Monday, February 28, 2011

Sunni vs Shia in MENA

Today's Quote:

“There has to be a major rethinking of how the U.S. engages with that (MENA) part of the world. We have to make clear that our security no longer comes at the expense of poor governance and no rights for the people in those countries.  All of the givens are gone.” - Christopher Boucek, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

I got a couple of emails from old friends of mine that read my blog about my political analysis in the MENA.  Seems I have not been entirely clear.

I do not think that the MENA will erupt into handholding democrats singing the praises of James Madison anytime soon. I do think that after a period of insanity much of the MENA will evolve into something of a democracy. Could a protracted civil war between Sunni and Shia evolve in the region? Yes, but suspect it will not go on for all that long. In the meantime, I absolutely, positively foresee terrible struggles for power in much of the region that will send Oil to $150 - $250. If I knew exactly when any of this would occur, I would be able to save a great many lives with a few strategically placed phone calls.... alas, that is not to be. I am long WTI futures, so I am eating my own cooking.  Irrespective of whoever takes over from the regimes now in power I think the price of Oil goes much, much higher.

But I could be wrong. Oil could go to $300 (or $70, but I think that very unlikely as there is now a new, and semi permanent risk premium in the Oil markets.). No matter what, I would not be short Oil here.


Not a smoker myself, but I love the premise. This is pretty much how I feel about growing my own food.


Police agencies brace for federal budget cuts?  Wah. Best news I've heard in some time. Time for these people to engage in cost benefit analysis. We need police protection, not police harassment and loss of our Constitutional rights via silly legislation that has only been enforced because of outrageous government spending.


The end of occupation land war?  Thank G-D!!! And its only a nice start. While we are at it, let's reconsider dropping bombs from airplanes onto population centers and wasting money on carrier groups that technology will make obsolete.  These forces were developed to protect petroleum tankers on the high seas and not for any other reason... we have less than 20 years of oil on ships left in the history of mankind, and perhaps less than 10 with volume worth sweating. Get with the program.

And Secretary Gates, you are a good and honorable man... you don't need to sugar coat things so much. It is what it is. Many of our best and brightest future military leaders will best serve society in other capacities.


Not a few of my Liberal friends read my stuff, and couple of them actually called me in dismay after reading my post about my theory of how abortion, among other things, contributed to the liberal birth dearth/baby bust. Its brutal to be confronted with the realities of demographics. There is good news, dearest Libs: You can marry and have babies anytime you want to.  Here's an excellent piece on the analysis of home economics and relationship management using the classical economic theory of comparative advantage.  I thought you folks might find this helpful.


When will people stop doing this to themselves? If we can figure that out, we will have the answer to inflation or deflation.

And the beat goes on.


Only You Can Think For Yourself

"Everybody talks their book". Everybody. There are no exceptions to this rule. And they are completely FOS 90% of the time.

While the term has been around Wall Street (its short for talking up your positions, or investments) since The Flood, it applies in all things, everywhere:

Law Enforcement wants stricter laws and longer sentences, as do defense attorneys (people will fork over big money when faced with multi decades s prison stints). Surgeons want to cut. Stockbrokers are always bullish, unless they can make money by selling fear. School teachers blame parents; parents blame school teachers. Al Queda is lurking! No, now its Iran! 401k's will provide enough savings to fund a long and unproductive old age. Football is just good clean fun. The Military wants to provide you with an education! You can trust your kids with the clergy...


And people believe this sh#!

I knew Dave Duerson. Dave Duerson was an acquaintance of mine. Commissioner Roger Goodell, you're no Dave Duerson. (Actually, I met Duerson perhaps a handful of times... he was barely an acquaintance... but he was a nice enough guy.)

If you have been reading my stuff for awhile you know I have a couple of pet peeves - politicos willing to destroy a lifetime of work and savings, vainglorious military leaders and politicians willing to kill innocents and get our kids killed, and brain and spine injury from youth sports... no doubt from my own close call playing football (I've also done a fair amount of boxing in my youth and submission grappling all my life... and if I had to do it over, I would have played tennis and golf).  

The NFL and NCAA football are just other organizations that internalize their profits while externalizing their costs. The NFL has an absolutely free farm system with absolutely no liability in NCAA College Football, and the NCAA has the same deal with high school across the country.  We have known for years that football players die much younger than the rest of the population and that they were not very successful in their lives after football.  That lack of success was blamed on an inability to adjust to life after the game... yet this does not seem to be the case for baseball players...

We have known since the 1920's that 25 to 50% of long term boxers go daft - even used boxing in the scientific diagnosis: "dementia pugilistica" (I used to caddy at Knollwood Country Club in Greenberg, NY, and had the pleasure of caddying for Gerry Quarry in the mid to late 1970's a couple of times. As I look back on it, I am convinced he was suffering badly from some level of dementia at that time - couldn't remember his score, confused when selecting a club... the guys he was with were too busy kissing his a$$ to notice something wasn't right, but a teenage caddy did... its a funny old world...).... but they might have to change the name to "dementia gridironica".  

Football will not survive the research and findings of Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy ("CTE").  But it won't go down without a fight.  NFL teams worth $500 million and college coaches making several $million per year and living like royalty are not going to let drooling former players that look like extras from "Shawn of the Dead" ruin their gig. This goes for despotic rulers in MENA, Democrat and Republicans here in the U.S., and anybody else whose interests are tied to the status quo in energy.

Some of the things you do when you are young cost you dearly when you are older... who you had sex with, the money you did not save by spending it on sh#! you didn't need, the sports you played, the debt you took on to pay for college... (this phenomenon applies to Industrial Society as well) Then there are the things you believed: 401k savings will be enough, stretch for a house cause housing prices always go up, saving the planet by not having children, the pronouncements from Saudi Arabia, Iran, Kuwait, OPEC, the U.S. administration... that things will always be the way they have been.

Well, there's not a shred of truth coming out of any of them.

Only you can think for yourself.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Much to Say, No Time to Say It

Just a bit overwhelmed with Spring duties on the farm.  Not Spring where you are? It is here in the Southland... or nearly so.

More on the homestead later.

Events in the MENA are careening where they will, with no shortage of propaganda being planted in the MSM (remember Jeffers Media Theory: No story makes its way into America's media bottleneck that has not been paid for and planted by a very powerful special interest group). Since Al Queda has been impotent for nigh on a decade (and it only cost us a couple HUNDRED BILLION $ per year), and they are being swept aside by the tides of history, those that benefit from America's humungous war machine needs a new Boogey Man ("BM", perhaps for bowel movement), and we seem to have found our BM, at least for now, in Iran. Aside from Iran's attempt at a nuclear threat, which is very real and must be addressed (even a pacifist like me sees a problem with that bunch of loonies having a bomb lying around) I have absolutely no fear of Iran's Revolutionary Guards taking the beach near my Florida home. Not even a little bit.

Like it or not, democracy is spreading to the MENA AND China.  Its coming to a city near you.  The U.S. doesn't have to lift a finger (although it will, but that will likely do more harm than good).  Problem is, it DOES mean the end of 2 figure Oil. The PEOPLE (remember THEM?) of the MENA know that they have not benefitted whatsoever as these regimes squandered their precious resources to keep the ROW happy (and the bribes and tributes coming).

Of course, some of these nations will go through some terrible stuff to get where they are going. Believe you me, not a single person in the Special Interest Groups gives a good fart about the suffering of The People of the MENA... anything they have to say is a manipulative effort to further their own interests. But say it they will.  This will needs be sorted out by The People, and I completely reject the idea of Americans shedding any blood in the process (or helping anybody else shed theirs).

The tidal wave builds, and nothing can stop it. The regimes in Iran, Saudi Arabia, Algeria, Nigeria, et al, have all got a laser gunsight covering them. They will not survive for long.

(Speaking of Saudi Arabia.... an unidentified source said they flipped a switch and made up for the 1 million BPD in Libyan light Sweet!  LMAO!! ROFL!! LOL!!  Oh, my goodness... get a grip.  IF, and its a big IF, KSA has that kind of shut in (and boy are we about to find out the TRUTH about all such claims) that they can flip a switch on it most certainly is not light and sweet, and it most certainly has not made its way to the markets. Please think of the shipping logistics.  I am getting peptic just writing this... the level of unhanded disinformation is just outrageous.)

We here in the U.S., and the rest of Oil importing West, are back on borrowed time. The Mother of ALL oil shocks is on its way, as the Mother of ALL political shocks is coming to Saudi Arabia.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

No Shame

The world is "outraged" by the violence of the Libyan government against its people.  Just "Horrified".

But not enough to boycott Libyan Oil... Or the Oil coming out of any other murderous, despotic regime.

Kill who you wish. Torture those you must. Just keep the Oil flowing.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011



Oil imports fall by 2 million barrels into the U.S., the U.S. trucking distribution system would break down. Ok, maybe its 2.5 or even 3 million barrels... but it is somewhere in there. Hoarding takes over, stores empty, government rationing begins, things get really f**** up.... and it will be very hard to stuff the shaving cream back in the can. Just imagine what happens to the financial markets. Then the public pension funds for state and local government employees... and tax collections of sales and property taxes... then California defaults, or no one shows up when certain states want to roll over their debt... I could go on, but I am starting to sound like a doomer...

What would it take for that to come to pass?  Not much, really. Algeria joins Libya in anarchy... and that just ain't that far removed from where these folks are at this very moment... Yemen and Iran convulse... now remind me again what Russia's incentive is to not hold back some Oil from the export market? Heck, the KSA does not even have to crack up and we can get there... and if they do, look the f***** out.

Nope... we really are in the soup. This really could happen. Of course, it could not happen, too... after all, somebody is taking the other side of the Long Oil trade... maybe the U.N. saves the day by enforcing a no fly zone over Libya and Algeria, the American Left parachutes into North Africa and proclaims "Change you can Believe In!", promising free healthcare, they hold hands with the mercenaries that killed over 1,000 Libyan citizens and sing "Kum Bi Ya" whilst their minions fan out across the country to convince the locals that all their problems will be solved if they will just recognize that American feminists have their best interests at heart and will demonstrate that with Oil funded Planned Parenthood clinics next to every mosque.  Hey... ya never know...

On the other hand, maybe Iran's maniacal regime sees the writing (hangman's noose) on the wall and attempts to deflect the people's will (rage) by engaging Israel in hostilities.... look, I'm an imaginative guy... I can paint what-if scenarios all day... the fact is that the situation has become fluid and really freaking dangerous... and nobody saw this coming what, 8 weeks ago? Imagine where we might be in 8 weeks from now.

This is pretty serious, and it can go either way. Do the Right Thing.

Warning! Warning! Oil Shock Threat Level: Red!

The world now has a major Oil exporter experiencing a shut down of production.  How much does Libya represent of the world export market? 2 to 3%? Losing just half of those exports could put prices for WTI up to $125... and this wave of political dissent sweeping the MENA is just getting going.

So what's next? 

If, and its a BIG IF, my assessment is somewhat correct and Algeria or Iran (or both) join Libya then Oil is well above $150, at least for a while, and the U.S. economy gets smushed... along with the stock market, the housing market, the banks, employment... because the rate of change is simply coming to fast for these markets to adjust.  Just think about what $150 Oil and 5% less of it means, for: FedEx, UPS, Ford, GM, GE, American Airlines, Boeing, etc...

I wouldn't buy a boat or a Winnebago at the moment, they will nearly free in the used market sometime soon... speaking of which... this would be an excellent moment to reflect on the theory that "the best things in life are free"...

The contraction in the economy this go around will be more dramatic than last time IF (BIG IF) the price of Oil stays high over a longer period of time.  In 2008, Oil spent a few months over $100... this might be somewhat different.

The political ramifications of this are significant, too.  Not just for Obama who simply won't survive it (unless the Republicans run Palin) but for all of the incumbent leaders in the West.  The good news is that we can finally end the debate with the Keynesians and the Tax & Spenders... they are very dead in all of this - only adults will remain, although many folks won't be happy about it.

And this is just the warm up... cause if the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia goes - Holy Smokes! Oil could easily top $300 per barrel, with retail gasoline about $10 per gallon... think about that. Snap! The end of everything you know in a matter of days... this would be an excellent time to do that which you think you should, as there will be no more warning for Saudi Arabia's implosion than there was for Libya's implosion.

More soon.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

PO now in the MSM

Watch this link at yahoo's tech ticker internet show.

Did you catch it? How do you like that?  The flippin' MSM is now speaking clearly about Peak Oil in the past tense.


Front Month Corn got creamed from its highs last night. Just whacked. I read with interest the attempts by certain political operatives to lay high grain prices on "climate change",  "global warming", or my favorite "global weirding". Not that I reject the science behind anthropogenic climate change... I don't. But if that was the culprit behind high crop prices then these markets would be in terrible Contango (much higher prices for later delivery months) when in fact these markets are in steep Backwardation (much lower prices for later delivery months).

For example: Front Month Corn (March 2011) is $6.71 per bushel tonight; Corn for December 2012 delivery is trading right now at $5.09. One would think that if the problem was climate change the December 2012 Corn would be somewhat higher than next month's $6.71.  Likewise, if the problem was all the Bernake Bucks being printed then December 2012 corn should be $6.71 plus the rate of expected inflation... but that's not the case. Ergo, something else is driving crop prices... that doesn't mean that markets don't f*** things up now and then.... they do... but you can't hang your hat on the market being wrong, any more than guessing next growing season's weather.


No regime in the MENA is safe.  All are in play, and any one of these can go off on a moment's notice. The peak in conventional crude production is almost certainly behind us, and the peak in exports is without any question (at least to my mind).  It then follows that the mother of all Oil shocks could come at anytime.


Recently, some high profile Peak Oil aware money managers postulated that perhaps the housing market had bottomed... something I said I was skeptical to agnostic about.  The most recent data supports my skepticism.  Just because the powers that be saved the U.S., an hence the world's, banking system from outright collapse does not mean that they have put the bottom into housing just yet. Housing prices, in the final analysis, will be determined as a multiple of average family income - no more, no less. To my mind, that would mean housing has not bottomed - especially if Oil has not topped.  Falling housing prices and rising oil prices may or may not be residents of the same coin... but they are certainly problematic for the banking industry... which probably has a bit of contracting left to do.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Muammar Gadhafi, exit stage Left...

3 Arab dictators in 2 months?  Seems darn likely. I doubt Gadhafi survives until the weekend if it proves true that he has used foreign mercenaries against his people and members of his officer corps have defected to Malta.

Front month Oil is up $8, and December 2012 is up over $5 to $102.50. I could be wrong but it would seem that we are back in that 2008 time warp...

The shorts on the commodities side are getting murdered... blood is everywhere.  10 year Treasuries are up 12 ticks, most of that is the US$.

The backwardation in Corn is pretty bad... whatever is up with crop prices, the market seems to expect a steep decline over the next 21 months - Front month corn is $7.15 and Dec '12 corn is $5.40.

Makes your head hurt.

Read this article on food supplies, harvests, and inventories... read the last paragraph twice. Maybe three times.  This is "a mystery, wrapped in a riddle, inside and enigma...."

Back to the convulsions in the MENA

There is simply no containing this thing. Saudi Arabia, Algeria, Iran... the train left the station, not sure of the arrival time....

An Oil shock can come at any time... but the odds of us getting one before the end of next year is pretty good.

Political Forecasting is Failure Prone

Political Forecasting is failure prone.... particularly in despotic regions like the Middle East and North Africa. Most of us following and commenting on this had visions of Yemen first, then maybe Algeria or Iran... Libya was not at the top of the list.

Oh, well.

That's the problem with forecasting... the future doesn't always cooperate.

6 or 7 years ago, upon becoming "peak oil aware", I really thought the argument about declining petroleum  production's effects on food supply in the short term had merit... then after research (and some experience running a small farm) I came to the conclusion that weather  would be the bigger issue (at least in the short term)... but in watching the MENA smolder and flame I am not so sure that fossil water isn't bigger than "Peak Oil" for much of the world, certainly MENA and China. I was well aware of the issues facing the U.S. and the Ogallala Aquifer, but did not make the leap that other fossil water sources are similarly impacted.

In my experience events never unfold as predicted.  Yet unfold they do. Oil for front month delivery is up $5 and December is up nearly $3.50. Several posts ago I mused that the jerks getting over on the rest of us via the "Homeland Security" budget were trying to scare the sh#! out of the electorate... and that they needed somebody, somewhere to blow something up... and that Al Quada is getting swept aside by a tidal wave in the MENA... I didn't think these regimes would last a couple of years, and certainly not the decade... well, at the pace this is coming I'd say that 50/50 its all over by Christmas.... and even if it is, the Homeland Security folks will find a new "enemy" we need to spend $800 Billion a year worrying about.

If you read the first link listed above you will see that somebody is "expecting" the Middle East to experience a doubling of the population in 30 years... WTF is that somebody smoking?  Where is the water and food going to come from? China? They have no water. The U.S.? We will be a wheat importer in a decade or so... (I should point out that I do not believe that "climate" is the threat. There is a BIG difference between climate and weather.  Yet in all of the doomer posts I read these folks simply can't let the climate change shot pass by... read this excellent post by Stu Staniford on why the climate change pitch is a non-starter... I agree with Stuart... food prices are high, grain inventories are low, and we can hypothesize all we want... but nothing in the data supports the "climate change" story as the culprit. On the other hand, the graph at the beginning of the article, while showing clearly the fallacy of the climate argument would argue that a very unfortunate weather year would have a huge impact, given that inventories are so very low... and given that inventories of both corn and wheat, and now soybeans (and I must say that I do not follow that crop and inventory like I do corn and wheat for reasons I am not sure of), are low would suggest that its not acreage (deciding which crop to plant) issue but something else... exactly what I have no idea. Being a blogger, I am always happy to provide a hypothesis, but would prefer to wait for more data (as in next year's crop and weather!)).

How the price of food and oil are balanced is the $64,000 question, and they could easily be balanced as to be very satisfactory to their respective producers, but for those that see cheap food as a right somewhat like cheap oil that outcome is going to be somewhat less than satisfying. Farmers are going to be the next group the Left hates.... cause they are going to make an awful lot of money with corn and wheat at $25 to $50 per bushel.  I can just see it now...

Egypt was small potatoes next to Libya, and Libya is medium potatoes compared to Algeria and Iran, who are in turn altogether about the potato that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is....

Anybody that thinks KSA doesn't convulse badly just ain't paying attention.

An Oil shock could come at any time.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Newton's Law's

Today's Quote:

"LAW III To every action there is always opposed an equal reaction." - Sir Isaac Newton

The U.S. is the world's grain bank. For now (read this from the USDA regarding wheat. Wheat is a very different product from corn in that corn is primarily an animal feed and wheat is primarily grown to feed people). The U.S. went from exporting nearly 60% of its wheat several decades ago to 20 to 30%, and really closer to 20% with a couple year coming in the top of the band (notice the quote "over the past decade, U.S. wheat exports have exceeded 30 million metric tons only twice"). Net exports must be adjusted 2.5% (as the U.S. imports some wheat) making the accurate U.S. wheat export percentage of the crop 17.5% - 27.5%.

Given U.S. population growth how much longer will the U.S. be a wheat exporter? If everything goes perfectly, with no droughts or heat waves or crop disease, somewhere between 10 and 15 years.


While the U.S. has greater flexibility in corn, that is only true if the U.S. gives up flexibility in ethanol. U.S. can increase corn exports or for use in human consumption at anytime it wishes to - the trade off is less transportation fuel.  How much less? Up to nearly 1 million barrels per day.  So the U.S. won't be going hungry any time soon based on food supply (not making any calculation for the fact that 40+ Billion need government assistance to buy food now) though prices could rise significantly... unless there is something else that throws a monkey wrench into the system... like a sever fuel shortage that severely impacted the trucking food distribution model.

(Corn has some other issues. As a "heavy feeders" of soil nutrients, corn cannot be grown on the same ground year after year irrespective of how much fertilizer is applied. After 3 successive years of corn on the same ground (farmers call 2 years "corn after corn" and 3 years "corn after corn after corn") the yield per acre in the 3rd year is often down by 1/3 from year 1.)

I see the problem as more of an economic threat/risk than physical threat/risk here in the U.S. Real economic growth will absolutely/positively cease at peak world population (or shortly thereafter) in my opinion. Population either grows or contracts - nothing remains constant - ergo if it isn't growing it will be contracting (and that is dynamic, with ebbs and flows like waves) and if you think economic policy has been fraught with problems and risks of late just imagine what it will be like with a sustained decline in population.

More soon.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Mutually Exclusive Events

A couple posts back I mentioned that the financial system was in much better shape than I thought possible... but just because I said I was impressed with Bernake and Paulson's outcome, does not mean that I think the coast is clear.

The new Congress is failing. And failing badly.  The savings they engineered from the budget this week is less than the government's weekly deficit spending.  We needed something drastic. We got something boring.

There is a big difference between keeping the banks, grocery stores, and gas stations open and putting the U.S. on fiscally sound footing.  I never said the later was happening... I said I was impressed that things were not much, much worse, and gave credit where credit is due. The Treasury and the Federal Reserve react to the policy coming out of our elected branches of government. Blaming the guys that run these departments for the sh#! their bosses do is unreasonable.  It is successive U.S. Congress' and Administrations that have failed us. It would be better if the Federal Reserve did not exist... but last time I checked it is the law of the land.

I see the connection between interest rates and budget deficits - our deficits are so high that a 1% increase in interest rates increases the budget deficit by $100 BILLION - every freaking year. I do not necessarily make the connection to what is going on in the Agricultural commodities, the grains, the softs, and the meats to monetary policy or even QE2.  I mean, perhaps it is.... but WTF is up with grain inventories? Either we can't count and the harvests were not what they were purported, or we consumed a great deal more than the population increase and ethanol production would seem to indicate... but something is f*%$ed up.  The the near/front month contracts for the grains market have gone ballistic - 2 to 3 months before we get the corn crop in the ground (wheat is planted in the fall)... so there is no way they have advanced knowledge of next year's crop... I suspect that someone (or one or more countries) is quite concerned about their domestic inventories and are distressed that if something goes wrong with this summer/fall harvest they will wind up like old Uncle Hosni.

The world needs perfect weather in the grain growing regions.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Corn and Wheat going for broke

Corn closed up 3% today. Wheat up another 2%. Silver blasted up 4% to a new all time high - so much for my print day theory on Silver... but back to food and energy.

Farmers the world over are being given every freaking incentive possible to plant corn, beans, and wheat right up to their wive's flower boxes.  The old saying "the cure for high commodity prices is high prices" will be put to the test pretty severely.  I have no idea how to calculate the world crop system other than to look at prices, production, consumption, and inventory, and given world grain inventories were down (consumption was greater than production) in 7 of the past 11 years tells me that last year's inventory drop might not be a once in a lifetime event.

There are several feed back loops at work here. Oil is in short supply, so the U.S. uses its corn crop to make up for the short fall in gasoline... causing prices to rise, and ranchers to slaughter cattle, and the price increases in corn cause Egypt's underclass to revolt, which spreads to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia/Algeria/Iran whoever, causing U.S. Oil imports to decline further putting more pressure on corn and ethanol prices....

I could do that a number of different ways... but you get the idea.

This is one of those things that is impossible to improve thru policy response, me thinks, although certain groups are sure to take a stab at it... the unintended consequences of forcing a "no corn for ethanol because its food" thing might well set off more sickness than the original disease.  I need to noodle it a bit more... It seems to me it is a personal problem requiring micro solutions or at least micro contingencies.

Housing, Oil, Weather, Water, & Food

Today's Quote -

“There’s no room for error anymore .With any weather issues, we’re going to make new all-time highs in corn and soybeans, and to a lesser degree, wheat futures. The pressure is acute, in terms of planting fence row to fence row, and really getting the message out to farmers that they need to be planting up their front yards." - Dan Basse, president of AgResouce Co.


You simply must take your hat off to Ben Bernake and the Federal Reserve AND Hank Paulson.  Considering the disaster within the banking system that Bernake walked into his results have been outstanding. No, we are not going back to cash out re-fi's... but that's not the point (and yes, I know life is extremely unfair and that people who deserved to fail were bailed out and were maintained in their establishment position by our government... but that is a far better outcome than Martial Law, some thing we were mere days from back in 2008). Nor am I suggesting that housing has bottomed as some of the folks over at "The Daily Reckoning" are... I am agnostic to skeptical about that thought... and it WAS/IS bad, and it was/is painful for folks still unemployed... but back in 2008 I thought it was going to be a great deal worse. When the data changes you gotta make adjustments, irrespective of what you thought was the case previously. Reality doesn't give a good fart about what I thought.

Ergo, hat tip to Bernake and Paulson.

The Housing finance cluster f**k was made by man, and could be fixed by man. During the height of the collapse of the housing finance market the ensuing economic contraction took the pressure off of Oil prices, and during that time Nat Gas production did not collapse as expected (but contrary to media and popular opinion, there is no glut in Nat Gas... Nat Gas inventories are below their 5 year average because of the "cold winter"). I define "economic growth" as population gains, monetary inflation and net per capita productivity increase (after all if 100 steel workers are replaced by 10 workers and robotics and the other 90 do not find productive work it is hard to argue for a net per capita increase in productivity). In fact, "economic growth" will remain, in my humble opinion, for as long as we have population gains (if all else remains constant... and nothing ever remains constant).

It has been postulated that economic growth is dependent upon ever expanding Oil production, and I think that to be a reasonable assertion. Here's another wrinkle: Population growth is dependent upon food supply growth, something that is at least somewhat questionable. Financial markets are governed by the same demographic laws that govern Medicare and Social Security. Can industrial food production be increased by 1.2% per year indefinitely? It didn't happen this year.  In fact, while world population did expand at roughly 1.2% at a time when food production declined by several percent I assert that the only reason that that was possible was world grain inventories were drawn down; but that was a "one off". We cannot borrow grain and cattle and dairy from the future like we do money.  In fact, inventories are so low that the coming world harvest must expand by some factor or world population decrease will occur.  Its just physics. Of course, it is more likely than not the harvest will be what we need it to be (if that makes you feel any better).

Ergo, housing is no longer the issue, and perhaps it never was... perhaps it only covered up the very real issues of food, water, and oil.

Yours for a better world!


P.S. Corn and Wheat prices are up over 1% this morning.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Food, Weather, Prepping, and Oil...

Corn closed just under $7 per bushel. Wheat - just under $8.50 per bushel.

"Killer Cows" in the Southeast are $.75 to $1.00 per pound (a "Killer Cow" is a breeding female that has lived past the point of diminishing returns in the calve to feed ratio and is slaughtered and sold for "cheap meat", as opposed to sliced meats from a young, healthy steer), up from $.42 per pound last spring.

I cannot remember this happening before... that is, when the price of corn goes up, farmers and ranchers tend to over-slaughter, and that has traditionally caused meat prices to fall because meat is a "sell it or smell it" commodity. Today's market is giving a tremendous incentive to over-slaughter: high prices for meat and high costs for feed.  Problem is, who is going to calve next spring? The U.S. cattle herd continues to shrink to levels not seen in decades, and while higher slaughter weights have made up for headcount, that won't be true if grain prices keep heading north.

At this point, it is ALL about the weather. G-d forbid, the U.S. corn and wheat belt have a bad harvest and one other major region, say Ukraine this summer or Argentina next winter, and the world will be in a universe of hurt.  It is all the weather. I always link people to the heatwave and drought of 1936. That weather pattern brought us "The Grapes of Wrath". If that type of weather pattern were to befall the U.S. grain crop this year it would be a significantly bigger disaster, because inventories are so very low.  If it happened 2 years in a row, that disaster would be biblical. Or Hollywoodish.

World food prices have now eclipsed 2008's run up, and have left Egypt and Tunisia upended. The big Asian population centers are completely addicted to fossil water - and that resource is literally drying up. There are many more political implications to this story than even Oil.

While I occasionally poke fun at the doomers, I think if you are not a prepper you don't have an appreciation for probability theory.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

A Nation of Child Abusing Whiners

What Abortion, the Wars, Medicare, Social Security, the War on Drugs and police encounter killings tell us about ourselves.

Follow the money. Just follow the money. If you do, you will see that we have become a nation of self-absorbed hypocrites, child abusers, and whiners.

How so?

Look at the way our society apportions resources. Our confiscatory tax policy, the proceeds of which we distribute to the old, absolutely assures our abortion culture (no resources available to help/incentivize women to have their baby), assures our outrageous military expenditure (must enforce US$ hegemony to continue the outrageous and unconscionable spending on the old age social programs), and even the War on Drugs and fractional reserve banking system (an effort to keep young people's nose to the grind stone and loaded up with debt).

I vehemently oppose the Welfare State as it is presently configured here in the U.S. Just look at the thing! Instead of helping women to have the babies our society so desperately needs, our Welfare State helps elderly people to remain disengaged and unproductive, and dis-incentivizes them to maintain their health, and doing so cost's 10X+ what providing for young families in need would cost.  Before you freak out, think about that for a minute.  If you oppose abortion, you must be prepared for the consequences of that - babies and young children and mothers taking care of young children. If their families/husbands/fathers are unable to perform the function of providing for the mother and child then society must. If not, you can count on an abortion. It is pretty simple, really. The "Welfare State" will need to exist, just not for the benefit of the elderly.

Now, take a look at the state of the American nuclear family. For 40 years the MSM and the liberal university establishment has maintained a steady attack on the model that brought mankind out of muck and mire... why? Because they have no children of their own. Call it what you will - the Liberal Birth Dearth or Liberal Baby Bust - has left this special interest group with little choice. If your special interest group does not expand via procreation, by mathematical and demographic necessity, you will need to recruit.  And you will need propaganda in order to accomplish your recruiting needs, and you will need government interference to destroy the family. Look what we got in return: Divorce law evolved to incentivize women to divorce; that gave us a generation of men unwilling to marry as well as the pre-nuptual agreement, and an  exploding population of unwed, and unsupported, mothers. Nice shot!

(Let me share with you my anecdotal experience... I have close friends and relatives in the Orthodox Jewish community. They are very conservative politically, and they tend to have large families (3 or more children). I also have close friends in the liberal reformed Jewish community. Many have no children, with 1 child being extremely common, 2 children some what less so but still a good portion, and I can think of very few 3 children families.  Just look at the demographics in Israel. In a couple of generations there will be few non-orthodox Israelis remaining. And note how the Orthodox reject military service; if you want to breed your way to the dominant position, no point in getting killed in war!)

And recruit they do! And because they do not have enough votes themselves, these people co-opt other voting special interest groups. Since those under 18 can't vote, and those 18 to 25 either don't vote or do not do so cohesively precisely because of the influence exerted on this age group in the Liberal Media and university system, the progressives pander to the AARP (disclosure: my 50th birthday is behind me) set who have proven only too willing to force their daughters and granddaughters into the abortion clinics and their son's and grandson's into the military, because it is their only source of employment, if that's what it takes to keep the Social Security checks coming. America has no problem with thousands of abortions everyday... but talk about curtailing "end of life care" expenditures for the terminally ill elderly and you'll have thousands upon thousands of "Q-tips" marching with walkers on Washington. So much for the "Greatest Generation".

The U.S. spends nearly a $1 Trillion, and costs young people thousands of young lives and limbs, on a military designed to maintain US$ hegemony and to protect the flow of petroleum to the U.S.  Why? Because our financial and social program system would implode without it. Once again, where is all the money spent? On questionable medical care for the elderly as well as their monthly stipend from the collection of tributes to the empire... and on the military necessary to enforce it.

Yes, we have some throwaway programs: HeadStart, No Child Left Behind... BULL SH#!.  We are a bunch of Old Farts stealing money from young families and babies, encouraging the murder of the unborn, the death and mayhem of War, and the violation of our Constitution in our FUBAR War on Drugs, and we arrived at this deplorable state of affairs because the Left, beginning in earnest with the unintended consequences of FDR's Great Society programs, was demographically challenged and needed to co-opt votes by pandering.

The most outrageous thing about all of this was that the outcome was never in question. The people that came up with these programs were highly educated and intelligent people and fully understood the mathematics of free money social programs... but they did it anyway.

Is it Legal? Yep.

Is it Ethical? NAFC.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Governments Don't Kill, People Do

It has been an eventful week... and I am a bit behind on my musings... but stay with me as I meander around as I have a great deal swirling around upstairs...

Egypt has turned over its totalitarian government, and the West fears Al Queda? Or the Muslim Brotherhood?

Egypt's government got caught in The WEB! And it happened even though these folks existed under a very strict censorship of the Web.  Islamic Radicalism cannot survive the Web any more than Radical Liberalism at elite U.S. universities, double talking politicians, petty rip-off-artists, and myriad other FOS sorts. Its just not possible! These phenomenon required the control of the flow of information and that just AIN'T gonna happen anymore in places with access to the Web.

In the short term, certain regimes are perhaps going to be able to restrict access to the Web... but not for long. For a number of reasons: technical - people will come up with technology that will by pass the censors; Economic - by doing so they are putting their society at a competitive disadvantage.

What has begun in Tunisia and Egypt will eventually sweep away the balance of the totalitarian regimes - EVEN CHINA.  Maybe it takes a few years, maybe even a decade... but not a lifetime.  And maybe its all over in a couple of years.  Think about what the Web has done to the West in the last decade.

And Osama Bin Laden? He's an Old Fart, and Al Queda is yesterday's news (murder via "terrorism" existed before Al Queda and will exist long after they have gone). The Muslim world is youthful (somebody should point out how that came to pass and what it means to the West's ruling class of childless and single offspring power couples... and what it means to their sensibilities... while the privileged young of the West were busy studying "women's studies" and "Gay history" their counter parts in the Muslim world were having babies... no babies, no culture... lots of babies, dominant culture... why is this politically incorrect to point out? ). The future belongs to the young. While the West was concerning itself with Gay marriage

(which I absolutely do not oppose; people should be free to make what contracts they will - self-determination is not a sometime thing... that does not mean its an important issue for the continuance of our culture... because it simply is not... it might be important to Gay people... but in the final analysis Gay people tend to not reproduce in meaningful numbers, and producing children and raising them to be good people is requirement NUMERO UNO in ANY and EVERY culture... if you doubt this, just ask a Shaker. Oh, can't find one? That's because they did not believe in sex and procreation.)

the Muslim world was putting babies on the ground. These babies have now grown up, and with the assistance of the Web have become educated, and have taken down 2 despotic regimes in as many months. Somehow, I do not see them wishing to live in societies with the equivalent of the Nazi S.S. walking around and chopping off hands and heads, shooting women in soccer stadiums over their dress code, stoning, and some of the other niceties associated with Fundamentalist theocracies... but, hey... what do I know.

Now the folks back home in the West that benefit from all of the money spent on Homeland Security here in the U.S. and its equivalent programs elsewhere are FREAKING out right now.  Between the federal deficit and the potential for democracy... well, they desperately need somebody, somewhere to blow something up, or else their budgets are going to get cut, their department will get closed down, and they will have to gain meaningful employment in honest toil... something they have never known.

Still, the Old Fart Bin Laden and the Old Farts here in the West are locked in a death grip over something (Oil and its accompanying wealth) that won't last another human lifetime in any event. And it is killing and maiming and mauling the few young people that our culture has been able to produce.

In my previous post I laid out my argument why abortion should not be debated as a legal issue and that it should be debated as an ethical issue.  I think I can make the same case for ending the Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and not starting any new wars and closing the far flung military empire that the U.S. has cobbled together and bringing our citizens/military personnel HOME.

War is legal. So what? What does that have to do with the ETHICS of war? Is it ethical to drop a 500 pound bomb from an aircraft on a house that a member of the Taliban has taken up refuge? What about the other people in the home?  And look... I am not naive... the battle in Afghanistan is all about nuclear Pakistan... I get it. The number of lives lost as a result of a nuclear event coming out of Pakistan, both directly and indirectly would be in the millions... that does not make the killing of Afghan civilians any less unethical. Nor does killing them even the score for 9/11... revenge never works - and it never ends.

Let us take the killings of Americans at the hands of Law Enforcement over drugs. Is it legal? Yep. Is it ethical? You would have to be out of your freaking mind.  Americans are killed in "police encounters" every day. Such encounters would never have occurred absent our insane drug policy, and whenever police kill unarmed Americans they have a handy excuse - "drugs were found at the scene". This is one of those times where I think I am the only normal person left. Let's think this through, shall we? We have people, Americans, willing to go to work for the Government and kill people via hemorrhagic shock/trauma (that's what shooting somebody does, and it is a horrible way to die) for simply possessing a particular chemical or plant matter... and for those that they do not kill, these government employees (I hate the word "Agent". It makes Law Enforcement personnel sound as if they were bred by the government and are a breed apart, when in fact these are people just like you and me...)  are willing to torture these people in our Gulags for decades, long past the point that these people could be any threat to anyone, but occasionally releasing them after assuring that they are suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder while they are still young enough to do some real harm.

Does that make any f&*^%ing sense at all?  Really??!! (And if it does make sense to you, I really have to question your humanity.)

The Left gets this one. Let me ask you folks on the Right.... WWJD?? Would He suggest that police encounter killings over drugs are acceptable in G-d's sight?  I rather f&$##ing doubt it, but I am all ears. Fill me in. Set me straight.

Now let me set you straight. "He who lives by the sword, dies by the sword". Matthew 26:52. This includes any and all people willing to kill or harm for any reason. The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.

Economic interests. National interests.

This is another one that makes me nuts. Whenever I hear "protecting American interests" I become deeply, deeply suspicious, because they never seem to be talking about rescuing an American hiker lost in the Andes... no, its usually about about killing people over "economic interests"; or more simply, killing people for money.  Is that what a nation "under G-d" does? It kills for money? Absolutely. Is it Legal? Yep.

Is it ethical? NAFC.

And as I said before... I am NOT naive... nor a strict pacifist... there are some evils that should rightly be be destroyed (Nazi Germany comes to mind... but Dresden? Come on...). These do not include killing for convenience (abortion), killing for money (economic interests), or killing for the sake of exerting power (police encounter killings).

"Thou shalt not KILL". WTF is so hard to understand about that?

Thursday, February 10, 2011

A Political Debate

This post has nothing to do with Oil, Nat Gas, Egypt, or the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

I am reposting a discussion I recently had with some friends of a friend on FaceBook. My friend is a "progressive", as are her friends. I believe that all concerned live on Cape Cod, Mass., a bastion of progressive and Gay populations.

I am very much am seeking comment on my position on the ethical question I posed... and I think the conversation is very, very telling... perhaps you will, too. It is somewhat long and involved, but my bet is thinking people here will find it worth their time.


My friend posted on FaceBook:

"2/10th of the taxes I pay go towards abortions of rape victims. 53 % of my taxes go towards killing and maiming people that are out of the womb. I would rather 53 % of my tax money go towards helping people raise and educate our children and I will happily keep funding abortions for victims of the violent physical and psychological crime of rape."

The following is the debate that followed:

First person:

"Politicians want live babies so they can raise them to be dead soldiers"-George Carlin

Second Person:

Rachel Maddow was talking about this tonight...the fact that the "small, non invasive government" crowd a la the Republifascitsteabaggers want to use the government to control what a a woman does with her body is pretty revealing about what their real agenda is.


Me thinks these do not equate... and Second Person, the "her body" argument? Soooooo before DNA science... just check the DNA.... it AIN'T her body... and Maddow? Brilliant, charismatic, and eloquent... and deeply, deeply troubled.

Second Person:

Sorry Greg, not buying the whole argument of it's not her body but, that wasn't the point I was trying to make...I was pointing out that the teabaggers are FINE with expanding government and government control as long as it's for what they want. Historical fact: Since Reagan Government has grown more under every Republican administration than under any democratic administration.


Steve: Can you define that claim of growth for me? Data please.
And you don't have to buy anything... simply pointing out the science... the DNA does not match, ergo in ain't her body, its somebody else's.

Not that it matters... I will share with you some accurate demographic data: The Progressive movement is done; you can stick a fork in it. People tend to grow into much the same as the environment they come from... pro-abortion folks have fewer babies to leave a political legacy with than pro life people

2nd Person

I'll dig the data up and again, the point isn't about the discussion of when life begins, it's about using government assets when it's convenient but decrying their use when it doesn't suit


In essence, or in the final analysis, the Progressives demolished themselves and are quickly joining the Shakers in the "interesting but extinct" category

I am a Libertarian! We don't do any of that stuff! We also don't BS ourselves...
2nd Person:, so this is the right wing's final solution? let me poke a hole in your reality there Greg...I was raised by VERY conservative, right wing parents...I'm a SCREAMING liberal now...must be that whole separate genetic material thing you were mentioning...

so, do you like Rand Paul? Just curious cuz he claims to be a libertarian, but he's perfectly willing to use government intervention when it suits him


Steve.... that's what's called a "hasty conclusion". Remember the famous lefty that, after Nixon's election said "I don't understand it. Everybody I know voted for McGovern".

Steve: And your Conservative family? Most Gay men are Progressives. Half of them, unscientifically, come from non-progressive families

2nd Person:

btw, on what medical basis are you making the assumption that she doesn't have the right to choose what to do with that extra mass?


i didn't say she didn't have the "right". I said it was not her body

And in short order, there won't be many people of her stripe left

2nd Person:

hmmm so, you are OK with abortion?


Not at all. But I am not willing to use government thugs to enforce my position

I feel the same about drugs, prostitution....

2nd Person:

ah, so you don't support the idea of the goverment dictating what a woman can do with her body


Not even a little bit. What's that have to do with the ethics of abortion?

Politicizing acts hasn't been that effective.... that does not make them particularly positive for either the individual or society.

But the larger point is this: Darwinism! If one group practices abortion, and another does not... it won't take long for one to breed the other out of existence.

The 54 million or so abortions since Roe v Wade have DOOMED your side of the aisle. There just aren't enough Gay people born to non-abortion populations to make up for the population loss via abortion

Let's take a demographic example... say the Supreme Court of the U.S. 5 conservative Justices have 18 children. The 4 Liberals? TOgether have just 2. See a pattern here?

Well, it appears you have lost interest in this... too bad, just getting interesting. I stand corrected: Justice Bryer has 3 children, not 2.

New Guy, 3rd Person:

I'm confused: when did scientists discover the ideology gene? I missed that discovery. Is it a dominant or recessive gene? Okay, I'm being flip, but i don't see how we can use science to demonstrate that conservatives breed conservatives and liberals breed liberals.


Tom: No need to be flip... I enjoy a proper co-examination of the facts with a fellow thinking person... though I do thoroughly reject debating anything with "true believers"...

My assertion is simple: The Liberal Birth Dirth/Baby Bust whatever term of art you prefer is really not up for debate... you can use google as well as I.

Which groups have the highest birth rates? Amish, Orthodox Jews, Observant Catholics, Observant Muslims come to mind... groups highly uncorrelated with progressive political thought...

And the lowest birth rates? Members of the Board of NOW, Liberal Supreme Court Justices (and members of Congress and Senate), Gays.

The 55 million abortions since Roe V Wade has decimated the demographics of groups whose members accept abortion as a viable option.

Its just math Tom. I assert that Its the reason Progressives DESPERATELY need to addict certain segments of society to dependency on social programs as a means of controlling their vote - on their own the progressives simply don't have the votes... and in fact will not have them again in my lifetime... The fastest growing minority groups? Hispanics and Asians... two groups not highly correlated to progressive policies.

Now I think you asserted that there is no correlation between parent/child political/religious beliefs? If so, I would streneously disagree... but feel free to show me data showing that the majority of children to do not evolve into the same socio/economic/political/r

eligious groups as their parents and families.

I reject the politicization of abortion... what does that have to do with the ETHICS of abortion? In the end DNA wins all wars... those who breed, succeed.

It is difficult to even have a conversation about these issues as it seems that people have internalized them and that they are no longer up for debate... at such times, violence is substituted for politics... something to be avoided, if I may make use of understatement.

And just because I make an assertion that is an anathema to someone does not make my assertion incorrect. Likewise, just because I am ugly and my mother dresses me funny doesn't mean I am not intelligent. Yet is seems TO ME that the response from progressives when challenged on the issues is Ad Hominem attacks and eye rolling gestures.

My assertion: the 55 million abortions since Roe V Wade have harmed the demographics of the progressives infinitely more than their opponents.

Feel free to counter. I would enjoy the discussion.

3rd Person:

What i asserted is that there is no DNA-based scientific equivalence between the parent-child religious beliefs. Your point the separation between the existence of the fetus and its mother is rooted in DNA evidence. It sounded like the same was being applied to population. My mistake if that's not the case; your argument is more about the basic facts of numbers, not genetics. I will accept your numbers regarding the population growths, though I am dubious about the Amish (they've been driven out of Lancaster County, that's for sure), and I think that with certain populations you mention it's a matter of picking and choosing in terms of political views. Hispanics, as Catholics, may be opposed to abortion, but ask them about Arizona's new laws and it's hard to call them conservative. And even again, Hispanics in one part of the country are more conservative than others broadly speaking. The same might hold of Muslims as well: conservative on abortion but not on the PATRIOT act. (Broad statements here, yes.)

Birth rates are also connected to education and income levels, not just political views.

Politics and ethics of abortion have always been intertwined. Laws forbidding abortion were passed by people not born with wombs and never faced with the implications of pregnancy. Institutions had to make statements on the issue based often on their values but also on ideology. Those who sought legal abortion recognized that women and girls were dying because they did not have legal access to abortion -- either because they tried unsafe procedures or because they committed suicide in despair. Once Roe v. Wade was passed, the politics of abortion went into full swing. It often seems like the only question that matters to Senators during Supreme Court confirmation hearings is, "where are you on Roe v. Wade"? Science is not immune to the political issues.

I do agree that too often we go into personalized attacks in public discourse -- though again, even the acknowledgment of this, I can explain the kind of shoutfests that exists based on my understanding of broadcast media history of the last forty years and my ideological viewpoints. I will be fair and say that you've given me something to chew over.

I do think that SECOND PERSON was making a separate point that probably does not apply to your ideas and views, exactly: what we deem as acceptable government spending is often driven by ideology. Conservatives don't want government to regulate business but they are fine with censorship. Conservatives don't want to fund abortion but bombing Iraqi citizens is okay, as is the death penalty. McGovern's point was general, of course: the Catholic Church opposes both the death penalty and abortion -- and one of JP II's last public statements as Pope was to condemn the invasion of Iraq. Liberals are fine with regulating guns but not fine with restriction access to abortion or teaching Creationism in public schools. and once again, facts are put aside and ideology reins.


Tom: I certainly was NOT making any connection between DNA and political beliefs... only that the fetus is not the woman's body, just check the DNA... take that for what you will.

The Amish represent a population of over 250,000 individuals, and are spread far and wide... this from 5,000 individuals 1 century ago... I have written extensively on the Amish at my blog. The explosion ins population of certain orthodox or fundamentalist religious groups is hardly up for debate. BTW, I am as secular as one could possibly be...

No question that hispanics are not of one mindset on the ideological spectrum... but there is clearly but one reason why they have surpassed blacks as the most numerous ethnic minority... and that is certainly not abortion.

I was not debating Roe v Wade. I refuse to politicize abortion. Some people believe that abortion is a legitimate option... I think they are out of their freaking minds, are self-absorbed, lack maturity and vision, and lack something deep within their character - and still I would not even consider the use government thugs on them. In this matter I am a "true believer"... and there is no point in debating a true believer....

"Laws are passed by people without a womb"... Laws are passed by adults that harm children to no end... medicare, social security, war, abortion... I find your assertion to be rooted in your association with those sharing your belief system - and you should find the same thing true in me.

My great grandmother was a well known radical in the woman's suffrage movement in the New York in the early part of the 20th century, and worked as a detective for then Chief of Police Theodore Roosevelt... she then lectured against the Feminist movement, saying they had overstepped their raison d'etre. every special interest group outlives its purpose and usefulness, and then begins to function only to perpetuate its existence...

I maintain my assertion: Progressives will join Shakers in the "interesting but extinct" group. Abortion and Gay Marriage are simply not issues that can sustain a special interest group for long. People die, and will straight couples will continue to create Gay offspring, those that abort will not create Progressive offspring.


Tom: Sorry I just read your next comment.

The "conservatives" are just as dead as the progressives. I publish a well followed blog here:


There MILLIONS of folks in my camp - reject abortion, death penalty, Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as SS/Medicare/Medicaid?Foods

tamps/military spending... please don't lump us all in with the Social Control Conservatives (and I won't lump you in with the social control Liberals).

I don't know your background, but if you have any training in math I rest all of my assertions for the above on "e"

otherwise known as (1 +1/n) to the n.... you likely know it as the equation that governs compound interest.

Here's a link:


4th Person:

It would be nice if most tax money went to education.

5th Person:

mmhmm – 4th Person-- I hope you might consider spreading the word about the screening of Consuming Kids-- Free at Willy's Eastham at 7 Pm --
discussion to follow. If you do consider-- plz send me yr email so I can send you a flyer.


This has been a substantive thread... still, given the makeup of Diana's friend's list, I had hoped for more commentary and rational discussion. It seems that once the politicization of abortion is abandoned and the issue has to stand or fall on the ethics, it falls, and the progressive argument fails, utterly.

I look forward to a counter to that assertion, rather than a one liner about budgets that may or may not be accurate.

And with the unsupportable ethics of the issue, the balance of the progressive position collapses utterly.

This would be an excellent time for progressives to evolve to that higher state of Libertariansim!

I would also assert that the Right to Life movement has the progressive movement in the palm of its hands... and does not realize it. If that movement were to abandon the political enforcement of their core belief, and use the proper tool - ethics - the progressives would be immediately removed from nearly all political discussion.

Think about it: Once the "right" to abortion is no longer contested... how does the progressive movement respond to the ethics charge? That abortion is somehow a higher minded calling, like feeding the hungry? I am trying to remain composed... but it is amusing to think about...

Any thinking people on the progressive side wish to comment? I am ALL EARS.

And, please, let us remain germane to the discussion... this is usually the point where one hears "Oh, yea? Well, what about Iraq?" We are not discussing Iraq, though you would find me in complete agreement on that issue... or the death penalty, anther issue you would find me to completely oppose on ethical grounds.


I have not heard back from anyone... I will post any further discussion.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Wikileaks and Saudi Oil

Boy, this one story is getting around the Web pretty quick.

And here.

Not that Oil is responding to it - Yet - but its hard to ignore.

Its Good to be King

I've got Spring time on the brain... and I am looking forward to working in my garden the way my late dog T-Bone used to look forward to her morning walk... I am practically running in place.  Here's a shot of peach blossom's on my farm from a couple Spring's past...

TPTB must be sitting back in AWE of how well the last couple of years turned out. In F&*&ing AWE!!

Even with Oil knocking on the door, and the bond market taking a dump...  The fact is that the U.S financial system was literally near death, and not only did these guys pull it out, but the US$ has not been terribly harmed.  This is the primary benefit of having the world's largest military enforcing US$ hegemony (and no viable alternative).  Look, I am no fan of empire, because I think in the long run it is a really, really bad idea... but you gotta "give the devil his due".  I know things are bad for a lot of folks... but things really could have been much, much worse.

Housing can still put the U.S. back in recession, but not as long as we run 10% of GDP deficits and nobody sells the US$.  You know that Animal Planet show "I'm Alive"? The U.S. economy should be a headline story.

How long will the world tolerate U.S. 10% Deficit to GDP? I can't imagine much longer.... but just to have gotten here is far beyond the expectations of even those running the joint down at the Fed.

It is ALL about Oil, once again.

Actually, no. That's not true. It is all about Oil and healthcare and military spending.

Read this article. I have no medical training (unless you consider some first-responder courses I took 30 years ago) but I do understand statistical and data analysis as well as the next self-educated-white-trash sort... there is so much that can be unwound from our silly make-you-sick industry that it really might not be all that hard to do. Excepting, maybe, the politics.

Back surgery? No help. Prostate surgery? Even less help. Statins? No better than baby aspirin statistically. Cancer treatments? Hundreds and hundreds of other people's $$$$ spent per patient to extend lives by days and weeks... and so sick you wish you were among the dearly departed.  I wouldn't buy a healthcare stock at gun point.  These guys are freaking doomed. Medical school, once a sure thing, might become a very, very chancy bet.

As the data comes in and we find out that most medical treatments advanced since the discovery of sulfa drugs and anti-biotics (in the 1930's) did not extend lives very much, if at all, we (read government) are going to be under pressure to make some serious adjustments.

In the micro, people that walk 4 miles per day as fast as they possibly can and eat a well balanced diet are making a much better investment over working at a desk and commuting in exchange for "health benefits"(and dying before their time)... real health benefits will turn out to be the time to walk/exercise and to cook at home.

But that doesn't sell drugs, pay physicians, and collect taxes.


The disgusting way in which the Left tried to sabotage the Tea Party has still failed to come up with one racist or violent incident.... but not for lack of trying.


Lest you thought those links I provided recently about Law Enforcement personnel here in South Florida were statistical "one off's".... and in each case, these guys come away with much better penal outcomes than non LEO's.  Simply a disgrace.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Hillary's Got it Right

You might not know it, considering some of the rhetoric I use, but I think the one shinning star of the Obama Administration is Hillary Clinton at State.  Those who have been reading me for a while know that if I were a Democrat, it would have been Hillary Clinton that I would have voted for in the primary. I also feel the Dems did her wrong in 2008, and the Dems are paying the price now.

That said, here's Hillary covered at the Christian Science Monitor leveling a veiled warning to the House of Saud... YOUR DAYS ARE NUMBERED:

Speaking from a security conference in Munich, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton warned of a "perfect storm of powerful trends" across the region, including a young population, political repression, economic disparity, and dwindling supplies of oil and water. 
"This is what has driven demonstrators into the streets of Tunis, Cairo, and cities throughout the region," Clinton said in her speech Saturday. 
"Some leaders may believe that their country is an exception – that their people will not demand greater political or economic opportunities, or that they can be placated with half-measures,” she said. "In the short term, that may be true; but in the long term that is untenable."
Just who do you think she was addressing? Reuters? The President of the Congo Republic? Nope. That was for Saudi, as in Saud, consumption.  In case anybody missed it, the U.S. just fired a warning shot over the bow of their most important satellite - Saudi Arabia - and anybody that thinks that a sitting U.S. Secretary of State made that statement in a well covered venue off the cuff, and without a dozen people parsing every freaking word, doesn't. Think, that is.

My bet is that over the coming weeks and months this message is going to get some volume - and given that, I would expect the Administration is going to take other, more concrete, steps as well.  I need to think about it a bit more... but something's coming in that regard... and its going to be big... big enough to try to give these folks some cover should it unfold before November 2012... Because as I said before... none of the political leaders in office in the West can survive $300 Oil next election around.

Why Egypt won't be another Iran

While things might get ugly as Egypt emerges from years of despotism, it simply will never be another Iran.


There are no actions without unintended consequences. NEVER. EVER.

Anybody that thinks weight gain is the only negative consequence of our society's drive to force women out of the home has rocks in their head... not to mention a political agenda... and what other results have we been blessed with because of these agendas? Wide spread abortion, divorce, drug use, police violence, and I could easily make an assertion that these agenda's have combined with others and gave us outrageous property, state income, and sales taxes in addition to the monstrosity we have created at the Federal level... all of which have reinforce the almost necessity that women leave their young children to work outside the home.

(The evolution of the modern Corporation also had its hand in all of this... the large, public Corporations were the tax collecting vehicle that funded our governments to grow to the behemoths that they are... these Corporations gave us the big box stores and China supply routes that demolished the small town business owner leaving them and their spouse to become dependent on Wal-Mart employment. In "exchange", the people were able to "evolve" from "citizens" to "consumers". Gee F*&%ing Thanks.)

... and I am not suggesting that people should do one thing or another (I am a Libertarian, after all), only that they will absolutely, positively have to think, and think HARD,  for themselves... because by our very nature these agenda's evolve and if you are not constantly contemplating the forces moving you they might move you in a direction you might not have otherwise chosen. With many of these agendas the individual may have no ability to influence in the Macro sense, and yet can absolutely dominate the issue in the Micro sense.  Self-determination is not really a political slogan, but one that gives support to the idea that the individual can overcome forces that are being projected at the individual.


Some time back I mused that the rise in Oil prices AND U.S. inventories was perhaps a symptom of a kind of hoarding. Now I am seeing this theory elsewhere on the Web, and by thinking people at that.

This does not mean that Oil prices cannot experience a correction at any time.  They could, IF, and its a big IF, they do I am going to use that event to add to positions in the commodity.  When this Tunisia/Egypt thing spreads to the major Oil exporters, we will certainly experience a significant price shock... but it just isn't easy to time revolutions.  Oil is still a commodity, and commodities, unlike companies, do not earn money directly. Ergo, they have carrying costs and are prone to significant volatility.  "Investing" in commodities is suicide. Trading in them can be profitable for people that know how to take a loss. Of course, you can get shaken out of things like that might have a political driver to them the timing of which simply cannot be known.  That's why you get the big bucks for doing it... cause you might lose big bucks, too. Commodities are a zero sum game, and that needs to be foremost in your mind when trading them.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Unintended Consequences

Here in South Florida, people are fearful of police officers every bit as much as we are of criminals.

And we should be.

This is just this week's news.

Florida Atlantic Police Officer held without bail for the murder or an "escort". Said University is located in my adopted home town of Boca Raton.

A Miami-Dade Police Officer has been arrested and charged with molestation. He has been pulling over cars with female teen agers in them and then "searching" the teens.

Drug dealer protection, extortion, steroid abuse, evidence tampering and fabrication, perjury... welcome to the Law Enforcement community here in South Florida.  Now I ask you, do you think its a good idea to let these guys mass up in gangs and then blow somebody's door down? They wouldn't lie to get a warrant, or about what transpired, now would they?

This is the natural outcome of over-empowering the police and stripping Americans of their G-d given natural rights.

What a disgrace.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Shout it from the Rooftops

Here is a link to a newscast on one of the recent botched "Drug Raids" in which another innocent American was murdered in his home by masked executioners/police.

You can do something about this before it is your father, you, or your son murdered in a "police encounter". It is really not that complicated.  Under no circumstance can local law enforcement pull this if they are operating in a municipality that has people agitating for this tactic to cease. A well placed letter campaign to the local executive/mayor and chief of police would be hard for TPTB to ignore. Don't wait until tragedy strikes YOUR family.  From what I have seen reported, Police kill 100 innocent civilians, people that were unharmed and NO THREAT as well as people that were not the target but had no idea that the masked people breaking into their home were police, every year for every police officer that dies in the line of duty. Clearly, the police are not responding properly to the VERY REAL threats they face.


I don't watch T.V. Maybe this is one of the reasons.


Not every young person joining the work force is served by paying big bucks for a college degree.

The key quote from the report: “The American system for preparing young people to lead productive and prosperous lives as adults is clearly badly broken."


The USDA consumes 10's of $billions... they just issued a report telling Americans to eat less, eat more fruits and vegetables, and get some exercise.

Whew!  Boy, what a relief.  Reports like that make me feel so relieved about the USDA's budget.


Libertarians and other intelligent politico's need to stop fighting with the "Progressives".  They are done. You can put a fork in them.  Its just math. Demographics don't lie. The growth in Asian and Hispanic populations, both historically unidentified with the "progressive" movement, are the last nail in their coffin.  The 50 million plus abortions of the past 40 years have not helped their cause demographically, if I make use of understatement (people tend to identify with their parents, politically... DNA wins all wars... no kids = no political inheritance). Under no circumstance does the Senate not change hands in 2012 with 22 out of 33 seat up for grabs now belonging to Democrats.  That means we have to stop blaming them for not getting things done. That means we have to take responsibility for what does and doesn't get done.


A Federal Judge rules the entire Healthcare Law unconstitutional in a detailed and well reasoned decision- and then does not block it.  WTF??!!


It is illegal in Florida and 16 other states to video tape police officers while on duty.  Does that make any f*&^ing sense at all?  Since when have public officials acting in their official capacity been entitled to privacy?  I am simply PEPTIC about this.


Does anybody reading here know anything about pressing their own vegetable oil? I am putting in a big sunflower patch and I was thinking about pressing my own oil. Here's a press I found. Any thoughts would be appreciated.


The American Energy Crisis comments section will experience a small amount of censorship.

I enjoy the commentary of thinking people. The inflamed taunting of folks just to arouse argument and anger is herewith no more.

Meanwhile, Back Home...

The U.S. and the various state governments should take this moment to reflect upon the fact that while we are all so critical of the Arab world's injustices it is the U.S. that has the highest percentage of people in prison and the highest prison population in the history of mankind.

Worse, our police kill a great many Americans for what are, essentially, crimes of morality - DRUGS.

Worse still, our police KILL INNOCENT AMERICANS BY MISTAKE while making drug busts, stings, warrant service... and that is a very, very incomplete list.

This is simply unconscionable.

And what have we got to show for all of the blood on our hands? Our prison system has created the gang problem here in the U.S.!!! Way to go, guys!

Talk about the gift that keeps on giving.. well, to law enforcement, corrections personnel, lawyers, and judges, that is; and aren't these the very people that are draining our state and local budgets with their outrageous pension benefits?

Drugs are bad. No Duh... Our War on Drugs is much, much worse.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Defending the Indefensible

The House of Saud. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. KSA. The Saudi's. WhoTF are these people? And how is that the American government is willing to allow American citizens to languish as kidnap victims in that country - but no other?

Iran takes 52 hostages and the U.S. was willing to send special forces by Helicopter... KSA has hundreds of American citizens held hostage and we wipe the Web clean of their existence... Just who are these Saud's?

A brutal, repressive, cruel, and heartless bunch with only the hooligans of the Third Reich as competition (well, maybe Uncle Joe and good old Pol Pot)... and the U.S. supports this bunch blindly and unequivocally.  But why?

Because the political upheaval that will strike the U.S. AFTER any major political upheaval strikes KSA is just too terrible to be considered by all of the folks in D.C., who have dedicated their lives to getting where they are, to contemplate. Because the International Bond Market might well shut down America's ability to borrow to continue its asinine budgets for its military and social programs (Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, and now SNAP, the former Food Stamp program). You see, all of these programs will fail the people depending on them... irrespective of the voluminous Horse Sh*t being promulgated in the "progressive" MSM.

("Oh, how can you be so heartless?" you might ask.... I am not heartless... the International Bond Market is. If there are 10 miners trapped in a shaft, and enough O2 for 8, is the recognition of this circumstance "heartless"?  I define "heartless" as being willing to addict the American people to social programs that absolutely, positively won't be there for them... and I include the military in that... the military has been a release valve to soak up excessive unemployment amongst the young for the past several decades.  That, too, is gong to come to a screeching halt.)

So here we are, America, land of the free, home of the brave... providing support for what is for all intents and purposes a Mafia family running a country of 29,000,000 or so human beings... a nation where men are not permitted to  vote and women are not permitted to  drive or to travel without the permission of their closet male relative, and that INCLUDES women who happen to be American citizens who want to come home but cannot because their Saudi husbands won't "let" them.

Doesn't that sound just a wee bit strange to you? Where is the F*&ing outrage from FemiNazi of State Clinton? Why is it that a Libertarian (Republican) like yours truly has to point this out when we have any number of Feminists in the Cabinet, Senate, and House of Representatives?

Good Lord, sometimes I think I am the only normal person left... 

Anyway... here's the deal.  Even the House of Saud cannot hold back the wind.  This is going to happen, though I have no idea "when" - and it could easily happen in Iran first, which is almost as bad - the House of Saud is going to fall. When it does Oil will trade between $150 and $400 forever more, and America's car-driving-pro-choice-vegetarin-Great Society-adhering goofballs will still be protesting that "Life Ain't Fair"... but in a whole different ball game.

Crude Oil for Dec 2011 Delivery Breaks $100

Crude Oil for December 2011 delivery breaks $100... about 4 minutes ago.  (Forget the front month... with refineries down the front month is weak. Look at Brent.)

I am somewhat surprised the equity market does not look at that and burp...  because I doubt its just a head fake.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Nobody Likes the Secret Police

In order to enforce the rule of despotic leaders nations like Egypt, Tunisia, Algiers, KSA, et al use a network of rats, moles, spy's, etc... on their own population.  If a military commander becomes too charismatic or popular, his helicopter meets with an unfortunate mechanical problem; if your uncle talks too much while drinking and gambling at dominos, the goons show up and take him for a visit to the "Back Room"...  You know, that nice place where those nice Law Enforcement people attached jumper cables to your wedding tackle?

The media battle to sway American public opinion is in full swing (remember Jeffers Media Theory: No story makes it into the MSM without sponsorship from a very powerful special interest group). "Iran's leader say Egypt heading for an Islamist Revolution!"


Dude, they are going to string you up on the Yardarm soon enough! Two years ago, Iran was able to steal the election and crush the opposition... now I doubt they last the year. 

The battle between the West and the Islamic extremists has been forever changed by the power of the internet.... and not just the Islamic extremists... ANY religious extremism is going to be brutally overcome by the Web.  The same forces that are going to wipe the floor with the former bottleneck (choke point) in our educational system have made it very difficult to come up with uninformed believers.

Remember the movie "The Da Vinci Code"? Released in 2006, filmed in 2005, based on the 2003 book by Dan Brown... the book inflamed many Christians who simply were not informed enough of their religion to know of the significance of the Council of Nicea.  These types of incidents are to be no more in the era of the Web (I saw street demonstrations in Nashville after the movie came out. Unreal.)

Have a position? Be prepared to defend it, to others AND yourself, in the face of TRUTH.  Abortion? Death Penalty? War? People support things that they have been censored from seeing, things they support in the abstract... that censorship has been permanently lifted, and when people see the truth of a thing they frequently feel differently than when they only think of it in the abstract, or when they have been pitched by charismatic snake oil salesmen.  Just ask anyone who has seen the physical results of an actual abortion... or who has been to Dachau or Hiroshima... 

All of the major religions have made massive changes and admissions because of the advance of science, some more than others. The earth is NOT the center of the universe. The sun does NOT revolve around the earth. The earth is NOT 6,000 years old. Man shares the same genes found elsewhere in the natural world. Some of these dogmas are harmless to believe (and none of them suggest that G-d does not exist, either)... others... like the justifications used to kill infidels... not so much.

The Arab world, and the larger Muslim world, is being affected by the information age just like everybody else, and all of their regimes are doomed.  The problem for the West is that the West liked those regimes.  They could be bought, and cheaply.  They were only too willing to sell out their people and keep the Oil flowing at rates that met the agendas of the ruling classes.  Those days are drawing to an end.

Politically, voters in the West will blame whoever is in office when the people of the Middle East and North Africa come to their senses on their oil resources... and therein lies the rub... and rub it will, and roil our politics, too... and we'll get over it. One way or another.