Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The Good and the Bad on Democrats

Yesterday I both praised and flogged the Republicans. Today I do the same to Democrats.

The Good

"Most" Democrats have some true empathy for poor and marginalized persons and correctly recognize that much of this is simply bad luck. Luck has huge effects on how jobs, small business and careers turn out. "Most" Democrats want to even out this inherent volatility of life in the US; to do "something" to more equalize "happiness" across people.

"Most" Democrats are street fighters - they believe strongly that their "party" is correct and will do almost anything to win. This strength of beliefs is in sharp contrast to the spineless nature of many" Republicans, who dislike getting their hands a bit dirty.

"Most" Democrats want those who are receiving the most benefits of life in the US to pay a larger share of the cost of supporting the US.

That's about it.

The Bad

"Most" Democrats look at a human being and don't see one; they see instead a member of a class, a racial group, an ethnic group, or a union member, scab or boss.

"Most" Democrats think crime is not performed by people with free will, but by persons controlled by the forces of society and contaminated (or animated) by things like handguns.

"Most" Democrats think the solution to a problem is to prevent it by imposing restrictions and controls on everyone, not by simply dealing with the problem directly where it is and who is causing it.

"Most" Democrats think large segments of people should get a free ride in the US paid for by the amorphous class of the "Rich".

"Most" Democrats don't want those who are already rich and wealthy to pay to support the US - they prefer to tax those trying to get rich. This is perhaps caused by the huge financial support given to the Democratic Party by those with inherited wealth or those who are already rich.

"Most" Democrats see the US as the cause of most of the world's problems.

"Most" Democrats are opposed to having a militarily strong US. They seem to prefer a world government and put faith in paper treaties for US security.

"Most" Democrats love US labor unions as a source of political power, neglecting the historical facts that companies with such unions tend to be driven out of business over time, causing huge pain and suffering for huge numbers of union members who lose jobs over time.

"Most" Democrats love government rules and regulations as ways to control people, prevent "undue" competition and to protect those in power and with existing businesses (who can be shaken down for campaign contributions).

"Most" Democrats love government workers - especially unionized ones - who can be reliable campaign workers to help Democrats retain power.

"Most" Democrats think human beings are a contamination on the Planet Earth, and that people - and ALL their activities - need to be strictly controlled by government to prevent stupid people from damaging the Planet. Historical facts about true forces of nature and its variations and effects over the past few thousand years are ignored: free people are the problem.

"Most" Democrats think health care is a fundamental Right, but neglect to explain how it can be a Right when such would impose a positive burden on others. Health care can be a shared benefit of a wealthy society, but cannot be a right in any self-consistent political theory. To see this simply, consider two people on an island. One must work for the other's "right", hence is a slave.

"Most" Democrats think judges are the proper deciders of many, many social issues ... as long as they get the right answer. "Most" Democrats seem to dislike democracy - when those white, working class people actually go vote for laws that "Most" Democrats are against. They seem to prefer rule by the new Lords of Society.

"Most" Democrats want to use large corporations as arms of the State, to impose all sorts of rules and regulations from the treatment of employees to environmental actions. The definition of "large" to a Democrat is over 50 employees. Odd coincidence ... that was the upper limit in Communist Poland for a firm being privately owned.

"Most" Democrats think the US Constitution is not a written document with specific words. They like unelected judges to re-write it as needed, making it up as they go along, making it "say" whatever they believe at the time. This connects to the Democratic dislike of democracy - the people are prevented from having a role in this matter.


"Most" Democrats - that is, the philosophical underpinning of their thinking - has no respect for human beings as individuals. They don't like people and see free people as the problem: they must be controlled. In that sense, they don't like democracy, and seem to prefer a new feudal aristocracy led by the already wealthy living off trust funds and municipal bonds. The new Princes and their councils of Lords & Bishops (the professionals) lead legions of unionized public employees and have State officials from judges to department heads to issue edicts to control the people.

Tomorrow I dissect the new Ruling Class - who they are & where they came from.

Word of the Day

"Traduce" - verb, transitive [$10]
Traduce means to speak ill of; misrepresent
Sentence: When a political candidate spends all his time traducing his opponent, one must wonder what he's hiding about his own record.

Monday, November 29, 2010

The Good and the Bad on Republicans

This week's blog posts will be a series on the US political system and its competing ideologies and groups. Today I dissect Republicans.

The Good

"Many" Republicans have, or at least sometimes have, an inherent distrust of increasing governmental power and raising taxes. "Many" Republicans tend to trust the private sector for solutions and have faith in the "invisible hand" of Adam Smith that private sector evolution will solve all problems over time with economic growth. Thus they have an inherent bias towards economic freedom, supporting free use of private property.

"Many" Republicans tend to favor conservative, slow evolution of social values and reject actions by government to impose social values on free people. Just leave us alone, they would say. They like to override states in this context.

"Many" Republicans tend to favor governmental power in the context of promoting the commercial system, including money and credit. They like to override state laws in this context and favor national solutions in this context.

"Many" Republicans favor a strong military and a strong US to project power over the world to promote freedom; they distrust treaties and leftwing dictators and Communists. They distrust leftist governments in general.

"Most" Republicans oppose using governmental power to increase power of labor unions. For example, they support the current secret union ballot requirement over "card check", which would permit union goons to extort public 'yes' votes from individuals.

"Most" Republicans think much of governmental bureaucracy is a colossal waste of money and creates massive "red tape" that hampers economic development.

"Most" Republicans believe the US is a force of good in the world.

Historically, many of the greatest US presidents and political leaders were, or would have been, Republicans: Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Ronald Reagan. To the extent Whigs are a predecessor of Republicans, Henry Clay could be counted in the Republican camp.

Enough ... you get the general drift.

The Bad

"Most" Republicans are wimps. They just aren't willing to fight to the end for their "values" They cave in and go along with proposals that sell out their principals. The most famous recent case is George H. W. Bush breaking his public promise and raising taxes. The inability of Republicans to beat Democrats in many, many elections that end up in recounts and courts again illustrates their spineless character. The Democrats break rules, and do anything to win; Republican operatives tend to want to play by the rules, hence they lose. Figuratively, one should prefer a Democrat in a foxhole in combat over a Republican.

Most Republicans seem unable to empathize with the truly needy on a national level. They ignore them, while looking to examples of abuse by fakers in gaming the system. A Republican would tell a poor person who has worked hard for his/her entire life and paid taxes for years, but now suffering a string of bad luck, to "pull himself up by his bootstraps". But have you every thought about that cliche? It's a parody - not real: try it sometimes with a real boot. All you accomplish is pulling yourself to the ground to collapse.

"Most" Republicans seem to disbelieve that government can help the national economy improve. They object to taxes for national improvements in a knee jerk fashion, conveniently forgetting the national Interstate highway system built in mid 20th century ... and the building of the national rail networks in the 19th century, both done with government support. Is that historical stupidity or ?

They object to governmental regulation or intervention in financial markets. They say, 'just let the chips fall' and it will all come out better. Hmm ... that worked great in the "flash crash" and in the Panic of 2008 when all money market funds and corporate commercial paper markets were in danger of collapse. "Most" Republicans support policies that favor financial Vikings over the common investor.

They tend to favor those with Money over those without Money in the use of governmental power. Using courts to collect debts is good, but using courts for debt relief is bad. Lenders can lie in courts and get a free pass; borrowers are to be punished for similar acts.

"Most" Republicans tend to oppose maximal personal freedom with regard to "social" or "family values" issues.

"Most" Republicans tend to believe big corporations are generally a force for good for the people and economic development; they ignore massive corporate dislocations and malfeasance: shipping jobs overseas, gross overpayment of the executive suite, huge corporate tax loopholes (really barn doors!).

"Most" Republicans favor the corporation over the union in labor issues. The third class in this battle - the people - are ignored. "Most" Republicans favor the CEOs & management in corporate governance, to the detriment of shareholder power.

"Most" Republicans tend to favor increases in governmental power for "crime" control and "security"; they do not give much weight to personal liberty or privacy in this conflict.

"Most" Republicans tend to favor right wing dictators over left wing dictators who might confiscate multinational corporate property; They tend to favor using governmental power (even via IMF-World Bank) in third world nations to shift property from government to the "private sector", viz., multinational corporations or (corrupt) national private interests.

"Most" Republicans ignore or "brush under the rug" or overtly support US policy around the world that does or tends to enrich its multinational corporations and private persons: they favor economic imperialism for private ends.

"Most" Republicans want no restrictions at all on the growth and power of the wealthy: they seem to positively ignore that such power and wealth is used to corrupt government into granting them more power & wealth. Historical and current evidence of that tendency is ignored.


The doctrine of "most" Republicans fails in both its historicity and in protecting life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness for all the people. The best one can say is that it does not failure completely. There is some good in it, but much bad.

That's enough. Tomorrow I dissect Democrats.

Word of the Day

"Subsume" - verb [$10]
Subsume means to place in a more comprehensive category.
Sentence: This week's blog series will attempt to elevate our current political debates from the level of a football game, and subsume them into broad philosophical context that, I hope, will make a solution obvious. Often phasing the question correctly makes an answer obvious.

Friday, November 26, 2010

The Mountain of Cash

The stock rally Wednesday has moved a re-buy of US stocks off the front burner for Krypto Fund. What now?

I wait. I sell when prices are high and buy when they are low. That applies to EVERY asset class. Over the past few months I sold all my TIPS and large amounts of US stocks and all classes of foreign stocks and even gold stocks, as those asset classes rose in value. The money all went to cash - money market funds. The model wants me to buy fixed income bonds, BUT those are in bubble stage, too.

Hence my wait. Waiting even a couple years can pay off quickly. For example, the prices of bonds can easily fall 10% from here, yet the coupons are in the 4% range. Avoiding a 10% or more fall gives a great 2.5 year payback on the cost of waiting (viz., foregoing the 4% yield).

A possible buy looms: the recent large drops in both municipal bonds and 30 year US treasury bonds brings both those asset classes closer to a buy point - 5%. That's my long term investment minimum goal. Why buy bonds that yield less than that & lock in a losing investment? Just wait. The buys will come, maybe later this year if the economy begins the faster growth as I expect.

Waiting and sitting can pay well. Patience, grasshopper.

Word of the Day

"Antinomy" noun [$10]
Antinomy means 1. a contradiction between two beliefs or conclusions that are in themseles reasonable; a paradox; 2. a conflict between two laws of authorities.
Sentence: For investing, the antinomy of buy and sell both being bad choices is resolved by wait - doing nothing. Let time and volatility provide a better investment action.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

Bunkerman wishes for all people a Happy Thanksgiving. This day is special to Americans as a day to appreciate all we have and all we can be. And by "all" I mean everything tangible and intangible. The Wall Street Journal publishes a very meaningful pair of editorials every Thanksgiving, which I always try to remember to read. Here they are in full:

***quote begins***

The Desolate Wilderness

Here beginneth the chronicle of those memorable circumstances of the year 1620, as recorded by Nathaniel Morton, keeper of the records of Plymouth Colony, based on the account of William Bradford, sometime governor thereof:

So they left that goodly and pleasant city of Leyden, which had been their resting-place for above eleven years, but they knew that they were pilgrims and strangers here below, and looked not much on these things, but lifted up their eyes to Heaven, their dearest country, where God hath prepared for them a city (Heb. XI, 16), and therein quieted their spirits.

When they came to Delfs-Haven they found the ship and all things ready, and such of their friends as could not come with them followed after them, and sundry came from Amsterdam to see them shipt, and to take their leaves of them. One night was spent with little sleep with the most, but with friendly entertainment and Christian discourse, and other real expressions of true Christian love.

The next day they went on board, and their friends with them, where truly doleful was the sight of that sad and mournful parting, to hear what sighs and sobs and prayers did sound amongst them; what tears did gush from every eye, and pithy speeches pierced each other's heart, that sundry of the Dutch strangers that stood on the Key as spectators could not refrain from tears. But the tide (which stays for no man) calling them away, that were thus loath to depart, their Reverend Pastor, falling down on his knees, and they all with him, with watery cheeks commended them with the most fervent prayers unto the Lord and His blessing; and then with mutual embraces and many tears they took their leaves one of another, which proved to be the last leave to many of them.

Being now passed the vast ocean, and a sea of troubles before them in expectations, they had now no friends to welcome them, no inns to entertain or refresh them, no houses, or much less towns, to repair unto to seek for succour; and for the season it was winter, and they that know the winters of the country know them to be sharp and violent, subject to cruel and fierce storms, dangerous to travel to known places, much more to search unknown coasts.

Besides, what could they see but a hideous and desolate wilderness, full of wilde beasts and wilde men? and what multitudes of them there were, they then knew not: for which way soever they turned their eyes (save upward to Heaven) they could have but little solace or content in respect of any outward object; for summer being ended, all things stand in appearance with a weatherbeaten face, and the whole country, full of woods and thickets, represented a wild and savage hew.

If they looked behind them, there was a mighty ocean which they had passed, and was now as a main bar or gulph to separate them from all the civil parts of the world.

This editorial has appeared annually since 1961.

And the Fair Land

Any one whose labors take him into the far reaches of the country, as ours lately have done, is bound to mark how the years have made the land grow fruitful.

This is indeed a big country, a rich country, in a way no array of figures can measure and so in a way past belief of those who have not seen it. Even those who journey through its Northeastern complex, into the Southern lands, across the central plains and to its Western slopes can only glimpse a measure of the bounty of America.

And a traveler cannot but be struck on his journey by the thought that this country, one day, can be even greater. America, though many know it not, is one of the great underdeveloped countries of the world; what it reaches for exceeds by far what it has grasped.

So the visitor returns thankful for much of what he has seen, and, in spite of everything, an optimist about what his country might be. Yet the visitor, if he is to make an honest report, must also note the air of unease that hangs everywhere.

For the traveler, as travelers have been always, is as much questioned as questioning. And for all the abundance he sees, he finds the questions put to him ask where men may repair for succor from the troubles that beset them.

His countrymen cannot forget the savage face of war. Too often they have been asked to fight in strange and distant places, for no clear purpose they could see and for no accomplishment they can measure. Their spirits are not quieted by the thought that the good and pleasant bounty that surrounds them can be destroyed in an instant by a single bomb. Yet they find no escape, for their survival and comfort now depend on unpredictable strangers in far-off corners of the globe.

How can they turn from melancholy when at home they see young arrayed against old, black against white, neighbor against neighbor, so that they stand in peril of social discord. Or not despair when they see that the cities and countryside are in need of repair, yet find themselves threatened by scarcities of the resources that sustain their way of life. Or when, in the face of these challenges, they turn for leadership to men in high places -- only to find those men as frail as any others.

So sometimes the traveler is asked whence will come their succor. What is to preserve their abundance, or even their civility? How can they pass on to their children a nation as strong and free as the one they inherited from their forefathers? How is their country to endure these cruel storms that beset it from without and from within?

Of course the stranger cannot quiet their spirits. For it is true that everywhere men turn their eyes today much of the world has a truly wild and savage hue. No man, if he be truthful, can say that the specter of war is banished. Nor can he say that when men or communities are put upon their own resources they are sure of solace; nor be sure that men of diverse kinds and diverse views can live peaceably together in a time of troubles.

But we can all remind ourselves that the richness of this country was not born in the resources of the earth, though they be plentiful, but in the men that took its measure. For that reminder is everywhere -- in the cities, towns, farms, roads, factories, homes, hospitals, schools that spread everywhere over that wilderness.

We can remind ourselves that for all our social discord we yet remain the longest enduring society of free men governing themselves without benefit of kings or dictators. Being so, we are the marvel and the mystery of the world, for that enduring liberty is no less a blessing than the abundance of the earth.

And we might remind ourselves also, that if those men setting out from Delftshaven had been daunted by the troubles they saw around them, then we could not this autumn be thankful for a fair land.

This editorial has appeared annually since 1961.

***quote ends***

And let me say this most strongly: it's Thanksgiving, not "Turkey Day".

A Favorite Food

Try buttercup squash - it's the best of all varieties of squash by far. Just cook it, remove the meat, mash and eat. No sugar or other flavoring is necessary. To distinguish it from butternut squash, just remember, "brown is bad". Buttercup squash is green and shaped a bit like a flattish cupcake. It's PLU# is 4758 [PLU = Price Look-Up].

Word of the Day

"Collation" - noun [$10]
Collation means 1. the act or instance of collating; 2.a. (Roman Church) a light mean allowed during a fast; 2.b. a light informal meal.
Sentence: No doubt, but that a Thanksgiving meal is no collation!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


The press reports the FBI raided the offices of three hedge funds yesterday. I'll wait to read the details on whether this is a real investigation or a scalphunting expedition. Some people automatically trust the FBI. If one has been paying attention for the past thirty years, you can find well researched books that show such trust MAY or MAY NOT be deserved. It all depends on the character of the investigators and their bosses and bosses' bosses, etc.

Here are three books which I've read on this subject: two were written by former agents about successful operations, and one was written by a noted newspaper columnist and radio commentator.

The Good Guys: How We Turned the FBI 'Round - and Finally Broke the Mob [Paperback] Jules Bonavolonta (Author) - this is an excellent account how a few good FBI men corrected multi-decadal FBI negligence caused by J. Edgar Hoover's incompetence or corruption.

Operation Solo: The FBI's Man in the Kremlin [Paperback]John Barron (Author) - this book is a fine, dramatic account of the super-successful FBI penetration of the highest levels of the Soviet Union.

The Brothers Bulger: How They Terrorized and Corrupted Boston for a Quarter Century [Mass Market Paperback] Howie Carr (Author) - Included in this book about political corruption and gangsters at the highest levels of State and Federal government is how the Boston FBI office was actually part of the gangster operations to the extent of condoning murders. The head agent is now in prison for life.

What to Do? Read the details of these hedge fund investigations and try to sift spin from reality. Do not unreservedly trust the investigators. Think - does the story make sense beyond a superficial glance.


Still waiting for a drop to the 1150-1160 area to re-buy US stocks that were sold around 1225.

Word of the Day

"Subrogate" - verb [$10]
Subrogate means to put in place of another [X is subrogated to the rights of Y].
Sentence: Don't subrogate your own critical thinking to institutional propaganda: be skeptical of government and its investigations.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Long Term Investing

The Krypto Fund is the name that I use for all our long term investments: IRAs, 401Ks, and all long term, taxable accounts. On February 10, 2007 I first described how it is managed in this blog, and have written about its style a few other times. From recent comments, obviously I need to repeat and update this management style.

For 2010, the Krypto Fund is up about 12% year-to-date - pretty good compared to the averages & hedge fund averages. Krypto Fund contains almost all index funds in different asset classes. I use canonical allocation percentages and manage around those benchmarks. I do adjust them as I age.

The canonical allocations NOW are this:
25% US stocks,
20% foreign stocks,
15% real estate funds,
25% fixed income bonds,
5% inflation-protected bonds,
5% gold & silver,
5% cash.

Since I think inflation protected bonds and fixed income bonds are greatly overvalued in bubble regions, the actual allocations NOW are 20% fixed income bonds, 0% inflation protected bonds and 15% cash with other asset classes at canonical percentages.

I use a spreadsheet to compute the asset class %'s, usually weekly based on Friday's prices.

US stock funds are Vanguard Total Market Fund, the corresponding exchange traded fund (ticker VTI), or the CREF Stock Account. [Mrs. Bunkerman was a scientist, so her retirement savings from work went to TIAA-CREF funds. Their "Stock Account" has some foreign stocks, so I reallocate these in the spreadsheet based on annual percentage components].

Foreign stocks are Vanguard Pacific Index, European Index and Emerging Markets Index Funds (& corresponding ETFs) - I allocate 1/3 of the total foreign stocks component to each, hence these are really 6.66% of total Krypto Fund each. Included here for total asset class calculations are the re-allocated CREF foreign stock amounts in correct proportions.

The real estate asset class is the Vanguard Real Estate Index Fund and the TIAA-CREF Real Estate Fund.

The fixed income bonds are the Vanguard Total Bond Market Index, various Long term municipal bonds, the TIAA traditional fixed income account, and the cash value of an old whole life insurance policy.

The inflation-protected bonds are Vanguard or TIAA-CREF inflation-protected bond funds, as appropriate.

Gold & silver are mostly American Eagle gold coins and silver bullion bars, plus ETFs for gold & silver (tickers are GLD and SLV, respectively), and the Vanguard Precious Metals Fund.

The Vanguard Real Estate Index Fund invests in REIT stocks, by the way, while the TIAA-CREF Real Estate Fund invests in actual buildings, etc., so they perform somewhat differently. Both are a bit leveraged, so I keep that asset class at 15%, rather than the 20% which would be appropriate for unleveraged real estate.

The spreadsheet computes the % size of each asset class each week. IF an asset class is more than 5% off its target percentage, I look to reallocate some funds to top it off if it's low or take some out if it's too large. For example, if the US stocks are over 26.25% of the total Krypto Fund, that's 5% off the target 25%. So I look to see what's low & move the excess 1.25% to other asset classes. One has to consider fund restrictions and taxes for frequent moves, but since we have multiple accounts, I have always been able to figure out a way to reallocate. See David Swenson's great book, "Unconventional Success" for a description of why this type of personal investing works well.

I have done long-term investing along this strategy for over 20 years. When I read his book, I was happy to see he agreed with me (joke haha) and I learned about the value of the inflation-protected bonds. So I added that asset class. I also recently became more aware of the leveraged in the real estate classes, so cut it back. I'm not perfect and continue to make changes as I see a need.

I also adjusted my rebalancing trigger to 5% from 10%, as I realized from his book I had been missing many good re-balancing opportunities with a 10% trigger. My percentages were pretty close to his, otherwise. Also, I have some gold & silver for many reasons.

On down moves, I make the re-allocations on the first 5%, BUT if another 5% adjustment is called for because of a down move, I wait awhile. Down moves can be fast & furious, and it's better to let the dust settle. This helped me alot in 2008 and 2009 to get more buying of stocks closer to the lows. In addition, for stocks, once the indices hit intermediate term highs, I make adjustments in them more frequently to keep the %'s close to canonical levels. This "buy-low, sell-high" and "sell high, buy low" intermediate term trading tactic lowers volatility and increases returns to help me stay fully invested at all times.

If some asset class is low, BUT is greatly overvalued, I put sale proceeds into cash as a buffer. Then when the low class readjusts to a more fair valuation, I buy it. This is the case with fixed income bonds and inflation-protected bonds now.

I love that name, The Krypto Fund. I like to think my dog, Krypto, pushes the computer key every week to do the reallocation. She accepts dog biscuits as payment. :-)

This investment methods works well: the Krypto Fund is at all time highs, even though the US stock market is almost 20% below its all time high. That buy-low, sell high and sell high, buy low asset allocation tactic worked well through the Panic of 2008 and the lows of 2009.

Word of the Day

"Quotidian" - adjective [$10]
Quotidian means something occurring daily.
Sentence: Krypto Fund rebalancing is NOT quotidian; I check it weekly, but often a month or more can pass before a change is made.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Friday = Saturday

I am declaring today a holiday, or perhaps a time translation merging Friday into Saturday. Or am I influenced by intense advanced waves from Saturday that my mind now has been taken over by the state function that it will have on Saturday morning?


In any case, my post today will simply be a link to the text of Battleship Ben's speech today in Europe (which I listened to), explaining the problems caused by nations that undervalue currencies.


I guess Ben reads this blog. It's time for Asia nations to develop domestic demand and get off our back!

Word of the Day

"Profundity" - noun [$10]; Profound - adjective [$10]
Profound means having to showing great quality or insight.
Profundity means the state or quality of being profound.
Sentence: The immense profundity of Battleship Ben's speech today crushes his pipsqueak critics, who are shown to be simpleminded fools with no insights.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Obama's Values

The announcement of Barry's picks for the Medal of Freedom, which is America's highest civilian honor, are enlightening. Here we go:

Warren Buffet - a multi-billionaire. He's done zero for the American common man.
George H. W. Bush (aka Bush I) - he led the repeal of the Reagan Revolution, raised taxes, presided over the 1990 recession, and failed to complete the job in the first Gulf War, leaving a festering mess.
Angela Merkel - the chancellor of Germany. Huh?
John H. Adams, who co-founded the Natural Resources Defense Council, an anti-freedom greenie group that wants to impose crypto-greenie fascism on all common people.
Bill Russell, the basketball player for the Boston Celtics.
Stan Musial, the baseball player for the St. Louis Cardinals.
Gerda Weissman Klein, a Holocaust survivor. A naturalized citizen, she recently founded Citizenship Counts, an organization that teaches students to cherish the value of their American citizenship. Klein has spoken to audiences of all ages and faith around the world about the value of freedom and has dedicated her life to promoting tolerance and understanding among all people.
Maya Angelou, a writer-poet.
Jasper Johns, a painter.
Yo-Yo Ma, a cellist.
Jean Kennedy Smith, former ambassador to Ireland. The "Kennedy" names says it all.
John J. Sweeney, labor leader (& bigtime Obama-Dem supporter).
Sylvia Mendez, a civil rights activist of Mexican and Puerto Rican descent. As an eight-year-old, her parents attempted to enroll Mendez in an all-white school in their community, but were denied entry at and were told to go to the school for Mexican children. Her father and other parents sued and prevailed.
Rep. John Lewis of Georgia, who helped organize the first lunch-counter sit-in in 1959 and the Selma-to-Montgomery march for voting rights in 1965, where he was beaten.
Dr. Tom Little, an optometrist who was brutally murdered on August 6, 2010, by the Taliban in the Kuran Wa Munjan district of Badakhshan, Afghanistan, along with nine other members of a team returning from a humanitarian mission to provide vision care in the remote Parun valley of Nuristan. .

I suppose I'll be criticized for being harsh, but of that list I see only three persons who truly deserve that medal, which is supposed to be the civilian equivalent of the Medal of Honor. Their names are in bold. The others don't. I put some info in italics regarding ones that I see as undeserving. They are so incongruous* to the concept of a Medal of Freedom that the awards are ridiculous.

Barry continues to devalue American values. Can anyone now not realize that he simply does not like the common American man and woman nor their way of life or core values?

*Word of the Day

"Incongruous" - adjective [$10]
Incongruous means 1. not harmonious: incompatible; 2. not conforming; 3. inconsistent within itself; 4. lacking propriety.
Sentence: see * above.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Another Blank Wednesday

Nothing in the news.

Fools lining up for GM paper ... ugh.

I have no fine philosophical thinking to offer today.

It's raining hard & cold here & I have to take the recycling out soon - ugh. I suppose that's a lot better than my 20-something ancestor who lived in a lean-to in Ohio around 1805 in the snow & cold, who went hunting a panther with his older brother with a black powder muzzleloader rifle. Those guys were tough, no doubt. But on days like this, rather than whine, I just think that I'm inherently the same person as them, so tough it out. You are too - you have the same biological and cultural strength that our pioneer ancestors had. Adopt their mental attitude and be a survivor.

Mrs. B bought a two pound bag of "House Blend" Starbucks coffee beans at a local HomeGoods store for $16.99. It's pretty good - small beans with sort of an Italian roast. My first pot will make about four cups. Hmmm ... compared to a $4.50 latte that one has OTHERS make and serve, I break even on the first pot.

Inflation fighting: use your own hands and tools to prepare your own daily food. Even a caveman can do it :)

Word of the Day

"Distaff" - adjective & noun [$10]
Distaff means (adjective) 1. maternal; also female; (noun) - 1. a woman's work or domain; 2. the female branch / side of a family.
Sentence: The great Triple Crown winning horse, Secretariat, showed fine descendants on the distaff line; his daughters were superb mares producing great runners.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

There's a Fool Born Every Minute

I don't know who first said or wrote that, but it is being proven true this week as the fools are lining up for the GM IPO. Amazingly, the offering appears oversubscribed and they are raising the price targets and share offerings.

The sheer lunacy of any buyer is certain from the following:

1. The company has roughly zero free cash flow net of unfunded pension & healthcare obligations.
2. The company is controlled by its labor unions.
3. The company looted billions from its bondholders and gave the labor unions a free pass on restructuring costs.
4. The company broke contracts with dealers who had provided good service for its customers for many decades.
5. The company broke a implicit bond with customers by cutting entire product lines and dealer networks, thus orphaning prior buyers with no places to get service.
6. The company's snout in the government trough has antagonized millions of potential buyers of its products - "Government Motors".

Having lied and broken promises made in the past, why or why would ANYONE believe them now? I guess the greed factor in the world capital markets is rising much faster than I felt was occurring.

Oh well, a new top might be a few years away. These trends can go on awhile before grinding out. It took the tech bubble about four years after Greenspan's "irrational exuberance" speech to blow up.

Bunkerman's little birdie is chirping. He will be more caution now about being heavy in equities over recent highs.

Word of the Day

"Defalcation" - noun [$10]
Defalcation means an act or event of the misuse of funds; embezzle.
Sentence: The gross defalcation that occurred in the GM bankruptcy case should give great pause to anyone rational who considers investing in such a company ever again.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Viking Capitalism

As Europe suffered in the ninth century from Viking raids that brought devastation, social turmoil and serfdom, the world today suffers from Viking Capitalism.

What is Viking Capitalism?

Viking Capitalism relies on the ideology of unfettered economic power for whoever can grab it. And that societies should not organize to prevent the raids of the Vikings. Yup, that's right. Societies and peoples are actively prevented from defending themselves from the Vikings. No limits to the power of the few; rules and laws to prevent the common man and woman from effective defense.

This is a mutant of world Libertarianism designed to help the powerful get... more power. It's a naturally occurring mutation, though. The Hayek analysis applied to Libertarianism showed its failure in this specific fault [see this blog's post of October 18, 2010]. Unfettered freedom for the powerful leads them to grab more power and they use that power ruthlessly to prevent others from organizing to defend themselves. This is what the Vikings are doing in the world.

Who are the Vikings ?

Beefers - big, evil funds and their Rulng Class investors; Big multinational corporations; Non-governmental organizations such as the World Bank and IMF; CEO suite hogs; Ruthless intellectuals in the New Class; All those people who meet at Davos every year.

What do they do ?

Organize currency raids on nations. Cause financial turmoils with huge flows - tsunamis - of money flows in and out of nations. Raid capital markets. And trade flows. Free trade lets the multinationals gut jobs and factories in one nation, and move production to wherever they can make it cheaper, often via bribes and corrupt deals in the new locations.

The US has been subject to Viking capitalist raids since GATT. Small nations are hammered by beefer currency raids. The CEOs of the powerful corporations take more and more pay, yet shareholder returns suffer. Pay for the common man and woman worker goes down, despite increasing productivity by them. Those CEO hogs are another class of the Vikings.

The ruling classes use legislation and pressure by world organizations to prevent nations from defending themselves. In the US, legislation and the power groups in DC pile regulations onto business and tax employment in the US. Yet GATT lets the Vikings take jobs to small countries whose leaders they can pressure to gain favors, them freely import those good back to the US, without paying anything to support America. Those corporate Vikings don't even pay US income taxes - they use a barndoor-sized loophole to avoid tax until the money comes back to the US. Of course, it NEVER comes back. The Vikings use that money overseas to create power bases there.

The Viking intellectuals write laws to protect THEIR products and use governmental power to prevent free trade in those products.

Consider this dichotomy:

(I) A factory in Ohio makes a product via the hands of the common man. A Viking Capitalist can copy that plant & product in Asia and bring copies of the product back to the US freely, to gut the Ohio business. The Viking pays no US taxes, while the Ohio plant and workers paid plenty to support America. The Vikings and Ruling Classes say this is good and fine; they get richer while the common man or woman becomes destitute.

(II) A writer of books or software or filmmaker makes an intellectual product in the US, produces and sells it for a huge profit margin. Can a Viking copy that product in Asia and bring the goods back to America to sell cheaply? Nope. Copyright and intellectual property laws prevent it. Government power is used to protect products of the intellectual class. THEIR product is legally protected, but the factories and work product of the hands of the common man is raided by the Vikings.

Ditto the intellectual product of the Legal Vikings. Bar association rules and guilds enforced by judges prevent copying their product. They loot more and more.

Viking capitalism is ruining the lives of billions of people, all for the gains of the Ruling Classes worldwide. People of the world must throw off their fetters and adopt Fraternal Libertarianism - put regulations and chains on the Vikings; take freedom for themselves. Empty the hog trough and use those resources to help the people and small business directly. Stop the Viking raids on US jobs.

Viking Capitalism vs. Fraternal Libertarianism. That's the fight we want. Bring it on.

Word of the Day

"Contumely" - noun [$10] from Hamlet's Soliloquy, Shakespeare. Also "Contumelious" - adjective. Also "contumacy" and "Contumacious"
Contumely means 1. insolent or reproachful language or treatment; 2. disgrace.
Contumelious means reproachful, insulting or insolent.
Sentence: The Vikings want to be worshipped and adored; give them contumely instead. Social pressure can help. Do it, all the time and everytime.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Deep Six the Deficit Commission

You don't even have to read their report. Just look at its members. Here they are:

Deficit Commission Members


ERSKINE BOWLES, co-chairman; Bill Clinton’s chief of staff from 1996 to 1998.
ALAN SIMPSON, co-chairman; Simpson was the No. 2 Republican in the Senate for a decade.
DAVID COTE, a Republican, has served as Honeywell International chairman, chief executive and president since 2002.
ALICE RIVLIN is a former Federal Reserve vice chair who was also budget director under Bill Clinton. She was the founding director of the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office from 1975 to 1983.
ANN FUDGE, chairman and chief executive of Young & Rubicam Brands from 2003 to 2006.
ANDREW STERN, president of the Service Employees International Union, which covers 2.2 million workers such as healthcare staffers, security officers and public employees.


SENATOR RICHARD DURBIN, the No. 2 Democrat in the Senate, from Illinois.
SENATOR KENT CONRAD, Budget Committee Chairman, from North Dakota.
SENATOR MAX BAUCUS, the Finance Committee chairman.


SENATOR JUDD GREGG, from New Hampshire.


REPRESENTATIVE JOHN SPRATT, chairman of the House Budget Committee.



How ridiculous is the composition of that commission? Every single person is a member of the Ruling Classes. Most are members of Congress, person who are coddled and cossetted as no other group. They know nothing about running a business, nothing about actually doing a tax form, and know noting about the common man and woman - their lives and problems and what government truly does, and does NOT do.

For nongovernmental representatives, they toss in a couple CEOs - another group of chief hogs. Does any of them live in a small town? Nope. Does any of them do their own tax form ? Nope. Does any of them work with their hands ? Nope. Does any of them run a business on the ground level ? Nope. Is any of them poor ? Nope. Heck, they are probably all multimillionaires.

Does any of them have intellectual experience in practical matters ? Nope. Can any of them do calculations themselves ? Nope. It's totally dependent on the government for basic information - a fine example of garbage in, garbage out.

That commission is a disgrace and has been a disgrace since the day it was named. Toss that report in the circular file - the trash bin.

Word of the Day

"Consanguineal" - noun [$10]; "Consanguineous" - adjective [$10]; "Consanguine" - adjective [$10]
Consanguineous means (A) descended from the same ancestor; (B) of the same lineage or origin, esp. related by blood.
Sentence: All persons on the Deficit Commission are consanguine members of the Ruling Class.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

The Beast

I will be in the belly of the Beast - aka Manhattan, NYC - until Friday. In my spare time I hope to see the Egyptian collection at the Brooklyn museum, which I missed on my last two trips. I'll be interested to see if fashions are still dominated by black and drab colors. I will be wearing my "babe-magnet" ties with my pinstripes, doing my bit to liven up the city.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Two "Minor" Examples of Ruling Class Activity

For a few years I've written how various groups in the Ruling Classes have been gutting American - and World - economies and cultures with their relentless greed for more. And how their ruthless Educated Class enablers have bollixed up government and other institutions by making everything complex, in order to hide their personal grabs for more personal power & money.

Here are two small examples from past literature. This process has been occurring since WW II; maybe since WW I. Both are taken from the Spring 2010 issue of Lapham's Quarterly, which is an excellent quarterly journal of fine writings from the past on various topics. The referenced issue is titled, "Arts & Letters".

First Example
1946 - George Orwell on Bad Writing, excerpt from page 95:

*** quote begins***
I am going to translate a passage of good English into modern English of the worst sort. Here is a well known verse from Ecclesiastes:

I returned and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favor to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all.

Here it is in modern English:

Objective consideration of contemporary phenomena compels the conclusion that success or failure in competitive activities exhibits no tendency to be commensurate with innate capacity, but that a considerable element of the unpredictable must invariably be taken into account.

This is a parody, but not a very gross one.
***end of quote***

The educated cohorts of the Ruling Classes use this complex language "in a consciously dishonest way", to confuse and obfuscate the common man and to hide the true intentions of Ruling Class policies.

Second Example
1973 - by author Barbara Rose, page 164, about art.

***quotes begin***
The art world collapsed on the night of October 18, [1973] at Sotheby Parke Berner [in NYC] - and it ended not with a whimper, but with a bid.
People did not bid on paintings so much as they rooted for them. Cheers accompanied the record-setting prices
The real excitement obviously was generated not by art (you don't go to an auction to see art), but by the visible action of instant profit making - the only real main event [the author goes on to provide an example at art originally purchased for $750 being sold for $40,000]
The fascination with such excess profit taking is understandable in terms of the corporate mentality that now dominates the art world.
***end of quotes***

Thus meaning and beauty in art goes down the gutter, replaced by the hog trough of the Ruling Classes. The recent citation from the Financial Times of billionaires buying art in the manner of lottery tickets for more riches - simply to make money and gain fame as "smart buyers" - shows that Ruling Class philistines have ruled the art world for decades now.


The common man and woman need to throw off the Ruling Classes; to restore decency and fairness to the economy and government. The principles of Fraternal Libertarianism provide a sound and simple framework for doing this. Yes, it's an ideology. But an ideology is necessary to provide coordination for the common men and women to analyse and make decisions without suffering the traps, snares and pitfalls the ruthless Educated Classes set for keep their Ruling Class in power.

Word of the Day

"Chicanery" - noun [$10]
Chicanery means deception by artful subterfuge or sophistry: trickery.
Sentence: The ministers of the Ruling Classes use complexity and complex writings as chicanery to fool the common man. That's why government tax code and other laws and regulations are so impenetrable.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Power Outage

I held off turning on my generator until the sun came up, hence my blog prep time got snuffed. No post today.

Krypto will check later for orders from the Machine; if any, I'll post them.


The Machine wants me to sell some pacific stocks, some European stocks and some gold/gold stocks. I will obey and have put the orders in.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Listen to the Machine ... Obey the Machine

Yup, that's me today as I obey the Krypto Fund trading rules. A few months ago after a beefer-induced dip in stock prices, I put on the first 1/2 of a "Buy low, Sell High" trade in US stocks in Krypto Fund's US stock position. Futures prices this AM indicate the market should open up over 1200 for the S&P 500. That's the target so I'm doing the "Sell High" now, at the open.

I'm bullish, but I like to be heavy when prices are low and light at they reach intermediate term highs. Then I ride the new wave up until it's time to cut back more. S&P 1200 has been by break point level for awhile and at that level I want to simply have normal US stock allocations. This dictates today's significant sale.

Krypto Fund is up over 11% year to date, which is fine performance, stomping on many, many overpaid beefer managers. They are mostly scam artists, anyway. Good doggie, Krypto, here's your fee - a tasty dog biscuit.

Word of the Day

"Weal" - noun [$10]
Weal means (I) welfare, prosperity, good fortune; (II - alt. usage) a raised or reddened area of skin usu. accompanied by itching.
Sentence: Why worry about investing for retirement? One should simply listen to the machine, i. e., Krypto's machine, to keep one's retirement balances in wondrous weal without anxiety. Obey the machine ....

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

What it Means

The people want policies to help economic growth and jobs.

The people reject most oddball candidates.

The people reject Obama's agenda and policies.

The people reject mandates on them.

The bicoastal media centers are out of touch with most of the US.

The Ruling Classes are reeling.

Congress will get a huge influx of new ideas and energy.

Old boy networks in Congress are likely dead.

Obama will begin to rule by "executive order" and regulations.

The Fed is the only force likely to do anything to help the US economy.

The people recognized the P-O-R "stimulus" bill was a fraud.

Massachusetts is still a one party state.

California is proven weird again, voting for the disastrous status quo.


Stocks will rally awhile as the dust clears.

The Bush tax cuts will ALL expire - no compromise.

States will not obtain further handouts from DC and will have to deal with their pension and employment cost structures.

The economy will improve slowly; confidence will increase.

Obama will move left, sound increasingly shrill and strident, and slowly become a national joke.

Word of the Day

"Dross" - noun [$10]
Dross means 1. rubbish, refuse; 2.a. the scum separated from metals in melting; 2.b. foreign matter mixed with anything, impurities.
Sentence: The election was a crucible for the Tea Parties. Have they become more pure with clear ideas and disposed of the dross of oddball candidates? Time will tell.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Voter Guide by Bunkerman

This is easy:

When in Doubt,
Vote them Out.

Unless an incumbent politician has shown real action in limiting the power of the Ruling Class, he or she is likely part of the problem. Vote against them.

Any politician who voted for the health care mandate on individual Americans is shown to a crypto Lord of the Manor who wants you to be his or her serf. Vote against them.

Any politician who supported the P-O-R phony stimulus bill, which was truly just a bailout out for overspending State governments, is proven by their actions to be an enabler of the Hogs at the Trough. Vote against them.

Vote against any politician who talks about "bringing home the bacon". He just stole your hog, kept the fine pork roasts for himself and is giving you a bit of leftover bacon for flavoring. Vote against them.

I think you get the idea, Use your head, think and vote for the person closest to the principles of Fraternal Libertarianism.

Word of the Day

"Theodicy" - noun [$10]
Theodicy means 1. the vindication of divine providence/justice in view of (in the force of) the existence of evil; 2. an instance of this.
Sentence: Will today's election be a singular event of theodicy for Fraternal Libertarianism - and the people - or not? The people make that decision today.

Monday, November 1, 2010

What's Going On?

Thinking over the changes that have occurred in the US over 45 years and some intriguing ideas of a friend of mine about a "coup", I noticed some parts of two books by Alvin Gouldner that perhaps had some connection. Below I rough out this sculpture of a government run by a New Class - not the middle class or the Left or the Right or any of the usual suspects.

The strong and broad feeling exists in the US public that government is "out of control". Who's in charge? Mostly, all we can point to are entrenched Congresspersons, Wall Street money, big corporate bosses, highly paid lawyers, high level permanent officials in the bureaucracy, technocrats, on and on ... no one or nothing specific. Yet They seem to work in rough coordination to make our lives more complicated and to run more of it from DC or State capitals. And take more money and power for themselves.

They are bipartisan - government increased under Bush I, under Clinton, under Bush II and under Obama. It increased hugely under LBJ and Nixon and Carter, too. Only under Reagan was government power held in check a bit - only a bit since Congress during that period worked hard to increase their power. The Courts are part of the Them, too.

Who are They? Not pod people who secretly at night replace normal persons with controlled zombies. They aren't the proletariat, nor the bourgeoisie, nor a revolutionary vanguard party, not socialists or libertarians or aristocrats.

What do They have in common? Advanced degrees. They are a cluster of highly educated persons who see government as a source of power. They are using their human capital to gain more and more money and power through government power.

That an Educated Class exists is rather obvious. But how can parts of it become a group that seems to have taken over the nation? Easy - They believe in an ideology - a rational system of beliefs that give them social cohesion to work together for a common cause without even communicating with each other, without even knowing each other. The core principal is something like, "with government, all things can be better". It's a mutation of Plato's Philosopher King, or the "Optimates" of Rome - rule by the "best". It's an offshoot of Positivism, where science and learning chooses the best for the people and put their solutions into practice with governmental power. But these mutations act like cancers, metastasizing out to all branches of government in DC and the States.

Ideally, that slogan sounds good. BUT apply the analysis of Hayek that we used so successfully to gut Libertarianism as a workable principal of political economy. A ruthless segment of the Educated Class - a rotten core of rotters - would naturally want to claim more and more power and money to themselves. This is not a conspiracy - it's a simple result of a distribution of humanity. Some are people are angels, some are devils and there's mass in the middle. The rotters in the Educated Class have taken over.

Not a coup, but it seems like one since their takeover has been accelerating for years. They believe in more government and make it grow. They never put breaks on government nor cut it back nor simplify it. Why should or would They? That's how They get more power and money.

They are always saying They have a solution to endless problems, but never solve a problem. They just add more and more complexity to government - rules, taxes, regulations, huge and lengthy laws, courts that are arbitrary and capricious in decisions, more departmetns and programs, etc. They love complexity - that's how they hide from sight and obscure their intents. Who can understand what They do but more persons with advanced degrees. They marry each other and their children more into powerful positions in government, too.

The Media is part of Them, too. They always are using Boob Bait for the Bubbas to fool the people and gain power. Rational, thoughtful debate in the Media has disappeared since the 1970s. The Media today gives us People magazine crap, celebrities and sports, endlessly. Nothing like the "White Papers" or true documentaries of the 1960s. Nor real debates such as on that old old show, The Advocate or on Firing Line. The Media is the propaganda machine for Them. For all the professional degrees in Journalism, is there not less true "journalism" now versus decades ago?

What to do?

Anyone proposing solutions that are not simple and clean and easily understandable is likely a knave, a rotter in the Educated Class. Just say NO!

Any new governmental action that does not restrict the power of the Ruling Classes, or help the poor in simple ways is a subterfuge for Them to get more power.

When in Doubt, Vote Them Out.

If the KISS rule doesn't apply (Keep It Simple, Stupid"), don't believe Them.

Word of the Day

"Bruit" - verb, transitive and noun [$10] pronounced, 'broot' to rhyme with a tree 'root', the 'oo' is long; followed by about or abroad.
Bruit (verb) means to spread news of, repeat.
Bruit (noun - archaic) means 1. a rumor, 2. a din, a clamor, 3. a report.
Sentence: Let's all bruit about the existence of this rotten bunch of rotters in the Educated Class who are destroying our freedoms and economy. And kick Them out!