9/4/18…  15,818.42

        8/27/18…  15,818.17

        6/27/13…  15,000.00


 (THE DOW JONES INDEX:  9/4/18… 25,964.82;  8/27/18… 25,790.35; 6/27/13… 15,000.00)



LESSON for September 4, 2018 – FRACTIONS and FUNERALS!


Seen this commercial on the idjut box of late… some insurance people, I forget which, or maybe it was the truck company… anyway, this rather ordinary-looking fellow is teaching his boy how to drive and to haul a boat behind, and then tells him: “You better be careful, sonny, that’s my best boat!”

His best!  (At least he’s not holding a shotgun to the lad’s noggin like the particularly jolly candidate for Governor of Georgia does to them as try to date his daughter!)

Most as can afford them… they are a royal pain, from my experience… do fine with just one brigantine.  Many more (and not all of them homeless guys sleeping on cardboard around the corner from the rescue mission) don’t have any ships in their marina.  I don’t.  Got tired of hauling the damned thing down and back to Lake Cumberland to squeeze out a couple hours fishin’, so I sold it and availed myself of EZ Charlie’s boat and tackle rentals down at the dock.  Don’t begrudge the working man in better… well, other… circumstances his Alan Hale fantasies, nor his boss the yacht on some expensive body of water, but… two boats?  Three?  How many boats needs a man have to feel like a man… or a shark?

Cab Calloway used to sing this song my Pa, the Senator, was fond of whistling back in the day – it was called “How Big Can You Get?” and was about, more or less, just that.  Pa’s vice, like my own, was horses… so he maybe shouldn’t have mounted such a high one about other people’s indulgences, but he was one to go along and get along with the millionaires of the day.

A millionaire, now, is a sad little critter… usually working his bobbed tail and cropped ears off to move up into the new circle of competence (the billions) but almost always failing and falling back into the can unless he was smart or lucky enough to pour his pile into Google or Apple or Amazon before they took off.  So I can understand if they don’t feel happy with their few millions or even few hundred, with their Trump tax cuts and death tax disembowelment as’ll let their spoiled progeny hold on to what they got instead of his starting a university or a hospital or a foundation, the way they used to do.  So they can go out and buy a boat, like the country song recommends, then buy another and another until they have one for every day of the week, then every day of the year that they hardly ever use… shelling out for a Captain and waiters and such that mostly hang around belowdeck, playing poker or Warcraft.

It’s their God (and gumment) – given right and if the rest of the world doesn’t exactly look at their boats and their mansions and their limousines and say: “Yes, that fellow has a big, big penis!” well then there are some that are just ungrateful and clueless trolls, too worried about their own shriveled little lives to appreciate the celebration of their betters.

Lot of them clueless little trolls about, ‘ccordin’ to the folks at the Urban Institute, a nonpartisan, nonprofit policy group based in Washington, D.C., which surveyed almost 7,600 adults last December and released their findings to Market Watch and some other fiscal journals last week.  Some 39.4% of adults said their families had trouble meeting at least one basic need for food, health care, housing, or utilities last year. Nearly 24% of respondents reported two or more hardships in 2017 and 14% said they experienced at least three of these.

The publishers of UI’s “Well-Being and Basic Needs Survey” said that the economy may be improving and unemployment falling, but the social safety net for low-income Americans “may be undergoing significant changes.” In fact, almost two-thirds of families with incomes below the federal poverty level — currently $25,100 for a family of four — had problems meeting these basic needs.

But even nearly 20% of people whose household income was 400% above the federal poverty level… that would be households with an income of one hundred thousand dollars per year… also experienced some sort of difficulty meeting a basic need.

Should America go begging to world anti=poverty organizations?  Or is poverty not what it used to be?

The most common hardship Americans said they faced was food insecurity, with 23.3% of respondents saying they did not have reliable access to a sufficient amount of affordable and nutritious food. Other basic needs Americans had trouble meeting included paying medical bills (18% of respondents), getting medical care (17.8%), missing utility bill payments (13%) and missing rent or mortgage payments (10.2%).

The UI findings do not appear anomalous.  New research from Schwab Retirement Plan Services, Inc. published in the Silicon Valley Business Journal last week found that: “Paying for unexpected expenses (40%), being unwilling to sacrifice things that improve their quality of life (34%) and paying down credit card debt (31%) top the list of obstacles participants face when trying to save for retirement in the present.”

Market Watch also reported that…

The Pew Research Center, a nonprofit think tank in Washington, D.C., conducted a study of nearly 43,000 people in 38 countries around the globe; residents in 20 countries said people like them were better off than they were 50 years ago while the people in 18 (including the United States) said they were actually worse off.

43% of households said they couldn’t afford a basic monthly budget for housing, food, transportation, child care, health care and a monthly smartphone bill, according to the United Way’s Alice (“asset limited, income constrained, employed”) Project.

Calling Alice workers the forgotten people: Child care workers, home health aides and retail workers in low-paying jobs and have difficulty saving money and are one paycheck away from the street. In 2017, 44% of people in the U.S. said they could not cover an unexpected $400 emergency expense or would rely on borrowing or selling something to do so, down from 46% the year before, according to a separate report released last year by the U.S. Federal Reserve.

Alice uses standardized measurements to calculate the “bare bones” household budget in each county in each state. It maintains that the federal poverty level — currently $25,100 for a family of four — doesn’t accurately illustrate the number of people living in poverty because it doesn’t take into account the dramatically different costs of living across the U.S.  “It is morally unacceptable and economically unsustainable for our country to have so many hard-working families living paycheck to paycheck,” said Alice CEO John Franklin.

(Even in Connecticut, America’s fourth-richest state… see Attachment One… Hartford found that at least 10 percent of families are ALICE households even though 55 percent of jobs in the state pay at least $20 per hour or more -- the highest in the nation.  Connecticut families must earn almost $78,000 a year to run a household of four including one infant and one toddler.


The bright side? The 40 percent deplorability frontier is an improvement from half of adults being unable to cover such an expense in 2013. The number has been sliding downwards each year since.

Greg McBride, chief financial analyst at called the findings “troublesome”, adding: "Nothing is more fundamental to achieving financial stability than having savings that can be drawn upon when the unexpected occurs."

One of the conclusions of the Alice Project is that the federal poverty level — currently $25,100 for a family of four — doesn’t accurately illustrate the number of people living in poverty because it doesn’t take into account the dramatically different costs of living across the U.S. “

“For too long, the magnitude of financial instability in this country has been understated,” contends Alice CEO John Franklin.  “It is morally unacceptable and economically unsustainable for our country to have so many hard-working families living paycheck to paycheck.”

Doing so depresses the incentives to save money for a rainy day (or floods, among Midwesterners who couldn’t afford property insurance, or medical bills or for education or retirement).  The panic of 2008 scared millions away from the stock market… many still distrust financial adventurism, seeing the record bull market as fake news or a cleverly calculated shallow state plot to heist the suckers’ money all over again.  Many of those who have are parking their surplus in checking accounts that pay little, nothing, or even negative interest rates and the effects of this will become more pronounced as more baby boomers retire and start drawing Social Security income (which will compound the already runaway National Debt.)

A ten-year-old Census Bureau survey found that nearly all individuals (89.2 percent) age 65 and older were receiving income from Social Security, while 55.3 percent received income from assets, 35.4 received income from pensions and annuities, and 20.4 percent received income from earnings.  But

• Income sources for lowest income quintile (less than $8,956 in 2008, higher now): Social Security, 88.4 percent; assets, 4.0 percent; pensions and annuities, 3.4 percent; earnings, 2.0 percent; other, 2.3 percent.

• Income sources for highest income quintile(more than $38,468): Earnings, 39.3 percent; pensions and annuities, 22.6 percent; Social Security, 18.6 percent; assets, 17.7 percent; other, 1.8 percent.

In addition, the study showed differences in the composition of income by gender. For example, Social Security accounted for 48.4 percent of elderly women’s income, compared with 33.7 percent of elderly men’s income. And pensions and annuities accounted for 21.8 percent of elderly men’s income, compared with 16.8 percent of elderly women.

Some Americans are, indeed, spending less, but hoarding that money in their checking accounts. People had the least amount of money in their checking accounts in 2007, when times were good just before the Great Recession. In fact, they had on average less than $1,000 in their account. Today, the average checking account customer has more than $3,700 stashed away, significantly more than the median amount in checking accounts since 1991 is $2,263, according to Moebs Services, an economic-research firm in Lake Bluff, Ill.

Others contend that poverty may be a result of poor decision making.  Poor people facing “food insecurity” may be choosing to purchase cheap, filling junk calories rather than nutritious fruits and vegetables – not only for economic reason, but because they taste better and, when life is hard, if the only solace is some generic Coke and a pair of Ding Dongs, well, go for the gusto.

In the worst of the worst neighborhoods… admit it!... a lot of young people also are resigned to the fact that they’ll probably be shot dead before reaching 21, or that they’ll spend most of their lives in jails and prisons where the food, if not tasty or nutritious, is free.

The Schwab study (above) revealed that, “despite having a positive outlook for retirement, American workers regret past spending and are concerned about being able to ultimately save enough for their golden years. The nationwide survey of 1,000 401(k) plan participants finds that while 70 percent believe their quality of life in retirement will be better than that of both their parents and their children.”  But saving for retirement was still the number one source of financial stress for that seemingly magical forty percent.

Possession of 401(k) plans, in and of themselves, suggest a sample base skewed towards the middle and tending to exclude the top dogs (who don’t need ‘em) and the underclass (who aren’t offered same by any of the multiple employers they may have).  Being, for the most part, good little worker-drones, the majority profess to be wracked with guilt over having indulged themselves a little in order to deny or to forget… for awhile… the mediocrity of their lives.  (Don Jones is catching on… those “confidential” survey monkeys make most of their money selling the compromising responses of individual survey-takers to employers, insurers, etc.)  Two-thirds of participants (64%) “wish they had spent less in the past to save more for retirement, particularly on meals out, expensive clothing, new cars and vacations (not to mention smart device with tiny screens and buttons as don’t fit the fingers of any mid-to-plus sized American). Conversely, participants are less likely to regret past spending on more enduring and significant items such as housing, weddings, student loans and tuition for their children,” that they may well still be paying for their own student loans remains an ongoing source of shame, ensuring that they will cling to their station and do whatever they are told.


The question of wealth and poverty brings, with it, predictable partisan posturing.  Recently, the liberal blog Salon contended that, since the late 1970s, labor productivity in the U.S. has risen 259 percent, under what they call “the post-World War II shared prosperity social contract”, the average person’s income would be more than double what it is today. The actual change? “Median income adjusted for inflation is lower today than it was in 1974. A staggering 40 percent of all Americans now make less than the 1968 minimum wage, adjusted for inflation. Median middle-class wealth is plummeting. It is now 36 percent below what it was in 2000.”

Tim Worstall of Forbes calls the contention “ludicrous” in that “productivity has risen asymmetrically”… in other words, software engineers, in 1974, were not notably more productive than other skilled labour, now they quite obviously are. So wages for software engineers have risen substantially faster over this period than those of, for example, burger flippers, “where it's not obvious that there's been all that much change in productivity at all.”

(Unless you factor in the inflation… some of us can remember when a burger from McDonald’s cost fifteen cents.)

Another reason why things are just peachy for the working classes, Worstall contends, is that including “pensions benefits, health care insurance costs, payroll taxes and so on” significantly raises the “fruits of productivity” (Salon’s term) to the extent that “average wages have risen pretty much with productivity over the period.”

Citing the Info Wars satellite Zero Hedge, Worstall notes that, while more than 40 percent of all U.S. workers may, indeed, make less than what a full-time minimum wage worker made back in 1968, the disappearance of full-time work (and the benefits therefrom) have created a situation where “people working part time don't make much money over the course of the year. Which is, if you'll forgive me,” concludes Worstall (who is a Fellow at the Adam Smith Institute in London, an expert on rare earth metals… like those found only in China and, so, potentially dangerous in the surging trade war… and “a writer here and there on this and that”) is “not a finding that makes me blush at the iniquity of modern society.”

Liberals may be loathe to say so, but too many poor Americans are spending lavishly… on cars, on Ding Dongs, on housing, on toys, on vices commonplace to all social classes but particularly harmful to the poorest.  Many who get into trouble have to resort to usurious car title and payday loans and, as we noted a while back, the Federal government refuses to let indigent student loan debtors off the hook, no matter how many for-profit “colleges” weave opiod dreams of decent-paying careers around the desperate.

So – what to do?

Perhaps, as Mr. Worstall and his ilk are resigned to, inequality will always be with us because some people are just lazy, impecunious or just too stupid to hold down one of the increasingly complicated jobs of the future.  The malaise exuded by the labor movement has left millions unable to better their part-time, minimum or sub-min “independent contractor”, no benefits status, and regulation will drive many small firms operating in poorer communities out of business.

The Sandersian notion of a minimum annual wage (with or without work requirements) would have benefits above and beyond simply putting more money into the pockets of the poor, according to Atha Fromey of, who denies the contention that poor people are lazy and that society is not iniquitous (it’s perhaps iquitos?) and cites assorted studies, like those of basicincome,org and the University of Chicago to the effect that people will not work less, and in some cases may work more if it benefits them, under a basic income.  A not inconsiderable side effect would be the potential decrease in crime, which depresses the economic prospects of entire communities.

There is one main reason that most robbery crimes are happening so often, Froma writes, “people have no access to basic survival money.

“The majority of the everyday thefts are poor people who just can’t afford to survive.  With a UBI in place, the amount of people who are forced to steal or even kill for money will be dramatically decreased.”

More studies, worldwide (from liberal America’s HuffPost to Namibia), suggest a potential 40% crime decrease, given a UBI and further, states Froma: “Suicides would also decrease, as the most of them are result of depression, which is mostly caused by anxiety about survival.”

Short of giving up or giving people money (the actual title of a book by Annie Lowery), business interests (like Schwab) propose that Americans be given financial planning assistance from qualified professionals (like Schwab), paid by either the recipients or the gumment.

Participants clearly recognize the value of advice, but there is a gap between what they say they desire and what they feel they deserve. While the majority (71%) would like personalized investment advice specific to their 401(k), only about half (53%) believe that their current financial situation actually warrants professional help. And while most (73%) think they know what percentage of their salary they should save in a 401(k), just over half (54%) say they know how much money they actually need to accumulate for a comfortable retirement.

 “The good news is that many 401(k) plans today offer investment advice,” reported Catherine Golladay, a senior vice president at Schwab, “and that advice isn’t meant just for the affluent. It’s meant for everyone. No matter how much money you have to save and invest, a professional can help you maximize its potential.”

There have even been trial balloons floated as would mandate mandatory savings withdrawn from paychecks and stored up in personal IRA-like accounts (GIRA’s?) with private firms (like Schwab) either as supplementary to or… in the view of some tea-party types… replacements for Social Security.  These sentiments were substantially muted after 2008 but now, with the stock market booming again, a new round of agitation is at hand.

A question remains… if the accumulated funds of those who die shortly after retirement go back to the government, should long-lived retirees be able to keep drawing remittances on the public account after their own contributions expire, or would they be cut off and set adrift at, say, 85 or so… just about the time that working becomes medically, instead of merely officially, impossible and the doctor bills are starting to multiply?

The dissonance has been compounded by President Trump’s recent tax cuts for the rich and, now, a proposal to give back more billions to the billionaires and the corporations.  Economics, like politicians, are divided by partisanship… red money people say that the wealth has, indeed, trickled down in the form of more jobs and higher wages.  Blue monies respond that the jobs gain is the result of so many workers having to settle for part-time, min or sub-minimum wage and no benefit jobs that pump up the numbers, but not the economy.

Perhaps a physiocratic solution will be in the offing… depending on midterm election results.  This hoary old philosophy holds that there is a difference… a need for discrimination… between wages for work that produces valuable objects “of magnificence and utility” and those professions that merely move money around – like investment banking.  There were different gradations and degrees back in the day… Karl Marx even placed landlords in the favored half, so a certain amount of debate would have to take place.

(The UK’s Economist, a conservative but intelligent digest has even taking potshots at quasi-physiocrat Henry George’s single tax… on land speculation… which rough beast seems to be awakened and slouching around as a consequence of the unaffordable rents in job-rich locales like Seattle, New York and San Francisco and the paucity of employment in old, housing-rich rust-belt communities.

We may well take a look at this in weeks to come, but, for the present…


Don Jones, his family and his Index, mostly took the week off from sensation as them that could did from work; it was… besides… a week mostly consumed with funerals.  They buried Aretha Franklin and Senator John McCain, and neither interment was without controversy… Donald Trump, (fresh off the S.S. Crazy and threatening that the stock market would collapse if he was impeached and “everybody would be poor”) was specifically dis-invited to the ceremonies in Arizona, Washington and Annapolis and daughter Meghan orated an oration that perhaps lacked the subtlety of Shakespeare’s Antony but did have the salutary effect of numbing the President’s tweetery fingers (at least for the time being).  In Detroit, assorted men of God swaggered up to the podium and groped the popstars or urged the funeral-goers in their funerary finery (including various musicians, industry figures and the Clintons) to go out into the streets and start violent race riots as a response to… something or other. The despicability was then matched and surmounted by Donald Junior, who tweeted a blistering skreech that blamed Democrats for the murder of Iowa jogger Mollie Tibbetts by an illegal Mexican criminal.  It drew an anguished and angry response from the victim’s parents who condemned the exploitation of their daughter’s killing to stoke the partisan political fires.

(See Attachments for texts.) 

There was another funeral too, last week, one more or less overlooked in the dreary gray clouds of not-the-news as passed for the news… it was the final snuffing out of the Village Voice (62), once a paragon of the fake media that had died a long, lingering death like a forgotten, demented silent movie star in a cheap nursing home.  In its heyday (the 50s through 70s) the Voice was like HuffPost, Salon and dozens of imitators wrapped up into one squirming ball of liberal verbiage at a time when to be called a liberal was not considered an epithet (except to the legions of self-designated radicals, working for the Revolution).  Everybody who was anybody wrote for and read the Voice… it wasn’t for the money, it was for the chance to eviscerate the royals and the bourgeoisie (and learn about the new Chilean restaurant on the Upper West Side, too).  It was fatter than the Los Angeles paper (almost as weighty as the Sunday Times or WashPost) and its contributors were probably better (Ezra Pound, Henry Miller, Allen Ginsburg, cartoonists Matt Groening and Lynda Barry, music critic Robert Christgau and founder Norman Mailer)  if not always better known.  Born in 1955, the heyday of (Joseph) McCarthy, it outlasted the Cuban Missile Crisis and Richard Nixon, the disco era and Ayatollah Khomeini, but finally began to weaken under the slings and arrows of Ronald Reagan and the pusillanimous Clintons and Obama. 

At the time of its demise, it had already evolved into that life-in-death to which so many community, advocacy and small town journals have succumbed… retreating to the Internet.  People stopped reading it and talking about it and death was probably merciful.  It had ceased being “underground” journalism after being bought by Rupert Murdoch and become an artifact of a distant time when people cared about their communities and each other,  There is no such aminal as the underground press anymore... only things found underground these days are dead bodies, and there do not appear to be any replacements on the horizon… perhaps the late night comedians, perhaps some blogs now in danger of being downlisted by the stifling of the net neutrality safeguards and the voice of big, dark money.  Probably no matter… Americans have chosen sides, and, since there doesn’t seem to be any rational arguments that the reds can make to convert the blues, or vice versa, Americans just scream at each other.  Everything else is fake news, it has been so for at least a decade, perhaps since the turn of the century, and the Shallow State shows no signs of discovering contrition nor compromise, at least not for many more decades to come.

Back to the week’s fatigue… the Index did actually rise again (mainly on the wings of a Dow) to the extent of all of one quarter of one point.  Ultimately bored with the funerals, with the interminable Russiagate, the random shootings and flimflam apologies for this or that offense, and their President tweeting that Big Labor was obsolete and impotent, the Jones family sat down to a Labor Day supper as may or may not have conformed to UI and ALICE’s definition of affordability and nutrition, instead of munching on a celery stick and saving the cost of the dogs, fries and burgers in a managed investment plan.






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

See a further explanation of categories here


                                                                          ECONOMIC INDICES (60%)














Wages (hourly, per capita)


1350 points



Sep. 2018


1,489.33   22.65


Median Income (yearly)







683,24    32.160


Unempl. (BLS – in millions





Sep. 2018


1,167.12     3.9


Official (DC - in millions)







528.48      6.496


Unofficl. (DC - in millions)







521.60    12,391


Workforce Participation

Number (in millions)

Percentage (DC)










Americans in/not in workforce (mil.)

In: 156,969  Out 96,098 Total 252,067  61.88%


WP Percentage (ycharts)*





Sep. 2018


151.07 62.90









Total Inflation (aggregate)







965.48     +0.2

Inflation – Food







276.74     +0.1

               - Gasoline







290.28      -0.6

               - Medical Costs







261.20     +0.1

               -  Shelter







279.46     +0.3











Dow Jones Index








Dow – 25,964,82


Homes – Sales

             -  Valuation






Sales  -0.74%        Valu. -2.64%

Sep. 2018

195.48        239.08

195.48        239.08

Sales (M):  5.34 Valuations (K):  269.6



Debt (Personal)







256.68    58.059
















Revenues (in trillions – tr.)







393,00       3.406

Expenditures (in tr.)







251.01       4.193

National Debt (tr.)







339.57    21,453

Aggregate Debt (tr.)







361.33    71,069












Foreign Debt (tr.)







314.62   6.222


Exports (in billions – bl.)





Sep. ‘18


169.50  213.8


Imports (bl.)





Sep. ‘18


128.03 260.2


Trade Deficit (bl.)





Sep. ‘18


108.75  46.3











                                                                               SOCIAL INDICES (40%)


LIBERTY and SECURITY INDEX           (15%)











World Peace








Cuban embassy secret weapon discovered: microwaves!,  UN blasts Myanmar genocide.  Euros go it alone on security.  NAFTA renegotiations placate Mexico, screw Canada.  Iran orders US out of the Straits of Hormuz.











Afghan terror leader terminated.  US cuts off aid to Palestinians.











Trump flag-disses McCain (see more above).  Tells evangelicals that, if GOP loses midterms, “there will be blood”.  Black radical wins Florida Democratic primary, leads in polls after Republicans warnings against “monkeying up”.  Arizona voters reject Sheriff Joe for Senate.  White House counsel Don McGahn turns rat of the week.










You Tube inflicts non-skippable ads on users.  Conservative Facebook employees protest liberalism, call themselves victims.  Trump walks back raises for Federal workers.











Mystery woman seen on scary midnight house cam video.  Stand your ground shooter arrested.  Liberian gold scammers busted for fake gold, Austin bomber blows self up.





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












West Coast fires ease, but heat moves east and stifles NY and Washington.  Dirty water in Detroit brings grim warnings.   Atlantic hurricane season still missing.



Natural/Unnatural Disasters








7 killed in New Mexico bus/truck crash.  Good cop saves luckier 7 from fire, others rescue boy from storm sewer in Wisconsin.  Official death toll in Puerto Rico raised from 64 to 3,000.  Statue of Liberty set on fire.








LIFESTYLE and JUSTICE INDEX          (15%)


Science, Tech. & Education








SAT tests recycled.  Student loan czar resigns for corruption after student bankruptcies denied.  Washington state teachers go on strike.  Trump accuses Google of rigged algorithms to bury conservative sites.  Do-gooders want to ban balloons as unecological (and fun).



Equality (economic/social)








Rogue archbishop accused Pope Francis of being soft on pedophiles.  French Open sanctions female clothing choices. = Cornet shirt changing, Serena’s catsuit.  NBC accused of killing anti-Weinstein story.  French actor Depardieu another groper accuseé.









Fake doc runs wild in California, fake dentist in Pennsylvania.  Canadians tremble: maple leaves cause wrinkles, now wrinkles cause heart attacks, but chocolate helps heart health.  Kosher chicken found contaminated.  Record STDs for 4th consecutive year.


Freedom and Justice








Murderous Muslim maniacs accused of teaching kids to be school shooters released on a technicality.  Allah akbar!  California scraps cash bail to relieve jail overcrowding.  Bad cops: Texas trooper gets 15 years for killing black kid.  Other Texans living near border are repeatedly rounded up and jailed, along with passport applicants with Hispanic names.





All miscellaneous incidents*

(transient and cultural)

4% (7%?)







Rose McGowan/Asia Argento feud heats up.  San Francisco bartender cut up and tossed into fish tank.  Missouri to jail anybody who misuses the word “meat”.  Twitter tests “unfollow” app to replace simply ignoring posts.  Scallop shortage leads to US/France naval battles.  “Hypocrites” raise $400,000 for homeless man, then keep it!  Catsuit-less Serena beats Venus in French Open.  Disneyland to sell alcohol at its Star Wars Cantina.  Football season opens – kneeling controversy rages on.









The Don Jones Index for the week of August 27th through September 3rd 2018 was UP 0.25 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 or:

























New Hampshire





















District of Columbia














New Jersey
















































































































New York














North Dakota














Rhode Island














South Dakota































































North Carolina










































South Carolina














New Mexico














West Virginia
































Meghan McCain’s Eulogy…

The world is a fine place and worth the fighting for, and I hate very much to leave it." When Ernest Hemingway's Robert Jordan, at the close For Whom the Bell Tolls lies wounded and waiting for his last fight, these are among his final thoughts.

My father had every reason to think the world was an awful place. My father had every reason to think the world was not worth fighting for. My father had every reason to think the world was worth leaving. He did not think any of those things. Like the hero of his favorite book, John McCain took the opposite view: You had to have a lot of luck to have had such a good life.

I am here before you today saying the words I have never wanted to say. Giving the speech I have never wanted to give. Feeling the loss I have never wanted to feel.

My father is gone, John Sidney McCain III was many things. He was a sailor, he was an aviator, he was a husband, he was a warrior, he was a prisoner, he was a hero, he was a congressman, he was a senator, he was a nominee for President of the United States. These are all of the titles and roles of a life that's been well lived. They're not the greatest of his titles nor the most important of his roles.

He was a great man. We gather to mourn the passing of American greatness, the real thing, not cheap rhetoric from men who will never come near the sacrifice he gave so willingly. Nor the opportunistic appropriation of those that live lives of comfort and privilege while he suffered and served.

He was a great fire who burned bright. In the past few days, my family and I have heard from so many of those Americans who stood in the warmth and light of his fire and found it illuminated what's best about them. We are grateful to them because they're grateful to him. A few have resented that fire for the light it cast upon them for the truth it revealed about their character, but my father never cared what they thought and even that small number still have the opportunity as long as they draw breath to live up to the example of John McCain.

More: Obama says McCain was 'a warrior, a statesman, a patriot'

MoreCindy McCain weeps during powerful rendition of 'Danny Boy'

My father was a great man. He was a great warrior. He was a great American. I admired him for all of these things. But I love him because he was a great father. My father knew what it was like to grow up in the shadow of greatness, he did just as his father had done before him. He was the son of a great admiral who was also the son of a great admiral. When it came time for the third John Sidney McCain to be a man, he had no choice but in his own eyes to walk in those exact same paths. He had to become a sailor. He had to go to war. He had to have his shot at becoming a great admiral as they also had done. The past of his father and grandfather led my father directly to the harrowing halls of the Hanoi Hilton.

This is the public legend that is John McCain. This is where all of the biography, campaign literature say he showed his character, his patriotism, his faith, his endurance in the worst of possible circumstances. This is where we learned who John McCain truly was. And all is very true except for the last part.

Today I want to share with you where I found out who John McCain truly was and wasn't in the Hanoi Hilton. It wasn't in the cockpit of a fast and lethal fighter jet. It wasn't on the high seas or on the campaign trail. John McCain was in all those places, but the best of him was somewhere else. The best of John McCain, the greatest of his titles and the most important of his roles, was as a father.

Imagine the warrior the night of the skies gently carrying his little girl to bed. Imagine the dashing aviator who took his aircraft, hurdling off pitching decks in the South China Seas, kissing the hurt when I fell and skinned my knee. Imagine the distinguished statesman who counseled presidents and the powerful singing with his girl in Oak Creek during a rainstorm to singing in the rain.

Imagine the senator fierce conscience of the nation's best self taking his 14-year-old daughter out of school because he believed I would learn more about America at the town halls he held across the country. Imagine the elderly veteran of war and government whose wisdom and courage were sought by the most distinguished men of our time his eyes shining with happiness as he gave blessing for his grown daughter's marriage.

You all have to imagine that. I don't have to because I lived it all. I know who he was. I know what defined him. I got to see it every single day of my blessed life.

John McCain was not defined by prison, by the Navy, by the Senate, by the Republican party or by any single one of the deeds in his absolutely extraordinary life. John McCain was defined by love.

Several of you out there in the pews who crossed swords with him or found yourselves on the receiving end of his famous temper or were at a cross purpose to him on anything are right at this moment doing your best to stay stone-faced. Don't. You know full well if John McCain were in your shoes today, he would be using some salty word that he learned in the Navy while my mother jabbed him in the arm in embarrassment. He would look back at her and grumble and maybe stop talking, but he would keep grinning. She was the only one who could do that.

On their first date when he still did not know what sort of woman (s)he was, he recited a Robert Service poem called "The Cremation of Sam McGee" about an Alaskan prospector who welcomed his cremation as the only way to get warm in the icy north. "Strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold. The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold."

He had learned it in Hanoi. A prisoner in the next cell had rapped it out in code over and over again during the long years of captivity. My father figured that if Cindy Lou Hensley would sit through that, appreciate the dark humor that had seen him through so many years of imprisonment, she just might sit through a lifetime with him as well, and she did.

John McCain was defined by love. This love of my father for my mother was the most fierce and lasting of them all, mom. Let me tell you what love meant to John McCain and to me.

His love was the love of a father who mentors as much as he comforts. He was endlessly present for us, and though we did not always understand it, he was always teaching. He didn't expect us to be like him. His ambitions for us unward from worldly achievement was to be better than him. Armed with his wisdom, informed by his experiences, long before we were old enough to assemble our own.

As a girl I didn't appreciate what I most fully appreciate now; how he suffered and how he bore it with a stoic silence that was once the mark of an American man. I came to appreciate it first when he demanded it of me.

I was a small girl, thrown from a horse and crying from a busted collarbone. My dad picked me up. He took me to the doctor, he got me all fixed up. Then he immediately took me back home and made me get back on the same horse. I was furious at him as a child, but how I love him for it now.

My father knew pain and suffering with an intimacy and immediacy most of us are blessed never to have endured. He was shot down, he was crippled, he was beaten, starved, tortured and humiliated. That pain never left him. The cruelty of his communist captors ensured he would never raise his arms above his head for the rest of his life. Yet he survived. Yet he endured. Yet he triumphed. And there was this man who had been through all that with a little girl that didn't want to get back on her horse.

He could have sat me down and told me that and made me feel small because my complaint and fear was nothing next to his pain and memory. Instead, he made me feel loved. "Meghan," he said in his quiet voice that spoke with authority and meant you had best obey. "Get back on the horse." I did. And because I was a little girl, I resented it. Now that I am a woman, I look back across that time and see the expression on his face when I climbed back up and rode again, and see the pride and love in his eyes as he said "Nothing is going to break you."

For the rest of my life, whenever I fall down, I get back up. Whenever I am hurt, I drive on. Whenever I am brought low, I rise. That is not because I am uniquely virtuous, or strong, or resilient. It is simply because my father, John McCain, was.

When my father got sick, when I asked him what he wanted me to do with this eulogy, he said "Show them how tough you are." That is what love meant to John McCain.

Love for my father also meant caring for the nation entrusted to him. My father, the true son of his father and grandfather was born into an enduring sense of the hard-won character of American greatness, was convinced of the need to defend it with ferocity and faith. John McCain was born in a distant now vanquished outpost of American power, and he understood America as a sacred trust. He understood our Republic demands responsibilities, even before it defends its rights. He knew navigating the line between good and evil was often difficult but always simple. He grasped that our purpose and meaning was rooted in a missionary responsibility, stretching back centuries.

Just as the first Americans looked upon a new world full of potential for a grand experiment in freedom and self-government, so their descendants have a responsibility to defend the old world from its worst self.

The America of John McCain is the America of the revolution. Fighters with no stomach for the summer soldier and sunshine patriot, making the world anew with bells of liberty. The America of John McCain is the America of Abraham Lincoln. Fulfilling the promise of the Declaration of Independence that all men are created equal, and suffering greatly to see it through.

The America of John McCain is the America of the boys who rushed the colors in every war across three centuries, knowing in them is the life of the Republic, and particularly those by their daring as Ronald Reagan said, gave up their chance as being husbands and fathers and grandfathers and gave up their chance to be revered old men.

The America of John McCain is, yes, the America of Vietnam, fighting the fight, even in the most forlorn cause, even in the grim circumstances, even in the most distant and hostile corner of the world. Standing for the life and liberty of other peoples in other lands.

The America of John McCain is generous and welcoming and bold. She is resourceful, confident, and secure. She meets her responsibilities. She speaks quietly because she's strong. America does not boast because she has no need to. The America of John McCain has no need to be made great again because America was always great.

That fervent faith, that proven devotion, that abiding love, that is what drove my father from the fiery skies above the Red River delta to the brink of the presidency itself.

Love defined my father. As a young man he wondered if he would measure up to his distinguished lineage. I miss him so badly. I want to tell him that he did. But I take small comfort in this. Somewhere in the great beyond where the warriors go, there are two admirals of the United States meeting their much-loved son. They are telling him he is the greatest among them.

Dad, I love you, I always have. All that I am, all that I hope, all that I dream is grounded in what you taught me. You loved me and you showed me what love must be. An ancient Greek historian wrote "The image of great men is woven into the stuff of other men's lives."

Dad, your greatness is woven into my life, it is woven into my mother's life, into my sister's life, and it is woven into my brothers' lives. It is woven into the life and liberty of the country you sacrificed so much to defend.

Dad, I know you were not perfect. We live in an era where we knock down old American heroes for all their imperfections when no leader wants to admit to fault or failure. You were an exception and you gave us an ideal to strive for.

Look, I know you can see this gathering in this cathedral. The nation is here to remember you. Like so many other heroes, you leave us draped in the flag you loved. You defended it, you sacrificed it, you have always honored it. It is good to remember we are Americans. We don't put our heroes on pedestals just to remember them. We raise them up because we want to emulate their virtues. This is how we honor them and this is how we will honor you.

My father is gone. My father is gone and my sorrow is immense, but I know his life, and I know it was great because it was good. And as much as I hate to see him go, I do know how it ended. I know that on the afternoon of August 25th in front of Oak Creek in Arizona, surrounded by the family he loved so much, an old man shook off the scars of battle one last time and arose a new man to pilot one last flight up and up and up, busting clouds left and right, straight on through to the kingdom of heaven. And he slipped the earthly bonds, put out his hand, and touched the face of God.

I love you, dad.







The reaction from some Democrats and others on the left to the murder of Mollie Tibbetts is as despicable as it is revealing.

The mask is off and the true radical face of the Democrats has been exposed. They are seemingly more concerned with protecting their radical open-borders agenda than the lives of innocent Americans.

When asked about Mollie’s murder, Sen. Elizabeth Warren — who is for some reason considered a leading contender for the Democrats’ 2020 ticket — played down the killing and said the focus should be on the “real problems” of our immigration system, such as the separation of families at our border.

Think about that for a minute. She apparently believes that illegal alien parents being separated from their children is a bigger problem than American parents having to bury theirs.

Editors' note:  Here's what Warren said on CNN:  “I’m so sorry for the family here, and I know this is hard not only for her family, but for people in her community, the people throughout Iowa. But one of the things we have to remember is we need an immigration system that is effective, that focuses on where real problems are.”  In the same interview, speaking about the separation of children from their parents, she said, “I think we need immigration laws that focus on people who pose a real threat and I don’t think mamas and babies are the place we should be spending our resources.”

But at least Warren could muster some semblance of humanity, saying she was "so sorry for the family here.” MSNBC commentator Christina Greer, on the other hand, dismissed Mollie and her tragic story as “a girl in Iowa,” while CNN commentator Symone Sanders tweeted that the murder had nothing at all to do with illegal immigration and everything to do with “toxic masculinity.”

Liberal media outlets went through great pains to cover the story without actually covering the story. Instead of truthful headlines such as “Illegal immigrant arrested in connection with murder of Mollie Tibbetts,” multiple outlets ran headlines such as “Man arrested in connection to disappearance of Mollie Tibbetts.” They don’t want you to know what happened to her — and they certainly don’t want you to know who is responsible. 

Worse still, a number of media outlets and pundits insisted that conservatives and Republicans were “politicizing” Mollie’s murder — an absurd claim coming from the same people who used family separation at the border to call for the abolishment of ICE and jump at the opportunity to exploit any tragedy involving guns to call for the end of the Second Amendment as we know it. 

The most ridiculous response came from journalist Chris Riotta, who claimed in the Independent that “Russian bots used Mollie Tibbetts' death to distract from Michael Cohen and Paul Manafort.” Riotta and his ilk simply can’t face the fact that the murder of an innocent girl at the hands of an illegal alien is news that Americans actually care about. 

It’s not hard to understand why. The Left is so ideologically committed to open borders that they can’t be honest about the consequences of illegal immigration. If the mainstream media reported objectively about illegal alien crime — not to mention the effects of cheap illegal immigrant labor on the labor market — the wall would have been built years ago and my dad’s policies at the border would be implemented immediately.

Despite what some Democrats may wish in the depths of their hearts, Mollie was murdered by an illegal alien and her murder would never have happened if we policed our southern border properly. 

Unfortunately, Mollie was not the first casualty of the left’s love for open borders. The radical policies of the Democrats have left a trail of human wreckage in pursuit of their open borders dream. Yet they continue to act like violent illegal alien crime is a myth concocted by the right, despite the fact that a Washington Times report released in January indicated that 44 percent of people convicted of federal crimes in 2011-2016 were non-citizens.

The murder of Mollie Tibbetts is not a myth. It happened. So did the murders of Kate Steinle, Dominic Durden, Sarah Root, Ronald Da Silva, Grant Ronnebeck, Jamiel Shaw, and countless other innocent Americans sacrificed on the Democrats’ altar of open borders. 

Enough is enough. The Democrats are pushing policies that are a direct existential threat to the lives of innocent Americans. If they refuse to abandon the pursuit of open borders, they must be called out and voted out. The memories of those we’ve lost to illegal alien violence deserve nothing less. 

Donald Trump Jr. is the executive vice president at The Trump Organization.






Ten days ago, we learned that Mollie would not be coming home. Shattered, my family set out to celebrate Mollie’s extraordinary life and chose to share our sorrow in private. At the outset, politicians and pundits used Mollie’s death to promote various political agendas. We appealed to them and they graciously stopped. For that, we are grateful.

Sadly, others have ignored our request. They have instead chosen to callously distort and corrupt Mollie’s tragic death to advance a cause she vehemently opposed. I encourage the debate on immigration; there is great merit in its reasonable outcome. But do not appropriate Mollie’s soul in advancing views she believed were profoundly racist. The act grievously extends the crime that stole Mollie from our family and is, to quote Donald Trump Jr., “heartless" and "despicable.”

Make no mistake, Mollie was my daughter and my best friend. At her eulogy, I said Mollie was nobody’s victim. Nor is she a pawn in others’ debate. She may not be able to speak for herself, but I can and will. Please leave us out of your debate. Allow us to grieve in privacy and with dignity. At long last, show some decency. On behalf of my family and Mollie’s memory, I’m imploring you to stop.

Throughout this ordeal I’ve asked myself, “What would Mollie do?” As I write this, I am watching Sen. John McCain lie in state in the Capitol Rotunda and know that evil will succeed only if good people do nothing. Both Mollie and Senator McCain were good people. I know that both would stand up now and do something.

The person who is accused of taking Mollie’s life is no more a reflection of the Hispanic community as white supremacists are of all white people. To suggest otherwise is a lie. Justice in my America is blind. This person will receive a fair trial, as it should be. If convicted, he will face the consequences society has set. Beyond that, he deserves no more attention.   

To the Hispanic community, my family stands with you and offers its heartfelt apology. That you’ve been beset by the circumstances of Mollie’s death is wrong. We treasure the contribution you bring to the American tapestry in all its color and melody. And yes, we love your food.

My stepdaughter, whom Mollie loved so dearly, is Latina. Her sons — Mollie’s cherished nephews and my grandchildren — are Latino. That means I am Hispanic. I am African. I am Asian. I am European. My blood runs from every corner of the Earth because I am American. As an American, I have one tenet: to respect every citizen of the world and actively engage in the ongoing pursuit to form a more perfect union.

Given that, to knowingly foment discord among races is a disgrace to our flag. It incites fear in innocent communities and lends legitimacy to the darkest, most hate-filled corners of the American soul. It is the opposite of leadership. It is the opposite of humanity. It is heartless. It is despicable. It is shameful.

We have the opportunity now to take heed of the lessons that Mollie, John McCain and Aretha Franklin taught — humanity, fairness and courage. For most of the summer, the search for Mollie brought this nation together like no other pursuit. There was a common national will that did transcend opinion, race, gender and geography. Let’s not lose sight of that miracle. Let’s not lose sight of Mollie.

Instead, let’s turn against racism in all its ugly manifestations both subtle and overt. Let’s turn toward each other with all the compassion we gave Mollie. Let’s listen, not shout. Let’s build bridges, not walls. Let’s celebrate our diversity rather than argue over our differences. I can tell you, when you’ve lost your best friend, differences are petty and meaningless.

My family remains eternally grateful to all those who adopted Mollie so completely and showered us with so much care, compassion and generosity. Please accept our desire to remain private as we share our loss. We love Mollie with all our hearts and miss her terribly. We need time. 

Rob Tibbetts is the father of Mollie Tibbetts