"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up."

Arthur Koestler 


Karl Denninger Retires

I thought it interesting that blogger Karl Denninger has retired from economic life as much as he can, while he will continue to blog sporadically. I understand the rational behind it. It is getting more and more difficult to figure out how one should invest. And even if one does invest, too much is taken away from success.
Good luck Karl.
Here is an interview he did that I found interesting. Not a good video, but still worth "watching."

Pension Train Wreck Coming

I have been reading a lot lately about the pension crisis. I doubt that Obama has an evil plot to steal your pension, 401K or your IRA. It has to be admitted that this has happened in several countries, most recently Poland. The way the scam works is that assets are seized and replaced with government bonds to "protect" the saver. 

The size and nature of the crisis depends on what you are talking about. Most of us Baby Boomers have little or no savings. This is not good. Social Security is underfunded and will force a 25% cut in pensions in 25 years or so. This is bad. Medicare is also underfunded and will run out in 15 years. No one has any idea what this will mean. This is very bad, especially as I will probablyly still be alive then. State government pensions are a mess. They are hugely underfunded, and have absurd assumptions about future investment income. This is very, very bad for retired government workers. 

Making the pension problem even worse is the looting of the system through excessive fees to the "powers that be." Rolling Stone Magazine has had some interesting articles on economics. Thier most recent article about Pensions is no exception to this. I suggest you have a look. 

How will this play out over the next decade? I have no idea, but I suggest you get your financial house in order. 


Refusing to Accept Reality

If we refuse assent to reality: if we rebel against the nature of things and choose to think that what we at the moment want is the centre of the universe to which everything else ought to accommodate itself, the first effect on us will be that the whole universe will seem to be filled with an inexplicable hostility. We shall begin to feel that everything has a down on us, and that, being so badly treated, we have a just grievance against things in general. That is the knowledge of good and evil and the fall into illusion. If we cherish and fondle that grievance, and would rather wallow in it and vent our irritation in spite and malice than humbly admit we are in the wrong and try to amend our behaviour so as to get back to reality, that is, while it lasts, the deliberate choice, and a foretaste of the experience of Hell.

—Dorothy L. Sayers, Introductory Papers on Dante



A Certain Level of Irony?

I found Sen. McCain's response to Vladimir Putin's Op Ed piece to be quite ironic. Here is an excerpt:

I make that claim because I respect your dignity and your right to self-determination. I believe you should live according to the dictates of your conscience, not your government. I believe you deserve the opportunity to improve your lives in an economy that is built to last and benefits the many, not just the powerful few. You should be governed by a rule of law that is clear, consistently and impartially enforced and just. I make that claim because I believe the Russian people, no less than Americans, are endowed by our Creator with inalienable rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

On one level, I can't say I really disagree with too much he said. (Although he clearly did not understand what the punk band he mentioned, whose name I will also not repeat, actually did. They would have been arrested if they had done the same thing in Washington, but the prison sentence would have been less.)

This is what happens if you are McCain's or the US' "interesting man." Assad knows thisBut on another level, for McCain to write such a piece shows just how clueless he is. Read the entire piece and substitute America for Russia in your reading. The criticisms he makes of Russia just as well apply to America. Accusing Russia of supporting dictators was particularly funny. As McCain himself said after meeting Qaddafi, "an interesting meeting with an interesting man." Click on the link to see just how ironic it is. 

What planet does he live on?

Actually, I know. He married into the elite that run the US. While his wife is in the second tier of the US's elite, she clearly belongs among their number. Yes, an elite controls Russia. But an elite controls the US as well, and McCain is a part of that elite.

Having gone to Russian many times in the last 12 years, I see the trajectory that Russia is on--more freedom, and more prosperity. Having lived in the US for the last 12 years I see the trajectory the US is on--less freedom, and less prosperity.

If these trends continue, at some point the two countries can wave at each other as they pass in the night, going in different directions.

There is a rumbling stampede headed our way. Are you doing the equivalent of having a nice picnic in a field watching the herd approach, but instead of rising to flee, you continue your meal? Are you enjoying your potato salad as hoof beats get louder?


Syria from a Christian Perspective

If you want to know what is happening to Syrian Christians, watch this.