When Bubbles Burst

slowdownWe all can see how the economy is slowing down.  Gas consumption is down to 1995 levels,  The Baltic Dry Index is at it’s lowest levels EVER and commodity prices have tanked.  So whats really going on?  There is a trend that’s been happening since 1999 that is quite interesting.  These trends could be an indicator of our future economy, as in THIS YEAR because it precedes the election of new President.  So let me explain.

In 1999, all was great.  The Dot Com industry was making millions for people and the NASDAQ was booming.  In February of 2000, the Federal Reserve began raising interest rates, towards the highest since 1995.  At the same time, the economy was slowing.  A poor holiday shopping return in 1999 disappointed the Dot Com industry.  On the 12th of April the NASDAQ dropped 386 points, at the time, the lowest one day drop in history.  By the time newly elected President G.W. Bush entered office, the NASDAQ had lost 60% of it’s value, erasing 7 trillion dollar in wealth.  The Dot Com bubble was fueled by the Main Stream Media, the so called experts and even the Chairman of the Federal Reserve.dotcom 1

The Dot Com stock bubble was an asset that that turned into a bubble which popped shortly before the elections of G.W. Bush.  This provides some clues for a trend.  Let’s look at the facts:

  1.   A bubble (of assets)  emerges and grows on very low Federal Reserve interest rates.

  2.  Experts, the media and the Chairman of the Federal Reserve say’s everything is fine and growth will continue.

  3.  The Federal Reserve raises interest rates.

  4.  The economy begins to slow down

  5.  The Dot Com bubble bursts just before the Presidential election, G.W. Bush’s first term.


Shortly after his election, President Bush makes several speech’s about the importance of home ownership.  The next “bubble” has begun.  The new asset was housing.  In 2001, the Federal Reserve began dropping interest rates that flattened about about 1%.  This helped the housing market explode as everyone wanted a house.  Housing prices skyrocketed.  The banks began giving loans to people who really couldn’t afford them, with a lot of pushing and help from Liberal lawyers and the Federal government.   The banks didn’t care, because default left the bank with a house, at the time, rising in price.

subprimeNo down payment, low interest rate home loans, or sub-prime mortgages, became the fad.  The banks desire for profit decided to package up the regular mortgages with the sub-prime mortgages and sell them to other banks,  pension funds, hedge funds and sovereign funds.  The became know as CDO’s, collataralized debt obligations.  Experts appeared all over the news over the years, claiming that housing was not a “bubble”.  The Federal Reserve began raising interest rates, by 2007, they had reached  5.25% (from 1%).  The result was that sub-prime mortgages defaulted in huge numbers.  As more and more houses hit the market, prices plummeted as well as overall consumption.  The next crisis had begun and would reach it’s peak in the Fall of 2008, right before the Presidential elections.

CDOCDO’s and houses became worthless in short time and nobody was buying.  Lehman Bros lost their ass and filed for bankruptcy on September 15, 2008.  The bubble had burst.  By the end of November of 2008, Americans lost one quarter of the net worth.  Stocks went down 45% from 2007 highs and housing prices dropped 20%.  The overall loss doubled the Dot Com bubble fiasco, as 14 trillion dollars of wealth was lost.  The big banks, Citigroup, JP MorganChase, Goldman Sachs and Bank of America were heavy buyers in CDO’s and this spread throughout the world.  The housing bubble burst, 2 months before the election of Barack Obama.  Let’s see if the trend applies:

  1.   A bubble (of assets)  emerges and grows on very low Federal Reserve interest rates.

  2.  Experts, the media and the Chairman of the Federal Reserve say’s everything is fine and growth will continue.

  3.  The Federal Reserve raises interest rates.

  4.  The economy begins to slow down

  5.  The housing bubble bursts just before the Presidential election, Barak Obama’s first term.

 

Everything that happened in 2000, happened in 2008.  We had both an asset bubble explosion that wiped out trillions.  Let’s move to what this cycle holds as far as the trend.  The Federal Reserve recently increased interest rates, which had been at near zero.  The economy is slowing, as I stated above.  The Bloomberg Commodity Index is at a low not seen since…..2008!  This slump is a clear indicator of a slowing economy on a Global scale.  Holiday spending of 2015 was the worst since 2008.  US manufacturing is contracting.  The EXPERTS are saying that things are great (I can provide all the video evidence needed, but ya’ll already know this).

banksbailFollowing the checklist, we have Experts saying the economy is fine.  We have the Federal Reserve raising interest rates and we a have a slowing economy.  Only one thing left, the asset bubble!  Looking back at the Dot com and Housing bubbles, we have something that easily achieves bubble status.  This is one of those things that seems to grow and grow in the economic world.  On September 18th, 2008, Hank Paulson told Congress that 5.5 trillion dollars would disappear by 2pm if the government didn’t take action.  The threat was… keep the big banks alive or else. Probably the biggest con job in history.

Between TARP and various actions, including the actions of the Federal Reserve, it has cost about 20 trillion bucks since then.  I don’t think anyone believes the US national debt went from 9 trillion to 19 trillion since 2008 because the Federal government grew that much, do you?  Now the “Too Big To Fail Banks” have a safety net, basically to do what they want.  It is resulting in the ultimate bubble….it is the asset that will destroy everything, when it pops, and it will pop.  It is the most dangerous casino gambling market in the world, the Derivatives Market!  The total net worth of all outstanding contracts is 559.2 TRILLION DOLLARS, according to the Bank of International Settlements.

deriv1A derivative is a speculative contract or a bet placed on stocks, commodities, mortgages and other economic things like interest rates.   It’s simply legalized gambling.  Usually, gamblers don’t fare too well, but the house always wins.  We are not the house, in case you wanted to know.  As I type this, there is not anything of economic worth that doesn’t have a derivative attached to it.  ALL DERIVATIVES ARE BETS!  The CDO’s that crashed with the housing bubble were just a small part of the derivatives market, in 2008, only 500 billion dollars worth of of the derivative market.  NOTHING compared to the 559.9 TRILLION dollar derivative market we have today.

Let’s look at the exposure to derivatives of the top five “too big to fail banks”.

  1.  Citigroup:  Assets = 1.8 Trillion dollars     Exposure to derivative = more than 53 trillion dollars.

  2.  JP Morgan/Chase  assets = 2.4 trillion dollars    Exposure to derivatives = more than 51 trillion dollars.

  3.   Goldman Sachs assets = less than a trillion dollars    Exposure to derivatives = more than 51 trillion dollars

  4.   Bank of America assets = just more than 2.1 trillion dollars    Exposure to derivatives = more than 45 trillion dollars

  5.   Morgan Stanley total assets = less than a trillion dollars    Exposure to derivatives = 31 trillion dollars.

deriv2Overall, the biggest US banks collectively have more than 247 trillion dollars of exposures to derivatives contracts.  That’s 13 times the US national debt.  This kind of gambling has inflated the biggest economic bubble in history.  The derivative bubble, like all bubbles, will burst.  Let’s review this trend again:

  1.   A bubble (of assets)  emerges and grows on very low Federal Reserve interest rates.

  2.  Experts, the media and the Chairman of the Federal Reserve say’s everything is fine and growth will continue.

  3.  The Federal Reserve raises interest rates.

  4.  The economy begins to slow down

  5.  The derivative bubble bursts just before the Presidential election of………?

If this short term trend becomes reality, I can’t even imagine how this will play out or what it will result in.  The “Too Big To Fail” banks have put themselves in a position where they can’t be bailed out on this one.  Too Big To Fail is no longer true, Too Big To Save may be the new term for these huge banks in 2016.  2016 could make 1929, 2000 and 2008 all, combined,  look like a picnic.  Hopefully, you are as prepared as possible to weather this type of economic storm.  I can’t find words to describe the possible calamity if this were to occur.  Can you?

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Comments

  1. gmanfortruth says:

    I though I would try something different, a full article 🙂

  2. Wealth is created from a single source (corporate profit) and the concept of the general public pushing prices to “bubble” proportion has been around since the very dawn of capitalism. The US economy suffers from lack of skills at the present.

  3. Bubbles are the only way the pols know how to “fix” the economy. The problem is that they “need” a rapid return to “normal.” (notice all the quotes). If they were able to do what needs to be done, it would take a decade or more and be very, very painful. The whole economy is so leveraged up, all it takes is for Bernanke to sneeze and the S&P flails 5%.

    That said, it’s still better than letting the economy go completely unmanaged – that would be a train wreck of epic proportions.

    ———–

    But I will mention this to my friends here in the lunatic asylum: there is a hefty amount of “easy” money to be made (with very low risk) if you recognize the volatility (thanks, Ben!) in the current stock market. As long as you don’t get greedy, and stay on top of things, it’s not that tough to clear 1k / wk with only a few hours a day (above that, I don’t consider the risk worth it). I don’t really want to hold a seminar here, but you can Google something called an Iron Condor.

    • gmanfortruth says:

      I checked out the Iron Condor stuff. I do sort of understand, but are your talking about Exchange traded Options? If so, they are one of the classes of derivatives which would be included in the subject matter. Much like the CDO’s, they don’t appear to big but a small part of the big picture concerning derivatives. Is that correct or are they a bigger part?

      • CDO’s are a different animal. I don’t touch them with q 20-foot pole. CDS/CDX are the really dangerous ones. Like – holy shit – kind of dangerous. Those are the guys that can tank an entire country (and probably will someday). The dark market is ENORMOUS. Enormois into the TRILLIONS. If there’s anything that should make you want to run, screaming, to hide in Black Flag’s gold-lined bunker, it’s these.

        But options, specially listed or exchange traded, are nothing too scary. Just watch out for black swans. That’s why I like my condors. A really bad week can cost me a couple grand, but won’t kill me. If I were just doing short straddles, a really wild week could cost me my home.

        • For those dabbling in options, I prefer “Selling Puts”.

          “Selling a put option – An investor would choose to sell a put option if her outlook on the underlying security was that it was going to rise. The purchaser of a put option pays a premium to the writer (seller) for the right to sell the shares at an agreed upon price in the event that the price heads lower. Since the premium would be kept by the seller if the price closed above the agreed upon strike price, it is easy to see why an investor would choose to use this type of strategy”

          If the shares go up, the trade is pointless and you keep the premium.
          If the shares go down below the strike price, you have to buy the stock at the strike price.

          If you do a little home work, and pick a company you’d like to invest in – that is, you probably would buy this company’s stock in a normal way- then this trade makes a world of sense.

          You get a set profit if the shares go up – not as much as you would if you held the stock outright, but you get a profit nonetheless.

          If the shares go down, you get to buy a good company at even a cheaper price for the stock. Since you were thinking of buying the company stock anyway, now you have it at even a cheaper price so that – since you believed it would – when the price goes up again, you can cash out at a profit. But even here, you get to keep the premium – so you probably will get two profit opportunities, the premium plus the stock price gain.

          The secret of the strategy is to pick good companies that are undervalued.

          So why do I like this strategy for a common investor?
          Because that is what investing is all about – picking good companies to invest in that can make you money.

          Investing in a stock-market-casino style trade is not fundamentally investing. You are not looking at the value of the company, what it produces, the value to the economy at all. You are merely playing the market with “bets” and ignoring root fundamentals of “investing”.

          I’m not saying stock gamblers are bad – they serve a purpose in the market (liquidity). But I believe this is the realm of those that are professionals, not the common guy.

          • PS: You probably could earn $500 a week using “Sell Puts” just on the premiums, given a reasonable sized portfolio.

          • PSS: An example with me.
            I sold a series of puts on a particular stock that was already undervalued, got paid a premium of $300 for that trade. They were trading at $7 at the time, and I sold a put at a strike of $5.00.

            The stock fell below the strike, so I had to buy back my put at the strike price. The shares fell below $5, to $4.75. Since I would have bought at $7 – … and if I had, I would be in the red, holding the stock, of $2.25/share. It would have pissed me off a bit. BUT! Instead I got to buy them $4.75, and in the red only $0.25/share – still annoying but a whole lot less annoying.

            The stock rebounded to $8 and I cashed out. If I bought at $7, I would have cashed out at $9, gaining $2 a share … if they hit $9. If I cashed out at $8, obviously I would have gained a $1/share.

            But I cashed out at $8, earning that $3.75 (47% gain) a share PLUS my $300 premium.

            If the stock didn’t move from $7 (or went up), I would have earned $300 – while holding NO SHARES AT ALL. I didn’t SPEND A DIME TO EARN $300 (if the stock moved up) (not including broker fees, but that came out of the premium at the time of the execution)

          • You can also defend your put with a butterfly. This would give you a bit of cushion if it’s going to just barely pass you strike.

            I’d also suggest put SPEADS instead of just naked short puts and here’s why: 1 limited downside. If you’re short a 90-x put and the price goes to 80, you’ve lose $1,000. However if you’re short the 90-x and LONG the 89-x, and it goes to 80, you’re only out $100. This means that if the market crashes and blows past your strike (or gaps open past it.. UGH!), your downside is limited. 2. Because your downside is limited, the MARGIN requirement is also smaller. Whereas a naked put might need sever 10’s of thousands of collateral, the put spread is limited to the potential loss. Sure it’s just collateral and you get it back, but why tie yourself up? Now, of course, the downside is that you capture less premium, but if you pick good spreads, it’s not so bad. And, of course, since you seem to like getting exercised over cash settling, the other downside is that you don’t end up with the stock (but who cares? Just go buy it if you want to).

            I like my bull call spreads waaaay out of the money so they don’t get exercised and I can just collect premium. If you’re indifferent, there’s a lot more meat on the bone closer in (delta > 0.5).

            My two cents.

            • That should have said bull PUT spreads at the end there.

              However, it is also true that I like my bear call spreads waaaay out of them money, too.

              • Just A Citizen says:

                Mathius

                Clarification please. When you say bull or bear spreads are you referring to the general market direction? As in you are placing put spreads in a bull market and call spreads in a bear market.

                Seems to me if you have a defined bear or bull market you should be betting on the trends and not creating spreads.

                I assume you are playing these “fancy” games because you don’t want to hold the underlying stock/security. Correct??

                I did not take you for a day trader, let alone and options gamer. What happened to your day job?

              • JAC,

                A Bull spread is a spread where you are betting that the market goes up / stays up. A Bear spread is the opposite.

                In terms of an Iron Condor (I do love that name), what you’re doing is placing a bull put spread (a bet that the stock goes up / stays up) well below the current price and a bear call spread (a bet that the stock goes down / stays down) well above the current price.

                A bull put spread is a long put at a low strike and a short put at a higher strike. So you start losing money FIRST, then the long put kicks in LATER to cap your losses. Thus you are betting / hoping that the price stays above your first put (the short).

                A bear call spread is a short call at a low strike and a long call at a higher strike. So you start losing money FIRST, then the long call kicks in LATER to cap your losses. Thus you are betting / hoping that the price stays below your first call (the short).

                In other words, you don’t want it to go too low and you don’t want it to go too high, but within a given range, it’s sunshine and rainbows.

                ————-

                What does this mean? Let’s imagine JAC & Co (symbol JACCO) is trading at $100. I’m going to do four trades:
                1. Long put @ 80 for $0.90.
                2. Short put @ 82 for $1.00.
                3. Short call @ 118 for $1.00.
                4. Long call @ 120 for $0.90.
                For this, I will collect $20 (=(-0.90+1.00+1.00-0.90)*100). My worst case scenario is that I lose $200 less the premium = -$180 as you’ll see below.

                How does this work? Consider the following price points:
                0: Long put pays me $8,000. Short put costs me $8.200. Calls expire worthless. Net loss $180 (=+8000-8200+20).
                70: Long put pays me $1,000. Short put costs me $1.200. Calls expire worthless. Net loss $180.
                80: Long put expires worthless. Short put costs me $200. Calls expire worthless. Net loss $180.
                81: Long put expires worthless. Short put costs me $100. Long call expires worthless. Net loss $80.
                82: Puts expire worthless. Calls expire worthless. Net gain $20.
                90: Puts expire worthless. Calls expire worthless. Net gain $20.
                100: Puts expire worthless. Calls expire worthless. Net gain $20.
                110: Puts expire worthless. Calls expire worthless. Net gain $20.
                118: Puts expire worthless. Calls expire worthless. Net gain $20.
                119: Puts expire worthless. Short call costs me $100. Long call expires worthless. Net loss $80.
                120: Puts expire worthless. Short call costs me $200. Long call expires worthless. Net loss $180.
                130: Puts expire worthless. Short call costs me $1,200. Long call pays me $1,000. Net loss $180.
                1,000: Puts expire worthless. Short call costs me $1,000. Long call pays me $800. Net loss $180.

                So, to simplify:
                0-80: -180
                80-82: +20 to -180
                82-118: +20
                118-120: +20 to -180
                120-infinity: -180

                If you graph this, it sort of looks like a bird, thus the name.

                The beauty is that if I have a strong reason to believe that JACCO will trade @100 +/- 10, I can (reasonably) expect that it will not cross either of my shorts. Therefore, I am rooting for it to do nothing big and, if it doesn’t, all my options expire worthless and I am left with my premium. If you do it right, you should win about 80% of the time – the challenge is to make sure that your losses don’t wipe out your gains since losses can be disproportionate (in our example, it was 10:1), but that’s a lesson for another day.

                I hope this helps clarify things.

            • All good strategy, but I don’t need to.
              If one picks good companies, the downside is already protected, simply because they are good companies. The buzz saw of ups and downs are mitigated over the long term, because, hey – they are good companies.

              They are throwing off dividends, and low P/E and are profitable. If their share price doesn’t reflect this, to me, its a buy and I’m happy to grab these guys at a discount.

              I believe over-complexity of trades is a determent for the common investor. The common investor isn’t living in the market 10 hours a day. He is looking for a long-term win. I am one of these (even though I am, I believe, much more sophisticated then the common investor).

              Good to see you, old foe and friend!

              • Just A Citizen says:

                BF

                My version: When you start talking about thangs that have wings or are spread out you are talking speculation NOT investing.

                Unless of course you are talking zoology or some such thang. 🙂

              • Investing is “speculation” – all based on assumption of profit.

                The common separation is in the calculations.
                Mathius is likely a skilled practitioner who can jump in and jump out when the natural moves and flows – like a car weaving in the road – shows a profit.

                I’m not so focused (though, one day, I’d like to be) to take advantage at the small percentages of profit that this can derive.

                I’m focused on a 30% return annually. If a stock hits that, I sell – even though it may go higher. I don’t hunt pressing the profit – and probably miss a few big winners.

                But I haven’t any losers in awhile 🙂

              • Flagster,

                The problem with not using a put SPREAD is that you run the risk of being wrong about whether it’s a good company. Say, for example:

                1. You identify Apple (AAPL) as a good buy at 85.
                2. You put on 10 March (standard) short put at 85 and collect $310 in premium. (numbers are accurate as of the close)
                3. Tomorrow, it is determined that because Apple pissed off the FBI, the FBI raided Apple’s offices and found massive fraud and hauled Tim Cook off to Super Max.
                4. Apple’s stock drops to 65. You no longer consider this a great deal, but you’ve lost 20k.

                Alternatively….

                1. You identify Apple (AAPL) as a good buy at 85.
                2. You put on 10 March (standard) short put at 85 and collect $310 in premium. (numbers are accurate as of the close). AND you buy 10 long March (standard) puts at 80 and pay out 180 in premium.
                3. Tomorrow, it is determined that because Apple pissed off the FBI, the FBI raided Apple’s offices and found massive fraud and hauled Tim Cook off to Super Max.
                4. Apple’s stock drops to 65. You no longer consider this a great deal, but you’ve lost 20k. 5k.

                Soooo…

                In the first scenario, you committed massive amounts of capital without a capped downside in order to gain $310. In the second, you committed 5k in order to gain $130. You’re savvy enough to figure out which is a better deal. And, if you wanted to, you could easily leverage up the scend scenario with 20 or 30 puts instead of 10 while still capping your downside risk and capital commitment.

              • Certainly one can purchase downside risk insurance – but as you pointed out, it has a cost.

                Since no one can predict such outliers as you example, and given they are rare, one surrenders a lot of profit for improbable events when one picks good companies.

                What you have to consider is that you are applying this tactic to every purchase, hence an additional cost every purchase so to prevent perhaps one circumstance where you had a loss.

                You are merely measuring an example where you were right to do this, and ignoring all the examples where you wasted money doing this.

              • That’s true, but it only takes one catastrophic event to wipe you out completely.

                You have to consider the cost of a rare event with unacceptable consequences.

              • Mathius,
                Don’t know about you but I don’t invest all my money in one company.

              • The key is to take a large number of uncorrelated bets.

                But just one of them going catastrophically wrong without a cap would still wipe everything else out and then some.

                It’s worth it to give up a significant portion of your upside to ensure against the, say, losing your home. But that’s just my opinion.

              • Again, when would I risk that much on a stock to lose my home? Given I don’t speculate on “bad” companies?

    • Iron Condor works best in a non-volatile market where price swings are limited.
      I wouldn’t suggest this strategy for anyone who is not a professional given the current market is quite volatile.

      Remember a loss of 10% requires a gain of 11% to just break even. A loss of 20% requires a gain of 25% … just to break even.

      • Tsk tsk tsk, Flaggy!

        If the market is volatile, do a REVERSE iron condor. You pay a small premium and collect the cash settlement when it reaches your strikes. The beauty is that I don’t even need to know HOW the market is going to flail, just that it IS going to flail. Once the price approaches one side of the condor, you buy back the short leg of the opposite side for pennies on the dollar and hold the long leg as a lottery ticket. Or you can roll the opposite side in closer to the current price and collect even MORE premium!

        • Tsk, tsk, Mathius,

          You are pretending you know which way the market will fall.

          Now YOU may know this, being a smarter then the average bear, but as a strategy for the common man, it is a disaster.

          Certainly, sophisticated strategies, played by very knowledgeable and skilled practitioners, can eek out a regular profit. No different the a pro poker player vs a guy on the street whose experience is home games.

          But for the common man, it is a disaster to pretend he can play a high-stakes poker game, and equally high-stakes stock market.

          • No, see, that’s just it.

            You don’t have to know which way the market will flail. If it flails up, you win. If it flails down, you win. You only lose if it stays put. If you can predict an volatile market (think anytime Yellen opens her mouth, during elections, employment numbers, earnings season, etc), you should be in good shape.

            To do it on a regular basis requires more skill than the average bear.

            • Dale A Albrecht says:

              Sorry guys…..BF. Mathius, Colonel…you all are playing personal games that require a great deal of effort and attention to play put’s butterfly’s etc… i know Apple would have been in the dust bin of a failed company unless IBM had not invented and built the microprocessor in the 80’s and 90’s that put them back on the map. But the leadership gave away the industry. We opened the patents and tooling to Intel that saved their ass. MIcrosoft is another story also. Just because these folks are wharton or Harvard grads.

              I’m just one of the common folks…and i do not say herd. the people are tired of consumption, debt etc. Watch bud lite or other cheap beers and you will get a good view. Albeit craft beers are great…$13.00 for a 6 pack vs $5, or a wine jumping from 14 to 28$ and its the same bottle on the shelf D13…basically said “barking with the big dogs” earlier today. but that is a 1% view point

              I do spend time trying to talk to the younger set. The overall desparity is sad. 3-5 part time jobs. College educated, can’t afford decent apartments much less a house boyfriends or girlfriends live in other parts of the country just to find work. that is not living a decent life. even being on a fixed income right now and living in a condition far less than I did 40+ years ago ( I downsized) it is still far better than the majority of the people I talk with if I was 24 again….make sense???? No comparison of standard of living then and now and what it took to obtain that lifestyle. Then vs now,

  4. Dale A Albrecht says:

    I had to look up the words as it’s used in the financial game. That is a really dangerous game these brokers and banks are playing.

    I can see a “stock” brokerage house dealing in that market. People willingly bet their money on the market. Just like going to Vegas.

    However, looking at the charts provided and also at the charts on the sites I looked at, to have commercial banks to be so heavily involved in that markets has got to be the most reckless activity going. They have the intitial assets (our deposits) as their chip in the game. That’s covered by the FDIC, being cynical here so why not. But when things slow and those future bets go poof as quickly as they were created…into thin air. Also when the banks are paying no interest on your deposits if not charging you and they got their monopoly money from the fed for 0 interest….this is sheer insanity. The scale of this makes the housing bust look like a drop in the bucket. Part of the housing problem was there was no more that people could buy in any form. Now the derivative market is spread all over. The people are tired of constantly having to buy buy buy new. Wages are stagnant, jobs are limited a person has got to be insane to delve into debt again. Benanke said back when we depend on consumption and CREDIT.We have to get the people to do both. What if you stop or really slow your buying? No need for credit. The kids have so much college debt…this whole financial scheme is the insane running the asylum.

    • gmanfortruth says:

      Wall Street makes Las Vegas look poor when it comes to gambling. The more I read on this stuff, the worse it seems to get. I’m not trying to predict the future here, but to provide some insight as to a subject I’m interested in and concerned with. After 2008 and the bailout mess, it’s worth discussing. Let’s not forget about that blip not too long ago when the market dropped around a thousand points in minutes, then came back up. Do you recall that? It happened the same day that the House of representatives were getting ready to vote on the Audit the Fed bill. The Bill failed, despite all indications that it would have passed, prior to the “blip”.

      If all of these banks bought all these derivatives and they become worthless, who gains? Somebody has to be a winner when there is gambling involved. If banks are buying and selling them among each other, what’s the point? Somebody has to win, and it is never us.

      • Just A Citizen says:

        gman

        The winners are whomever sold the derivatives. The losers are those holding them if they become worthless.

        Derivatives were not in themselves the problem nor did they cause the collapse.

        It was the underlying value and the fraud in setting those values. Thus the price of the derivatives did not accurately reflect the underlying risk tied to them. Then thanks to Fed rules the big banks could use the fractional reserve allowance to expand them beyond the original asset by 30 to 1.

        In essence, they expanded credit 30 times the asset value of the CDO’s they held, not realizing the CDO’s were essentially worthless due to the inherent risk.

        A derivative is just that, a derivative of something else. Thus it contains a “portion” of the value of the security it is derived from. That is whey they are not a problem in and of themselves. The only problem with them is their liquidity, assuming the fractional values are correct. Some cannot be sold in large volumes quickly, if the underlying security is borrowed and not owned.

        • The problem only occurs if the underwriter cannot make good.

          And often, the underwriter is exactly the guy who, in seeking an outrageous return, will overextend his ability to underwrite.

          Normally, this gets vetted out of the market – bankruptcy.

          But the current Fed policies has attracted an abnormal amount of return-seekers who, thinking that the returns are “safe”.

          This is an immensity of a disaster. The common guy has no idea the risk he has acquired, because his reference – a modest return of 10/15% – actually is in the high risk platform.

          I have no idea how this will play out.

          • BF says: ……And often, the underwriter is exactly the guy who, in seeking an outrageous return, will overextend his ability to underwrite.But the current Fed policies has attracted an abnormal amount of return-seekers who, thinking that the returns are “safe”.

            Well said, sir, and spot on.

            Mathius is also correct in his scenarios……but, as you put it, the common investor has no idea how to play this game….is is very speculative and very dangerous in today’s time. Hell, we know how to play in his bal park and choose not to do it….not worth the risk

            BFsays: “a modest return of 10/15% – actually is in the high risk platform.”

            Again, well said……..It consistently baffles me how people think that there is a “guarantee” of profit in the market. For the past 35 years, we have stayed with the returns on our investments in the 3-8 % range….no risk, great companies, dividends unchanged or highr in the last 15 years….and a 5% return tax free is actually a 12-18% return taxable. Plot the graph on the stock market over a ten year period and look at the return on a long term basis….People think that 20% returns in some years are great until they look at the performance over 10 or 15 year increments…..my late dad always said when you are out of money, you are out of luck. We have consistenly out performed the market by 3-4% points over the long run.

            And, as BF points out, we may have missed some short term gains by being too conservative….but, to us, it was not worth the risk and I do not want to stay tied to a computer screen all day……just to make 300 bucks in a week. My case in point, in reading the prospectus, balance sheets, and red herrings….the current market is off somewhere around 10-15% in VALUE……but our dividends have not changed one single penny. The ADM’s. P&G’s etc, will undoubtedly increase in value once again….but their dividens are just like gold….it is cash in the bank even on bad times….

            Once again, it depends on the level of “play” that you want to do. It is a big boy’s game…major league……the common investor, and that is not a derogatory term, probably cannot even tell you what his 401 is invested in and who is making that decision. They think they are making decisions…like ” I want 40% of my 401 in money markets, 40 % in stable blue chips and 20% in speculative…..they can sit around and have a beer and say I got my 401 invested…..but then ask them in what…….which companies….and unless they look at the break down of their prospectus…they have no idea and no decision on which money markets or specs……crazy game and it takes monitoring.

  5. gmanfortruth says:

    How can the banks hide their wrongdoings if this bubble were to explode? WW3! maybe:

    http://viral247news.com/breaking-ww3-may-have-begun-this-morning-turkey-shelling-syria-saudis-attack-and-russian-new-world-war-ultimatum/#.VsFrt72JrQk.facebook

    UPDATE: 1:56 PM Eastern US Time, 13 February 2016 — Stratfor is now confirming Russia has dispatched a ship to the Mediterranean, to deliver Nuclear-Tipped Cruise Missiles.

    UPDATE: 2:45 PM Eastern US Time — UK military members told to cancel all plans and all leave, prepare for deployment to Syria!

    Since this coming from a news site I’m not familiar with, I can’t confirm anything within. I’ll be checking other sites to see if there is any truth to these things…….OR D13 can just pop in and give us a Yea or Na 🙂

  6. gmanfortruth says:

    On the Iphone issue: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3450382/Judge-Apple-help-US-hack-San-Bernardino-killers-phone.html

    My first impression is that this is an illegal order. Why should a company be forced to deal with their product, after it’s purchased, if it’s working correctly? Once purchased, only the warranty can be legally binding. This is a good subject of discussion.

  7. .

  8. gmanfortruth says:

    @Black Flag. Good day Sir 🙂 I hope all is well in your life. I have to ask, any comments on the article?

    • First, derivatives are not “bad”, nor is it gambling. They are primarily used to reduce the “gambling” that all investors face.

      If I think a stock is going to go up, you’d buy the stock.
      But what if it goes down? … a lot….? You’d lose a lot of money.
      So, you can buy the stock and a put – the put locking in the lowest price for your shares. If the stock goes up, you win (and lose the premium on the put – sort of an “insurance”), but if it goes down, you get to sell your stock at a price higher then the current share price, getting something like an insurance claim. This is good for many investors who are risk adverse and don’t want to commit their nest egg to a losing share.

      Obviously, someone else has to be on the other side of such a trade, and obviously thinks the shares will go the other way. No less than an insurance company that gets a premium from you for your life insurance. You are insuring your survivors for the loss of your income due to an early death; the insurance company is betting you won’t die early.

      The problem is NOT derivatives. The problem is the Fed.

      By driving the interest rates so low, it causes investors to seek out other returns. Earning 0.25% on your saved money won’t do much for you.

      Thus, the Fed has pushed capital into high risk investments as this capital is seeking higher returns.

      In all “insurance schemes”, the parties holding the risk try to transfer the risk to another, and also pay for doing that. The end of this game is that the most risky insurance is sold to those seeking high premiums – and often the same guy who cannot afford to pay out. The more desperate the search for returns, the greater the seeking of high risk returns.

      No different in the derivatives market.

      The problem is not this fundamental, it is that in a normal market, the number of people seeking high risk/reward returns is low. Why risk money to get 15% return when a GIC pays 8% or 10%? But when a GIC earns 1%, it will force more people looking for that 8/10/15% return.

      The banks are only lending to top rate companies, even though they have lots of money.

      The riskier companies are mostly shut out from low rates, so they have to go and offer higher returns. Before the Fed, they’d pay 20%. But with the artificial lower rates, these companies can attract investors looking for a mere 10% – which is a huge lot of investors.

      Further, the people have been mentally conditioned over the last hundred years to assume 8/10% return is a normal, safe return of investment. That is why those numbers are “magical”. People believe that at 10% ROI, that investment is reasonably safe, returning a reasonable amount.

      But today, IT IS NOT SAFE. As interest rates are low, the good companies sit at low interest rate returns, the risky guys move down from 20% to 10%. A return of 10% is an investment that is probably NOT SAFE, and definitely not as safe as it was 25 years ago.

      So, yes, there is a LOT of money tied up in these “insurance schemes” at a time when there is a hurricane on the horizon. The “insurance” providers are going to be pummelled, and now that it is the “regular” guy on the street, it will hurt a lot of people.

      • PS: More on the analogy of an insurance company and life insurance.

        BOTH YOU AND THE INSURANCE company do not want you to die! The insurance company wants the premium and you to live.

        You are paying the premium, and YOU WANT TO LIVE. But you are paying the premium, while you hold an incentive to NOT DIE.

        Same as a derivative, as in my example above. You bought a stock and a put. YOU WANT THAT STOCK TO GO UP, and so does the guy who sold you the put!. He has to pay if it goes down, and he doesn’t want that.

        You want the stock to go up to get your ROI, you don’t want it to go down either. But you bought some insurance to prevent a catastrophe in your investment.

      • Just A Citizen says:

        I think even Keynes would revolt at the things being done in his name.

        These people are right out of an Ayn Rand novel.

  9. THe way we do things is stay with the blue cip companies but we got in them a ways back….we are still far ahead of the game with a 20% or even a 50% down turn….however, these same stocks are paying great dividends……anywhere from 2.8% up to 7.4% quarterly and not based on the volatility of the stock price. Yields do not fluctuate with the stock market….At my age, I do not want nor care to be involved in speculative stocks/bonds/mutuals. The volatility of the last 6 years is a warning sign….Read your prospectus carefully, read all the “red herrings” carefully, watch the debt to equit ratios to determine the amount of cash on hand for yields. The only thing that will kill a yield or dividend is to have a cash flow problem that requires the board of directors to cut the yields. But to do that would mean that there would be no new investors.

    The other thing that we do is tax free municipals….they are available but are usually longer term. As we cash out of the recent 20/30 year munies,,,,we are not buying into the stock market at all…we are keeping the cash…after all it is tax free and there is no tax on it until there is an interest rate.

    Remember that this is a big boys game. Do not step onto the field until you completely understand the terms “volume” “volatility” “yields” “passive and active income” and most of all “risk”.

    You can try to predict on the indexes but that is also a big boys game and I wager that there are not 1% of the population that even knows what an index is much less how it applies to economics. Making a fortune falls into the less than 1% bracket…..losing a fortune falls within the 99% bracket.

    We have chosen to be more conservative and keeping cash on hand right now….our strategies have worked out well in the past….I see a real close parallel to Jimmy Carter….

  10. gmanfortruth says:

    Off topic for a moment. A long time ago I stated that 9-11 was funded by Saudi Arabia. Recently, D.J. Trump has stated the same thing. I haven’t heard anyone in the MSM arguing the point. Interesting.

    • Just A Citizen says:

      G

      As I said the last time you raise it, you need to be specific with your terminology.

      When you say Saudi Arabia you are including the Entire STATE. You are claiming that those controlling the STATE knowingly participated by funding.

      That is not the same as if certain members of the State funneled clandestine money to these operations.

      It is the latter situation which occurs in the Mid. East. And the Suadis are not the only ones. Pakistan is another great example of covert operations within a Govt. where one hand does not know what the other is doing.

      FACTIONS within States as opposed to STATES.

      • gmanfortruth says:

        Whoops, I guess I should have been more specific. I’m speaking of the Monarchy. I’m speaking of the government of Saudi Arabia (and so is Trump). That doesn’t mean Bush knew, as I doubt he did. I think Cheney knew, absolutely.

        • Just A Citizen says:

          If you are claiming the Govt. then you are claiming that everyone in the Royal Family KNEW IN ADVANCE.

          There has been ZERO evidence of this accusation.

          There has been evidence published that certain members of the Royal Family were passing money to bin Laden and his cronies. I expect we know who and we have shared that with the King and Prime Minister. I do not know what has been done about it, if anything.

          I do find it interesting that those who proclaim US Govt. intelligence corrupt use that same intelligence to make claims like this. Because that was the source of the claims about certain Saudi officials being involved.

  11. China is now laying claim to the Riau Islands off the coast of Malaysia….these islands are claimed and inhabited by Malasia. China has said to move off and that, like the Spratley Islands, it is in their newly established territorial waters. China has given Malaysia 90 days to respond. This gives China control of the entire South China Sea and a 400 mile air corridor and control of shipping lanes, to which they have said, will entail “toll” passage through the area.

    My question, to those who think the US should never be involved in anything any longer…..comments?

    • Dale A Albrecht says:

      Not being involved is one thing…being involved stupidly is another. If our government is all hot on the UN and International Laws etc which as the laws go have been in existance for centuries and are being totally ignored by China, much less territories claimed and inhabited by other nations. This is serious stuff. All in all nature abhors a vacuum. It will be filled by something. In this case China…to what end? The UN, and the International courts ie Brussels are toothless, spineless and any number of other discriptive words…..All one has to do is look at where England kept territory, maintained strong naval forces to keep the flow of sea trade un-interrupted, obviously pre UN. . They were or are still at strategic locations. Unfortunately, we as in the USA have the means to stop such brazen expansion, and it probably not lead to war. A strong confrontation will stop it. “No Mas” China can not afford to have the US or Europe or anyone who has outsourced their production there withdraw, they’d collapse in a minute. We on the other hand will just dip into our talent pool and fire up the dorment fabricators and watch out. Ultimately do not doubt the character or Americans. Obama and Hillary and Kerry are another matter, but Americans regardless of where they came from are a different matter……Illegals ???? Not americans yet.

      • gmanfortruth says:

        Obama will do nothing, probably not even talk about it. One would have to think China is pretty concerned about Trump, at least for economic reasons. Maybe it’s a strategic move for their defense when the bubble bursts 🙂

    • Just A Citizen says:

      I do.

      I think we should Nationalize those TBills/bonds the Chinese hold with our name on them.

  12. Dale A Albrecht says:

    My view, in a lot of cases is to be contrary to the conventional wisdom. Was a pariah betting against the Panthers….but who won the big game? DENVER…..Tonight was a big game UNC vs Duke. Ah I had to sit at the other end of the bar…1 against the entire establishment…Duke won # 20 vs # 5 in Chapel Hill Dean Smith arena.

    Unlike any country in the world the US will prevail against the conventional wisdom. We are an amalgonization (sp) of all nations, good bad or otherwise, Americans are a MUTT. We will beat the hell out of any pure bred anytime anywhere.

    Neville Chamberlain was removed after his conciliatory overtures to Germany failed. To also be fair he and Britain did draw a line and when Hitler crossed it Britain meant it. Obama…???? Hillary??? Bernie not a chance….Shit gets serious and a natural leader will rise to the top like cream. China CAN NOT afford to risk a real confrontation with the US, period.

    The overall questions are…why are they pushing this now? To distract from bigger internal issues? All we and Europe have to do is retract just a little more on consumption of stuff we really can do without and BYE-BYE….Please do not give me that we caused Japan to attack because we stopped trading steel and oil because they raped Nanking and Korea etal for years. They though the US even then was weak. Most conventional wisdom in the 80’s said Japan had us beat economically. Who has been in an economic depression for the past 25 years…Japan…..Seriously “Don’t Tread on US” Weak leaders are only temporary

  13. gmanfortruth says:

    Pensioners will have the chance to vote on whether to accept the proposed cuts. The Treasury Department says if someone doesn’t vote, or can’t vote, the ballot counts in favor of the cuts. Ballots should be mailed out to all union members, past and present.
    http://www.fromthetrenchesworldreport.com/270000-truckers-told-their-pensions-will-be-cut-up-to-60/153833

    I included that short paragraph to show how easily this is being rigged. My guess is that a large percentage of ballots, probably over 50% will be sent to people who are already deceased. Who says dead people can’t vote when the Obama’s treasury Department isn’t in charge of the process? Who would vote to have their pensions decreased by so much? So we begin the era of pension fund collapses, another symptom of the big picture. This will grow like a bad Flu bug in the heat of Flu season.

  14. gmanfortruth says:
  15. gmanfortruth says:
  16. Just A Citizen says:

    Aside from the fact this is all staged, well at least most likely staged. Because all such interactions by both D and R are usually staged.

    This demonstrates the core attribute of the left and why the right cannot effectively deal with it most of the time. It is EMOTION in general and the emotion of EMPATHY in particular. Projecting someone as the HERO who will reduce EMOTIONAL pain also plays to the core.

    Go ahead and try to combat that with “it is the law”!!

    http://www.cnn.com/2016/02/18/politics/hillary-clinton-latinos-ad-nevada/index.html

  17. Something very interesting that I have noticed at two polling places so far…….Not one Cruz sign….Not one Bush sign….not one Kaisich sign…..not one Rubio sign…….a bazillion Trump signs.

    Interesting….very, very interesting.

    • And your interpretation?

      • People are more interested in telling the GOPe to go to hell than they are in actually electing someone who stands for their values. I’ve tried and I do understand the reasoning but their reasoning Sucks. They stand against voting for a RINO but they are willing to make that stand by voting for an actual liberal.

        • The deck is stacked. You may only choose from Column A or Column B.

          There are no other options.

          Don’t bother thinking about it too critically, either. The elite will choose for you who your options are.

        • VH…Mathius hit it down below……No one wants a RINO…..I do not and I would vote for a “yellow dog” rather than put another one in place. Morals and values have little meaning any longer….so, it is anger and the same tired old crap that people do not want. Trump has hit a nerve and so has Sanders…..something different. Trump says what is on his mind and is not politically correct and people, including me, like that tone. Tough talk and the willingness to stand behind it….People are blindly following Bernie Sanders for the same reason…he has tapped into the “big corporations and banks” thing, knowing full well that is not the root of the problems but people want that. Clinton, Obama, Kerry, Biden. Rubio, Kaisich, Cruz are all still on the Government teat with campaign financing and matching funds and such from the public. Trump talks tough and has shown, in his business dealings, that he is willing to take the risks and steps….he has done so from imminent domain to freezing companies and people out of business dealings and winning and America wants to win again and these mindless souls that want to compromise and blame America do not want that. I do not want that…I want to be the big kid on the block and I do not give a shit about other countries and what they think.

          Sanders is the complete opposite and appeals to milleniums from the standpoint of freebies and “lets get the big companies” and the banks and the rich and soak them senseless and you get the freebies and a hand up….allthe while knowing that is not what it is going to take.

          Add up the percentages of the people backing Trump and the people backing Sanders…..over 50% of the country wants change….but which way? That is what is happening out there.

          Cruz has Texas to lose…..but he finally stood up and has started fighting and is telling Trump to go to hell…Washington does not like Cruz because he does not back the Senate and the Republican RINO’s……but he appears weak….he appears to have no backbone…and that is not Texas nor what is appearing to be the large part of the country. Sanders and Trump are taking on the establishment and are vocal about it and it is working…although Sanders is going to find out how important super delegates are.

          Cruz will carry Texas if he grows a pair of balls and quits trying to be all things to all people. He is finally beginning to do this but I fear he is going to lose Texas until he grows a pair….and he cannot afford to lose Texas and Florida. He has to grow up and quit being a whinny baby…pull out his rifle and six shooter, jump on the horse and fight….and quit being politically correct.

          And if you are wanting to know, I voted Cruz because I view him as the lesser of the evils.

        • gmanfortruth says:

          VH. What happened after the 2014 elections that gave the entire Congress to Republicans? They bent over the voters and shoved a big stick into their rectum, without even using lubrication. This is the result, and frankly long overdue. The nominee for the GOP won’t be decided till the convention. The Dem’s couldn’t win this election if Bill Clinton ran again, their cooked.

      • After I wrote this, the spousal unit and I decided to wander over to the local Mexican Food reataurant and scarf some vittles……I drove by again…and looked at the sub court house polling place and if I knew how to post a picture on this, I would do so…but the other thing that I noticed….there were judge signs and representative signs and local race signs, both Republican and Democrat……but the other noticeable interesting fact……there were absolutely no Clinton nor Sanders signs either…not a single one of them….I find THAT also very curious. There are electioneering officials out there and plenty of supporters at the 100 ft level……but not from any of the persons I mentioned. No one is pulling these signs as that is watched very closely and watched with cameras as well……

        Quite frankly, I do not know the interpretation….they just ain’t there.

  18. Just A Citizen says:

    This is a couple months old but I think pretty accurate. It is not fear but anger and a desire to “do something” to stop the garbage. And I think this feeling goes beyond ISIS. It explains both Trump and Sanders.

    It also explains why my man Rand Paul failed to catch on and why the rhetoric of the Tea Party candidates, Rubio, Cruz and even Fiorina, suddenly became so strong towards the “interventionist” side. When 79% of Republicans think we should have troops engaged the candidates will start increasing the war rhetoric and tough talk.

    Maybe it also explains why Trump was so against Iraq, willing to let Putin suffer the cost of Syria, but now seems willing to get the US in the middle of the ISIS war.

    http://www.breitbart.com/big-journalism/2015/12/10/polls-show-americans-arent-afraid-want-president-will-make-isis-afraid-us/

    • I’m not going to click on that because it’s Breitbart and I have precious few brain cells left to sacrifice by going there. (If I’m going to waste brain cells, I prefer a Grey Goose martini, chilled, dry – dry enough to kill a camel).

      Ok, with that said, I feel it’s time for a rant. Give me a bit to look up an old one I wrote here and add a second verse.

      • Just A Citizen says:

        Mathius

        My young pirate friend, if I can spend hours reading the likes of Daily Kos, National Memo, New Republic, etc, etc,. you can spend a minute or two reading a relevant piece on Breitbart.

        One claims to use reason should not dismiss information just because of its source.

        Seems to me you once chastised others here for dismissing “left wing sites” out of hand.

        You still haven’t answered my other question; What happened to your day job?

        Oh, and don’t you have TWO curtain climbers these days. How they and the Missus all doing?

  19. On March 24th, 2011, I wrote the following rant. Though a few spots could have used some polishing, it is as true today and when I wrote it. I’ve added my thoughts for today at the bottom:

    I always like to look at things as weighted odds. When we were going nuts about “terrism” back in the day, I was the only person I knew with a rational voice.

    I remember waking up (west coast time) and hearing about the attacks that had already happened. My mother (who is afraid of everything) was blathering about whether it was safe to let me go to school. I remember my words “It’s two buildings on the other side of the country. Yes it’s awful, but let’s try to keep some perspective.”

    But she did not keep perspective, neither did our leaders, and neither did 99% of the country. They demanded blood and security. No one stepped back and looked at the ODDS – the sheer unlikeliness of becoming another victim. They spent TRILLIONS of dollars and THOUSANDS of lives “protecting” and “avenging” us. And are we any safer? Of course not. But thousands of young men and women in uniform are dead, and millions of innocent non-Americans, too – murdered. We’re bankrupt and we have sacrificed our 4th Amendment rights.

    And why? Because people were afraid and a cowboy promised to “handle the situation” by launching a war against a country which hadn’t attacked us. And the people – really no more than sheep, bleating and passive – followed him into irrational knee-jerk responses against threats that were really never more than a speck amidst a multitude of other specks. Yet we wielded the full collective might of a rich and prosperous people to crush the speck; the speck which by our imagination had grown to maddening prominence, eclipsing the sun and blotting out all other thoughts. Indeed, it had grown to blot out even the possibility of other though. Because the cowards and the power-mad stoked the fires of fear in the nation’s collect psyche, like billows breathing pure oxygen into an already raging wildfire.

    We told our long-time friends and allies, and those who were afraid of our power and would follow us whether they agreed or not, that they, too, must join us in our crusade (and the cowboy used that exact word, too: crusade – hoping, perhaps, to resonate with the righteousness of a holy cause) against the speck, the tiny and insignificant speck. We refused to beg or plead, for we are a proud nation, irrationally proud, but we railed and threatened and extorted and cajoled and bribed and manipulated all the nations of the world. And the other nations bowed to our will – our insane and insatiable cry for revenge and safety – or we shunned them. Shunned them for being rational: “how can you keep perspective at a time like this! The speck! The speck! It’s become a terrible three-eyed one-horned flying purple people eater! We must crush it!” And we, in our pettiness changed french fries to “freedom fries,” just as once we had change bratwurst to “liberty sausage.”

    And in our temper, our terrible fear-induced rage, what did we accomplish? We failed to eliminate the speck, because force alone cannot extinguish this speck – something the few rational minds had pointed out all along as they were shouted down and called defeatist, with their loyalty and honor called into question.

    Time and distance have reduced the specter of the terrible monster back to smaller proportions, but not to it’s true size. It now sits in the back of our nation’s collective conscience not as a monster, but perhaps as a snarling rabid dog with a fraying leash. Ten more years and perhaps it will fade back to obscurity, complete with a full appreciation of perspective. It cannot hurt us, not truly. It is a bee-sting, but no threat to our nation – and never mind the heretical thought that it would not sting if we did not give it good reason to sting. No, the sting itself is painful but not the true danger – the true danger is the allergic reaction, the biological overreaction which can kill.

    But people in the halls of power have seen the potential of this specter. They have seen the way that we will bow before the government and offer our rights and freedoms in sacrifice to the gods that they may protect us from our fears. We are a nation of children running into their parents’ bedroom in the middle of the night because the monster under the bed is hungry and has a taste for human flesh. But the parents – the government, and the men and women behind the scenes – are not comforting the children and pointing out that the “monster” is just the noise of the radiator. No, they stoke the fears and tell the cowardly nation that the monster is real and vicious and has a thousand poisonous teeth. They tell the childlike nation that the monster could be anywhere at any time and strike without warning. They tell us that it is always watching, always waiting, patient and malevolent.

    And they breath oxygen onto the fire so that a nation of children will beg to be saved. They will beg and plead and obey without question. When the demanded sacrifice is the first amendment, or the fifth, or all ten at once, the people will offer it to the gods in halls of power on a golden platter and be grateful. And some will offer more in hopes of appeasing the gods, and the gods will accept this extra because the gods are not inclined to refuse an offering.

    And when the fear recedes, when the rational minds return, will the gods of Washington return the sacrifices willingly?

    And now, five years later, a second verse: (disclaimer, I was apparently a much more eloquent writer in 2011)

    Today, we are faced with the latest speck in a series of specs. It is no different, no scarier, and still possesses no capacity for real harm. ISIS replaces Al-Queda as if there is any difference beyond the irrational fear that they will somehow harm us. That they hate us for our freedoms and for our non-beliefs, and that they will come here to kill us.

    I watched calls to ban Muslims from the country and I recall the calls that preceded Manzanar and Tanforan. We can’t trust them, so isolate them. Lock them up, lock them away, violate their civil liberties – it’s not as if they are really human like the rest of us. But, please, dear god in heaven, don’t allow me to be exposed to the tiniest modicum of risk – never mind whatever other risks I may willfully ignore – just not that!

    I am tired of it.

    Why does nobody stand up and say “no more”?

    ISIS is no threat, just as Al Queda was no threat. The threat comes from ourselves, from our fear and anger. We create the enemy. An entire generation of Afghani children have grown up who FEAR THE SKY. Do you expect them to grow up to love us?

    And why do they fear the sky? Because we, in our righteous anger, use drones to drop bombs with impunity, yet we are the kind, good, caring, humanitarian Americans while they are the savage evildoers. In a debate the other day, a serious contender for President – that is, the commander in chief of the largest most powerful army in the history of the planet – advocated for carpet bombing Raqqah. Regardless of the fact that carpet bombing is a war crime, how many innocents would die? But that is not a factor in today’s testosterone-fueled fear-addled world because they are other. They aren’t human like you and me, they’re brown people living in sand on the other side of the world who hate us for our Freedoms(tm). Who cares how many of them die, or if their children grow up to FEAR THE SKY.

    The only important thing is that we project strength so others will fear us. Who, then, is really the terrorist?

    We are our own enemy.

    We are our own enemy.

    We create the enemy, and then we proceed to fight the enemy in such a manner as to add maximal fuel. We hurt ourselves in the struggle – taking away the very things that do make us great. Sacrificing our rights, our wealth, our children. We are raising an entire generation of cowards without any capacity perspective.

    Has it occurred to no one that our immense history of violence is part and parcel the reason groups like these exist?

    And it isn’t just “terrorism” (god, I loath how abused the word has become). No, we create our own enemies with the “war on drugs,” and the everything we do in the name of “protecting the children.” Fear, fear, fear, fear, always, fear

    Are we such cowards?

    Are we so afraid?

    Are we so weak that we allow those with power to stoke our fears until we can do nothing but quiver in the corner, meekly handing over whatever of our rights might appease them on this given day?

    Are the strong so few that their voices are meaningless amongst the cries of the panicked masses? Why cannot we lead by example?

    I’ll leave one final thought. After September 11, 2001, a large debate revolved around what should be erected in the fallen towers’ places. I never saw anyone else advocate for my preference. I believe we should have put the same buildings back up brick-for-brick. Identical. Stand, defiant, in the face of senseless violence and proclaim the true depth and meaning of strength. But instead we caved to self-pity and masturbatory self-congratulation with a tourist trap museum and the “Freedom Tower(tm).” As if there had ever been more more oxymoronic title in all the history of the world.

    We, as a nation, indivisible, home of the Brave, are pathetic. And we should be embarrassed of what we have let ourselves become. I am tired of living in a world inundated with fear – the stench of it drips from every source of media at every hour.

    There is no monster under the bed, now grow up.

    • gmanfortruth says:

      Finely written Mathius! 🙂 You haven’t been reading here for quite awhile and it shows. ISIS, today’s #1 boogieman, isn’t the enemy, the enemy would be the ideology. Ideology can’t be defeated with armies or bombs. I read a great deal, especially in winter and I have found that more people hate Jews more than Muslims. It’s odd, because I don’t know one Jew who can be possibly blamed for any of the worlds problems. These nuts even blame them for the murders in Russia under Stalin. All because these Communists were also Jewish. Rather ignorant if I can say so, but sadly, very widespread, especially the last few years. I’m not concerned with the Jews or the Muslims.

      Our government has really screwed shit up. The people, are ignorant and out of touch. Sometimes I’m not sure who is the worst politically, Liberal’s or Conservatives. I loath the hard left Progressives, they should all be shot on sight. The only reason I’m not completely in Black Flags line of thinking is because the idiots that compromise this country can’t handle life without being told what to do, believe, watch, vote and hate. It’s disgraceful what the education system has accomplished. It’s all completely on purpose. That’s how the elite political class continue to bullshit the people into A: voting for them….B: supporting their ignorant, hateful, lying nonsense. C; continuing to allow the MSM to corrupt their pathetic minds. I can go on but you get it. Call it whatever you want. Fear works and people are stupid. In November, they will vote, be all proud and wonder what great change is coming. They have learned nothing from the past. So hang on Mathius. Things are probably going to get much worse in the times ahead. I wish you luck.

      • People always hate the Jews. I think it’s because, deep down, they know we really run the world. 😛

        ————–

        Kidding aside, there’s actually some sense to it. Jews are exclusionary and tribal / clan-like. We exclude whereas practically every other religion proselytizes. This can be offputting. We, as a general rule, set ourselves apart, making zero effort at being better understood by the wider world.

        Add to this that we have a tremendous focus on education (rivaled only by Hindus). There is a Jewish adage: “It is better that you should sell everything you own, that your daughter may marry an educated man.” Process that one. What happens when you have an entire culture with that focus? Of course you get disproportionate achievement. I know a great many Jews – I can only think of a handful that didn’t finish college (my idiot brother being one of them). We are 1.5% of the US population, but hold an absurdly disproportionate amount of the wealth and influence. We are 1.5% of the US population, but “27% of United States Nobel prize winners in the 20th century,[2][3] 25% of Fields Medal winners,[4] 25% of ACM Turing Award winners,[2] 6 out of the 19 world chess champions, and a quarter of Westinghouse Science Talent Search winners” [via our friends at the ultra-trustworthy Wikipedia].

        Restating, according to Professor Google, “Nobel Prizes have been awarded to over 850 individuals, of whom at least 22% (without peace prize over 24%) were Jews, although Jews comprise less than 0.2% of the world’s population (or 1 in every 500 people).” How must that kind of thing seem to outsiders? Especially poor and ignorant outsiders? Also consider this.

        How must it seem to the outside world, writ large, that this tiny secretive group which sets itself apart achieves so much, controls so much, has so much power? How must it appear when they, themselves, have so little? How can it not appear to be a malicious conspiracy?

        Add, lastly, to this that we are viewed by many as responsible for the death of the Messiah, and it all clicks. Many, many Christians don’t even know Jesus was a Jew (I really enjoyed telling a table full of such people once and watching their reactions – priceless!).

        Little do they ever consider that the only real difference is an emphasis on education and achievement.

        ————

        I’ll add, though I’m thoroughly unconvinced, that some studies (this Harvard study for example) have shown that Jews (particularly Ashkenazi Jews) have a significantly higher than average IQ. Now, I’ll pause here to mention that I think the very idea of IQ is meaningless.

        With that in mind, the theory goes like this: Jews were discriminated and isolated so long that they diverged genetically. There is support for this. Further, because the only way for Jews (particularly in Europe during the middle ages) to survive was to be clever and outcompete (especially in banking/finance), natural selection favored this. Some support can be found in that there are a large number of neurological mutations that exist almost exclusively within Jewish races (see Tay Sachs, for example). If the reason were purely inbreeding / genetic-drift, then the mutations should be scattered randomly (liver, skin, brain, spleen, etc – as in the case of the Amish), but they’re not. The overwhelming majority of genetic divergent mutations within isolated Jewish populations focus on the brain. This suggests that the brain was under special evolutionary pressure evolve. Take it for what you will.

        BUT, if it’s true, and Jews are basically just smarter than the average bear, it’d be easy to see why they’re hated for that as well. True or not, we certainly give the impression that we’re smarter. Of course they hate us. Everyone hates the smart kid in the class.

    • Just A Citizen says:

      Mathus

      I think you have erred in some of your conclusions about threats, but hit the mark on the broader issue of Strategy and Tactics.

      • Please elaborate.

        • Just A Citizen says:

          Mathius

          ISIS and the fundamentalist Islamic movement poses a greater threat than just being a “speck”.

          They do have the capability to do real harm here, in the USA. Just as they do throughout the world. That is simply a function of the materials now available to groups like this. Which yes, are generally available thanks to the major State players before now (USA/Russia/China). I also think you do not recognize the broader goals of these people. And that is not just ISIS or Al Qaida but the movement that allows them to flourish. That movement is not just driven by the US being present in the middle east. It is not just about Israel. They have goals of expansion and domination.

          However, as BF and I were discussing the other day, the question is how to properly respond to this threat. Particularly the “terrorism” aspect. In this your strategy and tactics coincide with our discussion. It is a CRIMINAL enterprise and should be dealt with in that manner. It is NOT A WAR. Now this Law Enforcement effort will be costly as well, but not as costly as maintaining military operations in addition to the law enforcement.

          The broader issue of countering the “movement” is a political problem which also cannot be solved by WAR. In fact WAR has allowed it to escape and now threaten Europe. The best we could do is contain it in the Arab world until it has time to evolve to a more “liberal” version of religion.

          Please note here that there is a battle ongoing in Indonesia between the “evolved” form of Islam and the fundamentalists and their view of Sharia. We in the west misconstrue these conflicts as being just civil wars caused by socio/economic situations. But they are at their core a religious conflict.

          So a question to you. In places like Indonesia, Philippines, etc, should the USA play a role in helping them in their fight against the fundamentalists? If so what should that role be?

          As of today we have military, CIA, and even some FBI people working with those governments. Should this continue, recognizing that our help can be used as an “excuse” to attack us anywhere in the world.

          Then there is Africa……. what is the proper USA role there?

          I believe there is a misconception that if the USA simply stops being involved around the world that all this would stop. I do not believe it would because when you dig down deep you see the USA was not really the cause all the time. The USA can make it worse or sometimes it is simply used to rationalize actions.

          So if I am correct, how can it be contained? What is the proper strategy for containing it? Do we only worry about our border or do we work with other Nation States who also wish to contain it?

          I believe fundamentalist Islam is INCOMPATIBLE with American (western) culture. This is not based on some phobia or knee jerk reaction. It is based on study of the history and by listening to those who DEFINE their religion. That is those who claim to be the keepers of the TRUE Islam. Which happens to involve millions of people.

          I believe that those who dismiss this view, claiming Islam the religion of peace, are living a fantasy. It is not grounded in the reality of the world we live in, it is only formed by limited exposure to those who do not follow the “true Islam” or because they simply swallow the political rhetoric in our media.

          There is a building conflict between the culture of the west and that of Islam. How we react I do not know as all cultures eventually suffer such conflicts. Some survive, some die, and others are changed by absorbing or morphing into some combination, a “new” culture is formed. But we should recognize that these conflicts can and have caused significant strife and even wars at times. I think this conflict is now inevitable in Europe and much of Africa.

          So how do we react to it? How do we keep it from spreading to the USA? Questions that are not easily resolved. Because even “isolating” the USA has impacts on others. Can we as American live with those outcomes? Can we overcome this “moral obligation” to prevent mass murder in other countries? How can we stop such mass murder without killing people, either directly or indirectly??

          • So a question to you. In places like Indonesia, Philippines, etc, should the USA play a role in helping them in their fight against the fundamentalists? If so what should that role be?

            First, a disclaimer: I am not a foreign policy expert and my opinions are just that: opinions.

            That said, arming one side has a strong history of combing back to bite in on the ass. The best thing we can do is attempt to propagate your “liberal” version. This can be done with schools, education, economic aid, etc. It cannot be done with bombs. If, at worst, intervention is needed, it should be as minimal and light-handed as possible (directly raiding camps, policing activities, training, some special ops here and there). History has shown that we are not successful when we intervene in foreign civil wars.

            The longer play is simple.
            A) Shut Donald Trump up. Do not elect him, do not let him ban Muslims from coming from the US. Stop giving them propaganda soundbites.
            B) Educate the hell out of the US population about what’s going on, and fix our attitude. Muslims already think the US is – by default – anti-Islam, so how are they supposed to be our friends? Americans need it driven into their heads that Islam isn’t the enemy – the enemy is a group of assholes who are manipulating some Muslims into extremism for their own geopolitical ends – and conflating the two only plays into their hands.
            C) Economic aid to organizations pushing for a more peaceful version of Islam and/or economic development in predominantly Muslim areas. Serious aid. Big numbers (you can do this by cutting back on our military expense). Serious accountability, serious auditing, but serious numbers. Make it count. An economically stable society does not send its kids off to blow themselves up.
            D) Seriously clamp down on economic sponsors of the radial groups. I don’t care if that means we need to show up at the Saudi royal palace with troops, but it has to stop. Cut off the funding.
            E) Oil independence. This is big. I don’t think I need to get into it, but the money has to stop flowing to the region.
            F) Everyone fears a Caliphate, but perhaps it’s not so bad. An organized leader is much easier to deal with than a hydra. Worth considering.
            G) Be 100x more careful about killing Muslim non-combatants. Make it 1,000x. Stop making martyrs.
            H) Stop overreacting. In fact, stop reacting at all. If they blow up a building, yea, it sucks, but it’s not really significant in the greater scheme of things. The greater issue is that terrorism is theater – and we keep giving them free publicity. Shrug it off, rebuild. Stop letting the terrorist terrorize.

            • gmanfortruth says:

              I find it funny, but like European Liberals you think that all the problems with Islam is OUR problem. Utter bullshit Mathius. It’s THEIR problem that they can’t assimilate. European countries like Sweden and Germany are proof. It’s them, not us Mathius. I haven’t a single problem with Muslim’s who have come here and assimilated and still remain followers of Islam. As JAC said, it is their religious doctrine that is at odds with the West. The Sunni’s and Shiites”s have been at odds since the death of their Prophet. You can’t fix that by education or being nice, to then, the only fix is to convert. Unacceptable here. They can stay in the Middle east if they don’t care to assimilate. Trump is right, unless they can be vetted, keep them OUT, we don’t want or need to become the next rape capital of the world. Ask the Swedish how well your ideology is working for them, then get back to us and let us know. Reality can’t be hidden in ideology.

          • Then there is Africa……. what is the proper USA role there?

            Economic development. In fact, the government should just write a big check to the Bill & Melinda Gates foundation every year for about $100bil, then butt out.

            If – IF – it become necessary to intervene directly, say in the event of a genocide, we do so minimally. Same as the above – get in, get out. Minimal – minimal intervention. But don’t forget to send in aid workers to help those affected.

          • I believe fundamentalist Islam is INCOMPATIBLE with American (western) culture.

            I believe fundamentalist Islam religion is INCOMPATIBLE with American (western) culture.

          • I believe that those who dismiss this view, claiming Islam the religion of peace, are living a fantasy.

            Islam is only as peaceful as its practitioners. Same with Christianity, same with Judaism.

            Religion is just a system of beliefs. It is PEOPLE who interpret and act on those beliefs. You can find support for plenty of violence in all three Book religions.

            At the end of the day, an educated and prosperous people do not send their children off to blow themselves up. The difference between radical Judaism and radical Islam and radical Christianity is the education/quality-of-life gap which leads to a violent outlet.

          • So how do we react to it? How do we keep it from spreading to the USA? Questions that are not easily resolved. Because even “isolating” the USA has impacts on others. Can we as American live with those outcomes? Can we overcome this “moral obligation” to prevent mass murder in other countries? How can we stop such mass murder without killing people, either directly or indirectly??

            Great questions.

            We can start by stopping funding both sides.

            We need to get off oil. We need to get off oil. We need to get off oil!

            We need to support viable sustainable economic growth in the Middle East and Africa. Peace cannot be achieved at the point of a gun.

            Islam will naturally evolve to mildness if/when/where economic conditions permit. It is only those without hope who so desperately seek hope in a fundamentalist religion that they would send their children off to martyr themselves.

            The same is true of Judaism, Christianity, and any other religion.

            • Just A Citizen says:

              Mathius

              You repeat a major fallacy, which in turn affects your recommended fixes.

              First, Christianity, including the fundamentalist kind, does not call for jihad or martyrdom. The violence of the Christians is that of the Jewish people in the “history” of the old testament.

              I concede and agree whole heartedly that any religion can be used to motivate people to violence in its name. But those which include it as part of the doctrine, Islam, is much easier to corrupt. Than say the Sikhs or the Buddhists. And obviously Christianity is not incompatible with western culture or civilization. Yours was just a reactionary comment in that regard.

              Your major fallacy: Economics is not the driving force and this is proven by the number of highly educated and well healed Muslims who have committed violence in the name of Islam and/or Jihad. This is a point that I see people from the middle east who are truly trying to work for peace make all the time. It is the RELIGION, not the economic problems or sense of hopelessness we westerners wish to assign.

              With that said, I am sure that frustration, hopelessness and anger play roles among the more ill informed populations. But the leaders and many of those who actually fight and die are not poor.

              Now think of your fix. Get off oil. The very thing that would cause real economic harm to the region. Creating more poverty and despair.

              All of your responses include some type of allowable action or situations where we should act. Why should we care about genocide in some backwater place? Or even a front water place? As long as it is not directly affecting the USA, why should we do anything?

              Because, no matter how small the footprint or quickly we get in and out, somebody is going to despise us for it, and somebody is going to use it against us.

              Again, do you believe we have some moral obligation to intervene and are only disagreeing with the tactics? Because it sure sounds that way.

            • gmanfortruth says:

              We need to support viable sustainable economic growth in the Middle East and Africa.

              We can’t do this at home. As long as governments interfere, there will never be anything sustainable except pain. We should leave Africa, completely. Let them fix their own problems.

  20. Glad to see you have not changed, my friend……EXCEPT….you have robbed the Dread Pirate of his freedom and scuttled his get away………..

    • Why should I change when I am already perfect?

      • Practically perfect…only practically perfect……reinstate the Pirate, refloat Thor’s HAmmer and then move to TExas……then and only then will you be perfect.

        And dry enough to kill a camel………THAT is priceless…..gotta remember that one.

        • A Mathiusism….

        • BTW,,,,,I am remiss in my manners…..how is the missus and young Mathius?

          • Ah, well, the little lady is good. The young’uns (there are two now) are good as well. Thank you for asking.

            Now if I could just get them to sleep past 5:30.

            And how is the family on your end? Business still treating you well?

            • The Fam on my side is doing well…..grand children running all over the place…my kids trying to play the health and longevity game get upset at grand-dad when the kids come over….I have a section of my house called the Colonel’s Cave…two rooms full of gun collections, knife collections, war memorabilia, pictures and things..they get to come in there only when I am present and look at “grand-dad’s cool things”…..then there are the RED skittles in bowls all over the place…Dr.Peppers in the fridge..M&M’s in other bowls, Chocolate Marshmellow Pinwheels abound, Cheese Goldfish in the cupboard….Not to mention Buster the cat that loves everyone. Grand-dad likes to go to water parks and go down the slides and he likes to ride roller coasters and other neat things. Grand-dad will go to Chuck E Cheese pizza and play the video games and collect tickets so they can trade them for worthless things.

              I can destroy, faster than a German Blitzkreig, all the training, diet, and manners that they have been taught over weeks and months. I have two grand-daughters and one grand-son..and they already have weapons assigned to them when they are old enough to shoot and understand weaponry and their hazards. ( Actually they are old enough now except the grand-son ) but out of respect for my daughter, who can ride horses and shoot as straight as a hollywood hero, I have restrained the hunting trips until they are 10-12 respectively. The grand-son, who popped on the scene very unexectedly, is another story. My son (age 42 and his sweet wife age 38) were told that they could not have children and then OOPS. So I get to do it again when the lad starts walking.

              The kids love grand-dad because he has a 600 sq.ft. hobby room that boasts HO guage and N Guage trains complete with villages, mountains, and tunnels and all sors of hidden objects that they have to try to find. The girls love to run the trains and help me change landscapes and things. ( Remember, grand-dad is really cool ). They like grand-dad because I let them burp and laugh when they get loaded up on Dr Pepper. And when I get them full of sugar, junk food, and no sleep ( I let them stay up as late as they want )…I send ’em home.

              However, that is what grand-dads are allowed to do. The spousal unit tries to teach them some sewing things and cooking things, but when grand-dad is around…..they get to be..well…KIDS.

              Business is doing well….but, as you know as I have posted several times, we have made our money over the years. We are conservative in investments being very satisfied with 4-10% after tax returns and leave the greedy exploitations to those who like that sort of thing. We like ranching and the oil/gas business but were fortunate enough to get into this early in the family with my dad and grand-dad. So, my brother and I are educated and run the family business despite the best efforts of the left to destroy old family business’. I have been fortunate enough to be able to do my military along with the family business dealings and keeping busy. At age 67, I feel very fortunate to have been able to do both (40 years). But my military is coming to an end…I cannot contract out any longer past the age of 69 1/2, due to Obama’s new rules. We have well qualified managers that run the day to day stuff allowing my brother and I to pursue our hobbies and things and monitor the operations. Mom and Dad are both gone now and we have closed all the estate issues so things have settled down in that arena. We paid our illegal inheritance taxes to the Feds and we are over the shock of that. But we hired the best there was in setting up estate issues and managed to save 91 % of the family wealth,. ( 91.447% to be exact ).

              I am fearful of the future when it comes to business and trying to teach my son and daughter the frugal approach. Carry no debt, always pay with cash, and, if you need to have short term debt, always have it fully leveraged…..never have a negative position in anything. But they are young and will make their mistakes. They are not and will not be trust fund children as I do not believe in that approach. Trust fund babies never learn life and never learn responsibility if they do not have to live on their own, Our parents did not create trust funds or foundations or anything of the like for grand-children. Everything was left to my brother and sister and I and it is up to us to decide how to take care of our own children….so we have avoided the family fights and pitfalls of generation issues ( except the generation gap IRS rules ).

              So all in all…life is treating me well, but I do not turn my back on it. Good to talk to you again, old friend… I enjoy it. ( Although I think that you have mistreated the Deadster and you probably do not let him have the grog either ).

              Keep yer powder dry, do not pee into the wind, and never argue with a spitting camel.

              • The kids love grand-dad because he has a 600 sq.ft. hobby room that boasts HO guage and N Guage trains complete with villages, mountains, and tunnels and all sors of hidden objects that they have to try to find.

                Can I come over?

                But we hired the best there was in setting up estate issues and managed to save 91 % of the family wealth,. ( 91.447% to be exact ).

                I’m sorry about your parents. My condolences to the D13 clan.

                But nice job on the T&E! That had to have taken some serious advanced planning.

                ( Although I think that you have mistreated the Deadster and you probably do not let him have the grog either ).

                He earns his keep by bottling the stuff. I’m sure some of the inventory *ahem* goes missing from time to time. I sell it for $42/oz online.

  21. Just A Citizen says:

    One possible solution to federal land management. Randy is a little late to the game on the trust idea, but glad to see he is still publishing ideas for policy makers to see.

    http://www.cato.org/publications/commentary/incentives-are-key-federal-land-management

  22. Just A Citizen says:

    OK, I admit I am confused. I have spent much time trying to understand this controversy by the media outlets sure as heck are not helping.

    A judge orders Apple to create a back door to A PHONE. THE phone owned and used by the criminals in San Bernardino.

    Apple says hell no, we do not want to jeopardize our users, customers, privacy.

    OK, who the heck is asking them to create a back door to ALL phones?? I know that was an FBI request some time ago but I thought that was put to bed.

    The Judges Order was for ONE PHONE ONLY. At least that is how it was reported. So why can’t Apple develop the program to break the encryption for this phone then DESTROY the program or put it away for later use if ordered by another judge??

    Now the whole Tech community is piling on, on Apple’s side.

    This makes no sense to me. So somebody with more Tech Savvy needs to explain this.

    • gmanfortruth says:

      If they have developed a security code that is unhackable, it would be worth so much money one could not imagine. I’ll bet ONLY ONE person knows the original security code. Once the hack is developed, the security code becomes worthless, mostly.

    • In addition, one of the main arguments is that the court order was done without due process. What is supposed to happen on these things is that Apple should have been notified so that an attorney could be there. This was not done….it was a clandestine order, according to sources that I know.

      Also, I am told, that while this order was directed at one phone, they are insisting on a generic back door that they can have.

      • I have no doubt that they could develop a method to hack a single phone and keep the method secure in their central vaults. It could be as simple as downloading a new operating system to that one phone provided they can manage to turn it on and execute the download. This may be the problem.

        As for the courts, since the subject is in custody this should be a single instance subpoena properly done through the legal process with all parties being represented. I agree with Apple that providing a backdoor to all phones is simply wrong. Cracking one phone is another matter.

        • I have some pretty good technological grounding. I will say that once you’ve made the back door to hack one phone, the door is open.

          The programmers know how it was done. And it’s not a small project, it’s a fairly significant project that will require a dozen programmers, any one of whom can blab. The courts will require some information in order to be sure that the data is intact. Etc.

          Opening pandora’s box, even a tiny bit, is still opening the box.

          And, I’d just like to add, that if Apple hacks open one person’s phone in this extreme case, I’d give it a week before every phone involved in any petty crime winds up at their doorstep. You think the government would say, “thanks for this one time, we’ll never ask again”? HA!

          • Amazing, we have conspiracy theories that require silence from hundreds of people, but we cannot keep a handful of hackers quiet.

            • You’re correct that we have conspiracy theories that require the silence from hundreds of people.

              But there are no actual conspiracies that require the silence from hundreds of people.

              Three men can keep a secret… if two of them are dead.

          • Mathius is correct.
            Apple would have to rewrite their code to allow a back door that would open every single Apple phone and IPad in the world. You cannot open one without opening all.

            It would be as if the government ordered the wire tap of every phone in the US just to listen to one conversation.

            If Apple did this, their users would revolt. Such a backdoor would be found by hackers and used against the entire Apple product line.

            Additionally, if this was done, 3rd party providers would go to work and provide a way to encrypt that the government would be hard pressed to overcome – but this product would result in more phones being “jailbreaked” leading to support nightmares for Apple and its user base.

            The cost could be in the loss of hundreds of millions, maybe billions of dollars.

            …all for one criminal?

        • No, it is not that simple.
          They CAN down load a new IOS, but that would mean the phone’s data would be encrypted by the code of the old IOS.

          The government then can access the phone’s data, but would need to run decrypters against that data.

          Apple has already agreed to this scenario.

          What the government wants is for Apple to produce the decrypter – which if Apple does, opens up the pandora’s box I described below

          • Yes sir…to all you said. I am behind Apple….give the Feds the crap off the phone….but do not, under any circumstance, create a generic back door. Do not. I just learned my Ipad….I do not want to junk it.

      • We can only hope that Hillary’s email server was a secure as this phone.

        • gmanfortruth says:

          I believe that her server has already proven to be far less secure. The FBI is in hers, the phone, they apparently can’t hack.

  23. gmanfortruth says:

    http://personalliberty.com/trump-is-a-911-truther/

    Wouldn’t it be nice to see the missing pages?

  24. gmanfortruth says:
  25. Just A Citizen says:

    Very interesting argument. Public pension contracts are unconstitutional. I never thought of this aspect before. But it makes sense to me. If you use the expanded 14th amendment version. Goes to show, people should be careful what they ask for.

    http://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2016/02/how_public_pension_contracts_violate_the_us_constitution.html

    • Just A Citizen says:

      I think the counter argument is whether the contract constitutes a “debt” of Govt. Which per the Constitution must be recognized as valid and payable. I think that would be stretching the meaning of debt, but stranger things have been supported before.

      • Good thing we have a fully-staffed SCOTUS to help us decide these things.

        • Just A Citizen says:

          We will just as soon as Ted Cruz is elected POTUS.

          • I’m sorry, it looks like you accidentally said Ted Cruz when you clearly meant to say Bernie Sanders.

            • Just A Citizen says:

              Mathius

              Not even close my young pirate friend.

              Interesting discussion last night with Spousal Unit Leader. My dislike of Mrs. Clinton is deep, wide and runs at full pitch flood stage. It has ever since I discovered he complicity in destroying women Bill boinked in Arkansas. Her history since then only confirmed my dislike. In the 1990’s I stated I would do ANYTHING short of assassinating her, to keep her out of the white house. Because even then it was obvious she would try to occupy that house.

              My wife was a fan early on, but has grown to despise her as well. Benghazi tipped the scales on support but the email crushed any last possible support from her. As I said earlier, she knows what the rules are and knows she would have been fired for less. Lack of Integrity matters in our family.

              Now the interesting discussion. Primary is coming up. Idaho is open, you can declare and vote in either party’s primary. Oh, we both can not stand Trump. I’m the Cruz person and she is the Rubio person in our family.

              So, do we vote Dem and AGAINST Clinton to possibly get her out early, OR do we vote for the Rep. we want in hopes of derailing Trump?

              Which is worse??

              Then what happens if it is Trump vs. Clinton?? After much laughing about how AWFUL the choice would be I suggested I might have to reconsider my commitment made over 20 years ago. That being that assassination was off the table. It is either that OR we might consider moving to Texas or New Zealand.

              She agreed New Zealand would be acceptable, better than prison. However, if the cost is prohibitive, meaning our only choice was to run to Texas, she suggest my 30.06 might make a good sniper rifle. 😉

              • I would not even joke about this stuff.

              • Many a time I have voted in the Democratic Primary….we can do the same in Texas….but this year, I voted for Cruz because he is hated by the Senate as he stands on his own. He also stood by his word in the Texas legislature. That said,I do not believe he is very strong internationally. I think he can get pushed around like Obama but I do believe that he is the best for us locally. I really want to be the number one power and the number one hegemony but I think that Obama has done too much damage. The new powers militarily will be China and maybe Russia. China has to expand to survive and I think that Trump will do as he says and beat China to death economically,

                I will admit to it being a tough choice between Trump and Cruz. I think Trump is arrogant enough to not be pushed around internationally, and I believe that he is the best for business. I do not believe he has changed his stripes and he will be a little too quick to negotiate with the left but I have to think what is best over all. Cruz is against the established order, I know this, and I think that he will be best for our economy and that is important to me. I just wished he was stronger internationally.

                No matter what Sanders does and no matter how many primaries he may win….he will NEVER be the nominee. Not ever. The Democratic super Delegates are there to maintain the established order and they will. I do not think Trump can beat Hillary….I do think Cruz can.

              • By the way, you probably will not be able to take your 30.06 to NZ.

    • I can only speak for myself and for my age group. We went to work for government understanding the salary would be low, very low in comparison to our responsibilities. My age group did its job well. We all worked at the same thing in NYC and were quite successful in meeting and beating goals originally established. part of what we did was take abandoned land/property/buildings and plan for their re-development and restoration to the tax rolls. In the long run we more than paid for our salaries. About ten years into the job I came to realize that my career was back loaded. Salary was for hunger but pension was pretty good. Benefits won through the union such as health/dental and eye care did not seem terribly important in 1979 when I was 33 but they were part of the employment package and after I turned 55 and was retired, they all kicked in. Had there been no pension, no benefits, I certainly would not have hung my hat where I did. Can’t think of many who would.

      The knock on Civil Service is the fake, phony frauds and they are legion. But, the rest of us kept the damned thing running in spite of them and if God forbid we were lucky to wind up in a Leadership/supervision mode, they worked too! Grumbling, bitching, moaning but they worked.

    • Colonel, Watch closely. If Hillary “steals” the nomination, she will not get a good portion of the Bernie votes. Some, like Charlie will even go to Trump. Others will stay home. Expect big defections and no shows from Black voters. Hillary is not Bill. Expect big defections from Millennial females who take Bill’s past antics and Hillary’s ignoring them about as seriously as young folk take smoking and drunk driving these days. Times HAVE changed!

      Cruz spends way too much time on defense. Ignore the press, ignore Trump, ignore Hillary, just play offense full bore! I don’t think he will. As a good lawyer, a Constitutional one at that he will bore the hell out of the electorate explaining intricate details of why he and his positions are legally and Constitutionally correct.

      I think a few weeks back I mentioned that boring vs not boring counts. That is why we have O’Bama and it is an excellent knock on Bush III. Bernie is not boring. Hillary is but she can offset that with her BS and the “It’s time for a woman” crowd. Trump, is the least boring of all.

      • Make no mistake about it…..Hillary will get the nomination….it is already decided.

        • Well, that is when it gets interesting.

          Hillary, it has been said, can only count on 40% of the vote, ever. Her undesirables are as high as Trump’s currently are. Now, who votes for whom? This piece of wisdom, almost 20 years old , which I agree with, puts the lie to the “Trump can’t win” camp.

          Trump has written off the Muslim and British vote.

          Legal Hispanics are favorably inclined to a jobs president.

          Blacks likewise are favorably inclined to a jobs president and someone who will stop costing them jobs through unrestricted immigration.

          Blue collar whites are favorably inclined to a President who will deal with the job hemorrhage situation.

          Curmudgeons like me (and Charlie) are favorable inclined to someone who will blow up the current dysfunctional and irreparable system.

          So, basically, all conventional bets are off.

          • You better be careful straddling that fence…..it is barbed wire.

            I was surprised to see that Trump is carrying some Hispanic support despite his wall building rhetoric.

  26. Just A Citizen says:

    Will be gone the rest of the day and weekend. Short road trip to the sun belt.

    Have a great weekend.

  27. gmanfortruth says:

    I just read this statement in an article of our impending collapse. I must have missed this:

    The US Treasury is spending billions of dollars they won’t even account to Congress for. It’s hard to believe we have come to the point in this country where Congress asks the United States Treasury to account for 3 billion in Obamacare payments and they flat out tell Congress, NO!

    Astoundingly Rep Paul Ryan has asked the treasury to explain why $3 billion in payments were made to health insurers even though Congress never authorized the spending through annual appropriations and the Treasury Department told him flat out, they would not comply.

    If the treasury under the Obama administration cannot and will not account for this kind of money, $3 Billion, what else are they up to at the orders of Barack Hussein Obama?

    IF this is true, and nothing gets done about it, Congress is irrelevant.

    • In a post in which I ridicule arrogant people who distrust individuals to make their own private choices – you say “What you want, and what’s good for you, are often not the same thing. We are all human, after all.” True. But it’s also true that what others want for you, and what’s good for you, are even more often not the same thing. None of us is a god, after all.

      Contrary to the presumptions of most behavioral economists and other nanny-staters, the fact that Jones and Smith are sometimes deficient when choosing for themselves in the market does not make them less deficient when choosing for others in the voting booth or in some government office complex.

      One more point: even if I’m terrible at making choices in my own best interest, a fundamental truth is that I own me. No one else owns me. No one has a moral right to tell me what to do as regards my own well-being. I, like any other self-respecting person, would much prefer even to ruin my life if I do so through my own choices than to be to be saddled, bridled, and steered, as if I were a mindless animal, by some pretentious do-gooder to his or her notion of utopia

  28. I am so disappointed and frustrated. Say hello to your new President-President Rubio .

    • He cannot win. It will either be Hillary or more likely Sanders. He is an incompetent who cannot balance a checkbook and gets bored easily. Most telling thing for me was when Bush III pointed out his attendance record in the Senate. A Republican O’Bama who thinks his merde does not stink.

      • I will correct my post-Say hello to your republican candidate for the presidency-who will win the general, beats me, I gave up on trying to guess that after Obama was elected for the second time. But if I was gonna guess, it isn’t gonna be Trump.

        • gmanfortruth says:

          Seems to me Trump has some serious momentum going forward. If he wins Super tuesday big, the game is likely over. Then again, the establishment may want their guy, now that Bush has been dispatched. Frankly, seeing the end of the GOP establishment won’t break my heart, the problem will be who fills the vacuum left that is left. The TEA Party has failed to dent the establishment and Trump is no TEA Partyer. Here’s what I’m starting to see. Trump wants to bring back jobs and he has stated the cause, which many of us agree. Sanders wants to give away everything and turn the rich into the new Middle Class, since Obama has mostly destroyed the old middle class.

          What I’m watching…..total number of voters in each State for each side. This may be a tell tale on how the General will go.

  29. Hey guys, need a favor-I went on the Last Refuge/theconservativetreehouse last night. After making a couple posts questioning Sundance, my post wouldn’t go though-I would appreciate it-if one or more of you would go on there and make it clear to the posters that
    Sundance boycotts posters if they don’t agree with or question his stance. If anyone has the time to do as I ask , please let me know what happens. Thanks!

    http://theconservativetreehouse.com/

    • Never mind-last night I was really irritated -this morning I don’t care. 🙂

    • VH…Sundance has been doing this from the beginning….same for Huffpo….I have been kicked off Huffpo twice.

      • I’d never posted there before -I was surprised when they where-obviously picking and choosing which comments went through.

        I guess I shouldn’t of been because the people on that site are really all in for Trump-I mean I’m passionate about Cruz but I don’t think he’s perfect and all the other candidates are spawns of Satan.

        • Just want to make it very clear, if I had my druthers, it would not be Trump. Too crass for me. I know the culture has coarsened to the point that my Dad, the most mild mannered and respectful of men, would have taken up an assault rifle and done in all the rappers.

          I do not have my druthers anymore. We have a guy in charge that would give the anti-Christ a run for the money. Wanna know why he didn’t attend Scalia’s funeral? He would have turned to ash walking through the doors of a Roman Catholic Church!

          Anyhow I go back to my analogy. In First Aid, we were taught to STOP THE BLEEDING first. That is Trump. Seal the border, stop the jobs egress and start rebuilding the economy. Then and only then can we go where you (and I) want to go.

          This requires a tremendous number of assumptions on my part and we all know how dangerous that is. Months ago I wanted to see Trump-Cruz for the very reason I laid out. A doer followed by a principled Conservative who would become familiar to the people in the four or eight years Trump was President who could then step in and start the roll back.

          My late father the smartest damn bartender in the world, told me often that if it took thirty years to screw something up it would take another thirty to unscrew it. Or, if you want to ignore Nick, use the old saw, “Rome wasn’t built in a day”.

          • Is there some reason that you feel Cruz can’t do those things?

            • Just an observation based on advanced old age. If he could win, I think he is a barn burner (good) but he would be overwhelmed by the Republican establishment who would box him in and geld him. Now Trump (that’s where the Teddy Roosevelt analogy comes in) would step outside the party and use the bully pulpit. If old turkey neck started his crap with a boost from Ryan that principled Roman Catholic. I could see Trump on the campaign trail during the mid terms attacking Republicans who would try to thwart him. That is what Teddy did!

              There is good and bad in that but what we all have to acknowledge is that the three branches of government are woefully out of sync these days. There is only an imperial presidency because the congress allows it. The Supreme court is no longer the arbitrator of the Constitution but makes law. No one, left right or undecided is disagreeing that the Court without Scalia could overturn the 2nd Amendment DESPITE the fact that what, less than a dozen years ago, they finally affirmed it! Just think about that for a moment. Nothing means anything anymore!

              So Trump is a new direction, uncharted waters if you will. Dangerous by my own admission. Yet things are so far gone that without a change it is all over. If not Hillary now, then in four years after some Rubio type turns out to be the same bag of hot air Bush I and II turned out to be.

              Guys like Charlie say that if Bernie doesn’t get it they will vote for Trump first. I can see that. Hell, I can see voting for Bernie just to hasten the collapse. This place is rapidly descending to third world status and I have 6 grandchildren to worry about.

              We live in interesting times. In 1975 Richard Nixon was forced out of office partly for over reaching his powers. Reforms were put into place in the government to prevent that from happening again. At the same time, reforms were put into place in both parties to democratize the presidential selection process. Has not worked! Arguably worse now than then! After the mess of Viet-nam, Cap Weinberger put into place his doctrine enhanced by Colin Powell of “don’t get in unless you have a way to get out (and a reason to be there)”. Well, that piece of wisdom, universally heralded by Republicans and Democrats alike started to go out the window in the Clinton Administration, became a flood in Bush II and a full fledged Tsunami in O’Bama time.

              “Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty” but we are just too damn lazy.

            • On Cruz…….I wish Cruz had Trump’s arrogance and brashness. I do not want a mealy mouthed POTUS ever again. I do not want a compromiser…I want strength and ingenuity.

              The world hates Trump because he represents strength…strength in that he will not compromise to weakness. The world does not like Trump because they “know not what he will do” and I think that is great. I have absolutely no problem with a POTUS that lets the verbage fly now and then. I have no problem with a POTUS that is willing to tell the Pope where to get off the boat. I like Trump because he will drop the UN before god could get the news. The UN is a useless piece of dog poop and those buildings in New York could rent for much more. Unfortunately, Cruz is a supporter of the UN and continued cooperation.

              I like trump because he will turn the apple cart over and not give a hairy rats patootie what the Dems and Repubs think. Cruz will be a compromiser, I believe.

              Do not get me wrong, I voted Cruz in the primaries…it was a toss up when I walked in there…and I voted Cruz because he is fighting the established Washington position from the inside. I voted Cruz because I think he can beat Hillary and Trump cannot.

              • I’m not sure but I think a few months back you were not so hot on the Donald. I think Cruz has a future but he needs a trailblazer.

                One of the saddest realization I have is that no matter how right you are, no matter how many ducks you can line up in a row, people will not take the time to listen. Like the Missouri mule, you gotta hit them over the head with a 2 X 4 to get their attention. Republicans are not very good at that believing in “rational” discourse. They don’t get the fact you cannot have said discourse with a rabid dog. Apologies to rabid dogs everywhere.

              • Still not hot on Trump. I just like his style and his can win attitude. He is serving a huge purpose….both Trump and Sanders have motivated differing bases. Rubio scares me more than Trump…Cruz doesnot scare me….but he worries me. He may be a representative from Texas but he does not carry the swagger, the six guns, nor can he ride a horse. He is a transplanted Canadian.

              • That is to say he is a transplanted American born from Canada.

              • Dale A Albrecht says:

                On the UN….They feel that the 1950’s building are finished and need major renovation. The bids get up into the $B’s…..Trump offered to raze the building and build completely a brand spanking new complex for close to 1/4-1/3 the costs the UN was planning on spending. The UN said NO THANKS. Just some more feather bedding going on at our expense.

          • SK!! Damn you! I need oxygen now! I was on my deathbed for one full week, was able to work sick this week, including Saturday…but Obama turning to ash? It just took me a full ten minutes to stop coughing on that one! 🙂

            I think Trump was cast into hell by the Pope earlier this week though.

      • gmanfortruth says:

        Colonel 🙂 Good day to you and yours!

        What is this that I’m hearing that Saudi Arabia has admitted to having nukes? True or a bluff to keep Russia from using them? Is Saudi and it’s friends going to invade Syria from the South? If So, will Turkey come down from the North?

        • First…to say the Saudi’s “have” nukes would be in correct. To say that there are nukes on Saudi soil would be correct.

          Syria….no one will invade Syria and live.

          • Sorry…first sentence should read incorrect.

          • gmanfortruth says:

            Your saying that if an invasion occurred, it would NOT be fought conventionally, yes?

            • No sir, it would be conventional all the way…Putin is not stupid and the Saudi’s do not have their finger on the proverbial Nuke switch. If someone attacks Syria, other than the US, Russia will blow them away….this is what I believe, this is what the intelligence reports indicate, and it wouldbe common sense. Russia has a foot hold it has never held….they will not let go.

              • Dale A Albrecht says:

                Sir…the overriding question I have is….During Bush II’s reign all sorts of high ranking Democrats, visited Assad in Syria. 100% unsanctioned by the State Dept. When Hillary became SOS, she officially visited Assad and flat out stated he was a “progressive” leader and we can work with him. Now. Assad’s Father was a Bathist thug, but as long as you minded your P’s & Q’s you were left alone. Continually defeated with humiliating results by Israel, but that a different issue. Assad II takes over and maintains the status quo. Do as you’re told, no problem. Nuc site demolished by Israel….world goes Ho Hum old news,,,PS thanks Israel….Assad hasn’t changed. But very shortly into Obama’s 1st term, now the mantra is Assad must go…..what changed? Is it a Libya redux. 1st it was Mubarak, then Ghaddafi, then Assad, and toss in a few Iraqi leaders in between, creating absolute anarchy in that region. WHY…..has to be a strategy that goes against Obama’s initial policy, that theh US will NOT overthrow or intervene in the self determination of any nation. Seems to me the policy is bi-polar. All the while building up the status of Iran and giving away the ranch on the nuclear agreement.

              • An excellent series of questions Mr. Albrecht. I eagerly await the Colonel’s reply. Just remember when it comes to de-stabilizing the region, from Harry S. Truman recognizing Israel, through Jimmie Carter putting that rocket under the Shah’s ass and O’Bama messing with Egypt, Libya and Syria, the Democrats absolutelypositively own it!

              • Should I have thrown in Woodrow Wilson too?

              • Dale A Albrecht says:

                This is why I keep coming back to the “hidden” partnership of Iran. One year before Carter decided the Shah was evil, he was a good ole buddy and able to obtain the top US military hardware. Then Russia decides to take Afghanistan. Obviously the build up does not go unnoticed. The Shah was stable and either exiled the radical imam’s or had them bottled up. People were free to come and go. Embassy takeover……total con job and a set up from day one….trust me on this. Iran is the alleged enemy, radicals take over and spread radical Islam all throughout the southern Russian States. Instantly they could NOT use any Muslim troops. Totally destabilized the USSR’s forces and southern border. Iraq was a client state of Russia. Allegedly Iraq attacked Iran, but in truth Iran provoked the attack. Everyone believed Iran was the enemy and then it’s found out that the US is selling military hardware to Iran, keeping them in the game…..my total belief is that Russia was and is still viewed as the enemy, all throughout this past 40 years Brezinski has had his hands involved and he HATES Russia with a CAPITAL HHH……he hated Kissinger and detente. What totally doesn’t make sense is the unleashing of the Muslim Brotherhood by taking out the very leaders that kept them in check. Luckily Egypt’s presidents serve at the will of the military and the military seems to have the nation’s interest mostly at hand. They took out the Brotherhood, before a really large revolt happened…but Obama and Hillary cried foul……But I still stand by the translation of Khomeini’s interview in summer of ’79 to “Il Monde” detailing his plan whose goal was to destroy Israel and every Jew they could get their hands on. So far everything has been playing out as detailed, just no timetable. He also flat out said the US will NOT stop them or intervene. So far all our actions have been to aid and abett that plan.

              • gmanfortruth says:

                A great question to ponder: Why do we continue to allow a few assholes to play RISK with real lives being lost?

  30. Dale…..there is nothing that you are saying that is far fetched at all. The world runs on hegemonic power. Obama’s legacy has been torn to shreds on the ME. He really does live in a strange dimension….I think he actually thought he was a Messiah and if he told the world that the US is sorry..that the world would fall in lock step and say all is forgiven….but forgiven of what? Interference? If not us, whom? Well, now you are seeing it, Russia and China will fill the vacuums because we have been defanged.

    When the Old Soviet Union collapsed….they were simply out spent. However, the designs of the old Soviet Union have not gona away. Putin is old school and Obama wanted a legacy of solving the ME problems. He lost. As a matter of fact, he did not get up to bat.

    Again, one must look at history. The USSR had a hell of a time keeping the ethnic muslims in check during the cold war. When the collapse happened, it was almost like someone filing bankruptcy The USSR needed to start over and they have, Now, Russia is no one’s friend. They have filled the vacuum left by the US. A whole lot of people here in the US feel that we are the reason the ME is in turmoil. But you have to go deeper than that. Yes, anytime anyone wants to be a world power, one has the hegemonic power.

    Look at what is happening with the US pulling out of everywhere….it is falling apart and it will not go back to self rule. The new power in the ME is going to be Russia….just watch. BUT…..they will leave Israel alone. They will use Israel as their weapon of choice. One thing about the ME…they are still tribal and they respect only one thing….power. Absolute power and they will follow power.

    Self determination will never be allowed to happen in the ME.

    • Dale A Albrecht says:

      England and France, Russia and the Ottomans basically battled for centuries. After WWI they all were spent or gone. Just take a subsequent list of client states of the two powers for 60 years. USSR/Russia, got Syria, Egypt, Libya, Yemen, Iraq, Ethopia (sp), influence in Afghanistan, almost snagged India, even back in the Rudyard Kipling stories. Fear of Russia enabled England to hook us into Iran in the 50’s. We had precious few friends. The flip that occurred from the 70’s on was amazing. But in just 7 short years all the work, have crumbled into something like Humpty Dumpty. All the Kings Horses and all the Kings Men could not put Humpty Dumpty back together again. Into that vacuum Russia has entered again and we also enabled Iran with hundred of billions of freed cash an immediate capability to influence the entire region. The Shia are a minority but their force of will, is a very dangerous thing. This is what I totally do not follow by our actions of late. Basically yielding carte blanc to Iran……I look at the migrants pouring into the EU as taking advantage of the EU laws and a very Gandhish invasion. Invasion by millions of unarmed people that are a total antithesis to western culture. Once the virus is embedded in the host it will take one hell of a dose of antibiotics, or the host…in this case Europe will die.

      Even looking at photos of old the imams and muslim leaders, not westernized all have this snarky expression on their face. Almost like they have gas and need a dose of pepto bismol. Or on of a total sanctimonious expression sort of like Obama’s 1st economic advisor along with the L. Summers. can’t remember her name. Dumpy shit eating whiny voice like she was talking to 1st graders. Didn’t last long when the policies started crashing.

      I can not see if anyone with 1/2 a brain could vote for Hillary. Those folks are off in a delusional world akin to where Obama has been.

      Heck even the Pope has said that Russia and Putin and the Orthodox Church will save Christianity. Has the Catholic Church forfeited? I guess so.

  31. JAC…….something has been nagging at me….I assume you are back from the “sun belt”…..now, pray tell, just where in the hell is there a sun belt just a short drive from you? Or are you one of those nor’westerners that drive from sub zero into zero and call it a heat wave?

    • Dale A Albrecht says:

      All he has to do is drive to some flatland. One gets good sun there. In the mountains it’s like Miami Beach. Come afternoon and Trump’s high rise towers block the sun from the west..

      • Just A Citizen says:

        Dale

        This time of year around here the problem is not the Mtn height so much as how LOW the sun is in the sky. Combined with the clouds………clouds……… and oh did I mention the clouds.

        • Dale A Albrecht says:

          Last time I was up in your next of the woods…..the plane was in crystal blue sky. Decended through the clouds and never saw the sun directly nor dried out. Continual overcast and drizzle. Took off and within seconds was in crystal blue skies all the way to NC.

    • Just A Citizen says:

      d13thecolonel

      Sunbelt for us folks up here is Lewiston, Idaho, and its neighbor Clarkston, Washington.

      We call it the Blue Collar Palm Springs.

      Folks were golfing this weekend and the Willow trees were close to bursting buds.

      • Dale A Albrecht says:

        i do not know if you golf…..but have you ever golfed at Black Butte in the Cascades or Salishan on the Oregon coast?

        • Just A Citizen says:

          Dale

          I do golf but have not played either of those two.

          • Ummmm…..to not play golf is worse than Bernie Sanders as POTUS.

            • Dale A Albrecht says:

              Watching Bernie play golf would be an event worth buying tickets for. It would be a comedy. Unfortunately the game would be called due to darkness after the 1st hole.

              He was bowling one time up in Burlington. VT while being mayor in his youth. I do not remember him ever getting the ball to the pins. Gutterballs. Most presidents have some sport. Reagan rode horses and split wood at his ranch. Bush I really liked sport fishing and running his go fast boat up in Maine. Clinton chased office girls. Bush II did ranch stuff and jogged. Obama golf and basketball……It would be interesting how the MSM would treat a total spaz….sorry I’m non PC.

          • Dale A Albrecht says:

            My scores were particularly low when playing those two. The vistas were very distracting. Seemed like you were always pulling your head up. Why put the courses on such beautiful spots when you shouldn’t look around and keep your head down?…..Hah.

  32. Sparty Sucks says:

    Hey all! Do you follow Matt? Good guy with a knack for getting it right.

    http://www.theblaze.com/contributions/dear-trump-fan-so-you-want-someone-to-tell-it-like-it-is-ok-here-you-go/

    • gmanfortruth says:

      Welcome Sparty. Matt posts here from time to time, and yes, a very nice person. Welcome to our little family of political nuts. I’ll guess that once you comment a few times we’ll figure out your political leanings, of which all are welcome.

    • Whatever.

  33. gmanfortruth says:
    • Back in the dark ages there was a conservative author by the name of Allen Drury. Mostly dismissed these days, he wrote “Advise and Consent” about a presidential appointment gone bad because of the nominee’s past Communist affiliations. (See how silly that was!)

      Anyhow, it spun off a movie and then a series of follow-up novels on the decline and fall of the United States of America and the enemy within as J. Edgar might have said.

      One of the books had to, I believe, deal with the death of a Supreme Court Justice who was not a friend of the left. As his body was taken from lying in state to the cemetery, the leftists gathered along the route and chanted.

      “Into the ditch with the Son-of-a-bitch”!

      The book was written in the early 1970″s. Drury was prescient if nothing else. I was first reminded of this watching Maggie Thatchers funeral and the BBC commentary. During that particular abomination, one who did not know better would have thought Thatcher was worse than Hitler.

  34. gmanfortruth says:

    Thoughts on the Apple issue and their security encryption. I heard a good explanation on the Governments standing…..very little to none. Since Apple hasn’t made the program to do what the government wants, the government can’t compel them to do so, without violating the 13th Amendment.

    This doesn’t mean that the Fed’s will not invoke one of the many Executive Orders that covers what can occur under a State of Emergency, which I believe we have been under since 9-11. Make no mistake, I consider EO’s unconstitutional, period.

    In this case, I hope Apple holds their ground and tells the Fed’s and the Judge to pound sand.

  35. gmanfortruth says:

    . For some strange reason, when corrupt governments legalize their criminality through legislation or executive decree, the citizenry suddenly treats that criminality as legitimate and excusable. http://personalliberty.com/a-warning-to-the-feds-on-incremental-prosecutions-of-the-liberty-movement/

  36. gmanfortruth says:

    http://www.truthrevolt.org/news/flashback-sen-biden-staunchly-advised-against-filling-scotus-vacancy-during-election-year

    The Democrats have nothing to stand on concerning a new SCOTUS Justice being considered/confirmed prior to election. NOTHING!

  37. GOLF
    noun
    1.
    a game in which clubs with wooden or metal heads are used to hit a small, white ball into a number of holes, usually 9 or 18, in succession, situated at various distances over a course having natural or artificial obstacles, the object being to get the ball into each hole in as few strokes as possible.

    Bagger Vance:
    Inside each and every one of us is our one, true authentic swing. Something we was born with. Something that’s ours and ours alone. Something that can’t be learned… something that’s got to be remembered.

    The thing about golf is that you don’t have to be a professional golfer to love the game.

    Winston Churchill: “Golf is a game whose aim is to hit a very small ball into an even smaller hole, with weapons singularly ill-designed for the purpose.”

    Ted Ray: “Golf is a fascinating game. It has taken me nearly 40 years to discover that I can’t play it.”

    Bob Ryan: “A passion, an obsession, a romance, a nice acquaintanceship with trees, sand and water.”

    Ray Floyd: “They call it golf because all the other four letter words were taken.”

    Jim Murray: “Actually, the only time I ever took out a one-iron was to kill a tarantula. And I took a 7 to do that.”

    P.G Wodehouse: “Golf… is the infallible test. The man who can go into a patch of rough alone, with the knowledge that only God is watching him, and play his ball where it lies, is the man who will serve you faithfully and well.”

    Peter Jacobson: “One of the most fascinating things about golf is how it reflects the cycle of life. No matter what you shoot – the next day you have to go back to the first tee and begin all over again and make yourself into something.”

    Walter HAgen: “You don’t have the game you played last year or last week. You only have today’s game. It may be far from your best, but that’s all you’ve got. Harden your heart and make the best of it.”

    Arnold Palmer: “The game has such a hold on golfers because they compete not only against an opponent, but also against the course, against par, and most surely- against themselves.”

    Arnold Palmer: What other people may find in poetry or art museums, I find in the flight of a good drive.

    Bob Hope: Drugs are very much a part of professional sports today, but when you think about it, golf is the only sport where the players aren’t penalized for being on grass.

    Chi Chi Rodriguez: A golf ball is like a clock. Always hit it at 6 o’clock and make it go toward 12 o’clock. But make sure you’re in the same time zone.

    But you don’t have to go up in the stands and play your foul balls. I do. ~Sam Snead, to Ted Williams, arguing which was more difficult, to hit a moving baseball or a stationary golf ball.

    Have you ever noticed what golf spells backwards?

    D13 says: ” There is nothing like the game of golf. You are out in nature, you play the elements, you play your own mind, you play yourself….there are no excuses that you can render for the bad shot because you are the one that did it. It is not the wind that made you hit the errant shot…. it is you…. you did not play the wind as you needed. Golf can never be won…it is only played ( borrowed from Bagger Vance )..If you miss a short putt, you have to blame yourself as no one hit the ball for you, Likewise, if you make the long putt, you can also take all the credit. As they say, a bad day a golf is better than a good day at work. There is nothing worse than a shank ( except another one ) and there is nothing better than hitting a drive that you do not even feel the impact and you can watch it soar straight and beautiful and hit and roll and set up on a perfect carpet for your next shot. It matters not if you hit a bad second shot because you can still remember that you hit the perfect first shot. It is a game where you can hit into the woods and be one with nature or remark how deep and richly green the rough is….and then wonder how in the hell you are going to get out of it without using a “hand mashie”. You can play the ball as it lies or you can improve your position but regardless of the outcome…you still know if you cheated or you played it straight…it all lies within your own moral compass. Golf is not timed ( except for darkness )…you can stop and sit under a tree or lay back and watch clouds, listen to birds and the ocassional “Oh, shit” as other golfers stroll by in their endless quest for the elusive hole-in-one or the eagle. Golf is the only sport where you can hit an eagle, a birdie, or a buzzard and not get into trouble. Golf is the only sport where you can hit a ball 300 yards…I have never seen a football player kick or throw a single pass 300 yards, or a 300 yard shot at the buzzer for a basketball player, or a 300 yard home run…

    Golf is also the most exasperating game….but…..I do not know of another sport where you get up the next morning, eat a great breakfast, kiss the wife, go to the course, hit perfect practice balls, hit perfect practice putts, hit perfect practice sand shots, get pumped that today is the record setting day, tee it up, stare down the fairway on a beautiful dew laden morning, thin, wispy clouds floating by, everything is quiet,….take your swing back just like you practiced and promptly duck hook it or slice it out of sight…….sigh……pick up your bag and go find it ( maybe )….Then at the end of that exasperating day, on the final 18th hole….you sink a 60 foot birdie putt from the fringe of the green,,,,and that sets the tone for tomorrow.

    What a game.

    • As Dad always said: “I’m not stupid enough to chase a small ball around a cow pasture.”

    • Just A Citizen says:

      JAC: Golf is a game invented by the Scots for the sole purpose of driving the English insane.

      Re: D13 on making no excuses. I disagree Sir, there is one perfect excuse, per Lil JAC: “Dad, I stink at this!”

      But then at the end of the day, after four hours of complaining about how he “stinks” and “I hate this game”, Lil JAC will proclaim: “Dad, I sure enjoyed playing with you today.”

      That is my 60 foot birdie putt on 18.

      P.S. Those of us who partake in the swat and follow game have experienced more than one of those “perfect mornings” you describe. To the point I would be amazed if the shot off number one landed anywhere in the “short grass”.

      The only true “downer” I have experienced in golf is the crowds. The constant need to “hurry” because some guy called “marshal” comes along and pesters you about letting people go through.

  38. gmanfortruth says:
  39. Interesting morning. My local radio host John Gambling is of the opinion that Barry O will return the lease to the Castro Brothers next month for that Guantanamo place. That’s is why he intends to empty it.

    One hour later, Mt. Limbaugh says he can’t.

    I wonder who is right?

    • LImbaugh is correct. Obama can close it…..he can’t sell it nor can he return it without Congressional approval.

      • Dale A Albrecht says:

        Then why is there all the wrangling about what bases to close in the budget hearing. Yes I know all about the congressmen and their districts. But if it was easy…the president could just close any base at any time without congress. Either he’s just going to secretly fly the last batch of the most hard core prisoners to a disfunctional arab country similar to yemen where they will “escape” like so many others have done…….my prediction, seeing that the law has little bearing on Obama’s decisions, is he WILL send them all out somewhere and it will NOT be to a US supermax prison. It will be to the ME somewhere. Then there will be a clamor by Cuba to vacate their sovereign territory, plus the WH saying keeping the base at all is moot, because its just a sticking point to continue his intiative to normalize cuban/american relations. Sure it’s been a deliberate finger in Castro’s eye for 60 years. If in that case the Navy should totally RAZE every facility, dock, hanger everything. Make it just a cactus patch…..sort of like when we wore out our welcome in PI a volcano convieniently erupted and buried the base like pompeii. Navy said, you want it dig it out yourself.

        When we’d finish a ship either a new build or refurbish and upgrade and older one in an east coast yard…all live fire tests were off Cuba and Guantanamo. Nowhere near the US east coast. Might disturb our natives. The point was to disturb Castro and the resident Russians stationed there.

      • Dale A Albrecht says:

        There is no way the remaining prisonors will be heading to the US. Even when Obama had total control of congress they said NO WAY.

  40. Actually, I wonder who could stop him?

  41. Just A Citizen says:

    Good example of why Court appointments are so important.

    http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/431752/noncitizen-voting-case-doj-rebuked

  42. gmanfortruth says:

    http://personalliberty.com/congress-obamas-epa-doesnt-make-the-laws/

    My suggestion is to end the EPA’s existence altogether. It’s a State issue.

  43. gmanfortruth says:

    http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/trump-as-president-i-would-prosecute-clinton/article/2583925

    I can hear it now (if Trump is nominee)…..”If you elect me, I’m putting that witch in jail”. Oh would that be priceless!

  44. gmanfortruth says:
  45. http://www.libertarian.co.uk/lapubs/persp/persp019.htm

    A good description of the ills of socialism.

  46. Just A Citizen says:

    A good example of major changes in an industry that had nothing to do with NAFTA or free trade, but was driven by other Govt. interference in the market place. In this case it was interference to help “certain businesses” that caused unforeseen outcomes.

    http://oregonstate.edu/ua/ncs/archives/2008/may/changing-ownership-timber-lands-raises-social-economic-challenges

    The net result is mills have less logs as the timber investment companies sold theirs to China.

    Many of these major land trades had requirements that a certain volume of logs would be sold to the sawmills which had the land, for a certain period of time. I believe most of those agreements have or are coming to an end.

    In my region the investment companies are now selling the land because they took the timber and it now costs to much to hold the real estate.

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