Thursday, September 30, 2010

The Rutgers Tragedy

Today's news features perhaps one of the most disturbing stories I've heard among a plethora of news stories of human folly. A Rutgers University freshman was filmed by his roommate having a sexual encounter with another male. The roommate shared the episode on the web. When the young man discovered that his indiscretion was public, he committed suicide.

It's not the homosexual activity that is so tragic. Homosexuality is nothing new, and it's certainly not exceptional in today's upside down society. We are confronted with it constantly.

Thomas Sowell said in a recent column that it takes a high IQ to evade the obvious. The constant pressure by gay activists to try to force the idea that this particular perversion is normal, and society's relatively quiet acceptance of it, is a perfect example of such fallacious thinking. No doubt many young people who would not otherwise consider it an option, do so. And no doubt many young people, and some further along in life, are seduced into the lifestyle by the relatively easy sex, at least in the short run, that is characteristic of it. In the throes of hormonal passion of youth and the no holds barred nature of civilization today, it is now an easier mistake to make than ever.

But the real tragedy is that the roommate was so unthinking, so unable to identify with his roommate, that he would reveal and broadcast for all to see what should have remained the young man's private struggle. This episode reveals the dark downside of the information explosion enabled by the new media and the inadequate tools our youth have to handle the power of it. And we in the baby boom generation reveal an incompetence to guide them in this new environment.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Reason for Optimism

For the first time in a long time I don't think gold is that good of an investment. At least in the short term. For the time being.

Despite the awful shape of the economy I believe that the chaff has for the most part been separated from the wheat. I believe that the bulk of businesses still operating are just like mine: they are not doing well but they are not about to fail. They have gotten really good at treading water. And has been widely reported they are for the most part in a better cash position than before the downturn due to running so lean.

As are consumers. Despite the downturn in property values they have been shedding debt like crazy.

Thus as this recession drags on there is a huge amount of saved up money and pent up demand. Consumers and businesses alike are just waiting for a reason, any good reason, to expand and grow and spend again.

Meanwhile the tone-deaf Obama administration has given absolutely no reason for anybody to risk their carefully guarded assets. The developing and impending tax and regulation overload has everyone scared to death and sitting on their wallets.

But the voters in November, if the elections turn out as predictions increasingly say they will, will give us all every reason to let loose and grow again.

In the long term, I'm dubious that Republicans will manage their resurrection well. The country club, trust fund "moderates" will drag us back into accommodation with impractical "progressive" ideology again in short order once they've exploited Tea Party passion into electoral victory. Government will continue to grow and weigh everybody down. In that respect Gold remains a good investment in the long term. But at least for a while, there will be a new lease on life economically after the November election.

I'm looking forward to an explosive first quarter in 2011!