Not much to report this morning…
The Dow rose 218 points on Friday ¬— or just over 1%.
Oil is closing in on US$38 a barrel. And after hitting a 13-month high on Friday, gold is down slightly. This morning, an ounce of the yellow metal is trading at $1,257.
They Call Me Mule
Our drive back from South Carolina took us up directly across North Carolina and then to Roanoke, Virginia.
There, we left the highway. We were looking for ‘tobacco wood’.
Of course, there is no such thing as tobacco wood. It is a description applied to various sorts of woods that have been reclaimed from tobacco barns.
The little track took us over a mountain and into a little hollow.
‘Just look for the log cabin on the right,’ our source had told us. ‘You can’t miss us. You’ll see some big logs laid out beside the road.’
When we turned in, we were met by a man in his 50s with a scruffy beard. He was in a small, flatbed truck loaded with tools and covered with mud.
‘Hi… They call me Mule,’ he said in a very heavy southern hill-country accent.
‘I guess it’s because I’m thickheaded. And maybe dumb, too.’
We’ll return to the hollows of Southwest Virginia, but first let’s check and see what it happening in the president sweepstakes, the most important election in the world.
Tomorrow is yet another Super Tuesday. Donald Trump dominates the news, as he has during the entire campaign. But now, he’s no longer dismissed as a disruptive, narcissistic billionaire.
Now, the media, his opponents, zombies, cronies — they’re all taking him seriously. It looks like he might be the Republican candidate.
They’re circling now…like wolves around a lonely stag.
In the news over the weekend, we discovered that Marco Rubio, the Deep State man, won the Deepest State of all: Washington, D.C.
Rubio’s communication director, Alex Conant, said that voters in D.C. were ‘embracing the future’.
No doubt, they were embracing the future as they want it to be — that is, with no change…
Zombies and cronies prefer a future without a future…where nothing much changes.
The establishment — aka, the Deep State — is fighting to preserve its privileges.
According to the common narrative, Donald Trump will ‘shake things up’. Naturally, the mainstream media, Big Business, the bureaucracy, cronies, zombies, the non-profit sector — they’re all against him.
Most likely, no one — not even The Donald himself — knows what Trump is really after. Fame? Fortune?
Does he really want to shake things up and ‘make America great again’? Or just prove that he could make it to the top?
Is he really a maverick reformer? Or just another Deep State man in a different costume?
We don’t know.
But someone like Trump was bound to show up. The middle class is disappearing… Household incomes are down… As reported in these pages, a 30-year-old today earns no more than a 30-year-old did 30 years ago…
‘This is not the sort of thing that a democratic society — a capitalist democratic society — can readily accept,’ said Alan Greenspan in 2005.
Greenspan is a scoundrel, but he is no fool. The promise of modern government – and its social-welfare systems – are based on growth.
Each generation has to do better than the one before…or the whole thing falls apart.
But pension and health care systems cannot be funded. Promises — to zombies and cronies alike — cannot be kept. The middle-class centre cannot hold.
So then, the plain people look for someone to ‘do something’. They want a hero…a person who will kick ass on their behalf.
Stop free trade? Sure, why not.
Dissolve both houses of Congress…send the Supreme Court home…?
Maybe…if that’s what it takes…
After a few minutes of small talk with Mule, the sawmill owner drove up.
‘I’m Mike. We spoke on the phone. Where you comin’ from?’
‘Well, we live in Baltimore.’
‘Oh…I used to live there. For a while. Not in Baltimore but in Silver Spring, near Washington. Now, you couldn’t pay me to go back there.’
‘It’s not so bad,’ we said weakly.
It was already about 6:30 p.m. but still light enough to see. We were on the side of a mountain, on the edge of a pasture that went down to a river at the bottom…and then up another mountain on the opposite side.
‘Yeah, it’s paradise here.’
‘Up there,’ he said, pointing up to the trees at the top of the mountain, ‘that’s where Ol’ Smokey lives. He’s a 500-lb. bear. He roams all over here…I saw him walk by in front of my office.
‘One day, a couple of hunters got some dogs and put those collars on them so you can track them. They said they were going to kill Ol’ Smokey and have him stuffed.
‘Ol’ Smokey must have known something was up. The dogs took out after him… and they ran him all along that ridge.
‘Then, he must have gotten tired… or he just wondered why he was running away from the dogs. He turned around and he whooped those dogs so bad they came running back down here.
‘Tell you truth, I was glad they didn’t get him.
‘You wanted some wood?’
For The Daily Reckoning, Australia