Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Ben ist der Mann.

Your writer was working on German this morning when the central bank news came out:  that title translates to "Ben is the Man".  Again, Ben is the leader, the only powerful official who seems to do his job and pay attention to reality.

Hooray for Ben for helping the European banks get $ liquidity; this also greatly supports the status of $ are THE reserve currency.

And the Chicago PMI number was strong; Ben's policies are greatly helping US manufacturing and exports.

Hey Barry .... give Ben the Medal of Freedom!

Monday, November 28, 2011

I Hate Microsoft Word

I Hate Microsoft Word

These "automatic" "features" are so annoying.  Nothing should be automatic unless I tell it to be automatic.  Microsft wants us all to go through training programs and bend over so they can have their way on us.

No way, Balmer, Gates & all those proto-fascists.

No word of the day today.  I am boiling too much.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Black Friday

I've never liked that name, as it seems rather blasphemous compared to the various October "Black" days when investors were crushed.  But today that name seems appropriate as Krypto got up early and gave me a strong buy order from her machine:  Buy some European stocks.  I will comply via VGK, the Vanguard European Stock Index ETF.

Word of the Day

None - had a plumbing problem here.  Is there an immutable law of nature that the likely time for plumbing or electrical problems is a holiday weekend?]

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

From the Wall Street Journal, lead editorial, published the day before Thanksgiving for 50+ years.  I believe these were written by the late, great writer, Vermont Royster.

The Desolate Wilderness

Here beginneth the chronicle of those memorable circumstances of the year 1620, as recorded by Nathaniel Morton, keeper of the records of Plymouth Colony, based on the account of William Bradford, sometime governor thereof:

So they left that goodly and pleasant city of Leyden, which had been their resting-place for above eleven years, but they knew that they were pilgrims and strangers here below, and looked not much on these things, but lifted up their eyes to Heaven, their dearest country, where God hath prepared for them a city (Heb. XI, 16), and therein quieted their spirits.

When they came to Delfs-Haven they found the ship and all things ready, and such of their friends as could not come with them followed after them, and sundry came from Amsterdam to see them shipt, and to take their leaves of them. One night was spent with little sleep with the most, but with friendly entertainment and Christian discourse, and other real expressions of true Christian love.

The next day they went on board, and their friends with them, where truly doleful was the sight of that sad and mournful parting, to hear what sighs and sobs and prayers did sound amongst them; what tears did gush from every eye, and pithy speeches pierced each other's heart, that sundry of the Dutch strangers that stood on the Key as spectators could not refrain from tears. But the tide (which stays for no man) calling them away, that were thus loath to depart, their Reverend Pastor, falling down on his knees, and they all with him, with watery cheeks commended them with the most fervent prayers unto the Lord and His blessing; and then with mutual embraces and many tears they took their leaves one of another, which proved to be the last leave to many of them.

Being now passed the vast ocean, and a sea of troubles before them in expectations, they had now no friends to welcome them, no inns to entertain or refresh them, no houses, or much less towns, to repair unto to seek for succour; and for the season it was winter, and they that know the winters of the country know them to be sharp and violent, subject to cruel and fierce storms, dangerous to travel to known places, much more to search unknown coasts.

Besides, what could they see but a hideous and desolate wilderness, full of wilde beasts and wilde men? and what multitudes of them there were, they then knew not: for which way soever they turned their eyes (save upward to Heaven) they could have but little solace or content in respect of any outward object; for summer being ended, all things stand in appearance with a weatherbeaten face, and the whole country, full of woods and thickets, represented a wild and savage hew.

If they looked behind them, there was a mighty ocean which they had passed, and was now as a main bar or gulph to separate them from all the civil parts of the world.

This editorial has appeared annually since 1961.

And the Fair Land

Any one whose labors take him into the far reaches of the country, as ours lately have done, is bound to mark how the years have made the land grow fruitful.

This is indeed a big country, a rich country, in a way no array of figures can measure and so in a way past belief of those who have not seen it. Even those who journey through its Northeastern complex, into the Southern lands, across the central plains and to its Western slopes can only glimpse a measure of the bounty of America.

And a traveler cannot but be struck on his journey by the thought that this country, one day, can be even greater. America, though many know it not, is one of the great underdeveloped countries of the world; what it reaches for exceeds by far what it has grasped.

So the visitor returns thankful for much of what he has seen, and, in spite of everything, an optimist about what his country might be. Yet the visitor, if he is to make an honest report, must also note the air of unease that hangs everywhere.

For the traveler, as travelers have been always, is as much questioned as questioning. And for all the abundance he sees, he finds the questions put to him ask where men may repair for succor from the troubles that beset them.

His countrymen cannot forget the savage face of war. Too often they have been asked to fight in strange and distant places, for no clear purpose they could see and for no accomplishment they can measure. Their spirits are not quieted by the thought that the good and pleasant bounty that surrounds them can be destroyed in an instant by a single bomb. Yet they find no escape, for their survival and comfort now depend on unpredictable strangers in far-off corners of the globe.

How can they turn from melancholy when at home they see young arrayed against old, black against white, neighbor against neighbor, so that they stand in peril of social discord. Or not despair when they see that the cities and countryside are in need of repair, yet find themselves threatened by scarcities of the resources that sustain their way of life. Or when, in the face of these challenges, they turn for leadership to men in high places -- only to find those men as frail as any others.

So sometimes the traveler is asked whence will come their succor. What is to preserve their abundance, or even their civility? How can they pass on to their children a nation as strong and free as the one they inherited from their forefathers? How is their country to endure these cruel storms that beset it from without and from within?

Of course the stranger cannot quiet their spirits. For it is true that everywhere men turn their eyes today much of the world has a truly wild and savage hue. No man, if he be truthful, can say that the specter of war is banished. Nor can he say that when men or communities are put upon their own resources they are sure of solace; nor be sure that men of diverse kinds and diverse views can live peaceably together in a time of troubles.

But we can all remind ourselves that the richness of this country was not born in the resources of the earth, though they be plentiful, but in the men that took its measure. For that reminder is everywhere -- in the cities, towns, farms, roads, factories, homes, hospitals, schools that spread everywhere over that wilderness.

We can remind ourselves that for all our social discord we yet remain the longest enduring society of free men governing themselves without benefit of kings or dictators. Being so, we are the marvel and the mystery of the world, for that enduring liberty is no less a blessing than the abundance of the earth.

And we might remind ourselves also, that if those men setting out from Delftshaven had been daunted by the troubles they saw around them, then we could not this autumn be thankful for a fair land.

This editorial has appeared annually since 1961.

Word of the Day
"Concision" - noun [$10]
Concision means the state or quality of being concise; conciseness.
Sentence: The bunker booklet contained a five part solution to America' big problems, described with much concision on 15 half size pages.  The booklet was mailed to every member of Congress, the Senate and the President, as well as a number of well-known personages in the media and investment community.  All they have to do is read it and do it.  Will they fail?  Do they care about any ideas from outside the Dark City and their media co-conspirators?  Time will tell.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

They came in the same old way ...

Describing the unchanging nature of French attacks, Wellington is reported to have said,

"They came on in the same old way and we defeated them in the same old way."

The hedge funds that have most of the excess capital of the rich seem to behave in that same old way:  barge in, barge out.  No true investing exists by them.  They simply trade to try to extract a profit from  ... who?  Each other now.  They are mindless.  They brawl like drunken cowboys in a western saloon.  Something happens and whoosh.  They all move together.

What do we do?  We practice judo-style investing, buying low, selling high and selling high and buying low, all done in smallish bits to grab slowly some extra percentage points of gain every year while maintaining large, long term investments with most of our capital.  This is Krypto's style.

She got off the couch this morning, nudged me,and voilĂ , I find an order:  buy some gold!

I will obey the machine, buying some GLD at the open to bring that asset class up to its level.  If it drop further, we will buy silver next.

The machine also says to "get ready" to buy some European stocks - a small further relative drop will trigger a strong buy there.

Word of the Day

"Jussive" - adjective [$10] Grammatical
Jussive means expressing a command [e. g. the jussive subjunctive in Latin]
Sentence:  Today Krypto was jussive, but usually she's a couch potato.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Monday Meandering

The super-committee failed.  No surprise.  The "leaders" have failed.  It's time to engage the people.

Markets getting crushed overnight, probably a hedge fund knee jerk reaction to the super-committee flunking.  Perhaps they will give Krypto a chance to re-buy what she sold at high prices recently.

Word of the Day

"Reticulate" - verb, transitive [$10] I saw this word in a book that I'm reading; the card was already in my file from high school days.
Reticulate  means 1. to mark, divide, or construct so as to form a network; 2. to distribute by a network (e. g. water or electricity).
Sentence:  The 14th century in western Europe did not have nations of England and Frence, but had "highly plural, contested, and reticulated identities of medieval culture."  The quote from The Familiar Enemy by Ardis Butterfield, Preface, page xxx.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

I Spy

That is the business model for so many companies nowadays. Let's mention a few of the ways corporations and government want to spy on us.

1.  Cell phones.  You are carrying a transponder that the government and cell phone companies use to monitor your movement and location.

2.  Google.  They keep track of your Internet server and all your searches, cataloging your location and interests.

3.  Facebook.  They delve into your address book and find people you have contacted by email.  They also want your real name to sell to marketing companies; I suspect they find your location, too.

4.  All Internet-related businesses.  They all act like Facebook and Google as much as possible.  Why do you get an invitation to join LinkedIn or Skype when a person you communicate with by computer joins.

5.  Car GPS.  "They" use those to monitor your movements.  If you become a suspect in a crime, the scalphunters will use that data to try to frame you.

6.  Reward programs.  Retailers sell your purchase data to marketing companies who then create a profile for you.

7.  Credit card purchases.  See item #6.

8.  Social Security numbers.  Lots of businesses want those to help them validate their data files on you and improve their profiles of you by removing data from other like-named persons.

9.  All government public information.  Internet data companies mine this to learn more about you.

10.  Internet browsing.  Unless you close the browser after visiting a site, the site your were at can detect which site you next visit.

11.  "Services" such as Zillow, Google earth, etc.  They publish photos that will disclose your home and business from overhead views.  Those photos are roadmaps for kidnappers and burglars ... and "them".

What to do?

Presuming you care about your privacy, you can use this knowledge to compartmentalize and let "them" know only what you wish "them" to know.

Don't carry a cell phone regularly.

Pay cash.  Keep a few hundred dollars on you at all times.  Unless the item costs more than that, just pay cash.

Don't use a "Rewards" card, or use use a friend's card - that will confuse "their" profile.

Don't give out your Social Security number.  No one has a right to that number unless it is connected to tax reasons.  There are many laws that govern its use.  See ->

Beware of GPS devices in cars. 

Overhead photos can be defeated by trees.  Plant them and use them for concealment.

Street level spying can also be defeated by trees, shrubs and fences.  Use them.

Compartmentalize your Internet purchases.  Don't buy anything online unless you don't care if "they" learn about it.

Close your browser after visiting sites.  Just re-open a clean version for each site.

If you use Facebook, etc., don't click those "like" buttons unless you want to broadcast to "all" that you really like that.  Those "Like" clicks are gold to marketing companies.

Make your efforts a game - try to confuse "their" profile.  I do that all the time.  The more you mess up their data files, the less they can piece together about you.  Your data becomes less valuable for them.  When the supermarket gave me a coupon for tampons once, I knew I was succeeding.

Remember, just because you are paranoid, doesn't mean "they" aren't spying on you.

And I know ... I've seen black helicopters fly over my home years ago.  Now the trees give me lots of concealment.  :)

Word of the Day 

"Grisaille" - noun [$10]
Grisaille means 1. a method of painting in grey monochorme, often to imitate sculpture; 2. a painting or stained-glass window of this kind.
Sentence:  Use the simple methods I've outlined about to protect some of your privacy - give them grisaille instead of a full color version of your profile.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Wednesday's Word

Word of the Day

"Loy" - noun [$100-1000] obsolete, rare, dialect; three distinct usages.
Loy means 1. alloy; (2) (Anglo-Irish, Irish language spelling is 'laighe") a kind of spade used in Ireland; 3. a female given name.
Sentence:  Can reasonable solutions to national problems be found when most political discourse consists, metaphorically, of each side hitting the other in the head with a loy?

This word appears in the fine, famous play about aspects of Irish rural life by J. M. Synge, "Playboy of the Western World".

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Ideology Needed ...

The birthplace of the Occupy Wall Street 'movement' was cleaned out very early this morning by hundreds of NYC police & cleaning crews.  This movement will likely fizzle out for the simple reason that it has no unifying ideology.  Ideology can connect people across distances - it is a long rang, anthropic force with much potential power.  If people follow the ideology and its implications with some unity, they work together to accomplish 'great' tasks.  But is they have competing ideas, the movement becomes neutralized, much as positive charges cancel negative one, leaving no net force.

Word of the Day

"Unkempt" - adjective [$10]
Unkempt means 1. untidy, of neglected appearances; 2. uncombed, disheveled.
Sentence:  Many dozens of unkempt protesters were push out of the park last night by police in riot gear.

Monday, November 14, 2011

"Austerity" is simply Reality

Not knowing much about the finances and government of Italy, except that it's a typical unstable parliamentary system, I will describe the "Austerity" that America must implement to stop wasting borrowed and taxpayer money.

In simple, Reagan-esq terms, The Federal government and the states must stop wasting money:  stop spending money like a drunken sailor.

1.  Stop providing excessive retirement, health care and disability benefits.
2.  Stop letting government employees retire before age 65
3.  Stop letting retirement benefits be based on inflated pay of the last few years of work.
4.  Make the public employees pay at least 50% of the cost of retirement and health care benefits.
5.  Change disability benefits to require work - any work - except for the paraplegic or blind or deaf.
6.  Get rid of government departments wholesale:  eliminate the Departments of Education, Commerce, Labor, Energy, Health & Human Services, Agriculture, Housing and Urban Development, Transportation, and Homeland Security. Keep only a few bureaus with lean staffs.
7.  Cut the pay of all Federal government employees making over $80,000 by 20% (that is, by 20% or to $80,000).
8.  Streamline the firing process for governmental employees.
9.  All governmental boards overseeing governmental employees relations should be staffed exclusively by private sector personnel.
10. Eliminate all 'bargaining' with public employee unions.

And implement the policies of Bunkerman's pamphlet, Common Sense II.

Word of the Day

"Satyriasis" - noun [$10] Medical
Satyriasis means excessive sexual desire in men.
Sentence:  The popular term for satyriasis is the Wade Boggs syndrome.  The ex-prime minister of Italy, Silvio Berlosconi, has it, too.  I'm not sure if Bill Clinton had it, or simply that Hillary cut him off.  And then we have Tiger Woods ...

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Support Local Business

Here's a post that a friend put on a family web site; the post contains lots of common sense that would help the nation and its people a lot if adopted by more of us.

***post begins***
How about a new tradition becoming part of defending liberty?

Christmas 2011 -- Birth of a New Tradition and ALWAYS remembering the REASON FOR THE SEASON

As the holidays approach, the giant Asian factories are kicking into high gear to provide Americans with monstrous piles of cheaply produced goods -- merchandise that has been produced at the expense of American labor. This is concern for other Americans. There is no longer an excuse that, at gift giving time, nothing can be found that is produced by American hands. Yes there is!

It's time to think outside the box, people. Who says a gift needs to fit in a shirt box, wrapped in Chinese produced wrapping paper? Everyone -- yes EVERYONE gets their hair cut. How about gift certificates from your local American hair salon or barber? Gym membership? It's appropriate for all ages who are thinking about some health improvement.

Who wouldn't appreciate getting their car detailed? Small, American owned detail shops and car washes would love to sell you a gift certificate or a book of gift certificates.

Are you one of those extravagant givers who think nothing of plonking down the Benjamines on a Chinese made flat-screen? Perhaps that grateful gift receiver would like his driveway sealed, or lawn mowed for the summer, or driveway plowed all winter, or games at the local golf course. There are a bazillion owner-run restaurants -- all offering gift certificates. And, if your intended isn't the fancy eatery sort, what about a half dozen breakfasts at the local breakfast joint. Remember, folks this isn't about big National chains -- this is about supporting your home town Americans with their financial lives on the line to keep their doors open.

How many people couldn't use an oil change for their car, truck or motorcycle, done at a shop run by the American working guy? Thinking about a heartfelt gift for mom? Mom would LOVE the services of a local cleaning lady for a day, flowers, a nice fruit basket.

My computer could use a tune-up, and I KNOW I can find some young guy who is struggling to get his repair business up and running.

OK, you were looking for something more personal. Local crafts people spin their own wool and knit them into scarves. They make jewelry, pottery and beautiful wooden boxes.

Plan your holiday outings at local, owner operated restaurants and leave your server a nice tip. And, how about going out to see a play or ballet at your hometown theatre. Musicians need love too, so find a venue showcasing local bands.

Honestly, people, do you REALLY need to buy another ten thousand Chinese lights for the house? When you buy a five dollar string of lights, about fifty cents stays in the community. If you have those kinds of bucks to burn, leave the mailman, trash guy or babysitter a nice BIG tip.

You see, Christmas is no longer about draining American pockets so that China can build another glittering city. Christmas is now about caring about US, encouraging American small businesses to keep plugging away to follow their dreams. And, when we care about other Americans, we care about our communities, and the benefits come back to us in ways we couldn't imagine.

****end of post***

I'll add to that - buy gifts from local businesses and shops on Main Street,  Don't send your money to China via that one way express, money train known as Wal-Mart.  Try to buy items made in the USA.

Word of the Day

"Contralto" - noun [$10]
Contralto means 1.a. the lowest female singing voice; 1. b. a singer with this voice; 2. a part written for contralto.
Sentence:  The booming contralto of Kate Smith singing "God Bless America" is quite moving every time one hears it.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011


I was watching the early show on Bubblevision this AM around 5:30 as I read the news and ran the model.

One pundit said deflation was coming.  Another said inflation was coming.  None gave any reasoned analysis, perhaps because the show's producers don't give them any time to do that.  Oh well ...

Markets are getting smashed from turmoil in the Italian bond markets.  Sigh ...

Doing nothing - the model is in balance.

Italy should offer bonds to retail investors in the US, payable in tourism  :)  I'd be a buyer for another trip to Rome and another for a trip to Florence.

Word of the Day

"Yare" - adjective [$100] pronounced either 'yare' to rhyme with 'dare', or 'yar' to rhymne with 'par'.
Yare means 1. quick, agile, lovely; 2. (of a ship) quick to the helm, easily hamdled or maneuvered; 3. (archaic) a. ready, prepared; b. nimble, quick.
Sentence: A yare investor outperforms a sluggard:  rebalancing matters and must be checked whenever an asset class moves a lot.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Monday's Word

I found some good ones in studying Shakespeare's Antony and Cleopatra.

Word of the Day

"Riggish" - adjective [$1000] now chiefly dialect.
Riggish means wanton, licentious.
Sentence:  Would you rather have a riggish president or a foolish president?  From voters' behavior related to Bill Clinton and Herman Cain, versus Al Gore and Rick Perry, the answer is bipartisan:  we prefer a riggish president.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

A Word for Thursday

Word of the Day

"Contemn" - verb, transitive [$10] literary
Contemn means to despise, to treat with disregard.
Sentence:  History should contemn the presidency of George W. Bush with a simple conclusion being, "Missed Opportunities".  That's what too much Jack Daniel's does. Had he kept spending under control and led a decisive war in Iraq and Afghanistan, he could have been lauded,  Instead, he let the Republican hogs feed uncontrollably and recreated the mistakes of Vietnam.  Sigh ...

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Whatnot Wednesday

Krypto's model showed a weak buy for European stocks and an "almost" strong buy for gold-silver.  We wait for strong signals in this market.

It's too bad one can't buy some of those European bonds here  - at least in retail quantities.  At 7%, I'd buy Italy.  Ireland is interesting, too.  Lol, yes, those are nations I've recently visited & liked.  But the broker we use for long term municipal bond purchases doesn't have them.  Hmmm I wonder if Vanguard has them?  Will check.

Also, I wonder about the tax treatment.  One tax is OK, but not two.

Word of the Day

"Querulous" - adjective [$10]
Querulous means complaining, peevish.
Sentence:  A querulous customer should be fired unless he/she is quite profitable.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Close, but ...

Krypto is sleeping in ... her model shows no action for today.  Other asset classes fell enough to keep the gold+silver class from getting a clear buy signal.  I see futures are down bigtime this morning.  Oh well, maybe in a few weeks Krypto can re-buy what she sold on Friday.

Obey the machine ....

MF Global

$700 million is missing.  The hedge fund industry gets another black eye.  Corzine seems to have been a power hungry, greedy knave.  First he did  nothing to help the people of New jersey as both a Senator and Governor.  Now he blows up a formerly fine firm and was captain of a ship while its hold was looted.  He's certainly Knave of the Month.

Word of the Day

"Rococo" - adjective [$10]
Rococo means excessively ornate or intricate.
Sentence:  Much art and decor from the era of Louis XV exhibits the rococo style; one can see this clearly in many rooms of the Frick Museum at the corner of Fifth Avenue and east 70th street in New York City.