Sunday, July 20, 2014

I've got a Question; If you could get away with it....

Let’s do a thought experiment!  

Let us suppose that every one of the seven billion plus humans on planet earth are instantly given the individual ability to have just one other person on earth die immediately, and that there can, and never will be, any repercussions of any kind, to any person who has accepted this power and used it, neither on Earth nor in Heaven forever and ever, Amen.

How many people do you think “we” would get rid of?  How many people would be still around?  Would you be one of them?  Are you sure?


It seems to me that even given the in-place Laws against killing, vigilante actions, and simple revenge in the heat of the moment, (not to mention, the religion based promises of severe eternal retribution for willful murder), there still seem to be too many folks out there that are just OK with other people being killed, if not by them personally then by “the good guys” (or, mere complicity with, or inaction against, or self convenient support of governmental policies: WAR.), but that's another question.

Could it be that it is really the getting away with it that is allowing this to happen?  Does your God or government let you get away with it?  The majority of the earth’s people say that they believe in God.  Is He on the side of killers?  If not, where does this all come from?  The majority of people on earth obey their governments' laws.  Is your government on the side of the killers?  Which side, which killers?  If all the governments say that they are right, and all the various “Gods” are right, who is doing all this “wrong” killing?

It probably won't keep me alive, but I've decided to not kill anybody, even given a guaranteed chance to get away with it.


Thursday, July 10, 2014

I Assume


The important stuff is being taken care of, right?

Just maybe, we all take too much for granted.  We assume that the important things are being taken care of, or maybe even the things that might someday be important are as well.  In 1572, with his naked eye, Tycho Brahe noticed a super nova (a tiny star that suddenly wasn’t so tiny any more) in the constellation Cassiopeia. This observation more or less proved that the heavens were not unchanging original works of God.  In 2014, this information has informed our astronomers where to aim their very high tech instruments and we are still learning a great deal from this one small point in the sky.  As the kings pondered the deployment of their armies and the farmer milked his cow, do you think that they too, assumed that the important things in our universe were being observed and recorded?
We take advantage of discoveries made by people who are trying to understand our world, but for every researcher there are a thousand soldiers and the American government alone spends as much money on armaments as the rest of the planet combined.  Are you sure that there are enough people paying attention to what is really important?  We just might miss something if too many of us attend to the wrong things most of the time.  I wonder if Tycho was hungry back then.  What if he had been very very hungry?  

What if he had been drafted to fight in a stupid war?  Now, that Louis Pasteur guy and Jonas Salk...


Pundits

On August 4, 2011, gold closed at about $1650 per ounce. That's about 22% in six months. This is likely reflects the level of confidence so many folks have in our House of Representatives. Unfortunately for us little investors, the really big investors and Governments don't have to pay that 15% charge every time they buy or sell something (nor the tax on transactions), so they're in a position to push the price up and down to their advantage.


The financial pundits are always making fun of the "cash under the mattress" people. Burying stuff in your back yard ala Erskine Caldwell may seem dumb; right up until you pick up the paper and see that your NYSE stocks have lost thirty percent of their "value" in a week, and then they lose another 20 % over the next month or so... Don't we wish we had had all our money in gold in September 2008 (when it was about $700.)?

We need to remember that those same pundits called "no money down, no principal paid the first year loans" for super over priced houses _SECURITIES_! (House prices propped up by Greenspan's super low interest rates.  "Hey! I can afford to pay for more house than I can use for more money than I have because the Government has interest rates WAY below the inflation rate! And I get to deduct the payments from my taxes! And the house will double in value in three years.*" And the real estate people obliged by hawking the "no risk" investment potential of houses and there were TWO TV shows about "flipping houses" for big bucks.) Now let's bundle the loans and sell them to other banks! Oh Boy!

SECURITIES! Secured by what? A promise to pay made by someone who is spending 130% (average American family debt) of their income on restaurant meals, cars, and vacations? (Also "secured" by a family home "equity" loan. Equity that only exists and only on paper because the real estate sales people SAID the house would sell for big bucks because *see above*). SO, does anyone ever ask just exactly where the big bucks sales commissions for Realtors come from? Or where the two billion dollars came from that the Sandler couple walked off with just prior to the implosion of their World Savings Bank? Their bank was so Ponzied with fake "securities" that it brought down Wachovia, the purchaser.

The worst thing in the world that can happen to you is for a realtor to tell you that your house is worth twice what you thought it was IF YOU AREN'T PLANNING ON MOVING! And maybe even if you are, because you have to live somewhere and you'll have to buy another house that's probably over priced by the realtors."Everything is worth what someone will pay for it." said Publilius Syrus about 2100 years ago. But that is only true if there is money out there. How much money disappeared in the fall of 2008? Everything is worthless in dollar terms right up untill it's sold. A house (realestate) is two things; an investment and a place to live. don't confuse the two.

We give lip service to the fact that everything comes from somewhere and you don't get something for nothing, but if you're just buying and selling things, houses, and companies, you're not creating anything, you're just moving money around so fast you get to keep some of it (Ayn Rand). Now, just where did all those "profits" come from? It's too complicated, say the pundits, you wouldn't understand.
Back in the 17th century there was a bubble for tulip bulbs in Holland. You could buy two or three houses with the right kind of tulip bulb because the bulb was GOING TO BE WORTH SO MUCH MORE TOMORROW! Forever and ever.
I'm still reading that the housing industry isn't back to "normal". Normal like what was going on in Las Vegas? I wouldn't live there if you gave me a mansion.