Thursday, June 30, 2011


I forgot to post a word earlier.

Hmmm thinking that obeying the machine a few weeks ago (re the recent buys across the equity board), overriding my inclinations, worked .... again.  Good job, Krypto, here's a dog biscuit.

Word of the Day

"Phlegmatic" - adjective [$10] (pronounced 'fleg matil')
Phlegmatic means stolidly calm, unexcitable, unemotional.
Sentence:  Krypto's phlegmatic investing style - simply relying on signals from the machine - seems to work rather well.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Tidbit Tuesday

Social media =  hi tech ways to spy on you.

I admit being on Facebook, but when it comes to clicking that I like something other than a friend's post, forget about it.  Ditto with the site's games, etc.  Those implicitly give FB, etc. rights to spy on you.

I think all those have some value, but the hype is wayyyyyy over the top.

Word of the Day

"Douceur" - noun [$100] pronounced doo sur with 'doo' as in phoo-y.
Douceur means 1. a gratuity, tip; 2. a conciliatory gift or bribe.
Sentence:  Bunkerman was very generous with the douceurs in his hometown; after all, with prices so low for everything, why not spread some cash around?

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Back in the Saddle

I spent the past few days in those Elysian Fields of Southeast Ohio, where unfortunately the excessive rain has severely retarded planting of corn.  Corn crops were poor and many fields were unplanted. Obviously many farmers switched some fields to soybeans.  A modern hybrid corn should be at least waist high, preferably chest high by the 4th of July, but many fields that I drove by the corn was ankle high. Yields will be very low, if the corn pollinates at all.

On the brighter side, I enjoyed several fine meals with friends and relatives at the local wineries, and a couple of the World's Finest Pizzas. And ... I was treated to a Plow Boy by Big Al.  He, Big John and I planned this year's wilderness canoe trip on a picnic table as we chowed down on those Plow Boys.  Mmmmmmmmmm.

Prices were low, the pace of life was easy and the sites were pleasurable.  Small towns can have fine tourist attractions with enthusiastic local "living history" actors.  A weekend or 3-day "stay-cation" at a nearby tourist site is very pleasurable.  Try it!

I also learned that Abraham Lincoln gave a speech in 1861 at my hometown from the back of a train on the way to his inauguration ... cool.

Word of the Day

"Hesperian" - adjective [$10] Poetic
Hesperian means 1. western; 2. (in Greek mythology) of or concerning the Hesperides (nymphs who guarded the garden of the golden apples at the western extremity of the earth).
Sentence:  Before and during the early days of the American republic, Ohio was the Hesperian wilderness.  Looking western from Fort Pitt, the virgin forest stretched for a thousand miles, and yes, the buffalo roamed in it: they were seen in my hometown area circa 1800.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Tuesday Tidbit

Just a useful word for today.

Word of the Day

"Ergo" - conjunction [$10] Latin adopted to English
Ergo means therefore, consequently.
Sentence:  I think, ergo I exist.  Descartes used that thought as a foundation for a philosophical system.  In Latin, the thought is 'cogito, ergo sum'; in French, 'Je pense, donc je suis'.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Monday Morning Ramblings

The FT had an interesting article in the weekend edition commenting on "Now the Rich are Always with Us ... ".  Your humble blogger has complained about this modern phenomena before:  business news seems to spend an inordinate amount of time on the lives and attitudes of billionaires.  The article expanded that to the multimillionare sports and entertainment figures who get massive coverage in many media outlets. 

I tried to find the article in FT Online to provide a link, but failed.  Here's a quote. "The global elite has grown fantastically rich in recent decades: the average person on the Forbes's list pocketed an estimated $45m last year.  Consequently, we're forever reading about rich people.  Indeed, being rich has become almost the criterion for being newsworthy."

All this will eventually lead to trouble, bigtime social trouble.  In the US situation, the nation simply can't continue the 40 year process of all the benefits of productivity increases going to the upper income stratae.  The commonly spoken economic "cures" have failed the plain people (borrowing Lincoln's term for the "common man".  Yet we still hear that bloviation daily. 

Obama is doing nothing; his economic team has failed.  Only Ben has kept the US out of an endless recession, but Ben is now unable to move the economy forward.  His shells are now simple maintenance mode.  The massive public policy and public sector anchors prevent growth now.

The US needs real reform.  Policy makers:  read my prior blogs.

Word of the Day

"Parrhesia" - noun [$1000] Rhetoric [from Greek], seen in the FT weekend edition.
Parrhesia means 1. free-spokenness, frankness; freedom of speech; 2. [from FT] the ability to speak one's mind when doing so involves social risk.
Sentence:  Your humble blogger, Bunkerman, excells in written parrhesia.  An example:  the US has too few jobs because the US overtaxes jobs.  The Ruling Class uses taxes on jobs to keep the plain people more plain, while clamoring for lower taxes on capital.

Friday, June 17, 2011

TGIF and a Word

Why don't they just let Greece default and restructure its debt and social programs to an affordable level?  All this endless dithering is accomplishing nothing but providing a fertile ground for more anguish and false hopes.  A nation has its assets, resources and what its people can produce.  Debt can simply even out and smooth temporal fluctuations and imbalances.  Greece must live on what its people can make and do.

And the US ?  Ditto over the long term.

Word of the Day

"Diaspora" - noun [$10]
Diaspora means a dispersion abroad.
Sentence:  Small towns in America need to find ways to access the knowledge of their diaspora:  learn from college alumni associations and tap those valuable skills.

Thursday, June 16, 2011


Word of the Day

"Procrustean" - adjective [$10[
Procrustean means seeking to enforce uniformity by forceful or ruthless methods.
Sentence:  The procrustean left wants to turn everyone into a government employee whom they, as the leaders, can rule like lords over their serfs.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Wednesday Word

That Green Kool-Aid might soon taste funny ...

And maybe I should invest in Florida real estate ...

Word of the Day

"Confabulate" - verb, intransitive [$10]
Confabulate means 1. converse, chat; 2. (Psychology) fabricate imaginary experience as compensation for loss of memory.
Sentence: [from Travels with Herodotus, by R. Kapuscinski, pg. 178] [also cf. the great hall in Beowulf] (ref. meals in a great hall) "The conviviality afforded confabulators the chance to shine, to engage in spontaneous (recounting of tales, events, etc.]."

Tuesday, June 14, 2011


This word has nothing to do with picture captions or captivity or even actions of pea brained captains in the military (although that seems logical).  The word derives from Latin captiosus, meaning deceitful, sophistical (related to sophism).

Word of the Day

"Captious" - adjective [$10]
Captious means 1. given to finding fault or raising petty objections; 2. intended to entrap or confuse; deceitful.
Sentence:  [from Erasmus in Praise of Folly, Great Books Edition, pg 8 referring to Stoic philosophers] "... seeing they're so captious and far keener-eyed to pick out their friends' faults than the eagle ..."

Monday, June 13, 2011

Monday Action

Krypto woke up and got off the couch to nudge me this weekend.  I checked her model and found, mirabile dictu, a buy signal for stocks across the board.  Emotionally, this makes me rather nervous.  I have a hard time seeing the markets go up in the face of a possible default by the US on its debt (possible due to Republican stupidity or ?), hence this buy seems a bit early.  But what am I do do?  That converse sell signal was a good one.  I have to ... obey the machine.

Buying US, Pacific, European and Emerging Market stocks via index funds and index ETFs today from cash piles.  Half the buying is US, the other half spread across the world.

Word of the Day

"Nescience" - noun [$10]
Nescience means lack of knowledge or awareness; ignorance.
Sentence:  Is it nescience or knavery that prompts Republicans to risk the honor and credit of the United States of America rather than simply refuse to pass spending bills?

Friday, June 10, 2011

TGIF and a Suitable Word

Word of the Day

"Philistine" - noun [$10]
Philistine means (usu.) a person who is hostile or indifferent to culture, or one whose interests or tastes are commonplace or material.
Sentence:  The world of modern art seems dominated by Philistines whose primary concern is for how much they can re-sell 'art" they buy.  Intrinsic meaning counts for nothing; only the money matters.

Thursday, June 9, 2011


Krypto tells me that she's getting interested in doing something, but not yet.  She's a very patient dog.  The cliche, "close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades" helps one control emotions in investing. Just wait ... sit.  Be calm.  Obey the machine.

Word of the Day

"Eudemonic" - adjective [$10]
Eudemonic means conducive to happiness.
Sentence:  (A) Free Fraternalism is the only philosophy of political economics that is eudemonic for the aggregate of the people, simply because its strictures are constructed to maximize that quantity.  (B) Machine investing is eudemonic for almost all people by producing excellent returns at lower risk than almost all active methods over 10+ year time frames.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Wednesday Word

Word of the Day

"Alembic" - noun [$10]
Alembic means 1. (historical) an apparatus formerly used in distilling; 2. a means of refining or extracting.
Sentence: (from Lincoln on War, by H. Holzer, page 19 Introduction) "The use of that technological alembic known as 'spell check' easily revealed, and might have just as easily facilitated correction of [the numerous spelling mistakes in Lincoln's own writings.]"

Tuesday, June 7, 2011


No actions.  The uniformity of this pullback across most equities is frustrating my usual dip buying program.  Maybe that's good. 

Word of the Day

"Racine" - noun [$1000] Obsolete, rare (but I did see it in a book I'm now reading)
Racine means a root. [cf. deracinate]
Sentence:  Weak domestic economic growth has not one cause, but has a network of racines:  insideous government spending that buys what no rational person would buy with one's own money, or pays what no one would similarly pay with one's own money, taxes & regulations on jobs and subsidies for overseas production all combine to reduce good soil for domestic growth to sand.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Monitoring on a Monday

I continue to check the spreadsheet for Krypto.  The numbers for this pullback are intriguingly uniform.  All stock equity classes (US, Europe, Pacific & Emerging) are uniformly down a bit, but gold & real estate are either up or flat.  That makes getting good dip buys tougher.  I continue to wait.  No buy signals are close.


The jobs numbers stunk Friday.  Interest rates are extremely low even for long term bonds, which means the QE2 worked for its desired first order effects.  The problem is national policy emanating from the Dark City.  They tax and regulate jobs, subsidize shipping jobs overseas, and plan to load more costs onto US jobs in the future.  Is there any wonder that the US now seems to have a long term, structural lack of jobs?

Far too many people are now long term unemployed.

On another front, the lack of home buying is caused by DC, too.  Homes are a screaming buy for the common man & woman.  Interest rates are low as are prices.  But people can't get a mortgage loan since FNMA and Freddie have tightened standards hugely.  Most self-employed people are frozen out.  Obviously good refinancings can't be done do to stupid underwriting rules.  All that should be changed.  Hello, Obama?  Are you listening?

Word of the Day

"Facile" - adjective [$10] This is a word I have trouble remembering.  I came across it twice reading books over the weekend and had to look it up ... again.
Facile means 1. specious, superficial; 2. mild or pleasing in manner or disposition.
Sentence:  Can a politician who is not facile be elected in America nowadays?  Both the positive and negative meaning of facile apply.

Friday, June 3, 2011


I conclude that many Congressional Republicans have been drinking the Kool-Aid of the libertarians to fatal levels.  They seem blindly deluded by "rational markets" to think that a default on the debt obligations of the United States of America is a bargaining chip they can use with Obama, that somehow "markets" will think that it's better for the long term and so a short term default is better than raising the debt ceiling in a clean, simple manner.

They are fools.  A default of even one second would forever taint the credit of the United States.  By intentionally refusing to pay on a timely manner what one owes means that the nation's "full faith and credit" means less; such words would mean, when we can agree and the nation's honor becomes a political bargaining chip to be squandered.  How could future lenders to America ever trust the nation unconditionally again?  Obviously the mold would be forever broken.

Pass a clean, simple debt ceiling increase.

Fight the battles over the appropriations bills and cut spending there,  If necessary, shut down the government and stop paying its employees.  Take a pay cut yourselves.

Don't play political games with our nation's honor and credit.

Word of the Day

"Minatory" - adjective [$10]
Minatory means threatening, menacing.
Sentence:  The looming, minatory prospect of a US default will weigh heavily on stock markets until cleared.

Thursday, June 2, 2011



None.  I checked with Krypto and she's still snoozing on the couch.  A further drop of the size of yesterday could trigger some buy signals.

Word of the Day

Compare today's Word of the Day to Tuesday's for the differences in meaning.

"Twitter" - verb and noun [$0]
Twitter means (verb) 1. (intransitive) a. (of a bird) emit a succession of light tremulous sounds; b. talk rapidly in an idle or trivial way; 2. (transitive) utter or express in this way; (noun) 1. the act or an instance of twittering; 2. (colloquial) a tremulously excited state.
Sentence:  From overheard conversations of teenagers in DC, they seem to twitter among each other mindlessly, bouncing from subject to subject.
Comparison:  Notice that wittering involves tediously talking about trivial subjects while twittering involves rapidly talking about same.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011


Word of the Day

"Ruction" - noun [$10] colloquial
Ruction means 1. a disturbance or tumult; 2. (in plural) unpleasant arguments or reactions.
Sentence:  Ructions among members cause many volunteer organizations to disband.