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Morning Commentary

Makes me Want to "Holla"
By Charles Payne, CEO & Principal Analyst
2/6/2013 9:56 AM

In the 15th century a ritual began during the final days of the Majapahit Hindu Empire in Indonesia known as Yadnya Kasada.  According to legend a princess and her husband settled at the foot of Mount Bromo on East Java.  Their paradise was empty as they were unable to have children so the couple prayed to the mountain gods.

Their prayers were answered. They would be blessed with children but had to agree to sacrifice the last child. After 25 children the couple balked at making the ultimate sacrifice. This angered the gods who threatened the destruction of the village unless the couple honored the agreement.

The couple acquiesced and tossed their son, Kesuma, into the mouth of the volcano. These days thousands of pilgrims flock to the volcano each year offering food, live animals and money in return for blessings of prosperity. It is said you can still hear the cries of Kesuma.

Fast forward to May 2012 when famous money manager Leon Black purchased "The Scream" for a record $119.9 million. The Painting was part of a series of very personal Impressionist renderings by Edvard Munch. "The Scream" elicits strong reactions from viewers by unlocking an array of emotions that moves your blood but stops your heart. Many believe the man in the painting is screaming when in fact he's covering his ears to block a primal scream from nature.

Completed in 1893, the source of the imagery has been debated, but its inspiration was clearly described by Munch himself in a diary entry:

One evening I was walking along a path, the city was on one side and the fjord below. I felt tired and ill. I stopped and looked out over the fjord-the sun was setting, and the clouds turning blood red. I sensed a scream passing through nature; it seemed to me that I heard the scream. I painted this picture, painted the clouds as actual blood. The color shrieked. This became The Scream.

In 2003 Donald Olsen, an American physics and astronomy professor at Texas University looked into the inspiration for "The Scream." It was determined the eruption of Krakatoa in Indonesia created the "vivid red twilights" in Europe that probably lingered in the skies from November 1893 well into 1884. That same eruption generated tsunamis that killed 36,417 people. In fact the eruption was so powerful it measured 13,000 times the nuclear yield of Little Boy and four times that of Tsar Bomba, the most powerful nuclear device ever detonated.

Our Daily Screams

These days I'm reminded of "The Scream" every time a politician opens his or her mouth. It is particularly unnerving to hear President Obama speak of all the bad things that will happen to the nation when all of his ideas aren't rushed into law. I want to cover my ears and scream back into the skies. At this point what's really worse? The screams of the potential outcomes if the nation doesn't pile on more debt, punish the rich, control what people eat, rewrite the Constitution, and accept lower expectations for everything from education to economic gains numb the senses.

This has become a nation of fear and angst.

I'm not afraid of members of the NRA, rich people, fat people, people that believe in God. I am afraid for the nation by the notion that like those villagers that settled at Mount Bromo, sacrifices are being demand in the name of a kind of utopia. Sacrifices that will make it harder for our children to prosper. In a sense we are being asked to sacrifice our children. Amazingly, this notion is actually considered "fair" by so many proving, like those modern-day pilgrimages to mountain gods in East Java, mankind can cling to primitive notions if the screams are loud enough.

I disagree with President Obama that America's economy is on easy street and the only threat comes from sensible laws and spending cuts from Washington DC. Any hiccup in the economy of late hasn't come from people recoiling at Washington debates, but recoiling from new taxes and rules pouring out of the nation's capitol. And look for more adverse reactions as the new healthcare law kicks in, along with the payroll tax hike which forces many to save rather than spend.

The Sun Will Set...

Yes, the sun is setting and clouds are turning blood red but it's not because government isn't spending enough money it's because America is morphing into something it's never been- a place where the least amount of effort is deserving of the greatest reward. Our nation's debt is a volcano with blood-like lava percolating. It only has to blow over once and the things we are doing now don't stop it from grumbling and sadly give it more power.

America must mend its smoldering volcanoes before it's too late. It will mean some pain and perhaps temporary slower growth but ensure longer term prosperity. Instead it's a daily dose of angst and anger and fear - makes me want to scream!


Comments
As described in the old testament Jews and Gentiles alike sacrificed children, as did so many other cultures around the world. It almost seems hard to fathom and utterly barbaric. One would think that would never happen in this age.

Then, I think of where we're at today with over 1m abortions per year. Ostensibly it's in the name of prosperity as well. After all, as our President said, who would want their daughter punished with a baby?

In the end it's all a moral issue. Whether it be money, wealth, taxes, abortions, or whatever. We have lost our moral compass. Unless we change course it will not end well...

Bob Alkema on 2/6/2013 10:28:58 AM
CP,

They got it all wrong, this is a prophetic story. There is a man in a black trench coat(on the left) following the guy. He's an IRS agent who just informed the guy he's being audited and he has to pay more taxes to Obama. Upon hearing this the guy was frightened and couldn't believe his ears. The artist captured the moment the guy heard this. True story.

Chris on 2/6/2013 11:45:59 AM
When is our imperious leader (King Charles) going to respect all his readers? This Obama bashing is becoming ridiculous. Like most Americans, for all children to be educated, for all people to have medical care, is nothing more than what all advanced societies in the world today strive for. Most of the rich however you define them don't like paying taxes; most people don't like taxes either but they accept the necessity and complain less. Most people want simply to be happy, day in and day out, with a good job, family and community, and are not interested in becoming entrepreneurs. Believing that every American should bear assault weapons with a house full of ammo and put that on the 2nd amendment is crazy: you find that in Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan and Syria. What has happened to common sense? I am worried about the rich, the fat, and the NRA.

Dr Lou Knafla on 2/6/2013 7:39:00 PM
Mr. Payne,

Excellent summation. Though government has been pushing the 'You need us', 'We'll save you from yourselves..' and fear mongering for generations.

I feel at present time the sad, disgusting truth is MOST people are mindfully/ willfully ignorant and only see bits and pieces of which they wish to see of these D.C. grifter's and their plain as day con games.

I liken 'the message' (much like Grandmaster Flash's same titled song) of our empty vessel Obama and company's shtick to the masses with the then-SNL skit of the '88 Presidential election debate.

Whereas the Dukakis character in rebuttal to Dana Carvey's rambling Bush statement, 'Ican't believe I'm losing to this guy'!

That's the same sentiment I feel when seeing/ hearing Barack Kardashian and his pol/ civilian usurpers echoing this faux intellect's proven-to-fail policies and counterproductive initiatives.

Each generation more and more Americans make decisions based almost solely on feel-good, albeit nonsensical, emotive responses.

Their thimble-like prism functions on an odd plane of 'racial/gender/sexual preference justice'. It's ludicrous.

Were the ONLY ascended beings on Earth and have been given the GIFT of critical thinking and rational thought. Yet that caveat is being implemented less and less.

I'm in my late 30's and recall being told by my CA hippy public school elementary teacher that WE 9-10 year old kids better have a good retirement portfolio.
For when we become adults the government programs SS, Medicare/ Medicaid will more than likely be kaput when we reach obtainment age.

The late-Barry Goldwater spoke of such government insolvency PRIOR to Medicare being passed, implemented in '65!

Yet Uhblame-O and his minions are pushing for MORE government interventionism with our government created debt skyrocketing out-of-control.

It's truly astounding. To see more and more of the masses WANTING serfdom. I liken it to encouraging our devolving.

markit8dude on 2/6/2013 8:08:33 PM
Very appropriate. I always feel that Charles is a deep analytical thinker, a fine writer, and must have a good education.

Marianne on 2/8/2013 9:26:53 AM
 

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