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5.29.2016 - Financial Intelligence Report Bookmark

Memorial Day


noun
a day on which those who died in active military service are remembered, traditionally observed on May 30 but now officially observed on the last Monday in May.

Simple right? There it is in black and white. A day to remember those that have died in active Military service. Yet a day that is not that simple to dismiss. A day that often divides me emotionally. 
On one hand, the question that is so very easy to answer is this “is it hard to say a prayer for the hundreds of thousands that have fallen fighting in wars around the world?” No it is not hard at all. Each and every one of those souls lost their lives being a “good soldier” and those brave souls AND their families should be remembered and prayed for. 

On the other hand, the reason those brave souls were sent to fight these wars is often boiled down to nothing but pure evil. Greed. Power lust. And unfortunately...money. 

Smedley Darlington Butler (July 30, 1881 - June 21, 1940) was a United States Marine Corps major general, the highest rank authorized at that time, and at the time of his death the most decorated Marine in U.S. history. During his 34-year career as a Marine, he participated in military actions in the Philippines, China, in Central America and the Caribbean during the Banana Wars, and France in World War I.

Butler was quite a guy. One of only two people to EVER get two medals of honor. He was the most decorated Marine in history. And Smedley wrote a book after his military career called “War is a Racket”. A more honest and insightful book has never been published. 

I want to include a few paragraphs of that very book, and I want you all to consider what he’s saying. Drop the patriotism for a moment and look underneath it. 

WAR is a racket. It always has been.

It is possibly the oldest, easily the most profitable, surely the most vicious. It is the only one international in scope. It is the only one in which the profits are reckoned in dollars and the losses in lives.

A racket is best described, I believe, as something that is not what it seems to the majority of the people. Only a small "inside" group knows what it is about. It is conducted for the benefit of the very few, at the expense of the very many. Out of war a few people make huge fortunes.

In the World War [I] a mere handful garnered the profits of the conflict. At least 21,000 new millionaires and billionaires were made in the United States during the World War. That many admitted their huge blood gains in their income tax returns. How many other war millionaires falsified their tax returns no one knows.

How many of these war millionaires shouldered a rifle? How many of them dug a trench? How many of them knew what it meant to go hungry in a rat-infested dug-out? How many of them spent sleepless, frightened nights, ducking shells and shrapnel and machine gun bullets? How many of them parried a bayonet thrust of an enemy? How many of them were wounded or killed in battle?

Out of war nations acquire additional territory, if they are victorious. They just take it. This newly acquired territory promptly is exploited by the few -- the selfsame few who wrung dollars out of blood in the war. The general public shoulders the bill.

And what is this bill?

This bill renders a horrible accounting. Newly placed gravestones. Mangled bodies. Shattered minds. Broken hearts and homes. Economic instability. Depression and all its attendant miseries. Back-breaking taxation for generations and generations.

For a great many years, as a soldier, I had a suspicion that war was a racket; not until I retired to civil life did I fully realize it. Now that I see the international war clouds gathering, as they are today, I must face it and speak out.

And speak out he did. He called out the companies, the politicians, the heads of the war machines. He showed the incomes, the vast fortunes made by the 1% class as young men were blown to bits in far off lands. 

As you can imagine, Smedley had a lot to talk about. Here’s part of a speech he gave in1933

I spent thirty-three years and four months in active military service as a member of this country's most agile military force, the Marine Corps. I served in all commissioned ranks from Second Lieutenant to Major-General. And during that period, I spent most of my time being a high class muscle-man for Big Business, for Wall Street and for the Bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism.”

I suspected I was just part of a racket at the time. Now I am sure of it. Like all the members of the military profession, I never had a thought of my own until I left the service. My mental faculties remained in suspended animation while I obeyed the orders of higher-ups. This is typical with everyone in the military service.

I helped make Mexico, especially Tampico, safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefits of Wall Street. The record of racketeering is long. I helped purify Nicaragua for the international banking house of Brown Brothers in 1909-1912. I brought light to the Dominican Republic for American sugar interests in 1916. In China I helped to see to it that Standard Oil went its way unmolested.

During those years, I had, as the boys in the back room would say, a swell racket. Looking back on it, I feel that I could have given Al Capone a few hints. The best he could do was to operate his racket in three districts. I operated on three continents.”

And there in a nutshell is why Memorial Day shreds me emotionally. I have incredibly deep respect for the poor “pawns” that the racket boys use as cannon fodder, and I have incredibly deep disgust for the evil bastards at the top of the food chain that foment these God awful wars. 

I’ve traveled through some of the poorest areas on the planet, and let me tell you something.. 99% of you have NO CLUE what hardship is. When in South Africa in the 80’s on a diamond buying trip for a huge American Jewelry store chain, I happened to witness Soweto ghetto. I won’t get into it, you can google it, but let’s just say that the worst inner city slum you could imagine, would be like Trump Plaza in Soweto. 

Yet even that standard of living is higher than tens of thousands of soldiers have endured on the battle fields around the world. While the fat cat at the military industrial complex counts his millions while feasting on Lobster as his war profits roll in; some poor kid from Bumbutt Kansas was sitting in a foxhole next to his dead buddy with no legs as mortars fall on his position. Cold, hungry, tired, scared and wanting nothing more than to see his mom and dad. Hell on earth. 

So, am I non-Patriotic? Not at all. I simply agree with Smedley. Do you know what his ideal was for the military? Let me show you...

There are only two reasons why you should ever be asked to give your youngsters. One is defense of our homes. The other is the defense of our Bill of Rights and particularly the right to worship God as we see fit. Every other reason advanced for the murder of young men is a racket, pure and simple.”

His ideal was simple. Fortify your borders to the point NO invasion could ever be successful and protect the Bill of Rights and our freedoms granted in them and the Constitution. Don’t start wars for profit in far away lands. That’s it. Pretty simple really. 

My dad was in WWII. He took a shot to the ankle that busted him up pretty bad. It was his ticket home. But no, he still had a brother in the war and refused his ticket. He went back to the lines after 8 weeks in a hospital. I lost two older cousins in Vietnam. They paid quite a price for that little “adventure” in a far off land. Do you think my Aunts and Uncles ever got over that? Trust me, they didn’t. 

War is abject horror and should be avoided at almost all cost. But instead we foment it in all areas of the world. I agree with Smedley it’s a racket, and the worst one of all. My heart goes out to all those who’ve fallen. All the families that got their “flag” sent to them from Uncle Sam. All the restless nights the vet’s spend reliving unspeakable horrors. I pray for them all, and honor their sacrifice. But to the war machine hustlers, I have no respect. 

Each day millions of us hear the singing of the Star Spangled Banner. For many it is just a song, with no really particular meaning. So on this Holiday, if you want to bring a tear to your eyes and understand where that song came from and the meaning of its words, watch his 13 minute video. You’ll be hard pressed to come away with dry eyes

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YaxGNQE5ZLA

The Market...

This is a line out of the Insiders Club update I did Thursday morning...

If we get a pause day today, I could see them trying to push for 2100 tomorrow and we fade into the weekend with big bright gains. That would make them all very happy. 


Guess what? Thursday was a “pause” day as the DOW fell a few and the S&P fell a few, after two monster up days. Then Friday came and on one of the lowest volume days of the year, guess where we ended? Up 9 S&P points to 2099.6 . Pretty much 2100. 

Bravo! Well Done central planners! 

On April 20, we closed the S&P at 2102 and the market traded sideways and down from there, hitting a low of 2025 on May 19. Since then it’s been “up” again, and we’re back at that April high. 

One might ask if the economic fundamentals warrant a move back up to those levels and the answer would be “hell no.” But fundamentals went out with Granddad’s tide, and today it’s all about keeping the market up at all costs. 

So they’ve engineered a kick save from the edge of a nasty looking cliff and now everyone is breathing easy again. Is that it? Do we just go up from here and make all time new highs? It’s possible. I didn’t think they would, but with just 35 more points to go, they might give it a shot. I think it is more probable that they run into resistance here and we see some mild selling come mid-week. Watch for that. 

Folks, enjoy your Holiday. Enjoy your families. Reach out to your Vet friends and say your prayer for those lost. They all deserve it. 

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