Every record has been destroyed or falsified, every book rewritten, every picture has been repainted, every statue and street building has been renamed, every date has been altered. And the process is continuing day by day and minute by minute. History has stopped. Nothing exists except an endless present in which the Party is always right.
– George Orwell, 1984
POITOU, FRANCE – Today, a darkness spreads across the country.
From coast to coast, we are benighted… in a total eclipse of good sense.
We ended last week wondering what future generations will think of us. We take away our monuments in the dead of night… and spit on the graves of our ancestors in the light of day.
A now-famous photo shows a stout young woman in North Carolina stomping on a statue of a Confederate soldier.
A protester in North Carolina stands on a toppled Confederate statue (AP Photo/ Jonathan Drew)
It is not a monument to the Confederacy or to the generals or to slavery. It is merely a statue remembering the sacrifices and suffering of ordinary soldiers.
The common man in the South had no truck with slavery. He owned no slaves. Instead, his earnings were reduced because he had to compete with slave labor.
But when the call went out to defend his country, he took the patriotic bait, as men always do.
More than a quarter of a million soldiers died on the Southern side alone – killed by bullets or disease… hunger or cold.
You’d think that people today – comfortable in their air-conditioned apartments… fed to a fault… and succored by student loans, Obamacare, unemployment comp, and disability – could find it in their plump little hearts to forgive the mistakes of their forebears and honor their suffering.
Instead, we trash our grandfathers’ heroes, kick their gods, and smash their statues.
Yes, dear reader, today we are under assault, too. We suffer neither cold nor hunger. We take up arms not to protect our homeland, but to inflict murder and mayhem on people half a world away who can do us no real harm.
But today, we are attacked by one preposterous thing after another, each of them even more absurd than the last.
Before we get to that, we promised to revisit our Doom Index.
You’ll recall that our research department has put together 11 indicators that – when aggregated – have coincided with the last two major blowups.
Has doom come closer? We asked our chief researcher, Joe Withrow:
U.S. junk bond prices – one of our 11 indicators – have fallen nearly 2% since our last update. The ISM Manufacturing Index and railcar use – two of our other indicators – have fallen as well.
None of these moves are extreme enough to warrant the crash flag prior to getting third-quarter data… but they are worth mentioning.
And on a side note relating to your Diary entries this week: I got a call from family in western Virginia. Rumors are the young lefties are planning to march on the historic Robert E. Lee Hotel in Lexington.
The fruits of an American education, I suppose. It is beginning to look as though there is an inverse correlation between total student loans outstanding and total logic outstanding. If we could only figure out how to make that a Market Insight!
Yes, Joe is onto something. The more time people spend in schools, the dumber they get.
And now, the typical American’s brain has been so dulled by the internet and education that he can’t think straight.
We were supposed to believe, for example, that the Russians hijacked the U.S. presidential election, putting Donald J. Trump in the White House.
Congress imposed stiffer sanctions on Russia by an almost universal vote in favor, despite a lack of evidence the hack ever happened.
Even if it had happened, it is hard to see how disclosing the internal deliberations of the Democratic National Committee would have made voters less able to make an informed choice!
Then we were supposed to believe that the president of Syria had attacked his own people with chemical weapons.
In response, Team Trump committed an act of war against a foreign nation… even though many experts thought it unlikely that the Syrian government was behind the chemical attack.
And now, we are supposed to believe that Mr. Trump is a “racist” and a “white supremacist.”
His Treasury secretary, Steve Mnuchin – a Jew – was urged by his Yale classmates to resign. No more proof that today’s education system turns its students into morons is needed.
These are Yale graduates… hundreds of them:
We call upon you, as our friend, our classmate, and as a fellow American, to resign in protest of President Trump’s support of Nazism and white supremacy. We know you are better than this, and we are counting on you to do the right thing.
There is no evidence of any kind showing Trump to be a Nazi supporter. A fool? An imbecile? An opportunist? Maybe. But with all his obvious and egregious faults, why accuse him of being something he isn’t?
But behind the flurries lies a much bigger storm.
There, the howling winds of fake finance blow up so much dust that the typical person cannot see clearly.
If he is ready to believe that we can all get rich by borrowing money that never existed from people who never earned it… and never pay it back… he is ready to believe anything!
Today, the sun hides its face in shame and embarrassment.
Further Reading: Bill recently went live on the air with old friend and partner Porter Stansberry. The topic of Porter’s Investor Hour podcast was “How to Profit From the Death of Retail,” but the best part was when he revealed the two greatest things Bill ever taught him.
Market Insight: Railcar Traffic Slumps
BY CHRIS LOWE, EDITOR AT LARGE, Bonner & partners
American companies are transporting fewer goods by rail…
The Bonner & Partners research team includes railcar traffic in Bill’s “Doom Index.”
That’s because it’s closely linked to manufacturing output and changes in the Main Street economy.
In fact, super investor Warren Buffett says that if he were stuck on a desert island and could only look at one indicator to know how the economy is doing, he would choose railcar traffic.
Today’s chart looks at railcar traffic over the past 12 months.
As you can see, railcar traffic surged in the wake of Donald Trump’s win over Hillary Clinton last November.
This signaled a revival in factory output… and economic growth.
But since its peak in April, it’s down 9% – a sign the Main Street economy is in trouble.
– Chris Lowe
Cheap Money Is “Heroin for the Economy”
The quantitative easing (QE) programs of central banks in the wake of the last financial crisis were intended to boost the global economy. But after nearly a decade of cheap money, one former UK Treasury official thinks the economy may be addicted…
The Real Losers From Unwinding the Fed’s Balance Sheet
As part of its QE program, the Fed snapped up trillions of dollars’ worth of Treasuries and mortgage securities. Now, it says it’s going to start reducing its $4.5 trillion balance sheet. And that could spell trouble for U.S. stocks.
Is the U.S. the Next Venezuela?
Venezuela is in the midst of a crisis. Inflation is running into the triple digits while its citizens starve. As crazy as it sounds, the U.S. could soon be headed for a similar fate. Colleague Greg Wilson shows how you can prepare today.
In today’s mailbag, Bill’s recent Diary, “Trump Takes a Beating,” has gotten some readers thinking…
Many thanks for your excellent piece about press reactions to Trump and Charlottesville. Bigotry is bigotry, and hate is hate, whether it is on the left or the right. Thanks for saying so. And even hate speech is protected speech, which 4 liberal and 4 conservative Justices just agreed on recently. You’d think the press of all people would be happy about that…
– Dave F.
You say “The Donald” was no longer sparring with the press; he was being clobbered by it. Good God… Trump has been clobbered by the press since he started campaigning. But he is up to it. Nobody is going to run Trump out of the White House until his term(s) are over. He is a fighter and a lot tougher than his Marxist opponents. Further, he is a better man and of higher character than you and other detractors have tried to make him out. He is for good old American values, and he will WIN in the big battles.
– Doug M.
I am usually amused or slightly offended by the Fourth Estate’s overreaction to Trump having the effrontery to win the Presidency. They use whatever tools they have at their disposal to paint him in the worst light no matter what. They even intentionally misinterpret his words or actions. I suppose that is because they are afraid that his “direct to the people” approach may diminish their influence over the people.
– Pat I.
Your elegant writings on our hero Trump are superb. However, the fight between Donald and the press is certainly not elegant. This fight makes fight movies like Rocky look like Grandma’s sewing circle. This fight is like the old-time fights, where a round was defined by each knockdown. In some cases, fights lasted for over 100 rounds. In this fight our hero has been knocked down more times than can be counted, but he keeps getting up. It is driving his opponents crazy.
– Ken D.
I normally enjoy your cool, witty, and rambling style of writing; it’s a soothing voice in my head. I’m assuming I’m reading it like you wrote it. But today I almost unsubscribed, when I read “Trump Takes a Beating.”
These are Nazis, Bill. There are only Nazis; and then there is everyone else no matter how deplorable, conservative, or liberal. It’s very simple, and I don’t understand any other view of it – much less why smarter men like you and the President (cough) are taking such a different tack like the only thing here was a protest with two violent sides. It was bigger than that – it was about ideals.
What would you have people do, let these people run uncontested? You can’t, you have to meet the force with equal or greater force to deter or stop it before it grows. This isn’t always violence; it begins with words and ideas. That is why there is blame on “many” sides. There is blame with anyone who doesn’t meet these despicable ideas with equally forceful words and ideas – especially those in power and those with an audience. That includes the President, and you.
I’m not unsubscribing because I like to hear thoughts and ideas that are sometimes opposed to my own, but this one was admittedly hard to take – especially from someone I’ve followed, enjoyed, and respected for well over 20 years.
– Rick T.
Meanwhile, more discussion on what should be done with Confederate monuments…
If I thought or believed even for a second that taking down all “Confederate” statues, markers, memorials, etc. of any kind, including grave markers, would restore social harmony, I would endorse the action. As it is, it is just another move on the part of the self-proclaimed morally superior, know-it-all Left to destroy another chunk of what we used to call “common ground.”
– Paul M.
When Baltimore took down its secessionist statues, I suggested locally that the Lee/Jackson statue might go to the Antietam National Battlefield, where Jackson saved Lee’s ass from a rout, but he still lost the battle, giving President Lincoln the excuse he needed for issuing the Emancipation Proclamation. Also, that the statues of Chief Justice Taney in Baltimore and at the Maryland State House be given to the Supreme Court, so that Justices might be reminded to consider the moral effects of some of their verdicts, such as Taney’s Dred Scott decision.
– Chuck B.
I heard they want to “put the monuments in a museum for protection.” Excuse me? Next you’ll be putting me in a museum for protection! Except it will not be filled with art and a nice cafe. It will have iron bars, baloney sandwiches, and visiting hours via an unbreakable glass window.
– Louis S.
Given that the U.S. has so little history anyway (comparative to Europe), it seems rather foolish to tear down the monuments to the little that there is. It’s tantamount to rewriting history, and when the Soviets did that sort of thing they were roundly condemned.
– Andy C.
I see the removal of military leaders of the Civil War as the same treatment rendered to the Vietnam vets. We went where we were sent, did what we were ordered, and came home to scorn and derision. The generals of the South were given a military mission to accomplish and carried out their orders to the best of their abilities, as soldiers are expected to do by their civilian government. Showing lack of respect for those who are the bleeding edge of the weapon wielded by your civilian government is a cowardly act perpetrated by those who do not have the courage to perform duties of the same magnitude, or suffer the consequences of those actions.
Is the Vietnam Memorial going to be the next victim because it was a politically incorrect war?
– William C.