Thursday, October 22, 2015

Thoughts and Stuff

I just became a proud shareholder of the Ford Motor Company, so watch that stock tank over the next few months.  They do everything right, and when the company suffered, they didn't go to the government for a handout.  Rather, they solved their own problems. That's admirable.
There's another opportunity in Sirius Satellite Radio (SIRI).  I just bought a car (a Ford, coincidentally) and it came equipped with satellite radio. I used to think that I'd die before I would pay for radio, but this isn't radio.  It's customized programming over a satellite network. To call it radio is a disservice.  I'm converted, to the point that I am going to extend my free trial period for another year.  The company is growing, and since its merger with XM Radio, it is the lone provider of the product.  The only issue confronting the stock is that Howard Stern's contract expires in three months.  If he renews, expect the stock to gain substantially.  If he doesn't it should still grow, but they'll have to find a catalyst.
I've been buying Alcoa (AA), but at this point I'm waiting to see it settle-in, since it's been going steadily down for the past couple of weeks.
Likewise, Aeropostale (ARO).  It will be a huge turnaround story if they can make it work, but at 65 cents a share, I'd wait for some news that brought it back to the dollar-a-share territory before I spent any more money in it.  There is potential overseas, and the company is pursuing it. Can they make it work? There's the rub.
OK, thus ends my financial consultation. Remember, it was free.

Today, on the road, I encountered an all-too familiar experience.  Traveling along a state highway at the posted speed limit (50) I was pursued and tailgated by a driver.  She followed me for a few miles, her headlights close to my rear bumper the whole way. Presumably, she didn't pass me because there was a double-yellow line on the road, prohibiting passing by law.  Once the lines became dashed, she didn't hesitate to pass, exceeding the posted speed limit by at least 15 miles per hour.
So, one is left to conclude:  There are laws that they obey and laws that they do not.  The laws are open to their interpretation. Don't pass on double-yellow, but exceed the speed limit once the opportunity presents itself.
Strange behavior from the humans.

As humans, we have several masters to serve. We disdain the wealthy, yet praise professional athletes, most of whom are so wealthy that even their wretched excesses cannot erase their fortune. It is only when they run for president that their wealth and status become an issue.  Watching the last Democrat party debate, during their introduction, each candidate highlighted how they came from a life of near-poverty and how their parents worked and slaved to get what they earned.  It's as though we are supposed to sympathize with the candidate because of where they came from.  What they do not want us to know is that their life of priviledge has led them to this lofty state.  The only reason they are running for office is because their personal wealth enabled them to do so.  That is something that they do not want us to know.

One wonders the last time they did grocery shopping, anguished over which bills they could pay, or fought with their conscience over a purchase of less than a hundred dollars.
The people that we are electing to office do not know of our personal struggles, our agonies over how to invest our meager retirement savings, or how Social Security and Medicare will help us in our "Golden Years," which are being tarnished at every turn.

I see what my 91-year-old mother is going through: Filling-out forms for food stamps, a book as thick as a college yearbook explaining Medicare, complicated forms to fill-out to get property tax relief, and a system that makes it more difficult to be elderly and not working than young and poor.

But, we can get breakfast at McDonald's now, so that makes it better, right?

Bread and circuses.

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