Intel's Ronler Acres Plant

Silicon Forest

Wednesday, June 4, 2003

Intel

I have a stock broker now at one of your full service brokerage houses. Will this work out? Time will tell.

E*Trade and Schwab are great if you are paying attention, but evidently I wasn't. If I had been I would have sold more Intel stock two or three years ago. I blame it on my health. Right now I try to stay healthy enough to do my job. Anything else I get done is a bonus. Not sleeping well puts a real crimp in my ability to get things done. So I blame my poor health (my trouble sleeping) for my failure to pay attention.

Signing up with Chinook Capital Management a year ago might have worked out if they had been competent, if I hadn't been margined to the hilt, or if the market hadn't been in a landslide. If any one of those factors hadn't been true it might have been okay, but with all three working against me, it was doomed.

The big advantage of the broker is it's someone to remind me of reality. It's much easier to be objective about other people's money. It's more difficult to be objective when it's your own money. It's very easy to get stuck in non-productive modes of thought. Like hanging onto stuff hoping it will go up, a common fault among investors, at least according to some studies.

Foreign Policy

I am in favor of the war we started with Iraq. From all accounts Saddam Hussein is an evil man. I think we will be doing the Iraqi people a great service by removing him from power. Removing him will not be enough. To prevent someone of similar nature from coming to power, it will be necessary to establish a new government, and to see that it is firmly established. Constitutional democracy seems to be the preferred form of government these days so that might be the form to pursue. So we can look at an extended stay in Iraq, probably five years or so.

Back in 1970 I turned nineteen years of age, and my lottery number was 30, which almost guaranteed that I would be drafted. I wasn't having any of it. I didn't have any particular objection to the war in Vietnam, but I didn't like people telling me what to do. Fortunately I lived in Ohio and Ohio State University had a policy of admitting anyone who graduated from a High School in Ohio. So I signed up for school. Didn't really want to go to school, I'd been bored out of my mind in High School, and I couldn't see that college would be any better. But given the choice of going to school or going to Vietnam, I chose school. Call me a draft dodger if you will. I was young and ornery, and probably wouldn't have made a very good soldier anyway.

I stayed in school for a year and a half and then I heard a rumor that if you dropped out of school in December, you would be eligible for the draft till the end of the year. If you made it to the end of the year without getting drafted, your period of eligibility was over and you were no longer subject to the draft. The kicker was that nobody ever got drafted in December. So I dropped out, waited out the month, and I was deferred.

John F. Kennedy was supposed to be one of greatest presidents. I'm not so sure. He got us into Vietnam, and he backed out of supporting the Cuban exiles in their attack at the Bay Of Pigs. Richard Nixon is supposed to one our worst presidents, but I'm not so sure. He got us out of Vietnam. I really didn't like his Secretary of State, Henry Kissinger. I can't really say why, except perhaps that there was too much news about him.

Until this war on Iraq, I was very much opposed to US foreign policy. Our single minded support of any regime that declared itself to be anti-communist seemed to be causing more trouble and grief in the world than the communists were. El Salvador, Iran, Vietnam, the Philippines and Mexico are my favorite examples.

Some people will wonder why I include Mexico. Mexico is pretty much poverty stricken, a third world disaster like any other. It is right next door to the United States. The most powerful nation on Earth. Although I cannot say exactly how or why, I suspect Mexico's current situation can be directly traced to US policy.