Monday, January 31, 2011

Anger & Hope

"It all began in one small Tunisia town with one despondent man, frustrated by lack of employment who set himself on fire and in turn set the whole Arab world ablaze with anger and hope. As the dominos fall throughout the Arab and northern African world, many of us wonder what is waiting on the other side. Will the people in these countries get the freedom and hope they desire?"
Source: Africana Online

An updated N. African protest map.  The "nodes on the network" continue to connect.  It might be a good time for a re-read of Gladwell's "Tipping Point"!

Protest Map - N. Africa / Middle East
I've used my analogy of The Onion probably too much, but my "Argentina-Onion" post still ranks as my highest visited ever.  The N. African onion layers are peeling back quickly.  What's interesting, is that right across the "Mediterranean pond" there are countries such as Spain, Italy, and Portugal that are in much more financial trouble, but the power of the EU keeps them afloat.  When the outer layers of the EU onion peel back further, it will be interesting to watch.  Tunisia, Algeria, and Jordan haven't really attracted major news coverage, but Egypt sure has.  Why, because Egypt is a more important peace in the "chess game".  A U.S. ally, but a country with a long history of major conflict in the region, especially with our good friends in Israel.  Stay tuned.

China's Approach

I've made a few posts lately regarding the use of technology for the purposes of organizing protests across the Northern African countries.  Facebook, Twitter, and Blogging appears to be the method for communicating and organizing amongst these angry youth.  I thought this was interesting to see how the Chinese are proactively preparing for potential uprising.

"Even China, worried about its citizens being inspired by the uprisings, disabled searches for the word "Egypt" on some internet services, underscoring Beijing's continued concern over the Internet and its potential to access anti-government information and organize opposition to China's ruling Communist Party."
Source: LA Times

Terrorist Technology

This one has to make one chuckle.

"A "Black Widow" suicide bomber planned a terrorist attack in central Moscow on New Year's Eve but was killed when an unexpected text message set off her bomb too early, according to Russian security sources.  The unnamed woman, who is thought to be part of the same group that struck Moscow's Domodedovo airport on Monday, intended to detonate a suicide belt near Red Square on New Year's Eve in an attack that could have killed hundreds.  Security sources believe a message from her mobile phone operator wishing her a happy new year received just hours before the planned attack triggered her suicide belt, killing her at a safe house."
Source: Leader Post

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Sudan's Secessation

I spoke with my "One World Order" buddy last week. He's still convinced that the "powers that be" behind the scenes are moving us to a single currency across the globe.  I still argue that in late 1999 we entered a contraction cycle where cooperation declines and treaties dissolve.  I've stated many times in the past that I believe that the European Union will be the key one to watch.  Also stated before, it will happen on different levels. Countries will pull back and we'll likely see it on the state level in the United States.  When the boat starts to take on water, we'll see who gets thrown overboard.

The most recent example of separation is occuring in Sudan. 
"While the world media zealously focus their gaze on Egypt’s political upheaval, there is another storm brewing just south of the border in Sudan. We might witness, as early as next month, the genesis of a new nation. After years of civil unrest and conflicts, the people of southern Sudan are knocking on the door of independence. It is time we welcomed the birth of a new nation, albeit with a pinch of salt.  Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, who came to power by staging a military coup in 1989, leads a government of national unity that includes leaders from southern Sudan. A national unity "which has limited autonomy and which has been promised the option of full independence in a referendum in 2011,” according to the BBC. The casting of votes for this referendum is finished and 99 percent of southern Sudanese have opted for independence from the north.  According to the BBC, Sudan is the largest and most geographically diverse nation on the African continent. After the formal disassociation from the joint British-Egyptian rule in 1956, Sudan has gone through several decades of civil wars, which have resulted in 1.5 million deaths. This civil unrest between northern and southern Sudan is Africa’s longest-running civil war. The loss of human lives on this scale deserves a justifiable end."
Source: The Daily Evergreen

Saturday, January 29, 2011

The Power of The Sheeple

My bubby, J, shared this one with me. Note the trucks moving in reverse. The power of the people.

This scene brings back memories.

Mega Tipping Point

Will this be mega-millionare minister/life coach Joel Osteen's tipping point to the back nine?

"Evangelist Joel Osteen, who rarely uses the condemnatory word "sin," rolls it out for homosexuality in his CNN interview with Piers Morgan that aired this week."
Source: USA Today

"Religion will become smaller, "deeper", and more traditional. The megachurch and megamillionaire ministers might have seen "the peak". Hopefully they saved all of those millions from the book deals. The trend toward more "traditional" might spark some old flames. Keep an eye out for increased religious conflict though."

"Ted Haggard kicked off the trend and Robert Schuller was the next major pillar to fall. When will Joel Osteen's basketball palace collapse?"

"Haggard told the GQ reporter that if he were 21, he might call himself a bisexual.  But at age 54, he's not going to do that. Especially after his wife published a book called "Why I Stayed," and after he's now turned into an insurance salesman and founded his new St. James Church.  Haggard says he's set boundaries for himself and staying heterosexual and monogamous with his wife Gayle."
Source: KDVR Fox News

Dilbert Investing Tips

This from Scott Adams, the creator of Dilbert.  It's a great chuckle.  His theory is buy stock in companies that you hate.

"If you buy stock in a despicable company, it means some of the previous owners of that company sold it to you. If the stock then rises more than the market average, you successfully screwed the previous owners of the hated company. That's exactly like justice, only better because you made a profit. Then you can sell your stocks for a gain and donate all of your earnings to good causes, such as education for your own kids. Having absorbed all of the wisdom I have presented here so far, you are naturally wondering if I have any additional investment tips. Yes, and I will put my tips in the form of a true story. Recently I bought something called an iPhone. It drops calls so often that I no longer use it for audio conversations. It's too frustrating. And unlike my old BlackBerry days, I don't send e-mail on the iPhone because the on-screen keyboard is, as far as I can tell, an elaborate practical joke. I am, however, willing to respond to incoming text messages a long as they are in the form of yes-no questions and my answer are in the affirmative. In those cases I can simply type "k," the shorthand for OK, and I have trained my friends and family to accept L, J, O, or comma as meaning the same thing.  The other day I was in the Apple Store, asking how to repair a defective Apple laptop, and decided, irrationally, that I needed to have Apple's new iPad. The smiling Apple employee said she would be willing to put me on a list so I could wait an indefinite amount of time to maybe someday have one. I instinctively put my wallet on my nose and started barking like a seal, thinking it might reduce the wait time, but they're so used to seeing that maneuver that it didn't help.  My point is that I hate Apple. I hate that I irrationally crave their products, I hate their emotional control over my entire family, I hate the time I waste trying to make iTunes work, I hate how they manipulate my desires, I hate their closed systems, I hate Steve Jobs's black turtlenecks, and I hate that they call their store employees Geniuses which, as far as I can tell, is actually true. My point is that I wish I had bought stock in Apple five years ago when I first started hating them. But I hate them more every day, which is a positive sign for investing, so I'll probably buy some shares.  Again, I remind you to ignore me."
The entire article:

Friday, January 28, 2011

Handcuffing The Kids

"Currently, your child's share of the national debt is around $45,000. Come 2015, provided current trends continue, it'll be bumping up against $70,000. China will own an unnervingly large portion of that debt. If policy makers in the US are so concerned about China's human rights record and its monetary meddling, how can they possibly justify shackling their children with debt handcuffs that are, so to speak, 'Made in China'?"
Source: Joel Bowma, The Daily Reckoning

P.S. See "Passing Along The Cancer"

Thursday, January 27, 2011

The Mammalian Herd

"Algerian opposition supporters clashed with police during a banned protest in the capital, Algiers, on Saturday."
Source: CBS

"Thousands of Yemenis are demonstrating in the capital Sanaa, calling on Ali Abdullah Saleh, president for more than 30 years, to step down."
Source: BBC

"Thousands of Egyptians have vented their rage against President Hosni Mubarak's autocratic government for two straight days of protests that defied a ban on public gatherings."
Source: The Jerusalem Post

"Inspired by Tunisia and Egypt, Yemenis join in anti-government protests."
Source: The Washington Post

Can one really argue that we're not just one big herd of mammals?

Protest Map - N. Africa/Middle East

You're On Your Own - Part II

 "There are no end of commentaries on the recent murders in Arizona, resulting in the usual debates. Pundits argue over whether there should be stricter gun laws, whether talk radio, the movies, or “extremism” contributed to the tragedy, and, most obtusely, what the government should do to prevent a similar incident from occurring again. What is lost is the fact that this tragedy provides yet more proof of something that has been demonstrated to Americans repeatedly over the past decade. The government cannot protect you from the harsh realities of life.  Most people are good people, most of the time. Under normal circumstances, most people would rather cooperate with their fellow human beings in order to achieve their goals rather than steal from them or kill them. However, some people, at least some of the time, do not “live and let live.” During every moment that we are alive, someone somewhere is committing a crime. Someone is experiencing hardship, whether due to their own bad judgment, laziness, or just plain bad luck. Worst of all, someone is planning to commit an act of violence. These truths are confirmed by all of human history.  What is unique about the time that we live in now is the extent to which people believe that the government can shield them from these challenges. Never has a society had such high expectations of their government to ensure their security - both personal and economic security. The early 21st century is truly a high-water mark in terms of belief in government to eliminate all risk from the game of life. Over and over, we are offered proof of how foolish this misplaced faith is."
Source: Tom Mullen (The Daily Paul)
Reading this article made me think of Hurricane Katrina and the videos of the police looting the stores with the hoodlums.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

25 Years & A Billion Asians

"The United States and the enormous buying power of U.S. consumers will not be enough to drive earnings growth for big U.S. businesses in the decades ahead. The American consumer will always be important. But for the next 25 years, it's probably not going to be the engine of global growth.  It's going to be the billion people joining the middle class in Asia, it's going to be what the resource-rich countries do with their newfound wealth."

Jeffrey Immelt, CEO, GE; Newly appointed economic adviser to the President

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Copycat Rebellion?

It appears that the Egyptian youth liked what they saw for the outcome in Tunisia.

"Egyptian police clashed with anti-government demonstrators as thousands took to the streets demanding an end to President Hosni Mubarak's decades-old rule. Officials say three people have died in the unrest. Two protesters were killed during a demonstration in Suez while a police officer in Cairo died from his injuries.  In Cairo, police fired tear gas and used water cannons Tuesday on rock-throwing demonstrators. At one point, demonstrators climbed on top of an armored police vehicle. Another protest erupted in Alexandria, where demonstrators shouted anti-Mubarak slogans. The protests - reported by foreign media to be Egypt's largest in years - began peacefully. Egyptians have been calling for political and economic reforms in protests inspired by demonstrations in Tunisia that led to the ouster of that country's president this month. The rallies are taking place despite government warnings that demonstrators could be arrested. The rallies were promoted online by groups that say they speak for young Egyptians frustrated with the kind of poverty and oppression that triggered Tunisia's unrest."
Source: Voice of America

The War On Cops

"A spate of shooting attacks on law enforcement officers has authorities concerned about a war on cops.  In just 24 hours, at least 11 officers were shot. The shootings included Sunday attacks at traffic stops in Indiana and Oregon, a Detroit police station shooting that wounded four officers, and a shootout at a Port Orchard, Wash., Wal-Mart that injured two deputies. On Monday morning, two officers were shot dead and a U.S. Marshal was wounded by a gunman in St. Petersburg, Fla. On Thursday, two Miami-Dade, Fla., detectives were killed by a murder suspect they were trying to arrest.  'It's not a fluke,' said Richard Roberts, spokesman for the International Union of Police Associations. 'There's a perception among officers in the field that there’s a war on cops going on.'  With the Florida deaths, the nation is on track in 2011 to match the 162 police officers killed in the line of duty in 2010.  The 2010 toll ended a two-year drop in fatalities and spiked 43 percent over the 117 killed in 2009"
Source: MSNBC

From my most popular post of all time:
"When the bottom is at hand or already in place, the rage will be greater and more widespreead, and there will be no question what the rebellion is about."

Robert Prechter - Elliott Wave Financial Forecast - April 2009

A Golden Dip

I bought some more GLD (Gold ETF) at 129  in the after-market last night.  We'll see if this was a base.

GLD - Gold ETF

You're On Your Own

"In a press conference, Reid said that Nevada governor Brian Sandoval will have to solve Nevada's massive budget crisis himself. The federal government will NOT come to the rescue.  In his own words, Reid said, '… solutions for state government will have to come from state government.'"
Source: Weiss Research
"Will the U.S. fragment and all will say 'California, that's your problem!'".

Random Roving, January 1, 2010

Monday, January 24, 2011

Jerry's Hot Potato

"Orange County officials decry hateful graffiti, threats to kill Jerry Brown.  Orange County officials are decrying a string of hateful graffiti, including some that threatened to kill Gov. Jerry Brown on Valentine's Day.  'Every community experiences some form of graffiti," said Anaheim Police Sgt. Rick Martinez, "but to see hateful messages like this is rare, especially when you're dealing with the message of killing added to religion, ethnicities and now aimed at a politician.'  'It's more than just a little graffiti,' said Rusty Kennedy, executive director of the Orange County Human Relations Committee. 'This is graffiti that has the intent of terrifying and scaring a specific group of people. ... It's being targeted at people in an effort to pick them out and bully them.'  In addition to the Jerry Brown graffiti, Orange County cities have seen a spate of graffiti calling on people to kill Catholics, blacks, Asians and Latinos in recent weeks."
Source: LA Times

"Xenophobia will continue to increase. Muslims and Mexicans will continue to be the easy targets. Which group or culture is next?"

Random Roving - January 1, 2010

It sure didn't take long for Jerry Brown to get handed the California "hot potato".  Talk about being handed a "bag of goods".  Like I said about the last presidential election, I don't know why anybody would want that job.

Palin Puppet Power

This is a post I've thought about for a long time and I may have missed my opportunity to "call a top" to Palin's euphoric rise.  The fact that some are trying to pin responsibility on her for the shootings in Tuscon might indicate she's "playing the back nine" when it comes to popularity.  The commencement of the reality show for sure will pinpoint the "all time high".  It can only be downhill from here.  Here's how I saw/see it.

The Man: Ms. Palin, you are a real patriot.  Your decision to accept the VP nomination meant a lot to our party.
Puppet Palin: Thank you.  I'll do anything for my country and party.
The Man: Well here's what we need you to do now.
Puppet Palin: Sure, anything.
The Man: We need you to resign from your position as Governor and go to work full time for the party.
Puppet Palin: What?  I can't leave my state and depart my term early.  What would people think?
The Man: Ms. Palin, don't worry.  We'll take care of what people think.  We want you to be the voice of the party.
Puppet Palin:  But won't they think that I bailed on my home state.
The Man:  Like we said, we'll do the worrying.
Puppet Palin: What do you want me to do.
The Man: We want you to keep the party's issues out in front in the media.
Puppet Palin: I won't have to interview with Katie Couric again, will I?
The Man: No, we'll take care of her. We are going to make you a major celebrity.  You'll get book deals, speaking engagements, an expanded wardrobe, and travel across the country.  We'll even set you up a Twitter account.
Puppet Palin: What's Twitter?
The Man: It's this new way to spread the word.  You'll be able to speak to the world about whatever comes to your mind.
Puppet Palin: What else.
The Man: We might even be able to get you a reality show.
Puppet Palin: Like The Osbournes?
The Man: Well, we haven't worked out the details yet.  We even might be able to get Bristol something.
Puppet Palin: Like what?
The Man: Maybe a reality show moment too.
Puppet Palin: Like American Idol?
The Man: That might be pushing it.
Puppet Palin: So, basically this means I'll be the candidate in 2012.
The Man: Well, not exactly.  We want you to wear everybody out before we bring Newt to center stage.
Puppet Palin: Okay. This patriot is in.

With two years to go, they'll be moving her to stage left.  Lets see if Newt, their link to The Gipper, will be their man.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Tidal Update

"This historic unfolding event can be examined and observed on many scales: individuals, cities, counties, states, regions, countries, and continents. The weakest stumble first."
Random Roving, February 3, 2009

"The city of Camden annually appears on a bunch of Top 10 lists—just not the good ones. In fact, this year Camden was ranked the second most dangerous city in the United States, which unfortunately is a step up from 2009 when the New Jersey city earned the uncoveted No. 1 spot.  Yesterday, the crime-ridden city of Camden, New Jersey was forced to let go of 167 of the 373 members of the city’s police department.  CQ Press’s 17th annual crime city rankings show that Camden has the nation’s worst rape and robbery rates in the country, while ranking No. 2 in assault, and No. 4 in murder. The deindustrialized port city has become a harbor for drug trafficking and anything else illegal."
Source: DT

"Half of Detroit’s schools would be shut down and high school class size would rise to 62 students under a deficit reduction plan proposed by Detroit Public Schools Emergency Manager Robert Bobb this week.  The Detroit News reports that Bobb says these changes will be needed if the legislature does not act to restructure DPS finances. The school system has a $327 million deficit."
Source: Michigan Messenger

"The Syracuse school district needs to cut 425 jobs, including 140 teachers, to help close a projected $47 million budget gap next fiscal year."

"Fresh from his third inauguration as California's governor, Jerry Brown is proposing a state budget that would slash spending-- including half a billion dollars from the California State University System.  'These cuts will be painful, requiring sacrifice from every sector of the state, but we have no choice,' Brown said during his introduction of the budget proposal.  Brown spoke of a new fiscally responsible era that would end budget gimmicks and cut spending enough to close California's $26 billion budget shortfall. The governor's proposal cuts $12.5 billion and effects all state agencies including Medi-Cal, welfare-to-work programs and developmental services. State employees would suffer a 10 percent pay decrease."
Source: The Lumberjack

"When the tide lowers, we'll find out who's skinny dipping."
Warren Buffet

Saturday, January 22, 2011

The Smallest Spark & The Lack Of Fear

It just takes the smallest spark....literally in this case.

"No bomb exploded announcing the start of the Jasmine Revolution, and in the end, there was no iconic figure — no Nelson Mandela or Vaclav Havel — to declare its stunning victory. Instead, the fuse for the Arab world's first successful popular uprising was lit when a small-town Tunisian policewoman slapped a fruit seller. A trivial incident, but this is 2011. And so, what happened next went viral, unleashing the seething frustrations of a generation of Tunisians raised under a sclerotic dictatorship — and rocking all of North Africa.  When the police officer slapped computer-science graduate Mohammed Bouazizi, 26, in the town of Sidi Bouzid, ordering him to pack up his street cart, the young man snapped. Unable to find any work as a computer technician, Bouazizi sold fruit to support his seven siblings, and the slap was one humiliation too many. He marched to the governor's office and demanded an appointment, threatening to set himself alight if the official did not meet him. Turned away, Bouazizi carried out his macabre threat on Dec. 17. With his death 18 days later, millions of angry young Tunisians had a martyr. Their frustration had been mounting in recent years as the unwritten compact their parents' generation had made with President Zine el Abidine Ben Ali — economic opportunity in exchange for political freedoms — had come undone. Youth unemployment, as well as inflation, had soared, and the regime had grown ever more corrupt. Bouazizi's suicide "was the drop of water which made the whole cup overflow," says Tunisia's wildly popular rapper El Général, whose enraged lyrics prompted the government to ban YouTube in a futile attempt to quell the protests. "Our parents are too busy trying to feed our families," he says. "But we youth had nothing to fear."  

The entire article:

My favorite cartoon pic originally posted in March, 2009.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Thursday, January 20, 2011

And The Winner Is??

A current look at worldwide unemployment ranking.

Worldwide Unemployment

Source: Bespoke Investments

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

A Dow Gold Ratio Update

I've made numerous posts regarding the Dow/Gold Ratio.  Here's some updated charts.  The cycle quietly continues its trend like the "boiling frog".  As a reminder, it's been a "decade of zero".  My February, 2002 gold pitch is still holding strong.  I'm sticking with my prediction of a ratio equal to 1 at the final bottom.

Dow/Gold Ratio (Source: Fred's Intelligent Bear)

Dow/Gold Ratio (Source: Fred's Intelligent Bear)

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Golden Perspective

"From the first moment I saw Ron Paul on C-SPAN (at some point before the Internet Boom) I felt that he must have been sent to Earth from another planet. How else can you account for such honesty, determination, and courage when faced with the doublespeak from financial officialdom? To just take one example of Paul’s determination to call the emperor naked, in February of 2000 Paul challenged Sir Alan Greenspan regarding increases to M3 which at the time had well exceeded the Fed’s own targets. Greenspan responded with some sort of excuse that money is difficult to define so Paul shouldn’t worry about one definition of it, but Greenspan was forced to admit that many of the various monetary aggregates used by the Federal Reserve have left something to be desired. Without missing a beat, Ron Paul concluded his questioning to Greenspan with the quip, “So it's hard to manage something you can’t define.” (You will note that the Fed stopped publishing M3 data around 2006).  Representative Paul’s honesty- almost childlike in its probity- is one of many characteristics associated with those from a planet far, far away: Planet Goldbug. Other character traits include fierce independence, skepticism toward any dogma or orthodoxy, and a defiant desire to wake earthlings up from their stupor regarding various lies on planet Earth. Although many residents from Planet Goldbug believe in the power of reason, they understand the rampant and manipulative abuse of reason by many in authority on this planet. So I have always felt that Goldbugs by definition have respect for heterodox, mystical, or hidden forms of knowledge. Sometimes this respect for heterodox thinking has led the opponents of honest money to denigrate buying gold as a “religion” (by which it is taken to mean that such investing is irrational.) However, I am just fine with the apparent accusation that owning precious metals transcends conventional definitions of reason. I take my cue from the gentleman who coined the term Goldbug, Edgar Allen Poe, in this regard. Poe belonged to the great tradition of nineteenth century romanticism, a tradition which understood the complex, contradictory, and humbling aspects of human consciousness.  Poe’s short story with the title The Gold-Bug (published in 1843) relates the supposed story of a man, Le Grand, who was bitten by a bug made of gold. The bite gives Le Grand supernatural power- clairvoyance really- to find the long-lost treasure of Captain Kidd (deposited somewhere along the southeast coast of the United States) in order to restore the Le Grand family fortune. At the end of the story, Poe has Le Grand relate to his friend that the power of the Goldbug was not what led to the treasure, but rather Le Grand’s own reasoning powers, or ratiocination. But in keeping with Poe’s usual portrayals of the mystical and terrific in his stories of ratiocination (meaning ones ability to reason in a superhuman manner) the reader is left wondering if it wasn’t in fact the transcendent knowledge of the Goldbug which aided Le Grand after all. A large part of Poe’s writing leaves room for intuition and magical insight, implying that these are as much a part of reason and intelligence as anything else. An important point to keep in mind the next time someone derides gold and silver investing as a “religion.”  Part of the reason why Goldbugs are often mocked as “conspiracy theorists” is due to their over tuned ratiocination- their well honed skeptical stance, attempting to uncover the hidden truths in this world. Honesty and candor- practiced to perfection by people like Representative Paul- are values from this different, golden planet. And when those values are betrayed, Goldbugs speak up. There are several other distinct, unusual traits possessed by Goldbugs, as well. One is faith in the autonomy of the individual- no matter how difficult it may seem to give the individual power over his/her own life. It may be mocked as naïve, but the alternative to faith in the primacy of the individual is the world of Big Brother. No man should be king, and no expert is qualified enough to dictate to others how to live. Freedom may be scary, but Goldbugs thrive in the spirit of embracing self-sufficiency, or independent living, and demand that individuals accept responsibility for their actions. (I know, another very corny platitude.) Governments by definition lie to their subjects-- I mean citizens. It is the same now as it has ever been. Power corrupts and absolute power makes men not only corrupt but stupid as well. I could go on and on, but you get the idea."
Ryan Jordan
The entire article:

Monday, January 17, 2011

The Creator & The Creature

If I were smart enough, educated enough, and wise enough, I would make my own post today, but instead I'll provide you a link to an article from my friend Albert regarding today's holiday.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Passing Along The Cancer

In "The Daily Reckoning" newsletter, Addison Wiggin, makes this great comparions to what our politicians are doing with the country's financial future.

"Imagine for a moment that you've chosen to smoke cigarettes all your life. You've ignored the warnings about them that appear all around you. Then, eventually, and unfortunately, you get diagnosed with lung cancer. Luckily, you've caught the disease in its very early stages. The doctor presents you with two choices. First, you can enter chemotherapy. The road to recovery, the doctor tells you, will be harsh. You'll suffer extreme nausea. You'll hardly be able to swallow from the ulcers you develop in your mouth. In short, you'll go through hell in an attempt to beat the disease. But because you caught the disease after the first symptoms appeared, you have a high chance at a full recovery.  The doctor also offers a second alternative. He's worked out a deal that allows you to rid yourself of the disease instantly. No pain. No suffering. No hell. All you have to do is agree to give the disease to your 2-year-old grandson."

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Who Shot The Sheriff?

Last Saturday afternoon after watching the Tuscon shooting news story develop live, I made a post about it. I presented the comments made by the sheriff, Clarence Dupnik, during his news conference.  I've reposted those below.  While listening to him speak, nothing seemed political to me.  I admire him for "telling it like it is".  I believe that he provided his description of declining mass social mood.  It was amazing to watch the Fox News Militia attack him all week.  The "big baffoon", Rush, took him on.

"When you look at unbalanced people, how they respond to the vitriol that comes out of certain mouths about tearing down the government. The anger, the hatred, the bigotry that goes on in this country is getting to be outrageous. Let me just say one thing, because people tend to poo-poo this business about all the vitriol that we hear inflaming the American public by people who make a living off of doing that. That may be free speech. But it's not without consequences."
Clarence Dupnik, Pima County Sheriff

Friday, January 14, 2011

Techno-Rioting and The Loss Of Timid Traditions

The article below caught my attention for a few reasons. The obvious is that it's one more example of the downward spiral in mass social mood across the globe.  In addition, the youths, like in the UK, California, Iran, and Greece, are leading the charge.  Tunisia, a country on the outer layer of THE ONION, is in turmoil.  With all of that said, the most interesting part of the article for me was that these rebelous youths used Facebook as a means to communicate and plan the rioting. A high tech approach to chaos, rebellion, and destruction.  Very interesting.  "I want my MTV!"

"Jobless youths in Tunisia riot using Facebook.  TUNIS, Tunisia (AP) — In the cruise ship brochures, Tunisia is a land of endless sandy beaches, warm Mediterranean waters, ancient ruins and welcoming bazaars.  But behind the postcard-perfect facade, legions of jobless youths who see no future are seething under the iron-fisted leadership of President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, and worried fathers wonder how they will feed their families. Their despair over Tunisia's soaring unemployment and rising food prices has fueled more than three weeks of deadly riots, posing the most significant challenge yet to the 74-year-old leader who grabbed power 23 years ago in a bloodless coup.  And what has helped to break the barrier of fear that kept Tunisian anger bottled up for so long? Social networks like Facebook, which have helped organize protests and fuel online rage across this North African nation. Police have fired repeatedly on protesters. The government says at least 20 people have died in the riots, but unions and witnesses count at least 46 dead, most in violence since Saturday. In the town of Kasserine, site of the bloodiest confrontation, police were reported to have killed a man carrying the coffin of a child.  The revolt that began with an individual protest Dec. 17 has left this moderate Muslim nation's reputation as a symbol of modernity in tatters and highlighted its inability to provide opportunities for its young.  'When a father can no longer feed his children, he loses his place ... and his dignity,' said Selim Ben Hassen, the Paris-based president of the Byrsa citizens movement. 'It's not just a question of money. It's a question of honor.' Ben Hassen credits Facebook for spreading word of the unrest — and bolstering timid citizens to break their traditional code of silence."
Source: Associated Press

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Not Without Consequences

A sad, tragic day for the country.  A lunatic swept up in the cycle decides to make a statement.  It appears that this 22 year old had issues with non-perfect English speaking people and the government.  Sorry Fox news, but once again, this guy doesn't appear to be a Muslim.  Another white, homegrown American.  Angry at 22 years old.

I thought that these comments by the Arizona sheriff were right on the mark:
"When you look at unbalanced people, how they respond to the vitriol that comes out of certain mouths about tearing down the government. The anger, the hatred, the bigotry that goes on in this country is getting to be outrageous.  Let me just say one thing, because people tend to poo-poo this business about all the vitriol that we hear inflaming the American public by people who make a living off of doing that. That may be free speech. But it's not without consequences."

Yes, we will see consequences.

"The younger generation is awaking to the fact that their parents squandered their future."
Random Roving, January 1, 2011

"The mob will get even more angry. Beware of the angry white American man carrying the Bible."
Random Roving, January 1, 2010

"The mob is angrier than ever. The angry white American bible carrying man hasn't made his statement yet."
Random Roving, January 1, 2011
Well, like the lunatic in Austin last year, he's white and angry, but he left his bible home.

"When the tide is rising, we're happy participants, but when it lowers we seek someone other than ourselves to blame."
Random Roving, March 7, 2009

"Politicians ratings will continue to fall aligning with a continued decline in mass social mood. Incumbents beware."
Random Roving, January 1, 2010

"The mob is angrier than ever so they'll try to throw out as many incumbents as possible.  The Tea Party is still just a light version of what is to come."
Random Roving, November 2, 2010

An interesting point to note is that Giffords barely won the recent election by 4,000 votes over a Tea Party candidate.  She is a third term representative.

"The ratings fall is dead on, but a few incumbents survived.  Not for long though."
Random Roving, January 1, 2011

 The only valid point that this criminal might have made on his web postings is that our currency needs to be backed by gold.

Stayed tuned. More craziness to come.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Tears & Fears

Sleep securely, our new leadership is in place.  I hope that Putin doesn't get a hold of him!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

A Look At The Stats

The blogging software tracks statistics and here are the most viewed from Random Roving:
#1: "The Onion Peels In Argentina", Apr 14, 2009, 5,170 Pageviews
This one stood out from all others for some reason.  It might confirm that images speak louder than words.

#2: "Darkness On The Edge Of Town", Sep 23, 2010, 1,025 Pageviews
What can I say. Bruce is "the man".

#3: "The Slope of The Sand Pile", Apr 15, 2009, 652 Pageviews
Once again, images speak louder than words.

#4: "The Loss of A Legend", Jun 5, 2010, 414 Pageviews
One of the 5 people that I'd like to meet in Heaven.

#5: "The Dow Jones Industrial Average / Gold Ratio", Feb 28, 2009, 269 Pageviews
Glad to see that some of my technical analysis made the Top 5.  In my mind, this is the most accurate quantitative chart for defining the cycles.  Keep an eye on this one.  1-to-1 is in our future.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Gono & Nero

"Then, by 2008, the inflation rate had soared to such troubling levels in Zimbabwe that economists were having trouble just figuring out how to measure it. Finally, after wearing out a few calculators, no doubt, Prof. Steve H. Hanke managed to come up with a figure. Prof. Hanke's HHIZ measure indicated that inflation had peaked at an annual rate of 89.7 sextillion percent (89,700,000,000,000,000,000,000%) in mid-November 2008. Gideon Gono, the Governor of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, had achieved a feat that Nero himself could not have imagined possible."
Source: Joel Bowman, "The Daily Reckoning"

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year! 2011 is here

As I've said for the past few years on this blog, this is one of my favorite days of the year. It's a great time for reflection, and spending some time thinking about the future.  As always, I like to review my predictions from the prior year, critique them, and present a few more. As stated in the past, I'm no expert, but the cycles continue to progess as they have in the past.

One year ago for Christmas, I sent 22 copies of Strauss & Howe's book, "The Fourth Turning" as Christmas gifts to my closest friends and family.  Unfortunately, maybe two of the recipients actually read the book.  Most found it too gloomy and depressing. I will present several excerpts over the coming months.  The book published in 1997 has been right on the mark with it's forecasts and predictions.

Here are my predictions from 1/1/10 and my comments:
-"I’m betting on Puplava’s forecast of massive inflation. Buy some Krugerrands and interest in an oil well." Random Roving 10-1-08  This one was a winner and I believe it will be for many years to come.  CORRECT. This was an original from 1/1/08 and still keeps on proving correct. I'll repredict the same for 2011.  Worldwide money printing appears to continue and can only raise prices and destroy currencies.  Watch for the point when interest rates start to tick back up.  Congrats to my buddy, Magoo, who bought his first Krugerrand in 2010. Buy some more in 2011.

-Oil: $150/barrel before $50/barrel - I'll repredict the same for 2010, but the price will likely not see either.  INCORRECT/CORRECT. Oil hovered around $70/barrel for most of the year.  I believe that prices will average over $100/barrell for 2011.

-All four outcomes still seem to be possibilities. I'm still convinced that massive inflation is coming. Massive deflation could be right behind.  STILL IN PROGRESS.  Three of the four potential outcomes still appear to be possibilities. The probability of the Obama administration "wowing" us in the next two years is very unlikely in my mind.  I'm still convinced that massive inflation is coming. Massive deflation could be right behind.  From an Austrian economic definition, we are already deflating due to the contracting money supply.  This one is the $64,000 question.

-Saints win the Superbowl in 2010!!! - This was originally predicted on 10/1/08. This one is looking good despite two recent losses. I'll be considered a genius if this one plays out. Go Saints!!  CORRECT!!!  It will be hard to top this one.

-I believe that the "sheeple" were awoken over the past fifteen months. It has become apparent to many that all of the pastures are not guaranteed to be "green" forever. Linear thinking might be giving way to cyclical or chaotic thinking.  STILL IN PROGRESS.  It appears that the "linears" are still in the majority while the cycle vibrates on.
-The continued printing of money by the Federal Reserve will wreak more havoc across the worldwide markets. Volatility is the new "norm".  CORRECT.  Not only has the Fed printing like mad, but the rest of the world is following suit.  "We've only just begun."  The Carpenters
-Commodities gone wild: Things will rise rapidly in, fuel, gold, oil, grains, uranium, copper......  CORRECT.  What a year for gold, silver, and corn!
-I don't know if it will happen in 2010, but I believe that one of the next "too big to fails" will be JPM Chase. They hold more derivatives than any other company in the world. We've just seen the beginning of the derivative implosion. Remember, Warren called them "weapons of mass destruction".  STILL IN PROGRESS.  Derivatives will continue to unwind.  They blamed the 2008 massacre on mortgages, but at the core was a derivative gambling casino.  Much more to come.
-Protests and riots will continue to increase across the world. The mob is getting angrier and angrier. College campuses will continue to "heat up". The younger generation is awaking to the fact that their parents squandered their future. "Mom and dad, thanks for the debt burden!"  CORRECT.  Not a good time for a Greece or UK trip.  You might catch a rock in the head.
-Politics will get even uglier. The foundation for the new 3rd party is forming. The Peter Schiff Senate race will be interesting to watch.  CORRECT. I don't think that anyone would argue about this one.  The Schiff Senate Race turned out to be a dud though.  In due time!
-The mob will get even more angry. Beware of the angry white American man carrying the Bible.
CORRECT. The mob is angrier than ever.  The angry white American bible carrying man hasn't made his statement yet.
-Politicians ratings will continue to fall aligning with a continued decline in mass social mood. Incumbents beware.  CORRECT/INCORRECT.  The ratings fall is dead on, but a few incumbents survived.  Not for long though.  2012 will be a political bloodbath.
-The Heartland Theory will continue to play out for many years to come. The two "R's", religion and resources, will keep the Middle East on the front headlines. The "R's" will expand well beyond the Middle East before this is over.  CORRECT. This will continue to play out for 25 years.
-The President will continue to "take a beating". Read the "The Fourth Turning" for the details. He's been called a non-US citizen, a Communist, a Fascist, and a Socialist. What is left?  CORRECT.  Much more to come at a higher level.  Tighten up the Secret Service.
-Xenophobia will continue to increase. Muslims and Mexicans will continue to be the easy targets. Which group or culture is next? Will the U.S. fragment and all will say "California, that's your problem!".  CORRECT.  The anti-Muslim sentiment is frightening.  Propaganda and the Fox News Patriots will keep this one on the front burner.  You can't continue country occupation and seizing resources without some "fear factor" driving it.  Where's Osama???
-The "patriotic" drums will beat even louder. The love for "our troops" will increase. Nationalism will continue its rise. You will be questioned by the "so called patriots" whether you really love your country.  CORRECT.  If you disagree, turn on Fox News.
-The "outer layer of the onions" will continue to struggle. Keep an eye on Iceland, Dubai, California, Honduras, Columbia, Argentina, Mexico, Iran, Pakistan, Detroit, Hungary, and Greece.  CORRECT. My list was way too short.  The PIIGS continue to lead the pack to destruction.

-Things built on "sand" will continue to struggle: California, Dubai, Arizona, Florida, and Las Vegas. Golf courses and cities are not naturally aligned with the habitat of a desert.  CORRECT.  These will be great bellwethers to watch.

-Families will move geographically and emotionally closer.  IN PROGRESS.  This will occur over the next 10-15 years.  See "The Fourth Turning".

-Materialism will begin to fade toward more important things: family, God, friends, and true happiness.  IN PROGRESS. This will occur over the next 10-15 years. See "The Fourth Turning".  The trend toward "simplifying" is in progress.

-Gluttony and obesity will evolve back to more natural levels.  YET TO COMMENCE. This will occur over the next 10-15 years. Gluttony still appears to be the "American Way".

-Religion will become smaller, "deeper", and more traditional. The megachurch and megamillionaire ministers might have seen "the peak". Hopefully they saved all of those millions from the book deals. The trend toward more "traditional" might spark some old flames. Keep an eye out for increased religious conflict though. The most hypocritical will be Christian vs Christian. Northern Ireland will be one to watch.  IN PROGRESS.  Ted Haggard kicked off the trend and Robert Schuller was the next major pillar to fall.  When will Joel Osteen's basketball palace collapse?

Well that's a critique of my 2010 predictions.  Now, what about 2011??  I believe that my perspective has not waivered.  The cycle continues on so these developments will only deepen and intensify.  The worldwide manipulation of the financial system will have grave consequences.  We've stolen from the next two generations and I'm not sure if they will ever forgive us.  I see the "angry and fear" cycle heading up to the next level in preparation for a frightening 2012.  The Mayan Calendar fear will make Y2K look miniscule.  It's easy to stampede a herd.  Just scare the leaders and the rest will follow.  Also keep an eye on the continued toppling of cultural icons.  Tiger Woods, Brett Favre, and John Edwards are just the beginning.  We build them up during the "up cycle" and tear them down during the "down cycle".  Will the cycling doping scandal take Lance Armstrong down?  Will Hannah Montana take another bong hit??  The "live" CNN camera feed of the BP oil spill was very symbolic.  The magnifying glasses are turned on to "high power".  Celebrities, politicians, and corporate CEO's beware.

I'm sticking with my same recommendations from 2009 and 2010. They still are valid and wise.

My recommendations for the new year:
-Take care of what is important first
-Prepare for all scenarios
-Think for yourself
-Read a lot from diverse sources
-Be aware of who's Kool-Aid you're drinking
-Turn off the TV
-Enjoy life
-Pray a lot!

May 2011 be your year!