Friday, July 18, 2014

Guest Post: How To Find Shelter From The Coming Storms? (


Submitted by Tyler Durden on 07/01/2014 09:52 -0400

Submitted by Charles Hugh Smith from Of Two Minds

A Reader Asks: How to Find Shelter from the Coming Storms?

Some basic suggestions for those who are seeking shelter from the coming storms of global financial crisis and recession.

Reader Andy recently wrote: "I look forward to your blog each day but am still waiting for your ideas for surviving the coming crisis." Andy reports that he and his wife have small government and private pensions, are debt-free and have simplified their lifestyle to survive the eventual depreciation of their pensions. They currently split their time between a low-cost site in North America and Mexico. They are considering moving with the goal of establishing roots in a small community of life-minded people.

Though I have covered my own ideas in detail in my various books (Survival+: Structuring Prosperity for Yourself and the Nation, An Unconventional Guide to Investing in Troubled Times, Why Things Are Falling Apart and What We Can Do About It and Get a Job, Build a Real Career and Defy a Bewildering Economy, I am happy to toss a few basic strategies into the ring for your consideration.

Let's start by applauding Andy for getting so much right.

1. Don't count on pensions maintaining their current purchasing power as the promises issued in previous eras are not sustainable going forward. I've addressed the reasons for this ad nauseam, but we can summarize the whole mess in four basic points:

A. Demographics. Two workers cannot support one retiree's pensions and healthcare costs (skyrocketing everywhere as costly treatments expand along with the cohort of Baby Boomer retirees). The U.S. is already at a ratio of two full-time workers to one retiree, and this is during a "recovery." the ratio in some European nations is heading toward 1.5-to-1 and the next global financial meltdown hasn't even begun.

B. The exhaustion of the debt-based consumption model. The only way you can sustain a debt-based model of ever-expanding consumption is to drop interest rates to zero. But alas, lenders go broke at 0%, so either the system implodes as debtors default or lenders go bankrupt. Take your pick, the end-game of financial crisis and collapse is the same in either case.

C. Printing money out of thin air does not increase wealth, it only increases claims on existing wealth. An honest government will eventually default on its unsustainable promises; a dishonest government (the default setting everywhere) will print money to fund the promises until its currency loses purchasing power as a result of either inflation or some other flavor of currency crisis.

In other words, the dishonest government will still issue pension checks for $2,000 a month but a cup of coffee will cost $500--if anyone will take the currency at all.

D. Pensions funds are assuming absurdly unrealistic returns on their investments. Many large public pension plans are assuming long-term yields of 7.5% even as the yield on "safe" government bonds has declined to 3% or 4%. As a result, the pension fund managers have taken on staggering amounts of systemic risk as they reach for higher yields.

When the whole rotten house of cards (shadow banking, subprime everything, etc.) collapses in a stinking heap, the yields will be negative. As John Hussman has noted, asset bubbles simply bring forward all the returns from future years. Once the bubble pops, yields are substandard/negative for years or even decades.

Pension funds that earn negative yields for a few years will soon burn through their remaining capital paying out unrealistic pensions.

2. Lowering the cost of one's lifestyle. It's much easier to cut expenses than it is to earn more money or squeeze more yield out of capital.

3. Establishing roots in a community of like-minded people. Though it's rarely mentioned in a culture obsessed with financial security, day-to-day security is based more on community than on central-state-issued cash--though this is often lost on those who have surrendered all sense of community in their dependency on the state.

The core of community is reciprocity: before you take, you first have to give or share. Free-riders are soon identified and shunned.

My suggestions are derived from this week's entries on the inevitable popping of credit bubbles, the unenviable role of tax donkeys in funding corrupt state Castes and the Great Game of Elites acquiring essential resources with unlimited credit issued by central banks, leaving the 99% debt-serfs and/or tax donkeys with neither the income nor the credit to compete with Elites for real resources.

4. Lessen your dependence on anything that requires debt and assets bubbles for its survival. Whatever depends on expanding debt and asset bubbles for its survival will go away when credit/asset bubbles pop, which they always do, despite adamant claims that "this time it's different." It never is.

5. Control as many real resources as you can. These include water rights, energy-producing or conserving assets (solar arrays, geothermal heating/cooling systems, etc.), farmland, orchards and gardens, rental housing, and tools that you know how to use to make/repair essential assets such as transport, housing, equipment, etc.

6. It's easier to conserve/not use something than it is to acquire it or pay for it. As resources rise in price, those who consume little will be far less impacted than those whose lifestyles requires massive consumption of gasoline, heating oil, electricity, water, etc. It's as simple as this: don't waste food, or anything else.

7. The easiest way to conserve energy and time is to live close to your work and to essential services/transport hubs. Those who reside in liveable city neighborhoods and towns with public transport and multiple modes of transport who can walk/bike to work, farmers markets, cafes, etc. will need far less fossil fuel than those commuting to everything via vehicle.

8. If you can't find work/establish a livelihood, move to a locale with a better infrastructure of opportunity. I explain this in Get a Job, Build a Real Career and Defy a Bewildering Economy, but John Kenneth Galbraith made much the same point in his 1979 book The Nature of Mass Poverty.

9. If you buy property, do so in a state with Prop 13-type limits on property tax increases. We have no choice about being tax donkeys, but choose a state where income and consumption (i.e. sales tax) are taxed rather than property tax. You can choose to earn less and buy less, but you can't choose not to pay rising property taxes.

10. Be useful to others. That way, they'll want you around and will welcome your presence. There are unlimited ways to be helpful/useful.

11. Trust the network, not the state or corporation. Centralized systems such as the government and global corporations are either bankrupt and don't yet know it or are bankrupt and are well aware of it but loathe to let the rest of the world catch on.

12. Be trustworthy. Don't be morally corrupt or work for corrupt/self-serving institutions. Many initially idealistic people think they can retain their integrity while working for morally bankrupt, self-serving bureaucracies, agencies and corporations; they are all eventually brought down to the level of the institution.

Lagniappe suggestion: lead by example. "Setting an example is not the main means of influencing others; it is the only means." Albert Einstein



Tuesday, July 8, 2014

You feel poorer because you are poorer. (


In the last fourteen years, has your income increased over 50%? If you think it has, has it done so after taxes? Even if it has, you likely have not kept up in terms of inflation.

If you are a retiree, living on fixed income, a pension or bonds, you certainly have become poorer. If you had bought the Dow-Jones on 12/31/1999 you would have entered at about 11,500. It closed last week at less than 17,100. That would have been an appreciation of 6,600, better than 50%. But, of course, that was before taxes.

As a retiree, you have seen your purchasing power stolen by Fed policies. Whether you invested in fixed income or equities, you lost ground. Anyone in that position has seen their lives become poorer despite a lifetime of successful work and careful financial planning.

For those still working, most are losing purchasing power each year. Wages are not keeping up with inflation, even the understated numbers reported by government. In short, the decline of a once-great economic power is well underway. The country is no longer growing enough to raise everyone’s standard of living.

Government has killed the golden goose and in an attempt to hide the obvious is debauching the dollars. Government tries to hide their own failure with phony statistics and a welfare state designed to placate the masses. Bread and circuses are deceptions not progress.

This charade will not work! It is merely a futile attempt to prolong the Ponzi scheme for a little longer. While the process continues, the parasites who plunder the productive ready expand in numbers. The productive either give up or remove their capital from the country. Those who stay build compounds with the walls around them to protect against the   soon-to-become enraged masses. Bread and circuses precede poverty. They don’t continue through it.

To understand the loss of purchasing power, look at this series of items:


H/T Zerohedge

The last two items are what government claims is price inflation over this period. Wikipedia defines them as follows:

The personal consumption expenditure (PCE) measure is the component statistic for consumption in GDP collected by the BEA. It consists of the actual and imputed expenditures of households and includes data pertaining to durable and non-durable goods andservices. It is essentially a measure of goods and services targeted towards individuals and consumed by individuals.[1]

The PCE price index (PCEPI), also referred to as the PCE deflator, PCE price deflator, or the Implicit Price Deflator for Personal Consumption Expenditures (IPD for PCE) by the BEA, and as the Chain-type Price Index for Personal Consumption Expenditures (CTPIPCE) by the FOMC, is a United States-wide indicator of the average increase in prices for all domestic personal consumption. It is currently benchmarked to a base of 2009 = 100. Using a variety of data including U.S. Consumer Price Index and Producer Price Index prices, it is derived from the largest component of the Gross Domestic Product in the BEA’s National Income and Product Accounts, personal consumption expenditures.

The less volatile measure of the PCE price index is the core PCE (CPCE) price index which excludes the more volatile and seasonal food and energy prices.

In comparison to the headline United States Consumer Price Index, which uses one set of expenditure weights for several years, this index uses a Fisher Price Index, which uses expenditure data from both the current period and the preceding period. Also, the PCEPI uses a chained index which compares one quarter’s price to the last quarter’s instead of choosing a fixed base. This price index method assumes that the consumer has made allowances for changes in relative prices. That is to say, they have substituted from goods whose prices are rising to goods whose prices are stable or falling.

The last one, the PCE Deflator is used in government’s calculation of real GDP growth. To the extent that this number is understated, reported real GDP is overstated by an approximate amount. That is not an accident.



Monday, July 7, 2014

Arithmetic: How Badly You Have Been Screwed ( )


Folks, I know people have this desire to moan about how bad this part of our country is or that, whether it be on guns, poverty, religion or whatever else pushes your buttons.

I challenge you to read and let this post sink in for a good hour today.  Do nothing else.  Find the hour, print this out or send it by email to your cellphone, read it and contemplate it.

Then choose, today and forward, whether you're going to sit for what has been done to you.

I present a simple arithmetic chart:

The data was pulled from here:

It is not my data.  It is official government data.  I did nothing other than pull it into Excel and chart it as a compound function.

Now let me explain what it shows you.

This chart shows the output per hour worked for Americans across the labor force.

It shows that today one hour of work at the end of 2013 produces 169.8% of the output that one hour of work produced in 1980.

Now stop and read that last sentence again -- very, very slowly.

Read it as many times as you have to until you understand it.

You should have 170% of the standard of living you obtained in 1980 from one hour of labor.

Let me ask: Do you?

If you did, what would you be complaining about?  The average middle-class person that could afford a house in 1980 could afford a house 70% better (not more expensive, better -- larger, with more appliances, that uses less energy, etc.)  You could buy 70% more food with an hour of labor today than you could in 1980.

Equally to the point -- note that there was no decrease in productivity at any time from 2007 to today.  In other words, what "great recession"?  You ought to be ~10% ahead of where you were in 2007.  What would there be to complain about, were this the case?

I could flip pizzas and pay for college in 1980.  I should be able to flip those same pizzas, pay for college in cash and have another 70% of the tuition, fees, books, room and board left over to buy other things. Can you?  NO, YOU CANNOT.

Look at the world in 1980 and a typical skilled and unskilled job.  Is the typical worker able to buy, with cash, 70% more than they were in 1980?  Did the typical lower-income worker need food stamps, EITC, Medicaid, etc?  Did that typical worker need a five, six, seven or ten year car loan, or was a car loan (if there was a loan at all!) for two, three or four years?

Or did they just write the check -- for a new or used car?

How come I could buy "no fault" insurance for a couple hundred dollars a year back then -- as a young driver?  Can you do that today or will the gecko bend your ass over the table for five or ten times as much?

How did that massive amount of improvement in your standard of living -- that was yours, not someone else's -- get stolen from you?

I've spent seven years explaining how it happened and why it continues. 

It does not matter how many dollars you have or are paid.  What matters is how much time you must spend working to earn a gallon of gasoline, rent, electricity or water for a month, food to feed your family and so on.  That is, what matters is how much what you have and earn buys in material goods and services.

Your purchasing power isn't stolen through "inflation" per-se.  If you are paid $20 tomorrow for an hour of work instead of $10 but the price of everything doubles you can say "inflation" was 100% (as expressed in prices) but it doesn't matter because you get paid twice as many dollars.  (Of course it matters a great deal if you saved those dollars from previous work, which is why inflation is bad and deflation is good -- but we're talking about the "Average Joe" that saves nothing.)

In short only purchasing power matters as measured by a monetary invariant -- such as an hour of work or a BTU of energy.

How much longer can this crap continue?  Are you a servant to the government today, dependent on those handouts?  Will you be tomorrow?  Do you think you can outrun this with your wits when a theft of nearly half of what should be yours in improved standard of living has already happened over the last 35 years?

Note that this improvement should happen for everyone.  A person who is dirt poor and has their standard of living improve by 70% is now probably lower middle class and self-sufficient!  Yes, the rich have even more.  So what -- so do you!

The schemes and scams concocted through monopoly games (such as in the health care and education fields) along with the continual deficit spending that destroys purchasing power is why you have not seen that 70% improvement.  It was stolen from you via the deliberate acts of our Government, including both political parties via deficit spending and permitting private banks to create ever more "dollars" via unbacked credit -- acts that are factual frauds.


The "wedge issues" that are often raised, whether they be "gay marriage", "pot smoking", "gun rights" or whatever else are a damned sideshow.  Do you really care about "gay marriage" if you are so damned poor you're living under a freeway overpass in a refrigerator box, gay or straight?  Do you really care about gun rights if you can't afford a gun no matter how little they cost because your income is insufficient to pay for food, water and a place to take a crap?

Go back and read that big, bold sentence up above again.

Read it however many times you need to until you get it.

Then decide.

Either you fix that and demand that the government enforce the law, returning to you what has been stolen, or sit down and shut up, because so long as you do not do that all of the other complaints you have are utterly immaterial to the outcome of your life and that of your children and grandchildren.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Apollo Astronaut: Climate Alarmism Is the ‘Biggest Fraud in the Field of Science’

CNS ^ | July 2, 2014 | Craig Bannister

Posted on ‎7‎/‎4‎/‎2014‎ ‎2‎:‎44‎:‎09‎ ‎PM by xzins

97% Climate Consensus ‘Most Nonsensical, Stupid Number in the World’

Climate alarmism is "the biggest fraud in the field of science" and the 97% consensus claim is nonsensical, Apollo 7 astronaut Walter Cunningham tells MRCTV in a preview of his presentation at the upcoming Heartland Institute climate conference, July 7-9.

"Since about 2000, I looked farther and farther into it," Col. Cunningham (USMC, Ret.) tells MRCTV in an exclusive interview. "I found that not one of the claims that the alarmists were making out there had any bearings, whatsoever. And, so, it was kind of a no-brainer to come to the conclusion."

Cunningham rejects the notion of man-made climate, not only as fact - but also as even qualifying as an actual "theory":

"In the media, it was being called a theory. Obviously, they didn't know what it means to be a theory."

"If we go back to the warmist hypothesis - not a theory, but, a hypothesis - they've been saying from the very beginning that carbon dioxide levels are abnormally high, that higher levels of carbon dioxide are bad for humans, and they thought warmer temperatures are bad for our world, and they thought we were able to override natural forces to control the earth's temperature. So, as I've looked into those, that's the problem that I've found, because I didn't find any of those to be correct - and, they certainly were not a theory, it was just their guess at what they wanted to see in the data they were looking at."

Cunningham urges Americans to look at the data and decide for themselves, instead of taking anyone else's word for it:

"You go out and take a look at it and you find out that a lot of it is pure nonsense and wishful thinking on the part of the alarmists who are looking for more and more money to fall into their hands."

"Don't believe it just because your professor said it. You gotta go take a look at it. Go back and look at the history of temperature and carbon dioxide, and you look at the value of carbon dioxide, and how it's a benefit today."

Cunningham notes that, while climate alarmists are concerned that the atmosphere currently contains 400 parts per million of CO2, that's only a tenth of the level his spacecraft had to reach before causing concern. In his Apollo craft, an alarm would go off when CO2 reached 4,000 parts per million and, in today's space shuttle, the trigger is 5,000. And, in submarines where crewmen may be on three-month missions, CO2 has to reach 8,000 parts per million before the alarm is activated.

"In one area after another, we find these people overly concerned about, one, the danger they're trying to push on us and, secondly, the claim that we can somehow or other control the earth's temperature by affecting it," Cunningham says.

"I can't say we don't have any impact, at all, but it'd be so miniscule and so tiny, that it wouldn't be worth any effort."

So, what does dictate the Earth's temperature? Cunningham says it's well-established that "principle controllers" are natural forces like sun, ocean temperature, and even volcanic activity.

Thus, he calls climate alarmism "the biggest fraud in the field of science":

"The case is, to me, really, it's laughable to find somebody who claims to be a serious scientist - that he would buy into this. So, I would really question anybody who claims to be a scientist doing this - so, what they do is try to control the nomenclature."

"To me, it's almost laughable, it's the biggest fraud in the field of science, certainly in my lifetime, maybe the biggest one in centuries."

"If you go back and you look at the data that has been well-documented over the years, you can look and see, for example, that right now both carbon dioxide and temperature are simultaneously at one of the lowest levels in at least the last 600-800 million years. The last time they were both together at this low a level, more or less, was 300 million years ago, and if you go back go back about 500-600 million years ago, carbon dioxide was 15 times higher than what it is now. So, what I'm getting at is this, the history shows you that most of this is just plain nonsensical today."

"And, the amazing thing to people like me... is that there are people that believe the nonsense they're being fed."

The media are largely to blame for public misconceptions - not because they're intentionally misleading the public, but because they "just don't want to go into the time and trouble to find out." "If they do go into it and look at it for themselves, they become a lot more neutral in their presentation," he says.

Worst of all, Cunningham says, media are promoting the "nonsensical" claim that there's scientific consensus accepting the hypothesis of man-made climate:

"When they're out propagating this so-called 97% of scientists believe we're controlling the temperature - I mean, that's the most nonsensical, stupid number in the world - and all they have to do is do a little research on Google - I'm not going to do it for them - go in there and take a look and you find out that's a ridiculous statement that people are making - and even the president makes a statement like that."

"If you have a totally anonymous survey of real scientists involved in this field, I would almost guarantee you that you going to have a majority that are not going to agree with the alarmists."

"I can only tell you that, even back in the days of Apollo, we didn't have to face this kind of nonsense," Cunningham concludes.

Editor's Note: Watch the Heartland Institute's 9th International Conference of Climate Change streaming live July 7-9, 2014 from Las Vegas, Nevada on

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

A Tale of Two Cities:

Reaganite Republican ^ | 24 June 2014 | Reaganite Republican

Posted on ‎6‎/‎24‎/‎2014‎ ‎2‎:‎24‎:‎20‎ ‎PM by Reaganite Republican

Chicago, IL
Houston, TX
2.7 million
2.15 million
Median HH Income
% African-American
% Hispanic
% Asian
% Non-Hispanic White

Pretty similar- until you compare the following...

Chicago, IL
Houston, TX
Concealed Carry gun law
# of Gun Stores
184 - Dedicated gun stores plus 1500 - legal places to buy guns- Walmart, K-mart, sporting goods, etc.
Homicides, 2012
Homicides per 100K
Avg. January high temperature (F)

Democrat’s Conclusion:
Cold weather from
global warming causes murder.

-h/t Kirby-

What liberal media won't tell you: School shooting deaths down, not up, across America (Fox News)


By Dr. John R. Lott Jr.

Published June 20, 2014

Is there an epidemic of school shootings? Parents are understandably fearful, but their fear is unjustified. Schools are relatively safe places, and they have gotten much safer.

While even one death is too many, the number of children killed in school shootings has declined over the last couple of decades. The drop is even larger than the overall decline in the murder rate.

Last week, Michael Bloomberg’s various gun control organizations exacerbated the fears by claiming that there were 74 school shootings since the actual Newtown school shooting in December 2012, and that something must be done. But Bloomberg’s numbers were dead wrong. They inflated the number by including attacks that were off of school property and unrelated to the school, lone suicides well after school hours by adults, a justifiable defensive use of a gun and gang fights outside of school hours.

There have obviously been ups and downs from year to year since large school shootings are rare, but the five-year averages have shown a consistent drop in gun deaths. Even including the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre, that is the trend.

Last week, CNN  investigated Bloomberg’s claim and said that over the previous 18 months, there had been 15 incidents where guns were brought onto school grounds in attempts to harm people.

But that is still a large number. A better measure is to focus on the amount of harm – the number of people killed – rather than the number of attacks.

On that front, things have improved dramatically over the last couple of decades. During the 2013-14 school year, there were three non-gang, non-suicide killings at universities, and three more at K-12 schools.

The National School Safety Center, a good source of statistics, started collecting data on K-12 violence in the 1992-93 school year. During the first five years, from 1992-93 to 1996-97, there were 26.8 gun murders per year on K-12 and university school property. In contrast, during the last five school years, 2009-10 to 2013-14, the average was 12 – a 55 percent drop.

There have obviously been ups and downs from year to year since large school shootings are rare, but the five-year averages have shown a consistent drop in gun deaths. Even including the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre, that is the trend.

With 77 million Americans between the ages of 5 and 22, that implies a school murder rate of 0.008 per 100,000 people in the 2013-14 school year, well less than 1 percent of the overall murder rate.

But mass school shootings aren’t the only thing where reality differs from people’s perceptions.  Overall, firearm homicide rates have plummeted as much as the firearm murders at school since 1992 (a 52 percent drop by 2012), but a recent Pew poll shows 45 percent of Americans believe that firearm homicide rates have gone up, only 10 percent realized that the rate had actually gone down.

The same misperception is happening on mass school shootings.

The media shapes our views on guns and crime in other ways.  What the media deems “newsworthy” doesn’t always give Americans an accurate measure of what is happening.  Take the case of defensive gun uses.  When was the last time you watched the national news and saw a story about someone using their gun to save a life? Yet, the national news ignores stories of guns being used to save lives, but the best estimates from survey data indicate that defensive gun uses are about four to five times more common than crimes committed with guns.

Of course, the media’s understandable obsession with newsworthiness not only gives Americans a misimpression of what is happening to crime rates and mass killings, but it also encourages mass killers, who thrive on this attention. Reading the Santa Barbara killer’s manifesto, it is clear that he was just one more person who craved attention and felt he could get it by killing as many people as possible.

Unfortunately, these misimpressions caused by the media have real consequences. Legislation gets passed that disarms law-abiding citizens and makes attacks more likely.

John R. Lott, Jr. is a columnist for He is an economist and was formerly chief economist at the United States Sentencing Commission. Lott is also a leading expert on guns and op-eds on that issue are done in conjunction with the Crime Prevention Research Center. He is the author of eight books including "More Guns, Less Crime." His latest book is "Dumbing Down the Courts: How Politics Keeps the Smartest Judges Off the Bench" Bascom Hill Publishing Group (September 17, 2013). Follow him on Twitter@johnrlottjr.

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Monday, June 23, 2014

Data Tampering At USHCN/GISS (from Real Science)

Data Tampering At USHCN/GISS

The measured USHCN daily temperature data shows a decline in US temperatures since the 1930s.  But before they release it to the public,  they put it thorough a series of adjustments which change it from a cooling trend to a warming trend.

The graph below shows the difference between the published data and the measured data.

The next blink comparator shows changes in the US temperature record from GISS. It alternates between their 1999 graph and the 2012 version of the same graph. The past is cooled and the present is warmed.

The next graph shows the difference between the 2012 version of the GISS US temperature graph, and 1999 version.

How the US hockey stick was built

As of 1999, there wasn’t any warming in the US

Hansen made these remarkable comments in 1999 :

Empirical evidence does not lend much support to the notion that climate is headed precipitately toward more extreme heat and drought. The drought of 1999 covered a smaller area than the 1988 drought, when the Mississippi almost dried up. And 1988 was a temporary inconvenience as compared with repeated droughts during the 1930s “Dust Bowl” that caused an exodus from the prairies, as chronicled in Steinbeck’s Grapes of Wrath…..

in the U.S. there has been little temperature change in the past 50 years, the time of rapidly increasing greenhouse gases — in fact, there was a slight cooling throughout much of the country

NASA GISS: Science Briefs: Whither U.S. Climate?

At that time, GISS US temperature data showed an 80+ year decline in US temperatures, with 1934, 1921 and 1931 being the three hottest years

This data has been deleted from the GISS web site, but originally resided at this URL


It has been archived here :

The next graph shows the 1920-1999 changes which Hansen made to the US temperature record since 1999 – in GISS version 3.


The GISS US temperature graph looks like this

Fig.D.gif (513×438)

The next blink comparator shows the changes that were made to the US temperature data since 1999. The year 1998 was promoted from #4 to #1.

Hockey sticks are indeed man-made – by climate activists pretending to be scientific heads of government agencies.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

A Cold Dawn Coming (American Thinker)


By David Archibald
There was a time in climate science when tree rings were used for good instead of evil, a time of innocent enquiry, a time that ended with the noble-cause corruption. From that time, one of the best predictions of climate ever made (weighted for distance and accuracy) was by two Californian researchers, Leona Libby and Louis Pandolfi. In 1979, they used tree ring data from redwoods in Kings Canyon to make a remarkably accurate forecast1 From a Los Angeles Times interview of that year,
When she and Pandolfi project their curves into the future, they show low!r average temperatures from now through the mid-1980s.  “Then,” Dr. Libby added, “we see a warming trend (by about a quarter of 1 degree Fahrenheit) globally to around the year 2000.  And then it will get really cold—if we believe our projections.  This has to be tested.”
How cold? “Easily one or two degrees,” she replied, “and maybe even three or four degrees.”
Three or four degrees! That would be worth confirming wouldn’t it? Confirmation had to wait almost thirty years later in a conference poster by Finnish forestry workers (Timonen et al 2007):

Figure 1:  Finnish climate prediction based on Scots pine tree ring data
The tree ring readings of the Finnish foresters are predicting a large decline in temperature bottoming out in about 2045. The downturn you see on the right hand side of the graph is as large as any in the last 200 years. A cold period longer and deeper than any other in the last 200 years would have lots of real world consequences. That would be worth following up on, wouldn’t it?
Well, we now have a way of cross-checking the tree-ring based predictions. A just-released climate model using a notch-delay filter has the promise of providing much higher resolution in climate forecasting. Using historic TSI data, the model can see out to 2025:

Figure 2:  Notch-Delay climate model and the UAH temperature record with a projection to 2020
The figure above shows the model output plotted against the UAH temperature record. It shows a very steep decline starting in late 2014 and ending in June 2016. After that it trends sideways for the rest of the decade. The green box shows the expected temperature range in this period. The predicted decline to mid-2016 is 0.6°C. That is not remarkable in itself. There are a few declines of that magnitude in the 34 years of the satellite record. The remarkable thing will be that the temperature will not bounce back.
We can predict out a further couple of decades using a prediction of Solar Cycle 25 peak amplitude of 7 (Livingstone and Penn) and the Lean 2000 TSI reconstruction back to 1610 as an indication of what TSI will fall to under Dalton/Maunder Minimum-like conditions:

Figure 3: Notch-Delay climate model and the CET record with a projection to 2045
The figure above plots the notch-delay model output against the Central England Temperature (CET) record. The hindcast match is good. The interesting thing is that the projected temperature decline of 3.0°C is within the historic range of the CET record. The low is reached about 2045, lining up with the projection from the Finnish tree ring study. Maunder and Dalton Minimum-like levels of solar activity will be associated with temperature levels similar to those recorded during these minima. There is nothing remarkable about that observation but it seems to be needed to be said.
There is another paper deriving Dalton-like levels of solar activity by the second half of the century. From Steinhilber and Beer in 2013:

Figure 4:  A prediction of solar activity to 2500
Let’s go on to consider some of the real-world impacts of the temperature decline coming. The big one is the reduction in agricultural production in prospect. Back in 1980, Newman determined that each 1.0°C change in annual average temperature moved the Corn Belt 144 km. The Midwest gets more polar amplification than the CET record so the temperature decline in prospect is larger at 4.4°C.  From the Corn Belt, this is the prediction for Whitestown, Indiana.

Figure 5:  Notch-Delay climate model applied to the Whitestown, Indiana temperature record
There are several factors that affect agricultural productivity:
  1. Productivity is directly proportional to temperature in the mid-latitudes.  For the Corn Belt it is 10% per 1.0°C of average annual temperature.  Corn requires temperatures above 10°C, wheat above 4°C.  Where it is too cold to get a corn crop off in a season, wheat is grown.  Where too cold for wheat, rye and oats are possible.
  2. As growing conditions move south, some formerly productive land will be abandoned.
  3. Regions in the south in which the length of the growing season allows double cropping will be reduced to one crop per season.
  4. Wheat production could go up by a switch from hard summer wheat to winter wheat which has a lower protein content and makes lower quality bread.
  5. Production will respond to higher prices – several farmers from the Midwest have told me that they could have a big increase in production with the right price signal.
  6. Large areas of land in the southeast and northeast US that are currently non-competitive with the Corn Belt could be brought into production with the right price signal.
  7. Also with the right price signal, a lot of food could be grown residentially. During WW2, 40% of U.S. vegetable production was from domestic plots. The appropriate high protein plant crop is soybeans which are 12% protein in the green bean. You can grow potatoes easily enough but they are only 2% protein.
All things considered, the production decline for U.S. agriculture could be 8% per 1°C. A fall of 3°C and the United States would be out of export markets for agricultural products, with the same true of most mid-latitude grain exporters. This will have profound geopolitical implications -- namely, starvation and collapse for countries that import food. That’s for next decade. This decade, once the temperature decline is widely apparent, currently importing countries around the world will rush to stockpile, bringing forward the price effect of scarcity.
If this sounds like the reverse echo of the global warming crowd, how often have leftist wealth-redistributors been right about anything? Given their track record, the exact opposite is the more likely outcome. We should be ever thankful to them though. If it wasn’t for their melodramatic predictions attracting honest scientists into the climate science field, humanity would be sleepwalking into the climatic and agricultural disruption that is coming. We will still have the consequent famine and death but we will know what’s causing it at the time.
P.S. -- Cold-driven famines over the last few hundred years are well documented.  Severe cold in the 1690s killed 30% of the population of Finland, and lesser percentages of other countries from France to Sweden. In Ireland, 20% of the population died in 1740, one hundred years before the more famous potato famine.  In 1816, the Swiss were eating their cats, dogs, rats and horses.
David Archibald, a Visiting Fellow at the Institute of World Politics in Washington, D.C., is the author of Twilight of Abundance: Why Life in the 21st Century Will Be Nasty, Brutish, and Short (Regnery, 2014). 

Friday, June 13, 2014

12 Numbers About The Global Financial Ponzi Scheme That Everyone Should Know



Submitted by Tyler Durden on 06/12/2014 19:58 -0400

Submitted by Michael Snyder of The Economic Collapse blog,

The numbers that you are about to see are likely to shock you.  They prove that the global financial Ponzi scheme is far more extensive than most people would ever dare to imagine.  As you will see below, the total amount of debt in the world is now more than three times greater than global GDP.  In other words, you could take every single good and service produced on the entire planet this year, next year and the year after that and it still would not be enough to pay off all the debt.  But even that number pales in comparison to the exposure that big global banks have to derivatives contracts.  It is hard to put into words how reckless they have been.  At the low end of the estimates, the total exposure that global banks have to derivatives contracts is 710 trillion dollars.

That is an amount of money that is almost unimaginable. And the reality of the matter is that there is really not all that much actual "money" in circulation today.  In fact, as you will read about below, there is only a little bit more than a trillion dollars of U.S. currency that you can actually hold in your hands in existence.  If we all went out and tried to close our bank accounts and investment portfolios all at once, that would create a major league crisis.  The truth is that our financial system is little more than a giant pyramid scheme that is based on debt and paper promises.  It is literally a miracle that it has survived for so long without collapsing already.

When Americans think about the financial crisis that we are facing, the largest number that they usually can think of is the size of the U.S. national debt.  And at over 17 trillion dollars, it truly is massive.  But it is actually the 2nd-smallest number on the list below.  The following are 12 numbers about the global financial Ponzi scheme that should be burned into your brain...

-$1,280,000,000,000 - Most people are really surprised when they hear this number.  Right now, there is only 1.28 trillion dollars worth of U.S. currency floating around out there.

-$17,555,165,805,212.27 - This is the size of the U.S. national debt.  It has grown by more than 10 trillion dollars over the past ten years.

-$32,000,000,000,000 - This is the total amount of money that the global elite have stashed in offshore banks (that we know about).

-$48,611,684,000,000 - This is the total exposure that Goldman Sachs has to derivatives contracts.

-$59,398,590,000,000 - This is the total amount of debt (government, corporate, consumer, etc.) in the U.S. financial system.  40 years ago, this number was just a little bit above 2 trillion dollars.

-$70,088,625,000,000 - This is the total exposure that JPMorgan Chase has to derivatives contracts.

-$71,830,000,000,000 - This is the approximate size of the GDP of the entire world.

-$75,000,000,000,000 - This is approximately the total exposure that German banking giant Deutsche Bank has to derivatives contracts.

-$100,000,000,000,000 - This is the total amount of government debt in the entire world.  This amount has grown by $30 trillion just since mid-2007.

-$223,300,000,000,000 - This is the approximate size of the total amount of debt in the entire world.

-$236,637,271,000,000 - According to the U.S. government, this is the total exposure that the top 25 banks in the United States have to derivatives contracts.  But those banks only have total assets of about 9.4 trillion dollars combined.  In other words, the exposure of our largest banks to derivatives outweighs their total assets by a ratio of about 25 to 1.

-$710,000,000,000,000 to $1,500,000,000,000,000 - The estimates of the total notional value of all global derivatives contracts generally fall within this range.  At the high end of the range, the ratio of derivatives exposure to global GDP is about 21 to 1.

Most people tend to assume that the "authorities" have fixed whatever caused the financial world to almost end back in 2008, but that is not the case at all.

In fact, the total amount of government debt around the globe has grown by about 40 percent since then, and the "too big to fail banks" have collectively gotten 37 percent larger since then.

Our "authorities" didn't fix anything.  All they did was reinflate the bubble and kick the can down the road for a little while.

I don't know how anyone can take an honest look at the numbers and not come to the conclusion that this is completely and totally unsustainable.

How much debt can the global financial system take before it utterly collapses?

How recklessly can the big banks behave before the house of cards that they have constructed implodes underneath them?

For the moment, everything seems fine.  Stock markets around the world have been setting record highs and credit is flowing like wine.

But at some point a day of reckoning is coming, and when it arrives it is going to be the most painful financial crisis the world has ever seen.

If you plan on getting ready before it strikes, now is the time to do so.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Barack Obama and His Urban Parasites Declare War on the Constitution (Sound like Toronto??)


By William A. Levinson

Who needs the birthers when we have Barack Obama himself?  His recent statement about the role of the U.S. Senate proves that he is a self-declared enemy of the United States Constitution and of its checks and balances on federal power.

At a Democratic fundraiser in Chicago Thursday night, Mr. Obama told a small group of wealthy supporters that there are several hurdles to keeping Democrats in control of the Senate and recapturing the House. One of those problems, he said, is the apportionment of two Senate seats to each state regardless of population.

“Obviously, the nature of the Senate means that California has the same number of Senate seats as Wyoming. That puts us at a disadvantage,” Mr. Obama said.

Of course, Wyoming has the same Senate representation as California specifically to prevent individuals like Barack Obama, and his constituency of urban parasites, from imposing their will on the less populous states.  This "Great Compromise" of 1787 was a condition of these states' willingness to join the United States in the first place.

This is also why each state gets no fewer than three electoral votes, regardless of population.  Hillary Clinton dislikes this arrangement, because it gives her constituency less leverage in presidential elections.

Urban Parasites: the Core of the Democratic Party

Barack Obama added explicitly that his kind of Democrats congregate primarily in big cities.  These cities are the sources of most of the country's problems, including attacks on the Second Amendment, attacks on the First Amendment via speech codes and zero tolerance policies in public schools, cap and trade mandates to enrich Goldman Sachs and J.P. Morgan Chase, and pressure for ever-increasing taxation of the nation's productive elements.  They are also centers for violent crime, drug distribution, and gang activity.  Most of Wilkes-Barre's drug and gang trouble, for example, originates in Philadelphia, New York, and Newark.

The modern big city is, regardless of the work ethic of its productive residents, an economic parasite.  Cities evolved for exactly two purposes, neither of which they serve today.  These were defensibility and commerce.  A city's walls could once stop swordsmen and spearmen almost indefinitely.  But no walls on Earth can keep out high-angle artillery, aircraft, or missiles.  The British proved this at Copenhagen in 1807, more than 100 years before the Paris Gun began to lob shells into Paris.  Now, of course, cities are convenient high-value targets for nuclear-armed maniacs like Kim Jong-un.

Cities also once served as centers of commerce.  If you wanted to buy or sell something you could not buy or sell in your village, you had to go to the city – and "a trip to the big city" was once a major and exciting event in people's lives.  Now it involves fighting traffic, looking for a place to park, and paying grossly inflated prices to cover the city's inherently parasitic nature.  The city is, therefore, a costly and outdated entity that Henry Ford identified as obsolete more than 90 years ago.

And finally, the overhead expense of living or doing business in the great cities is becoming so large as to be unbearable. It places so great a tax upon life that there is no surplus over to live on. The politicians have found it easy to borrow money and they have borrowed to the limit. Within the last decade [1910s] the expense of running every city in the country has tremendously increased.

This is not to say that many, if not most, people in cities do not work.  The people who commute to jobs in Manhattan certainly work, but their salaries have to cover inflated rents of well over $2,000 a month, New York State and City taxes, and other costs of the dubious privilege of living in Mayor de Blasio's worker's paradise.  Their employers have to pay rents 400 or more percent higher than those they would pay in, for example, northeast or central Pennsylvania.

A key element of supply chain value analysis is, in fact, the identification of waste in your supply chain.  If your supplier is in Manhattan, you are paying Bill de Blasio's inflated taxes, and the city's inherently exorbitant rents and costs of living, as well as for the goods or, more likely, services you are actually receiving.  When enough productive people and employers figure this out, the last worker to leave New York City will hopefully remember to turn out the lights, the way he did when he left Detroit.

The militarily and economically obsolete big city's parasitic nature, therefore, fosters an attitude of dependency, as opposed to self-reliance, among the inhabitants.  This is also why there is a huge gap between Obama Democrats and centrist and conservative Democrats from places like Northeast Pennsylvania.  The latter originated with industrious people like coal miners and factory workers, who were simply not getting a square deal from greedy and abusive employers (e.g., as depicted in The Molly Maguires).  Urban Democrats are against the private ownership of firearms, while coal miners once needed guns for protection against the mine bosses' private armies.

The sons and daughters of coal miners and factory workers know that you have to work for a living, while Obama's urban parasites think they can simply vote themselves health care benefits, welfare payments, and anything else they think they need.  Robert A. Heinlein warned of these others:

But once a state extends the franchise to every warm body, be he producer or parasite, that day marks the beginning of the end of the state. For when the plebs discover that they can vote themselves bread and circuses without limit and that the productive members of the body politic cannot stop them, they will do so, until the state bleeds to death, or in its weakened condition the state succumbs to an invader – the barbarians enter Rome.

One of the roles of the Senate's "one state, two votes" arrangement is to stop the parasites from voting themselves bread and circuses.  Barack Obama's own statements about the nature of the U.S. Senate, along with his confirmation that his kind of Democrat congregates in the nation's big cities, tell us everything we need to know about the upcoming House and Senate elections.

William A. Levinson, P.E. is the author of several books on business management including content on organizational psychology, as well as manufacturing productivity and quality.