Saturday, February 4, 2012

Random thoughts

All the hucksters out there selling gold makes one wonder that if the price is going to keep going up, why anyone is selling it? Remember in order for you to buy it someone has to sell it.
Gold has gotten into the greater fool territory as in “I know it is overpriced, but I’ll buy it anyway because there is a fool out there greater than me who will pay more”.

The Social Security Administration has said that the maximum monthly payment to recipients is around $2,500. I know because I am there. What is ironic is that my mother who retired in 1988 from the Atlanta Public schools never made more than $24,000 and yet she receives from their pension plan $1,200 more per month than I do and I have maxed out my "contributions" for the last 20 years. Why? The public school teachers’ plan was independent of social security and like the famed Galveston (TX) plan generates actual returns rather than the bogus “returns” from social security.

Has the great divide in American politics gotten greater with the advent of Barack Obama’s presidency? Or has it just come into greater focus? Regardless, I was looking up the "accomplishments" of Obama during these three years and saw several lists. One is at Although touted as a “short list” it is anything but. The question is whether you can find more than two that you consider to be positive.

One wag wrote that the one significant achievement made during this administration is that there are fewer people who consider themselves to be democrats.

I retired last year. Everyone I have met who have retired seems happier now that they are not working. The prevailing feeling is that even after working even at something you love, when you leave, you don’t miss it.

I had the worse deer season ever. I thought that with retirement I could scout, put out trail cameras, and go with my dogs camping for a solid week. Well I scouted, put out cameras, and went camping. It’s a good thing I like to camp (in a modern RV with all the amenities of home, thank you) and sitting in the woods because I only saw two deer worth taking and I missed the biggest one. I did however work through my stack of Sunday Times crosswords and caught up on my reading.

Speaking of which, whoever invented the Kindle deserves the Nobel prize – was it Al Gore? Even if it weren’t, he probably claims credit.

Has any grant-receiving alternative energy company made money? Sure Solyndra and Ener1 have gotten all the press but what about the Chevy Volt boondoggle? Given all the Federal and state monies, we may be looking at a trillion dollars down the drain. Again, I am not against private investors taking the risk and using their money. But the sucker’s game is to get someone else to pay for your experiments. That sucker is the government (and ultimately us).

Pop quiz: Name the four largest exporters of oil to the United States. Most people will only guess Saudi Arabia (#3). They are in order, Canada, Mexico, Saudi Arabia and Venezuela.

Speaking of Canada, remember Harold Black’s first law? Its “any law worth circumventing will be.” We may see this with the Keystone pipeline, nixed by Obama on Hillary Clinton’s recommendation. Presumably State had to opine since the pipeline crosses an international border. Now Keystone is saying that it and build the US pipeline first – which doesn’t require presidential approval and then hook it up with the Canadian part later (presumably in 2013 when there is a different president).

No comments: