Heyena confronts The Brain

Well DUH!!!

Morgan Freeman doing a promo for a new series called "Through the worm hole" on the "science" channel.

"... Are there more than three dimensions? ..."

If that's the quality of the material that will be in the show - I'll give it a pass. A retarded rhino knows more science than that!!!
Heyena confronts The Brain

I Moved!!!

Yep - the ads became too intrusive, and the features too thin.

Went to Wordpress. I'm GONE! Party time!

New addy is michaelepicray.com

See ya there?
Heyena confronts The Brain

A Series of Effects

<i>A Series of Effects

In the eco9nomy, an act, a habit, an institution, a law, gives birth not only to an effect, but to a series of effects. Of these effects, the first only is immediate; it manifests itself simultaneously with its cause - it is seen. The others unfold in succession - they are not seen: it is well for us if they are foreseen. Between a good and a bad economist this constitutes the whole difference - the one takes account of the visible effect; the other takes account both of the effects which are seen and also of those which is it necessary to foresee. Now this difference is enormous, for it almost always happens that when the immediate consequence is favorable, the ultimate consequences are fatal, and the converse. Hence it follows that the bad economist pursues a small present good, which will be followed by a great evil to come, while the true economist pursues a great good to come, at the risk of a small present evil.</i>

Claude Frédéric Bastiat - 1850 (P 1 of "The Bastiat Collection" 2nd edition.)

It would seem that not only did Monsieur Bastiat foresee our present economists - but that he knew their type rather well - thus our present great evils.
Heyena confronts The Brain

Economic Systems - the Bad and the Good. What works & What Doesn't.

On the economics system spectrum, there are two extremes. Absolute free trade on the one end, and Central Planning on the other. Neither "free trade" nor "centrally planned" economies work because they both have the same flaw - they ignore human nature. People are greedy - and lazy. In both of these systems you see both characteristics in play.

The best system I've seen (in terms of an overall good system that not only makes it possible for folks to become wealthy through hard work, but also takes care of the less-well-off) is what the US had from 1933 to 1971 - REGULATED free market. The entire system was well and appropriately REGULATED - the banks and the government couldn't just print up money because they wanted to (gold standard), so the monetary system was regulated to maintain a currency that had consistent value - thus making the value of currency (non-specific debt) predictable/stable. Also the banks were regulated to keep them from hoarding the wealth, and from getting "Too Big To Fail". With such a concentration of wealth, they could take over the nation.

As sort of a side effect, the regulated free market system also limited the length, height and depth of the business cycles. And the government had to pay down debt between wars/cyclical social spending sprees because otherwise they'd run out of money and couldn't get more without taxing the people - who would not tolerate that for too long.

In Economics I've not seen classifications of recessions/depressions - but I think they exist. I've identified two classes so far.

First there is the "Business Cycle" recession. Business cycles have been with us since about 3000 BC - and when you hear someone promising to eliminate them, hit them in the head and send them to the nearest salt mine because they're out to either steal your money, or your country. Business cycles operate according to the natural ebb and flow of greed and risk. Or should that be risk and greed? Business cycles are the constant inflation and deflation of "bubbles" - only they are generally small bubbles - and usually limited in either geographic locus or industry. So the Business cycle recession is self-limiting in both duration and depth.

The other type of economic downturn is what I choose to call the "Financial Recession". These are caused by an imbalance in, or lack of, properly regulated financial systems. Examples of this type are the Great Depression, the dot Com bubble, and our current depression.

In such recessions, things are much different. For example, in a Business Cycle recession, unemployment is a lagging indicator. In a financial recession, it's a leading indicator. Look at the dot.com bubble - unemployment started to rise about 3 months before the crash, and started to recover about 3 months before the recovery. In the current depression, despite the constant claims of recovery, unemployment is staying high - and the depression is still trending down or level. Despite the "technical" finding by the NBER that the recession was over, unemployment has remained high - and has even had periods of growth.

So - amaze your neighbors and friends by calling the REAL end of the depression! Watch for unemployment to start visibly dropping - and if it drops significantly for 3 months in a row - the depression is over! If it wobbles and goes up and down - it's not over.
Heyena confronts The Brain

Lybia & NATO & etc Status Report

Okay... the players & the SitRep.

The "Rebels" - an apparently rag-tag mob of malcontents who refused the aid and troops of the Army's disenchanted units, yet who seem to know absolutely NOTHING about fighting a war. Come on, people! Didn't you watch any war movies when you were growing up?

So I'm watching a bunch of these buffoons on CNN... And I see maybe ten or so of them run across a street and into an alley. Then another ten or so more buffoons run across the same street and into the same alley. The cameraman has more sense - and shoots the scene from across the street from the alley. At the other end is a crowd of about 20 lightly armed rebel "soldiers." And they're all in a tight bunch. And one of them alerts the enemy soldiers to their presence by firing either an RPG or some other weapon while the rest of the mob looks on and leans out to see if the one guy hit anything. I have my doubts that he did.

And in another scene we have rebels lugging a wooden crate and then popping it open, and taking shiny tubes out of it. And the guy is looking at them like, "What are these? How do they go together? DO they go together"? Hey... Libya? would someone check the daycares? I think some of your kids got loose.

The Army - Gaadaffy's army that is. After a couple of weeks of pounding by US and NATO jets, last I heard the Army is still holding at around 70 or 75% of their pre-rebellion strength. That tells me that they know how to fight. No matter who the crazy is or isn't at the top of the Chain of Command SOMEONE knows something about strategy and tactics. Then we hear about how hard it's getting for the NATO aircraft to tell the difference between the rebels and the Army because the Army has shifted to appropriate camouflage - they're now riding in cars and technicals - just like the rebels - and from a few thousand feet at 500 mph, it's hard to tell the difference - especially with really fluid lines like in Miserable-ratta. So once again the Army is kicking rebel butts.

And then NATO kills a couple of Rebel tanks. WHAT? The rebels have tanks??!!??!! And the Army's tanks have been destroyed? Would someone tell me why the rebels haven't just rolled over the Army? Oh, yeah. That strategy and tactics thing - and the infantry training. And where the hell did they get TANKS??? Find them in a garage, left-over from WW II?
The Europeans, who never saw a fight they couldn't win with their mouths, and who haven't had a decent military power on The Continent since WW II (except the US & the USSR). The Europeans have decided to send in ground troops. Gonna send a whole thousand sacrificial soldiers on what will eventually be a DIP mission if they actually close witih Gaadaffy's army. NATO can't fight - and they don't have enough troops to do anything worthwhile. IN Iraq and Afghanistan, I understand that they've been sending one or five soldiers as their "contribution." So NATO probably has about 50 "combat hardened" troops on the whole continent. So why are they sending in NATO troops? Why, so they can scream for help from Uncle Sugar, and since IIRC it was Obummer who opened the ball on intervention there in the first place - how can he say no? So US troops will be sent to die in Lybia while Obummer tries to figure out how he became GW Bush.

And finally - the US. Guestimates/rumors as reported on various TV shows (or I misinterpreted what was said) indicate that the US has a limited number of SoF people on the ground and if there's something nasty going on, you can pretty well bet the CIA is skulking around somewhere. Halliburton and Xi probably have their estimators wandering around figuring out how much to charge the US to go in so Obummer doesn't have to send actual US soldiers, but can just hire Mercs instead and then deny he started a war.

And a couple of days ago, NATO was hollering that they didn't have enough aircraft to do the job and they needed US planes back, and now they say they have PLENTY of planes to cover their troops...

Now - you have to understand that I don't have any infantry training either. I know a few folks who do, and I listen to them talk. But I'm no expert. If you are an expert, I'd appreciate being told what I missed or messed-up so we can get this right. I have no fear of being wrong - just of being wrong and continuing wrong.

And while I'm being corrected, could someone tell me when rebellion became acceptable? The last I knew, it was only acceptable AFTER it was over and the rebels had won. Far be it from me to even begin to think that people who don't care for their governments can now just pick up guns and start shooting government officials and blowing up government buildings. Did Obama consider the message he was sending when he decided to intervene on the side of the rebels?

It's a mess. It's a mess that if Obama is smart - something that he's never been accused of, he'll withdraw ALL US assets, and send them at flank speed (whatever that is) over the horizon and stay there, and stop wasting million dollar missiles on camels and sand dunes. Let NATO screw their own pooches.

And I've wondered for 20 years why NATO still exists? DOH! Silly me. It's all that surplus and thus CHEAP office space in Brussels.
Heyena confronts The Brain


RAIN!!! We got some RAIN!!! We're all the way up to 3.2" of moisture this year! That would be a bit less than 1/10 of our usual annual amount.

RE: Jim's Keller's comment, "It's also a good idea to plant a damned garden." which I felt was worthy of expansion to a post of its own.

We plant our garden with plant spacing according to "arid/dry" standards just in case the later rains don't come. For example, each potato hill will have 16 square feet (4' x 4'). Each corn plant will have either 9 square feet, or 15 square feet... I can't remember that one and will have to check the chart before we plant. The "main corn field" is allocated a bit over 1700 square feet this year, with a few new varieties that will be planted in our "E garden" (Experimental) which will be in addition to the main planting. (The E Garden is about 2500 sq ft.) Potatoes and tomatoes will take up a plot that takes up about 1400 square feet, and we have 1,000 sq ft each of rye and hard red winter wheat in another experimental plot. Our total garden area this year will be +/- a half acre. (+/- 20,000 sq ft.)

I've been telling everyone I talk to - in grocery stores, gas stations, etc, that they should grow a BIG garden this year - and if they can't, they should dedicate appropriate storage space and start buying canned foods.

Our main garden reference is a book titled, "Gardening When It Counts" by Steve Solomon. And we pick up tips and useful bits here and there - like we know how to keep the raccoons out of our corn - courtesy of a Brulé Sioux woman who lived in the 1800s named "Buffalo Bird Woman" who dictated her methods to a white man - who published the knowledge in a book.

And no - we're better than "organic" since the term now includes people who use some herbicides and pesticides - which we do not.
Heyena confronts The Brain

Remember - you read it here first!

I have been asked by many folks what to invest in to prepare for when times get really bad, ie when the dollar crashes. (WHEN, not if.)

Many folks out there are advising that people buy gold, or silver.

Can you EAT gold? Sure... but it'll probably hurt coming out.

Will gold keep you warm or safe? Nope.

If you want an investment pyramid that will yield you REAL value when the world's economy goes to crap - take a look at Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs. Then, pre-crash, buy assets that will satisfy those human needs - starting at the top of the importance ranking of the needs. Then no matter what happens to gold or to paper currency or the "banking system" - YOU will survive as long as you can defend your investments.

That's my advice.
Heyena confronts The Brain

Good Fairy of Monetary Policy Killed in Train Wreck!

Last September I wrote an analysis piece.


 IN it I wrote that the people who know what's going on economically are: "...hoping the Good Fairy of Monetary Policy appears and grants them some free wishes." Well... like I said then and as the title of this piece indicates - it ain't gonna happen.

 If you haven't read that post, you might want to do so.

 Here's where we are NOW. If you take a bucket and start pouring water into it, no matter how slowly you pour, as long as you're pouring faster than the evaporation rate, eventually that bucket is going to fill up. Reasonable people would then stop pouring, and only pour more money... I mean water... into the system... I mean bucket, when the water is used by someone or it evaporates below a pre-determined optimum water level.

 But as indicated in the above referenced piece, BBB (Bungling Ben Bernanke) hasn't been pouring water into the bucket. He has a 5 gallon bucket and a 2" hose, and he's got the hose running full blast! QE? Too much money, too fast. Buying Treasury notes? Too much money too fast. Government spending supported by FED loans? Open the valve!!! MORE MORE FASTER FASTER!!! ie Greenspaz and BBB have made a hell of a mess. Damned water/money EVERYWHERE!

 Of course, leaving the simile, when you create that much money, the pressure of it will sooner or later find holes to leak through and it will go where you don't want it to go. When you start to see references to hyper-inflation in the popular press (as lately) you KNOW you're in the soup because if non-economists can see it (finally), then it has become the elephant on the bathroom scale! And if it's THAT obvious, then people will have what they call, "inflationary expectations" which means they'll start looking for higher wages to pay the higher inflationary prices. (And no, Ben - inflationary expectations do NOT create inflation. They are a RESULT of it.) So BBB has been pouring all that money into the overseas markets while controlling the domestic banks - trying to create a "recovery" without letting the inflationary cat out of the bag.

But the global economy is just that - it's GLOBAL. Ben's sneaky-pete secret overseas hyper-inflation is sneaking back to domestic markets. So... as I said and have been saying for some time - hyper-inflation is upon us!

But here's the wrinkle in the sheets that should keep you from sleeping. When most people consider economic and monetary phenomena like inflation and monetary policy - they forget that the US Dollar (USD)is in a unique position in the global system. The USD is the principle Reserve Currency of a huge part of the world. What that means is that nations all over the world use Dollars to back-up their currency - they establish the value of their currency by holding USDs in their vaults/on their global balance sheets.

Now, let's go back to BBB and his bucket and hose. Here's what the status of reserve currency means when we start talking about inflation and hyper-inflation... picture BBB standing there with his hose running full blast into a 5 gallon bucket... at the foot of the Hoover Dam. The water behind the dam represents the number of US Dollars being held in reserve around the world.

So... now picture nations losing faith in the dollar's value, caused by, saaaay a little hyper-inflation. Do these nations want the value of THEIR currency to lose value as the USD goes into hyper-inflation? Oh HELL no! So what do they do? What they're doing is they have begun to switch from just using dollars, to using a "market basket" of currencies as reserve. This is a transition phase between using the USD and using something else. During the transition phase. They're opening the spill gates on the Hoover Dam and people Are starting to notice the rising levels of water. So they start to fear that maybe the dam isn't so sturdy as they thought, and they start climbing the sides of the canyon below the dam. As they climb, they change the percentage of their currency mix held in reserve - using less and less USDs. And as they use less and less USDs, the spill gates open wider and wider... until eventually the dam itself (international monetary policy) can't handle the pressure and breaks - and you get a FLOOD of dollars roaring down stream in a spectacular display, you get a tidal wave of cheap money!

 And the USD is destroyed.

The process has already started and I believe it may have gone too far to stop. One thing is certain - UNLESS BBB changes his policies and SOON!, and UNLESS the US government STOPS SPENDING NOW!, I'm looking for ways to get up that canyon wall faster!

(And as a side note - the way out isn't through other currencies - when the USD goes, unless the other nations have taken some extraordinary steps - they'll go too.)


Heyena confronts The Brain

Gravity - the "Weak" Force? I Think Not.

How many times have you heard someone say, "Gravity is the weak force." What you are hearing is the sound of a person who has not thought the subject through.

They'll go on about how gravity is so weak, we can overcome the gravity of the Earth with our puny little muscles, and such like idiocies. And while such thoughts are true as far as they go, they have at the same time missed the truth.

Here's why. Gravity is not weak - it's STRONG - possibly the strongest force in the universe. Why do I say that? Because gravity, present to some degree throughout the universe, is dispersed throughout the universe instead of being localized like "stronger" forces. So when you measure the gravity on the surface of Earth, you aren't measuring the total gravity. You are only measuring the DIFFERENCE between the level of gravity on Earth, and what I'll call background gravity.

Consider - The Platte River in Nebraska is a shallow stream. I've been told that in some places, you can step across it without getting your shoes wet. But that's for most of the year. In the Spring, when the rains come and the snow melts it's quite a different matter. Then an enormous amount of water flows down the Platte... and raises the water level. In pioneer days, the story went that during the Spring floods, in some places the water would get as deep as a foot or two! Ten miles wide, one foot deep. You could still walk across it - and it had very little force to it.

But say all that water were to be channeled down to a narrow opening between rocky cliffs! Suddenly you have a raging torrent, a half mile wide and twenty feet deep! (If you don't like my math, do your own1 ;-D) While you would say that the flood waters on the flats have no force, would the exact same amount of water STILL be said to have no force when focused, when concentrated in a smaller area? What if the water started out to be 20 feet deep all the time - and in the spring, you only added two feet to it? Would you even notice the difference?

Likewise gravity. Focus it, accumulate a small pile of it around a planet and it becomes a significant enough force that it requires a lot of energy to overcome it! Now consider the gravity exerted by a star's core material! Greater density seems to focus gravity and make it locally stronger - but only relative to the background level of gravity.

Of course, the problem is, the level/strength of the total gravity in the universe cannot currently be measured. So... from our perspective we can refer to it as a weak force - but by doing so we introduce a conceptual error that may well keep us from properly understanding the force and its nature.

So... gravity as a "weak" force? I think not. You just have to properly appreciate the context that the measurement is being taken in.