by John Walters
Ballot The Blue Sky
Vote! There’s nothing more important that you will do this year than vote in the presidential election. Vote! And while it would be disingenuous of me to say that I don’t care whom you vote for, the most important thing is that you VOTE! And remind others to vote.
The first step? Making sure that you’re registered. Click here and find out your status.
I’d also recommend that you throw a certain caution to the wind and vote in person on election day. But just VOTE! Listen, if the incumbent wins, a touch of coronavirus is not going to be your greatest concern.
And Now He’s Dead
On Thursday Vice News aired an on-camera interview with Michael Forest Reinhoel, 48, the man who all but confessed to the fatal shooting of a right-wing Trump supporter at last Saturday night’s protest in Portland. It was Reinhold who approached a freelance reporter to do the interview, and the freelance reporter contacted Vice News.
At the time of the interview Reinhoel had yet to be arrested. Later on Thursday police shot and killed Reinhoel south of Seattle while apparently attempting to make an arrest. Details on what went down have yet to emerge and it’s apparently not on film so, to quote Tom Petty, “you believe what you wanna believe.”
Where Have I Heard That Slogan Before?
I’m currently reading The Splendid And The Vile by Erik Larson, a loaner from The Inconvenient Ruth Memorial Library and Society For The Promotion Of Pickleball. Anyway, it’s mostly about Winston Churchill, his family and the German aerial blitzkrieg of England from late spring of 1940 through 1941.
Larson’s tome is the latest example that history has a funny way of repeating itself. When the Luftwaffe drops a bomb precariously close to Buckingham Palace, something even German citizens found distasteful, Minister of Propaganda Joseph Goebbels rushed to spin the story in Germany’s favor. First he asked pilots and their superiors if there was a way to spin it so that it looked as if there was a munitions factory or weapons arsenal nearby and that the plane had simply dropped the bomb a little off course. Assured that no such target existed near Buckingham Palace, Goebbels simply made one up. Said that there was a super-secret weapons factory nearby.
Now who ever would do a thing like that?
But here’s something that caught our eye even more acutely. You know all those retirees you know who ardently devour World War II books? And you know how a disproportionate lot of them, at least in my current neighborhood, are big supporters of the current White House occupant? They revere America, revere Donald Trump and revere everything about World War II?
Well, in 1940 the president was a Democrat. And his Republican challenger, Wendell Wilkie, was a committed isolationist (as were most Republicans). Well, at least once he realized his best chance of defeating the two-term incumbent was to oppose any involvement in the affairs of Europe, Wilkie became adamantly anti-war.
But here’s what got us “Oh, Wow”‘-ing. Wilkie was buttressed by a group of Yale Law students who were also fervently anti-war. These students even went so far as to form an organization, endorsed by Charles Lindbergh himself, to oppose involvement in the war.
The name of their organization? The America First Committee.
Yes, “America First” and World War II involvement were diametrically opposed. Put that in the inscription to grandpa when you give him “The Greatest Generation” or “Flags Of Our Fathers” as a Christmas present.
Meet My Investment Guru
This is my very good friend, A.J. Don’t mind the look, he’s going through a mid-to-late life crisis. The problem is that he’s 29.
A.J. hasn’t been to college but in the past three months none of my edjumicated friends have given me better investment advice. One night in early July, A.J. texted and told me to buy shares of The Gap.
“The Gap?” I replied. “People still shop at The Gap?”
“John, you don’t understand,” A.J. said. “Kanye [no last name needed] just signed a 10-year partnership deal with The Gap. Your generation has no idea how influential Kanye is.”
I checked the price of a share of The Gap (GPS), which was below $12. A.J. said, “Trust me, it’ll be $30 in a year.”
Armed with that assurance, and zero data, I bought a couple hundred shares of GPS. Earlier this week it climbed above $18 per share, a more than 50% gain in less than two months.
So that’s my investment guru.
Churchill Downs Downer
They’ll be staging the Kentucky Derby tomorrow, but the race that annually heralds the arrival of spring (at least in the northeast) and is packed with the ostentatiously dressed will be run before an empty backdrop.
The race was delayed more than four months. Are all of the horsies still even three year-olds?
If the race run-up in the vast empty venue bores you, you can always switch channels to see the U.S. Open being contested in front of no fans.