This is really priceless, a complete debunking of all the idiocy over 2012. And done in a superb graphical way! Be sure to pass it on. I found it via The Big Picture, graphic courtesy Information is Beautiful.
Well, we all learned the old monikers - "Don't confuse brains with a bull market", or "Bears make money, Bulls make money, but Pigs get led to the slaughter". Now even the tried and true names need a bailout Here goes:
CEO -- Chief Embezzlement Officer
CFO -- Corporate Fraud Officer
BULL MARKET -- A random market movement causing an investor to mistake himself for a financial genius
BEAR MARKET -- A 6 to 18 month period when the kids get no allowance, the wife gets no jewelry, and the husband gets no sex
VALUE INVESTING -- The art of buying low and selling lower
P/E RATIO -- The percentage of investors wetting their pants as the market keeps crashing
BROKER -- What my broker has made me
STANDARD & POOR -- Your life in a nutshell
STOCK ANALYST -- Idiot who just downgraded your stock.
STOCK SPLIT -- When your ex-wife and her lawyer split your assets equally between themselves
FINANCIAL PLANNER -- A guy whose phone has been disconnected
MARKET CORRECTION -- The day after you buy stocks
CASH FLOW-- The movement your money makes as it disappears down the toilet
YAHOO -- What you yell after selling it to some poor sucker for $240 per share
WINDOWS -- What you jump out of when you're the sucker who bought Yahoo @ $240 per share
INSTITUTIONAL INVESTOR -- Past year’s investor who is now locked up in a nuthouse
In a recent trip to Africa, we went in a dry season between the Short Rains and the Long Rains.
It still rained occasionally. We asked a local guide why, and he said, "Global Warming." Reminded me of a story that Joe Kennedy told, that one day in 1929 while getting a shoe shine, the shoe shine boy began giving him stock advice. He knew the top was in. He got out before the crash. Is the top in on Global Warming?
The global warming skeptics point to a faster warming trend before the '40s than after. There seems to be a pause in the trend in the '50s to '70s, then the trend begins anew. I have speculated that it was due to smog - the particulants in the air cooled the trend. The clean air act ironically increased global warming by making the atmosphere clearer. Now a Nobel scientist, Paul Crutzen, is proposing that smog be used to slow global warming - or more precisely, that particulants be injected into the upper atmosphere. He is confirming the view that smog slowed global warming, and now wants to reinterject smog but up high so as not to blanket our cities. Sounds plausible, but imagine that continuing for decades, centuries, as nations rise and fall ... Sometimes very smart people can come up with really dumb ideas.
In an extraordinary op-ed piece, the most knowledgeable Islamic scholar in the most conservative major US publication predicted that WWIII may start on August 22 - next week! - as a nuclear war. Bernard Lewis in The Wall Street Journal believes that Iran will respond to recent moves by the US, Israel and moderate Islamic nations by doing something dramatic on one of the most honored dates in Islam - the date when Mohammed ascended to Heaven from the Far Mosque (Jerusalem). Iran may even pop off a nuke. Whether this is popped in the desert or on Tel Aviv remains to be seen.
How did it come to this? The recent exposure of an Islamic plot in England to use liquids to blow up flights to the US is just the latest in a series of very public signals by the US, moderate Islamic nations and Iran. A possible Grand Strategy for the War On Terror (WOT) is emerging out of the wreckage in Iraq, and it is directed at Iran. The story of the last few months is a remarkable geopolitical drama unfolding before the whole world, if we only have the eyes to see it.
The recent action in Israel caused Newt Gingrich to spout off that were are seeing the start of World War III. Where has he been since 9/11? It is clear that Iran is behind the trouble; Israel has correctly been taking out the supply routes from Syria to Lebanon, as they know Iranian oil profits have funded the terrorist activity, with missiles and other weapons being funneled through Syria. But a lot of missiles got through - estimates are well above 13,000, which has allowed Hezbollah, its front organization, to lob 100s of missiles a day into Israel. (Hezbollah was founded in 1982 with Iranian support, and continues to get $100 million per year from Iran.) How did it come to this, and is WWIII around the corner?
A turning point occurred in the Global Warming debate last week. The leading credible opponent of Global Warming, Richard Lindzen, Professor of Atmospheric Science at MIT, gave a Wall Street Journal editorial rebuttal of Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth, skewering Algore for overarguing his case. He gave the view from the Right, that Global Warming is not yet proven. His argument had its own inconvenient truth: his scientific rigor and intellectual honesty led him to concur with many of the core facts of Algore's case. Greenhouse gases are out or near historical record levels; temperature is at historical record levels; and more. The last thin reed on which the Right hangs to avoid facing Global Warming, that This Could Be A Natural Uptick, is no longer tenable.
Why then the continued resistance to Global Warming? It has less to do with the facts and more to do with mistrust of the Left.
There are tides in politics, when taken at the surge can lead to success, and when taken in the trough can be lost to the foam. We are in a political mood swing away from the optimism of a Global Village and towards the xenophobia against the Barbarian Hordes. A decade ago, Califdornia's Prop 187 tried to restrict illegal immigration, but all it did was to hurt the Repubs in Calif. That was a different time, with the dot-com bubble beginning and optimism surging. We are now shifting the other way. The tide has turned.
We are also more at risk, as the influx from one culture is stressing the melting pot and Latinizing many communities, rather than Americanizing the immigrants. Back around the time of Prop 187, Ross Perot warned that NAFTA (free trade with Mexico) would create a great sucking sound of jobs moving south. Instead, the job seekers came north. The law of unintended consequences confounds the best and the brightest, as well as the Ross Perots. NAFTA lowered agriculture tariffs, devastating marginal Mexican farmers. They left the farms and looked to El Norte for hope.
Incoherent policy makes it easy for them. We shoot illegals at the border then give them free reign once they get inside: schooling, healthcare, benefits, amnesty. Their kids become citizens. Legal immigrants have a harder time! Visa complexity, risk of not coming back in after a business trip out.
We need to create a bigger contrast between legals and illegals. Walls need not be built. Illegals need not be criminalized as much as incentivized. Legal immigration should be opened up. Most of all, following the rules and earning citizenship should be worth more.
A simple proposal: offer citizenship to qualified illegals who enlist in our army and fight our wars. The army will Americanize them, and their duty earns them the right to become citizens.
This is not unprecedented. Rome had its auxiliaries. Britannia had its Ghurkas.
This doesn't solve the whole problem, but it is a start.
The critics thought it murky, and the acting reactive - with no chemistry between the leads. (How could there be, when it turns out that one of them has the Blood Royal - the bloodline of Christ? A bit calming of ardor, meditating on that legacy.) The movie has done well so far, despite the critics - better opening than The Passion. $225m worldwide in the first weekend. Yet it is a mediocrity, and may lack legs.
We enjoyed the movie, and also enjoyed rapping with the protestors out front, who asserted that the Catholic Church had a monopoly on truth, and the movie was blasphemous. The alternative 'truth' of the movie is a bit much, based on a known fraud. Also, knowing he was going to be crucified, would the Son of God have left a pregnant wife behind?
Yet the incredible interest in the book is based on a widespread feeling in Christendom is that the message may have been hijacked by the early Catholic Church, especially when it became the State Religion of the Roman Empire. Is there a great conspiracy, just not the one of the book & movie?
Al-Zawahri, Al-Qaida's No. 2, says he has broken the US Army in Iraq. It is rather the time for us to break the back of his insurgency.
Tom Friedman, author of "The World Is Flat" and a well-known New York Times columnist, likes to say that we are funding both sides of the war on terror. He also is about to publish an analysis that shows that freedom is inversely related to oil prices - as prices fall, oil-nations are more dependent on the world community, and open up; as prices rise, they thumb their noses at the world community and fund mischief at home and abroad. No surprise that with rising oil prices, we see Bolivia nationalizing gas wells, Chavez joining with Castro in anti-American actions, and repression increasing in the Middle East.
We need to break the price of oil, and therefore turn off the spigot funding terrorism, with a long-term solution to American dependency on oil that can be implemented fairly quickly. Surprisingly, such a solution does exist. It does not rely on exotic fuels like hydrogen, nor does it require a wholesale change in the infrastructure of cars, trucks, gas stations and gas distribution. It has been demonstrated to work, and work quickly. If President Bush had pursued this direction after 9/11, its impact would already be felt.