Thursday, December 29, 2011

The Herd Gets Armed

It appears that the herd and the angry mob are getting armed.

"The FBI said the number of people who got background checks to buy guns for December had already broken a record, and that was with several days left in the month."

Friday, December 16, 2011

The Union Herd

Strikes and protests everywhere.  The NBA barely survived the death of a season.  What's the next big strike?  I predict that it will be in the transportation sector.  That's the one that always brings things to a halt....literally.

"In a downward trending mass social mood, it's very likely that labor strikes will become very popular again. We might even see a professional sports strike in the next few years. An angry mob loves a strike and a picket line. The cycle will likely bring unions back to strength as fear and anger 'drives the herd closer together'".
Random Roving, November 24, 2009

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The Occupy Prediction

The Random Roving archive produced this gem that might explain the roots of the Occupy movement.

"What's the uneducated, entitled angry mob going to do?"

Random Roving, December 1, 2009

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Another Mega-Implosion

"At the height of his power, Bishop Eddie L. Long would pack tens of thousands of people into his megachurch in the suburbs of Atlanta. With his well-cut suits, passion for Bentleys, and dynamic, accessible style of preaching, he quickly climbed the list of the nation’s most powerful religious leaders. He built his ministry, which stretches to Kenya and other countries, on a strong message of conservative Christianity that included promises of prosperity and attacks on homosexuality. But life inside Bishop Long’s home had been crumbling. And on Sunday, members of his dwindling congregation heard news they had been bracing for. Their charismatic bishop, who in May settled with five young men who accused him of sexual coercion and who has fought a series of other legal battles, said he was temporarily stepping away from the pulpit to try to save his marriage."
Source: NY Times

Some key "takeaway" words from the snippet above: "height of his power", "passion for Bentleys", "most powerful religious leaders", "promises of prosperity", "crumbling", and "charismatic".  Is 2011 the year of the demise of the world's charismatic leaders?  What will 2012 look like?

"Religion will become smaller, 'deeper', and more traditional. The megachurch and megamillionaire ministers might have seen 'the peak'. Hopefully they saved all of those millions from the book deals."
Random Roving, January 1, 2010

Friday, November 18, 2011

Not On The Radar

"Beware of the angry white American man carrying the Bible."
Random Roving, January 1, 2010

"A man clad in black who was obsessed with President Barack Obama pulled his car within view of the White House at night and fired shots from an assault rifle, cracking a window of the first family's living quarters while the president was away, authorities said about their still-developing investigation. Sources tell CBS News Ortega-Hernandez was not on the radar of the Secret Service before Friday's shooting. But investigators believe he may have targeted the White House due to a hatred of President Obama. Businessman Monte McCall, said Ortega-Hernandez compared the president to the 'Antichrist' when they met recently.  Authorities are investigating the man's mental health and say there are indications he believed attacking the White House was part of a personal mission from God, according to two different law enforcement officials who spoke with The Associated Press."

Source: CBS News


"Obama has a bright future. I hope for his sake that he loses, because he will be the 'fall guy' and historically during 'inflection points' those presidents have been the recipients of bullets (Lincoln, McKinley, Kennedy, Reagan). The 'mob' has emerged and they’re seeking someone to lynch."
Random Roving, June 23, 2008

For years, the "Fox News Mafia" has had us focused on Middle Eastern Muslim men.  I predict that the next "big boogeyman" will be one of us. It proved to be in Norway earlier this year.

"After being apprehended, Breivik was characterized by police officials as being a right-wing extremist and an Islamophobe.  Breivik is described by the newspaper Verdens Gang as considering himself a conservative nationalist.  According to The Australian, Breivik was highly critical of Muslim immigration into Christian societies, is pro-Israel and an admirer of the US Tea Party movement.  Deputy police chief Roger Andresen initially told reporters that 'We have no more information than... what has been found on [his] own websites, which is that it goes towards the right and that it is, so to speak, Christian fundamentalist.'"
Source: Wikipedia
"This is the astonishingly detailed 1,500-page manifesto published on the internet by Anders Behring Breivik on Friday, hours before he carried out his attacks which would leave at least 93 dead. The document, named 2083 - A European Declaration of Independence because he believes the war to rescue Europe from multiculturalism will last another 72 years, is published under the anglicised name 'Andrew Berwick - London, England, 2011'. Chillingly, it features a claim that Breivik is just one of 12 members of a secret right-wing anti-multicultural, anti-Marxist, anti-feminist, anti-Islamic society, the 'Knights Templar' founded in London in April 2002."
Source: Daily Mail

Monday, November 14, 2011

Silvio & JoePa

Many websites report the news and regurgitate the Associated Press. Here my goal is to attempt to connect the dots. So, linking Italy's PM and college football coach Joe Paterno means what?

One of the core themes of this blog is that humans herd and subsequently create cycles of "mass" behavior through history. This can be observed in financial markets, war cycles, politics, fashion, pop culture, and many other categories.

We all know that the recent events at Penn State are a tragedy. What's significant to me is how quickly legendary coach Joe Paterno was terminated. He is guilty in part, but lets face it, he didn't perform the hideous crimes. The conclusion is, during contracting cycles where mass social mood dominates in "fearful and angry", icons fall quickly. The mob moves quickly and topples the ones that once stood on a pedestal. In contrast, during expansion cycles, icons survive great controversies. Bill Clinton's sexual encounter with a young intern might be the best example of all time. Many still believe that he was one of the greatest presidents of all time. Well timed bad behavior.

Jumping across "the pond", Italy's Prime Minister is sacked after serving 17 years in office.  Do the people of Italy really believe that putting a new person in office immediately solves the debt crisis?  No, they are just angry and "lynching" feels good.  Many more leaders and icons will tumble.  Libya might be a great microcosm where one asks the question "ok, now what?".

"Silvio Berlusconi dominated Italy for 17 years with a unique mix of political talent and brazen behavior but in the end the born showman was humiliatingly jeered from office, brought down by pressure from abroad.  Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi formally resigned on Saturday, ending one of the most scandal-plagued eras in recent Italian history amid the jeers of hundreds of protestors gathered in central Rome to celebrate his departure."
Source: Reuters

"The “mob” has emerged and they’re seeking someone to lynch."
Random Roving, June 30, 2008

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Occupy Mises

"Value is not intrinsic, it is not in things. It is within us; it is the way in which man reacts to the conditions of his environment."

Ludwig von Mises, "Human Action"

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Understand & Occupy This

Trouble In The Trough

The PIIGS continue to lead the worldwide news stories.  Portugal Italy Ireland Greece Spain.  Greece, and now Italy, appear to be on the forefront.  It's amazing that the sheeple believe that removing the prime ministers solves the debt problem.  Going to be interesting to watch!

"The PIIGS continue to lead the pack to destruction."
Random Roving, January 1, 2011

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Clusters & The Machine

"To deny the reality that large clusters of human beings tend to act with a herd mentality is contrary to all visible evidence. The herd mentality can be observed in the Dot-com bubble, Americans unquestioningly allowing passage of the Patriot Act, the housing bubble, the mass hysteria over the latest iSomething, Black Friday riots at retail stores to obtain the 'hottest' toy or gadget, and the slaves to the latest fashions and trends as directed by the corporate media machine. The masses don’t realize they are being manipulated by the few who understand the power of propaganda."
James Quinn, The Burning Platform

The entire article:

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Lonely At The Top

The Greek Prime Minister teeters between resignation and securing a debt deal with his former EU buddies.
"Even if he survives the coming hours or days in office, the prime minister is widely seen as having expended nearly all his political capital. Ever since Greece asked for a bailout from the European Union in April 2010, he has struggled to satisfy seemingly irreconcilable constituencies: the Greek electorate and Greece’s foreign lenders, who have insisted on tough austerity measures in exchange for aid, pushing Greek democracy to the breaking point."

Source: NY Times
"Politicians ratings will continue to fall aligning with a continued decline in mass social mood. Incumbents beware."
Random Roving, January 1, 2010

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Here Comes The Tear Gas

The tear gas appears right on schedule.

"Authorities made a series of arrests at Occupy Wall Street protests in California and Georgia on Tuesday with clashes in one city that involved tear gas being used on demonstrators.  Police said they fired the tear gas on protesters in Oakland, California, after the crowd threw paint and other objects at officers."
Source: CNN

You were say "it can't happen here?":

"One of Robert Prechter's main themes for the downward contraction is the escalation of social unrest. Along with this comes a power struggle between the government and the people. As Americans, what should we prepare for?"
Random Roving, December 12, 2008

Friday, October 21, 2011

Angry Birds

"We're in an Angry Birds kind of world, unfortunately.  One of the reasons for this is that too many people are focusing on what isn't working and less on what is.  Instead of promoting solutions, there seems to be a 'tear it down' atmostphere at every level of society."
Cal Thomas, Conservative Columnist
Source: CNN

"As social mood becomes more positive people become more confident trusting and content. They feel little need to prepare a defensive or offensive force. As social mood becomes more negative, people become more fearful, distrusting, and angry. They are impelled to prepare to defend themselves or attack an enemy."

Elliott Wave Theorist, 1999

Thursday, October 20, 2011

German Vampires

"'We are not lazy; it's the Germans, they want to take our blood,' said Eleftherios Zarkados (Greek citizen)."
Source: CNN

"Organizations like the European Union are in the process of 'fragmenting'. During an upward trending mass social mood, we make peace and sign peace treaties. We form cooperative organizations during these times and merge currencies. Now, the tide has shifted. Keep an eye on the EU. As Greece, Spain, and others continue to feel 'the pain', their partners in the EU will continue to ask 'why are we being dragged down by them?'."

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Vladimir Doesn't Waste Any Time

Mr. Putin appears to be on a roll.  Parasite? Ouch.
"Russia and China have vowed to make progress on a long-delayed deal on gas sales, as Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin sought to boost ties with Beijing while likening the U.S. to a parasite."

Friday, October 14, 2011

Ten-Tola's Anyone?

"The recent violent volatility in gold prices is disrupting traditional buying patterns in Dubai, with customers moving from jewelry to bullion as they renew a focus on the yellow metal's investment potential, a trend that is prompting more city jewelers to stock gold in the form of coins and bars.  Dubai, known as the city of gold, is a long-established market for bullion and wholesale and retail jewelry. Its trade is fueled by demand from India, the world's number one gold consumer, and domestic consumption which, at 19 tons in the second quarter of 2011, makes the United Arab Emirates the second-largest consumer of gold jewelry and bullion in the Middle East after Saudi Arabia. Whereas traditional retail demand was for jewelry, there has been a change in buying patterns, said Pradeep Unni, senior relationship manager at Richcomm Global Services, a Dubai-based commodity services company and a broker of the Dubai Gold and Commodity Exchange, or DGCX, which trades a gold futures contract.  Earlier while women would buy gold in the form of jewelry, now one can see men, finding themselves with a bit of spare cash, go into a jewelry shop and buying ten-tola bars," he says. A ten-tola bar, called TT bar in the trade, is a traditional Indian measure of weight that equals 3.75 ounces."
Source: Wall Street Journal

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Riggin' & Exiting

“'I don’t think it’s a time to make money -- this is a time to rig for survival,' said Charles Stevenson, 64, president of hedge fund Navigator Group Inc. and head of the co-op board at 740 Park Ave. The building, home to Blackstone Group LP Chairman Stephen Schwarzman and CIT Group Inc. Chief Executive Officer John Thain, was among those picketed by protesters yesterday. 'The future is not going to be like a past we knew,' he said. 'There’s no exit from this morass.'"

Source: Bloomberg

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

From Pepper to Teargas?

Does pepper spray precede teargas?  It appears that these minimum wage earning security guards had their hands full at the Smithsonian.

"We have a generation of kids waking up to the reality that their parents have not only indebted them for life, but also destroyed their current job market and prospects. Kent State might end up looking like a mild one when this one peaks.  Cutting off cell phones and internet access will really get these kids fired up! 'I want my MTV!'"
Random Roving, December 12, 2009

"One of Robert Prechter's main themes for the downward contraction is the escalation of social unrest. Along with this comes a power struggle between the government and the people.  As Americans, what should we prepare for?"
Random Roving, December 12, 2008

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Occupy What?

Jimmy Kimmel might have summed up the "Occupy Movement" when he captured "Occupy Wall Street" protestors saying this, "What do we want? We're not really sure! When do we want it? Now!"

Fear and anger without any direction or leadership might not progress far.  An angry leader has to appear. Stay tuned.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Competition For 3rd Place Begins

"The next four years will be very challenging on all fronts. As I've stated before, the economic cycle is must stronger than a political party or individual politicians. The psychology of the masses will drive the direction. I believe that the Democrats will be navigating the ship through major rogue waves. At the end of that process, the party will be in shambles. At that point, the masses will be disenchanted with both parties. At 'the bottom', there will be a third party that finally gains some steam and becomes a viable competitor. That party will probably be somewhere in the middle."
Random Roving, November 8, 2008

"The coalition of thousands of anti- Wall Street protesters in New York and cities across the U.S. has the potential to grow into the 'Tea Party of the Left,' said Brayden King, who’s written on social and political movements at Northwestern University."
Source: Bloomberg

This will be fun to watch. Red vs Blue Tea Parties!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

And The Next Hoffa Will Be?

Jimmy Riddle Hoffa
"The cavalry arrived in Lower Manhattan. Representatives from no fewer than 15 of the country's largest labor unions joined the Occupy Wall Street protesters for a mass rally and march today in New York City."
Source: ABC

"The cycle will likely bring unions back to strength as fear and anger 'drives the herd closer together'."

Who will be the "Hoffa" of this era?

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

That Didn't Take Long

It seemed like yesterday that I made a Putin post?!?!  He doesn't waste any time.
"One week after announcing that he will return to the presidency next year Vladimir Putin has laid out a grand vision to bring Russia's former Soviet neighbours back into the fold.  Putin proposes the formation of a 'Eurasian union', a bloc that could boost Russia's influence on the global stage. The proposal – from the man who once dubbed the Soviet Union's collapse 'the greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the 20th century' – raises the spectre of the Russian prime minister's imperial designs."
Source: The Guardian

Remember, when mass social mood is focused on "fear and anger", the herd moves closer together.  Picture that herd of sheep when the wolf appears atop the hillside.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Michael Lewis On Charlie Rose

This is a fascinating interview (2nd half about Iceland, Ireland, and Greece).

Now The Prisoners?

"In a downward trending mass social mood, it's very likely that labor strikes will become very popular again. We might even see a professional sports strike in the next few years. An angry mob loves a strike and a picket line. The cycle will likely bring unions back to strength as fear and anger 'drives the herd closer together'."
Random Roving, November 24, 2009

We barely escaped the NFL.  The NBA isn't looking good.  Now the darn prisoners are striking!!
"A hunger strike conducted by California prison inmates has swelled to 12,000 participants, advocates for the inmates tell the Los Angeles Times."
Source: LA Times
Now how can we convince the prisoners to continue this strike for a really long time?

Protesting Protection

In a scenario similar to the police in New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina, the Greek police have now decided to protest.  So who arrests the non-police protestors?

"The very people who have been charged with protecting the Greek parliament and politicians from furious crowds and who have even been criticised by Amnesty International for their heavy-handedness, the Greek police, have themselves now begun to protest EU-IMF austerity.  On Monday, police from the Special Guards unit climbed Mount Lycabettus, the highest point in Athens, to hang a giant black banner underneath the hill’s famous Chapel of St. George saying 'Pay day, day of mourning'.  Some 50 striking police officers protected the banner from police who remained in service and who had been sent to tear the banner down."
Source: EU Observer

Monday, October 3, 2011

The Onion Starts To Peel in the U.S.?

"Protesters have descended on Boston’s Financial District, setting up a tent village and decrying what they see as the economic hardships of ordinary Americans - one of several such demonstrations erupting across the country.  The group, called Occupy Boston, is inspired by Occupy Wall Street, a demonstration entering its third week in Manhattan’s Financial District that led to the arrest of 700 people Saturday on charges of blocking the Brooklyn Bridge. The effort has spread to several communities nationwide, with tens of thousands of people participating."

I'm still dumbfounded that my 2009 post, "The Onion Peels In Argentina" has captured 17254 views representing 47% of all posts on this blog.  I've revisited the page many times, and conclude that the combination of "a picture is worth a 1000 words" and a variety of hot topics explain the popularity.

Recent news of protests in the U.S. confirm that the N. African protests are not about youth seeking democracy.  It's about a worldwide populace continuing the evolution across a new phase of the cycle where "fear and anger" are the dominant emotions.  Happy and greedy peaked in July, 1999.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

He's Baaaaaaack

"Ruh-roh"  Scooby Doo

"Vladimir V. Putin, who for more than a decade has labored to consolidate authority in Russia under his control, will run for president next year, replacing his protégé, Dmitri A. Medvedev, and possibly extending his rule until 2024.  Analysts have long speculated that Mr. Medvedev would act as a placeholder for Mr. Putin, who can now legally return to the presidency for a third term after spending four years as prime minister."
Source: NY Times

It's not like he ever left, did he?

"Sleep securely, our new leadership is in place. I hope that Putin doesn't get a hold of him!"
Random Roving, January 7, 2011

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Regulatory Coordination

Printing money like mad-men is bad enough, but removing the "short" option really tells you something.
"Short-selling bans on selected European bank stocks have been extended by regulators until the end of September in an unprecedented degree of regulatory co-ordination."
Source: FT

Monday, September 19, 2011

Opa All Over Again?

As Yogi Berra might say "is it Opa all over again?". 

"European stock markets fell sharply on Monday, with banks like Societe Generale SA sinking on concerns Greece could default on its debt ahead of crisis talks aimed at determining whether the embattled nation gets the next round of much-needed aid."
Market Watch, 9/19/11

"We are moving apart. Organizations like the European Union are in the process of "fragmenting". During an upward trending mass social mood, we make peace and sign peace treaties. We form cooperative organizations during these times and merge currencies. Now, the tide has shifted. Keep an eye on the EU. As Greece, Spain, and others continue to feel "the pain", their partners in the EU will continue to ask 'why are we being dragged down by them?'."
Random Roving, March 30, 2010

Opa 1

Opa 2

Opa 3

Friday, August 19, 2011

The Sabbatical Has Ended

I had to take a "random" sabbatical to "rove" into a new blog.  That has gained momentum, so it's time to get back to the "big picture".  After watching the news tonight, I was reviewing some old posts, and I thought that this one was worth a repost.

Be Careful What You Wish For (Original Post: 11/8/08)
It's only been three days since the election and fireworks are popping on all fronts. The Democrats are euphoric, the Republicans angry, McCain and Palin camps are fighting, and the stock market returned to it's inevitable downward spiral.
I've had the opportunity the last few days to visit with members of both teams. The Democrats are just plain giddy over the "butt spanking" that they successfully delivered. After a close Gore loss and a Kerry defeat, it appears that there was some pent up frustration. My Republican friends are very angry and have declared an end to the world. Some have even defined the moment as biblical prophecy. I had the great pleasure to golf with my favorite registered Republican this week and his four favorite words were: Stalinist, Marxist, Socialist, and U.S.S.A.

It's amazing in only three days to see the "blame game" commence on all fronts. The Democrats are saying "you see I told you that the country wanted change". The McCain camp is firing shots at Sarah Palin. This one shocked me. Palin appeared to give it her best shot. She started the process off dealing with the fact that the whole world knew that her teenage daughter had just become pregnant. She weathered some bad interviews and most of all the brutal depiction on SNL. Great fun unless it's you. My favorite registered Republican told me yesterday that Bush was a great guy for extending an invitation to the Obamas to tour the White House. I say that it would be an honorable guesture for McCain to hold a press conference today and state his appreciation for Palin's effort. Lets all be honest. McCain was a washed up candidate and the Republicans should have been able to pitch a stronger, fresher candidate. To blame your VP partner is weak.
On the flip side, I say to my Democrat friends "be careful what you wish for". The Democrats have complete control over the near future. For that, they will be given complete credit for 100% of what happens. The Republicans are already blaming Obama for the stock market drops the last two days. That's despite the fact that it's down 34% for the year under the Bush administration. The next four years will be very challenging on all fronts. As I've stated before, the economic cycle is must stronger than a political party or individual politicians. The psychology of the masses will drive the direction. I believe that the Democrats will be navigating the ship through major rogue waves. At the end of that process, the party will be in shambles. At that point, the masses will be disenchanted with both parties. At "the bottom", there will be a third party that finally gains some steam and becomes a viable competitor. That party will probably be somewhere in the middle.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Copper Anyone?

I talk too much about gold, a little about silver, so how about copper??  Looks interesting!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

The Contracting Mega-Church

"The streets that were once choked with traffic are now bare. The church's sprawling parking lot is half full. Inside the stylish sanctuary, ushers sway to choir music in front of empty seats.  On a typical Sunday morning, New Birth Missionary Church in suburban Atlanta would be hopping. But on a recent Sunday, the sprawling church complex looked half-deserted and the mood seemed flat.  Six months after a sex scandal involving New Birth's senior pastor, Bishop Eddie Long, became public, the megachurch no longer packs them in. Yet there are loyalists, like C.D. Dixon, who have not joined the exodus."
Source: CNN

"The megachurch and megamillionaire ministers might have seen 'the peak'. Hopefully they saved all of those millions from the book deals."
Random Roving, "Happy New Year 2010 is Here", January 1, 2010 

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Dipping In Silver

"I've spent a lot of time pitching gold, but not enough on silver. It's been on fire lately. The ETF "SLV" provides a nice purchase option."

SLV made over a 100% gain after that post.  The "slope of the sand pile" then became a little too steep.  The naysayers say that the commodities run is over.  I disagree.  The Dow/Gold Ratio indicates that we're in for several more years of precious metal price growth.  I bought some more SLV today on this nice dip.

Silver ETF "SLV"

Newt's Bumpy Start

Well as predicted, Newt has made it official.  He's already making apologies for campaign speeches.  It will be very interesting to watch him rise to Team Red's #1 candidate.  Why will he?  He's a "known quantity", calm demeanor during chaotic times, and they'll build a link from him to The Gipper.  Just watch.

"The fear factor is very powerful and effective.  Newt is starting to use it to emerge as the frontrunner for Team Red."
Random Roving, September 29, 2010

"Lets see if Newt, their link to The Gipper, will be their man."
Random Roving, January 24, 2011

Monday, May 23, 2011

Contracting Heroes

"It will be interesting to see if the downward 'draft' of mass social mood takes down cycling champion, Lance Armstrong. Tiger might say that "the draft" makes everyone vulnerable."

Random Roving, August 9, 2010
If you watched 60 Minutes last night, you might respond to the above, "yes".  It was a scathing interview with the former "boy scout" of the tour, Tyler Hamilton.  We'll have to wait and see what the "mass mood" has in store for Armstrong.

Utah Takes The Lead On Coins

Utah legislators want to see the dollar regain its former glory, back to the days when one could literally bank on it being "as good as gold."

Utah gets it. Is this a start to a trend?

"Utah legislators want to see the dollar regain its former glory, back to the days when one could literally bank on it being 'as good as gold'. To make that point, they've turned it around, and made gold as good as cash. Utah became the first state in the country this month to legalize gold and silver coins as currency. The law also will exempt the sale of the coins from state capital gains taxes."
Source: AP

Entire article:

Monday, May 2, 2011

Osama, Obama, and Slap Ya Mama

Well The Boogeyman is dead....or is he?  Big bad Obama knocked off big bad Osama.  And so these modern day "Crusades" continue on.  We might have just entered the next era.  So I assume our troops are heading home...right?

It will be fun to watch the battle for the credit.  It might resemble when Reagan took office and witnessed the release of the Iranian hostages.  Bring on 2012!

And yes, try that "Slap Ya Mama" seasoning for your next crawdaddy boil...great stuff!  I needed a third rhyme!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Life Beyond The Known

"Many people are afraid of the world beyond their door, yet the vast majority of humans are not thieves, murderers or rapists. They are people just like you and me who are trying to get by, to help their families and go about living their lives. There is no race, religion or nationality that is exempt from this rule. How they go about living their lives might be different, but their general goals are the same."
Tim Ferriss

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Randomness and Anti-Fragility

"I think that an oil shock would be very good because we need to be trained to finally give up on these stupid cars. We have so many alternative sources, and people are too lazy. We need to enhance anti-fragility in this area. You can move from wild randomness into mild randomness by creating some. It is like hormesis: You give someone a little bit of poison and they get stronger. Economic life gets stronger not with bailouts, but with bankruptcies."
Nassim Taleb

An excellent read:

Friday, April 29, 2011

The Cooperative Metal

Gold has now sustained its price above the psychological barrier of $1500/ounce.  At this present moment, it's selling for $1544/ounce.  Unbelievable to some.  Right on track for others.  The best part about gold to date is that it's cooperated so well from a technical chart perspective.  It builds nice long bases and conforms to pattern prediction such as the "reverse head and shoulders".  Of course, this cooperation can change tomorrow.  There is concern as Robert Prechter warns that "everything is up".  Commodities and equities were moving in similar tandem leading up to the 2008 crash.

My recent picks were quite good it I don't say so myself.
Gold ETF "GLD" with recent buy points.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter

I wish everyone a blessed Easter!

A re-post of some wise words from the late Father David Kirk:

"If you want to find God, really find God, go to where people are suffering. There, if you can open your eyes to the needs of others, and let your heart respond to're in for a great adventure! May this Sunday be a day for beginning to DO the word of God and not simple hear the word of God. Amen."

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

A Fourth Turning Update

"The storyline promulgated by the mainstream linear thinking opinion leaders is the economy is recovering, the banking system is sound, the stock market is booming, buying a house is a great investment, inflation is below 2%,  jobs are being created, and consumers have regained their confidence and spending power. This message is hammered home on a daily basis by the corporate run mainstream media. It is patently false and the thinking members of the American public know it. The economic condition of the country is rapidly deteriorating. While politicians posture and lie to the citizens, the fissures in our financial system grow wider. As of today, regeneracy and unification behind one common national purpose seems light years away. Strauss & Howe speculated in 1997 about potential events that could spur events during the next Fourth Turning.The event necessary to cause a regeneracy in this country will need to be on an epic scale. Based upon a review of the foreseeable issues confronting our society it is clear to me that a worse financial implosion will strike before the 2012 presidential election. It may be triggered by a debt ceiling confrontation, the ending of QE2, a panic out of the USD, hyperinflation, a surge in oil prices, or some combination of these possibilities. The ensuing collapse of the stock and bond markets will remove the last vestiges of trust in the existing financial system and the government bureaucrats who have taken taxpayer dollars and funneled them to these Wall Street oligarchs."
James Quinn, "The Burning Platform"

A must read article:

Thursday, April 14, 2011

A Day In The Fed's Vault

Michael Lewis published a great article yesterday regarding The Fed and their recent practices.  Great stuff:

"Last week the Federal Reserve bravely released 894 PDF files containing 29,346 pages that detailed its heroic actions during the financial crisis.  These documents revealed how open-minded the Fed can be when it needs to be. Local governments in Belgium, Japanese fishing cooperatives, the Libyan government and many other unlikely parties received the Fed’s financial aid. Failing U.S. banks, such as Citigroup and Morgan Stanley (MS), were of course handed whatever they wanted, and permitted to post as collateral pretty much anything they could get their hands on: junk bonds, defaulted debt, volatile equities.  To naive critics this came as just more evidence that the Fed had mistaken the wants of a handful of rich people for the needs of the wider society.  Many Fed spokesmen have wisely declined to comment, many times.  Upon seeing how incapable the public is of understanding its wisdom, the Fed judiciously elected to withhold a second, far longer document."
Michael Lewis

The entire article:

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The 3 C's

"The circumstances that got us here will not lead us out. Watchwords for the future: Community, cooperation & co-dependance at a local level."
The Automatic Earth

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Limitless Growth

"Nothing in conventional economics of any flavor suggests how to create 'growth' when oil is scarce/rationed and it costs $300 per barrel. Having been conceived in daylight, conventional economics has never experienced darkness, and has no way to conceptualize a world without 'limitless growth.'"
Charles Hugh Smith

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Cocaine Crazed Lab Rats

"The Keynesian experiment is being extended to its ultimate point of failure.Interestingly, China, Europe, Japan and the U.S. are all pursuing the same Keynesian credit-expansion Grand Strategy. It is the single tool available to States and Central Banks imprisoned by conventional economic theories, and they are hitting that single policy switch like cocaine-crazed lab rats clamoring for another hit."
Charles Hugh Smith

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Buy On The Cheap

"Most Americans know little about gold. While they sleep, we buy on the cheap."
Sean Broderick, Weiss Research

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Time To Pause And Reflect?

"Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect."
Mark Twain

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The Crash Course - The Book

Way back in April 2009, I highly encouraged everyone to view Chris Martenson's "Crash Course".  Martenson has just released a book on the same topic.  I devoured it this weekend.  He's done an amazing job of quantifying the status of numerous key elements affecting our small world. I highly recommend reading it.

The Crash Course can be viewed at:

Monday, March 28, 2011

Rendezvous With Destiny

“There is a mysterious cycle in human events. To some generations, much is given. Of other generations, much is expected. This Generation has a rendezvous with destiny.” 
Franklin D. Roosevelt

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Teachers & Tomahawks

"You can't fire teachers and tomahawk missiles simultaneously!"
Jon Stewart

Monday, March 21, 2011

We're All In

I just love listening to Team Red and Blue continue to blame each other for everything. The chart below confirms the responsibility.  The answer: they all participated and we did too by accepting "the credit".  Remember "no interest loans"?  Zero percent financing? 4% mortgage refinance?

While Bush I was held back by Sir Greenspan, he wanted to print as much as the others.  This curve is looking outrageously steep too!

True Money Supply (Source: Agora Capital)

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Sayonara Sarah

"Sarah Palin's favorability rating among Republicans continues to slide as the former vice presidential nominee mulls a White House bid, according to a new survey.  A Washington Post/ABC News poll released Wednesday indicates 58 percent of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents give Palin high marks, a 30-point drop from her favorability rating among the same group in the weeks leading up to the 2008 presidential election. It also marks a 12-point drop from a Washington Post/ABC News poll last fall when the former Alaska governor traveled the country on behalf of a string of congressional candidates."
Source: CNN

"I may have missed my opportunity to 'call a top' to Palin's euphoric rise.  The fact that some are trying to pin responsibility on her for the shootings in Tuscon might indicate she's 'playing the back nine' when it comes to popularity.  The commencement of the reality show for sure will pinpoint the 'all time high'.  It can only be downhill from here."
Random Roving, January 24, 2011

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Another Steep Sandpile?

This sandpile sure is looking steep to me.  I compiled these on 2/10/11.

A Golden Earthquake Dip?

On January 25, I made the pitch for a buy of GLD on the dip at 129/share.  That one worked out really well.  Maybe a buy today on this "earthquake dip" at 136 will be another steal.
Gold ETF (GLD)

The Mob Is On A Roll

Chalk up another one for the angry mob!

"Miami-Dade County voters recalled their top elected official Tuesday, culminating an effort financed by a billionaire car dealer and fueled by frustrations over a poor economy and unpopular policy decisions.  Some 88% of 200,347 voters elected to oust Republican Carlos Alvarez, with 707 of 829 precincts reporting, along with early and absentee ballots.  Mr. Alvarez easily won re-election in 2008 as mayor of Miami-Dade, the county of 2.5 million residents that includes the city of Miami. But a recall effort gained momentum last fall when he agreed to a budget that raised the county's property taxes while increasing pay to unionized public employees. 'The voters have spoken and a time of healing and reconciliation must now begin,' Mr. Alvarez said in a statement Tuesday night.  In an interview last week, Mr. Alvarez had said he would consider campaigning for his old job in a special election. But in the statement he sounded content. 'I wish the next Mayor of Miami-Dade County much success.'"
Source: Wall Street Journal

Entire article:

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Nukes Under Construction

"The Daily Reckoning" reports that of the nuclear power plants that are currently under construction around the world, of these, 42% reside in China; 16% in Russia and 11% in India. The G-7 countries, combined, account for only 3% of all nuclear plants currently under construction.

With the recent events in Japan, the U.S. is unlikely to shift strategies anytime soon. Now the Chinese, well that's another story. I'm sure that they'll "stay the course" on their energy plan. How nice it must be to have one!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Japan's China Syndrome

After reading articles about the Japanese nuclear reactor this weekend, I decided to watch the movie "China Syndrome". An interesting watch. With this current event in Japan, we've probably just pushed back any nuclear initiative another ten years. One should first ask the question, "should we build nuclear reactors on subduction zones known as 'The Ring of Fire?'".  Obvious question today, but the entire country has this same geography problem.  Japan has no natural resources and a nuclear initiative with an unstable subsurface. What's one to do?

This event will definitely  push back the conversation.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Right On Track

"In a downward trending mass social mood, it's very likely that labor strikes will become very popular again. We might even see a professional sports strike in the next few years. An angry mob loves a strike and a picket line. The cycle will likely bring unions back to strength as fear and anger 'drives the herd closer together'"
Random Roving, November 24, 2009

"Unable to decide how to divvy up $9 billion a year, NFL owners and players put the country's most popular sport in limbo by breaking off labor negotiations hours before their contract expired. At midnight, as Friday became Saturday, the owners locked out the players -- creating the NFL's first work stoppage since 1987 and putting the 2011 season in jeopardy."
Source: TH Online

"Union leaders say they plan to use the passage of anti-union legislation in Wisconsin to fire up working people nationwide. The measure approved today takes away most bargaining rights for most public workers in Wisconsin. Union leaders say they'll mount a major counterattack against Republicans at the ballot box in 2012."
Source: 9&10 New

Friday, March 11, 2011

Earthquake Video Footage


Practice What You Preach?

Being nonpartisan and an independent thinker provides one the opportunity to laugh at news like the one posted below.  Isn't it ironic that Team Red is preaching about decreasing spending, yet the RNC has $23 million in debt.  Too funny.  It's also been reported that former chairman Steele spend $2 million in his final two weeks.  What a party that must have been!!

"As Republicans and Democrats prepare for what is sure to be a contentious 2012 election cycle, the Republican National Committee finds itself $23 million in debt, committee chairman Reince Priebus announced on Monday.  Priebus said the RNC's year-end report would announce $21 million in debt for 2010, but that updated figures put the debt at approximately $23 million.  'While the year-end FEC report reveals the Republican National Committee is $21 million in debt, I believe it is best to get out all the facts as we know them associated with our financial position,' Priebus said in a statement. 'To date, the committee has approximately $23 million in debt: $15 million in loans, and $8 million owed to vendors.'"
Source: CBS News

We Are Small

Another day that the earth reminds us how small we really are.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Funny The Way It Is

"Funny The Way It Is" - Dave Matthews Band
Lying in the park on a beautiful day
Sunshine in the grass and the children play
Sirens pass in fire engine red
Someone's house is burning down on a day like this

The evening comes and we're hanging out
On the front step and a car goes by with the windows rolled down
And that War song is playing
"Why can't we be friends?"
Someone is screaming and crying in the apartment upstairs

Funny the way it is
If you think about it
Somebody's going hungry and someone else is eating out
Funny the way it is
Not right or wrong
Somebody's heart is broken and it becomes your favorite song

The way your mouth feels in your lover's kiss
Like a pretty bird on the breeze or water to a fish
A bomb blast brings the building crashing to the floor
Hear the laughter while the children play war

Funny the way it is
If you think about it
One kid walks ten miles to school, another's dropping out
Funny the way it is
Not right or wrong
On a soldier's last breath, his baby's being born

Standing on a bridge
Watch the water passing underneath
It must have been much harder when there was no bridge, just water
Now the world is small
Remember how it used to be
With mountains and oceans and winters and rivers and stars?

Watch the sky, a jet plane so far out of my reach
Is there someone up there looking down on me?
A boy sees a bird, so close but every time
He'll never catch her but he can't stop trying

Funny the way it is
If you think about it
One kid walks ten miles to school, another's dropping out
Funny the way it is
Not right or wrong
On a soldier's last breath, his baby's being born

Funny the way it is
Not right or wrong
Somebody's broken heart becomes your favorite song
Funny the way it is
If you think about it
One kid walks ten miles to school, another's dropping out

Standing on a bridge
Watch the water passing underneath
It must have been much harder when there was no bridge, just water
Now the world is small
Remember how it used to be
With mountains and oceans and winters and rivers and stars?

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Deja Vu All Over Again?

"We are spending more money than we have ever spent before, and it does not work... After eight years of this administration, we have just as much unemployment as when we started...and an enormous debt, to boot." Treasury Secretary Henry Morgenthau conceded to Congress in 1939

Monday, March 7, 2011

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Today's Tom Joad

“And the great owners, who must lose their land in an upheaval, the great owners with access to history, with eyes to read history and to know the great fact: when property accumulates in too few hands it is taken away. And that companion fact: when a majority of the people are hungry and cold they will take by force what they need. And the little screaming fact that sounds through all history: repression works only to strengthen and knit the repressed.”
John Steinbeck – "Grapes of Wrath"

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Kinda Corny

"The smallest corn inventories in 37 years are a sign farmers around the globe are failing to produce enough grain to meet rising consumption, even as planting expands and food prices surge."
Source: Bloomberg

"Commodities gone wild: Things will rise rapidly in, fuel, gold, oil, grains, uranium, copper."
Random Roving, January 1, 2010

And yes, there is a corn ETF (symbol CORN).

Corn ETF

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

At The Foot Of The Volcano

I always conclude one thing after reading a book or article written by Thomas Friedman, "the guy knows the Eastern geopolitical scene extremely well".  His most recent NY Times article is significant:

"What’s unfolding in the Arab world today is the mother of all wake-up calls. And what the voice on the other end of the line is telling us is clear as a bell: 'America, you have built your house at the foot of a volcano. That volcano is now spewing lava from different cracks and is rumbling like it’s going to blow. Move your house!” In this case, “move your house” means “end your addiction to oil.”  No one is rooting harder for the democracy movements in the Arab world to succeed than I am. But even if things go well, this will be a long and rocky road. The smart thing for us to do right now is to impose a $1-a-gallon gasoline tax, to be phased in at 5 cents a month beginning in 2012, with all the money going to pay down the deficit. Legislating a higher energy price today that takes effect in the future, notes the Princeton economist Alan Blinder, would trigger a shift in buying and investment well before the tax kicks in. With one little gasoline tax, we can make ourselves more economically and strategically secure, help sell more Chevy Volts and free ourselves to openly push for democratic values in the Middle East without worrying anymore that it will harm our oil interests. Yes, it will mean higher gas prices, but prices are going up anyway, folks. Let’s capture some it for ourselves."

Read the remainder of the article

Monday, February 21, 2011

Finally, The Truth

The facade continues to crumble across the world, but we finally have one politician speaking the truth:

“For us, this is about balancing the budget. We've got a $3.6 billion budget deficit. We are broke. Just like nearly every other state across the country, we're broke. It's about time somebody stood up and told the truth.”
Gov. Scott Walker, R-Wisc., on “FOX News Sunday”

Meanwhile the jackasses that the Wisconsin people elected into office have fled the state.  Unbelievable.  Time to organize a sheriff's posse to go find them and put them behind bars.

The unions across the world continue to make the news.  Hmmmmm.
"In a downward trending mass social mood, it's very likely that labor strikes will become very popular again. We might even see a professional sports strike in the next few years. An angry mob loves a strike and a picket line. The cycle will likely bring unions back to strength as fear and anger 'drives the herd closer together'."
Random Roving, "Three Strikes You're Out", November 29, 2009

"Reading about the British Airways strike over the past week made me realize that organized labor strikes don't occur that much anymore. The last significant one that I remember was when The Gipper defeated the air traffic controllers. I quickly had the Google Elves do some research, and sure enough since 1980 (the beginning of the SuperSizeMe Era), strikes have basically been nonexistent....interesting. Does the British Airways strike signal a "change in trend"? The tea partiers probably think so. Stay tuned."
Random Roving, "3 Strikes, You're Out", March 27, 2010

Monday, February 14, 2011

On To Iran

I can't say that I've ever heard a President or VP try to incite a riot in another country.  Ole Joe had this to say:
“I say to our Iranian friends, let your people march, let your people speak, release your people from jail, let them have a voice.”

Source: The Courier Journal

All I can say is, "be careful what you wish for".

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Gates On Rose

I highly recommend that everyone watch this interview.  The first part of the interview focuses on world health, and during the remainder of the interview, Gates speaks very frankly about some key issues facing the world.  Watch and learn.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Contracting Multiculturalism

"Nicolas Sarkozy declares multiculturalism had failed. French president Nicolas Sarkozy on Thursday declared that multiculturalism had failed, joining a growing number of world leaders or ex-leaders who have condemned it.  'We have been too concerned about the identity of the person who was arriving and not enough about the identity of the country that was receiving him,' he said in a television interview in which he declared the concept a 'failure'. Prime Minister David Cameron last month pronounced his country's long-standing policy of multiculturalism a failure, calling for better integration of young Muslims to combat home-grown extremism. German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Australia's former prime minister John Howard and former Spanish prime minister Jose Maria Aznar have also in recent months said multicultural policies have not successfully integrated immigrants."
Source: The Telegraph

 "Xenophobia is a powerful force in the down cycle."
Random Roving, October 9, 2007

Xenophobia continues to rise at an alarming rate.
Random Roving, November 6, 2009

"Although the language of race has rarely been explicitly invoked, terms like 'Marxist,' 'Nazi,'extremist', and 'foreigner' have been used to smuggle racism and xenophobia into the public conversation without political consequence."
Marc Lamont Hill, Columbia University professor and FOX News contributor

Friday, February 4, 2011

The Fury

"The mob doesn't think. It has no mind of its own."
Joe Wilson (Spencer Tracy's character in "The Fury")

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Prechter On The Rebellion

"When the bottom is at hand or already in place, the rage will be greater and more widespreead, and there will be no question what the rebellion is about."
Robert Prechter - Elliott Wave Financial Forecast - April 2009

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Relaxed On "Economy"

I've made a few posts over the last few years highlighting Google's cool "Trends" technology.  They provide the ability to chart the volume of searches and news items relating to a search word or phrase.  The chart provides a great insight into what is on the minds of the "masses".  The chart below on the word "economy" presents a few interesting conclusions.  First, it appears that we've greatly relaxed with regards to the economy.  The searches are must lower than they have been over the past few years.  The second insight is that no matter what the economy is, we care less about it during the summer.  Lulls consistently show up during the summer months. The third observation is that in most years, the economy is on our minds more in the early part of the year than the end.  A final observation is on the lower half of the chart where the news reference volume appears.  Note that at the beginning of 2008, there was a significant increase in news stories that ultimately preceeded the great contraction in the fall of that same year. 

So, does our relaxed attitude bode anything about the future??

Google Trends Search on "economy"

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The Next Internet Blockage

It appears that Syria is the next to turn off the Internet.  A new ploy for "crowd control".

"Just like Egypt, Syria too is said to have made some similar moves in an attempt to stop the rebellious voices coming up. Syria too has reportedly blocked the internet on the same day as on Egypt."


Monday, January 31, 2011

Anger & Hope

"It all began in one small Tunisia town with one despondent man, frustrated by lack of employment who set himself on fire and in turn set the whole Arab world ablaze with anger and hope. As the dominos fall throughout the Arab and northern African world, many of us wonder what is waiting on the other side. Will the people in these countries get the freedom and hope they desire?"
Source: Africana Online

An updated N. African protest map.  The "nodes on the network" continue to connect.  It might be a good time for a re-read of Gladwell's "Tipping Point"!

Protest Map - N. Africa / Middle East
I've used my analogy of The Onion probably too much, but my "Argentina-Onion" post still ranks as my highest visited ever.  The N. African onion layers are peeling back quickly.  What's interesting, is that right across the "Mediterranean pond" there are countries such as Spain, Italy, and Portugal that are in much more financial trouble, but the power of the EU keeps them afloat.  When the outer layers of the EU onion peel back further, it will be interesting to watch.  Tunisia, Algeria, and Jordan haven't really attracted major news coverage, but Egypt sure has.  Why, because Egypt is a more important peace in the "chess game".  A U.S. ally, but a country with a long history of major conflict in the region, especially with our good friends in Israel.  Stay tuned.

China's Approach

I've made a few posts lately regarding the use of technology for the purposes of organizing protests across the Northern African countries.  Facebook, Twitter, and Blogging appears to be the method for communicating and organizing amongst these angry youth.  I thought this was interesting to see how the Chinese are proactively preparing for potential uprising.

"Even China, worried about its citizens being inspired by the uprisings, disabled searches for the word "Egypt" on some internet services, underscoring Beijing's continued concern over the Internet and its potential to access anti-government information and organize opposition to China's ruling Communist Party."
Source: LA Times

Terrorist Technology

This one has to make one chuckle.

"A "Black Widow" suicide bomber planned a terrorist attack in central Moscow on New Year's Eve but was killed when an unexpected text message set off her bomb too early, according to Russian security sources.  The unnamed woman, who is thought to be part of the same group that struck Moscow's Domodedovo airport on Monday, intended to detonate a suicide belt near Red Square on New Year's Eve in an attack that could have killed hundreds.  Security sources believe a message from her mobile phone operator wishing her a happy new year received just hours before the planned attack triggered her suicide belt, killing her at a safe house."
Source: Leader Post

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Sudan's Secessation

I spoke with my "One World Order" buddy last week. He's still convinced that the "powers that be" behind the scenes are moving us to a single currency across the globe.  I still argue that in late 1999 we entered a contraction cycle where cooperation declines and treaties dissolve.  I've stated many times in the past that I believe that the European Union will be the key one to watch.  Also stated before, it will happen on different levels. Countries will pull back and we'll likely see it on the state level in the United States.  When the boat starts to take on water, we'll see who gets thrown overboard.

The most recent example of separation is occuring in Sudan. 
"While the world media zealously focus their gaze on Egypt’s political upheaval, there is another storm brewing just south of the border in Sudan. We might witness, as early as next month, the genesis of a new nation. After years of civil unrest and conflicts, the people of southern Sudan are knocking on the door of independence. It is time we welcomed the birth of a new nation, albeit with a pinch of salt.  Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, who came to power by staging a military coup in 1989, leads a government of national unity that includes leaders from southern Sudan. A national unity "which has limited autonomy and which has been promised the option of full independence in a referendum in 2011,” according to the BBC. The casting of votes for this referendum is finished and 99 percent of southern Sudanese have opted for independence from the north.  According to the BBC, Sudan is the largest and most geographically diverse nation on the African continent. After the formal disassociation from the joint British-Egyptian rule in 1956, Sudan has gone through several decades of civil wars, which have resulted in 1.5 million deaths. This civil unrest between northern and southern Sudan is Africa’s longest-running civil war. The loss of human lives on this scale deserves a justifiable end."
Source: The Daily Evergreen

Saturday, January 29, 2011

The Power of The Sheeple

My bubby, J, shared this one with me. Note the trucks moving in reverse. The power of the people.

This scene brings back memories.

Mega Tipping Point

Will this be mega-millionare minister/life coach Joel Osteen's tipping point to the back nine?

"Evangelist Joel Osteen, who rarely uses the condemnatory word "sin," rolls it out for homosexuality in his CNN interview with Piers Morgan that aired this week."
Source: USA Today

"Religion will become smaller, "deeper", and more traditional. The megachurch and megamillionaire ministers might have seen "the peak". Hopefully they saved all of those millions from the book deals. The trend toward more "traditional" might spark some old flames. Keep an eye out for increased religious conflict though."

"Ted Haggard kicked off the trend and Robert Schuller was the next major pillar to fall. When will Joel Osteen's basketball palace collapse?"

"Haggard told the GQ reporter that if he were 21, he might call himself a bisexual.  But at age 54, he's not going to do that. Especially after his wife published a book called "Why I Stayed," and after he's now turned into an insurance salesman and founded his new St. James Church.  Haggard says he's set boundaries for himself and staying heterosexual and monogamous with his wife Gayle."
Source: KDVR Fox News

Dilbert Investing Tips

This from Scott Adams, the creator of Dilbert.  It's a great chuckle.  His theory is buy stock in companies that you hate.

"If you buy stock in a despicable company, it means some of the previous owners of that company sold it to you. If the stock then rises more than the market average, you successfully screwed the previous owners of the hated company. That's exactly like justice, only better because you made a profit. Then you can sell your stocks for a gain and donate all of your earnings to good causes, such as education for your own kids. Having absorbed all of the wisdom I have presented here so far, you are naturally wondering if I have any additional investment tips. Yes, and I will put my tips in the form of a true story. Recently I bought something called an iPhone. It drops calls so often that I no longer use it for audio conversations. It's too frustrating. And unlike my old BlackBerry days, I don't send e-mail on the iPhone because the on-screen keyboard is, as far as I can tell, an elaborate practical joke. I am, however, willing to respond to incoming text messages a long as they are in the form of yes-no questions and my answer are in the affirmative. In those cases I can simply type "k," the shorthand for OK, and I have trained my friends and family to accept L, J, O, or comma as meaning the same thing.  The other day I was in the Apple Store, asking how to repair a defective Apple laptop, and decided, irrationally, that I needed to have Apple's new iPad. The smiling Apple employee said she would be willing to put me on a list so I could wait an indefinite amount of time to maybe someday have one. I instinctively put my wallet on my nose and started barking like a seal, thinking it might reduce the wait time, but they're so used to seeing that maneuver that it didn't help.  My point is that I hate Apple. I hate that I irrationally crave their products, I hate their emotional control over my entire family, I hate the time I waste trying to make iTunes work, I hate how they manipulate my desires, I hate their closed systems, I hate Steve Jobs's black turtlenecks, and I hate that they call their store employees Geniuses which, as far as I can tell, is actually true. My point is that I wish I had bought stock in Apple five years ago when I first started hating them. But I hate them more every day, which is a positive sign for investing, so I'll probably buy some shares.  Again, I remind you to ignore me."
The entire article:

Friday, January 28, 2011

Handcuffing The Kids

"Currently, your child's share of the national debt is around $45,000. Come 2015, provided current trends continue, it'll be bumping up against $70,000. China will own an unnervingly large portion of that debt. If policy makers in the US are so concerned about China's human rights record and its monetary meddling, how can they possibly justify shackling their children with debt handcuffs that are, so to speak, 'Made in China'?"
Source: Joel Bowma, The Daily Reckoning

P.S. See "Passing Along The Cancer"

Thursday, January 27, 2011

The Mammalian Herd

"Algerian opposition supporters clashed with police during a banned protest in the capital, Algiers, on Saturday."
Source: CBS

"Thousands of Yemenis are demonstrating in the capital Sanaa, calling on Ali Abdullah Saleh, president for more than 30 years, to step down."
Source: BBC

"Thousands of Egyptians have vented their rage against President Hosni Mubarak's autocratic government for two straight days of protests that defied a ban on public gatherings."
Source: The Jerusalem Post

"Inspired by Tunisia and Egypt, Yemenis join in anti-government protests."
Source: The Washington Post

Can one really argue that we're not just one big herd of mammals?

Protest Map - N. Africa/Middle East

You're On Your Own - Part II

 "There are no end of commentaries on the recent murders in Arizona, resulting in the usual debates. Pundits argue over whether there should be stricter gun laws, whether talk radio, the movies, or “extremism” contributed to the tragedy, and, most obtusely, what the government should do to prevent a similar incident from occurring again. What is lost is the fact that this tragedy provides yet more proof of something that has been demonstrated to Americans repeatedly over the past decade. The government cannot protect you from the harsh realities of life.  Most people are good people, most of the time. Under normal circumstances, most people would rather cooperate with their fellow human beings in order to achieve their goals rather than steal from them or kill them. However, some people, at least some of the time, do not “live and let live.” During every moment that we are alive, someone somewhere is committing a crime. Someone is experiencing hardship, whether due to their own bad judgment, laziness, or just plain bad luck. Worst of all, someone is planning to commit an act of violence. These truths are confirmed by all of human history.  What is unique about the time that we live in now is the extent to which people believe that the government can shield them from these challenges. Never has a society had such high expectations of their government to ensure their security - both personal and economic security. The early 21st century is truly a high-water mark in terms of belief in government to eliminate all risk from the game of life. Over and over, we are offered proof of how foolish this misplaced faith is."
Source: Tom Mullen (The Daily Paul)
Reading this article made me think of Hurricane Katrina and the videos of the police looting the stores with the hoodlums.