My older brother, Mike, may have been my first example for investing. He subscribed to what seemed like hundreds of comics from Marvel and DC. Each week, a handful of the flimsy little violence-filled books arrived in the mail. I’m not even sure he read them all. But he did meticulously slip each one in a custom-fitted plastic bag and then file it away in one of the many storage boxes he had in his closet.
They were organized by the name of each comic and chronological order. My younger brother Mark and I were not to touch, read, crease or otherwise ruin his prized possessions. We’d sneak a few out, now and again to read when we could. But he’d know. And after a while, we just gave up trying. All these years later, he made a small fortune selling off his nicely preserved little books.
Why am I writing about comics this morning? There was this Alternate Universe concept the comics would often bring out. DC Comics had over 50 different versions of another universe where things were quite different from reality. A king would be a queen. Batman would be evil and the Joker the hero. These fictional continuity constructs were just a tool for stories. I mean, how many times can Batman really save Gotham again?
This morning’s news tells us that Vladimir Putin and Russia have devised a diplomatic solution to the issue with chemical weapons in Syria. Is this a multiverse? Is anyone else feeling a bit embarrassed about the fact that our nation is pounding the war drum and the former Soviet-era KGB man is the one who has proposed a peaceful, diplomatic solution?
John Kerry came to office early in his political career on the premise that he had been in Vietnam, he had seen that war is often a messy, expensive and unsuccessful solution to the evils of the world. He is now our Secretary of State practically begging the American people to get behind bombing the sand out of Syria. What happened Johnny?
Barrack Obama, posed in 2007 election campaigns as the man who was smarter than Bush. The man who would get us out of Iraq and be more thoughtful and certainly more strategic in the future use of our powerful force. But here he is, clamoring to get us involved in yet another middle eastern quagmire with little proof, little strategy, little more than what would seem to be Iraq all over again. Barry, is the defense lobby money just too sweet?
And our Congress, aptly nicknamed the “Do Nothing Congress” that can’t get together on how to tie their shoes is now suddenly arm in arm, showing resolute unity behind our leader! It is all just a little too weird when John Boehner is slapping President Obama’s backside like they all just scored a touchdown.
Could it be that the defense industry has just a little too much influence on our foreign policy these days? When Bad Vlad and the Russians are the ones coming up with a diplomatic solution, it makes you wonder.