Coping: A Manufactured Ammo Shortage? Ha!

My friend Howard disagrees with my contention that government buying and federal pressure is the reason for the ammo shortages in America.  In fact, he sent me a very long emails about this:


“I’m amazed how frequently you don’t listen to your own core principles. For example, if everything’s a business model, then why can’t you see that who profits is the main way to see who is causing a situation?


Thursday, you repeated the completely spurious conspiracy theory (not once, but twice!) that Obama and the supposedly anti-gun crowd have engineered an ammunition shortage.  Complete bull shit, to put it mildly.


Who profits? If every deranged and even the sane gun nuts are frightened into buying mass quantities of ammunition, the same way they bought guns from a bogus fear of shortages and seizures during the first four years of the ONLY ADMINISTRATION TO EXPAND GUN RIGHTS IN OVER 50 YEARS, then the manufacturers and right wing fund raisers make out like bandits, which they are.


1) Plant fear of what might happen that will create shortages or even outright banning.

2) Schedule a plant shutdown or other temporary supply chain interruption.

3) Release tons of mainstream media press with video shots of empty shelves.

4) Double the price of the product, all the while selling more units.


Rinse and repeat.

Read moreCoping: A Manufactured Ammo Shortage? Ha!

Your Country Is In Trouble When….

This morning’s report is a bit longer than usual, but with good reason.  Despite the distractions of small-fry stories of late (babies and trials and such) there are a number of very big stories like the NSA spying mess which deserve thoughtful consideration because they will steer the country’s future.  So read this morning’s Coping section below.


Since our roots are economic, we start with the generalization that  “You know your country is in trouble when a lousy 1.8% annual growth rate” spurs the Dow toward new all-time highs.


Have we lost our freaking minds?


Not only has the ring-around-the-nose crowd ignored historical precedents, but worse, seems damn few are able to comprehend that living on borrowed money eventually ends badly.  Especially when the bookies we’ve been borrowing from (can you say China?) come knocking looking for dough.


While economic leadership both in Washington and NY should be checked into rehab, out comes this morning’s report on job cuts from Challenger, Gray, and Christmas:


CHICAGO, August 1, 2013 – Job cuts declined slightly in July, as employers announced plans to reduce payrolls by 37,701 workers, down 4.2 percent from 39,372 planned layoffs in June, according to the latest report on monthly job cuts released Thursday by global outplacement consultancy Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.



Last month’s total was 2.3 percent higher than a year ago, when 36,855 planned job cuts were recorded. Employers have now announced 296,633 job cuts since January 1, which is 7.3 percent fewer than the 319,946 job cuts announced in the first seven months of 2012. At the current pace of downsizing, which is averaging 42,376 job cuts per month, 2013 will come in below the 2012 year-end total of 523,362, which was the lowest annual total since 1997 (434,350). “


Still, no one seems to care and this week’s revisions to how GDP is calculated seems intent on continuing the national delusion as long as possible by a sneaky upward revision in GDP based on “virtual goods.”


With the market set to open a hundred points higher this morning, the next upside level for the S&P seems to be the 1,740 range.   In the meantime, tomorrow morning we’ll get new “offishul” unemployment data which will no doubt show the continuing decline in the number of ‘Mericans still working….


Yet despite the certainty of collapse when the dollar dies in a heap, anything less than disaster oughta goose the market up even more. 


No point checking into rehab until we have to.  At gunpoint.


Speaking of the Loan Makers

Loved the email from our resident war gamer this morning, since we’re on borrowing from China…


“George,   I enjoy a nice container of Chinese now and then, but it seems my “live in fame or go down in flames” USAF plans a different way to “contain” some (or all) Chinese.     


The rub with treating a rising superpower like one’s enemy is that they might actually BECOME one’s enemy. 


But then, for all we know, they might have ALWAYS been the enemy.  Someone must assume that mantle for the world to be right.   So look for some strategic te ta te between the Dragon Empire of the Eastern Pacific and “the land of the free” in the days and years to come.  As you frequently remind your faithful legions, “everything is a business model.”    Cheers, “


Maybe  Robert Ringer’s book is still making the rounds. Winning Through Intimidation.


Near as I can figure it, my friend, its an infinitesimally small move from “creditor” to “enemy….  Now, since we’re in the moneychanger mindset…


Creative Mortgage Solution?

Keep an eye on Richmond, California, where the city is trying to use eminent domain to take over a block of 624 private homes which the city could get for 25-cents on the dollar.


Am I the only one who notices that at the macro level, mob rule is arriving with government taking of private property likely to go crazy?


Just this morning there’s discussion in New Jersey of using eminent domain at the Jersey Shore. 


There may be a silver lining in eminent domain, however:


Near as I can figure it, one way for Detroit to get out of bankruptcy would be to employ some creative finance:  Use eminent domain to confiscate all property that’s unoccupied for six months for nearly nothing, then refi it, and lease it back for 99-years or offer it for sale dirt cheap. Take the spread and have fun.  Detroit could own lowest cost of living of anywhere in ‘Merica.


So much so, in fact, that “Detroiting” could become a new national model….of course it screws the CMO holders, but mob rule doesn’t care, even if that would trash CMO holders which might include banks which in turn would….forget that, the only ripple that matters is this one in today’s muni finance world.


Continuing with my Structured Finance 503 lecture,  selling the existing city to a New Detroit Public Corp, (a municipal corporation) then allows us to strip out the retirement obligations of old Detroit, which in corporate terms would be a leftover shell with only retirement obligations and those could be dumped on Obamacare and Social Security when our buyout of the Old Detroit ends a few billion short of what they need… sh*t like this is common on the private side, so wtf, why not in public finance?


New Detroit becomes a city-state unto itself and a little India of the Midwest…


Hell, I should run for office.


Mexico’s Slo-Mo  Revolution

Of course the MSM isn’t calling it that, but the drug cartel whacked a Mexican Navy admiral this week and so now arrests are underway.


Between Mexico and Afghanistan, do we need to invent a new word like drugvolution?


More After This…




“Designed in California”?

While a certain computer company mentions where a lot of product engineering is done, we notice the report that they seem, according to this report, to be parking $82.7 billion offshore.


Of course, Apple is not alone:  HP, Intel, and Google have many billions offshore, too.  Clearly, designed in California must refer to tax planning=.


I figure if a product is sold in America, it oughta be taxed as though made here, since to do otherwise simply shoved jobs to India and China and no, that’s not protectionism  so much as self-preservation. 


Especially since Fearless Leader is planning to give yet more tax gifts to BigCorps and punish small business with still higher tax rates.  You can tell who’s administration has thrown in with the corporate coup, huh?


Quake Watching, Doom Porning

There was a post on Godlike Productions last night which predicted a 10.0 -plus quake this morning in the Marianas Trench/Challenger Deep area and said everyone should seek shelter.


We’d sort of los interest in global coastal events, but the specificity of this one made it past our filters.   If you’re reading this, it didn’t happen.  If you are reading this after the fact, then whoever this poster is deserves immense respect and someone in government oughta talk to ’em about who their connection is and how that works.

Meantime, as we sailed last “doom time” we note that disaster porn is as rampant as always.  Just the other day I got flooded with emails about the much heralded “black hole in the sun” report that had people scrambling to get under the bed.


With about 30-seconds of clear-headed thinking the worries were dismissed around here:  First because the photos of the sun were several weeks old and thus any “piece that broke off and was heading for earth” should have destroyed the planet weeks ago.


Then there’s the little matter of it only being an area of dim infrared which (not to be an I-told-you-so’er) is common because the Sun is having an epic fail solar peak which will leave the earth much, much cooler over coming years.


And if you do a simple search on “record lows” you’ll find that this past weekend in Illinois involved records to the downside.  The cold drew down the Mississippi to St.

Read moreYour Country Is In Trouble When….

Coping: With the Reality of XKeyscore

It’s not very often that we nail use-case and software development as accurately as this, but  a couple of weeks ago I wrote up for readers [SUBSCRIBE] how to develop a scoring algorithm for electronic surveillance of an entire country.


After you go here and read how “NSA tool collects ‘nearly everything a user does on the internet‘ come back here and read how such systems, even using meta data, can pose a serious risk to personal freedom.


In the interest of wider public discussion, here’s the “How it could work” part of that Peoplenomics report from July 20th:


— Peoplenomics extract —


“Let me run through an example of how this can work.  As a practical matter, the first thing you’ll need will be a huge government data center. As luck would have it, exactly such a center is now under construction in Utah. In terms of what will feed into this megalithic computer empire, we already know that bank and credit card transaction information is likely to be there, metadata about cell phone calls and possibly landline communications as well.

As long as we’re at it, let’s also toss in a real-time feed from Google which can be traced back to your Internet protocol numerical address. That could give government keen insight into the kinds of websites we’re visiting, which in turn will reflect our personal tastes and philosophies of life.  Sexual peccadilloes, too, if any.

In the book I begin with the example of a John Doe who wakes up to the sound of a colleague from work calling him on the phone.

“Hello, this is John, who’s this?”

“Hi John, this is Abu and services in IT at the office, and I wanted to talk to you about your computer. You know, I have been working on it and I would like to have your permission to backup your hard drive over the Internet because you’ve apparently had a head crash at some point and you’re experiencing errors. Would that be okay with you John?”

“Well, sure Abu of course you can and thanks for calling. I have some pictures of my wife on their from her birthday party and I wouldn’t want those to get lost, but you guys in the IT department do what you need to do.  I’ll be in early on Monday in case anything needs attention that.

Read moreCoping: With the Reality of XKeyscore

Colors of Money

Although I can fairly be accused of being something of a whiner about how the US economy is managed, I’m usually right more than 50% of the time in the end. And president Obama’s likely nomination of Larry Summers, if it happens, likely would improve my batting average even further. Nevertheless, I’ve come up with an idea this week which would – at a stroke – make congress, the White House, and the American people seem 50 IQ points smarter when it comes to money and economics overnight.  While you let that one roll around in the noggin, we’ll stop to smell the headlines and the coffee…Say, did I mention growth sucks?

Read moreColors of Money

Housing: Still Semi-Stuck


As expected, the Case-Shiller/S&P Housing Index came out this morning and the accompanying press release goes like this:


“New York, July 30, 2013 – Data through May 2013, released today by S&P Dow Jones Indices for its S&P/Case-Shiller1 Home Price Indices, the leading measure of U.S. home prices, showed increases of 2.5% and 2.4% for the 10- and 20-City Composites in May versus April. Dallas and Denver reached record levels surpassing their pre-financial crisis peaks set in June 2007 and August 2006.

Read moreHousing: Still Semi-Stuck

Coping: Lyle Alzado, Vitamin B-50 & Vitamin Testing

To borrow a station promo from WOAI in San Antonio overnight (1200 AM if you’re in the area) “Don’t take new vitamin B-50 unless you want to end up like Lyle Alzado.”  The station is running special reports this morning on the vitamin, if I follow correctly.


Here’s what we can “dot-connect” here:  Lyle Alzado was one hellavah fine football player – and also one of the first to admit taking anabolic steroids and fessing up publicly (details may be found here).  He died at age 43 of brain cancer – which he attributed to steroids.


Fast forward to this week and we have a warning from the Food and Drug Administration that certain B-50 compounding may contain steroids.  From the official press release…


“…the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is warning consumers that they should not use or purchase Healthy Life Chemistry By Purity First B-50, marketed as a vitamin B dietary supplement. A preliminary FDA laboratory analysis indicated that the product contains two potentially harmful anabolic steroids—methasterone, a controlled substance, and dimethazine. These ingredients are not listed in the label and should not be in a dietary supplement.


“Products marketed as a vitamin but which contain undisclosed steroids pose a real danger to consumers and are illegal,” said Howard Sklamberg, director of the Office of Compliance in the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. “The FDA is committed to ensuring that products marketed as vitamins and dietary supplements do not pose harm to consumers.”


The FDA has received reports of 29 adverse incidents associated with the use of Healthy Life Chemistry By Purity First B-50.  These reports include fatigue, muscle cramping, and myalgia (muscle pain), as well as abnormal laboratory findings for liver and thyroid function, and cholesterol levels. Females who used this product reported unusual hair growth and missed menstruation, and males who used the product reported impotence and findings of low testosterone.


Consumers using Healthy Life Chemistry By Purity First B-50 who experience any of these symptoms should consult a health care professional and report their experience to the FDA. Using anabolic steroid-containing products may cause acute liver injury. Some of the cases reported have resulted in hospitalization, but there were no reports of death or acute liver failure….”


I’m one of those people who believes that moderate use of vitamins and nutrient supplementations over time can improve one’s health, but as always we recommend regular blood work and close coordination with your healthcare professional. 


My own daily vitamin/nutrient regimen  consists of celery seed, lots of vitamin C, magnesium, L-arginine, black cherry extract, turmeric, huperzine, and bilberry/lutein.  On top of this is a good solid multi-vit plus zinc and a baby aspirin with a meal.  Every other day a small amount of boron and a B-complex formulated for allergies. 


This is not a recommendation – again, see your health professional.  It does, however, seem to work for me.  I think the way to test vitamins is to add one to your regimen, use it for a month, and note any difference in weight and how you feel.  Blood pressure and periodical blood work-ups periodically, too.


My collection of “additives” works well:  The celery is a mild diuretic which works excess salt through the system.  The magnesium is to hedge against heart disease.

Read moreCoping: Lyle Alzado, Vitamin B-50 & Vitamin Testing

March to City/States: Obamacare to Save Detroit?

We can’t help but notice from raw irony in how Detroit, due back in bankruptcy court this week, could become a poster child for Obamacare. 


The reason, as the New York Times explains in more detail over here, is that by pushing (early) retiree healthcare off onto the Obamacare system, that would reduce the city’s future financial obligations and, depending on how you push the numbers around, could become a keystone to working out a plan to avoid bankruptcy proceedings from moving ahead.


Not that other cities are not having a tough go of it, as well.  Chicago is quickly burning through its cash reserves and we have to wonder if mayor Rahm Emmanuel shouldn’t have spent more time playing SimCity when younger.


“Hand me that 5/8ths Woonsocket, would’ja?” 

That Rhode Island city, not to be confused with the similar-looking left-handed skyhook, is increasing property taxes 23 percent.  By doing so, they take another bold step toward being the first city in America to taxing people more than they make…a sadly crowded field, indeed.


As we spiral in on Ben Bernanke’s departure and the arrival of (please God, not him!) Larry Summers at the fed, has a useful resource that shows government unit are marching out back for that final cigarette before the blindfold and wall


The real solution, which readers will receive in Wednesday’s report, is going to uniform government worker retirement programs and multi-color currency.  I know that’ll keep you guessing, but I’ve been rereading lots of (first) Depression economic books of late, including some rare ones, and it’s amazing how much of what we’re facing now has been around before.


The Week Ahead

Since this is the end of the month this week, we should be braced for some predictable things that will happen.  Oh, sure, there is a pending home sales report due out later on this morning, but that’s not nearly as important as tomorrow’s Case Shiller/S&P Housing Index report which continues to be the gold standard of non-government truth detectors.  Housing prices stuck at 2003 by a month on month happy chart would be my dart toss.


Speaking of truth hurts, then on Wednesday morning, our “First Things” section in Peoplenomics will be assessing the new GDP figures.  This is always a statistical nightmare being the worst mash-up on self-referential percentages imaginable.  Once we get down to the actual constant dollars up or down of it, we can then infer whether the collapsing velocity of money will continue down, or whether it will try to level off a bit.


And one other economic highlight to keep an eye on is the price of gold which usually has some kind of a month-end beat down so the commercials can sop up something to deliver. 


As any summer Monday should be, this promises to be a somewhat predictable week, after all.


More After This…




The Point of Iraq?

Oh, sure, we went into Iraq to develop ways to control people’s harvesting of heritage seeds, develop purple finger inks, and defend the West’s interest in heavy duty oil reserves.


But now that will pulling back to the US mega consulate, we see a wave of sectarian violence returning with more than 60 Shi’ites killed in the latest bloodshed.


Down the trench a ways, we have Syria’s government scoring a major victory over rebels (backed by the west) in Homs.


Continuing our matutinal stroll southward, we hear Israel whining about the price of peace talks.


Then, before heading to the throne room (as a result of all this exercise), we finish up at the south end of Western influence with Egypt disorder causing much hand-wringing in places like the Wall Street Journal.


It is, sorry to say, same hike and the same crap, as most mornings.  Maybe for tomorrow’s stroll, we’ll do the other side of the sandbox.  Whatever.


Hot Reader News Tips

We get plenty of news tips from readers about stories that may not be getting front page (above the fold) play in the mainstream media, but which have captured reader attention.  Here’s a sampling of where reader revelations are pointing today:

Coping: Filling Nostradamus

Our long-term reader/contributor G.A. Stewart (which he’s not off being a techie) is one of the world’s leading Nostradamus thinkers.  His website over at is where he sells a thoughtful book on how modern times are fulfilling many of the prophecies of M. Nostradamus, whose history you can catch up on at Wikipedia.


Since I like to keep you abreast of things – preferably before they happen – we have an interesting discussion of how some hints of things to come may be coming along over the next year, or so:




Got to thinking…   1260 DAYS AND TWO WITNESSES FROM THE BOOK: May 23, 2013: “One thousand two hundred and threescore days” from December 10,2009 and Barack Obama’s Nobel Peace Prize.


I think the two witnesses have flown under the radar in the countless riots that have erupted in the United States and Europe. Nondescript, they are fighting the good fight and they will probably appear somewhere around May 23, 2013.


MAY 20, 2013 Edward Snowden… leaked details of several top-secret U.S. and British government mass surveillance programs to the press. Snowden left Hawaii for Hong Kong on May 20, 2013…

MAY 23, 2013 Code Pink’s Medea Benjamin Interrupts Obama Speech The Code Pink activist confronted the President on drones, Gitmo  


Also take a look at this, maybe you can work with it on your bench.  


Nostradamus Sixain XXVII

Fire from space from the Western side,

From the mid heaven, running to the East,

Worms half dead without finding a root.

Third Age of Mars the warlike,

One will see fires shining from the Carbuncles,

The age of the Carbuncle will bring famine in the end.

Read moreCoping: Filling Nostradamus