Archive for August, 2012

Polygamy for Job Creators Now!!!

Thursday, August 30th, 2012

Why should this great nation’s sainted Job Creators be restricted to marrying only one woman? Is not polygamy a voluntary arrangement? Why should women be unfairly restricted from marrying whoever they want? That’s the kind of thing the Taliban does.

Imagine the children of Joe the Factory Worker. Joe used to work in an Ohio lightbulb factory which was sent to China. Joe is now unemployed, and his poor children subsist on the meager scraps provided by food stamps. Joe’s wife is angry that her husband cannot give her and her children a better life. Why can’t a Job Creator like Jeff Immelt come in and marry-up a few of these factory widows? Think of the children.

Isn’t the solution to our nation’s growing income-inequality problem to allow Job Creators to raise women and children out of poverty? To share the wealth via polygamy?

Well, even if that were the solution, it isn’t going to happen because Joe is a voter. And Joe is not about to entertain the idea of the rich guys hogging up all the women.

And nobody in America thinks that is the least bit unusual. It is so accepted that it is rarely even discussed. The idea of restricting the behavior of oligarchs is not controversial to anyone, with the exception of a few Mormons perhaps.

What about dueling? Why do we no longer allow gentlemen in top hats to resolve their differences with pistols at 40 paces?

How about slavery? Why can’t rich guys own poor guys anymore? Why can’t Jeff Immelt fly to Sudan, buy a few dozen slaves for a $50 a head (2009 prices), bring them back to the USA, and put them to work in the big house? Surely that would be a better life for them, no?

The Republicans act like Job Creators should have no restrictions on their behavior at all. But they do have restrictions, and the nation is better for it.

During the 1950s, the top tax rate was 91% – even during the administration of Republican President Dwight Eisenhower. While that rate sounds like it would be economically catastrophic, it was no such thing back then. The USA did just fine.

A 91% rate seems like ruthless treatment of our oligarchs. However, the oligarchs are every bit as ruthless when they move Joe the Factory Worker’s job to China, are they not? When it comes to destroying the livelihoods of millions of Americans, the oligarchs don’t even blink.

Note to oligarchs: Check yourself before you wreck yourself.

Note: If you were yelling at the screen that it was Jeff Immelt who sent Joe the Factory Worker’s job to China in the first place, you get a gold start on your paper. Tell your mom that I said it was okay.

Note: I used three exclamation points in the title of this post. If you don’t like it, just try and stop me. I will see you burn in hell with multiple dueling-pistol wounds before I am restricted to only one exclamation point!!!

Is Israel Still a US Ally?

Saturday, August 25th, 2012

Last week, Chinese warships paid a visit to Israel for the first time in history (DEBKAfile.com story here). And that brings to mind when the Australians announced naval exercises with the Chinese navy two years ago. The Pentagon responded by deploying troops to Australia. (See my “Will Australia Stay Conquered?” post).

Also, we can’t help but notice that the Israelis are sticking it to President Obama by jawboning an attack on Iran and jacking up oil prices. High gasoline prices will only benefit Romney on Election Day.

And the Israelis have cause to look for a new big-power partner. The Pentagon has criticized Israeli treatment of the Palestinians as an obstacle to their pacification of Iraq and Afghanistan. Maybe the Chinese see an opening to get involved in the Middle East?

Originally, the Pentagon needed Israel as a base in the Middle East. But now, of course, we have bases in Bahrain, Qatar, Kuwait, etc., and maybe the Pentagon now considers Israel to be strategically expendable.

Say what you want about Mubarak and Assad, but they kept the peace with Israel for a long time. Now, there are Egyptian tanks in Sinai, and Russian war ships in Syria. By supporting the Arab Spring, we have dramatically degraded Israel’s security.

I wrote about this back in February 2011 during the Arab Spring in “Did the USA Foment the Egyptian Revolt?

So, while we have heard sabre rattling over Iran seemingly forever, maybe we shouldn’t be so quick to discount it this time. After all, what if the Israelis are starting to think that they need to strike Iran now while they still can – before the USA begins to “contain” them from harming its new-found Arab allies?

If the Israelis feel left out in the cold, they will act. That’s what they did in 1967 when they attacked the USS Liberty during the Six Day War. An Israeli friend told me that the ship was gathering signal intelligence that could be used to help the Arabs. We were neutral during that war, and maybe we didn’t help the Arabs, but there was a possibility that we could have informed the Arabs about Israeli troop movements, so the Israelis felt the need for a preemptive strike.

The Israelis don’t have a very wide margin of error when it comes to survival. So, if we are once again neutral, or have permanently switched to favoring the Arabs, we shouldn’t be surprised at anything Israel does.

And maybe President Obama is getting a taste of that now.

Business Insider Surpasses Bloomberg

Sunday, August 19th, 2012

Since I put up the “Top Investing Websites” page eight months ago, Bloomberg has been the #1 site, and Business Insider has been #2. However yesterday, Business Insider moved above Bloomberg. So, there’s a new sheriff in town.

This changing of the guard was not only from Business Insider improving its Alexa Rank recently, but from Bloomberg taking a nose dive. Here are the charts from my Rank-O-Matic app:

Now we will see if Business Insider can hold the high ground and widen their lead over Bloomberg.

Congratulations, Business Insider.

Tech Rumblings: Twitter Clones

Sunday, August 12th, 2012

Twitter has angered a good number of software developers who make apps for their platforms. Twitter is cutting off the numerous “client” apps that sprang up around their API, thus rendering the investment in those apps worthless. Here’s a Mashable.com story: “Twitter to Devs: Don’t Make Twitter Clients… Or Else“.

Angry coders are contemplating rebellion by launching a Twitter rival. They are pinning their hopes on App.net: “The Twitter Rebellion: App.net Offers a Hacker’s Alternative“.

Can the rebellion succeed? I don’t know, but with tech superstars like Dave Winer involved, Twitter has cause for alarm. Mr. Winer is not working on a Twitter clone himself, but he is providing wisdom to those who are. From his blog: “If I were making a Twitter clone…“.

Twitter says that they are not going to do an IPO anytime soon. However, by killing off client apps, it seems obvious that they are wanting to monetize their service by corralling all the eyeballs. In any case, if the rebellion gains traction, and Twitter rushes an IPO to market, investors would want to evaluate whether or not Twitter is trying cash-out before it’s too late.

Tech Rumblings: Mac Sandboxing

Sunday, August 12th, 2012

Some Mac developers have pulled their apps out of the Mac App Store due to “sandboxing”. Apple wants to make their computers safer from malware, and sandboxing is one way to do that because it restricts apps from accessing the entire computer.

For example, web apps that run in your browser have always been sandboxed. A web app written in JavaScript is not allowed to rifle through your files and upload your info to a hacker site. Your browser won’t let it because it enforces sandboxing rules.

So now Apple wants to restrict the activities of all Mac apps. And that’s a big deal because many important apps were developed with the assumption that there would be no sandboxing, as had been the tradition since the beginning of personal computers.

Needless to say, this has angered many developers. Perhaps this is an opportunity for Microsoft, or other platforms, to poach some developers from Apple. If you want to follow developments, one way to do so is to listen to the “Core Intuition” podcast. The hosts are both Mac developers. Episode 52: “The Potential For More Confusion”, is a good place to start.

I don’t know if this will have any investment implications for Apple. However, dumbing down the Mac to make it stupid-proof for the masses will be, at least, irksome for people who are used to real computers.