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Down to the Finish Line
We'll naturally present the final sprint results tomorrow morning in our Peoplenomics.com update, along with a bevy of charts, but if you're keeping track down to the year-end finish line on how different classes of investments are doing, here's the day-before finish:
Naturally, these numbers (for the metals) are based on the New York close of Thursday, so it will be tomorrow before we see the real, final numbers. Gold is up nicely this morning, but with a further rally in markets...well, we'll get to that tomorrow.
There are two things people don't put a lot of neurons behind when they are looking at their personal financial picture, many times...maybe three...
Thus the really totally amped-up, caffeinated thinker would observe that M3 (reconstructed from www.nowandfutures.com ) was running about 6% year-on-year and so if we were to do the calculation would be: 6% minus 3.4% inflation which would signify 2.6% deflation, which is suspiciously close to what was in the S&P/Case-Shiller Housing report this week. Specifically, this part:
Still, the main [long term] economic data point to ponder for the week was not the zoom-in on the race-to-the-finish going on between different classes of investments, but rather - in practical terms - what are we (as ion "regular" humans) to do about it?
Thursday's press release from Freddie Mac offers related insights:
This more or less sets the stage for what we'll be covering in Peoplenomics tomorrow - I'm working on matching up the timeline of "news" events of the 1930's with events of the current period...which should guide us (to some extent) on what to expect in 2012 and beyond, and thus, hopefully, make appropriate timing decisions with regard to our nest eggs which include everything from a couple of gold coins to real estate to those catchy and easy to get sucked in, paper assets.
What if Paul Wins?
Say, there's an interesting problem for the MainStreamMedia (MSM) should Ron Paul surpass Mitt Romney in next Tuesday's Iowa voting. This CBS News piece is pretty good...
Paul might do OK in Iowa, but over at InTrade (the world's leading prediction market) Mitt Romney was showing at 76.4% odds to be the GOP/republicorp entry. Newt, Bachmann, and Rick Prairie (sic) are dust.
Paul meantime, has raised more money from military personnel than any other candidate which, goes to show you, I think, that the neocon-leaning old-guard media who call Paul "dangerous" are out of touch.
Still, numbers lean toward Romney presently.
Iranian media are proudly announcing their 7th day of naval drills in the Strait of Hormuz as the US sends a carrier into the neighborhood.
Tomorrow morning, Iran will test launch long-range missiles. Makes Israel nervous, and even folks like me as a little edgy about it: Long range missiles have been launched from ships and how do you spell E.M.P.?
This is mighty amoonzing: As I see it, there will be, down the road a bit - couple of decades, maybe, a confrontation over "ownership" of non-Earth objects. Arguably, no one from off-object should have any claim, but the courts of record for the moon are on Earth. United Nations, International Court at the Hague, and so forth.
So here's my question - and maybe a well-schooled reader knows the answer: What is there in international law that sets up ownership of claims on the moon?
More violence in Damascus. What seems to be driving it is an opposition call for huge protests against the government, per Al Jazeera.
Which gets us around to how another military Islamic government may be in the birthing process in Egypt. To back up a half-step, we know the Islamic fundamentalists made huge advances in second round voting, right?
OK, fast forward to this morning and Egyptian security forces have raided the offices of at least 17 non-governmental organizations, including (dare we say particularly?) those which support a democratic form of government in the wake of Arab Spring.
New Year's Notes
The country of Samoa, subset Tokelau atolls, a UN dependency, have celebrated the moving of the international date line, because that means tomorrow night, they will be the first country in the world to enter 2012 rather than be dead last.
Over at the Huff Post there's a decent summary of television offerings to schedule for tomorrow night. But, after looking at the 2011 top cable "news" shows, I'm convinced the one thing I won't do is watch TV tomorrow night.
Instead, I've decided to head into town later on today and pick up a copy of the newest edition of Mad Magazine.
To be sure, there are some who think Mad is all about satire...well, maybe it is, or more correctly was.
But there are times when it's better than what's on television - by a long shot. Most of 2011, for example.
Besides, crazy as the world is becoming, seems to us Mad is on the verge of making an important transition:
From being a humor publication to being a kind of running documentary on how the world really operates. They're hitting closer to the truth, oftentimes, than all them cable news operations combined.
"The Year We Ran Out of Money" notes Mad. NSS. Unlike the cable shows, Mad has the good sense not to take everything so damn seriously. And if there's one thing we're going to need a lot more of in 2012, it's humor.
Bills for Bills Department
One last example of how crazy things are (and why Mad looks more like a socioeconomic version of National Geographic here lately) comes as we review reports that Verizon has been noodling the idea of charging customers $2 "convenience fees" for paying their bills online.
Charging people to pay their bills? FMTT! What would be laughable appearing in Mad somehow looks dangerously sinister when reported in Forbes and the Chicago Trib.
Has Alfred E. Newman moved on to the board of Verizon now? Last I heard he was a White House tsar of some kind...bailouts, I think it was....right after his stint in the State Department. Middle East Policy Section, wasn't it?
More after this:
Coping: From the WuJo: The Dreams of 2011
One project high of my LOSTD (list of stuff to do) is spending more time on my "dream work."
Many people don't pay much mind to their dreams, but I take them deadly seriously, as I've mentioned before, since I've had at least three dreams that have been substantially prescient.
The Gulf Oil disaster kicked off at that night - 10:30PM - after I posted that at my usual 7:55 AM posting time.
Often, I actively suppress my dreams, but following a conversation with Suzanne Toro (BeSimply Radio) Thursday, I decided to get back to work on dreaming in 2012.
That run-in with the Gulf spill event (seemingly in advance) got me to kick off our www.nationaldreamcenter.com project in 2009, and going into 2012, here's how dreams reported by readers have been running lately:
Nothing is moving particularly fast, maybe a slow build in some of the Earth aspect dreams along with the "JPW: Just Plain Weird" category.
Still, when I remind myself to keep open to dream material, in it comes. Last night's collection included a town (somewhere in Asia) where it snowed last night for the first time this year, after being rain earlier in the day) and a bit later, a 6.7 to 6.9 earthquake in a region where there were 2-3 or 3-4 story high concrete office buildings (felt like US West Coast on this part but might have still been in Asia). Aspects of PTB and an underground parking garage partially collapsed.
OK, usual stuff. But then along comes the eye-opener. In a particularly intense part of the dream I had a vision of a black limo (in Asia) with a man inside of it who was talking fervently. And on the outside of the car in Arial bold font (white/light gray on the black limo) was the word "annaates." This is in Asia, mind you.
Hmmm, I thought, that's a weird one. So I popped it into Google this morning and it suggested a slightly different spelling: "Annates". WTF? That doesn't make sense, I thought...still...what's an annate?
Turns out, however, according to the dictionary at Reference.com that Annates are "the first year's revenue of a see, an abbacy, or a minor benefice, paid to the pope." Long entry in Wikipedia about it, too.
While I was fitting together all kinds of "wild and crazy" possibilities...(annates from Japan in the wake of the quake?) up pops this out of the I-Ching Inbox from our news analyst in Winnipeg:
I assume you know Kazakhstan is in Asia? And that it snowed there last night?
Not sure how it all pieces together, here, but seems I'm supposed to be aware of Annates in here...something I wasn't even aware of - never heard of them - before my vivid dream last night. Don't know what the 'quid pro quo' might be yet. We shall keep our eyes open. Gifts come with strings, often.
Suzanne sent a follow-up note about her experiences with vivid dreams...
Sometimes we actively suppress our dreams, but in 2012, I've made a serious decision to pay more attention to them and what they're trying to tell me.
And I'll damn sure be watching for signs of annates.
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Economic Survival in 2012 and Beyond
In sports, this might be a "blocking and tackling" discussion, or perhaps in baseball it would be "the basics: swing, hit, and run." After a review of this morning's headlines and what ahead over the next few days, some perspective on the age-old problem and an attempt to answer "Why do we get up and go to work? Why are we doing this?" How to make & accumulate wealth in 2012.
Safer Computing: The Perfect Stocking Stuffer
It has been a while since I roared the praises of the Maxa Cookie Manager which you can download and install for a free test drive by clicking here.
To upgrade from the demo to full working is still less than $50 and one heck of a bargain at that.
I am a high-reliability computing kind of guy - and near as I have it figured, the road to a hassle-free computing experience is (like flying an airplane) a matter of going through a proper checklist before popping onto the web:
Like anything in computers, updates are critical so before work every morning, the computer does its update ritual - Check of Maxa (5.3.02 is current) Avira, and Malware bytes.
Toss in a good bit of common sense (example: Don't open email purporting to be from UPS, IRS, the US Post Office, or anything else that even has a hint of fishy odor to it) and first thing you know, the internet's actually a useful tool.
"Live on $10,000" A Year
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 details.
Please pass along word of this site to your friends by simply clicking here to send 'em a short email. - Thanks!
Thursday December 29, 2011
Gold: Winning "The Great Race"
Subscribers to our Peoplenomics.com content almost without doubt became bored with my more or less constant discussion over the past year of my "split strategy" of investing: Gold and Bonds. Because although we have a very, very small amount in stocks (it's a reason to follow markets and financial items closely, having even a little skin in the game) the point of our "strategy of the year" was to put money into gold and bonds, in our case, a US government TreasuryDirect account. Verging on being "grays" capital preservation is paramount.
How did the strategy do? Pretty damn well, actually...
Notes to the Statement
As always, there are lots of asterisks and qualifiers, so here goes:
Now, the look ahead: I still expect that in 2012, the price of gold will since at least under $1,400 and when the stock market really hits the skids, it could go, in Robin Landry's guesstimate down to as low as $770, or there abouts. Still, that won't be a bad performance, because IF global deflation comes along with that kind of "juice" the price of stocks will have long ago taken out the old (2009) lows around 6,627 on the Dow. Gold will still be worth owning.
I'm in no particular hurry to change our allocations, either. Since the government is in something of a box: If they increase the interest rates, then bond returns will suck and the value of bond funds could drop 20% or more. But, if they do that, gold prices would likely be rising to offset.
What we're rying to do is park both dollars in places where the effects of inflation - should that come along - would be hedged by gold. On the other side, if there's big deflation, then the bonds would do fine and preserve more than purchasing power, since the old adage is " In deflation, Cash is King" is likely to be true.
While there's no doubt there will be some winners around, the net of investing in stocks for me has been terrible (-30 percent or so YTD) which is why I don't write a "stock picking" newsletter. I do much better at the long term decisions and making them only every few years seems to be the way to go.
As for jumping into gold or silver? Nope, not what I'd be doing just yet. The road ahead is likely to be fraught with more of the same kind of perils which beset America in the 1930's, although as we will be talking about in this weekend's Peoplenomics report, the perils may be the same, but they are showing up in a much different order this time around. So we'll be focused on that, the health of pension funds, and a few other items of interest to anyone who's trying to avoid a future of dumpster-diving by planning ahead.
Whenever I say something cool, or even neutral to the metals, I get an inbox full of mail from the gold and silver bugs. If there were not a 28% tax rate on gains for metals, I'd be more inclined to play. And, yes it is true that the current administration has continued the free-wheeling spending trajectory set up by the Bushistas and that will inevitably cause inflation. But may not just yet.
With gold down almost $30-bucks more this morning, and the dollar jammed up to 0.7771 Euro, we must be realistic here and wonder if the Buck may not be headed for parity or beyond with the Euro in possible death throes.
Although the moves have only been a few percentage points, the commodity/energy markets are keeping a close eye on developments in the Persian Gulf since Iran claimed that they'd be able to close down the Strait of Hormuz, more or less at will. For now, oil has backed off a bit.
The US Navy has responded in a direct way, which translates in street-speak to "Enjoy both of those minutes if you try it..." because Uncle's not playing...this one's for real. And then there's the Saudi response that they will offset any oil embargo efforts with increased production.
Those are the headlines, but it's NOT the story. For that, you need to look at the role of China in all this - and they have said in extremely clear language that they would enter any dust-up involving Iran on the side of the Islamic Republic.
This has caused some discussion among our sources, some of whom think the Chinese five-year plans don't really add up to an ability to directly confront the West until either 2015 or 2020, such are their central plan dates.
On the other hand, as my retired SF brother in law pointed out in a conversation last night, the real matter to be considered is what was in the 2005 plan, which was to have been in place by 2010 (and is most assuredly done by now) and how would that capability fit into prospects for possible conflict today?
Difficult saying: The Chinese/PLA doesn't exactly hand out copies of their five-year strategic military capabilities on every street corner, even the old 2005 plan which is still pertinent, but if you happen to have a spare copy (even if in Chinese) I'm sure we could find a translator...
And a thoughtful reader ponders:
And the Enemy is.....US?
An observant reader, upon reading that "Russia slams US for its human rights record" (as we've been chronicling in our "march to the police state" stories) wonders:
Yes. This is that alternative future where the US has gone totalitarian that was pictured in many 1970's era Sci-Fi movies. Dude, how many times much I tell you? The movie is the message!
America's #1 Employment Problem Is...
Go read the article over at the American Dream site about how "You Won't Believe ho Corrupt, Lazy and Stinking Rick our Congress Critters Have Become." You should be able to figure it out...
What's the old saying? The people that got us into this mess won't be the ones capable of leading us out of this mess.
Makes voting easy, though, since many states conveniently label the level (or punch card) not to hit with a warning that reads: "Incumbent".
Save the House Flippers!
Here a tone of desperation in this HUD press release out Wednesday?
Any port in a storm. C-Level bank dude asked me "Why???"
An effort to prevent the utter collapse of housing prices again in 2012...which will likely fail, but we give bonus points for effort...
At last, there is starting to be a little more honesty about the Fukushima disaster, which has been a cover-up/butt covering exercise the likes of which were last seen during the....hmmm....Clinton administration maybe.
Undeterred by the deaths and poisoning of huge parts of the world by Fukushima, the nuclear power industry is pressing for what? More reactors in the USA.
Not that we didn't already know America was a land of slow learners (look at Congress for proof) but with something as in-your-face as radiation, you'd think we'd wake up a little more quickly....guess not.
I've got to believe that the hand-picked and anointed PTB choices like the Newter and Rick Perry can't be counted out yet. Magic of big money should be showing up one of these days.
You Can Run But....
The San Francisco Chronicle coverage of why California has a budget mess is underscored with this statistic: The Golden State has one-eighth of America's population and one-third of all welfare recipients.
California is going the way of Greece, Italy, and Europe in general, and anyone who thinks the real estate collapse is really over just doesn't understand numbers, employment, economics, or social dynamics very well. All signs points to a weaker 2012...
Coping: Thinking Beyond CES
I've been watching a parade of pre-announcements about what's coming up at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas which gets underway on the 10th of January.
In particular, I'm intrigued with the 84" 3D TV which LG Electronics is coming out with featuring 4K - four times the resolution of conventional HD, and it promises 3,849 by 2,160 pixel resolution.
It's not the TV part that interests me: it's the arrival of something that will finally give the small office/home office (SOHO) user something of an alternative to multiple monitors.
Right now, if a user wants to have more "desktop" space, the easiest way to get there is to simply add additional monitors and video cards. A lot of upper end video cards have two DVI outputs, so it's simple enough to plug in up to four monitors and have a huge desktop to deal with. But it's not perfect.
For one thing there are cords all over the place, four A/C plug-ins and so forth.
Still, the LG announcement isn't perfect. The reason? Focal distance.
With a conventional (multiple monitor) set up, the home office user sets up two (o9r more) monitors in a semi-circle so that the eye doesn't have to change focus to see something on a different screen. In other words, the eye can stay focused the same whether it's looking at the right, center, or left-side screen.
So here's where the "wall" is - and when this one comes down, the world's going to change: How long before the 4K display is obsoleted (never mind that it's not even out yet) by a wrap-around display which will fit in your livingroom and allow perfect focus over a wide field of vision?
When we get to the point to where you can sit at the "focal point" of an 85" screen which is bent slightly so that a viewer at say 8-feet, or less, doesn't have to change focus with the eyes, I think we'll be getting into an area of near perfect video.
The funny part is? We're just reinventing reality. Crazy, huh? This is something very serious at the spiritual level....as we shall see.
A long time ago, up in Seattle, there was this company by the name of "The Invention Company" which had developed something really amazing: 3-D without glasses. As a newsman at the time I was amazed that the technology didn't seem to go anywhere.
The way it worked, unlike the fuzzy looking red/green approach to 3D was to flicker one half of the 3d picture with the other half.
As was explained to me - and this is way back when, right? - the thing that gives people the illusion of depth is that objects in the foreground (up close) appear slightly offset, but at the vanishing point, looking at something with the right or left eye sees no difference.
And, since the brain has certain processing charateristics, all you needed to do was take a "stereoscopic image" and flicker it just so, and the brain would process the 3D effect.
Fast forward to every year's Consumer Electronics Show. Here's me wondering "When this really nifty 3D technology which I first saw at the company's HQ on the south side of Queen Ann hill in Seattle circa 1971, going to show up as a practical application?"
Then in comes a press release this week:
I don't know if it's the same idea, as what the guys at The Invention Company came up with in the early 1970's, but if it is, combine a mega-screen like the LG 4K product, slightly rounded to maintain perfect focus and marryt it up with glasses-free 3D and WOW! What an experience, huh?
Say, did I mention we're reinventing reality?
And has it occurred to us yet that this might just be the next - as in one more layer - of existence inside of what's already a nested dolls kind of reality? Oh, how the little pieces of Universe play hide and seek with one another across dimensions, too, as it turns out.
This is all very reassuring down at a spiritual level. Yes, people killing people, war, pestilence, and disease is fine entertainment, since it serves to keep the Eye of Universe from seeing itself. The invention of Duality is key, as is the Game of Loss and Lack. But what is amazing to me is that a kind of soft-focus martial arts look at CES shows a schema which is gargantuan indeed:
Universe has created high technology of necessity in order to continue playing hide and seek with itself! We need new technology and the preservation of Life on this plane of existence in order to move on to that next level of virtualization!
Whew. Got the makings of a new religion right there and, yes sir, one that might be able to express this latest - soon to be forthcoming - layer of the "nested dolls" aspect of Reality.
In that world, Moses will be an avatar and the word of God will be an update...so all of it is fitting together. Only one question remains?
Will part of the "birthing process" of v-world be the evolution and destruction of an analog of Sodom and Gomorrah in Second Life? Pixels of salt...yeah, dat's da ticket... who'd have thought?
Life is a subroutine or a kind of "redistributable".
Tuesday December 27, 2011
Just in from our Indonesia Bureau
So is this the leading edge of a bot hit in the works? We shall see...
Fine View of 2012
Meantime, a reader in Canada spied this insightful look into the Big Con - which, if you haven't been paying attention is how the Globalistas are using distractions right, left, and center to usher in their New World Government. This article by Argentinean Adrian Salbuchi (www.asalbuchi.com.ar) explains how it is that "all roads lead to world government..." and it's critical that thinking people consider the overarching strategy in play "one level up" from we po folk in the working class who serve at the leisure of the leech class.
I suppose I should issue the reminder again: There is no right - left, jnust an UP/down super-class which we're not part of, even if we patriotically support America and free enterprise. You see, pahdnah, that ain't the plan.
Housing Decline Resumes
Just out from Case-Shiller/Standard and Poors: Read 'em and weep:
This is pretty much in line with the outlook on our Peoplenomics.com side, which is for continuing housing weakness into 2012. Sorry about that. We don't make the news - just report it - although occasionally in advance.
Waiting On Housing
There will be a special update around 8:30 AM Central time, or earlier) because this is the morning the Case Shiller/Standard and Poors Housing Index data is released. Which is why we begin bracing ourselves for...
There Goes the Santa Rally
Several months ago I suggested that the price of gold would often hint at where the market would go later in the trading session, since the troubles of Europe have caused a huge flight to safety" in US denominated assets and markets. Oh, and gold, too.
Globally, though, there's something else to be taken into account: Deflation. By the old dudes of economics that would be a general decline in the level of prices and that generally is bad. Why? Well, one of the mantras of the Inflationists is that inflation is good for young families because they can buy a house with a minimum down payment, and then pay it back with cheaper money.
Which is - sadly - the opposite of what has been going on here lately, since when people were running out buying houses at the top of the housing bubble in the 2007-2008 period, they were still locked into "Olde Think" which got hundreds of thousands of families lined up for financial slaughter and the resulting misery we've been going through ever since: They were "caught out" and bought only to discover they had signed on for debt which would be paid back with dearer money.
Obviously, that doesn't work, so down came that house of cards - and it's the one which is still stumbling, although in slow motion, accompanied by some of the most twisted and contorted logic you've ever seen. Example: I pointed out last weekend to Peoplenomics readers the new phenomena of banks (and other owners of property which has been on the market for a very long time) holding the property off the market thinking they were "resting" the listing.
Whether this morning is the beginning of the end for Santa's Rally remains to be seen, but it could be the sleigh slay.
GPS - Chinese Style
While we were sleeping, China has launched a new satellite positioning system called Beidou. Means Big Dipper in Chinese.
People who watch China's military development are taking this seriously, we hear, since China expects to have world-wide coverage in 2020. Running on their particular brand of "scientific socialism" on 5-year plans, that would seem to put the risk of China going into any kind of global conflict as far out as 2020.
But the key thing strategically is that Beidou means they will no longer be at the mercy of the US's GPS system in general and specifically from a military standpoint the subset of GPS called "selective availability". It was headed down the pike anyway...
Chinese Trumps in Afghanistan
Say, while we've been beating out finest up against the ramparts of the Taliban and such, who do you suppose just landed an exploration deal to go after some 87-million barrels of oil in 'Stan? China.
Looks like another strategic win for Beijing to me.
The "War for What?" Department
I'm starting to take bets on Iraq War 3 - the Return of the Forces.
Why? Well an anti-US cleric dude has called for the parliament of Iraq to be dissolved and new elections held. So much for purple fingers, huh?
Since the US doesn't have any missions planned to the moon, at least that I am aware of, kinda interesting to note that science types are saying we should look over the moon more closely for evidence of aliens.
Say, you don't suppose that's why China has such a big push on for moon mapping and landings, do you?
If you want a great plot for a novel, try this one on: China makes a big push into space. The US having already been there, discovering alien relics on the dark side of the moon doesn't want to share, and so the whole thing devolves into an old-fashioned terrestrial war over the prize on the moon. It would just be a dandy way to fill a lot of the linguistics for the period ahead while at the same time not completely destroying the world's religions - and it would sure explain why the Vatican a while back decided aliens would be OK, and such.
Whew...some movie, huh? Probably will get here in real life long before I could find backing for such a project. Great plot, though...
We're SPECIAL Department
Don't know if you have been following this, but here's an interesting question:
WHY were big position granted a "temporary" waiver from the requirements for reporting positions exceeding speculative limits on the CME/COMEX until May 31st of 2012?
Need a little time to unwind some manipulations, maybe? Can't handle transparency maybe?
Say, there's a word that was a real flash in the pan, huh? Might as well say "plague" or fart in church.
Bend Over to Grab SOPA
Reader sends this...
But I doubt that will do much good, since no one seems to be able to read - or hear either, come to think of it. Do I need to scream about the bailouts, the "Patriot Act" stampede (march to the police state details here, "Papier, bitte?") and the government's ability now to hold Americans without trial indefinitely?
Why can't someone just come out and admit it: The War on Terror has been a CCC and WPA-like analog in this, the Second Depression?
Meantime, our news analytics office (in Winnipeg for reasons only Universe itself comprehends) sends this:
If you want to know who them folks in the cheap seats are, check the mirror...
Now that he's down the stories about the Newter completely agreeing with Mitt Romney on health care is coming out.
About the most interesting thing about the Iowa primary a week from today is how Ron Paul will do. If I knew anyone in Iowa, I'd be on the phone to them telling them to vote for the alternative candidate who's in touch with reality outside of Disneyland on the Potomac.
Coping: With Our Further Researches
"In order to be an interesting writer, one has to do interesting things," I always say. And, in order that you don't wake up come morning too rudely interrupted with our very different way of looking at Life around here, I thought I'd run through some of our areas of ongoing investigation, research, and planning around here.
Perhaps the most "tasty" one was the one which Clif and I got into yesterday.
Yes, there will be a new web bot run out in the next couple of weeks - and it will focus on longer term values in the data. As I've hinted at on several occasions, March of 2012 should be a major "release language" event, and while the language will be of the same scale that might accompany nuclear war, or something huge like that, remember it's only the language. Still, and....
On the other hand, Clif's 'sneak peak/hinting at' piece, under the heading "Potential, Probability, and Outcome" which is a must read on your list this week.
I'd point out that yes, we occasionally get this or that wrong, but the more of less permanent shift into release language is not particularly good. When the next report comes out, you'll have a chance to sort out which particular catastrophic path we go rolling down, but there are three or four things going on in my own life which are seeming to "fit" with being reading for whatever the Big Release Thing is that comes in March - and changes (at least the language use) thereafter:
Peoplenomics is my favorite site since we're not as bound by publishing schedules and I can often do a week or two of research in advance. With the Second Depression coming into focus, our ongoing study of where we are compared to the previous Depression is of continuing interest, since the arrival times of various matching aspects is different this time. Just fascinating as hell to see how it unfolds.
Then there's the www.strategic-living.net site, where my friend Gaye and I present a kind of mainstream-oriented magazine approach to the prepper world and distill out some interesting stuff. Like the article on survival knives which Panama Bates contributed to recently, or this week's "Cashing In on Christmas" and a common-sense summary ofg why your standard of living will likely go down in 2012.
Then there are several books which I am writing on as time permits. One if getting a suitable rewrite of "Victims of Process: How unwritten recipes run your life" finished and into print. Another is a ham radio book on repair and restoration of old-fashioned tube-type radio equipment, which I'm about 70 pages into at the moment. That one is kind of close to my heart since I'm trying to distill down a half-century plus of learning the (sometimes shocking) ways to fix radios...something the younger generation has lost as an art form.
As an aside, I've been spending an hour or two a week on the 20 and 40 meter ham bands keeping my Morse code speed above 30 words a minute. At one point I'd been up to 45 words per minute, but back down into the low 30's presently.
I have a theory - and there's a good bit of evidence to support it - that if you actually use your brain, and do the right things to enable it to constantly make new neural pathways, you'll to some extent reverse some of the bad effects of aging.
Which gets me along to mentioning a "brain building" site I came across a while back which is pretty good: www.lumosity.com. No, it is not free after a few introductory lessons, but the brain is like any other part of the body: It benefits from training. Might be $60-something a year, but how much is mental agility worth?
Then there's the whole ongoing set of readings under the heading of "Secrets Revealed."
One example, and Elaine and I watched both of his videos this weekend, is Douglas Dietrich's web site http://www.douglasdietrich.com/.
His deal, in a nutshell, is that while working as a fairly low level employee at the Presidio in San Francisco, where he was involved in document destruction, he came across all kinds of interesting - and previously classified projects.
One in particular had to do with how WW II ended. This won't do justice to his voluminous research, but the long and short of it is that WW II did not end with the dropping of the A-bombs on Japan. Quite to the contrary, there were ongoing hostilities into the 1950's.
What's more, the Roswell incident was likely an accident involving one of the supposed monster lighter than air ships which the Japanese had supposedly built in China and which were designed to float to North America and then drop a payload of planes, including fighters and heavy bombers, which would then by Emperor Hirohito's plans, drop biocidals on the US.
Far out? Yep, you bet. But it's another take on history and given his position and the extensive documentation, it makes a sound case.
Another little tidbit? Sure: The place where Japan was building its A-bombs (yep, they were there, claims Dietrich) was in North Korea which is why the West knows North Korea is likely nuclear capable, because the junction of three rivers where the Japanese built the power plants for their A-bomb work is still there and functioning.
Bonus? He says (near as I can follow and I may have this slightly wrong) but Germany had an A-bomb, too. So why didn't Hitler use A-bombs on the Allies in WW II? Remember that Aryan/racial purity deal? Seems the Nazis were pretty much aware of the long-ter genetic damage that could come from radiation...
Lots of stuff to keep my free research time occupied. Not to mention the required reading time to keep current (or nearly so) in the study of management science so I can offer current "best practices": to consulting clients.
Then there's the matter of keeping flying skills current so I'm in the midst of reading The Next Hour: The most important hour in your logbook ($8 for Kindle from Amazon).
Both Elaine and I are pleased with the way things are set up now: My reading time and exercise time are combined so that my hour a day on the treadmill is not wasted: That's when I do my reading.
Since I use a wireless keyboard and mouse, I took a piece of 1 x 6 and rounded off all the sharp edges on it and put it across the safety bars on the treadmill. So now when I walk, I swing the large of the four monitors at my real workstation, a 37" monitor, out from the wall so it faces the treadmill.
With the mouse and the keyboard on the 1x6, there's very little lost productivity. It's just that while on the treadmill, I focus on reading (Kindle software for the PC) which doesn't involve anything more than a click to turn pages. Using DragonBreath (OK, speaking, then) I can do output work, but mostly it's suited for reading and brain input work.
If I can keep up the regimen, 2012 should be a fine year. Except for that one little problem which is less than 90-days out:
Then we'll likely improvise, adapt, and overcome whatever that is, too.
Monday December 26, 2011
Happy Boxing Day - Kinda
With the opening and eating pretty much out of the way, except for the leftovers, we continue the Big Adventure of Life with what to do today. If you're a government employee, seems odds are good you won't be going to work, since this is the day Christmas is observed governmentally (the freebie) which means, near as I can figure, no bills will be arriving...YET. Oddly, for a country big on political correctness, seems odd to take a day off for something that is "seprated from State" too, but we'll let that slide.
Depending on how cash-strapped your local city or municipality is, parking meters will, or will not, be working today. Seapking of which: Did you happen to catch the stories about parking meter rates in Chicago going up in 2012?
Reading about this, I'm struck by the numeracy issue in the press: To read accounts, it seems like some places in Chi-town will be harder hit, because their rates will go up 50 cents to $3.50 per hour while other places will only go up 25-cents to $1.75 an hour.
No matter - that's a 16.6% increase, but since His Rahmness was part of the gang in Washington that keeps pulling the wool on real inflation, I expect Chicagoans will continue blithely unaware of the situation.
Say, doesn't the mayor usually get free parking? In most cities that's the case, and I expect if there were a little "field leveling"...but no matter, it's a done deal for 75-years in Chicago - just like selling toll highway revenues has become vogue in places like Texas.
Soft Selling Election Fraud Charges
Not too much news in the Western press about the 100,000, or so, that turned out in Russian for anti voter-fraud demonstrations against Vlad Putin's party. Huge numbers of people peacefully assembling doesn't seem to be news.
And the global press is having fun meantime with the poor US-MSM coverage of Ron Paul. First on his walking off an interview after a reporter asked the same question three different ways, which was serious over-fishing, in my view.
Then there's coverage of how how Paul is being "smeared" by the MSM in America.
No worries - apparently the global press hasn't gotten the word yet: Do as we say, not as we do.
Madness of Markets
Asian markets were up - but in very thin trading. Some of Europe is closed, as is the NYSE for the day-after holiday. Funny thing is, all three of the major indices (Dow, S&P, and NASDAQ) could finish the year in the win column. But don't hold your breath just yet.
The reason is I'd have to point out (I've been called things like "dog in the manger" for saying this stuff) that since the official rate of inflation is 3.4% (November through November) that the Dow and the other indices will have to at least make 3.4% gain just to stay even on a purchasing power basis.
I'll be going back to bed in a few minutes, after another pass by the fridge for a mouthful of leftovers, because I need to conserve my strength for tomorrow's report which will be the regular morning diatribe and then within 15-minutes, or so, we'll have the special update on the Case Shiller/S&P Housing report due out.
Of all the numbers that matter, this one is huge. There aren't too many numbers that mean more, except maybe your retirement account balance and how returns are there: This is the one that gives the clearest-eyed view of what's really going on in the Housing market - more on that in Sunday's Peoplenomics report for subscribers.
No more sardonic end to the "Peace on Earth" hype than a quick check of headlines to see how humans really operate:
Bottom line: If we were to take all the murders, rapes, robberies, muggings, and unjust human behavior and weave them into a very closely fitted timeline, I'm betting "Peace on Earth, good will toward men" only lasted about a second - maybe three, tops. Makes you proud to be a human, doesn't it?
Marketing the Military
The Orlando Sentinel's Religion World page is maybe not one of your usually stopping points, but did you happen to catch their report on how our Defense Department is allowing Muslim headgear to be worn at JROTC meetings?
Got to admit: This is brilliant marketing. What better way to go conquesting than to show happy Muslims in US uniforms when we go marching into Syria, Yemen, or Egypt?
You did see where the Islamaists are picking up a huge majority in Egypt?
You see why the headgear could be considered a marketing ploy?
I trust you saw the CNET article "Microsoft: Five things to look for in 2012"?
Seems to me they're skipping the biggie: Who's going to implement the Stop Online Piracy Act - which is to say, who do you think is going to implement the US version of thought control and censorship here? And I'd just bet if you were to look at companies who have been involved in China's programs, there'd be a handful of US companies who aren't exactly shouting about their hand in social control there.
It's been the beta, dude!
Money in Bad Behavior
So here's the question: Is the Obama administration doing the right thing by moving on legislation which would allow states to do more gambling? Online poker and so forth could raise billions, but let me ask you something:
Is state-sponsorship of gambling responsible?
In George-Land there is already too much gambling: Gambling on getting a job, gambling on a positivew payback froim a college education, which set of housing and economic data to swallow whole, gambling on marriage working out, gambling on whether having kids in today's world makes sense, gambling on who's fit to hold the Office of the President and lead us... my list is pretty impressive and most of it gives poor marks to what?
Coping: Night of the Long Update
This morning's column will be a little shorter than most since I've been struck bgy the "Night of the Long Update" on our main writing instrument and this morning's column is being written from the emergency/backup/portable/go-places computer. True, it's no slouch, either (i7, Win 7 and all that) but it does eat into my day when I haul myself out of the rack to start writing and the first thing that happens is a long restart.
Patiently, ever so patiently, I gave it 45-minutes to finish - which was my first mistake.
Secondly, I let Zeus the Cat, our Editor-in-Chief into the house so he could supervise this morning's column, a task which consists mainly of eating cat food and trying to jump up on a sheepskin which is on the white leather couch. This is a big no-no, since Elaine doesn't like cats in the house for more than a few seconds at a time, and Boxing Day or not, she wouldn't be too happy with that...but as luck would have it, she's still sleeping off turkey.
Which gets to a short summary of Christmas at the ranch: Did the turkey dinner on Saturday night, and it was great. Which meant that we've been munching on leftovers through Sunday.
Last year, Clif had sent up some chocolate cherries (these lasted a shorter time than the Higgs boson) but we viewed that we'd save the cherry pie filling for this Christmas and yum...amazing pie.
So the main highlight of Christmas day was a) eating followed by b) overdosing on pie (ala mode, of course) and this morning's major event so far as been stepping on the scale. I won't be doing that again until sometime next year, preferably after famine sweeps the land. Late summer.
This morning when the "real" computer is back from it's near death experience/update, I'll hit the online "specials" but in truth, there's nothing we really need except, as our Christmas present karaoke machine would hint: voice lessons.
The profound thought of the morning - and it's not much of one: Don't turn off your computer and expect it to restart in an hour without a backup plan.
I've said this before, but it really is worth saying again: When Windows 8 comes out, will someone at MSFT please (with sugar on it?) put a "restart console" choice up with an estimated time of restart if the user selects a) no updates for now of b) a reasonable estimate of how long the updates will take?
Seems a company which is (per the marl road) all set to build what we call the "Gestapo layer of the Internet" and which has all that hardcore expertise in operating systems, including we heard Windows 8 next summer, should be able to add this as a user convenience. Can't speak for anyone but me (and the cat) but that sure would be nice.
Except this way - and for this morning - the cat is closer to that big refrigerator which to his way of thinking is the "turkey dispensing machine".
We'll be fighting later over who gets first dibs on what. He's sprawled out gathering strength for the contest. I'm running back and forth to my office with a stopwatch to see how long 2 lousy updates can take.
Not sure which of us is the more advanced species, but I'm having my suspicions. But that gets us to this problem:
Something in Illinois Water?
Zeus the Cat (ZtC) has reprimanded me for my comments about Chicago's parking meter situation...but he's not heard the real rant about Illinois...which is under pressure to become the first state in the nation to put up memorials for animals killed in traffic accidents.
ZtC thinks it's a fitting thing, since animals are largely sentient critters and just because we humans don't "understand the way of the Cat" as he explains it, doesn't mean that cats, dogs, and other animals don't have souls, as well. Just smaller, abut there's some argument even on that.
I, on the (ever-so slightly cynical) other hand would argue that we don't do a very good job of memorializing dead humans, homeless in particular, and we're living in a world where the major growth industry is killing people followed by exploitation of their labor for profit.
"Just because you can't be kind to one another," ZtC argued, "Doesn't mean you have to foist off your bad habits on us animals."
"Yes it does!" I told him, as I promptly went to the fridge and pulled out a can of cat food and read him the ingredients. "How do you explain that? Meat, Zeek, meat!"
"We only eat that canned crap because you humans have screwed up the environment and have locked us up in these prison houses, most days," he countered.
"But we do that with humans too...and take a good chunk of Asia, and India and Myanmar and so forth as prime examples. What we're doing just happens to be necessary."
Zeus wouldn't hear the argument. "Remember what we Cats did for your human-kind in the Black Plague? Kept the Black Death from being any worse, is what we did. Without us going along with your domestication conquest, there would have been millions more dead.."
"But we didn't do that consciously...that was a bonus and you got a roof and milk now and then. And distemper shots and rabiies inoculations, too, come to think of it...."
"I'm going outside this morning and look for some fresh chow - and thanks for pointing out the label."
In spite of his tough-meowing, I notice that ZtC is back on station in front of the refrigerator.
Ever try explaining the upsides of being an omnivore, exploiting everything in sight, not to mention the dynamics of neocolonialism to a cat? Especially one who has a bad attitude because he had his cell phone taken away for calling 900 numbers?
Wonder if he'll put up a sign for me when I'm gone? Even a mouse head on a stake would be nice.
Before the chart, a little background:
Once upon a time, a long while ago, I observed during my quest for 'truth' in economics, that the PowersThatBe, the talking heads on the teeve, and the other information sources that actively engage in the programming of humans not to think, had conveniently swept several trillions of dollars that disappeared in the Internet Bubble's bursting (since spring 2000) under the rug. Surely, it wasn't unnoticed by the thousands of people who called brokers and said "Where is my money?" "Gone, but hang in there as you're a long term investor!" was about all they heard back.
So one of our charts for Peoplenomics subscribers oughta be widely circulated - it shows that if you line up the peak of the Dow in January 2000 with the peak in early September of 1929, we're on a very very close replay track. Much closer than even the chart shows if you were to back out inflation, and put in the effects of 1929 deflation, but that'd be real work, and I'm sort of lazy if the truth be told.
No, it's not a perfect replay of 1929, but history doesn't repeat exactly, it only rhymes. So think of this as the rhymes and the crimes chart:
"George, that's only a coincidence!" your monkey-mind will protest.
Why sure it is...you bet. A 11-year long coincidence...yessir....just a coincidence, we're like SO sure... (Shhh...don't tell anyone that major Depressions are two-part coupled affairs like the linkage between 1920-21 and 1929, OK? Damn, dude...don't spoil it for the sheep...)
Oh...don't forget to "Write when you get rich!"
George Ure, The People's Economist
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