Category Archives: Stock Market

In What Campaign Are Not Apples and Oranges Both Fruits?

Obamapoints
Obama Fingers The American People
THE VOTING HABITS OF THE AMERICAN PUBLIC are hardly static, but stunningly dynamic. They must be won like territory in a hot war, but through persuasion—through explanation, argument, rhetoric, reason, the parsing of life itself sometimes. One must fight for ground; one must be bold; one must penetrate into hostile territory, awe the opposition, and seize what he holds dear. The one thing one should not and can not do effectively is to fight from a holding position. That is, and has been the anemic strategy of the GOP leadership for decades.

As Sun Tzu put it, "If the enemy leaves a door open, you must rush in."

The constitutional side is far too busy trying to find ways to surrender. But it can not be that way; the once significant GOP of Ohio stalwart Robert Taft is philosophically distinct from the Obama/Alinsky nouveau socialists. We must give the America public a clear distinction between failed policies and wishful policies! Constitutional patriots and global Marxists and their sordid friends. And most of all, don't be ashamed of who you are, because ultimately, that steadfastness, that personal command of the tough but honest truth, is what will meaningfully rally people to your side. Are not apples and oranges both fruits? Fruits hanging from a family of trees, fruits falling like perfect guests of planet earth when ready for the harvest?

NEED A FIGHTING CONTRAST between Romney and Obama? The next time someone says that battle ready Mitt Romney is the same as Barack H. Obama...

* Ask them to produce a list of mad terrorists foreign and domestic that squeaky clean Mitt Romney has befriended (and no, Dick Cheney and Don Rumsfeld don't count, for rather obvious reasons).

If they can produce answers to all of those—we’ll procede to round 2. Having gotten that out of our system, we continue to shout, “We’re Impressed! Gingrich/West 2012!”
* Ask them to name an occasion where Mr. Romney has bowed to anyone in a foreign land as a Representative of the United States of America.

* Ask them to produce evidence that Mr. Barack H. Obama's business experience even after four years in the White House is comparable to Romney's.

* Ask them to produce proof that President Obama's charitable contributions are as significant as Governor Romney's.

* Ask them to name a radical anti-American Church or other religious establishment that Romney has attended for over 2 decades.

* Ask them to produce proof that Mitt Romney has illegally used cocaine and marijuana.

* Ask them to name an occasion that Mitt Romney criticized the proper actions of a police officer from high office.

* Ask them to name any associates of Mitt Romney that have been active practicing subversive members of the Communist Party.

* Ask them to produce the identities of any illegal alien Romney family member that he is protecting from deportation.

If they can produce answers to all of those—we'll procede to round 2.

Meanwhile, all earnest political junkies worth their stars and bars should grab up a Tasty Granny or a Juicy Navel and head over to American Thinker for some of the best American political writing and short commentary on the Internet.

Having gotten that out of our system, we continue to shout, "We're Impressed! Gingrich/West 2012!"

Happiness is a shadow of harmony; it follows harmony. There is no other way to be happy.
-Osho

On Being Prepared: Hunting, Gathering, Survival Food Sources

Watch This Video

Neil_Young
Neil Young
THE FOLLOWING SOURCES are all places where those who wish to prepare for any of a number of possible future calamities can purchase food for long-term storage, including freeze-dried meals, bulk grains, water filters, and other supplies to help my family survive a total economic collapse.

Nitro-Pak is one of the country's top freeze-dried food manufacturers, and it's where we bought our first package of entrees in #10 cans.

The Ready Store stocks a huge selection of foods and food prep items for the long-term food storage pantry. Sign up for their email list to receive emails about weekly sales and special deals.

PrepareCo specializes in water filtration and storage items in addition to grab & go food buckets and bulk grains, from wheat to beans and rice.

Amazon Bulk Foods is a surprisingly good source for packaged foods, from granola bars and cereal to canned goods, to include in your survival food cache.

Food Insurance is an excellent source for large multi-person food packages as well as two-week emergency preparedness kits that come in a convenient, sturdy backpack.

Fearing the worst, or at least, respecting the possibility of something harsh settling your way? What do you need to know? What do you need to do? Need a plan? Read precious and important information about these and other relevant concerns over at the SHTFplan.

Rock legend Neil Young is on record as saying:

‘No one song can change the world. But that doesn’t mean it’s time to stop singing. Somewhere on Earth a scientist is alone working. No one knows what he or she is thinking. The secret is just within reach. If I knew that answer I would be singing the song. This is the age of innovation. Hope matters. But not hope alone. In the age of innovation, the people’s fuel must be found. That is the biggest challenge. Who is up to the challenge? Who is searching today? All day. All night. Every hour that goes by. I know I am.’

Now, that's the spirit!

As We Awaken The Sleeping Giant

Vallely
Major General Paul E. Vallely, Ret.
MANY OF US WHO WERE ALIVE during World War II and slightly thereafter may remember the famous quote regarding America being the “sleeping giant.”

“Be fearful of waking her!” Do not wake a sleeping giant. This is an idiom which means: Do not disturb/annoy/provoke someone powerful who was not disturbing you in the first place. Japan woke a sleeping giant when they invaded Pearl Harbor.

Japanese Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto is portrayed at the very end of the 1970 film Tora! Tora! Tora! and in the 2001 film Pearl Harbor, as saying after his attack on Pearl Harbor [was quoted in the film], “I fear all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve.” The quotation was abbreviated in the film Pearl Harbor (2001), where it merely read, “I fear all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant.”

Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto

Randall Wallace, the screenwriter of Pearl Harbor, readily admitted that he copied the line from Tora! Tora! Tora! The film’s producer, Elmo Williams, had found the line written in Yamamoto’s diary. Williams, in turn, has stated that Larry Forrester, the screenwriter, found a 1943 letter from Yamamoto to the Admiralty in Tokyo containing the quotation. However, Forrester cannot produce the letter, nor can anyone else, American or Japanese, recall or find it.

In The Reluctant Admiral, Hiroyuki Agawa, without a citation, does give a quotation from a reply by Admiral Yamamoto to Ogata Taketora on January 9, 1942, which is strikingly similar to the famous version:

“A military man can scarcely pride himself on having ‘smitten a sleeping enemy’; it is more a matter of shame, simply, for the one smitten. I would rather you made your appraisal after seeing what the enemy does, since it is certain that, angered and outraged, he will soon launch a determined counterattack.”

Yamamoto believed that Japan could not win a protracted war with the United States, and moreover seems to have believed that the Pearl Harbor attack had become a blunder—even though he was the person who came up with the idea of a surprise attack. The Reluctant Admiral relates that “Yamamoto alone”—while all his staff members were celebrating—spent the day after Pearl Harbor “sunk in apparent depression.” He is also known to have been upset by the bungling of the Foreign Ministry which led to the attack happening while the countries were technically at peace, thus making the incident an unprovoked sneak attack that would certainly enrage the enemy.

After the war, a similar rumor disseminated among occupation insiders that upon learning the attack had been a success, Admiral Yamamoto had said to those around him, “Gentlemen, we have just kicked a rabid dog.” This would have been a tactical metaphor and not intended as an insult, since he was generally fond of America and Americans.

Today we play politics to death. We talk amongst ourselves and the politicians talk and talk in Washington. While I know rational thinking may ultimately rule, rational thinking without emotion ignores the passion that lights the fire of definitive action; and now is the time for definitive action.
Similar to the above quotation was another that, while real, was widely misinterpreted in the US press. Yamamoto, when once asked his opinion on the war, pessimistically said that the only way for Japan to win the war was to dictate terms to the White House, requiring them to eventually invade the United States and march across the country while fighting their way to Washington—i.e., Japan would have to conquer the whole of the United States. Yamamoto’s meaning was that military victory, in a protracted war against an opponent with as much of a population and industrial advantage as the United States possessed, was completely impossible—a rebuff to those who thought that winning a major battle against the US Navy would end the war. However, in the US, his words were recast as a jingoistic boast.

In a recent discussion with friends, we explored the issue of whether the United States is a “Sleeping Giant” any more, and if it is, what percentage of the population would constitute that “sleeping giant?”

Best estimates indicated that maybe 10-15% of America now would be considered the “sleeping giant” and the remainder of population is unaware of the serious threats to the United States, or are truly asleep at the “switch” and clueless to our continuing demise and weakening as a people and country.

Mohammad
Mohammad In Arabic
I listen to the unfolding, ever more negative news each and every morning and the continuing ineptness so clearly on display by our elected and appointed leaders. At once, while struck with horror, I now feel strangely disconnected from the passions it stirs in me. I walk the river near my home with my dog into the sunshine of Montana and I want, and expect something to be occurring in this country that will awake America today. Even here in the beautiful and rugged mountains of western Montana people are hiking, golfing, strolling, smiling and acting as if nothing of any momentous consequence is occurring in or outside the United States. Our belief in our safety and security is being shattered, yet strangely, people seem to continue as if there is nothing to worry about too deeply.

There are so many more threats and risks to our families today then before 9/11 and thousands upon thousands of Americans have been killed across the globe since. While walking my dog, I look at the faces of people with these thoughts in mind, and I see people who look strangely blank or “normal.” But this is not normal. This is acting normal in the face of insanity. Therefore, I cannot remain calm, I must act.

I find myself thinking about World War II and the refusal of the United States to aid the millions of people being killed by the Nazis. The safety of our American sanctuary was shattered by Pearl Harbor and we woke up. Denial was no longer an option, and isolationism was no longer the rule of the day. Today we play politics to death. We talk amongst ourselves and the politicians talk and talk in Washington. While I know rational thinking may ultimately rule, rational thinking without emotion ignores the passion that lights the fire of definitive action; and now is the time for definitive action.

Personally, I do not believe in turning the other cheek. Yet, I do not want to become what I so despise—a fanatic driven by virulence and hatred as to do violence. I do not sanction any kind of fanaticism, because fanaticism feeds on itself and is driven by blind emotion. It demands unquestioning obedience and intolerance, rather than acceptance of diverse and genuine viewpoints. However, I do not believe in passivity either. Nothing goes away until you are willing to take a stand that says: “you may not cross this line because if you do, this will be the consequence.” Well, I am convinced that this line has been crossed. You hurt my people, you hurt my country – you hurt me.

I do not excuse dishonesty, corruptness, and behavior by members of Congress and the White House. Behavior counts, character counts! If a child of mine is threatened, I become a lion. If my people are threatened I feel a personal sense of violation that I need to react to in much the same way. If my country is threatened, my patriotism soars to its highest level, and my blood boils. Punishment for this transgression of my person and my country’s boundaries and way-of-life is essential; it is in my opinion, mandatory as a citizen. Instead of our current dissolution and chaos, we must reunite and roar like the lion we are, the father who is reacting to a wrong done to his child.

Enough politicking and talk

Action and retaliation are crucial. We have been so afraid to be the lion, afraid to be seen as the bad guy, that we have NOT drawn the line in the sand and said: “you may not cross this line or these are the consequences.” To take a stand is not being the bad guy. It is quite the opposite, it is to be lauded; taking a stand with very clearly defined consequences is being responsible. We need to do more than simply reacting, we need to be pro-active.

I believe we must reclaim our status as courageous warriors, as outraged fighters, as the parents of the child that has been set upon, and say to those that have crossed the line and caused us pain: “there will be reprisal and punishment.”
I want to see our people; our fellow citizens do just that, not just as a reaction to the current economic and security threats, but on a continual basis. It’s the equivalent of being a parent who is afraid of being firm and setting boundaries, letting their child run out of control for fear we may be thought the ogre, and then reacts only situation by situation, each time confirming softness instead of resolve. That parent needs to step back, size up the situation and say this is what MUST be done now, so we do not have to face it again.

The response must be reprisal and punishment, in a manner that is civil, yet unmistakable in message, it has to go far enough to forestall similar activity in the future. We must change our political philosophy, awaken from our lethargy, erase our apathy and above all, we must abide by our well designed Constitution.

Similarly, it must be conveyed that it is folly and foolish for other countries to confuse our softness and courtesy with weakness. However, we ARE, more than ever, a soft country. Politically, we make so many mistakes; most in the name of misguided politics, foreign perceptions ill-understood, and isolationism. We do not speak out strongly enough about abuses to people in so many other countries, and the blatant evil that exists.

To confuse our softness with weakness is beyond STUPID, it is perilous and self-defeating, and you cannot fix STUPID with politicians who think and act as they do here at home today. When this country is threatened, when our allies face any external threat, we can be very dangerous, and our enemies need to understand this with clarity and utter fear. At home, concerning our internal problems and our outward projection, we, as a unified country, must change that perception for our country’s safety. We must act now, decisively.

I believe we must reclaim our status as courageous warriors, as outraged fighters, as the parents of the child that has been set upon, and say to those that have crossed the line and caused us pain: “there will be reprisal and punishment.”

In our American Exceptionalism, one borne of varied and mixed cultures, peoples with differing origins, of diverse religious affiliations; putting aside our petty differences which keep our combined culture fragmented, is crucial. I am one of those “Sleeping Giants” that has been awakened and want you to be awakened, and join me as a “Sleeping Giant” freshly awoken, a giant no longer asleep that sees the light of day before it is too late and is willing to ACT.

Please America...

Help Us Stir the “Sleeping Giant!”

MG Paul E. Vallely, US Army (Ret)
Chairman of Stand Up America

The Obama War On the Middle Class

middle class war
Middle Class Warriors
Ripped from the headlines at MSNBC:

The GOP has their whole economic theory UPSIDE DOWN and DEAD WRONG. The reason tax revenues have plummeted is NOT because America is broke. Both corporate profits and GDP are ABOVE where they were in 2007.

So why is there no tax revenue coming in? Because the money isn't going to WAGES, it's being siphoned off by the investor class.(See the chart)

When workers are paid wages, 100% of that money goes back into the economy. They pay both income taxes and payroll taxes (which account for 36% of U.S. tax revenue), and they spend the rest on goods and services right here in America.

But when the money earned for corporations by their workers is instead diverted to corporate profits and the investor class, tax revenues plummet (NOT grow, as Paul Ryan so history-blindedly predicts). Despite their vastly higher income levels, corporations' share of the tax burden is only 12% due to their vast amounts of tax writeoffs, credits and creative accounting. Both investors and corporations are more likely to move their earnings overseas (into either tax shelters or foreign investments). And foreign entities also hold a big share of the stock market, diverting corporate profits abroad before the American tax system gets a penny.

The investor class also pays an historically low tax rate of 15% on their earnings, as most are capital gains. And neither corporations nor investors pay payroll taxes, a factor which alone knocks a huge hole in the tax rolls. Even when investors do pay earned income tax rates on a portion of their income, those top tax rates are at their lowest since the 1930's. U.S. tax revenues as a percentage of GDP are far lower than many countries whose economies are recovering faster than ours.

The GOP solution? Cut off all the remaining government services that benefit the working class. Cut the top tax rate even lower. Drive wages down even further.

$4 trillion in cuts? This is the same guy that wouldn't agree to cut $60 billion for 2011 and I'm to believe he's serious about cutting anything?

Protect the middle class? I'm sorry Mr. President....the middle class gets almost no benefit from all the social programs you advocate. The middle class gets no benefit from your foreign aid. The middle class gets no benefit from excessive government pensions, your subsidies to the energy companies, your healthcare reform act, etc, etc.

This speech was just another useless campaign speech talking about all he's going to do with no direction and no formulated plan or specifics.

P.S. Really MSNBC??? You're going to quote a spokesman from Harry Reid? You couldn't find anyone more out of touch with the American voter except maybe Pelosi or Palin.

Pulverizing the American Promise Into 2 camps

WITH ARTICLES LIKE THIS COMING OUT of Time magazine, it is inevitable that in the immediate future, the United States will be split into two partisan camps. However, this will not be the traditional schism of republicans vs. democrats, contrary to Mr. Barney Frank’s attempt to start ideological partisan warfare.

The real split will be of naive, easily-manipulated, small-time mom and pop investors, who only care about looking at their daily Yahoo finance screens and 401(k) statements, seeing more black than red, and only focusing on what happened in the immediate past, and the forward looking taxpayers, who see the upcoming budget deficit fiasco, the social security ponzi scheme, the Medicare/Medicaid debacle, the ridiculous underfunding in public and corporate pension funds, the rising city and state taxes, the shuttering factories, the rising unemployment, the plummeting American production base, the “seasonally” upward-adjusted economic data coupled with consistently downward revised prior economic releases, the increasing savings rate and the multi trillion discrepancy in consumer purchasing power.

The taxpayers are becoming angrier and angrier at the net present value destruction of future opportunities of being a U.S. citizen, while investors cheer every piece of information (whether or not supported by facts) that provides a push to their current net worth, ignorant of what this may mean for the future.

There will come a point where this schism reaches a boiling point, in the meantime, the paradox is that so many of the taxpayers are also investors, who are caught in a tug of war with themselves on what the proper response to the crisis should be: happy as a result of bear market rallies, or sad when they put the facts into perspective.

Monitoring The Sub-Prime Crisis

sub-prime
CHESTNUT RIDGE, PA—April 11, 2004—POCONOS-FORECLOSURES—Since 1995, more than one in five households with mortgages in Monroe County, Pa., have stumbled into foreclosure proceedings, their credit ruined, their family life in tatters. The Mountain Terrace Estates development in the Poconos as seen on Nov. 1, 2003. Hint of things to come, nationwide. The lure of starter homes has drawn thousands of frustrated city renters over the last decade. (Suzanne DeChillo/The New York Times)

TWO ARTICLES from the Atlantic Monthly bear notice. Here is a strident look at that housing strata may very well be welling up as the next wave of American slums—not the cities, but those isolated suburbs of abandoned McMansions. Then there is this long piece dissecting and analyzing a rather comprehensive set of notions impacting the history of past economic stresses and their continued impact upon the current financial meltdown in How the Crash Will Reshape America:

In this sense, the financial crisis may ultimately help New York by reenergizing its creative economy. The extraordinary income gains of investment bankers, traders, and hedge-fund managers over the past two decades skewed the city’s economy in some unhealthy ways. In 2005, I asked a top-ranking official at a major investment bank whether the city’s rising real-estate prices were affecting his company’s ability to attract global talent.

He responded simply: “We are the cause, not the effect, of the real-estate bubble.” (As it turns out, he was only half right.) Stratospheric real-estate prices have made New York less diverse over time, and arguably less stimulating. When I asked Jacobs some years ago about the effects of escalating real-estate prices on creativity, she told me, “When a place gets boring, even the rich people leave.”

With the hegemony of the investment bankers over, New York now stands a better chance of avoiding that sterile fate as they continue to monitor this sub-prime crisis.

The Gears Of Preparedness

BATTLING FEARS OF THE FUTURE? Here's what one fellow says you can do to help ease your mind. Consider the necessities of life—purchase now in bulk, especially storable food.

  • if inflation ensues, it will be worth more tomorrow.
  • if deflation, it may not be available tomorrow due to shortages.
  • If a complete financial breakdown follows, you're already more self-sufficient and can barter for other necessities.
  • If nothing happens, you will have paid off the future now instead of later.

    Buy-and-Store-Bulk
    When storing food away, stay organized.

    Begin buying in your local area now, and keep buying there. Tell your friends what you are doing, and encourage them to do the same. We also need to slow down on purchasing imported items. I am one who doesn't believe we MUST buy imported anything! Globalism has suffocated American industrial know-how and can do, and thus the skills of self-preservation.

    The problem in America is the same problem as in the rest of the nations on our planet; it's the rich/poor system. As long as rich people get richer, the country and the world will continue to spiral towards the oblivion we see elsewhere around the world. We must again tax the rich according to the benefits they have acquired through a system slanted in their favor at the outset; once upon a time if one earned in excess of the masses annually, one would be obliged to give back in kind to the system.

    I am not a socialist or a communist. Nor am I currently poverty-stricken. But we are our brother's keeper, and as long as competition squashes the natural caring for our nation, we will keep slouching as a civilization toward that beastly keeper of Hell crushed by the gears of our own unpreparedness.

    On the national front, here's some advice from an old codger:

  • Cut non-essential government spending. Nearly all of it is non-essential. Cut all social programs. Cut all pork spending. Cut at least half of the humongous Federal work force (the government will run better.)
  • Bring our troops home who are scattered all around the world. We'll be stronger. Drastically downsize our armed forces, but maintain a large reserve in case we're attacked.
  • Bail out no one. No home owners, no Companies. For every company or homeowner that fails there is someone there to pick up the pieces at a bargain price. We're a resilient people. We'll bounce back.
  • Tighten our belt. If we survived The Great Depression—we can survive anything. I'm near eighty and I remember the depression. It was awful. Incidentally, we were slowly pulling out of it before WWII started.