More Opinion by The Springboard
THE UPRISING OF THE AMERICAN PARTY "Clearly the voters are engaged right now, at least for sure on the republican side, and what they have concluded is that the republican party has not done their job. Thus, Donald Trump gets their vote."
Sunday, March 11, 2018
Lest you wish to drive yourself completely insane.
The truth is that in order for you to fully reap the rewards of any investments you may have, you really do need to keep a good tabs on what's going on with them. Yes, it can be a painful thing to watch your portfolio in the throes of its ups and downs. It can be particularly painful when there are bad days, or strings of bad days.
If you go into the process of looking daily at what you have with the mindset that this is just the way that the market operates, and if you have done your due diligence and have confidence in what your individual investments hold for the long haul, the daily nuances should not have the agonizing impact that they might otherwise have.
Going it blind, to me, just seems like a foolish way to go about things. Perhaps it is a stupid analogy. But imagine driving a car that has no gas gauge. You simply drive around having some general idea of where you need to be and how much gas is left in the tank to get you there. But you have no idea how much gas is actually in the tank.
At some point or another, or at various points, you are going to find yourself on the side of the road trekking to the nearest gas station, gas can in hand, to make up for the fact that you got it wrong. You'll even be filling up when you don't need to.
That's time, folks. And time is money. And it's a cog in the wheel that can throw your whole day off balance.
In order to manage your finances, you need to know how much gas is in your tank so you can make wise decisions about when you need to fuel up, when it might be a good idea to pour a few extra gallons in the tank, or even when you are safe to drive a little bit longer before doing anything at all.
But it does another thing for you when you are watching the daily nuances. It helps you to also make wise spending decisions. Look, let's be real here. We save money not only for the future. But we also save it to have it when we want it to do things.
Watching the money and knowing exactly where you are at any particular time can help you decide if now is the time to take that vacation, or replace the car, or go out to eat one night. If I see I am up for the week, perhaps I allow myself to take a little bit of that money off the table to take it out of the bottom line and do something I want to with it. Conversely, if I am down, I'm not taking money away from it making a bad situation worse.
Money is not the most important thing in our lives. Obviously. But it can certainly have an impact on the quality of our lives.
Again, going into the process knowing the mechanics of money and markets is key, and helps us even to see a silver lining. Remember when the markets lost half their value in 2009? It was a devastating thing to watch really. But, having an idea that we have been to places like that before, and seeing that we not only gained it all back eventually, and then some, gives you great insight into what you need to be doing in times like those.
You could say that back then, in 2009, the tank was running on empty. The choice would have been unwise to just keep on driving hoping you would still get to your destination. The wise choice would have been to put some gas in the car and drive a little less.
And by comparison...spend a little less.
You don't want to find yourself on the side of the road dead while all the other cars whiz past you. You want to be on the road with them, getting to the places you want to, and need to go. Pressing the gas pedal is intent to move forward. But you're going to need gas to actually make the car go.
If you really want to reach your destination, it is best to avoid guessing whether or not you will actually have what you need to get there, or what you need to do in order to have some influence on whether or not you will ever actually arrive.
In nearly all instances throughout history, these all have come from communist regimes.
One can only surmise, if you take history into account, that the decision to allow Xi Jinping to rule indefinitely will be fraught with disaster as this sort of thing has been proven to be so many times in the past—and is frankly in the present.
While it is true that this decision by the Chinese government may not pose an immediate threat, I do think it is a development which should be closely monitored by not only our government, but the rest of the free world.
We need to be asking ourselves some critical questions here. What is the direction of China's future role in the world? Do we need to be just a little bit worried about what they may be up to? How much power do they really have? And who might they pony up with in order to form a coalition of force against the free world?
Imagine a world, for example, where Russia, North Korea, and China are all together on the idea of the destruction of democracy.
The real problem with this is that China is in fact a powerful and formidable player on the world stage. It's a big country. They have money. They also have a substantial arsenal of military and weapons.
So does Russia frankly.
And let's face it. You'd have to have been living under a rock to not realize that for a very long time, and perhaps throughout its entire history, China has always been a bit nefarious in its presence.
And so has Russia been, even long after the fall of the former Soviet Union. That all said, I don't want to get ahead of myself or veer too far off course. We're just going to focus on China here.
We have to understand that for all of the Chinese government's effort, while still a primarily communist country, to infuse at least some form of capitalism into its structure, it is still a largely oppressive government that continues to manage the lives of its people and maintain a hold on what they can do.
Like forbidding the citizenry to speak out against the government without fear of persecution. Something that in the United States is extremely foreign to us. Half of us spending our days on Twitter might be dead in a country like China.
Look, we often are divided about who is in power in the White House in our country. We don't always like our president. Sometimes we adore him. No matter what, we should always be thankful that in our country we have presidential term limits. We should be thankful for the fact that no matter who happens to occupy the White House, good or bad, their time and opportunity to rule is limited. Obviously I am a strong Trump supporter. But at no time would I ever be for Trump's lifelong rule. There is a reason our country began term limits, and there is a reason why, even when it causes us some trouble—Nixon, Carter, and Obama all come to mind here—our system of government works for the people ultimately, and our system of government fully allows for future presidents to undue what former presidents do if they deem it was bad policy for the country.
I may well be just a little bit paranoid here. Who knows what the ultimate outcome of this decision will be? All I can do is guess that it poses serious potential problems using history as my guide. While Xi Jinping may be the "good" guy in this era of China's history, and may not necessarily have any bad ideas or ill intent toward his people or his country's place in the world, it does still leave the door wide open for a really bad actor to succeed him when he dies. There may be forces already in place, preparing for that when that day comes. And because the government has enough control over its people, it presents a timeline open to them to begin the process of shaping minds, and influencing the ideology of the people to inadvertently allow for another guy like Mao to enter into popularity.
What this says to me is that at least we, the American people—the general populace—need to be a bit more suspicious of China, and need to be a bit more aware of what indirect contribution we may make to embolden their monetary coiffures, and fuel their ability to become an even stronger force in the world than they already are.
It's not paranoia actually to think that every time I buy something made in China that I may unwittingly be contributing to a country that may have a dark, hidden interest in world domination, and may one day preemptively launch a major attack against a country like ours.
It is simply being cautionary.
Let's face it. We can be a bit of a complacent lot here in this country. It is one of our downfalls. We view the world from our experiences. We see others through our eyes. We try to see the good in all people. And many times we also think we have the ability to change bad people into good people. It tends to make us turn a blind eye at times and shrug our shoulders a bit.
This is potentially dangerous.
I am not saying that China is interested in world domination, nor am I suggesting that even Russia is. I am not saying that at the heart of this decision to allow Xi Jinping to rule indefinitely is to take the first step toward that end. I am saying that we need to keep a very close eye on this issue—and need to be very much concerned who it will be who ultimately replaces Xi Jinping at the end of his rule over there, and be aware of what would be very slight and almost invisible signs of a future major shift in what China ultimately becomes.
Saturday, March 10, 2018
But, she really IS hot.
And despite whatever thoughts even the right may have about her, I would bet my next ten paychecks that ever since the steamy story of her affair with Donald Trump hit the news, her images and her videos have probably hit the roof in web searches.
Yes. Let's face it. We MAY be right-wingers. But we're not dead, and we have interest and curiosity in gorgeous babes just like every other red-blooded American male out there—left OR right.
Ladies, please do not take offense here.
Look, I will have to tell you, in fairness of all honesty. And believe me, I am not alone here in this. I am not in the least bit unfamiliar with porn. Yes, I am on the right. Yes, I am a conservative. And yes, I do fully comprehend that there are a good many people who think porn is downright nasty and horrible, and mind-damaging...
But those who say that, and are emphatic about that, are probably spending more hours a day indulging in porn than the ones who never say a word about it.
It's as taboo for many people in adulthood as admitting masturbating is to a teenager. No matter how many times you try to convince someone, "Oh no, I am NOT doing THAT," we all know what the truth is.
But that's not why I am here talking about this. I just wanted to lay out some reality before I get into my main point about Stormy Daniels and this supposedly sultry story about her dealings with the now President of the United States that the left is so drooling over.
I HAD HONESTLY NEVER HEARD OF STORMY DANIELS UNTIL THIS STORY SURFACED.
Which makes me think, there have probably been a good number of people, left and right, who had never heard of her either. Even if they had stumbled upon her and just didn't recognize the name, or didn't remember it.
I constantly ask the question when stories like this come around, "Why now? Why NOW is this story coming out? And why SHOULD it be coming out?"
By all accounts, regardless of how the left wants to spin this, if she did in fact have a relationship with Trump, which I think she probably did, why has she never publicly said anything about it? To what end? For what purpose?
Well, it could be that her career has been a bit sketchy lately. I mean, she's only 38, and that does not make her old by today's standards (40 is the new 20?), but in the porn industry her career could well be at least somewhat dried up. A little bit of publicity right now could do well for her and her bottom line and she knows how desperate the left is to find any dirt they can possibly find to try to destroy Trump and his presidency.
This is just what the doctor ordered.
She can gain notoriety. She can have name recognition. People will seek her out. They may even buy photos and videos that she was part of. Maybe she even gets a call from one of the big porn outfits to do something new because even if she is 38 there are enough horny men out there eager and anxious to have a closer look at what Trump got to dive into.
Pardon the pun. I am sure that last statement will meet with disgust and controversy.
At the end of the day I have to admit I am a bit remiss as to why this even is a story at all? Of course the left and the lamestream media have done their best to portray this as sort of a call to address the outrage the right had over Clinton's antics while he was president.
But, this was not happening in the White House. This was not happening in the Oval Office. This was not happening while Trump was on the phone with members of Congress. This was not happening in any official capacity whatsoever.
What was it? Sex. Plain and simple. Consensual sex between a billionaire and a porn star.
Of course, it is also a strong attempt by the left to try to discredit the president in some form or fashion and make him out to be a troll, praying on women. It is an attempt to say to the public, "See, for all your outrage for all the left has been accused of when it comes to sexual predation your guy is as guilty."
The only reason Stormy Daniels has chosen to kiss and tell is because there is something to be gained by it. Mostly probably financially. The media is interested, and even if the media does not pay her for her story...
She will sell more of her work almost invariably. And that is what this is really all about. Nothing more than that, folks. Nothing more to see here. She wants a bit of the limelight and she wants to line her pockets with it.
But it will do nothing to damage Donald Trump or his presidency.
And Stormy might be well advised when she cashes in to invest her money wisely and not spend it all in one place. Because very soon this will be old news, especially when the media realizes that no one cares...
And they are off and running on the next big thing they think will bring down the presidency of Donald J. Trump.
Thursday, March 8, 2018
When I found myself to be a proponent of the tariffs, which admittedly does go against my grain a bit, it was only after I looked at what Trump was really proposing. What he was really saying. And what his true intent of the tariffs happen to be. His signing of the executive order today only serves to confirm the message I was getting when he first talked about it.
It is not an across the board tariff. There is a ton of flexibility built into it. And the tariff is not the intended target. Nor are importing countries. ONLY the bad players. AND he has a larger interest in mind.
Like renegotiating the decades old and outdated NAFTA agreement, which should not be ditched, but certainly should be revisited.
The executive order is clear that at least one of our primary suppliers of steel, which happens to be Canada, is not currently included. Neither is Mexico, although they do not supply much, if any of our steel. So really, what is the real impact of the tariffs? I would argue it is actually nominal.
BUT, that does not mean that steel suppliers and producers of products that use it to make their products are not going to miss the bigger picture, jump on the train, and use it as an opportunity and as an excuse to raise their prices. And they are doing it already even though the tariffs do not even go into effect until sometime next month.
What does this ultimately equate to? It's a money grab, folks. It is gouging the end user on the premise that prices will be negatively impacted on a broad scale when it is clear that will not be the case at all.
Just read the wording of the executive order instead of taking in the talking points of all of the naysayers.
Granted. Yes. You do have to deal with the impact of the tariffs, even if they may be largely inflated and fake. Sellers set the prices and buyers have to simply pay the prices set. That's the nature of the game. But at the end of the day the price increases, at least for now, have nothing at all to do with the tariffs, and have everything to do with what the sellers either anticipate, or want the perceived outcome of the tariffs to be.
The fact is that right now what we see happening is more reactionary in the price of steel since the tariffs have not even gone into effect yet. Steel producers and manufacturers who use steel are honestly pulling price increases out of the air almost as badly as callers of the $15 an hour minimum wage did. There is no market data to support the increases. There is no added cost to the market right now. It's all just anticipatory. In other words, what is driving up the cost of steel and aluminum right now has nothing at all to do with the tariffs, only the anticipation of the tariffs and the perceived idea as to what those tariffs will mean at the end of the day.
The light at the end of the tunnel is that if you actually read what is in the executive order what you find is that nothing in the executive order is in stone. The executive order, when you dig a little deeper into it, is nothing more than a tool to negotiate. That is what Trump does, and he is good at it. The executive order is a conversation opener.
Here is what you want. Here is what we want. How do we find common ground to get there? If you give us a little of what we want, we can negotiate what you want—including on these tariffs—and we can meet somewhere in the middle, and we all win.That is what these tariffs do. That is what these tariffs hope to achieve. To open a dialogue. Trump has been very clear that the percentages can go up or down depending on the country, and depending on what else we all may want to talk about when it comes to trade.
The difference between tariffs and the impacts of them of the past and the ones we are looking at now are the dynamics and the real intent of what they hope to achieve.
If you do not understand what these tariffs actually mean, I suggest you read the book by Donald Trump called The Art of the Deal. You cannot take these tariffs on the surface. You have to open your mind a bit and read into what he is really trying to do here. If you do that, you'll see that what Trump has in mind actually has nothing at all to do with steel and aluminum imports. There is a much bigger and broader picture here. It's the macro. Not the micro.
Keep an open mind and give this a little time and what you will see is that steel and aluminum prices will stabilize, and what we will wind up with at the end of the day is a much better situation when it comes to all trade for America and American workers. Mark my words.
Saturday, March 3, 2018
Naturally, most of the lambasting has come from the left—which have, in their responses, taken my tweet completely out of context. Not surprising, really. But it is indeed a bit annoying.There's that word again. Racist. And in the way the libs so readily use it is part of the reason I believe racism does not exist anymore. If it did, the left would not have made the word so meaningless. https://t.co/DfyjhOmtWc— Jim Bauer (@JimBauer601) March 1, 2018
The truth is that of course I am not so naïve to believe that there is no racism left in the world. Of course racism exists, and I cannot find anything about the wording in my tweet that really suggests other than that.
I was very clear when I said "in the way the libs so readily use it (the word racism) is part of the reason I believe racism does not exist anymore."
That is to say that liberals have simply redefined the word to mean "anyone who is a conservative or a republican is a racist based on the idea that he or she disagrees with a liberal position." That is, of course, not the definition of racism.
For anyone on the left who would like to have a lesson in what is the definition of racism, here it is.
"Racism is prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism directed against someone of a different race based on the belief that one's own race is superior."Yes, I am against DACA. Yes, I am for secure borders. Yes, I am for legal and sensible immigration. Yes, I support Muslim bans until we know who we are letting enter our country. None of these positions make me a racist even if my positions impact another race. I simply want for our country to be safe, and I want for our citizens (legal citizens) to have the best opportunities for jobs, and do not want my tax dollars going into the hands of people who are not with our best interests in mind.
What makes the use of the word racism by liberals even more frustrating is that I actually advocate for especially the black community often. I have long said and written about how it pains me to drive through America's inner cities and want for them to have a better life and better opportunities. In part, a large part of the reason I advocate for American labor and protectionism to an extent is because I want to see many of those jobs opportunities afforded to the black community which would largely benefit—as it did in the past when manufacturing was more vibrant and robust.
Pre-Civil Rights movement notwithstanding. I cannot do anything to change that. I also was not alive during that era.
But, I fully support and would have supported desegregation, and would have opposed Jim Crowe laws vehemently. I would have been a fan of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and am a fan today of his message and his non-violent protest stance.
That does not make me a racist at all.
And even though I largely blame the black community today for many of its internal problems such as drug activity, gun violence, high crime, and children born out of wedlock—for their lack of action or based on the ineffective officials in their communities they elect—I am largely saying that of all people, it is the black community who has every bit of ability to pull themselves up from the bootstraps and succeed. I believe they have the power to do it and strongly believe that the government cannot and will not solve their problems for them.
And clearly government programs have proven ineffective.
It is not racist at all to point the finger and say, "You have the power to change your life if you seize the opportunity, and run hard with it." It is also not racist to say, "Until you realize what you are doing or not doing to affect your own outcome you will not succeed."
The point of my tweet was of course to simply point out that liberals have, as they do with so many words these days, redefined the word racism to the point that they have literally rendered the entire meaning of the word meaningless. And what boggles my mind a bit about that is that if you are a liberal and if you truly care about the impact of racism by its true definition, to redefine it in the way they have takes away from the real problems of racism in America.
And therefore, if no one knows what the word means anymore, how do you fix the problem? You don't know which bolt is loose on the tire if you catch my drift, and you may be trying to tighten the wrong one.
Look, I can be called whatever people want to call me. I know in my heart who I am and what I believe. But it does not mean I am any less frustrated by the label. In fact, it saddens me a bit. It saddens me because I do not like racism by its true definition anymore than any other common sense individual would not like it. I want to see racism eradicated as much as anyone. I want to see other races succeed as much as everyone. I want to be one America regardless of color or ethnicity as much as anyone.
We can't do that if the focus of what is racist is fuzzy and ill-defined.