"Don't hurt people and don't take their stuff" - Matt Kibbe

5/12/20

Feeling The Fundamental Chaos



By Grant Davies

It started out as a FaceBook post concerning the Governor of the State of Pennsylvania threatening the counties of that state with "consequences" if they don't comply with his edicts. I decided to expand upon that here.

It occurred to me to list a few lines in that post about what is going on now.

Here's the expanded list and a few reflections:

Our governments are fighting other parts of our governments.
Our governments are fighting our people.
Our people are fighting the governments.
Our people are fighting our people.
Our families are fighting with each other.
Our friends are discarding each other.
Our governments are violating our rights instead of defending them.
Our police are violating our rights instead of defending them.
Our people are disregarding the police.
Our people are disregarding the governments.
Our people are wards of the state.
Our people are frightened by the government into disregarding their own rights.
Our people don't believe the "news" sources.
Our people are reporting on each other's behavior.

The list could be expanded more, but most people get the idea.

All of this was happening before the virus scare.

So now it's not just the list that has expanded. The size and scope of those things has expanded. And the curve of those things hasn't flattened. It's steeper, much steeper.

This is what Chaos looks like. It didn't start with an illness. But the illness sure put a giant magnifying glass on it.

Our society is unraveling. Perhaps collapsing. Things that are being done right now may lead to even worse things soon.

I'm not feeling the love.



4/25/20

Rights, Stuff, and The Gulli-virus













Editors note:
The post below has been edited for clarity. The original was poorly written. In fact this is nearly a  rewrite. The concept of the post has not been changed but the tone has been moderated and clarification has been added. The original could give the impression that the author was insulting his readers. Good writers don't do that. It was not the intention.

Often my writing is snarky and that is not universally well received. My apologies to readers for the poor expression of ideas in the post. I give no apologies for the opinions expressed. This is an opinion blog and it is not expected that agreement with those opinions will be universal either.

Some writers have the luxury of editors who can tell them when the water is muddy even though the writer thinks it's clear. Unfortunately in this case the writer and editor are the same person.

Without caution, snark can turn into hubris. So this is my mea culpa. I shall attempt to be more cautious. I hope you will wish me luck.




By Grant Davies

Some political media types have tried to frame the argument between the "stay at homes" and the "let me work agains" as "Lives vs the Economy." 

For a very long time people (myself included) have listened to the arguments these media types have made and chose which side we are on. But we thought very little about why they were framed the way they were. My opinion is that they are framed in a way that will  divide people. Divide and conquer is a very old trick.

We keep falling for the trick time after time. The above argument involves a false choice. I suspect that those who still were buying into it after having a few days to think about it show the symptoms of the gulli-virus. 

Like COVID, it is said you can have it for a few days before you notice it. Some even recovered before they knew they were ill. Unfortunately, some will not recover at all.

Gullibility went viral before the Corona did and it has long been a pandemic. And yes, I just created that virus out of my imagination. Viruses aren't the only things that mutate. I have personally contracted this virus many times. Hopefully I have recovered but no immunity exists for this one. It's part of the humanity virus, for which there is no vaccine.

Here is the point, I would sum up the current philosophical battle this way:

Some would rather give up their rights for some favored policies and perceived safety, and yes, for some stuff.

Others would rather forego the policies, perception, and stuff to keep their rights.

When you think about it, isn't that what all the arguments over government are fundamentally about?



4/18/20

I Don't Got My Mind Right


Courtesy of Warner Bros


By Grant Davies



Surely, one of the greatest films made during my life was 1967's Cool Hand Luke.

Each time I watch it I get another piece of the symbolism and another piece of the message. And I've seen it more times than I can count. Literally.

Events happening right now have caused me to revisit a lot of those concepts and symbolism.

To a lot of us those current events are starting to look a lot like past events. Working age people of my parents generation endured the Great Depression. Working age people of my generation and even my children's generation endured the Great Recession. Now we must all go through what is being dubbed the Great Suppression.

As this plays out, the characters in this drama are starting to look a lot like the bosses in that movie. We have governors like Michigan's Gretchen Whitmer taking on the persona of several different characters.

One is "Carl the floor walker" who lays out the rules and the punishments for violating them near the beginning of the film. Another is the "Captain" and still another is the "Man with no eyes."

In Whitmer's most recent made for TV presentation, she doubled down on her edicts and ended the whole sorry affair with a threat to her chain gang prisoners. Like Carl, she laid out the rules and punishments.

"Any man buying grass seed, spends a night in the box. Any man riding in a motor boat, spends a night in the box. Any man visiting his summer cabin, spends a night in the box. And the biggest one (after the huge demonstration against her over-reach in Lansing Michigan) Any man playing political grab ass, spends a night in the box." I guess that violates the "loud talking'" rule as well.

Her version of a night in the box is actually another month in the box, with your house as the box. After blaming everyone but herself for the blowback - just like the two bosses in the movie blaming each other for Luke having dirt in the wrong hole - she threatened her constituents.

The prisoners watching out the windows of their hut as Luke is tortured by the authorities are like the people today who are "cowering in place." And like the boxing scene they keep exhorting him to "stay down, damn it!" One even says "someone should stop this."

Even though just about every ad you see on TV nowadays says "we are all in this together", we actually aren't. You see, when it comes to each other and especially Boss Governor, "What we have here is a failure to communicate."

At the end of the movie, after Luke is murdered by the man with no eyes, that boss gets what he has coming from one of the prisoners. I hope the same happens to her in the election that comes at the end of this, because she is the man with no brain.

When it comes to wearing gloves while shopping, washing our hands, wearing masks, and worst of all, not hugging my family, I'm all in. But when it comes to obeying the inane edicts of Boss Whitmer, I Don't Got My Mind Right, Boss.

And in the end, my question to the ultimate boss in the sky is the same as Luke's was: "And just where am I supposed to fit in?


4/16/20

Investment Advice


By Grant Davies

Ten years ago I notified the State Of Illinois regulators that I was ceasing business as an Investment Advisor. I filled out all the papers and jumped through all the bureaucratic hoops and stopped operating my lilliputian service. It was a side gig anyway and I wanted to be totally retired.

 Since then, I have avoided giving investment  advice to anyone. I actually did very little of that even when I was briefly in that business. I won't bore you with the details of that. Suffice it to say my guidance was very narrow and applied to only one small part of any portfolio.

However, in light of recent events and actions by the Federal Reserve Bank and the government, I feel like I should give some blanket advice that you heed at your own peril.

It concerns advice on how to spend your government check when you receive it. The money is being provided by the FED's virtual printing press. In other words, out of thin air.  Neither Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, or the tooth fairy had any hand in this magic. But I'll tell you who will pay for it in the end.

Surprise! It's not you! I bet you thought I would name you as the signatory on that six trillion dollar check. And even if you pay for it in higher prices down the line, the real people who are on the hook are..wait for it..your grandchildren! Dontcha just love those little devils! Even though they don't know it, they are so generous!

And make no mistake, in lost purchasing power, economic growth, and career opportunities they will pay through their runny little noses. So how can you invest in something in order to make their pain a little more manageable?

Here is my advice for two investments you can make:

1) Take your check, divide it by the number of your grandchildren, take the money and go buy some gold coins (or other actual money, if you can figure out what that may be) for each of them and put it somewhere the government can't get it's greedy paws on it. History tells us that safe deposit boxes won't work. But the backyard and a shovel is worth considering.

2) Take a few dollars and buy each of them a few used paperback books by Milton Friedman and hand them to the kids as soon as they can read.

So there is my advice, take it or leave it. The price was free so, you know the old axiom. But no matter what you do just remember who is owed the money.

PS  Don't ever think the government is just making another horrible mistake. This is part of an obvious plan that they think will solve/coverup all the past mistakes they have made in the last century or so. More on that in future post.




4/15/20

Political Prediction


By Grant Davies

I'm going to try my hand at political prediction again. There is no evidence to suggest I will be correct this time either. 
But here goes:
I am predicting that Joe Biden will not be the Democratic candidate. So, Obama's endorsement is for nothing except a kiss goodby to creepy Joe. In a few years he will be a distant memory.
If anyone wants to revisit this post - after the Democrat powers dismiss him from the political scene using one of the many devices at their disposal - they are welcome to either congratulate me or call me a moron.  I invite them to do so. 

Either one will be acceptable to me.

PS - I'm often like the straw man from OZ, but this one is a no brainer.