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Friday, January 1, 2010 07:55 CST New
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Today's report includes the latest from Robin Landry on the
timing of P3's arrival. If you don't know that in long
wave economics that would be Primary Wave 3 to the downside,
then you need to click over to the free
this site (here) and do a ton of catch-up reading.
Some good papers might include my 1997 paper "Social
Causes of Periodic Depressions: When does empirical data become
you wrap your head around the idea that economics is a cyclical
business driven by big drivers like sunspots, intergenerational
change and the effects over time of compound interest, you'll
want to catch "Death
By Dot Coms: When Barriers to Entry Fail". A nicely timed
paper on the imminent collapse of the Dot Com bubble 3-months
before the absolute top.
haven't fallen asleep, the next paper is probably
"It Maybe Wasn't
Nixon" - an early 2001 paper on the math underlying what we
call around here the Mazurok-Ure Correlation...which was
amplified shortly thereafter in "We're
on the Titanic and that's a DEBTBERG©"
If you are still reading then you'll want to read about
the 9/11 tipping point in a then new concept
linguistics and the 'web bots' from July7-15, 2001 which
foreshadowed the 9/11 attack. And early paper with
highlights of how the web bot project works may be found here
Bot Technology" - a summary of where things were for an early
Coast-to-Coast with Art Bell interview from early 2003.
to round out your education and get you up to speed on where
things are going, I'd suggest a visit to
and buying the latest "Shape of Things To Come" report ($10) and
reading it - although it will take a while since it's about
50-pages as a PDF. Don't trust the freebie downloads of
this that pop up on the net from time to time since they have a
way of getting altered.
There...something to start the new year with if you're not ready
to part with $40 for the rest of the content...but that's a
couple of thousand pages of reading and seeing the evolution of
some long wave economic theory over time, the evolution of
predictive linguistics and where we're likely to go next.
that's P3 Down...which is what subscribers will get to read
today and then a paper "Tactics for 2010" which will be
tomorrow's in-depth report.
you Monday morning for the next update here...
figures this morning:
the week ending Dec. 26, the advance figure for seasonally
adjusted initial claims was 432,000, a decrease of
22,000 from the previous week's revised figure of 454,000.
The 4-week moving average was 460,250, a decrease of 5,500
from the previous week's revised average of 465,750.
The advance seasonally adjusted
insured unemployment rate was 3.8 percent for the week
ending Dec. 19, unchanged from the prior week's revised rate
of 3.8 percent.
The advance number for
seasonally adjusted insured unemployment during the week
ending Dec. 19 was 4,981,000, a decrease of 57,000 from the
preceding week's revised level of 5,038,000. The 4-week
moving average was 5,101,000, a decrease of 122,250 from the
preceding week's revised average of 5,223,250.
The fiscal year-to-date average
for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment for all
programs is 5.621 million. "
this will lower the official unemployment rate under double
digits in January's report might make an interesting bet.
But it certainly adds to the possibility of a continuing bounce
toward March or so and maybe even into early summer.
not quite, but 2010 is about toast.
Fireworks, parties, and folks like us who will be quietly
spending New Years at home with a couple of good steaks and a
surprised by a couple of things this year. First, that the
Nobel Prize committee didn't pick the young man who was at the
core of the story The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind: Creating Currents of Electricity and Hope
instead of giving it to president O. That signs have been
sighted in America reading "Free Nobel prize with oil change"
shouldn't come as a surprise.
is that despite the 'vote 'em all out' movements, people in
Washington are still running deaf to what the folks back home
it isn't another $3.8 billion for GMAC. Damn,
Americans are generous, huh?
stock promoters are busily pointing to the 22% range gain of the
the 24+ percent gain of the S&P, gold held its own, too, and
for me at a lot lower stress level.
Speaking of which "Bonus
tax may drive financial firms out of the UK, BBA says".
So let me see if I have this right: The British Bankers
Association says taxing bonuses is bad? What on earth
would you expect bankers to say about their own bonuses?
Iceland, at he heart of the 2008 financial mess, "...approves
£3.4bn Icesave loss deal". I'm trying to figure out
why average citizens in Iceland are having to pay foreign savers
in the UK and Netherlands. Like getting into the EU is
sense of the future can be found in John Crudele's NY Post piece
this morning listing "Here's
what's not gonna happen in the new year..." which
includes predictions like " You won't get much of a pay increase
unless you cry in front of your boss."
Eight Americans said to be CIA employees have been killed along
with others in Afghanistan.
and I see where
Nigeria is planning to use full body scanning at their airports
now. A little late, but better than never. My
guess is the scanners will be bought with foreign aid, a/k/a/
your tax dollars. Just thinking through the money flow in
Elsewhere in Nigeria "Bomb
plot arrest highlight Nigeria's Islamist militancy."
The Palestinian Authority says Israel has 7,500 Palestinians
jailed. All building to a possible swap for an Israeli
soldier being held...
there's a report two opposition leaders from Iran may have fled
the country fearing retributions for recent rioting & civil
Carbon Tax Nix
constitutional court of France has thrown out the planned carbon
tax there - too many loopholes for special interest groups.
says it will come back with new rules. Quick: Feign
snip and save section ---
It started off
well-intentioned - as most such adventures do. I had
hauled out the electric welder to throw together an outside
welding table that I'd cut the pieces for about 2-months ago in
order to get them out of the way in the shop. New broom
sweeps clean, kind of thing, start the New Year off right, yada,
just as I am welding the second leg on the table I hear this
noise off in the distance. Turns out to be our most
spendy/valuable goat - our billy Dick Chinney had jumped the
fence (4' worth) and was out of bounds trying to open a garbage
can full of feed with his horns. Aha! So that was
the odd noise heard 300-feet away. Mystery solved.
the problem: How does one convince an ornery goat back
into captivity? 3-minutes later, lured with the prospect
of food denied, Chinney was back inside the fence. Problem
solved? No. He had managed to mash down the fencing
so time to install a couple of runs of four-barb across the top
of the fence in the vicinity of the feed troughs to discourage
first 'surprise task' wasn't too difficult since welding gear
turns out to be dandy for working on barbed-wire fencing.
Not only are the gloves full of padding to keep intruding barbs
out, but I also wear 18" split leather sleeve well up my arms.
If you don't have a pair,
they're only $2.99 at Harbor Freight.
course, that also meant getting the tractor out to drive a
couple of additional fence posts and stretch fencing, but even
so, 45-minutes later - but no injuries - it was back to the
there I was, welding happily along on this jury-rigged welding
table and I was thinking "Gee, why is my welding so crappy
today?" I was like the prince of spatter, although it was
not entirely unexpected since this project had multiple
flaws from the get-go. No, I hadn't cleaned off all the
metal with the grinding wheel first. No, I hadn't tightly
clamped everything. No, I hadn't changed out the .030 wire
up to .035. No, I wasn't using the high heat since for
some reason (another project) the "A" and "C" settings on the
only slightly used Lincoln wire welder weren't pushing wire
Welding happily nevertheless I made mental notes on what I'd
need to fix/pull maintenance on and not do again on another
project. I ran out of listings just in time to look up
from the last leg tack welding to see - as the welder quit -
fire spewing out of the electrical box in the shop where the
welder was plugged in.
ain't normal..." I thought. Then about 2-minutes of rising
panic since it was the outer wall of my whole office
which was belching smoke although the fire quickly abated once
the welder went off. First response: Kill power.
Normally this shouldn't be too hard, but that meant not only
pulling the subpanel breakers but also killing power from the
uninterruptable power supply that can power the office
indefinitely since it's hooked up with 1.7 kW of solar panels
and a 4 kW peak inverter and 480-amp-hours of 24 volt battery
it was a dash into the shop to snatch one of the fire
extinguishers, screw driver, rubber gloves to deal with
potentially live wires if I missed something on the checklist
and tear at the outlet to get whatever was smoldering under
on and 5-seconds plus five screws later the outlet/switch cover
and the outlet revealed showing the smoldering the remains of
what had one been a serviceable 110 V outlet shown here.
couple of interesting thoughts crossed my mine while all this
was going one - the most significant was some personal learning
about how I physically reacted under high stress.
There was a rising sense of panic to be dealt with.
Visions of "OMG: There goes the office...what's the plan?
Do I call 9-11 before I get the outlet cover off?
No...flames were not visible and the wall wasn't hot above the
box. Besides, I had 2-ten-pound dry chemical extinguishers
ready and an axe should I need to rip the wall open.
most curious thing though was a slight "tunnel
vision" effect that set it...not sure how to describe it - a
slight graying at the extreme of peripheral vision...an old
friend, my body's reminder that I'm entering an extremely
stressful situation. I've noticed it before in other
extreme stress situations - like inadvertently spinning an
airplane while doing light aerobatics, for example - and the
best way I've found to 'work through it' is to consciously
act and do what's needed. Act, think, act.
Takes discipline, but it's the stuff that makes the difference
between surviving, or not, say the studies.
to describe but when someone says they know how to perform under
extreme stress, odds are good they haven't been there.
Many people only encounter "Is the office going to burn down?"
or "Is the airplane going to crash with me driving?" stress a few times in a
lifetime, some never. A few hooked on it and beating back
panic becomes a skill...which is where sky divers, hang gliders,
paramedics, firemen, and police come from, I suppose.
you see the ground spiraling toward you in an airplane, or
you're trying to get inside a wall to see if fire has escaped
from the confines of an electrical box and you know the fire
response would likely be 10-minutes and during that that it'd be
you, a couple of dry chemical extinguishers and a garden
hose...well, that's real 'stress' testing.
easy to see - aside from the slight graying of extreme
peripheral vision aside - how some people can get stressed into
inaction. Bad thing,
that...deer-in-headlights...but it also explains why some people
didn't get off the beach when they first saw that tsunami coming
at them: Learning how to perform consciously under
high stress is incredibly important.
turns out, I was reminded that I do OK under stress, going back
into my core learning and pulling out the right action. In
the 5-seconds it took to get the extinguishers and screw driver,
plus 5-seconds to kill power, I had a plan, action
thresholds set and so forth. If I had opened the box and
seen any fire, then 9-11 would have been called on the
spot. Action threshold: If you fire an extinguisher, you
need to have called for backup first.
15-minutes later, the faulty outlet replaced and absolute
certainty that only the ends of the wires were flamed, I had the
cover back on the outlet/switch box and the welding was finished
just as we started loosing daylight.
Besides a Universe handing me a reminder of how to deal with
high stress, it was also a reminder of why building codes
require use of
'firestops' and why back in the days of 'real solid
construction' - unlike like today's cheaply made homes,
horizontal firestops were not uncommon in all walls. Just
a horizontal 2 by 4 between each stud pair at chest height.
The idea was that in event of fire (as from an electrical box)
the fire would not 'run up the wall' inside. It would be
slowed significantly at the firestop.
a maintenance item on our sailboat when my 30-amp shore power
inlet did the same thing about 10-years back. Once again,
a flame resistant box saved the arcing turned flame from setting
off the rest of the boat.
fire departments recommend changing batteries on smoke detectors
at least once a year and twice is better. New Years
and the Fourth of July is a great time to do it...
I know a fair bit about electricity, I've decided to do what I
did on the boat following out shore power inlet adventure:
Pull power, go around to each outlet and retighten all screw
connections. A couple of hours worth of work, but worth it.
If you don't know what you're doing with electricity, hire an
electrician to do it.
annealed to make it workable, it also continues soft
such that over time screw-type copper fittings loosen. On
the sailboat I was able to get a quarter-turn on almost every
connection on both the AC and DC panels. And, it's why I
religiously check every screw connection in electrical panels
whenever I have them open.
Universe insisted that I do some recurrent training in 'high
stress mode' I thought I'd pass along the information. A
couple of hundred bucks for an electrician every 5-10 years -
even if you don't know the working end of a screwdriver - is a
whole lot less hassle than tearing a smoldering electrical box
open. Trust me.
other hand, learning how you personally function at extremely
high stress levels is a good thing, too, although the
circumstances can be challenging. Best if they come when
you're not expecting them. It's somewhat like martial arts
with deadly force - a chance to develop the 'plan and execute
under fire' reactions that can mean the difference between
life and never having to pay taxes again.
and if I ever get around to building a new house? Dual
fire stops 2 feet above, and again 5 feet above, every
electrical outlet. Over engineering? No such thing.
that's it. I'm taking the rest of the year off.
Suggest you do the same.
Send your comments
The UrbanSurvival Mall:
Peoplenomics This Week
Emerging Language, Emergent War?
Two items on the
plate this fine holiday weekend: The emergence of a new language
structure and where it could lead over time along with obstacles to its
evolution. Then we'll do a short update on the odds of Israel
attacking Iran in the coming month, or so. The first is
interesting to explore because as interdisciplinary studies increase as
a function of complexity, the difficulties of multiple meanings arise in
compounding fashion. The second is worth noting because of all the
predictive linguistic warnings about what could result from a
coordinated attack on US forces on a subregional basis beyond the
initial theater of engagement.
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
"If you ain't paranoid,
you ain't payin' attention!"
Wednesday December 30, 2009
Iran Watching: Fly
is being made on the 'net today about the headline from Radio
Nederland that "Ayatollah
Khamenei's jet put on standby..." Typical is the
interpretation that this means Khamenei's jet might be used for
the Iranian leader to flee the country.
interpretation is a little different, since I've been watching
this more as a chess game than a well tweetestrated Western
effort to promote regime change in Iran. First, Khamenei
would not doubt want his jet gone through with a fine-tooth comb
now and then because the West would love nothing more than to
see him gone...if you know what that means.
Moreover, if there's any trip to Russia in the cards, it could
just as easily be to see intelligence and 4GW (4th
generation warfare) skilled to battle on tweetestration
being called in from the West.
Meanwhile, I see where Russia's
"Vladimir Putin calls for more weapons to stop America doing
'whatever it wants'".
Quick - get Vlad on the blower!
Tell him that America's been taken over by checkbook wielding
special interest groups and all the rest of the world needs to
do is monitor our elections and stop all interstate campaign
contributions to senate and house elections...stop the problem
at its source. Oughta be against the law for ANY money to
be raised outside of a congressman's home district or senator's
home state. Which gets us to our...
You Can Tell Elections Are
Coming When, Department
Dodd, D-CONN., slashed aviation security funding for pet
constituency". Quick! Look surprised!
Absolute power does what?
Depends What You Mean "Aware"
doubled up on medications this morning after learning the "US
aware "Nigerian prepared for terror attack".
Aware? WTF: Is that like "Aware of the stoplights" and
cutting the brake lines anyway before going for a drive?
the same lines: "Analysis:
Many question 'system worked' comment". Really?
More fluoride over here, please! Does that mean the system
depends on heads-up alert passengers? What's all the money
going for, then? And who was that sharply-dressed man who
got this guy on the plane without a passport? WHO WAS
major chemical lab fire at the
Atomic Research Centre (BARC) is now being studied as a possible
terrorist incident. Two dead and the perps may
have links to China or Pakistan goes theorizing.
RTNDA - is
blasting what they call checkbook journalism.
As usual, the conflict between the newsroom and the ad sales
department comes quickly into focus, especially if you caught
yesterday's piece on how
free teevee is in trouble.
had some minor skirmishes in my news management career, but the
dance between the checkbook and the newsroom is complex.
Most 'outsiders' don't know, for example, that airlines (just to
pick one industry) have 'crash policies' such that if there's a
crash on the news, their advertising plans are modified for some
period. Such policies are fairly sophisticated in some
cases; what to do with an emergency landing, what to do if a
crash/no loss of life, versus crash/with loss of life, our plane
or someone else's...and so on.
assume you know traffic/continuity departments schedule ads,
right? The traffic/continuity office was always telling the
newsroom it was our responsibility to monitor the ad policies
and keep the station out of hot water with he ad agencies.
But the push-back was we have enough to do when there's a plane
crash, so the continuity/traffic department should try listening
or watching the news once in a while... round and around
growing complexity, more and more ad clients demanded this, that
and the other thing out of the traffic department. Many
auto dealerships (to pull back the covers on a second industry)
want so many seconds or minutes of commercial content separation
from competing product. In some cases, a new car company
wants to be the only car company in a commercial break
('stop set' in radioese).
tempting to get off on a tangent and explain that what was once
a simple log/schedule-generation problem in the traffic
department has evolved into dandy station-wide scheduling
coordination/programming/traffic/billing/automation/ and video
systems like BroadView, but I suppose if you really wanted
to learn how media works, you'd go back to school and get a
business or marketing degree, right? You ought to at least
know there are
ERP-like back of house systems and politics over policies...
worth learning at a cursory level because once you lift the
curtain on what goes on in real media settings, it's very
complex, interactive, and challenging. Especially if the
news department wants to own its own helicopters and advertisers
are sliding their payments to 60 or 90 days.... Toy's &
tools in television particularly ain't cheap...You priced
what an ENG setup costs?
talking to Iran about their nuclear ambitions is interesting, it
certain pales next to the concept underlying the story from
Examiner.com that the "U.S.
military is liaising with extraterrestrial life according to
want a great plot for a novel? A kind of cross between
poly-sci, sci-fi, and adventure?
about this? The aliens really did come to
Washington DC and other world capitols in 1952 and said
something like "Ya'll have an interesting little rock here,
and we might be able to help ya'll with development...but first
you have to put together a single world government because we're
not going to have a separate deal with this country or that.
We do one-planet-deals only and that's non-negotiable.
So here's an Arc of the Covenant powered hyperdimensional cell
phone device and when you get effective one world government in
place that can speak for the whole planet, ya'll give us a hoot
and we'll be back to dump off the Stars Capable Civilization
Starter Kit...So try to grow up a bit, huh? Oh, and
straighten out coverage of our last visit with your descriptions
of ascending into Heaven..."
there is your "Million-Dollar Idea of the Day". Go write
the movie script, sell it, get John Williams to score it and
invite me to the opening. Oh, and put me down for
½ of 1 percent - since I have
copyrighted the plot line...and fair's fair.
Not to mention that this particular
plot line makes nearly 100% of available data about the NWO and
UFOs fit... Why someone hasn't already gotten this laid
out in book or novel form yet is beyond me, but there you have
it. Email it to Holly & Bollywoods and cc me,
right? Got some kick-butt dialog to contribute...
The $2.3 Billion Dollar
Second and other Calculations
Numeracy strikes!. Small number first: Still just
one lousy sunspot visible which means Cycle 24 is very much
delayed and that means we're in for more global cooling.
Got that? Cooling.
Federal Reserve has done 14 'enforcement actions" month to date
and 188 for the YTD.
big enough? Census Bureau figures we will start 2010 with
308,4-million people in the US. More I assume if we were
to count the occupied territories in the ME, but that wouldn't
be proper-like, would it? Key:
"In January 2010, one birth is expected to occur every eight
seconds in the United States and one death every 12 seconds.
Meanwhile, net international
migration is expected to add one person every 37 seconds to
the U.S. population in January 2010, resulting in an
increase in the total U.S. population of one person every 14
we're all law-abiding citizens, I figure the most patriotic
thing we can do is keep that one birth every eight seconds
going. Schedule more
nooners in 2010!
But seriously (or nearly so): Any damn fool with a
calculator (played by me) can look at the 'add one person
every 37 seconds in 2010 and look at last year's Census news
release on the same topic and learn that going into 2009....
migration is expected to add one person every 36 seconds
to the U.S. population in January 2009, resulting in an
increase in the total U.S. population of one person every 14
OK...follow me on this:
The Border Security * Immigration budget was up 19% this fiscal
year to $12.14 billion which was a 19% increase over the
previous year. So what did $2.3 billion more buy us?
One second pushback: From one illegal every 36 seconds to
one illegal every 37 seconds.
some math: The old illegal immigration entry rate penciled
to 2,400 a day. The new rate is 2,335 per day. Woo hoo!
Net improvement: 65 less illegals per day, which is...hold
on....23,725 fewer illegals per year. Gimme a
'Hallelujah!" fellow taxpaers!
23,725 cost us...er....$2.3 billion. So that's $96,944 per
illegal stopped from entry using the government's own
let's get creative: Which do you think might work better:
Standing at the border and giving out $50,000 checks to everyone
who turns around and go back where they came from for a year, or
arming the border to the teeth with sh*t that never gets
finished? See how simple America's problems are if we
focus on results rather than posturing and playing checkbook
hand out $50K checks to 23,745 people at the border and guess
what? They'd go home, be rich and actually build a middle
class and services industry in Mexico. First thing
you know, there'd be more jobs and people would rather stay home
than come north. Why bother?
next move, we legalize weed and tax it in the US leaving no
reason to come north and balancing our budget.
me a backpack full of ganj and $50K tax-free for tequila and
I'll be chillin at Puerto Aventuras south of Cancun in no time.
Fishing, swimming with dolphins and soaking up fine times.
There's be a line at the border to exit the US on those terms in
no time...shoot... it would back up into Colorado in no time.
I should be a foreign policy consultant. Even have a
positioning phrase for the State Department under Ure Control
for A Change: Don't make war - party!
up, dude! Which means gold down and with it other
Like stocks. Simple.
snip and save section ---
Coping: With Media
reader - prompted I suppose by talk of a fall-off in internet
use in the predictive linguistics post 2012 OR just
wondering in general asks:
"...did it ever occur to you that the internet is a luxury
item and in time of extreme hardship people let the luxury
items and services go in order to keep absolute necessities
in order to keep living. how many telephones actually worked
during the depression of the 1930's."
actually, many times. Here's the thing to keep in mind:
When times have been tough/in recessions before (1980-83 in
particular) a lot of folks like me in marketing realized that
TSL/TSW (time spent listening/watching) media went up - not
reason we surmised at the time was that people tend to gravitate
to the highest return/least cost media as a form of escapist
entertainment during an economic decline. That's why
people (like me) who were doing direct response marketing (call
now, this is a free call...) were doing much better than
institutional/print marketers. Magazine - even newspapers
- cost money and when people don't have any, they
congregate around free media.
you're a grad student in media studies, here's a killer paper
for you: A 2-5 year study comparing how different media
use works out from here forward. Might be a stretch to get
real data - much might need to be inferred - but the key thing
to measure is cost versus time spent.
high bandwidth internet connections are in the $30-$70 range per
month and for that you get some video, some telephone (Skype, et
all), instant messaging, news and information, and if you want
some bootlegged .MP3's, there's that, woo. By comparison,
satellite TV and cable are at least that much and you
can't make an outgoing phone call, rip MP3's, play interactive
games, get into virtual reality...and the whole rest of it.
there's any media trend to look for, I'd predict based on
previous experience and the level of interaction possible with a
good solid internet connection, that the 'net should actually
experience growth. The kinds of systems which might falter
would include things like cell phones - many of which cost $200
a month by the time you add texting (and remember from a
competitive standpoint, email is a freebie on the 'net) not to
mention the upcharges for bandwidth for surfing.
we found in marketing in the mid 1980's was that people who were
unemployed actually ended up spending a larger fraction
of available income on media since it was akin to the 'opiate of
the people'. Things like movies out were much more
expensive, not time-flexible, yada, yada.
when the next leg down hits, or as the second Depression
lingers, I'd look for the ISP's to do just fine. Until the
power is shut off, who'd want to get involved in something like
mass protests - calling for revolutionary thinking in
government; at least not while good reruns can be had streaming.
figure. Kinda like the frog being slowly brought up to
boil and then bitching if the heat is turned down. Then
again, who said consumers were rational? Which gets us
smoothly along to the next item in the inbox today:
Voting With Your Wallet
long have I told you to live below your means and screw the
banksters over by not paying them usurious interest rates?
Well, over at the Huffington Post there's a dandy article under
the headline "Move
Your Money: A New Year's Resolution" that's right on point.
thing to remember 24/7: Every time you open your wallet -
you're voting. I figure Elaine and I will be able
to participate with, oh, about 'fiddy-cents'....
Tuesday December 29, 2009
UreGent Humor Update
Major Government Spending
don't know whether it's because I am taking a couple of days of
'down time' this week (working less than my usual workload) or
what...but here I was sitting staring at the pictures of full
body scans and it hit's me like a bolt of lightning!
"We turn all TSA screeners into doctors! That way, we
can all get scanned and prescribed while traveling!"
I know you'll think the idea is crazy, but obviously the
Obama administration has thought all this through and by simply
adding a few more fields to the No Fly Database, they could put
in height, weight, body mass index, blood pressure, and save the
scans they make at the airport as backup. Money's there -
let's do a roll-up and 'git 'er done'!
the government can't be sued over 'security' look at all the
money this will save. Why, already we've got TSA folks
specializing in new
diagnostic equipment like the TSA CastScope project pictured at
left and written up on the TSA web site here.
Why with the cost of the "CastScope" and a little tweaking on
penetration of the imagery we could have an actual measurable
improvement in healthcare delivery.
Get the tie off that screener, quick! Give him a
Broken bone doesn't look like it's healing right? No
sweat. I can hear it now: "Mr. Ure, since you're
going from Dallas to Seattle you'll have about 5-hours to do
this leg raise exercise. We've arranged up upgrade to
first class so you can work on it. And here, take these
Vicadins, too. We've arranged to have them dispensed
onboard by the new flight attendant practitioners...."
God, it's beautiful. No more drinking on airplanes - we'll
pipe nitrous to each passenger and have flight
And what's ingenious about this is that since security lines
will now take as long as the waiting room at the doctor's
office, no one will notice the difference. And all that
National Healthcare bill spending? We just send all TSA
screeners to medical school. Since we'll have to pay them
more, since they now become doctors and physician assistants,
they'll all get loaded with tax dough and some of that will get
spent on new cars --As a BONUS this plan rescues the auto
Seriously! (Or nearly so.) Why for openers, we'd put
proctologists and OBGYN's in every airport outside the US
to inspect underwear for clues right there on the spot. "Little
bulge in your shorts partner, better let us take a look at
that...." I'm telling you, this will work! "Have
you had a stomach problem or have you just swallowed 3 condoms
full of smack? If you'll just step out of the line for this
flight and into our laparoscopic special to New York, we'll get
you quickly on your way..."
Please feel free to forward this to everyone you know including
elected officials in the event you're lucky enough to find one
that's not deaf, dumb, blind, or bought, too. I'm proving
that we can solve all America's problems if we just stop looking
at the same old problems the same old way.
Consumer Confidence Up
from the Conference Board just in the past few minutes:
Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index®, which had
increased in November, rose again in December. The Index now
stands at 52.9 (1985=100), up from 50.6 in November. The
Expectations Index increased to 75.6 from 70.3 last month.
The Present Situation Index, however, declined to 18.8 from
21.2 in November.
The Consumer Confidence Survey®
is based on a representative sample of 5,000 U.S.
households. The monthly survey is conducted for The
Conference Board by TNS. TNS is the world's largest custom
research company. The cutoff date for December’s preliminary
results was December 21st
Says Lynn Franco, Director of
The Conference Board Consumer Research Center: "Consumer
Confidence posted yet another moderate gain in December as
expectations for the short-term future increased to the
highest level in two years (Index 75.8, Dec. 2007). The
Present Situation Index, however, continued to lose ground
and remains at a 26-year low (Index 17.5, Feb. 1983). A more
optimistic outlook for business and labor market conditions
was the driving force behind the increase in the
Expectations Index. Regarding income, however, consumers
remain rather pessimistic about their short-term prospects
and this will likely continue to play a key role in spending
decisions in early 2010."
Consumers' assessment of
current-day conditions declined further in December. Those
claiming business conditions are "bad" increased to 46.6
percent from 44.5 percent, while those claiming conditions
are "good" decreased to 7.0 percent from 8.1 percent.
Consumers’ appraisal of the job market was mixed. Those
claiming jobs are "hard to get" decreased to 48.6 percent
from 49.2 percent, while those claiming jobs are "plentiful"
decreased to 2.9 percent from 3.1 percent.
Consumers' short-term outlook
improved in December. Those anticipating business conditions
will improve over the next six months increased to 21.3
percent from 19.7 percent, while those expecting conditions
will worsen decreased to 11.9 percent from 14.6 percent.
The outlook for the labor market
was also more upbeat. The percentage of consumers expecting
more jobs to become available in the months ahead increased
to 16.2 percent from 15.8 percent, while those expecting
fewer jobs decreased to 20.7 percent from 23.1 percent. The
proportion of consumers anticipating an increase in their
incomes decreased to 10.3 percent from 10.9 percent. "
like this makes it hard to be a bear - but I manage, somehow.
As one reader noted in an email this morning, isn't anyone in
economics able to figure out you can't have an exponential
resource growth curve forever and at some point it all hits the
today so far...
Home Prices Still Sliding
- but slower
should come as no shock - the latest from the S&P/Case-Shiller
Housing Price index:
through October 2009, released today by Standard &
Poor’s for its S&P/Case-Shiller1 Home Price Indices, the
leading measure of U.S. home prices, show that the annual
rate of decline of the 10-City and 20-City Composites
improved compared to last month’s reading. This marks
approximately nine months of improved readings in these
statistics, beginning in early 2009.
dear, this doesn't mean prices are actually going up...they are
only down 4% compared with month ago levels. But hey!
Any port in a storm, eh?
"“The turn-around in home prices seen in the Spring and
Summer has faded with only seven of the 20 cities seeing
month-to-month gains, although all 20 continue to show
improvements on a year-over-year basis. All in all, this
report should be described as flat.” says David M. Blitzer,
Chairman of the Index Committee at Standard & Poor’s.
“Coming after a series of solid gains, these data are likely
to spark worries that home prices are about to take a second
dip. Before jumping to conclusions, recognize that the one
time that happened at the beginning of the 1980s, Fed policy
saw dramatic reversals, which is very different from the
stable and consistent Fed policy we have today. Further,
sales of existing homes – those included in the
S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices – have been very strong
in recent months, working off the inventories of houses for
sale. At the same time, housing starts remain weak, fears
that the market will be swamped by a wave of foreclosures
are heard and government programs aimed at the housing
market will expire in the first half of 2010."
on real estate roulette in our Coping section
Is It ALL About Money?
course, it is! This is one of those mornings when the
"Coping" section of the daily column has a lot more effort
and thought behind it than the "news" portion. While
it's fun to put on the 'news analyst hat now and again -
like yesterday's review of the M.E. chessboard which was
interesting to write (and hopefully read, LOL) today there's
not too must real grist.
start with the Dow which popped up
27 points yesterday - normally a reason for rejoicing in the
streets in NYC and Chicago. But the real kill-joy was
the Dow Transport
Index which dropped more than ½%.
My friends who are better traders than me (at least as measured
by bank account size; I'm winning in the 'enjoy it department
which I always figured was the whole point) instantly recognize
that when the Transports start acting sketchy, that could
indicate a turn is in the neighborhood under
course, the idea that the Transports were the harbingers of
things to come dated back to the time of rail lines hither and
yon as the key to how much product would be coming to market.
To a certain extent, that's been modified by the internet and
that brings us to eyeing the NASDOG with some suspicion since it
was down quite a
bit in the second half of Monday's session before scratching and
clawing its way back to a shade over break-even for the day.
there's the Joe Granville followers of On-Balance-Volume; a
theory that says if more people are getting out than are
getting in and this goes on for some number of sessions
(skryed by entrails and tea leaves to get it just so...) than
the market should turn down in general. OBV is watched
over time, so a bullish signed with yesterday getting
50% up volume on the
NYSE and only 45% seeing down volume is just a one-day
sample and not a case to get long or short in and of itself.
But with the transports down and the NASDOG with it, makes it
hardly time to be committing the widow and orphan funds; so I'd
speculate while muttering "This ain't financial advise...this is
counseling for your gambling addiction."
back just before the open (8:30 AM Eastern, corrected for
wherever you are) and I'll writer up something on the
biggest number due out today: The Case Schiller/S&P Housing
Price Survey. If you're looking for good news, don't hold
your breathe for reasons that will become chillingly clear when
you read today's Coping section below.
Pay To Watch
America's not the land of opportunity anymore. It's now
the land of revenue streams. I faced up to this
fact a few years back when I was one of those software company
six-figure types and I was working the problem of "How do we
keep getting paid for the software once sold since ongoing
development work is required?" Won't bore you with the
answer, but what was once a dandy model use by free television
(advertising revenues did all the work) the appearance of the
internet has scuttled about half of all revenue streams from two
decades ago and the changes are still overwhelming us.
for instance, take the report that "Broadcasters'
woes could spell trouble for free TV Assailed by cable and the
Web, broadcast TV looks to build a new business model."
Over-the-air/free TV has a problem. Simply stated, they
only have one major revenue stream - the one from selling
advertising. Their competition whether cable or satellite
has two revenue streams. One from the advertising
and one from the payment for delivery. In other words,
when you watch TV (unless you're a nutjob like me) you pay twice
for most things and sometimes three times. You pay
to get cable or satellite (1), then you pay with your attention
to ads (2), and in a few cases you get stuck a third time (3) by
having commercial material shoveled into your face on a 'premium
someone were really serious about promoting America as the 'land
of opportunity' they might ensure that Americans could get
access to some basic media without having to go figure out how
FTA satellite system work and watching free offerings (not even
commercials) from outfits like Russia Today and Al Jazeera,
Iraqi TV and even English-speaking KSA Channel 2 in the Kingdom
of Saudi Arabia. Don't mean to haarp, but until America
consumers stop being frigging sheep and starting putting value
on their time (and head space) the heaping of 18-minutes an hour
of radio commercials and 12-15 minutes per hour of television
just won't be enough.
has to pay for all those roll-ups in radio (and television) and
guess who's gonna pay that bill? [see your mirror for
More Money in Trees?
had some logging done on our place here in the East Texas
outback three (or was it four) years ago, I found the headline
to turn farms into forest worries Obama official" downright
amusing. We did a selective logging of 24 acres and it
netted us $14,000 and change in 2005, or so. That was
before housing collapsed and paper consumption was higher.. and
that penciled to $583 per acre after 16-years of growth and some
was holdover first growth. So is there more money in
real economics are you put in trees, do a thinning cut at 7-10
years and then a real harvest at 17-20 years and you're lucky to
break-even on trees - which is why landowners like picking up
dough from hunting leases and so forth. Or, they'll run
another crop (goats in our case) and let them be the
carbon-crazies...sorry, carbon credits... change that?
Well, if they was to buy carbon credits that approximate real
opportunity costs, give 'em my number. But so far the only
people I see getting rich are the (new word here:) carboneers.
the headline that "Calls
for full-body screening devices grows after terror attempt"
I wonder how long before Playboy or maybe Penthouse runs the
"Best of Chicago Scanners" spread? And who could call that
porn? I mean it's protecting the national interest...yessiree...
To Their Credit
here's a shocker: "Al
Qaeda takes credit for (airline bomber) plot". Like
there was a one in a quintillion chance they'd say "Us? We
didn't do it!" Right.
Iran Clock Running
from Iranian media is that "Iran
mulls over producing research reactor fuel..." Like
they might not? Would everyone in government
globally stop trying to BS the peeps? This is so frigging
Ukraine and Russia have agreed to new tariffs on energy movement
quieting down tensions there; at least for a while.
story that "Employers
see uptick in hiring in 2010" sounds hopeful because
20% of employers are planning to add f/t workers in 2010.
Problem: Same data showed 14% were planning to add in 2009
and look what that netted us: a 10% + unemployment rate.
So you figure out the math, my head hurts just sizing up the
about a class of economic math called "differential hosing"?
bemoaning a couple of weeks ago putting the wrong city in
Elaine's car's GPS and being driven 25-miles out of the way
before figuring out that "Oposie!". I'm not alone.
You see where a "Couple
stranded 3 days after GPS leads them astray"?
We are not alone...That's why in a recent bout of flying I
renounced GPS in favor of VOR navigation. And dual
ADF's would be even better... Look! Up in the
sky! It's...it's...it's a Flying Luddite!
morning while driving back from the airport I found myself
snickering that E's nav system features POI. No, not the
beat-up fish goo...points of interest, but I found it amusing to
use the other definition of POI. Acronym disease is up
26-times since 1949 as I ,calculated in Peoplenomics last
snip and save section ---
Coping: With What No
One Wants To Say
so often, a group of major real estate developers get together
for a conference where folks try to look ahead. In order to
protect my source, I won't tell you which real estate/developer
conference it was, but I've been given permission by my source
to post this high-level view of what the people who put up real
dough to develop properties are seeing. This is the info
that I talked about with Jeff
Rense on his radio program last night -- Read it and weep:
"This week I attended the [serious players] fall
conference. [serious players] is the top real estate
industry group in the world. All the most senior people in
1. Not one expert was willing to
predict what things will look like in 3 years other than
they think it will be better.
2. One top economist said if
you are a developer find another career for the next 3
years-there is nothing to do and it may be 5 years.
Recovery will be slow. Unemployment will not drop back to
more normal levels until 2014. First they will bring back
people on 4 day weeks to 5 days, then they will increase
hours form the average 33 hours now, then part timers will
become more full time, then they will start to hire.
4. Real estate values are down
generally 40% and there is a huge need for value reset to
5. Nobody knows what debt will
look like when it returns other than it will be far more
conservative. Nobody knows what securitization will be when
it does return.
6. The rating agencies will
operate differently. There is a discussion among some of us
that there needs to be an agency probably of Treasury that
collects fees of some sort from issuers each time there is
an issuance of debt to be rated and that agency will then
hire a rating agency to be a analyst firm to determine the
quality of the issue. There will definitely not be a
continuation of investment bankers hiring the raters and
paying them directly. There needs to be a rule that the I
bankers cannot talk to the raters. There was far to much
threats of withholding fees, and other inducements to the
raters before making ratings about as accurate as appraisals
which were also paid for by I bankers who needed high
appraisals to justify the over leveraging.
7. Housing in some bad markets
is still bad and the first time buyer credit is making it a
somewhat phony market. Phoenix has 45,000 housing lots so
there is a literal lifetime supply of lots. Land prices in
Phoenix, S CA and other markets are 50% of the cost of the
infrastructure installed on finished lots. The land has zero
or negative value. In most areas it will be at least 5 years
before any of this land will get built out in any quantity.
There are still 2-3 million too
many houses in the US.
8. This time is really very
different than any recession in the past
9. The US is no longer the world
economic leader and will not lead the world out of this
10. Real estate will once again
be an investment and not the trading vehicle it became which
is what led to this crisis.
11. We will go back to financing
real estate with long term debt, and not the short term
floating rate debt used to all a quick flip.
12. The Internet completely
changed unemployment trends. Instead of just pumping up the
US economy and bringing back production jobs, the Internet
has caused the entire world to be competitors for many jobs
in the US. It ranges from call centers to research,
financial analysis, medical research, and on and on. This
may be one of the most historic changes in history and one
everyone needs to be aware of. It likely means wages in the
US will be reduced below where they might have been were it
not for this competition.
As several economists put it,
the young in China and India and other Asian countries are
hungry to get ahead and enjoy the good life, while US kids
feel entitled and poorly educated. Those of us who built
businesses were very hungry. Today there are still some like
us, but many are too comfortable and unwilling to really
sacrifice to make it like we were. The Asians want to learn.
Our young people think they already know it- whatever it
happens to be.
13. The 3rd Q GDP number is
inflated by clunkers, home buyer subsidy, etc.
Growth next year will be more
like 1%-2% in the first part of the year.
14. Inflation will return in 3-4
15. US corporations are sitting
on record cash balances way beyond any they ever had. They
will be doing more acquisitions.
16. The best market in the US is
Washington DC. For obvious reasons
17. Investors fled real estate
-- completely fled real estate in the early 90's. This time
they see the long tern opportunity to create wealth and will
be back as soon as the opportunity to buy appears
18 There is an enormous amount
of cash on the sidelines
19. The Fed is intentionally
holding rates at zero to try to force investors to invest in
longer term riskier assets instead of collecting nothing on
money market or CD's.
20 The banks are still weak.
21 All values are still dropping
and we have only gotten to 80% of the drop so far. Office
and retail are only 80% there, industrial is only 60% and
will be hurt by further inventory liquidation and lower
levels carried going forward. Rents are only 75% of the way
to the bottom.
22. In the 90's it was easier to
fix the problem because the damage was much more confined to
a small number of large new buildings which were revalued
and then rerented. Now the damage is widespread and covers a
lot of older buildings so it will take a lot longer to
solve. Quality really matter now. The best buildings will
return, a lot of others will struggle.
23. Office vacancy will hit
18.6% nationally, retail 23%, and multifamily 8%.
24. The unwind of the massive
Fed stimulus is critical to how it goes. Everyone thinks
Bernanke is great but nobody ever did this before -it is
truly uncharted waters. Then there is the politics and what
will the rest of the world do.
25. As you will read below there
will not be the massive foreclosure and asset disposal we
all expected. The lenders are going to hold on. When assets
do come to market prices will be higher than they should be
due to very few deals being chased by massive dollars. There
is already evidence of this in the multifamily market.
26. Mobile phones, and other
devices are now becoming all sorts of tools and multiple use
devices. Social networking is growing faster than anything
anyone can imagine. The growth rates are beyond
comprehension. This is where everything in the world is
going from ordering food or reserving a car on Zip Car, to
reading the news or anything. If you are over 30 you can't
grasp what is happening and how fast. The growth in usage is
by tens of millions in months, and it is worldwide. You
can't get your mind around this. There has never been
anything in modern times that even is remotely like this.
The growth rate makes the growth in TV usage look like it
was glacial. This is the biggest transformation of how the
world functions in maybe hundreds of years. You need to
learn all about this or get run over.
Here is the real stunner.
A senior person at Treasury said to a small group of us that
it is now official Treasury policy to extend and pretend on
real estate loans. In other words, the policy statement from
last week says, if you can make an analysis that says even
if the current value is less than the loan, if you can do a
spreadsheet that shows if you extend for 3-5 years, and if
the economy gets better, and if the loan can be amortized
down to where the loan is no longer more than the value,
then the lender does not have to take an impairment -write
down. Loans are to be modified by rate reductions, deferral
of reserves, deferral of amortization or what ever.
Just NOT principal reduction.
This is just like they are doing in housing.
Giant make believe. The free
market seeking an equilibrium price is no longer economic
policy. In short, the working of the free market is
suspended. She went on to say it was administration policy
that they will create new employment and by doing so they
will boost the economy, and so then real estate values will
return to old levels. There were 50 of the most senior and
smartest real estate people in the room. They ripped her to
pieces. It looked like one of the town hall meetings of
August, except everyone there was a very senior, polished
professional. At one point everyone was calling out or
moaning at her. It was clear to all she had been given a few
talking points and she was told to stick to them no matter
how foolish she looked. The group told her in no uncertain
terms this is terrible public policy. They said for jobs to
be created you need to lower rents so the cost of occupancy
was at a level to encourage more hiring. If the loan is kept
at old levels and building values not reduced, then
landlords can't reduce rents to where they need to be to
make taking space by tenants economically viable. Retailers
costs remain higher than they should be making it harder to
lower prices to induce sales. So there is a massive make
believe going on. When I pressed the issue of political
interference she said -what do you want us to do, bankrupt
all the banks.
That is the choice.
What does this tell you?
A. The problem is going to take
much longer to solve than it should,
B. The banks are still very
weak, so lending will not return anytime soon,
C. A massive refi problem is
getting deferred to 2013-2015.
D. The administration is playing
politics with the economy to a degree that is dangerous.
There has to be a massive value reset for real estate. We
are deferring the inevitable.
I think we captured a lot of
what was said in various panels and conversations. We have a
long way to go and the government is making it harder to fix
Although one of the reviewer - a senior fellow at a firm I can't
mention thought it was a tad 'too negative' it sounds about
actually fits in with the model that I've outlined here multiple
times. Specifically, that the country is in a modern
re-run of the Great Depression and it's going to be a decade (or
longer) event. No mistaking it, however: There are key
the Great Depression (I) people lost about $475 per capita
(constant dollars) in the first three years of the event.
The losses since the initial decline from the top in the
Internet Bubble has been much less but the Dow has never
regained its once lofty heights since then on a purchasing
power basis. The bank bailouts of 2008/09 cost each
person about $680 per capita ex car bailouts. More if
you toss those in.
FDIC has prevented bank losses from being immediately
realized, however FDIC is ought of dough. As evidenced
in the senior-level talks most aren't privy to, Treasury and
the Fed are trying to do whatever they can to get real
estate other than residential to 'pencil out' so as
not to have to cope with more balance sheet erosion.
Since the problem is moving at glacial speed on the way
down, with everyone pushing actually addressing debt
liquidation as a "Yeah, some day maybe we'll get to that..."
it means that we could have another 10-20 years of
some juncture it will become clear to the PowersThatBe that
while a global internet/electronic consciousness may
initially sound like a good thing, the blowback is
significant: national borders and national employment
agendas have been thrown under the rails. People
everywhere are bidding on all kinds of jobs and that could
throw the power structure into unanticipated chaos.
Just as WW II provided - ultimately - the end of the first
Great Depression, the end of the Second Depression is likely
to involve war as a means to bind humans together under
national banners and causes, which can once again be
orchestrated by the PTB. Foremost among the agenda
items will be removal of manufacturing capability ('scarcity
builds price') and control of resources. Which is why
the Middle East and the Pakistan/India conflict are such
important flashpoints, along with the Georgia/Azerbaijan
regional stresses along the Muslim leaning Former Soviet
Union (FSU) southern tier of states.
While the Dow picked up 27 points Monday amidst
happy-talk about retail, I expect once we get a few weeks into
the new year that reality will intrude, and that means
reconciling declining earnings. And that means an ugly
spring for stockholders, if my bead on things is right.
I'm bright & cheery, aren't I?
More Harsh Reality Checking:
Who Bought Tea
then there was this email - which makes me seem Pollyannaish:
Remember that I told you the web
URLs's and "tea party" names and the strategy was set up a
year earlier (mid 2008) by some old-line Republican Party
Now the accounting is getting
done, and guess what? Millions of dollars donated by
righteously angry Tea Party suckers was spent on -- you
guessed it -- paying the Republican consultants that set up
the scam in the first place.
Here's the stuff on the Tea
Party Express, who managed to siphon off
over two thirds of the donations right back into their own
pockets as "consultants" to the Tea Party "movement"
Majority Of Tea Party Group's Spending Went To GOP Firm That
This blows away the petty crimes
ACORN is accused of, and strangely enough, never has been
George, it's time for you to get
They (the right/left parties of
corpgov) are not equally guilty. One of our major
political parties, (and just one) is an organized crime
syndicate that murders American soldiers for profit and sets
out with the intention of stealing as much as they can, as
fast as they can from their fellow citizens.
The other one is a loosely
associated bunch of people that includes quite a few
know, this is a hellava lot of reality for one sitting. Up
late last night doing the radio show, up again at 3:15A AM to
get my son to the airport for his flight home to Seattle, and
then to have to face all this harsh reality. Oh
my... You want MORE? OMG you're sick. But
since I am, too...
More About Post-2012
couple of people asked for clarification about my comments the
other day about the coming impact of 2012 on 'net traffic.
What I was trying to get to was that come 2012, internet traffic
tanks (for reasons unbeknownst at present since the linguistics
give us the flavor of future events, not specifics).
But there's not much 'recovery'......if any.
was kind enough to explain this latest case of
"George-foot-mouth-entanglement" to a concerned reader this way:
"George has stated the situation incorrectly. The data
levels return in 2013 to about 5 to 6 % of what they are
now. So no, they do not recover. And that may be strictly an
artifact of processing that the data exists in 2013 at all.
Remember these are projections of linguistics, not any
actual measured data from 2013.....
So, no i am not showing data
levels to what we have now."
If you got the most recent of the
"Shape of Things to Come" you can pencil in a huge number of
possible solutions such as pole shift, geopolitical events that
curtail energy so as to effectively shut down 95% of the net, or
even something like alien wars. Remember that since
predictive linguistics is by definition reading things down at
the 'noise floor' of human discourse, the residuals past 2012
may be the linguistic equivalent of a tight DSP (or even analog)
filter circuit "ringing" when the filtering is too tight.
When I talk with Cliff about things like 'after 2012' data and
then write something about it here, I just assume that
you understand rudimentary DSP. Well, when once you don't
even give a second thought to ringing in DSP, then the similar
phenomena in language processing is a given so I
apologize if I sometimes don't take time to write out the whole
you didn't have a regenerative radio as a kid, where the
sensitivity and bandwidth are controlled by bringing a radio to
the verge of feedback (another linguistic processing trip
wire, too, long as we're talking about it...) then this
Wikipedia graphic which explains "settling time " captures the
concept nicely (click the graphic for more):
a really, really good time, you can either get a ham radio
license and figure out ultimate bandwidth/ringing limits for
fun, or just go with me that post 2012, data sucks and whether
it's a pole shift, government shutdown, energy disappears,
massive CME/EMP outcome, nuclear war, etc. doesn't matter so
much as to understand that "Hmmm....so the post 2012 data could
be we wake up telepathic one morning and no longer need the net,
the net's off, or there's no one left around...just be the
linguistic equivalent of settling time...Oh. That sucks."
Even with data persistence, a huge drop-off in data post 2012
requires retools (kind of like resetting deadbanding &
rescaling) and since no one is offering us checks and party
favors, screw it. Got boats to build, gardens to plant,
yada, yada...and a slice of huckleberry, please.
Then you get up and go to work anyway. Or, in my case, I
go take a nap. Cliff's the guy laying cloth & resin down
between bouts at the pie oven.
December 28, 2009
Coffee Working Department
yeah! Forgot to mention I'll be
on with Jeff Rense tonight -
think it's around 9 PM Pacific, midnight Eastern and 11 here in
the heartland. In addition to the Middle East chessboard
and what's up there, we'll no doubt get into which investments
have performed how well for the year, the outlook for taxes,
prosperity, hyperinflation...you know...the how many hours for
how many calories kind of thing...
The Mideast Chessboard
Since the botched terrorist event onboard the Northwest Airlines
flight from Amsterdam to Detroit this weekend, there's now
concerned being expressed about the
possible impact of additional security measures on business air
What conspiracy theorists will find especially interesting is
that there are reports out now that
the family of the alleged terrorist says he had cut off family
contact with them - and there's even talk of an accomplice.
Another report claims the "...suspect's
family warned authorities of his Islamic radicalisation..."
Another bit for the conspiracy theorists, who was the
sharp-dressed man in the shocking MLive report "Flight
253 passenger: Sharp-dressed man aided terror suspect Umar
Farouk Abdul Mutallab onto plane without passport"?
One of the PTB's fix-it types?
Meantime there are a large number of events all seeming to 'pop
off at once' in the Middle East. For example,
Yemen has announced the arrest of 29 al Qaeda suspects after a
raid. Related to this is that the "U.S.
military attacks al Qaeda in Yemen for second time" over the
long weekend which raises an interesting Constitutional question
in my mind. All in favor of busting up terrorism, but
isn't going into Yemen's territory and Act of War and isn't
there something Congress is supposed to be involved in first?
Just asking...you know...like a declaration of war/hostilities,
1,300 miles north/northwest of Yemen, it's now one year since
the Israeli attack on Gaza - the one with the reported use of
white phosphorus, remember? Time Magazine has a review of
the situation in "Once
year since Israel's offensive, Gaza still suffers."
Not that anything is going to change anytime soon, despite "UK
protesters blast Israeli blockage" since the Israeli attack
was not without provocations like missile firings and such.
continuing controversy over Israel's border expansion has
spilled over into the US with some very good perspective is
available in "Changing
the Jewish State and the State of Jews: J Street and the Future
of Israel " at the Religious Dispatches web site with regard
to the philosophical differences between J-Street and AIPAC.
let me see here...scratching on the back of an envelope, we have
the US warring in Yemen to some degree, a developing schism over
how far Israel should expand borders and whether a two-state
solution is a solution at all, and then we have the messes in
Iraq and Afghanistan. Now, toss into that
demonstrations in Iran where a round-up of anti-government
protesters is expected, and
report in the Jerusalem Post that a "Maverick
Iraqi politician claims Iran could go nuclear within weeks"
at a time when the "US
to push for Iran sanctions in January."
The question is pretty simple:
With Iran having trouble at home and with a schism developing on
territorial expansion, how long will Israel wait?
My guess is not very.
Reason? Little noticed in the Western/corpgov press is
that Israel is holding a first-ever ambassador's conference in
Jerusalem. While on the surface, one agenda item is to
talk about tense relations and whether Turkey could moderate
talks with Palestinian leaders, I'd bet there's another item
being discussed in background: How will Israel's
diplomatic corp respond when Israel moves proactively against
From putting together a few more
stories, like the most informative one
in the Jerusalem Post today under the banner (foreign
minister) "Lieberman: No peace deal in next 10 to 20 years"
we learn that Israel has "the country's 140 ambassadors and
consul-generals who are participating."
Was it worth flying most all of the
Israeli diplomatic upper crust to Jerusalem to hear a headline
grabbing speech about "no peace deal in 10 to 20 years"?
No, since some foreign media have noted this is the first
ever meeting of it's kind.
Best guess: Israel isn't
going to wait for US sanctions which will no doubt be a long
time coming and hotly debated even then. Especially when
the pro-bomb-Iran groups now have a headline that claims Iran
will be nuclear capable 'within weeks."
If I were a betting man - not just
a nut-job in the outback of East Texas, I'd wager that the
Iranian - and rest of world - response to an Israeli launch is
the real agenda at Jerusalem and that this is a planning meeting
for how to communicate Israel's regional security concerns.
Especially if, as linguistics have previously suggested, there's
more than just political fallout from the attack.
The intrepid investor, faced with a
mountain of detail, may be able to watch the two indicators this
week that should foreshadow military action against Iran:
price of oil - which seems to be holding over $78 a barrel today
and the price of gold, which has popped up a few more dollars.
Should I mention that the "Iraqi
and Iranian forces stand off in oil well row" sets up the
Iranian army invading Iraq if Israel throws bombs its way?
In the linguistics there have been references to massive
military casualties and an Iranian army move into Iraq
One more indicator?
Sure...I'm having an after-Christmas special on them, LOL
Copper is up
more than 2½ percent in early trading. And you know
what copper's used for making, right?
Oh - all this is not lost on the
Iranians. Iran's Press-TV headlines it as "Israel
summons envoys from all over the world" and then notes in
"This is the first time a
conference for all of Israel's heads of missions has been
And that would include the Six Days
War, a couple of oil embargoes and more. Is it wise to
expect fallout shortly? You get to decide how to define
'fallout', but my expectation is yes to at least one definition
and soon enough. I think Israel is unlikely to accept sanctions
as an alternative, especially when Iran has been running the
clock for over a year.
The reason I expect and Israeli
launch on Iran would go nuclear from the outset? The US
may be running the clock a bit as the Iranian press is also
"Financial problem delay new US bunker buster bomb"
other headlines advise that deployment is a year out - next
I expect the house will move up it's Patriot Act vote which
had been about to expire since that allows more government
spying on you than was permissible before 9/11. Which gets us
back to the MLive report of the sharply-dress 'helper' doesn't
And the Next Terror
The UK's Sun headlining today that
fear that 25 British-born Muslims are plotting to bomb Western
airliners." Is it all a build up to our topic above?
Or, do the Brits have anti-terrorism laws that need renewing,
All this circles around to a very
interesting investment question this morning: How long
will people keep flying with the lines are getting longer and
longer and "Ramped
up US airport security deepens holiday travel misery."?
Back in my airline management days
it was axiomatic that "Airplanes don't make money on the ground"
so if you're looking for an easy way to analyze airline
financial performance, look at how many hours a day the average
plane is flying (12-13 is nice) versus how much time they spend
on the ground. Then, if you have a decent revenue
passenger load factor (75%+ is nice) the airline has to almost
work to loose money. But as PLF and block times drop, well
- things get ugly about there.
Something to ponder if you're
playing airline stocks short today...
Bacchus or Baucus?
I assume you recall that Bacchus
one way Greeks referred to the god of wine/intoxication.
Now, go over here and
video of senator Max Baucus and tell me if he shouldn't
change his name to
22 fires and counting as an apparent arsonist is on a binge in
the Houston area. Authorities doing what they can to
smoke 'em out....
I see only
one sunspot on the SpaceWeather update at the moment.
We should be holding at the 5-10 level or else that puts the
unthinkable into the cards...protracted inter-cycle cooling
between Cycle 23 and Cycle 24. Yes like the weather over
A curious post blizzard piece in
the Utica Observer-Dispatch: "Motorists
advised to use caution on slippery, now roadways." I
try not to write stories like that, preferring instead to let
people figure out for themselves as they slide sideway into an
oncoming tree at 50-miles an hour that they may wish to modify
their behavior... Besides, if they were reading the story while
driving...well, you know, good as the web is, it ain't radio...
The Weak Ahead
Santa is welcome to stick around
with his rally for another day - take the wrappings out when you
go, though. Tomorrow we get the Case-Shiller/S&P 20-city
housing numbers. No surprise if they are down 7% or so.
Then consumer confidence is reported tomorrow, too. After
that a kind of uneventful-verging on boring week until Thursday
Planning, Always Planning
Which reminds me, just time to hop
over to Amazon and order a BreathKey Breathalyzer: The Digital Keychain Breath Alcohol Tester with Professional Features.
Don't forget to click overnight shipping if you plan on using it
New Years Eve.
a local A.A. meeting.
Do we look out for you, or what?
--- snip and save section ---
With Excessive Optimism
A kind reader sent me a link to a
fine article in the Fairfield Weekly headlined "We're Screwed!"
which then gets into
an interview with ShadowStats.com founder John Williams explains
the rick of hyperinflation. Worst case scenario?
Rioting in the streets and devolution to a bartering system..."
While the scenario he paints is not
only possible - but somewhat likely given that healthcare
is the new CCC and WPA for this depression, the actual worst
case that has popped out from reading the predictive
linguistics runs is actually far worse than what Williams gets
Hyperinflation doesn't just
lead to rioting in the streets and devolution into a bartering
system...there's a whole breakdown of the Western business model
that could go on along with that. Some of the highlights
of which would also include:
Energy supplies by foreign
countries to the US would be shut down due to collapsing
value of the dollar. While you might be able to hedge
by staying home and reorganizing your life to cope, it
wouldn't be more than a year before frozen pipes were
busting all over the place and there'd be no spares for
repairs since that's all petroleum based.
Of course whatever food you had
would be either canned, freeze-dried/stored, or fresh
harvested since without power from largely imported energy,
how are you going to run a refrigerator?
There won't be any work, since
work would be paid for with nearly worthless dollars.
And it's not like you'd be the only one walking off the job.
The cops, firemen, prison guard...how many of those kind of
folks are going to keep working without money that actually
buys them something? More question to ponder: Do the
guard keep all the bad guys boxed up, or are they all
released on humanitarian grounds into the general population
where they get to take revenge and whatever else?
Also since there's no power,
there'd be no way to pump gas and that means for the rest of
your life, you may be constrained to traveling whatever is
in your tank right now. Oh, and did I mention that
3-months is about it for storage life of ethanol laced fuel?
Of course with no cops, a kind
of 'frontier justice' returns and along with starvation,
medical deaths (no meds or means to transport...) we all
move back into the mid 1800's.
A fellow I know, Dick Browning (The
Texas Book of the Dead) has written an interesting
(short) ebook type treatment what it would be like in a big city
trying to survive and get into a stable/survivable position.
Pretty horrific stuff, but as the pressure builds in the Middle
East and as the PTB ratchet up their mechanisms of control, what
Williams lays out in the interview is not the whole weave of the
terrible clothe woven of system breakdown.
The big horrors are the mass deaths
from trapped militaries that become unsupportable without a
working tax base and monetary system, the disease and deaths
over food, and so forth.
Still, it's a worthy read as long
as you don't look too far out ahead and ask the really scary
questions like "Why does the predictive linguistics data fall
off to almost nothing past 2012?"
But wait! Who was that
muttering about the grim/sober tone of this morning's report?
Why, I'd cheerfully note this is the last Monday of 2009 that
you'll have to get up to go to work.
Consider yourself privileged if you
still have a job to go to...More than 15 million 375-thousand
Americans aren't so lucky, so no whining. If the work
doesn't make you free, are you working on the right things?
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.