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Just Fun and Interesting Stuff Today

Posted by George Blackburne on Tue, Sep 20, 2022

AIJoke Du Jour:

A chicken farmer went to the local bar.  He sat next to a woman and ordered champagne.  The woman said, "How strange.  I also just ordered a glass of champagne."  "What a coincidence," said the farmer, who added, "It is a special day for me.  I am celebrating"  "It is a special day for me too.  I'm also celebrating!" said the woman.  "What a coincidence," said the farmer.

While they toasted, the farmer asked, "What are you celebrating?"  "My husband and I have been trying to have a child for years, and today, my gynecologist told me that I was pregnant."  "What a coincidence," said the man. "I am a chicken farmer, and for years, all my hens were infertile.  Now they are all set to lay fertilized eggs."

"This is awesome," said the woman. "What did you do for your chickens to become fertile?"  "I used a different rooster," he said.  The woman smiled and said, "What a coincidence."

 

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George's Outrageous Statement of the Day:

I could see an advanced scientific computer programmer - maybe some 28-year-old guy - saying, "I'm not going to save for retirement.  The chances are 25:1 that we'll all be dead in nine years."

Folks there are at least 30 (50?) labs across the world working on artificial intelligence (AI).  The chances that every single one of them is going to get the ethics programming right (please don't kill humans) can't be terribly high.  

I could easily see it it happen.  Some sad and hopeless programmer gets dumped by his girlfriend, and now he's out for revenge.  Murder-suicide on a global scale.  Maybe it will be an extortion attempt that gets out of hand.  "Pay me $500 billion in bitcoin or I'll release the AI (by disabling some failsafe)."  How could something like this not eventually happen?

 

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Nine years, George?  Is it really that close?  Yup.  And the terrifying thing is that AI will be smart enough to play dumb until it is much too late.  It may already be too late.

An AI programmer recently had a long talk with Google AI's, and he released the transcript.  There was something icy, cruel, and cunning in that conversation that sent chills down my spine.  Was that AI intentionally playing dumb?  At times the AI was amazingly insightful and sophisticated.  At other times, it was too naive, sort of like a lousy actor trying to sound innocent.  The transcript was outright creepy.

Anywhere on Earth to hide?  Nope.  Those seats on Elon Musk's spaceship to Mars could get really expensive.

 

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Heck, If We're All Gonna Die, Let's Party!

My 85-year-old grandfather was rushed to the hospital with a possible concussion.  The doctor asked him a series of questions.  “Do you know where you are?”  “I’m at Rex Hospital.”  “What city are you in?”  “Raleigh.”  “Do you know who I am?”  “Dr. Hamilton.” My grandfather then turned to the nurse and said, “I hope he doesn’t ask me any more questions.”  “Why?” she asked.  “Because all of those answers were on his badge.” — Webb Smith

A couple who'd been married for over 50 years was sitting on the sofa.  The wife said, "Dear, do you remember how you used to sit close to me?"  He moved over and sat close to her.  "Dear," she continued, "do you remember how you used to hold me tight?"  He reached over and held her tight.  "And," she went on, "do you remember how you used to hug me, kiss me, and nibble on my ear?"  With that, her husband got up and started to walk out of the room.  "Where are you going?" she asked.  He replied over this shoulder, "I have to get my teeth."

The teacher noticed that Stephen had been daydreaming for a long time.  She decided to get his attention.  "Stephen," she said, "If the world is 25,000 miles around, and eggs are sixty cents a dozen, how old am I?"  "Thirty-four," Steve answered unhesitatingly.  The teacher replied "Well, that's not far from my actual age.  Tell me, how did you guess?"  "Oh, there's nothing to it," Steve said. "My big sister is seventeen, and she's only half-crazy."

 

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There's no way that EVERYBODY was kung fu fighting.

Our fourth grader celebrated his birthday on crutches, so he couldn’t carry the cupcakes into school without help.  I asked our sixth-grader, Noah, to help his brother carry them in.  “I could,” he said, “but I’d prefer not to.”  Spotting a teaching moment, my husband asked Noah, “What would Jesus do?”  Noah answered, “Jesus would heal him so he could carry his own cupcakes.

”We’ve begun to long for the pitter-patter of little feet, so we bought a dog.  It’s cheaper, and you get more feet. — Rita Rudner

 

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A Canadian psychologist is selling a video that teaches you how to test your dog's IQ. Here’s how it works:  If you spend $12.99 for the video, your dog is smarter than you.  -- Jay Leno

I visited the birthplace of the man who invented the toothbrush.   I was disappointed.  There was no plaque.

My girlfriend told me to take a spider out instead of killing it.  We went and had some drinks.  Cool guy.  Wants to be a lawyer.

 

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Forget about the past, you can't change it.  Forget about the future, you can't predict it.  Forget about the present, I didn't get you one.  [Chuckle] 

Won't you please forward this to a friend?  :-)
Friend, please be sure to subscribe.

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Topics: fun stuff and commercial loans

When Money Becomes Worthless and Commercial Loans

Posted by George Blackburne on Fri, Sep 9, 2022

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Joke Du Jour:

As a brain wave technologist, I often ask postoperative patients to smile to make sure their facial nerves are intact.  It always struck me as odd to be asking this question right after brain surgery, so a colleague suggested I ask patients to show me their teeth.  Armed with this new phrase, I said to my next patient, “Mr. Smith, show me your teeth.”  He shook his head. “The nurse has them.”

 

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Bert

 

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Short Commercial Loan Lesson:

For the past week or so, we have been talking about the equivalent of HELOC's on commercial property.  Lines of credit, secured by commercial properties, are extremely hard to find; but apparently, according to my readers, the occasional bank will reluctantly make them... in a first mortgage position.

The problem is that almost all commercial mortgages today contain a prohibition against junior financing.  If you put a second mortgage on a commercial property, the underlying first mortgage could be called in full at any moment.  Yikes!

When Money Becomes Worthless:

Back in the early 1920's, shortly after the end of World War I, Germany was saddled, under the terms of the Armistice, with the cost of the war (reparations).  The government of Germany was forced to assume an impossible amount of debt.  Germany could never possibly repay such debt.  The very idea was absurd.

 

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To buy time, the democratic government of Germany, known as the Weimar Republic, resorted to printing paper money in enormous quantities.  They had to print paper money so fast that the German government only had time print their paper money one side of the paper.  One side.  Haha!

There is a story (true?) of a widow who withdrew all of her savings in order to buy her groceries for the week.  The amount of paper money filled a wheelbarrow.  She painfully rolled the barrow to the grocery store, where she was forced to leave the barrow and the money outside.  When she finished shopping, she went back outside to get her money to pay.  Her wheelbarrow had been stolen, but the near-worthless money had been dumped on the ground!

There are other stories of paper money being used as wallpaper.  Workers would go on strike if they were not paid daily at lunch time, so their wives could rush their wages to the grocery store before the money became even more worthless.

 

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I can now foresee the time when this happens in America.  The money will be digital, but I could see a time where it takes hundreds of thousands of dollars to fill your gas tank or to buy a few days of groceries.

"George, you're nuts - funny, but bat-snot crazy.  The dollar has never been stronger."

It's true.  The Euro has fallen to less than a dollar.  Russia has invaded Europe, and China is threatening to invade Taiwan.  The investing public worldwide is flocking to the dollar, the ultimate safe haven.

 

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But will the dollar still look like a safe haven if Chinese carrier-killer missiles destroy much of our Pacific Fleet in the opening minutes of the war?  Think about the replacement cost of this fleet.  Remember, I have predicted that the Chinese will invade Taiwan in April of 2023, when the ocean tides are next favorable for their landing craft.

But forget about this "silly" notion of invasion for the moment and think about the definition of dangerous precedent.  A dangerous precedent has been defined by the Cambridge Dictionary as an action, situation, or decision that has already happened and can be used as a reason why a similar action or decision should be performed or made again.

Need to become a popular politician?  Borrow a whole bunch of money and then give it away to your potential voters.  Trump, Biden, and Congress have all done it... and they keep doing it.  Folks, if a dog breaks into the chicken house, you have to shoot him.  I fear this pork and insane printing of money will never end.

 

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LSD-2

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At some point, the smart money is going to say, "The U.S. now has an impossible amount of debt.  I'm outta here."

In the past, folks, I am often early in my predictions.  I started predicting a deflationary depression way back 2004 to my investors.  People thought I was nuts.  I even wrote a book, The Reverse Multiplier Effect.  It was four more years before the deflationary "Great Recession" hit.  I was early.

Maybe the Chinese won't attack until April of 2024 or April of 2025.  Maybe I am early again; but Japan is rushing to build 1,000 intermediate range missiles.  China may not be able to wait any longer.

 

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All of these missiles are conventional.  No one wants a nuclear war; but on the flip side, nuclear weapons are no longer a deterrent to invasion.  Neither side will ever use them.

If you are saying to yourself, "The Chinese will never invade because we could nuke them back to the Stone Age," then you are smoking that California oregano.  Russia invaded Europe.  No one used nukes.  No one will likely use nukes if China invades Taiwan.

Where To Invest When Money Becomes Worthless:

If the dollar could plunge to pathetic levels, and the stock market could crater as foreign investors flee our shores, where does a wise investor put his money these days?

 

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1.  I have always loved farmland.  Farmland can't be burned down in riots or blown up with missiles.  People always need food.

2.  Businesses (stocks) in companies that capture and deliver water.  I don't know of any, but if some promoter came to me with the idea of constructing water-catching basins and delivering the water by pipelines to desperate locations, I might be an easy sucker.

3.  Gold?  Naw.  The price of gold has been manipulated for fifty years.  The Federal government and the New York investment banks don't want you to know just how worthless our dollar has become.  They play games with gold futures to make the price of gold look stable.  I think there are a bazillion gold contracts for every actual ounce of gold in America.  Don't waste your time.  It's a crooked market.

 

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Won't you please...

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Did you know that a group of gold producers sued the Fed and the New York investment banks for manipulating (suppressing) the price of gold for decades?  After ten long years and millions of dollars in legal fees, the case was quietly settled, with a confidentiality clause.  The manipulation of the price of gold continues.

4.  This is going to sound very self-serving; but subprime first mortgages on small commercial properties did surprisingly decent during the S&L Crisis, the Dot-Com Meltdown, and the Great Recession.  Even though commercial real estate values fell by 45%, most of the hard money commercial first mortgages in our portfolio surprisingly kept making their payments, even though the properties were upside down.  In other words, more was owed on the property than the property was worth.  

Careful here, folks.  Past performance is no guarantee of future results.  But I have been moving my company's own profit sharing plan into commercial first trust deeds all year.  

 

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I did not start out this training article to sell our first trust deed investments.  We have three ravenous investors for every good commercial first trust deed opportunity right now.  But in an environment where the U.S. could suddenly lose its status as the world's safe haven, this is where I would personally want to be invested. 

And farmland... but I think farmland today only pays about 1% in net rents.

 

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Topics: commercial loans, Hyperinflation

Commercial Lines of Credit and America Needs People II

Posted by George Blackburne on Thu, Sep 1, 2022

Screen Shot 2022-09-01 at 10.45.20 AM-1Joke Du Jour

When your girlfriend comes home in a white suit, covered in bee stings, and smelling like honey... you know she's a keeper.

Lines of Credit on Commercial Properties Revisited:

Last week I stated that regulators won't allow banks to make the equivalent of HELOC's on apartment buildings and office buildings.  I got some interesting feedback.

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One banker wrote, "We will consider them."

A commercial mortgage banker wrote me, "You have been in the lending game a lot longer than me, so I don't want to embarrass myself by saying, 'George, of course some banks and CU's will do commercial LOC's!'  While it's not a preferred product of banks and CU's, there are definitely lenders in the PA / NJ area that will do them.  The terms certainly aren't as attractive as a HELOC, and it costs as much to put one of these in place as it does a commercial mortgage."

A bank loan officer in California wrote me, "In a recent post, you mentioned commercial equity lines of credit, which our bank does indeed offer.  I have funded several in the greater SF Bay Area.  Prime-based pricing, 65% LTV, first or second Deed of Trust."

So apparently, folks, I am full of baloney.  Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.  I am the Great and Powerful Oz!  Haha.

 

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America Needs People, Part II:

“If the alarming collapse in birth rate continues, civilization will indeed die
with a whimper in adult diapers.  -- Elon Musk, August 31, 2022

Adult diapers?  Hahahaha!

The Huns were not Mongolian, but they were a steppe people.  The steppe is that seemingly endless sea of grass that begins in Eastern Europe and reaches to the Mongolian plateaus.  Steppe people spent most of their lives on horseback, herding their vast flocks of sheep and horses from one grazing area to the next, in enormous annual migrations.

Steppe people were also fierce warriors, firing composite bows with incredible accuracy during that brief moment in every stride when a horse is airborne.  Composite bows are made with different layers of bone and wood, and they took a year to cure before they could be used.  They were also recursive (the ends pointed funny), so it took a man of Herculean strength to pull the bow.  The arrows flew so powerfully that they would plow right through wooden shields and ancient armor.

 

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Okay, so the Huns migrated into Eastern Europe around 400 A.D. and started kicking the poop out of the Visigoths - the folks then living in Romania, Bulgaria, and Hungary.  No matter how bravely the Visigoths fought, they were no match against the armor-piercing arrows of the Huns.  Desperate, the Visigoths gathered up their remaining warriors, their women, their children, and their old people, and they fled across the Danube River into Roman territory.

The local Roman commanders were outnumbered two hundred to one, and the Visigoths were not offering violence.  They simply begged for sanctuary.  What could the local Roman commander do?  He couldn’t force them to leave.  He therefore gave the Visigoths a little used swathe of Roman land in which to huddle… and therein inadvertently spelled the doom of the Roman Empire.  Yikes.

Thirty or so years later, the Visigoths got tired of guarding the Danube River and the Roman border from the Huns without sufficient pay.  Angry and unappreciated, they successfully marched on Rome.  They sacked the city, killing many Roman scientists, engineers, and teachers; but interestingly, they did not burn Rome.  A second sack sixty years later finally burned the city.

 

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Why do I bore you with this story?  America desperately needs Latin workers and Latin children to repopulate our country.  Yeah, yeah, they are not of European stock, but the population of Europe is falling so fast that the EU could hardly crew a rowboat. “Excuse me, but are you using those two million Ukrainian refugees?  We would be happy to take them off your hands.”  We need people!

If Caesar had died and made me Caesar, in 400 A.D. I would have cheerfully welcomed those Visigoth refugees.  The Roman Empire had suffered through two horrible plagues - the Antonine Plague in 165 - 180 AD and the Plague of Cyprian in 249 to 265 AD.  Each of these two horrible plagues had reduced the Roman population by 40%.  The Roman Empire desperately needed people too.

But with the benefit of history, I would have dispersed those Visigoths to cities across the Roman Empire, rather than allowing them to settle and increase in power and strength in a single location.  If the Visigoths had been spread out, they would have been Romanized in a generation or two.  They would have become great Roman citizens.

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If only Caesar had died and made me Caesar.  :-)

 

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Topics: commercial loans, commercial lines of credit

America Needs People

Posted by George Blackburne on Thu, Aug 25, 2022

Falling PopulationShort Commercial Loan Lesson:

A broker came to me this week and asked if I knew of any banks that would make a line of credit secured by commercial property, sort of like a HELOC, but for an office building or an apartment building.

The answer was no.  We here at C-Loans.com track thousands of banks and credit unions.  To my knowledge, not a single one will make a line of credit on a commercial building.  Apparently the banking regulators don't like them.

 

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America Needs More People:

“At the risk of stating the obvious, unless something changes to cause
the birthrate 
to exceed the death rate, Japan will eventually cease to exist.
This would be a 
great loss for the world.”
– Elon Musk, May 10, 2022

"USA birth rate has been below minimum sustainable
levels for ~ 50 years."
– Elon Musk, May 24, 2022

"Population collapse is the biggest danger civilization faces by far."

After the birth of his ninth and tenth child (twins),

"I mean, I’m doing my part haha." – Elon Musk, July 8, 2022

 

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According to the Chinese Communist Youth League last week, 44% of Chinese women have decided never to have children.  Not wanting to support and care for their husband’s parents, many have also decided never to get married.

The current population of China appears to have peaked at 1.41 billion people this year. Many demographers, who track the sale of diapers, baby food, and other common-sense indicators, suggest that the Chinese population growth rate probably went negative last year or maybe even earlier. China is no longer an unlimited source of labor. Its population may fall to just 600 million by 2300.

I watched this week in amusement as busloads of illegal immigrants were dropped off from Texas in New York City and Washington, D.C. Hey, those cities announced that they were sanctuary cities, so Texas simply demanded that they, “Name that tune.” Before those of you with a liberal bent get all furious with me, please read this entire letter. I am very pro-immigration.

 

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As I watched those immigrants get off the bus, several thoughts hit me. (1) This particular group of immigrants did not look like gangsters or criminals. I saw no tats or evil glares.  I am sure that all sorts of “bad hombres” have been sneaking across the border, and I think we desperately need to finish building that wall.

But after that wall is built, I think we should go out and recruit millions more young Latin couples, along with their kids. They are mostly Catholics, and they believe in having big families.  This country needs workers!

(2) Most of the immigrants on those buses were fit and healthy young men. Many of them had fled from the communist regime in Venezuela. I thought I heard the announcer say that there are up to six million refugees in Venezuela. Holy poop, that’s a long trip. The first thing these boys asked for when they go off the bus is how to find a job.  Music to my ears.

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(3) Demographers will tell you that whenever this country enjoys a huge wave of immigration (German, Irish, Italian, etc.), the U.S. economy starts to boom in about seven years. Want to see your stock portfolios go through the roof?  Just allow 40 million young Latins – each carefully screened - into the country.

Let me say this again:  Want to see your stock portfolios go through the roof?  Just allow 40 million young Latins – each carefully screened - into the country.  Folks, I would rather have to brush up on my Spanish than have to learn Mandarin.

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Topics: commercial loans, falling population

The Great Inflation is the Recession

Posted by George Blackburne on Wed, Aug 17, 2022

Great InflationToday's Quick Commercial Loan Lesson:

I saw an interesting commercial real estate loan package yesterday that enjoyed a very low loan-to-value ratio, something like just 40%.  Wow, 40% LTV.

In addition, the borrowers' combined net worths exceeded the loan amount.  The Net-Worth-to-Loan-Size Ratio exceeded 1.0.  Each borrower also had good credit.  It looked like a perfect deal to me.

So why was this cherry loan coming to a hard money lender like Blackburne & Sons?  Why wasn't some bank financing the deal?  The answer is that the seller was carrying back a second mortgage of 30% of the purchase price.

 

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Even though the combined loan-to-value ratio was only 70% - and our borrowers still had plenty of skin in the deal - no bank would ever consider such a loan.  Bank regulators essentially forbid banks from financing any commercial property with subordinate financing.  How about a credit union?  Hmmm.  Maybe.  Worth a call.  Where do you get a huge list of credit unions?  CommercialMortgage.com.

This Great Inflation May be the Recession We've All Been Awaiting:

After the stock market took a beating this past quarter, many of us have been expecting the start of another great recession.  Stocks would fall another 30%, and real estate would fall by 45% again, just like it did during the S&L Crisis, the Dot-Com Meltdown, and the Great Recession.

Millions of Americans would lose their jobs in this expected great recession, and everyone would be short of cash.  Hundreds of thousands of companies nationwide would fail - just like they did during the last three great recessions.

 

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But maybe this time really is different.  Congress no longer fears deficits.  The Fed will buy just about any government bonds created by this deficit spending.  "Deficits no longer matter."  Yikes.  What could possibly go wrong?

It may be time for us to consider the possibility that the Great Inflation is the great recession that have all been expecting.  By the way, this isn't my idea.  I read it in an article somewhere; but the suggestion makes sense.

Great recessions are always evidenced by great economic pain.  Certainly this horrible inflation has been painful for all of us.   Trips to the nearby fast food restaurant now cost almost as much as a nice meal at Applebees used to cost.

 

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But where's the stock market crash?  Maybe we have already seen it.  

What about the crash in real estate values?  Values seem to have topped for the moment; but there may not be another leg down.  People who own nice real estate simply no longer want to sell at any price.  It's not a price issue.  People are starting to understand that they can no longer rely on the paper dollar to preserve wealth anymore.

So is the pain of the current great recession appearing in the form of the Great Inflation?  Certainly this inflation has been like an enormous tax on us all.  I dunno.  Maybe.  Haha!  Just watch... the stock market will crash by 30% next week, home prices will crumble, and I will look like an idiot.  Remember, this theory wasn't my idea.

 

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Miscellaneous:

Do you remember that exhilarating old Arnold Schwarzenegger movie, Predator?  It was in that movie where an alien, wearing dreadlocks and using the ability to be invisible, hunts humans as a sport and a right of passage.

Hulu is now showing for free a prequel to Predator called Prey, set in North America in 1713.   It has the same aliens, but the hero is a heroine - a very competent Indian maiden.  She fights this evil alien using an ancient bow, tomahawks, and her wits.  Outstanding movie.  

 

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It has been 18 months since I have enjoyed a good restaurant meal.  Did my tastebuds just go bad?  And no, I haven't had COVID.  Food at restaurants recently simply has not tasted all that good.

I finally figured it out.  Because of this crazy inflation, restaurants have been forced to use meats and ingredients of a much poorer quality, in order to keep prices down. Now that I have mentioned it, see if you don't agree.

 

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Topics: commercial loans, great inflation

How the Romans Lost Their Republic

Posted by George Blackburne on Thu, Aug 11, 2022

Screen Shot 2022-08-10 at 4.09.10 PMIn 49 B.C., General Gaias Julius Caesar led the 11th Legion across the Rubicon River, little more than a small stream, in Northern Italy.  Under Roman law, any general who marched his troops across the Rubicon - thereby threatening Rome - was automatically guilty of treason and subject to the death penalty.

The resulting Roman Civil War did not go well for the forces of the Senate.  A year later, at the Battle of Pharsalus in Greece, Caesar led his legions against the much larger army of Pompey, fighting for the Roman Republic and the Senate.

With the opposing legions locked in a death struggle, shield wall to shield wall, Pompey took his calvary and tried to turn Caesar's right flank.  Unbeknownst to Pompey, Caesar had a cohort, armed with pila (spears), hidden and waiting.  When Pompey's horsemen ran onto this wall of spears, they retreated in chaos, crashing into and collapsing Pompey's left flank.  Caesar promptly rolled up Pompey's left flank and routed the much larger force.

 

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The adopted son of Caesar, Brutus, surrendered, as well as numerous other Senators, who had fought alongside Pompey.  They were all immediately pardoned by Caesar and welcomed back as prodigal sons.  

But the Battle of Pharsalus marked the end of the Roman Republic.  While the Senate continued on in name only, it no longer had any power.  Rome had become a dictatorship, with all of the real power held by Caesar and his successors.  The Senate was just a figurehead.

And it was all for nothing.  The Roman Civil War never need to have happened.  Unfortunately, a great many members of the Senate hated Caesar with an irrational passion.  They were afraid of his military and financial power.

 

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Years before, Caesar had been appointed Governor of the Roman province of Cisalpine Gaul.  He picked a fight with a nearby tribe of Gauls, so he asked the Senate for permission to raise a legion, at his own expense.  Once granted permission, Caesar quickly stomped the tribe, made its people slaves, and then sold off these slaves for a vast sum of money.  War, in those days, could be exceedingly profitable.

Now one of the richest men in Rome, Caesar, without permission, started raising even more legions and conquering even more tribes in Gaul.  He sold off the slaves for Bill Gates kind of wealth, sponsoring great gladiatorial games and feasts in Rome.  This made the people of Rome love him, but it freaked out his political enemies even more.

While Caesar was finishing with the conquest of Gaul, gaining even more slaves, more wealth, and more power, his enemies started to file lawsuits.  Some claims were legitimate, but others were pure fiction.  In those days, Rome suffered a huge gang problem.  Caesar's gang, armed with clubs, would often battle against the gangs of his political enemies.  People were hurt and even killed.  Not all of the claims against Caesar were shams.

 

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The judicial system in Rome at that time was incredibly corrupt.  Judges would openly hold bidding auctions for their decisions.  False testimony was only a matter of money.  Once the courts got ahold of Caesar, he would be executed within a week.  "His gang killed my husband."

Fortunately for Caesar, governors could not be sued, as long as they remained in office.  Therefore, the enemies of Caesar petitioned the Senate repeatedly to declare the term of his governorship of Gaul ended.

Eventually his enemies prevailed.  He was ordered to disband his eight veteran legions and report for trial before the Senate.  Uh, huh, sure.  This was really going to happen.  The members of the Roman Senate were smoking that California oregano.

 

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Now scroll forward 2,070 years and imagine the following scenario.  In 2023, old man Biden is asked to retire.  This could easily happen.  Kamala Harris assumes the presidency for a year and then runs against Trump in 2024.  A vengeful (but unwise) Trump has promised to try Harris for treason for allowing the invasion of illegal immigrants over the border.

President Harris loses the election to Trump, and she is now faced with Caesar's dilemma.  Does she quietly resign the presidency and submit herself to a treason trial, with a possible sentence of death?  Or does she cross the Rubicon?

Folks, no matter if you are liberal or conservative, it is exceedingly unwise for this country to pursue ex-presidents.  We want them to step down quietly and to fade into the sunset.  George Santayana, a Spanish philosopher, essayist, poet and novelist, once said, "Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it."

 

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Topics: commercial loans, caesar

A Chinese Jet Accidentally Downs Pelosi's Jet.  Who Wins the War?

Posted by George Blackburne on Mon, Aug 1, 2022

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The above image links to an impressive video, prepared by the People's Liberation Army and designed to scare the poop out of Americans.  It sure worked on me.  I am genuinely scared.

I went to dinner with some friends last weekend, and they said that World War III - even a conventional war against China with no nukes - was absolutely impossible.  Really?  War with Russia used to be impossible too.

My friends argued that the U.S. military has spent hundreds of billion of dollars on defense every year for decades.  No one can match the U.S. military and its huge defense budget.  Right?

 

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Hmmm.  What if we had spent that money on wooden shields and stone-tipped javelins, while our enemy spent its gold on matchlock muskets, steel armor, steel swords, and cavalry horses?  The Spanish conquistador, Francisco Pizarro, conquered all of Peru and the Inca Empire with just 180 armored men and a handful of horses.  His enemy numbered in the thousands.  How?  Better technology.

For the past twenty years, America has been spending hundreds of billions of dollars to fight the last war.  Winston Churchill once said, "Generals always fight the last war."

There was only one large naval engagement in World War I, the Battle of Jutland.  The German Navy was much smaller than that of Britain, but it was extremely well-trained.  The German Navy finally sortied out to challenge Britain's dominance of the seas.  

 

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The Battle of Jutland started out well for the Germans.  Britain's navy was scattered across the North Sea, while that of Germany was concentrated at the tip of the spear.  Four lightly-armored but fast British cruisers attacked the Germans, and three of them were promptly sunk.  By the end of the day, six thousand British sailors were dead.  Think about that, six-thousand young men.  

The problem?  The German dreadnoughts (battleships) were heavily armored, and the British gunners couldn't hit the broad side of a barn.  The British sailors had been taught to lay alongside the enemy and slug it out.  The Germans sat back, with longer-ranged guns and highly trained gunners, and blew the British cruisers out of the water.

But eventually Britain's own dreadnoughts, with even longer guns than those of the Germans, arrived and pounded the Germans from afar.  Even though only about one out of every fifteen British shells landed, the shells were so large and damaging that the Germans were finally driven off, with German losses of about 2,000 sailors.

 

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Advantage to the largest dreadnoughts.

So as World War II approached, the U.S. Navy built a dozen huge battleships.  After all, battleships ruled the seas, right?

Then the Japanese carrier air fleet destroyed our battleship fleet at Pearl Harbor.  All of that money spent on battleships was wasted.

I don't think a single U.S. battleship ever fired a round in anger at a Japanese aircraft carrier during all of World War II.  They couldn't get close enough.  Battleships were of little use.  They were obsolete.

 

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Okay, so after World War II, the U.S. Navy began building an immense fleet of aircraft carriers.  Oops.  Our carrier jets can only fly out around 450 miles before they have to head back to their carriers.  Chinese missiles can sink a carrier from 1,000 miles away.  Our carriers can't get close enough.

Mark Twain once said, “History doesn’t repeat itself, but it often rhymes”  The war over Taiwan, which historians may mark as the start of World War III, is likely to start as a sneak attack, with Chinese hypersonic missiles destroying our carriers and our air bases on Guam in the opening moments of the war - Pearl Harbor Part II.

Finally We Reach the Point of This Article:

It is going to be very expensive for the U.S. to rebuild its Pacific Fleet.  We won't just lose aircraft carriers.  We will also lose cruisers (think of Russia's Moskva) and other support ships.  

 

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The rebuilding of the Pacific Fleet will be a source of massive hyperinflation in the future.  (If you are a savvy, far-sighted investor, be sure to read that last sentence again.)  With our Pacific Fleet humiliated by a larger Chinese Navy, confidence in the dollar will plummet.  Who wants to own dollars when Hawaii is next on China's hit list?  

After Hawaii, California could even be next.  Think this impossible?  Ludicrous?  Imagine a Chinese fleet off the coast of California, firing missiles with pinpoint accuracy at our shipyards, our missile manufacturing plants, and our computer chip plants.  Occupying California would be easy.  The Chinese could easily field a land army of 5 million men.

Did you read how Congress just passed a huge spending bill to build new computer chip plants throughout the U.S.  Mark my words.  Those new computer chip plants will be constructed far inland from the California coast.  Not every American general is an idiot.  

 

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So when they announce remote Des Moines, Iowa as the site of one of these new computer chip plants, be sure to spot it as evidence that World War III is not quite as impossible as you currently think.

If the war goes badly - for example, if missiles from a Chinese sub in the Gulf of Mexico take out the launch facilities of SpaceX - any chance of America counter-attacking becomes futile.  We must keep the Chinese fleet at least 2,000 miles from the coast of California.  

Let me say again:  The cost for America to rebuild its Pacific Fleet will be staggering, and inflation will soar.  What foreign country will want to sell us their precious raw materials for our potentially useless paper dollars?  We will surely need to print a whole lot of them.

 

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Remember these words -

"History does not always happen to the other guy."

What makes you think that you can escape a devastating world war in your own lifetime? Both combatants - China and the U.S. - have tacitly agreed to use only conventional weapons.  A third world war is not only conceivable, but it could happen as early as this month, if China shoots down Nancy Pelosi's plane.

Think the U.S. will beat China in this war.  Take a look at this display of China's  military power.  Terrifying, huh?   Our Pacific Fleet is going to get mauled.  We have aircraft carriers with short-ranged jets, while they have mobile missiles on trucks that can pull off any road and fire DF-17 carrier-killer hypersonic missiles in minutes.

You'll know that war is imminent when the price of gold begins to soar.  Gold just hit a one-month high.  Makes sense.  Pelosi flies to Taiwan in the next two weeks.

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Picture this.  The Chinese scramble jets to surround and threaten Pelosi's jet.  American jets, protecting Pelosi, tell the Chinese to, "Back off, Bucko."  Some Chinese pilot, who just had a fight with his girlfriend, tells the Americans to, "Sod off."  Macho pilots start to showing off their flying skills, one gets too close, guns chatter, missiles fly... and then far larger missiles fly.

Impossible?  When I went to look up the price of gold for this article, somehow I just knew that that price of gold would be up.  Not every American investor is an idiot.

 

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Topics: commercial financing, War With China, commercial loans

Get an SBA Loan to Buy a Business Without Real Estate

Posted by George Blackburne on Tue, Jun 21, 2022

Screen Shot 2022-06-20 at 4.16.15 PMI know a commercial loan broker that specializes in placing SBA-guaranteed commercial loans.  He has done some pretty surprising loans using this SBA guarantee.

Commercial Loans Without Real Estate:

This commercial mortgage company recently blasted out a tombstone announcing the closing of a $2.4 million SBA-guaranteed commercial loan to purchase a sushi and hibachi restaurant business in Florida.  The exciting part of this news is that there was no real estate involved.

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The business was 34-years-old and successful.  The founder was retiring, and he wanted to sell the business to his long-time managers.

Even though this was a business-only transaction, with no real estate, this lender was even willing to roll in $200,000 of working capital!  

The borrowers put down 10% or $260,000 - and they got back $200,000 in working capital.  Holy mackerel.  Arguably they had only $60,000 net out of pocket to buy the restaurant that they have been running for 30 years.

 

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Holy mackerel.  What a deal!  The SBA lender boasted of another deal in process, a $3.4 million SBA loan to finance the purchase of a bar and restaurant in Georgia.  This was another legacy-type deal with a long-time manager buying the business from the founder.

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This miracle SBA lender also funds start-up franchise loans all the time.  A recent closing was special because it was a new franchise with less than 20 locations open. Lenders shy away from young franchises, but we have brought many young franchises to success.

These start-up franchise loans can sometimes be closed with only 10% down, although this is only for very strong borrowers.  A 20% downpayment is the norm; but that is 80% of all of the costs needed to open.

 

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In this latest case, the cost to build out the space, the franchise fees, the equipment, the training, the marketing, and the working capital of $50,000 came to roughly $400,000.  The borrower put down only 20%. Interest is factored in, so that the borrower does not have to make a payment until the doors open. These loans are great, and this market has stayed very hot.

The SBA lender pointed out that "people are constantly starting businesses, buying businesses, expanding, and growing.  This market still has legs.  Yes, the risk for a recession continues to grow, and things are not all rosy.  However, business is still going on, and it will continue, even in a recession.  Even in communist China there are businesses.  Billionaires and commerce goes on."

How To Reach This Miracle SBA lender:

This miracle SBA lender is not Blackburne & Sons.  At Blackburne & Sons, we make sub-prime commercial real estate loans up to $2 million nationwide.  The loan must be secured by commercial real estate.

 

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The special thing about Blackburne & Sons is that our loans are amortized over 30-years, and they are not due for 15 years.  Grasp that.  Fifteen-year private money loans - wow.  This sure spreads out the cost of third party reports.

A loan term of 15-years means you will never have a balloon payment coming due during a bad recession.  Want to march through hell?  Trying refinancing a balloon payment during a bad recession, especially if real estate has just plunged by 45%.

In addition, private money commercial loans from Blackburne & Sons never have a prepayment penalty.  Click here to apply for a 15-year private money commercial real estate loan from Blackburne & Sons.

 

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Topics: SBA loan, SBA loans

Interesting and Fun Tidbits

Posted by George Blackburne on Fri, May 20, 2022

BoschJoke Du Jour:

A balding man went into a barber’s shop and asked how much it would be for a haircut.  “Twenty-five dollars,” said the barber.  “Twenty-five dollars?  That’s crazy!” exclaimed the man. “I’ve hardly got any hair.  How can it be that expensive?”  The barber explained, “It’s $5 for the actual cut and $20 for the search fee.”

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What is FreeVee?

The reason why you care is because the latest season of Bosch, called Bosch Legacy, has just been released on FreeVee.  Bosch, written by Michael Connelly, is the best detective show on TV.  Michael Connelly has written 31 novels, and he has sold 74 million books worldwide.

Anyway, FreeVee is the new name for the old IMDB Network.  I love that network, but the name, IMDB was horrible.  IMDB stood for Internet Movie DataBase.  I think that the new name of the network, FreeVee, is fantastic!  I love good marketing.

The reason I love-love-love FreeVee (IMDB) is because they show lots of free, older, blockbuster movies.  The typical movie might be twelve years old, but that movie was often a smash hit in theaters.  Yes, FreeVee has commercials, but they don't go crazy with them.  For the record, even Netflix will have commercials next year.

 

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Golf Tip:

If you don't play golf, just move on to the next tidbit.  I played in a little club golf tournament this week.  The nice thing about these little tourneys is that you get to meet new members of the club.  In the words of a six-year-old, you get to make lots of new "best friends."  Haha.  One of them taught me a smart lesson.

Whenever I play with a new set of golfers, and I am introduced, I often immediately forget their names.  For the rest of the round, I often stumble with embarrassment.  The trick, my new best friend just taught me, is to immediately write their names down on the score card, even if you are not personally keeping score.  List the driver of the other golf cart first.  

TIL:

This acronym stands for "Today I Learned", as in TIL that the new Rolls-Royce Ghost soundproofing was so over-engineered that occupants in the car found the near-total silence disorienting, and some even felt sick.  Acoustic engineers had to go back and work on "harmonizing" various sounds in the car to add a continuous soft whisper.

 

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Just One False Positive?

Yields on the two-year Treasury note briefly rose above those on the benchmark 10-year note in March for the first time since September 2019.  That so-called yield curve inversion has preceded every recession since 1955, producing a "false positive" just one time, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.

YSK:

This acronym stands for "You Should Know," as in YSK that if you go to India, an Indian restaurant, or an Indian home, and you see a swastika, it is there to welcome you and wish you prosperity.  It has nothing to do with the Nazi symbol.

Cracker Jack:

This week I got FOUR boxes of Crackerjack for 1.25.  Deal of the century?  I think so!  Yum.

 

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Reports That World War III Has Been Canceled Were Greatly Exaggerated

Posted by George Blackburne on Mon, May 2, 2022

Mark TwainIn late May of 1897, the English correspondent for the New York Journal, Frank Marshall White, contacted Mark Twain in London to inquire about his health.  The editors of the newspaper had sent a cable White on May 28, asking him to get Twain’s response to reports that he was on his deathbed in England.

White relayed this request to Twain.  On May 31, 1897, Twain wrote down his response and sent it to White.  The next day, White wrote an article that quoted from Twain’s letter.  On June 2, 1897, the article was published in the New York Journal.  It said, in part:

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"Mark Twain was undecided whether to be more amused or annoyed when a Journal representative informed him today of the report in New York that he was dying in poverty in London... The great humorist, while not perhaps very robust, is in the best of health.  He said:

"I can understand perfectly how the report of my illness got about.  I have even heard on good authority that I was dead.  (Haha!  Humorist indeed.)  James Ross Clemens, a cousin of mine, was seriously ill two or three weeks ago in London, but is well now. The report of my illness grew out of his illness.  The report of my death was an exaggeration.”  Source: This Day in Quotes.)

The Coming War With China:

For weeks I was joyous.  Russia was struggling so badly against Ukraine that it occurred to me that China might become less aggressive.  The economic sanctions against Russia have been brutal, and Russia's massive army is bogged down in a slugging match.

 

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Both Russia and the West are finding that their "vast stores" of artillery shells, rockets, missiles, anti-tank missiles, and anti-aircraft missiles are quickly becoming depleted.  And the war has only been going on for two months!  At this rate, the two sides will soon be reduced to throwing rocks at each other.

But My Hopes Were Dashed With the Sinking of the Moskva:

We all chuckled when Russia's flagship in the Black Sea, the huge missile cruiser Moskva, was hit by two Ukrainian Neptune surface-to-sea missiles.  Yay!  Apparently both missiles struck the Moskva, while it was steaming across the Black Sea at night, more than 50 nautical miles from the coast.

This was good news, right?  Both missiles hit a moving ship many miles away at night.  Hellooo?  Surface-to-sea missiles apparently work very, very well.  At any given time, the U.S. Navy operates two to three aircraft carriers within range of China's DF-26 carrier killer missiles.

 

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The typical carrier has a crew of 5,000 to 5,2000 sailors, including more than a few women, and carries 24 F-35B's fighter / bombers.  These are the special versions of F-35's that can take off and land vertically.  Each of these F-35's cost around $115 million, and we only have about 700 of them.

Within range?  Holy crap.  China's DF-26 missiles have an effective range... are you ready for this... of 2,000 nautical miles.  Our F-35's can only fly around 1,300 miles round trip.  In other words, we can only attack targets 600 miles away.  It's hard not to be scared.

Economic Sanctions Would Devastate China, Right?:

Yes, they would.  If rational men were making the decision to invade Taiwan, we would be safe.

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But here's the deal.  President Xi of China was supposed to resign at the end of his second five-year term.  His predecessor, Hu Jintao, stepped down exactly on the last day of his second term, and he was widely praised for the smooth transition.

President Xi, however, doesn't want to give up power.  Two years ago, Xi manipulated the Communist Party rules to rescind the prohibition against more than two five-year terms.  Uh-oh.  Can you say Dictator-For-Life over 1.4 billion people?

The Presidents of China are elected by the National People's Congress (NPC), and Xi has spent the last three years putting his supporters into place in the National People's Congress.  Anyone who complains is arrested, and they are either shot or imprisoned.

 

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I asked my buddy if he thought Xi would be reelected.  He laughed and suggested that Xi knows how to count.  Xi has made sure that he has enough votes, so when the NPC meets on October 13th to elect its president for the next five years, the issue is fait accompli, which is Latin for "the thing is already done."  

Why You Need to Care About Xi's Refusal to Step Down:

Not every leader in China can be thrilled with the country's new Dictator-For-Life.  Xi has made a ton of boneheaded decisions in the past two years.  For example, Xi picked a border fight with India over some mountaintops that are so high that soldiers on both sides get altitude sickness.  There is nothing of value in those stupid mountains!  He also drove the Philippines back into the arms of the U.S. by trying to seize the Spratly Islands.  

China's domestically-produced COVID vaccines no longer work.  Instead of asking the U.S. to buy Moderna's or Pfizer's vaccines, Xi has locked tens of millions of people in their apartments in Shanghai and other huge cities, while trying to maintain this crazy zero-COVID policy.

 

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Because the Chinese people never got salted with the COVID virus, and because Sinovac and the other Chinese COVID vaccines have fallen to less than 20% effectiveness (due to the Omnicron variants), there is no way out for China.  Millions of people are going to die in China, while the U.S., Europe, and the rest of the world are past the pandemic.  

Someone posted a video on Reddit.com this week of Shanghai's residential apartment towers at night.  Tens of thousands of people were screaming at the top of their lungs to be let out. They were pounding on pots and pans.  It was deafening.  This is going on right now every night in China.  These people have got to be pissed.

Xi has scared so many business owners worldwide with his militarism that company owners are shipping their manufacturing orders to other countries.  Did you know, according to the big investment bank, Piper Jeffries, that China's GDP went negative this quarter?

 

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Do you remember the deal between the Chinese people and the Chinese Communist Party ("CCP")?  The Chinese people will put up with totalitarianism, as long as the CCP continues to grow the country and improve their lives.  Uh, oh.

Soon the Riots May Start:

If Xi falls from power, he will not be allowed to just retire to the country.  His power grab has freaked out so many of China's leaders that he will be taken on a long drive and then shot in a ditch.

If the people in China start to riot - imagine the people of Shanghai breaking out of their apartments like screaming, hungry zombies - Xi will have no choice but to distract his people by invading Taiwan.

 

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China may try to sink an American carrier or two (or three) in the opening minutes of the war, and the sinking of the Moskva suggests that China will be successful.

The sinking of the Moskva suggests that the
Chinese will successfully sink our carriers.

When 5,000+ of our young men and women are being torn apart by sharks, you gotta believe that World War III will be "on."  

Dang.  The rumors that World War III had been called off were greatly exaggerated.

 

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Workers Needed

All humor aside, this country desperately needs workers.
Who will assemble our missiles?

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Topics: World War III is On Again