Wednesday, October 15, 2014

OBAMA - IT'S FINALLY TIME TO SAY IT...

There seems to be so many negative headlines lately, Ebola, ISIS, Russia/Ukraine, Hong Kong Riots, Stock Market volatility, Destructive corporate policies, Secret Service scandals, Veterans Administration, IRS, Obamacare website fiasco and on and on.  All of these situations can be traced back to President Obama if only because he is the CEO of the nation.

His lack of action, his wrong actions, his inability to select experienced leaders, his inability to retain qualified leaders, his passivity, and his basic lack of experience is obvious.

He was elected on the premise of change. The reality is he has changed little for the better.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

GOLD BUBBLE ("WHEN INTEREST RATES RISE, GOLD WILL CRASH") ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED SEPTEMBER 2010

A friend of mine bought a home for $300,000 ten years ago. By 2007, the price of similar homes in their neighborhood had tripled in value.
During the period when the price of housing was rising so rapidly, banks were criticized for collecting deposits in one impoverished area of the country and lending it out in other more prosperous regions. The quality of the loans was not a factor, the equitable distribution of loans seemed more important. People all over the country were ecstatic over their increase of wealth through home ownership.
The government, in spite of everything, had created Fannie Mae, Freddy Mac and everything possible to increase home ownership. Practically no one was telling homeowners to liquidate their homes. Construction of homes was booming, millions of people were employed in the sector and no one dared to stop this lucrative bubble.
When the house I mentioned above was purchased in 1999, it would have taken approximately 1000 ounces of gold to pay for the home. Today, it would take only 250 ounces of gold to buy the same $300,000 house. Housing prices have “crashed” and gold has soared. In effect, gold has gone from $350 per ounce in 1999 to $1300 per ounce today.
Gold is basically a useless commodity. The price is a “bubble” that may sustain itself forever and ever, but it is a bubble. You can’t eat gold, it’s hard to carry, it earns you no money and its industrial uses are limited. Again, no one dares to tell people to sell their gold even though you can now buy it in vending machines. No one dares to tell the mining industry to stop the production of gold, for fear of destroying yet another industry that is responsible for the economic livelihood in many struggling countries.
Keynes said that in the end investing is nothing more than a game of musical chairs and that when the music stops; we don’t want to be the ones without a chair. old. When interest rates rise, gold will crash.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

LANCE ARMSTRONG AND THE WHISTLE BLOWER- A NATION OF "SNITCHERS"(ORIGINALLY POSTED 1/2013)

I am seventy five years old.  I was a young boy during WWII.  It was commonplace to be exposed to stories about the Germans in which children were rewarded to come forward to snitch on their parents or family.  These young children were following the Nazi propaganda line.

Many adults looked in dismay as a country rewarded children for being whistle blowers.  It was considered an abominable breach of most American's ethics.

Now in America we reward, with substantial gifts, those who help our Justice Department and SEC prosecutors capture and then punish who are often their friends and colleagues.  Our sense of justice is to tell people if you whistle blow, you can get rich and if necessary go into the witness protection program.

As Americans we have actually come to accept this as an appropriate approach to the pursuit of crimes.

I have great difficulty understanding how we abhor the actions of the children of Germany, but find little ability to speak about whether we want such behavior in our own country.




Thursday, September 11, 2014

RUSSIA & UKRAINE - A COUNTRY THAT WAS ONCE ONE...

Sometimes common wisdom is way off the mark.  Over the last few years we have pointed out that the PC wasn't going to disappear, the price of gold  was overblown, the pundits of gloom were mostly not worth listening to, the occupiers had little case, the deficit was substantially media hype, and the appeasement of enemies is generally not a winning strategy.

What I am going to say now seems absurd on its face, even to me who is writing it, but here I go.

My parents were born in Russia. Their citizenship papers say they were born in Russia.  Specifically they were born in Ukraine, Russia.  In my family it was taken as a statement of fact that they were from Russia. I took a look at Wikipedia and it was obvious, for several hundred years, Ukraine was considered Russia.

Somehow or other the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, the name Russia was called by, ceded Ukraine to its own independence.  Now there is man by the name of Mr. Putin who thinks that breaking up the union was a very negative development for his country.

The Civil War in the United States was initially about maintaining the union between the North and the South, it was not initially fought over slavery.  I'm not sure that maintaining the Russian union is not as important to them as it was to us during the Civil War.

What am I missing?

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

SYRIA, IRAN & RUSSIA - ANY PRESIDENT'S NIGHTMARE ALLEGIANCE...(ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED 8/29/13)

When the Syrian insurgency began President Obama was given a "one time only" opportunity to quickly prevent escalation.  Inaction was followed by inaction and well over 100,000 people have been killed, wounded or misplaced.

The complexity of facilitating an end to the carnage now, creates a much more difficult, expensive. risky and limited set of options.

As we wrote in an earlier blog, the cost of ending atrocities early would have been much less than the cost is today and the longer term implications of inaction are not any clearer.

The character of any President is most tested when issues of life and death for many take over the landscape.


Thursday, August 28, 2014

RUSSIA EXERTS POWERS WHILE OBAMA COWERS..(ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED 7/31/14)

Russia will begin to cut back on natural  gas supplies to Europe and an invasion of Ukraine is probably not far off.


Wednesday, August 20, 2014

ISRAEL - A GAME WITH ZERO PROBABILITY OF AN END?

In a baseball game there are players at all different positions.  If you remove one player at a time from the field, each removal will weaken the defense against the opposition.  The same thing is true in other sports.  In a chess game the objective is to take pieces from the opposing player in order to ultimately capture the king.

It has become obvious to me, that there is at this time no possible way to settle the Palestinian question.  Years ago associates of mine tried to involve me in an organization called "Peace Now".  It was one of many groups that sought to provide a specific methodology for bringing peace to the Israel/Palestinian confusion.  I didn't agree with the "Peace Now" plan then, and up until now it seems to have been totally wrong.  

ISIS, Hezbollah, Hamas, Taliban, Fatah, Muslim Brotherhood, etc. appear to be different groups  with various positions on one issue or another.  Yet each one of these groups are acting collectively as one team, prepared to take on whomever chooses to challenge them.  If one group (player) withdraws from the field by settling differences with Israel, United States, etc. the entire group (team) is weakened. 

Consequently it is becoming obvious that a settlement from any single terrorist related group will not occur in any time frame relevant to current attempts.