Friday, July 20, 2012

Random Thoughts on a Tragic Day
I have many friends and work acquaintances in Texas and inevitably after a few rounds of whatever we are drinking the talk come back to my openly far left stance of gun control. The discussions almost always start off by someone stating that if we all had guns and knew how to use them there would be a level playing field.

Let's look at the details that we know from last night in Aurora. The gunman entered and had on a bulletproof vest and gas mask and was fairly heavily armed. Using the logic stated in the first paragraph, we would all need that type of protection and armament, as well as shooting lessons in order to protect ourselves on a level playing field. The killer could have been taken out by a head shot, which we all could have done in a crowded theater where everyone was panicking. And we can all get gas masks for when we go out in public, along with bulletproof vests.

Somehow this is not the world I wanted to leave for my children and grandchildren--a dystopian world racked with violence, weird weather patterns, scarcity of water, food and clean air. A world where the government of one of the leading nations in the free world can be bought by unlimited funding of advertizing, where greed and power games are not only accepted, but are the fuel for dreams (thanks, Ayn Rand for your socially responsible vision that has inspired many).

There is deep sickness in the soul of America right now and it is growing like a cancer and I am distraught. I know all the spiritual principles--let love radiate, blah, blah, blah. I can even enjoy a good meditation and chant session. I can bless things. But my heart is heavy with the violence and disregard for others that seems to be in the hearts of the American public. I wish I knew a fast solution because every now and then I feel like a little bit of my heart is stolen, crushed and eaten.

Monday, July 16, 2012

When Is Thievery Illegal?
Yikes! I read this and get sickened by Bain's ability to pay $60,000,000 in dividends on a firm that has a cash flow of $4.7M. Even if the profit margin were 30%, that means they only made $1.4M. So your investment dividend is 40 times higher than your profit. That would be like me bringing home after taxes 25 cents and getting a bonus of $10. Who would pay that? You don't have the money. Bonuses are paid on PROFIT. In the case of Dade, Bain (Romney's firm) made $100,000,000 in management fees annually and the debt increased to over $1,000,000,000. Who the hell takes that much money when there is no profit--no real substance there??!!

And even worse, who loans them money that many times over the actual cash flow and asset level. Homeowners did not even do things this bad, as a general rule when they refinanced homes in the 1990s to make improvements or even just take vacations, because in many cases the value of the property (the asset) appreciated. What Bain was doing was the same scheme, but then they left and in many cases the taxpayers had to bail out workers and pensions because they took the money.

an honest question--just because they got out before bankruptcy, probably because they could see it coming, doesn't that still make it thievery?