THE DON JONES INDEX…

 

GAINS POSTED in GREEN

  LOSSES POSTED in RED

 

          5/14/18…  15,779.92

            5/7/18…  15,738.92

          6/27/13…  15,000.00

      

(THE DOW JONES INDEX:  5/14/18… 24,831.27; 5/7/18… 24,261.51; 6/27/13… 15,000.00)

 

LESSON for May 14, 2018 – GAME of CLOUDS!

 

 

It was Benjamin Franklin, I believe, who first advised Americans that those willing to give up privacy for security deserved neither privacy nor security.  Words to that effect.  (I could Google the exact quote, but I am not going to do so, for reasons which shall become clear, by and by.)1

Relations between the hi-tech industry and the Washington establishment have been, for the most part, cordial, bipartisan (certain social issues aside) and complementary.  Rich nerds share their lucre with the politicians… either directly, in the form of campaign contributions (bribes) in return for legislative perks like repealing the so-called “net neutrality” strictures and allowing a more or less free hand in making decisions, small and large, that will coax more dollars from the pockets of Don Jones by zeroing in (like the character of the Devil in Monday night’s TV drama “Lucifer”) on his or her wants, desires and, ultimately, personality.  That this has been occurring without the dystopian outcomes warned of by critics and malcontents… yet… massive fraud, extortion and identity (or plain old financial) theft or the institution of an equally massive surveillance state from which persons deemed to be of actual or potential danger to the commercialists, the regulators or a hybrid of the both simply disappear.

(The latter is on the way, by the way, but it’s coming from a different direction and is deserving of an entire Lesson… and maybe more… on its own.)

In the here and now, however, there is a substantial sentiment for more regulation, less freedom, and tighter controls on Internet content – which most ubernerds are willing to surrender so long as other measures more deleterious to the corporations’ bottom lines are enacted.

The impetus for this drawback from liberty is due to the proliferation of spam (aggressive and often deceptive advertising), fake news and politically correct jihad against “hate speech” uttered by a variety of malcontents... the Nazis, the terrorists, the bullied fat kids plotting armed revenge against their middle-school tormentors.  Most of these people are actually harmless, “all hat (mouth) and no cattle” as the Texans put it, but a few are not.  So the left-wing yearning for “safe spaces” and the right-wing cry for “law and order” go hand-in-glove with the beginnings of a backlash against the Cyberian establishment that gives every fool a forum to espouse whatever virtue or venom lurks in their soul.

It doesn’t take much of a provocation for the Net Nazis to square off against real Nazis or the ISIS recruiting propagandists or the school or workplace shooters who share their murderous fantasies with the unseen billions whom, they believe, will hail them as conquering heroes and perhaps garner a few recruits to their cause, even if said cause has no causality.  And conversely, the bipartisan, self-righteous “decent people” simply wish that these aberrations did not exist, and since they do… and because many, if not most, have an inkling that the giant tarantulas of the Web will not take action for the very sensible reason that it might cost them money… they cry out for somebody to come to their rescue.  And God being occupied with other matters, that translates to The Government.  Here, there, Russia, Europe, China… probably in Benin or Bangladesh too.  (In the course of preparing and disseminating these Lessons, we at the CNC have found a number of South Asian pundits and outlets to often be worth our while, even if some of the translation utilities of Cyberia produce bewildering and sometimes bizarre results.)

The cry has arisen from the rabble with their torches and pitchforks: “Do Something!”  And something is what governments in the purportedly educated West are Jedi-masters at doing, even when the something turns out to be an empty shell of a promise of a distraction or simply a pretext for attacking a problem (or perceived problem) that was already on the politicians’ radar.

But the human face of Cyberia, “social media”… now a forum for nearly half the world to create and communicate… can sometimes take on the aspects of an ugly troll or, worse, a truly dangerous monster, the crying out for “something” has engendered a bifurcated consequence… on the one hand, a sort of whining plea for niceness of the “why can’t we all get along” sort as has resulted in online forums like Facebook to hire hundreds of “flaggers”; overeducated, underemployed, overindebted monitors who spend their working hours scrolling down other people’s perhaps ill-conceived thoughts and disclosures for evidences of meanness or an unsound mind as can result in offenders being removed from what the old timers used to call “the Well”… or worse!

At the same time, government and technology… in reality, now, from a minimum of four to perhaps a maximum of a dozen or less giant corporations with profits and capitalization equaling or exceeding that of many small to mid-sized nations… have embarked on the arduous and potentially risky task of reining in what the latter can do with their “metadata”… the innumerable personality hints that have been generated by the ongoing  profile of a Don Jones who logs on to one website or another to shop, solve a problem or vent.  Said references and preferences are scooped up, sorted and sold to datamining companies who then package their hordes of warm bodies containing febrile brains which can be influenced or even persuaded to buy a better brand of shampoo or a new SUV, to vote for candidates whose vague pronouncements seem to reflect their own prejudices or to join a worldwide movement to sit down in circles and chant “Om” on the summer solstice to enable world peace or global warming or whatsoever…

But, mostly, to buy stuff.  (Again, that may be changing in the near to mid-term future if certain recent developments over the ocean take hold and begin to migrate, like the ticks and mosquitoes hitchhiking among human or animal transmission organs crossing these same oceans and, proliferating as global warming makes tropical disease-bearing organisms stronger and more numerous.)

Now if the corporations and the government regulators were honest brokers, it is likely that most Americans, as well as citizens of the world, would support their efforts to enforce a polite, yet outwardly libertarian cyberspace.  But, of course, such is not the case.

The growing, swelling chunks of capital that the Cyberians have accumulated over their short lifetimes have spoken forcefully: social media must obey the social Darwinism of the marketplace.  But the process of investment, research, testing and eventual unveiling of the new product is a pain in the ass… far simpler to simply buy up a perceived competitor; simpler, still, to merely steal the technology.

Scott Galloway, a partner in the cybermarketing consulting firm L2 and media studies professor is author of “The Four”, concerning the paths to power taken by four (naturally!) American institutions which, coming into being only over the last generation, drive and push the Dow Jones, the neo-Futurists2 and thousands of SilValley fanboys into redefining the American Dream.

The Four are, in alphabetical order (Alphabet, paradoxically, is the holding company for Google) are… Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google.  According to Galloway, these critters now dominate the technology industry, although each dominates a separate facet.  What they have in common is an enormous profit margin based on minimal investment and production costs at a high price – resulting in a market capitalization of 414 billion (Facebook) to 794 (Apple).  Galloway, although not exactly an admirer of The Four, seems to be enraptured by the prospect of one or another topping a trillion market cap.  We’ll take a closer look at the race to the trillion… later… but the two members of the four that are holding our current interest are Facebook (for all the wrong reasons) and Amazon.

The trials and tribulations of FB and its troubled innovator, Mark Zuckerberg, are, by now, well known to Don Jones.  He may even have “unfriended” the utility due to the spam, the Russian fake news and the ubiquitous spying… the Zuck, like Wells Fargo, has been attempting damage control via (what else!) more advertising.  Even on the contemptable electronic broadcast media.

Television and radio, of course, are consigned to the glue factory in the race to The Tril.  So are old school icons like Microsoft, IBM and WalMart, struggling competitors like Tesla, Uber and Oracle and the foreigners (principal of which is the Chinese Alibaba).  And this is, perhaps, why a host of second and third-rate companies have teamed up with Oracle and Microsoft to challenge Amazon’s domination, as the struggle to control the Defense Department’s Cloud enters the home stretch.

Sooner or later, the Defense Department is expected to bid out a lucrative contract that will task a single cloud provider with building the cloud the U.S. military will use for war. Amazon and Google are taking on defense contractors in a heated battle for billions in government contracts. And the cloud is called … JEDI. Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure. “How else would the Empire call its cloud?” noted strangesounds.org.

The Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure contract—perhaps worth as much as $10 billion over 10 years—will put a commercial company in charge of hosting and distributing mission-critical workloads and classified military secrets to warfighters around the globe.

As a result, JEDI will give frontline warfighters the kind of information once reserved for generals, Brig. Gen. David Krumm of the Joint Staff told the Breaking Defense newsletter after holding an “industry day” last April… a sort of beauty pageant or, say some, a bake-off for artificial intelligence weaponizers.  “We need to make sure we understand information is no longer only reserved for senior leaders to make decisions and then provide orders to the soldier, sailor, marine, airman on the battlefield,” Krumm said. “It’s for those people on the battlefield to have the information to make the right decision.

“When you have the information available globally, it creates all sorts of new possibilities for the warfighter to realize it,” he went on. With cloud connectivity providing data to frontline forces, he said, “it might go directly to an F-35, it might go directly to an M1 Abrams tank, it might to go a submarine…..As we go towards some of the new innovative technologies (like) autonomy, unmanned vehicles, the availability and accessibility of this data will drive effectiveness of those machines as well.”

All this sounds ambitious — and when the government tries an ambitious information technology program, Breaking Defense, among others, has noted, “it rarely ends well. The JEDI contract has already come under heavy criticism, particularly over its call for a single winner-take-all contract award, a provision which has survived revisions of the Request For Proposal: Most big companies rely on several cloud providers as insurance against any one going down. Congress has ordered the Defense Department to explain its reasoning.”

One might compare the decision and capacity for launching a nuclear strike to the autonomous operations of a Tesla.  The upside is that… given current concerns and legal maneuvering, this might take authority away from the one man empowered to release the birds: The President.  The downside is that self-driving vehicles are usually safe… but not always,

Most observers say that the contract will go either to Amazon alone, or to some sort of consortium consisting of Microsoft, Oracle and others.  The soldiers and scientists tend to favor Amazon… but there is a problem.  Its boss, Jeff Bezos, is not beloved at the White House.  In fact, he and his Washington Post are despised.

The Defense Department has tasked a Cloud Executive Steering Group with putting together an enterprisewide cloud procurement, but Secretary James Mattis will be the ultimate arbiter of the Game of Cloud(s).  And Mattis is answerable to Donald Trump.

Popular (fictitious) sentiment holds that Galloway’s hi-tech quadrarchy and their aspirant/pretenders exist in a sort of rootin’ tootin’ Libertarian utopia where the best and the brightest can become billionaires by thirty, and any grungy cabal of wild boys in torn jeans, hoodies and flip flops can develop trillion dollar companies out of their parents’ garages.  Sort of like Ayn Rand meets Westworld.

In 2018, however, net competition has ossified into just another tall tale.  Perhaps the mythology held nuggets of truth twenty years ago, even ten, but the current fact is that the Cyberian gold rush has given way to a sort of corporate South African mine in which starving children dig into the earth with spoons to uncover treasures promptly appropriated by their betters with, perhaps, a reward of a half-decomposed chicken foot in their nightly stew.

The stakes are high, the swords are being sharpened.  Lawyers are being mobilized. 

The game is afoot.

For Don Jones, the continuing gains in employment and the prospects of a Trump/Kim summit… now most likely in Singapore on June 12th, resulted in a healthy gain (although not quite as large as last week’s).  The downside might be continuing turmoil in the Mideast as Iran now occupies the villainous status vacated by NoKo.  The riots accompanying the movement of the American embassy to Jerusalem didn’t help, but an Iranian semi-embargo on oil exports will push the cost of summer driving up.

At least there’s the Royal Wedding to distract us.

 

Notes:

1  The quote has been the siren song of anti-war protesters and, most recently”, scoffs author-libertarian Gregory Ferenstein of TechCrunch, “the banner for mass online protests against the NSA’s surveillance program.”  He cites the Brookings Institute’s Benjamin Wittes, who observed:  “Very few people who quote these words, however, have any idea where they come from or what Franklin was really saying when he wrote them.”  The actual quote is: “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.”

2  The Neo-Futurists are an experimental theater troupe founded by Greg Allen) in 1988, based on an aesthetic of “honesty, speed and brevity” and inspired by the Italian Futurist movement from the early 20th century.  Said aesthetic concludes:

 “The counterfuture that the neofuturists offer is not a bright utopian response to the dystopian elements of the current global situation, but a nuanced approach to a future that dreams of liberation, glimpsing it as possibility. It’s no surprise that the artists working in this mode often tie their vision directly to consciousness and the sacred. The liminal zones where this work takes place already breathe with new spirit, an anarchic energy that affirms existence even in its denial of the present. Will we find our way back to the garden? Or do we march inexorably toward the birth of synthetic gods, intelligences that will rule like Gnostic archons over a blighted, post-industrial wasteworld? Time will tell. Whichever direction we pursue, visions of the future will guide us there. From distant horizons, they reflect back our potentiality, our dreams, our fears. If there is hope left for liberation, art presents an opportunity to discover it, amidst storm and strife, in the images that carry us beyond this world and into the next.”

The original Futurists were highly esteemed by and integrated into the regime of Benito Mussolini.  The Neos claim that their courses “won’t make you a fascist. Probably.”  Allegedly, Steven Colbert was a member of their Chicago chapter “for about five minutes” before becoming a celebrity talkshow host.

 

THE DON JONES INDEX

CHART of CATEGORIES w/VALUE ADDED to EQUAL BASELINE of 15,000

(REFLECTING… approximately… DOW JONES INDEX of June 27, 2013)

See a further explanation of categories here

 

ECONOMIC INDICES (60%)

                                                                                                                                              

DON JONES’ PERSONAL ECONOMIC INDEX (45% of TOTAL INDEX POINTS)

 

    CATEGORY

   VALUE

   BASE

         RECKO

NINGS

  SCORE

   SCORE

        INCOME

(24%)

  6/27/13

    LAST

CHANGE

NEXT

5/7/18

5/14/18

OUR SOURCE(S) and COMMENTS

Wages (hourly, per capita)    

9%

1350 points 

5/7/18

nc

5/21/18

      1,480.17

      1,480.17

http://www.tradingeconomics.com/united-states/wages   22.51

Median Income (yearly)

4%

600

5/14/18

+0.06%

5/21/18

         676.11

         676.49

debtclock.org/    31,860

Unempl. (BLS – in millions

4%

600

5/7/18

nc

5/21/18

      1,167.12

      1,167.12

http://data.bls.gov/timeseries/LNS14000000     3.9

   Official (DC - in millions)

2%

300

5/14/18

+3.24%

5/21/18

525.86

542.90

http://www.usdebtclock.org/      6,326

   Unofficl. (DC - in millions)

2%

300

5/14/18

+2.14%

5/21/18

         503.82

         514.60

http://www.usdebtclock.org/    12,565

Workforce Participation

     Number (in millions)

     Percentage (DC)

2%

300

5/14/18

 

+0.02%

-0.173%

5/21/18

285.53

285.04

Americans in/not in workforce (mil.) 

In: 155,240  Out 95,784 Total 251,024

http://www.usdebtclock.org/  61.84%  

WP Percentage (ycharts)*

1%

150

5/7/18

nc

5/21/18

150.83

150.83

http://ycharts.com/indicators/labor_force_participation_rate   62.80

 

 

OUTGO

    (15%)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total Inflation (aggregate)

7%

1050

5/14/18

+0.2

May 18

974.27

972.32

http://www.bls.gov/news.release/cpi.nr0.htm     +0.2

 

Inflation – Food

2%

300

5/14/18

+0.3

May 18

278.42

277.58

http://www.bls.gov/news.release/cpi.nr0.htm     +0.3

 

               - Gasoline

2%

300

5/14/18

+3.0

May 18

304.41

295.29

http://www.bls.gov/news.release/cpi.nr0.htm     +3.0

 

               - Medical Costs

2%

300

5/14/18

+0.2

May 18

263.56

263.03

http://www.bls.gov/news.release/cpi.nr0.htm     +0.2

 

               -  Shelter

2%

300

5/14/18

+0.3

May 18

282.27

281.42

http://www.bls.gov/news.release/cpi.nr0.htm     +0.3

 

 

WEALTH

(6%)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dow Jones Index

2%

300

5/14/18

+2.55%

5/21/18

434.68

444.49

Dow – 24,831.27

Homes – Sales

             -  Valuation

1%

1%

150

150

5/7/18

Sales +1.08%        Valu. +3.60%

May 18

204.98        222.49

204.98        222.49

http://www.realtor.org/research-and-statistics

Sales (M):  5.60 Valuations (K):  250.40

 

Debt (Personal)

2%

300

5/14/18

+0.002%

5/21/18

258.25

258.10

http://www.usdebtclock.org/    58,017

 

 

 

AMERICAN ECONOMIC INDEX (15% of TOTAL INDEX POINTS)

 

 

 

           NATIONAL

(10%)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Revenues (in trillions – tr.)

2%

300

5/14/18

+0.02%

5/21/18

380.27

380.23

debtclock.org/       3.330

 

Expenditures (in tr.)

2%

300

5/14/18

+0.07%

5/21/18

259.28

259.09

debtclock.org/       4.080

 

National Debt (tr.)

3%

450

5/14/18

+0.12%

5/21/18

344.58

344.58

http://www.usdebtclock.org/    21,148

 

Aggregate Debt (tr.)

3%

450

5/14/18

+0.08%

5/21/18

366.40

366.10

http://www.usdebtclock.org/     70,161

 

 

 

 

           GLOBAL

(5%)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Foreign Debt (tr.)

2%

300

5/14/18

+0.08%

5/21/18

308.08

307.84

http://www.usdebtclock.org/   6.341

 

Exports (in billions – bl.)

1%

150

5/7/18

nc

5/21/18

164.32

164.32

http://www.census.gov/foreign-trade/statistics/highlights/congressional.html  208.5

 

Imports (bl.)

1%

150

5/7/18

nc

5/21/18

129.37

129.37

http://www.census.gov/foreign-trade/statistics/highlights/congressional.html 257.5

 

Trad Deficit (bl.)

1%

150

5/7/18

nc

5/21/18

102.72

102.72

https://www.census.gov/foreign-trade/statistics/highlights/monthly.html  49.0

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                                                                                                 SOCIAL INDICES (40%)

 

                       LIBERTY and SECURITY INDEX           (15%) 

          ACTS of MAN

(9%)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

World Peace

3%

450

5/14/18

  +0.7%

5/21/18

428.90

431.90

Trump/Kim meeting set: Singapore 6/12.  NoKo frees 3 American prisoners.  Trump kills Iran deal. Iran/Israel swap missiles, raising oil prices.  Taylor Swift and Katy Perry kiss and make up.

 

 

Terrorism

2%

300

5/14/18

   -0.3%

5/21/18

220.45

221.11

5 Isis leaders caught in Iraq.  Iraqis go to the polls.  Mad stabber in Paris, church bomber in Indonesia.  Nigeria frees Boko sex slaves, California school shooter thwarted.

 

Private/Public Corruption

 

2%

300

5/14/18

    +0.1%

5/21/18

298.61

298.31

Michael Cohen a busy fellow… shuffled money between AT&T and Russian oligarch; invested 600K in Time merger.

 

 

Crime

1%

150

5/14/18

  -0.2%

5/21/18

237.70

238.18

Golden State killer caught after decades, brags about more bodies. Oklahoma police ambushed.  Iron Man suit stolen

 

 

          ACTS of GOD             

(6%)

(with, in some cases, a little… or lots of… help from men, and a few women)

 

Environment/Weather

3%

450

5/14/18

    -0.1%

5/21/18

332.20

331.87

Bad weather in the west… Oregon firenado, Montana floods.  Michiganers protest giving local water to for-profit bottlers.

 

 

Natural/Unnatural Disasters

3%

450

5/14/18

    +0.3%

5/21/18

354.92

353.86

Volcano continues erupting in Hawaii, joined by more in Japan and Indonesia.  Bad week for kids - toddler twins baked in Va SUV wreck, bouncy house takes off and tosses 9 year old onto freeway.  “Super” bedbugs discovered in Houston.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                         LIFESTYLE and JUSTICE INDEX          (15%)

 

Science, Tech. & Education

4%

600

5/14/18

+0.1%

5/21/18

627.49

628.12

Melania informs America’s youth: “Be Best!”  Uber is testing pilotless air taxis, reminiscent of the Jetsons.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Equality (economic/social)

4%

600

5/14/18

+0.1%

5/21/18

733.05

733.78

Louisiana now has 3 black female mayors in New Orleans, Baton Rouge and Lafayette.  NY attorney general Schneiderman praises MeToo then gets toppled by sexual abuse charges.  Driving while black joined by sleeping, waffling and being a grandma as the police kick ass. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Health

4%

600

5/14/18

+0.2%

5/21/18

529.29

530.35

Brain dead boy revives just as the doctors are about to harvest his organs.  Summer brings melanomas and bugs, doctors running out of epipens.  Toxic e-coli lettuce joined by salmonella eggs (not caviar).  Baldness cure proposed?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Freedom and Justice                        

3%

450

5/14/18

+0.4%

5/21/18

510.06

512.10

Government loosens reins on free-range kids, but requires solar panels on all new homes in California (even Eureka?) and hits the King of Robocalls with a $120 million fine.  (Why not jail?)  Trump aide mocks dying Sen. McCain.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                     

                       MISCELLANEOUS and TRANSIENT INDEX        (10%)

All miscellaneous incidents

   (transient and cultural)

10%

1000

5/14/18

+0.1%

5/21/18

1083.46

 1084.54

Gas prices highest since 2014.  George Zimmerman threatens to feed paparazzi to alligators.  Sugarland TX driver rescued from lake of snakes and gators, Orlando teen attacked by the same critters.  Oliver North becomes president of NRA.  Pedestrial deaths up 46% in 7 years.  Fashionistas dress up as Catholics.  Convict Blankenship loses W. Va senate primary, Dr. Dre loses his trademark to a real Dr. Drai.  Meghan Markle’s oafish relatives poised to turn royal wedding into a bad sitcom?  Rockefeller art auction raises 832 million.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Don Jones Index for the week of May 7th through 13th, 2018 was UP 41 points.

 

The Don Jones Index is sponsored by the Coalition for a New Consensus: retired Congressman and Independent Presidential candidate Jack “Catfish” Parnell, Chairman; Brian Doohan, Administrator/Editor.  The CNC denies, emphatically, allegations that the organization, as well as any of its officers (including former Congressman Parnell, environmentalist/America-Firster Austin Tillerman and cosmetics CEO Rayna Finch) and references to Parnell’s works, “Entropy and Renaissance” and “The Coming Kill-Off” are fictitious or, at best, mere pawns in the web-serial “Black Helicopters” – and promise swift, effective legal action against parties promulgating this and/or other such slanders.

Comments, complaints, donations (especially SUPERPAC donations) always welcome at feedme@generisis.com or: speak@donjonesindex.com

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