31 March 2017

Stocks and Precious Metals Charts - End of the First Quarter

And Jesus said to him the third time,  `Simon, son of Jonas, do you love me?'   Peter being distressed replied,  `Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.'  And Jesus said to him, `Feed my sheep.'

'Verily, verily, I say to you, when you were young, you girded yourself, and walked where you liked.  But when you are old, you will stretch out your your hands, and another will gird you, and shall carry you where you would not like to go.'

Today was the end of the first quarter for 2017. And the paint is now dry on the tape.

The economic news, of at least the 'hard numbers' kind is not particularly good, as noted on the economic calendar included below.

Next week we will be enjoying another Non-Farm Payrolls Report.

You might be surprised to hear that corporate profits are up 10%, and the wealthy are enjoying very fat returns on their paper assets.

The common person, not so much.

The news on the tests was not very good, and so we will be going back for another round of treatments for a new tumor in the brain. Well, at least this explains why the queen's memory and awareness have been so dodgy for the past six weeks. And she has been having light seizures and fatigue, so it has been a bit of a task to keep an eye on her and still carry on the household duties. It was becoming fairly apparent that something was very wrong. Please remember her in your prayers as the next few months will be difficult.

Let us see how things develop for the metals next week. April looks to be a more lively month for gold and perhaps for silver, judging by the first clearing reports for both included below.

The 'defense' by the gold bears which is so obviously being waged around the 1250 level is more related to the neckline of a developing inverse head and shoulders bottom pattern as noted on the chart. I have been watching this for some time.

Some think the key battle if gold moves higher will be around the prior 'Trump election night high' for gold. I think it will be a little north of there, but that may be more of a quibble. It looks like we might be seeing a much larger pattern on the gold charts that could prove to be interesting.

It was nice that silver held its level. It is operating on a longer term cup and handle which is fairly evident on the weekly chart. Silver could really get some legs if it starts breaking out.

Please remember all of God's creatures, including the birds and the animals, as well as the poor in both material things and of the spirit. Both have a hard life.

Above all never feel so powerless and afraid that you miss an opportunity to take part in the sacrament of the present moment. His angels and tender mercies are there, often unnoticed if we are distracted by our fears and desires. One could wish nothing more than to be a part of this celebration of true life.

Have a pleasant weekend.

30 March 2017

Civilisation - Kenneth Clark

“I believe order is better than chaos, creation better than destruction. I prefer gentleness to violence, forgiveness to vendetta. On the whole I think that knowledge is preferable to ignorance, and I am sure that human sympathy is more valuable than ideology. I believe that in spite of the recent triumphs of science, men haven't changed much in the last two thousand years; and in consequence we must try to learn from history. History is ourselves.

I believe in courtesy, the ritual by which we avoid hurting other people's feelings, by satisfying our own egos. And I think we should remember that we are all part of a great whole, which for convenience we call nature. All living things are our brothers and sisters."

Kenneth Clark, Civilisation

"At the root of America's economic crisis lies a moral crisis: the decline of civic virtue among America's political and economic elite. A society of markets, laws, and elections is not enough if the rich and powerful fail to behave with respect, honesty, and compassion toward the rest of society and toward the world."

Jeffrey Sachs

Civilisation: A Personal View by Kenneth Clark was a television documentary series outlining the history of Western art, architecture and philosophy since the Dark Ages. The series was produced by the BBC and initially aired in 1969 on BBC2.

The summation of the series.

Stocks and Precious Metals - Just Charts

“What we would like to do is change the world— make it a little simpler for people to feed, clothe, and shelter themselves as God intended them to do. And, by fighting for better conditions, by crying out unceasingly for the rights of the workers, the poor, of the destitute— the rights of the worthy and the unworthy poor, in other words— we can, to a certain extent, change the world; we can work for the oasis, the little cell of joy and peace in a harried world.

We can throw our pebble in the pond and be confident that its ever widening circle will reach around the world. We repeat, there is nothing we can do but love, and, dear God, please enlarge our hearts to love each other, to love our neighbor, to love our enemy as our friend.”

Dorothy Day

29 March 2017

FDR's Letter to the Democratic Convention Delegates in 1940

Franklin D. Roosevelt Letter to the Democratic Convention
July 18, 1940

Members of the Convention:

In the century in which we live, the Democratic Party has received the support of the electorate only when the party, with absolute clarity, has been the champion of progressive and liberal policies and principles of government.

The party has failed consistently when through political trading and chicanery it has fallen into the control of those interests, personal and financial, which think in terms of dollars instead of in terms of human values.

The Republican Party has made its nominations this year at the dictation of those who, we all know, always place money ahead of human progress.

The Democratic Convention, as appears clear from the events of today, is divided on this fundamental issue. Until the Democratic Party through this convention makes overwhelmingly clear its stand in favor of social progress and liberalism, and shakes off all the shackles of control fastened upon it by the forces of conservatism, reaction, and appeasement, it will not continue its march of victory.

It is without question that certain political influences pledged to reaction in domestic affairs and to appeasement in foreign affairs have been busily engaged behind the scenes in the promotion of discord since this Convention convened.

Under these circumstances, I cannot, in all honor, and will not, merely for political expediency, go along with the cheap bargaining and political maneuvering which have brought about party dissension in this convention.

It is best not to straddle ideals.

In these days of danger when democracy must be more than vigilant, there can be no connivance with the kind of politics which has internally weakened nations abroad before the enemy has struck from without.

It is best for America to have the fight out here and now.

I wish to give the Democratic Party the opportunity to make its historic decision clearly and without equivocation. The party must go wholly one way or wholly the other. It cannot face in both directions at the same time.

By declining the honor of the nomination for the presidency, I can restore that opportunity to the convention. I so do.

Stocks and Precious Metal Charts - Mercy, Mercy Me

"You are the very cause of your ignorance, yourselves. You put away the light, yourselves; you first pluck out both your own eyes, yourselves; and after that other men’s too, so that the blind may lead the blind, until you both fall into the pit.”

Thomas More

Stocks were slightly higher, with select big cap techs leading the way.

VIX continued to move lower.

The pigmen are feeling invincible.

Gold and silver managed to eke out some gains, with silver making the strong showing.

The Comex warehouses and delivery reports were largely a snooze.  I did note that the warehouse in Hong Kong has once again dropped below the one million ounce level.

These markets are probably coiling for a move, all of them.  The status quo has a powerful momentum with which to resist change.   But in the end, change in coming.

I am going to take a day off tomorrow, and therefore there will be no update, unless something unusual happens.  We will be exploring the corridors of the healthcare system for most of the day.

So I will see you again on Friday.  

Have a pleasant evening.

28 March 2017

Stocks and Precious Metals Charts - Bubbling Higher

Today turned into a 'risk on' day.

There were various interpretations of why that happened, in the manner of price action making the news action.

There were thoughts that the rally in risk was triggered by comments by the Fed's Stanley Fischer which seemed 'dovish' in that he sees only two more rate hikes this year.

A second piece of news that was latched onto to help explain this counter-rally was the news from the Conference Board that retail confidence in higher stock prices is so overly confident. How high is it? The confidence of the 'little guy' is at the levels we last saw at the peak of the dot com bubble.

And thirdly, the ratio of SP 500 valuations relative to emerging markets at historic highs.

Speaking of historic highs, APPL closed today at its all time high going back to 1982 at least. And Darden Restaurants is right there on its heels as well.

And these are consumer stocks. We expect the US consumer to be rebounding strongly? These are risk on bullish? LOL I think the piglets doth protest their book too much.

Theresa May is expected to act on Article 50 which formal begins the Brexit process. That process will be playing out over some time, most likely a couple of years.

Let's see how it goes. The silver action was 'constructive today' in that it held its levels, largely ignoring the currency cross calculated smackdown that was dealt to gold.

The conscious mispricing of the risks and rewards in any proposition, the basic facts of it, are the very foundation of fraud. It is not due to animal spirits or any other such nonsense, although those do help in selling the suckers on your con. There is always a small core of actors promoting this mispricing for their own short term gains.

And where that sort of behaviour is permitted and not punished, there is lingering decline and misery.

Have a pleasant evening.

Blast From the Past: James Cramer On How To Manipulate Markets - B Day (Brexit) Tomorrow

Here is a nice synopsis of the various 'legal' and not so legal but overlooked-by-the-snoozing-regulators ways in which the financial trading desks and hedge funds manipulate markets intraday.

In some ways this is from the dark ages, because HFT algos can do the job so much better.

But all the basic principles remain the same, including manipulating the financial news and painting pictures with key markets, like the SP 500 futures for example.

And it is always a plus if your rigging of the market is along the directions favored by the big Wall Street Banks and their Federal Reserve System.

As a reminder, the UK is expected to 'trigger' Article 50 (Brexit) tomorrow.  Brexit is not a one off event, but will involve a negotiation process that will probably drag out over a couple of years.  Still, it is a sign of the times.

The Historic Moment Draws Near for Brexit

As always, non-professionals should never try to trade short term in these markets.   They are far too bent in the favor of insiders and pros.  I doubt that it could be more obvious anymore after the revelations of the last seventeen years or so.  I don't know if it is the worst in the post WW II era, but it pretty much seems to be right up there with the 1920s.

Get right and sit tight.

This has been a public service announcement.  lol

27 March 2017

Stocks and Precious Metals Charts - Psychopathia Kleptocratus

Stock futures were sharply lower overnight, as the first reaction to the failure of the Trump Healthcare Bill failed badly on Friday.

Gold and silver were rallying up to overhead resistance.

But as usual, the buyers came back in and brought stocks back up to nearly unchanged, or higher in the case of big cap tech.

Nevertheless, the Dow and SP 500 finished in the red, extending the longest streak of down days in the broader US stock markets since 2011.

Now the ball is back in The Donald's court. Will he be able to cut taxes for large corporations and wealthy individuals without the ability to point to savings from the 'reform' of healthcare.

Stay tuned. This looks like an interesting year.

Below is a bootleg video of Steve Bannon, Donald Trump and Paul Ryan discussing Trumpcare with the radical right House Freedom Caucus led by Jerry Jordan and Rand Paul on Thursday in private session.

Have a pleasant evening.

Steve Bannon, Donald Trump, and Paul Ryan discuss Trumpcare proposal with the House GOP Freedom Caucus led by Jerry Jordan and Rand Paul.

26 March 2017

Correcting a Few Things Taken from the Mainstream Media...

There is a certain nagging annoyance that one gets when they see something in print that they know is just wrong, and write a response to it, with documentation, in order to correct it.

And then for whatever cause including fat-fingered error, the comment is moderated into oblivion. If it was an opinion piece then fine.  Opinions are not worth all that much. But if it is a straight up factual correction, that is a bit annoying when the original in the media was designated to reinforce some point that one feels is a bit unjust.

So here are two recent example of things that were just wrong that appeared without correction in the mainstream media.

From Jeri-Lynn Scofield over at Naked Capitalism who picked up this piece in the NY post:
Snooki inspires legislation to limit state university speaker fees NY Post.   Moi: Speaking as a born and bred Jersey girl, I applaud the state legislature’s action. Nice to see the state of my birth lead the way in something other than corruption or toxic waste. And about time– $32K to hear Snooki speak at the Rutgers commencement? Are the administrators nuts? And the proposed $10k cap is too high. Why should any speaker receive more than expenses and a modest honorarium, e.g., $1K– which incidentally, anyone with any class would immediately donate back to the university.
I don't normally read the Post, except perhaps for financial pieces by John Crudele, so I was glad to see this at a site where I do read on occasion.

This is no knock on Jeri=Lynn whose major point remains intact, that commencement fees may be far too generous.

And as an old fogey, it seems to me to be a correct sentiment about paying far too much money and attention to these reality tv stars, our current President notwithstanding.

Except that this even with Snooki never happened, at least not in the way that the NY Post and the state legislator Republican Assemblyman John DiMaio portray.

And I suspect strongly that they carelessly framed the story the way in which they did, because the Post and the legislator have certain attitudes, ideological biases if you will, towards public universities in general, and college students and the terms of their crushing college debt.

Miss Nicole Snooki Polizzi, of Jersey Shore fame, never spoke at the Rutgers commencement, or any commencement that I could find. And she was not paid any money by the University administration for anything. Period.

She was paid $32,000 for two evening's 'performances' of a reality show nature for student audiences by the student run entertainment committee, which is an autonomous organization controlled by students. They book over 140 events per year. While the University does collect the money which in this case amounted to roughly 90 cents per student from a pool of general fees at the very large New Brunswick campus.

In other words, Snooki, who back in 2011 apparently had a following amongst the younger set, was a hired entertainer engaged by the students themselves without active involvement of University officials. And unless we wish to try and legislate the entertainment which college students may employ with their own money, and not allow it to be an issue for student government, I don't think that the esteemed GOP legislator's and the Post's points apply.

Here is a contemperaneous article, in which the University set the record straight.
Rutgers University officials made no apologies today for Snooki’s $32,000 appearance at a pair of student-run events on the Piscataway campus.

The "Jersey Shore" reality TV star was invited and paid by students, who are allowed to select their own entertainment, a campus spokesman said.

"The students use funds designated for student programming. The university does not censor the speakers students choose to invite to campus," said E.J. Miranda, a Rutgers spokesman.
I remembered this incident quite well, because my number one son was a student there at the time, and I kidded him about it.  He pretty much shrugged it off to the liberal arts and music school crowd over the other side of the river, himself being ensconced at the Livingston and Bush campuses for engineering, business and medical/pharmaceutical students.

And there was some thought that some elements in the legislature were perturbed that Rutgers did invite author Toni Morrison to speak at commencement, and did pay her $30,000 for it. And God knows what they payed Mr. Obama.

But it seemed snarky to attack that indirectly by throwing Snooki in, albeit falsely, thinking it played better with those who think that all public projects are foolish wastes of money, and students deserved all the bad fortune they may incur.

Thank God they did not invite Hillary.  Those sort of stratospheric speaking fees are the domain of private enterprise, like the boys on Wall Street, who exercise their private judgement more precisely to get the most for their hard earned dollars. And as I recall they are also paid by the for-profit private education institutions, which have been generous with fees and sinecures for certain politicians, for example.

Let's face it.  A certain amount of foolishness is a part and parcel of the coming of age rite that is a college education, or the period between high school and family life, for most participants   Sowing a few wild oat when one is young is hardly an alien concept.

As I recall, I spent a huge sum on foolishness in my college career.   I was a commuting student who worked as an auto mechanic three or four days a week throughout. But I hate to see what my total beer tab amounted to during that four year period.

I seem to recall consuming rather heroic volumes of beer at the school student 'mixers, and local college beer dives, with quaint names like The Downunder, Agora, and Rathskeller while in pursuit of good times and companionship of the female persuasion.

For my son's Rutgers graduating class of 2014, the University had engaged Miss Condoleezza Rice, of Bush Administration State Department fame, to speak at that their commencement. For a $35,000 by the way.

But I was grateful to be spared sitting through that on a hot day because of widespread objections to her honorarium from the University community, both faculty and students.  And the faculty involvement in this was notable.  And it angered our NJ Republican politicians, very much.

It also disappointed Barack Obama, by the way, who in his own subsequent commencement address to take the students to task at a later commencement address but that is another story.  The professional class tends to defend the prerogatives of their own, sticking to their 'no consequences' principle for themselves and the acts of their peers, including the financiers.

And granting our betters public venues where the common people are forced to listen, but not allowed to answer back, is hardly an open sharing of ideas.  I think the political parities had a close and personal organizational experience that in the recent elections.

A one-way commencement address is one thing, a debate with various viewpoints is quite another.  And so the University community did what people in a weaker position always tend to do when confronted with the unspeakable—  they protested against it.    And far too often, protests against what the public views as outrages are crushed.  That is what happened to Occupy Wall Street.

And now the out of power liberal establishment asks, why are so few protesting?  Duh.

In the case of Secretary Rice, the students and faculty thought that it was hypocrisy to award an honorary law degree to someone who had consciously worked to circumvent the law, encouraged an aggressive war on contrived evidence, and helped permit the use of torture in violation of our nation's long standing principles. Condoleezza Rice Declines to Speak at Rutgers after Student Protests.
"Rice signed off to give the CIA authority to conduct their torture tactics for gathering information from detainees as well. These are clearly human rights issues. By inviting her to speak and awarding her an honorary degree, we are encouraging and perpetuating a world that justifies torture and debases humanity."
I found it highly hypocritical of the Republican legislator and the arch-conservative Post to phrase their own stand against high commencement fees in such an incorrect manner, and dare I say false news. The Post and the politician knew better. They just did not give a damn in making their point.

And it also fits their own political bias against public works, like Universities, and any thought of relief for students who are being crushed by debt at rates significantly higher than their parents just provided to Wall Street to bail those contemptible jokers out.

Moving along, 'liberal' economist Brad DeLong of the University of California at Berkeley history of economics penned a recent column cited over at the excellent Economist's View run by Mark Thoma.  The title of Brad's column is The Need for a Reformation of Authority and Hierarchy Among Economists in the Public Sphere.

Ok I have to admit that the title alone got me into a cranky mood.  Lately certain unrepentant members of that disgraced profession, some of whom claim to be the consciences of the liberal establishment, have been expressing concern about the disrepute of the 'experts' and the need to allow the technocrats to take control of policy and the economy.

Granted, they may look like the lesser of two evils in some cases, as in the current nascent administration, and in their own minds.  But their policy consensus and economic recommendations of the past thirty years or so, starting with the Fed chairmanship of Alan Greenspan at least, only look good in their own selective memories. Brad DeLong, by the way, banned me from his site comments noting, 'Alan Greenspan never made a decision with which I disagreed.'   Since then even Alan Greenspan has admitted he does not agree with some of his decisions, in a sniveling and sneaky kind of a non-apologetic way.

For everyone else this cycle of growing inequality, policy skews to the wealthy few, and asset bubbles and bust that serve as wealth transfer mechanisms has been particularly trying.

But the specific factual point from Brad's piece that got me going was this:
"Merton and Scholes's financial math was correct, and the crash of their hedge fund did not require any public-money bailout"
Yeah, right.  Let's put aside the nicety of a Fed brokered bailout of LTCM by Wall Street money as technically not requiring public bailout money, in order to save the financial system from an epic overleveraged mispricing of risk based on that correct math.

I think it is less than trivial to know where and how the B-S risk model fails as math, as illustrated so well by Benoit Mandelbrot in his book The Misbehaviour of Markets. The math fails in its selection choice of variables and assumptions. Naseem Taleb has made a cottage industry and a personal fortune understanding this error.

And what makes it most egregious is that the error hs been known among those with mathematical minds for some time.   I myself read Mandelbrot's book in 2001 and said, 'holy shit.'

Let's be clear.  This was not some dumb error on the part of these fellows, or some sneaky trick.  They could not resolve their math without making a certain assumption, and they did it openly and consciously.  And as the write of the essay below notes, there has not been anything better produced yet to his knowledge.

It is not the theory itself that is 'bad.'  It is the use and misuse to which it is put by opportunists and financial predators in misrepresenting it.

But the people who use the assumptions on risk contained in the model don't care. Like the efficient market hypothesis, it is an intellectual fig leaf that covers an epic era of looting and plundering bases on what is essentially a con game. If you assume that risk is a rare event, you can persuade the regulators and the very important people to let you run on leverage at extreme levels, especially if you can use other people's money.

Like some of the other accepted truths from the turn of the century greed is good crowd, it is a meme with which to silence the protests and permit the widespread mispricing of risk in order to reap enormous short term profits for a very few wealthy insiders.  This had been going on for so long that it is almost accepted as a normal way of doing business.

Here is what an essay in Criticality had to say about the Merton-Scholes math.  I suppose that the sophist would say that the math was indeed right.  It was just the assumptions they used to construct the model was wrong.   So 3+5 does equal 8.  Its just that in the real world case there were three more factors that were tossed aside and ignored because they messed up the path to the more easily determined and reassuring result.
"This implies that rather than extreme market moves being so unlikely that they make little contribution to the overall evolution, they instead come to have a very significant contribution. In a normally distributed market, crashes and booms are vanishingly rare, in a pareto-levy one crashes occur and are a significant component of the final outcome.

It has taken years for this to be taken seriously, and in the mean time financial theory has gone on using the assumption of normally distributed returns to derive such results as the Black-Scholes option pricing equation, ultimately winning an Nobel Prize in Economics for the discoverers Scholes and Merton (Black having already died), not to mention Modern Portfolio theory (also winning Nobels). That modern finance ignored Mandelbrot’s discovery and went onto honor those working under assumptions shown to be false has clearly annoyed Mandelbrot immensely and as mentioned previously he spends much of the book telling us of his prior discoveries and how he was ignored.
It is like allowing tobacco companies to widely distribute their products while a bevy of hired gun experts and media pundits and PR organizations promote the theory that tobacco is not a highly addictive substance that causes a wide range of debilitating diseases, including cancer.   They know damn well that it is and it does, but they do not give a damn as long as the money is rolling in.  And pity the fool who tries to stand up and tell the truth.

And so to has it been with the Banks.   Indeed, the PR campaign and political donations they handled through their intermediaries during the 1990s to deregulate and overturn Glass-Steagal has to be one of the great propaganda accomplishments of the twentieth century.  And the follow on campaign for the US to invade Iraq in retribution for 9/11 is not far behind it for the twenty first.

The greater point is not that the B-S model is based on faulty assumptions that greatly diminish the potential risks.  Rather it is how such 'laws' of economics are so often of a dodgy, optionated and theoretical nature such that taking them as a given in forming public policy is a huge mistake in judgement.

Why?  Because they may embody assumptions about what is true, and what is a priority, and what our principles and objectives may be, and propagate those assumptions (biases) into a general policy of our society that ends up causing great harm to many innocent participants.  Indeed, as Obama said, there is a great need to discussion and understanding.  It is just that it cannot be monopolized by a particular group of insiders who adhere to certain assumptions and professional courtesies of their own, dare I say it, class.

So there are my two corrections to the mainstream media and their writing of the public record—  to suit themselves and their wealthy patrons.   It seems like modern America spends an enormous amount of its intellectual capital and time on finding ways to scam the public.  If we could somehow reorder the paybacks on financial corruption to even a third of what it is today we could probably cure cancer in five years or less.   That is what it would take to 'make America great again,' for real and not just in the funny papers.

I would like to again stress that I am not finding fault with either of the two bloggers involved, both of whom I enjoy and admire for what they do.  Mark Thoma is a class act, and even when he disagrees is very fair and open minded about it.  And he keeps this site in his blogroll despite some special interests who have argued for its removal.  That is more than I can say for some others.

Rather, I am trying to correct a couple of things from the broader media that seem to be factually wrong, purposely, and further, to help caution the reader that things that appear in the mainstream media written by bona fide members of the certified and qualified professional establishment cannot always be taken at face value.

The deterioration of the quality of the news is startling.  I think it has a lot to do with the takeover of the media by a relatively few number of large corporations (thank you Slick Willy)   Yeah, there is a lot of nutty stuff on the internet and in blogs.  I spend a lot of time assessing it and avoiding it where I can.  But to say that the mainstream is somehow authoritative, objective and pure is self-serving baloney at best, and a thin veneer for official propaganda when it serves the purpose at worst.


24 March 2017

Stocks and Precious Metals Charts - Whack-a-Doodles Interruptus

"Let us feel what we really are— sinners attempting great things. Let us simply obey God's will, whatever may come. He can turn all things to our eternal good. Easter day is preceded by the forty days of Lent, to show us that they only who sow in tears shall reap in joy."

J. H. Newman

In case you have not been following the news, the Republican leadership decided to 'pull' their replacement bill for Obamacare at the last minute, ahead of the scheduled vote at 3:30 PM EDT.

The markets were gyrating a bit around this decision, not because there is any concern about the American people and those who would be affected by their higher premiums and loss of coverage through this 'reform.'

No, the big concern is that tax cuts for the wealthy and corporations will be jeopardized now because the 'savings' that would have been projected for the government by screwing the 99% will not be available for those who the Republicans really care about— wealthy donors.

So while we may have another go at it next week, there is some indications that the Trump administration and the GOP will do whatever they can to weaken it, and hope to come back and take us a step backwards in caring for our own and fostering a more general prosperity for all, despite the rhetoric about making America 'great again.'

Pelosi and the Democrats were quick to claim victory, but that was nonsense. The Republicans shot themselves in the foot and showed a remarkable inability to actually govern from start to finish.

One of the key hurdles that President Trump faces is how to bring the 'Freedom Caucus' into a more cooperative frame of mind.  Good luck with that.

Gold and silver finished up the day below overhead resistance, once again.

VIX ticked up a bit ahead of the decision.  Let's see how that goes in the first few days of next week.

Stocks are still riding the reflation trade, but that platform is going to become increasingly unstable as the promises of the new political administration and the triumphant GOP become ases in their mouths.

The queen will be coming home this weekend, and so there is a general joy in the household.

Please remember all of God's creatures, the birds and our faithful animal companions in particular.

Be kind to those you meet, for their lives are often hard.  And as always, be mindful of the poor, the weak, the infirm and the unfortunate, and those who despite their outward prosperity are inwardly empty and dying, who despite their struggles have been formed in the image of God as we have been, and are therefore our brothers and sisters.

Have a pleasant weekend.

23 March 2017

Russia Stole the Election From Hillary - Oh Really

It was not just Hillary that lost.  The Democrats overall were trounced.  

The Democratic establishment lost the loyalty of their rank and file when they started betraying their own traditional base in the pursuit of campaign money, and stepped hard on the enthusiasm for political reform that was blossoming with the Bernie Sanders campaign.

That is modern American politics in a nutshell. For the average person, you can't win for losing.  We are viewed as just the rope in a tug of war between global gangs of kleptocrats.

Here is Jimmy Dore's take on all this.

Caution on language.

Stocks and Precious Metals Charts - The Irresponsibles

“There is only one thing more painful than learning from experience, and that is not learning from experience.”

Archibald MacLeish

"We all make choices, but in the end, our choices make us.

Andrew Ryan as a character in Bioshock

It will be interesting to see if Dandy Don and the Republicans can get their own house in order.

The party leadership, particularly in the House, encouraged the frivolous use of Congressional time with their fifty odd and meaningless votes to repeal Obamacare. They are now so used to acting like powerless frat boys, that they can't seem to buckle down and get to work.

Well, maybe that is not all that bad, all things considered.

So stocks were wobbly today, because the gross ineptitude of the Trump Administration and the Congress is making most everyone doubt that they can get anything done except the grossest of neo-liberal betrayals of the American public.

They certainly do not seem to be able to create an infrastructure plan, fund it, and still provide sweeping tax and healthcare reform.

Perhaps they will settle down and start acting like adults. I am not putting my money on that particular number yet.

But then again, this is always the real challenge for the superior human beings isn't it?  And do not doubt for a moment that the fortunate few think that everything they have is richly deserved, due to their natural superiority.

And so they are puzzled by what they are to do about 'life unworthy of life' that is such a burden on them and their fellows high achievers.    And of course they think they get to decide which life is worthy of the benefits of society.   Or perhaps they let some other group of thugs, or impersonal 'market forces' to do it.

The obvious solution is single payer for all. Every other developed country has made it work. But for some reason Americans cannot seem to do it. I wonder why?

The root of the problem is predatory profit seeking at work in healthcare, pharma, and financials, areas which are always tending towards monopolies and price gouging when not restrained by sensible regulations.

Gold and silver are still hanging on below key resistance.

I have noted a potential 'inverse head and shoulders' formation on the gold chart. It is part of the long handle in the cup and handle formation.

That cup and handle is much, much easier to see on the silver weekly chart. And so far it looks good.

But as always, formations are only potential until they are activated. What the potential formations needs is that upside breakout. And do not think for one minute that a lot of the Street denizens are not watching that action as well.

Have a pleasant evening.