Friday, June 26, 2009

This Aint No Stinkin Recovery

According to an article on MSNBC the "green shoots" of recovery are showing themselves and the economic free fall is bottoming out. As we all know this is pure propaganda. We are no where near the bottom and will never see the recovery...the days of American economic dominance are over.

"Despite persistent layoffs, the economy seems to be faring better than it was at the start of the year.

The Labor Department said Thursday that new jobless claims jumped unexpectedly last week. And the number of people continuing to receive unemployment aid rose more than expected.

The figures indicate that jobs remain scarce even as the economy shows some signs of recovering from the longest recession since World War II."

We are still losing hundreds of thousands of jobs each month. Recently media has pointed to the slowing in unemployment rolls as an indicator that the rate of decline is slowing. This really only shows that the people are running out of their six month supply of unemployment benefits and dropping off the back end of the meter.

The American economy must grow at a rate of 125,000 jobs every month to keep up with the young workers entering the job market. We are still losing in excess of 300,000 jobs monthly. These workers are the only people who can bring us out of this great recession. Our economy is built on people buying stuff and if your job is in jeopardy you simply won’t be spending money. You save it if you still have a job.

"The nation’s unemployment rate hit a quarter-century peak of 9.4 percent last month when employers eliminated 345,000 jobs. Joseph LaVorgna, chief U.S. economist at Deutsche Bank, forecasts that employers will have cut a net total of 325,000 jobs this month and the unemployment rate will rise to 9.6 percent. The June employment report will be released July 2."

In other words America is down an additional 920,000 plus jobs for May and June. Almost 1 million jobs cut in the past two months. Add service sector jobs that support those Americans and you are probably looking at 1.2 million. This is not a recovery in any way.

These jobs are gone forever and won’t be coming back. Jobs growth is the only true meter of economic recovery that matters. Don't believe the propaganda, plan accordingly you need to be able to feed and protect your family for at least three years.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

The Bed Is Bouncing

On a few occasions I have been awoken in the early morning hours by a low noise that can best be described as a diesel truck idling outside the house the noise has been accompanied by a gentle pulsing that you can actually feel in the bed and even standing in the middle of the house. I have heard this noise probably five times usually around three in the morning. The dogs can also hear the noise and twice they woke me with their growling.

Last night about one in the morning I woke up to the bed pulsing and I heard the low hum of the big truck the dogs were both awake and growling. I got up and went out on the front porch and could still hear and feel the phenomenon. It was a calm clear night and the noise seemed to come from everywhere. I pulled on my boots, grabbed a flashlight and went up on the ridge to see if maybe there was a truck idling on the other side of the hill. Found nothing but the coyotes were going crazy yelping. Could still hear and feel the rhythmic pulse.

I am currently using the backup inverter and I shut if off when I go to bed so there is nothing powered in the house that can vibrate. It is not a helicopter or C130 cargo plane. Both of these frequently fly over very low transporting between Los Alamos and Colorado Springs usually at night. They also wake me up. I have heard it on windy nights but last night it was calm.

As best as I can tell this is the Taos Hum which is a world wide phenomenon that manifests itself as a low throbbing noise in very quiet parts of the world. I have talked with a few neighbors they and their animals also experience the “hum” usually around three in the morning.

It’s not really annoying just kind of weird.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Introvert vs Extrovert

I have always been surrounded by people until recently. The one thing I have always craved was solitude…just wanted to be alone.

Now there are two basic types of personalities in this world. The introvert is a person who is energized by being alone and whose energy is drained by being around other people and the extrovert who is energized by being around other people and tends to fade without the human interaction.

One of the things I have noticed living down here is that if I go more than a few days without seeing anyone I quickly drop into a funk and have a hard time focusing or really getting anything done. But if I run to town for a cup of coffee in the morning then the rest of the day turns out real productive even enjoyable.

Online interaction helps but still does not give me the fix I get from being around people even for a few minutes. I don’t even need to talk with the people just being around them works. So, am I really a closet extrovert or is it simply habit developed over a lifetime of city living. I still crave the solitude and love it but apparently need that human interaction.

I bring this up because understanding your personality requirements before you jump headlong into a life removed from society will help you better prepare. If you truly are an extrovert then relocating to a farm forty miles from the nearest neighbor might not be the best move for you. But the true introvert would thrive in that environment.

If you as an introvert pick up and move the family to the wilderness and your partner is an extrovert who must have human interaction the marriage will not last through the winter. Even moving your family out of the city for protection can be a bad move if one of you cannot mentally thrive without that interaction. You can still make the move but you need to plan for the personality needs of everyone in your party.

Your neighbors are also important is this discussion. Can you just drop by and visit…maybe have them over for a beer or are they hardcore survivalists locked within a fenced compound.

A big standard for my move out of the consumer society was not to simply survive but to thrive. It is not enough to be able feed, cloth and shelter yourself. You must mentally thrive or you will fail.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

The Right Medicine

Most people embarking on this life path plan fairly well. They stock a variety of food to hold them for several years. Acquire the proper firearms and put back plenty of ammunition. Even gather a variety of heritage seeds to start down their path to a relatively self sustainable lifestyle. We tend to gather the supplies that are easy and fun but occasionally neglect the truly critical.

I picked up two large first aid kits in my preparing to leave the greater society behind. My assumption was that these kits would include everything I need, they were easy to transport and store plus a cost effective all in one purchase. I have been very wrong on this account. The kits are convenient but tend to have lots of little stuff like small band aids and tiny aspirin neglecting the larger more critical items. Here are a few examples.

For instance when I dropped the drill and gouged my stomach it left a relatively deep three inch cut on my fat belly. I went to the first aid kit dug through the multitude of small band aids found some gauze and tape. First off gauze and tape is very awkward and inconvenient especially when you are hurt and cussing. Secondly gauze tends to stick into the cut. Thirdly you run out, the big kits are stocked well with the cheapest band aids and aspirin available but anything more involved is kept in low numbers. I had to go buy some large easy band aids and antibacterial cream.

My diet has consisted mainly of rice, beans, oats some bread with other meat products cut in for flavor and protein. Mostly canned fish products such as mackerel or tuna occasionally some spam but not that often. Easy to prepare and stores forever.

So last night if you read my twitter posts you know I had a treat of Treet. Really tasty and I needed the infusion of fatty meat. Well my body had gotten used to the usual stores so this treat messed up my digestive tract something awful. I had horrible heartburn and even worse diarrhea.

For heartburn I tend to mix up a half teaspoon of baking soda in water and it kills the acid real quick. Much much cheaper than Pepcid plus it has many uses. Unfortunately one of the side effects of the baking soda antacid is a loosening of the stool from the sodium. So this wouldn't work. In the past I would just swig a gulp of Peptobismol but don't have any handy. I just bared it out and was fine the next morning.

This will happen to you if you change your diet dramatically when you move. The body gets used to particular foods and optimizes for their digestion. The introduction of something new is ok but expect a kick from the system. This is particularly true moving from the typical American high fat diet to a denser high fiber diet.

Mosquitoes are bad here this year some years they don't bother me at all but this year has been really wet and they are think. In the past I would just cover myself in a layer of dust and they wouldn't bother me, free and works great, but if the ground is wet or your showers are limited to one or twice a week this is not a good option. So a several year supply of mosquito repellent is critical. Put screens on your windows.

Make sure your medical supplies contain plenty of items to combat the gastric distresses especially if your diet is changing. I really should have heavily stocked up on Pepcid, Peptobismol and some anti gas products. Large easy to replace bandages are critical as well as antibacterial cream and really good tweezers if you are building. If you have algeries put back plenty of generic Benadryl capsules, this works on dogs also if they get snake bit or stung by something.

Plan out in detail your medical supplies get a good stock of everything you will need. This is boring but of critical importance. Ideally you will learn the natural remedies for the more common ills that overtake you but until then stock up. You can always trade out these items as you become more established.

You also need to spend sometime detailing a medical emergency plan. What if you break your leg, what about a really bad tooth ache or god forbid a heart attack. What do you do when calling 911 is not an option.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Nuke Option

After much consideration and study I have decided that our health insurance reform will look like the following. Every American will be mandated to purchase health insurance from a for-profit health insurance agency. The bill will resemble the criminal mandatory auto insurance that is forced on most people in this country. Basically if you don’t buy it you go to jail, have your wages garnished and be flogged in the public square…with no paid hospital visit afterwards.

The American health care industry is a massive fraud that adds 30% overhead to all medical care bills. The American health insurance industry makes money by denying claims after you have purchased the policy or simply dropping you if you develop a sever (expensive) illness. This is a corrupt system that needs to be eliminated.

Even if you don’t want single payer health insurance plan we can all agree that mandatory participation in a failed system is obscene.

I will not participate in this criminal raping of the American people and will go to jail and get free health care before I allow this massive “tax” to be levied against me.

The corrupt senate, who is owned by the insurance and banking industries, released their health insurance overhaul today…the same day that the 106 billion dollar emergency war funding bill was sent to the President.

Note, that 106 billions dollars would buy 22 million Americans a 4800 dollar health insurance policy for the year.

I say cut the defense budget by 90%, close all our overseas bases and scuttle our navy. That saves 464 billion dollars that could easily insure 88 million Americans with that 4800 dollar policy. Now if you paid half or $200 dollars a month then the number covered by this plan jumps to 176 million Americans.

But what will we do for Defense you ask. Well we adopt a little policy call “If you fuck with us we will nuke you”. Oh that is what the 10% of the defense budget is for…maintain our nuclear arsenal.

Here are some of the details of the emergency war funding bill. These details will piss you off.

US lawmakers late Thursday sent President Barack Obama a 106-billion-dollar emergency bill to fund the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, fight swine flu, aid Pakistan and boost IMF loans to poor nations.

Among other budget items, the measure provides 79.9 billion dollars for Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as 7.7 billion dollars to combat the A(H1N1) flu virus.

The bill also includes eight billion dollars for the International Monetary Fund and a 100-billion-dollar US line of credit for the IMF to help developing countries combat the impact of the global recession.

And it comprises 400 million dollars to help build up the Pakistani security forces' ability to wage counterinsurgency warfare at a time when US lawmakers worry about the nuclear-armed ally's stability.

The measure includes one billion dollars to foster economic development and democratic governance in Afghanistan and 433 million for US diplomatic operations and facilities there.

For Pakistan, the bill includes 707 million dollars for boosting agriculture and food security, assist displaced residents, boost democratic governance, and improve education.

Another 900 million dollars would go to building a new secure US embassy and consulates in Pakistan, and 700 million more dollars for counterinsurgency funding starting September 30.

For Iraq, the bill includes 472 million dollars to continue stabilization programs, and strengthen governance and rule of law; and 486 million for diplomatic operations.

The measure includes 660 million dollars in economic, humanitarian and security assistance for the West Bank and Gaza; 300 million dollars for Jordan, 310 million for Egypt, and 69 million dollars for Lebanon.

It includes 555 million dollars of Obama's 2.775 billion dollar request for security aid to Israel.

The bill provides one billion dollars for the so-called "cash for clunkers" program to stimulate the struggling auto industry, paying car buyers cash if they trade in their old gas-guzzling cars for newer more fuel-efficient models.