Living in a #World

In ’79, I was standing on a corner in Winslow, Arizona … trying to scrape up a few coins for the phone booth so I could call for a taxi to take me the hell out of town.

Millennials can’t relate, but in those days there were phone booths everywhere. We didn’t have cell phones, or Uber … and, guess what, we survived.

By the way, when did the pound sign (#) become a hashtag, and who in Sam Hill is this woman called Alexa?

Polling data has uncovered a disturbing profile of the younger generation, but consistent with the youthful idealism of previous generations as noted below.

Anatomy of a Millennial

  • Socialist
  • Atheist/Agnostic
  • Anti-capitalist
  • Entitlement
  • Democrat

Granted, this does not apply to all Millennials. For instance, a younger caller to the Rush Limbaugh show said that he doesn’t know anyone — at least, within his circle — who fits the profile as described though data suggests that it does apply to over half of his contemporaries.

Earlier generations did subscribe to a similar ethos, but they typically grew more conservative as they aged — with the notable exception of Bernie Sanders.

Will Millennials outgrow their social idealism?

They are the first generation born with a USB cord in addition to an umbilical cord. They are the first generation to come of age in a world that is increasingly dependent upon, or subservient to, technology.

Their cell phone has become an indispensable appendage.

Millennials embrace a sense of entitlement such as a free education, free health insurance — even free cell phones. They believe that capitalism is an unfair economic system — that the accumulation of wealth is immoral and should be redistributed through such mechanisms as a 70% tax rate on the wealthiest of Americans.

They were totally immersed in a socialist worldview from grade school to college. My political science professor back in the 70’s was a Marxist. He proudly displayed in his office a poster of revolutionary Che Guevara.

I was the only student in our class who challenged him. My classmates eagerly drank the Kool-Aid though most of them toted copies of Mao’s Little Red Book.

A group of college students who said they would prefer socialism over capitalism were asked if they had ever heard of Joseph Stalin or Mao Tse-tung.

None of them had ever heard of Stalin while two answered that Mao “was that Tiananmen Square guy”.

We’ve raised up a generation of Trotskyites who are ignorant of history. The local school district does not teach history pre-WWII because it’s not relevant to the multi-cultural student body. As one young Hispanic wearing a La Raza hat said, “Why do I have to learn about dead white men?”

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) is the poster child of the Millennial generation enamored with Socialism, and not understanding that America and her allies fought and died to defeat the socialists over seventy-five years ago.

Communism and Fascism are distinct subsets of Socialism. Stalin, Hitler, and Mao were the bloodiest mass murderers of any era. Socialism has to be imposed by force, or indoctrination. Citizens are subservient to the state. In return, the state distributes benefits according to the Marxian tenet:

“From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs.”

Socialism disincentivizes initiative, innovation, and inventiveness while stifling wealth creation. In the name of fairness it confiscates the assets of those who produce and redistributes it to those who don’t.

It is an immoral system.

Cortez and her mentor, Bernie Sanders, have coined the phrase Democratic Socialism as if that would make it more palatable to the American people — but if you put lipstick on a pig it still won’t look like Marilyn Monroe.

Socialism that is enacted legislatively does less violence than that which is enforced by torture and death, but it is still anathema to American tradition, custom, and values.

Millennials wouldn’t know that because they haven’t been taught. Radicals in the 60’s and 70’s earned their degrees in teaching, journalism, and creative arts. They became the influencers of our children.

Through public education, but also social media and entertainment, generations of Americans have been indoctrinated according to Lenin’s precept:

“Give me four years to teach the children, and the seed I have sown will never be uprooted.”

Why does your conservative, straight child come home from college liberal and gay … hmm?

My parents were from the Greatest Generation. They struggled through the Great Depression, migrated west during the Dust Bowl, fought and won a world war … and landed men on the moon.

What the hell have Millennials done? They can’t even stop to smell the roses because their eyes are constantly fixated on their cell phone.

A local businessman lamented:

“Millennials don’t want to work an 8-hour shift, or 5-day week. They expect my business to operate around their schedule. I’m supposed to be flexible, but I’ve got a company to run. I don’t know what the hell they do all day, but stare at their phone. I hired one young woman who was actually quite capable, but unreliable. She was always looking at her damn phone.”

According to surveys, Millennials are still living at home. They don’t have sex nor do the females buy makeup, or lacy underwear. I asked one girl if she knew Victoria’s Secret. “Oh, is that your girlfriend?,” she replied.

I promptly sold my stock in Estee Lauder, Ulta Beauty, and Lululemon (think spandex and yoga pants).

Lastly, I am a product of the Playboy generation. The holding company that publishes the failing magazine has assigned editorial control to a couple of Millennials … a gay man and an activist feminist.

Go figure.

No wonder the magazine only publishes quarterly. There are no ads, and the newsstand price is $24.00.

Capitalism, religion, and sex are under siege like never before. Welcome to a genderless, socialist, sexless (unless you’re gay), agnostic USA. Once they legalize pot we can all sit around in a purple haze and not give a damn.

Thanks, Millennials!

For more insightful commentary please follow SOAR on the MENU tab.

The blog author, a lifelong conservative, holds a Master’s Degree in Public Administration and Finance. He has written about politics, society, culture, and economics for half a century, and has posted on Blogger and WordPress since 2007.

Copyright © SOAR

Trump Shocks Market

Is there no one in the White House who understands that tariffs are a burdensome tax on companies and consumers … and a bearish drag on the economy?

Investors received a double-whammy this week when the Federal Reserve — despite cutting interest rates — would not commit to further rate cuts. It was like serving a dessert cake without the frosting. Investors had clamored for the cake since December when stocks fell upon news of a rate hike, but the cake wasn’t as tasty without the icing. Consequently, the Dow shed over 300 points as fearful investors dumped their holdings.

Let me reiterate a standing position — if you don’t have the stomach to invest in the market then stay out. Hide your money in a mattress, or bury it in the backyard. A bank will gladly pay you negative interest to stash your cash in a passbook savings account.

But don’t wipe out my profit because you’re a cowardly investor.

Many ignorant people lose money in the market because they buy high and sell low, or they attempt to time the market and enter at the peak just before everything comes crashing down.

There is only one Warren Buffett for a reason. He buys on people’s fear and sells on people’s euphoria … and he has a long-term horizon. A stock that is down today will be up tomorrow, or next year. He buys solid growth stocks and holds his position. If the market goes down, he takes the opportunity to buy more shares at a discount.

I bought a mutual fund in 1980. It survived a 27.5% decline from 1980-82 (Carter’s stagflation inherited by Reagan), a 33.5% decline in 1987 (infamous Black Monday), a 49.1% decline after the bust of 2001, and a 56.4% decline post-housing crisis in 2008 yet that initial $50000 investment is, today, worth $115000. 

Most investors don’t understand fundamental principles of investing. They play the market like the lottery. They want to score big on a speculative play …  and often get burned.

Short-sellers, day traders, and option calls add to the stomach-churning volatility. After the crash in 2008, many countries banned option trades which are still legal in the United States.

An option call (or put) is basically a gamble on the direction of the market — up or down. Short-sellers may bet that an individual stock declines so (with leveraged money) they borrow stocks from a willing broker, sell the stock (hoping that it goes down) then repurchase the stock at which time they return the shares and profit the gain. However, if the stock keeps going up the gamblers have to get out before they lose their shirts. These alternative investment plays — which are permitted by the SEC — contribute to market uncertainty and volatility.

While the Fed’s uncommitted position on interest rates was a body blow to the market, President Trump’s tweet of an additional 10% tariff (on goods manufactured in China) was a staggering upper-cut to the chin.

Was it a knock-out punch? Is Trump the markets’s worst nightmare?

I sent the following message to the White House and the Republican National Committee:

I have supported the president, but today’s announcement of an additional 10% tariff on goods from China just devastated my IRA. This latest news wiped out $4000 of gains from my modest portfolio. Yesterday’s decline, after the Fed’s decision to cut interest rates, has been a one-two punch on my nest egg. I would vote against the president if the election were held today.

Thursday was setting up to be my largest one-day gain ever — close to $5000. After Wednesdy’s decline, the bulls rushed in and the market moved higher. Of my 35 positions, 34 were up by over 2%.

It was a grand slam for my investments, but when I checked back after the closing bell, my daily gain had slipped to $600. What the hell happened? I frantically searched the financial news and discovered the culprit.

Can Twitter please delete Trump’s account? Between the Fed and Trump’s tariffs, I’ve lost $10000 in two days.

Several of my stocks reported quarterly earnings this week. They all beat the consensus estimates and gained 5% in value. Today, they are in negative territory and losing money.

Nothing has changed. The stocks are solid. The companies are blue chip institutions with a history of positive earnings yet I am burdened by the equivocations of a Federal Reserve (that should be dissolved), and a president who can’t keep his hands off the keyboard.

My investments were much richer when Clinton couldn’t keep his hands off Monica. He, at least, understood that the economy matters. Recall the famous campaign slogan:

“It’s the economy, stupid.”

Or maybe Trump is more clever than a fox. If China blinks and agrees to a trade deal … I could become a millionaire in a very short time.

For more insightful commentary please follow SOAR on the MENU tab.

The blog author, a lifelong conservative, holds a Master’s Degree in Public Administration. He has written about politics for half a century. As a teenager his commentaries were published in the local newspaper, and he has posted on Blogger and WordPress since 2007.

Copyright © SOAR

Market Dips as Rates Fall

In the last post, I mentioned that I had found a more profitable use of my time than writing articles that no one reads. The time spent blogging has now been devoted to actively managing my investments. 

It was time well spent as I was able to add $24,000 to my portfolio. Since my last post, I’ve added another $6,000 … however, today’s interest rate cut has shaved a few thousand off my recent gain.

The Federal Reserve hiked rates last December which caused a major dip in the market. The Christmas season typically brings good cheer to investors, but the unwelcomed rate hike triggered a major correction downward.

President Trump blasted the decision to raise interest rates even as investors clamored for rate cuts — not hikes. The Fed, recognizing that the December hike may have caused a sell-off in the market, began to send signals that it would be more flexible and accommodating with regards to quantitative tightening.

Investors cheered the news that the Fed would be more sensitive to market conditions thus causing the indices to reach record highs. Stocks climbed on the anticipation of a rate cut in July.

Today, July 31st, the Fed cut interest rates by a quarter-point thus ending quantitative tightening. Why, then, did the Dow lose over 300 points after the rate cut was announced?

Because investors are ignorant, stupid, fearful, and schizophrenic. Market fundamentals don’t seem to matter. It is difficult enough to be active in the market without having to account for the millions of investors who are afraid of their own shadow. 

CNBC analyst Jim Cramer, speaking of the December correction, said there was nothing to account for the sell-off except investor fear. Technical data and earnings were solid, but investors ignored the good news and reacted to unwarranted panic. 

How fickle are investors? Well, the market goes up or down based on who wins the Super Bowl. How can a rational person gain any profits when so many retail investors are blithering idiots?

Interest rates go up in December — investors sell. Rates go down in July — investors sell. Is that the definition of insanity?

It’s earning’s season which is a time of high anxiety for many investors. I own one stock that did very well in the last quarter. It beat all the consensus estimates — earnings-per-share, revenue, profit and expenses, and it even raised its guidance for the rest of the year.

My research suggested that the company would release a good report so I bought more shares the day before.

Guess what? The stock fell because investors feared that the dazzling report would make the equity more expensive. Instead of enjoying an earning’s bonanza, I lost all of my gains because the lunatics dumped their shares.

It makes no sense that stocks might rise on bad news, but fall on good news. Investors who make those kind of decisions should not be allowed in the market.

When investors are fundamentally ignorant — fundamentals don’t matter.

[This blog may be revamped to focus on investments rather than politics. Leave a comment, or like if you want to see a change.] 

For more insightful commentary please follow SOAR on the MENU tab.

The blog author, a lifelong conservative, holds a Master’s Degree in Public Administration. He has written about politics for half a century. As a teenager his commentaries were published in the local newspaper, and he has posted on Blogger and WordPress since 2007.

Copyright © SOAR

Time is Money

This blog has not generated any interest or audience since it first posted. There have been a few likes and pingbacks, but not one comment. Perhaps I said all that could be said and no comment was necessary … or perhaps the content was simply not interesting.

In the past six months, I have closed four WordPress blogs that no one was reading. It takes a lot of time to research and edit a political blog. Everything I post is fact-checked with at least three sources, but I can’t compete with the enormous number of opinion blogs that simply copy and paste articles from other websites.

Some of the more popular conservative blogs have over one million views, but they do not produce original content. This seems to defeat the purpose of having a blog which is to share your thoughts and ideas.

It requires very little effort to simply repost another person’s work and it doesn’t seem fair to serious writers who invest their time and effort to produce quality content.

WordPress recommends posting interesting articles on a regular schedule in order to build an audience. Whatever … it hasn’t worked for me. Radio host Dave Ramsey asked, “Why do you blog?” He said that there are over 440 million blogs. “Nobody cares what you have to say,” said Ramsey. “You should invest your time and effort in making money.”

So that’s what I’ve been doing — making money in the stock market … about $24,000 since I last posted five weeks ago. Maybe I’ll share some tips on this blog. Then again … maybe not. If a tree falls in the forest does anyone hear it? If I post an article on WordPress does anyone read it?

In the words of Forrest Gump:

“That’s all I have to say about that.”

[This was the first post I composed on the new WordPress editor. Do those people live to make our lives difficult? Hey, WP .. if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!]

For more insightful commentary please follow SOAR on the MENU tab.

The blog author, a lifelong conservative, holds a Master’s Degree in Public Administration. He has written about politics for half a century. As a teenager his commentaries were published in the local newspaper, and he has posted on Blogger and WordPress since 2007.

Copyright © SOAR

A Haunting Artifact from D-Day

If only it could speak.

This Coke bottle was found buried in the sand at Normandy beach. It is of personal interest to me as I am a native of El Centro, California.

The obvious question I have is this:

How did this Coke bottle migrate from the California desert to the beaches at Normandy?

We can see from the embossed markings that the glass was manufactured at El Centro in 1941. Coca Cola operated bottling plants across the United States where they molded the glass and bottled their soda.

This particular bottle was manufactured and filled prior to the invasion of Normandy on 6 June 1944.

El Centro was a staging area for troop deployments to Europe and the Pacific. There was an army base, air field and a 10,000-acre military reservation where Patton trained his First Armored Tank Corps at the Desert Training Center in the Imperial Valley. Charles Lindbergh and John Glenn instructed Navy and Marine Corps pilots at Marine Corps Air Station El Centro.

The president of Coca Cola said that it was his mission to ensure that every American soldier had a bottle of Coke within arm’s reach. Just as Hershey supplied chocolate bars to the troops, Coca Cola supplied bottled soda.

We can only imagine that this particular bottle of Coke was stored in the duffel bag of a soldier who was later deployed to Europe where he received orders to participate in Operation Overlord (D-Day).

Approximately 156,000 Allied ground forces stormed the beaches at Normandy in what was code-named Operation Neptune. The soldier who carried this bottle most likely survived the landing and paused to drink the Coke for good luck.

However, a historian told me that it’s just as likely that the bottle was brought ashore days later when 875,000 troops disembarked on a mission to invade Germany.

How a bottle of Coke traveled from an isolated desert town in California to the beaches of WWII Normandy is nothing short of amazing.

Whatever scenario you choose to imagine, I can’t help but think that it was carried by a young man unsure of his fate. The bottle of Coke was a piece of home that he carried for good luck.

He probably decided beforehand to save the Coke for just the proper occasion. It was customary for troops to break open a bottle of wine or liquor and share a toast to their success and good fortune.

Surviving the invasion of Normandy would certainly be an occasion to celebrate.

If only that bottle could speak then we might know … the rest of the story. Whether it was taken ashore on 6 June 1944, or arrived days later with the supply train, we can only surmise. Still, the bottle’s compelling journey is a fascinating story to ponder.

D-Day was the turning point in the war. Germany surrendered less than a year later on 7 May 1945.

Copyright © SOAR

Pelosi Blames Trump for Impeachment Furor


“Trump is goading us to impeach him, that’s what he’s doing every single day. He’s just taunting, taunting, taunting because he knows it would be divisive in the country.”

— Nancy Pelosi —

Speaker Pelosi told the Washington Post that she really doesn’t want to impeach President Trump. She said that it would be “a gift to the president,” and detract her party from their goal of taking back the White House in 2020.

She is a pragmatist. The country does not want the president impeached. In any case, the GOP-controlled Senate would not vote to convict — with the exception of Mitt Romney.

SOAR has predicted on several occasions that the House would vote to impeach the president. However, it seems less likely that this will happen.

Even before the release of the Mueller Report, Pelosi was admonishing colleagues who were clamoring for Trump’s ouster.

Still, the insanity will not end anytime soon. Democrats were hoping that Mueller’s investigation would have provided some bit of evidence to provide cover for an impeachment proceeding. No such luck.

So the hearings will continue, at least through 2020, if only to fuel their radical base, or until Republicans take back the House when adults will once again be in control.

Insanity, immaturity, derangement — however we describe it — is nothing more than hateful revenge. I have long depicted the left as bratty children throwing a temper tantrum because they didn’t get their way.

Too many people suffer from challenged emotional development. It’s somewhat disturbing that colleges and universities have to provide sensory immersion rooms for students who get agitated at the mere mention of Donald Trump’s name.

The children did not get their way in 2016, and have been throwing a fit ever since. David Blackmon wrote:

“Several times a week, I get some variation of this question: ‘When are the Democrats going to stop all of this madness?’ – The simple answer, of course, is that they aren’t. The behavior of the leaders of the Democrat Party and their toadies in the fake news media is only going to become increasingly radical and unhinged until they are stopped.”

“Many had thought – hoped – that their despicable daily behavior would calm down somewhat after the Mueller Witch Hunt had shut down and exonerated President Donald Trump. That obviously didn’t happen, and the Democrats and their media toadies did what they always do: Double-down on deception.”

I’m still a little peeved that I was censored this week on a couple of leftist blogs. I’m stunned that they edited, rewrote, or deleted most of my comments.

Then they replied to the censored comments with a leftist narrative to debunk the edited rewrite. I can’t even begin to describe how totally unethical and preposterous that is — but not surprising.

The left does not believe in free speech. Hell, they don’t even believe in the Constitution which, they say, codified white privilege, racism, sexism, slavery, and misogyny.

Talking to a liberal is like talking to the hand. When confronted with facts they raise their hand, cover their ears, run to the comfort of a sensory immersion room or censor comments because they have no rational response.

What did Nicholson say in that movie?

“You can’t handle the truth!”

Truth is being censored all across the Internet. A friend of SOAR was censored on two occasions this month when she posted pro-life articles on Facebook. A vlogger friend was censored by YouTube when he posted a video of his visit to a Gypsy Museum. He was told that the word “Gypsy” is a racist, derogatory, and offensive term. The politically correct word is Romany, or Romani.

We are living in George Orwell’s “1984”. There is no tolerance for incorrect thought and speech. People are like sheep and conform easily to the new paradigm which fits well with the socialist agenda.

To boast that you are tolerant and inclusive while inhibiting free speech is nothing short of tyranny.

Watch the tables turn as ongoing investigations of the Mueller Report reveal damning evidence of the silent coup to overthrow a duly elected president; and as Trump continues to push their buttons, Democrats will become even more unhinged.

For more insightful commentary please follow SOAR on the MENU tab.

The blog author, a lifelong conservative, holds a Master’s Degree in Public Administration. He has written about politics for half a century. As a teenager his commentaries were published in the local newspaper, and he has posted on Blogger and WordPress since 2007.

Copyright © SOAR

Censored by Leftist Bloggers

I don’t know how many times I’ve been censored, or blocked by a leftist blogger on WordPress. They regurgitate what they hear on CNN, and when confronted with facts they censor, or block my comments.

Often, they resort to mudslinging and name-calling — racist, sexist, homophobic, Islamophobic, bigoted — in fact, the Left has perfected the art of defamation and personal destruction.

Did you see where Bill Clinton said that conservatives are experts at sliming people? He can’t be serious. Look at how his party slimed Robert Bork, Clarence Thomas, Brett Kavanaugh, and Donald Trump.

So, I was debating the finer points of the Mueller Report on a leftist blog, but my comments were never posted. Today, another blogger simply edited and rewrote my comment by adding different text, and deleting three of four outlined counterpoints that they were not prepared to discuss.

Point #1

My first counterpoint was to the blogger’s assertion that “the Trump campaign willingly accepted help from the Russians”.

They wrote:

“The Mueller Report confirms the finding of U.S. intelligence agencies that the Russians attempted to influence the election in Trump’s favor, and the Trump campaign willingly accepted help from the Russians.”

The blogger redacted the quote and inserted the following text:

“But the point of my post is that Trump should be impeached on principle, on the grounds of he and his associates’ receptivity to, and hopeful interactions with a foreign power engaged in a campaign to sway an American election.”

My response to the original quote was this:

The Washington Post noted the Mueller Report’s conclusion:

“The Special Counsel’s investigation did not find that the Trump campaign or anyone associated with it conspired or coordinated with Russia in its efforts to influence the 2016 U.S. presidential election.”

The Post concluded:

“After a nearly two-year investigation, Mueller’s findings seemed to dispel the cloud of conspiracy that has hung over the administration since its inception.”

Point #2

The blogger suggested that Trump calling on the Russians to find Hillary’s missing emails was proof of collusion.

My response:

That was a tongue-in-cheek comment … sort of like when Hillary called on China to “get Trump’s tax returns”.

“China, if you’re listening, why don’t you get Trump’s tax returns? I’m sure our media would richly reward you.”

Point #3

The blogger commented:

“Do you honestly think that the country is better off now with a president that is a pathological liar who takes children from their parents and keeps them in cages …?”

My response:

Where to start … the term “cages” was circulated in a wire report from the Associated Press (no fan of Trump). Since the AP is the news outlet for the mainstream media, it became part of the narrative at CNN and the New York Times. (The AP is the source of the left’s daily talking points.)

This, according to The Atlantic, was disputed by Homeland Security and the Border Patrol. Media like the Los Angeles Times changed the word “cages” to “chain-linked yards”, or “fenced grounds” to more accurately describe the facilities.

“Cages” is an unfair depiction. In any case, President Obama also separated families in the very same facilities. The Trump Administration simply carried out the detention policies of Obama who was challenged in court for not only separating families, but denying them legal representation.

Leon Fresco (deputy assistant attorney general under Obama) was tasked with defending the administration’s policy of family detention. A federal judge in California ruled against Obama’s prosecution of mothers who entered the country illegally. Some were deported without their children.

Obama detained families specifically to deter illegal immigration. Fresco said that the administration could “not devise a safe way where men and children could be in detention together in one facility” so the families were separated.

Point #4

The blogger wrote:

“Much of the Steele Dossier has been validated.”

My response:

The Wall Street Journal said that the Mueller Report “dismissed many Steele Dossier claims that were fabrications and Russian disinformation”.

So the dossier was bought and paid for by Trump’s opponents. Does that mean that Clinton’s allies colluded with Russians to discredit Trump and influence the election?

Of course, Trump was not the duly-elected president when this all began, but you don’t buy an insurance policy after the fact.

— End Comments —

The blogger deleted points 2-4. They evidently weren’t prepared to discuss the facts. They advocated for Trump’s impeachment based solely on principle and politics.

Socialists do not uphold due process. They don’t subscribe to the presumption of innocence. A man is guilty simply because they dislike him both personally and subjectively.

Polls show that people affected by Trump Derangement Syndrome are generally unhappy. They’re unhappy that Hillary lost the election. They’re unhappy that Donald Trump is president. They are unhappy because they want revenge, but it seems so far beyond their reach.

It’s actually pathetic that the blogger deleted most of my comment because it didn’t comport with their contemptuous prejudice.

Oh, but the Left is so tolerant and inclusive … yeah, right.

For more insightful commentary please follow SOAR on the MENU tab.

The blog author, a lifelong conservative, holds a Master’s Degree in Public Administration. He has written about politics for half a century. As a teenager his commentaries were published in the local newspaper, and he has posted on Blogger and WordPress since 2007.

Copyright © SOAR