# 2012 US Election and JFK related stuff

Last time I predicted an election, I was pretty prescient. This time, I’m not so sure, and ironically this time, I am actually living in the United States, though not a resident. In this year’s election, I’m betting on Obama to win, but its going to be a close one.

My bets on Obama

Edit:
Obama won the election, as predicted, and I made a pretty decent profit from Intrade.
Intrade is a good bargain. If the probability of Obama winning according to 538 is 80%, then your expected value of your return is that probability times the money you put in.

EV = expected profit * P(x)

If you buy Obama at \$6.80/share, then your expected profit is 10-6.8=\$3.2/share. So if Obama wins 80% of the time and you make \$3.2/share, and loses 20% of the time and you lose \$6.8/share, then:

(\$3.20/share * 80%) + (-\$6.8 * 20%)= \$2.56/share (expected profit) – \$1.36/share (expected loss) = \$1.20/share is your expected outcome.

This means if we were to run a simulation of Obama vs Romney 2012 on this day 10000 times, on average you can expect to make \$1.20 per share, or 17.6% ROI. A positive expected profit is always a good thing, people.

According to FiveThirtyEight, Obama has the slight edge, with the main deciding state being Ohio. That’s one of the problems of the Electoral College system. You can win the popular vote but not the election. And what ends up happening is that a few states (Ohio, Florida, Nevada, Colorado, Virginia) become much more important than other states. The result is that the election is basically in the hands of a few voters, in this case, Ohio.

There are many reasons why this is a close race, mostly because people think that Obama will raise taxes next year, his healthcare law that forces people to buy insurance, and too much government debt, along with a weak economy. Romney’s only this close because he’s not Obama, not because he has any substance in his plans.

But consider what Obama has done: He ended the war in Iraq, drawing down the war in Afghanistan as well, killed Osama Bin laden, renewed America’s standing globally, bailed out the auto industry, repealed don’t ask don’t tell, put into place healthcare and financial reform, decreased the unemployment rate to 7.8%, and cut taxes for families (payroll tax break). That’s not that bad. The economy was losing 700,000 jobs a month when he took office from Bush. Now the economy is creating jobs, albeit slowly. His healthcare law wasn’t perfect, but its a start. And the 111th congress, controlled by Democrats, was one of the most productive ever, despite all the opposition from Republicans. When you consider all that Obama has done, despite inheriting a financial recession, and creating jobs faster than Bush did in 8 years, finishing the jobs that Bush started, then don’t you think he deserves to be re-elected?

JFK-related stuff
Everyone knows I’m a big fan of JFK, and recently I watched a few documentaries and read some books related to him.

Virtual JFK
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002ZS4524/
This is a great documentary and tells of how JFK prevented war on multiple occasions – in Cuba during Bay of Pigs and Cuban Missile crisis, in Laos, in Vietnam in 1961, in Berlin, and withdrawing troops from Vietnam. Then LBJ took over and he was a different type of president. He wasn’t the skeptic Kennedy was. He firmly believed that Vietnam could be won, a very costly mistake for America. If JFK had been in office, he would have most likely have negotiated or withdrawn, just like he did in hte case of Laos/Cuba.

If only presidents today were like JFK – President Bush reminds me of LBJ, he went to war in Afghanistan over an attack on the U.S, but then forayed into Iraq, which had nothing to do with the attack. JFK would never had done such a thing. The Iraq War costed billions of dollars, and thousands of American lives. We need more presidents who understand that war is unnecessary and a last resort.

I highly recommend this book. If you had the chance to go back in time to stop the Kennedy Assassination – would you do it?
The first book since Da Vinci Code and Harry Potter to keep me reading night after night.

Edit: Finished the book. It was quite good, some parts very sad. Climax was too rushed though, I still recommend it.

We never know how much time we’re going to have. Our tombstones are emblazoned with three things under our names – a birth date, a death date, and a dash in the middle. We have no control over the first one – that’s mostly up to our parents. We have more control over the second one, and yet still never know when it’s going to come. But the one thing on that tombstone we do have full control over is that dash in the middle. That simple punctuation mark that sums up our entire lifetime of choices and experiences.
Let’s all strive to do alot with our dash.

JFK arguing for the same thing Obama was – 50 years ago.

# JFK Assassination

Life of Jack Kennedy w/piano bg
Runtime
2:27
View count
171

It is hard to talk about John Kennedy without talking about his assassination. He was the youngest president elected, and the youngest to die. He was rich, handsome, smart, powerful, charismatic, but even being the most powerful leader in the free world didn’t save him from his tragic fate.

I have many books on President Kenney, as well as tons of videos stored on my comp from Youtube. The more I learn about him, the more fascinated I get. His death is particularly controversial, and marks the beginning of America’s distrust in their government. JFK is considered ‘America’s last president’ by many because his death reflects a decline in the faith that the government could do the right thing for their citizens. The Vietnam War, several other notable assassinations, Watergate, Gulf War, Iraq War, 9/11 and many other events call into question that the government is indeed doing the right thing.

The story of JFK’s assassination is more dramatizing than any movie I’ve seen. There’s so many characters involved in the potential ‘conspiracies’, the Mafia, Anti-Castro exiles, Anti-Communist, Extreme Right wingers, the CIA, FBI, Secret Service, Vice president Johnson, all are rumored to be involved. I don’t think the government would knowingly kill their own leader – but I do believe there might be a conspiracy. Just take a look at all the potential cast of characters and when they ‘conveniently’ died:

JFK – the victim – assassinated Nov 1963
Robert Kennedy – JFK’s brother – assassinated Jun 1968
Lee Harvey Oswald – JFK’s assassin – assassinated Nov 1963
Mary Meyer – JFK’s close friend – murdered Oct 1964
Jack Ruby – Oswald’s assassin – Died Jan 1967
David Ferrie – possible conspirator – Died Feb 1967
Guy Banister – possible conspirator – Died June 1964
*Mary Sherman – Worked with David Ferrie and knew Oswald – Murdered July 1964

*died on the same day the Warren commission was going to interrogate her. Her right arm and rib were disintegrated and she was stabbed in the heart.

Edit: I can extend the period to 1974, and that would include Clay Shaw (possible conspirator, died 1974), President Johnson (d. 1973), J Edgar Hoover (director of FBI, d. 1972), etc. I didn’t even include the numerous deaths of FBI, CIA, Secret service agents + Dallas police.

…Notice how they all died within a short span of time? (1963-1968). This is quite strange, if we are to believe that JFK was indeed assassinated by one person – why so many related deaths in such a short amount of time? The more you look into it, the more sinister the plot becomes. There are even rumors that JFK’s body was altered before it reached Parkland Hospital – attested to by the examining doctors and made to support the single bullet theory. I don’t want to dig too deep into it but – JFK’s assassination is very fascinating indeed, and it makes you wonder what really did go on that November afternoon 47 years ago?

JFK’s death is very graphic indeed. After watching the Zapruder film, I could not watch it again. Seeing the President of the United States’ brains getting blown out is disturbing. Movies are graphic, video games are graphic, but real life is indeed the most graphic.
People all of the world were so shocked at it… I think watching it gives a good sense of what life can be. Unexpected – you could be there waving your hand one second and dead the next. Life is unpredictable, and I think the JFK assassination is a prime example that even the most powerful of men cannot escape what some may say a rendezvous with destiny.

# Parents are very influential and America’s influence

I’ve discovered that your parents are probably the single greatest influence on your life; more so than your peers. For one, your parents are the one’s who gave birth to you, therefore you inherit their genes. Whether or not you wear glasses, grow tall, which language you speak, where you live and grow up all depends on your parents. So I think it is very important that parents have a well planned out career for their children.

Fact of the matter is the past can’t be changed, but I’ve always wondered how much more of an advantage I would have had if I wasn’t raised in a small town of 30,000 and instead grew up in New York or San Francisco or even stayed in China until I was in high school then immigrated to Canada/US. How different would I be? My Chinese would be much improved, surely, due to having more motivation to speak it. I would have more opportunities in my grasp. There are many opportunities out there every day but there tends to be much more depending on where you’re from. A person who grew up in Silicon valley would have much more IT opportunities than someone who grew up in rural Iowa, for example. Where you grow up also influences who you network with. So that person in Iowa would be surely disadvantaged than the person in San Francisco who has a lot of IT and entrepreneurial evangelists as buddies. So where your parents settle down and raise you is very important to who they want you to be.

I always look upon JFK as my source of inspiration. He accomplished so much before he died at 46. But I wondered how much of that was due to his parents and how much due to himself. He attended Choate before enrolling in Princeton and transferring to Harvard. Would he have gotten in if his parents weren’t so rich? What about taking classes at Stanford Business School and enlisting in the United States Navy? Would he have gotten in if not for his parents influence? Then as a result of the war, he became a congressman, senator and eventually president by the time he was 43. Each experience builds on top of the other. Every accomplishment serves as a stepping stone for the next one until he was at the top, the highest office in the land.

It kind of makes me feel that way, while I do have that ambition, my parents did not have the money nor the influence. I did not go to a private school, nor an American university. I couldn’t afford to, because I wasn’t a US citizen. My parents had settled in Canada and in a way it kind of forced me to choose which one to go to. In no way is University of Toronto a bad school, but like other Canadian companies and institutions in general, lack the prestige and international reputation that American things carry. What makes America so great and envied by the world? Is it because it’s the world’s sole superpower? richest country in the world? Most powerful military in the world? third most populated country and most populated fully developed country in the world? It was Americans who produced nuclear weapons, not Canadians. It was Americans who started the Digital revolution (Apple & Microsoft), not Canadians. It was Americans who pioneered automobiles, not Canadians. It’s like standing in the shadow of the brother who accomplished more and is more recognized I suppose.

During the past century, America enjoyed greater prosperity than any other nation

And what is the secret of American achievement, success and innovation? Most of the world’s most powerful and recognizable brands (Coca Cola, McDonalds, Apple, Microsoft, Intel, Citigroup, Google, JPMorgan, Goldman Sachs, ExxonMobil, Sears, Berkshire Hathaway, Proctor & Gamble, General Electric, etc) are all American. I guess a big part of my ambitions is to get a piece of that American Dream.

I digress though, Parents are absolutely critical to your success. I believe that with the proper nurturing, anyone can be successful, and the responsibility of the parents therefore, is to provide guidance and a suitable place to raise their child in order to maximize their success.