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Sunday, March 31, 2013

37. The Skydivers

Billie decided she wanted to go skydiving for her 60th birthday.  She researched the various groups and styles and decided she didn’t want a tandem jump, she’d go for the full training and solo jump  with a coach jumping next to her with whom she’d be in contact via radio during the fall. 

After much time both in the classroom and in practice jumps, she was ready.  Ron, one of the instructors, went with her and would jump simultaneously out of the plane with her while connected to a radio so they would be able to communicate during the jump.  Billie, an avowed liberal, didn’t like the idea, especially knowing that Ron was a conservative.  She hadn’t liked him from the start of training and was quite unhappy that he would be going with her on her jump.

Both Ron and Billie exited the plane at a very high altitude.  Billie found the rush of free falling  especially exhilarating.  She played with different positions, seeing which ones increased her speed and which ones slowed her down. 

After falling for several thousand feet, Ron came on the radio.

Ron: “Billie, you need to begin getting into position to pull your rip cord.”

Billie: “Oh Ron, I’m having way too much fun to think about slowing down now!”

Ron:  “I understand but you need to pull the cord while there is plenty of time.  We don’t want anything bad to happen to spoil such a good day!”

Billie: “You conservatives, always so gloom and doom, such Henny Pennys! .  I’m fine, I’m having a great time – nothing bad has happened so far!”

Ron:  “Billie, pull the damn rip cord NOW!  Or you’ll end up smashing into the ground!”

Billie:  “There you go again!  Worried about something that may never happen.  Everything is going just fine here, sure seems sustainable to me!  I certainly am not going to ruin my birthday with your negativity!”

Ron: “Dammit Billy – you’ll ruin the day for everyone if you get killed.  Pull the rip cord!”

Billie:  “Why should I worry about those who follow, especially since you can only really speculate as to the outcome.  When I see the problem actually affecting me, I’ll take action.”

Ron: “Go ahead then. “ 

With that, Ron pulled his rip cord, his chute inflated and Billie continued rapidly downward. 

About 100 feet above the ground, Billie finally realized Ron was right.  She quickly pulled her ripcord, but there was no time for her chute to inflate and slow her down.  She hit the ground and immediately died. 

Billie’s equally liberal husband sued the skydiving school that Billie wasn’t properly informed of the risk and the actions she was to take. 

The school presented the conversation between Ron and Billie as evidence.  It was thrown out by the courts and Billie’s husband was awarded $2.5 million for his pain and suffering. 

Ron was fired from his job. 

Sunday, September 30, 2012

36. A Liberal Definition

I have been trying to define and understand liberals for years now with only minimal success.  My first take is that they sound like children.  “But that’s not fair!” they constantly cry.  Who says something like that?  The only ones I can think of are eight year old school girls, certainly not adults. An adult knows that many things in life are not fair.  An even more mature adult knows that life has a way of balancing unfairness out, especially if one takes responsibility for one’s own life and actions. 

But my latest take on liberals is that they sound like women with battered wife/girlfriend syndrome.  Listen how they fawn over Obama and Clinton before him.  “He’s sorry, I know he really cares, he promises not to do it again!”  No wonder the campaign strategy of “Hope and Change” worked so well.  It says nothing and the meaning changes from person to person.  But it’s like that empty promise “He says he loves me and I know he’ll change”  Then BAM – the woman gets smacked around again and before she can file a law suit or think about voting for someone else the next time – the words flow fast and easy and before you know it we are back to “He loves me, he really loves me! He promises to be better and do better.  Plus he brought me flowers!”  Sort of makes you think of Obama giving out free phones.  “I promise to actually do something for the black community in my next term.  Just give me one more chance!” he pleads. 

But like a child or a battered wife, there is no reasoning with a liberal.  Facts are dismissed with, “I just don’t believe that,” “That can’t be true,” “But he promises….”

One of my favorite adages is “Never try to teach a pig to sing.  It wastes your time and it annoys the pig.” 

Same thing.  As conservatives, we just need to be patient.  Liberals will slowly eliminate themselves through abortion and listening to the government’s recommendations on health and diet. 

Thursday, September 6, 2012

35. The Equality in Education and Entertainment Act

I don’t think I am exaggerating by saying the two most vocal opponents of capitalism and supporters of socialism are college professors and the entertainment industry.  I would like to propose a new law in which both industries are required to compensate all employees, regardless of position or stature, within a narrow range of ten percent.  In other words, there can be no more of a ten percent difference between the lowest paid and highest paid worker in a college or on a specific movie or television show.  This includes contract labor.

In researching this article, I found something quite astounding.  Not only the disparity of salaries among teachers in universities but also the disparity between men and women professors within university system.  Something I thought the left abhorred.  

How bad is this disparity?  A full professor at Harvard averages about $198,400 a year (not including benefits and tenure) while an instructor makes only $56,700.  At Cal Tech, the difference between the two is $172,800 to $45,300. These are averages, meaning some make much, much more than these high numbers. How Is this fair? And these numbers don’t include the administrative and support staffs and their likely low salaries (without tenure). So, I think colleges and universities should set the shining example for all industries and be forced by law to pool all salary monies and equitably divide it among the entire populace.  I know that liberals do not like to act for themselves and feel that only the government should set rules, so hence this law.

This same is true for the entertainment industry.  In movies, it isn’t unusual for one star to earn $10 to $20 million while a poor grip earns standard union base.  The disparity among the actors and actresses is also outrageous.  This again, is simply not fair. Within the Screen Actors Guild, the average actor earns less than $10,000 a year. Hey Julia Roberts!  How about a little fairness here!  All actors and actresses work hard on the movie or television show so why should one person make so much while others make so little?  Again, pool the salaries and divide it equitably. 

Now, I don’t think this act would actually ever pass, but I would love to see the responses in both industries if told this act had been introduced into Congress.  Watch them switch quickly and radically to the capitalistic end of the spectrum.  “Why I’ve earned this!” I can already hear them whine. 

Sunday, December 4, 2011

34. Bad Greed, Not So Bad Greed

I am amused by the current rants by liberals about Corporate Greed, yet they never comment on other types of greed, greed which is apparently acceptable. Only corporations are their targets.

First of all, I like the concept of greed in corporations. I’m not interested in working for nor investing in a corporation which seeks only to “break even.” I want to see profits and growth. But
then, I guess that’s greedy of me and doubtlessly, that’s bad greed. Let’s start with personal greed. I have yet to meet a liberal who has ever turned down a raise in pay or a new job because of more money. Isn’t that rather greedy? They leave a company who hired them, nurtured
them, trained them for another company just because they will make more money.
Despicably greedy, isn’t it? No, no, no – in that case, it is “not so bad greed.”

The lovely and perky and very liberal Katie Couric wanted so much more money on her job that CBS ammounced staff would have to be laid off to meet her demands. Did Katie care? Not really.
But then, I guess that’s “not so bad greed.”

Hollywood is a very liberal enclave with vocal types such as Barbra Streisand, Tom Hanks, Steven Spielberg and so on, yet Hollywood money is concentrated into the hands of a very few.
Julia Roberts might get $20 million for one film, yet the average member of the Screen Actor’s Guild makes less than $10,000 a year. Why doesn’t Julia spread the wealth? It’s because she’s GREEDY!!! But then, that also is “Not So Bad Greed.”

University professor’s are notoriously liberal, preaching at the altar of income redistribution. Yet,
in my book, they are about the greediest hypocrites in our country. They can make in excess of $200,000 to $300,000 a year while administrative staff makes less than $50,000. Professors have the power to effect change and redistribute their wealth to all employees of the universities, but they don’t. Mine, mine, mine. Greed, greed, greed. No one yells and screams
at them! Recently students marched and protested at California Universities
because of hikes in fees. This all the while the staff was receiving raises. No liberal staff member offered to refuse the increase to offset the rise in fees, but then, that’s “not so bad greed” I guess.

I recently visited New York City, twenty-five years after my first visit there. Little has
changed. Homeless people are still on the streets and in the subways. Why haven’t shelters been built in the Big Apple to house and feed these poor souls? Greed, that’s why! In a city with
an economy larger than most countries of the world, the focus is on personal and government greed, not on human suffering. Yes, shelters are costly to build and operate, but the solution is rather, just raise taxes. The average cost of an apartment in NYC is over $1 million. Raise property taxes by 1%, sales tax by 1% and entertainment and transportation taxes by 1% - very simple. But no, New Yorkers live by the rule of greed – not me!! The money and the solution should come from the federal government (unless, of course, that means Obama) or we
won’t do one damn thing about the problem.

What about government greed? Social security money is deposited directly into the general account and used to fund and buy votes for sitting politicians. Social Security is one big
Ponzi scheme. Washington just keeps hoping and praying that there will be more people paying into the system to keep it functioning. Like all Ponzi schemes, that never happens. The money
stops and the pyramid collapses. But to change the system, give people viable and profitable options for their retirement would mean the flow of money to Washington would be cut. “No! No! No!” the pols say – “we need that money to operate. People will suffer!!” People are already suffering, those who get their social security checks and wonder how they will live through one more month on such a small amount. But I guess those elderly people are just GREEDY!!!

As I have said repeatedly over the last twenty years, when I meet a liberal who lives the life he or she wants to legislate upon me, I will take his cause more seriously. But so far, that has not happened. In each case, he or she was too greedy to give up what they had for the cause of the common good. “Raise taxes” they cry – “just not MY taxes!”

Sunday, January 2, 2011

33. Bet Do Not Pass

"... as much money can be made from a civilzation's destruction as from its rise." - Rhett Butler, "Gone With The Wind"

No one at a Las Vegas craps table wants to bet "Do Not Pass." By placing this bet you are, in effect, betting against the shooter, the roller of the dice. This bet is considered "unlucky." Unlucky it may be, but statistically it is the best bet. This bet is as close to betting "with the house" as possible. Yet, it is a bet rarely placed.

Why is this? What is it about we humas that we would rather bet on what we would like to happen rather than what we know will actually happen? Why too do we ignore information which would empower us with the knowledge necessary to make prudent and profitable decisions?

Let's take a look at my friend Jake. Jake makes a little over $100,000 a year. He owns a condominium worth $250,000 with a mortgage of $80,000. His debt is heavy, yet it is manageable. Although prudent all his life, Jake begins acting foolishly with his money. He opens credit account after credit account and spends on new clothes, new furniture, electronics and trips. Soon, he has over $70,000 in credit card debt. He then takes out a second mortgage on his home for the full equity value of $170,000. He initially pays off his cards with the money but shortly thereafter he begins to spend again. He also begins paying one payment by borrow money from an alternate source. Before he knows it, Jake owes over $300,000.

Does anyone reading this not know what will happen to Jake? Jake can no longer "manage" his debt. His debt has grown so large that its weight is crushing Jake. At some poiont, Jake will be forced into bankruptcy. But Jake doesn't want to accept this and in turn make the sacrifices necessary to improve his situation. Jake wants to continue believing that everything will be alright. The solution is simple, but Jake does what is easy and ignores reality.

Does anyone want to loan Jake even more money? Will that make his situation better?

Debt is never a good thing, althought debt can sometimes be a necessary tool, if used wisely. But crushing, debilitating debt is always foolish and there never will be a good outcome no matter how much we wish otherwise.

In 2006 I sold my house after only six years of ownership. The prices of homes in Southern California skyrocketed during that time. "Starter" homes exceeded $500,000, putting them out of the reach of a typical family trying to enter the market. My house was purchased by a first time home buyer as well. I calculated that he would have to make over $70,000 a year just to cover the mortgage, taxes and homeowners fees. This doesn't include necessities such as food, car payments, gasoline and so forth. Loans were being made to high risk investors all with the guarantee of the federal government. After all - shouldn't everyone, even our friend Jake, be allowed to buy a house? As home prices rose and mortgage payments exceeded people's abilities to pay, creative loan packages, such as interest only loans, became the rage. There was no doubt in my mind that this house of cards would soon collapse. Yet even as I sold, neighbors scoffed at me. One lady said, "You will lose your shirt! Home prices in this area will never go down!" At that point, they were almost guaranteed to go down and go down they did, losing to date, almost 50% of their value. Two years later in 2008 the banking industry also collapsed.

I didn't know exactly the date or time the banking collapse would happen but I knew it was coming and I knew to get out of the way. Sadly, I could have made even more money if I had then bet "do not pass" on the banking and mortgage industry after I sold. But, Barney Frank assured us, right up to the end, that mortgages and the banking industry were sound investments.

The US national debt grew steadily during the 1900s. Although not wise, the debt level was nonetheless, manageable. It could have been turned around, just as Jake could have made wise decisions to pay off his original mortgage rather than go deeper into debt. Instead, the US government under Obama, Pelosi and Reid decided to take advice from those like Jake and tripled the national debt in less than two years. Like with Jake, is there any doubt as the outcome of this debacle?

Although the federal government cannot, in effect, go "bankrupt," the outcome will be seen in the value of our currency. It becomes worth less and less until, just like the banking industry, it collapses. Once again, I hear the naysayers, "This is crazy, it will never happen!" It is already happening yet people choose to ignore reality and trust that keeping their fingers crossed will restore economic stability.

There is money to be made in the collapse of a civilization, just as stated above by Rhett Butler about the South in 1861. Mr. Butler bet "do not pass" while others, those who believed in "the cause" invested in Confederate bonds, bonds which later became worthless.

Rhett Butler is a fictional character yet the message is anything but fictional. It is time to bet "do not pass" and to bet heavily. In fact, it is really no longer even a bet. A bet implies risk. The collapse of the dollar is inevitable. What is necessary to stop this debacle will never be enacted by Congress or even, if passed, would never be signed by Obama. America will simply don their rose-colored glasses and watch our country go off a cliff.

Sadly, those wise enough to protect themselves and even profit from the demise will be demonized. Just as FDR confiscated gold from those smart enough to purchase it, those who profit over the next several years will be subject to attacks from our concerned, caring government, so that they can ensure the economic misery is suffered by all. In fact, the attacks have already begun. Those in media who dare suggest such a scenario are regularly demonized. I and those who think as I do did not create this situation nor are we responsible for its eventual outcome. I have warned people for years, just as I am warning you now of what will happen and how to protect and profit from what is to come. Yet I, and those who think as I, will later be persecuted, primarily because we paid attention and acted on that information rather than sticking our heads in the sand and pretending that all will be well.

I have bet heavily on "do not pass." I am aligning myself to profit from the upcoming destruction of the dollar, the euro, the yuan, the ruble and the global economy the left so desperately has worked to establish.

If you disagree with me, if you choose to ignore the obvious, I urge you to put your money where your mouth is and invest heavily in US government bonds. I also wish you good luck, as it is only luck which will save you.

Update: After posting this blog I received several comments regarding "Do Not Pass"-type investments. My first recommendation is to buy commodities such as gold and silver. Buying and holding physical silver is a very good idea but also not practical if you have a very large portfolio. You can also buy these metals via ETFs (Exchange Traded Funds) which trade exactly like stocks. Their symbols are GLD (gold) and SLV (silver). You can also buy mutual funds and ETFs which are the inverse of various stock indices. In other words, as the S&P500 drops, for example, the value of these funds rise. These ETFs include RSW and QID. An example mutual fund would be Rydex Ursa.

I strongly urge you to read "The Great Super Cycle" by David Skarica.

Another approach would be to buy Swiss annuities. Switzerland was smart enough to stay out of the EU. The Swiss franc and been steadily rising against all other currencies. Buying a Swiss annuity provides protection since as the value of the dollar continues to fall against the Swiss franc, the value of your annuity payments increase.

Who should you believe regarding advice? Well, I can tell you who NOT to believe and that is almost anyone in the media or any "expert" interviewed on television. I have been listening to said experts for ten years telling me that gold and silver were, and continue to be, bad investments yet their return has exceeded any other investment vehicle.

The more you read and investigate options, the more you will learn what is available to you to protect yourself.

Friday, October 9, 2009

32. The Bubble Generation

I've always wondered into which generation I was born. I was born too late to be a "baby boomer" and too early to be a Gen "X"er. But now I think I have it figured out. I'm part of the "Bubble Generation." My generation has watched the world progress from one political and economic bubble to the next. Although too young to fully understand at the time, the 1960s were the "sex and drug" bubble. It all must have sounded so wonderful with Timothy Leary preaching free love and LSD for everyone. But reality kicked in and society found it rather difficult to function with everybody "tuned in" and "turned on" rather than working, earning a living and raising their families.

The next major bubble was the technology, stock market bubble of the 1990s. Stock prices of companies, with little hope of ever being profitable, soared into the outer layers of space. In 1999 I actually heard a financial anaylst on television say, "maybe P/E (price earnings) ratios don't mean anything anymore. Maybe we need a new method of evaluating stock pricing." Yeah, right - profits don't mean anything to a company and its stock price. I couldn't help but wonder from which Ivy League university she graduated. Of course, that bubble burst and the NASDAQ index lost 85% of its value over just a few months.

The bubble then moved into real estate, especially in California, New York and Florida. Housing prices went up, up, up!! I live in Southern California and made money just sitting in my condo watching TV. It was great!! But, fortunately, having watched the other bubbles burst and learning from them, I sold my condo in 2004 and started renting. Since that time, the value of my old condo has dropped 35% and will likely drop much further.

In all three of the above cases, the word "bubble" is perfect to describe what was happening - something growing but filled with little more than air. And considering the outer skin of a bubble is thin and weak, it is guaranteed to pop.

Now we are in a major political bubble, one with both an older and a newer component. The new component is Messiah Obama, savior of America and probably the world, if you ask his disciples. It is eerie to see magazine racks with his pictures, week after week, month after month, adorning not only political magazines but also health, beauty, women's issues and probably pet care magazines, if I looked long enough. Never has a president and his wife had such constant, worshipful exposure in the media. To further the bubble, Obama has just been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Interesting, considering that war still rages in Afghanistan and Iraq, Iran threatens to obliterate Israel and Mr Peace-Prize Obama sitting in the oval office looking left and right for someone to please tell him what he should do!

Obama was elected on a platform of "Hope and Change" - subjective ideals that mean something different to each person. Many voters who hoped he meant less government and more personal freedom are discovering the "loons" on the right were correct in their dire predictions of 2008. Obama's idealistic hope is a nation like those formed by Mao and Lenin instead of ours formed by Franklin and Jefferson. Considering that Obama has accomplished basically nothing in his life, save for being elected a senator and now president, he too seems be filled more with air than any sort of substance. He is another bubble just waiting to burst.

The second component of this current bubble is socialism. This and Obama's bubbles are fueling each other and both will end badly. Socialism is another empty promise of a utopian world where everyone runs barefoot through clover, smiling and laughing. It seems oddly tied to the LSD induced fantasies of the 1960s bubble, doesn't it? But the promises made by FDR, Johnson, Clinton and Obama are beginning to unravel as the piper is now ready to be paid and the government coffers are empty. Unbelievably, the socialist bubble is already beginning to burst in Europe as staunchly socialist countries, such as Germany, are realizing the folly of the utopian dream and voting for more conservative governments.

The people are rising up. We see it in townhall meetings, Tea Parties, the continued success of Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity and the FoxNews network. People are emerging from the utopian fog and realizing that the socialist promises are merely hot air and that their lives are now threatened by its demise.

Cycle Theorists are pointing to mid-2011 as a major political crisis, one in which Obama may be forced from office. Not by the "vast right-wing conspiracy" but by all Americans who find that the promises made to their generations are nothing but more hot air. It will happen as the US and global economies burst and melt down and all can clearly see that the emporer truly is without clothes.

It will be another burst bubble for my generationm but one overdue and necessary for our economies to get back to reality and move forward on fundamentals rather than fantasy.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

31. Depraved

Depraved: Marked by evil.

I don't know why I am still surprised when liberals expose their hypocrisy. It's nothing new. Al Gore preaches global climate gloom and doom then zips around the world in private jets. Ted Kennedy loves high inheritance taxes, except when it comes to his family whose family trust sits in Fiji, far away from US tax laws. I've written more about this in my essay Who You Calling Rhetorical? But in the last couple of days, I've seen liberals sink to new lows, so low that it can only be called depravity.

Roman Polanski was recently arrested in Switzerland and is being held for deportation to the US for raping a 13 year-old girl in 1977. Shortly after pleading guilty, Polanski fled the country before he could be sentenced and sent to prison. He has remained a fugitive ever since.

I remember reading that Polanski didn't realize he was doing anything wrong at the time of the rape. In France, Polanski's home country, the age of consent was much younger than 18, as it is here in the US. I did not research the situation further and believed that although that might be true, isn't "ignorance of the law" still no excuse?

Years later, I read the full account of the charges against Polanski. In no way was sex with this young girl consensual. In a hot tub, Mr. Polanski gave her alcohol, drugs and took nude pictures of her. According to testimony, the girl resisted his advances and told him repeatedly to stop. Mr. Polanski ignored her pleas and proceeded to rape and sodomize her.

I would think that liberals would be cheering his capture. But then, as I said earlier, I still apparently think that liberals have a soul or at least some sort of conscience. But no, they are pounding their fists and signing petitions for Polanski's immediate release. The National Organization of Women doesn't seem to care, Hollywood clearly doesn't care, neither of the Obamas, parents of two small girls, are saying much. Whoopi Goldberg even said this wasn't really "rape-rape, it was something else." Ms. Goldberg was unable to define, however, what that "something else" actually was.

Roman Polanski is one of them, one of the elite left - Someone above the law, above punishment, above accountability. The pattern of the left is to marginalize women who stand in their way, should they inconveniently get raped. It was "consensual" as was reported regarding Clinton and Lewinsky. She was "a bimbo" as was reported regarding Clinton and Paula Jones. Also regarding Clinton and Paula Jones was James Carville's lovely comment, "If you drag a hundred dollar bill through a trailer park, you never know what you'll find." There is also the Kennedy family rape in Florida where the woman was marginalized. No liberal women's group came to the victim's aid and the Kennedy boy, much like others in his family, was set free. The women you see, are chattel, bimbos, idiots. So somehow, to liberals, these women all deserved it - right? This isn't coming from rednecks in some southern state often distained by the left, this is coming from Hollywood power brokers and leaders in the democratic party. Like they said about Clinton and any one of the women who accused him of rape - "Hey, forget about it and just Move On!"

I guess I shouldn't be surprised that Woody Allen supports Polanski's release, or maybe even Martin Scorsese or Harvey Weinstein. But what does surprise me is the number of women, from Whoopi to Debra Winger to Monica Bellucci who see nothing wrong with what Polanski did and are protesting for his release. Ms. Winger said, "it is a three-decades-old case that is dead but for minor technicalities." Sick, Ms. Winger, sick.

I don't have children, but I cannot be around the children of my friends and family without feeling fiercely protective. When I am with them, especially the girls, and am in public with them, my eyes are darting back and forth looking for any sign of trouble. I know my body is tense as I prepare to engage any yet unseen enemy of these children. Any man who drugs and sodomizes a child should be sent to prison for the rest of his life. There should be no questions, no middle ground, no "well what about this or that." I know if any child in my charge was raped and sodomized as Polanski did to this girl I would do everything possible to ensure that the beast never saw another sunrise.

I cannot believe that any human, regardless of their political beliefs, could for one moment support the release of Polanski. But Martin Scorsese, David Lynch, Debra Winger, Harvey Weinstein, Monica Bellucci, Pedro Almodovar, Woody Allen, John Landis and over one hundred others of Hollywood's liberal elite, don't agree with me. After all, they say, it was a long time ago and besides, we like his movies!

It has been reported that the girl, now 45, hopes the case is dropped. On the other hand, the woman was also paid off in a civil suit against Polanski. So, I guess if you are a liberal, can flee the country and pay off your victims, even child rape is okay.

There is almost no political issue in which I support Obama. In fact, I see him as the worst possible thing that could have happened to America. In spite of this, if any man drugged, raped and sodomized one of his two little girls, I would hope that all of America would join me in ensuring the perpetrator be sent to jail forever. But then, I know now that my hopes would likely be dashed. For if that man was Roman Polanski, Hollywood would probably just shrug their shoulders and say, "hey - just move on. After all, it wasn't really a rape-rape, was it?"