The Way I See It
By cj pollick
Merry Christmas To All - 2009 has been a difficult year for many people and businesses. Many people are struggling through this holiday season and might find it difficult to fully share in the message of peace and joy. Yet, and as most people do at Christmas, they try their best to put on a happy face and somehow make it through to January. Many of us, at one point or another, understand how those days can feel.
But, for those who profess to share in the true message of Christmas, it is not about our personal gain, but, rather, the message of what one had done for us many years ago. It is about our inner acceptance of that free gift to all people and its message of good will towards all people.
Christmas is truly a most wonderful time of the year if the true message is not lost in all of the glitter.
At the Gazette we wish all of our thousands of military troops serving our nation overseas safety and God's protection. We are thankful for our many blessings and wish all of our staff members a Merry Christmas.
A Visit From St. Nicholas - in 1823 an anonymous writer penned the words that became known as "A Visit From St. Nicholas" or "The Night Before Christmas." The writer later was revealed as Clement Clarke Moore.
This poem is responsible for the concept of Santa Claus which includes his personal look, sleigh, reindeer, chimney drop, stockings hung over the fireplace, going back up the chimney and flying away wishing everyone a happy Christmas. A poem that has become a classic throughout the world.
Interestingly, only four hand-written copies of this old historic poem are known to exist. And, as expected by some historians, the authorship is questioned. Some believe it was a family member and not Moore himself that wrote the poem. (We shall never know for sure if more than one person had a hand in writing this wonderful Christmas poem.) However, Moore's wife was Dutch and some of the words used by Moore in the poem included Dutch/German words such as Dunder and Blixen.
"Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house not a creature was stirring not even a mouse...."
What creative words written by someone in 1823 that resulted in jolly old Santa Claus and the Santa Claus/St. Nicholas story.
Worst Decade Ever For Stocks - When someone says it was the worst stock decade ever, one can't help but think of the Great Depression and stocks. Yet, Wall Street Journal reported that the last decade was the worst ever for stocks!
MSN further reported that stocks lost 0.5% per year since the end of 1999. The financial news got worse, if the S&P 500 was adjusted for inflation, it would have lost 3.3% a year since 1999, said MSN. No other decade in American history has been this bad, not even the 1930's with the Depression years.
With stocks currently priced at 20 times earnings, it is 4 times earnings worse than historical averages of stock prices. But, there was some good news.
Gold prices, on the other hand, grew about 15% a year and bond earnings made about 5-8%. These investments are typically "hedges" against stock prices. Wall Street met the enemy... and it was Wall Street. The financial industry in America was clearly plagued with greed and mismanagement. Top executive bonuses of hundreds of millions of dollars reflected how board's of directors of leading corporations allowed and supported waste. Today, there is little or no trust with Fortune 500 corporate management; then again, why should any taxpayer trust a big company requiring taxpayer bailout funds. Hello, automakers, big insurers and big banks!
The DOW? It was about 13,000 under Bush (who was a terrible money manager) and is about 6-7,000 under Obama (another weak money manager.) Government spending is out of control and elected officials in Washington probably should all be tossed out. How bad is unemployment? Some experts say it is 10.5%, other experts say unemployment is alot worse, maybe 15% or higher.
Worst decade for stocks? Yes, but that is only a part of how bad things have gotten in 2009.
It gets worse.
The US Senate in its typical "don't listen to American voters" standard, voted along party lines 60-40 to pass an historic healthcare bill that will tax Americans to unprecedented levels of taxation. Imagine higher taxes when we have record historic investment failures and high unemployment. Who will have the money to pay for the required healthcare premiums?
Not a good way to end 2009.
Follow the Money - According to the Heritage Foundation the head of the UN's climate change panel- Dr. Rejendra Pachauri - has established an incredible worldwide portfolio of business interests with bodies which have been investing billions of dollars in organizations dependent on his policy recommendations.
Again Follow The Money - Now that the state is no longer paying for them, the Beverly Hills School board voted to eliminate hundreds of slots reserved for non-resident children.
Another Tax - With unemployment in the construction sector already at 19.4%, the construction industry was surprised to learn a job killing employment tax especially targeting them made it into the Senate's final version of Obamacare.
Healthcare Reform Bill - Even without the so-called "public option," the bill embodies the single most massive government entitlement program since Social Security.
"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has."
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