Closing Bell YouTubing

Well, not really much market commentary today. Since my good day on Tuesday I've stayed out of the market, save for longer time-frame positions that are doing fine with time premium melting away towards September options expiration on the 21st. For the short term swing plays that can last anywhere from minutes to a few days, I've gotten to where if I have any reasonable hesitation, I just wait for a better "feeling." Monday afternoon, I bought those puts without a second of hesitation and then rode them for every penny Tuesday, got out a minute before the bell -- and Wednesday the market would have taken back every last dime of profit had I tried to ride it for more. These huge swings are great, when you can catch 'em, but they'll kill you if you're not careful. So, weird week. Ended up pretty much where it started with lots in between. I was going to post something else entirely, but YouTube doesn't yet have a version I'm happy with, so I've got another treat. Think you could guess my favorite Led Zeppelin tune? Stairway, right? Nope. Black Dog? No way. Whole Lotta Love? Great one; but no. Dazed...


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Arrivée

Arnold, CA. Just minutes ago. The cabin. Maybe I'll stir some shit over the weekend right here.


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Two Funny Things

1. Funny: This post on the completely undefined or distinguished "Conservative Revolution." 2. Funnier: The seven comments (so far). If Paul accomplishes nothing but expose the republicans for the slithery and unprincipled reptiles they've become, then it'll be something, I guess. At minimum, it should be interesting. I'm pretty confident that Paul will soon command "top tier" status simply because the media is being embarrassed right and left and the coverage volume is increasing pretty rapidly already. The resistance is understandable. On principle, integrity, and honesty, Paul is simply unassailable. He's completely bullet proof, so the only way, really, to counter him -- when you have no choice but to -- is to either mimic him -- but without a shred of integrity or track record -- or push even farther to the left and talk about how "the world has changed" and how big government is essential and Republicans are simply going to have to get on board. Once he's recognized top tier, it's kinda tough to ridicule him because you're ridiculing his supporters, whose votes you wish to secure. Paul is the ultimate Republican wedge, and I'll just love it if he just blows the shit out of...


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Euphemisms and Distinctions

At least I was able to laugh Driving home from breakfast, I mustered the nerve to switch over to NPR and listen to a "debate" (euphemism for phony opposition) over California's health care "crisis" (euphemism for manufactured hysteria). I learned that what we need is a "plan" (euphemism for scam) for a "system" (euphemism for absolute control by the state and select privileged companies) in order save us from the "random hodge podge" (euphemism for free market and ultimate control by customers) that currently exists. Most importantly, we learn that what Schwarzenegger most certainly "doesn't want to do" (euphemism for exactly what he will do) is to create another "giant bureaucracy" (euphemism for bad before the fact and good after the fact, when fake jobs are at stake). Yea, that's where I really lost it. On the bright side, they were reading some listener emails and actually had the nerve to read one from someone with some brains, asking why they kept referring to it as "insurance," when what it is is pre-paid heath care. If you buy something that covers all routine and major maintenance on your car, you don't call that "insurance." It's a maintenance contract, and it's...


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Rats or Cockroaches; No Matter; When the Light Gets Flipped On, It’s All the Same Scene

That was my line out loud, just a few minutes ago in the locker room over at the gym in response to this on the Teevee, which earned a round of laughs and nods from the guys. It's fair to say we were all very surprised by this. That's the typically lying hag bag of shit, Hillary!; who else? You know, it's difficult for me to recall -- going back to 1991 here -- a single time I have ever heard her open her fat trap when I thought she was being sincere and honest. Bill, too, mostly; but at least he always had a certain charm of being a bit difficult to dislike just because. Not her; that pathetic bitch has made me nauseous from day one: every single time I have the misfortune of laying eyes on her ugly mug. Loathing; I can't think of any other way to describe it. So now a bunch of democrats, once again, are shocked -- shocked -- to find they've taken "dirty" money and are scurrying as fast as they can to return it. Rats or cockroaches; no matter. Disclaimer: for those unfamiliar 'round here, I couldn't really care less about...


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The “Poverty” Swindle

Warren Meyer does his usual superb job in cataloging the mass of lies that always go into this sort of thing -- always. But be my guest; you're always welcome to keep being the leftists' fools. It's the only way they can possibly survive and operate. Without fools, both parties would cease to exist of course; by my bet is the democrats would collapse first. To state it another way: that "99%" of politicians lie about "99%" of the time is not causal; not at all. It's not even necessarily harmful, taken alone. What's causal, and what makes it harmful is that you, dear American, believe it most of the time. Are you one of their perfect fools; their very own useful idiot?


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“Rebublican Renaissance”

I've just spent a rather enthralling 45 minutes watching the video, Ron Paul: A Man For All Seasons. It's very, very tight in terms of coherence to a simple set of principles; it's comprehensive in terms of the message it seeks to deliver and the impressive volume of sources it uses; and it's put together by one David McClain, an apparent "nobody," like you or I. I like the substantial, all-caps tag line to his blog, Republican Renaissance. "THIS IS ABOUT CHANGING THE DIRECTION OF THE REPUBLICAN PARTY. IT'S A CALL TO TRUE CONSERVATIVES WHO FEEL THEIR PARTY HAS BEEN LED ASTRAY, STEERED BY AMBITIOUS BIG-GOVERNMENT POLITICIANS FUNDAMENTALLY INDISTINGUISHABLE FROM THEIR COUNTERPARTS ON THE LEFT. JETTISON THE PRETENDERS, THE SLOGANEERING MOUNTEBANKS, THE PROFLIGATE CAESARS-IN-WAITING, AND SHOW THE COUNTRY A DIFFERENT KIND OF REPUBLICAN. BECAUSE THERE ARE ENOUGH CLINTONS IN POLITICS AS IT IS." For me, the most interesting aspect of this campaign, thus far, is the various and impressive videos being put together by Paul's supporters. I'm certainly not sure if we have a Black Swan in the making, but this is exactly where it's likely to come from if we do end up with one. And now here's the...


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All Your Lies

Yea, I could maybe pick at a thing or two, but the essential message is, to me, quite powerful and moving. I just can't imagine supporters for any of the other candidates being able to come up with anything even close. Anyway, that's apparently the favorite video of this democrat homeschooling mom. I'm a big sucker when it comes to seeing people awaken to freedom, liberty, and honesty for the first time right before my very eyes; and some of the comments to that post are quite interesting as well. I found this paragraph most interesting... That being said, I don’t agree with him on every single issue. Some of what we disagree on is a matter of personal belief or opinion. However, his political views being what they are, any issues we disagree on personally, he believes are best left to the people to decide on, and not our government. Imagine that. An alternative to who gets to force their values upon whom, eh? (via Rockwell)


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Almost as if?

It's almost as if politicians don't really care what lenders are doing, they just want to find an excuse to get a few sound-bites on the local news back in their district and issue some legislation to expand federal power in the banking industry. Ya think? I think I know how how friar William of Ockham would call it. When people politicians find themselves in a heads-I-win, tails-I-win situation, it's had to imagine them not taking advantage of it. That goes a long way towards explaining most politics, and people on every side fall for it every time. The only general way for politicians -- qua parasitic organism -- to lose is for people to quit paying any attention to them. As a class, they don't win and lose elections. It's in the turnout. Just not showing up hands them the only meaningful defeat they will ever encounter.


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Note to Beck

Billy: It's a load of fun, really. When I was on 7th Fleet staff over in WestPac, we staff officers used to get together in various ports and make lots of fun of it. I've "hashed" in the Philippines, Singapore, Malaysia (Penang, not Kuala Lumpur, it's place of origin), Hong Kong, and numerous times in Japan -- including once a course with the terminal point (and beer kegs and BBQ) at my house in Hayama. The looks on the faces of "natives" is unforgettable. Afterwards, we drink beer, eat, and insult one-another in song and lyrics having plenty of f-bombs and other foul and vulgar language. You'd get along great with these kind of people, I'm quite certain. I can't recall Balzac ever coming up, either. (For those of you reading, don't overlook the important aspect of Billy's post detailing the terrorism hysteria.)


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Closing Bell: Beautiful Carnage

I should probably refrain from comment, believing the ancient wisdom that pride cometh before a fall, but this was one hell of a day; one that I happened to guess exactly right. Even though my guess is that we'll be making new highs later this year (Santa Rally), and that could get started anywhere from after Labor Day to a month from now (if...if...), I don't think this correction is over yet, even though we may have already seen the absolute low. This deep of a correction (10%) takes time to stoke up enough fear to shake average guys out of their shares so the big boys can load up cheap. Conversely, in market tops (a-la '98-2000), everyone including your grocery bagger and barber are picking stocks, and whose stocks do you think they're buying? Big boy stocks, as so-called smart money rotates their holdings from net long (they are massively -- like: record -- net long right now) to net short. And so it goes. But anyway, it just so happens that these corrections tend to follow similar patters. They don't have to, of course, but it seems to be that way. It's likely a function of herd mentality....


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Ego “Justice” Update

A bitch of a deal When Linares asked the city to repair the white three-railed fence behind his house, he was told it was on his property and his responsibility. So he replaced the termite-infested planks. Then the city reversed itself and said Linares had illegally built the fence on city property. Now he's going to jail for six months with no possibility of probation or house arrest. I'm sure that will sit well with Farmer's Insurance Co. where Francisco Linares is a district manager. But that's OK. According to the gist of the story, at least L.A. County "Superior" Court Judge Sandra Thompson, who imposed the sentence, is on track for her retirement party, where, now, she won't have to be bothered by the insolent, disobedient Linares. Life's a bitch. Isn't that right, Ms. Thompson? ...Oh, and be sure not to miss page two of that story. I almost did. (via my brother in email)


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Common Denominator?

...Internationally. Worldwide. That's the essential question, and given the nature of the subject matter, it seems pretty clear to me that it's got nothing to do with which group of unfortunate unprivileged gets to bear the expense of majority public policy machinations. However weird, quirky, misguided, foolish, naive, likable or unlikeable, it seems to me there can be only one idea -- one ideal -- that could possibly unite all of these people, worldwide. How many times have I said that America (the ideal) exists all over the world? Here's your evidence and it's very simple to see.


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“Honesty and Competence”

Alberto Gonzales, the nation's first Hispanic attorney general, announced his resignation Monday — ending a nasty, monthslong standoff over his honesty and competence at the helm of the Justice Department. Talk about dropping context. The quite simple fact of the matter is that the first of those concepts forecloses the possibility of the latter in anything having to do with the concept and context of Justice. If one is honestly seeking justice, then competence has rarely ever applied to that particular institution. We're talking about organisms (I'm choosy about the concept "human," too) who -- as just one example -- pursue sick and dying people, and those in pain, and lock them up for the "crime" of exercising their legal rights in local and state jurisdictions (not to mention moral rights, universally) to ease their own suffering with whatever substances they see fit to use. Gonzales ought to live the rest of his life in shame.


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“Land of the Free” Updates

Both from Radley Balko, as usual. First up; Highway Robbery. Should people who carry large sums of cash just assume that there's a small chance the government will simply steal it from them at gunpoint? I rather think there's a small chance that anyone besides the government will steal it from them at gunpoint. The real "funny" part -- and I was just telling someone about this the other day, to their total astonishment -- The DEA's case will be filed as "United States vs. $23,700." Yea; they sue the cash. ...Just so you know and understand the "brilliant" legal "logic" underlying it all. Next... Here's an update on Steve Tucker, a drug war outrage many people have forgotten about. Tucker was just released from a 10-year sentence for the crime of selling otherwise-legal merchandise (grow lights, irrigation equipment, fertilizer) to people who may or may not have then used that merchandise to grow hydroponic marijuana. The story is just an outrage in every conceivable way. I just can't even comment beyond that.


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Closing Bell YouTubing

In an email to a trading group I sponsor, I wrote early Monday that I guessed the market would be up pretty big this week. Indeed, the S&P posted a 34pt gain for nearly 2.5%, the largest up-week that it has been able to hold onto since mid-March. Unfortunately, I only caught half of it. Wednesday's price action looked like it could stall, so I took modest profits and am now in wait to catch the next move down, which will probably be necessary to attract sufficient additional buyers for an eventual blast to the upside, squeezing the shorts to cover, equaling even more buying and new highs this fall. As always, my focus will be to look for signs that this outlook is wrong, rather than to pick and choose among data that "tends" to "confirm" what I "think" or would like to see happen. But it was a good week. I'll take it. And here's Tom Petty bringin' it, in what I think is probably the best Rap song ever recorded.


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Sell Us Your Strocks Cheap, Please

One of, if not my favorite trader blogger, Carl Futia, is right on the money, I think. Oh, sure, he could be wrong -- we all can always be wrong -- but what's important is that the price for being wrong can be minimal (you'll know soon enough), but the price for being wrong in the other direction could be very costly indeed, in terms of missed opportunity. So, yep, when you see the doom and gloom headlines and stories regarding the market, at least consider a couple of possibilities beyond the conventional (crowd) "wisdom" that the sky, or a part thereof, is falling. The first is that these sorts of sell offs and the ensuing panic and ominous headlines and stories are very advantageous for those interested in dumping a bunch more money into the market. What better way than to take advantage of everyone getting scared out of their positions and selling cheap? The other possibility (separately or in concert) is to consider that it is the "job" of the media, in general, to "report" to you what you want or expect to hear. That makes you feel smart, vigilant, on top of everything; someone not about to...


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moneymoneymoney…MONEY!

Some people...got t' have it I'll start off blunt: I've always thought (well, since I started thinking) the idea of a "gold standard" -- or any commodity-based backing for currency -- is wrongheaded; not primitive, per se, but certainly not advanced beyond the industrialization of the 19th century. It's for concrete-bound, barely conceptual (in a financial sense) people who lack imagination, and, really, a fundamental notion of human potential and that most human of attributes: risk taking. Gold-backed money is for people who want essentially no risk tied to their currency. OK, and if the State didn't force a monopoly on it, they could invent a currency backed by whatever, and see if it takes off. But given the reality of the matter, the problem is the State's monopoly, not the structure or fundamental methodology of the currency itself. And, you have options. You can go buy gold (or whatever). You can do it in the form of stocks, funds, ETFs, or just call up a dealer and buy physical precious metals (the safest way). My grandfather was this sort of man. In addition to the stockpiles of rice, beans, and other hermetically sealed staple foods, he owned lots of...


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Noteworthy

Those who know and understand the enormous costs involved in general aviation ought to take note of this. 50 MPG; 170 MPH; $70k brand new. If it pans out, that's a smokin' deal, let me tell you. Update. Here's an inflight view from the cockpit. Yes, please.


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