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OK, here's the deal - hot
of the Labor Dept. website:
nonfarm payroll employment declined by 131,000 in July, and the unem-
ployment rate was unchanged at 9.5 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor
Statistics reported today. Federal government employment fell, as 143,000
temporary workers hired for the decennial census completed their work.
Private-sector payroll employment edged up by 71,000.
Household Survey Data
Both the number of unemployed persons, at 14.6
million, and the unemployment rate, at 9.5 percent, were unchanged in July.
(See table A-1.)
Among the major worker groups, the unemployment
rate for adult men (9.7 per- cent), adult women (7.9 percent), teenagers
(26.1 percent), whites (8.6 per- cent), blacks (15.6 percent), and Hispanics
(12.1 percent) showed little or no change in July. The jobless rate for
Asians was 8.2 percent, not seasonally adjusted. (See tables A-1, A-2, and
In July, the number of long-term unemployed
(those jobless for 27 weeks and over) was little changed at 6.6 million.
These individuals made up 44.9 per- cent of unemployed persons. (See table
The civilian labor force participation rate
(64.6 percent) and the employment- population ratio (58.4 percent) were
essentially unchanged in July; however, these measures have declined by 0.6
percentage point and 0.4 point, respectively, since April. (See table A-1.)
The number of persons employed part time for
economic reasons (sometimes re- ferred to as involuntary part-time workers)
was essentially unchanged over the month at 8.5 million but has declined by
623,000 since April. These in- dividuals were working part time because
their hours had been cut back or because they were unable to find a
full-time job. (See table A-8.)
About 2.6 million persons were marginally
attached to the labor force in July, an increase of 340,000 from a year
earlier. (The data are not seasonally adjusted.) These individuals were not
in the labor force, wanted and were avail- able for work, and had looked for
a job sometime in the prior 12 months. They were not counted as unemployed
because they had not searched for work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey.
(See table A-16.)
Among the marginally attached, there were 1.2
million discouraged workers in July, up by 389,000 from a year earlier. (The
data are not seasonally ad- justed.) Discouraged workers are persons not
currently looking for work because they believe no jobs are available for
them. The remaining 1.4 million persons marginally attached to the labor
force had not searched for work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey for
reasons such as school attendance or family responsibilities.
As long as the workforce number is
being reduced, it keeps the unemployment figures in check. However, the
real number to look at is the labor participation rate. In April it
was 65.2% and now its down to 64.6%.
That's how you lose 131,000
jobs and hold the rate steady...only
change the participation rate a tenth for the month...
The CES Birth/Death Model also
shows declines in new/small business/estimated job creation. Last
month 147,000 new jobs were estimated into existence. This
month: Just 6,000 with another 12,000 lost in manufacturing and 9-thousand
each in Financial activities and the Trade Transportation and utilities group.
On a Not Seasonally Adjusted
Alternative Measures of Labor Underutilization figure was up another tenth to
16.8% of the workforce. Same place we were a year ago.
Feedback: "George, did you
mention that the June Jobs report was revised majorly downward to -221K, from
-125K? eom" No, wouldn't want to complete f/u the weekend.
the futures point down. But it gets worse...
How Gov't Screws Job-Seekers
As long as we're talking about the
job collapse, reading InformationWeek may not be on your list of sites to scan
for economic news, but a fine case of screwing up the recovery is being
presented by the federal government and what the article refers to as a
'hand-picked Obama appointee" as the (got a blood pressure pill handy?) "U.S.
to Train 3,000 Offshore IT Workers".
What's worse? On Thursday
InformationWeek did a follow-on story about how
"USAID Funds IT in Eurasia".
If you're an unemployed American
IT wizard, and you're asking "WTF is wrong with these people in Washington?
Don't they know we have a serious unemployment problem right here in America?",
I'd have to point out that America isn't what it used to be.
Seems to me that when Treasury
Secretary Tim Geithner said this week...
President has proposed to terminate or reduce government programs we do
not need and cannot afford. He has proposed to freeze non-security,
discretionary spending, which will by 2014 bring such spending to its lowest
share of the economy since the 1960s.... "
...he could have
mentioned that cutting government spending by outsourcing was in the plan
No, I'm not picking on
Obama; the reason all presidents have been acting the same, regardless of party,
is that corporate strings pull both parties. Obama is just the latest
marionette; Bush the preceding puppet. Campaign promises to withdraw from Iraq?
Create new jobs and industries? And
what about that surveillance promise? Bush was of the same ilk, same
wars, same.....well, you get the idea.
Ever since the Kennedy days (at
least that's a good point of transition to consider, since he was killed with a
move to begin
taking back direct government control of money from the Federal Reserve pending
under Executive Order 11110)) we have done a smooth transition from
government "by, of, and for the people" to a government "by, for, and
of corporation interests in general and their bankers in particular.
Need a few more zeroes on your bailout?"
But what's the use? We're
probably past the point of no return, although I'll still vote against every
incumbent I can in November. The hard part isn't the voting, it's the
remembering that the corporate agenda is to keep voters believing in left-right
divisions so the up/down manipulation and exploitation can profitably (to the
Besides, we really do need
more IT outsourcing to South Asia, and Armenia, don't we? I mean, how
else could American corporate interests keep cutting jobs, right? And
what better way to cut federal costs than to outsource them to South Asia and
Hell, I'm so old I can remember
when my job competitor was the human standing next to me...not a piece of
software or some faceless corpslave in an Asian prison sweat shop. Now
ViceGrips (to pinch yourself) and
a Bic lighter (for your vaporizer) only go so far.
With America facing massive
unemployment - and by my reckoning, more to come - how is it we need foreign aid
programs, in the first place?
Bad Idea On Housing
Word this week that
fixed-rate mortgages hit record lows prompted an ugly trial-balloon to be
launched by the Obamanistas: Idea tossed around Washington was "What about
forgiving $800 billion in Freddie and Fannie home loans?"
So visceral was my reaction that I
called my lawyer/consigliore and asked him "What's it gonna cost to file a
class action lawsuit on behalf of people who have a) no mortgage, b) renters,
and c) people who didn't cross the moral hazard line and lived within their
means? It's a crock of crap and a clear violation of equal protection to
give one class of citizens a loan forgiveness windfall at the expense of the
rest of us, right?"
His answer was instructive:
"You can't afford it, George.
It will cost at least $2-million dollars to challenge an idea as bad as
this, even though it's an easy call and load of crap on the surface.
I'd need to hire researchers, spend hundreds - maybe thousands - of hours in
research, hire expert opinions - and that's expensive, I've done it before -
and frankly, you're pockets aren't that deep..."
Crap. So I tried to tempt
him in other way: "Could you do it on a contingent basis for part of the
settlement, triple damages, and such?
"Nope. Not interested."
Treasury apparently had the good sense to announce there won't be any change of
Treasury policy about Freddie and Fannie.
But is that the end of it?
Hell no: The Democorps are facing disaster at the polls in November which
is probably why the week after elections is when the Middle East will blow up.
Lame ducks can do anything they want - or so they think.
Global Food Crisis,
Did the linguistics, or did the
linguistics not tell you that food was going to go ballistic late this year.
And is not word that Russian Prime Minister and his marionette president
have banned export of grains from Russia because of severe drought and failing
Which brings us to a couple of
commodities to watch:
Wheat prices are
rising and so is copper. Copper's a worry because it usually goes up
ahead of major wars.
March To War Dept.
Shortly after Elaine was wandered
around the house yesterday muttering about how stupid killing people over tree
trimming along the Lebanese-Israel border was when this popped in: "Chinese
missile could shift Pacific power balance."
While the rumor mill buzzes that
Wikileaks may have a follow-on posting around August 10th only dealing with Iran
War plans, the recent Ugly Truth article "assembling
the evidence for high likelihood of coming third world war" is worth some
Or, you might want to chat with
Shane over at www.ki4u.com about radiation
detectors and potassium iodide pills....
Speaking of which, Shane sent me
his review of the new documentary "Countdown
to Zero" which also builds the case that some kind of nuke use is
No surprise the new 'Countdown
to Zero' disarmament movie omits any life-saving strategies from their
agenda of banning nukes, like advocating public Civil Defense, to try and
better survive nukes in the meantime.
The disarmament movement has for decades espoused that with nukes; all will
die or it will be so bad you'll wish you had. They've largely succeeded, as
most now think it futile, bordering on lunacy, to ever try to learn how to
survive a nuclear blast and radioactive fallout.
Ironically, these disarmament activists have rendered millions more American
families more vulnerable to perishing from nukes in the future.
For instance, most now ridicule 'duck & cover', but for the vast majority,
not right at 'ground zero' and already gone, the blast wave will be delayed
in arriving after the flash, like lightening & thunder, anywhere from a
fraction of a second up to 20 seconds, or more.
Today, without 'duck & cover' training, everyone at work, home, and your
children at school, will impulsively rush to the nearest windows to see what
that 'bright flash' was, just-in-time to be shredded by the glass imploding
inward from that delayed blast wave. They'd never been taught that even in
the open, just laying flat, reduces by eight-fold the chances of being hit
by debris from that brief, 3-second, tornado strength blast.
Then, later, before the radioactive fallout can hurt them, most won't know
to move perpendicular away from the downwind drift of the fallout to get out
from under it before it even arrives. And, for those who can't evacuate in
time, few know how quick & easy it is to throw together an expedient fallout
shelter, to safely wait out the radioactive fallout as it loses 99% of its
lethal intensity in the first 48 hours.
The greatest tragedy of that horrific loss of life, when nukes come to
America, will be that most families had needlessly perished, out of
ignorance of how easily they might have avoided becoming additional
casualties, all because they were sold it was futile to ever try to learn
how to beforehand.
You can thank the disarmament movement, and all those who've uncritically
parroted their un-survivability propaganda, for these unintended
consequences and inconvenient truths.
"The Good News About Nuclear
www.ki4u.com/goodnews.htm dispels those deadly myths of nuclear
un-survivability to empower more American families to survive nukes. For as
long as any nukes are still around, THAT is what's urgently needed!
assume you have been following H.R. 5741 which sets up the draft, again,
right? Oh-oh...sorry...I meant mandatory service. The kinder,
gentler term for pushing through a draft law...just in time for expanded global
of a lighter and large inhaling sound, a moment of silence then this:)
"Yee haw! What have I
been thinking? Where's my Triple Bull ETF in the Defense Sector?
Lemme in! Global War! The world's last growth industry!!!"
Losses Going Postal
Press release out Thursday:
"The U.S. Postal Service
ended the third quarter of fiscal year 2010 (April 1 – June 30) with a net
loss of $3.5 billion, compared with a net loss of $2.4 billion for the
same quarter last year. Third-quarter mail volume totaled 40.9 billion
pieces – down approximately 700 million pieces, or 1.7 percent, compared to
a year ago.
Complete USPS third-quarter results include
operating revenue of $16 billion, some $294 million less than the same
period last year, and operating expenses of $19.5 billion, an increase of
$789 million, or 4.2 percent, over the third quarter last year.
The increase in operating expenses was
attributable largely to higher workers’ compensation expenses due to a
non-cash fair value adjustment and higher retiree health benefits expenses.
Lower interest rates adversely affected the workers’ compensation liability,
resulting in a $2 billion expense for the quarter – $870 million higher than
the same quarter last year.
A significant portion of USPS losses in the past
few years has been due to an unprecedented decline in mail volume – down by
more than 20 percent since 2007. The replacement of letter mail and
business-transactions mail by electronic alternatives continues to cause
downward pressure on mail volume.
The organization’s financial situation is
compounded by its obligation to pay $5.4 billion to $5.8 billion annually to
prefund retiree health benefits. This requirement, established in the Postal
Accountability and Enhancement Act of 2006 (PAEA), is an obligation unique
to the Postal Service.
Liquidity remains a major concern as the end of
the fiscal year approaches. Although cash flow appears to be sufficient for
2010 operations, it is uncertain whether cash flow, together with maximum
available borrowing of $3 billion, will be enough to fund the
Congressionally-mandated $5.5 billion payment to the Retiree Health Benefit
Fund on September 30 and retain sufficient liquidity into 2011, according to
Joseph R. Corbett, the Postal Service’s Chief Financial Officer."
Speaking of layoffs (which is the
theme-o-the-day around here), the post office cut the equivalent of 36,000 FTE's
Way out? Scrap Saturday
deliveries always comes up, but here's my 2¢ worth:
Have the Post Office take over all email services in America and charge 1¢ per
email. That would free up a lot of bandwidth, reduce mindless spam, make
the Post Office solvent - and best of all - since Post Inspectors can search
mail, it would make government reading of email a hell of a lot easier is they
took over the whole function, right? I mean they can open regular mail,
so why not make them the email outfit...
Still looking fort a Big 'un...so
"Wow, Similar pattern of quakes seen right
before the Haiti quake. Could be a south usa or California, but betting on
Caribbean quake. Aug 9th?? That is where my dart is lands."
Keep the USGS site bookmarked...might be useful this weekend.
===== snip and save =====
With Point #6
In Thursday's column I mentioned
that in a press conference this week, the who's-he-was-its of the Centers for
Disease Control talked about six things people can do about obesity and
then listed five which got me to wonder about #6...
Best note from a reader on point
was this one:
"Good morning, George. I was intrigued by your
discourse on obesity, so I cheerfully provide an answer to your question. I
have a history of adult obesity and lifelong mocking - including from
family!!, which I state quite boldly because I know my eating habits and
exercise regimen were not the problem (cue rude sniggering from peanut
gallery). You note I state "were ..." because about a year ago I finally
stumbled upon a solution. I'll try to be brief, but when you finish,
hopefully you'll understand why the lengthy note.
Some history: I'm a 44yo female, and my weight
gain started at puberty for seemingly no reason. My four siblings (2m/2f)
carried on merrily, not one of whom 'grew' at the rate I did over the years.
We all ate the same foods and were exposed to the same family whatevers, but
over the years I continued to 'grow' and ultimately develop various
infirmities which worsened as my weight increased.
Yes, I dieted - a number of times I lost 25-30
pounds without permanent results; yes, I took nutrition classes - including
at college; I have two beautiful, useful veggie gardens in the backyard;
yes, I exercised - a gym member and aerobics enthusiast for many years,
until a severe wrench in my knee a couple of years ago, which actually
resulted in an arthritis diagnosis following months of physio. Small mercy
to know, I suppose, but I digress ...
Ultimately, my lifelong quest has been to
determine why I am so overweight and how to stop it - so I can tell you
exactly how my body functions, when and why; I can talk nutrition and diet
with the best gurus; and I can give exercise tips that Tony Horton would
envy. I have fitness videos and dvds up the ying-yang, can do a 20 Minute
Workout with my eyes closed, and have a (well-used) Bowflex in the basement.
So WHY couldn't I lose weight???
Two years ago, my DH was told he had high
cholesterol. Being a health fiend, I went online to research options.
Preferring 'natural' remedies, I ended up at an organic grocer for a very
specific product and not wanting to trek all over the city for groceries
every week, I would pick up a few items while I was there. A bit expensive -
no kidding - but after two weeks, hubby looks at me and says (and I
paraphrase) "Y'know, it's not me feeling better - it's you!" And he was
The ultimate point is, we switched to organic
food over the next year and haven't looked back since. We have since
researched less-expensive grocers, sourced near-ish farms for various meats,
bought a freezer to store the annual deliveries (ooooh ... organic
bacon!!!), changed garden fertilizers, spices, dairy, fruits, veggies,
snacks and treats, EVERYTHING!!! And for the first time ever, I lost 15 lbs
in the following few weeks without changing the way I cook or eat, other
than to switch from 'conventional' foods to strictly organic.
So I checked in with my doctor about a year
after the change-over, she asks a few questions, and voila - I have "21st
Century Syndrome" or something odd like that. Basically, I'm intolerant to
chemicals in food. I have ultimately come to realize that via purported
standardization, safety restrictions and regulation of farming and food
preparation, we are being poisoned by the PTB through GMO foods, pesticides,
additives, preservatives, etc. Because I am hyper-sensitive to chemicals
(not everyone is as sensitive, obviously), the growth hormones injected into
cattle, chicken, etc. were being retained by my body and causing me to
literally grow. I felt drugged constantly, 'foggy', lethargic - not tired or
fatigued, but weak and debilitated. And I was 'puffy', like a toasted
marshmallow. And now it's all gone ... finally!!!
While Hubby noticed my dramatic results, he
didn't really see a change in himself except for one thing ('gross' alert!):
Following the same dietary patterns, I used to experience regular diarrhea,
but he was regularly constipated - almost immediately after switching to
organics, both of us changed to a normal rhythm. Niice. ;-p
Now, we would normally question the validity of
all of the above because if we hadn't experienced it ourselves, we almost
wouldn't believe it. However, we are totally sold on this, especially since
my experiencing and hubby seeing my clarity of body, mind and general
well-being. No, not everyone will believe it, and many will poo-poo it as
'another fat person with an excuse', but since the initial drop I have lost
a further 50 lbs and I'm still going! People walk by me and actually don't
recognize me. I feel so great, but it's not excitement - it's relief - my
journey is almost over, and I feel normal for the first time in my life.
Anyway, I'll stop now. Sorry to have talked your
ears (or eyes?) off, but thanks for the opportunity. :-) That is your 'sixth
So I wrote back to the woman:
"Wow – one follow-on question”: How many pounds do you figure you lost in
this? (no names used on the site, as always, but I’m sure people would
want to know…??)"
"Thanks - it's been quite a journey, and if
nothing else, an interesting lesson in human nature - people are very cruel,
and family can be especially so.
The initial numbers are a rough estimate (I was
so discouraged at my highest that I actually stopped weighing myself in the
high 290s) but at this point I'm probably down 65 lbs, give or take maybe 2
lbs or so. I have always been very self-aware, so my guesstimate is probably
I have also maintained regular medical check-ups
for my own peace of mind, and thankfully all of my blood pressure, sugars,
cholesterol, thyroid, etc. have always been normal. However, I have opted
for a specialist to supervise the rest of the weight loss, to ensure it's
safe and quick. His initial weigh-in had me at 286.5, but I had lost what I
figure was near 15 lbs prior to that. I would like to lose another 90-95 lbs
(just to see what it looks like!), which will take me down to between 140
and 150, the latter being the high end for my age/height range and his
ultimate goal for me.
I work in Toronto, Ontario - check out Dr. Poon
online. He's not really well known outside of the medical community, but all
the doctors know him as the go-to guy for obese patients who need surgery -
which is why I didn't know him ... notwithstanding the weight, I have always
been completely healthy."
Something to think about,
especially because I've known many people who just can't seem to lose weight
(long-term) even those they put themselves on the Bataan Death March Diet and
whatever this week's fad is. Hadn't thought about the weight issue as
being an allergic reaction to processed foods, but a quick inspection of
almost anything in a grocery store not specifically marked 'organic' makes the
case air tight, and even markings may not tell the whole story.
So, if you're one of those folks
who just can't seem to lose weight, I'm no doctor (and you should get
medical advice!) at least start reading up on the food purity/high fructose corn
syrup relationship. Wikipedia offers some insight into recent research in
of HFCS point out a correlation between increased usage of HFCS in
foods and obesity rates in the United States over three decades.
Some allege that HFCS is in itself more detrimental to health than
sugar (sucrose); others claim that the low cost of HFCS
encourages overconsumption of sugars. The
Corn Refiners Association has launched an aggressive advertising
campaign to counter these criticisms, claiming that high-fructose
corn syrup "is natural" and "has the same natural sweeteners as
table sugar". Both sides point to
peer reviewed journals that allegedly support their point of
Bocarsly et al.
completed a 2010 study where rats were given 8% HFCS 12 hrs/day, 8%
HFCS 24 hrs/day, 10% sucrose 12 hrs/day, all with
ad libitum rodent chow, or only ad libitum rodent chow for a
duration of 8 weeks. The rats on HFCS 12 hrs/day gained more weight
than the rats on sucrose 12 hrs/day in young males, but not in adult
females. They also reported that the rats on HFCS 24 hrs/day did not
gain a statistically significant amount of weight when compared to
the rats on sucrose or chow only. Additionally, no differences in
blood-glucose levels were observed. Another study was conducted for
6-7 months, and fat pads were
removed from the rats and weighed. Fat pads for rats on HFCS 12
hrs/day weighed significantly more than rats on chow only, but were
not different from rats on sucrose. Fat pads for rats on HFCS 24
hrs/day did not have a statistically different weight than rats on
Elliot et al.
implicate increased consumption of fructose (due primarily to the
increased consumption of sugars but also partly due to the slightly
higher fructose content of HFCS as compared to sucrose) in obesity
and insulin resistance.
Chi-Tang Ho et al. found that soft drinks sweetened with HFCS
are up to 10 times richer in harmful
carbonyl compounds, such as
methylglyoxal, than a diet soft drink control, and claimed that
sucrose does not have the same tendency to produce these compounds.
Carbonyl compounds are elevated in people with
diabetes and are blamed for causing diabetic complications such
as foot ulcers and eye and nerve damage.
A 2008 study in humans analyzed the
circulating levels of glucose, insulin,
triacylglycerol during a 24 hour period after consuming drinks
containing HFCS or sucrose. The researchers concluded that the
consumption of HFCS or sucrose did not yield differing metabolic
(Cites won't work,
may be found here if you want the back-up).
Have we found the "missing" 6th
point from CDC? Perhaps: One thing I'm pretty confident of:
Anyone in a politically sensitive job would be endangering their in come if they
took on the corn lobby.
This is - fortunately - one of
those things where people voting with the wallets may be able to change
behaviors. If people only consumed natural sweets (fruit juices and
such) and made it a point to stop consuming high fructose corn syrup-laced
products and those with any number of preservatives in them, would industry find
a new way to use those products, or would farmers have an incentive to shy away
from genetically-modified plantings? Of course!
Won't happen overnight, at least a
scan of the headlines suggests it didn't happen last night, but every
time you spend a buck, remember you're voting yay, or nay, in the only contest
corporate boards of directors really understand - the bottom line.
I'm still trying to sell
myself on the benefits of a restricted calorie diet [CR] since elsewhere we read
that while human studies are ongoing...
was found that the calorie-restricted group had remarkably low triglyceride
levels. In fact, they were as low as the lowest 5% of Americans in their
20s. This is more remarkable when it is noted that the calorie-restricted
individuals were actually aged between 35 and 82 years. Both systolic and
diastolic blood pressure levels in calorie-restricted group were remarkably
low, about 100/60, values normally found in 10-year-old children. Fasting
plasma insulin concentration was 65% lower and fasting plasma glucose
concentration was also significantly lower in the calorie-restricted group
when compared with the comparison group." Dr. Luigi Fontana, clinical
investigator, says CR practitioners seem to be aging more slowly than the
rest of us. "Take systolic blood pressure," he says. "Usually, that rises
with age reliably, partly because the arteries are hardening. In my group,
mean age is 55, and mean systolic blood pressure is 110: that’s at the level
of a 20-year-old."
The comparison group's statistics aligned
approximately with the US national average on the dimensions considered.
Fasting plasma insulin levels and fasting plasma glucose levels are
used as tests to predict diabetes."
I read elsewhere that the
life-extension possible may be as high as 30-40%, which means if your parents
lived to 85, a CR diet might get someone close to 120-years.
Of course, whether being around
120-years is a good thing, or bad, depends on a lot of variables: Since
I'm already 61 (and 62 sure seems to be coming down the pike quickly) I have to
ask "Do I want to keep paying taxes another X number of years? And
what will my quality of life be like from, say, 105-119? And if a lot
of people did this, wouldn't that screw the younger up-and-coming generations
out of upward mobility for a long time?
Tough decisions, these. But
the journey of a thousand leagues begins with a first step. I'll pass on
corn syrup products, which I've been doing any way...and we'll continue to make
our own organic meals.
More important? I'll skip lunch
today, or just have a salad.
Reader Are Thinking
"In arts and entertainment:*
Wall Street (1929 film), directed by Roy William Neill* Wall Street (1987
film), directed by Oliver Stone o Wall Street:
Money Never Sleeps, a
2010 film sequel to the above, directed by Oliver Stone"
I wonder if there is any
particular cosmic reason why the movie "Wall Street" comes out during
Like the power behind a number of
Hollywood biggies told one of our sources: "The movie is the message..."
Video of the Day
...or for the weekend...Remember a
while back I told you about the efforts of a Hebrew studies group in Canada to
apply something called "self-defining Hebrew (SDH) to the old testament?
Idea is that the ancient words had only one meaning, not over 90-odd
meanings for some, which you could find in Strong's Concordance...
they have a video up on
YouTube now and their site,
www.thechronicleproject.org continues to grow with more pages added...
A related reader email:
"Hi George, The story of the
meeting of Ike, Rockefeller and others with the Greys speaks of agreement to
keep their presence deniable to maintain the hold the major religions have
on the world. Would shake up all if it were announced, "The story of Yeshua
ben Joseph, video at 11." Just the sight of the races of ET's will bring our
ancestry to question."
uh...you might want to check out
the SDH version of Genesis...
Send your comments to email@example.com
13 Acres and Independence
The $500 Home Survival Kit
In (extremely) slow-motion,
over the past year or several I've been putting down various notes and
sharing points about building out a homestead in the rural south, which
it has been our pleasure to be engaged in off and on (when consulting
doesn't have me elsewhere) since we 'bought the farm' so to speak in
2002. Useful information, I've been told, but a fair number of
people have asked "Fine if you have no kids and can work from
wherever you have a phone and an internet connection, but what about the
rest of us who are tied to the Corporate Beast and have to live in
cities. What about US?" Fine critique, that. So
this week the Lite version of everything.
To Subscribe, CLICK HERE
Assistance? Click here.
Dream A Little Dream...
If you have an especially vivid dream
that seems to have something to do with the future, please write it down
so others can look it over for possible future/predictive values.
Simple go to http://www.nationaldreamcenter.com/
and click over to the DreamBase - commercial-free and open
The folks at Maxa Research have put
together a short video (sound track by guess who?) that shows the Maxa
Cookie Manager. You can see it here.
I don't usually get all whipped up
about software, but this is one of those dandy tools that just simply
works great. First thing I put on my new computer when I got it was
Avira Anti-virus and Maxa Cookie Manager (MCM). Either follow the
on-screen download instructions of simply click:
Once you try it out, to upgrade to the fully
functioning version, just 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.
"Live on $10,000" A
Having a hard time
making ends meet? (Like who isn't, right?) A good starting
point to better match up income with outgo is our $10 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. A bonus section called "How to Build
Anything" should instill confidence if you've never taken on a home
improvement/home creation project before, too..... Click here for the index and
Pass It On
A different take on
things - that's what you'll find here most mornings. If you know of
anyone who might also like our content, simply click here
and send a link to them. Or, if you hated what you read, send the
link to all your 'worst enemies'. Like they say in Burbank, "Ain't
no such thing as bad press..."
Last week's report is
Thursday August 5, 2010
Changing Expense Ratios
One of the things hidden
in the study of longwave economics is the major changes which happen to people's
spending patterns over time, when macroeconomic changes happen to societies in
general. These changes - o0nly evident if you kmeep a kind of ledger on
them - result in tremendous confusion over the general direction of the
economy, especially when we're in a Second Depression by many practical
To say that inflation
is coming for food costs seems obvious. No doubt you've noticed the
Bloomberg story that "Wheat
hits 23-month high as drought shrivels Russian crop"? I'm sure you
also recall that a few weeks back I ordered a cheap 10X12-foot greenhouse to
keep some local food production going over the winter? And, let's not
forget my near-constant nagging a while back about how you ought to be
thinking about planter ranching and condo containering in order to augment your
food in the future, even if you're just renting space.
We won't get the Consumer
Price Index numbers until a week from tomorrow, but I expect the food and
beverage section will
come off dead flat the past couple of months and begin heading higher.
Couple this with the
reported canceling of
Flip That House (TLC) after four seasons and the astute observer might
summarize the macro trend this way: Housing costs are going down, but
compensating, food prices seem likely to head up. Overall, deflationary,
since borrowing is expected to show another decline when the Fed comes out with
Consumer Debt figures tomorrow, but for today, the market has other news to
One of the immediate
concerns is the weekly unemployment data:
In the week
ending July 31, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial
claims was 479,000, an increase of 19,000 from the previous week's revised
figure of 460,000. The 4-week moving average was 458,500, an increase of
5,250 from the previous week's revised average of 453,250.
The advance seasonally adjusted insured
unemployment rate was 3.6 percent for the week ending July 24, unchanged
from the prior week's unrevised rate of 3.6 percent.
The advance number for seasonally adjusted
insured unemployment during the week ending July 24 was 4,537,000, a
decrease of 34,000 from the preceding week's revised level of 4,571,000. The
4-week moving average was 4,575,500, an increase of 25,750 from the
preceding week's revised average of 4,549,750.
The fiscal year-to-date average of seasonally
adjusted weekly insured unemployment, which corresponds to the appropriated
AWIU trigger, was 5.028 million.
Gold is touching the
$1,200 level again, so some inflation (or solid purchasing power holding) is
seen there, and futures are up a tad, but not enough to show any definitive
direction longer term than the next day, and maybe even a late-session reversal
today could be in the cards. Tomorrow, the unemployment rate is due and
it's expected to be up a bit - how much depends on whether Pinocchio (whose
unemployment benefits ran out years ago) has landed a gig in the right
government statistics department.
Road To War
Russia Today is reporting no, Belarus has not sold any S-300 aid defense system
missiles to Iran. Apparently, if you dig a bit, you can
that Iran paid for these missiles back in 2007 but now Russia isn't delivering.
On the other hand, the
FARS news agency apparently reported that
"Iran obtains S-300" missiles (four of 'em), so it's anyone's guess who's
got the straight skinny here.
Muddying up things
Azerbaijan may be the recipient of some S-300's which has a few other
countries upset. But, since there are reports that
Israel and the US may be planning on operations out of Azerbaijan, would the
missiles be defense or offensive? My head hurts, more coffee?
Been watching the USGS
Quake Monitor site over the past couple of days since the arrival of the whump
on the earth's magnetosphere from the solar C-class flare and solar filament
collapse last weekend should have resulted in a couple of good-sized quakes.
And sure enough, there was a
7.0 down in Papua New Guinea, and a
6.0 in the Kuril Islands. Normal? We could debate all day long
whether there's a correlation.
No, this is NOT the end of
the world, BUT there are a couple of charts from reader and database whiz Tony
Ring who runs through the data off the USGS date server every month for us.
Looking at these charts,
if you conclude that we're in a period of generally increased 6.0 quakes since
the low period (circa 2003) that wouldn't be a bad inference...and on another
chart, the average death is coming up, too. Average depth of quakes
in 2003 was almost 70 kilometers. Average depth trend recently was
around 25 kilometers, although July was back up to almost 68 km.
The depth is interesting
since the more shallow the quake, the less absorption by a thick layer of earth
and the more damaging the surface effects on us humans.
Why the focus on EQ
trends? Well, if the 2012 doomsters are right (and I'm not saying I'm not
one of them, but we have the problems of this fall and over the next couple of
years to make it through to get to the other side of 2012) then we should see a
continuing increase in the magnitude and frequency of quakes as we get close to
whatever it is that comes in 2012, 2011, or in November of this year...then
there's the little matter of...
While we watch the three
Gorges dam situation, the Shanghai
Daily reports more than 1,000 people have died from flooding in China.
side bet says something in China will pop around Aug. 25th....
Chris Christie Fan Club
A couple of readers, after
going through the National Revfiew Online article about NJ Governor "Chris
Christie: The Scourge of Trenton" are asking why he isn't running for higher
office. It's what they need, they comment.
Churchill Ordered Brits' UFO
Quite the article giving
up more truth about the government's (worldwide, actually) cover-up of UFO
sightings. Seems a new BBC story out this morning is reporting that Winnie
ordered a clamp down on UFO
reports to prevent 'mass panic" and "would shatter people's religious views".
So here is this morning's
interesting thought problem: Is it better for a government leader to
cover-up something like UFO details which might cause people to reexamine their
worldviews, OR is it better to cover up and lie?
I suppose you know where
my sentiments are: Covering up and lying seems to have become epidemic in
the world due in no small part, I'm thinking, to 'offishul cover-ups' and hiding
the facts doesn't serve the ideals of freedom and liberty, but I don't have
reptilian pals handing me a 'looking glass' so I can feather my own nest,
OK, with wars pending on
several fronts, low grain outputs in many parts of the world, the massive spill
in the Gulf of Mexico, what's missing?
Well, how about an
outbreak of Bubonic Plague...also known as the 'black death' for how it savaged
Europe way back when. So far,
only one dead, but at least 31 infected and whether it can be contained,
that's the real questionmark.
Meantime there's an uptick
the acute syndrome version claiming at least 115 deaths this year in India.
Not like it's just an
overseas problem, though:
preparing for spraying for the eastern equine version (EEE) there have been
three EEE deaths in Florida, while
LaCrosse strain has been found in Mississippi,
While I could go on
listing additional states with cases (Texas among them) what's really
interesting is that on the flip side of the disease, a
"Modified Encephalitis Virus Shows Anti-Cancer Promise" reports KYW Radio up
Living the Phat Life
Haven't mentioned the CDC
press briefing this week on the growing problem of obesity in America.
Key excerpt from the press briefing by CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden:
to 2009 BRFSS data, which we are releasing today, the number of states
where self-reported obesity prevalence is 30% or higher has tripled since
2007 from three states to nine states.
Less than a decade
ago, in 2000, not a single state had an obesity prevalence of 30% or higher.
And although the goal for 2010, through "healthy people 2010," was to have
an obesity prevalence of 15% or less, not a single state has achieved that
goal. The 2009 BRFSS data show a 1.1 percentage point increase, about 2.4
million additional people self-reporting obesity between 2007 and 2009 among
adults aged 18 and over.
Not only are the costs
of obesity high, and I refer you to the Vital Signs color four-page document
which has a graphic which gives some of the information about the impacts of
obesity, but in addition, the economic costs are high. In 2008 dollars,
medical costs associated with obesity were estimated at $147 billion. That
translates into medical costs for people who are obese that were $1,429
higher per person each year compared to normal-weight individuals.
Six things can reduce
or prevent obesity.
The first is
increasing physical activity.
The second key
initiative would be to increase the uptake and continuation of breast
feeding, which is healthier both for the infant and the mother.
The third is to
increase fruit and vegetable intake.
The fourth is to
reduce screen time, TV time.
The fifth is to reduce
high-calorie food intake, and in particular, to reduce intake of sugary
drinks, making healthier options, such as water.
So, I find myself
wondering, what is the sixth thing that can be done? I used to ask
those kinds of questions at press conferences, too...
obesity rate in America is
lowest in Colorado, and highest in Mississippi. 2009 data. Continuing
on in our healthy vein...(a poor medical pun if there ever
===== snip and save
First Steps in Quantum Healing?
No testimony as to the
efficacy of treatment, but Jeff Rense had an
interview on last night that several readers thought would be worth mentioning.
The site involved is
www.fireburndoctor.com - seems there's a lot that can be done to ease burn
pain, scarring and more, and they offer a free telephone number to call within
30-minutes of getting a bad burn. 1-818-332-6445.
Another reader offered
"The purpose of this
global grassroots Burn Eradication Project is to prove to the people, for
the first time, using mainstream scientific methodology, the existence of a
higher reality, that can be accessed, processed and manifested for our
benefit in times of crisis. Anyone can be trained to do it. The goal would
then be to have emergency response teams in every major city of the world."
What's involved is a
process called "Distant
Subliminal Neuro-Bypass (DSNB) and no, it doesn't mean skip the ambulance or
the trip to the ER...but what it does purport to do is quicken healing.
reduce scarring, and more. All has to do with the use of subtle energy
fields. Think of it as an early use of 'quantum healing".
data on how this "bio-matrix hacking"
works may be found here, but the point is that this is only a first step
in what's going to turn into a whole new field of medicine and, since it seems
to be a complimentary therapy which doesn't axe the Big Pharma lobby, it may
And if it can be shown to
improve results with burns, then might there be other ailments where it could be
applied early-on to augment interventions?
Specifically I'm thinking
trauma cases like motorcycle or car accidents, especially where nerve damage is
likely, and maybe even heart attacks. Not their focus, but it's where this
field could lead.
Our usual disclaimer
here: This is not medical advice - just a discussion of an
issue of public health concern...you're free to make up your own mind.
Public service note:
Send article along to Dr. Ron Klatz who does the radio show "Second
Opinion" - would love to hear two MD's discuss this more deeply in a further
radio interview...I'll let you know when it's on if it comes up....
Scrawled out note from the
increasingly 'treads on thin ice" Zeus today:
Frigging Biped [FFB]
A reader of your has
sense and call you a 'racist biped'...check it out, Fatso...
We took over our biped's computer and had to
write this: Your guy is calling us "mere cats", and linking to a site
that says we stink! There has to be a hate crimes law about that -
something about civil rights. Time to get in touch with the New Black
Pussy Party and talk about doin' crackers and their babies!
We black cats have to stick together - we're
not "mere cats". That's hate speech! Let us know where you stand.
Keep the faith,
Isis and Bianca (black and proud felines of
the realm, commandeering MB's computer)
Next time you use a phrase like meerkats
which we all know is racist code for 'mere cats' watch yourself. I
got the number for the American Cat Liberties Union and they'll be all over
you like white on rice.
PS: You see that CDC fat biped story I set on
I sent him a note "Zeus:
See next story".
Around the Ranch
Home On The Range
A ham radio buddy dropped
by Wednesday morning to do a little tweaking on the bias settings of a desktop
1kw linear amp. I'd helped him set up a series of Zener diodes to create
the right bias point instead of building a separate bias supply and it seems to
be OK, or nearly so.
But, this being Texas, we
also got around to shooting and he brought along his new toy - a nice matt
finished .308 with a scope on it bigger than my forearm with one of those 'green
dots' in it. Also some of those little military targets that you can print
out - six to a standard 8½ by 11 sheet of paper
since the silhouettes are just 2½" high, or so.
The idea is that if you can a grouping on the
silhouettes at 25 yards, that's the same as hitting a full-sized
silhouette of a wandering biped at 100-yards.
We didn't sight it in Wednesday, in deference to
the animals around here (ahem...) like the cats, but there was also a dandy discussion of the
virtues of various .45 rounds for handguns, simple hollow points, versus
polymers, and so on. And, since he's an ex-cop and has been to a few
anti-sniper schools, a discussion of 'secret sauce' loads.
All of which gets me back to tractor repairs that
are due today. As much fun as it would have been to sight in the
.308/scope, the range is a bit overgrown at the moment and needs a good
bush-hogging. To do that, an early morning with a bit of dew still on is
nice - keeps the dust down.
But that means the tractor has to be
running, and I've got parts to pick up and install to make that happen,
and that's going to eat up some time. And, before the tractoring, the lawn
needs to get whacked, so that means a trip into town with the empty gas cans,
and since we a 2-stroke weed whacker,
that means mixing gas and
a trip to the local AutoZone or O'Reilly's for coolant and a new back-up mirror
for the tractor - one fell victim to falling tree.
And then there's a tree
which fell across the shootin' range in a high wind & rain several months back that needs
to be cut up and burned, and that means fixing the chainsaw, which promptly
broke right after its last trip to the doctor's office. Sometimes I think
I own the Texas massacred chainsaw.
And before all those
things get done, this is garbage day and that's always good for a half-hour
scramble to police up the area and get trash out for pick-up...
If this sounds like an
engineering nightmare (e.g. cascading failures), it's not - really. Well,
kinda, maybe, sort-of.
People in Big Cities don't
realize how cushy they have it: If you want to shoot a gun in town, most
times you can find a safely equipped range and get on a lane for the cost of
ammo or little more.
Push button, send target
Out here, it's a little more involved. Fix
tractor, fix chainsaw, work for a couple of mornings, round up cats and goats to
keep them out of harms way (ahem...Z?), shoo off the deer, look for snakes, check the back
stops, call the neighbors and tell them it's not an invasion (they reciprocate,
which is nice) and then try to do it on a day when it's cool and the shooting
can be done in relative comfort.
My friend, who isn't being
asked to take part in all the aforementioned festivities, will be the guy on one
of the local ranges this week, who not only will bring his assortment of guns,
sand bags, but also a small Honda generator to run his assortment of fans since it's
hotter than comfortable shooting weather.
I'm convinced after
reviewing the situation, that shooting practice should only be done in spring or
fall. Winters are for skiing, outdoor construction projects, and
And just what is
summer good for? Not really sure, but everything that comes to mind
happens inside where it's air conditioned, except maybe a trip to the garden,
and even that's at your own peril since by mid August the garden is so
overgrown, you're lucky to find anything intentionally planted, except maybe the
'maters and the larger of the squash family. Those nice herbs from earlier
in the year? Toast...suffocated by runaway 'everything elses'.
Does make going to the
garden like going on a treasure hunt, though. I'll keep you posted on if I
find anything up there.
The City Dweller's bottom
line: Life in East Texas provides many fine examples of how quickly Mother
Nature recovers from man's best efforts at taming her. Except that unlike
lost cities of Amazonia, it won't take any several hundred years out here.
Just a good rain and a week or two more sunshine.
No Rhyme, Less Reason
My comment the other day
that there are no words that rhyme with purple, orange, silver, or month proved
to me once again how elastic people are in their thinking. One of the more
thoroughly researched replies?
On the following words, I fear your Google-Fu
let you down:
Purple - Curple
Orange - Sporange
Silver - Chilver
Month - Humph (I didn't make it up - http://thehumphtrust.org/
Granted, they are very obscure and seldom used.
Similar to chattel and fard. An expanded vocabulary can be a blessing and a
I'm not big on
farding...but OK, maybe
a curple is the stramp under a horse's saddle, and
a sporange may have spores, but the root word orange is still in it, so I
have to toss that out on a technical foul. Same root word, 5-yard penalty,
I didn't know
a female lamb was called a chilver, but it make me wonder if the world
'children' is a bastardization/adaptation of that word.
And Humpf (which
expresses doubt) DOESN'T rhyme with month.
However, if it will make
you feel any better, I'm sure that among that 21.6-gazillion typos on this site
you can find month mispelt as mumpf.
Wednesday August 4, 2010
Happy Birthday - For Whom?
President Obama turns 49 today and
despite what the 'birthers' say, I'm reasonably sure he was born somewhere.
And I'm nearly as sure the financial world is doing its part to contribute to the
party mood. The Dow a year ago
closed out August 3rd at 8,017.59. A whopping 32.66% gain is not a bad
present to start with. And on top of that, good employment prospects which
we'll get to in a sec.
On the other hand, if *I am
reading the polls right*, the most recent Gallup poll gave Mr. Obama a 45 percent
This compares with a year-ago Gallup reading of 55 percent. A year ago
a Fox News poll scored a 53% approval rating while a more recent poll (late
July) had him at 43 percent approval.
2009, Operation Enduring Freedom cost
317 American lives while this year's to is already 269 with four and a half
months left to go. So our casualties are tracking toward 430 for the year
at the current run rate.
Healthcare Reform wasn't enacted
a year ago and now we've got that to look forward to. Or do
Voters in Missouri turned down mandatory federal healthcare by a 3 to 1 margin,
or thereabouts. More challenges and opting out efforts are expected.
But happy birthday to the
President. I'm sure my birthday party invite was simply misplaced by staff.
Latest from ADP's Macroeconomic
Advisors, LLC group is just out today:
Nonfarm private employment increased 42,000 from June to July 2010 on a
seasonally adjusted basis, according to the ADP National Employment Report®.
The estimated change of employment from May to June was revised up
slightly, from the previously reported increase of 13,000 to an increase of
July’s rise in private
employment was the sixth consecutive monthly gain. However, over those six
months increases have averaged a modest 37,000, with no evidence of
Unlike the estimate of total
establishment employment to be released on Friday by the Bureau of Labor
Statistics (BLS), today’s figure does not include the effects of federal
hiring — and now firing — for the 2010 Census. Hiring for the census peaked
in May. For this reason, Friday’s figure for the change in nonfarm total
employment reported by the BLS might be weaker than today’s estimate for
nonfarm private employment in the ADP National Employment Report.
July’s ADP Report estimates
nonfarm private employment in the service-providing sector rose by 63,000.
Employment in the goods-producing sector declined 21,000 during July while
employment in the manufacturing sector decreased 6,000, the first decrease
in six months.
Large businesses, defined as
those with 500 or more workers, saw employment remain flat and employment
among medium-size businesses, defined as those with between 50 and 499
workers increased by 21,000. Employment among small-size businesses, defined
as those with fewer than 50 workers, increased by 21,000 in July.*
Worth your time to
the link and look at their charts, too. Most of the grow was in
small/medium services while good manufacturing continued to drop, down
another 21,000 jobs for the month.
This has caused the futures to
rise and may result in yet another pop up to recent highs and beyond.
Holden the Golden
A couple of readers have asked me
why I haven't made much of the recent declines of the US dollar and the reports
going around that
China was going to expand the use of gold internally.
The answer is simple: I am
not a gold trader. To me, gold is one of those things that you go
out, buy a little when you can, and then wait for the Feral Reserve's dollar
watering-down policies to buoy your purchase up to something approaching
maintaining purchasing power over time.
Since the government is watering
down the dollar's purchasing power by about 2.3% per year going back to 1913 (a
year that will live in infamy) reporting on the dollar drifting down toward
levels it's been before is about as challenging to a writer as doing
play-by-play reporting of the tide coming in.
It's inevitable that gold will
float and the dollar will sink and yes, the "death of the dollar" meme in
predictive linguistics is still intact. As I said before, we don't have
money to buy more, but we're not selling the two coins we have.
Where's My ViceGrips Department
An Oil Miracle!
A reader who sounds like they
might need to borrow a pair to pinch themselves with sends this:
U.S. government is expected to announce that three-quarters of the oil from
the BP Plc spill in the Gulf of Mexico has already evaporated, dispersed, or
been captured or eliminated, The New York Times reported on
Wednesday." Did I read that correctly? The oil spilled in the Gulf of Mexico
was the equivalent of the oil spilled by the Exxon Valdez every 4 to 7 days.
And this spilled form months.21 YEARS LATER, there are still issues from
that. Does the government expect us to believe that this disaster is all OK
now, and will not pose anymore problems?
Tisk, tisk. Perception
management. Here, watch a mindless movie in high def, brush your teeth
with this fluoride-added stuff and take your pills like a good lil' sheep...
"You Have Losses"
AOL, once famous for "You have
mail" out of its web software,
just posted a largish accounting loss for Q2. At least around here,
$1.4 billion in losses is largish - even by Texas standards -- although likely
not by Washington standards. There, it'd be budget dust...
March to War, Data Points
We can't help but notice the
a homemade bomb failed to take out Iranian president Ahmadinejad. More
details from the
Jerusalem Post's web site here. How-some-ever,
Al Jazeera is headlining that "Iran denies attack on Ahmadinejad" so who
knows what the real story is.
Real or just a psyops? Here,
take this here pill....all better in a few minutes....
Speaking of Iran, their government
news service has a really interesting story about
major wildfire that is endangering a 'top secret Russian nuclear research
facility" Since a good deal of the Iranian nuclear infrastructure was
sold to them by Russia, makes sense they'd be plugged in to what Russia is up to
on this front...
Big wildfires in British Columbia, too, BTW..;.
And as the world careens toward
mushrooms this winter, Israel is
complaining to the UN about the border skirmish on Tuesday that left several
Good background story over at
www.military.com about how
the US is trying to treat stressed G.I.'s in theater rather than rotating
Global Warming Debate Returning
Weather War Docs Out
Lots of background, first: A
few folks have asked me to comment on reports that many big cities, such as
Washington D.C. and Las Vegas have experienced record (or record tying) heat
for the month of July. The usual question is "Are you prepared to admit
you were wrong for being so cynical when the climate data tweaking came out
around the time of the Copenhagen Climate summit?"
Take Nevada where the National
Weather Service issued this:
IF YOU FELT YOU SWELTERED THIS PAST MONTH MORE THAN USUAL...YOU ARE
CORRECT. JULY 2010 WILL GO DOWN AS THE WARMEST MONTH EVER AND THUS THE
WARMEST JULY EVER IN LAS VEGAS WITH RECORDS DATING BACK TO 1937. AT THE
OFFICIAL CLIMATE STATION AT MCCARRAN INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT THE AVERAGE
MONTHLY TEMPERATURE WAS 96.2 DEGREES.
THE PREVIOUS RECORD FOR THE
WARMEST MONTH EVER AND WARMEST JULY EVER WAS HELD BY JULY 2007 WITH AN
AVERAGE TEMPERATURE OF 95.4 DEGREES. THE AVERAGE TEMPERATURE THIS JULY WAS
EXACTLY 5.0 DEGREES ABOVE NORMAL. THE WARMTH THIS PAST MONTH WAS LARGELY DUE
TO WARM LOW TEMPERATURES THAT WERE PREVALENT IN THE LATER TWO-THIRDS OF THE
MONTH. THE AVERAGE LOW TEMPERATURE THIS MONTH WAS 85.7 DEGREES WHICH SETS A
RECORD FOR THE WARMEST EVER FOR ANY MONTH. THE PREVIOUS RECORD WAS 83.8 SET
IN JULY 2006. THERE WERE ALSO A RECORD 6 DAYS IN JULY WITH LOWS OF AT LEAST
90 DEGREES OR BETTER...INCLUDING A STRETCH OF 5 IN A ROW.
THE PREVIOUS RECORD FOR THE
MOST DAYS WITH A LOW TEMPERATURE OF AT LEAST 90 DEGREES OR BETTER IN A MONTH
WAS 5 SET IN JULY 2005. THE WARMEST LOW TEMPERATURE AT MCCARRAN WAS 93
DEGREES ON THE 19TH WHICH TIED JULY 17 2005 FOR THE 3RD HIGHEST LOW
THE AVERAGE LOW TEMPERATURE AT
MCCARRAN WAS 3.2 DEGREES WARMER THAN AT THE NEARBY NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE
OFFICE. HOWEVER...HIGH TEMPERATURES WERE ALSO ABOVE NORMAL THIS MONTH. THE
AVERAGE MONTHLY HIGH TEMPERATURE AT MCCARRAN TIES FOR THE 13TH WARMEST EVER
AT 106.6 DEGREES TIED WITH 2003. THE TOTAL NUMBER OF DAYS THIS MONTH WITH A
TRIPLE DIGIT HIGH TEMPERATURE IN LAS VEGAS WAS 31. THIS TIES THE ALL-TIME
RECORD FOR JULY OF 31 DAYS SET IN 1988...1971...1963 AND 1944.
COUNTING THE 4 AUGUSTS THAT
HAVE HAD EVERY DAY REACH THE TRIPLE DIGITS ONLY NINE MONTHS EVER IN LAS
VEGAS DATING BACK TO 1931 HAVE HAD EVERY SINGLE DAY IN THE MONTH REACH INTO
THE TRIPLE DIGITS. JULY 1988 WAS THE LAST TIME A MONTH IN LAS VEGAS SAW THE
HIGH REACH THE TRIPLE DIGITS ON EVERY SINGLE DAY OF THE MONTH.
That said, I'll just sit back and
watch the data comer in. That's because, as
Channel 10 reported,
San Diego has the coolest July in nearly 100-years and
even Lubbock, Texas,
just a 6-week walk west of us reported the third coolest July on record.
My commodity guy, JB up in Prescott Arizona is positively giddy about the cool
summer there so far.
"Everyone talks about the weather,
but no one does anything about it" whined Mark Twain a while back. (quite
a while, at that I suppose).
Still, the persistent high
pressure over the S.E. US has added fuel to the debate over whether the
government has more control over the weather than they officially let on
to...and the quick dissipation of Tropical whatever-it-was Colin is just about
back-asswards of what would normally be expected of a tropical depression at
this time of year. Tinfoil hat?
HAARP data here.
No! A reader sent me an
amazing site today put up by
Agriculture Defense Coalition which lists tons of official documents -
which if you read through them all (I'm still working on it) make one hell of a
case that not only is weather control real but it is being used as a
conscious tool of national and international policy.
Help me if I've got it wrong here,
but where the hell did humans cede power to government to screw with Ma Nature
Again: No incumbents in 2010...
Copyright Issue, or NOT?
I've been reporting to you over
the past month, or so, about the increased pressure by big media outfits on web
sites which wholesale rip off material without adding comment, commentary or
context, and call that a business model. Seems to me that is a
pretty clear case of infringing on the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.
But now come reports that
the FBI is
pressuring Wikipedia to remove its seal from the public encyclopedia
as being too detailed which might make it subject to misused and abuse.
The seal at issued (click here
while you can) is NOT what I'd call the pinnacle of fine engravery. Nice,
yeah, but come on, who owns the seal? Isn't it owned by the public?
Wikipedia also has
imagery of items like US Dollars (here) which Treasury hasn't gotten all
worked up over. Besides, anyone with Corel Draw or other competent
graphics program could recreate most anything in a matter of a few hours...and
with ultra-high resolution scanners and the printing operation in North Korea,
isn't this a little silly?
Efrem Zimbalist, Jr. when we need him?
==== snip and save section ====
Wednesday at the WuJo
Before we get started on the loads
of info on underground housing, let me first share this from our 'quirky kinda
science" department, edited by Zeus the Cat:
"Hey! Fat Frigging Biped
[FFB]: Reader wants to
Hi George, I know you like
fiddling with electronics bits, and I recently sent you my thoughts on
making a highly insulated small house with liteblok38. Taking into account
Cliff's thoughts about the possibility of a massive CME. He proposed
constructing a house with a thin membrane of metallic material (aluminum
foil). Creating in effect a Faraday cage. Now, me being the type who wants
to go one better I thought maybe it would be better not to only put one
layer of foil outside, but to also line the inside of the house with a layer
of foil. The question is this: Would this create a large capacitor? And, if
so what would be the results on any inhabitants inside? Thanks
Signed hisself as a fellow
Texian, so figured it deserved an answer...
Also - why so stingy on the
ScienceDiet this morning - kinda one-sided, eh, FFB?
I had a longish conversation with
Zeus about this one (and documented his attitude to his personnel file, paw
print and all). The problem (besides Ztc's BS surly attitude) is not so much
the reader's question about whether the second layer 'will it form a capacitor'
but rather the 'what will it do to the people inside?' part. If
The traditionalist in electronics
would quickly point out two properties of such a structure. First, it will
keep some radio and electronic waves out. But the flip side
is that it will keep other waves in. Which means if you have a cell
phone, the bioeffects (however small) could be amplified, a leaky microwave
(more properly spelled microwave)
might be more dangerous, and a wireless router, electrically noise equipment
like an old-style television with a high voltage for the picture tube might be
But it's here that we can take a
left turn into the WuJo - that place of intellectual pursuits where just the
observable facts and the present theories often do battle.
Let me whip out my copy of Wilhelm
Reich's work which is fairly well summarized in his Ether, God & Devil & Cosmic Superimposition
which I was reading to our other cat (Puscilla) just the other day. If
you don't have time to read up on the history of
Reich here, the really short version
is that depending on who you talk to (and whether you have a whole Western
socioeconomic paradigm including system of medicine to defend, you'll either
blast away at Reich as a charlatan (not unlike Nikolas Tesla, BTW) in which case
you may work for the government or the medical paradigm defender agencies OR you will
read his work on a subtle energy called "orgone energy".
The key learning is that what many
in the East call ki or chi energy seems to be Reich's orgone energy
which, in turn he figured, could be accumulated and could also come in a form
called DOR (deadly orgone).
The inventor's section at
About.Com picks up the answer from there...
"In 1940, Wilhelm Reich
constructed the first device to accumulate orgone energy: a six-sided box
constructed of alternating layers of organic materials (to attract the
energy) and metallic materials (to radiate the energy toward the center of
the box). Patients would sit inside the accumulator and absorb orgone energy
through their skin and lungs. The accumulator had a healthy effect on blood
and body tissue by improving the flow of life-energy and by releasing
So, the question is: Does
living inside an orgone/ki/chi accumulator have a good effect on health, or not?
Kinda like "pyramid energy" (remember that fad which went around?).
So turn off your access points,
then plenty of research
--- no, maybe do that first - and send us a note on your 130th birthday outlining your success.
I'll be the mummy in the third pyramid from the left...trying to figure out how
to pull a Sorcerer's Apprentice...we got the dirt and bugs around
here...which slides us along to:
Deep Into Underground Housing
The idea of building an
underground root cellar / tornado shelter / cool room here at the ranch has
solicited literally dozens of good ideas and comments. Here's a sampling:
if you're looking for GREAT underground house
information, you need look no further than the man I consider the guru of
underground house construction: Malcolm Wells. He has numerous books on the
subject, and all of them are hand lettered - just beautiful books. About 10
years ago I even ran a serialized version of his classic, How to Build an
Underground House, in my newspaper (much to the chagrin of some of my
readers - I live in the first fully electrified community in the United
States: Norris, Tennessee (next door to Oak Ridge)). I think the man is
brilliant. If memory serves, I discovered his work, along with Bob Nelson's
Rex Research and Neil Graves' history rewriting work on Shakespeare, at
about the same time. That was shortly after I took the helm of The Norris
Bulletin and I think a lot of the readers must've thought I lost my mind...
Ha, The Norris Bulletin was certainly the most eclectic newspaper in the
whole area for a while... But anyway, check out Malcolm Wells. He can
probably answer any question regarding underground construction you might
have. - Eric Paquette, Editor The Norris Bulletin
Done and Amazon has several:
Earth-Sheltered House, Revised Edition: An Architect's Sketchbook
Recovering America : A More Gentle Way to Build
How to Build Underground Houses (2009 Reprint)
Next was this dandy contribution:
I am supposed to be doing something else but
this can not wait. You and Clif have saved my family's bacon multiple times
during the last 5+ years. Both of you have allowed us retain the resources
to do things outside the BOX like a Root Cellar for these coming, "Times of
First; start with the Root Cellar Bible;
Root Cellaring: Natural Cold Storage of Fruits & Vegetables
(Nancy Bubel & Mike Bubel). ($10.17 - G)
Second; if you purchase a prefab unit you will
not save that much money and with their roof designs you will end up with
much smaller space than you expect. This happened to someone I know. The
price of alternatives depends on where you live and the current cost of
Third; Properly designed and constructed, the
Root Cellar can serve multiple purposes. When I started into my project I
had no idea how perfect it would be finished out. My luck was to engage the
proper contractor who has a deep history of heavy, industrial grade projects
AND grew up living with Root Cellars, canning, home grown food, etc.. The .jpgs
will show you how I lucked out. (For obvious reasons-inside pictures only)
Fourth; I already sent you the need for a root
cellar to have a proper ventilation and drainage system (or Sump Pump) which
can both be sealed off from the outside environment.
Fifth; I installed a steel shed over mine. (What
did Mr. Faraday Know???) Steel Sheds and ReBar! ALL WELDED TOGETHER.
Sixth; "GO WITH THE FLOW", and The UNIVERSE will
provide the answers for any hangups during your project. I would throw out
ideas to my contractor and with a time delay we would agree on the proper
direction to proceed. The first thing I did was present him with a copy of
the Bubel's Book and asked him to thumb through it for ideas.
Seventh; Investigate what you are living in now.
You might already have the perfect space on your Domain which can be
converted into a Root Cellar at Zero Cost.
Thanks for ALL you and Clif are doing,
P.S. the roof/floor ended up to be 9 inches of
of which got me to thinking: Gee, how would I build a roof/cover for such
a beast if I wanted to pour concrete and slap in a lot of rebar? Well, a
picture of the pouring of the upstairs floor, downstairs roof is just amazing.
No, I have no idea what ever happened to all that plywood, but sure as hell,
there's enough wood used for bracing that a good sized building could be put up
with that alone.
Speaking of construction
techniques, no one sent in the idea, but I have toyed around with the idea of
making a monolithic dome out of a large weather balloon. If you're not
familiar with the system, a click over here will give you an idea or 20...
And mine was "Say, if I bought a weather balloon, got it table enough (with a
form around the base, maybe?) and then shot it with a thin later of guncrete and
then built up the inside shell, cured, then rebar it, shoot a layer, rebar some
more, shoot another layer, repeat until 6" thick which would be strong as
hell... I could almost certainly make something strong enough to keep the
outside out and the inside in. So that's one more idea.
Here in Texas, shooting things is
a kind of state pastime and an if something has a nozzle or trigger on it, its
popularity rises accordingly.
We continue to be stymied by the
matter of scorpions and snakes, which brings along the idea that bugs in the
ground and creepy crawly things don't get mentioned in many of the underground
house books (at least in my readings so far). But, that's why we share
information about here:
"I have some info on scorpions and their
remediation. As a resident of the rocky part of Central Texas for 50 years,
I can speak from observation and experience.
1. Scorpions indoors are always worse in dry
years. Simple thirst and hunger. They also prefer coolness; hence they will
congregate in and under pier and beam houses, etc. Your weather this year is
more like Central Texas most years.
2. Scorpions thrive on other insects. The locust
plague this year, plus all the new varieties of bugs prospering after the
extra cold Winter, are a buffet for scorpions. Expect more next Spring as
their eggs hatch.
3. They are not that venomous, thank goodness.
4. In my house, they egress through the attic,
using shoddy construction of electrical and plumbing access holes. They will
literally jump in freefall down onto anything. Creepy when it's a newspaper
in one's bed. Look in baths, showers etc. for them, as they love water. AC
compressors are one source people forget about. Treat in the dark places
under tubs and showers, etc.
5. The commercial insecticides which get through
scorpions' armor would not pass the Avatar test, if you get my drift. And
they are short lived. We have had excellent success with blown-in
diatomaceous earth, under the house and in the attic. Some people use sticky
insect traps as well. A decent insect guy could tell you if BT baits would
work. You essentially would feed the prey and scorpions would feast on their
corpses, passing on the bacterial infection. Works for locusts.
6. As with red wasps, one can somewhat train
scorpions. The Kinship of All Life explains it better, but I have a
"psychic" deal with my wasps that they will stay away from places where
people move about, (doors, porches, etc.) and I will not kill their nests in
other places. After around 5 years of this arrangement, killing any
aggressive wasps and their nests, but leaving the amiable ones alone, nobody
gets stung, and we have a legion of natural pest control critters. There is
a nest in my very cramped well house. I have spent literally hours working
on the pump, with my head 1 foot from the wasps. They know I will not kill
their babies if they leave me alone, but that they will not see morning if
they do, so all is well. I will move the babies to a safe, dry place in the
pole barn, this Fall, so they don't make the Well hose a new frontier.
Haven't been stung (by wasps) here in about 18 years. I have a similar deal
with fire ants. If they keep their distance they live. If not they die. But
they can share 9 of my 10 acres. Oddly, they so "get" this that when I had
an unusual infestation of cockroaches which came into the kitchen with some
groceries, the ants came in and cleaned out the roaches (and eggs) out and
7. My kid left a towel on the floor of my
bathroom a couple of years ago, instead of on the rack. I got out of the
shower and began drying off with it. I felt a stinging on my chest. It took
several seconds to grasp that a scorpion was scuttling across my chest under
the towel stinging as it went. Sounds like Hitchcock, but the stings are not
nearly as creepy as the critters. Short version: If you can, seal all the
houses' outdoor accesses, especially to water. Keep things dry and neat.
Give them no safe habitat indoors. Consider putting up with them outside,
and giving them (and all other creatures) water and shade - outside. Like
snakes, they keep down pests of other types. i reluctantly tolerate snakes
except rattlers/venomous snakes near the house/human use areas and water
8. My Grandfather grew up in a dugout in Clovis,
New Mexico. I always wondered just why they moved up into those incredibly
hot in Summer, cold in Winter, crackerbox houses, with no insulation, in the
high desert. He didn't remember, but I found out it was bugs, mold, fungus
and snakes. Your earth shelter design thus would benefit from critter
prevention measures. Mostly, that's just sealing things off and keeping
dryness/ventilation going. Perhaps you know (I don't) how to hook up a
smallish solar/battery/inverter/generator setup to a 500w air conditioner.
That would sure keep an insulated earth shelter dry.
9. Far more dangerous is the brown recluse
spider. They live in more parts of the country than scorpions, but the
remediation is similar. No water, no safe indoor hiding places (DTE in the
We found one trapped in a bottle of shampoo in a
guest bathroom once. Ugh.
Another reader solved the
scorpion idea gracefully with this:
"Meerkats are what you need.
They go nuts over the creepy little critters...."
All of which had me shopping for a
breeding pair of meerkats, but then I ran across a site which put me off to
them: www.meerkats.com and besides, I'm
sure i'd get into some kind of hot water with EPA or the Texas Department of
Environmental Quality if I set breeding meerkats loose. My attorney
advised me that my idea of claiming "selective enforcement" of environmental
laws ("Where's the sonavabitch who brought in fire ants? Huh? You tell
me!!") for over-running East Texas with meerkats wouldn't be successful and
he wouldn't take the case in any event, so don't do it.
Where were we?
Oh, yeah, trying to get the
underground house/room/tornado shelter built. Here's a good one:
"Buy the “ Nuclear war
survival skills book “ , free to download on the net, but the diagrams for
the radiation detector on not to scale. You can get the book from emergency
essentials for $12.95.."
here's a link to their site,
too. As luck would have it, I had the book in my library but just hadn't
gotten to it yet, figuring that I'd have time between the first mushroom cloud
(with would take out the lighting and computers) and when the first clouds of
radiation actually got here, to get the radiation monitoring up and find out how
'well-done' we'll be. (Remind 'em to turn the war off when we're
about medium-well 165º I think that is.)
Speaking of getting baked, a
number of readers suggested we get a bunch of ocean shipping containers:
this snippet from the news (link to a story about a massive drug farm
underground) [FFB is suddenly looking alert now - Zrc]
if you google "buried shipping container" you'll
get tons of pics/projects
Might not do it on a $1k budget, but a cheap
container and a days hire for a 13-18ton excavator would have the job done
in a day ;)
I've considered it myself, but the water table
round here is measured in inches not feet (flood plain tho my house is on
One of the blessings of East Texas
is we can rent heavy machinery for fairly inexpensively and do the work
ourselves. The goes like this: if you rent the equipment and hurt
yourself on your own land, oh well. Which is fine, because the only way
you learn to drive a Cat D-6 is by either getting it stuck or running over
something important (like a car) or through a building. (Haven't done the
building yet, but I'm not dead yet, either; stuck I've done.)
Point I was getting to (I
think...) was that a day of a 7' feet reaching back hoe hereabouts is under $500
(delivered) for the day and the 35-foot scissor lift which I gotta get out for antenna work
again is about $260 a day (delivered) which may be what happens on Sunday
morning before Peoplenomics gets done this week...priorities are priorities...
Here's another approaching I
"G. am just completing an 12' X
18' underground (floor is 7' below grade) as an addition to a pre-existing
8' X 16' root cellar that was here when I bought the place in the 70's....
altho I have all the receipts I don't really know how much I've spent...[Boy
- do I know that one - G] probably a couple
thousand, cinder block, sand, gravel & Portland, rebar, lumber, etc. will be
installing the roof in the morning that will support between 2 and 3' of
dirt and a cactus rock garden to keep people from walking on it. In the past
30 yrs I've been able to keep it pretty much in hi 30's in the winter
(potatoes spoil below 38 degrees) and mid 40's to low 50's in the summer, by
opening the door at midnite and closing it at 6 or 7 am. Talked with your
guy at emerg. essentials and he said it should be ideal as a radiation
(solar or nuclear) shelter (bought some radiation detection equip from him)
.Started the proj in Apr and should have it finished in a week or so except
for the landscaping ending up with a fairly livable space about 10 by 12'
with plenty of storage and shelves that can double as bunk beds plus the old
root cellar and a 7 X 8' room devoted to the well, charging equip, eg,
inverters, chg controllers, 16 Rolls Serete batteries, etc. Well also has a
manual Simple Pump in case the solar should go down for what ever reason. Be
happy to send you some photos if you'd like. [name withheld] north of
Hmmm...sounds like a dandy room...
A lady (who with her husband read Urban) somewhere east of Puget Sound sent in a
suggestion that you might get some useful scoop out of a book called No Such Thing As Doomsday : How to Prepare for Earth Changes, Power Outages, Wars & Other Threats
which if the title carries through the book sounds very much like our kind of
thinking here. I would have probably titled it: No Such thing as Doomsday,
just Republicorp and Democorp Scammers, but nevertheless she continues....
"We have n 'earth-sheltered'
all concrete home, and we thought that an animal "barn" should be UG as
well. Haven't done it yet, as time & money are the factors, we are
considering yet another living space, over a 'barn', use the animal heat or
whatever. The Sun-disease is a concern, though, we are even considering
using two feet of earth topside on the roof itself, covered with a metal
roofing, so the rain and snow don't take out our buffer. One of our
'tenants', is to build every out- building so as to be a living space if
need be. Shelter at least, not all have the accomodations of running water
or solar, but usually gas (propane) heaters (for a while anyway.) Several
wood stoves around, and finding parts is not too bad. When we discovered a
Propane refrigerator repair guy, "Cool Unit" out of Idaho, he discards the
old refrigerator forms, (without the motors,) and will give them to us free
to haul off. We are considering making some of them into an
under-our-walkway-to-the-outdoor-deck storage root cellar type things, and
one to refurb into an "Ice Box" out on the deck for summer drinks. There's
no end to the ideas here!"
Say, I did forget to mention that
when we were up in Seattle (Tacoma actually) I had forgotten how really bad
saltwater beaches can smell on a hot day. First day or so back up north I
found myself looking around for the bean-gasser...but it was just the beach.
Either time erases some smells,. or I just forgot some of the aromas of
Our next email is along the same
lines, except a little more fall-out focused:
Peoplenomics subscriber here and longtime reader
of UrbSurv. A couple of years ago I became worried abut "Crazy George" (not
you) [I figured - G] and Iran and started to work on a
fallout shelter. I have a laundry room that was added to my 100+ year old
house, creating a room about 6 feet by 20 feet with 2' concrete walls on one
side and cinder blocks on the exterior.
First off, I must say to readers I do not expect
a FALLOUT shelter to be an ideal place to be in a nuclear war. I have a BOB
and plan to head to the mountains IF I have advance warning. The shelter is
for the OMG surprise attack that sets my radiological survey meter off.
First, the shelter really sucks. NOBODY would
want to live in it, but everyone would want to be in it to stay alive, if
they only knew.
Essentially, it's NOT a blast shelter. Modern
nukes are deviously efficient. Multiple warheads are the norm, positioned to
explode in the air over targets for simultaneous bursts creating maximum
destruction. Targeted cities will NOT survive.
A fallout shelter is for hits elsewhere.
Frankly, a military realist will target other nuclear sites with the highest
priority, societies with a high fear factor (for the locals) have relatively
low immediate military value (think about survival).
OK. So, the rule for fallout shelters is, as
succinctly as I can put it, " Only Mass Will Save Your Ass."
As far as calculating mass is concerned, the
weakest link is the biggest threat. Starting underground is a huge
advantage. I have a starting shelter about 5 feet underground. I ripped out
my deck in my backyard as a first step. Then, someone in the neighborhood
bought too much gravel and gave it away on Craigslist. I greedily loaded my
car repeatedly until it was gone. Good for building the outside mass. For
the inside, another Craigslist listing for free bricks started my inside
structure. That was several days of hard labor, but I built several massive
brick columns. To make it all work, I bought several main pressure treated
main beams, and supported them with elephant jacks as well as the brick
structures. Old Skool engineering: Too much is exactly right. I want it to
withstand a nuclear attack! (Even if I can't). Then, endless cull lumber
($1.00 or less per board) as cross members, followed by endless carry bags
of dirt (like sandbags) on top of the shelter support system.
Let me just say this for all your readers.
Anyone who has the delusion that they will create an "expedient shelter" if
a nuke attack happens, doesn't really comprehend the reality that "ONLY MASS
will save your ass!". MASS means BIG, HEAVY things that take a LONG time and
HEAVY lifting. I've done it. "IT" takes WEEKS of HEAVY, HARD labor. DO NOT
TRY THIS AT HOME WITHOUT ADVANCE PREPARATION! Take it from someone who has
actually done it!
As luck would have it, being a
radiation retreat is actually #3 on our priority list here after a summer
cool room which operates FREE of power and the secondary purpose which is
tornado shelter. There, mass is nice, but not as important as being simply
below grade with maybe 6" of concrete between us and the 300- MPH whirlwind near
the touchdown point.
I keep coming back to
shipping containers because readers keep bringing them up:
"Hey this is only a suggestion
but if you were being serious about the school bus maybe you could use a
second hand shipping container instead. I don't know how easy they would be
to transport to where you live but they might be a viable option. Here is
one on ebay for $300 .."
Good idea here": Hit
www.eBay.com and search shipping container
and there are some interesting ones.
A further tip: If youi
scroll down the left side menu of eBay and click on More under the "Location"
fly-out, you can put in your zip code which I did for the ranch. While
there were some real bargains, like a 20 box off a truck that was only $1,200
(before delivery) the big 40-footers were in the $2750 and up range.
If you got really deep pockets,
a 24-foot refrigerated container which would hold 20 below (link may
expire so may not show up in the archives later on) but this is really cool
(literally and figuratively. Which only leaves me with where the hell to get
three-phase power out here, but that's another martini's worth of discussion.
Our budget on this fiasco is only
$500-bucks. So the container is out, although there's some discussion of
whether they would hold us buried. no question in my mind that a truck box
wouldn't take the load. But the containers are stacked all over
hell & gone on ships and bounced and...yeah, they're tough.
So back to the emails looking for
a better sense of thrift. $500 bucks - not counting equipment rental,
beer, or hospital expenses.
"George, RE: underground shelters. I have many
suggestions. You could dig a hole say 8 by 12 and with some shovel work
(by Mr. Diligent Diesel?????) square it off
nicely then cover it with tree logs from your property width Wise and top it
off with pond liner not a plastic formed liner but the sheet liner I would
use for a 8 by 12 - a 20 by 30 sheet because you have to cover the logs and
ground around to prevent rain damage. If you do not have to rent a tractor
this would cost you mostly time and work. Then you can frame the inside at a
later date. I would at least cover it with 4 feet of soil to protect from
radiation. The door could be corrugated drain pipe available in almost any
size with a heavy steel frame and door. You can get manhole drain fittings
and covers at junk yards or county sales. Maybe find something on eBay for a
door or on the coast a ship door. I would make a 2 door unit. Air systems
cost about 3,500 so many use a vacuum hepa filter system hooked to solar,
grounded of course.
You could also use a 8 ft round corrugated pipe
they come in any length and weld sides on it. A flat board floor would
prevent you from slipping and protect from radiation.
You could use steel as a cover for the dug out
shelter also instead of tree poles.
You can purchase a old trailer or bus ( which
reminds me of Bruce Beach) in Idaho who buried like 20 buses he has photos
on his web site.
I have several 3,500 gallon underground water
tanks that I dug holes for and popped in covered with 2 by 12 treated wood ,
stone and pond liner but you have to be able to fit your body in the tanks
hole that is located on the top of these round tanks. I used pipe for a air
valve and the bottom outlet for sanitation purposes by digging a side hole
that draws away from the unit about 10 ft and the hole then has a gas
outlet. You can order them any size and shape some are thousands and
thousands of gallons they are like houses but mine cost about 1,000 and I
have seen this size for 1/2 the price on Craig's list since. If anything
they are great hiding and stash spots.
I eventually buried a 20 foot steel sea
container in the side of a mountain. Sea containers here are about 2,000 for
this size in good condition. Maybe you could find a 10 footer but I have to
warn you work is involved with this project. I used under car Armour to coat
it then rolled the container with cold tar ( not bad really) but because I
wanted it to hold 4 feet of dirt on the top of it I framed the whole
container on the outside with 2 by 12 treated wood completely. Then I shoved
straw hay all around it and over the top for more insulation and cover it
with 8 inches of rock all the way around ( bullet proof maybe) then pond
liner and 4 feet of dirt. It stays about 30 to 35 degrees cooler than
outside in summer months that can be 110 here. Where I am located I am not
to worried about radiation so I used the sea container vents near the roof
for air vents that that have a downward vent like on a dryer of course this
unit is in the side of a mountain so I can do that, if it was straight under
ground I would have attached air vents through the already installed sea
vent and up. I then screened them to be pest proof and they are sealed by
welds at this point until needed. I have a toilet facility in this one also
and its grounded by copper rods against EMP. I buried a 305 gallon water
tank next to it (bleach) included and the nozzle is not inside because i did
not want to make many cuts in the steel that I would have to re weld in
order to prevent EMP waves to penetrate it, but I attached a hose in a
convenient place and capped it. I have 55 gallon drums of water inside it
also so I have back up. OK , I know you don't want to go that far. Its the
extremist in me that gets carried away and I have had time to do this
although it could all be done in 1 week. My Photos tell many stories of hard
After it was done I thought why didn't i dig out
a ditch under it and install a false floor also. That works great if you
have a above ground structure also like a goat shed or barn. Remember the
stories of the moonshiners having rooms under barns? The Andy Griffith show
had a episode like that with a moon shiner yada yada chicken gave the hiding
spot away. Damn, I need to remember that no chickens!
I also thought of having a large cement septic
installed then using it as a shelter instead but that would cost to much. My
land is surrounded by like minded people who are full of ideas also. I hear
rumor of their installations but we don't discuss location among ourselves.
Not now at least. The Indians have good under ground shelter information but
you have to have some tuff ground to carve those.
Its all become somewhat of a hobby over the
years. Its been a learning experience being a single 40 ish woman. I think
its harder because the darn men fight me all the way. Ask your wife about
I am sure I left out so many things I have
learned and have done on this issue. Please ignore any spelling issues.
I will email when I get rich.
So far, this one sounds the best -
simple hole in ground, cover with trees - have a couple down that are seasoned
and big (we're talking 42" diameter oak straight) but that brings its own set of
problems. Don't care how healthy the tractor is, that is a LOT or weight
and our local wimpy chainsaws (24" bar) ain't gonna work, so another tool
rental... but such goes life.
Still, building our own would be a
lot of real work, something I asiduously avoid whenever possible. A reader
(who may have figured out this personality quirk of mine) pointed me to
the Popular Mechanics article from last year on what's out there in the way of
ready-made bomb shelters. My thinking is that if they'll keep a nuke
out, they would keep out all but the largest of Texas-sized tornados and because
they're well-designed, they would likely keep out snakes and other vermin.
Interestingly, we have a couple of
spots on the property which already have ravines (feeding into the creek) and it
would be really simple (at least in some ways) to simply clean out one of them,
put the logs over 15-20 feet of ravine, cover with pond liner and then push
dirt...that's the most appealing so far, EXCEPT there's bound to be all
manner of wild life in the hillside and that gets me back to the "snakes don't
tunnel through 6" of concrete too readily...
Modified version of the concept?
"Here is an idea that I have been working on for
an underground space. being somewhat handy, this falls within my skill
* dig a hole - 8 ft deep (or deeper ), x 9'wide
x 20' long * put plastic on the ground to pour concrete onto, it keeps the
water from comming thru the concrete * pour a 4" thick concrete slab with
some rebar sticking up on the edges * lay concrete block around the
perimeter to about 4 or 5 ft high. depending on how nice you want it to feel
inside * make sure you continue some of the rebar sticking several inches
above the 4' high wall. * put plastic on the outside of the blocks and
backfill. this makes the sides stronger for the next step * get a very large
steel culvert - the kind that you would find going under a road in the
forest or freeway. an 8' x 10' long culvert is 923.40. to have it 'ripped'
in half lengthways is 62.00 to have it delivered to my house is 80.00. *
this gives you an arched roof, setting on the concrete block walls. by
backfilling the sides, the pressure pushing out from the arched roof will
not cause the 'walls' to push out, and the roof should hold its shape. * put
some concrete blocks at the ends to fill in. you may want to build a partial
wall in the center where the two shells come together. * put pond liner (it
comes 15' wide) and should be able to extend down the sides a bit. * cover
It will need a few things like a method to get
in, and concrete over the top (say 3 or 4 inches with rebar and wire mesh
over the culvert material would be best, even that pumice crete they use on
apartment 2nd floors to dampen noise would be good between the rubber pond
liner and teh steel shell). This is not a weekend project, but it should
provide a safe place. Never seen it done, don't count on me for engineering
services, build and inhabit at your own risk. It is left as an exercise to
the student, to add shelving, LED lighting, white foam insulation, a
waste/toilet pipe in the floor, water coming in, ham radio antenna, and
internet web cams so you can see whats going on outside your 'root
By now your Cheerios are soggy,
you've got Punch! Home & Landscape Design Professional with NexGen Technology
fired up and you're going to waste the whole day, or you're looking nervously at
the clock wondering "How long can this George-clown go on? I've gotta
job to do...Sheesh!"
I can take a hint, but than you
all for the marvelous input! I'll include this discussion in the next update of
our eBook "How to Live on $10,000 a year...or less..."
Did I mention to be sure and look
at Craigslist for the "materials" section? All kinds of cheap building
materials there if you're patient. I've come to favor the incomplete
project excuse "Waiting on materials" but Elaine's started to notice that
McMaster-Carr seems to get me important
stuff (radio or shop related) overnight by 10 AM next day, as does Amazon,
TigerDirect, TexasTowers, the
Wireman and the local lumberyard.
"Waiting on material, dear..."
Don't tell her...just shut the hell up and learn. Especially if you're
under 40. It's like this: Construction is work. Construction
delays are an art form.
From a reader who 'got it' about
my long rant Tuesday morning about how the US Savings rate is part myth and part
Ain’t the individual tax payer a “cash basis”
Then why…[the authors are correct] ”Unrealized
capital gains should not be included in the definition of saving as they
simply represent returns on past saving activity, which has already been
accounted for.” Should the topic even be considered by the Fed bosses?!?!
But it is basic beyond basic. Cash payers can not claim unrealized capital
gains!!! “We” are not accrual basis tax payers for screaming out loud!
Corrupt screw balls.":
See how polite our readers are?
Slapstick government and corrupt screwballs...almost sounds like a Mel Brooks
movie title. Which would be fun, except it's being filmed in stages and
shown on the news channels.
Still, we continue our never
wavering support for America, the Constitution and all other endangered species.
Reader wonders how come no English
words rhyme with month, orange, silver, or purple.
Questions like this one prove to
me beyond a shadow of a doubt that we're in a Depression and people are starting
to think again. Damn...that's dangerous!
Tuesday August 3, 2010
Done? Or Going Higher?
The rest of this week
should tell the tale on the market: whether it will start breaking down
from here, or whether there really is a new bull in the wings somewhere.
A note from Robin Landry (who you'll recall was looking for 10,650 to
complete the bounce rally) which was sent out to his colleagues in the
investment community on Monday after the close sums up the situation
"The Dow has reached
the bottom of my target area of 10,650 to 10,800 and it is now the
first week of August. Time cycles say the market should top the
first half of August. The wave count appears complete unless it
extends to the top of my target range over the next few days. If my
count is correct, we should see the market top in this area over the
next few days and then turn down in earnest toward my target of 8100
+- 100 points. If the market rallies much beyond the 10,800 area,
then my wave count is wrong, and I will send out a new update with
the new count. I still believe this is a bear market rally, but
there are a couple alternate counts which allow for more upside and
I will give then if needed. As always questions or comments are
welcome. I will answer as time allows.
I posted a note for
Peoplenomics.com subscribers today on what I'm doing in my personal
account. No, this is not trading advice - just in keeping
with my idea that anyone who talks, writes about the market (or is one
of TV's 'talking heads') really oughta 'put it out there' so people can
figure out whether they are blowing smoke and if they believe (to the
point of putting their own money on the table) in the crap they write
I'm back to dead even for
the year, although several readers have opined that "When George
thinks about becoming a Bull, the end of the Rally is at Hand..."
Another reader sent me
a chart of the Volatility Index and the simple note "pennant flag
read up here on how such chart patterns are supposed to
work, although I find that if I drink enough adult beverage to the
point where my eyes cross and the room spins, that helps me see the
patterns. Fortunately, the markets are usually closed when I get
around to such "analysis" and my handwriting by them is usually
incomprehensible the next day when the markets open and the aspirin
kicks in, so I don't trade on them.
Early on, the Euro markets
were mixed and the futures not going much of anywhere, so this could be
part of a sideways pattern.
Robin Handler (yep,
different Robin) who run the
Option Signal Service here, is eyeing around Aug. 13th as a possible
turn date. Free
weekly newsletter here.
One other thing to be
aware of: If you click on a 5-day chart of the Dow from Yahoo...do
you see the huge volume spikes (lower chart area) at the end of
the trading day? Best I can figure, that's when the machine trades
- which make up something 'where north of 90% of the market action
lately) are unwound. I talked to Robin (Landry) about this and it
is apparently something which has been building for several months.
The question - and I don't
see much discussion of this - is whether these huge spikes in machine
trades can/will/or are screwing up traditional methods of
analysis...and if so...which way?
Haven't seen the talking
heads taking that one on...and they don't usually mention that high
frequency trading is stepping in front of customer orders by a few
milliseconds and is a crooked racket...got to be a class action suit in
their for an aspiring finance lawyer...good luck finding one.
So much for the trading
aspects of the market...let's move on to the drivers of
The Massive Healthcare
Let's begin with the
Construction Spending Report from the Census Bureau out Monday because
this one outlines how the happy-talk media works just brilliantly.
We begin our exploration
by looking at
the various headlines that accompanied the Monday data release.
An optimist can find words like "Unexpected increases", a moderate can
find "remained flat in June" and the marginally manic short-holding
bears can find "Construction spending declines in June..."
Well, crap, you're
thinking...which was it -REALLY?
Well, as usual,
we go to the data here. The first thing we see (top right) in
the report is that while Construction spending was up a whopping 1-10th
of one percent from May, the real deal is that it's down 7.9% compared
with 2009. Got that? DOWN 7.9% from just one year ago.
Construction (data here) is down 10% compared with year-ago levels.
Happy-Talk point: Private
Residential ex rentals and vacant) was up 11.7% compare with 2009.
Fine...BUT even here, let's stay off the sauce long enough to notice
that even so, current levels are running 42% of what they were in 2006
(!!!) and that's before the People's Economist brings up
the little matter of inflation effects which might make the
picture what, 10% worse than even that?
Non-residential was flat compared with May but big picturing here,
that's down 25% compared with year ago numbers - and worse - down 33.8%
compared with 2008.
construction, which was up 1.5% compared with May was really down
4.1% compared with year ago levels so whoever was writing about how
government spending was up on construction has a grasp of time sequence
numbers shorter than my petchewzelwhacker.
State and local
spending is down 5.5% year-on-year.
This leaves only
federal spending on construction up dramatically and you know where
that was? Go to the data here and scroll down to the line item for
HEALTHCARE - which was up 42%(!!!) compared to year-ago levels.
Holy freakin smokes!
No wonder Healthcare Reform had to go through - going through money like
a house afire building federal healthcare facilities.
Wonder how much of that is
office space for the new expanded everyone's a doctor economy? OK,
so only $3.5 billion...chump change to bailer-outers...but you see my
Let me spell it out again:
The truth is out there. It's just we ain't getting it straight
from the MainStreamMedia. 42% increase in federal healthcare
construction is the only thing between us and recognizing a Depression
in Construction. It's not that hard to figure out. What IS
hard to figure out is why no one else its screaming this from the
rooftops. Except, of course, I don't own networks that are in bed
with the PowersThatBe. Small detail, that.
I put 42% and 42.4%
into the Google search engine. No stories on construction spending
showed up. I rest my case. Next?
Personal Savings Statistical
Here's the latest on this
front - new personal consumption/expenditure data, hot off the press
income increased $3.0 billion, or less than 0.1 percent, and
disposable personal income (DPI) increased $5.1 billion, or less
than 0.1 percent, in June, according to the Bureau of Economic
Analysis. Personal consumption expenditures (PCE) decreased $2.9
billion, or less than 0.1 percent. In May, personal income increased
$40.5 billion, or 0.3 percent, DPI increased $36.9 billion, or 0.3
percent, and PCE increased $8.6 billion, or 0.1 percent, based on
Real disposable income increased 0.2
percent in June, compared with an increase of 0.4 percent in May.
Real PCE increased 0.1 percent, compared with an increase of 0.2
Private wage and salary disbursements
decreased $5.2 billion in June, in contrast to an increase of $19.2
billion in May. Goods-producing industries' payrolls decreased $8.9
billion, in contrast to an increase of $10.4 billion; manufacturing
payrolls decreased $6.0 billion, in contrast to an increase of $7.8
billion. Services-producing industries' payrolls increased $3.7
billion, compared with an increase of $8.8 billion. Government wage
and salary disbursements decreased $0.6 billion, in contrast to an
increase of $7.0 billion. The decline in the number of temporary
workers for Census 2010 subtracted $3.4 billion at an annual rate
from federal civilian payrolls in June; the hiring of additional
temporary workers had added $5.7 billion at an annual rate in May.
And the knee-slapper part
Personal saving -- DPI
less personal outlays -- was $725.9 billion in June, compared with
$713.9 billion in May. Personal saving as a percentage of disposable
personal income was 6.4 percent in June, compared with 6.3 percent
Yeah, sure, you betcha...
Lookie here: The
definitions of what makes up personal savings was changed a couple of
years ago and the kind of thinking that led to it was discussed by
Guidolin and La Jeunesse in a Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis article
in Nov/Dec 2007, the
NIPA accounts include unrealized capital gains and then they
"A few economists have
taken issue with this broad definition of a “true” saving rate, ˆ
st+1, arguing that only realized capital gains should be considered.
Three motivations are offered. Unrealized capital gains should not
be included in the definition of saving as they simply represent
returns on past saving activity, which has already been accounted
for. In many cases, simple appreciation of existing assets (e.g.,
houses) fails to create new productive assets. The fact that
unrealized gains fail (by definition) to be transformed into cash
resources that allow households (or other agents that borrow from
households) to acquire physical, productive capital stock should
(consistent with current BEA practices) dissuade analysts from using
capital gains altogether. Furthermore, it has been observed that a
large portion of unrealized capital gains tends to arise in the
presence of volatile “bubbling” conditions (e.g., the stock market
boom of the late 1990s and possibly the housing price surge of
2002-05); as such, these gains have to remain unrealized almost by
definition— if households tried to cash them in, they would cause
the bubble to burst, causing the capital gains to vanish.10
Therefore it is debatable whether such unstable components should be
considered as part of private saving. Third, in the empirical
literature, considerable debate persists as to what fraction of such
unrealized capital gains might be actually increasing saving (the
complement of the so-called “wealth effect” on consumption)."
My take on this is that
yes, the NIPA accounts understated personal savings during a time when
home equity was rapidly appreciating, but the larger point (that much of
house appreciation was in fact due to high inflation levels levered by
real estate) was that now that home equity is falling like a
free-falling safe, where's the backward correction to wipe out past
Ain't none, near as I can
figure. The illusion of having home equity as a part of savings
(albeit unrealized) is left on the books which is how economic
history gets so screwed up.
So even if you didn't save
a dime in 2006, you might have (for calculation's sake) had a 7% savings
rate (unrealized home equity gain) showing on the books, but when you
lost your home to foreclosure, short sale, or deed in lieu of
foreclosure, no one is going back and saying "OMG, that savings rate
was a lie!" since you really didn't end up with any savings from 2006.
The historical numbers
just sit there, Easter Island monolith-like, hiding ugly secrets, and
damn anyone who asks about them. Probably just as well, since the
mythical home equity from 2006 may have been the basis of a Home Equity
Line of Credit (HELOC) that actually contributed something to
spending kind of like savings...and yeah, it's a big statistical
ugly. Screw it...brain's hurting. On to lighter fare...
How About This?
"Lindsay Lohan - the Secret Jailhouse Hobby"?
No, lighter fare,
not frivolous verging on... still Lohan topped Google News' list a
few minutes ago.
All of which causes me to
wonder if democracy makes sense...selling politicians like to soap can't
really lead to good government, can it?
Bad News Tim
You KNOW the unemployment
rate Friday is going the wrong way when
Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner is already apologizing for it in
advance.....doing just that today on Good Morning America.
Oh, oh...I almost feel
partly responsible for pointing out we can't keep shrinking the
workforce arbitrarily - someone besides me might notice how that works.
Newsweek for a Buck?
What did Newsweek sell
DailyBeast is reporting it went for a dollar (plus assumption of
liabilities). Interesting read...
Politics As Usual
A group of republicorp senators has issued a report slamming waste in
the so-called stimulus plan.
But wait! Has it
occurred to any of these geniuses that their hands aren't clean on this
since the republicorps and the Bushies drove the economy into Depression
to start with? Anyone remember the economy was already tanking
Cities are continuing to
close down services in Depression 2.0 fashion - including
Philadelphia where rotating firehouse closures are underway.
No incumbents, no way.
Attack on Farmers
Now EPA is looking at
regulations on farm dust. A
group of senators is asking what's up with that.
Say, where was EPA in the
Gulf when BP was
spilling 200+ million gallons of oil? Say, not to be a
horse-behind here, but how come the
COREXIT Manufacturers Safety Data Sheet says "No toxicity studies
have been conducted on this product."? Aren't issues like product
safety as much an EPA missing and farm dust? Just sayin....
Road To War
and Lebanon and playing shoot 'em up. Think of this as
foreplay for more to come in that part of the world...
Militants keep closing in on Pakistan, too, killing 45 there
===== snip and save
Since sales, marketing and
operations consulting has gotten to be less of a workload (economy
cratering and all) I decided to spend some available time this week
updating various 'things and stuff' that has been piling up on my 'web
site to-do list". Some of these items may impact you - others
won't - but you may find it interesting because there are so many
'moving parts' under the hood of this here machine. It may give
you some things to update your work/employer web site, too...
The price of 1-TB drives is now incredibly cheap and the main
data around here is backed up overnight every day - and this is on top
of the redundant on site back-up system. In terms of ulcer
elimination (worries about lost data) I can't recommend highly enough
picking up one (or more) of these huge drives and then every so often
going through and deleting out-dated backups.
I have been trying for years to get UrbanSurvival listed in the
Open Directory Project - and amazingly unsuccessful at it. If you
have any clues why a site like UrbanSurvival can't seem to get listed,
I'd sure appreciate some ideas. Yeah, the ideas around here are a
little 'out there' but this site has been around since the late 1990's
and gets more than 50,000 page views per day - which I think
(help me if I'm wrong here) is an indication that someone is
interested in a cynical, skeptical, monetaristic long wave economic take
on the world and if you can help me figure out how to get listed in DMOZ
that's sure be nice.
Traffic Stats: As
long as we're on statistics and such, UrbanSurvival served up 165,900
users who visited 721,281 times in July 1.74-million pages which totaled
8.412-million 'hits' and gobbled down 228.7 GB of bandwidth. Not
bad for a single month.
New .CO Extensions: In
an effort to keep up with changing extensions on the net, I've gotten
www.peoplenomics.co and they're
in the process of being set up to point at the two sites. If you
have a business or a blog, you may wish to consider getting the .CO
domain handle - since it may be a while before site blockers in
the workplace pick those up. Or not...
MOBILE (.MOBI) Page:
By request, I've gone back to the daily post of UrbanSurvival as a .MOBI
(special file for mobile devices) which can now be found at
www.urbansurvival.com/Mobile/week.mobi if everything goes right.
A number of readers missed the feature, so it's back. One said not
having the MOBI file really cut into his productivity - and besides, now
if you have an iPhone, UrbanSurvival should be easy to get to...just
scroll down since how to make .MOBI-compatible graphics makes my head
New Tabs, Not New
Sessions: Somehow, the
www.peoplenomics.com site had "open as new tab" shut off
accidentally, so that feature is turned on again...thanks for point it
out. Remember, there's an option in most browsers to open pages in
a new tab instead of a new session of the program and you can usually
find it in your browser's tools or settings area.
System: A number of users said they didn't want to have a
PayPal account, so the sign-up process for Peoplenomics now includes
instructions on how to send a check for the $40 annual
Site Map: The
number of pages of UrbanSurvival is going up dramatically since I
started using the CoffeeCup Software site mapper program (www.coffeecup.com).
I'm still having a few issues with the program 'hanging' but that could
have something to do with have somewhere north of 3,000 pages of web
site to be munched. Having a site map for your site is very
search-engine friendly; most blog software does it automatically, I'm
not a great fan of blogging software, although UrbanSurvival is also
available in blog format at
www.urbansurvival.com/blog/. Some people like that kind of
layout, others don't - matter of choice, I suppose. Long term, I
think plain old HTML works...but I'm a distance cousin of Ned Ludd.
A lot of check-list items,
and no doubt some of then will be useful where you work - especially the
.MOBI/Mobile devices part, since handheld devices like Blackberries and
iPhones now outnumber conventional computers something like 4 to 1 - so
a mobile devices strategy is for-sure something to bring up in your
company meetings about web site improvements, if'n you don't have one.
Oh boy! I have
gotten about a zillion great responses to the Monday question
about the Underground House/Room idea. Elaine found our copy of
the $50 and Up Underground House book and a couple of more...so deep
Tomorrow, I will have a
really long section on the underground house/root cellar / tornado
bug-out room, but something else has popped up which is causing me to
rethink this: Scorpions.
For some reason here in
the past couple of weeks, I have seen more scorpions around here than I
have ever seen before. Elaine says it's because we have
done so much digging in the earth in the past year. You may remember we
replaced 600-feet of waterline coming into the house plus we dug in a
new septic system for the 'office' building. Way she's got it
figured, we disturbed the earth too much and that's where scorpions
My own intuition about
them is that its from finally having an average water year around here.
Normal rainfall is 25.14" for the year to date and we're at 23.43 - so
I've been researching the
natural enemies of the scorpions and I think I found it and we'll be
buying one soon: A visit from the Orkin man.
$5 word of the day, by the
way popped out of my scorpion research:
telson. Aha! That's the last part of the scorpion
where the venom glands live. Would make a fine license plate for
the highly literate...not exactly an everyday word and I used to
consider myself well read. Ha!
Around the Ranch:
A ham radio friend of mine
called the other day and wanted to drop by to sight in a new rifle. "No
sweat..." I said. However, since we made those plans I've gotten
to thinking about it....had a change of heart.
The property around the
ranch here is just teeming with deer this year - in fact we had a couple
munching last evening along the edge of the house - they're that tame.
Sighting in a rifle is going to make noise and it could be months before
the deer return. Naw...gonna cancel the sighting in session...
Load of tractor parts is
due in at the local Kubota dispensary tomorrow. The short
version of the story is "land clearing is hard on tractors". The
even shorter version is $193. The long version is about what
happens when you bush hog land and sheered off 1½"
splinters go poking all around the tractor...stick into the engine
compartment and so on.
Email of the Day
From a fellow bear who got stopped out on
"It seems to me every time I use a
darned hard stop, I get stopped out only to watch the market turn
back and go the way I had thought it would have. It pisses me off a
bit, not that I lost some cash but that the dam stop got hit only to
watch the market go the way I had wanted.
So basically I'm saying since I was
stopped out yesterday in some sort of mystery market bump, because
all of a sudden the world is all rosy, today the market will fall. I
think I'll just take a bat to my computer and be done with it lol."
You ever wonder why I go through so many
computers around here? Here, use mine.
Monday August 2, 2010
Things Are Looking UP
I may be taking a short
vacation from my bearish short positions for a while due to all the
good-natured optimism about and a desire NOT to lose money, but it will
be a tough call. For one thing, the latest charts show the Dow is
trying to move to a bullish position and while the second half of
August may bring substantial downside, especially around the *** 25th
*** when linguistics expect a big, global, something to happen,
there's another 10-days, or so, of upside left and we may very well hit
Robin Landry's 10,650 level.
Let's run through some of
the 'what's UP' data: Starting with what turns out to have been a 'solar
quake" - not an Earthquake. A note from the folks who run
www.spaceweather.com summed up
Sunday's event this way:
"During the early
hours of August 1st, NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory recorded a
complex global disturbance on the Earth-facing side of the sun. Most
of the sun's northern hemisphere was involved in the event, which
included a long-duration C3-class solar flare, a "solar tsunami,"
and a massive filament eruption. As a result of these blasts, a
coronal mass ejection (CME) is heading toward Earth.
No doubt you'll want to be
checking the www.spaceweather.com
site for the next several days because while initial indications
were that this Earth-directed coronal mass ejection would show up
tomorrow (Aug. 3) a later
PRESTO Alert offered this:
"A frontsided halo CME
erupted on August 1 around 08:00 UT, SOHO data was not available at
the time but STEREO data show that this event should arrive to the
Earth around August 5. It was related to the C3.2 flare from NOAA AR
11092 and to a large filament eruption in the northern solar
Although the science of
how the relationship between coronal mass ejections and earthquakes is
debatable, it would not surprise me to see a 7.0 to larger (8.2 is where
the first dart of the day landed) by the end of this week. Sometimes, when things are looking UP, it's bad.
posted a note that the next "Shape of Things To Come" report (#7) has
been delayed indefinitely [Universe intrudes, rudely], but we've gotten enough of a peak at the data
to circle August 25th on the calendar for the emergence of a globally
shocking event, although it may be a day or two before we figure out
(based on simple summation values) which entity this pops out of...and
there's much else going on to be concerned with.
That said, the kind of
thing - not a prediction, just an example here - of the kind of thing
that could be large enough to fill the August 25th release
language might be something like an earthquake that damages or 'takes
out' the Three Gorges Dam in China.
As you're undoubtedly
aware, the peak of water levels behind the dam hit all-time records this
past weekend due
to recent rains and flooding, and now
there are miles of garbage & trash washing toward the dam...and not
sure what can be done to prevent it from clogging the works.
Keeping in mind that Three
Gorges is the biggest concrete structure in the world and that
concrete takes up to 12-years to reach its peak strength, and that we
are in this earthquake window which could (wild, unfounded
speculation here) cause a quake in the vicinity of the dam which in turn
could cause a catastrophic failure...well, that's the kind of event that
might show up in Clif's data as a 'global release event' and I don't
think I need to tell you how many millions of people in China, not to
mention all their manufacturing is Three Gorges dependent.
Standing downstream of
Three Gorges and looking UP is not somewhere I'd want to be for a
Our curious linguistic
link between weddings and quakes continues unabashed. While
Clinton daughter Chelsea got married this weekend, the Universe winked
with a smallish 3.0 quake
8-miles east of Clinton Louisiana.
Or, do we blame this on
the BP spill?
Numbers for the Week
There's a lot to look
forward to: Construction Spending this morning, which is expected
to be weak...how weak is the question more than 'if' it'll be weak.
peak at the chart here from the Calculated RISK site, shows 30.6% of
homeowners are upside-down. Doesn't seem like a reason to run out, buy a
Skil saw and start putting up more housing exactly, does it?
Tomorrow we get Personal
Income which is always fun, especially the part where I apply the
ViceGrips to my forearm (pinching myself) as we read the latest (largely
mythical) Savings Rate. I assume you have watched
presentation by Elizabeth Warren "The Coming Collapse of the Middle
Class"? Well, its showing up in the here and now...
Wednesday the ADP
employment report comes out, then Thursday has the weekly unemployment
rate, but the Biggies will be Friday when the unemployment rate
comes out and then at 3 PM Eastern when the Fed publishes the Consumer
The Consumer Metrics
Institute data doesn't seem to hold any cause for celebration...as
a check of their
charts here underscores.
Against this background
(and the Consumer Debt numbers coming Friday)
some folks are still calling Treasuries a buy. My part
gold/silver, part Treasuries position has been a dandy - allows me
to sleep soundly. Inflation or deflation, I've hedged best I can....
Case For Martial Law?
Despite the market futures
being up somewhat in the early going, and a generally positive tone out
of Europe, the socioeconomic picture in America doesn't seem conducive
to long-term optimism. Take, for example, the
reports that East St. Louis laying of 30% of its police force may let
criminals run wild.
But it's not just
East St. Louis. It's whole states like
California where thousands upon thousands of state workers will be
getting three days off without pay. Massachusetts
has its hands full with budget cuts, too.
I won't trouble you with a
whole laundry-list of state and local budget issues, but I think it's
worth pointing out a couple of things. The first is that despite the
almost universal budget issues,
states are continuing to embrace tax holidays due to voter pressure.
The other thing is to
wonder how far the US Army's NORTHCOM has gone in developing contingency
plans to keep domestic law and order, depending on how far the nation
sinks into Depression 2.0? Extremely tough policy question, that
one. We'll be watching to see how East St. Louis fares and other
localities which are having to cut vital services.
Still, a reasonable
question to be asking is "How much money does government have if their
comprehensive annual Financial reports (CAFR's) are inspected?
Folks like Walter Burien have
been asking that question for a long time, and a visit to his site
now and then broadens one's perspective on just how deep the
government's pockets are when everything is put out on the table.
Afghanistan Drags Out
But it will have to do so
without the Dutch - they're tossing in the towel.
NATO country to do so.
And, despite the promises,
in Washington don't seem to be planning major force reductions until
2011...which - bet me - seems more likely by 2012 or who knows how
Raul: Back to
Good story from
Breitbart which you may want to put on your reading list about how Raul
Castro is moving Cuba back in the direction of entrepreneurship.
Seems Cuba's government is not the be-all, end-all worker's friend,
after all...so more self-employment will be allowed.
Curious how we're going
the other way with business-choking 1099'ing plans wiggled into the
healthcare reform bill...Cuba goes one way, we go the other - who'da
Dribbling Away Rights
Changes to the Miranda warning are about to go into effect.
Yes, you still have a right to remain silent and to an attorney, but if
you don't know your rights, it's going in the direction of 'too
OK, August 25? November 8-12? Whenever it is,
the word out this weekend is that the US has an Iran attack plan set.
Ever wonder where Congress is? Last time I checked they had
war-making powers, but that was in the old days I suppose...with the
economy is the shredder, guess more war is one route to recovery, or so
=== snip and save section
About Them UFO's
there's a new book which
is about to make it to the top of my reading list called UFOs: Generals, Pilots and Government Officials Go On the Record
While the book won't be
released until the 10th, the advance press on it seems pretty good.
This little morsel from the Amazon write-up in particular:
"An Air Force major is ordered to
approach a brilliant UFO in his Phantom jet over Tehran. He
repeatedly attempts to engage and fire on unusual objects heading
right toward his aircraft, but his missile control is locked and
disabled. Witnessed from the ground, this dogfight becomes the
subject of a secret report by the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency.
In Belgium, an Air Force colonel
investigates a series of widespread sightings of unidentified
triangular objects, and he sends F-16s to attempt a closer look.
Many hundreds of eyewitnesses, including on-duty police officers,
file reports, and a spectacular photograph of an unidentifiable
craft is retrieved and analyzed.
Here at home, a retired chief of the
FAA’s Accidents and Investigations Division reveals the agency’s
response to a thirty-minute encounter between an aircraft and a
gigantic UFO over Alaska, which occurred during his watch and is
documented on radar."
I've seen a few 'oddities'
in the sky, but nothing that didn't have an alternative explanation, but
still one reptilian encounter from my youth (a bad dream in waking
state, maybe?) has kept the topic open. I also know a few folks
who have been through the whole 'missing time' and seen what they tell
me were real UFO's.
My interest in UFO's waned
between age 13 and about 1998, or so. But then came along Col. Philip Corso's book The Day After Roswell.
That got me to thinking about the topic once again, and so with Kean's
book coming out, laced with what seem like extremely credible
reports, I feel compelled to read it.
The main problem, having
never seen a UFO first-hand, is reading the best available
evidence and then deciding where to put one's personal beliefs. At
the one extreme, until someone shows up with a hunk of 'memory metal" -
the stuff from the Roswell crash that could supposedly be wadded up like
aluminum foil, but would bounce right back to its original shape - I
could say "T'ain't real!
At the other extreme, I
suppose there are
those who believe the YouTube video purporting to be a Roswell alien
autopsy was real.
The video is an
interesting tale, in itself. While there are some who admit the
video was faked, there's also the story about that it was faked
because a real alien autopsy video was not...but it has not been
Summertime into mid fall
is a great time for sky-watching, and it's when sightings of irregular
stuff upstairs seems to hit its peak,
although famous cases like the Stephenville, Texas UFO siting (January
8, 2008) do also happen in winter.
So, while I wait for dark
later on this month - armed with nightvision goggles to go looking
for unexplained whatever's in space
visible only with late model nightvision, the Kean book sure sounds
Around the Ranch:
The weather here in East
Texas is now in the peaking part of summer heat. Although we were
well over 100º F yesterday, it wasn't much
worse that most of the 95º degree days because the humidity was
relatively low. Since we got back from our trip out west, neither
Elaine or I have gotten up the nerve to head up into the garden, which
thanks to a great year of rainfall, seems to be more jungle-like than
As soon as this morning's column is done,
though, plan is for me to head up with a weed whacker and see if I can
get to the tomato plants. Panama reported that while we were gone
several cantaloupes got past edible, and were fed to the wild life...a
move now doubt applauded by the coyotes.
Zeus the cat has been spending about half
his time under the front deck where it's fairly cool during the day and
the rest of the time on the area rug in my office in front of the air
conditioner. Puscilla, our other cat, has taken to sleeping on the
sunroof of Elaine's car in the carport.
Client workload has become quite light
lately, no doubt a reflection of the economy and fewer small to
mid-sized businesses wanting to expand, although during recessions is a
dandy time to build market share.
So slow are things that I can see wood on
most of the counters in my office nowadays, the floor is vacuumed and
even fresh bug traps out...catching the summer assortment of scorpions,
daddy longlegs, crickets, and even a couple of baby snakes about
The last of the house projects oughta be
finished off in a week or two - and that will leave space on the
calendar for another 'big' construction project. I've got Elaine
searching the library for The Fifty Dollar and Up Underground House Book
which seems to have gone missing in action.
Hot weather and watching the cats has
reminded me that we could really use an underground room for a couple of
reasons. First (and most obvious) is that we're at the edge of
Tornado Alley here and we've lost dozens of trees in the past to high
winds. And underground shelter seems like a good idea.
Then there's the no-cooling required aspect
of an underground house / storm room/ vegetable cellar. Dug-in
next to a shaded area, it is possible to live semi-underground without
air conditioning. Or, digging in a couple of hundred feet of PVC
pipe and a small DC fan to get 'free AC from nature.
I've asked one of our new in-laws (a civil
engineer) for input on what's the cheapest way to build...thinking post
& beam on a 6' grid, but engineering ideas are welcome. Buried
school bus is out, since I don't know where to get one, although a cheap
RV might be of interest.
If you've ever wanted to spend some time
noodling how to do an underground house cheap (something that would be
down 3-4 feet and would provide earth-cooling) please send along
ideas...quest is on and the budget is $500-$1,000...not counting
finishing. Just talking structure here.
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