Onto the debate between the vice president candidates

For the moment, I leave you readers with the following quotation:

“Well, there is always the thought in a fellow’s mind that he might get to be president.” – House Speaker Sam Rayburn, explaining to John F. Kennedy in 1960 why rival Lyndon Johnson agreed to accept the vice presidential nomination.

 And check the following article:

 VP: A second banana in a country of firsts from Associated Press


The sky did not fall, but…

Oh well, of all my investments, the safe one is the one that disappears. So much for investment grade corporate bonds. As my current experience shows, things change at a lightning pace in this worldwide investment environment. Does that means the end of El Visitador? No. But no one wants to lose money, specially when that someone has been a cautious investor. Shall I put all my money under a mattress? No, since that means I’ll end up without anything soon. So, what shall I do? Just have faith in the system, I guess.

In the meantime, everyone have fun this weekend. Here is some candy for that:

Playing chicken with US $700 Billion

It is 7:30PM here in California, Thursday, September 25. My partner is usually a calm person who goes through life with a calm demeanor. Barack Obama should copy him. However, he just went into my office and announced in sad and depressed voice that the proposed rescue plan is no longer plausible. It seems that politics, as usual, has killed whatever the Bush administrated wanted to do as its last hurrah.I am sure that by now, Asian financial markets are going on a tailspin. Europe will be following next, until we wake up tomorrow, and is our turn to have another Black Friday. I have been riding this financial crisis like a person on smaller waves. Because of my own risk allocations, my financial ups and downs replicate the Dow Jones index, but on smaller curves. So, actually, I have been doing quite well given the circumstances. But I wonder how much longer this total lack of confidence in our financial markets will last.

As my readers have known, I have not been a cheerleader for the Republican Party’s presidential candidates. Part of it comes from the party’s social conservative beliefs. Part of it comes from being annoyed at the pure arrogance of their belief that they are the flag carriers of this country. However, for a while, I thought John McCain, as he claims, was a person who has his own beliefs and chartered a course that followed his own convictions. I kind of liked him and even contributed to his campaign during the prior election.

So, I feel saddened today that such a maverick has decided to take actions, at whatever costs, sorely to obtain the presidency. It has been clear that the tactics of his campaign are guerilla tactics. In this case, but for him bringing his face into Washington D.C., the rescue plan may have worked. As the leader of his own party, I hold him accountable for not controlling his members. He did not offer any other alternatives, and we are certainly beyond establishing a 9-11 commission to see how this country can be rescued. So, to Mr. Maverick, how do you feel watching Washington D.C. in flames? Do you imagine yourself as Nero viewing Rome?

Of gradiators, eating candy and other thoughts

I am having a writer’s block. The last few weeks have been excited for me because I felt like a spectator in a Roman coliseum while watching the U.S. presidential candidates throw verbal punches. Maybe politics is about that; some form of games played by two gladiators to entertain us. Instead of physical weapons, what they use are verbal ones. An offensive move here, a defensive move there, but it all seems to be a draw so far. No one is going ahead. Everything seems to be a stand-still. So, I cannot give thumbs up or thumbs down to any of the candidates. Though, I feel that Barack Obama may lose the election just because of the racial issue. Who knows how many people may vote against him just because of his skin color.

So, let’s talk about other things. For starters, I received my first traffic infraction in more than 20 years. It seems that the law of average finally caught up with me. I was wondering how long before the sports car catches the eye of a police officer. I had already another run a year ago, but at that time the cop let me go. This time, I guess, I need to pay the penalty…and hope to go to traffic school in order to avoid the dreaded point in my record. Oh joy. The interesting thing is that I incurred the infraction on my way to lunch with my nephews and nieces. When I explained what happened to me, everyone started giving me advice. It seems they all had traffic infractions. So, statistically, I am amazed that I have not got one until now.

On other matters, I kind of agree with what Rachel Maddow of CNBC said. She was discussing about the whole financial meltdown in this country. Her analogy is that the banks were like little kids going on Halloween and getting a huge amount of candy. The parents (us, the citizens) let them in charge of the baby-sitter (the U.S. government) who happens to be another kid. But we don’t give the baby-sitter any rules. So, the baby-sitter let the kids eat all the candy they want. The net effect is that they all get sick, throw up, and destroy the house (the country). Now, the Bush administration wants a super Tsar who will dispense more candy to the same kids. As she was discussing in her show, the CEOs of these banks got the candy on the way up. It seems, they’ll be getting the candy on the way down. All thanks to deregulation started under Ronald Regan. So much for country first, eh?

What does it takes for a member of a minority to be awarded the medal of honor?

Long, long time ago, when I was a little kid, I had a comic magazine about Jim Thorpe. It was at that time that I first got a wince about how racism works in the United States. As some of us will recall, Jim Thorpe was an Olympian whose gold medals were stripped because he was found to have played a couple of seasons in the minor leagues. There were also other athletes who did so but were not punished. The IOC punished him basically because at that time, they could not stand that an American Indian could win Olympic events. Even after the IOC admitted its mistake and reinstated his medals, it kind of tried to save face by saying he was a co-champion with other athletes.

So, what does Jim Thorpe has to do with today’s writing? It does because of this story. It is about the nomination of Rafael Peralta, a U.S. Marine who died in Iraq, for the medal of honor. President Bush praised him previously for throwing his body on a grenade in order to save his fellow soldiers. However, he was not awarded the medal of honor. The committee who oversaw the award questioned whether he did so even from the testimony of a marine photographer who stated that Peralta grabbed the grenade and absorbed the blast.

Shades of Jim Thorpe? You be the judge. The other soldiers who received the medal of honor during this current war in Iraq are: Paul Smith, Jason Dunham, Michael Monsoor, Ross McGinnis. None of them were members of a minority.