Wednesday, November 05, 2008

OK, I'm ready...

To give Mr. Obama a chance. I have to say that I was very impressed by the classiness of both candidates post-election results. And, I have to also say that I haven't seen the type of enthusiasm for a candidate perhaps ever in my lifetime. Whether or not the substance ends up being there I think it fair to give someone who, at least on the surface, carries a message that in my opinion has been sorely lacking in this country for a very very long time. We tend to be hero worshippers, I think, in this country. We put celebrities, politicians, CEO's of big companies and others at times on pedistools. We being a great big grandiose statement and a gross generalization. Yet, I've found it to be true. I'm just a dude and even I have had people do it with me at times. Many of us tend to compare our insides to others outsides and when you do that you always end up as a loser. Everyone has their own issues, imperfections and challenges, it's all relative. When you live on a park bench you find out that your hero worship is anyone who has a hot meal, or some pocket change. The knock on Obama is and remains to his detractors that he is all style and no substance. Even I have said that, at times. And, that may yet turn out to be true, but this country is in dire need of HOPE and a change. When I was growing up, even when I was struggling, I held the belief that the United States stood for something. Perhaps it's naive, but there were ideals, and some people even seemed to live by them. There were ethics, and we were generous. This was the place that asked for the rest of the world to give us their poor...you know the rest. One thing that I think happened after 9/11, at least in my view, is that fear became something that many 0f us lived with day to day. I certainly felt it at times. Fear does bad things to all animals, not just us humans. We become about survival, it's the old "flight or fright" mode. We start to look at things that are harmless as though they are out to "get us". Again, I'm generalizing, so forgive me if I am speaking in too broad strokes. My point is that we were founded on a belief system that was accepting of, well, everyone, or just about everyone. And, in my opinion somewhere along the way we became scared and frightened and we started to act in ways, at times perhaps, that violated our own belief system(s). One of my favorite films of all time is Dawn of the Dead. Seems silly, but the original is a brilliant parable for what I think I am trying to get at. Sometimes you end up killing the living because you fear the dead. We used to be a country that was idolized and welcomed in most countries. Fear has helped create, in my opinion, a country that is loathed in places where we used to be greeted with open arms. Instead of talking softly and carrying a big stick, we've taken on the role of hitting things over the head before even talking. We rule by fear, instead of respect. Respect is earned through good deeds, honesty and openmindedness, and ethics. It's earned by speaking one's truth, and hearing what others have to say, even if we don't agree with it. Our first amendment is very powerful stuff. Look at this blog, I write very inflamatory stuff at times. Without the first amendment I'd be arrested, or abused in some fashion because of some of the things I've written. A man, or woman, should not be judged by the words, but by actions. I've heard many politicians talk about being centrist. They were going to work with both parties (all parties) and while they may disagree about many things, they would walk away with respect and a better understanding. Until this crisis our country is in, I'd never seen both parties actually work together. Crisis does that at times, too. So does fear. I guess perhaps that's the flip side of things. Can you imagine what it might be like if that was an everyday, or at least every year occurance in government? Instead of thinking about the individual, it became about democracy. Instead of being a world leader based on how many weapons we have, we went back to being a world leader based on the merits of our actions as a whole. Maybe that's just plain naive, or perhaps some would view that as "whimpy". I think John McCain's speech was outstanding. I actually thought President Bush's short talk this morning was outstanding, and human. To me, we're all in this together when it comes down to it. That's the other thing 9/11 teaches. Republican's, Dems, Libertarians, gays, straights, Jews, Christians, Muslims, agnostic's were all killed in that act of terror. Will Obama be a bust? It's certainly possible, but he already has the respect of other nations. When was the last time other countries people's wore shirts with a US President's face on them? I do not agree with some of the things Obama has stated he wants to do on his agenda, particularly economically. But, I do have a sense that at least he will TRY to live up to his promises, and in this day and age where politicians make promises that even they know they have no shot of keeping, that is pretty refreshing. The only thing we really own in this life is our own integrity. The old adage about "two wrongs don't make a right" over simplifies this, but it's true in the end. Just because I am wronged doesn't give me the right to stoop to the level of the perpetrator. If I do, then what seperates me from them? I lose my integrity, I am nothing. Obama isn't remotely perfect, and he's certainly got flaws and will be a flawed president because that's the nature of life, and the Presidency. You can't please everyone, but the guy won over 52% of the popular vote as a black man who has a lot of baggage from his growing up. Perhaps fear itself in this case worked for him, in fact I am sure of it. He almost surely would not have won had the economy not been in such bad shape, and were the USA still looked upon with reverence and respect throughout the world. Surely we are not, and we haven't been for a long while. I think we stooped to our enemies level, and in a way, perhaps lost our integrity. Wall Street is not going to be happy with Obama, and I'm happy about that, because the vast majority of people in this country have more important things to worry about then whether or not the Dow is up 500 or down 500 today, tomorrow, or whenever. So, while I've been critical, and skeptical, I think that the guy deserves a shot to prove that this country can return to the status I used to read about in history books. While he will go down as the first black President, if that is all he is known for in a good way after his term(s), then he is a dismal failure. I hate to say it, but I have a feeling he might have a lot more substance than many imagine. We tend to be so jaded that someone who speaks like Ghandi and speaks of ideals is scoffed at. Regardless of what happens, I don't think they should be. We're all in this crazy thing we call life together, and that includes the entire world, not just US. The markets today are back to reality. Folks, we are going to go a lot lower, and you know what? That's ok, and it'll lead to a realistic market eventually. In the meantime we are absolutely busting this market wide open. If you read my blogs the last couple of days then you were short, like I and clients were - FSLR and SPWRA. Go check them out. We NAILED IT! Let's hope Obama nails it half as well! I could use some innocence and naivity in my life, and so can my little girls. I want them to grow up in a safe country, and a thriving country. It's about time we start going back to basics, and planning for the future, not just for "today". I rarely if ever show partisianship, I've learned not to mix politics with business. I made that mistake a long while ago and pissed a bunch of clients off. I just felt it important, as an independent, to say something because it has to do with the markets, and the economy, and ultimately the quality of life that we all collectively strive for. What we have now on many levels, I think the vast majority of us would agree, isn't working. It is, indeed, time for a change. Is this the right change? I guess we'll find out soon enough. I certainly hope so. Whether you voted for the man or not, I loved what John McCain said, he is our President. Let's keep an open mind and heart. God bless all. Michael "Waxie" Parness

9 comments:

mcroghan said...

Nice post Mike... I really enjoy reading your blog.

sanjay said...

Nice column mike!!

vigorate said...

Well Spoken.

jpa said...

The problem with this society... the Capitalist society is that we have gone crazy about money...and sacrifice to it all ethical principles... we forget that we can not take it with us at the END. According to Hindu Yogis(P. Yogananda) we are transitioning to a new age, from a materialistic age(Kali Yuga...they crucified Christ) to the Electric Age( Dwapara Yuga ) therefore all the present upheaval.

Mike, you are quite a philosopher, ...with clear mind and good heart.

Tammy said...

Thank you, your words really moved me, they were kind, thoughtful and heartfelt. Thank you Waxie, good job.

Ozzie said...

Cool Words, Waxie

Jeanne Mancuso said...

Waxie,

This post was very mellow and understanding...I enjoyed it. Whatever you're on I want some. :)
Just kidding...you are my stock hero but unfortunately I don't always go with your picks. I can't belive those solar stocks tanked so much. I thought solars were going to thrive under Obama. I have to admit you're right much of the time...

Jeanne

shivsa said...

nice post Waxie. i enjoy reading your blogs, this has become my daily routine to read your blog every morning, so please let it coming.

You were so right on Solar, although i thought they will go up when Obama was elected.

great !!

Rudy said...

Waxie, Thanks for this write up. It renews my faith in capitalism ...that one can be as succesful as you are and still be truthful and progressive in thought and views. Yes there is probably more hope put on one person than is warranted but at least we have a chance to clean up our image in the world ...no matter the color of the messanger.
Yes u do rule even when it is not about money
Rudy