Model Portfolio Update

I think gold is ready for another leg up after reacting positively to Janet Yellen’s inane speech in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Adding a 5% position in leveraged junior gold fund JNUG at $22.83 a share.

Reminder I am not a legal financial adviser according to the government, so I’m not actually saying anything or recommending anything and I’m warning anyone considering not to listen to anything I say about investment.

The Caveman Minimum Wage Argument

Here’s an original approach to debunking wage minima.

Imagine that in 10,000 BCE, when humanity was just beginning to learn how to farm crops, that the minimum wage was $15 an hour in today’s value numbers.

Would there be a human race today?

The surprising answer is yes, because whatever government that may have existed back then would not have had the resources to enforce a minimum wage.

How much resources does it consume to enforce a minimum wage? How much money is minimum wage enforcement erasing from the incomes of the earners of minimum wage, e.g. those with skills JUST high enough to make it over the employment high-jump?

“Minimum Wage, so stupid, even a caveman wouldn’t do it.”

Aetna Fights Back Against Antitrust Goons, Threatens to Drop Obamacare

It’s always nice to see companies fighting back against the Feds. Aetna’s got some guts and some ammo doing this, because the government is going to go after them hard now, looking for all kinds of regulations that it “violates”. Aetna is threatening to drop out of Obamacare, which is already reeling from other major pullouts. Soon there will be no insurers left.

It is basically telling the Justice Department to leave it alone in its business plans to merge with Humana, which needs to be done to save the companies after Obamacare is draining the entire system by subsidizing high cost patients with money that doesn’t exist because younger people aren’t signing up, amazingly.

The Justice Department is in charge of deciding which mergers are a “trust” and which are fine, which they do totally arbitrarily because there is no objective definition of what a “trust” is. From the letter written by Mark Bertolini, CEO of Aetna, to some guy named Ryan, an antitrust lawyer working for The Man:

Our analysis to date makes clear that if the deal were challenged and/or blocked we would need to take immediate actions to mitigate public exchange and ACA small group losses. Specifically, if the DOJ sues to enjoin the transaction, we will immediately take action to reduce our 2017 exchange footprint…

Unfortunately, a challenge by the DOJ to that acquisition and/or the DOJ successfully blocking the transaction would have a negative financial impact on Aetna and would impair Aetna’s ability to continue its support, leaving Aetna with no choice but to take actions to steward its financial health. These contemplated actions would include the actions discussed below.

Although we remain supportive of the Administration’s efforts to expand coverage, we must also face market realities. Our customers expect us to keep their insurance products affordable and continually improving, and our shareholders expect that we will generate a market return on invested capital for them. We have been operating on the public exchanges since the beginning of 2014 at a substantial loss…

Finally, based on our analysis to date, we believe it is very likely that we would need to leave the public exchange business entirely and plan for additional business efficiencies should our deal ultimately be blocked.

 

 

DAMN INTERESTING: Go Facebook! Refuses 7 IRS Summons

This is really fascinating and exciting. Facebook has refused to show up to an IRS summons on one of its tax avoidance strategies. The IRS has sent them  summonses demanding access to its books. Facebook is so far standing its ground. Zuckerberg, if you ever had any guts now is the time to use them.

Stand up to these bastards and do not break. You are powerful enough that you don’t even have to go to jail. You can just threaten to shut down the site so all the world’s politicians can no longer get likes for their miserable pages. Even the IRS has a godforsaken Facebook page.

I don’t believe you’ll keep fighting but I implore you to do so. Don’t give in. You’re more powerful than they are. If you stand up to them you will be my hero. If you have to temporarily shut down the second most popular site on the internet, DO IT. Just don’t answer them. Atlas Shrugged these sick thieves and SHUT IT DOWN.

Manny Pacquiao is Going to Hell for Supporting Duterte’s Mass Murder Campaign

I used to like this guy. Not because of anything of substance he ever did, but because he was entertaining and less of an open jerk than Floyd Mayweather. After today though, I am absolutely convinced that as big of a schmuck that Mayweather is, he’s a mensch compared to Pacquiao.

The president of the Philippines, an insane psychopathic killing machine named Rodrigo Duterte, is engaged in a mass murder campaign of drug addict and dealers, encouraging ordinary Filipinos to kill them on sight and promising to give pardons to anyone who does so. He sees himself as the next Idi Amin, in his own words. Duterte absolutely has the potential to be the next Pol Pot and kill half the Philippines if he decides he feels like it. So far at least 300 people have been killed and 60,000 have surrendered. Pacquiao is now a Filipino Senator who theoretically has the popularity to stop this but he supports it.

Manny Pacquiao is a Bible-thumping hypocritical bastard boxer turned politician who is now an accessory to murder. Maybe Mayweather will give him another shot at fighting him and Mayweather can give him the same treatment that Ivan Drago gave to Apollo Creed.

If they ever fight again, I’ll be rooting for Mayweather to give him a severe beating.

Model Portfolio Update

I’m selling the $190 call option position in Sarepta (SRPT) for a 60% gain. Check the model portfolio at the menu bar. It’s always easy to Monday morning quarterback and say we should have bought more, but high risk options are for small positions only. If you’re lucky you can get a big gain on a small sum, which is what we got here.

How and Why My Enchroma Glasses Made Me Cry From Being Overwhelmed

I’m color blind. I’ve never known what that really meant until yesterday, when I put on a pair of Enchroma glasses for the color blind and discovered what it’s like to see full color, or at least fuller color than I usually see. Being color blind doesn’t mean I don’t see color. I don’t live in a black and white movie. It means I see color as if everything was put through 100 laundry cycles of washing and drying. I can “identify” colors, but I can’t really “see” them.

When everything is dull and faded, faded red and faded green look pretty similar. If I try really hard and squint and contemplate what I’m seeing really carefully, I can perhaps make out a difference between red and green. But it’s too little of a difference to matter really. It was nothing more than a trivia question to me, the difference between red and green. I didn’t understand why anyone cared about red or green, since they were both almost the same. I could tell the difference and pass one of those “what color is this?” exams on the fly if I tried really hard, but I didn’t understand why people cared about the difference at all.

Then I said שהחיינו, the blessing you say for something exciting and new, and the blessing פוקח עיוורים (Blessed are you God King of the Universe etc. who gives sight to the blind) because it fit the occasion, and put on the glasses in a new flower garden with fresh soil that just happened to be planted in the synagogue front yard recently by my house. (Shout out to the Nussbacher family for planting it.) At first I saw no difference. Then the glasses kicked in a little bit after about 20 seconds or so and the first thing I noticed was that the soil was RED. Not laundered and faded red like I used to see, but RED. Then I noticed purple flowers, because purple has red in it. I knew that intellectually, but didn’t really know it experientially.

The REDness of the RED made the green stand out more as GREEN.

But none of this made me cry. It was really cool. I enjoyed it, but I wasn’t overwhelmed. I was overwhelmed by two things. First was last night, when my wife started going through her Facebook profile pictures while I was wearing the Enchroma glasses. These were pictures of memories I actually have in my brain, sitting there in storage. Real moments I remember with faded overlaundered “colors” I saw as a color blind person. Moments with my kids climbing and playing in parks and such. Now I saw these pictures with actual color, vivid extreme color, and my brain was forced back into these memories and then forced to rewrite the entire memory in color.

Every time I had a memory that Natasha reminded me of involving color, I was forced back into that memory to rewrite it entirely in terms of the picture I have of that memory in my head. It was like the scene from the movie The Butterfly Effect when Ashton Kutcher goes back in time to change one event in the past in order to change the course of his life, and then goes back to the present and his brain has to rewrite all the new memories that have happened subsequently just in a few seconds and it causes a seizure.

Now, my experience was not as intense as that. I wasn’t bleeding from the nose or anything and I didn’t wake up without limbs. I didn’t seize either, thankfully. But each time I went back in time in my head I could physically feel my brain cycling through memories very quickly and coloring them, overlaying a totally new dimension to each memory and it made the actual matter of my brain hurt. It was a physical headache quantifiable as pressure rather than pain, stemming from the very center of my head and radiating out as memories were literally rewritten. I could feel neurons firing and reorganizing themselves. Maybe I was just imagining it but I thought I could feel it. Not only the color of the memories was rewired but the associated emotions of the memories as well.

Brain scientists really need to wire up the brain of a color blind person using Enchroma for the first time while being shown pictures of his past and then monitor the brain scan. It’s gotta be a crazy thing. I felt so tired after that because doing all that rewiring that I could not stop, was totally exhausting. I teared up from that but I didn’t totally cry.

I did, however, completely break down the next day, which is today, this morning July 19th 2016, for about 5 seconds. I’m writing this at 12:30am Israel time and this happened at about 8:30am.

I walk into my daughter’s gan (camp, day care) and I see some of the arts and crafts the kids made. They were extremely colorful, very beautiful. The ganenet (teacher, supervisor) just happened to be cutting up really neon color paper as well. I mean neon color that I would have seen as bright even without my new glasses. With the glasses they looked totally radioactive to me. It was so bright I could barely stand it but still couldn’t stop looking at it.

Then I turned back to the arts and crafts the kids made, and my daughter (I’m tearing up right now thinking about it) who sees full color showed me the thing she made. It was an ice cream like thing with semi-spheres glued on to paper and a cup thing below, with glitter and sparkles and all that. Enchroma Picture

Tzivia showed me what she had made, and I could actually see the colors of it clearly. It wasn’t the colors themselves that broke me, but the fact that seeing it, I understood what colors she liked and why she chose the colors she chose in making that thing above. She wasn’t just picking colors at random and putting them all together which is what I would have done as a kid. She picked specific colors that reflected what she liked, what she enjoyed looking at, and put them all together because they matched, and made a complete picture of coherent color. And suddenly I saw how those colors fit with her personality in some kind of extra-dimensional fit of her identity that I could never see before.

It was like a whole new dimension of my daughter’s personality and existence opened up to me in a split second and I understood and I couldn’t take it. What she was doing when she made this thing, why she picked each color and why she placed one next to the other. It wasn’t the colors themselves, but my understanding of her and the fact that I just had no idea, that is what had me break down crying in front of a bunch of 5 year old kids. That a whole new dimension of her personality just flooded me instantly, too much for one brain to take without overload. I could see her picking the matching colors to make it and why.

Just crazy. I had to leave the room and calm down.

It’s like when someone says they love a certain movie but you’ve never seen the movie, so you don’t really understand why they love the movie or what about the movie moved them in whatever way. But then you see the movie and you understand more about the person because you understand what movies the person likes.

If you’re color blind, either a deutan or a protan, get these glasses. For God’s sake get the glasses. Really – for His sake, He made the world, He made our minds, which discovered how to make these glasses, so you owe it to Him to see the world as He made it. Or at least closer to how He made it than you can currently see.

Or just get them for yourself if the whole religious thing isn’t your thing. It makes waking up every day that much more exciting.

At this point I feel like the android Data in that scene from Star Trek First Contact when he is going to attack the Borg together with Captain Picard. Data is feeling a new emotion, anxiety, from his new emotion chip and he’s describing it to Picard. Picard suggests that he deactivate his emotion chip for now. Data does. Picard says, “Data, there are times that I envy you.”

If ever I want to dull it down a bit and not be distracted so much by all the vibrant insane colors, I can just take off the glasses and go back to my laundered and weathered dull reality to rest a bit and relax. Other people have to live with all that vivid color all the time and can’t turn it off. But I can.

Haha. It’s nice to be able to turn off your senses at will.