State hopes to break car owners’ habit of changing oil too often
“Many automobile owners are spending more than they need on motor oil, believing that it should be changed every 3,000 miles even though almost no manufacturer requires such an aggressive oil-change schedule.
The long-held notion that the oil should be changed every 3,000 miles is so prevalent that California officials have launched a campaign to stop drivers from wasting millions of gallons of oil annually because they have their vehicles serviced too often.”
Via LA Times
“Is nonconformity and freethinking a mental illness? According to the newest addition of the DSM-IV (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders), it certainly is. The manual identifies a new mental illness called “oppositional defiant disorder” or ODD. Defined as an “ongoing pattern of disobedient, hostile and defiant behavior,” symptoms include questioning authority, negativity, defiance, argumentativeness, and being easily annoyed.
The DSM-IV is the manual used by psychiatrists to diagnose mental illnesses and, with each new edition, there are scores of new mental illnesses. Are we becoming sicker? Is it getting harder to be mentally healthy? Authors of the DSM-IV say that it’s because they’re better able to identify these illnesses today. Critics charge that it’s because they have too much time on their hands.”
“A friend of mine took note recently that a large portion of activists involved in the Liberty Movement had hit extremely hard times, or had been struggling financially even before the general economic collapse began to take hold. He asked me my theory on why it was that so many of us are always so broke. I could only relate that it is almost always the working class poor in any society that first sees the effects of a corrupt government and a faulty economic system. Those who legitimately hold to the principles of self sustainment, and fair play, are usually the first to be stabbed in the back by the establishment, and so, they are the first to become politically active against it. That is to say, sometimes we have to lose almost everything before we are able to see the bigger picture.
While I consider this fact a source of solace in these extraordinarily hard times, it still does little to put food on the table, or survival gear in the bug-out-bag. “
Via Zero Hedge
Dear Nouriel Roubini: The Fundamental Case for Gold Has Not Changed; To Understand, All Roubini Need Do is Look in a Mirror
“The US dollar has seen or crossed this level six times. In effect there has been no net movement in the US dollar for six years. Meanwhile in every instance, with each cross of 80.50 level on the US dollar index, there has been an upward trend in the price of gold.
At the beginning of 2005 gold was at $435. The US dollar index was 80.5.
Now gold is $1640 with the US dollar index a half-point higher at 81.0
Is there any conceivable reason I should change my position on gold (or for that matter the US dollar). “
“The fact of the matter is gold does well in deflation. It also does well in times of credit stress. There is immense credit stress right now in sovereign debt in Europe.
Moreover, central banks have on-and-off stepped on the monetary pedal in unison to combat recessions and deflation. Gold has reacted to that. Recently, gold has reacted to Fed statements regarding QE3 and bond buying by the ECB.”
“If central banks do not resort to the printing press, if governments do not give in to more absurd Keynesian stimulus ideas, and if the US budget deficit is brought under control, then, yes, gold may have topped.
How likely is that? “
“One of the more curious dynamics for those who follow the gold market closely, has been the relentless grind lower (or higher if looked at on an absolute value basis), of gold lease rates (defined as Libor – GOFO), which recently hit all time record lows (i.e., negative), for the 1 month version, although the more traditional 3 Month (as it is based on the benchmark 3M USD Libor) was also quite close to breaching historic low levels. And while we have discussed the nuances of Libor-GOFO, or the gold lease rate extensively before, a good summary was presented by Jesse’s Cafe Americain yesterday, who correctly suggested that record lease rates are a primary driver for the near historic sell off we experienced yesterday. In a nutshell, negative lease rates mean one has to pay for the “privilege” of lending out one’s gold as collateral – a prima facie collateral crunch. The lower the lease rate, the greater the use of gold as a source of liquidity – and since the indicator is public – it is all too easy for entities that do have liquidity to game the spread and force sell offs by those who are telegraphing they are in dire straits and will sell their gold at any price if forced, to prevent a liquidity collapse. “
Via Zero Hedge
“On September 17, 1939, Russia invaded Poland, and over the next year over 1.7 million Poles were deported to labor camps or sent into exile into Kazakhstan and Siberia. Their only crimes at the time were being Polish citizens. None of the land or homes taken by the Russians was ever returned to these Poles after the war, despite their release from the Gulag in 1941 to fight with distinction under the British army. Per the 1943 Tehran Declaration, post WWII, Eastern Poland remained a part of Russia. Winston Churchill said of Poland in 1946, “We who went to war on her behalf…watch with sorrow the strange outcome of our endeavors.”
Fiat currencies are particularly vulnerable during war and often become rapidly worthless as countries fail. Such was the case for my grandparents, who in 1939 resided in eastern Poland. This is their story as told to me by my grandfather, Marion Szablicki:
Early morning on September 18th, 1939, I learned the rumors of the Russian invasion of eastern Poland were true. Just three weeks prior, we had been attacked by Germany. Russia now attacked Poland from the east. In a matter of weeks, Poland was overrun. I had re-enlisted in the army after the Germans invaded, but upon hearing this news, those of us from the east were told to go home. I had a wife and a three-year-old daughter to protect. I left to go back to our village immediately, covering the 40- kilometer journey on foot in a day.”
Via Daily Reckoning
“Tomorrow the House Judiciary Committee is going to vote on H.R.3261, the Stop Online Privacy Act, or SOPA for short. As I have previously outlined, this legislation would destroy the internet as we know it and severely impinge on free speech and the spread of information.
If this passes committee, which all indications say it likely will, it could be voted on by the whole of the House of Representatives at any time.
Individuals and corporations both large and small are stepping up to fight back against the draconian SOPA legislation and the Senate’s sister legislation, the PROTECT IP Act.
However, there is a significant lobby that is pushing back against the tide of freedom and liberty in an attempt to severely restrict the internet.
As the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) pointed out in a Congressional hearing, SOPA will restrict non-infringing online content right along with the infringing content the bill is supposedly aimed at combating.”