Sunday night thoughts

Had a funeral this week.  I saw a lot of friends, you know how it is, the older you get, the more people you know, and a lot of them you see only at weddings and funerals.   One particular guy I spoke to is now retired from a federal law enforcement agency.   He prefers not to be named or have his agency identified.   The last time we talked shop was in late 2000.    He had been working on a high-profile case which had resulted in the perp going to prison for life.   At that get-together in 2000,   I asked him what big thing he was working on now that the **** case was finished.    He replied, “Terrorism.”   At the time I thought,  “Big yawn.”

Well, last week, we spoke again.  I reminded him of our conversation concerning terrorism.  He has since retired, but keeps in touch with his buddies.   I asked him what he would do if he were head of the agency he retired from.    His answer was to the point:  stop immigration into this country.  We have to sort the good guys from the bad guys.  Also, our schools are so vulnerable.   He pointed out that the tragedy in Russia back in 2004 could happen anywhere.   Who is going to stop an attack like that, the receptionist? There was more, but for now, this is all I am prepared to write until I run it by the Head Rogue Jew.

The stock market…as you may or may not know, I am a daytrader.  I don’t care if the market goes up or down, I go long or short, makes no difference to me.  I don’t fall in love with stocks, I just sniff out opportunities like a boar sniffs out truffles.

On Friday, I was long a lot of gold and energy stocks.    I had a profitable  week, considering the funeral and other problems that popped up.   Now,  the market is extremely oversold, which means we should be getting a bear-market rally, a dead-cat bounce (that’s what it is called, I didn’t make it up).   But I got this sick feeling in the pit of my stomach, as if subconsciously my brain was telling me ‘Danger Ahead.’   So I liquidated everything and went to cash, and shorted the market.   An hour later, a friend of mine phoned and said, “You know, I just wasn’t comfortable with the market action, I went to cash.”   So his subconscious agrees with mine.    Now watch the market get that short-seller covering rally and go up 500 points tomorrow and make me look like a monkey.

What’s this have to do with liberalism?    We are headed for big trouble.  Three more US banks have failed since the beginning of the year.    Stimulus package?   Uh, hellooo, throwing money at a problem will work only until the problem goes through that money and comes back for more.   Every morning, when the clock radio goes on, one hears about 3,000 or 30,000 more layoffs.   The people who worked at Circuit City last month won’t buy coffee at Starbucks tomorrow morning or eat dinner at Red Lobster tomorrow night.  It’s like the domino effect.    I heard a politician say we have to live within out means.  Whaddya  mean WE ???  Hello again,  YOU POLITICIANS need to live within your means.   Make me president, I’ll cut the federal budget by 80%.  The government and all its freaking social engineering spending is the problem.   Massive federal debt to finance all these social engineering debacles in the problem.

The housing situation is beyond words.  I took a ride with a friend who is a real estate agent.   We stopped at a house in a small development in Florida.  He said that the house was in foreclosure, they were asking 239,000 for it, and would be truly lucky to get 150,000.  He pulled up at another house, got out and righted a couple of flower pots that were lying on their sides.   “Another empty,” he said. “If someone was living there, those pots wouldn’t be lying there.”   We drove up the street and counted seven houses that showed subtle and not-so-subtle signs of abandonment.

I met another fellow at the funeral luncheon.   He just bought a condo near the beach outside of Clearwater.  At the top of the market, this particular condo was going for $299,000.   They were asking $199,000.   The woman said she would take $100,000.  He offered her $60,000 and she took it.

Another condo owner south of Clearwater told me at the same funeral they live in a 16 unit development.   The HOA (homeowners’ association) fee is $700 a month.   Two of the units are in foreclosure, several others have stopped paying the HOA fee, and they are all dragging each other to court.

My friend N. the realtor said he went to a foreclosure auction, and many of the properties, including houses, had high monthly HOA fees.    One house, which sold originally for $725,000, had a starting bid of $199,000 and an association fee of $708.   N. told me there was no way he was going to bid on a house with a monthly association fee of $708.   What if you can’t turn the house for 4 or 5 years?   That’s $708 a month and that doesn’t include mortgage, insurance or property taxes.   Everyone I know is wondering if he or she will have a job next year.   They aren’t looking to buy a house with a $700 HOA fee.  WE IS SCREWED.  People are living in neighborhoods where half the houses are unoccupied.   Now that sure does a lot for your resale value.

For your homework, check out www.prudentsquirrel.com.  I am a subscriber, but you can read his public articles for free.   I get nothing for this.  The editor does a huge amount of research.  Very informative.    Shalom, Pascobear.

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