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19, 2009 07:45 AM: CST New
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Saturday Morning Note
Peoplenomics this morning takes on global warming, gold's
decline this week, and those 86 bank offices being reorg'ed by
the FDIC this week. If you're like to subscribe for the
additional content, please visit
www.peoplenomics.com/subscribe.htm . Makes a fine
Christmas gift, too....just tell me who it's for and their email
address in an email to
email@example.com with the subject line 'GIFT" all caps so the
email router will send it to the right place.
great weekend shopping...six days left - or 1,098 days -
depending on what you're counting to...
Gold's Secret and Splash of
weekend in Peoplenomics (our premium subscription offering) some
insight into how gold is thrashing about - losing nearly $40
bucks on Thursday. T'ain't no big deal - yet. Sunday
a look at one of the chart techniques to get some interesting
insights into how bubbles bubble - and when's time to "Git
Outa Dodge'. No, I'm not selling that one gold coin I
bought at $265 just yet, if that's what you're thinking.
In fact, my commodities guy
JB has been buying the low points of the dip.
gold up yesterday was in large part the strengthening of the US
dollar. As I've noted several times we're in a market
where strong dollars equal weak gold. Since we're in the
midst of triple
witching which again commodity guy JB says seems lately
like it's been more and more a chance to buy at short-term lows.
An interesting theory he's got going, although not investment
advice - if he's right, then we might not see another low in
this area until mid March of 2010.
thing that may help is
the Bank of Japan saying 'it won't tolerate deflation'.
True, it's sort of like saying "I won't tolerate gravity' but
down in the bond pits there's a kind of any slogan in a storm.
we really needed." said a large brain friend of mine, "Was a
stimulus of about 1.5% of GDP to kick start the economy.
instead, what we got was about 1/2 of 1% spread over 2-years and
that's not going to do it..." Some mention of Krugman's
prescription in there somewhere, too, but it's early and the
coffee hasn't kicked in yet.
at China - they did a 1½% stimulus
and they got back-to-back quarters of growth..."
OK, so I go look at China and
what's the first headline I see?
"China property stocks drop most since August on Curbs".
Seems that when the Keynesians turn on the presses there's a
tendency for bubbling in real property (anything tangible that's
an inflation hedge). Still, seems he's right about jumping
out of a recession-verging-on-depression.
I figure we won't see much
meaningful stimulus until we get closer to the 2010 elections
and the slapstick government of the checkbook republic figures
out that the "Vote 'Em Out" movement has legs. Maybe then
we'll get more thank pork & arrows...but thick-headedness is
I haven't don't my monthly Port
Summary issue for this month, so shall we mosey down to the
docks and get a reality check on the so-called 'recovery'?
Long Beach: Year to date cargo is down 18.7%
compared with last year. Let's hear it for the
Port of Los Angeles: Loaded inbound was down
11.84% for November and overall for the calendar year is
Port of Oakland: Down
9.9% YTD but November say a 3.4% gain.
Port of Seattle: Up 15.1% in November, but still
down 9.7% overall year-to-date (YTD). International inbound
was up 34.4% in November, but is still down 10.7% YTD - way
I figure it is replacement parts for things that are
of Tacoma: Down 19.8% YTD.
would reveal the Port of Portland's latest, but they haven't
posted November operating results yet,
although October YTD was down 37.8%.
this really, really simple economic viewpoint: When
we see outfits like "Shell shipping Houston jobs overseas" and
at the same time port jobs are on the endangered list because of
a continuing fall in cargoes both inbound and outbound, what
does that tell you about "The myth of Globalism"? Maybe
something like "It's imploding!"?
Corporate globalism at one point seemed like a good idea;
it allowed the US to export some of its least desirable
industrial operations to third world and emerging countries.
But a little bit of risk avoidance led to a lot of abuse such
that now IT departments are being exported (still) and the US
finds itself in relations like those with Indonesia tied to
exploitive marketing like tobacco outfits. As a result,
you and I can be 'outsourced'; such that we're competing with
least-cost workers worldwide and to the extent that corporations
have no moral strictures to deal with, regular humans in the US
fall victim. The confidence bubble burst, housing
collapses, and government wrings its hands yet fails to
recognize the larger design pattern issues.
sure, there are those who argue that folks like me are
'alarmists' and 'doom-sayers' yet the Ports data speaks for
next data point that should come into view by mid-January will
be that Christmas this year was smaller than last.
"Retail sales figures disappointing for November" headlines
a report out of the UK this morning. Yet optimism is being
served up even this morning about the domestic picture with
stories like "Super
Saturday Expectation High for U.S. Retailers". Stories
about how "Chain
stores avoid deeper holiday discounts" sound hopeful, but as
always I'm asking "Where's the beef"?
gold's got a secret it may be something as simple as this:
We needed a larger stimulus with less pork &arrows to pull us
out of our economic quagmire and congress has failed for
the sake of political expediency. Gold knows that
inflation will necessarily come along at some point, but the
recent price action reveals the powerful forces of deflation are
still lurking as revealed in the Ports data.
course all this is subject to change because linguistically
we're due to see global context beginning to change in the next
few weeks...so be watching watch closely as we go from reindeer
dropping presents to bulls dropping something a little different
and expect us to swallow it.
senator Ben Nelson holds out - rejecting an abortion compromise,
looks like the senate will be holding a final vote on Christmas
what you will about healthcare, I'm distinctly unimpressed
with Christmas week legislation like...oh, just for
example...The Federal Reserve Act which was passed on December
Seattle Housing to Drop?
my logic on this: "Ryanair
ends talks to by 200 Boeing 787's" Seems to me that
would soften longer term Boeing employment in the Puget Sound
area which in turn oughta to ripple into housing prices in 2010.
Climate? Say Wen
"Obama, Wen offer no new emissions cuts at summit" comes the
AP report this morning.
Meantime, multiple readers (both) have sent in notes suggesting
that "Ain't Universe got a sense of humor
dumping snow and blizzard-like conditions on the climate
and socialists were out marching earlier this week...wonder
if they'll be out in the snow?
The Pen is What?
Mightier than the sword, you say? Wrong: Not this year.
deaths hit record (68) in 2009: report". So much for
killing the messengers...
4-year-old steals Christmas presents." Quite a tale
and commentary on families falling apart this time of year.
is an eye-popper: "Auschwitz
concentration camp sign stolen."
Mostly, I try to think humans are well-intentioned, good-hearted
critters. Then I read a headline like this one and I'm
reminded of the bitter truth. For all of our technical
progress, I look at the kind of government we elect, the kind of
of economics and moral system we embrace, and the individual
actions like this one and I ask myself "We crawled out of the
mud to do this?"
me a shot of eggnog. Make it a double. No, triple...
snip and save section...
Through the Inbox
Apparently, I'm not the only one disappointed by looking at
overall human behavior at this time of year and being
disappointed by the results of the inquiry. Try this one
On reading your remark upon
whether or not the deployment of military forces on foreign
sovereign soil constitutes an act and state of war, I
thought immediately that it seemed not a foregone conclusion
to the trendy moderns we share our lives with. But I wonder
when this first became so.
As you may know, this Sunday
marks the 20th anniversary of Operation Just Cause, during
which US forces invaded and murdered over 4000 innocent
civilians, injuring many thousands more, by firebombing the
poorer quarters of Panama City while leaving the target
government buildings largely intact, all in the furtherance
of presumably arresting one rogue US employee/drug smuggler.
As I recall, no one said 'boo'
about it on either side of the Atlantic. Apparently, most
sleepy western kakistocracies seem quite untroubled by this.
I may be mistaken, but (as a Canadian) I am unaware of any
state of war existing between ourselves and Afghanistan.
of this hard introspection! On to lighter fare, please...
Down at the WuJo:
Pyramids Come Calling
that sounds like fun...visit the pyramids....until, that is, the
pyramids begin appearing in the sky over Moscow.
Pyramid reported over Kremlin."
those recent "holes in the sky" appeared over Moscow and now
this: They may not shoot at them every chance they get
like the West seems to do.
the predictive linguistics has lots of UFO activity due in this
period, this is getting to be a bit much. That there's a
hole in the sky one month - and two months later a pyramid shows
up has me wondering if indeed this phenomena isn't somehow
trans-dimensional in nature. In which case, a temporal
displacement between early effects and the pyramid's appearance
might make sense.
trust you saw the large number of scientists who looked at the
Normal spiral light of a few weeks back and concluded (as anyone
looking at it with untainted eyes would)
wasn't a rocket test gone awry...
left with three possibilities to ponder:
UFO's are increasing their presence and this could mean
contact is near...or...
Mass hysteria is alive and well (but why does it photograph
Project Blue Beam is about ready for prime time.
thing that is creeping up in my Master Spreadsheet of
Probability for Weirdness is this: What if the 'context
change' on the 19th turns into a massive/undeniable UFO
appearance over something like Washington DC and tons of video
is taken to where it is total undeniable?
figure that would have all kinds of economic impacts; I mean who
would work if there was a chance that aliens would show up and
save the day? But then that brings us to the discussion of
whether they are coming to save us, or if we're not just some
kind of (spiritual?) hors d'houevers...
Marketing Royalty Rant
love watching the shills of the PowersThatBe market their
bosses. You know....the stories that go to the idea that
the real powerful are 'just commoners like us'. Toward this end
here's another one of those stories that goes into that folder:
(commuter) carriage awaits! Thrifty Queen catches ordinary
passenger train on her journey to Sandringham for Christmas."
Elsewhere the story includes reference to
stories are works of art in mind control. We get to
capitalize the word 'queen" again, and we're remind that the
trains regular folks ride are 'ordinary". It's the finest
of bounding your thinking you'll find.
carries over in language even to buildings. Take the
headline that "King
Edward: Crumbling hotel restores to grandeur". Great
hotel? Sure. But subconsciously, it's a continuation of
the notion that 'kings are grand /define grandeur' - but again,
this is imprinting that requires a bit of consciousness to catch
as it's sometimes subtle.
long as we're on it...and this is of interest if you overdo
colloidal silver - check this out: "Study:
Too much drinkable gold for king's mistress" reveals that
drinking gold was once thought to preserve youth.
Birth of conspicuous consumption?
convinced that one of the key acts by which we attain
personal liberty is to recognize that regardless of the
relentless onslaught of television, radio, and new media
marketing to the contrary, you are just as powerful,
you are just as worthy, you are just as demanding of
respect as any member of 'royalty' - whether you choose
to limit your definition to the castle or use the extensible
form 'media royalty' in which case throw in Hollywood, sports
figures, and political hacks of all stripe and all of self
degree that you are always able to look at any other
biped as only your equal and nothing more, you
achieve freedom from domination of your thoughts and behaviors
by those who put on that they are your betters.
you can't do it, too bad. You're royally screwed,
regardless of the nominal form of government you're supposedly
living under. In the end, governments all aspire to power
over people and the more power they get, the less true equality
among humans seems to result.
Founders had it right: Powers not specifically ceded to the
central government were reserved to the States.
It's laughable how that's working out.
eggnog? Wanna bet no commoners not in the entourage got on
that particular 'ordinary passenger train' car?
Send your comments
The UrbanSurvival Mall:
Peoplenomics This Week
13 Acres and Independence Part 8:
Small Farm Economics
A couple of
readers have asked for a more detailed explanation of goat ranching,
since that's our second cash crop; the first being a selective cut
of timber on the property that netted about $14,000. "How does
it work? Can you really make money at it?" The short
answer is it's not too complicated, but there are design patterns
behind the scenes that require a good understanding. This week, a
look at farm business models, crop or output selection, and how to
go about these things in a reasonable fashion.
To Subscribe, CLICK HERE
Been a while since I've updated you on how many cookies and web
bugs have been removed from my main computer by the Maxa Cookie
Manager from Maxa Tools: 1,602 web bugs and 54,131 cookies
so far. It's amazing.
Take it for a free test drive by downloading it. To
upgrade to full functionality will set you back $35 bucks, but
Christmas is coming... Is your privacy worth it?
Once you try it out, click the
upgrade button (!) on the upper right hand side for the $35
unlock to get it to remove even those nasty and highly intrusive
'non-browser specific' cookies. Bonus: You computer
may run faster.
Attn: Mac Drivers: MCM
does support the Safari Browser, but that does not mean it is
compatible with Mac OS. Maxa-Tools only support the Windows
world....so far. Given Jens and the other engineers
"Live on $10,000" A Year
another round of layoffs due to start later this month...a round
which will start to axe many of the middle managers who have
managed to avoid the HR grenades...might I suggest a preemptive
tactical move? Voluntarily dropping your lifestyle back a
bit, since we're all being marched down that road by either
circumstances or some out-of-control-PTB types who write checks
to Washington lobby and to anti-reformers in California! A
good starting point, at least if you've still got $10-bucks is
my e-book "How to Live on #10,000 a Year...or less!"
It's an automatic
download. It's written in an information dense style: The
whole thing runs about 65 pages, but it gives you a vision of
how to not only live on the cheap, but also how to migrate up
the economic foodchain if you have a little hustle left...
Click here for the index and details.
My commodity broker JB Slear and I
have written a simple book to get you started on high density
hydroponics. It's an example of how someone with a little
creativity, access to a few 'dollar stores' and willing to try
out some new farming techniques can grow an amazing amount of
produce sin a very small space - like even an apartment balcony
(if it gets some sunlight). Sound interesting? It's
just $10 bucks here...
Pass It On
business model of this website is base Simply
and send a link to this site to everyone on your distro
list...Nothing more dangerous than sharp, clear-thinking
upstarts who ask a lot of questions, eh? Unless you
believe WTC-7 fell over on its own, of course....
week's report is here. For
back issues of this site, click here. (Goes back to
Thursday December 17, 2009
Tears for Fears & Moody's
it's positively an old geezer's version of a pop music festival
from long ago today. Labeling aside, there are some dandy
stories making the rounds and we'll start with Alan Caruba's
National Anxiety Center Lists Top Ten Fears" going into
2010. Most of the fears are ones you have picked up around
here already, nevertheless a good list to use if you're new at
the fine art of meta-grouping data into edible lumps
we're talking about depressing subjects right off the bat, we
might as well call this "Double Meds Thursday" since so many
people will have the "Moody's blues" (or soon will have) when
they do a search on what the premier rating group has been up to
which seems a pretty balanced view until the 900-pound gorillas
way, it's not like this is a new concept, that is grouping
countries by something other than GDP. In fact I was
reading the new Global Europe Anticipation Bulletin earlier this
week and it sports a nice list of countries and risks associated
with the ratio of private to public debt. The US fared
better but not my much -10th place if I recall. In fact
their web site offers this grim assessment:
"LEAP/E2020 believes that the global systemic crisis will
experience a new tipping point from Spring 2010. Indeed,
at that time, the public finances of the major Western
countries are going to become unmanageable, as it will
simultaneously become clear that new support measures for
the economy are needed because of the failure of the various
stimuli in 2009 (1), and that the size of budget deficits
preclude any significant new expenditures. "
which would fit in nicely (OK, not comfortably though)
with one of the two scenarios that Robin Landry has been talking
about; namely that we could muddle through till March and then
things turn ugly, or we could have an early in the new year
decline and one more run through August/September of 2010.
With Arch Crawford's
outlook on an astro-econ basis pointing to rough spots in
Aug/Sept. 2010 and the (still slim) possibility that the 'summer
of hell" linguistics were a year early, by late summer
2010 we may be all glued to our teevee sets, mouth agape,
wondering what the hell the world is coming to. Odds are
rising it will be just that.
Against this background, a number of readers have written in
complaining about the Consumer Price Index numbers. Not
only are prices continuing to go up for necessities like
utilities and food, but now thanks to a higher deduction for
medical, most folks I know will actual see their disposable
retirement going down while their costs continue to go up.
Why as I not surprised?
leading economic indicators come out this morning (10 AM) don't
be surprised if they show a little optimism. Reason being
that people are still in the "...think we muddle through
this..." mode. Well, rotsa ruck. I'm skeptical.
reason? I mean besides being able to lump meta-data into
different piles like we just went through in the search for
Moody's data? We're only a week or so from the next
Case-Schiller/S&P housing report. Seems odd that no one
made a big deal about last month's report. In case you
missed it (to me it was like a missing version in the
techno-trance dance tune of modern economics) it showed that
nationally their 20-market average home was down more
than 23.4% to a new post October '07 low and that worse, in
Phoenix and Las Vegas, home prices have dropped on average about
40% - worse even than Detroit where homes are 'only' down a
shade more than 32% from their peak.
you tear into the data you notice that Detroit peaked a bit
before the rest of the country and places like Charlotte, which
peaked much later (in August of 2007 compared with Detroit's
December 2005 peak). Using the same data series, Dallas
has only dropped 3.8% from the national peak date but if you
calculate from the local peak (July '07 versus the national peak
in July '06), prices are down about 4.6% from their crest.
guess that's the point - or near enough to it: One has to
look at the spread of the data over time to get a real
picture. While sure, lots of folks in the Dallas area are
doing better than say Phoenix - you'd take a 4.6% loss over a
40.6% loss any day, right? - there's not a single market in the
S&P/Case-Schiller 20-market data that looks healthy in terms of
holding value. More in their next report, but it's a good
touchstone/reality-check when the happy talk makes the rounds.
public moody is being deliberately spun away from realities like
looming foreclosures which will skyrocket in the new year.
Right now there's a kind of wink-wink, non-nod thing going on
where banks (I hear rumbles) are trading loser properties back
and forth so they can book accounting losses which will turn
into tax-loss carry-forwards. And then we see headlines
to suspend foreclosures for 30-days" which will get us into
at least mid-January before they really get rolling again.
in 30-90 days for the data to catch up and we're where?
Back into the March-ish kind of window.
worse - and should become visible by February to the general
public - is the story in the Chicago Sun-Times ("Foreclosure
interest waning") that goes to the idea that people
are losing their interest (a poor pun, sorry) in acquiring the
foreclosed homes. Which means what? Anyone want to
take a stab at this?
have to do all the work around here, don't I?) : Home prices
will have further to fall in 2010.
no idea how many 'home sales' have arisen then disappeared using
this method, but here it goes: Suppose my brother in law
is a banker and I want to help him out. Elaine & I would
go out and buy a home from him and he would book a 'pending
sale' at his bank. Then we drag our feet and the loan sits
unprocessed for a couple of months - maybe three or even 5
months. Then we just drop the application to sell.
The loan never impacts the real economy, but it looks
like a pending home sale for months on end. Slick,
idea being that if enough people saw enough headlines to
convince them that the bottom really was in, they'd step up and
buy. Turned out that varies by market. While people
in Boston seem a little skeptical - "Foreclosures
lose luster among average buyers" - and they may have kin in
suburban Chicagoland where "Local
foreclosure activity spikes in November", the Frederick
(Maryland) NewsPost headlines that a "Survey
shows buyers of foreclosed houses are looking to 'trade up'.
Not that Frederick's results should be surprising because that's
only...lemme see here....
miles outside of Washington. Of course people
there would be thinking about trading up while the rest
of the country craters, know what I mean?
pardon me if I sit here humming a few bars of Tears for Fear or
Moody's Blues into the coffee cup this morning, but frankly the
green shoots/bullish consensus sounds a little suspect.
But then so did the swine flu vaccine, the reasons why WTC-7
fell over, and the reasons to go into Afghanistan, and the
promise of "change". I'm a 'nat-chull- born' skeptic who
is very much afraid of the herd. Should come into focus
over the next 90 days whether it's a herd of bulls - or sheep.
Meantime, a pullback of gold to the $900-$950 area by mid 2010
would be no surprise at all as government tries to delicately
keep printing our way through this very delicate mess.
Santa Rally Dead
that's what the futures indicate, early in today's session.
See here? Dollar up, gold down $22 takes the averages with
it. Can't win for losing. The Grinch did it, I'm
think about this: who's going to arrest the whole country now
that the "U.S.
national Debt Tops Debt Limit"? Toss me that ink
bottle, and help me load some more paper, congress is
sure to come through.
Speaking of ink,
president O has signed the $1.1 trillion spending bill into law.
those little darlings in
congress have approved a $155 billion spending bill
that seems to me may save more public jobs than private....but
don't mind me - I just mailed IRS my Q4 payment this week.
Speaking of Lawless...
Something that's starting to get traction around the 'net is
that in his West Point speech a while back, president O may have
effectively declared war on Pakistan without going to congress
first. Example: "Did
Obama Declare War on Pakistan?"
Someone (still munching the hook, line, and sinker) might say
it's only drones, but last time I checked when a military
begins attacking sovereign soil that's a 'war' don'tcha think?
but it's the right thing since we are supporting the
government..." would be the next rejoinder. Well, yes,
that's because they seem to have control of their nukes and the
next government might not be so cooperative...which leads to a
three six-pack discussion best held for the weekend when there's
no garden or field work to be done. Like that'll ever
End of an Era
Americans' majority to end by mid-century." I think
this means we've been out-screwed although the polite press
would never put it so directly. The harsh reality is that
it's likely the payoff for the Johnson-era Great Society that
made staying home and 'babying' a workable option compared to
working. Which is not to throw rocks at the Great Society
and entitlements - they are not inherently bad and become more
desirable the poorer you get - but when are those on
welfare going to have to take drug tests like those of us
who work for a living? What's good for the tax goose
that's laying the eggs ought to be more evenly applied.
Better: Get rid of drug testing for everyone except that
it has now become an industry unto itself with not only
testing and so forth but counseling, remediation, detox...oh
what a complex stew, huh? I know, "Stop whining Ure..."
OK - hand me that clip, would'ja?
Everyone's a Critic
summit veering toward farce, wands Ed Miliband". Gotta
hand it to Mr. Ed for his ability to state the obvious.
headlines like "Hillary
Clinton tries to save Copenhagen" seem to upstage her boss's
effort, but that's what being a media darling is about, I
scary - although it's not her first attempt to hijack taxpayer
money - is talk of the "US
ready to join $100B climate fund." Like EPA declaring
CO-2 a dangerous chemical isn't enough of a problem for our
flailing economy? Why can't a shade-tree mechanic build a 75 MPG
car and get it licensed for us on public roads? We all
know that one - power & control by central government which
has seized those powers not otherwise delegated from the States
of course! You go Clinton...and keep
Nancy Pelosi is giving off hints like no healthcare bill this
year. Which will give members of congress time
to strong-arm more dough out of the corpgov-pharma crowd to
fatten up their campaign treasuries to keep real change from
"George you don't really think members of Congress would
do that do you?"
Are you so dumb that hints like "Zebras and their stripes" and
"Do bears - you know what - in the woods" needs further
clarification? How much Prozac you on, again?
Something Up NK's Sleeve?
Ask yourself this, if you're a good teevee detective solver:
"N.Korea to temporarily ban foreigners: reports"?
Remember a long-ago
predictive linguistics report about NK doing something
(possibly nuclear) in mid December? Hmmm...ponder that one
while you change out the batteries in your field survey meter...
Skeptical of predictive linguistics? Sure, me too.
Except once again go back to my May 27th report from this
year where I said...
OK, sure, they haven't attacked, but the point is that
predictive linguistics to get some flavor of events right
and we'll be sitting back watching what they do next. It
snip and save section ---
Coping: With the Year
starting to pull together the "Other" view of the economy - the
one that will make it into next weekend's "Annual Forecast
Issue" of Peoplenomics. A couple of interesting points to
ponder on even if you're either broke and can't afford to
subscribe (or you're just a chintzy chiseler at heart
always looking for a free lunch in which case it's folks like
you that lead to governments like this...).
new Global Europe Anticipation Bulletin, the latest from Gerald
Celente's work, and others are certain good grist for the mill.
But two really important items to ponder I think are the
"Special Report - Year Ahead: Can You Handle The Truth?"
from David Rosenberg, chief economist and strategist up at
correctly noting that there's a developing consensus about what
2010 should be like (and worrying quite correctly the
consensus will be - surprise here -wrong) he then makes
this very 'George-like' observation about whether we're in a
recession or something worse...you know...the "D" word...
"Mainstream economists called this downturn “The Great
Recession”. This is truly a gentle way of saying
“Depression”. When we can have the courage to come to grips
with the fact that we did in fact experience a depression of
sorts, which is by definition a credit event, then and only
then can we draw a conclusion that a sustainable recovery
will not get underway until the ratio of household credit to
personal disposable income reverts to the mean (and goes to
an excess in the opposite direction). I know it sounds
harsh, but we shall endure — believe it. Transition is
rarely without pain.
The ratio of household debt to disposable income is up from
a 30% ratio back in the 1950s to 125% today (though down
from 139% at the peak in 2007). Mean reverting to a ratio
closer to 60% means that the deleveraging process will be a
multi-year event and by the time it is over, more than $7
trillion in additional household credit will have to be
extinguished. For more on this see the unbelievably
grotesque article on the front page of last Thursday’s
(December 10) Wall Street Journal — The New American Dream."
don't rush off to sign up for Rosenberg's weekly briefing
("Breakfast with Dave") you probably shouldn't be investing more
than Monopoly Money, or Zimbabwe Dollars - he's that good.
people today have no concept of what the phrase "sound like a
broken record" means, since many have only heard that
such things once existed. A more proper term might be "At
the risk of hitting 'repeat' again...I nevertheless have to
point out that wading through a fair bit on today's economy I am
yet to be convinced that we're in anything other than a retooled
differences with the 1929-1943 (or arguably even beyond) event
are starting to stack up in pretty stark relief:
When banks failed in the 1930's, the losses were both
immediate and personal to the tune of about $475 per capita
on a constant dollar basis. In this Greater
Depression, the short term losses penciled in at $650 per
person on a constant dollar basis, but there has been so
much 'hide the sausage' on the tab for this - first giving
out money, then getting repayments, but then taking over
parts of companies and so forth - that it's become nearly
impossible to keep straight what the true costs are.
But one thing is almost certain: banks and banksters -
having discovered a revolving credit facility can be had,
will no doubt pay back their TARP money now to keep bonuses
out from under the microscope and then (bet me?) they'll be
back for more free lunch in the Spring thanks to your
generosity and the campaign contribution needs of congress
which stands next fall.
Whatever the long-term picture looked like in 1935, it sure
looks that way now with outfits like Shell announcing they
were planning to roll the grenades (in a manner of speaking)
in Houston and outsource another slug of office jobs.
No, the jobs picture will not perk up anytime soon
because of the political problems. Specifically that
the companies which give the most to campaigns take the most
in jobs and government dough; common sense? Sorry
upon a time - and maybe still true today, I don't hang around
with radio station programmers much - program directors of rock
& roll radio stations in Canada had to place so much content on
their airwaves that was done by Canadian musicians.
And some damn fine ones, at that. Like who? Oh,
Who, for one. No question, Undun and
American Woman were great tunes, but it didn't hurt having
the government decree that some X percent of music on
Canadian radio stations had to be home-grown.
cried "foul!" but the recording industry at the time hadn't
gotten as slick as corpgov is here lately. They were still
living under the cloud of
when people in the industry made jokes about this record company
(or that) getting the Award for the best use of Thai stick in
album promotion it wasn't entirely a joke. (Don't ask.)
sure, corpgov is a lot slicker. these days. When tobacco
companies get run out of the US for killing people with tar and
nicotine, what do they do? A few bucks here, a
headquarters move there and Tah-Dah! Huge market in an
emergent country like Indonesia. In a sense it's
like payola that would have been OK, but only in the smaller
markets. Arguably, the ascension of global business
probably necessitates global regulators but that all
happens under the catch-all of 'anti-terrorism'. The most
real terror most Americans face is the check-out counter at the
learned from Madoff and his ilk that the Bigger the Criminal,
the bigger the skate. The one story I haven't seen come
out of that case - and likely never will - is the list of people
that Madoff gave money to. You know, like Enron's
bosses contributed - that kind of thing. Oh well...
next story that seems like it will have a huge bearing on next
year's socioeconomic play is the announcement that the
"Gulf States Take steps toward Monetary Union, Joint Central
think that the Gulf states have figured out that a paper-backed
fiat currency - in other words a currency worth something only
on some government's say so really would be more credible
ifs it had a commodity behind it (like oil) then give yourself a
gold star. That's what seems to be in play.
that the idea is new by any stretch; commodity-backed
currencies which were harder to debase were once the norm, not
the exception. But that was long ago.
which is happening close enough temporally to make me wonder if
indeed, the falling status of the Dollar may not be the
beginnings of our context shift on the 19th of the month,
but I won't even hazard more than a wild guess on this front
until at least mid-next week.
Oh-oh...getting on toward serious; I need to get over that.
mentioned a couple of days ago (or was it last week? Damn,
it's early, huh?) that a reader was storing beer as the ultimate
barter stock. But then someone brought up the point that
beer doesn't store so good and it would mean a lot of rotating
of stock - and no problem there - never a shortage of volunteers
for that since we're in the South...then Wham! My email
got slammed with comments.
"After catching Tuesday’s post regarding the search from one
of your readers for a beer with a long shelf life, I thought
I’d send a friendly email to steer him/her in the right
One can find long shelf life
beer made by a company called Unibroue, located in Canada.
They specialize in bottle refermented beers, and many of
their products not only last over a year, but get better
with age to boot. Their Maudite amber ale has a five year
shelf life, and Tres Pistoles has a three year….Alcohol
content can be a bit high for some (8% to 9%), but they are
very, very tasty. Lighter beers are usually only good for a
year or so, but still, that is longer than average. Their
products can be found at Whole Foods, Sprouts, various
specialty stores, and Trader Joes (which has a custom made
product from them that comes out around the holidays).
Just so you know, I do realize
that I sound like a beer commercial, but I am not affiliated
with them in any way. I just couldn’t resist plugging my
favorite beer company.
From what I understand, there
are also other refermented in bottle beers that have
recently hit the shelves that your reader could search for,
as well as some of the better lambics….but those can be an
And so, here’s to good beer….."
Never seen a beer last that long,
but I didn't get the moniker "The Human Spnge" without cause, I
suppose. Next? (to the sound of a beer top releasing
"Contacted My "Beer
Due to the preservative
qualities of alcohol and hop oil, no known pathogens
(microorganisms which can kill you) can live in beer. So,
it's not so much an issue of the beer going bad over time,
as it is a matter of when it will taste best.
Bottom-fermented lagers ( for
example, American standard lagers (Budweiser, Miller, Coors,
etc.), light lagers, dark lagers, black beers, bocks and
doppelbocks)are put in cool storage (lager being the German
verb for store or warehouse) to ferment and clarify for a
number of weeks or months, after which they are bottled or
kegged and ready for drinking.
The ability of a beer to age
depends largely on its alcohol content, and aging is mostly
a matter of flavor change, not of spoilage.
Actually, the usual way for beer
to spoil is for its hop oils to break down into volatile
compounds with give the beer off flavors and aromas, most
commonly a skunky smell. "Skunked" beer, however, is not the
result of time; this breakdown of hop oils is due to
exposure to light and heat and can happen in as little time
as a few hours. In fact, the process will begin as soon as
the beer is exposed to light....
Concerns relative to the
Alzheimer's/Aluminum connection not withstanding... Avoid
Bottled Beer... "
In general, beer should be
stored in a cool place... this often means refrigeration and
letting beer warm a little before you drink it (42F being
optimal). As long as temperatures are kept between 35F and
60F you're probably OK. Keep in mind that storing at the
warmer end of this scale will increase any aging effects
since any yeast remaining in the beer will be more active.
Finally....Getting to the
point...keep it cold, and away from light....Consider beer
to have a Refrigerated "Shelf Life" of 12 to 18
months...Rotate at Six Months
"If you see a beer, do it a
favor, and drink it. Beer was not meant to age."
Still more? Sure...
"Most “hoppy” beer will last a
year, due to the antiseptic nature of the hop oils.
Look at DogFishHead 90 Minute,
Weyerbacher Double Simcoe, or Stone’s Ruination
The India pale ale version was
created for those long sea voyages – with some of the
brewing process occurring at sea, sloshing around. -the was
a news story this year of a group trying to recreate this
technique on a ship, but I didn’t hear how it turned out.
Most “high alcohol” beer will
last as well. 9-11% Strong Belgian brews like Chimay, St.
Bernardus, and Koenigshoven will last a long while due to
the fact that, like wine and spirits, the alcohol level is
too high for “critters” to survive and thrive in.
Light is really the enemy of
beer, as you will see the best beer are all in dark
lightstruck," came the short answer. Certain wavelengths of
light (those around 5,000 angstroms) can turn a wonderfully
aromatic beer into a skunkfest. "Hop oils have a sulf-hydryl
grouping in their molecular structure," Radzanowski
explained. "When these wavelengths of light hit that,
there’s a photosynthetic reaction which changes that
grouping to that of the common ’skunk’ aroma. Those
wavelengths are abundantly present in sunlight and
fluorescent light; incandescent light is not so bad."
Now that we have the important
stuff out of the way...we can all go mount the gerbil mills for
another day remembering that we thankfully not on daylight
Miller Time. Or, if you've given up the alcohol, O'Doul's Time.
Better living through beer chemistry.
Wednesday December 16, 2009
Pass the Tea Leaves:
Date: December 16, 2009
For immediate release
Information received since the Federal Open Market Committee
met in November suggests that economic activity has
continued to pick up and that the deterioration in the labor
market is abating. The housing sector has shown some signs
of improvement over recent months. Household spending
appears to be expanding at a moderate rate, though it
remains constrained by a weak labor market, modest income
growth, lower housing wealth, and tight credit. Businesses
are still cutting back on fixed investment, though at a
slower pace, and remain reluctant to add to payrolls; they
continue to make progress in bringing inventory stocks into
better alignment with sales. Financial market conditions
have become more supportive of economic growth. Although
economic activity is likely to remain weak for a time, the
Committee anticipates that policy actions to stabilize
financial markets and institutions, fiscal and monetary
stimulus, and market forces will contribute to a
strengthening of economic growth and a gradual return to
higher levels of resource utilization in a context of price
With substantial resource slack
likely to continue to dampen cost pressures and with
longer-term inflation expectations stable, the Committee
expects that inflation will remain subdued for some time.
The Committee will maintain the
target range for the federal funds rate at 0 to 1/4 percent
and continues to anticipate that economic conditions,
including low rates of resource utilization, subdued
inflation trends, and stable inflation expectations, are
likely to warrant exceptionally low levels of the federal
funds rate for an extended period. To provide support to
mortgage lending and housing markets and to improve overall
conditions in private credit markets, the Federal Reserve is
in the process of purchasing $1.25 trillion of agency
mortgage-backed securities and about $175 billion of agency
debt. In order to promote a smooth transition in markets,
the Committee is gradually slowing the pace of these
purchases, and it anticipates that these transactions will
be executed by the end of the first quarter of 2010. The
Committee will continue to evaluate the timing and overall
amounts of its purchases of securities in light of the
evolving economic outlook and conditions in financial
In light of ongoing improvements
in the functioning of financial markets, the Committee and
the Board of Governors anticipate that most of the Federal
Reserve’s special liquidity facilities will expire on
February 1, 2010, consistent with the Federal Reserve’s
announcement of June 25, 2009. These facilities include the
Asset-Backed Commercial Paper Money Market Mutual Fund
Liquidity Facility, the Commercial Paper Funding Facility,
the Primary Dealer Credit Facility, and the Term Securities
Lending Facility. The Federal Reserve will also be working
with its central bank counterparties to close its temporary
liquidity swap arrangements by February 1. The Federal
Reserve expects that amounts provided under the Term Auction
Facility will continue to be scaled back in early 2010. The
anticipated expiration dates for the Term Asset-Backed
Securities Loan Facility remain set at June 30, 2010, for
loans backed by new-issue commercial mortgage-backed
securities and March 31, 2010, for loans backed by all other
types of collateral. The Federal Reserve is prepared to
modify these plans if necessary to support financial
stability and economic growth.
shocking, huh? Market's dozing off on it, too...
What they don't say is that shortly after their emergency
interventions expire next year, they'll probably need them
again, but then again, that's just wild-eye speculation on my
part -- till it happens.
Day of Numbers
you're thinking Book
of Numbers...but go with me on this, trying to build an
image here - this Day of Numbers seems likely to be the
same old testament to the so-called recovery. The Number
of Numbers comes out this afternoon - which is 99% certain to be
the same interest rate the Fed has had all along when the FOMC
returns its verdict. Reading the Fed statement is kind of
scrying entails of small animals to rate watchers.
until Ben (et al) come down from Rate Mountain with the tablet
for the coming month, we have to be satisfied a whole parcel of
press releases starting with the Cost of Living /Consumer Price
Index pronounced by the Labor Department:
a seasonally adjusted basis, the Consumer Price Index for
All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) rose 0.4 percent in
November, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported
today. Over the last 12 months the index increased 1.8
percent before seasonal adjustment, the first positive
12-month change since February 2009.
The seasonally adjusted increase
in the all items index was due to a 4.1 percent increase in
the energy index. The index for gasoline rose sharply and
the indexes for electricity, fuel oil, and natural gas also
increased, creating the fourth consecutive rise in the
energy index and the largest increase since August. In
contrast, the index for all items less food and energy was
unchanged in November, after ten consecutive monthly
increases. Declines in shelter indexes offset increases in
the indexes for new and used motor vehicles, medical care,
airline fares, and tobacco.
The food index rose slightly in
November. As in October, the food away from home index rose
modestly while the index for food at home was unchanged.
Within the latter, three grocery store food groups posted
increases while three declined.
'all items' index was up 1.8%, sayeth the report but against
this folks on Social Security get what? Bupkis. No
point going there, however. Next number, please?
Current Account Deficit report? Sure, glad you asked...
U.S. current-account deficit—the combined balances on
trade in goods and services, income, and net unilateral
current transfers—increased to $108.0 billion (preliminary)
in the third quarter of 2009 from $98.0 billion (revised) in
the second quarter. The increase was more than accounted for
by an increase in the deficit on goods. A small increase in
net unilateral current transfers to foreigners also
contributed to the higher current-account deficit. Increases
in the surpluses on income and on services were partly
Goods and services
The deficit on goods and
services increased to $97.4 billion in the third quarter
from $81.2 billion in the second.
Goods The deficit on goods
increased to $132.1 billion in the third quarter from $115.5
billion in the second.
Goods exports increased to
$263.9 billion from $246.1 billion. The increase was largely
accounted for by increases in industrial supplies and
materials and in automotive products. Capital goods and
consumer goods also increased.
Goods imports increased to
$396.1 billion from $361.6 billion. The increase was largely
accounted for by increases in industrial supplies and
materials, mostly in petroleum and products, and in
automotive products. Capital goods and consumer goods also
The surplus on services
increased to $34.8 billion in the third quarter from $34.2
billion in the second.
Services exports increased to
$128.6 billion from $125.3 billion. The increase was mostly
accounted for by increases in travel, in “other” private
services (such as business, professional, and technical
services, insurance services, and financial services), in
“other” transportation (such as freight and port services),
and in royalties and license fees.
Services imports increased to
$93.9 billion from $91.0 billion. The increase was mostly
accounted for by increases in “other” private services, in
travel, in “other” transportation, and in direct defense
yeah...but let's skip down to the section called "Foreign-owned
assets in the United States" because this is where the action is
if you're watching the great game of international financial
"Foreign-owned assets in the
United States increased $332.4 billion in the third quarter,
following an increase of $14.6 billion in the second.
U.S. liabilities to foreigners
reported by U.S. banks and securities brokers increased
$127.0 billion in the third quarter, following a decrease of
$178.9 billion in the second. (Examples of these liabilities
are deposits of foreign residents at banks in the United
States and loans by banks abroad to banks and securities
brokers in the United States.)
Net sales of U.S. Treasury
securities by private foreigners were $9.2 billion in the
third quarter, down from $22.8 billion in the second.
Net purchases of U.S. securities
other than U.S. Treasury securities by private foreigners
were $24.7 billion in the third quarter, up from $13.9
billion in the second. Net foreign purchases of U.S. stocks
were $48.6 billion, up from $35.6 billion. Net foreign
purchases of U.S. federally sponsored agency bonds were $6.6
billion, up from $0.3 billion. Net foreign sales of U.S.
corporate bonds were $30.4 billion, up from $22.0 billion.
Foreign direct investment in the
United States increased $40.0 billion in the third quarter,
following an increase of $37.0 billion in the second. The
pickup was more than accounted for by larger increases in
reinvested earnings and, to a much lesser extent, in net
equity capital investment in the United States. In contrast,
net intercompany debt investment in the United States
Foreign official assets in the
United States increased $123.6 billion in the third quarter,
following an increase of $124.3 billion in the second. The
third-quarter increase includes, as part of “other” U.S.
government liabilities, a $47.6 billion increase associated
with the allocation of SDRs to the United States.
Transactions in U.S. currency
shifted to net shipments to foreign countries of $4.2
billion in the third quarter from net shipments to the
United States of $1.9 billion in the second.
discrepancy—errors and omissions in recorded
transactions—was $70.4 billion in the third quarter,
compared with $35.4 billion in the second.
In the third
quarter, the U.S. dollar depreciated 5 percent on a
trade-weighted quarterly average basis against a group of 7
Interesting stuff, no?
Next....Hmmm...what's this one...ah...new report on newspaper
revenues declining because any damn fool can buy space on a web
server and rewrite the same government handouts that...ooops...giving
out trade secrets here...
publishers experienced a single-year decline in total
revenue of 8.3 percent — from $47.9 billion in 2007 to
$43.9 billion in 2008. This followed a more modest decline
of 2.7 percent in 2007, the U.S. Census Bureau reported
A major contributor to the
overall loss in revenues for the industry was the decline in
advertising space revenue for general newspapers, which
dropped 10.2 percent — from $30.9 billion in 2007 to $27.8
billion in 2008. Revenue from newspaper subscriptions
remained largely unchanged over the period, from $8.3
billion in 2007 to $8.2 billion in 2008.
These estimates come from the
2008 Service Annual Survey: Information Sector Services. The
survey provides national estimates of annual revenue and
expenses for industries primarily engaged in producing,
processing and distributing data, which range from motion
picture production to libraries."
I'd like to end the senseless
speculation that Elaine and I are going to buy the Times or
Next? (Will this ever end?)
Trust you saw yesterday's Industrial Production report from the
production increased 0.8 percent in November after having
been unchanged in October. Manufacturing production
advanced 1.1 percent, with broad-based gains among both
durables and nondurables. The output of mines climbed 2.1
percent, but the index for utilities fell 1.8 percent,
primarily as a result of lower output of gas
utilities--temperatures in November were unseasonably mild
and reduced the need for heating. At 99.4 percent of its
2002 average, total industrial production was 5.1 percent
below its level of a year earlier. Capacity utilization for
total industry moved up 0.7 percentage point to 71.3
percent, a rate 9.6 percentage points below its average for
the period from 1972 through 2008. "
The point I'd make about this is
that if you take the Production numbers - down 5.1% for the year
and measure this against the (recently falling) M-3 as Trader
Bart reports it over at
www.nowandfutures.com,. down around zero percent
presently, there's no way the Fed can even think about
raising rates yet without throwing the world into another
And then last, but not least. we
have this morning's Housing report from Census:
Privately-owned housing units authorized by building
permits in November were at a seasonally adjusted annual
rate of 584,000. This is 6.0 percent (±1.6%) above the
revised October rate of 551,000, but is 7.3 percent (±1.8%)
below the November 2008 estimate of 630,000. Single-family
authorizations in November were at a rate of 473,000; this
is 5.3 percent (±1.1%) above the revised October figure of
449,000. Authorizations of units in buildings with five
units or more were at a rate of 86,000 in November.
Privately-owned housing starts in November were at a
seasonally adjusted annual rate of 574,000. This is 8.9
percent (±10.2%)* above the revised October estimate of
527,000, but is 12.4 percent (±9.1%) below the November 2008
rate of 655,000. Single-family housing starts in November
were at a rate of 482,000; this is 2.1 percent (±9.2%)*
above the revised October figure of 472,000. The November
rate for units in buildings with five units or more was
Privately-owned housing completions in November were at a
seasonally adjusted annual rate of 810,000. This is 8.7
percent (±13.7%)* above the revised October estimate of
745,000, but is 25.3 percent (±10.1%) below the November
2008 rate of 1,084,000. Single-family housing completions in
November were at a rate of 524,000; this is unchanged
(±11.7%)*compared with the revised October figure. The
November rate for units in buildings with five units or more
I wasn't kidding about this being
the Day of Numbers...here, you keep reading while I go find a
new battery for the calculator...OMG What's THIS???!!!
Time Picks Ben
Bernanke as Man of the Year. Wonder if the major
polling organizations have measured to see if Bernanke is more
popular than president O? Shows what my endorsement of two
weeks ago is worth, though, doesn't it?
Grand Jury Picks Raj
NYPost has good coverage on the grand jury indictment of a hedge
fund manager who is accused of trading on inside
Consumers Pick Electronics
"Philips sees pick-up in Consumer Electronics sales".
So what else is there?
Pick a Peak for Twitter?
pick-up in Twitter's U.S. traffic in November" says the WaPo.
wonder if someone besides me has figured out that 99.9% of
texting is a waste of time that doesn't qualify under one of
Ure's Tests of Worthiness against which all activities
are measured...which are?
Does the activity increase personal revenue? (Like
going to work does that, OK?)
Does it reduce expenses? (No buying junk does that)
Does it contribute to your current business plan?
Does it educate in a way that can be leveraged in the
it sleep, hobby, deliberate music input, or deep
Does it medicate or sexually satisfy?
for the odd hook-up (on this last and in both senses of the word
'hook-up'), I don't see the use of texting, but hell, I'm
an old fart. My list of things to do is pretty simple and
Pavlovian; old dogs, tricks, etc...
Truth In Labeling
Mayor backs radiation labels for cell phones" says a report
find bizarre is that people will refuse an untested vaccine yet
when the science is still being debated on cell phones, people
spend hours a day with them. Strange damn rats, we
is...it's a-maze -ing, if'n you know what I mean.
Climate Change is a
Story in the NY Times this morning goes into some detail about
hundreds arrested at the Copenhagen Climate meetings. So
once again, the buzz on the net proves prescient.
Cool Ramblings, 2
Hmmm...we'll start with a dandy reader email:
"Dear Mr. Ure, Here is a link from the BBC South Asia
a UN body has predicted Himalayan glacier disappearances by
2035 whereas the supporting Russian academic work quoted
forecasts retreats by 2350. Please inform the Copenhagen
delegation immediately so as they may indulge in the bottled
glacial spring water without guilt!"
have been a typo by the one-world-government crowd, don'tcha
Several people wrote in and told me "George! George!
You're wrong! There
is a sunspot and it's part of Cycle 24! You must
confess the error of your ways!"
no, not just yet thanks. You see, if you look at some of
the older forecasts for Cycle 24, we ought to be having all
kinds of flares at the same time by now - easily five but more
like 10- or more going off. Except that the
predictions keep sliding back. So until I can 'work the
world on 10-watts" on the 10-meter ham bands I haven't been in a
particular hurry to get my 55-foot tower and tri-band quad
antenna up. What's the point, know what I mean? The
only two points about watching sunspots are a) ham radio
gets better (to a point) when sunspots are active and b) has
something to do with the weather cooling on earth which leads to
mass starvation and such, but of course that pales in comparison
to the ham radio implications. (Me? Obsess with my
Technical note: This all presumes that you know that
in radio propagation, the MUF (which stands for maximum Useable
Frequency) goes up during the Solar Maxima, not to be confused
with a yellow Nissan product, yeah? So ham radio types
maybe will find a good opening on 21 MHz here and there, but 14
MHz is about all the better things get. When the Maxima
gets here, then 28 MHz and above 'get hot' and working the world
with about the same power levels as a large flashlight becomes
real doable and fun. Till then, if I want to talk to
someone in Tahiti, it means getting up in the middle of the
night and pounding out Morse code down on the low end of the
40-meter band around 7.025 Mhz or so. Ham radio is an
entirely cool hobby so run over to
www.arrl.org and find out more about it - and no, Morse code
is not required for a ham license anymore, but if you try it and
like it, hit www.fists.org
which is the International More Preservation Society and tell #
13,106 sent you. Where were we? Oh yes...
cool is being Canadian? Well...er.....let's not go
go to Calgary where we can say -32.4 which breaks a record from
1893 and let it go at that, shall we?
remember the old days when an American could make fun of
Canadian politics, but it seems perfectly reasonable anymore.
Especially compared to what we have here lately...
Constitution Free Zone, Redux
you yesterday how as part of the plan to close down the penal
colony in Cuba that Gitmo detainees were being moved to Illinois
(a kind of punishment of its onw)? Well, now the ACLU is
asking - in effect - "so
if they're on US soil tell us again why they don't have
Constitutional Rights which include trials and so forth?"
of people don't like the ACLU, but they have always been
really clear that they defend Constitutional Rights being taken
from those least able to defend those rights. It just
hasn't gotten to most of us Middle Class types yet, so they get
marginalized. Remember "First they came for the Gypsies,
then they came for the...."?
J-Post says the "US
to drill Iranian attack scenario". The idea is that
the test would see how a particular weapons system (the
Ground-based Mid-course Defense - GMD) system would do.
way I have it figured, if the economy keeps headed where it is,
there'll be no point to nuking or bombing pretty quick - we'll
do ourselves in with a financial implosion. But then
again, maybe Tehran and North Korea have figured that out.
Going for 18, Maybe?
has this "Report:
Tiger Woods 'On the Edge" As New Mistress Named". I
was only kidding about 18 holes but seems to me that we're
waiting on the 15th tee now...
snip and save section ---
Coping: PH Tampering
meaning to mention - since several readers have asked - what
ever happened with Elaine getting diagnosed with acid reflux?
Kind of an interesting story. As I think I mentioned, she
was referred to a conventional doc by our dentist, who's a great
guy. Then, after he looked - mistaking it for
thrush and a couple of weeks of anti-fungal, he gave up and sent
her on to a local eyes/ears/nose/&throat doc. About
5-minutes and the diagnosis was made.
Apparently, the number of people who suffer from nighttime acid
reflux is on the order of 12-million (or so our research on the
web has claimed). He gave E a list of most of the foods
she loved and said "Get off these and everything ought to clear
up" and sure enough, the blisters on the side of her tongue and
side of her mouth are about gone, along with the clearing her
throat more often than most and so forth. he offered to
put her on some prescription antacids, but being the au naturel
kind of person she is, the choice was made to stick to
over-the-counter and diet. So....a week later, she's
noticeably on the mend.
course, there's been a price to pay: Gone are the
quick-fix meals of tortillas with veggies and hot peppery sauces
with cheeses and tomatoes with a glass of milk. Like I
said, this does involve some sacrifices on her part.
the way we stumbled into a really interesting product at one of
the local health food stores called "AlkaMAX". The idea of
the stuff is you take a few drops of it in whatever kind of
liquid you want and it will move your body PH back toward
neutral. Elaine's up to her elbows in research at the
moment, but turns out that a lot of bad, bad, bad illnesses are
linked to having ones body go strongly acidic over a fair period
of time. We got the drops, not the powder, just to
now, along with 'approved' foods, she's doing that and
interestingly, we're not pretty much on the same kind of diet.
Since I've been taking the stuff (10 drops of the liquid in my
morning cu-p of coffee) it's cut the acid sufficiently so that I
don't have that gnawing hole in the stomach demanding food.
Styill hungry by the time breakfast rolls around, but just
there's not so much a dull pain associated with drinking acidic
coffee and sitting for three hours.
Meantime, the eczema on my hands may also be improving because
of it, but "Shhh!" - Don't want to jump to any
conclusions, but it's turning into an interesting little
other thing about nighttime acid reflux: Apparently helps
to elevate the head of the bed about 5-7" so that
(you-know-what) will roll downhill. Also has me pondering
whether I should go looking for one of those Craft-matic
adjustable beds for us; although sleeping in my man-chairs
(side-by-side leather recliners in a TV seat/couch with drink
holders etc) would do the same thing and I wouldn't be tempted
to get another TV...
other item: I've ordered some
litmus paper and one of our friends up in the Dallas area
recommended a particular type of enzyme regimen. Don't
know as I'll go that far, but I feel as good at almost 61 as I
did at 40...which can't be a bad thing.
thought in the name of science I'd run a litmus test on myself
before writing one of my columns and then run a second
test after to see how much venom I actual expend writing
about the economic policies run amuck in today's print-prone
world. I'll keep you posted.
An Apology from Indonesia
thinking about it a bit, our Indonesia bureau has issued an
"Perhaps I was a bit hasty to call the American masses
fluoridated couch jockeys. On second thought, maybe the
interesting thing is to live in a country where the
government still reacts to public demands, rather than
On another note, I am learning
Mandarin now. I thought it might be a good recommendation
for UrbanSurvivalists to do the same. Since China will
likely end up owning most of North America in the
not-to-distant future, it seems that learning Mandarin could
be a leg up with the new management. Not that English will
die of course. Anyone who has used a Mandarin keyboard will
tell you the Roman alphabet is far easier to type.
Furthermore, there has been a massive 100 year effort to
make English in international business language. However,
being able to say "Good morning, sir. Would you like tea or
coffee this morning?," in the boss' native tongue might open
a few doors.
Just a thought."
Meantime, we happened to catch a mini-documentary on the
English-language Al Jazeera satellite channel yesterday...a
quite revealing appraisal of how American tobacco companies
having been regulated in the West were now trying to get as many
people in Third/Emerging world countries like Indonesia
hooked on smokes and their report claimed 7 out of 8 adults in
country are smokers with resulting health consequences.
I've asked our Indo Bureau to double-check that and get back to
only started to dig into former IMF Chief Economist Ken Rogoff's
book This Time is Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly
(with Carmen Reinhart) and already love some of his concepts.
main one early on is that when it comes to financial excesses,
there's some kind of a 'boundary layer' - a kind of tipping
point - or point of no return - which is when economies tip into
inflation, depreciation, or debasement of currency. It's
one of those dandy 'obvious as hell - hid in plain sight -
things that once you grasp the concept slaps you upside the head
and you think "Wow! So that's what's going on...wonder why
I hadn't noticed before?"
answer, of course, is simple" You ain't supposed to get
it since it's your behavior that makes it all
possible for the mantra "this time is different" and traditional
valuations get thrown out the door.
Particularly direct, by the way, is their description of 'fiat'
money which they characterize as only having value so long as
people accept the government's decree that paper has value.
Like I tell the folks at the local liquor store every time I go
in "Ain't this an amazing world? I can trade you pieces of
dirty paper for perfectly good rum..."
look at me like I'm nuts - and there's a good case for that,
too, I suppose.
Sorry, Larry - Sort of....
I suppose I should drop in an apology to the "Larry's" of the
world for my acerbic comments earlier this week that Larry
Summers would be taken a lot more seriously if he would call
himself Dr. Lawrence H. instead of plain "Larry". Which is
just too darned reminiscent of Leisure Suit Larry's adventure
number of readers with the highly esteemed name "Lawrence" told
me they were offended that I would point out their 'Larry-ness."
to offend, but the way humans work is there's some kind of odd
tribal pecking order. The longer the name and more
distinguished the title, the more 'respect' it's supposed to buy
amongst people who are not consciously inspecting everything
that gets pumped into their heads. The sheep have names
like Dick instead of Richard, and once elevated part Richard it
upscales to Dr. Richard, Sir Richard and eventually the
deification is complete with Lord Richard Somethingorother.
rather than gush an apology to all Larrys on earth for this
highly obvious statement of facts, I'll simple raise the bar a
little and see if I can offend even more people who allow their
names to be short-changed.
your name is "Bob" and you're trying to build credibility/power
switch to Robert. If it's Mike, try Michael, if Jim try
James, if Sue try Susan, or if Cathy try Katherine. See
how it works?
Short names and the use thereof is best reserved for
borrow a Middle English/slander of theWiccan concept).
Which is why in my sales career I always tried to use longer
proper names until I had established some rapport with
people and then ask "Say, Richard, may I call you Dick?"
or "Robert - may I call you Bob?" Four out of five times
they actually preferred the longer name.
that at some preconscious level people want to be
upgraded to long-name and they tend to like people who give them
the upgrade. Which is why - if you're in the #3 business
employing sociopaths you figure a way to issue upgrades to buy
sales, eh? I assume you know this: Sales places third to
politics and law employing sociopaths, but they already have
their coding with words like "Your Honor", "Senator"
"Congressman" and so forth...
give you my personal example of how successful this strategy can
be: For a long time I had people yelling at me "Hey you!
Dumb sh*t!" I've actually convinced a few to call me
George and it makes me feel good.
Luxembourg reader has been tinkering with dates and meanings of
2012 and suggests something worth considering:
"If you believe in the Codex Dresdensis of the Mayas, you
should take into consideration also that their 21.12.2012
should be adapted for the passage from Julian to Gregorian
calendar, i.e. the terrible 'events' will not happen before
2014. This will probably give Sony an opportunity for
another movie. Also, stated in their codex, is that after
this cycle of the sun supposedly ending in 2012, there will
be another one, the last one. So that gives us at least
another 5.125 years to endure this earthly life. Alas! "
the deal: Way I have it figured is that as long as I can
be bilked into handing over 33% (or more) of everything I make
to people who want to "rule" me - and then go pick fights so
they can 'defend me" and then make me sick so they can "medicate
me" and then wear me our so they can "retire me" they'll keep me
be at least a few among the PowersThatBe bright enough to figure
out that if I'm not working and paying my tribute, they go down
in flames, right?
from Oz asks:
"Hi George Can you let me know what that ISP address is? Our
internet filtering in Australia will soon be underway, and I
don't want to miss out on your posts. thanks "
for UrbanSurvival and
http://126.96.36.199/ for Peoplenomics. Peoplenomics also
has a secure layer:
https://188.8.131.52/ and yes, it's safe to continue
be setting up email addresses with auto-responders so you should
be able to write to
firstname.lastname@example.org and get an automatic email back with IP
Wouldn't surprise me to see the PowersThatBe figure out that in
order to keep a critical mass of humans from getting together
and questioning Paradigm Control that they will need to turn off
the easy/convenient way of surfing the net, so by going to fixed
IP addresses they could no doubt buy themselves time.
Until, of course, forwarding thinking people figure out how to
get around that and direct IP addressing may be one
way...anyway, a lot cost high potential payoff to be implemented
here anyway. Might consider it for your company web site,
too, if your income is web-dependent. I like fixed IP's a
The Eternal Optimist
how optimistic that last bit sounded? Why, every so often
I get ill-advised emails from people who say "You're/Ure a doom
and gloomer!" No, I am not.
more like the guy who - in the middle of an airplane falling out
of the sky towards a horrific crash - will look at you from the
seat to yours and says "Great! We're landing early for
There's no excuse not to have a good attitude. Unless
you're out of booze and pills, of course.
Tuesday December 15, 2009
Financial Atlantis Department
Yuppie I, I Owe, PPI Day
ONLY a 23.8% Annualized PPI increase so git along,
little dogies... but lets begin at the beginning or
somewhere near the middle, shall we?
notion that gold is making a correction after busting through
the $1,000 barrier and shooting up briefly to the $1,200 range
is certainly reinforced by the numbers in the pre-open today.
Futures are down, the dollar is up, and gold is down $14 bucks
early on although it should bounce back a bit. Early today
an AP story noted that
"Stock futures weaker as dollar rises" which shows, perhaps
inadvertently, that the dollar has been the reason for a
rising market. It more or less proves the point that
equities have been viewed as inflation hedges on what I
can only assume is the [errant] notion that owning a big chunk
of the American market in something-or-other has value
regardless of the economic outcome.
error of such thinking is the unstated assumption that American
consumption of stuff will always be at some kind of
baseline level under which it is not likely to sink; at least
for very long.
sure, some kind of economic change happen at sub glacial speeds.
Cars, for example, got better mileage in 1908 than they do
today. Think I'm kidding? Nossir: "Car
Mileage: 1908 Ford Model T - 25 MPG 2008 EPA Average All Cars -
that isn't the one of the biggest con jobs in history, I
don't know what is: 100-years and we lost 4
MPG. Yeah, sure, nav systems, air conditioning, iPod
docks, surround sound, air bags, coffee warmers and if you get
really creative, you can install a mobile microwave with a cheap
1.5 KW inverter and a small oven, so whoever is in the back seat
can toast up bacon-wrapped scallops while they watch a 7" DVD
screen and assault their ears with 1,000 watts of high-powered
audio sitting atop body-jarring subs is nice and all, but.....
there's something wrong with George. I mean, that's is
worthy progress for 100-years of development ain't it?
Surely this kind of stuff is why people buy equities instead
of gold, right?
way of thinking it really isn't much to show. I'm
looking for the real progress that I can point out to the
kids and say "See! Are we cool or what? Clean cars
that get 50 MPG and have Jenn-Air grills and 65" wide-screens.
Would even that really be progress? Because
when I project out 100-years of industrial trending, that's
where we're headed! Seriously (or nearly so).
which is not to beat-down the car industry. Times have
been tough enough and
the head of Ford is cautiously predicting a slight rise
in sales in 2010. Will that be part of a general
recovery? Maybe...or it will just be replacement sales
picking up. That's where projecting ahead gets to be such
a fool's game. Except, of course, for seeing that
government will be printing up more money and any way you cut
it, that is inflation/watering down on existing dollar's
purchasing power, so gold, silver and the rest of the
precious metals and other hard assets make sense. Even
buying stocks because of the book value of their plant and
equipment makes sense at some level. Be nice if some of
the book value was located domestically, however.
clear however, now that we've got our Magic Zoom-Out Glasses on,
is that the ascendancy of China is continuing at break-neck
speed while the West sinks slowly into the sunset; a kind of
modern financial Atlantis. Headlines like "China
auto sales close to doubling in November" aren't all that
hard to find.
investors don't take the time to frame the biggest investment
decision of all correctly; most hear a 'tip' or get sucked in to
a mutual fund salesman's spiel and don't recognize high
commission loads even when they are disclosed.
Instead, the right first decision to make might be
phrased something like this:
"Do I want to invest in a country with a shrinking middle
class, runaway spending, exported manufacturing, and huge
military commitments and maybe an expensive healthcare plan
OR do I want to invest in a country where sales are soaring,
the middle class development is a cornerstone of policy and
where they have enough money left over to buy US bonds?"
to me like that would be a pretty simple thing to answer - and
if the US dollar gets a decnet-sized bounce for a while, the
currency swing could magnify offshore purchasing power, which
would then be a genius move if the US dollar only drops a bit,
since in multinational trading, you can make double-returns by
playing currency swings and market directions.
didn't mean to get off on a tangent. Let's all open our
hymnals here at the Church of the Almighty Dollar and turn to
page 1215 and sing together "How Great Thy PPI?" Hummm...
Producer Price Index for Finished Goods rose 1.8 percent in
November, seasonally adjusted, the U.S. Bureau of Labor
Statistics reported today. This increase followed a
0.3-percent advance in October and a 0.6-percent decrease in
September. In November, at the earlier stages of processing,
prices received by manufacturers of intermediate goods
climbed 1.4 percent, and the crude goods index rose 5.7
percent. On an unadjusted basis, prices for finished goods
moved up 2.4 percent for the 12 months ended November 2009,
their first 12-month increase since November 2008.
About three-fourths of the
November advance in the finished goods index can be traced
to higher prices for energy goods, which jumped 6.9 percent.
The indexes for finished goods less foods and energy and for
finished consumer foods also contributed to the finished
goods increase, both rising 0.5 percent.
Finished energy: The index for
finished energy goods climbed 6.9 percent in November after
advancing 1.6 percent a month earlier. About sixty percent
of the broad-based November rise can be attributed to a
14.2-percent surge in gasoline prices. Increases in the
indexes for liquefied petroleum gas and home heating oil
also were major factors in the finished energy goods
advance. (See table 2.)
Finished core: The index for
finished goods less foods and energy moved up 0.5 percent in
November, its largest increase since a 0.5-percent gain in
October 2008. Leading the November advance, the index for
light motor trucks jumped 4.2 percent. Higher cigarette
prices also contributed to the rise in the finished core
Finished foods: The index for
finished consumer foods advanced 0.5 percent in November,
its second consecutive monthly increase. Over sixty percent
of the November rise can be traced to higher prices for
fresh and dry vegetables, which climbed 8.7 percent.
The Producer Price Index for
Intermediate Materials, Supplies, and Components rose 1.4
percent in November, its fourth straight monthly advance.
Accounting for about three-fourths of the broad-based
November increase, prices for intermediate energy goods
climbed 5.4 percent. The indexes for both intermediate goods
less foods and energy and for intermediate foods and feeds
also contributed to this advance, rising 0.3 and 0.7
percent, respectively. On a 12-month basis, prices for
intermediate goods fell 1.6 percent in November. This is the
fourth consecutive month of slowing year-over-year declines
following a record 15.2-percent drop for the 12 months ended
July 2009. (See table B.)
Intermediate energy: The index
for intermediate energy goods rose 5.4 percent in November,
its second consecutive monthly increase. A major factor in
the November advance was an 18.8- percent surge in jet fuel
prices. The indexes for gasoline and liquefied petroleum gas
also contributed significantly to higher intermediate energy
goods prices. (See table 2).
Intermediate core: Prices for
intermediate materials less foods and energy increased 0.3
percent in November, their fifth increase in the last six
months. The index for basic organic chemicals led the
November advance, rising 4.3 percent. Higher prices for
medicinal and botanical chemicals also were a factor in the
intermediate core increase.
Intermediate foods: The index
for intermediate foods and feeds moved up 0.7 percent in
November following two consecutive monthly declines. About
forty percent of this advance can be attributed to prices
for pork, which climbed 6.4 percent.
The Producer Price Index for
Crude Materials for Further Processing increased 5.7 percent
in November. For the 3-month period ending in November,
crude material prices rose 9.1 percent after advancing 4.4
percent in the 3 months ending in August. In November,
monthly increases of 12.2 percent in the index for crude
energy materials and 2.6 percent for prices of crude
foodstuffs and feedstuffs outweighed a 0.8-percent decrease
in the index for crude nonfood materials less energy. (See
Crude energy: The index for
crude energy materials increased 12.2 percent in November.
From August to November, this index rose 15.0 percent
compared with a 12.6-percent rise in the 3 months ending in
August. Accounting for about two-thirds of the monthly
November increase, the index for natural gas jumped 25.5
percent. Higher prices for both crude petroleum and coal
also contributed to the advance in the crude energy
materials index. (See table 2.)
Crude foods: Prices for crude
foodstuffs and feedstuffs rose 2.6 percent in November. This
index moved up 5.8 percent in the most recent 3-month period
compared with a 7.1-percent decline in the previous 3-month
period. In November, over sixty percent of the monthly
increase in the crude foods index can be attributed to a
25.6-percent surge in prices for slaughter hogs. An advance
in the fluid milk index also was a significant factor in the
rise for crude foodstuffs and feedstuffs.
another morning begins as we all hotly anticipate even better
news in the Fed's capacity utilization and industrial production
report in about 45-minutes.
that's nothing compared with the CPI and Fed (non) decision
tomorrow. Till then podnah, "Yuppie I, I Owe! Git along
Ovies..." Sure don't want to read how "Dairy,
Meat prices will spur food inflation, Wells Fargo says..."
Poll Drop, Redux
we're down to
just 24% of the nation strongly supporting president O.
Darned fools are probably looking for change or
Sickly Health Care
resists Medicare buy-in plan" could torpedo the healthcare
reform bill. Granted the program might redistribute
healthcare costs, but pardon me if I just sit back with popcorn
and watch the street fight from up here in the balcony seats.
Shutting Down Gitmo
feds will be announcing transfer of detainees at Gitmo to a
facility in Illinois. given a choice, I'd opt for the
warmer weather, but no one asked. Again.
Washington Post story on this has an interesting quote:
"In telegraphing the announcement, the official said closing
the detention center at Guantanamo Bay "is essential to
protecting our national security and helping our troops by
removing a deadly recruiting tool from the hands of al-
sure how moving from Gitmo to a super-max security prison in the
land of Blagojevich is going to someone be less of a recruiting
tool, but I'm not in war marketing. But I could never have
pulled off the peace prize/troop deployment, either
Tomorrow is Riot Day?
least that's the sense of things around the net as Copenhagen is
turning contentious and headlines like "Copenhagen
climate summit progress 'too slow'. You'll probably
want to move the TV back away from the dinner table tomorrow
night so as not to have high def tear gas get into your food.
used to insist we sit back as kids at least 6-feet from the TV
in the early "Untouchables" episodes back when, so as not to get
blood splattered on us...I have a similar theory about
demonstrations and war coverage.
Out from Under the TARP
Wells Fargo is about to repay their TARP money. I
assume you have figured that Wells, BofA and others are paying
back so quickly is so they can get bonuses out from under the
fed's microscope, yeah?
see where "50-million
blinds recalled as strangulation hazard"? Hell, I
shocked any Venetians survived, know what I mean?
not planes - the balance sheets. "Airlines
in Deeper Trouble than Forecast". I figure a hike in
Jet fuel will put 2-3 more big ones under in the first half of
'10, but then again, I worked that biz for a while and know that
the single biggest problem is the fuel bill... and as it comes
up and loads stay light due to low disposable income despite
reports to the contrary, something's gonna have to give.
here come the price hike justifications.
snip and save section ---
Coping: With Those
Signposts Up Ahead
about 40-some years now, since I started trying to 'sneak up on
the Truth' of life after doing a stint as a 'wunderkind' for a
military contractor, which I image is a fair label for a GS-15
equivalent and equivalent rank about major at age 19, I've been
developing a theory that among people on honest and good
hearts/souls there is no conflict; that it's only a
marketing game by a few in 'power' that divides us from one
another to keep themselves phat and skimming off the top.
think I've mentioned before my favorite analogy of religion:
It's like driving around Mount Rainer up in Washington State.
One religion will view Universe (or God) from one promontory and
declare theirs to be the only "correct" view of the
mountain, while another group will declare with equal certainty
- yet from another promontory on another side of the mountain
that no, only their view of the mountain is correct.
result, near as I can figure, more people have died over this
kind of 'mountain-sight-seeing' than even gold or food.
It's a condition of humans that I've studied enough to become
deeply skeptical of those who pretend to lead the rest of us
since without 'leadership' we might progress better as a
species; if consensus-building, sharing, and unconditional
relationships were more honored.
thoughts are foolish, of course, since we're all marched at
spear-point in some sense whether economically (which is what
this site is about) or in a political or religious way.
Going one's own way through Life is distinctly frowned upon
without so much tribute to Caesar, so much in tithing, and the
biggest portion for "Call now, operators are standing by, this
is a free call."
essence of such a personal expedition was neatly summed up in
Rod Serling's second season opening of The Twilight Zone:
traveling through another dimension, a dimension not only of
sight and sound but of mind; a journey into a wondrous land
whose boundaries are that of imagination. That's the
signpost up ahead — your next stop, the Twilight Zone."
of the matter is -that upon closer inspection and a bit of
thought - we are as humans not watching the show - we are
the show itself. We've been divided - and conquered - in
such manner as to erase the key memory that we're all brothers
and sisters, and as one religion notes "petals on one flower,
drops of one ocean."
which gets me around to a new book just out, "Darkness Folding
Inward, light Emerging" by Deborah Harmes, PhD. At her web
site, the book is
available from Lulu as a hard copy of smashwords as an e-book.
is luckier than most of us, near as I can tell, in that she's
had a life-long relationship with a being she refers to
as "The Dreamkeeper". This is a being she actually
physically saw until puberty, which then receded for a
while (the visions, not puberty, you dolt!), but the 'presence'
of whatever has returned in the form of automatic writing (some
of which was included in her Masters thesis, and more recently
as she's worked with it, the ability to flip between her native
mode of thinking and the more 'connected mode' seems to have
won't spoil the book for you by given you the George Notes
version, except to make two other observations. One is
that from her first best-selling book, she got a lot of
questions about the nature of time and she states the
same kind of thing that Cliff has found in predictive
"Time is not a fixed thing! It bends and flexes, contracts
and expands, streams and spirals in never ending movement.
Someone having a prophetic vision of the future as they sat
by their fireside in Europe 400 years ago would have seen
one potential date for an upcoming event or events. But the
subsequent years would have produced many variations and
movements that could not have been predicted by the seer in
that long ago time period."
second note in passing is that somehow Cliff's work and mention
of UrbanSurvival ended up on pages 117 & 118...in a chapter
(perhaps aptly) titled Enemies of the State.
Although probably anyone who questions the ruling paradigms can
wear the label, t'ain't just us.
visions in the book are pretty interesting, too, in terms of the
look behind the time/space experiments that have apparently been
going on for years...which may explain why people with Gen3
nightvision see all kinds of oddities in the skies.
problem with the book - and it's why I got nearly nothing
done on Monday was because after reading it, I got into deep,
deep, deep ponderings about where the boundaries are in language
in how humans get information from 'other than self' sources.
friend Cliff, for example, is an archetype 'purist'. In
other words, when he says archetype what he means is a
collection of behaviors. However, there are a lot
of people who go to various psychological associations (many
Jungians) who hold that folks can work with their archetypes in
a 'guided meditative state, while still others go about it
'unguided' and more of less channel information.
course this starts setting off all kinds of 'calls for research'
since purely 'touching the stream' (without an
intermediary/guide/archetype [broadly as an avatar, not just a
behavior collection] seems to yield some useful information
although the 'stream-touchers' who go there directly (mano y
mano, or whatever the female gendered equivalent of that trite
phrase would be) note that Yogic teachings are quite specific
that in [archetype meant as avatar or channeled] information,
you can't be as confident as personal (unmediated) contact with
outer fringes of Universe directly.
is probably just as well, except that if 2012 comes along as
there's more to 'colliding Universes' and we really could
suddenly materialize anything, fly, teleport, or whatever, then
a high degrees of personal ethics would be needed and are we
ready for that kind of world?
Anyway, I found Harmes book is very interesting material,
especially her observation than people who believe in woo-woo
seem to be just as pleased (or more so) to follow the 'ones' who
are fraudulent even more so than ones with a decent 'batting
average'. Not a really long book, but sets off a lot more
Judge of Judges Call
"George - you better look again on The Judge," began the call.
"Yeah, you can get The Judge (that .410 shotgun shell slinging
pistol I mentioned in yesterday's column - G) for under $500 but
odds are that if you do, you'll find it's for the small frame -
1½ inch barrel. They are not
nearly as good as the medium frame with the 3-inch barrel..."
Point noted. Always preferred
something with a bit of 'heft' to it - one reason I like my
Ruger over my Glock - doesn't kick up as much when I'm double
BTW, the JoJ (Judge of Judges)
wanted to know from yesterday's reader where he could find a
beer that would be good after storing for a year...seems they
all have issues there. Don't know as it's an issue,
though...maybe the reader just rotates stock through his own
kidneys, just didn't get enough detail.\.
Like Pappy used to say "Folks don't
buy beer - they rent it." I've seen beer last
5-minutes, but rarely more than a week, especially when the
weather is hot. In this part of the South, the notion of
beer lasting a year is just incredible - by both definitions of
number of readers wrote in to tell me that Spec's policy
(discounting for cash, mentioned in yesterday's column) was
nothing new. Most surprising of all was that one
correction came from our Indonesian Bureau Chief (former our
Houston Bureau Chief) who explained:
"Spec's has offered a 5% discount for cash for at least the
past 40 years (that's as far back as I can remember going
there with my dad). Yes, it does exist, but no this is not
new. It is a feature of Spec's that is long in the tooth."
Seems even people in Indonesia know Spec's policy...how I could
be so far out of the loop is boggling; although not mind
boggling because there's some argument about on whether I have a
large enough one to be 'boggled'...but that's another story for
another day. Meantime, however, here's an update on things
down in that part of the world...
"Well, things have gotten rather interesting here, in the
sense of living in a Chinese curse.
Beginning with the bail-out of
Bank Century in the last quarter of last year (to the tune
of hundreds of billions of DOLLARS), there has erupted a
seething morass of political intrigue around these parts.
Seems that money from the
bail-out was used by the brother of a well-known businessman
and fugitive to bribe Forestry officials to drop an
investigation into [alleged] illegal logging in
Kalimantan/Borneo. Along about July of this year, two
high-ranking officials in the KPK (Anti-Corruption Agency)
were framed with bribery and abuse of power by the National
Police and the Attorney General's Office. Due to public hew
and cry, the charges were dropped and the two officers were
re-instated this week, but the corruption cancer has reached
the highest levels of government here. Wiretapped
conversations have implicated the head of the National
Police, the Attorney General, the Finance Minister, the Vice
President, and even the President. There are daily
revelations of even deeper graft touching almost every
agency in the government now. Today,
it was announced that even the bail-out was illegal.
The general public is becoming
increasingly restive. Mass demonstrations occured when the
two KPK officials were framed and the word "revolution" was
liberally sprinkled in all the media. Public pressure to
punish corrupt officials prompted the President, in a
televised speech, to say certain elements were trying to
topple him. The Vice President and Finance Minister may yet
be unseated. Public pressure has even
caused a major hospital chain to back off a libel suit
against a woman who emailed her friends about poor service
There are many more fronts
opening up, as well. A statue of Obama as a Child was
erected in Menteng just last week,
and this week there are protests because what did Barry
every do for Indonesia?
One point in that article was
interesting...it seems that the (god) Obama lived here seven
years rather than the four I had heard before.
The natives are getting restless
here and there is a scandal afoot that threatens the highest
seats of power, with wide-spread tentacles. I, for one, find
it exhilarating to live someplace where people still are
unflouridated enough to take direct action against corrupt
power structures. Perhaps I will have a front-row seat in
the coming revolt against TPTB.
Certainly more to come...
for the idea that people here don't get personally engaged
(since everyone is scrambling to hold onto a job if they have
one, or too busy being worked to death if they do) it doesn't
sound that much different than here.
Tomorrow, there are rumors of a massive demonstration (or
several) in Copenhagen and when one reads the reports from
around the world and interesting question about social context
changing comes up: Could the 'context change' due come
week's end and over following weeks be something of a
'grassroots uprising planet-wide'?
possible (although not likely since it would definitely be a
way out there on the fringe kind of event) that while the
PowersThatBe in individual countries have been able to
'keep down' the indigenous and working peoples at a
spontaneously connecting global level.
Shouldn't have too much longer to wait to find out how all this
fits together, but if the internet suddenly gets disrupted
toward the end of the month and only 'official news and
information' is allowed to flow, then the maybe it would
indicate that the PTB are getting worried about losing their
status as 'global controllers'. Time, as always, will
A 2012 Note:
Another Underwater City Found
Bothered by Implications: Been
meaning to mention the Herald de Paris story in the last week
that goes to the idea of a 'Previously
undiscovered ancient city found on Caribbean sea floor".
story goes on that this find is much shallower than the large
sunken city found off Cuba in 2,300 feet of water and that
there's evidence of post & beam construction; something that
doesn't happen without humans, far as we know.
the story doesn't mention 2012. However, if you've been
reading books like Patrick Geryl's
How To Survive 2012,
you'll quickly figure out that one of the core tenets of the
'earth change/crust goes walk-about in 2012" crowd is that this
kind of thing has happened multiple times in earth's past and
that when the crust breaks its stead, humans get dead.
Easy enough to dismiss out of hand, especially if you hold to an
'It can't happen here' mindset. yet, there's the ocean and
there are not one or two but now multiple cities that
have just sunk beneath the waves.
Takes a fair bit of reading to come up with a personal strategy
for such things. For example a reader wrote in recently
and asked "If our part of the US does slide down toward the
equator, doesn't that mean that we'd be on the top of the new
bulge due to centrifugal force - so no worries?"
No, not exactly. You see if Geryl's got it right and he's
done a lot more reading & research on this kind of thing that I
have which is what it takes to get three books on topic out),
when the earth axis shift occurs, there could be all kinds of
unknown effects. I seem to recall the sun standing still
in the Bible somewhere - and when coupled with The Flood, an
open-minded researcher might be asking "What's the strategy to
get through this?"
Cliff and I are both 'boat people' in that we've both been
around boats all our lives. He's working on his survival
pod boat and I'm still looking around at options, hoping to hear
back on one of them in a week or so. Failing that I'll be
looking for a modest sailboat on a trailer (26-27 feet) which
could then be reinforced into a 'survival pod'.
got a dandy page on his research which goes into some of the
hyper spatial geometry of it and so forth here. While
its possible (heck, even statistically probably) that nothing
will happen, I nevertheless love sailing or I wouldn't have
lived on a sailboat for 10-years.
Doing a restoration/reinforcement project on a trailerable boat
so it can withstand rolling in violent oceans (which entails
changing out the rig and rigging to something where the mast can
be stepped at sea) may sound crazy, but in a worst-case
situation it would be useful to take on the canals of Europe
some day, where only low craft can make it under fixed bridges.
Tabernacles aren't just in Salt Lake, as it turns out; it's an
ancient way to step masts on ships. (A
good discussion of mast tabernacles here.)
I look at having a sailboat on a trailer as a kind of insurance
policy. If 2012 turns out to be a non-event (maybe a 51%
chance) then worst-case I go sailing on some of the large lakes
and reservoirs here in East Texas. On the other hand, if
there's something to it and the timing really is 2012,
and Texas (not to mention other large chunks of real estate drop
below the waves and the Herald de Paris story points out has
happened before, then we'll at least bob around for a while
before running out of food & water...OR we get the ultimate in
do-overs. And if this part of the country rises
then we can lug the boat on its trailer to somewhere near to
whatever the new coastline is and be ready to start up my next
business as a coast-wise sailing captain since massive
geophysical changes would end the high energy dependency world
as we know it.
As always, the idea is not to play to 'win' everything; it's to
be in a 'not going to lose' position. Or, in this case, an
unsinkable position. Ought to be a good exercise in
engineering and rigging at a minimum. In 1,102 days I'll
have my answer and in any event I'll go sailing. The only
variable will be the sailing conditions in that time; Will it be
simply a large Texas reservoir, or something much bigger and
This latest reported find seems to underscore the cyclical
nature of human progress; many steps ahead and then a
geophysical beat-down of continent-sinking size: Tales of
Atlantis now being under the South Pole, the underwater
'highways' in the Bahamas, underwater cities in the Caribbean,
the Pacific, and elsewhere.
the Black Sea, perhaps.
But it's still a gamble. Sure, there's the much
talked about Eltanin antenna story in Wikipedia:
Antenna is the name popularly given to an unusual object
photographed on the sea floor by the Antarctic oceanographic
research ship USNS Eltanin in 1964, while photographing the
sea bottom west of Cape Horn.
Due to its regular antenna-like
structure and upright position on the seafloor at a depth of
13,500 feet (4,115 metres), some have suggested that it
might be an artifact from a forgotten high-tech
civilization, was brought to earth by aliens, or brought
from the future by our descendants.
However, it has subsequently
been identified as an example of the sponge Cladorhiza
concrescens, first identified by Alexander Agassiz in a
dredged-up sample in 1888."
I go look at the picture of
what sure looks like an antenna (here) and I ask myself:
"You buying that's a sponge?"
More imagery here.
Makes me wonder if there's any
down-side to planning for a trailerable boat, you know what I
December 14, 2009
Violence Against Leaders?
Not sure how to frame the
attack against Italian prime minister
Berlusconi who was attacked - suffering a couple of broken teen,
minor nose fracture and more. Since this is definitely
the 'flavor' of coming events in the predictive linguistics, one
could either view it as the starting of physical conflict
between the PTB (the powers that be) and 'the people' - or it
could just be a lone event carried out by a mentally disturbed
person. We ought to find out in the next month or two.
Nevertheless, imagery of
people suffering on television is evident, too, in the video of
a Climate expert in Copenhagen having an apparent heart attack
live on TV.
And as long as we're
talking about PTB/media role changes, might as well mention that
the UK's Telegraph is reporting "Prince
William to assume more of the Queen's public duties."
As youi may recall (if
you've been a long-time reader), the predictive linguistics out
don't focus on celebrity or PTB names since they are so
emotionally 'hot' all the time that deriving something
meaningful from 'celeb name stew' is rather pointless, but
there's a shift going on in celeb-hood - if that's a word.
A kind of turning that may be starting.
Besides all the headlines
of today there's the last week or so of Tiger Woods
misadventures being reported and now the commercial fallout as "Gillette
to limit Woods' role in its marketing" on the heels of NY
Daily News shock headline
"Accenture drops Tiger Woods; Jamie Jungers says she had sex
with Woods the night his dad Earl died".
All of which is not to
say that celeb-hood will figure into the context change which
begins starting Friday, but the aware person can almost sense
that there's a lot more 'people' aspect to the contemporary news
content than 'normal' (whatever the hell that is).
But seems to me there's just a lot more high-level people/big
name/PTB'ish kinds of froth in the headlines of late. The
Rod Blagojevich layering that draws in names like Obama, Rahm
Emanuel, and Valerie Jarrett fits the naming names context.
To be sure, there are still a lot of names on the sidelines, but
before the week is out I wouldn't be surprised to see a lot of
other 'big names' (Buffett and Schwarzenegger come to mind along
with heaping helpings of sports figures and tinsel town types)
if there's to be some kind of 'blow off top' in the cult of
Trend or blip? Just
can't say; it's too early. But, it certainly bears
watching, loathe though I am to play 'the name game' slash
'cult of personality' that attempts to steal our attention from
the gravity of underlying facts of modern complexity and instead
weaves it into a tapestry of people which is somehow more
interesting to most
generalization is the general public can't generalize, generally
The 'big names' in
contemporary mass-communicated society are sort of like 'stick
figures for the universal subconscious mind' if I've got Jung's
Red Book right. However, I've only gotten as far as the
art in the front half of the book. The translation in the
second half might require a little actual work. You'll
please xcuse the use of that four-letter word this early on a
Gold Plated Tungsten Bars,
interesting report on YouTube. Can't vouch for the
content, but worth a listen.
Remember a while back
Bloomberg was trying to get a bunch of documents on the banking
panic/bailout? Well, out of the limelight (since they
aren't in New York, I suppose)
I see where the Seattle Business Journal is also trying to get
some documents out of the government's Office of Thrift
Supervision and with about the same results.,..next to
I know this has to thrill
the people who voted for change and were promised heaping
tablespoonfuls of transparency. Welcome to the
change from republic to imperial governance, I 'spose.
Economic Cognitive Dissonance
Now that we're down to
just 10 shopping days until Christmas or 1,103 days until
12/21/2012 (or 697 days until 11/11/11) I'm struck again
by the fractured/discontinuous nature of economic opinion.
Take for example
White House economic advisor Larry Summers who is expecting 'job
growth by Spring' in an ABC report. On the other hand,
WH economic advisor Christina Romer says
"of course the recession isn't over". All
of which leaves a lot of us small-time gamblers who would like
to strike it rich in the markets with a little bit of a problem:
We're trying to figure
out a hugely complex multivariate stew here. One question
is "What's the official outlook" where we get either
conflict or a thread-the-needle of definitions; and that's
before we get to the real core issue which is "Do these
people have a clue themselves?"
There are a few numbers
out this week which may help illuminate what's coming;
but by their nature economic numbers are rear-view mirror
driving. Sure, the PPI numbers tomorrow may come in around
0.8% higher in November which would build the case for inflation
kicking it, because over a year that kind of spike might imply
something like a 9-10% annual inflation rate at the producer
level and they will get it out of our hides at some point.
But, the Consumer Price
Index will be out Wednesday with an expected 0.4% increase,
which would annualize out to 5 point some percent. All of
which ought to really anger people on fixed incomes, social
security, and military retirements where the adjustments for
cost of living lately have looked more like goose eggs.
Not at the stores, of
food inflation since riots means milk up 39%" says a
Bloomberg report. I read that and thought "What riots?
Did I miss something?"
Well, the story refers
"Food costs jumped to
a record in June 2008 as wheat, corn, rice, oats, soybeans,
animal feed and cooking oil reached the highest prices ever.
Indonesia, Argentina and India restricted trade to protect
supplies, according to the UN. Shortages sparked about 60
riots from Haiti to the Philippines before the global credit
crisis and recession sent prices plunging. "
Hmmm...somewhat missed by
the US MSM these are now being recalled. So could global
food shortages be one of the context change points instead?
Sure! We ought to see it in a few weeks once we get past the
19th of this month (not January 19th as some have suggested).
All of which happens
while the leaders back in Washington keep themselves distinctly
out of the healthcare and medical plans being foisted on
the general public. But then again, what's good for the
goose is not fit for ruling ganders, is it?
There will no doubt be
some speculation about the Fed rate decision due out Wednesday
afternoon, but the odds of the Fed moving rates is about as
close to zero as you can find. Who would be crazy enough
to try and move rates either way when the mission of the Fed has
drifted far away from maintaini9ng sound money which I don't
think was ever really mentioned anywhere) to the blatantly
obvious "economic stability role' - which I suppose if fine
because ain't gonna be no revolutions as long as the stores are
full, even if the prices may limit consumption.
While look ahead trying
to figure what's up, unanimity of forward opinion from WH wags
seems less significant than figuring out how inflation will be
impacting the country, since while we're seeing headlines like "Democrats
plan nearly $2 trillion debt limit hike" there's little
mention of how the republicorp got the spending rolling into the
record books during the Bushistas term at the printing presses.
If my suspicions are
right, at some point the real estate investment trusts, gold,
silver, and other traditional inflation hedges will really
sparkle. It all boils down to timing, however, and I guess
bottom picking is a fools game. So dollar cost averaging
in over time is something to be considered. I doubt any
unit of government will hold up a flag and say "OK, on this date
we are going to revalue the currency this much, so you all make
good decisions in advance."
That'd be asking too
much, I know, but damn what a fine Christmas present that would
be for the Middle Class. I must be hitting the eggnog a
little early to even imagine such clarity.
Free White House
marketing advise department: Tell Larry Summers PR
wonks to reposition Summer to "Dr. Lawrence H. Summers"
for all his public pronouncements. I think there are just too
many of us late bloomers and early boomers who at some inner
level associate the name "Larry" with the classic
video game "Leisure
Suit Larry in the Land of the Lounge Lizards" for anyone
going by simply "Larry" to be taken seriously. The
connection between economic policy and a subconscious recall of
the game's Larry Laffer character is, oh, you know...just
something to be avoid, don'tcha think?
Then again, being old
school as I am, maybe it's me who should reposition to
something like Georgie Economic Porgie". Following this?
Oh, and Bin Laden is Dead
Something that's making
the rounds in the EU today and getting traction is a
report that Osama bin Laden really has been dead since 2001
which was printed recently on the "Veterans Today" web site.
Having made him a major
bogeyman, and sporting a $50-million reward, the marketing
problem is "How to 'disappear him'. Seems that he'll just
be faded out into the background...
Then there are the
headlines out of the UK that "'Sycophant'
Tony Blair used deceit to justify Iraq war, says former DPP"
but this is somehow not exactly surprising, is it?
On the other hand, more
warring in that part of the world to come since a "Secret
document exposes Iran's nuclear trigger." This may be
a build into the 19th, too...
And a reader note:
"This is almost mind
blowing. For over 2 years now the web bot has talked about
“ill winds” from the “Israeli Mistake”. The ill winds would
be the radioactive dust cloud circling the earth from the
attack on Iran (Israeli Mistake). Just a couple days ago I
actually found an article that used those exact words
regarding an attack on Iran. It said “ill winds”. Truly
amazing. Now we have this new article that I just found a
few minutes ago and I’ll point out one interesting sentence
in it. If it does not blow you away, nothing will. The web
bot also gives the story of what happens if Israel does in
fact attack Iran and what the timeline of events are
afterwards but I don’t need to mention that until this event
happens. This is so alarming. Things are not looking good
right about now.
main reactor at Bushehr will have come online and bombing it
would send a radioactive cloud over the Gulf nations”
Yep, that'd be 'ill
winds' alright. You can't read this site and be surprised,
though...we may be off now and then on timing but the
general flow of what's in the public consciousness?
Hard to Read but Worth It
nuclear missiles hidden 'underground maze". Reads like
it might be a machine translation, but very interesting info
about Chinese nuke survivability planning.
freezes as snow storm strands thousands" is making
headlines. Record cold not really a surprise since it's
what? Winter, maybe?
one lousy sunspot...at
this point in the cycle ought to be 8-12 visible. I expect
we'll be back to zero shortly as Solar Cycle 24 is taking its
own sweet time getting started.
--- snip and save section
Coping: The Dallas
I never say in advance
when members of my posse are going somewhere. No point
telling whoever can read the net when someone's not going to be
home, despite the presence of a sharp-shooting neighbor who
packs a Judge. Don't know if you've seen them, but
The Judge is a pistol that fires .410 shotgun shells and you can
find 'em for under $500. Quite cool and on my shopping
list...but then again, I'm a kind of gunnoisseur (which would be
a connoisseur of guns, get it?) much to the disdain of my
unarmed friends who live in the city and don't live in fear of
meeting an angry wild hog in the back yard. Where were we?
Oh yes...so Saturday
morning Elaine and I drive up to Dallas for lunch with one of
her boys & wife who flew into DFW. We spent about five
hours driving here and there checking out Christmas decorations,
eating, chatting. Quite fun.
We dropped 'em back at
the airport in late afternoon and that's when the troubles
I made the mistake of
using the navigation system in Elaine's car which I seldom
drive, preferring the practicality of the pickup for most
events, although showing up at the Hilton Anatole Dallas for
breakfast with four people squeezed into a single front seat in
an old farm truck would have been fine by me. Sometimes,
you got to make sacrifices, though.
So on the way out of the
airport I absent-mindedly plugged in our home as the
destination. Didn't look at anything for the next hour or
so....we were chit-chatting about the day, breakfast, later
lunch and so on when suddenly I began to notice that the
silky-voiced silicon wench-in-the-box had led me to some totally
unfamiliar territory. Lack of attention to details;
Seems that instead of
routing us toward Palestine, Texas, the WITB (wench-in-the-box)
had decided that no, for reasons of her own, we needed to head
for Mesquite, Texas instead.
All of which has me
determined NOT to ever use a GPS nav system ever again.
Seems they give you a false sense of security. You just
end up following the car ahead of you in strange towns and
disconnect your thinking faculties.
Without the GPS, I would
have gotten onto I-20 and then looked for Texas 175 which leaves
Dallas and heads down toward Gun Barrel City and points south.
Once on 175 it's really hard to get lost except in Athens,
Texas, where by local tradition, the sign indicating where to
turn south on Highway 19 to Palestine is on the other side of
the intersection, so you are actually past the turn by
the time you see the sign.
This is all part of a
small town's sense of humor, I suppose, but once you understand
that's how signs work, you look much further ahead and maybe
that's a good thing.
Eventually we got home,
but not before I resolved to spread the word of the inherent
danger in using navigation systems. I wonder how many
people have had the same experience...trusting a GPS system only
to find themselves marooned far from their original destination?
Once upon a time in my
airline days we had a case in the Bahamas where another airline
(not ours) landed on the wrong island. I remember
thinking at the time "Gee, how stupid...what kind of piloting is
that?" Now I know...and another layer of the arrogance of
youth has been removed.
Tons and tons of positive feedback on Peoplenomics this week -
where the focus was "Small Farm Economics". May put
together a compilation as follow-up over the next day or two for
Meantime, if you were
wondering about big business hijacking the seed business, try
Squeezes Out Seed Business Competition, AP Investigation Finds".
Reminds me to put might
sign up over the monitors today: "If you ain't paranoid, you
ain't payin' attention!"
"Missouri billboard warns Washington: Prepare for War"
The sign's along Interstate 70.
Street Level Economics
Heck of a report here -
can't vouch for it, but sounds real enough:
"We've all Talked
about it happening....but, I've yet to experience it...until
On Thursday I left the safe confines of Neu Braunfels to
travel to the BIG CITY of San Antonio in order to Lunch with
my Son....I thought that I would Stop on the way back at the
"MegaBoozeMart" called "Specks" It's Logo is Huge Bunny
I was on a Quest to find the Least Expensive 12 pack of
Beer (usually...Pabst's Blue Ribbon, Pearl or
Schlitz..,less than $7.00 a 12 pack)....to add to our
According to those who experienced it...After Katrina...
Money couldn't get you what you needed...but a 12 pack of
beer could get you almost ANYTHING!....Gold and Silver have
their place... but Beer may be the Ultimate Barter
Item.....It's Redneck Lube!
Looked for El Don Tequila,
(Sorry, No esta aqui)....
Finally...I'll get to the point...new policy...5% discount
for CASH...that's above already "reasonable" prices (Santa
Margarita Pinot Grigio ....$23..elsewhere....$19...before
No debit cards, no checks....Cash Only for Discount...
Isolated incident?.....No..SAME DAY.forwarded an email by a
friend about the "Cash Only" movement..
To Quote them
Here's their current take of the
You use plastic for a $100
purchase: $3.50 from the merchant
You use plastic to buy a $3.50
latte and overdraw your account: $35 fee
You use plastic to buy a $35
gift and go over your credit limit: $50 fee
You transfer a credit card
balance of $1,000 for a lower rate: $60 fee
Plus interest. Plus the days the
merchant doesn't get his/her money.
See: PBS documentary Frontline -
“The Card Game.”
So, at minimum, for every dollar
we use cash instead of plastic, Big Banking is deprived of
3.5 cents. Every dollar, ever time. Doesn't sound like much,
but it adds up and all we have to do is Use Cash.
If just you and I average $5,000
each in plastic purchases per year and, instead, do those
transactions using cash, we just deprived the banks of $350
If one thousand of us do the
same that's $175,000 – minimum. If just one-million of us
switched to cash, less than one percent of U.S. households,
$175 Million – minimum – Big Banking is out.
A number of weeks back
Elaine and I went shopping in Tyler for furniture.
negotiated what was about 25% off asking prices by holding out
cash. Old sayings like "Cash talks, bullsh*t walks" don't
get to be old sayings without a reason...of course now I have no
money, but that's a different problem. Is 'married' a
synonym for 'broke'?
Back at the WuJo
Once again, letters to
the sensei at the Uretopia Ranch WuJo (where woo-woo meets the
reality checks of science) are continuing to bring us new and
startling news. Like this one:
While watching the History
Channel's series on the presidents, the segment on
Eisenhower brought to mind a personal 'tangential'
experience that first made me aware of one of UFOs most
interesting 'urban legends.'
I think I mentioned to you
previously that I spent 4.5 years at Edwards AFB, CA doing
flight test, primarily on the B-52 and B-2.
During that time, one of the
'black' programs I was working on was operating out of what
we called "North Base," the northern end of the Muroc Dry
Lake Bed. I was being briefed-in to [program X], and I
mentioned to the USAF major doing the honors that I never
realized North Base was doing this type of classified
testing. He stopped me almost mid-sentence, reminded me that
I was "not to talk about [program X] for 70 years" or I
would spend the rest of my days in Ft. Leavenworth, then
almost robotically blurted out: "You do realize that this is
where Eisenhower met with the aliens, right?"
I just considered the comment a
bit of 'leg pulling.' I honestly didn't even know the folk
lore surrounding the event, which I later learned allegedly
occurred on the evening of Feb 20, 1954. But I did
eventually find it an amazing coincidence that the very
public (they give daily tours there) NASA Dryden Flight
Research Center was also located at "North Base," that the
SR-71 first flew out of there, and that the first space
shuttle astronauts were 'recovered and processed' there.
I subsequently researched the
events that allegedly led to the 'legend.' You can find them
on your own via the Internet if you wish. Main point being,
Ike did somewhat mysteriously disappear that night from a
hastily announced 'vacation' to Palm Springs. The
president's absence was noticed by the press, leading to
rumors of health problems. The official story stated he
broke a tooth, requiring emergency dental treatment. Funny,
but the attending dentist's wife supposedly didn't know that
her husband treated the president, and no official
documentation, to include a 'thank you,' was ever issued to
the 'attending dentist.' Ike was said to be rather
obsessive-compulsive about issuing official thanks to anyone
involved with entertaining or meeting with him, perhaps a
'left over' from his military protocol training.
Just thought I'd pass this
along. Good story -- and one with some coincidences that has
never been officially disproved."
As long as we're on
topic, one other note from the WuJo: My order of two 7"
plasma ball lights to do some gravitics experiments in my home
lab was mysteriously canceled. Reordered three from
another supplier...still thought it was odd. Maybe plasma
lights are a 'big deal' for Christmas...what'd that sign say
again? Oh yeah...
"If you ain't paranoid,
you ain't payin' attention!"
Once upon a time, a long while ago, I observed during my quest for
'truth' in economics, that the PowersThatBe, the talking heads on
the teeve, and the other information sources that actively engage in
the programming of humans not to think, had conveniently swept
several trillions of dollars that disappeared in the Internet
Bubble's bursting (since spring 2000) under the rug. Surely,
it wasn't unnoticed by the thousands of people who called brokers
and said "Where is my money?" "Gone, but hang in there as
you're a long term investor!" was about all they heard back.
So one of our
charts for Peoplenomics subscribers oughta be widely circulated - it
shows that if you line up the peak of the Dow in January 2000 with
the peak in early September of 1929, we're on a very very close
replay track. Much closer than even the chart shows if you
were to back out inflation, and put in the effects of 1929
deflation, but that'd be real work, and I'm sort of lazy if the
truth be told.