Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Who Is On First?

In his campaign for the presidency, Trump repeatedly praised his own ability to do the best or to get the best to perform a job. His A-team would add a new chapter in our history that would restore America to its greatness.
Apparently, his tenure is finding it difficult. I have not heard him sing, Neil Young's song with the line, "...I'm mining for a heart of gold and I'm getting old." It would give him an excellent excuse.

More To Come...

With that said the numbers don't lie. The Trump administration is setting a record for top-tier turnover. It currently rests at 34%, but it is set to rise even higher in the coming months for various reasons like the mid-term elections and the known fact that private entities will offer top positions for ex-government staffers. Yeah, they talk the BS about public service when it is really a stepping stone to the corporate hierarchy seeking government contracts.

In the big picture counting all staff members, Trump has seen 61% of his appointees leave or have been asked to leave for one reason or another. However, there is the other side of the coin...

Not the Whole Truth...

It also could be the difficulty with running for office and getting the job. It is one thing to develop a catchy slogan that wins a campaign and another to have the skill to govern. Trump has the dual difficulty that comes from the top job. The learning curve is steep and that difficulty is compounded by his lack of political experience.

Trump's personal appointments have ended up badly. Many have disagreed with him. Some have contradicted him. Trump finds himself in "Twitter" fights that only appear as insubordination to us and leave us with many questions. We figure that the issues are deeper than the surface news.

In any event, I have collected this list at this time, the mid-point of the baseball season. Here is the All-Star list. Can you recall these oldies?

*Reince Priebus - Chief of Staff
*Katie Walsh - deputy chief of staff
*Sean Spicer - press secretary
*George Sifakis - director of public liaison
*Michael Flynn - national security advisor
*K. T. McFarland - deputy national security advisor
*Rex Tillerson - secretary of state
*Steve Bannon - chief strategist
*Gary Cohn - chief economic advisor.
There is your starting line-up and your bench players like Paul Winfree who voluntarily resigned. Then, James Comey who was fired along with many others.

Of course, you the fans may be disturbed by not seeing your favorites like Anthony Scarmucci, director of communications.
Hope Hicks, interim director of communications.
and let us not forget the Big Brother celebrity, Omarosa Manigault who was director of public liaison.

Just in: Scott Pruitt resigned from the EPA. His deputy will interim for the moment. Andrew Wheeler is a step beyond bad. He was the top coal lobbyist for years. He knows how to work the system. This means that he is opposed to coal's competition like alternative energy. We will lose not steps, but years to China in developing those energy sources. This will be yet another American contribution that foreigners reap the benefits.

Soon to come...

Michael Cohen, Trump's ex-lawyer will soon be indicted. Who knows what can of worms will be opened and what repercussions?  However, we have more important things to worry about and on top of the list is tariffs and the jobs that it will effect and government revenue. Sebastian called the trade war is on and he is right.

With the difficult strategy of turning our nation around back to a manufacturing nation that is self sufficient, Trump should look to economist who are outsiders and agree with his tariff fight for our standard of living and not the phony inflation argument in the transition back to self-sufficiency. It is good that the lies of the term, "free trade" is exposed. I could help.

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

An Aspect of JA's Dream

This short story is dedicated to our Founding Fathers whose vision gave us liberty. Although, it is always threatened, it still rings true as we celebrate our Independence Day.

     In the spectrum of color, each hue has its own beauty, but together, they form a kaleidoscope. This adds another unique embellishment from the coalescence. In the same way, a person might have a concept that becomes so accepted that it becomes tradition. Such a person is very fortunate. Even if time creates shades to his vision, he did a wonderful thing. Each separate degree of style and individuality is really only a floor to the cornerstone of the original thought. Not only was the idea beautiful, but each variation added to the picture.

     As I stepped into my car, I was thankful for air-conditioning. It was humid and getting hot for 7:30 in the morning. Summer, by the calendar, was only days away. Each season has its chronometric time. The summer solstice is the time for baseball, swimming, and barbecuing, especially with the family. Teenagers' surface. The older ones cruise main drags and almost all hit the mall. The crumb snatchers' have grandparents for sitters. They say kids don't do summer jobs anymore, but I still see them cutting grass and at fast food places. Everyone spends the high point of the sun in different ways, but there is one common thread that is weaved in our culture, Independence Day.

     After my last appointment of the day, I drove, looking for a fireworks stand. I marveled at the thought. When I was a kid, fireworks was a back-room business with the air of a speakeasy. Then, they became publicly licensed. I remembered seeing a location along Goldenrod Road. I turned onto route 551. Perhaps, they might have something that I liked or knew?

     I clicked on the radio. I searched for the oldies station. The music of Freddie Cannon singing, "Palisades Park" rekindled memories. As I drove, I reflected on my earliest recollection of summertime and the national holiday.

     I can recall back to when I was four or five. My family, as well as everyone else in the old neighborhood, celebrated the Fourth in the same way. As soon as dusk settled, we ascended to the roofs of our tenement buildings in the Bronx. We brought whatever we had up to those tar tops and joined our neighbors in one big jamboree. Everyone squeezed out a space and formed a mosaic quilt to life.

     The collage included card games, checkers and chess, hotdogs, soda and beer. Maybe some ice cream, but always laughing, dancing, and singing ethnic songs. The air was filled with an esprit de corps. The sky would hold a panorama of multi-colored rainbows. Each roof adding its stroke to the canvas and its chord to the harmony. The effect created a symphonic atmosphere like the talking cereal - snap, crackle and pop. Every holiday has its special flavor. The Fourth was one of unity and sharing. No one had to go political about our freedom. It was reflected in the joy of their faces. John Adams was probably smiling in his grave.

     Traffic ahead snarled. I slowed to a crawl with all the late workers and early shoppers, hitting the streets simultaneously. It required more attention to drive. My mind contemplated on how times have changed. Over the years, those changes affected how people celebrated the holiday. I pursued the thought. I wondered how JA's grand concept for Independence Day fares against the modern critics.

     A deeper issue centered on children who had been hurt by fireworks. It effected a response by groups who took up the concern as a cause. The resulting legislation all but extinguished the traditional way families celebrated the holiday.

      I can't blame the people who wanted to cure the civic illness, but on the other hand, we seem to legislate away our way of life. We have laws requiring licenses for this and that. C'mon! You cannot even have a garage sale without a fee. Everything ends up being about revenues for government and money for corporations. I understand the seat belt law, but I have empathy for smokers. You need a lawyer to know all the insurances that you need. What about traveling? You go through a gauntlet of metal detectors, searches and Id requests. It seems if someone has a gripe, we all get taxed with inspections or wait in line. No wonder I miss the old days.

      I just noticed the light turn green. Someone saw it sooner. Their honk on the horn caused me a knee jerk reaction. I said to myself, Anthony, you're getting old. You're losing it. Not only are you having a conversation with yourself, but the horn you honked won't help. It will be like a needle in the head for the guy ahead. It certainly won't make traffic move any faster. Talk about going off on a tangent. All things considered, our democracy keeps trying to improve and that is more than I can say for myself.

     I couldn't turn off my mind. I asked and answered myself. What do I think? I think too much. Yeah! That would be JA's reply to modern critics, "Just relax, have a good time and enjoy our heritage of freedom."

     My cortex slowed and along with the soothing sounds of the Moody Blues rendition, "Tuesday Afternoon," my mind calmed. Finally, I saw the fireworks stand on the left.

     It was nothing more than a tent on a vacant lot. It occurred to me as I approached the stall with all its red, white and blue glitter, that I won't find my childhood favorites like cherry bombs, ash cans and Roman candles. Not everything passed certification.

     I greeted the attendant with, "Wow! Chinese rockets, helicopters and sidewinders. I'll take a dozen of each, and a few of those, and give me a couple of these too. Thanks, buddy."

     The smile on my face was short lived. As I returned to my car, I heard a commotion at the rear of the lot. Three older boys were jostling a younger kid. Although the teenagers looked like ordinary youngsters in their T-shirts, neon shorts and upscale sneakers, I wasn't sure of their intentions. Their actions spoke for their motive.

     I didn't have to hear intimidation to recognize it. I remembered when I was a target of it. It happened at around the same age as this kid, eleven or twelve. I set down my purchase and shouted, "Leave the kid, alone!"

     At first, they ignored me. However, when they saw me coming, they took off. The young man tried not to cry when I reached him. I asked, "Are you all right?"

     "Yeah. What's it to you?" as he eyed me curiously. He then blurted, "They took my stuff." I asked, "What did they take?" He didn't answer. I guessed, "Your fireworks?" He looked down as he replied, "Yeah. I saved for a month. All for nothing!" I attempted to gain his confidence as I followed up, "What did you do?"

     "Oh, lots of things. What's it to you, anyway? I don't know you. Leave me alone!" He was about to walk away, but I continued, "Hey, I don't mean you any harm. I was just trying to help." He fired back, "Yeah. You helped them get my stuff." He kicked the dirt as I responded, "I'm sorry. I didn't realize that you had it under control. What's your name?"

     "Raghib Jefferson."

     "Raghib, like the rocket from Notre Dame?" He made a mocking sound as he said, "Ha! Except, I'm faster." I adlibbed, "I guess they call you, Supersonic?" He made an expression like I was talking Greek, "That's a plane, man."

     I had the feeling that I was getting through to him. He no longer looked watery eyed or fearful. There was a glow on his face. I made a pitch, "Hey, Raghib. I realize that I've got a few too many pyrotechnics. Want some?" He didn't know the word as he tried to repeat it, "Pyro...what?"

     "Fireworks." He looked at me hard. I knew we were back to the beginning. I put on my warmest smile. Nothing. Then, I said, "You know, I'm a Notre Dame fan." He gave a knee jerk response, "Who cares. Down here, Canes rule." I struck a chord. He loosened his defensive barriers. I laughed, "Canes! They are like this weather, hot air! C'mon!" I walked toward my car. I hoped that he would follow. As I walked, I recalled what once happened to me.

     We moved from our neighborhood a year earlier because the city decided it was inhumane to live the way my family did. I was too young to understand things like leaking roofs, no heat, rodents, and no hot water which is life in New York tenements. The city had something new. They called it, "Projects." With the legislative wisdom New York always shows, they tried to get 10,000 people into a 100 by 150 lot. Somehow, I carved myself a 10 by 10 millimeter of space and I found a best friend.

     My mother never approved of him. His father was in the rackets. In the Bronx neighborhood friendships over-ruled parental worries. All I knew was this. At the end of the school year, Dennis and I were the most popular kids in the fifth grade at Blessed Sacrament and in all the Bronx. It was unbelievable.

     This is how it started. One afternoon in June, we took the subway to Harlem. Dennis forged a note from his father that read, "This is my son. Give him whatever he wants."

     We left with shopping bags filled with fireworks. The next day, we sold them at school at lunchtime. On weekends, we sold them in the neighborhood. I was one rich, little, crumb snatcher except for this one incident.

     On that Fourth of July, I left my house stuffed with fireworks. I had them in my socks, pockets, inside my shirt and under my baseball cap. I told my mother that I was invited to a family party at a nearby avenue. I had a long walk ahead, so I left early.

     The little fib, eased my mom's mind. She saw adult supervision in a better neighborhood. That block consisted of single-family homes. People had room, whereas, on our street, it was how many to a room. Their contractors stopped at the second elevation, while our builders used the multiple five series: 5, 10, 15 stories high. In their district, the latitude of style was reflected in the individuality of space, whereas, my apartment was the latitude of six on the elevator. In the Bronx space was either a linear or vertical perspective.

     As I walked along the way, some kids recognized me. They asked me to sell them some things. I hesitated. I had more than I needed. I thought with the extra money, I could buy a bike. Money and greed got the best of me.

     Soon, two kids became four and then, to the fourth power. I was getting nervous with such a crowd. The police would see me. There was no one to protect me. I tried to leave when a strong arm grabbed me.

     "Let's see what you got," as a tall, older, black guy held me. I recognized him and heard of his rep. Some said that he robbed checks from mailboxes. Some said that he robbed people and that he even raped a girl. My heart went to my throat. He had two cronies with him. They poked at my pockets. I was looking for an escape as I said, "I don't have anything else for sale. The rest belongs to my friend's family." He glared, "Give me what you got and your money too or I'll beat you to a pulp and just take it."

     My mind worked feverously. I never could understand how someone that I'd never met could have such a hateful look on his face. Man, I was scared. I reached into a rear pocket for a bag of cherry bombs. I came out with the hand of one of his buddies. As the leader looked at the bag, I took off. I knew I couldn't outrun three teenagers, especially loaded down as I was, but I threw items as I ran.

     I grabbed things from my shirt pocket. I let fly what was under my cap. I lifted my shirt to let loose what was around my waist. A little at a time, I created space between them and me as they stopped to retrieve my castoffs. I kept running all the way to McGraw Street.  

     When I finally reached it, I stopped and rested on a stoop. I took inventory. I still had my money and a cache of ash cans. I didn't want to tell Dennis or anyone about it. The frightening events seemed distant as the block party began to unfold.

     Then, out of the corner of my eye, I saw the three delinquents turn onto McGraw St. My heart almost stopped. My brain still worked. I realized that all I had to do was call Joseph, Dennis's older brother, and revenge would be mine.

     In that momentary pause, the three punks understood that they were as vulnerable as roaches caught in daylight. They scurried off.

     The night's coda surpassed the day's melodrama. I remember everyone saving their soda bottles to use as a launching pad for rockets. We lit them simultaneously, and the sky was filled with the color of pyrotechnic designs. Traffic was boxed out - block party style. In the center of the festivities, we used a city wire trash barrel for a fire. We poured entire packages of fireworks into it for fuel. All night long McGraw Street, crackled and popped. They were great people, special times and priceless memories.

     As I bent down to retrieve my bag from under the rear tire, I just hoped that he was behind me. I never looked back, but I was confident that he was there. I was given a chance to do a positive thing in the world. I just needed to find the right words.

     "Here it is," as I turned back. I was greeted with, "Man, why are you doing this?" I put on my best sales smile, as he continued, "I mean, those were white kids, and now, you are giving me all your stuff. Are you rich or something?"

     "No."

     "A preacher?"

     "No." I got an idea. I knew violence only breeds more violence. I asked him, "Do you know what graffiti is?"

     "Yeah."

     "Do you like it?"

     "Yeah." He wanted to say more, but I cut in. I continued the thought, "The first person who draws on a house, thinks it's cool. Soon, another does it. Before you know it, all you have is a collage that is totally abstract, reflecting chaos and despair. It spreads like a cancer to every house, fence and tree. It only reminds people who live there or pass by there, of the depression of poverty."

     He fired back, "Man. you don't know what you are talking about. Graffiti is cool." I sensed his words were mechanized, automatic responses. All I could hope was that he was engaging his mouth and not his mind. Eleven year old's do not see the big picture. I tried another way, "Raghib, I'm not talking about murals. Have you ever been in a classroom where there was writing on the desks and the place was worn and dirty?"

     "Yeah."

     "Have you ever been in a newer classroom where the desks are clean and the room is bright with plenty of supplies?"

     "Yeah."

     "Which would you rather be in?"

     "The nice one."

     "Maybe my example answers the question. Graffiti is a virus just like the writing on the first desk eventually becomes nothing but a mess of decay. Today, I had a chance to clean up some dirt before it became contagious. Without making you think that I'm weird, I hope you will see the positive side to all this. Maybe some day, you'll do the same for someone else. Enough said without preaching." His face lit up like he made a million dollar sale, "I knew it. You are a preacher, right?" I realized that he was listening to my words and thinking about them as I answered, "Not quite. I'm a salesman, but I wish, well..."

     "Well? That's a deep topic."

     I laughed and held out my hand for a handshake. He slapped it with a five as I said, "That's funny." His smile went from ear-to-ear as he suggested, "Maybe we should split this fifty-fifty? You didn't take much for yourself."

     "I decided to take my family downtown to our City Beautiful, Lake Eola and watch the display the municipality puts on. I'm a little old to be playing with fireworks." He interjected, "But not too old," as he pointed at what I kept. I grinned as I replied, "You're right. Not too old, but old and wise enough to know the Irish all over Miami. Bye, and have a good and safe Fourth."

     "Hey, mister! What's your name?"

     "Anthony Salutarelli."

     "Anthony what?"

     "Call me, Mr. S."

     "Hey, Mr. S, have a good and safe Fourth of July."

     I nodded another good-bye as I got back into my car. Before I drove away, I said, "Take care." I got a good feeling circulating within me. My heart was buzzing. It felt nice to do something with love other than just Christmas, even if it sounded corny to the boy.

     The engine roared as I turned back onto 551. Raghib yelled something after me. I didn't catch the words, but his smile and waving hand added another dimension to JA's dream.
   

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

More Odds and Ends

In another display that reflects the lower economic standards in America, the people who determine the make-up of the Dow 30, kicked out venerable GE for a retail firm. There was no respect for the firm that was the only surviving original member of the index. There was no grace period for a company that in the 1990s was the most valuable company in the world. The "throw-away" mentality of our consumer society over a producing culture was evident when the announcement of the death keel for the 1896 member was broadcasted. By the way, GE is a union type company. It is being replaced by Walgreens, an anti-union firm that pushes retail crap as if we need another one of those.
Just last month Monsanto was replaced by media chit-chat, Twitter. I hope people start realizing that the companies that helped to create our wonderful standard of living, are either slowly dying due to the manipulations of world trade or being taken over by foreign entities by merger. Trump is not always right about issues, but he is on world trade. The world dumps their stuff into our economy. Their standard of living rises, while ours falls. We are not even in the top 20 nations in our living standards. Dear reader, 28% of the population in the city of liberty, of brotherly love, live in poverty...and there are many locations within our country with stats just like that.

In case you have not noticed the roller-coaster ride in Venezuela, here is an update. Back in January their stock index peaked at over 100,000. I asked at the time, why? Did they discover more oil? The answer was no and in fact, their oil production was in decline. Did they discover a cure for cancer? No, again. In fact, it was reported that their was a shortage of food and medicine along with other daily necessities. So, what was it? My only answer was inflation. Inflation was so bad that prices were rising like crazy. Then, their market crashed. Their index dropped all the way back to one thousand. Can you imagine? Now, every day their index is rising again, As of last Friday, it hit 71 thousand, six hundred and change. Argentina is not the only nation with 40% inflation. Of course, our lying, corrupt Fed says inflation is still under their 2% target. Yeah, get real!

Plastic or Paper?

In another good turn of events, another California city made an environmental law change. Like many cities on the West coast from Seattle down, municipalities are banning plastic straws for paper straws. Our democracy is slow, makes many mistakes like Churchill famously said, but eventually gets it right.

Tea or Tea?

The question may sound funny, but Canadians will repeat that question many times. The government has passed legislation that will make pot legal in October. So, put the kettle on, but let the waitress know which tea you want.

Dictator or Autocrat?

Erdogan won his bid for re-election in Turkey. His powers were increased where he now can suspend Parliament. The West say the election was not fair and the lira, the Turkish currency is sinking. It is no wonder that Erdogan shuns the West and embraces the Chinese and their Silk Road in trade.

ECB

The European central bank kept their interest rates unchanged. Yeah, they offer savers negative rates which means you get back less money than you deposited in the bank. It also keeps the euro from rising which is good for EU members to manipulate the market with their exports. Then, the EU government leaders cry foul against Trump and the US in the use of tariffs or protectionism. Get out of town!

Space Force

Sadly, I knew this day would come. We are environmentally destroying our planet earth. Most of the destruction has come from wars and the on-going development of weapons. The next human tragedy will see those who win the battle of communication, will win the war. Technology has put satellites in space and this is where the battles will take place. We are killing our planet and soon, the surrounding region of it in space. We need the mantra now more than ever, Give Peace a Chance.

Next week is the Fourth. I will publish a short story in honor of it. I would welcome feedback on it. Take care.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Looks Can Be Deceiving

Everything in the market is looking higher. It echoes the late great, Jackie Wilson song, Higher and Higher. Nasdaq recorded a new record high and the small caps joined the party. The Dow and Transports are well off their February lows. Finally, the Baltic Shipping Index is showing signs of life. Keep in mind that all this buying is happening with the usual geo-political tensions in the Middle East, the who knows real results of the summit with N. Korea and the on-going financial problems of the EU members that appear at the end of each month along with Brexit. Last month it was Italy. This problem won't just go away. Then, there are elections in Turkey which is leaning toward being the number one proponent of China's new Silk Road agenda. Finally, the trade war issues. The market refuses to believe that this is happening. It believes Trump will make a deal and all is well. Trade wars are happening.

Even if you don't think the trade war will last, governments have very small memories. Also, I don't trust the N. Koreans and Israel needs to recognize Palestine and stop expanding into land that is not theirs. Syria will be a problem for years to come as well as the entire Middle East. So, I question the internal mechanics of the market. I cannot put my finger on the cause of the markets climb in the face of this many problems. I realize that the buybacks have helped. I understand that the new tax breaks helped. I see the strength in the economy in the job numbers, but that final point is deceiving. Follow the story...

The BLS says the average worker receives $26 plus an hour. This is a skewed piece of data. Walmart is the largest US employer and their average hourly rate in under $15. See what I mean? If you work for Boeing or GM as a union worker, you easily make the BLS stat. However, the majority of workers are not union and can't make ends meet. Why, you ask?

The average price for a new car is over $30,000. You could have bought a house for that much in the 70s. This is an example of our lower standard of living. Our dollars buy less.
Even with the $26 per hour rate, workers cannot afford a new home which is over $326,000. In fact, families cannot even afford rent, if they can find one open. Rental rates are eating one-third of income even one half in many areas. The average price of a re-sale is $267,000 in many locations. Again, the national average is skewed at $207,000 like the hourly wage report. In my example I use the higher real figure in today's market prices for real estate.

Take for example, a New York City developer. He is adding 330 units of condos for sale. However, he is targeting the high end with two penthouses that run $70 million each. No one is doing anything for ordinary people in NY housing which is why one third of its citizens desire to move from the city.
Nationwide, there are 537,000 units being built according to CoStar Group Inc. The vacancy rate on the upper side is 13%, but few new apartments are affordable for working families even in the face of those high vacancy numbers. So, that leaves re-sales for shelter. Let's do the math.

Based on $26: which equals a weekly salary of $1040 less taxes. In addition, all other expenses must be subtracted from the total. This would include car payments, credit debt, school loans, etc.

I won't go into a home's curb appeal, although it connects to the title of piece. The mortgage payment on a re-sale of $267,000 is roughly $1136. This is based on present rates which are rising. Nevertheless, one needs to add taxes, insurance and possibly PIP. I will pass on the closing costs. To meet mortgage qualifications, a buyer must have enough on one weeks earnings to pass the litmus test. As you can clearly see, the average worker does not meet the standards. This is why home builders do not build entry level, single family homes. Therefore, the biggest and most important expense in our consumer society, the average person is not included. Job numbers do not equate to a strong economy, especially if workers cannot afford the products that one needs like food, energy and shelter. Our Federal Reserve is corrupt! They do not include those three necessities in their phony inflation formula.

There is two guilty parties for the plight of our lower standard of living: the Federal Reserve which dilutes our dollars value and the military complex that costs us our lives and eat up our annual budget. End the Fed! Cut the military! We are not the police force of the world!
Let us get back to what the founders visualized in framing our constitution: Promote the general welfare in seeking life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

As Strong as the Weakest Link

The market is surging again, but internals indicate trouble ahead. The leading financial is Goldman Sachs(GS). Financials make more money on rising interest rates because they can play the spread(cost of money before lending). Rates are set to rise at the next Fed meeting on June 13th.

GS hit a low in February along with the rest of the market. However, most of the market has regained momentum, but GS hit a new, lower low. It is now over 40 points off its highs. This is a red flag.

We all know that the Dow and other indexes re-align from time-to-time. Last week Twitter took the place of Monsanto on the S & P 500. I find that very reflective of what is wrong with America and our economy. Bayer bought out Monsanto. They will be the biggest agricultural concern in the world. I don't want to go off point, but I have to include this tidbit. With that merger five companies control the world's food production. That is scary for food safety.

Anyway, Twitter is a social media company. A magazine in digital form. The company produces nothing for society while Monsanto was a producer. We lose on the index a creator of wealth for a creator of chit-chat. Look around! Facebook could be worth more than Exxon. How about SNAP (rhymes with crap)? We all need Exxon. My life is fine without Facebook and Snaps of the world. There are many more examples, but they all are waving a red flag.

If you doubt my point, consider this: The US invented the chip, the computer and the internet. YAY! Hold the excitement! As of last week, our computer ranking in the world was FIFTH! That is no typo. We were behind the Swizz and China. Fortunately, IBM collaborated with a chip firm, Nvidia to place the US back at number one. The question remains, number one for how long? Red flag.

Back to the Market

Chips are also weak beneath the surface of the market. Check out Lam and Amat?  Red flag.
The airlines say that earnings will suffer due to the rising cost of fuel which is up 60% from a year ago. Southwest already missed and American indicated that they will miss. Red flag.

Finally, a geo-political concern. This is not one of the usual suspects. Argentina's currency is falling off a cliff like many emerging markets due to the rise in the dollar. Argentina raised its interest rates to - are you ready for this? 40%. That is no typo. Can you imagine having to pay off your credit debt at those rates? Anyway, they received a $50 billion loan from the IMF. The only concern the IMF had was in seeing Argentina control its inflationary problem. If 40% can't do it, the world market is going to get one big shock. By the way, Argentina's currency, the peso is still falling in value. Red flag!

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

High on Profits

Cheech and Chong made the hippie comedy, Up In Smoke. It had many implications amongst which some dreams don't happen in life. They found relief from stress in pot and thus, up in smoke.
If we look back on the changing morality in America regarding pot, mostly it is done by states seeking revenue.
Say It Ain't So...
What once was immoral, is now acceptable. Why? Revenues.
Numbers guys faced years in prison, but state lotteries are now legal.
Alcohol created two amendments over its use. Booze runners faced jail time. The only controversy today is whether 18 or 21 is the legal age to drink.
Gambling was limited to Las Vegas. Illegal houses faced jail time. Gambling was increased to native American locations on a state-by-state approach. It is now almost everywhere.
Finally, in desperation for revenues, marijuana is acceptable in a few states like California, Colorado and Washington. It is being discussed in many more even though the federal government still considers pot illegal. It was great to hear my QB hero, Joe Montana come out in support for pot as a pain reducer. In this form, it is legal in many more states even though the federal government will arrest you if found in your possession.
At present, our president does not smoke or drink and his attorney general, Sessions is on board as against the legalization of pot. I still believe that Sessions will stage a big crackdown on states that allow the use of pot. It is in that vein that I now suggest to you, dear reader, to watch my two suggestions in the budding industry. The day after the big crackdown will be your moment to obtain a pot stock. However, if there is no pushback on pot and Canada legalizes it, jump on the bandwagon.
Aurora Cannabis and Canopy Growth
These two are benefitting from our changing morality in the US. They are both Canadian companies and yes, this will be another industry that creates money, jobs and revenue for a foreign nation. By the way, legalization is coming to Canada before the end of 2018. This gives these two solid support. They should spike when that bill is passed in Canada.
Aurora is positioned well with medical acceptance by pot for glaucoma and pain. They have acquired their competition. They are growing at 30% plus, but most followers think a consolidation should happen before the next explosive surge in the stock(ACBFF).
Canopy(CGC) is in great position to extend their market strength when Canada passes legalization. They have more supply sources to accommodate market growth. They are also growing at 30% plus. Whether you believe that pot is no more harmful than a glass of beer is immaterial. These two are primed to grow. Just don't smoke your profits away as in up in smoke.
BREAKING NEWS: Colorado congressman stated that President Trump will look into the pot dilemma. He will recommend what he will accept and not accept with something in the very near-term. He is leaning to allow states to make their own call. It's like the old expression, "Money talks, everything else walks."

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

OIL in the World of Eco-Military-Geo-Politics

Dear Reader, if you bear with me, I will take a page from the late, great Rod Serling and together we can journey into a world where time, sound and dimension is similar to ours. Imagine, if you will, in this dual, bizarre world, things are done by its own perception rather than rule. There are hidden bureaucrats that work in conjunction with the "Deep State" which is run by the military complex. They answer to no one and yet, there actions have consequences to all. In this economic-military-geo-political world, they follow no precedent and their continuation is entrenched by their own schools that fill all gaps in personal. Sadly, they are the true masters of the nation. Doubly sadly, they believe that they are masters of the universe.

In this weeks episode, we look at oil.

Our government paid shills will tell you when the price becomes high and noticeable that oil no longer holds the power over our economy as in the days of old. One part of that statement is true. We lost all our manufacturing and therefore, we need less oil. The Federal Reserve does not include it in its inflation matrix which is another reason to End the Fed! However, you and I know differently. We need oil everyday and the government knows this too. It is why when Nixon went off the gold standard in 1971, world currencies and trade went into a tailspin. It is like the theme in my unpublished work, "All things are connected." Follow the dots and you can see the connection.

Nixon made a secret deal with the Saudi's under the cloak of this bizarre world. The pact with Saudi Arabia was this. We protect the House of Saud and you make sure that all transaction in oil has to be done in US dollars. Thus, the petrol-dollar exchange began and with all nations using fiat money, world trade started anew. The dollar remained number one as the world reserve currency.
Funny isn't it, the Fed does not recognize oil, but our currency depends on it. This aspect has kept the US dollar as the world reserve currency. Without this status, our economy could be crushed with inflation.

We could look at many world interactions by our Deep State except this is only a half-hour show. So, forgive me if I pass over Noriega in Panama, invasion of Grenada or even the failed coup in the Bay of Pigs. There are countless dictators in Africa and around the world that receive aid from the Deep State which is contrary to the words and ideas of our Founding Fathers. Today, we look at its latest machinations with the House of Saud.

Mohammed Bin Salmon
is the young, crown prince in Saudi Arabia. At the moment, this highly educated man is the minister of oil in the kingdom. He has a lot of new ideas for his country like preparing it for the day when oil is no longer in demand. In a conservative nation, he is liberally minded and I wish him well. Some of his countrymen do not. Rumors have surfaced lately on an attempt at his life for various reasons like his role in attacking Yemen or the leaders in Qatar. Maybe the hated Iranians. Who knows?

My story centers on oil and the kingdom has decided to go public with their state oil. The IPO has been in the works for years. It got placed in limbo due to the last recession and the falling oil prices. At one time analysts thought that the value of the IPO would be two trillion. That's right! Trillions of mullahs. After the fallout in the price of oil, the projected value of the IPO plummeted down to less than one trillion. The House did not like that. So, I guess they held a meeting and came up with a plan.

We now know the plan as actions speak louder than words. The Saudi's got OPEC to cut production. In addition, the House made a pack with non-OPEC member, Russia which was their largest competitor. Russia cut production and two years later, demand exceeds supply. Lo and behold, the price of oil rises. In the latest public lie, the two cohorts say that oil needs to stop at $80. Because deep inside they fear a push to alternative energy and the PR makes them look better.
Anyway, the manipulation goes deeper. You see, young Mohammed went on a world trip to promote the IPO which they plan to proceed with.

Three months ago and just before the huge upward movement in the price of oil, Mohammed meets Trump. I think that they made some kind of a pack. Trump bowed to the Deep State. Oil rose from the low forties to touch $80. Coincidence? C'mon!

Why the doubt, you ask?

Because while this tour was developing, China was counter-acting. The Commies have their own delusional Deep State influence. They want to be number one. In order to do that, they need to supplant the dollar. They held a meeting. They made a plan. This is their plan. If you sell oil to China, you must do it in Chinese currency, however you can have an option. You can receive GOLD in exchange for your oil...Wait! There's more! The plan has two parts.

China is spending hundreds of billions, maybe a trillion to rekindle the Silk Road. This was the ancient camel-back route that traders journeyed from the Chinese region to India, the Middle East and even Europe. The Chinese are also offering low, almost free money to anyone or any nation to join their alliance. This is why I say below that Europe will sell us out for Chinese gold and trade.

You have to admire the way the Chinese get things done and so quickly. If my unpublished book was in China, the ideas would already be activated while here it is not even in print. The only hope that I see here is China loses all their gold and their currency will crash due to all these new loans going bad. It is just a matter of time. The leading thinkers in the Pacific Rim express my conclusion this way when regarding the US and China: I rather have an evil that I know, than the evil I don't know. You can also read in this revelation that our Deep State represents evil. Of course, our dollar is already set to be devaluated, thanks to the Deep State. We are not much better than the Commies.

Back on target...

Now, folks, as much as I love dollars, I'd rather have gold. How about you? By the way, so would our Founding Fathers. Anyway, this is where our story ends and yet, it continues. I predict the EU will desert us for gold to which Brexit will become more important. The real kicker will be natural gas as the world turns to cleaner energy. Also, the next Fed meeting is on June 13th and I expect a rate increase, but I bet you this: there will be no mention of the rising price of oil. And they will say that inflation still does not meet their 2% target. So much BS from the Deep State.