in the event of a cataclysmic event to help those that failed to prepare for it..

  6. Suppose for a moment that Bloomers is buying the Presidency with Hilldebeast as a running mate; as a back door way for Hilldebeast to become President. Prearranged deal for Bloomers to buy the office, and then resign making Hilldebeast the President. Of course there will be financial considerations for Bloomers for his “hard Work” for the cause.

    Either that or Bloomers has a death wish.

  7. The ship or international petrie dish should give one pause as to the true nature of the numbers in China – imprison everyone in their apartment buildings land going ships – what is the real spread of the contagion? Also I saw where someone tested positive 42 days after having tested negative. I don’t think the CDC is being honest about the number of cases here – what will it take to get them to finally spill? planned depopulation?

  8. George

    “but I know from 71 years that if you listen with your heart, everything will work out just fine.”

    That’s why I decided to replace my dead well pump with a Bailer Bucket system instead of failure prone electrical pumps. Yes there slow and labor intensive but you can get the water no matter what state your electrical supply is in.

    Phase One: Fabricate a PVC pipe bucket that can navigate a 4 inch diameter well pipe and the hoist system to manually operate the bucket. Install system onto well. ( This is in process and completed soon. )

    Phase Two: Fabricate a windlass of appropriate diameter to operate bucket using a 24 volt Gearmotor with a Bang-Bang type electrical controller. ( Relay type controls only. No computer needed.)

    Phase Three; Integrate Phase Two equipment onto well bucket system with 24 volt DC power coming from Solar Power system and existing well control timer.

    Phase Four: Add plumbing for Auto Dump of water into existing storage tank at well head. Verify storage tank fill cycle and gravity feed of water to tank at house.

    Phase Five: Test system for manual and automatic operation. Then enjoy the water provided by the Sovereign of the Universe and the skills you have!

    Laugh if you like but I will get water either by hand operation or from my own electrical generation!

  9. No Worries Mate! U be of Northern European Stock – Caucasian persuasion – Covid-19 gotz nothing on U.
    Thats right me hardies – Covid-19 is a Bio-Engineered Corona Virus. The mystery or puzzle IS Why did a Chi-Com Military Lab design a Corona Virus using SARS stock, and then let it Loose on their own population?Escapee???

    The in SARS stands for Sudden – it should stand for Sino.

    This one stinks of MEGA group dark & dirties = Global Kosher Nostra – these geniuses are trying to “fullfill the Book”. Unfortunately for Humanity they be reading from a different book..

    its a prison – and “they” be the screws..

  10. 1.0 is the statistical rate at which a contagion stops spreading and begins to die out. The actual mean statistical rate is much higher for the coronavirus:

    From the above:

    “The reproduction number in the studies summed up to a mean of 3.28, and a median of 2.79, which is significantly higher than the World Health Organization’s estimation of 1.4-2.5.”

    “When looking at the development of the corona epidemic, reality seems to correspond well to or even exceed the highest epidemic growth in our calculations.”

    Listen to George – get yourself and your loved ones ready for the worst. If the worst doesn’t happen with this bug, you’ll be ready for whatever comes next.

    • So-ooooo, DJ here with more good news. Seems the virus INCUBATION period may actually be 42 DAYS as per newer anecdotal reports. This is maddening.

  11. “being made in the USA”

    Oh yea, if global trade collapses, (a historic collapse not a few missed quarters), a good idea would be to pick-up machines off in advance, poised to take markets.

    Bike tube and tire making machines.
    Shoes and shoe parts would be another demand item.
    Dollar Store eyeware.

    One could setup an eyeware making operation in the garage for around $20K. There’s demonstration video on Alibaba for the frame making machine and the hinge assembly machine…. each station.

    Thinking about defrayed labor costs one may be able to entice the local school district to offer-up students to work the machines for reduced pay as an “apprentice program”.

    • Bought bike tubes, socks and shoes last week. Need to get more bike tubes, and maybe a couple spare sets of tires.

      Picking up items off Alibaba sounds great, if you thought of it six months ago. One of my coworkers has a 3D printer on back order from China. Now he worries about disinfecting it, if it ever shows up.

      The Just-In-Time economy may be in it’s death throes.

      The thing about consumables is that if you buy a whole bunch of them, you just use them up and there’s nothing lost. You buy that $300 bushcraft knife, it stays in a drawer, ’cause you are afraid of scratching it. The $30 knife by the back door does all the work.

      Think about things you need to head off trips to medical facilities which have become pretty much been overrun by contagion. Start with basic sanitation. G____ has discussed disinfecting stuff at length. Add a multi-month stock of bar soap, dish soap, shampoo, laundry detergent, toothpaste, vitamins, paper towels, and TOILET PAPER. Deodorant is handy without HVAC in a worst case scenario. How about Chlorox and an eye dropper for water disinfection? Write the dosing instructions on the bottle, and tape the eyedropper to it as well.

      Think about the most likely home emergencies that can mess you up the fastest. With restricted travel and no resupply, the possibility of small cuts becoming life-threatening is very real. Think about the real pioneer days, where people died young of things that we just go down to the drugstore to get over the counter supplies to take care of without the need for an intercessor witch doctor. Do you have a six month+ supply of antibiotic cream and/or wound dressing? How about poison ivy scrub? Maybe something for ringworm? Band aids? Water filters?

      When was the last time you got a tetanus booster? Flu shots are now available for those with egg allergies.

      I would mention N100 or P100 filters, but if you don’t already have them, then you are probably SOL for the immediate future, unless you are willing to pay the scalpers their unfair share.

      Keep your head in the game, and keep your preps to yourself.

      • To do that, you have to use a roll of special 1.75 mm filament from BASF special products group. You print out your 3D things and then sent it off for “sintering” (special melting process one imagines) and bingo – you have a stainless steel (312 stainless I think it is) metal whatever you printed.

  12. Silly question?
    What if the USA impliments the contagion plans.. national quarantine…

    What about taxes, utilities, product shortages.. then fema starts the emergency handouts.

    A few years ago I was in a conversation with some friends and was stopped by someone that worked in emergency management. We had a wonderful cnversation.. they have a list of who buys fuel etc. And if theres been a change in shopping patterns.
    When CRE was threatening the general public patients were isolated and so was the care teams .. now I wonder. What if it’s a metropolitan area. A city, factory etc.
    Looking at this fro an angle beyond the normal everyday activities..more like Bosnia this could get very ugly.

  13. “we will see how the Fed plays the repo and reverse-repo game that has been flooding cash into markets.”

    Methinks, that you’re overplaying the FED because it’s still just traders and their mental makeup that determin buy vs. sell orders. I.e. what makes people buy or sell??? Indeed, one needs money to do so — however I doubt that flooding cash into our system is THAT important for daily activities.

    Yes, the “quantity of money and credit” determin prices of most everything in our commerce — but there seem to be other factors.

  14. The BOY SCOUTS OF AMERICA announced they were filing for bankruptcy due to sexual abuse lawsuits. Couple this with the Catholic Church Priest sexual abuse lawsuits, & we have a behavioral abomination that should be laid at the feet of the LBGT COMMUNITY. No mention of that in the fake news. Must be a liberal thing.

  15. “NY Fed just rolled $78.55 billion in via repo;s.”

    That would be approximately $10.00 for everyone on earth?
    Please correct me if incorrect. ;-) Do people understand??

    • Remember the Oracle of Omaha saying Derivatives were Financial Weapons of Mass Destruction..

      Guess what they are trying cover? The Blast Zone from those FWMD’s

      – perhaps if they just keep plugging holes& keep it all quite and nicey nice nice – no one will notice..

  16. Likely valuations can be predicted for financial instruments based on supply chain disruptions and consumer appetite. I’m wondering about such things as PM’s. They are a store of value and can be sanitized, bought and sold, but can they be shipped easily and bought/sold/traded in this septic new world? How will their price/valuation be affected? For the moment, they don’t seem to be affected much, but thinking months or more out – what might happen? At the least, I can see a decrease in their liquidity due to a thinner market. I’d very much like to hear what others think.

    The same thoughts apply to all other commodities, though the PMs have the virtue of unlimited shelf life.

      • PMs have worked well for the past 6,000 years or so. When Fiat and all else fails, your benchmark is going to be Silver. I’m slightly over 98% converted to PMs, and have little to no concern for how well I can ship them. We’ll be in an entirely different paradigm when that time comes. My primary use will be for barter, and that’s essentially a local event.

  17. Juicy Fruit gum by lots of it if you have a garden you put a half a stick in the mole holes and it kills the moles

  18. “Xi’s other big worry is showing up “out west” where that locust plague that is set to drive down global food stocks has shown up.”

    This is terribly disconcerting. When I did the projections (only a couple weeks ago, mind you, on “best available information”) It appeared the leading edge of the locust plague would not reach China until around Easter, and would pause for several weeks at that time (bug plagues tend to move like breaking waves, with typical “pull back and recharge,” or rebreed, cycles every couple weeks), before blasting into China and dying in the Western badlands. With the leading edge having traversed the Persian subcontinent and several *-stans ahead of schedule, IMO China may now well find itself at an apocalyptic inflection point before May 1st ‘cuz the “hot & dry” isn’t going to be hot or dry enough to kill off the swarm.

    I’m still projecting the possibility of 50 TRILLION locusts (and the likelihood of 10-12 trillion) before the plague dies. Right now, I just hope the little buggers don’t split up with a column going “around the horn” and into Ukraine and Belarus. If a quantity of those bugs get into Europe, they could eat everything from Gibraltar to the Urals.

    In case y’all didn’t notice, because of all of the flooding, North American food production was down a bunch last year. IOW WE don’t have the resources this year to pull Europe, Asia, and Eastern Africa out of an extinction-level famine…

    there’s not a single bicycle inner tube being made in the USA, anymore

    ISTM I found, when I was looking last year, both tires and tubes made in Europe, but they were specialized products, and breathtakingly expensive (as in several thousand dollars for 2x tires + tubes…)

    T-posts and Chicken Wire down at Tractor Supply are also largely made where?

    There are 5 major fence & wire companies in the U.S. They make American product, using American steel. THEIR galvanizing doesn’t rust away in 5 years and when it does, the steel underneath remains viable for many years. Cost is about 20% higher than Chinese junk. Quality is incomparably higher. So, what’s the peace of mind worth — knowing that your fence is going to outlive, not just you, but your kids, and that (barring tornadoes and buffalo stampedes) “fencing” is one PITA job you’re never going to have to do twice…?

    “So, when I order a tub, or two, of PVC pipe cement, it’s because while I expect it to be in good supply, it may only be a matter of time until the U.S. supply chain impacts begin to get really serous”

    ‘Might want to lay in a gallon each of acetone and toluol, since sealed, they’ll last nearly forever, and can be used to synth plastic cleaners and welders. Don’t overbuy. Acetone is a meth precursor, so buying more than a gallon every few months gets a body on a list they do not want to be on…

    Amsterdam considers banning tourists from cannabis cafes.

    ‘Cuz in “normal times” passing joints or pipes between strangers is a healthy activity… 8-/

    Anyone need a prigish writer who works from home?

    Meh, more like a curmudgeon in-training, but we’ll get you there, eventually, if you leave the “Comments Section” up long enough…

  19. Last night I had another strange dream. I don’t remember much about it except that I was in a strange place with people I do not know. But two things I willed myself to remember when I woke up again. A flash card in the sky read “Sicily 1895” and then a second one came up, “Betsy Devos”. I looked up the Sicily reference and there was an election that year after much turmoil, including rioting, attempt to disarm the public, martial law, etc. Of course, wikipedia is a poor choice when attempting to disseminate history. Have no idea why Devos’ name came up!

      • Betsey Devos as running mate for Trump is worse than Hillary as running mate for Bloomberg. That would be political suicide. She would lose every parent with a kid in school. I am very involved in education here in the Bay Area and also several members of both my and my wife’s side of the family in the Midwest are educators (Republicans and Democrats) and they all hate the do-nothing Devos with a passion.

  20. The Big Tech – BOHICA.. Robert David Steele (ex-CIA) is claiming that Wuhan sickness is actually Radiation Sickness from 5G..Microwave radiation sickness and Flu have nearly the exact same symptoms. The cruise ships are the truth teller here according to Steele – 5G baby – lets keep rolling that out in all major cities in China – we be rhyming with Asbestos.

    What ever it is – Gold is soaring, Silver is moving up – PM miners earnings are coming out this week or already out – and crushing it.

    Think the coot is gonna need a bigger boat!

  21. On the local AM radio (950 Detroit) I heard there was a police situation in the casino downtown. A high powered rifle, loaded was found along with a name of cities.

    Will look for details.

  22. Drugs, not terror, but terrifying.

    2 Arrested, Weapon Recovered At Detroit’s Greektown Casino Hotel

    A third suspect is still at large.

    “Police were able to use surveillance video to track down who put the bag there, leading them to two young men from a suburb of Cleveland, Ohio. At least one of the suspects has a lengthy history with drugs, according to the police chief.

    A third suspect was still on the loose, as of Tuesday evening.

    Craig said authorities also found a Bible in the bag behind the ice machine. Inside it were some writings that mentioned a number of U.S. cities, initially causing concern over the possibility of a terror threat.”

  23. One more thing…As serious as this corona virus is…we have heard crickets from Trump. Here is an excerpt from an Atlantic Article.

    “When a senior White House aide would brief President Donald Trump in 2018 about an Ebola-virus outbreak in central Africa, it was plainly evident that hardships roiling a far-flung part of the world didn’t command his attention. He was zoning out. “It was like talking to a wall,” a person familiar with the matter told me.

    Now a new coronavirus that originated in China is confronting him with a potential pandemic, a problem that Trump seems ill-prepared to meet. A crisis that is heading into its third month could draw out every personal and managerial failing that the president has shown to this point. Much of what he’s said publicly about the virus has been wrong, a consequence of downplaying any troubles on his watch. He has long stoked fears that foreigners entering the United States bring disease. Now he may double down on xenophobic suspicions. He has hollowed out federal agencies and belittled expertise, prioritizing instead his own intuition and the demands of his political base. But he’ll need to rely on a bureaucracy he’s maligned to stop the virus’s spread.

    “We have a president who doesn’t particularly care about competent administration, and who created a culture in which bad news is shut down,” says Democratic Senator Brian Schatz of Hawaii, whose state is home to one of multiple airports screening passengers for the coronavirus. “And when you’re dealing with a potential pandemic, you need to know all the bad news. If this disease ends up not overwhelming us, that would be a blessing. But it would not be because the Trump administration was ready. They were not.”

    From the first, Trump has offered false reassurance. In a CNBC interview at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, last month, Trump maintained that the coronavirus was “totally under control” and that he wasn’t concerned about the risk of a pandemic. “It’s going to be just fine,” he said.

    Except that it wasn’t under control—it still isn’t—and no one knows just how bad it will be. “Even a middle schooler wouldn’t have said that,” Michael Mina, an epidemiology professor at Harvard’s School of Public Health, told me. “Everyone is using caution in how we’re framing what the risk is, primarily because we don’t understand what the risk is at this moment. The last thing anyone would say is, ‘We’re not concerned.’ Everyone is concerned.”

    ….Trump only cares about Trump and this virus takes away the spotlight on him. As a renowned germaphobe, you’d think this would be a priority for him…..

    • “As serious as this corona virus is…we have heard crickets from Trump.”

      Hmmm.. not exactly.. What they are saying is he isn’t tweeting constantly or getting on tv and rambling on..etc..

      If you notice…I am a lot like Trump that way.. if it really doesn’t mean scrap to me.. I will ramble on and on and try to get people to visualize the situation from my point of view.. BUT.. if it is really serious.. where deep thought is involved.. I get quiet.. because I am trying to see the issue from all angles and develop a clear image of the situation..
      During this past three and almost a half years he has gotten this way whenever there was a situation he considered serious enough to take up his time to contemplate the issue deeper..

      He did sign in the executive order’s to handle the situation in the event that the corona virus develops into an event that will take extreme action.. Now just like a nuclear warhead aimed at the us and on its way.. they won’t disclose that to the public.. they can’t.. logic says that the pandemonium of panic in the streets running in circles pulling their hair out and yelling oh shizt what do I do.. what do I do.. is not a good thing..
      But if you are observant you can see that the pieces to the puzzle are being put in place.. just last night on the evening news for an example.. there as about a fifteen second blurb that I cought that said

      “the cdc hasn’t proclaimed the virus outbreat as a pandemic but we are prepared to put our emergency plans into action when it does..”

      The next piece to the puzzle.. the closing of schools… everyone knows that any meeting place with a great number of people from all walks of life is the perfect breeding ground for a flu like pandemic.. kids catch it.. bring it home to mom and dad that take it to work..

      the other thing is.. items.. there was another blurb on the news.. the shut down of chinese factories hasn’t affected the us markets yet.. but it is expected to.. the supply chain.. I had a couple of things coming from china.. but because of what I see.. I ordered from an american warehouse a higher price.. food stuffs.. that will start to show up.. the first place will be in fresh produce.. then the canned goods dried goods will be last.. there is one local chain for us that I am getting my groceries through.. the reason for that is their personal brand isn’t produced in china .. it is produced locally by factories in a five state region..( I don’t know if they in turn have the products drop shipped in from another country and slap their label on it.. but it is the best I can do..)

      so please don’t take his silence as a sign that he is not addressing this issue.. All that says is just how serious this situation truly is..

    • You’ve been saying the corona virus is no big deal for weeks now.

      “It seems the CORONA optimism is being fueled by an epidemiologist…That was quick. Huh…or was it a problem at all? On to the next headline…”

      Now that there’s an angle to knock Trump, suddenly you’re concerned? Of course Trump is going to publicly say things are under control, that’s what you do to minimize panic.

      • You are taking me out of context. That was in reference to the idiots who are downplaying the Corina virus. I have said for weeks that it is a Serious issue. A few months ago I may have made light of it, but apologized for the insensitive comment later.

  24. Adidas says business activity in China has tanked roughly 85% due to coronavirus

    German sportswear firm Adidas warned business activity in China has fallen dramatically in recent weeks, citing a material negative impact from the coronavirus outbreak.

    The outbreak has prompted Adidas, which attributes roughly one-third of its sales to Asia, to close a “significant” number of stores in China.

    Puma warns of coronavirus hit to China business

  25. Conservatives In Oregon Want 22 Rural Counties To Secede And Become Part Of Idaho

    A group known as Greater Idaho is pushing for rural counties in Oregon and northern California to secede and become part of the state of Idaho. In fact, as you will see below, this effort has actually been endorsed by some of the top Republicans in the Oregon legislature.

    And so it begins…

    • Ray, it’s not because of the politics of California believe me. Idaho wants the resources. The population of Mendocino County north is only 600,000. Hardly a scratch in California’s 40 million. Resources however are vast. Timber, hydro power, minerals, and even some untapped gold in the boonies where fewer than 10,000 live in entire counties. However the biggest resource is marijuana. Maybe that’s the gold Idaho’s seeking.

      But, California Isn’t giving up their own resources that fuel this economy. They can petition all they want. California has been trying to split into four states for decades. Southern, central, Populated north and rural north. Gets thrown out every time it’s brought up.

      • Why everything south of Grape Vine doesn’t just join Baha is beyond me – if tyhey could then exit baja from the whole of Mexico it would be a neat hard working country and kick out the coyotes and cartels….yeah, there’s a dream for you…

      • George, Baja is mostly Americans anyway. Most, if not all of Cabo is Snowbirds from the north and The west coasters with time shares and second homes. Might as well be annexed by Cali. One of my favorite places. Esparanza is a special place. Went there for my 30th wedding anniversary. Pricey, but worth it. Only a 3 hour flight, so a short trip. You can leave early on the morning and be on the beach by noon.

      • I see you also didn’t read THIS article before assuming you knew what it said. Okay, I’ll make it easy and throw you a couple quotes:

        “Frustrated by liberal policies, some Oregon residents petitioned to leave the state – by moving the border with Idaho westward.

        ““Rural counties have become increasingly outraged by laws coming out of the Oregon Legislature that threaten our livelihoods, our industries, our wallet, our gun rights, and our values,” Mike McCarter, one of the chief petitioners, said in a news release. “We tried voting those legislators out, but rural Oregon is outnumbered and our voices are now ignored. This is our last resort.”

        “The Greater Idaho would then be the only West Coast state that is a conservative red coastal state. We would then truly be representing conservative values with rural constituents,” Leif explained.”

        Some people find “freedom” a more-worthwhile pursuit than wealth. It is ABSOLUTELY about “the politics,” that this initiative is coming about.

  26. First product issue..from products being held up because of supply chain dissruption.
    Retort canned chicken breasts..
    The brand I usually buy is retort canned in …CHINA… I went to order and was told that at this vfc time they are out at the warehouse and they are on order.. but they cant give me a date that they will arrive..
    So I am going to buy thirty pounds of chicken breasts and retort can them myself..that should give me a years worth.
    That’s another issue to. Retort bags. I will order more of those to before they cant get any.
    I will retort can hamburger and one of my favorites bratwurst and hot dogs since I’m the only one that eats those I can retort can them then it’s a quick heat up away.

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