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Sunday, November 26, 2006

 

Sunday Night Musings

How does any one resist the Sunday AM news shows? The competition between the pundits and the politicians to see who can make the most stupid comments is enthralling... The idea that we should cut and run in Iraq, through some kind of scheduled "redeployment," makes you wonder yet again about the courage and character of the current generation of leaders. These morons are of the same ilk as the ones who repositioned the worst battlefield loss suffered by the VC (the Tet offensive) as a loss for us and started us on the road to abandoning Vietnam. I wonder how we are going to characterize allowing the Iran allied Shiite militias in Iraq to exterminate the Sunni militias when we withdraw. Will that be "peace with honor?" On the other hand, I don't know what "stay the course" means anymore either. I CAN understand why people throw up their hands and say "what the heck, let these Islamists kill each other off if that's what they want to do." Unfortunately, innocent civilians are suffering. What we need now is some really creative thinking that goes beyond how many troops we need, and beyond the reality that there is a tremendous amount of good we are doing over there and that compensates for the violence. Soemone who knows what they are talking about needs to think about what the realistic end result that we are seeking could be and determine a strategy for getting there. That means taking into account the whole Sunni-Shiite schism in Islam, and somehow maneuvering a more stable solution. If that means that Iraq should be three countries, so be it...If the U.N. were worth one-tenth as much as the real estate it sits on, it might be able to contribute some ideas to help the situation. As it is, forget it...

The Part D plan that was added to Medicare seems to be working better than I ever thought it would. You know this because of the hysterical concerns coming from Democrats that the Government needs to negotiate the prices for drugs. In other words, price controls. Meanwhile, most seniors seem to have adapted. It also means that the overall program is already too expensive...The D's are also seeking a fourth recount in one of the remaining contested Congressional election districts. I guess this is saying that R's are better at cheating, or that D's are sore losers, or both... I read that some wag pointed out that once all the Chinese and Indians have cars, the internal combustion engine is dead, there can't be enough oil to go around. People have been making that Malthusian prediction for a long time, and oil capacity never seems to go down, but this time, it could be different (I know, it never is different, until it is). Battery or atomic powered automobiles, that can be refueled conveniently, can't come soon enough.

I follow about a half dozen blogs, and my sense is that enthusiasm is waning at some of them. Posts are less frequent and comments are less entertaining. On the other hand, redwavemusings continues to generate the same wild enthusiasm as always...One sure sign of the end is that many corporations are studying whether they should have a blog, who should write it, what subjects it should cover, etc. With all of my being, I want to shout out, "No, you idiots, this is for individuals! You, have websites, ads, PR, Corporate and stockholder communications, etc. Enough, stay out of the blogosphere. I am sure your customers are anxious to read a corporate blog with yet another thinly disguised sales pitch...

Music note: Guitarist Pat Martino (#3 on my list of all-time favorite guitars) comes into Birdand this week. Call the club or visit its website (www.birdlandjazz.com) for details. Also, to hear the latest incarnation of my #4 guitarist, Mark Knopfler, listen to his CD in collaboration with Emmy Lou Harris (All the Roadrunning), combining elements of rock, country and Irish folk.

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On 11/22, I bought 100 shares of NEM for my taxable account at 45.29. That worked out nicely since I had just sold NovaGold. The people who have predicted 10 of the last 4 recessions are still calling for one, but the market refuses to tank.

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