Waxing My Crystal Balls (…ahem…)

It isn’t that hard to see the future, at least when it comes to markets and where we go next.  There are a lot of tools that even us “small fry” investors can use to improve our odds, but a surprising number of people seem content to make a single decision and hold with a position through thick and thin, with the off-base thought that things will average out in the end.

Sure, it is nominally true, but buy and hold from the market peak in 1929 would have killed your family fortune.  The stock market didn’t recover from the 1929 debacle until the 1950’s.  From the market peak on 9/3/1929 at 381.17, we went down like crazy and it took a world war and more than 20 years to claw back up.  On December 31, 1949, for example, the market was still down at 200.13.  Buy and hold disaster example #1.

A further example may be found – more recently – in broader indices – as well.  Take the S&P:  Bought at the top of the Internet Bubble (March 24, 2000 and 1,527.46, your portfolio could have languished until July 6, 2007 when the S&P again crested 1,530.

(Continues below)

 

All of this is mentioned because we should still have about one more month to the upside – and maybe longer – before we get to the next significant market high.  And, along the way, we anticipate some short, sharp sell-offs that we plan to play using the trading strategies discussed over on the www.peoplenomics.com site.

And although I almost pulled the trigger on an exit from a significant long position Tuesday, that order was canceled a few minutes before the open, and as it turns out, that was a very good decision.

Our crystal ball is far from perfect; if it were better I’d be aggressively playing options again.  But we have come up with a grand new Big Picture tool and we’ll reveal that for PN subscribers Saturday.

In the meantime, we should trade sideways, and maybe give back a few cents today, but this view I shared a week or three back has filled out exactly as expected, except now we are almost up to the top of a trend channel where the short, sharp reversal should happen within two weeks and then up we should go toward the final highs.

I won’t go into a lot of detail about this chart (that’s for the paying folks in the front row over at Peoplenomics) except to say this is the daily chart of our unique Aggregate Index and using it, we can pretty clearly see how we can go sideways for another three or four weeks and then go short.

But the new “timing tool” we’ll discuss this weekend ought to augment our timing a fair bit.

Buy and hold is great, if you are young, inexperienced with trading, and so forth.  While we don’t offer financial advice, I don’t mind sharing (after the fact) how we play things in our own accounts and we do put a fair emphasis on understanding how to grow wealth in under a wide range of economic conditions we’ve covered here in the last 20 years.

But Don’t Trust Me

Trust genius.  A good starter is “Bill Gross warns of recession risk if highly levered economies hike rates.”

The government – or the non-governmental Fed if you want to look at it that way – has gotten itself in a pickle.  If they raise rates, that will change the forward-earnings calculations and the market will expect higher returns from stocks.  Problem:  There’s ain’t none.

You see (if you’ve never managed a P&L – profit and loss ledger) there are only so many ways to kick-up profits.  You can increase sales or you can decrease expenses.  Since well-run companies are doing this all the time, the major driver becomes generic economic growth.

While the Housing starts Wednesday were OK, the problem is that with our massive change in tolerance for a wider assortment of genders and relationships, family formation – and birth rates are down…

This gets me to a familiar Peoplenomics topic.

The Vlad and Donald Story

There is a very useful story on point over in today’s NY Times.  The problem is that you have to read the whole story to get the economic  tells that are useful when framing a worldview.

The Times went with the angle on how president Trump would not have hired attorney general Jeff Sessions if he had known in advance that Sessions would have recused himself from the Russian email silliness.

But down in the body copy of the Times interview with Trump, we read this which is far more important to framing an economic worldview:

“Describing a newly disclosed informal conversation he had with President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia during a dinner of world leaders in Germany this month, Mr. Trump said they talked for about 15 minutes, mostly about “pleasantries.” But Mr. Trump did say that they talked “about adoption.” Mr. Putin banned American adoptions of Russian children in 2012 after the United States enacted sanctions on Russians accused of human rights abuses, an issue that remains a sore point in relations with Moscow.”

Now the explanation:  This is absolutely critical because adoption is part and parcel of economic growth through immigration.

As we have modeled on the Peoplenomics side (more than a year ago, in fact) the way countries are trying to “buy some future growth” is by embracing immigration-based growth.

The Obama administration, for better or for worse, pushed open borders because it is a BUSINESS MODEL for democrats.  People come into ‘Merica, register and next thing you know, a generation or three of solid demos.

The republicans have a different idea:  They want to work on the utilization and innovation side.  Onshoring may help because it will slow the Balance of Trade disaster and because reindustrialization would be a jobs bonanza at home.

The problem is NEITHER PARTY has communicated this Reality to the voters.  Instead, arriving at this view doesn’t occur until you methodically look at how our favorite (ex?) commie, Angela Merkel has sopped up “growth” for Germany by brining in more peeps.  So has France, a lot of the Scandahoovians, and so forth.  The UK BREXIT, on the other hand, is in our view part cultural memory (the Crusades and kicking Muslims out of Europe once at a great price) and partly because the UK is about up to hear with socialism, especially of the sort that is unelected – exactly why the Brussel’s Sprouts earn the label megalomaniacs in many columns.

Brink-of-War moments – like the Ukrainian mess and the Russian moving into Eastern Ukraine – would likely never have happened had the Sprouts not spouted off about a European Unions “spanning from Portugal to Vladivostok…”   Which was a shocker to Putin and Russia.

In the large context, this worldview also explains a lot of other differences between the U.S. and Russia.  The Russians are less tolerant of LBGTQR (whatever) than we are because they know the straight people actually produce offspring at a higher rate than same-sex marriages.  No, I’m not saying sperm banks don’t work, but run the numbers yourself and you’ll see it in a flash.

As we go into additional earnings reports today, here’s the simple metric we’ll be looking at:  We expect that the winners in terms of gains in profitability will be those firms that have made the most effective use of ERSP and business process re-engineering.

That’s fairly simple to do with financial outfits.  Stick an SIVR phone system ahead of a massive SQL ERP platform and who needs the humans?

On the other hand, the high-human-density firms are more problematic and their optimizations are more difficult to implement.

This should apply – but we’ll see how much today and tomorrow  – as “Futures flat as investors await earnings deluge.”

Philly Fed Outlook

Just out:

“The index for current manufacturing activity in the region decreased from a reading of 27.6 in June to 19.5 this month (see Chart 1). The index has been positive for 12 consecutive months, but July’s reading is the lowest since November. Thirty-seven percent of the firms indicated increases in activity in July, down from 42 percent last month. The shipments index decreased 16 points, while the new orders index fell 24 points. Nearly 31 percent of the respondents reported a rise in new orders this month, down from 45 percent in June. Both the delivery times and unfilled orders indexes were positive for the ninth consecutive month, suggesting longer delivery times and increases in unfilled orders.”

45-minutes before the open, the Dow was up 25, with more upside this week as we should come very close to the top of our trend channel.

Bash du Jour

The award today goes to CNN for “Trump’s first six months in office: 991 tweets and 0 pieces of major legislation.”

As we’ve said before, Trump is going “consumer direct” with POTUS comms and that could lead to collapsing news networks fueled by little more than bizarre stories and Gollywood tripe.

Al Gore: Unrepentant Climate Sales

Time has a Gore spew here: “8 Questions With Al Gore.”

Like ‘old-time religion’ the soft-ball questions get to such important things as what can an individual do?  Rather than coldly looking at the data and wondering “So, what about that audit that shows virtually all of Climate Change is due to unwarranted statistical “adjustments?”

Climate change?  We think snow job.  We observe that Time didn’t ask about the Biggest snowfall in decades blankets Chile’s capital. ”

We will have to lump climate in with religion and politics as a total waste of time if you’re talking to a True Believer of any persuasion.

As of this morning we are christening Mr. Gore The Climate Lama.  (The “Hot Pope” and “Cardinal Heat”  didn’t test well with our focus group which consisted of Zeus the Cat…)

OK, time to gas up and become a lawn boy…more on the ‘morrow or moron tomorrow…we can never be too sure.

Coping: The New Doom Porn: Robotics & AI

If you’re going to be an urban survivor, you are going to have to “keep an open mind, but not so open that your brains fall out.”

Since 1997, we have been “calling it like we see it” when comes to market, tech, and futuring.  We’ve used all kinds of tools to get there, but when comes right down to it, the best “Future Detector” there is has already been installed between your ears.  The problem is that few people take the time to update their personal operating systems (uploading new knowledge) to deal with new information that moves the future around.

So this morning, a short survival course on  how to realistically assess the future.

(Continues below)

 

We raised a very interesting notion in the Peoplenomics.com report for subscribers Wednesday:  “Will AI Kill Markets?”

This is not idle speculation, as indeed, the process is already underway and has been since the 1990’s.

If you’re a young investor (like our reader Millennial Caller, for instance) you may not be old enough to remember ‘back in the day’ when the NYSE published program trading statistics.

When I first started watching the markets, the program trading was less than 10% of NYSE volume.  But since rudimentary (Big Data) AI is a feedstock of quantitative analysis, we can rest semi-assured that the investment question is quite real.

On the other hand, great promoter’s pronouncements about the danger of AI may be overblown a bit.  I’m talking here of people like Gates and Musk and all the others who are worried that AI will eat our lunch.

These people need to get out more.  One of the reminders that slapped us ‘upside the head’ coming back through the Amish enclave in Oklahoma Sunday was that there are humans who not only still get along without two cellphones and the latest Apple whizzies, but they also get along largely without petroleum.

Yes, there is a lifestyle shared, in many regards, by both Native Americans and Amish that has an incredibly low footprint in terms of energy and resource, but also has very little chance of failure.  Why?  Simply: They know where the off-switch is.

Oilman2 posted a note (with link) in one of the comments yesterday about how grid use is now about 2% colocation centers.

In a conversation, later in the morning, we got to musing about how much co-lo space would be needed to field a national fleet of any size autonomous vehicles.

As he explained it: “Sure, you can get most of the routines onto the onboard systems, but when things get hairy you’re going to need that back-link to moma…and the big database….”  There’s no doubt some truth to that.

But that does raise the question how autonomous vehicles will need continuous internet access, or have a very large computer onboard.  And the tradeoff there will be fuel economy offsets.  Computers will eat between one and two horsepower (745-watts to 1,490 watts) and that will be continuously, not pulsed. Serious processor, cooling, storage and associated peripherals including some old-fashioned linear actuators in most designs.

The idea that “drone swarms” and “drone delivery systems” will put humans out of the mix is about equally absurd.  Again, in the short term.

The problem isn’t that drones can’t carry weight…sure they can.  But we need to be very precise on  our thinking here.  Remember, convertible cars that could be both streetable as well as flyable have been conceptualized for 60-years.  Check out this Wikipedia snip:

“In 1956, the US Army’s Transportation Research Command began an investigation into “flying jeeps”, ducted-fan-based aircraft that were envisioned to be smaller and easier to fly than helicopters. In 1957, Chrysler, Curtiss-Wright, and Piasecki were assigned contracts for building and delivery of prototypes. They all delivered their prototypes; however, Piasecki’s VZ-8 was the most successful of the three. While it would normally operate close to the ground, it was capable of flying to several thousand feet, proving to be stable in flight. Nonetheless, the Army decided that the “Flying Jeep concept [was] unsuitable for the modern battlefield”, and concentrated on the development of conventional helicopters. In addition to the army contract, Piasecki was developing the Sky Car, a modified version of its VZ-8 for civilian use.”

Sounds to me a lot like drones.

The problem is people don’t sit back and think through the logical application of three sets of laws.  In the case of drones or autonomous vehicle, you have the laws of physics, the laws of electrochemistry and the laws of economics.  What’s more, there is also this ugly thing called “The Use Case.”

Let’s take the notion that Drones will end UPS and FedEx delivery driving.

Not so fast!

Let’s consider a helicopter – like the Bell 206 JetRanger.  We only need a few numbers here to start scaling our thinking in terms of payload.

Lift efficiency is related to swept area of the rotor.  In the case of the JetRanger, the rotor diameter is 33-feet 4-inches.

Next we will consider horsepower.  317 shaft horsepower was the limit due to the powertrain design.

Then we have empty weight and maximum gross takeoff weight.

2,000 pounds empty,  with 3,200 pounds full (four passengers, pilot, fuel, and oil).

From here we can work the numbers as follows.

3200 pounds and 317 horsepower or about 10-pounds per horsepower.

When you back out the pilot weight (170 pounds) you’re talking about 402 pounds of usable load (cargo, passengers, etc at full fuel)  You can add capacity by dumping as much of the 91 gallons of fuel (618 pounds worth) as you want.  Hell, throw out the 170 pound pilot, while you’re at it.

We need to begin thinking about the 10 pound typical delivery package now.

We can already see the basics coming into focus:  A drone that could handle a 10 pound package would likely weigh a minimum of 30 pounds.  And since the rotor loading number is ab out 4 pounds per square foot of swept area, we would assume our single-rotor drone would need (rounding) 30-square feet of swept area.

So how about area divided by pi equals r-square?  That would be 9.6 for r-square (roughly – I don’t design things before more coffee, usually) or about a 3.1 foot swept area.

OK, making progress.

Now we need to think about our fuel source.  The JetRanger burns about 30 gallons per hour holding things up against the ‘will of gravity.’  Since we know the JetRanger does 10 pounds per horsepower, our drone will likely be similar – so we need a 3-horsepower source for whatever our flight time is.

Here’s where we see OM2’s point about energy density makes drones a fine scam but hardly practical.  Reason?

Here’s the power density of Jet A: 43.15 MJ/kg.

Now the power density of a good lithium ion battery: 0.36–0.875 MJ/kg.

Simply:  Jet-A is 49-times more power dense than a Lithium Ion battery.

By extension then, we can fly a jet-powered drone an hour on 3/10-ths of a gallon of Jet-A.  But the same platform on batteries?  Maybe five minutes with equal load.

And here’s another thing:  Batteries don’t charge in a linear fashion.  Trust me when I tell you this – I have worked on serious battery instrumentation issues (see Google results):  Battery quick-charging is an evolving art, especially with new chemistries.

Moreover, there is another problem with lithium ion, but you need to visit some sites like Cadex’s Battery University site over here.  When you scroll down to the cycling performance of Lion batteries, there is yet-another problem that drone promoters don’t mention.

The faster and deeper you discharge any battery, the fewer number of cycles it will deliver.

As the Cadex chart shows (they’re smart on this stuff): The lithium ion test battery lost about 25% of its rated capacity at 500 cycles.

In other words, put this drone we’re designing on a UPS delivery rig.  Deliver one 10 pound box and then it’s battery change time.  Maybe you could get 8 cycles per day on  a battery pack for a drone.  Cool, right?

But here’s where cycle life bits you on the ass:  At the end of a month and a half of service, the lithium batteries would still work, but now you’re down to a 7.5 pound box, or so, or it’s time to buy a butt-load of batteries.

And we haven’t even gotten into heat and cycling and how drones would work in places like Denver on a hot day where density altitude degrade lift quickly and where summertime cooling of an 8-10 battery rack on a UPS van (which aren’t now air conditioned) would also degrade performance.

You really think delivery companies that wouldn’t put in a/c for their drivers will do it for their drones?

Above all, though, this gets us circled back to the laws of Economics.

We are living today in a world most of us never thought we would see:  We’re making business models out of fishing, camping, gender, r/c airplanes, computer programming, and a host of other activities that are, mostly, non-essential.

And this underscores the main problem we see for the world:  We live under economic systems that reward people for participation, even if the participation doesn’t make a lot of sense.  And that’s worrisome.

How long can this track persist and still drive markets to new all-time highs?

It’s a bunch to wrap your head around, but likely worth doing so while you still have what pilots call “airspeed, altitude, and ideas…”

Write when you get rich,

George@ure.net

Will AI Kill Financial Markets?

“Watcha gonna do when they come for you? Bad bots, bad bots…”

This morning we wander from Big Data, and Fat AI to the concepts that may birth Thin AI and then venture into some speculation about how that may impact future markets.

But first a few headlines, including Housing Starts, and why Ures truly didn’t execute his sell order Tuesday and remains long the market…

More for Subscribers       ||| SUBSCRIBE NOW!       |||   Subscriber Help Center

Idiot RINO’s Slow Markets

Yeah, you know who I am talking about:  The Republicans In Name Only – the bait-and-switchers who talk a conservative game but when comes down to it are really moderate democrats in republican clothing so they could get elected.

The same distribution curve is in place in Washington as always.  The only thing that has really changed is the labels worn.  In other words, a crooked marketing scam.  All designed to get votes and pretend to change things, pretend to make things happen.  No real change, though, not for these clowns.

Not that we don’t have extremism in place, as well.  Of cours we do.  But it’s a really strange mix.  On the Alt-Right extreme, we see how Attorney General Jeff Sessions has gone off the deep end – effectively tearing up the Constitution (and due process) by claiming a totalitarian right of government seizure to take your property without due process of law if you are so much as suspected of being involved with drugs.

(Continues below)

 

Near as we can figure it, Sessions now has it in his mind that the police (at any level) have a feudal Lord’s right to take anything they want.  If you live in any of the open drug states like Colorado, Washington, Nevada, and wherever else the Harrison Act is outdated?  Be afraid – be very afraid.

While I respect Sessions on most things, this position of his is Economic Crime and Warfare on the People personified.  Did he skip the part in school where it’s made clear that people commit crimes, inanimate objects don’t?  Like so many other strong-arm tactics used by police (you really need an M-RAP?) this is a poor substitute for good police work, as we see it.

Obamacare Repeal is Dead…Good Riddance!

Damn fine thing.

What most folks done realize is that the core of the “repeal” was to set up a $12-billion slush fund to bail out insurance companies.

The reality is that the healthcare stocks have been doing just fine – on the expectation that – like auto insurance – the federal government would become the Guido and Luigi-like enforcers and shake the middle class upside down to take whatever (mythical) disposable income we have left.

Once again, back to the brutal economics:  The Senate is – like the House – bought and paid-for by special interests and in this case that’s the healthcare insurance lobby.  The quid pro quo is the insurance lobby wants a $12-billion slush they don’t deserve and the return is massive campaign support.

Thankfully, there are still a few TR’s (true republicans) left.  But the RINO’s?  Gotta go, bubba… ASAP.  Registered to vote?

What’s a congressoids worth?  Not much – or a whole boatload, depending on whether you’re a check writer for the lobbyists or a regular human.

Scoring CNN

It’s become a new pastime for me:  Look at the CNN site and see how much is Trump, anti-Trump, and Healthcare.  Today, their ratio has improved:  12 out of 24 stories on the splash page (my display)  – 50% – were healthcare and Trump.  More balanced with Obamacare intact?  We shall see if the trend continues but the email beat is still going.

Meantime, our benchmark (grown-up) content aggregation site at www.computationalfuture.com shows 2 out of the top 25 stories or about 8% Trump/healthcare content.

Speaking of news and collapsing news networks, etc.

If you want to REALLY do something to bring the MSM to heel, try this:  DON’T leave your browser on any news website.  A lot of them are using what’s called “push” technology.

What this means is when you go to some top rated sites (try this one) you’ll find the push is refreshing your view every three or four minutes.

If you leave this kind of website open in a browser tab….or you leave the page on and go to lunch (or bed)…well, it’s a battle zone out there,,,,

Economic Data

Import/Export prices just out:

All Imports: Import prices declined 0.2 percent in June. For the second consecutive month the decline was driven by lower fuel prices. Despite the monthly decrease in June, the price index for U.S. imports rose 1.5
percent over the past 12 months. The last over-the-year decline in import prices was a 0.2-percent decrease for the 12-month period ended in October.

Fuel Imports: The price index for fuel imports fell for a fourth consecutive month, declining 2.1 percent in June, after decreasing 4.6 percent over the previous 3 months. The main contributor to the drop was a 2.2-percent decline in petroleum prices. Natural gas prices also fell in June, decreasing 1.0 percent. Despite the recent drops, import fuel prices advanced 6.3 percent over the 12-month period ended in June. The import price index for petroleum increased 4.5 percent over the past year and natural gas prices rose 58.6 percent.

All Imports Excluding Fuel: Prices for nonfuel imports ticked up 0.1 percent in June after recording no change in May. The index for nonfuel imports has not recorded a monthly decline since a 0.1-percent dip in
January. Higher import prices for foods, feeds, and beverages and capital goods more than offset lower prices for automotive vehicles, consumer goods, and nonfuel industrial supplies and materials. Prices for nonfuel imports advanced 1.0 percent over the past 12 months and the index has not recorded a 12-month decline since a 0.2-percent decrease in November. Rising prices for nonfuel industrial supplies and materials and foods, feeds, and beverages more than offset decreasing prices for capital goods and automotive vehicles over the 12-month period ended in June. Consumer goods prices recorded no change over the past year.

We looking for the market to open a bit soft – the global Aggregate was down overnight on the Global, so we will skee-dattle back to cash at the open to lock in recent gains.

The big risk with this kind of trading (manic) is that you’ll over-trade the account and you may be in cash when the market makes a strong advance.  But more about this in our ChartPack for www.peoplenomics.com subscribers tomorrow.  It’s all in the trends…

Right now futures are showing Dow down 20’ish.

BTW, look at exports in the BLS data today:

All Exports: Prices for U.S. exports fell for a second consecutive month in June, declining 0.2 percent. Falling prices for agricultural exports drove the decrease as nonagricultural export prices recorded no
change. U.S. export prices increased over the past year, advancing 0.6 percent. The price index for U.S. exports has not recorded a 12-month decline since a 0.2-percent fall in November.

Agricultural Exports: The price index for agricultural exports decreased 1.5 percent in June following a 1.6-percent drop in May. Falling prices for vegetables, soybeans, and fruit drove the June decrease, more than offsetting higher prices for meat. Prices for agricultural exports recorded a 3.9-percent decline over the 12-month period ended in June, the first over-the-year decrease since the index fell 0.3 percent for the year
ended in December. Lower export prices for soybeans, fruit, and corn led the decrease in agricultural prices between June 2016 and June 2017.

Ergo, the reason Trump is out selling “Buy American Week.”

Eclipse Quake Check

Big one off the eastern coast of Russia overnight:  7.7 on the Richter:

As you can see, this is part of the region where the Pacific plate is smacking into  and subducting in places like the Marianas Trench south of the zoom area – and it’s the general area that brought us Fukushima.

One new display on the USGS site (book mark it) is the economic impact display which on this quake doesn’t look bad…

On the other hand, we still have a long ways to the Eclipse on August 21 so pardon us if we don’t toss the possibility of a large US-impacting quake into our decision to flee to cash (or short) on a precautionary (cowardly?) basis.

37 days to Eclipse and our target market highs.  Good time to be skitterish.

Coping: With Road Rage

One aspect of urban surviving is surviving freeway idiots.  I wanted to discuss with you a couple of ways to deal with road rage since on our way back from Oklahoma Sunday, coming through Dallas, we were beset by a whole field of NASCAR wannabe idiot pricks.

One that stood out (I was 3 car lengths back from the car in front of me doing 75 and rolling with traffic) was a white lowered Acura with nitrous and pimp suspension and wheels.  Went by us like we were standing still.

I suppose the driver could shift gears, but come on, on a public highway?

(Continues below)

 

The reason we came back (and were at the ranch by 3 PM or so) was because in the afternoons on weekends, the statistics suggest people get a little crazy.

More than likely, this has something to do with alcohol.  People go out fishing, jet skiing, or whatever, and have a few pops.  When it begins to get really hot (like 97 wasn’t?) they head for home.

Delusions about being Mario Andretti are far more common now, it seems.

This is not from someone who is an old “fuddy.”  To recap, Ure’s truly is pretty good at high speed driving.  And being a pilot, “keeping speed up on approach” is not an issue whether you’re talking the long runway at KBFI (13-right) or whether you’re talking coming into the braking markers for turn 3 at Laguna Seca.

I have tremendous admiration for the Porsche Club of America, too, since as a (reformed) Porsche pilot, I’ve been to a few “track days” where we (club member back when) could get out on a real track and press through those twisty turnies with the tires screaming.

I don’t mind that the crack-headed city kids have a death wish on public roads, but we have no desire to take part in their personal drama.  So we plan around them, as best we can.

Shortly after the turn onto I-635 southbound, a motorcycle rider on a 900 CC crotch rocket zoomed by us  – and since I was (with traffic) doing 78, or so, I reckon he was in the 110-120 MPH area.

Again, nothing wrong with speed and motorcycles – been there, done that – but again, unless it’s an AMA -sanctioned event (and you have at least a learner number on the front of the bike) you have not business going a 2X multiple of the posted speed limit.

To be sure, if someone had to lay down a bike in front of me, I would do what I could to avoid hitting the fallen driver.  But would I make a drastic move that would cause a semi to dynamite his brakes, jack-knifing, and taking out a family of four innocently coming back from the mall?

This is summertime.

I can’t think of a better time than present to sign up for a SERIOUS defensive driving or introduction to racing class at one of the nation’s great driving schools.  There are several to choose from.

As a reporter, I’ve been able to man-handle a CAN-AM Corvette around the old Seattle International Raceway course.  And later go through the Skip Barber School down at Laguna Seca.  Course details and more can be found at http://skipbarber.com.

Another really great school is Bob Bondurant’s operation in the Phoenix area (track’s in Chandler).  Similar to Skip Barber in some ways, their high performance program is superb.

Surely these idiots on the Dallas freeways could afford the $210 for the high performance one-day school at the Texas World Speedway?

If you haven’t owned a Porsche, trying www.porschedriving.com with courses in Los Angeles and Atlanta is a way to get the vibe of the 911-style without cutting the fat check for one….

There are plenty of other schools, too.  Motor Trend has a list of some good ones here, including California Superbike.  I certainly hope that the double-speeding crotch rocket dude has been to www.superbikeschool.com because if you haven’t had a chain failure and had to do a lay-down, or if you haven’t blown out a coil at a critical moment passing on your rotary-valve 2-stroke when passing, then you don’t have enough experience to drive even 10-over the posted speed.

Sorry, but “them’s facts” and just not likely them doesn’t make ’em any less real.

Today’s kids – like us (back in the day) – had this “I’m going to live forever attitude.”  Get to be this old and you will be amazed at how lucky you really are.

Even if you don’t go through a driving school, there are still some books that are useful at any age.  The Skip Barber staff book Going Faster! Mastering the Art of Race Driving is a fine starter book.  Except it’s hardly a “starter book” in that once you read it, and then try to “hold the line” in a champagne slalom, you’re find out just how horrible a driver you really are.

By the way, RoadAmerica has a champagne slalom in some of their programs.  And if you’re around Elkhart Lake this coming weekend, visit RoadAmerica for the Concours d’ Elegance in downtown Elkhart Lake on Friday and the 51st reunion racing this weekend.

I’m huge on the ideal that “the game is in your head” and can highly recommend “Performance Thinking” by the Dallaire Consulting Group.  This is not just about driving, but about anything sporty where there is eye-hand coordination (and some neurons firing) as researched by a Canadian exercise psychologist.

Again, the main ways to avoid road rage?

  • Do not engage in any way with other vehicles.
  • Don’t get competitive, unless you’re on a track and have already got enough skill to get up to mid-level circuit speeds.
  • Keep 9/11 on the auto-dial and turn people in.  Financial disaster is a teaching tool that road ragers need to understand.  Think of it as a kind of “armored-up electric dog collar” for ’em.
  • Keep your outs.  Never get boxed in.  While you’re driving, continuously assess “Do I have ‘running room right?  Running room left?”
  • And do consider a few books on high speed driving (I like the Georgia take-down maneuver, myself…)

Toss in a few more books to get the ideas down:  Like “Think Fast: The Racer’s Why-To Guide to Winning” and  both “Bob Bondurant on High Performance Driving” as well as “Bob Bondurant on Police and Pursuit Driving” and you’ll be well prepped for your next trip to the Street of Fools – which is any highway that begins with the word Interstate in front of it.

Oh…if you do have a Skip Barber sticker on your car (like I had on both the 944 and the 930) you’ll be amazed at how many people want to “race” with you.

As an old friend taught me:  Cool is the tool of the cruel.  And in event of an accident, who will a cop believe?  A kid in a rice box with nitrous or a serious grown-up with driving school creds who can describe exactly what the idiot did?

Buying a 930 doesn’t make you a high-performance driver, anymore than buying an doesn’t make you an aerobatics ace.  After a few thousand accident-free hours piloting either, though, you can learn a bit here and there.

In today’s world, these are the real inconvenient truths.

Old hat to the urbane (sic) survivor who already knows what survival is really all about:

Finishing well and injury-free.  That’s a game that starts between the ears.

A Tuesday Side of Woo-Woo

I don’t know if you have seen it yet, but there is a YT vid which goes to the idea that the rings of Saturn are being manufactured.

Yep – see: https://youtu.be/86r2l2V7y6E

Kudos to SecureTeam10 for a fascinating video…

Now here is the weird thought for you.  What IF that object discussed around the 5:20 mark in the video is something of a sentinel and loaded with (flash frozen, suspended animation) giants who were supposed to plant humans here?  You know, like in Steve Quayle’s 2015 book “Genesis 6 Giants Volume 2 Master Builders of Prehistoric and Ancient Civilizations.”  Giants hanging out, maybe?  Waiting for radio signals from here to wake them up?

The travel time using conventional means is, oh, 3-5 years (depending on track) and we’re kind of wondering where the ring-departing “thingie” was headed?

In an all contorted rehash of Biblical history gone awry (history being hijacked by power-mad humans is not off the table here), these are the returning “angels” who show up just as we are about to launch into full-on nuclear war in 2023-2024.  Saving us, but also judging, too.

Show THEY show up sooner than anticipated and…oh boy….

Anyway, I imagined the lost sign they made with the rings around Saturn as being a “look here”  indicator:  “Want to find exo’s?  Well look here first, you stupid apes.  Here, we’ll even make a target for you…see us making it?”

Well, I’ll be damned. (But certainly hope not…)

So is the object on comet 67P really a WW II Nazi flying wing prototype (with levitation technology)?

I ran the math backwards and if so, the “Wunderwaffe” would have had to have launched it likely in 1941 or 1942 for an arrival time around 18 December 1943…

Likely?  Well, no…but what was Operation High Jump about anyway… I mean really about?  Send 4,700 men to the Antarctic to search for…nothing? And then come back after just eight weeks?

What was there that prompted Byrd and Masons to found Lodge 777 in the Antarctic and claim it (so say some reports).

One possibility:  A Nazi breakthrough in space/gravity propulsion that we had hints of during WW II and which the Russians “leaked” after discovering hints at the breakaway in WW II literature from their cache of Nazi papers and people after the war….

We could write all day connecting dots this way, but connecting dots doesn’t help us stack cash, so we’ll maintain our usual economic focus with only occasional references to the (still classified) bigger picture stuff.

Related reading in Project Argus is recommended, but the short version is in 1958, under cover of the International Geophysical Year, the US blew up small atomic munitions over the south Atlantic.  But unlike popular conspiracy lore, these were far from the south pole. 49°30?S 8°12?W / 49.5°S 8.2°Wif you trust your government.

Move along, though and dismiss the claims in “SHOCK CLAIM: Antarctica is a big nuclear launchpad from which scientists control weather…”

Just understand that nukes being detonated over the Antarctic would be terribly convenient as a climate change narrative (waters would melt, sea levels rise) and covered up by Fukushima’s leftovers, who’d be the wiser?

So is this the climate scam that drove former SecState Kerry to make his trip down south before he left office?  We laugh as we see how the State Department bungled and stonewalled (…about climate change research…) when the Shock Claim article reveals human engineered climate change and getting at natural resources under the ice is the real agenda here.

Climate Change Mega-Scam is certainly one way to read it.

But, like I said, a lot can be laid at the feet of greed and some races involved in the human-alien alliance which doesn’t include worker bees like us.

So we’ll stick with the cash…and wait for the “accidental” meltdown of the ice, flooding, displacement, die-off,  power-grabs, and the global tax scam to follow.

Gee, it would have been cool to have been an insider, huh? See you in the dirt.

Write when you get rich,

George@ure.net

Markets to Rise, After a Pause

The “pause that refreshes?”  We shall see.

About the most exciting thing about this particular Monday is the insanity of the media.  While outfits like CNN are running with 13 healthcare and anti-Trump, anti-right stories and just 6 stories on other news (in my display, YMMV) for a 68.42% anti-Trump, anti-healthcare reform ratio, our own www.computationalfuture.com website was showing 3 Trump and healthcare in its first 19 items this morning, which we consider a more realistic view of Reality (16.8% Russia and Healthcare crap).  Eyeballs and ad budgets is the Media Business Model today.  See Heidi’s sexy topless selfie for…er….more.

Even MORE AMAZING is that the fellow “suicided” – who was supposed to testify this week against the Clinton Foundation – is virtually uncovered by the crooked lefties of the NE Liberal Press.  If you were a regular reader of the Haiti Sentinel, you’d see the REAL news is how a Former Official Found Dead ahead of Senate Testimony.”  Not counting this latest “suicide” we think stories like “Chilling similarities between Seth Rich murder and ‘Clinton Body Count’ victims” deserve much greater play than Russia email crap which was peddled to both parties especially the McCain democrats/RINOs.  Unless your media empire is already in bed with the capo dei capi, of course.

(Continues below)

 

While the Year of National Stupidity and Bullshit Tolerance Festival  (NS&BTF) continues, however, we will quietly be stacking cash, because like we told you the likely “fix” would be new all-time stock market highs to come in August.  It may be 5%, or more, above present levels.  But we’ll just have to see.  Then it will be “Look out below!” and more stacking of cash…

 

NY Fed Data, Markets

On the economics front the only major story this morning seems to be the NY Fed’s Empire State Manufacturing Survey just out:

“Business activity grew modestly in New York State, according to firms responding to the July 2017 Empire State Manufacturing Survey. The headline general business conditions index fell ten points to 9.8. The new orders index moved down to 13.3, and the shipments index fell to 10.5, suggesting that orders and shipments continued to grow, though at a somewhat slower pace than in June. Delivery times continued to lengthen, and inventory levels were fairly steady. Labor market indicators pointed to a small increase in employment and no change in hours worked. Input prices and selling prices rose at about the same pace as last month. Indexes assessing the six-month outlook suggested that firms remained positive about future conditions, though they were less optimistic than in June. “

Stock futures were up a shade ahead of the open…

Tomorrow, import-export prices and Wednesday will see Housing Start data.  Toss in Leading Economic Indicators (LEI) on Thursday (it’s an anagram, lol) and you have an eminently missable week.

We might toss in a brag, or two, here about our long-term skepticism of Bitcoin with the fabled “economic savior” scam down to $2,029 on an early quote.  Get your Iraqi dinars, too, while you’re at it.  We don’t like to play economic games where the “created wealth” is made up out of thin data, just as paper and ink “make up money” to keep the current system going.

I laugh my butt off when I hear various erudite sages claim that investing in real fractional shares of profitable companies is somehow crooked compared with their shill-like pimping of e-money which is made up from electrons and hype.  Too slow for real e-commerce we see a high correlation between blockchains and blockheads.

Reality Check:  We continue to hold that  fungibles – like gold, guns, grub, seeds, paid-up land and such – are where to park excess dough.  Yes, UrbanSurvival is an American Fundamentalist site – and with no apologies.

People investing in more “notional” items should hold only the  notion about getting full value in return.

But don’t listen to “old man sense” on this.  Lots of Millennials will find out for themselves when the Greater Depression arrives.  But first, we rally more to sell stock from strong hands to weak…which is what the coming month should unveil.  Gotta shock the kids when it happens.

Climate Change?

No…weather.

Still it’s tragic when we read how “THEY HAD NO WARNING’ At least 9 dead, including 5 kids, in Ariz. flash flood.” This was in Payson – a town of 16,000 about 65 miles up the hill from Scottsdale in the Mogollon Rim country – which is one possible destination for us when we move.

The weather is also “Chilly in Chile” as a most unusual snowfall has occurred.  Chile: 280000 lose power in first Santiago snowfall for 20 years.

Climate change?  LOL – Greenest damn summer ever here in East Textus, just sayin…  Ranchers here looking forward to four cuttings of hay this year…

UrbanSurvival Right Again?

As long as I’m on a climate discussion, hats off to Miranda Devine in the Daily Telegraph for saying that Al Gore’s climate hype is?  (you’ll love this!) A Business Model!

“Scaremongering is what Gore does best, and fear is the business model that has made him rich, though his every apocalyptic scenario has failed to materialise.”

Ah, sweet music to our ears.  Even as we read how “Research Team Slams Global Warming Data In New Report: “Not Reality… Totally Inconsistent With Credible Temperature Data” is still echoing between the empty space between the ears of the climate change pimps.

Feminist Attack on  Science (Oh, great!)

You’re going to just love this item in the Washington Post today “Why these professors are warning against promoting the work of straight, white men.”

WTF?  (Who are these people?)

Since when did science become gender specific?  Tripe and trash, as we see it.

I have no idea what feminist geography might be…but whoever did the work gets cited.

Or, do you prefer to living in a delusional world where we all finish first even if we have to handicap those who would otherwise be winners?

You see that’s the plight of America and the attack of the ultra-libs in a nutshell.  They don’t want winners…they want their interest group to “own” some turf.  Grows their tribe and such.  Marketing, marketing, marketing.  Business models…

Closely related: A reader who happens to be a high-end lawyer with a Century City address in LA-LA land recently sent out a colleague note about sham the story being peddled in today’s schools about how a black doctor who “invented blood transfusions” was denied a transfusion in a hospital and so he died…”  I looked into it:

The problem with this story is it isn’t true and was first “outed” as agenda story-telling back in 1989.  “Did the black doctor who invented blood plasma die because white doctors wouldn’t treat him?”  Credit to The Straight Dope for getting this right.

Even Wikipedia says that’s not true:

“Despite a popular myth to the contrary, once repeated on an episode of the hit TV series M*A*S*H, Drew’s death was not the result of his having been refused a blood transfusion because of his skin color. This myth spread very quickly since during his time it was very common for blacks to be refused treatment because there weren’t enough “Negro beds” available or the nearest hospital only serviced whites. In truth, according to one of the passengers in Drew’s car, John Ford, Drew’s injuries were so severe that virtually nothing could have been done to save him. Ford added that a blood transfusion might have actually killed Drew sooner.”

All of which should get us to looking at screen writers (was McCarthy onto something?) and how misinformation becomes dogma.

Was Dr. Drew a great man?  ABOLSUTELY.  Was his story twisted up for a racial/political/liberal agenda?  ibid.

And that’s the reason this attack on science done by white males is a key battle to watch.  The Washington Post is splashing ink about it.  So we figure it’s a new agenda item.

Turn off them lights – invented by a man!

We have so many other problems to worry about in America, this latest Gore-like attack on real science is an abysmal commentary on the fate of the Nation.

Let me put it this way:  This is how promoters and True Believers in Causes operate.  They peddle guilt, shame, and whatever else is at hand (including weather with a side order of tears) and enough stupid people glom onto it that first thing you know, we have a nation where no one gets to be first – and in a nutshell it is what ensures we will finish LAST.

World War III is being won without a shot being fired.  It’s the Head War and until you understand that theater of conflict and learn to operate autonomously on that battlefield, America is headed the same place the Drano and the Charmin went.

All today’s “cause babies” are selling the same shit.   Doesn’t matter if it’s a gender, a persuasion, a Foundation, or a climate scam, or a can’t vote on healthcare without Big John… all the same agenda.  Broken people built broken “solutions.”

Absent real scientific breakthroughs and an economic re-engineering of America, we will likely continue to make-shift monetize penises, boobs, weather….whatever the hell we can pick up free.  To hope THAT make an economy that works is totally delusional.

Silver lining for me?  It makes economic forecasting – in the long-term – ridiculously easy when you “get it.”

Speaking of the Obvious Future

The UK Sun article to be up on today? “‘WORLD WILL BE PLUNGED INTO HOLY WAR”WORLD WILL BE PLUNGED INTO HOLY WAR’: Time-capsule letter found after 22 years makes eerily accurate predictions about the future.”

D’oh. Religions of peace?

Coping: Tree-Casting & Wire-Fishing

My friend Robin Landry is now really a ham radio operator.

To be sure, he was before we got up to visit with him this weekend, but there is a certain initiation that goes with ham radio that most people don’t think about.  The common perception in ham radio is a sit-and-talk hobby and nothing could be farther from the truth.  Sure, you use your brain a lot – there is some head-work to it, sure.

But the real fun part of ham radio is that there are so many different physicality’s to the hobby that you can specialize in whichever one really allows you to use your favorite crafts or skills in damn near any field you can think of.  For example, some hams are great woodworkers.  (Who would have thought?)  As a result, they turn out some of the finest one-off custom equipment desks and cabinets you’ll find this side of the Museum of Fine Art.

(Continues below)

 

In order to fully be into ham radio, outdoors figures in a good bit, too.

There is Field Day (last weekend in June each year) where many of us take to the woods and see if we can maintain around-the-world coms while munching on camp food and tossing antennas up into trees, and so forth.

Which gets us to the matter of this weekend’s trip up to visit Robin Landry and his wife.

Robin didn’t have an HF (high frequency) station prior to this weekend; now he does.

I had an old radio, power supply, and antenna turner for him.  A Yaesu 757-GX II with the matching auto-tuner (to tune the antenna) and the power supply/speaker.  That left us with the antenna problem.

HF antennas generally work best if they are a high and in-the-clear as possible.  Since Robin has a gazebo with a high roof peak, and the radio gear lives inside that, the center support at 20-25 feet was easily done.

But that left us with the two ends to put up.

Enter the Art of Tree-Casting

There are several ways to approach the problem of getting an antenna end up into some trees.

First, you need trees, though.  In Robin’s back yard there was a  good-sized pine (40-feet, or so to the top) set ideally.  It was about 55-feet from the gazebo center.

Going the other direction, though, the tree that came closest to ideal was a very tall cypress.

The technique we used was simple enough:  Take a casting rod and put a one-ounce weight on it, and cast it up, into, and hopefully over the tree.  If you don’t have a casting rod for the grandkids handy, something like the Shakespeare USSP662M/35CBO Ugly Stik GX2 2-Piece Fishing Rod and Spinning Reel Combo, 6 Feet 6 Inch, Medium Power for $37 is likely overkill, but why not?

Our first “fish” was over the pine tree.

It took 3-4 casts, but Landry’s luck was good and we got it over a limb about 30-feet up.  Once there, I hooked up some parachute cord and eased it out as Robin reeled it back up and over to the top of the bank.

There, attached to an antenna insulator, it was a simple matter to pull the antenna back up and into the tree.

A single 16d galvanized nail into the tree later and the antenna was done.  The extra paracord was coiled and secured on the backside of the tree so as not to be a visual distraction from the deck – good and done.

That left the other end of the antenna and the cypress tree.

It was a lot more difficult – we lost one of the 1-ounce weights and had 8-12 casts before “catching” the right limb.  Cypress trees are a problem in that they have very dense foliage and seed pods and such.  So it takes a fair number of casts.

Eventually, though, we got it up into the tree and all was set.

I should mention, all three of the antenna supports are along the top of the bank to a seasonal creek that runs through his back yard.  There is nothing more holy in ham radio to than a perfect ground system.  I’d brought a T-post hammer, so Robin sank an 8-foot ground rod into the low part of the bank where it will no doubt provide a nearly perfect ground.

Next problem was getting the antenna lead-in into the gazebo.  Two items here.  First, Robin went with good quality coax cable (MPD Digital 50 ft Ham / CB Radio Antenna Coax LMR-400 50 ohm Coaxial Cable Antenna Transmission Line PL-259 Connectors MADE IN THE USA) which was about $77.

He could have gone with a smaller diameter cable (like the $21 RadioShack 50-Ft, RG-58 Coax Cable Assembly) but the drawback to this cable is that generally, the smaller the cable diameter, the higher the loss on the cable.

To be sure, there are lots of other techniques that could have been used to get the wire “up in the trees where it belongs.”  As you’ll recall, for our Monster Antenna (the 746-foot off-center-fed ‘dipole’) here at the ranch, the major and I rented a 36-foot 4-wheel drive scissor lift.

Jeff, in the local ham radio club – who is famous for his entries in the old annual Strange Antenna Contest – like a pop bottle (filled with water) and then going up directly with the paracord.  Picture David taking on a goliath tree.  (My favorite “strange antenna” Jeff has done was loading up a military tank at the local Armory and using that as his antenna.)

Another couple of “launchers” to consider?

DX-Engineering offers the EZ-Hang Hyper shot kit – which is really cool, but no change from a $100-bill.

Another approach involves using a sprinkler switch and compressed air.  This has been turned into a high art over at http://www.antennalaunchers.com/antlaunching.html.  I’ve actually got one of their kits sitting in our “emergency prep stash” but I didn’t have time to get it hauled out, assembled, tested and besides, I don’t think Robin has a big compressor.  Besides, Tree Casting is a basic art that all hams worthy of the HF Field Antenna Merit Badge need to master.

Hams or Arborists?

Ham radio antennas going up in trees will change your view of Nature.

Once upon a time, Ure’s truly would look at a forest and marvel as the wildlife habitat it provided, appreciate how it prevents soil erosion, and provides a renewable source of lumber and oxygen processing.

No more.

Since about age 13 – back when the major and I were (competitive) kids in ham radio – trees have become little more than antenna supports waiting for the right situation to arise.

Out here in East Textus (sic) the trees tower 100+ feet up.  And one of these days, I will get one of my ultimate antennas hung over the tippy-top of them.  Crazy as it sounds, I knew some well-to-do hams who have used things like helicopters to drop lines down among tall Doug firsts up in the PNW.

The typical tree down here (in our stand of old growth) is “can’t get your arms but halfway around it” big but being female there are no real limbs until you get up 40-feet, or so.

The trees to look for at the males locally referred to as “bull pines” and they have big limbs (bigger around than your arm) starting about 15-feet up, or so.

Along about here – if you’re not a ham radio fanatic – you’re maybe asking “what does this have to do with Urban Survival?”

A fair question.

Comes down to building the “outdoor engineering” part of your brain.

Say there was a terrible storm and you needed to get some rope up into a 30-foot high tree.  How would you do it?

I can assure you that around here, it would likely be Jeff’s “David vs. the goliath Tree” and  once the paracord was over the tree, the back-haul would be 5/8th’s Dacron line.  Then, with enough distance between supports, a 20X 30 tarp would be used to create a shelter for anything you need.

Flexibility and practice.

I’m sure Robin will be pleased with his Tree-Casting Merit Badge and I sure had fun, too.

Especially the first contact on 20-meters on the new antenna.  Only from near OK City down to Austin, TX (20-meters was really short Sunday afternoon), but I did get a call back from  OE2DIA in Vienna (though not enough for a contact) on 20 a bit later on.

Confidence in this antenna is high.

Oh, should mention the antenna and line isolator used was the Maxcon OCF-3K80 ($80) and their 3 kw isolator here.

The only thing we’d change about this weekend?  Antenna work is best done in cooler weather.  95F and humid and mid afternoon sweated a few pounds off both of us.

In any hobby, though, you can’t succeed in comfort.  the old Ure family saying “You can’t catch fish in comfort” applies to tree-casting, as well.

There’s nothing more satisfying than seeing a friend hook a 90-foot cypress and play it for 10-minutes trying to get the one ounce lead to drop through the foliage.   The 40-foot oak on the far side of the creek?

That’s the “one that got away.”

Google Routing

Our return trip to the Outback was through rural parts of Oklahoma we’d only previously flown over.

If you ever get the time, there’s quite an Amish enclave from Tupelo (OK, not MS) down to Durant, or so.

Lots of “Horse Drawn Vehicles on Roadway” signs.

More to the point, I don’t think there was one “redneck collection of dead cars” visible the whole trip.  You’ll see those as you get south of Durant.

OK, welcome to Monday – time to “hit and git.”

Write when you get rich,

George@ure.net

The View from Oklahoma

Elaine and I are in Oklahoma this weekend to meet with Robin Landry, who as I’ve told you many times, is one of the best long wave (and Elliott Wave) gurus out there.

Because of the road trip, our report this morning will focus on just one thing:  How the  markets are doing exactly what we forecast and are working toward new highs.

But the real story is why and what to expect thereafter….

More for Subscribers       ||| SUBSCRIBE NOW!       |||   Subscriber Help Center

People Are Stacking Cash, CPI Flat

The urbane survivor is not concerned with the Jt. email follies, nor on playing the side bets as to whether a do-nothing, all-talk congress will actually reform and get something done.

Rather, there is in the news a flow of thought about money – how to get, how to manage, and how to spend it.  But it’s not the eyeball-grabber that Collapsing News Networks are desperately stalking in order to save their own financial bacon.

Instead, more thoughtful media are getting back to the matter of money, without which, what’s the point.  The UK Guardian, for example, is looking at one of the biggest personal financial questions out there: “Is paying off the mortgage a better bet than saving?”

(Continues below)

 

It becomes a more interesting crap shoot when we dial in inflationary expectations.

Her Janetness this week announced that future rate hikes are out there somewhere up ahead for the US.  But when exactly will depend on a smorgasbord of caveats as long as your arm.

Over in Ure-Up, we see how there ECB is moving as Reuters report an “Exclusive: ECB wary of putting end-date on quantitative easing – sources.”

Belgium’s waffles, perhaps?

All this as the world’s globalists are transitioning people to the corporate feudalism model.  Herein, you don’t own (language alert!) jack shit.  You RENT your life.  Latest example: Sprint launches new leasing options for cost-conscious consumers.

So poor you gotta lease your phone?  Holy smokes…

CPI:  Saved by Actual Data

After what’s been a pretty good week for investors stacking cash, our little long position in the market has paid off handsomely.  Although we are traveling, our market update tomorrow will be celebratory in nature, barring a collapse in the final hours of today’s trading.

BTW. speaking of autos: “Fiat Chrysler recalls 1.33 million vehicles over fire, air bag risks” while “Honda recalls 1.2M Accords over battery fires.”  Undeterred, “Global automakers call on China to ease “impossible” electric car rules.”

Where, the major news items are Retail Sales and the Consumer Price Index.

Let’s get the latter out of the way first.  Press release, pardon moi?

“The energy index declined again in June, falling 1.6 percent; this offset an increase in the index for all items less food and energy. All the major energy component indexes declined, with the gasoline index falling 2.8 percent. The food index was unchanged in June, with the index for food at home declining slightly as five of the six major grocery store food group indexes decreased.

The index for all items less food and energy rose 0.1 percent in June, its third straight such increase. The shelter index continued to rise, and the indexes for medical care, motor vehicle insurance, education, and personal care also increased. The indexes for airline fares, used cars and trucks, wireless telephone services, and new vehicles were among the indexes that declined in June.

The all items index rose 1.6 percent for the 12 months ending June; this measure has been declining steadily since February, when it was 2.7 percent. The index for all items less food and energy rose 1.7 percent for the 12 months ending June, the same increase as for the 12 months ending May. The energy index rose 2.3 percent over the last year, while the food index increased 0.9 percent.”

Then on Retail Sales, let’s see how the once-bankrupt auto industry we bailed out is still keeping retail hopes alive…

“Advance estimates of U.S. retail and food services sales for June 2017, adjusted for seasonal variation and holiday and trading-day differences, but not for price changes, were $473.5 billion, a decrease of 0.2 percent (± 0.5 percent)* from the previous month, and 2.8 percent (± 0.9 percent) above June 2016. Total sales for the April 2017 through June 2017 period were up 3.8 percent (± 0.7 percent) from the same period a year ago. The April 2017 to May 2017 percent change was revised from down 0.3 percent (± 0.5 percent)* to down 0.1 percent (± 0.2 percent)*.”

Graphically:

Then we have a quick look at the Futures as we head out on the road with the brother-in-law holding down the cats here the Fortress of Sanity here in the East Texas Outback:  About flat with an hour to the open.

Look!  Up in the Sky!  It’s French!

As France puts on military show as Trump marks Bastille Day in Paris.

Bring your own champagne.

If you’re in Trump-Bashing headline withdrawal, simply click over to CNN and read “Some world leaders have decided that when dealing with President Trump, flattery will get you everywhere.”

CNN is also the only place I’ve seen airing “Dem senator: Trump Jr. Russia meeting ‘absolutely’ the smoking gun.”  Smoke?  Oh, yeah, b ut not from the emails.  I figure its more like blowing smoke up the nation’s collective alpha-sierra…..

Meantime, The Hill reports “Trump Jr. pitch was part of broad Russian effort…”  Wait!  Did they just call the lady lawyer a broad?  Tisk, tisk.

Another Obama Appointee

…seems to be legislating from the bench as we read “ALOHA, GRANDPA Judge expands Trump travel ban exemptions.”  US District Court Judge Derrick Watson was appointed by that fellow who can’t leave Washington back in 2013.

Am I saying this is purely political?  Well…think about it:

Times – and presidents – change, but you wouldn’t know it in most federal courts left of the Continental Divide.

Oklahoma over Sun Valley

Somehow, our invite to the big wig shindig in Sun Valley must have gone astray;  While the likes of Bezos, Cook, and Ivanka are hanging up there, we’ll be cleaning out a casino in Oklahoma.  If we do it large, maybe we’ll get an invite next year.

Personal Marketing

If you’re planning even more (weasted money on) tats, consider this one: “Would you hire this man? Unemployed dad with enormous face tattoo can’t get work…”

Somehow, the fox-uniformed generations don’t seem able to comprehend that we dress for success by dressing for others.  Nope…the me-me-me, we-we-we’s are instead hung up on an odd lack of fashion that’s well past embarrassing.

Looking for a Weekend Shop Project?

Try duplicating this one in the family garage: “Coupling a nano-trumpet with a quantum dot enables precise position determination.”

Why, first thing you know, we’ll have enough of these nano-trumpets to form a nano-orchestra.  And shortly thereafter, add $130 and you get?

Garritan Personal Orchestra 5.

Or not…  But wasn’t the Electric Light Orchestra way ahead of its time?

Time to hit & git…see you Monday or tomorrow of www.peoplenomics.com subscribers…