Monday, November 16, 2015

Picking a President is like picking an investment stock

I wrote this essay 8 years ago, and much of it is still applicable today.  I don't know why I didn't publish it then. 

Picking a candidate for President is like picking an investment stock. When I plan to buy a stock, I first investigate its fundamentals. I begin with the historical prices. This is like evaluating the candidates historical votes and acts from their previous government positions. I can find the voting record of all our members of Congress at

Then I like to read about the company. I like to invest in good companies with good products that have good management practices, a good balance sheet, and good growth of EPS over the years. I like to vote for a good candidate that has good platforms to offer, that have proven themselves to be good executive managers, whose money is not beholding to special interests, and who have a proven good track record in their previous government positions.

I invest in companies that provide a good service to our society, that are dedicated to human health and the health of our planet, that take responsibility for their mistakes, that have women and minorities on their Board of Directors, and provide good benefit packages for their employees. Likewise, I seek a candidate for President that will provide good service to our society, that is dedicated to the health of our population and of the environment, that takes responsibility for his/her mistakes, that respects the rights of women and minorities, and will strive to give the American people benefits equal to the ones they enjoy.

The companies that I have invested in due to their high-class, glossy promotional literature have almost all declined in value to a hand full of coins. I have learned my lesson not to invest in stocks by the glossy look of its cover. I believe it is the same for candidates for office: you can't judge the book by its cover. Yet, the American people are obsessed with how good the candidate looks. I'll never forget that people voted for Arnie because he was the Governator!

When we look over the candidates contending for the Presidential nomination at this time, we have a long list to investigate, 115 announced candidates to whit according to Of the main 16 contenders, there is only one that fulfills my criteria, yet is ignored by the media. Obviously, the media have an entirely different set of criteria for what makes a good presidential candidate.

Rudolph W. Giuliani is plagued with ties to organized crime, was an unfaithful husband, did nothing to defend NYC after the first jet collided with the WTC on 9/11, and ordered a cover-up of the air pollution after the Twin Towers collapsed. Doesn't sound good to me.

Mike Huckabee is strongly in favor of promoting education and the arts. While governor of Arkansas, he facilitated legislation that improved roads, state parks, and health care for children. These are all good! Huckabee is an ordained Southern Baptist minister who believes in Creationism over evolution. Its beginning to sound like he might change Democracy to Theocracy. Not good!

John McCain looked like Nosferatu at the 2007 State-of-the-Union address. Creepy! He proved he was willing to sell out to the theocratic Christians at Liberty University and claims to share values with Jerry Falwell. He may have been a prisoner of war and an opponent of torture, but he is all for continuing the occupation of Iraq. McCain is a war hawk and is affiliated with the Project for a New American Century (PNAC). Bad!

Ron Paul is an OB/GYN MD. Having worked in the perinatal field for nearly two decades, I found that men often became gynecologists because they were misogynists and wanted to control women when they were most vulnerable. Of course, I can't assume that Ron Paul falls into that category. He is a distinguished scholar of the Ludwig von Mises Institute known for its economic theories depicting government intervention as destructive, whether through welfare, taxation, regulation, or war. Therefore, we can assume that Congressman Paul is anti-war, and also anti-welfare, anti-taxation, anti-fascist, anti-socialist. He believes that life begins at conception and wants to give legal rights to the unborn. Not good!

Did Mitt Romney announce his candidacy at the Henry Ford Museum in order to affiliate himself with one of America's most vocal anti-Semites? Having graduated cum laude from Harvard Business School, we know he's a smart businessman. This is good. He transformed the Massachusetts budget deficit into a surplus. Very good! First he was pro-choice and for gay rights, but is now pro-life and against gay rights. He supports the death penalty and the three strikes law. Not so good!

Tommy Thompson was governor of Wisconsin for four terms. I guess they liked him. As governor, he implemented welfare reform, health insurance for low-income families, and a school choice program that used public funds to send low-income students to private schools. He wants to let the Iraqis decide for themselves whether they want to be occupied by American forces. And he was involved with improperly hiding the true cost of the Medicare Prescription Drug program before it was passed into law. Mr. Thompson is for injecting Veri-Chips into our skin for ID and financial data, admires George Bush, and is pandering for the Jewish vote.  Some good, and much not good. 

A Wall of Separation Between Corporation and State

The Tea Party advocates told me that the Constitution protects capitalism.  That perplexed me.  I have read the Declaration of Independence, Constitution, and Bill of Rights several times and couldn't recall seeing anything about capitalism.  As a matter of fact, I carry a copy of the Constitution with me like a Christian will carry a Bible.  I can't say that I am a great Constitutional scholar, but I have a pretty good familiarity with it.  

I contended that I never saw anything about capitalism.  The closest thing I could imagine is the right to own private property.  They responded that this right IS capitalism, but the founding fathers just didn't have that word yet.  I again contended that capitalism means buying low and selling high, which is not at all the same as the right to own private property.  They disagreed, and affirmed that it is the same.  

So I looked up the word Capitalism: an economic system characterized by private or corporate ownership of capital goods, by investments that are determined by private decision for profit, and by prices, production, and the distribution of goods that are determined mainly by competition in a free market. 

The first real capitalists were the Dutch East India Company founded 1602.  They used capital for investment, but no one ever used the word Capitalism until it was coined in 1867 by Karl Marx in his book co-written with Engels, Das Capital.  The meaning Marx gave it was using capital (money) to buy commodities to sell for profit.  That seems pretty simple to me and confirmed my contention that capitalism is not the same as the right to own property.  There is no right in the Constitution to own property for profit.  Although the founding fathers assumed that shops and businesses would conduct commerce everywhere in the new Republic, they found no reason to guarantee the right to free enterprise or the right to make profits. 

That's why I believe we need to amend the Constitution to guarantee Constitutional rights only to human persons, as well as making election financing answerable only to the Public for which they will be elected.  These together will make a wall of Separation between Corporation and State. 

Racial discrimination within my family

Yesterday was my mother's 99th birthday.  I've been thinking some about my dad lately, now that he's been gone for about 10 years.  It has always been a conundrum why he was such a splendid father to me and my eldest sister, Susan, and an abusive father to my middle sister, Bonnie.

We all heard over and over how Bonnie used to bemoan how dad treated her differently and discriminated against her.  I never saw it until my dad was almost dead, at age 90, when my 2 elder sisters helped him to the bathroom, one under each arm to support him.  He graciously thanked Susan and sneered at Bonnie.  That's when my mother disclosed that she had noticed his discrimination for Bonnie early on and tried to reason with him about it.  He just responded that he found Bonnie to be annoying.

And Bonnie WAS annoying!  Typical of the second child, if they can't get positive attention, then they demand negative attention, better than no attention at all.  Yes, Bonnie was annoying.  As a young child, I remember teaming up with my older sister against Bonnie and taunting her.  As an adult, I apologized to her for that.  But Bonnie was molded into a much different person than me even though we had the same parents due to my father's emotionally abusive discrimination of her.  For over a decade, I have been pondering why my dad did this, and I finally got an answer yesterday.

We are New York Jews.  All of our ancestors came from Eastern and Western Europe.  We are Caucasians with blue or brown eyes, frequently hooked noses, mostly with curly or wavy European hair.  Both my parents fit that description, and all of my grandparents, as well.  But not Bonnie.  Bonnie was born with dark skin, the typical deep blue eyes of the Cohen side of the family, and kinky nearly black hair.  For the first time in my life, I realized that my dad disliked her from the day she was born because she had dark skin.

I remember the horror in my brother-in-law's face when he gazed upon his newborn son, Barry.  I was also with Ronnie the day he gazed upon his first-born, Lori.  Lori's head and part of her forehead was bashed in from the forceps assisted birth.  Ronnie was beaming with pride at his wrinkled infant with a bashed-in head.  But when he gazed upon newborn son Barry, he was struck with horror and disgust.  Barry was born pinto.  He had dark skin and light skin right across the middle of his face.  One side of his neck was light skinned, and the other side was dark.  I could understand it as horror of a deformed, imperfect baby, but Lori was imperfect and deformed, and Ronnie's response was very different.

Today I am thinking that both my dad and Ronnie were more offended by having a child with dark skin.  As I recall the racial attitudes of my parents, my mom said she grew up in NYC with all the races and didn't see much difference.  But my dad was more surreptitious with his attitudes.  Both he and Ronnie felt Blacks were lazy, untrustworthy, and  inferior.  Could it be that they gazed down at their 100% Jewish newborns and saw a Negro?

Bonnie has since gotten vitiligo and her face lost it's Middle Eastern hue to become colorlessly white.  But in her youth, her beauty was striking by those blue eyes in contrast with her dark skin and dark Jewfro.  I was proud of her striking Moroccan-like beauty.  It never even occurred to me at the time that she was "different" or "other" because of the color of her skin being so different from mine.  There was no doubt as to her heritage since she was the spitting image of our grandmother Rose, except with dark skin.  She looked more like the Cohen side of the family than any of us.

I'm not sure my sister Bonnie has ever known happiness.  She hates when I write personal things about her for the public to see.  That's why I am writing it here in my blog, since nearly no one ever reads my blog.  And also, I will skip the details of Bonnie's sources of anguish.  Let's just say that her life might have been much happier if our father had treated her with as much love as Susan and me.  Thankfully, our mother had enough love for us all.  Even in my mother's self-indulgent years, she still made it a hard and fast principal to treat us all equally.

Some might question my right to judge that Bonnie isn't happy as she gazes at the East River from her luxury Manhattan apartment with obscene amounts of money to spend and 2 employed sons and 5 healthy grand-children.  But I think I know my sister Bonnie, and even if happiness was right in front of her, she wouldn't accept it, because our father rejected her.