Zombie State Accentuated in Canada October 17th

I’m highly suspect that the legalization of cannabis will become a net positive for Canada. In fact, I believe it will accentuate the zombie state. You see, already there are vast numbers of people in our society who have difficulty functioning at a high level because of a poor education system, a poor work ethic, poorly engrained values, an entitlement mentality, a daily hangover, and sleep deprivation.

In recent times, you don’t have to travel far to identify an indifferent customer service representative, a dispassionate reservation clerk, a vacant politician, a selfish tailgater, a stupefied crosswalk texter, or an ambivalent professional. Have these lower functioning souls been aberrated by mind altering substances, lesser cognitive acuity, or are they simply subjects of traits akin to the aforementioned? Could they be tempted away from ambition by the neural effects of cannabis ingestion? Could their ingestion of cannabis improve their productivity? I’m guessing you’re thinking, no.

You’ve seen the new urban train platforms with the big wide yellow bubble strips at the cusp of the train’s alley. You may think they’re there to aid the disabled, but perhaps they’re there in anticipation of the new cannabis legislation? Although I kid, not about the degree of smarts that your government awards you credit. Perhaps, your government would actually like to see you become more docile as a citizen through the cannabis habit so that you’ll become less abrasive in your opposition to their liberal agenda?

Your country, Canada, is a first world nation largely in part because of a value system which included the purity of a cerebral mind implemented in order to build and industrialize. In fact, the Canadian government prohibited alcohol when the seriousness of World War I became apparent. Times though have changed. A new industry has blossomed (pun obviously intended) and capitalists can now take pride in selling a product which has not historically been aligned with the freshness of mind synonymous with the capitalist ideal.

There will be those who will genuinely benefit from taking marijuana in order to alleviate symptoms of physiology. Unfortunately, there will be many who will wrongly look to it instead of within for answers pertinent to their homeostatic well being.

Nike’s “Believe In Something”

I agree. Believe in something and while doing it, undertake the process for change available to every other citizen in your country rather than grand standing at the sidelines of a sports venue.  Western democracies are endowed with the right of speech freedom. This right empowers citizens irrespective of race, sex, or religious affiliation to express themselves in the public domain. What is the public domain? Well, you can write a letter. You can recite your beliefs on a street corner. You can visit a government official. You can attend a political rally.  You can start a political party. You can espouse your beliefs in conversation. You can light up the twitter sphere with one liners. You can form an organization as a form of lobby. As you can see, the opportunity to freely express oneself has many outlets.

Colin Kaepernick had chosen a method of expression convenient to him in an apolitical domain – the football arena in a football uniform employed by a football franchise in the spotlight broadcast around North America via television. He chose an outlet reserved for an occasion other than politics and it was his right. The interesting thing about his behaviour is that his employer has the right to sanction him accordingly for behaviour not in accordance with his duty.  His behaviour will obviously impact the perceptions of other potential employers.  Some citizens loyal to his cause may empathize with his plight and even lavish him with praise of courage. However; it would be misplaced. I view Colin Kaepernick as a career martyr deserving of his plight. I consider him lazy for not pursuing the outlets of expression available to him with the same vigour in parallel to the apparent passion he brings to a cause.  

As for Nike’s endorsement of him, I’ve been avoiding Nike in stores for decades.

One Proud Sportsman Dismayed

I grew up on the sport field playing baseball. My dad taught me sportsmanship and he coached his fifth son part time whenever he was home early enough from the mine. The lesson was always simple….do your best, play by the rules, and bestow respect to your opponent and elders. In spite of your best, you will lose. Losses will inspire you to improve. 

Oftentimes, I reference a simple decision to terminate my cable television. This act has become so metaphoric in more ways than one. Thankfully, I did not witness the unfortunate turn of events at the women’s final of the U.S. Open today. The award ceremony and write up was enough.  The charade unfortunately reminds me of the unfortunate past of John McEnroe and his childishness of yesteryear. 

Elite athletes train throughout their youth to reach the pinnacle of their sport. Today, a new champion emerged but the euphoric sentiment of her biggest sporting achievement ever was simply hijacked from her today in the face of unsportsmanlike conduct of Serena Williams and the classless behaviour of New York spectators. To add insult to injury, Williams decided to become the protagonist in defeat by placating the crowd having sensed the void of joy in the hapless victor Naomi Osaka.

U.S. Open officials just couldn’t hold back by releasing a statement in the conclusion of the match referencing racquet smashing insult wielding Williams with the remarks “Serena at all times plays with class and makes us proud”.

Unfortunately, when the athletic arena is represented by narcissistic whining brats in addition to society’s other classless acts from which we’ve grown accustomed (I know who you’re thinking of), it’s disheartening. You simply hope to find virtue in sport. 

  

Cognitive Dissonance and The Markets

Okay. It’s not my term (cognitive dissonance) but I like it. Dr. Jim Willie has used it in reference to what he believes to be malaise and the failure of 90 per cent of us who are failing to connect the dots in respect of the current shift underway pertaining to the economic “reset”. In his August 4th interview with X22 Report Spotlight, Jim metaphorically and substantially and endearingly refers to dialogue with his father as being someone as part of the 90 per cent group. As a music hobbyist, I’m familiar with dissonance as being a sound which clashes within a key and I relate to its contextual use. Jim displays noticeable frustration by those who have difficulty seeing the implications of events simply as they are with perhaps the luxury of not having lived through the great depression. One particular example of dissonance is official government statistics of inflation compared to your neighbours street feel assessment of inflation. 

At every turn in the news right now we are inundated with the political bizarre and I can’t help but wonder if folks have become so distracted with the Washington drama that they’ve been numbed by potential underlying distress of the financial system.  Consider this. Is it possible that there is actual good work going on in Washington unbeknownst to you and withheld from you because of the larger implication of crisis which could unfold should you be notified? Have you been prepared by your system of education to understand risks inherent to the financial system? If the system is in fact at risk and the risk has grown, what do you know about how to protect yourself? What about 2015 Greece, 1923 Germany, 2002 Argentina, 2018 Venezuela? What did their citizens believe regarding their economies prior to dramatic negative economic events. 

I’m writing about this because it’s not that difficult to create a hedge against something bad happening. Remember what your investment advisor said when your portfolio collapsed 30 per cent back in 2008? Don’t worry, it’ll come back. Well it may have taken 10 years so I guess they were right. Have you ever heard an investment advisor talk about the opportunity cost of 10 years of lost compounding?

   

Nazareth in Calgary Aug 18, 2018

The only member left from the original member is bassist Pete Agnew but this group plays cohesively led by front man Carl Sentance. In fact it was remarkable to hear how easily Carl hits the high pitches typical of Nazareth’s hit tracks from the seventies. Original vocalist Dan McCafferty’s voice was raspier but I actually prefer the tonality of Sentance.

The band surprisingly brought “This Flight Tonight” and “Razamanaz” early in the set. Lead guitarist Jimmy Murrison made good use of his slide in “This flight” and Sentance got the place hummin’ with the quick tempo of “Raz”. The vast experience of Agnew on bass in concert with son Lee kept exquisite rhythm throughout the evening.

Although, never a big fan of classic “Hair of The Dog”, its signature guitar riff was unmistakable and had the audience standing at attention. “Love Hurts” was beautifully played and coloured the evening with a melancholy calm. 

“Shanghai’d in Shanghai” was one of my favourites of the evening along with an unidentifiable transcending rock rhythm piece.

Sentance donned an acoustic electric guitar for one song titled “Sunshine”. It was probably the one pronounced track of the evening which would have been better presented in studio.  Ironically it was this part of the evening where stage lighting encountered technical difficulty.

My sense was that Murrison may not have been at his best on this night having missed a particular guitar piece but it’s hard to criticize his chops. 

Certainly, many throughout the Grey Eagle Resort’s event centre were ill prepared with no ear protection. Smaller venues with big bands mean big sounds and the requisite for ear protection in lieu of no apparent decibel regulations. Thankfully, I was equipped and thoroughly enjoyed the experience.       

 

Staying Inspired

How are you staying inspired? Who has the best staying power? It’s those who complement their training with influences of those who have achieved. It takes a continual dose and then an expanded repertoire of sources. You know why? It’s because you’ll get stuck. You’ll hit a plateau. Your mind will wander off. Hence; if you’re committed to continual improvement, you can schedule in your exposure to influence. You can make it a priority. 

I had no clue what I was getting into upon stepping into a musical journey with the purchase of an electric guitar having experienced an introduction to music theory through piano. I sensed that those rock icons were high school dropouts with some finger dexterity learned through rudimentary practice.  Well, I was delightfully short sighted.  It’s true that rock guitarists may spend much of their soloing time in the pentatonic scale with fundamental chords derived from the Circle of Fifths. However; many other accomplished guitarists are in fact versed in music theory with ear training to facilitate improvisation. The instrument itself has the potential to extend into all genres of music.

Then there’s the concept of “what to practice.” There’s a propensity toward practicing what you know instead of building, switching, alternating, completing, stretching, expanding, and redirecting.  I’m thinking that my guitar journey’s pathway to development is no different than any other pursuit in developing competence leading to mastery. What if we document practice sessions for planned later date reinforcement? What if we engage interpersonally with those who can supplement ideas? What if we intertwine the learning experience from our hobbyist pursuit with other facets of existence? Staying inspired inherently means not only the act of interpreting a production which compels but also looking deeper into the person behind the piece.    

First of all, are you spending the time? Secondly, are you spending it the right way? Thirdly, are you manifesting enjoyment of your pursuit through applied education? If you don’t have the time now, will you be sufficiently inspired at ground zero with the onset of retirement?     

Gold Swaps

Follows is a discussion of gold swaps. Over the past week or so, the S&P 500 has been forming a topping chart pattern and today has seen simultaneous down moves in both the S&P and the gold price. Gold price suppression theorists will cite this day in their argument that there are artificial forces working on the gold price. Apparently a down move in the indexes back in 2008 during the financial crisis correlated similarly with today’s gold action.  

Inquiries made by the Gold Anti-Trust Action Committee toward the Federal Reserve and the Bank of International Settlements regarding the derivative trading of Gold Swaps conducted from underlying U.S. gold inventories have not been absolutely transparent. On the one hand, the Federal Reserve has responded with “in connection with your appeal, I have confirmed that the information withheld under exemption 4 consists of confidential commercial or financial information relating to the operations of the Federal Reserve Banks that was obtained within the meaning of exemption 4. This includes information relating to swap arrangements with foreign banks on behalf of the Federal Reserve System and is not the type of information that is customarily disclosed to the public. This information was properly withheld from you.  (letter dated Sept 17, 2009 from the Federal Reserve is associating with Freedom of Information). On the other hand, they have recently made a simple assertion that gold swaps are not executed with U.S. inventoried gold reserves.   

Bill Murphy of Lemetropole has been beating the drum of gold price suppression since 1999. Although not a subscriber to this site over at Lemetropole, I have had the privilege of witnessing his fervour in person at conventions here in Calgary over the years. In fact, he was instrumental in a presentation showcased by the Gold Anti Trust Action Committee to congress some ten years ago regarding evidence of surreptitious trading patterns associated with the gold price.

 Through my own education of derivative markets, I came to learn of short selling and naked options.  Gold swaps fit right in to this category of financial instruments. Chartered accountants certainly didn’t Know much about them during the 2008 financial crisis having failed to ensure disclosure during audits. What if the U.S. government has over extended itself in its interest in gold swaps when inventories don’t support the trades? Then what?  

Jim Rickards has recently been leading the charge to help the public understand surreptitious gold trading through his most recent book “The New Case for Gold”.     

Canadian Trade Talks

Should Canadian farmers be selling wheat and barley to Saudi Arabia when Saudi Arabia has historically oppressed women and still does to this day? Does a country conducting international trade compromise its values if profiting from a country from which values conflict? Should politicians in high office frustrated by diplomatic overtures abroad turn to twitter to voice grievance? Should a Canadian confident in his /her position that we have a weak Prime Minister contend that all policy initiatives by the federal government will commensurately be weak? Is it fair to impact the livelihood of commercial operators because of international political grievance?

The above questions arise in the context of a spat between Saudi Arabia and Canada over this past week. It’s frankly unsettling to witness such weakness. My position is that Canada has been compromising its values over time with respect to trade and shouldn’t be surprised that a peculiar twitter remark should be received with outrage from an internet platform limiting in its communicative power from a nation bereft of bestowing respect upon women. What’s even more surprising is that Ms. Freedland seems like an intelligent woman who should have known better. She should have know that the incarceration of women’s rights advocate is a sensitive matter and that a frustrating social media appeal could actually undermine diplomatic efforts to liberate the woman.

Our country, Canada, has some soul searching to do with respect to trade policy in the context its values and protectionist sentiment arising from the U.S. New alliances are forming and Canada has a place at the tables but must affirm its position with clarity complemented with trade deals rooted in the fabric of cooperation with partners of whom it can look dead straight in the eye.     

Being In The Know

We often think we’re in the know when we really aren’t. We come to know because of what we’ve been told but who has been doing the telling and why? In spite of the profligacy of information on the internet, we are deservedly suspect. The question becomes “what do we do and where do we turn?” if information has relevance in designing our lives. 

Conspiracy theorists appeal toward our insecurity of knowledge. Through their inflammatory portrayal and oftentimes sharpness in intellect, they can even dislodge us from sound judgment. We can only harbour outlook through experience, education, reason, and observation. However; what we lack is information deliberately kept from the public domain.

From the period 2004 to 2007 I took the time to digest insights from speakers adept in the field of Austrian Economics. Having studied basic economics through my financial education, I have been rather fascinated about the contrast in the Keynesian model versus this Austrian model and whether there would be any implication to me directly in the context of these models duelling alongside future economic events.

This brings me to Jim Willie of his Golden Jackass website. Jim is a no nonsense fellow with a P.H.D. in statistics. Jim showcases himself as an economist without the credentials of an economist. He has an interest in world affairs as they relate to our monetary system and speaks with an inflammatory style typical of someone imbued of conspiracy yet logical and charismatically intelligent. His stories mostly correlate to postulations. One wonders about the worthiness of his sources but his ability to incite in my estimation supersedes any laxity inherent to his research. 

He was one gentleman that struck me the deepest during this period of my economic inquisition. This weekend with the Dow Jones Industrial Average approaching a double topping chart formation, I wonder if elements key to Jim’s world view will trigger the next market correction.

During the past two weeks, I have immersed myself in learning specific market trading mechanics pertinent toward portfolio protection. I’m happy to share. Simply subscribe.      

 

           

The Success Sabotage Game

Having just about put a wrap on a very good book this weekend in the personal development genre, I reflect on experiences and relationships all while laying down a new guitar riff. I have things in the office to do on this beautiful summer weekend but the philosopher in me has taken over.

I took up Dean Graziosi on his offer to attend a free seminar and get a meal and book on him. I enjoy seminars as a way of gauging my mindset in the context of others who have achieved successes and wish to share while prepared for “the catch”. Typically, presenters deliver on their word as has Dean.

I’ve yet to gain a full understanding of the man’s history but I certainly do appreciate his sincerity in his book, “Millionaire Success Habits”. What I do know is that he put real estate to work and applied Tony Robbins’ principles in acquiring results. While others were challenged by the no doc mortgage debacle and economic pessimism in 2009, Dean apparently snapped up properties.

My message today surrounds the power of the pragmatic mind developed through failure and the social acclimatization toward risk avoidance. Frankly, the attendance of a seminar pertaining to wealth related concepts in Canadian society is mostly viewed as gullible or naive as opposed to entrepreneurially provocative. The propensity to defer to a messenger’s motive syncs with the suspicion entrenched within a society’s affinity toward liberalism. 

You know that folks seek solace in the shortcomings of others.  You hear it at work and you see it in headlines littered through websites encouraging your clicks. Marketers even target your need to be soothed.  There is a cultural aberration at play which must be called out and identified in your mind in order for the full force of your individualism to be actualized. I’m talking about the influence of this phenomenon in your mind as young as preschool. Negativity abounds and you are better equipped to handle it when you become attuned to its source.

Oh ya…the book, “Millionaire Success Habits” by Dean Graaziosi.