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Q&A #2: AOL multi-millionaire; the 'fascism' magic spell; CRE defaults + more…
Questions (Q) & Conversation (C) With the Master Grizzly
This is a compendium of my latest conversations & dialogue with colleagues, friends, and email subscribers.
C: I am after all one of the few remaining AOL customers keeping them in business haha!
- From new Pro subscriber, Daniel P
R: Much appreciated, Daniel, for upgrading as one of my Pro subscribers.
Funny story about “AOL”—when I was living in Virginia Beach, about 4 blocks from the Atlantic Ocean, there was this old timer neighbor of mine, upstairs, named “Tom!”
Well, I went to finally make his acquaintance. He was telling me stories of travel, adventure, and investments. I was only 24 at the time. So, when he pointed to a stock certificate on his wall, I had to look closer.
It said, “200,000 shares of AOL held…” That was in 1995! AOL's IPO was priced at 14.75 in 1992. However, in 1995, AOL's stock split 2-for-1. Needless to say, it made “Tom” a multi-millionaire.
Can you imagine? ;) About 6 months later, he had gone to the south pacific and bought some small island, I think.
Q: Why don't you just share what you think fascism or racism ARE…?
This request (question) was prompted by a fellow Substacker (named Heather) who, evidently, didn’t like the fact that I ripped on one of her favorite authors posting BS about this topic. After telling them that “card-carrying social justice warriors (SJWs) leftists throw around the word “fascism” like it's some magical spell, without even knowing what the word truly means,” the request above came in. My reply is:
A: Heather, I'll be the last person here to perform for another's own curiosities and intellectual-efforts.
For instance, to deeply understand how the term / meaning of “Fascism,” over the past 8+ decades, has been distorted and misappropriated from its origins, and societal context, just go read the books written by Benito Mussolini and Giovanni Gentile.
Or, go check out the TIKhistory YouTube channel and type in their search bar, “fascism.” You'll get several well-done videos discussing the historical complexities, twisted interpretations, assumptions, and even emotional triggers tied to the term / label.
Yes, because it has a multi-faceted nature, it has morphed into much more than just a political and economic system.
But, human nature being what it is — where it will do anything to distract itself from, well, dealing with its own personal follies and foolish feelings — needs a bogeyman; it yearns for a simple slur to finger-point its way into self-righteous drivel.
For instance, there used to be a more collective consensus of the term; whereby folks knew, with clarity, that a country was in a Fascist system… if all facets of top-down managed government (i.e., think church, police, the media, military, the big corporate / tech and university complex) were in lock-step with each other.
And anyone supporting such a Statist philosophy — where they advocate for an unending, all enduring faith and wholehearted support of government and authority, and its practice in our collectives lives — would rightfully be called a “Fascist!”
Presently, however, the term has devolved into nothing more (or less) than a thought-terminating cliché, that gives rationalization to label anyone with it, who has opposite views and belief systems.
“Oh, you're into the virtues of individualism! Screw you, you Fascist!”
“Yeah, that man is an arrogant prick, who doesn't agree with social justice causes. He's definitely a bona fide Fascist!”
“She doesn't support Antifa or Black Lives Matter. She lives under the constraints of traditional family values. What a supplicating Fascist!”
“You're a mean one, Mr. Grinch. Fascist bastard!”
That's the current-day reality of its sophomoric and emotionally-reactive use.
Again, as per my prior post-reply above, the label is childishly thrown around like some magic spell… as if to cast out anyone who isn't part of the “left wing,” support-the-current-thing, or self-deluded “love 'n light” ideology.
Socialist academics, and their media puppets, have done their damnedest to convince the world that Fascism is somehow “right wing,” when the historical truth is… it's a first cousin of socialism, along with communism and syndicalism.
Q: What is your go-to crypto trading platform?
A: If you’re referring to one that caters to more experienced, active investors, then by all means, use KuCoin. I've been using them for 5 years. It has a huge range of cryptocurrencies to trade, high volumes, and rock-bottom fees. Also, they're considered one of the safest exchanges.
** If anyone wants me to do a few screencast tutorials, let me know…
Q: As I sit here with you, Bear, drinking beer at this Oregon brewery – this is a totally appropriate thought…has this state even produced one famous singer?
A: Whaaaaaat? (almost spitting out my Caldera IPA). Of course, man! I always figured you had a thing for a bit of grunge-punk. Do these lyrics not ring a bell?: "I'm still living with your ghost / Lonely and dreaming of the West Coast?" That’s from the song titled Santa Monica, by EVERCLEAR.
They formed in the early ‘90s, out of Portland — when Portland, I suppose, wasn’t the decrepit city it now is — and they were known for their riveting life performances (like this one). They say they were influenced by a combo of the Beach Boys, Public Enemy, X and other artists. It definitely comes across in their hook-ridden melodies. My favorite is Wondeful!
Q: Did you hear how the owner of the biggest mall in downtown San Francisco just defaulted on a half a billion dollar loan?
A: I did. Rappoport just reported on it yesterday (6-19-23) in his signature punchy, world-weary lingo (at times, I’m envious of Jon). Too much crime, too few shoppers, is where the rubber meets the road, of course. I can see the same root symptoms even in my small town. About the only area doing decent in commercial real estate (CRE) is medical office buildings.
The Westfield Mall default is just one of many similar BIG defaults that will be the snowball for a larger crisis that few are talking about. Shadow banks, most notably BlackRock and Blackstone, play a pivotal role in the commercial debt market. And they're showing signs of currently restricting withdrawals from their commercial loan funds.
CRE: it’s a massive global sector worth around $20 trillion, with the US market alone valued at over a trillion dollars. Mr. Pomp just did a helluva deep-dive into how this market is in deep shit.
I’m currently hedging what this ongoing CRE “dump” can do to the broader markets, mostly by buying BTC and shorting the SPY.
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