OUZILLY, France – “Hot… very hot… very, very hot…”

A heat wave has hit France. The farmer next door didn’t need to tell us.

The days are bright and clear. The heat rises from about 70°F in the morning to as high as 95°F in the afternoon.

Very unusual for this late in the summer.

Better the Devil You Know?

We are providing around-the-clock nursing care to our invalid wife, who is back at home, with cracked ribs, unable to move.

We are upstairs in the bedroom – the shutters closed against the heat (we have no air-conditioning) – taking a few minutes to update our Diary

…but with nothing important to say.

Every day, we look at the headlines… think about what is going on in the big wide world… and try to connect a dot or two.

It is probably the same in your life.

You go about your business. You have work to do. Projects… goals… deadlines. Your priorities. Your investments. Your schedule. Your plan.

And you’re thinking, too – important thoughts about the presidential election… about crime… about the state of the nation… and the world.

For instance, will Trump really be a better president than Clinton?

Madame Clinton is clearly the devil-you-know. You can see the horns and tail for yourself. But what kind of devilish imp is Donald Trump?

You don’t know. But judging from yesterday’s Diary Mailbag, many dear readers want to find out.

Deep State in Control

We’re keeping an open mind. But we suspect that, no matter who wins, most Americans will be disappointed.

The next president might make marginal and largely symbolic changes. But suppose Mr. Trump were elected…

Would Congress put aside its squalid self-seeking and vapid grandstanding to rally behind him?

Would it actually pass the new laws he asks for?

Would lobbyists go home?

Would Washington apparatchiks, operatives, wonks, and nebbishes get behind the new administration to “Make America Great Again”?

Would federal agencies stop enacting pettifogging regulations to benefit one special interest or another?

Would the bailouts, subsidies, and insider privileges stop? Would the cronies lose their sweetheart deals? Would the zombies have to get real jobs?

What would really change?

Medical care? Education? War? Bureaucracy? Taxes?

Queen of the Establishment

The New York Times recently sent a reporter to cover Mr. Trump’s visit to the coalfields of West Virginia.

The out-of-work miners are behind him. One said that the Republican candidate “could be our only hope.”

Hope for what?

Yes, of course, the miners have been dealt a bad hand.

And Hillary, Queen of the Establishment, has even said she would put more of them out of work.

The Deep State – with its millions of hangers-on, chiselers, wheeler-dealers, cronies, and zombies – produces no wealth. It can only grow wealthier (relative to the rest of the population) by taking wealth from others.

If it gives a subsidy to Al Gore’s solar power, it must take the money from the rest of economy.

If it bails out the banks, someone must put up the money. 

If it builds planes, bombs, and drones – the contractors get rich, but someone must pay.

Who’s going to reshuffle that deck?

And how?

Donald Trump?

The press reports that economist Judy Shelton is one of his advisors… and that she favors a return to the gold standard.

If Trump is elected, will she be able to reform the money system?

Hmmm…

You are studying the dots… you are thinking all these things – about money and politics… war and peace… progress and civilization…

And then something happens… someone in your family gets sick… a divorce… an accident…

Suddenly these worldly cares don’t seem so important.

And maybe they never were.

Regards,

Signature

Bill

Market Insight


BY CHRIS LOWE, EDITOR AT LARGE


Nobody knows what’s in store for the coal miners of Appalachia…

But investors in coal-related stocks are experiencing a reversal of fortunes in 2016.

Today’s chart is of the Market Vectors Coal ETF (KOL). It tracks the performance 40 stocks around the world involved in the coal industry.

As you can see, after falling 90% since its peak in 2011, KOL is up 96% so far in 2016.

That 96% gain may seem like a lot. But after a 90% loss, you need a 900% gain just to break even.


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Mailbag

After Bill’s story in yesterday’s Diary about Elizabeth’s fall while horse-riding… today’s Mailbag is dedicated to readers’ well wishes. (Note: We couldn’t reprint all the emails we received. But Bill read and appreciated all of them.)

If Elizabeth has more symptoms, she will need a CT scan. Subdural hematoma can occur after head trauma, and that would be very serious.

– William C.

A concussion is not a trivial injury. She should have a follow-up check for her head and neck, including neurologic exam and brain imaging. And she should consider taking nutritional supplements to promote repair of brain tissue. I can supply further info if needed.

– Ken W.

Best wishes to Elizabeth as she recovers. (Having been on horseback, I understand…)

– Fletcher H.

My prayers are with her.

– John M.

Glad to hear Elizabeth is looking okay. Love reading your diary. Keep joining the dots up.

– Nick R.

So glad to hear Elizabeth is going to be okay. Take a break Bill and stay with your wife. The newsletter and its recipients can wait…

– Dan H.

Elizabeth will go on my prayer list immediately. Glad for the good prognosis.

– Don R.

Very sorry to hear about your wife’s fall. Glad she is okay.

– Donald K.

Best wishes to Elizabeth for a prompt recovery. But I hope she does not give up riding, or jumping. We older folks are always being told what we can’t do, because we’re too old.

I sail on a large boat; the forces and loads are very high; and any mistake can be serious. If we give up everything, we end up with nothing. Maybe in Elizabeth’s case it is time to back off; I hope not. She’ll have to decide, but I hope she keeps on. We’re only alive while we’re living.

– Dave F.

Your hospital experience was very similar to mine at a small hospital in Delta, Colorado. However, you implied the French system is better than ours. Try out a busy Paris hospital. Also, life expectancy has a lot to do with work pressure. We don’t have the casual schedule common for French shopkeepers.

– Robert K.

Positive thoughts for Elizabeth’s full recovery… and her return to doing what she enjoys, however she enjoys it.

– Mary N.