WASHINGTON (AFP) - US President George W. Bush deplored high fuel prices in the United States and called on Congress to pass an energy bill he had proposed four years ago.
<br> "American families and small businesses across the country are feeling the pinch from rising gas prices," the president said in his weekly radio address. "If you're trying to meet a family budget or a payroll, even a small change at the pump can have a big impact."
He said the country's prosperity depended today on reliable, affordable and secure sources of energy, and US energy needs were growing faster than national domestic sources were able to provide.
Demand for electricity has grown more than 17 percent in the past decade, while US transmission ability lags behind, Bush said, adding that the country continued to import more than one-half of its domestic oil supply.
"The first order of business is for Congress to pass an energy bill," said the president, reminding that next week Congress begins debate on energy legislation.
Bush said that the energy bill that will end up on his desk must encourage conservation, production at home in environmentally sensitive ways and diversify the US energy supply by developing alternative sources of energy like ethanol or biodiesel.
NEW YORK - Wall Street suffered its worst single day in nearly two years Friday, with the Dow Jones industrial average falling 191 points for its third straight triple-digit loss. Deepening concerns over economic growth and higher prices led to the worst week of trading since August.
An already uneasy market began the biggest one-day selloff since May 19, 2003, after the Federal Reserve reported drops in manufacturing and other industrial production, and a Labor Department report showed higher oil costs driving up import prices.
The selloff was bolstered by lower-than-expected profits from IBM Corp., which led to fears that technology spending would be substantially worse than expected this year. Strong earnings from General Electric Co. and Citigroup Inc. were overlooked, but analysts said earnings would nonetheless be a key factor in overcoming the recent slump.
"Earnings are really the only hope for this market," said Brian Pears, head equity trader at Victory Capital Management in Cleveland. "If, on the whole, earnings can go up, then we might be able to overcome oil and inflation and all the other things."
According to preliminary calculations, the Dow fell 191.24, or 1.86 percent, to 10,087.51, after falling 125 points Thursday and 104 points Wednesday. It was the Dow's lowest close since Nov. 2.
Broader stock indicators also lost considerable ground. The Nasdaq composite index dropped 38.56, or 1.98 percent, to 1,908.15 for its worst showing since Oct. 25.
The Standard & Poor's 500 index was down 19.43, or 1.67 percent, at 1,142.62, its lowest level since Nov. 3.
All three indexes set five-month lows for the second straight session, prompted by disappointing earnings in the tech sector and questions about slowing economic growth. With Friday's losses, it was the first time the Dow lost 100 points three sessions in a row since late January 2003.
For the week, the Dow lost 3.57 percent, the S&P 500 was down 3.27 percent, and the Nasdaq tumbled 4.56 percent. The major indexes are also at their lowest points of 2005, with the Nasdaq down 12.29 percent, the Dow falling 6.45 percent and the S&P having lost 5.72 percent.
Bond investors were pleased with Friday's results, however, as the bond market continued to rally. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 4.24 percent from 4.34 percent late Thursday. The dollar was mixed against other major currencies, while gold prices moved higher.
Crude oil prices were lower and continued a two-week downtrend, with a barrel of light crude settling at $50.49, down 64 cents, on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
The recent drop in crude futures notwithstanding, higher oil prices are to blame for the jump in import prices, the Labor Department said. Import costs rose 1.8 percent in March, but even without oil, prices rose 0.3 percent, more than the 0.2 percent rise economists had expected.
"There's a lot of evidence that when we have oil averaging $53 or $54 per barrel, that's inflationary, and we got a whiff of that today in the import prices," said Peter Cardillo, chief strategist and senior vice president with S.W. Bach & Co. "It doesn't help that we're starting to see the economy enter a slowing mode heading into the second quarter here."
Investors looking at the Fed's industrial output report also questioned whether higher energy and materials costs were affecting manufacturing growth as well. Overall industrial production rose 0.3 percent in March, up from 0.2 percent in February, but the increase came only from utility production due to a colder-than-average month, and manufacturing and other industrial sectors showed losses for the first time in six months. ....
Food question: For protein, is cheese sealed in wax preserved so that it doesn't require refrigeration? Also, what about dried fish/herring (catfish?-yum! ).
And are there gizmos that can turn rainwater into drinking water?
I don't know too much about the nutrition thing outside of the familiar grocery store bought stuff. I did visit alaska a few years ago a toured some of the remote areas.. I recall the natives would smoke salmon which would sustain them over winter. However, under most of our geographic circumstances, it would seem prudent to stock up on canned tuna, yumm!
Water from the tap is about all I've ever known.. though personally I have a Brita water filter pitcher which I use for all the tap water I consume. It's not industrial strength, with just a fairly small carbon & ?? based element which they advise replacing every 2 months.. at around $6/ea. If I were dealing with water I was really wary of, I'd want something more extravagant. Any advice on something highly effective, long lasting, small, portable etc... you get the idea.. something for 'hard times' would be appreciated. One company who advertises alot on GCN radio is "Berkey", and I see they have some pricey offerings. I gather they need a source of electricity, as they also sell an accessory, a solar cell to power their beast.
I'm expecting to go pick up that SAS survival book today or tomorrow.
Ropegun- for my friend who anticipates hard times sooner than later, and who figures even the mail order, unfinished firearm trick would more likely than not put him on some sort of undesireable NSA/DHS/TIA&Co list, do you think it would make any sense to buy something registered and above board now, as some home protection bridging that unknown time frame between now and when 'they' manufacture some cause to outlaw firearms?
Last Edit: Apr 16, 2005 21:18:55 GMT -5 by tombldr
Since we live in DC, any kind of catastrophe or semi-catastrophe that involves electricity outages is actually not such a long shot. In fact, a hurricane that did no damage here actually caused electricity to go out for a week. And during an ice storm we became refugees because the electricity was out for so long and it was below freezing-- a good deal of our money had to be spent on hotel rooms as we moved from hotel to hotel based on any vacancies, along w/ other of our fellow refugees.
So I am thinking in terms of things that do not require electricity and are not heavy. (note to self-- buy manual canopener)
Tom... The decision to buy a firearm through normal channels is always yours to make. I have legally purchased weapons, and have no concerns about who in the guv'mint knows.
Buying a kit rifle does not require any paperwork, as what you are purchasing is not a firearm according to the guv'mint. At least thats what the rules say right now. And we are all aware that this could change quickly.
As far as protien rich foods, the suggestions of tuna and the like in cans is good, as are kippers, oysters and those type of things. Be aware that nuts, like almonds, are very good for this too.
Smoked meats are always good, especially fish. This is a huge benefit to living in the northwest. I can walk to the docks where the fishing and crab boats offload their catch. And get fish and other seafood as fresh as can be, and at reasonable prices. In fact, there is a Portlock Salmon(smoked and vacuum sealed) store 5 minutes walk time from my place. This is one of the reasons I say the NW is a great place to be in these times.
I think this will be paradise compared to most anywhere else in this country if TSHTF.
The cheese thing I don't really know about. It seems that as soon as you cut the wax open, unless you consume that cheese, it will spoil. I know cheese will harden on the outside, but then you only have to cut off the dry part to get to the good parts. Cheese unrefrigerated will not last long. This is something I'll look into further and reply more on later.
To reiterate about treating water......... Those brita things are ok for certain things. I have one and use it as well. They do not remove all possible contaminants, however. If you use those, and are in doubt, always boil after filtering. Very simple solution. Boiling will kill bacteria and virus' in water. The small backpacker types of filters are just like that brita unit, except that they usually have their own pump attatched, so running water is not needed. I use the Katadyn Guide model. It is supposed to be good for about 200 liters of water through a single filter element. Leaves the water tasting very clean and sweet. A side thing I've noticed is that gold dust gets picked up by the prefilter. Not that there would be enough to actually sell, but it was kinda funny cleaning out the filter and seeing it there.
If you live near salt water, and have an idea of how a distiller works, you can remove the salt from the water, and use the sea salt for other things. Its not difficult and requires little in terms of equipment. Basically, its a pot with a hole in the lid, a tube of some sort coming from that hole in the lid, and a catchment container. The tube takes the steam from boiling the water and condenses it, turning it back from gas to liquid, and directs it into your container. The salt byproduct ends up in the bottom of your pot.
Enough for now. Peace.
Last Edit: Apr 17, 2005 12:45:45 GMT -5 by Ropegun
I picked up SAS book last night, along with the classic, "art of war" by Sun Tsu. Haven't really made a dent in either yet though.
I'm currently car-less. I sold my Civic before going to MX last Nov, thinking I'd probably not return. But one of the things I've been batting around is, getting something I've long admired even before I woke up to the imminent cliff we're being shoved off of. A VW Camper van! With this I could just drive into MX or Canada and beyond, in a portable "studio on wheels". Same deal were I to remain in the states, whether by choice or compelled by closed borders.
But those suckers are pricey! one <10 years old is generally $20K+... and from what I read, they're not the most reliable/trouble free thing on wheels. Different years/models have different chronic/expensive problems. I feel like I'd be paying alot for an average van, only because VW seems to be the only game in town wrt the smart camper layout inside.
Also, I'm thinking getting something diesel would be forward looking.. as it would ultimately be able to run on bio diesel. I've been making due with no car, half waiting for the meltdown (which I suspect began last week with the stock markets and will continue tomorrow and into the weeks/months ahead, with a cascade of financial crisis', bankruptcys etc), thinking I'll be able to pick up whatever I choose to buy at a fire sale price from someone desparate... your rig is only worth what someone else is willing to pay, after all.
Any words of wisdom on (camper) vans, diesels, etc? the lack of "value" in VWs makes me think maybe an american or japanese van would be a good choice, even it I had to do some self-decorating to the interior. I know they're not the most fuel efficient vehicles out there but the portability and savings on lodging wherever I go would have value.
I know what you mean about those VW Westphalia vans. Spendy as hell around here, what with every Microsoft wannabe outdoor adventurer owning them, paying through the nose for everything that goes wrong with them. I think we'll be staying away from that idea.
We're thinking about a TDI Golf or similar, for just that biodiesel option. But then we'd still have to deal with the expense of VW. All VW products, like Subaru, are in high demand around here. Used is the way to go anyway, but the resale is so inflated its ridiculous.
As far as Japanese vans go, the only thing I'd look at is one of the older Toyota mini vans with 4WD. But thats another crapshoot entirely.
What I'd really like to get, provided gas prices stabilize, which they probably won't, is a Toyota extended cab 4WD pickup. I'd put a fiberglass canopy on it, build a carpeted floor above the wheelwells, and stick a rack on top. Enough space to sleep dry, store stuff and 4wd for not so good "roads".
Of course, what I really take care of, and actually care about, is what I can carry on my back. I have several good backpacks, an excellent 4 season, 2 person tent, several sleeping bags, and all the possible comfort type items I need to survive pretty much anywhere, any time. I can load my pack, have no more than about 35-40( which is actually alot) pounds on my back, and walk where ever I need to go, and live relatively comfortably.
But that has'nt been cheap either. My camping/backpacking gear cost several thousand dollars all together. But it's a good investment, especially now. I can literally walk away from everything and everyone and be ok.
And that brings us to one of the crux issues of this whole survival game. You have to ask yourself what you're willing to sacrifice in order to live. Things like your house, your car(s), all your toys(computer), the golf clubs, whatever. Some people cannot live without being able to go to the stinking mall to buy gap clothes. Some folks can't live without commuting in an SUV while putting on mascara, eating bon bons, chatting on the cell phone and petting the d**ned dog, all at the same time. How can these people get by when the defication hits the oscillation? The answer is that they won't. And you know what? I don't have alot of sympathy for them. If you can't live without the sex in the city shoes, it's not my fault. If you can't get along without the Calloway driver, too bad. LL Bean ain't gonna help you either.
I intend to live to see something new happen, and if I don't, I'll be working towards it til I die.
They're open in Asia, and it's ugly.... harbinger for tomorrow (mon) US markets.
I've got a goodly amount of eggs in precious metals, which also trade 23.5 hours/day, and they're all down a little presently, nothing too dramatic. The PM markets are rigged anyways with 'the cabal' supressing prices so to unplug people's perceptions of them as 'screaming smoke detectors'. They can't do this forever, and when the levee breaks on their PM price suppression racket, PM prices will jump like coiled springs. I'm holding!
The US markets all gyrated sideways yesterday, I suspect the Fed/PPT were printing funny money all weekend which they dumped into the market to prevent a plunge... which would send world markets down like dominoes. So they've delayed the global financial meltdown for another day.. still whistling by the graveyard though. They're probably still tweaking plans on this spring's big fake terst attack, and they'll let the markets collapse in conjunction.
It looked to me like they had intended to stoke the market w/ mergers and acquisitions speculation-- and creating monopolies has been the intention of this Administration and its backers, for all its rhetoric about "competition".
However, I guess that there are few companies left to merge.
I saw someone w/ a "W" fund did well -- that is, all the industries associated personally w/ "W" and his family and friends have done well. This would be defense equipment contractors associated w/ the Bush family, Oil sector, the construction companies associated w/ sucking up the taxpayer's money (KBR etc) and I forget the fourth.
I was surprised that the newspapers touted earnings as even being a factor!
But of course companies like GE, which are defense contractors and aggressive, predatory userers like Bank of America-- both of these with the assistance of congress-- came in with reports of much moolah having been gotten.