Coping: Wujo or “Big Data”

Here’s an interesting story to get the kinks out from between the ears this morning:

Dear Mr Ure,

I have been a long time reader.  Something odd happened today.  My house phone rang and I ignored it.  Then my cell phone rang.  The person asked for Valeria Brooks.  She said it was in response to a medical alert.

I have had my current home phone number for 5 years.  Valeria was the last person to have that number so I occasionally get calls for her.

Here is the odd thing.  Well, actually a couple of odd things.  I called the number back as it read on my cell phone.  A recorded message stated that the company had received my phone number when I answered an internet ad on my computer about job opportunities.  It had nothing to do with a medical alert.  I also never look for job opportunities.

My house phone is a land line and is hooked up to AT&T.  My internet is on a separate line from Fidelity.  (Yes, I know it is stupid to have 2 different providers.) There should be no way to get my home phone from my computer line.
My cell phone is only 6 months old.  There is no way that it could be connected to Valeria Brooks. 

Somehow, it is possible to call cell phones within a house if you know the house land line phone number.  I thought that this was really weird.
Thanks for listening.
Eleanor

Hell, this is exactly the kind of cluster-blank that is embedded in the government’s use of Big Data files.  So here’s how it likely worked:

    • An old primary data source said Valeria lived here.
    • New data files were imported, but the key field never updates the name change.
    • Now, as additional files have come in, the new information is subordinate to Valeria, not Eleanor.

    This, boys and girls is the fun part of Big Data – and it’s why you never want to fill out anything other than a name on your loyalty cards…never any birth date, social, number of people living at home, or anything like that.

    In fact, I would occasionally – just to make life interesting – make up letters (using old billing envelopes from the local utilities – and put some other person’s name on them and mail them to your home address.

    You see, at some point, government will realize after XXX bad Swat raids, or whatever, that their databases are high corrupted by this parent/child data file issue.

    Of course, the answer is simple:  You just take a good bill that goes to the home – like a water or power bill – an have the Post Office (which photographs everything) simply use optical character recognition (OCR) and write back as a parent to the master index of persons associated with YYY address.

    Since it is not presently illegal to mail yourself a “pretend” bill (which you can toss out any time you want, ergo no evidence) it might establish that Valeria still lives there and so when the great roundup comes, there would be some question about where you actually live.

    Helps to move around every five years, or so, too, which is why we keep kicking around moving back onto a boat and just pay transient moorage.

    Say, if there any law on how often you can change a boat name?  I mean if it’s not a documented boat, state registered only?  I know, don’t ask so many questions…

    Close Shaves / In Defense of Beards

    Not only did I weed-whack another field of facial hair yesterday, but I got a haircut as well, since my retired bro-in-law Panama does a better job of cutting hair that everything short of a $100 barber.  This morning I got some solid advice from one of out 1,321 Bills who read this site advising me that beards don’t necessarily make you look older:

    So geo, in regard your comments on Monday.  Beard makes you look older.  I strongly disagree.

    I started wearing a beard in about 1980.  Once I shaved it off about 1995 and the result was so horrible and made me look much older and more decrepit.  So I promptly grew it back, have had it ever since.
    Here is the deal.  You do know that the flesh under your chin and down toward your neck becomes slack or loose as you age.  It is a dead give away that a person is very old and worn out.  So, simple, cover that up by having a nice full beard. 

    Because I have followed a healthy diet and supplements and exercise since I was a child I look younger than my age,  (dad was a doc who believed in supplements even in the 40’s and good healthy simple food).  As a result of a career in Computers (Main Frames Guru I was) the stress turned my hair white at about 31 (adrenal exhaustion methinks).
    So, because the beard covers the loose flesh thing under my chin, people routinely think I am much younger than my actual age.  The other perk is that at Christmas all the little kids are totally sure that I am Santa.
    Something for you to ponder.

    I mean, there some simple “man” things you have not got a grip on yet.  You being 64, well I am 79 so your outranked.

    For shaving with a blade.  Especially since you will have a full beard with mustache.  I use those inexpensive plastic BIC shavers for sensitive skin.  Get a bag of them for less than 3 bucks usually.  Works great, each one lasts for maybe 6 or 8 shaves no prob. At least.
    So there you have it, and free advice too :-)”

    Probably the best note came from reader Chris who suggested shaving in the shower was best, with a mirror in there.  I’ve thought about that, but the kind of mirror that hangs off the shower head doesn’t work for me, since I put the shower head up extra high (it would work if I were 6’4” or so).  Besides, I am a huge fan of those flexible shower heads like the Delta Faucet 75700 Universal Showering Components 7-Setting Handshower, Chrome ($28, Amazon).

    The reason I like the hand shower head is you can use it for pressure washing any particularly difficult to reach areas.  I would hook up our electric pressure washer (similar to the AR Blue Clean AR383 1,900 PSI 1.5 GPM 14 Amp Electric Pressure Washer with Hose Reel) and use that, but I’d worry about electricity and water and me in the middle of it.  The hand-held shower head is great.

    From the Kids

    Oh-oh…the kids nailed me on my vaccine remarks and peanut allergies:

    DAD, 

    The original study that seemed to link autism with vaccines was later found to be falsified evidence.  He lied.  Bad science.  

    Vaccines are not causing the allergy/autism epidemic.  I personally think it our exposure to toxic chemicals, the horrible terrible diet of average Westerners, and lack of germ exposure that is causing them.  Not vaccines.  

    Parents who don’t vaccinate their kids are baby killing nut jobs.  ‘Baby killing?’  Yes. Baby killing.  Whooping cough can be fatal to infants and currently Washington state currently has the highest infection and infant mortality rate from this bug since the 1940’s thanks to parents refusing to vaccinate their kids.  Cute little babies are dying because people like you link to bullshit articles of lies, like “Peanut allergy epidemic”  

    One of my stupid friends actually suggested on Facebook that she be given the option of sending her kids to a ‘vaccine-free’ school.  Because vaccines were so toxic and bad.  Are you kidding me?  One germ would kill 20% of the kids in that school in a few weeks time.  Vaccines might have some gnarly chemicals, but what is the alternative?  Letting kids get sick and die of measles and mumps like we did in the 1800’s?  

    I am pro-Vaccine.  I texted George to talk to you because right now, you are believing lies and promoting them on your website.  You are a threat to public health.  Please cease and desist. 

    My kids weren’t the only ones to spot the hole in my thinking.  Reader Dean offers this:

    George I read your short article on possible links between rates of autism and peanut allergies and you implied that you feel vaccines etc may be responsible, please look up a recent study by MIT on autism, the study found links between use of pesticides on our food supply, most specifically Round Up, it also found links to other problems like allergies, immuno deficiency etc. I noticed also the MSM is keeping this very important research paper quiet so as not to suppress Monsanto’s profits, yet another reeason to raise your own food or buy from your local organic farmer.

    OK, what was the other big environmental health thing that changed back there?  How about aspartame (thanks, Rumsfeld).  Is there a correlation there?  Here’s a 2012 PubMed listing suggesting the link is to formaldehyde derived from aspartame.  And a link between aspartame and migraines… and how about the paper “Systemic contact dermatitis of the eyelids caused by formaldehyde derived from aspartame?”

    OK, kids, vaccines work – I know that and no argument. 

    But if you really want to help solve a problem, how do we get PubMed to make the full texts available on anti-aspartame studies, most of which are done outside the US?

    On the good foods side, Douglas sends a note to mention coconut oil seems to be pretty good.

    Reader’s Writes: Who to Believe

    Say, here’s one with a none-too-friendly tone to it:

    I couldn’t help notice your expert article about the effects of ionizing radiation from the self-proclaimed expert on the biological effects of ionizing radiation. Here you have a screw- headed, glorified mechanical engineer, who probably got a certificate in nuclear engineering. Not health physics, not medicine, not radiation toxicology. He is expounding his expert knowledge on the biological effects of plutonium, strontium, and cesium en masse on large populations.

    Read moreCoping: Wujo or “Big Data”

    The Story Being Missed Is….

    The fear-mongering headlines are back:  al Qaeda this (threats to bomb trained in Europe) and al Qaeda that (urges attacks on US diplomats) .  And then we can toss in the dead of Egypt this weekend, worries that oil and gas routes could become “iffy”, and then there’s the matter of the 25 Egyptian police killed near the Sinai.  But that’s NOT the story to be worried about.

    The real story – and the one which the US can not afford to lose because of its economic implications is the one unfolding in slow-motion in Saudi Arabia.  Yes, we’re talking the Saudis who recently gave $2-billion to the military government of Egypt.

    But unless you watch the non-mainstream media, you may not have noticed the rest of the fancy footwork going on as the parties involved are really scrambling to make sure that US policy-lynchpin Saudi Arabia does not become a participant in the democratic revolutions which have done things like brought president Morsi to power in Egypt, where he wasn’t hard enough for the West, so he’s out and the military is in charge.  For now.

    What’s far more telling is the report on Russia Today (RT) last week that a Saudi prince – Khaled Bin Farhan Al-Saud – has defected to the West because of the suppression of democratic reforms in Saudi lands. This key development has not been missed by Iran’s government press which reports how a “Saudi prince slams Riyadh crackdown, corruption” and these are very hot keywords in the contexting being played on both sides.

    And a second indication of the seriousness of the Saudi internals comes as we notice that as the weekend drew to a close “Saudi prince Alwaleed fires TV preacher for Brotherhood Links.”

    A closer look at recent actions of billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal reveals that he is trying to walk a very difficult balance here.  On the one hand, he is trying to keep the MuBros from gaining a foot in Saudi homelands, any more than the Wahabi already have, and yet at the same time he’s already said that proposed oil and gas fracking for petroleum would cause a threat to the Kingdom.

    When we look at other telltales around the Saudis, we notice that prince Abdul Aziz bin Fahd has put up his high-end home on the UK’s Billionaire Row, which though it may only fetch $100-million, or so, looks to be another subtle move of Saudi royals departing from a strictly business-as-usual profile.

    Still, agitation aside, there is still plenty of “break and circuses” to be had such as the Saudi-Prince Faisal Cup karate tournament which opened Sunday.

    While most analysts might miss it, there’s a haunting echo off World War I and the future of the then Austro-Hungarian throne which might be drawn to present events in Saudi Arabia.  This is made abundantly clear in a recent Peoplenomics report, where we noted the combinatorial effects of the four mini-Depressions prior to the final blow-off top which led to the Great Depression in America.

    As we survey who could be the modern-era echo to Archduke Ferdinand, our attention is focused now, as back then, on where the lynchpin real estate is, and thus, where the highest regional risk to America’s security may be found.

    And let’s not forget to toss in the report out this weekend that the CIA has admitted to masterminding the 1953 coup in Iran, which you know will be turned into anti-US propaganda in no time.

    Time’s up:  Here’s the Iranian report, which, when you think about it, sure has a rhyme with present-day events in Egypt.

    You know you’re in trouble with John McCain says the US has no creds left in that part of the world.  But stating the obvious is what people in office do a lot of…

    Make or Break Week

    After the decline of last week, the futures are painting about a flat open for the trading week, but we should have a clue before the week is out whether the decline will stop in the present range, or whether events will include a further decline to come.

    In overnight action, we saw a modest decline in China but a decent-sized rally in Japan.  Carrying on over into Europe this morning, a negative tone is coming in as France and Germany began to slide and that took the UK with it.

    So even if the US markets seem like they may experience a bit of an opening bounce, the international market weighs.

    Down slightly (about $4) gold seems likely to continue its recent strength to the $1,390 to $1,410 range, but as always, this is not trading advice.

    More after this

    Selling the Security State

    So now chief Kelly of the NYPD says the “stop and frisk” ruling (unconstitutional) will risk more crime in Gotham.  But wait a minute chief!  Couldn’t we end all crime by locking everyone  up?  Gosh, then we could do away with courts, cops, attorneys….yeah, sounds like a fine plan!

    Another Birth Certificate

    In the great swing of the social pendulum (8-11 year cycle) we wryly observe that in 2008 it was the right-wing conservatives who were questioning Obama’s right to hold office.  Now, we ought to find out if the shoe fits on the other foot now that Texas senator Ted Cruz has turned his birth certificate over to the Dallas Morning News.  Shows he was born in Canada to an American mother which yes, makes it possible for him to be president.

    Who will be the first liberal to argue he can’t run?  Balance in Universe argues one (or more) will.

    Obamacare Pushback

    The Chicago Tribune is not exactly chump change when it comes to newspapers and especially when the guy in the White House has been a long-time windy city resident.  But here it comes:  The Trib has thrown its considerable weight behind delaying Obamacare.  A reasonable quote:

    Bottom line: Let’s delay and rewrite this ill-conceived law. Congress need not start from scratch.

    Read moreThe Story Being Missed Is….

    Coping: I Wiskerman

    Back almost 30-years ago my kids got me an electric razor for Christmas and it’s been doing a reasonably good job of keeping my face mowed ever since.  Except that recently – maybe it’s from looking in the mirror too long – I’ve begun to find fault with what I see.  I choose to blame the razor.

    The difference is almost like the difference between a bush hogging job and a finish mower, to put it in local agricultural terms.

    Not that the old razor has seen continuous use, either:  For months on end, a small Wahl trimmer kept up the facial landscape with just an occasional trim as in winter I often grow a beard or mustache.  But this year I’m not inclined to do that, having read that a beard makes a person look up to eight years older than they are. I don’t need the help.   And the mustache with a winter cold is always Kleenex challenge so this winter I may stay clean-shaven unless we get snow.

    In shaving, the state of the art changes…and my face being an important part of my persona, I’ve decided to look around and see what’s what and likely buy a replacement for the Norelco three-header that has done so well for so long.

    A Gizmodo article rates a high-end Norelco at the top heap, so the odds are good that I will pop for the Philips Norelco 1250X/40 SensoTouch 3D Electric Razor which at $180 seems a bit steep, but not as bad as the ritual of having cans of shaving crème (which I’ve had go off in the luggage, always fun) and blades which (if you’re over 60 and doing the half-a-baby-aspirin-daily routine) can leave the bathroom looking like a murder scene.

    My research in this reveals that the average man spends about 3-minutes a day shaving.  I timed how long it took to remove three days worth of stubble (15 minutes for the rough and another 10 for a putting green finish) and more solidly-based figures suggest that should have been 9-10 minutes; 12 tops.

    Either the razor is just plain wearing out, or thanks to my vitamins I’ve started growing Kevlar.

    As a cost containment measure, I’ll look around for the model number on the old triple-header.  Maybe a tune-up with new heads would help. 

    One shaving tip if you’ve got a shop:  An air nozzle on your compressor at about 100-PSI is about the fastest razor cleaning system I’ve found.  And, working outside (tractoring) puts just enough of a dust layer on the face that the stubble stands up well, no need for alcohol or powder first.  Unless it’s over 85 and you’re all sweaty, in which case shaving after showering can take hours because the beard goes into fall-over mode.

    How many times have I told you “Everything’s a Business Model?”  Even shaving is being well-monetized:  There’s a very good website called www.theartofshaving.com but it leans toward the traditional bladed approach.  While I appreciate a good, close blade cut, the smell of mentholated crème,, a splash of bracer afterwards, those relaxing “art shaves” are for courtings, weddings, and undertakers, as I figure it.  That would be “lost count” “three” and zero (for now) if you’re keeping score.  I’m sure there’s a profound lesson in there about diminishing returns, too. 

    One of these days either Toro, WeedEater, or Stihl will come out with a razor that could cut face-time cut in half.  With the American obsession with “productivity,” how long can we avoid Bush Hog getting into the space, too?  Given how the Labor Department counts things, a 20% reduction in shaving time could boost the economic recovery 70%, too.

    If there wasn’t work to do, we could spend the rest of the morning discussing this and other important-to-males topics:  How to cut and light a cigar properly (I’m a wooden match guy) and what to have with the cigar (VSOP works), but for now, it’s on to the oatmeal and treadmill…which is about as contrary to a proper lifestyle of luxury as can be imagined.  Unless it’s Mccann’s Steel Cut Oatmeal, 28-Ounce Tin (Pack of 4), of course, but even then I like half-and-half and brown sugar, so what’s the point?

    Well, that leads logically to….

    Toilet Paper Poll

    Have you ever wondered how paper companies decide how much clay and softeners to put in toilet paper?  How many plies, how much cushion, quilted or not?  Ease of tearing, or puncture resistance…especially fun on April Fool’s Day?

    It occurred to me this morning that there must be a effort being made somewhere polling for toilet paper makers and yet in all of my 64-years I have never read about such research, nor have I been asked to take part.

    Just kind of curious if you know of anyone who has been asked? 

    Morning’s like this with the world situation as it is, the question just seems obvious…can you help us flush out the details?

    My logic?  Thought you’d never ask:  I think there is a marvelous one-last-bit of economic largess to be had by introducing “His & Hers” toilet paper.  You know, segment that market into absurdity live everything else!

    I envision a proper bathroom with a “His” dispenser loaded with (Old Spice? Right Guard?) scented TP.  “Hers” would be Obsession or Este Lauder.  The kid’s would be “Kids” and would be unscented, except in California where I’m confident a coalition would demand selecting his or hers at age three, and too bad if you get this one wrong.

    I’m telling you there are millions to be made in this TP differentiation model!  

    Oh, and for pet owners, who clean their pet’s…err….this is indelicate, but how about a Whiskas or Gravy Train scented wipe, since animals are going to err…. regardless so….HOLD IT!  OK, a little too much invention time this morning. 

    It’s probably just as well:  I was about to tell you my idea for a line of gourmet-flavored personal lubricants.  Pizza, popcorn, and beef tenderloin might be novel….

    A Note on Peanut Allergies

    Reader Mary sent along this:

    Thought you would be interested in this article, explaining how it all began — very thorough:

    A link to the article “Peanut Allergy Epidemic:  What Everyone Needs to Know” contains a wealth of inflation.  But if you don’t have time to go read it right now, the main point is that the uptick in peanut allergies has paralleled the uptick in autism which all seem correlated back to the docs going heavy on injections, inoculations, and kids up with serums for this and that.

    I’ll have to ask my most sensitive daughter (Denise) to look up he shot history from the big health cooperative in the Puget Sound area to see what she go when.  (Nickel says that like exact birth times which are disappearing, shot histories going back xx- years will begin to disappear, too…)

    Fly Drones?

    Reader Roberta sent in details about an odd encounter with a fly:

    Hi George!

    Some months ago, you had asked for stories of birds acting weird. I hesitated to write at that time (to see if anyone else would mention it) but my story involves flies. With no fear.

    Either they very occasionally act like Australia’s flies (kamikaze, seeking moisture of one’s breath) or they are too mellow. I just escorted one out a few minutes ago by putting him in a cup, and after taking the cup outside, he would not fly away. I had to flick him onto a bush.

    Read moreCoping: I Wiskerman

    Prospects and Productivity

    Well, let’s try this again…  The US markets had a bad case of news-granola induced runs yesterday, dropping 225-points on the Dow and putting our current short trade decidedly in the black, but as Peoplenomics readers know, the trading model still says “Long!”  Confusing times these are indeed.  As we slip and slide along toward a long wave Kondratiev 60-year cycle bottom, we can expect further declines but in an irregular fashion until later this year when the astrological signs experts  (like Arch Crawford in that domain) and cycle gurus (like Peter Eliades) and Elliott sages (like Bob Prechter) are all fairly concerned. 

    Bbb’s article link there, by the way, is especially good since he explains how  “Declining C Waves are Devastating, No Place to Hide Except in Cash” which if fine if you have some.  Does the term “stack paper” mean anything to you?

    There are some other strategies which are not particularly cash-intensive which we’ll cover in Peoplenomics this weekend as we continue our musing into just how bad Wave C could be as part of our continuing exploration of prepping based on economic needs now arriving.

    Which gets us to this morning.  We’ve got some hot productivity number to go over, just out, but before we do, let’s check the calendar because a small bounce at the open is almost likely this morning for mechanical reasons.  Thursday’s close was when the option indices settled for the month.  The close today will be where equities (the underlying stocks) settle.

    It doesn’t take a rocket surgeon to figure out that if an index closes on Thursday down, a bounce Friday would let the commercials make some lunch money.  But by late session today, we could be trending down again (depending on news flow, of course) but next week will really tell the tale as to whether this old market has enough juice in it to make another run to the upside.  Looking at the MACD and a couple of other indicators, it’s a hung jury. 

    Although a “hanging jury” would vote for S&P 1,640 and maybe as low as 1,623.  The folks like me who wouldn’t ever be picked for the kind of jury duty where financial fates are decided would scream for an immediate hanging down at the 1,540 S&P level and somewhere thereafter, a cycle low in gold of anywhere from 770 to 1,100 to follow.

    But no such jury is likely to be empaneled, because despite the B-school theory, markets are no more rational than I am, so we arrive at the meaningful headline of the morning which is the productivity data:

    Nonfarm business sector labor productivity increased at a 0.9 percent annual rate during the second quarter of 2013, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. The increase in productivity reflects increases of 2.6 percent in output and 1.7 percent in hours worked.

    Read moreProspects and Productivity

    Coping: A Study in “Webanoia”

    What happens when you cross a high speed internet connection, high resolution video, too much spare time, and a mild case of paranoia?  It’s a phenomena I call “webanoia” and it showed up this morning as a well intended email from a reader:

    FYI  ????

    “Subject: 57 Vessels/Ships Anchored Off Shore of NJ, MD/VA
    To:

    I have no idea what this means.  The person whom I consider to be my best friend called this morning and mentioned it, saying “they aren’t friendly.”  That doesn’t deal with why the ships are there – they might have found an excellent fishing hole, for all I know.  I just know they’re there.  This would probably be a good weekend to have the gas tank filled, some extra cash and food around the house, etc.  Better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it.  “

    So this one is making the rounds, is it?  Well, here’s where use of date tools in search engines can be useful in trying to figure out how paranoid to be about things:

    The first thing we do is check on Maritime Traffic.com and note that they don’t show anything particularly unusual in the way of traffic off the East Coast.  Then we run though a selection of weather other satellite image sites and nothing pops so we then become a little suspect.  Surely, after all, if there were really 57 ships which weren’t friendly, government would be scrambling. 

    No signs of scramble.

    So about here we ask “Is this one of those hoaxes/honest mistakes that happens on the net?” 

    The story can be traced back to its earliest beginnings, and from there it lands on sides like InvestmentWatchBlog, and Before It’s News, and ibloga and FromThe Trenches.  then we find it on YouTube, LunaticOutput, earthchanges.ning.com and even Free North Carolina.blogspot and others.

    The point?  A scent of anything that even begins to smell like smoke is fanned up into a solid smolder on  the internet on conspiracy leaning sites in a process that takes about four days to work through the process.

    Oh…and what does the original source of the report, which as best we can figure was posted at the Godlike Productions site and there, the original posted an explanation on Tuesday of this week:

    “Ok folks..
    Here’s the deal. There does seem to be a glitch in the server where the ship info is coming from. The weather reports are coming from a few ships on the move instead of being anchored. But the older reports from some of those ships older locations while on the move are not being removed. Normally it’s one ship giving one report one location at a time. Old ship locations are not being removed from the map!
    Sorry for starting this thread. I should of dug further before posting this thread. But Like I said, I been using this program for 5 years and never had a problem.

    Read moreCoping: A Study in “Webanoia”

    Market Blowback – Consumer Prices Disappoint

    If I were sitting in the White House, I’d be having a hissy about now:  With all the economic stimulus going about we should be seeing some escalation in prices and that wouldn’t be all bad because a little bit of inflation, especially if it is predictable and reliable, is the greatest economic conveyor belt ever built.  Why?  Well, it allows the common man (or woman, or hybrid, I suppose) to buy a home with a modest down payment and then use the leverage of  inflation to make a few bucks and move up the food chain.

    The problem is (in case you’ve gone Rip Van Winkle for the past 20 years) when we get to the Kondratiev low/winter of the economic cycle, inflation disappears and we get deflation instead which I’ve described as “one-over virtuous cycle” or the reciprocal of good times keep getting better.  We’ve living the flip side of that and – as if there was any doubt – here’s the latest from the Bureau of Labor Statistics on Consumer Prices to make the [ugly, don’t stare at it too long] point:

    The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) increased 0.2 percent in July on a seasonally adjusted basis, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today.

    Over the last 12 months, the all items index increased 2.0 percent before seasonal adjustment. The rise in the seasonally adjusted all items index was the result of increases in a broad array of indexes including shelter, gasoline, apparel, and food.

    Despite the gasoline increase, the energy index rose only 0.2 percent as the natural gas and electricity indexes declined. The increase in the food index was caused by a sharp rise in the fruits and vegetables index; other food indexes were mixed. The index for all items less food and energy rose 0.2 percent in July, the third straight such increase. Along with the advances in the shelter and apparel indexes, the indexes for medical care, tobacco, and new vehicles all rose. In contrast, the indexes for household furnishings and operations, airline fares, and used cars and trucks all declined in July.

    The all items index increased 2.0 percent over the last 12 months.

    Read moreMarket Blowback – Consumer Prices Disappoint

    Coping: With 50% Stonehenge, 30% Scaliger

    A number of people have written over the past couple of days that I must surely have lost the remaining bits of my mind to question something so “obviously true” as Stonehenge, which as a video recounts was substantially “made up” in the period of modern history since 1900.  No, I don’t think so…and you may have more questions when I waltz you through a few…well let’s call them inconvenient truths.

    I use the term “made up” advisedly because I am not entirely sure of how much latitude should be given to the Stonehenge “reconstructors” who went about finding stones on the ground and then placed them where they believed them to belong and then insist that theirs is the only true possibility and that none other may exist. How much of the embedded “advanced knowledge” and presumed astronomical usage was due to liberties in stone placement?

    Let me back up a bit for some broader context where I’ll give you some important insight into how our view of history shapes modern thought.  On the one side of this discussion you have alternative archeology where a wide range of names like Eric Von Däniken, Graham Hancock, and Anatoly Fomenko may be found.  Some hint of extra-human events is in these, for sure. 

    Yet on the other side are the defenders of the current ruling paradigm and those who (citing the science they were taught) espouse a worldview that may also not be precisely as presented. 

    No worries, this other side also believes in extra-human events, except that they hold the current intellectual high ground having their views “officialized” in rituals promoted at the State level in numerous Western and Middle Eastern countries. And toss in an Italian area city-state, if you care to round it out.

    To make this a short dig into intellectual archeology, we begin with a fellow by the name of Julius Caesar Scaliger.  “Who?”  Right on…Wiki me, bro:

    Julius Caesar Scaliger (or Giulio Cesare della Scala) (April 23, 1484 – October 21, 1558) was an Italian scholar and physician who spent a major part of his career in France. He employed the techniques and discoveries of Renaissance humanism to defend Aristotelianism against the new learning. In spite of his arrogant and contentious disposition, his contemporary reputation was high, judging him so distinguished by his learning and talents that, according to Jacques August de Thou, none of the ancients could be placed above him, and the age in which he lived could not show his equal.’

    Well, what’s wrong with that?” you’re asking.    Nothing, except some puffery in his bio if you dig into it, but follow the trail with me:

    Julius had a son, by the name of Joseph Justus Scaliger who rewrote a good bit of history in his “Study on the Improvement of Time” and elsewhere.  This, in turn was in some respects what the early Brits thought their heritage was all about, along with a 9th century monk by the name of Nennius.  While there were others we can get a sense of how British history was cobbled up. 

    Let’s back up.  Takeing a few “liberties” with historical accounts was not uncommon.  A careful read of the Wiki entry on Scaliger (the elder) hints in this direction:

    On his own account

    When he was twelve, his kinsman the emperor Maximilian placed him among his pages. He remained for seventeen years in the service of the emperor, distinguishing himself as a soldier and as a captain. He studied art under Albrecht Dürer.

    In 1512 at the Battle of Ravenna, where his father and elder brother were killed, he displayed valour, and received the highest honours of chivalry from his imperial cousin, who conferred upon him with his own hands the Order of the Golden Spur, augmented with the collar and the eagle of gold. But this was the only reward he obtained.

    He left the service of Maximilian, and after a brief employment by another kinsman, the duke of Ferrara, he decided to quit the military life, and in 1514 entered as a student at the University of Bologna.

    Read moreCoping: With 50% Stonehenge, 30% Scaliger

    Peoplenomics: The Kondratiev (K-Wave) View of 2013

    We will keep our morning review of current events a bit shorter than usual this morning in order to focus more on some of my recent work in Kondratiev long wave economic cycles, which are a kind of heartbeat underlying much of our economic, thence social, political, and military activities. This is the first part of what will be two parts: This morning we pencil in some timing scenarios (duck this fall!) and then in Saturday’s report we’ll deal with the prepping side and how to deal there. So hop to it!