Friday, September 30, 2005

We're becoming a nation of chavs, too.

(NY Times) September 30, 2005
At Wit's End, a Town Dithers Over Its Millionaire Pest
By SARAH LYALL

SWAFFHAM, England - Except possibly for Howard Carter, who discovered Tutankhamen's tomb in 1922 (and who died a long time ago), 22-year-old Michael Carroll is by far Swaffham's most famous resident.

Known across Britain by his tabloid nickname, the Lotto Lout, Mr. Carroll won £9.7 million (about $15 million at the time) in the national lottery three years ago and showed up to collect his prize while wearing a police-issued electronic ankle bracelet. The question now raging in Swaffham is whether he deserves to throw the switch at the town's annual Christmas lights display, as he was briefly invited to do.

"I personally have nothing against him," said Terry Drake, a prominent local businessman who owns a hardware store on the main street of this busy old market town. "But a convicted criminal shouldn't be in a position to do something that children are supposed to look up to."
At this point, Mr. Carroll is not likely to be turning on anyone's lights except his own. After a huge public outcry, the town has rescinded the invitation and will probably have no holiday display at all this year (Mr. Carroll was going to pay for it).

If nothing else, Mr. Carroll, who did not respond to messages left at his house, has proved since winning that he is not the sort of person to let money turn his head: he has kept having run-ins with the authorities, the only difference being that he now drives nicer cars to court.

"Before he won the lottery, he was a nuisance," Charles Joyce, a local official, said. "He decided to carry on being a nuisance."

Among other things, he has appeared in court more than 30 times in the last three years. He has spent three months in jail on drugs charges, paid thousands of dollars in fines for vandalism and been evicted from several hotels after, for instance, ripping a chandelier from the ceiling while trying to swing from it.

He was recently ordered to perform 240 hours of community service - later increased to 300 - after shooting ball bearings through 32 car and shop windows with a catapult as he drove around in the middle of the night.

He has been issued with two antisocial behavior orders in two local jurisdictions forbidding him to threaten, harass or intimidate anyone in a 400-mile radius. He has been told by local government authorities to stop throwing raucous late-night parties and to stop holding demolition derbies on his land.

And he has been told to clean up the yard of his house, strewn as it is with tires, beer cans, food wrappers, wrecked furniture and the hulks of half-smashed-up old cars.
Mr. Carroll is an object of national fascination in part because of his apparently pathological criminality, and in part because he represents a kind of Briton known as a chav. Chavs, whether rich or poor, tend to favor gaudy jewelry and expensive-but-tacky clothes with big logos and to behave in a way that others find coarse or obnoxious.

Male chavs wear tracksuits and baseball caps; female chavs pull their hair tightly back in buns or ponytails, a style known as a "council house facelift," from the term for public housing.
Mr. Carroll has "King of Chavs" printed on his Mercedes, a car known in the newspapers as the Loutmobile (its license plate reads L111 OUT).

The derivation of the word chav, which began to be widely used about a year ago as the problem of binge drinking in Britain's towns and cities became a huge national issue, is murky. Some say it comes from an 18th century Romany word meaning "child"; others believe it may come from the town of Chatham in Kent, known, apparently, for its large chav population (the theory that it is an acronym for Council Housed and Violent is most likely untrue).
Chav behavior - outrageous spending sprees, drunken brawls, inappropriate public displays of affection, screaming matches with loved ones in bars, destruction of property, late-night stumbling and/or vomiting - provide celebrity magazines here with much of their material. Among British women, Coleen McLoughlin, the girlfriend of the soccer star Wayne Rooney, is seen as a celebrity chav.

Ms. McLoughlin - whose new house with Mr. Rooney reportedly includes its own spray-tanning booth - is rarely photographed without a variety of designer-store shopping bags and a thong showing above her pants. Her 18th birthday party last year descended into chaos when the free drinks ran out and Mr. Rooney's uncle began yelling abuse at the waiters.

Others in the greater chav universe are David and Victoria Beckham, who would hate to be considered chavs but who nonetheless wore matching purple outfits and sat on matching thrones at their wedding; and Jordan, a former topless model who recently traveled to her own wedding in a Cinderella-style carriage shaped like a pumpkin and pulled by six white horses.
Mr. Carroll, who collects chav products like jewelry, cars and tattoos, has also experienced the underside of famous chavdom, with friends denouncing him publicly. His now ex-girlfriend told The Sun that Mr. Carroll believed that "the trees in his front garden are actually people disguised as trees," and spent his nights prowling around the house looking for intruders. "I'll tell him, 'Come back to bed, you stupid twit,' " she told the newspaper.

The Christmas lights offer came from Swaffham's honorary town crier, Eddie Godden, who is responsible for organizing the display this year. But after receiving letters of protest from across the country, the council not only decreed that Mr. Carroll was to go nowhere near the display (if there is one) but also removed Mr. Godden from his post.

"He has misbehaved, but he's done what most teenaged boys would do in winning that sort of money," Mr. Godden said of Mr. Carroll. "He's 22 and he's had a lot of bad publicity and he's already been to prison. This is the first conscious public thing he's done to give some money to a good cause. I think he was ready to make amends."

Is he ready to make amends? Mr. Carroll's lawyer, Neil Meacham, would not say.
"I get so many calls from television and the newspapers that unless you pay me, I really don't have time to talk to you," Mr. Meacham said in a brief interview. But he allowed that Mr. Carroll was "vigorously contesting" many of the outstanding charges against him.
Mr. Carroll recently participated in a charity boxing match with a television gladiator named Rhino, but Mr. Meacham declined to comment on the latest rumor: that his client is negotiating to star in a reality television series about the chav lifestyle.

"The only thing that is certain in life is uncertainty," Mr. Meacham said, and hung up the telephone.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Housing price boom is fueled by BAD federal policy

The Treasury Department sets mortgage lending standards for the national banks. It has the power the pop the housing bubble by restricting non-conventional mortgages which encourage speculation, and to insist buyers be held to the traditional 25% gross income to loan amount standard.

Learned yesterday 20% of Wells Fargo's residential mortgages are non-conforming, and the bank will qualify borrowers up at 45% gross income to loan amount. Suspect most, if not all, of Wells Fargo's competitors are doing the same thing.

Were we governed by grownups who actually cared about the practical needs of ordinary people, in a heartbeat they'd kybosh these economically unsound lending practices.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

We're governed by moral midgets

Mississippi hopes to use the Katrina disaster to expand casino gambling by allowing onshore operations. Currently casinos operate on riverboats, or on moored barges. In lieu of developing a strong tax base based on the fruits of a better educational system, and a modern business economy, Mississippi along with many other states became addicted to gambling taxes to balance their budgets.

They've gone into the disease promotion business because habitual gambling is a neuropsychiatric disorder. Brain imaging studies of habitual gamblers demonstrate abnormal activity. Obviously, habitual gamblers make for the best casino customers.

Casino gambling is a scourge on the community. The casino's profits and the taxes generated come at the expense of broken families and neglected children.

The real problem in today's America is we're governed by moral midgets for whom economic expediency trumps enacting policies which strengthen families.

Monday, September 26, 2005

The Politburo mentality is alive and well in American publically traded corporations

Talk about ballot box stuffing. I drew 4,000,000 plus proxy votes for my General Mills proposal. While not close to winning there's no way to know the real number of actual shareholder votes in opposition. SEC rules allow General Mills vote any proxy for itself not voted by a shareholder. Totalitarian states usually report winning elections with close to a 100% of the vote right up until the day they get booted out!

A big surprise at the meeting occured when the company's retired previous chief counsel announced he backed my proposal. Another retired executive told me the company would be a tempting takeover target for Nestle. As an investor, the only reason I hold the big foods is they are potential takeover, or merger targets. Clearly consolidation is in the cards for the food industry.

Showed up with fathers rights demonstrators dressed in superhero costumes. Company knew about this in advance. Flooded the venue with uniformed and plainclothes security. Even posted snipers on the auditorium roof. They called the Minneapolis Police to try to drive us off the sidewalk in front on the venue. That ploy didn't work.

Hoping for big fathers right turnout at my next appearance at the Procter and Gamble meeting October 11. My shareholder below has "sex appeal".

Shareholder Proposal No. 2

Mark Klein, M.D. has given notice that he intends to present for action at the annual meeting the following resolution:

The shareholders recommend Procter & Gamble hire an investment bank to explore the sale of the company.

In my opinion the GOLD STANDARD test of investment return is PURCHASING POWER with respect to the most sought after consumer goods and services, e.g. housing. In recent years Procter & Gamble share values failed that test because of largely unappreciated, negative economic trends combined with effects of the maturity of P&G’s product line.

Since 1999, the nominal share price increased about 19% as of December 7, 2004 when this proposal was completed. Purchasing power-wise P&G shares also declined significantly over the same period with respect to homeownership. The national median home price rose 37%, and in very desirable cities like San Diego over 100%.

In my opinion the principle driving force for such severely escalating prices is feminist careerism which vastly expanded the fulltime workforce without an increase in REAL WAGES. The BUYING POWER of earnings halved since the 1970s because most families today need two incomes to almost equal the buying power one had 30 years ago. Put another way most women working fulltime essentially work for nothing.

Busy, overworked parents have little time to nurture and protect their marriages. Hence more competition for scarce housing from today’s 50% divorce rate, and from young adults now so skeptical of the durability of a loving commitment they marry late, or not at all.

Just Economics 101 supply and demand theory: Too much consumer demand chasing scarce commodities like homeownership.

In my opinion further worsening P&G’s dismal share performance since 1999 is the maturity of its current business operations. Desperate to achieve breakout earnings to ignite the share price P&G developed Intrinsa, a testosterone patch often mischaracterized as the female “Viagra”. As a physician, I warned P&G about toxicity issues several months before the FDA refused to license Intrinsa. Testosterone is a very toxic with few therapeutic uses.

I also questioned P&G’s breathtaking lack of understanding of the psychodynamics of female sexuality. Pretty safe to make implicit beauty promises for shampoo and bath soaps. “(but Intrinsa’s) moonlight courtship promises to enhance women’s libidinal lives will likely result in giving new meaning to the shareholders’ detriment of the Bard’s ‘Hell hath no fury’.” (5/15/04 letter to board member Robert Storey).

From my 12/2/04 FDA testimony in opposition to licensing Intrinsa.

“As an investor, and trustee for family accounts, I will sell our Procter & Gamble should Intrinsa be approved. The potential litigation risks for the company are so great in my opinion holding Procter & Gamble violates the prudent investor rule.

‘I believe Intrinsa is the most hazardous non-narcotic ever presented for FDA approval. I urge it be rejected for any use.”

Given economic trends undermining the shares’ BUYING POWER and product line maturity P&G should be sold to realize maximum shareholder value.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Minneapolis housing prices on their way to resemble California's

Here to present the below shareholder proposal at the General Mills meeting tomorrow and and deliver a political talk on the legal and economic minefield marriage today has become at the University of Minnisota Wednesday. (6 PM, Coffman Student Center) Admission is free. Also free pizza for the earlybirds.

Housing prices are about 20% lower than California's which is too say they're unaffordable for the middle middle class. Pretty amazing taking into account Minnisota's climate is a replica of Central Europe's!

Obesity is much worse here than in California. Looks to me like 1 of every 5-6 adults are morbidly obese. Recently a Minnisotan told me people are fatter in Wisconsin!

__________________
The shareholders recommend General Mills hire an investment bank to explore the sale of the company. Reasons:

The gold standard test of investment return is purchasing power with respect to the most sought after goods and services. In recent years General Mills share values failed that test. I believe such will continue to be the case into the foreseeable future.

Since 1999 General Mills share price increased about 21%. On January 1, 1999 General Mills share price was $38.88 The closing price on September 17, 2004 when this proposal was completed was $47.23.

Over the same period the share’s purchasing power value plummeted with respect to some of the most sought after consumer desirables, e.g., a Harvard undergraduate education, and homeownership.

Contrast General Mills share price history in the 1999 to 2004 period with Harvard’s undergraduate tuition which rose approximately 24.5% from $21,342 to $27,448. Purchasing power-wise General Mills shares also declined significantly with respect to homeownership. According to the National Association of Realtors the median home prices from 1999-2004 surged as follows: San Diego-105%, New York/New Jersey/Connecticut metro region-88%, Miami-87%, Los Angeles-84%, Washington (DC)-66%. The national median home price rose 32% over that period.

The driving forces for such severely escalating prices are the broadly negative economic effects of feminist careerism, ever increasing numbers of single head of households, and very high levels of legal and illegal immigration. Just Economics 101 supply and demand theory: Too much consumer demand chasing such scarce commodities like private education and homeownership.

In my opinion General Mills future share performance will not create sufficient purchasing power to keep up with the expected persistent escalation of such costs.

I believe the sale of company is the best way for shareholders to recover the highest value of their invested capital. I believe buyers would pay a significant premium over current market value because of the value of the General Mills name, well established branded products, physical plant and land assets, working capital, and the company’s very successful domestic and global marketing network.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Living dangerously

(SF Chronicle today) "Fewer than 15 percent of California homeowners currently pay to protect their properties against earthquakes. That is about half the number who had earthquake coverage in 1995, the year after the magnitude-6.7 Northridge earthquake, which with $40 billion in losses was the nation's costliest natural disaster before Katrina."

People complain the coverage is too expensive at the same time many of those folks think nothing of taking expensive vacations, gambling, etc.

Mild tremor last night. Seemed like a 3-4 to me. Earlier in the day bought a butane camp stove and additional lanterns to add to my earthquake preparedness supplies. Katrina's lesson is the government won't be there immediately after the "big one".

Got to be able to take care of myself either at home, or as a refugeee, for at least five days.

Friday, September 23, 2005

Time to shorten our lines

The Saudis are right Iraq's headed for disintegration and civil war. The fundamental problem is we're trying to reimpose the artificial borders of a "nation" created by Turkish and British colonial authorities for their own geopolitical objectives.

What we're doing in Iraq is the mideast version of the disasterous results of the Versailles Conference.

Iraq today is Viet Nam all over again.

When will we ever learn our very successful federal political system isn't possible everywhere?

Thursday, September 22, 2005

We're not Emperor penguins

(9/20/05 NY Times: Many Women at Elite Colleges Set Career Path to Motherhood)

"...Uzezi Abugo, a freshman at the University of Pennsylvania who hopes to become a lawyer, says she, too, wants to be home with her children at least until they are in school.
"I've seen the difference between kids who did have their mother stay at home and kids who didn't, and it's kind of like an obvious difference when you look at it," said Ms. Abugo, whose mother, a nurse, stayed home until Ms. Abugo was in first grade..."

Feminist careerism might make sense were we Emperor penguins whose offspring just need to be fed and shielded from the Antarctic cold until big enough to instinctively know how to fish.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Political correctness destroys civilizations

The Jerusalem Post ran an interesting article today on an Italian website which offers the chance to bet on future terror attacks. http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?pagename=JPost/JPArticle/ShowFull&cid=1127269280785.

Not surprisingly it's come under severe criticism.

Criticism of the terror "game theory" betting website represents the kind of hardcore addiction to political correctness which brings down political systems.

The enemies of Western democracy are very sophisticated often quite well educated people.

Iraqi insurgent leader Abu -Amir told the New York Times, "I have learned to be patient with my enemies...Gerry Adams (of the IRA) fought for so many years before things went his way. Fighting is politics."

Our foes know ultimate victory is inevitably theirs against an enemy which refuses to face facts and adjust policy accordingly.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

On the road again

Will be in Minneapolis on Monday to appear at the General Mills annual meeting to present the below shareholder proposal. Very similar to the Heinz proposal which drew about 14,000,000 votes.

Also speaking at the University of Minnisota--6 PM, September 28 at the Student Union. Thrust of my talk is the failure of our leadership elites to develop policies to enable most young adults to afford a middle class family stylestyle and keep their marriages together.

These are the things in life that really count.


General Mills Shareholder Proposal

The shareholders recommend General Mills hire an investment bank to explore the sale of the company.

Reasons:

The gold standard test of investment return is purchasing power with respect to the most sought after goods and services. In recent years General Mills share values failed that test. I believe such will continue to be the case into the foreseeable future.

Since 1999 General Mills share price increased about 21%. On January 1, 1999 General Mills share price was $38.88 The closing price on September 17, 2004 when this proposal was completed was $47.23.

Over the same period the share’s purchasing power value plummeted with respect to some of the most sought after consumer desirables such as homeownership.

Purchasing power-wise General Mills shares declined significantly with respect to homeownership. According to the National Association of Realtors the median home prices from 1999-2004 surged as follows: San Diego-105%, New York/New Jersey/Connecticut metro region-88%, Miami-87%, Los Angeles-84%, Washington (DC)-66%. The national median home price rose 32% over that period.

The driving forces for such severely escalating prices are the broadly negative economic effects of feminist careerism, ever increasing numbers of single head of households, and very high levels of legal and illegal immigration. Just Economics 101 supply and demand theory: Too much consumer demand chasing such scarce commodities like private education and homeownership.

In my opinion General Mills future share performance will not create sufficient purchasing power to keep up with the expected persistent escalation of such costs.

I believe the sale of company is the best way for shareholders to recover the highest value of their invested capital. I believe buyers would pay a significant premium over current market value because of the value of the General Mills name, well established branded products, physical plant and land assets, working capital, and the company’s very successful domestic and global marketing network.


Monday, September 19, 2005

North Korea played us for fools again.

(From the BBC)

"North Korea has said it will not scrap its nuclear arms programme until it gets a civilian nuclear reactor. The foreign ministry statement came a day after a dramatic breakthrough in long-running talks over Pyongyang's nuclear weapons programme...Sean McCormack, a spokesman for the US State Department, said: "This was obviously not the agreement they signed..."

WE NEED A PSYCHIATRIST SPECIALIZING IN REALITY TESTING TO RUN FOGGY BOTTOM!!!!!!!!!!!




The Administratiion are Bible believers who missed God's geopolitical message

The North Korean nuclear dog and pony show continues unabated. Now Pyongyang preliminarily promises subject to detailed negotiations (translated means years, maybe decades, of talks!!) to suspend its nuclear program in exchange for upfront, unconditional economic aid.

The proposed nuclear suspension doesn't apply to the nuclear weapons its already made and deployed.

That's not how God did things in Exodus. Joseph's dreams, which launched his very successful Egyptian political career, translated into an effective food storage policy enabling Pharaoh to hold sway over his enemies. The basic message--do things Egypt's way, or starve.

Why on God's Green Earth would the North Koreans ever comply with our demands when at the flick of a switch we'll feed their army and political elites in exchange for NOTHING in return? No doubt Pyongyang will continue to starve the general population to suppress political dissent.

The Old Testament is not a collection of religious fairy tales. God sent man the unmistakable message for those willing to think critically reality testing rather than wishful thinking is the only way to go.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

No matter what you call it political correctness can bring the same bad consequences as lying to yourself does.

(text version of my Washington Times advert appearing tomorrow in the national weekly edition.)

THE OBESITY DRIVEN DIABETES EPIDEMIC IS A MEDICAL NO BRAINER EXCEPT TO OUR HOPELESSLY ADDICTED TO FEMINIST POLITICAL CORRECTNESS FEDERAL MEDICAL ESTABLISHMENT

Child and adult obesity rose to epidemic proportions in recent decades in tandem with the persistent the rise in the number of women working full time.

In most families today with both parents working fulltime too few adults and children eat nutritious, portion controlled home cooked meals. Restaurant meals, “t.v.” dinners, and takeout contain excessive carbohydrate and fat calories, and insufficient protein.

To reverse the epidemic more mothers need to be at home to prepare nutritious balanced meals, and supervise the children’s snacking.

I postulate the limited variety of foods available to our pre-Industrial Age forebears resulted in evolution selecting for genetic satiety mechanisms which react poorly to excessive dietary variety.

The normal rotation of familiar nutritious, portion controlled home cooked meals help to ameliorate the major obesity inducing problem of the industrial diet which is not refined sugars, or too much dietary fat, but too much dietary variety.

The emotional comfort, particularly for children and young adolescents, regular home cooked, balanced, portion controlled meals create likely helps to properly set the endocrinological and neurological mechanisms for saiety.

Should have to go without saying unsupervised latchkey children tend to stuff themselves with high calorie sugar and fat loaded snacks. Lacking sufficient maternal attention too latchkey youngsters forego after school athletes and exercise to sit around gorging on snacks and soda pop while watching television.

I believe within a generation at least half the population will become diabetic. The costs of treating obesity and diabetes will destroy the financial viability of private health insurance, Medicaid, Medicare, Veterans Administration and Indian Health medical systems.

The coup de grace for the future financing of the entire Social Security system will be the catastrophic effects of today's skyrocketing obesity driven diabetes epidemic. There will be a financial meltdown from a surge in disability claims accompanied by a free fall in tax revenue.

Federal health policy regarding the obesity drive diabetes epidemic, and other problems with political implications, such as habitual gambling, are little more than bodice ripper romance novel plots predicated on wishful thinking deus ex machina resolutions. Policies like tinkering with the food pyramid, banning soda pop and candy from school lunch rooms, anti-obesity billboards, and jawboning the food industry make for nice public relations but are utterly ineffective.

The federal medical establishment is in the disease promotion business. In addition to its brain dead approach to the obesity driven diabetes epidemic, the federal medical establishment contributes to the rapid spread of habitual gambling, a neuropsychiatric disorder. In lieu of new general taxes, many states balance their budgets by splitting casino revenues.
The federal medical establishment’s silence on the medical, psychiatric, and family instability implications of the casino gambling rapidly spreading across the country is DEAFENING.

For an introduction to the neurology of habitual gambling I recommend http://www.healthscout.com/template.asp?page=newsdetail&ap=68&id=525103

As a physician, and board certified psychiatrist, I urge President Bush to order a through review of the federal medical policy response to the obesity driven diabetes and the gambling epidemic.

I also urge President Bush to ask the Attorney General and the Secretary of Commerce to determine whether we can invoke World Trade Agreement rules on national security and/or health grounds to bar internet gambling coming from foreign countries. Internet gambling is illegal when conducted by companies operating in the United States.

America‘s obesity, diabetes, and gambling crisis has severely escalated on the watch of Dr. Elias Zerhouni, the head of the National Institutes of Health, and Dr. Julie Gerberding, chief of the Centers for Disease Control. They should be immediately replaced.

Political systems fail when they can’t meet the basic needs of its people.

America today reminds me of the morbidly obsessed with political correctness Soviet Union in 1980 when it still had a chance to save its core political system with meaningful reforms, and by detoxing from its hardcore addiction to a wag the dog foreign policy of indiscriminate meddling and military adventures both primarily designed to distract the public from serious domestic problems.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Like individuals, nation states can destroy themselves with neurotic thinking.

As I predicted in my September 13 postings, the UK quickly dismissed the "war crimes" arrest warrant against retired Israeli General Almog.

The real issue here is current Laws of War, and their derivative military and police rules of engagement and interrogation, are predicated upon conflicts between nation states with intact political and military chains of command.

The asymmetric wars of the 21st century reflect the general decline of national state.

The UK exists really in name only. Northern Ireland is little more than multiple medieval fiefdoms controlled by religiously inspired criminal gangs. That became clearly evident when in response to the recent London subway terror bombings perpetrated by Islamic militants, the British withdrew the remainder of its military and police forces from rural and urban areas in Northern Ireland where the IRA holds sway. In effect Britain copied what Columbia's done by abandoning large areas of the country to FARC separatists. The UK's political and effective police control in large swatches of London and other industrial cities are weak to non-existent.

Entropy applies to political systems. What happened to General Almog must become a wakeup call for national states to throughly revisit the Laws of War and their derivatives. The enemies of the national state are very cosmopolitan, sophisticated people. They know ultimate victory is inevitable if they can keep us enslaved to policies predicated upon an international military and political world order which no longer exists.

When individuals screw up their lives behaving that way, we psychiatrists call that neurosis. When nations do it, it's called political suicide.

Friday, September 16, 2005

Picking an innocent deep pocket is the American way

Mississippi and Alabama are considering filing suit against insurers to pay for flood damaged homes. Only problem is homeowners insurance doesn't cover flood damage. Such coverage is normally only available through a federal high risk insurance pool which charges high premiums and provides limited benefits with high deductables.

Both these states have reputations as mass tort plaintiffs' heaven on earth. Jurors there may vote Republican but in court income redistribution regardless of real liability is the name of the game.

Almost a certainty just the threat of such litigation will transform the homeowners insurance market there. Insurers will create high risk captive subsidiaries charging premiums truly reflective of the actuarial exposure. In the face of such potential political and legal abuse why should shareholders, and policyholders elsewhere, subsidize irresponsible Mississippi and Alabama homeowners who didn't buy federal flood insurance?

Aeosop-like fables like the "Ant and the Grasshopper" should be mandatory stories to read at storytime in Mississippi and Alabama kindergartens.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

SAT certainly doesn't measure the capacity for critical thinking

Because of high school grade inflation the SATs became the critical instrument to assess applicants to America's top schools which in turn create our leadership elites.

Given the collapse of the American family, the increasing unaffordability of housing and education, and a national addiction to failed foreign military adventuring, what does SAT actually measure?

That's why I think the SAT is a very sensitive instrument to measure the capacity to accept uncritically whatever is the received wisdom of the day. That's why no one in our political leadership intellectual elites ask "impertinent" questions about policy shibboleths. A good example is the excuse we can't hermetically seal the Mexican border to keep out illegal aliens willing to do menial labor because Americans won't take those jobs.

Americans won't take those jobs because tolerance of illegal aliens drove the blue collar wage structure down to point where most of our children "left behind" in our high tech economy find it easier to loaf around making pocket change working at Mickey D's and/or by selling dope. Housing's so expensive more and more young adults continue to live at home.

Just Adam Smith Econ 101 supply and demand stuff: Seal the Mexican border to illegal workers and wages would rise in real terms so American children "left behind" could afford to marry and raise families.

My dear late father was such a child "left behind". Born into an impoverished immigrant family he left school at 12 or 13 in the Great Depression to become a butcher. But back then a hardworking, ambitious blue collar worker like my dad could make a liveable wage to finance a modest middle class lifestyle. My mother didn't work and eventually my parents bought a pleasant, modest suburban home.

Education back then didn't cost the earth. My $1000 New York Regents College Scholarship paid almost 100% of premed tuition at Hofstra College. Med school tuition at SUNY Brooklyn for low income students like me was $200.

I only got a about a 1000 on the SAT1! Maybe had I been an SAT 1600 smarty pants and gone to Yale I might have been educated OUT of my inherent intellectual gift to ask impertinent questions.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Jerusalem Post on my "testing the waters" for the 2008 GOP presidential nomination

http://blogcentral.jpost.com/newsItems/viewFullItem$127

14 September 2005;

Calling all voters

Who I am: Mark Klein, M.D, a concerned citizen, disturbed by the relentless destruction of stable American family life, the increasing unaffordability of housing and higher education, and our failed foreign policy.

I'm "testing the waters" about the feasibility of seeking the 2008 GOP nomination.

Calling all Red State voters: The twin pillars of Bush administration family policy – marriage promotion and “Hell hath no fury…“ federal regulations dealing with divorce – are irrational, unspeakably cruel to divorced fathers, break the hearts of children, and promote family destruction.

Marriage is inherently unstable. It is a vast, storm-tossed ocean for which no compass has yet been invented. That’s why most cultures down through the ages sharply restricted divorce, deeply distrusted romantic love, and pressured people to marry within a familiar social, religious and economic milieu.

With a 50% plus divorce rate, marriage today is more like going steady in high school in the 1950s.

Divorce becomes self-perpetuating as fewer and fewer children grow up in intact families. Children of divorce learn it’s natural to destroy the family rather than ride out the inevitable rough spots likely to occur in any marriage.

Were we Emperor penguins whose offspring just need to be fed and shielded from the Antarctic cold until big enough to instinctively know how to fish, current family policy might make sense.

The essence of normal human psychological development is the very prolonged delay in the appearance sexual maturity to allow children to learn the emotional skill sets to live in an organized, complex society. Sufficient paternal and maternal attention are the key ingredients in the formation of the capacity for empathy, the core emotional skill children must learn to sustain marriage and successfully raise their own children.

With today’s 50% plus divorce rate, which usually removes fathers from daily contact with their children, and most women working fulltime, most children simply don’t get the emotional attention they need to become emotionally competent mates and parents.

It is common knowledge that unaffectionately handled kittens, puppies and infant primates have problems caring for their young. More complex social animals like primates also struggle with successful mating and appropriate peer behavior. Males are much less affected. Women today initiate the vast majority of divorces because they can't make the emotional leap from romantic courtship to the empathetic, caring friendship that sustains marriage over time.

Federal family policy promotes divorce with overly generous subsidy payments to states to collect child support, and by underwriting the costs of jailing fathers in arrears. US Code, Title 42, Chap 7, Subchapter 4, part D, sec. 666. Since federal subsidies are linked to the amount collected, states set payment levels so high as to entice women to divorce.

The Republican Party cannot win the White House or control congress, without winning a substantial majority of the Red State male vote. To win Red State male votes we demand OUR Republican administration and congress quickly enact substantive reform of federal family policy, and President Bush replace Assistant Secretary Wade Horn at the Administration for Children and Families, the agency responsible for drafting and enforcing child support laws. During Dr. Horn‘s four-year tenure, the divorce rate has worsened and marriage formations declined. NO PERFORMANCE, NO JOB!!!!

Our schools should replace sex ed for kindergartners with Aesop's Ant & the Grasshopper type fables at story time.

New Orleans announced today it has no money to pay salaries the result of Katrina. Very likely Louisana, Mississippi and hardhit Gulf Coast cities will follow suit.

The Big Easy has a throughly corrupt bread and circuses oriented municipal government. Fun and games took priority over maintaining infrastructure. They got away with it before Katrina by financing operations with tourist and gambling taxes which allowed such low personal and property tax levels citizens lost interest in public affairs.

New Orleans, and sad to say contemporary America, are looking more and more like Rome shortly before it fell.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

International war crimes laws are an anachronism

The war crimes charges brought in Britain against a retired Israeli general under that country's assumption of univerisal jurisdiction reveal how anachronistic international war crimes laws are today.

General Almog is accused of killing "innocent" civilians when Israel assassinated a Hamas leader being hidden with the active participation and consent of the local population. Nazi Germany and imperial Japan could never have been defeated had the Allies not incinerated the enemies' cities to break their political will and economies.

America lost in Iraq because it's one thing to win on the battlefield, particularly against the former regime's poorly equipped forces, but quite another to crush its base of political support.

Were I president every international law treaty the United States has signed, or adheres de facto, will be reexamined for their continued relevance in the context of today's world of asymmetric war and the dangers of terrorists using WMDs.

Adherence to the rule of law should not be construed as a suicide pact.

International jurisdiction--the road to war?

The attempted arrest of a retired Israeli general in London for alleged war crimes against Palestinians under the UK's assumption of universal jurisdiction is a very dangerous thing to do.

With the relentless spread of WMDs and long range ballistic missiles the days of powerful states bullying unpopular countries into submission are rapidly waning. While Israel will likely work out an accomodation with the UK, might be a very different kettle of fish were Iranian officials arrested on a theory charging how that country treats women under Islamic law is a "war crime". Just about all of western Europe is within range of Iranian missiles.

The imposition of western notions of what constitutes war crimes is the new neocolonialism in the form of universal politically correct thinking.

Monday, September 12, 2005

No wonder Viagra type drugs need relentless advertising

Candace Bushnell's new novel, "Lipstick Jungle," suggests today's guys have a terminal case of castration anxiety.

The NY Times reviewer wrote "...(in the book) women wear the pants, pay the bills and compete with the big boys of corporate America. They're a far cry from the man-hunting heroines of Ms. Bushnell's "Sex and the City" - they are not looking to be swept off their pedicured feet, nor are they content to be the proverbial woman behind every great man. In fact, more often than not, the XY chromosomes in Ms. Bushnell's jungle are depicted as spineless, useless, or worse - ridiculous."

Supporting my contention is these advertisements are largely targeted towards younger men very unlikley to have a physical causes for erectile dysfunctions.

Castration anxiety issues notwithstanding the psychodynamics of Viagra-type drug commercials are revealing about contemporary marital sexuality. Contrast Viagra and Cialis commercials.

I associate to the celebrating men dancing in the street in the Viagra commerical with the thought finally having successful intercourse get their wives, no longer sexually alluring to them for any number of reasons, off their cases about sex for awhile.

Cialis takes the tack of the woman being affectionate, attentive, and available. Nice sentiments but given today’s housing prices and cost of living two working parents are probably too dead tired after work to have sex.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

My Washington Times (nat'l weekly edition) which appears today

(text version)
PLANET EARTH CALLING RED STATE MALE VOTERS
CHIVALRY DOESN’T MEAN MEN SHOULD BE POLITICAL, LEGAL, AND SOCIAL DOORMATS

The twin pillars of Bush administration family policy--marriage promotion and “Hell hath no fury…“ federal regulations dealing with divorce-- are irrational, unspeakably cruel to divorced fathers, break the hearts of children, and promote family destruction.

Marriage is inherently unstable. It is a vast, storm tossed ocean for which no compass has yet been invented. That’s why most cultures down through the ages sharply restricted divorce, deeply distrusted romantic love, and pressured people to marry within a familiar social, religious and economic milieu.

With a 50% plus divorce rate marriage today is more like going steady in high school in the 1950s.

Divorce becomes self perpetuating as fewer and fewer children grow up in intact families. Children of divorce learn it’s natural to destroy the family rather than ride out the inevitable rough spots likely to occur in any marriage.

Were we Emperor penguins whose offspring just need to be fed and shielded from the Antarctic cold until big enough to instinctively know how to fish, current family policy might make sense.

The essence of normal human psychological development is the very prolonged delay in the appearance sexual maturity to allow children to learn the emotional skill sets to live in an organized, complex society. Sufficient paternal and maternal attention are the key ingredients in the formation of the capacity for empathy, the core emotional skill children must learn to sustain marriage and successfully raise their own children.

With today’s 50% plus divorce rate which usually remove fathers from daily contact with their children, and most women working fulltime, most children simply don’t get the emotional attention they need to become emotionally competent mates and parents.

Common knowledge unaffectionately handled kittens, puppies and infant primates have problems caring for their young. More complex social animals like primates also struggle with successful mating and appropriate peer behavior. Males are much less affected. Women today initiate the vast majority of divorces because they can't make the emotional leap from romantic courtship to the empathetic, caring friendship that sustains marriage over time. For an introduction to the neurophysiology of love and empathy I recommend this short article in Science. http://bette.aecom.yu.edu/Media/science_love.pdf.)

Federal family policy promotes divorce with overly generous subsidy payments to states to collect child support, and by underwriting the costs of jailing fathers in arrears. US Code, Title 42, Chap 7, Subchapter 4, part D, sec. 666. Since federal subsidies are linked to the amount collected, states set payment levels so high as to entice women to divorce.

The Republican Party cannot win the White House or control congress, without winning a substantial majority of the Red State male vote. To win Red State male vote we demand OUR Republican administration and congress quickly enact substantive reform of federal family policy, and President Bush replace Assistant Secretary Wade Horn at the Administration for Children and Families, the agency responsible for drafting and enforcing child support laws. During Dr. Horn‘s four year tenure, the divorce rate‘s worsened and marriage formations declined.

NO PERFORMANCE, NO JOB!!!!

Today’s feminist dominated federal family policy is at the intellectual level of bodice ripper romance novel plots dependent on deus ex machina resolutions.

The Republican male voter is to the GOP as African Americans are to the Democrats.

GUYS, NO REASON TO BE DOORMATS FOR REPUBLICAN POLITICIANS’ WHO KISS THE FEMINISTS’ MANOLO BLAHNIKS 24/7 AND THEN WIPE THEIR MUDDY SOLES ON US.

THE 2008 ELECTION WILL BE THE
AMERICAN FAMILY’S WATERLOO
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Saturday, September 10, 2005

Katrina will show what the real price of tolerating mass alien immigration is

Poor and low income Katrina refugees will find little or no affordable replacement housing.

Mass illegal immigration consumed much of it. Illegal aliens have to live somewhere. Much better deal for landlords to pack several illegal aliens like sardines into a rental at $300-400 per person per month than rent to an AMERICAN family.

Here the Oakland area shabby tiny two bedroom homes on small lots now sell for about $500,000.

Our leadership elites answer? Distract the public with a bread and circuses culture.

Friday, September 09, 2005

Quo vadis?

This really creepy article from Israel's Haaretz newspaper is just another sign of today's out of control bread and circuses highly sexualized culture in which people refuse to take personal responsibility.

http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/pages/ShArt.jhtml?itemNo=621864&contrassID=19

The Dark Ages following the fall of the western Roman Empire lasted almost a 1000 years.

The relentless downhill spiril of core cultural values such as marital stability and affordable middle class family life causes me to fear for the future of Western Civilization.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Things are so bad post Katrina it's wag the dog foreign policy time

True to the wag the dog script the administration announced new nuclear talks with North Korea and an offensive against insurgents in Iraq. The North Koreans will never give up their nukes and as in Viet Nam the insurgents will melt away into the countryside when the Marines show up in force.

Those who love traditional New Orleans better get organized PDQ to prevent developers from making a deal with the cash starved municipal government to use the recent New London Supreme Court decision to seize large chunks of the devastated city for private very upscale development and a Las Vegas style gambling strip.

Just socialism for the rich and free enterprise for the poor.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Mississippi burning

Yesterday's blog in an unwarranted burst of optimism I opined Mississippi might ask its taxpayers to replace the revenues lost by the destruction of gambling casinos in the Katrina disaster. Casino gambling in a poor state like Mississippi is a social cancer. Today the New York Times reported casino operators want to replace the wrecked riverboat gambling operations with land based casinos.

Several years ago I saw at first hand how destructive that kind of casino gambling is for Mississippians. While in Vicksburg to see Civil War sites, I visited a riverboat casino to see what they were like. Most of gamblers were local people who seemed to me low to average wage earners. Many played intoxicated on the free drinks the casino provided. Most lost money. As a consequence, I left wondering how many children would go without nutritious food, adequate clothing, medical/dental care, and school supplies.

I'm shocked by the extent to which casino and internet gambling is tolerated, if not enouraged, in America.

Where are all the grownups?

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Katrina could result in policy reform

Louisiana and Mississippi voters have stark choices to make. Until Katrina they financed government by what amounted to a free ride for the taxpayers with gambling taxes and truely massive federal child support collection subsidies. The casinos are gone and the economy is so devastated huge numbers of divorced fathers with child support obligations lost their jobs. Federal child support subsidies depend on the amount collected.

Bread and circuses masquerading as rational public policy just won't fly anymore.

Monday, September 05, 2005

Something to be thankful for this Labor Day

(from San Francisco's alternative lifestyle style newpaper The Spectator)

"As our economy sputters and the quality of life in America continues to deteriorate--thanks to Al Queda and the onslaught of illegal aliens who know how to work our welfare system better than we do--there's one thing that we have to be thankful for. Adult movies are better than ever!"

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Time to put on our thinking caps on

The poor response at all levels of government to the Katrina disaster shows the need to rethink how we'll deal mass terrorism. No reason to believe the response to a chemical, biological or radiological attack would be any better.

I strongly recommend the BBC drama "Dirty War" which accurately portrays what is likely to happen in a dirty bomb attack on a major city. Although HBO still broadcasts the show from time to time, it's available for purchase.

"Dirty War" also underscores the need for a realistic interrogation strategy to extract information from terror suspects likely to possess information about a impending attack. Why should the lives of millions, and the economy, be placed at risk because we lack the common sense to be realistic?

The Constitution is not a SUICIDE PACT.

Saturday, September 03, 2005

The upside to Katrina

Pretty clear now we can't draw down the national guard and army reserves for extended foreign duty and have enough troops to deal with a massive domestic emergency.

The larger issue is we should ditch our "wag the dog" foreign policy which serves to deflect attention from the really big issues that affect Americans' lives everyday--the collapse of the American family, out of control housing prices, the growing unaffordability of middle class family life, and massive illegal immigration.

A Klein Administration would be very inward looking. Charity begins at home.
______________
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Friday, September 02, 2005

How to destroy our military readiness

As I reported in Thursday's blog, most of the Gulf state's national guard units are deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan. Likely at least half of the men deployed have child support obligations which they won't be able pay once released because their homes, businesses and jobs were lost in the Katrina catastrophe. Federal law FORBIDS FOR ANY REASON state courts to reduce or eliminate accrued child support debt.

The system is likely to collapse adding to these burdens the continued EXCESSIVE DEPLOYMENTS of the national guard.
___________________
To donate to my "testing the waters" effort to assess whether I can be viable candidate for the GOP presidential nomination send contributions to

Dr. Mark Klein Exploratory Committee
6808 Estates Drive
Oakland, Ca 94611

The maximum donation is $2,100.00.

To comply with federal election law please provide the following information:

Name and adress
Occupation
Name of Employer
Amount donated to date for any 2008 potential presidential candidate?

Donations are not tax deductible.

Only United States citizens and legal residents are permitted under federal election law to contribute.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Equal Custody Act

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