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Old 09-04-2011, 08:37 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by ERD50 View Post
Well, I expressed a bit of shock/dismay recently when so many people said they were going to cut back on spending due to the recent market dip/blip. I plan to 'stay the course' with a relatively conservative WR - I'm not going to get all negative, I'm going to enjoy life.

I think youbet said it well (paraphrasing, and going by memory), there are some things we may only get to enjoy now, at our current age and physical well being, if we cut back now, we may pass up that opportunity forever. Let's not let any negativity of the moment affect our overall enjoyment of life.

-ERD50
And I'm still saying it....... Time is flying by and unless doing without life experiences you crave is your thing, it's best to keep on keeping on. My financial plan for RE included the possibility of tough times with the economy and a realization that a successful retirement might well include wild rides up and/or down the portfolio performance roller coaster.

A FireCalc run that concludes that your plan tests 100% vs historical data does not necessarily mean smooth sailing. More likely, there will be scary dips and dives along the way despite the fact that your plan would have never failed in the past.

We're leaving for a ten day camping trip in a couple hours. Driving half way today and meeting another couple in central Wisconsin. Tomorrow, Labor Day, we'll head the rest of the way "Up Nort" for a week on the shores of Lake Superior. Kayaks are on the truck. Camper is hitched. I'm lookin' forward to this.......

Yep, lotsa bad vibes in the country today. Folks are arm wrestling over who's going to wind up with what as the population grows, resources shrink and politicians lead us toward quicksand. I'm concerned too. But not enough to spend the next couple of decades (I hope it's that long) doing the gloom and doom thing.
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Old 09-04-2011, 08:57 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sandhog View Post

Dennis Gartman’s, The Gartman Letter, on the difference between going to school in 1957 and 2010:
Scenario 1:
Jack goes quail hunting before school and then pulls
into the school parking lot with his shotgun in his
truck’s gun rack.
1957 – Vice Principal comes over, looks at Jack’s
shotgun, goes to his car and gets his shotgun to show
Jack.
2010 – School goes into lock down, FBI called, Jack
hauled off to jail and never sees his truck or gun again.
Counselors called in for traumatized students and
teachers.
Scenario 2:
Johnny and Mark get into a fist fight after school.
1957 – Crowd gathers. Mark wins. Johnny and Mark
shake hands and end up buddies.
2010 – Police called and SWAT team arrives — they
arrest both Johnny and Mark. They are both charged with
assault and both expelled even though Johnny started it.

Scenario 3:
Jeffrey will not be still in class, he disrupts other
students.
1957 – Jeffrey sent to the Principal’s office and given a
good paddling by the Principal. He then returns to class,
sits still and does not disrupt class again.
2010 – Jeffrey is given huge doses of Ritalin. He
becomes a zombie. He is then tested for ADD. The family
gets extra money (SSI) from the government because
Jeffrey has a disability.

Scenario 4:
Billy breaks a window in his neighbor’s car and his
Dad gives him a whipping with his belt.
1957 – Billy is more careful next time, grows up normal,
goes to college and becomes a successful businessman.
2010 – Billy’s dad is arrested for child abuse, Billy is
removed to foster care and joins a gang. The state
psychologist is told by Billy’s sister that she remembers
being abused herself and their dad goes to prison. Billy’s
mom has an affair with the psychologist.

Scenario 5:
Mark gets a headache and takes some aspirin to
school.
1957 – Mark shares his aspirin with the Principal out on
the smoking dock.
2010 – The police are called and Mark is expelled from
school for drug violations. His car is then searched for
drugs and weapons.

Scenario 6:
Johnny takes apart leftover firecrackers from the
Fourth of July, puts them in a model airplane paint
bottle and blows up a red ant bed.
1957 – Ants die.
2010 – ATF, Homeland Security and the FBI are all
called. Johnny is charged with domestic terrorism. The
FBI investigates his parents – and all siblings are
removed from their home and all computers are
confiscated. Johnny’s dad is placed on a terror watch list
and is never allowed to fly again.

Scenario 7:
Johnny falls while running during recess and
scrapes his knee. He is found crying by his teacher,
Mary. Mary hugs him to comfort him.
1957 – In a short time, Johnny feels better and goes on
playing.
2010 – Mary is accused of being a sexual predator and
loses her job. She faces 3 years in State Prison. Johnny
undergoes 5 years of therapy.
So True!
I'm certain Dennis published this to provide a hearty laugh to those who have experienced both time periods. It's after the chuckle that you shake your head and realize every word is true.

I think this thread needed a definition of "Spirit" before discussion began.
I'm a little shocked to hear the vast majority of posters say 1969 or 2011, same song, different verse.
I see vast differences, but then it may be a definition thing, or maybe I just haven't spent enough time on my Facebook page lately.
On a personal level, heck, I've got really nice cars, a boat, two successful kids, perfect health, money in the bank, nice house, worlds best DW, and critters to shoot at from my deck.
So maybe my spirit is just fine after all. Still, when I look beyond the "puppies and rainbows," I see a world that could use quite a bit of tweaking, but then, that just requires more definition.
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Old 09-04-2011, 09:06 AM   #23
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It was definitely a cool time to be young, but then almost anytime is a good time to be young.
Unless you were a poor white/black boy (as I was) with a letter from "Uncle" (and not "uncle Ho", but "uncle Sam" ...
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Old 09-04-2011, 09:54 AM   #24
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I enjoy the discussions and thoughts posted here. My carreer was in law enforcement, so I am of course a Cynical S.O.B. however, Im with the group who looks back at history, reads about the great depression, world wars I and II, and the huge differences of American opinion during the sixties and thinks....Holy cow, they had it bad compared to us, and we got through it as a country.
We will again.
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Old 09-04-2011, 10:06 AM   #25
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People in the 1970's felt, in many ways, just like people feel nowadays.

What goes around, comes around...


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Old 09-04-2011, 11:51 AM   #26
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A view from outside.....

This is indeed a very dispiriting time for the US. It seems that everything is going wrong. Yet, as many have pointed out, there have been other times of crisis and the US has always bounced back, has always been resilient.

Every complex system, be it a forest or a society, has periods of creative destruction (e.g. a forest fire) which allow for new beginnings. The problems of the US should not be underestimated, and they have scuppered many a leading society in history (e.g. ancient Greece) but I believe that the spirit of innovation is alive and well and that the US will rise and prosper again. I sure hope so, for the world's sake.

If you are interested in complex systems theory this would be an interesting read.

Getting to Maybe: How the World Is Changed: Amazon.ca: Frances Westley, Brenda Zimmerman, Michael Patton: Books
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Old 09-04-2011, 12:59 PM   #27
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Randumb thoughts...

I have my own political views, which do not easily mesh with any particular "party"; some libertarian, some RINO, some "progressive". I find it hard to think in absolutes, and believe that the world is not black and white, but rather an infinite variation of gray. We seem to have lost the ability to see nuance. This makes it difficult to find common ground; after all, who wants to compromise with Hitler...

My financial situation is good, though not great, but I haven't necessarily gone into "survival" mode, though some might argue that is my "normal" mode. I find it bemusing that folks who are in absolutely no danger financially are hunkering down because things are so "bad". Self-fulfilling prophecy?

Freedom is not free. It includes some sacrifice for the common good. But if it must be imposed from outside forces, then it doesn't serve its purpose. Just because no one is watching doesn't make it alright to act badly...

As for 9/11, like many, for me it was deeply troubling, but I fear we learned the wrong lessons. Sure, bad people are out to get us, but once again, no nuance. We dove into a couple of wars that we didn't really "want" to win, which cost us lots of blood, treasure, and good will...

And as it relates to 9/11, or the banking/housing crisis, where the hell were the statesmen/women, where was the leadership? If we entrust, and usually, handsomely renumerate, someone with the perks of being CEO, or President, or Senator, we should expect them to be the "cooler" heads during time of mania...

To close, as someone once said:

Quote:
"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to heaven, we were all going direct the other way - in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only."
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Old 09-04-2011, 02:41 PM   #28
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As for 9/11, like many, for me it was deeply troubling, but I fear we learned the wrong lessons.
Who is this we of whom you speak? Attacks came along as godsend to those in power who wanted to increase their power. And increase it they have.

Ha
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Old 09-04-2011, 02:59 PM   #29
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Who is this we of whom you speak? Attacks came along as godsend to those in power who wanted to increase their power. And increase it they have.

Ha
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Old 09-04-2011, 05:11 PM   #30
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I think there's a widespread sense that "we" are losing control and may have to change in ways we won't find comfortable. I think the country's population is older, and doesn't have a huge wave of ambitious young folks to propel it out of the doldrums the way it did in the 70's and 80's. We older folks can't only look to our kids - most of us didn't have nearly enough kids!

We have to look to immigration to keep the country vital and strong, and today's immigrants don't necessarily feel as if they need to "assimilate" as fast as possible, the way my mother's generation of immigrants did (I'm first generation American). They think American society needs to adapt to them. That's scary, and possibly depressing, if one is set in one's ways.

Amethyst
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Old 09-04-2011, 05:22 PM   #31
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I feel a general frustration and negativity among my friends about the way the country is these days. However they are also the ones who generally keep up with the media/politics, etc. No matter if they are conservative or liberal, the ones who listen daily to the news media seem more this way than most. Unfortunately, this includes my husband. When I try to point out how fortunate we are in so many ways, he can point out how I'm living in a dream world and how the economy will soon come crashing down. Maybe I am living in a dream world, but I'm a mostly optimistic person and I feel pretty secure financially.
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Old 09-04-2011, 06:18 PM   #32
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I'm normally pretty optimistic about the future, and as you all have pointed out things have been much worse in the past. That said I think it is easier to be optimistic since most of us are in good financial shape. Sure earning on our capital has been cut severely, but for the most part we are well established in our careers or even better retired.

For a ton of Americans who's spouse has a lost a job, or are underemployed, or unemployed, and lack the relatively small number of in demand skills (Health care, technology) I think it is a very scary time. Especially when you add in that for most American there number one asset their house has declined in by a 1/3 or more and in many cases wiped out all of their equity. There are sadly no easy answers to our economic woes, and even more sadly many of our representatives claim the other sides solutions are doomed to failure.

I couple of years ago it really struck me how brilliantly named the Great Depression was.
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Old 09-04-2011, 06:37 PM   #33
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No matter if they are conservative or liberal, the ones who listen daily to the news media seem more this way than most.
If they weren't frustrated and angry, they probably wouldn't be listening to the news so much.
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Old 09-04-2011, 07:41 PM   #34
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Quote:
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If they weren't frustrated and angry, they probably wouldn't be listening to the news so much.
You may have the cause-effect relationship reversed, if it exists, but either way it does seem there is a correlation.
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Old 09-04-2011, 08:08 PM   #35
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"I see no hope for the future of our people if they are dependent on
the frivolous youth of today, for certainly all youth are reckless
beyond words.

When I was a boy, we were taught to be discrete and respectful of
elders, but the present youth are exceedingly wise and impatient of
restraint."
--- Hesiod, Eighth Century B.C.

"The world is passing through troublous times. The young people of
today think of nothing but themselves. They have no reverence for
parents or old age. They are impatient of all restraint. They talk as
if they knew everything, and what passes for wisdom with us is
foolishness with them. As for the girls, they are forward, immodest
and unladylike in speech, behavior and dress."

--- Attributed to Peter the Hermit
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Old 09-04-2011, 11:12 PM   #36
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We have to look to immigration to keep the country vital and strong, and today's immigrants don't necessarily feel as if they need to "assimilate" as fast as possible, the way my mother's generation of immigrants did (I'm first generation American). They think American society needs to adapt to them. That's scary, and possibly depressing, if one is set in one's ways.

Amethyst
It is scary even if one is not set in one's ways. All cutures are not necessarily equally valuable.

I would like us to go the way of Japan, perhaps plus some very high skilled and highly educated immgrants accepted. Enough of being the world's safety valve for it's overpopulation.

Ha
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Old 09-05-2011, 10:37 AM   #37
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I would like us to go the way of Japan, perhaps plus some very high skilled and highly educated immgrants accepted. Enough of being the world's safety valve for it's overpopulation.

Ha
Run the country like an NFL team..You need a particular postion you go after it..Recruit!!

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Old 09-05-2011, 10:53 AM   #38
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The following has equivalents in all belief systems. But this is Buddha's telling.

O how they cling and wrangle, some who claim
For preacher and monk the honored name!
For, quarreling, each to his view they cling.
Such folk see only one side of a thing.

There is interesting reading on the following wikipedia page:
Blind men and an elephant - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

My feeling is that each of us has given up some of the independent spirit and love of freedom our parents passed on. Perhaps we did this expecting more security. Unfortunately I see many preaching who want to lead, but not many can tell us what the elephant really looks like. Extremism has captured many hearts in this country. I hear leaders who preach failure at every opportunity, so that they can capture leadership in the near future. Reject them. Most great civilizations were destroyed from within.
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Old 09-05-2011, 11:00 AM   #39
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I cling to hope that we haven't "lost" our spirit, our can-do attitude, our long-term optimism. I hope it is merely misplaced for the time being, to be found again eventually. A nation that feels defeated economically is likely to perpetuate that defeat with actions and inactions that help keep a bad economy bad.
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Old 09-05-2011, 12:07 PM   #40
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'God Looks After Drunkards, Fools, and The United States of America.'

In ER, every day I wake up above ground is an opportunity to party.

heh heh heh - I did train for thirty years in New Orleans. .

So ok who is the Shirley Temple of the 21st century?
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