Wednesday, August 31, 2011


World Music: A Global Journey

ETF Pick of the Day: TZA (Be careful!) (DAY TRADE ONLY)

ETF FANS LOOK HERE: Ultimate Guide to Trading ETFs: How To Profit from the Hottest Sectors in the Hottest Markets All the Time

WHO SHOULD MONICA CROWLEY MARRY? And how many kids should she have? ;--))

I think that Monica Crowley is the most beautiful, intelligent, charming female pundit/personality on T.V. But even if you don't share this view or are in strong/virulent opposition to it ;-))....Please: Help this woman get married! Any suggestions?

(Just for fun....:--))



I finally got around to seeing Gore Verbinski's “Rango.” A stylized post-modernist animated film featuring a lonely, self-infatuated domesticated (if not exactly pampered) gecko (Rango) deeply insecure about who he is and unaware of exactly where he is. Throughout the movie Rango 'courageously' combats his existential angst through haranguing bouts of thespianism cast upon a captive audience consisting of one plastic goldfish and other assorted caged props.
About ten minutes into the film Rango's carefully constructed world is literally dashed with his glass cage shattering on a desert highway. At this point in the movie the French philosopher Baudrillard or Morpheus of Matrix fame might well have said: “Welcome to the Real—Rango.”
What follows is the predictable transformation of the character from inhabiting a state of total alienation (both from himself and from the 'real world') to self-aware, self affirming action hero possessed of a newly self-constructed identity which eventually allows him to help others in desperate need.
As movies go, it was riddled with too many cliches and extraneous references and thus too much of a 'director's movie.' Yet it was Rango's character, the initially hapless Gecko, and his dangerous plight into the 'real' which captured my attention and imagination.
Throughout the movie I could not help myself seeing Rango as an animated green avatar of our current president Barack Obama.
The parallels were painfully obvious.
Firstly, the origins of both are located in a carefully constructed world not of their own making and one could argue not of their own choosing. As many commentators have recently pointed out: Obama is the product of at least two generations of government, academically led affirmative action policies; policies which arguably have done a disservice to those who they purportedly tried to help. The long term onus of affirmative action is neither secret nor illogical: affirmative action has, in many cases, undermined self-confidence, identity formation, and professionalism in a myriad of ways. One is never sure of what one has, or who one is, if it has been given to one on account of something else—other than ones own hard work and merit that is.
It has been recently argued by many that the stunningly rapid career advancement of Barack Obama is almost a classic case study of how affirmative action can build an illusory world of achievement which is destined to be torn down once the 'real' is either let in or inevitably forces its way in. When the latter happens the initial response is often one of denial or reflexive condescension towards others. In short all mental defense and self-deceptive mechanisms are on overdrive (Children of another generation were once familiar with this story as 'The Emperor with no clothes.')
Arguably from the moment when President Obama took the oath of office (an oath he had to repeat twice...almost as if he himself couldn't believe it was happening; a case of 'simulacra' meeting the 'real'?) the carefully guided and constructed world that he had lived in all his professional life had suddenly flung open onto the world.
The world waited for a response. The response was a thespian one. And initially a captive (or desperate) audience was enthralled.
Yet what the world (except for a few prescient ones) did not know then was that words and theatrical gestures was all that it was likely to ever get.
For, like Rango, these tactics or behavioral standards were more than enough to either remain popular or at least not threatening in a (liberal) world managed by the values and expectations of others (liberals).
Of course the office of the Presidency offers one of many inconveniences. It is a seat (the seat?) in the world. And that means that it is often a hot seat of crisis. And crisis demands character, stamina, clarity of vision, wisdom, and understanding of the nature of action and its consequences.
Such virtues are seldom nurtured in a hot house environment such as Harvard or the University of Chicago. Other valuable flora and fauna grow there but not necessarily strong political leaders. Just seriously ponder for a moment the career and historical consequences of another such dramatic 'Gecko': Woodrow Wilson.
As Rango might tell you, after his life-growing/life-threatening ordeals...there ain't no substitute to life and its lessons. And those lessons as Margaret Thatcher once said are conservative.


Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The Sadism in American Life

It has often been remarked that we are living in cages not of our own making.

However some cages are nicer than others (just go to a second and third rate Zoo and you'll soon see why this matters ;--))

Of course we humans (at least most of us) don't live behind visible bars. No, we live behind invisible ones. Yet although invisible they are no less strong. Culture, language, laws, and economic system are the main "bars"..try to cross or change any of them and you'll soon feel the growing frustrations of your head, heart, and hands.

Many a foreign commentator has often focused on the American system as one of unbridled egoism disguised as a lust for the maximization of human liberty (exploitation?). Even if this is true, any tangible social consequences of such an attitude have to be examined.

One of the more unfortunate consequences of such a society/economic system has been the disintegration of the human personality and with it a rise in correlated acts of sadism.

I should make clear that the kind of 'sadism' that I'm referring to is a societal phenomenon. Some of its not so invisible reality has been captured by cultural artifacts such as books and films. From the "Scarlet Letter", the "Last of the Mohicans", and even "Moby Dick" to more recent cultural influences such as "Film Noir", Kurt Vonnegut's novels, and popular T.V. shows such as "South Park" and "The Simpsons"--the sadistic element is evident and inescapable.

Yet culture must be a somewhat accurate reflection or a heightening of what is perceived for it to be accepted by more than a few as possibly true. In this case, American artists have accurately reflected a social system that is horribly distorted in so many ways, a caricature of its promise as elaborated by the Founding Fathers, that all that seems to be left are isolated individuals glorifying within an empty cornucopia of formal freedoms while being physically restricted in every way possible by a constellation of an ever growing, ever more distant federal government and economic interests that pay lip service to any and all ideologies just enough to ensure that the economic exploitation of as many people as possible will continue unabated.

It is no wonder that under such circumstances of actual "unfreedom" millions lash out privately in small, mean acts of sadism while releasing their justified aggressions in a dangerously condensing cloud of confused, ever more angry laughter.

The secret whisper of the American Mind is a simple one: "My life hurts, so you hurt. So there. Tough." Yes very.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Gold, All That Glitters?

All that glitters?

Rushing towards gold? A lot of people are lately. Should you really take the plunge? Well if and when you do consider the following points:

      1. Gold has already had a spectacular two-year run (even if not exactly as powerful or as high as in the late 70's and early 80's)
      2. I know you tire of hearing it—but it bears is a store of value, while stocks are return on value (no chicken little the sky didn't fall and flatten your poor, poultry body after all)
      3. Yes, Soros and other Cosmic Players are in it, but will they be tomorrow (stay tuned for the next release of Soros' current holdings—it will be an eye opener)
      4. This Fed is not the Nixon Fed: No longer can the US dictate global monetary policy as effectively as it once did—even as recently as 10 years ago (there are new considerably powerful countervailing financial forces such as China, India, and Germany...they will push back on the Fed's dollar Flooding---global inflation will be thwarted)
      5. It is true that many of Asia's middle classes have taken a new found interest in gold—but that sentiment could change as soon as their perceptions of the stability and long term trajectory of their and the world's economy change—and that might happen faster than anyone might think possible now—even as soon as the first quarter of 2011
      6. And finally it's worth pondering that over long stretches of time, gold never beats a traditionally well balanced stock portfolio

Gold was the poster boy for this century's first truly global financial crisis. As it was for the last century's crises. And I'm pretty sure it will come back again and again with its soothing glitter promising safety and security in an uncertain, fast moving world. But for now:: Buyer Beware!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Top 14 Liberal Blogs

1. TalkLeft - “The Politics of Crime” or “The Online Magazine with Liberal coverage of crime-related political and injustice news.” (
2. Donklephant - Their pitch: “Tired of the rhetoric, bomb-throwing and partisan hackery? Here we offer a respectful, honest forum for people who want to have a conversation about politics, the world and beyond. All we ask is you keep your language clean and your arguments sharp.” (
3. Daily Kos - Perhaps the hub of the liberal blogosphere, this left wing blog started by Markos Moulitsas ZĂșniga has a large team of lefty writers and a vocal audience of readers. (
4. Shakesville - Team blog led by Melissa McEwan offers serious liberal political commentary with a good dose of silliness and interesting off-topic conversations. (
5. The Huffington Post Politics - While this team blog has branched out in an attempt to be a full-fledged news site, it is still mostly thought of as a liberal blog, led by Arianna Huffington. (
6. Hullabaloo - Each day this liberal blog’s author Digby offers one or two quite long posts on the day’s political events. (
7. Crooks and Liars - Liberal blog makes it mark thanks to its zealous tracking and posting of videos from political talk shows and other relevant videos. (
8. Talking Points Memo - Liberal blog from journalist Joshua Micah Marshall offers regular updates from a writer with plenty of experience in Democratic politics. Regrettably does not allow reader comments. (
9. Skippy the Bush Kangaroo - Sometimes serious, sometimes funny, always lefty blog by team of bloggers with strange names, led by the bush kangaroo mentioned in the blog’s title. (
10. Eschaton - Influential left wing blog from Duncan Black, also known as Atrios. (
11. Americablog - Team of bloggers on the Democrat side offers regular posts on how bad the right is, with plenty of commenters seconding those emotions. (
12. Firedoglake - Team blog led by Jane Hamsher is an active forum for left-leaning Democratic types. (
13. Coonsey’s World - “Stepping outside the box of what’s currently called ‘the news.’” (
14. Perception Managers - Blog’s goal is to stop you from getting played by right-wing propaganda—perhaps to play you with left-wing propaganda? You be the judge. (And be prepared for some potty mouth writing.) (