Monday, February 26, 2007

Gridlocked blog

In a journal of opinion that has no real subject barriers the danger seems to be gridlock. At times it happens. There's so much to comment on, but what is really important, what is worth the 30 minutes or more to get a comment into readable shape, who cares about anything forced. The thoughts keep coming but nothing goes into the outbox. So here are some of the notes on the desk that did not become posts over the last ten days:
---A comment on the uniqueness of Iran relative to most of the Middle East in terms of its political system, ethnicity, culture, education and recent history---tentative title would be "The Real Reason Iran Terrifies Saudi Arabia".

---Reaction to the following comment by Lawrence Summers, former U.S. Treasury Secretary and a smart man, "It's worth remembering that markets were very upbeat in the early summer of 1914"---the message being that overvaluation or economic mismanagement do not necessarily need to be in place for the market to take a serious tumble.

---Comment on the impending resignation of Vice President Cheney and why it will happen, with timing being the only issue.

---Reflections on rereading Cheever's short stories and Styron's "Darkness Visible".

---The irrepressible vibrancy of small to mid-cap value stocks, especially in sectors like industrial materials, commercial electrical system design and maintenance, heavy equipment production and maintenance, infrastructure construction, and industrial and construction
project management. There's an overarching idea underway here, at least for now.

---A review, of sorts, of the exceptional essay "The Past Conditional" by Julian Barnes that was in the December 25/January 1 double issue of The New Yorker.

---The possible meaning of the current VIX index(a gauge of stock market volatility produced by the Chicago Board Options Exchange) which shows that the concern about a fall in equity prices is at a 13 year low.

---Oscar comment: Tom Cruise's long hug; Ellen DeGeneres's slow start turned out cool; a windfall for Al Gore's tailor; Melissa Etheridge's in your face comment; Alan Arkin looked like Rob's father, Jack Nicholson gets old in more ways than one, and more.

So be forewarned. If a lane opens some of these thoughts could be developed, or new ones could be forthcoming.


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