Coping: Those Aliens from Our Future?

Two things caught my eye on returning from my regular 6-month doctor’s visit.

First was a delightful subscriber renewal to www.peoplenomics.com.  But what made it extra-special was the book enclosed, “E.T. 101.”

The other thing that flipped out of a high-speed scan was some news about how the naked mole rat can live without oxygen for long periods of time.

After the ad, let me tie up a few loose ends about all this UFO stuff for you…

First, the dear reader in Austin’s book could not have come at a better time.  As her note explained “The alien dream consciousness experience was real.  You were “pulled” at a young age.  IN our lifetimes we will know more of the “Truth.”

Here book E.T. 101 has gone to the top of my reading list.

Right after the NPR story which revealed “Researchers Find Yet Another Reason Why Naked Mole-Rats Are Just Weird

How does one connect such diversified dots and make any sense out of it?

There has been a theory floating around in science fiction since the 1950’s that U.F.O.’s and those aliens often sighted in their vicinity (on the ground but occasionally through windows) may be from our distant future.

Lots of sci-fi movies have been done based on the idea of a “time tunnel” of “time ship” that comes back from the future.

But there’s more to it:  Suppose that time travel could be done, but like the DeLorean in “Back to the Future” had to hit a velocity in a straight line.  Faster than 88 MPH, of course.

In this case, where is the nearest place you could go lots of miles in straight lines?

Space.  Upper atmosphere, anyway.

So we set that aside.

Then we go to the anecdotal reports of what aliens look like.

Grey (or oddly colored) skin. And in some reports, they appeared to be asexual.

Hmmm…more data points.

Last scan through the headlines we were fast on our way to removing gender as a random event.  And besides, the knife-happies are in the wings should a change be desired.

Then we pull up the naked mole rat report on NPR and find out how the little rodents can live on a quarter of the air humans do.

You see, humans “run” on sugars like glycose.  That that’s oxygen to convert to energy.

But in the mole rat, after a while, like 10 minutes or so, they do a chemistry-shift.  They begin to run on fructose (fruit sugar).

Pretty spiffy trick.  And if a chemical could be isolated that “does the flip” then who knows, maybe we could develop artificial gills and all for WaterWorld.  Sans the sailboats, of course.

Two seemingly small coincidences of the desk Thursday, but worth mentioning.

Because in a very real way, UFO’s may not want to interact with humans for fear of screwing up the future – their present.

A  Wikipedia reference read on the “Geological History of Oxygen” is a good starting point.

 With humans polluting themselves to death in the oceans (Fukushima has been pushing deadly nuclear waste in for six years now) it may be only a matter of time until a super algae eats the world’s oceans.

And then oxygen (except plants and tress) exits and suddenly we might see the naked mole rat as one of the side lectures to the E.T. 101 class.

George On Drugs

After demanding (*for five years) statistical evidence that statins would increase my longevity, my trip the doc’s place Thursday involved a joint numbers crunching session.

Phone vs. phone showdown.

Finally, I came to the conclusion that with my numbers, at age 68, I have about a 32.3% chance of a CVD (cardiovascular disease) event in the next 10 years.  (That’s make me 78.)

On the other hand, by taking the generic of Lipitor I can reduce that to the mid 20’s to lower 20’s.

“90% of your lipid profile is parents…we can only push around 10% or so…but even that may be changing…”

What followed was an enlightening discussion of the PSK9 LDL inhibitors that was discussed a couple of years ago in the New England Journal of Medicine (cite).

It’s expensive, but the results seem to be dramatic.  Using a series of injections, LDL can be placed just about anywhere.

Spendy?  You bet.  Extreme lifespans won’t be for the poor.  But all it will take will be a breakthrough that turns PSK9 inhibitors in a cheap oral route, and suddenly CVD drops a lot in terms of mortality risk.

That would then leave cancer, but again, going back to the naked mole rat, cancers don’t do well in hyper-oxygenated environments.  We shall see.

One other old man health note (*this is about me and is not to be taken as medical advice because the best I would ever be would be a “duck” (quack!!!)) but BOTH my doctor and I are now taking NAD+,  and pterostilbene, too.

Tese latter two are really good (in studies) on slowing brain againg.

And on that – you see this morning where even a SINGLE can of diet pop a day can triple the risk of stroke?

Toss in a bunch of other goodies in my morning “stack” and change out of coffee to green tea…yeah, might make life a much longer journey…through next week, anyways…

I trust you’ll be here, too?

Write when you get rich,

George@ure.net

Barking the American Media Circus

Oh, my.

Three rings full.

More stupid column inches on narcissistic media crap than you can shake a remote at.  We see yet-another proof of our contention that – like the auto industry in the last Depression – the media industry has the same excess capacity and utilization overbuild problem today.

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In the first ring we have Bill O’Reilly’s bounce from Fox.  As a long-time journo, one of the best techniques out there is to ask an open-ended question and then STFU and wait for the whole answer. I’m not sure I ever heard O’Whatzit do that.

Otherwise, the newser is a moron spouting a viewpoint and using guests as a tool.

I can’t stand people who interrupt.  To my way of thinking the Boston Globe get’s it exactly right with the headline “ The O’Reilly factor that mattered?  Hypocrisy.”   (Go Boston Globe!)

In the middle ring, we have the Murdoch family laundry (or politics) aired in the Hollywood Reporter article here.

And in the third ring?  I expect we will see a lot of under 50’s maneuvering for he job…likely a female, I’d say.  Not on journo skills perhaps, but on data testing.

We don’t know for sure WHO will be in this third ring, but take Tomi Lahren’s latest run-in with The Blaze.  The Daily Caller story here gets me to thinking that maybe Lahren wants a new show…You hear there’s an opening at Fox?

Another third-ring entrant – with more seniority – might be Ann Coulter, who is vowing to speak anyway even though she’s been uninvited from the Berkeley campus.

No telling who else is out in the wings  that could draw the attention of Foxecutives, but the whole kettle of fish won’t matter.

(Please good, no more British accented foreigners!!!  Buy American you pin-heads!)

Why won’t it matter?

Because today’s up and coming young have increasingly moved back with mommy and/or daddy and judging by the mental acuity and Social addition of Generation Brat, you could put anyone who’s gook looking in front of ‘em and they’d follow as told.  Mommy and Daddy want real news, not whatever the crap today is…

Social control over the young is soooo easy nowadays.  And corporate media are a pretty crooked group if you read some of the data out there.

Take for example the Media Research Center’s NewsBusters report offering a quite readable breakdown here of the  “Honeymoon from Hell: The Liberal Media vs. President Trump.”

Real news or fake?

Neither:  Data,  And the libs hate data worse than anything.  Make’s ’em great cherry-pickers, though.

Long Knives and Train Wrecks

NY Post piece on how the Hillary camp is scrambling to find the insider who leaked the gory details of her loss to a couple of authors is amusing.

So Back to Making Money

The uselessness of politics aside, the markets Wednesday were busy whacking IBM.

When an  outfit like Forbes runs with “2 Big Reasons To Sell IBM Stock” you know it will be an uphill fight.

As we see it, IBM’s business model is aging badly.

Most of their big mainframe computers (what we’uns call heavy iron) has been sold on lease-purchase arrangements.  Nice, because there’s lease income that levels off the revenue bumps.

Except, thanks to the high art of load-balancing, stacks of servers and the whole art of distributed processing used by the SETI groups, the days of “big iron” look to us to be fading.

If you haven’t been following, check out what the smart kids do at Berkeley.edu – not the demonstrators – the other ones.  The big brained ones who run the SETI (search for extraterrestrial intelligence) project.

IBM was run through the meat grinder Wednesday down just under 5% to c lose at 161.69.  This despite beating on earnings.

Absent a $5,000 dollar quantum computer, pass the load balancers.

Business Model Roulette, II

IBM isn’t the only outfit with business model problems ahead.  We will explore some additional models in trouble in an upcoming www.peoplenomics.com report for subscribers.

But in the meantime, I hope you caught the recent IMF on global financial stability.  The executive summary in English is available from this page.

As always, there is good news and bad:

Financial stability has continued to improve since the October 2016 Global Financial Stability Report (GFSR). Economic activity has gained momentum, as outlined in the April 2017 World Economic Outlook (WEO), amid broadly accommodative monetary and financial conditions, spurring hopes for reflation. Longer-term interest rates have risen, helping to boost earnings of banks and insurance companies.

But on the other side – and this is something we have covered before – there is the high risk exposure for companies that have not restructured theirs long-term debt into the super low rates over the past couple of years:

Policy proposals under discussion by the new U.S. administration in the areas of tax reform and deregulation could have a significant impact on the corporate sector. Healthy corporate balance sheets are a prerequisite for these policy proposals to gain traction and stimulate economic risk taking. Many nonfinancial firms do have the balance sheet capacity to expand investment, and reductions in corporate tax burdens could have a positive impact on their cash flow. But reforms could also spur increased financial risk taking and, in some sectors, could raise leverage from already-elevated levels. The sectors that have invested the most have the highest leverage, and financing additional investment with debt will increase their vulnerabilities. Under a scenario of rising global risk premiums, higher leverage could have negative stability consequences. In such a scenario, the assets of firms with particularly low debt service capacity could rise to nearly $4 trillion, or almost a quarter of corporate assets considered.

And that is exactly the kind of nightmare that comes with periodic longwave economic depressions.  While not here yet, when one does arrive, the bottom falls out, government needs to “make up” more money to make ends meet…and that pushes corporate borrowing costs high which results in businesses collapsing.

Just wonderful prospects, huh?  This is why in the longer span of history long wave bottoms are followed by depressions which and they followed by wars which kill people and break enough things to recycle into another upswing.

Sounds like Rube Goldberg’s finest.

Hard Data?

Philly Fed Business Outlook will have to serves:

“Results from the April Manufacturing Business Outlook Survey suggest that regional manufacturing activity continued to expand, but at a slower pace than last month. The diffusion indexes for general activity, new orders, and shipments remained positive but fell from their readings in March. The current employment index, however, improved slightly and continues to suggest expanding employment in the manufacturing sector. The survey’s future indicators continued to reflect general optimism but retreated from their high readings in the first three months of the year.

The index for current manufacturing activity in the region decreased from a reading of 32.8 in March to 22.0 this month. The index has been positive for nine consecutive months and remains at a relatively high reading but has moved down the past two months (see Chart 1). Thirty-seven percent of the firms indicated increases in activity in April, while 15 percent reported decreases. The current new orders and shipments indexes remained at high readings but declined 11 points and 10 points, respectively. Both the delivery times and unfilled orders indexes were positive for the sixth consecutive month, suggesting longer delivery times and increases in unfilled orders.

Other than this, the market could have an “inside day” ahead:  Not going lower than yesterday, nor higher than the Wednesday highs.  But we shall see.

Not really much (except news flows and earnings) to drive until late next week when we suffer through GDP, international trade, and consumer sentiment for the month, though Housing Tuesday (Case-Shiller) might be interesting.

Check Your Clocks

In the meantime, use the WaPo  article “U.S. defense officials may have spoken too soon, but Trump’s missing ‘armada’ finally heading to Korea” to reset your “time to war” clock.

More tomorrow.

(I was up all night studying for my blood tests today…off to the vampire’s place..).

Coping: Thursday “Unthinkable” Class

Although we don’t like to talk about real get-down, nitty-gritty urban survival much, the past few weeks have again underscored the wisdom of having a “place in the country” to run to in the event of the ultimate disaster.

This is not to claim that nuclear war is imminent, but, if it was, odds are about 99.999 percent that no one of our pay scale would have foreknowledge of what was to come.

So this morning a quickie refresher on preps you should already have in place, or if not, things to think about…

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Nuclear war and urban survival seem to be contradictory terms.  Oh, sure, horrors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki are real enough.  But even there, people did survive – at least for a while.

Education is the first tool you’ll need.  Since the latter part of the Cold War the classic book, and it’s still available today is Kearney classic  “Nuclear War Survival Skills.”

Reading this won’t make you feel warm and fuzzy toward nukes, but they might be out there in our future – like future tax increases, it’s the kind of thing to take in stride.

The first step in  personal response is to figure out if you are in a target zone.  Most of our kids are.

To figure out what a likely Russian, Chinese, Korean, or even militant Islamic terrorist group would strike, you can practice the unthinkable over a brewski with a bud some evening.

Pretend you’re Russian or Chinese to start with.  And then get out a map of America and some push-pins.  Use bright red for a megaton and up and other colors for smaller yields, if you feel up to it.

“Vaht ist our verst target, comrade?”

Hmmm.  Tough one.

“How many warheads, do we have, Ivan?”

[Having previously read UrbanSurvival or Wikipedia you already know “The R-36M (SS-18) is similar to the R-36 in design, but has the capacity to mount a MIRV payload of 10 warheads, each with a 550–750 kt yield, or a single warhead of up to 20 Mt. Throw-weight of the missile is 8,800 kg. This makes the Soviet R-36 the world’s heaviest ICBM; for comparison, the heaviest US ICBM (the retired LGM-118 Peacekeeper, that carried 10 warheads of 300 kt each) had less than a half of this at 4,000 kg. The R-36M has two stages. The first is a 460,000 kgf (4.5 MN) thrust motor with four combustion chambers and nozzles. The second stage is a single-chamber 77,000 kgf (755 kN) thrust motor.”]

“How about 100 at 20 megatons and 200 at 10  600 kiloton MIRVs each?”

“Hokay. First target would be New York.  Take out all finance and much banking.  10 of the 20-megaton bombs over the Northeast corridor. Your turn, comrade.”

I think you should let me go first.  I would toss 50 MIRVs into the Dakotas, Montana, and the whole upper Midwest, each with two MIRVs ot US ICBM silo…You must remember the Great War and what we learned…”

“Ha! I take out all the shipyards, then!  Bremerton, sub base Bangor, Pearl Harbor, San Francisco, Groton, Virgina Beach….your turn.”

OK, I vill do 9 EMP’s over whole country.  That vill take out power and that means no energy…you?”

“…hmmm…. Like the energy theme so how about Bay City, Houston, Henry Hub, the big TVA Dams, and all the power and irrigation dams out West.  Turn?”

This goes on for a couple of days.  This is because Russia has tons of WMD inventory. China, with an estimated 2,000 missiles, is fairly “light” on ICBMs but has a lot of intermediate range missiles.

Wikipedia tells us “The exact number of nuclear warheads is a state secret and is therefore a matter of guesswork. The Federation of American Scientists estimates that Russia possesses 4,490 nuclear warheads, while the U.S. has 4,500; Russia has 1,790 active strategic nuclear warheads, compared with the U.S. having 1,750.[2] According to 2016 data from the New START Treaty Aggregate Numbers of Strategic Offensive Arms facts sheet, the United States has fewer operationally deployed strategic warheads than Russia.[11] On the other hand, Russia is estimated to have roughly 1,500 tactical nuclear weapons, all of which are declared to be in central storage.”

There’s wiggle room in the numbers depending how you count “warheads.”  While in launch and early flight mode, 10 (or more) can  live under a single “warhead.”  Such is the business of death.

Once you and (whoever you have playing Ivan) have launched a thousand warheads, or so, and you have push-pins all over a big map, it’s time to look at your home’s location.

If there is a push-pin there check to see if it’s red (the multi-megaton color) or something less.

Now flip over to Alex Wellerstein’s site.

Who?  Guy who built up the https://nuclearsecrecy.com/nukemap/ site.  Plug in your city, check the push-pins nearest your city, and see what the damage is.

I’ve been a reporter a good chunk of my life and I don’t like seeing a lot of dead people.  But as this exercise shows, there would not be many living people around after a real nuclear exchange.

The problem is, everyone knows it – and you have to be crazy to even play this game.

But maybe, if someone did the unthinkable in a small way first, it would teach the rest of the world something.

Hard telling.

Mutually assured destruction – MAD policy for sure.

But it’s why if we do ever leave this area, we will be in a small town somewhere else.

Somewhere that has a bit of water, a good growing season, and isn’t near anything worth spending a MIRV warhead on.

Not too many places like that, but you can find them if you look.

And while we hope those smaller places are never the “new centers of growth” in a post global war, post technological era, we have traveled the American West enough to have seen a few ghost towns here and there.

Most of them weren’t built with the idea of being turned into ghost towns.  But whether it was trains or the interstate highway system, there is always an unpredictable consequence to any new technology.

Especially of the type Kid Korean has the slaves building for him in the tunnels of North Korea.

I’ve heard estimates that he could have as many as 25 serviceable warheads already and even old trawlers entering American waters discretely – or from other ports – could be the contemporary history’s update to Pearl Harbor.

Something to think about and worth some option planning.

We still have an old field survey counter, the duct tape and plastic, some N100 masks and we could cobble up a positive pressure area of our home that would run on solar.

Toss in  the potassium iodine pills and until someone’s aim is way off, some rural folks will survive.

Off To the Doctor

Yep – another lube oil and filter day.  Maybe it’s why I’m in such a chipper and upbeat mood…

Write when you get rich,

George@ure.net

Investing: Step-by-Step for Millennials

A beginner’s Guide today.  How much to get started, how to pick an online brokerage, and a ton more including how to make – and read – your own charts.

One of our readers – a Millennial at that – asked if I could whip up such a simple, step-by-step guide to how to invest in the stock market. Something for newbies.

Since I wrote the Millennial’s Missing Manual, and that eBook – which will be on Amazon any minute – is all about processes and how you can do anything ever done by another human (if you can find their recipes), why not apply the same thing to the stock market?

Easy-peasy, right?

So this morning we will dispense with the headlines – since you can find the flow of news updated every few minutes from our news/RSS feed page over here, we will combine everything about investing into a series of really easy-to-follow steps.  There is also a reading list – the mechanical part is simple.  The strategies is where the gold is buried.

Who knows?  Maybe even my own Gen-x kids will find it worth reading…

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Why Average People Are…..Average!

My friend Robin Landry (site) has been managing money for people for about 40-years now.  When I blew out of my long position in the markets a 8-days ago, he advised me to be patient.

Markets climb a ‘Wall of Worry’ most times…”

I knew it to be true and it wasn’t the first time I’d heard it.  Still, I stewed and fretted a good bit when the market opened up strongly Monday and it didn’t take but an hour, or so, before I had jumped in long, again.  But, as world events and our Global Index guide us, we may be back to cash as early as the extended hours session today.

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Not that being in cash for the week I was “out” hurt.  We snagged enough money to buy hundreds of hamburgers – a kind of alternative currency I keep track of.  (Unlike BTCs, at least for their first 4-minutes of life, hamburgers do have some utility value…)

Robin happens to be one of the world’s experts in Elliott Wave theory.  There are others – I think everyone knows Bob Prechter at Elliott Wave International.  Some people have a real eye for it.

Point is:  There is a strong case to be made – and it’s seen in several of the charts I keep on the www.peoplenomics.com side of things – that the market can zoom much, much higher.  But our aggregation work offers another view. As of this morning, the US  oscillator has crossed above the Global which in our view is notable.  Possibly quite bullish, but we’ll see how the week works out.

An  hour to the open futures were down 57, but after a run  of 183 yesterday, some people may take profits and slink off for a while.

I tend to be more of a trader than investor.  Although I’ve never asked, I expect Robin has long-term gains at tax time.  I virtually never do and, if anything, my biggest paperwork headache is the Wash Sale rules.  (A few years back I was labeled a “pattern day trader.”)  You get to pick your own style, though trading is more work and in studies, about equal if you’re good at it, though disastrous if you’re bad.

I’ve said it before, but it bears repeating again:  The markets have a little something for everyone:  I like the Wild West Casino of day trading, or maybe being in something for a few weeks to a month.  Others are much more strategic:  Their idea of a good time is playing the longer-term (and larger) wave counts and ignoring the little bumps along the way.

For what it’s worth, you can make pretty good money, either way.

With many “modern” employers turning a ‘blind eye’ to employee’s casually surfing the web for things like checking social media accounts, I can’t imagine that people wouldn’t be spending 10-times as much effort trading a small grubstake in the markets.

Except for one thing:  Average people are stupid.

It’s what keep’s ;em average.

In  the Bigger Scheme of Life (BSL), people get up, go fight traffic, work too long, fight their way home, and then sit around and bitch to their partners about it.  All the while, compulsively checking Tinder or FB or whatever for new “friends” and “likes.”

With technology on our phones to trade – and learn to become expert traders and investors – I am dumb-struck at people’s behavior.

Average people seem to wake up to the roar of the markets right around their tippy-top.  That’s what happened in 1929.

With perhaps a year – and maybe longer – to a possible blow-off upside top, it’s not too late, as we see it, to dump “social”  for “financial” if you must run  up data charges.

Sadly, we already know what the “average” decision will be.

Data For Grown-ups

Three items hold our attention today.

One is the report out of South Korea’s Yonhap news agency that a couple of additional U.S. aircraft carriers are on the mosey toward waters off the Koreas.  This comes as Kid Korea is threatening missiles and bluster at every turn including “nuclear war could come at any minute.”

We modestly suggest he check his homeowners policy.

Item #2 this morning is the Housing Start report from Census just out:

Building Permits Privately-owned housing units authorized by building permits in March were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,260,000.  This is 3.6 percent (±2.8 percent) above the revised February rate of 1,216,000 and is 17.0 percent (±1.2 percent) above the March 2016 rate of 1,077,000.  Single-family authorizations in March were at a rate of 823,000; this is 1.1 percent (±1.9 percent)* below the revised February figure of 832,000.  Authorizations of units in buildings with five units or more were at a rate of 401,000 in March.

Housing Starts Privately-owned housing starts in March were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,215,000.  This is 6.8 percent (±12.5 percent)* below the revised February estimate of 1,303,000, but is 9.2 percent (±9.1 percent) above the March 2016 rate of 1,113,000.  Single-family housing starts in March were at a rate of 821,000; this is 6.2 percent (±10.0 percent)* below the revised February figure of 875,000. The March rate for units in buildings with five units or more was 385,000.

Housing Completions Privately-owned housing completions in March were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,205,000.  This is 3.2 percent (±13.5 percent)* above the revised February estimate of 1,168,000 and is 13.4 percent (±16.2 percent)* above the March 2016 rate of 1,063,000.  Single-family housing completions in March were at a rate of 819,000; this is 7.9 percent (±12.9 percent)* above the revised February rate of 759,000. The March rate for units in buildings with five units or more was 374,000.

Graphically:


Item #3 this morning is the Fed Industrial Capacity and Utilization Report which comes out shortly.  If it’s good, look for the market to get over any hesitation at the opening.

Another BREXIT Vote?

We see prime minister May has called for snap elections in the UK June 8th.

This comes as rival political hacks are trying to derail BREXIT and May isn’t standing for it.

It’s another clear example of how government (political hacks) will constantly try to rewrite the ‘will of people’ for corporate of personal gain.

What part of NO E.U. didn’t they get?

Buy American

President Trump is about to sign an executive order on “buying American” and using American workers on government projects.

It will also make it harder for American companies to hire foreign workers.

And since Amazon’s Jeff Bezos owns the Washington Post, their coverage over here is interesting to read.

NY Times on Spicer

Have to admit, the NY Times seems to have it right when they take off after presidential spokes Sean Spicer on this lack of transparency that has started to tinge the Trump administration.

While I don’t buy the (BS) excuse, I give Spicer credit for doing his job.

Which is like being a mouse surrounded by a hundred hungry cats at the daily briefings.

Peasants Vs. City-States

A pretty good article by Damon Linker in The Week goes to some of our Outback thinking:  “It’s not elites vs. populists. It’s cities vs. the countryside.”

It’s worth thinking about.

To put it in aeronautical terms, everything outside of “bravo airspace” really is “fly-over” country.

We don’t mind feeding ya’ll in the Big Cities, but we do mind feeding AND paying for largess and waste.  Next time you buy a car, try driving to a small rural area and finding a dealer who doesn’t stick you for the whole local-option sales tax” for example.

Or, why should rural people who want to see a sporting event be screwed for additional hotel and food taxes?  We do enough out here. Pay for your own stadiums without using public bonding authority, fer cryin’ out loud.

No…don’t get me started.

Coping: Trump Needs Props

While I am working around the ranch – where we mostly raise bugs this time of year – little things go through my mind.  Items from the daily news flow that I can’t get out of my head.

Yeah, I should be able to banish them, but stories – like VP Mike Pence going to South Korea to stand on the border with North Korea struck as as expensively redundant.

You can say that again…

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What I mean by this is that we don’t really need to send Pence – I mean he may have had other agenda items, sure.  Inspect the troops and what-not.

But since the president has shown little regard for the “old way of doing politics” perhaps it’s time he started holding press conferences with props.

Here’s how it could be scripted:

The president comes out, looks directly at the camera, and says “I don’t know how hard of hearing the little kid in North Korea is, but let me tell you why I think he has a hearing problem.

We plopped 59 cruise missiles into Syria the other day.

Shortly thereafter, we used the Mother Of All Bombs – the MOAB – to kill upwards of 100 ISIS fighters in Afghanistan.

Now, I don’t care how dumb an American you are,, everyone ‘here gets what I’m telling him.

But he still doesn’t hear me.  So instead of sending the Vice President to yell from the South Korea border, I thought it would be a lot more humane if we sent him two gifts.

The first is a top of the line American Made hearing aid.  We’re tossing in a one year supply of batteries, too.

Then, because we don’t wish him any harm, we’re going to send him a six month subscription to his choice of Jenny Craig or Weightwatchers.”

I don’t know, but seems to me that such a press event would be an instant hit.

We could, with the simple addition of props, dramatically improve the ratings of the live newsers who are always making up slanted Trump-bash stories in order to feather their own ratings.

Let’s consider the props that could be used elsewhere:

When congress – predictably – doesn’t actually do anything about healthcare reform, Trump could use a box of Kleenex or a 12-pack of Charmin for the babies who won’t step up and the whiners who are afraid of the future.

I could suggest sending the president of Mexico a new Kindle with some landscaping books preloaded.  So they can figure out how to improve the look of their side of the wall.

I could get a Louisville Slugger baseball bat and pass it around for the Joint Chiefs to sign.

“To Vlad:  This is out littlest one.  the bigger ones come airmail. – The CiC and the Joint Chiefs…”

To be sure, keeping secret who is coming to visit the White House is totally uncool.  Must be something in the plumbing that takes control of people who come in creative.

Maybe that Directorate 153 group we suggested…

Whatever the reason, there are ways that Trump could push his poll numbers up – and playing golf of bringing the wife and son to the White House instead of NYC isn’t it.

No, I think we need to have a government Props Department.  One we can actually talk about.

We’ve heard it rumored before:  With the Philadelphia Project,Montauk, shock & awe…and maybe the moon landing.

But where is the Props Department when we really need one?

Except…maybe…trying to find an American made anything to use as a prop.

That would go some distance toward making us great again. 

It’s one thing to have a Joke in Chief as the lefties wail; but a little levity and laughter?  Sure…why not?  A lot of America is a joke any more, starting with political correctness and the whole melting pot deal.

My “Prop du jour” for today? 

Ear plugs.

Can’t stand the whining of Trump propping things up without props.

Write when you get rich, or hear an actual PC acceptable joke.

George@ure.net

Easter Monday: The Dyngus Amongus

This is Dyngus Day.  A tough day to get excited about, with a few local exceptions.

Markets are generally closed in Europe because this is “Easter Monday” and a market holiday in places like Germany, France, and the U.K.

Oh, and Australian markets were closed overnight, as well.

(continues below)

What does this have to do with the U.S.?” is a fair question.

Depends on whether you follow our admittedly odd worldview when comes to trading (a cross between investing and wild-eyed gambling).

You see with networked markets, the whole global system models well as a “big gob of money.”

But when some of the markets are closed, some portion of the money comes off the table for things like weekends.  And on special weekends like this one, when markets are open one placed, closed another, it makes it doubly to triply confusing.

Eventually – starting with Asia tonight – we will see come global coherence sneak back in and once that is done, then we can use our Aggregate U.S. indicators to figure out the next money-making move long of short.  Or, so we hope.

I could roll on endlessly about how Alt-Econ really works (well!) but it is a non-quantitative approach and would not be blessed by academia.

It’s like the study of geology, though.

We walk up to a small mountain range and observe all the mountains have partial connections.  From one to another we might see a ridge line, for example.

Geologists who have been seized by “too many numbers” disease will not simply look at the obvious routes between mountains.

Instead, they will measure everything possible.  What is the slope of that hill?  What are the numeric dimensions of the mountain?  Is that igneous rock?  Where did it come from?

Not that each of the data points isn’t True.  The question is “Are they useful?”

A pocket altimeter works fine.

The dirty little secret about how the stock market works is similarly simple – and it explains why the modern trading platforms – you know, the online stock brokerages – it’s why THEY make money.

It is like owning a casino and being able to inspect people’s bets before they are placed. 

If you see a bunch of people putting roulette money on the number 37, you simply buy all possible positions on 37 and re-sell them a fraction of a second later to the retail customers.

If this is done slowly (by a human) it is considered “front-running.”  When a broker makes money on your trades,  as is caught, it’s fines, suspension or prison..

The SEC, being easily confused when looking at the mountain of front-running data that effectively takes place with high-frequency trading platforms, has been effectively bamboozled by “mathnosis” (math plus hypnosis, right?) into believing that if “front running is fast enough, it’s not front running of trades.”

Oh?

Some day, and I hope to live long enough to see it, some young law firm will file a class action lawsuit against the HFT operators.  But in the meantime, there’s enough fog in the mountains – this being Easter Monday – that it’s hardly worth getting up. The Mountains will be more visible tomorrow.

We like to see the mountains clearly and holidays like this amount to fog.

We don’t expect the U.S, market to move too much in today’s session.Under our wacky “Aggregate” theories, inter-market arbitrage means as much as retail stock sales.  Maybe more.

If you are still drawn to the adrenaline, might we propose the Boston Marathon run for the more ambitious?

Around here, the Plan of the Day will involve additional non-destructive pillow testing.

After all the work in the garden this weekend, more sleep sounds like a grand idea.

Snide Remarks About Headlines

Normally, we would offer a string of news headlines about here.  Pithy comments would follow.

But in honor of Easter Monday,, we will point you over to our automatically-updated Breaking News Feed content aggregation software page where you can see the world roll by as I snooze.

A FB murder? Another nail in the coffin of the unlicensed Internet.

Crooked politics in SK and the visiting Pence?  Fine, have at it.

Almost as exciting as the “Truth About Almond Milk.”

Answer me this:  Do you really think staying up for another 90 minutes to report the Empire State Manufacturing Survey is the best use of my time?  What about the pillow testing project?

Fed industrial production and capacity utilization tomorrow morning ain’t exactly the Grateful Dead, know what I’m sayin?

Mr. Pith will be back tomorrow when the gambling makes more sense..

For now: Time to pith and snooze.

Coping: Easter Weekend in the Garden

A number of readers have suggested that we skip the daily sojourn into economics and instead put up an “all Elaine” website.

Not a bad idea, but she’s very self conscious.  Except she did permit me to take one snap of her “Daisy-Mae” look while she was working on the garden…

Now that we have the centerfold out of the way, the real story is about using a weed burning torch to clean up the garden.

Just to the right of Elaine’s shovel  on the far side of the fence, you can see the neat “fire line” I laid out around the garden this year.

There’s one little yaw-sawg to it…where it takes a detour around the prickly pear cactus.  Otherwise, it looks mostly like this:

The idea is that if you burn out a foot, or two, then when you mow, there’s no having to go back with the weedeater which is a PITA because the nylon string gets all twisted up in the wire mesh and it’s gruesome rewinding the infernal string trimmer.

I did want to mention there are plenty of things to get one of these $20 marvels and keep it with its own 20-pound dedicated propane tank.

When needed, our tank is bungied onto the hand truck (another must have survival tool regardless of home size) and it’s ready for action.

Whether it’s because of a “fire department family” or that time when “the major” and I about set a church yard on fire with a runaway campfire, or maybe it’s because there’s a little pyromaniac in all of us…this is a he-man, heap-o-fun tool.

It also makes turning a fallow garden into a new home for the greenhouse refugees (who have threatened a lawsuit if we didn’t get them into the outside ground) a matter of child’s play.

The steps are simple:

Find a morning a day or three after a good rain when applying the torch to a test patch doesn’t burn up the whole forest.  This is done carefully in  the summer.

Many rural counties – like ours – have burn bans on in the summertime – but it’s worth reading the fine print.

In our county rumor has it that the “burn ban” is directed at rural people who still burn their trash.  There seem to be exceptions for “cooking fires” and “agricultural fires” even when burn bans are on.

I don’t know how a jury would think of burning fence lines, but it’s a much safer environmental approach that glysophate.

And speaking of burning things:  As a result of doing LOTS of work on the homestead this year, we have some pretty decent little burn piles going.

The two closest to the house are reasonable – we don’t expect anything higher than a five-foot flame off them.

But on the back 12 there are (let me count…) four or five cut up tall pines which I dug a burning ditch for.  They could be pretty interesting this fall, but right now they are still too wet to burn.

There’s never a shortage of stuff to burn in the Outback.  A couple of weeks back, neighbor Coy up the road had a “mini tornado” come through that wrecked their guest cabin.  So we haven’t seen hide not hair of them for a while.

We have a large oak that’s down – and while it’s fun to go out and play with a chain saw when you’re in the 20-50 age group, something happens around age 55.  Using a chainsaw being something approaching work, not play.

By the time you start closing in on age 69, it’s just another damn irritation to be dealt with.

Starting a good rural “agricultural fire” is pretty simple and you only need three ingredients to burn most anything:

  • A Bic lighter.
  • A fresh 20-pound jug of propane hooked up to your burner.
  • And a 5-gallon jug of diesel which is liberally applied to whatever might be damp, need a helping hand, or you just was to see what the pyromaniacs get so excited about.

Trust me, having come close to a runaway fire or two, there’s nothing to the pyro nut’s point of view.  As you are scraping dirt down for all you’re worth to get a line around a burning patch of grass, about the only thing going through your head is “Was the burn ban on?” and “Oh, shit, what does out homeowners policy cover if I’ve screwed the pooch on this burn…

Eventually, it all works out in the end…only question was whose end it would be.

Next trip into town, I will put the burner bottle in the truck and reload.  There’s nothing quite so much fund and mastering the proper use of fire because for some things (like welding) there are no substitutes.

Easter Dinner

We hope you and your family had a fine time.

The plan was to cook a big a store-bought big corned beef.

But the reality of the “sell by date”” dictated chicken instead.  So I spent some time figuring up how to make a curried chicken for a change and it was pretty good over ride with some raisins in it and such..

As Life would have it,  my lube, oil, and filter at the doctor’s comes up this week.

And that corned beef – with extra pickling spices and a boatload of additional cloves and garlic…well, just the kind of prep I need.

Ever try leftover corned beef cubed up with a couple of Yukon Gold’s and two eggs over easy on top with ketchup?  Yum.  Glass of whole milk?  Sure!  Then diet for 24 hours and see if the veins have been sold off for drilling rights…

Just the thing to have the day before the blood draw…  I know the Doc’s gonna keep steering me toward statins.  I tell him thanks, but let’s keep it natural till knife time.  So far, that’s been a good policy:  Meds for extremes of pain or infections, snake bite, or whatever.  Otherwise, the daily baby aspirin and HZTZ for blood pressure…fair trade-off that so I can stick with high octane coffee….

See how conflicted we’ve all become on this medical stuff?

Write when you get rich,

George@ure.net

Disappearing Investment Choices

This morning, since it’s a holiday weekend and all, we will focus on the charts and outlooks for next week’s action which will very much hinge on military developments between now and the Monday open.

We will also consider the problem of ‘disappearing investment options.”  Sure, things like real estate are still selling, but to the long term, strategic investor, there’s always got to be an exit strategy in view.

And right now, some of those are going mirage-like.

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