We have been busy lately arranging my 2nd daughter's 5th year birthday party, which we did as a "tidepool party" at the north end of Golden Gardens city park here in lovely Seattle. We had a decent low tide here yesterday afternoon, so, despite the risks of Spring weather here in the PNW, we decided to go for it. WA kids hit the beach:
|Happy birthday, my Claudia!|
Someone hit Denninger with a DDOS attack Friday, and I was mentioned in a thread as a possible suspect. My old friend "Truthseeker" put in a good word for me -- appreciated. Not only do I not have the time or inclination to fuck around with Karl's site, but I still do visit regularly to see what's up. Karl's a mess, of course, but he's still the first place to go to deconstruct quickly an employment report or the Durables sausage, even ahead of ZeroHedge.
I will issue this challenge to TickerForum folks, though. If Karl truly caught some sorry mook -- BitCoin zealots! too funny! -- red-handed DDOS'ing his site, then please, please follow-up on this case to ensure that Karl follows through on this one, all the way to a conviction. He is so strident that everyone else follow his various crusades -- boycotting airlines, cities such as Chicago, states such as Connecticut -- and so silly in his continual rants, that you should keep a close watch on whether he can seek his own justice here. This will take time and effort! So don't let Karl wuss out and seek less than full retribution for the damages done to him.
Someone over at Economic Undertow suggested this book, which sent me scurrying off to abebooks to secure a copy:
|Farmers of 40 Centuries|
I located a nice, tight copy in Pittsburgh. Now this book in interesting on two accounts. In the first part, we have F. H. King making a tour of China, Korea, and Japan 100 years ago, surveying the intensive organic farming techniques practiced there. Filled with photographs and detailed descriptions, he explains things like how the Chinese learned how to build large structures with a combination of fired and unfired adobe brick, because they simply did not have enough energy on hand to fire all of their building bricks. So they had to make do with what they had, and they did so in ingenious ways, again and again.
On the other hand this book is a fresh portrait of Southeast Asia a century ago, before Mao, before the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere, before the 20th Century really got underway, before the Chinese poisoned their land and water. It is doubly fascinating and tragic, and very well-written. The author King is like me after my first visit to the state of Washington -- overwhelmed by what he has seen, and exuberant to tell others about it all.
The question remains for the Chinese people, was it really worth it, trading this in for an extreme of waste-based modernity? What will they say, five or ten years from now?
I've been re-reading José Ortega y Gasset on the bus lately. I read The Revolt of the Masses years ago, but I stumbled across a thin, trim copy from George Allen & Unwin at a bookshop on Mercer Street a few weeks ago, and I had to pick it up.
|The Revolt of the Masses, George Allen & Unwin ed 1951|
I'm a cult believer in this publisher. Heck, I would even buy Denninger's screed if he could manage to get it published on this great press.
José Ortega y Gasset takes on a very special importance today. Before, he read like any other European anti-socialist liberal, with an aristocratic bent that is largely alien to us, but still someone I would read sympathetically. Re-reading chapters such as "The Self-Satisfied Age" or "The Barbarism of 'Specialization'", today, however, I remember that he is writing in 1932, at a time of great crisis,
"A hurricane of farcicality, everywhere and in every form, is presently raging over the lands of Europe. Almost all the positions taken up and proclaimed are false ones. The only efforts that are being made are to escape from our real destiny, to blind ourselves to the evidence, to be deaf to its deep appeal, to avoid facing up to what has to be. We are living in comic fashion, all the more comic the more apparently tragic is the mask adopted put on. The comic exists wherever life has no basis of inevitableness on which a stand is taken without reserves. The mass-man will not plant his foot on the immovably firm ground of his destiny, he prefers a fictitious existence suspended in air. Hence, never as now have we these lives without substance or root — déracinés from their own destiny — which let themselves float on the lightest current."
"The new man wants his motor-car, and enjoys it, but he believes that it is the spontaneous fruit of an Edenic tree. In the depths of his soul he is unaware of the artificial, almost incredible, character of civilisation, and does not extend his enthusiasm for the instruments to the principles which make them possible."
I think I have much more to learn from Ortega y Gasset, and will read him much more closely and carefully. Oswald Spengler, too.
Oh, here's my chart from Friday's tape. We closed back under the Jaws of Death, which is at about 1593 SPX. It looked like a 4th and start of a 5th.
One more thing. As a deflationist, I see the moves in metals on Friday as totally awesome. More, please! I can't wait to see gold under a kilobuck.