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August 2011

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17

We Didn't Read this in High School.

August 30, 2011 – Comments (14)

It took the genius of labor and the lives of all Americans to produce the wealth of this land. If any man, or 100 men, wind up with all that has been produced by 120,000,000 people, that does not mean that those 100 men produced the wealth of the country; it means that those 100 men stole, directly or indirectly, what 125,000,000 people produced. Let no one tell you that the money masters made this country. They did not such thing. Very few of them ever hewed the forest; very few ever hacked a crosstie; very few ever nailed a board; fewer of them ever laid a brick. Their fortunes came from manipulated finance, control of government, rigging of markets, the spider webs that have grabbed all businesses; they grab the fruits of the land, the conveniences and the luxuries that are intended for 125,000,000 people, and run their heelers to our meetings to set up the cry. "We earned it honestly." The Lord says they did no such thing. The voices of our forefathers say they did no such thing. In this land of abundance, they have no right to impose starvation, misery, and pestilence for the purpose of vaunting their own pride and greed....   [more]

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USDA Crop Report

August 30, 2011 – Comments (0)


WASHINGTON, August 11, 2011 – As U.S. farmers are on track to produce the third largest corn crop in history, this summer’s extreme hot and dry conditions across much of the country are hindering soybean, cotton and all wheat production. This is the latest forecast, according to the Crop Production report released today by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS).
            Corn production is forecast at 12.9 billion bushels, up 4 percent from last year. Based on conditions as of August 1, corn yields are expected to average 153.0 bushels per acre, up 0.2 bushel from 2010, and the fourth highest yield on record. Acreage planted for all purposes is estimated at 92.3 million acres, unchanged from NASS’s June estimate in the Acreage report.
            NASS reports a different picture for soybean production, which is forecast at 3.06 billion bushels, down 8 percent from last year. Based on August 1 conditions, yields are expected to average 41.4 bushels per acre, down 2.1 bushels from last year. Planted area to soybeans is estimated at 75.0 million acres, down fractionally from the previous NASS estimate.
            One of the largest production declines is reported for cotton as drought plagues much of the Cotton Belt. All cotton production is forecast at 16.6 million 480-pound bales, down 9 percent from last year’s 18.1 million bales. While yield is expected to average 822 pounds per harvested acre, up 10 pounds from last year, producers only expect to harvest 9.67 million acres of all cotton, down 10 percent from 2010.
            All wheat production, at 2.08 billion bushels, is down 1 percent from the July forecast and down 6 percent from last year. Based on conditions as of August 1, the U.S. yield is forecast at 45.2 bushels per acre, up 0.6 bushel from last month but down 1.2 bushels from 2010. Specifically, double-digit decreases are expected in Durum and other spring wheat production from last year due to flooding and excessively wet conditions earlier in the season.
            Durum wheat production is forecast at 57.1 million bushels, down 10 percent from July and down 47 percent from 2010. The U.S. yield is forecast at 42.4 bushels per acre, up 3.7 bushels from last month but unchanged from last year. Acres planted to Durum wheat are down nearly 18 percent from the previous estimate in June, a change based on farmer re-interviews during mid- to late-July.
            Other spring wheat is forecast at 522 million bushels, down 5 percent from last month and down 15 percent from last year. The forecasted yield is 42.5 bushels per acre, up 0.8 bushel from last month but down 3.6 bushels from 2010. Acres planted to other spring wheat are down 7 percent from the estimate in the June Acreage report, another result of the producer re-interviews.
The August Crop Production report contains USDA’s first survey-based estimates of yield and production for corn, soybeans and other spring-planted row crops. Between July 25 and August 6, NASS surveyed approximately 27,000 producers and also took objective field measurements from more than 4,500 plots of land in the major crop-producing states. In addition, producers in Minnesota, Montana, North Dakota and South Dakota were resurveyed for updated planted information following the June Acreage report. Crop Production is published monthly and is available online at
www.nass.usda.gov.  [more]

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6

Irene Insurance

August 27, 2011 – Comments (2)

As I await the arrival of Irene, my local news is pointing out that Irene is weakening and is borderline between being Tropical Storm Irene with winds up to 73mph, and Hurricane Irene with winds over 75mph. My weatherman is correct in asserting that I really will not know the difference, 5mph one way or the other is not significant  [more]

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3

Would You Take It?

August 22, 2011 – Comments (12)

Averaged across the United States, union employees earned 25% more, $917/week vs non union employees who averaged $717/ week   [more]

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5

Recent Predictions Linking Global Warming and Extreme Weather?

August 15, 2011 – Comments (10)

 I know, some of you still disagree.  [more]

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12

Renting Vs Buying,

August 14, 2011 – Comments (33)

In the wake of the recent housing crash a lot of arguments have been made that the federal gov't's policy of promoting home ownership through Fannie and Freddie was a mistake.   [more]

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4

Wow! The Moneys All back!

August 09, 2011 – Comments (1)

Hard to believe that Congress's incompetence over the debt ceiling caused investors to sell off their holdings for two days then, a still equally incompetent Congress caused them to buy them back today. Hard to believe that it was European debt problems. In fact it is hard to believe that it was investors.   [more]

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Unrelated Storys

August 08, 2011 – Comments (2)

For the last fifteen years I have heard politicians tell us that small increases in the tax that supports Social Security was needed to keep it able to pay retired Americans enough to keep from being impoverished. Whether that tax came in the form of taxing all income instead of capping it, or a higher rate than the 12% it is, all that was needed was a small increase that never came. I heard that privatising SS was the answer, that people could invest their money better than SS could, though I have also heard that most mutual fund managers cannot beat the S&P500.  [more]

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Cute Baby.

August 08, 2011 – Comments (6)

Very cute baby.  [more]

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7

The Future of Food

August 07, 2011 – Comments (9)

Long, and worth the watch. You really cannot learn anything from a two minute spot on CNBC, MSNBC.  [more]

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US Shale Gas: Less Abundance, Higher Cost

August 06, 2011 – Comments (13)

From The Oil Drum - http://www.theoildrum.com/node/8212

 - Arthur E. Berman and Lynn F. Pittinger;  [more]

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6

"So what?"

August 04, 2011 – Comments (6)

said the 26% of retired Americans who get all of their income from Social Security.  [more]

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