GUALFIN, ARGENTINA – Last week, we rounded up the cattle.

For a more literary account of the yerra, here’s Elizabeth’s recollection of it, as sent to the children.

This week, we round up the grapes.

Delicate Sensibilities

The gauchos will get off their horses tomorrow and begin the harvest.

In a conciliatory gesture to our readers’ delicate sensibilities… following their disgust in the mailbag (see below) at how the gauchos handle cattle… we will urge them to go easy on the grapes.

That is, after all, why people prefer fake news to real news: Fake news is soothing and flattering; real news can be disturbing.

This is a tough climate for cattle… and just about everything else. We toughen up, too, when we come.

First, it is our intestines – not used to the water and its microbial life – that feel the rigors of the place.

Then the lungs must get to work… now taking two breaths to draw the oxygen that they used to get from one.

Our legs toughen up from daily horseback rides. Our skin hardens against sun and wind.

Our sensibilities also adapt. After a few weeks, we barely notice the lamb lying dead on our kitchen table… its throat cut… waiting for the butcher’s knife.

“It’s Easter,” said our housekeeper, Marta, cheerfully; that was all the explanation necessary. This was Easter Sunday. We would eat the Paschal Lamb.

Forever War

Before we go on… we would like to pause and admire our own readers’ depth of feeling.

Many seem to have an immense supply of outrage… a well of indignation so deep that even the most absurd and appalling acts of mankind fail to exhaust it.

Last Friday, for example, the Trump administration went against its campaign promises and delivered the MOAB (Massive Ordnance Air Blast) in what has become the MOAF, the Mother of All Failures – America’s “forever war” in the Middle East.

Napoleon Bonaparte’s disastrous wars went on for 13 years. Hitler’s began in 1939; six years later, they were over.

But the U.S. has been at war in the Middle Eastern world for 14 years. The bombing began on March 20, 2003 – and it’s still going on.

The latest big boom in Afghanistan is said to have killed 94 “militants.”

Raining Bombs

Blowing up things has always been a fun pastime for adolescent boys.

But when it goes on too long… adults usually get outraged by the noise and damage.

Last year alone, the Pentagon dropped 26,000 bombs. At that rate, it’s dropped some 364,000 of them since the wars began… probably many more.

In the heat of the Iraq War, bombs fell like raindrops. Win-lose. Great for the people who make bombs. Bad for everybody else.

After so many years, we can’t remember what got the bombs started.

Why was the U.S. so upset with Iraq in the first place?

Iraq was, after all, a secular nation. Its leader, Saddam Hussein, was a mortal enemy of Islamist terrorists.

But you don’t ask questions in the heat of battle. The U.S. is still fighting terrorists… and the people who are fighting terrorists… and the people who are fighting the people who are fighting the terrorists.

Which is to say we seem ready to bomb, drone, missile, or assassinate just about anybody.

Minor Miracle

The toll from all this is what has earned the adventure the MOAF title.

Fourteen years. Seven trillion dollars (World War II cost only $4.2 trillion – in today’s dollars).

In 2015, Washington-based group Physicians for Social Responsibility estimated that as many as 2 million people had died since the beginning of the MOAF.

News website Middle East Eye claimed it was as high as 4 million.

These totals are much lower than the equally absurd World War I. But World War I came to an end after just four years and was judged, at least by half the combatants, as a success.

So far, the War on Terror has yielded no success for anyone – except the Deep State’s war industries.

Killing even 1 million people for nothing should take a lot of the outrage out of a nation.

Thinking citizens should be shocked… appalled… and furious that their elected leaders… using their money… acting in their names… have done such a thing.

Like Lady Macbeth, they must wash their hands over and over.

“Out, damned spot! Out, I say!” they yell, trying to scour away the bloodstains… or forget them with trivial diversions and cheap entertainments.

What is the big bomb for, after all?

It is right there at the top of the fake news cycle… along with the burning question: “When will Melania move into the White House?”

Still, the shared guilt must rest heavy on their consciences… and trouble their sleep. In the middle of the dark night, in moments of terrifying clarity, they must feel the hot flames of hell licking up at their heels and private parts.

That such people can spare a thought for the poor cattle of Gualfin is remarkable.

That they could brim with outrage at the callous hands of South American cowboys…

…is a minor miracle.





Currency Insight

By Greg Wilson, Analyst, The Palm Beach Daily

Greg Wilson

We just saw the biggest bitcoin breakthrough no one is talking about.

On April 1, a new payment law went into effect in Japan. And what’s significant about the law is that it recognizes bitcoin as a legal method of payment.

Let me repeat: Japan now recognizes bitcoin as a legal method of payment.

This is huge news.

First, it’s going to cause a bitcoin explosion in Japan.

Right now, roughly 5,000 merchants accept bitcoin in Japan. Because of this new law, that number is about to explode.

You see, AirREGI, the point-of-sale application for the Japanese retail conglomerate Recruit Holdings, will soon add bitcoin payments. AirREGI is used by over 260,000 retail locations.

What’s more is that AirREGI is compatible with Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba’s Alipay. So the millions of Chinese tourists who go to Japan every year will be able to use bitcoin.

Bic Camera has added bitcoin payments as well. It’s a huge electronics retailer, like the Best Buy of Japan. And folks are already making purchases with bitcoin. You can check out a customer paying with bitcoin at Bic Camera here.

Japan’s largest internet service provider, the GMO Internet Group, is getting in on the game, too. It’s already an investor in Japan’s largest bitcoin exchange, bitFlyer. And now it plans on developing a wallet service to bring bitcoin to all of Japan.

And let’s not forget that Japan will be hosting the 2020 Summer Olympics. It’s the type of event that could put bitcoin in the international spotlight.

In other words, Japan’s new law is huge. It legitimizes bitcoin in an international way.

Japan is a developed, technologically advanced country. It’s the third-largest economy in the world. And the Japanese yen is the second most liquid market globally.

Why is this important?

I believe this is the start of a trend that will see bitcoin legitimized around the world.

Japan is setting a precedent for the whole world to see. And I expect other countries to follow suit.

Greg Wilson

P.S. Starting today, Palm Beach Confidential editor Teeka Tiwari is hosting a free four-day training series to teach you how to trade Bitcoin and other fast-growing cryptocurrencies.

Teeka’s first training video just went live. You can watch it for free right here.

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Today, readers respond to Friday’s Diary, “Trump Is an Insider Now.”

If any of your readers have not read Catch 22 by Joseph Heller I suggest they get a copy asap, all the points made by Bill are enclosed within a well written novel, so funny but frightening it has all come true, with Trump as Gen Dreedle.

– B. G.

Trump has not only proven that he is now an “insider”, but the power of his position is obviously going to his head. After the dropping of the MOAB, he was speaking to the press and made what I thought was a frightening reference to “MY military”. His military?? Scary, very, very scary.

– A. S.

Meanwhile, readers continue to react to Bill’s cattle roundup story published in last Thursday’s essay, “Yipping and Yelling.”

Bill, no more stories about animals suffering please.

– P. Aris

About the roundup. I suppose there are many benefits from owning the ranch. Surely the pain inflicted on those animals isn’t one of them. We are an arrogant species!

– R. Ward

Oh boy! Just read a couple of letters from readers being hyper critical about the “horrible” treatment of cattle by dogs and the cowboys. Obviously, from liberal do-gooders that seldom, if ever, roam out of their comfort zone.

I am an animal lover, despise animal abuse in all its forms, but understand the necessity of uncomfortable happenstances in any ranching operation.

Thanks for all the ranch stories, Bill. I look forward to them more than your comments on government and financial markets, although I appreciate them as well. It will, indeed, be a sad day if/when you dispose of the ranch and remove the source of the wonderful stories.

– G. Smith