Friday, December 11, 2009

Index investing. Good Thinking requires reading Books. Moderate Blogs. Health/Science. Red Mind/Blue Mind in Health and Politics

Good Conservative Sources: The New Republic ,

Good Moderate Sources: [Paper edition] first and then global edition , Blogs Washington Post, Opinions, not editorials.,

Health/Science: Newsweek: Begley latest Links to other articles: Below above link article, you can get Newsweek to send you articles by Zakaria, Jonathan Alter, and Begley. Health:,,

I just started reading The Ground Truth (9/11 and Katrina) by John Farmer. My impression so far is that his analysis of 9/11 is narrow but useful and does use the appropriate description of the Bush Administration as INCOMPETENT. He concluded that both the FAA and NORAD lied and the commission report was strongly edited to exclude contrary opinions and facts. I watched all the testimony live on television and came to the same conclusion. The NORAD generals gave three different versions of the time line depending on who was testifying. The FAA gave different testimony depending on who was talking. The official report was included in the Commission Report. Condi Rice also lied and congress knew she was lying but did not work very hard to destroy her testimony. The first review in on this book was very long so I did not include it but he gave it one star which I believe was too harsh. Those who believe in conspiracy theories based on contradictions in information or the lack of it, may confirm or not their basic thoughts.

It is a perfect example of why governments lie. To protect their ass! The evidence gathered by CBS' best producer and investigative reporter for 60 Minutes and Dan Rather, Kristina Borjesson. She compiled leading journalists who had the courage to expose The Myth of a Free Press. Because her young son was on the TWA 800 to Paris which was not shot down by a Navy missile, she had such a strong incentive to continue with the story in spite of threats in late night telephone calls and the stealing of only her computers from her apartment and car and not anything else which sent the desired message. She continued with the investigation after she was fired by CBS. Lots of people knew what really happened, but most were afraid they would die if they spoke the truth, but provided it to the persistent Borjesson. She now works for Pacifica Radio which broadcasts Democracy Now by Amy Goodman another truth teller. The woman President Hammer, of NBC cable started as a gofer at PBS in Boston and rose to President.

Why didn't you hear about Kristina proven story that TWA 800 was shot down a Navy Missile accidentally or not. It was observed by ground radar and by over 100 witnesses.

Jim Kawakami, December 11, 2009, posted at Declassified Documents Show that Lies by the FAA and NORAD After 9/11 Led to Conspiracy Theories:

The Ground Truth: The Untold Story of America Under Attack on 9/11 (Hardcover)

~ John Farmer (Author)

"All Americans should read John Farmer's The Ground Truth. With keen analytical insight, Farmer rips the lid off of many mysteries pertaining to both the 9/11 attacks and Hurricane Katrina. A highly recommended historical curative for our times."
Douglas Brinkley, author of The Great Deluge

"No one is more qualified to write the definitive book about the tragedy of 9/11 than John Farmer. Fortunately, he has done so. Even more fortunately the language is clear, alive and instructive for anyone who wants to make certain this never happens again."
Bob Kerrey, Former US Senator and Member of the 9/11 Commission

"In revisiting the tragedy of the 9/11 attacks that still haunt America, John Farmer provides a devastating account of how what government and military officials told Congress, the 9/11 Commission on which he served, the media, and the public 'was almost entirely, and inexplicably, untrue.' The result is a major, carefully documented and deeply disturbing book, one that deserves the most serious attention of every American concerned about our future."
Haynes Johnson, Pulitzer Prize winner and best-selling author.

"Physics teaches us that waves of the same frequency amplify each other. That's what brought down the Tacoma Narrows Bridge.
The Ground Truth reveals 9/11 as a manifestation of that same phenomenon, with waves of history cresting together. It does so with perfect clarity, thanks to the brilliance of finding, in the examples of two "minor" national security agencies, the dysfunctionality that plagued the mightiest-seeming arms of the government. I made the mistake of not writing down the first two or three times I felt goosebumps. The Ground Truth is superbly conceived and carried out. What a great book." --Jim Dwyer, author of 102 Minutes: The Untold Story of the Fight to Survive Inside the Twin Towers

91 of 103 people found the following review helpful:
5.0 out of 5 stars Missed Importance, September 23, 2009

Most of the reviews of John Farmer's book miss its importance.
Farmer has no way of knowing what happened on 9/11 or who did it.
What he does know and has figured out is that the 9/11 Commission
was lied to by people who were supposed to be helping the Commission
deliver the truth to the public.

Whether the lies were big or little, whether the lies were told to coverup
a false flag operation or to cover the butts of agencies that had failed
in their responsibilities, whether Farmer's explanations for the lies are
correct or incorrect, the fact remains that the Commission was misled.

The conclusion to be drawn is that the Commission's report is unreliable
and, therefore, that we do not have the truth about 9/11.

That this conclusion comes from the legal counsel to the Commission is
compelling evidence that a new investigation is required.

Paul Craig Roberts, [Probably former Assistant Secretary of Treasury under Reagan
who is really a truth-teller. Jim]

Red Mind/Blue Mind: The Partisan Divide Over Science, Newsweek, Sharon Begley Dec 10, 2009

The fact that Republicans and Democrats differ on whether health-care reform should include a public option is no surprise. That they differ on setting a date for exiting Afghanistan, sure. On Sarah Palin, of course. But on physics? And biology? That the growing list of issues where there is a partisan divide now includes the accuracy of scientific findings may be lamentable for a democracy (if we can't agree on facts, how can we agree on policy?), but it's a gold mine for research on how personality and other psychological factors influence political ideology.

The red-blue split on mammograms is particularly striking. In a recent poll, the Pew Research Center asked 1,002 American adults about a preventive-health task force's conclusion that most women can safely begin mammograms at age 50, not 40, and have one every two years, not annually. (Large studies have found that earlier mammograms save almost no lives; since the radiation can cause cancer, it therefore makes sense to minimize them.) Among Republicans, 15 percent agreed with that. Among Democrats? Twice as many.

One reason, of course, is that the mammogram wars have become entangled in health-care reform, with accusations that the advice is part of a dastardly plot to ration care. Some of the partisan split therefore reflects red-blue views of what John Jost of New York University, who studies the psychological basis of political ideology, calls "a softer version of the 'death panel' claim."

But something else is going on, something that speaks to how traits of personality affect political leanings. Since people do not pore over oncology studies and reach their own conclusion on the credibility of the science, they have to trust experts—or not. And thus the partisan divide: Republicans tend to distrust "elites," especially now that the GOP is more Palin than George H.W. Bush or other scion of the white-shoe establishment. In the mammogram debate, that distrust encompasses pointy-headed scientists and makes those who disdain "the reality-based community," as an aide to George W. Bush called scientists, go with the "common sense" view that mammograms save lives.

There is a long list of personality differences between liberals or Democrats and conservatives or Republicans. The former are generally more open to new experiences and ideas, Jost and colleagues found in a 2003 study. The latter tend to be more conscientious, more energetic, and more emotionally stable, Jost later found, as did a 2007 study of 5,623 voters led by Chris Fraley of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The differences are significant: the personality traits predict voting decisions more strongly than age or gender, Fraley found.

The partisan divide on another empirical question—whether Earth is warming, and if so whether that is due to human activities—may reflect something similar. In October, Pew found that 75 percent of Democrats polled say there is "solid evidence of global warming," with 50 percent of those attributing it to human activity. Only 35 percent of Republicans recognize global warming; of those, 18 percent see the hand of man. Obviously, people are not calculating radiative forcing or working through other equations of atmospheric physics themselves. Party affiliation likely makes some people leap from "Is climate changing?" to what to do about it, so Republicans may be blind to climate change just to deny any need for regulation of greenhouse gases. But here, too, psychological factors are at work.

As with mammograms, climate change is also a matter of trust and belief (or not) in experts: physicists, or Glenn Beck? In addition, denying environmental reality reflects, in part, a tendency to justify the existing order, argues Jost. Conservatives, part of whose ideology is to respect and protect the status quo, tend to engage in this "systems justification" more than liberals, tending to view corporations, markets, government, and other institutions as legitimate and benign. Acknowledging climate change means recognizing "shortcomings of the current system" and "admitting that the status quo must change," Jost and colleagues write in a paper to be published early next year. They find that a desire to justify the status quo (gauged by agreement with such statements as "Most policies serve the greater good" and "Society is set up so people usually get what they deserve") accounts for much of the variability in people's likelihood of denying climate change.

It's comforting to believe our views on political and empirical questions are the product of rational thought and analysis. But belief doesn't make it so.

The Pimco's El-Erian article I sent you yesterday came from the Dec 21, 2009 issue of Fortune which has the caption 2010 Investor Guide. This morning I skimmed through the other articles. I know that many magazines have the investment guides for 2010, but Fortune tends to be more thoughtful than many. I recommend you buy this issue because it addresses different strategies you can use in investing.

One strategy might be to use Index funds and automatic rebalancing once a quarter or so and proper allocation throughout the world depending on your ability to tolerate risks and downturn in the market. What you did in the 2008 when it was obvious that the market was tanking is a good indication how you tolerate risk. If you sold everything, I suspect that you should take the most conservative approach.

Getting professional advice by talking with a number of professional advisors is a good way, but you do need to pay a fee which is cheap if the advisor takes the index approach. Unfortunately too many of these advisors require high startup investments of millions of dollars. You might look into the investment fund used by professors and teachers which tend to be more conservative, but it is probably not a good idea to invest in funds that did well in 2008.

Hebner has a video explaining the use of index funds which I have not viewed. I only picked this one because I was familiar with Hebner, but I still prefer you buy the book by David F. Swensen "Unconventional Success", the person who runs the Yale Fund. This is a good he wrote after much research and talking to many people. It is not what Yale investment does which depends on lots of different investment managers in specific areas of investment. Swensen's opinion is that not too many mutual fund investor managers are very good. Their purpose seems to be to maximum income for the mutual fund and not necessary good for the individual investors because over trading increases costs for short term trading.

El-Erian's advice to individual investors is to use indexes and invest only 15% in USA companies. Quote from El-Erian's article just in case you decided to skip reading the article I sent you. He told his wife in September 2008 to

"Please go to the bank and get cash." And she said,
Why? Because I don't think the banks are going to open tomorrow." That's how close it got."

Always remember that CEOs of corporations are not the ones who come up with the investment strategies, are the most knowledgeable, the brightest, or the most creative. They normally have the ability to get along well with their bosses, are good communicators, and very aggressive. Their average IQ is significantly higher than average at 120. The same can be said of good politicians. Al Gore at IQ of 134 is at the high end for politicians. Wall Street hires a third of the best mathematicians and physicists at MIT IQ of 140 and above, for example, to do the mathematics necessary now to survive on Wall Street derivative enhanced investing. Each IQ point is very significant, but addresses only one part of intelligence and does not always lead to that individual having good judgement.

Many Republican House members seem to really be very dumb. Unfortunately the Senate was designed to give small states extraordinary power with two senators with populations less than one million.

I have recommended using Vanguard index funds because of low real expenses and integrity are especially important in the expected low growth years for at least the next five years. Mutual Funds trade too much so expenses go through the roof so your yield might actually become negative!

Good news: Goldman executives changed their bonuses to stocks which cannot be sold for five years similar to what the Obama people have been recommending so they will think more long term and perhaps reduce their risky investment policies.

My Opinion: For most people, it will be wise to keep about half your investment money in extremely safe investments including Bank or Credit Union savings accounts here or overseas index funds not in dollars and/or gradually accumulating gold coins or more usefully Silver or Platinum. My guess is that inflation will start in about five years when the economy will recover somewhat. But growth will be in other countries including Canada who will pollute their country to get shale oil out.

I am optimistic that Healthcare bill will pass because the Democrats all know that if it does not, the Republicans will win Senate seats to stop everything Obama wants to do. That is what happened to Clinton. The Republicans stopped everything because of the requirement that 60 votes are needed to bring a bill up to a final vote. But until recently the 60 vote requirement has been well publicized because of the Healthcare Bill. It had been hardly mentioned in 2007 when the Republicans stopped the Democrats from even bringing good bills to a vote and if it passed with some Republican votes, Bush vetoed the bill.

Remember that the only reason Dems have a majority is that moderate Republicans were replaced with moderate [conservative] Democrats in both the House and Senate. Obama lost in places like Clinton's Arkansas by 20 points while both Senators are Democrats in 2008!

Yes, the South may not always be overtly racist, but people vote and think emotionally with their guts where racism still resides. That is why compromise always has to be considered in making the sausage of political decisions. Understand this and you may be more sympathetic towards conservative Democrats and the need not to have a perfect bill.

Jim Kawakami, Dec 11, 2009,

No comments:

Post a Comment