Slaying the Structured Investment Vehicle Monster with the double-edged sword of transparency


Most celebrities are like little children: they will do and say anything which brings them attention and seems to enhance their position on the world stage. Some of them may actually believe the tripe that they are spewing and actually like the candidates that they promoting.

In her latest foray into the political limelight, diva Barbra Streisand and notorious FOB (Friend of Bill) now claims that she has anointed Hillary Clinton as her choice for the democrat presidential candidate. According to the pundits, the real story may be "How close a friend Streisand was to Bill Clinton and was she alone in the Lincoln Bedroom?" For a list of the others who were granted this privilege, the list can be found here.

Unfortunately, as great as her talent as a singer, Streisand's sometime incoherent thoughts on politics appear to mark her as a featherweight on substantive issues and more of a follower of political candidates than serious observer of our currently troubled times.

Of course, Oprah Winfrey, a significant star with a tremendous amount of talent, is backing Barack Obama. I would be interested in knowing why Oprah believes why a junior Senator with little or no real life political and governance experience is worthy of her significant endorsement. I would like Oprah to step out of character and explain why her support goes beyond the obvious "race" issue.

And then you have George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Ben Affleck, Alec Baldwin, Tim Robbins, Susan Sarandon, Alec Baldwin, and the other wing nuts such as Sean Penn and Danny Glover.

It is still extremely difficult for me to believe that their support of the political system is any more than an extension of their narcissistic "it's all about me" tendency to stay in the spotlight while appearing politically knowledgeable and "relevant."  A mutual lovefest between the candidates who will do and say anything to reel in large political donors with superb media access and the easily corrupted stars.

Streisand spins her own version of reality...

To find out what Streisand thinks of herself and other news, one should really visit her blog's "Truth Alert Section." (You may be able to spot the entries that weren't written personally as her entries usually contain misspellings and grammatical errors as well as lack of subject matter knowledge.) Here is one of my favorite posts...

"What did the Republicans 'Drudge' Up Today?"

"The Distortion"

Drudge Report, October 3, 2002

Matt Drudge in his report stated "Streisand bought and traded 800 shares of Halliburton while Dick Cheney was its Chief Executive."

"The Truth"


"How low will Republicans stoop to try to stifle the voice of singer, director, actress, activist Barbra Streisand? Today's low blow has them rummaging through the tax returns of her charitable foundation. The Streisand Foundation gives away money to organizations that work to protect the environment, our civil liberties, the rights of women and children, and fight against nuclear proliferation. The Streisand Foundation's money is handled by an outside investment adviser who, at his discretion, buys and sells stocks and bonds to support the foundation. Unfortunately, since this administration took over, the foundation has lost hundreds of thousands of dollars that would otherwise go to worthwhile causes. Before Dick Cheney became Vice President, 800 shares of Halliburton were purchased for the foundation in April of 1999. All were sold in 2000 with a loss of $1,288 dollars."

Apparently Drudge had the item right and all Streisand offers is further confirmation of the underlying facts while attempting to spin the story to her advantage. How typical of a limousine liberal to portray herself as a victim of a press attack -- and then attribute the attack to the Republican Party?

About the stock picking issue -- does anybody believe that the legendarily "cheap" Streisand does not watch over her own investments with a gimlet eye?

From her own blog... (8/5/99)...

New York Post Again Misrepresents Streisand Investments - "Barbra's Sinking Feeling"

"The many fans of Barbra Streisand may have to start passing the hat. On June 23, I reported that the diva's self-managed stock portfolio had sunk by 15 percent since she was written up as an investment maven by Fortune magazine. Well, things have gotten worse. Barbra's investments are now down 32.5 percent since our benchmark date of April 30. In the same period, the Dow Jones was off only 1.4. percent and the Nasdaq was up 1.8 percent."


"They are wrong again...very wrong! In fact, the portfolio that Ms. Streisand personally manages continues to outperform the S&P 500 index by more than double. Most of the country's professional money managers haven't been able to beat the S&P at all! The New York Post, a conservative newspaper, obviously wants to discredit Ms. Streisand's intelligence. Maybe they are anticipating her supporting Democrats in the upcoming elections. "

Again, Streisand is the victim of scurrilous press coverage. But does she understand that this blog post also seems to confirm the personal nature of her stock choices?

In Hollywood it is all about the triumph of style over substance, where perception trumps reality. In short it is always about: ME ME ME ME ME ME!  Or as the old joke goes: "Enough about me, what do you think of my watch?"

What can YOU do?

Remember, with celebrities, it is all about them and their feelings. They are continually preening and seeking media coverage. Being associated with political parties only enhances their media "face time" and allows them to capitalize on political perks should their party or candidate win.

A famous director once said, just because you have a large megaphone, it makes you loud -- but not necessarily right!" Celebrities with the media exposure, some would argue overexposure, are loud -- but you must judge for yourself if they are right.

Do not support any celebrity who makes anti-American statements on foreign soil. Statements which can be used by America's enemies as they propagandize their corrupt regimes. The classic example: Jane Fonda, the modern-day Tokyo Rose," sitting on an anti-Aircraft gun deployed to kill Americans and waffling about peace in enemy territory (North Vietnam) in apparent support of the Communist  regime -- while John McCain was being tortured in prison. Consider the visits to Fidel Castro and Hugo Chavez to be tantamount to, at least in my mind, aiding and abetting the enemy.

Do not confuse the celebrity's life with any of the scripted roles they may play. Many celebrities are brilliant performers who infuse the brilliant efforts of the writers with believability, but in reality are dumb as rocks. It is the job of their advisors and handlers to keep them in the limelight, lest their personal and professional retinue find themselves unemployed.

A telling truth is exposed in this riddle: When is a star, not a star? It is the answer, "When there is a bigger star in the room"  that is close to placing the phenomenon of celebrity in its proper perspective.

Do not vote for any candidate or current politician who is willing to subvert the safety, security, sovereignty and economic strength of the United States or limit an individual's right of self-defense for personal power, prestige or profits.

Quote of the Day: Behavior is a mirror in which every one displays his own image. -- Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe

-- steve

A reminder from a large improvement can result from a small change…

The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane. -- Marcus Aurelius

Reference Links:

Streisand Endorses Hillary Clinton

“Nullius in verba.”-- take nobody's word for it!

“Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance.”-- George Bernard Shaw

“Progressive, liberal, Socialist, Marxist, Democratic Socialist -- they are all COMMUNISTS.”

“The key to fighting the craziness of the progressives is to hold them responsible for their actions, not their intentions.” – OCS

"The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." -- Marcus Aurelius

“A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves, and traitors are not victims... but accomplices” -- George Orwell

“Fere libenter homines id quod volunt credunt." (The people gladly believe what they wish to.) ~Julius Caesar

“Describing the problem is quite different from knowing the solution. Except in politics." ~ OCS